* Posts by jemmyww

30 posts • joined 5 Apr 2014

Microsoft engineer fixes enterprise-level Chromium bug students could exploit to cheat in online tests

jemmyww

Why would any competent engineer write an education system where the answers need to be in the client source instead of checked during submission? I've worked on lms software and the answer is usually because the surrounding framework isn't rich enough to support doing so, and at some level, incompetence.

Electric car makers ready to jump into battery recycling amid stuttering supply chains

jemmyww

Re: Global commodities/mining consequences of electric cars

That doesn't make any sense. If you exclude the battery, what in them exactly causes 3x the environmental impact of a fossil fuel car? The electronics are different but not substantially in terms of how much is required. So really you're just talking about the drive train, and seeing as most of that is the same materials organised in a different way you're talking about the electric motors. By weight those motors are lighter than an ICE, so you must be talking about the rare earth metals for permanent magnets... forgetting perhaps that not all EV motors even use permanent magnets, and all fossil fuel vehicles use some rare earth materials in the catalytic converter.

Perhaps you could link these analyses? I would be very interested to read them.

Fool me OnePlus, shame on me: Chinese phone firm fingered for fiddling with performance figures – again

jemmyww

So what is happening is that OnePlus have fiddled with the scheduler to add a list of apps that are denied access to the faster cores -those apps apparently being both the most popular from the store and their own apps.

What's interesting, and what this article doesn't mention, is that those apps still get boosted to the performance cores when you interact with the phone.

So you're reading a website and it stops Chrome going full pelt, but when you click or scroll it can speed up. Obviously this messes with chrome benchmarks which are hands off. But it does seem like maybe they're onto something there seeing as nobody noticed until now.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software

jemmyww

Well you can't force them to take your money. The new owners run some subscription services and your get to use their complementary software for free, so you can pay for it... but only if you want to access the online portion. The muse group had some interesting backstory that makes me think it unlikely they'd creep paid features into audacity.

I've noticed that paid native software doesn't compete that well against the OSS alternatives over the long game, and I don't think it's because of the money aspect. It seems like your either need a community to keep it going, or be a very large player like MS or Adobe. Look at the alternatives for production music. I've used a couple. They really seem to be suffering from rot, the distributors have a hard time keeping them up to date, they wreck your computer when you install them. The OSS versions start small and crappy but they die early or grow and grow and eventually have so many contributors they can easily navigate updates, new and/or niche platforms and products.

Also UI... someone sent me a garageband file the other day. The interface in there was not obvious. I wanted to zoom in and out and make a selection and it took awhile to figure out it was a really small area I had to hit. It looks very nice but that doesn't mean it's good and looking clunky doesn't mean it's bad.

jemmyww

I didn't know

I didn't know the same group owned musescore and ultimate guitar. Both of which I pay for, I wonder if they have a bundle discount. Anyway I've enjoyed Tantacrul's videos, including the ones where he rips into the UI design of score software, including musescore. I assume they hired him after that to fix it.

G7 nations aim for global 15 per cent tax on big tech and bin digital services taxes

jemmyww

Re: Too soft too weak

That's not necessarily true. A tax on profits means the companies can choose to pass it on or not. Whether they do or not is probably reflective of the competition. Some (Apple) can probably get away with charging more where others (Amazon?) might have less elasticity to play with.

1Password unsheathes Rusty key, hopes to unlock Linux Desktop world

jemmyww
Linux

Colour me surprised

I've used it for a long time, since before they had cloud accounts. It's a great service. I have a family account so my wife and I can have a shared password vault. The company I work for uses it too, and the apps work with multiple accounts.

I use it on my company Mac, my personal Linux laptop, Android, and my wife on ChromeOS. The browser extension by itself was pretty acceptable on Linux. There's also a command line version which has occasionally been useful. Happy to see this native version too, makes creating and editing entries easier.

Linux laptop biz System76 makes its first foray into the mechanical keyboard world with dinky, hackable Launch

jemmyww

Remap the caps lock key to escape. I originally did this after getting a mac with a terrible pretend esc key, but now I do it for every keyboard. It's a much more useful key to have a large button for.

We were 'blindsided' by Epic's cheek, claims Apple exec on 4th day of antitrust wrangling

jemmyww

Re: Lack of "good will"?

From what I understand, Epic had to have a contract and then break it and get it cancelled by Apple in order to bring legal action, because they had to have standing. i.e. the only way to sue for the contract being unfair is to sign the contract and break the terms. Epic's actions were not just "oh we don't like the rules" they steps taken were specific to being able to take legal action.

