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May 16, 2021

Daily Tech News 16 May 2021

Top Story

  • Framework's modular laptop is now available for pre-order starting at $999. (ZDNet)

    Or $749 for a DIY kit. (Framework)

    Yes, a DIY kit for a modern laptop, when these things are quite commonly glued together and unrepairable.

    It comes standard with a 13.5" 3:2 display with a resolution of 2256x1504 covering 100% of sRGB colour, an eleventh-gen Intel Core i5 or Core i7 CPU, a headphone jack, and a screwdriver.

    You can then select up to 64GB of RAM and 8TB of storage, and it has four tiny expansion modules each of which can be USB-A, USB-C, DisplayPort, HDMI, a microSD slot, or an extra storage module with a capacity of up to 1TB.

    The company is opening the spec for these modules to allow third-party options, and looking at the design it could even support multi-gigabit wired Ethernet using one of those clever hinged ports. The modules are too small for a full-size RJ-45 port, but they aren't enclosed at the bottom, so the rear slots probably would give just enough clearance. You could probably fit dual USB-C ports in one module as well.

    It doesn't have the Four Essential Keys, and while the keyboard is designed to be easily swapped out there's currently only the one option so that's only useful if you need to fix it. When they correct that, this could become the laptop of choice for a wide variety of tasks.




Anime of the day is Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki, created by AIC - who earlier animated Bubblegum Crisis together with Artmic - and released by Pioneer in 1992.
The series consists of two six-episode OVA series plus four special episodes, plus three later sequel series each delivering six more episodes - the last of them just airing now, three theatrical films, five sequel and/or alternate universe series, and at least seven spin-offs. Also dozens of novels and volumes of manga, video games, a table-top roleplaying game, a radio drama, and a stage play.

So it had something of an impact. In the mid-to-late 90s, AIC's art style was as recognisable as Kyoto Animation's in the mid-to-late 2000s.

And somewhere in all of that, the series created the most enduring villain in anime, Misao Amano, better known by the name of her alter ego, Pixy Misa.



Tech News

  • Zen 4 powered Epyc server processors will be shipping in 2022. (WCCFTech)

    We kind of knew that; this is just a leaked slide deck confirming additional details. The chips will include up to 96 cores, 12 channels of DDR5 memory, and 29% better IPC (instructions per cycle - performance at a given clock speed), plus they're expected to run at higher clock speeds.

    This will all come on a massive new socket with 6096 pins, and deliver 128 lanes of PCIe 5.0 for 512GB/s of I/O bandwidth.

    I don't know how big a motherboard you'd need to have a fully-populated dual-socket system - there would be 48 memory modules, and boards with 32 modules barely fit in a standard server rack. (Supermicro)

    But since one of these new chips should deliver as much performance as two of the current generation, which are already incredibly fast, there might not be as many customers demanding dual-socket systems.


  • We waste 500 years each day on CAPTCHAs. (Cloudflare)

    It's time to end this madness, says Cloudflare, and instead use Cloudflare.

    With all due respect, Cloudflare, get fucked.


  • Things you can't do in Rust. (LogRocket)

    Rust is a systems programming language that prevents you from doing bad things. Lots of bad things. Many of them incredibly useful things, like taking the first N characters from a string. Nope, can't do that, because Unicode is a semantic superfund site. Go write your own custom code that is guaranteed to have its own unique bugs.

    I appreciate what Rust is trying to do, but it's not a language I can recommend to most independent developers. If you have enough engineering staff that there are entire teams doing nothing but create and maintain libraries for the other programmers to use, then yes, you probably should be using Rust and likely already are.

    But for the typical application, no.


  • Apple rejected 215,000 apps last year for privacy reasons, and another 150,000 for spam or misleading behaviour. (Bleeping Computer)

    How many of them actually committed the sins of which they stand accused is another question entirely, and one that will likely never be answered. Apple's app submission process is infamously Kafkaesque.


  • A new spaceport is under construction in Nova Scotia, with the first launch expected next year. (CBC)

    Meanwhile, a Rocket Lab* launch from New Zealand lost two satellites after the second stage failed shortly after ignition. (CNet)

    I guess the assist you get from an equatorial launch just doesn't matter as much for smaller rockets like these. You wouldn't want to launch a Saturn V from Finland, though.

    * Not LogRocket. Different company. Probably.


Tenchi and Beyond Videos of the Day



Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventure is what Evangelion would have been if it had been good, instead of being desperate to convince people it was good. Dual is dumb, but it's fun. It fits somewhere in the Tenchi Muyo universe despite having no direct reference to the earlier series; there are too many indirect references to be anything but an intentional spinoff.




El Hazard: The Magnificent World is probably the best of all of the 90s series produced by AIC and Pioneer. It's not a spinoff or related to Tenchi at all, except for the art style, the production company's fondness for multi-part titles, and a strange fascination with cross-dressing.




Phantom Quest Corp is one of the less well known AIC releases from that era. It only ran to four episodes, but not only did it have a kick-ass opening theme, it had a kick-ass dub of the kick-ass opening theme. In fact, most of these series got English translations of their theme songs, many of them genuinely good.

Unsurprisingly they eventually ran out of money and stopped doing that; though AIC is still around today, it's a licensing company for its older projects and hasn't done any significant work since... Well, Pupipō! (2013) was remarkably deep for a series of 15 short episodes and I highly recommend it, but I don't know if it counts as significant. What the hell, I'll give them that. Hasn't done any significant work since 2013.


Disclaimer: And no, Ai Tenchi Muyo doesn't count.
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