* Posts by Jim 59

1973 posts • joined 24 Jun 2009

The Quantum of Firefox: Why is this one unlike any other Firefox?

Jim 59

Browsers are highly complex applications platforms, of course they are huge.

Is FF (25 million lines) more complex than the Linux kernel (15 million lines) ?

0
0
Jim 59

Off topic, but I'm not sure why Firefox has lost so much ground to Chrome in recent years. I will stay with FF for the add-ons but if changing, I would consider SRW Iron (the de-Googled version of Chrome), but not Chrome, due to the Google stalkware it contains.

Also, I am not sure why these browsers are so huge. All they are doing is rendering a few fairly slow, sometimes encrypted data streams. 25 million lines of code in Firefox. WTF, can't anybody programme anymore?

11
3

Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

Jim 59

Some of us stay away from Google as far as reasonably possible. I don't use Chrome or Gmail, always try to switch off "location" in Android (!), always use sites like Google maps, search & Youtube in the browser, and avoid installing the dedicated app if possible.

It's rather like having a nosy neighbour who spies on you through a hole in the garden fence. You block up the hole, so he drills another, so you fill that one in, and he drills a third, and so on and so on. Occasionally he will give you a free gift like a nice fruit basket. Under the fruit you find a microphone, hidden camera, little LED flashing...

8
0

Pastry in a manger: We're soz, Greggs man said

Jim 59

@rmason

Greggs views the global population as potential customers, whether they live near a branch or not.

1
0
Jim 59

On a secular note, going out of your way to mock 2 billion potential customers is not great sales strategy. Which might explain the "apology".

4
4
Jim 59

Re: Spineless of them to give in

Did you hear the one about the women in Spain who reported the nun who stole her... Never give religion a free pass. Not even Christianity.

"Jack the Ripper (British) was apalling. Never give the British a free pass, never."

9
20

Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Jim 59

Re: Quarter Century

@Jack of Shadows - In '87, you and the Duke of Edinburgh were the only two people on the Internet.

5
4

HPE's Apollo 'Skylaked', will get ARM-wrestling little brother next year

Jim 59

28 years ago, my first job came with an Apollo on the desk, and Aegis. Lovely. Screen was landscape though.

1
0
Jim 59

Unix engineers of a certain age get all excited when they hear "Apollo".

No, not the moon langings, Apollo Domain workstations.

5
0

Mm, sacrilicious: Greggs advent calendar features sausage roll in a manger

Jim 59

After searching extensively for a religion to lightly desecrate in support of a sales campaign, Greggs bravely chooses Christianity.

7
1

Uber loses appeal against employment rights for workers

Jim 59

Re: Not an employer?

“When allocating bookings, Uber deliberately does not tell the driver the destination and strongly discourages drivers from asking passengers the destination before pick up – so that drivers are not able to decline a booking because they do not wish to travel to that destination.”

Ah. So that's why Uber cars are available for rides from <big town> to <small village>, but not in the other direction. If all the Uber drivers in <big town> knew I wanted a ride from my <small village> back to <big town>, they would be available to take me, as it means no more driving for them.

A bug in the Uber algorhthm, perhaps.

4
0

Firefox 57: Good news? It's nippy. Bad news? It'll also trash your add-ons

Jim 59

Is this the end of Tiddlywiki ? Been using it in FF since 2007. No other browser supports it.

4
0

Irish priests told to stop bashing bishops

Jim 59

Re: That would be

@Martin 66 - What comments have you on the issue of Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals befriending each other and negotiating their theological differenes to come to a closer understanding ?

an ecumenical matter

0
0
Jim 59

Re: Tale from a Catholic

The last papal declaration on Freemasonry was made in 1985, with objections centering around the nature of Freemasonry as an alternative religion. I don't really think of Freemasonry as a religion, but it does seem to present itself as one.

At about the same time in the UK, there was a series of scandals when it emerged that prominent Establishment and Govt figures were Freemasons. It was judged that Freemasons were favouring other Freemasons (eg. for promotion/advancement), which is a moral problem, and was helped by the organisation's strict secrecy rules. It's reputation, at least in the UK, ver really recovered.

