* Posts by boblongii

90 posts • joined 15 Jun 2020


Why your external monitor looks awful on Arm-based Macs, the open source fix – and the guy who wrote it


Not 6K

Vertical resolution is actually just a shade over 3K.

Yes, I know the "industry" got together and agreed to double all the numbers to look better, but I don't remember else saying that they should be allowed to decide that sort of thing for themselves.

In any case, the resolution is 218DPI, which is still less than 300, which is known in typesetting as "draft mode".

MySQL a 'pretty poor database' says departing Oracle engineer


Reality is a vampire - it both bites and sucks

"This DB is much better than MySQL; there's effectively no chance of data loss."

"Will it handle <insert current insane level of demand from web here> requests per second on our hardware?"

"Well, no, but if MySQL goes down while handling that you're going to have a mess."

"This is web-stuff, not controlling a nuclear power plant. We can restore from last night's backup then. Transaction speed is the thing."

"But you can't just not worry about losing data!"

"The danger is the chance of losing data times the value of the data. For us, *both* those numbers are very low even with MySQL, so we can worry about it less than having the whole system go down because it can't keep up."


Helios-NG: An open-source cluster OS that links the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga


Re: Oooo ... transputers :-)

I remember that manual. But I also remember Occam fondly.

When you think of a unit of length, do you think of Antony Gormley's rusty anatomy?


Re: Wind speed

Sadly the rusty heap of hubris remains standing - an ugly, meaningless monument to one man's ego.

Can Rust save the planet? Why, and why not


"Apparently Telcos don't care about power consumption"

Most computing projects don't. If they did we would still be writing assembler. The reason we aren't is because time to produce the software is important. Very important.

If you have to tell your audience that your language needs months with the help of another person to become productive then what you have built there is a concept language - looks neat, does a good turn of speed, but isn't going to ever be on the mass market.

Hopefully someone will take Rust's Big Idea and apply it to a language with a sane syntax.

Sweden asks EU to ban Bitcoin mining because while hydroelectric power is cheap, they need it for other stuff


Re: I second that request.

Where would they hold such a protest?

The rocky road to better Linux software installation: Containers, containers, containers


Can we drop this "reinventing the wheel is a waste of time" trope, please? Reinventing the wheel is how you get better wheels.

You know that gag about how we went to the moon in 1965 but we didn't have wheels on suitcases until 1996? That's because 1965 wheels weren't up to the job. Materials have advanced. Manufacturing has advanced. And that let us invent new types of wheel.

If you don't like reinventing the wheel, then go back to cutting the end off a log when you need to drive somewhere.

And don't get me started on axels!

Keep calm and learn Rust: We'll be seeing a lot more of the language in Linux very soon


Re: The way in which this turd is being pushed “top down” makes me want to puke

Don't be ridiculous. Firstly, C++ was specifically designed as "C with extensions" which is why it has no coherent object model and took literally decades to provide any sort of memory management beyond - oh, you do it yourself if you think it's important.

It was a bad language from the off and has never really improved beyond providing ever-more bizarre and abstract nonsense for the true-believers.

C++ is fast, allows sophisticated handling of data structures which are hard in C, and is a dangerous bloody chore to work with.

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims


Re: No print? No buy.

Couple of things: 6 cartridges is generally a good thing, and that's not *irrational* anger.

Logitech MX Keys Mini: Svelte keyboard takes cues from Apple in more ways than one


Re: Gulp!!!

Brand tax? For Logitech?!

Netflix sued by South Korean ISP after Squid Game fans swell traffic to '1.2Tbps'


"without businesses like Netflix, there is not reason to pay for ISP's high speed links"

Netflix doesn't require the 180Mb connection I have, and not only because I don't have Netflix. I use it for working from home and transferring large amounts of data around to different sites and servers.

If I only wanted to watch TV shows I could do that with a tenth of my current bandwidth.

The problem here is that the Internet is a hugely inefficient way to deliver television to millions of people compared to broadcasting radio-waves, and that's not going to change any time soon.

"No, that's not the agreement the customer is paying for."

In terms of contention, it probably is. Read the small print on your agreement.

If your head's not in the cloud, you're not in the right place


Re: Sounds like a cry for help.

"On-demand scale without capital investment feels like deployment flexibility to me."

It sounds like until the day that MS tell you that you are going to have to wait a week for the scale you demanded.

