* Posts by AVee

168 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Aug 2011


Microsoft Edge ignores user wishes, slurps tabs from Chrome without permission


Minor correction.

Here's what the sentence at the end of the article should be:

"In the meantime, best to hold off installing Windows"

Fairphone 5 scores a perfect 10 from iFixit for repairability


Re: Nice! Too bad about the price.

"I like the concept of the Fairphone, but they need to find some ways to cut corners while keeping it repairable."

While repairability is will play a part in the costs I'd guess that the cost could still come down quite a bit if they could produce in bigger numbers. Right now they really don't come close to the scale other manufacturers have.

Polish train maker denies claims its software bricked rolling stock maintained by competitor


"It'll be something deep in the electronics or wiring, we'll never find it. Let's send it back to the makers and pay them to fix it".

According to the story that nearly happened...

Red Hat strikes a crushing blow against RHEL downstreams


Re: GPL violation

I'm not a lawyer and stuff, but I don't think the GPL will invalidate a contact between Redhat and it's customers. If they signed for that they will be barred from distributing that code. It will mean that Redhat violated the terms under which they got the code thus losing the right to distribute anything in the first place. The customer is not a party in that and will still be bound by their contact.

The GPL v3 addresses that, explicitly starting that anyone who receives the software may remove any added restrictions, but that has not been tested in court as far as I know, and you could argue that the contact is separate from the license terms. More importantly, there's loads of stuff that it's not GPL v3, most notably the kernel.

I think it will be up to code authors to deal with this. But I fully expect there will be plenty that are looking into that right now.

Where's my money?! Now USA Today publisher sues Google over online advertising


Re: Feel the sympathy melt away

I don't think it's surprising revenue per ad dropped. The total advertising budget gets spread over way more than just news websites these days. With huge amounts spend on ads on Facebook, in games and videos etc there's just more parties amongst which the money has to be shared.

That doesn't mean everything google does is fair, but it also isn't all their fault.

This typo sparked a Microsoft Azure outage


Re: A large pull request of mechanical changes swapping out API calls.

That's pretty much it. And Microsoft has a habit of reimplementing API's like that, either because their first try had issues, or because there is some new latest and greatest way to do things. This leads to huge changes like this, where nothing really changes but pretty much all code is modified.

Europe floats patent overhaul, which obviously everyone's thrilled about


Must be good.

I'm in favor of this. I have no idea what the implications are but a proposal that pissed of Apple and Qualcomm has got to be a good one.

Cisco kindly reveals proof of concept attacks for flaws in rival Netgear's kit


Re: Were the Chinese behind it?

I think Poe's law applies here.

FBI boss says COVID-19 'most likely' escaped from lab


Re: The FBI is way out on a limb here

If I have to choose whether to believe the "low confidence" and "moderate confidence" of the FBI and the spook agencies...

Well, to appreciate those confidence levels you need to understand that they are below the certainty spooks had (or claimed to have) of Osama Bin Laden being in Afghanistan or WMDs being present in Iraq.

Debian-based TrueNAS Scale updated – and iXsystems wins a gong


Re: Looking at the specs...

I think that's just worded rather dumbly on the specs page. This blog post says: "Bluefin will also allow IPv6-only deployments" (emphasis mine). So I guess the specs page intents to say that being capable of running in a IPv6-only network is one of the notable new network features, not some new requirement.

But I'll grant you that's not how the spec page reads.

Save $7 million on cloud by spending $600k on servers, says 37Signals' David Heinemeier Hansson


Re: You mean?

Honestly, at this point I'm really surprised that any large organisation uses public cloud offerings.

Hansson did make a qualification, "for a stable workload". If you have a workload that can benefit significantly from scaling up and down it can be cheaper. But it needs to be significant, only needing 50% capacity at night isn't enough.

But none of this is unexpected, it's pretty similar to other rent/buy scenarios.

There's no place like... KDE: Plasma 5.27 is out and GNOME 44 hits beta


What you want is a bit like a multi seat setup, which seems to be possible on Ubuntu, see https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Multiseat.

Alternatively, you can probably achieve (close to) what you want using kwin scripts. For example https://store.kde.org/p/1617640/ to open on the screen which has the mouse and https://store.kde.org/p/1658915 to only have virtual desktops on one monitor.


The first one isn't really fair, as I think there is no way for a pc to know if a otherwise available display is switched to another source. Unless perhaps when the screen fakes an off state on inactive inputs. But this KDE release has had a major rework for multi monitor support.

