Pi Day Shortbread

PC hardware and computing

  1. Corsair Carbide Series 678C review @ bit-tech
  2. Corsair Carbide series 678C review @ Hexus
  3. NVIDIA Titan RTX review @ HotHardware
  4. Cooler Master MK730 keyboard review @ KitGuru
  5. The ASRock X399 Phantom Gaming 6 motherboard review @ AnandTech

Games, culture, and VR

  1. Denuvo performance cost & FPS loss tested @ TechPowerUp
  2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection on PC is not an Epic Store exclusive @ Quarter To Three
  3. Dwarf Fortress coming to Steam @ Blue's News (now with sprites!)

Hacks, gadgets and crypto-jinks

  1. No, your 3D printer doesn't have a fingerprint @ HackADay

Science, technology, and space news

  1. NASA to consider use of private rockets for first Orion lunar mission @ Ars Technica
  2. Final photo shoot shows Opportunity's resting place and approaching storm @ New Atlas
  3. Scientists reawaken cells from a 28,000-year-old mammoth @ Slashdot

Cheese, memes, and shiny things

  1. Twelve channels of LEDs give RRRRGGGGBBBB light @ HackADay
  2. Skip the cheese, please @ theleadernews.com
  3. Corsair Crystal Series 680X RGB ATX tempered glass case review @ PC Perspective
  4. Corsair 680X RGB case review vs. Lian Li O11 Dynamic @ Gamers Nexus
  5. Corsair Crystal 680X PC chassis review @ Guru3D
Colton Westrate

I post Shortbread, I host BBQs, I tell stories, and I strive to keep folks happy.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 8 months ago

    Speaking of NASA, I’m reminded of Mars One. You could say, the guy who founded it has his head in the clouds if he thinks he can fund a Mars mission to colonize the planet with reality shows and coffee mugs.

    • ronch
    • 8 months ago

    SEE YOU LATER, CALCULATOR!

      • tritonus
      • 8 months ago

      IN A WHILE, ARITHMOPHILE!

        • Growler
        • 8 months ago

        IT ENDS THUS, ABACUS!

          • Wonders
          • 8 months ago

          ALT+F4, CALC.EXE

    • Gyromancer
    • 8 months ago

    [url=https://tauday.com/tau-manifesto<]Tau[/url<]ists of the world, unite!

      • Krogoth
      • 8 months ago

      You speak heresy! There’s no greater good than the emperor himself! You are wanted by the Inquisition!

        • chuckula
        • 8 months ago

        NOBODY EXPECTS THE KROGOTH INQUISITION!

          • Krogoth
          • 8 months ago

          XPECT DA ORKS! CAUSE URLE ONES AR DEAD SNKEY…….

            • Waco
            • 8 months ago

            [quote<]Eradicate them all, we can no longer tolerate their filthy presence here.[/quote<]

            • Krogoth
            • 8 months ago

            OI BOYZ! THERE’S SHRINKIN ELDAR TO SMASH!

            WARRRRRGGGGG!!!!!

      • willmore
      • 8 months ago

      We’ve got until June, so no hurry.

        • chuckula
        • 8 months ago

        28 days into June in fact!

          • Wirko
          • 8 months ago

          At 31 o’clock … non-tauists don’t even have the right clocks.

    • adamlongwalker
    • 8 months ago

    If you are a subscriber to Newegg… Ryzen 1950X for 499.99. Sale ends on 3/21/2019.

    That’s not bad of a price and they would not do this unless they are trying to get rid of stock for the new Ryzens to come in a few months.

    Good times ahead.

    • Peldor
    • 8 months ago

    That’s amazing! I’ve got the same combination on my luggage!

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 8 months ago

      +3 for the President Skroob reference.

    • Concupiscence
    • 8 months ago

    Anyone do something fun with a Raspberry Pi lately? A friend and I built a Picade over the weekend and it’s been a delight. If I weren’t drowning in desktops I’d grab another Pi just to play with it in different ways…

      • DPete27
      • 8 months ago

      I set up a magic mirror almost a year ago. Was unimpressed by the stock setup. Haven’t touched it since. Would love other easy ideas.

