* Posts by Herby

2212 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

$10bn Oracle v Google copyright jury verdict: Google wins, Java APIs in Android are Fair Use

Herby
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Re: Oracle feels deeply that it ̶h̶a̶s̶ ̶b̶e̶e̶n̶ ̶w̶r̶o̶n̶g̶e̶d̶ should get all you monies

quid??

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The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

Herby
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Just a note...

Kodak isn't making Kodachrome any more either!

Filed under: Film? What's that?

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Microsoft's Windows Phone folly costs it another billion dollars

Herby
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Joke

I understand...

Nokia might be hiring. There seems to be available personnel available in Finland these days.....

As for Microsoft (jokes aside)... The only sad part is that the Gates foundation might have a bit less money to spend on medical research (but not much).

Maybe this will be a lesson learned (the more "expensive" the better learned!).

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Got a Fitbit? Thought you were achieving your goals? Better read this

Herby
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Doing heart rate on an instrument like that...

Isn't very easy. They have contacts pretty close together to detect EKG pulses (typically R wave) and just count the interval between R waves (the most predominant part of the EKG, and go from there. The math(s) is pretty easy to do (I helped in patient monitoring for anesthesia back in the 70's). The big problem is getting a good signal to the device, and there are lots of ways noise creeps in.

I'm sure FitBit can put all sorts of disclaimers out there and results might vary all over the map, but the number they display is probably pretty good, considering.

Not if they can get their FitBit Flex goodie a little more water proof. I used to wear it in the shower (and that was OK), but the trip to Hawaii last year and its encounter with salt water have seemed to foul it up. It blinks nicely (when charging) but it doesn't sense anything. Oh, well...........

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Citrix bakes up Raspberry Pi client boxes

Herby
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If you already have...

The monitor and keyboard/mouse you don't need much more. Sure, it is only a single display, but for LOTS of applications this is all you really need.

OK, a nice VESA mount and built-in supply to make it better, but in reality, the most expensive part of a "THIN CLIENT" are the peripherals. If you go to a warehouse store and get a nice TV which has HDMI input(s) and a cheap keyboard/mouse you are in business. In my case, when I got the 55 inch TV for the living room, I plugged it in. The keyboard mouse combo was a nice IR based one that I could use form the couch across the room. What more do I need for a thin client (I used a WiFi dongle). The RPi was $50 on Amazon (with wall wart WiFi and SD card) the IR keyboard/trackball was $20 at the local surplus store.

What a deal!

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Hate Windows 10? Microsoft's given you 'Insider' powers anyway

Herby
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Where...

Do I begin?

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Norton bans kernel.org

Herby
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Maybe they should label...

Microsoft.com as a major virus threat. Look, it has infected millions of computers with this "Windows" virus, in many forms. Most lately in its most recent form "Windows 10".

I'd label this with "Joke Alert", but I have doubts.

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Herby
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And I thought the California DMV was bad...

Nothing compares to this nonsense. Yes, we here in sunny California have this miraculous public service bureau call the Department of Motor Vehicles (commonly referred to as the DMV). They issue drivers licenses and vehicle registrations. Licenses are issued every 4 years (I believe the last one cost $15 or so) and vehicle registrations (which include vehicle property tax) are anywhere from $50 to much more (newer cars). Other than the lines in the local office (about 1/2 day if you don't have an appointment) they aren't too bad. If all you need to do is simple payments, online with a credit card will do, and you can even change addresses as well. The nice drivers license (generally accepted as identification) has a nice mug shot (for quite some time since 1950 I guess) and they changed to color back in the 70's. Luckily you can keep your old license (while they make you a new one you get a note saying "in process") and you go from there. My experience is that they have been relativetly error free (they do serve a population of over 30 million, so I suspect that there are some errors). Overall it has worked out well. The current form is a nice mag-stripe credit card size thing with ALL sorts of validation stuff (holograms, raised signatures, etc.). We haven't gone to virtual (stored on an iPhone) ones yet, but you never know with the younger set so attached to their devices.

Me? I'm afraid that you might need to insert your license in a slot to get a vehicle to work, and it will broadcast on request to the policeman following you the details. It might get scary in that case. Or as was mentioned above "what could possibly go wrong?".

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Google still faces legal spat with SEO biz that claimed it was wiped from web

Herby
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So, who do you pay?

