* Posts by keithzg

81 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Oct 2017


Mozilla CEO quits, pushes pivot to data privacy champion... but what about Firefox?


Lack of PWA support is a killer

With so many "apps" these days actually just being Electron which is then just actually running individual browser AND webserver instances for each "app", it's honestly pretty nice to run PWAs. And in many instances far nicer than adding another tab, a lot of cases I want a taskbar button etc (and on mobile it's especially nice to have things acting like An App).

Now, granted my own history with Firefox has it always being kinda unusable for me for some reason or another, but it's really hard to give up webapps just to use a different browser. And with Firefox making such bold claims about privacy and sandboxing, surely the attack surface isn't actually that bad? And it's probably worse, and certainly worse for Firefox, if your potential users are using Chrome instead...

UNIX co-creator Ken Thompson is a… what user now?


Re: Plan 9 deep inside your Linux VMs

Oh whoa I didn't know that! Apparently I've long been using more of Plan 9, and far more meaningfully, than when I just installed the reimplemented and ported bits of it from Linux repos out of idoe curiosity. And I had no idea! Crazy to think how some people's influences on the world can seep in so widely and deeply.

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

Thumb Up

As a Canadian/American dual-citizen, it has been basically my personal religion to steadfastly refuse to learn the Imperial system of measures, and I'm happy to report I've been largely successful. I do "know" Fahrenheit for baking I guess, but also my oven isn't exactly terribly accurate and consistent so those are just extra imaginary numbers anyways (and if I'm cooking a roast or something, you better believe my meat thermometer is set to Celsius).

Twitter tweaks third-party app rules to ban third-party apps


Re: Why should they feel obligated to refund anyone?

I was assuming not that they felt obligated, but rather that (from what I recall; I'm not an Apple user myself) the iOS app store allows for customers taking such actions and that that's entirely out of the hands of the developers. In which case they're kinda getting screwed by two big corporations rather than just one.

Microsoft locks door to default guest authentication in Windows Pro


Ah, a classic Microsoftian error message

"The network path was not found" is such a classic Microsoft error message. I'm not sure it even actually ever pops up when a network path *actually* isn't found, I've only ever seen it when an SMB network share is configured to allow open access and Windows is configured to disallow it.

(Also I *swear* this isn't new? I've had to change this setting on Pro installs at work for years, since there's some shares the engineers demand open access to and throw fits if they have to remember credentials for, even if those credentials are centralized and the same for them on every system. But maybe it rolled out some months back and that has bled into my years of using gpedit or a reg command on every Enterprise amd Server install of Windows at the office.)

Guy who wrote women are 'soft, weak, cosseted, naive' lasted about a month at Apple until internal revolt

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IPO indeed

The point near the end of the article, that this is a guy who doesn't actually need a job to live because he got a big burst of wealth earlier in his career, seems very salient. Very different calculus than if it was an equally dickish but not wealthy low-level engineer, which is often the conflation these executives try to foster.

Microsoft fixes the thing it broke via another dose of out-of-band patching to deal with BSOD printing problems


Re: Kyocera

Personally this is why I tend to run Linux myself. Not that things don't break, but so that I can actually reach under the hood and resolve the problems when things inevitably do break! (Even just the ability to chroot into an existing OS install from a live USB/DVD/etc session, that alone makes a huge difference in how easy it is to resolve serious issues.)

Chef leaves a bad taste: Staff cut in 'horrid, bleak' week after Progress swallows DevOps darling for $220m


"I'm sorry, as a public company we don't comment on impact to employees"

Err, what does being a public company have to do with that? Maybe I'm missing some U.K. nuance (I'm often a bit surprised by your laws on the other side of the Atlantic, although less so than folks living Stateside since Canada has inherited a lot of British legal tradition) but that sounds like complete bullshit to me.

Microsoft puts away the Catnip: Windows Insiders community app axed due to 'technical limitations'


Clusterfsck of a bug reporting system

So is the only way to access the Windows Insider communication and bug-reporting stuff still the Windows 10 app, then? That seems . . . problematic.

I mean for one, you might want to report a problem with an Insider update for Windows, and be having problems reporting it *due to the problem itself*. Being able to report stuff from a phone or tablet (or just another desktop OS) would greatly diminish the possibility that a bug ironically prevented the easy reporting of the bug.

Furthermore, the number of times over the past few years where folks in the Insider program have discovered and reported serious problems with a Windows update and then that update has shipped anyways has made me suspicious that the act of needing to use the Insider Win10 app to view anything has meant that the folks with enough authority to do something about such serious bugs just don't ever actually see those reports. The classic "boss who lives on an iPad" certainly wouldn't be able to, for example.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes


Re: Isn't THIS why we've got to teach 2nd-graders how to "code", rather than how to think?

