* Posts by Avalanche

133 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Apr 2008


Palantir boss says outfit's software the only reason the 'goose step' has not returned to Europe


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WTF? Potty-mouthed intern's obscene error message mostly amused manager


About 20 years ago, I worked at the help desk of a software company. One day, a colleague took a call from an employee of a customer. That person thought he was being pranked by his colleagues, because every time he logged into our application, he was greeted with a message that he was a dick, and he wanted to know how he could undo it.

After some panic on our side, and asking around the company, it turned out it was an Easter egg one of our developers had created after he had become annoyed with (or by) one of our software testers, and entirely forgot to remove it before release. Unfortunately, the employee of our customer had the same login name, triggering the condition for showing the message.

The customer could laugh about it, and the developer got a stern talk from one of the owners, and I believe he had to audit our software for similar Easter eggs...

Four in five Apache Struts 2 downloads are for versions featuring critical flaw


Re: So…..

Maven Central is effectively write-once. Once deployed, artifacts are not removed (except maybe in cases of copyright violation). They don't want to break reproducible builds, and people rely on this. Removal of artifacts with (security) bugs can have all kinds of knock-on effects, including problems for people trying to reproduce problems with a specific released version.

Experienced Copilot help is hard to find, warns Microsoft MVP


You're thinking of GitHub Copilot. Microsoft, following a long line of questionable naming choices, has decided to use the "Copilot" name for a number of other AI-related projects...

Does Windows have a very weak password lurking in its crypto libraries?


Re: That's great and all, but...

Given it is a self-test, it is probably run when the library is loaded to verify the library works correctly.

Oracle's revised Java licensing terms 2-5x more expensive for most orgs


Re: Java will not die...but it will be used much less

More likely, people actively using Java will move away from Oracle Java, and instead use one of the other vendors (if they haven't done so already), like Eclipse Temurin, Microsoft, Azul, Amazon Coretto or others.

Microsoft's Azure West Europe region blew away in freak summer storm


Re: Fibre underground is not effected by storms they strung it on poles...

At least near Amsterdam a lot of trees were uprooted by the storm, this can easily rip out fiber lines and other utility lines close to a tree.

Why ChatGPT should be considered a malevolent AI – and be destroyed


Re: Gross misunderstanding of the tool

> Repeat after me. ChatGPT IS NOT AI. ChatGPT IS NOT AI.

You seem to have a gross misunderstanding about the scope and meaning of the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Computer Science. This definitely falls within the scope of that field. You may want to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artificial_intelligence and other resources.

You seem to think that AI only refers to computer-based human-like intelligence, but it does not, it ranges from simple knowledge systems that are basically a complex "if-then-else", through systems synthesizing information (like ChatGPT), all the way to the holy grail of AI, computer-based human-like intelligence (which is probably decades away, if even feasible).

Thunderbird email client is Go for new plumage in July


Re: See me after class

You need to take those numbers from Litmus with a bit of salt, because they rely on information obtained from remote images (tracking pixels) shown in your mail client. And Thunderbird doesn't show remote images by default (I think, or maybe I just configured it that way a long time ago). On the other hand, users of mac and iPhone are not so privacy sensitive, instead usually opting for a graphic rich experience which will include those tracking pixels.

Second, they are only tracking information from clients who test and publish their emails through Litmus (i.e. so those tracking pixels get added), which somewhat limits demographics (by the customer-base of those Litmus customers, and privacy-sensitive users opting out of the type of emails which are generally tracked by Litmus).

Experts warn of steep increase in Java costs under changes to Oracle license regime


Those companies should use Java from a different vendor than Oracle. Problem solved.

Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months


Re: 2 million sign ups daily average

That was the number of bots that were found in manual samples *after* automatic detection of bot accounts had been applied. It said nothing about the total number of bots that signed up.

