* Posts by BitGin

24 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2020

Version 252 of systemd, as expected, locks down the Linux boot process

BitGin

Re: we can dream

Either that or a few fairly critical bits of software made it a dependency which meant building a distro without it became very hard work as you suddenly had to maintain forks of those things.

Plus, it mostly works ok so from a practical point of view that's a lot of work for not much gain.

Weird Flex, but OK: Now you can officially turn these PCs, Macs into Chromebooks

BitGin

They've got 3 years to get rid of some of those rough edges.

I'm sure there are lots of situations where you're better off with proper Linux but I'm also sure that assuming MS don't budge on Win11's hardware requirements there will be more "obsolete" computers available than there is demand for proper linux so there is potential for something like flex.

Whether Google can realise that potential is another matter.

BitGin

No not like Mint. You need to know how to be a linux admin to manage Mint (or any other proper Linux distro) especially if you're talking about an organisation with lots of users who all need to authenticate against a central directory.

Do you seriously think a typical small, understaffed and underfunded IT department would automatically be willing or able to configure Mint to do that if its previous experience is Windows only?

BitGin

Think about 2025, it's not far away and in theory every Windows PC predating an 8th gen Core or 2nd gen Ryzen (which must number in the hundreds of millions) goes to landfill when updates for Windows 10 end.

3 years to get some traction and polish behind Flex seems about right to me.

Proper Linux distros require a certain level of expertise to run, ChromeOS is going to be manageable for any IT department that can manage to install Windows and usable by any user who can click things in Chrome.

The question is whether they can round off some of those rough corners mentioned in the article and whether MS do something in response (like maybe a limited version of Windows 11 for older devices or simply turn a blind eye to people running 11 on unsupported hardware.)

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

BitGin

Re: 'The Register purchased by Microsoft?'

Attempting to find journalistic balance through opinion pieces isn't really journalism, it's just clickbait.

A well thought out balance article about Microsoft and open source would be a nice read though. It could look at where MS have genuinely contributed to open source and Linux and where it appears to have just made some PR noise. Where it's being helpful and where it's being a hindrance.

Which of its products are truly cross platform and which appear to be but in reality are seriously hamstrung by missing features or Windows only dependencies. EG how useful is Teams without desktop office or onedrive, how useful is powershell if most of the modules you might want to use are Windows only?

Do MS really love Linux or are they just doing everything they can to keep Windows relevant in a world where everything is moving to the Cloud and the Cloud runs on open source and Linux.

British motorists will be allowed to watch TV in self-driving vehicles

BitGin

Re: Too early.

"failure just means even better batteries to reuse or recycle."

Erm??? EV Myth alert.

Nope there is currently basically no recycling of lithium batteries at the moment. Maybe there will be in a few years time but then there are lots of things we've been promised in "a few years time".

And if you'd be happy with a massive stack of slightly crash-damaged lithium batteries being reused in your house as a powerwall then I hope you never forget to change the battery in your smoke alarm and are a light sleeper.

As it happens I don't have a problem with EVs in general. What I do have a problem with is the is the ever growing size, weight and complexity of modern cars. Cars should be transport not a massive 2-3 tone pile of electronics that will all be obsolete in 3-4 years.

Which do you think will have a longer lifespan, an EV with manual controls or a self driving EV?

Personally I don't see a reason for a manually driven EV with a minimum of BS gadgets not to last for decades (with the odd battery replacement but otherwise fairly minimal maintenance) while I can't see a FSD car lasting much longer than the lease agreement.

BitGin

Re: Too early.

I'm not convinced.

I'm pretty sure your 17W laptop isn't powerful enough to do all the processing needed for a full self driving car and doesn't have any the peripherals needed for FSD.

Lidar, multiple camera, radar etc all have a power draw as do all servos and actuators needed to turn the steering etc.

I'm also suspicious that FSD vehicles will have a much shorter lifespan than human driven cars given all the extra complexity in both the hardware and software. It's already not that uncommon to see 5-10 year old cars written off after minor accidents because of the cost of replacing the parking sensors in the bumpers. I can only see cars with all the sensors needed for FSD being much worse in this respect. This is compounded by EVs needing to have longer lifespans to offset their increased pollution during production.

Happy birthday, Windows Vista: Troubled teen hits 15

BitGin

512MB ram minimum memory requirement

Claimed by MS was the biggest defect with Vista. So many people brought brand new machines with only 512MB and vista and discovered what a terrible combination that was.

Yes it would boot up eventually, yes it would open a document eventually but "eventually" is not why you buy a new PC.

DIY Sinclair clones: Left it too late to back the Next? Build your own instead

BitGin

I'm still waiting for

The 1MB ram upgrade for my Sam Coupé to come back into stock.

BitGin

I'm still waiting for...

The 1MB ram upgrade for my Sam Coupé trip come back into stock.

System at the heart of scaled-back £30m Sheffield University project runs on end-of-life Oracle database

BitGin

Re: idiots

In fairness to the universities... many of those unnecessary shiny new buildings are paid for by specific funding (donations or grants that can only be used for that shiny new building).

Most universities would like to spend money on things like keeping the rain out of their existing buildings or upgrading ancient software but everybody donating money to these places wants their name on a plaque on the front of a swanky new building where everyone can see it and not in a filing cabinet on a receipt for an upgrade license from Oracle (possibly behind a door marked "beware of the leopard").

Maybe they could try moving their datacentre into each new building they put up so they can claim all those IT upgrades are part of the budget for the new building rather than maintenance?

Product release cycles are killing the environment, techies tell British Computer Society

BitGin

Re: Complete waste of time.

Extended software support

Our devices contain components with a certain lifetime. It would be dangerous to extend software support because of the risk of fire.

