* Posts by hellwig

525 posts • joined 3 Mar 2016

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Firefox now defaults to DNS-over-HTTPS for US netizens and some are dischuffed about this

hellwig

Agreed. The point of distributed DNS is to prevent a single source from being overloaded. Cloudflare's whole business model is distribution and redundancy.

Unless you have local domains to resolve (if working for a corporation, browser configuration should be locked by IT policy anyway), why would you ever need your own copy of the DNS registry? It's not like there are allowed to be different public DNS registries, the entire internet would just burn in the resulting chaos (as happens occasionally when a major DNS power screws up).

The only problem with a single source like Cloudflare would be if we didn't trust Cloudflare to show us the page we wanted. It sounds like Cloudflare, being a ""trusted recursive resolver", is willing to be open enough to show this isn't really a concern.

I'm much more worried about what my ISP is choosing to do with it's man-in-the-middle status.

'Windows Vista' spotted doing a whoopsie over EE's signage

hellwig

Re: Yikes

2020/03/02... yeah, that's either the future (March) or someone made up their own system, we don't even do that in the US.

If you never thought you'd hear a Microsoftie tell you to stop using Internet Explorer, lap it up: 'I beg you, let it retire to great bitbucket in the sky'

hellwig

Eh, let them eat cake... er... surf with IE.

Yeah, it sucks if you're stuck with IE, or your grandparents can't be bothered to update from Windows XP, but at some point, you just have to cut them loose.

It's like driving an old car with one wheel falling off, no seat belts, etc... Some people can't afford to upgrade (an unfortunate aspect of our capitalist society), and others just don't care to, no matter how much you try to tell them newer cars are much safer and more efficient.

If people are willing to put their lives at risk for convenience and familiarity, there's no excuse you can come up with to get them to move away from IE.

Google reveals new schedule for 'phasing out support for Chrome Apps across all operating systems'

hellwig

Google trying to replace the OS with Chrome? Where have I heard that before?

Seriously, why would you install Windows or Linux or MacOS, just to then install Chrome so you can actually run your applications? Chrome OS is a thing already. If I installed Windows, I wanted to run Windows. I want Windows applications. It might be easier on the developer, but as a user, I don't give a damn.

The very idea of a web API having access to my local file system is absurd. Right now, if I want an application on my machine, I have to seek it out, install it, and run it. Imagine a future where I could accidentally browse to any number of applications on the internet, with no need to install anything. Oh sure, Google will ensure compliance through their app signing and permissions system, but now the world's software developers are beholden to Google and its whims.

It's much less:

"...avoids the fragmentation of the web," says the Chromium team.

and much more:

"avoids pesky developer and user choice, when said choice may lead them away from Google product", says Alphabet board of directors, probably

Snakes on a wane: Python 2 development is finally frozen in time, version 3 slithers on

hellwig

I think it's industry focus in my opinion.

The companies selling C and Ada compilers (say, to Aviation or Medical), are not willing to risk the losses they would incur should they make such a stupid decision. Those same companies (Wind River, Adacore, Green Hills, etc) sit on the design boards and guide the development of the languages.

Not sure any company is paying the same (or really anything) for Python, which gives the community carte blanche over its development. It's a Catch-22. No one is going to spend big $$$ on a tool that can't nail-down it's standards, but then there's no reason to nail-down any standards if you're essential free to do what you want with it.

In other words, the people making changes to C/C++ and Ada have to consider what their customers want out of it. The people making changes to Python are only considering what they want out of it.

Vivaldi opens up an exciting new front in the browser wars, seeks to get around blocking with cunning code

hellwig

Browser Restrictions

Come on, who didn't have a check on their Geocities page admonishing people for using I.E. instead of Netscape back in the day?

Alphabet, Apple, Dell, Tesla, Microsoft exploit child labor to mine cobalt for batteries, human-rights warriors claim

hellwig

But the raw materials have to come from somewhere. Not sure Tesla owns any cobalt mines.

Now, I admit I do not know where Tesla gets any of their materials (so I'm not trying to get sued, Elon).

