* Posts by theOtherJT

598 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013


US voting hardware maker's shock discovery: Security improves when you actually work with the community



...you could just not add a bunch of massive problems to the process of counting votes for absolutely no gain what so ever? I mean, paper, pencil, big clear plastic box... any of this ringing any bells? Pretty much impossible to manipulate on a bulk scale, been used successfully for hundreds of years? I mean, honestly, what does involving computers in this process improve in any way?

IBM job ad calls for 12 years’ experience with Kubernetes – which is six years old



I ended up being rejected for the post of Senior sysadmin, twice, while applying for it from within the same organization. HR wanted someone with prior experience in a "senior" position and since my current title was only "Sysadmin" this meant I wasn't qualified.

The fact that I had been doing the job for nearly 2 years since we didn't currently _have_ a senior sysadmin apparently didn't matter because that didn't fit any of the check boxes on the "blind scoring" form they were supposed to use to prevent favoritism.

After 2 failed attempts to recruit a new person, they finally just changed my title and hired a new junior instead.

Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world


Re: Is it possible to gaslight an entire country?

Sadly something that has been made abundantly clear these last 5 years is that yes, yes it is.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)


Look, you're not wrong. Google / Apple sure, their approach isn't perfect by any means - there's a good argument to be made that this whole thing is a folly and is never going to work because people will be uncooperative and just refuse to install the thing, or turn their phone off because they don't trust big-data / the gubbermint snooping on them.

Facetious spelling aside, I do appreciate that concern. I don't really trust Google, Apple or the British government with my data either.

But since apparently we're doing this shit regardless, how about we just go straight to the bit where we buy into the system at at least technically sort of works if everyone co-operates and then wait for it to fail when they don't as opposed to the one where we spend a few hundred million on filling contractors pockets first and then STILL have to go back to what pretty much everyone else did?

Wow, Microsoft's Windows 10 always runs Edge on startup? What could cause that? So strange, tut-tuts Microsoft


Remember when...

...you just put links to things you want run at startup in the startup folder and the job was done? One nice simple location, nothing in the way. Easy to read. Easy to write. Easy to understand.

There was one simple way and problems like this didn't happen. Every step we have taken away from that simple model has made things worse.

See also /etc/rc.d

The old ways were better. They weren't pretty, but they were better.

OK Windows 10, we get it: You really do not want us to install this unsigned application. But 7 steps borders on ridiculous


I will decide what I run on my computer thank you very much.

...because if I don't then somewhere down the line will come the "I'm sorry, this developer hasn't paid sufficient tribute for you to install this application - you will use one of the pre-selected highly profitable (for us) alternatives". They can dress that in whatever language they want, but that's what the popup will actually say, and small development houses and open source projects will be snuffed out. No, you can't use this perfectly good free application, you're going to $CORPORATION and you're installing their awful bloated, add infested, spyware infested "alternative" because they paid to get in this store, and the foss project didn't.

I'm having none of it.

(Finally massively lost my temper with Windows and binned it at home last month. It's still on my 2nd disk in the assumption that I will eventually want to play DooM Eternal, but thus far I've actually not wanted to have to deal with the annoyance of booting Windows again to *do* that)

Raspberry Pi Foundation serves up an 8GB slice of mini-computing goodness


I just wish they'd unlock the PCIe pins.

It has them. They're in there. You have to desolder the USB controller to get at them. Come on guys, give us a pin header. Please? Think of all the cool things I could build if I could actually get at the PCIe lanes. I'd even take a "If you close this jumper it will disable the USB ports" to get at it.

Twitter ticks off Trump with new 'Get the facts' alert on pair of fact-challenged tweets


I would pay full ticket price...

...to get to watch private company, Twitter, explain in 140 characters to the sitting president of the United States what the 1st amendment actually means, and then ban him from their platform.

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


Re: It's just so backwards...

And I actually do both of those things. They work remarkably well, given the insane hoops they're jumping through, but they aren't 100% and until they are I'm stuck with Windows - at least on my gaming box if not my daily driver.


