November 17, 2021

Why we should expect more bugs in open source software

Why we should expect more bugs in open source software

There are so many free, open source software projects out there that their developers and maintainers have little hope of being able to monetize their products. But there is always the other side of it: AD revenue. To create AD revenue it is enough to create traffic to a web site. How do we create traffic? We set up a forum or bug tracker and introduce bugs to our code. Bingo! Now, we have frustrated users coming to our web site, creating traffic, and generating AD revenue.

So, expect more and more unscrupulous crooks to piggy-back on this genius scheme, and more buggy FOS software. We are SOL.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 07:39 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 13, 2021

Stupidity knows no limits: VirtualBox power button handling

Stupidity knows no limits: VirtualBox power button handling

It is reasonable to expect many users to standby their PCs by pressing the power buttons. It is trivial to configure both Linux and Windows that way. But in VirtualBox there is no setting to prevent the shutdown of the OS by pressing the power button! So, when one presses it, the guest OS shuts down.

Give your head a shake, Oracle!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 12:24 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 12, 2021

Evidence that Google passes search and client information to spammers

Evidence that Google passes search and client information to spammers

One of the web sites that my company hosts has a somewhat vulnerable captcha. It can be bypassed by some spammers, and their emails reach the admins. They approached me for hardening their captcha, and I became aware of the kind of spam that they receive. They also authorized me to mention it in this post.

By way of their normal business activity, their employees perform searches for keywords, on Google. They do not use Bing or any other search engine. After running certain searches, they receive spam emails that contain search terms very similar to those that they use. I consider it evidence of a leak from Google, and here is why.

This client of mine is also my VPN client. The IP address of their web site matches the external IP address of their internet connection. Since they use Google over SSL, and its certificate appears in their browser, their SSL connection to Google is not compromised. This means that information about both their searches and their IP address can only be obtained by spammers from Google itself.

If Google is willing to provide any feedback on this matter, I will allow them to comment on this post.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 10:42 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 20, 2021

Does anyone understand why Microsoft hates Ctrl-Ins and Shift-Ins?

Does anyone understand why Microsoft hates Ctrl-Ins and Shift-Ins?

Ctrl-Ins key combination for copying objects into clipboard and Shift-Ins key combination for pasting them from it have been around since I started working with DOS programs. Then they became natural habits under Windows 3.1, OS/2, and subsequent versions of Windows. So far, it is a smooth ride.

Fast forward to the emergence of Microsoft Help Viewer, Microsoft SSRS Report Builder, and some other products by that company. Suddenly, the above key combinations do not work anymore, but Ctrl-C and Ctrl-V do work.

Can anyone explain inexplicable hostility and hatred by Microsoft of the former keyboard shortcuts? What is wrong with them (MS) so that they neglect to support or deliberately choose not to support them in some areas of some of their products?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 05:15 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 16, 2021

Listen very carefully: Everyone in the IT industry has gone mad

Listen very carefully: Everyone in the IT industry has gone mad

Microsoft acquired GitHub. Okay, this probably means that it was a lucrative business that MS could make a few hundred bullion $$ from. Sounds like a sweet business transaction.

Fast forward a few months. Now yours faithful tries to go and register a new github account, just to post a bug report for an open-source piece of software that is full of bugs and requires some feedback and a kick in its developer's balls, just to become barely useful. Ha-ha! Not so fast.

To register at GitHub one is now required to solve a captcha challenge. It is a set of 6 pictures, 2 rows of 3 columns, each with a set of 6 of 6-sided dices. Those dices not only have dots: some have numbers on their sides. Are you following? They have numbers too...

Now, try to solve the challenge: pick a picture in which dices total to 14. Here we go... Some dices have 6 on them, and they lay sideways on the desk. Are they 6 or 9? Fine, once I flex my math skills and finally solve this challenge, by guesstimating which digit it might be, the whole thing has the audacity to tell me: "1 challenge done" and present me with a new set of similar pictures. You know, Microsoft: you are brain-fucked, if you believe that adults who need access to some open-source projects enjoy being bullied to such degree. So, go and fuck yourself, lunatics! more...

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May 08, 2021

Yawning Heighs of corruption

Yawning Heighs of corruption

Type 'golem' into an Open Office or LibreOffice text document. It will be underlined by a red, squiggly line, as a typo. Right-click it. The dictionary will suggest 'google' as the only replacement. "Open" Office is as corrupt as it gets.

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April 27, 2021

Xinsane

Xinsane

Another Linux lie: we can scan.

Truth: you cannot.

Refugees from Windows environments come spoiled by high-quality software that they acquire as bundled with their scanners. It always works fine, it is always intelligent, and it overall helps to be productive. On the contrary, Linux scanning is lame, buggy, counter-intuitive, user-unfriendly, and, ironically, insane, even though the core scanning infrastructure under linux calls itself sane.

Xsane is one of the higher quality products for scanning under Linux. It kind of works: it can scan single-page documents. Congratulations, Oliver Rauch: your programming prowess is truly incredible! But what about automatic document feeders of modern MFUs? He pretends to support them by... having a user create "projects".

Read it again: it is not enough to pick ADF from the drop down. You have to switch your target from Save to Multipage, which opens another window that forces you to browse for another file, different from the file you have already designated as the target on the main window. Then you struggle to understand what to do next because this new window cannot be closed. It has counter-intuitive controls that mean nothing to someone who is used to Windows scanner software.

