* Posts by jonha

46 posts • joined 22 Jul 2014

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

jonha

Re: Minimum spec?

>it disincentivises them from writing efficient code

Writing efficient code is a mindset and has got nothing to do with CPU power. Writing inefficient code might well be company policy (as it's presumably churned out faster than efficient code) but that's a different kettle of fish.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

jonha

It's long been a pet theory of mine that Windows 2030 will be a Desktop Environment/Window Manager based on a Linux kernel. They will do with Linux (the kernel) what they did with Chromium.

There's a black hole lurking within 1,000 light years of Earth – and you can see stars circling it with the naked eye

jonha
Go

Starman on his way...?

I can well picture Musk's Starman in his Roadster speeding ever faster into that black hole in the (very) distant future... not a bad end, perhaps.

(Yeah, the chances are vanishingly small... BUT NOT ZERO.)

Prepare to have your shonky password hygiene shamed by Firefox 76

jonha
Thumb Down

Mozilla FF... dead in the water AFAIC

Mozilla is a prime example how to lose users. I was an early adopter and more or less went directly from Netscape to Mozilla. But... after one too many updates which AGAIN broke something I was relying on I decided to switch to Pale Moon... that was umpteen years ago (at least it feels like umpteen years :-/)

I never looked back and I never will. (Yeah, never say never.)

(Not to talk about their needless UI changes, botched upgrades, installing extensions w/o asking the user, telemetry, etc etc.)

Vivaldi browser to perform a symphony of ad and tracker blocking with version 3.0

jonha
Thumb Up

If my trusty Pale Moon fails me...

I do almost everything with PM but the odd site won't work (eg WebRTC stuff). After looking into many chromium-based browsers over the years I have settled on Vivaldi and I have not regretted it. It's very configurable and the one extension I need (uBlock origin) runs well. Whether I can retire uBlock with this release remains to be seen. YMMV.

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?

jonha

Re: Good for data-less phone plans

> You get all sorts of funny folk here with spurious reasons for doing things a certain way.

You get all sorts of funny folk here with spurious reasons for thinking things should be done in a certain way.

Where's the best place to add Mentos to Diet Coke for the most foam? How big are the individual bubbles? Has science gone too far?

jonha

Re: The Diet Coke bottles were kept at 27 degrees Celsius (80.6 degrees Fahrenheit)

It's probably to do with the fact that you can dissolve more of a given gas in cold water than in warmer water (whereas it's the other way round for solids: the warmer the water the more salt or whatever you can dissolve in it).

Yeah, that Zoom app you're trusting with work chatter? It lives with 'vampires feeding on the blood of human data'

jonha

Re: Jitsi?

Yep, I think Jitsi is as safe as it gets IF you can self-host (or at least host with someone you trust). Even a non-self hosting session should be SOMEWHAT better than Zoom et al. I'm using it for a few years now, no problems so far.

British Army adopts WhatsApp for formal orders as coronavirus isolation kicks in

jonha

1. April come early? Or what?

No further comment necessary.

Appareils électroniques: Right to repair gets European Commission backing

jonha

Re: This jumped out:

Well, if you don't like this... just found Farrage Phones plc, build those non-EU-specced Farrage phones (lovely name) and sell them to all and sundry. It's called free market.

jonha

Re: What about updates

> At this point, I'd really like mandatory security updates for 10 years applied to any embedded software.

+1. Additionally, there should be a strict ban on devices where the manufacturer's firmware/OS can't be replaced by either the end-user or a repair shop.

How does Monzo keep 1,600 microservices spinning? Go, clean code, and a strong team

jonha

> "Note, though, that Monzo uses a lot of custom, in-house tools and libraries that are not easy to replicate."

That's the key sentence, IMHO. Yeah, this means more work and slower deployment in the beginning... but it's an approach that, in the long run, means you know exactly what's actually running on your servers and you understand how it's operating.

If you want an example of how user concerns do not drive software development, check out this Google-backed API

jonha

> There is no need for this api, hopefully Mozilla will give it a pass.

Perhaps it's wiser to implement the API but to deliver a random and ever changing collection of apps, some really existing (not on the user's machine, just some of those available in general) and some invented.

You can forget about that Black Friday deal: Brit banks crap out just in time for pay day

jonha

Re: Right... but there's more to it than just the managers

> No idea what you expect ordinary citizens to do with regard to banking site websites.

