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* Posts by Mike Flugennock

1837 posts • joined 19 Nov 2007

Facebook tests feature to let strangers pay to message you

Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

Oh, maaa-aaan, they really got this one wrong...

Conversely, if the message contains spam...then nobody would ever be willing to pay to make sure it gets through to you. Or that's the theory, anyway...

...except for the thousands of spam-for-hire outfits who'll simply adjust their budgets to include delivery of X number of copies of their clients' drek Farcebook users' message boxes.

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Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

Oh, for cripes' sake...

So, what's the goddamn' deal with Farcebook, anyway? Are they that desperate to show their shareholders they can be profitable? Are they in some kind of competition to see which site can piss off the most users? Both?

"A small test", huh? Does this mean that if they decide it'll piss off enough users, they'll roll it out worldwide?

Great, stonking waves of paid-for opt-out spam in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

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SPUDS ON A PLANE! Boeing boosts in-flight Wi-Fi with tater tech

Mike Flugennock
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Coat

Well, somebody's got to say it...

I'll bet the potatoes were smarter than your average airline passenger.

Phew, glad that's done.

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FTC tightens privacy rules for child data protection

Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

App stores in the clear?

Aren't they a major part of the problem?

"Geolocation information, as well as photos, videos, and audio files that contain a child’s image or voice" are now included under the FTC regulations, and it will set up a voluntary system that can be bolted onto existing code to ensure parental consent...

Voluntary? D'ahh, Christ. They might as well have not even bothered.

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Boffins spot planet that could support life... just 12 light years away

Mike Flugennock
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Alien

Terrestrial broadcast signal propagation...?

So, how long are we talking, then, before any possible inhabitants at Tau Ceti receive the first season of Gilligan's Island?

(ohh, I weep for the spirit and the soul...)

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Search engines we have known ... before Google crushed them

Mike Flugennock
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Facepalm

Re: they were terrible

The early search engines were awful, av.com's results bared almost no relevance to anything you typed yet is seemed to be more accurate than the others...

I dimly remember a joke on the Web -- I forget where -- circa mid '90s, something about "search engines to search for search engines".

...Dealing with my parents and similar, Google is the internet, as it's set as the home page of their browser, they didn't realise that they were a) using a browser at all or b) that Google was a web page. They'd open IE or whatever and Google would appear. My folks still can't differentiate the two.

My wife -- who calls me a Luddite for being skeptical and wary of Facebook -- does that, too. She types the name of a site -- sometimes the actual site URL -- into the search field in Google, then clicks on the link in the Google results page. Every time I try to point out that Google is not the Web, and that she could probably find the site she's after by making a guess by typing into the actual address field in Firefox before resorting to Google, she pitches a fit.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: So much for Bing

I use it for maps quite often as it has an Ordnance Survey overlay so you can not only see footpaths but also work out which route a road actually takes in the country rather which is impossible on country roads on Google.

I've not used maps on Bing -- hell, I hardly touch it at all -- but you've got a point, there. Google's maps are really slick, but they seem to overemphasize driving and shopping.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Excellent little WTF bit.

That last sentence........robot fighting league? Combat-focused bar & grill?

Ugh, cripes... robot fighting is so goddamn' '90s, man. "Wow, I'm so edgy, I've got a bar'n'grill with a robot fighting pit in 2012..."

Food probably sucks there, too.

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Mike Flugennock
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Devil

Hey, I can top that...

The problem of the designs of the time was BLINK. In some ways, it was worse than flash.

The day that tiled background graphics were invented was a signpost on the road to Hell.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: No Ink Tummy?

I do seem to remember a fleeting moment in time when SEO was a noble art before it became infested with marketroid scum.

Wow, no shit. Exactly which alternative universe was this in?

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Mike Flugennock
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Meh

Re: So much for Bing

I'm sorry, but I've tried DDG off and on occasionally, but I'm just not seeing the greatness.

There's no simple, easy way to sort by date/relevance, search on an exact phrase, nor any way to search within a domain -- which brings us to its obscure advanced search syntax. It's almost like a throwback to those old-time search engines, where you had to learn some weird-assed search language to get any usable precise results.

Google may be evil as hell, but at least they don't need an entire help page devoted to advance search syntax for users who need to narrow down their criteria.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coat

Re: hmmm

Bloody luxury. I had a 300 baud acoustic modem. It was two rubber rings and you plugged the headset of a regular Bakelite phone into it.

