* Posts by Zolko

218 posts • joined 10 Nov 2010


Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?


Re: Re-Use where possible

"I have one prospective son-in-law..."

so, how does that make his prospects ? Does it earn him points with his prospective father-in-law ? Looks like a nice chap to me.

Iran satellite fails: ICBM test drive or microsat test? Opinion is divided...


Re: Red Herring

"I think you underestimate religious fanatics."

like who ? Those that want every president swear on the Bible, those whose national anthem is to sing that some God should save some Queen, or those that think that some God gave them some land 6000 years ago and therefore they can take it away from those who have lived there for generations in the meantime ? You're right, they're all scary, although some killed more people than others in the past 1/2 century.


@Spartacu: "Israel's aren't illegal. They didn't sign the nNPT"

then they please shut the f**ck up about nuclear arms. Either they sign the treaty and they can join the discussion, or they don't and they don't.

Happy new year, readers. Yes, we have threaded comments, an image-lite mode, and more...


Re: Width

wait wait wait, can we have +1 level more ?

Apple heading for Supreme Court showdown over iOS App Store 'monopoly' gripe


@Confuciousmobil : "because you can only buy from one place and you know the apps will work

right, that's your choice. Keyword being choice: you have that exact same choice on Android. By default, only the official Google Play Store is allowed, but you can uncheck that option and then install any app you want. You can even uncheck that option temporarily to install an app you trust but that is not proposed by the Google Store - like F-Droid for example - and then re-enable the "security" again. The out-of-walled-garden app is still there.

The outcome of this lawsuit will probably be that Apple will have to implement that choice in its iOS. You could still buy/get all your apps only from the AppStore if you choose so.

Talk about a cache flow problem: This JavaScript can snoop on other browser tabs to work out what you're visiting


Re: JS - just for a change

@Bod : "Let's go back to static pages [...] Back to Web 1.0"

well, if you're using Tor, then it's for privacy reasons, so it is probably a very strange idea to browse with JS enabled AND have multiple tabs opened visiting different and sensitive sites. For example I use a different browser for banking than for regular reading, and I use the banking browser only for that, with JS enabled since they need it.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship



The correct name is BBR: Bloody Big Rocket

Linux kernel Spectre V2 defense fingered for massively slowing down unlucky apps on Intel Hyper-Thread CPUs



"was added to Linux 4.20 and backported to Linux 4.19.2"

> uname -r


good, I'm safe (icon, obviously)

European Union divided over tax on digital tech giants as some member states refuse free money



Ledswinger : "and the problem here is that a small number of largely American companies ..."

... and a small number of purely European non-countries (Andorra, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Jersey ...). It's too easy to accuse only the US on this when the tax-evader-in-chief (Luxemburg's ex-primeminister, revealed in LuxLeaks) is the head of Europe. It's like the fox guarding the hen-house.


Re: Life's not fair

"Go talk to a lawyer, you'll find that there's not a clear-cut answer"

well ... he would say that, wouldn't he ? His salary depends on you needing him, so he'd have a tendency to make things look more complicated than necessary.


Re: How about fixing the existing tax code to cover this??

"In general turnover taxes are a really bad idea"

That's a little short on proof: why is it a bad idea ? It's easier to check, and makes high-volume/low-margin commerce - such as Amazon and HFT - less profitable. That's actually what economics Nobel price (1) winner James Tobin proposed. So you had better come with very good arguments why this is a bad thing.

VAT has an almost identical effect to a sales tax

yes, and that is, by definition, a tax on turnover: the consumer pays the tax on the quantity he buys. It's a buyers-side turnover tax. So that's a good idea then ?

(1) yes, I know

Google logins make JavaScript mandatory, Huawei China spy shock, Mac malware, Iran gets new Stuxnet, and more


Re: People called Romanes they go the house?

"And what have they ever done for US?"

the Internet ?

So, about that Google tax on Android makers in the EU – report pegs it at up to $40 per phone


Re: What did people think would happen?

