* Posts by Pirate Dave

767 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Pirate Dave
Pirate

" contest for the most innocent looking snippet of code/script/VB that can be posted on a forum as a 'solution' to someone's question, that in fact plants a virus."

You mean something like...

Get-WUInstall -KBArticle KB3012973 -AcceptAll

;)

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

Pirate Dave
Pirate

I see the problem...

"As the use of technology by human beings grows..."

There's the problem. Right....there. Perhaps we should henceforth ban human beings from using technology and just teach panda bears how to run everything. I mean, who could ever get angry at a cute, fuzzy panda bear? They seem peaceful enough, just let them take care of it all while we spend our lives growing bamboo. Human beings, especially ones in positions of power over other human beings, are stupid, power-hungry, selfish critters. But mostly just stupid.

I, for one, welcome our adorable ailuropoda overlords.

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Kentucky to build 3,400-mile state-owned broadband network – and a fight is brewing

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Not a bad idea really

I mean, the gubmint already maintains the roads and the bridges and the dams, why not the consumer Internet backbones as well?

And back in the old days, when TVA and the rest were bringing electricity to rural America, it's not like they could tell their far-flung customers "Well, the refined city folk in Lexington get 120 volts at 60 Hz, but you country folks way down here in Jellico, you're only going to get 50 volts at 25 Hz. Make do with what you get..." Imagine how life today would be different if the electric companies had gotten to play by the same lax rules that the whiny, crybaby telco's and cable operators have been playing by for the past 20 years. Wah! Cry me a handful...

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Virginia man charged in intriguing 'suspicious bacon' case

Pirate Dave
Pirate

" a true bacon lover would describe the American variety as "suspicious"

Hardly. We just don't call our pork-chops "bacon" like you Brits do. Bacon - like the word itself, ours is thin and crispy. If you can chew it, it isn't done yet...

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Amazon cloud increasingly powered by hot air

Pirate Dave

Indiana windmill farms

I remember the first time I rode through that area on I-65 back in 2010. Hadn't been through there in about 4 years and I don't think there were windmills in 2006. The massive size and scope of that windmill farm is mind-boggling. Two-hundred-foot tall windmills as far as the eye can see. It's quite surreal.

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Wikimedia Foundation bins community-elected trustee

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Wait a minute...

"the foundation has been able to create a burgeoning class of paid foundation employees, whose salaries swallow most of its estimated $55m annual expenses.

So all those popups on Wikipedia the last few months saying "if everybody gave just $3 this fundraiser would be over in an hour" were for paying salaries? Wow, that puts a whole different spin on things. I thought it was used for things like servers, bandwidth, and trips to tropical islands.

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Microsoft’s Get Windows 10 nagware shows signs of sentience

Pirate Dave
Pirate

WTF?

Really? So this is the path Nadella is taking/pushing M$ down? This is starting to sound like those drive-by installs for Norton/McAfee AV out on the Internet, or the annoying Java updater that seems to re-enable itself any time you fart. I could forgive their initial push to trick the sheeple into installing Windows 10, but this mutation of the GWX process shows a deviant mind at work. This isn't something BillG or even MonkeyBoy would do, as it involves giving away their crown jewels. And that's what is so very worrying about the whole process. Why are they pushing this so hard? What is their end game? If they start handing out Chum Bucket helmets, I'm really going to start worrying.

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5.34 petaflop SGI monster forecast at US National Center for Atmospheric Research

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Yellowstone

So, I wonder what they're going to do with all those horribly outdated and crappy nodes in Yellowstone once Cheyenne gets fully up and running? I mean, Xeons from 2012 are pretty much worthless for anything useful, except maybe as boat anchors. So, as a good American, I'll offer some space in my server room to store some of those old racks full or useless junk for a few years. It's my patriotic duty.

and from the sister-site article about the new system:

"The climate code is over 1.5 million lines of code and there are over 100,000 IF-THEN statements, and those kinds of things don’t do as well in GPU-type architectures."

