* Posts by drankinatty

115 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Oct 2018


Ubuntu 23.04 welcomes three more flavors, but hamburger menus leave a bad taste


Unfortunately, the inept hamburger is more a limitation of the current Gtk toolkit and poor design decisions made in the troubled "improvement" from Gtk+2 to Gtk4. The ability to actually program with toolbars, icons and menus was removed in Gtk+3 in favor of buildable xml type lists (which brought with it the icon spacing nighmare and everything taking 2X the space it did in Gtk+2).

Gtk4 has gotten worse, with much of its look and feel provided in the now coupled libadwaita which has all the visual appeal of "milk toast". The hamburger is the result of dumbing down the toolkit in a frenzied race to make it a one-size-fits-all UI that would run on a desktop, tablet or hand-held. What you see now is the result. Not all barbs are reserved for Gtk, Qt isn't free from compromise decisions and KDE auto-sizing hell is nearly as bad.

Unfortunately, what you get now is the lowest-featured, plainest looking, common-denominator of a CSS styled desktop (which comes served with a hamburger).

Open source at America's famous Los Alamos Lab: Pragmatism as its nucleus


Engineers and wonderfully practical

“Being able to burst into the cloud is wonderful, but don't neglect the core engine in your car...." Words of wisdom in today's "where's my data?" -- or -- "the cloud is down?" world.

Apple pushes first-ever 'rapid' patch – and rapidly screws up


This is the reason "you turn off this default setting..."

Automatic updates - while good in theory - are rarely as good in application. While this screw-up only resulted in a few stray internet availability error messages, there is a long history of bricked devices (personal assistants, etc..) that have resulted from this "good in theory" idea. I've always found it far better to not let anything touch my devices until I review what will take place and give it the nod.

So long as you are reasonably diligent on updates, the risk of you being exploited between the time some company issues a fix-all "automatic update" and when you normally look for updates is quite low. On the iPhone, how hard is it? There is a big red-dot that appears over the settings apps when updates need attention.

Texas mulls law forcing ISPs to block access to abortion websites


Re: Florida.... Hold my beer

"MAGA" == Morons and Gullible A-holes


Gov'nor Hot-Wheels' Hypocraucy Knows No Bounds

After living in this state for nigh on 57 years and watching administrations come and go, Governor Hot-Wheels and crew are by far the most dishonest, arrogant hypocrites to ever call Austin home. From shielding chemical plants and storage facilities that blow up neighborhoods, to rolling back decades of election rights to cure fictitious "voter fraud" (yes, there was an actual reason Texas was one of the states subject to pre-clearance under Article 5 of the voting rights act -- before the Robert's Court gutted it), to fake "crises" used to amend the state constitution to take away rights of injured patients and nursing home residents to hold providers accountable for the harm they do, to the endless social "wedge-issue" politics of license-less open-carry of handguns, abortion and illegal immigration -- these jackasses take the cake.

I mean -- where else is the state attorney general under indictment for securities fraud..... (way to go Kenny boy) This Texas is not the Texas I grew up in, or care to call home and it is a sad reflection of our collective inability to self-govern. But, inevitably, the pendulum will swing back.

Why ChatGPT should be considered a malevolent AI – and be destroyed


Bummer -- you just happened to interact with the Fox News thread in ChapGPT....

But seriously, the well written article exposes vexing questions and ramifications regarding AI, both in its design and training, and the real-world consequences of reliance on what it produces. Moreover, it's highly unlikely the geniuses at openAI can just open up a source file and "Hah!, there is the errant code -- this will be an easy fix." Why? Worse than a complicated multi-threaded program, much of what goes on in piecing together answers from mountains of trailing data involves a lot of non-deterministic code paths, meaning there is no way to simply re-run the author's question and expect to get the exact same responses back. You should, but there is no guarantee the algorithm will run the exact same as it did last time making determining why it did what it did virtually impossible to debug.

With the malevolent ChatGPT problem exposed, ensuring there are no other repeats should be a top priority, but that is on openAI. Is the present focus on the model, or on sales and monetization? On average that does not bode well for the model being fixed.

Who writes Linux and open source software?


Re: Are commit numbers really of any interest to the big wide World?

I think you have hit the nail on the head from the numbers standpoint. The whole premise of "who contributes the most" on GitHub is amorphous. Attributing the number of commits to someone and saying they win doesn't really expose any new or exiting fact about open-source.

It's just numbers, e.g. "Google is leading the way with 5,757 compared to Microsoft's 5,513 and Red Hat's 3,656...." -- well Duh... the more manhours you dedicate to code on GitHub, the more commits you are likely to have. Nothing about what projects benefit or whether the commits are serving a narrow interest of the payor, etc..

The broader message is yes, leading tech companies do contribute, heavily, to open-source projects -- good. And when then devote their efforts to bettering core libraries or toolkits used by all (e.g. openssl/openssh, etc..), all ships are raised. If the effort is devoted to making a library easier to hook for usage or personal information -- then not good.