There were thirty-seven of us living in a small shoebox in the middle of the road. Our father used to get us up at three o'clock in the morning and make us lick the road clean with our tongues. Then, he would kill us, and dance about on our graves singing Hallelujah.

But, if you tried to tell the youth of today that, they'd never believe you.

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Want your social media to swing? First, get the staff onboard

Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

Re: and how do you stop your competitors using the information against you

Never mind that -- how do the employees shanghai'ed into being "social" keep their own company from using profile informatton against them?

This has nothing to do with "collaboration". This creepy-ass outfit just wants to put a human face on good old-fashioned snooping.

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Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Down

"Getting groups to collaborate"?

Beating them into submission, more like...

“Publishing houses are not noted for their high technology adoption rates,” he says. “But newspaper publisher Archant wanted to get more staff to use the Socialcast platform, so CEO Adrian Jeakings declared one Friday afternoon to be Profile Day.”

Jeakings asked everyone to down tools and spend the afternoon filling in their personal profiles and subscribing to streams that seemed interesting to them. He even hired a photographer to come in and take casual shots of staff that they could upload to their pages...

Eeeeeeewwwwwwwwwww.

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Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

Mike Flugennock
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FAIL

Re: Good luck with that

...They show us ad videos on YouTube, but hey, at least you went there looking for a video.

And besides, you have the option of clicking past the ad in five seconds.

What Farcebook proposes to do is a throwback to the bad old days of the Web -- media content which plays automatically when the page loads, something I was taught was a big, fat no-no back when I was first learning to design for the Web.

As it is, I use Facebook sparingly; bullshit like this will pretty much guarantee that I'll use it even less, if not at all.

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Mike Flugennock
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Pirate

Feeling guilty? Bah!

I must admit, I feel a bit guilty at the level of ad blocking I employ as i know sites need money. I drop it every now and again to see if things have improved, but it has only got worse...

Feeling guilty? Don't. You don't owe the advertisers jack shit. Just because they pissed away a buttload of cash to have their crap shoved in your face doesn't mean you're obliged to look at it. C'mon, man, El Reg is paid whether your browser loads the ads or not.

I've had "shields at full intensity" for nigh on ten years. I see practically no advertising at this or any other site, and I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. Screw 'em. Asshats.

It's the same approach that I take towards TV, without guilt or apology. I tape the show and fast-forward through the ads; when watching live TV I mute the volume when the ads come on and use that time to grab a sandwich and a beer and take a quick piss.

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Samsung, LG 'lose confidence' in OLED TV tech

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Down

Well, that settles that...

...looks like the wife and I will hang onto the little LCD digital set in the kitchen and the 30" flat direct-view CRT hooked up to the satellite box in the bedroom. Working fine for us.

Somehow, I just can't see throwing down all that cash for a 4k x 4k flatscreen just so we can watch crap like "Project Runway" on it.

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NASA reveals secrets of Curiosity’s selfies

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

Waste of time? Hardly

Even inasmuch as they're also spectacular eye candy, the high-res mosaic "selfies" provide important information to engineers about the state and health of the rover, as well as information about the nature of the terrain the rover is traversing.

On at least two occasions, both MER rovers had become stuck in deep dirt, and the engineers and rover drivers used extensively detailed "selfies" to determine the extent of the predicament, develop extraction solutions, and determine how well these solutions were working. Also, polar-projected panoramic "selfies" of Spirit and Opportunity were used to determine the extent of dust coverage on the solar panels before and after dust storms.

But, yeah... the by-product is really, really cool fotos. That can't be bad.

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Last moon landing was 40 years ago today

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

Re: That launch was very Impressive

I was lucky enough to get tickets to a beach site inside the restricted zone. The loud base was incredible as it rattled everything but the most impressive thing was seeing part of the sky turned blue.

Lucky bastard.

I may be wrong*, but I recall somewhere on the Web (YouTube?) seeing a remastered video in 24-bit stereo of a Saturn V launch, with an advisory to turn it up and stand between the speakers on your stereo system. It was gobsmackingly loud -- and very clean. I checked it out once on my stereo at home. Great googly-moogly, was that ever something.

And, yeah, you're right on about the sky lighting up. I only saw it on TV, but it was still awesome.

*I may be mis-remembering; it may have been a Shuttle launch.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coat

Re: Scary thing is ...

Er, that's the world's supply of illegal heroin is safe.

Most of the legit, medical stuff comes from plants grown in Tasmania IIRC...

