* Posts by conscience

148 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013

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Ardour goes harder: v6.0 brings 'huge engineering changes' to open-source digital audio workstation

conscience

@142 - To be fair to the devs, lossy file formats are hardly conducive to creating professional quality audio. And like has been mentioned, there were patents to consider until April 2017.

Shunning lossy file formats in professional audio makes a lot of sense. You would try to avoid anything that lowered the audio quality. It is bad enough that your musical masterpieces can end up being replayed on staggeringly low quality audio equipment without you mangling the source track too. I assume the professional graphics industry shuns lossy file formats for the same reason.

I also don't think your text pasting analogy has any relevance here. This isn't about choice, convenience or saving a few MBs of disk space but about audio quality. Text cannot degrade in quality in any way when it is copied and pasted therefore it makes no difference where it is copied from or pasted to. The quality of the code depends entirely on the quality of the developer, it has absolutely nothing to do with this.

conscience

Re: Reaper

I'd second the Reaper recommendation. Despite the 'experimental' tag I found Reaper works great out of the box on Debian, Ubuntu and IIRC Mint as well.

They also state that Reaper runs well under WINE, but I personally found no need for that as the native Linux build 'just worked'. The trial version is fully-functional if you decide to take it for a spin.

That said, I've yet to try Ardour so I'm not comparing the two.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC

conscience

Re: Only 45 years late?

Well spotted Vometia. There definitely is a connection between the original MS BASIC written for the Altair and DEC's BASIC. Gates and Allen have never tried to hide this connection AFAIK and have freely admitted it, though sadly I forget exactly where. MS BASIC was also written on a PDP, as was their 8080 emulator. In any case the link was definitely documented. I did find this:

"BASIC-PLUS is an extended dialect of the BASIC programming language that was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for use on its RSTS/E time-sharing operating system for the PDP-11 series of 16-bit minicomputers in the early 1970s through the 1980s.

BASIC-PLUS was based very closely on the original Dartmouth BASIC, although it added a number of new structures. It also included a number of features from JOSS concerning conditional statements and formatting. In turn, BASIC-PLUS was the version on which the original Microsoft BASIC was patterned.[1]

The language was later rewritten as a true compiler as BASIC-Plus-2, and was ported to the VAX-11 platform as that machine's native BASIC implementation. This version survived several platform changes, and is today known as HP BASIC for OpenVMS."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASIC-PLUS

[1] Stephen Manes book "Gates: How Microsoft's Mogul Reinvented an Industry--and Made Himself the Richest Man in America" from 1993.

conscience

Re: Only 45 years late?

I'd be careful what got revealed if I was MS. Perhaps there are too many skeletons in their closet from code they 'borrowed' from others? Little of what they initially did was original.

I forget which of my techie history books it is in, but IIRC the first thing Gates and Allen did after deciding they wanted to write a version of BASIC was to go get the DEC BASIC manuals from the uni library and start copying them. NT also borrowed from DEC. MSDOS was just a rebranded QDOS which itself was an unauthorised rip off of CP/M-86 by Digital Research. The Windows GUI was borrowed from Apple after they themselves got it from Xerox PARC. Etc.

I'm sure there are many more examples of MS 'borrowing' whatever they thought they could sell.

Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

conscience

Teiwaz: - "Snaps are great if you absolutely need a particular app that'll only run on a set of libs that are a different version than your distro repo."

Is this a situation you find yourself in often? I get the point, but currently Snaps are miles away from ready for main stream use. I just don't like them because there are too many compromises involved.

In my admittedly limited experience with them I find them too big and too slow and I have had nothing but trouble with them whenever I've used them.

For instance, do they all need automatically mounting at every boot? Automatic mounting/unmounting when the Snap application is opened and closed would be far better, or at least an on/off switch for each Snap application so they can be activated as required. My boot time had shot up and when I analysed why it turned out I was waiting for the Snap files to be mounted. Needlessly extending boot time is unacceptable.

I also don't like the fact that it's possible to accidentally install Snaps rather than the regular version of the software. They need very clearly marking, in the application name/title perhaps, and putting in another section of the repo. There should also be a filter so you can exclude them from the repo if required. I have unknowingly installed several of these Snaps rather than the regular version of the software, and even worse I ended up with software from an unknown uploader rather than from the original developers whom I trust. It was my own fault, sure, I just quickly clicked on software I'd used before without reading the details, but I didn't think I had to. Now I am far more cautious in the repo than before just to avoid the Snap applications.

The most damning part is what made me first notice that I'd got any Snap applications installed: they don't work properly. I was having issues with applications that usually work perfectly well so I investigated why and found they were Snaps. I don't recall offhand what the apps/issues were as it was a while ago, but they were issues that all suddenly went away when I downloaded the non-Snap versions of the same software.

At best, I see Snaps as a very temporary solution to do a one-off job before it gets removed again afterwards. For more regular use then a VM or even a collection of libs to build against might be preferable (like Valve do with the Steam runtime).

conscience

I couldn't agree more. My boot time more than doubled with just a few snap applications. Naturally I nuked it from orbit, removing not only the applications but also totally getting rid of the Snap functionality from my system. Boot time is now back to what it should be.

It was an interesting idea, but not when it is done as badly as this.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

conscience

Re: Seriously though...

Same here. Back in the day I'd just use paintbrush. It had everything needed e.g. a line tool to paint huge red arrows pointing to highlight whatever users needed to interact with, and the text tool to give it a helpful caption like 'click here'. It's about the only time pbrush was of any use.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

conscience

Re: It's just so backwards...

