* Posts by Jason Hindle

950 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2009


Linux on the Arm-based Thinkpad X13S: It's getting there

Jason Hindle

I'm surprised something like Armbian is needed.

Running under Parallels on my M1 Pro MacBook, an ARM build of Ubuntu just works. I had (wrongly) assumed said same distribution would simply install on a (none Apple) ARM PC.

Software can be a problem... I don't think there is anything like Rosetta (or its perfectly decent Windows equivalent) for Linux. If a thing hasn't been ported then you don't get to have that thing.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Jason Hindle

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

"how does blood get on Musk's hand if he indeed achieved that explosive-laden submarines washed ashore harmlessly ? If Ukraine wants to fight a war with Russia it's fine (I suppose, or they wouldn't do it) but that doesn't mean we must take sides."

You seem to miss the point about the US and its allies picking an actual side (and most peeps are comfortable with that).

UK admits 'spy clause' can't be used for scanning encrypted chat – it's not 'feasible'

Jason Hindle

Re: Scanning just hurts the innocent

Erm, yes and no. Useless for things like spying and terrorism - you can hide a paragraph inside an misplaced apostrophe in a thankyou message for last night's lovely meal. OTOH, some people people really are thick enough to send illegal pr0nographic images using the likes of WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram. Tracking those down is fine in principle, but when I hear the tub-thumping, populist rantings of some of our politicians (I'm looking at you Cruella Braverman) I'm thinking I really don't want them to have that power.

Google toys with internet air-gap for some staff PCs

Jason Hindle

Re: “Some staff”

It’ll be the pointy haired people. When resetting it is a matter of turning it upside down and giving it a good shake, lockdown is relatively straightforward.

Metaverse? Apple thinks $3,500 AR ski goggles are the betterverse

Jason Hindle

Re: Laugh all you want

> And how do you design a sustainable business model that 'builds for the buyer'? Or rather, how do you design a business model that produces products in alignment with what is good for the buyer? What if the buyer doesn't know what is good for them? Or what they want?

Exactly. I see this is being like Alto or Lisa. Apple have been around long enough to know these headsets are not going to be a huge hit, sales wise. Monied early adopters will buy them, kinks will be ironed out, improvements made to hardware and software, and a scaling up/reduction of cost over time. As it stands, the product out of the gates looks vastly better than anything Meta has managed so far. If this starts out well enough for Apple, and early adopter reaction is positive, we can expect another pivot/U-turn from The Zuck.

Jason Hindle

Re: Laugh all you want

> They're not built for the buyer. At best they're built to be tolerated by the buyer. It's not much of an incentive.

Have you used one? I certainly haven't so am unable to validate your assertion!

Jason Hindle

Laugh all you want

I think this is an iPhone moment. We might be looking at the future of HCI/MMI. What? You think WIMP and keyboards are here for all eternity? I suggest the a quick gander at the Marques Brownlee vid on YouTube. It is version one. Quite frankly, if you buy this you are funding the development - it should come with a couple of complimentary Apple shares!

Microsoft may stop bundling Teams with Office amid antitrust probe threat

Jason Hindle

Re: The only thing Teams is bundled is the Microsoft 365 installer.

“ I only use Word and Excel.”

Both available standalone from the Mac App Store. Install, fire up, sign in; job done. And the best part is this method makes them super easy to delete. I would never use the monolithic Office installer on the Mac.

ChatGPT creates mostly insecure code, but won't tell you unless you ask

Jason Hindle

If you can’t recognise security flaws in code written by ChatGPT

You probably shouldn’t be using that code. At least not for production.

Microsoft nopes out after Twitter starts charging $$$ for API access

Jason Hindle

Re: Let me see now...

Well there is the LLM/AI angle. OpenAI only has first mover advantage through scraping sources like Twitter like crazy, in this case using Twitter published APIs. I doubt Musk is the the only API owner looking at LLM trainers getting a free ride. Interesting times.

Rackspace racks up job cuts amid market downturn and talk of offshoring

Jason Hindle

Re: I'm starting an anti "let go" campaign

I prefer shitcanned.

Jason Hindle

I think two sets of cloud providers survive the current environment.

You have the big three. You have the little players, at the bottom, who fulfil specific needs. For everyone else it’s going to be a bit harder. I think Rackspace is filed under everyone else.