Ahh, ha! So, that's why the Tasmanian Devil in those cartoons is all... d'ahh, nevermind.

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Mike Flugennock
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Pint

Ever since then, I've really loved night launches

I was not quite sixteen when Apollo 17 left for the Moon. We'd only just gotten our first color TV set a year before -- the last on our block, so to speak -- but it was just in time to catch the EVA video transmissions on the later missions, when video from the lunar surface was not only in full color, but amazingly good quality, especially considering it was coming from a quarter million miles out. So, watching the launch of a Saturn V at night on our great, stonking 24-inch RCA was a special treat.

It was spectacular, even before launch, with the Saturn out there in the dark, bathed in floodlights, looking all weird and ethereal, and when they hit T Zero, and the first stage lit, it was like, bammo, instant daylight. It was like watching a sunrise in time-lapse as the Saturn rose from the pad and cleared the tower.

Ever since then, I've always really dug night launches, though the only thing that came close to the Apollo 17 launch was night launches of the Shuttle. Even today, if I know that an ISS crew is launching aboard a Soyuz at night, I'll make a special date to be near the TV -- or the computer, to catch the NASA live stream -- to check out the action.

Here's a cold one for Evans, Cernan and Schmitt.

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Samsung's smart TVs 'wide open' to exploits

Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

Re: Smart phone, smart tv, smart cars, smart kitchen appliances...

...Please allow me to remain smarter than any of my gadgets.

Seriously, man -- especially my car.

(Cue obligatory jokes about the driver being the dumbest part of the car...)

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Mike Flugennock
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Coat

re: firewall on your toaster joke

I've not heard that one; does it involve Russian mafiosi hackers rooting the toaster and resetting it to "burn"?

Would this also mean I'd have to log on to my "smart" fridge before I can open it? Would it send me an email warning if it senses that I've taken out more than three beers in an hour? And, what happens if I forget the password to my fridge? Would I have to email the admin at Whirlpool with the serial number to have it reset? And what if my fridge is connected to my house net via wifi -- does this mean a passing Google snoopmobile can slurp its address and find out if I have any beers left?

And in the future, would "smart" TVs be capable of preventing me from watching American Idol, Real Housewives, or Two And A Half Men?

Also, does this mean we'll see a return of the legendary Coffeepot Cam page? And, will the coffeepot have its own IP address which we can log on to directly, and get a real-time readout of remaining quantity and coffee temperature direct from the coffeepot itself?

Questions, questions.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: If it looks like a computer....

I blame the word "smart", or more accurately, its heavy use by marketing types. It seems they can hang the word "smart" in front of the name of pretty much any device, and your average customers immediately wet their pants and whip out their wallets.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: I don't want a smart TV.

Essentially a Smart TV is like an iMac with slightly more emphasis on the screen and less on the computer power, but they're much the same sort of deal.

Well stated! Actually, an iMac can become even more like a TV if you hang an Elgato EyeTV dongle or HD DVR off of it.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: ReVuln seem like nice people

I wonder what they do if they find a critical vuln. in say, airplane flight systems,air traffic control or life support?

Does the CAA/whoever have to bid against Al Qaeda?

So, look, gang... I'd like to propose that "Al Qaeda" replace "Hitler" as the Godwin Trigger.

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Mike Flugennock
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Devil

Y'know, this is going to sound really awful...

Some weeks ago, I read on Wired.com or someplace similar about an esteemed hacker/network security type who said people who discover vulns such as these should just shut up and keep it to themselves instead of running the risk of reprisals from corporations by disclosing the vulns with the hope that said corporations would actually do something about it instead of pissing and moaning about how it'll endanger their market share and threatening the discloser with legal action.

Seems this ReVuln outfit as come up with the other half of a two-pronged payback strategy. So, Corporation X is threatening people with legal action for disclosing vulns in their platform? Fine, I'll just keep it to myself and sell it instead, and teach Corporation X a lesson. Hell, it'd serve 'em right.

Bitter? Cynical? M'ehh... yeah, sorta kinda.

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Mike Flugennock
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Coat

And, this is why...

...I prefer my good old-fashioned "dumb TV".

(Insert obligatory redundant expression joke here.)

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Facebook adding new privacy control tools for your 'stuff'

Mike Flugennock
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Alert

D'ahh, cripes...

I have my preferences set to hide my account from Internet searches. So, does this mean that now everybody and their cat can find my Farcebook profile in Web searches now? Not that my feed is full of goatse, Hot Asian Teens and drunken Christmas party fotos, but, still, just on general principle...

