* Posts by Proton_badger

59 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2020

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Elon Musk picks fight with Apple for slashing advertising spend on Twitter

Proton_badger

Re: The Muskrat fan club seem to think he'll be releasing his own phone to destroy Apple and Google.

No need for a third platform. Android is free, he could make a rebranded Android phone, with or without Google Play services, with Play store or an alt store for Android apps. It would probably sell poorly and lose money.

I did that once, my company ordered an white box type tablet from a Chinese manufacturer, with a few changes. They sent us a prototype in 3 weeks, another v2 prototype a month later and were ready for mass production. We put a rebranded Android on it and then our customer had a new EBook reading product.

World's richest man posts memes as $44b Twitter acquisition veers off course

Proton_badger

Re: Waah

Ooh Slashdot, I have a uid in the 1300's. Dropped visiting when the comments section changed from open minded to intolerant, constipated and mostly just plain ridiculous. A shame really...

I'm happy paying Twitter eight bucks a month because price isn't the same as value

Proton_badger

I consider myself lucky, the 5 people I followed all cross-post to Mastodon, so I no longer need Twitter. It may not be a viable competitor, we'll see, but in the meantime I get only posts from those people I follow. No recommended/ads/trending/sponsored/whatever cruft flooding over my feed, it's lovely.

I get that most people still need or enjoy Twitter and see value in it. And with 4-5 Firefox extensions it can be somewhat sanitized.

If you think 5G is overhyped, wait till you meet 5.5G

Proton_badger

Addressing the sensitivity to obstructions: It not exactly, it is because you're in the middle of the roll-out, as the article states. Right now your local cell towers each have 3-4 channels at different frequencies. Maybe three of them will be 4G and one will be 5G. So basically 4G have more coverage at different wavelengths, some of which are long wavelengths that penetrate buildings better. It's not 5G's fault, it's just what channels are repurposed to begin with, in this stage of the rollout. Around here in some places we start with 5G on 600MHz so it can get better range and penetration than 4G in this early stage if we prioritize coverage over bandwidth, in other places they go for 3.5GHz first, prioritizing bandwidth.

Some day there'll be 5G on all channels/frequencies, from the very long range 600MHz to the high bandwidth 2.5GHz-6GHz (and much higher, but mmWave is very localized). There'll also be sharing where one channel can be both 4G and 5G or bundling,etc.

Apple perfects vendor lock-in with home security kit

Proton_badger

Re: How is this 'iThing' different from other 'smart' door locks?

Yeah, well, El Reg have always been extra butthurt about Apple after a little tiff years ago where they both behaved like children. Truth is, Apple is just another company following very typical 'murican business methods, though more successful than most.

This lock, made by Level seems to also support Amazon's "ring", which the article carefully omitted to mention. They seem to be a lifestyle-ish brand looking for what's currently popular with their devices. Apple also sells Yale and August locks on their site, btw.

What's much more interesting, but less controversial (oh no!) is that both Apple and Google voluntarily, enthusiastically even, supports the new universal Matter/Thread standard. Both companies have support on their most recent operating systems which is a good thing. Even better; this standard is intended so that devices can work locally, without requiring a remote server (though I'm sure some manufacturers are looking for ways to spoil that).

China may prove Arm wrong about RISC-V's role in the datacenter

Proton_badger

ARM

Didn't ARM only say that RISC-V was not a threat in the data center in the short-medium term? Even they acknowledge the long term threat, only question is whether it'll happen quicker than they think.

Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing

Proton_badger

It saves time.

I feel I've spent half my time for the last few decades looking at memory related bug reports in C++ code and they're hard to reproduce and fix. No matter how expert we think we are - we're above all human and we can't keep track of it all in a complex codebase.

The amateur thinks he's that good and can manage it, the expert knows he's not.

With Rust the compiler helps us writing good code and keeping track of memory references, while still requiring us to understand how it works (unlike a black box garbage collector). The language also have a lot of other great features that are never talked about.

I was watching Asahi Lina write the M1 GPU Linux driver in Rust. What was amazing was that there were almost no crashes in the driver, even during development. She mostly had to chase down logic errors.