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you

hellwig

Re: Consumer hardware

When I was a young lad we carved our computer programs into rocks with other, harder rocks. Couldn't believe my eyes the day Grog walked in with his fancy new shiny rock. Called it "metal". Said it would revolutionize the world. We all threw our computer programs at Grog as we laughed him out of the cave.

Apple: Mysterious iPhone 11 location pings were because of 'ultra-wideband compliance'

hellwig

Currently no option to disable it?

Apple: UWB is heavily regulated, you can't just use it everywhere.

User: Well, then can I just turn it off? I don't need it.

Apple: Huh, hadn't considered that.

Doogee Wowser: The S40's a terrible smartphone, but a passable projectile

hellwig

Copyright Infringement?

On the doogee site they have a background image that looks a lot like a promotional image from the Marvel Iron Man movies. Think they licensed that from Disney?

If you want an example of how user concerns do not drive software development, check out this Google-backed API

hellwig

Why would this be necessary?

If a company wants to know if an app is installed, TRY to launch it. You know how many f*kn ads have launched the Google Play store (through ad-block-less Chrome) and hopped directly to their own app in the store? Android has a mechanism to associate an app with a specific URL type. And what happens if the app isn't installed? Maybe the device is instead re-directed to a website (in the original url) that either offers the same features, or provides a link to install the app. I'm fairly confident this can work, because when I click on such a link in an app, it asks if I want to open it in the designated app or one of my web browsers.

That way, if someone wants to see which of their 30+ apps (companies WILL partner to trust each other to be able to build better fingerprints) I have installed, they're gonna have to launch each of them individually with 30 different hyperlinks I would have to click one by one.

Nope, this doesn't benefit the consumer in any way, seeing as there are already mechanisms to do what Google et al. are claiming we need it for.

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, so the EU is investigating Google to get some more money in its hat

hellwig

$$$

As long as Google makes more profit in Europe than the EU fines it, this will continue. The second the EU tips over that balance, Google will just cut them off. What will the EU do without the internet then? Oh wait, Google isn't the internet.

You can't simultaneously argue that Google is unfairly gaining an advantage, but then CONTINUE to use Google services because they have the greatest market share, that's just hypocritical.

I was always bothered by the whole Android decision. Google creates Android, releases it for free so anyone can use it (i.e. Cyanogen). But if you want Google's services you have to use Google's services. Not sure why anyone thinks the Google Play Store should be free and open to all. It's literally a store with Google's name on it. But installing Google's search is too high a price to pay for access to Google's Play Store? Switch your phone over to a competitor like Amazon if you don't like it.

I guess Google should have followed Apple's lead. Never give something away when you can charge a premium for it AND somehow avoid most of the antitrust decisions levied on your competitors. Oh wait, that didn't work for Microsoft with Windows/IE. I'm starting to question what exactly the EU is trying to prove here. It's almost like it's not the actual practice, just who does it.

After 10 years, Google Cloud Print will finally be out of beta... straight into ad giant's graveyard

hellwig

I check most of my email on my phone, so when I get an attachment I need to print out, Google cloud print was perfect for that. My printer has built-in support, so I didn't even need to leave a PC on.

I will miss this feature.

hellwig
Paris Hilton

Re: You missed the reason *why*

What do I do with the Hangouts app I can't uninstall off my old phones? This is terrible. And I was THIS CLOSE to giving it a try. Oh well.

hellwig

Re: It's what they do

I bought a home printer that has built-in Google cloud print support. It's getting "locked into" these free services that sucks.

But it seems like I'm the only one who ever used Google cloud print? Who doesn't love printing from their phone (where I check my email most often) without having to fire-up the old PC?

Huawei with you! FCC's American Pai proposes rip-and-replace of scary Chinese comms kit

hellwig

Shop Local

Networks could continue to use any equipment already in place, but not make new purchases or spend USF dollars to maintain or improve that equipment.

I don't see the problem with this as long as there are compatible U.S. made components.

It's the same reason most police units in the US drive Chevy/Ford/Dodge. Why would you want your tax dollars to be funneled to Japan so that the cops can drive Camry's? If the government has to spend the money, the least they can do is re-invest it into the same society they borrowed it from.

