* Posts by DropBear

4696 posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Myanmar Junta delivers harsh cyber law and more IP blocking orders


Oh my. I clearly DID get it right - Good to know Burma IS is still a shithole.

Samsung floats autonomous ships as ready to sail in 2022


So they got something that can steer things that are supposed to have nothing else around them for many many miles...? Genius, I tell you...

No joy for Julian Assange as Uncle Sam confirms it will keep pushing for WikiLeaker's extradition to America


To think that I kinda liked Biden so far. Well, fuck that peasant.

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'


Re: This is grim

I firmly believe expecting anything from the mainstream GTK team is insanity - that path is dead, full stop. On the other hand I would have exactly zero problems with a _template_ based solution for the under-a-dozen pieces of software I'm _forced_ to live with in my distro - I'd be more than happy to hand-craft their menus ONCE so I can finally live in peace, hamburger-free...


This is grim

I'm in the same boat here, just installed Mint only to find it riddled with G3 nastiness sprinkled all throughout. There's some hope for the future with Xfce Classic or STLWRT but right now neither seems to be much help yet.

Windows might have frozen – but at least my feet are toasty


Did the custom ISA card thing too, and the pucker factor is notable indeed; but probably the scariest was turning on my ZX Speccy clone after plugging my hand-made Kempston interface in. Even the straight-to-PCB connector was hand-crafted (wouldn't even dream of where I might buy one back then), and you were connecting straight to the CPU's address and data bus: short/load/drive it wrong, and your precious, too-expensive-to-replace machine is now a brick. Well, apparently the Magic Smoke Gods were smiling upon me that day...

China's Chang'e 5 probe lands Moon rocks in Inner Mongolia


Re: I'm reserving judgement

I'm pretty sure this predates Wallace and Gromit though - I've first seen the cheese plot in "Se il sole muore" (1965) by Oriana Fallaci. It's a good book, worth checking out...

Dodgy procedures doomed Arianespace's Vega before it even left the launchpad


Re: Are they really saying there were no design issues?

FFS, we're basically an underground East-European sweatshop and we're still not allowed to deliver the cables we make without a full all-pins-to-all-pins connectivity test, for every single cable shipped...

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, Elon Musk says it's the data that matters and that landed just fine


Wings will do next to nothing for you on Mars, and this thing is engineered from the ground up to go there. Starting right with the choice of fuel.


Re: re: Go SpaceX

This is 2020, there's no "middle" class anymore - only the poor, the obscenely rich and a few folks here and there hanging on for dear life in-between.

LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts


Re: UI coding isn't that bad

I did tangle with a modest piece of cross-platform desktop software with a GTK-based UI, and I can tell you that I literally shied away from implementing certain features simply because they required messing with the UI, as opposed to some others that didn't. That's how "satisfying" UI coding is for those of us NOT doing it day in and day out for a living. On the other end, I was ecstatic to be able to use an UI generator for some of my stupid little KiCAD Python automation scripts - being able to just pick up the data from a field in a wxdialog I never had to implement myself and run with it doing the thing I actually wanted get done was a truly marvelous feeling.

When you're On Call, only you can hear the silence of the clicks


All I know is I'm quite wary of "click here to commit to purchase" buttons and there is no way in hell I'd click one a second time, sober or five minutes away from alcohol coma, if the first click fails to result in an appropriate acknowledgement. I gladly prefer to forfeit purchase and try again the next day (once I'm sure I really have no orders on standby) rather then end up ordering duplicates or triplicates of whatever I'm squandering my money on. Maybe working for a bank de-conditions one from such basic survival instincts, but I have my doubts...


This. Also, while touchscreens can make this gnarly, desktops are by no means immune - modern web UI (I'm looking at you, accursed Polymer) is perfectly capable of derailing four-five clicks in a row, by first delaying response anywhere between five and fifty seconds, then shifting the UI and THEN processing my click to whatever NOW happens to be under it (which should be its own reason to bring back capital punishment). Murphy of course makes sure this causes maximum possible damage, with preference towards the most destructive action present anywhere on the UI, which just happened to be not too far from what you actually tried to click on before everything shifted...


Re: Well Worded Oncall Agreement

Well-known effect, documented ages ago. See Ballmer Peak...

Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods


Re: FCS is not new.

