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Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

ledow Re:Not news (116 comments)

Indie bundles.

Scary amount of crap thrown in with the one half-decent game you're after, for less than the price of a coffee.

If they'd been around when I was a kid, damn, I'd have played 100 times more games.


Government Recommends Cars With Smarter Brakes

ledow Re:The government needs to stay out of car design. (255 comments)

The problem is not the technology.

Like everything wrong with the article, the problem is crappy drivers.

Rear/side lights are there TO BE SEEN.
Headlights are there to SEE BY.

If you have a driver who doesn't know they have no rear-lights, they may not be seen by you. But if you have them without headlights IN THE FUCKING DARK, they are bad, stupid, dangerous drivers. This is not affected by whether they are running on DRL or sidelights or no lights at all. They are fucking dangerous and can't see where they are going and NOT NOTICING.

And if you're driving on a road and can't see the car in front of you, even in twilight, I suggest you put your fucking headlights on and/or stop driving until you've had your eyes checked.

DRL policy does not cause any danger that was not there previously. Many places in Europe have had DRL for decades.

Being a fucking idiot that's peering into the darkness and can't see the car in front, that's the problem.


Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

ledow Re:Why do Windows programs just run? (116 comments)

See my post RIGHT below yours.

Not true.

I run school networks, and we have legacy software going back to the floppy-disk days.

I impose a 5-year limit after the manufacturer was last active because, after that, sometimes it's too much pissing about to run the program, if that's even possible.

Going to Windows 8 64-bit broke FOUR programs that work absolutely fine on Windows 8 32-bit. And I'm using images configured in exactly the same way and thus in a highly reproducible environment.

Some shit breaks on EVERY Windows update. I condemned 10 pieces of our software when we went from 7 to 8. I condemned even more in a previous XP -> 8 move. Fact is, most people just don't care in schools because 10 year old software is ten-years out of date on the curriculum side. But for sure there is NOTHING as simple as you suggest.

Fuck, when I move OS at a site, my rule is "All your software needs to be handed in, with original disks and proof of licence. Anything you want to work on the new network will have to come from those hand-ins AND be subject to testing". Every year, approximately 80% of the school's software estate disappears into the bin never to be seen again - either nobody cares about it after the salesman left the building, or it just plain doesn't work, or it's no longer any use compared to other resources.

But, fuck, "Windows programs just work anywhere"? No. Not even if you have a lot of funds and time to spend getting just one of them to work. I can assure you.

By comparison, Linux software may break briefly and then get diagnosed and pulled back in. But you can pretty much run a 20 year old copy of the primary shell with no problem, if that's what you want to do. You may have to pull in old version of the libc, etc. but it'll work on the modern kernels. There's not much on Linux that's EVER been broken, certainly nothing that a bit of tweaking won't fix.

And yet I can show you a software graveyard in my office of Windows stuff that breaks EVERY year. Fuck, some of the companies STILL SELL IT even though they know it doesn't work on anything past Vista or 7. They don't give a shit and no longer have the programmer on staff to do anything about it.


Linus Fixes Kernel Regression Breaking Witcher 2

ledow Not news (116 comments)

Man in charge of kernel fixes kernel when it breaks.

This isn't news. This is what happens.

And if only MS had a similar "never break userspace" rule that applied to even the most unbelievably "casual" of software too.

Hell, I broke four apps just going to 64-bit Windows 8 from... 32-bit Windows 8.

And, I agree. Steam has 1/3rd of my 800 games working on Linux already. If we're not using those as a test-case, then why not? Sure, some will just be multi-platform ports from the same source but likely a lot of code will literally be new ports added just for Linux.

Sad to say, there are probably more games in my Steam library that work natively on Linux now, then there are Windows games on there that'll work under Wine/Crossover/etc.


Ask Slashdot: Best Anti-Virus Software In 2015? Free Or Paid?

ledow Comodo (430 comments)

Hate antivirus, personally, only use it where I'm required to.

When people bring me a laptop to fix, one of the first things I ask is if I can uninstall McAffee / Norton for them. They almost universally agree as, even as a user, it just bugs them to shit and gets in their way.

