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* Posts by Mike Flugennock

1843 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

Mike Flugennock
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any way the wind blows...!

Jeez, you guys -- how far can you stretch a pop culture reference before it snaps?

I'd say the initial discovery of the bug caused more than a few sheer heart attacks.

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Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen

Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

Re: Is it just me…

Yeah, it may be "quaint", but at least if I lose twenty bucks out of my wallet, all I've lost is twenty bucks.

...and there's no goddamn' way in hell you can tell me that cash is anywhere near as messy as what I'd have to deal with if some Russian mafiosi got hold of my credit card info or my banking site logins and sucked my accounts dry.

Shill much?

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6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)

Mike Flugennock
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Paris Hilton

"I read this article and guess what happened next..."

What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Huh?!

"...Unlike Twitbook, where they post tiny details about their own sad and boring lives to anyone dumb enough to be bothered to read it..."

Whether or not Twitter is as you describe it depends entirely on the user.

I've been on Twitter for a little over three years. I use it primarily for checking the news, connecting with fellow activists, and posting my latest cartoons/blog links, and I only "follow" accounts involved in activism or "hard news" sites. No accounts I follow -- or which follow mine -- are the kind of my-cat-barfed-on-the-sofa bullshit that Twitter got its reputation for in the early days.

Basically, you put into it what you get out of it. If you're one of those clowns who insists on broadcasting banal personal minutiae, then, yeah, you're going to get more cats barfing on sofas than you can handle.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: MORE FROM THE REGISTER

Waitaminnit... y'mean, there's ads on The Register?

Damn you, AdBlock Plus and NoScript.

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Mike Flugennock
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Devil

Well, that's a start...

...now if they could just do something about those boring-assed text-in-graphic "quote memes" and fotos of people holding up little signs written on notebook paper.

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Euro space boffins narrow down lander sites on comet doing 135,000km/h toward Sun

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

landing on these weird-assed objects

As I recall from following the NEAR/Shoemaker mission some years back, bodies such as these -- comets and asteroids -- have such weak gravity that it's said that you don't so much land on it as dock with it.

Though not as "glamourous" as places like Venus, Mars, or Titan, I've always been fascinated with these bodies, and am really looking forward to seeing views from "on the ground" on 67P.

Best of luck to ESA and the Rosetta team!

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SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk

Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Gee thanks, Space.com

Holy. Fuckin'. SHIT.

Still, that's not half as long as some of the lists I get when I hit the "Options" menu in NoScript on a lot of other sites I visit. On a couple of sites I've visited -- I forget which, now -- the pop-up list menu in NoScript goes top-to-bottom on a 17-inch monitor and keeps scrolling.

Your list includes a handful that I allow temporarily, in case I want to share an article on my Twitter feed, and whose permissions are revoked when I'm done.

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US Copyright Office rules that monkeys CAN'T claim copyright over their selfies

Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

re: "Citizen Journalism"

I have university-level training in graphic design and illustration; my degree program also required a couple of semesters' study of film and photography. My degree is in design and illustration, though, not journalism.

For the past fifteen years or so, I've been involved in editorial cartoon and video work for Washington, DC and other Indymedia and activist media outlets -- which, I guess, would make me a "citizen journalist".

Most of the important images and video coming out of Ferguson, Missouri have been supplied not by CNNMSNBCFox, but by concerned citizens "on the ground" in Ferguson, shooting stills and video and transmitting live streams. They took on the job of telling the story of what's going on there when "professional" journalists either couldn't or wouldn't and, in many cases, actively worked to spread disinformation.

I could list other examples of important news being broken by "citizen journalists", often in direct opposition to the de facto news blackouts imposed by the likes of CNNMSNBCFox, but I don't want to hog the thread.

Get bent.

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What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this

Mike Flugennock
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Any other long-time Mac users here reminded of...

The "Life" cellular-automata simulation screensaver that used to run on the old 680x0 Macs?

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Tricked by satire? Get all your news from Facebook? You're in luck, dummy

Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Anyone else here reminded of...

The Architect Sketch?

...at about the 03:40 mark.

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Google on Gmail child abuse trawl: We're NOT looking for other crimes

Mike Flugennock
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Devil

"Google has said..."

"Google has said its scanning for child abuse images on Gmail and other services does not extend to searching for evidence of other crimes...

