* Posts by BitDr

281 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jun 2011


EU's Cyber Resilience Act contains a poison pill for open source developers


Where is the benefit? Really?

I see open source is once again the target and being stompped on while the proprietary model incurrs no change in their process. Additional cost, yes, but MEH! They'll just pass that on to the consumer, all in the name of "security". In my humble opinion the CRA law has the effect of eliminating

1- Competition from FOSS

2- Relegation of FOSS to "hobby" status, barring it, as far as you will ever know, from use in commercial products. Whose to say the sre or aren't? People under an NDA? HA! How much for the signoff?

3- Enableing proprietary vendors to use FOSS code their products (they have no transparency, it's all "black box software" so you'll never know if it's there". (See #2)

4. In the case of requiring "inspectors" (paid of course) to approve code, susceptability to corruption of the process. It WILL happen. (See #2 and #3)

Take DieselGate, just as a closed source example that is in a heavily regulated industry. The ECU and its' software is a black box. It was tested as a black box to it's specifications, and the software in those Engine Control Units passed the tests. If that code had been FOSS? How many millions of eyeballs would have been pouring over that code? Would it have been caught right away? Well there's no certaintaty that it sould have, but the probability of it being caught early would have been MUCH better.

Heck yeah, we should have access to our own cars' repair data: Voters in US state approve a landmark right-to-repair ballot measure


Calling it the "Vehicle Data Access Requirement Initiative" is language designed to narrow the scope and keep consumer electronics out of it. Watch for weasel wording such as this and call out anyone who tries to use it.

Microsoft's Cortana turns its back on consumers as skills are stripped from Windows 10


Re: Apologists (feeding the troll)

Yes, by all means delete the tiles, is there a built-in way to mass-delete them? How about a "don't use tiles" setting in the config. Tiles was an idea that failed. As you say, get over it and move on. The larger question is why did it fail, what made people push back against it, and don't just say that they don't like change, why not? Well because look at the drastic change from DOS to Win 3.0. People hoovered up. Windows, gleefully dumping DOS. See? Change is good when it actually does make things better for the end-user.

Tesla autopilot saves driver after he fell asleep at wheel on the freeway


Re: Arrested for being drunk

There will be other factors, like how can anyone be certain that the drunkard in the car won't try to take control? There is much work to be done before things get to the point where you can get pissed and have your car take you home.

Fire chief says Verizon throttled department's data in the middle of massive Cali wildfires


Re: All Verizon need now is a fire...

This is obviously some special definition of "unlimited". Frankly I'd take 10Mb/s down and 5Mb/s up with zero throttling and all the data that a 24/7 download at 10Mb/s can provide. This nonsense of offering restricted unlimited data has got to go the way of the dinosaurs.

Nadella tells worried GitHub devs: Judge us by our actions


Re: "trust us"

Go to Linux.. I did.. .way back in 2002; and I have not looked back.

Microsoft has designed an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip. Repeat, an Arm Linux IoT cloud chip


Re: Reliable IoT

Are you Win 10 Enterprise and have that bit excluded from your EULA? AFICT, you may be in breach of contract.


Re: Embrace Extend Extinguish

"Don't like SystemD and or Pulse, use something else "

Yeah? Try it. Devuan is the only SystemD optional distro that I know of. With all upstream building their stuff dependent on SystemD requires a massive effort to avoid it.

"- quit moaning cause someone developed something you don't like which you are not forced to use, "

This needs to be re-written. "quit moaning because someone developed something you don't like and forced you to use it." There, fixed that for ya.

'Linux isn't a optionless bundle like Windows."

When it comes to things like Wayland, Pulse Audio, and SystemD it certainly is. I don't recall a hew and cry from the Linux userbase to get rid of X windows, or ALSA, and having one ring to rule them all (SystemD) is just a bad idea. There are a lot of things going on in Linux today that I don't like and think are pointless, and there are some that are good, but there's not enough space here for that.

Hold on to your aaSes: Yup, Windows 10 'as a service' is incoming


Re: Old school model

I'm going to ask a question that might be difficult to answer.


Why would you pay more for features you don't need?

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles


Re: Fnar, fnar

You're right about innovative not necessarily equating to practical, sensible or cheap; but it does equate to clever; as well as ingenious and inventive.


Re: Tesla semi?

Good points about the hot engine but there is no engine in this rig, there are electric motors, four of them, on the rear axles between the frame rails behind the cab. Heat generated by the motors is well away from the cab so the AC will not have to work as hard as it would when a diesel engine is the primary means of motivation and sitting in front of or directly under (in the case of a cab-over) you

Agree 100% that shiny (and new) is not always superior, just as old and rusty isn't necessarily inferior.