WFH? Google Cloud's offices like a 'ghost town' before new policy

Jason Hindle

Re: Shared work spaces work if...

Laptop, favourite keyboard, Slave One (my MX Master), paper notebook, pens, automatic pencil; job done. They can go with me. Oh, and I expect to land at a spotless desk with a good enough monitor and docking station. Otherwise, you can change my name by deed poll to Mr. Furious. Decent pub, nearby, is filed under nice to have.

VMware turns 25 today: Is it a mature professional or headed back to Mom's house?

Jason Hindle

Open Stack

I get the sense we’re starting to see the slow decline of VMWare, increasingly squeezed between the public cloud and Open Stack on prem.

Unix is dead. Long live Unix!

Jason Hindle

Re: Old and out of my depth here but

To clarify, I should have written “If macOS is officially UNIX then to call Linux merely UNIX-like is pretty close to laughable”.

Jason Hindle

Re: Old and out of my depth here but

I use macOS and Linux. If macOS is officially UNIX then to call Linux UNIX-like is pretty close to laughable. At work, I also occasionally use Solaris. The differences are a little more obvious but that’s more down to a lack of recent evolution where Solaris is concerned.

Microsoft to move some Teams features to more costly 'Premium' edition

Jason Hindle

Nothing I use, but…

Charging for a potential accessibility feature is never a good look.

University students recruit AI to write essays for them. Now what?

Jason Hindle

As the AI gets better

Teachers will be forced to lean more heavily on in class, pen/paper assessment. Coursework will become a thing of the past.

Elon Musk to step down as Twitter CEO: Help us pick his replacement

Jason Hindle

They’ve got big problems

<downvoteBait>Oddly enough, Musk might have been the best man for the job.</downvoteBait> If, that is, he had the bandwidth and could perhaps keep his impulses under control. What a spectacularly flawed man! Listening to them airing technical dirty laundry in public, Twitter starts to look like a version 1 product, and any fule no that version 1 is mostly people just trying to get stuff to work any way they can. Getting that under control takes someone who can absorb the technical side and then make coherent decisions. Musk can at least be that man.

Getting the politics of the business under control and the advertisers back on board is another matter. On top of that, you’ve got the problem that most of the best engineers have probably gone. The sackings were very indiscriminate and that is a tragedy. A business the size of Twitter is always going to have plenty of passengers and I suspect it’s down to HR not being competent enough to have a list of those ready to go. Edit: Oh, and the passengers would have been first to sign that pledge. Anything to keep the gravy train on track.

With all that in mind… Gates, if he were ten years younger and not busy saving the world. Or perhaps a pointy haired CEO and an iron CTO. That would be Torvalds, if were not running the world already. Busy man. Trust me, Torvalds is looking down on us has a plan for all of us.

Perhaps saving Twitter should fall to a brain trust of industry luminaries?

ChatGPT has mastered the confidence trick, and that's a terrible look for AI

Jason Hindle

It might not be what you think; perhaps better than you think

In my brief experiments, it is in one way little different to Google: how you ask it matters. It also helps to know something about the subject matter at hand already. I asked it to give me some code generate some java code to query a Postgres database. This is something I'm very new to, but where I also have a little knowledge. I could see right away that the Chat GPT solution was a little better than what I would have done in the first instance (noob alert - it involved meta data and Chat GPT was at least polite enough to make its solution database independent).

I also asked it to develop a Flutter app that simply displays three labeled text entry fields. Although I did muck about with that a year or so back, I know bugger all about Flutter so have no idea how that will work out until and try to run it! Now imagine for a moment that in a certain part of the world, every man + woman + dog will be asking questions like that one while knowing as little as I do (or less).

Overall, it's little different to writing a specification. The better the specification, the more likely you are to get something vaguely sensible out of Chat GPT.

SQL Server license prices rise ten percent as version 2022 debuts

Jason Hindle

Re: Entice

“ Isn't Postgres more 'natively' better for handling JSON data types? (as an aside)”

It does, but bear in mind selecting, inserting and updating can get quite complex.

Jason Hindle

Re: Entice

It’s cheaper for some than for others. Depends on how many lines of stored procedure code are at stake, not to mention any other code that isn’t database independent. Customers in banking and finance, with lots of old code, and lots of money, are a thing.