W3C's planned transition to HTTPS stymied by legacy laggards


That depends on which Java distribution you use. There are still Java distributions available without any licensing costs (e.g. Temurin from Eclipse Adoptium).

Gmail and Outlook sitting in a tree, not t-a-l-k-i-n-g to me or thee


"The problem appears to be related to POP3 and IMAP access; if you're connecting to Google's servers using those services, then sending and receiving email could be a challenge."

Especially sending email would be a challenge that way, as neither POP 3 nor IMAP is for sending email. That would be SMTP.

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest


Re: Cooperate with LibreOffice

OpenOffice/StarOffice used to have a mail client back when it was just open-sourced. It is good that thing was killed.

if dev == woman then dont_be(asshole): Stack Overflow tries again to be more friendly to non-male non-pasty coders


Re: Might the very thing that makes it so successful

You are aware those are links to other sites on the Stack Exchange network, with different topics than Stack Overflow? If not, you may want to familiarize yourself with how Stack Overflow (and Stack Exchange in general) works.

Brexit has shafted the UK's space sector, lord warns science minister


Re: EU big, EU right

The specific projects in question are EU projects that are contracted out to the ESA. So it is not an ESA project, and as the EU foots the bill, they decide who works on it. There are also some security-related issues which they only want EU members to handle.

Email proves UK boffins axed from EU research in Brexit aftermath


Re: Is anyone surprised?

You do realise that this 'consortium', is a research collaboration between university research groups: they work together on projects and to obtaining funding. They decided they didn't want to bother with the headaches of the brexit, and they therefor decided to kick the UK-based scientists out of their collaboration.

So this isn't about EU funding tiself and some 'unelected' bureaucrat deciding that the UK doesn't get funding. It is about researchers deciding they no longer want to work together with researchers in the UK because of the uncertainty of the timeline and the effects on the cooperation and funding.

Star Trek Beyond: An unwatchable steaming pile of tribble dung


Great movie, more Star Trek than previous ones

I watched the movie last night in a marathon with the previous two movies. I entirely disagree with this review.

The pacing was good, the story clear and well-told, with the right humour at the right time, and it was a lot more "Star Trek" than the previous two movies (maybe even the previous four).

I might just go and watch it again next week.

UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'


Re: smart meter

"Oh, and my current washing machine uses hot water from my hot water tank, heated directly by gas... more efficient than the EU mandated cold fill on modern machines..."

Citation needed. As far as I know there is no such EU mandate.

Discworld fans stake claim to element 117


Re: A Wizard's Staff Has A Knob On The End

Better to be off by 109 than off by 110 ;)

Flawless Dutch does for cuffed duo in CoinVault ransomware probe


The Dutch "een" doesn't sound identical for "one" and "a". They sound different, but are written the same (optionally you can use accents to stress that you mean "one", although usually the context makes this clear already).

Ahmed's clock wasn't a bomb, but it blew up the 'net and Zuckerberg, Obama want to meet him


Re: A picture at last

That picture suggests the case is +/- 10cm by 20cm (based on comparisons with a US powerplug I have here, and the 9V battery socket). Usually briefcases are larger than that.

Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep


Re: SourceForge is so dated

That is quite simple: inertia. Having to move your project(s) to another hoster takes time and effort that you can also spend on developing new features. If your project is relatively large it requires coordination (which adds discussion). If you don't have a good reason to move (or the reason is not urgent enough), then you stick around until it does become urgent enough.

White House forced to wade into Oracle vs Google Java bickerfest


Re: Considering the number of languages that are built upon the JRE, yes - this is a major bork

Languages running on the JVM are not an issue, as they are **using** the API and implementation as provided by the - licensed - JVM implementer (for example Oracle itself, or IBM). As such they are not in breach of copyright.

Google on the other hand **copied** the API and made an unlicensed implementation. That is the issue at stake here.

In other words your post is FUD.

