* Posts by Rich 2

994 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


AI spam is winning the battle against search engine quality

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Re: Maybe…

Fucking phone! Correction -

“It took a lot of manual effort”. Not mental effort

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…it’s time to go back to how Yahoo! did things when it first started? That it’s, a manually curated list of useful websites ordered by category.

They gave up on this approach eventually because it took a lot of mental effort to maintain and Google started generating much better search results.

Well, one of those reasons is well and truly dead in the water!!

OpenBSD 7.5 locks down with improved disk encryption support and syscall limitations

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Re: I love OpenBSD

“Here, try it on my test box. It has Win10, FreeBSD, and 6 Linux distros, spread across 2 SSDs, one shared global home partition and one shared global swap partition.”

That’s not in any way a realistic platform to install ANY OS on. It’s bonkers!! If I wrote the installer I would be tempted to make it deliberately fail just to prove the point

And does anyone dual-boot anything these days? Never mind quadruple (or however many it is) boot?

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I love OpenBSD

I used obsd fire years to run my server and laptop and my main reasons basically match the summary at the end of the article; it’s incredibly simple. The configuration is very obvious. Stuff isn’t hidden away. The base processes can be counted on a few fingers. It just works.

Unfortunately, I’ve been using Linux for the last …something… years now instead. All those attributes I mentioned above that I love? Yea - I miss all of them

And in case you are wondering (and I’m sure you’re not), the reason I started using Linux instead ….yea …. Why did I??

Oh, and as for the unfriendly installer. I never found any part of obsd unfriendly. It’s quite annoying to see this opinion persisting

What happened to agility and new business models? Cloud benefits have all gone to IT

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Re: Bollox - `Humble Pie'

"It is not much of an exaggeration to say that Europe's growth ambitions will hinge on its success in the cloud. Companies that effectively integrate gen AI in their transformations may achieve up to seven times the ROI of their peers for each migrated business domain. Such potential makes incorporating gen AI into cloud adoption a 'must-explore' action for successful cloud journeys."

That really is some top-shelf bullshit (for best effect, read it slowly, letting each word sink deep down into your bowels before going on to the next word). I would be proud to come up with some pointless, vacuous, meaningless gibberish like that. I'd have it on a T shirt and everything

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Re: The migration of IT workloads to the cloud is benefiting tech departments?

Re point [1] - How many businesses are actually in this camp? Fluctuating demand may be a thing for a startup, or maybe when businesses are merging or expanding. But once things settle down, I question just how many are constantly in this situation

Re point [2] - Yea - that one has more legs. But these days, off-the-shelf turn-key stuff can connect your offices together. You can then centralise any meaty stuff in one office

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"Nineteen out of 20 companies say they have improved operations – in terms of security and quality, for example"

How do these businesses know that security has improved?

I'm strongly guessing that they don't. They just read some marketing crap from the remote server - sorry "cloud" - vendor and that says "we have some security", and they have taken it at face value.

And an improvement in quality? Quality of what? What are they measuring?

This is bollocks

Also, maybe the reason most are only looking at the IT savings angle (such that it is - for now), and not the "agile business ...whatever" is because the "agile business ...whatever" can happen regardless of whether you are using your own servers or someone else's. So moving your stuff to someone else's servers isn't going to make a jot of difference to whether or not your "agile business" stuff happens or doesn't, or in what form, except that it might be more unreliable, and probably less secure (though apparently not!) of course

Sleuths who cracked Zodiac Killer's cipher thank the crowd

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“dictionary - a book explaining how to pronounce a word“

I think the reason dictionaries are rarely used for looking up pronunciation (relative to how often they are used to look up what a word means) is that hardly anyone (relatively) understands the pronunciation hieroglyphics

Academics probe Apple's privacy settings and get lost and confused

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Re: Not just security

Location tracking IS satnav. Just saying

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Not just security

The issues highlighted are valid and I completely agree. But it’s apple settings in general that are an issue. The problems I have include;-

- some settings can be on or off. But it’s not always clear what “on” means. So do I want the setting on or off?

- the settings are generally inconsistently worded and operate inconsistently

- the settings are spread over many menus and are very poorly grouped and often difficult to find. The example of Siri is classic

- I hate the fact that the “WiFi” hot-key has been made effectively useless because it’s no longer on and off; it’s on or “paused” (switches on by itself at some point in the future)

- why isn’t there a hot-key for satnav on/off? Rather than it being buried in a menu? And why does it ask if “I’m sure” when I switch it off? S far as I know it’s the only setting that does this

German state ditches Windows, Microsoft Office for Linux and LibreOffice

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Re: Outlook/Exchange ?

Yes, POP is sub-optimal.

But there is IMAP which works very well in my experience, despite what someone above reckons.

