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April 21, 2021

Daily Tech News 21 April 2021

Top Story
  • Nothing is currently on fire, off-site backups are complete and up to date, main server is back in production, and we have a powerful new server to take over if anything goes wrong anywhere.

    So I'm probably going to get hit by a meteorite.

    Just in passing, my three largest servers are named Akane, Akai, and Akko. This wasn't planned, it just happened.



Not an anime music video in the usual sense - this is a clip straight from the movie, Project Eden.


Tech News
  • Cerebras unveiled its new AI processor: 850,000 cores in 2.6 trillion transistors on a 46,225mm2 die using TSMC's 7nm process. (AnandTech)

    These are by far the largest and most powerful chips ever produced by anyone, and as you might imagine, they are rather on the expensive side. The previous model - not quite half as fast - sold for around $2 million. Yes, each.


  • USB 4 is on its way. (Tom's Hardware)

    Wait, isn't it already here? No, that's Thunderbolt 4? Okay.

    USB 4 is a faster version of USB 3.2 gen 2x2 that can transfer up to 40Gbps bidirectionally or 80Gbps in one direction - i.e. for video output. It is also optionally compatible with Thunderbolt 3 - not 4 - and it's only optional because the USB Type C connector didn't have enough signal variants already.

    One standard plug for all purposes, but you have no idea what it can actually do. Could be anything from 480Mbps to 40Gbps. But at least it doesn't have 540-degree rotational symmetry like USB Type A.


  • Apple's new Magic Mouse may arrive in different shades of gray. (WCCFTech)

    Charging port is still on the bottom, because fuck you, that's why.


  • Details of Intel's Alder Lake-S Xeon W-1400 series have leaked. (WCCCFTech)

    This is two generations beyond the server that I just set up this morning. However, the first of those two generations is already out and it is - to quote reviewers - "shit" and "a waste of sand" so the next generation has its work cut out.

    The W-1400 range will have up to 16 cores - the W-1290P I just got has ten - but only eight of those cores are any good. The other eight are low-power cores for light laptop use, and are basically worthless on a server. In particularly, spreading load across all cores would give horribly inconsistent application performance, and a task stuck on a slow core could block one on a fast core.

    I'm sure kernel developers are working hard to mitigate that nonsense - Apple already ships this kind of architecture in their M1 MacBook and Mac Mini - but far better to just not put it in servers in the first place.


  • Mongita is to MongoDB as Mongita is to MongoDB. (GitHub)

    The project uses the example of SQLite and MySQL but that's not really accurate. SQLite is a robust library that is used everywhere. You probably have a hundred copies of it already; I think their latest stats were that there were about a trillion SQLite databases in existence.

    Mongita is MongoDB compatible but designed for development and testing - you can code against MongoDB without having to set up a server.

    And remember, MongoDB is web scale.


  • The M1 iMac is here, apparently. (Six Colors)

    I totally missed this because I totally don't give a shit. It has an eight core CPU - actually four fast cores and four slow cores, as I mentioned above, a 24" 4.5K screen, okay, comes in seven colours, and has eight fucking gigs of fucking RAM.

    My 2015 iMac has 32GB and can be upgraded to 64GB. Every standard PC sold today can be upgraded to 128GB, if it either has four memory slots or enough headroom for taller, double capacity modules. 8GB is for mid-range phones, not desktop computers.


  • The new iPad Pro has the same CPU as the new iMac and up to 16GB of RAM. (The Verge)

    The iMac is probably available in a 16GB model too, but (a) it should start there and (b) nothing I could see on Apple's store indicated that such was the case.

    Yeah, it does come in a 16GB model. (Mr Macintosh)

    The 2019 27" iMac is user-upgradeable to 128GB. The new iMac is not.


  • Discord says no, launches IPO. (Thurrott.com)

    Microsoft reportedly offered them $12 billion, but in a market where a shuttered New York deli can be valued at $100 million, Discord thought they could probably get more.


  • Hackers are exploiting a Pulse Secure 0-day to breach orgs around the world. (Ars Technica)

    Who is doing what? Oh, Pulse Secure is a VPN service, apparently one in trouble right now because there are a dozen different families of malware exploiting it.

    I wonder if that is in any way connected with the bizarre wave of malformed HTTP requests that bombarded this site last night. The notable factor was that similar requests were coming from datacenters all over the world, with no obvious common factor. The hidden common factor could be an insecure VPN.


  • Geico sprung a leak. (Tech Crunch)

    Their web site was coughing up other customers' license numbers from January 21 through to March 1.



Essential Minecraft Mods Video of the Day


Kiara Reacts to Haachama Cooking Video of the Day

Our new server in Dallas is named Akai after crazy Aussie sheila Akai Haato, also known as Haachama. Late last year she left Australia and returned to Japan, but on her very next video stream she cooked and ate... Well, for the gentle of stomach I'm presenting it one step removed.


Disclaimer: You can take the sheila out of Australia, but you can't take Australia out of the sheila, particularly if she has Amazon Prime.
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