* Posts by oldtaku

169 posts • joined 18 Aug 2011

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Video games used to be an escape. Now not even they are safe from ads

oldtaku
Devil

What do you expect from mobile F2P?

F2P is a sh#$hole, mobile F2P is an open cesspit, and they hate you.

It's more disturbing when it turns up in premium games, because you paid for the game. As others have noted, though, this used to be much, much worse in the 90s.

And of course AR is going to be living hell. People have predicted that since it was conceived. There's nothing other people can't ruin.

7
0

Bluetooth bugs bedevil billions of devices

oldtaku

Re: It just wasn't designed for this - it wasn't designed

A mediocre (not bad, most are just mediocre) programmer can chug through a clean standard and implement it without doing too many bad things. But when you hit them with a terrible spec they just get completely frustrated and throw their hands up and do whatever just to make it 'work' because they're overwhelmed and confused. Can't get this to work properly? Let's just have it run arbitrary commands.

I've seen this personally with things like people implementing the terrible (and terribly named) 'Simple' Network Management Protocol - mostly with the MIBs and lack of transaction support. These guys had produced decent SMTP code, but I just had to throw their SNMP code out.

Obviously good programmers would do better, but even they make mistakes when the protocol is a nightmare. It's not the only factor, but it's one of the compounding factors.

7
1
oldtaku
Unhappy

It just wasn't designed for this - it wasn't designed

The problem is that Bluetooth just wasn't designed for anything nearly as complex as what it's doing. It was just supposed to be wireless RS-232 (serial port) for a single un-encrypted point to point audio link!

Then, since it was there (oh hey, we've got a wireless data stream?), people just started cramming more and more 'features' and s@#$ into it. So it was never designed - it was accreted. Obviously parts were designed, but that's no substitute for a system vision. And once you get an industry consortium involved it just explodes in complexity as they all try to parasitically infect the standard with their own internal protocols / standards, and often succeed.

Given all that it's stunningly, stupidly complex for no good reason. One of the worst protocols I ever had to work with and a security nightmare (because, like Flash, it wasn't designed with security in mind) There are tons more exploits lurking in the stacks.

Why does everyone still use it? Because it's an existing cross-platform standard (chicken and egg), and it mostly works if you beat your head on it enough.

18
2

If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016

oldtaku
FAIL

Good luck with that

They haven't been able to fix Excel not being able to properly handle files on network shares in 10 years.

(If you're wired you probably won't notice it, but If you have a network drive spreadsheet open and wifi blips, Excel completely loses its s#Q@ - which means being completely unresponsive for up to 30 seconds to crashing to deciding to write your data to other open spreadsheets instead Apparently it's constantly reading/writing the open foo.xlsx and/or ~$foo.xlsx instead of sanely keeping a local temporary copy till you choose save. Whatever the cause it's a decade old known bug.).

18
1

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

oldtaku
Facepalm

Never give your appliances internet access

How dumb can you be?

It's hard to avoid 'smart' TVs these days, even the cheap ones want to spy on you. But as long as you don't give them wifi access they're effectively neutered and only act as displays.

Till they start coming with cell modems built in like cars - which is inevitable, sigh.

8
4

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

oldtaku
Mushroom

Thiel Capital

No surprise with Eric Weinstein - anyone who works for Peter Thiel is guaranteed to be a flaming asshole spouting gouts of of magmatic tat in all directions.

For anyone who doesn't know the name he's a classic old school techbro who helped create the 'techbros are assholes' culture - he's such an asshole that he used to pretend to be a libertarian and gave that up when the libertarians wouldn't elect him king. And now he will just outright literally tell you that he should be able to make all the laws because he's rich.

21
8

No vulns. No hardwired passwords. Patchable. Congress dreams of IoT: Impossible Online Tech

oldtaku
FAIL

And the cherry on top...

... mandatory backdoors that are only usable by the Good Guys (TM).

