* Posts by ForthIsNotDead

932 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Sep 2009


UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system



Starting to hear stories/rumours that the issue was caused by a faulty flight plan filed in France.

I wonder if the system architects have hard of input validation?

Indian state turns off internet for 27 million, for four days, to stymie one man


In the UK you can be arrested for hurting someone's feeling on Twitter.

FTX collapse prompts other cryptocurrency firms to suspend withdrawals



it's gone.

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape


"Of all the non-carbon energy options we have, this is the only one which can keep the lights on"

... factually true. I'm a fan of the technology, even more so LMSR type technologies, which was abandoned back in the 1950s because it couldn't be used to make fuel for nuclear weapons.

However, I worry about the long-term storage of nuclear waste, and the burden we are placing on future, yet to be born generations who will have to live with, and maintain _our_ nuclear waste. It doesn't sit well with me. Doesn't feel right. Over the last thousand years, our ancestors left us the pyramids, the colosseum etc. All rather nice. Within the last 50 years, we have become the first human generation that is going to leave future generations tons and tons of deadly spent nuclear fuel - the half life of which is approximately 115,000 years. The half life. So, it's not safe after 115,000 years. It's just half as deadly.

This is the big elephant in the room regarding nuclear energy. Liquid Molten Salt Reactors "only" require a few hundred years of safe storage for their waste products, whereas the current of crop of reactors require hundreds of thousands of years of storage (Elsheikh, 2019, Sec. III, pg. 24).

The human race should be turning to molten-salt reactors.


Elsheikh, B.M., 2019. 'ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF MOLTEN SALT REACTORS'. Journal of Nuclear and Radiation Physics, Vol. 14 (2019) 21-28.

Available at: http://www.afaqscientific.com/jnrp/v14n003.pdf

Systemd supremo Lennart Poettering leaves Red Hat for Microsoft


Re: one step forward

@LDS - disagree. On Linux you can knock together a quick script in any language and run it as a a service. Can't do that in Windows. The Linux approach is much more flexible.

VMware customers fear Broadcom acquisition will stall innovation, increase cost


Re: Already planning

Upvoted you - but curious - what would be the most appropriate alternative IYO?

Germany makes new move to attract chip manufacturers


The way Germany are going with shutting down coal plants, shutting down nuclear plants, and shutting down energy imports from Russia, the Germans are likely to be sitting in the dark this coming winter. So why would I want to open a chip factory in Germany? Best bets for this kind of thing currently would be Vietnam, Mexico, or India. Certainly not China or Europe.

Elon Musk set to buy Twitter in $44b deal, promises stuff

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Just charge for access

I mean... why not. Say... a dollar a month? It would instantly cleanse the platform of the millions of bots, and all the pink-haired gender-fluid Marxist (well, they think they're Marxist, they've never actually experienced it themselves, of course) millennials living in their parents basements.

Happy days.

Arm's $66bn sale to Nvidia is off: Deal collapses after world's competition regulators raise concerns


> So long then..

And thanks for all the fish and CHIPS.


IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success



The very fact that any IPv6 device can have a 'public facing' IP address is, quite frankly, terrifying! Oh hell, no! Just because it's possible, doesn't mean it should be so!

Autonomy founder's anti-extradition case is like saying Moon made of cheese, US govt tells UK court


Re: Buyers’ remorse

I call it a vengeance system.

Log4j RCE latest: In case you hadn't noticed, this is Really Very Bad, exploited in the wild, needs urgent patching


Unintended consequences

I know of a water company that is using Log4J as a message passing system, a kind of poor-mans COM+ or CORBA to notify a remote system of an event by invoking code on it, with Log4J being the means/glue to pass the messages and invoke the remote code.

It's a mad world out there.

Intel updates mysterious 'software-defined silicon' code in the Linux kernel


Keep going Intel

Making users pay to unlock features that are already in the chip is just going to push folk towards open-source silicon. Your days are numbered.

Microsoft gives Notepad a minimalist makeover to match Windows 11 style



I wrote a 22,000 line assembly language program in Notepad++ it's a great editor. Windows notepad should have been retired years ago.

