* Posts by gerryg

700 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009


Removing an obsolete AMD fix makes Linux kernel 6 quicker


We're all wise in retrospect

"But in all seriousness, something like this should have been reviewed long ago."

It seems like it was a small piece of code tucked away minding its own business. If I understand correctly you'd mostly notice it if you had an AMD laptop and there are few of those.

So given this is of of those issues for "need for speed" types the client group is not them and probably tiny. So no-one noticed.

But finally someone did and I envisage that still no-one will notice.

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released


Re: but if you prefer something ... more like Office 365

I agree with your assessment of documents produced by local councils but would extend it to many other organisations: central government, charities, NGOs etc.

It seems like they take the opportunity to use every feature of their office suite to decorate documents baroque-style despite the intention that they get completed and returned electronically.

I can't believe it's that easy to work online with designed for print features using the same office suite. But it can be painful using LO.

It's possibly some form of localised expression of being in control but it does make things very difficult for the user.

Whether it is cock-up or conspiracy I leave to others

Microsoft offers SQL Server 2022 release candidate to Linux world


Follow the money, as usual

I don't think it merits a PhD to suggest that closed source software is about controlling the revenue stream achieved by control in general.

If any of the above gives you cause for concern that's why open source started and continues to provide an alternative approach based on freedom from control.

The choice of software follows from what concerns you most. I never choose closed source software.

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it


Re: Not the only game in town

Really? Then it suggests you have failed to install Ubuntu properly. Or did I just fall for the flamebait

Former Microsoft UX boss doesn't like the Windows 11 Start menu either



...with KDE you can configure it to look pretty much how you like*. Moreover if you really like earlier versions then for example, there's always TDE.

Or throw it away and use one of the myriad alternatives.

And then change your mind.

All without any nagging nor pop up advertising

*including a right to left desktop for us lefties

Record label drops AI rapper after backlash over stereotypes


Back to the AI rapper

Unfortunately my local gym doesn't play Radio 3 over the sound system so I listen to types of music I would not choose.

What confuses me is whether those cancelling the AI version have ever listened to the real thing? I'll settle for "offensive" other words could be equally applicable.

Am I to understand that its get-out-of-jail card is that it's authentic?

Further, all AI avatar stuff is stereotyping something. Rutgers used AI to complete Beethoven's 10th symphony

Other AI pretends to be Mozart (and so on) I didn't see any demands for someone's head on a pike for that.

Amazon has repackaged surveillance capitalism as reality TV


RE: Plod is too over-worked to deal with old-fashioned burglaries


[T]he clear-up rate for theft has plunged to such a low point that in some areas the Victims’ Commissioner...is concerned that it has become almost decriminalised.

Until 2015, the proportion of thefts which led to a suspect being charged or summonsed to appear in court hovered around 10 per cent. In 2021-22, the rate had fallen to 4.1 per cent, lower than any other crime group apart from sexual offences.

c.f. "hate crime" (sorry for long URL)


Tech industry stuck over patent problems with AI algorithms


What are patents for?

Right at the start they were granted by Royalty short of money. You get "letters patent" granting exclusivity to make money from something in return for money.

Then they turned into "protecting the efforts of the inventor", enabling a return from investing years of effort and resources in creating a novel mousetrap. While novelty was necessary, it was the blood, sweat and tears that was being rewarded.

Ideas and concepts were not patentable. It was the implementation.

But there is no blood sweat and tears involved in an AI algorithm creating something novel. It would require a further turn of the screw if just novelty were patentable.

If an AI turns out a new drug and all it requires is the standard handle turning to get it developed and through the FDA why should the drug be patentable? If however there a novel production requirement that has to be developed and tested there's your patent.

Homes in London under threat as datacenters pull in all the power


It's all about cities AKA a systems problem

According to one historian the reason Rome fell is that when it grew in size, earlier design decisions came back to haunt it. In this case, roads one chariot wide: intended to enable rapid deployment when the natives got restless, prevented food getting in quickly enough and the byproducts of living getting out fast enough.

London is a ramshackle place, never mind data centres, look how all the food until relatively recently was brought into the markets to be distributed out again. Smithfield is last example standing and soon to go.

The north and south circulars eventually had to be replaced by the M25

You just can't keep adding to a city and not expect legacy infrastructure problems.

