* Posts by Steve McIntyre

69 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Nov 2007


Imagination licenses RISC-V CPU cores for smart TVs, IoT, embedded stuff

Steve McIntyre

Comparing performance to the Cortex-A53 is a bit deceptive...

As that's a decade-old CPU designed for lower performance and high efficiency...

Happy 20th birthday Gmail, you're mostly grown up – now fix the spam

Steve McIntyre

Re: "fix the spam"

Exactly. Google is the single largest source of spam here too, with absolutely no way to usefully send spam reports. They abuse their position to get away with this. Anybody else would be black-holed.

Kernel kerfuffle kiboshes Debian 12.3 release

Steve McIntyre

Patch dependencies are nothing like package dependencies

I think you're a bit confused here...

Anyway, due to great efforts by some Debian folks we managed to get a fixed release out in record time. 12.3 was the shortest-lived point release ever.

Massive thanks to the people who went above and beyond at short notice, for the sake of our users.

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers

Steve McIntyre

HP can go and die in a fire

They used to make good stuff and care about customers, but that stopped years ago. I'll never buy anything from them again, and I advise friends and family to do the same.

Mozilla treats Debian devotees to the raw taste of Firefox Nightly

Steve McIntyre

Security updates and browsers

There's a difficult line here.

We absolutely do *not* want to break things and/or take major changes in stable releases, but in some cases it's just way too hard to backport fixes. If you've ever hacked on a browser, you'll understand just how complex they are. At some point, we have to make a judgement call on the best way to roll out fixes. That's what you're seeing here.

Long-term support for Linux kernels is about to get a lot shorter

Steve McIntyre

"If you aren't paying for it, just use Debian", says Greg K-H

- You HAVE to take all of the stable/LTS releases in order to have a

secure and stable system. If you attempt to cherry-pick random

patches you will NOT fix all of the known, and unknown, problems,

but rather you will end up with a potentially more insecure system,

and one that contains known bugs. Reliance on an "enterprise"

distribution to provide this for your systems is up to you, discuss

it with them as to how they achieve this result as this is what you

are paying for. If you aren't paying for it, just use Debian, they

know what they are doing and track the stable kernels and have a

larger installed base than any other Linux distro. For embedded,

use Yocto, they track the stable releases, or keep your own

buildroot-based system up to date with the new releases.


Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser

Steve McIntyre

Tree Style Tab FTW!

Vertical tab bar and more on Firefox...

SAP admits HANA Cloud makes for multicurrency messes

Steve McIntyre


Surprised that a version of SAP is not fit for purpose? Say it ain't so!

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 as a Linux laptop

Steve McIntyre

Re: T14s

Typing this on a T14 gen 2, complete with on-board RJ45. No hassle...

Version 252 of systemd, as expected, locks down the Linux boot process

Steve McIntyre

Mixed-mode UEFI boot (64-bit kernel on top of 32-bit UEFI)

Debian was the first distro to support this, to the best of my knowledge. I wrote a trivial kernel patch and some grub changes to make it work better!

We still support this feature today, although most of the machines that ever needed it will have been killed off by now.

Steve McIntyre

Re: we can dream

Wow, you're exaggerating...

"the senior devs at Debian quit and formed Devuan rather than use it" is garbage. A *small number* of Debian developers may have moved, but the vast majority stayed around.

-- Steve, former Debian Project Leader, DD since 1996.

Big changes coming in Debian 12: Some parts won't be FOSS

Steve McIntyre

>Audio firmware? I don't believe there is a text to speech reader (Knoppix Adriane is pretty good for those >interested)

The Debian installer has included text-to-speech for a number of years already. Newer machines are starting to need audio firmware to be able to use that at all, and we care about supporting blind / partially sighted users.

UK response to China's tech ambitions labelled 'incoherent and muted'

Steve McIntyre

Re: Say 'Thank you' to the moronic Brexiteers

Wow, do you ever stop trolling?

Linus Torvalds says Rust is coming to the Linux kernel 'real soon now'

Steve McIntyre

Re: Seriously, are programmers that bad?

Yes, seriously - programmers are that bad. All of us. I've been a professional software engineer for 25 years, doing lots of C (and other languages) along the way. I've genuinely described myself as "thinking in C" at various points.

However, I've lost count of the number of times that I've seen *good* programmers make mistakes, myself included. C makes it *very* easy to make certain kinds of mistake, and as an industry we *keep on* making those mistakes. Rather than just push the "find better programmers" argument, can't we try and improve the tools too?