Well, at least on FB my name is fake, my place of residence is fake, my gender and birthdate are fake, and all the fields where I'm supposed to put my favorite music/movies/books/workplace/schools I attended have been left blank. At least I've given them practically no marketable information, and I log on once in a blue moon... and the type of images I post -- edgy, mean-assed political cartoons -- aren't exactly the kind of stuff they'd want to use in advertising.

I guess now I'm going to have to head over there, check my preferences and see what they've b0rked this time.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: voting system was borked

Y'know, sometimes I think that if Facebook was an actual country, they'd be under UN sanctions, and have UN observers watching their "voting".

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That square QR barcode on the poster? Check it's not a sticker

Mike Flugennock
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Next Bus/Train?

(there's an android and ipad app to give you the arrival times for the next few buses at a bus stop)

But do these apps come up with times that are less fictional than the 'countdown' displays on London bus stops?

My wife owns an iPhone (I don't) and one of the few apps she has is something she got from the Metro Transit Authority here in DC, the "Next Bus" App, which claims to tell you when the next bus will be arriving based on which stop you tell it you're at (of course). She claims it's quite accurate, at least to within a couple of minutes. I suspect that the countdown displays on your bus stops over there use the same kind of GPS/timetable data that the DC MTA "Next Bus" App uses.

In the DC Metro, we have similar electronic displays on the platforms giving time-to-arrival countdowns for the next three trains. I haven't bothered to time them down to the second, but they're accurate enough.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Same old, same old...

I don't know of an example where the presence of a QR code is anything more than advertising, so it's worth avoiding on general principles anyway.

Y'know, I'd never really thought of that. There may be other uses for them, for sure, but most of the time, in all my comings and goings, the vast majority of QR codes I see have been in the context of advertising.

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New York invites designers to invent Future of Phone Booths

Mike Flugennock
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Phone booth designs

I won't speak for NYCers, but here in DC, most of the remaining public phones aren't contained in complete booths but in little open kiosks with hoods over the phones for a bit of protection against weather so, when using a public land-line phone, you're still standing out in the wind, rain or snow while trying to make your call.

I can see the importance of maintaining the land-line public phone network in case the cellular network goes south, but I think any redesign of public telephone booths should also include wifi, and perhaps even a small built-in QWERTY keyboard for email/SMS (though maintaining the keyboards might be problematic), along with a small LCD monitor (sealed behind a half inch of plexiglas, of course) -- and, of course, a standard land-line voice telephone. I'd also include options for inserting bills and swiping credit cards along with the usual coin slot. I'd also insist that it be an actual booth instead of just a little kiosk on a pole, large enough for someone to actually sit down while using the phone.

Btw... while we're talking about the future of phone booths, does anybody here remember the video phone booth that Matt Deckard is seen using in Blade Runner? You know, the one encrusted with felt-marker graffiti, with the screen displaying a bit cockeyed owing to all the people who probably lost money in the phone, got pissed off, and pounded their fists on it -- kind of like an old-style phone booth? I always thought that was a cool scene. Even in the Blade Runner future, phone booths still looked like they should; I liked how, in Blade Runner, the future looked "old".

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Mike Flugennock
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What's even more important...

...not that it's strictly related to the phone-booth redesign issue in NYC, but a question for you Brits: if, as I understand, the old-style phone booths are being phased out, where does that leave Dr. Who? I guess that'd leave the TARDIS kind of sticking out like a sore thumb, huh?

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: @jake - "What's wrong with rotary dial telephones?"

Please press 1 for the answer to your question...

Actually, more and more lately, I'm coming across menu-driven help-line systems with the option for the user to simply say "one", "two", or "operator".

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2020AD: Space tourists will be FOUND ON MOON

Mike Flugennock
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Re: Boooorrrriiinnnggg

You really think it's boring?

Well, check out some of the photography from the Apollo expeditions, especially the last three, which visited the foothills of the Apennine mountain range, and Hadley Rille, a canyon wider and deeper than anything on Earth. Go there yourself and check out those panoramic scenes and then, when you have a moment, look up into the sky and check out the Earth. Then, get back to me on whether or not it's boring.

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Mike Flugennock
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Meh

Oh, Christ, not AGAIN...

Phil Plait's been pimping the hell out of this scheme over at Bad Astronomy -- though, to his credit, he was quite forthcoming about his friendship with one of the guys who runs the thing.

