* Posts by stratofish

66 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Sep 2010


Will Flatpak and Snap replace desktop Linux native apps?



I had to free up some space the other day and found that I had installed Obsidian (a Markdown text editor/organiser) as snap instead of deb. It took 1Gb... For essentially a text editor...

Now part of the reason was because of a bug it had installed multiple versions of the NVidia driver alongside it. I never found out why a text editor required graphics drivers either. I uninstalled it and downloaded the .deb from their website instead at ~70Mb. Still bloated but a big improvement.

As a developer it is embarrassing the complete lack of care or pride taken shovelling out this shit. It's like we are trying to meet some kind of inverse Moore's law by making everything slower and bigger the faster the systems get

It's a Bing thing: Microsoft drops plans to shove unloved search engine down throats of unsuspecting enterprises


Re: "integrating internal and external search"

I'm surprised nobody else seems to have mentioned this as it is the most obvious thing I got from the article.

If I search a word/phrase on any web search engine I would expect to get public-facing results. Not my personal or business files. Nor would I ever want it too

Electron devs bond at Covalence conference: We speak to those mastering the cross-platform tech behind Slack, Visual Studio Code, etc


Try to make them think twice?

Can we introduce some sort of carbon tax to offset the massive bloated waste of CPU cycles and RAM that things like Electron represent? To try and make the devs actually consider what they are doing for a change.

It's true that for a lot of people they won't notice if the app they use is electron or not. In the same way that most people won't notice if their petrol uses lead or aerosols use CFCs. But enough people using them because the suppliers can get away with it adds up to disaster and forces the user to unknowlingly be complicit in it.

EU's top court says tracking cookies require actual consent before scarfing down user data


Re: Well that ruling has a timespan of about 30 days in the UK

"The Benn act says otherwise."

It really doesn't, it just says we have to ask for an extension if no deal can be decided. If the EU offer an extension, the government still have to then change the law regarding leaving on Oct 31st, which can be stalled and we leave with no deal anyway.

Astroboffins spy the most ancient protocluster of galaxies yet found post Big Bang


“However, we're surprised to see that Himiko was located not in the center of the protocluster, but on the edge 500 million light-years away from the center."

At 800 million years after the big bang, that would have covered a sizeable part of the universe, 10% or so maybe? Or do they mean it is now that far away?

Your ugly mug may be scanned yet again – but at least you'll be able to board faster at Gatwick


Re: Who are you?

I haven't had one of those machine work yet at Gatwick or Heathrow. I travel a bit less than you but still 2-3 trips a year.

One of the immigration guys once told me it might be the combination of common first and last names I have and I know someone with the same name has been deported from the US as when I got pulled into a back room there once they actually gave me the courtesy of saying why after it was all cleared up that it wasn't me.

I had been thinking of trying a freedom of information request to see if I could find out more or possibly get it changed if it is unfairly profiling by name. It is still faster to go through it and use the failed attempt desks than the full non-EU passport control but it is a pain to have to do it every single time and especially as my travelling companions go through without issue and have to wait around for me.

Hack a small airplane? Yes, we CAN (bus) – once we physically break into one, get at its wiring, plug in evil kit...


Re: Threat model

A bomb is obvious and signals that there is a bomber.

Strange readings and the system going haywire ends up like the 737-Max where software can be blamed and the culprit can get away without being suspected. (note. I'm not suggesting that the 737-max is in any way deliberate)

Chinese government has got it 'spot on' when it comes to face-recog tech says, er, London's Met cops' top rep


The automatic passport gates at airports don't work for me because I have the audacity to have a common first and last name.

How is this going to be anything different. Some other unfortunate sod is going to have a lifetime of being arrested, detained and questioned because the computer thought he looked like someone dodgy when out in public. Profiling sucks ass, and unfairly targets some more than others.

I propose we have a distributed and public crowdsourced app to track politicians and senior police/military figures 24 hours a day. If they are happy living with that then they can start to think about doing it to us. Only someone with something to hide would object of course...

