* Posts by AVee

121 posts • joined 11 Aug 2011


tz database community up in arms over proposals to merge certain time zones


Re: Do we need two timezone databases?

I see the political issues with the current proposal which basically drops Oslo and keeps Berlin (I even agree with that being wrong). I also understand the desire to reduce the number of zones because so many of them have been functionally the same for a long time now. To me it seems that both of those can be satisfied by having two databases. The database with the 'recent' zones could be created by just merging all zones which have been identical in the last 5 years. A strict rule like that should go a long way to avoid the politics. It would also leave the current database intact, with all history in there so nobody needs to feel left out.

But maybe I'm too optimistic about the politics involved, that's possible.


Do we need two timezone databases?

I kinda get what they want to do here, there are lots of 'different' timezones in tzdb which for a lot of purposes aren't different at all. I just recently had to write code handling just that. It was all about times in the future and needed to take time differences and daylight savings into account. And it simply was more complicated than needed because Europe/(Amsterdam/Berlin/Oslo/Paris/..) are considered different zones because things where different over 50 years ago. So I sure can see the case for merging zones which are identical right now.

However, I can also see how there are perfectly valid uses which do need the historical differences. So perhaps we need two databases, one that is complete with all history for people who need it, and one with just the current data (or maybe just the last 5 years or so) for people that only need to deal with recent and/or future dates and times.

If your head's not in the cloud, you're not in the right place


The complexity and scale of a proper corporate infrastructure isn't something you can knock up on a couple of Raspberry Pis and a gaming rig.

And why is that? One of the big issues with most software these days is the insane complexity of it. While some of it is unavoidable, a lot of it really isn't. A lot of complexity exists as a means for vendors to make money. Traditionally this was consultancy and training money. It changed a bit with cloud vendors as they sell computing cycles tied to specific 'services'. But they too have no interest in promoting simple solutions, that would just make you buy less of their stuff.

Not too long ago 'proper corporate infrastructure' involved complicated things like dual-socket servers with two single core CPU's both doing work at the same time. That gaming rig probably runs 8 cores and 16 threads. Even that Raspberry Pi has 4 cores. So if you can't knock it up on a gaming rig and a couple of Raspberry Pi's changes are there something wrong with the infrastructure in the first place. Some people are working at Netflix, Spotify, Facebook, etc serving 100's of millions of users, but the fast majority of corporate stuff simply hasn't got that scale.

ProtonMail deletes 'we don't log your IP' boast from website after French climate activist reportedly arrested


Re: Tor

I'd think that's bad advice in most cases.

If the police get an IP address from a mail provider which turns out to be a TOR exit they can track that back to where the connection originated. If the TOR exit is compromised they can see where you are going to some extend, but if you properly use https for everything that's not telling them to much. The exit node too cannot tell where the connection originated. So if the police is trying to figure out who you are they are pretty much stuck.

Now add the VPN. The police gets an IP address which points to a VPN provider. They get a warrant and the VPN provider tells them the original IP for that connection, the account used to log in, billing address and credit card used and other IP addresses used by that account. They ignore the IP address and go straight for the credit card holder. Not really an improvement I'd think.

On top of that the VPN provider is the exit same position as the exit node. They can sniff and monitor just as much. Assuming they don't seems pretty naive to me.

Slacking off? It used to be there was pretty much one place to chat with your fellow developers: IRC


Re: ew

Better still, if you use dbconfig in the Debian package it can create a database and database users during install, generate passwords and create the config file with database settings. That way you you can have a fully working system after install.

China sets goal of running single-stack IPv6 network by 2030, orders upgrade blitz


Still not there...

$ host -t AAAA theregister.com

theregister.com has no AAAA record

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist


Research like this is pretty useless anyway. With or without source, statements like "100x more expensive" are just as useful as saying "people are 5 feet 3 inches tall". You can argue about that being the correct average or not, but it certainly is wrong in the vast majority of cases.


