* Posts by ElReg!comments!Pierre

2664 posts • joined 22 Jun 2009

Linux 5.0 is out except it's really 4.21 because Linus 'ran out of fingers and toes' to count on

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Backward Compatibility

Thou Shall Not Break Userland is one of the few strictly-enforced rules un Linux kernel dev circles, and the origin of much of the famed rants by Linus.

WannaCry-hero Hutchins' trial date set, Microsoft readies Google's Spectre V2 fix for Windows 10, Coinhive axed, and more

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DNSSEC push renewed

Yeah, we saw this one... one of our subsidiaries raised an P1 incident with us -during the WE- over it just to check that we weren't at risk. Of course we rolled out DNSSEC months ago. Hell Oh Hell, as they say. Had to shoot this one down.

Ready for another fright? Spectre flaws in today's computer chips can be exploited to hide, run stealthy malware

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Too many cores

This happens because we have idle cores sitting around doing nothing. If we made faster cores instead of just throwing more of them at workloads that can't use them, we wouldn't need speculative executions and thus, no spectre. I wonder if IBM would <ant to revive the Power phylosophy.

WWW = Woeful, er, winternet wendering? CERN browser rebuilt after 30 years barely recognizes modern web

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Sigh. Those were the days.

I would like to reserve a special place in Hell for whoever thought it was a good idea to incorporate web elements into email.

I don't know what you're talking about. I will classify this snippet as "nonsense", that's what I do with the various claims I receive stating that the newest info was in blinking red bold MSComicSans as opposed to the superceded info which was in blue strikedthrough boring old Arial, and how can I not have seen the difference?

Email is for text. Information is most efficiently conveyed through articulate sentences.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Alas, more and more websites just don't work on it at all.

My policy for these is pretty much the same as it has been for decades regarding "your bowser doesn't support this website, please switch to [browser]" websites. In 2 words, rhyming with Duck Goo.

When a contact info is available, I also fire off an email to the webmaster to the same effect - phrased in more polite terms.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Not by hand

themes and styles in MS Word.

The features that are consistently inconsistent in large structured documents, almost impossible to re-use between documents of differing sizes and structures ? I've heard of those, used them even. I now stay way clear off them.

If I want kerning and ligatures I will use Lyx

LyX is a front-end to LaTeX, which pretty much negates your whole argument.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Interestingly,

We will have to agree to disagree because I believe there is no shiny (and I did use image search and YouTube just to check and refresh my memory on what was available on UNIX, Mac, ST, Amiga, and even Archimedes) and you believe there is shiny.

OK so you do think I'm unable to change my mind when presented with evidence.

I will gladly admit, in the face of evidence, that my recollection of this era's user interfaces was biased (influenced by previous GUIs and by the fact that I did not interract much with GUIs at the time, mostly command line).

Why do you insist that we will have to disagree ?

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Interestingly,

Note that my intention was not to diss XWindow, in fact I'm (in)famous among my friends for using twm as my default desktop environment (until recently I've been using a Raspberry 2B as my main work machine for over 2 years, because with my settings it was -much- snappier than the MSWindows tower I was given, but that's a story for another day)

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Interestingly,

If you see no shiny, perhaps you don't remember what user interfaces looked like at the time.

On a sidenote, I don't adhere to the passive-agressive "we'll have to agree to disagree" motto. I am able to admit that I am wrong without holding a grudge, just prove me so. Halting a constructive discussion by saying, in essence, "I think you're wrong but I won't bother telling you why" always strikes me as unconstructive and borderly insulting.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Interestingly,

I don't think the Next's GUI was that far way from [the competion]

True, but my point is that Tim went for the Shiny factor (Robert, who designed the underlying mechanisms, did get along with it)

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Not by hand

I don't use LaTEX very much myself, I tend to favor Lout (by Jeffrey H. Kingston from down under) ; despite its limitations, it does pretty much everything I want for print, in a (much) smaller package.

As for "simple html", as you put it, you may want to try AFT from Todd Coram.

On a separate note, in my experience unwanted spaces or newlines are "features" of WYSIWYG tools, I've never seen them in WYSIWYM tools. Unless you deliberately code extra spaces or newlines in, that is.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

You might want to try a current minimalist web browser (qutebrowser is my current fav in the GUI league, but plenty are available).

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge


it does look like an effort to demo NeXTCube's capabilities more than a push for unified communication. Fair game, I'd say, but it does show that the www was designed with fanciness in mind, rather than universality or efficiency. Plus ça change...