Now, if the choice was between a Nissan Z 300 or a Ford Fiesta, then maybe it's not the government's fault the US company isn't competing. I don't know where US companies stand on 5G development, but surely there's an option.

Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'

hellwig

Re: Employees buying software for their company?

If I recall from a previous article, the idea is that individual users will use company credit cards to purchase these apps on their own behalf, but with company money. I guess Microsoft doesn't offer site licensing or bulk license discounts for these products?

Good news – America's nuke arsenal to swap eight-inch floppy disks for solid-state drives

hellwig

Thumb Drive?

We're pretty sure that just means a 4GB thumb drive, but it could be anything: use your imagination.

Too new. I'm thinking more PCMCIA based flash storage, MAYBE compact flash. The military already has experience with this on airplane dataloaders. And it's a proven technology, been around since the early 90's. You can use up to the full FAT16 file space on a PCMCIA card, or the full FAT32 on a compact flash!

Help! I bought a domain and ended up with a stranger's PayPal! And I can't give it back

hellwig

Re: Or

Probably would have just left the original owner S.O.L. (insert clever definition here). Years ago my wife attempted to register a paypal account, back when you had to have a bank account associated. Paypal said there was already an account with her bank information, so she needed to use a different bank account. If she had created the Paypal account, and it wasn't an error on Paypal's part, she had no idea what email or other information she had used (password recovery for all the ones she new didn't help). As such, she was basically unable to use Paypal until they started allowing you to register with only credit cards years later.

Imagine that, you go to Paypal willing to prove you own a bank account, and all they do is tell you "sorry, someone else appears to be using that, so fuck off".

Think your VMware snapshots are all good? Guess again if you're on Windows Server 2019

hellwig

Obligatory Ignorant Comment

So, what are the use cases for this sort of feature? Are systems these days so overly complex they have no mechanism to suspend themselves "safely"? Reminds me of the old email server no one is allowed to reset because no one knows if it will come back up or not.

Using a virtual machine should make disaster recovery easier as it's not hardware dependent, but now the software itself is so touchy it has to be loaded to the exact same machine state?

This seems like the opposite of a recovery plan.

WeWork's Meetup slaps RSVP fees on events ‒ then tells everyone not to panic amid backlash

hellwig

I'd like to avoid Facebook.

Well, there you have it. You'll have to pay somehow. I guess it's either ask people to create a Facebook account, or pay two dollars to attend your event. 99% of people (not counting this community) don't give a crap about what Facebook collects.

Really, other than "Facebook is evil", what was Meetups selling point over Facebook?

disclaimer: never used Facebook, but if teens can accidentally invite thousands of people to their birthday parties, seems like getting your event out to the masses is not difficult using Facebook.

hellwig

Re: I was going to complain about being nickeled and dimed

Pretty sure WeWork spent millions all all sorts of dumb shit (kombucha for EVERYONE!), so yeah, LOTS of overhead.

Hands off our phones, says Google: Radar-gesture-sensing Pixel 4 just $999 with a 3-year lifespan – great value!

hellwig

Exactly. In a few days/weeks/months time after release, we will all learn that the device was "accidentally" storing all radar data and phoning home back to google daily.

"Oops, this was a development/testing feature we didn't mean to activate in consumer products".

It will, of course, be in plain-text. Not that it's necessarily harmful to users (what does the radar data tell anyone?), but it can't be accidentally collected data if it's not in plain text.

Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching

hellwig

Don't use kids toys for adult sciencing

The scripts, described in a 2014 Nature Protocols article, were designed by Patrick Willoughby, Matthew Jansma, and Thomas Hoye to handle nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), a process for assessing local magnetic fields around atomic nuclei.

Ah Python, your simplicity bites another sucker in the ass. I can see the program now:

import science

science.run(".")

I love how the science can't be done without computers, but they didn't really bother to learn much about said computers. If nothing else, understand that something written on Linux or BSD that involves the file system will most likely not be directly portable to Windows. Heck, I know when I look over the Perl documentation, it makes this very clear.

First Python feature release under new governance model is here, complete with walrus operator (:=)

hellwig

What was wrong with C's implementation?

