* Posts by boltar

3032 posts • joined 15 Oct 2008

Angular framework support brings Microsoft's Visual Studio into line with its way cooler little brother, VS Code

boltar Silver badge

Re: Another Feature (see icon)

I used VS for the first (and hopefully last) time in my last job, I'd used unix command line tools since then. I couldn't believe how obtuse and awkward to use VS was. Need to update include paths? oh, its just an option buried 3 levels deep and you have to use some grotty crap font textbox that looks like it was last updated when Gates was still CEO. Ditto link paths. WTF? Want to see detailed error output during compile (err yeah, that might use useful) - just enable this option, Sorry? Why isnt it on by default? And why does VS insist on choosing the application type? What if I want a console application that also uses windows? OK VS, show me where this function is defined , oh, you need 2 minutes for intellinoblloodysense to build its indexes first do you? Dont worry, I'll just use cygwin grep then.

I couldn't want to get back to a few xterms on linux with edit-compile-run-debug. Simple and effective.

Wrap it before you tap it? No, say Linux developers: 'GPL condom' for Nvidia driver is laughed out of the kernel

boltar Silver badge

"B) Makes it ILLEGAL to use their low-end/consumer cards for GPU compute."

Illegal in the USA maybe, most of the rest of the worlds courts would just tell them to go take a hike if they tried to prosecute.

Boeing confirms it will finish building 747s in 2022, when last freighter flies off the production line

boltar Silver badge

Re: Sad to see the queen of the sky’s go but won’t be flying in a 737 Max

If Boeing built a new plane the airlines wouldn't have a choice so thats a non argument. They'd have had to recertify for the new plane or for airbus but recertify they would. Airlines should decide the interior decor and what dresses the trolley dollies wear and leave the rest to the manufacturer.

boltar Silver badge

That opening nose is THE selling point of that freighter

Its all very well for freight companies to think the current fleet will do for now , but no other civilian aircraft currently on the production line can or is planned to have nose loading facilities, so when the current 747Fs with nose loading are put out to pasture what will they do? I doubt Boeing will restart the 747 line and you simply cannot transport significant sized cargo such as vehicles without nose loading so unless they plan on hiring something from the miitary they'll be screwed.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Sad to see the queen of the sky’s go but won’t be flying in a 737 Max

I don't quite understand this thinking that just because something is old and has survived it means its particularly good. The 737 was good for its time - its not good now and the only reason its still around is Boeings accountants decided it was much cheaper to continue flogging this tired horse. The short landing gear is something that cannot be changed and that means engine choices and mountings are restricted which is how we ended up with MCAS in the first place. Also they cant widen the cabin without redesigning the entire airframe. The 737 should have been binned years ago and a whole new airframe designed.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Sad to see the queen of the sky’s go but won’t be flying in a 737 Max

I suspect once the 737 Max goes back into service MCAS will be the safest system on the plain it'll have had so much scrutiny. However I wonder what other systems Boeing has cut costs on in that aircraft that haven't been checked out so I wouldn't be happy flying in one either. Not that I'm a fan of the 737 in general , its cramped and showing its airframe design age.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

boltar Silver badge

"And my boss wonders why I have a Mac at home. It's not much better (and it certainly doesn't look much better on the UI front any more these days, unfortunately), but at least it (sort of) works."

The advantage of using a Mac isn't the GUI , some of which - like the menu bar permanently glued to the top of the display and app menus scattered between that and in-window menus - is still firmly stuck in the 80s, its the fact that you can open Terminal and get a unix shell with all the standard unix tools and a decent unix dev enviroment. That for me was the reason I bought one and I've yet to regret my decision and i speak as someone who has run linux at home for years (and still do).

Class move, Java. Coding language slips to third place behind Python in latest popularity contest

boltar Silver badge

Re: I Wonder...

I had to use a Pi at work to act as a serial <-> TCP go between. Python wasn't even considered as power consumption (and heat generated in the Pi 4 by the CPU) was an issue so it was C from the start. We did't need or want extra CPU cycles sucked up by the interpreter. I'm not really sure why a language like Python is so popular on a semi-embedded system such as Pi. You need a certain degree of nous to use one as a controller so why use a scripting language like Python to do it when most embedded systems use C/C++?

boltar Silver badge

Programming language popularity contests are like Ms World

Its never the most attractive one that wins, its the one who wants to hug puppies and spread world peace. Similarly with languages its never the one most people use or like, its the one everyone THINKS they should use and like because it has hyped up qualities that probably arn't 100% accurate.

