* Posts by Justin Clift

261 posts • joined 1 May 2007

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Sysadmin running a Mac fleet? IBM has just thrown you a lifeline

Justin Clift

Re: So...

> ... but some residual value in a Mac, and resale will mean disk wiping, and refurbishment, ...

It'll be interesting to see if the "glued in" approach to disks means the whole Mac mac will need shredding for data security.

If the storage really can't be practically replaced, anyone using Mac's in (at least) reasonably secure environments isn't going to find much resale value in them.

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HP Ink should cough up $1.5m for bricking printers using unofficial cartridges – lawsuit

Justin Clift

Re: When do we get compensation in the UK?

Epson has some "bottles of ink" friendly printers:

https://epson.com/ecotank-super-tank-printers

Some of the models there print A3 and bigger.

Haven't tried any of them personally though.

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Boffins are building an open-source secure enclave on RISC-V

Justin Clift

RISC-V HiFive Open-ness

> ... recently noted that HiFive RISC-V chips have proprietary pieces.

SiFive (the maker of the HiFive) apparently got the message, and is putting in the extra effort in to open up the rest.

https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=SiFive-Open-Boot-Code-Coming

Not sure if that's actually happened yet or not.

Hopefully it has, or does soon. :)

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Redis has a license to kill: Open-source database maker takes some code proprietary

Justin Clift

Wait and see

While some of the frothing-at-the-mouth OSS advocates ;) will blindly dismiss this as bad, it's an attempt to solve a real problem.

Sure, it may go poorly. But also it may work, or provide useful information to Redis to determine a real working solution.

Let's give them some time to see how it goes in the real world. If they turn out to be idiots about it, we can grill them later. ;)

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Microsoft Visual Studio C++ Runtime installers were built to fail

Justin Clift

Re: Probably finding it difficult to recreate the installers

> I put my own installer on github a while back.

url?

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Heads up: Fujitsu tips its hand to reveal exascale Arm supercomputer processor – the A64FX

Justin Clift

Re: Why no ARM servers?

> As a trivial example, I have developed Java applications on x86 then run them on ARM (on a Raspberry Pi). I have also written Qt C/C++ applications on x86 and recompiled them for ARM.

Go (the language) will have ARMv8 support in the next release (1.11). Been testing it already in production deployment with the recent betas, and it works well.

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FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Justin Clift

Re: Man on the sun

> 'if we can put a man on the moon, surely we can put a man on the sun,'

Whichever volunteer gets chosen for that will be a star... err... for the rest of their life. :)

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If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1

Justin Clift

Re: If only 3D Printers could print 3D Printers

> Would that count as reproduction?

If it was automated, then probably yes.

Extra bonus points if several printers "get together" to combine their features into the subsequently er... spawned ones.

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Justin Clift

> But I would recommend buying the kit to learn about how it works...

Yeah. I bought a FlashForge Creator Pro. 2015 model from memory. When it started acting up, I had no clue at all how to fix it.

Went and bought a Shapeoko 3 (CNC) instead, and made sure it was a kit so I learned how the bits all went together. As you mention, now I can build and upgrade stuff reasonably effectively. :)

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Justin Clift

> "We don't need a £2000 key ring. And you don't play chess!"

That sounds familiar. :)

I tried out the 3D printing thing, but wasn't impressed by the end result. Have since gotten into doing CNC stuff instead. Today's task was to make full height brackets for some cheapo 10GbE Mellanox cards picked up on Ebay.

Turned out pretty well I reckon. Much more rugged than the 3D printed bracket version. :)

Photo's here, in case it's interesting.

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Justin Clift

Printrbot now closed too

Printrbot closed their doors a few days ago too. :(

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Science! Luminescent nanocrystals could lead to multi-PB optical discs

Justin Clift

Re: NAND is so nice

> I doubt writeable DVDs are stable.

M-DISC is widely available these days, and caters to those needing archival quality storage.

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UN's freedom of expression top dog slams European copyright plans

Justin Clift

> So you need something with the speed of a computer and the subjectivity of a human ...

Needs wisdom too, and someone to keep an eye on it's developing nature. Something like you suggest that - for example - starts leaning towards various forms of intolerance / racism / badness-in-general could go pear shaped very quickly.