That said... oh, Christ, not AGAIN...!

Honestly, sometimes I think that if I had a buck for every one of these sending-rich-private-citizens-to-the-Moon schemes, I could... well, I could afford to go to the Moon.

"...we’re about American industry and American entrepreneurial spirit leading the rest of the world..."

D'ahh, Christ on a pogo stick. This bullshit again? When are the clowns who write those press releases going to get some original ideas... or at least make up some new phrases? "Entrepreneurial spirit" is becoming one of my least favorite phrases in the English language.

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FCC urges rethink of aircraft personal-electronics blackout

Mike Flugennock
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Re: I agree on the "re-think"

Just upvoted you on that. I'd even go so far as to say that mobile phones and Crackberries should be shut off while on the plane, period.

A few years or so ago, when arriving home in DC from a trip to Montreal, the plane had barely touched down and started taxiing to the arrival gate when some woman a few rows in front of me whips out her mobile, calls a relative in the city, and starts engaging in a heated argument about some private family issue loudly enough to be heard by every passenger within eight or ten rows of her seat.

This, of course, is on top of having to endure the en masse whipping out of mobiles as soon as the plane is down and taxiing to the jetway. My wife and I fly at least twice a year to and from Mexico from DC via DFW, and it never fails -- wheels down, plane starts taxiing to arrival gate, and immediately nearly everybody who has a mobile on them has whipped them out and started calling somebody. Christ, is it going to kill them to wait five minutes until they're off the plane to dial up someone and announce HEY! I'M IN DALLAS/PUERTO VALLARTA/DC, DUDE!"

(Full disclosure: sometimes, while on the plane, I like to watch movies on my laptop with headphones, after shutting off FireWire and Bluetooth.)

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Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Down

"They empower people to stay informed and connected with friends and family..."

...and they also empower people to irritate the living shit out of their fellow passengers

"Signs of sanity return", huh? Yeah, we'll see how long the sanity lasts when airliner cabins are full of the sounds of people playing games on their slabs and talking on their phones.

Report of first "air rage" incident involving somebody punching a cellphone jabberer in the teeth in 5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

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Instagram starts filtering out hipster pics on Twitter

Mike Flugennock
Bronze badge

"Used to like Instagram..."

...for the first 5 minutes before you had to trawl through thousands of 'selfies' and advertising pics to see any genuinely creative or thought-provoking pics. The last straw was when i recently posted a pic and instantly got 6 likes, all from 'users' with stuff to sell or promote.

That happened to me when I first set up my Twitter account. Spent five or ten minutes poking around on my feed, getting the hang of the interface and such, and in that short time I'd racked up about ten "followers", all of whom were "hotties in my area" or 'bot profiles with fake "selfies" ripped off from some other site all claiming to just adore the tweets I was posting and supposedly dying to meet me. I blocked and reported them for spamming, of course, and learned how to spot 'bot and spam followers real goddamn' fast. Happily, that bullshit subsided fairly quickly.

I was actually pretty surprised that didn't happen when I set up my Facebook account. Granted, I hardly ever log on there, I gave FB totally fake gender/residence/birthday info, and left all those personal interest, profession and education fields blank, but, still, I was genuinely surprised at not being deluged with fake friend requests from Hot Guys In Tripoli Who Were Wanting To Meet Me Now.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Well said!

It stores it in /instagram on your phone (on android at least).

Thanks for the tip. Still, I don't own an iPhone or Android -- but if I did, I still wouldn't touch Instagram with somebody else's ten-foot pole.

I was just curious, though, as when I come out with a new cartoon on my blog, I post it to Twitter via email, using the email link I have to my TwitPic account (and, I also do this with any interesting fotos I take on the street). Seems any hipster with two brain cells to rub together -- yeah, a mutually exclusive expression, I know -- could tweet his crappily-butchered Instagram images the same way. Any Instagram luser who's actually stymied by this boneheaded corporate move would have to be hopelessly and irredeemably st00pid.

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Mike Flugennock
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Re: Another arrogant clueless idiot CEO brags about his stupid move ...

Really, man... what the hell is it with all these CEOs breaking the Goofy Meter these days -- and managing to actually be rewarded for it, to boot? It's almost like an epidemic of sociopathy, and it seems to be especially bad among the CEOs of tinhorn Internet outfits like Instagram -- and they're being positively reinforced, so they get even goofier. It's like they're batshit and proud, and right up front about it, and they don't give a damn how many people can clearly see that they're batshit.

