* Posts by Gonzo wizard

219 posts • joined 26 Jul 2018

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iFixit publishes teardown of M1 iMac, shows that making a determination of repairability is still hard

Gonzo wizard

Sigh...

They should cut to the chase and make every product case look like a brick. Dusty red with no servicable parts inside.

Memo to scientists. Looking for intelligent life? Have you tried checking for worlds with a lot of industrial pollution?

Gonzo wizard

Pollution, right

The problem here as I see it is that we have been polluting in a way detectable from space for what, 200-300 years. In another 100 years we need to have reversed that trend, or we are unlikely to last much longer as a speces.

What this means is that pollution as we see it will likely only exist on other worlds for a relatively small amount of time (infinitesimal even) - for much the same reason. A long lived, mature civilisation will have almost definitely gone through a polluting phase and out the other side. Or am I missing something here?

We've got some really bad news about Apple's privacy measures, Google tells iOS app devs: It'll hurt your Google ad revenue

Gonzo wizard
Thumb Up

Wehey!

Oh dear. What a pity. Never mind.

My heart bleeds for them.

Apple reportedly planning to revive the MagSafe charging standard with the next lot of MacBook Pros

Gonzo wizard

Re: Hooray!

I had one too. It also has a cigarette lighter socket adapter, and I think I used it four or five times. Can’t find it now.

Gonzo wizard
Coffee/keyboard

O. M. G.

I’m shocked, I tell you. Shocked(*). The Touch Bar is a gimmick? Never!!! MagSafe coming back? I better sit down.

* I’m not shocked, but I am impressed that they’re willing to admit these were both dumb mistakes. Still won’t buy another tho.

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

Gonzo wizard

Re: travel distance

That’s like saying 1920’s Britain didn’t have the capacity to supply petrol for all the cars driven in 1990. EVs aren’t going to replace all ICE cars overnight so we don’t need all that capacity right this second do we? Do we need it in the future? Yes. But that spoils your “point”. So you make a false equivalence.

Capacity can be added. As the government is banning new ICE cars from 2030, capacity will be added.

Still no constructive alternative suggested. The closest we’ve got to so far is “it’s not my problem I’ve plenty of range”. How many of those 1000km can you safely drive before needing a rest break (legally or just physically)? I can use my rest time to recharge my car; my SatNav routes me via reliable rapid charges automatically.

Gonzo wizard

Re: There’s hope yet!

Your definition of people who will buy electric was “urban people who don’t need to travel”. If I don’t need to travel I’m not going to run a car, am I? And still no constructive alternative offered, I note. Nothing to have a decent discussion around.

“Urban people” - how big does my town have to be before I’m an “urban person”? Never mind, I live in a suburb of London. And I (gasp) travel a lot by road. All around the country (obvs not this year). Condescending much?

If all you can do is throw insults... in doing so you’re admitting you’ve no real counterpoint and have already conceded. Thanks for clearing that up at least.

Gonzo wizard

Re: There’s hope yet!

No, I don’t care about the down-votes but if you want to shoot down a company that is having a real and significant impact it’s only fair that you put up an alternative, even if it is a straw man.

Gonzo wizard

Re: There’s hope yet!

Tesla batteries are already good for over 300k miles and the target is 1 million. Battery components are already almost 100% recyclable back into... more batteries. Tesla are also developing batteries that use more common elements that are less polluting to extract. On the fuel front, Tesla are shifting their charging network over almost entirely to solar energy. These facts are easily obtainable and you’re not offering any constructive alternatives here.

I’m also not sure why you label EVs as suitable only for urban people when there is already a choice of several cars at different price points that can travel 300+ miles between charges.

Gonzo wizard
Go

There’s hope yet!

I mean nobody thinks that colonising Mars is easy. And yes, I agree with Werner that from the outside we will look like locusts flocking from planet to planet. I’m also hopeful, though, that being forced to face and deal with global warming and global pollution will bring forward better, less environmentalLy disruptive and more sustainable ways of working that will have a big effect on what happens as and when we start ‘doing more’ off-planet. It won’t stop us using resources elsewhere - I mean, if everything were going swimmingly we probably wouldn’t be thinking about doing it at all, right? Certainly not with the level of urgency Elon is bringing.

