* Posts by keithzg

46 posts • joined 7 Oct 2017

Russia: We did not hack the US Democrats. But if we did, we're immune from prosecution... lmao


Photoshop? C'mon, man, the year is 2018

The NSA should use its ridiculous computing power to make the deepfake of all deepfakes!

Ex-Microsoft manager sues former coworkers and Windows giant over claims of sex assault, gender discrimination


Re: Maybe too much?

"but none have them been that inconsiderate, especially in a group"

Well, it's not like Microsoft has been renowned for their great corporate culture . . .

Macs to Linux fans: Stop right there, Penguinista scum, that's not macOS. Go on, git outta here


Re: Why Linux on Apple Hardware?

3:2 screens, too; I dual-boot ChromeOS and Kubuntu on a Pixelbook, as I did previously on a Chromebook Pixel, and it's quite great.


Re: SecureBoot Bites Again

Yeah but who cares about Windows :P

(In all seriousness, the same thought occurred to me.)

Fortnite 'fesses up: New female character's jiggly bits 'unintended' and 'embarrassing'


There's something very weird looking about that

Maybe it's how literally nothing else, including her hair, is moving physics-wise in response to the dance other than her breasts? I'm not entirely sure that's it, but whatever it is, that video looks really uncanny and off-putting to me.

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath


Nokia's history, particularly leading up to the end, was definitely one of the engineers working wonders and management being giant self-serving pricks.


Yeah Nokia's Linux strategy seemed pretty doomed once Nokia outright decided not to even actually try and sell them.

SailfishOS is pretty great on my Gemini, so in some senses it does live on, though I would have preferred a more N900-style thumb keyboard like the N950 had (ie. you can't necessarily type normally, but a full range of keys is included).


And Nokia *had* a smooth exist strategy planned out for Symbian

By the time the N8 came out, Nokia's dev tools supported easily writing applications that would work fine on Symbian devices like the N8 (and Symbian was still, at the time, the single most widely installed smartphone OS in the world) *and* on the new Harmattan Linux-based platform of the N9. It could, in fact, have been one of the smoothest ecosystem OS switchovers in computer history, had they kept to the plan.

And frankly, as someone who worked in phone retail at the time as a slacker job, I'm not sure Windows Phone even actually ever got as good of an app catalogue as the Qt-based apps for Maemo and Symbian; I had a Nokia N9 and easily had better apps available to me than the crappy catalogue available on the Windows Phones I was selling (frankly, Windows Phone was best considered just a nice touchscreen interface for a feature phone). Which is particularly shocking considering how Nokia entirely pulled the rug out from app developers and had essentially announced there was no future.

And that's not even to get into how Nokia had more Linux-based products in the pipeline that were then canceled to make way for Windows Phone . . . only, Windows Phone only supported an extremely limited set of SoCs and had to be developed for anew, abandoning the SoCs Nokia had been working with prior, and so Nokia found itself with giant gaps in its device roadmap.

Now, it's entirely possible that Nokia's smooth changeover strategy, where developers could easily target both their legacy platform and upcoming platform, may not have worked. And the N9 (which was wonderfully received at the time, and IMHO still feels a bit futuristic in construction and interface today; certainly the swipe-based navigation is almost infinitely better than Android's lacklustre new gesture-based navigation) may not have seen widespread adoption or the followup budget and mid-range devices may not have found traction either. But, it would have been far less of an uphill battle than Windows Phone was.

Python wriggles onward without its head


It's been almost a decade now

By December of this year it will be a decade since Python 3.0 was released; just adopt Python 3 all goddamned ready :P

Apple shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, to find gambling in its Chinese App Store


Re: Riiiight... we believe you.

The iconic 1984 commercial seems more and more ironic every year. (And it was already a bit ironic at the time.)

Did you know: Lawyers can certify web domain ownership? Well, not no more they ain't


A "phoencall"?

I haven't heard of that security verification mechanism before, do elaborate!

From here on, Red Hat's new GPLv2 software projects will have GPLv3 cure for license violators


I actually prefer another license which Fontana is involved with

IMHO the best Free Software license is copyleft-next, which (amongst other things) largely takes the good points of GPLv3 and condenses it down to a human-readable length: https://github.com/copyleft-next/copyleft-next/blob/master/Releases/copyleft-next-0.3.1

No fandango for you: EU boots UK off Galileo satellite project


Wait, that's really his name?

