* Posts by cornetman

281 posts • joined 5 Jul 2018


€13bn wings its way back to Apple after Euro court rules Irish tax deal wasn't 'state aid'

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Apple said the case was not about "how much tax we pay, but where we are required to pay it."

> Oh great. So from now on is it ok for us to buy Apple equipment from somewhere else in the world where it might be much cheaper?

Erm, yes. Why would it not be?

Detroit Police make second wrongful facial-recog arrest when another man is misidentified by software

cornetman Silver badge

This is a pretty idiotic case.

Regardless of the fact that one had tattoos and the other didn't, just a cursory glance at the two photos makes it obvious that they are two different people.

Rust code in Linux kernel looks more likely as language team lead promises support

cornetman Silver badge

That Rust would come to the Linux Kernel is a bit of a no-brainer and I welcome our new Rustic overlords.

South Korea joins the ‘we’re going to be self-sufficient in more tech and then export bucketloads’ club

cornetman Silver badge

TBH, there's not a lot to dislike here.

It's true that not all countries can make all things (obviously there are limits based on local resources) but a diversified market is a healthy market that is more resilient to disaster.

Keep it Together, Microsoft: New mode for vid-chat app Teams reminds everyone why Zoom rules the roost

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "keep track of what other people are signaling or emoting in a natural way"

We've had nothing but bother with Webex TBH. The tech seems like it's from another century, which I kinda guess it is really.

Your mileage may vary etc etc

cornetman Silver badge

I didn't know about the Linux client. That must surely be fairly recent.

Here, we regularly have video conferences with people outside our organisation.

TBH, I would have thought that was the most common use case for a lot of companies moving away from Webex (which we are).

cornetman Silver badge

A couple of points:

1) Biggest issue for me with Teams is the lack of native support for Linux.

Zoom just works for me on EVERY platform that I use.

2) So in a lot of the commentary extracted in the article, I see things like "..you're not allowed to..." or "..you must..".

Tell you what Microsoft, go f*ck yourselves. I'll do what *I* want thank you very much.

If that means briefly nipping out of view to let the cat out, or switching off my camera to pick my nose, then I will.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

cornetman Silver badge

Re: The single best argument I have seen that doing this matters

> If it did not matter why have so many people spent so much effort arguing about it?

Just because commenters are saying that this is a pointless effort, it is not zero cost.

As people have pointed out above and elsewhere:

- changing well known and understood terms disproportionately affects coders for whom English is not their first language. Tying yourself in knots trying to come up with the least offensive replacement term might not be very effective at conveying the intention. Take the master/slave example. In many (perhaps not all) of the instances of this usage, one master component is in charge and a slave component must do what the master tells it. It's pretty effective at conveying the idea. It only seems to become an issue when you try to apply human morality to lines of code, which is pretty moronic.

- all changes have the potential to introduce bugs.

- while not necessarily as relevant in this case, other cases of this sort of thing have the effect of making a large body of documentation and StackOverflow references less clear at best, nonsensical at worst.

- a commenter above also states that some of the suggested alternative words have worse meanings in other cultural contexts. Subjective judgements about some of the terms that are supposedly "problematic" might well be replaced with words that are offensive or uncomfortable in different regions. This is one of the problems you get when you try to load words used benignly with baggage that have nothing to do with the original intention.

cornetman Silver badge

> In the light of the 2020 "global reckoning on race relations" the Linux kernel developers have stepped up with proposed new inclusive terminology guidelines for their coding community.

Let me guess: they are all white.

If we asked visible minorities what *they* thought, I wonder how many of them would be annoyed at how their struggle is being trivialised by these kinds of measures.

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "Would she want to work here?"

Just as long as it hasn't made you bitter.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "Would she want to work here?"

> The reason more women aren't working there is because it's shit

If it's shit, then why does anyone work there? TBH I don't think that your experience is particularly typical.

I've worked in a number of places in IT over the years and none of those places have been anything like what you describe.

Shit places are shit places though, and as a man I wouldn't put up with it and I wouldn't expect anyone else to either.

Social media giants move to defy Hong Kong's new national security law

cornetman Silver badge

> ...law-enforcement agencies from accessing user data after the local government granted sweeping new powers to police

> under the law to "prevent, suppress and impose punishment for offences endangering national security."

