* Posts by JLV

2252 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Mar 2013

Stack Overflow to charge LLM developers for access to its coding content


Re: "traffic to Stack Overflow has steadily dropped over time"

Just had a look at Tek Tips:

- low volume of questions

- 90s look and feel

- minimal formatting, no markdown

- and...(drumroll)

replete with very intrusive ads (I especially liked the undismissable modal that covered all the contents of a question).

Good try at promoting it.

Rice isn't nice for drying your iPhone, according to Apple



Cat litter is where it's at. I have a gallon pack of it to dry electronics. And no cat.

Small items fit in its original box. For bigger ones, like laptops, empty it out in a plastic thrash bag, put in the item, then knot the top tightly to keep it airtight. For extra points, to avoid its nasty micro-grit you could carefully put your phone in a liner or small tray.

p.s. No, don't be stingy. Unused cat litter only ;-)

We challenged you to come up with tech predictions for 2024 (wrong answers only) – here are some favorites so far


stale coffee

Java will take over the world!

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work


April 1st and Windows 3.1 joke

step 0. Sneak into co-worker's PC while they're on break

step 1. Take screenshot of desktop

step 2. Set wallpaper to said screenshot.

step 3. Minimize actual desktop to a small icon lower right (yeah, 30 yrs back, not sure how I did it). I think the desktop was just a program, so you could minimize it.

step 4. Watch them click their program icons to get work done.

OpenTF forks Terraform, insists HashiCorp is the splinter group


There are different constituencies wrt open source licenses and yours is an eminently reasonable approach.

You've got regular users - like you - who will react in various ways.

You have past project contributors, who will hold an opinion (you did them to sign a Contributor License Agreement, right?)

You have the people in charge of the fork. Who may get it right (likely). Or not (less likely).

You have people who hold strong views about open source licenses, just on ethical principles. Ah, those lovely GPL vs Affero vs MIT wars....

And you have big, big corporations that resell hosting of open source programs they never contributed to and barely support financially. Not that I have a huge beef with them otherwise, but Amazon comes to mind, they're famous for it in this field.

It could very well be Terraform runs into the weeds with this. But I am far from certain that it will happen, and IF they act in good faith to mostly limit exploitation by the last group, I am not sure why they should.


We'll see. I overall really like HashiCorp and I am unsure how hurtful a "good faith" restriction, if really ONLY intended to limit monetizing opportunities for large scale resellers of TerraForm, would be to all its regular users.

To Amazon, looking to pull an RDS. Maybe? To everyone else? Why should we care, if the rest remains the same?

And, to take a counter example, MongoDB isn't doing particularly badly after pulling essentially the same trick.

I suppose it all comes down to what those license changes really mean in practice. If it becomes an excuse to pull extortionate license fees, like Oracle wanted to do with their "open source" Java language, then it deserves whatever it gets.

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones


Re: They are getting part of a clue

You're putting words in my mouth I didn't use.

Of course humans are going to be in the loop to decide where to launch which drones against which enemy forces. I never claimed otherwise. You can bring in the "loyal wingman" concept the USAF is thinking about: a pilot orchestrating a swarm.

> drone swarm spots an enemy battletank

But I specifically stated they should be optimized for air-to-air, nothing else. The AI should worry about shooting bogeys out of the sky in its area, that's all.

And if you have a truly autonomous AI for the duration, you don't need to worry near as much about jamming. It just needs to find its way back home in a GPS-degraded environment. That's certainly solvable with terrain following radar.

> Cameras, IR sensors, microphones, radar, comms equipment, IFF transmitters, etc: these all carry a financial cost, and add to the drone's weight,

Weight and cost considerations for the sensors are nice, except a meatbag aircraft has: a pilot, a cockpit and an ejection. Those all add weight and give minimal dimensions. Plus the the same sensors. And a hard 9G limits on turns.

> Realistically, the two big uses for drones at present ...

I am not saying we are there yet. But this, or something different but in the same vein, will be by the time the F35 reaches its old age, in the 2070s. So taxpayers funding gen 5 and gen 6 jets need to worry if we are hitting a battleship moment.