Re: Fixing things long after they have gone live

Just today I fixed a bug. Customer called, told me he was getting an error when they did some specific thing. I pulled up the logs, found a exception, with a stacktrace containing file names and line numbers. Took a look at the code, made some trivial changes and 15 minutes after they called the fix was in production.

I promise you that this boosted our reputation more than not having the bug would have done. It can swing both ways.

Thing is, this was a trivial bug without real consequences. Not all bugs are the same. Not all software is the same, not even all components of a single piece of software are the same. There is a huge difference between say a print preview not working or salaries not being paid or a huge gaping security hole. Tests and review efforts should be directed accordingly.

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


Re: A prayer for those forced to use Teams

A foot in both vamps?

Well, to each it's own I guess...

VMs were a fad fit for the Great Recession. Containers’ time has finally come


Re: No more managing operating systems and monolithic apps

"If for some reason said demoware needs some special runtime environment that can't be replicated on some simple bare-metal setup. Which is a red flag in and of itself."

This. There's more and more pieces of software popping up that is distributed as a docker image by default (or even only that way). To me that's generally a bad sign as it's suggests running the software is more complicated than just dropping the binaries on a server and launching them. And for most software it really shouldn't be more complicated than that. And if you are building microservices that should be even more true...

Right now all the software I'm building gets packaged as a debian package by the build server. From there it's trivial to automate deployment any way you like...


Re: Hmmmmm

If the kernel gives you all you need for the apps you want to run, why don't you just run them?

Don't get me wrong, there is a time and a place for containers. But an OS can just run multiple applications at the same time out of the box and often that's just all you need.

As Linux 5.12 released, Linus Torvalds warns next version will probably be rather large


Re: Nothing to see

"Why not" is indeed the correct question here. As long as there are people willing to maintain it properly it doesn't hurt anyone else. As soon as that stops and/or it starts causing issues for others it will probably be dropped pretty quickly.

Huawei could have snooped on the Dutch prime minister's phone calls thanks to KPN network core access


Re: To paraphrase

A report written by an outsourcing company known for their deep technical knowledge and integrity. Cap Gemini definitely would never write a report out of self-interest...

There's no place like GNOME: System 76 introduces COSMIC desktop GUI for its Pop!_OS Linux


Re: Why the fuck

Linux is for enthusiasts who have forgotten more about their operating system than I ever knew about mine.

True, I've forgotten an awful lot about Linux. Don't need it anymore, Linux has become terribly boring. I just install and get to work these days...

After years of dragging its feet, FCC finally starts tackling America's robocall scourge


Re: I am not sure if this is possible ...

My previous ISP had a function on their VOIP platform where you could block the number of the last call you received, even when the call was anonymous. Afaik this should be possible for any carrier as the originating number always gets send along with the call, just with a flag indicating it should be anonymous. So a carrier can block the number for you without ever telling you which number they blocked. Faked caller ids are still an issue though, it could lead to some interesting scenarios where you trick people in blocking a number they really don't want to block.

But specifically because the number is send along right to the last hop you actually could have enforcement against fake caller id's without losing the option to call anonymously.

Director, deputy director, CTO of Free Software Foundation quit after Stallman installation


Re: So what relevance

That, and it also has the hugely successful Hurd operation system...

Linus Torvalds worries kernel 5.12 might be ‘one of those releases’ that lands a tad late


Re: So what?

I use non-lts kernels, and I'm not bothered by a week delay either. Specifically because I use them I'd rather get them later but solid...

Dev creeped out after he fired up Ubuntu VM on Azure, was immediately approached by Canonical sales rep


Move to plain Debian, stick with it. Worked fine for me the last 15 years...

In Rust we trust: Shoring up Apache, ISRG ditches C, turns to wunderkind lang for new TLS crypto module


Re: But///but...this is routine programming

Don't blame the language for the failings of programmers.

Don't blame the car for the failings of the driver! Ban airbags and seat-belts!

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to step down this summer, AWS boss Andy Jassy to step up


Advanced arrogance...

