National Lucky Penny Day Shortbread

That reminds me, I need new tires before winter returns…

PC hardware, computing, and RGB LEDs

  1. ASRock DeskMini 310 mini PC barebone review @ PC Perspective
  2. Intel Core i3-9350KF review @ bit-tech
  3. Ballistix Elite 3600 MHz 16GB dual channel DDR4 review @ Guru3D
  4. Thermaltake Versa J24 case review @ Gamers Nexus
  5. WD Blue SN500 500GB SSD review @ KitGuru
  6. Corsair MM350 Champion Series mouse pad review @ Legit Reviews
  7. ViewSonic ELITE XG240R 144 Hz FreeSync monitor review @ TechPowerUp
  8. Radeon VII vs. GeForce RTX 2080 @ TechSpot

Games, culture, and VR

  1. Washington becomes first state to legalize human composting @ Slashdot (huh)
  2. Amazon made video games for its workers to reduce tedium of warehouse jobs @ Ars Technica

Hacks, gadgets and crypto-jinks

  1. From Dirt to Space, backyard iron smelting hackerspace style @ HackADay
  2. Windows utility helps ID serial ports @ HackADay
  3. Master & Dynamic MW65 review: Almost the perfect headphones @ Engadget

Science, technology, and space news

  1. NASA invites you to put your name on the Mars 2020 rover @ New Atlas
  2. Bizarre celestial object spotted is one of the rarest in the galaxy @ New Atlas
  3. Two-legged robot delivers packages to your door @ New Atlas
  4. SpaceX's Starhopper moves closer to its first flight @ Slashdot (the stoke factor is high)

Cheese, memes, what have you

  1. Bacon + cheese = memorable hot dogs @ bostonherald.com
Colton Westrate

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

Comments closed
    • HERETIC
    • 3 months ago

    And my few cents worth- In other news-
    [url<]https://www.fudzilla.com/news/pc-hardware/48752-intel-beats-amd-in-notebook-graphics[/url<] Should put a huge smile on Chucks face..............................................................

      • NTMBK
      • 3 months ago

      IGP ekes out minor win when given 50% more memory bandwidth. Shocker.

    • Redocbew
    • 3 months ago

    I guess I’m the only one who is reminded of beginning programming assignments by all this talk of killing pennies. I still remember people freaking out when their program couldn’t count change properly.

    It’s wrong! And there’s no bug in my code! It adds everything up like it’s supposed to!

    But, you see, there’s this problem representing a tenth of something.

    Wait, what?

    • K-L-Waster
    • 3 months ago

    Read through the comments on Techspot’s 2080 vs Radeon VII article (‘cus just like a car crash, ya can’t look away…)

    The major thing that struck me was that the forum thread here on TR on the same topic was much more civilized.

    Neither exchange came to any conclusion, of course, but at least with the one here you didn’t get the urge to send the participants to their room without any supper to think about what they’d done….

      • derFunkenstein
      • 3 months ago

      TR may be going through a rough patch, but the community here has always been top-notch, even with the resident trolls in each camp.

        • drfish
        • 3 months ago

        Trolls are like salt, you need a little to develop flavor, but don’t overseason.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 3 months ago

      Sometimes they need a little tough love, bro.

        • K-L-Waster
        • 3 months ago

        There is a world of difference between tough love and disrespect.

        • ermo
        • 3 months ago

        It’s one thing to be logical and point out fallacies and non sequiturs; it’s quite another to be unnecessarily confrontational about it.

        The way I see it, your style works against you even if what you say tends to be factually correct.

        My personal take is that if one wants success in life, good timing and targeting the delivery to your audience are also important skills.

        Have a lovely day.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 3 months ago

          Great post. You are correct in your analysis.

          Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

            • Chrispy_
            • 3 months ago

            [url<]https://cdn.head-fi.org/a/9068556_thumb.png[/url<]

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 3 months ago

            I am lol. He made valid points and I can’t dispute his logic

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 months ago

    [url<]https://www.techpowerup.com/255835/arm-revokes-huaweis-chip-ip-licence[/url<] so what chip alternative is there for a smart phone?

      • willmore
      • 3 months ago

      Mediatek?

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 3 months ago

      A chinese knock-off?

