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How to Use the gpasswd Command on Linux
  • Everything but a few proprietary, business focused modules in the backend (like managing multiple organisations) is AGPL licensed. Unless you're a business, you can probably make do with just the open source code. They've even included a compile flag to disable all proprietary code. The clients are all GPL-licensed as far as I can tell.

    You can also run Vaultwarden as the backend, which is a third party server that takes a lot less RAM but isn't suitable for hosting thousands of active users at once. I also don't think it has been audited, unlike the Bitwarden code. Great option if you trust them as much as you trust the Bitwarden company to maintain security.

  • Linux and being speedy
  • Because this is a response to a post calling NT an "obese slog". Compared to Linux, it's almost anorexic.

    Plus, these drivers do cause plenty of issues, like that time a patch in an early kernel NFS driver caused PCs connected to a DisplayPort-to-HDMI-converter connected to certain Intel GPUs to hang while booting for several months. I've had to pin an unmaintained kernel for months until Intel finally patched their driver against that, it was a real pain, especially with everyone around me telling me to just install Windows like everyone else whenever this caused package conflicts again.

    When this stuff becomes a problem, the kernel often becomes entirely useless and very few people will go through the necessary troubleshooting to get their computer working again. It's easier to clean install another OS, be that a Linux distro with a different kernel version or Windows.

  • Privacy and Consent for Fediverse Developers: A Guide
  • Pretty funny to quote the GDPR consent description when the website shares your visit with Google without your consent (through Google Fonts), as well as various other third parties.

    One important addition to the considerations: don't join ActivityPub if you're successful or popular. The way the community responded to BridgyFed showed that large parts of the Fediverse want it to stay their own little obscure corner away from most of the world, and that doesn't even touch the whole Threads thing.

    There are exceptions to this rule, like being a Cool Internet Company such as WordPress/Tumblr, where forced login prompts and ever shittier paid subscriptions are tolerated because these companies have a historical cool factor that other companies don't have.

    As for legal consent, make sure you know the legal obligations that come with consent if you run a product or service as a company or organisation. You may be required to tell end users what profile information you've shared with what servers when, that you've encrypted your database, and may be required to enforce deletion of PII on remote servers as the primary responsible party for protecting your users' privacy when your users withdraw consent.

    Or you can just ignore the law, which most of the Fediverse seems to do, including several government servers.

  • Linux and being speedy
  • Modprobe or not, my computers still scan for GPUs on the EISA bus. Not everything is loaded, but tons of unnecessary stuff is loaded just in case, like ancient PS/2 controller support and obscure filesystems. Installing usable drivers can even land you in a situation where two drivers fight for control over a device (Nvidia again), necessitating kernel flags or blacklists to prevent builtin drivers from loading.

    Plus, even if they're not loaded at runtime, drivers for hardware I'll never encounter still take up space in the kernel. Impossible to prevent with Linux' kernel architecture and barely a problem in practice (unless you want to boot a microcontroller or want to use Linux as a bootloader).

  • Google Maps directions, sheets redesign rolling out on Android
  • I don't really have a problem with it. The shadows are clear enough to show boundaries (something that was missing from earlier Material Design iterations in many apps because nobody read the guidelines apparently).

    I do lower the display scale to fit more on my screen, because for some reason every phone decides that making the screen twice as big means every icon needs to be twice as big as well. If you didn't get the prompt to do so when you set up your phone, you should check the display settings.

    Having run Android 4.4 on my old Oneplus One a while back, I'm pretty sure the toggles got physically smaller, probably because Holo lacked proper scaling settings to correct for the screen size.

  • Linux and being speedy
  • NT is actually pretty great. The Windows GUI may have gone to shit, but the underlying kernel is great. I'd even argue that it's ahead of Linux in many respects.

    Linux is a slog comparatively, coming with hundreds of packed drivers for machines that stopped being sold a decade ago, unless you've tweaked your custom kernel config to only include drivers for your specific system. Windows has its fallback drivers, but most of them are downloaded on the fly rather than being precompiled into the kernel. This is part of why Nvidia drivers are such a pain to deal with on Linux.

    The Windows scheduler and the Linux scheduler deal with processes just fine. Windows deals with hitting memory limits way better, but Linux has more flexibility to control the CPU scheduler. I also find Linux to be less efficient with file system caches, but that's probably because Windows takes forever to complete I/O operations because of NTFS. Windows will fill your RAM with stuff you may need, while Linux happily keeps gigabytes of RAM unassigned (and act all surprise Pikachu when you actually request the browser that you open literally every time you boot your PC).

    Linux doesn't do antivirus, that's the biggest difference. You get infected more easily, but you get faster I/O in return. This is especially the case when accessing tons of tiny files, like when booting the computer or programming. The load is relatively small when loading games and such.

    I find Windows to be a lot snappier with my iGPU in power save mode, while Gnome and KDE are snapper when the iGPU is enabled. Video acceleration make or break Linux DEs much more than Windows in my experience.