No yoke: 'Bored' Aussie test pilot passes time in the cockpit by drawing massive knobs in the air

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

In the people I personnally know, "penis drawers" are roughly equally distributed between all genders. Mostly because the shapes involved are simple, distinctive, easily drawn with only connected lines, and the conveyed sillyness is immediately perceived by the viewer.

Note that the "symbol" is almost always drawn erect and "upwards", because sideways it woud be an antique gun on wheels, °I° is just a face, and a shrivelled penis is as difficult to render as a vulva - i.e. too much effort. The female equivalent would be (.Y.) , which is again used equally by all genders but VERY difficult to render with connected lines.

Don't assume gender bias until you have ruled out gratuitous silliness and laziness.

What's the frequency, KeNNeth? Neural nets trained to tune in on radar signals to boost future mobe broadband

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In fact, if there are more false negative, it's worst

Black-hat sextortionists required: Competitive salary and dental plan

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Translation?

like %name% in the body

I guess you read your emails as plaintext, like a sensible person would. This %name% thing is the hallmark of an email tool that relies on client-side code execution. In my previous job I received quite a lot of -legit- emails ending with "<signature>". Silly MS.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

there might be also interesting traces in email header) but can't be bothered. Someone will, eventually.

The last series I received were sent from a -most probably miconfigured- server at a foodstuff manufacturing company in Italy. I notified the abuse@ addy as I always do, and I'm not holding my breath as I always don't.

Bored bloke takes control of British Army 'psyops' unit's Twitter

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GCHQ Spokeperson :

"The levels of sophistication involved in this attack indicate the involvement of a foreign State Actor. Russian and Chinese governments in particular are known to have a knowledge of the existence of Twitter. While the attack was promptly foiled by our elite cyber units, it is important to note that most major industries in the UK use Twitter. In order to prevent a massive disruption of the British economy by foreign hostile actors, it is crucial to keep us very well funded."

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

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

between a rock and a hard place

IBM just bought Red Hat. DB2 for Open, which was an also-ran to date, may be about to become a Thing. On the Cloud front Oracle can't reallistically compete with Amazon, on the DB front it can't compete with Big Blue and it's newly-aquired fedora. Time to innovate, if you still know how to !

Password managers may leave your online crown jewels 'exposed in RAM' to malware – but hey, they're still better than the alternative

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Remembering long passphrases

Replying to myself to add that I'm using single-use pads 2FA for my online banking. That is reasonnably secure. But I have a pre-shared keypad for that. None if this "SMS code" BS cuts the mustard.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Remembering long passphrases

"Sec 101 : This is my passphrase for El Reg" is

- unique

- easy to remember

- virtually uncrackable by automated means

- tedious to type

- not even close to my actual credentials

- as weak as "password123" as soon as your system is compromised, because keylogger.

The "remembering" part is secondary in this problem. Login security will always be hampered by

- Joe Public's unwillingness to type a 20+ characters password to let the world know of their opinion on May's or Trump's latest tweet (see the success of the oh-so-very-innocuous "login with Facebook" option on various websites)

- the hard fact that once your system is compromised, any input, output or locally stored data (including in RAM) can be snooped on (although the efforts needed to do so may vary depending on your security measures).

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Freedom is only worth what you make of it. The zoo offers free food and comfy housing, with ample opportunity to make fun of the plebs who pay for it. I will refrain from making a comparison to the Houses but to be honest it's probably too late, that image is already in your brain :p

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: That's how evolution works

just compare Paris Hilton with Bear Grylls.

Both unable to survive without their 24/7 TV prod crew ?

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Their choice

Jack Russells, chihuahuas, and other small yappy rodent-dogs.

Putting the Jack Russell (a very energetic and clever hunting dog) in the same category as useless lumps of furry handbag adornments is a bit, erm, surprising, honestly.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: they have been even known to sit on their new born offspring

Also they, much like turtles, eat anything that gets within range or moves slower than they do.

Very true, and very much like "long pork", too.

Cops looking for mum marauding uni campus asking students if they fancy dating her son

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Re: Great news

I was thinking that campus cowboys are getting a tad ridiculous, but again I did not think of this angle. Although these are campus cops and not high-firepower regular cops, they still do sport pepper spray and sometimes tazers. They do tend to occasionnally over-react with those "sub-lethal" tools of theirs.

