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Comment: Re:A DIY Expansion Cartridge for a C-64 (Score 1) 92 92

One of the nice things about the C64 was the hackability of the motherboard. It was also fairly easy to repair (done it loads of times). The reference guide even came with fold out schematics!

I thoroughly hacked my C64. The main thing I did was add a static memory chip of 16k IIRC, half of which could be made to replace the portion of memory that stored the font, at the flick of a switch. The othre half could be similarly mapped on a different part of memory. A rechargeable battery kept the contents of that memory safe even when the computer was powered off. This was a godsend for game development: the ability to switch fonts without having to load them every time, and the ability to instantly get a bunch of utility and debugging routines without loading or even overwriting that part of memory sped things up quite a bit.

I do miss those days, literally spent in my parents basement, or at my friends place in the attic, listening to late night radio while hacking away.

Comment: Re:Concern not warranted (Score 1) 240 240

I suppose you're right: an email with password could be sent during the registration process. As for using encryption for password files that isn't one way, I consider that to be bad practice. The decryption key will have to be kept on the live system, where it can be stolen just like the password file, or the serice could even be exploited to give up the key or decrypt a password. Better if that wholly unneccessary operation is mathematically (nearly) impossible.

Comment: Re:At least he included warrants (Score 4, Insightful) 246 246

Be careful: even if this means that they will only require data to be handed over if the requesting agency has a signed warrant, the phrase "no safe space" can only mean that private crypto is outlawed, Encrypted email, peer to peer encrypted chat and even encrypted messages in public channels are closed off to everyone except the key holders, closed even to ISPs, the chat service provider or the app builders. In other words, they are safe spaces.

Requiring a warrant means that the government should have access to our data on reasonable grounds, but only if such data is accessible. I am all for that. But the phrase "no safe space" is a telling one: it means ensuring that our data is accessible in every case, and that goes a whole lot further. If the government has access, then our ISP or the service provider has it, and that means our data is not safe.

Comment: Re:Concern not warranted (Score 4, Informative) 240 240

If passwords are sent in the clear, they are kept in the clear (unless they are one-time randomly generated passwords). And if you check with black hats, you will note that they steal password files all the time. In most cases they'll end up with password hashes, which means they can spend some time and computing power to throw a dictionary at the file and see if any semi-obvious passwords come out. But if passwords are stored in the clear, they end up with everything, no matter how strong your password. And if you use that same password on multiple sites, you'll be in even more trouble.

Comment: Re:It's the end of the world as we know it! (Score 1) 290 290

Furthermore, even if they would manage to return the blocks to the pool in a couple of years, it would both be too late and too little and the demand for address space far outpaces the supply that ipv4 can offer.

This. We got 7 billion people - probably closer to 10 before it peaks, and as a minimum I should have one IP address at home, at work and for my cell phone. So 3*10 billion is 30 billion, IPv4 can offer 4 billion. And that's not counting every other odd thing I might want, like remote-controlled alarm/heating/whatever at my cabin or my car, servers of various kind and maybe IoT will become good for something.

Of course they probably could have just done it much, much simpler by making a dotted quad a dotted quint:

For compatibility each host under is granted 256 ports IPv4 ports mapped from x*256 to (x+1)*256-1 to a designated "IPv4 compatibility ports" like say the last ports from 65279 to 65535. So can either be fully addressed by quint-capable equipment or that'll be mapped to And will have mapped to and so on. You could use the same technique to provide a virtual IPv4 interface for legacy software, it thinks it is listening to but it's really listening at - and any application it tells to connect to would work.

That would have led to a gradual 256-times expansion of the address space without any hard switch-offs. But instead they decided to solve everything and now 19 years after the IPv6 standard we're still only barely in motion.

Comment: Re:Uh, no (Score 2) 476 476

These passwords aren't Microsoft's to share

Exactly. They are no one's to share but the owner of the access point, and when you give your house wifi password to a guest, most of them do understand that it's not ok to give that password to others. That changes when sharing passwords becomes a built-in or even automatic feature; if there's a button to share, it'll give the impression that it is safe and acceptable to do so.

Comment: Re:Uh, no (Score 1) 476 476

They did no such thing. The Windows 10 upgrade thingy makes it crystal clear, several times, that the upgrade is optional. You can decline by not "reserving your copy", and even if you accept, you still get the option to not download and install the upgrade when it's there.

With that said, I agree that sharing WiFi passwords with your contacts is a monumentally stupid idea.

Comment: Re:Modularity (Score 4, Informative) 79 79

The very page you link to says:

Some might argue that there might arise a small problem with shipping 27M ICU libraries. If you don't need ICU (http://site.icu-project.org/) you have to recompile Qt with ./configure -without-icu.

What's ICU?

Here are a few highlights of the services provided by ICU:

Code Page Conversion: Convert text data to or from Unicode and nearly any other character set or encoding. ICU's conversion tables are based on charset data collected by IBM over the course of many decades, and is the most complete available anywhere.

Collation: Compare strings according to the conventions and standards of a particular language, region or country. ICU's collation is based on the Unicode Collation Algorithm plus locale-specific comparison rules from the Common Locale Data Repository, a comprehensive source for this type of data.