The second one can be done in KDE, windows can be set to sticky so they are visible on all desktops. There's also activities as an alternative for virtual desktops, which you may or may not like for your workflows.

The other two are probably configurable. Lots of settings is what KDE does...


Re: Another distro with Plasma 5.27 is ...

Or Neon, the official KDE distro. Basically LTS Ubuntu with stable KDE on top. If KDE it's all you care about that's the best way to always have the latest.

This app could block text-to-image AI models from ripping off artists


Re: Derived versions

What fascinates me is that I need a license to run software, as far as I know based on the fact that starting the software creates a new copy (in memory) and therefore copyright applies to that action. Without that software vendors cannot limit how you use the software after you downloaded it.

It seems to me the exact same applies to feeding something into an AI to train it. But I'm not a lawyer, so there might be subtleties of the law I'm overlooking here.


Re: Copyright Immunity?

I'm on the fence about this. It's really cool what a good AI can do and it surely has value, however it completely does so based on inputs created by others. I'm not convinced the creator of they AI should be entitled to all the profits from that. If in the long run we stop creating truly new content/knowledge because it's easier to have a AI generate/answer something how will the AI ever learn something new? As a society I don't think that's desirable.

So I think we'd need some form of profit sharing between the owners of the AI and those who created the original content it was trained on. But it might have to be something different from copyright in it's current form, that doesn't seem to fit entirely.

But perhaps I'm being to pessimistic.

Unplug that Anker battery pack now: House blaze sparks recall


Re: Argh!

That's only partly true. Trying to store significant amounts if energy in a small container is probably always going to be a challenge. Yes lithium batteries have issues, but the same goes for nitroglycerine, or petrol, or uranium, or propane. Over time we will get better at controlling lithium batteries, just as we did with other things. But energy likes to go places and generally resists being contained.

Biden: I want standard EV chargers made in America by 2024 – get on it


Re: Somehow...

Just drive your Tesla to the nearest Tesla coil. It may not be smart, but it would sure look cool.

That, or build an electric DeLorean and just use lightning.

US teases more China tech sanctions, this time to deflate balloon-makers


If only it was just nature that scared them...

Bill shock? The red ink of web services doesn’t come out of the blue


There are middle grounds, you can still rent physical machines for example. In that case hardware and infrastructure is not your problem. A lot also depends on what you are building, not all software is equal.

Personally I've decided that whatever we deploy needs to run on plain Debian. For now on cloud virtual machines (there's still room to scale those up). But it could easily be moved to either rented or owned physical machines if needed. I don't need a huge amount of nines, if disaster recovery takes an hour or two that's fine. I also don't have a big variation in load, so there is no gain from dynamic scaling. If you do need high availability, and/or you have peak loads over short periods you might be better of with a cloud solution. But my guess would be that a lot of people overestimate the benefits of cloud solutions (and underestimate the overhead they bring).

For password protection, dump LastPass for open source Bitwarden


Re: Someone else's computer

If you don't believe security by obscurity helps, just store your passwords by replying to this message.

OneCoin co-founder pleads guilty to $4 billion fraud


...and run.

Turns out talking the money was easy. But it seems only Ignatova got the second part right. This might suggest she did some proper planning for the running part. You never know, but I doubt they will ever find her.

India follows EU's example in requiring USB-C charging for smart devices


Re: Great

This applies to radio devices which are subject to certification before they are allowed to be sold anyway. So it should not be to hard to add a check for this into the process. But even if you don't, you can just wait for consumer complaints and act upon those. If you bring in thousands of devices you want to sell, but they get taken of the shelf before you sold half of them and get slapped with a fine, you'll learn your lesson pretty quickly.

On top of that, in the EU consumers will have a valid warranty claim if it turns out they bought a device which does not comply.


Re: Great

Why would you assume lawmakers would not consider those types of thing? The EU law does not just specify the physical connector. It actually specifies that chargers and devices should follow IEC 62680-1-2:2021, more commonly known as USB Power Delivery, which deals with all those issues. So should anything go wrong there this means either the charger or the device is not in compliance.

I'm assuming India will do the same, they can basically just copy the EU rules. Making sure those are the same will make life easier for manufactures as well.

UK forces Chinese-owned company to offload Newport Wafer Fab


Re: Nexperia BV to sell at least 86% of NNL

It's not about the knowledge (at least, that's not the most important part), that will leak out sooner or later anyway. It's about control and economic power.