Last I'd appreciate it if you didn't base all your arguments on SF. Fan of Banks as much as any, but we ain't talking Attitude Adjuster drones here and Banks' tech is way too handwavium. Bruce Sterling or the like would be a better bet.


Re: $5.8 billion

Total Fed spending is in the $6T range. https://fiscaldata.treasury.gov/americas-finance-guide/federal-spending/ Fed is a 6 slice pie - 4/6th go to mandated programs, like pensions. Including military pensions, which have zilch to do with drone purchases - they're pensions. 2/6 discretionary remaining get split as 1/6 general spending, 1/6 defense.

There is NO way Defense is gobbling $1.8% - 30% of that spending. You're off by a factor of two and speaking with all the self-assurance you want to use claiming otherwise ain't gonna change that fact.


Re: They are getting part of a clue

An interesting parallel IMHO with drones and WW2 would be an AI-powered ME163 equivalent, fielded by a country like China that has sufficient manufacturing chops.

- cheap and reusable, dogfight-capable if armed with cannons, swarmable

- no pilot to kill on landing, a somewhat regrettable shortcoming in the original

- short range, air-defense only. simple algorithms, no need to worry about identifying civilians in cities and the like. should be possible to saturate an area with those drones to keep the opponent away from your battlezone. And that includes Wild Weasel aircraft.

- ethics? safety? human kill loops? why bother? on a hot battlefield if it's flying and it's not yours, it's good to shoot. \(Malaysia's MH-17 doesn't count as it wasn't a full war and they should have expected civilian jets). And in a US-China war, who's going to punish a country for breaking rules.

In short the idea - using this or similar drone technologies - would be too present the USAF with the same tactical conundrums as those faced by Russia in Ukraine: your manned aircraft can't be risked in close air support, making this a very different type of war than that the US has been used to fighting in the last 80 years. And the advantages of not having to train real life pilots are all the more relevant in a a country that has a limited experience of actual air combat - like China.


Re: $5.8 billion

> 3% of US annual Defense budget which is $1.8tn.

You might be interested to note that DoD 2023 is $773bn https://www.defense.gov/News/Releases/Release/Article/2980014/the-department-of-defense-releases-the-presidents-fiscal-year-2023-defense-budg/

I also have doubts about those 100:1 and 20:1 so nonchalantly bandied about. And "It’s easy to reach a capability of 1 million strong airforce." What actual data do you have to back those numbers?

British govt tech supplier Capita crippled by 'IT issue'


Mistaken ingestion of canine nutritives

- Bill, can you tell me what is going here? I see an invoice for 6.4M for one month of email services, by Capita Communications LLC. Why did you not check with me?

- Well, that's us, innit? Who cares if it's overpriced, it's just the left hand feeding the right hand.

- Bill it is against company policy to purchase business critical services from other Capita departments.

(knock at door) - Ahem, sorry to interrupt, but there's a little problem with our emails...

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS

Thumb Down

Re: Stupid millennials

> Shoulda taken a break, not an Oxford comma

Billie Eilish, purebred millennial "my strange addiction". First time my OK Boomer self, English 2nd lang, looked up that particular grammar structure. Don't assume stupidity from others, unless others == Trump.

Whistleblowing saboteur costs us $167m bellows Tesla’s accountant


I don’t get the base premise. Share price fluctuations, if they could be attributed to this, would only cost _shareholders_ (not Tesla unless they own stock) $ _if_ they sold during the period of negative influence. Otherwise they’re unrealized losses and mean diddly.

As an harassment/intimidation tactic, interesting. As a basis for sound litigation... meh. Goodwill/brand damage? Possibly, but different calc needed

Hong Kong ISPs beg Chinese govt not to impose Great Firewall on them


Re: "increasingly violent Chinese security forces"

Is muzzling HK more important than seducing Taiwan back into the fold? Because this ain’t helping much in the 1-country/2-systems department.

Android PDF app with just 100m downloads caught sneaking malware into mobes


Re: "The Register has reached out to CamScanner's developer"

Hey, at least they didn’t “touch base with” ;-)

Brit software giant Micro Focus takes a bath after share price crashes 30%, sales tank


Re: Anyone surprised?