Re: It's just so backwards...

Yes, but this is betamax vs VHS. It doesn't matter which is better, it matters what people actually bought. The simple fact is that MS Office won the office productivity suite format wars. Lotus is dead. Word Perfect is dead. MS Office is what we're stuck with. It doesn't matter if you or if I think it's any good (I personally don't) because it is a defacto standard and we just have no choice but to use the damn thing.


It's just so backwards...

I don't want to run my Linux applications on Windows. I want to run my *Windows* applications on *Linux*. It's not the applications I have a problem with. They're not the pain in my ass that I'm trying to get rid of. Windows is the problem!

Windows "Oh, by the way I updated and broke a couple of your programs again without warning." is the problem.

Windows "We're using your bandwidth to apply windows updates to other users nearby - sorry, no, you can't turn that off." is the problem.

Windows "Hey look, all these great new apps came with the last 'Security' update, let me stick them in your start menu!" is the problem.

Windows "I know you had working drivers yesterday, but that was yesterday and we've got this fantastic new feature out that you *might* try some day, so we changed them without asking you" is the problem.

Windows "I'm afraid I can't shut down right now, because I've got a hung process that doesn't belong to your session for some reason." is the problem.

Windows "You're gonna have to buy a CAL for every user who *might* access the system regardless of if they actually do" is the problem.

WINDOWS is the problem.

If I could run the MS office suite entirely on Linux with 100% feature parity, that would be the end of Windows in my org, and if I could run my entire steam library without the cursed thing that would be the end of it at home too.

Huge if true... Trump explodes as he learns open source could erode China tech ban


My favourite expression of Poe's law

"Any sufficiently advanced parody is indistinguishable from a genuine kook"

And these days the kooks are really, REALLY out there. Even *with* the footnote this will set off a bunch of loonies should they ever read it.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain


Re: K'in eejets.

I don't think "Malt Liquor" is a thing in the UK. Most beer here starts at about 4% and then heads upwards. Only specialist "low alcohol" stuff is less than 3. I can't remember the time I saw a beer that was less than 4% on a beer tap, and with the surge in popularity of craft brews there's an awful lot of 5.5 and 6% stuff about these days.

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


Technical solution to a philosophical problem...

...and therefore not a solution at all. People won't use things that aren't MS branded and that extends from the senior executive level right down to the bottom. I've run into this every place I've worked - even one that was actually under a policy to *only* use foss software at the time. The policy was simply ignored for the office staff because they would without exception simply down tools and refuse to work with anything that wasn't Word / Excel / Outlook. Outlook particularly. You'll prise outlook from an office drone's cold, dead hands.

It literally does not matter how good an alternative is or isn't. There are office managers, and PA's and accountants and all other kinds of back-office staff who have been using MS office for their entire 20 year careers now, and they will not change unless absolutely forced to, and that's not going to happen because their managers are in exactly the same position.

Cosmo Communicator: Phone-laptop hybrid is neat, if niche, tilt at portable productivity


Re: I threw some money at this....

The battery life under android isn't _terrible_ for a device of this size... it's not good tho. I find that if I don't charge it nightly it'll probably be dead the next time I want to use it. The battery life under linux is utterly woeful. It doesn't appear to do any power management (or that that it might do you need to turn off because of the aforementioned locking and refusing to unlock problem) so you'll struggle to get more than 3 or 4 hours out of it booted into debian.


I threw some money at this....

...when it was still fund raising, and thus got one considerably cheaper. For the money I paid at the time I'm very happy, but I really couldn't in good conscience recommend one to someone at the £700 plus they're asking for it now.

I use mine a lot with a USB->serial dongle for fixing switches in out of the way cabinets, and it's really, really good at that. It's also pretty great at being an SSH terminal for when I'm in the pub and someone has sent me an "Urgent" support request that really just requires me to SSH to something and restart a service/the whole box. But there are a lot of things it's not very good at. Android really struggles with running in landscape - a ton of apps, including just the chrome browser - really aren't expecting you to do that and often don't display their content in a sensible way.