AsahiLina wrote this comment about the experience: "Not just secure, but more reliable! This particular GPU has a limitation that means that if the firmware crashes, the user needs to reboot the whole machine (there is no way to recover), so it's important to get it right. I use Rust's type system to manage the types and lifetimes of GPU-side pointers and data, not just the CPU side ^^

Honestly, this is the first time I've ever written anything serious in Rust, but I'm very happy with the language! I feel like it encourages good design, and then the compiler goes a long way towards making sure your implementation is correct. The firmware crashes I had yesterday were due to silly logic/setting bugs (getting a ring buffer size wrong and forgetting the last command in some command lists), and the only time the kernel side crashed was when I tried to release an imported GEM object as if were one of the driver's own. All the lifetime stuff just works, everything gets allocated and freed when it needs to be, no dangling pointers (neither on the GPU side nor the CPU side), ..."

CloudFlare had similar experiences writing their Pingora proxy and the reliability of the code in production.

In Rust We Trust: Microsoft Azure CTO shuns C and C++

Proton_badger

I’ve been a C++ programmer for 25 years and have learned Rust. Yeah it’s not the easiest language to learn but at some point it suddenly “clicks” and development times suddenly decreases a lot. In any case less time is spent debugging, sometimes a lot less time. it only seems complex while learning it, then it becomes plain sailing and a delight to work with.

Apart from memory safety it has a lot of great ergonomics, like the pattern matching, the approach to iterators/adaptors, and the way it handles return values with Return and Option and their many useful member functions is delightful. Then there is the way Mutex<T> and Arc<T> holds their data, etc. etc.

I have no count of the number of code review comments I’ve made in C and in C++ about unhandled return values, potential memory issues and shared data. I’m over it.

Linux luminaries discuss efforts to bring Rust to the kernel

Proton_badger

Re: It's not an insult

It’s silly to suggest it’ll dump down development, it’s still kernel work and not for everyone. Also an interesting thing about Rust is that although it keeps an eye on references to memory and how they’re used you still have to understand how that works to write code that compiles. It uses an affine type system, that you have to understand rather than a black box garbage collector. That’s why Rust have a steeper learning curve than other languages but you end up writing better code - even if going back to other languages afterwards.

Arm sues Qualcomm over custom Nuvia CPU cores, wants designs destroyed

Proton_badger

Re: RISC-V

Everybody says it's the RAM, but it's much more than the 128bit LPDDR4. The M1(and A14) had an unprecedented wide design. When the A14 came out only the not yet released POWER10 was as wide. It also has a huge reorder buffer, very advanced cache design. These processors are what traditionally was called a Braniac Design. Most processors today have that to some degree but Apple took it quite far in the name of power/perf.

The downside to such design can be trouble scaling to higher frequencies (classic braniac vs roadrunner) but Apple have done quite well with them.

Amazon to buy Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7b

Proton_badger

Re: Oh crap!

There's a ton on those poop stories and many youtube videos off poop smeared all over the floors. That's why Roomba's mid to high end Robots (but not the low end ones) have cameras to identify poop, wires, socks or other hazards they can get stuck in. They work well and iRobot claim they have trained it to recognize 1000s of types of poop, but I'm sure they are not perfect. Well for me it avoids perfectly getting stuck in wires and non poop hazards, that's all I need. It's never gotten stuck anywhere.

It also use the camera for navigation which works "ok" but not as well as lidar. Sometimes when I send it to another room it stops a few times on the way to "look around" to find its way. Once, in three months it failed to dock properly but though it had and it ate its battery in 12 hours overnight just sitting idle, which seems fast. Then it reported "no battery installed" and it took me some faffing to get it to charge again.

Overall it's OK but not great. Not happy Amazon now will know my home layout as well. I had just canceled prime because i had enough of them and I want to support my local London Drugs...