That's a 100% correct remark, I have no idea either.

But it's missing the wider point I am trying to make. In my extended family I have French, Swiss, German and Portuguese relatives. Almost all of these good people are utterly, totally befuddled, either when visiting the UK or upon reading some media stuff, about the levels of service or performance in various areas (public transport, politics etc) the British public is willing to accept without any real protest other than perhaps a sour smile and the odd mustn't grumble. This attitude may have some positive aspects but it also means that IN THE LONG RUN things just don't get better.

jonha

Right... but there's more to it than just the managers

+1 for that comment although it's not only greedy and/or incompetent managers and MDs.

In four words: the Brits are sheep.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing

jonha
Flame

Where's the EU when you need them?

Same story here, early GMail adopter, common name. Getting tax documents, car insurance docs, mobile contracts, bills for air condition equipment, etc etc etc for other blokes with my not so uncommon real-life name.

Apart from the mental state of these individuals what is driving me mad is exactly the sort of behaviour on the senders' side the article describes.

Take O2, a so-called tech company. Getting an email that I have opened an account with them and given them this email addy. Would I please acknowledge the email address is correct? Of course I don't and think that's it.

Nope, for from it. I now get a stream of detailed messages about my new mobile tariff, the mobile no and what have you. I have, more than once, contacted them... getting exactly nowhere. They don't care though they take security and all the rest VERY VERY seriously,

There should be a way (similar to other privacy EU initiatives) to force governments, companies, institutions, etc to really, REALLY VERIFY that all email addresses given are valid and connected to the intended recipient. This should be enforced by a nice and tidy little sum to be paid by said governments, companies, institutions etc as a penalty to the hapless victim if they don't get it right.

Android PDF app with just 100m downloads caught sneaking malware into mobes

jonha

Re: How 'bout that?

"Unfortunately, it's not available on the vast majority of phones, and even if you're lucky enough to have one that is supported"

Part one of that sentence is not true and as to part two... well, buying LineageOS-compatible stuff is not down to luck or Santa Claus, it is a conscious decision I have taken and take. These items are admittedly often (but not always) a little more expensive but in the long run they save money and a lot of trouble.

"there's little point in recommending it to people in practice because the chance of it actually being useful is close to zero."

Funny. I have four mobiles under my control (Sony, Moto, Sammy) and all are on LineageOS. I have three tablets under my control and again, all are on LineageOS.

I have no Google software on these phones and yet they are fully functional.

What I would agree with is that many people do not know (and can't be expected to know) how to achieve this though they would want to do it.

This is partly a reflection how badly the IT sector has let us down, especially in the last decade or so. Disclaimer: I am a developer myself.

jonha

How 'bout that?

Install LineageOS, dont' install Google Apps and use (mostly) F-Droid as apk source.

I have done and do this to all my phones and tablets (buying only devices that allow LineageOS to be installed) and I can say: it simply works.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date

jonha
Linux

In this day and age anyone* who buys a significant chunk of hardware (PCs, smartphones, tablets, routers etc) whose software (OS or firmware) is not under user control and can't be changed is making a mistake. This route might be more expensive in the short run but it gives a lot more peace of mind and actually saves money in the long run.

* Sadly "anyone" here means those who either know how to replace the OS or firmware or know someone who can do that.

ReactOS 0.4.11 makes great strides towards running Windows apps without the Windows

jonha

Re: Window of Opportunity?

M$ will not open the NT kernel this side of 2050, if ever.

And anyway, the kernel itself isn't the big problem. The basic drivers (NTFS is/was a big problem for ReactOS), the zillion support DLLs... that's the trouble. Implementing that and implementing it in a 99.999% compatible way is very hard.

Nevertheless, perhaps... in another two, three years... I might install it in a Linux host as a guest for those pesky little apps for which I can't find a Linux replacement and which don't run in wine.

UK.gov's Verify has 'significantly' missed every target, groans spending watchdog

jonha
FAIL

What a surprise!

A few years ago I had big BIG trouble with the HMRC SA login (don't get me started on that abomination...!) and decided to try Verify. Luckily this was months before the Jan, 31 deadline so I had enough time to work my way through this thing... you'll need it if you succeed at all. A few thousand lost hairs later and surrounded by heaps of paper files I not even knew I had (my wife knew, phew!) I had a Verify account.