      • willmore
      • 8 months ago

      [url<]https://bootlin.com/blog/raspberry-pi-update-breaks-raspbian-stretch/[/url<]

      • dragontamer5788
      • 8 months ago

      I was planning to do some ARM-assembly tests with a Rasp. Pi. But Rasp. Pi’s A-53 core is surprisingly old and doesn’t support the instructions I’m interested in. The community’s main OS (Raspian) is 32-bit only, I had to download Ubuntu’s image to even get it to boot as a 64-bit ARM.

      I saw some interesting assembly-level features of Thunder X2 / Ampere ARM chips, but figured a Rasp. Pi would be good enough to emulate those features. Ah well… I guess that’s why those sever-chips are so expensive, because they actually are fully-featured ARM cores.

      EDIT: I guess I could use a cell-phone chip instead. But my current plan is to use Amazon’s Graviton (Amazon’s ARM instance on EC2). Hopefully those are new enough to support what I want.

        • willmore
        • 8 months ago

        What instructions are you looking at? There are a lot of ARM SBCs outside of the Raspberry world. Maybe one of them has these extensions.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 8 months ago

          The ARM cryptography extensions. Rasp. Pi / Bananna Pi / bunch of ARMs seem to have outside-of-core cryptography.

          But ARM itself supports cryptography in the core (kinda like Intel), so I’m interested in the performance attributes of that appraoch. But this in-core cryptography is apparently only supported on some ARM machines (not Rasp Pi). I guess Broadcom wants you to use the Broadcom-cryptography modules, instead of the standard ARM crypto-extensions.

            • willmore
            • 8 months ago

            Let’s see, the ODROID C2 lacks AES extensions. The Allwinner A64 and H5 both have the extensions, so a bunch of Orange Pi boards should do what you need as well as the Pine64 board which is a very solid platform. Looks like the newer H6 does not have them, so avoid them for this use. Edited: Looks like H6 has them after all. I couldn’t get a first hand verification quickly and other stuff I read was not conclusinve and I didn’t want to mislead you. So, it’s verified that the H6 core has them as well. That opens up a number of very new boards that clock a lot higher (1.8GHz vs 1.3GHz).

            Before you pick an Allwinner board, check out the sunxi wiki as it has a lot of useful information on the different boards and isn’t biased by the manufacturers as it’s run by the people who are porting mainline Linux to the chips. If anyone’s going to be cranky about missing features or bugs, it’s going to be them. 🙂

            Edit: Forgot to link to the wiki! [url<]https://linux-sunxi.org/[/url<]

            • dragontamer5788
            • 8 months ago

            [quote<]The Allwinner A64 and H5 both have the extensions[/quote<] Nope. Allwinner seems to be like Broadcom: they support AES but through a proprietary accelerator. Its a proprietary "Cryptoengine" instead of the official ARM AES instructions. So Allwinner is definitely out. Broadcom (Rasp. Pi) is out. 🙁 Yeah, all these chips support accelerated cryptography. But I'm interested in the "ARM Standard" cryptography thats being pushed in the bigger ThunderX2 and Ampere server-chips. It seems like Amazon's EC2 ARM instances are roughly 3-cents per hour (hourly charge). So that should be cheap enough to knock out the project I'm thinking of in just a weekend or two. EDIT: I mean, I guess I could buy a ThunderX2, but this is a personal project driven out of sheer curiosity. I'd rather not spend $1000+ on a server I wouldn't otherwise need. I'll have to check of Amazon's ARM fits the bill... but fortunately those are pretty cheap.

            • willmore
            • 8 months ago

            Nope, I’m talking about the standard AES instruction extensions from ARMv8. They all have additional dedicated hardware crypto units, but I’m not talking about those.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 8 months ago

            [quote<]I'm talking about the standard AES instruction extensions from ARMv8[/quote<] Hmm, interesting. I can't find a /proc/cpuinfo for the Bananna Pi unfortunately, but the Pine64 allegedly uses A64, and a /proc/cpuinfo is available here: [url<]https://jankrupa.com/blog/2016/04/pine-64-getting-started-guide/[/url<] So it does seem like Pine64 has AES instructions, which should cover the A64. -------- I guess I stand corrected. I guess I assumed because I saw the crypto-engine.