8
0

Trump backs off idea for joint US/Russian 'impenetrable Cyber Security unit'

oldtaku
Mushroom

What a f@#$ing rube

'Nice henhouse you have there, Komrad Trump, we should form partnership to protect it, da?'

'Stupendous! Fantastic! Greatest idea very ever!'

I really can't tell whether he's a total f@#$ing rube or a total f@#$ing stooge.

To be fair, he could be both.

44
3

Lordy! Trump admits there are no tapes of his chats with Comey

oldtaku
Black Helicopters

Re: The Truth?!

> How can you tell Trump's lying?

Trump is beyond lying. That implies some sort of sense of right and wrong, fact and fiction.

He just says whatever he wants to be true right this minute - it's pure bullshit, not even truth or lie, and he probably even believes it at the moment. Ask him tonight and you'll get a different answer that's just as true for him at this minute.

Why does it matter? Well, you can at least deal with liars once you identify them. You certainly can't believe Trump saying there aren't any tapes - there might be tapes but now they're inconvenient so he is willing them out of existence.

39
0

Intel: Joule's burned, Edison switched off, and Galileo – Galileo is no more

oldtaku
FAIL

Inevitable failure

Yeah, this was inevitable - Intel is institutionally incapable of making a credible play for the low end market with a combination of performance (which they can do) with low power (which they struggle with since they thought beating AMD at that was good enough) and low cost (which they're too arrogant to do).

Hindsight is easy! you may say, but I said this when they launched too. It's Intel, it's not desktop/laptop, it'll fail.

10
0

Sick of Java and C++? Google pours a cup o' Kotlin for Android devs

oldtaku

Re: What happened to golang?

First, Kotlin is explicitly designed to be extremely interoperable with Java. You can call back and forth, no problem - you could think of it as extreme syntax sugar for Java. That makes it pretty easy to add support.

Second, I'd bet they're already bored of Go-lang. Remember the programming mayflies descending on Ruby in swarms (I have nothing against Ruby, just the gadflies), making it briefly rival Python in popularity (and talk of Python-killer, lawl), and then they all got bored and ran off to the next hotness, leaving Ruby as 'that domain specific language for Rails'?

Go-lang is 10 years old and people know about it, so it's booooooring - on to the next hawtness! Kotlin is 6 years old, but someone from Google probably found out about it only 2 years ago and is enamored. Though now that it's officially supported it's boring again.

16
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oldtaku

Re: static vs dynamic typing

I think someone confused Java and Javascript for the 10 millionth time. Marketing working as designed! (So well they still can't get anyone to call it ECMAscript).

11
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oldtaku
Thumb Up

Javaless Future

They are working on ditching Java and Linux, yes. They're developing a new OS called Fuschia and while it might start out with Java compatibility the point is to get rid of the legal nightmares (and Java is no longer fad of the month, it's just the new COBOL - no fun).

4
0

Who really gives a toss if it's agile or not?

oldtaku

Re: 'What's Real and What's for Sale'...

Technically 'agile' just means you produce working versions frequently and iterate on that. I firmly believe in that basic concept - we have a git repository and a build server, and every time someone adds a new feature or fixes a bug, no matter how minor, they check it in and it builds and we run it. Usually I check something(s) in every day, for the most major things it may take a week, but the goal is always to get it in and working so it can be tested.

In practice, 'agile' is just something people who don't want any accountability at all for the terrible shit they write - who don't want to have to bother designing anything, or documenting anything - invoke as a buzzword. Even the most non-agile projects invoke agile as a get out of work free card.

35
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oldtaku
Mushroom

'Agile' means nothing at this point. Unless it means terrible software.

At this point, courtesy of Exxxxtr3333me Programming and its spawn, 'agile' just means 'we don't want to do any design, we don't want to do any documentation, and we don't want to do any acceptance testing because all that stuff is annoying.' Everything is 'agile', because that's the best case for terrible lazy programmers, even if they're using a completely different methodology.

I firmly believe in the basics of 'iterate working versions as often as possible'. But why sell ourselves short by calling it agile when we actually design it, document it, and use testing beyond unit tests?