@AC : have to download Chrome and Google Search

I don't use any of them. And no Maps either. I'd be happy to pay more for a Google-free phone, so I very much welcome this decision (if it's for real !!!)

Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel


Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

@Dave Bell : Look at how minimise/maximise/close has and hasn't changed.

hum ... dunno ... I removed to minimize buttons, as I use "present windows" instead, and replaced it with a "keep above" which allows me to have a window visible and on top even if typing in another one. Or take "roll-up" and "roll-down" when rolling the mouse in the title-bar, like MacOS-9 did in it's time.

Windows and MacOS don't propose these very useful UI features, only KDE (Kwin) does.


Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

@Hstubbe : "Multi-monitor support also sucks for both kde and gnome."

I don't know about gnome (haven't used it for 10 years) but Kwin (KDE Plasma 5.12) is clearly one of the best window/display managers. I have multiple screens, at work, at home, in conferences, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, and it all just works. I never need to reboot, uptimes are in weeks.

What needs do you have that Kwin doesn't do ?

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...


Re: F-Droid

It has to do with the supposed security model of Google Play Store: if it's such an important thing, F-Droid should be banned, and a walled garden be erected around Google Play Store. Which I don't want to happen, I want t decide what to install. If I want to take the risk in installing crap, I want it to be possible.

But that's no excuse to mislabel a "download app" as "get it from GooglePlay"



And what about F-Droid, that is another Android app store ? To install apps from there the user also has to enable side-channel app installs. And it's Google-free. Is that good ar bad now ?

Sure, Europe. Here's our Android suite without Search, Chrome apps. Now pay the Google tax


Re: Or the fourth option...

@ratfox: Google apps are good; they're often the best

no, they are crap. I don't use any Google app (actually, I do use 1 app from them: the calendar, but I use it with external calendars, synced with DavDroid)

- for maps I use OsmAnd+

- for mail I use AquaMail

- as browser I use Opera

- as market I have FDroid (but use GooglePlay also)

- for search I use Qwant (or DuckDuckGo, depends)

- ...

I would take a Google-free Android if I could, and would even be willing to pay for it.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub


re-keyboard layout

You have to edit the file /usr/share/X11/xkb/symbols/fr (or de...), change the third- and fourth-level keys to what you want, and you're the king of the keyboard: all the λ, €, á, ó, í, ←→↑↓, ω, Ø, ¿, α, γ, φ, |, ≠, ±, ⋅, ≥, ≤, ß, Σ, δ, Δ ... symbols are yours with Alt-Gr and Shift.

Ah, don't forget the "sudo dpkg-reconfigure keyboard-configuration". You'll need good memory, but if you save that file and re-use it at each new install it'll become quite natural.

Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers


Re: Yeah...

@Jonathan 27: "my notebook has a power/charge LED and a 5 LED charge indicator on the side."

I have the regular XP-13 (with a traditional hinge) and I hadn't noticed, nice, thank-you.

"The power button is also fairly large."

...and has a light. As the CAPS-lock button.

@Tom 64 : "Great laptop, but also has a very difficult-to-open hinge."

mine doesn't even have any notch, I must insert my nails between the 2 shells: did nobody test that bloody laptop ? How are we supposed to open it ?

Apart from that, very nice laptop. Excellent Linux support, works out-of-the box with the latest Ubuntu LTS. Even the camera. Battery use is average, and curiously the suspend state is quite power-hungry.

Ex-Rolls-Royce engineer nicked on suspicion of giving F-35 info to China


Re: the pencil

pencils do write by leaving tiny graphite particles on the paper. And in 0g these particles don't settle, they float around. And graphite is carbon, and carbon is electrically conductive. Thus, according to Murphy, they will go into the worst possible places, short-circuiting whatever is most critical.

Dual-screen laptops debut at Asus' Computex chat

Thumb Up

Why only now ?