@ theOtherJT

As well as having perfectly competent office software on Linux, you *can* run your Steam library with Linux. I know I do. Steam Play is pretty damn good these days, not 100% of games work, but most do just work. You can check compatibility for individual games here: https://www.protondb.com/. You'll need to make sure that Steam Play is switched on in the Steam Settings (Steam-Settings-SteamPlay- then tick both boxes to enable Steam Play for both whitelisted games and all other games). Once SteamPlay is enabled, most Windows games run on Linux as well as they do on Windows. It's that easy. Any games that have trouble starting - and there are not many - can usually be fixed with a launch option to use a particular version of Proton, D3D9, etc. You'll find everything you need on the protondb website to copy and paste into the Steam launch options.

For non-Steam games and other launchers, such as the Epic Store, UPlay, Origin, Battle.net and anything you have the installer files for, I recommend Lutris - https://lutris.net/. Once installed, it is as easy as clicking the install button and it's automatically installed and configured. Enjoy. :)

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

conscience

This article has a very misleading title. "Microsoft's document formats and Word application are the bane of word processing" would be more accurate.

Hubert Cumberdale hit the nail on the head: The MS Word application cannot reliably round-trip a document with itself without causing formatting issues. That this still happens between machines when the version numbers of MS Word and Windows are identical and are both fully updated is as ridiculous as it is damning. You cannot get more closely matching versions of both OS and application than the mandatory upgrades that come with Windows 10 and Microsoft 365, especially when both are using the same licence!

It is not like this is even a recent problem. I first used MS Office sometime back in the early-mid 90s and these round-trip formatting bugs were present even back then. The fact that decades worth of updates did absolutely nothing to stop this from happening is quite revealing. After all, why would Microsoft change what sustains their lucrative office monopoly?

Microsoft have always used these formatting problems to their great advantage over the years, creating a wave of fear, uncertainty and doubt to scare people into using and routinely upgrading their inferior and more expensive products. On the one hand, other vendors' platforms and application products are always blamed for the messed up formatting issues, and on the other hand scare tactics warn that anyone who dares not to use MS Office will suffer much embarrassment, the loss of their professional reputations and business will suffer as others would simply refuse to do business with anyone who uses anything other than .doc/.docx! The 'our employees would down tools with any other office suite etc. etc.' bullshit that shills tend to wheel out whenever it comes up may work as a Microsoft sales and marketing scare tactic to influence the technically illiterate, but why it gets repeated on tech sites is a total mystery.

conscience

Re: Technical solution to a philosophical problem...

"they would without exception simply down tools and refuse to work with anything that wasn't Word / Excel / Outlook"

They can also simply be fired for refusing to do their work, which may be no bad thing as the company would be far better off getting rid of the problematic deadwood and replacing them with better staff who are more willing to do whatever the company decides it needs.

Sky Broadband is not the UK's cheapest, growls ad watchdog

conscience

It is just more snake oil by the sound of it. I am not a Sky customer, but IIRC it's something like if you pay an extra £5 on top of your broadband for a 'boost pack' which guarantees 3mbps wifi in every room, or if you don't get it then you get your extra £5 fee back which of course means you're still paying full price for no or slow wifi. Worst. Guarantee. Ever. There are a couple of other 'advantages' (they waive the extra fee for getting weekend/evening call out visits, but I suspect not the much bigger call out appointment fee, plus 2GB of mobile data is added to your Sky mobile account for unplanned outages but only if you're also a Sky mobile customer and with so many small print exemptions that make it pretty pointless).

As for their misleading adverts, they'll all keep doing it unless we see some significant punishments.

NUC NUC. Who's there? It's Intel, with a pint-sized 8-core Xeon workstation

conscience

Computers, like any new technology, cost far more back in the day and the prices always fall dramatically over time so you can't really compare 1979 prices to 2003 prices as evidence of a 'good deal' in 2020. You need to compare it with another 2020 option to judge value. In doing so, this NUC does cost too much compared to the alternatives: including VAT, the base unit is £1,680 (or £2,880 with graphics card), so I think AMD would still be the better option.

An AMD system would offer a cheaper price and likely come with better specifications too (depending on the hardware selected), as well as generating less heat and using less electricity on computation as well as cooling. It'd probably be more repairable too.

conscience
FAIL

That price is ridiculous, for that sort of money you could have a far superior AMD build instead. Plus in a box that small with a power hungry Intel chip there are bound to be some significant heat problems, especially if the plan is to add a beefy GPU as well.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

conscience

Off the top of my head...

Shitzilla, Mankysoft, Microshite, Microbork, Microslurp, Microbroke, Weinersoft, Microspent Force, MicrOSSoft Extinguishers, MicrOSSoftware Killers, Trojansoft, Redmond Workflow Discontinuers, Microlast Chance Saloon...

Products:

Microsoft Turd, Microsoft Feckswell, Microsoft Taxess / Taccess, Microsoft Reams, Windoesn't, Winblows, Windozey, Edge of the Abyss, Towering Winferno, Clitty says would you like a subscription with that...

Tom Cruise to increase in stature thanks to ISS jaunt? Now that's a mission impossible

conscience
Happy

As predicted by South Park!

https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/southpark/images/6/69/Tom.png

(Explanation for people not familiar with South Park: https://southpark.fandom.com/wiki/Tom_Cruise)

Meltdown The Sequel strikes Intel chips – and full mitigation against data-meddling LVI flaw will slash performance

conscience

Re: If these exploits carry one

You're correct eldakka, that is exactly what I meant.