The point the article dismisses is those talented and dedicated individuals that don't have corporate interest in their projects, or that work on educations projects that aren't monetized, deserve the same recognition for making open-source what it is today.

There's no place like... KDE: Plasma 5.27 is out and GNOME 44 hits beta


Good things come to those that wait, and wait, and wait...

"When GNOME 3 first appeared, the app formerly known as Nautilus got a serious prune and lost quite a lot of functionality. ... But now, some new features are making their way into file manager."

And poor gnome users only had to suffer 15 years with a crippled file manager. Man, that's progress.

(don't laugh, konqueror fared no better when KDE4 appeared, and it's still not up to par for single-click use Plasma)

The quest to make Linux bulletproof


Re: It's all about making it easier...

... making the root file system read-only. The only way to install software, including updates, is during a reboot, using a new command, transactional-update... WTF?? Easier, you have got to be kidding me???

I just needed the update to dos2unix -- and now I have to reboot? No thanks.

...If you have a cluster of hosts running lots of containers, this should not be too intrusive ... It's less convenient for a non-clustered machine ... (ya think?)

How many of you are reading this off a cluster? SUSE's ALP will be a cluster alright for the community of users that have supported it for the last two decades, a cluster ....

Seems distributions that once championed "User Choice" in Linux are now abandoning the community and choice in favor of the corporate customer.

Thunderbird email client is Go for new plumage in July


Re: Upgraded interface

I may as well start my "Missing/Broken Features" list to keep track of all the functionality this new group of "Kids with crayons" breaks when the new UI debuts. Imagine, calendaring forgotten, lightning just too much trouble to support. Or, we decided news groups were outside of the core mission (or one in a million pre-canned cop-outs on why a longstanding feature is missing or broken in this new "supernova"). Unfortunately seen it too many times in the past two decades. 99% of these revamped UIs go to hell in a handbasket and it takes 2+ years to get back to par with features the "old" UI had no problem providing

(It was 8 years for KDE4 and they finally threw in the towel for Plasma and FW5 -- which has now nearly been 8 years and there are still a mix of Qt4 dialogs required...)

For password protection, dump LastPass for open source Bitwarden


Re: KeePass

Specifically keepassxc the follow-on to keepassx and compatible with keepass files. The only downside to keepassxc is the damn ridiculous Qt build that takes 20 minutes compiling away on what should be a 5 second build. But you take the good with the bad. keepassxc is actively developed and imports all previous keepass and keepasx databases.

Clean user interface (though I will always prefer the original keepasx interface under KDE3 -- hard to beat). The keepassxc interface is flexible enough it can be made to look close -- putting only the details you need in summary view and a single-click to bring up the details. The only "network" involved in moving a copy of the database to the iphone via "Files" and you have your encrypted database available there to.

I've never trusted and won't trust some cloud based service with the keys-to-the-kingdom...

This is the end, Windows 7 and 8 friends: Microsoft drops support this week


With the passing of Win7, we morn the loss of the last true windows desktop. So long Aero...

There was a time when with each new windows release we looked forward to the new sleek desktop innovations and the new look and feel of the OS. When window managers and desktop UI were written solely for the PC desktop and could take full advantage of the x86 architecture. With Win8, there began the push for the OS to work not only on the desktop, but on a tablet and phone as well. Compromises were forged to be able to cannibalize as much from desktop as possible to find a least-common-denominator that could be the base of all three.

Instead of the eye-candy that admittedly does nothing but make a boring desktop a bit more exiting, Aero was gone and replaced with a nondescript titlebar painted across the top of the application window that looking vaguely similar to the plane titlebar around icon-groups in Win3.1 (remember those -- but even those had raised edges and shadow). The ability to tailor the desktop to your liking also disappeared, no more choosing the titlebar height or scrollbar width without a registry hack.

So, in my eyes, what is lost with the passing of Win7 is the last desktop UI dedicated to the PC desktop. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Win10 for being Win10 or Win11 for that matter, well maintained (and freed from most of the bundled cripple-ware they ship with, and with a careful trip through every [yes every] setting), all Win releases have functioned just fine for the time-periods they involved and we have all became skilled in the game of patching security holes on the 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Windows 10 runs just fine, no complaints. However, it has the desktop appeal of roughly a '48 Studebaker compared to a what once looked closer to a sports car. Windows 11 is no different. (I skipped Win8, 8.1 entirely)

The look-and-feel and the ability to tailor the look-and-feel to my liking is what I will miss most with Win7 gone.

Welcome to the age of the drab multi-architecture base desktop UIs with all the appeal of warm-tapioca. But hey, err.., the code could have run on the Windows tablet and phone -- is we still had such things....

PyTorch dependency poisoned with malicious code


Accessed $HOME/.ssh/ -- there go your GPG private keys...

