* Posts by jtaylor

226 posts • joined 12 May 2010

Page:

With no viable alternatives, big names flock to Adobe's cloudy wares amid global pandemic

jtaylor

Affinity Photo is great! I'm no power user, but it does everything I could want when I edit photos. The user interface has been easy for me too, though it's different from Photoshop. (For comparison, I never could wrap my head around GIMP. I'm sure it's great software and all, but my experience with Affinity is totally different and better in every way.)

Affinity offers a free trial. A perpetual license costs $50 US. It doesn't install any janky background services that phone home. They've been around for a while, too.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

jtaylor

California happily uses zero. A few years ago, my neighbor's license plate ended in 699 and mine in 700. We figured out that we registered our cars at the same office on the same day.

Database consolidation is a server gain. Storage vendors should butt out

jtaylor

It is easier to to snapshots...It is easier to move it to a different machine....The performance penalty from virtualisation is not that high.

Certainly, and if architecture, I/O, and latency permit, those are fine things.

Maybe it's a matter of scale. The large clusters I work with require low-latency storage (thus close to the database host) so "move to another physical server" cannot be trivial. I don't know if we could snapshot a single node without knocking it out of the running cluster. Even virtualized, that procedure might require shutting down all databases.

Also, although I agree that the CPU penalty for virtualization is now quite low, if you're licensing a database for 400 cores, nothing is cheap.

jtaylor

"Virtual machines an clustering are things. Does anyone install stuff on barer metal systems these days?"

Yes indeed. If a database server needs all the memory, CPU, or I/O of a physical server, why add a virtualization layer?

Physical servers also make it easier to show license compliance. You can change number of cores in a VM much more easily and quietly than you can in a physical server.

There's gall – and then there's the security director who stole and resold 41 government-owned networking switches

jtaylor

Re: Needs a new defence lawyer

I wonder if he'll be reassigned to Craggy Island.

Salon told to change ad looking for 'happy' stylist because it 'discriminated against unhappy people'

jtaylor

Re: I'm with Richard

The old one cranked up their prices by 50% following the post(?)-covid reopening.

That's a tough one. I would be peeved too if my barber raised his prices like that. On the other hand, I like my barber. It's a third-generation small family business. He works hard and isn't getting rich. He closes Sundays to spend with his family, while the big chains stay open and get the Sunday customers.

So at my most recent haircut, I thanked him for opening again. I thanked him for catching me up on 4 months of shaggy hair. Then I quietly handed him 4 times his posted price. I hope his small shop survives.

Can't decide which OS to run today? Why not Linux inside Windows inside macOS?

jtaylor

Re: Now how about OS/X in a VM?

Virtualization isn't always about dodging the license. Apple dropped support for my 2008 MacBook after 10.7. As in, the OS installer reports that my hardware isn't supported and will not proceed.

It dual-booted into Windows. Now, I single-boot into Windows and then load newer OSX inside VMWare.

It's stupid, but legal. And it's the only way I can run a supported MacOS on this Mac.

Irony, thy name is SANS: 28k records nicked from infosec training org after staffer's email account phished

jtaylor

Re: Suprise!!!!!

I'm not at all surprised. Humans are complex and fallible. And security is relative, not absolute.

We know there was a minor breach at SANS. We don't know how much effort was applied to create that breach. It's hard to say what countermeasures would have prevented this.

SANS has some extremely capable people. "Don't teach your grandmother to suck eggs."

Boeing confirms it will finish building 747s in 2022, when last freighter flies off the production line

jtaylor

Re: Flying wings/bodies

Yup, swinging passengers around like an amusement park ride doesn't have universal appeal.

Loading and unloading is another problem. Specifically, can you evacuate passengers in the required time?

Finally, the wings are not wasted space. Right now, the wings are basically hollow and used as fuel tanks. If you move passengers into them, fuel has to go somewhere else.

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

jtaylor

Re: Http Wan...?