Yes, yes, you can tell me what 'agile' technically means, and I know that design and documentation and QA are not excluded, but in practice even the most waterfall of waterfall call themselves agile (like Kat says), and from hard experience people who really push 'agile agile agile' as their thing are the worst of the worst terrible coders who just slam crap together with all the finesse and thoughtfulness of a Bangalore outsourcer.

32
1

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

oldtaku

Yes, that's true... but it's a strawman.

Unity is still a worthless piece of crippled crap that nobody ever wanted but Canonical.

Open Source people are hostile, Unity is terrible. Both of those things can be and are true. Open Source hostility, as embodied by Linus, does not excuse your terrible GUI.

13
13

Jawbone leans over, whispers: Psst, guess who's in a criminal probe? Yes, it's Fitbit

oldtaku
Unhappy

Bah, no fun at all. I am dissappoint.

Bah, even if the allegations were true, 'stealing trade secrets' is about the dumbest, most boring, snoozer of a criminal investigation you can get. Unless it involves whores of both genders, copious drugs, someone falling off a balcony, and/or someone waking up in the bathtub without some organs. And it sounds like that's not the case.

Also I'm not even sure why anyone would even want to steal anything from Jawbone at this point - you might catch what they've got - I know, not like Fitbit's doing great either, but you CAN have herpes and chlamydia at the same time.

2
0

Windows 10 networking bug derails Microsoft's own IPv6 rollout

oldtaku
FAIL

Obvious solution

Did Microsoft just try rebooting their boxes? Their support tells me that fixes almost everything.

11
1

Playpen child sex abuse archive admin gets 20 years in the Big House

oldtaku

The new face of crime

Picture of a doughy, balding, greasy white IT type dude would work better here (he looks it), though 20 years in can really change you - if he lives that long.

4
0

Feds cuff VW exec over diesel emissions scam

oldtaku
Meh

It's a good start...

It's a good start, but won't be over till ex CEO Winterkorn is in jail - BILD documents show he knew about the coverup and it needed his stamp to be so widespread.

Not that I expect that since he can just buy his way out, especially in the EU (it's bad enough in the US, but there is at least one exec in handcuffs).

2
5

Dotdot. Who's there? Yet another IoT app layer

oldtaku
Meh

:/ :/ :/

:||

is pretty much my feeling about this.

Sidenote: as usual a lot of tech blogs and tech 'news' sites are getting this hilariously wrong because Zigbee used the word 'language' - they think it's actually a new scripting language like Swift or Tcl instead of a set of C APIs and specs for common attributes and clusters to go with that. You can tell who's just mindlessly regurgitating the press release. Gareth is in the 1% who didn't.

8
0

Why don't people secure their IoT gadgets? 'It's not my problem'

oldtaku

Re: IoT

'Ability to have it automatically updated is actually another vulnerability vector.'

Completely agree, and it always will be a theoretical attack vector, but right *now* it's mostly because IoS manufacturers haven't given a single sh@# about security and/or how upgrades should work.

0
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oldtaku

Re: @oldtaku - And consumers shouldn't be expected to

Well, think of your own appliances. 'minimal' means you clean it as needed, drop it on the charger if needed and very very occasionally you pop out the standard replaceable part and replace it with another standard replaceable part. It's as streamlined as possible.

But whatever minimal is, a several hour ordeal that requires repeated google searches is not it.

1
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oldtaku

They're not selling it as 'more complicated stuff', they're selling it as 'this thing will make your life so much easier!'

Giving the toothbrush a charge and occasional new head, which are very simple and straightforward processes, is not the same as spending 12 hours trying to get your f#@$ing 'smart' camera's firmware updated through its arcane process which inevitably will not work behind a firewall so you have to put it directly on the net where it will be instantly pwned before you can even get the upgrade finished... And the person who's supposed to do this thinks their ISP is 'the internet' and can barely manage email.