So, they're totally doing it, then.

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END your Macbook SHAME: Convert it into a Microsoft SURFACE

Mike Flugennock
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You'll never convince me to switch to Windows, but...

...a really awesome post; you point out the relative advantages of software and OSes when built to purpose without coming off like a fanboy or a shill or a paid troll. That said...

"...Also you may like it or not, but most of the photo/design/etc. business workflow is built upon Macs. Using a Mac ensure a smooth workflow avoiding all those little differences that can get in the way when you're not an IT guy but an 'artistic' one...

The first computer I ever owned was a Mac, in early '85, and that's all I've ever used. I'm one of those weird guys -- a professional designer, trained in the arts, but still a space and sci-fi geek with an interest in computers that goes back to my '60s boyhood. So, when I started using a computer to do my work, I went with the Mac, no contest, and dived into it way deeper than most of the designers in the shop, to the point where I ended up being the unofficial "IT guy" in the design department.

"...I know some that even keep a second computer at hand for "secondary" stuff like email, browsing, etc, because their expensive workstation with custom calibrated monitors run only the software they used for production...

Yeah, that's me. I'm totally doing that here. My main work machine is a loaded MacBook Pro with an external keyboard and mouse (to keep from wearing out the MBP keyboard) and a 17" Acer hanging off of it so I have enough real estate for stuff like my CS apps, and a Web browser (I have all my Web and email on it, too, as it's also my "road" machine).

The old G4 iBook which used to be my "road" machine is now the "entertainment server", set up with a Web browser, QuickTime, VLC Player and iTunes, with a big FireWire drive with all my music and movies on it, and the audio out patched into my stereo amp.

Hell, I still have my old G4 tower in the studio -- cleaned, scraped, re-optimized, decommissioned -- while I make up my mind whether or not to experiment with Linux Mint on it.

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Mike Flugennock
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Facepalm

Y'know, I would ALMOST consider this...

...if I had the cash to throw around -- ALMOST. (Was finally able to move up to a MacBook Pro from my old PPC minitower last year. Thing's doing awesome).

Back when all the rumors were flying around about a new Apple tablet, the one rumor that charged me up the most was the one about a pen/gesture-based tablet running OSX. at last, I'll be able to draw and sketch directly into Photoshop or Illustrator! I was thinking.

Needless to say, massive disappointment and distaste when I saw them come out with this half-assed IOS device. It really bugged the hell out of me to think that almost since the first MacOS notebooks came out, a pantsload of companies have come out with third-party laptop-to-tablet mods -- so it's not as if there was no demand -- but Apple chose not to jump on that, and make a giant mutated iPhone instead. Bah.

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Ad biz now has one less excuse to sponsor freetards and filth

Mike Flugennock
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Pirate

Re: I DON'T like filth

Actually, the Web was much more interesting before Web 2.0 buried us in an avalanche of bland, cookie-cutter site designs and even more bland, empty, buzzword-choked articles.

I mean, c'mon... could Web 2.0 have ever possibly given us the 24-Hour Church Of Elvis?

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Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

"...turn it off or signup for a premium account..."

Yeah, I see that a lot. P'wah ha hah.

I'm too busy laughing at that admonishment to be as annoyed as I should be. It reminds me of the old days of the Web ad business, and being repeatedly, blatantly begged by sites to "please click on an ad...". (smirk, giggle)

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Mike Flugennock
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Facepalm

"Last year, US Congressmen finally stirred into action..."

Oh, that's just fucking great.

Now, for even more fail.

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NASA: ALIENS and NEW EARTHS will be ours inside 20 years

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

Re: Fletcher Memorial Home

"ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Reagan and Haig

Mr. Begin and friend, Mrs. Thatcher and Paisley

Mr. Brezhnev and party,

the ghost of McCarthy,

the memories of Nixon

and now, adding colour, a group of anonymous

Latin American meat packing glitterati"

Not my all-time favorite Floyd album, but this was one of the good bits.

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Silent, spacious and... well, insipid: Citroën's electric C-Zero car

Mike Flugennock
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Re: Thoughts

"1) Legislation is coming in to stipulate that electric cars must make a car-like noise, which is a huge shame as a lot of the appeal is their quietness. No. People should learn to look where they are going...."

