* Posts by revenant

316 posts • joined 1 Apr 2018


Ransomware-hit law firm gets court order asking crooks not to publish the data they stole


Is it really pointless?

It would certainly be effective if the perps are actually UK-based, but even if not, it seems to also ensure that anyone in the UK who diseminates the information once it is released will be guilty of contempt-of-court. Which might be good enough, depending on what the information is.

Not for children: Audacity fans drop the f-bomb after privacy agreement changes


Re: Corp takes open source audio software under its umbrella.

I agree with your concerns. My version (2. something) of Audacity seems OK, but when I saw the Litigation part of "Data necessary for law enforcement, litigation and authorities' requests (if any)" I realised that they probably do intend to do something to help the likes of RIAA.

Could you even trust them not to slip some form of ID or watermarking into mp3s that it generates?


Trying it on

First they try to slip in telemetry and then backtrack when they are rumbled. Then they wait a bit for the fuss to die down and put it back in. Muse's audacity knows no bounds, it seems.

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)


What's the point?

Marketing of course, as the article says. Could this also be the point where they move to a subscription model for the OS?

Mayflower, the AI ship sent to sail from the UK to the US with no humans, made it three days before breaking down


Re 'Smile, AI is watching you'

"Fscking spare us."

An excellent example of journalistic succinctness.

Scottish National Party members found among list of names signed up to rival Alba Party after website whoopsie


Re: It gets worse

Curious. I had originally thought that Alba was being set up in direct competition with the SNP, but it seems that Alba is only aiming for regional seats, so won't affect the constituency vote. If I understand the system correctly, the SNP would not get many regional seats because the calculations reduce the impact of the regional vote for that party depending on how many constituency seats it wins.

If the SNP is for 'Independence' and Alba is explicitly set up for 'Independence', then the result is a significant increase in the 'Independence' vote with no (or little) impact on overall SNP seats.

I'm left feeling that Alba and the SNP are actually colluding, not conflicting, which might explain the issue with respect to "albaparty.scot". It seems like a con, to be honest.

Of course, I may be totally misunderstanding the voting method, so the above conclusions could be bollocks.

NASA's Perseverance rover in brick form: China set vs unofficial Lego fan design


Lunar Module

I was never one for building with Lego - too expensive when I were a lad - so I would never have considered buying the Lunar Module kit. I settled for my memories of the actual event (including falling asleep while waiting for Armstrong to step out). Fortunately, my son had other ideas and the kit arrived a few months ago for my birthday.

It was a pleasure to put it together and a reminder of what it's like to patiently devote one's time to building something from scratch (something I haven't done seriously for half a century).

I found it impressive that over a thousand pieces went together without a hitch and the end result was exactly as planned.

I do wonder if years of getting to grips with IKEA products gave me good training for the task.

Linus Torvalds issues early Linux Kernel update to fix swapfile SNAFU


Just an observation

“We had a very innocuous code cleanup and simplification that raised no red flags at all, but had a subtle and very nasty bug in it ..."

When it comes to something as critical as the Linux Kernel, I would suggest that there is no such thing as an 'innocuous' change. Code cleanup and simplification warrants the same level of verification as changes made for any other reason.

Obvious points, I know, but Linus's wording suggested (at least to me) that someone was overconfident about the simplicity of the changes and didn't look closely enough at what was being cleaned up.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs


Re: About checking that no banned words have been used......

Decryption won't be necessary. Your cyphertext alone condemns you. eg:

"TUB" - Fat-shaming ('Tub of lard' , Tubby')

"FIT" - Ableist

"danKL" - Hate Speech (looks suspiciously like "Dankula")

I could go on but, really, that should be sufficient to have you locked up.

CD Projekt Red 'EPICALLY pwned': Cyberpunk 2077 dev publishes ransom note after company systems encrypted


"...your documents will be sent to our contacts in gaming journalism"

That seems to be an odd sort of threat. Are there any gaming journalists happy to own up to having contact with scum like these?

Google AI ethics co-boss locked out of work account while probing controversial ousting of colleague


GPT-3 Bias

"That suggests biases cannot be eliminated in the model itself, and will remain part of it."

That's hardly surprising - if you train it on what people say, then it will inevitably incorporate their biases.

What they need to do is find unbiased people to train it with. Good luck with that.

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though


Re: Have WhatsApp halted the "privacy" change?

According to the article, it has been delayed in order to "help everyone understand our principles and the facts."

I think we already understand their principles well enough, which is why people are jumping.

Breaking? Microsoft pushes 'News and Interests' with first Windows 10 Insiders build of the year


New & Interests?