There was a time I'd put AVG Free on instead but those days are long gone.

So I slap on Comodo. Free firewall, antivirus, etc. in an integrated suite, that you can turn shit off for, that you can uninstall easily if you do buy something else, you can pay to upgrade it to a full version if you want, and it just keeps out of your way for the most past.

I don't hear any complaints afterwards.


Data Encryption On the Rise In the Cloud and Mobile

ledow Re:Good luck with that. (83 comments)

It doesn't matter.

Don't trust them? Encrypt your data with a private key before you upload it to them.

The point of encryption is that you can just give your encrypted data to people. Without the key, there's bugger-all they can do with it. You don't HAVE to trust them. You just have to ensure they don't have the key. And why would they need to?

Hence, don't trust them. Don't believe them. Who cares? Encrypt it yourself anyway, and it's game over.

And, if you want to get really pedantic, so long as you NEVER provide them with the public or private keys yourself, there's no way they can decrypt it. Now, they may be embedded in their software, or potentially accessible by their app, or whatever, but that's for you to determine. If they can't get your keys, it doesn't matter what happens on their end. That's the whole point of encryption.

And exactly why use of it has exploded. It's as simple as not giving Samsung, Google, Apple, etc. your actual KEYS but letting them hold your data.

Don't trust them, if you don't want to, because you have absolutely no need to do so in order to let them hold your (encrypted) data.

2 days ago

Microsoft Announces Office 2016 and Office For Windows 10 Coming Later This Year

ledow Re:Ongoing frustrations with Office and Windows (136 comments)

And as is my primary beef with MSCE etc.

Why does it matter where they are? Who cares? Anyone skilled in the use of the software - previous versions, similar programs, competitor's products - will know what they were after and once they have found it, they've found it "forever" in that version.

Rejigging the default isn't a problem. What's a problem is not having customisability. Why CAN'T I put the fucking mail-merge button into the toolbar I want, or assign it the keyboard shortcut I want? If you can't do those things, that's infinitely more annoying and important.

And who cares where you have to right-click to find the Enable Account for a user account in AD? It's not important, because you can google that bit. What's important is knowing that it's possible, what the impact might be, why you would do such a thing, and can you actually safely do it to THAT account.

That's the bit that people who run training courses miss, that people who set up training miss, that people who attend training miss, and that Microsoft really miss the ball on a lot.

Who cares if it's under File, Edit, Insert or the Home tab? Why can't I have an "Office 2003" compatibility button that makes it the same layout / hotkey as it used to be, even if it looks "old and shit"?

This is where MS falls down every time. Start Menus, Office toolbars, Metro, and even things like Server Manager. Separate design from function, and allow the design to be customisable. From that point on, nothing else matters.

2 days ago

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

ledow Re:Noisy cars are good. (787 comments)

If you WEREN'T FUCKING LOOKING as you crossed the road, it's your own fault.

In many countries, quite literally.

Your ears are no good for distance detection, nor at detecting noise from background without "obscuring" all noise (hence if you are in a loud place for a while, it doesn't SEEM loud because your ears are "dialling down" every volume, including that of the car beside you - that's why you have that "Shit, it was loud in there, hear how quiet it is now I'm out of that place!" moment). Your ears are easily deceived. Echoes can easily distort the origins of sounds.

If you're relying on your ears, in any way shape or form, to cross the road, you're going to get run over. That's why blind people need to have dogs who can hear, but deaf people can cross a road just fine on their own.

Look towards the traffic on your side of the road, look the other way, look BACK to the traffic on your side (the FIRST side that you are walking into and will kill you) as you step out, as you approach half-way and are about to cross over into that traffic's territory, check the other side again.

Sounds DO NOT play a part.

Mandating things like compulsory side-lights (like many European countries have 24/7 for all vehicles, no matter the weather conditions) does infinitely more for safety than fake noises on silent motors.

