* Posts by bofh1961

130 publicly visible posts • joined 19 May 2017


Apple redecorates its iPhone prison to appease Europe


If was really a computer...

I could just wipe it and install Linux like I did with my laptop. Apple and Google can both fuck off and die as far as I'm concerned.

New York Times sues OpenAI, Microsoft over 'millions of articles' used to train ChatGPT


It's all about profit

There's no point in copyright except to protect profit. If you don't want to make a profit from your writing, you don't copyright it. I must get ChatGPT to see if it's slurped my website... I hope so! Bollocks, it hasn't...

Bricking it: Do you actually own anything digital?


Thanks for a very useful article

I particularly like eBay for getting old CDs, DVDs and books. Bookfinder is very good too. I don't like anything about the streaming model from either the business or technical point of view. It's designed to screw the consumer and kill the secondhand market.

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers


Razors and razorblades...

The low initial outlay is very tempting but ongoing costs are extortionate. I've owned a couple of inkjets from different manufacturers, the difference in build quality was very noticeable between the earlier and later one. I gave up on printing when the second one died with only light use just after the warranty expired. Photos look better on screen anyway, in the same way that projected slides always looked better than prints.

Wayland takes the wheel as Red Hat bids farewell to X.org


Wayland itself is getting old now...

What's the betting that someone starts developing a replacement for Wayland sometime soon?

AI threatens to automate away the clergy


From a meatsack's POV

I'm a meatsack working on a variety of production lines for a manufacturing company. We all know that we'd be replaced with robots if the firm could afford the CapEx to actually do it. Robots tend to cost a wee bit more than chatbots.

Leader of pro-Russia DDoS crew Killnet 'unmasked' by Russian state media


Re: Killmilk

I suspect that if his name has been put out in the open and he has been attacking Russian targets, he's already dead or soon will be.

AI chip outfit Graphcore's sales to China hit by US export rules


Collateral damage?

I'm starting to wonder how much America's trade war against China is damaging its allies' economies and why they're going along with it. I know the UK hasn't had an independent foreign policy since the Suez crisis but I thought the rest of Europe did.

Ex-GCHQ software dev jailed for stabbing NSA staffer



The criminal and the victim's employers are irrelevant. The choice of weapon is irrelevant. What is relevant is that a criminal who has intricately planned and then attempted murder hasn't been given a whole life sentence when it's obvious that he's a psychopath who should never be allowed to return to society.

Bad Vibrations: Music publishers sue Anthropic AI for using copyrighted lyrics



Progress towards the utopian Culture of Iain M Banks appears to be being derailed by the greed of capitalists. What a surprise.

GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session


The sheer f**king arrogance is breathtaking

Why do these developers insist on removing functionality? Do they ever stoop so low as to talk to us mere users? Gnome only works okay with extensions, Wayland is obviously never going to have the missing functionality mentioned in this article and Nautilus has been crippled. I opted for Cinnamon a few years ago, first on Ubuntu, then LM, then Fedora and now LMDE 6. Other desktops seem less versatile and less refined.

When is a PC an AI PC? Nobody seems to know or wants to tell


Re: Uptick in fruitful work.

The AI generated text would be too easily detected because the syntax, grammar and spelling would be perfect... semantically they'd be identical - completely meaningless no matter how many times you reread them.

Google doubles minimum RAM and disk in 'Chromebook Plus' spec


An unattractive option becomes even less attractive

I'll stick with Linux on my 4th gen i5 Latitude.

Musk's first year as Twitter's Dear Leader is nigh


Where's Bond?

Musk is pure SPECTRE, he has every attribute a Bond villain needs. We'll get Bond to deal with Musk while Q fixes X...

US military F-35 readiness problems highlighted in aptly timed report


Too many cooks spoil the broth

Multinational designs usually fail. The Panavia Tornado being a good example*. The F-14 or F-15 could have performed the same missions just as well, at a lower cost and an earlier arrival in service. However, those US aircraft wouldn't have provided much profit or employment to the aerospace industries of Britain, Germany and Italy.

* Early variants of the Tornado were vulnerable to ground fire when attacking at low level - ancient Blackburn Buccaneers had to be hurriedly taken out of retirement and sent to the gulf to mark targets so the Tornadoes could bomb from altitude.

There have been projects where two nations have cooperated that have been successful, notably the P-51, the Alpha Jet and the Jaguar.

The clock is ticking and Korea wants to know if its chipmakers will get their export license extension


America's trade war

China's economy didn't become the second largest in the world by competing in the technology sector, it did it by flooding the Western world with cheap, basic goods. How many of us in the West can afford to clothe ourselves in garments made locally? How many of us always opt for the cheapest product that'll do the job? Many, if not most, people have no choice but the cheapest. Now America is fighting a trade war to protect its tech sector in the name of "national security" and coerced the rest of the West into joining it - it's questionable if it can be sustained though. Let's face it, whoever you buy your network kit from there's a good chance it'll have undisclosed vulnerabilities that the manufacturer built in at the behest of its government.

