* Posts by rnturn

140 posts • joined 14 Mar 2014


IBM age discrimination lawsuit suddenly ends, suggests Big Blue was willing to pay to avoid discovery process


Re: Europe, land of radical ageism.

Poke around LinkedIn long enough and you see that more and more people (as far as I've seen) are opting out of adding photos to their profiles though LI keeps trying to get you to include one. If my profile is only 80% complete because it's lacking that one item, so be it.

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


Re: Abandoned my home directory years ago

I ran into serious problems with a home directory some years ago when desktop software became completely confused after an upgrade that didn't understand my old desktop config files. It prompted me to add a separate filesystem for my data files (/home/rt/Data). Anything in /home/rt is pretty much expendable; the more important "files" it contains (my profile, etc.) are actually situated under the "Data" mount point and accessed by symlinks in $HOME. (Seems like the same thing you did.)

I actually don't care about systemd getting into the home directory business... so long as it's optional. As soon as I see that service getting installed, I'll be disabling it from starting up. If it gets to a point where I cannot do that, I'll be singing "Hello Slackware my old friend..." while I'm upgrading my desktop system.

Trello starts waving AI around as collab outfit hits 50 million registrations


Re: I've got two Trello accounts

> There will be a whole marketing team dedicated to "reactivating" you.

Ah... just like LinkedIn. ``Want to see who's checking out your profile? Upgrade to `Premium'!''. Except that won't let you see who's looking at your profile---those people pay even *more* to remain anonymous.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket


Re: Would someone explain

If this were strictly enforced in the US for left turns, there'd be massive gridlock. The department of transportation designs intersections and include left turn lanes that'll sometimes hold 10-15 waiting cars, only allow turns while the green arrow is lit, and then only turn on the left turn arrow for 5 seconds. At some intersections, the first 3-4 seconds of your left turn arrow is taken up waiting for cars to complete the left turns from the cross street that they were unable to complete resulting in only 2-3 cars actually being able to turn left and leaving the rest in the left turn lane stuck until the next cycle.

I'm a proponent of shortening the entire cycle. Some of the cause for cars not being able to turn is obviously drivers farting around on their cellphones but another is having red/green cycles that are several minutes long. Drivers get inattentive when sitting that long at a red light especially those who get stuck in the left turn lanes staring at a red turn arrow. I think the goal should be to keep cars moving as much as possible---not have cars line up for several minutes at a time and then restrict their ability to make turns for only a few seconds.

Traffic circles help but is nearly impossible to replace existing traffic lights with traffic circles in urban areas. In rural areas, they're great. There's nothing so annoying as sitting at a red light in the middle of freakin' nowhere in the wee hours knowing that the second you decide to run through it -- because you can see that there's nobody coming for a mile in either direction -- will be when a trooper appears from behind a row of bushes and nails you.


Re: Right of way?

Around here, I'm firmly convinced that most people behind the wheel don't even understands the concept of "right of way". If they've ever heard of it.

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else


I would not find it surprising if someone at Samsung actually made the argument that little Johnnie's or Susie's teachers could email their latest artistic creations directly to the fridge for display.


Re: Luddites

We've got so many appliances and other devices with bright LEDs on them we really don't need to use the old night lights we have. We've taken to putting tape over a lot of them.


Re: Carbon footprint ?

> they seem to regard items such as this as short life disposable and unrepairable

They probably are going to be unrepairable or, if they are, cost-prohibitive to do so. Nobody fixes anything these days. Toss it out and by another---the new one has better features, anyway.


> Or do they keep their 10-in-one-actions shampoo/bodywash/shaving-foam/toothpaste/etc in the fridge?

We keep some of those things in the shower where they're used. So I guess we'd need a shower-cam to check on the availability. (Those'll surely be the next big thing in home automation.)

Flak overflow: Barrage of criticism prompts very public Stack Overflow apology


They're turning on each other for stupid reasons. Pronouns? Jeebus! Priorities folks.

My recent experiences with Stack Exchange is that the topics I'm looking up tend to have incomplete or buggy answers, answers that generate bizarre error messages unrelated to the ones that lead to my looking at their site in the first place, and ultimately, some moderator bitching about the fact that the questions had been answered 4-5 years ago. Um... so why, then, did these newer posts with all the moderator bitching show up at the top of the search results instead of the older and, apparently, moderator-preferred answers? The use of the correct pronouns in the answers is the /last/ thing I would be worried about.

Here we go again: US govt tells Facebook to kill end-to-end encryption for the sake of the children


Re: "but that costs time, money, and needs a court order"

> He may not look much like a weasel but he sure acts like one.

That's because he is a weasel. He's also the "cleaner" brought in to do away with the Iran-Contra investigations back in the early '90s. If there's any justice in this world, he's headed to the John N.Mitchell Memorial Prison Cell for an extended stay.