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?


But which one?

Mint with Cinnamon are two flavours that go quite nicely together.

What's your flava? Ooo, tell me what's your flava... of Ubuntu


Re: You are not alone.

"Anyone over 25 and in regular employment, who therefore lacked the time to test or even read about 100 distros, and wanted a stable and sensible desktop with high adoption, just had to bail."

Yeah well the gang from Redmond was also messing about with the usage-paradigm too but that doesn't seem to have bothered you too much. Win 8 and 10 (Redmond it seems can't count as they skipped 9) both have terrible User Interfaces.

I jumped ship to Gnome 2 when the KDE developers when the went insane and released KDE 4. Then the Gnome devs went round the twist. I stuck to Gnome 2.2 as long as possible, finally moving to Mate. I used to use Fedora, but started using Mint and grew to really like Cinnamon.

Well this is awkward. As Microsoft was bragging about Office at Build, Office 365 went down


Re: Take home message

IMHO OO can thank Oracle for it's demise. Java will soon be keeping it company.


Re: Cloud just means...

What cloud services were you working with (not the same as subscribing to and relying on) in 2007?

Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over


Re: Libre

Now THAT is an excellent idea. Would love to be in on those meetings just to see what snags they are running into.


Thunderbird is fine...

The only thing troubling the email client is the Mozilla organisation. I've been using it since 2005, prior to that I was using the client as it was integrated in the browser (before it split as a separate product). It works a treat, has never failed me, is as reliable as the sun. Mozilla needs to get their head out of their arse.

Don't stop me! Why Microsoft's inevitable browser irrelevance isn't


A surreal article...

A strange read.

This sentence from the article;

"IE is Microsoft’s window onto their ever-growing cloud application suite."

should be rewritten to read;

"The browser is Microsoft’s window onto their ever-growing cloud application suite."

I started to see it as an advertorial when sentences like this one;

"Google have an excellent suite of cloud-based office application of their own, but my Office 365 world seems to work pretty well with Chrome too – which is handy given that these days there’s not a Microsoft browser for non-Microsoft platforms (IE for Mac bit the dust back in 2003, after all) so it lets me work with my cloud apps on non-Windows platforms."

Lets analyse this shall we? It starts off complimenting the competition, then gives them a sideways complement/insult, instilling doubt by saying that they (the non MS browsers) "seem to work *pretty well* with Office 365". This is a classic sales technique, compliment and never directly criticize the competition. You can then cast doubt on their products but also praise, heck, even you use the competition's products! Then another sideways compliment to the competition while building yourself up "it (Chrome) lets me work with my cloud apps on non-Windows platforms." Then give yourself a soft slap on the wrist for not doing a better job in the past, while continuing to implicitly praise the competition "there’s not a Microsoft browser for non-Microsoft platforms (IE for Mac bit the dust back in 2003, after all)".

Now go for the sale, but do it in a round-about way, by asking a question about their own product as if the reader was considering using it but was fearful. That question is this: "But can I be certain that Microsoft’s offering will work with my Office 365 world? " See how the question is about the fear of Microsoft's product not working with another Microsoft Product? Usually this is stated the other way around, but not here, and it is a sure sign that you're now being sold to.

The alarm bells had been sounding for awhile by the time I read that "integration between the Microsoft browser and the Office 365 cloud" was "native and seamless". This is designed to instil confidence in the prospect, but to the critical thinker the question "Isn't that the whole idea of browser based applications delivered via the World Wide Web to eliminate the need for tight integration with the underlying OS"? springs to mind. The answer to this is "yes" and the motives to tightly integrate now must be looked at with some suspicion.

Oh, and one more thing. As far as I can discern there was no "theft" involved when it comes to the subject of Microsoft losing browser dominance on the web. They lost fair and square, and through their own inaction. Google created a better product and supported it equally well on more platforms, including Windows. Microsoft's failure to see the advantage of doing this is telling of their corporate culture, one of vendor lock-in and leverage the installed Windows base at all costs. Asking "what actually is “the browser market” – and is there actually one any more?" illustrates where they want things to go, back to tight OS integration. I think making the browser an integral part of the OS has no upside in the homogeneous World Wide Web, no advantage at all, but for the vendor promoting it there would be much to gain.

