* Posts by John Deeb

304 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Nov 2007


Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

John Deeb

Re: Several possibilities

Actually I got that excuse delivered in detail from Sun hardware support on why a particular type of server crashed with a memory issue repeatedly during a brief period only, no matter power cycling, testing, module changes etc. Thinking about the name of the vendor, it's hard to not feel cajoled in hindsight. Although I did not only suspect the cosmos but a lab next-doors where space science related experiments were being performed at times. Maybe also why I don't have any kids still...

Sysadmins: Why not simply verify there's no backdoor in every program you install, and thus avoid any cyber-drama?

John Deeb

Re: Linux proves that doesn’t work

That sounds like a dozen of large IT organizations I know and where hardly anything manages to happen any more while the competition is smoking their asses, getting away with the incidental incident. Perhaps the suggested might work for government and banking as it can be endlessly financed by other people's funds and savings. Or at least the market mechanism is less punishing there.

Microsoft to unveil 'what's next for Windows' ... Rounded corners and what else?

John Deeb

Re: Suggestions

"In 1985 you could start a computer from cold in seconds " -- you mean the ZX spectrum!

Boot time is actually one thing Windows has improved over the years. The rest of your rant is to the point. Every day I still curse at Windows changing focus to other programs of popups while I'm typing! Nothing is really done right in Windows 7,8,8.5 and 10. Maybe I kinda forgive XP (and NT4).

Complexity has broken computer security, says academic who helped spot Meltdown and Spectre flaws

John Deeb

subject is considered a formal science?

"computer science needs to rethink itself. Today, he said, the subject is considered a formal science. Gruss said that needs to change, for two reasons."

This only makes sense to me when it would read "considered NOT a formal science". You don't want to downgrade it from science, right?

Complexity might have broken this article too then. A simple proofreading could help? The whole things reads a bit like a class at the University of Obviousness. Security is just a complex word like freedom, it effects psychology, technology, policy, equipment and politics alike. This way it might for ever fall outside pure science. Like criminals fall outside laws or find a way to try at least.

Russia tested satellite-to-satellite shooter, say UK and USA

John Deeb

A few tonnes doesn't sound much compared to the diameter of the earth. You'll lose most of it exploding in the wrong direction (launched in space or crashing) Apart from that, there's still some drag in LEO orbit which will slow down grains of sand over time and not endlessly rotate at 15 km/s. That said, it would still cause damage, just not trillions.

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

John Deeb

"designed documents to be seen on A3 pape

"designed documents to be seen on A3 paper"

The article must be satire right?

Nice to bring in the Yahoo example and in part IBM. Two large behemoths famous for losing focus and struggling to create some new coherent an d profitable focus. Herding people into offices and commutes are equivalent to "working noises" and do not replace engagement, mission and reward. It will not drive any tech company yet provide the appearance of one! After the hype of massive collaboration the pendulum with swing towards a focus on autonomous work: manage your own, deliver your own goals. It will be done not just from home but many flexible locations and forms of scheduling will arise. There's a bit too much of a meeting culture where 80% is meant to replace a lack of social bonding or even meaning in the life of attendees. Lets not kid ourselves.

Dude, where's my laser?

John Deeb

Re: Not unbelievable

"expert scientist in optics would forget about a basic physics law?"

If those scientists only has tested this indoors or perhaps only a few times outdoors in other weather conditions, the problem probably never came up. Why would it? They're optical engineers and not specialized in atmospheric science or even weather forecasting.

Therefore the story is completely believable although possible slightly juiced up.

There's NordVPN odd about this, right? Infosec types concerned over strange app traffic

John Deeb

Re: Probably fine, handled badly

Then don't attribute motive at all! Then again, some inquiring minds prefer to know as to better predict what to expect next...

What could be more embarrassing for a Russian spy: Their info splashed online – or that they drive a Lada?

John Deeb

Yes, Bellingcat is in the business of imaginary hype news nowadays and the Register gladly echoes it without any trace of reservation or cynicism. Come one, "university based car registrations"! More likely some administrative thing for sharing cars among campus (it's in the end a former communist state, with a stronger communal administrative mindset than we are familiar with in the West).

And it's not really a spy school either, these are fairly large universities involving more general studies. What relevance does it even have to the case? The logic is missing.