China to upgrade mainstream RISC-V chips every six months

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Very interesting

The critical thing for adoption in the west will be the quality of (English) documentation. Let's hope silly political jealousy is left out of the conversation and the product is simply judged on its technical merits.

Lithuania tells its citizens to throw Xiaomi mobile devices in the bin


This is why...

... a Linux phone is going to be my next phone.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81


Literally a legend

Let's face it - this guy is responsible for the launch of a LOT of British programming/computing careers. If you were around for the British home computer boom of the early 80s, and you're in IT today, you probably owe a beer to Jack Tramiel, or Uncle Clive. In my case, I owe a beer to both of them.

Beers Clive. You literal legend.

Don't like the new Windows 11 Start or Taskbar? Don't worry – Microsoft's got your back


As a Linux user, can I just say...

... you're welcome to all this shit! Bye!

Live, die, copy-paste, repeat: Everything is recycled now, including ideas

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Is my old childhood home. Makes me want to buy the house just for the awesome sweary location data.

I'm just imagining getting pulled over by the cops:

"Can you give me your address sir?"

"shitastrophy facefuck wazzock nincompoop"

"You're nicked."

Perl's Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language's foundation


Re: Is that still a thing?

In the Forth world, we call it 'read only' code. It makes sense when you're in the moment, at the keyboard developing and tweaking the code, but even a week later it's impenetrable gobbledygook!

It's normally a sign that the code needs to be re-factored. :-)


Re: Software Communism

I wish I could up-vote you more than once - instead - have a beer!


Re: Software Communism

No I am not Jake, but have an upvote anyway for raising a smile and lowering my blood pressure a little!


Software Communism

<rant>FFS. These ass-hats really piss me off.

"...and is not prioritizing the safety of the community.". Safety of the community? From what? You are building a language interpreter, not a nuclear reactor.

"...this was about multiple structural process and community outreach failures". Community outreach? Are they building shelters for the homeless, or building a fucking programming language?

I'm absolutely sick of this shit. It's 100% the reason why I refuse to get involved with any open source software. Not that I'd be welcome anyway, because I refuse to pander to this woke, communist duma-style 'committee led' wankery. Just write your fucking software. If someone behaves like a jerk, then the developers themselves can tell that person they are a fucking jerk and ostracise them if need be. What you *don't* need, is a self-appointed police committee, deciding what the 'law' should be (all in the interests of keeping everybody 'safe' of course), and then setting out to police that law no matter what, examining every communication on the group list, admonishing people for using improper pronouns and non-inclusive or inappropriate language, such as "master" and "slave", then getting together 'in-camera, in committee' to decide what the 'sentence' should be. It's communist-style politicisation of software development, and I refuse to have anything to do with it. I'd rather clean windows (glass windows) for a living.

Here's a suggestion: Instead of forming code-of-conduct 'contracts' and assembling inquisition committees to denounce fellow developers that refuse to conform to your 'safe' community fantasy, WHY DON'T YOU TRY WRITING SOME FUCKING SOFTWARE?

When are the developers going to grow some balls and tell these interfering communists to fuck off? Seriously.


Activist raided by police after downloading London property firm's 'confidential' meeting minutes from Google Search

Black Helicopters

Re: Loss of income? Inconvenience?

I was thinking the same thing - at the very least I would want assurances (and confirmation) that any subsequent entries on my 'record' in the police database would make the situation for my arrest and subsequent release without charge crystal clear.

Then I would turn my lawyers on the housing developers.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns


Re: Linux phone, here I come...

@cyberdemon - yes - I suspect the powers that be will be making justifications for such tooling any tine now!

If Apple are planning to roll this out on their phones, then it just makes sense that they will also roll it out on their laptop platforms. Microsoft will surely follow on Windows. I mean, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!


Re: re: this seems like a sensible middle ground.

Linux phone, here I come...

Microsoft to require proof of vaccination from on-site staff, pushes back full reopening


Re: Ok, I'll bite

>> "Why do those at no particular personal risk from Covid, need immunity?"

