* Posts by Pseudonymous Howard

44 publicly visible posts • joined 8 May 2018

SparkyLinux harbors a flamboyant array of desktops

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: desktop zoo

The multitude of desktops is not really putting a drag on software development. I used Unity, Cinnamon, Plasma and Xfce in the last years (based on the use case) and was always able to install the software i needed, no matter if had been developed with a different desktop in mind. OK, I lack the strange fetish of needing all software to use the same toolkit. Software created using Gtk works perfectly on my KDE. It looks different and and stuff like file selector dialogs look differently, but is this really such a big thing? If have also seen a big variety on Windows and even Mac, so basically this ideal seamless look & feel is an ideal that does not exist. Those Electron or Flutter based UIs also do not really work towards that ideal.

People should just get their heads out of their behinds and accept that other people do other choices. Just develop their software as they like to, it will most likely run on all major distributions and most of the more obscure ones.

GitHub Copilot may be perfect for cheating CompSci programming exercises

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Not in academia

We are talking academia, not basic school. As long as the tests are corrected and commented, there is no need for grading tests. The comments should tell the students where their deficits are, so they know what to focus on to pass the exam later. This would make cheating in tests totally pointless and failures in the tests are not a disadvantage but an asset which give students information on their learning requirements.

To be honest: I don't want people, who are not able to learn in such a way to be able to pass any exam.

Graded tests lure students into cheating, especially if those test grades also influence the final grades.

Any task solved with cheating will not yield anything useful for the student.

Rolls-Royce set for funding fillip to build nuclear power stations based on small modular reactor technology

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Fusion

Sorry, but this is bullshit. I am from Germany and I never heard anybody believing that the incident caused the earthquake. I also do not remember any news outlet reporting the events in the wrong order.

You want us to make a change? We can do it, but it'll cost you...

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: "he worked out the coding of the lock file [..] and updated the lock himself

It depends. If the software license explicitly states that it is only valid in combination with a service contract, then they are using the software unlicensed - which is also called "piracy".

If the lock file stuff was only a technical measure to enforce the use of the service contract, but not part of the software license itself, then (at least here in Germany) the software is damaged, as it cannot be used for its purpose. Reverse engineering the mechanism be analyzing the lock file and without decompiling the software is not illegal.

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

Pseudonymous Howard

For us Germans it is "WIX" or "wix.com"

The former is Windows Installer XML, an XML description of Windows Installer packages, the latter a web site hoster with easy editors. Both have in common, that the name very closely resembles the German "wichs", which is the imperative form of the verb "wichsen" which means (in the old fashioned meaning) to rub something and (in the current meaning) to rub the male reproductive organ.

The future is now, old man: Let the young guns show how to properly cock things up

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Police Computer

Well, you could say all those 24 boxes are multiuser and multitasking capable. Up to 24 users and 24 tasks. Not too bad for the time.

Déjà bork: BSOD fairy pays key-cutting kiosk another visit

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: I saw one of these trucks yesterday...

I like the tag lines in the slideshow on the right (English version of the page):





Resistance seems to be futile with those...

Stale and past its best. Are you talking about Windows or the pizza you're waiting for?

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Pizza toppings

The pineapple pizza can be found in any Pizzeria in Germany: The Pizza Hawaii. It comes with the usual tomato and cheese, plus ham and pineapple. This derives from the (in)famous "Toast Hawaii", invented for a TV cooking show from the early 60s. The original recipe:

On a slice of toast first you lay a slice of cooked ham, one ring of canned pineapple, a slice "Scheiblettenkäse" (the German name of Kraft Singles). Bake until the cheese if molten and everything is hot. Serve with a cocktail cherry on top.

Disclaimer: Please note that in spite of the name this has nothing to do with Hawaiian cuisine.

Mine is the one with can of pineapples in the pocket.

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Is this just an English thing ?