Does anyone actually have their router portals open on the wan side? Is this even a risk on a consumer level device? [They have] probably got way bigger issues on their network.

This can be exploited by a malicious web site sending javascript to a web browser. We could debate whether web browsers are a "big issue," but it's a common one.

jtaylor

Re: The best router is ...

I like OpenBSD as much as anyone, but it requires a bit of skill and knowledge to set up and use. Patching is difficult. That's a very different market from Netgear home routers.

A separate PC with multiple NICs is not strictly necessary. I've done the "router on a stick" thing with multiple interfaces that share a single Ethernet port. I've even run an OpenBSD firewall as a VM. Okay, I wouldn't run a business through that, but again look at the audience. It's not a bad way to get started.

Congrats, First American Title Insurance, you've made technology history. For all the wrong reasons

jtaylor

Penalties for this sort of breach should be high enough to delete the company and have the directors banned from the business for life. Until that sort of thing is a strong possibility, they will continue to calculate the risk v. cost when it comes to security instead of making data security an overriding priority.

If the goal is revenge, then yes, liquidate the company and leave their employees without work and their customers without coverage.

If the goal is to deter this from happening again, we should look at what caused the situation, what permitted it, and what the final outcomes were. I suspect that "cost avoidance" was a major cause. Probably also poor understanding of the risks by the people who made decisions. This was likely permitted by poor oversight, maybe a weak company culture of integrity, and the perception that the people who benefitted from the decision were separate from those who would bear the costs.

I'd like to see some independent security guarantee, required by lenders, brokers, estate agents, and licensing bodies. They need to know whether they can trust suppliers. Clearly, they didn't.

Final outcomes are being decided now. I hope it doesn't simply add injury to those who were already harmed.

Apple was the only Fortune 50 company to foresee COVID-19 pandemic risk and properly insure against it – Forrester

jtaylor

Re: Will any of this affect house prices

The funnel effect will mean that the straights of dover will no longer exist.

And Dover will become famous for its theatres, clothing design, and fabulous drag shows.

Nokia 5310: Retro feature phone shamelessly panders to nostalgia, but is charming enough to be forgiven

jtaylor

Re: Facebook App

If facebook does indeed slurp via a baked in app, how does it obtain informed consent to hold data if the user, or someone in the contact list, doesn't have an account?

They could do it the same way they get informed consent everywhere else...

Before I had a Facebook account, they had my email addresses, knew where and when I attended school, who my friends were, and had enough tagged photos to recognize my face.

Microsoft accused of sharing data of Office 365 business subscribers with Facebook and its app devs

jtaylor

I get the impression that Binraider is using pihole on a home network, not a corporate network.

If an organization is big enough to run their own nameservers, they probably use something more robust than pihole, like BIND or MS DNS.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs

jtaylor

"Can anybody confirm that the same people who did the code for the 767MAX are NOT working on the Starliner?"

I confirm that nobody who worked on the Starliner also worked on an airplane called 767MAX.

Look, these problems aren't the result of some rogue employee at Boeing. They're the result of deeply flawed management. And I'd bet more than lunch money that the problems go all the way to the top.

Turn it around: a capable manager can deal with an uncooperative employee. At Boeing, they successfully buried warnings from their employees in order to deliver an unsafe product.

If there's a lesson to be learned in these torrid times, it's that civilisation is fleeting – but Windows XP is eternal

jtaylor

"HP. They like to fire their lowest 10% every year."

Hah. I worked at a company that did that. It was a GE thing. We couldn't fill the vacant positions as quickly. At an annual "all-hands" employee meeting, I asked the CEO whether we could re-hire someone who had been culled, if they were the best candidate to fill the empty position. And whether they would get their original pay or what was on offer for the opening. (Trick question, because employee pay scales didn't change with promotion, people who rose up were paid far less than peers.)

Sounds like you had a similar experience. Cheers!

Baroness Dido Harding lifts the lid on the NHS's manual contact tracing performance: 'We contact them up to 10 times over a 36-hour period'

jtaylor

Re: Food for thought.