Fucking green-cross-code people (UK people, at least). The kind of thing you learned when you were five. Look, look the other way, look again, step out. Listening is merely a backup device in case some fucking nutter comes steaming down the road not seeing you and you need to dive out of the way. But, guess what, you'll turn your head to look at him first.

2 days ago

Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret

ledow Noise (787 comments)

If I hear your engine noise, with you trying to rev louder? I think "You're a cock".

You might even have a nice car, but chances are you have some horrible shit modification to something quite mainstream. Either way, to have to rev it so I can hear? You're a cock.

If you have to have the sound inside to convince yourself it's fast? You're a cock.

Cars today are faster and more powerful than the Formula One vehicles of my father's days. You have no need to show off, you cock. Any fucking idiot can get to 120/130 mph in their car these days. Hell, I've seen a Fiat Panda 1000S get to 100mph. My 20-year-old, nothing-special, cheap-shit car did 130mph before I chickened out on an Autobahn.

There's nothing car-wise to show off about except how much money you've pissed away on it.

Loud music.
Loud exhaust sounds.
Revving the engine.
Removing badges.
Stupid fucking lighting systems to make your cheap shit car look like a Christmas ornament at great expense.
Adding crap like spoilers and twin exhausts to cars that aren't built with them.
Buying cars with crap like spoilers and twin exhausts and then driving them on a public road (fast or slow!).

You're a cock.

And, unfortunately for you, 99.9% of people on the road know it and think exactly the same.

If you want to quite literally BURN MONEY on shit like that, whether the car is genuinely "fast" or not, on a car that you have to drive behind old grannies, and slow down every mile for a speed camera, and wreck to shit on every speed bump, and still spend as much time sitting in traffic as I do, then feel free.

But really? If you buy a car BECAUSE it sounds meaty, then you're a cock.

2 days ago

User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

ledow Re:EISA? (185 comments)

Get off our lawn.

2 days ago

Doomsday Clock Could Move

ledow Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)


That's what the doomsday clock is saying.

These things are species-ending DOOMSDAY scenarios.

The first nuclear war will obliterate the planet and CAUSE (if not immediately, but certainly over time) the deaths of something like half the population of the planet. Global warming, similarly if it's uncontrolled and we follow the worst predications.

This is exactly the point of the clock.

It's called DOOMSDAY for a reason. "Armageddon". End of the world. Game over. Last one out please switch off the lights.

The Black Death, a perfectly normal natural phenomenon: "The trend of recent research is pointing to a figure more like 45â"50% of the European population dying during a four-year period" because of it. This is the sort of stuff we're talking about.

Not a couple of Ebola cases in Africa, or a warmonger blowing up a town or two, or people keeling over from heart disease. We're talking significant fractions of the human race dying from what may quite well be avoidable scenarios.

And this is what the Doomsday clock, backed by Nobel Prize laureates, is supposed to draw your attention to while you all fuss over how the numbers "aren't realistic" and how a few thousand died in this or that event.

2 days ago

Doomsday Clock Could Move

ledow Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

"Cause of death" = recorded causes of death in modern history.

"Most likely to die" = includes UNRECORDED causes of death, e.g. fecking asteroid strikes that will take out the entire population of earth and, when we look at the solar system, happen X number of years, which makes it MORE LIKELY that you, me, or anyone else who's ever lived in history would die from an asteroid strike than from any other known factor.

We have a pseudo-record of one particular meteor strike. One which we think wiped out over 90% of the diversity of life in one blow. It's what killed off the dinosaurs.

Just because WHO doesn't include in their statistics for RECORDED causes of death for the last 100 years for humans alone, doesn't mean you aren't statistically MORE LIKELY to die of it.

2 days ago

Doomsday Clock Could Move

ledow Re:Who they do not attempt to stay relevant? (144 comments)

Your numbers are scary? No.

Multiply your numbers by 10 or 100 or 1000. Scary, eh? Not that much.

Multiply them by a million. Now they're scary.

War has ALWAYS gone on. Never have we had wars with SO FEW casualties. Certainly never have we had wars with SUCH a small percentage of the population as casualties. Historically, wars have been known to obliterate 50% of the population of a country quite easily. Same for plagues, etc.

