* Posts by saif

106 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Feb 2010


Canonical shows how to use Snaps without the Snap Store


Trollers must be haters...

I am anticipating the usual triggered anti-canonical posters. But while security and robustness is essential for industrial environments, for the ordinary desktop linux user this is probably excessive. Like cheapskate, old fogey, junk PC recyclers, I like to get software that did the basics with best performance and reduced space requirements on any PC. Not expecting my browser software to need to be isolated from CAD software or have to worry about negotiating layers of interfaces so that my non snapped photoeditor can interact with my snapped word processor. If there was a mechanism to "unsquash" the snap (ok, gonna be complicated) would be great.

Scientists claim >99 percent identification rate of ChatGPT content


Life imitates AI

My daughter at Uni uses ChatGPT to help understand things that are not clear in lectures, and finds things often /appearing/ to be explained better. The interesting consequence is that she feels her writing style is more like ChatGPTs than it used to be. We are what we eat. When we count on artifical reality for input, our natural outputs become indistinguishable from artificially generated ones.

Orion reaches the Moon, buzzes surface, gets ready to orbit


Re: "Dark" side of the moon

How many sides? Just 2: inside and outside. Outside is lit just under half the time, the inside is always a dark side, as far as I can tell.

Oh no, that James Webb Space Telescope snap might actually contain malware


Perl malware probably harder to detect...

If you want an obscure language, naturally obfuscated, which nobody below retirement age has heard of... seems ideal to me.

Human-made hopper out-leaps rival robots in artificial jumping contest


Just one jump?

Not more than a complicated spring if it can't jump again. How does it qualify as a robot?

Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays


Needs a moon of decent size

The presence of a large moon relative to the planet size also produces enough tidal energy to sustain a molten core... without which Mars and Venus lost their magnetic personalities

Sheffield Uni cooks up classic IT disaster in £30m student project: Shifting scope, leadership changes, sunk cost fallacy



After decades of evolution of systems inevitably develops capabilities that can not easily be replicated in a modern, up-to-date , monolithic project, even as the legacy technology becomes obsolete. As any one associated with NHS IT knows, revolution always leads to (hopefully temporary) degradation of performance at greater expense than just evolution...outsourced contractors just have to make promises, charge big bucks, then complain the problem is with the legacy system, and finally deliver an inferior product. This product, without benefit of bedding in and evolving itself, is thrown away because it cant compete with decades of adaption to user needs.

Another successful flight for SpaceX's Starship apart from the landing-in-one-piece thing


Was doing it in fog really necessary?

The biggest returns from these spacex launches are 1) the data and 2) the spectacle. When both are compromised, the retrospectoscopic analysis suggests that launches have been cancelled for less.

Oh no Xi didn't?! China's hackers nick naval tech blueprints, diddle with foreign elections to boost trade – new claim


Its not stealing, if both sides do it...it is sharing

I doubt that Chinese systems are invulnerable to western hacking, it is as important to spy on allies as potential enemies. Just call it normal procedure, call it intelligence sharing; some might believe sharing makes for a more peaceful world...possibly,

NHS needs to pull its finger out and prep staff for future robotics, genomics, data-led healthcare


Duty to be exploited by the greedy and liars

Health is precious. Paying taxes for the NHS gives us a right to demand healthcare, turning it into a state-funded cash-cow. This means that we are expected by vendors to pay huge amounts of money for anything. They charge 12 billion for NPfIT and deliver nothing. e-Noting procurement will cost our trust several hundred thousand pounds a year to rent, whereas systems exist that deliver greater functionality for little or no cost. The trouble is that IT systems are procured based on marketing hype and projected functionality, with progressively escalating costs once the foot is in the door. Too late, we find they deliver much less but handcuff the NHS to a system which it continues to bleed money into. Decisions are usually made by self-promoting quangos and fools with a track record of making bad decisions, the normal selection criteria for such posts.

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM


Naming Standards clearly designed to confuse...

Letters, suffixes and prefixes change from device to device...I can imagine order an A+, and wondering whether I will get the Original A+ or the New A+...costing roughly the same presumably

UK's info commish is having a howler: Site dies amid 'plagiarised' GDPR book scandal


Re: ALL the regulators are useless...

Those who can, do... those that can't, regulate...those that can't regulate, write authoritative texts...those that can't do any of these, plagiarise.