20
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oldtaku
Unhappy

And consumers shouldn't be expected to

I'm with the consumers here. They're buying an appliance, and appliances are supposed to 'just work' with some minimal cleaning. If Phillips sells you a complete sack of s@#$ of a lightbulb it's not your job to fix it, it's theirs.

Of course I know Phillips doesn't give a damn either, and I don't need Google knowing who's in what room at what times and what they're saying, so I don't have any of this stuff in the house.

15
0

Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

oldtaku
FAIL

Re: Reliability?

It is a giant [bleep]-pile of a protocol. It was only intended to connect one phone to one wireless headset with crappy speech only audio quality and they've since erected a giant tottering artifice on this tiny little foundation.

It won't ever work reliably in general, and it can't ever work reliably in general.

Sometimes you find two devices where the people who wrote the BT stacks and did the hardware were in sync with each other and it does mostly work - the Wii controllers were BT but Nintendo had total control over both ends so they were very reliable. The PS3 DualShock controllers would drop out semi-regularly, but the PS4 DS4 controllers seem pretty solid.

Two random devices from different manufacturers? Total pot luck. Sometimes you get lucky and it's pretty good. Sometimes it doesn't work at all. Usually it works mostly.

3
0

San Francisco's sinking luxury Millennium Tower: Tilt spotted FROM SPACE

oldtaku
FAIL

Such a clusterfark - the developers were too cheap to sink the piles all the way down, and now they're saying they don't even have to fix it, they can just let it sink and it'll stop eventually.

But there's no reason to believe that 31 inches is an actual limit - that was an estimate from an engineer hired by those same shady developers. It could sink another 100 feet - which would be fine, the big problem is if it falls over. Real China Kwalitee there guys.

At least for once the victims are also rich tossers.

15
15

Who's in Peter's file? Moneybags Thiel hits up Silicon Valley brains to join his Trump think tank

oldtaku

You can't have a Trump Think Tank

You can have a Trump Asshole Tank (ewwww), and there is definitely nobody better to head that than Peter.

19
2

Symantec doubles down on consumer security by buying LifeLock

oldtaku

Consumer 'Security'

Yeah, I guess a giant scammer firm for people who don't know about credit locks that get most of their customers from 'free credit monitoring' after data breaches is a perfect fit for Symantec and their 'security' products.

0
0

Smoking hole found on Mars where Schiaparelli lander, er, 'landed'

oldtaku
Trollface

Ouch, ESA is just cursed with the landings, though they do fantastic with the orbiters.

It'll be fairly humiliating if even India gets their lander there first.

4
0

Kids today are so stupid they fall for security scams more often than greybeards

oldtaku

Re: 'Digital Natives' are totally oblivious to how it works

Sure would have liked to, but that'd been £500 in charges and 60x40 pixels isn't that sexy unless you squint real hard.

24
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oldtaku
Big Brother

'Digital Natives' are totally oblivious to how it works

We've mentioned this before, but just because you're super good at using mobile apps doesn't mean you have any faffing idea what's going on. It's the huge fallacy in the Digital Youth Who Will Make Great Things theory. They're consumers, not producers (except of selfies).

Unlike the Good Old Days (TM) where nothing ever worked without dinking with your autoexec.bat and config.sys (maybe I should change the IRQ on this card, hope there's no conflict?), now things mostly just work. Which means you have no idea how it works and no idea when someone's messing with you. You're just wrapped up in the warm comforting embrace of Facebook - trusssst in me...... ssslip into ssssilent sssslumber, ssssail on a sssilver missst...

So even my Mum does better than my nephews and nieces when it comes to troubleshooting and knowing when they're being scammed.

106
1

Pair programming – you'll never guess what happens next!

oldtaku
Flame

In moderation it's great

Sometimes pair programming is way better. We do a thing in the office where you just call anyone over for a bit of shoulder surfing when you know you're in something finicky and you need a second set of eyes. Everyone's motivated, the backup guy gets to learn a little more about another part of the codebase, they often will catch something, productivity is had.

But like so much else in Exxxtr33333m3!1! Programming they turned it into this stupid religious thing where if it's good in small doses then it must be even better 24/7 and we'll make it a Commandment.