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Microsoft commits: We're buying GitHub for $7.5 beeeeeeellion

Justin Clift

Re: RIP Github

> the SF that was embedding extra stuff - can't remember what, ...

They were bundling malware with the Windows downloads of popular Open Source projects, and giving the developers a cut of the profits.

FileZilla comes to mind, their forums have many archived/closed threads from people negatively affected (eg spyware installed on the PCs) but the Filezilla admin just stuck their fingers in their ears and went "la la la".

Disgusting behaviour all around.

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TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank

Justin Clift

DR?

Wonder how their new DR site is going.

You know, the one they're legally obliged to have at all times in case of disaster.

If they haven't scoped gotten their primary site to a decent state, there's practically zero chance of them having DR coverage at the moment.

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Firefox to feature sponsored content as of next week

Justin Clift

Re: Which reminds me...

"browser.pocket.enable" doesn't seem to exist in Firefox 52.x (ESR), on CentOS 7.x.

"extensions.pocket.enabled" does though, and seems like the right one.

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Intel admits a load of its CPUs have Spectre v2 flaw that can't be fixed

Justin Clift

Re: You b..... you just killed Bloomfield!

> Dammit, I still have i7-920's in use. Fortunately, not on the public interwebs though. And now I'd better make sure they never are.

Fuck. Just checked, and my main gaming rig is on the list too. It's an Intel Core2 Extreme X9650. It does absolutely fine for the stuff I use, and there's no damn way it's "too slow", etc.

Intel, you'd better think again. You screw this up, it's on you to fix it.

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Rant launches Eric Raymond's next project: open-source the UPS

Justin Clift

Re: Lack of clue

> BUT they have already chosen a processor board they would like to use (an A20-OLinuXino-LIME2). ...

Sure. They've definitely jumped onto the bits they feel comfortable with, and obviously have not much clue with the rest.

However, it does sound like they'd be open to constructive pointers telling them they pieces they need to clue up on. You obviously have depth in areas they lack but need.

As an idea, maybe point out the electrical bits they need in order to not completely burn their own houses down ;), and see if they manage to get something useful for people happening after all.

Their skills are stronger in software, so they might turn out to have a decent software side to things anyway. :)

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Teensy plastic shields are the big new thing in 2018's laptop crop

Justin Clift

Re: @Lee D

> And, as an avid PC gamer, I've yet to see a single game demanding over 16GB+ RAM.

Highest RAM requirements I've seen to date is for Star Citizen:

Windows 7 (64bit) with Service Pack 1, Windows 8 (64bit), Windows 10 - Anniversary Update (64bit)

* DirectX 11 Graphics Card with 2GB RAM (4GB strongly recommended)

* Quad Core CPU

* 16GB+ RAM

* SSD strongly recommended

Haven't tried it out, so no idea personally what the performance is like with various hardware configs (eg <16GB, 16GB, 32GB, etc).

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NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Justin Clift

> We were then told that the bean counters had terminated the storage agreement on the grounds that it was an unnecessary expense.

What happened when you submitted the expense form for replacing all of the lost items?

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GitHub shrugs off drone maker DJI's crypto key DMCA takedown effort

Justin Clift

Re: "github provides many workflow features"

> > Nothing you can't setup on your own with free tools, if you don't want to pay, and get better ones with far more control.

> Some links would be helpful.

Gitea is a good start. Decent UI, and very lightweight on resources. eg can be run effectively on Raspberry Pi style hardware, though for real business use you'd want it on something proper. :)

GitLab has more features than Gitea, though it's user interface fairly sucks and it's a resource pig (written in Ruby). It can also grow into a PITA to admin over time if your needs aren't basic.

Pick whichever takes your fancy, or do some searching online for others. The above two aren't the only ones. :)

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Supermicro crams 36 Samsung 'ruler' SSDs into dense superserver

Justin Clift

Re: Use Case? Simplicity?

> Would work exactly as the current ones do. Drop 10g nics in, connect to our storage network, ...

You'd probably want faster than 10GbE for these. :)

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Two-day Bitbucket borkage has devs tearing their hair out

Justin Clift

Hmmm.....

Sounds like a raid rebuild in progress. Not sure what storage tech they're using underneath, but it's probably something along the lines of it.

