* Posts by Ilsa Loving

476 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007

Page:

Microsoft doc formats are the bane of office suites on Linux, SoftMaker's Office 2021 beta may have a solution

Ilsa Loving

Thank Microsoft

You can thank Microsoft for that.

You can't even trust Office to read its own files properly from one version to the next. I read way back when that office doesn't even have file formats per se. They're more like hibernate files for their memory structures, which makes compatibility damned near impossible.

Even their OpenXML formats are a lie. They're basically just some XML that wraps those same hibernation entities.

I got 99 problems but a switch() ain't one: Java SE 13 lands with various tweaks as per Oracle's less-is-more strategy

Ilsa Loving

Re: But it should be

Except they're *not* LTS. They just hang around slightly longer than the squirrel-on-methamphetamines schedule that the devs would prefer. Until Windows 10, windows lifetimes were about a decade. As the article mentions, C++ is only updated once every 3 years. Many linux distros LTS releases go 5 years.

The problem here is a matter of attitude. The newer generation is composed of devs for whom ADHD is considered a goal to strive for. They think it's entirely reasonable to do a complete rewrite of whatever they've done, because the framework they used is now a week old and is now boring.

Meanwhile those of us who have real jobs that require us to not dick around, are getting completely crushed by the overwhelming churn because there are simply no resources available to keep up.

Applications updating frequently is one thing. They need to adapt to changing user needs, and yes, those can change wildly. But IT Infrastructure? The exact opposite. People depend on infrastructure. People's *lives* depend on infrastructure. Their *money* depends on infrastructure. Infrastructure, and by extension, things like programming languages, MUST be stable. This isn't a philosophical viewpoint. This is hard and gritty reality, which anyone who has done IT work for more than a few years will have learned.

All you need to do is look at the most long-term successful technologies and you see one very common factor: They are stable. The HTTP protocol is a perfect example. Do people honestly think the web would exist as it currently does, if people made major changes to the HTTP protocol every 6-weeks to 6 months? No, it wouldn't. And until people start remembering this lesson, we are headed into a technological dark ages where entire technology stacks will be invented, implemented, and dropped again without so much as leaving a footprint in history (except maybe as a bad idea).

Wake me up before you Gogo ... so I can jump out: Kenyan MP takes on aeroplane flatulence

Ilsa Loving

Not airline related but...

This isn't flight related but.... *thousand km stare* There was... the incident.

When I was young, we were visiting some family members in their apartment, which was near the top floor of the building. We needed to go out, maybe to the store, I can't recall anymore. I get into the elevator with one of said family members and as we start to descend, the trigger release was heard. A reasonably impressive guttural warble that would make any giggle.

But the humour quickly turned into shock and dismay as the aroma reached our nostrils. The dismay led to barely controlled panic as the smell, somehow, just kept getting _worse_. It was as if a portal to the most fearsome depths of hell had erupted in his lower colon. We couldn't laugh at the absurdity of it all, because that required breathing, and we were now desperately holding our breaths and wiping the tears from our eyes as we watched the floor indicator with the intensity of a sniper waiting to take a history-making kill shot.

Finally, we reached the ground floor and we charged through the barely open doors, gasping for sweet, sweet air. To the sizable crowd waiting for us to get out, it probably looked like we were stifling laughter from a really good joke. If only they knew. We watched in horrific fascination as they all piled into the elevator to go to their respective destinations. When the doors closed, we gave silent wishes of good luck and godspeed as we began walking to the building entrace to continue our day. That's when we heard a sound and looked back to see the elevator doors open again. The entire group desperately ran out of the elevator, coughing, choking and very very nauseous. One of them manages to wheeze, "Jesus Christ somebody died in there!".

We ran out the door before the angry mob could turn on us, laughing that hysterical laughter of someone whose just survived a death-defying event.

FTC fines Facebook $5bn for making users believe they actually had control over their data

Ilsa Loving

Not enough

Facebook squirreled away funds for this exact situation. They *anticipated* that this would happened. That means this is nothing more than the 'cost of doing business'.

In addition, based on their performance in the past with companies like Microsoft, I have zero faith that these supposed measures will accomplish anything of value. Facebook will pay lipservice to the FTC and carry on as before.

