* Posts by Michael Hoffmann

436 posts • joined 12 Jul 2007


'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation

Michael Hoffmann
Big Brother

Re: git broke English

So, do we also get double-plus-pull and double-plus-unpull?

(obvious icon)

Microsoft and VMware end ancient grudge with new VM privilege workaround

Michael Hoffmann
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Slow as molasses

IIUC if Hyper-V is turned on, then Workstation will use the HV hypervisor instead.

I now upgraded and am looking at my VMs with dismay. Watching screen refreshes is like continental drift. Tested with CentOS 7, CentOS 8, Catalina Hackintosh and Windows 7 VMs. It's like my CPU was converted into a Pentium 90 and my GPU is... gone.

I'll give a pass on the Hackintosh, it's not supported after all, but the others?!

IBM's sacking spree reaches Australia – and as staff wait to exit, they're offered AU$4k to find new workers

Michael Hoffmann

Why anonymous?

I'd expect you to proudly announce which company still has such a policy.

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

Michael Hoffmann

National Day of Mourning in the UK?

Will they declare one? I shed a tear down under and raised ye all a pint.

Source code for seminal adventure game Zork circa-1977 exhumed from MIT tapes, plonked on GitHub

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Xyzzy (or PLUGH)

And the revelation when I played Zork on 80characters for the first time and ran into the Cyclops!

Now that was a d'oh moment because you couldn't easily see the clue with 40 character screens.

Australian digital-radio-for-railways Huawei project derailed by US trade sanctions against Chinese tech giant

Michael Hoffmann


Blaming US sanctions may just be a convenient excuse.

There are now daily articles in the Aussie media (only today in The Age) about Aus companies that are fronts for the PLA and the CCP which have been buying up medical and other supplies en masse long before China admitted to the epidemic. Showing that they lied about when this started becoming critical, but also contributing to the shortage of some things like face masks here.

It will be interesting whether there will be a reckoning when this is all over, putting a severe damper on Winnie the Pooh's global ambitions or whether it's back to business as usual.

20 years later, Microsoft's still hammerin' Xamarin: Bunch of improvements on the way for cross-platform coding toolset

Michael Hoffmann

Animation and spritekit?

It's been a few years, but one thing that kept me away from a fully unified approach was when you had to do any kind of animation - and I'm only talking 2D not even 3D here.

I still ended up using things like SpriteKit, so Forms just wasn't an option and I still ended up with separate codebase for iOS and Android.

SkiaSharp was in its infancy - for me it simply would not play nice. Has that improved?

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

Michael Hoffmann


So true for many other languages as well.

"pip install ..." one package - and your screen fills with pages full of dependency downloads.

I've started putting all those into requirements.txt just for my own sanity, version locked inside a virtualenv or container.

And hope like hell those version dependencies remain available. Apart from forking every single one of them, I'm not sure what you *can* do. Rewrite the lot? :-|

SpaceX beats an engine failure to loft another 60 Starlink satellites

Michael Hoffmann

It's cold outside...

"I shouldn't think so, who would want to be the one up there with a tin of paint and a brush? I'm crap enough at painting without having to catch the bloody thing I want to paint first."

Cue intro to Red Dwarf. <starts humming "... there's no kind of atmosphere...">

Australian privacy watchdog sues Facebook for *checks notes* up to £266bn

Michael Hoffmann


... the way things are going right now, for that amount of moolah, Zuck may just decide to buy the whole country instead.

First MWC, then GDC, now Nvidia's GPU conference is online-only as coronavirus spreads in Silicon Valley

Michael Hoffmann

"It's not not like the people you invite have any bandwidth issues, now is it ?"

You don't live in Australia, it seems. Let me tell you about "bandwidth issues"...

Deutsche Bank calls in AWS, Microsoft and Google to tout for cloud biz: Come in to tender, deal value unknown

Michael Hoffmann


I thought Thou Shalt Not Use A Single Cloud Provider is the law of the land?

Sure by all means, start with one to get your feet wet, but then spread out. Eggs. Basket.

Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Er, who?

I thought Armageddon simply means "the fields of Meggido". A sign that the final battle will be nice and open and not urban warfare (or the Five riding out against the Auditors).

Need 32-bit Linux to run past 2038? When version 5.6 of the kernel pops, you're in for a treat

Michael Hoffmann

In the year twenty five twenty five...