Well said! Even inasmuch as I was once nearly run over by a Prius driving under electric power because I couldn't hear it -- still, I think that's the coolest thing about electrics. I keep trying to imagine how strange and peaceful my city would sound at night if most of the vehicles were electrics.

"2) Why do they have to make them so ugly? Without an engine, small motors could be placed at each wheel, so then the entire front could be glass*. They could actually look cooler than 'normal' cars if they tried."

That's always been my problem, and probably one reason why electrics have never done well -- ever since the first ones were in large production in the '70s, they've always been butt-ugly. The Tesla's had its issues lately, but at least it's the first electric car with real "chick magnet" potential. Everything else looks bland and institutional, like a "people mover" concept at an early '70s transportation expo.

I mean, how tough would it be to design a way more stylin', sporty two-seater urban runabout version of the Prius or this new Citroen beast?

As far as configuring individual wheels' motors to make room for more styling options, I don't know if glass would be the thing for that big front windshield -- but you could probably use some heavy polycarbonate (the stuff they use for space helmets) to create a windshield that's part of a big front door that swings completely away, like the old Isetta.

Actually, you probably couldn't do the entire thing as a windshield as you'd need at least the bottom third of that door to hold the latch/lock mechanism, and the handle.

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SpaceX 'Dragon V2' ROCKET PODULE can hover-land on Earth - or MARS

Mike Flugennock
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"space-loveliness"

"Why isn't there a Nobel Prize for Space-loveliness?"

Yeah, seriously... and they should give one to the guys who designed the Gemini C/SM. Apollo was a real pimp-ass ride for sure, but it didn't have the special kind of "cool" that the Gemini had. Even the cockpit looked cool, a real "pilot's spacecraft", as its crews called it. It may not have been the best thing to spend two weeks in but, man, what a sweet cockpit. We have the Gemini IV CM at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum here in DC, and I always like to stop and check it out every time I'm there.

Also, needless to say, a Nobel for Space Loveliness has to go to the Space Shuttle designers -- and perhaps the X15, too, if you're one of those picky types who consider it a "spacecraft".

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: "My heart would be a fireball...!"

Same here, man. That theme was stuck in my head for days afterwards.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: It's empty!

"...If the computer fails you're kinda up the creek anyway; it's not like you're going to take manual control and pilot it down yourself..."

Uhhmmm... y'mean, the way Neil Armstrong seized control and steered the LM clear of a boulder field that the computer was steering them into on the way down to Tranquillity?

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: It's empty!

That's as maybe, but the Space Shuttle cockpit -- which you show in its last iteration before the fleet was decommissioned -- looks waaaayyy cooler. Reminds me a lot of this.

Just for comparison, here's STS-1 crewmen Young and Crippen in the Columbia cockpit, circa 1981. There's two small computer displays, and the rest is all "traditional" gauges, readouts, and classic "8-ball" displays, bearing a closer resemblance to the old Apollo CM panels than the later "glass cockpit" the Shuttles were flying in the last years before they were retired.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Hooray!

Seriously, awesome reveal.

Maybe after this, Musk should consider adopting a large white Persian cat.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: It's empty!

"If that were the set for a sci-fi film you'd be laughed at -- not nearly enough in the way of switches, lights and buttons."

Not only that, but not nearly enough pointless and meaningless switches, lights and buttons -- at least, for a 1950s "B" sci-fi filck.

Actually, the instrumentation in Dragon V2 looks more like the instrument panels in the spacecraft in Kubrick's 2001 -- lots of video panels displaying multiple types of engineering and flight data, and which look as if they have an actual function and purpose.

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Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

"My heart would be a fireball...!"

Is it just me or does the Dragon V2, in orbital configuration, look like the front end of the old Fireball XL5?

I think it's the fins.

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Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Mike Flugennock
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Re: Really?

I'm certainly not foolish enough to think my iPhone or Macs are invulnerable to malware, and haven't been foolish enough since at least 1988, when the first malware serious enough to get media attention appeared -- ironically enough, on the Mac, iirc.

I've never been into silly-ass games, or any of that find-your-friends-and-tell-them-what-bar-you're-hanging-out-at bullshit. I have a grand total of 1 (count 'em) 1 third-party app on my 4S -- Twitter. That's it.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: That's what my boss used to shout

Well, Apple may want me to think I "need" a new phone every year, but the wife and I luckily have the good sense to know better.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

"...to as many customers as possible."