> The police will be able to search people without warrants and take down internet posts.

I'm a bit confused. Is this in the US or Hong Kong?

It's not quite as obvious as it should be.

Once again, racial biases show up in AI image databases, this time turning Barack Obama white

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Skin tones

TBH, if you didn't know that AOC was hispanic, a HUMAN would be hard pressed to determine that from the sample photo.

The truth as I see it, is that the people making these observations might have an actual point, but their examples are so weak that they are not really making much of a case. Given the fact that both AOC and Obama are famous, it is extremely difficult for people to discount their preconceptions when looking at the performance of the process being debated.

It would have been better to pick the faces of strangers that are more recognisable as dark skinned to make their point.

cornetman Silver badge

Not really sure that I understand the accusation here.

In all the examples presented, the selected images are extremely close matches.

Now, *we* know that the models are "black" (although most of them here are actually fairly light skinned), but the sample photos are taken with very bright lighting.

> The computer-generated face obviously doesn't look anything like Obama at all.

I'm not sure what the article author is looking at, but that match is extremely close to the very pixelated image by the side. *We* know that it is Barak Obama, so we know that the selected image is not Obama, but I don't think that the software is going to have that much contextual information.

Let's see some examples of what it chooses with a photo that is not taken with very bright lighting of someone that really has dark skin.

I think the complainants are being pretty disingenuous here.

Microsoft loosens Teams' necktie as platform courts your forensic accountant relatives

cornetman Silver badge

TBH, we use Zoom a lot here and the builtin mic/video on my Thinkpad is just perfect.

Just goes to show, if there is a willing it can be made to work, although I can see why Microsoft wouldn't be that keen to show Linux in the best possible light.

cornetman Silver badge

Tried to do a business call with Skype For Business a few days ago (their choice). A complete shit show as a Linux user.

Tried to run it in a Windows VM with very little success.

In the end, we fell back to Zoom which is what we use much in virtual proceedings these days.

It just works, even a native package for Linux Mint.

It's not perfect and lags slightly in features compared to the Windows client but I'll take "just works" over "pain in the arse" any day.

Skype is little better TBH. As long as you stick to Windows, then it seems to do what it is supposed to.

More often than not if I connect with the Linux client, I get the "you sound like a chipmunk again" response and we have to try to connect again.

Really, I don't know why we haven't cracked the multi platform video chat thing years ago. It's not exactly rocket science.

But it seems like companies want to reinvent it over and over again, generally doing it badly in the process.

A memo from the distant future... June 2022: The boss decides working from home isn't the new normal after all

cornetman Silver badge
Thumb Up

That was a good read: well thought out and insightful as well as laugh out loud funny in places. :)

I'm one of the few people in our company that *hated* working from home and still do. Too many distractions at home (including the rather annoying cat) which is a problem for me because I am easily distracted. Partly because the schools are out, the vast majority of our dev team are working from home and they prefer that in the main. That means the office is quiet and practically empty: perfect for me.

We had moved to the dreaded open plan organisation some years ago. I do certainly miss my little cube, with a space to put up my big white board with which I used to do most of my thinking.

I wonder sometimes if manglement really understand what developer need to get work done. They seem to try to thwart us at every opportunity.

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Let's go through this point by point

> Imagine you're Black and you've grown up in a White society that treats you different your whole life because of the color of your skin, and all the history associated with that.

We don't need to imagine. Black people exist and they are all around us. Why don't we just ask them instead of nannying them? And I don't mean BLM nutcases, I mean real, ordinary black and other historically oppressed people?

I know what Thomas Sowell would have said on this subject in the economic realm, a man who has certainly achieved mastery in his field from a genesis of abject poverty.

I paraphrase, but "No one ever asked black people what they wanted or needed. They never asked for handouts, they just wanted to be left to prosper."

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Let's go through this point by point

>I suspect GitHub will alias master with whatever they choose to use instead

So there term will still exist then? So the change will be largely pointless, if there was indeed a point to be made.

> I guess you feel powerless, like you're losing control? Someone else is telling you what to do, and that the old was bad? You feel red faced. I get it. But you have to look beyond it. Don't take it personally. It's just picking a word that is more inclusive.

