* Posts by boblongii

140 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2020


Google thinks AI can Google better than you can


Re: And the slide into uselessness continues

This is AI, though. Almost by definition (i.e., the training data) the problem here is YOU. So-called AI works by assuming that you are not looking for anything special and that the results served up to the bulk of people will do you too. The current attempt at AI is just an automatic echo-chamber construction engine.

Get a list of previous outcomes for this context (or the context the system thinks it has), stick softmax on it and job's done. £££££


Big Deal

Given that Google already ignores most of what I ask for and simply throws up a Wikipedia page I imagine a brain-damaged pigeon could "do my Googling for me" with similar results.

Google are in complete denial about how shit their service has become.

UK public voice fear over security in NHS data systems


No, it will be stolen. By people on the inside who have the keys. It will then be sold back to us.

Open sourcerers say suspected xz-style attacks continue to target maintainers


Re: Dependency

The issue here is that Debian did not create systemd but approved its use even though the fundamental security problems in the design - not just the implementation - were there for all to see. That brings into question the value of their judgement as to what constitutes a safe system in general.

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972


France had its own definition of the furlong which was close to the English one. The fact remains that they just divided by 200 instead of 220.


Grounded in reality? The meter is derived from the furlong - divided by 200 instead of 220. Is that "reality" enough? All units are ultimately arbitrary.

Airbnb sees AI as its ticket to become a sprawling Big Tech giant


Big talk

Coming from a company that can't even provide the breakfast they promise.

Arm's lawyers want to check assembly expert's book for trademark missteps


Re: Is this not "nominative fair use"?

Copyright law:

1 Do you have more money than the person suing you?

2a If yes, you're good.

2b If not, you lose.

3 Get on with your life.

No need to get the courts involved.

UK flights disrupted by 'technical issue' with air traffic computer system


Re: more nationwide outages incoming

There's a lot of promise in large-scale batteries that use iron. Useless for cars etc., but potentially fine for bulk uses like storing wind farm generation.

Plus, people could just use less. Crazy idea I know - capitalism is all about growth. Maybe that's the source of the problem right there.

Version 5 of systemd-free Debian remix Devuan is here


Other option(s)

If you don't want systemd - and I don't - then there is Gentoo (and related) and several others using OpenRC.

Judge denies HP's plea to throw out all-in-one printer lockdown lawsuit


Re: To add to this...

Just wondering - is it possible that modern inks do actually have a use-by date for actual reasons? I can imagine possible reasons connected to chemistry. Obviously, this should be documented even if it is genuine.

Soft-reboot in systemd 254 sounds a lot like Windows' Fast Startup


Re: Hmmm

And for no reason at all.

Who is this change helping? Why do the systemd devs get to decide these things? I'm not paying them or asking them to. I'd pay them to *stop* coding if I could afford to.


"Some of this really feels like development for the sake of justifying P's employment."

Well, yes. That's systemd in toto.

I'm happily using Gentoo and living without systemd or his god-awful sound system.

Ubuntu 23.04 'Lunar Lobster' beta is here in all its glitchy glory



Why? What value does it have beyond almost but not quite doing what X11 already does? How many people are using a graphical Ubuntu on a multi-user system where the supposed security issues on X11 are relevant?

I don't mind developers wasting their own time but I object to having their half-arsed systems installed by default.

The Stonehenge of PC design, Xerox Alto, appeared 50 years ago this month


Xerox and foolishness

Those 100,000 alone shares are worth $3.4B dollars today, allowing for stock splits. Xerox's market cap is $2.34B.

Wikimedia Foundation confirms, and bemoans, Pakistan ban


What's the point?

WP is literally just a badly edited selection of web search results - many entries are simply copied directly form other sites. The only useful part of a WP page is generally the links at the bottom and they're only useful because search engines artificially boost WP pages so far up the rankings that the original source material is generally hard to find.

So, banning WP has zero effect on any sort of material being on the web. In fact, if the local search engines stop pushing WP, you've probably made it easier to find "blasphemous" material.

The era of cloud colonialism has begun


Re: VC

"Investors are not stupid, and IF (not sure if they do push this TBH) they are insisting that a company uses Amazon, Microsoft or Google, it's for a good reason."

Firstly, VC investors are stupid. That's why 12 in every 13 of their investments tanks.