"IF-THEN" statements? The climate code was written in VB6? Yeah, I can't imagine VB translates well to GPU architectures.

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Obama: What will solve America's gun problem? What could it be? *snaps fingers* Technology!

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Ammunition

"No one is suggesting that citizens with handguns might stand off the US Military except you."

Eh, have you heard about the non-event going on in Oregon? It's not involving the military, true, but it is the Feds they are waiting to "stand up" against, not the local yokels.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Ammunition

"But what serious militia could act without air defence and artillery support these days?"

Yep. As much of a gun-nut as I am, I realize there's a big white elephant in the whole 2nd Amendment argument regarding "protecting ourselfs from the Government". They've got tanks, bombers, drones, artillery, etc.etc. All we civilians are allowed to have are pea-shooters compared to that. True, a .50-cal BMG will put a big hole in a piece of armor plate, but a 105mm Howitzer will put a crater where the armor plate was sitting. So any "armed uprising" we could muster would likely not last long before it had to devolve into guerrilla warfare.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Ammunition

"they can't own a nuclear missile for instance."

No, we can't. And if you even so much as ASK to own a nuclear missile, they look at you like you're totally bat-shit crazy. It's not like I'd ever USE it, I just want to have one parked in the back yard for the "coolness" factor. I mean, unless the neighbor's dog shits in my yard one more fucking time, then I might think about pushing the big red button. Well, no, not really, I imagine it would make a hell of a mess. (the nuke, not the dog-shit).

Perhaps the trick is in the wording. If you say "I want to own a nuclear bomb", then folks think you're nuts, and possibly dangerous. But if you say "I want to own a physics package", well, fine, that's just a bunch of nerd-stuff, innit? No harm there.

Ah well. Back to my regular firearms, I guess.

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Commentard achieves bronze badge, goes directly to jail

Pirate Dave
Pirate

We used to call this "Darranting"...

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=darrant

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Forget anonymity, we can remember you wholesale with machine intel, hackers warned

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Hmmm.....

"The language is fundamentally mutable and relatively obscure which means each author would most likely leave a clearly identifiable fingerprint."

Or they could just question all 12 of the FORTH programmers in the world...

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From Zero to hero: Why mini 'puter Oberon should grab Pi's crown

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Pascal -> Modula-2 -> Oberon

"I liked Pascal as a language, it seemed elegant compared to Basic and Assembly. A very good stepping stone to C."

I liked it as a better alternative to Basic and Assembly that let us escape having to learn C. ;) And at one point in the late 80's, early 90's, Borland was selling an "educational" edition of TP 6 for like $50. I think I bought my copy at Walmart, of all places.

"Then all you pesky Objectified Orientated kids came along and ruined programming for everybody."

Amen.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Author comment -- could you lot miss the point any more widely?

Liam, dude, chill-pill - I think you need one.

So you write an article for El Reg, and your article mentioning Oberon attracts a fairly lively debate among a bunch of old Pascal hackers and detractors, where otherwise, you'd probably have gotten just a few page views. And then you launch into us like we're a bunch of unruly school kids making too much noise during lunch. Dude, did we spoil your party or something? What's with the condescending tone? We're just the normal El Reg commentards talking about something we're passionate about. Chill out.

If you'd rather, we'll skip your stories from here on out and wait for Verity Stob's next story so we have somewhere to talk about the old programming days and not ruffle any feathers. Hell, at least nobody asked if there was a COBOL compiler that ran under the Oberon OS.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Meh Python

"Python provides higher level data structures (lists, dictionaries, tuples) to solve _application_ problems rather than getting stuck in computer problems."

Don't be too harsh - some of us got into computers because we liked the COMPUTER problems, and suffered the APPLICATION problems because they paid the bills...

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Click-Bait much?