            • willmore
            • 8 months ago

            I am not horribly fond of the Bananna Pi boards. That’s based on seeing the support for them being spotty over time as well as that some of them have used unsupported processors. There were a couple of eight core ARM chips from Allwinner that never received good software support and there were Banannas that used them. FWIW, YMMV, etc.

            But it looks like you can find a selection of boards with AES capable chips on them, so I wish you luck with your research into that extension.

            Oh, one last thing to look at. I think the new ODROID N2 has AES and should be a *very* solid platform. It’s not fully released, but should be available in the next few months. ODROID boards probably get the best support in the ARM SBC world–for boards that have good peformance and a wide feature set.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 8 months ago

            Thanks. This discussion was very helpful for me and my project!

            • willmore
            • 8 months ago

            Glad to help. Best of luck. If you need help with mainline Linux on Allwinner chips, head over to #linux-sunxi on freenode. For a distro for most SBCs, look into Armbian.

      • Redocbew
      • 8 months ago

      I’ve seen some pretty nifty HTPC builds using a Raspberry pi. For streaming only they purportedly can do a decent job at it.

        • willmore
        • 8 months ago

        As long as you stick to H.264 which is being phased out everywhere as it’s a while generation behind.

          • Redocbew
          • 8 months ago

          Yeah, I wouldn’t think that’d be a problem unless maybe you try playing local media from a NAS or something. If so, then just transcode it before feeding it to the pi.

            • willmore
            • 8 months ago

            Netflix and friends are phasing out support for H.264, so it may be sooner than one hopes.

            • Redocbew
            • 8 months ago

            A service like Netflix “phasing out” a codec is something very different than not supporting the codec altogether. Netflix still supports VC1 which hasn’t been popular for a number of years now, and nobody in this business delivers content encoded in only one codec.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 8 months ago

          H.264 will probably never be phased out of the Twitch-streamer base.

          H.264 has the best encoding speed (outside of even older codecs like DivX). The new codecs are designed for higher-compression ratios that Youtube / Netflix want. But a streamer wants to minimize CPU-performance issues while streaming their video games.

          I don’t see H.264 support being dropped anytime soon. H.265 may compress better, but it compresses far slower than H.264.

            • Concupiscence
            • 8 months ago

            dragontamer5788 is right. Things are in a transitional state now: H.264 is inferior to some newer codecs in raw compression efficiency (H.265 chief among them), but H.265’s licensing is gobsmackingly expensive, VP9 has its own implementation issues with existing hardware, and both are grossly slower to encode than x264. AV1’s the royalty-free dark horse everybody’s praying for, but it’s not an established player and its encoders are v_e_r_y s__l__o__w.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 8 months ago

            [quote<] its encoders are v_e_r_y s__l__o__w.[/quote<] To be fair for AV1: its designed to be the next-next generation of encoders. If computers keep getting faster, and if 64GB+ of RAM becomes popular one day, AV1 will be useful. [url=https://github.com/OpenVisualCloud/SVT-AV1<]But... 24GB of [b<]RAM[/b<] to encode 1080p videos on 40-hardware threads at a rate of 3FPS is kinda slow.[/url<] VP9 / H265 are fighting for "next gen mainstream acceptance". AV1 is next-next gen, maybe to become popular in 2024 or later when CPUs are more powerful and RAM is cheaper. So its slow by 2019 standards, but [b<]might[/b<] be usable in the future.

        • atcrank
        • 8 months ago

        Yeah, I’ve got a model 3 running Kodi (with add-ons for Netflix, Australian ABC and MythTV) & Steam Link. Streaming video from a Linux system with video files and a quad tuner in the back room works really well, for a 10-15W system that costs so little.

    • jihadjoe
    • 8 months ago

    Whenever I see a link to it I’m always surprised and amazed that Blue’s News is still alive after all these years.

    (even though I probably saw a link to it just last year)

      • drfish
      • 8 months ago

      …and it still looks the same as when it launched.