Secondly, when I was getting VC funding back in the day it came with one particularly odd string which was that we had to host on Dell hardware because Dell were giving them backhanders. They even suggested that we should not try to optimise the application too much as they would like to ask Dell for bigger hardware and therefore a bigger sweetener (basically Dell wanted to boast about installed CPUs).

None of the things you listed are of any real value to a startup; even uptime.

VCs know nothing. If they did, they'd do it themselves or have a decent hit-rate.

Sandworm gang launches Monster ransomware attacks on Ukraine


Re: Illegal attack

Russia doesn't have a nuclear veto at the UN - it has a "we beat the Nazis" veto and have had it since before they had nukes. For some reason France also has the veto despite conspicuously not beating the Nazis any more than various other countries did.

Time Lords decree an end to leap seconds before risky attempt to reverse time


It's not forgotten at all. On Linux (at least) type

cal 1752

and have a look at September.

Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show


Re: Translation

Only if you believe that every metric measurement given is perfectly precise and not rounded up to the nearest 10 or 100 or whatever. I doubt very much that this thing weighs exactly 300Kg.



Weighs 6cwt (3/10th of a ton), range of 25 miles (if you're lucky and/or slow), top speed about 60mph and if you're 16 stone or more in wet clothes (because there aint no canopy) don't apply.

A very inefficient mode of transport albeit a cool-looking one.


"looks like no harness to keep em in the seat too, a quick jerk and some free burger meat for cannibals"

Well, you should be doing things like while in control of an aircraft; you really need two hands on the controls.

The crime against humanity that is the modern OS desktop, and how to kill it


Re: Not the only game in town

"What I do want is multiple workspaces, a responsive window manager which stays out of the way, and a menu/taskbar/keyboard shortcuts to manipulate windows and access applications. I get that on Linux with an old-school, lightweight, minimalist window manager (Fluxbox in my case, Blackbox before that) which I have used happily for over two decades).

Then there is the NEXTStep/Window Maker/Mac OS model - doesn't work particularly for me, but clearly does for many."

I use WindowMaker with multiple workspaces for exactly the reasons you gave; what doesn't work for you about it?

The International Space Station will deorbit in glory. How's your legacy tech doing?


Re: A strange set of priorities

Why would you need to replace Concorde? It was a stupid idea and remains so. There's very little value in getting from London to Canada in 3hrs and, due to the laws of physics, a lot of unavoidable cost.

If there were any value in it, we would still be doing it.

PanWriter: Cross-platform writing tool runs on anything and outputs to anything


Re: Nah

"Because the latter means about half a gigabyte of LaTeX stuff being dragged into the system."

Just use plainTex rendred with XeTeX for full Unicode.

For writing prose you can generally do all the formatting you need in half a screen of plainTeX and never have to worry about LaTeX again.

LibreOffice improves Microsoft compatibility with version 7.4


My God!

Microsoft ignoring the very standard that they stuff the panel for to get it approved so that competitors still have to do the work to meet it while they do whatever they like!?

It's almost as if ISO standards aren't worth the very expensive process of meeting them or something.

UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs


Liz Truss will Save us All

Because what the situation needs is the single dumbest person in a cabinet of idiots to step in and "help"

Roll on the next election.

Deluge of of entries to Spamhaus blocklists includes 'various household names'


Re: Lack of feedback

"In this particular case there was only a handful of people in the office but it still wasted hours of our time in investigating potential sources."

Well, there you have it - Spamhaus's time wasn't wasted, so why would they care?


Re: IT much?

I ran my own email server for years but I gave up in the end because Spamhaus kept blocking basically any email coming from my ISP's range. I had a static IP from them and I had SPF records set up and never sent any spam, just normal work and family & friends emails. But I got blocked anyway.

So, yeah, fuck 'em.

Ant Group’s in-house DB set for global release, including Raspberry Pi edition


Re: Thanks to the US idiotic sanctions on 40% of the world population...

Smith was an upper-class twit with no grasp of normal people and a huge amount of blind faith that his fellow "gentlemen" would never abuse a free market.

Good chaps just don't do that, don't you know?

UK government refuses public review before launch of NHS data platform


Re: I hate to be pedantic but...

Yeah, it's always the UK that's the baddy. Funny how so few attacks happened over the border in Ireland, isn't it? It's almost as if the threat was coming from the South rather than the North.