Not that you're wrong, but in my city there's a bridge that only just opened last year after years and years of delays because the piss-poor engineering was such that portions of the bridge were even falling apart while they were building it, so it had to be dramatically re-imagined. Those engineers certified to know what they're doing . . . well, often they nonetheless don't.

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?


Re: Hm...


Microsoft's on Edge and you could be, too: Chromium-based browser exits beta – with teething problems


Re: @Arthur 1 - Language Issues Indeed

There's no way that's true.

We all know Microsoft doesn't have any QA teams anymore! They just have the Insider program, which discovers bugs that Microsoft then ships so that everyone can join in the fun experiences the Insider program folks had!

Hey kids! Ditch that LCD and get ready for the retro CRT world of Windows Terminal


Re: So...Cool-retro-term alike then?

On the plus side, this has prompted me to re-install cool-retro-term!

AMD rips covers off 64-core Threadripper desktop monster, plus laptop chips, leaving Intel gesturing vaguely at 2021


Re: It's nice to have all that power...

Pro-tip: then don't buy this expensive and specialized CPU!


No driver issues for me either

Although OP is presumably talking about Windows drivers, and I barely ever bother to boot into Windows :P

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative amid row over new data-sharing crypto license: 'We've gone the wrong way with licensing'


Admittedly a fan of a new license

While I definitely agree that license proliferation is a bad thing, I find myself actually being an advocate of a fairly new license: Copyleft-next.


One of the nice things about it is that it's actually nicely short and readable, while nonetheless containing basically the entire stipulations of the GPLv3 license, and adds a 15-year sunset after which code released under its license becomes permissively licensed.

Google security engineer says she was fired for daring to remind Googlers they do indeed have labor rights


Re: Can someone please explain...

Same reason companies, and their management, keep getting greater and greater sums of wealth: enough is never enough.

FUSE for macOS: Why a popular open source library became closed source and commercially licensed


Re: fairness

Stallman might not have quite seen it coming, but the FSF as a whole did, hence the AGPL.


Re: Licence

Naw, most of it is companies who already believed the FUD about Free Software long before they even heard about Qt, and so want to pay for a proprietary license that lets them keep all their code proprietary themselves.

In an homage to Harry Potter's every-flavour jelly beans, Microsoft unveils 'Lucky Dip' Windows 10 testing ring


Re: "this is not so good for those planning deployments"

"Windows: Plan for yesterday, be disappointed tomorrow"

Apple sues iPhone CPU design ace after he quits to run data-center chip upstart Nuvia


Re: The Never-Ending Story

I mean hell, Apple sure wouldn't exist if Wozniak had acted like Apple is here insisting employees have to act.

Oracle and Google will fight in court over Java AGAIN and this time it's going to the Supremes


Be careful what you wish for

It'd be great if the Federal Circuit's ruling was overturned, so for a while it'd been a hope that the Supreme Court would take up the case. But considering the current composition of the court, maybe we'd have been better off sticking with a circuit split . . .

Chrome OS: Yo dawg, I heard you like desktops so we put a workspace in your workspace


Huh? I've dual-booted every Chromebook I've had without any disassembly

For one, you'd never flash the BIOS on a Chromebook, or really any modern laptop; most laptops use UEFI instead, while Chromebooks use Coreboot.

For two, once you flip on the Developer option, you get the nag screen about security . . . and you can now boot from devices via a "Legacy Boot" option provided by a SeaBIOS instance shipped with the Coreboot firmware to boot other OSes. Every single Chromebook I've ever had, I've dual-booted with a standard Linux distro this way. I've never opened up any of them.

There are also other ways, like packaging a Linux distro up as a ChromeOS image, and I also think many newer Chromebooks ship with a UEFI layer too that can be used in Developer mode? I've never tried either of those two approaches myself though.

You only need to do any sort of screw removal if you want to actually flash your own copy of the firmware. Which matters for people who want 100% Free Software running on their hardware and thus want to flash Libreboot, or have some other very very geeky reason to want to run your own firmware on the board (ex. trying to add stuff so that Windows will deign to run on it), but not so much for anyone else.

Just take a look at the carnage on Notepad++'s GitHub: 'Free Uyghur' release sparks spam tsunami by pro-Chinese


Re: Bravo

That's unfortunate to hear; it's been rock-solid for me on Linux for years, and although I don't end up on Windows too often it's been my go-to there too and been fine as well. But if you're using it on Windows (or macOS) that support is definitely newer and less battle-tested.



I'm not a huge fan of Notepad++ myself (I prefer Kate as my text editor, by far), but I'm definitely a huge fan of his stance here.