And, Tada! To add insult to injury, after switching Xsane into multipage mode, you scan and, WTF? You still end up with a single-page PDF. It simply ignores the rest of the pages, after scanning the 1st one. Xinsane!

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October 15, 2020

Non-Microsoft web sites owned by Microsoft now pin CPU

Non-Microsoft web sites owned by Microsoft now pin CPU

Using their global monopoly position, Microsoft must be tempted to abuse their customer's processing power by running some obscured payloads in their browsers. I noticed first that it is happening on Github: when its page is loaded, it pins 50% of one core. Then I visited other sites and noticed the same behavior on Linkedin, but with nearly 100% load of one core. Then Office365 and Teams exhibited the same behavior.

This consumes anywhere from 5-10Wt of electric energy to 20-30Wt. Multiply this by the millions of users, and you arrive at megawatts stolen by Microsoft from its user base and the general public, which subsidizes electricity in many countries.

What is the payload? Is Microsoft mining crypto-currencies on user devices? I believe this question is worth looking into. Even if they do not, even if this is just a very bad and inconsiderate design, common these days, this practice must stop. Such ginormous waste on a global scale is unacceptable for the human civilization.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 07:54 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 02, 2020

Another Linux lie: we have a community, and it is friendly

Another Linux lie: we have a community, and it is friendly

Nothing could be further from the truth. Linux "community" is the most viscious, cruel, and unforgiving. Linux enthusiasts eagerly and readily team up to bully and harass everyone who questions the swamp and torrent of bugs that Linux pours onto its users.

The UNIX&Linux stack exchange is the standing monument to this kind of behaviour. Its moderators are clearly activists on payroll of RedHat and Canonical, and they use any PR spinning practice invented, such as verbal abuse, character assassination, and cancel culture, to expel anyone and everyone who has audacity to ask questions about problems and bugs in Linux. Any problem-related questions are immediately swarm-downvoted and eventually closed as not fitting high standards of UNIX stack exchange.

So, where does the now-frustrated user go? To the distro-related resource, I guess. Be it Fedora forums or Ask Ubuntu. But there, again, each problem question is met with similar hostility of a few select enthusiasts. To them it does not matter that we have to get our job done. The only thing that matters is that distro maintainer prescriptions, perpetual upgrade and blind following of the dogmas, is obeyed.

Careful reader might ask: but what about the slogan of freedom that Linux had been introduced under? Forget about it! Linux is no longer that which it started off as. You have no freedom to refuse unwanted technologies being shoved down our throats. You either obey and accept, or they see you out of the door.

Linux has morphed into a gigantic clusterfuck of lies by today because there is a ton of money to be had by Linus and Kox. Remember: Android is Linux. This smells $$$

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Another Linux lie: Linux is stable and being developed by competent developers

Another Linux lie: Linux is stable and being developed by competent developers

I have already blogged about full-on backdooring of Linux via systemd and hijacking of its security by polkitd. Turns out that the developer of the latter is also an inconsidering troll and disrespectful fascist, like the majority of so-called "open source community" is.

Read this excellent research by Jonathan de Boyne Pollard: The PolicyKit service. It is a damning guilty verdict to Linux gestapo uberschturmgruppenfuhrer David Zeuthen from... tada!.. RedHat (surprise! Who wudda thunk that RedHat employs inept trolls?). In short, PolkitD pins CPUs around the globe because the developer considered it a good idea. Why did I put a period just before this sentence? Because this is it: David Zeuthen thought it was a good idea to keep incessantly polling directories that polkitd has no permissions to, in the assumption that someone might notice that their CPU is pinned and start doing research.

For posterity:

Sometimes /usr/local/share/polkit-1/rules.d/ is installed owned by the superuser
with rwx------ permissions, and so not accessible to the unprivileged user.
Sometimes /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/rules.d/ is installed owned by the superuser
with rwx------ permissions, and so not accessible to the unprivileged user.
Sometimes /usr/local/etc/polkit-1/ is installed owned by the superuser
with rwxr-x--- permissions, and so not accessible to the unprivileged user.
Sometimes the ConsoleKit service is simply not running.

The polkitd program's failure mode in such scenarios is to keep trying,
incessantly, to access these, every few seconds. This is visible as
the dæmon constantly consuming (some) CPU time and continually appearing
in the listings of top -I and suchlike. 

How about a message? But no pip squeak from commandante Zeuthen. He did not bother to publicize his exploits, and millions of Linux users around the globe keep paying inflated electricity bills and suffer degraded performance on their systems because... tada!.. many distro maintainers and software packagers have no idea of polkitd's permission requirements.

Fuck you, David! I hope that you rot in hell soon.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 07:27 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 28, 2020

Another lie: Qt is a multiplatform library

Another lie: Qt is a multiplatform library

When developing for Qt under Windows, Qt might sound like a good idea. Heck, it is multiplatform! You can later build your software for those enthusiasts who stay under Linux, so it sounds. Slow down there!

In reality, Qt hates Linux. Is it because Microsoft bought Nokia at some point, I do not know. I have no idea why, but Qt deploys its whole own slew of shared objects AKA librarites. All of them are versioned as is the case under UNIX-like OSs. And doing so, Qt team creates the Linux version of Windows DLL hell.