As for SMTP - yes it has issues but right here and now your email wouldn’t get very far without it - try it

And not “everyone” has moved to web based applications for email (not sure what an “app-based” platform is)

As for MS365 being “better functioning” than anything else, please Scotty - beam me up

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Re: Outlook/Exchange ?

VM’s are fine if they are just used as containers. But when you use a VM to run stuff that won’t run natively - as a sort of desktop app extension - then you end up having to shuffle data between the two environments. Which is possible, of course (you can use shared fish space) but becomes a real pain In some scenarios (sharing external devices etc)

Microsoft slammed for lax security that led to China's cyber-raid on Exchange Online

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Ha ha ha ha….

Microsoft? Focus on security?

That’s the best one I’ve heard all week - thank you SO much

Here - have an irritating talking paper clip as a token of my appreciation

In other news, “we take the security and privacy of our customers very seriously….”

Cloud server host Vultr rips user data licensing clause from ToS amid web 'confusion'

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More scummy companies

“You hereby grant to Vultr a non-exclusive…”

How exactly did Redit users take this “out of context”? It seems pretty bloody unambiguous to me.

It really is tiring reading “we take …bla bla… very seriously” with the expectation that their customers are going to think “oh ok then - sorry for raising the issue. Have a nice day”.

I wish the politicians would wake the fuck up and just make this kind of crap - plus a boat-load of other crap like tracking etc - illegal. Just flat illegal. No wiggle room for interpretation.

I bought a coat today from North Face (from a real shop; not online). In order to get a discount on the price (which was advertised) they wanted my name, email address, DOB, and I had to tick a couple of boxes to sign up to shit that I wasn’t the least bit interested in. Obviously what I gave them was completely fabricated but how many people today didn’t fabricate their details. It’s a fucking disgrace

PostgreSQL pioneer's latest brainchild promises time travel to dodge ransomware

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Re: Why the cloud?

Actually, that’s a good point. How is this EVER going to work without some AI in it??? It’s a crazy idea - not a hope in hell

Rich 2 Silver badge

Why the cloud?

Why does it matter where this is running? Isn’t an in-house server the same as someone else’s server (the latter now often being referred to as “The cloud” for reasons that escapes me) except the in-house solution is probably more secure?

Meta accused of snarfing people's Snapchat data via traffic decryption

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Re: Shirley Knot

I suspect most people are shocked. One would expect this sort of thing to only be perpetrated by a low-life scummy business run by a psychotic narcissistic fucker.

Google's AI-powered search results are loaded with spammy, scammy garbage

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Re: The results will keep getting worse as long a you keep using them


Ask Jeeves was just a front for massive user data harvesting. It was much worse that Googlies (If that's possible) in that respect.

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Internet search is broken and has been for a long time

Sadly, even Kagi seem to be going down the "AI" toilet. I think it may be optional though. For now

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: Internet search is broken and has been for a long time

"AI was supposed to be the saviour of search engine results"

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.....

Sorry :-)

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: The results will keep getting worse as long a you keep using them

I'm not sure I agree - filtering can only go so far. If the likes of DDG are filtering on results already provided by Googlies and Boing (which they are) then that doesn't fix the issue that almost all of the most useful results have already been filtered out, or (at best) relegated to page 100 of the results that are returned.

Oh for the good ol' days of Alta-Vista. It may not have been perfect but it was orders of magnitude more useful than Googlies of today.

Good news: HMRC offers a Linux version of Basic PAYE Tools. Bad news: It broke

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Re: It's 2024

And it’s that kind of poor education and thinking that infects the base quality of software written today.

Which is one of the reasons an awful lot of modern software is utter crap

Uncle Sam's had it up to here with 'unforgivable' SQL injection flaws

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Nobody cares

I once ran a retail website for some time. It was based on open source code which I modified extensively to fix stuff and make it work the way i wanted.

During the inevitable visits to help forums and contacting various authors of this web stuff directly taught me that nobody gives a shit about security. If it’s there already then yea, why not use it? But if it’s not, most devs seem more interested in being able to change the colour of a button or track their customers then actually bothering to address the problem.

Incidentally, the same goes for the banks regarding credit card fraud. I contact my bank - The Bank of Scotland - to tell them about some dodgy credit card use I’d found in the logs. I had some useful details. They didn’t give a shit either.

Row breaks out over true severity of two DNSSEC flaws

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Does anyone care?

Apart from the protagonists in this silly spat, does anyone give a monkeys what the faults are called or what number you assign to them?

This very much reminds me of those terminally dull meetings where people discuss at mind-melting length what to call a jira ticket and how many points to assign to it, and whether it's a "story" or an "epic" or a "ten volume encyclopedia" (ridiculous names for a ridiculous discussion - jeeeez - where did I put those razor blades?)