And I love how he’s doing large scale R&D in public. Just awesome to watch.

Elon thinks big and aims very, very high and I applaud him for that. Even if he misses his original target he’ll still have achieved more for the human race than most. He’s already single-handedly shown us that you can mass produce electric cars (and roll out your own charging network) even though the incumbents are dragging their heels and building hybrid abominations (an emotional term, yes) that allow people to feel good about the batteries they haul around while still polluting and costing a fortune to maintain.

Apple Arm Macs ship, don't expect all open-source apps to work without emulation – here's what you need to know

Gonzo wizard

Re: Still a lot of work to be done porting, but Rosetta 2 is picking up the slack

Any thumbs downers care to respond? I’m genuinely interested in debating this and understanding the other side of the argument.

Gonzo wizard
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This...

And this is the thing. Today's software may well appear, but having slowly but surely constructed a walled garden there will inevitably be software that Apple won't want on their platform. I'm a current Mac owner but I'm still on Mojave, and won't be buying any more. I'll give my money to a generic manufacturer with a supported Linux build.

I'm happy to concede that many people will be perfectly happy with the new platform. I'm just not one of them.

Gonzo wizard

Re: Still a lot of work to be done porting, but Rosetta 2 is picking up the slack

The system RAM isn't shared with the graphics hardware on existing MacBook Pro models, I can't speak for the compressed memory thing.

Gonzo wizard
FAIL

Re: Still a lot of work to be done porting, but Rosetta 2 is picking up the slack

I should get a second machine (that isn't ARM) so that I can (a) run Linux and then (b) deploy a VM there? Instead of, maybe, just firing up docker on the machine I bought and paid for?

There are so many reasons why what you're suggesting won't fly. My last three clients wouldn't let me (freelance) or their own staff do exactly this, yet they all equip their developers with Macs.

In any event getting a VM on company infrastructure is in my experience very time consuming and must inevitably be justified. Additional physical machines aren't just lying around, need to be configured for the local network, etc etc etc... it's a high friction situation. I just wouldn't bother looking at an ARM based Mac until I can do everything I need on the machine in front of me (which I can now on my 2015 Pro).

Your comments are ill-considered, I'm sorry to say.

Five Eyes nations plus Japan, India call for Big Tech to bake backdoors into everything

Gonzo wizard

Re: "How would they stop terrorists from sharing keys"

That's of little import given the level of expertise available to hire. It would simply cause new comms tools to be developed that are simply off the radar. Assuming there aren't any already (I bet there are).

Gonzo wizard
FAIL

Re: Nope.

Absolutely. There's no way on earth this can end well. What are they smoking?

Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in

Gonzo wizard

"Does what it says in the code"

This kind of mass, automatic test case generation is only useful in documenting the current behaviour of the code - bugs and all. It's the kind of thing I'd use once when taking over a codebase with poor coverage at the unit level, and then never again. But that's because maintaining good quality tests that cover what should happen, with a high coverage percentage, is inherently a human activity driven by knowledge of requirements.

QR-code based contact-tracing app brings 'defining moment' for UK’s 'world beating' test and trace system

Gonzo wizard
Thumb Up

Re: Hm.

I wasn't, but I'm very familiar with the EICAR test QR Code. Not being totally evil I've stuck one to the underside of my laptop. Anybody deciding to scan it has too much curiosity.

I wouldn't put it past a few jokers to run a few EICAR stickers off and deploy them around their local pubs for the LOLs.

Tech ambitions said to lie at heart of Britain’s bonkers crash-and-burn Brexit plan

Gonzo wizard

Re: Countries without trillion-dollar companies ... will be owned or coerced by those that do

Maybe. Give it legs and see how far it can walk ;-)

Gonzo wizard

Re: What's the idea that the rest of the world...

