* Posts by 45RPM

1140 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010

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CutefishOS: Unix-y development model? Check. macOS aesthetic? Check (if you like that sort of thing)

45RPM Silver badge

I dunno. Every other UI for Linux at the moment seems to be cribbing Windows. It’s all a bit variety though, and I’ll give it a crack - just because I do like to piss around with a computer.

I do find it somewhat sad that the other UI paradigms of the past are now largely ignored. I mean, how about a beautiful polished UI which borrows from Amiga but isn’t AmigaOS? Ditto Archimedes, or GeOS, or NeXT, or CDE, or olvwm? Or something else? Or something excitingly original and other.

At this point I’d argue that it doesn’t necessarily even need to be a crowd pleaser (the crowd will go for what they know). It just needs to be well thought out and innovative.

And that’s a huge ask.

Apple tried to patch this security hole in macOS Finder but didn't consider upper and lowercase characters

45RPM Silver badge

That’s an embarrassment. Didn’t anyone code review the change? It also highlights the benefits of having another team write tests for your code on the basis of the specification.

Macmillan best-biscuit list unexpectedly promotes breakfast cereal to treat status

45RPM Silver badge

Re: just a couple of things

Fie sir! Better a chocolate digestive than a chocolate hobnob (although I wouldn’t say no to the latter!), and what have you got against Jaffa Cakes? Agreed, they aren’t biscuits, and they should never be stored in the same tin - but they’re delicious nonetheless.

45RPM Silver badge

The Jammie Dodger is a top tier biscuit, and are we allowed to admit a Penguin into that category too?

The pink wafer, along with the party ring and Rich Tea are appalling confections which cause me to shudder involuntarily - even though I know for sure that there are none in the house, and than therefore do me no harm. Honestly, I’d rather dunk a weetabix.

Clegg on its face: Facebook turns to former UK deputy PM to fend off damaging headlines

45RPM Silver badge

He really is a disgrace. If only there was a way for the LibDems to distance themselves from this odious twerp. He’s done untold damage to the LibDems - if only he could be relied upon to do the same for Facebook.

Can we talk about Kevin McCarthy promising revenge if Big Tech aids probe into January insurrection?

45RPM Silver badge

Re: i.e. he confesses there is evidence

Thumbs up. Made my day!

45RPM Silver badge

Nice business you’ve got there. It would be a shame if it got damaged.

He’s just acting like a mafioso goon.

Volkswagen to stop making its best-selling product for Wolfsburg workers: VW-branded sausages

45RPM Silver badge

Who mentioned processed food? Some processed foods are bad, I’m sure - but to discount all of them would mean no more bread, no more… in fact, if there’s a recipe involved in the preparation then it’s processed. I’m sure none of us are that extreme. I’d have to give up curries for a start - and that ain’t happening.

45RPM Silver badge

One day, I expect, this will be a non-news story - but veggie-meat technology has not advanced to that stage yet. I keep giving it a bash, I keep trying the meat free alternative, but it’s always a disappointment - it definitely isn’t ready to fool on a mass market scale yet (I look forward to the day it does).

I love meat, but (and leaving aside the entirely valid point that we need to reduce meat consumption for the good of the environment) I eat a lot of veg and it’s for the good of my health and to reduce my cholesterol (alas, past middle age, these things become important). Meat for one meal once a week, vegetarian the rest of the time. But I must admit that I’m looking forward to the scientists coming up with a really convincing meat alternative in beef, lamb, pork, chicken etc flavours and textures - so that I can get back to a meaty diet.

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way

45RPM Silver badge

Orders of magnitude, of course. It will have to be carefully thought out - at the very least to prevent unwanted side effects (interference for a start). My point was that I’m not about to start wearing a tinfoil hat about this possible new tech.

45RPM Silver badge

When I was a kid I build a crystal radio, with an earpiece, and I could listen to any AM station that I chose. Its power source was the radio waves themselves - no batteries required.

The air is already crackling with energy - and if it wasn’t then this planet would be lifeless and dead.

As long as it has been properly tested, I’m not worried about the safety of wireless charging. I do have concerns about efficiency - in a warming world we need to be more prudent about our use of power, let’s not waste it - and particularly not because we’re too damn lazy to plug a wire in.

Children of China, your state-sanctioned hour of gaming begins … now!