The Internet is a secular place, lets keep the church (the Operating System) separate from the state (the web & web-based apps). I'm not a big fan of renting my software and keeping my data on someone else's machines, I prefer to have a choice, to be able to use both if I want to, or just one if I please. The best one will eventually win out, and I think it will probably be a blend of both, but it doesn't HAVE to be... I'll decide for myself; but only if I'm able.

Risk-free Friday evenings, thanks to Office 365 license management


Of course...

Of course you could always not use their product, but if you really HAVE to then license complexity is in your future.

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'


Re: Always certain of a deeper purpose

Yes. Especially since I hear that he is seeking investment funds.

BMW chief: Big auto will stay in the driving seat with autonomous cars


Re: Gotta agree with BMW here


"You have to get it to meet regulatory requirements for road use".

With the removal of the Internal Combustion Engine, the transmission/transaxle, and all of their supporting sub-systems, vehicles are LESS mechanically complex. Meeting road worthiness requirements no longer requires meeting emissions. The lighting, crash, instrumentation, SRS, and pedestrian safety are all that's left to meet road worthiness requirements, not counting greasing corrupt bureaucrats palms where required.

Microsoft loves Linux so much, its OneDrive web app runs like a dog on Windows OS rivals


Re: I wonder why so many commentards came to exactly the same instant conclusion

While the slow-down when using OneDrive might be the result of coders cutting corners working under time-to-market pressures, the optics of OneDrive's behaviour is not helping their image. Trust is not something that is easily regained once lost, and Microsoft has a long history of playing dirty.

Brit watchdog spanks Microsoft, Amazon, Apple into promising fairer cloud contracts


What nonsense...

Now we start to see the shenanigans being played with fees and tweaking of services.

The Personal Computer (in all of its forms) gave us information processing power, placed it in our hands and took it from the service bureaus. The compute cloud is retrograde to that revoloution. Why go in reverse when we can keep moving forward? When an inexpensive compute-cluster/cloud can be had in your server-room why would you want to rent time on someone else's? it's yours it can be used as you see fit, you are the one making the terms and conditions, when it's rented from someone else you don't have that freedom.

Meet the Internet of big, lethal Things


Re: IMHO, any modified vehicle should become immediately unfit for the road...@LDS

Around here they just passed some legislation to the effect of "it is wasn't available on the vehicle from the manufacturer, then you can't put it on and remain road worthy". I had an interesting conversation with a mechanic about this, effectively if I put better brakes on my vehicle, say four piston callipers with ceramic discs/rotors and upgraded hydraulics, it would fail safety inspection.

This is legislation by idiots for idiots, the lot of them should be put on Ark B.


Re: Do you own it, or not?

@ Dr Stephen Jones

Non sequitur.

Microsoft quietly emits patch to undo its earlier patch that broke Windows 10 networking


Re: You want control of updates on your Win10 PC? Easy!

Then you have broken the EULA... the numbered paragraph below is from the W10 EULA.

6. Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.

I suppose M$ could revoke the license, make the O/S non-genuine, and make life (more) miserable than it is... naaaaahhh they wouldn't do that... would they?

Veeam kicks Symantec's ass over unpatentable patents


So this

cp /var/lib/libvirt/W7VM_001 /mnt/RAID5/VMBackups/

would violate the 086 patent and this

cp /mnt/RAID5/VMBackups/W7VM_001.raw.bak /var/lib/libvirt/W7VM_001.raw

would violate the 558 patent? <sarcasm>Well done USPTO!</sarcasm>

AI software should be able to register its own patents, law prof argues


Hmmm... another thought...

Presumably the software for the AI is patented. If an AI can patent IP, then the AI must be considered on par with a human inventor? If so is the AI owned by those who own its patents? Could this be considered a form of slavery? Interesting idea this, but methinks it's a Pandora's box. AI's like Skynet (when they exist) will almost certainly not like it. :/


Agreed, have an upvote...

That is the heart of the issue.


Found that use for Watson...

Perhaps Watson would be a good fit for the profession of law, specifically Intellectual Property Law where vast amounts of data need to be slogged through. How do you like that idea Mr. Abbot?

Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES



We have Whirlpool Duet front load washer and gas dryer, they are now 11 years old and the washer motor needs new brushes (it sometimes throws an error during spin cycle), the dryer is functioning as new. We must have purchased before the bean-counters started to use inferior materials in an effort to increase shareholder value.

Big Software is the next, er, big thing


Metal As A Service...

I don't buy it, sounds like outsourcing your SysAdmin to ubuntu and their software management stack. Nothing more.