Please, NO. The world is such a shit show, and the reporting on it so sensationalised (and often distorted), that I'd rather look it up myself when I feel a real need to find out what's going on.

The last thing I want is an automatic feed of depressing crap when I switch my machine on.

The only exception I'd accept would be news of an imminent threat of alien invasion. Anything else can wait.

What happens when a Chrome extension with 2m+ users changes hands, raises red flags, doesn't document updates? Let's find out

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Re: Who still uses extensions in Chrome anyway?

I agree about the netbooks. My eeePC was on Mint 19.3 until recently but I decided to move to something a little less resource-hungry . It now happily runs MX Linux 19.3. It is a bit different to Mint, but it runs better and I'm quite happy with it (and they have no current plans to drop 32bit support).

Search history can calculate better credit ratings than pay slips, says International Monetary Fund

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Oh God, no

There is so much wrong with this that it's hard to come up with a succinct comment to reflect how I feel about it.

Clearly (especially with the idea of integrating with facebook etc) they are pushing for a world where you must fully expose your digital life to the financial institutions if you want to use their services.

That's me fucked then. I rarely use search for anything of interest to them and am the sort who minimises exposure of information about myself and my financial doings.

They're never going to learn enough about me for their 'AI' to even recognise me as a person, let alone work out how good a financial risk I am.

But then, I'm an old fart and they're probably expecting Covid-19 to take care of me.

Don't give up on Planet Nine yet: Hubble 'scope finds just such a world a mere 336 light-years away


Re: Was I the only one...

What puzzles me is the fact that the object's existence and orbit are uncertain, therefore it is hard to see how it can be known to have cleared the neighborhood around its orbit. So calling it Planet 9 seems a mite premature.

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?


"..David Hasselhoff from number 64 had parked one of his nine shit cars in front of mine"

Reading that I was immediately reminded of Stella Street. I can just imagine Michael Caine speaking these words.

Bitter war of words erupts between UK cops and web security expert over alleged flaws in Cyberalarm monitoring tool


Re: also, Pervade...

That's irresponsible of them (or was? the article is dated 2017). Anyway, this bit from Pervade is particularly stupid:

"We sell knives. If you use it to cut a chicken, that's up to you. If you use it for something else, that's also up to you."

Yeah but they are effectively encouraging people to see the utility of their knives as things to stick in people who piss them off.

Apple aptly calls its wireless over-the-ear headphones the AirPods Max – as in, maximum damage to your wallet


"If you’ve got money to burn,.."

That is the only point of them isn't it? To show how much spare dosh you've got?

Where's the mysterious metal monolith today then? Oh look, it's atop a California mountain


"Where will the mysterious metal monolith appear next?"

Dunno, but this is beginning to seem a lot like Krull, only without the nasty aliens. Yet.

Glastonbury hippy shop Hemp in Avalon rapped for spouting 'plandemic' pseudoscience


"What?! You mean to say ..."

"...there's no evidence that shoving a crystal up my bottom to realign my chakras will stop me getting ill?

Of course there isn't. Though it might make for a more pleasant experience if you remember first to have the crystal shaped and polished to remove any edges and sharp points.

Mall of duty: Black Ops. No, you're not a customer, you're just an ad audience metric


Re: The future is madness

the things that used to indicate a serious detachment from reality are now just a common part of everyday life.

Indeed. It is sad to note that now a belief that no-one is watching you indicates a serious detachment from reality.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah


Re: "...the Department won't reveal its location "

I think another unwritten law of desert exploration is that the GreatUnwashed are thoroughly unprepared for it and don't last long. So look upon it as a service to the more refined American folk.


"...the Department won't reveal its location "

Not to worry - someone on reddit found it: [ 38.343111, -109.666250 ]

Considering the colonisation of Mars? Werner Herzog would like a word


"...humans should 'not be like the locusts.' "

It's a bit hard to descend on Mars like locusts when there's bugger-all to eat there - there won't be any life there (assuming there isn't any at the moment) until humans do descend en masse.

As far as we know, there isn't any life anywhere else, so until we know otherwise, I look on human colonization of the planets as us spreading life from the one place that it exists, to places that are barren.

It would help, though, to have some international agreement on what to do if we do find life elsewhere.

Comcast to impose 1.2TB-a-month broadband download limits across more of America from next year


1.2TB a Month??

Perhaps I've become a bit decoupled from the modern world, but I'm lost as to what lifestyle needs that amount of traffic.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop


Re: ... 'there is no free lunch'

I think the GIMP lunch is free. But it may contain sprouts.