Running Linux on it is also... an experience. One best reserved for people who like doing Linux development, because almost _nothing_ works properly at the moment. If it goes into power saving? You're not getting it back. Reboot. If you close the lid, nothing happens. The external screen doesn't seem to work at all in Linux (and works somewhat patchily in Android for that matter - I've been through a good 20 rounds of update firmware -> reboot -> repeat to get that to update properly.

If you have a very specific need for a device like this - which I do - then there isn't really anything to match it, but it suffers the same problem that nearly all low-volume small developer community projects do: It's made almost entirely of rough edges.

Video game cloud streaming shaken up as Nvidia loses more big names, Microsoft readies its market killer


Re: ?Que?

That statement leapt out at me as well. The people paying for this are the ones who don't really care that much about gaming except that they want it to be prettier than their mid-range GPU can handle. The vast majority of serious competitive gamers start by turning all the graphics settings down to absolute minimum. Anything that adds latency for any reason is an absolute no-no.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Oh god I have dozens of these...

I was working in a college a decade or so back. We would get students (who lived on site) come into the office all the time with "There's something wrong with my computer" which was normally because they'd been cut off from the college network because we detected god only knows what awful malware coming from the damn thing, or because we'd received a cease-and-desist notice because they'd been torrenting something that on a *good* day was a movie or TV show not hardcore porn. The number of times I powered on a machine and the desktop was covered in porn videos, or had to open a browser to download a driver update and the homepage was porn, or the first dozen autocompletes were porn, or the actual desktop wallpaper was porn...

But of all of these, the actual stand out has to be the time that a young lady showed up in my office at about quarter to 9 in the morning desperate to get something printed before her coursework deadline at 9. This was a time when a lot of students still had desktops not laptops, so I had to go to her room to look at the problem. I got there to the remains of a... party. There was a guy passed out face down on the floor surrounded by empty beer cans, and a very naked girl desperately trying to hide behind a pillow.

Apparently they'd promised to be gone before I got there, but seeing as they were both still very drunk had just fallen asleep again instead.

Planet Computers has really let things slide: Firm's third real-keyboard gizmo boasts 5G, Android 10, Linux support


They need to either up-staff or slow down.

I have a cosmo - it's nice, but it feels decidedly... unfinished. The hardware is great, but the software is what I would consider beta quality at best. I was really planning on using it as a daily device, but it's so finnicky that I've kept it strictly for mobile working when I need to do things on-call.

I don't imagine I'm alone amongst cosmo owners who would like to see them sort out all the bugs in the device they already have on the market (plenty of other posters have enumerated them here, I'm not going to do it again) before they try and get another one out the door.

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


Re: "Diagnostic Data Off", about time but don't forget...

Do they actually mean "Off" tho, or is this just a rebranding thing? <not sure if trust>

I'll never let go, Jack. I'll never let go: Yes, Sony's Xperia 1 II has a 3.5mm headphone port


Who is watching movies on their phone?

I mean, really? Really? On your phone? The screen is 6.5" diagonal. You're hardly getting a cinematic viewing experience regardless of if it letterboxes content are you?

Now, if the argument is "phones are too wide to hold, this aspect ratio fits in the hand better at the same total screen area" I could actually get on board with that one. Most phones these days are so wide that you can't reach controls on the far side of the screen with your thumb. The reason the old xperia compacts were such good phones was they were actually possible to operate one handed without having Lana sized hands.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries


Re: This is a nonsense comparison.

Sure, but that's exactly my point. Maintaining a watch requires a trained watchmaker with watch making tools. Maintaining electronic components requires trained electronic engineers with similarly specialist tools. That might be a mainstream skill, a slightly niche luxury skill, or even a very niche one that only exists to service the antiques market, but either way it doesn't really speak to the "disposable" nature of the device. The mechanical watch wasn't built to be "easy to maintain" it was built to be a watch the only way that people were at the time capable of building watches.