I'm not particularly interested in Epic because I don't play games. But it seems to me that only a large enough company was going to be able to bring this challenge, and no large company completely smells of roses.

Linux Mint emits fix for memory-gobbling Cinnamon – and future version may insist on some updates

jemmyww

Re: bin merging?

because 30 years ago someone ran out of disk space and had to stick the rest of their binaries on the usr drive? Maybe they do know the history and think it's a pants reason.

How do we combat mass global misinformation? How about making the internet a little harder to use

jemmyww

I'm not sure I believe (as in, I don't at all believe) the story the author has given as a preamble here. I searched the same text, as I'm sure many readers did, and I got 2 results from the local ministry of health, which obviously a Florida resident wouldn't see, and then health.harvard.edu, cochrane.org, fda.gov.

Maybe the author's "friend" is reading the sponsored links only?

Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

jemmyww

Re: Jolly good show!

Google's little foray into into reading emails for ads was ended quietly in 2017. They no longer scan them for advertising purposes. And it was never done for paid accounts.

Actually when you send an email you do consent to having it read by someone else, especially computer programs. Otherwise it'd never get to it's destination. Oh the body? Well how do you think all those spam and security scanners work?

KDE maintainers speak on why it is worth looking beyond GNOME

jemmyww

From Apple land

After years of using a Mac I decided I was fed up with it. Keyboards being the main complaint, but that's another story. I got a nice dell, used Windows 10 for a few minutes, and then installed Manjaro.

I've tried the different desktops available. Gnome feels super slick when it first gets going, but quickly becomes annoying. I didn't find it intuitive at all, I kept opening a screen of icons, stuff was hidden, and I later found out I really needed an extra tweaks program to access settings that were not available in the usual settings menu. I tried a couple of extensions that changed things up a bit, but they're quite slow, I found any extension that messed with the layout or windowing was jittery.

I tried other desktops, and I don't have much to say about them, they were fine and were as they were, but weren't for me, and came across as restricted in one way or another. Before using macs I was running XFCE on debian. It didn't appeal this time around, perhaps I've changed and it has not?

KDE has been great. All the settings are available in one place. The default layout is intuitive, and then you can customise the hell out of it. Activities is interesting, it's another layer above virtual desktops, and I'm using it to keep 2 types of work and my personal stuff separate. It looks nice and minimal. I've even written a plasma widget using QML, and that was fairly easy; QT docs: very good. Plasma docs: pretty shit.

The most surprising thing about KDE5 has been how snappy and lightweight it feels. Back in the day KDE3 seemed heavier than Gnome, and KDE4 was just awful and sluggish. They really have turned it around.

30 percent of world agrees not to require onshore storage for e-commerce customer data

jemmyww

... and New Zealand. Or does the register consider these islands as part of Australia? You even say 15 countries and then miss one off the list.

Visual Studio Code 1.50 goes hard on extensions support, but tackling add-on bloat is becoming more onerous

jemmyww

I started tackling the bloat early on. Every extension I add I immediately disable and then enable for the workspace. And disable extension auto updates because you don't want them interrupting when you're working.

Sweetheart tax deal appeal: European Commission takes €13bn Apple state aid claim to the EU's highest court

jemmyww

Nobody has forgotten this law. It's not this law that is under contention. Ireland are free to create a very low tax regime, and companies like Apple are free to make use of it.

The reason this is going through the courts is that the EU commission is claiming that Ireland has given a low tax rate to only select companies like Apple. That is the part that is unlawful - creating a tax law that puts other companies at a competitive disadvantage. If Ireland had offered a 1% corporate tax rate to all then there would be no case, and presumably Ireland would have no money or they'd have already done this.

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... but not your H-1B geeks, L-1 staffers nor J-1 students

jemmyww

L-1

I can understand the motivation for stopping some of these visa types, but stopping L-1 would surely defeat the purpose? That's when you want to transfer parts of a company into the US. For example, when a company I worked for was bought out the team moved on L-1 visas. I imagine this would put a barrier on US companies taking over foreign startups if they can't transfer the product development to the US.

Rust marks five years since its 1.0 release: The long and winding road actually works

jemmyww

First

Coincidentally I tried rust for the first time today to write a simple line following program for my kids Lego mindstorm. I liked it for two reasons. 1) The pattern matching made writing a state machine very concise. 2) I wrote it out, fixed all the compile errors, uploaded it to the device and it worked the first time. That never happened with C or any other language, where I'd end up fiddling around several mistakes before getting to the part of testing the actual program logic. It definitely felt like the compiler was helping out a lot more.