I've been thinking about this ScreenPad thingy for ages. I don't like touchpads, a mouse feels much more natural, therefore when beeing at my desk the touchpad is unused. The only thing is how to efficiently switch modes (TouchPad -vs- ScreenPad)

I don't think it's supposed to be working as a screen, rather as an adaptive secondary keyboard. ExcelExcelSomething like the MagicBar in new MacBooks, but better. When necessary, it can display a NumPad (in a spreadsheet for example), sliders or toolboxes (in Photoshop). If it where combined with a pen input it could be even more interesting.

Void Linux gave itself to the void, Korora needs a long siesta – life is hard for small distros



I did build an LFS system some time ago. It's a shame they include so much optional stuff with the core system now (Gperf, GDBM, Man-DB...), but exclude the basics (Xorg).

Also, the ALSF should have a config file where the user can specify what to install, instead of installing everything that's in the book. I did try to write my own ALFS, and it did work, but BOY! it was as much effort to make it happen as to build it by hand.

Using KDE Neon now, will try Devuan next as ASCII-rc has finally happened.

2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations


Re: 3 <= 2 + 2 <= 5

when rounding to 1 significant figure.

actually, I think this is exactly what's happening. People here use Nvidia cards to do scientific computing, and recently they have reported that the same calculations bring different results. They attribute this to the massively parallel calculations that spread the sub-calculations on the many cores differently each time, such that intermediate results are calculated along different paths, and since these are floating-point calculations the roundings in these intermediate results differ.

They say that, unlike in a real processor, there is no OS so there is no way to tell the processor what and when and how to do: it does it's magic on his own.

Tim Berners-Lee says regulation of the web may be needed


who owns the DNS ?

it's already game over and no amount of regulation can fix it. Google ...

these monopolies could – and should – be broken into pieces. And it's easy to do: rule by the DNS. So no, it's pretty much not game over, as soon as some technically knowledgeable person gets into power he (or she) imposes the default DNS on every broadband connection and Google, Facebook & Co. are cut off from 99% of their userbase. The 1% who would know how to change/bypass the default DNS use other search engines already.

EU aviation agency publishes new drone framework. Hobbyists won't like it


Re: "what is the distinction?"

@AC: "Probably because flying a model aircraft is usually far more difficult than flying a drone, ..."

... thus any irresponsible model aircraft builder has crashed and destroyed his model before it could become dangerous. Not so with RTF gyro-stabilized BVR quad-copters, that any half-idiot can buy and make fly in minutes anywhere.

UK.gov: Psst. Belgium. Buy these Typhoon fighter jets from us, will you?


Re: Defending the continent against potential Russian aggression

@Spartacus : "The first annexation in Europe since WWII."

even before Kosovo, there was the "annexation" of East-Germany by West-Germany. Yes, I know, they call it "reunification" but the same can be said about Crimea, that was Russian until after East-Germany was separated from Germany.


Re: @ wolfetone

"Lets face it if ever theres a proper shooting war then all these carriers, and the planes still on the deck, will be on the bottom of the sea within about an hour."

"If it gets to that point the airfields will be smoldering holes in the ground and the cities will be ashes"

well, no, think of tactical nukes: they can take out an aircraft carrier, even a big one, and infest everything in a radius of 100km around it, but if it's on open see no land will be harmed. So yes, indeed, in case of a true war, the aircraft carriers are going to be the first targets of (Russian) U-boats (*). Therefore, it's easy to conclude that aircraft carriers are only there to bully countries that can't shoot back.

(*) EDIT: and there's nothing to do about it.

Are you an open-sorcerer or free software warrior? Let us do battle


Re: What's in it for the user?

@Richard 12 : However, why should the user care about the freedom to modify? Can you explain that to your CEO?

Certainly: to avoid document lock-in. Look at Microsoft Wrod –vs– Open/Libre Office.

Each new version of MS Office had/has a new document format, incompatible with the old one, and readable by no other software. On the other hand, when OpenOffice begun to suck, the code was forked and LibreOffice carried on. All ODT documents are easily readable by all Open/Libre Office variants, and also have many alternatives to switch-to.