Though, more likely the distributed version of it.

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If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Justin Clift

Re: But how do they spread fires?

> Frickin' lasers.

Not sure sharks come in small enough sizes for a raptor to pick up.

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Hacks, bribes and bugs: Uber accused of illegal snooping on rivals

Justin Clift

Re: "Strategic Services Group (SSG)"

Wow. I'd forgotten about Reach for the Stars. Used to play it years ago:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reach_for_the_Stars_(video_game)

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YouTuber cements head inside microwave oven

Justin Clift

> See this link from the BBC.

Holy crap. That poor kid. :(

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Justin Clift

> ... and didn't realise plaster of paris heats as it sets.

Hmmm, isn't Plaster of Paris used (with gauze) to make plaster casts? eg for broken limbs and similar

Asking because I've personally cast body parts (using commercial prepared plaster gauze), and the "heating" isn't anything like bad enough to worry about. Were they doing something really strange?

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Intel's super-secret Management Engine firmware now glimpsed, fingered via USB

Justin Clift

Re: Claim: all IPv6 addresses are *PUBLIC*

> You just need the firewall, and I don't recall firewalls going away with IPv6, not even on home routers, unless you can prove otherwise.

It would be great if it was that simple. :)

Home routers are often used by people with no real knowledge of computers/IT. They have no understanding of TCP, let alone what the heck a "port" is. So getting them to (correctly) configure a firewall for their new something-they-just-plugged-into-the-network isn't really practical.

Some home routers have a GUI which lets people select a protocol (eg HTTPS) for a device, and can build a basic firewall based on that. That definitely helps. But it's not a real solution to the problem, as many devices use non-standard ports, and the end user won't have a clue what to do.

NAT in the IPv4 world was a "good enough" solution to that problem. Not because it expanded the address space, but instead because it (incidentally) hid users end devices from external things being able to reach them. That seems to be what Bombastic Bob is talking about.

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Apache OpenOffice: We're OK with not being super cool... PS: Watch out for that Mac bug

Justin Clift

Re: Old?

> anything that Lion can run on, High Sierra can also run on.

My old (ancient) MacBook - one of these - can't run anything later than Lion. Runs FreeBSD and Linux fine though. Weirdly, OpenBSD doesn't run on it as the installer reboots during start.

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Linux Foundation wants to do to data what it's done for software

Justin Clift

Re: Licence proliferation for data licences

> Oh really? Such as what ...

The v4 CC licences are definitely for data (earlier ones less so), several governments have their own licences (UK, Taiwan, others).

There's a fairly well established forum specifically for discussing such matters, which the Linux Foundation doesn't seem to have engaged prior to this announcement.

The discussion of their announcement, on that forum: https://discuss.okfn.org/t/cdla-permissive-and-sharing-licenses/6095

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Justin Clift

Licence proliferation for data licences

Licence Proliferation was a growing problem with OSS Communities for a few years, until people got sick of it. With effort then taken to focus on a few main ones (~GPLs, ~MIT/BSDs).

Wonder if this is a sign of similar problem happening for the Open Data world? There are a fair number of licences for "Open Data" available already. This new set doesn't really seem to add anything novel though. :(

The CDLA website (only has four pages so far) doesn't yet have contact info for engaging the working group creating these licences. Hopefully that gets fixed, as being Open to discussion is kind of important for Open licences. :D

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Rackspace ends discount hosting for open source projects

Justin Clift

"Keep their credits"?

We (sqlitebrowser.org) received the same email from Rackspace announcing about the program being ended, and thus needing to find a new home by the end of the year.

Haven't received any kind of follow up email saying anything different though. Sounds like we'll need to ask.

The way the OSS program has worked is that Rackspace would allow up to US $2k of spend on their services (per month) and not charge for it. Anything over $2k they charge for.

The term "Keep their credits" mentioned in the article is a bit confusing. Hopefully it's just a badly worded way of saying we don't need to change providers after all. :)

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Neglected Pure Connect speaker app silenced in iOS 11's war on 32-bit

Justin Clift

Re: Evidently never heard of escrow...

> Holding 32bit and 64bit libraries in memory here is likely not possible if the OS is to have any semblance of responsiveness.

