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* Posts by cordwainer 1

144 posts • joined 20 Jun 2009

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Google kills fake anti-virus app that hit No. 1 on Play charts

cordwainer 1

mturk maybe?

or a similar infinite-number-of-monkeys "service"?

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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

cordwainer 1
Thumb Up

Re: Yahoo shmahoo YES THIS

I'd like to make sure this point gets hammered home: A LOT of people who have AT&T as their ISP, or who originally signed up with one of the "baby bells" for Internet service, were assigned an address ending in yahoo.com This goes back at least 7 years, since I have notes about a customer in this very situation around that time, who started out with sbcglobal.net.

The people in this situation don't, by the way, necessarily use the yahoo web interface. I have dozens of customers who had their e-mail client set up by the same person who installed their AT&T DSL, and are completely unaware the server settings are pop.att.yahoo.com

By the way, att.yahoo.com STILL takes you to the AT&T email login, which is why what yahoo is doing is both particularly boneheaded, and likely also related to AT&T's usual stupidity, control-freakishness, and general untrustworthiness. Once a monopoly, always a monopoly, with monopolistic processes and complete blindness to the effects of their actions on others. Not to mention arrogant unconcern, which pretty much sums up Yahoo's attitude as well, not only toward their customers, but also toward their employees, as I recall.

So folks like jake who in their ignorance think certain domains should be discriminated against really rub me the wrong way. Come to think of it, bigots use a similar argument ("inferior people should have fewer rights than we superior ones"). And come to think again, bigotry is also a function of ignorance.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

cordwainer 1
Happy

Re: coding

Er....what about acronyms that include swearing? Or is RTFM appropriate because it's not spelled out? Or are Reg comments not a public venue?

OK, OK, I'm SMILING, really. I'm not the comments police. Nonetheless, there's no avoiding the fact RTFM is not exactly entirely unlike swearing and perhaps undercuts your point eeeeeeever so slightly?

Skål, c

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How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

cordwainer 1

Re: Logic doesn't enter into it

I wish I could give this a hundred upvotes. And unless you have any objection, I'm going to e-mail a copy to Microsoft :-)

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

cordwainer 1
Boffin

Re: Never 6ft away from pliers

"You are never 6ft away from a set of pliers...Unless you really need a set of pliers.

I have discovered a truly marvellous proof of this, which the comment box is too narrow to contain.

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Target IGNORED hacker alarms as crooks took 40m credit cards – claim

cordwainer 1

Re: Minor correction

Think of Target as equivalent to Walmart - except with a smaller selection of the same cheap merchandise, and most of it priced 30% to 60% higher than Walmart. Amazing what a slick advertising campaign can do.

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Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

cordwainer 1

Sounds more like a class action suit trigger...

By buyers of Dell computers against Dell for violation of antitrust law. Not sure if UK law is similar, but if this were to occur in the US, there might be a good argument to be made that PC buyers must be given the option of choosing a default browser - i.e., choosing an alternate browser to Internet Explorer - at no charge. Anti-monopolistic choice, whether of OS or non-optional software, is presumably mandatory thus must be free, not a source of profit for the manufacturer.

OK, yes, partly being snarky . . . but charging for providing a choice of web browsers simply doesn't seem kosher from any angle.

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cordwainer 1
Happy

Re: Sounds about right

This deserves a lot more upvotes . . . from doctors, for whom the final paragraph is an excellent model for the answer to be given to individuals asking for free medical advice, especially in the middle of some social function.

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How a Facebook post by blabbermouth daughter cost her parents $80,000

cordwainer 1

He and his wife were both allowed to know the details, but not his daughter....

Unfortunately, he admitted he knew he was not supposed to discuss the settlement with his daughter, but decided he "needed" to do so regardless, because she was a student at the school, and had allegedly experienced some retaliatory psychological trauma owing to his lawsuit....

However, while I agree completely the court cannot prevent spouses from sharing settlement information (they are the same legal entity for many purposes, after all), parents really need to get clear that there is NO requirement, or need, to share all adult matters with their children. Plenty of settlements - and jobs - prohibit communicating confidential data to family members. This is not cruel or unjust, nor do children have any inherent right - or genuine need - to know all details of their parents' financial or personal lives.

My opinion (admittedly based only on the news stories to date, as I have no personal interaction with these people) is the daughter is somewhat spoiled, and the parents responsible for this to a large extent owing possibly to their own sense of entitlement or feelings of social superiority. Readers might want to check out the Wikipedia article on the school, and review some of the controversy surrounding changes during Mr. Snay's tenure as Principal. It raises the question of whether his dismissal solely involved age discrimination, or whether there might have been other issues surrounding the school's desire to end his employment. Again, only an observation, as there is no real way to know, the details of the lawsuit (except for the daughter's immature indiscretions) still being mostly confidential.