I think Freemasonry has reformed and modernised in the meantime, but who knows?

0
0
Jim 59

Some mix up, surely?

Thank you for these lovely words Miss Doyle, but I think you have accidentally sent our encryption / Stephen Fry stories to the Catholic Herald.

6
0

Better filters won't cure this: YouTube's kids nightmare

Jim 59

"you'll have the Daily Mail screaming about kids seeing p0rn"

Meaning the mailonline website right hand sidebar ? "all grown up" "flaunts curves" "...stuns in a bikini..." "beach body.." "plunging dress" etc etc

Yes the Mail's juxstaposition is bazarre and rather tasteless. But the "beach body, plunging dress" etc, are all items you can see in public, unlike the pr0n.

2
1
Jim 59

incoming sweary rant, look away kids if offended.. pihole...emby...

Blimey, AC, well done. But not all parents are so expert, and YouTube should sort this out. They can start by switching off the ludicrous "autoplay" (and stop it from defaulting to "on" all the time). An obvious cach grab by those who used to say "Don't be evil", but no feature is more likely to show your kids awful stuff or blow your download limits.

YT could even censor kids stuff themselves. Actually watch and moderate every children's video. Publishing would be slowed but even a small team could build up a lot of content over time.

13
0
Jim 59

Tom and Jerry won seven Oscars? Excellent. Fully deserved. It remains the funniest thing to hit the screen ever, anywhere.

4 for Tom and 3 for Jerry ?

12
0

Don't worry about those 40 Linux USB security holes. That's not a typo

Jim 59

"...physical access is a prerequisite to an attack..."

Yawn. Next.

3
2

Superdome X gets pumped on Skylake to become Superdome Flex

Jim 59

6TB if memory? That's more than every Sinclair spectrum manufactured, put together. In fact it might be more than every 8 bit home computer in the UK.

4
0

Look out, Pepe: Martha Lane Fox has a plan

Jim 59

It might be a good idea, if they can keep the politics out of it. But what are the chances of that?

Will it eventually become a badge meaning "this website agrees politically with the people who awarded this badge" ? Given the condition of much of social media, it seems likely. The badge might then become just one more piece of ordinance in the ongoing "culture war".

Many things are better without the addition of politics. Remembrance is one example. If MLT and co can indeed produce something like the Fairtrade mark, and treat it as such, then it might just work.

3
0

Donald, YOU'RE FIRED: Rogue Twitter worker quits, deletes President Trump's account

Jim 59

Re: Fake news

Twitter's absolutely within their rights- and indeed responsibilities in many localities- to remove accounts without their registered user's permission. It's not YOUR account. It's /their/ network and /their/ account, which you use with /their/ permission. People seem to forget that.

What? Nobody forgets that. Has anyone suggested that Twitter doesn't have the right to delete its own data (user accounts) ?

5
1

Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

Jim 59

Re: code bloat is not necessarily slow

@Adrian 4

What causes bloat is the use of libraries and frameworks to speed development. Yes, they do speed it - providing they do what you want and you know how to use them. But very often, you're only using a small part of their functionality yet you get a large part of the baggage.

Exactly. "Hello world.c" might contain 2 lines, but how many lines after pre-processing ? 5000 ?

0
0
Jim 59

It has always been a license for code bloat

Moore's law: your new laptop is 1000 times faster than that Pentium in the loft.

Bloat: They take the same time to boot up. Also to run MS Word.

6
1

Osama Bin Laden had copy of Resident Evil, smut, in compound

Jim 59

Re: Probably gone down

No proof he was killed.

What sort of proof would convince you ? There have been no more videos or statements released by BL and no more has been heard from him. Al Quaida has not denied his death or contradicted the US account. If B-L was still alive, he could simply release a video and thereby securing a massive propagands coup.

The contention that he is alive would require an intricate conspiracy theory. Similar theories would used to claim that almost anyone is still alive. So, his death seems to be as sure as anyone else's.

