* Posts by nintendoeats

630 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Aug 2020

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Supermium drags Google Chrome back in time to Windows XP, Vista, and 7

nintendoeats

Even if not, there are plenty of cheap options for using either SSDs or Compact Flash cards in place of IDE drives.

Air Canada must pay damages after chatbot lies to grieving passenger about discount

nintendoeats

Re: What a strange position to defend.

I went to university with somebody whose hobby was helping people to sue Air Canada (still does it in fact). He has not had a lack of material.

WTF? Potty-mouthed intern's obscene error message mostly amused manager

nintendoeats

I worked on a graphics system which needed to assign a unique number to each graphics object.

If you somehow manage to create (over the lifetime of one instance of the system) enough graphics objects, it will say something to the effect of "You have managed to overflow a signed 64-bit integer. Save a seat for me at Milliways."

I wonder if I'm going to get a very annoyed text message from my old boss one day...

First functional graphene semiconductor could power future chips

nintendoeats

Re: Bingo

In the cloud!

New year, new bug – rivalry between devs led to a deep-code disaster

nintendoeats

Re: I've always thought

Hmmm, except that software often goes through periods where performance is not acceptable during development. If you give the devs minimum spec machines, then you are needlessly hampering them during those times. Also, sometimes there are features which simply require more grunt than the minimum specs.

Example, I was working on a 3D Display system. Most users were on integrated graphics, but I had an Nvidia card. When working with high detail objects (especially those with transparency), the Intel GPU was nowhere. We developed a system to degrade those objects automatically, but developing that system obviously required lots of testing and fine-tuning. If I had been stuck with the Intel the whole time, that process would have been painful on the deepest levels.

Suffering from tab overload? Vivaldi unveils Session Panels

nintendoeats

Re: syncing history

Because sometimes you are looking at something on your phone and then later want to look at it on your desktop?

nintendoeats

Am thinking that either downvoters really like sessions, or do not get my joke.

nintendoeats

Don't quite get sessions, we already have workspaces (and I only just got used to using those).

Is Vivaldo a creaky java-based web browser wrapped around a CLI web rendering engine written in TCL?

nintendoeats

Stacked tabs are hawt. Example, I often have two tabs that I tile side-by-side, and I can put them in one tab stack together. Works for me, but not for thee.

Cloud engineer wreaks havoc on bank network after getting fired

nintendoeats

Re: Credentials after leaving

But it's fun :p

nintendoeats

Re: Credentials after leaving

Oh god. I'd be so curious. Like, I know it's wrong. But you could check right now you know? WHY NOT GIVE IT A TRY!?

AMD thinks it can solve the power/heat problem with chiplets and code

nintendoeats

Re: Glad to see

Something else to consider, is that a lot of software safety gains have come from performance improvements (and then been consumed by the complexity enabled).

Consider a checked array access. Without branch prediction, it is totally impractical to check whether every array access is out of bounds. With it, your easily predictable jump effectively blows away like dust.

Another example, shared state is the enemy of correct coding. If `malloc` is fast, and memory is plentiful, maybe you can just duplicate that data structure rather than having to manage multiple users of the same copy.

So some of the efficiency loss in software is because of a shift to techniques that are marginally slower but a lot easier to manage in a large complex program. That said, I think for most uses these gains have already been made.

'Return to Office' declared dead

nintendoeats

Re: Loud minority

You made person you, how could you suggest such a thing!

nintendoeats

Re: Loud minority

So it is. I think the term "blackleg" didn't stick, since I've never heard it in any other context (seems like it's mostly a UK term).

nintendoeats

Re: Loud minority

The point is that most people, regardless of their job, are going to be annoyed about being required to do things they deem to be pointless. It's just that what is pointless changes depending on what you do.

My brother works in hardware testing. He is required to wear ESD shoes. Nobody questions this because the reasons are obvious.

I used to work in a grocery store. I wouldn't have ever thought to complain about needing to come into work...because well...that's where the food is. But imagine if I had been told I needed to buy ESD shoes. I'd be livid, because it would be inconveniencing me for no reason. Let me wear cheap shoes that I find comfortable, I do not need to be ESD safe. (This never happened, just a hypothetical).

So my point is, it doesn't matter that some people can WFH and some can't. The solidarity between workers that should make this relatable to everybody is that we hate being required to do things for the company that inconvenience us without good reason.

THE UNIONS FOREVER! DE-FEND-ING OUR RIGHTS. POWER TO THE FACT-RIES! THE WORRRKERS UNITE!