To say that a few thousand casualties is world-changing is - as sad as this is - wrong. It's not. On the grand scheme of things the world will not notice. And why? Because that scale of carnage happens EVERY DAY and is actually much better now than it ever was in modern history.

We now have wars where we have so few casualties on one side that we can NAME the individual soldiers. We can have a press article for each one that dies. That's really nothing, in the grand scheme of things.

Doomsday is about the end of the world. 7 billion lives or a significant fraction of that. Your numbers are in the 0.000001 range of that (I may have missed an extra zero) even if you add the "every day" that you did to cancer etc.).

Fact is, we've never lived so long, been so healthy, or had such few casualties of war. However, one bomb in the right place, one North Korean dictator who goes a little loopy and makes a mad order to his military, one cyber-attack too many, and you can easily be looking at a real, live, global war that humanity won't recover. Climate change is not about the granny that died in the hot summer last year, it's about literally MILLIONS of people being displaced or forced into starvation as the lands become hostile to agriculture.

In comparison, your numbers are bloody chicken-feed. And 18 Nobel Prize laureates recognise that and are looking at the bigger picture that everyone forgets.

Now, I'm not a massive climate-change-will-kill-the-planet believer, but even I recognise that we're talking entire orders of magnitude bigger problems than bombing some shacks in the Middle East back to dust, or even taking down a couple of skyscrapers. For every single person in 9/11 that died, think SEVERAL TENS OF THOUSANDS or even SEVERAL MILLION dying instead in the scenarios the doomsday clock is supposed to reflect.

This is the real problem. While you're sitting there worried about heart disease from your rich lifestyle, and cancer from living so damn long compared to even your parents/grandparents, these guys are looking at the numbers.

You are more likely to die in an asteroid collision than just about any other problem, statistically. It's scientific fact. What have we done about it? Bugger all. And everyone just says "Oh, but that'll never happen". It doesn't matter. If it does, it wipes out humanity. If climate change is as serious as some serious scientists claim, it wipes out humanity. If nuclear war ever starts again - EVER - and there's a single retaliation (in all nuclear devices ever deployed, there is no recorded nuclear retaliation in history), then it wipes out humanity.

By comparison, less people dying every day from war than they do from walking out into the road at the wrong moment is piddling about.

The talents and energies are ON the real problems, the ones that will matter, will be irreversible, will change life as you know it forever (modern war, thus far, has not changed life as you know it at all, really - except to give you technology to make it easier to sit at home and get heart trouble!) and that are being largely ignored and require a gimmick to get you to wake up, stop watching Fox News, and deal with a real issue facing humanity for once.

3 days ago

Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July

ledow Re:Perpetual motion. (155 comments)

When that machine is on its own and doing fuck-all? No.

When that machine is needed to join onto, say the UK NHS backbone and thus present a Windows XP machine into the midst of everyone's medical records? Yes.

Want to know why I think this? The doctor that lives with me and works in labs with JUST THIS KIND OF THING is always pushing for them to be thrown out for not just security reasons (i.e. they can't join to the backbone because of shit like this), but because they become rapidly unusable, have to be serviced and re-imaged all the time, have to be kept on separate networks, meaning they have to transfer files on intermediary drives all the time (meaning virus transfer possibilities), and they also CANNOT BUY THE DAMN PARTS for them because nobody can stick the £200 of (in her case) genetics software back on because the company will charge £10,000 to give you a new IDE hard drive with it on instead.

This is EXACTLY the sort of shit that should be binned, and replaced with a government- or lab-specified standard interface and rolling contract to update/support as necessary rather than literally paying through the nose for ingrained suppliers to send hospitals old shit from junkyards to keep old Windows 98 software running that should have been binned decades ago because it doesn't even support long filenames and every patient is GENE0001.DAT, GENE0002.DAT and a FUCKING GENETICIST has to piss about moving them one by one into the proper NHS backbone under the right patient name manually because nobody else is allowed to certify that that data belongs to that exact patient (because it tells them shit like if they have cancer, etc. and one fuck one means the lab gets the blame, not the technician).