45RPM Silver badge

Re: Depended on where you lived

I can’t comment on the US - I was in my thirties before I went there. But the situation of playing in the streets was certainly common in the UK, Ireland, France and Germany - the only countries that I was familiar with as a child.

Thinking about it, my thoughts are probably doubly true for China since their explosion in driving cars is a phenomenon of the last twenty years. Before then, the bicycle was the dominant form of transport - a far more playing in the street friendly mode of transport.

45RPM Silver badge

I think I disagree with this statement - and for three reasons:

1. Because kids actually played in the street - so they looked out for each other (strength in numbers - we were everywhere) and so motorists expected to see them and so drove more carefully.

2. Cars were crap and had minimal safety equipment. Not even safety belts in many cases, so motorists drove more carefully in order to protect themselves. I was too young to drive (and too busy playing) - but I think this is an example of Booths Law

3. There weren’t so many cars anyway. 13m or thereabouts when I was a kid vs. 35m today.

45RPM Silver badge

At first glance I kind of like this idea - until I started wondering whether this liking might constitute middle class smuggery. Quite right I thought. My kids only notched up a couple of hours gaming over the last fortnight…

But we have the luxury of land and space. They can play in the treehouse, on the trampoline, they can garden and play football - or go for a bike ride on the quiet lanes hereabouts. They’re not exactly short of options.

And that’s the problem isn’t it? It’s fine to mandate such restrictions if you’re well off - but what of the poor? Maybe you don’t have a garden. Maybe you don’t even have many rooms in your house. It isn’t the 50s, 60s or even 70s any more - the roads are far busier, so your children can’t even play safely in the street (as I used to do as a kid).

It seems to me that this plan hasn’t been fully thought through. I can see the benefits of limited online access to children - but only if there’s a safer alternative to engage and entertain them instead. And I imagine that the situation is even worse for the urban poor in a Chinese mega city.

Rumors of satellite-comms-capable iPhone abound. The truth could be rather boring

45RPM Silver badge

Re: Inclusive-Or

But the boat is on fire! And now my phone is full of salt water, and it doesn’t work anymore!

SCO v. IBM settlement deal is done, but zombie case shuffles on elsewhere

45RPM Silver badge

Does anyone know which components form this dispute? A summary of the case for those only mildly interested at this stage and who can’t be bothered to wade through all the legalese? I would have thought it should be straightforward to resolve - just show us the source code. If it’s really in Linux we can see it anyway, but if there’s concern that revealing SCOs hand might release proprietary code then we’ll know that the SCO zombies were just having us on.

In any event, as long as it isn’t in the kernel, if the court case is lost then surely the solution is to replace any contentious modules…

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

45RPM Silver badge

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

A third party isn’t scanning your device though. The AI on the device is scanning your device. It’s not leaving your device at all unless certain criteria are met.

The way government legislation is going worldwide a tech company has several choices in order to ensure compliance…

1) build in a back door which allows law enforcement agencies (and anyone else who gets the keys on the dark net) to scrobble whatever they like from your device.

2) store everything on the cloud and scan it there (this is the most common choice that big tech makes, especially since they’re already scanning for the purposes of advertising)

3) scan on device and only provide keys to law enforcement for data which is illegal (this is the route that Apple has taken)

4) give up, and only make dumb devices with minimal functionality.

Honestly, it’s Hobson’s choice. I don’t like any option, but option 3 seems to be the least worst option. My principal concern with it, as I said previously, is what constitutes ‘illegality’ - but that concern applies to all the other options except 4.

Genuine question. Leaving aside any issues of platform partisanship, if you were a big tech making the revolutionary new SabroniPhone, and assuming that you didn’t want to get legislated out of business, which option would you choose - and why?

45RPM Silver badge

As I understand it, this technology has been developed because Apple has built its service in such a way that it can’t scan in the cloud so it has to scan on device. Everyone else, Google included, scans in the Cloud. One way or another, you’ll get scanned - it’s just a question of where.

In the case of Apple’s system, violating images can be decrypted by law enforcement - not all images.

And yes, I can see how this might be expanded to include other ‘crimes’ (inverted commas because the definition of what is criminal depends on the state - in one country, for example, it might be criminal to blaspheme but not to stone someone and vice versa). I hope that Apple will be restrictive about what it scans for - terrorism, paedophilia and that’s about it, but pragmatically speaking, with governments clamouring for a back door into our devices this seems like a sensible middle ground. Let them see what is pertinent to the case, and nothing else.