"One of the reasons that iOS has such high customer satisfaction, he said – citing a 97 per cent satisfaction rating in a survey conducted by ChangeWave Research – "is that we make available our software updates for the OS available to as many customers as possible..."

...by forcibly shoving their goddamn' bug-ridden updates down the pipe to my phone whether I want them or not.

An installer for IOS 7.1x is still sitting on my 4S waiting for me to run it and download the update -- and will continue to sit there for the foreseeable future until Apple gets off its ass and does something about the battery-draining bug which has been plaguing users who unwittingly updated from IOS 7.0. The fact that you can't delete that steaming plopper easily sure doesn't endear me to them, either.

I got to watch my wife working her 4S after installing the 7.1x update. Cripes, what a mess. It's like watching Berlin Alexanderplatz.

Protip for fellow iPhone users, if you haven't figured it out yet: if you turn off WiFi, Apple can't shove the whole fat, wheezing load of update down to gobble up space on your phone -- just the installer.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Mike Flugennock
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Re: I do both

My wife has a Netflix subscription, but she uses it far more often than I do; I've seen their selection, and there's not a whole lot there I'm interested in..

Which country are you viewing it from? Netflix's catalogue varies wildly by territory. Its anime section in the UK, last time I checked, was a whopping eight titles.

We're viewing from the US. They have a "just OK" selection of older (pre-1970) films and some late '40s/early '50s noir and classics -- and nowhere near all of MST3K -- but most of the film selection is the modern-day equivalent of "straight to VHS" releases.

To be fair, though, they did have all of Arrested Development and IT Crowd.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: What a load of left wing crap

Hey, man, watch it.

I happen to be a "left-wing tree hugger", and I nonetheless think this is the rock-stupidest excuse for a "research study" I've seen come down the pike in years.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: I do both

My wife has a Netflix subscription, but she uses it far more often than I do; I've seen their selection, and there's not a whole lot there I'm interested in -- the new season of Arrested Development Netflix commissioned, some older (pre-1970) movies, and all of maybe half a dozen episodes of MST3K -- out of the ten-year run of that show.

Pretty much all of what I like I have stashed on local physical media -- some of it on commercially-produced DVDs, a lot of it on DVD-R's I've ripped of old movies and shows I taped off of cable when they were originally broadcast, or as mpeg4 downloads from archive.org in the case of many of my favorite obscure old '50s "B" movies.

The only time I've watched Netflix recently is on those nights when my wife and I settle in for an episode or three of Arrested Development as I've been trying to work my way through the new season before I go back and look at the old stuff, or maybe a couple of episodes of The IT Crowd -- and even then, I've still got my eye out for a good deal on DVD sets of both.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

This has got to be the lamest, most desperate attempt ever...

...to try and tear people away from dependable, tangible physical media and herd them into sketchy, unreliable streaming services run by corporations who can "disappear" movies or TV episodes on a whim, served over connections delivered by corporations who blow off improving infrastructure because it cuts into their profits.

Hang on a second while I mop up the beer I sprayed all over the place upon reading this article. Bastards owe me a new keyboard...

"...The research was carried out by Arman Shehabi of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, along with Ben Walker and Eric Masane of Northwestern University..."

...on behalf of who, I wonder? The article doesn't mention that. While I have zero evidence to base a guess on, I wouldn't be surprised if it were on behalf of media streaming services.

This sort of reminds me of the article posted here the other day about the marketing clowns whining about "Dark Social" in reference to those of us who prefer to do our sharing over plain-text email or SMS, outside of "social media" and relatively free from the prying eyes of said marketing clowns, making it difficult to track us and harass us with advertising.

Honestly, man... this is so goddamn' weak.

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Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

Re: Push-driven advertising and extreme greed?

"IMO, the most appropriate solution involves tracer ammunition..."

Naahhh. Nuke 'em from orbit; it's the only way to be sure.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: For added irony, on the story's page

"I try to be a "kind reader" and leave the ads un-blocked, but any day now the new habit of auto-play video ads at full volume is going to push me over the edge..."

I'm amazed that they're pulling that shit again, after all the hell-raising about fifteen years or so ago. About twenty years ago, when I first moved over the Web design from print work, one of the first things I learned is that auto-playing embedded media was a big, fat no-no.