Apple-1 prototype hand-soldered by Woz up for auction, bids expected to reach $500k


A bit off topic but hopefully related

About 30 years ago I attended the pre-auction viewing of Jimi Hendrix paraphernalia including a white Stratocaster, reserve £50,000 (further off topic, it felt like viewing the proceeds of a grave robbery)

I had neither £50,000 nor the inclination but I couldn't but feel that a new Stratocaster and spending the other £45,000+ on lessons would have got me closer to my idol.

With Monet's Waterlilies as least it's a decent picture but this is a discarded broken circuit board - I'm at a loss to understand the aura.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds


Good idea

Everything will be wrong, all the time

Intel tried selling software before. Will it succeed this time?


Re: software to show off the hardware

I understand that Intel have the best Linux distro but don't distribute it.

If true, it would be interesting to understand why IBM/RedHat works but Intel/Linux distro isn't an option

Court OKs billion-dollar Play Store gouging suit against Google


You must be new here


Torvalds: Linux kernel team has sorted Retbleed chip flaw


5.20 versus 6.0

Are you sure? To quote the "emperor penguin" in Nov 2018 "We can all to count 20 […]. It's a nice round number. […] I think Linux 5.0 will be out next year, when we run out of fingers" so there's probably one more 5.x to go

CP/M's open-source status clarified after 21 years


Re: Build your

Maplins? You had it easy, we had to go to all those dodgy shops in Edgware Road advertising in the back pages of Practical Electronics.

X.org servers update closes 2 security holes, adds neat component tweaks


Water under the bridge now

But you might recall the zombie lawsuit claiming that SCO owned the word UNIX. I believe it was even reported on here. But this is the first time I have become aware of the El Reg story reporting in the transfer of the name to the Open Group. Though the article only specifically mentions the patent.

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days


Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

If I recall correctly back in the day the whole OS/Office Suite/Productivity tools was a bundle protecting each other's market share.

Over time one of the effects of Linux was to reduce the market value of Windows. Porting MS Office would have accelerated that.

The world has changed and renting web based applications are now seen as the cash cow. People selling software no longer want to sell it but rent it out.

Choosing a non-Windows OS on Lenovo Secured-core PCs is trickier than it should be


Seems to be more illegal in the EU than USA


Article from journal discusses.

However it does feel like we've gone back to browsers and OSes (FSFE ECJ case) and definitely revisiting EEE.

It must certainly be terrible PR?

Ubuntu Unity desktop back from the dead after several years' hiatus


It's his choice

I have never used Gnome with no plans on starting but it seems to me you might understand better if you (re)read "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S Raymond.

The great thing about FOSS is freedom

Intel ships crypto-mining ASIC at the worst possible time


Almost California Gold Rush redux

It is said that the only people that made any money were those selling jeans and shovels. This time not even the jeans and shovels sellers

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to laugh.

FabricScape: Microsoft warns of vuln in Service Fabric


Re: What?

At best it's an admin issue.

Execute privileges are required to exploit this vulnerability. Once you have given away execute privileges you have given away everything.

That's why users don't get execute privileges.

There's a reason 666 is the number of the beast

Running DOS on 64-bit Windows and Linux: Just because you can


Re: Respect rather than arrogance

Ah, yes. Thank you.


Respect rather than arrogance

It doesn't really matter to anyone else but those involved why they choose to help this 92 yr old. Simple arithmetic suggests he was born in 1930, 12 years after the end of WW1.

Given than the average age of people dying in WW1 seemed to be about the same as the Vietnam war (anyone else remember "seventeen"?) this would suggest that the project is somehow about the 92 yr old's father and his friends and relatives. Remember villages and towns used to form regiments. This would seem to be a project about enabling the 92 yr old to continue on a personal mission.

Whatever hit the Moon in March, it left this weird double crater


Chinese Junk on moon

Was I the only one to wonder how they got one of those little boats there in the first place?

Possibly the Sunday Sport was on to something when it reported that a WW2 bomber and London bus were found there.

Graphical desktop system X Window just turned 38


Re: What I like about X

As a boring user the only case I can make for Wayland over X is that on a hi-res screen laptop it makes fonts readable in an ancient application for which I need WINE. I guess that is pretty niche.

