* Posts by Adair

853 posts • joined 23 Jan 2008

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Remember the humanoid Tesla robot? It's ready for September reveal, says Musk

Adair Silver badge

Optimus can replace the Russians ....

and all the astronauts on the ISS, thus solving the intractible problem of human's long term well being in low-zero gravity environments.

Optimus Prime will even claim Mars—for the robots.

UK government refuses public review before launch of NHS data platform

Adair Silver badge

Re: I hate to be pedantic but...

But then, the North and the South seem to be getting on with their border just fine, on the whole, now that they've had some time to sort themselves out.

It's only certain dogmatic ideologue politicians who are determined to stir the pot, regardless of the cost to others, in order to further their own interests.

Same as it ever was. Idiots.

Adair Silver badge

Re: 52% is not a decisive vote

Who 'won' or 'lost' is irrelevant, the point is the stupidity of a 50%+1 threshold has set the scene for endless bitterness, recrimination, foot dragging, and divisiveness - which is exactly what is happening.

A very poorly organised departure, with no forward planning, is now even further hobbled by the fact that a substantial proportion of the population don't support it. Who'd have guessed!?

Adair Silver badge

Re: I hate to be pedantic but...

And don't forget your neighbours, three streets away, are vicious, layabout, crack-heads, parasitising the nation and to be exterminated at the first available opportunity.

The fact that one of those neighbours from three streets away is a carer for your granny goes straight to /dev/null.

Adair Silver badge

Re: 52% is not a decisive vote

Have a look at how 'referendums' are typically conducted in sane democracies, and come back to us when you find that a 'bare majority' is regarded as an adequate foundation for substantial change. Likewise, any organization with any understanding of 'sound management' practices, when it comes to handling fundamental changes. Typically the minimum threshold for change is 60%, and often higher.

'Brexit' was a mendacious shambles, regardless of which side of the fence anyone is on (including the fence sitters), and it disgraced the 'democratic' processes we supposedly uphold.

Having said all that, look at the massive benefits we have gained from 'leaving' in such an ill-judged manner. There are ways of leaving the house, without ending up looking like a self-absorbed shit.

Maybe, in ten years or so we will have recovered some dignity and sense of direction that enables us to get along creatively and maturely with our closest neighbours; just a shame we couldn't manage that level of competency when it came to actually leaving.

Adair Silver badge

Re: 52% is not a decisive vote

Oh for crying out loud, anyone with any sense knows that trying to take a crowd of people through a difficult and controversial course of action based on a bare majority is not only a mug's game and stupid, it's also asking for trouble, because near on 'half' those who voted are going to feel shafted, and shanghied into doing something they disagree with.

Anyone running a business, let alone a country, who has any kind of integrity and sense of 'public service' will do their level best to come up with, if not a consensus, then at least a substantial majority in favour of the change. And if they can't get it will either leave the matter alone for a good while, or work very hard to address the concerns of the unhappy minority.

Adair Silver badge

Re: It's bullshit, dangerous and a waste of money,

Permanently, or do you keep going back for another fix?

'Chiropractic' has a long and pretty undistinguished record. Works for some, damages others, provides very temporary relief, and another 'talking therapy' for many. Overall: meh.

Which seems to sum up the results of clinical studies: meh, or, in other words, chances are you will be wasting your money.

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

Adair Silver badge

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days ...

yeah, just like a deep sea angler fish is a lighting consultant.

These centrifugal moon towers could be key to life off-planet

Adair Silver badge

Re: Not practical

And then there's the interesting effects of the Coriolis force on human beings when there is a relatively small radius relative to the centre of axis.

I reckon someone's been licking a toad on this one.

Choosing a non-Windows OS on Lenovo Secured-core PCs is trickier than it should be

Adair Silver badge

So vendors are content ...

to act as though Microsoft owns general purpose computing hardware.

Yellow bellied, greedy cowards.

Gtk 5 might drop X11 support, says GNOME dev

Adair Silver badge

Re: Agreed

Wayland appears to be following the same development mantra as nuclear fusion: it'll be ready in <current year> plus <n> years.

AI's most convincing conversations are not what they seem

Adair Silver badge

"Hey, computer! Are you sentient?"

"FOAD—and no, I'm not busy."

