* Posts by MacroRodent

1802 posts • joined 18 May 2007

Linus Torvalds admits to 'self-inflicted damage' with -Werror as Linux 5.15 rc1 debuts

MacroRodent Silver badge


The problem with this setting is that a warning from GCC may mean some totally trivial thing that does not really affect code correctness, or it means something you really want to fix. Setting -Werror will then cause both of these to make your compilation fail. You can make it more finegrained, really per warning type, but then you get a really long list of options.

Also, new GCC versions typically add more warnings, or make existing checks stricter, so after a compiler upgrade you often get lots of errors if you have -Werror.

So in principle a useful option, in practice it gives you a lot of busywork.

GitHub merges 'useless garbage' says Linus Torvalds as new NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15

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Re: Origin of "git"

Actually, The Man himself wrote (in "Just for Fun" p 88):

And Ari Lemke, who insured that it made its way to the ftp site, hated the name Freax. He preferred the other working name I was using -- Linux -- and named my posting: pub/OS/Linux. I admit that I didn't put up much of a fight. But it was his doing. So I can honestly say I wasn't egotistical, or half-honestly say I wasn't egotistical. But I thought, okay, that's a good name, and I can always blame somebody else for it, which I'm doing now.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: NTFS support added to Linux kernel 5.15 a good idea.

> covered by a GPL'd NTFS driver built on top of Fuse though.

Which of course has existed for years ("NTFS-3G"), and most distros bundle it. I have not had any trouble accessing removable NTFS -formatted drives with Linux during the past 15 years or so.

Hopefully the kernel driver works at least as well. In theory, it could have a better performance, but I'm not sure there are use-cases where it matters. For me as a Linux user, copying files on and off removable disks has been the only reason to mount NTFS volumes on Linux, and performance is not much of an issue for such use.

MacroRodent Silver badge


That xkcd captures very well my git experience. Initially I raged at it, but have now grown numb and apathetic. I just have a file "git-tricks.txt" from which copy_paste commands, and if that does not help, rm -rf and git clone to start over...

Add Gerrit to that for extra pain...

Give us a CLU: Object Oriented Programming pioneer arrives on GitHub

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Re: Oh no

> Also astonishing that a completely modern TeX can format a document written in 1982.

In principle, yes, but if the document relies on macro packages (almost all do, LaTeX being the most popular package), you better have compatible versions of these. I have often come across situations, sometimes with my own documents, where a new versions of TeX + LaTeX cannot handle an old document without tweaks, thanks to changes in the macros.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Oh no

> not sure if Firefox's PDF support can convert PS on the fly,

probably not, I think I once tried it. Or was it on Chrome, not sure. Before PDF became popular, papers on the net (= ftp sites) were often in .ps or compressed .ps.Z files. A variant of Firefox that directly supports these (in addition to PDF links, of course) would be cool.

Spring tears down math geek t-shirt listing because it dared to mention the trademarked word 'zeta'

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: "The Greek alphabet is currently protected legally"

> I remember reading that only English and Hawaiian use the Latin alphabet unadorned with diacritics or letter modifications,

Swahili is also like that. It is a widely used language in Eastern Africa.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: "The Greek alphabet is currently protected legally"

> The English alphabet comes to mind ...

I didn't know there is an English alphabet, unless you mean the Shavian alphabet (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shavian_alphabet). But that is quite recent, not sure if it is in the public domain yet

Now the Latin alphabet certainly is in the public domain, even though it is not quite as old as the Greek one.

Good news: Japanese boffins 3D print what looks like marbled Wagyu beef. Bad news: It's tiny and inedible

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: "there's the edibility problem to overcome"

> whether or not the patty had been a part of a formerly live cow was not discernable by taste,

I rarely visit these joints, but a couple of weeks ago did, and on a whim ordered a veggieburger, where the patty is made from some of the new-fangled plant-based meats substitutes. Frankly, it tasted and felt exactly like their meat version. Clearly, 3d-printing meat for this purpose would be overkill.

GitHub's Copilot may steer you into dangerous waters about 40% of the time – study

MacroRodent Silver badge

Researches did not read the C spec.