"The ROI government is not, and has never been, synonymous with the IRA."

Dream on. They've even had Taoiseachs from the IRA. The Irish government has always viewed the republican violence as a useful bargaining chip towards regime change in the North. When Blair decided to trade on that basis they grabbed it with both hands.

And if the border is of great importance to Germany - sorry, the EU - then they can police it how they like. On their side of it, not ours. There is no reason why goods going to and from NI to Scotland, England, or Wales should have anything to do with the EU. The issue is clearly Ireland's to deal with when goods come into their country, and ours when they come the other way. There's nothing special about that and the EU copes with it from the rest of the world.

I don't see China struggling to get the results of slave labour over the EU (or any other) border anywhere. But then the EU doesn't have any territorial ambitions in China, does it?


Re: 52% is not a decisive vote

"Oh for crying out loud, anyone with any sense knows that trying to take a crowd of people through a difficult and controversial course of action based on a bare majority is not only a mug's game and stupid, it's also asking for trouble, because near on 'half' those who voted are going to feel shafted, and shanghied into doing something they disagree with."

And you think that ignoring the majority because it did not meet your arbitrary definition of "substantial" would not have been asking for trouble?

I agree the decision was close, but the other side of that is that the only chance Remain had would have been to have a close result too - there was no chance of a landslide.

"work very hard to address the concerns of the unhappy minority."

Absolutely. Unfortunately, the public decided to vote Boris in again. Partly because the Labour party had misread the signs and did not try to steer things towards a better Brexit while the LibDems preempted Donald Trump by openly campaigned for ignoring the vote unless it came out the way they wanted.


Re: I hate to be pedantic but...

"Not sure about NHS Wales or Ireland, maybe somebody could chip in."

Ireland is a foreign and hostile country that protected and protects murderers hiding on their side of the border while screaming that there must be no "hard border" on what they view as their private island because balance of trade is more important than trying baby-killers and other thugs.

They're not part of the NHS.

Russia fines Google $374 million for letting the truth about Ukraine be told


Re: Gosh, really ?

"I don't think the scorched earth policy has really started, yet"

You need to get your eyes tested then.

Your whole post is a pack of ¼-truths, whataboutisms, and deflection in defence of a mass-murderer who has been running Russia for decades and is such a personal coward that he sends out thugs to kill retired spies and people who write rude stories about him. He's a pathetic human being; you probably would get on with him.

Now go away.

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


If computers were as simple as cars we could probably have that, but then we'd need to invent computers again because that would be useless.

UK government having hard time complying with its own IR35 tax rules


Re: Its a complete farce.

"These rules have never worked. HMRC is out of control and has a vendetta against small businesses. I don't know if its because it makes their life easier if you just have a few big businesses you can have cosy chats with or because they've been given advice by companies that would like small businesses out of the way."

This isn't a one-or-the-other situation.

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


Re: 6 points of what systemd (allegedly) intends

LP has some sort of mental issue - probably megalomania - which tells him that he is the first and only person to have seen what's wrong and how to fix it. He is also a second-rate programmer. This is a dangerous mix.


Re: They call it progress

If it did any of that well it would be an argument, but still not a good argument for it being monolithic.

Its auditing and logging is generally piss-poor, security of course is a joke and the principle of least privilege is a bizarre claim for something that collects and spreads out root-level access all over the place where it's not needed.

Configuration is indeed declarative, as in "I declare that this is the worst, most over-engineered, complicated mass of spaghetti I have ever seen masquerading as an init system."

Starting and bringing down services in the correct order is not rocket-science and was a solved problem before systemd fell out of Pottering's arse.

The reason it's in all major distributions is that someone is funding it. That's the reality of commercial distributions - if someone else is paying to develop and maintain something then no beancounter will consider an alternative that comes out of the bottom line that they are charged with protecting. If it's shit, who cares? That's someone else's fault/problem.

Systemd is garbage-ware that belongs in Windows where it would fit right in.

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


Re: Balkenisation?

The "ice age scare" lasted about a month and was largely the result of one newspaper misunderstanding what it was being told and reporting the immanent arrival of mammoths. Your grasp of the topic generally is clearly not at all good.

Doctorates have a shelf-life; yours has clearly expired.


Re: Balkenisation?