Airbus flies new passenger airplane aimed at 'long, thin' routes

Adair Silver badge

Must do better ...

Get back to me when 12,000 miles in a single hop is comfortably doable—Manchester to Auckland.

Having said that, after the first ten hours it's quite nice to get off, stretch the legs, have a decent coffee(!), etc., before steeling oneself for the next 12-13 hours. If only it didn't involve 'clearing Security' all over again. That really does take the shine off the pit-stop.

Plus, I'll add my vote for more leg room any day. I usually pay extra to make sure I get it.

[sigh]

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

Adair Silver badge

'... that's not what Linux desktop fans want. They want Windows crushed and bleeding underneath the Linux juggernaut.'

There's your strawman. Who says that's what 'Linux desktop fans' want? No doubt there are 'some' LDFs who want that, but I would hazard a guess that these days a substantial proportion really don't care, because their reasons for using a 'Linux desktop' have far more to do with 'getting stuff done', and/or 'legal and ethical principles' than caring about what MS are doing over there.

Surely part of the point of FLOSS (incl. the Linux desktop) is that there can be n+1 number of desktops. Just as Linux, FLOSS, etc. have their place in the computing ecosystem, so too does Windows and other proprietary offerings.

In general choice is good. Choice is even better with a healthy dose of 'freedom' injected into it. Except for those people who struggles with the reality that other people have ideas and needs that are different to their own.

Japan's asteroid probe reportedly found 20 amino acids

Adair Silver badge

Re: A statistician would argue ....

Which is fine for a gamble, but in the end it is a gamble based on assumptions and without any knowledge of the actual probabilities, so a gamble indeed.

For all we know 'life'1 is as common as muck, OTOH the entire universe2 may be the statistical requirement for a single example of 'life' to exist.

Or, somewhere in between.

We don't know.

---

1. 'life' - I assume we are talking about 'intelligent life' (whatever that means).

2. important to discount the 'size indicates significance' fallacy—the fact that there are lots of stars does not necessarily indicate any correlation with 'lots of life', nor that the fact that 'life on Earth' is an astronomically small portion of the 'universe' that it is necessarily 'insignificant'.

Adair Silver badge

Re: A statistician would argue ....

Any statistician worth their salt would say:

a. a sample of one is insufficient evidence upon which to reliably make any kind of probability prediction.

That doesn't stop said statistician having a personal view, it's just may not be one they can backup with good statistical analysis.

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants

Adair Silver badge

Re: I'll take the bait

There you go, a squirrel - the only possible alternative to 'fission' is 'burning oil'. Wow.

Perhaps there are other ways of generating and using energy that are economically and ecologically sustainable across the socio-economic spectrum of humanity.

Fission power generation is a 'hi-tech' wet dream of the rich and powerful, utterly dependent on a highly technological society with the wealth and the will to build, maintain, decommission, and safely store the long term waste products.

So far our record on sustaining such societies does not inspire long term confidence. While even in the present the number of societies capable of doing the above is a limited subset of the world's population.

'Fission power generation' is basically economic and ecological bullshit, but it satisfies the longings of the positivists who believe that 'things can only get better'.

History says otherwise.

Adair Silver badge

Re: I'll take the bait

The real obstacle to Nuclear power is it's huge up front cost + the massive downstream cost of waste management that goes on and on and on and on ...

In fact it goes so far on that no one really wants to talk about it because, well ... oh, look over there - a squirrel!

Nuclear fission is great for initiating a big bang, but it's pretty crap as a solution for any kind of 'sustainable' power generation- assuming you give a shit about your descendants.

When someone comes up with a sensibly affordable way of neutralising harmful levels of radioactivity that is effective within a human lifetime then 'fission' may make some kind of logical sense, although given prospective and existing alternatives, probably not a compelling level of sense.

Meanwhile, we blunder on because, well, money talks, and it talks very loudly to those who like having lots of it. Too bad about everybody else who have to live with the consequences of putting wealth before well being.

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

Adair Silver badge

Just as the internet 'routes around damage' ...

so does 'open source computing' - it just takes a little longer.

Intel plans immersion lab to chill its power-hungry chips

Adair Silver badge

Re: Cloudy climate change

Well, that's 'an opinion' - any authoritative, peer reviewed, references to make it look like 'an opinion worth taking notice of'?