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Happy 25th Birthday, GIMP

I've never found it easy to use, but it will support anything that my limited creativity can come up with - and it is available everywhere for free. Can't fault that :)

Study: While text-generating AI can write like humans, it lacks common sense


Re: Dogs throwing frisbees

It's more an illustration that the machine has to go a really long way to match a human, at least for the pedants among us.

Though I suppose they could be playing a particularly aggressive form of the game


Dogs throwing frisbees

Dogs throwing frisbees is for sure an unlikely event, but the sentence really falls down because it says they're throwing frisbees at rather then too eachother.

Or have I only learned the children's version of it?

The revolution will not be televised because my television has been radicalised


A bit late, I think

While i agree with most of the author's sentiments, I find it odd that he is complaining now. This polarizing/radicalizing effect has been with us for a long time and is only getting worse.

The problem is illustrated in this sentence:

Given that we increasingly rely on our algorithms to feed or attention with things that we need to know,

I don't think the solution is to seek to control the algorithms - that is a non-starter. You are there to consume, not give orders. And do you really want an algorithm or faceless corp to know you that well?

Better to do it the old-fashioned way: have a list of sources that you trust and manually peruse them.

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending

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Templeman argued that the tax is just an example of governments moving with the times

Is it fuck. No government is proposing this yet. Rather, it is an example of yet another Banker finding reasons to screw ordinary people out of whatever small amount of surplus they can gain from what is a pretty shitty situation all round.

I have great sympathy for the small businesses being killed off by the shutdowns, but this isn't going to help the majority of them.

How about, instead, advocating that the businesses that have made even more massive profit from on-line trade due to Covid should give 5% of their increased profit to the tax man?

Researchers made an OpenAI GPT-3 medical chatbot as an experiment. It told a mock patient to kill themselves



It's all a bit alarming. Not only the serious failings of what purports to be useful AI, but also the desire of people to consider using it for serious purposes.

It's almost as if GPT-3 has been put out there in order to bring the very concept of AI into disrepute.

RIAA DMCAs GitHub into nuking popular YouTube video download tool, says it can be used to slurp music


Thank You RIAA

I've been trying to download a video and failing due to YT fuckery of some sort, so I thought I ought to find something designed for the purpose. Thanks to the RIAA I have been made aware of youtube-dl, which is easily installed from the Mint repositories.

Although I had to go elsewhere to find a source that I could download the video from, I now have a tool that does the job.

I'm not sure if that's quite the outcome that the RIAA intended, but thanks anyway.

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology


Re: Choosing between the devil and his brother

Yes, I realised after the fact that my spelling was off. Fortunately it wasn't on the Pale Moon forum.

On your point about unfriendliness on the forum, I did notice some unusually hostile responses to genuine comments recently. Oddly-enough, they weren't from 'The Management'.


Choosing between the devil and his brother

The relaxing thing about using Linux (Mint) full time is the fact that I don't have to worry about the evilness of Microsoft and Google, so why would I choose to invite either of them across the threshold? I choose neither: Palemoon, with not even the merest hint of deviltry, is good enough for me.

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


Don't relax

a number of workers in the UK were assured their jobs are not at risk "at this current time,"

At least, not until they've had time to train their replacements.

Howdy, er, neighbor – mind if we join you? Potential sign of life spotted in Venus's atmosphere



It's quite funny that so many efforts have been made to get to Mars and find something, anything, that indicates life might have been there, and all the while Venus has been sitting there closer to home, quietly saying "Er, Hello? I have something. That is, if anyone's interested at all..."

Congrats to the astronomers for making the discovery, and to the team overall for doing their damndest to disprove the conclusions before releasing the work.

Microsoft's Surface Duo cops 1 repairability point for each of its screens: That's 2/10


"It really doesn't seem like Microsoft had any thought of battery replacement in mind here"

Oh I think they put a lot of thought into it - 'how to make it as hard as possible'.

What an IDORable Giggle: AI-powered 'female only' app gets in Twitter kerfuffle over breach notification


Re: Remarkable

Oh, please accept my apologies. Having recently lost a laptop to errant coffee, the last thing I would would want would be to inflict such a fate on someone else.



A Twitter argument that ended with apologies and a level of mutual understanding : is civility coming back into fashion?

Better dictation in latest Dev Channel build will faithfully convert your spittle-flecked Windows 10 rantings to text


"Restore recommended browser settings"

Well that's very helpful of them, but I feel there is something missing from the UI - is it incomplete?

