* Posts by Bartelby-wasPiLS

7 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Jun 2009

Homer Simpson speaks out on satnavs


Colour me unimpressed

It's giving the directions with dimwitted comments attached? How lame. Now if it would have led you to the nearest donut* joint, fast-food or steakhouse no matter where you really want to go, /that/ would have been funny**.

* or is it doughnut?

** yeah, I know, not really feasible for a voice, but one can dream...

Opera to take web back to the old days


It's going to find its target

Methink some people will find that very nice. I run the standalone, full-fledged servers I need already (and no, no Apache on my personnal machines, I don't personnally host websites that would need it!), but some users are going to love that!

And the air-brained paranoid types here spouting stupid stuff about paedos, spam or botnets should think twice, learn how servers work, and probably RTFA too. As I understand, most of the traffic will be filtered by Opera (but for the P2P bit I suppose. Good luck exploiting that). It can raise privacy issues (yeah, booh-hoo, some people I don't personnaly know are going to see the content of my website, who woodafunkit?), but it should guarantee a quite decent security (especially against the ever trendy XSS-type attacks).

Google cloud told to encrypt itself


How much did MSFT pay?

I mean, it's not like you should do anything sensitive in "the cloud" anyway. It's not like they didn't provide the https option for the paranoid types (how many people do encrypt their e-mails routinely in the first place anyway?). So there must be a hidden agenda. Who could possibly want to put some pressure (and bad rep) on Google? Asked another way, is this mob going to demand that the new Opera services use explicit SSL encryption exclusively?

Microsoft fans call for Opera boycott


@ lifelesspoet

"The retail versions should have a browser because without one they won't be able to download an alternative."

That's technically very wrong, but I get your idea. The average Joes will wonder where the intertubes are if they don't see the blue e. Hey, why not tell them then?

'Alien' lifeform wakened from 120,000 year Arctic slumber


Tiny but deadly...

If I remember well, The Thing (the Carpenter's one at least) is also tiny, tiny, tiny... roughly the size of a mammalian cell, which admittedly makes it a couple hundred times larger than /this/ particular alien, but it might have been a monitor resolution problem... after all, if we switch from Blair's console to HDTV, we might notice that the entities he was "observing" are actually aggregates of hundreds of these tiny purple-ish things...

Blubber-wrapped Linux kernel 2.6.30 hits the decks


Bloat: explanation

Actually the Linux kernel is quite good. What I meant by "bloated" is that it does a lot of things that are not supposed to be the kernel's job. It does a nice job of it, too. But at some point it causes problems. Amongst others, as highlighted by the numerotation silliness, it makes evolution a hard, arcane process. A microkernel that does its kernel job, and only his kernel job (which is basically assigning CPU time to task, or the other way round if you prefer) and let outside "servers" deal with almost everything else, makes more sense. More compat work involved (and, admitedly, a lot of compat problems to be expected when you mix servers and kernel of different ages), but still makes more sense. The module approach is a sort of compromise, but as a result the kernel still ends up doing many things that it shouldn't be doing.

I don't mind rebuilding modules each time I fiddle with the kernel, but as a famous -though fictional- scrivener put it, I'd prefer not to.

And also, as I said, modules are only a compromise, which means that not only do I have to build most of them by hand, but also I have to install a whopping 300 MB package if I want reasonable basic hardware support (OK, not Linus' fault, my distro is to blame here, but it's part of the "kernel does what kernel shouldn't do" problem). Which means keeping two such packages concommitently in the relevant partition -albeit for a short time- upon upgrade. And this is a no-no on most of my machines. I could just increase the size of said partitions, but again, I'd prefer not to. Or I could just use a large virtual machine to compile the bare kernel, build the modules, create my package and deploy that. But I'd prefer not to. And it would still be needlessly large. With a microkernel and suitably backward-compatible servers, I would be able to upgrade the whole system, minute amounts at a time. It allows for faster developpment and easier vuln patching, too. GNU's Hurd seems promising to me. I'll be waiting for it to be ready, reporting problems from time to time... or I could contribute more actively, but of course, as you'll have understood by now, I'd prefer not to! ;-)

iPhone owners are superior beings, says survey

Jobs Horns

So where do I stand?

I don't make gazillions but I'm reasonably wealthy, I do keep a PhD diploma in a drawer somewhere in case it could be useful someday, I do privately own >15 machines -of which a whopping two run MSwindows (one doesn't even dual-boot a real OS yet, but I got it only last week), none AppleOS nonsense, a couple OpenBSD, one DragonFly BSD and a couple more exotic stuff such as HURD or BlueBottle -the rest run various Linux distros. I also manage a whole lot more machines (mostly Windows ones, unfortunately) as part as my job, I therefore fancy myself as a reasonably wealthy, somewhat educated and moderately tech-litterate punter. I still don't own a *erm* mobe, let alone a smartphone (don't even get me started on the iPhone). Do I qualify for a prize or sumfin'? Like, a "I'm not a retarded teen-like peer-pressure-driven 30-yo social-status-addict twat"? I could put it on the shelf with my "no-life lab-and-'puter geek" trophy. My better half would be delighted. Or not. (but she's biased, she owns a MacBook).