* Posts by theOtherJT

669 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013

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Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts

theOtherJT

Re: Jump on the Windows 11 bandwagon...

Yeah, I'll be honest the title threw me here too.

I was expecting the little teams anecdote to be an opener into "How do Microsoft keep dropping balls thrown by other members of their own organization?" (Because they do, all the time) but then the author just sort of wandered off and talked about how bad teams is at dealing with multiple user ID's in a single login session... and... yeah. I mean. It is bad at that, but I'm not sure what that has to do with Windows 11.

Microsoft wasn't joking about the Dev Channel not enforcing hardware checks: Windows 11 pops up on Pi, mobile phone

theOtherJT

Re: Does anybody

Not by choice, but yes. You kinda have to.

The M in M1 is for moans: How do you turn a new MacBook Pro into a desktop workhorse?

theOtherJT

Re: Traditional Apple.

I know exactly why they do it. What pisses me off here is trying to pretend that the Air is a different product line rather than a slightly defective pro. It's the same reason we got those 3 core AMD chips a few years ago, but at least those were legitimately really cheap.

theOtherJT

Traditional Apple.

They have a history of this sort of thing. They very deliberately cripple bits of their product line in order to justify the cost of the more expensive ones. We all know that the whole "It has a whole extra GPU core!" on the pro vs air thing is complete bullshit, and there's no way they couldn't find the _room_ for two more thunderbolt ports like there are on the 16" pro - they just didn't want to do it because it makes for a more delineated product line.

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility

theOtherJT
Joke

Re: A fully functional cloaking device

Take your upvote and get out.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

theOtherJT

Re: Menus and application windows

No, I agree. MacOS has always been 100% wrong on that one IMO. The only reason for it was to save space on a 512x384 display and that reason long since ceased to be important.

theOtherJT

Security doesn't matter...

...until it does.

I've lost track of the number of things I've written over the years where I said "Eh, it's fine, it's just for testing, no one is going to deploy this." and gone on to hardcode passwords, assume that all user accounts have the same access level, and god knows how many other terrible security decisions only to have someone turn around to me a few months later and go "Can you get that into production by the end of the week? It's basically done already, right?"

Well... no. Not right. It works on the understanding that it's never allowed out of the test lab because in the wild it would be a massive liability. Fortunately no one ever gave enough of a shit about any code I wrote for me to get massively stung by it, but no one knows what's going to happen down the line. "This won't be big and professional like GNU" until... oops. Most widely deployed OS kernel in the world.

That's not to take a dig at the Linux security model, but things that don't seem important now can cause massive headaches down the line. C.F. The assumption that the local user sat in front of the keyboard is root that plagued Windows all the way through the 9.x era and that we're still cleaning up the fallout from today.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

theOtherJT

Re: Too much to hope...

Sure, I never need to do that with my linux boxes either, but that's because they don't throw in random UI changes along with each kernel version update :/

theOtherJT

Too much to hope...

...that they'll stop this nonsense and go back to the previous model where you actually had half a chance of knowing which version of Windows the confused and angry person on the other end of the support call was using? Or that their version might bear some relation to the one you had because they hadn't mysteriously moved half the options and settings around between the Q1 and Q3 releases this year without telling anyone?

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken

theOtherJT

Last time I was involved in hardware design I put the serial number of the kit behind a door that couldn't be opened with the thing plugged in.

"I need the serial number to log the job. Can you please unplug it, open the service door - yes sir, it's designed like that so no one can accidentally pull the fuses while it's on - and give me the serial number?"

Did get defeated once by someone who in an astonishing feat of forward planning had written all the serial numbers down in their inventory management, but it helped several times.

Bitcoin is ‘disgusting and contrary to the interests of civilization’ says famed investor Charlie Munger

theOtherJT

Re: Bitcoin analysis (stolen from Twitter)

Best explanation of bitcoin I have heard to date.

Traffic lights, who needs 'em? Lucky Kentucky residents up in arms over first roundabout

theOtherJT

It'll be alright...

...they can just do what they've done at all the roundabouts around here and just put traffic lights on them in the name of "Traffic calming" so they operate exactly like a 4 way stop anyway and screw up the traffic flow.