I did read-up a bit on Oberon this afternoon. So, maybe it's not as Pascal-y as I thought. I remember taking a Modula-2 class in college in the mid-90's and how badly that screwed up my (previously pristine) knowledge of Pascal ( well, TP6 to be precise. Standard Pascal is, as you implied, pretty useless for anything useful). Things looked alot a like, but there were subtle differences. Oberon looks like an even more weirdly redone Pascal. Not that I'm criticizing Dr Wirth, not at all. Oberon seems to be a cool programming language. Just that it may look like a duck, and sometimes quack like a duck, but it's really a swan with a bad chest cold.

OTOH - FreePascal is really smoking these days. I've been playing with it on the Mac recently (just got an old Macbook last month), and it actually works. Can't say I'm fond of Lazarus though - it seems horribly slow on my 2009-era MB (and was a bitch to install). But Nano and the command line compiler have kept me entertained for the past few weeks. And to be honest, the Mac itself has turned into a source of amazement to me, coming from the Linux and DOS/Windows world like I do. Stuff just works, not a lot of putzing around required. I'll get flamed for saying this, but OS X is how desktop Linux should look and work...

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Pirate Dave

Re: Click-Bait much?

Same here. A computer that's Pascal through-and-through would be awesome, but not for $140, and not using connectors from the 1990's...although maybe the PS/2 and VGA connectors are easier to wire up (on the board itself) than newer USB and HDMI/displayport/etc connectors

I wonder how much tinkering it would take to get Oberon to boot on the Pi Zero...

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Microsoft releases major PowerShell update after long preview

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: twats

It is kind of funny, innit? They pushed Windows to get folks away from the "complexities" of the DOS command line, and now they're pushing a new command line to get folks away from the "complexities" of Windows. Maybe next will be a GUI that runs under Powershell to get folks away from the complexities of Powershell. And eventually they'll have to come out with a new command line to manage that GUI too.

Circle of life (or money) and all that...

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

ehh...

"features such as OneGet, now also called PackageManagement, which lets you install packages from cloud repositories,"

Considering how much of a pain in the ass MS made it to do simple Powershell things like remote script execution, or, hell, even running a script in your current directory, why would they open Powershell (and Windows) to this type of crap? Seems like a bad idea just waiting to get worse.

I thought the whole purpose for the PITA around remote scripting and having to type "./" all the fucking time was to improve security? And now they want to make things as simple as

One-Get -install http://virushaven.com/NewVirus.ps1

That, er, doesn't seem like a step forward. Might as well go back to emailing VBscript code around...

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The gear I use in my test lab: A look at three Trident+ switches

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Personally...

H3C? I didn't even know such a thing existed. Sorry, my bad. I assumed it was leftover cruft from 3Com.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Personally...

I've got around twenty HP 4000 switches that we put in between 2000-2004 and all are still going strong. The fans did tend to burn out after 3 or 4 years, and HP promptly replaced them - didn't even have to CALL tech support - apparently it was a Known Problem with hose fans, so they setup a "replacement fan request" webpage where I just had to give a shipping address and how many fans I needed and they shipped them to me, no cost. Yeah, we've had a few ports go out, but we get a lot of lightning here. I can't blame HP for that.

Can't say I'm as fond of the rebadged 3Com switches. The stupid captcha on the admin login page is a total PITA. Who thought THAT was a good idea???

We're running Avaya (nee Nortel) ERS gear now for our backbone. Pretty good stuff, although, well, you can tell it started life at Nortel...

I confess, I don't much care for any Dell gear in my server room or wiring closets. IMVHO, they engineer too far down to a price-point.

Cisco is way more $$ than my small college can afford, at least for wiring closets. However, our main BGP router is a Cisco box, and it's been rock-solid for 5 years.

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Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: James is a dick...

Wow, 137 downvotes (and counting) in the 7 hours since this commentardary was posted. Is that an El Reg record?

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IETF's older white men urged to tone it down

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"In RFC 7704, Clark and Crocker argue that ... “aggressive and even hostile discussion behaviour is quite common”. "

Man, I hope they never join the Linux Kernel mailing list...or read any newsgroups...or post on any tech-related web forums...or visit El Reg. Poor blighters, the real world is just sort of tough...

