* Posts by MrXonTR

20 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Mar 2022

AI coding is 'inescapable' and here to stay, says GitLab


What goes around...

Is there yet an AI for filling out surveys so we don't have to? Accuracy is not required as the results are largely meaningless anyway.

From browser brat to backend boss: Will WASM win the web wars?

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Re: Welcome back Java promise!!!

The big promise of Java was "write once, run anywhere" but it implied "compile once" because apparently compiling for different targets it just too hard dammit! But it isn't that hard really and fully compiled programs haven't gone away and Java was always a runner up to C++. WASM itself is pretty much a niche on the web since most apps don't need it and WASI will probably remain niche too.

Cruise self-driving taxi gets wheels stuck in wet cement


Re: Well...

The description of the concrete incident reminds of the principle of fail-safe, on perhaps the lack of it. Instead of assuming a road is a road until you see specific signs like a red "STOP" one, you assume that nothing is a road until proven otherwise. Is it flat but wet? Either not a road or a dangerously slippy road. Is it wet and raining? Then probably acceptable to ignore the previous condition but slow down anyway.

The "10 car pile up" was actually "backed up" because this was fail-safe. There wasn't enough bandwidth and so the cars chose to not risk it. Although I am confused what they need all that bandwidth for. Are they streaming video to a dark room full of preteens trying to score 1000 points for hitting a pedestrian? (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0105629/)

Free Wednesday gift for you lucky lot: Extra mouse button!


Another Linux trick

Most terminals allow Shift+Insert to work the same as middle button pasting, but falls back to clipboard pasting if nothing is selected. This is great if you forget that Ctrl+V doesn't paste but Ctrl+Shift+V does, and that's an acrobatic combination to press. And unlike graphical interfaces, terminals don't combine selection and insertion points so you can select in one place and paste somewhere else in the same window in more or less one operation. In addition to double-clicking to select a word there is also triple-clicking to select a line, so now you can copy and paste an entire line with the mouse in vim without having to learn the unholy key combinations that it insists on.

Electric two-wheelers are set to scoot past EVs in road race


Re: Yet more data grabbing

Mobile phones with preinstalled trackers tend to be cheaper because the data snakes effectively subsidise production. The cheapest phone tends to be most popular. It's clearly a winning strategy for Samsung. Now imagine using the same tactic to introduce a new class of vehicle to developing countries, all that creepy stalking could be a net positive, for the Earth that is.

China crisis is a TikToking time bomb


Better the devil you know?

(Whataboutism follows)

All of our tech titans are provably collecting way more personal information across the board. And yet this isn't spying because those are not the government. The article stokes the reader's fear that "they" are up to no good which is anti-foreigner rhetoric. Citizens and companies are grouped in the same clause which subconsciously links companies to "us". This is classic fear mongering tactics. What the article fails to mention is what measurable harm is done, instead it is assumed that letting others have control is implicitly wrong. Is that true for you, dear reader?

We read OpenAI's risk study. GPT-4 is not toxic ... if you add enough bleach


"That was the actual response to a prompt entered into ChatGPT"

Yeah, but how many attempts did it take until you found one you liked?

What's up with IT, Doc? Rabbit hole reveals cause of outage


Re: un-neutered male

Once a tom cat has learnt to spray things he'll generally never stop even after surgery. It's best to get 'em young.

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


At my old school the science teachers had a long running gag of sending the troublesome kids on errands. On one memorable occasion a lad was sent to the lab tech to receive a "long stand" and returned briefly with a very tall lab support stand. Mrs Hutchinson (best lab tech ever) had been waiting for this opportunity and had placed it just inside the door.

Elon Musk jettisons Twitter leadership, says takeover was 'to try to help humanity'


A town square...

...reminds me of bonfire nights. And here we'll hang around waiting for it go bang, in supposed remembrance of a failed attempt to overthrow the government by a small angry group who didn't like the way democracy was going for them. Maybe in the future we'll burn Elon effigies around this time of the year. Penny for the Musk guv'na?

A match made in heaven: systemd comes to Windows Subsystem for Linux


Nonono the worst thing that SystemD did to Linux, was to make it more like Windows. If only SystemD would move over to Windows completely it would be like the perfect pairing and I, for one, would be very happy for them. That is they would be happily living OVER THERE and I would be happily living OVER HERE.

Firefox 105 is here, and it's faster and more memory-frugal


Re: Vertical Tabs

Strange that Liam chose to recommend the barely known Vertical Tabs extension instead of the much more popular, tried and tested, and refined Tree Style Tabs (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/addon/tree-style-tab/). It's as if he doesn't use what he promotes and only copied the top result for "vertical".

Chinese researchers make car glide 35mm above ground in maglev test


My favourite 'tube

Professor Eric Laithwaite: Magnetic River 1975


Boris Johnson set to step down with tech legacy in tatters


More tech

The article misses an opportunity to point out that OneWeb acquisition is doomed as well.

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants


I'll take the bait

Using Chernobyl as an indicator of danger is the wrong argument to make. So far there have been 78 recorded deaths.


A greater number of people have died from mishandling of radiotherapy and x-ray machines. This should be much scarier than nuclear power plants because people are closer to these things on a daily basis.

However those few hundred losses pale in the face of renewable energy. One event at a hydroelectric dam can kill up to hundreds of thousands at once!


Even that is grossly overshadowed by fossil fuels which are responsible for 8.7 megadeaths per year (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/news/2021/feb/fossil-fuel-air-pollution-responsible-1-5-deaths-worldwide). That's not a one-off like a Chernobyl disaster, it's every single year. And it's getting worse because despite all the evidence global use is still growing.



Your pathetic fear mongering won't work here. The real obstacle to Nuclear power is it's huge up front cost. Try using that to deter people instead.

Europe twists YouTube's arm to get better cookie consent popups


Re: This is how I browse a webpage these days

A new trend these days seems to be popping up a 'helpful reminder' when either mouse cursor or keyboard focus leaves the browser window. Typically it pushes either a newsletter subscription or a chat bot. Both are more reasons to quickly leave that sort of website.


Cookie banners should die

Cookie banners are a consequence of GDPR's loophole which is an EU-only thing but it ruins the web for everyone. Ruin is too strong a word, online advertising and tracking were already terrible, this just makes it a bit worse. NoScript hides the most annoying adverts and popups and banners but that's only a surface level change, besides too many websites now rely on JavaScript (most shouldn't need to but that's another rant for another day). Cookies are not the only means of tracking us and offering "Accept All" and "Reject All" buttons is a false dichotomy and that feeds people a false sense of security. Perhaps it's time to acknowledge the law isn't working? If GDPR were repealed then advertisers would run wild, people would complain and that justifies a stricter law which says "no one may track users for any reason, advertising must be based on context only".

Currently my personal preference is to make incognito or private browsing the default (change the .desktop files to "chromium --incognito" or "firefox --private-window") and now it doesn't matter which banner button gets clicked as the end result is the same. The only time I open a "normal" browser is for the 3 or 4 websites I actually need to be logged in to. And The Register is not one of those, sorry Reg.

An early crack at network management with an unfortunate logfile


This one's unintentional

Just as how SQL is spoken like "sequel", TCL is often spoken like "tickle". A common script file might be "test.tcl".

An open-source COBOL contender emerges


Re: How did it come to this? - Draft standard

That's something I also wonder... but you can access the draft standards, which is effectively the "standard documentation of the language" at https://isotc.iso.org/livelink/livelink?func=ll&objId=19468956


Re: Nostalgia

You likely don't want your ATM be run on an emulator - much less the background processing that is done in batch for thousands of transactions. You want speed and reliability, no bad emulator.