Google to get high marks (works most of the time), or:

Some fly by night SEO company that believes that they can outfox Google at their now game, and charges you to do it.

As the saying goes: Youse pays your money, youse takes youse chances. The Google alternative looks more reliable to me. If you do pay a SEO company, you might get what you pay for, but if that other company changes its mind, you can get bypassed.

Good luck!

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Typewriter for iPad review

Herby
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Not truly "typewriter"

If it were, it would have the big lever that returns the carriage and indexes the platen up one line. Most of these were actually attached to the mechanical carriage suitable for reaching with your right hand and slinging it across in front of you. Of course it might also ring the bell when you got too close to the edge of the paper as well.

Yes, dial phones are cool as well, and (at least here in the USA) work on most telephone exchanges.

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Discounts boost wearables

Herby
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If you do make a "wearable"...

Make sure you don't obsolete the hardware too quickly. People wear the same watch for a LONG time. I suspect that the time between "new" watches is around 10 years or so. In my case it has been closer to double that (and it works just fine!).

P.S. Please make them functional for left handed people, and those who wear the watch on the inside of the wrist. Being able to fit commercial watch bands would be nice too.

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Chaps make working 6502 CPU by hand. Because why not?

Herby
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I'll really be impressed when..

They do a 6809 that runs at full speed. That was a proper 8 bit micro.

My first micro was a 6800 when you got the kit of parts in a $300 (1975) and a nice big applications book. Did LOTS of things with it!

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Raspberry Pi Zero gains a camera connector

Herby
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Prophecy coming true.

A person of "great influence" mentioned to me a long time ago that the computer would become "just a bump" in the power cord. Devices like this indicate it coming true.

Of course in those days, the power cord was to an ASR33 teletype, but it still holds true today.

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Bitcoin-ransoming Romney tax 'hacker' faces 25 years inside

Herby
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Now if they could...

Go after other "ransom" people. There are all sorts of them out there, and they ALL need to get the same treatment.

I dream on (*SIGH*).

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Sysadmin paid a month's salary for one day of nothing

Herby
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Joke

Humor...

There was the Cobol programmer that wanted to escape the Y2K mess, so he gave instructions to cryogenically frozen until after the Y2K had passed. He was awakened a little later and he asked about Y2K, only to be told: "We understand you are a Cobol programmer, and we have this problem with years rolling over from 9999 to 10000".

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Herby
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Amazing how paranoia spreads...

From the looks of it (evidence in comments) the problem was mainly in "management" that really had no clue how to handle the "problem", assuming that it would be catastrophic in its nature. The response was typical: Throw more money (people) at it to make sure that there won't be a problem. The better solution was to do some brief testing to make sure there isn't a problem, and fix the problems encountered at a reasonable pace (not at 11PM on the 31st.).

But as we all know, our best laid plans rarely get followed, because "the boss" thinks he knows "better" because his cousin's brother in law told him so. Us IT types just nod and get paid lots of $$ just to babysit things that we know are going to be OK.

Then there is the problem with 2038, but that doesn't bother me either, since we now have 64 bit machines, or since time only moves forward, could treat time_t as unsigned. Life goes on.

Then again, dealing with systemd is a pretty big problem (*SIGH*)

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Kill Flash now? Chrome may be about to do just that

Herby
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"exempt the top 10 domains"??

Would one of these be YouTube?? Which is owned by......

I could go on, but why bother?

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Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Herby
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An experiment??

I've always wanted to get a small 1/4 inch (or so) wooden dowel and properly paint it in while with a bit of orange/red at one end. Then "use" it as a "vaping" device here in anti-smoking California, just to see the reaction (I'm a rebel at heart!). I suspect that it would be universally condemed and I would be asked to leave. That's just the way it is. Some are anti- anything and don't like much of anything that hurts their "personal space" real or percieved.

As for tobacco products, I suspect that governments are as addicted to them as any other for the tax revenue they produce. I don't think you will see a ban on them anytime soon.

Me? No, I don't smoke at all.

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US work visas for international tech talent? 'If Donald Trump is elected all bets are off'

Herby
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What is a "native" to do??

Being a native (yes, I was born here) of Sillycon valley, I've seen it all. You start in the tech industry (I wrote my first program over 50 years ago) and keep on going. If you have people getting these visas (what no Master Card?) you need to wonder what is really going on. In this day and age, one could just as easily do "work" from the other end of an internet connection, as a physical embodiment most likely isn't needed. So, we have a couple of cases: 1) Import the worker (for whatever reason) and let them find out what it costs to live here in the USA, or 2) export the job to the other end of a wire where monsoons happen yearly. Given the choice, importing a worker may be the better choice.