This is a nonsense comparison.

The watch may represent the pinnacle of technology for its time, but when it comes down to it, it's a bunch of gears and springs. Very precisely made gears and springs. The vast majority of people today are in no position to maintain the watch either. Parts for it are not going to be available in your local hardware store, or delivered next day by amazon. You want that watch maintained, then it's going to require work from a trained craftsman with specialist tooling.

So, in 200 years, am I going to be able to find a trained craftsman with specialist tooling that can work on a 20xx system on a chip? You know what, I have no idea, but it's no weirder that such a person might start a business making low production run silicon for the antiques restoration market than it is that someone might be in the business of making intricate metal components for a watch that no one has built in 200 years - and if technology development continues the way it has thus far, it might even be possible to print SoC's in the same way that there are now businesses who can rush you a 3d printed prototype of simple metal parts in a couple of days.

Sure, it's easier to make watch gears than silicon chips, but then it was easier to make horse shoes than watch gears - that's the nature of increasingly sophisticated technology, it has nothing to do with planned obsolescence. Sure, planned obsolescence is a real problem, but comparing a smart-watch with a mechanical one from 200 years ago doesn't really do anything to highlight that.

Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


Re: Shafting

And then they did it again with the move from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 10. Microsoft have more than demonstrated that they can't be trusted with new products time and time again. Unless something has been core business for them for a good decade I am seriously reluctant to buy into it now.

At last, the fix no one asked for: Portable home directories merged into systemd



It's like they never heard of it.

In any office environment when you actually might want home directories following you about, it's already more than capable of solving this problem.


Re: Why?

Oh god. nfs-kernel-server. Please, please no. I'm having flashbacks.

What is WebAssembly? And can you really compile C/C++ to it? And it'll run in browsers? Allow us to explain in this gentle introduction


WSAI sounds like something that needs to be VERY off by default.

I want very copious details on exactly how the following is prevented in this model:

1: Visit webpage.

2: WSAI code gets it's hooks straight into your filesystem.

3: You're totally screwed.

We could go on with:

4: WSAI gets direct access to your network device and starts probing for known vulnerabilities around the local area network thus allowing you to infect machines with god knows what without even having a traceable point of entry, since the malicious code simply vanishes when the browser on the first machine is closed.

From a first glance this sounds like an absolute security nightmare.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


Re: We see that you're using an ad blocker

Every time that happens I just ban the site from running javascript as well. If that stops the site loading, then so be it. I'll not go there. It exactly this kind of intrusive bullshit that made me add-block in the first place. Cut. That. Shit. Out.

Intel teases NUC-leheads with new desktop-class graphics systems and a fast i9 CPU


Re: Build it into a keyboard.

Sure, they did back then, but if I were running a classroom now that's the last thing I'd want. This isn't the 80s where each class gets one computer and access to it is a closely observed privilege with a teacher standing over your shoulder. Every kid is going to need one and at least 4 out of 5 of those kids are going to spill something in it / pull the keycaps off / drop it on the floor / hit one of their classmates with it... 5 quid disposable logitech keyboards are definitely the way to go.

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd


Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

I've not used FreeBSD other than in a "That up there is the firewall pair. Leave them alone, they've not been rebooted since 2004" kinda way, so it may well have some variant of this:

One thing I can think of that systemd does that sysv didn't is "status management" where if a service dies, it will be restarted. If some idiot stops a service for a quick config change without disabling it and forgets to bring it back, then it will come back on it's own.

This is actually very useful *sometimes* and a *colossal pain* at other times. Plus side: Protects against "Ooops, I forgot to restart the service". Minus side: "Something is badly broken, but the service auto-starts after crashes so no one ever actually notices, because it was up every time Nagios checked on it."

There's not _nothing_ that systemd gets you. But it also gets you a lot of things you probably don't want.