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it

theOtherJT

But Email isn't secure...

No email service is secure. It's not a secure transit mechanism. You want "secure" in your email you encrypt whatever you're sending before you send it.

Microsoft's Surface Laptop 4 now includes AMD options for biz customers, boasts up to 19 hours of battery life

theOtherJT

Re: Runs Windows.

It'll only be a matter of time before someone manages to get a less annoying OS to boot on it tho. Hardware wise these really do seem quite nice. Edging in on Macbook nice, if not quite there yet.

LG Electronics finally gives up cellphone business

theOtherJT

Shame

I've had a couple of LG phones and they were both really good. Cheap, simple, did everything I needed from them... and as such probably had absolutely paper thin profit margins compared to the "We've put this 4k display into a 6 inch device so we can charge you $1000 for a 'feature' that you can't possibly make any use of." brigade. That's got to be another problem - my current (LG) phone is 4 years old and I see absolutely no reason to replace it. It does everything I need it to do. "Smart" phones look increasingly stupid from where I'm sat, and I'm sure it's not just me.

New systemd 248 feature 'extension images' updates immutable file systems without really updating them

theOtherJT

Why. Just why?

It's an overlayfs. That's all it is. Just a less good one that's forced to target specific parts of the tree. If I wanted to overlayfs /usr/ I can already do that. I don't need another stupid bloody systemd specific way of doing that!

Mac OS X at 20: A rocky start, but it got the fundamentals right for a macOS future

theOtherJT

Best bit about MacOS...

While Windows has undergone multiple UI changes, macOS has largely remained mutually intelligible with its predecessors

While Apple has many faults the fact that they've resisted the urge to fuck about with the core UI design concepts is very much to their credit. It's not perfect by any means but unlike windows I can't remember any point in the last 20 years where it just took a massive step... well, if not backwards, then certainly sideways... for no obvious reason.

Bell Labs transfers copyright of influential ‘Plan 9’ OS to new foundation

theOtherJT

Given that there's been no development on Plan9 since 2015...

...does it even matter any more?

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

theOtherJT

Re: Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

It really isn't. A traditional currency is effectively a promisary note backed by the government of the country that issued it. It might not be worth anything specific but it is tied to the strength of the country's economy. As for a musical instrument it's worth something because it has a purpose. You can play music on it. It might also be worth more because it's a particularly rare example or something, but even without that it's worth something above and beyond it's speculative value. You can even place intrinsic value on a work of art in as much as it can be appreciated by the viewer. Unless you're really into recreational mathematics it would be hard to argue that a cryptocoin has aesthetic value. You'd certainly be hard pressed to hang one on your wall.

theOtherJT

Cryptocurrencies should be banned.

There. I've said it. And I'm sticking to it.

Sure, lets build incredibly expensive computational devices full of valuable and rare materials, then blow gigawatts of electricity through them annually in order to "discover" some numbers which we will then arbitrarily assign a value to.

It's insane. The waste of electricity alone is horrifically environmentally unsustainable, not to mention knock-on effects like this here where no one can actually _buy_ graphics cards since they're all being bought up by miners. To anyone with an ounce of sense it's obvious that these damn things are a speculative bubble. There is no _use_ to a bitcoin. It's not like gold which has some intrinsic value. Neither is it like a dollar or a pound which has a central issuing authority backed by a government and represents some fraction of the value of that countries economic output. The entire value of a crypto-coin is based on the fact that other people expect it to go up in value so it's worth buying one now so you can sell it when it does. The second that stops happening this whole thing comes crashing down.

They're waste for waste's sake.

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative

theOtherJT

In the immortal words of Sully O'Sullivan...

"We can't undo the damage that's been done to that word. It's too late."

Nominet claims effort to replace its board with 'safe hands' is invalid, refuses to put it to member vote

theOtherJT

Re: a critical destabilising impact

Majikthise: "You'll have a national philosophers strike on your hands!"

Deep Thought: "And who would that inconvenience?"