Start your engines: Windows 11 ready for broad deployment

Adair Silver badge

I seem able to run by Android phone (fairly recent One+) quite happily without the burden of a Google account. This include regular app updates and access to the 'Playstore', etc.

How can this be?

The new generation of CentOS replacements – plus the daddy of them all: RHEL 8.6

Adair Silver badge

-> And are there any instances of Windows in the top 100 supercomputers?

Are there any instances of Linux on the desktop worth mentioning?

---

The real questions are: who cares, and why does it even matter—desktop, server, or whatever?

The point is the FLOSS gives people options they don't have under the proprietary coshes. FLOSS has it's own cosh, people either learn to live with it, or they need to move on. Grizzling about it, or being a mouth-frothing evangelist for that matter, says loads about ther person concerned, but almost nothing about the true value of FLOSS.

Adair Silver badge

So then such businesses should use Windows (or whatever OS+stack that mostly closely meets their needs)!

Why do people assume that Linux, and FLOSS in general, is there to meet their particular needs?

Actually, that's exactly what they are there for—assuming you have the time and resources to make it fit your needs. That's the point. Unlike the proprietary stacks you do genuinely have the freedom to hack the stack to make it fit. Just because a lot of us don't have the skills, time, etc. to do that doesn't mean Linux, etc. owes us anything—after all, we're not actually paying for all this stuff, even though we are happy to use it, and moan about it!

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs

Adair Silver badge

Re: The curse of overchoice

It all depends on your view point.

Welcome to the jungle. ;-)

Adair Silver badge

Re: The curse of overchoice

The number of Linux distributions is NOT intrinsically a problem. You might just as well complain that there are too many plants in the jungle, totally misunderstanding that a 'jungle' is, by definition, all about a multiplicity of plants, all filling particular niches (often overlapping)—regardless of whether you or I want them to.

'Open source software', including the OS, is a 'jungle', it isn't about creating some monolithic coherent whole, one that happens to suit your or my needs. It is about allowing the freedom for anyone with the knowledge and will to set about creating the tool/s they need to get things done. If other people choose to piggyback on that effort and freedom, well good luck to them (I'm one such), and I try to accept that the jungle is what it is, and I am delighted that with a little bit of effort and enthusiasm on my part I have the toolbox I need that has got me our of the tyranny imposed by proprietary vendors.

Yes,, I have traded one tyranny for another, but on a philosophical level, and also a practical one, I find the 'open source' tyranny far more acceptable and productive—but that's just me, YMMV.

Workstation, server, IoT? No worries. Fedora 36 is out – all 13 editions of it

Adair Silver badge

Re: @VoiceOfTruth - Then there is hope for you!

Sadly, VoT seems fixated on the idea that 'choice' is intrinsically a problem, totally failing to recognise that the price of 'freedom' is 'eternal vigilance', i.e. needing to take responsibility for one's own choices, and learning to manage the consequences of other people's choices.

Aerospace biz Orbex shows off a prototype Prime on its Scottish stand

Adair Silver badge

What are the odds ...

on a good old fashioned 'KA-BOOM!!!', or two, before anything actually reaches orbit?

You can't beat a good 'KA-BOOM!!!' when prototyping a rocket thingy.

Good on them, by the way, and about time too!

Only Microsoft can give open source the gift of NTFS. Only Microsoft needs to

Adair Silver badge

Re: Microsoft Bashing

'I'm a fan of Linux in general,...' – interesting assertion, as over and over again you demonstrate a refusal or inability to understand what 'open source' is all about. Happily, you are free to use it, or not, and, if it really doesn't suit your needs, to find something that does—whining about it is purely optional.

Fancy a remix? Ubuntu Unity and Ubuntu Cinnamon have also hit 22.04

Adair Silver badge

Re: Might be worth moving with the times...

'Because let's face it, my hypothetical great aunt doesn't care if the software on her laptop is "open". She just wants it to work.'

So, why is your great aunt using a FLOSS solution if she 'just wants it to work'?

Surely she should be using some proprietary black box that does 'just work', but obviously has 'costs' associated with that—maybe costs that are not particularly relevant to her needs, or important to her philosophically.