Apple patches zero-day vulnerability in iOS, iPadOS, macOS under active attack

45RPM Silver badge

Re: 4 months...

I found a fire in the building. Think I’ll report it tomorrow.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: Dogs are really fast

For that matter, why does something fast go like a stabbed rat. I’d have thought that a stabbed rat wasn’t in much of a position to go anywhere, let alone quickly.

A pricked rat might be quite nippy, but again it depends on what you prick it with.

45RPM Silver badge

I remember actively exploiting a flaw in the abacuses at infant school many decades ago. If you ‘shook’ them, the memory would become corrupted. If you were really determined you might force a ‘frame error’, and they’d dump their memories entirely. All over the floor. Mrs Robinson was not happy.

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @45RPM

Convection as well. I imagine that most of the heat isn’t going into my bread. It’s rising up above the toaster and heating my kitchen.

The more I think about it, the more inefficiencies I can see in toaster design.

I don’t know how the kettle might be improved - but I’m sure it isn’t 100% efficient.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @Flywheel

Anthropomorphic hyperbole aside, the argument is correct. The planet is being messed up by us and physics will ensure that we can no longer live here. Well, physics combined with our own stupidity and selfish inability to change because “boohoo, I’m a special snowflake and I deserve to run my gas guzzler and eat nothing but meat because freedom”.

The warning signs have been clear for decades for anyone with the wit to read them. No need to sacrifice anyone - we just need to stop being so damned greedy.

45RPM Silver badge

Upvote for common sense.

45RPM Silver badge

Nuts and mushrooms are very nice, but they needn’t form the backbone of your diet. Everything in moderation. As to a new phone, my current phone is 7 years old, and my laptop is only new because work insisted (my previous laptop was 10 years old). I can’t see the point in mindlessly buying crap just because it’s new when the old stuff still works perfectly fine.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @45RPM

If you have a mix, plus stored energy backup (lots of technology to choose from), plus more efficient devices then I think we’ll be able to rub along just fine without fossil fuels. Give it twenty years and I reckon fossil fuel will be largely a thing of the past. The problem is, we need to reach that happy state faster than twenty years.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @45RPM

Light. Peer into any toaster and you’ll see the element glowing away happily. Presumably it’s also glowing in other parts of the em spectrum that I can’t see. So if all of that energy could be turned to heat (ir part of the em spectrum) then my toast would be cooked faster and for less power consumed.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @45RPM

The green stuff really does work though. Wind works (fake news from the MAGA and Fox crowd notwithstanding), Solar works, tidal, hydro and geothermal work. We need to grow up. We need to be more power efficient, and we need to wean ourselves entirely off of fossil fuel.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: @45RPM

Yup. The whole kettle and toaster thing was worrying me as I had my breakfast, and they took all the power that my solar panels could deliver. Fine in summer then, not so great in winter. I wonder if new alloys might be more efficient at turning power into heat? Otherwise, I’ll have to change my breakfast diet for half of the year.

45RPM Silver badge

For the hard of thinking, we don’t have a choice. And if selfish self professed freedom warriors want to guzzle fuel and wreck the environment for everyone else then it is only right that this should be legislated against.

Remember, if I had absolute freedom then I would also have the freedom to pop over to your gaff and perform a lobotomy with a rusty hacksaw, and you would be free to come over to my place and be similarly beastly. Absolute freedom is an illusion and most of the time when you act freely you restrict someone else’s ability to free. If you eat the cake then someone else can’t.

Anthropogenic Climate Change is a reality. We can’t undo it by wishful thinking or burying our heads in the sand. We need to take action - smaller families, reduced travel, less meat consumed, fewer power- guzzling computers. And the fact that some people, like you, rail against this and crap on about the impact to their freedom just underlines the need to legislate.

If people can’t be trusted to act decently then laws need to be written to force them to. I only wish that people could be trusted and the laws unnecessary - but that too is wishful thinking.

45RPM Silver badge

I can’t comment on the accuracy of this figure - but it doesn’t much matter because I agree with you. Not only that, but any devices built must be easily repairable (it takes far less energy to repair than it does to recycle). But energy consumption matters too. It all matters.

But if the device is idle, it shouldn’t be using much power at all - if it does then it’s badly designed and this needs to be fixed.

