* Posts by theOtherJT

203 posts • joined 6 Jun 2013

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Jeep breach: Scared? You should be, it could be you next

theOtherJT
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CAN bus? Do. Not. Want.

Yet another reason for me to stick to driving old cars / bikes.

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Neat but narky at times: Pebble Time colour e-paper watch

theOtherJT
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Yeah, but see, he thought "Why would any one want a computer, they don't do anything normal people would ever do."

I'm looking at this thing and thinking "Why would I want this, it only does a small subset of things that I can _already_ do, and it does them less well than the thing I already use to do them."

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Contactless card fraud? Easy. All you need is an off-the-shelf scanner

theOtherJT
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Re: Attack of the clones

Possibly we're misunderstanding one another here, sugarbear*

I'm not worried that someone is going to wirelessly snoop my card. I'm worried that someone is going to clone my card by other means - as actually happened to me a few years back - and it's going to be basically impossible for me to prove to my bank that I'm not the one ringing up the massive bar tab.

Maybe they'll be kind and refund me anyway - but that wasn't my experience last time. It was a bit of a pain.

What you seem to be saying is that the chip in the contactless ones is harder to copy than the one in the old chip-n-pin style ones, is that so?

* last time, I promise, but your handle is cute and makes me smile every time I say it!

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theOtherJT
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Re: Attack of the clones

Ok, sugerbear*

So, I borrow your contactless card in the pub and go get your round in for you. I don't need your pin, I don't need your address, I just press the card against the reader the nice barman points at me, and I paid for some beers with your card. Job done. Beers for the both of us.

Now lets say I take your card without asking. I can still do this. You'll get wise pretty soon, because you'll notice your card is missing and cancel it, but I have at least that long to enjoy tasty, tasty beers on you.

If in that time I can successfully clone your card and get it back to you so you don't know I've got a copy - A thing we know to be possible because it happens already - then I can keep paying for things with it as long as I never go over £20 and the place I'm buying from supports tap-to-pay, right up to the point your next bank statement rocks up and you notice that you've been spending an awful lot more time in the pub than is plausible for someone earning an honest living.

So, sugearbear**, at what point do I need to start predicting numbers in this scenario?

* This was worth it just to say that...

** Still funny.

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theOtherJT
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Attack of the clones

Ok, you're going to struggle to buy thousands of pounds worth of goods with this - but surely the real way to abuse this system is with a cloned card and just keep paying for little things? Keep a stack of them and never pay for your tube journey again. Never pay for your petrol again (only fill up 1/4 of a tank at a time). Never pay for your round in the pub again... That's what has always really worried me about this contactless thing. Just because it's a small amount of money per transaction doesn't mean someone couldn't systematically steal a lot from you before your next bank statement arrives - I mean, who actually checks theirs daily to make sure it all lines up?

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An EPIC picture of Earth, sunny side up, from one MEEELLION miles out

theOtherJT
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If you're interested...

High res picture

Pretty amazing to think this was taken from a million miles out.

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Apple Watch is such a flop it's the world's top-selling wearable

theOtherJT
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Solution in search of a problem

All "smart" watches are, as far as I can see. If they worked as a total replacement for your phone then perhaps just perhaps they would be more convenient than carrying that around, but they don't. Even in the rare cases where the android ones can be used to make phone calls, the inherent limitations of the screen size makes them a bloody pain to use.

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The roots go deep: Kill Adobe Flash, kill it everywhere, bod says

theOtherJT
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User pushback

I'm sure part of the problem here is the users. Don't get me wrong, Flash is an open wound, but it's only installed on any of my machines because of the incessant braying from office staff if I take it away from them. Some of those staff out rank me and I have to comply, but nothing here NEEDS the bloody thing.

We're going to struggle to make this go away until we can properly educate people about what a terrible idea it is having it in the first place. Sadly it's not people like you and me who get to chose if we run it or not. We _know_ how bad it is. We need to do a better job of getting that message over to everyone else.

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Reddit CEO U-turn: Site no longer a bastion of free speech – and stop posting so much hate

theOtherJT
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Head -> Sand.

I still maintain that there's nothing to be gained by pretending that opinions, no matter if you find them repulsive, don't exist. I don't want to be part of a society that says "You may not think this". I'd like to be part of one that says "You should not think this" and that's a very different thing.