Instead of engaging in petty condescension, you might at least have grappled with the points.

Your willful misunderstanding tells me all that I need to know about your own agenda.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "There's no slave in git though"

> It's still a reminder of the outdated master-slave trope in computer science.

Not, it's not really.

I have a number of points:

1. Is there anyone out there that has been associated directly with slavery that is calling for this change? I suspect not. The reality is that this kind of thing is proposed by young white right-on types who don't have the first clue about what they pontificate about.

2. The term "master" is a pretty central core concept in git. Branching and how the master branch pertains to that is a tricky subject that many find challenging and it is a bit of a mind f*ck for a lot of people coming to the distributed model for the first time. With respect to getting to grips with GitHub, a tricky subject is going to be made a lot more tricky now that all the blog articles, StackoverFlow posts, GitHub and other related documentation are going to be out-of-date. Let's be clear, the vast majority of it is not going to be updated. Talk about causing unnecessary barriers to youngsters coming into the field that many of their go-to references are going to be a little less helpful. :(

3. I really hate that ignorant people are dictating the agenda here in regards to the use of the term master, in particular in this case. There are far more positive uses of the term "master" than there are negative ones and this kind of tokenism just panders to the idea that the English language lacks context and nuance. When we talk about, say, a "master swordman", we are conferring an honorific to one who has achieved mastery or expertise in that field. There is no sense of slavery, only that one is rightly greater than the others. That title is not taken, it is given as a sign of respect for hard work, knowledge and expertise. The master in this sense is the source of authoritative knowledge, the last word on what is true. This is the sense in which "master" is used in git. It is a positive use of the term: the authoritative source; the most up-to-date; the best source at this point in time. This despicable, dishonest and ignorant distortion of the use of this term in this context, is abhorrent to me and we are no better as a species for walking that path.

ZFS co-creator boots 'slave' out of OpenZFS codebase, says 'casual use' of term is 'unnecessary reference to a painful experience'

cornetman Silver badge

When people are frightened/offended by mere words, I worry how they will ever manage to cope with life.

The UK's favourite lockdown cheese is Big and Red but doesn't require a stinking great audit after consumption

cornetman Silver badge

> I shall be *subjecting* my Canadian wife to poutine tonight...

There, fixed that for you :P

cornetman Silver badge

You people complaining about cheese should step over the border into Canada, particularly BC.

Supermarket "cheese" here is a sin against humanity and simultaneously expensive.

It is possible to get nice cheese here, and *good* Canadian cheddar is a tasty treat. But a decent block of cheddar will set you back around $15 CAD. :O

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

cornetman Silver badge

Re: So what's with the ban on horse-drawn conveyance in the drive-through?

> Is this because the restaurants want to maintain a certain level of cleanliness, and they don't want the horse to sprinkle manure on the drivethru pavement?

That might be the case but I would have thought that that issue was rather academic once they had actually reached the order window.

Most likely the robot at the window was told that only car-based people can be served and they took it rather more literally than common-sense would dictate.

Indian app that deleted Chinese apps from Androids deleted from Play Store

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Isn't this what Antivirus / Anti malware software does?

I read his article, but I don't really understand his point, unless he was talking exclusively about applications that wish to be "top dog" as it were, in which case I can see what he means. I guess the system modal dialog is probably the closest that can be achieved by preventing other windows from doing anything substantial.

As a matter of choice, my MATE desktop manager allow me to specify which windows are "Always on top". At first it appears contradictory to have more than one, but what I think really happens is that it creates a tier of priority windows that behave between themselves in the same way that other windows normally do. It's pretty handy at times although I am left feeling that some kind of improved window paradigm would be a better solution.

Publishers sue to shut down books-for-all Internet Archive for 'willful digital piracy on an industrial scale'

cornetman Silver badge

> As a published author, they have stolen from me.

They certainly may have breached your copyright privileges. I'm not sure how you can claim that they have stolen from you. What do they now possess that you do not?

In Rust, we lust: Security-focused super-C++ language still most loved among Stack Overflow denizens

cornetman Silver badge

> Those taking the survey are not a particularly diverse group: 68.3 per cent of respondents identified as being white or of European descent. Just 12 per cent identified as female or non-binary.