NoSQL Cassandra developer community sets sights on JDK 11 as sped-up 4.0 beta finally hits the streets

boltar Silver badge

Re: They want performance but they wrote it in Java?

There's nothing olbligatory about using shared pointers or temporary objects with C++ threads. In fact for performance and greater functionality you can simply use posix C pthreads (on unix anyway) in C++ which are a thin wrapper to the raw OS interface.

boltar Silver badge

They want performance but they wrote it in Java?

Err, yeah. Obviously someone thought that was a good idea, probably after an evening in the pub.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Will people come back?

Thats the whole problem with NoSQL databases. Your document format has to match your problem. But as soon as the requirements change and the document format is non optimal (or worse upside down) you're utterly screwed because non optimal can mean doing the equivalent of a nested table scan for every document for every query. Sure, relational DBs can suffer from relationship and normalisation issues too , but the relational nature of the DB, the ability to modify indexes and primary/foreign keys plus SQL itself usually mean you can usually still get reasonable performance even as the DB design and the requirements diverge quite a long way. Try and modify the document format in a NoSQL DB and you'll probably break everything.

Capita's bespoke British Army recruiting IT cost military 25k applicants after switch-on

boltar Silver badge

Re: When I was young...

Well they wouldn't be very busy because you're not going to get a stream of people queing to join the army but 1 recruit to them is probably equivalent to a thousand shoppers at Tesco.

As for terrorist targets , well yes, but then anything was a target for the IRA. Ask the parents of the children those psychopaths blew up.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Next step: outsource the whole military to Capita...

The medical hospitals would be full of soldiers with holes in their feet..

boltar Silver badge

When I was young...

... back in the 80s they had Forces recruiting centres. Why not bring them back? Not everything works well online and when I went to one to have "the chat" I realised pretty quickly that I probably wasn't suitable for a life in the Army. If I'd done an online application god knows how much of my and their time I'd have wasted befire I'd come to the same conclusion.

The volcanoes on Venus aren't dead, say astroboffins, they're merely resting, pining for the planet's lava fjords

boltar Silver badge

Re: Makes sense

It would take one hell of an impactor to make it intact down to the surface through that atmosphere.

boltar Silver badge

Makes sense

37 volcanos don't suddenly go dead in a few million years in a 5 billion year old planet that's almost the same size - and therefor probably has almost the same core heat - as earth. Venus doesn't have plate tectonics (as far as we know) so unlike on earth volcanos won't die as the crust moves past the hotspot , they'll probably simply build up huge pressures until they blow - rinse and repeat for a billion years. Plus the 400C surface temp of venus will make the rocks somewhat more flexible and deformable than on earth so making any eruptions more likely all other things being equal.

Nokia 5310: Retro feature phone shamelessly panders to nostalgia, but is charming enough to be forgiven

boltar Silver badge

Re: There's also room for two SIM Cards

I very much doubt its 2G only if for no other reason that modern chipsets do 2,3 and 4G.

boltar Silver badge

I still use an old style nokia phone from the 00s

Why?

A) Size - it fits nicely in my pocket

B) Touchscreens have their place - I own a tablet - but a device I want to operate in my pocket by touch while I'm out an about requires physical buttons

C) The battery life is still a week with moderate use

D) It does everything I need a phone for (calls, SMS, FM radio)

E) its now so old its gone from being a get-with-the-program-grandad relic to being a retro talking point with other people :)

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware

boltar Silver badge

Re: It could at least have printed an error message

The codec is only a small part of it, you have an entire Linux OS inside and youd need a factory rest image of the entire thing.

boltar Silver badge

Re: It could at least have printed an error message

I think the problem there would be cost. Even an embedded a linux distro isn't small and adding a few hundred extra megabytes of memory to a microcontroller isn't cheap.

boltar Silver badge

It could at least have printed an error message

I'm guessing it's running Linux and bdpprog segfaulted on the NULL. Any mission critical process should catch SIGSEGV and at least log an error before it dies. Yes it may be so corrupted that crashes again anyway but at least it tried. Or failing that have a parent process that catches a crash and fails nicely even if it's just a shell script but I'm guessing that was too much effort and bdpprog was being called direct by init. Of course from a geek perspective it would be nice if any failure resulted in a drop into a shell so you could plug in a USB keyboard and try and fix it.