If everyone is doing their jobs right - and I do mean _everyone_ from the politicians to the teachers to the parents to the friends and neighbours - then this sort of thing goes away on its own. I see these sorts of subreddits as a sort of social barometer. You can measure our success as a society by what is in them and how many people agree with it.

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Bloodthirsty Microsoft prepares for imminent 'major' job cuts

theOtherJT
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Re: Perhaps this is to disguise some other bad news?

It's not the steaming turd W8/W8.1 was nor is it as vomit inducing as Server 2012.

In principle, probably not, but in execution it's looking scarily like it might actually be worse. Instead of a Moskvitch built like a Bentley*, it looks like we might be getting a Bentley built like a Moskvitch. All good stuff in theory, but bits keep falling off and breaking all the time.

*Although their track record on build quality isn't exactly perfect...

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KILLER! Adobe Flash, Windows zero-day vulns leak from Hacking Team raid

theOtherJT
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Re: "Ask to Activate"

Which every single one of my Windows users would just immediately click "OK" to because they get a million pop up windows a day during the normal functioning of their Windows machines, so have just gotten used to that being a thing they do :(

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

theOtherJT
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This start menu... thing...

The more I think about it, the more I think this is actually a mistake that happened a long time ago and we're just perpetuating it.

I mean, what is the start menu, really? It's an application launcher. A way to start programs. I used to do that by navigating to the place in the filesystem where the program was and typing "programname.exe"

That was a bit tiresome, so I started putting .bat files in one "run" directory that had full paths in them to launch all my programs from there.

Then we got a gui, and shortcuts and a start menu that was basically just that directory full of bat files. That was fine. It solved a problem I had - how to get to programs quickly.

Then, somewhere, something went terribly wrong and the "Start menu" acquired a life of it's own. It suddenly started trying to do things OTHER than start programs. It would appear to still be doing it.

Let's face it, Microsoft, I start a program in your desktop metaphor by clicking on it. All I want from a start menu is a convenient list of things to click on. Can I please, PLEASE just have that back?

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150,000 angry Redditors demand Chairman Pao's head on a spike

theOtherJT
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Re: Really?

I will. /r/sysadmin, /r/linux and /r/drupal have been pretty helpful to me over the last few years.

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theOtherJT
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Point. Missed.

Ms. Pao says that the most virulent detractors on the site are a vocal minority, and that the vast majority of Reddit users are uninterested in what unfolded over the past 48 hours.

Of course. That's totally true. Reddit has millions of users and probably 99% of them are simple consumers who have never posted anything, and probably never will.

This is totally beside the point because without the 1% who do post things - and given how vocal they've gotten, it really does look like they DO care about what has happened in the last 48 hours - then there's no content posted for that 99% to consume, at which point they will leave and it'll all be over.

Don't. Provoke. The. OPs.

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Awoogah: Get ready to patch 'severe' bug in OpenSSL this Thursday

theOtherJT
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Somewhere between terror and joy

It's wonderful to watch these patches rolling in now. Ever since heartbleed the patch train seems to have been unstoppable. People are finally looking at OpenSSL with a properly critical eye and fixing it.

On the other hand... we've all been using this thing in this state for YEARS. I clench up a bit every time a patch is announced in case it's another scary one.

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Wanna go all Gandalf – YOU SHALL NOT PASS – on Windows 10?

theOtherJT
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Re: OK, but is this really relevant?

Probably 99% Linux and a handful of Macs. This is pretty similar to where I am. Large academic institution that provides desktops for scientific computing (which basically means Linux or you spend the rest of time fighting with cygwin) and then a few Windows boxen for the admin staff who are stuck with centrally mandated java apps that only run under IE, and a similar number of Macs for the senior management you can't say "Fuck off, you'll use the standard template desktop like everyone else" to.

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Microsoft rushes out latest Windows 10 build. 300 fixes? Pff, whatever

theOtherJT
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Re: Press start, type network connections

NO! God damn it NO!

How many times do we have to hit UI developers with a CP/M manual before they get this one? If I have to type something into a GUI to find the thing I want they have FAILED at their job. I can type for convenience. I can type for speed. But the GUI is there to be DISCOVERABLE. I need to be able to find things when I don't know what they're called or where they live.