12
1

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Jim 59

Re: Perl.... Arrggh

Speak for yourself. I've used 10 of those and they still don't list the one I hate the most: Lisp. I've used Lisp on two different platforms and... I haven't touched it since 1989...

Yes yes, and I could bore you with my 36 years of programming experience, but won't. We are all experts here. My point was, most survey respondents are likely to have used only 2 or 3 languages to an expert level, and have little or no basis for judging the others. For example, I dislike Python, but having used it for just a couple of months, I am not really qualified to say, because I haven't yet experienced the full benefits of advanced Python.

17
0
Jim 59

Re: Perl.... Arrggh

"I started learning it as a substitute for awk and various horrible shell variants. It was a great replacement for awk because..."

Ditto. It was created as a reporting language, to replace & unify awk, sed, sh, a job it did, and continues to do, splendidly. A system administrators language, not really meant for writing general apps. Perhaps its success was its undong, as it came to be used for CGI in the 90's Internet, then spread to more general applications, which it was never really intended for, despite all the tweaks and OO extensions.

The Stack Overflow survey is a pointless. Of the 16 languages presented, a respondent will have used only about 2. Whatever.

31
2

Health quango: Booze 'evidence' not Puritan enough, do us another

Jim 59

Most of the general public dismissed the HE advice when it changed to recommending the same levels of alchohol for men and women, something which:

- seems to contradict common sense

- contradicted the previous guidelines

- contradicts guidelines other countries.

- has an odour of politics about it.

10
0

Fresh bit o' Linux to spruce up that ancient Windows Vista box? Why not, we say...

Jim 59

Just to note Q4OS is currently at number 40 in the Distrowatch ranking. This article might push it up a few places.

And that dear old basket case Ubuntu is at number 4, below Manjaro. Oh, mate.

0
0

You may not know it, but you've already arrived at DevOps Land

Jim 59

“DevOps was the inevitable outcome of building and operating the sites that became the web's giants.” As [Shafer] notes, once a website involves “thousands of computers distributed world-wide, you can't just log in and do an upgrade. You can't give a few commands and reload the site. At this scale, automation isn't an option. It's a requirement.”

All customers are not alike. True, a large PaaS or SaaS company might run with an infrastructure like the above. Downtime is somewhat acceptable, and comprehended in SLAs. But what about an air traffic control system, for example, or the CAD systems of an IC manufacturer, or the control systems for a power station, or a trading floor computer, a payroll system, and so on and so on? They all have different characteristics and priorities. Or more accurately: the same priorities, but in a different order.

Isn't Devops most popular in environemnts where there is, in fact, a limited amount of ops ? Your 1000 SaaS web servers might be crawling with devs who release a new SW version every 2 weeks. Smashing! But meanwhile, in air traffic control, they take a slightly different attitude. And the CAD lads are only bothered about backups and speed, while the bankers obsess about security and compliance. The power station manager thinks your ansible-playbook is gorgeous, as long as it doesn't black-out Surrey.

Is the Devops crowd just a little bit parochial?

11
0

Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

Jim 59

Re: I wonder why it's *still* not the year of Linux on the desktop

"Perhaps the fact that as evidenced by the comments above, no-one can agree of the best distro/desktop combination!

Choice is bad, and the best restaurants have only one dish on the menu, right?

The lack of Linux desktoppery might have more to do with 3 decades of business agreements which legally ensure that every PC comes with Windows fully integrated.

2
0
Jim 59

Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

Note: Files is what happened when Nautilus was simplified to death. If you liked Nautilus then Caja (part of the MATE ecosystem) carries it on in spirit, look and feel.

And PCmanFM does the same to Caja as Caja does to Nautilus, in that regard. (On Mint 17 MATE, anyway). Faster and less buggy.

0
0

What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

Jim 59

OO

some 25 to 30 years ago, there was a belief that software production would change radically...

...This was O-O, or object oriented software. Software production would radically change, the experts predicted... Of course, software production didn’t change radically into the component utopia that the academics had envisaged...

I confess to leaving a C++ course in 1991 almost overcome with excitement about OO. At the time I was working for Texas Instruments, and OO seemed like an unbeilievably powerful way to solve engineering problems. Select a few objects, glue them together, et voila. An end to repetitive programming. An and to complexity. Write and exchange objects. Share and enjoy.