Sure, using '=' in a conditional could lead to mistakes, but "if ((x = SomeFunc()) > 0) { /* use x */ }" seemed to work fine for C, where did Python diverge?

Ouch. Reinstalling Windows 10 again? By 2020, a 'cloud download' may be all you need

hellwig

Actual Install or just Repair?

If this can wipe Windows off the drive and install fresh, sounds nifty. If we're just talking a "repair" option, no thanks. It's impossible for Windows to repair itself when the problem is how much crap it's gathered over the years (Windows SxS, really Microsoft? Defeats the whole purpose of DLLs). I'm thinking tablets and whatnot here. So many devices abandoned when Windows 10 simply grew too big (I have an HP with 32GB flash storage, there's not enough space to download the update files and actually update the machine).

I also assume this is not a cloud backup of my computer, but just an ability to download the latest OS from Microsoft, instead of use your 4-year old USB stick, then have to download and run all those patches. I have cloud backups of my computer, don't need anything from Microsoft in that regard.

If at first you don't succeed, Fold? Nope. Samsung redesigns bendy screen for fresh launch in September

hellwig

Screen Film

"extended beyond the bezel" to make it "apparent that it is an integral part of the display structure and not meant to be removed"

Sorry, but wasn't part of the original problem that it was peeling itself off? Putting a sign that says "don't touch" on something that self-destructs is rather pointless.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

hellwig

Re: What is overflowing?

ARINC 429 messages are 32-bits. 8-bits for the label, 2 bits for the SSM (signed status matrix), 2 bits for the SDI (source/destination indication), 1 bit for parity, That leaves 19 bits for data which is 536,288 (2^19).

There are 536,400 seconds in 149 hours. So they're sending time since power-up as a 19-bit value in seconds, and it overflows just before 149 hours has hit.

With more hints dropped online on how to exploit BlueKeep, you've patched that Windows RDP flaw, right?

hellwig

Re: If only

Considering that Microsoft has only promised to support Windows 7/2008 security updates for another six months means any company that doesn't already have a plan to move is going to be SOL (Sorely Out of the Loop) anyway.

It's way too late to be using the too big/slow/cheap excuse at any level. I'm mean, basically, they're lucky this didn't hit in six months, because then where would they even get a patch from?

Incognito mode won't stop smut sites sharing your pervy preferences with Facebook, Google and, er, Oracle

hellwig

VPN and DNS over HTTPS

Problem solved, right?

Rust in peace: Memory bugs in C and C++ code cause security issues so Microsoft is considering alternatives once again

hellwig

Who writes Rust?

The problem with trusting any tool to implement your safety is you have to trust that tool implicitly.

Java? Flash? PDF? Intel's ME(management engine)? Spectre/Meltdown?

It's easy to say Rust is safer. I'm sure it looks that way. But what's more dangerous, idiots writing in C/C++? Or the whole world jumping on Rust because of the promise of greatness?

Investigate, yes. But only time will tell if Rust can live up to its promise.

45+ years later, and C is STILL here.

Cobol, Pascal, Fortran, etc.? Time was not kind to them.

hellwig

Re: Finally the industry is catching on C and C++ are terrible languages.

They aren't terrible languages. Some systems, like embedded, can't be programmed in much else.

The problem is they are one size fits all, which makes not very good at certain things.

Rust, or any other managed language, will never conquer the world as much as C/C++ ever did. They're all purpose built now days, which makes them very good at certain things, and useless for others.

In college I remember hearing rumor of Java implemented in hardware. Well, it's 2019 and they can't even convince Java developers to move to Java 2. Lots of things come along and say they'll do it better and safer. Many schools don't even teach C/C++ anymore, yet here we still are.

I'm skeptical about the promises of any new language that tries to market itself as the C/C++ killer.

FCC boosts broadband competition by, er, banning broadband competition in buildings

hellwig

The better question is, why does an industry that balks at more regulation at every turn, push the federal government to enact MORE regulation? Oh, right, cause in this case it benefits them.

hellwig

Re: Does Pai mean that every utility - power, gas, water, etc - ...