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts


Re: Email?

Granted it was many years ago, but when the missus was working in a bank, some of the illiterate coal miners who came in to deposit (or cash) their paycheck couldn't sign their name and had to have the transaction witnessed by someone accompanying them that *could* sign their own name. It wouldn't surprise me if that practice was no longer followed.


Re: Email?

Could have been worse. The back-and-forth may have been over 200,000 and the email could have read 20,000. Would the court still have held that to be a valid contract when it was so obviously a typo in the email?

Quic! Head to the latest Chrome version and try out HTTP/3


So, turn the Internet upside-down over this?

> For example, if you leave your house and drive off, there will be a delay - sometimes a significant one - in receiving data as your device shifts from your home Wi-Fi to a cellular network. That can cause a video, or streaming music, or a secure connection to a website to stop or break.

That's it. It's the end of civilization as we know it. My video or music paused... I was unable to complete my Amazon purchase.... Because I started driving. This is another solution in search of a problem. Seriously... two major corporations decide on joining forces to eliminate the scourge of video pausing? Surely there's another reason they're not publicizing that's the real cause for this partnership.

Even holding my smartphone at a red light is a ticketable offense where I live. I don't want the thing anywhere where it could be considered a distraction and a cause for a moving violation. I'm safest when it's in my pocket and couldn't care less about my music streaming being interrupted while I'm behind the wheel.

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


Re: I must be an edge case

> ... NetworkMangler would be a right pain to use on a server with complex routing, but laptops tend to have a very simple networking config - just connect to wifi and pick up an IP.

While it works pretty well for wi-fi connections, I've found it to be a royal PITB when you find yourself needing to use a hard-wired network connection and a fixed IP so I look at it as an only half-finished component of the desktop. LP doesn't need it so it doesn't get worked on.


Re: Desktop

> Poettering has complained that Torvalds is too brutally abusive with language, lacking sensitivity.

Sensitivity? Oh, where's that video of Poettering hopping up on stage, beer in hand, to take over some guy's talk at a symposium when you need it?


Re: Allows me not to run windows on bare metal.

I prefer a generous air gap between Windows and my bare metal.


It reminds me of the "how fast can it format a floppy" measure that used to be popular in early PC reviews.


No scripting knowledge needed

That's reminiscent of my VMS days when recruiters would ask me during talks about system manager jobs whether I knew how to write DCL scripts. My response to them back then was: "I wouldn't let someone who didn't know how to write DCL scripts any where near the SYSTEM account" That's, essentially, what I say today when dealing with recruiters regarding UNIX/Linux positions that have a sysadmin component and they ask about scripting experience.

That Red Hat's L.P. seems to be making writing and understanding shell scripts something completely separated from being a sysadmin---just follow the instructions in the run book. Actually, IBM's purchase of Red Hat makes sense in a way. While contracting with Big Blue, as an admin, I was discouraged from writing anything. Writing code is an entirely separate billable activity from system administration. If your administrators don't know anything about shell scripting, no problem---they don't seem to want you writing the scripts in the first place.

You've got (Ginni's) mail! Judge orders IBM to cough up CEO, execs' internal memos in age-discrim legal battle


It's almost certainly the hiring decisions, too.

During my time as a contractor with them, the internal discussion forums were filled with stories of older IBMers trying to make lateral moves within the company when groups were being disbanded and never hearing back when they applied.

We trained an AI to predict how bad a forest fire will be. It's just as good as a coin flip!


That spokesperson's hands must ache from all the hand waving that he was doing to justify the barely so-so results their AI achieved.

COBOL: Five little letters that if put on a CV would ensure stable income for many a greybeard coder


Re: IF Year > 50

Uh, oh. That's going to cause a Y10K problem. :D

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


Re: Dick and other unfortunate soubriquets

So... nobody's going to link to the obligatory Monty Python skit about odd surnames?



Re: Dick

And those of you with the surname "Johnson"... for civility's sake, see a judge about getting that changed.


Re: With that name

And how long did it take for these users to become comfortable with Photoshop's user interface? I hazard a guess that I'd have just as much trouble transitioning from GIMP to Photoshop.

Jeebus... not every Linux software package has to lower itself to aping whatever the Windows equivalent looks like. Heck, legal departments with nothing better to do would probably sue the projects if they did.


Re: Eh?

> I truly wish they'd named the fork Seakitten

Because there aren't *enough* open source project names that defy any reasonable means of associating the name to what the software actually does. At least "Glimpse" (Dear $DIETY... don't make the name all uppercase) has *something* to do with "visual".

Wait a minute, we're supposed to haggle! ISPs want folk to bargain over broadband



> In a separate piece of research last month, Which? found that out of 8,000 customers polled, only around half had ever switched provider.