Terraria dev cancels Stadia port after Google disabled his email account for three weeks

theOtherJT

Re: Fascinating

Anyone else in this thread played Virtuaverse?

Starting to feel a liiiiitle close to home.

Chrome 89 beta: Google presses on with 'advanced hardware interactions' that Mozilla, Apple see as harmful

theOtherJT

Re: emacs

Don't give either of them ideas! The last thing we need is systemd-webbrowserd - and before anyone says "You don't need a daemon for an obviously client facing process like a web browser" I reiterate DON'T GIVE THEM IDEAS.

theOtherJT

emacs

They really need to stop trying to turn their web-browser into an operating system. I already have one of those.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community

theOtherJT

I wonder how old this complainant is...

...because not so very long ago I remember all too well that pretty much every machine came with a CD with Windows drivers on it and you could be pretty much certain that a clean Windows XP, 7 or 8 install would come up with VESA graphics and the odds of the wifi working "out of the box" were close to zero. We should probably give Microsoft some credit for the fact that that's no longer the case - but it's not the case in the vast majority of Linux distros either. Debian is still more aimed at technically adept users than the average layperson. If it weren't, there's be no need for things like Ubuntu or Mint. I really don't see that it's a problem in it's current form - and if it is the only thing they need to do to fix it is change the "DOWNLOAD" link on their website from the netinst image to the full install DVD.

(And if they do that let's be clear - it'll just annoy people who will go "But why is the installer so large? Why not just download it on the fly?!")

Linus Torvalds rates his own words 'incoherent ramblings of a crazy old man'

theOtherJT

"Why would you say that?!"

...the words that immediately follow statements like: "It's working perfectly." or "This project is going really well." or the perennial favourite: "How hard can it be?"

Nice to see it applies to the father of Linux too.

Court orders encrypted email biz Tutanota to build a backdoor in user's mailbox, founder says 'this is absurd'

theOtherJT

And they're going to do what about me doing this?

echo "Not this bullshit again" | openssl enc -aes-256-cbc -iter 10000 -e -k <password>

Do we make maths illegal next, is that the plan? God I hate this one so much.

Sod Crysis, can the 21-year-old Power Mac G4 Cube run Minecraft? The answer is yes

theOtherJT

...thanks to its passive cooling

It also used to immediately overheat if looked at funny.

The Ghost of Windows Past gains spooky second wind as the October 2020 Update nears double digits

theOtherJT

Re: 1909 was little more than jumped-up cumulative update to 1903

I thought that packed up some time during windows 8's tenure.

UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details

theOtherJT

Re: It's only gone really wrong when...

A chocolate one, given this government.

Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies

theOtherJT

Depends what you're trying to do I suppose. I'd still rather write PHP than python if I'm doing webapp type things, but I'm sure everyone has their go-to language for a certain task.

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse

theOtherJT

I was told to do this by a - I was going to say "grey-beard-sysadmin" but she was a woman, so maybe we'll skip the beard, but a senior unix admin anyhow - I met many, many years ago when I was still at school. It was one of the better bits of life advice I was ever given and I wish I'd started doing it earlier.

Hundreds of Facebook moderators complain: AI content moderation isn't working and we're paying for it

theOtherJT

"There should be no question over either of those"

But neither of them are the case, believe me. I've had some very limited experience of this. Many years ago between college and landing my first IT gig, I was a temp who got assigned to work for the police doing criminal records checks.

Yes, that's right, if you were applying to work with children back in the mid 2000s, your background check was done by a bunch of burned out 23 year old temps because there weren't enough police officers to do it. I say "Burned out" because the longest anyone I met there had managed to stay on the job was about 4 months before it totally broke them and they quit.

I don't actually remember how long I worked there now, It feels like about 30 years, although it can't have been more than a few weeks, but just having to read some of the things I read there would have stopped me sleeping - were it not for the fact that I was doing the 10pm to 6am shift, so sleep was something of a rarity anyway. I don't think I would have lasted that long if we'd had to see video and picture evidence too, but if we ran across anything that came with details like that we were required to flag it to go to an actual police officer and move on to the next one.

The summary text records were enough for me. There is no amount you could pay me to get me to go back and do that again.

