The B stands for Broken

The Tech Giant of old can't handle the modern stuff:

IBM's planned company-wide email migration has gone off the rails, leaving many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events. And this has been going on for several days.

Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster.

Reminds me of my workplace. The old email system was ugly, clunky, and slow. After the company moved over to a shiny, new email system, my boss came up to me and asked a question about something he emailed to us the day before. I had a confused look. "I didn't get the email."

"...What!?"

Apparently, some people did get it while others didn't. It was a fun few weeks.

Among those employees unable to access their email, there's concern that disappeared messages may not be restored. We've even heard that IBM employees have been approached by recruiters posing questions like, "Why are you still at IBM? They can't even get email straight."

At least, they're super woke!


Powered by debt

Millions have lost their jobs or had their pay slashed in the last year. Now, they'll face the full wrath of the money printer:

The invisible tax of rising inflation will do far more to harm working and middle-class Americans than Biden’s proposed tax hikes. The trillions of dollars in congressional spending and money printing from the Federal Reserve is already having a dramatic effect on the price of ordinary goods. [...]

Over the past year, food prices are up 3.5 percent, with eggs and meat up by over 5 percent; gas is up 22 percent and is expected to get even higher by this summer; lumber is up 250 percent; new home prices are up $36,000, with overall housing up 11 percent; and new cars are up 9 percent, the highest in 68 years. In April, 13 percent of new car buyers paid more than the sticker price. Other goods — from household items, baby care and general merchandise — are already up between 5.2 and 7.2 percent from this time last year. The cost of eating out shot up by 3.7 percent over the past year, and some takeout specials such as chicken wings have nearly doubled. Coffee futures are up 24 percent since October. Even growing your own food has surged in price, with the cost of seeds and potted plants jumping by 10.5 percent.

I was thinking about buying a new PC recently. The actual price of the whole build comes out to almost double the MSRP! And that's assuming all the parts are even available for purchase. As of right now, the top three 3000 series GPUs from Nvidia are sold out in Canada.

The primary driver of the current inflation comes through money printing by the Federal Reserve. The Fed nearly doubled its bond purchases since the beginning of the pandemic, pumping almost $4 trillion into the economy. This is about as much as the Fed purchased between 2008 and 2014, during the worst of the Great Recession. From February 2020 to March 2021, the total of circulating cash, mutual funds and banking deposit money supply increased from $15.473 trillion to $19,896 trillion. The Fed effectively monetizes the federal government’s debt, creating both a cover for higher deficits and increasing the money supply further. From 2019 to now, the national debt jumped from just under 80 percent of gross domestic product to over 100 percent.

We had a one-month stock market crash last year. We're due for a giant meltdown like we had in 2000 and in 2008.


Please, don't snigger

Tech juggernaut Intel announced this week that they have developed artificial intelligence intended for online gaming voice chat that will censor “toxic slurs” such as “Misogyny,” “Swearing,” “Aggression,” “Ableism and Body Shaming,” “White Nationalism,” “LGBTQ+ Hate,” and the “N-Word.”

If Intel had focused more on building new chips, then they wouldn't have had their ass handed to them by AMD in the past few years.


Does this count as "misinformation"?

Pakistan’s Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony recently said that Pakistan’s religious minorities enjoy full religious freedom in Pakistan.

It's somewhat amusing that total religious freedom is against Islamic rules but he has to lie on the global stage and not bring attention to the ugly reality:

Pakistan’s constitution bans any religious minority from holding the role of president, prime minister or chief justice – a blatantly discriminatory measure that sends a message throughout Pakistani society on the role and status of religious minorities.

Imagine the fake outrage if the US decided that only Christians could hold political office.


What are we chasing?

What a bunch of incompetent buffoons:

Match officials had to stop play in unprecedented circumstances soon after Bangladesh began their chase in the second T20I in Napier, as they were unsure what their actual target was. Play had to stop nine balls into Bangladesh's innings against New Zealand because even then it wasn't clear whether their revised target was 148, 170 or 171.