45RPM Silver badge

Sad, but we need to get to a point where everything has enforced limits on power consumption. You can have your 4x4 urban tank, but it mustn’t use any more power than a Mini. Ditto computers. Failure to limit consumption in all areas will quite literally bring about the end of a human habitable world.

The good news is that such limits will encourage innovation - and if Apple’s M1 is anything to go by, we can still enjoy high performance compute.

I say this as a hypocrite. I have a Ryzen gaming box - which can do graphically amazing things. Oddly though, my kids seem more attached to old Nintendo games (SNES era) - so perhaps we need to get back to the idea that it’s the gameplay that matters, not the graphical sparkle. I’m not an expert on such matters though.

Snail mail would be a fool-proof way to inform patients about plans to slurp GP data, but UK govt won't commit

45RPM Silver badge

And served with a nice chianti?

45RPM Silver badge

I’ve got no problem with an opt out on organ donation - it’s not as if it’s Live Organ Donation is it? That would be something completely different.

But if I’m dead, I’m dead - if someone else needs my spare parts then they can have ‘em. It’s not as if I’m going to even know about it. And after Brexit, imports are getting trickier - so they might even be necessary to stop people from starving!

45RPM Silver badge

Re: "The UK government has refused to commit to sending a letter to 55 million patients"

Why the troll icon? That’s a bloody good idea. If they wanted to do it properly, it would be a separate leaflet with a bold headline. But even as money-grubbing opportunists they could have buried it in the small print of a vaccine information leaflet - and then say that they’d provided this information.

It does omit the antivaxxers, but I suspect that the antivaxxers are so deep in conspiracy theories that they don’t have much interest in genuine threats.

45RPM Silver badge

Of course they’re not going to commit to something that might reduce engagement - and hence reduce the amount of money that they get to stuff into their pockets.

Once a political party strays too far from the balanced centre, corruption becomes rife. And there’s no doubt in my mind that this conservative government is as venal, corrupt and incompetent as any from the past century or more. Perhaps not quite as bad as Trumps Republicans, but heading in that direction and dragging the UK to hell with them.

Nevertheless, they’ve done a number on the uninformed and disinterested UK electorate, reducing key policy issues to soundbites that they can hide and dissemble behind. Ignorant witlessisms like “yeah, we’re not great - but at least we’re not Labour or the Lib Dems”. And the public, slow on a diet of tabloid press, lap it up without a second thought. We’ve got the government we deserve, and we’re being royally screwed by them in everything they do.

Pipe down, Jeff. You've only gone where Gus Grissom went before, 60 years ago today

45RPM Silver badge

Sociopathic billionaire in egregious self-aggrandisement shock horror.

Uncle Sam sanctions Chinese AI outfits for links to Xinjiang Uyghur human-rights abuses

45RPM Silver badge

That depends where the tagging is done, doesn’t it?

On-device would (probably) mean that the device and software is more expensive, but in that case the service is for my convenience and paid for by my rather emptier wallet.

Off-device, you make a very valid point. But as for all these things, if you can’t see how the service is financed then you are most likely the product being sold.

Florida Man sues Facebook, Twitter, YouTube for account ban

45RPM Silver badge

Re: Typical slander

Since he claims to be Christian, he must be aware that you do unto others as you would have them do unto you. He’s spent his whole life abusing his enemies personally, inviting silly nicknames and so forth … and now we’re told that the same cannot be done to him. What is he? Some kind of snowflake? He’s just a tantruming toddler who desperately needs to be sent to bed without any stories - and told to behave better in the morning. Normally I’d prescribe a cuddle for the toddler too, since a lack of love can lead to massive twattery in later life, but you just know that the cheese puff monster would get carried away and turn it into a grope.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software

45RPM Silver badge

The problem is that it’s a race to the bottom in terms of pricing. If the majority are happy to have free software (paid for, perhaps, by invasion of privacy), how to software developers who want to write quality software, free of influence, get paid? They’re priced out of the market. They’d have to raise their prices to a prohibitive level - such that no one could afford it. And then what choice do consumers have? It’s free, and spying, or nothing.

45RPM Silver badge

Two points, and neither detract from my opinion of Audacity which is great software.

1. As a software developer who likes to have somewhere to sleep at night and who likes to have food to eat, I object strongly to the idea that software should be cheap or free. As a highly skilled developer who works with highly skilled developers I’d like to be paid accordingly. Nor do I want to be in the position of having to work for projects sponsored by the likes of Facebook, Google, Amazon etc in order to get paid.