Yes, despite MicroFocus’s pricing for its compilers. Which probably does nothing to mitigate the attrition of older COBOL professionals by onboarding new talent. That, in the long term, is not good for the golden goose’s health.

Electric cars can't cut UK carbon emissions while only the wealthy can afford to own one


Re: .. not really

"You have highly radiotoxic long lived contamination to consider as well as radiation."

Correct me if I am wrong, I had to look it up, but radiotoxic implies direct contact with, inhalation or ingestion, does it not? I.e. basically a poison. I was aware of the effect, if not necessarily the term.

How does that apply to stuff that's buried and vitrified/sealed in concrete in remote areas? Especially places where, for the first 100-200 years care needs to be taken to avoid radiation? You'd expect that containment procedures sufficiently advanced to cover radiation hazard would preclude people getting into direct contact. We're not talking DU shell dust from A-10 gun runs poisoning locals in past battlefields here.

The claim that we've done all we could with reactor tech strikes me as a bit disingenuous as well. I will happily grant you that current reactor tech and deployment is severely flawed. But the fact remains that very little actual new designs have been built in the last 10-20 years in the West. The system in Finland comes to mind, and while it supports your point, it's also one of the very few data points.

Bit like if we had frozen jet engine usage at the turbojet level and had never gone on to turbofans, except for theoretical schematics. I would be skeptical with a "we've fixed it" claim coming out - the industry has had many of those - but dismissing it as a hopeless dead end seems quite risky at this point in time.

And a lot of the costs are not purely technical in nature, but have to do with financing during protracted legal challenges and the lack of standardization.

We don't know how climate change will progress, but all indications is that it trending at least slightly worse than had been expected only 10 years ago. While renewables are certainly following an encouraging trend, I have yet to see totally convincing proposals about how we'll move to 100% renewables and handle both short term fluctuations (for example, no sun at night) and, more importantly, long term seasonal variations (California Dept of Energy says they get only 20% as much wind+solar in the winter as at summer peaks).

What we want to do is to have as many plan Bs as possible to cover contingencies for the next 100 years. Fission is one possibility, fusion (hah!) is another. So are large scale solar farms nearer the equator in desert areas. Being dogmatically opposed to nuclear energy vs being healthily skeptical of it, is not something I will be voting for any time soon.


Re: .. not really

What you say is true, but not the whole story either. Nuclear technology is only really mature in the few types of, early generation, reactors that have been put in use. They were derived somewhat from military submarine reactors and considerations about suitability for military enrichment was also a factor in their choice. Safety was very important, but only after choosing reactor types that were not necessarily the safest alternatives at the time or now. The current crop is generally fail-unsafe: take away their power and active throttling mechanisms and overheating happens, rather than a gradual shutdown.

There just hasn’t been much serious deployment of more modern designs that aim to mitigate those known issues.

As far as waste goes, if you put bury it in a geologically stable area without much water and far away from people, who really cares if it’s active for a long time? (There’s also that odd rule that materials can emit lots or radiation or do it for a long time, but it’s hard to do both - sufficiently active stuff decays more quickly).

On a side note, I wonder if anyone has proposed to centralize world waste storage to truly remote locations, like perhaps some sub-Antarctic island. Still with proper containment and care, but just away from anyone’s backyard. Combine drone and autonomous tech and people might not need to be too closely involved.

Not worth it, IMHO, until we prove that nuclear energy has sufficient benefits and has sufficiently mitigated reactor risks. But, if it comes to global CO2 or a limited mess somewhere...?

I imagine there are a whole bunch of valid objections - aside from territoriality/nationality considerations and Green outrage. Perhaps shipping difficulties? The local wildlife too, but that really needs to be weighted against the projected species extinctions due to heat and ocean acidification under business as usual.


There’s a quick read scientific article about this.