    I also find Bitlocker to perform a lot better than standard LUKS2, especially during the early boot process. The Windows bootloader isn't restricted in its access to encryption acceleration functions the same way Grub is, so unlocking disks with similar cryptographic strengths at boot time is just faster on Windows. Plus, hibernating with encryption is possible without hacks and disabling security features in Windows, which is why it boots so fast (shutting down hibernates the kernel unless you need updates).

    Linux is generally faster at updating (though using Flatpak GUIs would have you think otherwise), which is the biggest speed concern I have with Windows today. Perhaps it's to make System Restore actually usable (something Linux can improve on) but it takes forever to install minor updates. Maybe it's related to NTFS as well, which isn't too great compared to the Linux alternatives on offer.

    Windows is also terrible if you're still running from a hard drive. With Windows 11 I'm pretty sure the devs abandoned HDD support all together with how slow it boots on spinning rust. A real pain when using virtual machines.

    If you notice an immediate difference between Windows and Linux, it's probably because you've recently installed a fresh copy of Linux. My Ubuntu and my Windows partitions boot in about the same amount of time. Give it a few years of gathering cruft and you'll probably have an equally slow Linux install.

  • Linux and being speedy
  • Caches don't count as free RAM. Caches are available RAM, but free RAM is just space waiting to be filled with caches.

  • Chromium browsers have been quietly sending user information to Google
  • The API is only available to Google domains, but is there any proof of it being used to collect data outside the Hangouts domain (which the extension was for?)

    They exposed the information to Google's Javascript but I don't think I've see any evidence of them actually collecting that information, let alone outside of Hangouts itself.

  • Google Maps directions, sheets redesign rolling out on Android
  • Google has been very square with Android since Android 4. Holo made everything black grids, and then the first iteration of material design made everything paper like (with a few round floating bubbles). The rounded corners are relatively new to Google.

    Can't say I dislike the trend. The "floating islands" design works well for apps like these.

  • Qualcomm is suing Transsion, the largest smartphone maker that doesn't use Snapdragon
  • Financial Times also brings out that Transsion is also being sued by Phillips and Nokia is reportedly pressuring Transsion to make payments for its use of patented tech used in its smartphones

    Sounds like they're behind on their patent license payments?

  • 'Gay furry hackers' disband after Project 2025 data theft
  • They often like skills proven in simulated environments and hate convictions. Your skills aren't worth the risk if your employer can't be sure you're not going to get yourself arrested again next time you're chasing your ethics?

  • 'Gay furry hackers' disband after Project 2025 data theft
  • I doubt the furries will care much about being outed as furries, but cybercrime is a big no-no when it comes to actual employment. Willingness to break the law and risk prison sentences over ethical considerations isn't something many companies value.

    Might be good for consultants, but the "big tech company hires wizzkid hacker " stories aren't true anymore. You need to be really good for that to work, and by the time you're free from prison the stuff you've been doing probably isn't relevant anymore.

  • What would you like for everyone to know about the type of job you have?
  • I'm no longer on helpdesk duty, luckily. However, one thing I've learned is that people are lazy and will lie. Constantly. Even if they're being nice. Even if they know what they're talking about.

    You say you've rebooted your modem. I want to believe you, I really do, but I need to make sure you actually rebooted your modem. At first, I believed people, only to find out half an hour later that the modem has an uptime of three years and the post-reboot reconnect I've been looking for in the logs never took place.

    You say you've just changed your password and still can't log in. I want to believe you, but resetting the password again takes 30 seconds and troubleshooting a lazy lie takes 10 minutes.

    And for the love of god, don't pretend to check if you've plugged everything in correctly when it takes exactly as long as actually checking. When I say "we should check the cabling" that's not an insult of your intelligence, that's a step towards resolving the problem you've been having for weeks.

    I know repeating troubleshooting steps you've already done is a massive pain. I hate it just as much as you do. But sometimes, after telling me what you've figured out yourself, you just need to let go and do what I say if you want your problem resolved. I know the stuff I suggest doesn't always make sense, but the shit we're selling you doesn't make sense if you look beyond the surface. And yes, I'm just as frustrated about the idiotic workarounds necessary to make anything work, neither one of us has the power to actually change this.

    Also, don't try this "I know the manager/boss/CEO" bullshit. Even if you're telling the truth, nobody really cares. It's not the flex you may think it is. Oh, and threatening legal action only slows down resolving your problem, because now someone senior needs to evaluate if you're actually going through with a lawsuit, and every procedure needs to be double-checked to make sure you won't win.

    Lastly: when I link you something, and you call me because you "don't understand", I'm going to go through the steps I linked you step-by-step, directly quoting the text provided. If I'm being paid by the hour, I don't mind that much, but you could save both of us a lot of time by at least trying to follow the manual.

  • 4 out of ~17 ATM withdrawal attempts in Netherlands succeeded; ATMs always give false error msgs; no ATM competition; who offers cash back?
  • The Geldmaat website states that debit cards need to be Maestro or Mastercard and that credit cards can be Mastercard and Visa. I'm surprised the Visa debit card worked at all in a Geldmaat, because as far as I can tell it shouldn't. Euronet should work, though, they supposedly take Visa and Mastercard debit cards.