> That's it, now I'm pissed. Exactly HOW does a human being in planet Earth become NOT at personal risk from a contagious disease??

It's all relative - depends how dangerous the disease it. C19? Not very dangerous. Ebola? Terrifying.

> Are you an (illegal) space alien with natural immunity? Or, just an idiot who is too stupid for a virus to bother spreading to??

Ad-hominem ignored.

>Stop with the "my freedoms!!" Your parents' generation absolutely JUMPED at the chance to get the polio vaccine, for one...or, maybe, I've misspoke and in actuality you've HAD polio and are writing this from your iron lung?

Yes but those vaccines went through proper trials, over the course of very many years. They weren't rushed to the market in six months and released onto the public through emergency measures explicitly granted to bypass stage 3 trials. With the C19 vaccines, the entire world population *is* the stage 3 trial.

> The stupidity I've been witnessing throughout this epidemic is mind blowing. Unless you've have polio, smallpox, tetanus, rubella, typhoid and several other notable diseases, you have NO foot to stand on regarding an anti-vaccine stance because vaccines prevented you from getting all THOSE diseases. So now that vaccines accomplished their role in those historic problems, you want to politicize a bias by claiming that *this* vaccine is bad and against your "freedom".

Firstly, those diseases will kill you. Secondly, nobody is forcing me to take those vaccines in order to go to a pub or my place of work. Do you see the difference now?

I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices


Re: I'm not sure

Asymptomatic carriers is a myth. There's no such thing. If you are 'asymptomatic then it simply means you are not carrying enough viral load to infect yourself. If you can't infect yourself then you certainly can't infect others.

Current thinking is that the asymptomatic carrier theory is born of the horrifically high false-positive rate of the inappropriate PCR test. You had a positive test, but you're not ill - you must be asymptomatic then. No, you either carry such a small viral load that your body will kill the virus before you become ill, or the test result is simply wrong.

I've had three C19 tests. Two were positive, one negative. Blood tests taken by my GP confirm I have no antibodies (I am not vaccinated) thusly I have never been exposed to the virus. The tests were simply wrong.

D'oh! Misplaced chair shuts down nuclear plant in Taiwan


So what we're saying is...

..."It's bad, but not terrible" :-)


BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon


+1 for the headline

I'm just hear to upvote the brilliant Beatles invoked headline!

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

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Re: Sacked for being boring: yay!

Yeah, I think I'm with you on this. On the one hand, it kind of sucks that he got fired for espousing a wholly positive message about racism. On the other, it reeks of narcissistic self-congratulatory virtue-signalling. The classic "Look! Everybody praise me! I mended my ways! Everybody line up to praise me NOW!".

Perhaps it is that side that his colleagues had a problem with.

In either case, I don't think he should have lost his job for this, as narcissistic as it appears. One could have simply rolled ones eyes and ignored it. My suspicion is that the guy was probably on a shaky peg already, and this action broke it.

There's still this taste of cancel culture about this episode though, which doesn't sit well with me.

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Re: When I was ten...

I shall report myself to the Thought Police HR forthwith!


When I was ten...

... a black girl came to our school in provincial Shropshire. The year was 1980. It was the first time I had ever seen a black person in the flesh. In fact, it probably was the first time any of us had seen a black person in the flesh.

The racism that this poor girl had to endure at school (100% at the hands of the boys at the school, not the girls - she had plenty of female friends - just an anecdotal observation) was simply appalling. I can't describe to you the absolutely disgusting behaviour she had to endure on a daily basis.

And I joined in.

Monkey noises, "n****r", "do you want a banana?". I can't tell you how ashamed I am of my behaviour some 40 years later. I often think of her.

She went to the same secondary school as me, but by the age of 12 or 13 I had managed to work out for myself that being an asshole to someone purely because they have a different skin colour is a really shitty thing to do. I grew out of it.