High level languages embraced OO. Even assembled ones like Perl and VB. And whatever the current flavour-of-the-month language is, it is almost certainly OO.

But orgasmic object sharing never materialized. Instead, standard "object libraries" became part of the language. Instead of being a super-duper, custom built, poloymorphous, multi inherited, operator-overloaded panacea that we would exchange and embellish and re-use, OO turned into a boring old standard library. Basically, OO == stdio.h.

The OO model is still the best way to handle complexity as an application grows. Only the code re-use remains elusive.

OK now I must return to that programme, think I'll re-use that class from 2 years ago. No. it wold be quicker to write a new object. After all, I am better at the language now, and conditions have changed, and the hardware is 10 times faster now, so that optimized cache is no longer needed, and, and...

8
1

Survey: Tech workers are terrified they will be sacked for being too old

Jim 59

Apollo

Don't you just hate those posts where commentards bore you with obscure computers they once used. Well stop reading. I won't have a bad word said against Apollo. Ah yes, and the sublime Domain/OS. If the Ubuntu/Gnome crowd want to see how a graphical shell is really done, go forth to Ebay, where you can buy a nifty DN3500 for only....

1
1
Jim 59

Translation

When Megacorps say "young", they mean "cheap". Cheap is what they want, not yoof. They love cheap. Shareholders love cheap. Cheap boosts short term profits by reducing the wage bill, by far the biggest expense any megacorp faces. If a 64 Python dev would work for the same wages as a 24 year old, the older chap would get the job every time. More euphamisms:

"recent graduate" -> cheap

"free of family commitments who can work long hours" - no, just cheap

"digital native" -> cheap.

On the subject of "digital native", any grad born after '66 has spent their whole career in the Internet age, but lacks a certain skill, ie the ability to work for a very small wage indeed.

57
0

Combinations? Permutations? Those words don't mean what you think they mean

Jim 59

Oh yes they do

Phrase/sentence howler - come on Ed.

"You might have heard the words "combination" or "permutation" used in conversation..."

Permutaions and combinations are not news to Reg readers. This isn't the Grauniad.

"...mathematics has a convenient formula for the calculations shown above and you can search the internet for it... "

Or just remember it from school. Not a bad article, despite my sniping. Just told to the wrong people.

11
0

NHS: Remember those patient records we didn't deliver? Well, we found another 162,000

Jim 59

"My personal experiences with the NHS have been uniformally excellent and the staff friendly, helpful and competent "

I've had good NHS experiences, medium ones, and awful NHS experiences. That's the trouble. You never know what you are going to get. Here is a very trivial example, three recent blood tests:

1. Nurse took a sample of blood so skilfully I felt no discomfort. Had I been asleep when she stuck the needle in, I probably wouldn't have woken up. She was also friendly and efficiant. Great.

2. Same surgery, different nurse. Talked non-stop about her holidays while wobbling the needle painfully in my arm. Afterwards I almost fainted, which might be unrelated.

3. Same surgery, third nurse. Friendly and efficient. Almost as good as (1). I noticed she ommited to wipe the injection area with alcohol beforehand, presumably slightly increasing my chances of an infection, but I didn't say anything.

Taking blood samples is trivial, but the same inconsistency happens in the most serious treatments. I could relate depressing stories of crappy "treatment" received by seriously ill relatives, but won't. Some will argue that poor NHS experiences are caused by lack of funding but I think that lack of responsibility and accountability plays a big part.

Put bluntly, the NHS, as a huge publicly funded body, lacks motivation to keep you alive, to treat you with compassion or to minimize your discomfort. Human nature dictates it. A private health company, on the other hand, is highly motivated to achieve all these things. But then, private health companies are also motivated by profit, which can lead to a whole different set of problems, equally as bad as the above.

Okay sorry about the lecture, I'll stop there.

10
1

Night out in London tonight: Beer, Reg and platform wars

Jim 59

"another BBC owner here went from model B with a watford dfs to my beloved Acorn A310 Archimedes. 6502 assembler was better than Z80 by a street mile, but ARM assembler..."

