* Posts by Zolko

331 posts • joined 10 Nov 2010

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Another Chromium browser for Linux? Microsoft Edge arrives in preview form, no love for Arm yet

Zolko
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Ungoogled Chromium

Did you hear about Ungoogled Chromium ? It's the open-source Chromium browser with the Google-specific code removed. Should, in principle, and by experience so far, work exactly as Google Chromium but without the phoning-home to the mothership. That's what I use when needing Google stuff (meet, docs, maps ...)

What does everyone make of today's Google antitrust action? Only the stock market is happy with the status quo

Zolko

Re: What's their proposed solution?

easy: separate into independent entities Search and affiliates (Maps, Ads), Android and affiliates (PlayStore), and Youtube.

For Facebook, separate WhatsApp and Instagram

For Apple, force them to allow to use alternatives to the AppStore, and remove the unique browser choice of WebKit (which would de-facto open the AppStore, as most apps are only frontends to web pages).

For Amazon, I didn't think of it, but I certainly would want them to pay their taxes.

For Microsoft, separate the OS from Office.

Google screwed rivals to protect monopoly, says Uncle Sam in antitrust lawsuit: We go inside the Sherman parked on a Silicon Valley lawn

Zolko

Re: People have a choice?

"However, in order to take part one must use Google Chrome."

did you try "Ungoogled Chromium" ? It's supposed to be the open-source Chromium with all Google-related stuff removed. That's what I use whenever I need to use Chrome (which I never use as such): Google Maps, Google Meet, Google Docs...

Works like a charm.

Zolko

Re: "so a majority of people do change search engines"

"I use DuckDuckGo for privacy but the results just aren't as good as Google"

I stopped using DDG and use Qwant instead: much better than anything.

For me Google gives mostly shitty answers: first are always YouTube videos or Amazon articles, or some commercial supplier, often actually concurrent of what I'm really looking for. Also, you have to know the search engine, know what sort of keywords to use to get your results. With DDG before, and Qwant now, I always get the first results I need when entering the keywords that matter. With Google, my keywords are superseded by who is paying more to be on top of the list: useless crap for most serious search.

It's been years that I don't use Google search. And never look back.

Zolko

Re: Breaking up might be good for Google

"advertising is where Google makes the big bucks."

erm ... no: advertisement is what makes Google money. Google is only an advertisement brokerage firm, that happens to use a particular tool for it. It's not Doubleclick that should be split-off from search, but Android, and may-be YouTube.

Let Google make money with search and maps and ads, but let Android free from Google. Actually, with Oracle-vs-Google over Java and Android, this might happen anyway, and rather sooner than later.

Same for Facebook with WhatsApp and Instagram.

When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube

Zolko

Quelle surprise !

actually ... I tried this with "Ungoogled Chromium" and it also has the same behaviour: "clear all cookies and site data when you quit Chromium", and then I closed the window but it didn't clear the Google cookies and site data. Darn.

But then it dawned on me: did I actually, really, quit Chromium ? a killall chromium confirmed that no. So how do you quit Chromium ? In the right side the small button with ⋅⋅⋅ has the magical "Exit" function, and then Chromium really does suppress the cookies, even the Google ones. May-be ungoogled chromium changes that behaviour, who knows ?

It's that time of the year when Apple convinces you last year's iPhones weren't quite magical enough, so buy this new 5G iPhone 12 instead

Zolko

Re: Yawn, same as the all the others but faster

>> "You'd think Apple could mix it up every now and then."

> "What would you like to see? :)"

a desktop use: now that these phones are powerful enough to be used in laptops, having a dock where an external display and keyboard and mouse and stylus and joystick are connected, and plugging in the phone I have a real desktop experience. Or a game-console. Or connected to a large TV, or projector ... but easy plug'n-play: you get home, put your phone on a stand, and is is connected to the TV and HiFi and you can play music instantly. Without needing a charger and set-up a screen-cast, bluetooth to the speaker ...

What Samsung has actually developed. Or the Nintendo Switch.

THAT would be innovation.

After ten years, the Google vs Oracle API copyright mega-battle finally hit the Supreme Court – and we listened in

Zolko

Re: almost certainly prevents me writing down the list of names myself and going from there

"Nope. An API is an API is an API."

just because you say that doesn't make it so. Google claims it's an API, Oracle claims it's copyrighted code.

And as for the licenses, as you say, Google had multiple legal choices, but none that suited it's corporate needs, so they simply ignored everything. If Google wins (shudder) it's the end of open-source licenses, as any BIG corporation can simply bypass the license of a small but successful project and take it over.

