* Posts by Def

1521 posts • joined 8 Jul 2009

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

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Dear Advertisers,

There is something you should know.

I will *never* click on any ad displayed on any of my electronic devices. Regardless of their relevance to me, my life, or my current shopping requirements. Never.

Once in a blue moon, an advert might remind me of something, in which case I will go and search for whatever it is I was reminded of on my own time. But I will NEVER click on a garbage square of annoying bullshit vying for my attention.

So just fuck off already. :)

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

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Re: If you keep poking the pig with a stick

Is there such a thing as a low paid contractor?

In my experience contractors are usually paid way more than regular employees. The reason being you're not covered for sick leave, insurance, pension, etc., and don't have guaranteed employment.

If you contract yourself out at the same rate as an employee, you're a fool.

Happy privacy action day in California: If you don't have 'Do not sell my information' in your website footer, you need to read this story right now

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Unhappy

...you are a company that makes more than $25m a year from Californian customers

I should be so lucky.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

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Facepalm

Re: Rental vs privately owned

It's claimed that this is to prevent a flood of poorly maintained "vehicles" onto the roads.

I'm not sure I follow that logic, given bikes are allowed on the roads. But this is the best the UK government can do these days, it seems.

You wait ages for a mid-air collision spoofing attack and along come two at once: More boffins take a crack at hoodwinking TCAS

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Re: Don't get it...

Of they load their kit up on to a drone, and fly it up to where two aircraft are about to safely pass each other. Switch on the system and fool one of the aircraft into diving and the second into climbing.

This could potentially be a lot more problematic in the future when the bags of mostly water are removed from the cockpit.

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

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Trust no-one. :)

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Yeah, I understand that.

It's a bit of a circular argument though. Any third party library should be validating any inputs it is receiving.

And yes, I realise the lack of validation there is the issue being discussed. It doesn't invalidate my initial statement though. If you're providing code for others to use you should be extra vigilant when it comes to input validation, and you should never rely on external systems to provide validation for you.

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Facepalm

Or we need to code defensively so that if a vulnerability exists, which doesn't have a fix, we do enough input validation or whatever is needed to avoid that code path from being attacked.

Validating inputs isn't defensive coding. It should be standard practice. If you, as a software developer, are not rigorously validating 100% of your user inputs, your computer access rights should be revoked.

Windows 10 Insider wondering where Notepad has gone? Fear not, Microsoft found it down the back of Dev Channel

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Coat

Re: Better alternative, skip MS

I'm not sure the develop understands why we still use it...

He’s not alone. ;)

GitHub redesign goes mobile-friendly – to chagrin of devs who shockingly do a lot of work on proper computers

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Joke

Re: Releases?

Do you work for Google by any chance?

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

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Re: Really?

Yeah, sadly most GUI systems are still depressingly single threaded by nature. It is possible to run windows in different threads in Windows, but usually it's not worth the effort.

That said though, pure processing and rendering of GUI should never be a performance bottleneck. As soon as you know you have to perform a lengthy operation in response to user input, that should be offloaded to a background thread. Your GUI thread should *only* be used for GUI, and that should be reasonably lightweight.

Rendering in general is a single threaded bottleneck on a lot of systems. OpenGL is restricted to simple uploading of resources, and even that can be broken depending on the platform. DX11 provides support for setting up command buffers in worker threads, but it's so horribly broken in pretty much all driver implementations it's not worth bothering with. DX12 is better in that respect, but it's still quite restricted. Metal is about the same, if I remember correctly (it's been a while). Vulkan, I have no idea, but I guess it's similar to DX12 in this respect. Thankfully, GPUs are a hell of a lot faster these days. :)

But then again, most graphics intensive applications keep the main thread just for rendering and push all other processing off into worker threads.

Re: Thread Affinity: That *can* make things slower, but if you have a large(ish) set of data that you know will be accessed in a certain manner, thrashing your L1 and L2 caches as worker threads are bounced all over the CPU *will* make things slower. There's a time and a place for setting thread affinity. The trick is knowing when and when not to. :)

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Re: Really?

Not sure I really agree with that.

The last single-threaded piece of software that I worked on was pre-Windows 95. And even then, I can't say for certain that that was single threaded. (It was the game Theme Park. It was a long time ago, and I didn't write any of the core systems.) Since then though, everything I've ever worked on was multi-threaded to some degree. Games I worked on in the mid 90s were multi-threaded by default (relying mostly on worker threads for audio, networking, and user input processing), and since the late 90s multi-threaded by design with significant parts of the processing offloaded to worker threads with asynchronous communication channels between different parts of the code.

I even had a bug report in one of my applications a few years back about a problem when starting up on machines with more than 32 logical processors. (A problem related to setting the thread affinity correctly, iirc.)

If you're still writing single threaded, performance critical software today, you deserve to run slowly.

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Re: Really?

Don't forget that phones are limited by power, size, and cooling requirements too.

A desktop chip could quite happily have ten times as many cores - or they could even just drop a bunch of processors on the motherboard.