They're like the kind of characters you see in articles in The Onion, or in old SNL sketches -- except they aren't parodies, but real actual people. If it didn't adversely affect so many people, I'd actually find their behavior entertaining.

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Mike Flugennock
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Thumb Up

Well said!

Just wondering... not that I'd be caught dead using it, but would anybody know if Instagram has the option for downloading the image as a .jpg -- so then you could just manually post the image to your Twitter feed via TwitPic? I mean, how tough could that be?

(Disclaimer: I use Twitter fairly regularly, Facebook sparsely, but, in fact, would not be caught dead using Instagram to post brand-new fotos digitally butchered to look like thirty year-old Polaroids)

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Mike Flugennock
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Meh

M'eh

That's all. Just... m'eh.

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Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone

Mike Flugennock
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Re: Working at our company is tough. It calls for someone who can take the pain and suffering.

That quote from the personnel department drone was alarming for sure, and yet refreshing, compared to the crap that dribbles from the mouths of personnel department drones in the States.

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Mike Flugennock
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Part of me wants to "thumbs up" this, but...

...still, I can't, as this really does indicate crass bias and ignorance on the part of the interviewer. There are, I'm sure, far more people who put in an honest day's work and earn every penny -- such as my wife -- who also happen to own iPhones (The wife also doesn't take every opportunity to whip it out in front of people or brag about having one, but apparently she's the exception that proves the rule).

As irksome as they can be, though, I think it's really rotten that this guy was turned down for a job simply for being a trend-surfing hipster with more money than sense.

Of course, as others here have mentioned, the question this article doesn't answer is just how the interviewer knew the guy was packing an iPhone.

.

(Disclaimer: I've used MacOS and sworn by it since 1985, but still can't abide the goddamn' iPhone trendoids.)

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Use a Mac? For actual work? Evernote Business has arrived

Mike Flugennock
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Mushroom

Re: Something doesn't add up

I may have paid more money initially, but there were huge savings in the time spent banging my head on Windows trying to figure out why something doesn't work, or in time spent patching, or in time spent scraping viruses and rootkits out of my system.

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Mike Flugennock
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Devil

Use a Mac? For actual work?

Hell, yeah, since 1985. You could've easily reported this event without the gratuitous insults.

Seriously, the snide Mac hate around here is starting to sound like the attitude of the ancient priesthood class after the Gutenberg Bibles were printed, and suddenly everybody and their cat could read the Bible and interpret it for themselves.

Oh, and just to drag this post back on-topic: I have a notepad application already, and it doesn't rely on centralized data servage to run, and if I want to share a document, I can just email it to a cc: list. I don' need no steenkeeng cloud.

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Ten badass brainy computers from science fiction

Mike Flugennock
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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Wait a moment

They want to remake The Forbin Project with Will Smith (and doubtless one or all of his endlessly annoying children?

AAAUUUGGGHHHH. I was a young-ish teenager when that came out. I knew about it, but never got around to seeing it until I was in high school, on a "Movie Of The Week" on TV. Even then, the whole computer-becomes-self-aware-megalomaniac trope was already getting pretty beat, and I thought it was kind of hokey and changed the channel about half an hour into it. As I recall, the producers of MST3K considered it for an episode, but also iirc, it was bumped by another '70s turd called Parts: The Clonus Horror. Still, in other episodes, you can catch references to Colossus in the theater riffs.

Doesn't this constitute a crime against art and humanity?

Crime against art, for sure. You know Hollywood's totally out of ideas when, after doing movies based on comic books and video games, and after running out of good pictures to re-make, they start in remaking crap like Colossus, The Forbin Project... but a crime against humanity? Perhaps not. Hollywood wouldn't keep shoving Will Smith movies in our faces if there weren't enough people out there stupid enough to pay to see them.

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Mike Flugennock
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You forgot a couple

1. M5, from a famous Star Trek OS episode whose title I've somehow forgotten. Nothing surprising about the plot -- your basic "computer develops awareness, gets megalomania, tries to take over ship" kind of plot -- but quite well done, with a plot twist in which, when its designer explains that what it's done is horribly wrong, the computer chooses suicide.

2. The computer in THX 1138 -- or, as I call it, The Only George Lucas Film That Matters -- while not a "character" per se, is still a hugely influential part of the plot. The closest it comes to being an actual character in the film is when it appears as the wise, bearded face on the big screen in the digitally-networked confessional booths throughout the underground city where THX lives.

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