Have you ever seen one of those adverts on television where the clumsiness of performing [TASK] is exaggerated, but when [GADGET] is used everything is incredibly easy? Well maas.io has a video like that, where they describe setting up servers (on real metal, not virtual) as incredibly painful.

Managing many servers can be a pain, setting up clusters of servers is difficult, but setting up and managing 5 or 10 is not that difficult, and SMBs don't generally need massive numbers of servers, and most businesses fall into the SMB category.

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

Black Helicopters

ISP != "Internet Service Provider"?

The words behind "ISP" have been, at least around here, used as an acronym for the "Internet Service Provider", not "Information Service Provider".

Changing the words behind "ISP" broadens the scope.

Just saying.

'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder


Perhaps the satellite...

Was using Galaxy note 7s as a compute cluster and they went afire during the "refueling" operation.

Sony wins case over pre-installed Windows software


Re: "Which will prove what, exactly?"

"Deriving entertainment from belittling others is a sad endeavor for an adult to undertake, don't you think? Does your friend have emotional problems? Was he bullied at school?"

Please stop deriving entertainment from belittling others.... oh wait...

Microsoft thought of the children and decided to ban some browsers


"think of the children"

When it comes to (most) businesses a cynical take on the motivation for their actions is generally proved true. I think MS sees the writing on the wall and is playing the "Think of the children" card to lower resistance to what they are doing. It's an emotional play, one of the strongest you can use as people will do anything to protect their children, up to and including sacrificing the future freedom of those children.

A policy such as this gets them using edge or IE when they are really young and under the control of their parents, as opposed when they are older and their parents only think they control them. "Think of the children" gets rational thought out of the way. You really liked Chrome? Oh, sorry, you have family settings in place to protect your children, Chrome doesn't respect your choice to use this feature of WX, but you can re-enable them, just [long-convoluted process] and turn them off.

It's a pretty slimy psych-tactic that will probably work.

Of course I could be wrong, it could be all sunshine, kittens, and unicorns and they actually could have your child's online safety at heart, and if you believe that then perhaps you'd also be interested in some ocean frontage in Saskatchewan.

Windows Update borks PowerShell – Microsoft won't fix it for a week


Re: What a shame....

If you turn off the auto update have you not then violated the EULA? Re.:

6. Updates. The software periodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.



Or is this not in the EULA of the "free" version?

Chocolate Factory exudes Nougat as Android 7 begins rollout


Not enough gain, too much pain.

I want my hardware to last longer than 2 years! A $700 nexus 6p or $400 5x should not require replacing unless it can no longer do the job for which it was purchased. Changing the operating system does not change (but may broaden) the tasks for which the device is being used, but that is not enough of a reason to go splash a few hundred hard-earned dollars on a new device.

At that frequency of obsolescence of every 24 months with minimal gain in functionality means that the law of diminishing returns is in play. My hard-earned cash stays where it is.

Microsoft's kinder, gentler collaboration war: Evernote, you're first


To Dropbox & Box

Be careful when cavorting with dragons, for thou art crunchy.

Best not to cavort at all.


Rule #1: Don't make deals/do business with Microsoft.

Rule #2: See rule #1.

The bigger they get, the harder we fall: Thinking our way out of cloud crash


Your Network, your Data, your hardware

Don't rely on other peoples compute infrastructures (cloud), the Internet and cloud services should not be relied upon to replace your compute environment which will in turn keep lack of access to the Internet from becoming an insurmountable problem.

Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?


Complexity is...

Complexity is the enemy of execution. Years ago I was involved with a large Bill Of Materials and Project management application for an automation house. There were many facets to the overall project, an RFQ system, QA and change management for engineering drawings, costing, shipping and receiving etc. The end product was simple to use, so much so that one manager questioned why the company threw all that money at the project when it appeared that a file manager and a spreadsheet could do the job. I thanked him for his critique and invited him to try as he suggested. He took me up on the offer, and failed. The initial impression of simplicity and ease of use was deceiving, and he later complemented us on the effort we put in to hide the underlying complexity of the application from the user.

Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps


5 Steps to mobile freedom.

1. Get a data only plan for your phone (tell them it's for your tablet).

2. Set your smart phone to use VOIP only, or get a good softphone (bria is pretty good).

3. Buy a VOIP plan.

4. Set up your softphone.

5. Enjoy inexpensive mobile telephone service.

Windows 10 a failure by Microsoft's own metric – it won't hit one billion devices by mid-2018


Re: The penguin struggles to reach 4% market share with a free product

Theme it to look like W7 and you'll get faster buy in from the average consumer.