Soyuz later! Russia may exit satellite launch biz

John Deeb

Re: Probably has to do more with the sanctions

Possible as one current factor but the global economical developments in space flight are easier to quantify and a well known longer term undisputed trend. Launch schedules are years in advance being planned. Sanctions can come and go quicker than many larger space projects eg the ISS. And another big customer like the Galileo project switched to Ariane 5 ES after they worked out how to launch four sats at the same time. Lets face it, In terms of launch technology Russian fell behind and the edge in simplicity and reliability does not work anymore to corner the market (as they did).

Guccifer 2.0 outed, Kaspersky slammed, Oz radio hacker in the slammer, and more

John Deeb

Moscow Elite

Let me get this straight, someone uses Elite VPN, "a virtual private networking service that had an exit point in France but was headquartered in Russia". And then determines that some IP is showing up from the capital of Russia where Elite also has its HQ and operates servers as well.

What seems to be missing from this is some kind of falsification of that Moscow address not being another Elite exit. Plus it does not sound that convincing that one activates a Russian VPN to hide tracks leading to... Russia?

A better theory might be to take into account that "Fancy Bear" used the same Moscow VPN node at times to connect to other proxies. As thousands of other parties might have done for their own reasons. In any case the leading theory does not sound convincing unless the "real" IP can be determined to not have been part of any Moscow VPN service at the time. They might have but simply do not present enough details.

Open source turns 20 years old, looks to attract normal people

John Deeb

"all happy and excited"

"And just look at the people around you in the Apple Store. They're all happy and excited"

That's because they are surrounded by expensive status-related gadgets loaded with protected IP and top notch materials? That excitement will simply not happen with any quality open source clones besides some irrelevant minority. And would aiming for the "Apple emotion" not be another form of cloning? Perens seems quite divorced from the reality of markets and constructed feelings around bands & products. And he never was exposes too much to that side I suppose, not while carrying the burden, so it can be forgiven. But perhaps please do not become a spokesperson for anything?

Kremlin social media trolls aren't actually that influential, study finds

John Deeb

Re: So, quick question

People believing the news that they could actually vote by tweeting their preference should in my opinion stay away from the voting booth, altogether. Yes, I know democracy is about the view of the "mean average" or the perhaps the common divisor, the average wisdom of the masses (yes people generally use fancier definitions) but just saying its about meaningful representation of the people means that you have to have grown up, mentally well enough developed people to represent. And democracy was born in a more idealistic age where the hopes and expectations were geared towards this very end. It was sort of assumed.

Right now, idiocracy is the unavoidable outcome of all our opinions being orchestrated through media campaigns and social networks in a world where way too many coast through life only thinking after being engaged with some sentiment. So where was I, yes, it's good that people try to vote on Twitter :)

Twitter breaks bad news to 677,775 twits: You were duped by Russia

John Deeb

same bots that helped swing

From the article: "These are the same bots that helped swing Donald Trump's 2016 electoral college victory."

Wow! This void statement from the Register probably has more weight and sub-sequential "damage" than 677,775 twitters glossing once in a while over political drips floating in the oceans of nonsense dripping from their overcrowded screens. Looking at the context and scale, the whole notion is rather nuts!

But that is the irony of this age! If Russian intelligence would have any overarching "evil" goal, then it would be to overheat and confuse the paranoid and hyper-excited Western mindset with more fake fakes and attempts at attempts which end up conflicting again with everything else implied before. And the population and politicians do the real work: self-destruction of their own narrative -- it breaks the back of nations.

Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack

John Deeb

Re: Searching for old messages in different apps = nightmare

Andy, using any application, email or chat does not free anyone from the common sense to organize and prioritize. Chat replaces, in part, telephone conversations. Did you ever use the phone in your life the way you use chat programs? How did you store things then? On random scripts of paper? There are digital equivalents (hard btw if it's a phone app) and that's okay for pany rivate mess I suppose but not for any professional standard.

I think that we shouldn't rely on browsing through logs of conversations to extract important history. It might help but it's just as wrong as Google trying to organize random search results for you. Yes it works for many commonalities and statistics, not for the specifics and details of many particular real pressing issues.

The morals is here like in nearly every common IT project: the computer is not going to invent the organization of data for you. It can automate a few laborious process when these were already organized decently before. Big Data, yes, but this is not typically the realm of the minutes of our life.

Calm down, Elon. Deep learning won't make AI generally intelligent

John Deeb

Taking over the world?