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Sued for using HTTPS: Big brands told to cough up in crypto patent fight

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Removing Elliptic Curve

I'm not a security guru, just a network guy, but I thought the SSL cert folks were starting to push ECC as the "next big thing"? At least, I saw it mentioned in an ad on the Symantec site a few weeks ago when I was renewing an SSL cert, so assumed it must be something they were moving towards. And I seem to recall they wanted quite a bit more money for the ECC cert.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: CryptoPeak

Heh, that's a good point.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

CryptoPeak

So is CryptoPeak's CEO named Darl McBribe? This level of stupidity can only be ascribed to a colossal moron of his monumental caliber.

Google doesn't return much info on the company itself - certainly not a link to CryptoPeak's site. (although I will confess I didn't look too deeply...)

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How to solve a Rubik's Cube in five seconds

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Cube envy

I was leafing through a Rubiks Cube solution book at a bookstore a year or so ago and realized (or reaffirmed), in spite of my degree in "Computer Science", I'm not a mathematician. My brain is really, really not wired that way. I never did figure out the cube in the 1980's, and probably won't even if I live until the 2080's. Too boring to me. But building or optimizing a cube's guts so it turns faster? That would be way more interesting than solving the cube itself. To me, anyhows.

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Pause Patch Tuesday downloads, buggy code can kill Outlook

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: The tables have turned

"but nonetheless showed (for the first time ?) that open source can have totally unbelievable security bugs"

I take it you've never been into that circle of hell known as Sendmail...

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: It may just be me--

"a nice full screen popup interrupted me with "Updates are needed" and only a "Get Updates" button."

I've noticed that too on the one Win10 box I have here. So while it's not exactly required to install the update, they sure make it look like you don't have any option. It's horribly annoying.

Personally, I don't see much major difference from Win 8.x. Sure, there's something they call the Start Menu, but, meh, with no tree structure like classic Windows, it's as useless as the Win 8 Start Screen, just smaller. So overall, just a big "Meh"...

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Alumina in glass could stop smartphones cracking up

Pirate Dave
Pirate

@1980s_coder

" but I do wonder just how so many phone screens get damaged"

The ex-wife has caused the death of at least 3 of my mobiles in the past 12 years. All of them crushed, broken, smashed into tiny bits. I finally learned to just not answer when she called.

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Is the world ready for a bare-metal OS/2 rebirth?

Pirate Dave
Pirate

I can beat that: 386 SX 25MHz with 4MB RAM

4 megs? Weren't you lucky. I had a 386-25 SX with 1 meg, well 640K really, since a dude I knew said that should be enough for anybody. And that was a replacement for the old 4MHz ITT Xtra that I got second hand (MFM - FTW baby...).

When I got Windows 3.0 (a couple of years after 3.1 came out), I seem to remember adding another 2 megs at a cost of like $110. I think this was after one of the memory price crises' - can't remember if it was where Bush Sr smacked the Korean manufs for dumping, or if it was after a factory blowing up (or some such). I also ran the DOSSHELL (from DOS 4.0 or maybe 5.x, iirc) and honestly liked it better than Windows - was much faster.

But back to the OS2 topic - the question in my little non-OS/2 mind is - OS/2 was a really well thought-out, designed, and implemented OS that came from the Big Brains at IBM. And I think that's a big part of its reliability. Not to poor-mouth Arca Noae (whoever they are), but do they really think they are up to the task of updating an entire OS like OS/2 by late next year, and having it be as reliable as the original software that came from IBM? I admit, when I RTFA, I was a bit skeptical. Seems like updating OS/2 to current hardware would be a big task even for IBM itself. Or is Arca Noae a group of the old OS/2 folks from IBM?

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Microsoft's OneDrive price hike has wrecked its cloud strategy

Pirate Dave
Pirate

A guess...

"Nor is it clear why a few busy Office 365 customers necessitate such severe changes to the free offering for users in general."

