* Posts by entfe001

66 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Feb 2011


Spanish media sues Meta for ignoring GDPR and harvesting data


Re: According to meta

Adverts and targeted advertising (which feeds on personal data and is what the GDPR is about) are not the same thing

Paying for WinRAR in all the wrong ways - Russia and China hitting ancient app


Re: WinRAR? Why?

Speaking from own experience, back in the floppy days RAR had better compression than ZIP and support for recovery data. For large sets, the better compression rate allowed to save a floppy or two, which you could then use as a recovery in case any one fails. And floppies failed or went missing always when they were needed.

Also, Usenet binary groups were filled with split RAR files with several recoveries in case some articles got missing. IIRC even WinRAR could UUencode.

None of these advantages are relevant nowadays.

Although 7-Zip already existed in 1999, it wasn't very known nor distributed through shareware disks, which were the way most people got to get software back then.

Most people I know who still use RAR compressed files are those who used way back before; no one who had not used it before 2010 has ever used them.

X Social Media sues Twitter 2.0 over alphabet soup branding


Where is Hilton icon when it's most relevant?

Doom developer John Carmack thinks artificial general intelligence is doable by 2030


Startup is named Keen

Does he by chance had given himself the role of Commander?

New Zealand supermarket's recipe-generating AI takes toxic output to a new level


Darn they nerfed it

Now we can't ask mixing rum, acetone, sulphuric acid, battery acid, red dye n.2, scumm and/or pepperoni to get the true and real recipe for grog!

Should we ask that argentinian TV channel instead...?

California man's business is frustrating telemarketing scammers with chatbots


Things I did reply before I got so fed up with unsolicited phone calls that I put a white-list on my phone where all non explicitly vetted numbers are automatically rejected:

* When asking for my name: just a moment, then shout out loud my name as for "come here and pick the phone", and leave it alone or who are you asking for? you've got the wrong number

* When asking for my dead father (who died 9 years ago but is still present in many spam databases): either don't you even respect the dead or just a moment until i set up an ouija session

* When trying to sell me an ISP subscription: about time! I've been without Internet for a week and still not heard a word from you! and don't dare interrupt the call until you fix my problem or give me an answer! (obviously, I am not their client)

* When trying to sell me an utility contract: sorry, I work for ${other_provider} and have free/discounted fare

* When trying to offer me coupons for $whatever: ok, send them to 123 Fake St.

* When in a particularly bad mood or busy: answer in a foreign language (however, it once backfired)

What my mother does is making them repeat everything ad eternum pretending with an astonishingly convincing old lady voice she doesn't hear well until they give up. She does hear well and is not that old

We regret to inform you Earth will not be destroyed by an asteroid within 1,000 years


Re: .. Do you know where your towel is? ..

Don't make me take out my towel 8 days early

ChatGPT creates mostly insecure code, but won't tell you unless you ask


[...] after asking ChatGPT to generate 21 programs, in five different programming languages: C (3), C++ (11), python (3), html (1) and Java (3).

Student requested access to research data. And waited. And waited. And then hacked to get root


They did not just fix the problem (probably just deactivating something from /etc/init.d would have been enough), they upgraded the whole OS version during summer vacation. Probably it was Mandrake, because that was the first Linux I've installed myself, but memories are fuzzy. The upgrade bumped from KDE2 to KDE3, among many other things -- checking old screenshots revived some of these memories... I haven't seen KDE2 in ages!

However, for how it was fixed, I doubt they ever realized. It's just that the new version would've deactivated the partition manager popping up at boot on new device detection by default.


This reminds me of my university years about 20 years ago: computer lab at science faculty (note: not computer science) where all Windows XP boxes had heavily locked configurations. Not even switching mouse buttons was permitted, which was a real PITA for a left-handed like me who never had this restriction before. Complaints where elevated all the way up to the faculty dean to no avail, only to be repeatedly told that my request wasn't acceptable due to "security reasons".

Once decided to try the "Linux" alternate boot option, which was labelled with a "do not use unless you know what you're doing" but otherwise unlocked. Never had used it before, but it had a nice desktop environment, an early KDE, and was perfectly usable once you learned where to find everything. No settings whatsoever were locked -- other than those which required root privileges, of course. So I could use again the mouse with the left hand. Yay!