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.19 – using Asahi on an Arm-powered Mac

Proton_badger

Re: @qbix

Phoronix ran their benchmark suite on macOS and the first very crude version of Asahi. Go to Phoronix and search for Asahi benchmark. It's completely unfair benchmarking a first alpha, since it's not optimized at all for the CPU power states/core layout/SSD/etc. but in fact in many tests they were quite close and in a number of them Asahi had an upper hand.

So I hadn't heard of these additions of which y'all speak before, though I do know Apple have implemented many of the optional ARM extensions with ARM v8.5. In any case Asahi performs very well indeed and there was not a decisive slam-dunk for macOS - just a few outliers, which is to be expected at this point. Meaning the M1 is a very performant general purpose processor for any OS, even Windows ARM runs well in a VM.

Where macOS might have a specific advantage, not shown in the phoronix tests, are things like the machine learning module and media enc/dec units. These would probably need new drivers implemented in Linux.

Proton_badger

Re: Fuck apple.

Tweet by Hector Martin from Asahi:

"Looks like Apple changed the requirements for Mach-O kernel files in 12.1, breaking our existing installation process... and they *also* added a raw image mode that will never break again and doesn't require Mach-Os.

And people said they wouldn't help. This is intended for us."

Google postpones Chrome's third-party cookie bonfire yet again

Proton_badger

Re: Dear website owner

I think you vastly underestimate what they can learn about us. It's at the point where they can almost tell a woman is pregnant before she knows it herself. Things like people's political leanings, religion, sexuality and similar is easy to find out and add to their shadow profile.

A Google executive once said "We know almost everything you've done since the day you first went online."

It's like the people who say "I never clicked through/an ad never made me go out and buy the product!" - they are completely unknowing about how the ads permeating our society influence our subconscious and our purchasing decisions way down the road. Not just buying stuff; people profiled to be wavering between two political parties can be nudged in a particular direction by showing a few seemingly ads about something different and more innocent than politics.

The effect of using tracking, shadow profiles and other crap is, just like ads, proven and can be measured by the companies involved.

Sure we see dumb adds often enough, look up power washers for a friend once on Amazon and the web will try to peddle you power washers for months. So we laugh at that, feeling superior and in control, while not noticing the truly pervasive and evil stuff.

Windows Start Menu not starting? You're not alone

Proton_badger

Re: Start menu? Who needs it?

Yeah, I wanted to adjust the charge setting on my laptop with that app of which I had forgotten the name.

As it is an Asus laptop, i typed "Asus". No, nothing, zip, zilch but web results. After manually scrolling through programs I found it, it is called "myAsus" - the app it couldn't find with search string "Asus".

Intel’s first discrete GPUs won't be a home run

Proton_badger

Re: To be fair...

Yeah, I doubt anyone really expected their first try to be any better than this. They have always hyped up their new GPU archs, whether integrated or discrete, and then come out with something less exciting.

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

Proton_badger

Re: not that bad

Sometimes they're even better. I remember when Québec wanted to replace the word "selfie" with "égoportrait". I thought it was perfect and I still call it that, even though I live in BC.

Mozilla opens testing for Manifest v3 extensions in Firefox

Proton_badger

The article does address Mozilla’s intentions.

Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?

Proton_badger

Re: Some serious questions.

So all three are RISC architectures at this point. However x86 and to a lesser extent also ARM carries some baggage due to their age. Furthermore they both contain everything you could dream of in a general purpose processor, and more.

RISC-V is super simple and most functionality, even floating point operations, is optional extensions. This means companies will be able to build versions of it for embedded systems, microcontrollers, cameras, automotive, etc etc specifically designed with the extensions for the relevant purpose and nothing else.

It’s also open, so companies wouldn’t have to pay for a licence, in theory, because they would in most cases still have to buy a design somewhere… Maybe there would be companies offering custom designs to the industry.

Also because it is so new and carry so little baggage, general purpose versions for PC’s have the potential to have very good power/performance. It should at least be able surpass x86 to rival ARM.

Clustered Pi Picos made to run original Transputer code

Proton_badger

Ah Occam, that brings back a few memories. It’s been a while…

Pop!_OS 22.04: New kid on the Ubuntu block starting to show real muscle

Proton_badger

Systemd

I guess I'm one of the few old-timers who actually likes Systemd. Everything from the unit files to managing services at runtime and the journal. I understand the reasons why some don't like it but for me it is really nice and quick to work with.