The RISC-PC from Acorn shipped with a 33MHz ARM processor, which could be upgraded to a 200MHz Strong-ARM, which could be upgraded to a Hydra (iirc) daughter-board with six CPU sockets. No reason why Apple couldn't do the same.

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Re: Intel has a patent wall

Recompilation isn't the same as emulation though. Would be interesting to see how well that patent is worded.

Windows fails to reach the Finnish line as Helsinki signage pleads for help

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Re: Sledgehammer, meet nut.

It's editing-the-registry trivial.

Find: Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsUpdate\UX\Settings

Edit the two ...EndTime and the ...ExpiryTime keys to dates as far in the future as you like.

Job done.

Your Gran May Vary. ;)

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Re: Sledgehammer, meet nut.

Yeah, but it would be just as easy these days to drop a cheap android tablet in the cabinet, hook up the display, and run an app instead.

That said, it's really trivial to pause Windows updates indefinitely. If no-one on your staff can figure that out, maybe even the above is too much to ask.

Google isn't even trying to not be creepy: 'Continuous Match Mode' in Assistant will listen to everything until it's disabled

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The thing is...

...I would quite like being able to ask questions to an "assistant" naturally as part of any given conversation or situation and have an appropriate response in a timely manner.

But only (and this is a huge BUT) if all audio processing is performed locally, and any subsequent searches were performed anonymously.

Unfortunately this is Google, and their entire business model is based around non-anonymous online systems, so thanks, but no thanks.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

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Re: FFS! "CONTEXT", people, context.

Yeah, really. Slavery was endemic in Africa for nearly a thousand years before Europeans pushed further south from the north of the continent, and slavery in general has existed since before written records existed.

Interestingly, Britain actually managed to abolish all slavery from its shores from the middle of the 12th century up until the 1600s when we, sadly - and only after acquiring the colony of Virginia, reengaged in the practice again with an apparent desire to make up for lost time.

More interestingly, the word Black in Old English was used primarily to describe someone with dark skin, while Sweart (a derivative of the Old Norse word Svartr) was more commonly used to describe the colour. But this is the nature of living languages. They change and evolve with time. It's a shame people can't do the same.

Facebook boffins bake robo-code converter to take the pain out of shifting between C++, Java, Python

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Re: "faster and...more maintainable"

I never said anything about sacrificing maintainability for performance.

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Re: "faster and...more maintainable"

I don't think I can name a single application I've ever used (or a lot I've worked on for that matter) that wouldn't have been better if they'd been faster.

Making code faster is only becoming a niche as higher level languages take more control away from the programmer, and as fewer and fewer programmers really understand the performance consequences of their choices and know how to optimise their code.

Logitech G915 TKL: Numpad-free mechanical keyboard clicks all the right boxes

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No keypad?

No thanks.

How do you enter accented and other extended characters without resorting to a localised on-screen keyboard or charmap?

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

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Coat

"Users are loosers."

Now I bet the majority of readers here didn't think about drugs first.

No, my first thought was: That's not how you spell 'losers'. ;)

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Facepalm

Or maybe we could just accept that some words have multiple meanings and context really does matter.

Don't panic: An asteroid larger than the Empire State Building is flying past Earth this weekend but we're just fine

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Headmaster

Re: Aten-class?

Dyson Spheres aren't single objects. A completely solid shell around a star is equally impossible.

The spheres Dyson imagined are swarms of disconnected panels orbiting a star.

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Headmaster

Re: Aten-class?

It's not physically possible for a rock that size to exist though.

Once a rocky world reaches roughly the mass of Jupiter, gravitational collapse happens faster than matter can be added to it. (The faster you add mass, the faster it collapses.) The increased pressure and heat in the core would result in a white dwarf forming. If you were able to keep adding matter, at around 1.3 solar masses, the white dwarf would, depending on its composition, either go supernova, or transform into a neutron star.

Apps get bit animated: Android Studio 4.0 released with new Motion Editor

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Joke

This is Android Studio. The user doesn't need to close it. It closes itself.

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Joke

Android Studio is free... of high quality

Oh how I laughed.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous

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Re: I thought containers were a thing now

This was basically solved decades ago with capabilities. I really don't know why no main stream OS has switched over to using them instead of ACLs.

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Re: I thought containers were a thing now

But the problem here is that the standard file selector dialogs just return a path and filename and let the application deal with them however it likes. Until those dialogs are changed to return objects that represent the files the user chose (and provide no other way to access the file system outside of the application's install and scratch directories) we are stuck with add-ons and workarounds to flawed security models.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021

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It's what a sad, angry minority wanted, certainly.

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Re: And will .co.uk domains be restricted to UK residents only?

No, there are no restrictions on who can register a .co.uk or .org.uk domain name. The latter has a charter describing who *should* be using those domains, but it's never enforced.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft

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Re: Could someone check the numbers?

Once you reach a certain speed most noise in a commercial jet is from the wind. This is most noticeable in planes with the engines mounted on the tail. They’re pretty quiet on take off, but the wind noise soon becomes apparent during the climb out.

Microsoft brings WinUI to desktop apps: It's a landmark for Windows development, but it has taken far too long

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Re: What UI framework was used to develop Teams?