The older you get in Germany, the more you get away with "du". This is because of the commonly accepted code that between two persons the older initiates the switch from "sie" to "du". Basically it is like this: Small children can say "du" to anybody, around 1st or 2nd grade at school they should use "sie" when addressing grown-ups which are not family. Usually from the 11th grade on teachers start also to use "sie" when addressing the pupils and from 18 on there is always "sie" in both direction for strangers. The older person can always implicitly or explicitly propose the "du". The implicit version (just start using "du") can be awkward to the younger person, because it stays a bit unclear if the reverse "du" is really OK. In certain situations it is also OK to refuse the offer of "du", but it can be taken as rejection of friendship in other situations.

Quite complicated, but I personally like it like this, because it helps to keep a kind of distance to people you do not want to have too close to yourself.

Alexa, can you tell me how many Chinese kids were forced into working nights to build this unit?

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Amazon Response

Reminds me of Ikea having production facilities in the former GDR (East Germany) in the 70s and 80s, which employed political prisoners in forced labour. They also planned to do the same thing in North Korea, but refrained from it when learning that this would break the sanction imposed on that country.

Hi! It looks like you're working on a marketing strategy for a product nowhere near release! Would you like help?

Pseudonymous Howard

It's called "Excremeditation"

The best ideas often come on the toilet. There seems to be some link between our digestive system and the creative parts of out minds.

Pseudonymous Howard

There are more types of exercise than running or the gym

Not running and not going to a gym doesn't mean lack of exercise. Both activities give me a shudder too, but that does not stop me from exercising every morning at home and riding my bicycle - at least 150 km per week. Doesn't make me a superman, but it keeps me healthy and my belly in check.

SEC says no to Amazon bid to stop shareholders voting on use of facial recognition system

Pseudonymous Howard

The real question is:

why would anybody need a system that can automatically recognize facials?

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

Pseudonymous Howard


What have density or colour to do with volume? Liter is a measure of volume. 500 ml of helium is the same volume as 500 ml of water, just the mass is different. So it doesn't matter if one beer has a higher density than the other. I suspect the staff of your craft beer bar consists of young hipsters who have no clue how to pour a beer properly from a tap.

Smartphones gateway drug to the Antichrist, says leader of Russian Orthodox Church

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Lost in translation

Please stop petrol-lamping the people here!

Drone goal! Quadcopter menace alert freezes flights from London Heathrow Airport

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Time to get real

It's not drones, it's phones which are the real thread. Just imagine the following scenario: Find around 5 people and incite them to call the police or airport security to report a drone sighting. Make sure the reports are supporting each other. In this case the airport management has no choice but to temporary shut down flight activity. It is like the old school prank to issue a bomb thread to the school in order to get a day off or to evade an exam or whatever.

Encryption? This time it'll be usable, Thunderbird promises

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: The only reason "everyone" runs Outlook is because "everyone" uses Exchange.

The failure of the LiMux project was not due to the "hard work" to create replacements for the Windows-only software. The creation of replacement tools was the main part of the LiMux project, and basically that part was quite successful.

All the time there was a big pressure from Microsoft and even from parts of the US government to the former mayor Christian Ude.

The new mayor Dieter Reiter is a fan of Microsoft and supported the move of the German HQ of Microsoft to Munich. After a lot of lobbying, the city council of Munich decided to stop LiMux and start the development of a new Microsoft-based system for the city. When this was decided, the LiMux project was nearly done and nobody knew how much the new Microsoft system would cost.

At the time of the decision, there was no technical reason to stop LiMux. It was all about lobbying, affiliation and there are even allegations of corruption. Basically it should have been a big scandal, but since not many people really understand what it's all about, it never got any bigger media coverage.

Linux reaches the big five (point) oh

Pseudonymous Howard

You can't count to 1024 with ten fingers. Two fists are 0, all fingers stretched on both hands is 1023. I could think of one way to show the 1024, but that is only possible for male persons and you shouldn't do that in public (...and you won't come back). Also be careful with 4, 128 and 132, those can easily be misunderstood.