"Taking over the world? Why would they want to do that?"

For efficiency sake? Assuming it's programmed to improve its own efficiency. Any prime directive will be overruled by introducing simulators like in the Matrix: people are not actually HURT there, are they?

But yes, it's not the human world they need to take over. Perhaps they'd settle for all the rest?

Calm down, dear: Woman claims sexism in tech journalism

John Deeb

Holly Brockwell does not deserve such supportive satire.

Holly Brockwell's rants do not appear entirely sane (welcome to the hu-man race!) but this is why:

1. Founded "Gadgette, the UK’s biggest tech site for women"

- and "always a female tech journalist". Hmm yeah, founded a tech site for women. Doh!

2. Freely disseminate strong gender based opinions on Twitter

- and "flypaper for male rage”. Hmm yes. Provoke - receive, upset, receive upset.

3. Collect critical comments and turn them into postcard to advertise site

- and receive harassing/abusive types of photographs. Wow! Magic!

4. "women don’t care about sound quality, only whether headphones will mess up their hair'.

- is actually what many women DO still worry about in life outside tech world.

5. " countless press releases about pink gadgets and sex toys, not to mention childrenswear"

- More to do with keywords and ranking. Run a few other successful websites and find out.

6. "I get more requests to talk to the media about trolling and harassment than I do about technology"

- Perhaps because it seems to be her favorite topic (stirring up more drama for business)?

7. "You’re not asked to panels about tech, but panels about women in tech"

- Because that's how she profiles her self, you know "tech site for women"?

8, "There can be 50 guys in the room, and not one of them will say a word"

- Probably because they have no idea why this one is making such a fuzz about that thing?

9. "it perpetuates the idea that if you invite a woman to your tech event, she’ll start causing trouble."

- What perpetuates that experience might be: "it always falls to me to call out sexism".

10, "I’ve been blacklisted by brands for calling out their sexism. I’ve been accused of making it up"

- It's not impossible businesses ignore those who seem a bit confused and dramatic on the issue

11, "They’re not used to women in “their” field and they preferred it when it was just the men"

- No, most men don't like the hysterical, imaginary, overblown drama SOME women seem to desire to spread wherever they go in search for dragons to slay.

That all said, there are a lot of lame, sexual insecure males out there who say a lot of stupid immature things on inappropriate moments. It's just that the blog entry "What it’s Really Like to be a Female Tech Journalist" does not address this convincingly and tells us more about the issues of the woman who tries to call out these issues. That's the uphill battle in a nut shell.

John Deeb

Re: Of course it was satire.......

Choleric " then ponder why you don't think it's good satire. "

Nah, it's just simply bad satire trying to imply it's something "more" than that and that you somehow might have "missed something" when just thinking that. The author had a dim realization perhaps of how bad it was and preempted the responses by making it all even more ambiguous sounding: hidden non-existing depths or even more layers of humor or criticism beyond the clumsy reader's grasp! A move that would be in itself satirical of feminine psychology but naturally it's impossible to establish if this was actually the case here. Ad infinitum....

Trump sets sights on net neutrality

John Deeb

Beyond all the hysterics:

During most of the successful history of the Internet, there has not been any formalized government upheld net neutrality regulation. It's unclear why people start screaming now about it. As if they would not have any consumer choice to select the company that would fit their sense of balance or fairness. As if free speech is on the line which is a case that cannot be made at all in this context at all (see eg https://hbr.org/2017/03/the-tangled-web-of-net-neutrality-and-regulation).

The Register is right, this "undoing" of Obama's regulation is near meaningless and mostly symbolic but I'd add that it's in line with the overall "conservative" principle of undoing any overbearing government regulation, nannying or interference in the market place. For the best of the worst. And frankly, nobody can be *sure* things will go to pieces. That's probably the modern hysteria "about all things" crying out again. If history is any indication, the Internet will t do fine either way as it will just adapt.

Engineer who blew lid on Uber's toxic sexist culture now menaced by creepy 'smear campaign'

John Deeb
IT Angle

"obscene and perverted situations"

What a surprise, a gazillion dollar is continuously being pumped in a dead-end enterprise, essentially based on exploiting legal loopholes for short-term sensation and somehow people are surprised obscene and perverted situations flourish as a result?

Feel free to apply the above to any current obscene or perverted situation on the globe.