You can keep your old ERP system, but you'll still need ServiceNow, CEO tells The Reg

Steve McIntyre

Re: Why

ServiceNever was the obvious name that it acqured at my last company...

Fedora starts to simplify Linux graphics handling

Steve McIntyre

Re: I actively use nomodeset.

It's not going to drive it, in fact. In several of the clouds the transition to UEFI and Secure Boot is already coming. New features will drive adoption...

Study: How Amazon uses Echo smart speaker conversations to target ads

Steve McIntyre

Amazon are gonna Amazon

If you're silly enough to pay them for a bug in your home, don't be surprised when they use it against you.

Dowden out, Dorries in: Is UK data protection in safe hands?

Steve McIntyre

Re: Just *stop it* Boris

It's not possible at this point - in the rush to force Brex*hit to happen, all of the Tories with any actual talent or skills were purged.

Cyber insurance model is broken, consider banning ransomware payments, says think tank

Steve McIntyre

Re: Whither the gray hats?

"It seems like there is a ripe market for mercenary hacker bands who will hunt down ransomware scum and their ilk for retainer + bounty. Where are those guys?"

I've been wondering similarly for years about how to kill spam(mers).

UK watchdog fines two firms £270k for cold-calling 531,000 people who had opted out

Steve McIntyre

Not enough spammers on fire

That's the level of deterrent that's needed here.

And just like that, Amazon Web Services forked Elasticsearch, Kibana. Was that part of the plan, Elastic?

Steve McIntyre

Re: You can't put the genie back in the bottle

Absolutely this. Think very carefully about your choice of license.

Don't just follow the herd if you're going to care about how and when others can use and distribute your software. Equally, do *not* come up with your own special-snowflake license unless you have *very* good reasons...

Leaked memo suggests LG is thinking about quitting the smartphone biz in 2021

Steve McIntyre

Still loving my G5, too

It's been reliable as anything for ~4 years, replaced the (trivially replaceable!) battery a couple of times. Nice features, good price.

Debian 'Bullseye' enters final phase before release as team debates whether it will be last to work on i386 architecture

Steve McIntyre

Re: 17 more years to go until 2038 kills 32 bits for good

There are options to run a 64-bit OS on top of those even so - I made Debian installation work on Bay Trail machines for exactly this setup. Grab a multi-arch netinst image and you're good. It just needs a 32-bit version of Grub, then everything above that is 64-bit.

Steve McIntyre

Re: Debian Bullseye 32 bit

> Being 32-bit reduces the memory usage significantly.

And probably significantly reduces performance and efficiency.

Running really old machines is actively bad for the planet, beyond a certain point.

Qualcomm pays $1.4bn to acquire ex-Apple and AMD Arm server chip engineers (and the biz they set up)

Steve McIntyre

So YA promising-looking ARM server option is DOA

And wave goodbye to good upstream Linux integration etc.


Microsoft is designing its own Arm-based data-center server, PC chips – report

Steve McIntyre

Re: AMD <3 ARM too

The A1100 was good, but AMD killed it a while back already and deleted the future roadmap. :-/

Arm has 11 months to hire 490 UK techies. Good thing there isn't a pandemic on. Or, say, Brexit

Steve McIntyre

No part-timers???

Before I bailed on Arm earlier this year I personally knew several engineers working part-time there. I'm not aware of them having left since...

GRUB2, you're getting too bug for your boots: Config file buffer overflow is a boon for malware seeking to drill deeper into a system

Steve McIntyre

Yes, as I wrote in the Debian advisory linked from the article. It may take a while for the dbx update to roll out, but it is qiute likely to cause trouble when it lands.

Admins beware! Microsoft gives heads-up for 'disruptive' changes to authentication in Office 365 email service

Steve McIntyre

Started looking at developing support for this in offlineimap, but...

OAuth2 is an utter PITA to support. Every imlementation looks different.

Apple Mac Mini 2011

Steve McIntyre

Typical Mac

Pointless, over-expensive hardware designed to appeal on looks alone.

Galaxy Tab still legal in the Netherlands

Steve McIntyre

If you want something better...

then just go and buy a netbook/laptop already.

Apple patent disputes Xoom towards Motorola

Steve McIntyre
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-1 for the link to Mueller

He's consistently waging a negative campaign against Google and Android, and writers at the Reg and elsewhere are continuing to lap it up.

Apple sued over Mac OS X 'quick boot'

Steve McIntyre
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A patent system *cannot* work...

once the lawyers get involved. The initial idea for patents was great and worthy, but doomed to failure once the field was taken over by the IP lawyers. The only way forward is to remove the system altogether. Or shoot all the lawyers.