If I don't know where a thing is and have to resort to pointing and clicking around to find it, then the success of the design can be directly measured in the number of interactions I have to make * time each one takes where the lower the final number the better.

You can really cock this up in two ways:

The "Windows 2000 server" way: Have one page, but it's got 20,000 options on it. I'll get lost scrolling around in there trying to find the damn thing I'm looking for. I find it eventually but it takes too damn long.

The "Windows 8.x" way: Click through 20 pages with only 2 options on each having to constantly branch and double back. I'll probably assume I'm going the wrong way and give up before I find what I want.

There is an optimum balance for this - I reckon MS were closing in on it as they moved from NT3 toward XP, but have been moving away from it again ever since vista.

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Linux Mint 17.2: If only all penguinista desktops were done this way

theOtherJT
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re: It looks a lot like Windows XP.

Yes. And That's a good thing. XP was pretty usable. I mean, it was a horrible bloated undead corpse under the hood, but the bit the faced the user was pretty easy to understand, and now we've had 15 years of XP to get good and used to it, it's _really_ easy to understand.

TBH this is pretty much exactly what I want from my OS. Reliable *nixy underbelly, simple functional UI... which I guess is why I already run Mint 16 on my laptop, and will probably be upgrading to this pretty soon.

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Crowdfunded beg-a-thon to bail out Greece raises 0.003% of target

theOtherJT
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Per head of population....

There's ballpark 500,000,000 people in the EU, right? Which means every single one of them would have to throw Greece about €500 to pay this down.

Put another way, Greece has somehow managed to run up a debt of about €21,000 per head of it's 11ish million population?

I'll freely admit I'm not any sort of economist, but I don't see how they're going to convince anyone that that's a good value proposition there.

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LG's six-sided battery to take smart watches into new timezones

theOtherJT
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Wasted space

I'm still waiting for someone to work out that they can put the battery in the strap. Most watches I've owned the strap was a series of linked flat pieces of metal anyway.

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Will a datacentre be driving your car in 12 years' time?

theOtherJT
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Cold. Dead. Body.

Over my, etc.

I've done the whole commuter stop-start hour of hell thing, and I can see why you might want your car to do that for you, but even if it did nothing would convince me to move back outside of the city and do go through that waste of time again every week day.

I _like_ driving. I live in the middle of Oxford for gods sake, and you'd have to be certifiably insane to choose to drive around here as a means of getting from point to point. That's not why I do it. I own a car and 2 motorbikes for the purpose of going places far away and enjoying the process. Pick the one most appropriate to the prevailing weather. Sometimes I just go get lost in the back-roads for an afternoon because it's fun.

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Pint-sized PCIe powerhouse: Intel NUC5i5RYK

theOtherJT
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Re: Stackables.

None of which provide enough lanes to put something that needs real bandwidth on. A 16x slot would.

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theOtherJT
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Stackables.

Anyone remember how the SNES used to have a socket on the bottom for stacking peripherals with?

As soon as I saw these back in 2012 I thought "Yeah, that's cute, but what they need is a PCIe socket on the bottom and a bunch of stackable expansion modules.

Imagine buying one of the low end ones and then stacking it on top of a quadruple height box that's full of 2.5" hotswap bays. Awesome little all purpose server. Or a high end i7 one and stack it with a proper GPU.

I still think these are quite nice, but being able to do THAT is what would make me actually buy one (or indeed several)

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Cops turn Download Festival into an ORWELLIAN SPY PARADISE

theOtherJT
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Kinda glad I couldn't get the time off work now.

I usually go to Download, and was seriously thinking about going this year. This is, however, the first I've heard of this RFID system, and I would _not_ have been happy having it dropped on me at the gate when I arrived.

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Scientists love MacBooks (true) – but what about you?

theOtherJT
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Perhaps they have a media relations department?

Ours makes us hide the dell's and break out the macbooks whenever we have a photographer or a TV crew in. They think it makes us look "hip" apparently.

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Women are fleeing from the digital sector, reckons UK.gov report

theOtherJT
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Risky thing to say as a man, I know but...

Could it be that this isn't actually a problem?