Pop sounds interesting. I'm over the days where I messed around with distros and Desktops all the time and I've just settled on Kubuntu but I have to admit Snap has been a bit of a nuisance, not sure if Flatpack is any better? Snap/Flatpack solves one problem but introduces other irritations.

We take Asahi Linux alpha for a spin on an M1 Mac Mini

Proton_badger

Re: It works until it is blocked

Well, as I wrote elsewhere: At first Asahi had to use an ugly hack to load the OS, then Apple added a “raw image mode” which allows the bootloader to load things that don’t look like macOS kernels, it’s an officially-supported boot mode for the Asahi project to use. Interesting, eh?

Asahi Linux reaches 'very early Alpha'

Proton_badger

Looks good

It's remarkably good for a very first alpha, these are very talented people. And what's interesting; After Asahi had to use an ugly hack to load the image, Apple added a “raw image mode” which allows the bootloader to load things that don’t look like macOS kernels, it’s an officially-supported boot mode for the Asahi project to use.

SiFive bags $175m to further challenge Arm with RISC-V

Proton_badger

It'll be interesting. I believe they said they were not firing engineers. I guess the question is whether the staff walking the plank was essential for keeping the ship organized and headed in the right direction or they're just dumping passengers and surplus ballast.

Just two die for: Apple reveals M1 Ultra chip in Mac Studio

Proton_badger

Re: I like the look of it but…

But Apple sells a rack mount Mac Pro?

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

Proton_badger

Indeed and apart from the Samsung device physically looking extremely similar, so did the packaging it came in, the icons on the screen and it didn't help they had emails discussing in detail how to

copy Apple's designs.

It is great Samsung got slapped for it because they then found their own design language and the resulting variety in Smartphones is a benefit to us all.

Design patents are very common and are usually very specific, it's something the entire industry does and there was nothing unusual about Apples.

Chromium-adjacent Otter browser targets OS/2

Proton_badger

Re: OS/2 was interesting

I still wake up in a cold sweat sometimes, hearing in my terrified mind the tell tale grinding sound of the disc drive encountering an unrecoverable CRC error on one of the last disks of an OS/2 install.

Wolfing down ebooks during lockdown? You might want to check out Calibre, the Swiss Army ebook tool

Proton_badger

Calibre

I find it to be a bit of a ponderous whale so I only use it for conversion. I prefer to manage my library with the file system and use more lightweight readers.

It’s a good and very capable app for those who prefer it that way, just slow.

Developer creates ‘Quite OK Image Format’ – but it performs better than just OK

Proton_badger

Re: Incredible

Yes, I have been unpopular in the past in my Symbian days when reviewing incredibly sophisticated C++, written by incredibly talented engineers (truly) and requesting rewrites because it would be too difficult to quickly understand for the average maintainer. Think complete overuse of C++ meta-programming, etc.

Popular password manager LastPass to be spun out from LogMeIn

Proton_badger

Ah bon‽

The marketing drivel is real, a cynical mind might think there are unmentioned reasons why they would want to get rid of it, perhaps related to earnings and future potential - considering all the competition.

Like many I'm enjoying the free tier of Bitwarden, which is open source and 3rd party audited, as I'm sure everybody here knows already. However, I discovered the paid personal plan is $10/yr, that's not much for supporting them.

Arm'd with ex-Apple engineers from Nuvia, Qualcomm hopes to make Apple M1-matching chips for Windows PCs

Proton_badger

Intel had a number of process improvements almost ready, so when they got ready for 10nm they got excited and added all their improvements to it in one go. It's a great and very advanced node but I suspect it became very difficult getting everything to work and yield well in one go, thus it took forever.

TSMC introduce their process improvements one at a time, that's why they have multiple successive versions of the same node and, well, so many nodes in general with slightly misleading names ("5nm" is not really 5nm, it's much bigger). This baby steps method seems to have been a safer way of progressing and ultimately faster... It's probably also good for pricing with new nodes coming all the time.