This "Research Project" excuse holds little water if, in fact, it targeted $HOME/.ssh/. That's where your GPG keys live by default (both the PRIVATE key(s) and your public key(s)). Since github, and virtually all ssh accessible hosts allow public-key/private-key authentication, with both your keys, in many instances, the "researcher" can simply add your private key to his $HOME/.ssh/ directory and turn around and ssh into your box or any system you have used public/private key authentication to access. (and just why were the .git config files targeted -- oops, yes, to identify the repositories you have access to)

Yikes! And with most of the GPG keyservers down since the 2018 debacle, retracting a key is a thing of the past. Better ssh-keygen again and then withdraw your old public key hash from all authorized_keys files on each server you access. (easier said than done since it is something akin to removing your credit-card number from each site you have purchased from). Unfortunately -- you are the card company regarding your GPG keys.

This is the "nightmare scenario" where the "researcher" basically gets all the keys to the kingdom and your kingdom's address from your .git config files. Let's hope there were no admins using the compromised python package -- or all remote customer sites are now likely wide-open to this so called "researcher".

And just what were the first 1000 files from $HOME for??? Bad juju all the way around...

By all means, we trust you when you say you have now deleted all ill gotten data. The real question is what did the "researcher" do with it before he got caught? Times like this make me really glad I hate python so much.

Vanilla OS 22.10: An Arch and Fedora-compatible Ubuntu


Containers -> Nope, Gnome bundling libadwaita..., next please....

Once you got to "containers", that was all that was needed to know it's a not-for-me distro. "Gnome" sealed the deal --> next!

Patch Tuesday update is causing some Windows 10 systems to blue screen


Typo in the worst place?

Maybe I'm just not up with the latest cannonical path names, but the destination path given for the xcopy command seems like it has one too many "\\"? The article says "C:\windows\\system32\hidparse.sys" -- was that intended?

openSUSE Tumbleweed team changes its mind about x86-64-v2


Good for you Dominique

I knew cooler heads would prevail.

San Francisco politicians to vote on policy endorsing lethal force for robots


"try not to die by automated car"

The quip "try not to die by automated car" is either an intentional misdirection or is completely off-point. In the killer robot instance -- there is an intent to inflict deadly harm, with the car it is simple negligence or incompetence in programming or QA or both.

FTX disarray declared 'unprecedented' by exec who cleaned up after Enron


Credit default-swaps anyone? A rose by any other name...

You can't see it, you can't touch it, you can't look to verify it's actually there, it's not something that is certificated -- other than trusting some string of 0's and 1's actually means what they tell you it means.

You see 2+ years of hype, TV ads, celebrity spoke-persons claiming the next great gold-rush is here -- and it's vapor-ware. And the whales cached in on all the money they were able to get out of the little fish -- again.

Seems more like a financial disaster version of Groundhog-Day. Something tells me this is but the first domino to fall in the meltdown of crypto currency, and it is a sad thing indeed to watch.

Google wins lawsuit against alleged Russian botnet herders


Re: My word...

Or perhaps even Rudy Giuliani or Sydney Powell for starters. Lack of candor to the Court should result in disbarment. It is corrosive to the profession.

Koch-funded group sues US state agency for installing 'spyware' on 1m Android devices


That does bring up an interesting legal point. If what was done, was done in violation of state and federal law, those that approved and participated in the tracker scheme can't claim governmental immunity from prosecution or suit because there acts, as a matter of law, fall outside their official duties.

Mozilla will begin signing Mv3 extensions for Firefox next week


After using Firefox since it emerged out of the ashes of Netscape Navigator and NCSA Mosaic -- I hope you are right.

Elon Musk issues ultimatum to Twitter staff: Go hardcore or go home


Re: Waste El-Reg Space

Hey, we Yanks get sarcasm just fine, thank you.

Like the idea of a middle-age, disgruntled, self-styled tycoon pacing alone on the top of a small hill careening from one horrible idea to the next, all the while lighting $100 bills on fire just to keep warm. (or light up whatever he is smoking that night)

We get it 8)

Intel hit with $948.8 million VLSI infringement verdict


RaspberryPi Pico is in deep-yogurt then... (or pick any device, not just to pick on Pico...)

Pick any device that has multiple cores and multiple or segmented memory -- that patent (in the description provided above) is vague enough to apply to them all. However, a further read of the patent adds additional details for the scheme used at ordering the processing of the data -- that seems to be where the argument lay for VLSI and Intel. (the idea that NPE's actually suffer harm, or the corrupting design of patent aggregators -- is a whole different issue that needs to be addressed)

How far we have come (fallen) from the original 17 year grant of exclusivity to the "inventor" to market his invention....

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better


Re: Who cares?

Amen. I'm not a bird, I don't tweet.

Moments like the self-inflicted ($40B) demise of twitter and all the hand-wringing that accompanies it, makes it quite liberating to have grown up when communication was done with pencil (or pen) and paper and the cost of a stamp was a dime. You could always just pick up the phone (that was permanently affixed within your home and owned by the telephone company -- and may have been shared as a party-line with your neighbors)

The world got along fine without social media... (seemingly much better from a school shooting, political insurrection, or drunken COVID parties during lockdown standpoint) How long does a Prime Minister last nowadays anyway?