... if Linux is still alive, if kernels can survive, they may run...

(with apologies to Zager and Evans)

UC Berkeley told to cough up $5m in compensation to comp-sci, engineering students recruited to teach classes

Michael Hoffmann

Exploded Ironymeter...

This in the Socialist People's Republic of Berkeley?!

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: I don't get it...

Indeed and only the highest trained History Monks (or sweepers) can resist their lure as we learned in Thief of Time. I lack that skill utterly.

Staffer representation on our board? LMAO! Good one, cackles Microsoft

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Not a good idea

IIRC, Volkswagen has been doing it for decades. Via their internal union I believe. Arguably quite successfully.

GitLab mulls ban on hiring Chinese and Russian support staff because 'security'

Michael Hoffmann

So confused...

I thought that was conversion of subversion repos to git? I can't keep up...

Astroboffins rethink black hole theory after spotting tiny example with its own star buddy

Michael Hoffmann

4 Msol limit?

I'm hightly confused. The article stated 4 solar masses as lower limit for a black hole.

Yet I had learned - and a quick glance at Wikipedia confirms - that the Chandrasekhar limit is 1.4 solar masses, which would first lead to a neutron star and at around 2.3 even neutrons couldn't resist and would collapse to a black hole (though centrifugal force by rotation could forestall this for a while).

A finding of a 3 solar mass black hole wouldn't contradict that and I couldn't immediately find anything (it's Friday afternoon beer o'clock so there's limits) that this has changed.

Did I miss something?

Like the Death Star on Endor, JEDI created a ton of fallout and stormy weather in cloud market

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Jump!

I'd have to watch that episode again (In the Shadow of Zha'ha'dum(sp?) part 2, IIRC? can't believe I can remember that without looking it up), but I always thought it *was* indeed Kosh, whose "soul" had somehow entered or become part of Sheridan after the former's assassination.

I thought the voice was distinctly Kosh and not Lorien. Seeing as I have them all on VHS(!) still, it'll be a bit of an effort to check (yes, I bet I could get them all from less legal venues).

Deus ex hackina: It took just 10 minutes to find data-divulging demons corrupting Pope's Click to Pray eRosary app

Michael Hoffmann

Demons in app?

So, you need to also install the eXorcism app?

Tough luck, Jupiter, you've lost your crown for now: Boffins show Saturn has more moons

Michael Hoffmann


... Moony McMoonface is already out of contention?

Baby alert! Japan Air lets passengers book seats far away from screaming abdabs

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: Alternatively

Well, a close approximation of that does exist.

It generally costs at least 5 times more, though. It's called business or first class. You still have some rights up there, instead of "you get what you paid for" in cattle, you ... OK, you "pay and at least get something".

Generally also far lower likelihood of having any persons younger than 12. The business (wo)men tend to quietly keep to themselves. The odd honeymooners shelling out on their frequent flyer miles and too busy with each other.

No risk of DVT. Flight attendants whose smiles *do* occasionally touch their eyes instead of being plastered on. The, you get those nice little bags with earplugs in them, for when you forgot your own or left them in the check-in bags.

Having to fly very long distance at the least every 2, but more like every year, I can fortunately save up and spend a long time shopping for the right deal. It's amazing what you can dig up in the byzantine airline pricing schemes.

Loathed Aussie mining magnate Clive Palmer punts libel sueball at YouTube comedian

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Good on ya Aussie


We had Tony Abbot as PM, we still have Peter Dutton (non-Aussies will have to google him... he's the guy who looks like some creep from Hollywood central casting for generic Gestapo office #83457). ScoMo is a pentecostal fundie.

Consumer ransomware insurance? You could be painting a target on us all for avaricious crims

Michael Hoffmann

Exactly my thought when I now saw this kind of insurance advertised on billboards around Melbourne.

Not being in the charity business, insurance companies will surely have this calculated on how it makes them money. I dare say the exemptions and exclusions as to what measures you're expected to take to demonstrate "due diligance" before they pay out would make a mainframe (*) specialist blanch.

(*) semi-randomly picking an area generally considered to follow very high standards for security, resilience, availability, etc etc etc.

Oracle's Mark Hurd hits pause as co-CEO, says he needs time to deal with health issues

Michael Hoffmann

Memento mori

Assuming that "health issues" isn't just corporate-speak similar to "spend more time with their families", all the best to him. All the money in the world won't hold off the guy with the scythe who talks in ALL CAPS.