Beneath Microsoft's Surface event, AI spreads everywhere


Smoke and mirrors

Until AI achieves sentience it's just another bunch of algorithms. Right now it can't drive a car. It can't tell fact from fiction. It can't write anything original. It can't reliably recognise a face. It's just the latest buzzword being used to hoodwink people into buying stuff...

Power grids tremble as electric vehicle growth set to accelerate 19% next year


For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

Many people live in places where they can't charge the vehicle at home. Without off-street parking it's not going to be feasible. Nobody will want to chance a journey knowing that, at best, they'll face a long wait at one of the few public charging points before they get to twiddle their thumbs for at least half an hour before they can continue their journey. At worst they'll arrive at their chosen charging point to find it's out of order and they'll have to call a breakdown service. Which will, of course, recharge their car from an ICE generator. Did I mention that public charging points will be far more expensive to use than overnight charging at home?

GNOME 45 formalizes extensions module system


Perhaps GNOME could...

Consider the option of creating a desktop that doesn't need extensions to make it usable for human beings?

Tesla hedges Dojo supercomputer bet with 10K Nvidia H100 GPU cluster



If this level of hardware can't enable AI to drive a car it'll look like the developers are missing a trick somewhere.

Want tech cred? Learn how to email like a pro


Email like a pro?

As a former systems engineer, I realised a long time ago that many developers experience difficulty communicating with the rest of humanity. This article really brought it home to me though just how differently their brains are wired. Ii it safe to assume that Gnome developers write their emails in Klingon?

Mint 21.2 is desktop Linux without the faff


Re: The best

Windows still has a big hold on the business desktop because of all their legacy apps and the corporate world's love of locking machines down and micro-managing them with AD. In the consumer market, the bestselling games are all for Windows or consoles and Nvidia graphics adapters are much better supported than they are in Linux.

Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable


Snap, crackle and pop...

Can easily be recreated in the digital world by using a cheap external sound card that doesn't have any shielding, placed close to a laptop/phone charger. Replicating the warmth of vinyl is even cheaper with a FOSS sound editor.

Microsoft signs 1.5 million seat contract for Office 365 and more



Do you have to have a Windows device to use Orifice 365?

The challenges Intel faces to compete with TSMC, Samsung


Flogging a dead horse

It's a big gamble with public money, at some point the US government may realise that propping up Intel is just throwing good money after bad. If Intel can pull off the near-miracle of producing competitive nodes at a decent price, the strategic value of an indigenous subsidised processor source may just keep it going. If it can't then it's only a matter of time before Uncle Sam pulls the plug.

AI menaces superbug by identifying potent antibiotic


AI to save the world!

Finally, proof that AI is the benevolent, omniscient and omnipotent saviour that mankind has been waiting for!

UK's GDPR replacement could wipe out oversight of live facial recognition


What's the problem?

Most of the population is already quite happy to carry a listening device around with them all the time. A device they have little or no control over. The state merely wants to have as much of a surveillance capability as Google already does. Big business and the state already have far more control over us than most of realise and technology will only exacerbate that. So-called democracy is just window dressing for state control, as it always has been.

Samsung's Galaxy S23 Ultra is a worthy heir to the Note


What's it like for making actual phone calls?

The main purpose for a phone seems to have been completely overlooked. I bought my smartphone in 2014, I'll never buy another one.

Microsoft Azure CTO believes confidential computing is the future of targeted advertising


I kinda like the idea of better targeted ads but on the other hand...

Currently, I only ever seem to be shown ads for stuff I'm not remotely interested in. However, this is very obviously just a workaround for existing data protection legislation. Rather like a tax haven but for data instead of money. Microsoft et al being as trustworthy as ever.

When you try to hire a freelancer to write SQL and all you get is incorrect AI garbage


The need for speed

Leaving aside the frauds, coders using AI is just one example of how the ever-increasing pressure to both respond and deliver quickly leads to the adoption of shortcuts. It's as much the fault of those looking to hire people as it is the applicants or websites. Let's face it, if AI-generated code was any good, the employers would already be hiring people (on minimum wage) to do it.

Russia tops national leagues in open source downloads


General Motors is a non-tech company?

As in, anything outside of the IT sector is non-tech?

The end of Microsoft-brand peripherals is only Surface deep


I'm no friend of MS

I've always found they've always worked well under Linux too.

Techie called out to customer ASAP, then: Do nothing


SLAs are just targets by another name

As the fiasco in Scotland with the emergency call centre assigning calls to a fake call sign shows, give people a target and they'll find a way to ensure they always hit it.

Ex-politico turned Meta hype man brands Metaverse 'new heart of computing'


Why did the chicken cross the road?

Because Nick Clegg said it wouldn't...