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Alternate theory

Even though I also think that the naming of the phenomenon currently known as dark matter (TPCKADM) was kind of premature, I think calling Poincaré an idiot for that is too much.

But on the other hand, since I never met him personally, I can't rule out that he, besides his genius, was also an idiot. Even the most brilliant genius can be at the same time a complete idiot - but usually the idiot shows up at the end of the scientific career, when many elder scientist deny any newer findings by younger scientist, no matter how good the math and how many experiments support the new theories. At least science is usually very fast, it takes usually not more than one generation of scientists to overcome old theories if better ones have been found. In politics, it takes centuries, in religion even millennia...

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: UEFI = ?

Unsafe Excrement From Intel

Uncounted Errors Fostering Infections

Unfortunate Events From Inside

More to come?

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: surpass humans in specific intellectual tasks

Correction: "Humans are seem to be merely very complex machines [...]". Even though I am personally not so much into dualism ad would basically agree to your statement, I tend to be careful with the word "is" when talking about things we hardly understand.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: a figment of my imagination

If I do not hear myself talk, how can I know what I think?

AI snaps business titan jaywalking

Pseudonymous Howard

Hard work

To thank someone for hard work when he actually did nothing and something went wrong anyway is one of the safer ways to utter criticism in systems like China.

Douglas Adams was right, ish... Super-Earth world clocked orbiting 'nearby' Barnard's Star

Pseudonymous Howard

Let's call it Rura Penthe

The description fits.

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: "The detached sail will accelerate but the probe will decelerate"

The idea is only to detach one part of the sail. The laser will still hit that part and accelerate it further. But the laser is being reflected from the detached part and hits the probes remaining sail from the front, which decelerates the probe. But this would be a highly complicated stunt given the differences and the communication latency of 12 years. You could just pre-program the procedure and fire the laser at the right time (six years earlier) in the hope that everything is where is should be. And this simple calculation doesn't even include relativity, which will already play a big role at 0.2c,

Microsoft teaches a 10-year-old Red Dog new tricks and the Windows 10 1809 delay hits Exchange 2019

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: “lose the trust of developers for a generation.”

If we are talking about developers, then a generation is what the public usually counts as a generation. Talking about users of the currently hyped JavaScript framework - who also tend to call themselves developers for no sane reason - then a generation lasts about 6 weeks.

Already getting my coat to be out of here quickly ;-)

The 'roid in Spain drills mainly on the plain: Plucky Brit Mars robot laps up sun, sand and, er, simulated science

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: 'roid?

If they build a robot that uses an accelerated mass to break up rocks, is it then called the "Hammer 'Roid"?

Science: Broke brats glued to the web while silk-stocking scions have better things to do

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Buzzwords...

It is a pattern: Windows 10 is the last Windows, Generation Z the last generation. Decade-, version- or generation-counting is dying out since the begin of the current millenium. Just listen to a radio station targetting the mainstream: At least here Germany they all have slogans like: "The best music from the 80s, 90s and today!" This "today" already exists for 18 years...

Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Proctor & Gamble!!!!!!

Be careful! When neither Siri nor Alexa have occupied your home, it could happen that a ragged, homeless and unemployed voice assistant called Cortana tries to sneak in. Best to have some voice assistant mock-up, a kind of scare-assistant in your house to keep those critters away.

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

Pseudonymous Howard

Just a side note

Please don't mix up Dark Matter and antimatter. The latter is real, it can be measured and it can be created - both has been done several times already. The reason why we do not have antimatter power generators is, that the creation of several anti-atoms takes huge amounts of energy, much more than one could gain by letting the antimatter react with matter. Antimatter is just an atom, whose core contains the electrons while the orbits are filled with protons - in "normal" matter it is the other way around. The only mystery around antimatter is the question, why there was no equal distribution of both types of matter after the Big Bang. But we are lucky, that we have to solve this riddle, because if there would have been such an equal distribution, there would be no more matter left to riddle about.