Rust in peace: Memory bugs in C and C++ code cause security issues so Microsoft is considering alternatives once again

Ilsa Loving

Re: Eh?

>The idea behind languages like rust is you accept that mistakes happen and any performance hit you take is a worthwhile tradeoff for less debugging and reduce risk of these catastrophic bugs.

I disagree with that comment because it feels like you're mischaracterizing what Rust is trying to accomplish. Maybe I am just misunderstanding what you are trying to say. The philosophy behind Rust is that, by the old way of doing things, all these mistakes are guaranteed to happen due to lack of compiler-level enforcement of resources.

Rust is a functional language with one very very key feature: variables have ownership. Assign the value of one variable to another, and the old variable can't use it anymore.

eg (in pseudocode):

a=5

b=a

print b \\ get 5

print a \\ compiler error because a gave up ownership of its value

That one single concept creates a language that entire classes of programmer errors impossible to perform, because if you make a mistake the compiler itself will detect it. This also makes the resulting binaries faster because the code has been proven proper at compile time and so a variety of runtime checks are no longer needed.

The downside is that the average programmer will have a brief but steep learning curve because they will need to completely rethink how they approach most problems. But IMO the benefits to long term code viability are just so utterly overwhelming that it's worth the effort.

Also, Rust is inter-operable with C so libraries from one can be used in the other

Who said 3 was the magic number? Microsoft previews new Azure SDK in 4 programming languages

Ilsa Loving

"Learning"

Of course they're "learning" how to deal with this. After all, Microsoft has only been in this business for 4 freaking decades, and are directly responsible for the term "DLL Hell" being invented in the first place.

But yes, Microsoft, please go on about your complete inability to learn from your own recent history which could have avoided this entire problem in the first place.

Microsoft tells resellers: 'We listened to you, and we have acted' (PS: Plz keep making us money)

Ilsa Loving

Depending on what you're using them for, a turnkey linux distro, like ClearOS, might be an option.

Court drama: Did Oracle bully its customers into the cloud? Nine insiders to blow the whistle

Ilsa Loving

Re: Do you HAVE to use Oracle?

While I haven't used it (so I can't vouch for it's effectiveness), EnterpriseDB (the commercial version of postgres) has an Oracle compatibility kit that can run PLSQL, etc, as is.

So theoretically you can move to postgres with minimal effort.

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences

Ilsa Loving

Re: Disgusting

> and a certain segment of our market has been saying for a long time that we had the short end of the stick here and needed to change things

I would be far more sympathetic to that stance if it wasn't by their own design. The current conditions are exactly what US companies wanted in the first place, because it reduces their costs and they get to pocket the difference.

The fact that it's a long term negative due to less money being available locally is irrelevant. All that's important are those quarterlies.

Want a good Android smartphone without the $1,000+ price tag? Then buy Google's Pixel 3a

Ilsa Loving

Finally!

It's so nice that *somebody* finally realized that maybe people don't need crazy top of the line phones with pointless geewizbang features. I'll take good battery life over some idiotic animated poop emoji, without a second thought. Headphone jack? Yay! Not the best processor? Yay more battery life for me! It's not like I'm going to be playing games with top-tier graphics on my phone anyway.

The only thing missing from making this the perfect phone is an easily swappable battery. (Which is one of the reasons I don't pay fancy games)

Ilsa Loving

Easy answer

There's an easy answer for that. All of it. And no, not because the phone is inexpensive. It's cause it's Android. You think Google is going to slurp less data just cause your phone is $2000 vs $400? Nope!

Ilsa Loving

Re: Google to host videos ...

You seem to be confusing Google with other companies that follow the practice you described.

Google doesn't use excuses like a lower pricetag to slurp data. They're going to slurp your data regardless of how expensive your phone is.

BT Tower broadcasts error message to the nation as Windows displays admin's shame

Ilsa Loving

Or maybe...

Or maybe it was a matter of priorities? Having that screen is definitely visible, but it has zero operational impact to anything. It's purely marketing.

Assuming that BT techs were busy with real emergencies to deal with, I don't consider it at all an issue that it took them a day to look into it.

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

Ilsa Loving

Re: Have you ever ended up being roped into doing more tech support than you’d bargained for?