So, fuck yes. Join the real world.

3 days ago

Facebook Will Let You Flag Content As 'False'

ledow Why (224 comments)

The people on my Facebook who post anything I consider junk, we either have a reasoned discussion about, or I couldn't care less about their updates.

The people who post the "It's such-and-such a day because of this number and this number and it only happens once in a lifetime" (which are almost invariably wrong anyway)... I can't stand that sort of junk anyway.

The religious nuts? I block, or set to ignore so they don't get offended by my blocking and cause me more of a nuisance than they already are.

The virus / hack hoaxes? I work in IT. These people either respect my opinion in that area (and thus stop posting that junk after I've explained that it's junk), or don't (in which case their posts are ignored / blocked). Once had one try to tell all their friends that iPhones tag every photo with your GPS location and how this was dangerous for your baby photos because "paedophiles might get hold of them". (First, if a paedophile has your baby photos, that's problematic from the start. Second, if knowing the location of where your baby once had a photo taken is enough for a paedophile to do something other than their intention anyway - that's quite hard to imagine. Third, you can turn the option off - though only Apple seems to have it on by default. Fourth - it affects ALL devices with GPS and camera where you haven't turned it off. Fifth - posting those photos on Facebook etc. isn't a risk anyway as they strip the EXIF information anyway). The discussion that resulted was a lot more useful, a lot less hyperbolic, and a lot more accurate and informative anyway. And nobody on my friends list has cared or bothered to propagate that nonsense since.

The other stuff, I'm happy to discuss and FRIENDS (you know, those people who like you and you like them) won't be offended by such discussions or even a disagreement anyway so I'm unlikely to block in preference to making some sarcastic comment anyway.

Just don't tag everyone you've ever met in your life on Facebook - you do not treat or consider the majority of them as friends anyway, so stop it. And if they're going to spread that junk, they either need it explained why they shouldn't until they stop, or to be ignored anyway. Problem solved, without need for a special "button".

3 days ago

Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July

ledow Re:Time for Wine (155 comments)

Wine is great. As a supporter of Crossover Office, etc. it can be a great product. For personal use.

I'm not sure I'd ever use it for anything commercial - the risks of a crash at an inopportune (and, by definition, unusual) moment are quite high. You have no way of testing every codepath and it'll be those codepaths that you only do once a year or in special circumstances that will matter. And those will tend to be your important ones that can cause damage if the behaviour isn't exactly as expected.

I ran Office on Crossover for many years, for compatibility with my employer's systems. I have run any number of utilities, functions, games, and other software through Wine and its derivatives. But I'm not sure I'd ever use it as part of a supported deployment.

It's not because it's open-source, or free, or anything else - I happily deploy MySQL, etc. on networks that I support. But Wine is just too complex and the parts where it's incomplete may well only affect your application and no others. And finding those problems and patching them to fix it requires not just programming skill, but deep knowledge of Windows and deep knowledge of the application in question.

Wine is fabulous. But not for work. Sorry. I've deployed OpenOffice/LibreOffice to entire schools when we had Microsoft Office paid for already, but equally I've decommissioned Linux thin-clients that weren't fit for purpose. And Wine is not one of the things I'd use except for where it really doesn't matter.

And, sorry, but if something's running on Windows Server, it matters. (Equally, however, I would not allow it to have lingered on 2003 this long anyhow, for the same reasons - it matters).

3 days ago

Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July

ledow Re:End of support, not "end of life". (155 comments)

End of life - when it's no longer secure (comments above on your statements to this effect... your concept of a "now fully secure" OS is just laughable - there have been OS in place since the 60's and ALL are either still receiving updates or - more likely - have known holes. Nobody has yet made anything "secure" at all).

End of life - when it no longer boots (UEFI vs BIOS, 32 vs 64bit, IDE vs SATA, no certified SAS drivers for the RAID controller so you can't run proper failover clusters, etc.) XP died at my last workplace when we were unable to get XP drivers for off-the-shelf components any more and had to pick-and-choose suppliers carefully, argue with BIOS manufacturers to retain compatibility, etc. Hell, try buying a PC that still has IDE and that's not that old.