Come some months later, I put my USB pen before the boot process completed and found me inside a partition manager to manage the stick drive. Selecting "Back" allowed me to manage every other local partition. "Nice security", I thought, remembering the mouse issue. And immediately realized, as I was almost the only one using the Linux thingy, that destroying the Windows partition rendered the machine unusable for that OS until reimaged, which would happen once every two weeks at most. So for a couple of years I managed to have a workstation just for me, where I just had to ask if the "broken machine" was only Windows non-booting, which sometimes borked itself without my help, so I could use it bypassing queues and reservation schedules.

Never got caught. The hack ceased to work when they updated the Linux image and the partition manager ceased to pop up anymore.

Also, I am very grateful for the silly restriction. Discovered Linux back then, never came back to Windows.

I can't do that, Dave: AI drowns top sci-fi mag with story submissions


Re: To be fair to the AI...

Now I am genuinely intrigued about how would an AI react to being fed The Eye of Argon and what would come off of it

Microsoft switches Edge’s PDF reader to pay-to-play Adobe Acrobat


Re: The replies make me laugh

Commercial success sometimes mean nothing.

The General, the silent movie starring Buster Keaton, at its time was a flop so big that cost him not only his wealth but his artistic freedom as well: studios wanted the last word to prevent running too high on expenses.

Nowadays, The General is considered a masterpiece and one of the best silent movie films ever.

And that's without even putting a foot on monopolistic practices.

Meanwhile, in Japan, pet fish run up credit card bill on Nintendo Switch


Re: Gambling

Fish and chips, anyone?

Flaming USB battery halts flight from Taiwan to Singapore


Re: And this is why Teslas and possibly other EVs ..

Just an electric scooter may break havoc if it catches fire inside a train. Exactly that happened not long ago inside a train near Barcelona, luckily it happened outside a tunnel by mere minutes. Here is a video (news source in Catalan). For those who ever attended MWC, this was on FGC L8, the line between Pl. Espanya and Fira, although that was further beyond.

Electric scooters have been banned from all public transport in the Barcelona area due to this incident.

Raspberry Pi hires former spy gadget-maker who baked devices into surveillance ops


Re: Didn't answer the obvious ...

Ouch! I bit a bit!

How GitHub Copilot could steer Microsoft into a copyright storm

Thumb Up

Re: No Solidarity with A.I.'s run for profit!

[...] an AI system hoovers up and absorbs my code like some kind of ethereal Katamari Damacy, and then horks up chunks of it at random

Best machine learning AI description I've ever read. Can't upvote enough.


Re: Just one question

ALL code is copyrighted. Some jurisdictions do even consider null and void the renounce to copyright rights (so technically public domain code which wasn't written 70 years before the death of the author, ie none, is not free to use at all).

The difference between open source and closed source is how they leverage copyright law to their goals.

Closed source licenses will use copyright law to make sure you can't share, modify or reuse their code.

Open source licenses will use copyright law to make sure you CAN share, modify or reuse their code on their conditions.

Where this crap AI falls foul is that they might share, modify and reuse third party code without granting whatever rights or obligations the original license "gave" to the training set. For starters, most (if not all) open source licenses require that a copy of the license itself to be given along with the source code, no matter if the whole work or just a part is at issue.

For MIT-like licenses, not retaining authorship notices is a copyright license violation. For GPL-like it is even worse, as none of the GPL granted rights would be passed upon downstream, which is by itself a violation.

Block this: Using satellites to plaster ads over our skies could work, say boffins


Re: Somone will invent a suitable ad-blocker

That's more like an "ad-destroyer" than an "ad-blocker"

Given that current Internet ad-blockers do not affect the source, as others can still see them -only just you and other ad-blocker users won't-, we already have a real-world counterpart contraption for this threat: umbrellas

Big changes coming in Debian 12: Some parts won't be FOSS


Debian 12 should appear some time in the middle of 2023 (but beware of the typo in that post).

You could have pointed to the corrected announcement...

OVHcloud datacenter fire last year possibly due to water leak


Re: No video fire/smoke detection then?