> Just last week the UK minister in charge of Brexit, David Davis,

Maybe this is just my colonial Canadian ears being un-used to the kinds of names that preppy tories have over on your side of the pond, but god, even the very names of the people involved with Brexit sound dumb.

Open Source Security hit with bill for defamation claim


The source is "Open", but the rights to redistribute them are lacking. This is the sort of dilution of terminology that's why hardliners still say "Free" or "Libre" rather than "Open".

Frankly, any time a person or entity refers to it as "Open Source" rather than "Free Software" it's worth being at least a bit suspicious if they actually believe in the principles or are just in it for themselves---take a careful look at the details.

Penguins in a sandbox: Google nudges Linux apps toward Chrome OS


I actually already run Steam on my Pixelbook, but I reboot into Kubuntu to do so; this definitely opens such things to people less willing to invasively tinker with a $1000+ computer like I am ;)

(P.S. Slay The Spire is great on a touchscreen!)

PC recycler gets 15 months in the clink for whipping up 28,000 bootleg Windows 7, XP recovery discs


Re: Rebuy Windows

There were ways to fix it once Windows threw a fit, but I remember more than once having dying harddrives I managed to salvage and get re-imaged onto new ones (a certain nicely-cheap Maxtor drive had early batches with bad controller cards, but once that card failed, temporarily swapping it out with another would let you get at the data again before sending it for warranty) only then to have to deal with the hassle of Windows XP deciding I was no longer using a Genuine copy of Windows. All my friends who just pirated Windows had no such troubles . . .

Personally, that was one of the big things that made me finally switch over to Linux. (The other half of it was that, having booted into Knoppix for this when it was my C: drive that had failed, I started getting used to how much nicer the desktop environment and default software was. Tabbed file browsing blew my mind . . . and is still absent from Windows, a decade and a half later!)

Gemini: Vulture gives PDA some Linux lovin'


Re: It's still rather disappointing

Naw, the @ should have been fn+spacebar so my Nokia N900 muscle memory could be pressed back into service ;)


Honestly, as someone who's developed Android and SailfishOS apps, it may not be "worth" porting but by gods is it order of magnitude easier to develop for SailfishOS than for Android, at least for a determined but amateur developer like me.

Fucking Gradle dependency hell . . .


Re: Nokia communicator

A lot of mobile OS promise was lost over the years to internal Nokia politics. See for instance their Nokia N9, still ahead of the curve in many ways, which was to be the flagship of a new generation of Nokia products, but its "Harmattan" Linux-based system was dropped for the bright future . . . of Windows Phone. Oops.

(I'm actually really looking forwards to running SailfishOS on the Gemini, which is a successor/derivative of Harmattan, albeit sadly going over to an RPM base rather than DEB.)


Re: I will be getting the shoulder holster

If anything it's a *better* idea in the States, where people are less surprised to see a holster bulge under a jacket.

Linux Beep bug joke backfires as branded fix falls short


Re: What the *beep*?

I always opt in; accurate statistics are important, as cases like this illustrate. And hey, if that means Debian bases packaging decisions based only on people like me, I can love with that ;)

(More serious answer: statistically speaking, even a very small percentage of Debian users opting into popcon is probably nonetheless quite statistically significant of a sample size, so I bet their numbers are fairly accurate.)

Twitter API overhaul threatens to seriously shaft apps... again


Time to migrate over to the Fediverse, I guess! Not only do Mastodon and GNU Social and Pleroma have better APIs for app developers, they all talk to eachother—so there's a vibrant social network without any single point of failure.

Please no Basic Instinct flashing, HPE legal eagles warn staffers


Re: Two lines per bullet point?

If there's nothing wrong with it, why is it a problem? Other than the class LARPing that businesspeople do, of course.

Happy as Larry: Why Oracle won the Google Java Android case


Google's future Android versions are fine

Actually, Google can just keep on using Android forever if they want and not pay a dime more. The theoretical legal problem here (which is ridiculous, since the appellate court originally sent it back down saying "a jury should decide if this was fair use" and then when a jury found it was fair use they've decoded to override it by saying "no reasonable jury could find it fair use!"—but I digress) is Google's reimplementation of Java being in violation then of Previously-Sun's copyright.