People hate hot-desking. Google thinks they’ll love hot-Chromebooking


Live USB sticks did it first and still does it better

Hot-desking without residue, access local and cloud data storage, can work without internet, faster, (potentially) more secure, and more versatile...I never leave home without my Puppy on a stick

Intel, Microsoft confess: Meltdown, Spectre may slow your servers


Re: There you have it: security or performance or switch to AMD

I suspect the patches that protect Intel users may inadvertently also throttle AMD users in many scenarios. Certainly if the patches come from Intel themselves, then it is likely they would not consider performance optimisation for non-Intel processors a useful goal.

Researcher says fixes to Windows Defender's engine incomplete


"Found on Linux, reproduced on Windows" ?

This is from the tweet...so Linux now uses Windows Defender, eh? I suppose he might have discovered it using pen-testing software in Linux on virtualised Windows machine. This illustrates, IMO, why you need OS diversity; so that each can point out the pimples on the other one's nose.

Staff, projects shed as Ubuntu maker Canonical tries to lure investors


"External investors" = "asset strippers"

A lot of activity that an business whose model relies on Open Source will generate no income. Investors are largely interested not in ideology but profitability. I am sad. Unity 8/convergence got a lot of hate, but was the product of people putting time, money and brains into something that benefits the community, There was never going to be any money in that and one man's pocket cant bank roll this forever.

Canonical preps security lifeboat, yells: Ubuntu 12.04 hold-outs, get in


Re: Systemd

Would be very interesting to know how many takers there are...This would be a useful metric to see if everybody jumped ship too early, and if there is a potential for Devuan.

Oh ALIS, don't keep us waiting: F-35 jet's software 'delayed'


National security

So, interface is Internet Explorer (the 3rd or 4th most secure browser), can not connect unless security at the base station is reduced and then proceeds to send all mission data (apart from the pilots name) to US.... Great. Should meet all the RAF's requirements for a utility.

WhatsApp, Apple and a hidden source code F-bomb: THE TRUTH


Evidence of scrutiny is good

The best thing about this is that someone else actually checked the code. Sort of validates the idea that source visibility can be used by third parties to find errors, vulnerabilities, and even entertainment.

World eats its 10 millionth Raspberry Pi


Better bundles for your bundle of cash

I really have no objections to folk chucking a few quid towards the RPi foundation; they have done a good job. We all know any one can get 7" Touch screen LCD (£40), WiFi keyboard+trackpad (£16), SD Card (£8), Power supply unit (Combined 5V and 12V for £3) and Pi3 (£30) Short HDMI cable (£2) (including VAT and delivery) from Amazon, making for a much more useful kit. The bundlers bundle not to save customers money, but exchange convenience (of not having to shop around, burn the OS onto SD and get a nice box with everything neatly packed inside) for some cash. It is, however, much more fun to make the better bundle yourself.

A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!


PQI/Transcend Aircard does it better...when it works

There is a hackable SD card that works as an SD card in you camera, but can be connected to over WIFI...the thing runs linux, offers a webserver and can present a busybox shell and uses a microSD as storage, allowing the files to be delivered to your PC wirelessly...and also potentially could be scripted for more adventurous activities


Microsoft sells 1,500 patents to Chinese mega-phone biz Xiaomi


Was FAT32 part of the deal?

That is the big question

India launches hypersonic space shuttle precursor


Aid is not help the poor.

Foreign is a political statement either to win votes at home or to influence other countries' foreign or domestic policies, and much of the money disappears in bureaucracy; UK foreign aid at least targets poorer nations like Bangladesh, Ethiopia etc.


US Foreign appears to be targeting mainly places they have bombed and Israel.


It is unlikely that any aid actually benefits the nation, but ostensibly British foreign aid is allocated to generally specific beneficial projects, I would say

Intel shows budget Android phone powering big-screen Linux


Thought of that before...

Pity the article did not even mention Ubuntu. Windows Continuum, takes idea (maybe) from Ubuntu convergence, and Intel is "broadly similar to ...Continuum". My personal take is that this Mir vs Wayland debate all over again. Intel is a Wayland fan and Mir hater. If Mir can deliver convergence already then it is important for hem to prove that Wayland can do the same.

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station


Divide by zero error

No fatalities from any manned missions != safest manned spacecraft if there have been no manned missions so far.

Statement like that should be suffixed with "touch wood"

Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store


Shell convergence > OS Convergence > device convergence?