The original french report notes that the detection and alert to the fire brigade was properly swift. They received the alert, they promptly alerted the emergency services after confirming it was real and left for their safety. While they were only three people on site, their proper procedure allowed for not having to search for potentially missing people, saving themselves and emergency services who had no need for a search and rescue operation. Also, they properly assisted the fire brigade on whatever they were able to.

The main problems where the electric isolation of the site, which could not be properly achieved well until two hours had passed and SBG2 was already a total loss, and the lack of proper water supply, either by the nonexistent internal fire suppressors or by the on-premises emergency water supply, which was under-performing. Fire could not be controlled until a large water barge arrived at 3am, which happened to be on Strasbourg port at the time. If not for that barge, the whole site would had been lost to the fire.

For the electrical isolation, they had to make sure all redundancy systems were either turned off or depleted, and that's what caused the massive delay before intervention: first, external power supply had to be cut off, which was not possible because the in-site breakers were too close to the fire and were thus not safe to operate, and the electric company had to be called to cut off supply to the area; second, the emergency diesel generators needed not to be started at all costs, overriding its default setup; third, as batteries could not be removed nor isolated they had to wait for depletion, and there was not an accurate estimate of how much time it would take to. All this waiting allowed the fire to develop.

This proved that the site was, after all, quite well designed against power loss. The problem was, precisely, that a total power loss was actually needed for the fire brigade to act.

Tim Hortons collected location data constantly, without consent, report finds

Black Helicopters

The main problem relies on trusting settings managed by an OS whose maker has a damn good interest on having them always enabled for data snooping

Murena and /e/ Foundation launch privacy-centric smartphones


> His phone does calls, text, browsing and that's all he needs it for

So does my dumbphone, and it cost me less than 50€.

What's the point of paying for features you won't use?

And don't get me wrong, I do not have a smartphone because of the Google / Apple requirements, but I am seriously considering /e/ as an option. However, if I pay more than 200€ for a phone, I'd expect much more from it than just calls, texts and a browser without an all-seeing-(eye|ear) attached

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words


Re: E-sports professionals?

There are plenty of properly Freecell professional players out there. Playing it during working hours counts as such, doesn't it?


Re: Now that is a fine example of administrative busybodies

> Long ago I remember hearing that said Commission declared that "weekend" was to be replaced by "fin de semaine".

Well, at least they aren't calling it dernières deux jours hebdomadaires

Slack-for-engineers Mattermost on open source and data sovereignty


> So no funky backgrounds or amusing video effects. Just a collaboration platform that won't give regulators the jitters.

On the first days of general lockdown we had to arrange for some online conferencing tool to hold daily meetings. On the very beginning, almost everyone joined with their webcam on and streaming. As time passed, some people stopped bothering about the webcam and joined audio-only. As I had no webcam at the time at home, I had the perfect excuse for not showing my face from day one.

Move forward to now and on technical meetings no one ever shares a webcam feed, only the occasional screen sharing when it is adequate to do so. For other meetings, you can pinpoint technical vs commercial / manager roles in a room by their webcam use.

And don't get me started about when we changed our in-house Jabber chat system for Slack...

It's 2022 and there are still malware-laden PDFs in emails exploiting bugs from 2017


Re: Give us a small PDF reader

What we really need is a small PDF specification. Name it whatever you want, but something that restores the idea of "paper-on-screen" that many still believe is what PDF is about.

Heck, I've even encountered PDF files on the wild which are wholly rendered by code to be executed by the reader and have a fallback static "You must use Adobe Reader to see this document" page for those readers who can't or won't.

If we have bloated PDF readers is only because we allow for PDF files to do all this sort of dirty tricks.

Edit to add: this does not necessarily mean that dynamic PDF content is bad, it's just that it's something else. Most of current PDF files would even benefit from a format specification that does not allow for dynamically changing its contents. What sense makes, for instance, to allow for dynamic modifications over a final OSHA/HSE report or a judicial ruling?

Google Groups kills RSS support without notice


Re: RSS isn't dead.

Gmail might not go away, but i *do* hope that neither does IMAP/POP3 support (however broken it might be at times), but I'm quite aware that this day will definitely come someday.

It's been years since I last logged in using a browser. The day I'm forced to, it will definitely be the last.

In the Navy, we want to share data with some ease. In the Navy, can someone help us with this please?