I'd also argue that I've had my brake vacuum assist "turn off" in may car (due to another small vacuum hose splitting at the end and starting to leak badly), and let me tell you the only reason I didn't full on crash into the vehicle in front of me when it happened was that I tend to drive hella cautiously. I defo did skip a beat though seeing as how the effect can best be described as "step on the brakes and nothing whatsoever happens" even though technically they do still work, you just have to apply roughly 10Gs worth of your body weight on them to do what they did before. So I'm sorry, no, modern "luxuries" in a car are NOT, in fact, luxuries.

Thunderbird implements PGP crypto feature requested 21 years ago


Re: Encryption should be automatic

Re: your link: "Error 503 certificate has expired" - is this some kind of meta?!?

Aviation regulator outlines fixes that will get the 737 MAX flying again


Re: Pilot training

None of that answers the original question though - implementing it with incremental corrections instead of a single action was not due to some misreading of the spec; it was a deliberate change because the original implementation wasn't effective enough reducing flight characteristics back to that of the original plane's. This suggests going back to the original open loop implementation won't be able to do that either.

So it's still a valid question - did they find an alternative way to make it authoritative enough to make the plane behave like another (and if so, how will THAT guarantee not to crash more planes), or did they just give up all pretence of "it's the same plane" and implicitly agreed to incur re-certification of all involved pilots...?

Space station update: Mystery tiny but growing air leak sparks search for hole


Re: Call a plumber

Only if you have a heck of a mighty spring in your leg and manage to kick off strongly enough retrograde to land before your suit's air runs out...

Tractors, not phones, will (maybe) get America a right-to-repair law at this rate: Bernie slams 'truly insane' situation


Re: Really good?

Sorry for the "ever-so-slightly" tardy reply - It's a Yamaha Virago XV535, type 2YL. I think it's 1994 or so... don't have the paperwork around right now, sorry.

The seven deadly sins of the 2010s: No, not pride, sloth, etc. The seven UI 'dark patterns' that trick you into buying stuff


Re: Two such patterns missed completely

Sadly, no. Eastern Europe. Same practices though, I presume...

NASA to stop using names like 'Eskimo Nebula' and 're-examine' what it calls cosmic objects


Re: ... and how about the black holes?

Current scientific trends agree here with current social ones - clearly, they should actually be called DARK holes...


Re: Human Nature

It's simply a witch hunt. And there are always people who recognize that there is power to be had by spearheading any movement the zeitgeist happens to be favouring; if you say the things people want to hear you get to manipulate them. The power other people lend you when they rally behind you can always be focused and used to get done the things you want done, and do in the people you want done in...

Here's why your Samsung Blu-ray player bricked itself: It downloaded an XML config file that broke the firmware


Re: The Internet of break things

Faraday has entered the chat and started typing...

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


Sure thing, and if the Draco thruster RUD would have happened to NASA they would have deemed that proper procedures absolutely require no further Dragon flights within this century, until the very last one of the their bureaucrats catches up filing their last report to the relevant committee. Because, clearly, you either work to three hundred nines or have no business flying stuff.

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


Re: There is a third way

Dear Lord. If mature players and tentacle sex are essentially the same thing to you, you badly need to get out more.

Readers of a certain age will remember GPRS: Old insecure tech from turn of millennium still haunts 5G networks


Well, you know what happens when your old smartphone suddenly kicks the bucket and you're forced to fall back to your previous Symbian S60 smartphone (that incidentally was capable at doing literally _every_ _single_ _thing_ your "modern" smartphone could do) that just happens to still be working...? Well, for one, you WILL NOT connect to any webpages whatsoever considering they all transitioned to https in the interim, which your hopelessly-out-of-date-both-by-cyphers-and-certificates old phone will absolutely refuse to have anything to do with. Yes, even a simple Google search. Except... until you try wap.google.com WHICH WILL STILL WORK AND DELIVER YOU SEARCH RESULTS. Yes, motherfucking WAP. Yes, in 2020. Cower at the might of legacy tech, ye fucking mortals...

Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets


Sounds like a helluva lot of sour grapes to me. In the end, I seriously doubt they can put one man into orbit for less than SpaceX can. Being able to reuse your first stage kinda does that to you...