For whatever inexplicable reason, Qt libraries target very specific, obsolete, and no longer available versions of other 3d party libraries. Thus, the developer is put into an artificially created situation where they cannot develop because the Linux distro had moved on and obsoleted a certain library (which immediately entails erasing it from all resources) while Qt project holds on to the obsolete library reference. And so Qt developers under Linux are royally screwed. Congratulations! more...

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September 26, 2020

There is always a money trail

There is always a money trail

Now it is perfectly clear why the things go the way they go. Microsoft gives big $$$ to Linus. They choose to do it openly and this is the right way to do it. Underhanded dealings with paying directly into Linus's private bank account may have attracted unnecessary attention from some hackers, probably Anonymous, whereas the openly-advertised membership in Linux foundation is lauded by a whole ecstatic crowd. Google for "microsoft pays Linus" and you will find a bunch of touchy-feely articles online about them joining.

Now, to read between the lines. Microsoft gives big $$$ to Linus. Oh, I've already said it! But it is still worth repeating. This dough will serve to further Microsoft's interests by enticing the "open-source community" to do exactly that which they have been doing as of lately, namely discredit and destroy every piece of valuable software that still competes with their flagship products.

Microsoft also pays Apache. No wonder their web server is stagnating, their office is rotting into a pile of crap, and now-their Netbeans is a stinking zombie. "If you cannot defeat them, then lead them!"

This proves my long-standing axiom: no one in the Linux, open-source, or free software business is honest. All of them are sly and clever manipulators who look only to enhance their resumes or sell big. The only conclusion that I have is that there must not be free software because it leads to such corruption, stagnation, and theft. Yes, theft. Microsoft has been stealing code base from open source since time immemorial. Windows eventually became Linux in a different candy wrap. They stole a whole array of technologies from it. Now they can do it under the official seal of approval from the org. Shame!

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September 24, 2020

Another lie: Raspberry Pi works. It does not.

Another lie: Raspberry Pi works. It does not.

The idea was grand! A $25 board that has a quad-core CPU, 1-2 GB of RAM, 4x USB ports, LAN, WiFi, and GPIO. Sounds very cool on the surface, does it not? Not, if you want to actually use the Pi.

It is actually good for running only one (as in 1) task at a time. Everything boils down to the bandwidth of the uSD card interface. It is absurd, at 20 MB/s peak. Even a USB attached memory stick is faster, even though some testers show that it is slower. I do not believe them because I have USB keys that transfer data at about 2x the rate. As soon as I free one up, I am going to burn Raspbian on it and try.

If you are going to experiment with USB boot on a Pi, remember that you have to set an OTP bit. Google for how.

I tried to switch from my trusted PC to a Pi for the trivial task of typing LaTeX documents in TexStudio. Wishful thinking it was! The problem is that I simultaneously need to use XMPP chat, browser, and Thunderbird for emails, plus sporadically some other softwares. Here, Pi bites the dust. It can only allow one of the programs to run. It is slow, to a point where keyboard input does not work in an already loaded application while another d/l from the Internet in the background. The CPU is only 20% used and RAM is about the same, but still the Pi becomes non-responsive.

I estimate that its performance may be improved about 2-3x by investing about $50 in an M.2 SSD and a USB adapter for it, but is it worth it? 2-3x the crawl speed of a snail is still a snail speed. Stay tuned!

Let us review, what Pi should have actually been instead of its absurd configuration. more...

Posted by: LinuxLies at 12:19 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 20, 2020

Another one bites the dust: Apache foundaton kills Netbeans

Another one bites the dust: Apache foundaton kills Netbeans

I cannot fathom what they are thinking. What line of thinking may lead an otherwise reasonable group of developers (judging by Apache web server) to maul and mangle a product that they picked up from Oracle?

Enter Netbeans. Yes, its main target is Java, true. But it still had pretty decent support for C++. Now it is gone, carved out and butchered. Previously, all you had to have for developing in C++ in Netbeans was an installation of GCC infrastructure. Netbeans would then automatically discover the command lines as soon as the C++ plugin activated itself on 1st use. Now you need 2 servers installed, to support C++ development.

Where is the guarantee that those servers that run as daemons come with no security problems like much of Linux software does? Any IT admin worth their pay should question the need to install server software just to run an IDE. I would!

Well, here is a wake-up call for you, genius fascists: thanks, but no thanks. I am not going to submit to your dictatorial ideology and slap god knows what more software onto my perfectly working system, just to satisfy your laziness and dictatorial tendencies. Netbeans 8.2 from Oracle works perfectly well still, and none of the purported benefits of Apache Netbeans 9+ are needed. Slide into oblivion, assholes!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 07:37 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 28, 2020

The world is ruled by genius idiots

The world is ruled by genius idiots

Had open-source project not been so hostile towards bug reports and reporters, I would not have blogged virtually any of the below. But alas, bug reports to the open-source projects more often than not fall on deaf ears in the best case scenarios, or receive hostile perception in normal cases.

Enter OpenOffice by Apache Foundation. Try to search and replace text. When no more instances of the text are found, OpenOffice displays a dialog box that says that the program has searched to the end of the document and asks whether you want to continue searching from the beginning. Yes or no?

Well, suppose, yes... Hit Enter... Nothing... Why does it not do anything? Oh, well, because the genius developer has forgotten to assign the Default attribute to the Yes button.

Well, suppose, no... Hit Escape... Nothing... Why does it not do anything? Oh, well, because the genius developer has forgotten to assign the Cancel attribute to the No button.