The bigger problem is that job providers (companies) are having trouble getting proficient talent. The younger ones seem to think that right out of school they are entitled to a nice $100k job when they have no experience (and being tied up in acedemia for so long think that they can program a BIOS in Java or some such. The more experienced have figured out that they don't know everything and apply their skills to forge ahead. When an economic downturn happens they hope it doesn't last too long (unfortunately not the case for the last 8 or so years) then soldier on.

Life goes on, and visas will be issued, jobs exported, and iron turns to rust. One hopes for startups and new horizons and keeps a positive attitude which is what we should all hope for. (*SIGH*)

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UK.gov pays four fellows £35k to do nothing for three months

Herby
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I have a great product idea...

Have a product called future money. It is sold in various increments and has a physical embodiment. A nice box of something "special" that may have nice blinked lights (activated upon opening of box). Assign a value to said item, and allow it to be traded in for "other stuff".

Call it a Budgetary Box. Take a little off the top (1% ought to be enough for most instances) and go to town.

I'll be rich, and retire to a beach somewhere (I understand Hawaii is nice!).

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IBM's Internet of Things brainbox foresees 'clean clothes as a service'

Herby
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Things get a little silly.

Microwave ovens are but on example.

In my case, I look to my first (late 1970's version) microwave oven. It had THREE controls, and I only used two most of the time. The main control was a simple dial for the time to cook. It was nicely logarithmic in nature as the first minute was quite large, but the last one (minute 29/30 as I remember) was quite small.. The second control (rarely used) was the one that controlled the percentage cook intensity (I usually left it at 100%). Lastly the third control was the "GO" button that started the whole thing. Marvelously simple to operate and almost impossible to mess up. Fast forward to today's computerized (the old one used a mechanical timer) user interface. They have all sorts of buttons to control time, delay start, defrost, and which item of food to use, along with an incomprehensible display (which has a segment out in my case). You get to push all sorts of buttons and in a dark kitchen (my wife likes the lights out when se watches TV there) you just can't use the "touch method" to get going. It is a REAL MESS. The problem is that in order to make their product "different/better" a manufacturer needs to have something unique/new and match his competition's bells and whistles. This leads to an never ending spiral of silly functions and people like my mom putting yellow stickums on the "important" controls of the microwave that she needs to use (about three of them).

The lesson here is that fancier and flashier (shinier) isn't always "better". You may have lots of controls for your appliance, but yes, you only select a VERY limited subset for everyday use.

Applications for computers succomb to the same "feature creep", and things like Word or Excel take this to the limit! The software vendor keeps adding features so differentiate the "old" from the "new", I'm sure we have all seen it.

When all else fails, a nice charcoal grill works fine.

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Label your cables: A cautionary tale from the server room

Herby
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Document for yourself...

Because you will be the one who ends up needing it. Weather wires or programs, in 6 months you will most likely forget EVERYTHING you knew about whatever system you have. Labels are nice, and be sure to label components as well, then you can ask the flunky nice user to flip the switch on the (no not that one) proper box.

There is a nice article in the Wall Street Journal about family tech support: mom & dad calling offspring to assist in their problems.

We do so much for so little (*SIGH*).

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Windows 10 build 14342: No more friendly Wi-Fi sharing

Herby
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Joke

Windows??

Aren't they those things that have glass in them that you open to get fresh air?

Seems we've gotten away from the concept of opening windows to get fresh air. The other alternative is to break them, but it seems that most of the windows referred to here appear to already be broken.

Cue David Letterman's broken glass sound.

Maybe this shouldn't be classified as a joke, but I digress.

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Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women

Herby
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We now need to support...

...the emoji messaging service. so these can be used.

Look up "accidental emoji expert" and get an even further explanation.

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Malware scan stalled misconfigured med software, mid-procedure

Herby
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Wait for it...

Windows 10 nagware incident to follow. Now back to the studio.

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ICANN knifes Africa's internet: New top-level domains terminated

Herby
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Too crowded anyway.

We should go back to nice two letter top level domains. Maybe .org for REAL organizations and .net for real network operators with .com for the rest if they want it.

Do I really want "accountonline" to be citibank?? I've got other accounts you know.