      • SonicSilicon
      • 3 months ago

      It won’t be anything American-owned so it can’t be Intel nor any of their x86 licensees since they aren’t permitted to sublicense.

      MIPS, which I found out is a U.S. company, doesn’t really have much support (if any) in the smartphone ecosystem.

      Only other already existing architecture that came to mind was SuperH (SHx.) It turns out patents related to it have been expiring for some years, now, so theoretically Huawei could have a chip designed based on SHx.

      Or just start from the ground-up with a chip from another Chinese company.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 3 months ago

    Backyard iron smelting?

    What is this, the Chinese Cultural Revolution?

    (which failed badly, by the way)

      • NovusBogus
      • 3 months ago

      That’s definitely going on my list of things to do once I’m no longer stuck living in an apartment.

        • Redocbew
        • 3 months ago

        You can do backyard anodizing also. I’ve done that before, and the results were pretty good.

        Although, if I wasn’t on some kind of watchlist before buying sheet metal, a power supply, and pool chemicals in the same order chances are good I am now.

    • anotherengineer
    • 3 months ago

    Nice finger nails Colton. One can tell you sit at a keyboard for your day job 😉

      • drfish
      • 3 months ago

      I’d give you a thumbs up if I knew you were wearing eye protection.

    • freebird
    • 3 months ago

    Does anyone post about the content of the articles any more or just the subject and pretty pictures??? ;D

      • drfish
      • 3 months ago

      Every time I almost ask the same question, someone magically says something about one of the links. It’s spooky.

    • freebird
    • 3 months ago

    “Washington becomes first state to legalize human composting @ Slashdot (huh)”

    So when Beyond Meat uses produce from Washington State in there Product, will Charlton Heston be right?
    [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UPDUpjkHg0[/url<]

      • shaq_mobile
      • 3 months ago

      Is that another one of those “impossible meat” alternatives? I was impressed with it when I tried it in ground form. I’m not that progressive but I would like to try reasonable meat alternatives and then try to purchase meat from farms that do a good job raising the animals. I just don’t see any of the good meat alternatives in the stores.

    • superjawes
    • 3 months ago

    Periodic reminder: pennies are terrible and we should stop minting and using them.

      • Neutronbeam
      • 3 months ago

      Fine, I’m not going to mint them anymore. Back to making Krugerrands it is!

      • sweatshopking
      • 3 months ago

      We did that a while ago. TBH i’m fine going cashless entirely.

        • Usacomp2k3
        • 3 months ago

        Wake me up when cashless is unhackable (or much, much closer thereto).

          • sweatshopking
          • 3 months ago

          Do you keep most of your money under your bed? I didn’t think so. In other words, your argument doesn’t hold water.

      • dragontamer5788
      • 3 months ago

      Nickles IIRC are the biggest waste of money for the US Mint. Pennies are the #2 moneyloser.

      IMO, Dimes, Nickles, and Pennies need to stop being made. Nickles + Pennies because they are money-losers. Dimes because they don’t make sense without nickles (25-cent + 10-cent is really, really difficult to think about. You can get 35-cents or 10 cents, but no way to get 15-cents change on dimes+quarters alone).

      Dollar Coins btw, are significantly cheaper to use than Dollar Bills. I’m a big proponent of using Dollar Coins. There’s a billion+ of them in a vault, so they’re basically free (while Dollar Bills wear out and need to be reprinted roughly every 2 years)

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 3 months ago

        And then dollars are more portable than 20 coins in my pocket. Imagine going out and your pockets are bulging with 20 $1 coins. Sounds like something I’d like to avoid.

        BTW, bro, it’s a currency system, it’s usefulness is that the coins are exchanged for a good/service. A cheaper way may not be a better way, bro.

          • dragontamer5788
          • 3 months ago

          [url<]https://i.ebayimg.com/images/g/5lcAAOSwHk9bfdL-/s-l300.jpg[/url<] Erm... rolls of 25 dollar coins are actually really convenient. In my experience, a roll of 25 dollar coins is easier to hold in my pocket than 25 dollar bills. Note, coins are heavier for sure. But dollar coins seem physically smaller, you can definitely hold more in a smaller location without worrying about folding or anything. They're actually quite convenient in my experience. 25 dollar coins take up roughly the same space as 40-quarter rolls. Dollar coins are thicker and heavier than quarters. I'm sure you've felt 40-quarter rolls before...

