* Posts by Graham Dawson

2449 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

You need to RTFM, but feel free to use your brain too

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I can't be the only one ...

Triumph Stag, from the look of the rear.



Cookie consent crumbles under fresh UK data law proposals

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Straightforward solution

Perfect example of a dark pattern, that.

AI's most convincing conversations are not what they seem

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: The whole article

Turn on caret browsing.

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail

Graham Dawson Silver badge

The easier way to solve this would be to step away from the damn computer. If people are insulting you on social media, turn it off. It's not required for contemporary life, no matter how Jack, Zuck and all want us to think otherwise.

NHTSA upgrades Tesla Autopilot probe, could lead to recall

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Don't stop at autopilot

Everything that reduces a driver's requirement to pay attention to controlling the car increases the risk that they'll stop paying attention to everything. All of these features create the same lulling effect; it's as unavoidable as impairment by alcohol.

Engineer sues Amazon for not covering work-from-home internet, electricity bills

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Re: Can of worms

If only the provider had installed the correct Bulgarian airbags, this tragedy might have been avoided.

Salesforce staff back an end to its relationship with NRA

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Re: How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time?

In any weather.

That's soldiering.

Version 251 of systemd coming soon to a Linux distro near you

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Why is the init handling system updates. This is so far outside the scope of process initialisation that I'm surprised even Poettering can justify it, without collapsing into an infinitely dense kernel of smug arrogance.

New audio server Pipewire coming to next version of Ubuntu

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Another Sound Server

The thing that annoys me most about PulseAudio is just how unnecessary it seems to be. Improving ALSA's documentation would have obviated most of its functionality, while the rest could have been added in to ALSA itself if it was deemed necessary. Poettering (for it was he!) decided that he'd rather stake his claim on the audio daemon space and write a wrapper for ALSA that "fixed" the problems (chief being that ALSA didn't work the way he decided it should work), rather than contributing to existing software and improving it.

(Given subsequent behaviour, writing wrappers for other things so he can stake control of the space seems to be his MO. I'm just surprised he hasn't written a wrapper for etc and called it "systemd-registryd". Maybe I shouldn't give him ideas...)

PipeWire isn't a poettering special, but it feels like the devs have the same motivation: a wrapper around existing systems to "fix" them, rather than just working with the existing software to implement those fixes. Maybe I'm just jumping at shadows this time, because audio on Linux definitely suffers from the constant churn of new sound servers and wrappers and such. It'd be nice if someone fixed the underlying software instead.

I was debating whether to also rant about PipeWire pulling in video as well as audio to the same service, but I can kind of see the point there. It's all signal processing when you get down to it.

The Return of Gopher: Pre-web hypertext service is still around

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Don’t think solar panels in a rather cloudy and snowy climate …

The fact that they exist doesn't, by itself, make them a good idea.

Seriously, you do not want to make that cable your earth

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Rainbow - Nostalgia

Is that what they call content blocking these days?

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

Graham Dawson Silver badge

My mouse keeps complaining.

Unity and Trinity: New releases for forks of abandoned Linux desktops

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: YALD * 2

Your downvotes are obviously for using Gnome, like a heathen, instead of the glory that is $DE_NAME.

Debian faces firmware furore from FOSS freedom fighters

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I like Debian, but it has its own share of a*holes too.

They did. The code was licensed in a GPL compatible way. The logo and name weren't. Replacing the logo and name was Debian obeying Mozilla's license terms to the letter.

Elon Musk says he can get $46.5bn to buy Twitter

Graham Dawson Silver badge

I could go for a musky kebab.

Google 'Switch to Android' app surfaces in iOS App Store

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Google, which supports sideloaded apps on Android devices

It's an explicit permission that you can turn off and on in settings. They could easily stop it if they didn't want it to happen.

First Light says it's hit nuclear fusion breakthrough with no fancy lasers, magnets

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Just don't lick it. Heavy metal poisoning is no joke.

Elon Musk buys 9.2% of Twitter, sends share price to the Moon

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: "Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square…"

The problem is, twitter just happens to be the echo chamber where all the journalists hang out, so every stupid, tiny little spat on the platform gets amplified to international, life and career destroying news before you can say "cancel culture isn't real".

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Culty

If I was forced into a Hobson's choice between the two, I'd take Musk. At least he's funny. Like a clown, but I actually laugh.

GNOME 42's inconsistent themes are causing drama

Graham Dawson Silver badge

It's ok, there's a theme to hide that.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge patched in race against exploitation

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Add it to the list of reasons why monocultures are a bad idea.

Nvidia outlines subscription-fueled journey to $1tr revenue

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: They think they can grow revenue 60x?

They don't really need to do much, just keep trucking along at close to their current revenue and let inflation add a few zeros.

False advertising to call software open source when it's not, says court

Graham Dawson Silver badge

There's no lie in the name. It's XML that you Open with Office. The fact that you read it as implying anything other than that is entirely your fault.

Cloudflare, Akamai: Why we're not pulling out of Russia

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: правда

Tankies have thrown this claim around for years. No funding necessary.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

I'm sure someone will be along shortly, to explain that the holodomor wasn't real and it was actually all the kulaks hoarding food that caused the non-existent famine that didn't kill anyone.

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Because Labour never proposed anything as wildly insane, obviously, and the Lib Dems never supported it the same nonsense whenever they had the chance.

The civil service are the ones pushing all this ID card stuff, otherwise the policies wouldn't remain so consistent over multiple governments of different wings and parties. People allowing themselves to be conned by the superficial political theatre of Parliament is half the reason this country is in the state it's in. Unfortunately I don't have a solution, but I expect it would be easier to find one if more people let go of political tribalism (and all the rhetoric of division that comes with it) and started paying attention to who actually runs the country.