Hold horror stories: Chief, we've got a f*cking idiot on line 1. Oh, you heard all that

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Telewest

"Hello, am I talking to Mr WifeysName?" happens to me from time to time, I don't see the problem. I usually answer someting like "No, but I'm the person you want to talk to". What's the matter ?

It's OK, everyone – Congress's smart-cookie Republicans have the answer to America's net neutrality quandary

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Re: I've always wondered...

@m0rt : please excuse the kids, they couldn't recognise sarcasm if it hit them in the nether zones with a sign reading "sarcasm" in big, bold letters and a <blink> tag. That's nowaday's Reg forum for you.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: I've always wondered...

it benefits everybody if media streams are treated as high priority while simple page loads are last in line

So my pages should take forever to load so that the kids next door can have their fill of lolcats ? How does that benefit me ?

The D in SystemD stands for Danger, Will Robinson! Defanged exploit code for security holes now out in the wild

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

The way systemd has been pushed means that a lot of userland stuff now assumes it's there (even without explicitely depending on it, in some cases). To counter the trend, there needs to be enough systems out there that do not run systemd.

Also, many managers will be reluctant to switch production from RHEL to *BSD. The switch to Devuan is easier to promote.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Why not BSD? I think both of those are equally effective choices.

Sure, but Joe Public -and non-technical management- has heard of Linux and even often tried it /deployed it in production, while *BSD is still confidential outside some IT circles. And Devuan benefits from the rather impressive hardware support and application base of Debian (and to some exxtent, of RedHat)

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

By the way, if you do need to patch, you can find the perfect patch at freebsd.org

While I kinda* agree with the general sentiment, the reason why systemd became an issue at all is that it is backed by RedHat, the most trusted *NIX distro in the Big Biz world (unlikely to change since they were just gobbled by the most trusted Big Iron company in the Big Biz world...). That gives systemd considerable traction. I do currently work for Big Biz. Big Biz doesn't care for reliablity, stability or elegance terribly much, these are just bonusses. Big Biz cares for support contracts, monetary penalties, and above all, for "case open with the supplier so it's not our problem anymore" clauses.

Something is rotten in the State of IT. Goodpractices, I knew thee well, etc. But again, I'm old enough to remember that it's always been the case. Same general mindset, same errors, different offenders. The only difference is that some of us here were hoping for an improvement when Linux hit the limelight, and that's only a generation thing. Hope is a renewable resource, disappointment is a constant ;-)

Resistance is NOT futile though. The most efficient way of resistance IMHO is Devuan at this time, not *BSD, because of the trust built around Linux by now-traitors RHEL and Debian (to cite only 2). The path of least resistance is often the fastest. Not that I don't believe in unicorns, mind : I am myself eagerly waiting for -and occasionnally minutely contributing to- the Raise of the Mighty GNU HURD Complete With Its Own MACH Microkernel. Not holding my breath though (renewable resources, constants, etc).

*For personnal -and rather shallow- reasons I prefer dabbling with DragonFlyBSD myself, but that's besides the point

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Again

This seems to be a direct consequence of the init that's an OS in its own right.

It's not quite ther yet, but certainly struggling to be.

Still, this article comes just as I finally came around to migrating my last machine to Devuan, so cheers to everyone !

Personal data slurped in Airbus hack – but firm's industrial smarts could be what crooks are after

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Re: China

Yes there've been a handful of dodgy/bullshit actions by the CIA over the last 30-40 years, but it's a handful and were exceeding their authority/remit and were called out when sprung.

I'm sure it could be funny in some way but I'm under the impression that you don't jest.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Boieng is notoriously struggling (to use the weakest possible term) with its space program, suffers very serious reliability issues on some of its latest crafts (even resorting to "the pilot held it wrong", an excuse more often used by peddlers of less-critical pieces of tech) and recently bought Embraer to cover for their inability to develop reliable short-courriers of their own (OK, this last one might be a bit of an extrapolation).

There are also allegations that data seized by three-letters US agencies under various "terrist" acts were at some point fed directly to various US stakeholder, including tipping local authorities on drug smugglers but also giving Boeing details on Airbus tech. That practice allegedely stopped, perhaps leeaving a gap in information-gathering by one or several parties.

Meanwhile, China just successfuly sent a craft where No One had Ever Been Before (no, going to the hidden side of the Moon is no small feat).

Pick the most probable culprit.

Everyday doings of a metropolitan techie: Stob's software diary

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Re: Kudos

Disk cloning software ? dd works rather well, for those of us who don't edit our config files with Adobe's InDesign either.