I have great difficulty mustering sympathy for Mac users, considering that it comes with Time Machine.

It is the single most intuitive backup system I have ever used. Hell, it even asks you "Do you want to use this for time machine?" when you plug a USB HDD in. The only way Apple could make it simpler is if they gave you a butler to plug the drive in for you.

Mayors having a right 'mare in Florida: Acting mayor arrested weeks after boss also arrested

Ilsa Loving

Re: "In politics stupidity is not a handicap."

It doesn't really qualify as "hold my beer" anymore when you're just passing it back and forth between each other.

Windows 10 1809 looks unlikely to overtake prior build before 19H1 lands

Ilsa Loving

Re: Apps...

So... pay 200% markup just for the privilege of not getting malware shoved down our throats, or we disable the "functionality" outright for free.

Hmm... decisions decisions.

You know a product is a failure when the only real selling point to their super expensive version is, "You get control back."

I'd rather use Apple. At least that way, only my wallet is getting f__ked over instead of my wallet, my time, my energy, and my sanity.

Cut open a tauntaun, this JEDI is frozen! US court halts lawsuit over biggest military cloud deal since the Death Star

Ilsa Loving

Re: Who feels sorry for Oracle? No Really

Yes, I'm sure abusive spouses all over, are relating very strongly right now.

Oof, are you sure? Facing $9bn damages, Google asks Supreme Court to hear Java spat

Ilsa Loving

Re: @Maelstorm ... Far reaching repercussions...

While your argument makes sense, that leads to another question: Where does the line get drawn?

Virtually everything is derived from previous stuff. Java itself has copied tons of library code from older languages like C.

Maybe Google created an alternate JVM out of whole cloth, mirroring the existing Java APIs. Big whoop. Java is not original either. It copied tons of syntax, libraries, etc, from languages before it, like C++.

I mean, what next? Is Oracle going to sue Microsoft because C# bears a lot of similarities to Java?

There is way too much mushy middle in this case that seriously threatens the entire computer industry.

Ilsa Loving

If Oracle wins...

If Oracle wins, then I hope Brian Kernighan and Dennis Ritchie sues Oracle for plagarizing C.

IBM to kill off Watson... Workspace from end of February

Ilsa Loving

Re: Sametime viable ?

I can only assume that you've never actually tried using anything else, or you wouldn't have said that.

Skype for Business (Or Lync, as it used to be called) is the single worst chat system I have ever used. It's shockingly unreliable, the licensing is pointlessly and unnecessarily confusing, and you can't even share your history between your devices.

The product is flat out appalling. The only reason it's even as popular as it is is because of Microsoft's marketing clout and their ability to bundle it with their other offerings.

$24m in fun bux stolen from crypto-mogul. Now he fires off huge fraud charge. Like, RICO, say?

Ilsa Loving

SMS MFA is horrible

SMS-based MFA is only better than no MFA at all, and should not be used for anything as important as finances.

Great, you've moved your website or app to HTTPS. How do you test it? Here's a tool to make local TLS certs painless

Ilsa Loving

Re: Lol arcane knowledge of memory management

And you know what? It really shows. Developers today have absolutely zero concept or concern about just how much memory they're wasting, which is why you end up with chat apps that require a gigabyte of memory to run.

Apple in another dust-up with its fans: iMacs, MacBooks lack filters, choke on grime – lawsuit

Ilsa Loving

Good

I say Apple needs way more lawsuits like this. They need to understand that there repercussions if they put out crap products.

Now if only the same could be done for software... *glares at Microsoft*.

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

Ilsa Loving

Re: I know it's unlikely

At our university we had a lab of xterms, and they were properly secured. However, sometimes people would walk away and leave their terminals unlocked. Occasionally someone would go there and add the necessary commands to disable security, and then when the victim came back and started working again, suddenly their cursor would get attacked by a large herd of kittens because someone fork-bombed neko on their terminal.

Fun times!

If at first or second you don't succeed, you may be Microsoft: Hold off installing re-released Windows Oct Update

Ilsa Loving

Re: Schadenfreude

I just bought a new gaming laptop with the intent of putting Linux on it.

So far not all the keyboard fn keys work (eg brightness). Not a biggie but annoying.