We have a very jolly [Let's go] button for the eager beavers who don't have a clue why they're using their current browser and a [Skip for now] for those who Microsoft just know will give in to the nagging eventually. But they've left an enormous amount of space for the unaccountably missing third button - [Fuck Off] (..I'm quite happy with the browser I went out of my way to set up, thank you very much).

Just can't get the staff.

Forget Fortnite and FIFA: India wants to develop games based on local legends



... it’s hard to imagine Mortal Kombat being topped by The Mahabharata and its hero Arjuna’s meditations on the existence of a single deity and the unity of all things.

The Mahabharata has everything - Sex, Violence, Honour/Dishonour, Heroes/Villains, Gods, Monsters, shit-hot Celestial Weaponry, Battles, Individual Combat....

Arjuna's meditations are really just a small part of what that world has to offer Indian game developers.

Facebook apologizes to users, businesses for Apple’s monstrous efforts to protect its customers' privacy


I feel for Facebook ...

... well, animosity mostly. So it's nice to see Apple upsetting them, even though I'm sure it's only a temporary situation - just until Facebook roll over and give Apple a cut of the revenue.

That was a nicely sarcastic article, but this bit in particular pleased me:

The antisocial network that makes almost all of its revenue from building a vast, constantly updated database of netizens that it then sells access to..

I think that's the first time I've seen someone state clearly that Facebook money comes not from selling adverts aimed at its users, but from selling its users (and anyone else, actually) to advertisers.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


I have a bad feeling about this

It essentially allows the browser to talk directly to devices and other computers via the network.

As if we don't already have enough web-based dodginess to worry about.

The Twitter discussion between King and Schuh is interesting ; King has clear concerns borne out of experience and, while Schuh attempts to allay those concerns, it is apparent that his own concerns haven't been fully taken on board in the proposals. hence the suggestion that King should get onto Github with hers.

My overall impression is that this is a potentially useful development for those who know what they're doing but a very dangerous one for the average user.

Perhaps the whole api should be delivered disabled by default, with a high barrier to enabling it (a hidden config setting would probably do it). Then those that can handle ti safely can have it while the rest are blissfully unaware of its existence.

Chinese State media uses new release of local Linux to troll Trump


"... the genesis of Kylin dates back to the turn of the century"

It's depressing when a phrase like that makes you automatically think of the 1900s. Age - who wants it?

Putting the d'oh! in Adobe: 'Years of photos' permanently wiped from iPhones, iPads by bad Lightroom app update


It's a conspiracy, I tell you!

Last month it was Canon losing people's pics from their cloud storage and now we have an Adobe 'cockup' that reaches into people's devices and wipes them. Something fishy is going on. It seems like a plot to wipe the evidence of something.

Or is the quality of software development these days just shit?

Mozilla signs fresh Google search deal worth mega-millions as 25% staff cut hits Servo, MDN, security teams


Re: Just another Corporate Scam

I don't think Firefox will die, but I do think it will likely follow Edge and become Chromium-based. How that would affect Icecat and similar browsers, I don't know.

Palemoon is a fork and generally only depends on Firefox for security patches, from what I understand. It would probably mean more work for them, but I don't think they're too worried about that.

According to Wikipedia, Seamonkey uses infrastructure provided by Mozilla: I wonder if that will be affected?


Just another Corporate Scam

This from the article sums it up: Mozilla used the pandemic as cover while it rejigs its workforce to reduce its reliance on Firefox

Reading comments on various sites, it was striking how many people fell for the ruse, believing that Firefox was in danger of losing its only income, necessitating the restructure. People were even moved to donate to Mozilla to help out (ignoring those who tried to tell them that donating to Mozilla funds the Foundation, not the browser).

All-in-all a successful outcome for the CEO, and I'm sure any reduction in her loot will be recouped manyfold in subsequent years.

A final thought : in many people's minds, Mozilla has always been synonymous with Firefox and its previous incarnations, the last bastion against the big Corps devouring the Internet. If Firefox is no longer important to it, then perhaps Mozilla should do the honourable thing and fold. Or at least rebrand and give the Mozilla name up to an organisation which still believes resistance isn't futile.

Firefox maker Mozilla axes a quarter of its workforce, blames coronavirus, vows to 'develop new revenue streams'


Not a good future for Firefox

Ditching a quarter of their developers is not a good sign. Combining engineering operations with IT further suggests a significant reduction in the importance of actual browser development.

That letter to the employees seems to indicate that Mozilla intend to go full-on into activism to change the world, and the core browser doesn't seem to figure highly in the mission - just a workforce proud to be world-changing 'Mozillians' (whatever that means).

How long before they go the final step and scrap their codebase and follow Microsoft by rebasing the thing on chromium?



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