Signal goes Gaussian to take privacy to the next level: All your faces don't belong to us


Re: Fix the bugs first

I dunno about others, but as far as I'm concerned the stupid requirement of having to identify yourself with your phone number is what prevents me from using Signal - that is entirely unacceptable. On the other hand, Session looks promising, and gets rid of the central server problem too...

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


We do want Linux to be mainstream, don't we?

We do. But first and foremost, _I_ want my Linux box to be under _my_ absolute control and answerable to and serving absolutely nobody but _me_; that other goal can never ever be anything but subordinate to this one, full stop. There's nothing to balance here for me - in a direct conflict, maintaining control has 100% importance, increasing popularity has 0.00%.

Watchdog slams Pentagon for failing – for a third time – to migrate US military to IPv6


Re: NAT is not a firewall

This is not about firewalling not being possible on IPv6 (which it clearly is) - it's about a device on a LAN being naturally impossible to reach unless you specifically take steps to make it reachable in IPv4, and the same device being naturally reachable unless you specifically take steps to prevent that in IPv6. It's not a difference of what is possible, but a bloody large (and unpleasant) difference nonetheless.

For an ideally perfect sysadmin with an ideally perfect arsenal of tools, there would be no difference between the two - but in practice I'm willing to bet it will end up mattering quite often, IPv6 leading to loads more scantily protected stuff ending up exposed to anyone with an interest than it would have on IPv4.

All-electric plane makes first flight – while lugging 2 tons of batteries aloft


Re: The video

Well, you could connect the prop shaft to a long tube made of a number of hamster wheels inside the fuselage; then you could also mount a number of those around the first one, meshing through some sprockets - this might just be crazy enough to work...!


Re: Could someone check the numbers?

Clearly not in a glider, but 2m might just be possible with a biplane if the passenger is offered the traditional stand-on-the-top-of-the-wing "seat"...

Tor soups up onion sites with bountiful browser bump: No more tears trying to find the secure sites you want


Re: How do you know that ?

Also, using Tor to post your life on FaceBook. Now that's ironic.

You don't know whether they actually log into it though - I've never had a Facebook account yet see myself visiting the site plenty of times seeing as how the rest of the world apparently decided old-fashioned websites are completely unnecessary even for small businesses, it's enough if you exist exclusively on Facebook...

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise


Re: It's always fun ...

It boggles my mind how many people seem to have issues grasping the concept that being provably right can be crucial in certain circumstances, but it's never a win in any circumstances.

Dude, where's my laser?


Re: "Of course, in the '70s, active correction of the beam was not an option."

Oh come on, don't be silly - no need for that. You just need to rifle the laser...

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem


Re: Expensive

There was a version of the S3 Virge that got sold with LCD shutter glassed though - and there was a version a Descent that could actually use them. It was absolutely glorious...

London's Metropolitan Police flip the switch: Smile, fellow citizens... you're undergoing Live Facial Recognition


Re: Big Brother is here and he isn't going away.

That is universally true. Police everywhere around the world is the blunt end of the state's domestic power. It's not meant to protect, it's meant to suppress. Criminals just happen to be closest and the most immediate target when it swings, but by no means the only ones hit.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes


Re: Isn't THIS why we've got to teach 2nd-graders how to "code", rather than how to think?

These days spotting and pointing out potential (or indeed very much guaranteed) problems is aggressively shunned and called "negativism". Nobody cares who and how will deal with whatever inevitable problems turn up during the execution of a job (or indeed if anyone does at all, instead of just sweeping them under the carpet) - all management (and even your peers) ever care about is that there be no objections raised so the whole thing can be rushed out of the door before it blows up, never mind whether it's ticking or not. "This will need to be solved if that is to ever work" is simply not acceptable attitude - your job is to go out there and shout at the tide without asking questions, and it's your fault if it doesn't stop.


There HAS to be a better way, and I want off this accursed universe, over to the one where they found it.

Copy-left behind: Permissive MIT, Apache open-source licenses on the up as developers snub GNU's GPL


Re: Just one question

In theory, you're right. In practice, all you need is proof that a cloud service is exhibiting the same specific bug or is vulnerable to the exact same exploit (which you didn't necessarily attack it with yourself) and lawsuit can start a-flying...

Nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide, muaha... Boffins build laser-eyed intelligent cam that sorta sees around corners


Re: Cars, really?

But but but how can you say that when this works so great at detecting spherical cows...!


Re: Super black

That would be vantablack, methinks...

No Mo'zilla for about 100 techies today: Firefox maker lays off staff as boss talks of 'difficult choices' and funding


Re: Removed features

The value that using a browser offers me comes wholly and entirely from its extensions and UI, not it its engine and mostly-useless "features". Mozilla chose to ditch those, I chose not to upgrade, ever. Still looking for an adequate replacement (being which Waterfox fails at amazingly hard, lacking support for much the exact same stuff), puttering along with Palemoon (and vanilla Chromium whenever the former inevitably fails to render) until I can figure something else out. As for Mozilla, they are welcome to cry me a river, for I have zero goodwill left for them; quite the opposite, in fact.

Sometimes shining a light on a nuclear problem just makes things worse


Re: Assumptions

Well no you actually kinda can. Of course, first assumption is that things normally taken for granted are actually good, but the first time you encounter something that simply shouldn't happen or is inexplicable in any way, the first thing you do is take a mental step back and ask yourself "which ones of my default assumptions would have a chance of influencing this outcome if they were to turn out false?". And then you actually check whether they are indeed valid assumptions, of course. All it takes is a mindset of taking nothing for granted if falsifying it would have a chance of influencing the phenomenon you're out of explanations for.

The Nokia 3.2 is a phone your nan will love: One camera's more than enough, darling


Re: Android updates

I'd just like to mention that buying "new" batteries can be quite a misleading endeavour - original batteries tend to get made only for a short time after a model is released, and you can find yourself buying batteries for a five years old phone that were actually manufactured... four years ago (or indeed almost 7-8 years ago, for a phone like my S2) - and you'll only realise this if you take the time to look up the manufacturers date code scheme and decode the gibberish on your "new" battery (which will be totally different than the one on the photo of the listing). They may technically be "new" but they've been sitting on a shelf for years, losing a lot of their capacity before even getting sold. Of course, non-original batteries also exist, but there you really have no idea what actually is inside anywhere from rated capacity down to wet sand...


Re: Is that a bit like...

False equivalence. That quote is valid when almost or indeed all components of something have been gradually replaced. When about half of it stayed the same it's just called an upgraded computer...


Re: "longevity ... guaranteeing two years of software updates and upgrades"

Well that explains why I'm not thinking about upgrading my Galaxy S2 - I'm not using Whatsapp...

Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of support: What will change on 14 January?


Oh do get real

Nothing. Absolutely nothing. My W7 never ever saw any updates from day one, and I am willing to assert that I actually am competent enough to say I'm reasonably sure I'm still free of any malware all those many years later. Name your test, I'm happy to run it. Guess what, you don't need to be air-gapped from the internet (or particularly careful about what you visit...) to stay clean - as long as you do use an ad-blocker and you don't give in to every ridiculously transparent attempt to make you click on something you definitely should not. Which kinda makes the whole point of "OMG, no more updates" moot, for those of us who realised long ago that there are only two kinds of computers: those that are not perfectly secure, and those that don't yet know they are definitely not perfectly secure. That said, I know full well this is straight against the prevailing Reg doctrine so feel free to downvote full tilt - sadly I suppose, that won't make me any less secure, but it might make you feel a lot more secure than you actually are.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


@robin48gx ...you mean something like i^2=j^2=k^2=ijk=-1...? Mine's the one with the photo of a carving on a certain canal bridge in the pocket.

The time PC Tools spared an aerospace techie the blushes


Admittedly deleting anything on a FAT FS under MS-DOS was a very long time ago for me, but didn't that process usually work by nuking the first letter in the filename, that you later had no way of retrieving unless you knew? No unerase tool could help you with that. I mean, *imem.sys is pretty obvious but who knows all the myriad others...?

Want to live long and prosper? Avoid pirated, malware-laden Star Wars free vid streams – and pay to watch instead


Re: Live Linux distro?

You can "run as opposed to install" Linux from a CD _because_ what you have is a live CD, meant to let you do exactly that, roughly since data CDs were a thing. Otherwise you'd be stuck staring at a text prompt asking you onto which disk you want your Linux installed, instead of just firing it up fully in RAM.


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