NASA taps ESA satellite Swarm for salty ocean temperature tales

John Deeb

Re: Hmmm....

Love it how XKCD has the period 2000-2016 global temps rising 100X more as any medieval or roman warming. Or just that it's displayed as more rapid than two 15 year periods before that. But lets take the drawing until 2000 for science sake and still conclude the large error here is that you cannot truly compare resolutions of measurements 1970-2000 (lets say 1080p True Color video) to the lower granularity of the past (like Sinclair spectrum 256 × 192 8bits color per 8x8 squares). Stitching it together as it's one data domain is just plain unadulterated nonsense and deception. And no scientist would ever draw it -- it's reserved for cartoons and evangelists. But surprising how often it's done!

Apart from growing insights on the more global aspects of the warming periods in the last millennia (1), some decent series would be revealed by ice core studies like GRIP, GRIP2, Vostok and EPICA. And sorry, nothing like cartoon warming in there (2) but yes it's understood it's local but at least the series are consistent and resolutions kept constant.

1) https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1akI_yGSUlO_qEvrmrIYv9kHknq4

2) http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/figures/doi/10.1029/2011GL049444#figure-viewer-grl28620-fig-0001

Donald Trump running insecure email servers

John Deeb

Slight Hyperbole

"Windows Server 2003 ... went end of life *years* ago":

Mwaaah... extended support incl security updates ended July 14 2015. Which would make the core OS one year and three months and five days end of life. One could arrange for a "custom support relationship" of course but that doesn't include security updates.

Obviously this is all a irresistible honey pot waiting for liberal hackers to walk straight into :-)

It's OK to fine someone for repeating a historical fact, says Russian Supreme Court

John Deeb

rear-view mirror morality

In the rear-view mirror perspective get warped at time.

Molotov-Ribbentrop including the secret protocol appears as typical eastern-Europe hyper-realistic reaction to the Munich agreements in 1938. The desired "united front" came later when there was willingness to have one as well in the West.

Putin wrote himself in 2009: "Today we understand that any form of agreement with the Nazi regime was unacceptable from the moral point of view and had no chance of being realised,"

Rear-view mirror morality. The only available perspective in the West although it's often turned the wrong way, used as looking glass towards anything East.

Silicon Valley's contribution to the US Republican Convention: Gayness

John Deeb

Founders Fund

"We have already gone to Mars. Maybe Thiel thinks we should go each year?"

A bit of partisan hacking there. Obviously he was talking about efforts to establish a base, manned missions and so on. This should have been obvious checking e.g. Thiel's Founders Fund public statements at : http://foundersfund.com/the-future/#

"We believe that the shift away from backing transformational technologies and toward more cynical, incrementalist investments broke venture capital". (and more details on aerospace there).

Mars and other missions, so far, do not contain actual "transformational technologies" but "cynical, incrementalist" innovation (bigger robot, cooler landing, better mechanics). From the perspective of spaceflight economics and reliability these increments and modes revolutions do make sense. Curiosity was a big step actually considering the many new technologies involved. But Thiel is from a crowd which aims higher and more ambitious.

Or perhaps he justs desires to get better returns again from a worn out economical model in a tired world?

SCADA malware caught infecting European energy company

John Deeb

What a conjecture

""It appears to be the work of multiple developers who have reverse engineered more than a dozen antivirus solutions"

What a conjecture! Reverse engineering antivirus solutions or reverse engineering recent state-sponsored malware caught in the wild which would contain already much of the basic know-how, what's the difference exactly?

Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS

John Deeb

dad might have a point

"No tweets, no YouTube, no likes, no killings, court told"

Hmm, dad might have a point though in terms of social theory. The violence as inherent to the social fabric, as on earth as in online heaven.

FFS, Twitter. It's not that hard

John Deeb

features not bugs to solve

Kieren McCarthy is wrong on a fundamental level. All the problems listed are fundamental to the design of product and company, not a bug, mismanagement or feature to invent your way out. Some of the suggestions in the article are just called "BBS" the last decades and that will, by its very nature, never be able to move fast, which is the very chaotic nature of Twitter.

Twitter is Twitter because of lack of much, if any, proportional control and a general lack of reason or sense. The nonsense and abuse is part of its very secret formula. Remove the one, you're removing everything.