Some 300,000 IPs vulnerable to this Loop DoS attack

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Windows should never be on the public internet

Some years ago, I had a server housed in a "real" server house. The amount of noise on the network from windows boxes was ludicrous, and my guess would be that many of the owners of those machines had no idea! The rest just didn't care (what other excuse can there be?)

Redis tightens its license terms, pleasing basically no one

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Re: So why the controversy

Thank you for the clarification. I get it now - much appreciated.

One thought - the last bit “ 6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor”, doesn’t that mean GPL 3 is not open source as it contains the clause regarding patents and the thing about encrypted code? It’s a rhetorical question - I’m not looking for an answer

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Re: So why the controversy

“ The GPL requires you to distribute your modifications to the software under the same terms”

But that misses my point. Yes, the GPL requires you to distribute your modifications. And I don’t have much of an issue with that. BUT the GPL does more than that - it makes a land grab for all your code that uses (links to) a piece of GPL code with no regard for how significant or insignificant the original GPL is; in theory, linking 1 line of GPL code into a billion gigabytes of non-GPL code makes that billion gigabytes GPL too. This is no different to SSPL except the latter widens the scope.

So, I say again, why the controversy over SSPL when so many people seem to think the GPL is ok?

Rich 2 Silver badge

Re: "Software is only open source if the OSI says it is"

“officially the OSI is the official guardian of whether particular licences are considered OSS”

You get my vote - the OSI is a self-appointed organisation that has no authority whatsoever over anything at all. I don’t know why anyone refers to them as “proof” of the status of any software licence

Rich 2 Silver badge

So why the controversy

To me the SSPL sounds no different to GPL. Yes, it has wider scope but the principle is the same, and MANY people have no issue with GPL at all. Personally, I despise the GPL; I think it’s the one thing I ever agreed with MS on when they called it viral - I have no issue with stating you can’t keep the code to yourself but I draw the line when the licence tries to make a land grab for something it has no business with. But that’s just my personal opinion and lots of people think it’s fine. So, back to where I came in, I don’t understand the issue with SSPL beyond the same arguments one may put against GPL

UK awards £1.73M to AI projects to advance net zero goals

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See title.

Which fuckwit thought this was a good idea? Even for our govt, this is top cock-womble stuff

How to run an LLM on your PC, not in the cloud, in less than 10 minutes

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Re: Old school

Yes. Please elucidate yourself

Exchange Online blocked from sending email to AOL and Yahoo

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AOL??? That still exists???

Actually, Yahoo???….

No App Store needed: Apple caves, will allow sideloading in EU

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“…Apple caves…”

Hardly caving in!! None of this nonsense is the least bit relevant as long as Apple is trying to charge protection money for not using their magic money tree (app store).

It is this aspect that the EU need to take Apple to the cleaners for

Trump 'tried to sell Truth Social to Musk' as SPAC deal stalled

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Even taking into account any raving insanity on the part of Musk (I don’t know the chap so can’t comment), WHY would he (or ANYONE) pay ANYTHING for some Trumped-up nonsense like Truth Social? What exactly would anyone be buying? Apart from ridicule

Linux 6.9 will be the first to top ten million Git objects

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Re: a billion?

I was introduced to “decimal comma” notation when i worked in Germany some years ago. Yea - I’d rather not.

Windows 10 failing to patch properly? You are most definitely not alone

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Lucky escape if you ask me

Error code 0x80070643 eh?

Blimey. Good job it wasn’t 0x80070644 - that’s a right one, that is

EU users can't update 3rd party iOS apps if abroad too long

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Re: Why does anyone buy Apple?

Because Google is an even more odious company. And between Apple and Google, when it comes to mobile phones, there’s not really much of a choice for most practical cases

What a surprise! Apple found a way to deliver browser engine and app store choice

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Re: re: it appears we have the less intelligent people

Children ,children!!!!

Just STOP - this isn't slashdot

Incoming wave of AI is making buying PCs riskier for businesses

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But it’s all bollox

“Buy vPro laptops this year and they will be AI PCs; buy vPro desktops and they won't”

In practical terms, apart from the obvious fact that one is a desktop and one a laptop, there is no difference! The “AI” hardware will be redundant anyway and if you have a machine cursed with such hype then the best course of action would be to find out how to switch it off to reduce power drain

Unfortunately, in the medium term at least, the “AI” elements will just be a tax on an artificially inflated new PC price tag

Palo Alto investor sues over 28% share tumble

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Deserves it

“facilitating greater platformization”

Anyone who invests anything based on a phrase like that deserves to lose money

Dell promises 'every PC is going to be an AI PC' whether you like it or not

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Re: A great reason to build your own

Unfortunately, build-your-own laptops are still non-existent as far as I know

I’m sure there are bits you can buy to achieve this but not anywhere near the scale and ease of a desktop. I’m happy to be corrected though

Rich 2 Silver badge

Well that’s a new line of fun

I’m sure there will be a good selection of fun and exciting projects spring up to do something useful with that lovely “AI” hardware that we’re all going to be paying a tax on very soon.

