And another keyboard... gone
> its [UK's] ambition to be a global tech juggernaut
Note to self: must really stop reading El Reg while having a cuppa.
68 posts • joined 22 Jul 2014
Would I buy an NFT and a JPG for $XYZ million? No.
Would I buy a 400 yr old piece of canvas with some coloured brushstrokes for $XYZ million? No.
Honestly, I can't see any great difference between the two "items"... a thing is worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it.
> I believe that as a society we benefit much more from having computer languages that almost everyone is able to master
I strongly disagree. Programming IS hard if it is to be done well and if you give people the illusion they have mastered "programming" (probably with a "Learn XYZ in 24 hours" book) you'll end up with exactly the sort of bloated, buggy crap that today is called software. I've been a programmer since the 6502 came around end of the 70s and I hang my head in shame about the state of play in software.
This is the same trap as re-training all and sundry as cyber security experts. You'll see where that will land us.
Rust IS harder to master than some other languages but in my experience this has never been a problem. Learning new concepts, if they're sound and lead to safer and/or more efficient software, is never wasted time. IMHO.
As to last drops of performance I wholeheartedly agree. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil." If anything, this Donald Knuth quote should be hanging above every programmer's desk.
And garbage collection? I agree as well. Todays's GCs have become "good enough" for almost everything not requiring real time performance. And very few processes need real "real time".
> every language from there (...) has lacked taste
Never drink hot tea while sitting in front of a computer screen.
And whether the words "elegant" and "Ada" and "Python" should go into one sentence is surely debatable.
Also, Pascal, in its day, was quite a success... it certainly didn't sink almost w/o trace.
I disagree with Barnes. MS has done it before when they had two OS lines in parallel, the old Win16/32 world of a GUI on top of DOS and the new world of NT. These parallel worlds (including different driver models) went on for quite some years (95, 98, ME vs NT3/4, 2K) until finally Windows XP (NT-based) was deemed "backwards compatible enough" to end this double effort. There were still fears about compatibility problems but it went pretty well in the end.
Maintaining a web browser costs a lot of money... so MS finally bowed and accepted Chromium as the base for their browser.
Maintaining a kernel also costs a lot of money so...
Given time, they can do the same thing over again. Not in 2022, probably not in 2025, but by 2030 Windows will be Linux-based.
> future brexit strategy
You owe me a new keyboard.
As to the rest of your comment... my father when I was a schoolboy used to say <stern voice> "YOU DON'T COMPARE WITH THE WORST... YOU COMPARE WITH THE BEST" whenever I told him my grades weren't that bad. Back then I thought he was just an old git but I've since seen the light.
I have WRT Windows 10 reached the same state as WRT Brexit: I am totally Zen. In both cases, after a lot of initial hand-wringing and a number of anguished nights, I have accepted the inevitable and simply tried to mitigate things as best as I could. In the case of Windows 10 that meant a switch to Linux... so now I can lean back and enjoy the show. As to Brexit... my OH is French and as things have turned out, we'll be fine whatever the shambles factory in No 10 decide to throw at us.
I'd think that scientists and engineers in both countries use(d) SI notation as that has been the default long before I even started to study chemistry (and that was about 2500 years ago, I think).
Rather, my suspicion is that there was perhaps too much wine (on the French side) or beer (on the German side) sloshing around. Or both, of course.
>it disincentivises them from writing efficient code
Writing efficient code is a mindset and has got nothing to do with CPU power. Writing inefficient code might well be company policy (as it's presumably churned out faster than efficient code) but that's a different kettle of fish.
Mozilla is a prime example how to lose users. I was an early adopter and more or less went directly from Netscape to Mozilla. But... after one too many updates which AGAIN broke something I was relying on I decided to switch to Pale Moon... that was umpteen years ago (at least it feels like umpteen years :-/)
I never looked back and I never will. (Yeah, never say never.)
(Not to talk about their needless UI changes, botched upgrades, installing extensions w/o asking the user, telemetry, etc etc.)
I do almost everything with PM but the odd site won't work (eg WebRTC stuff). After looking into many chromium-based browsers over the years I have settled on Vivaldi and I have not regretted it. It's very configurable and the one extension I need (uBlock origin) runs well. Whether I can retire uBlock with this release remains to be seen. YMMV.
It's probably to do with the fact that you can dissolve more of a given gas in cold water than in warmer water (whereas it's the other way round for solids: the warmer the water the more salt or whatever you can dissolve in it).
> "Note, though, that Monzo uses a lot of custom, in-house tools and libraries that are not easy to replicate."
That's the key sentence, IMHO. Yeah, this means more work and slower deployment in the beginning... but it's an approach that, in the long run, means you know exactly what's actually running on your servers and you understand how it's operating.
> No idea what you expect ordinary citizens to do with regard to banking site websites.
That's a 100% correct remark, I have no idea either.
But it's missing the wider point I am trying to make. In my extended family I have French, Swiss, German and Portuguese relatives. Almost all of these good people are utterly, totally befuddled, either when visiting the UK or upon reading some media stuff, about the levels of service or performance in various areas (public transport, politics etc) the British public is willing to accept without any real protest other than perhaps a sour smile and the odd mustn't grumble. This attitude may have some positive aspects but it also means that IN THE LONG RUN things just don't get better.