If only they had tested, it would have been noticed. They never test. If only they were agreeable to fix bugs, it would have been fixed a long time ago. Alas, they are unwilling to look into the bug reports, since they are not fun but embarrassment. And we plunge deeper and deeper into the stone age of user-hostile software.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 11:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 15, 2020

Google destroys the environment with its new ngram viewer

Google destroys the environment with its new ngram viewer

Google's ngram viewer used to be a very lightweight web site. It required JavaScript, but it was unobtrusive. All of that has changed when a couple days ago Google completely redesigned the application. Now, if left up in the browser, even when its tab is not active, it polls 1 core of the CPU to 38% on average.

I immediately noticed it, thanks to the Linux CPU monitor applet that I always run. The process that pinned the CPU was WebContent associated with firefox-bin. Immediately, I turned off JavaScript in the ngram viewer tab, and the load disappeared.

This is what hundreds of billions of $$ cannot buy you: environmentally-friendly web sites. By polling the CPUs on the millions of machines around the world, Google is wasting megawatts of energy and thousands of dollars that belong to its unsuspecting users.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 04:11 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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June 17, 2020

I am so sick and tired of your animations of everything

I am so sick and tired of your animations of everything

Cute! Extremely cute! All these animations which rained on software for the last ten or so years, are so heart-warming. You drag a highlighted word, and when you release it after missing the target GUI control by a fraction of millimeter due to ridiculously designed shape of the mouse cursor, it does not instantly return to its origin, but it goes through an animation. Perfect! Wonderful! Cute!

Enter the memory leaks and other root causes of the gradual slowdown of any open-source or closed-source OS. Yes, I said the s-word. All currently existing OSs do slow down if not rebooted on a regular basis. This was not the case 15-20 years ago, when they were being developed by the students of US, Canadian, and European universities. Now that everyone and his sister in the 3d world, including North Korean and Chinese Communist Parties, ISIS, Al Quaeda, and Nigerian and Somalian pirates, contribute to Linux source code, it had become a bug nest. It slows down to a grinding halt after running for as little as one month.

As soon as Linux as a whole slows down, the animations become a grave annoyance, instead of cute attraction and entertainment. It kills productivity. But who cares? Try to report it, and the best case scenario is that they will tell you to reboot your system. Worst case they will simply troll you for having an incorrectly installed or "messed up" system. They will not comment on what that means, since they do not know and do not care, but merely use the language designed to make complainants go away.

Congratulations, humans, for allowing god knows who to create the software that your world runs on. You should at least try to control who they are and what their agenda is. But you do not care.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 06:54 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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May 13, 2020

OpenOffice's perpetually broken syntax check

OpenOffice's perpetually broken syntax check

I totally get it! Releasing a piece of software and bragging about it online and in one's resume is so rewarding. It nets you recognition by geeks, reviews in blogs, and lands you in a well-paying job. Consequences come later, and who cares.

I am talking about such consequences, as bugs that then appear in commercial software that the formerly open-source developers write, once they land in a real-world, paying job. The problem is that doing open-source, they cannot and do not develop a habit of thoroughly testing their software. The end results may be as benign as an annoyance for a user, or a catastrophe, such as an airplane crash or a pandemic of some virus.

Take for example the syntax check in OpenOffice developed by Apache Foundation. It works sometimes, rarely, mostly in brand-new documents, after a brand-new install of OpenOffice. As time goes by, syntax check stops working. It is not clear what is the major factor: the age of the OO installation, or the age of documents, or both, but eventually the red squigglies under the misspelled words disappear, and pressing F7 yields nothing but the confirmation "Spell check complete" even though misspelled words exist in the text.

Any attempts to get this bug resolved fall on deaf ears. A quick search for "openoffice spellcheck broken" yields 90,000 results. No resolution up to 2020. Congratulations!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 06:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 19, 2020

Firefox takes 6+ hours to delete 15,000 history entries

Firefox takes 6+ hours to delete 15,000 history entries

I totally get it!

  • Working is hard!
  • Let someone else do it!
  • Oh, Google has a browser engine! We do not have to do anything anymore, only keep raking in $$$ from Big Ad.

End result: the monkeys, employed by Mozilla foundation, FUBARed the Firefox history engine. Today at 10am I opened the history management window, typed in "google.com", highlighted all 15,000 entries, and hit "Delete" menu item.

It is now 4:45pm and the program finished deleting them moments ago. I never observed a worse performance from any other piece of software.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 04:46 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 08, 2020

Linux lie: "We have CAD programs"

Linux lie: "We have CAD programs"

Under Windows we can use horrible AutoCAD or decent SolidWorks. In the latter it is a piece of cake to design, as it is intuitive and "figures it out" for the designer: snaps primitives to the significant points (end, middle, tangent, etc).

Under Linux we have LibreCAD. I just tried to use it after using the above softwares after 25+ years of my engineering career. How naive I was, thinking that since I knew AutoCAD, any CAD would be the same. It would not.

I am staring at LibreCAD for an hour now, but I still cannot for the life of me figure out how to modify a line. I managed to create a fillet between two lines, but how can I specify its radius? What does the selection mean? Things can be selected, but there is no UI for editing their properties.