If the same launcher could be presented on Android as well as windows phones, then later find that android apps can work on Windows phones, then that Microsoft's browser is just skinned Chromium, and later find that Windows really runs a modified BSD Kernel, and then that Nadella and Linus were distant cousins, followed by the discovery that this was all plot by a branch of NSA, funded by the Chinese. Yeah...

You can hack a PC just by looking at it, say 3M and HP



And unencrypted verbal communications can be easily intercepted by any one in the same room. Ultimately what is required is a firewall at the universal ports not just at the the digital to analogue transformation layer...the interface between man and machine. We need the firewall between man and man. Speaking gibberish or Welsh might do it.

World panics, children cry, workers sigh ... Facebook.com TITSUP


Now every one migrates to google plus?

or may be they'll just wait a little longer.

Human sacrifice. Android Wear syncing with iPhones. Cats and dogs living together. Mass hysteria!


One way integration is not integration

Presumably iMessage etc will not be viewed on the android device. Or once you have Facetime and iMessage and iTunes available on Android devices...one presumes there is no consumer need to have an iPhone. One might suspect that Apple's reason for allowing Android devices to connect with iPhones is to showcase how less effective Androidwear is on their iProducts compared with iWear.

Linux boss Torvalds: Don't talk to me about containers and other buzzwords


Salesmanship not required

When one is not trying to persuade people, sell something, it is easier to be honest and frank. When something of value has zero cost, it is not necessary to load your conversations with hype. What is clear is that enough credit goes to the huge community that supports Linux.

CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS


Re: Windows only though

I guess the probability s that most people who will buy a windows PC for a Linux install, will probably want to try and dual boot. Certainly this was what i had in mind when I tried to install Linux variants (e.g. Ubuntu) on a some budget Lenovo E50 desktops. No amount of tweak and configuration/boot repair would allow Linux to boot....the UEFI boot order would always revert to Windows boot first, unless I crippled the windows boot altogether.

First SPACE SALAD on Monday's menu for ISS astronauts


Trekkies understand the Laws of thermodynamics and mass conservation.

Energy obtained will not exceed, or even come remotely close to, the energy required to produce the lettuce. Waste produced will considerably exceed the digestible material generated. So the mass of the lettuce comes from 1) water and nitrogen from the astronauts urine and 2) CO2 they breath out. The only energy comes second hand from solar power converting light to electricity and back again. But most of the dry mass is cellulose which is indigestible to humans with normal gut organisms. Only way this could possibly work in long journeys if there was a composting sterilising facility, but even then realistically energy is better spent on earth and sending up dry, high energy, low residue foods, than creating a ecosystem in space. That is why The Starship Enterprise did not grow its own food, resorting instead to the replicator.

World-beating TWO-QUADRILLION-WATT LASER fired by boffins


A fry up or a fusion meal?

2kJ = number of calories in 1/2 portion of Fish and Chips

Now just need aworkout to burn that up in a pisosecond

The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters


Limited RAM Linuxes...Puppy or Bodhi

Sure Linux will run well on <1GB RAM...but it will run much better without KDE or Gnome Desktop Environment. Certainly a fully loaded hacker distro like Kali is perhaps not pre-configured for general purpose computing. I go Puppy Linux on my 12 year old laptop with 384MB RAM...with 20GB hard drive and certainly never leave home without bootable puppy on a stick

SPACE FARMER 'nauts arrive safely at International Space Station


Lettuce?...could do much better

Romain lettuce is probably the least useful food source unless you have the gut bacteria to digest cellulose.. Of the mass of leaf, less than 2% is usable carbs and about the same amount of protein. Better would be perhaps algae. Sugarcane or potatoes probably even better but less practical. But more significantly, these plants presumably are not exposed to sunlight...instead one imagines solar power is used to charge batteries and then this is used to power lights shining on the plants...a terrific waste of energy to produce nearly no energy. If the earth's ecosystem is a good example...then one should be trying to cultivate phytoplankton and krill in fermentation chambers exposed to filtered sunlight.

Free software fans land crucial punch in Ubuntu row – but it's not over


PANIC...someone trying to make money out of free software...

This is a company that tries to make money supporting their distro. To do so it HAS TO attach its own "stamp"...its trademark. This is often incorporated within the distributed binaries. It also has to protect itself from liability from issues arising when someone else uses their derivative works.

The distro, by the rules of open source, is distributed with all the sources available.

Anyone can take advantage of the packaging, configuration etc that Ubuntu has done through developers it has paid, and thereby create their own distro, based on Ubuntu...but for Canonical to make any money out of this, it HAS TO ask that those that repackage Ubuntu into their flavours to remove that "stamp" that Ubuntu has applied. This constitutes a licensing agreement that is not contained within GPL and has to be by definition added later.