"We are firing on all cylinders, just as the world needs us to."

Because the entire world will plunge into chaos if anything where to happen to Amazon...

You like Jira that much? Atlassian goes full Service Management with platform, promises Service Desk is fine


Re: Atlassian all money, don't care.

The had an IPO, so they now only exist to make as much short term money as possible for the shareholders...

Tim Berners-Lee asks everyone to do new biz a Solid and let him have another crack at fixing the Web's privacy


Re: And if there is

Another route for mass adoption would be to get it integrated into consumer broadband routers. You have one anyway, and it's always connected as well. While I don't have an issue with running a Pi (or something silmilar) for most people it still will be a barrier.

Thought the FBI were the only ones able to unlock encrypted phones? Pretty much every US cop can get the job done


Well, in a sense that's very true, it's the user that is the problem. And precisely because of that there is a valid discussion to be had about which users should be allowed to have access to the tool and under which conditions...

I mean, a passenger plane is just a tool too, but we're kinda picky about who is allowed to use that tool especially after 9/11.

Has Apple abandoned CUPS, the Linux's world's widely used open-source printing system? Seems so


Re: Postscript

Of course. But what was it you were investigating?

Happy Hacking Professional Hybrid mechanical keyboard: Weird, powerful, comfortable ... and did we mention weird?



Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in


Re: Nice

"100% coverage means that nothing can change without apparently failing a test and that's not maintainable"

For unit tests yes, but for generated characterisation tests? With the right tooling it should just generate a list of things that are changed and generate new tests to adapt to those changes. I mean, tests are supposed to fail when you change functionality...


Re: "Does what it says in the code"

While you are mostly right, it actually is "Still does what is said in the previous code.", or "Compared to the previous code these behaviors changed". That totally unrelated to functional correctness, but still useful information. Those humans you are talking about can add this as another tool in their toolbox.

Top 5 billionaires find that global pandemics are good for business – and their wallets


Re: Its all virtual

It's not just stock prices, pretty much any value needs to be expressed in terms of money or it doesn't exist. And to make things worse it's always aggregated as well, GDP, average buying power, style like that. Sadly very little of that relates to day to day live.

To quote Douglas Adams:

"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most

of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.

Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of

these were largely concerned with the movements of small green

pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the

small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."

Cops called to Singapore golf club after 'wrongdoers' use scripts to book popular timeslots


I know this is a leap so far I've practically already broken my legs and popped my knees, but it feels very much like "if it wasn't locked they can't complain someone let themselves in"

I wish people would stop using that argument where it doesn't apply. Actively setting up a webserver and connecting it to the internet is not quite the same as 'leaving the door unlocked'. It's more like a shop in a high street with an open door and a blinking neon 'We're Open' sign. You clearly advertise that people can send requests there, you can't then blame them if they do.

Of course you are still free to respond to these requests any way you see fit. But in this case people send the request saying 'can you make this reservation for me' and the response to that was '200 OK'. If they have a problem with the request there's plenty other possible answers, or you can do the rude thing and not respond at all.

Now people using scripts do get an advantage in a first-come first-served system. But so do people camping outside a shop or people hiring Usain Bolt to sprint to the counter for them. You may have a problem with that, in which case you should use a different system.

AI in the enterprise: Prepare to be disappointed – oversold but under appreciated, it can help... just not too much


Oh! Shiny!

"AI can allow you to do new things in new ways."

As opposed to doing old things in new ways, which would actually be an improvement? Or as opposed to doing new things in old ways which seems impossible?

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked


Re: This is all for nothing

Yes, they probably did save more money then they spend. Mostly because they didn't have to pay the employee's for their time and because of that didn't have the need to spend money on making those searches efficient.

But that will probably change now, it'll be interesting to see if they keep these policies now that it actually costs them money. They might well go to spot checks for example.

When low-balled projects go bad: Scottish pensions agency starts £10m procurement to buy the system Capita could not


The problem with public tenders...