Of course, none of these projects will be “AI” - hopefully they will be much more useful than that

Starting over: Rebooting the OS stack for fun and profit

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Re: NV RAM never entirely went away & predates Optane

That made me smile. I had completely forgotten about bubble memory

The self-created risk in Broadcom's big VMware kiss-off

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Re: Product replacement must be part of any product selection process

Where I work, we have recently moved over to using Bitbucket. I asked what the plan was if/when it all goes pear-shaped. One person on the Teams call laughed and said “well that will never happen”

Yea. Right

…and no - I’m still not at all confident that there is any real plan in place. But that’s not my problem :-)

Avast shells out $17M to shoo away claims it peddled people's personal data

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Avast has not, however, admitted guilt

Of course, nobody ever thinks twice about giving away $17M to settle something they absolutely no-way not-never ever did

So as well as being crooked, they are demonstrably bare-faced fibbers too

Ubuntu, Kubuntu, openSUSE to get better installation

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Re: Non-issue

I agree. It never occurred to me that anyone finds installation an issue. As for partitioning confusing people, don’t almost all Linuxes have a “use default” option which would suffice for the vast majority of people that would consider selecting it?

I have heard and read a lot of things over the years about why Linux is a problem to use (and I’m not saying any of them are right or wrong) but I thought installation was done and dusted

Meta says risk of account theft after phone number recycling isn't its problem to solve

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Why is anyone surprised by this? Why would anyone expect Faecesbook to suddenly decide to take responsibility for anything?

Drowning in code: The ever-growing problem of ever-growing codebases

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Re: Why I write very simplistic software...

You get my vote. I’m being forced to use agile at work after having largely avoided it up to now.

Agile is the king’s new clothes. If it was civil engineering rather than software engineering, it would go something like;-

- let’s build a bridge!

- ok, here’s some rubble

- What? No - we don’t have enough points to develop any cement. Stick it together with glue

- it’s not quite bridge-shaped yet but let’s put it over this motorway. We’ll call it an “alpha” and see what feedback we get

- It fell down and crushed a load of cars, eh? Hey - that’s cool. It’s a learning process isn’t it?

- let’s replace some of the rubble with cheese. Why cheese? Because we can’t make any bricks in the time allowed by the sprint. We’ll revisit it in another sprint and throw away everything we’re doing now and replace it with something else. Maybe bricks. We don’t know yet

- oh and stick some flags on it!! Because that’s a quick win

- ok, try that - alpha 2

- ah. That killed how many? Well that’s ok because it’s not production quality yet

- let’s replace all those flags with different coloured ones

- etc etc etc

I have yet to be convinced that “agile” isn’t absolute and utter bollocks.

As for XP, and “paired programming”, which wanker came up with those ridiculous notions?

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Insane bloat

Some of the software today is bloated beyond any comprehension. Two that spring to mind (and I’m really not wanting to focus on MS here - everyone is equally blameworthy) are Word and Excel. I don’t know the actual numbers now but their code bases are insanely huge. Why the hell you need hundreds of megabytes (or whatever it is) to do a bit of word processing is beyond me and is utterly bonkers. Compare this to Word (or word perfect, or ….) from years ago that would fit on one or two floppy disks. And for 99% off use-cases the functionally is basically the same (except the newer version is demonstrably much worse)

Rust can help make software secure – but it's no cure-all

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"Rust will stop you using data after it's been freed"

[see title]

There are a couple of aspects to this.

Firstly, who makes memory access errors like this in their code? I use C and C++ every day (mostly C, which seems to get slammed at every oportunity for being "unsafe" and the work of the devil) and I literally cannot remember the last time I created a memory access fault of the types Rust protects against. If you are writing these sorts of bugs then, quite frankly, you are either inexperienced (no fault of yours, but you need to get up to speed, and quickly) or you are incompetent (in which case you need to go back to school or find another line of work), or there is a serious failure in the program structure (likely, poor division of responsibility/ownership) in which case the program architect needs to go back to school.

It's similar to the argument about 'Garbage Collection' and the fact the C++ doesn't have this "feature". The thing is, GC **ONLY** cleans up dead memory. Nothing else. It doesn't clean up dead file handles, dead socket handles, dead driver handles, etc etc etc. In contrast, C++'s destructor model can handle ALL these things. Yes, C++ is horribly HORRIBLY complicated, but in this aspect, it got it right. GC works. But only for very limited cases.