Obviously, Microsoft ran out of the needed fairy dust and unicorn farts to make their "all you can eat for free" storage model work. But it's understandable they were caught out by this, since they weren't around back in 2000 when the initial Internet bubble went "pop". Those were the bad old days when Internet sites started to realize they needed to make a profit at some point, and they were spending a pantload of money on high-end server hardware and connectivity. Nope, Microsoft didn't live through any of that, so there's no way they could have known it wouldn't work this time either...

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Northrop wins $55bn contract for next-gen bomber – as America says bye-bye to B-52

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: B2

Thanks for that. That's what I figured, but wasn't sure.

On a completely unrelated note, I was at an airshow earlier this month and got to see (and touch, but. err, shhh...) an F-18 up close. I was amused that on the front of the airplane, at the very tip of the nose, is a phillips-head screw. Just struck me as funny that this big, death-dealing figher jet that costs millions of dollars is lead around by a phillips-head. Not an allen/hex, or a Torx, or something that requires a $5000 custom-made bit to remove. It's just a regular #2 phillips that looks like it came from Home Depot.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

B2

The B2 is considered "aging" now? Damn. Glad I'm not a plane or they'd already have me rusting in the Arizona desert...

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Temperature of Hell drops a few degrees – Microsoft emits SSH-for-Windows source code

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: POSIX

"But your comment about Powershell not being more powerful than Bash is woefully misinformed. It is not only better designed and more self-consistent, but it has vastly more capabilities."

Really? Funny, after using Bash for 15 years and Powershell for 5 years, I still say Bash is better.

It's more consistent, more mature, and there is a much better chance of googling a "proper" and perhaps even an "elegant" way to perform a given task instead of the hackish nature that surrounds the Powershell documentation. It reminds me of classic VB in that respect - folks finding ways of making something work, but is it a good and proper way, or just a hack they stumbled upon that will disappear in the future?

Not to mention it has a better grasp (meaning not-iron-fisted) of variable scopes - for quick one-off admin tasks global variables are useful and are no problem in Bash, but it's a PITA to have to prefix every single occurrence with $global: in Powershell just because MS decreed that we must do that, and no escaping it.

Why does get-mailbox support the -filter switch, but get-msoluser doesn't? That doesn't seem terribly consistent and is a PITA at times when dealing with Office365 users.

Why is it such a bitch to escape all the switches to a call to "icacls /grant"? Why does it take 5-10 lines of "native" Powershell code to do the same thing as a single call to icacls? There's granularity, and then there's being a total pain in the ass (to the point where it's easier to put the icacls call in a BATCH FILE and call that from powershell).

And why, why, why can't csv-import have enough sense to skip blank lines in an input file?

So yes, on paper, Powershell should be the cat's meow. But down in the nuts-n-bolts, it just isn't. Like most MS products, it's a decent attempt, and nothing more. Bash is still better in my book.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: POSIX

"Think a toolset like BASH but far more powerful and secure with fully OO features, so no parsing text files any more and worrying about text formatting , etc, etc."

LOL. If you think Powershell is more powerfull than BASH, you need to have another think. Although I will concede that I am inferring BASH is on a mostly-proper *nix system like Linux or the BSDs with all the attendant utilities. I would imagine BASH on a Windows box would be about as useless as Powershell on a Linux box.

Don't get me wrong, Powershell is a great step-up from DOS batch files in most instances, but a BASH-killer it ain't. As to text-parsing, eh, last time I checked, import-csv still had annoyances with blank lines in the input file.

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Get ready to register your drones in the US – or else

Pirate Dave
Pirate

So...

this explains why LOHAN hasn't gotten clearance yet - the two "toy" dudes at the FAA have been busy worrying about drone regulations, not ballockets.

Maybe future generations will finally see LOHAN blast off. Right about the time everyone gets their own private spaceship.

Bloody regulators...

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Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: malle-herbert

Oh, god, not THAT "c" word...

"All I said was `that piece of c******r was good enough for Jehovah`"

Thanks.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

"10 inch c******r"

I'm a USian. What's a 10 inch c*****r ? I can't think of any bad words that start with C and end with R. (but I'm always willing to learn new ones).