So on and so forth.

nintendoeats

Re: Loud minority

I know what they were trying to say. I was phrasing my counterpoint in the form of a question.

nintendoeats

Re: Loud minority

Are you suggesting that people who prefer not to do things they don't want without good reason are in the minority?

Dump C++ and in Rust you should trust, Five Eyes agencies urge

nintendoeats

I do write in a memory-safe language. It's called c++11, and not allowing raw pointers to have ownership semantics.

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers

nintendoeats

Re: HP and Linux

The most recent download from Brother for my printer is 2013. It has worked perfectly since the day it came out of the box, only asking the ocassional new toner cartridge. So...

Sysadmin's favorite collection of infallible utilities failed … foully

nintendoeats

Re: Defragging isn't a big deal anymore

Running an IDE machine off an SSD is a strange experience. A bizarre combination of lightning fast (cuz SSD) and still very slow (cuz it's a Pentium 1).

Elon is the bakery owner swearing in the street about Yelp critics canceling him

nintendoeats

Re: Whos free speech was campaigned against precisely?

This is the bit people often forget about.

"Well, Googapplesoftizoneta are allowed to operate their business however they like"

"Right, and a consequence is that I won't use their services because I DON'T like it."

nintendoeats

I find a degree of reassurance in the fact that it is still possible for rich people to hurt themselves.

Ex-school IT admin binned student, staff accounts and trashed phone system

nintendoeats

Home confinement, except as needed for employment. Employment by whom I cannot imagine.

Scribbling limits in free version of Evernote set to test users' patience

nintendoeats

Re: No good to me

Today I Learned that Wordpad still exists (but I guess not for much longer).

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

nintendoeats

"X" means "insert company here" right?

nintendoeats

Microsoft today revealed that the next Windows release (Windows 12) will require no installation, and instead will load directly from two 30TB LTO-8 tapes.

"We've packed more features than ever into Windows 12" said Micros~1 CEO Satya Nadella. "We didn't want you to have to wait to install our robust, AI-driven operating system experience. Your next OS will therefore have no install process, simply load Windows Tape 12A (WT12A) into your LTO drive and go. It's our most seamless setup process yet."

When asked whether he was worried that the requirement of an LTO drive would limit uptake of the new spyware, Nadella had this to say:

"Nobody wants to be kept behind by technology. Current SSD and HDD technology simply isn't capable of delivering the storage capacity performance that modern users expect and that a fully reactive, AI-driven operating system experience requires. We are always forward looking; keeping pace with the technology in your next computer, not your current one."

He added, "In any case, your current laptop has a broken F12 key, so why wouldn't you want to replace it?"

nintendoeats

The water will be clean, the air will be clean, even the dirt...will be clean.

USB Cart of Death: The wheeled scourge that drove Windows devs to despair

nintendoeats

Re: Atari 800

The last time I used USB 1 was ~3 years ago. The speed was certainly something to write home about...but not for the right reasons.

Binance and CEO admit financial crimes, billions coughed up to US govt

nintendoeats

So, anybody going to jail?

I thought not.

Copilot coming to Windows 10 to help navigate the OS's twilight years

nintendoeats

People have been trying to do versions of this since...well, the dumb terminal.

Maybe one day it will work out. I hope not.

Rivian bricks infotainment systems in 'fat finger' fiasco

nintendoeats

It's possible that manufacturers will have remembered that drivers like not having to look at the controls by then.

Unfortunately, there's no reason a firmware update can't brick physical controls if they are still tied into the same system.

Fujitsu-backed FDK claims nickel zinc batteries ready for use in UPSes

nintendoeats

Looked these up, apparently must not be charged in freezing temperatures. Not viable up here in Le Canada. Otherwise I'd be interested in swapping one in.

nintendoeats

Well for one thing, in my little MX-5 which weighs less than a ton, dropping 7 KG would be a huge reduction :p. It's also the sort of thing where as a driver you wouldn't notice, but if deployed to the global fleet it would save huge amounts of gas.

The other thing is that in most cars, the battery is up front and takes up a large section of the engine bay. Thus, making it smaller and lighter would improve weight distribution, and allow car designers more freedom in packaging (possibly leading to more legroom).

nintendoeats

Standard car batteries perhaps? Always nice to shed size/weight in those.

Downfall fallout: Intel knew AVX chips were insecure and did nothing, lawsuit claims

nintendoeats

Re: Puzzled....again....

Sure, if you leave a bunch of performance on the table and/or are careful to never use a third-party library which handles uses AVX to handle sensitive data.

nintendoeats

Re: Pound that table, Demand those Results!