When even a power-cycle fandango cannot save your Windows desktop

theOtherJT

"All my stuff is gone"

Ah yes, that one. Had one member of reception staff at one place I worked who called in with this one every couple of weeks or so. We had 3 buildings, and in reception for each building there were at least 2 computers on the desk. She was part time and did a funny shift pattern where she'd be in Monday -Thursday one week, then Tuesday - Friday the next week. Throw in a few days off here and there and you were never really sure if she was on shift or not or which building she might be in if she was.

She would arrive at work, log into a computer, open stuff, move it around and then just leave it like that until her shift ended - which if it was one of the ones that crossed a weekend might be 12 days from first login. Of course the first day she's off one of her co-workers would come in, find her session open sitting at a lock screen, and then reboot so they could use the machine.*

Next time she's in suddenly "all her stuff is gone" because she's now logged into a totally different computer, possibly in a different building. She just could not get her head around the idea that although she was using the same credentials on every desktop they were somehow not all the same machine and open programs would not follow her from one machine to another.

* Obviously this would also frequently lead to her losing work because she'd leave things open without saving them.

Apple Arm Macs ship, don't expect all open-source apps to work without emulation – here's what you need to know

theOtherJT

I'm less concerned about if you can port foss apps to the M1 architecture than if Apple will let you within the OS.

They really are going out of their way with macos to try and prevent people running apps that don't come from developers with Apple signed developer certificates.

theOtherJT

IMHO it was RiscOS that really made those things. It was light years ahead of anything else available at the time. I mean in 1987 your options were what, TOS, System 5, Windows 2.0, amigaOS 1.4?

That being said, I have no idea how many of the capabilities of RiscOS were down to the underlying architecture and wouldn't have been possible on other designs of the era.

theOtherJT

Re: I'm going to be called a Fanboi but...

Maybe just being cautious. Some of these benchmark figures appear too good to be true - and when things appear too good to be true, they usually aren't true.

I really hope that the Apple silicon is everything Apple claim it is, because regardless of how I feel about Apple (and dear gods do I _hate_ Apple) competition is good. If they can force the x86 boys to up their game then so much the better, but until I've had a couple of weeks to collect a good spread of numbers from a bunch of different sources I'm going to remain skeptical.

Remember how good Netburst looked on paper when it was first debuted before we all found out what the thermal performance was like and how despite the unprecedented (for the time) clock speeds, everything tanked when the branch prediction failed?

Geekbench stats show Apple Silicon MacBook Air trouncing pricey 16-inch MacBook Pro

theOtherJT

Back to the 90s?

I'm really interested to see if this is going to take us back to a time when we genuinely didn't know which way to jump when buying a computer. x86 won SO HARD in the 90s. MOS technologies was long dead. The moto 68xxx chips died off in the Atari and Amiga and Apple jumped ship. Acorn struggled along in the British classroom, but finally withered way.... Are we going to have another architecture war? Do we need to start caring about what the underlying hardware is again?

Interesting times.

Python swallows Java to become second-most popular programming language... according to this index

theOtherJT

Re: Sin tax

If I may ask, what is it about python that irks you?

Syntactic. Fucking. White. Space.

theOtherJT

Re: Sin tax

Bang on. Basic is the worst language in the world... except... it's really not. It got millions of us into programming when we were young because you could just spit out a simple program and watch a computer *do a thing* without actually really understanding it. Python is just the same, but 35 years later. It might not be a language you'd want to use for a serious project, but we owe it some respect for the fact that people can just jump in and start using it. It's accessible.

You like Jira that much? Atlassian goes full Service Management with platform, promises Service Desk is fine

theOtherJT

Re: Atlassian

The "We're moving bitbucket to the cloud, it'll be great!" thing is actually forcing us to stop using bitbucket (not that I'm complaining) the the whole point was we're storing utterly vast and rapidly changing datasets in the thing and not thrashing it up and down our internet link was the entire point of setting up the service in house in the first place.

theOtherJT

Oh this will go well...

...title says it all really.