Formatting: Format numbers, dates, times and currency amounts according the conventions of a chosen locale. This includes translating month and day names into the selected language, choosing appropriate abbreviations, ordering fields correctly, etc. This data also comes from the Common Locale Data Repository.

Time Calculations: Multiple types of calendars are provided beyond the traditional Gregorian calendar. A thorough set of timezone calculation APIs are provided.

Unicode Support: ICU closely tracks the Unicode standard, providing easy access to all of the many Unicode character properties, Unicode Normalization, Case Folding and other fundamental operations as specified by the Unicode Standard.

Regular Expression: ICU's regular expressions fully support Unicode while providing very competitive performance.

Bidi: support for handling text containing a mixture of left to right (English) and right to left (Arabic or Hebrew) data.

Text Boundaries: Locate the positions of words, sentences, paragraphs within a range of text, or identify locations that would be suitable for line wrapping when displaying the text.

And much more. Refer to the ICU User Guide for details.

Not sure exactly how much Qt functionality you'd lose, but it's an optional dependency.

Comment: Re:No, they just need reliable Linux distros. (Score 4, Insightful) 168 168

Maybe it's okay if systemd and PulseAudio fuck up your single Ubuntu workstation. That's not a luxury that these admins have. They need their Linux systems to work reliably all of the time.

Or maybe it's okay if systemd fucks up all the servers running RHEL 7. After all, nothing important runs on that. So let's check, is Red Hat Inc. tanking and considering backtracking? Hell no, they're growing strong both in revenue and profits in the year that's passed since. So if a $14 billion dollar company can make systemd work for them, it probably can't be that bad. Or if it's bad, well then rip out the bad parts like write a non-binary log because how hard could it be to take the binary messages, printf and log the text in addition to/instead of a blob? Sometimes it sounds like the only two options is to drink the kool-aid or nuke it from orbit.

Comment: Re:Accepting Responsibility (Score 2) 349 349

There really is no issue to be downplayed. It's an image recognition algorithm, and it's going to make mistakes. Some hilarious, some embarrasing. But none of it intentional. Unfortunately there will always be people who will see malice in every mistake, and take the slightest affront to whine loudly. If the affront happens to involve any minority, you have a "winner" on your hands in terms of righteous indignation.

An apology is in order, nothing more. And only to the misidentified people, not to the black community at large, Seriously, if the system had identified a white couple as polar bears or Klan members, people would have just laughed.

Comment: Re:linux hard to install and use for desktop users (Score 4, Informative) 168 168

that was always a problem of Linux being reliant on X Windows, and you don't know if the X windows is going to run properly until it's installed. therefore the installer has to be text-based, or so they claim. but it's all BS. the people who are doing the video drivers have a vested interest in discouraging direct use of those video drivers -- they are typically employed in jobs that have to do with either X Windows or something related. they want you to use X, even though X is terribly insecure and generally crappy software.

Not sure if you're stoned or trolling or dropped out of a time vortex from the 90s, but

1) GUI installers have been the norm for desktop oriented distros for years, mostly through live CDs.
2) For most of Linux history there's been zero credible competitors to X
3) Wayland is mainly driven by ex-X developers
4) Wayland will still need drivers to have accelerated graphics

5) Neither application developers nor users usually see X, you write against for example Qt and the toolkit takes care of talking to X. They might hate X, but they hide its quirks pretty well.

Comment: Re:He answered the most boring questions! (Score 2) 168 168

It's the typical FOSS mindset. Since you did something other than what I wanted, all of your work was a waste of time.

I think those wanna-be generals aren't really the community, but those who want to exploit the community to achieve their pet goals. To steal an expression from 4chan: The FOSS community is not your personal army. The opposite is less intuitive, but it also means the community isn't going to stand still just because your pet needs have been met while many others feel theirs haven't. For example I haven't heard much shit about PulseAudio in recent years, though initially it was rather crappy but it did add features that didn't exist before. Maybe in ten years time we'll feel the same about systemd.

Comment: Re:It's the non-engineers. (Score 1) 125 125

If you can't manage pointers and complex sets of data safely, you're unlikely to be able to manage projects and manpopwer and deadlines any better.

Careful, the same would imply that someone who can manage projects, manpower and deadlines can manage pointers and complex sets of data safely. The most fundamental difference is that working with people is that your subordinates have a brain and will let you know when something is obviously wrong, non-nonsensical or impossible. I don't mean they're geniuses but the computer isn't even toilet trained and will poop all over the floor if it can't find the bathroom. It'll go in an infinite loop or write full the disk or flood the network or trash the database with total obliviousness.

Half my job is figuring out every conceivable way the system can crap out, take bad input, return junk or be exploited because the system won't deal with any situation on its own. Project management is a lot more about resolving the daily issues your team is struggling with right now, not chasing corner cases that might one day happen. And the software solution is often just throwing some kind of error, if you're aware you've almost trivially dealt with it.

Management problems are typically "soft issues" that doesn't have definitive causes or solutions. Like today we talked about a new reporting solution that is behind schedule and how the estimates were set and causes they're off, consequences, remaining uncertainty, mitigation strategies, if it's possible to free up existing resources or add resources without running into the mythical man-month and how we plan to deal with our needs just not today but going forward. You're not chasing a bug in code that you can patch and declare fixed. It's a constant re-balancing of competing priorities.

Machines have less problems. I'd like to be a machine. -- Andy Warhol