Microsoft Visual Studio C++ Runtime installers were built to fail


Re: Why the need for complex installers in the first place.

> 2 words: STATIC LINK

Unless you are using (L)GPL libraries in which case static linking is a terrible idea (unless you are in a position to distribute your code such as another open source project.)

X marks the Notch, where smartmobe supercycles go to die


Re: Feature trickle down

The upcoming LG G7 is looking to have one so sadly no joke icon required.

I've just downgraded my mobile contract from phone+SIM to SIM-only. There is nothing in the current generation to justify the huge bump in monthly fee that the provider wants.

You're a govt official. You accidentally slap personal info on the web. Quick, blame a kid!


Re: Unisys screwed up

If the files are not protected by that access control facility then he didn't bypass or avoid anything other than an index page which is fine. Unknown links are not a defence, see the definition of "security through obscurity" for details of why that is a terrible way to protect things.

As a web developer you protect every route to a resource not just the one that most people see. If the files were accessible by direct URL without access checks when there should have been some then the webite operator is 100% liable for those files being publicly available. If the index page links directly to that PDF URL then it is even worse because the URL is also the canonical location of that file. If the URL obviously matches a pattern then it should be expected to be enumerated at some point and protection added if that is not desirable.

Keybase Git gets keys, basically: Secure chat app encrypts your repos


I think it means that the current encryption only protects it during transit to/from the server. anybody gaining access can just copy your git repository and use/alter it. By encrypting every file they protect from that happening as well.

Juniper sees 30m virtual reality headsets shifted by 2020, as China lifts ban


Re: After wildly popular 3D TV, here comes VR!

Make sure you clear a space in the loft next to the Kinect so you have somewhere to keep it when you realise it gets annoying after a few uses and is just another gimmick.

Amazon comes up with delivery-drone zones after watching Fifth Element all night


Where do the flying cars go? Lower that 400ft or just smash through the drone layer?

Google: Hey kids, dump all your files over here with us!


Re: Not a one horse race

> If I upload a document or picture to Google Drive, I can attach it to an email, and neither me (the sender) or the receiver has to ever download or upload anything.

Apart from you uploading it and you and/or the recipient(s) downloading it every time you open the mail you mean?

Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'


Re: Why the fuck would he bother?

> the standing orders on journalistic policy at the Beeb are explicitly NOT to report items that cast doubt on climate change

I guess they screwed up yesterday then when they posted the same thing -


I hope this is true and it has a major limiting effect.

Even if it does it still won't make the deniers correct, just lucky. Opinion and guesswork can align with facts but that doesn't validate that they were right all along any more than correctly 'predicting' a coin toss does.

Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book


Re: OTT?

"OVER THE TOP adverb [1935] colloquial (chiefly British). Usually with hyphens: To an excessive or exaggerated degree; beyond reasonable or acceptable limits; too far." Source - http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=22352

It's commenting on the fact that some simple chat apps also do voice and video, far beyond what they actually need, or were designed, to do.

Parking firm pulls app after dev claims: I can SEE credit card privates


Re: Can anyone get this ......

> And the card details have been breached, a person who is not supposed to be able to see them did.

"Cheetham alleged this allowed him to see other users' credit card details".

Note use of the word 'alleged'. Until proven otherwise the statement by the company has to be taken at face value as they are presumably the ones who would know what was exposed or not.

The fact that he says these were in logs of URLS (i.e. passed in plaintext) is far more significant than the app itself being leaky if true.

Minecraft developer kills Kickstarted Minecraft movie


I would hope that if I ever got that successful that I would stick to my principles too.

Not everybody is out to just make cash as fast as possible or bow down to some random butthurt guy on the Internet. And they certainly don't deserve being called a cock if that is what they want to do.

Facebook app now reads your smartphone's text messages? THE TRUTH


Re: Permissions creep

The blanket access to phone call details is especially common for games because when an app suddenly loses focus it needs to know how to handle it. If you receive a call midway through a game for example the apps sounds needs muting, the processing paused, etc. You need to be able to read the phones call state to do that and it is all bundled into one permission.

