* Posts by gerryg

635 posts • joined 19 Aug 2009


Amazon to cover 100%* of college* tuition* for hourly employees* in the US


What is wrong with people?

I don't have to think Amazon is a soft and cuddly NGO to consider this is a reasonable employee benefit.

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter


Re: choices that have been around since before Pascal

I wish someone had done that to me with German.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal


Remember "Take Back Control"

I'm expecting a million down votes for saying this but as part of the European Union we ceded control of competition policy. For many years the CMA had little sway over M&A over (I think) £100m. Whether other nations would have cared so much about ARM is unclear but more clear would have been our difficulty to exercise national concern.

While it seemed to be true that not every country adhered to the rules, that doesn't make a good counter argument

LibreOffice 7.2 brings improved but still imperfect Microsoft Office compatibility


As I posted in the discussion about Zorin

This is a specific example of the LOTD problem.

If in any way LibreOffice is sub-optimal it is LibreOffice's problem.

If in any way Microsoft Office is sub-optimal it is LibreOffice's problem.

Zorin OS 16 Pro arrives complete with optional 'Windows 11' desktop


Biggest problem with LOTD

I've been using LOTD for over 20 years. I've heard everything about LibreOffice, WINE, drivers, luckily we've lost the winmodem and these days few people try to troll recompiling the kernel.

I'm surprised about how good WINE has got for the few applications I need it for. The look and feel, usability and compatibility of Libre Office heads ever north.

I have no interest in debates about distro comparison. They're all good enough. You're talking among yourselves.

I'm convinced the real barrier to adoption is the psychological contract one enters into with anyone to whom you give Linux.

If Microsoft Windows goes wrong or that fancy gizmo is not supported on Windows version X+1, if Apple decide that you need new cables for that expensive but gleamy thing. Or it can't be repaired because you you don't live in a large enough town. It just seems to be the cost of being alive.

You suck it up because you have no control.

But your friend, partner, whatever, tells you that Linux gives you control. And you no longer need to suck it up.

So when anything at all happens that is the least bit sub-optimal, you realise something probably can be done about it and that you can load it all on to said friend, partner, whatever.

There is no prolonged gratitude for having saved a laptop from the rubbish heap, for the several hundred pounds not spent on new kit. They've been given control and they take it.

Even your nearest and closest.

Microsoft broke British and European competition laws, UK reseller tells High Court


Power to their elbow

ValueLicensing seem to be heading into the next fifteen years of their life with cheerful understanding of the challenge.

We should all wish them well though I stop short of setting up a go fund me for them.

ICO survey on data flouters: 50% say they receive more unwanted calls than before pandemic


Re: Someone's personal data is being misused

You do know that opening mail that isn't addressed to you without reasonable excuse is a criminal offence?

Linus Torvalds launches Linux kernel 5.13 after seven release candidates


Re: Does it Miracast/wireless display out of the box ?

I'm impressed that while you are obviously happy with your current choice of operating system you are tracking the development of Linux so closely.

I remember early versions of Linux when you needed to be root to successfully use a CD-ROM drive.

But on the other hand when I eventually get 5.13 I'll still be able to use all my hardware including a ten year old laptop. Good luck with Windows 11

Huawei dev flamed for 'useless' Linux kernel code contributions


My own comment commit

S/less/fewer -g

UK competition watchdog launches investigation into fake review epidemic across Google and Amazon


"verified purchase"

The 1896 sale of goods act (which lasted until 1970's) was sub-titled "caveat emptor".

I read the reviews and decide what to make of some of the outliers. I also look at the profile. If there are a lot of 1 star I read them carefully. But most of all I read the "verified purchase" reviews. Ones where people have parted with hard cash.

It's not fool proof but one can eliminate a lot of the trolls, loons and liars.

I've also read some product assessments in that well known consumer magazine and found them less than helpful (washing machines, for example, you can indeed ignore advice to spend the price of a small car).

Would it be better if there no reviews?