Really, don't agree with this. These devices are working fine with both 32 and 64 bit apps in iOS 10. Magically iOS 11 suddenly can't fit them? Not even for running in some special legacy mode to keep their users with "legacy 32-bit apps" happy?

If iOS 11 has blown out in size to no longer fit in the hardware's memory, that's a good sign that unneeded bloat has been introduced, or people aren't prioritising optimisation enough. Either way, dropping support for 32-bit apps isn't good enough. They need to figure out a solution and fix it, instead of abandoning their users like this.

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Justin Clift

Re: Evidently never heard of escrow...

> Apple dropping legacy 32bit on a phone/tablet OS is a totally legitimate move; sorry.

Bullshit. OSX and Windows both do backwards compatibility. iOS has no excuse at all, especially with such a large established userbase.

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Justin Clift

Re: Evidently never heard of escrow...

> I’m pretty pissed off that I can’t run Civilization anymore - but I don’t hold Apple to blame for this.

I absolutely do. Our industry in general considers backwards compatibility extremely important. That's why Windows (ugh) supports binaries created from much earlier versions, as does OSX itself unlike this new iOS. It's a pretty solid rule of thumb that things which guarantee backwards compatibility have more success than things that don't. Assuming no other monumental fk-ups of course. :)

This is 100% apple's choice to drop backwards compatibility, in full knowledge it would have a bad effect of some sort on part of their userbase. They seem to have forgotten the goal of people is to use their phone as a tool (eg apps and things it can do), rather than the goal being to run the latest version of iOS. That they're thinking has gone so far down this incorrect track to actually affect users like this... is an extremely bad sign. If they don't continue releasing security updates for 10.3.x series iOS, they've effectively turned many devices into paperweights (including my iPad Pro) as lots of people have 32-bit apps that cannot be upgraded as there's no 64-bit version available.

Personally, I feel most sorry for the ~1 million users of apps like Safe Note:

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8077356

That's a password storage app (seems poorly done tbh) which was popular for several years... and the developer has gone bust. No 64-bit version forthcoming, so people (many not super computer literate) that updated have lost multiple years of their passwords. Ouch.

I know about the above one as they're using a DB GUI I help out on for recovering their data. There's likely many more similar stories to the above.

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German Firefox users to test recommendation engine 'a bit like thought-reading'

Justin Clift

Mozilla BugReport about the problem

Someone has created a bug report on the Mozilla issue tracker, asking for this to be stopped.

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=1406647

Please log in (can be done using a GitHub account if you're feeling lazy :> ), and vote (under "Details") for this.

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CCleaner targeted top tech companies in attempt to lift IP

Justin Clift

Re: And yet when I suggested the only way to safely fix a malware infected host...

The ONLY way to be sure malware and the subsequent backdoor are removed it to rebuild the machine from scratch.

That did used to be the case. Unfortunately, these days malware which can persist in the "Mgmt Engine" and/or other attached peripherals seems like it's starting to be a thing.

For reference, if that kind of thing is of interest:

https://www.blackhat.com/eu-17/briefings/schedule/#how-to-hack-a-turned-off-computer-or-running-unsigned-code-in-intel-management-engine-8668

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Itching to stuff iOS 11 on your iPhone? You may want to hold off for a bit

Justin Clift

Ugh

Ugh, Civilisation Revolution (iPad version) is 32-bit only. Doubt it'll get updated, so looks like this iPad Pro is going to be stuck on iOS 10 forever. :(

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Apple bumps up price on iPad Pro as flash costs climb

Justin Clift

Re: Android here I come

> Or I can get a Samsung with their stylus that does work properly

While the dinky little Samsung stylus does work. Androids' stylus apps (for any kind of drawing) are complete and utter shit. Don't waste the money. :(

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Justin Clift

Re: Android here I come

> You can write, draw and shade in Notes, so I don't know what you're talking about.

Yeah, but don't do it with important info. Until learning the hard way, I was doing this too. And then suddenly the drawing part is gone, taking along with it much of the written notes on the page.

After this happened a few times, I now avoid doing any kind of drawing in Notes. It's not worth the potential data loss.

A useful (and pretty good) drawing app is "Concepts":

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/concepts-sketch-design-illustrate/id560586497

Works well. Haven't found a good way to export data though, apart from emailing the drawings to myself (which works). The dev's have talked about creating a "Cloud" for people to upload their drawings, which might be useful for some people (not me personally).