HP sticks thumb in Microsoft's eye, extends Windows 7 option for new machines


Re: o'Rlly?

Few models, not fewer PCs.

If you reduce a range to move onto the next big thing but people don't want to buy the new ones, guess what? You can increase the older range again and 'bring it back' from the brink of planned end-of-life, by popular demand no less!

Boffins: Antarctic glacier in irreversible decline, will raise sea levels by 1cm


Re: A choice of words

You might want to brush up on a dictionary before you start bashing people about choice of words.

'Rate' is the speed of change, not the change itself. If you plot ice thickness over time, the rate is the slope or trend of the line, not any absolute measure on it, which of course change all the time. For the rate itself to be changing indicates a significant occurance.

In this case it means that not only is the ice thinning as was known but crucially the speed of thinning is getting faster. This IS reportworthy and of scientific interest no matter what you believe about the cause.

Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly


Re: 4K is possible.

> Crossbar claims to have tech that can put 1-2TB on 200x200mm piece of silicon.

>If so, you could build out a ROM cartridge (remember those old video games?)

>Imagine one of those, but much smaller.

200x200mm is the size of a dinner plate, not smaller than a ROM cartridge.

Skype's Twitter account, blog hacked to spread anti-Microsoft messages


Re: Skype for linux?

The only issues I ever have is with PulseAudio config, not Skypes fault at all. Been running it for a couple of years now on OpenSuse for voice and text on pretty much a daily basis. It's almost surprising how stable it is (IMO) given that it was pretty ropey before that. The only issue I can think of is that when someone on Windows calls me sometimes it disconnects after 10 seconds and mine automatically redials them back. That was introduced with an update with the Windows version though I seem to recall. I'm not sure if I've ever seen it crash?

But... It doesn't let me know about new versions and I don't check very often, so if a new one has come out in the last 6 months or so that shows the behaviour you mention then maybe I should carry on with my version. And if that is the case, I recommend downgrading.

Britain's costliest mistake? Lord Stern defends his climate maths


Re: Here's a suggestion...

>> ...solve today's problems today.

I like this line of thinking and think it can be expanded to a more general use.

I'll skip paying my heating and credit card bills from before today (where 'today' is always the present day) so that I can solve my current need for a PS4 and a holiday. My descendants being warm and unburdened by material goods will be in a much better position to pay off my debts! Or they will just carry on kicking the can down the road and not bother doing anything about it either...

It's not gold in the frozen hills of Antarctica, my boy, it's DIAMONDS


"Sadly, even if the stones were viable, it's actually illegal to mine minerals from the Antarctic, which is an inhospitable and near-pristine wilderness."

"Sadly", really? "Luckily" would be more appropriate.

Feedly coughs to cockup, KILLS Google+ login as users FLEE


They still don't get it

From their blog post - "The fact that the change is forcing users to create a Google+ profile and that Google+ is not available in some companies and on some Google Apps domains outweighs the benefit of being about to login more seamlessly across devices (Android)."

No mention at all that a lot of people just plain don't want a Google+ account. Just blamed it on lack of availability.


re: Please stop making me pick a unique username; just use my email address

> Note to web developers: Please stop making me pick a unique username; just use my email address. It's already unique and you're going to ask for it anyway so why not just use it as the username?

Your email address is semi-public information and gives away half of the username/password combo making it massively easier for someone malicious to try and brute-force a login.

Ideally you would not only have a username to login but that username would not be shown at all anywhere on the site other than as part of the login process. The username then becomes almost as important as the password itself rather than just being an identifier and/or a target. Ask any celeb who has had their Twitter account hacked.

GIMP flees SourceForge over dodgy ads and installer


Re: Sourceforge

> Why would you not use ad blocking software in your browser? Genuine question.