Black hole destroys corona

boltar Silver badge

Re: Boggle of the Day

It depends how close the star is to the black hole. The gravity of stars is pretty strong (its 20G at the suns surface) so they dont give up their mass easily.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Inifitely long from our perspective...

What is never mentioned is that by the time something finally enters the black hole the external universe could have ceased to exist and the black hole itself could have evaporated. God knows how this would seem from the objects POV but I suspect this is where theory runs out and speculation begins.

This week of never-ending security updates continue. Now Apple emits dozens of fixes for iOS, macOS, etc

boltar Silver badge

Correct me if I'm wrong

But don't all apple devices share the same Darwin kernel (at source code level, not binary obv) just with different sets of drivers? In which case a bug in the kernel would affect all their devices.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Flaky Catalina

I wish they'd fix outstanding bugs too. My Mac Mini only managed to scale the screen properly on my TV on startup on one particular Mojave release (can't remember which now). It was broken before that release and they rebroke it after and ever since. Oddly if you switch the TV on after its booted to the login screen its fine, but if you switch the TV on first then you can't see the finder bar and the dock is almost off screen. The biggest issue is booting into recovery mode as in that case it makes no difference when I switch the TV on - you can't see the menu bar and can't access the display control panel to change the scale. Nice one Apple.

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree

boltar Silver badge

Re: *Reaches for the tinfoil.*

If the russians or chinese has breached twitter they'd sit on it until a really advantageous situation came up. They wouldn't waste it on scamming a few grands worth of bitcoin.

boltar Silver badge

If there is a mole inside the company with system privs..

.... there's nothing the company can do to mitigate an attack until its happened. Hopefully they'll find this person and throw the book at them. While it might seem amusing to do it from various CEO accounts imagine if it had been from a hospital/government/police/large media provider account saying there'd been a new mass pandemic outbreak/terrorist attack etc.

Brit retailer John Lewis to catapult 111 tech bods over to Capgemini weeks after dumping 244 on Wipro

boltar Silver badge

Ah yes, outsource your IT to cut costs when in trouble

That always works so well. They should go have a chat with Alex Cruz over at British Airways to find out how to really nail it.

Rust code in Linux kernel looks more likely as language team lead promises support

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

Linux is increasingly being used in cars and not just in the ICE system so that subset of C just went out the window.

boltar Silver badge

Re: "No competent C developer...."

And how would Rust have prevented that? Plenty of languages have bounds checking built in at runtime but that uses up CPU cycles which is exactly what you don't want inside a kernel or device driver that may be time critical down to microseconds.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

"floats leaking memory content for example"

Huh? How?

"Even stuff as innocuous as this can get you RCE -

size_t len = userSuppliedNumber;

unsigned char buf[len];"

Innocuous? No competent C developer would allow the user to potentially blow the stack like that.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

"A true high-level language"

You don't want a high level language with all its runtime crap in kernel code. You want something that compiles to assembler explicity -ie what the code says is what it does in assembler, no extra auto generated wrapper code. Thats one of the reasons C++ hasn't yet been used in the Linux kernel, there's too much implicit code generated by the compiler.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

"You can use pointers in unsafe blocks but you'd have no reason to except at a boundary interface"

Good luck access anything that requires raw memory without them and if Rust is to be used in the kernel it'll be doing that frequently and if it has to be used in unsafe mode to do so then it has zero advantage over C.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

Once all the nasty stuff is encapsulated in libraries C is no more dangerous to use than any language. There's almost no reason for raw malloc() or free() or raw arrays to be used in any application of any significant size once in house libraries are deveoped for it.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Is there a reason we need YAPL?

"Rust stops those same issues at compile time or with an orderly panic at runtime."

It can only stop it at compile time if it doesn't allow raw pointers full stop as the compiler would have to run the code to find out if any pointer would ever be incorrect. And runtime checking is all well and good, but it introduces a runtime overhead which in a kernel situaton you REALLY don't want.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

boltar Silver badge

Re: Proudly ignorant

"Stop the nonsense. A few changed words will not covert bigots to saints"

Indeed. In fact what it does do is lend credence to the bigot's argument along the lines of "there, told you so, anti racist campaigners are ignorant fools who are trying to tell you what to think so nothing they say is worth listening to". Unfortunately the kids shouting and screaming for these changes don't have a good enough understanding of human nature to realise this.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

I'm waiting for the BLM clowns to clock the Black Country are and start mooing about it being racist, not realising it comes from the huge quantities of coal that used to be mined there. But then you can accuse BLM and its hangers on of many things but knowledge of history is not one of them.