This surprised me:

"[When we met the match referee] they were still waiting for the printouts and calculations to take place. I think if you are waiting, the game can't start before you get it. What was explained now was that they normally get it one or two balls into the innings, but hadn't received it yet. They were waiting for it. There were delays and all sorts of stuff. No excuses [for the defeat], but this is just very frustrating for us.

Why don't the officials and the playing teams have a simple software program that shows the dynamic par and winning scores as the first innings goes past the ten overs? Why the hell are they "waiting for the printouts and calculations" in an international game?


How does it click?

Another reason why I've never bought any product from Apple:

I wasn't surprised to hear that the SSD is non-modular. That's Apple being Apple. What did shock me was the sheer amount of writes on the drive. What the hell is the operating system doing? The SSD is going to be toast way too soon and then the customer will be forced to buy a whole new laptop.

Also, 8GB of RAM in 2021? Utterly mediocre.


The curse of volatility

Elon Musk is not dumb:

Bitcoin crashed from $20,000 to $3,000 in a one-year period starting from late 2017. If that happens again, then Tesla will be very happy to refund in Bitcoin.

Yup. Bitcoin has been the most spectacular gamble of the last decade but it's not a currency given its volatility: down 16% in just the last two weeks.


Not enough juice

When Toyota offers an opinion on the car market, it’s probably worth listening to. This week, Toyota reiterated an opinion it has offered before. That opinion is straightforward: The world is not yet ready to support a fully electric auto fleet.

Toyota’s head of energy and environmental research Robert Wimmer testified before the Senate this week, and said: “If we are to make dramatic progress in electrification, it will require overcoming tremendous challenges, including refueling infrastructure, battery availability, consumer acceptance, and affordability.”

The US has enough trouble in consistently generating electric power at current levels.

Electrifying the auto fleet will require a massive overhaul of the power grid and an enormous increase in power generation. Elon Musk recently said we might need double the amount of power we’re currently generating if we go electric.

Thanks to the government, we won't see double the generation which means that electricity prices will go up a lot more soon.


So much data

My first laptop in 1998 had a 2.1GB hard drive. Now, we have 20TB hard drives and there's more to come:

Seagate recently published its long-term technology roadmap revealing plans to produce ~50 TB hard drives by 2026 and 120+ TB HDDs after 2030. In the coming years, Seagate is set to leverage usage of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), adopt bit patterned media (BPM) in the long term, and to expand usage of multi-actuator technology (MAT) for high-capacity drives.

The capacity jumps over the past two decades have been phenomenal.

Seagate and Western Digital have been looking to radically increase sequential and random performance of HDDs by installing more than one actuator, with multiple read/write heads into one drive. Seagate's Mach.2 technology — which embraces two actuators — can almost double IOPS-per-TB performance of a hard drive and substantially increase its sequential read/write speeds.

Soon, we'll have mainstream SSDs with sustained transfer speeds of two gigabytes per second. Most hard drives manage only 10% of that. They're basically separate beasts. Nowadays, one should get both for the desktop: an SSD for the main drive and the hard drive for extra storage and backup. However, for most laptop buyers, solid state disks are a superior choice because of speed. Plus, who wants to carry around a slow 20TB drive in their laptop anyway?


You horrible raycisss!

The authors of a new book are arguing for race-blind dating apps — and the removal of filters for race and ethnicity. [...]

“The idea of having racial preferences is unacceptable and illegal in any other arena,” she added. “But it’s literally built into the structure of these dating apps.”

So? Gender discrimination is also illegal in other arenas.

This part made me laugh:

Mish, a black executive assistant to C-suite business administrators, told The Post that her digital quest for companionship reaped a paltry handful of bad love connections. “I’m very turned off by dating sites now,” the 53-year-old Bronx native insisted.

“They make me feel uneasy. Like I’m not being seen as the beautiful queen I am.”

If you don't participate in her delusions, then you're a raycisss!


Fast Fuzz

The Italian police have some useful toys:

Averaging 145 miles per hour, the Italian State Police delivered a donor kidney last week from Rome to Padua—a journey of more than 300 miles—in around two hours. The Lamborghini Huracan they used, which was specially modified for such tasks with a refrigerated frunk, was obtained by the Italian police back in 2017. Speedy organ delivery isn't its only job, though. In fact, it's a regular patrol vehicle for the department with lights, a police computer and other equipment necessary to perform traffic stops and arrests.