I think you've missed my point. Money is certainly required for an idea to be developed and to succeed, but it doesn't create the idea or pick an existing idea that has the potential to become the Next Big Thing. All the things you've mentioned - Hovercraft, Concorde, the Transputer, the first electronic computer - and all the products, were ideas that already existed that got funded to develop them. None of them came into being because somebody sat down one day with a massive pile of cash and thought "ooh, what shall I do with this then?"

People do that. People who have skin in the game, know what they are talking about, can explain why something will work, how something can be developed, and sell that concept both to the people with the money they need, and to the potential customer base. DC's not a fan of independent thinkers and will want to be involved in every detail, thereby guaranteeing failure.

Gonzo wizard
Thumb Up

Re: Well it's kind of a good idea but...

Absolutely, it's a bit like Aziraphale in Good Omens talking about Heaven's view of guns. "Evil in the wrong hands, but give weight to a moral argument in the right hands" (not quite word for word). Giving aid to your own is "encouraging innovation and growth" but when another government does so it is "stifling competition and providing an unfair competitive advantage". Go figure.

Gonzo wizard
FAIL

Countries without trillion-dollar companies ... will be owned or coerced by those that do

The idea that the government will effectively bankroll a trillion-dollar company begs many questions, the most pressing of them being...

1. What's the idea that the rest of the world has missed (or implemented badly) so far, and what makes you think it's the big one? The idea comes first, and even if the idea is to copy somebody else's idea but do it better, it still comes first. You don't magic a trillion dollar business into existence just by flashing your cash like the guys at We Buy Any Car.

2. How much access, and control, will unelected government lackeys have? I'd expect certain of them to have far too much influence at far too many levels for almost anybody's comfort (except their own, presumably) - and for that reason alone, any idea, even one with legs, won't fly. People with principles won't join or won't stay. People without them tend, in my experience, to be more blinkered - a major disadvantage when trying to build this unicorn of a company.

In short, even if this is true, it's a totally garbage idea that simply wastes more money that we don't have. All to stroke one unelected government lackey's ego.

No, Kubernetes doesn’t make applications portable, say analysts. Good luck avoiding lock-in, too

Gonzo wizard
Meh

Tradeoffs are a constant, getting them right is the key

The most frustrating thing about what I've just read is that every time we choose to use one service or piece of software over another, we are making a decision that involves tradeoffs. Every. Single. Time. Kubernetes is no different and neither is choosing a cloud to run on. What's important for one company is not necessarily as important to another. If a company doesn't get right what is important for it in any of these decisions then it is liable to get it wrong.

In short, this Gartner thing feels like it is stating the obvious.

Apple: Yeah, about those ground-breaking privacy features in iOS 14 – don't expect them until next year

Gonzo wizard

Re: Disappointing they are delaying this change

I've got to log into one of their properties or apps for that to happen. It doesn't.

Gonzo wizard

Re: Disappointing they are delaying this change

I reset this regularly (several times a week) and it bugs me that there's not an option to automatically change it on a user-selected frequency. Can't wait for the option to opt out entirely...

At the same time I also clear my browser cache. I use private browsing for everything but when you exit an app to view a web link (eg in Twitter), the browser opens in non-private mode... I'd love to see that change too, so the browser opens in what is currently your default (private or not).

Police face-recog tech use in Welsh capital of Cardiff was unlawful – Court of Appeal

Gonzo wizard
FAIL

Well now...

The fact that they don't even know the degree of racial and/or gender bias is bad enough. Added to that, they've also had insufficient signage and essentially harassed people who put up a face covering when walking through a 'trial area' and well...

It's really not a good look is it.

Uncle Sam says it's perfecting autonomous AI-powered drone, vehicle swarms to 'dominate' battlefields

Gonzo wizard

See also: Daniel Suarez

His book Kill Decision models one possible outcome of weaponised drone swarms. An entertaining if worrying read.