FREAK show: Apple and Android SSL WIDE OPEN to snoopers


Re: keyword: either

You are missing the point: older versions OpenSSL will happily accept the export RSA when it didn't ask for it.

Ugly, incomplete, buggy: Windows 10 faces a sprint to the finish


Re: looking for apps

> OS X handles this by displaying the most recently (or most frequently?) used app first.

> Doesn't surprise me that Windows does it in a way that's inconvenient and bad.

And so does Windows 8... Why do people make negative assumptions about software they don't use?

Mom and daughter SUE Comcast for 'smuggling' public Wi-Fi hotspot into their home


Re: Hope they win.

Usually, talking about cable, the potential bandwidth is larger than the bandwidth provisioned to your account. The bandwidth for these free wifi hotspots are usually provisioned separately from the bandwidth of your account.

So apart from potential increased congestion in the local area, or signal problems degrading the available total bandwidth, these free hotspots do not have any impact on the bandwidth of the subscriber.

Holy sh*t! Amsterdam man in pop-up public toilet shock horror


Re: He was on a Moped/Brommer

No, according to https://twitter.com/020centrum/status/538643078157193216 he was a custodian or maintenance tech (the word used is "beheerder", which translates to administrator but in the context it is probably maintenance tech, or maybe a street-supervisor/custodian).


The twitter link (https://twitter.com/020centrum/status/538643078157193216) referenced in the article says he was a "beheerder" (custodian, maintenance technician?). So it likely happened when he was working on removing the scooter (moped) or servicing the loo itself.

Apple, Google mobe encryption good news... for TERRORISTS – EU top cop


The ECHR describes a minimum set of rights assigned to all. Countries can have (and do have) laws that assign more rights to their citizens. Your claim that ECHR would cancel out broader and more inclusive rights is bullshit. More likely UK politicians used it as an excuse to remove rights.

Latest Firefox and Thunderbird updates plug CRITICAL SSL vuln


You can configure it to update automatically (I believe that is even the default).

Mozilla gaffe exposed 76,000 email addresses, 4000 passwords


Re: "Mozilla gaffe exposed 76,000 email addresses, 4000 ENCRYPTED passwords"

From the linked article "The encrypted passwords were salted hashes"

Microsoft parades Windows 8.1, the version you may actually want


Re: Start Icon != Start Menu. This the problem.

Then just hit the "charm" in the lower left corner (I believe, could be the upper left).

Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!


Desktop 'dumped'?

Windows 8 didn't dump the desktop; I have it in front of me right now. Yes, it is bothersome to have to press Windows+D or click on the desktop tile, but except for this and the missing start button it works exactly like before.

So saying that Microsoft dumped the desktop is an exaggeration.

Sony Xperia T Android smartphone review



I don't see why the plastic should be a problem or be considered a negative point. My Xperia X10 has a plastic backside and after 2+ years it still looks good, no scratches or other signs of wear and tear.

Now if I would buy a Sony again is a totally different question though... Their handling of upgrades for the X10 was annoying to say the least, and the 'eye-candy' is mostly useless IMHO.

Dutch unleash intelligent robot bins: No ID, no rubbish


Re: Aaaah, the bins

Depending on the cities, there is usually no paper bin, instead a recycling company does a weekly round to pick-up paper. You just leave it boxed or bagged by the side of the road (some cities do provide a paper wheelie bin if you have a lot of paper or don't like boxing or bagging).

With regard to the council tax: you usually do get one bill (eg single or multiple household waste processing, council tax based on the value of your house etc).

Hipsters hacking on PostgreSQL


@Hieronymus Howerd

Maybe my sense of the English language is flawed, but where do I uses 'childish namecalling'? I state that [I think] "Matt Assay knows nothing" and qualify that further. Nowhere do I call him names in my opinion.


Matt Assay knows nothing

I think this article clearly illustrates that Matt Assay actually knows nothing about software development, databases and actual usages. In the real world, relational databases are still the norm and NoSQL solutions are virtually non-existent.