Nitrux 2.5: The latest update to a radical Linux


Wish Nitrux well, but appimage? No thanks

I'm always glad to see new and innovative Linux distributions, but the choice to deliver apps in appimage will alienate many users. While the appimage concept is nice, it's just another attempt to make Linux apps universally installable on multiple distros -- but comes with baggage. See the appimage "Best Practices" for a list of some of the bigger bags Nos. 1-4. (https://docs.appimage.org/reference/best-practices.html)

If you tweak Linux to your liking building and installing various applications on your must-have list, or grabbing appimage versions of your app that use different library versions from the system, then No. 2 kicks in "The AppImage needs to include all libraries and other dependencies that are not part of all of the base systems that the AppImage is intended to run on." Now you have multiple versions of the same library installed, and quite a number of them (the old 50M Qt "Hello World" example).

If newer UEFI firmware is required, that is another stumbling block, but I have to admit, the dark-theme screenshots look pretty good.

The GNOME Project is closing all its mailing lists


It's Gnome's way of saying - you're not wanted here.

After years of participating on the Gtk+ list, it was transitioned to discourse about 18 months ago (maybe 2 years). Participation crashed. While the mailing list was very responsive, discourse wasn't. The Gtk+ (Gnome) devs seemed to like it that way, so with the stunning success of the Gtk+ list to point to, why not move the Gnome list to discourse too? (the general user alienation is a "feature" of the move, not a side-effect) Yes, Gnome really can screw up a shot-put with a rubber-hammer...

Microsoft's Lennart Poettering proposes tightening up Linux boot process


Re: TPM? No thanks

one finger ... That's just to show how many friends he had before his dog died.... Never saw the need for TPM on home machines (or small office for that matter). If you play a TPM 2.0 lockout out to its logical conclusion, there would be no more build your own kernel or initrd image, no way to sign for the normal person. What then, download your pre-built and M$ signed kernel from the windows download area? No thanks. GPT boots fine without UEFI or TPM, and long may it be that way.

Nvidia RTX 4090: So hot they're melting power cables


Re: Not surprised 50A - hard to fathom

Stemming from the time video cards simply drew power from the PCI bus (or VESA or recall VLB VesaLocalBus) to the point where graphics cards demand 50A of juice is astounding. Looking at the reddit photos and the melting that occurred, both the plug-in (male) and base connector (female) suffered real damage.

The tiny size of the connector pins really sticks out. They look no bigger than normal 1mm bread-board header-pins. While that maybe fine for Milli-Amps, 50 Amps across those slender pins are a recipe for a very hot connection (not to mention 50A is enough of a boost to start a 7.3L diesel V8 when the batteries are low). That's a hell of a lot of current.

Looking at the female connector of the RTX 4090 in the photo, the keyed slots where literally destroyed with what remained of the melted male parts of the connector still lodged in base connector. Two (or three) 8-pin Molex connectors on prior models look far more robust by comparison. The male part of the adapter simply looked too fragile to reliably carry that current - especially given the variances that can occur in the pinouts during manufacture.

Good article. Definitely made me appreciate the 2070 cards put in my daughters gaming rig.

IceWM reaches version 3 after a mere 25 years


Re: going full Luddite and living at a console prompt

That's what makes openSUSE going containerized all the more difficult to stomach. openSUSE still has the best KDE3 on the planet. And just as the article says, you do a minimal install with X, you get IceWM (which is fine), you add the KDE3 repository and presto, fully functional, blistering fast KDE3 (with nice updates such as native .xz handling in konqueror, etc..)

On my system I always have 2 desktops available. KDE3 and fluxbox. I keep IceWM around from the install, but between fluxbox or IceWM, I prefer fluxbox. Thought there isn't a whole lot of difference. All of the old boxtops (blackbox, fluxbox, openbox, etc..) and IceWM are roughly the same. IceWM has matured quite a bit more and includes a wealth of additional customizations you can reach in nice dialog entry fashion, compared to hacking a 'theme.cfg' text file, but sometimes KISS works.

All and all I'm quite pleased to see the continued development in all the old desktops. You may be wondering why older desktops? Well, powered-off to full desktop in less than 12 seconds -- it takes 3 times that long for Plasma alone to start. All of the older desktops do all of the things I need a desktop to do without the overhead and unnecessary baggage that KDE and Gnome adopted after KDE3 and Gnome2.

There was another old desktop that had a lot of unique features that made it quite a bit of fun to use. E16 (predecessor to Enlightenment... E17). It was fast, and the old iconbox (pallet) was also a nice trick. I don't have the time to try them all as I used to, but if you are on a disto that allows side-by-side installation of desktops (all do), it's well worth installing IceWM, (or fluxbox or lxde or...) and seeing what they offer.