2. Audacity is great in terms of its functionality, but it’s ugly as sin. The same is true of most open source - it lacks oversight in terms of its UI and it suffers for it. Most of the stuff which looks good is a community edition of a commercial package (IntelliJ springs to mind, Visual Studio Code etc). Beauty is in the eye of the beholder though, and maybe I’m just weird. I do like a spot of consistency in my UIs though.

NHS England staff voice concerns about access controls on US spy-tech firm Palantir's COVID-19 data store

45RPM Silver badge

Re: blah, blah, blah

Well, 67% voted to join in 1975. Now that’s what I call a mandate. It covered both the Common Market (the trading bloc that you refer to) and also the EC, the predecessor of the EU.

With regard to further integration, that was covered in the manifestos of the political parties involved - and we all had the choice to elect them (or not). In fact, this provides the only real legitimacy of the Leave vote - in that the Tory party got elected again.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: blah, blah, blah

Brexit - get over it. No. Because that’s not the way democracy works. Democracy only works if you have reasoned argument and counter argument, debate - and elections based on a considered weighing up of the facts. Once an election has been held, the ‘loser’ isn’t expected to roll over - they get to keep presenting their evidence and arguing the point until the next election.

Were you cheated on the vote? Actually, yes. Two reasons - one, if you have resort to knowingly lying to make your point (as team leave did) then you’re making a mockery of the process. Two - the margin was so slim and the impact so catastrophic that there was not sufficient mandate to leave. Especially on an advisory referendum that even vote leave wanted a 60% margin on for the result to be accepted (well, they did before they realised they were winning). Remember that if Remain had won then the status quo would have been preserved and Leave could have had a second referendum without any impact on the country. Leave won - and now we’re out with huge damage to our economy and reputation and no chance of getting back in without significant concessions (bye bye Gibraltar, bye bye veto, bye bye all those organisations which were based in the UK). We may (hopefully) get back in one day, but we’ll never be as well off as we were before Brexit.

Was it rigged? Well yes… and no. Yes, because a credulous electorate were knowingly lied to - and that’s not how a democratic system is supposed to work. See my earlier points. No, because the count was as near as dammit accurate, and therefore the result was as reported (with a very slim majority)

Sound like Trump supporters? Not really. To do so it would be necessary for us to lie and deny the opinions of anyone who disagrees.

I can’t work out whether you’re making a very bad joke or whether you’re just appallingly thick.

Serco bags £322m contract extension for Test and Trace, is still struggling to share data with local authorities

45RPM Silver badge

Ah, you see, you’ve failed there old boy what what. If you’d gone to Eton you’d have learned that the world revolves around you and those failures are, when you commit them at least, tremendous successes.

45RPM Silver badge

Merely failing isn’t sufficient unfortunately. You need to celebrate your failures and present them as yuge successes. If you’re not a complete psychopath, if you’re painfully aware of the consequences of your errors and the impact that they could have on others then you’re doomed to failure I’m afraid.

45RPM Silver badge

Serco, Harding, Grayling, Handcock, Johnson - it’s a Comedy of Errors, Tory style - and with a body count (128,000) that makes Guardians of the Galaxy (83,871 on-screen deaths) look restrained.

Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU

45RPM Silver badge

Re: What gen?

Hmm. So what’s an 8080 then? Surely that’s the true third gen? (4004, 8008, 8080)

Or if we’re just talking about PC chips then 386 (8086/8088, 80186/80188/80286, iAPX386). It’s all just nonsense.

45RPM Silver badge

Re: The good ol days

Yeah - not that kind of Z800. HP Z800 workstation - a different animal entirely.

I’ve had Z80s though - never that kind of 800 or 8000 though!

45RPM Silver badge

Well that’s the end of the road for my Z800 then. Wait a minute - what are the minimum CPU requirements for Linux? Guess I’ll be okay for a while longer then!

Apple scrambles to quash iOS app sideloading demands with 'think of the children' defense

45RPM Silver badge

But why do you care? Presumably if you want that functionality you’ll buy an Android device. If you would prefer that that functionality isn’t available you can buy iPhone. Isn’t it good to have the choice? I’d have more sympathy with this view if Android didn’t exist, or if Android was total crap. But Android does exist, and it isn’t bad at all - so why do you care what the other team are getting up to?

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