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Why not split the difference

Like the vicious foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of OO programming that suddenly seems to be filling my tech news feeds? I mean, sure let’s discuss shortcomings and failed promises of OO, but some of those seem to rank OO somewhere worse than genocide and child abuse and kicking puppies combined.

There once was a biz called Bitbucket, that told Mercurial to suck it. Now devs are dejected, their code soon ejected

Michael Hoffmann
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Re: Git

Never mind hyperbole and dummy-spitting-throwing-toys-out-of-pram.

(also: who is Andi McClure? should I know him? Google lists hundreds by that name)

'Hey Google, remind Greg the locks have been changed, and he should find a new place to live. Maybe ask his mistress?'

Michael Hoffmann


Does it go "bingle-dee-bingle-dee-beep" and a little imp comes out? Sounds about as annoying.

Backdoors won't weaken your encryption, wails FBI boss. And he's right. They won't – they'll fscking torpedo it

Michael Hoffmann
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Well, go ahead and do it then!

Isn't the NSA already the largest employer of mathematicians in the US?

If so, go for it! Shirley if it's so easy, you can walk up to a bunch of them and say "make it so, that we may make this magical new encryption the enforced standard for the world!".

Why wait for all those recalcitrant corporations and furriners, hmm? Stop banging on about it, develop this silver bullet and awestrike us with this mathematical marvel!

Enjoying that 25Mbps internet speed, America? Oh, it's just 6Mbps? And you're unhappy? Can't imagine why

Michael Hoffmann

Huh, so Aussie NBN Co also runs the US fraudband system? Who knew?

When Harry met celly: NSA hoarder thrown in the clink for 9 years – after taking classified work home for decades

Michael Hoffmann

NSA security procedures?

Did heads roll at the NSA for that guy being able to walk out with reams of secret docs for decades? On paper no less, not even a USB stick hidden in some bodily orifice.

Bad news: Earth is not going to be walloped by asteroid 2006 QV89. Good news: Boffins have lost sight of it, so all hope is not yet lost

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Damage calculation

Yes, I used the Imperial College calculator and even with worst case settings, I was distinctly underwhelmed as to the effects unless it comes down right on your head.

Any chance they meant it's 30 KILOmeters in size? For a proper earth-shattering kaboom?


Symantec share price nose dives after rumored Broadcom biz gobble taken off the menu

Michael Hoffmann

Re: bounce-bounce-bounce

Argh! Thanks for that, now I'll never again be able to listen to the choir of that masterpiece without "your" words!

Amazon brings serverless pie to Visual Studio Code party

Michael Hoffmann

Microsoft vs Jetbrains

Last year the AWS Toolkit was announced with much fanfare at re:invent (during the big keynote, no less). It was announced for the Jetbrains suite who had a booth and were exuding smug all over.

It came out for Visual Studio Code quite a bit later.

Since then, the VSC version works beautifully, whereas the Jetbrains version seems to be the mentally unstable red-headed stepchild. Getting worse all the time, with bug fixes apparently every ice age or so. Jetbrains simply go "not our problem, bother Amazon", even when the *same version* of AWS TK works in one Pycharm release and starts throwing exceptions left, right and centre in the next.

While the VSC version just plugs along.

Starting to wonder why I'm paying for a Jetbrains subscription - looks like I can increasingly get the same thing for free by switching to Code.

When did you last check your AWS S3 security? Here's four scary words: 17k Magecart infections

Michael Hoffmann


You now actually have to go out of your way to leave an S3 bucket unprotected. Mind-boggling.

Because some code monkey can't figure out a bucket policy and/or IAM role they just click on the "public" button (*).

(*) button because they can only use AWS via console and can't figure out the CLI/API.

MapR misses deadline for sale, biz prospects looking thinner than a Hadoop sales pitch

Michael Hoffmann


Halfway surprised Cloudera still exists *and* had the pocket change to grab Hortonworks.

Apparently their financials aren't even that bad: https://investors.cloudera.com/news-and-events/news/press-release-details/2019/Cloudera-Reports-Fourth-Quarter-and-Fiscal-Year-2019-Financial-Results/default.aspx

Who's still using Hadoop? At my last gig, we were phasing it out, left, right and centre.

Remember that crypto-exchange boss who mysteriously died after his customers' coins disappeared? Of course he totally stole them

Michael Hoffmann

Cherchez la femme?