£1bn lawsuit by Google Shopping rival staggers back to feet in London High Court


Re: Monopoly

No it is proving abuse of a dominant position that breaks the law. A monopoly needs to demonstrate it isn't abusing its dominant position if challenged. But one way to become a monopoly is to be the best. Others won't like it but they just have to try harder.

Debian's Cinnamon desktop maintainer quits because he thinks KDE is better now


Re: Legal issues

The Qt scare "legal issues" story is seemingly one that won't go away. I am never sure if those that raise concerns are actually worried or are just engaging in FUD.



UK competition watchdog begins probe into Apple and Google's total domination of the mobile landscape


I'm typing this on a Moto G8 power

It cost me less than £200 and you can buy them currently for £135. Some people pay five times that much and it's not because of Android. You can pay less than I did and still get full fat Android. I crowd funded Jolla and Sailfish but luckily managed to sell it on at almost zero net cost. Microsoft, not short of a few quid, have failed miserably to enter the market.

So I assume Android must be doing something right. I wouldn't enter the Apple ecosystem in a hazmat suit. So I'm more voluntarily detained than locked-in.

App store? Don't know enough to comment.

Also in the phone market let's not forget you are selling your soul to the carrier.

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around


Re: I tripple E

I'm not sure.

The HP85 was pretty cheap too. And it had a built in thermal printer so you could print out the results. Tiddly screen but more than usable.

openSUSE leaps to 15.3 – now built with 'same binary packages' as SUSE Enterprise


Re: Or use debian

While you are right, I use Tumbleweed. The people that rely on me use Tumbleweed (no choice...) After I swapped out the nVidia card for Radeon they haven't had a problem since about 2011.

Having said that if you are using Tumbleweed I think the assumption is surely that you or someone nearby has half a clue?

Tiananmen Square Tank Man vanishes from Microsoft Bing, DuckDuckGo, other search engines – even in America


The DuckDuckGo boast

"The Internet privacy company that empowers you to seamlessly take control of your personal information online, without any tradeoffs."

Who knew that they had China in mind?

Microsoft: Behold, at some later date, the next generation of Windows


xkcd, as ever, provides the perfect analogy


iFixit publishes teardown of M1 iMac, shows that making a determination of repairability is still hard


Re: Alienating Rural Customers

About a million years ago I remember a Tesco manager bemoaning the free pass that M&S got if e.g., they didn't have any tomatoes left "I should have got there earlier" whereas a Tesco manager would be lynched.

Apple seem to get the same free pass for reasons that escape me. They're not cheap and you only get what they want you to have. So no repairability except at Apple rates and at their convenience.

So if you live in a remote spot and you want buy Apple you need to remember where you live.

When software depends on a project thanklessly maintained by a random guy in Nebraska, is open source sustainable?


If only...

...one of these behemoths could create a scheme which paid developers to produce software to be released under an open source licence.

If they were really imaginative they could fund a mentor to help the project along.

It would be really nice if all open source projects could submit proposals for consideration, improvements, infrastructure, itches that needed scratching.

If it were aimed at students looking for paid work between exams and the new academic year, they could call it something a little bit goofy such as "summer of code"


As the website says 16,000 students, 111 countries, 715 open source organisations, 10 years and 38,000,000 lines of code

Apple vs Epic Games trial kicks off featuring the same old arguments, hundreds of angry Zoombombing tweens


Epic must have been asleep at the wheel

It's not as if Apple don't have form on protecting their business model.

And if Epic win the first round then there will be an appeal. If after all forms of appeal have been exhausted the level of the award will challenged. Time and lawyers fees wait for no-one.

I doubt if Epic's pockets are deep enough to survive this.

It's never about being right. It's about choosing your partner carefully.

We admire your MOXIE, Earthlings: Perseverance rover gizmo produces oxygen for first time on Mars


Cooking on gas...

...nah, they're sucking diesel

Microsoft loves Linux – as in, it loves Linux users running Linux desktop apps on Windows PCs


Yes, of course

"By offering a hybrid development environment, Microsoft may encourage Linux developers to see its software and hardware as tools of the trade."