Why would I? Ads pay for the sites to run and for contributors to keep contributing. No ads, no free sites (talking content-driven sites here, like The Register, YouTube, etc, not Aunt Flo's blog). I find them an acceptable but occasionally annoying way for me to get things done. If I used an adblocker it wouldn't be from some delusional angle that I'm helping to stamp out advertising. It would be because I would be selfish enough to expect somebody else to pay for my entertainment/information.

The vast majority of ads are of no interest to me and I have no trouble tuning them out. The few that I might be interested in serve to inform me but I wouldn't click them. Sometimes knowing that high street shop X has offer Y on is good to know or if some new product is out. If I buy something, guess what? The advertising worked and worked well for both sides!

Also, the more people that use adblockers the more money gets poured into techniques to circumvent adblockers. This has a very negative outcome for everybody.

Aussie bloke hacks way to top of music charts with MIDI-based tunes


Re: Makes you think....

@Lee D - I don't think you understand the point of music charts. They are not to list the most popular songs ever, or which songs people are actually listening to. The latter being impossible to measure across the industry, only for individual, online services. The only thing that can reasonably be measured across the entire industry is what is being bought. Old songs/albums that get re-released can and do get charted.

Of course it is used for marketing. People are notorious for staying safe and doing things that are popular rather than taking a risk and forming their own opinion and it feeds directly into that.

But it has benefits for the consumer as well. People who are into keeping up with modern music, and why else would you listen to radio/streams that play chart music, get a continually updated list of what is popular currently. Going by sales is arguably better than any generic algorithm for measuring what is popular. When my mother tells me she wants to new CD by artist X for xmas I don't go and look them up alphabetically and try to guess which of 10 albums might be the newest one. I go to the chart corner and get the one I find there by that artist and know there is a huge probability that I have the right one.

The same goes for any chart of any genre and/or commodity. It is a tool to show similar, recent things in a given category, not a recommendation.

iPAD AIR WORLD DEBUT: Our Australian team gets an early fondle


> We suggest the likelihood of hand-in-pants action

Apple fans are involved, that part is a given.

Apple's first iPhone now COSTS MORE than golden mobe 5S



"8GB of STORAGE! Memory = RAM, RAM is not storage,"

While it is correct that they should have said 8GB of storage, RAM is still storage. It is just faster, more expensive and volatile.

Gates, Zuckerberg to deliver free coding lesson


Re: They should focus on two things ...

"When you're programming, dividing by zero yields a crash. Or an exception. If you don't know what's going on in the hardware, you probably don't even know what an exception is."

An exception is a high level construct not hardware. Divide by zero still yields an interrupt 0 on x86 architectures, even 64-bit ones, nothing more. The language runtime may catch it and generate an exception, or the software itself may hook into it to handle it directly if it has permission. If neither do, the OS watchdog timers will probably flag it as crashed eventually and terminate the process, hopefully telling you at the same time.

That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?


Re: Look at NSA-approved crypto

"1) they list it as "approved" because they are ok with its use by their own agencies to feed disinformation to other governments who they think might be able to break it?

2) they list it as approved because they know (from breaking the communications of their competitors) that only they can break it?

Take your pick."

3) Not all NSA decryption staff are cleared to read confidential documents, therefore clearing it for use for their own intelligence data proves in itself that it has not been cracked or thought to be uncrackable in the near future.

Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST


> This is just a note to myself to revisit this post next week to either offer congratulations or shower abuse.

Is offering shower abuse a service you provide often?

Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface


'Windows 8.1 “continues the vision we began with Windows 8”'

Should have gone to Specsavers.

NASA boffins release Europa mission wish list


Re: HAL...

"The first in the Rama series was good. The rest were, unfortunately, dire."

I enjoyed them a lot. The series as a whole is one of my favorites. The first is by far the best but I like the plot and scope of the others too.

Virgin Media blames scruffy students for HUGE drop in cable subscribers


My flat is not listed in the VM new customer enquiry system despite the other 6 flats in my building being there. So I have to fill in a form to request my flat to be added if possible and I should get a reply within a few days with a result. I've done that maybe 4 times now over the last 2 years and they have ignored it every time.