So far I enabled all toolbars to no avail. My question to the exceptionally genius open-source developers: do you ever think? Do you ever stop, before you develop, and do you ever ask yourself the question: why do you want to develop something? Are you not developing for your users? Then why do you never think about them? You truly never do, as if you did, then you would have thought about mimicking the existing UI flows of the existing CAD programs, to make the learning curve not look like a hockey stick!!! more...

Posted by: LinuxLies at 03:11 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 04, 2020

With the migration to Cromium, Firefox has become impervious to add-ons

With the migration to Cromium, Firefox has become impervious to add-ons

This speaks of who owns whom. There is no Mozilla foundation anymore. Their work here is done! They have taken glorious Netscape from AOL, fubared it completely, and ran away, flailing their hands. From now on there is only one search engine - Google - and there is only one browser - Chrome.

Firefox made sense only due to its add-ons. Without add-ons it was "just another browser", and a mediocre one. Add-ons made Firefox attractive. And not just any add-ons: the very specific ones, in fact. They were:

  • NoScript - to protect from spying and privacy invasion
  • AdBlock [RIP], uBlock - to protect from spying
  • Cookie Monster [RIP], CookieMaster - to protect from spying
  • DownThemAll [RIP] - to download using multiple streams
  • Download Flash and Video - to keep interesting videos from vanishing from the face of the Earth.
  • and a number of other extensions.
One after another they had been killed off with wholehearted agreement and active assistance by Mozilla foundation, who worked hard day and night to kill good extensions. With every next, rapidly pumped out, version of Firefox, one after another the extensions died off. Now the most important extensions are practically unusable and tada! Firefox suddenly does not make any sense anymore. Who wins? Google.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 06:57 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 03, 2020

Finally, something positive! StarOffice 9 works.

Finally, something positive! StarOffice 9 works.

Over the weekend I removed OpenOffice and LibreOffice from all the machines under my control. Instead of that cluster#$@% of bugs I installed Sun Microsystems' Star Office 9 that I sagaciously bought years ago.

The UI of SO9 is identical to OO4, for all practical purposes. It lacks a few side panels that can be enabled in OO4, but they are insignificant for daily use. SO9 also lacks the deluge of complete show-stopper bugs that OO and LO are ripe with.

Finally, spell checker, mail merge, and export to PDF work as expected, without painful surprises.

Boo hoo, Apache! You had taken a perfectly working Sun's software and foobared it. How much crack had you bought for Microsoft's 30 silver?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 08:48 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 30, 2019

FreeBSD for Raspberry Pi: you fell for it!

FreeBSD for Raspberry Pi: you fell for it!

The idea is grand: running glorious (until lately) FreeBSD OS on the cheapo Pi hardware. Sounds great on the surface, but the genius implementation is, as always, flawed.

As you might know, FreeBSD out of the box comes with its most critical component missing, although bootstrapped to install itself on first use. I am referring to pkg

Problem is that there is no working repository for it on the FreeBSD servers and it has to be built from source, which takes countless hours on Pi hardware. But first one has to install and extract the ports tree, which in turn takes countless hours.

Both should come on the image OOB, but being genius, the maintainers follow the orthodoxy of their OS rather than common sense, wasting users' time and wearing down their SD cards. How typical!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 07:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 13, 2019

Adobe kills Reader in one strike of a keyboard

Adobe kills Reader in one strike of a keyboard

Adobe reader used to be a Windows forms application with highly customizable toolbars. Not anymore. The new DC version crosses over 20 years of GUI application development and reverts to the pre-Windows95 static toolbars layout.

Why am I getting my pants in the knot? Should I? Well, for someone, who actually WORKS with PDFs, it is kind of important for me to view 2 pages of a PDF file side by side at 100% zoom level. I own 1920x1200 pixel 24 inch monitors specifically for that single purpose. So what is wrong with the Acrobat Reader DC, you ask?

The static tab bar and toolbar of the DC take too much space on my monitors and no longer allow the document to be viewed on them at 100% zoom - exactly as they would look on paper. Adobe should have known better for crying out loud.

Adobe, why do you have the urge to destroy the value in your products and replace them with sad caricatures on them?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 04:37 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 02, 2019

Firefox never releases memory which it allocates

Firefox never releases memory which it allocates

A family member's machine which is running 24/7 became slow. I took a look and found that practically every task which used to be instant now took a long time to complete, freezing along the way.

The root cause: Firefox, open for the last month or so, allocated 5+ GB of RAM with about 8-10 tabs open. It has been my experience with Firefox that it allocates but never releases memory, and when it allocates, it does so lavishly, using incomprehensible amounts of RAM. This is what it currently looks like on the machine from which I am making this post:

Notice the allocated memory from only 6 tabs! Fortunately I have 16 GB available and do not feel pressure at the moment.

Mozilla developers are clearly genius, but they are exactly who never give a f__k about usability. And that is why you should never hire genius open-source developers: they will leave you ruined as soon as they would become bored or you pressure them for quality of code.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:28 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 05, 2019

github - the user gagging tool

github - the user gagging tool

It is no secret that there are no bugs in open source software. At least not from the developers' and maintainers' perspectives. User perspective does not matter and here is how.

Every open source developer is afraid of bug reports. They panic from every one submitted into their trackers and close most of them w/o resolution. github empowers them for that by allowing permanent closure of the tickets.

In a normal business environment even if a support person closes a user's ticket, further feedback from the user re-opens it. At least that is how companies with a shred of ethics operate (not Microsoft, no of course).