    ATMs have limits in the amount of bills that can be withdrawn at once, but the cash limit is usually the upstream limit. The exception seems to be the machines with limited stock (like the ones inside supermarkets); they seem to be limited to 200 to 500 euros per transaction, but you can withdraw money multiple times in a row.

    In rare cases, like when there's a disruption in internet service, ATMs can also fall back to a 300 euro card limit per machine. In those circumstances, a third party is covering your withdrawal until connectivity is restored and the differences can be settled. This should be transparent to you as a customer, but it'll lower the withdrawal limit temporarily.

    Geldmaat is set up by Dutch banks to save costs, they're directly affiliated with the banking networks. Euronet, GWK, and a bunch of others are external (non-banking) parties.

    I'm not sure what kind of competition you expect from street ATMs. There's money to be made selling ATMs to stores, but the transaction fees aren't exactly making anyone money. Withdrawing money from Dutch banks is effectively free (that's what the banks charge you for) so a commercial party putting down ATMs in public can't make money from the vast majority of potential customers. Only the 4 euros + 5% fee (if you pick the wrong option in the withdrawal process) for foreigners count, but you'll have to serve a lot of foreigners for that to make sense. That's probably why I generally only see non-Geldmaat ATMs inside big train stations, airports, and maybe inside a few stores. There's no way to set up any kind of competition, and I'm pretty sure banks would prefer to get rid of ATMs entirely if they'd be allowed to.

    I didn't know stores offered cash back at all, that's kind of a neat trick. May try that next time I'm on vacation!

    To save yourself the withdrawal fees and inconsistent card acceptance, you could consider taking out a Dutch bank account if you're in the Netherlands often. For your visa debit card, you may be able to get contactless withdrawal to work, though I think the limits are a lot lower on that.

  • Cloning encrypted linux install
  • If you clone the entire disk, the partition UUIDs remain the same.

    You should probably change them and update the files so the unique identifiers are actually unique, but you don't strictly need to.

  • How do I calibrate a new battery on Linux?
  • Android does some estimations based on battery behaviour to make the percentage display more accurate.

    This is just the user facing component, of course, but "50%" doesn't mean much if the displayed percentages aren't compensating for an older battery losing the last 25% of its charge in a few minutes because the cells are degraded.

    I don't know if there's anything like that on desktop Linux, but I certainly wouldn't say calibration isn't a thing anymore. It's just done automatically and hidden from the user.

  • Palestinians living abroad have accused Microsoft of closing their email accounts without warning - cutting them off from crucial online services
  • I'm not seeing a lot of factual reporting here. Just the BBC quoting three people who got banned by Microsoft, copy pasted by a dozen news websites. The potential Hamas connection cited everywhere is something the banned people came up with, not something Skype ever mentioned. There's a strong post hoc ergo hoc argument going on here.

    This stood out to me:

    … standard international calls are very expensive…

    With a paid Skype subscription, it is possible to call mobiles in Gaza cheaply - and while the internet is down -…

    Now, it is possible that Microsoft has their own specific Palestinian phone system set up with generators and satellite backlinks to provide cheap local connectivity, but I suspect they didn't bother with any of that. Instead, I expect that they're paying the same price as any other carrier, but footing the bill. Their listed rates online are less than the rates of those low-quality, super cheap VoIP providers, by more than half when it comes to calling cell phones.

    Microsoft cites suspected fraud as a reasons for the account blocks. My guess is that the fraud detection algorithm sees these accounts that discovered the Skype workaround, which suddenly incur a lot of VoIP cost over a small period of time while the lines are overcrowded, and applies the default "ban accounts when suspicious stuff happens" procedure.

    This isn't the first time Microsoft has been caught banning people and refusing to explain why. In some cases, they've even ignored court orders to return data and provide an explanation. Twenty people in two months time is nothing for how many people get banned by MS for no reason at all.

    Microsoft certainly isn't a neutral party, especially with how much money they can make by being friendly with Israel despite their invasion, but I don't see much evidence that this is them targeting Palestinians specifically.

  • Youtube is broken, again
  • Firefox had a nasty video decoding performance bug a while back that hit YouTube particularly bad (because it affected webm streams). That's been so solved for a while, though.

  • Some windows help please
  • If you're buying a new SSD, you probably won't need to worry about this. Just make sure to boot the installer in UEFI mode (usually the default). In the worst case, you'll need to go into the motherboard settings and put Linux above Windows in the boot menu.

  • Some windows help please
  • Only in MBR mode. On computers less than 10 years old, you can go into the UEFI settings and put Grub above the Windows bootloader in the boot order list.

    Some broken computers only boot the "flash got wiped, let's hope this one works" fallback bootloader. Windows and Grub will fight for that one, but that should only happen if your motherboard's UEFI settings got reset or if the firmware is buggy.

  • skullgiver Skull giver

    Giver of skulls

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