Not to be overly dismissive about your concerns, and I note that the paper especially cautions about risks in confined spaces (tunnels...), but we’ve now had EVs operating on roads for while. And this worry has been voiced before. Yet, I can’t recall any accident where the combustion results of the batteries had really bad outcomes. Could be it’s happened, but it can’t be happening that often if it’s low enough that it does not make the news much. People getting killed in their burning ICE car is not uncommon and gets mentioned. Yes, yes, I realize the vehicle percentages are not the same, but there is ample newsworthiness to any EV crash event, which would somewhat counteract lower EV use.

Hopefully, the real risks posed by LiOn batteries are being proactively mitigated by proper engineering and even more so in the future. I also assume emergency responders will receive better training and equipment over time. People worrying about it is not a waste, but needs careful, number-driven, risk assessments. At the same time gasoline is not without risks:




So... are you saying aircrafts, post offices and sundry would be happy with you, if you were to waltz in with a 1L bottle of gasoline/petrol instead?

Oddly enough, dense forms of energy storage need careful handling. Whodathought?

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name


Re: Dick and other unfortunate soubriquets

I had a Dutch friend who found it hilarious that one of her American colleagues was literally named Randy Wanker. On the plus side for him, this was in Holland rather than the UK...



Re: Divide and rule

>Sorry, but I don't buy it.

Well, it is free, you know.

Git the news here! Code quality doesn't count for much when it comes to pull requests


Re: Significance

but reputation is precisely a metric. that’s the whole point.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


Re: So, to sum up. . .


- He just may make, for example, well, an off-the-cuff remark about Boris Johnson, - and you'll have to laugh at it.

- OK. So, he mentions Boris Johnson - and I'll laugh.

- No.But he may mention Boris Johnson not in the context of a joke.

- Well, how's that possible?


Two in five 'AI startups' essentially have no AI, mega-survey of nearly 3,000 upstarts finds


Please ask your AI to parse this:


Although, I am pretty sure that middle I could be “generalized” to a W or A, not just I.

US regulators push back against White House plan to police social media censorship


Re: Except ...

In a federation type of government, there's always a tension between a straight-out majority rule and the risk that states/provinces having a very large population get to decide everything for everyone else (which kinda defeats the purpose of a federation-type government).

So some of these systems have a 2-tier approach, like the US. Now, you could argue that the federation is protected by devolving sufficient powers to the states that the overall majority-chosen central government doesn't in fact decide everything for the people in the smaller states. That's also why the senate has 2 senators/state, regardless of population.

Living in BC, I can tell you that, without such an arrangement, it can be frustrating in Canada when the Western provinces and the Maritimes figure that whatever we vote, everything in still decided by Ontario and Quebec. Is it a big deal? No, not as long as Albertans don't get to decide ;-) But there's still a bit of friction.

Electoral systems can't really be perfect. The Electoral college is a kludge, but it has its reasons. Regardless, good or bad, it's the game in 2020, baby. Deal with it. And deal with it in such a way that the Orange Buffoon gets kicked out.


Re: Except ...

> Isn't the person that who gets the most votes SUPPOSED to win?

Is that a rhetorical question? Are you not from the US and don't know its election rules?


Whether its a good system or not is another question - it’s not as simple as it sounds, I am familiar with some other systems and they also involve tradeoffs and problems. But it is the system used in the US for 2016 and 2020. Did you not know that?


Re: Except ...

I used the term open borders loosely. Yet, not everyone thinks its a total exaggeration


Nope, that wasn’t, quite, Fox news, was it?

Again, if voters generally favor a more open immigration policy it ought to come together organically, like say gay marriage where there is a massive, and welcome, consensus towards tolerance. At least in my country, Canada, I would cautiously support greater immigration. But it’s very much of a nation-level, long-term, decision. European experience is also that administrative intake ahead of actual consensual and popular welcome, acceptance & integration and allowing immigrants to _succeed_ is foolish (the US and Canada are much better than France, for example).

Pushing ahead of majority opinion to a much more welcoming policy towards immigrants, esp illegal ones, because it’s good for primaries is a foolish idea. It lacks legitimacy towards the electorate so it will get shot down. Immigrant bashing and child separation is one thing, letting everyone in and never deporting anyone is another. Obama mostly seemed to get that, although one could be concerned if Deporter in Chief was reluctantly arrived at or whether engaged in for political expediency. I’ll be nice and assume the first.