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Falling flat: Silicon Valley satire is a no show

Herby
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It is a shame they don't...

Look at a "real" company and allow its principals to help write the scripts of its ups and downs. I've lived (it was a while ago) a startup life from "first employee" all the way to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It was a wild ride, and taught me BUNCHES about how VC's think and the like.

Hint: If you get a new CEO, two weeks later there WILL be layoffs (this happened twice to me). I'm 1 for 1 in living through it.

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The 'new' Microsoft? I still wouldn't touch them with a barge pole

Herby
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Just a question:

Has Microsoft done ANYTHING original (other than Bob and Clippy)?

I rest my case.

Wait, they are good at extracting moola from suckers. That might be original.

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Herby
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Re: I can now recite in the NATO alphabet

Actually is it the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) alphabet.

Link included for reference. You're welcome.

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You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Herby
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Re: If you smell smoke...

Corrections:

s/upper/uttered/

s/stopped/silly/

Thankfully the needs for sewer rats aren't needed any more as that problem has gone away. Unfortunately the solution required an operation a few years ago, but all turned out OK.

Life goes on

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Herby
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If you smell smoke...

The fire is out...

This is a famous saying in my family, as my nephew first upper this phrase to my older sister when he accidentally "fired up" a telephone book late at night. My incident was when I (again late at night) heard the (grumble) smoke detector outside my home office start bleeping. Since the battery had not been changed recently, I (stopped me) assumed that that might be the problem and got up to start sharing at the nasty device. Then upon further reflection, and exercising my "acute" sense of smell, I detected an odor of SOMETHING BURNING, and proceeded to walk towards the ever so stronger smell. Yes, my nice wonderful wife had put some dishtowels on the top of the gas fireplace in an adjacent room, and THEY WERE ON FIRE. Thankfully the wall behind and above the fireplace was nicely tiled with an wonderful ceramic pattern, and a quick application of DHMO solved the problem.

As for wastewater backups, just be careful about the lowest toilet in the house. When the sewer lateral line (from the house to the street) gets clogged, it is the place that has the largest opening. In my case a couple of showers and flushes worth. After a call to the drain guy and his expending the entire 75 feet of snake, the problem was resolved. It turned out to be a sewer rat that assisted in clogging up the pipe. It was an interesting cleanup. Thankfully the half bath containing the toilet in question had a direct door to the outside that in combination with a garden hose assisted in the cleanup. It was an adventure!

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Google, Honeywell put away Nest patent knives

Herby
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And it all works until...

The NEST server get the Windows 10 upgrade nag. Then it makes the thermostat go to "roast" in the middle of summer, or "chill" in the middle of winter. Welcome to big brother, he is at the other end of the wireless signal.

Me? I want a device I can talk to directly WITHOUT any outside involvement AT ALL.

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Google-backed Yieldify has acquired IP from ‘world’s biggest patent troll’

Herby
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Solution to this mess...

Loser pays.

Enough said.

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

Herby
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Joke

This just in.....

Windows 11 announced for August. Windows 10 to include "Upgrade to Windows 11" software in a mandatory update. Details to follow.

Yes, this is a joke, but is it far from the truth? One never knows!

In the election season this year in the USA, I wonder if a teleprompter will spout an "Upgrade" dialog box in the middle of a speech. Now THAT would be interesting.

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iOS apps must do IPv6

Herby
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Is it me, or does this look like...

Someone forcing Windows 10 down our throats.

IPv6 is probably "too much" for normal use, or it would have been adopted LONG AGO (years).

For me, there should have been a SIMPLE method to accommodate the IPv4 address space in the new fangled IPv6. Unfortunately the path wasn't that clear, and the address space for IPv6 probably assigned an individual address to every grain of sand on planet earth and have a few left (billions and billions!) over.

Oh, well at least it isn't a proprietary thing that we don't know much about, or what is going ot happen next.

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Microsoft: Why we tore handy Store block out of Windows 10 Pro PCs

Herby
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Wine is looking...

...better than ever. It is only a matter of time.

Microsoft is aiming for a continuing revenue stream to replace the every other year OS/Office upgrade that users have decided they don't need.

No, I don't use Windows. Anderson does windows nicely. Much friendlier!

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I am Craig Wright, inventor of Craig Wright

Herby
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Nothing to see here, please go away...

NSA Nothing NSA to NSA see NSA here, NSA please NSA go NSA away NSA...