Newsflash: Car cyber-security still sucks


Re: Tech + Knowlegy

Your comment seems furiously not unlike when Arthur Dent says:

- These are the times when I wish I remembered what my Mum used to say when I was young.

- Why, what did she say ?

- That's the point: I don't remember

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look


Re: GUI Design?

The application should interrogate the OS and use its current theme. [...] What's important is that it actually works and the GUI isn't subverted

That's actually how Kmail works: integrated into the KDE desktop with the Qt theme, and works with ALL standards : IMAP, CardDav, remote ICS, ... only LDAP doesn't work well (or I didn't figure out how to set it up properly)

You GNOME it: Windows and Apple devs get a compelling reason to turn to Linux


Kubuntu ?

try KDE Neon (that's the latest LTS Ubuntu with the latest KDE Plasma Build).

Best choice so far, may-be even better than Mint

What's that fresh, zesty fragrance? Oh, Linux Mint 18.3 has landed


Re: No KDE = No Mint for me

of course there is a KDE version of Mint. And quite a good one at that.

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020


Re: Whot ?

Your colleagues using OS-X (it's called macOS now btw) will be using the terrible version of Office for Mac which is utter garbage

you're probably right. But that only shows that MS-Office is not compatible with MS-Office. Even worse, we tried to have templates for a project, but with versions from different languages (French, German, English) and it couldn't get the numbering right, because for some versions it was "équation" and for others it was "equation", therefore it didn't get the numbering for equations right. Same for "table" and "tableau" and "Tabelle".

Yes, MS-Office is that stupid. Not to mention when you copy'n-paste between different versions from different languages ! I do it in plain text now and redo the formatting by hand. LaTeX is LOL-ling at me.


Re: Politics is nothing to do with it.

Alan Bourke : the software they need mostly doesn't exist on Linux and LibreOffice

here lies the point: they wanted to migrate everything at once: change OS and software. Had they first switched office suite, from MS-Office to LibreOffice, but sill on windows, and then switched OS once they had become OS-agnostic, it would have been much easier.


Whot ?

MS have done a good job of reducing the appeal of their Office, but it is so much faster, smoother and easier to use than the Libre equivalent

you must be kidding: MS-Office is unstable as hell, my colleagues (on OS-X) complain about it all the time. I only use it when absolutely necessary, and write all my stuff in LibreOffice and export to PDF. Or LaTeX when I need to write a long and beautiful article: after all these years, the output of MS-Office is still shite compared to the venerable LaTeX. Mind-you, it's not any better in LibreOffice, but LO is sooooo much more stable.

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


Re: Enough!

confirmed he died, probably of renal failure in Tora Bora, in late 2001, a few months after 9/11

link, FoxNews:


Published December 26, 2001 Fox News

Usama bin Laden has died a peaceful death due to an untreated lung complication, the Pakistan Observer reported, citing a Taliban leader who allegedly attended the funeral of the Al Qaeda leader.


Re: Probably gone down

No proof he was killed.

The contention that he is alive...

there is a logical hole in your argument: he could have been dead since a very long time. There were no more videos of Bin Laden since years, only some bad audio recording identified by the CIA as proof that he was still alive. The same CIA who dumped a corps no-one could identify because it was shot into the head during the fight. The same CIA who made a DNA test in less than 24 hours in Afghanistan, when it took the NY police 1 week to confirm it was the sperm of the IMF's director on the carpet.

The USA needed him alive because that served their war on terror very well. But when the new bad guy became Kadhafi and Assad, and the new good guys were the Al Nusra front, who are affiliates of Al Quaida, tracking Bin Laden and helping Al Nusra was too difficult to explain, and even dumbsters would have seen the contradiction.

Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang


age of Universe

@ Mark 85 : "Maybe Douglas Adams was right ..."

... and the Universe was not created at age T=0, but, say, at age T=1µs, after the cosmological inflation and when matter has already been formed. Would solve 2 fundamental questions about cosmology: symmetry matter/antimatter, and size of the Universe.

Of course, that would also prove that God exists, which is a dangerous thing to do. And that would raise the question about who created God ... a meta-God ?