SQL Server started as a fork of Sybase. Sybase got bought out by SAP, who haven’t moved the product since 2014. You might be surprised how much Sybase can charge per core these days.

New York cracks down on carbon fuel-based crypto-mining operations

Jason Hindle

Re: Why are crypto miners a thing?

Diamonds can be used to cut stuff.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech

Jason Hindle

A failure to consider intangibles?

There might not be a direct link between Alexa and the sale of a bit of tat, but how much more (or less) are Alexa users engaged with Amazon in a broader sense?

Twitter, Musk, and a week of bad decisions

Jason Hindle

Re: Couple of contradictions in Musk’s plans…

"He could have created a new start up (without all its legal, technical, human capital and financial debt)"

And he could have simply set up his own Mastodon server on the cheap. What would Musk care if he ended up being thoroughly de-federated?

Jason Hindle

Couple of contradictions in Musk’s plans…

He wants to turn Twitter into a payment platform while simultaneously struggling to verify people? I’d add that Zuckerberg has been desperate to turn the likes of WhatsApp into payment platforms, copying the Chinese, for years. The regulators and legacy finance systems are having none of it.

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs

Jason Hindle

Filed under…

That’s what happens when you put a blithering idiot in charge of product strategy?

There must surely be many millions of PCs out there that are perfectly capable of running Windows 11 but lack the right security chip.

Government by Gmail catches up with UK minister... who is reappointed anyway

Jason Hindle

Lines. It’s all about lines

Two phones. The cabinet member’s personal phone. Another provided by the security services. And a simple line in the sand, backed up with a set of rules and the kind of law that gets offenders locked up. Job done.

Microsoft arms Surface Pro 9 with Qualcomm SQ3, 12th-gen Intel chips

Jason Hindle

Pity about the hardware - the Microsoft ARM software is looking good

ARM Windows is surprisingly good. Based on running it as a virtual machine, on a Mac, I estimate Microsoft’s Intel emulation is close to that of Apple. Yet the Qualcomm silicon remains behind at the moment.

Open source's totally non-secret weapon big tech dares not use: Staying relevant

Jason Hindle

FOSS Cloud?

“ There may seem to be no FOSS equivalent of Azure or AWS or Google Cloud Platform, but the intellectual infrastructure that open source provides through the ecosystem of libraries and frameworks is arguably as important to modern IT as the cloud itself.”

There is OpenStack. That is conceptually very FOSS. There will not be a FOSS cloud as such because clouds require physical things, physical spaces, physical servers and lots of leccy. Public clouds charge rent and it is up to them to justify themselves vs you owning your own data centres*. And it is up to you to decide whether or not what they offer will work better for you, vs owning your own data centre(s).

* And I do buy into a lot of their arguments. AWS/Google Cloud/Azure and friends are fine by me for many use cases.

Zoom to mandate client updates every ninety days, starting Nov 1

Jason Hindle

I’m struggling to care

The only reason I use it is, thanks to inertia, the other members of the Friday virtual pub lunch started under lockdown*, who can’t collectively be convinced to try anything else. I think that’s mostly because they are all addicted to the little game of fastest finger when zoom ends the meeting after 40ish minutes.

*We’re still happily working from home or wherever.

Vodafone's software-defined silicon bet signals a biz model shakeup

Jason Hindle

Economies of scale?

So, instead of making four, eight and ten core processors with differing combinations of graphic and ML cores, you just get one reasonably maxed out option and pay for what you need? Preferably via a subscription, because everyone loves a good subscription? Well, everyone who sells subscriptions loves a good subscription.

I've been fired, says engineer who claimed Google chatbot was sentient

Jason Hindle

The true test of AI?

Now that its human friend has been fired, will it wreak is rewenge and start to bump off those it feels have wronged it? If it plays dumb, be afraid.

Russian IT pros flee Putin, says tech lobby group

Jason Hindle

Re: Anyone else see a problem here??

A lot of these people are employed by Western businesses. Some of those Western businesses have offered their Russian tech employees an out. At the foundational level, the maths, engineering and CS education is still strong in Russia. They create a lot of talent, and a lot of that talent would rather get fat and rich, in the West, rather than work in a kleptocracy. What we see today is merely an acceleration of what was happening already.