Using 3rd party parts and or service engineers is dangerous as we cannot guarantee the quality of the parts or instillation. Poor quality parts or installation is a serious fire risk.

3rd party service engineers present a serious risk to children's personal data as paedophiles may download their photos while servicing their phones. Just think of the children!

Etc etc

Not saying i agree with it but this is what will happen. Iirc this has happened to cars in Europe where it's technically illegal (or at least will be if the rule ever gets implemented) not to use original branded spares when you do repairs because it's clearly not safe to use an unbranded part from the same factory.

Thales launches payment card with onboard fingerprint scanner

BitGin

given the number

of phones in use without security updates, is it really such a good idea to use them to authenticate transactions like this?

Mobile malware may not have been a serious problem so far but that doesn't mean it never will be.

Also, is it reasonable to demand that everyone has to own a mobile phone to be able to pay for stuff? Sure banks could make having the 2fa on a mobile an option but that isn't the way they tend to operate.

The Wight stuff: Marconi and the island, when working remotely on wireless comms meant something very different

BitGin
Joke

The hovercraft trip to Ryde is some much fun it inspired the Beatles to write their famous song just about buying the ticket.

Dropbox basically decimates workforce, COO logs off: Cloud biz promises to be 'more efficient and nimble'

BitGin

Fine

But don't expect users who aren't interested in all that bollox to fund you while you do it by automatically doubling their annual fee by increasing their storage quota when they aren't even close to needing it.

Also, maybe, if you must come up with bollox, maker sure it's useful bollox that people want... Instead of a web browser in a file syncing app. We already have plenty of web browsers.

Ubiquiti iniquity: Wi-Fi box slinger warns hackers may have peeked at customers' personal information

BitGin

If you're prepared to run cables for backhaul you can use mikrotik and their "CAPsMAN" system. I'm pretty sure it does count as ridiculously overcomplicated but the APs start from about £20 so it is cheap.

Or you can just buy a bunch of powerline ethernet adaptors and a bunch of cheap standalone access points and build your own. Just set all the APs to use the same ssid, wpa psk but different channels and your devices should automatically hop between them as you move around the house.

The only real advantage to something that calls itself a mesh network is that it has that backhaul stuff built in, you have a single management console so changing your psk / ssid is a lot easier and you might get some help picking the channels for the various APs. Some mesh stuff helps move devices between APs but not all and I'm not convinced it's that important on a home network.

Linux Mint sticks by Snap decision – meaning store is still disabled by default in 20.1

BitGin

I'm curious, how is snap not open?

Everything is opensource except Canonical's snap store which you can bypass entirely by just downloading the snaps and side loading or you can just build your own snap store using apache. There's a 1 page blog post on ubuntu.com that details the whole thing.

You can examine the yaml file that builds each snap and you can open each snap and examine all the files inside it to see exactly what it does.

Assuming you're mainly complaining about Chromium being snap only... The reasons seem reasonable to me:

- The Debian packaged version of chromium is usually weeks to months out of date with security patches so it's a bit of a non starter.

- It takes significant effort to build it as a deb to the point that it almost looks like Google would prefer you to use Chrome. Mint have had to buy a bunch of extra servers to build it and at least one human to keep it building.

- It's very easy to build it as a snap and allows ubuntu to have a fully up to date chromuim with pretty much no cost to them. This is because the dependencies for chromium are a bit complicated and complicated dependencies are one of the things that snaps are intended to deal with.

- Chromium was not the main browser on ubuntu and if they have it in the repos they have to maintain it for the life of the release (potentially 10 years for the commercial support customers) which makes it a pain in the neck.

I'm not claiming snaps are the be-all-and-end-all but if you're going to criticise them pick something that is a genuine problem with them like their slow load times or lack of control over updates, the mess they make of the output of "df", etc.

Pure frustration: What happens when someone uses your email address to sign up for PayPal, car hire, doctors, security systems and more

BitGin

>> Hmm, if BobSmith@gmail, is receiving emails for Bob.Smith@gmail..... is Bob.Smith@gmail receiving

>> emails for BobSmith@gmail??

No, BobSmith@gmail wouldn't have been allowed to create an account with that address as it's already taken by Bob.Smith@gmail. He probably tried but got told he could only have bobsmith8729@gmail. However he has bobsmith@workdomain and got confused entering his gmail address.

Ubuntu 20.10 goes full Raspberry Pi, from desktop to micro clouds: Full fat desktop on a Pi is usable

BitGin

Re: But snap... ?

snap refresh

But you're not really meant to run it manually. It runs automatically when it wants to with no way to control it yourself (probably my biggest bugbear with snaps)

That assumes you installed from the snap store. If you side loaded a snap that you downloaded manually from some website then you will have to manually update that yourself.

BitGin

Re: But snap... ?

https://ubuntu.com/blog/a-guide-to-snap-permissions-and-interfaces

It's sandbox stuff not file permission stuff (well technically some file permission stuff is used in the background).

From the cli you use the snap command to change them.

https://snapcraft.io/docs/interface-management

Here's US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search

BitGin

Re: Stupid Gets Caught

Pretty sure that "carrier grade" nat would allow them to go beyond that router to the actual device, hence the "carrier grade" bit.

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets

BitGin
Facepalm

Is anyone prepared to defend Excel for...

hitting its limit on the number of rows and then failing silently?

Seems like the most basic thing a bit of software can do is warn the user when it hits a hard limit like this.

Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

BitGin

Sadly

No function keys is getting more common in 2020 rather than less so.

OK that's mostly laptops with the function keys locked into being media controls and you can usually change it but it does make some of the keyboard twister key combo presses even worse if you've got to add a "fn" key into the mix.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

BitGin

Re: Training data?

How to get images of guaranteed non criminals?

Easy, just use baby photos. What could go wrong?

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