Linux kernel community tries to castrate GPL copyright troll


Re: After reading this I am still confused.

> Failed to provide copies of the source for the binaries

failed to provide the exact version of the source with all tools at the exact version to build the precise binaries that were shipped. GPL v2


Re: I'm confused

@ Warm Braw : "I'm confused too. In the UK ..."

yes, but he plays in German courts. From what I read, he attacks a company for GPL violation, asking a small fee for his technical expertise in helping sorting out the fuss, but signing a contract and an NDA in the process, which then may become a contract violation and not a copyright violation if other GPL infringing code appears within that company.

Say: he finds a company having 100 products containing his code, said company providing the Linux kernel source code but not the exact version of every tool to build it. He attacks that company for 1 GPL violation, proposes to fix the source code as a contractor, and the contract says that he shall receive that amount for every GPL violation. He knows that there are 99 other products, but the company thinks that it will be fixed in 1 go. This is extortion, pure and simple.

Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack


Re: Pointless

@ Oh Homer : you didn't get it, did you ?

The point is not to consolidate the Internet social universe, but to offer an open solution for Internet chat. And one that would be easy to disseminate on a large scale. Which might or might not consolidate the social media chat services as a side-effect. Even if it's easy, many people refuse to joint proprietary data-slurping mega-corp networks.

Sonos will deny updates to those who snub rewritten privacy terms


Re: Farewell Sonos

"It's not like if you don't accept it, we'd be shutting down your device or intentionally bricking it."

Sir Runcible Spoon : "Lying turds. "

same here: if you don't update the software at their notice, the system will still function but with reduced functionality, like, for example, you can't re-scan your music library, meaning you can't listen to new music.

Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens


Re: Stand up and be counted!

Lot of long and complex arguments here by AC posters.

yes ... and all with the same visual effects (bold for quotes) and all defending GRsecurity. Strange, isn't it ?


The potential liability won't become a fact until sometime in the future when a Grsecurity customer gets sued

so ... now that GRsecurity did sue Perens, doesn't that prove that dealing with GRsecurity can indeed bring legal trouble ?

Banking websites are 'littered with trackers' ogling your credit risk


Re: UK banks tracking......

That's why I use another browser for banking. My main browser is Firefox with Ghostery, blocking all trackers, and my banking browser is something else, with 1% market-share, where they can track me all they want there is nothing to see since I don't use it for anything else. And then there is my Tor-browser for when I really want to be on the safe side.

I don't say that NSA can't see me, but I'm making their life more difficult.

Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden


@Ian Michael Gumby

"In fact the US would not issue any sort of warrant or extradition request of Assange while he's in the UK."

very true, they'd probably just grab him on the streets and take him to the US in an anonymous Citation jet taking off during night. Actually, probably not the US, but Saudi Arabia or some other dictatorship with secret prisons.

You seem imply that Assange would get a fair legal case, but all evidence points to the contrary. You did read the newspapers about Guantanamo, extraordinary rendition, secret Citation flights, black prisons run from US bases in some random countries, the plane of the Ecuadorian president downed over Austria because they thought that Snowden was in there, didn't you ? So, very clearly, Assange can fear much more than the UK justice.

It's been a few days, so what fresh trouble has Uber got into now?


criminal act ?

Uber's use of the tool to evade police detection should be considered a criminal act

why is there even a doubt about this ? Identifying legal prosecutors and then feeding them false information to evade inspection cannot be seen as anything else than illegal in any jurisdiction. Except Luxembourg, may-be.

systemd-free Devuan Linux hits RC2


Re: It's fascinating that Linux now has the same problem as Windows

So should programming languages be translated from English - "if", "else", "break" etc translated into your local language?

Actually, it has been done, with BASIC, to French: it's horrible, and unreadable. A very good candidate for "bloody Hell, did you really think this will be used ?"

Firefox Quantum: BIG browser project, huh? I share your concern



Hum, if that picture isn't a click'n-bait, I don't know what would qualify.


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