This is a highly contagious disease. People are dying. Of those who don't die, many have long-term health problems from the illness. There is no known cure.

There are so very few opportunities in life to do something that clearly helps everyone, and even fewer that come at such little personal cost. For heaven's sake, just do your part.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux

jtaylor

Re: re: where to begin

"The question has to be whether Torvalds has created a self sustaining and managing bureaucratic framework to hold the whole thing together."

Indeed. This is called "succession planning." Many fine organizations have fallen at this hurdle. Linux will need someone with excellent organizational and interpersonal skills to make it through; this is not a problem that can be solved with code.

After 84 years, Japan's Olympus shutters its camera biz, flogs it to private equity – smartphones are just too good

jtaylor

Re: Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

"There's not the same joy in taking pictures with a computer."

Indeed. For me it's a mental thing. With my FTb, ASA 200 film, and a prime lens, a photo happens in my mind and my body before I press the shutter. With my D200 and super-zoom, I can just take a forgettable photo and delete it later.

But you know, DSLR and a basic lens, see what I get in 24 shots, no chimping, and the magic is back.

jtaylor

Re: The smartphone is not the problem...

"This scares people away from using them; many kids today have never actually owned or even handled a real camera and wouldn't consider buying one."

I don't blame them. "Real" SLR and prosumer cameras are covered with buttons, dials, and levers. My first experience was like trying to use a Rubik's cube: a little clueless fiddling could get you lost for days. Hold down this button, spin that dial, and exposure compensation is -3.0. Try to fix it and now flash is set to front-curtain sync. But hey, at least you didn't make the lens fall off like last time.

I struggle to explain how to use an SLR. "Here's the Auto mode setting. Keep it there until you want to learn theory." Aperture Priority if they want to get creative. And then if they ask, I talk about catching light in a bucket.

jtaylor

Re: Exposing nostalgia

I love my Olympus XA. It's a rangefinder with Aperture Priority, made to carry in a pocket.

There are so many wonderful little details: the shutter is a magnetic reed switch, so there's no "kick" from the shutter button. The timer is set with a little lever that, not at all by coincidence, swings out to stabilize the camera if you place it on a flat surface. The lens is quite nice even at f/2.8.

You can tell it was made for Real Photographers to carry everywhere and Make Images.

I just don't shoot much film any more.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

jtaylor

Re: Criminality

Indeed!

Crime is not an innate physical characteristic of a person* so it's flawed to use that as a predictor. Of course, crime is experienced and managed in a social context, and those contexts are often biased.

There is also a huge variety of crimes, of varying severity and with varying consequences. And as you noted, there's no universal list of crimes.

Although it's unfit for profiling future crims, I'd love to see this study used to understand our social biases.

*Some characteristics are criminalized, like race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, but that's deeply unpleasant and I hope it wasn't the point of this paper.

Must not be the season of the switch: Someone flipped the you-know-what in global ethernet switch and router supply chain

jtaylor

"You know all those employees working remotely now? They're all connecting to this old VPN server which can't handle the load. A lot of our staff can't do their jobs until we buy a new one. Here's a vendor quote.

And now that we're routing all calls through the external VoIP gateway, our Internet link is literally line-of-business. We need a bigger pipe and a new router with advanced QoS features.

With so many people connecting from home, our perimeter is really not going to keep out security threats. Here's a proposal for a network-wide IDS and endpoint security system."

With crisis comes opportunity, and not just for salespeople.

Ooo, a mystery bit of script! Seems legit. Let's see what happens when we run it

jtaylor

A sysadmin friend and I were swapping war stories about managing mail relays.

Friend got a CPU alert for their Sun E250 Postfix servers (this was a few years ago). They logged in and found that a certain dev had sent some hundred thousand messages to their own pager. My friend didn't see anything that required intervention, and logged off.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

jtaylor

Re: ...there is an Alexa in the kitchen...

"When I used to visit people's houses"

Don't leave us in suspense like that. Why don't they let you visit any more?

Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens

jtaylor

Re: Technically you don't "own" a device

I think we agree, though I would choose different words.

When I purchase an item, I have certain consumer rights, like a warranty. I also have certain property rights: for example, the manufacturer cannot take ownership without compensation, and I can re-sell the item. Apple can cancel my license to use their software, but they cannot send a bailiff to take my Mac.

It's exactly those rights which are under attack by some manufacturers. I believe that they attempt to muddy the waters, and we must maintain that distinction between ownership and license-to-use.

I hope that John Deere ends up on the wrong side of the law so unpleasantly that VolksWagen celebrates how lucky they were.

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

jtaylor

When I lived there, the locals pronounced it Wooster with the "oo" as bigmacbear says, from "book."

That was back when the Paris Cinema was a disreputable smutty theatre downtown. City Hall spent years wrestling with the Paris to shut them down. The Paris added lime Jello and jumped right in.

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

jtaylor

"They certainly may have breached your copyright privileges. I'm not sure how you can claim that they have stolen from you. What do they now possess that you do not?"

Control over their intellectual property. Future revenue. Possibly future research or publishing contracts.

It's hard enough to make money as an author. Heck, if you look at the hourly income, it can be hard to justify even doing the work. Authors get whatever is left after retailers, distributors, and publishers take their money.

Of all the things to attack about the publishing industry, I wouldn't start with the authors.

jtaylor

Re: But what about...

What about finding it in a library?

This is not a new problem. Books have been rare, specialist, or out-of-print since forever. That's why Inter-Library Loans exist. It's why libraries have rooms to study materials that are too precious to leave the building.

I know how much nuisance this can be. In extreme cases, you might have to travel and negotiate for access to the book (if it's in a government or university library and not available on loan). Yes, it might "not be worth it" but that's not a reason to break copyright.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

jtaylor

Re: FAA vs logic

"Refusing to permit a software fix for a software bug. And the vendors are presumably ready and willing to do the recertification."

According to the Directive, the manufacturers suggest that pilots just avoid doing things that trigger the bug. The FAA says that's not good enough, and the function should be not be used until the bug is fixed. Further,

WR Ryan stated that this matter is not serious enough to warrant an AD. The commenter also stated that this issue is being exaggerated, as Collins will eventually fix the problem. The FAA infers the commenter wants the FAA to withdraw the NPRM. The FAA does not agree.

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'

jtaylor

Son of DCL?

I still miss the Digital Command Language from VMS. The inline help system was good. Commands had many features, so if you knew how to do what you almost wanted, you might find that same command had another option that made you happy. It had a very rich logical and lexical system. Command lines tended to be verbose, but that also meant they were easy to read. And the error handling! You could see not just that your command failed, but where and why.

It's quite different from UNIX. I could make the same unflattering comparisons that we're making with PowerShell now, and appreciate both sides.

Anyway, I'm curious: is PowerShell much like DCL? On the surface, it has some common elements, but I haven't used it enough to really understand.

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

jtaylor

"I think both Airbus and Boeing should have pilot overridable anti-stall systems. (And in Boeing's case, non-automatic massive trim adjustment.)"

They do. Pilots can choose lower levels of automation. The Ethiopian pilots disabled (cutout) the automatic trim when they suspected a fault in the automation.*

"The novelty of actually flying an aircraft not relying on faulty AOT sensors and other sh*t..."

Novel to whom? Anyone with IFR, including all commercial pilots, are trained to fly "partial [intrument] panel". If it really goes to hell, they can just set Pitch (degree of nose-up) and Power (engine setting) and the aircraft will go pretty much straight ahead. This will hopefully give time to troubleshoot why the Angle of Attack sensor, speed sensor, windshield, etc, are unpleasant.

Take an exploration flight at your local flying school. You'll find there's an awful lot of common sense and an awful lot of Plan A/B/C and an awful lot of "that seems like a good idea, but here's what really happens and why." The details can be overwhelming, but I think you'll be much reassured that airplanes are pretty well designed and that pilots are well prepared to fly them.

