* Posts by Graham Dawson

2685 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Privacy features lose their way in latest Firefox update

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Damning with faint praise

While I understand your stance, I must disagree with it in practice. Of all the browsers on the market, Firefox is currently the only one that allows me to self-host a browser sync and unified account service. That alone is a huge boon.

systemd 256.1: Now slightly less likely to delete /home

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Having the component that manages temporary files expand until it's managing the user's home directory is emblematic of systemd's dysfunctional development culture. Mission creep, feature spread, taking over arbitrary new things at random, and then acting like that's what you're supposed to expect from poorly-named tools. It's only a matter of time before systemd absorbs /etc and any other system config into a "unified binary format" and "common configuration interface". This new systemd-config-register will then presumably expand its role to store user email.

Version 256 of systemd boasts '42% less Unix philosophy'

Graham Dawson Silver badge

As of right now it doesn't, it's true, but it had a hard dependency on systemd for long enough that the problem stuck in peoples' minds.

Graham Dawson Silver badge
Facepalm

Replace SELinux with ALSA and this is how we ended up with the horrendous abortion that is pulseaudio.

Space health shocker: Astronauts return mostly fine

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: So spaceflight is good for you

Some believe that there may yet be brothers of man who even now fight to survive, somewhere beyond the heavens.

A tale of two missions: Starliner and Starship both achieve milestones

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: "before toppling over into the ocean"

I can think of a few bell-ends it might be preferable to land it on...

Forget feet and inches, latest UK units of measurement are thinking bigger

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: What the hell is a meter?

They're both from the same greek root of metron or metreon, but reached us by different paths, so they now serve different purposes in British and Commonwealth English.

A meter is a measuring device, while metre is a unit of measurement, whether that be a unit of length or the frequency of a regularly recurring pattern, such as in poetry or music. You could use a one metre pendulum to time your music, giving you a metre metre meter, or a metre metronome. By extension, this means you can, by regularly tapping one metre long stick on the ground for every one metre pace you take in time to a song, have a metre metre meter metre meter.

Malicious xz backdoor reveals fragility of open source

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Some OSS development introspection needed

The difference is in who does the linking, and why. Libraries linked by the sshd developers are audited by them to ensure they're compliant with requirements. libsystemd was linked by people who wanted to tie sshd into a gigantic, sprawling mess of an "init" for the convenience of notifications.

It's all good and well saying that the attack could have come at any point, but the fact is that this vulnerability was introduced by the long arm of systemd reaching into sshd's internals, where it had absolutely no place being. THAT is the problem. THAT is the thing that people have been warning about.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Some OSS development introspection needed

This is exactly the case. This vuln was only possible because of the gigantic, sprawling attack surface that systemd provides and the unthinking reliance on its core libs that it has promoted and created throughout the ecosystem. People have tried to deflect from this, by saying that the flawed version of xz was also available on non-systemd distros, but they deliberately ignore that it was targeted at the link created between systemd and sshd, by maintainers who should have known better.

It was a sophisticated, long term attack that was only possible because of systemd. It's exactly the scenario people have warned about for years.

Rust developers at Google are twice as productive as C++ teams

Graham Dawson Silver badge

I wonder how much of that code is inside unsafe blocks.

Raspberry Pi OS 5.2 is here, with pleasant tweaks to Wayland-based desktop

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: No way-land

No, it did not. dhcpd had its EOL update in late 2022. There are, of course, other DHCP daemons.

The advent of IPV6 didn't magically make the requirement for DHCP obsolete; it is not going anywhere as long as IPV4 still rules the roost.

Third time is almost the charm for SpaceX's Starship

Graham Dawson Silver badge

The difference, of course, is that musk's rockets don't claim to be environmentally friendly.

Complaining that windmills kill birds is rather more relevant, as it compounds with the unreliability and low productivity of wind turbines, as well as with other issues (chief being the enormous amounts of land that has to be cleared for them and the fact that wind requires dispatchable, conventionally fuelled backups for when it isn't blowing).

They are an inefficient, ineffectual waste of funds that should have been put into building out nuclear AND they kill birds.

Fedora 41's GNOME to go Wayland-only, says goodbye to X.org

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Wayland only

It still doesn't remember window positions from one session to the next, which is a pretty fundamental feature for a lot of people. Myself included.

So, no. They haven't. And with the amount of time they spent getting to this point, they could have fixed every single problem in X11 that they use to justify this change and added some new features to boot.

Attacks on UK fiber networks mount: Operators beg govt to step in

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Starlink

Comparable to virgin, then.

BOFH: I get locked out, but I get in again

Graham Dawson Silver badge
Coat

Re: ChatGPT

Look at the comments on any article about elon musk and you're bound to find something.

rocket in the pocket -->

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: ChatGPT

The training data for these systems is heavily biased towards writing sites, like archive of our own, so features a preponderance of badly written erotica. Their output tends to spiral in that direction with very little prompting.

Linux for older phones postmarketOS changes its init system

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Systemd dosen't even do some of that reliably.

They get WONTFIXed and rejected because they don't cleave to Poettering's grand vision.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Embrace... Extend...

People did, repeatedly, every time systemd soaked up another previously separate daemon or service or implemented another shoddy new interface. They were shouted down and insulted in ways that would make Linus curl his toes, often to the point of being driven out of positions they had held for years due to the induced stress.

Plummer talks to us about spending Microsoft's money on a red Corvette

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I doubt he would get paid today

That should be interesting. I've never seen an OS written entirely in javascript before.

FAA gives SpaceX a bunch of homework to do before Starship flies again

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: payload ?

When you're leaking enough pure oxygen, it really doesn't matter all that much if there's methane in the air. Anything remotely reactive will start oxidising in a sufficiently rich oxygen atmosphere.