Azure is just another layer of failure points that you have NO control over. We shovel millions at the cloud each year but when push comes to shove, MS doesn't even give enough of a fuck to get someone in Texas out of bed to talk to us about a failure before 3pm.

Three times the price of in-house for half the control. Oh, and the price can change from year to year depending on MS's business plan, not yours.


Re: Sounds like a cry for help.

If you think Azure helps your development lifecycles and boosts deployment flexibility I can only assume that you have a smoking crater where your in-house DC was.

The cloud is a big fat waste of money; 1960's dressed up as The Future™.

WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job


Re: "Cheap" for a reason

"I just don't understand why so many managers insist on going cloud "

In our case it was customer-driven. Basically, we were told that if we didn't offer a "cloud solution" then our largest clients were leaving.

Now they're on the cloud, paying 3x the price and discovering that, yes, if you ask on Monday for a bigger VM then the cloud *can* say "Sorry, we don't have any capacity; call back next week".

And all the security issues that have to be guarded against still have to be guarded against while there's a slew of new dangers and points of failure.


"Cheap" for a reason

Our place went to Azure because of price - that price being about 3x the cost of running our existing datacentre, but MS didn't get where they are by people making rational decisions.

It very quickly became clear that the support staff know fuck all about anything, and their "engineers" have a weak grasp of Windows, let alone Linux.

Now they've revised their pricing they're not even cheap compared to AWS and when we started talking to AWS about migrating it immediately became clear that th people we were talking to actually had used a computer before and might even, gasp!, have a clue about what they're being paid to have a clue about.

I'd far rather move back in-house but that boat has sailed, struck and iceberg, and sunk.

'Apps for GNOME' site aims to improve discovery of the project's best applications


Does it list


Easily the best Gnome app.

30 years of Linux: OS was successful because of how it was licensed, says Red Hat


Re: Linux is not an OS

Define OS in your world without introducing arbitrary and subjective opinions.

Your thoughts on what is an OS are simply wrong.

Moving on to GUIs, you're on firmer ground but still fairly soft. In reality the game has been changed and continues to change, but you're using the scorecard from the old game. I don't care if hardware that needs to use secret sauce to work has a problem with Linux; that's the old world and I'm happy for it to die a death.

The GPL has delivered me the computing I want, complete with a desktop I've used for 20 years while Windows and OSX failed to provide what I consider basic functionality. If you think Linux has failed because it hasn't reproduced all the same stupidity that paid-for-but-magically-not-owned software has, then there's not much I can say to you except that I hope you continue to enjoy living in your nice, expensive prison.


Re: Linux is an OS

An OS controls higher level programs' access to the hardware. Linux does that. Bash is not an OS, it is a user program. SSH is not an OS, it is a user program.

Anything that has to ask Linux for resources or access is not part of the OS or it would do these things itself.

This is not a complicated concept.

Using 'AI-based software like Proctorio and ProctorU' to monitor online exams is a really bad idea, says uni panel


Re: Online exams do not seem like a good idea in general

"There's no more intrinsic virtue now in being able to recall textbooks in detail than there is in being able to use a slide rule or log tables."

I disagree. A textbook is something that someone has put effort into and has been edited, and possibly revised if it's a second edition, and probably 70k+ words of explanation. If you can read it and remember it, it's probably worthwhile doing so in most cases.

What are you suggesting is the modern alternative? The ability to use Google's half-arsed interface to Wikipedia where you can see what some unemployed moron typed in over a half-hour lunch break?

I don't bloody think so.


Re: They never should've used it in the first place.

"What you are proposing would result in a deluge of technicians and engineers who hold little knowledge in their supposed area of expertise, thus diluting the value of a real certification."

Oh, well, that would be an earth-shattering change, wouldn't it?

Pick a core, any core, says Intel – we'll magically put the right workload onto one in a hybrid SoC or accelerator


Re: 100 billion transistors

"You can run tests suite against such designs just like a normal program."

Why don't Intel, then?

More seriously: to some degree you can only test for the expected. Which is why normal programs have bugs even when using TDD and other methods to limit divergence from the spec. And as for whether the spec was right...

Git 2.33 released with new optional merge process likely to become the default: It's 'over 9,000' times faster


"Branching and merging is an edge case that can be easily circumvented by talking to your colleagues."

Wow. That's so wrong it goes right out the other side and becomes very wrong indeed.