Zolko

GPL and open-source might also emerge as victors: clear and open functioning.

Zolko

Re: almost certainly prevents me writing down the list of names myself and going from there

"An API is an index into your wider "story".

that depends: if it's a distinctive and separate entity, like header files, then you can argue that it's similar to an index. But if the API is extracted from the full source code, as happened here if I understand correctly, then the API is not an index, it's a partial copy of the source code which is copyrighted.

Google didn't want to license Java from Oracle, and also didn't want to follow the GPL license. I can't see Oracle loosing here, and the big winner would be open- and free-source software.

Google wouldn't only have to pay Oracle, but would have to GPL the proprietary derivative works they laid on top of Android, like the Google Play Store !!! A big win for .... Huawei.

Big Tech to face its Ma Bell moment? US House Dems demand break-up of 'monopolists' Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google

Zolko
Headmaster

Re: Kennedy

"Kennedy [...] was elected as the first Christian president"

close, but wrong: first (and only) Catholic US president, all others are/were Protestant.

Teracube whips out cheap, fixable phone with removable battery and four-year warranty

Zolko

Re: Well, good luck

"components none of them has ever even dreamt of swapping out"

battery, SD-card ... do you have a clue about what you're talking ?

"... replaceability ... It never worked on cars"

Ah, OK, no, you have no clue (tyres, clutch, breaks ... haw are they not replaceable parts ?)

Massive news, literally: Three super-boffins awarded Nobel Prize in physics for their black-hole breakthroughs

Zolko
Pint

Re: "...part of a team..."

"money goes to pints for the unsung heroes of science"

Thanks, that would be me: I did participate in building the GRAVITY instrument that allowed Gensel to get his Nobel Prize.

Zolko

Re: Is there a singularity in the center of a black hole which time stands still?

"talking out of your uranus"

that would rather be: "talking out of Uranus", alone.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rachelsphotos/4741145124

Apple seeks damages from recycling firm that didn't damage its devices: 100,000 iThings 'resold' rather than broken up as expected

Zolko

Re: The Waste Makers

"You are trying to prove that Apple's devices are unusually bad"

No, that's not what he is saying, he is making a demonstration ad-absurdum: IF we accept Apple's arguments, THEN the iThings are badly manufactured. Therefore, either Apple's arguments are worthless and the complaint should be dropped, or Apple's iDevices are so badly manufactured that they should be banned.

Either way, destroying working devices by millions is a waste of natural resources and should be forbidden.

Zolko

"Yet the phones in question *did* belong to Apple"

not sure: if Apple handed them to the recycling firm, then the recycling firm owned them. That's the entire point of a recycling firm: they dismount the stuff and resell the components. How they do this is their business. If a stuff is dismounted, it seizes to exist, therefore how could Apple own something that doesn't exist anymore ? At what point does Apple stop owning an iWatch set to be recycled ?

Therefore it's a breach of contract, but if a contract goes against a law (right to repair) then the contract is invalid and Apple hasn't a foot to stand on. For example, you couldn't make a contract about slavery because that's against the law: therefore you could sign and breach any slavery contract as you wish.

India shows off new home-grown CPU – but at 100MHz, 32-bit and 180nm, it’s a bit of a clunker

Zolko
Mushroom

Re: From linked Reg article:

"what used to be merely coercive threats to invoke consequences if they don't play ball"

it's like the atomic bomb deterrent: it's useful only as long as you don't use it, and you can only use it once. Icon, obviously

Future airliners will run on hydrogen, vows Airbus as it teases world-plus-dog with concept designs

Zolko

Re: Looks good to me

"how will we cope with all the water pollution!"

you mean pollution by hydrogen-hydroxide ? Scary stuff indeed.

Ports in a storm: The Matebook 14 won't set your world on fire, but it's still a half-decent laptop

Zolko
Unhappy

d****k measuring contest ?

"yet comes with a much larger display"

this can only be a bad joke: how could ElReg be so dumb as to think that a bigger screen for a laptop is necessarily "better" ? Do you know what people do with UltraBooks ? Would a 17''-er be the best ever possible laptop ?

That reminds me of late when I wanted to buy a MacBook, and the shop didn't have any macs, so the guy asked me about the specs, and when I said that it had a 2GHz CPU he offered me a much better 2.5GHz CPU ... Windows of course. What is understandable from a random computer store is not possible for here, shame on you.

Apple to Epic: Sue me? No, sue you, pal!