But Google *does* have a license to copy Java these days!

Near the end of the original trial, Google announced that they had rebased their Java implementation on OpenJDK, which is licensed GPLv2 with the Classpath exception (which basically makes it like LGPL honestly). That's software put out by Sun (now Oracle) with a clear license, and is nowadays what Google has been using for many versions of Android. There is no longer any way they could be found in violation. Well, okay the Federal circuit in question here has always found ways to bend rules towards IP maximalism, but the GPL is in fact a legal mechanism made possible by copyright law so they'd have to do some insane gymnastics even by their own standards if they were going to decide Google was somehow finding a way to still fall afoul of Sun-now-Oracle's copyright, given that they are nowadays using code from Sun-now-Oracle under a license!

So the ironic thing is, the only way this hurts *Google* is a one-time wealth transfer from them to Oracle. Modern Android, however, gets off scott free. It's the *rest* of the software industry that has to worry about this precedent . . .


Re: Haha

It really is a pity, isn't it? Anecdotal evidence time!

When I first got a smartphone, it was a Nokia N900, which allowed me to write Qt apps for my phone. On the desktop, people generally pair Qt with C++, but you don't have to, and I personally used Python. It was ludicrous how easy it was to program apps that way; I literally programmed an app for my city's public transit *on the phone itself* (or "tablet" as that division of Nokia was calling them, perhaps to avoid other areas of Nokia from taking Maemo away from them).

When I finally had to admit that Android was winning rather than Nokia's more standard Linux stack, I gave Android programming a shot. I did make a few basic apps, but dear lord, just all the extra nonsense and faffing about you have to do, the additional baseline complexity at work, it's ludicrous. I found it way harder than writing Python Qt apps (or later, I tried C++ and Qt's QML and it similarly blows Android development out of the water), and I'm someone whose only formal training in computer programming *is* Java!

Five things you need to know about Microsoft's looming Windows 10 Spring Creators Update


Oh "yay", "only" 30 minutes

It says a lot about how unoptimized and mired in the past many of the core aspects of Windows are, including the installer, that it's reducing the average install time down to . . . 30 minutes. Not to be "that guy" but I can't really remember the last time a Linux desktop install took more than about 10.


Re: I don't care about the superfluous crap

Ahhh, is *that* why I've been unable to get the Server 2016 test VM at work to update fully? Here I was just relishing the nostalgia of it all; back in the Vista and 7 era it seemed like Windows Update got itself twisted into knots fairly often, particularly if you didn't follow the updates as they were coming out, and firing up the test VM for the first time in a few months and having it choke on the updates it had to do brought back "fond" memories.


Re: Linux gaming

Yeah, we often don't get AAA titles from the really big publishers, but many many other things have day-one (or less technically, if you consider Early Access to be pre-release) support for Linux, and honestly there's so much I have in my Steam library that I never feel the urge to reboot into my Windows install other than to play Overwatch with my flatmate ('cause I'm too lazy to set up and configure Overwatch under Wine).

Two of the most hyped games of the moment, for instance, are Slay The Spire and Surviving Mars, and I've only played either on Linux. It doesn't really bother me that I can't play the latest EA nonsense; I wouldn't have the time and inclination to play it anyways. I'm sad that Into The Breach hasn't been ported yet, but the devs have said they intend that as a post-launch port and for I still haven't played through a full game of XCOM2, so I'm not terribly impatient about that.

Whois? More like WHOWAS: Domain database on verge of collapse over EU privacy


Re: What's the Problem?

...and as you point out, far more critical personal data is being leaked constantly. If people are in that much danger from WHOIS records, then a LOT more time and effort and legal sledgehammers need to be put towards the entities (generally large corporations) doing such shitty jobs at protecting peoples' private communications, non-public identities, financial information, etc.


Re: What's the Problem?

Name and address and telephone numbers are fine; hell, I'm in the phonebook personally. If you want to stay anonymous you can already choose anonymized ways of registering domains, there's no reason to entirely break WHOIS for the entire world.