Luckily, I see pretty much none of that crap as I'm running SeaMonkey with ABP, FlashBlock, and NoScript.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

"E-mail and SMS hold-outs are a danger to the Internet..."

"...because they foul up media giants' tracking, according to analysts with an interest in flogging social tracking services to media giants..."

BWAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA ...oops, I wet 'em.

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Tech that we want (but they never seem to give us)

Mike Flugennock
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plasma loudspeaker?

"A sphere of room temperature air coupled non-reactive stable plasma, operating as the perfect fidelity loudspeaker..."

That all sounds really excellent until somebody puts on The Who Live At Leeds and your house collapses.

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Mike Flugennock
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Careful what you wish for...

- Self-driving cars

I'm sorry, but there isn't a single phrase in the English language these days that scares the living piss out of me quite like "self-driving cars".

- Real 3D TV with a proper 360 degree "walk-all-the-way-around-it" viewing angle (possibly even walk inside it)

Oh, hot damn. Just what I've dreamed of -- the ability to walk through a scene from Two And A Half Men.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Print dialogs

I can't say for sure for other applications, but Photoshop has a simple "print one" menu choice. It doesn't throw up the standard print/setup dialog, it Just Fucking Prints One.

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Mike Flugennock
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Gimp

Re: laptop battery life

"MacBook Pro"? I don't recall there being an MBP with a grayscale screen.

You may be thinking of the first-generation PowerBooks.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: We Were Promised Jetpacks

Jetpacks, for me, rank right up there with flying cars as far as things that look really cool in the movies but which would be positively hellish in real life.

Remember all our discussions of how horrible air traffic would be if all those idiot drivers on the highways suddenly had flying cars?

Now, imagine all those knucklenobs with their own personal jetpacks... if you dare.

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NASA stitches 3.2 gigapixel 'Global Selfie' mosaic

Mike Flugennock
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Re: I was sick of these long ago

"In summary, then, you're not impressed?"

In so many words...

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Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

I was sick of these long ago

The first couple of times I saw these large mosaics made of thousands of small images, I thought they were pretty cool. Now, the goddamn' things are everywhere, and I'm sick to death of them -- like time-lapse clips. Everybody and their cat is doing those now, and they just aren't interesting anymore.

What bugs me even more is that some of the images in the mosaic are those annoying-assed fotos of people holding up little signs scrawled with a Sharpie. Those were cool for about five minutes, tops. Now, they're just banal and annoying. God, I want to smack the shit out of those people -- just line 'em up, like the Three Stooges, and slap 'em all at once.

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Beautiful balloon burst caught on camera

Mike Flugennock
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Pint

Whoooooaaaaaaaaa!

That's insanely gorgeous. I love the symmetrical pattern of the burst in the second and third images. Suh-weet.

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Creepy Facebook urges users to pester friends about their SEX LIVES

Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

Re: Not exactly fake

Mine's under the name of the pseudonym I sign my cartoons with.

Fake name, fake birthday, fake birthplace, fake residence, fake high school, fake college, no recognizeable face foto, no favorite films, music or books listed. Facebook thinks I'm a black woman born April 1, 1984 in Cairo and currently living in Tripoli. You should see the advertisements in my right column. It's friggin' comical.

I'm on usually two hours a month, tops -- long enough to post a copy of my current cartoon, a link to the latest blog post, and then split.

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Redmond slow to fix IE 8 zero day, says 'harden up' while U wait

Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Harden your browser

"Install Chrome......"

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Redmond won't fix IE8 zero day, says 'tough shit' instead

There, fixed it for you.

But, seriously, folks... two words: Sea Monkey.

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Cloud computing is FAIL and here’s why

Mike Flugennock
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Re: Twaddle

"...Where do you live? We can then all move to this cloud-topia you speak of..."

You actually mean "cloud-cuckoo land", don't you?

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Twaddle

D'ah ha ha hah.

Shill much?

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Mike Flugennock
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Pint

Speaking as an artsy graphic designer...

...I wouldn't touch Adobe Creative Cloud with somebody else's ten-foot pole, for the reasons that Dabbs articulated so beautifully.

I plan on holding onto CS6 until Adobe can pry my cold, dead fingers from around it -- or until my retirement, which isn't actually that far off.

Here's a tall cold one for Mr. Dabbs.

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