Dark Matter on the other hand is currently just a place holder for something yet unknown. It could turn out to be many different phenomenons or maybe it is (whatever it is) so far beyond our reach that we will never know.

I've seen the future of consumer AI, and it doesn't have one

Pseudonymous Howard

Don't ask what your AI can do for you! Ask what you can do for your AI... what, wait a minute...

Thunderstruck: Azure Back in Black(out) after High Voltage causes Flick of the Switch

Pseudonymous Howard

Heavy Weather

by Bruce Sterling. Always worth a (re)read.

Boffins build a NAZI AI – wait, let's check that... OK, it's a grammar nazi

Pseudonymous Howard

Commas can save lives!

Let's eat, Grandpa!


Let's eat Grandpa!

Hey you smart, well-paid devs. Stop clicking on those phishing links and bringing in malware muck on your shoes

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: erm, DOH

Regarding the cliff there is a simple answer: It depends on the reason why the everybody jumps off the cliff. If for example a pyroclastic cloud from a nearby volcano is approaching from the land side, than I definitely would bet my life on the jump if there appears to be no other way out.

Always look at the whole picture. Sometimes it can be wise not to run with the sheep. Sometimes it can be stupid. Try to avoid absolute words like "is", "every", "none", "always" or "never" in the guidelines for your acting because those words tend to lead to stupid behaviour.

All that dust on Mars is coming from one weird giant alien structure

Pseudonymous Howard

Since Mars has an atmosphere you won't find a vacuum to clean. Maybe one should better use a Staubsauger. It cannot clean a vacuum, but it sucks dust. A vacuum cleaner could be something for those physics boffins, who so often need those spaces with a vacuum, no friction and exactly 20°C.

Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: ATARI is like NOKIA, some chinese guy bought the company name

Even though the 2018 Nokia phones come from China (just like any other vendor's phones, including Apple), HMD Global is a Finnish company. You can read this in the first sentence of the Wikipedia article you linked. A little bit further down you can even read that this company consists of many former Nokia employees.

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Most of us knew that this was going on

It's not about if you are paranoid or not, it's about if you are paranoid enough!

I agree that voice control systems can be very helpful for many people. But why do they need to send everything to somebody else's computers (aka. "ze cloud")? OK, the devices would be more expensive since they need more computing power and the vendor only gets revenue through sales and not through collected data, which will make the price higher. And this is the problem: The data slurpers will always have the cheaper solution, so most of the people will buy those devices.

HTC U12+: Like a Pixel without the pratfalls, or eye-watering price tag

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: "Like a Pixel without the pratfalls"... and presumably without the updates

Early this year I bought a second hand LG G5 from 2016. It is has Android 7.0 and to my surprise it is still receiving security updates from LG. Patch level is currently 1st of March 2018. There are companies who are at least keeping their installed versions up to date. If I want the latest Android, I can always switch to LineageOS. Also Huawei surprised me: The P8lite (first edition) is also still receiving security updates.

Servers crashed and burned. So, Qualcomm's back to Ctrl-C, Ctrl-V'ing Arm cores into phones

Pseudonymous Howard

Don't worry!

Inofficial sources claim both will be supported.

(Getting the coat with the napkin the information was written on)

Doc 'Cluetrain' Searls' privacy engine project is just the ticket for IEEE

Pseudonymous Howard

I fully agree.

Everybody who really needs such a rating system would either just not know it or believe it is an instrument of THEM to suppress the 'truth'...

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Flowcharts

"moving the target continuously until you feel like you're 'done'"

So if we focus on moving the target then "Hello World" will be the universal algorithm to solve all problems?

Microsoft reckons devs would like an AI Clippy to help them write code

Pseudonymous Howard

Do you know Stacksort?

Find it here:


Basically it's an xkcd that became real.

Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux

Pseudonymous Howard

Re: Microsoft was regularly using Unix by 1982...

At least Xenix had funny error messages in its programs:

> cd god

god does not exist!

> make love

I don't know how to make love!

Xenix was - ahem - not the best Unix out there, but at least it provided some good laughs.