Optimus isn't working properly so until I figure out how to get Bumblebee (and maybe VirtualGL) working right. I have to log out every time I switch graphics chips.

HiDPI is mishandled by the majority of distros. I had to try several before I finally settled on Linux Mint Cinnamon. (And even then I need to play with env variables for certain apps)

Still trying to find decent equivalents of basic software like a PIM suite. The software landscape for business-quality apps on Linux is frustratingly barren. I did at least find a good quality PDF Viewer/Editor to replace Adobe: Qoppa PDF Studio. None of the usual suspects (Evince, etc) can handle a PDF form with embedded javascript.

So yeah, Linux has a long way to go before it can come close to being a viable alternative to Windows or Mac for the average person.

And to save time: No, there is no equivalent laptop with the desired specs, that is sold with Linux on it. If there had been, I would have bought it! The closest is the Oryx Pro from System76, but it's battery is nowhere near large enough.

Ilsa Loving

Re: Technical debt

You can thank the unbelievably stupid "move fast and break things" mentality that Facebook and other "modern" companies helped usher into the industry.

DXC: Everything is going to plan, too well in fact... we've chopped so many staff, our IT projects are now behind

Ilsa Loving

Dilbert

Apparently the DXC management didn't realize that Dilbert was satire, and instead used it as a guide.

We (may) now know the real reason for that IBM takeover. A distraction for Red Hat to axe KDE

Ilsa Loving

I don't understand...

Why do distributions gravitate to Gnome? Gnome was ok in the 2.x days, but since then it is complete garbage. The DE is so half-assed they should be ashamed of themselves. Evolution isn't fit for purpose. KDE and it's associated suite of applications is so overwhelmingly better (albeit possibly a little too complex for the average user) that it's not even a comparison.

Mourning Apple's war against sockets? The 2018 Mac mini should be your first port of call

Ilsa Loving

> Honestly, the only reason to own MacOS is if you need to cross-compile to Mac,

No, it's not the only reason. The biggest reason is that you just want to get you friggin' work done but still need access to commercial software like Adobe or for whatever reason.

You can piss and moan about 'tricks' all you want, but at the end of the day what matters is this: I can measure the uptime on my Mac in months. Windows? A few days if you're lucky. Especially with Windows 10 and Microsoft's update nonsense, you get the added benefit that when your machine reboots it may not come back up again at all.

Running MacOS in VMWare completely misses the entire point. You'd still have Windows underneath so you'd be dealing with the worst of BOTH worlds.

I know this is difficult for you to believe, but some of us use computers to get WORK done, and not to have a wank while reading the tech specs like a porn magazine.

NPM not tied in knots over Yarn rival project

Ilsa Loving

FFS

Would you web developers stop being so damn lazy?

Do you f__king jobs as developers and make a minimal effort to know what code you are including in your application.

Having stuff downloaded dynamically is a blindingly big security hole that the titanic could sail through.

Detroit sh*t shifter's operating costs waste away with Oracle's cloud

Ilsa Loving

Next Year

I want to hear their comments next year when Oracle has them firmly locked in and starts cranking up the prices.

You want how much?! Israel opts not to renew its Office 365 vows

Ilsa Loving

Re: Libreoffice is free and just fine.

>The formatting can be a nightmare. We had one supplier turn up with a PowerPoint presentation, our company had standardized on LibreOffice and the meeting room computer had LO on it...

He didn't bring his own laptop? There's no way I would allow someone from outside the company to bring random powerpoint files and run them on our computers, even if said computers were just conference room PCs.

That being said, I've found LO Impress to be anything but impressive. When compared to PP or Keynote, it's just so shockingly bland that you may as well just display a PDF on the screen.

Unpicking the Pixel puzzle: Why Google is struggling to impress

Ilsa Loving
FAIL

Re: Conspiracy theory.

>I can't help noticing that much of what some people fashionably deride as 'bloat' in manufacturer skins is what informs and inspires the next round of new features in Android. Without the constant innovation and differentiation of the manufacturer skins Android would have settled to a far more sedate and self-satisfied pace of change.