Google forced to defend new trademark foundation as Knative community takes umbrage at 'neutrality' claims

Gonzo wizard
WTF?

"Will any other vendor be able to join the board"

A slightly more hostile version might be "Why aren't other vendors in the founding board". DiBona's answer is revealing - "The only thing that's going to prove neutrality will be time" - time and other vendor representation to keep Google honest. With Google the only vendor on the board, neutrality can't be taken for granted - in either the short or long term.

I don't see this foundation being terribly helpful as long as it looks like a closed shop.

Twitter mass hacking: Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mike Bloomberg, Biden, Obama, more hijacked to peddle Bitcoin scam

Gonzo wizard
Thumb Up

Re: Obviously found a security hole in Twitter

It's pretty appalling that so many accounts have been affected. I mean, clearly, internal accounts and tools have been compromised through spear phishing. And once in, it appears that there's no firewalling of access to accounts (it's as if every person with the tools has access to every account).

Twitter's red and blue teams (do these even exist) will be feeling pretty sheepish right now. I watched it happen in real time and saw how long it took for Twitter to respond at all.

Jack's got a lot of work to do, not just to work out exactly what happened, but to also restructure systems and teams to stop it happening again, and finally to minimise the scope for abuse if somebody in operations is successfully compromised again.

This event, and the way Jack et al react to it, could be what decides what Twitter's long term future looks like.

SoftBank: Oi, we paid $32bn for you, when are you going to strong-Arm some more money out of your customers?

Gonzo wizard
Go

Re: SoftBank bought a goose that lays golden eggs...

Next they'll be wondering why they can't achieve a good price if they do indeed try to divest. The effect of price rises won't be immediately apparent while current customers investigate and adopt alternatives (if suitable ones are available), but in the medium term this could have a noticeable impact on ARM's revenue stream.

Heck, if enough customers jump to the same alternative, that could fund further improvements and give ARM a proper fight...

There's always something to look forward to ;-)

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

Gonzo wizard

The rich are getting richer

Wealth becoming more concentrated, so pool of potential customers likewise will be shrinking...

Gonzo wizard

Re: Starship?

An hour - and more, or less greenhouse gasses per mile? Plus, a rocket launch is so disruptive to the local environment (sound shockwaves especially) that Starliner would quickly become known as the Ryanair of rockets because you can't have a frequently used launchpad close to your population.

Gonzo wizard

Re: Lost Opportunities

We like to tinker, and lose interest once the problems have been solved. Then US (or Chinese, or Japanese) companies swoop in and buy up the results of our research. If they can't turn a profit in a year, then it gets canned all over again.

See also INMOS (the Transputer) and ARM Holdings...

Gonzo wizard
Meh

Interesting engineering challenges

While this and Starship (mentioned in another reply) are both interesting engineering challenges I fail to see how either can fit in to the future of global transport. Starship is probably a decade away from being certified for such activity - if ever. Development and certification of a fifty seater supersonic aircraft likewise. Then factor in the steep development costs, the coming recession, environmental issues and the very real quite high cost of using such services...

Do sufficient numbers of people really need to move around the globe that quickly to make either of these things viable? I think not. Some people may want this kind of service, some may believe it is needed, but I think their time has come and gone.

I'd like to hope we are sufficiently forward looking to realise that given the state of our planet, these are not paths we should be going down.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs

Gonzo wizard

Re: History repeats...

Yep, company with long history of delivering, people grow complacent.

Gonzo wizard
Holmes

It feels like Boeing suffered from overconfidence and the desire to grow the share price and therefore cutting corners, while SpaceX have more skin in the game (relatively speaking). I hope Boeing succeed, not just to give SpaceX a run for their money but because they are trying different things.

I like the idea of returning to land rather than the sea, with Boeing refurbishing the capsule whereas SpaceX will build a new capsule for each manned mission, the 'used' capsules being repurposed for cargo only. Lots to look forward to.