P.s, am sure all the donors to Hillary last election _never_ intended to call in any favors.


Re: Except ...

But that’s precisely my point. The Dems don’t have to play by the Reps’ book. They don’t need to “energize the base” because Trump does it for them - not too many people with any kind of leftward drift are going to stay home in November cuz their candidate is “not lefty enough”. Not when the alternative they’re facing is 4 more yrs of Orange Buffoonery and random unpresidential tweets.

All they need is a credible alternative who can’t credibly be painted as a “Socialist” to people who are not fully pro-Trump but are not committed Dems, those at the center.

To paraphrase a past quip (not addressed at you, btw):

“It’s not about the primaries, stupid”.


Re: Except ...

I wonder if you're aware that "over 40 years" dovetails quite nicely with the Republicans' switch to the "Southern strategy" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southern_strategy.

The electoral college rule is what it is. Until it gets reformed, deal with it, rather than complaining that it exists. Pretending it doesn't exist and then acting all surprised when you lose is... a loser's game. Rightly or wrongly, POTUS elections are not decided on a head count basis, so winning the popular vote is not enough. That's not to say I approve of it, not that it matters, but there are all sorts of glitches and flaws in many countries' electoral systems (I can think of one country that has an un-elected leader right now, for example).

You play with the hand you're dealt, not the one you wish you had and I'd be willing to bet that that rule will remain for the foreseeable future.

Extremely partisan gerrymandering on the other hand seems to have a flimsier legal basis so might be a better aim for reform. Not that I expect that to happen either, with the recent nominees to SCOTUS guarding the roost.


Re: Except ...

No, the OP is right. When you have calls to abolish ICE, not merely reforming it or keeping it from abusing immigrants, that’s gonna be a problem. Open borders? Also a problem. If people want legal immigration they can vote for it.

Universal health care? I’m all for it. But I live in Canada. Obamacare, which doesn’t go far enough, barely squeaked by. A wise strategy would be to let Reps go on the record to nuke Obamacare, like Magaman did. Even die hard Rep voters, if they’re poor, probably want some coverage. But, rip it all out and go universal? A _good idea in practice_, but it won’t fly at the polls, not in the US. Oh, it will poll very well... during the Dem primaries.

Green New Deal? Climate change is a big problem, but it's also very partisan in the US. So, how to screw that up some more? Lather it up with all sorts of social policies and then put a trillion $ price tag on it.

Does it seem like I am down on AOC? Maybe a bit. But she seems like a decent person and she's young. The problem is that the policies that get a senator elected in NYC are not the policies that are going to get someone into POTUS. The Dems desperately need to swing to the center and suck up all the people who voted for Trump last time and are having second thoughts. If they did that, Trump has no defence as he's just not a credible centrist.

But they are confusing Trump's gambit to hark to a hard base as being a good idea for them in 2020, with the handicap that the electoral college, _by design_, grants disproportionate representation to rural areas and smaller states. They need to win some of those rural areas and red states.

I.e. they need a Beto, or a Bill Clinton equivalent, not a Bernie.

Pokemon Go becomes Pokemon No as games biz Niantic agrees to curb trespassing addicts


>if someone is standing stockstill and repeatedly swiping up or tapping madly on their screen chances are they are lost in the world of Pokemon Go.

that, or seeking to procreate...

which has a nearly empty set intersection with Pokemon.

my coat, yes.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date


Good article. I’ve been sour on Google devices ever since my Nexus 5, for precisely that reason. I don’t expect eternal support - chipsets and systems do eventually just fade into irrelevance.

But Google’s semi-hidden “x years security support from when put into market on date y”, where x is short and y is further back than you might think when you’re paying for your new kit is an abomination to modern long-lasting hardware.

We can have different debates about privacy, ads, and their online services. But, IMHO, Google is not a good faith hardware and OS vendor and will not be until they fix this issue.