"It solves a problem that people have."

I agree. It does.

It also - like anything new - introduces problems we didn't have before, and in *some* cases those new problems are much worse than the old problems. I'd be much happier about it if certain people in the systemd camp would acknowledged that.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you


Consumer hardware

26.8TB in a month seems steep to stash on consumer hardware

Once upon a time, but not maybe so much any more? A boggo 5 bay nas could easily be filled with 12TB disks now and provide nearly 50TB of storage at raid5. I mean, ok, if he's doing that _every_ month then there's probably something more substantial as his backing store, but I can't believe how much storage it's possible to squeeze into a desktop device these days. Not wanting to come over all "in my day" or anything, but for those of us raised on 400k and 800k floppies that number is just utterly insane.

The Windows Phone keeps ringing but no one's home: Microsoft finally lets platform die


Mine was a Dell Venue Pro

A weird slidery device where a physical querty keyboard could be extended out of the bottom. It was utterly, utterly brilliant. One of the best phones I ever had. I'd probably still have it were it not for the fact that it was a work device and I had to give it back when I stopped working there. I am so sad that Microsoft screwed winpho as hard as they did. It started out so well :(

Apple tipped to go full wireless by 2021, and you're all still grumbling about a headphone jack


Re: This makes me glad

This reply brought to you from my planet cosmo... I like it, but definitely a niche device. Very glad it got built tho.

Microsoft takes us to 2004 with new Windows 10 so you don't mistake it for Server 2003


Re: "light on features to enliven a keynote, but heavy on fixes"

Problem with revenue streams that don't work reliably is they tend to dry up as people go in search of others that do. I can only hope that Microsoft realise this before Windows is irreparably damaged (if it's not been already) because believe it or not I actually think it's a good thing that there remain multiple choices in the OS space.


"light on features to enliven a keynote, but heavy on fixes"


The last thing I need from windows is any more "Features". I don't like the ones we already have. Fix your goddamned bugs. It is utterly ridiculous that we're in a situation where my laptop occasionally just "forgets" that it has an HDMI output and requires a reboot to fix it. Sometimes it boots and the USB-C port is just... gone. Reboot, and there it is again. Sometimes it will drop _all_ sound at the end of a skype call. Sound hardware is still showing as there, but there's no output any more no matter what you do with the volume sliders. Guess what you have to do to fix that?

Same machine booted into Ubuntu _never_ has these problems. If it weren't for gaming Windows would have been ditched entirely (as opposed to just relegated to a secondary partition) a long time ago just because it's become so damn unreliable.

BOFH: Judge us not by the size of our database, but the size of our augmented reality


Re: It worries me...

I like to think of it as a life goal.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina


Re: Testing?

helpful auto-correct is helpful :/


Re: Testing?

Reading the statements from the developers, it sounds like they *did* show up in testing, we're duly reported to apple, who promptly ignored them.

Republican senators shoot down a triple whammy of proposed election security laws


Probably not. They've just finally come to the realization that it doesn't matter if they're guilty or not, because the electorate will vote on party lines regardless of what they actually do. As long as they're against the "other team" they can be as guilty as they want of whatever they feel like, and they will still get sufficient support to get re-elected.

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: Different from Sierra and earlier.

To be fair, that's a pretty weird case for the installer to deal with. Apple have always been adamant that you run their OS only on their hardware* and do provide compatibility lists. I'm fairly certain that isn't going to be on them.

*I'm not making any comment on the wisdom of that decision, just pointing out that it's a thing they do.

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack


Re: Feel old

Yup. I can't tell what this thing is supposed to be doing for me that an IRC client couldn't... except keep popping up notifications I don't care about and don't intend to respond to while I'm trying to work, instead of staying in a terminal window that I check when I'm available to answer it of course.

Ditch Chef, Puppet, Splunk and snyk for GitLab? That's the pitch from your new wannabe one-stop DevOps shop


Or looked at another way the simplicity of working with simple file based structure in a widely known language saves me the complexity of having to learn another proprietary tool set...

