* Posts by logicalextreme

606 posts • joined 8 May 2020

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Thunderbird 102 gets a major facelift, Matrix chat support

logicalextreme

Cheers — missed the editing window, but closing and reopening the application sorted my missing mailbox. Looking good so far! I see what you mean about Vivaldi…just as Vivaldi Mail's been released :) I think in my current job I prefer a dedicated mail client though, so good to see Thunderbird coming along.

logicalextreme

Re: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Missed the editing window, but closing and reopening the application sorted it. Looking good so far!

logicalextreme

According to the comments here, they're holding off on that until they're confident. My upgrade hasn't gone well but I'm switching to a new machine soon anyway so it's come at an okay time.

logicalextreme

Re: Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I have just upgraded and while my Usenet is fine, being on a different box entirely, I don't seem to have any folders or emails. So yes, perhaps be a mite afraid.

logicalextreme

Did you have to download/install manually? My v91's claiming to be up-to-date.

PowerShell pusher to log off from Microsoft: Write-Host "Bye bye, Jeffrey Snover"

logicalextreme

Re: Don't ditch PowerShell

If it had a smidgeon of type safety, I'd be inclined to agree. But if I need object and methods and I'm on Linux, I'll use Python — I can't think of anything PS does better than Python except for (occasionally, but even then not often) doing Windows admin. And at least you can rely on Python to throw an exception and stop when it hits one, rather than barrel on regardless waving a sledgehammer around…

Running DOS on 64-bit Windows and Linux: Just because you can

logicalextreme

The first rule of Usenet…

logicalextreme

How about just cheese?

That's what I often ask myself when I'm looking at any given meal and trying to distil what I really, truly want from it.

logicalextreme
Trollface

Re: Not Amazing

No matter which way you want to type it, if your operands are constants you're gonna save the most keystrokes by just typing 4.

If you didn't store valuable data, ransomware would become impotent

logicalextreme

Re: The other option....

Or, not related to the OP's topic, but also a stupid thing that companies say that I like to rephrase within the analogy of burglary and then repeat back to them, is something akin to "we don't need alarms/locks/doors/to hide our valuables/to reduce the number of unnecessary valuables we have; burglary's against the law so it can't happen to us, and if it does the perpetrator will go to jail".

logicalextreme

Re: The other option....

Companies aren't bad at using that line though.

"I don't have time to do this in addition to my actual job, we need dedicated resource or nothing will get done properly".

"Well I'm afraid everybody's under pressure, not just you".

logicalextreme

Re: The other option....

It's not a model that's unheard of. I'm somewhat of the opinion that everyone's healthcare/genetic data should be fully accessible to anyone who wants to see it, as anybody from doctors to script kiddies would be able to mine it for patterns and we'd hopefully be able to propose formal studies and trials that had a lower chance of failure, meaning lower drug prices/decreased mortality. However it would also have to be the case that there was no stigma surrounding medical/mental health conditions (opening it all up would hopefully accelerate the reduction of such stigmas, but not eliminate them) and that it would only be used for good (e.g. not selling people stuff/making outrageous profits from healthcare, no genocide, no eugenics etc). People would only be less prissy about their data if all those conditions were met, which is certainly not a possibility given current evidence; and furthermore even if you could trust everybody right now the potential risks would still be there. Once you'd opened the door there'd be no going back except for new data.

Completely open healthcare data is a common enough pipe dream that it's mentioned in some of the NHS documentation about data protection/consent regs — essentially saying that there are plenty of people who don't care who has access to their healthcare data, but you still have to get their consent to use it or transfer it for the most part (this predates whatever the hell shady crap happened last year where they tried to change the rules on the QT).

logicalextreme

Tim Berners-Lee advocates, I think.

https://solid.mit.edu/

Microsoft readies Windows Autopatch to free admins from dealing with its fixes

logicalextreme

Yet again

PowerShell fans will be disappointed to learn that "Programmatic access to Windows Autopatch is not currently available."

Much as I loathe PowersHell when misused as anything approximating a programming language, it's sometimes quite good for sysadmin tasks (as long as you don't expect anything like robust error handling).

MICROS~1 have heavily implied on a number of occasions that all new sysadmin functionality will be, if not "Powershell-first", then at least available to PS via cmdlets or modules at the point of release.

It's simply not true. Windows config remains the same tangled mess of registry keys, config files, MMC modules of varying antiquity, crappy new Settings screens and various other gubbins, and the likelihood of you being able to administer everything via any CLI is basically zero. No wonder they had to ditch the idea of truly headless Windows shortly after the first releases of Server Core.

I know there can be a fair bit of inconsistency in administering the various parts of your average *nix instance via CLI too, but at least it's possible, not to mention expected.

