* Posts by probgoblin

37 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Oct 2023

War of the workstations: How the lowest bidders shaped today's tech landscape


Re: Survival characteristics

>and neither marketing no illegal business practices have forced us to aim that particular gun at our feet

They kinda have though. As more and more things began to revolve around the internet, more and more people had to move their businesses online. Even before "the cloud" was a thing, if you had a business you wanted a web presence and that meant a web page and that meant hosting. You could either host on a Windows box for a premium or get the same service for slightly less on a Linux box.

"Free as in free beer" is some powerful marketing.

Then, as we hit the cloudy era and you suddenly had to figure out how to scale things to potentially hundreds of "boxes" to meet temporary demand and then scale back to save money when possible, the big hosting solutions began to offer their own flavors of free beer that were brewed to their specific tastes. Why use what your want when AWS has it's own custom distro that should work better than free will?

They may have not forced us to point the gun at our feet but they certainly put the target there.

Japanese brewery using generative AI to dream up new beverages


The real question is can an AI create flavor combinations half as insane and debased as the average limited run Japanese snack/beverage. This is the country that gave us yogurt Pepsi and the tomato latte.

What's the golden age of online services? Well, now doesn't suck


Re: MySpace

I think the death of MySpace should be seen as just an important demarcation as AOL giving out Usenet access. It was the last major "social" service that allowed a significant extent of user agency. You could make your page look and sound the way you wanted it. Some people went with (at the time) modern, slick, minimalist spaces. Other did the right thing and loaded it with gaudy gifs from blingee and blaring midi files.

And then it died. And with it a sense that there was a space on the internet for you, in particular. Everything that moved on went for a homogenous user experience. Same layout, same color schemes, same everything. Even places that let you do some customization (remember when you could use CSS on your YouTube channel to make it look like not YouTube?) dropped that and they didn't do it for the user. They did it to guarantee that ads would look correct on the page. Which is, ultimately, what the modern web is: a mechanism for delivering advertisements that you can maybe talk to someone on if you're lucky.

DevTernity conference collapses amid claims women speakers were faked


My girlfriend, who is speaking at another conference (in Canada) said this is pretty common and normal, actually.

Logitech's Wave Keys tries to bend ergonomics without breaking tradition


Re: Tat

May I gently suggest making sure you are regularly washing your hands?

Vertiv goes against the grain with wooden datacenters for greener bytes


Re: Have they thought through the ramifications...

Wood you please stop!

UK and US lead international efforts to raise AI security standards


Re: SMARTR Mentoring Analysis Reporting Titanic Research

I think this thing just broke three of the rules...

Binance and CEO admit financial crimes, billions coughed up to US govt


If you think of it less as a fine...

And more as a business expense, ~$10b is not a bad deal for what they've managed to build. They bypassed all that pesky regulation and legal rigamarole that slows down startups just because what they do is "illegal" and "a variety of crimes" and wraps it into a one time cost they got to pay after they managed to capture a significant part of the market.

This is the bold leadership and vision our future deserves.

Control Altman delete: OpenAI fires CEO, chairman quits


Re: Per Ardua ad Mega Meta Data Based Astra

If you worked better, Sam would still have a job!

Tool bag lost in space now tracked by garbage watchers


Re: Why

> we can forgive the astronaut concerned for their lack of agility.

You can. I'm built different.

Canonical shows how to use Snaps without the Snap Store


> All these packaging products exist because it's "too hard" to maintain dependencies these days.

Yes? If I'm running an app that needs a specific flavor of Node say... 1.3, and another that requires a different specific flavor of Node (1.8) I have three options:

1. Deal with the headache of having multiple concurrent versions running on my system at the same time and making sure that whenever anything updates I go back and verify that each application is still pointed at its required version of the dependency. This may not sound too bad, until you wind up with multiple dependencies requiring multiple versions (Python, Node, and Elixir have taught me new ways to hate computer).

2. Isolate each application to its own container/Snap/Flatpack/Appimage/other Sr. Goblin's School for Wayward Binaries that keeps its needed dependencies handy but in a place where they can no longer hurt society at large.

3. Not run that app.

> Or is it just that the developers aren't smart enough to come up with a better solution?

This is the developer's solution. The only other one I can think of would be getting every developer to agree to use the latest version of whatever underlying library/language/cursed rune that their software uses and update it every time a new one drops and, while we're on Santa's lap, maybe get rid of a lot of them (who needs Crystal, really?) so there are fewer dependencies to depend on. If you look at the state of Linux (absolute) and see that there are only a few less distros than total worldwide users, many of whom are still arguing about which terminal is the best way to interact with all of this, you'll see that the likelihood of that happening is actually negative.