Doing public tenders leaves very little room to reject a supplier because you simply don't trust them to actually deliver. This is part of the reason why companies like Capita keep getting projects like this. Whatever you say about them, they are really good at doing tenders, that is their main expertise.

I do see a potential way around this. If you where to keep track of the projects a company has done before you can determine a 'failure rate' and a percentage to go over budget on average. These two numbers can then be used in tenders, just apply the 'average over budget' factor before comparing prices and demand a failure rate below a certain percentage. That way you can take past performance into consideration, which generally doesn't happen right now. It also motivates companies to do a decent job because not doing so will harm their ability to win other tenders.

Zuck says Facebook made an 'operational mistake' in not taking down US militia page mid-protests. TBH the whole social network is a mistake


Re: No need to tolerate intolerance

The price to pay for democracy is indeed allowing people to voice opinions that are pretty nasty, so they can be discussed and challenged. That's rarely happening on Facebook, so there is very little benefit from paying that price in this case. As such Facebook isn't really contributing to a functioning democracy.

As for laws against certain types of speech, some things will be banned, you can't commit fraud and hide behind freedom of speech obviously. Where the limits are is up for discussion in a democracy. But, and this is important, any measures limiting speech should always be after the fact and decided in a public court. Not by some moderator (or AI) at a commercial company. What is currently happening is that governments are looking to Facebook to do their enforcement work for them (as judge, jury and executioner), which seems a really bad idea to me...


Well firstly scale. Usenet never had the number of users Facebook has. And secondly, Usenet was fully public anyone could (and did) respond to anything. Facebook is actively creating bubbles of like-minded people so there is very little actual conversation going on. But it does lend itself very much to self confirmation and promotes extremism. (Extremism is what happens when nuance gets removed. Facebook doesn't do nuance because it doesn't fit their business model...)

That's not to say Usenet was perfect, but at least it wasn't this bad.

Fairphone thinks its fair to offer a not-very-major and slightly-more-recycled new model


Re: How long is the software support?

They released Android 9 for the fairphone 2 when it was 5 years old, when it was first released it ran Android 5. See https://www.theregister.com/2020/06/18/fairphone_support_comment/ I'd say it would be hard to find something better when it comes to long term software support. That's part of the ethics of the company, they strive to make their phones last long and know software is a crucial part of that. It's rather impressive what they get done being a relatively small company.

And they are relatively open towards their hardware, making it a good target for community versions too. It also runs Sailfish for example.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


Re: Trustworthy?

True. And this shows that this level of control was the real reason the wanted to get rid of plugins like Flash and Silverlight in the first place. If you try to replicate all functionality of those plugins right in the core of the browser you will run into all the same issues. And Google sure seems to be eager to do that...

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!


Re: Dress Code

Well fair enough, it makes sense to dress according to the job your interviewing for. But the OP specifically expected people to show up in a suit, which (for my type of jobs) I'll never wear on a normal work day. That just seems senseless to me. Sure, showing a bit of effort for an interview is the right thing to do, but a suit is overdoing it in a lot of cases. And assuming someone doesn't care about a job because they don't overdress seems weird to me.

Maybe I've just met to much people that wear a suit to compensate for a lack of content lately, so it might just be me...


Re: Dress Code

Hmm... When I go for an interview (which has been a long time ago) I expect to be judged on my abilities, not my appearance. I've never worn a suit to a interview, it really helps to select the companies that care about the right things. You know, because I care about the actual job...

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'


Re: "Personal Edition"

Not sure, a specific build for which a certain party provides commercial support can still be fully open-source. So Non-Libre won't cover all cases.

Frankly, I'd drop the marketing and lawyer speak. Just be honest and add something along these lines: "Open Source software, free for all uses, but comes without any warranties or support. For commercial editions see <link to vendor list>."

It's clear you don't need to worry about using it. It's also clear other options are available (and where to get them).