HP Envy 17 3D Core i7 laptop

Steve McIntyre


Big, heavy machine. Use it as a "laptop" and you'll burn yourself or cut off circulation. Go buy a desktop if you want something this big...

Most Adobe Reader installs are out of date

Steve McIntyre

All Adobe's fault

PDF used to be a nice, simple format that you could trust. But that wasn't enough for Adobe to continue to sell new versions, so they started adding extra crap like Javascript. Guys, we DO NOT NEED scripting in documents we're sharing.

Now your options are to continue on the Adobe treadmill (spending more time downloading and installing updates than actually using the software), or to switch to something more secure instead.

Western Digital to offer Windows-based small storage

Steve McIntyre

User limited?

For a storage appliance? That's the Windows effect for you *giggle*

NHS told: freeze all Microsoft spend

Steve McIntyre

All together...

Troll troll troll troll...

Amazon swallows UK online bookseller

Steve McIntyre

Time to find another bookseller then

I refuse to give money to Amazon.

abebooks.co.uk are being reasonable at the moment for me.

Samsung NS310 netbook

Steve McIntyre

Crippled with Windows 7

And expensive too because of it. With 2GB or more of memory and a bigger resolution screen instead this would look more like a sane system.

Lenovo Thinkpad X220T 12.5in tablet PC

Steve McIntyre
Thumb Up


I'm on my 4th Thinkpad X series laptop at the moment: all bought second-hand with my own money, run for a few years with Debian and then sold on still with more life left in them. I won't buy anything else.

Aside: nice to see Orlowski not trolling!

Pixmania users report scam-spam bombardment

Steve McIntyre

Same here

I've specifically mentioned "failures in data protection" etc. when talking to them, but they're still sticking to the "contact the sender to unsubscribe from the mailing list" line. Numpties.

I'm about to contact the ICO to see what they can/will do.

Steve McIntyre

Me too

I had exactly the same spam, again to a specific address given only to Pixmania. I've been pestering their "customer care" people about it, but no useful answers yet.

Websites should notify European users about privacy breaches

Steve McIntyre


The ICO will continue to do f*ck all regardless of what's in the regulations.

Facebook, HP, and OpenStack join Linux patent shield

Steve McIntyre

Yawn - more crap from Mueller

Don't post quotes from him - he's utterly discredited...

UK is a closed source 'stronghold'

Steve McIntyre

Naive, or deliberately trolling

"If you've paid for software and it doesn't work, then you shout down the phone till someone fixes it."

Or until you shout yourself hoarse, maybe. The vast majority of *all* software sucks. Whether open source or proprietary. There are big wins with the open stuff, though, including:

1. typically you've not just paid a fortune and locked yourself in to it;

2. even if *you* can't fix the code yourself, it's possible to find somebody else who *can* if the original vendor can't / won't / goes bust

But as you're yet another person who seems to claim / believe that open source == free in cost and therefore worthless, I doubt you'll even understand the argument here.

Government needs to bring IT skills in-house

Steve McIntyre
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Nothing to do with IR35

Fix the problem, rather than finding a "way around it". IR35 just closed loopholes for lots of people who were taking the piss on the taxation front.

Spanish whispers on Microsoft and Nokia

Steve McIntyre

Too late...

"some sort of MeeGo device that the company is obliged to launch as a toy to mollify the hackers and geeks"

It's already too late - the hackers and geeks have already written off Nokia. The N900 is a lovely phone (if just ~3 years too late), now Nokia are dead to us.

Patents do not protect small firms, says trade body

Steve McIntyre

Spoken like someone with a vested interest...

Of course you're going to support them.

It's clear to the majority of the people actually working in technology industries that the patent system is broken. That's intentional, and down to the lawyers. Who benefits from it? Oh, the lawyers...

'Wear levelling' - a bedroom aid for multi-layer cell Flash

Steve McIntyre
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Some minor technical mistakes here...

I know it's not the main part of what you're saying here, but please try to be correct in what you're writing as background material too...

"NAND flash cells have a finite life, in that they only support a specific number of writes": Surely you mean "limited" here rather than "specific"?

"Flash is not byte-addressable, unlike disk drives and DRAM." Last time I checked, disks need to be read/written in (typically 512-byte or more recently 4096-byte) sectors.

Ten... sub-£50 budget MP3 players

Steve McIntyre
Thumb Up

Excellent timing

Was just looking at music players over the weekend for a Xmas present.