Delete! Delete! Delete!

During four years of RUSSIA RUSSIA RUSSIA bullshit, YouTube did nothing. Now, they're bringing the hammer down on any and all evidence of voter fraud.

Yesterday was the safe harbor deadline for the U.S. Presidential election and enough states have certified their election results to determine a President-elect. Given that, we will start removing any piece of content uploaded today (or anytime after) that misleads people by alleging that widespread fraud or errors changed the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Presidential election, in line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections. For example, we will remove videos claiming that a Presidential candidate won the election due to widespread software glitches or counting errors. We will begin enforcing this policy today, and will ramp up in the weeks to come.

"In line with our approach towards historical U.S. Presidential elections." Liars!

The Supreme Dark Lord:

If you ever wanted to know what rule by fork-tongued, deceit-filled devils looks like, this should give you a pretty good idea.

2+2=37, it always did, and if you ever thought you believed otherwise, then clearly you are an insane badthinker.


Unnecessarily fragile

I had a pizza slice at work a few years ago. Afterwards, after thoroughly washing my hands, I went to get a paper towel but the sensor on the machine was broken. I could easily see a gigantic roll of paper in the container but there was no peaceful way of getting it out. Something so basic as a backup button or lever was absent from the design. "Technology" had made the whole simple process more aggravating.

The following is much worse.

Vacuum doesn't work. The door bell doesn't work. A cooking appliance doesn't work. Why? Because Amazon servers are down! Who the hell decided that an internet connection or a web server was necessary for these devices?


Mediocre selection

One can look at the PC he bought here. A few questions / observations:

  1. Why is he buying a six-core CPU in late 2020? We have 8, 10, 12, 16-core options that will last much longer.
  2. 8 GB RAM!? 16 minimum.
  3. 500 GB SSD? Considering that this a big dumb gamer PC, games will eat up space fast in the next few months. 1 TB minimum.
  4. GTX 1660? This graphics card came out in early 2019. Nvidia just released the GTX 3000 series. A GTX 3080 would have been a better option.

My PC is over three years old. I have a higher-core CPU, more RAM, and a larger SSD. Yet, this guy is still impressed with his bizarre PC choice. A newer and well-balanced computer would have been truly awesome.

Last question: How is this guy is a tech columnist for the New York Times!? It's not like he couldn't spare a few hundred bucks for a bigger dumber gamer PC.


No mercy for Intel

We've reached the point where Intel is selling "value" CPUs -- they're cheap and they do the job. AMD totally owns the high-end.

It's very impressive that AMD managed to cut power consumption while increasing performance by a significant margin. If this translates to mobile CPUs, then we should have quite a few excellent laptops next year.


Whores covering for Creepy Joe

New York Post:

“Facebook is almost an arm of the Democratic Party — an arm of the far-left wing of the Democratic Party.” So said the former Facebook insider as we sat down for an interview at a Midtown restaurant Friday afternoon.

Of course.

It was a Facebook communications manager, Andy Stone, who on Thursday announced the firm was reducing circulation of The Post’s still-undisputed reporting on the Hunter Files — an employee who happened to work for Democratic lawmakers before joining the tech giant.


Because it helps Trump

More lame excuses by Twitter:

Twitter Inc on Thursday temporarily restricted U.S. President Donald Trump's election campaign account from tweeting, saying a video from the account about Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's son violated its rules.

The video posted by the @TeamTrump account referred to a New York Post story from Wednesday that contained alleged details of Hunter Biden's business dealings with a Ukrainian energy company and said the former vice president had met with an adviser of the company.

"Joe Biden is a liar who has been ripping off our country for years," the video was captioned.

Twitter said the video violated its rules against posting private information, adding the account may need to delete the post in order to continue tweeting.

Sure. Just like how Twitter blocked accounts when the Trump tax returns story made its appearance a few weeks ago. Also, Twitter was so swift in restricting accounts that featured the private audio recordings of Melania Trump.