OnePlus 8 equals buttery-smooth refresh rates, water and dust resistance, but an inflating price tag

jemmyww
Thumb Down

I've got an OP7P and the popup camera was the main attraction. I rarely use the front facing camera. The odd thing is, if I want to actually call someone these days its highly likely I'd do it using my computer and video call (for work and family). My phone is what I use when I'm on a work call and it gets boring.

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

jemmyww

Re: which can unmask CNAME shenanigans

Presumably it looks at the DNS entry the CNAME points to, to see if that should be blocked.

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

jemmyww

theory

Yes, it is a theory - an explanation that has been repeatedly tested and so far not falsified. You mean hypothesis, and no it's not just that, it has been rigourously tested. It's unlikely to be complete, as we know it doesn't explain everything at every level. But C being relative and the max seems pretty solid.

A future new theory is likely to expand upon it rather than replace it completely.

Get drinking! Abstinence just as bad for you as getting bladdered

jemmyww

General health

Hasn't it already been established by plenty of other studies that the benefit of alcohol goes away when you take the general health of participants into consideration? I.e. you are more likely to be abstinate if you're already sick or have another complicating factor.

Nest cracks out cheaper spin of its thermostat

jemmyww

Re: Not applicable in any place I lived...

> We also don't heat our homes by letting an airconditioning (cooling!) unit run backwards, which is super inefficient.

I was with you until then. Heat pumps (reverse air-conditioners) are the most efficient electric heating down to a certain outside temperature. They are more efficient than any form of direct heating. If you run the outside unit into the ground then the winter variability is lower.

Don't listen to the doomsayers – DRM is headed for the historical dustbin, says Doctorow

jemmyww

John Deere are taking a big risk and I'm surprised they've stuck to their guns on the issue. They could have tried to find a position that wouldn't cause a push for legislation because either way that goes they'd appear to lose.

Can you ethically suggest a woman pursue a career in tech?

jemmyww

Re: There's always 2 sides to every story

How about you treat all newbies to your team with a certain amount of respect and professionalism and let them join your name game as and when they feel like it, regardless of gender? Perhaps women are more likely to express their emotions more outwardly, but that does not mean a new chap on your team doesn't feel confused and hurt until catching on.

Citrix's GoTo goes to LogMeIn in $2bn merger

jemmyww
FAIL

GotoAssist

I was one of those laid off, although everyone on my team was given the option to relocate from Copenhagen to Karlsruhe instead of losing their position. Not one of us took that offer. Citrix provides good case studies on how to take passionate teams and knock all the enthusiasm out of them bit by bit.

This is my opinion, and it might be wrong: I don't think the Citrix Goto division was actually capable of building any products by themselves, despite having some quite capable engineers and a desperate need, and good market opportunities, and customer's crying out for new tools. We were never allowed to run with anything, ever, without management changes on a 3-6 month basis. Every product they had was an outside purchase.

Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

jemmyww

Re: @ Def

However, the luminosity rises by 1% every 100 million years, so while the sun might be around and burning brightly for as much time as it has already, life on earth only has 600mil to 1.2bil years left. Unless maybe we soak it all up with solar power?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earth

Wanted: beta testers for El Reg’s Android app

jemmyww

You know what'd be better and less work? Making the website work well on small screens. I won't be using your app, not because I dislike apps but because I read the headlines via an RSS app and use the links to read the articles.

The other thing you could do is include the whole article in the RSS feed. Then I can read it without leaving that one centralised app, and the formatting is generalised. Which is nice.

‘For the love of Pete, America, learn about decent chocolate’

jemmyww

Re: US chocolate stereotypes are 20 years out of date

There is some great chocolate to be had in the US, especially in California. Dandelion Chocolate, and TCHO, both from San Francisco, are probably the best quality wise. My favourite though is Moonstruck Chocolate, from Portland, OR. Whole Foods tends to carry the best selection.

These are bars of chocolate though. If you're looking for good boxed chocolate then my opinion is that it doesn't level up to the chocolate makers in Europe... or even the small artisan chocolate makers we discovered in New Zealand. Most towns in America seem to have a chocolatier... but they usually use poor quality chocolate like Guittard (sorry). There's the odd good one. Good luck though, I just travelled across the USA, then moved to Copenhagen, and there's more good chocolates in this one city than all of continental America.

Helpdesk/Service Desk Recommendations

jemmyww

Is there no way you can work around the self-hosted criteria? You will cut out a lot of good products. Personally I'd recommend GotoAssist ServiceDesk by Citrix, but I work for them so pinch of salt.

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