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Wastin' Away Again In ONTaville | Main | 7/15/23 EMT
July 15, 2023

Daily Tech News 15 July 2023

Top Story

  • So as I mentioned yesterday my laptop charger decided to emulate Chernobyl at 5PM on a Friday.

    And the reason for that was that something shorted out. Not the charger itself - it wouldn't be that, because I have many chargers. Not the cable - I have at least a dozen USB-C cables. It was the single solitary USB-C port on my laptop.

    Fortunately I also have many laptops, and I already set up the latest one for my recent trip because it looked like my regular one was on the way out.

  • Apropos of nothing, Windows 11 is dogshit. It works, it's just endlessly annoying.

    Microsoft, I don't want any of that. All the changes are bad. All of them.

  • The unions of Hollywood are trying to save it from itself, the way Tamerlane saved Isfahan. (The Verge)

    Here's the problem: The actors are siding with the writers against the studios, when the writers have collaborated with the studios for years to burn the city to the ground.

    You're your own worst enemy, Fran Drescher, just like Microsoft.

Tech News

  • I mentioned that I have a 4TB Team MP34 in the new laptop, and it's one of the cheapest drives around in that size, with no apparent flaws at least on paper. It's only PCIe 3, but most of the time that makes no difference. But until now I hadn't put it under any real stress.

    Today I set up a Linux virtual machine (Ubuntu 22.04 desktop) and pre-allocated a 100GB volume for it. Ran at a steady 1.6GB per second throughout. I'm not sure whether the drive or the CPU was the bottleneck, but that's nothing to complain about as a real-world result.

    As for the laptop itself, an HP Pavilion 14 (not the Plus model, the cheap one): It's pretty good. The Ryzen 5625U is not the latest chip, and not even the fastest in the range from two years ago, but it works fine. The keyboard feels good, and while I need to get used to the layout, it's exactly the layout I was looking for, so if I don't like it that's on me.

    The screen is mostly fine. It's only 1080p, a noticeable downgrade from the 2560x1600 panel on my Dell Inspiron 14 Plus - a model they no longer make. The Pavilion 14 Plus model comes with a 2880x1800 OLED panel which looks amazing, but is limited to 16GB of RAM which is not so amazing. But while the resolution isn't off the charts, it's still sharp and clear and the colours are vibrant.

    Only notable annoyance with the hardware is that it only charges from the right - it has a USB-C port and a barrel jack, but they're both on that side. No SD card slot either, but I hardly use that these days.

    A few minor tweaks would turn this from a pretty good laptop to near-perfect, but nobody cares to do that.

  • Media execs haven't learned a thing from recent AI tests. (The Verge)

    Yes they have. They've learned that they need to spend a couple more months tweaking the prompts before they fire the whole lot of you worthless bastards.

  • Google Docs now has a built-in AI feature. It's garbage. (Tom's Hardware)

    Barely more reliable than a tech journalist.

  • AVX-512 works fine on AMD laptop chips. (Tom's Hardware)

    Slightly amusing because Intel invented AVX-512 and then had to disable it on all its consumer chips because it made the existing power consumption problems even worse.

    AMD implemented AVX-512 so that it performs two 256-bit operations on subsequent clock cycles, and while that is obviously slower, it also uses much less power so the CPU can run at higher clock speeds. So it's slower than a full 512-bit implementation, but much better than half the speed - and it's competing with Intel chips that now don't have AVX-512 at all.

  • Could an industrial civilisation have predated humans on Earth? (Nautilus)


  • Reddit just deleted all chat messages more than six months old. (Mashable)

    "That was in a changelog a year ago," says Reddit.

    No it fucking wasn't.

    The changelog says that chat messages posted after 1 January 2023 will be migrated to new infrastructure as of 30 June. It doesn't say a word about deleting everything older than that.

  • Don't use Avast or AVG. (Safety Detectives)

    The company is run by amoral scumbags.

    They have stopped beating their wives - in fact there is a special section at the top of this article that proudly announces the cessation of connubial corporal correction - but, well, frog, scorpion.

  • AI junk is starting to pollute the internet. (Wall Street Journal)

    Starting to?

  • Lenovo is launching a new model of its Legion Y700 Android tablet next week. (Notebook Check)

    This shares the high refresh rate 2560x1600 8.8" IPS display with the previous model, while upgrading the CPU to a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 (with a Cortex X2 core, so this is very fast for a small tablet) and up to 16GB of RAM.

    I would buy this like a shot except for the tiny fact that Lenovo doesn't sell it outside of China. You can buy it from third parties, unlocked, switched to English, and with the Google Play store installed, but that inherently means that some random person has updated the firmware.

Accidental Purchases Redux

Big party from Hololive's CouncilRyS - that is, the four members of EN Gen 2 after Sana's departure (they're all good but Sana was my favourite) plus "Vsinger" IRyS who debuted alone a month earlier.

And what the party was about was the release of new merch - a set of plushies - designed by Sana and including a Sana figure even though she left the company nearly a year ago.

Sometimes things getting stuck in Production Hell is a blessing, because now it's possible to get this stuff shipped to Australia, when it wasn't during the Wuhan Bat Flu Death Plague.

Disclaimer: Old Mother Hubbard
Sat in a cupboard
Eating her dinner alone.
Three bears came along

To sing her a song
And now they're buried in the back yard with the rest of those furry recreants.
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