Are you sure your disc drive has stopped rotating, or are you just ignoring the messages?

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

3rd-line support

i.e. supposed to be at least slightly aware of How Things Work. One of my "most experienced" co-workers, upon receiving an SOS from first-line support citing hundreds of complains about an expired certificate preventing access to a critical online application, insisted on getting an answer to "is it reproducible with another browser?" and would not act upon it before getting said answer. As everyone knew, strictly enforced company policy was that no other browser than MSIE could be installed on end-user machines. When I got in I simply asked the Big Cheese for this application to check their certificates, which got the issue solved in a little less than an hour (yes, they had forgotten to renew the certificate).

We lost half a day of worldwide productivity on this one. The person responsible for the cockup got promoted, altough they apparently didn't do too well in their new role and got downgraded a few month later. Karma, I guess.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Bad planning

Stick May and Corbyn in a car, Musk already knows how to fling it into space. But what if the OP hypothesis was correct, and May could survive in the cold, friendless darkness on the far side of the moon?

The really frightening hypothesis would be them both surviving, and in the loneliness and the long, long nights, one thing leading to another... well, I'm sure you get the idea. We might want to get ready to nuke the moon from orbit . Only way to be sure, all that sort of things.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Puzzled

Well they did put a temperature regulator in there, although perhaps not a good enough one -must resist the AliBaba joke.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

The experiment is rather more complex

Than just sprouting seeds. Setting up a functionnal micro-ecosystem is non-trivial even on Earth. I am not privy to the details, but I can only guess that the Unis have done some extensive research / testing down here before sending the cannister moonward, and that they will keep monitoring the experiment to see what happens to the other seeds, the flies , the yeast etc

This all seems worthy research to me.

(Of course there is a publicity angle, too, but in our world publicity is how you get funding for research, and not only in China)

US comms watchdog's industry-friendly 5G rules challenged by fresh legislation

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Re: $270/year?!

Due to the density needed, a lot of the sites are expected to be on existing urban structures (lamp posts and the likes), which are local authority property; that means increased maintenance costs for the municipality.

US prosecutors: Hey, you know how we said 'net gambling was OK? LMAO, we were wrong

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Why?!

Gambling gains surely, as opposed to profits made by the gambling house ?

In northern America there are exemptions for the "first nations" but I was unaware of anything similar in the UK.

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Why?!

Tobacco and alcohol suddently spring to mind ..?

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

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Re: Sametime viable ?

Well, there's Skype's horrendous interface that makes sure to waste as much screen space as possible in brightly-coloured patches, so that the actual useful content is nearly impossible to get to, the appaling handling of group chat, the absence of a "add history" option when adding a new participant, etc...

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Sametime viable ?

Well, SameTime is way better than Skype For Business in a lot of ways, especially for collaborative work (as opposed to iddle chatter with Monique from Accounts over the cafeteria menu, for which Skype is quite appropriate).

China's really cotton'd on to this whole Moon exploration thing: First seed sprouts in lunar lander biosphere

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Re: Just a PR stunt

Having a seed sprout in a sealed box is not that difficult, even if the box is on the Moon.

That may or may not be true: root developpment is in part driven by gravity, in different ways depending on the species. Even only a couple weeks of observations could provide valuable data.

FCC's answer to scandal of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US selling people's location data: Burying its head in the ground

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To be honest the shutdown is a pretty good excuse

Sure, the Ajit is abusing it in bad faith, and he would have found another one uf needed, but the shutdown does play nucely i to his hand.

In fact, perhaps paralyzing governmental bodies and getting their employees to resign massively (in order to get a paid job and foot the bills, buy food etc) was really yhe Donald's hidden goal all along ?

The D in SystemD stands for Dammmit... Security holes found in much-adored Linux toolkit

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Re: Devuan user here

Mostly Devuan too, here, appart from a couple Debian machines that I didnt take the time to remove systemd from yet. Must really get to it!

Staff sacked after security sees 'suspect surfer' script of shame

ElReg!comments!Pierre Silver badge

Re: Access Denied

T'was the 90s. Besides, even now with the block-everything-till-someones-fills-the-paperwork approach, the blocked URL will still show up in the logs, even though you won't access the page ("The website you are trying to access contains freeware, shareware or open source software and has been blocked. If your work require material from this page, please fill the form at [link] to have the page* unblocked. Be informed that your manager will be asked to approve your request." ; better not need to review that patch on github anytime soom then)

*yes, 'page', not 'website'

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