We tried full days for a bit (why not?) and found productivity and motivation were lowered overall. There's nothing like sitting there watching someone else do tedious boilerplate shit and telling him when he typoes (because you're so bored), and there's really nothing like having some a@#hole telling you every time you typo before you can correct it. Or well, it's 5 PM, I was going to stay a little longer and try to get this feature done, but OH WELL I GUESS NOT. You're taking two productive guys and getting maybe 1.2 guys out of it.

Also, it should be perfectly legal to strangle someone to death who doesn't know the keyboard shortcuts for a program they use every single day.

Anyhow, do it when you think it'll help and it'll be an amazing experience - or you can turn it into a tedious counterproductive chore by making it mandatory.

2
0

Galaxy Note 7 flameout: 2 in 5 Samsung fans say they'll never buy from the Korean giant again

oldtaku

Re: Highly Unlikely

It's not that they don't like their new HTC, but in a year or two when they start getting the itch to buy something new this looks really shiny... Maybe it is just the advertising!

But also, people who like the Notes REALLY like the Notes. It does a very good job with the stylus. Stuff like LG Stylo is okaaaay but I'm not aware of anything out there that's as good unless you want to go the full on Surface tablet route. Maybe this is an opportunity for someone else to step up.

6
1
oldtaku
Devil

Highly Unlikely

Consumers have the attention span (and attraction to new shiny things) of magpies.

If Samsung brings out whatever they're going to call the new Note 8 in a year and it's better than the Note 7 (which was pretty good), and it doesn't burst into flames, then they'll be flocking back. If not in a year for the 'Note 8' then definitely in two years for the 'Note 9'.

I believe people, like some here, who'd already given up on Samsung before this for crappy bloatware and lack of Android updates, because that's a systemic thing. But people who are giving up FOREVAR just because of the Note 7 thing will mostly be back unless they get distracted by something shinier elsewhere.

27
0

The exploding Note 7 is no surprise – leaked Samsung doc highlights toxic internal culture

oldtaku
Trollface

Re: Much nicer here in Cupertino...

> I don't have anyone screaming at me for hours on end.

Now that Steve is dead.

17
1
oldtaku
Unhappy

Charles 9 got it - this is just typical for South Korean chaebols.

It's one reason South Korea produces so many great webtoons - life there is just miserable, which is great for producing tragic comics. The eight hour Suneung (college entrance exam) pretty much decides your future - the country half shuts down for the day. So you spend 12+ years cramming for it like a dog (all your nights) in hopes that you get into a good college so you can join one of the giant companies that run the country, like Samsung (or maybe take the government path if you're from the right families). Then if you 'win' and do actually get that high prestige chaebol job, there's no letup of being worked like a dog, and the execs know there are plenty of desperate people where you came from.

There are other options, of course, like dropping out of this treadmill or being forced out, but then you're a societal 'loser'.

Anyhow, it ain't just Samsung - which is no excuse for Samsung's behavior, just that it's a national problem and this should come as no surprise to anyone.

28
0

Little top tech tip: Take care choosing your storage drives

oldtaku
Thumb Up

Even if your storage manager claims to support it, Just Don't Do It. Homogeneous disks only. All it takes is one tits up due to your mismatched platters to completely blow all the money you 'saved'.

6
0

US govt straight up accuses Russia of hacking prez election

oldtaku

That Russia has this 50 Ruble Comment Army and the US has nothing is one reason they're losing so hard on this.

11
3

Y'know that ridiculously expensive Oculus Rift? Yeah, it just got worse

oldtaku
Trollface

I'm in!

How can I properly click on the integrated Facebook VR ads if I don't spring for the controller?

3
0

Is Apple's software getting worse or what?

oldtaku

You can't really say much about declining quality with iTunes, because that's always between a steaming vat of feces that, to add insult to injury, deliberately ignores many of Apple's own app guidelines.