2 grand for less memory than a Speccy. No wonder you had to write everything in assembler.

1
2
Jim 59

...and all yours for just 2 grand.

2
0
Jim 59

I would go to the lecture but I'd end up rubbing shoulders with ex Spectrum owners who haven't washed since 1984, stuck up BBC Micro types, smug Amiga fanbois, oh and by the way, the person making the next comment below is the *worst* kind of person-

16
0

Don't fear the reap... er, automation: Puppet hopes to make IT boring, says that's a good thing

Jim 59

On the subject of making IT boring, this article reads like a Puppet in-house magazine. Did The Register ask any questions in the "phone interview" ? Or just transcribe a statement from the Puppet marketing director ? Come on, man.

4
0

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs

Jim 59

For the same reason that cartoons have only 3 fingers and a thumb, many roadsigns are not accurate representations, nor should they be. They are designed for quick comprehension and no more. If Matt Parker can design a pentagonal ball which is also clearer and quicker to recognose than the current model, I'll sign his petition.

5
3

Dropbox thinks outside the … we can't go there, not when a box becomes a 'collection of surfaces'

Jim 59

I miss Lester

These articles remind me of Lester Haines (RIP), and his stout work on Logowatch over the years.

On Uber - "The norms of modern online journalism require that at this point we embed a few tweets from the unwashed masses* decrying Uber's descent into branding anarchy, as if anyone really gives a tinker's what people are gobbing off about in 140 characters or less."

TomTom - "A free whalesong CD (including the hit track The Ross Sea Minke posse versus the Japanese whaleburger crew) to sharp-eyed reader Mat Butterworth."

More on Google site:theregister.co.uk haines

6
0

Hollywood has savaged enough sci-fi classics – let's hope Dick would dig Blade Runner 2049

Jim 59

Never got ET. Perhaps at 15 I was a bit too old.

Never got Bladerunner either, for which I apologise and will keep rewatcing.

Loved The Thing (1982) on TV but couldn't watch it, or other gore-fests, in the cinema.

Tron perhaps "didn't impact pop culture", but it did help to send regiments of us down the computer track.

3
0

Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Jim 59

On topic, I don't think Rudd needs to understand encryption to a deep level for her job, so long as she gets the relevant principles, many of which are stated in the above comments.

15 years for reading terrorist literature on the Internet ? A tad OTT ?

7
0

BBC Telly Tax petition given new Parliament debate date

Jim 59

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"Secondly, the presence of the BBC raises the standards of the other channels. "

@AC how does that work ?

18
2
Jim 59

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

It's worth it for This Week alone. Radio 4 makes many intelligent people want to throw their radio into the garden.

6
5
Jim 59

Re: If you have issues with the Telly Tax...

"Just try watching the sh!te on the other channels, peppered by adverts, and you'll soon turn back to the Beeb."

If only that were still true, DailyLlama. Unfortunately, all BBC programmes are seperated buy long avertising cycles, on both TV and radio. On radio, news programmes are also routinely interrupted, sometimes every 8 ot 10 minutes, for a short advertising slot. The ads themselves are usually for future BBC programs, or just promoting the BBC itsellf. Just adverts for themselves, no more.

It is quite tragic for the Beeb. They have killed their own biggest advantage over commercial rivals, and shown how little they think of viewers and listeners by targeting them with anoying advertorial that isn't even needed for commercial survival.

And now here is the soft music, and that honeyed voice intones, for the 11th time, about that forthcoming Radio 4 programme that you have no interest in...

52
18

Brit prosecutors fling almost a million quid at anti-drone'n'phone ideas

Jim 59

Cynical view

Call me cynical, but I reckon it would be easy-peasy to stop phones getting into prisons and to block signals within, but allowing a certain level pf phone traffic helps to pacify prisoners

3
0

Telco forgot to renew its web domain, broke deaf folks' video calls – now gets a $3m paddlin'

Jim 59

Stale web domain - that's a paddlin'.

1
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017