The people who designed this system live on another planet where, among other things, the word world-class doesn't mean what it means on earth.

Germany pushes router security rules, OpenWRT and CCC push back

jonha

"Support for open firmware is, arguably, a niche consideration at the moment"

It is at the moment, that's true. However, I am only buying "smart" stuff if and when I know beforehand that I can install some sort of supported open OS/firmware on it. I am also preaching this to everyone I know who is not out of earshot within three seconds. And indeed, there is (growing) interest for this idea even in circles that I can only describe as technically challenged. What's needed beyond that interest is a way to install/update these things in a manner that is so easy that those people are willing to do it.

HMRC rapped as Brexit looms and customs IT release slips again

jonha

I am tempted to think that there's more news value in the fact that Fleetwood Mac's Rumours is among the top-twenty albums (#16) requested by Alexa users.

China's going to make a mobile OS and everyone will love it, predict ball-gazing analysts

jonha
Happy

"Who would you trust more to provide a mobile OS,

Apple, Google, the PRC or Facebook?"

All of them... provided they will release it as open source, every bit of it.

I (am trying to) buy kit where I can replace the OS with an open source alternative and this works already pretty well for desktops/laptops, mobile phones/tablets and routers. I still have a dumb TV, none of my MP3 players and digital cameras has Wifi connectivity, and there's no Alexa et al.

.NET Core 2.1 – huh, yeah – what is it good for? Bing, apparently

jonha
Meh

"Bing [...] handles thousands of search requests every second using servers spread over many data centres across the globe."

That doesn't sound very impressive. If and when bing.com scales well enough to outperform the Big G servers, then I might perhaps think about exercising one of my eyebrows.

Windows 10 Linux Distribution Overload? We have just the thing

jonha
FAIL

Re: I still think they're majoring in the minors. again.

"Were they spending an EQUAL amount of effort on a Wine-like subsystem that RUNS ON LINUX, so we could use windows applications on a Linux system DIRECTLY without having to use Win-10-nic, I'd be TRULY impressed!"

Two remarks. Wine in itself is much, MUCH better than I though it would be. I am moving various systems from Windows 7 Pro to Linux and so far, every single (!) app for which I couldn't unearth a Linux replacement has worked OOTB under wine. I was planning to install VirtualBox and Win7 as a VM but at the current rate that won't be necessary.

Second, anything MS releases for Linux is something I would never ever install. Even if it were initially released as open source... they are 100% capable of releasing newer versions (or extensions) which all of a sudden aren't. Or find some other means to tie me into their eco system in ways that are beyond my control.

ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole

jonha

Get a decent 3rd party router and switch off all Wifi functions...

... on the supplied modem/router. That's what I've done for years and years, mainly for security reasons but also because a stand-alone router tends to have better WiFi speeds. (I swear by Asus but there are other good brands.)

'Facebook takes data from my phone – but I don't have an account!'

jonha

Re: 'Unlock bootloader, root, install Lineage OS '

It depends. I am an IT professional and I would just not use locked hardware if I can help it. Case in point: I recently needed NTFS access for my tablet's USB OTG. No problem with root, just install NTFS-3G and couple of utilities and it's good to go.

jonha

Re: 'Unlock bootloader, root, install Lineage OS '

As you implied it all depends all on the maker and the model. I had positive experiences with Samsung and Moto hardware... but I agree that it can be a minefield. As so often it boils down to the amount of money one is prepared to spend... after having been burned in the past I decided to concentrate on "known good phones". They are a bit more expensive (though a Moto G4 Play, say, won't break the bank at all) but I use them for a few years and the peace of mind over that period is worth it IMO.

jonha

Unlock bootloader, root, install Lineage OS

I only buy phones and tablets where I can do these three things. Not only can I get rid of all sorts of crap that came with the phone (though rarer these days) I also "lose" access to all Google apps and their potential for doing mischief.

It should be made much easier for consumers to do this sort of thing... my parents could certainly not do that, so I have to do it for them.

France gives les citoyens the right to cock up official paperwork

jonha
Headmaster

"Forgot your tax return, mon ami? Pas de problem!"

If you think you have to impress us with your foreign language competence, pas de problème!

PowerShell comes to MacOS and Linux. Oh and Windows too

jonha

In 10 years (give and take) Windows will be based on a Linux kernel. In a way, Windows *will* be Linux. (I am off Windows since v8 and do not look forward to that..)