You say that as if it's a bad thing. There was nothing wrong with the original Android UI. One of the things I find frustrating about Android IS the mercurial UI that changes on every release. There is no benefit to it, and there are tons of downsides, like unnecessarily confusing the crap out of users.

People piss and moan about how 'boring' the iOS UI is. But you know what? It works. It's simple. And once you learn it, you arn't afraid that you have to relearn how to use your phone when you upgrade. That is a massive reason why Apple is still so popular despite their often questionable choices in hardware design.

I remember when I first used android. There was a back button, a home button, and a menu button. The icons looked corresponding to their function. Now? You have a square, a triangle, and a circle. I wanted to use Android, but apparently I got a playstation controller controller instead and it made the whole experience needlessly confusing.

Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

Ilsa Loving

Re: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

> May I suggest looking at Tresorit (pronounced 'treasure-it'). Swiss based, encrypted, works for me.

Not for $30/month just for the personal edition, I won't.

Crumbs. Apple has tweaked the MacBook Pro keyboard

Ilsa Loving

Re: "an improved third-generation keyboard for quieter typing"

"Although I had a shock yesterday, someone with an Apple mac wanted to use a projector, they had an HDMI port. I almost fainted"

That would be the 2015 model MBP that they just discontinued. Presumably because people (like me) were buying those instead of their ridiculously-overpriced-but-garbage new models.

No one wants new phones – it's chips that keep Samsung chugging

Ilsa Loving

Less nonsense, more useful features.

I honestly can't fathom how it doesn't occur to the likes of Apple and Samsung that people don't need idiotic things like talking poop when you videochat someone.

Give us *useful* things, like a battery that lasts longer than a day. Put the radio chip back in so we can listen to FM radio instead of wasting our data plans. A decent panorama function that doesn't make your picture look like it was taken with a badly made fisheye lense. Or, I dunno, give us more control of our privacy, maybe?

But no, apparently it's more important that people pretend that they're Patrick Stuart from the Emoji movie.

Right now I'm keeping a close eye on how the Key2 works out cause it's the first decent phone in a long time that gives you more than 1 lousy day of battery life.

Gentoo GitHub repo hack made possible by these 3 rookie mistakes

Ilsa Loving

<quote>And there goes any remaining credibility of those savvy commentards who insist that site-specific variation schemes</quote>

Who in the world would suggest such a thing as acceptable? Nobody who actually knows what they're doing, at least.

There is only one viable solution today for passwords: Using a password manager. Only then are you able to make a unique password on every site you log into. And you can make them as long and complex as the site will allow, making them that much harder to break.

And now you only have one password to remember (for your password manager) so you just need to remember one solid password.

MongoDB turns on, tunes in, drops ACID and goes mobile

Ilsa Loving

Don't need transactions?

They can believe whatever they want, but in the real world, transactional integrity is very important. Even more so when you're talking about clusters where the user's session can bounce like a ping pong ball between servers.

At least pragmatism prevailed and they pulled their head out of their backsides long enough to address the single biggest criticism people had about Mongo.

Now if only they came up with a consisted language for operating on NoSQL databases. Something structured.... Yeah... like... a structured query language... Hmm....

Google says Pixel 2's narcoleptic display is being fixed in June update

Ilsa Loving

>You can use a pixel 2 without a Google account... And nothing goes back to Google.

>Good luck signing into an iPhone without an appleID and avoiding the apple slurp... It's mandatory.....

Obvious Troll is obvious. If your post was any less correct it wouldn't even be in a comprehensible language.

Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties

Ilsa Loving

Re: "Upgrading users should be able to ignore the viewer as before."

>Unless the problem you need help with is the fact that you can't get online. I wonder how MS intends to deliver help files when your network connection has been rendered FUBAR due to the latest MS update?

>I'll get my coat, it's the one with the recursive Catch 22 trap in the pocket containing the recursive Catch 22 trap in th

The sad part is that that isn't even a joke. Wasn't it last year when MS put out an update that destroyed everybody's DHCP?

Java-aaaargh! Google faces $9bn copyright bill after Oracle scores 'fair use' court appeal win

Ilsa Loving

Can Ritchie sue Oracle then?

Java is a derivative work, inheriting a large amount of it's syntax and functionality from C++ and C.

Does this mean Oracle can be sued for that?