Cyber-security super-brain Rudy Giuliani forgets password, bricks iPhone, begs Apple Store staff for help

IT Angle

Entirely explains the pocket dialing

My presumption when the pocket dialing was detailed was that he didn't have any lock PIN or pass on his phone, and that he'd previously had such troubles due to entering the wrong password too many times seems like strong evidence for that. I can easily imagine him being like, well screw it, not worth the effort then.

GitLab pulls U-turn on plan to crank up usage telemetry after both staff and customers cry foul


Re: CEO apologises for ill-considered proposal

Yeah, this is the second big backtrack after a public outcry this month!

Increasingly glad I prefer Phabricator anyways

From Instagram to insta-banned: Facebook wipes NSO Group workers' personal profiles amid WhatsApp hack rap


Very Aliens vs. Predator

There are no good guys, and of course whoever wins we stand to lose.

Ow-wei, says Huawei as Chinese giant admits US sanctions smacked it right in the phone biz


Re: Help me out here... Why can't they use google services?

Three things:

1. It is only true in a practical sense that "anyone can just distribute the binaries/apk's". By no means does that make it legal (which is a thing you have to worry about the larger you are in terms of size and scope; a random single person redistributing the binaries has to care less than a small OEM who in turn has to care a lot less than if you're one of the most high-profile Android OEMs in the entire world).

2. Google has tightened up access to Google Play Services recently; previously they did not block it on uncertified devices, whereas recently they have moved towards blocking. See https://www.xda-developers.com/google-blocks-gapps-uncertified-devices-custom-rom-whitelist/ for instance.

3. Huawei is specifically threatened with every American company being barred from doing any business with them as per the Trump administrations Entity List, which is a different situation than just being some random Chinese company.

Blood money is fine with us, says GitLab: Vetting non-evil customers is 'time consuming, potentially distracting'


Re: I have said this before....

> These people who are sounding off on Google's internal message boards? Fine, but don't protest your employer and expect no consequences.

That's a bit of a strawman; a lot of such folks do expect consequences, they just believe in their stances enough that they feel the consequences will be worth it.

Conversely, this move by GitLab is an attempt to avoid consequences for actions, and is rather preemptively cowardly.

I'd flip it around a bit: If you only want mindless drones, only hire mindless drones.

As the article points out, GitLab would like to portray itself differently from all that, with an extensive Code Of Conduct that takes many moral stances and tries to position the company as being encouraging of a high level of ethical behaviour. While I disagree with your managerial philosophy as espoused here, I would in fact far rather see a company run explicitly along the grounds you lay out than be cloaked in misleading rhetoric like GitLab is.


Re: "This is a very confused post"

I can agree with that as long as they, in turn, do not presuppose the right to determine that others can't themselves express their opinions. And GitLab is very much falling afoul of this with their policy, and worse they're doing so in a transparent attempt to restrict employees' ability to bring pressure on the company as stakeholders therein.


"Impressive" argumentation

There are a lot of issues I have with your comment, but

> if you don't like a companies position, well no-one is forcing you to work there or use it's products - remember BMW used slave labour in the 1940's

really takes the cake if only because you've managed to contradict yourself not even with a subsequent sentence, but rather with even just a subsequent clause in the same sentence! Impressive, in a way.

Twice in one month: Microsoft updates new-style Terminal preview


Classic modern development pattern

A feature is surfacing an issue? Don't fix the underlying issue, remove the feature!

There once was a biz called Bitbucket, that told Mercurial to suck it. Now devs are dejected, their code soon ejected


Re: Those who were there

While it's true that the bigger issue in the PAL world was cost rather than length, by the time Betamax hit Europe the format wars had probably already been decided by VHS's dominance in America, however; the inertia was likely insurmountable, even if it took a while to fully shake out.

Canadian ISP Telus launches novel solution to deal with excess email: Crash your servers and wipe it all


Re: "rich history"

Maybe they just meant they have a history in claiming to provide excellent customer service, and that that claim is pretty rich ;)

In my experience Teksavvy is even better than Shaw for customer support, albeit hamstrung by being a reseller, so sometimes there's nothing they can do either but wait for Shaw or Telus or whatnot to actually fix a physical problem.

Have had mostly good experiences with Shaw's business support, save for a particularly galling instance where they replaced a cable modem with a modem+router combo box after having claimed they wouldn't, and would not swap it back for a purely modem box because they no longer offered such. Luckily their putting that box into passthrough mode has mostly stayed set, only very occasionally knocking my entire office at work off of the internet . . .

Russia: We did not hack the US Democrats. But if we did, we're immune from prosecution... lmao


Photoshop? C'mon, man, the year is 2018

The NSA should use its ridiculous computing power to make the deepfake of all deepfakes!

Ex-Microsoft manager sues former coworkers and Windows giant over claims of sex assault, gender discrimination


Re: Maybe too much?