People running around in the VC world or hipster communities may think otherwise (as indicated by this article), but those are the facts. For most data storage problems in software development relational databases are just fine and usually a hell of a lot more trustworthy and future-proof than NoSQL solutions.

Yahoo! bureau! chief! sacked! for! Mitt Romney! racism! jibe!


Re: Hoooooo-lee Shitttttttt

You know: not everyone here is a native speaker. In some countries, America is spelled 'Amerika'... maybe you should get off your high horse.

Why Java would still stink even if it weren't security swiss cheese


You can do that with the proper java.policy file, but it is really a pain in the ass to configure correctly.

Oracle won't pull plug on Java SE 6 until 2013


Switching to Java 6 to Java 7 has nothing to do with language

The problem for most companies to switch from Java 6 to Java 7 has nothing to do with changes in the language, but mostly with having a new version itself. I am not aware of any language change that is not backward compatible (as in code written for Java 6 will still work in Java 7).

Most of the problems are with resistance to change or lack of corporate reasons to change, and platforms that only (formally) support running on Java 6. Also for some reason companies are a lot less weary of updating point release than updating to major release. Add to that the lack of exciting new features in Java 7 (with the exception of try-with-resources), and there is no real good reason to spend time and effort to switch.

All-in-all Java 7 was a disappointment, and now it looks some of the exciting things which mere delayed to Java 8 will be delayed to Java 9....

MIT boffins play BUILDING-SIZED Tetris


This news is so 1995...

It was done in 1995 on the Delft University of Technology, faculty of electrical engineering: http://web.archive.org/web/20080119060815/http://www.etv.tudelft.nl/vereeniging/archief/lustrum/90/english.html

Billionaire astro mining venture long on hype and timescale


Re: Protector

They are talking about "Protector" the book by Larry Niven and related (short) stories in the 'Known Space'-series.

Euro climate probe Envisat silenced, boffins baffled


Re: Poor planning...

ESA is not part of the EU (although the EU is a member of ESA). So this has nothing to do with 'EU bureaucracy'.

Iranian coder faces execution 'for building smut websites'


Re: Oh dear

The guy lived in Canada, he was only in Iran to visit his sick father. Even then: is writing a tool to upload pictures, which is subsequently used by others to upload porn really a good reason to imprison let alone execute someone? (IMHO there is never a good reason to execute someone).

Lets execute Vint Cerf for creating TCP/IP as it is used for transferring 'orrible things around the world (and not to forget: IP infringment), and lets not forget Tim Berners-Lee for creating that abomination called the World Wide Web! Put them to death for all atrocities other people committed with their inventions/products!

EU asks why credit cards are so expensive


Two different machines

As far as I know there are two models of train ticket machines in The Netherlands, one type does not accept creditcards, only debit cards, the other type does accept creditcards. The machines only taking debit cards are more widely available. This is largely not a problem as people in NL are more likely to use a debit card than a credit card (only a minority has a credit card here).

Dutch clog up The Pirate Bay (again)


@ShelLuserBrein not funded by government

Brein is an organisation funded by the (Dutch) Entertainment Industry, not by the Dutch Government

Former coder, NASA 'naut to lead DARPA starship dream



The whole idea behind the project is:

1) fund research into relevant technology and sciences,

2) get money out of spin-off products and patents,

3) invest that again in more research,

4) ...

5) profit!

Do that until there is both 1) the technology for intersteallar flight and 2) the money to build a ship.

I believe something similar was proposed in several classic science fiction books.


Where can I invest?

I might not see its flight, but I want to invest! Where can I apply?

Swedish college girls now twice as slutty as in 2001


Skewed results

It is a survey under students that used the University's health service. Maybe there is a correlation between 1) slutty behavior, 2) non-use of condoms, 3) contraction of STDs and 4) contacting the university health service as oppossed to people not needing health services at all or contacting their GP instead?