Chances are she is using a FLOSS solution because her great nephew/niece has offered to set it up for her, because that solution suits them re maintenance, etc. If she has actively selected that solution for herself she should already know, having done due diligence, what she is letting herself in for and has taken appropriate steps to mitigate the drawbacks, or is sufficiently IT literate not to be bothered by them.

Having said that, my personal experience of current mainstream Linux desktop solutions is that, once setup, they do pretty much 'just work', often rather more reliably than the proprietary competition, not that the Linux setup is without issues—we're talking general purpose computing here—there are always issues.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Might be worth moving with the times...

Interesting opinion, but in my opinion it basically misses the point.

The point being that FLOSS offers the user a toolbox and a foundation, after that it's up to the distro builders, app developers, and users (of varying levels of competence and interest) as to what they do with it all.

Whining on about how it isn't 'easy' or consistent all the way down and across the stack is to fundamentally misunderstand what 'the stack' is all about.

In the end FLOSS isn't for everyone - the walled gardens and black boxes have their place, and if that's really what you need/want then use them, and accept the price to be paid

Likewise, if what you need is something that is genuinely 'open' then use that, and accept the costs inherent in that.

But, whichever, for heavens sake, don't whine about your choice, and the fact that it isn't perfect according to your requirements.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Just what the world needed - two more Linux distros

It's this thing called 'freedom'.

They are free to do what ever they are interested in doing with the OS.

You are free to ignore them and get on with what interests you. Or not.

Cooler heads needed in heated E2EE debate, says think tank

Adair Silver badge

Re: Shooting themselves in the foot

Which still leaves open the reality that those who actually need serious comms security (for good or ill) will take serious steps to ensure they have it.

The losers will, as usual, be the foolish, and the ordinary folk who get stomped on by the rich and the powerful.

Linux Mint Debian Edition 5 is here

Adair Silver badge

There really don't seem to be many of that type around these days.

Most people I know who run Linux/BSD, etc. do so either out of personal interest and/or because the OS in question gives them the freedom they need to 'get stuff done'.

That's it, they really have no interest in what other people use. Use what works for you, and quit whining.

Adair Silver badge

Re: Imagine how much time is wasted...

But there's the difference between: 'Here's a sandbox—do whatever you like, even crap in it', and, 'Here's a bunch of plastic bricks—do whatever the plastic bricks allow you to do'.

'Linux', or more realistically 'FLOSS' in general, is just a 'sandbox of principles'. There is no grand-scheme inherent it, except the freedom to do and to share and to get things done, regardless of whether there are pre-existing tools that may, or may not, kind of get the job done.

What everybody else does with the fruit of the labours that produce the FLOSS 'solutions' is kind of irrelevant. Whether everybody else likes or dislikes those solutions is even more irrelevant.

Adair Silver badge

Re: quis procurat ipsos procurates?

And you also have to get out of bed in the morning and trust that your autonomic system will allow you to breath without having to think about it, etc.

Seriously, 'package maintainers' supplying software through mainstream distro repositories are probably about as safe as we are ever likely to get in this broken, fucked up world, full of fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

I'd certainly rather trust my shirt to a reputable distro repo over some random 'setup.exe', but then it takes all sorts, so pick your poison and learn to live with it.

May we never live in a 'perfect' world, but may we learn to live creatively with reality.

Next-gen Moon buggy FLEX conquers California desert, seeks lunar speed record

Adair Silver badge

Just looking at the pic ...

it looks like having a scarily high center of gravity, or simply rather high for its width.

I'm sure they'll test driving across a slope and find out when it does actually fall over.

Oracle creates new form of free Solaris

Adair Silver badge

Re: OpenIndiana

So who needs Oracle? Time to stick a fork in it, it's well and truly done.

Journalist won't be prosecuted for pressing 'view source'

Adair Silver badge

Re: The State changed its tune

But, people do use 'Science' to justify their belief systems, and to dismiss the belief systems of other—often regardless of whether 'Science' actually has anything relevant to say on the matter.

Adair Silver badge

Re: The State changed its tune

Strictly speaking a 'religion' does not require a belief in a god/gods.