"There are very few issues that don't have reasonable arguments on both sides; witness the debate over global warming"

That sort of sunk your point. Global warming has been researched for over a hundred years. The "reasonable arguments" have almost all been paid shills or conspiracy nuts.

When doctors disagree, the solution is not to get rid of all doctors.

"We don't need the cuss-words."

Can you make a reasonable argument for that? Which words do you approve of?

Ericsson pulls out of Russia 'indefinitely' to protest war in Ukraine


For or against?

Are they protesting for more war or against what we already have?

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds


Re: Fuck that

Better things to do than what you're being paid to do?

Take the money and shut up, would be my advice.

Azure pulls in front of AWS in public cloud adoption


Like watching Gangrene Spread

We're trying to get off Azure. It's a disaster - the cli api may or may not work when you need it so everything has to be wrapped in double or triple tries. Some, but not all, restore points mysteriously cause the Azure fabric to crash with "out of memory" errors when you try to restore from them (turns out this is a known problem since before December when a patch failed to fix it - but they didn't tell us that, of course, and they certainly haven't offered any compensation). The price is ridiculous. The support staff often know less than we do.

We hate opening tickets; it's policy that we do but they waste so much time and rarely result in anything other than a "well, that *is* strange" answer from the morons at MS.

It's just a bloody joke.

Zero trust? Not yet a must for most IT departments


Zero Trust in Zero Trust

I don't trust the vendors of this stuff - why would I, and how could I audit their products if I wanted to?

London university on hunt for £17m SAP ERP replacement


It's not £800 per student unless they do this every year.

Google says open source software should be more secure


Re: Everybody knows

"But why should the big boys invest more than is needed to make their business work?"

But that's all that's being asked! If the software isn't secure enough for them, then they should fix it. Just like they would if they wrote it themselves.

That's what Free Software is about: each contributor puts in the effort needed for their own purposes and shares the result. If everyone does that the product develops and improves over many iterations and everyone benefits.

If users just whine about it not doing what they want or not being secure but don't fix anything, then it's not going to change, is it?

Open source isn't the security problem – misusing it is


Re: Open Source is an Opportunity

What are the dependencies of MS Explorer? what are you going to do about them? What about Photoshop? Can you even see what it depends on?

Modern software is full of deep dependencies. Open Source doesn't change that, neither does Hidden Source. What it does do is give you the chance to do something about a bug even in software which is no longer supported by whomever you got it from. As well as the ability to customise it for your own specific use, of course, which is hardly chopped liver.

If a company that writes its own software was struck down with a bug like log4j and then claimed it wasn't their fault because they never test the code their programmers produce and just deploy it, everyone would say they were insane. Yet that is exactly what many people do with code that people that don't even work for them have produced.

Log4j represented a lot of work each user then didn't have to do; the normal reaction is to call that 100% profit and spend all the time saved on other things, or the money saved on buns. That's their choice, but it is a choice and whining about it when it goes wrong is simply idiotic. Go with 50% profit and pay for testing/checking. Or write your own from scratch; no one owes you a living.

The "lovely idea" is that Free Software is a collaborative enterprise and if you're not collaborating then, basically, you have no right to expect anything at all from those that are doing the work.


Open Source is an Opportunity

Open Source is an opportunity to read and modify the code, or pay someone to do it for you. That's more than most paid-for software packages do for you.

If you don't take that opportunity, that's your fault.

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

"Memory management is simple if you just think about what you're doing. You can always use thread-safe reference counting (via atomic increment/decrement for example) if you need something that lives outside of a function. What's so hard about that?"

That's about the stupidest head-in-the-sand thing I've ever seen. You're dismissing the single biggest cause of security problems and crashes (not to mention LOC) as "no big deal".

"Maybe there are just too many JUNIOR developers out there that need to be coddled and have their hands held by built-in idiot-proof memory allocation and the associated bloat and garbage collection, and all of the OTHER INEFFICIENCIES that go along with it all."

Or maybe there are too many dinosaurs who think that a) they are perfect, and b) everyone that contributes to their project is perfect.

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


Re: 8-bit

2K monitors (labelled as 4K, of course) may allow for greater 24bit colour but it's a waste of electricity. I know it's easy to set up demos that show the difference but generally they involve standing far too close to a large screen.

So, not "useful", just possible.