I mean, if there are lines out the door of recruiting offices around the world where capable women are being rejected in favour of less capable men, then yes - that's clearly a serious problem - but we have been hiring quite a bit over the last couple of years and so far out of about 100 people who've applied, only 5 have been women.

I know it's not a popular viewpoint and everything, but perhaps women - on average - just don't find our industry appealing? I wouldn't be very surprised. I mean even I don't find our industry appealing, and if I'd had a better idea what I was getting into earlier on, I probably would have quit whilst there was still time and retrained as something else.

I mean, let me paint you a picture here, and lets see if it resonates with any of you:

I spend most of my time in isolation in a dark, noisy, overly hot office, on my own, staring into the abyss of a cheap TFT which gives me headaches if I forget to take my half hourly breaks. I rarely see the other staff I work with, although it feels more like "for" because when I do see them it's only ever because something is broken - in which case I'm already working on it and I want them to go away - or because they have somehow managed to raise ignorance about IT to a fine art, and brandish it about like a shield preventing them from having to take any responsibility for "losing" important emails or documents about once a week.

Neither way are they making my working life better by turning up in my office and talking to me. I don't _like_ interacting with my co-workers. But then I don't like interacting with people much in general. Being an irritable anti-social bastard isn't a uniquely male trait I know, but you gotta admit you meet more of them than women who feel the same.

Oh, and then there's this:

http://www.stilldrinking.org/programming-sucks

Seriously, is there anyone here who _doesn't_ feel that's what it's like? With the camel. Anyone? We're not crazy. We're being _driven_ crazy.

If women are actively avoiding IT, perhaps the problem isn't the way IT treats women. Perhaps it's the way it treats _everyone_ and most women are just either smart enough not to put themselves through this, or not prepared to put up with it in exchange for a life where you don't have to wear a suit or talk to people much.

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RealSense possibilities: Dell Venue 8 7000 8.4in Android tablet

theOtherJT
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I hate to be "that guy" but...

"2560x166-pixel " ?

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Warm up the Mega Buster: Next-gen consoles to reboot Mega Man series

theOtherJT
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That music...

...is making me teary eyed with nostalgia!

So many Sunday afternoons sugared up to the eyeballs screaming with frustration at that game.

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It's 2015 and hackers can hijack your Windows PC if you watch a web video

theOtherJT
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Time to reboot the terminal services machine again...

I hate patch Tuesday. The "You need to save everything and log off" email went out to the dozen or so people who like to use the terminal services machine and *NEVER LOG OFF* about an hour ago and we're already getting the "You MUST postpone this reboot I have important work to do!" mails back.

No. It's rebooting at 6pm this evening. Live with it. It's patch Tuesday, you all know how this goes by now.

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A pause in global warming? Pah, FOOLS. There was NO PAUSE

theOtherJT
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Pint

This is why we can't have nice things!

...or reasoned discussion, apparently. Always so much easier to adjust numbers to support institutional dogma* than do real science. Screw it. Friday. I'm going for a...

*Pick your institute to decide which way the numbers should be "adjusted"

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Chips of the world, Unite: Intel bakes Iris Pro gfx into new Xeon

theOtherJT
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Fine. As long as they don't force it on the rest of the range.

I'm still annoyed that I can't buy a mid-range desktop chip without an integrated GPU. I don't want or need an integrated GPU, and I sure as hell wouldn't want one in any of my servers. I can see the use case for this, but in the absence of serious competition from AMD Intel has a bit of form recently for pushing their GPUs into places they're really not wanted.

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There's data in your dashboard, so liberate it from Big Auto's grasp

theOtherJT
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Anyone else like the old way better?

Every problem I've ever had with every car I've ever owned has been electronic. I've spent the entire of this week off the road because my motorbike decided that it had been stolen and immobilized itself, despite the fact that mechanically it was fine.

I know, I know it's "Progress" and I am fond of things like traction control... when they work... but I'm more and more tempted to give them up in exchange for an engine I can fix with a tool roll small enough to fit in the glove box.

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UK.gov confirms it's binned extended Windows XP support

theOtherJT
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Translation:

"We're desperately broke because the government is committed to impossible spending cuts, so we just revoked everyone's IT support budget for all cases where the budget isn't being used to support a white elephant project run by a close friend or relation of a cabinet minister."