When Wayland leaves things in the same state as it found them I'll probably not care. Until then X seems to just work.

Apparently there are lots of reasons why Wayland is a good idea but from over here it still feels like a solution searching for a problem.

AI's most convincing conversations are not what they seem


Re: Chinese Room

Do you mean Professor Margaret Boden? author of "The Creative Mind" etc?

Crypto market crashes on Celsius freeze, inflation news


Tulip bulbs

That's the answer

Farewell to two pivotal figures: The founder of Inmos, and the co-creator of MIME


Re: I think the eternal question I've never really understood about the transputer is

We studied the Transputer as part of our Masters degree back in 1985. The thing that got talked about most was the folding text editor, hiding layers of detail, that and the "edge" problem, getting data from the real world into the Transputer array.

Apart from matrix multiplication it seemed very difficult to see what the Transputer was going to solve. IIRC it ended its days as a disc controller.

A thousand years later when graphics card manufacturers suddenly seemed to realise they were making massively parallel computers, I'd really like to know if there is a book explaining "there" to "here"

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux


Re: Not be happy ... to reinstall my OS from scratch every year or two

I've been with the German one since S.u.S.E 6.1, now Tumbleweed on everything, including the odd computer or four when friends have asked for advice. Once I tossed the nVidia cards having got over the belief that I needed the better graphics everything has been 99.99% fine.

Always used KDE, lived through 4, toughened me up.

It's always been more than good enough. Only recently upgraded my 10 yr old desktop because I really needed better for video processing.

Other "spins" might or might not have advantages, I neither know nor care.

IBM ends funding for employee retirement clubs


Re: Fowler Play

You were the wrong kind of pedant. Apparently it's preferable to be popularly wrong.

Experts: AI inventors' designs should be protected in law


I wonder if...

...these professors have given any thought to the reason the Open Innovation Network exists?

Could it be because intellectual property law causes huge amounts of suppression of innovation?

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs


Re: Not that unreasonable

I joined two photographs today on the CLI, left to right alphabetically using imagemagick

> convert +append *.png out.png

I don't know how to do it using my desktop (KDE, since you didn't ask)


Re: Not that unreasonable

Or how to open the petrol flap

Accenture announces 'Accenture Song' – not a tune, but a rebrand


Re: The 'creatives' strike again

And we lost the great Plessey logo of a squiggle on an oscilloscope looking like "plessey" in cursive script.

Slightly off topic there's "Hector the Tax Inspector"

Unlike all the examples we laugh about now, the second was produced in house for about 50p, and the former probably by someone who understood the business, not a "creative" in sight.

And this is probably as good an anecdote about branding as you will find


COVID-19 contact tracing apps were suggested as saviors. They sometimes delivered


Re: Or did it have to do with the population and distrust of the government?

According to https://www.statista.com/statistics/300402/smartphone-usage-in-the-uk-by-age/ if one excludes older people then smartphone usage in the UK is pretty much universal.

Retired people are least likely to use one.

According to an Ofcom report in 2020: 97% AB, 96% C1, 96% C2, 89% DE use a smart phone.

In Newham 24.4% (86,514) of the population are under 18 years, 67.8% (240,788) are aged 18 to 64 years and 7.9% (27,964) are aged 65 years and older (2020 ONS)

In IoW 31.8% population 60+ years or over, compared with 22.5% in England and Wales. (2011 ONS)

So while I can't necessarily challenge your assertion I doubt you can support it, either.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


Re: ... and to a racing driver, F1 isn't hard, either

Each to their own n'all.

But I find your post a bit dubious.

Why would any user of a desktop environment (e.g., KDE) need to look at documentation for the underlying plumbing, (X, kernel, shell, etc)? I'm not sure I've ever looked at a man page in 25 years of running a Linux based system.

My go-to for plumbing is a dummies guide to Linux commands. Someone rewrote man to reduce the reading age and no-one sued them for copyright or other infringement. And the book is getting on for 20 years old and still not our of date.

SpaceX launches first totally private mission to the International Space Station


Re: Oh dear

yes, you missed an apostrophe from "it's"

Google to sell replacement Pixel phone parts via iFixit


Re: Designed for repair?