Separately, KDE has been available for Windows for years

Microsoft renews cloud contracts with UK.gov amid ongoing legal spat with on-prem licence reseller


Haven't we been here (or nearby) before?

Didn't Oracle lose a case about licence resale in about 2012? I think they took it all the way to the ECJ. And despite Brexit, the ruling would still hold sway here.

Nothing significant has happened in competition law legislation since then so I'm curious about how this one will play

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead


Back when it all started

Several points really, back in the day, IIRC

(1) The SCO doing the suing was a renamed organisation and unrelated to the Unix company

(2) Microsoft funded the original lawsuit by $20m and Sun chipped in the same again. So that's Oracle then. If they're not involved I think we can further reduce the probability of credibility by several orders of magnitude.

(3) Novell's death rattle was to point out they'd never sold the name Unix (something that is too easily forgotten)

Linux was versioned somewhere in the 2.x it's now getting close to 5.12 so I wonder what's left that could possibly form the basis of a law suit.

Absolutely fab: As TSMC invests $100bn to address chip shortage, where does that leave the rest of the industry?


Re: what would ...

Your Ab Fab joke was appreciated over here, have an up vote

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem


Re: When turn off/turn on fails

I think it was a super dinky Sony(?) laptop in the late 1990s.

I was giving a presentation off site, luckily not about IT. It was lent to me as a kind gesture as it weighed almost nothing to carry.

I could not find the on switch to save my life. Neither could two or three people lusting after the form-factor. It took about 15 minutes.

Grotesque soundbyte alert: UK government opens wallet to help rural areas get 'gigafit'


Devolved administrations n'all

Y'know leaving it to them to define their priorities. They get a settlement each year and don't like acknowledging Westminster exists. Can't have it both ways.

Google: US antitrust regulator was totally right to let us off the hook nearly 10 years ago


Market dominance <> abuse of a dominant position

I have no insight into any company's practices. I do have personal experience of which company's products play nice with other companys' products. Being dominant in a market is not anti-competitive. Abusing that dominant position is the offence. Obviously companies that have failed to gain market share are free to use whatever legal means are at their disposal to do something about it.

I have no idea if the consumer benefits from all the dead weight costs of lobbying, advertising, astroturfing, litigation, patent protection and all the categories I've missed.

I understand that until recently Microsoft made more money from Android than Google did, it might still be true, because of patent royalties.

I do know it was Google that gave away the rights to its Motorola patent portfolio to protect Free and Open Source Software.

Despite being free in all senses of the word LibreOffice has failed to achieve much market share and often wonder why. People that don't use it tell me it is because it isn't good enough though I've often wondered "good enough for what?"

Delayed, overbudget and broken. Of course Microsoft's finest would be found in NASA's Orion


Slide Rule

It's no problem. Just channel your inner Neil Armstrong and bring your slide rule.

UK Supreme Court declares Uber drivers are workers, not self-employed: Ride biz's legal battle ends in a crash


An Uber driver wrote (somewhere)

The reason they liked being an Uber driver was it freed them from the tyranny of the minicab controller. The reasoning went something like "if your face didn't fit your family didn't get to eat that week". It's not a world that I know anything about but there seem to be enough Uber drivers (and Amazon delivery drivers) to suggest it wasn't all bad or perhaps there was a lack of better or suitable alternatives. This weekend I sent a parcel via a web based choose your service provider. I had a choice of companies, drop off points and hours (mostly 24/7) with tracking as standard and insurance options. Or I could have gone to the Post Office and queued for an hour, if they were open and paid twice as much or more if I wanted tracking or insurance. It's not as black/white good/evil as some might paint it neither am I arguing for carte blanche to "do evil"

Wells Fargo patent troll case has finance world all aquiver so Barclays, TD Bank sign up to Open Invention Network


Re: Patent the bloody obvious!