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

logicalextreme

Re: Control Your Own Upgrades

Yeah, it's something I've tended to not do in the past; I've usually built up enough cruft in the home directories that I figure a clean go at it is nicer and I'm unlikely to truly need anything I haven't archived away already (plus I've got nightly backups just in case). You can get a fair bit of config clutter in home directories too, some of which may be outdated when all the new versions of packages turn up in the new distro.

logicalextreme

Re: Control Your Own Upgrades

I agree — I'd also start keeping a list of things you've installed and configuration commands you've had to run as you go, so you know approximately what you need to do to get a different distro up and running too.

logicalextreme

Re: Control Your Own Upgrades

Glad to hear it; after a disastrous time with 14.04 and a catastrophic loss of my 16.04 system, I've been on 18.04 since shortly after it arrived without too many problems but I'd like to move to a clean install soon for various reasons and also have an extracurricular project that's arrived just in time to try out 22.04 separately. It'll be nice to finally have python3 as the default without having to do anything ungodly, too.

Thunderbird is coming to Android – in K-9 Mail form

logicalextreme

Re: Add SMS Backup+ and MailDroid folder creation please?

Aye, SMS Backup+ has been a fiddly bastard for some time now. For reasons unknown I still haven't got mine running automatically, I have to do manual backups when I remember to.

Woman accused of killing boyfriend after tracking him down with Apple AirTag

logicalextreme

Re: Lessons learned

You've seen the state of the notification bar on the average phone screenshot though. I think a sizable chunk of people treat notifications as trophies or Pokémon, to be collected at all costs.

Atlassian: Unpatched years-old flaw under attack right now to hijack Confluence

logicalextreme

Re: What ?

Ah, but then if you reach 7.100 it all goes wrong again :) it's like the olden days where you'd number your lines of code 10, 20, 30…so you could add extra lines in later. Eventually you're going to run out and have to renumber everything!

logicalextreme

Re: What ?

Wiki article for great justice.

The convention's even got its own classes in various popular high-level languages like Python, C#, Ruby, Rust, Dart and Java.

Not that it matters because some tech's apparently ambling towards a dynamically-typed and/or stringly-typed quantum state of who-gives-a-fook.

logicalextreme

Re: What ?

One place I worked at had the grand idea of dispensing with numbers entirely and naming releases after dead languages, e.g. vPictish, vLatin, et cetera. Went about as well as you'd expect, especially when a drugs bust happened and the local police force turned out to have been using the same naming convention for their sting operations.

logicalextreme

Re: Good!

Ours is already only available internally/via VPN, unfortunately. I'd love yet another excuse to try and get them onto MediaWiki, but I fear they wouldn't even hear me over the sound of them chugging the Flavor Aid.

I want Atlassian to go to the bottom of the sea and stay there.

Costa Rican government held up by ransomware … again

logicalextreme

Re: Island ???

It's a nifty way of interrupting the drug trade routes between the Americas. Perhaps they're joining the Galápagos Islands.

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

logicalextreme

Re: nice story

I seem to recall reading somewhere that the safety profiles of various energy generation methods take quite a holistic view too, so it's not just operational safety and risk to the general public that's accounted for — construction accidents and accidents during maintenance and decommissioning are also taken into account and (presumably) totted up against the average total kWh generated, and nuclear tends to come out on top when doing this.

It's probably quite anthropocentric though, and I'm not sure how spent fuel factors into it. I'd also take a lot of things with a pinch of salt as I imagine there's a lot of lobbying money flying around from parties with financial interests in any given energy generation field. Books sound good though, I'll put them on my list.

Version 251 of systemd coming soon to a Linux distro near you

logicalextreme

Re: Systemd is not a virus. It doesn't reproduce itself. Yet.

I've luckily managed to escape any systemd-induced headaches the past few years, but if we're on the analogy train I'd posit that its reproduction and evolution via developers makes it a cunning kind of ectoparasite.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them

logicalextreme

Re: ""Don't you know who I am?"

We had everything stored as UTC. I did suggest presenting the reports in UTC instead of local time, but that got kiboshed because it would "cause confusion". ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

The company's currently looking for a buyer and the founder just jumped ship. Pretty sure some of my reports are the only things that have kept them going as long as they have, and they weren't exactly rocket surgery but I've done backchannel support for the poor sod I left behind at least twice a year since I left (popcorn emoji)

logicalextreme

Re: ""Don't you know who I am?"

I ended a conversation with the trading director at my last job with an explanation that, as good as I am, I was as yet unable to control the length of the earth's orbit around the sun.

She'd been ever more insistent over the course of the conversation that there could be no more or less than 52 numbered weeks of precisely 7 days in each trading year, and that anything else was unacceptable. She eventually stormed off and I never talked to her again.

Also spent the Monday following each clock change (well, always the March ones and sometimes the October ones) drawing timelines for various members of the finance department (all chartered) to explain why there weren't any sales for the hour of 0100, or why they seemed to have doubled. More often than not the idea seemed to eventually click with them, and they'd appear to back down. Then thank me for the explanation. And then ask when I'd be fixing it.