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 3 months ago

            Ok, dumb dumb, you really expect or think every person who carries these coins is going to constantly till their coins before they go out. People will have to start rolling their own coins or exchanging coins for a cost for rolled coins.

            You’re not living in the reality the rest of society does.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 3 months ago

            I don’t actually use rolls. I’m simply pointing out how little space 25-coins take up in a pocket.

            I’ve carried ~100 dollar coins as an experiment. At that point, my pockets were getting quite heavy, but it was actually usable (50 in left pocket + 50 in right pocket to keep balanced). It really doesn’t use much space at all.

            Upon using dollar coins, you learn that their smooth-edges allow you to pick them out extremely easily. Quarters are the only coin roughly their size, but Quarters are serrated, while Dollar Coins are smooth. Very easy to tell the difference.

            Holding 20+ dollar coins in a pocket is pretty fine, no problems in my experience.

          • NovusBogus
          • 3 months ago

          [quote<]BTW, bro, it's a currency system, it's usefulness is that the coins are exchanged for a good/service. A cheaper way may not be a better way, bro.[/quote<] You might have a point there, bro. The US government has made about 200 attempts to get Americans to use dollar coins, all of which have flown like a balloon full of coins. At some point the coin crowd needs to just accept that the public doesn't want what they're selling and pick a better windmill to tilt at.

            • dragontamer5788
            • 3 months ago

            Ehh, I’ll continue to use the dollar coins myself. I’ve been sold on them. People give me funny looks when I use em which is pretty much the only downside in my experience.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 3 months ago

            Nice response, bro. We are a rarity, living in the realm of sanity and pragmatism. It is lonely, so lonely.

        • superjawes
        • 3 months ago

        Agreed, and maybe throw in some $2 or $5 coins while we’re at it.

        Either way, pennies and nickels cost more to manufacture than their face value, and denominations need to be phased out WELL before we reach that point (so knocking out dimes is NBD).

          • Wirko
          • 3 months ago

          $2.5 coins would fit in the 1 – 2.5 – 5 series, $2 coins wouldn’t.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 3 months ago

          It’s not about the cost to their value, silly butt. It’s about their cost relative to their usefulness. You’re a little short sighted and a little on the crazy side.

          You ranted about something without providing an alternative.

          That makes you a whiner and a complainer; those people aren’t helpful, contrary to the penny and nickel.

          You’re essentially less helpful than the penny and nickel. What should we do with you if we should get rid of the coins??

            • superjawes
            • 3 months ago

            The purpose of any currency is to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. It’s essentially a storage of value for later use. If it costs more to create a price of currency than the value of said currency, then that denomination is worthless and ought to be eliminated.

            Cash purchases can round in the customer’s favor, and check/credit purchases can continue as-is. The US Treasury can stop wasting money and nothing of value is lost.

            And no, I don’t need to “provide an alternative” when the status quo is just dumb and useless.

            • Srsly_Bro
            • 3 months ago

            You had a decent response until you said, “round in the customer’s favor.”

            You really are clueless to how things work.

            What does the value of the coin have to do with it value in exchanging currencies? Leave the idyllic forest and consider the economic impact, because the sane understand companies are rounding up, not down. We will pay more with the rounding, and your primitive argument is fallacious.

            In the end, that makes you a complainer, and those who complain without solutions can be ignored.

            Blocked

            • K-L-Waster
            • 3 months ago

            That escalated unreasonably quickly…

          • GrimDanfango
          • 3 months ago

          I don’t disagree that tiny-denomination coins seem a bit pointless (the UK penny is just as silly)

          …but surely you can’t directly equate the material value of a coin with its currency value?

          A single coin will potentially facilitate a huge number of transactions for that value. I’ve no idea what even ballpark figures would be, but let’s say a coin was involved in 10,000 transactions over its lifespan. Even for a penny, that’s $100-worth of value exchange. Even if a 1c coin cost 5c to make, surely it’s served its purpose at that point.