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better


Re: Judas

The problem with gerrymandering is not who is doing it, but the fact that it is possible in the first place. If you have a system designed to measure the will of the people, it should not be measuring where lines on the map are. Clearly the system is broken and needs to be fixed. Yet, everybody seems to be arguing about who is abusing it the most, without ever considering why the abuse is possible in the first place. I'm not going to deny the Republicans abuse gerrymandering, but I will say that there does not seem to be much effort to fix the core issue with the Democrats either. Could it be that both parties very much want to maintain the current status quo?

Chipmakers cripple products to dodge US China ban


Re: Precedent

In the short term maybe. But it will force China to develop their own solutions and innovate more. Why the US thinks China cannot develop what they have developed is beyond me. In 5 to 10 years the roles might well be reversed and China will be denying the west access to their superior tech.

Texas sues Google over alleged nonconsensual harvesting of biometric data


Re: Mr. Meseeks

It's all weasel words anyway. Of course they do not use the photos directly. But notice how they don't say they won't use the information they can gather from the photos, such as a relationship to certain people or presence in certain locations, to extend your profile (which they use for advertising). Nor did they say they won't use the face profiles gathered to analyze other images and thus collect even more information about you and everybody you happened to take pictures of.

Apple exec confirms iPhones will switch to USB-C because 'we have no choice'


Re: Thunderbolt 4?

As I understand it they need USB-C and compliance with USB-PD. That's all, so also supporting Thunderbolt 4 shouldn't be a problem. All this law cares about is the charging, not the data connection.


Re: The rationale is "[fewer] chargers

It pretty unfair to blame the EU for that, and when Apple does it is just disingenuous. The EU has been pushing for common chargers since 2009, well before Apple introduced Lightning connectors. And Apple was pretty much the only company not cooperating with the (at that time voluntary) rules. They could have conformed with the rest of the industry. They could have made lightning available for use as a common standard, instead of patenting it shut. But they chose to prioritize their own profit over the EU's desire to reduce waste. That's why all those Lightning cables exist and why the will now become obsolete, Apple did that knowingly and they can't blame anyone else for it.

From the start the EU has said they would prefer an industry driven standard and would only pass actual laws if that didn't happen. And it happened, all phones sold in the EU use USB-C these days, all the standards are publicly available. Except iPhones, I highly doubt this would have even become a law if it wasn't for Apple refusing to cooperate...

Twitter's most valuable users are ghosting the platform


Re: It’s toxic and it got nasty during the pandemic

I've got a method with which your country can reach even lower excess death rates in just two months. Absolutely guaranteed to work, mathematical certainty. It may violate several international conventions related to genocide, but that's a small price to pay for low excess deaths.

Business can't make staff submit to video surveillance, says court


Re: Good luck getting another job

1. No, it's a common question. One that appears in pretty much any job interview.

2. No, you can use what is said in the answer where reasonable.

3. No, being caught lying is an almost instant breach of trust (if the lie is relevant), but you are free to not answer a question.

You seem to be implying a few things as well:

1. Every employer will only hire people when they are certain they won't object to being filmed for 9 hours a day.

2. Every employer thinks employee's should not have any rights, even when the law and a judge say they do.

3. Every employer generally worries about being sued by their employees, like these aren't trivial cases which are dealt with swiftly and reasonable.

(4. The IT job market isn't such that employers will hire whoever they can get even if the above is all true.)

Based of that, I'm assuming you don't live in the Netherlands, probably not in the EU either. If the guy in the story actually has some skills (and there is no suggestion he hasn't) he will have no problem finding another job here in the Netherlands.

Foreign spies hijacking US mid-terms? FBI, CISA are cool as cucumbers about it


Actually, the first question is 'has it been significant'. If millions are voting you can actually afford a small error rate. This is why good old fashioned paper ballots worked just fine. Yes, there are some counting errors, spoiled ballots and probably some fraud to. But it's really difficult to commit fraud on a scale that is actually significant. You would have to run a pretty big operation, which is bound to be detected.

A district based first to the post system makes it more feasible, sometimes you can flip a district with a few votes. (So get a normal voting system, like in developed countries, if you are worried about that. It comes with several other advantages.)

Don't replace the people counting with computers all running the same code. And some central system where all the results are processed. And all that operated by just a handful of people. Suddenly fraud that actually has a significant impact on the outcome is feasible.

No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron


Personal warranty

Whenever people call me with issues like this I'll start by explaining to them how they are entitled to my unique no cure, no pay plan. If they are unsatisfied for any reason I'll return the full amount they paid, Yes, up to the full zero $CURRENCY.