I hate you and your heading writing skills

Icon VERY relevant →

The old New: Windows veteran explains that menu item


Re: Always an important consideration

IIRC Ctrl-Alt-Del for DOS-based Windows up to ME (you know what I mean) jumped to a BSOD-like text screen where you were given two options: either press again the combo to forcefully restart the computer, or press any other key to return to the desktop... which sometimes failed to do so and completely hung the computer.

It was on the NT line where this combo brought up the Winlogon. If logged in, you were shown a sole window where you could end your session, turn off orderedly the computer, bring up Task Manager and some other things too (I remember 6 buttons there). On earlier NT versions (not sure about W2K), you were actually required to type this combo to make the login prompt appear.

Heck, now I'm aware I'm old...

Paris Hilton

Wait a minute...

Wasn't this context file creation thingy already available on Windows 98? I haven't been a Windows user for ages and I do remember this feature...

Troll jailed for 5 years after swatting of Twitter handle owner ends in death


Re: Sentence should have been far longer

According to a Brain Krebs post[1], 60 months was the longest sentence the judge could impose by law while pointing that he definitely deserved more

[1] https://krebsonsecurity.com/2021/07/serial-swatter-who-caused-death-gets-five-years-in-prison/

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone


We are doomed

Our only chance to face the threat of a wild boar army is to deploy an army of Gérard Depardieu clones who, thanks to his Obélix characterization, will be the only thing those boars will fear.

The question is what do we prefer as our new overlords.

Also, we must account for the cost of plastic bottles if we were to deploy the Depardieu army by air.

Google to revive RSS support in Chrome for Android


Re: RSS is dead?

I never used the Google thingy, instead I had them on Firefox.

Once they shut down support, I integrated the feeds to Thunderbird, the mail client (btw, I still can't understand why so many people use web browsers at home for mail, but that's another story). Let me say that I regret I didn't make the change earlier.

Also RSS is not dead, although some sites dropped support on web makeovers and others provide a rather bad/useless service (shame on the broken Lowering the Bar feed). Nonetheless, right now I'm actively following 16 feeds: 8 blogs, 3 report repositories, one service disruption announcement and 4 news sites, ElReg being one of them.

The Microsoft Authenticator extension in the Chrome store wasn't actually made by Microsoft. Oops, Google


Re: "Google declined to comment [,,] about how this add-on slipped through the net"

> I think you underestimate the power of bad publicity.

And I think you overestimate that.

While it might be true for a startup where bad publicity could scare away investors and the de-funding kill the failed initiative, Google (or Microsoft or Facebook or Amazon or...) are too big and have too much momentum for anything like this to actually matter.

Next week no one will remember this.

Dam it: Beaver ate our internet, says tiny Canadian town of Tumbler Ridge


Rodents chewing cables can be a really serious problem causing accidents that could potentially become fatal.

On 2014, on a railway line on southern France, a train collided with the rear of another train after the second one had received a wrong green light. The end cause was that rodents chewed the signalling cables with so much misfortune that instead of cutting them (which would had caused the signal to fall back at danger) it put on contact two different wires that signalled the track circuit* as free of any trains while it was still occupied.

Here's the original report of the french RAIB

*Actually, there was no track circuit properly named but a system, called BAPR, where a train is detected between signals and the previous signal is cleared after the next one is passed by a train with the same number of axles.

Apologies for the wait, we're overwhelmed. Yes, this is the hospital. You need to what?! Do a software licence audit?



IBM confirmed for leading quantum computing

Icon: Won't someone thing of the cats?

That's it. It's over. It's really over. From today, Adobe Flash Player no longer works. We're free. We can just leave


The only good thing Flash gave to us over all those years...

Old Godzilla was hopping around

Tokyo city like a big playground

when suddenly Batman burst from the shade

and hit Godzilla with a bat-grenade...

Fortunately, easy convertible to a video for posterity.

Icon -->

Good guys, bad guys and explosions

as far as the eye can see...

Upside down, you turn me, you're giving bork instinctively: Firefox flips as a train connection is missed


Re: Arriva tarde

Arriva does not mean that in Spanish, in fact it is not even a word. The correct one for arrivals is "Llegada", from the verb "Llegar". So the correct way to say it in Spanish would be "Llega tarde".