I've got a verbal govt contract for Hyperloop, claims His Muskiness

jonha

"to build an unrealistic high-speed tube train system across America"

Unrealistic? If all inventors, researchers, scientists had that outlook we'd still be in the caves.

(I don't say that HL is realistic. I just think that we need to invest a lot more time and brainpower to find out. Who would've thought when the first transistor was cobbled together what would come out of that? Not to talk about laser or indeed the ARPAnet...)

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

jonha

HMRC and IT... when these two acronyms appear in one sentence they never fail to make me shiver. These days I do my tax SA normally early in the summer because I had so much trouble with their online site that I was actually contemplating for a while to return to paper. And I am fortunate: my only contact with them is the tax SA.

Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

jonha
Alert

SOFORT VERBIETEN!

Those studies should be VERBOTEN! They seriously undermine the hard-won image of Germans in the wider world... imagine Germany w/o Verbote... like France w/o strikes:-)

Is Britain really worse at 4G than Peru?

jonha

Don't know about 4G in Peru but if I compare the speeds I get in Blighty with those I get in various locations in France, Switzerland and Germany I'm inclined to believe that Peru may well be faster. (My experience is not covering the whole of these countries, obviously, but I am travelling widely in those countries and I do have "anecdotal evidence" for scores of locations in F, D and CH (and a little in Spain).) So perhaps our "world-class" infrastructure is getting a bit long in the tooth now?

(Incidentally, there's a similar picture with old copper-based net access: I get consistently higher speeds on the continent than in the UK. Fibre is different though, here the UK seems to be in front, at least sometimes. YMMV of course.)

UK.gov throws hissy fit after Twitter chokes off snoop firm's access

jonha

Rudd is just a fast learner: those who don't do my bidding must be terrorists. Just look at the US, Turkey, Israel... anyone "misbehaving" gets their T-moniker.

Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

jonha

Arms race

This will lead to another arms race with a lot of resources squandered, no clear winners but clear losers -- the ordinary end-users. (Same comment goes for the news that someone has cracked the Windows10 no-update-for-old-CPUs mechanism.)

OLE-y hell. Bug in MSFT Word allows total PC p0wnage

jonha

Anyone who gives winword (or other such apps) free access to the wider internet almost deserves this. I fully understand that many users are just not able to work the OS (or another) firewall although, with a bit of googling and some patience, this is not too hard. People have to learn the ropes to be able to drive a car, so perhaps we should accept that learning some basic security reflexes is not a bad thing.

Thank Souq for that! Jeff Bezos now world's second richest

jonha

"None, however, touches Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, with a net worth of $86bn."

Wait and see. On current trends there'll be a switch sometime in the early 2020s. And if the MS people succeed with their plans to make us all Happy Fans Of Windows, it'll be sooner still.

Windows 10 Creators Update: Clearing the mines with livestock (that's you by the way)

jonha
FAIL

11 April... that's ten days too late.

Confused by crypto? Here's what that password hashing stuff means in English

jonha

512 bit ... 32 byte ... TGIF

Met police commissioner: Fraud victims should not be refunded by banks

jonha

I'll wager a bet...

that more of my personal data floats around the interwebs through the security incompetence (or often sheer we-cant-be-botheredness) of banks, telecoms companies, online retailers... you name it, than through my own incompetence. I've had a few talks to security people in banks and the results have consistently been disappointing. I never had the feeling that security enjoys the priority it should have.

So before BHH lambast the general public he should perhaps look into the way supposed "professionals" go about their IT security.

Self-regulation can address issues that arise in the digital economy, says Airbnb

jonha

AirBnB and trust?

"trust is the essential currency of the collaborative economy"

Certainly true, but hearing this from an outfit like AirBnB whose customer service is non-existent and who is not able or willing to clear up its own listings (I know, I've tried more than once but have now completely given up on the company and its offerings) is particularly irritating.

PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users

jonha
Windows

I 'm amazed you resisted the obvious Sinofsky Hybridisation IT.

SAP: It was our Big Data software wot won it for Germany

jonha
Headmaster

"Vorsprung durch grossendatatechnik"

Folks, if you really think you must dabble in German compounds, please ask your resident German (you do have one, don't you?) before putting such risible nonsense into a sub header.

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