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Shocker: Net anarchist builds sneaky 220v USB stick that fries laptops

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Net anarchist?

"Leave one in the house, or wherever, labelled 'do not plug in'!"

Sounds like a good start to a lovely round of Office Hijinks.

1
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Fixing Windows 10: New build tweaks Edge, sucks in Skype

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Cortana

"Cortana apparently has new features..."

I'm guessing "turning the fucking thing off" isn't one of them? Seriously, why does MS make that such a bitch to do? Why do we need voice search on a PC that doesn't even have a microphone?

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MYSTERY PARTICLE BLASTS from Ceres strike NASA probe Dawn

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Bursts of energetic electrons

Maybe it's warning us to stop taking pictures of its lawn. After all, it moved 400+ million miles away so it could be escape Google's StreetView car.

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The pachyderm punch: El Reg takes just-over-a-ton Elephone P8000 to tusk

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Pocket Computers

So, eh, legitimate question here. I see these are on Ebay for $180 (for us USians), and judging by this review, they look like decent devices. So is it possible to buy one of these and never connect it to a phone network? Will the device have fits (or not work at all) if I don't provide it with a SIM card? $180 for a little pocket computer with no data bill sounds like a deal - something I could take around at work to check access point strength, telnet into switches/etc (no serial is a bummer, though). But would it actually work?

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Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: All together now

"But then; if it hadn't been this it would have been something else. Those seeking to find fault will always find one"

You know, if they had done something smart like given us the classic nested Start menu back, I think most of us would be more forgiving of the stuff like Cortana or the OneDrive issue or the horse-shit like non-removable XBox stuff (really, WTF???). But no, they couldn't do that. With all the programmers in the world, they couldn't figure out how to re-write the simple old Start menu from 1995. So those of us who skipped Windows 8 because of the crap Start screen, are really wondering where we're supposed to land now that Win10 is turning out to be crap too. Mac is OK, but it's no Windows. And as much as I appreciate Linux on my servers, it's even worse than Mac at doing the desktop stuff ( IMHO, of course. YMMV)

I installed Win10 on a test machine yesterday. Other than a lot of weird, new services running for no reason, it didn't look much different than Win8. Think I'll stick to my hacked-up Server2012 desktop for now.

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Volkswagen used software to CHEAT on AIR POLLUTION tests, alleges US gov

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: I know it's wrong

errrr, what? I said I wanted ONE, as a collector's item (which, admittedly, I didn't say in my original post). Not 500,000.

And, in general, no, I don't give a flying fuck, especially not when asked if I give a flying fuck.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

I know it's wrong

but knowing these cars are intentionally giving the finger to the government makes me want one.

2
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Scotsman cools PC with IRN-BRU, dubs it the 'Aye Mac'

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: So, not Irn-Bru

I've kept this link in my bookmarks for a few years, waiting for just the right time to tell the Missus I'm wanting to spend $300 for an uber-nerd clock...

http://www.ramseyelectronics.com/b/6313961011

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Fed-up sysadmins beg Microsoft to improve pisspoor Windows 10 update notes

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: On-premise sysadmins are dinosaurs

I was gonna downvote you, then realized, shit, you're right. Unless you're in an IT-centric industry, nobody cares what your IT dept. says. We've finally become the "computer janitors" of the company. I mean, we spend part of the day cleaning Windows, right?

I shoulda finished my welding degree...

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BOFH: Power corrupts, uninterrupted power corrupts absolutely

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Only me

"A huge array of compact floursecent lights could be a great low-efficiency heater."

Reminds me of my younger days as the maintenance helper at the local Sears and Roebuck's. There was no "heater" in the store's HVAC unit, all heat was supplied by the hundred or so fluorescent lighting fixtures in the drop ceiling, which, as normal, was also the return air duct. There was a chiller, though, that ran all year long, maintaining the temperature by removing more or less of the heat the lights radiated into area above the drop ceiling.

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