Re: Git is not a file revision system

I don't find that a particularly helpful mental model. I change files, I commit changes to files, and sometimes I tag a point in time. If the internal system is "like" a filesystem snapshot, well and good but I'm not thinking about filesystem snapshots.

As for pain, just use the Emacs Magit interface and move on.

Perl Foundation faces more departures after pausing Community Affairs Team


Re: The community is partly at fault

Where were you witnessing this? I've never even encountered this "Perl community"!

Woman sues McDonald's for $14 after cheeseburger ad did exactly what it's designed to


Apocalypse, not revolution

Putting aside the issue that Jesus is a mythical figure, the character portrayed in the gospels is not revolutionary so much as apocalyptic. The two go hand in hand as clearly there's no point in obeying power structures if the world is going to end soon.

But the emphasis is much more on sorting *yourself* out in time than it is on bothering to overthrow authorities who will be dead soon anyway. Sure: render onto Caesar, if it keeps the poor fool happy, why not? Doesn't matter, does it? Drink up...


Well, there's her problem

"Ovichinnikova said she had successfully fasted through Lent for the past 16 years"

You're only supposed to do 40 days, not 16 bloody years. No wonder she gave in. She deserves a medal from the, er, Patriarch, I think it is.

Perl's Community Affairs Team chair quits as org put on ice by code language's foundation



Problem is that Python is utterly terrible.


Re: Who? What?

As far as I can make out someone told a joke at some convention about a clever Jew outsmarting a Gentile and a Jewish person took exception to this as a type of reverse racism. Then some harsh words were exchanged and it grew from there.

And, no, Perl was not involved in any way.


Who? What?

I've used Perl nearly every day for 23 years and I've never heard of any of these people outside of this story and the previous items about this story.

Does a progamming language need a Community Affairs Team? Who elected them? Each other?

New GNOME Human Interface Guidelines now official – and obviously some people hate it


Re: Bug: "deactivate laser" and "destroy planet" buttons adjacent | WONTFIX

The "close" being next to the "maximise" has been a Turing Test for UI for decades now: if you put them together then I automatically know that you know nothing about UI and can be ignored, along with whatever Mickey Mouse certificates you might wave about.

Luckily, you can redefine them in older Gnomes, but you shouldn't have to.

Australian court rules an AI can be considered an inventor on patent filings


Re: Judges just rule based on the law

I imagine that the law doesn't say that Kangaroos can't have patents either. Or that the colour blue isn't allowed to own a car.

The idea that the law has to exclude every negative possibility is moronic, just like this ruling.

There is no need to change the law, just to sack this incompetent judge.

Five words everyone wants to hear: Microsoft has 'visually refreshed' Office



Still a jumbled chaotic mess, then? But with rounded corners because, like flares, that just keeps coming back into style.

MS know about as much about UI design as they do about anything else. Possibly less.

Open standard but not open access: Schematron author complains about ISO paywall



ISO exists to make money to pay its staff. So they churn out specifications and get their mates to make them legally binding. I despise them.

Poltergeist attack could leave autonomous vehicles blind to obstacles – or haunt them with new ones


Re: Automation

"Computer assisted" is the Big Lie™ of self-driving cars. You're either aware of what's going on enough to drive at the drop of a hat or you're not, and if you're paying that amount of attention then you might as well drive the damn thing yourself.

Every manufacturer knows this and knows that their cars' passengers will not be paying attention - they'll be talking to other passengers, reading the paper, admiring the scenery, or making rude gestures to cyclists. Designating one of these passengers to be "the driver" is simply a fig-leaf for the manufacturers' insurance requirements.

Dependable Debian is like a rock in a swirling gyre of 'move fast and break things', and version 11 is no different


Re: Dependable Debian

Same here. And it won't be something with systemd in it.

Pre-orders open for the Mini PET 40/80, the closest thing to Commodore's classic around


8k is enough for anyone

My first computer was an 8K PET because the Apple IIe demos we saw looked too much like business machines. I wanted to have some fun!

Seven-year-old make-me-root bug in Linux service polkit patched


Systemd is a Virus

Gentoo Linux, among others, is free of it.

When software depends on a project thanklessly maintained by a random guy in Nebraska, is open source sustainable?


Re: Dodging the question

"You are missing the real point: you are paying for both the software and support of said software.

Therefore there is a much larger chance that the software supplier will remain committed to maintaining the software and servicing its customers...because they have a direct financial interest in doing so."