Thanks for the links, especially the first one which was interesting and then got very interesting when it said AMD has added an option to BIOS that appears to disable the PSP. I don't know many details, the reference ultimately linked back to Reddit where a screen shot shows an ASRock motherboard with a "BIOS PSP Support" option which can be set to disabled. Hopefully this is what it sounds like, and my MSI board also has this, I'll have to have a look later.

Does anyone know more about this?

conscience

Re: One day, not to far in the future,

@Captain Obvious

It depends which Call Of Duty game(s) or other games that you are looking to play. Some of the Call of Duty games do work with Proton, some don't. Game compatibility can be checked at protondb.com. See here for the Call of Duty games: https://www.protondb.com/search?q=call%20of%20duty

The first thing is to enable Proton for all Steam games in the settings as this adds a lot more titles. I have no idea why the suggestion was downvoted as it is the best thing to do. Not all games have been tested by Valve yet, so they aren't currently on their whitelist of tested to be compatible games, but the vast majority of games do already work with it so changing that option really helps.

And for when SteamPlay doesn't work, or it's a non-Steam title, I use Lutris (https://lutris.net/). Lutris is as easy as searching the game name and then clicking on the install button. Everything is auto-configured and if the download is available online it'll even download it for you, otherwise just point it at the installation file. Unlike Steam, Lutris can also install other gaming launchers such as EA Origin, UPlay, EPIC games store and Battle.net (which features some Call of Duty games). I posted more about it here (with some instructions): https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/all/2020/03/06/windows_10_insider_preview_19577/#c_3991434

You will need a Vulkan compatible GPU though, as this is used to run DirectX 10/11/12. Follow the instructions on the Lutris How to DXVK page for adding the latest drivers, WINE, and other common dependencies required for popular software.

conscience

Re: If these exploits carry one

Err... nobody told me anything. You have got the wrong end of the stick. I was actually suggesting removing these management engine features from the design of future processors. I am well aware that they cannot simply be removed from existing chips.

As for working around the IME and unbootable bricks, I've not really looked into it as I don't use any Intel chips. Dmitry Sklyarov, published his discovery of using an undocumented method to flip a bit to effectively switch off the IME, which according to Intel was the same switch they themselves flip for governments and the security agencies as part of the US government's 'High Assurance Platform' programme. You should already know this, you appear to have posted on the news thread about it right here on El Reg back in 2017 -

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/29/intel_management_engine_can_be_disabled/

I know various people have been experimenting with removing IME, even Google engineers. No idea how successful they were, but with any luck Intel will disable it themselves if it helps make their backdoored processors any more secure than they currently are.

As for AMD, they appear to have made less mistakes than Intel have. Either way, I still trust AMD a hell of a lot more than Intel.

conscience

Re: If these exploits carry one

Not at all whitepines, please don't confuse me for a fanboy. You seem to assume I am a serial down voter just because I think Intel are up to their old tricks again? Don't you think they are? Or is it just coincidence Intel has once again funded 'research' that attempts to put their rivals names in negative security related headlines and make their current cock up every manufacturers problem, while getting themselves off the hook as the sole processor maker in trouble in the court of public opinion, and all right after they get eviscerated by the media for yet more severe flaws in their chips? Again. Call me a cynic, but I am suspicious of Intel's timing and motives, therefore I suspect the validity of their claims. I am sure if and when bugs in AMD's designs are revealed, they will come to light with proper, independent, trustworthy research, just like the Intel flaws did, rather than with the help of Intel's PR department and suspicious 'research' funding.

My answer to AMD's PSP is the same as the Intel IME, just get rid of it. I dislike all management engines/PSP or any security hardware the user cannot control, regardless of who designed it. It is just too risky and the consequences are too big for if/when something goes wrong. Obviously nobody is perfect, but AMD have had significantly less security disasters than Intel, at least as far as I know, so I tend to trust AMD's chips a lot more than those from Intel.

conscience

Re: If these exploits carry one

@big_D & the 'what about' types:

No, AMD do not have their own problems - other than Intel predictably funding 'research' as part of a defamation PR exercise to try to limit the damage done by the public hearing about yet more extremely serious flaws in Intel's entire range of processors. Intel always resort to this behaviour, it is exactly what they did the last time they were exposed for serious flaws being discovered in their processors. But if you look into it, you'll find all the accusations aimed at AMD and other rivals are as unfounded as usual, and all these data-leaking defects are specifically Intel processor problems, not processor industry problems.

How typical it is of Intel to try to drag everyone down with them so that they don't look quite so bad in comparison to their rivals, rather than directing their attention to actually fixing their processor designs. The truth is that Intel's chips are totally broken; they are insecure, much slower than advertised and they are getting slower all the time due to all the defects that are leaking private data everywhere like a leaky bucket. AMD's only 'problem' will be manufacturing all the extra chips they will need to steal some more of Intel's market share.

All this underhand propaganda really shows is the enormity of Intel's desperation and it highlights that Intel are trying to hide the fact that their own chips are slow and insecure garbage compared to those from AMD. Intel would absolutely love everyone to think this affects all processors so it won't affect their sales, but other than non-techie consumers, us techies and those who know about these things will never believe it.

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc

conscience

@Ian Johnson

This doesn't need to interact with your OS at all. Dodgy software can attack the Intel management engine, which is a full-blown computer that resides inside your CPU and which has it's own OS and direct access to RAM, storage and all the rest of your hardware. By the time your PC gets as far as the BIOS to start the boot up process it is already game over - and there is nothing you can do to stop or fix it without getting a new, non-Intel CPU. This affects just about all the generations of the Core family, as well as various Xeons, Pentiums, Atoms and Celerons.