But where did this behaviour come from? For the most part, I was not an instigator - I could name the main protagonists - but I won't! I was a follower. But what makes children racist? Looking back, I, like the gentlemen named in the main article, inherited my "latent" racism from my parents (who were clearly casual racists, as any evening spent watching Top of the Pops on a Thursday evening would reveal) and my grandparents.

But I was lucky, I worked things out for myself. I rejected it. I made friends with the girl from school, because it was just stupid to not be friends with her. I still, to this day though, carry the guilt of what I, in league with others, put her through.

Should I be fired from my job because of the actions of my 10 year old self?

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far


Re: "old WIndows"

"I'm not a big fan of "modernization" which entails eliminating UI cues and making the UI more cryptic."

Have an up-vote. If a GUI requires me to puzzle-solve in order to use it, then it's not a good GUI.

I honestly think MS hit the GUI sweet-spot back in the days of Win2000 and XP. Win2000 in particular was beautifully intuitive to use from a GUI perspective. A button looked like a button, and went inwards when you clicked it. Options were grouped together within frames. The newer flat look is a step backwards in my opinion.

I'm generally very happy with the Linux Cinnamon (on Linux Mint) GUI design which is very comfortable and 100% intuitive to use for probably 90% of things. Some of the more dusty areas of the OS (settings) could do with a bit of work - there's still some puzzle solving involved - e.g. the Firewall GUI - but for most things it's very good indeed.

In Microsoft's case, I think they could do better if they just effing stopped moving things around. I don't know how many times they have re-designed the control panel over the years. Try navigating to ODBC settings to set up database DSNs. You can guarantee that wherever it is, it won't be there on the next edition!

Just stop mucking around with it!

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


IR35 has its benefits

I work as an independent consultant, and I have simply started refusing to deal with any of this stuff! Using company provided IT resources is a tax headache as it makes you appear (in the eyes of HMRC) to be a de-facto employee, so I've simply stopped dealing with all this stuff.

* "We'll give you an office laptop" - no can't do - it may affect my IR35 status by making me a de-facto employee.

* "We'll give you a company phone" - hell no - see above.

* "We'll also set you up on company email" - hell no. That will 100% fuck up my IR35 status. I'm a CONSULTANT, I don't work for you, I work for me.

* "We'll get you set up on teams" - see above. If you want to contact me, phone me, text me, or email me on MY company email address. I don't work for you.

I don't even use company networks when I'm on site. I use my own 4G hotspot.

I know it's arrogant but if you're an independent you have to get your shit together on this stuff. I have good relationships with my clients and they understand the hassle I have to deal with to maintain my independent status.

Companies have got to start getting their heads around this. The only exception I make is I will accept a network ID/login because I sometimes need one to access source code repos and the like. Same with a VPN account. The payoff is - I don't have all the shit with Teams, Skype, Slack etc. to deal with.

US offers Julian Assange time in Australian prison instead of American supermax if he loses London extradition fight


The US doesn't have a justice system. It has a vengeance system.

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features


I vote for...


Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Re: Depressing

"It’s really really depressing that software has become synonymous with spying on your users. What’s wrong with just releasing software that does what the user expects?

How’s the fuck did we get to this point? Why do software companies think it’s acceptable? Etc etc etc… moan, complain, sob….

It really pisses me off"

On any non-trivial software project that is being developed by a team of developers, it is the telemetry and crash reporting features that helps to deliver the software that does "what the user expects".

The telemetry in particular can be used to see which features of the software are popular (and therefore should be optimised, and have a priority for bug fixes etc.) and which features can be dropped.

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request



"Fuck off Zuck, I've got to get on with this,

I don't know what it is, but it goes on here like this."

(From my fave PF album!)

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10


Re: Two possibilities

Upvote for the Windows 2000 reference. It was a great, no nonsense OS. Reliable and fast.

Would also up vote you again if I could for the Linux Mint reference (beer instead -->) - I too run Mint - however, I don't dual boot. It's just Mint. I have Win 10 in Virtual Box VM if I need it, but I haven't ran it for months! The only thing I need Windows for is Siemens PLC programming software on the rare occasions when I need it.