The Federalist: 11 Hacks, Leaks, And Hoaxes That Twitter And Facebook Didn’t Throttle — Because They Hurt Trump.


Garbage from Microsoft

Today the company is announcing the Surface Laptop Go, broadening the laptop audience considerably with an entry point of just $549 USD.

That's shockingly cheap. Wait, what about the specs?

What is not so great is the baseline offering in terms of memory and storage, with the $549 entry-level device offering just 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of eMMC storage.

That's hideous. Entry-level smartphones are better equipped than that.


Awesome Ampere

Those who bought graphics cards in the past few weeks are not happy as the recently announced Nvidia cards are a huge generational leap in performance. Nvidia made their older cards obsolete if the benchmarks are true. Of course, Hitler is vexed.


"Math"

Are these people serious or are they trying to be funny?

Apple has approximately $200 billion in cash. That's roughly $600 for every person in the United States or about $26 for everyone on the planet.


No love for Stefan

Your turn will come as well. Only a matter of time.

Anyway, the Supreme Dark Lord took apart N. N. Taleb on his IQ errors a year and a half ago.


New Consoles in 2020

Microsoft and Sony will release their new gaming consoles before Christmas:

The new generation of consoles will bring big increases in CPU and GPU capabilities, but we get that with every new generation and it's no surprise when console chips get the same microarchitecture updates as the AMD CPUs and GPUs they're derived from. What's more special with this generation is the change to storage: the consoles are following in the footsteps of the PC market by switching from mechanical hard drives to solid state storage, but also going a step beyond the PC market to get the most benefit out of solid state storage.

It's about time. Solid state disks have become cheap enough that it doesn't make sense to not use them for gaming devices. Those who do have blazing fast SSDs don't see the full benefits yet because the game designers haven't pushed their requirements higher. That will change soon.

Microsoft and Sony are each using custom NVMe SSDs for their consoles, albeit with different definitions of "custom". Sony's solution aims for more than twice the performance of Microsoft's solution and is definitely more costly even though it will have the lower capacity. Broadly speaking, Sony's SSD will offer similar performance to the high-end PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSDs we expect to see on the retail market by the end of the year, while Microsoft's SSD is more comparable to entry-level NVMe drives. Both are a huge step forward from mechanical hard drives or even SATA SSDs.

The new XBOX will have a read speed of 2.4 GB/s. It's the slower one. Sony's PS5 will be at 5.5 GB/s. When dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I used floppy disks to store my word documents. It would take a few seconds to transfer the files over from my laptop. The total capacity of those disks was 1.44 MB. Now, we'll have media that can transfer an entire DVDs worth of data in one bloody second.

Eventually, PC gamers will also benefit as the new games will be designed to use the lightning speeds of NVMe SSDs. As the games can load GBs of data almost instantly, they should look absolutely stunning.


Tunguska Theory

The world was fortunate that this hit a forest:

A new explanation for a massive blast over a remote Siberian forest in 1908 is even stranger than the mysterious incident itself.

Known as the Tunguska event, the blast flattened more than 80 million trees in seconds, over an area spanning nearly 800 square miles (2,000 square kilometers) — but left no crater. A meteor that exploded before hitting the ground was thought by many to be the culprit. However, a comet or asteroid would likely have left behind rocky fragments after blowing up, and no "smoking gun" remnants of a cosmic visitor have ever been found. [...]

"The sky was split in two, and high above the forest the whole northern part of the sky appeared covered with fire," another witness said in a testimonial. Energy released by the blast was later estimated by scientists to be 185 times greater than that of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945, according to NASA.

Had this hit a densely populated area, millions would have burned in an instant inferno. Today, tens of millions. Entire nations could be wiped out in a few moments.

The researchers estimated that the Tunguska meteor likely measured between 328 and 656 feet (100 and 200 m) in diameter, and hurtled through Earth's atmosphere at roughly 45,000 mph (72,000 km/h).

20 kilometers per second. [Insert Mandarin's line from Iron Man 2.]