On github bug reports, closed w/o so much as asking "Can you upgrade to our next version, or are you stuck on the bugged old one for whatever reason?" cannot receive any further feedback or clarifications to the developer's complete misunderstanding of the problem.

github empowers the inept developers and gags the users in a "STFU!" way. Boo, github! You are monsters.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:14 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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October 02, 2019

Genius developers always do that: create bugs. What do they never do?

Genius developers always do that: create bugs. What do they never do?

If you answered 'test' then you are correct! Genius developers never test their code and never run their genius decisions by their user base.

Enter TexStudio - a better fork of TexMaker, about which I already blogged. TexStudio did not seem to be permeated with a hint of madness, unlike its parent project. But two things: the developers have insulated themselves from their user base by moving their code and tracker to github. Now every user has to register there as well. Another online account for everyone.

And here is my pet peeve: if one is an advanced user doing real work, they would have tons of macros to accelerate text entry. And if you have multiple profiles, then sooner or later you would realize that your precious macros are disappearing without trace. After a bit of digging you would find that after you enter a macro, the current profile is not saved automatically and it is enough to switch profile and macros would be gone.

First of all, do not save macros in the profile, unless the user wants them to be local to it. Save it globally! Second, if you save macros in profiles, save the profile automatically once the user Okays the macros dialog box. Otherwise in your genius stupidity you allowed the user to store their macros in memory only, without persisting them to disk, and the user has no way of knowing it!!!

And how do you envision it, to begin with? So I want to use a macro to enter some LaTeX code... Only in one profile, you think? So if I have two or more profiles, I would have to re-enter the macros into each of them, and remember to save every time? What on Earth were you thinking???

So my request to all genius open-source developers: cut down on genius ideas and keep it simple. We, your users, are sick and tired of you non-stop pumping new half-baked functionality into your software, of which there is too much. We are only interested in stable and functional software. It provides no value if you develop something which works 50% of the time, and also introduce bugs into what previously worked.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:55 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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August 22, 2019

Fish rots from the head, contd.

Fish rots from the head, contd.

Inserted a removable media, used it, and clicked the Unmount menu item of the Mate mounter applet. Nothing happened.

Issued umount to the device. Nothing happened.

I am the root of this machine. I own its hardware and it resides on my private property. But some dick-headed programmer half-world away believes that they know better and I should not be allowed to unmount a device no matter what. Stupidity has no limit.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 05:16 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 11, 2019

The humankind must re-think its approach to software development now before it is too late

The humankind must re-think its approach to software development now before it is too late

The quality of software is degrading every day as millions more inept pretend-developers are flooding the IT job market. Attracted by higher salaries and better working conditions than other industries, they forget the most important thing: responsibility for the impact they can make on the job.

Recently I and my just as senior co-worker have been told by our manager that "we test too much". He meant that it takes us longer to go to production than for a novice developer fresh from school in the next cubicle. We exchanged meaningful glances and shrugged: we cannot help it. It is ingrained in us to take responsibility for the results of our work, which entails a lot of testing. The young fellow just codes and releases. Those pesky bugs can be figured out later. And they come in swarms.

Linux never enjoyed mass adoption, but today there is a mass exodus from Linux as repo maintainers happily gulp pre-alpha quality code into production repos. "Unchecked, unchalleged" (c) JRRT these new developers carnage over their dwindling user base: write, release if compiles, enhance their resume, get a job and move on. Who cares that their new code is buggy? Linux rules and that trumps all.

We have been screaming about Gnome 3 fiasco, systemd back-dooring, memory management nightmares, polkitd hijacking CPUs and numerous other issues, but no one is interested in hearing that. Instead it is develop first, never ask questions mode of operation.

Linux memory over-allocation under IO pressure has been a catastrophe since v.2 kernels. We are now on v.5 and it has been at least 15 years. No one bothered to focus on finding a solution and it has been swept under the rug by everyone from Torvalds and Kox to the last monkey-developer at RedHat.

But these unscrupulous developers do not stop at the open-source projects - they spread and crawl into companies who write real-world software: banking, insurance, traffic control, healthcare, manufacturing, power generation - you name it - bringing along their open-source habits of not giving a fuck about quality. We now live in a world, which increasingly depends on decreasingly reliable software.

Many of those open-source developers have been hired by Microsoft, especially under their present thug-leader (or leader-thug) and this immediately manifested itself in the diminishing quality of the OSs: fabulous XP, mediocre 7, cuckoo 8, and, finally, the demented, horrendous 10.

At the same time high-quality OSs have all but kicked the bucket: QNX and OS/2 are history, Solaris turned into a sad caricature on itself, AIX is used by those two companies, can't remember their names. Only iSeries still stands proud among the cesspool of computer filth.

When this pus-filled boil finally burst, you better be prepared! I am. I have stashed copies of old OSs, compilers, and hardware to run them. Good luck to us all!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:33 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 09, 2019

Developer breaks the OS, refuses to fix - this is how it goes in the wonderful open source world

Developer breaks the OS, refuses to fix - this is how it goes in the wonderful open source world

Some time between Fedora 19 and Fedora 26 the mainatiner of xrdp broke something in his code. One can no longer connect from Windows to Linux via RDP. A minor inconvenience for the developer, but a huge one for those who relied on administering their Linux environments from a Windows host. Does not happen, you say? It does.