*p15 of the Interim Report http://www.aib.gov.et/wp-content/uploads/2020/documents/accident/ET-302%20%20Interim%20Investigation%20%20Report%20March%209%202020.pdf

jtaylor

Re: The software is just a fig leaf

"Readers here will be familary with the idea of a software workaround to cure a system design issue."

You mean like TCP retransmits to handle lost packets? Or automatic choke in a car? Sure.

"The fundamental problem that the MAX had, the 'out of control trim' situation where the plane found itself unflyable with the cockpit crew unable to correct it, is something that's been lurking since the earliest models of the 737."

The 737MAX "out of control trim" problem is MCAS. That feature is new with the MAX. The earliest 737s in 1967 did not have anything like MCAS. Previous generations of the 737 have had problems, like the rudder, but I don't know of a persistent runaway trim problem. Perhaps you will enlighten us.

jtaylor

Re: What will insurance premiums be ?

"it should have been redesigned, but that would have taken it out of spec as far as 737 pilots certification....They were afraid that the training need would have reduces sales"

You're not far wrong. Redesigning the landing gear and related parts (like wing storage) would have changed too much from the 737 Type Certificate, so the plane would have required all new FAA certification. The product, not the users. Training was also a concern, but independent of the TC. Airlines didn't want to pay for training, and Boeing offered to save that cost.

"so they pushed the engines forwards which made the plane unstable, so they came up with a software bodge to correct the instability. Unstable: engines in front of the center of gravity, so more thrust pushes the airplane nose up."

They did move the engines forwards, but that wasn't the problem. "Center of Thrust" is often not at the "Center of Lift." The problem was that 1) Boeing kept the same "pilot feel" to avoid retraining, 2) To maintain that same pilot experience, they added a feature (MCAS) to alter control behavior...and didn't tell pilots, 3) They used insufficient hardware for MCAS, 4) They botched the MCAS software, and 5) They made safety-critical alerts an optional feature for extra cost.

Pilots could be trained to fly the 737MAX without MCAS...just as they could be trained to fly the A320NEO.

If the 737MAX were a pizza, Boeing changed some ingredients. But then added Chrome Yellow so that customers wouldn't be put off by the color. And conned the regulator into letting them not mention it on the label.

Stop tracking me, Google: Austrian citizen files GDPR legal complaint over Android Advertising ID

jtaylor

Re: Google are so full of it

'"in the case of non-account holders, Google does not have the means to verify the identity of data subjects from an Advertising ID" - so they do have the means for 99.9999999% of Android users.'

I agree that Google probably can identify people, but that's not what they said.

Legal statements are risky. No matter what you say, someone will try to use it against you; the less you say, the better. Google gave a very narrow answer, no doubt choosing their least-unfavorable case and hoping to limit the conversation. If their answer were less narrow, maybe they would have to admit something, but it wasn't.

Infosys fires employee who Facebooked 'let's hold hands and share coronavirus'

jtaylor

Re: Valid policy

"If all healthy people were to be infected,we could be back to normal within 2 weeks."

I heard an interview with a doctor, who was asked whether this idea has merit. He replied that it certainly does.

He explained that if COVID-19 were to hit the entire population at once, it would quickly lead to herd immunity because it spreads quickly and survivors of coronaviruses develop immunity.

He noted that the reason we aren't doing this is because, as a society, we're not prepared to accept the high number of people who would die as a result.

Incidentally, the disease outcome isn't a binary "dead" or "back to normal in weeks." Research has found patients with reduced lung function after recovering from COVID-19; it's not yet known whether full recovery will happen. I know an otherwise healthy person who got sick and several weeks later, hasn't recovered sufficient lung function to do more intense exercise than an occasional walk.

Astroboffin gets magnets stuck up his schnozz trying and failing to invent anti-face-touching coronavirus gizmo

jtaylor

Re: There's a reason why astronomer study things....