All of the above is speculation.

Apple seeks geniuses to work on 6G cellular modem before it's even shipped own 5G chip

Proton_badger

Re: Possible typo

Since they have a 5G modem almost ready (in a year or two) and they're planning to make their own modems moving forwards they need to be current on the budging standards and maybe also involved in the development of them. If they waited until the standards were ready, they would be gravely behind because it takes years to make a modem.

Proton_badger

Re: it expects 6G to be deployed starting in 2030

I don't know, around here the sub-6 5G networks have already helped a lot with the increasing congestion we saw on 4G in the cities and 600MHz 5G is even giving better signal on the countryside than the 800MHz 4G.

31-year-old piece of hardware not working very well: Hubble telescope back in safe mode over 'synchronization issues'

Proton_badger

NASA still does. Several of the the doodahs on Mars seem to have exceeded their original mission parameters. Boeing on the other hand...

Reason 3,995 to hold off on that Windows 11 upgrade: Iffy performance on AMD silicon

Proton_badger

Re: Good to see

And then there’s the companies I’ve worked in where incredibly creative engineering managers were going to revolutionize things by introducing their never thought of before version of Agile,- with a few er “practical modifications”, in reality making it the bastard child of waterfall and agile.

Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou admits lying about Iran deal, gets to go home

Proton_badger

Re: It really wan't [Canada's] fault?

Yet, Canada never released her into US custody.

Amazon says Elon Musk's wicked, wicked ways mean SpaceX's Starlink 2.0 should not be allowed to fly

Proton_badger

Besos

Musk is a smart man. "Besos" is Spanish for "kisses", it's speculated to be an intentional and ironic play on Jeffrey Besos' "sweet" personality.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal

Proton_badger

Re: NVIDIA needs breaking up

They make what? Graphics cards, computing/machine learning cards, roughly based on the same cores and some mildly successful ARM SoC's with some their of Gfx/ml IP - mostly used by Nintendo and in cars. What do you want to break up? I guess they could outsource the HR dept.

Proton_badger

Re: Far to late

I think the Afghan army was poorly organized and had exaggerated their ability. We can yell cowardice but as a grunt if you see clearly your unit is in shambles and you'll be overrun anyway, why stay to die for nothing?

I don't know if that's the reason why they crumbled but the point is, the afghan army was not one entity but lots of units all over the place with people making their own decisons for their own reasons, facing an enemy who'll slaughter anyone, including families for fun.

One province is mounting an organized planned resistance I wish them the best but the country will probably be in civil way forever.

Version 8 of open-source code editor Notepad++ brings Dark Mode and an ARM64 build, but bans Bing from web searches

Proton_badger

Re: does not balk at file size

Last I looked the Atom team said they’d never support macro recording. It’s a bit pretentious to call that bloated pus covered whale a programmer’s editor if it doesn’t support macro recording.

Thunderbird 91 lands: Now native on Apple Silicon, swaps 'master' for 'primary' password, and more

Proton_badger

Re: So far so good

Yeah, I installed it and cheered at seeing the account wizard had found calendars but after setup saw no sign of calendars/contacts. Turns out I had to click on them in the setup wizard and click on somewhat hidden "connect" buttons, there's no easy way after the fact. The wizard could make this more obvious for people like me who over-confidently clicks through too fast...

Besides from that I'm rejoicing that it supports Google Calendar+Contacts directly. Older version were a sh*t show of flaky Calendar/Contact sync extensions that only worked with specific outdated versions and only some of the time. FF 91 is a huge leap in this respect.

Now if only the spam/block buttons in mail apps could connect with/report to the mail host like Google...

SpaceX Starship struts its stack to show it has the right stuff

Proton_badger

Musk

Yeah Musk is a nerd and an engineer. He's bad at interviews, public speaking and sometimes at gauging what's acceptable to say in public, and he would prefer not to be a CEO. That's why he lives in a $50.000 modular home near Starbase rather than a $163 million Beverly Hills house (or on a $500m yacht) like Jeff Bezos.