With less than two months left, let's check in on Brexit: All IT systems are up and running and ready to go, says no one

theOtherJT

@overunder

The goal was pretty simple. Quell a bunch of annoying infighting in the Conservative party by letting a bunch of tedious chest thumping media whores with no political significance and no actual message other than "Britain is so great! Foreigners are so bad!" have a referendum that they would then lose.

This would be a win for the leadership of the Conservative party, because they could take the referendum and use it as a nice big stick to hit people like Boris Johnson with. "You lost, now shut up with your whining!" and it would be great for the media whores, because they didn't really have anything to do except whine about how Britain wasn't as good as it used to be, and as long as we were a member of the EU they could do that to their hearts content without actually having to do anything about it. You know, difficult things like have policies instead of sound bytes.

Unfortunately it all went terribly, terribly wrong and the leave campaign actually won. No one had a plan for that, and as a result... /gestures broadly at the entire state of UK politics.

Did I or did I not ask you to double-check that the socket was on? Now I've driven 15 miles, what have we found?

theOtherJT

Closest I ever got to this...

...was getting sent to handle an irate conference guest who insisted that despite what they had been told, there was no internet socket in their room (These being the days before ubiquitous wifi.) The socket in question was in fact on the wall just above and behind the desk, right next to the power socket they had left their laptop charger plugged into.

Since the person in question wasn't there when I showed up, my response was to use yellow electrical tape to put an extremely large arrow on the wall pointing to it.

Planet Computers throws Linux fans a bone, improves calls, and adds virty trackpad to Cosmo Communicator

theOtherJT

Well, they say that...

...but I did this last night and I see no evidence of it actually, well, working. Cover display remains stubbornly off when in Linux.

Touchscreen holdout? This F(x)tec Pro1 X phone with sliding QWERTY keyboard might push your buttons

theOtherJT

I would totally buy one...

...but I already bought a Cosmo, which fulfills my "I need a little portable SSH terminal" needs even better. Sadly it doesn't make a very good _phone_ because the battery doesn't really last long enough and it's a bit big - this would certainly do the job of "One device for work and home" much better, but well... I already have the cosmo and carrying 2 devices isn't _that_ much of a problem when I only use one of them occasionally and tend to only take it places I expect to need it.

(This post from the pub, where I am _technically_ still working)

'This was bigger than GNOME and bigger than just this case.' GNOME Foundation exec director talks patent trolls and much, much more

theOtherJT

Re: GNOME Shell

It's certainly the most sold I've ever used. We have a few hundred of the things at work and they've been rock solid. That said, when people took them all home at the beginning of lockdown we got the opportunity to test them with a massive variety of random display hardware all of a sudden, not so much. I now have at least a dozen cases of macs simply refusing to acknowledge the existence of various external displays, or in some cases setting obviously incorrect resolutions / refresh rates and then refusing to even display the controls you would use to change them.

Don't get me wrong, it's still by _far_ the best OS I've used for handling multi-headed setups, but it's not as flawless as I first thought when I'd only ever used it in a controlled envrionment.

Ubuntu 20.10 goes full Raspberry Pi, from desktop to micro clouds: Full fat desktop on a Pi is usable

theOtherJT

Re: But snap... ?

Snaps really are the wrong answer to a question almost nobody was asking. I get what they _thought_ they were trying to achieve, you just bang this little container down in it's own walled garden and there's no way for it to make a mess of anything else that might be installed on your system. No dependency problems. No uninstall issues.

But outside utterly trivial cases, I never, ever want to do that on a linux box, and for the trivial cases... well... I don't _need_ any of that extra security. Anything I install I'm going to want to configure in some way, and now there's this tedious abstraction layer in between me and what ought to just be sitting in /etc/ or /var/lib

It sort of makes sense for desktop applications that are kinda fire-and-forget installs, but that's not really what I use linux for, and I the people who _do_ use linux like that just plain don't _care_ how their application got installed.

Need a new computer for homeschooling? You can do worse than a sub-£30 2007 MacBook off eBay

theOtherJT

Re: I wonder...

I already can't see any of these on ebay for less than £100 so I don't know where on earth they got that £30 figure from.

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