Same story here, early GMail adopter, common name. Getting tax documents, car insurance docs, mobile contracts, bills for air condition equipment, etc etc etc for other blokes with my not so uncommon real-life name.
Apart from the mental state of these individuals what is driving me mad is exactly the sort of behaviour on the senders' side the article describes.
Take O2, a so-called tech company. Getting an email that I have opened an account with them and given them this email addy. Would I please acknowledge the email address is correct? Of course I don't and think that's it.
Nope, for from it. I now get a stream of detailed messages about my new mobile tariff, the mobile no and what have you. I have, more than once, contacted them... getting exactly nowhere. They don't care though they take security and all the rest VERY VERY seriously,
There should be a way (similar to other privacy EU initiatives) to force governments, companies, institutions, etc to really, REALLY VERIFY that all email addresses given are valid and connected to the intended recipient. This should be enforced by a nice and tidy little sum to be paid by said governments, companies, institutions etc as a penalty to the hapless victim if they don't get it right.
"Unfortunately, it's not available on the vast majority of phones, and even if you're lucky enough to have one that is supported"
Part one of that sentence is not true and as to part two... well, buying LineageOS-compatible stuff is not down to luck or Santa Claus, it is a conscious decision I have taken and take. These items are admittedly often (but not always) a little more expensive but in the long run they save money and a lot of trouble.
"there's little point in recommending it to people in practice because the chance of it actually being useful is close to zero."
Funny. I have four mobiles under my control (Sony, Moto, Sammy) and all are on LineageOS. I have three tablets under my control and again, all are on LineageOS.
I have no Google software on these phones and yet they are fully functional.
What I would agree with is that many people do not know (and can't be expected to know) how to achieve this though they would want to do it.
This is partly a reflection how badly the IT sector has let us down, especially in the last decade or so. Disclaimer: I am a developer myself.
In this day and age anyone* who buys a significant chunk of hardware (PCs, smartphones, tablets, routers etc) whose software (OS or firmware) is not under user control and can't be changed is making a mistake. This route might be more expensive in the short run but it gives a lot more peace of mind and actually saves money in the long run.
* Sadly "anyone" here means those who either know how to replace the OS or firmware or know someone who can do that.
M$ will not open the NT kernel this side of 2050, if ever.
And anyway, the kernel itself isn't the big problem. The basic drivers (NTFS is/was a big problem for ReactOS), the zillion support DLLs... that's the trouble. Implementing that and implementing it in a 99.999% compatible way is very hard.
Nevertheless, perhaps... in another two, three years... I might install it in a Linux host as a guest for those pesky little apps for which I can't find a Linux replacement and which don't run in wine.
A few years ago I had big BIG trouble with the HMRC SA login (don't get me started on that abomination...!) and decided to try Verify. Luckily this was months before the Jan, 31 deadline so I had enough time to work my way through this thing... you'll need it if you succeed at all. A few thousand lost hairs later and surrounded by heaps of paper files I not even knew I had (my wife knew, phew!) I had a Verify account.
The people who designed this system live on another planet where, among other things, the word world-class doesn't mean what it means on earth.
It is at the moment, that's true. However, I am only buying "smart" stuff if and when I know beforehand that I can install some sort of supported open OS/firmware on it. I am also preaching this to everyone I know who is not out of earshot within three seconds. And indeed, there is (growing) interest for this idea even in circles that I can only describe as technically challenged. What's needed beyond that interest is a way to install/update these things in a manner that is so easy that those people are willing to do it.
"Who would you trust more to provide a mobile OS,
Apple, Google, the PRC or Facebook?"
All of them... provided they will release it as open source, every bit of it.
I (am trying to) buy kit where I can replace the OS with an open source alternative and this works already pretty well for desktops/laptops, mobile phones/tablets and routers. I still have a dumb TV, none of my MP3 players and digital cameras has Wifi connectivity, and there's no Alexa et al.
"Bing [...] handles thousands of search requests every second using servers spread over many data centres across the globe."
That doesn't sound very impressive. If and when bing.com scales well enough to outperform the Big G servers, then I might perhaps think about exercising one of my eyebrows.
"Were they spending an EQUAL amount of effort on a Wine-like subsystem that RUNS ON LINUX, so we could use windows applications on a Linux system DIRECTLY without having to use Win-10-nic, I'd be TRULY impressed!"
Two remarks. Wine in itself is much, MUCH better than I though it would be. I am moving various systems from Windows 7 Pro to Linux and so far, every single (!) app for which I couldn't unearth a Linux replacement has worked OOTB under wine. I was planning to install VirtualBox and Win7 as a VM but at the current rate that won't be necessary.
Second, anything MS releases for Linux is something I would never ever install. Even if it were initially released as open source... they are 100% capable of releasing newer versions (or extensions) which all of a sudden aren't. Or find some other means to tie me into their eco system in ways that are beyond my control.
It depends. I am an IT professional and I would just not use locked hardware if I can help it. Case in point: I recently needed NTFS access for my tablet's USB OTG. No problem with root, just install NTFS-3G and couple of utilities and it's good to go.
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