'Optional' is the new 'Full' in Windows 10: Microsoft mucks about with diagnostic slurpage levels for Fast Ring Insiders

conscience

@David 132

I can't speak about enterprise use, but as a fellow Mint user I can tell you that gaming is pretty damn good on Linux these days, and I don't miss Windows at all either for gaming or in daily use.

You say Linux games support is not good enough, and Steam/WINE are not the same, but on the whole it might not be as half as bad as you think.

As you know, Valve's SteamPlay is included with Steam and allows many/most Windows games to run with a single click of the play button, just like on Windows. Compatibility of individual games can be checked on protondb.com, which is handy in the unlikely event that the game needs a slight tweak, but most games are fine without any manual tweaking. Things tend to just work for most games, with the odd exception. It's not quite perfect, but it's pretty damn close to it.

For non-Steam games, and even for some Steam games if you prefer, there are things like Lutris (https://lutris.net/), which make one-click installs of pretty much everything else, including things like Battle.net, EA's Origin, Ubisoft's UPlay, the EPIC games store, as well as many other individual games whether online or from CD/DVD. It's as easy as a search for the game name, either on the website or within the Lutris application, and from there it is a one-click Install button and it is all automatically installed and configured for you. There is nothing I've come across so far that doesn't work (750 games between my friend and I), and if you already own the Windows games you can try it for free. It's so reliable I've even started purchasing Windows games again to use exclusively on Linux.

Their download page has instructions how to add the Lutris repository to your system, and all the other instructions I needed (IIRC) are contained on the links on the Requirements section of their 'How To DXVK' page... it is just a copy and paste job into the terminal from each of those links contained on it, in turn. https://github.com/lutris/lutris/wiki/How-to:-DXVK

I was quite happy just using my Linux games, but this way I can have it both ways and enjoy gaming without having to use Windows anymore. I'd highly recommend this to anyone looking to ditch Windows to use Linux full time without losing access to any of your games.

Computing has never been so much fun. :-)

Microsoft's latest cloud innovation: Printing

conscience

I couldn't have put it better myself, Piro.

This is absolutely insane, so it is very typical of Microsoft. But what's the point?

Besides relieving you of the monthly subscription cash, the only real reason I can think of for this is that Microsoft want even more of your data to slurp.

There are more downsides than upsides to this. No doubt people will now be able to look forward to watching in horror as they can't do whatever they need to do because they will lose all print capability every time they lose their net connection... thanks Microsoft! Have MS learned nothing from the recent debacle on Windows 10 when local search broke because Bing was borked? And how is replacing a tiny local printer driver with a full blown local printer proxy application a better way of doing things?

It is no wonder manufacturers like Canon are interested though, they probably can't believe anyone would be daft enough to sign up and pay for this lunacy, but if it is successful Canon would be absolutely delighted to rent you their printer drivers on a monthly basis in the future - and for the rest of time! *shakes head*

HP Ink: No way, Xerox. We're not accepting your takeover. Well, we'd never say never. Maybe even maybe? Hello, you still there? Please?

conscience

Re: Sorry for the ink sales drop

I ditched them too. As I have infrequent and quite variable printing needs, I was sick of their crappy printers clogging up with ink or simply breaking, so I grabbed an impressive Oki mono laser printer instead. I find it is miles better and saves me a fortune, and which with one spare refill is good for 140,000 pages. Plus Oki have Linux drivers on the website.

I don't know how HP's laser printers compare, but with their reputation being as bad as it is with their inkjets, I wasn't even interested in finding out. I'd say HP are doomed.

Microsoft's coding for noobs hits 1.0, decompiling to C# in Visual Studio, and Windows 10X makes its debut... on Mac

conscience

Not sure which versions of BASIC you are referring to? In just about every version of BASIC that I ever saw, the PRINT statement output things to the screen, not the printer.

'Developers have lost hope Microsoft will do the right thing'... Redmond urged to make WinUI cross-platform

conscience

Re: Oh, no!

Yes, I do remember being able to swap out Program Manager for alternatives. Maybe if MS still allowed that, or offered a MATE/Cinnamon option for Windows users, then they might have avoided some of the (non-privacy related) backlash against Windows 8 and 10.

I don't recall if I ever used Norton's replacement, but I do recall trialling a few alternatives. I quite liked Star Office's replacement desktop on Win 95 (I think it was).

conscience

Re: Oh, no!

That is exactly what I thought. No other platform would even want this metro/modern/awful 'flatso' Windows mess of a GUI. MS should be looking to borrow an open source, cross platform GUI library not the other way around, and while they're at it they can borrow a decent desktop environment too.

Google begs for US Entity List exemption to let Huawei use its mobile services – report

conscience

Re: Oh wouldn't it be funny....

I agree it would be better for Huawei if they did exactly that, it is a great opportunity for them to stop being in Google's pocket and it would be a good USP for anyone who doesn't care for Google's data slurping. I'm actually in the market for a new phone this year and I was looking at Huawei, so I hope they don't end up giving up their USP to be just another spyware-ridden Google Android clone.

Bada Bing, bada bork: Windows 10 is not happy, and Microsoft's search engine has something to do with it

conscience

Re: re: Why?

I'm all for local storage, but unfortunately the Windows 10 EULA makes even your local storage Microsoft's domain. Microsoft can make whatever changes they like and you agree to let them and not interfere or try to prevent them from doing whatever they like. I, for one, won't ever play ball with that.