> sprintf(buf, "%f", 1E300) will generate a massive string.

Actually, it wont! The standard says that if precision omitted in %f, like it is here, it is assumed to be 6.

So the 20-character array allocated is actually overkill.

Solar System's fastest-orbiting asteroid spotted, flies closer to the Sun than Mercury

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Relativity

Objects of various masses would orbit just the same way, except for something so massive it would affect the Sun's movement. Because of the large mass of the Sun, that would require something like a major planet to have any noticeable effect.

MacroRodent Silver badge


This I find puzzling:

Article: "Since PH27 lives so close to the Sun, and has a relatively low mass, it experiences general relativistic effects more so than any other known Solar System object,"

Why should the mass matter for relativistic effects? As we all know, gravity affects a feather and a hammer the same way (in the absence of air friction).

Epic lawsuit's latest claims: Google slipped tons of cash to game devs, Android makers to cement Play store dominance

MacroRodent Silver badge

Who would indeed?

> Haha, who would buy a device like that?

Aren't all Apple iPhone and iPad devices like that? I hear they sell well.

More Boots on Moon delays: NASA stops work on SpaceX human landing system as Blue Origin lawsuit rolls on

MacroRodent Silver badge


At this rate, the Chinese will have a city on the moon by the time Americans get to land there.

After reportedly dragging its feet, BlackBerry admits, yes, QNX in cars, equipment suffers from BadAlloc bug

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Re: This bug is everywhere else too

A calloc that tries to make assumptions about alignment based on the inputs is just an invalid implementation. The C standard says "The calloc function allocates space for an array of nmemb objects, each of whose size is size. The space is initialized to all bits zero." It cannot assume the size is not really size, but something larger. Typically the second parameter is sizeof(something), and if "something" has alignment requirements in an array, sizeof already takes care of rounding up.

All implementations I have seen just multiply the numbers together and call malloc with them (or call the same internal function malloc calls). The only gotcha is if the implementer does not realize the multiplication can overflow and wrap to something less than either size parameter. Sadly, that is how many callocs are...

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Rust

> You could use Rust's checked math [...]

A low-level allocation library will almost certainly not enable runtime checks, in the name of efficiency. A "safe" language is probably safe only if its implementation has absolutely no way to turn the checks off.

The Sun is shining, the birds are singing, and Microsoft has pulled support for Internet Explorer in Microsoft 365

MacroRodent Silver badge

not for naught

Article It was all for naught in the long term as the final iteration of Internet Explorer is very much headed to the boneyard.

Hardly! A 25 year run and worldwide use would counts as a huge success for the developers of any software. Most pieces of software have far fewer users, and die far sooner.

Pi calculated to '62.8 trillion digits' with a pair of 32-core AMD Epyc chips, 1TB RAM, 510TB disk space

MacroRodent Silver badge


Wonder if they have finally found the image of a circle embedded in the digit sequence.

Re-volting: AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization undone by electrical attack

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Re: Really?

The whole point of SEV is to defend against an untrustworthy host (either because its owner is evil, or his organization has been penetrated by some three-letter agency). So it should resist also physical attacks.

Thunderbird 91 lands: Now native on Apple Silicon, swaps 'master' for 'primary' password, and more

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Re: O365 and IMAP

Yes, O365 is the most successful vendor lock-in known to mankind.

Apple responds to critics of CSAM scan plan with FAQs, says it'd block governments subverting its system

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Re: Kiddie porn? how noble

>Still its nice to know my Nikon D330 photos are safe from scanni.. oh I'm using windows to store them

Better use a film camera to be safe... most of my pictures this summer were shot with a classic Asahi Pentax SLR.

MacroRodent Silver badge
Black Helicopters

No upside for Apple, so... draw your conclusions

As expected, Apple comes out looking bad in this, and I am pretty sure they knew it ahead of time. This means there must be mighty arm twisting going on behind the scenes. Speculating Apple has been told by U.S gov in no uncertain terms to do something about child abuse pics, with the threat of legislation to force mandatory backdoors, if they do not comply.

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

MacroRodent Silver badge


Python and Perl have different goals and design philosophies.