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Celebrating 20 years of juicy Java. Just don’t mention Android

theOtherJT
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Re: RE: Just in his mind I think

"No, this is still a very common use case for java, especially at the enterprise level. What are the alternatives? A bespoke app for each platfrom?"

The problem is that 90% of the time that is what you end up with anyway - or worse just a list of "supported" platforms that basically boils down to "IE on Windows 7 or below" because supposedly enterprise java apps are always godawful activex tie-ins that only work on one particularly outdated version of Java on ancient versions of Internet Explorer.

Java should be cross platform, sure, but if it actually _was_ then we wouldn't all be so desperate to be rid of it.

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Rand Paul stages Senate filibuster against Patriot Act

theOtherJT
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Re: Opposition Theatre?

Yeah, I know it's going to be hard but... 15 minutes? It's not like he wouldn't have been keeping time. It's not like the people supporting him wouldn't have been keeping time. Surely once you're down to half an hour to go and look like you're flagging someone couldn't have stepped up with a 27 part question that took the next 29 and a half minutes to ask just to push it over the line.

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theOtherJT
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Opposition Theatre?

So, he managed 10 hours, but couldn't see out the last 15 minutes? That's... a bit suspicious to my mind. Smacks a little bit of "Hey, look I tried, it's not my fault it didn't work" when there was actually no intention for it to change anything.

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Stripped to the core and full of Xfce: Xubuntu Linux loses it

theOtherJT
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Re: Lubuntu...

I don't get why you need a GUI for software installs? Seriously, I don't get the point of them?

Because they're discoverable. This is basically the entire point of a GUI, and one that strangely people who should know better seem to have forgotten.*

Think back to the Bad Old Days when there was no GUI. You're sat in front of a computer which has just turned on and gone "Boop" and now there's a cursor there... what to do? Well, you could try just typing random things in and hoping for the best, but that's pretty risky. Possibly you could spend a few hours trawling through the paper manual, assuming there was a paper manual.** Either way, this is pretty horrible.

With a gui you have a way of not only telling the system what you want, but you have a way for the system to tell YOU what IT has and what IT wants. This is immeasurably useful.

Now, obviously you want a good CLI too, if you're a power user or any kind of systems administrator (which I presume you personally are) because it's important to be able to make tasks repeatable and for that you need a scripting language of some kind. Bash, Powershell - I don't care which, just so long as it's there. Most people however are NOT power users or systems administrators and they not only don't _want_ a CLI, but they really shouldn't need one. If they do whoever designed the system has failed.

* See "Windows 8 and the magic disappearing tooltips" or "Ribbon interfaces for confusion and profit" to see just some ways of really cocking this up.

**You can't look it up on the internet, because it's 1984 and the internet doesn't exist yet.

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BARMY bio-boffins are growing DINOSAUR SNOUTS on CHICKENS

theOtherJT
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Re: It tastes just like chicken

The "5 minutes ago creation" may not be disprovable but it can be demonstrated to be extremely implausible, and without the need to bring theology into it.

Depends on the class in which the question was set I reckon.

If it was a theology class... well, frankly they're wasting your time. If it was a Philosophy of Science class the obvious rebuttal is to claim the the question is unfalsifiable and in accordance with Karl Popper's epistemology of scientific knowledge, is not scientific. As such the answer to the question is probably irrelevant outside of people's individual belief systems.

If you wanted to go further than that you could invoke logical positivism to claim that the sentence is literally meaningless - although logical positivism isn't exactly popular and has plenty of issues of its own.

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theOtherJT
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Re: Geese Speculating....

I'm pretty sure that's how the question arose in the first place ;)

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theOtherJT
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Myself and a few mates have had a long running bit of speculation regarding geese that we've never really been brave enough to test, namely: If you run screaming at a flock of them, do they scatter like pigeons, or attack like small dinosaurs?

Looks like a new challenger has entered the ring...

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For its next trick, Microsoft diminishes the iPad with just a driver

theOtherJT
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I quite like the surface tablets, but I still find it funny that the thing that really sets them apart for most people is the fact that they can be sat on a desk so the cover acts like a keyboard and the screen is at an angle suitable for viewing whilst sat down, thus making them far more useful.

...I'm sure I remember another class of product that did that.