EA boots Linux gamers out of multiplayer Battlefield V, Penguinistas respond by demanding crippling boycott

conscience

Re: Few things jump out

Why wouldn't people use Linux for gaming?

Maybe at one time in the past Microsoft could hold PC gamers to ransom with Windows/DirectX compatibility being the standard for many popular PC games, but those days are long gone.

In my Steam list of 500+ titles, I don't even always recall which are native Linux versions and which are Windows games that automatically use Steam Play's Proton (WINE+DXVK). There is no differentiation anymore, all the games are listed together and all play with the simple click of the Play button, the platform doesn't even really matter any more but at least with Linux there is no substandard Microsoft software. Linux frees users from the buggy adware OS that is Windows 10, and from Microsoft spyware. Even if Linux isn't perfect, Microsoft's blundering makes gaming on Linux the best option.

Also, the last time gamers got banned for using WINE and/or DXVK it was Blizzard and Overwatch in 2018, but once Blizzard were contacted and understood that the unrecognised software detected by their anti-cheating system was not an attempt to cheat, then it was all considered a mistake and gamers accounts were reinstated with apologies. I'd expect a similar response this time.

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally

conscience

Re: Upgrade from Windows 7

@Charles 9 "Does that include their new Proton library? I'm tempted as it is, but running my library through their database still yields too many Borked ratings. Plus there's the matter of hardware support, especially for more esoteric things like label printers."

The Steam database only lists what has been tested by them as working, but that doesn't mean that is all that does work. Having enabled Proton for all titles (an option in the preferences) I can tell you that I have yet to find one that doesn't work. In fact, out of the approx. 500 games I have, the only problem I have ever encountered with Proton was with Civ 4 which was missing a few MS libraries, but that was fixed some time ago and now 'just works out of the box'. You should try it, it works better than you think.

If your favourite games requires label printers you must be having lots and lots of fun.... :¬|

ReactOS 'a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel', claims Microsoft kernel engineer

conscience

Re: It's an opinion.

You are right, Microsoft did not invent anything and their BASIC was a direct copy of DEC BASIC. Just like Microsoft's unathorised copy of CPM and NT (which was also taken from DEC), none of it was new or original. At the time all of Microsoft's stuff was copied from other people's work, so to hear them or anyone else complaining that others are taking their ideas and/or code is as shallow as the Hollywood movie companies complaining about infringement when they are only based in Hollywood in the first place so they could circumvent the legal rights of others.

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

conscience
Linux

@AC "All that's left on windows 10 are games."

If they are Steam games, have a look at Steam Play. Using a Valve-enhanced version of WINE called Proton, you can now run your 'Windows only' games on Linux directly from the Linux Steam client. There's a whitelist of tested to be 100% compatible games, and Valve are working their way the entire back catalogue of 'Windows only' games so eventually they'll all 'just work' right 'out of the box' on Linux.

If you are one of the many gamers that is totally fed up of Microsoft and Windows, it's the perfect answer and it doesn't require any technical knowledge, special configuration or any other messing about.

All you have to do is enable the Steam client Beta from the settings, and then the whitelisted titles are shown in the Linux Steam client and can be installed with a single click. If a game you want to play isn't on the whitelist yet then you can turn on 'enable all games' for Steam Play from the settings and try your luck. Personally I've found many of the games that are not yet on the whitelist already work just fine, but YMMV depending on the game.

Enabling Steam Play couldn't be easier:

1.Click On Steam (in steam client, top left corner)

2.Click On Settings

3.Click On Account

4.You'll see a button that says "change" below Beta Participating

5.Select Steam Beta Update

6.You are all done

Mac users burned after Nuance drops Dragon speech to text software

conscience
Linux

@ Charles 9

"PS. Last I checked, I cannot run a Linux program in Windows, so I CANNOT just run anything I want. Switching to Linux mans sacrificing access to Windows-only software, especially games, and keeping Windows means losing some control over the inner working of the computer to a proprietary OS. And since I lack the technical expertise to roll my own, I'm kind of stuck."

Switching to Linux certainly does not mean losing access to Windows software, that is completely untrue just like all your uninformed 'Windows only software won't work on Linux' rants.

And yes, this works even with games and now it just works out of the box. Ever heard of Steam Play?

Valve are in the process of testing the entire back catalogue of Windows titles to run natively on Linux via Steam Play. The Steam Play feature uses Proton, an open source, Valve-enhanced version of WINE that is now built right into the Linux Steam client and which enables access to all Windows only games to run directly from Linux. Currently, turning on the Steam beta from the options gives you a large whitelisted collection of Windows games that have already been tested for full compatibility and which are already working fine on Linux. These games run natively using DirectX over Vulkan. You can also turn on the option on to allow all Windows software to install on Linux, even the as yet untested titles not on the whitelist, and all the ones I have tried so far work perfectly well. Any games that don't yet work will do very soon as Valve are working their way through their entire back catalogue of 'Windows only' games to test for compatibility which, once complete, will enable every single Windows game to run on Linux with no special configuration, technical knowledge or messing around required. All a user needs to do is click the install button exactly the same as from the Windows version of the Steam client. What could be easier?

I've been having great fun doing so and playing all my so-called 'Windows only' titles using Linux Mint. Using Steam Play is no different from playing Windows games on Windows itself - except you actually control your own OS and hardware without any of the hassle that using Windows forces on people.