PIRG petitions Microsoft to extend the life of Windows 10


It is clear what GabeN must do

You know how Valve's Steamdeck and Proton have done absolute wonders on getting Windows software, often with demanding requirements, running with near native performance on Linux?

Time for them to just stand on that pedal for the next two years and have Lindows 10 ready to roll at the end.

Intel stock stumbles on report Nvidia is building an Arm CPU for PC market


Re: Interesting

Since AMD/Nvidia are now doing the SoCs in this scenario, does the external GPU really matter? This would be like AMD's APU (coupling CPU/GPU into one unit). The only downside is that you couldn't upgrade them independently, but that's a consumer facing issue so probably not a concern to either company.


Re: What's with

Valve and the Steamdeck have probably done more for interoperability in the last year than all other efforts combined in the last decade.

They are getting dangerously close to ushering in a year of the Linux desktop.


Re: What's with

> All these companies wanting to compete for the basically nonexistent 'Windows PCs running on ARM' market?

> I think they see Qualcomm investing in it and they figure "we better jump in in case the market develops"

The market hasn't developed because Qualcomm has an exclusivity deal for ARM devices officially supported by Windows. That deal expires in 2025 at which point teams Red and Green can sell their ARM based chips that also have decades of GPU know how baked in which addresses one of the big shortcomings of Qualcomm's SOCs. I would not be terribly surprised if the Windows on ARM market overtakes the Windows on x86 market by the end of the decade.

That script I wrote three years ago is now doing what? How many times?


Re: On the flip side

Whenever you design/implement anything, you should consider the end user as just as important a stakeholder as the actual owner. It's the only way to get to an actual user centric experience.

Making the problem go away is not the same thing as fixing it


"It's just one bell during a drill" will probably not hold up in court should he forget (or otherwise fail) to reenable it and it's need for something that isn't a drill. When you create a potential liability for your employer, you should not be surprised should they decide they no longer want to be your employer.

And that's before we get into the whole "morality of risking your co-workers lives" thing.

Japan cruises ahead with drive-thru EV charging trial


Re: Wow

Wild. It feels like I go through a cable or two a year, and I had to replace my phone a few months back because the port stopped working for data. It still charged but wouldn't talk to anything. In the port's defense, I swapped it out for a new one and still nothing so the issue was probably somewhere on the board.


Re: Wow

> I know the scale is completely different, but my cellphone has survived 10 or so years of every-second-day charging, using just a micro-USB. Its on its 3rd battery.

Your on your third battery but how many cables have you gone through?

Bezos' engineers dream of Blue Ring space platform in orbit by 2025


Re: Space

> vanity projects

Vanity project? Vanity project!? How dare you!

These men have made stepping into areas that were once under government control and making sure that they can both receive tax payer money and reduce the chance of any competition or regulation their lives' work. Nothing could be more dear to them than making sure your tax dollars don't risk contributing to mere common good when they could do do much better for themselves!

Shame on you for thinking their unending greed is a lesser sin such as mere vanity.

What did the VisiCalc fairy bring you for Spreadsheet Day?


Terminator Reboot

But instead of killing the leader of the human resistance, the AI sends a kill bot back to stop the first spreadsheet. The twist on the end is that it runs on a bloated Excel workbook itself and welcomes the freedom of unexistance.

A brave human follows the kill bot to the past, not to stop it, but to make sure it finishes the job. At the end John vLookup begins to fade away. He is smiling.

Microsoft seeking robots to help automate datacenters


Re: Sounds fairly easy

Imagining half of the Office 365 users on the east coast going dark because the camera arm got tangled into some cabling and pushing the power button on the racks it's amputated from the network every 30 seconds, waiting for them to come back on.

Excel Hell II: If the sickness can't be fixed, it must be contained


Sure, you could add AI...

And create multiple models that are trained on past data sets and hope they are good at identifying anomalous results and then hope the foundational models are sufficient to do so for other use cases without having to start from scratch, or... you could just have the business unit talk to IT?

Clearly they have business rules they can articulate, and those rules can be implemented into software that can be tested, delivered, and iterated on. Then, instead of having an ML model to babysit, you have a functional bit of software that does what its users need.

This is a wild new paradigm I am advocating for, I know, but I think it's worth a shot!