          The major issue I could foresee is that if the material costs became significantly disparate from the exchange value of the coins, some enterprising types will start stockpiling them and melting them down 😛

            • superjawes
            • 3 months ago

            The US eliminated the half-penny when it was no longer beneficial to use in transactions. Even if a penny is involved in a thousand lifetime transactions…is it really? Is the penny being used to buy something, or is it only being issued as change? Maybe the coins minted in the 1960s have been useful, but is a 2019-minted penny going to last more than a year or two before getting lost or stored in a jar?

            That’s the problem. If I could walk into a store and buy something with a penny (or a few pennies), then it would be providing value. As-is, it’s only wasting my time, and it’s wasting the US money.

            That’s why I am in favor of circulating and using more $1 coins. A single dollar can still buy some things, and it is a good denomination for machines. It’s also why I’m in favor of $2 coins (to cut down on the total pocket change), and why we should consider a $5 coin. These are denominations that ARE being used regularly, it would cost less than $1/coin to produce, and they WOULD last decades, being involved in thousands of transactions.

            • DreadCthulhu
            • 3 months ago

            Coins in general are just annoying to use though. They are awkward to fit in wallets, fall out of pockets easily, and makes annoying jangle noises. See how no one wanted dollar coins when the dollar bill is an option, and now the federal reserve is stuck with them. Or how so many people have change jars at home, and throw all their spare change in them; few people want to have to drag around coins. Heck, I think we should just get rid of coins entirely, and make the lowest denomination a 25 cent note. Maybe take a look at some of the polymer options that last longer.

            • jensend
            • 3 months ago

            People melting down pennies because the metal is more valuable than the denomination has been a problem for quite a while. The Mint replaced almost all of the other metals with zinc in 1982 to try to deal with that, but inflation since then has again made it so the metal in a penny is nonetheless worth 2.1 cents; only the threat of jail time deters people from taking advantage of that.

            But the real problem is that pennies fail at accomplishing their only purpose – facilitating exchange. Each of those transactions you mention the penny’s involvement in would work [b<]better[/b<] without the penny, rounded off, because the penny isn't worth the time spent dealing with it. 1 penny / ($18/hr) = 2 seconds. Counting out, storing, and transporting pennies is a needless drag on the economy. The USA got rid of the half-cent coin in 1857 because it was too cheap and useless to facilitate exchange. But at that point it was worth 13.7 cents in today's money. People then also used coins vastly more than we do today (not only because we have a largely cashless society but because we didn't have federal paper money until the Civil War). Getting rid of the penny is an obvious win and should have been done decades ago. The conversation today really should be about whether or not we get rid of all coins smaller than the quarter. See also [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5UT04p5f7U<]this video[/url<].

            • dragontamer5788
            • 3 months ago

            [quote<]The major issue I could foresee is that if the material costs became significantly disparate from the exchange value of the coins, some enterprising types will start stockpiling them and melting them down :-P[/quote<] That's really the main issue. Pennies are traditionally made from copper, and people have definitely started to steel copper supplies. I know I've personally used a "penny as a heatsink" back in my college days: they're a really good size for a number of transistors (They're just the right size for a TO 220 MOSFET). At some point, you realize that the copper itself [b<]is[/b<] more valuable than the coin.

        • DreadCthulhu
        • 3 months ago

        About dollar coins being cheaper to use than dollar bills, well the Federal Reserve published a paper a few years back, disagreeing with you. It is important to realize that it takes more than one coin to replace a dollar bill (about 1.5 or so, given the experience of other western countries switching their low value bills for coins), and that American dollar bills last a lot longer than the low-denom bills other countries used when they switched – when say Canada or the UK switched, their bills were lasting less than 20 months, while US dollar bills now last about 70 months. So basically, dollar coins don’t make cents. And there is a reason no one wants them and the fed is stuck with a billion of them in the vault.

        [url<]https://www.federalreserve.gov/paymentsystems/files/staff-working-paper-20131211.pdf[/url<] Of course, we could just get rid of the penny, nickle, and dime, and just make more 2 dollar bills and get rid of the dollar bill. Round everything to the nearest quarter, and things would be fine. Worst case change scenerios is 7 quarters in that scenerio, and it makes things so much simpler.