Finally, someone takes a stand against Apple, Samsung for slowing people's phones. Just a few million dollars, tho

conscience

No excuse

Deliberate sabotage of items belonging to your own customers is about as unacceptable as it gets. Reducing performance to the point of making a device useless or a pain to use is surely criminal damage, reduced functionality is technically theft as they are depriving the legal owners of the full use of their product, and if manufacturers claim an update makes things better and it doesn't, or it makes it worse, then that is fraud too.

There is no excuse, even given the option of accepting an update like this nobody in their right mind would have agreed to it if they knew the full consequences.

Imagine a house builder returning every couple of years to remove the roof because they want to sell everyone a new one, or a car manufacturer replacing the engine with a set of pedals to force people to buy a new vehicle?

If this is to be stopped, there needs to be some meaningful consequences for this crime, a comparatively tiny fine like this will sadly make no difference for corporations as rich as the likes of Apple so the punishment needs to be far bigger. Maybe a fine equal to a large percentage of global turnover for each infraction, full refunds for all affected customers plus compensation would stop them ripping their customers off.

Intel finally emits Puma 1Gbps modem fixes – just as new ping-of-death bug emerges

conscience
FAIL

Same old from Chipzilla

Intel making something that worked correctly would be bigger news. All I can say is that it is a good job they are good at marketing, what with the flood of articles around the net at the moment that talk about their "superior 10nm process lead"... that all fail to mention that it's only seen a very limited release because it doesn't actually work properly yet. Jim Keller appears to be their only hope for designing something that actually works as intended.

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

conscience

Once again Microsoft fail to understand the market, they really don't seem to have any idea about what people actually want.

The original netbooks were quite popular because they were functional computers that ran at a reasonable speed (running Linux) and, more importantly, they were cheap so they were considered a bargain. Netbooks only stopped being popular once Microsoft forced Windows XP onto them which killed performance and increased the price to almost the same as a far superior laptop, at which point there was no contest and laptops became seen as far better value for money so buyers opted for those instead.

The price of this thing is absolutely ridiculous! £379.99 4GB/64GB just for the base machine or £509.99 8GB/128GB for the upgraded version, which itself is too expensive for what it is, but then come all the extras on top: Type Cover £99.99 (black)/£124.99 (coloured), Surface Mobile Mouse £29.99 or Surface Precision Mouse a staggering £99.99, Surface Pen £99.99. On top of that you can add whatever the dock costs, and then you still have the problem this hardware is somehow expected to run that resource hog known as Windows 10. Considering the total price this will be dead on arrival, the cheaper version costs £609.96, or a whopping £834.96 with the 'premium' upgrades - and that is excluding the dock! I predict Microsoft will end up with another warehouse full of kit they cannot sell. It seems they will never learn.

This will end up being another failed Microsoft project that gets cancelled before too long.

Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

conscience
FAIL

Re: Hmm

What after-thoughts? And WTF do endorsements and pro gamers have to do with anything? Personally, I have better things to do than watch others game, don't you? Each to their own, of course.

There is no 'must have' platform anymore, each user has a viable choice of whatever they prefer. It's a good job too, as Windows never sucked as bad.

conscience

Re: Hmm

@Charles9

I don't know where you get your information from, but that is untrue. Battle.net runs just fine on Wine on Linux, and no, you don't get banned for just using Wine. Also, they never intended to ban Wine users it was a mistake they admitted to and fixed. It is true that a few users were temporarily banned when other software was detected that was initially assumed to be some sort of cheating, but once they realised it was Wine and no cheating was happening they rectified that, changed their detection systems so Wine no longer triggered a ban and unbanned the unlucky few gamers that had been caught out.

Updraft is spot on, there is more than enough of an ecosystem on desktop Linux to make it a viable alternative to Windows 10 - even with gaming. There are more native ports all the time, for example Feral have done some impressive ports such as Tomb Raider, Mad Max, Dirt Rally, Hitman, and others, and they're not the only ones releasing AAA games on Linux. Even the Windows version of Steam runs fine on Linux using Wine making many of the 'Windows only' games accessible. Just because a title isn't officially supported it doesn't mean it won't run. I have GTA 4 installed right now and it runs perfectly well from my Linux desktop.

It's been a long time coming perhaps, but Windows isn't needed for anything anymore. Whatever it is you want to do, be it basic browsing and email, watching videos or playing games, you can do it all on your phone, tablet, Linux or Mac desktop, Playstation etc. and all better than on Windows 10. Windows tries so hard to monetise users these days that it has the fans spinning faster on an idle desktop than Linux does when a game is running with the graphics set to the highest settings on a 4K monitor.

Intel’s first 10nm CPU is a twin-core i3 destined for a mid-range Lenovo

conscience

I am surprised Intel have even bothered with this

If this is the best that Intel can currently do on the new process then I really don't see the point of it, unless of course this is a shareholder appeasement move or PR strategy. This chip is never going to impress anyone and is far from the usual high-end showcase a new chip or process traditionally receive, it just serves to highlight the big problems that they are having.

It is definitely very revealing as to what a dire state Intel's 10nm process must be in right now. I'm sure I read somewhere that Intel won't be skipping 10nm because of all the money they have invested in it so far and they want a return on their investment. If that is true then this could be a huge mistake as it could leave them at a real disadvantage. They simply have to make 10nm work and fast, meanwhile their rivals move onto 7nm and beyond leaving them far behind.

When you also take into account the up to 30% slowdown from the Meltdown patches, it's no wonder that they hired Jim Keller! For the first time in a long time, maybe even since the Athlon days, Intel look decidedly second best and they're vulnerable, not only from AMD but also they have the ARM crowd to contend with.