If this stands it will be a programming language nuclear war.

Facebook's inflection point: Now everyone knows this greedy mass surveillance operation for what it is

Ilsa Loving

History

Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.

Those who do not history are doomed to watch everyone else repeat it.

18.04 beta is as good a time as any to see which Ubuntu flavour tickles your Budgie, MATE

Ilsa Loving

"We have Libreoffice and Thunderbird which are fundamentally very good, but are beginning to look a little dated."

I have to respectfully disagree. Thunderbird is a god-awful mess. Hideous messy UI, convoluted configuration, and irritating behaviours make it a user unfriendly mess. It failed the Mom test miserably. As a matter of fact, I have not used one single OSS PIM stack that didn't have some kind of problem or was missing critical functionality. For example, CardDav/CalDAV support is shockingly hard to come by without having to futz with cumbersome transport tools.

LibreOffice is ok for word processing and spreadsheets, but they really should just throw in the towel with Impress. I have yet to run it on a single system (I haven't tried Windows) where it wasn't fundamentally broken. Half the transition options flat out don't work, and those that do work have shockingly jerky animation on even high end hardware. And this has been an ongoing problem for at least half a decade, and nobody seems to care enough to fix it. You'd be better off flipping through a PDF file.

Cortana. Whatever happened to world domination?

Ilsa Loving

Re: Alexa puck

"I've run checks on my local network to ensure that no extraneous data is being sent to Amazon, and there's no spikes at times where I don't call it by name to indicate anything is sent except for that which I expect.

This sounds like a blog article needing to be written. I've refused to get one for similar paranoid reasons as others have mentioned, but if demonstrated to behave in a reasonable manner, then maybe it's worth greater consideration.

Ilsa Loving

Poor first impression

My first introduction to Cortana was when I tried asking it a question... and it promptly locked up the entire user interface and the only way to get out was to ctrl-alt-delete and log out of the machine (or reboot). I tried it several more times with consistent results.

So I disabled it and never used it again.

Cavalry riding to the rescue of DDoS-deluged memcached users

Ilsa Loving

Resp

>I suppose that the use of this flush_all command is a bit like going on to a neighbour's property to put out a fire started by an unattended BBQ that's grown big enough to be threatening one's own. That is, the neighbour almost certainly will be grateful.

I still remember when a long time ago a neighbour got his internet shut down because he had been infected with spamspewing malware. While I was troubleshooting exactly what was going on, he fumed about how none of this was his fault or his responsibility and his ISP should have protected him.

I told him his only option was to reformat his hard drive and there was nothing else I could do. I sure as hell wasn't going to help him for free.

So yeah, don't count on people stupid enough to set up an unsecured and unpatched memcached server to be thankful that their incompetence was called out.

Simple rules for setting up a server on the internet:

-Is it a backend server? Put it behind a firewall and set up network ACLs to restrict access to minimum required to function.

-does it assist a front-end server? Put it behind a firewall and set up network ACLs to restrict access to minimum required to function.

-Is it a front-end server? Put it behind a firewall and poke one hole the and set up network ACLs to restrict access to minimum required to function. AND also restrict public URLs to only the ones the public should use if your server provides separate maintenance/admin URLs.

Good news: Apple designs a notebook keyboard that doesn't suck

Ilsa Loving

On the upside, if your powermac ever stops working you can still use the mouse to play ice hockey.

Millionaire-backed science fiction church to launch Scientology TV network

Ilsa Loving

Re: Z-lister club

What do you mean? Of course vegetables feel pain.

I've heard the screams of the vegetables,

Watching their skins being peeled.

Grated and chopped without mercy...

How do you think that feels?

Carrot juice constitutes murder.

Greenhouses prison for slaves!

It's time to stop all this gardening,

lets call a spade a spade!

Ilsa Loving

"Rumored"?

Wasn't Hubbard specifically quoted as setting up scientology specifically to be a money-making operation?

Slack cuts ties to IRC and XMPP, cos they don't speak Emoji

Ilsa Loving

Re: Slack? IRC?

SkypeForBusiness, AFAIK, IS Lync. Microsoft rebranded it thinking that would somehow magically make it more attractive despite the fact that it was still a steaming pile of festering donkey smegma.

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020