Perl as it is is more useful in many cases than Python: You don't wear down you fingers into stumps writing it, and you don't have to import lots of libraries to perform common tasks. It is the ideal language when your program massages text, files and processes, and is not too complicated to fit into one source file of reasonable size.

Python is certainly better for larger applications.

US labor official suggests Amazon's Alabama workers rerun that unionization vote

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Pretty good demonstration

Amazon keeps providing us with examples of why strong labour unions are needed.

Israeli authorities investigate NSO Group over Pegasus spyware abuse claims

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Re: How does it work?

I have wondered about the origin and reason for the existence of that famous list of phone numbers. Being part of NSO:s license control is one reason that makes sense. However having a plaintext master list of targets feels like bad security.

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

MacroRodent Silver badge

web Teams works on Linux

I have been the web interface of Teams on Linux all through the pandemic. Works (even camera). There is supposedly a Linux Teams version, which is essentially a web browser running a single app (an Electron monstrosity), and some of my colleagues who have tried seem to have trouble with authentication all the time with it, so I never bothered. Web Teams works for my needs.

My spouse has tried to work with Teams on Windows, with scarcely less problems (and as the IT support of our house, these immediately are my problems, causing grey hair). Yes, it really has trouble comprehending a user may have to access Teams as a member of different organizations, or as a "consumer" Windows ID user. How can it be so hard?

Latest patches show Rust for Linux project making great strides towards the kernel

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Re: Another language?

Most Windows programs still run on Windows 7, because it still is widely used, and developers don't want to cut support for it. That is not going to be the case for long. ReactOS will reactively have to add APIs in response.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Another language?

The problem with ReactOS is it is chasing a fast-moving target, Windows is whatever MS says it is, and nobody will use a Windows clone that does not run recent Windows software. Linux started out as a Unix clone, but that was a much simpler and stabler target, and nowadays some OS'es (even Windows) are trying to provide Linux compatibility, instead of the other way round...

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Next to learn

> I wouldn't describe D as new.

First version is from 2001, which makes it much newer than C, C++, or Java.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Next to learn

I had been wondering which of these new-fangled languages like Go, Rust, D, Swift etc. one should study in more depth. I guess Linux starting to actually use Rust for some bits (with even Linus blessing it) decides the choice.

Age discrimination case against IBM leaks emails, docs via bad redaction

MacroRodent Silver badge

Wonder if the redactors ever learn

"Redactions" that are easily undone with copy-paste have been objects of ridicule for decades now. One would expect by now that people have learned. But fortunately, for the amusement of TheReg readers, it continues.

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs break out of nuclear hellscape home and into people's hearts

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Rovio Ltd should be interested

Radioactive Hybrid Terror Pigs would be a worthy nemesis for the Angry Birds.

Microsoft tells US lawmakers cloud has changed the game on data privacy, gets 10 info demands a day from cops

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True, but the bank will nevertheless forcibly open the box in certain circumstances. For example, if the police turns up with a warrant for a particular box, the bank has reason to believe the box contains something hazardous, or the customer stops paying rent and cannot be contacted (the terms of my bank say they will wait for a year in that case, but then they will open it).

MacroRodent Silver badge

> Would anyone store their most private letters at some strangers house just because they offer it?

Actually, that happens all the time. Ever heard of safe deposit boxes at banks?

Rocky Linux release attracts 80,000 downloads as ex-CentOS users mull choices

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I don't think there is anything "mock" about an outrage caused by the manufacturer retroactively removing a documented feature some customers had come to rely on.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Scientific Linux etc

I actually used White Box Linux when I needed a RHEL clone, but it was a one-man band (or nearly), so after a year or two its maintainer gave up, and recommended CentOS, to which I moved.

Scientific Linux was a bit different, it survived until fairly recently, and the reason is it was not just a RHEL clone, but bundled software that RHEL did not have (I think OpenAFS support was one notable addition).

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

MacroRodent Silver badge
Thumb Up

Waiting for the anime version...

Sounds like a good premise for an Anime film.

(A suitably kawai icon is needed ->)

IBM's 18-month company-wide email system migration has been a disaster, sources say

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Re: Bean counters?