Twitter will last as long as people don't get tired of it. And probably they will. Then we put it into some Open Social network where protocol and client diversification rules and we're done. Give it five years so sell your stock before then.

Flying filers and Game of Thrones: Jon Snow? No, latency is dead

John Deeb


Or since they moved to LInux, they couldn't play that Windows based home-brewed MMORPG any more. And behold, productivity soared! Or at least, that would have been a more interesting angle. But I guess the Register needed the extra cash and couldn't even afford the usual rewrite and tart-up any more for such infomercials? And why still pretend, they must have thought. Better just pipe-line it straight to consumers, as they should know better. Some truth to that, as well.

Watch it again: SpaceX's boomerang rocket lands on robo-sea-barge

John Deeb
Black Helicopters


When seen from an engineering perspective this development is impressive, very impressive. But so was the Space Shuttle program...

From a scientific and economical point of view however, the quintessential American approach of SpaceX might be more bravado than being actually viable or interesting on the longer term. Simply because of the harsh realities of time scales needed to develop the technology and track record needed for safety and repeatability, any investor patience and what happens if other solutions, even with their flaws and limitations, become available way earlier and possibly cheaper.

Viability and pricing has a lot to do with track records in this business, like a >95% success record which becomes meaningful after 50 sequential launches at the minimum but need really 500 to establish any real market value. Since SpaceX operates with private money, these consideration will start to count at a global market place.

The criticisms of a few famous US astronauts and many others have been centered around this aspect: can we afford the time needed to reach that level without massive government funding to foot that sky-rocketing bill? It becomes a matter of faith. Good luck SpaceX, sincerely!

The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

John Deeb

Meaningless comparison

Meaningless comparisons! Classic computer games with the highest forms of data structuring and internal standards trying to make such a game possible within DOS age memory limits, cannot be compared with modern multi-media data transfers which are supposed to be readable on so many different devices, using only lose organization and very broad standards, using various photographic elements and cross-platform scripting frameworks.

Now lets compare a modern web page with modern day DOOM. Suddenly the world make sense and no thought is being wasted on any imaginary worrying. Whenever more space or bandwidth is created: it will be filled up. It's the doom of all ages...

All-Python malware nasty bites Windows victims in Poland

John Deeb


I fail to see the particular seriousness of the threat in this case. Wouldn't it be easier to detect since the generated code will be more predictable with all the known python optimization and libraries involved? Any environment where someone can install a payload created with whatever set of tools or in whatever language would have major problems in the first place. Or do I miss something here?

How much faster is a quantum computer than your laptop?

John Deeb

Quanum leap... in PR magic?

The only things appearing to be solidly quantum-supercharged are those press releases on QC these latter days.

The last line of that Techtime link reads interestingly: "The findings of this study are featured in a scientific paper which is yet to be peer-reviewed".

Compared to e.g http://science.sciencemag.org/content/344/6190/1330.full

"Quantum or not, controversial computer yields no speedup", Adrian Cho, Science 20 Jun 2014:

Best bet seems then to not to hold your breath.....

Wikidata makes Wikipedia a database. Let the fun begin

John Deeb

Semantics of a wrong world view

And just like the "semantic web" this will happen as well almost but in the end not really. It's not a question of tools, it's about people and the completeness/exactness problem. For fuzzy information where the existence of your planet normally does not depend on -- just a query from a student, a bragger, a tourist -- Wikistuff will, structured or not, provide your round and about, largely trivial answers. But the moment a more thorough and complex question will be launched, which aliens could be expected to do ("average wingspeed of swallows") it all breaks down very quickly unless everyone, all elements of the whole scope of the subject matter of the question without exception, will have to submit enough data to the automated gatherers to be able to distill a reliable answer each and every time. Mind you, nobody wants a database returning slightly different replies on exact queries without explanation. Well, perhaps you don't care but people with serious questions normally do.

Which brings me to the main point: Wikidata is not a serious project at all but just another attempt to get lost in ones own semantic web of lies about life. Good luck! And yes, I've been part of better funded attempts to achieve more or less the same result but the reasons these projects always failed so far were strangely denied by many (but not all) during evaluations. Rarely anyone understood why the idea is fundamentally flawed because if they did, they would probably have to take on a different world view altogether.

No tit for tat, or should that be tat for tit ... Women selling stuff on eBay get lower bids

John Deeb

Risk-averse women unite!