What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console

conscience

Re: This is a trivial design...

The other problem with the Spectrum Next is the price. I'd have probably got one for under £100.

10 social networks ignored UK government consultations

conscience

Even if such a magic machine were possible, can you imagine the size of the thing? It'd never be finished being built!

According to a quick bit of Google-Fu, Facebook alone has 300 petabytes of data and adds another 4 petabytes per day, contains 250 billion photographs which grows at a rate of 350 million per day, has nearly 1.5 billion daily active users/2 billion monthly users and growing fast, etc. - which apparently all need scanning and judging automagically to somehow always agree with the government?

Oh look, a flying pig... Haha.

Intel outside: Apple 'prepping' non-Chipzilla Macs by 2020 (stop us if you're having deja vu)

conscience

Intel out, AMD in?

Intel may well be on the way out, but could that be because AMD is on their way in as they can offer more bang for Apple's bucks?

While Apple's ARM chips may be more than good enough for the iStuff and their mid-range desktops and laptops, for the time being I can still imagine Apple wanting to supplement them with something a little beefier for their high performance models. It could make some sense for them to employ a big.little type configuration with their custom ARM CPU for less intensive tasks, but having a Ryzen/Epic (and Vega graphics) kicking in when higher performance is required. Also by not abandoning x86 straight away, this could also help give them time to further boost their ARM performance and allow the Mac developers to port their applications to the new architecture.

conscience

Re: Do you even know what what government is FOR, let alone how it actually works?

@ GIRZiM - It sounds like you assume ARM earns more than they actually do. ARM profits aren't big enough to really worry about who owns it, we're 'only' talking a few hundred million a year not billions.

Microsoft's Windows 7 Meltdown fixes from January, February made PCs MORE INSECURE

conscience
Facepalm

Foot meet hand grenades

It seems Microsoft aren't satisfied merely shooting at their own feet so they decided to take it to the next level.

Of course, MS being a joke is nothing new but this is one enormous screw up, even by their super low standards.

It is also not unheard of for Microsoft to deliberately introduce new show-stopping bugs into operating systems they'd rather people upgraded from. It was the exact same tactic they used when Vista was replacing XP e.g. SP3 broke popular on-board networking and sound on a lot of motherboards unless the drivers were installed prior to the service pack, otherwise the PC fell silent and had no networking no doubt convincing the technically illiterate that the actual hardware was broken and it was time for a new PC (and the latest version of Windows).

What are the odds that the official fix advice will be "upgrade to Windows 10"?

UK.gov unveils cyber security export strategy – only thing missing is the strategy

conscience
Black Helicopters

Re: wonder which of the promoted companies

If you meant the start-up accelerator that GCHQ is pumping money and expertise into, then these are some of them:

- - - -

Seven startups were whittled down from 50 entries in total, and these were CounterCraft, Cyberowl, Cybersmart, Elemendar, Spherical Defence, StatusToday and Verimuchme.

Verimuchme is a digital wallet for personal identification, while Cyberowl is an early-warning system for cyber attacks. Cybersmart automates implementation, certification and compliance across security standards. Elemendar is described by Wayra as a "collective intelligence platform that provides data visualisations to make sense of complex, uncertain, or volatile issues". Spherical Defence a "banking API intrusion detection system that uses deep learning to detect hacking attempts by establishing a baseline of normal communication".

StatusToday is a platform that uses machine learning to try to make sense of human behaviour in the workplace, including insider attacks but also defending against plain human error. Speaking with Techworld, StatusToday's cofounder Ankur Modi said that the incubator had been essential in advancing his business.

"The incubator was an interesting experiment for us," Modi said. "As a very young startup in the UK, we have been very keen to engage with GCHQ to understand how to mature the technology and the business.

"One of the things it's helped us with is we got access to very senior experts within GCHQ, both technical and commercial, who helped us refine the technologies. Our machine learning capabilities, I would say, certainly have improved as a result of the conversations and discussions we've had with them – around what are the things that really matter when it comes to threat and risk, and what are the things that don't have that big a damage impact."

https://www.techworld.com/security/gchq-startup-cyber-accelerator-aims-bring-fresh-ideas-into-razor-wired-doughnut-3656934/

- - - - - -

The second tranche of GCHQ-selected infosec startups has told the government that Britain should emulate the model it applied to encouraging the growth of homegrown fintech startups to cyber security.

Meet the startups

This is the second round of the joint GCHQ and Wayra accelerator programme, and the first time some of the startups will be hosted at the NCSC's location in Victoria, rather than behind the wire at GCHQ's headquarters in Cheltenham. The first cohorts raised £3 million in funding in total following the launch of the scheme in April this year.

The nine startups include a business that tracks the illicit trading of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin called Elliptic, a software-as-a-service learning platform designed to help developers write secure code called Secure Code Warrior, and ExactTrak, that provides tracking technology integrated at the chip level and counts AMD as a customer.

The other startups are Cybershield, Intruder, Ioetec, RazorSecure, Trust Elevate, and Warden, spanning spearphishing prevention, through to age verification for young adults and children online.