You might be right, but if there is room for improvement I'm sure iFixit will deliver

I have used iFixit in the past to repair (other people's) Apple laptops. I've found the company to be both good value and with good repair guides.

Although I'm a cheapskate second-hand laptop, Linux, Moto G kind of person, I often wonder why (as here, Google and Pixel) when large organisations do something in the right direction there's always so much effort put into demonstrating why it is green-wash.

Two years down the line you might be right. But today, we don't know.

Google talks up its 540-billion-parameter text-generating AI system


Re: Slightly obvious flaw

Thirty years I was involved in an early natural language processing research project.

They used a children's book to be parsed by the algorithm and by a bunch of first year undergraduates.

On comparing the results there was much dismay that the algorithm seemed to suggest the book was all about mud (IIRC) and the undergrads thought it was all about dinosaurs.

Subsequent analysis suggested the dinosaurs caught the eye of the undergrads but that the majority topic of the book was about mud.

In another project an advertising agency was working on getting the unrevealed answers from huge corpus(es?) rather than the answers consumers thought researchers wanted to hear.

I mention all this because there is a possibility that the AI project is producing high quality but unacceptable results

IT outage at Scotland's Heriot-Watt University enters second week


Have they checked..

..that it's plugged in?

Linux 5.17 debuts after 'very calm' extra week of work


Re: This one has lost me!

I'm confused about the workings of the business model.

I start by assuming all the dies coming off a wafer are identical and the method of enabling is universal (if not how are these things made?) So if I buy microcode it must surely work on all the same devices. How do Intel prevent unauthorized distribution, intentional or otherwise?

If there is a method of prevention it must be something like TPM on a stick.

I don't think this can be anything to do with GPL versions as the source code is readable in both. This has got to be about binary blobs.

Chinese Go Association suspends player 'for using AI'


AI and cheating

If you look at almost any online go server, e.g., online-go.com, every game is analysed at the end using AI and a performance graph is displayed. Usually rubbishing those moves you thought were amazing.

If your performance graph show an astonishing conformity to best move, unless you are e.g., Shin Jin-seo, you are cheating (on balance of probabilities, etc )

Fedora inches closer to dropping x86-32 support


This wasn't an overnight thing. Your solution would be to build 32bit Gentoo.

If there were serious demand then you could become quite popular.

It's free as in: feel free to do what you want with it, not as in: free to expect someone to do it for you.

AMD confirms Ryzen chips' stuttering performance on Windows 10, 11


Re: For my education



If you ever needed to understand the importance of "open"

TPM might be advertised or even intended to ward off miscreants (sic) but the effective consequences are that you have even less control of your "stuff" than previously.

It really depends on your definition of miscreant to decide if TPM is a good idea.

IT blamed after HR forgets to install sockets in new office


Re: HR or Steve's Boss


29 years ago this week


Re: I worked in companies where HR actually run the business.

The real problem is team size and sanity. If HR/those with a key to the executive bog are really out to get you, you don't have a future there. Even if you win the first round you are tainted.

For everyone else but you it's a job. For you it's your life.

The best strategy is to get out on the best terms possible.

Remember Bobby Fischer's dictum "moral victories don't count". I do not think there is an area of life to which this does not apply.

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent


Not really

They are doing the job that the USPTO failed to do.

They can't change the law but they can create tit-for-tat. It's free to join. As they say:

"With 3,600+ members from more than 150 countries, we’re the largest patent non-aggression community in history. Together, we support freedom of action in Linux as a key element of Open Source & help members reduce patent risks."

Red Hat signals Intel's software-defined silicon will debut in Linux 5.18


New wine in old bottles

I'm fairly sure that stuff with disabled features is not new. The same silicon did more if you pay more. I'm scratching my head a bit but disabled cores on CPUs seems to ring a bell. IIRC you could DIY by enabling a connection with silver paint.

With modern line widths etc, software is probably the only feasible method. But if you are giving it away with the GPL why not just enable it in the first place?

KDE Community releases Plasma 5.24: It's eccentric, just like many old-timers


Kameleon Desktop Environment.

You can fairly much make it look and feel like anything you want. Which users think is a feature and detractors think is a bug.

However to describe the current KDE as venerable is to fail to acknowledge that the code base has been refactored several times over the years to include new techniques and technologies.

And as for the menu I think there are three choices if it matters to you.



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