          • Srsly_Bro
          • 3 months ago

          Good argument. What you don’t realize is his argument is mostly how he feels about the penny, not what reality is. Therefore, he won’t accept your argument because it isn’t emotionally based.

      • Krogoth
      • 3 months ago

      Penny Plunderer disagrees.

      • sconesy
      • 3 months ago

      Yang 2020, friend.

    • Mr Bill
    • 3 months ago

    Not a very good blast furnace.

    • dragontamer5788
    • 3 months ago

    Whoever took that tire-photo needed to replace those tires a long time ago. Its clear that the wear is uneven, the car probably needs a new alignment since one side of the tire is wearing out much faster…

    I also hear that the “quarter test” is safer: because most tires lose a dramatic amount of performance in their last few thousand miles. Its more expensive to replace your tires at 4/32″ (quarter test) rather than 2/32″ (penny test) but its safer.

      • DragonDaddyBear
      • 3 months ago

      What’s more expensive, not getting a few thousand miles extra out of your tires or crashing into someone? It helps a lot, especially in the wet. Also, you should have proper tires for your temperature/climate, too. The joke is all-season tires are no-season tires. Once my no-season tires are spent I’m going to get summer and winter tires (already have the separate set of rims).

        • superjawes
        • 3 months ago

        If money is tight, you *could* only replace tires 2 at a time. As soon as one hits the “quarter test” point, replace the worst 2 and put new tires on the back. Then save up to replace the other two, hopefully getting a replacement before hitting the “penny test” point.

        Fortunately for me, AZ doesn’t get a real winter, so I’m sticking with summer tires year-round. I’ll do the winter swaps if I move, though.

          • Wirko
          • 3 months ago

          While that may not be the most dangerous thing you can do with your car and your tyres, it’s still better to change all 4 at the same time. In the meantime, swap front and rear tyres often enough so that they wear out uniformly, and the worst two are close to the best two.

          • Godel
          • 3 months ago

          Put your new tires on the back or the front?

          I’d have said the front tires contribute more to safety in the provision of steering, braking, and power delivery (in the case of front wheel drive vehicles).

            • LoneWolf15
            • 3 months ago

            That’s what I thought, but tire stores will tell you back no matter what, something I have confirmed several times. My assumption is this is because of weight distribution, and which end of the car is likely to skid or swing out when losing control.

            • JustAnEngineer
            • 3 months ago

            Better tires on the front gives you better turn-in. At the extreme, this might become oversteer, which is something that your typical nimrod driver can’t handle. Add in an unscrupulous lawyer to sue the tire store for the idiot’s crash, and you’ve got all of the tire stores committed to installing new tires on the rear, where they cause under-steer. Having the vehicle plow straight off a curve when you’re asking it to turn is something that an incompetent driver is better able to handle than having the vehicle swap ends when they ask it to turn too sharply.

            • Goty
            • 3 months ago

            You’re making the assumption that these people are telling you this because they understand why the choice was made instead of just parroting back something they’ve heard or been told.

            • superjawes
            • 3 months ago

            Nope. What happens if you brake hard in a turn have zero traction on your back wheels?

            To be clear, you SHOULD replace all four tires at the same time, but if you’re in a bad place and can only do 2, the back end does more to keep your car stable. “Steering more” or putting down more power (in a FWD) will not help you maintain control if you lose the back end.

            And I repeat, you SHOULD replace tires in full sets, and well before you enter dangerous tread depth.

            • Usacomp2k3
            • 3 months ago

            Personally if I’m just doing 2, I put them on the drive axle. Front-wheel-drive gets them on the front, RWD on the reat. That’s entirely a personal choice though. Pretty much I replace all 4 at a time because they tend to wear even enough.

        • LoneWolf15
        • 3 months ago

        Actually, there are specific all-season tires that do much better in rain and snow than others. That’s why I use reviews.

        Example: Michelin’s Defenders are rated very nearly as good as snow tires. Continental and Pirelli each have one highly-rated all-season for snow as well, though the Defenders are slightly better for ice (not that any tire is great for ice).

          • freebird
          • 3 months ago

          Yep, I do all my tire shopping on tirerack.com after reading loads of reviews.

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