On the topic of their dev's, even though I'm a paying customer they ignore all support requests. So, bear that in mind when thinking about in-app purchases. If you need assistance, you're likely on your own.

Still, it's a good drawing app, and light years ahead of anything that was on my old Samsung.

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Crushed Juicero now officially a fruitless endeavor

Justin Clift

Re: Hipsters

> The real laser etcher/cutter costs (IIRC) £2500/£5000 and their Kickstarter worked well, they delivered late, but delivered quality.

On that note, one of the co-founders of Glowforge just left:

https://www.geekwire.com/2017/glowforge-co-founder-tony-wright-departs-3-years-helping-launch-3d-printer-startup/

Seems like they've finally started shipping though. 2 years overdue (?), but at least it it hasn't imploded with everyone losing their money.

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Ad blocking basically doesn't exist on mobile

Justin Clift

Re: Network-provider ad blocking - great concept, but $$$.

> What wasn't quite so widely reported was the family connection between the adblock technology provider and Three's parent company: Li Ka-Shing is involved with both ...

You're making that sound nefarious. It's not necessarily the case. Someone involved at a high level with (say) Three in this case could see a problem/opportunity, spin up a company to make a solution, and then get it trialled to see if it works in real world.

That may or may not be what happened in this instance, but it's a pretty standard approach.

*************

Reading that article you linked to... yeah, it does sound like they went with a scam operator "Shine" instead. They block content but if the content generator (facebook, etc) agrees to a revenue sharing split then they stop blocking them. That's definitely not acting in good faith.

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Justin Clift

Re: iOS Safari

Tried out "Firefox Focus" on iOS a few days ago... but it doesn't seem to support tabs (or at least I couldn't find them) so was pretty useless.

Went to delete it then discovered that it can provide ad blocking for Safari. So enabled that, fired up Safari... and no ads on things. And that has tabs.

It's kind of weird that Firefox Focus makes Safari usable, and well, it works so no worries. :)

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Forget trigonometry, 'cos Babylonians did it better 3,700 years ago – by counting in base 60!

Justin Clift

Re: So much for digital

Interesting. With that method, using one hand to count units (up to 12), and the other hand to count the groups of 12... it's possible to count up to 60 using your hands.

Hadn't realised that before, but it makes sense as to a practical way to count up to 60 in early historical times.

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Justin Clift

Interesting. I have a folder called "Done" for that purpose. After things are complete they're moved into that. Keeping the Inbox for stuff-still-needing-effort.

Same principle, but less potential for someone emptying that folder. :)

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Outage outed: Bing dinged, Microsoft portal mortal, DuckDuckGo becomes DuckDuckNo

Justin Clift

Re: @Justin

> In this case DuckDuckGo clearly states that they advice you to use https://start.duckduckgo.com/ to avoid the issues of those reminders.

Well, I didn't see any such "clearly stated" thing (at the time I got sick of the crap). URL wise, I use whichever URL was built into the "DuckDuckGo" search extension in the browser.

Could I open up the extension and change the URL? Sure. No idea if future updates would change it back though.

In reality, switching to a different search engine that also bills themselves as not tracking users - and hasn't yet pulled any user hostile behaviour unlike DDG as mentioned - was simple.

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Justin Clift

Meh

Meh, I stopped using DuckDuckGo and started using StartPage instead, when DuckDuckGo started ramming "reminders" into their page real estate for "how to increase privacy"...

... which were cookie based (!), so if a person's browser is set to Not store cookies then the reminder shows up Every Single Time.

Of course, the workaround would be to allow DuckDuckGo to set cookies. Er... which allows them to track people. Er... and they're doing this to increase people's privacy?!?!?

Something doesn't seem right there any more. ;)

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U wot M8? Oracle chip designers quietly work on new SPARC CPU

Justin Clift

Re: Scale

> In a cloud and microservice era ZFS advantageover ext4 or xfs is irrelevant simply because you place your workload on a top of other clustered block storage system like EBS or Ceph.

Except if you're the one providing the block storage. ZFS provides useful capabilities (checksums, snapshots, backups) on the backend. :)

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