Zolko

Re: Monopolistic behaviour

"Because they aren't a monopoly they can do what they like in their store."

no they can't, the legislators have thought about that, it's called a "cartel" (when competitors agree not to compete and align their offerings), and it falls into the same bag as a "monopoly". The fact that Google charges the same amount as Apple, and the fact that they have banned Epic from their store at the same moment as Apple, is proof enough that it's a cartel.

Apple is sure to loose this one, their counter-sue stinks of desperation.

Zolko

Re: SLAPP

"Epic is clearly & deliberately in violation of it's contracts with both Google & Apple"

you're right, but Google & Apple are clearly in violation of anti-trust laws. They only got away with this until now because nobody dared to sue them, but now that the cat is out of the box, other competitors will want a piece of the cake and will testify.

Therefore, at the end, Apple will loose. Like with the spare-parts case.

Australia starts second fight with Google, this time over whether app stores leak data, gouge devs, steal ideas and warp markets

Zolko

bundled services

"The ability and incentive for Apple and Google to link or bundle their other goods and services with their app marketplaces

How Apple and Google’s various roles as the key suppliers of app marketplaces, but also as app developers, operators of the mobile licensing operating system and device manufacturers"

This is the crux of the matter: they (Apple and Google) can leverage their position in 1 field to impose their view in another unrelated field. Best example being ad services. I think this is very similar to Microsoft bundling Windows with IE.

It should be forbidden for manufacturers to also be unique providers for the OS, app store and payment services. Keyword being "unique". In Apple's case you must also add "HTML engine". This is basic anti-competitive stuff, should be a no-brainer.

Apple hits back at Epic, says Fortnite crew wants a 'free ride' on fees: Let the app store death match commence

Zolko

Re: A good time to be a lawyer...

If it's not a monopoly then it's a cartel: an association of competitors to align their products and pretend none has a monopoly. Do you imagine nobody has ever thought about this ?

And that's illegal too.

Zolko

Re: Serve at the pleasure of King Jobs

"Ford has a monopoly on Ford cars"

but not on spare-parts for Ford cars. Nor on gasoline and tyres for Ford cars. Apple has already lost the battle of independent repare houses, it will lose on this one also. Add to this the mandatory use of Apple's WebKit engine for all browsers on iOS, with Microsoft IE as precedence, they're certain to loose. They will probably loose much more, possibly to the point to having to allow sideloading of apps on iOS devices (with a warning)

What's more, the fact that the Google Play Store asks the same 30% and has booted Epic from their store at the same time is a clear sign that a monopolistic cartel is at play.

You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

Zolko

Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

"the efficacy of mask wearing is still an open question"

in my case, it's quite an easy answer: I have been using the same disposable "paper" mask for a month, so the efficacy of that particular mask stopping any virus is probably exactly 0. And many people I know do the same.

Disposable masks are for surgery, used in combination of gloves and 1-use cloths, and must be accompanied by draconian sterilisation measures. Their use for general public by billions of humans is a catastrophe in waiting. Only criminals could propose such things in times of our fight against pollution and climate change.

Zolko

Re: Thailand had 1 case yesterday

"The reality is actually fairly simple - either people need to take proper precautions, or we're going to have to lockdown again."

... or we can let people catch the damn virus and get over it. 99.7% of the population will not even notice beyond a bad cold may-be. And summer-time is best for that because there are less other illnesses.

Therefore, new official advice: don't use masks and gloves, and hug everybody you can so we can all get infected by the Covid-19 virus during august.

NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope launch date by at least seven months

Zolko

I pity the project manager.

which one ? You don't seriously think that the PM hasn't been sacked (or quit) several times already ?

Pokémon Go players fined for breaking down-under COVID-19 lockdown rules

Zolko

missing maths

"authorities recorded around 100 COVID cases each day"

and how many were TESTED to find these cases ? and how many ILL people are there each day ? By now, everybody knows that most people who get infected by Covid-19 aren't really ill, not more than by a regular flu, heck, most don't even know they have it, they're asymptomatic. So for this 100 to be of any scientific value, at least 2 more numbers are needed:

- how many where tested in the same period (to find the infectious rate)

- how many are severely ill (to find how dangerous the situation is).

Throwing a number in the wild without context is a sure sign of panic propaganda.

China’s preferred Linux distro trumpets Arm benchmark results

Zolko

Re: Remind me

The Government did not create ARM, nor did they invest in it

but the government did invest in the schools and universities that produced the master minds that later created ARM. So the government can have legitimate concerns about what happens with its (indirect) investments.