Confirmation dialog Groundhog Day: I click OK and it keeps coming back

logicalextreme

I've got a slightly better one than that. I'd just installed Microsoft's own minidump file analyser for Microsoft's own minidump files onto one of the production database servers (there was some sort of pseudo-justifiable reason for doing this on prod).

The installer finished and declared that to before using the software there'd need to be a reboot, and asked if I wished to do this now. Two buttons, OK and Cancel (or possibly Yes and No).

Knowing that this message was almost always untrue and I'd be able to use the software without a reboot, and also knowing that if it didn't work I could just schedule the reboot into a maintenance window, and also liking a tidy desktop, I of course clicked Cancel (or No). Cue immediate reboot of production database server.

It certainly taught me a lesson but if I ever get locked in a room with the person responsible for that particular dialogue box it won't be pretty.

Amazon to spend $12b on five more datacenters in Oregon

logicalextreme

Innit. A couple of gears had to rotate for me first but I'm glad somebody called it out

Atlassian flags Bitbucket and Confluence Data Center flaws

logicalextreme

MediaWiki. Can't recommend it enough, but of course it can potentially depend on what you want out of a tool.

MediaWiki's open source, so you can do what you want with it, and my number one reason for always suggesting it (especially for knowledge bases, though it applies to other uses too) is that pretty much everybody uses Wikipedia at least once a day — if you leave the visuals mostly alone apart from your own logo and stick to basic formatting and sectioning, your pages will look like Wikipedia articles. I've found this to be invaluable in having people read and comprehend pages quickly. Caveat of course is that you run it yourself somewhere, though the cost of doing that (including learning) probably pales in comparison to paying for an Atlassian product.

I find Confluence to be an unholy mess that's loosely inspired by the idea of a wiki, but with all the good bits cut out and a ropey sociopathic WYSIWYG editor sellotaped onto the side (wiki markup was once supported and is now removed, and markdown isn't a thing AFAICT). Basic needs like linking to a section of a page are either impossible or can very occasionally be achieved with a lot of clicking and copy-pasting of weirdly-formatted URLs that you sometimes have to construct by getting <div> ids out of the page source. Even linking to another Confluence page is a chore. Flowing doesn't seem to be a thing, so you have to put things in "columns" which the WYSIWYG editor helpfully displays as…rows, and keep manually adjusting the widths as you go. To be fair to Atlassian the ⟨I⟩ in WYSIWYG can arguably stand for "isn't", so I think they're covered. The vast majority of basic features that I've been unable to find I've then Googled, and found a ticket (or several) in Atlassian's Jira instance telling the multiple users requesting it that ( you used to be able to do it, but that feature was removed | you can only do it via a third-party extension | it's not possible and we're committed to making sure it'll never be possible ). That's when their own Jira isn't either failing to render half the elements on the page, or down entirely.

I'll admit that Confluence is marginally better than my brief experiences of SharePoint though.

Reg reader rages over Virgin Media's email password policy

logicalextreme

Yup. I've never been able to get into my account. Coming up on eight years now. Cable's fast and the connection's solid as a rock, so I've rarely needed to, but goddamn. Website's broken, contact forms don't work, email addresses bounce back. Occasionally I phone them up to tell them to put the price down and just leave it at that. I assume there's no way for me to cancel the account and I'm stuck with it till the end.

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

logicalextreme

Re: Ban software patents.

I started watching the lot of them after hearing enough references to it to know it was my kind of thing, but gave up after about four episodes due to the format and, mostly, the sheer amount of filler. If somebody could distill the ~10 minutes of content per episode from all the rest of the stuff that was there purely to help them limp up to the next ad break, and also defragment the different myths in each episode so that it's not like watching fucking Memento, I'd give it another shot.

Make assistive driving safe: Eliminate pedestrians

logicalextreme

I'm not sure how it is for other drivers, but I can tell you that that type of indicator slows me down as a pedestrian. I can no longer ascertain indicator status from a brief glance; I have to pretty much stop moving completely and stare at the car for a few moments before I'm confident that the light isn't doing something fancy and useless. Last I checked use of, or even possession of functioning, indicators wasn't a legal requirement in the UK and you're blessed if anybody decides to use them so I'm already slowed down more than I'd like to be; but I do wish things would improve on the whole rather than backsliding.

logicalextreme

Re: On foot, on crutches, in wheelchairs

obligatory HMHB

First they came for Notepad. Now they're coming for Task Manager

logicalextreme

Windows 11 updates the design of tart Menu, Action Center, and even taskbar[…]

Sounds like a saucy update.

Scam, pyramid scheme, environmental disaster: Vivaldi boss shares his thoughts on crypto-coins

logicalextreme

Re: Dead right.