I'm impressed that half of them even had the option of switching.

Let's see what the sweet, kind, new Microsoft that everyone loves is up to. Ah yes, forcing more Office home users into annual subscriptions


Re: Still using Office 2003

Still using the Office 2003 format via LibreOffice. It's been several years since I was forced to touch a Microsoft Office program.

You can easily secure America's e-voting systems tomorrow. Use paper – Bruce Schneier



``In some states, the problems left behind by racial discrimination mean the boundaries must be vetted by the Feds to ensure minorities have a fair shake at the polls.''

Much, if not all, of the oversight of State election laws by the Feds -- that was part of the Voting Rights Act -- was blown up by the Supreme Court.

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


Re: Here we Go Again

In the `Oughties' we effectively blew off the effin' Geneva Convention. What's going to stop an administration from completely ignoring yet another UN declaration -- signed or not -- after you have an internal memo that OKs torture?


Re: Mathematically illiterate

> Perhaps an extension to this idea is to require some educational minima as well. Perhaps a modern politician should have to prove a decent level of scientific and mathematical literacy?

I think the public has come to believe that -- while the politician him/herself may not be technologically literate -- they will put together a competent staff that includes technologically educated people who will properly advise the poltician about these matters. Unfortunately, this hasn't happened except in a few cases. What seems to have taken place is that the staffs are filled with poltiical hacks who excel at writing flowery policy statements that cover up the fact that the politician nor his staff have any idea of what's really happening with technology.

When a politician actually /does/ have a background in the sciences, they are rarely taken seriously and described as a `political outsider', `political newcomer', etc., ignored by the press, and/or rarely make it onto Congressional committees where they could grill people like Wray.


Re: the 'special thanks to' credits are often interesting

Please tell us you didn't sit there looking for friends' names in the LotR Fan Club roster in the credits of `Return of the King'. :^)

2019 set to be the worst year yet for smartphone market as lack of worthy upgrades dents demand


Re: I've bought my last one

> The reason is simple -- security.

Maybe that's what the smartphone vendors are counting on: Security-conscious people buying new phones in order to get the latest security patches. I've been wondering if that's the reason my T-Mobile phone hasn't has gotten an Android update since 2018-08-01.

Chrome on, baby, don't fear The Reaper: Plugin sends CPU-hogging browser processes to hell where they belong


Re: Is this Chromium or Chrome?

In my experience, it's a Chromium thing. I have been using Opera before and after the switch to the Chromium engine and have noticed the new Chromium-based Opera was just as resource hungry as Chrome was before I stopped using it. Even The Great Suspender wasn't helping all that much with Chrome's appetite for resources; haven't tried it with New Opera.


Re: Full fat or skimmed

Yup. I still recall how lean and mean a basic VMS installation could be (w/o any layered products). It easily fit on a 2GB drive using, maybe, 500MB.

Microsoft has Windows 1.0 retrogasm: Remember when Windows ran in kilobytes, not gigabytes?


Win1.0 came bundled...

...with some Zenith PCs we'd bought at work way back when. Nobody was much interested in what thia Windows thing was that came with the PCs though most of us had heard of it (probably via articles in Byte). I was helping to get them set up so -- for the heck of it -- installed it one of the new PCs to check it out. I grabbed my boss as he was walking by to demonstrate the software. ... We laughed and laughed. ... 'Til our sides hurt. Nobody else even bothered to install it, instead opting to reformat the floppies for use in sneakernet file transfers.

The FCC has finally, finally approved a half-decent plan to destroy the robocall scourge... but there's a catch


Fifty-two years after the release of The President's Analyst...

... and it's still true: Everyone hates `The Phone Company'.

The only difference between then and now is that it's not `THE Phone Company' for most but `THEIR Phone Company'.

Court drama: Did Oracle bully its customers into the cloud? Nine insiders to blow the whistle


Oracle's shifty licensing strikes again

We always hated (with the heat of a thousand white hot suns) Oracle's insistence that you owed them more money because you bought faster CPU boards for your database server. But I find it interesting that Oracle ships their DB with extra-cost features turned on by default.

I was aware of the clusterwide database feature misbehaving this way years ago when we were converting a DEC ASE cluster to Tru64 5.1. Oracle's software saw that it was now on a true (pun intended) cluster and incorrectly assumed it should start the database as though the cluster database feature was appropriate. The DBAs were horrified as the licensing that was in place only allowed for using the RDBMS as single-host product (with N users). We had to scramble to figure out how to prevent the database from starting up in "cluster mode" lest a future call for Oracle support wind up telling them that we were using that feature w/o it being licensed. So, I guess they've been weasely about this for a long time.