My MacBook Woe: I got up close and personal with city's snatch'n'dash crooks (aka some bastard stole my laptop)


Re: That's horrible.

doesn’t sound like you did anything obviously wrong. looks like the bear was unnaturally used to humans so all bets are off. and i can’t blame you for wanting to reach a nearby building. not looking at bear? well, easier said than done, innit?

good you came out ok and it does make a good story. Whistler area is full of the things but I can’t remember any deadly or even really serious attack there. Elsewhere in BC? happens, but rarely - https://bc.ctvnews.ca/b-c-hiker-fought-back-with-knife-when-grizzly-attacked-conservation-officers-1.4529650

fwiw, urban dogs, not trained hunting ones, have been known to run up to bears, bark at them and then, when the bear charges, run back scared to their masters...


Re: That's horrible.

getting _chased_ by a bear is not a good sign. you might have gotten lucky, but

a) chances are you won’t often outrun a bear, they’re quick.

b) being put in that position indicates somewhat of a likelihood that you mismanaged your encounter - if you were far enough away to run successfully then bear encounter protocol says back off slowly without locking eyes with them so they normally let you go.

unprovoked unavoidable surprise attacks don’t usually end in “outruns” though bears can be fought off or played dead against, they’re not usually hugely motivated to kill you.

it’s debatable with bears, but running from say a cougar triggers their predator instincts so unless you’re guaranteed a nearby refuge, iffy choice.

i.e. i could very well be wrong, but seems you ought not to dismiss “Grizzly Adams” advice just yet, seems to me you rather need it ;-)


Re: That's horrible.

On a related note. If you have to separate yourself any distance from your bike without locking it (say paying for a coffee) crank down the gears to the max (up works too), without spinning the pedals. If someone snatches it and tries to ride away, the gears won’t engage right away and they’ll be stuck for a while.

Huawei goes all Art of War on us: Switches on 'battle mode' and vows to 'dominate the world'


It's not even a new tank, it's a refurb of the T-72. So the base armor is the same and they've added better reactive armor, sensors, engine. Just because wikipedia says it's a Gen 3 doesn't mean it's so.


Additionally, the newest PLA tank is the T-99 which came out in 99, so 11 years before your unrelated non-G3 puppy and it's a minority tank, not the most numerous model.


Apparently also, the Germans could shoot the only radio-equipped Soviet tank, that being the platoon leader’s. Once that happened, the remaining tanks would not know what to do and lose initiative.

But, yes German == super tanks is _quite_ the opposite of 41-42 reality against T34 and KV1.

Robert Forczyk Tank Warfare Eastern Front 41-42 is a good read. Volume 2, 43-45, is less interesting because it’s essentially a foregone conclusion past Kursk. He also takes a whack at SS divisions, saying their upper rank staff were just not as good and the diversion of men and top-end equipment hurt German performance compared to equipping the regular Wehrmacht.


Gen 2 tanks were before the advent of modern Chobham-style composite ceramic armor. This was on one swing of the offense-defense cycles and it was assumed a tank could not survive a real hit by shaped charges. Therefore, gen 2 were much lighter and weren’t as heavily armored, relying on speed to survive because armor couldn't fix it.

With the Challenger 2 and the M1 the pendulum swung back to defense and gen 3 tanks gained weight again. I assume modern Russian tanks are also gen 3. Easting’s Iraqi T72 were also downgraded export models but I doubt you’d see much better PLA performance asides from their sensors. Keep in mind too: these were Iran-Iraq War veteran tankers, most likely.

FWIW, I believe the only combat loss of an M1 to date has been a massive IED in Iraq.

I mean, we can debate all we want but the PLA is still running a nearly 50 yr old design in a weapon field that that has seen major changes. Most of their conventional combat tech, right now, is iffy-ish or Russia-bought and combat experience is scarce. However, they can be extremely innovative too, for example the DF-21 which is a known unknown to US carrier groups. They wouldn’t be a pushover and they’ll push asymmetry for all it’s worth. This will only increase as time goes on and the US has been fighting essentially colonial brush wars for the last 20 years, not peers.

Hopefully we’ll all find a way to get along and fix other problems rather than start on Cold War 2. But I still find Huawei’s studly tank metaphors funny, sorry.