      Pretty sure I was reading Blue’s News before I’d listened to my first MP3, but they are from about the same era.

        • Neutronbeam
        • 8 months ago

        Blue’s News is alive and doing well. I send stuff into Stephen Heaslip almost every week, we correspond now and then, and he gives Techreport publicity by linking to stories here.

          • Voldenuit
          • 8 months ago

          Ow my eyes.
          Bright blue headlines on dark blue background, geocities called, and wants its 1990s HTML templates back.

          • drfish
          • 8 months ago

          Nice! I’ve wondered more than a few times if you were the same Neutronbeam as over there.

    • superjawes
    • 8 months ago

    Cheesecake is technically a custard pie, making it another tasty Pi Day treat.

      • drfish
      • 8 months ago

      Speaking of cheese, pizza pie!

        • superjawes
        • 8 months ago

        Shepherd’s Pie also sounds great, but that seems slightly more appropriate for a Sunday meal.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 months ago

    Strawberry Rhubarb Pie trumps all. It is the completely rational choice.

      • chuckula
      • 8 months ago

      Some say that Euler’s pi is imaginary, but I think it’s so good that it’s unreal.

        • Krogoth
        • 8 months ago

        ROFL, I guess people don’t like silly math jokes.

          • UberGerbil
          • 8 months ago

          Those that like them tend not to mention it. When it’s just continuous math jokes like that, people get discrete.

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 months ago

            you nerds are so nerdy

            • Krogoth
            • 8 months ago

            I blame the lack of imagination. They can’t integrate themselves into the humor domain.

            • Redocbew
            • 8 months ago

            Or they would feel as if they couldn’t differentiate themselves and would have no identity. Finding otherwise is often transcendental.

          • willmore
          • 8 months ago

          It’s understandable to be negative about that use of pi.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 8 months ago

          This topic is now about silly math jokes.

          * Are you cos(x)^2? Because I’m sine(x)^2, and together you and I will make one.
          * Can I be your integral? I’d love to lie under the area of your curves.

          There’s also “Gauss Facts”, which are basically Chuck-Norris facts except for math.

          * Gauss once proved the Fundamental Theorem of Algebra by explicitly writing out every nonconstant polynomial over the complex numbers and writing each as a product of linear factors.

          * Gauss knows the last digit of pi!

          * When Gauß died, he did not leave any conjectures but excersises.

          • Mr Bill
          • 8 months ago

          As long as they remain within tasteful bounds, pie jokes are liminal when they converge to crusty goodness.

          [quote<][url=https://www.neatorama.com/2006/08/10/finite-simple-group-of-order-two-a-mathematical-love-song-by-the-klein-four-group/<]A Finite Simple Group of Order Two[/url<][/quote<]

      • The Egg
      • 8 months ago

      Agreed. My fav pie.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 months ago

      That’s a weird spelling of Steak and Kidney Pie you got there, mate.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 8 months ago

      My goodness, Krogoth is making more sense.

    • chuckula
    • 8 months ago

    As posted in the forums, there’s a new record for calculating π that you can read about here: [url<]http://www.numberworld.org/blogs/2019_3_14_pi_record/[/url<] I was going to post the result, but apparently the comment system isn't setup for that sort of thing.

      • blastdoor
      • 8 months ago

      Wait a second… is this the solution to spectre?

      [url<]https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RN5aQSN7qo8[/url<]

      • Mr Bill
      • 8 months ago

      However, you only need [url=https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/news/2016/3/16/how-many-decimals-of-pi-do-we-really-need/<]39-40 digits of Pi[/url<] to calculate the circumference of the universe to an accuracy of the diameter of a hydrogen atom.

        • chuckula
        • 8 months ago

        64 decimal place oughta be enough for anybody.

          • Krogoth
          • 8 months ago

          It is not nearly enough to measure how much adhesive Intel needs to get back into the game.

            • K-L-Waster
            • 8 months ago

            Yeah, but they need it on the *other* side of the decimal place… Or possibly in an exponent above a 10.

          • Mr Bill
          • 8 months ago

          For Bill Gates reference, take all my votes!

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