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Comment Re:So let me get this straight.... (Score 2) 126

Doesn't anyone look at tags anymore? You know, the metadata? Or didn't anyone think to um, bypass the whole conversion to actual sound waves and back to digital stream.

When it was taped off-air by your father in 1972 and you're trying to figure out what it is, the tags aren't exactly going to be helpful. That said, it would be nice to just play the MP3 or WAV off local storage instead of having to stick a tablet it next to the speaker.

When this sort of thing works, it can be really, really useful. For example, Michael Garrison's "In the regions of sunreturn", which I'd been trying to identify for nearly 20 years. Probably taped off a record borrowed in the early 1980s. The cassette wasn't labelled properly, and the album was completely instrumental. It took an awful lot of attempts with SoundHound to identify, and was made worse by the fact that the synthesizers used became fashionable in techno and I think some hip-hop stuff later, giving many false positives. But I can't think of any other way to find out what it was, short of sticking a clip on youtube and hoping I get a takedown.

Comment Re:POWAR TO THE PEOPLE! (Score 1) 609

Maybe they too would like to be a part of the mosaic that is Europe

Seems unlikely given that they rather bizarrely voted to leave. Why Bizarre? Well, they've got an arse-load of money from the EU and they've voted to end that and hand over power to the Tories who historically like to shit all over Wales. But whatever.

If you look at the maps, it seems to be largely the impoverished areas of the UK that wanted to leave. Wales certainly fits that bill, having been built on industries such as coal and steel which have declined. AFAIK the fact that they are in such a mess is why they are getting money from the EU (or the EU rebate?) in the first place. I had to smile when the local paper ran a headline lamenting how 'Brexit will cost Wales £500m'. Should have thought of that first. Though to be fair the vote was something like 60/40 in my area so I suspect a fair few people did.

As for why they wanted to leave? The people I know who voted leave cited arguments along the lines of 'EU is undemocratic', 'The EU wants to build some kind of corporate-owned superstate, we want something more socialist', 'If we stay in the EU we'll be subjected to TTIP' (apparently not considering that the trade agreements we'll have to arrange post-Brexit will have us over a barrel where TTIP is concerned). However, there was also an argument about the EU preventing state subsidies, and that it was the reason - or at least the excuse - why the government wouldn't step in to save the Port Talbot steelworks. And that if we did leave, they would at least be forced to make up a different excuse in future.

This, by the way, was the considered opinion of colleagues in a tech company - pretty smart people who could recognise that they didn't really have enough information to truly understand the vast implications of leaving. It's certainly not a cross-section of Wales, which can be somewhat xenophobic, even internally. And as mentioned, has a relatively poor economy. As such, someone trotting out the 'EU migrants took your jobs!' and similar lines could likely get quite a following. Even without that there's a number of disgruntled people with little to lose who wanted to send a message of some kind to The Powers That Be.

Comment Re: Double your storage by making a hole. (Score 2) 201

But only if you were using your disks with single side devices and you also had to make a notch or you couldn't write anything. I was using double side drives and doing this would have erased the data.

That may have been for 5.25" disks... I think you also had to cut a hole in the case for the optical revolution sensor. I've seen it done, but it was very messy, e.g. the bottom of the disk cut open to remove the actual disk so the sensor hole could be cut without damaging the disk.

What the grandparent post is probably thinking of is 3.5" disks, which had an optical sensor and a hole to tell the drive if it was low density (720k) or high density (1.44M). The theory went that they were economising by making the low density disks from rejected high density ones. Either way, you could drill a hole in the things (which risks swarf ending up inside the disk and damaing the heads) or later on, get custom hole-punches to easily and safely cut out the notch in the disk casing.

Comment Re:Still there? (Score 1) 57

I keep reading here and there that they're stopping Nokia and Windows Phone, and what do you know... The entirety of the 12 people using Windows phone will be thrilled. That's for sure. As for the rest...

It's not Windows. Looks like it might be running S30+, which is either a stripped down version of Series 30 without J2ME support, or something different and strange.

Comment Re:Current Version is GIMP 2.8.18 (Score 2) 117

I must be getting in early as there is no whining so far about GIMP being far inferior to Photoshop.

What real world work can be done in Photoshop but not GIMP?

Vectors. I'm not sure to what extent Photoshop can do them because I don't use it much, but I do receive PSD files with speech bubbles and such that aren't there once GIMP has imported it.

I think Photoshop can also do significantly more advanced layer effects than GIMP currently has - the nondestructive editing features may cover that, but it's maybe a decade away at the current rate of progress.

The most aggravating thing for me at the moment is the layer masking capability - GIMP can do it AFAIK but it can't import the masking in from a PSD file. Which is not altogether surprising given that PSD is proprietary and effectively undocumented.

A lot has been said about Krita as a substitute for GIMP, and although it seems to have made astonishing progress recently, it's aimed almost exclusively at digital painting. Last I saw (2.9) it fails miserably if you attempt to use it for pixel art, cel-shading and other comic-related tasks that I currently use GIMP for. I will certainly keep an eye on it, though as it shows a lot of promise.

Comment Re:I used to do this (Score 1) 171

I worked for the company that used to provide this service (and a lot fo other 800, 866 and 900 numbers) for the NJ and NYC areas.