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

boltar Silver badge

Re: As I read that

They got your credit card details from somewhere so you must have given it to them at some point since I doubt your bought the car on a credit card so Mazda or the dealer couldn't have given it to them.

Rip and replace is such a long Huawei to go, UK telcos plead, citing 'blackouts' and 'billion pound' costs: Are Vodafone and BT playing 'Project Fear'?

boltar Silver badge

There is no such thing as an ARM processor. ARM is simply a kit of parts that processors can be built from Lego style and nothing in that approach precludes building in spyware in the hardware. In fact it makes it a fuck load easier.

And FYI thanks to the fuckwittery of UK politicians ARM is now owned by Softbank who are japanese. Only in Britain could the inbred ruling elite allow the crown jewels of our tech industry be flogged to the highest foreign bidder like some horse.

boltar Silver badge

If you seriously believe the source code Hauwei released for examination was everything in their systems then theres a bridge for sale you might be interested in. A piece of networking kit has multiple microcontrollers and CPUs all running their own bespoke firmware and the chances of anyone noticing if some code from one seemingly harmless chip on the corner of the board has not been fully disclosed is close to zero. The only way to be 100% sure what is on the chips is open then up and read the bits in the EEPROM direct.

AWS attempts to woo devs with new tool aimed at porting .NET applications to Linux

boltar Silver badge

Why would I want to use .NET?

I've worked as a programmer for almost 2 dozen companies over my career and only 1 of them cared about cross platform code. And they used Java. Why would any unix house even using Cloud want to use .NET? Even if the portability mattered the C# dev tools on Linux are dreadfull so why would they bother? Seems to me .NET core is just a way for MS to get a foot in the door of Linux and hope that once enough code had been written in C# that it would be very expensive to move to something else, a pointy hair would think "Why dont we just switch to Windows and run it there?"

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

boltar Silver badge

Re: The future is behind you ....

Agreed apart from reusing the spectrum. 20Mhz of band 2 is useless for any digital service other than PMR these days and as for the 1.1Mhz in the AM band, pfft, forget it. You'd have to pay someone to use it. The problem with AM broadcasting in the UK is the transmitters are huge, old, power hungry and spare parts are becoming a problem.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript

boltar Silver badge

Re: I'm smarter...

Just look like old style AI bot posts. Hidden markov model trained on register comments perhaps.

It's not a Windows 10 release without something breaking so here's a troubleshooter for your OneDrive woes

boltar Silver badge

Re: Craig Federighi needs to go, his track record is abysmal. Just works? Catalina anyone?

I'm on the latest version of catalina. No issues at all since upgrading from Mojave. The only thing I had to do was disable the use zsh nagging when opening a terminal into bash.

Scala contributor: Open source and diversity key to tackling dev skills shortage

boltar Silver badge

IT is already diverse

The amount of south asians working in it is testament to that and its about as meritocratic industry as you can find so any more calls for diversity is just virtue signalling gesture politics. Sure, there aren't many women in it and do you know why? Because it doesn't interest many of them despite them having just the same access to dev equipment and training as the boys at school and college. Some people just wont accept that men and women diverge in what they find most interesting and what they want to do as a career but keep pushing a sexism agenda for their own cynical purposes.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

boltar Silver badge

Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

Everything you say is true but the problem Cobol has is that the sort of applications its used in are, to be blunt, as dull as hell. Not many people want to spend their entire career manipulating data tables when there are far more interesting things to do these days compared to the 60s and 70s.

boltar Silver badge

Re: "COBOL programmers of the 2030s?

ITYM \tmp. And you expect me to believe you just happened to create it when windows has \temp as standard? You're full of it pal.

boltar Silver badge

Re: Another problem of a monolithic monster kernel

Message passing micro kernels have been around since the late 60s so its not like no one has ever heard of them. If they were a good idea almost every OS kernel would be implemented that way. But they're not and their main problem is (ironically) overall system complexity and speed - or lack thereof. Message passing for basic OS functions might seem like a great whiteboard idea but in reality its a dog slow, overcomplex solution to a problem that doesn't exist.

After six months of stonewalling by Apple, app dev goes public with macOS privacy protection bypass

boltar Silver badge

What's wrong with standard unix user-group-world and access control lists?

Why did Apple feel the need to roll it's own security system only to screw it up?

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