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You say you want a musical revolution. Actually, have three

theOtherJT
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s/saved/ruined

"A lot of hair metal and stadium rock, like Bon Jovi and Bruce Spingsteen, came into the charts, and they had a bigger share of the overall charts," Mauch added. "But then rap and hip-hop came in. I think hip-hop saved the charts."

...but then again I grounded out on the late 80s at some point and am still stubbornly trying to pretend that there's no such thing as "Dubstep"

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Flash banishes the spectre of the unrecoverable data error

theOtherJT
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@ Dr. Mouse:

Depends on your data if that's a bad thing or not I suppose. We throw a few hundred gig a day through some medium sized ZFS arrays (few tens of T) and it's mostly output from big scientific calculations and it really is imperative that it's _accurate_ more than it isn't lost. If we lose it, we can run the calculation again. If it's written but it's _wrong_ that could cause far more problems (Which is why we chose ZFS in the first place)

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theOtherJT
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Re: Hold on a second...

Unless you are running a full-stack solution like ZFS it won't be trivial to even find out which file's block was occupying the block that failed to scrub out.

Which is why you'd be insane not to imo. I've had ZFS arrays survive things they really had no right to. It's impressively difficult to kill.

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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

theOtherJT
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

So did you file a bug against PulseAudio?

Hard to argue it's a bug. I would say it's "working as designed". My problem is that the design is... short sighted, at best.

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theOtherJT
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

It isn't an independent system. systemd is the thing that starts everything else in userland.

But it should be an independent system. Why is the PAM doing the creation of a directory that downstream services have an implicit dependency on? pam_systemd is an authentication module. That's all it should be doing. Authenticating. For my audio system to start I should not have to rely on a specific form of auth to have happened. Those are not related systems!

And anyway, systemd isn't the thing that's starting everything in userland. I'm using 14.04 and still using upstart, so for pulseaudio to have a dependency on pam_systemd really isn't on.

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theOtherJT
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

Your argument falls on its face with the fact that systemd isn't "shite".

I think you've rather missed the point. The argument is that it doesn't matter if it's "shite" or not - I wouldn't know, I've been avoiding it so far because it means massive sweeping changes to large parts of my systems - even if it were genuinely gods gift to init the fact is that it has its claws in so many other things that it's really hard to remove if you have reason to.

Simple example: pam_systemd

Without pam_systemd /var/run/user/$UID isn't created at login. Without /var/run/user/$UID pulseaudio doesn't start.

I recently had reason to write a custom pam, and whilst looking through the list of things that I needed to call to get a GUI, pam_systemd stood out like a sore thumb, because I'm not using systemd, I'm still on upstart. So I removed it. At which point pulseaudio packed up.

That's not a good way for supposedly independent systems to behave.

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theOtherJT
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Re: "now that it's well into Debian, Ubuntu really has no choice"

From the people that brought you pulseaudio, another clusterfuck that will hold us back for years.

I only just had my first run in with pulseaudio, and if that's any way indicative of the experience I'm about to have with systemd I'm quite worried.

In this case it was stupidly aggressive restarting. Pulse creates some files in /var/run/user/$UID/pulse. Fine, perfectly sensible place for them. But should that directory have messed up permissions, or not exist for some reason it doesn't throw an error and give up, it just keeps respawning forever whilst spamming syslog with dozens of "permission denied" errors per second.

Yes, I know you can turn autospawn off in the config file, but this is not a sensible default behavior.

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

theOtherJT
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Dunno, have they fixed outlook?

Office hasn't really added anything worthwhile in over a decade. There is no need to upgrade.

Depends, I've not tested it yet, but it seems that outlook 2010 really doesn't like it when you get mailboxes in the 5+ Gb area.

Nice as it would be to tell people to just "Stop leaving everything in your damn mailbox!" they're going to do it anyway because the zimbra webapp is just fine with that.

What makes it funny is that somehow the fact that Outlook crashes all the time with their enormous mailbox is clearly zimbra's fault, not Outlooks... but that's office staff for you.

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Facebook serves up shaved, pierced, tattooed 'butterfly' as CAPTCHA

theOtherJT
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Re: ???

People who aren't used to bodymods can get a bit worked up about such things. Leave them to snigger and make faces for a bit, they'll get over it.

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