SUSE wheels out first public prototype of its server Linux distro, asks for feedback



As a user of SUSE since 7.0 Pro (air) installed from 1.44 floppies and through all the openSUSE trials and tribulations, this will likely be the end of the line. The firestorm that erupted on the opensuse user's list regarding the bastardized (containerized) future showed close to 100% against. I'm not sure where the rosy projections of "some" might turn against it come from -- obviously from someone not on the openSUSE list. Sad. But, Arch has always been in the hip-pocket...

Is it time to retire C and C++ for Rust in new programs?


Re: Calling Mark a non-programmer is provably false

The attraction for Rust and the nanny-style memory safety is clear. Rather than it take 3+ years to develop a really good C programmer skilled in protecting memory bounds, just spend a few month teaching the new kid with crayons Rust syntax and turn him loose -- what could possibly go wrong. Having written in C and C++ since you still included <string.h> in C++ programs, there is no substitute for experienced programmers.

While I'm all for anything that helps eliminate buffer overruns and idiots who fail use the field-width modifier reading with "%s" or "%[]" and scanf(), I've yet to see that latest and greatest next "New" language ever pan out. I hope rust is all it's advertised to be, doesn't have a significant performance penalty over C and doesn't produce a 5M "Hello world", but in the end, there will always be C and C++ available if there is no rust-arm-none-eabi....

GNOME hits 43: Welcome To Guadalajara


The strive to be a desktop on mobile has killed both KDE and Gnome

When Gnome3 was going through the throws of development and as Plasma was envisioned, both desktops began looking more and more bland like rudimentary web-pages. User-choice and configuration options disappeared (just try and find the setting to set the font for the clock in the taskbar on either desktop). Both desktops arrogantly began removing configuration options under the premise the desktop knows better than the user how the desktop should look. Nanny auto-sizing of most elements. All with an eye to move the desktops to a point they could adapt and run on mobile or tablets or ... take your pick.

What was lost in all of this misguided desktop development -- was how the desktops actually look on -- desktop computers. That apparently became a secondary matter. Now granted Plasma can still be made to look reasonable (it just can't remember what it looked like the last time it shut down), but I'm not going to wait 40 seconds for it to load and figure out how it wants to look this startup. Add Wayland and add another 10 seconds.

Gnome just looks like milk-toast, bland, unexciting, hopelessly crippled by the look of Adwaita. The real pisser was how the version creep of the Gtk toolkit infected all of the 3rd party apps that relied on it. Now, for example, the bookmarks in Firefox take 2X the vertical space to display ellipsizing and running off the bottom of the screen. This is progress?

Were it not for the fact that Gnome is the default desktop on Fedora, it's usership would look like the trace of lemmings running over a cliff. (ditto for the Gtk4 toolkit). We used to field a fair number of Gtk+ questions on StackOverflow 6-7 years ago. There was one Gtk+3 question tonight, but the last before that was months ago. Both teams, while made up of very talented people, have really "screwed the pooch" in desktop stewardship over the past decade. Gone is looking forward to new versions of the flagship desktops, replaced by the sentiment of "I hope they didn't F'it up even more this time..."

Amazon 'punishes' sellers who dare offer lower prices on other marketplaces


Re: Prefer to pay more, sometimes pay less

For years there was the open-source package "ecommerce" that would let anyone be a burgeoning Amazon and many sites did. However many lacked the knowledge of how to tie the entire sale and payment processing together without differing js requirements, etc.. leading to the payment crashes discussed above. (especially for those who care about what js runs in their browser using tools like NoScript)

For many years I too was an eBay fan, but over the past two years or so, I've seen troubling signs that eBay has become a lot more Amazon like with the true auction model being marginalized in favor of online storefronts. One thing is certain, nothing good lasts for long in the digital market-place.

Why bother with warrants when cops can buy location data for under $10k?


Maybe Kaczynski had a Point

He just went about things the wrong way. When you can no longer trust law-enforcement to -- follow the law -- that speaks volumes about out Industrial Society and Its Future...

There's no place like GNOME: Project hits 25, going on 43


Re: Plus ca change - lentement

"Usable" is subjective -- just try and write an interface in Gtk4 that doesn't look like milk-toast (you have no choice it's libadwaita or nothing) -- somehow the exciting part of Gtk was several usable versions ago before backwards compatibility was intentionally broken with every minor version bump for what seemed like a decade..

General Motors charges mandatory $1,500 fee for three years of optional car features


Goodbye GM

The arrogance of automakers knows no bounds. From the "Funny-Money" world that thinks a new 3/4 ton Duramax pickup is now worth $90K, an additional $1500 charge for something you do not want and won't use -- WTF? I guess there are suckers born every minute, but this is just ridiculous. I wonder if the charge is related to the 2024 mandate that vehicles will provide telemetry back to the manufacturer? Pass the cost of a federal mandate on to the consumer under the misleading guise of a fixed cost for an optional service? (back to the born every minute comment) Good lord.