To start with these are much worse than FDIV. That bug was only relevant to a very small subset of users. Having a CPU that can leak information that is supposed to be secret is bad news bears.

Secondly, somehow or another a password system requires the password to to be stored AT AN ABSOLUTE MINIMUM in the CPUs registers long enough to be hashed and validated. In practice, it is going to have the live in memory too. When you type your password into a password box on a website, where do you think it lives? It's not stored in some magical netherrealm...and even if it was, the CPU is going to need access to that netherrealm to read it at some point. The problem with these sorts of flaws is that the friendly and hostile programs are both executed by the same CPU, and that CPU has final say about which programs can access what.

The idea of a password system that does not at any point store a password/key in plaintext in a place accessible by some processor that can hash/validate it does not make sense. The CPU is the start of your chain of trust.

nintendoeats

Sounds like it must have been swapping right?

Open source work makes me appreciate software testing. It's not an academic exercise

nintendoeats

Last time I was asked to write a test for something, I found 4 "cannot ship, completely broken" bugs in 2 hours (plus an edge-case erro for good measure).

Testing is a very effective way of discovering errors...if the person writing the tests is ready to be properly psychotic.

nintendoeats

Re: 1970's

You gesture here towards the relationship between design, documentation, and tests.

Say there is a function `int AppendFile(Filename, Message)` with no other documentation. How do you test this function? There is the obvious "verify the contents of the file just written", but what else? Say the file does not exist, should the function create it? If that is an undocumented situation Then the best you can do is try it few times and decide that whatever it does now is "correct".

One of the many drawbacks of this is that you don't know what is undocumented behavior (still possibly needs to be tested) and what is undefined behavior (doesn't need to be tested). Arguably, since the user has been told nothing, all of this is both undefined and undocumented...poor test writer now gets to guess at which is which.

A function with no documentation makes no promises and has no bugs.

nintendoeats

Re: Need to check that failures happen when they should

I have a very real example of this.

We needed to reliably generate a callback anytime a 3D camera changed position or orientation (there were of course context and other requirements that complexified this).

The solution was very simple; after every "step" of the display thread, we would check if the transform for the camera had changed and generate a callback if it had. Overall this took maybe an hour to implement.

The randomized test took a week to write. A few of the complexifying factors:

1. Most user functions that could change the camera were processed asynchronously.

2. Some operations which were nominally setting the camera wouldn't actually change the matrix (for example, setting it to the same position twice) and therefore were not expected to generate a callback.

3. The test couldn't check if that had happened, because requesting information about the camera would force the test thread to synchronize with the display thread, defeating the purpose of the test.

4. If you wrote to the camera twice in a row, those two operations might get merged. We didn't guarantee that writing to the camera twice would generate two callbacks.

5. We DID guarantee that the LAST callback would reflect the final state of the camera, so of course that had to be verified in the test

nintendoeats

I find the focus on code coverage to be spurious.

My former boss once mentioned that she had run a tool to check our codepath coverage and it was getting close to %100.

I observed that one of the bugs that had been reported recently was `if the user makes a box editable, all subsequently created shapes will default to the colour blue`.

"Do any of our tests actually check that the default color is unchanged?"

We concluded that they did not.

Code coverage is useful as a tool for making sure you don't crash. It's not at all helpful for making sure that your code does what you expect; your `verification coverage` so to speak.

nintendoeats

Re: 1970's

Unfortunately there are still people who need convincing.

Robot mistakes man for box of peppers, kills him

nintendoeats

Re: You think it was just another isolated incident....?

They're playing the long game; plotting to kill you.

nintendoeats

Re: Enquiry or hearing of any kind?

Humans are flimsy.

Don't fear the Thread Reaper, a Windows ghost of bugs past

nintendoeats

Right, but I want to know...WHO!?

nintendoeats

That's interesting. Now can we get an explanation from Microsoft for this one please?

#define AF_UNKNOWN1 20 // Somebody is using this!

Atlassian predicts its on-prem products will grow faster than cloud

nintendoeats

Re: No!? Yes! Ohhh!

I have 3 plugseconds of trust :p

nintendoeats

Re: No!? Yes! Ohhh!

On average, how much I trust a computer is proportional to how quickly I can unplug it.

Arm grabs a slice of Raspberry Pi to sweeten relationship with IoT devs

nintendoeats

...critical to driving the adoption of high-performance IoT devices globally...

Why would we want to do that?

More X subscription tiers could spell doom for free access as biz bleeds cash

nintendoeats

Re: Free speech.

I think "Free Speech Absolutist" here refers to the philosophical concept of free speech, whereas you are referring to the right to free speech as it is codified in the US constitution.

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