And I agree with you — I used to happily use the mail and torrent clients in Opera and might get around to using the mail and calendar in Vivaldi if Thunderbird stops improving, but if I want my browser to chew up my CPU I'll just try to perform basic browsing activities on any modern website.

logicalextreme

Re: Dead right.

I wasn't aware that it was happening in existing applications in general, but Vivaldi's inherited the (OG) Opera approach of implementing non-web browsing features in the browser (mail client and calendar; torrent client hasn't appeared as yet but was in Opera) so I think he's probably responding to or anticipating a feature request.

Microsoft rang in the new year with a cutesy tweet in C#. Just one problem: The code sucked

logicalextreme

Re: Not all Yanks are wrong.

This is how the NHS tend to do it and it drives me up the wall. yyyy-mm-dd and dd/mm/yyyy are our official date formats. Nobody uses YDM anywhere, dd/mm/yyyy should be retired, and yyyy-mm-dd is ISO-standard (even though ISO are nobs and 8601's messy, it's the closest thing we have to an international standard). No need for Anglocentric nonsense, especially when it's presented as a "solution" to an i18n problem that was solved decades ago.

Not the kind of note you want to see fluttering from an ATM

logicalextreme

Re: Its the graphics

Or my preferred variant, when the only tool you have is a gun everything begins to look like your foot; aka "footgun"

Investment app Robinhood: Extortionist tricked our support desk and made off with customer information

logicalextreme

Well at least

they were able to say what was actually taken, as opposed to what you usually see from companies that have been breached which is the prolix equivalent of "customer security is paramount to us, ¯\_(ツ)_/¯".

It indicates that they've got some sort of auditing in place at the bare minimum, and that presumably someone working there at least knew what infosec was, once.

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve

logicalextreme

Re: Oh don't start me on this one.

Ah, nice to know it sucks whatever ecosystem you're putting up with.

Tying to contacts is fine for me because I mostly know individuals or couples with mobile phones, so that all fits in nicely. That said, I'm at the age where some of them have started having kids, so I can see how that'll cause problems.

logicalextreme

I think you can expect them to play nicely together — you'll just be disappointed.

logicalextreme

Re: Oh don't start me on this one.

What continues to enrage me about Gcal reminders is the fact that you still can't get reminders about contacts' birthdays. They sync nicely into their own calendar that you can display in the interface, but I'll only find out about one in advance (or on the day, or possibly a few days later) if I happen to notice it in said interface.

People have been asking for this basic feature since Calendar was promoted to a "real" product, and the "solutions" range from the manual to the scripted — but all pretty much along the same lines, "copy the events one by one into your main calendar or a new calendar, then add reminders to those events". Meanwhile I believe Apple users laugh merrily. Hell, I think even Facebook can do it.

Never had issues creating alerts for other events but I don't really use it for meetings, so sounds like your issue might be related — perhaps something to do with them being "second-hand" events. It's unutterably daft.

I wouldn't say that alerting is part of a calendar's one job though — the one job is to record events. The basic extra things that can be achieved via electronic calendars however are invitations, integrations, viewing other people's calendars and alerting. Trouble is that if you these extra features don't work you may as well just have a paper calendar and remember to look at it every day.

Say what you see: Four-letter fun on a late-night support call

logicalextreme

Re: How to deal with calls

Ah, well then you clearly forgot to guarantee against that eventuality by adding a comment saying "this should never happen".

AWS has started upgrading the software behind S3 storage cloud

logicalextreme

Well

it's nice to know that all those unsecured buckets just waiting to become news articles about breaches will be upgraded unsecured buckets.

Zuckerberg wants to create a make-believe world in which you can hide from all the damage Facebook has done

logicalextreme

Old man yells about cloud

Here comes the blob: Asia's top 'net boffin thinks 'shapeless services' could replace the Internet

logicalextreme

Re: I predict

Yeah, I think with a lot of these "young people don't use X" there's an implicit assumption that said cohort of young people will continue to not use X when they're at the age of the people who do currently use X, which often simply isn't true. This may even apply to e.g. Facebook, not sure.

As for email specifically — it doesn't matter how young you are, the overwhelming majority of retail websites aren't going to let you check out without an email address. I can't see an entire generation refusing to register accounts and using BugMeNot. No, email will survive like the cockroach that it is and people like us will continue having to write horrible code to make it do things it wasn't designed for like HTML, or authenticating the sender.

Florida man accused of breaking Mastodon's open-source license with botched social network launch

logicalextreme

Re: Excellent Article Format Reg! :D

Aye, I'm quite impressed.

We regret to inform you there's an RCE vuln in old version of WinRAR. Yes, the file decompression utility

logicalextreme

I'd forgotten WinRAR even existed till I saw this article. Now I'm seriously wondering if there are still people out there rocking PKZIP.

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