I'd presume they are still watching the wife? Or is she just another dupe, when hubby decided he'd rather spend his ill-gotten gains with a hareem full of younger, nubile women?

And the medical practitioner who wrote the death cert. Is he now suddenly driving a Lambo? Or did he meet an untimely end?

What's that saying? Never believe a man is dead until you have seen his corpse?

Bollocks or brutal truth: Do smart-mobes make us grow skull horns? We take a closer look at boffins' startling claims

Michael Hoffmann

Sheesh, mate, for the price of those smartphones you could have bought a PILE of blue pills!

Michael Hoffmann

Good Omens!

I was wondering if those spurs were coming out at the TOP of the head and whether someone named Crowley/Crawley was ever an executive at various mobile makers.

After years of listening, we've heard not a single peep out of any aliens, say boffins. You think you can do better? OK, here's 1PB of signals

Michael Hoffmann

Stunned silence

... is what they are "hearing". I.e the disbelief and head-shaking (*), jaw-dropping (**) "did you see what those primates are doing now?!" reactions.

We should be listening for the sound of interstellar facepalms

(*) yes, provided they have heads

(**) mandibles, suction cups, etc

23. 712. 3. 608. 45. 89. 11. 332. 841. 255. You want more? Cloudflare and pals are streaming 'em live from new RNG API

Michael Hoffmann

Re: how long

Indeed. I hadn't even reached the third paragraph before wondering "shirley, you're not using that for crypto?", then I went "phew, oh that's OK then" - before my mind again flew off towards "some idiot is going to use it for crypto in some big org for critical data, I just know it".

I remember trying to explain to my tutor(!) during my Master's in the supposedly Advanced Cryptography unit about crypto-safe RNGs. He didn't get it. This was a PhD student!

Mystery GPS glitch grounds flights, leaves passengers in the bar

Michael Hoffmann


Church roofs? Nyet, say Russian scrap thieves, we're taking this bridge

Michael Hoffmann

Fred Colon was right!

For years and years he would patrol the bridges over the Ankh in case an international gang of bridge thieves would suddenly strike. Then he, Sergeant Fred Colon would be right on them (after finishing his smoko and only if he had Captain Carrot with him, but still)!

That's preemptive policing that is!

(coat with the Ankh-Morpork watch badge in the pocket)

Dissed Bash boshed: Apple makes fancy zsh default in forthcoming macOS 'Catalina' 10.15

Michael Hoffmann
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Anecdotal datapoint...

I recently had made the switch on my work-assigned Macbook and am in the process of switching all my Linuxesses' logins over.

Quite pleased, especially once you throw in oh-my-zsh and other little helpers.

That said, shell scripts that I need to throw around and run on other systems will likely stay bash for quite a while (though I no longer go so far as to avoid bash-isms and remain pure Bourne - it's not like I suddenly have to expect someone to throw a Solaris or HP/UX box at me).

Uncle Sam wants to read your tweets, check out your Instagram, log your email addresses before you enter the Land of the Free on a visa

Michael Hoffmann
Thumb Up

Re: Yippee

You know, that's so crazy it might just work.

When your bank tries to go after the US government... well, good luck to them!

Please proceed and make sure you create a Youtube HOWTO video. We're all sitting here with bated breath!

It's been a lean month for Microsoft's Visual Studio Code, but look! Remote Development

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Nah, real programmers....oblig xkcd..sorry, couldn't help myself

Dammit, xkcd!

It's not chicken feed: Million-dollar meal deal for livestock sabotaged by hackers... and, er, exchange rates

Michael Hoffmann


When I first started reading, I was agonising that I'd see something about a herd of cattle dying miserably, but then it said "sunflower seed".

A quick Google confirms to this here hobby-farmer that sunflower seeds ain't livestock.

<splits out grass-stalk>

Go on, Skippy, spill yer guts: 10.5 million+ Australians' data was breached in past 3 months

Michael Hoffmann

Re: Waratah National Park

That's because they all moved on to one of our paddocks. Huge mob settled in there.

NPM today stands for Now Paging Microsoft: GitHub just launched its own software registry

Michael Hoffmann

What, no PyPi?

While it’s nice that they offer private registries, I hope they have a way of transparently proxying to public ones, similar to products like Sonatype Nexus.

Oh, and add Python!



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