I know here in Michigan I can choose my gas provider, even though only one utility company services the actual pipes in my neighborhood.

The utility gets paid for maintenance, and the gas provider gets paid for usage (one bill though). And sometimes, it happens to be the same company.

So.... yeah, it does work in certain instances.

hellwig

Yes, FCC has been broken for many years. But the FCC will be made free to illegal immigrants? What does that mean? Illegal immigrants will get to decide their own communications policy while the citizens have to follow the rules? I might renounce my citizenship if it worked that way (not really).

It's happening, tech contractors: UK.gov is pushing IR35 off-payroll rules to private sector in Finance Bill

hellwig

International Solution

The UK has always sought to lead in finding an international solution to taxing the digital economy.

International Taxes? Um, I'm sorry, but weren't you in a better position to do this before you told the EU to piss-off?

hellwig

Re: Curious reaction

You're comment ignores the fact that Amazon and Google are corporations with no living expenses while independent contractors may be working independently for reasons besides just income.

Maybe they can't travel/relocate to a major hub (e.g. maybe HP just fired them). Maybe they just enjoy switching jobs regularly.

Either way, independent employment has risks not associated with full-time employment. Of COURSE you won't make as much being a full-time employee, the company owns you (although they excuse the difference as "benefits"). When you're an independent contractor, you have all the responsibility. You also get to claim a lot of expenses as business related. When you're full-time, it's your employer who sees those benefits, thus you pay more in taxes for each dollar earned than a contractor who spends some of that maintaining their business.

If independant contracting pays better, why not just switch to it yourself?

And P.S., maybe people are upset about this tax change because corporations like Amazon and Google STILL don't have to pay their fair share? If everyone complains corporations aren't doing their part, and then the government raises taxes on the people, the people will only get MORE upset.

'Fake 5G' feud falters as Sprint, AT&T settle suit over 'misleading' label

hellwig

Korea and US

I suppose no European carrier has the balls to challenge the EU the definition of 5G? Now AT&T has 5G+? They know exactly what they're doing, confusing poor old grandmothers, and stupid millenials, who are going to see that the competitors only have "5G" and they want AT&T's "5G+".

I really am surprised it's not illegal, or at least civilly actionable. Doesn't the 5G consortium have anything to say about this? If I wired up USB 2.0 and called it Thunderbolt, they'd revoke my license.

Now here's a Galaxy far, far away: Samsung stalls Fold rollout after fold-able screens break in hands of reviewers

hellwig

Screen Film

Odd, since for many part of the joy of a new phone is peeling off the factory-fitted screen protectors, and clearly even tech savvy reviewers fell prey to temptation.

My understanding is that the stupid plastic layer was peeling itself off the screen, and the reviewer(s) in question thought it was actually a shipping film, and not the layer they were supposed to leave in place.

So it's still back to the quality issue. If pieces of your phone should not be peeled off, make sure they don't peel themselves off first.

We don't know whether 737 Max MCAS update is coming or Boeing: Anti-stall safety fix delayed

hellwig

Re: I'd fly in one today.

Absolutely. I think the two pilots on the Ethiopian flight had less hours combined than a US pilot needs in order to be in command of such an aircraft. AND the fact that a Lyon-Air dead-head pilot was able to overcome the same issue only the day before the crash shows me even the affected airlines had some competent pilots, just not at the helm on those fateful days.

I know that the FAA and EASA (U.S. and European aviation administrations) will cooperate (i.e. an FAA cert is good in Europe as well). I'm not aware of any other regions that have a competent enough administration to be considered legitimate globally.

Intel gets court order telling former engineer to return confidential docs in Micron row

hellwig

.emacs/init.el

I had a hard time getting my Emacs config from my last employer, as they had completely locked-down the network at that time. No external drives could be plugged in and all emails were scanned by security (and I didn't want to have to explain to some security person what the file was).

However, copy-paste over remote desktop/VPN still worked. Seems to me security lags behind technology far too often.

Also, I've left so many sentimental Perl scripts at former employers, so sad.