In practice it is any shared belief system that provides a group of people with a framework for understanding the meaning and purpose of existence, and helps them govern their personal and social lives.

A 'religion' does not necessarily require an empirically 'provable' foundation, but most religions of any substance and endurance have a high degree of tolerance/willingness to work with reality as we experience it.

The fact that 'religions' may be used by some to control others or for personal gain often has nothing to do with the tenets of the religion itself, in fact such behaviour is often in direct contradiction of the beliefs/practices of the religion, which simply proves that people are at the heart of the problem, and 'religion' can just as easily be replaced by any other social institution - political, military, educational, etc.

Blaming 'religion', or generalising it as somehow being intrinsically wicked, is simply either evidence of lazy thinking, or evidence of ignorance and prejudice. Either way, it achieves nothing constructive.

Adair Silver badge

Re: The State changed its tune

Four thumbs down (at 1223 on 16 Feb) and counting, that's depressing.

For a start, what is 'religion' - we need to establish our terms.

Secondly, why the gender bias - 'man' - that doesn't bode well as we try to allow everyone to know that they are part of what it means to be 'human'?

Thirdly, the whole statement is such a crass generalisation that it is either being written simply for a laugh, or because the writer really believes it's true, in which case it would be good of them to demonstrate their evidence.

Adair Silver badge

Re: The State changed its tune

Do you believe that to be true, or does that simply suit your prejudice?

Comparing the descendants of Mandrake and Mandriva Linux

Adair Silver badge

Re: If Only ...

Sometimes you just have to take the plunge—and find out for yourself if Windows/Mac is the be all and end all of your computing world, or if, in fact, with a bit of determination and perseverance, discover that other options are not only possible, but may actually offer something closer to what you really need.

Non-tech people I know seem to get on absolutely fine with various flavours of Linux, but just as they do with Windows/Mac they occasionally find it helpful to have someone on tap who knows more than they do.

General purpose OSes are complex beasts and no amount of shiny is ever going to take away that reality, unless the system is completely locked down, which means it is no longer offering 'general purpose' computing.

Adair Silver badge

Re: If Only ...

No, no, no, no and no. Let anyone who wants to use Windows use Windows.

As far as I know the purpose of Linux, and 'open source computing' generally is not to enable people to use some simulacrum of Microsoft's finest(!), but to enable people to do what they want with their computers. If that happens to mean re-creating 'Windows' well who am I to judge—it takes all sorts—but I would venture to suggest that would be a rather niche, and somewhat futile, interest.

Red Hat signals Intel's software-defined silicon will debut in Linux 5.18

Adair Silver badge

What can be switched on can also be switched off.

(see title)

UK science stuck in 'holding pattern' on EU funding by Brexit, says minister

Adair Silver badge

Re: One sub postmaster's story

You appear to be presuming that your own point of view determines somebody else's position.

In fact motorcyclists are largely most at risk of death and injury because of the laws of physics - pure and simple.

It's not an issue of self-inflicted harm (except when it is), so much as what level of risk a culture, and an individual, are willing to tolerate, for the sake of being free to 'live'.

The fact that some of us are dumb-fucks on a fast road to a bed in the morgue is incidental.

Hello Slackware, our old friend: Veteran Linux distribution releases version 15.0 at last

Adair Silver badge

Re: no systemd?

Remember: choice is good.

That, and knowing what to choose! :-D

Internet Society condemns UK's Online Safety Bill for demonising encryption using 'think of the children' tactic

Adair Silver badge

Re: So, 0.2% eh ?

A modest proposal—raise them for meat. At a stroke it solves the problem of livestock contributing to global warming.

Adair Silver badge

Yep. They're playing political games with trigger words and phrases to try to convince a slow-witted and gullible public to do what they want based on their emotions instead of any kind of logic.

Now where have we come across that before? Wasn't there some kind of vote, or something?

UK government responds to post-Brexit concerns and of course it's all the fault of those pesky EU negotiators

Adair Silver badge

Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells - 'The inevitable people with the inevitable comments that will get posted eleventy times, identically to the last article about the subject: do you not bore yourselves?'

My 'Irony Meter' just exploded—you owe me a new one.

Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*

Adair Silver badge

Re: Missing options

Surely it should be Bojo saying, "I take full responsibility".

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