Man who gave interviews about his crimes asks court to delete Google results


He wants to make information unauthorized about his unauthorized information?

Wait, he hired private investigators to get unauthorised info on people who were criticising him? And now wants the information about this suppressed? Somebody call the Irony & Hypocrisy Police . . .

Sysadmin left finger on power button for an hour to avert SAP outage


Re: Typed 'Reboot' where ... ?

molly-guard has definitely saved me more than once. I don't have it installed on *all* the servers, but I sure as hell do on the servers where it would matter . . .

(That being said, if things are fragile enough that a clean reboot is a big problem, things are probably too fragile.)

Apple Macs, iThings, smart watches choke on tiny Indian delicacy


Broadly speaking, there are two questions to ask when a bug is found in software:

(1) What are the specific parameters of this bug?

(2) Why is this bug able to exist in the first place?

Obviously, #2 is broad and philosophical, and you can waste a lot of time and effort on it even before it comes to the potentially large time and effort it'll fix to address it meaningfully with actual code changes. But if you only ever ask question #1, you'll often only fix symptoms of fundamental problems in the approaches used; conversely, if you ask (and can find a real answer to) question #2, you can prevent future bugs and fix ones you don't even know about yet. It may cost you time and effort in the short term, but it can potentially save a LOT of time and effort in the long term.

Apple seems to do a really bad job at approaching things from a perspective of fixing fundamental problems rather than just putting out fires as they appear, particularly considering the ungodly amount of money they have and thus potential resources to throw at such concerns. I mean, when the problem *last* month came up I went "haha, really, again?!" because *that* was far from the first time essentially the same problem has come up across their software.

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look


Re: Make it look and act like (al)pine.

I mean you could always just use Alpine, it's still maintained in various forks. Or Mutt, which has a very different but still minimal text interface. I actually have users of each at work; it's a very heterogenous office, often like herding cats ;)


Re: To be honest

Lots of options out there, depending on your platform and requirements. Here are some cross-platform options:

Trojitá: Not under as much development lately and there hasn't been a new stable release for a while, but still being worked on (see: https://cgit.kde.org/trojita.git/). You can download it at http://trojita.flaska.net/download.html

Claws Mail: Kindof an oldskool client, but very actively maintained and pretty much a Eudora clone, at least a clone of how Eudora was when I last used it ;) http://www.claws-mail.org/

And if you're over in Linux (or even just Unix-like) land, there are many options, like KMail, Geary, Evolution, etc.


Re: To be honest

Particularly in GTK land, where the GNOME people have decided that even windows decorations should be the domain of the apps, so they can decide what borders and min/max/close/etc buttons are there and how they should look and act.

I actually really like themes, but from the KDE side of things, where a theme is what you set in your desktop environment's settings and then *all applications* display accordingly. That's the KDE way; sane defaults, and lots of customization available but centralized so that there's cohesion. And then a GTK or even worse an outright GNOME app will waltz into my life and ruin it all (although the ability to set matching GTK themes in KDE's System Settings is somewhat of a panacea).

But yeah it really is shocking how much is done to make applications break away from a desktop environment's look & feel. Adobe is particularly atrocious for this, where their various products, and launchers for their products, and installers for their launchers for their products, seem to aim for as much heterogenity as possible and completely ignore the desktop OS they're targeted at. I mean it's honestly not very hard to make your application look native to Windows when it's running on Windows, native to macOS when it's running there, etc etc, but so many companies deliberately do the exact opposite, and then keep changing their minds so there isn't even uniformity across their *own* software interfaces.

Boffins split on whether Spectre fix needs tweaked hardware


Not nostalgia, rather hope for the future

You say "Haas laments that security in processor design was not baked in from the beginning – expressing nostalgia for the days of RISC processor development."

But what he actually says is:

"Generally speaking, I am a bit worried that security has been an afterthought with current designs. It might be top priority now but originally, security was more like nice-to-have. I dream (and made suggestions) of an architecture with security in its genes and thus closely follow the RISC-V development."

He's clearly referring to the ongoing development of the BSD-licensed RISC-V architecture, rather than being nostalgic for older RISC CPU architectures.