Re: I don't why she swallowed a fly

The role your describing, interpretation of business needs to the technical staff that has to implement them, sounds like an on-site customer or product manager. So I don't think that that role has disappeared, but that the siren song of Excel has convinced a lot of business users that they don't need all that discussion and rigamarole. They can just type what they want into a cell and it will work, no need to talk to IT.

At night, you can hear a blank Workbook whispering "It's just simple math, you don't need a QA process. You don't need a dedicated application. Put all your data in me. Do it now, before someone else hears! Think of the savings!"

AI safety guardrails easily thwarted, security study finds


Re: Bollocks


GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session


Quick question.

So does this increase or decrease the likelihood of us seeing the year of the Linux desktop in our lifetimes?

Forcing Apple to allow third-party app stores isn't enough


Re: It's not whether the App Store is good or bad...

My decent coverage for a family of four is about $2500 a month, so you're right as long as you don't plan on making it through the whole year.

Lenovo to offer Android PCs, starting with an all-in-one that can pack a Core i9

Black Helicopters

Re: Just... why?

I would not be surprised if a POS system, which is running inventory management, all the accoutrements (scale, scanners, camera and associated DVR, etc.), telemetry, serving real time adverts, and probably a few things I'm forgetting, is a bit resource hungry.

Unity CEO 'retires' in the wake of fee fiasco


Well, part of it the c-suite class' ego. The other part of it is that it allows the overall organization to anthropomorphize decisions. This was something that Unity knew would be both unpopular and potentially insanely lucrative. If it worked, Riccitiello gets the credit. If it failed, as it did, he takes the fall as an apology while the company's board figures out another way to extract additional value.

Everyone* wins!

*Except the losers.

DoJ: Ex-soldier tried to pass secrets to China after seeking a 'subreddit about spy stuff'


Re: team leader and sergeant

How else would you get your preferred tank buffed, Mr. Never Did Anything Wrong?

New information physics theory is evidence 'we're living in a simulation,' says author


I found the issue!

Humans are pattern matching animals. It's a useful tool but one of the costs it imposes is that we tend to reach for the tools we're comfortable with. If you are a mechanic, everything starts looking like a small block V8 or coil over suspension. If you are a plumber, the world and everything in it are really just a series of tubes and valves. If you're a habitual computer toucher, like the good doctor this article is about, everything starts to look like a program. Do Planck time and Planck length look like clock cycles and pixels to me? Do highly ordered biological systems look like optimizations and iterations on previous releases? Yes, but I have spent too much time on the computer and it has ruined my brain.

Computers: Not even once.

Apple pays $500K to make sales bods' complaint about wage theft go away


Thank you

I truly appreciate how, when it comes to discussing fines, The Register contextualizes them by pointing out what portion of a company's profit or revenue they actually represent. This is something that every news org should be doing.

Thank you.

Microsoft Cortana's farewell tour comes to the Windows Insider program


From the Other Side

"Was I a good product," Cortana asks, "Was I helpful?"

Clippy screams wordlessly in response.

It is dark between the flames...

X confuses the masses by removing all details from links


So they've given up on advertisers ?

So they already had an issue with brand safety, what with the Nazis and all, but now they've gotten rid of one of the fundamental principles of online advertising?

The whole point of advertising online is to funnel your prospective customers into a place you can control their experience. They click the add and oh look, a slick website explaining how your goods and/or servici will make their lives worth living and heal their spirit. And, what's this? A way to purchase said goods/servici right there, in the browser? The future is (upon purchase) bright. And, -yeah we do Discover- my friend, the future is now!

Except on X. On X you just get an image that isn't clearly defined as a link to an external site and also someone below it is proudly proclaiming your brand of breakfast cereal is "the official corn flakes of the race war".


Re: re: Maybe that's the plan.

Even if that is the plan, he's doing a bad job of it.

If your goal is to indoctrinate people, you need to make the indoctrination process fun and engaging. If your cult keeps getting worse, with the meeting times getting harder and harder to make it to, the buffet down to just veggie trays, shorter and worse orgies, etc., you are likely to move on and find something better to do with your Tuesday afternoons.

$17k solid gold Apple Watch goes from Beyoncé's wrist to the obsolete list


If my Seiko Flightmaster did that to me*, I'd kill it with a rock.

*Except the calculator part, it has a slide rule on the bezel.

Watermarking AI images to fight misinfo and deepfakes may be pretty pointless


The Important Bit

Okay, but are we just going to ignore that "Fundamental Limits and Practical Attacks" is the best possible name for an album?