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Submission + - Top notebook doesn't support Linux in 2016?? Lenovo did it! ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Most latest models from Lenovo can't run Linux (nor any other OS from the pre-installed one), because some obscured firmware design. Is this 1998? No! This is just today, we several Yoga models.
And what is the answer? There's non!

Comment Re: Wonderful! (Score 1) 117

Remember, you're paying for a right to a virtual monopoly, so you're going to pay a lot of money.

Here's an interesting idea: given that they do have a monopoly over that content, how about we start enforcing antitrust/competition law on it? That would mean no more requiring a foxtel (cable, for non-Aussies) subscription to view a single piece of content. You could achieve this with the existing CCA, which defines markets (for the purpose of defining a monopoly) as having some element of substitution between products within them, though it would definitely be a novel interpretation.

Alternatively, we could recognize that exclusivity agreements are anti -competitive, and therefore illegal under CCA s45, but that's going to be much more disruptive.

Comment Re:Claws Mail (Score 1) 388

You have a vulnerability in your config - no unprivileged process should be able create a DoS attack so easily. I suggest you take a look at /etc/security/limits.conf.

(Ironically, I set a limit on my system due to a similar bug in Kontact, which has since been fixed.)

Comment Re:Before SSDs can replace HDs (Score 1) 272

I assume most OSes would shit themselves if the boot drive suddenly went read only. I would also guess most wouldn't boot up either once you tried rebooting.

For Windows, that's quite plausible. For Linux - not a chance. X and journalctl might crash, but the rest will generally keep going, as long as you don't have have a COW file system. It's actually not that different to how the system handles running out of free space (a much more common occurrence, particularly if you don't keep /var/log on a separate partition).

Comment Re:USB is a support nightmare (Score 1) 299

Newsflash: *most* USB devices lack serial numbers.

Of the 18 USB devices plugged into my PC, only 2 of them have serial numbers, and they're the same model. The USB hubs built into the motherboard also have serial numbers, but those can be identified by PCI address so that's not as useful.

I have a Linux multiseat config, and the only way to reliably recognize seats is to make sure you always plug the hubs into the same ports.

Comment Re:Wouldn't this lead to Natural Selection? (Score 1) 171

The problem arises when the internet is wrong. For instance, just yesterday I was setting up Postgres* (something I haven't done before) and ran into an error about peer authentication when trying to run psql as root. If you google this, pretty much all the results tell you to set the authentication type to 'trust' for the postgres account, which effectively disables any kind of checking for local access to an account with superuser permissions to the database, creating a privileged escalation vulnerability. It took me about half an hour to find out about user name mapping and get it to work.

And as someone pointed out the other day, this is especially rampant with certain languages. e.g. PHP.

Googling a problem is certainly an important step for getting ideas, but sometimes it's worthwhile reading the docs and figuring it out from first principles, because quite often understanding and checking the code can take as long as writing it.

Comment Re:Here's what I heard: (Score 1) 83

It doesn't matter which is cheaper if Linux can only play a very small subset of the games. I certainly wouldn't spend $200+ on a video card and then limit myself in my game selection by refusing to spend an extra $100 on the OS.

Personally, I've never actually been able to get Linux to run properly on arbitrary hardware that I happened to own. I'm sure you could put together a machine with specific hardware that is known to work well with Linux, but if you just pick random parts off the shelf based on performance needs, odds are you'll run into some difficulties trying to get everything working under Linux.

Counter-point: I just spent $500 on a graphics card, and my gaming system is single-boot Linux. Now to be fair, I do play quite a few games through WINE (though fewer than I used to), but the proportion of games which are Windows only and unplayable in WINE isn't as high as it used to be. I did get an Nvidia card (GTX 970) though, mainly because AMD's drivers have such a poor reputation under Linux.

That time spent researching whether or not the parts will actually work with Linux is easily worth the cost of buying a Windows license and just knowing that everything will work as expected.

There's plenty of hardware that doesn't work well under Windows too, either because of driver bugs or because the hardware itself has a design flaw (e.g. the GTX 970 memory architecture). Ultimately you need to do some research no matter what your OS is, if you're going to build the system from scratch. (And if not, the Steam machines are equivalent to a pre-built Windows system.)

Comment Re:Blacksmiths (Score 1) 255

This used to be true with programming too, there weren't many tools so you had to write your own or modify someone else's (and you shared them with others). If a new type of computer came out you would port the tools are maybe even write some from scratch. Today the kids can't even begin to imagine this: if there's not a button on their IDE's to do what they want then they don't do it, they don't bother learning a scripting or shell languages to do what they need. I mean it's a frigging computer, the whole point of it is to be able to program it to do what you want it to do!

I'd argue it still is, to a large extent. I'm fresh out of uni, but I (and several of those I graduated with) used Vim/Emacs as their (DIY) IDE of choice.

(FWIW, my course spanned Java, Python and C, and only for Java did we use an IDE (Eclipse).)

Comment Re:Predictable cadence? (Score 1) 95

Oh well, it's time to:
$sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
$sudo pacman -Syu
#emerge -uva --deep --newuse --keep-going @world
$sudo yum up

The third one above is my patch tuesday, wednesday and probably thursday 8) My laptop is starting to cook my bollocks, compiling LibreOffice.

I run Sabayon, you insensitive clod! :P

Comment Re:Return codes? (Score 1) 253

Return values are handled oddly in pretty much every major language. Many API calls want to return something simple- int or bool- and if anything is more complex than that, generally require an actual data structure to be returned, often as a reference. This means that the "I didn't do this" action has a variety of ways to be be passed back- none of them even close to standard.

If something returns a distance, magnitude, or size, "0" normally means "Error, nothing happened" which is often the same as "Sure, I wrote 0 bytes. Really."
If something needs to distinguish between success ("I did the thing 0 times as requested" and failure "I couldn't do the thing because of an error condition"), then sometimes a -1 is returned, or an exception thrown, or something else.

This is true of mostly just C, though it does get used a little in C++ as well. (To be fair, C-family languages are the majority of popular languages.)
Most high-level languages use exceptions, and Haskell (and to a lesser extent, Rust) use the Maybe type so that the type system forces error checking to occur.

Comment Re:Are these the Germans... (Score 1) 189

pfft. You've never managed a Linux web server. Especially one running gawd damned wordpress.

Judging by the entries in my log files, a very simple but effective mitigation technique would be to run wordpress under a path like /blog instead of the root directory - most attempts are just blindly searching for vulnerabilities at the default path.

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