LDS, same here! When I started university, I hung out with some of the astrophys majors and got scared that I might become one of them.

Wonderful people, but their sense of reality was more negotiable than mine.

Fancy that: Hacking airliner systems doesn't make them magically fall out of the sky

jtaylor

Re: I would be interested to find out

"a combination of over-speed alarm combined with a stall warning."

Confusing indeed! That's beyond my training, but I believe you normally level the wings and revert to flying "pitch and power." Whatever it's currently doing, an aerodynamically stable craft (like a passenger plane) will settle into level flight if you give it moderate engine power and trim it to fly slightly nose-up. Pilots are drilled to know the precise settings for their aircraft.

jtaylor

Physical feedback is not something that pilots rely on. Not in an Airbus or Boeing or Embraer or Cessna.

Even in a small aircraft, I learned right away to not confuse control input with results. If you're flying with the idea that "I'll just push and pull and my job is done" then you're dead.

The same principle works in a car, by the way. Do you maintain speed by monitoring the position of the control pedal? Do you stay in your lane by watching the steering wheel? If someone told you they crashed the car because their accelerator pedal lacked proper feedback about road conditions, would you blame the car manufacturer?

So how do pilots know when they are in control of the aircraft?

They communicate. "I have control."

They are aware of the other pilot: are they responding properly to communication? "You have control."

They stay aware of the situation: attitude, altitude, speed, direction, engine power, nearby solid objects.

They use the controls and stay aware of how their inputs affect reality. I just pushed down a little: did the pitch change? Why not? Scan instruments again and outside. Push the priority takeover button and try again. Consider possible trim problems or even partial control failure.

After 1.5 million days of computer time, SETI@home heads home to probe potential signs of alien civilizations

jtaylor

Re: Pure fiction

"1.5 million days of computer time and nothing found."

Did you read the article? They've stopped processing data and are starting to analyze what they have. Most scientists wait until after analyzing data to announce their conclusions.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash

jtaylor

Re: Because in California there are no victims

"shifting responsibility to a game or the car is the reason everything sucks now."

I share your sentiment, but I think we must find a way to improve the situation. The driver was clearly at fault. He won't make that mistake again. And our roads aren't measurably safer for it.

Where I live, most people treat driving as a right, not a privilege. The bar to entry is low and renewal requirements are almost purely financial. If you qualify in a small family car, your license entitles you to drive a 24' moving truck. Crashes are relatively common and being "at fault" means your insurance rises, not that you are disqualified from driving.

Aviation has a deep cultural emphasis on safety. Owners are directly responsible and liable for condition of their vehicles. Pilots are directly responsible and liable for safe operation of vehicles. If a pilot is involved in a mishap, the burden is on them to show that they acted reasonably and safely. Accidents are not random events: we can understand the causes, we can observe patterns, and we can often predict future problems. And therefore, we can act to prevent them.

I don't think drivers would accept being held to aviation standards, but heck. It's not a technical problem, it's a social one.

jtaylor

Re: Take a lesson from railways

"one criticism of many modern cars is that there are no separate controls for in-car systems any more, just a touchscreen."

Indeed. When I was recently shopping for a car, I told salespeople that I cannot safely operate a touchscreen while driving*. If a feature requires me to use a touchscreen, it will be inaccessible to me. That certainly limited my options, but in the end I got a good, reliable car with safe controls. (The same car in higher trim puts stereo and climate controls behind a touchscreen.)

*I don't know anyone who can, but that's not something to argue with a salesperson.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to save data from a computer that should have died aeons ago

jtaylor

Re: you're at risk of forgetting about it

Do you mean this story? It was a classic.

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/04/12/missing_novell_server_discovered_after/

Xiaomi what's inside: Wow, teardown nerds find debut smartwatch isn't actually a solder-and-resin nightmare

jtaylor

Re: I found out how to get the screen off a Xiaomi Amazfit...

"an accident with a wallpaper steamer in a confined space."

Oh, my. That buggers the imagination. What happened? You can post anonymously.