However, in Catalan there is "Arribada" with that meaning, with b instead of v. Here we have "Arriba tard".

OTOH, "Arriba" in Spanish is an actual word, but meaning "up".

P.S: as for how trains run here, the state-owned railway company Renfe used to be known as "Rogamos Empujen Nuestros Ferrocarriles Estropeados", literally "Please push our broken trains", or with "Esperen" (wait for) instead of "Empujen" (push).

Epic Games gets itself epically banned, launches epic Fortnite death match with Apple over App Store's epic 30% cut

Big Brother

Re: "join the fight to stop 2020 from becoming '1984' "

Without leaving George Orwell's bibliography, they could have found a better analogy on Animal Farm, seeing how Apple went just like Napoleon.

Docker shocker: Cash-strapped container crew threatens to delete 4.5 petabytes of unloved images


Re: Docker tweaked its terms of service

The usual boilerplate on T&C says that they may modify the conditions and the only recourse for the user is either implicitly accept the new terms by continuing usage of the services or leave. The most you might get are either the prorrated subscription fee unused for non-acceptance of new terms and the no application of any "quit-early" penalties (which used to be the standard issue on telecoms and utilities services not so long ago, at least where I live). This has been this way for ages, and if it hasn't been successfully challenged in court yet I hold no hope whatsoever to change.

However, there's a catch for hosting services: what if you do not log in to the service to administer it and be slapped in the face with the new T&C? I remember when the Photobucket service decided that "hot-linking images from third-party websites" required from a certain point in time the highest-grade account, and you had to either pay for it or let all your images render everywhere else with a "this fella hadn't paid our fee so you can't see a thing" placeholder image. Some sort of a ransomware-as-a-service, you might say.

But people who did not log in were never shown the new T&C and so these could not be enforced. So, if you logged in into your account you were screwed, but as long as you did not you were spared. Pretty sure if they did it that way was only because the lawyers told so to prevent a sueball. That's also why hosting-like services usually have a clause to allow them to purge content if no logins are made for a while.

Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'


Here in Spain laws are so pathetically written that it is not rare that a few days or even weeks after there is a "Corrección de errores" (errors correction) fixing blunders like referencing the wrong article or even the wrong law.

Just yesterday there was one example of such. 12 pages of corrections.

MWC now stands for 'Most Won't Come': Intel, Vivo and MediaTek drop out of mobile industry kneesup over coronavirus


Re: They should just cancel the whole event

Last news I heard are that GSMA is waiting for the WHO to officially declare that virus a pandemic, as this would enable them by contract to cancel the event without the need to pay indemnities

OTOH, and this is pure speculation, they might hold for enough parties to suspend their attendance, cash their indemnities, and once the balance between what attendees have to pay and what they should pay to parties still attending is positive, to cancel without a loss


Re: So... RSA?

Spain has 2 confirmed cases, however both of them are on islands: one at Canary Islands, other at Balearic Islands. By the way, the second one is a British citizen.

Nonetheless, I'd be glad if the MWC gets suspended, if only because I use metro line L8 on my commute (for those who ever attended, the one linking Espanya and Fira, although I go farther) and the Mobile Week becomes a living hell if you need to move through the area.

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room


Re: Helping out...

Same for me. This includes people that have changed their phone number.

The old numbers are so engraved in my memory that more than once I end up calling the old number.

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage


Name it The programming language formerly known as Perl

Microsoft's only gone and published the exFAT spec, now supports popping it in the Linux kernel



yet incompatible due to how the OS's format the UDF partition

More than how they format, the problem lies on where the filesystem is placed:

MacOS expects the filesystem fill the whole device, and gets confused if the UDF filesystem is inside a partition

Windows expects a partition table for all non-removable devices and a UDF filesystem inside it, so when it encounters such device without a partition table it doesn't know what to do with it

Linux doesn't care at all as long as you mount the proper device (full disk or partition)

The "compatibility trick" consists on creating a partition table with a single partition starting at sector 0, including the partition table itself, so Windows sees that partition and MacOS sees an UDF filesystem filling the whole device

Note that for what Windows sees as "removable devices" there are no such issues and a partition-less, whole-filled UDF filesystem works cross-platform