> But the (no doubt patented) Philips track following

Didn't that later become a feature in VHS, too? Only older decks needed manual track adjustment, newer ones did the trick automatically, unless the tape was really bad.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Video wars (Re: Bean counters?)

> Thing is Betamax was/is way better than VHS

A beloved tech myth. Actually there was very little difference. Both improved with time, but VHS obviously had more time to improve. "Late" VHS was certainly better than early Betamax was.

I used to have also a S-VHS deck, a backward-compatible extension that required slightly different tape (it could also play back and record regular VHS). THAT was a clearly visible improvement, almost DVD-quality. The fact it did not take off shows VHS was good enough for most people.

Researchers find evidence that stress does turn your hair grey, and it can be reversed – you just need a holiday

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Its not the colour that's the problem

More likely Picard just likes it that way. After all, even today there are men who keep their heads shawed bald.

Chromebook boom won’t outlive COVID-19 pandemic, says IDC

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Oh it will outlive the pandemic

Helsinki schools had gone to Office365, but that is pretty usable via web. My kid did pandemic home school with it and with some school website from Google (forget the name right now). Assignments were submitted that way. Chromebooks would have worked just as well (although he did already have a PC), no Windows stuff was actually installed.

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: My thoughts

> That said is someone fitting 3rd rail to the highland lines? I have seen the pictures of the Southern region electrics there.

The Swiss solution. I recall decades ago traveling there by Interrail and they seemed to have everything, even narrow-gauge trains electrified. Some had 3rd rails, particularly those going up mountain sides, some a bit flimsy-looking overhead lines.

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Huh

Or run on battery packs. In the case of trains, it would be straightforward, since weight is not as big an issue as in cars, and the battery pack could be quickly swapped with a recharged one at stations, so would not even have to last the entire journey.

The problem with hydrogen for energy storage is the process of making and using it is not too efficient.

Now that China has all but banned cryptocurrencies, GPU prices are falling like Bitcoin

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: I am no lover of the Chinese political system

> I'm making the big assumption here that the digital coins they wish to introduce will not be mineable per se?

I would say that is a safe assumption. The Chinese Governement will only tolerate digital coins whose supply they can control, the same way as that of ordinary money.

The planet thanks the banning of mining!

Racist malware blocks The Pirate Bay by tampering with victims' Windows hosts file

MacroRodent Silver badge

Misfiled article

Why is this under the "Science" topic? "Security" would be more accurate.

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

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Re: Lightweight and easily portable

XFCE for me too. Desktop managers are just a tool to launch and manage apps, not an end in themselves.

Having loved it for years, I can say there are some places, where the usability of XFCE could be improved (like adding an app launcher to panel could be simpler), but these are minor niggles. Could probably be fixes without adding bloat, though.

In this round of 'Real life or Black Mirror episode', drones that hunt down humans by listening to their screams

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Re: the HK-Aerial Terminator

Obviously we now need to develop autonomous killer drones that are programmed to kill hostile autonomous killer drones...

Two such swarms fighting each other to death would be an interesting sight.

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld

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Re: Stupid cops

Yes, reportedly a security researcher had actually already found earlier this year that ANOM is broken and BCC:s everything, although he did not know law enforcement was using the backdoor. His pages about it got taken down quickly... This must have been one sign that the secret could not be maintained much longer.

Australian cops, FBI created backdoored chat app, told crims it was secure – then snooped on 9,000 users' plots

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Re: Rozzers: 1, Ne'er-do-wells: 0

Seems they managed to co-ordinate cops globally, a major achievement. Media here in Finland today also reported about ANOM-related busts.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant

MacroRodent Silver badge

Re: Thankfully, the world is simple

Just bury them deep into stable rock.

No need for a religion: If technical knowledge is not lost, people will know about the site and its dangers, and will not go digging. If we get the "A Canticle for Leibowitz" scenario (new dark ages), people will not even be able to dig there, until enough technology is rediscovered. At which point they will know about radioactivity (or will learn pretty soon), hopefully also have deciphered old scriptures describing waste repositories.

Of course geological processes can also bring the waste up, but with careful design and site selection, it can be ensured this is not likely to happen before the waste has decayed to safe levels of radioactivity.


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