What do you do when you come across a Linux bug? If you have been reading my blog, you already know that first you have to track down the proper venue. Some developers are on SourceForge, others are on GitHub, there is a wild bunch who have their own sites, forums or blogs, etc. And finally, there are maillists.

This one did respond to the Fedora's bugzilla ticket quite promptly, to give him a credit. But his response was "Install Gnome and re-test". Well, not helpful, by my standards. If you followed my blog, you would have known, that I do not use Gnome since the v.3 fiasco and have switched to Mate.

The xrdp developer never tested his code with anything other than Gnome: neither KDE, nor Lxde, nor Mate, etc. have been tested. If he only tested, he would have noticed. But he does not care, as he only uses Gnome. And so he pushed an untested piece of code into the main repo of Fedora, breaking it for everyone in the world.

And being a developer, I do not blame another developer for introducing a bug, as to err is human and things happen. I blame the rest of smug, arrogant, condescending "open source community" for accepting a pre-release quality piece of code into the main repo and giving it a blessing to be released without challenging the need for a change and scrutinizing the change.

As I am an active user of Linux and UNIX for the last 20+ years, I am abreast of the development along the years and could not help but notice that over the past 3-4 years the only change from version to version of Fedora is GUI layout. There have been no valuable new functions added to Linux for almost a decade, but re-drawing icons, adding useless animations, removing panel resizing, adding gigantic panels which bear no valuable information but take monitor space is ever accelerating.

I am all for allowing novice developers a chance to prove themselves and enhance their resume, but not at my cost!!! They should not be allowed to destroy things with impunity and contribute nothing of value. When is this madness going to end?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:34 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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May 06, 2019

Mozilla foundation shows its true face in a carveresque manner

Mozilla foundation shows its true face in a carveresque manner

Do you remember Elliot Carver from "Tomorrow Never Dies"? When he was making news, he also asked one of his subordinates whether they released the new version of their software. The response was that yes, and as requested, it was full of bugs and the users would be forced to upgrade for years.

Well, over the last weekend Mozilla foundation has pulled the same stunt: they allowed to expire their add-on signing certificate, which lead to everyone's add-ons stopping to work, and issued an update which fixed the issue. Never mind numerous concerned voices alerting Mozilla to the certificate expiration date which all but fell on a deaf ear.

Billions of users around the world became affected when their ad blockers, cookie managers, JavaScript blockers, download managers and many more add-ons stopped working. Strangely, this always works in favour of Big Ad.

Instead of fixing the certificate, they fixed the software and pushed an update. Those, whose installations were not hardened enough to disallow rogue updates, supposedly received the update automatically. Others had to install it manually. This is how you force everyone to install your latest version these days: sabotage user's environment.

If you are affected and have to be on the latest browser version, you can resort to the unbranded version. It would allow to continue using all installed add-ons after turning off signature verification. If you can afford going with an older version, you can switch to the nightly builds. But the mainstream version would not allow you to run w/o signature validation.

There should be someone who would post a bounty for the Mozilla foundation execs. They should be brought to a very swift justice.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 12:16 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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April 18, 2019

Why does Microsoft hate itself so much?

Why does Microsoft hate itself so much?

So you are Microsoft and you sell SQL Server, which comes with its own management studio IDE. And you, Microsoft, implement temporal tables and introduce FOR SYSTEM_TIME ALL syntax. Everything peachy so far, is it not?

But why on Earth do you not, after numerous updates to SSMS, support this syntax? It is your own, for crying out loud.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 03:16 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 12, 2019

What is beyond audacity?

What is beyond audacity?

When it became blatantly obvious, that Mozilla Foundation sold itself to "Big Advertizing" completely, they changed their splash screen to include the spin-doctoring statement:

Made for people, not for profit

But their actions speak for themselves:

  • Forced addition of ever visited sites to Top Sites suggestions and making it difficult to remove
  • A concerted effort to sabotage cookie blocking/removal on the API level
  • Opt-out hidden telemetry

So what is the single-word term for "beyond audacity"? Correct - it is "Mozilla". I guess this makes sense: half a billion dollars of revenue do not fall from the sky all by themselves. Someone has to pay them, and as Firefox and Thunderbird are free, the only way to make money for Mozilla foundation is to get a cut from Big Ad.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 03:29 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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January 09, 2019

Google maps with Street View is a shopping list for criminals

Google maps with Street View is a shopping list for criminals

Previously when planning a heist, criminals would have to walk or drive around, looking for an escape vehicle to steal. This way they would get registered on whatever security cameras, in residents' eyes and memories, or they would even get onto the police radar, and could be apprehended before the crime was committed.

But with the advent of Google Street View all they need to do is drag the little yellow image onto the street, and keep clicking white chevrons, until they found the perfect escape vehicle. They now have all the information they need at their fingertips: how to get in and out, where is the vehicle parked, they can even guess whether the neighbors work, retired, etc.

Good job, Google! Facilitating car thefts since 2007, and counting, with impunity!

Posted by: LinuxLies at 10:24 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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December 27, 2018

Mozilla foundation: empowering bloodthursty dictatorships worldwide since 2003, and counting

Mozilla foundation: empowering bloodthirsty dictatorships worldwide since 2003, and counting

When Netscape kicked the bucket, and AOL made it open source, Mozilla foundation was founded to continue the development. Needless to say, that they totally FUBARed the glorious Netscape suite, they also created and perpetuated privacy defeating measures in their products.