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


Better left as (happy) memories

I recently powered up my ZX81, bought new in 1981. I was appalled at just how... shit it was. I mean, really, really awful. I can't believe how much time I must have invested in that machine when I was child. But at the time, it was literally magical. I can even remember how it smelt when it got warm.

When I muck around with these old machines it's a similar experience to meeting an old girlfriend from school: Initial excitement and feelings of high nostalgia, only to be brought back to earth with the weighty slap of reality and the realisation that some things are better left as warm, happy, comforting memories*!


* and the chances are, your ex-girlfriend from 1985 is looking at you and thinking exactly the same :-)

DoS vulns in 3 open-source MQTT message brokers could leave users literally locked out of their homes or offices


You would be correct, and... We do... Crontab is such a useful beast...

Twitter given three weeks to comply with Indian content code


Irony overload...

"Twitter has protested the new rules on grounds that they inhibit free speech."

It took 'over 80 different developers' to review and fix 'mess' made by students who sneaked bad code into Linux


Yes. If you are known to the maintainers and they trust you, whatever you submit is blindly accepted on faith. If you, meanwhile, have been paid by, say, China or the CIA or the FSB to slip something nasty into the code, there's no way they could know, because they don't check your code.

They may 'review' it to check that you're not doing something really dumb, like using old, deprecated system calls, that sort of thing, but other than that... Help yourself.

Audacity's new management hits rewind on telemetry plans following community outrage


Everyone losing their shit over telemetry in Audacity...

...and running it on Windows.

Cry me a river.

We seem to have materialized in a universe in which Barney the Purple Dinosaur is designing iPhones for Apple


Will it take an SD Card?


No it is, then.

Would be so cool if everyone normalized these pesky data leaks, says data-leaking Facebook in leaked memo



There's some quite confusing nomenclature in this article. It makes reference to 'vulnerabilities' and 'scraping'. But scraping is not a vulnerability - it's merely the act of code 'reading'/parsing the output of a page (in a web context). That is not a vulnerability. It's just software, and is very very difficult to defend against.

I'm no fan of Facebook at all, but I have some sympathy with their argument at least at the technical level. It is very very difficult to defend against scraping simply because, server-side, it is is very difficult to discern a human reader from a (cleverly developed) scraping application. Therefore, I can (up to a point) see where they are coming from. To be clear, I'm not defending the lifting of 533 million users records - and maybe that's where the vuln crept in - nefarious persons had access to more than they should have had access to. But the scraping itself is not a vuln.

"Longer term, though, we expect more scraping incidents and think it’s important to both frame this as a broad industry issue and normalize the fact this activity happens regularly.

I hate to say this, but that sounds reasonable enough. It does happen regularly. Heck, Google do it to most news websites the world over! In fact, they do it to YOUR site when they index it. The fight against scraping is an arms race, just like the fight against web tracking. Sophisticated, custom-written scraping apps will pause, scroll the 'screen' up and down, interact with 'like' buttons, share content etc to mimic the actions of a human user. I don't think there's much that can be done about it.

More nefarious, and the article doesn't really point this out (though I noticed a commenter above spotted it immediately) is the obvious attempt at distraction/re-direction away from the fact that 533 freaking MILLION records were snarfed, and instead, they respond to the scraping side of the issue.

We see you Facebook.

Debian devs decide best response to Richard Stallman controversy is … nothing

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I'm really not interested on what Debian's 'official opinion' is on this matter. I'm interested in the software that they produce. They made the right decision. No need to jump on the bandwagon. There's enough folks on it already.

Patent battle over Facebook Live and 'walkie talkie' tech rattles through High Court in London



How can Voxer sue Facebook in Texas for copying it's tech, then argue in London that the tech is 'fundamentally different?

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 now includes AMD options for biz customers, boasts up to 19 hours of battery life


Re: 19 hours battery life

That sounds like a faulty battery. I've seen this happen in multi-cell batteries where one (faulty) cell acts as a load for the other healthy cells, thus draining them. Ask for a new battery if it's still in warranty.