Re: Unintended consequences...

Too early to say. One thing that comes to mind is that the “old” wisdom that the mobile OS doesn’t matter, only the app ecosystem, may look _somewhat_ different in a Chinese context. With their size, foreign content firewalling, different writing system and all sorts of home-grown apps and requirements (not least govt-mandated snooping). So there might be more of an opportunity/patience to grow that locally.


yeah but maybe you to try something more recent. more relevant to the actual PLA hardware?


T-72s, all. entrenched, hull down. and regardless, running offshoots of a 48 yr old tank design ain’t nothing to brag about. These are gen 2 MBTs, they’d get chewed up by gen 3s like M1 Leopard 2 Challenger 2, there’s a massive difference in capability, most at the armor level.

just saying.


Macho military studliness certainly will do wonders to quell concerns that they’re in bed with the PLA and gov.

Methink unicorns, SJW-speak and random corporate “inclusive values” biz-speak might have lulled our ever-alert Western spy agencies to sleep. Then again, that might also have put their own staff to sleep.

AFAIK China ain’t renowned for its AFVs either, what with mostly running cloned T-72s. Oh dear, maybe that’s why they need those ropes.

Lenovo ThinkPad X390: A trusty workhorse that means business but it's not without a few flaws


Re: Politics and history

Since we’re doing history let’s not forget Lenovo and Superfish, a rather unfortunate decision to install a root cert pushing ad$.


I tend to have a long memory for this type of crap, sorry. Don’t give a s**t either that it was not on their business range models.

Have they learned? Probably. But the more ongoing pain it causes the less they or others will hazard reputational risk by knowingly putting customer security at risk for profit$. cf Sony DRM rootkit.

Canadian ISP Telus launches novel solution to deal with excess email: Crash your servers and wipe it all


Re: It's crap, don't use it.

Most definitely this. +1.

Do you want to move somewhere and have to notify _everyone_ you know you can’t be reached at jsmith@telus.net anymore? Never use ISP-bound email.


Sad looking cheetah?

Their corporate branding is all about various cute animals.

Right now, though extinct, a befuddled-looking dodo chick seems a more appropriate mascot.

Dropbox would rather write code twice than try to make C++ work on both iOS and Android


Re: "It is written in Perl"

Agh. One of your devs said something _pretty darn clever_ in the context of your framework a while back, say 4-8 months. Thought it was about PHP but El Reg’s been around the block, so PERL makes sense.


Re: Amateurs :)

Hey, I upvoted you, because it makes sense, but... look at the likelyDropbox concerns:

- network

- file system

- presentation GUI - you need OS widgets here btw, not a video canvas.

- Dropbox biz/functional logic, a good of which probably resides server-side.

Of those, only #4 isn’t “tainted” by close platform coupling. So, what works in your case - having thin wrappers around an agnostic core, may be less relevant to an app whose component are by nature mostly engaged in talking to the platform services.


Nice how you skipped my actual questions and yapped about the one part in my post that _really_ wasn’t addressed to you.

Alright, let’s make it more clear. This site, El Reg, is, IIRC, written in PHP. Not my preferred language, no, but an eminently sensible choice for this type of site.

I ain’t talking about the web server itself - I do prefer nginx over Apache, partly beause its C++, not Java. No I mean the CMS part.

Should El Reg have been written in C++ instead? What benefits would that bring, besides performance? - which is perfectly adequate as is btw. How would a C++ core affect the average hourly pay rate of whoever was working on it and overall dev and maintenance costs? In your big bag of claims, what would be the concrete gains from C++ here?


One possible upside to writing it twice is that, if you play your cards just right, you might be able to use both implementations to cross-check each other. Basically if an input x1 results in output y1 then that should hold true across the board that Kotlin(x1) == Swift(x1). Anywhere where that’s not true can be scrutinized for specs compliance.

Not optimal but making lemonade from lemons.


Well Dropbox most assuredly has contributed back to Open Source where their skills are strong. The whole mypy Python progressive type checker is from them, for example. Guido Van Rossum, Python’s daddy, works for Dropbox.