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Intel has driven a dagger through Microsoft's mobile strategy

Herby
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Just remember...

If IBM back in 1890 or so chose a different processor/operating system for its PC, both Intel and Microsoft would be much different than they are today.

When a major desktop machine builder goes away from X86 architecture people will need to adapt, and quickly. I believe that the trend started by the likes of a Raspberry Pi are just the beginning.

Sadly (or not as you chose it) both Microsoft and Intel are eating dust from the trail that is being pioneered by others now.

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Restaurant booked, flowers ordered ... Microsoft has a hot date for SQL Server 2016

Herby
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I just keep wondering...

Is the same company that produced ACCESS? One wonders if any features have drifted between the two?

Who knows what the answer is given how they publicize things.

Another question:

Is there a 'clippy' helper that allows you to write better SQL?

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Samsung's little black box will hot-wire your car to the internet. Eek!

Herby
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Similar to a "connected toaster"

And about as useful. What did we do before computers invaded every part of a vehicle. It seems that we got along "just fine".

At one time I drove a 1964 VW bug (seatbelts installed) and had little problems. Great car to learn how to drive, and not a computer in sight.

If you wanted a "self driving car" you hailed a taxi. Life goes on.

No, a toaster does NOT need to be "connected". Go away!

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Silicon Valley, season 3: CEO Richard learns humility, tech style

Herby
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Interest (possibly) lost...

When they (from what I remember) cut the scene that had a vehicle going down Page Mill road. Why do I remember this? I was at a stoplight waiting for the cops to release traffic when it passed by at the corner of Hanover and Page Mill. I just wanted to see if my vehicle showed up during the take.

Interesting how they film people in cars toodling down roads.

Yeah, it was the first season.

My experience: I've been in a company from its founding all the way through VC to Chapter 7 bankruptcy. It is quite a ride.

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It's World IP Day! Celebrate by making money from a dead teenager

Herby
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Simple solution...

1) No software patents.

2) Public review period BEFORE the patent is granted to show "prior art" (much of which is unpainted!).

3) Loser pays in patent suits.

4) Wishful thinking (*SIGH*)

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Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

Herby
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Darwin award??

Maybe they shouldn't have the lights. The world needs people who pay attention to silly things like their surroundings!

A better idea might be to have a light bulb above their head so cars can run them down with impunity.

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US tech CEOs demand Congress programs US kids to be tech workers

Herby
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Given how people are taught...

And some of those who are "learning", the outcome of this will be that EVERYONE will get a "passing grade" and have absolutely no knowledge of the subject at hand. You see, university work is HARD, and takes WORK. Both of these are limiting factors, and those who want everyone to be educated see as barriers to learning. Yes, they will have a piece of paper that says "Computer Science", but will they actually know how to do addition without using a calculator application on their smart phone.

Good luck! Those hiring will need it. Welcome to mediocrity, the new norm.

All men are created equal, after that it takes hard work!

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MIT launches campus lunch bug bounty

Herby
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No beer??

Bummer. College/University life without BEER is terrible. This must be corrected!!

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Microsoft to hike certification exam prices

Herby
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And exactly what...

...is the value of this "certification"? I suspect it doesn't amount to much, other than a tick box in the HR department.

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Charter can gobble TWC for $78.7bn ... if it bins monthly download caps

Herby
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Which brings us to "The tragedy..."

"...of the commons". If there are no bandwidth caps, when 20 or so people start downloading a nice 1080p movie, it might get bogged down a bit. The nice cable has a finite bandwidth, and without some limiting factor, there WILL be a few resource hogs that will probably spoil it for everyone.

Weather this actually happens will be interesting in any event. At that point, Charter might say "I told you so".

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Meet the malware that screwed a Bangladeshi bank out of $81m

Herby
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"...Why go for a billion??"

The answer is pretty simple: Crooks are greedy. It is the nature of the beast. Otherwise they wouldn't be crooks in the first place.

Note: Most crooks are caught due to this flaw, or trying to brag about their exploits.

Note to self: Don't be greedy!

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FBI spies on how many?

Herby
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Trollface

Pick a number...

Between 1 and 1,000,000. It should be in there somewhere. Rough enough??

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Amazon attempts rule fudge to take exclusive control of new dot-words

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Why don't they...

Just register ".amazon" and be done with it.

Then again, maybe Brazil and other governments in South America might not want it don't that way...

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