"but none have them been that inconsiderate, especially in a group"

Well, it's not like Microsoft has been renowned for their great corporate culture . . .

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here


Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

3:2 screens, too; I dual-boot ChromeOS and Kubuntu on a Pixelbook, as I did previously on a Chromebook Pixel, and it's quite great.


Re: SecureBoot Bites Again

Yeah but who cares about Windows :P

(In all seriousness, the same thought occurred to me.)

Fortnite 'fesses up: New female character's jiggly bits 'unintended' and 'embarrassing'


There's something very weird looking about that

Maybe it's how literally nothing else, including her hair, is moving physics-wise in response to the dance other than her breasts? I'm not entirely sure that's it, but whatever it is, that video looks really uncanny and off-putting to me.

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath


Nokia's history, particularly leading up to the end, was definitely one of the engineers working wonders and management being giant self-serving pricks.


Yeah Nokia's Linux strategy seemed pretty doomed once Nokia outright decided not to even actually try and sell them.

SailfishOS is pretty great on my Gemini, so in some senses it does live on, though I would have preferred a more N900-style thumb keyboard like the N950 had (ie. you can't necessarily type normally, but a full range of keys is included).


And Nokia *had* a smooth exist strategy planned out for Symbian

By the time the N8 came out, Nokia's dev tools supported easily writing applications that would work fine on Symbian devices like the N8 (and Symbian was still, at the time, the single most widely installed smartphone OS in the world) *and* on the new Harmattan Linux-based platform of the N9. It could, in fact, have been one of the smoothest ecosystem OS switchovers in computer history, had they kept to the plan.

And frankly, as someone who worked in phone retail at the time as a slacker job, I'm not sure Windows Phone even actually ever got as good of an app catalogue as the Qt-based apps for Maemo and Symbian; I had a Nokia N9 and easily had better apps available to me than the crappy catalogue available on the Windows Phones I was selling (frankly, Windows Phone was best considered just a nice touchscreen interface for a feature phone). Which is particularly shocking considering how Nokia entirely pulled the rug out from app developers and had essentially announced there was no future.

And that's not even to get into how Nokia had more Linux-based products in the pipeline that were then canceled to make way for Windows Phone . . . only, Windows Phone only supported an extremely limited set of SoCs and had to be developed for anew, abandoning the SoCs Nokia had been working with prior, and so Nokia found itself with giant gaps in its device roadmap.

Now, it's entirely possible that Nokia's smooth changeover strategy, where developers could easily target both their legacy platform and upcoming platform, may not have worked. And the N9 (which was wonderfully received at the time, and IMHO still feels a bit futuristic in construction and interface today; certainly the swipe-based navigation is almost infinitely better than Android's lacklustre new gesture-based navigation) may not have seen widespread adoption or the followup budget and mid-range devices may not have found traction either. But, it would have been far less of an uphill battle than Windows Phone was.

Python wriggles onward without its head


It's been almost a decade now

By December of this year it will be a decade since Python 3.0 was released; just adopt Python 3 all goddamned ready :P

Apple shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find gambling in its Chinese App Store


Re: Riiiight... we believe you.

The iconic 1984 commercial seems more and more ironic every year. (And it was already a bit ironic at the time.)

Did you know: Lawyers can certify web domain ownership? Well, not no more they ain't


A "phoencall"?

I haven't heard of that security verification mechanism before, do elaborate!

From here on, Red Hat's new GPLv2 software projects will have GPLv3 cure for license violators


I actually prefer another license which Fontana is involved with

IMHO the best Free Software license is copyleft-next, which (amongst other things) largely takes the good points of GPLv3 and condenses it down to a human-readable length: https://github.com/copyleft-next/copyleft-next/blob/master/Releases/copyleft-next-0.3.1

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project


Wait, that's really his name?

> Just last week the UK minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis,

Maybe this is just my colonial Canadian ears being un-used to the kinds of names that preppy tories have over on your side of the pond, but god, even the very names of the people involved with Brexit sound dumb.

Open Source Security hit with bill for defamation claim


The source is "Open", but the rights to redistribute them are lacking. This is the sort of dilution of terminology that's why hardliners still say "Free" or "Libre" rather than "Open".

Frankly, any time a person or entity refers to it as "Open Source" rather than "Free Software" it's worth being at least a bit suspicious if they actually believe in the principles or are just in it for themselves---take a careful look at the details.

Penguins in a sandbox: Google nudges Linux apps toward Chrome OS


I actually already run Steam on my Pixelbook, but I reboot into Kubuntu to do so; this definitely opens such things to people less willing to invasively tinker with a $1000+ computer like I am ;)

(P.S. Slay The Spire is great on a touchscreen!)