Nowhere does it remove rights of redistribution of the sources. Let's not forget that without Canonical, Linux would not have even the 1.5% penetration Linux has amongst the desktop user...

Airbus confirms software brought down A400M transport plane


Fly-by-wire problems

A recurring theme, where modern flight control systems control mechanical devices totally with software and electronics rather than using them to assist or resist mechanical actions. One suspects even if the pilots realised the plane was behaving unexpectedly, they would either have to trust the electronics to recover or probably not be able to anything about it in time anyway.

Microsoft tosses Office, Skype portball to 20 Android makers


Its the usual probably

Probably using the standard paradigm. You get a year free use of office 365; then as you are irretrievably dependent on it, you have to start paying subs or buy another device. Its is the OOXML(docx format that is invasive not the application itself.

UK spaceport, phase two: Now where do we PUT the bleeding thing?


Manston ticks all boxes

Airport looking for a buyer, check, ,Runway long enough for a B52 bomber, check, . Coastline on Sunny Southeast, check. Favourable west to east launch direction, check.

Windows XP's market share grows AGAIN!


Virtual Machines? Pirates?

XP is lighter and more easily virtualised. Best use for all those OEM disks lying around, particularly when only a half of the cores on your CPU is being used anyway. Pirated or old software are probably more often fine running on XP machines

PEAK WINDOWS 7 may well be behind us


Could virtual PCs be a reason?

As Windows XP is possibly a lightweight(ish) modern Windows that can be virtualised easily and runs most modern Windows applications....as Macs go on the rise, the only access to Windows applications will be through virtual Windows, and they will probably use XP rather than Win 7+. Having said that, if the stats are generally derived from web usage I guess few people will run a browser on a virtualised PC.

Turbocharged quad-core Raspberry Pi 2 unleashed, global geekgasm likely


ARMv6 to ARMv7 upgrade most significant

Now you should be able to get a flood of modern distros that were unable to run on ARMv6. Snappy Ubuntu on a Pi anyone?

Polish chap builds computer into a mouse


What OS?

Looks like Ubuntu/Unity on one of the screenshots...

Android I guess would be another feasible OS...

Canonical goes all Internet of Stuff with Ubuntu for DRONES


Rasbeen there done that...

Raspbian is works on 2GB flash and 512MB RAM, is regularly updated, and works on over 2 million embedded devices, including controllers for drones and space exploration applications

SEXY GOLD FireFOXY LADY hits Japan in transparent kimono today


All very modern but with 16 hours of talk time, and 30 days of standby...that is almost prehistoric as far as phones are concerned...

Devuan rebels hope to deliver Debian fork in 2015


Duplicated effort...

There is already a reasonably intelligent fork of systemd that addresses much of the concerns while remaining largely compatible...uselessd. The difficulty is that for many tools systemd is becoming a dependency. This means that maintaining a fork of debian may also need to have forks of these tools too. What devuan lacks, and what systemd has is inertia.

Boffins train robots to pull apart LCD screens – without breaking them


The universal tool

We used to say an orthopaedic surgeon's screw driver is a hammer, and for this robot a circular saw is it. I always struggle to find the right screw driver...but now my entire box of dozens of tools is going to be replaced with just one...

Raspberry Pi mini-puter TOO BIG and EXPENSIVE for you? Think AGAIN


Running headless over wifi this can't be beaten

The old Model A suddenly becomes extremely attractive, considering it is cheaper than an Arduino Uno. For simple non-realtime IO, running headless over wifi, this really can not be beaten.

Nexus 9: Google and HTC deliver Android 5.0 'Lollipop' at iPad prices


iPad vs !pads...can Nexus compete using specs and features?

Being faster, with a better screen, a more sophisticated UI and good battery life and cheaper, picking these devices may seem like a no-brainer. Unfortunately all of these still fail against brand recognition. People on the street don't play the numbers game. The majority of potential purchasers will continue to ask things like "will iTunes work?" does it do "Facetime?" and see tablets as either ipads or !pads.

Remote code execution flaws fixed in tnftp and wget


Boilerplate reply

These days, acknowledgement of a vulnerability is one step away from admission of liability. Commercial OS distributors that use/depend on borrowed code have a flexible view of responsibility for the vulnerabilities, that allows them that to say "It's not that serious folks" while the community cures the problem for them.