Wayra director Gary Stewart said that although the UK ranks an admirable third in worldwide cybersecurity investment, the NCSC and Wayra believe "we can do even better". The project is unique in that it is an open partnership with the secret services.

https://www.computerworlduk.com/security/gchq-backed-accelerator-startups-tell-uk-gov-give-cyber-fintech-treatment-3668761/

Windows Store nixed Google Chrome 'app' hours after it went live

conscience

Re: Obligatory

That is not true. Blizzard never had an official problem with using WINE, any bans because of WINE use were actually unintentional and the few bans that did happen were reversed by Blizzard who updated their software/policy so that it didn't happen again in the future. IIRC WINE was mistaken for some soft of unauthorised cheat software, which is what Blizzard do have a problem with.

No official support doesn't mean a game won't run on other platforms. Personally I have enjoyed playing many unsupported 'windows only' games on Linux without any problems. As far as I know (I don't play either game you mention), it is possible to run both of those games on Linux according to various web sources.

Besides which, even if any particular game didn't work, it isn't essential to own or play every single title. Every platform probably has their own exclusive titles, and maybe this matters to 15 year old kids or your beloved pro-gamers if they happen to play one particular title that has problems on other systems, but for the rest of us gamers there's still plenty of choice.

conscience

Re: Obligatory

I don't know why you keep banging on about "professional gamers", but I do think that you're overstating the importance and influence that is associated with it. Professional gaming is a drop in the ocean compared to the non-pro living room amateur gamers who spend considerably more money on a lot more games. I don't think it matters which system pro games use, the pro gaming scene is still a minority thing that has less people with a lot less money spent on it than ordinary arm chair gamers, and the numbers involved in it are tiny. Nor do the masses necessarily follow what the pro gamers use. From what I've read there's barely 150m people who regularly view these events, and a similar number who only occasionally view the tournaments (2017 figures).

I'd say professional gaming is totally irrelevant with regards to showing "you're something", showing you're something is more about either enjoying/doing well at the game (for gamers - pros and non-pros alike), or selling huge numbers of games (for the companies). As for the ordinary gamers, whatever OS they decide to use, be it *nix based stuff like MacOS, iOS, Android, Linux, Playstation 4, Nintendo etc., or Microsoft's Xbox and Windows, there are more than enough games to keep everyone busy for a very long time.

It is well known that operating systems other than Windows are more than capable of playing any game on the market, whether or not they are available on that system is another matter entirely but non-Windows OS game availability is improving all the time. While it is true that Windows is still dominant in the gaming space, largely due to inertia of the past, there are still hundreds of pages of non-Windows games available right now on Steam for both Linux and Mac OS. e.g. Mac OS has 281 pages of games (25 per page = over 7000 games), Linux has 186 pages of games (25 per page = 4650 games). Sure Windows has many more, but how many games can a gamer play in one lifetime?

"Pulling gamers off Windows" isn't really the point. The big game engines have added the ability to export to multiple platforms from Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android, iOS, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and even web browser, and the number of games available for non-Windows systems is rapidly growing. The truth is that gamers are no longer tied to Windows if they choose not to be, and given that WINE allows me to install the Windows version of Steam alongside the Linux version, therefore allowing me to play all the Windows games that I own right there from my Linux desktop, it's the best of both worlds as far as I am concerned especially as I don't have to put up with Microsoft's shoddy software, shitty attitude, dodgy practices, untrustworthy patches, etc.

As always, each to their own.

Department of Work and Pensions internal docs reveal troubled history of Universal Credit

conscience
FAIL

Re: GDS

It appears they are all leaving as promises have not been kept, and the rest don't have a clue what they are doing or how best to do it.

According to the latest issue of Private Eye, GDS recruits were hired with the promise of training in "digital, data and technology skills", and many of these were fast tracked as "technology leaders", but "many are wondering what they are being trained to do and finding themselves in posts for which they are eminently unsuited".

"One fast streamer was given a job as a software developer, despite never having written a line of code in his life and knowing no computer languages. Others, again with no relevant knowledge of experience, were assigned jobs as network technical architects".

It appears the problem, besides the lack of proper training, is that the jobs themselves are not assigned by GDS but assigned by the civil service human resourcing unit, many of whom are "less than au fait with the requirements of the various job description templates".

"At the end of the scheme, fast streamers were promised jobs at Grade 7 level, the second-most senior tier of the civil service with significant policy responsibilities. Such roles, however, are proving thin on the ground. As a result, one fast streamer tells the Eye, they are leaving the scheme in droves - many taking their skills to the private sector. GDS, meanwhile, continues to hire in private contractors at extortionate pay rates to fill the technical skills gap of its own in-house team".

Sounds like a right mess.

Microsoft says 'majority' of Windows 10 use will be 'streamlined S mode'

conscience
Windows

Desperate MS fail again

"Laughable desperation" is coming to define Microsoft these days.

When - not if - this ill conceived effort to get users to use their app store fails, will Sacknads get desperate enough to prevent users switching away from the S mode altogether? Or introduce a monthly subscription just to be able to use non-store apps and hope the general reluctance to pay gets them what they want?

Other than trying to copy Apple and Google there appears to be little point to this move. Their app store isn't even fit for purpose, and it doesn't have the majority of software that people want or need. The biggest software vendors with the most popular, biggest selling products will _never_ put their products in the MS store as there is simply no way they'd give up such a big chunk of their income to Microsoft when they don't have to.

Microsofties are stuck in the past and still believe that they have the clout to force their whims on the industry, but these days they are so far removed from reality in their echo chamber full of staff and fanboy insiders that they genuinely don't seem to understand users, the industry or their place in it. Removing choice and making things less easy to use will never win you any friends and eventually users will make alternative arrangements be that Mac, Linux or something else. The powers at MS don't even seem to have noticed that this exodus is already happening, and things will only get worse when Windows 7 support ends.

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