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June 19, 2021

Daily Tech News 19 June 2021

Top Story

  • How many inconsistent user interface designs are there in Windows 10? (NTDev)

    Eight.

    The oldest thing that has survived completely unchanged is the Management Console which appeared in Windows 2000, but there are elements from Windows 95 / NT 4 that are the same except for a quick coat of paint.

    On the other hand, MacOS has UI features that have stubbornly remained intact since 1984 when there was only one model and it had a 9" monochrome screen.




Anime of the day is My Hero Academia from 2016 (and continuing to air right now, currently half way through season 5). It's the story of Izuku Midoriya, a boy born without superpowers in a world where 80% of the population has a superpower of some description.

It's a Shounen Jump property and does hit all the tropes, but it's also a superhero story that understands the reason for superhero stories, something that the American comic industry has almost entirely forgotten.

It's worth checking out if you liked comics before they turned into first self-referential crap, then grimdark crap, then woke crap.

Except for the first half of season two. Wait, there is no first half of season two. It starts with, what, episode 13? Even the characters in the second half of season two think the first half was garbage. I have a screenshot of that but this margin is too small to contain it.




Tech News

  • The US Senate has proposed a 25% tax credit for US companies building silicon foundries in the US. (Tom's Hardware)

    They point out that most of the cost difference between US and overseas production is due to subsidies provided by other countries, and not direct costs.

    This is in addition to the recent $52 billion incentive program. As I said before, while the plan isn't ideal, of all the things the Senate has done recently this is one of the least idiotic.

    The article notes that South Korea's government is pushing a $450 billion plan to support its own chip industry - which accounts for 15% of the country's exports.


  • You can now get anime RAM. (WCCFTech)

    It's DDR4-3600 with decent timings - CL18 - but the modules only go up to 16GB.

    It's also not particularly cheap, even allowing for the price increases on RAM from the lows last year. It would be more cost effective to buy brand-name RAM with the same specs, and a sheet of printable stickers, and a printer, and stick your favourite anime characters on the heatsink yourself.


  • Handy HTML tricks. (Marko Denic)

    Many of them genuinely handy and some of them I didn't know about.


  • How does Intel's new 32 core Ice Lake server CPU compare to AMD's Rome chip of the same size? (Serve the Home)

    The parts are roughly the same price, so it's a level playing field. Only problem is that the AMD chip beats Intel on every benchmark, by between 20 and 45%. AMD also has a much cheaper 28 core model with less cache that would likely still beat the Intel part.


  • Wegmans suffered a security breach due to a misconfigured server. (Bleeping Computer)

    The leaked data included names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, and hashed passwords, but not - it is important to note - your mother-in-law's maiden name.


  • Russia has banned Opera VPN and VyprVPN. (Bleeping Computer)

    This is a good indication that those networks are secure. If Russia could hack them they'd have no interest in banning them.

    The company that is now behind Opera has engaged in some remarkably scummy practices - like offering high-interest loans in impoverished regions of Africa - so I still wouldn't trust them, but I haven't heard of any out-of-the-ordinary security issues.

    Russia insisted in 2019 that VPNs provide access to the government to allow the automated blocking of websites. Kaspersky complied. Everyone else told the Russians to pound sand.

    The previously banned ProtonVPN and ProtonMail. I don't know that much about ProtonVPN, but ProtonMail has a solid track record.


  • Meanwhile, Russia invaded Poland... 's email servers. (Bleeping Computer)

    That's as far as it went because right now they have no convenient Nazis to stage a joint operation.


  • XPG is planning to launch DDR5-7400 RAM and is targeting overclocks to DDR5-12600. (VideoCardz)

    DDR5 is likely to launch at around 4800MHz and go up to 8400MHz. You can get DDR4 RAM at speeds over 4800MHz right now, but that's a big overclock and what you actually get depends on your CPU and motherboard and, in a large part, your luck.


  • Ageing process is unstoppable, finds scientifically illiterate journalist. (The Guardian)

    To be fair, there was a scientist only too eager to provide a money quote to support the headline. Only problem is the study is online and that's not what it says at all. (Nature)

    What the study does show is that there is no significant variation in ageing in healthy individuals within any particular primate species, once other variables are controlled. Increases in human life expectancy are due to drastically reduced early death rates and to better overall health, and not to reduced aging rates.

    Which doesn't imply that we can't change ageing rates. It just means that we don't have a convenient natural model. There's no rare tribe of monkeys that lives for 300 years.

    But we - meaning not the idiots who write for The Guardian - knew that already.


  • Oregon has legalised human composting. (Motherboard)

    A good friend will help you move, but a true friend will help you move a body. Across state lines.



Desktop APU Review Video of the Day



Steve reviews the Ryzen 5600G, which isn't available as a retail part for another few weeks but has been shipping in pre-built systems for a couple of months.

And finds it... Pretty good actually.

If you want to play lighter games like Minecraft, Fortnite, or Rocket League, it consistently gets 100 fps or better at 1080p on medium settings. That's better in many cases than an Intel CPU with a low-end card like the Nvidia 1030, and much better than an Intel CPU running with its own integrated graphics.

Intel's mainstream laptop Xe graphics are quite good, but the parts shipping for high-end laptops (six and eight cores) and for desktops have one third or even one quarter the graphics hardware, and kind of suck.
Purely as a CPU, the 5600G falls in between two other 6 core AMD processors, the older 3600X and the current 5600X. That means it pretty good. If you get it now because you can't find a graphics card at a sane price, you can play Minecraft for a few months and then add a video card once prices return to Earth, and not really regret your choice.

It will be interesting to see what happens once AMD has both DDR5 and their new die-stacked caches available. We already know they're capable of producing high-end integrated graphics, because that's what's in the current and previous generations of Xbox and PlayStation. They've been limited by memory bandwidth on PCs, but with this combination of technologies that will soon change.



Disclaimer: I'm Pomu. You're Pomu. We're all Pomu here.
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