The email client Thunderbird indexes messages to facilitate searching. It indexes them upon receiving, and keeps data in the index files indefinitely, even if a message is later deleted, and the folder compacted.

This has the implication: imagine for a moment, that you are a political opposition of a cruel dictatorship in the 3d world, and you received an email from your peer, related to your political activity. You read the message, and realize, that it may implicate you and your peer, should you be arrested, and your PC searched.

What is the next natural step a reasonable person would take? I would think of deleting the message. Piece of cake: hit Del, bingo! The message is now gone. But is it gone forever? Probably not, as the physical file on disk only flagged the message as deleted. So being intelligent, you right click the folder in Thunderbird account tree view, and select Compact. Not it is really, physically deleted from disk. Not!

The from address of your peer is still in the index, and if you search for it, it will show up in the drop down under the search box - that simple! No complex forensics is required, any dumb a$$ goon of a 3d world banana republic can do that.

You would think, that as soon as this has been brought to the attention of enlightened developers of Mozilla foundation, they, as everyone, who are enjoying the fruits of highly developed democracy, rush to fix this minute inconsistency in their code, would you not? NOPE! Mozilla's response was "FU, go STFU."

Even after extensive back and forth, explaining the rudimentary simple way to exploit their current state of software, and just as rudimentary fix, they continued to insist on pushing back on the premise, that Thunderbird should not be treated as a secure way of deleting emails.

Up to this date Thunderbird is indexing email addresses, and keeping them indefinitely. If it is fine from the Mozilla foundation's perspective, that they are hell bent on empowering 3d world's dictators for imprisoning, torturing and murdering their political opponents for the only reason, that fixing that code inconsistency does not help Mozilla foundation to get a larger cut of advertising money, then we, their users, should take a stand and become their former users.

P.S: Mozilla foundation, I am completely, totally uninterested in any PR spin and justifications you might want to produce in connection to this post.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 12:09 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 09, 2018

Not just the query store, but the whole SQL 2016 is a SNAFU

Not just the query store, but the whole SQL 2016 is a SNAFU

The same single select query with no joins and only two fields in its where clause completed in 10-20 seconds before the upgrade from SQL 2012, and now it completes in 1 min 40 seconds. Nothing changed, but the SQL server version. Even with hundreds of billions $$ Microsoft FUBARs everything they change as of lately.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 11:37 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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November 06, 2018

Query store in MS SQL Server 2016 is totally messed up

Query store in MS SQL Server 2016 is totally messed up

A wonderful new tool, allowing us to see what is going on in real time by storing query plans and basic stats, is a complete SNAFU.

Information of plan execution count is completely misleading, as it can jump up and down as the queries execute. WTF, Microsoft? How come a query, which according to you just executed 7000 times, all of a sudden has 9500 executions, but oh, wait, it's back to 7005... And up to 9700 again. Make up your mind, will you?

It's getting worse if we time query execution using other methods, such as diagnostic logging or running SQL Profile. The figures gathered by the query store, especially last execution time, are completely out of whack and out of touch with reality.

With all your hundreds of billions, how can you, Microsoft, F up everything so badly, all the time, every time?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 05:14 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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September 02, 2018

Solaris 11.4 is dead

Solaris 11.4 is dead

"A long awaited" NOT Solaris 11.4 comes with Gnome 3 instead of Gnome 2 used in the previous minor versions. Finita la comeida.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 09:05 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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August 06, 2018

Another proof open source never tests their code: Caja

Another proof open source never tests their code: Caja

It's not that I like or dislike some Linux distros, or desktop environments, etc. I am totally impartial and judge them based entirely on user friendliness and quality. When Gnome3 fiasco unfolded, I moved to Mate which was tolerable.

But now I have this mounted CIFS share which I want to unmount. And it would not - device is busy. Busy doing what? Well, lsof would show me that. Piece of cake: lsof shows a dozen instances of bash currently using paths within the mounted share as current directories.

And it immediately dawns on me: it must be Caja leaving behind zombie instances of bash from its non-disableable terminal. Launching another Caja and closing it cleared all those instances. Do they ever test?

Posted by: LinuxLies at 05:04 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 24, 2018

Mozilla foundation kills Firefox with Quantum

Mozilla foundation kills Firefox with Quantum

As if it was not enough to kill AdBlock Plus, then AdBlock Edge, then Cookie Monster plugins for ad kickbacks, Mozilla made another quantum leap and released their totally new, revamped and re-designed Firefox Quantum.

With every new "giant leap" I always look for broken things, and this time it was DownThemAll add-on. It's dead in water. The developer is not doing anything to keep up anymore, as this is an uphill battle in a war of attrition. The substitute add-ons do not cut it: the best of them downloads corrupted files using multiple streams. Boo-hoo.

Annoyances of Quantum continue beyond killing add-ons. The UI is nauseous, it sucks and the sound of sucking is deafening. Forced addition of every visited site to the blank tab's Top Sites, and having to dismiss them multiple time from the same slot is, like, wow! You've outdone every open source developer scumbag ever born!

And the most laughable part of this is that with all that hoopla and sock puppet bots claiming how they moved from Chrome to Quantum for it being so awesome, some sites do not even work in Quantum. All I see is a blank page. But Chrome opens them no problemo.

Posted by: LinuxLies at 01:51 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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