Do we have any figures as to how representative this is of the programming population at large? I would have thought that would be a useful measure.

Without context, that observation is pretty meaningless.

If we did a similar survey of nurses, we would not be at all surprised if the vast majority of the respondents were white women.

Gone in 9 seconds: Virgin Orbit's maiden rocket flight went perfectly until it didn't

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Oh. Again?

I guess the point is that if they could get it working, it would be super cheap to get lighter payloads into orbit and a much faster turnaround time. I would think a lot of companies would be interested in that.

Yes, we have done orbital launch for decades but only for people with government-scale budgets.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Would never have happened in my day

I never said that Tommy Robinson wasn't a complete idiot at times and he obviously was here.

For the record he was also convicted of mortgage fraud.

So he's a complete twit.

But he was also practically the only person talking about Pakistani grooming gangs in England until very recently. Any one of us could have looked the other way and tutted in his place, and be honest, you would.

Perhaps it is the nature of his personality that leads him to be the one to stick out his neck to do something about it. I suggest some of the commentators here should read a bit more widely to get a more balanced view of world events. They are seldom so black and white.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Would never have happened in my day

Well the Reg moderators thought that my comment was worthy of rejection.

Not sure why. There was nothing libellous, offensive or false in my view. The facts are a matter of public knowledge.

Tommy Robinson is no angel, but then who is? But he was pointing out what was going on 15 years ago.

And nobody seemed to be the least bit interested until the last couple of years ago when it all got blown out so far into the open, it couldn't be covered up any longer.

[ Moderator note - your comment was restored so people can respond to it. It was removed initially for being a bit bollocks, really, when you consider reality. ]

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Would never have happened in my day

My comment stands in the general sense.

Attacking someone by accusing them of being a racist/nazi/fascist/anti-semite/far right extremist, then getting them "cancelled" is the sport de jour these days, regardless of the veracity of the claim.

Just ask Tommy Robinson, to whom if we had only listened, we might have prevented the torture and rape of thousands of children by rape gangs in the UK. But apparently all we need to know about him is that he is a far-right extremist, send them all back 'ome, dyed in the wool fascist.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Would never have happened in my day

The problem is what qualifies as "racism" these days can be something as bland as discussing the rate of immigration in the UK. The word hardly has a useful meaning any more.

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much

cornetman Silver badge

> ....putting milk in the teapot "to save time"


Twitter sticks a beak in, Clippy-style: Are you sure you want to set your account alight with that flame?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "the microblogging anger echo chamber"

> Typically any expression of belief in a creator of any kind is immediately shut down as ignorant and coming from an ignorant person. It is EXTREMELY common here.

I call bullshit. Examples please.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "the microblogging anger echo chamber"

Nothing wrong with ridiculing stupid ideas. The problem is that religious types are often so attached to their worldview that they believe an attack on the idea is an attack on themselves.

Troll attacks against people is common on Twitter, but I don't think it is very common here.

cornetman Silver badge

The obvious answer is just don't use it. I don't. The maximum message size is far too short for context and since you cannot change it, there is no way to take it back, or modify it for clarity.

Fundamentally, there is no mechanism for apology and encourages polarisation.

Never used it, never will. They can keep their toxic message fest and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

That awful Butterfly has finally fluttered off: Apple touts 13-inch MacBook Pro with proper keyboard, Escape key

cornetman Silver badge

Point made, but in the UK, is not 2 years a mandatory minimum?

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

cornetman Silver badge

Listening to him randomly droning on makes George W Bush look fairly smart. Now I didn't think I would ever be able to say that.

What is it about USians that they keep voting in complete morons? He doesn't even have the self-awareness to realise that most of the people in the press room are inwardly facepalming.

cornetman Silver badge

Listening to Trump droning on, makes me think of that slightly drunk older relative at the family get-together that has somehow got hold of the microphone and everyone is silently hoping that they would just .... stop. Please.

That poor woman must have been really wishing for the proverbial hole to swallow her up.

In Rust we trust? Yes, but we want better tools and wider usage, say devs

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Realistic business scenario

> Considering that Rust is a weakly-typed language

What on earth made you think it is a weakly-typed language?

cornetman Silver badge

I wonder if one of the reasons why people find Rust so difficult is that it forces us to think about things that many programmers gloss over, which is why traditional programs are so bug ridden these days.