Horses for courses and all that.

US games company Blizzard kowtows to Beijing by banning gamer who dared to bring up Hong Kong


Re: Make no mistake - their actions promote what they believe and treasure.

I second that. The ACs in this thread are coming across particularly like agenda pushing paid "activists"... but then that could be me projecting on something I have strong feelings about. Actual data would be not only extremely interesting, but also might help balance some of my personal prejudices here.

Boris Brexit bluff binds .eu domains to time-bending itinerary


Re: Good luck with that

Thats literally what MEPs are for. If britain would stop electing self serving cock pieces like farage who will happily take EU money but not actually do their job of representing the interests of the British people in the european parliament, then we wouldn't be in this mess.

TAG, you're s*!t: Internet advertising industry bods admit self-policing approach is a sham


Once upon a 6 or 7 years ago...

...I found myself writing a password management wrapper that let people change their LDAP passwords via our website. We had some complexity requirements in place to keep AD happy, with which the LDAP was replicated, so it was the usual "Three out of four character classes, at least eight characters" stuff. To save us from sending things to the LDAP which we knew were going to be rejected, I wrote a few simple tests to check in javascript before the user could submit the form, and update the page with a nice little "Check, check, check" of meeting the complexity requirements.

If you chose to ignore the checks and submit anyway, it would give a "You need..." type message letting you know how close you'd gotten to meeting them. Personally I thought that this was a bit over the top, and the little check marks were probably sufficient, but I was told this was going to be required because users couldn't be trusted... which was sort of hard to argue with.

As a result the error messages got increasingly more terse the more times you pressed the button without meeting the requirements, after 4 or 5 goes it resorted to something along the lines of

"THREE out of FOUR of the following: Upper case letters. Lower case letters. Numbers. Punctuation. Dear god how can you get that wrong this many times?! What the hell are you even doing at $PLACE_OF_WORK with this level of reading comprehension?"

It stayed like that for several months until someone finally noticed and complained and I was forced to change it :(

Every dog has its day – and this one belongs to Boston Dynamic's four-legged good boy Spot



...you could get an actual dog. While their carrying capacity might be _slightly_ lower, a large dog with an appropriate pack could certainly manage 10 kilos, and they run for way longer than 90 minutes between charges and at much more than 3mph. I suspect they're significantly cheaper too, and if you get two dogs you can even produce new ones in house.

Time to check in again on the Atari retro console… dear God, it’s actually got worse


Re: Fools and their money...

Somewhat astonishingly...


The D in Systemd is for Directories: Poettering says his creation will phone /home in future


Where does the key come from...

...well, in my case it comes from /etc/ssh/ldap-keys.sh in accordance with the AuthorizedKeysCommand directive in /etc/ssh/sshd_config.

Not only will this pull the public part of your key out of your LDAP profile, but will also get the path to your home directory and mount it for you.

Not that I'm defending this bloody silly idea, I'm not, but if we're talking about SSH to servers, this is already a problem we solved.

I have no mouth and I must scream: You can add audio to wobbles in latest Windows 10 patch


Windows 10 audio _never_ works properly

On one machine over the last 2 years I've had:

Forgets that it has an internal audio out so you can only send audio over HDMI

Forgets that it can send audio over HDMI so you can only use the headphone out.

Turns the sound of everything else down during a skype call and then never turns it back up.

Boots with *no audio devices at all* in the "modern" audio ui - but still actually has sound on all of them - you just can't control them.

Routes multi-point audio massively incorrectly - left becomes centre, centre becomes rear-right, rear-left becomes a mix of other channels etc.

Sometimes these problems change during a single session when some program that was playing sound takes a dirt nap and somehow takes out the underlying audio subsystem - which when restarted now has different problems than it had before the crash...

I've honestly no idea how they managed to get this so wrong since running Windows 7 on the same machine I never had any of these problems.



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