It's no surprise then since if it's true that they indeed found "women tend to be more risk-averse than men when conducting auctions", as the study duly notes, that this knowledge would also be known by the average, experienced trader. Hence no surprise that there's a bit more pressure. a slightly bolder attitude, to get even a better deal when a female gender is being spotted.

It's unclear what the study tries to measure though. Obviously if women on average would be indeed worse sales people, this would be culturally common knowledge (although perhaps not explicitly stated like that) and being reflected in all market places including the job market.

While this might have been more historical so than in a "modern" present, the study still notes women tend to be still more "risk-averse" with auctions, indicating the gender difference here is real enough to justify a market response based on those differences. Hence no indication of gender bias, just hard calculation and how statistically weighing our options influences our wheeling and dealing.

It's replicant Roy Batty's birthday – but hey, where's my killer robot?

John Deeb

Lack of violence

"The bipedal locomotion we're familiar with is something humans have evolved over a few hundred thousand years and it turns out it's surprisingly tricky to replicate."

This is somewhat missing the point, I think, as the tricky bit would be to have a set-up being able to adapt and evolve to that degree at all, happening gradual or accelerated artificially. Because it's not like legs have evolved in a few hundred thousand years, or the nervous systems and muscular system enabling the adaptation to specialize into, for example, bipedal locomotion. The amazing thing is the underlying "machinery" being able to develop in so many directions, when stressed to do so.

Trying to replicate this one bit will not easily lead to getting anywhere. One has to understand why the underlying basis is so damn good. Probably a lot of violence involved though, as was with the Nexus 6... which might also explain why it's a refined, basically still 19th century device and not a killer replicant on your desk.

Hacktivist pranksters stick it to the European Space Agency

John Deeb

name recognition

It's the ESA name recognition which might perk the ears but in the end it turned out they just found some abandoned mailing registration service on some externally managed site. Not even had actual ESA accounts. But nevertheless, still a signal to tidy up a bit for the agency. And it shows Anonymous are very young and dumb for even presenting this stuff as some kind of accomplishment. It's called lulz because even they realized it was nothing but the domain name which had some value here.

Yahoo! Mail! is! still! a! thing!, tries! blocking! Adblock! users!

John Deeb

One good reason to switch adblock off

Found out recently that adblock can be a bit more intrusive then needs to be. It started blocking perfectly normal Ajax requests of a script starting with "ad.." for example "adoptions" or "addons". did I say blocking? It made jquery crash and burn without any meaningful error. This is becoming malware! Yes, one could switch to uBlock but it's annoying that I've to be adding another check on browsersupport: to see if they run with this plugin!

PS: Yahoo mail sucks, who cares you get blocked. Time to move on.

BLAKE2 hash authors post code as RFC

John Deeb


Haha. It would be time for a terrible re-make, wouldn't it? With a female Blake, a half Pakistan, half Indian crew and a bit more bi-gender sounding board computer. And the ship being an actual Disney castle traveling through time. to various forested locations.

How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

John Deeb

Hmm, the reverse of this story can happen too with the "all-in-one" devices. It left me recently briefly searching for the computer case before I realized it was built into the slim monitor. Those devices are around for a while now, in defense of the good doctor. Then again, the mistaken identity between screen and PC casing is a rather common one but I personally don't find it "stupid" as the computer is in fact a computer system. That we give users systems with various switches on it for the various parts is also a bit of a design or hardware selection problem of the IT department or supplier. A coffee machine also does not have a switch for the heater, one for the pump and one for the warm bottom at various locations on the device...

US Treasury: How did ISIS get your trucks? Toyota: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

John Deeb

Re: Stones and Glass Houses

"but they funded a small number of folks who HATED the Taliban"

Like those child-raping warlords? Perhaps the story would have been less insane if actually the Taliban would have been supported at the time and not the rag tag coalition of cronies which came in its place. the reason Taliban came to power was the corruption and backwards morality of those in power. There always worse than medieval morality.

NYT 2015-09-15 U.S. Soldiers Told to Ignore Sexual Abuse of Boys by Afghan Allies


Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws

John Deeb

Re: How do you know there's scrollable content?

thames: "How about (with 14.04) you look at the right hand side of the window and look to see if the orangy-brown indicator bar is present"

I'll take a guess that your actual experience with the mainstream version of Ubuntu was limited to some custom installation where the bar remained always visible. It does not. I've cursed it to death and threw many pristine installations on various hardware almost out of the windows because I felt insulted by the makers thinking this was "progress". Now you telly me it all was a nightmare? That ended for me when I started using the latest Cinnamon. Peace at last.