Purism's quest against Intel's Management Engine black box CPU now comes in 14 inches

Gonzo wizard

Nice

I think I've found the manufacturer of my next laptop... if I can get one in the UK of course...

Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro

Gonzo wizard

Ooh look at the large number of ACs posting...

Somebody should definitely send a link to somebody senior to get them to read the commends of their staff!

Gonzo wizard

Re: Madness ...

To be fair, outsourcing to 'cloud' is all about eliminating capital expenditure as far as your company board is concerned.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Gonzo wizard
Go

Yes please

Any charger will do, and I've never been a fan of the headphones. They leak noise. Less waste all round.

Just... don't expect to be able to tell the difference in the price. After all, combined these two things together probably only cost a couple of quid at the volume Apple makes them...

Macs, iPhones, iPads to get encrypted DNS – how'd you like them Apples?

Gonzo wizard

Arrgh...

There's a balance to be found somewhere but right now I prefer to use Little Snitch to restrict adverts and tracking via the browser, and then private browsing over VPN as the next layer up. The problem with DNS over TLS or HTTPS is that Little Snitch can't tell me the domain that's about to be visited :-(

As long as it's an option, great. But the moment there's no other option, I (we all of us) need a way to be able to selectively block outgoing traffic - by domain name. Please.

Apple gives Boot Camp the boot, banishes native Windows support from Arm-compatible Macs

Gonzo wizard

EFI certificates required

The EFI most recent version of the Mac only had certificates for MacOS and Windows 8+ installed, thereby preventing the native installation of any other OS. As far as I'm aware that is still the situation.

Gonzo wizard
FAIL

Re: No x86_64 Docker

Magic instructions that won't be used by Docker or the linux based containers deployed therein

Gonzo wizard

Re: Hackintosh?

Can you explain the legal basis for these Hackintoshes and virtualised MacOS instances? Apple famously doesn't permit MacOS to run virtualised except on another Mac. I'd be pretty surprised if there are large numbers of companies running unsupported and unlicensed farms of virtual Macs.

Happy to be proved wrong but the last time I checked and all that... as an ex MacOS Server owner...

Gonzo wizard

Well...

That's great, provided that somebody is actually going to provide support. Parallels have only committed to say nothing which can only be taken as bad news. VMware Fusion are at least asking the question.

Gonzo wizard

Downvotes

I never understand why people downvote a post that simply relays something that is actually happening in real life - this isn't an opinion, why does it need to be downvoted?

Gonzo wizard
Meh

Re: So basically

I don't think that Apple will do this. Short term they are focussed on making the platform a success. Medium and long term efforts will be focussed on reaping the benefits - the economies of scale to be gained by sharing both a hardware platform and a single kernel across all platforms. Switching away from Windows support will simply lose a smallish percentage of sales from people who used Bootcamp or removed MacOS altogether to run Windows. Not Apple's target market.

Slack Connect: Hipster chat platform to let different orgs play in the same channel – only for paying users, mind

Gonzo wizard
Terminator

Nag, nag, nag

My client has been using this feature, sharing a third party's channel for product support. Trouble is, the slackbot army from my client are now spamming the third party's channel regularly, reminding all of us that "this channel doesn't adhere to the naming guidelines" at least once a day. So after a few weeks the channel was de-integrated again...

It'll be back, no doubt.

What's the Arm? First Apple laptop to ditch Intel will be 13.3" MacBook Pro, proclaims reliable soothsayer

Gonzo wizard

And now it gets interesting

If they do announce a migration to ARM I'm going to be really interested to see how they manage the transition:

- Porting support

- How long they say they will support X86 binaries on the ARM platform

- How the prices compare

This is all about Apple having full control over the chip set, so they get the packaging they want, the power consumption they want and the performance they want. The idea of having a machine that could completely power down some parts of the hardware because it isn't needed is pretty interesting.

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

Gonzo wizard
Thumb Up

Re: The German one seems to work

Not only that, Google provides a sample client app and matching notification server code to go with it. As a well known TV presenter used to say...

"How hard can it be?"

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