It's official: Ubuntu Cinnamon remix has been voted in


Re: I'll stick with fedora Cinnamon and carry on using flathub when I need to

For those of us who want both pipewire and Cinnamon, I think Fedora is still the best way to go.

Russian developers blocked from contributing to FOSS tools


FOSS neutrality?

The very nature of FOSS makes it universal, anyone can pick it up and use it, without charge, for whatever they want. Corporations monetise it but secretly wish they could own it. Governments make free use of it but secretly wish they controlled it. FOSS occupies a strange space that neither maths nor physics can describe, a space which bypasses geographical boundaries and economic models. It can be used for almost any purpose that involves information. Profit can be made from it but it can't be owned. It can be used but it can't be controlled. The growth and development of AI will only make this more so.

Reg FOSS desk test drive: First beta of Fedora 38 drops


I don't care how good it seems...

It's still going on the spare laptop first!

Linux app depot Flathub may offer paid-for software


Attempting to milk the world's smallest herd of cattle...

isn't going to be as easy as fleecing the sheep that flock to Apple and Microsoft. If it was, they'd already be doing it.

Don't lock the datacenter door, said the boss. The builders need access and what could possibly go wrong?


Even accountants can surprise us occasionally

This chap showed unusual thinking in gaining access to the machine room and then followed it up with unusual common sense by following instructions and not pressing the big red button. Frankly, he doesn't sound ideally suited to the profession, I imagine he didn't progress very far in that career.

Five British companies fined for making half a million nuisance calls



Jail would be more appropriate.

Fancy some fresh Linux Mint? 21.1 enters beta, should be here by Christmas


I wonder

How quickly Cinnamon 5.6 will make it to the Fedora spin that I prefer. The changes to Nemo are welcome.

Qualcomm vs Arm: The bizarro quotient just went off the scale


Softbank still owns Arm...

...and is known to be wanting to squeeze as much out of the company as possible without having any real understanding of the industry or Arm's place in it. While Arm's management almost certainly wouldn't want to go down this alleged route, Softbank might think it a very good idea.

Xiaomi reveals bonkers phone with bolted-on Leica lens that will make you look like a dork


There's an issue with device lifetime

A smartphone is almost always out of support in 5 years or less whereas a Leica lens will last forever. If it did go into production and was successful enough then the phone might be superseded by a compatible model but I can't see many prospective buyers taking a gamble on that so I see it as unlikely to happen. I doubt it'll go into production anyway.

Porsche wants to sell you a rusty tailpipe soundbar for $12k



Prospective buyers might donate the cash to the nearest food bank instead... if they want to feel good about themselves. An ancient laptop, amp and pair of speakers would do a better job than this tat and look better too.

Russia says Starlink satellites could become military targets


Russia is bluffing

Russia's economy can afford to knock out maybe a couple of dozen satellites. The ones over Ukraine would be the obvious target but Starlink could replace them quicker than Russia can replace the missiles used to destroy them. Putin would be running the risk of being very publicly humiliated by Elon Musk.

IBM withholds healthcare subsidies from some retirees


Murder for money

IBM's Advantage plans will withhold the optimal treatment for some retirees, effectively shortening their lives. The more the company's attitude towards its staff, former staff and customers is exposed, the more good staff will go elsewhere. Short-term greed from the bosses causes long-term financial issues for everyone else, including the company itself. Red Hat is the only good thing IBM has going for it, no doubt they'll slowly strangle that golden goose.

Laugh all you want. There will be a year of the Linux desktop


Re: Is it "Linux _on_ the desktop" or should it be "KDE _for_ the desktop"?

I'm using Cinnamon on Fedora 37 for the better Bluetooth experience more than anything. I wouldn't expect anyone who isn't tech savvy to use it though. My biggest beef with LM and Ubuntu is that the automatic updates get frozen when the updater package itself requires an update. The average end user would never know that the updates aren't happening.

Don't say Pentium or Celeron anymore, it's just Processor now, says Intel


Intel's future looks pretty bleak

If they can't come up with a better choice of name that that. It's right up there with Ford's Ka. It makes OS/2 seem imaginative.

US school year opens with reading, writing, and ransomware


Security and business continuity aren't worth even thinking about until organisations suffer.

Here's the fundamental issue... if the organisation isn't hit by malware or suffer some other IT disaster, it makes security and business continuity look like a waste of time and money to folks outside of the industry. The mere fact that these things didn't happen because of the time and money spent on guarding against them is completely ignored. Even to this day people think that the Y2K issue wasn't worth worrying about because nothing actually happened. The years spent mitigating, testing and patching were what prevented anything happening but the vast majority of people out there still think it wasn't worth doing because it obviously wasn't such a big issue anyway. Malware is even less visible than the Y2K bug was.

Nichelle Nichols' ashes set for trek to the stars



It's Lieutenant Uhura to you, Ensign!