Oh ****... Sudo has a 'make anyone root' bug that needs to be patched – if you're unlucky enough to enable pwfeedback

jtaylor

Re: SUDO and +s is a design weakness

"Why, for instance, couldn't a specific non-root user have rights over installing S/W in /usr/local?"

Just make a group that contains the users you want to be able to write to /usr/local, and chown the directory to that group. I don't think Linux can handle nested groups, which is a nuisance.

Of course, that basically gives the person root access because they can replace parts of the OS with Folger's Crystals that will then be used by everyone else, including the root user.

I prefer that the Specific Non-Root User install software in a subdirectory of their home directory. If they want to let others use the software, they can set permissions to give those others read+execute rights. Best of all, none of this requires special permission from the server admin. If compiling from source code, just build it in the location you choose. RPM packages use an environment variable to make it very easy to do exactly this. I assume that Debian packages have similar.

Artful prankster creates Google Maps traffic jams by walking a cartful of old phones around Berlin

jtaylor

"Lets say you wondered about the pros and cons of a certain vaccine (actual reports of harm/reactions vs the risks from the illness it maybe prevents). A straight search engine would give you results that are directly related to what you want, perhaps weighted by page popularity."

The current situation is not so different from your "straight search engine," but the result is slightly dystopian. Search engines, and online profiling, try to give you more of what they predict you want. If you're searching for "vaccination risks" then you'll tend to see results that were preferred by people who have fears about vaccination. Those results might skew more towards the infowars end of things rather than NIH or WHO or NEJM sources.

Search engines take our confirmation bias as input and attempt to satisfy it.

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules

jtaylor

Re: Why state “charger”?

"forcing an arbitrary standard for anything other than safety rarely delivers user benefits..."

In my car, I need Lightning (personal phone), USB-C (work phone), micro-USB (dashcam) and mini-USB (satnav). I don't ever power more than 2 devices at once, but I still have to carry a different cable for each one. Annoyingly, I can't even install that many cords under the trim.

Little grouse on the prairie: IBM's AI facial-recognition training dataset gets it in trouble... in Illinois

jtaylor

Re: "using photos of millions of people in Illinois without informing them"

"It seems to me BIPA and CC are in conflict here."

It does seem that way. Fortunately, private contracts cannot override statute law. It doesn't matter what IBM agreed to with Person X, that still doesn't exempt them from the requirement to get permission from Persons Y and Z before using their biometric data.

This all falls on IBM: either they didn't ask permission, or they asked people (CC or the photographers or someone standing in line at the deli) who were obviously unable to give that permission.

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport

jtaylor

Re: The service animal scam is about to come to a very abrupt end

"if having a dog means you don't need to take anti-depressant medication, is that enough to qualify the dog as a "real" support animal"

I never considered that before. I always saw ESAs as just pets with extra training. Thanks for giving me something to think about!

"most of the regulations against (say) dogs are based on unsound motives...because they don't get to charge ludicrous fees to transport them... and use their staff's tired "a dog bit me once" line as a justification (penalize the owners of dogs who bite, not everyone)."

I actually have some sympathy for places that restrict animals. I've travelled with service dogs, and yes it is often difficult and occasionally unpleasant to just get basic access, but it's also scary to see other dogs as potential threats. That yapping Yorkie in a handbag shows me that animals weren't properly screened before entry. That Doberman with service dog vest might be helping a disabled combat vet, but might also just be a poorly trained pet (most pets are poorly trained to work calmly and confidently in crowds and public transport) and could lash out if we get too close.

After a service animal is attacked, it can be traumatized and unable to work (see above comment about calm and confident). This isn't just oh poor mutt needed stitches, this could make it impossible for their human to live independently.

It's not that people who lie about service animals intend to cause harm. Their dogs probably didn't bite anyone yet. They just don't understand that their actions have serious consequences for others, and transfer all the risk to people with real working dogs. So yes, "someone I know was once attacked by a fake service dog" is something to take seriously.

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