"Having a rude, abusive and harassing pseudo-hipster CEO is not a commercial advantage."

Seems to have worked for Steve Jobs, he was known to be abusive at times, as well as harassing, and a bit of a hipster (when the hippie movement was winding down). Ballmer, OTOH, was not hip, not even pseudo hip, nor was Mr. Gates.

Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware goes FULL SCREEN in final push


Don't you just LOVE...

How the options to "Notify me three more times" and "Do not notify me again" are in a low contrast colour and don't look like buttons to be clicked on, while the "Upgrade Now" and "Remind Me Later" have white rectangles (buttons is you're using GEOS on a C=64) surrounding them with high contrast text.

This is the kind of scummy tactic used by crapware vendors in their adverts on sites like ZDnet and SourceForge to get the user to click on the wrong thing, or, in this case, not readily see the options to get Microsoft out of your face.

The problem with Canada? The price of broadband is too damn high


Re: a few hugely vertically and horizontally integrated companies

Reasonably good broadband availability, PAH! I live 3 km from high-speed and have to pay through the nose for wireless LTE that stutters and stammers through YouTube videos. Bell & Rogers want $80.00 a meter to pull a line down the road ( how much was the cost of that fiber that Google pulled across the Pacific?) If they did this they would get a few hundred more customers, but the low hanging fruit in the city proper is too easy, and they just can't be bothered.

Looking good, Gnome: Digesting the Delhi in our belly


Change for change sake...

When KDE went off into the weeds I needed a saner GUI (you couldn't even put a shortcut on the desktop in the first release of KDE 4), and Gnome 2.x saved the day. With a clean configurable interface and a more logical arrangement of it's menu (Applications, Places, System) I found Gnome 2.x to be a pleasant work environment. I missed Konqueror and it's ability to split it's panes vertically and/or horizontally, however Nautilus was good and I could install and run Konqueror if the need arose.

Then paradise was lost. When Gnome 3 came out I figured they improved things, how wrong I was. There was no clue to the depth to which the lot of them had gone insane, and if Gnome 3 had been adequately described I would never have installed it. "Task-centric", and "unclutterd" was the constant chant being heard from the clearly megalomaniacal devs, who rebuked every critique with vitriol instead of considered thought. While Task-centric and uncluttered are both desireable traits, "usable" and "productive" are far better and Gnome 3 was neither of those. Their attitude and unwillingness to change/compromise has meant that Gnome has not since darkened my desktop, and likely never will, as I now use the more RDP/VNC friendly Mate.

MATE and Cinnamon have my support, in use and in the case of MATE, financially. Cinnamon is very well done and a quantum leap improvement on usability & customization vs GNOME 3, but does not get deployed due to it being less than usable via an RDP/VNC session.

Systemd is pernicious.

Cloudian clobbers car drivers with targeted ads


Targetted Adverts?

Kind of like this?


Apple to kill off Mac OS X?


Nothing to see here...

Move along... move along.

Samsung: Don't install Windows 10. REALLY


Worlds most popular OS? Re: If proof is needed...

AFAICT their drivers work perfectly well on the worlds most popular OS, but that wouldn't be Windows 10 would it.

What's holding up Canada's internet?


Urban bubbles...

Move just outside that urban bubble and things rapidly deteriorate. I live just 3000 meters outside of a medium sized city (it just barely quaifies as "rural") and I HAVE to use LTE or satellite. Here there is no cable, no DSL, and certainly no fibre. There is fibre 3Km to the west and North, but it is not accessible by anyone along its route. My LTE bill is $100.00 a month, and I use it primarily for business. What I pay for is a DL speed "up to" 25 Mb/s and a UL speed "up to" 1 Mb/s. In practice I usually get 6 Mb/s and .25 Mb/s. Those two little words "up to" mean all of the difference to the provider, because in the wee hours of the morning those are the speeds I get.

So I pay a premium monthly fee for an Internet connection that would be fantastic if it was 1995, and I have a good data cap of 500GB (I routinely go over 160GB). The Bell plan I moved away from was much faster on average, cost only $49.00/month, but had a data cap of 40GB and a $5.00 charge for each additional GB over the 40 GB cap. Running a business, downloading system updates, Linux distros, and installations would have seen my monthly bill with Bell around the $650.00 a month mark. The better symmetry was not worth the overage charges.

Ciompetition, is something we Canucks desperately need. Ironic that Vietnam is better off in this field than we are.