Other than that, hell yes stuff has gotten buggier. Welcome to the wonderful future of perpetual beta, except a lot of people buy Apple stuff because they just want things to work and don't want to be in perpetual beta.

33
0

My Nest smoke alarm was great … right up to the point it went nuts

oldtaku
FAIL

'Smart' is only used ironically.

If your device describes itself as smart, that means it's stupid in ways you've never even thought of. Extra-stupid. Pan-stupid. Omni-stupid.

It's the same rule as used car dealers (or anyone, really) calling themselves Honest, like Honest Bob's Top Quality Used Autos and Payday Loans.

Or the name of almost any piece of legislature,which will usually do the opposite of what the title says. Like the UK 'Psychoactive Substances Act' which declares anything known to man to be psychoactive unless it's alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, or psychoactive prescription drugs. Or any us 'Data Privacy' act which usually takes away your privacy rights.

12
0

Mozilla wants woeful WoSign certs off the list

oldtaku
Facepalm

Tiger Todger Can Fix That

Ah China. The air's poison, the water's poison, the pet food is poison, the milk is poison, the shirts are poison (and burn), the drywall is poison, the century eggs are poison, the booze is poison, even the CERTS are poison.

This seems like something only the ground up penis of an endangered species can fix.

5
3

Unlucky Luckey: Oculus developers invoke anti-douchebag clause, halt games for VR goggles

oldtaku
Trollface

Oh, so Social Hitler buying Oculus wasn't a big deal, but finding out that a doughy white techbro billionaire is funding Trump PACs to keep white bros on top is just a total, TOTAL shock to these blokes.

7
0

Chubby Chinese students refused top bunk

oldtaku

Spare a Thought for the Fragile Twigs on the Bottom!

Considering the safety of Chinese construction, this is probably going to save the lives of quite a few skinny little guys on bottom bunks when the top bunk comes down hard with Chairman Mao on top.

Hell, this has certainly already happened if they're actually making and enforcing rules about it - easier to do that than to build safe bunks. And the fact that they actually care means that at least one of those dead skinny guys was the son of someone with good political connections.

2
1

The Internet of Cows is moo-ving fast … no bull!

oldtaku
Facepalm

We're all Connected Cows

I thought 'Connected Cow Farm' was a brilliant term for the Internet of Shitty Insecure Things before I read the article and found out the cows are not figurative.

0
0

fMRI bugs could upend years of research

oldtaku

I'd have hoped most people twigged to this when that 2010 fMRI study found statistically significant activation in the brain of a dead salmon.

11
0

Oculus backtracks on open software promise

oldtaku
Meh

Inevitable

Inevitable as soon as they were bought by Facebook. This always happens.

The little company says 'Oh no this won't change our culture at all hurf burf!' But it's like trying to hold back overflowing sewage with a net. And Facebook's culture is 'we're a walled nuthouse, we ruthlessly exploit our users, and we crush and replace other systems rather than work with them.'

36
0

'No regrets' says chap who felled JavaScript's Jenga tower – as devs ask: Have we forgotten how to code?

oldtaku
Meh

The 'Have we Forgotten' thing is silly.

Yes, there are far too many people who just paste together random code snippets and hope it compiles. Outsourcing is almost entirely built on this.

On the other hand, anyone lazy /and/ smart will go with known good functions like these, even if they're just 9 lines long, because the edge cases are a bitch, and you only find them if enough people pound on it.

I guarantee that if you wrote your own slash function on the fly you would get something wrong. Worse, it would mostly work (all your test cases would be fine), then break in the field because of things like the non-ascii which this slash function covers. Better to use a known field hardened component.

15
1

AdBlock replaced blocked ads with ads for Amnesty International

oldtaku
Megaphone

Ditch it! Use a better alternative.

I switched to uBlock Origin because ABP was getting too big and too shady (block ads then turn around and demand money from sites to show the ads anyhow). As a bonus, it's also much less of a pig.

There's also uBlock (no Origin) and there's some fork drama there, but I don't really care, either is better than ABP now. I think uBO gets more and better updates though.

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