Never let something so flimsy as a locked door to the computer room stand in the way of an auditor on the warpath


Re: Door locks?

We had an IT manager wannabee post the combination to the 5-button lock on the data center door on the, thankfully internal-only, IT pages of the company web site. (Probably instrumental to why he never got that promotion.)


Re: so easy to get in

> Unless you're trying to blag a free gig.

Only got crappy seats at a concert? I've been able to hang out right in front of the stage at several by showing up with an SLR. They assume you're with the press.


Re: so easy to get in

Rather like the means that some art thieves use: show up in appropriate clothing--i.e. coveralls--and everyone assumes your *supposed* to be taking the painting off the wall. If memory serves, that's how "The Scream" was lifted.


Auditors I have known

We had someone come around one day to audit our purchases and wanting to verify a couple of pieces of hardware we'd purchased--a couple of large memory boards for a minicomputer--asking where they were. I had explain that they were installed *in* the computer and there was no way in hell I was shutting it down and destroying a couple of days' worth of simulation in order to pull them out so she could look at them. She wanted to put equipment asset tags on them as well---you know, those metal ones with an adhesive suitable for space shuttle tiles. Just where on the circuit boards she thought the tags would be best placed so as to not destroy the cards was a mystery. (*I* knew where'd they be best placed...)

Then there was the auditor who had *no* problem with a trading back office application that had to run with "BYPASS" privileges (i.e., VMS's equivalent of root) but that was just peachy so long as he had a letter from the vendor stating that it was necessary. (Note: Be careful of the boutique software house you choose for critical applications; their idea of security may be along the lines of "I know what I'm doing and these permissions are getting in my way".)

Americans are just fine with facial recognition technology – as long as they get shorter queues


Re: I think the real problem is...

Where are you getting your information that most Americans heartily approved of what McCarthy was doing? I know of nobody who was an adult back when he was engaged in his infamous witch hunts that approved of them. I was alive back then but way to young to be paying attention to things political.


Not too difficult to figure out, IMHO

> Interestingly, when the results were broken down by age and gender it appeared that millennials were more wary of facial recognition than oldies.

Millennials realize that if this technology gains a foothold and is widely used, they're going to have to live with being under surveillance for the remainder of their adult lives and that politicians will find ways to use it that are far afield from the reasons they are pushing it now. The older folks (like me... though I'm vehemently against it, BTW) may not mind quite as much as they know they're not going to have to put up with it as long.

I call BS on it making the air travel process quicker---the biggest hassle I hear about, from friends who travel extensively for work, are the delays caused by the airlines' inability to get people into their cramped seats quickly. (While I generally hate air travel it's not because of the flying... it's because of the airport/airline experience. Put me in a Bonanza and I'm a happy air traveler.)

US foreign minister Mike Pompeo to give UK a bollocking over Huawei 5G plans


Re: Fuck off Pompeo


Oh dear. Secret Huawei enterprise router snoop 'backdoor' was Telnet service, sighs Vodafone


Why would Telnet be required...

...for manufacturing and diagnostics? It's definitely "old school" but wouldn't a plain 'ol RS-232 port that a technician could connect to be more secure than telnet? At least someone wishing to get into the equipment would have to be onsite. Sure, it complicates vendor support by requiring someone to schlepp into the data center and physically connect a laptop to the equipment but if you want security questions to NOT be raised in connection with your product, why not do that to defuse those criticisms? (There are ways to avoid the physical access but, I suspect those will be labeled as too archaic to be used in a "modern" environment.)

Behold, the insides of Samsung's Galaxy Fold: The phone that tears down all on its own


Re: Two screens with an infinitesimally-precise and tiny mating junction

"On the other hand the "notch" was universally accepted."

Oh stop it! My sides are hurting. My older LG doesn't have the darned notch. Keep it simple, stupid.

A folding phone for what! Two freakin' grand?! Are they nuts?

Who's using Mueller Report Day to bury bad news? If you guessed Facebook, you're right: Millions more passwords stored in plaintext


Facebook announcement timing

I can't recall where I read it but a recent article pointed out that, apparently, Facebook thinks it's advantageous to release the reports of these security lapses just before major holidays---when nobody is looking much at the news. Slimy practice from a slimy company.

IBM bid to unmask age discrimination whistleblower goes down in flames


Re: Yeah..

> it's why they're trying to sack them...

That would also explain the number of job adverts I see describing a mix of AIX and obviously newer technologies. Customers are engaged in migration projects to get the heck off of AIX.

The completely rational take you need on Europe approving Article 13: An ill-defined copyright regime to tame US tech


``you will be remembered like the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages for your anti-intellectualism and holding the human race back from its true potential for centuries''

Oh gawd... Centuries? Don't give them any more ideas on how long they might try to make copyrights to last.



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