I don't hate US tech, snarls Euro monopoly watchdog chief – as Google slapped with €1.49bn megafine

hellwig

Re: Tip of the iceberg

Other than Microsoft and Google, has the EU acted against any other US company?

This one seems like a legit violation. Blocking out competitors is a bad thing (ah, reminds me of the Intel/OEM collusion time period).

I still disagree with many other judgments, such as Google being penalized for showing its own services on its own webpages. If you don't want to see Google's stuff, do NOT go to Google.com in your web browser and then search for things. And if Google is your default engine and you don't know how to change it, maybe try googling it, ah shit, you just can't win.

Super Cali optimistic right-to-repair's negotious, even though Apple thought it was something quite atrocious

hellwig

Re: Next on the list

Yes, but those cheap-ass farmers don't buy new tractors every year, so poor old JD had to do something to protect the bottom line.</sarcasm>

Don't get the pitchforks yet, Apple devs: macOS third-party application clampdown probably not as bad as rumored

hellwig

Re: and the re$t...

Yep. I caught this statement in the article: [Apple] clearly wants to discourage reliance on unsigned apps due to the potential security and privacy risks. AND the fact that they can force people to use their distribution and payment methods, as on iOS.

Problem for Apple is that MacOS is no where near as popular as iOS. Apple lost it's "advantage" when it switched to x86 processors. If they switch to ARM, they won't be gaining any performance back. Apple computers will be isolated boxes used only for dedicated purposes, not the general purpose PCs they were founded to be.

We don't want to be Latch key-less kids: NYC tenants sue landlords for bunging IoT 'smart' lock on their front door

hellwig

Still gonna charge for door unlocks.

I bet they'll still get hit with a $20 door unlocking fee IF they can find a phone to call it in (in theory, they don't have their own smartphone on hand).

My first day in a locked-front-door apartment was fun, went out to get my pizza and bam, locked out. Luckily I had a ground floor apartment and left a window open.

Qualcomm wins Apple patent case, loses Apple patent case, wins Apple patent case, loses Apple patent case...

hellwig

M.A.D.

Surely, we learned from the cold war that you can't go overboard with the nuclear option. You keep building nukes until one of you can't afford to do it anymore, then the other person is the winner.

Apple understood, when it told other companies to stop paying Qualcomm. Qualcomm went to the courts to hit Apple where it hurts.

Seems par for the course, not sure who will go under first, my bet is on the no-longer revolutionary Apple.

Nice 'AI solution' you've bought yourself there. Not deploying it direct to users, right? Here's why maybe you shouldn't

hellwig

Negative Reinforcement

Punish the AI for mis-identifying something. It'll learn real quick not to do that anymore, that is, if it's truly intelligent.

'Java 9, it did break some things,' Oracle bod admits to devs still clinging to version 8

hellwig

Re: I'm still using Java 1.4

But that's the thing, Java is not being distinguished between the language itself and the distributed libraries and the run time environment. As far as I know, all old Java code will still "compile" (they haven't altered the syntax), but the issue is incompatibilities with other libraries.

And that's what Oracle is also licensing. They have no control over the language, but if you want their implementations of common libraries in their JDK and JRE, you have to abide by their licensing rules, or find something else.

It's the same with other scripting languages (yes, I went there). The advantage of Python, Perl, Node.JS, etc... is the collection of default libraries and the distribution network of others. I mean, for chrissake, if you had to write bare Python, you'd never do it. Important Whitespace? HAH!

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?

hellwig

And Facebook wondered...

Why it couldn't create a software algorithm to provide relevant impartial news and social media posts? The fallacy of the modern nerd is thinking they're smarter than everyone else despite evidence to the contrary.

"Just because Einstein couldn't rationalize his theories on relativity without the cosmological constant, doesn't mean my Hemp-based dating app can't solve the mysteries of the universe!".

Behold… a WinRAR security bug that's older than your child's favorite YouTuber. And yes, you should patch this hole

hellwig

I mean, if you're on the bleeding edge of compression related technology, sure. However, I think 99% of users can just get by with whatever 7z does support.

For LTS/archiving purposes, I'm sure there are all sorts of fancy algorithms. For sending a collection of documents to your co-worker, most people will just use .zip.

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