250 million-plus reserved IPv4 addresses could be released – but the internet isn’t built to use them

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: IPv6

So, not Plusnet.

Mozilla CEO quits, pushes pivot to data privacy champion... but what about Firefox?

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: A lot of hardcore Firefox fans are now happy Chrome users.

I refuse chrome. I was using it for years, but all of its alleged advantages disappeared one by one, as it became a bloated, memory-hogging privacy nightmare with greater and greater restrictions on what I could do to prevent it spying on me. At least, in firefox, you can turn that stuff off.

Scientists don thinking caps in wearable tech breakthrough

Graham Dawson Silver badge
Coat

Re: A beanie and a sweater with batteries

Who says you'll wash them? When they get dirty, you'll just send them by drone back to the Amazon apparel leasing agency and then wait in your pod for a replacement to be sent out. While you wait, you can watch adverts on your phone to cover the basic subscription costs, tailored to your exact preferences by your personalised ai assistant, or perhaps you'll be lucky enough to have the latest neuralink instead, so you can sit and stare at the wall while it projects those ads directly into your vision. This is the eco friendly future of of endless consumption envisioned for us by our betters.

looking for the off switch. --->

OpenAI's GPT-4 finally meets its match: Scots Gaelic smashes safety guardrails

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Why, it's *almost*

Mine shoots round ball for Christians and square ball for Muslims.

ICANN proposes creating .INTERNAL domain to do the same job as 192.168.x.x

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Call it molehilling.

That depends. What colour is the pin?

Wait, hold on, everyone – Mozilla thinks Apple, Google, Microsoft should play fair

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: You're asking me to quantify Mozilla's market strategy.

I'm starting to think you don't actually understand the words you're using.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: zero cost

You're asking me to quantify Mozilla's market strategy. I'm merely explaining that markets can exist without the need for a sticker price on the goods and services offered within that market. The vendors realise value by indirect means, while the consumers realise value by use of the goods and services offered. What those indirect means might be are not for me to explain, because I'm not interested in them and because they are unlikely to have any direct connection to my use of the browser. That's why they're "indirect".

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: zero cost

Your assumption is that up-front pricing is the only definition of value in a market. It's a generally good approximation of value, but value exchange can also be realised through indirect means.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: What “market share”?

Markets include goods and services offered at zero cost. If there are multiple suppliers, and actors willing to make a choice between them, you have a market. Their decisions are simply guided by factors other than up-front cost.

OSIRIS-REx's stuck asteroid sample canister finally cracked open by NASA

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: A nice contrast to Apollo 13

"Who hid the torx set again?!"

Boeing goes boing: 757 loses a wheel while taxiing down the runway

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Delta actually has one of the better records for maintenance, compared to a lot of airlines.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Obvious cause

Except this is a 757-200, which Boeing doesn't even manufacture any more. It predates current-year boeing by a couple of decades. The obvious cause in this instance is a maintenance failure.

(Yes, I realise you were joking, but it has to be said, just in case someone takes it seriously.)

Asda's delayed SAP migration forces extension to Walmart's backend support contract

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Seems Asda jumped out of the frying pan and into the mire, to mangle a phrase.

Florida man slams 'tyranny' of central bank digital currencies in re-election bid

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Find a new joke

Take me back to my cell. I'm surrounded by Yahoo!s

Graham Dawson Silver badge

It's interesting to see who falls on which side of this whole CDBC insanity, based purely on the fact that the bad orange man said something about it. People who have previously advocated against it have suddenly flipped to support it, purely because El Naranja said it's a bad thing. Seems to be reaching the point that he could express a stance on the morality of murder and half the planet would suddenly advocate for the right to slaughter the innocent on a whim, with the only determiner being their opinion of his bronze skin and tiny hands.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

The real joke is that the omrlp think they have to run, when it's clear we're already governed by them.

Zuckerberg wants to build artificial general intelligence with 350K Nvidia H100 GPUs

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Bet

I quite like it, though. It makes them seem irrational and untrustworthy.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Bet

Its responses are easily explained by the fact that it is making everything up, or hallucinating, as the term of art goes. It tends to hallucinate things that resemble reality often enough that it's apparent leaps of intuition seem magical, but they are really just more hallucinations.

Tesla owners in deep freeze discover the cold, hard truth about EVs

Graham Dawson Silver badge

They won't be on the car; they'll be on the charger.

Graham Dawson Silver badge
Coat

Re: Stop start

No no, it's not a flaw. It's a future revenue realisation opportunity.

Every corporation in the world when they realise you still have something in your wallet --->

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Your bum will be warm and your feet will be freezing, which is less than idea, to say the last. Ever tried driving with ice-cold feet?

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Norway

The second will guarantee the third, if you aren't careful.

While we fire the boss, can you lock him out of the network?

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: 13 days into 2024...

Main page, scroll down just under the green bar. Or click here.

BOFH: Nice air conditioning system. Would be a shame if anything happened to it

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Microsoft suggests command line fiddling to get faulty Windows 10 update installed

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: When did Windows turn into Linux?

More of a pacman fan?

Silicon Valley weirdo's quest to dodge death – yours for $333 a month

Graham Dawson Silver badge
Pint

Re: About that very specific 1,977 calories...

Oh shoot, I misread 1997.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: About that very specific 1,977 calories...

Can't be. He's in his 40s.

Biggest Linux kernel release ever welcomes bcachefs file system, jettisons Itanium

Graham Dawson Silver badge

I gnu someone would say that...

Graham Dawson Silver badge

You've loosed the herd.

Cutting-edge microscopy reveals bottled water has 'up to 100 times' more bits of plastic than previously feared

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Mount Inaccessible

These days, you'd have to balance that against the water meter.