It was fascinating equipment. Ancient but robust. It was a constantly turning magnetic drum that had the recording on it about 6 inches tall with a little oil reservoir on top that had to be filled every few months.

If you want something approaching steampunk, the UK had a speaking clock system using 1930s technology:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

The Australian system was installed in the 1950s and is more compact and easier to see working, but the basic mechanism is the same:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

Comment ZFS RAID, external disks and tape (Score 1) 229

The main data pool is a 2-disk RAID mirror using ZFS-on-Linux. The system uses ECC memory and ZFS is self-checksumming. The data is backed up mid-month into an external USB disk. I have two, one at work, one and home and I alternate these. WIP files for my webcomic and music are usually kept on Dropbox so those are synced to the cloud and also various other machines under my control.

Recently I've considered the possibility of a cryptovirus getting into the system and chewing up the backups, which they have been known to do to things like Dropbox and external disks attached to the machine. To this end I've obtained an LTO-5 drive, which allows for cheap, compact snapshots of the data pool (I have slightly more than 1.5TB so this is split across two tapes, one for /home and one for everything else). Crucially, they can be set read-only and in any case require special software (tar/mt/mbuffer) to get at which is vanishingly unlikely for ransomware.

Comment Re:We use Lync (Skype for Business now) at work... (Score 1) 224

We use Lync (well, formerly known as Lync, now re branded as Skype for Business) for our work IM system

The server is constantly locking up /dumping connections and just generally feels quite unreliable...

We frequently get this weird glitch where the voice has some high-frequency ring modulation, giving it this weird crystalline dalek sound to it. The strength varies a lot so it's usually just an annoyance, but sometimes it's totally garbled and you go into a conference call to hear this weird alien chipmunk sound instead of intelligible speech.

It has also done this thing where it gets delayed and then tries to catch up by speeding through the buffer creatingthisweirdrushofbarelyintelligiblespeech until it catches up again.

Comment Re:Why, or why not ZFS? (Score 5, Informative) 150

What is it I can do with ZFS in Linux that is so important?
What is it I can't do without ZFS?

It does a lot, but the features I'm interested in are the protection against bit-rot. Specifically, if you set up a mirrored pair of disks in a ZFS pool, it will checksum everything on both sides of the mirror.
When the array is checked (scrubbed), it verifies the checksums. If there is a mismatch because the data has glitched on the media, the checksum won't be valid on one disk, but it will be valid on the other disk so it can repair it. If there's a mismatch in a more conventional mirrored pair, the controller wouldn't really have a way to know which one is correct.

This capability is also in BTRFS, but much has been written about how BTRFS is still experimental. Also, last time I looked, BTRFS was only available for Linux - with ZFS it would be possible to migrate to FreeBSD if Linux does jump the shark.

The other thing is that the scrubbing process is done in the background. My main data pool is a pair of 4TB disks, which was EXT4 to begin with, then BTRFS and now ZFS. The system is a desktop which is powered down at night. Every 180 boots it would run FSCK, which took something like 2 hours to run on EXT4, during which the system was unusable. With BTRFS and ZFS, the scrubbing takes place while the pool is mounted. So yes, you can do this with BTRFS as well, but ZFS is the more proven option of the two.

Comment Re:"user permissions" != "full control" (Score 1) 109

As 7z must be able to read and write arbitrary files to do its job, there is _nothing_ the permission system can do, not even MAC like SELinux would help. All those people blaming the "OS" really do not understand what they are talking about.

An excellent point. A granular permission system similar to Android's would help in many cases, e.g. preventing a text editor from performing a DDOS attack, but it cannot stop a file manager or archiver from attacking the user's files.

Comment Re:"user permissions" != "full control" (Score 1) 109

And Linux is just as bad. So what if the OS protects itself from the users? The OS has literally zero value; if it gets wiped, it's 30 minutes work to rebuild it from scratch, less if you made an image. It's the _data_ that is on the machine, completely unprotected by all those clever permission schemes, that will be lost if any compromised software is allowed to run. If you run "rm -rf /", you remove precisely all the files anyone cares about.

Depends what you're trying to do. If the aim is destroy the user's data, hold it hostage or sift through it for credentials or other useful info, yes, you're screwed.

But you can't spam email or run a phishing server on a standard port because opening a listener on any port below 1024 requires root. Installing system-level malware requires root. You could set up some kind of user-level autorun but the implementation will likely depend on the shell they're using, Unity, Gnome, KDE, XFCE.

Comment Re:So how do you open ZIP files these days? (Score 2) 109

So, when installing a new machine, how do you choose to open zip files? Winzip has that irritating registration screen, Windows native zip opening lacks features, 7zip sucks too, so what do people use these days that's free and downloadable?

I doubt there are many implementations of 7zip out there. Chances are anything which can open a .7z file does so by using 7zip's SDK. It's public domain, so there's no reason not to unless you're working in a language that can't link to C libraries.

Comment Re:What's a CD? (Score 1) 63

What's a CD?

Am I going to have to change my sig?

It's a way to legally get music at full quality without the lossy compression you get in streams or MP3s. You also get a booklet with the words to the songs and neat artwork free as part of the bundle. It doesn't need an internet connection to work, can't be remotely deleted and it's easy to make your own if you're in a band.

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