Fancy some new features? Try general-purpose Linux alternative Liquorix

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I'm guessing that Devuan might [not] be able to use the Debian kernel?

It shouldn't, but poettering is sure doing his best to ensure that systemd is the only process available.

HMRC: UK techies' IR35 tax appeals could take years

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Why engauge in legal action with your client


Evasion is when you don't pay what you owe. Avoidance is when you don't pay what you don't owe.

Chromium-adjacent Otter browser targets OS/2

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: The first OS I could say "Microphone off" to, and it would switch it off.

Just use the keyboard...

'Boombox' function sparks Tesla recall

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: The press has really gone all in on these headlines

Save the hysterics for when the brakes stop working again

This assumes the brakes are even fitted.


UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: A Cool Billion ! Roll Up, Roll Up !

Grenfell wasn't caused by scrapping regulations, it was caused by regulations that were unfit for their stated purpose, which is a circumstance that seems to slide under the rug with alarming regularity these days. Bad regulations are worse than no regulations at all; they create a false sense of security and safety, whilst giving everyone involved a way to sign off and declare it not their problem when the inevitable disaster strikes.

Whether the tories are up to the challenge of fixing that isn't my place to say (though I can guess the answer), but the reflexive, unthinking yell of "regulations are always good!" is no better than yelling "regulations are always bad!" whenever the topic of regulatory reform comes up.

Machine learning the hard way: IBM Watson's fatal misdiagnosis

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Elementary my dear Watson...

He also didn't wear a deer-stalker except but once. He was a fashionable man about the town, not some frumpy old gentleman on the land.

IR35 is the biggest threat to the contractor working model, survey finds

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Weird system

Capita told them to eliminate the competition.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Avoidance is not evasion. Avoidance is when you don't pay taxes that you don't owe. Evasion is when you fiddle your accounts to not pay taxes that you do owe. I will keep saying this every time this topic comes up until someone actually understands it.

Tax avoidance - not paying tax that you aren't required to pay - is not only legal, it's ethical and rational.

Look at it this way: you're walking down the street. You see a police officer at the other end of the street. You decide turn down an alley to go a different way.

If you did it because you're an asocial bastard who doesn't want to have to deal with people, you're avoiding.

If you did it because they just spotted you beating an old woman around the head for her purse, you're evading.

What you're doing, when you whine about tax avoidance, is conflating a legal and rational behaviour with the behaviour of a criminal. The unspoken accusation is that everyone who does the former is no different than everyone who does the latter.

How to get banned from social media without posting a thing

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: There's your answer!

I understand that the questions sometimes get emailed out to random previous purchasers, who seem to believe that they're required to answer rather than just ignoring it.

OpenShell has been working on a classic replacement for Windows 11's Start menu

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Icons-only task manager, which is the default task manager these days, unless I'm very mistaken. Certainly is in Neon. I just tried dragging my panel around to different sides of the screen and it works absolutely fine. It's worked fine for years.

The regular task manager also reverts to an icon-only view if you move the panel to the side of the screen.

Linux distros haunted by Polkit-geist for 12+ years: Bug grants root access to any user

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Polkit

Except it was completely re-written and renamed in 2012, after systemd had established itself. It broke API compatibility in order to better align with the systemd way of doing things, and likely simplified the exploitation of this bug in the process.

Almost there: James Webb Space Telescope frees its mirrors and prepares for insertion

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Pounds ( No Stones)

It's an abbreviation of the latin libra, for scale or balance. The latin pound was called a libra pondo. Came to us first via a borrowing into proto-german rather than French, which is why pounds and ounces (libra pondo et unciae) as units of weight predate the Norman invasion.

Graham Dawson Silver badge

I thought Newton Farenheit was the next stop after Cocker Hill.

European silicon output shrinking, metal smelters closing as electricity prices quadruple, trade body warns

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: @W.S.Gossett on "Gas"

They also tend to wear lots of oil-derived "vegan" clothing while ranting about the evils of oil. Vegan leather is just plastic.

Planning for power cuts? That's strictly for the birds

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I say it's plausible

Sounds like the pigeons already did.

Open source isn't the security problem – misusing it is

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: log4j works as specified

The problem with scope creep is that developer ego is often invested in it, for reasons that I have never quite understood. One or two projects in particular come to mind...

The year ahead in technology fail: You knew they were bad, now they're going to prove it

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: New Dell Laptop...

Is there any particular reason why Windows versions are starting to resemble flu strains?

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Colour me impressed...

Give him a cheeseburger, he'll be fine.

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Technically fantastic but...

You'd end up with a situation like this.


Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Mad Magazine

No, the red drone is for loading and unloading only. there is no loitering with the white drone.

Windows Terminal to be the default for command line applications in Windows 11

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Oh freddled gruntbuggly

airlock now please, if not sooner

mine's the one with the towel in the pocket

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: Mozilla is the modern Xerox

What you say doesn't contradict what he said at all. Lots of very fine people work for absolutely incompetent organisations.

Google's 'Be Evil' business transformation is complete: Time for the end game

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: 42 huh

The question is: who's to be the master? That is all.

Apple's Safari browser runs the risk of becoming the new Internet Explorer – holding the web back for everyone

Graham Dawson Silver badge

Re: I have encountered specific instances of Safari not implementing certain standards correctly…

I could go into great detail about the time I spent trying to debug a click listener that failed to capture an event on a child element, but this isn't really the place to get into a lecture about event bubbling and how it should work vs how it did work in Safari.

Pointing out that Safari does have a specific issue, while pointing to the general area in which it has that issue in a discussion about Safari's potential to screw over standards compliance, is plenty meaningful to anyone who actually has to deal with this sort of thing on a day to day basis.


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