On top of that, if I choose one of the other flats at says I can only get ADSL, But if I choose the actual house number with no flat, I can get cable broadband.

Luckily I'm generally happy with the ADSL that I have now, just would like it a bit faster in the evenings so I'm not too fussed if they are too dumb to want to new customers.

Mozilla ponders blinkers for your browser


Re: No

"targeted advertising never seems to address what I'm interested in"

Around xmas of 2011 my kitchen sink/tap broke. While I was waiting for the landlord to get someone in to fix I idly looked up what was involved to fix it, taking around 25 minutes over a couple of sites. As far as I can remember I have never looked up similar things before or since.

I still get tons of ads for kitchen hardware and spares 18 months later.


Re: No

"Fortunately, this is Mozzy, so there'll be an off switch."

Like there is for JavaScript?

GitHub to devs: pick a license, we dare you


"It's also added a new feature that pops a license-selection menu front and centre when users create a new project. GitHub's made the MIT, Apache and GPL licenses most prominent, but also offers eleven others. Users who choose one of the offered licenses are offered the handy short-cut of a file containing the relevant text automatically appearing landing in their project's directory."

Err, I created a new GitHub project at the weekend and didn't get this. I'm in the project settings page now and licenses are not mentioned at all, let alone a way to add one, which I would like to do.

I see from StackOverflow that I have to add the license files manually to the repo now. Fair enough but GitHub are in no position to complain if they seem to be doing their best to not mention licenses at all on the project pages.

"No comment" on Alex Salmond Seaside Shenanigans Ravings?


Pages article "Climate SHOCKER: Rising CO2 is turning the world's deserts GREEN" also has comments disabled.

Has he tired of the ever-present criticism of his creative interpretation of scientific articles?

Jelly Bean finally overtakes Gingerbread in Android share

Thumb Up

Re: A wonderful world

The decision to be instantly accessible or not is yours.

My phone has the ring volume turn down the day I get a new one and doesn't go back up again. Vibration is on sometimes if I'm out and planning on meeting up with someone, or drinking and know we may lose someone.

Other than that it is there to be used when I want it like any other tool. I check for missed calls and emails now and then so I am contactable, just on my own timescale.

As a bonus I never have to suffer telemarketers.

Hey Google, Facebook has a 'Reader' that might actually make money


Re: I'm using Feedly now

I was resigned to switch to Feedly as the best of a bad bunch until last week when I rebooted into Windows for a change and discovered the Chrome extension changes made (without asking) in March that keep Feedly active even when the browser is closed. Apart from it not needing an extension in the first place that is just way too invasive for my liking.

So I'll use one of the others and cross my fingers something decent turns up soon.

Sony sucker-punches Xbox on price, specs, DRM-free gaming


Re: I'm Alright Jack

My phone line died almost 6 weeks ago and therefore my ADSL broadband with it.

Due to starting a new job I haven't wanted to take time off unpaid and I wasn't ready to be working from home until recently so I've just had to live with it. I finally managed to work from home last week and the engineer decided not to bother turning up. I'm trying again tomorrow and will hopefully get it all back at last.

There is not a chance in hell that I would buy a console that absolutely required a network connection to play a single-player game, permanently, frequent or otherwise.

FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know


Re: nah mate

"Well, if you wanted to pronounce it lynux, you should have spelt it lynux, or had a vowel-lengthening 'e' somewhere, linux is a short 'i'."

Like 'pilot'?


You mean Joffegg?

Hundreds of dot-brand domains predicted


The tld is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

along with twitter, oracle, sprite, etc.

I see this being more useful for mid-level registrars to step in and buy generic TLDs such as .market, .medical, .health, and so on for reselling subdomains.

News of the World TO CLOSE



Sarah Fergusson?

Sunspot decline could mean decades of cold UK winters



How is that a variation in the Sun? It doesn't change just because you can't see it.