And then I tell them there will be absolutely no liability beyond that...

In this specific case, I'd suggest just roughly soldering the wires to somewhere on the plug and then see what happens. Could be fun.

USB-C iPhone, anyone? EU finalizes charging standard rule


Re: One wonders...

As far as I can tell it is not. It is about chargers, so this it only ever applies to battery powered (mobile) devices. So it's not relevant to a Pi (or a router, printer, television, lawn mower, christmas lights, etc). Secondly, it's part of the Radio Equipment Directive which which limits it to device transmitting radio signals, so that excludes things like flashlights, (infrared) TV remotes, etc.

LinkedIn study suggests it's not your best pals who will help get you that next job


Re: LinkedIn concludes

Same here, and LinkedIn has no knowledge about how I found my jobs. But research now proves that people who use LinkedIn to to find jobs often use LinkedIn to find jobs.

The selection bias in this research is huge, that's the first problem. The second problem is the assumption that LinkedIn can properly determine which are strong and weak connections. You might interact with someone on a daily basis without LinkedIn knowing about it...

Open source databases: What are they and why do they matter?


Re: MariaDb and BSL

Firstly, if you install something from Raspbian repositories it is save to assume you can use it pretty much any way you want, they probably would not distribute something with restrictions like that. And if you want to be extra sure you can always use plain Debian, which is really strict about licenses.

Alternatively, you could consider using Postgresql instead. I run a Nextcloud instance with Postgresql on a low end VPS just fine. I have no reason to assume it won't also work fine on a Raspberry Pi.

Lenovo launches face-mounted monitor


Re: "get the feel of a larger screen"

According to LaptopMag they "support custom prescription lenses via an in-box attachable frame".

The picture they have indeed shows a lens between the eye and the display. Getting your own lens fitted will make it more expensive, but at least the option seems to be there.

Facebook settles Cambridge Analytica class action for undisclosed amount


I hate this habit of settling things or of court. There's good reasons why courts are public, at least these settlements should be public as well.

Oracle really does owe HPE $3b after Supreme Court snub


Re: First Amendment

It's probably worth it to Oracle too. Assuming you can get just 0.1% interest on that money postponing the payment by half a year will be worth 1.5 million. Lawyers are expensive, but just filing the appeal is probably cheaper.

And it will annoy HPE, that's probably worth something as well.

Boys outnumber girls 6 to 1 in UK compsci classes


This its just research, no one is alleging anything. So if you wander what exactly is being alleged, the answer is exactly nothing.

Moscow to issue HTTPS certs to Russian websites


Re: release the data once they figure out how to extract it, and hope that it informs Russians

when you can't tap to pay for a metro ride in Moscow, buy a ticket online to fly to Turkey, etc. Much easier than look past this bullshit and consider that, PERHAPS 'I live in a shitty country based on a shitty system run by scumbags'

You're not wrong there. However, if you can do all those things, doesn't that pretty much have the same effect? You know, bread and circuses.

Google says open source software should be more secure


And if they play their cards right they might even manage to make the government pay for (parts of) it. Win-win...

US watchdog pokes Facebook a second time: Meta faces fresh monopoly lawsuit


Re: Network effect at work

Regulation does not make it harder to compete. Bad regulation written by lobbyists does that.

Dev's PostgreSQL experiment probes possibility of zero-downtime schema migration


Re: In an ideal world…

Erm, it does do indices.... And it actually works by creating multiple schemas. You need to alter the search path in the application to look in those schema's for this to work.

Electric fastback fun: Now you can surf the web from the driving seat of your Polestar 2


Re: its not Chrome but would anyone really want Google embbedded system in their car?

"Unfortunately, it's a compulsory opt-in."

For the first few years that is, but at some point they will turn stuff off unless you pay a monthly fee. If you're lucky, they might also just pull the plug on those servers. That's going to be a real bummer trying to sell a car like that on the second hand market.

It's a shame really, the Polestar 2 is a really nice car imho. But an infotainment system that may stop working (or start invoicing) and surely tells Google exactly where you are is a bummer. Especially because you can really go and buy an different head unit to drop in there.

Munich mk2? Germany's Schleswig-Holstein plans to switch 25,000 PCs to LibreOffice


Re: uSwitch?

"In other words, you can't get any form of support from the developers, but you can pay someone for some help. That's pretty rubbish"

Huh? Because if you call Microsoft with a support question related to Office they will put you through to the developers who will then instantly release a hotfix to deal with your issue. I mean, that's what your paying for.

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.