I don't know the framework it's using, but it comes as a 90MB executable (plus DLLs and resources). What the fuck they've contained in there I don't know, but I don't think I could make an executable that big even if I tried. All of my recent desktop applications are a couple of MB, if that.

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Re: developers to adopt the look and feel of UWP

The Windows Phone UI worked extremely well. Much better than Android. (Which isn't a particularly high bar, I'll admit.)

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

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Thumb Up

Re: $$$

hah That's true. I have a quad GPU mining machine in my hallway which does help a lot in the winter. (And during the "summer" if I'm being brutally honest.)

My place is always cold (I'm pretty sure it was built on some ancient burial ground) so every little helps.

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Re: Minimum spec?

Nope, not us.

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Re: Minimum spec?

I worked somewhere a long time ago (a games company) that gave all developers low-spec machines for testing. (We had slightly higher spec machines for the actual coding and compiling, and secondary machines for remote debugging/testing.)

It didn't work. We stuck with it - we were a small company with a limited budget, but it was a painful experience - unoptimised (by the compiler) debug code always runs slower than optimised code, and algorithm optimisation only ever happens towards the end of the project - unless something is abjectly too slow to be pushed.

For maximum developer efficiency, you need to make daily workflows as optimal and as streamlined as possible. And that includes fast hardware for development and testing. You will need to test on slower hardware eventually, but that slow hardware should never be your primary test environment.

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Re: $$$

Almost 2,000 just for the CPU.

£2300 in Norway. As nice as it would be, I can't justifying spending 50% more than my monthly mortgage payment on a processor. :/

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Well, he had Minix as a starting point.

From what I recall (it was a *very* long time ago) the hardest parts about booting an OS were dealing the bullshit involved in switching from 16-bit mode into protected mode. (Yes, all x86 based PCs *still* start in 16-bit mode.) Not an impossible task, obviously, but it could have been easier.

I did have fun writing the floppy (that's how long ago this was) boot loader though. You basically needed to read the root directory of the the boot drive, find the secondary boot loader (or kernel), load it into memory, and start executing it within the 512 bytes available on the first sector of the disk. I managed it in 396 bytes (I just checked) including error messages and debug print functions. I think I was trying to switch to protected mode before loading the kernel in the remaining 116 bytes, before other projects, work, and having a life got in the way. :)

Bionic eyes to be a thing in the next decade? Possibly. Boffins mark sensor-density breakthrough

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Facepalm

Aw shit. :D

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Coat

...and to be able to see round corners

All iPhone users can see round corners already. I think, perhaps, you want to be able to see around corners.

(Mine's the one with Pendatry for Dummies in the pocket.)

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

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Re: Google apps etc. via browser?

So, it does appear they've made some improvements since I last tried it. (Always happy to be proven wrong.)

When they first changed to the new look about six months ago it was pretty much completely broken on Safari. I had to go back to reading books. It was a nightmare. ;)

It's still a lot more sluggish than it was before, but that's "progress" for you, I guess (and my iPad is rather old now too, so I won't complain too much about that).

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Re: Google apps etc. via browser?

YouTube on Safari is worse than abysmal. It's so bad now that I've basically given up watching videos on my iPad. (Not going to use the app because AdBlock Plus.)

The end really is nigh – for 32-bit Windows 10 on new PCs

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Thumb Up

In my experience, C++ code is, generally speaking, only as convoluted as the person who wrote it.

There's a lot of shit in the Standard Library that shouldn't be there, and a lot of shit missing that should. But if you can navigate that minefield successfully (and steer clear of some of the more obnoxious newer parts of the language), it's still perfectly possible to write decent code.

(A C++ fan.)

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Coat

Re: Amazed it took them this long

So what you're saying is your comfort level with technology grounded itself around 2003?

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

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Ah right. Maybe I should try going to bed a bit earlier one of these days. :)

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How is "Out of disk space" a useless error message?

If you have more than one disk in a machine, I can see how it could be more informative, but if you only have one, it stands perfectly fine as a description of exactly what the problem is. (And even if you did have additional disks, errors like these are usually in response to a user request that the application in question write to a specific file.)

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Re: Windows that won't resize :(

That was fixed quite some time ago.

https://www.ghacks.net/2015/09/22/microsoft-improves-environment-variables-editor-in-latest-windows-10-build/

It detects any environment variable that contains a semicolon delimited list of values and provides a much improved way to edit them.

Eclipse boss claims Visual Studio Code is an open-source poseur – though he would say that, wouldn't he?

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Yes, other tools are available, and yes dedicated tools are generally better than an all-in-one solution. But the convenience of having everything under one roof, so to speak, usually outweighs the limitations of those tools for the average person. Sure, a couple of people on a team might use Intel Analyser, but for a casual inspection by a more general developer who might be a little curious about the performance of something they've just written, the VS profiler is more than adequate. In fact, until you want to start chasing down cache misses and branch prediction failures, 99% of the time it's perfectly fine.

My original point though was that, despite people's ongoing perceptions to the contrary, VS is much more than just a text editor. :)

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I'm not *that* old. :p

My first job was very much based in DOS with the Watcom C compiler and Brief, if I remember correctly. :)

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