For quite a while now, I’ve been annoyed by the system notification
volume going to 100% on my Debian systems, regardless of my attempts to
set it to a lower level. For example, when I open the KDE System
Settings app, change something, then try to close the window, the sound
that accompanies the save/discard/cancel alert is always startlingly
I think I have finally found a fix: in your /etc/pulse/daemon.conf,
put in a line saying
flat-volumes = no
(You should find an existing comment “; flat-volumes = yes” that
indicates the default.)
You can make this new setting take effect in the current session
immediately without having to logout or reboot, by executing the
following as the currently-logged-in user:
(This kills and restarts the PulseAudio daemon for your user session.)
There are several discussions of the pros and cons of this issue online,
going back some years. For example, here
<https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=1265267>. Also a mention
about the “flat-volumes” setting in the ever-reliable Arch Linux Wiki
Seems the Wi-Fi Alliance is having yet another crack at coming up with
a really secure protocol, this time to be called WPA3
Does anybody care? Remember that on the Internet, security is
implemented between the endpoints, the protocols are designed not to
care that everything in-between might be pawed through by
eavesdroppers, or even active attackers trying to inject fake data.
Windows Notepad has never been able to handle any newline convention
other than the old DOS/Windows/CP/M one (CR-LF). Now, after
so many decades, Microsoft has finally decided to give it “universal
newline” capability, so it can handle lines ending in LF-only
(Unix/Linux) and CR-only (old MacOS)
Gee, I wonder how many lines of code that took...
You may have seen an item in the news lately about a report into the
large amount of subsidies that the Government puts into the local film
industry. This latest report says that these subsidies pay off in jobs
and revenue elsewhere, but independent reviewers question this, saying
such conclusions are very sensitive to initial assumptions
This extract from one of the linked documents caught my eye:
Weta Digital executives ... considered that 10 years ago they were
at the forefront of technology and that studios were forced to use
them to achieve particular effects, they said that this is no
longer true: “the degrees of difference in technology are almost
imperceptible”. It is no longer technical capability that wins
work, it is price point; they consider themselves a price taker.
“If the grant were to disappear tomorrow it would call into
question the business itself…the subsidy allows us to compete.”
There is “no scenario” where the US studios would pay 20% more for
Weta Digital than its competitors.
VFX have long been a commodity; it’s actually surprising that Weta
Digital has managed to last this long, compared to, say, Rhythm & Hues,
which went bust shortly after winning an Oscar for “Life Of Pi”
I guess it’s all down to those Government subsidies...
Found this piece
<https://www.pclinuxos.com/forum/index.php/topic,90479.0.html> in the
PCLinuxOS forums, courtesy of a reader link from
Basically it says that “sudo”, when used “In The Manner Of the Buntus”,
i.e. to be able to run arbitrary commands as root, is a bad idea.
Instead, it should be carefully restricted to allow access only to
functions needed by a particular user. To get blanket root access, it
is better to use “su”, which means having a separate root password.
Actually, it goes further than that: it decrees that anybody posting
instructions on the PCLinuxOS forums involving “irresponsible” use of
sudo (i.e. contrary to the philosophy above) is subject to having their
posts deleted, being reprimanded, and ultimately having their account
Raglan man Niall Darwin discovers that assurances by electric-car
company Tesla’s own official representatives aren’t worth a darn. And
so, the question needs to be asked for the hundredth or thousandth
time: when you buy a consumer item with essential proprietary software
at its heart, what actually do you own?
YouTube has adopted a more responsive page layout to cope with videos
having different aspect ratios
To no-one’s surprise, this has annoyed a few people who have become
accustomed to the old design.
When 16:9 widescreen TVs were being conceived way back in the 1990s,
the aim clearly was to allow us all to view cinematic movies
full-screen, making maximum use of available screen area with minimal or
no black bars. Nobody foresaw the widespread popularity of smartphones
with built-in cameras, and of the common use of footage captured with
such devices in TV broadcasts. But while such phones commonly have 16:9
screens and their cameras capture 16:9 footage, their users often hold
them vertically, so the image ends up in just about the worst shape for
display on a regular widescreen TV.
There seems to be a common convention nowadays of filling in the gaps
with blurred portions of the actual image -- which I agree looks less
jarring than black bars.
Hmmm ... there have been computer monitors that can be rotated to
portrait or landscape orientations, with automatic adjustment of the
display to match (aka “xrandr”
<https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/xrandr>). Wouldn’t it be useful
if a TV could do the same...?