The problem is how the US patent system works in practice. Litigation is king. The system relies on the Courts to prove the validity or otherwise. Along with jurisdiction shopping it can seem to be cheaper and quicker to buy off the troll rather than litigate.

However, studying how protection rackets work didn't seem to make it into the MBA syllabus as otherwise many more businesses would have signed up to OIN sooner

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS


Re: Um... webkit

Webkit would have nothing to do with Linux as it was a wholesale lift of KHTML (the K coming from the usual source). If memory serves Apple initially would not contribute back to the KHTML project (in fairness the LGPL did not require it) but continued "go on do the right thing" public pressure resulted in Apple doing a massive there-you-go-then undocumented code dump.

"having to release your mod as source isn't freedom at all" fair enough but the you are all free not to use the code you are modding too. It doesn't seem to be serfdom to acknowledge that you got something so you should give back. In general that seems to be called "society"

The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre


Singlemode telecommunications fibre is a pure SiO2 cladding around a Ge doped SiO2 core. If memory serves the Ge doping raises the refractive index by about 0.0043 so use 1.46 as the refractive index of the fibre, so speed of light in a fibre is about 0.68 speed of light in a vacuum.

But the bandwidth of the fibre is limited by the quality of the devices shoved on each end. In your face microwave.

Scottish enviro bods shrug off ransomware gang's extortion attempt as 4,000 files dumped online, saying it's nothing big


You were doing OK right up until the proof by waving your hands, viz, "20 years ago Linux/Unix was inherently more secure than Windows but time has moved on and Windows is now much more secure"

I'm fairly sure a properly managed Windows environment can be made fairly secure. I'm fairly sure that with enough effort a *nix environment can be made fairly insecure.

It's just that with the former you have to make things stop happening and in the later you have enable things to have them start.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community


Is that all you've got?

If your MBR was damaged (let's run a survey on number of people that has happened to) all you have to do is reinstall your MBR. Actually I remember about 15 years ago trying to demonstrate SUSE to a hard bitten Windows sys admin. This was in the days when Microsoft refused to even pretend to play nice. And yes I lost the Microsoft MBR. It took about 2 minutes of unflustered admin to restore it but only by removing dual boot.

Those were the days - have you slipped through a crack in the space-time continuum?

Oracle and AWS trumpeted how their clouds helped Zoom scale. But it turns out Zoom fears its cloud bills and uses co-located kit


Re: taken as a whole - Zoom rocks

After the 40 minutes timeout (you get a 10 minute warning) you can just re-start. Think of it as an opportunity to have a coffee break from the out-laws.


taken as a whole - Zoom rocks

Somewhere else on this site we read that software vendors are conducting audits on hospitals.

Here we read that Zoom have lifted restrictions on schools use during the current times. I don't know about you but I've found the free one-to-one a godsend and the 40 minute restriction on group chat not much of a problem during family get togethers. Some Go clubs have bought licences for about £12/month and hosting multiple meet-ups to keep the game alive till we can get back to staring at each other across the board feeling jealous about The Queen's Gambit.

I don't really know how Zoom makes any money but they seem a fairly decent lot.

Linux developers get ready to wield the secateurs against elderly microprocessors


It's a do-ocracy

If your business model depends on using processors that are considered archaic you always have the option of maintaining the code yourself or, gasp, creating a branch. If you are a hobbyist parasite (just so you know, mostly, I'm a parasite) then remember it's free as in free speech not free as in beer.

"Free software" means software that respects users' freedom and community. Roughly, it means that the users have the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software. Thus, "free software" is a matter of liberty, not price. To understand the concept, you should think of "free" as in "free speech," not as in "free beer". We sometimes call it "libre software," borrowing the French or Spanish word for "free" as in freedom, to show we do not mean the software is gratis.

— The Free Software Foundation

Two English councils sign up to Azure for six years in £35m reseller deal as ERP project faces delays, ballooning costs


"only works on"

It makes my heart sink whenever I read that phrase especially in the context of public finance. Does no-one in the public sector ever learn anything about the need for open standards?

