* Posts by khinch

10 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Nov 2017

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


Re: If car manufacturers did this...

Isn't BMW trying to start charging monthly subscriptions for gadgets like heated seats? Or is that just a rumour?

Linux has nearly half of the desktop OS Linux market


Re: This is literally the thing

The only downside I see to this is that many dev teams use these stats to decide what to support. If it looks like more folk are using Windows/Chrome than they actually are, then the project managers out there will have more reason to drop support for *nix/Firefox. This probably applies more to browser than OS, but worth calling out all the same.

Windows 11 still not winning the OS popularity contest


Re: Bleep em

It's worth doing, in my opinion, if doing it for the right reasons and if prepared for it. I switched to Ubuntu as my main OS in 2016, and I've never regretted it, but it was my 3rd attempt. For anyone who's considering making the move, I would advise that if doing it through dislike or frustration with another system, you will likely get frustrated with any Linux distro at some point also. I think it's best to be motivated to move towards Linux, rather than away from MS, if that makes sense.

For anyone who doesn't know much about Linux and is considering making the move, three good distributions to try are Ubuntu, Fedora and Elementary. There are plenty more out there, but these are the first to come into my mind when I think about good ones for new (and existing) users. Be prepared to learn about the following things in your endeavours:

- Package managers. Ubuntu is mostly apt/snap. Elementary is mostly apt/flatpak. Fedora is mostly rpm. Flatpak/Flathub will work on them all, but might need installed first. Never install the same app via multiple methods. Be aware that apps installed via snap and flatpak are sandboxed and may need permissions tweaked to work perfectly.

- Proprietary codecs that are installed out-of-the-box in Windows/Mac might require extra steps to install, like libdvdcss for watching DVDs (does anyone still use those other than me?), or encoders for mp3 etc.

- If you use the command line a lot, get used to typing "sudo". This isn't a bad thing. Get used to it and roll with it.

- Most things work out-of-the-box these days, and the things that need configured can mostly be done via the UI, like network settings etc. But, now and again, you may need to use the command line. Printers are way easier than they used to be, and I never even have to mess with drivers any more. My network printer "just works" and doesn't cause frustration like they did in the old days.

- If you're a gamer, gaming in Linux is way better than it used to be. Steam has some native titles, and Proton runs a lot of non-native games quite well these days. Crossover is not free, but it also works quite well for some tricky titles. PlayOnLinux aims to make management of Wine much easier, but is rough around the edges. I use POL for certain games, but it takes a bit of figuring out sometimes. If you have an nvidia card, you might need to install the proprietary drivers. Read up on how to do this for your distro; it's not usually too difficult, but might be a bit more than clicking an exe like in Windows. If you're a hardcore gamer, then you'd do well to take the time to learn about wine. It can be difficult at times, but will make your life easier at some point.

TL;DR: Linux isn't necessarily *better* it's *different*. be prepared to learn with curiosity and you'll probably get on great.

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


Re: They want a passport ...

The article states:

"The British government has suggested its citizens should hand their passports over to Facebook as a condition for using the service."

... and...

"The country's forthcoming Online Safety Bill will require citizens to hand over even more personal data to largely foreign-headquartered social media platforms, government minister Nadine Dorries has declared."

Doesn't sound much like an opt-in to me. Sounds more like the only opt-out is not to use the service.

Experimental WebAssembly port of LibreOffice released


To be fair, it's still experimental according to the article, not even in beta yet. I wouldn't expect a smooth experience.

Safari uses WebKit which is known to be quite far behind Gecko and Chromium when it comes to support for the latest JavaScript functions, which I'd expect WASM to make use of. It will likely take some time to smooth out these issues.

Personally I have no interest in a web-based office suite, or indeed most web apps, but I can how they could be useful for others, so I see this as a good thing overall. I'd also hope it loads quicker on future visits as the components will hopefully be cached.

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'


Re: There is a third way

To me, this seems a far better option than what they're proposing. I'd even say they could go a step further and offer one product but with a paid support offering.

I think their plan to offer certification is a step in the right direction also, just a shame it's getting introduced alongside such a controversial change.

Brit IT contractor wins appeal against HMRC to pay £26k in back taxes


"I thought it was up to the employer to ensure compliance so why is the HMRC not therefore going after the employer rather than the employee. As an employee you are not licable to pay NI and PAYE as the employer deducts it at source."

That's true as of April 2017. According to the article this case was about work done in 2012/2013.

Shining lasers at planes in the UK could now get you up to 5 years in jail


The chances of police being able to respond to reports and then catch them in the act are slim, but if the airports are really serious then it could be done.

Plenty of CCTV cameras and a small on-site security team would be able to catch some evidence, pinpoint the location and then respond much quicker than local plods. They might not win every time, but based on the number of reported incidents in the article they'd only need to succeed once every few incidents to catch the ones responsible. I also suspect that many of the incidents are perpetrated by the same people, who probably also display habitual behaviour such as the times and places they show up, making it easier to predict which locations they are likely to get reports from.

This is just one example and I'm sure with enough thought this can be done, but the question is whether they have the budget and resource to implement anything meaningful.

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs


"Its really worrying when someone like that doesnt grasp GDPR, and theres no soft opt-in"

GDPR applies to "personal data". According to the GDPR FAQs personal data is "Any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address." (https://www.eugdpr.org/gdpr-faqs.html)

I don't see anything in the list of what Canonical intends to collect that fits that description. The closest example in the FAQ description that could cause Canonical issues is IP addresses, which may be why they seemed to be very clear that IP addresses would not be collected.

I'm not sticking up for Canonical here, just making the point that I don't think GDPR will affect them based on the list in the article.

Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate


Re: Telly Tax or Adverts

As much as I love the shows Netflix produces, they are all purely entertainment shows. The BBC outputs programs of all categories, including news, documentaries, weather forecasts, breakfast shows and Open University lectures just to name a few. Not to mention that the BBC has almost 70 radio stations and looks after the World Service channel.

As someone with two small children, I find the quality of programs on CBeebies and CBBC to be far greater than anything ITV, C5, Tiny Pop or Nikelodeon produces. Furthermore, the BBC also produces iPhone and Android games to complement their kids TV shows.

So, to compare Netflix and the BBC isn't 100% fair as Netflix outputs a small subset of the BBC's output. All of the categories of program the BBC produces are available by other means, but most of those are via services supported by adverts.

Having said all that, the debate referenced in the article wasn't "How good is the BBC?", it was about how should/could it be paid for. Personally, I'd be happy to pay for it another way other than the licence fee, and those potential other other methods are what the MPs should have been debating.