You are not making any sort of coherent argument. There's nothing about Free Software that prevents you from supporting it financially while at the same time having much more influence over how it is developed than you ever will with something from Oracle, Apple (ha!), or MS.

I see this crap all the time: companies who fork out for licenses to use a bloody word-processor in this day and age are happy to base their whole company on a Linux-based fileserver and never consider the idea of contributing to any of the software on that box that they depend on.

The whole tenor of the argument is that the problem is with the people supplying the free software.

"Hi. I'm a parasite on your whole industry and I just want to say how disappointed I am in your attitude to continuing to work for free."

When software depends on a project thanklessly maintained by a random guy in Nebraska, maybe you should be making some effort to make sure he's happy - or to find another less random guy to do work you want done. Which you can, since you have the source!


Re: "Fix it"...?

You are dodging the question - what would you do if a closed-source vendor went bust that is any better or even no worse?

"This is the major failing of understanding to the entire OSS / Linux community: the largest majority of those who interact with computers are plain-Jane users and are NOT technically advanced. "

What a load of crap. "This is the major failing of understanding to the entire proprietary software community: the largest majority of those who interact with computers are plain-Jane users and are NOT shareholders able to dictate the company's business practices."

It's just meaningless gibberish. What do these "plain-Jane" users do when they need a feature added to or improved in Word. What do they do about the fact that Outlook is a steaming turd of an email client? How does closing the source and paying a license fee to the company improve their experience in any way?

Perl changes dev's permaban for 'unacceptable' behaviour to a year-long lockout after community response


Aaron Crane does seem to be a bit of a dick

Looking at his Twitter thread

"At the event in question, someone said something antisemitic to me, apparently thinking I’d be amused by it"

OK, so a joke in bad taste? These things happen, and not everyone judges tone correctly. The issue is intent, surely?

"I explained that to the person who’d said it; they said that “other Jewish people” had found it funny, which wasn't and isn't relevant"

Wasn't it? It seems pretty relevant to me. It shows that the intent was to amuse, not to insult.

"I’ve been accused of lying about something that happened at a Perl event in 2019. These accusations rely on using my relative silence on the matter to convince others I'm lying, which is why I'm being explicit now"

By "explicit" apparently he means talking constantly about how offended he was by a joke without telling us what the joke was.

Aaron seems to be a very self-entitled individual with a martyr complex.

I'm not convinced that the acceptability of a joke is based on the teller's ability to prove that not a single person in the world would be offended by it.


Re: Very.Big.Sigh

I don't know why you had any trouble doing that (although I confess I don't know about the Excel bit). Perl is very stable and what you would have done 20 years ago should still work today.


Would that not be philosemitic antizionism?

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all: El Reg takes Twitter's anti-mean algorithm for a spin


Are you sure you want to talk about Scunthorpe?

Always a good test of any "clever" filter.

Samsung stops providing security updates to the Galaxy S8 at grand old age of four years


Re: planned obsolescence

I'm not sure why FOSS has anything to do with Samsung's decision.


Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

Still using an S5 here too.

I don't understand why it's legal to drop support for a durable consumer item which is less than 10 years old (in any field).

Audacity 'scared and excited' to be bought and brought under Muse Group's roof, promises to stay free and open source


Best UI

The best UI is the one you're used to. Audacity's new UI would need to be MASSIVELY more functional to overcome decades of muscle memory.

House of pain: If YAML makes you swear, shout louder – the agony is there for a reason


Re: "Where open source has taken over " " recreate new and better ways of working"

OS devs are not always better than proprietary devs, and in the case of Python generally and YAML in particular they have done a bad job. But bad jobs in IT are hardly new.

I never had a problem myself with the ini-file concept; the registry replacement (not an open source solution, of course) was far worse and the fact that systemd has replicated the same fuckup is certainly disappointing.

But, yes. YAML is complete garbage.

Facebook, it's cool to see you using Rust and joining the foundation, but please don't Zuck it up for all of us


Fool proof until the fools get their hands on it

Rust's reputation is partly built on the fact that the unwashed have not had time to play with it and break it. It's used by people who have a, shall we say, particularly pedantic sense of coding already. It all smells like a false sense of security and liberal slapping of each other's backs to me. Life outside the ivory tower will not be gentle for Rust, given the expectations that have been hyped up for it.

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!



The Who were brilliant, weren't they?

Not only were half of an AI text adventure generator's sessions NSFW but some involved depictions of sex with children



"GPT-3 was trained on text from the internet, after all."

Muck in→muck out.



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