Apple: We're defending your privacy by nixing 16 browser APIs. Rivals: You mean defending your bottom line

Zolko

Re: Internet Explorer reloaded

They can do what they want with it

1) it's not they but the user, it's his phone after all. Of course they can ship with the pre-installed browser they want, but the question here is that they forbid the user to use another supplier of a standard item later. Even worse than the Internet Explorer times when it was only the default browser.

2) I think not: you cannot sell a car and force people to only use your tires. Tires are standard items and you are allowed to install any tyre you want (of the correct size). I think that this is now also true for spare parts: you are allowed to replace the clutch (and other parts) with parts from other vendors, not just the original equipment manufacturer's (that's why there is the OEM term). What Apple does here looks to me entirely illegal.

Zolko

Re: Internet Explorer reloaded

Well, Apple is not the only Web-rendering engine provider. HTML is an open international standard, forbidding other HTML-rendering engines seems to me a clear violation of interoperability requirements.

Zolko
Holmes

Internet Explorer reloaded

all web browsers on iOS devices use Safari's WebKit rendering engine

wouldn't that fall under the same category as the default navigator in Windows some years back ? Doesn't this violate interoperability laws sort-of everywhere ? Isn't this the same as a vendor of pasta that would require that you only use their sauce too ?

I can't see that having a chance in court if someone dared to challenge it.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Zolko

Re: Downvotes

"You want to run Windows applications, why not buy a machine that runs Windows?"

but that's what a Mac with BootCamp does ! A Mac is hardware+OS, you can buy the hardware and install another OS on it. That's what I did (albeit for Linux). Worked like a charm until the MacPro 2014 or so. The drivers were very common, price was correct, ports a-plenty, replaceable/upgradable RAM and HD ! Then cam bean-counter Cook and now it's all proprietary and glued.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

Zolko
Mushroom

Re: Political correctness gone mad

"So a low impact change."

that's obviously false, as proof they had to lock the PR. Technically, code-wise, you might be correct, but the impact can be of different types, and political or social fallout can be among them.

"won't make things a lot better,"

False again: it won't make any things better at all. Nobody complained before, it was only some self-imposed good-feel crusade. They didn't change the IDE master/slave naming, nor any other similar naming scheme which real people will actually see.

"won't make anything worse."

Yes, that one is True.

Therefore, in summary, it's a PR stunt by someone in power to self-promote. Incidentally, it's by a white person to promote his own greatness on the pretence of black people. I don't know what is to be celebrated here.

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

Zolko

@werdsmith : "on a Super Cub purely for its charm and flying for pleasure appeal"

then you should try to fly gliders (or better: hang-gliders): the joy of feeling the air around you, playing with the winds, looking for clouds ...

Huawei's latest smartphone for the UK market costs £1,299. And yes, that's without Google apps

Zolko
Paris Hilton

It's a marketing coup

I'm sure Huawei people also know that very few people will buy this, and they make this phone only for the show. To showcase what they're able to do. The real devices they want to sell in quantities will be the little brothers of this one. Like: client walks into a shop to see this beast, is impressed by it, then looks at the price, is impressed by it, then the salesperson then suggests the "cheaper" siblings, and client walks away thinking he saved money by not buying the expensive stuff.

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

Zolko

The only advantage AI has over a human is G-factor limit. A plane can pull 50G (or be made to pull 50G) if necessary, while a pilot is limited to 6G, 9G at max, and there's nothing to be done about that.

Snapping at Canonical's Snap: Linux Mint team says no to Ubuntu store 'backdoor'

Zolko

Re: Debian and Debian derivatives

holly crap, Devuan Beowulf (v3.0.0) has been released and ElReg didn't say it ! Well, time to switch I guess (3m22s left of the desktop-live download)

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets

Zolko

Re: Free speech?

Surprisingly, ElReg has failed to see the real problem here:

"The President has, in retaliation, threatened to close down Twitter and other social networks, even though he can't"

yes, he can: social media benefit from a legal protection (Section 230 I think) which puts them in the box of "information platforms" and not "information editors". In short, it means that they only relay messages from users between them, and don't, themselves, create information like newspapers do. But by doing just that, editing messages of a user to other users, Twitter has stepped out of that role and became editors, not only a platform, and they can loose that protection (Section 230)

In other words, this could end Twitter for real.