On the Everyday Astronaut Youtube channel there's "Starbase Tour with Elon Musk [Part 1/Part2]", they're enormously informative about the entire thing.

Report: 83% of UK software engineers suffer burnout, COVID-19 made it worse

Proton_badger

Wagile

Yeah, have been through a number of companies that tried to adopt agile and wouldn't let go of waterfall and ended up with a bastard child, every time exactly the same when a creative engineering manager was gonna revolutionize the way we worked with his original brain child - agile but with a few "improvements". I'm sure many here have seen it also.

Mind, both waterfall and agile can work well with talented managers and total team buy-in but project managing is really hard and there's a shortage of truly good ones, including good support from above, and team morale is often a problem for a number of reasons. And ofcourse Wagile usually just ends up a mess.

Wish you could play tabletop Dungeons & Dragons but have no friends? Solasta: Crown of the Magister offers a solution

Proton_badger

DOS2

On the subject of Divinity Original Sin 2, I bought it on a Steam sale a month ago. I'm an old BG/Neverwinter fan and just finished Pillars of Eternity so I thought it'd be a good way to fill the space until BG3 - but I wasn't prepared for it to be so completely mind blowingly good, the combat, dialogue, music, graphics - it's absolutely spectacular. I guess I'm a Godwoken now.

I ended up buying both Steam and iPad version. It performs very well on the M1 and with some directory hardlinking f@ckery and iCloud on the PC it shares savegames between the two seamlessly.

China claims it has stolen a march on 6G with colossal patent portfolio

Proton_badger

Re: Diminishing returns...

A lot of people won't notice the upgrade to 5G and after the fact in cities they will never realize that if they hadn't upgraded to sub-6 5G they would have suffered more and more congestion.

But can it run Avid? The Reg hands shiny new M1 MacBook to video production pro, who beats it with Blender, Handbrake, and ... Hypercard?

Proton_badger

Re: "Maybe one day Apple will decide to sell those CPU's for other manufacturers"

Designing a new more performant processor is *exactly* what they did. It has a 8-wide decode block, which is by far the current widest commercialized design in the industry except for IBM’s POWER10 (Intel sits at what? 4-wide? ARM Cortex-X1 is 5-wide). Further, its Re-order Buffer is a crazy 630 instructions deep, and let's not forget number of executions units, the caches, etc etc. This is a completely new and more performant custom design.

Facebook rolls out full-page ads, website complaining Apple is forcing it to get consent before tracking you

Proton_badger

Re: Custody of my eyes

> I consider myself relatively immune to advertising

Most people says the same and it's an argument often heard. That's because people don't know how ads and brand awareness work on our subconscious. Once an ads has flashed by your eyes, or has been heard, a little something remains and we're quite helpless against it. After that, clicking through is just an occational bonus for the advertisers.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Proton_badger

Happy Birthday GIMP

Many years ago I needed to do some photo manipulation and found The GIMP. Since then I have used it a lot and become very experienced with it. A lot of help can be found in the official user manual, the countless Youtube videos each covering specific situations and the all GIMP guides on the Javapoint website. It has helped me with anything from advanced photo restoration/colorization to removing drunk Uncle Bob photobombing wedding photos (I liked them better With Bob, but the bride didn't) to making fancy kids birthday invitation.

The most magical plugin is The Resynthesizer plugin (Heal Selection filter when installed) which can intelligently remove things from an image and replace them with the surrounding context so it looks like they were never there. I wish the plugin would be merged into the main application.

My 12 year old is now using it for things like his school yearbook. He already understands the alpha channel, layers and various tools, kids learn quickly.

Thank you GIMP and Happy Birthday!

Geekbench stats show Apple Silicon MacBook Air trouncing pricey 16-inch MacBook Pro

Proton_badger

Re: On chip DRAM

This chip is an 8-wide design with a instruction reorder buffer 630 instructions deep. The only other design this advanced is the IBM POWER10. The 12MB cache also helps. I think we can safely say there's a lot more than RAM being responsible for its outstanding performance.

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