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO


Re: mad internet

What's happening right now is good old mob justice. This used to be a pretty common thing for centuries, but generally considered a bad thing. So it was gradually brought under control with things like police, judges, prosecutors, lawyer. And principles like due process, innocence until proven guilty, etc.

And now it's coming back, so why could that be. Are the things that are supposed to replace it broken perhaps?

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


I was thinking the same thing. However, if you need 45 minutes to figure all that out it's risky. Anything can happen in that time causing more permanent damage. If you know how to do it on top of your head it surely is the better option, but if it's going to take time to figure out it quickly becomes scary...

CSI: Xiaomi. Snappy Redmi Note 9 Pro shows every fingerprint, but at least you get bang for your buck


Re: NFC - at least get the figures right

And a Fairphone costs £400,- which over 6 years is £67,- per year. And you can actually replace the battery on that one as well as use a Micro-SD. So That beats both by quite a big margin...

Facebook's $500k deepfake-detector AI contest drama: Winning team disqualified on buried consent technicality


Makes me wonder...

A machine learning algorithm is largely the result of its training data. Take away the training data and there isn't much left. As such, you might make the argument it actually is a derivative work of that training data. If anyone makes that stick in court there could be some really interesting consequences :)

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea


Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

> "... order of battle ..."

As a none US person that kind of terminology baffles me. Where's the war? I though it was 'to serve and protect'...

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'


Re: BTW: How did that work out?

Sure, my source is crap. I'm well aware of that. Which is exactly why I said I expected you to come up with proof that was better then mine. But even given this very low bar you still fail to come up with anything at all to back up your claim...

(Never mind that Canada and Russia are in that list, if those are not major countries the UK isn't either..)


"...and context really does matter."

Not just context, personal perception too.

"Users are loosers."

Now I bet the majority of readers here didn't think about drugs first. Yet some non-IT person from the US that was around during the Reagan era would associate it with drugs instantly.

And that's whats happening here as well. If you are working software all day your first association with a term like 'master' will be purely technical and therefore neutral. If you are working on racism/slavery related things all day your first association will be very different (and not so neutral).

I'm fine with being accommodating to people for whom those terms are loaded with a different meaning. But at the same time it's rather offensive when use of technical terms like that which to me are perfectly neutral is labeled as racism, because that's just not fair.

So if anyone really wants to do something about racism, take some time to understand the different perception someone else may have. Otherwise you are just contributing to the "Us vs Them" mentality which feeds most racism in the first place. Be better...


Crap, does that mean that I won't get my master's degree if I commit my code to the master branch?


Re: BTW: How did that work out?

2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

Excuse me? You make a very bold statement there without any explanation at all. How are you demanding explanation by others?

But I'll bite and name a few: Morocco, Algeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Albania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Norway, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Netherlands, El Salvador, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Bangladesh, Portugal, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Singapore, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda.

And here's why: https://www.indexmundi.com/surveys/results/8

So, now show me your proof, which I fully expect to be a lot better then mine...

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?


Re: You supported a system...

Well, that's pretty much the same as in the UK then...

Thing is, it's not the two-party system that's the cause. The two party system is actually is a almost inevitable result of a district based system. This raises the barrier of entry for a new party to join the fun pretty much beyond being reasonably possible.

If you look at the latest UK election results you'll see that the Conservatives got 56% of seats with just 43% of votes. In my mind that's not a majority...

But the worst stuff is at the bottom of the list. LibDem got 11 seats with 11.5% of the votes, while the SNP got 48 seats out of just 3.9% of the votes. Similarly, Plaid Cymru got 4 seats with 0.5% of the votes, while the Brexit party got nothing even though they got 4 times as much votes.

The UK clearly isn't as bad as the US yet, but the pattern is there. You might get somewhere with a strong regional party, but that is going to be inherently limited. Any alternative party based on a political position is going to be severely underrepresented. And similar to the US, the system hands full power to a party which isn't actually supported by the majority of the population.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans


Re: Today's Taskmanager

And even more amazing, they even included the "XBox Live Game Save Service" for all your gaming needs...



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