What I don't understand: why do some people (including ElReg) think that Twitter, Facebook and co. are some special constructs ? They are only advertising platforms that disguise as messaging services, and it would be very easy to target them and bring them to their knees: it's enough to apply to them the rules that apply to other advertisement organisations, and they're dead. And nobody would cry after them.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

Zolko

Re: reviewer uses Google extensively

Exactly my thoughts: a Google-(ab)using Lemming is surprised that a Google-free device doesn't work well for him

"I pay for things with Google Pay [...] audio is immediately uploaded to Google Drive [...] notes in Google Docs, and use Gmail [...] Google Maps to lead the way."

I use none of these. Ever. The Google-Apps on my phone are quarantined, blocked, non-updated .... as much as I practically can. If TheRegister so wishes, I can do a much better and more useful test-review of this device.

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

Zolko

Re: Trust Office

@Len: "It's quite common for the same Word document to look different or have other issues between various versions of Word or between Word for Mac, Word for Windows and Office 365."

I wouldn't call it common, but the rule. And you haven't even touched the subject of Office in German, English, French, and having to exchange files between these MS-Word versions: tables in German are called "Tabelle" and when you open such a Word file on an English speaking MS-WORD and add another "Table" it will not increment correctly the reference number. Same if you have paragraphs and copy-paste across documents with different header settings: you'll have mixed layout for identical headers. And the next header might or might-not increment correctly.

And we haven't talked about the ugly kerning, meaning that you can immediately recognise research thesis written in LaTeX or in Word.

That a multi-billion company is not able, after 30 years of their top-selling flagship product, to produce a marginally usable Word processor speaks volumes about its overall capabilities.

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere

Zolko

Re: Check your password here

Mandatory XKCD image:

https://xkcd.com/2228/

Zolko

mean ≠ median

I use always the same 3-4 passwords, because else I don't remember them. And also because most of the times I don't care about the site (seriously: what if my account on ElReg gets hacked ?). And for those sites that I DO care, I use a different browser and a unique password. Which means that in 95% of the occasions, I use always 3-4 passwords and a generic browser, so if such a survey only looks at the number of occurrences, it's going to have a very bad representative image of how secure/unsecure my use of passwords and Internet is.

And for me it's still very few passwords to remember.

FTP is crusty and mostly dead, right? AWS just started supporting it anyway

Zolko

Re: It's used because it works

@Joe Montana: "What he did with FTP, could have been done just as easily with thousands of other file copy methods too... SMB, NFS, SCP, RCP, RSYNC etc."

may-be, or may-be not: we had programmed an FTP client in LabView, so we could connect our experimental lab setup, using LabView, with laptops running scientific languages like IDL or Matlab, and connected live to the LabView by FTP. Still works like a charm.

FTP connections are simple TCP sockets sending some text messages. Now, do that with SFTP !

The rumor that just won't die: Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length in 2021 with launch of 'A14-powered laptops'

Zolko

Re: No surprise then

"which is approximately why Apple moved from (what was basically IBM's) PPC architecture to Intel"

not sure if that was enough: one immediate result of Mac on Intel was that you could use Windows in virtual machines, allowing a user to use Windows-only software seamlessly. With the switch away from Intel these virtual machines will stop working. Well, you might be able to use virtual machines to run Windows-on-Arm, but that won't let you run the legacy Windows programs.

Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support

Zolko
Coat

Re: "deforming shirt pockets"

"Bonus: your 'phone doesn't fall out when you want to pick something up from the floor..."

...or when you clean the toilet after you've finished your affair.

London court tells Julian Assange: No, coronavirus is not a good reason for you to be let out of prison

Zolko
Facepalm

@ishtiaq/theghostdeejay

"He shit on his mates ... Would you trust him? ... he is a coward"

you are a clueless moron (why would it be important whether I trust him or not ? Trust him for what ?) who accuses without proof. No wonder you had been banned from ElReg.

Zolko
Holmes

I also think Assange is a nob

why ? Do you know him ? If it's only because it has been repeated over-and-over by some media, don't you think it could be an organised smear campaign ? Did he get the chance to tell his version of the story ? Actually, what IS the story about (the rape thing was bogus from the start and the Swedes dropped it anyway) ?

Insulting someone should at minimum bear some justification.

Behind time and way over budget, but the James Webb Space Telescope has finally been put together

Zolko

"on top of five hundred tons of explosives..."

you forgot: ...built by the lowest bidder private contractor. Which might actually not be true here, but had to say it for the historical reference.

Zolko
Mushroom

Re: Main mirror

"It needed an Ariane5 with a special 'power bulge' nose cone. But it was imperative that the launch be on an American rocket"

you must be kiddin' : it's still planned to be launched from an Ariane V, with a normal head. I believe the Americans don't have big enough of rockets.

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