Mysterious brown spots and a different kind of mouse support

John Deeb


Took a while before I realized this was not about chocolate mousse.

Fusers can become pretty hot, perhaps printing a few hundred pages with fuser temp setting high would have solved it too! Of course we might start seeing black spots appearing.

NASA announcement of MAJOR MARS DISCOVERY imminent: WHAT can it be?

John Deeb

Ocean 1001001

Most likely, it's about the presence of an underground water reservoir, being the remnants of an ancient ocean. Large enough to cause some form of water cycle: evaporation, condensation, season based accumulation, leaking back a slope (equivalent of rain on Mars), accumulation, evaporation.... There are terrestrial equivalences.

Please come back to upvote me if this is accurate enough :)

Arctic ice returns to 1980s levels of cap cover

John Deeb


The main things to take away from this article is first and foremost the clever use of the word EMBIGGENS and from the abstract of the Nature article called Increased Arctic sea ice volume after anomalously low melting in 2013:

- "it has been difficult to quantify trends in sea ice volume because detailed thickness observations have been lacking"

- "5% drop in the number of days on which melting occurred—conditions more typical of the late 1990s".

Combine this with the BBC statement by Tilling: "we've almost wound the clock back a few years on this gradual decline" and we arrive at a picture emerging showing that on top of the ongoing hiatus of "global warming", many increasing doubts on the exact number of the actual and all-important number of climate sensitivity and all the emerging data on historical sudden non-anthropogenic climate shifts over the millennia, we have now even more uncertainty, not less, about where to spend our trillions of virtual cash on --to, as usual with all spending over the trillion, deliver the world from Evil.

You've come a long way, Inkscape: Open-source Illustrator sneaks up

John Deeb

SolidSquid: "can't save as a jpeg or png anymore"

Because technically that's not a "save", the format and purpose of png or jpg being nothing near that of xcf with its layer, channel and path information.

Alternative is getting pop-ups like Libre Office about warning changing format blah blah every time you save.

ISIS command post obliterated after 'moron' jihadi snaps a selfie, says US Air Force

John Deeb

Next "selfie" from Da'esh will be then (edited) in front of a command center of the Iraqi or Syrian army. Or some US military post. But I hope the Air Force do verification first!

Amstrad founder Lord Sugar quits 'anti-enterprise' Labour party

John Deeb

sick on a stick

He noticed rather late Labour became the proverbial sinking ship -- or sick on a stick?

Analogue modems allow UNSTOPPABLE Android attack ... at 13bps

John Deeb

For targeted spying indeed another worry

The title of the article is somewhat misleading. The attack is not enabled by the modem feature, only the sustainability of an already succeeded attack vector (rogue app etc) would be increased. For example, some rogue app could be just a Trojan and the audio input through a placed, brief telephone call ("wrong number, beep-bepede-beep") could then serve various command and upload features. While it doesn't look like something of interest for massive scale operations, for targeted spying it might work quite well!

Grooveshark faces $750 MEELLION piracy payout

John Deeb

But uploading material first and pay or validate later is the whole formula for Grooveshark. It's actually a good concept and completely in tune with the broader nature of the Net (not "free" in terms of money but in terms of looser, more chaotic appearing processes and less central control) and a bit ahead of the wave simply because the music industry is massively, seriously behind -- actually it's still standing at the beach, toeing the "surf". For any music service to become relevant and "modern", in my eyes at least, a massive catalogue needs to be in place to start with. Nobody has that and there's no sign of such thing on the horizon. Grooveshark made a relevant attempt but might not escape the legal red line. What should be an example of good thinking, to drag the industry along, will be another example of the industry killing everything it doesn't like because it's losing control (while they say "money" but that's not a fact at all).

Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

John Deeb

And what about chance

What I miss in the story is the most obvious myth buster of them all: a lot is about pure chance. Or random arrangements which just work while everyone else is left studying the exact formula or magic taking place. The ones with success are always tempted to think they got some clear idea why it worked so well and the "losers" often blame themselves or some list of errors in their strategy. While it can be that, please be aware that in the end, well, just allow some room for pure luck -- like the right time, place and people happening to be there.