Programming really well is HARD and I suggest that some people are just not capable of doing it. Rust just makes you think about some of the things that we are no accustomed to thinking about so completely and comprehensively. What should this code do if a memory allocation fails? Just what is the full lifecycle of this object?

I have looked into Rust from the perspective of a C/C++ programmer and I happen to think it is a breath of fresh air. Just a shame I cannot convince where I work to give it a try. I think we here are in the same boat as many C++ shops in that we have a lot of investment in the older languages and the risk of moving into something fairly new in product areas that are already highly developed is difficult to justify.

Canada's .ca overlord rolls out free privacy-protecting DNS-over-HTTPS service for folks in Great White North

cornetman Silver badge

"That said, DNS-over-HTTPS is not without its detractors. Cops, Feds, and ISPs have been vocal opponents of the technology, claiming it prevents service providers from being able easily to see what is going on in their networks, and makes it harder to uncover the activities of those engaging in criminal activity online."

Let me reassure the cops that I'm not one of those engaged in criminal activity.

What's that? You have six lines written in my own hand?

We're all stuck indoors, virtual reality tech should be hot. So why is Magic Leap chopping half its workforce?

cornetman Silver badge

I don't know if the difference is quite so large as you suggest.

With Theranos, I have no doubt that the original intention was to produce the testing device as claimed. The problems came when it became obvious that it wasn't as easy as was originally envisaged, at which point the rot set in and, well, we now know how that went.

In the case of Magic Leap, I see no reason to doubt that they do want to produce the system that was initially envisaged. Again, it is a HARD problem. Publicly they are massively over-promising and under delivering. Whether that could be called fraud really depends on whether or not they are actually lying to investors as they obviously were at Theranos. That may well not be the case, but you have to wonder.

cornetman Silver badge

Sounds a lot like Theranos.

Feeling hot, hot, hot... in British Columbia? In December?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Metrotown

> Metrotown (same thing, it's officially called 'Metropolis at Metrotown', but everyone calls it Metrotown, no-one calls it Metropolis)

Well, yeah, but if I had put "Metrotown" some spotty train spotting nit picker would have sprouted up to point out that it is really called Metropolis. :D

You cannot win.

SE's baaaack: Apple flings out iPhone SE 2020, priced at £419

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Way too muct

£419 "budget" phone? Lol

Reg readers have not one, but TWO teams in Folding@home top 1,000 as virus-bothering network hits 2.4 exa-FLOPS

cornetman Silver badge
Thumb Up

I found Folding@home a bit too heavy on my machine even on the "low" settings that it seriously got in my way.

People looking for something a bit more lightweight and less intrusive, there is also Rosetta@home, through the BOINC client.

Couple of my machines are trundling through some Covid-19 work units for Rosetta right now.

French monopoly watchdog orders Google to talk payment terms with French publishers

cornetman Silver badge

Indeed. Did not music publishers find the same when they went after YouTube, not realising that it was quite possibly their most valuable, free advertising tool ever? Talk about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs.

I sometimes wonder what goes through the heads of some of these supposedly intelligent people. This is exactly the kind of entitled attitude that copyright generates, even to the point that publishers will pursue their own customers in court, and other entities acting in their best interests out of sheer spite (because they are also making money).

Google Cloud's AI recog code 'biased' against black people – and more from ML land

cornetman Silver badge

It seems to be that the researchers are showing their own bias here.

My (obviously less politically motivated) take is that the model more accurately identified what was actually a gun (albeit a temperature one) when held by someone with dark skin.

So perhaps the headline should actually say, "Model more accurate when dark skinned person in the scene".

Academic showdown as boffins biff-baff over when Version 1.0 of Earth's magnetic core was released

cornetman Silver badge

"The Jack Hills zircons are some of the most weakly magnetic objects studied in the history of paleomagnetism," said Benjamin Weiss, co-author of the paper and a professor at MIT's Department of EAPS. "Furthermore, these zircons include the oldest known Earth materials, meaning that there are many geological events that could have reset their magnetic records."

"This is evidence...."

Wait. Your "doubt" is not evidence.

That's pretty loose language for a scientist to be using.



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