Businesses should dump Windows for the Linux desktop


Pros and Cons, but Doable 20 Years Ago

There are good points made for and against, but after switching to the Linux desktop when SuSE still sold boxed-sets and switching the backend for 4 other law offices to Linux while retaining a mixed environment for secretarial machines on Windows it was all doable 20 years ago. At that point there were minor limitations in OpenOffice (and remain in LibreOffice) for legal briefs, Word provides the ability to create a Table-of-Authorities, you have to hack it in Libre. Second limitation was accounting software. (for small business that's still true, though Wine works fine there). Lastly, an exchange backend, that issue has gone away with groupware packages like eGroupware, etc..

The big Con point is the desktop itself and the knee-jerk changes to KDE or slow death of Gnome/Gtk from a thousand self-inflicted cuts. When something like "we need to port to the next Qt version for KDE-next, or we need to change Gtk/Gnome and remove/deprecate features of the toolkit -- there is no way business can handle the retraining/redevelopment involved. The fallacy of the desktop projected being "community oriented" and responsive to "community needs" evaporated with KDE4 and Gnome3. The emperor truly had no clothes and from a desktop direction standpoint the less than handful of devs guiding the project were going to do what they wanted, the community be damned. It's that uncertainty business cannot stomach.

The Pros, Samba does ACL, domain controllers and single-sign on better than windows. Linux can operate as controller or member in mixed backends just fine, that's a non issue. For small business, Samba in a stand-alone mode still provides an excellent file server without the DC while still providing fine-grained access control over any of the needed shared resources between groups of people. CUPS, handles all printing backend need from copiers, scanners, networked or shared printers and does it well. Groupware mean appointments entered on my calendar at the office with it reminders pop up on my iphone and new appointments and contacts entered on my iphone are saved to the database back at the office. MariaDB or Postgres handle the database needs for a small office, just as they do for airline reservation systems. There simply isn't any downside to a Linux back-office verses a MS one -- you just need someone who knows how to keep it going (and there is little to do there after the initial setup other than handle config changes on major version updates.

Not so much in demand now, but fax was another area where Linux shined. Hylafax with the Avantfax front end written by David Mimms (over at iFax) was a wonderful to with notification via e-mail and a link to the .pdf of the fax that had arrived instantly available.

There was a post above about a committed move to the Linux desktop on to revert back when a real-time inventory system didn't play nice with the new desktops. (though I'm sure behind the scene that had nothing to do with a technical problem that couldn't be fixed, but it exemplifies the lack of talent needed when a move is planned so you don't end up keeping inventory on paper to make sure the computer is right - for a problem cause by the "guru" who did the setup just not knowing how to get it configured properly.

Larger companies can partner with and contribute to open-source projects when they need features added. This benefits both the company and the project and them community at large if the added feature is relevant to more than just that company. Many open-source project will welcome additional help and contributions of funds or manhours.

Another big Pro is the cost for a complete Linux backend and Desktop setup is far less that the deal you will make with the Windows side. This is more attractive to small business running on shoestring budgets. You can have all the means of creation and integration on par with the top 500 companies of the land, you just need someone dedicated to knowing the software and systems well enough that when any of the Cons appear, they are not show-stoppers, and simple are worked and fixed just like One-Drive going down would require the same thing.

After 20 years, I have no regrets from embracing the Linux desktop, but still have quickbooks in Wine, so not 100% off windows, and over that time I've never had one software compliance visit from Big-Brother. There is another con in there somewhere.

NetBSD 9.3: A 2022 OS that can run on late-1980s hardware


Thought From Screenshot in Article

Not even BSD can escape the retched blandness of Adwaita...


Or when a phone was something that belonged to the telephone company and was permanently affixed to a wall at one location within the house -- with a big circular dial and finger holes?

Too little, too late: Intel's legacy is eroding


Kodak will never completely disappear

We have been saddled with the 401-K forever. (yes, the K is for Kodak...)

GitLab U-turns on deleting dormant projects after backlash


A PR Disaster for Gitlab 1-Year After Push for Migration of Projects From Github

This would have amounted to pouring salt in the wound, or a near complete betrayal by Gitlab after all of the effort and on-line buzz it generated a little more than a year ago encouraging Github users to migrate projects to Gitlab. Curious the proposed deletion of free projects comes just about one year after that big push. Almost like they were surprised they got what they asked for -- but forgot to factor in storage costs.

UK government extends review of BT stake owned by French tycoon Patrick Drahi


Beware - Look no rurther than Suddenlink in the US -- Poor BT Customers...