Crowdfunded Asahi project aims for 'polished' Linux experience on Apple Silicon


I agree with your sentiments but...

Freedom to do whatever you want (1) is not the same as freedom from others telling you what you can do (2). One can have an as free as it can possibly be (type 2) computer now. (Do you fab you own components? no, I thought not). Companies exist that let you do whatever you want with their hardware. Do you run openbios? It all starts there UEFI or legacy boot.

Apple do make nice hardware, so I'm told, but if you want those particular shiny toys you are asking for type 1 freedom. There's no evidence that Apple want you in their orchard. They might let you carry on forever but if you threaten their business model I don't think you should be surprised if they do something about it. Here the past is definitely a guide to the future.

I would rather continue to fund (not breathtaking amounts) and support type 2 freedoms but good luck ( no implied "with that one")

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only


Re: wxWidgets

I've watched this discussion rise up periodically for about 20 years. I'm not on my desktop but I'm fairly sure it is using Qt 5.24 so I'm not sure I understand all this blah about 5.15 or 6.0

It all feels a bit tabloid

For the licencing, it might be worthwhile going to original sources. The following is from the Trolltech FAQ...

The KDE Free Qt Foundation is an organization with the purpose of securing the availability of the Qt toolkit for the development of Free Software and in particular for the development of KDE software. The Foundation was originally founded by Trolltech and the KDE e.V. (the legal non-profit organization behind KDE) in 1998 and it has a license agreement that ensures the availability of Qt under LGPLv3 and GPLv3 licenses for major desktop and mobile platforms. The license agreement has been updated couple of times over the years, mainly because of acquisitions around Qt or updates to licenses and platforms.

It's also worth looking at KDE.org (funnily enough) and their page KDE Free Qt Foundation.

While it is true that Gnome was started because of licensing concerns about Qt it is also true that the foundation was specifically set up to address those concerns.

Everything looks fairly clearly explained and covered off to me. Nothing I've read here indicates that anyone has bothered to check.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 8: No boundaries were pushed in the making of this laptop – and that's OK


Northern line reference

you missed "...in 2019" as at the mo' the tube is mostly empty.

Why make games for Linux if they don't sell? Because the nerds are just grateful to get something that works


Re: lovely Linux games

Tux Racer, brilliant. I also miss the openSuse festive boot screen

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech


Re: Dead mouse

I've watched our cat perform a fairly similar trick (pro-rata) to get though a hole in a fence. It was as though she had detached her shoulders.

In other news I've watched her struggle to get through the cat flap then look at one of us until we open the door, however, when being chased by the local un-neutered Tom, she flies through without touching the sides


Re: Heat detector

Nearly a Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers reference but it's Fat Freddie that owns the cat and yes I remember the cartoon.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream


Re: I'm .....

As long ago as S.u.S.E. they has one development tree, "factory" from which they pulled the Enterprise version and the snapshots now known as Leap and the rolling release "Tumbleweed" Red Hat always seemed a bit tricksy about giving stuff away and SUSE never seem to get the credit for it.

Cops raid home of ousted data scientist who created her own Florida COVID-19 dashboard


Re: Really?

I think you forgot a step in your reasoning: At least she's white so they didn't shoot her.

Are You Experienced? Microsoft packs up features developed independent of OS to flash at Windows Insiders


Re: Jimi

One good thing to come out of Seattle.

YouTube is going to splash adverts all over your videos, and won't pay creators unless there's a big enough audience


McD coffee far from awful just not great

Would I describe McD as my goto coffee? Not at all but I can say it's far from shite and at a reasonable price. After midnight (remember those days?) it's cheap and dependable. The alternative in central London is pony-tailed bearded ones delivering dishwater for around three times the price.

BBC picks SiFive RISC-V chip for Doctor Who programming-for-kids kit – with Jodie Whittaker narrating


Showing my age.

While my current thingy runs at 4.2GHz with 32GB of 3GHz RAM back in the day of 8MHz and 32kB I would have bitten your hand off for a spec like this



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