Intel AMT security locks bypassed on corp laptops – fresh research


Re: Staggering

It's really quite hilarious how Intel managed to take a very solid and portable base that Nokia had (Debian + Qt) and make all the perfectly wrong decisions so as to add up to a horribly shaky and unportable end product. But man, yeah, you'd think if they could get anything right it would have been the hardware, and yet . . .

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


Re: "there are much more suitable options for that"

QtCreator? KDevelop? I certainly have found both of those feeling more modern and less aggravating and crashy than Visual Studio, in my own anecdotal experience.

Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat


I do really really miss Groklaw. I followed along very closely day-by-day during the initial trial, and Groklaw put out so much detailed coverage of the trial that if I hadn't been working a slack retail job that had me staring at a computer all the time anyways I probably wouldn't have been able to keep up!

Anyways, not sure what exactly the 11000 lines are (your bet that they're API calls seems likely), but they certainly aren't actual code actually copied, since Oracle was never able to prove in court that anything more had been copied than the 9 lines of rangeCheck, and in fact Oracle at the time agreed to $0 of damages on that after the jury agreed with its claims that the rangeCheck lines were in fact copied: http://www.groklaw.net/pdf3/OraGoogle-1210.pdf

And of course, the idea of rangeCheck was even actually copied or would be complex enough of an expression of an idea soas to have copyright, well that's . . . questionable, to say the least. http://www.groklaw.net/articlebasic.php?story=20121127123047829

THE COURT: Can I stop you on that part for a second? We heard the testimony of Mr. Bloch.


THE COURT: All right. I have -- I was not good -- I couldn't have told you the first thing about Java before this trial. But, I have done and still do a lot of programming myself in other languages. I have written blocks of code like rangeCheck a hundred times or more. I could do it. You could do it. It is so simple.

The idea that somebody copied that in order to get to market faster, when it would be just as fast to write it out, it was an accident that that thing got in there.

There was no way that you could say that that was speeding them along to the marketplace. That is not a good argument.

MR. BOIES: Your Honor --

THE COURT: You're one of the best lawyers in America. How can you even make that argument?

You know, maybe the answer is because you are so good it sounds legit. But it is not legit. That is not a good argument.

MR. BOIES: Your Honor, let me approach it this way, first, okay. I want to come back to rangeCheck. All right.

THE COURT: RangeCheck. All it does is it makes sure that the numbers you're inputting are within a range. And if they're not, they give it some kind of exceptional treatment. It is so -- that witness, when he said a high school student would do this, is absolutely right.

MR. BOIES: He didn't say a high school student would do it in an hour, all right.

THE COURT: Less than -- in five minutes, Mr. Boies.

MR. BOIES: Well, Your Honor --

THE COURT: If you know the language. Once you know the language, it is a five-minute proposition.

(One thing I very much miss from Groklaw, and that nearly all other court coverage seems to miss, is actual transcripts.)


And since Google has since moved to using OpenJDK as the basis of their JVM, which is released and available from Oracle under the GPL with the classpath exception, this case will only ever be about damages Oracle can get from older versions of Android.

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection


Re: Woo run

I remember security researchers inquiring about the lack of robust sandboxing in Microsoft's antimalware engine and I believe the response they got was that the Microsoft engineers understood and agreed, but hadn't be able to get that implemented yet. That was a while ago, and clearly they (or more likely, their bosses) haven't given it much priority in the intervening time.

To fix Intel's firmware fiasco, wait for Christmas Eve or 2018


Long term you might be better off pursuing OpenRISC or RISC-V.

Shamed TLS/SSL cert authority StartCom to shut up shop


While it's true that StartSSL was basically supplanted entirely by LetsEncrypt, whereabouts now might one get a non-outrageously-expensive cert for signing Windows executables?

Let's go live now to Magic Leap and... Ah, still making millions from made-up tech


Re: Procedure as normal

Venture Capital gonna Venture Capital, I guess.

What shocked Verizon more: The Yahoo! mega-hack or that it runs AIM (for not much longer)?


My favourite current IM client is probably Riot.im, since not only does the federated backend (Matrix) mean that one can run their own server if one is crazy like that (which avoids the possibility of a big company buying another big company and shutting it all down like this), the protocol works really well on mobile devices and there's a server bridge from the matrix.org instance to IRC. Finally, a mobile-native interface for IRC!

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