After suffering for 7 years after Drahi (through Altice) bought a controlling stake in Suddenlink Internet in the US, and watching what had been an honest, customer service oriented company be turned into a company that slashes services, inflates charges, nickles and dimes at every turn and triples costs for services it holds a near monopoly on -- things look bad for BT. His M.O. is certain. Gut services, disable customer support and increase prices. It got so bad, and the Suddenlink name run so far into the mud, it is changing it's name to Optimum (kinda like a Facebook/Meta play). I feel sorry for BT.

openSUSE Leap 15.4: The best desktop on the RPM side of the Linux world


Add best KDE3 on the Planet to the list of Desktops

You missed perhaps my favorite desktop of all time in your review:


openSUSE provides what I consider to be the best KDE3 available (TDE, while great, isn't a true KDE3.5 fork any longer, it uses a tqtinterface layer and with massive source K/T renaming involved). The openSUSE KDE3 has many of the nice TDE updates as well, native .xz archive handling in konqueror, etc.. I've probably used every desktop going at one time or the other from blackbox to WMII (including the lesser known desktops like sawfish) The openSUSE folks do a darn good job providing a wide variety of desktops to choose from and most if not all can be installed side-by-side.

15.4 has been a pleasure to use so far. Mirrors began getting the Gold Master release on 5/28 and as of 6/8 all mirrors should be updated (but there has been a bit of a checksum issue with the .iso's -- that should be resolved shortly if you reach a mirror impacted by that hiccup). If you are curious, 15.4 is well worth a test-drive (and no I don't and haven't every worked for SuSE, but I have contributed for many years)

Microsoft brings tabs to File Explorer


Chuckling - Must be a Bad Implemenation, konqueror has had them for 20 years - and they work well

The comments so far seem to hint windows explorer's tabs implementation may not being the best. KDE konqueror has had tabs for at least 20 years and they are quite useful. A tab for the local files, and however many `sftp://` tabs to remote hosts are needed. With the directory tree on the left for the local host, and a tabbed right pane, can add functionality when done right. (though I will admit konqueror has gone though extensive "growing pains" as it was ported through Qt4-6....)

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well


Re: "variety...is a feature, not a problem"

(It's definitely the case that we do need a few more good quality and attractive desktop themes - that certainly hasn't been helped by the rival desktop systems too frequently changing how themes work and causing breakage,

Amen. After 20 years of LInux desktop use, the one constant is the rival desktops unwavering ability to "throw the baby out with the bathwater" and run off chasing the new "gee whiz" look and features a port to toolkit version X+1 promises to provide. Which inevitably results in a 5-8 year period when the new desktop is an unsightly, bug filled, crippled version of what it was with toolkit version X.

The theme analogy is directly on point. Let's pick on the Gnome devs first. While Gtk+2 had hundreds, if not thousands, of quality themes that provided an endless variety of desktop looks, how many years has it been since then that themes have broken with every minor release of its successor? Not to mention the rival's Qt5/6 debacle that is still reeking havoc for app developers (in fairness, this wasn't the rival's doing).

The trickle down effect on app developers is a never ending need to continually re-write code to handle the changing toolkits as older versions are deprecated and disappear from the package selections of distributions. Many favored apps, due to nothing more than needless toolkit changes, simply quit working.

The problem for the Linux desktop has always been application developers forced to code to a continually moving set of API targets. There is nothing wrong with progress, but change for the sake of progress misses the mark.

US Copyright Office sued for denying AI model authorship of digital image


01001110 01101111 01110111! Too Cute by Half...

01001110 01101111 01110111 (or ASCII for "Now") is quite a witty way of framing the argument for robot rights. Well done.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux


openSUSE and KDE (more than one version available), Archlinux - for serous server work too.

Two slight issues to cure. openSUSE does have the best KDE on the planet, and it makes more than one version available. https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/KDE:/KDE3/15.4/ Did I mention it receives updates as well, native .xz file handling in konqueror and updated .svg handling to start with. Best thing about a near static desktop is you can simply "get work done" without having to author a bug a day. In the lead up to 15.4 release two bugs were authored and almost immediately fixed leaving the desktop in fantastic shape. Have an old Core2 Duo that doesn't have much pep, KDE3 will run blistering fast on it. (enough said, old desktop, niche use, light on resources, and a testament to all the KDE team got right with the original)

After tweaking a sysconfig network timeout delay, openSUSE 15.4 will boot from powered off to full-desktop in less that 14 seconds (from SSD). However, while KDE3 is supported, it isn't provided as an install option through the YAST installer -- you have to know where to look.Speaking of the YAST installer, if you can install windows, you can install openSUSE. Just download the .iso (or NET-iso) and burn to media of your choice and just make your selections as the graphical installer guides you though the process.

Archlinux. The article suggests it is for gamers and hobbyists, but not for those who need to get things done. I take issue with that. I have used Arch for servers exclusively since 2009 and in that 13 year period, there have only been two or three occasions where a remote adminned server had to be physically visited to handle an update. The benefit is Arch stays current with upstream. Say bash or openssh issues a new release, the new release is packaged and available for update usually within 24 hours. Meaning that all security related updates arrive almost as soon as they are available.