End of life - when none of the software you use will still run on the old OS.

End of life - when you have to employ tech staff with out-of-date skills that they don't have the opportunity to update because of your policy, and then realise the next upgrade means new staff and having to fix the problem anyway.

End of life - when the software is a dead do-do that nobody wants to touch, let alone guarantee support for, let alone work on, let alone ensure compatibility with.

Sorry, but everything has an end-of-life. Sure, you could probably run a mom-n-pop shop on some old DOS accounting software. But that's not "IT", that's just "Computing".

If you want your business to interact with others, to not have to manually pass off information to your auditors, to be considered secure enough to pass PCI-DSS so you can take credit cards, etc. or even just to be used by users without specialist "backwards" training, then there is most certainly an end-of-life, and it correlates rather well with the MS end-of-life in this case.

I agree that computers "don't get slower", they are always the same speed as the day you bought them, that software "doesn't get worse", it's the same software as the day you bought it. I get the comparative nature of this. But that's NOT anything but anecdote in the real world, no matter how small an outfit you are.

When you can't log into your damn bank because it's said that IE6 is too old, your system is end-of-life. That's the end of it. Because to fix it, bodge it, fake it, or upgrade it costs more than just following the rest of the world in their lowest-accepted technology standard.

3 days ago

Windows Server 2003 Reaches End of Life In July

ledow Perpetual motion. (155 comments)

You wrote (or used) software that only works on Server 2003 / Windows XP / etc.

Then it's your own fault.

No doubt your replacement project will rely on .NET 4.5 or whatever and then when that stops being supported you'll have to do the same things all over again in a few years.

Or you could, you know, not use software that is tied to any particular manufacturer, technology, etc.

I'm just not sure what most places get out of being tied into MS technologies like this. Sure, if you're doing some heavy Office integration all the time with this, that, the other then you've tied yourself in, but where is that necessary compared to your software churning out some intermediate format and then just having the intermediate format converted to the one you need?

I don't get it, honestly, and supposedly "clever" IT businesses still fall for it every time.

Nobody is saying that software is immortal, but really it's blinkered to still be running stuff that's dependent on - what? ActiveX and IE6? Come on!

There's no excuse now. I get frustrated when I still see CCTV units for £50 sold with ActiveX components to do their web-view, when they have Android apps and all the rest working already. Stop it. Seriously. And that's at the cheap-junk end of the market.

If you can't abandon Server 2003 because of the applications you use, DON'T fall into the trap next time. Get yourself something that runs pretty independent of the OS already. There's very, very, very little that can't be done with web-based stuff (without requiring plugins) or just sheer open-ness at the intermediary layer so you can get someone in in ten years time to write a new "XML -> whatever" interface that bolts on to your existing system to replace the "XML -> Win64" interface you have now.

Seriously, people, stop it. If you're going to break the endless cycle of annual renewal of MS licences, you have to get off their locked-in development tools and technologies too. The same with Apple. But there is NOTHING stopping you making something that will work with Windows, Apple, Linux, Android, iPad, Windows Phone, etc. all in one hit now, and could be run FROM any of the above too if you needed it to.

Virtualised environments mean that someone handing you a VM with a Linux Guest OS as their entire product is not uncommon in my industry (Smoothwall, etc.), and it means you can run anything on anything nowadays.

If you're still on 2003, I judge you on so many levels, but the stupid decisions you may be about to make are COMPLETELY AVOIDABLE here, now, today before you make the same mistake again.

3 days ago

Steam Broadcasting Now Open To Everyone

ledow Re:World's most useless feature (88 comments)

And in the same response I have for people who point me at YouTube links to "teach me how to do something":

You're telling me it wouldn't be quicker to google a page of tips for the game?

Fuck sitting through a ten-minute video about how to click on a certain combination of buttons in some software, and double-fuck watching random streams to pick up game tactics as opposed to PLAYING THE FUCKING GAME against/with those same people.

4 days ago


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