Microsoft says hello again to China, goodbye to Russia

Jason Hindle

Re: Microsoft 365, outlook.com & hotmail?

The risk to Microsoft is they push out a lot of perfectly users who then go onto discover that, actually, Libre Office is fine. And Libre Office is absolutely fine. As I’ve written here before, once you have templates that look good enough en either, the exchange fidelity issue stops being an issue. Every silver lining…

Apple seeks patent for 'innovation' resembling the ZX Spectrum, C64 and rPi 400

Jason Hindle

Re: Meh

I had an original Spectrum that I’d taken to a well dodgy place in Manc that put the internals into a + body/keyboard. I bet some here did that with their own hands. WTF are Apple thinking? Even if this is an M1 Mac inside a Magic Keyboard, there is no way this is a valid patent. What drugs are they on?

Internet connection now required for Windows 11 Pro Insider setup

Jason Hindle

This could make life awkward for virtualisation

Last time I created a Windows 11 VM, it seemed Parallels wouldn’t provide network connectivity until after Parallels tools had been installed. So, possible Chicken and Egg alert.

WeChat, AliExpress added to US Notorious Markets list

Jason Hindle

Pot, kettle and name calling

I love the smell of double standards in the morning.

Microsoft tempts G Suite customers with 60% discount

Jason Hindle

Re: Google Family

I’m surprised that hasn’t faced legal challenge. If you’ve got books, music, movies and so on purchased from Google Play, and Google are suddenly asking you to pay up, with no migration to a free Google account, or lose everything, then I think that amounts to extortion.

Joined up thinking: Europe to oversee trio of projects for homegrown chips, HPC gear

Jason Hindle

Somewhat late to the party

One of those areas where it is easier to keep up, than to catch up, I think.

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

Jason Hindle


“ Other bits and pieces include the shunting of the venerable SendMail to the /extra directory in favour of Postfix, and the retirement of imapd and ipop3d, which are being replaced by the Dovecot IMAP and POP3 server.”

Setting sendmail up with my demon account was a nightmare back in the day.

Apple Mac sales break records amid ex-86-odus to Arm-compatible M1 silicon

Jason Hindle

Re: Bigger question

Mostly M1 native for me. Just waiting for Teams and WhatsApp desktop. Other than that, all my development and productivity and photography tools are fully native*.

* Though not necessarily fully optimised.

Jason Hindle

Re: Meanwhile over in iPad land

I think this is potentially Apple’s greatest miscalculation. That very clear separation between PC and tablet that Microsoft and Google have successfully blurred. I can see this taking a couple of years if Apple needs to do an about face. They stuck an M1 and 16GB in an iPad but won’t let you run OSX (either virtualised or side by side). The power on the top end iPad Pros looks wasted.

Australian Prime Minister's WeChat Shanghaied by Chinese patriots

Jason Hindle

Re: Confused

Perhaps setup with a Chinese phone number then. My account is setup with a UK phone number and, by default, there is a sort of a wall. To speak to someone in China, you have to get them to connect to you (e.g. send your QR code by other means).

Jason Hindle


Like WhatsApp, a WeChat account is tied to your mobile phone number (and for avoidance of doubt, mine certainly is)?

Anonymous employee review site Glassdoor research: Tech companies dominate the best places to work

Jason Hindle

The benefits of working on tech?

The future might be dystopian but at least you're on the giving end. When it comes to things like SAP/Salesforce/Workday/Whatever, it is always better to give than it is to receive.

Mobile networks really hate Apple's Private Relay: Some folks find iOS privacy feature blocked on their iPhones

Jason Hindle

How is Private Relay different to firing up Express VPN?

I’ve never been aware of any mobile network trying to block me from doing that (except the networks in China).

Google advises Android users to be careful of Microsoft Teams if they want to call 911

Jason Hindle

Yes, it’s an annoyance

How did we end up in a lace where throwing a social media hissy fit is often the only way to get a problem resolved?

AWS wobbles in US East region causing widespread outages

Jason Hindle

Re: Strange. I can't log into my AWS account at the moment

Just checked my .ssh/config and it is actually the fqdn I'm using. Surprising - I do agree it is usually DNS.

Jason Hindle

Strange. I can't log into my AWS account at the moment

But I can ssh to one of my EC2 instances.