The only caveat being that if you rely on some custom package that may need to be updated when a new upstream package arrives -- you may have your work cut out for you. Arch is always ready to be current with upstream -- but that doesn't mean you are. If your custom package provider is slow to update it to work with the latest releases, that can be a bit of a problem. When major releases hit (kernel, gcc, php, etc..) you need to be ready (or know that the current version of what you rely on is available from the AUR (Arch User-Repository)).

I use Arch as a daily driver as well and there are no more issues involved using Arch for a desktop box than there are with any other distribution. In many ways their use of upstream sources without heavy patching or customizing makes resolving any issues easier in some regards. (and living on the bleeding-edge means you are likely to be one of the first to find them) Arch does have a minimal installer now (it did until 2014 or so, then went complete manual install, and now has a new live-environment installer to use). However, the live environment doesn't do the hand-holding that a YAST or other installer does. But, on the plus side, it does have the best wiki on the planet that provides you all the information needed to handle the install like a pro (or just about anything else).

Comment ended up much longer than originally planned, but both distros are that good, as are Ubuntu and Debian (which I also use). Bottom line, it's all Linux under the hood. Only difference between distros is their philosophy of how current the pieces need to be, how they put the pieces together and whether they patch, backport or use current upstream for security updates. You can't go wrong with any of the major distros cited in the article. All will give you the same Linux and from a daily management standpoint, the only difference is which package manager you use to update, install or remove packages. All provide roughly the same offering of packages which cover everything from 'A' to 'Z' in the computing spectrum, not a limiting factor with any of the distros. After using a Linux desktop for 20 years, I wouldn't use anything else.

Supreme Court urged to halt 'unconstitutional' Texas content-no-moderation law


Texas Has Lost Its Collective Mind Under Gov. Hot-Wheels and Indicted AG

It just keeps getting more ridiculous. After being being born in the Lone Star State 56 years go, I've had a birds eye seat of the political shenanigans in Texas. The 21st century has been an embarrassment to Texans, but it just keeps on coming -- the gift that keeps on giving. Enter the AG indicted on securities related fraud and governor Hot-Wheels, and all limits on lunacy have been removed.

How many more Buffalo's are we going to tolerate? The 18-year old wasn't radicalized talking on a land-line phone. I'm not for heavy handed moderation, but there is content that should be taken down, as soon as it hits a site. The facts that this idiot live-streamed the murders of 10 at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo is Exhibit-1 in why moderation is needed. If we can develop AI to identify child-porn on the fly, then identifying violence promoting posts should be trivial.

One thing Texas has always had is reasonable Federal District Court judges, I know, I practice before them in the Northern, Southern and Eastern Divisions of Texas. But for the last 20 years the 5th Circuit has caught the same radical disease in New Orleans that the legislature in Texas is stricken with. It's earned itself the distinction of being the most overruled Circuit in the nation. The only caveat now is the change in composition of the US Supreme Court. Which, unfortunately, has shown the same symptoms and signs plaguing the 5th Circuit and Texas legislature.

It's unfortunate, but outcome of the appeal is probably less than even-money for the appellants and tilts in favor of the nuts.

The sad state of Linux desktop diversity: 21 environments, just 2 designs


Er.. Umm... Trinity is a KDE3 fork...

Reading the article I almost choked when I got to "Trinity is a KDE4 fork" - Huh? No. Trinity is a fork of the last KDE 3.5 with continuing development and addition of the latest security updates and from upstream packages that feed into Trinity itself. Trinity maintains its own fork of Qt3. It exists precisely because KDE4 was so horrendous.

I suspect that quote was a simple typo.

Problems for the Linux kernel NTFS driver as author goes silent


Ouch! The Unforeseen Consequence of Geo-Politics, an Insecure Dictator and Open-Source Fielsystem...

Linux has had a bad run of luck with filesystem developers. One forced to abandon a wonderful early journaling filesystem after being jailed for killing his wife, and now after the much anticipated merge of read-write NTFS into the kernel, the developers disappear (not unlike the political rivals, dissidents or disloyal oligarchs associated with the same insecure dictator). Yikes.

The challenge here is the size of the project and specialized knowledge involved on the NTFS side. Not common among typical open-source developers. The knowledge and talent exists in the community, the trick is getting the right people together and in sufficient number to prevent the project from being immediately overwhelmed (both from a technical and man-hours standpoint).

It's a shame SuSE (or other corporate sponsor) wasn't involved in getting the Paragon code into the kernel (as it was promoting Reiserfs as the default filesystem for SuSE/openSUSE before ext3), A project of this size either takes a lot of luck and a lot of talent to salvage, or it takes backing with a deep pool of resources to draw from.

One thing is certain. A swift end to Putin's senseless war in Ukraine and the swift and safe return of the talented developers that helped make this code possible would be the best outcome. How unfortunate if they too are collateral damage from the slowly unfolding nightmare in Ukraine. If the world can find a way to get read-write NTFS into the Linux kernel, odds are good it can find a way to keep the code maintained through these troubled times. Here is to hope on all fronts.