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Retiring greybeards force firms to retrain Java, .NET bods as mainframe sysadmins

cordwainer 1

Re: in a free market there's no such thing as a skills shortage

. . .the third digit of the account code results in special processing ever third tuesday is lodged firmly in the heads of the support staff and nowhere else.

This is, indeed, the biggest problem I've encountered in a 30-year career. Worse, no matter how many times someone fails or forgets to tell a new IT hire some crucial detail, almost never is that detail added to internal documentation or training materials (assuming either even exists).

In my admittedly very personal opinion, and recognizing there are numerous exceptions:

It's a scathing indictment of the IT industry that with all the amazing developments on the "T" side, we fail so miserably at communicating the most basic "I", both to each other and the end users we support.

We can not blame non-IT management or budget cuts alone for IT professionals' continued problems communicating effectively with each other, nor repeated failures to document critical processes and procedures, then actually follow them.

I hesitate even to comment on the extent to which egos and territorialism have contributed to these problems. However, there is no doubt certain "historical" attitudes continue to bedevil us, and negatively affect others' overall impression of IT and those who labor in the field. Sadly, in far too many cases, IT staff have only themselves to blame for the lack of cooperation and support they receive from the non-IT side.

Certainly there are times when a business must change to meet the needs of an increasingly technological world. However, IT must move away from the attitude that the "latest and greatest" is always the best, or that business "should" or "must" alter itself to fit that technology. The emphasis of IT should always be the safety, integrity, and usability of Information, without which there would be no need at all for most of our shiny Technology.

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Bing Maps COCKUP: Oracle UK HQ is 'Elvis Impersonators' joint

cordwainer 1
Thumb Up

Re: Mislabelling

Oh, BraVO!

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Vile Twitter trolls thrown in the cooler for rape abuse tweet spree

cordwainer 1

Re: I'm waiting...

Your American "friends" (look that word up, by the way, and learn what it means) are not so generally stupid they defend harassment and threats as "free speech."

We are doing our best to fight bullies here, too. We have laws against assault, which includes verbal threats. We prosecute those who make threats of bodily harm electronically as well as face to face.

We understand the distinction between the First Amendment right to, say, criticize our government without being charged with a felony, and the crime of inciting others to assassinate a politician, or threatening to do so ourselves.

A minority may not. But then, you are also, in a minority. You are prejudiced. You judge an entire country based on the words of a few, and insult an entire citizenry based on a false supposition rather than explicit actions or actual comments.

Wait elsewhere, won't you? Perhaps under that rock with the other bullies...

Realizing some may think I'm overreacting....I'm simply so tired of the kind of comment to which I'm responding. In my experience, those who accuse others of being ABOUT to do something are usually abusers. Anyone who has dealt with bullies or abusers on a regular basis recognizes pre-accusation, often based on a single past mistake, as a common weapon in the arsenal of chronic harm. To an abuser, the victim is always guilty, partly because the victim cannot ever prove perpetual innocence.

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Mars One's certain-death space jolly shortlists 1,000 wannabe explorers

cordwainer 1
Paris Hilton

Unfortunately, those who like making videos of themselves...

Are likely the worst candidates for a trip of this kind. The extroverts who thrive on social interaction, and the narcissists who make up the bulk of those who appear on reality shows, are particularly ill suited to long periods of isolation and solitude, much less the discipline required to complete the same - often tedious - essential tasks every single day.

Fortunately, this appears to be more of a money-making entertainment stunt. Any "winners" would probably run away, screaming, if a genuine mission ever materialized. In the meantime, they still get the 15 minutes they so desperately desire, without having to do the actual work. Pity.

Paris, because her video would no doubt be extremely....er....well, extremely.

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ROBOT SWARM positions itself over EARTH ... to probe our magnetic field

cordwainer 1
Happy

Four magnetic poles...

So we'll have to change it to "the Eight Corners of the Earth", then?

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Security researcher Cédric 'Sid' Blancher dead at 37

cordwainer 1

A better translation....and a question

Makes it clear a number of skydivers agreed Blancher made an error by taking the low turn too fast. It's unclear to me, though, whether there is an implication Blancher intentionally tried to push the limits, or was accidentally going too fast.

Loose translation of the president's statement is: a number of experienced skydivers confirmed Blancher ignored safety precautions (failed to make a safe turn) because he was going too fast (survitesse meaning "overspeed") for the final maneuver, a virage bas, i.e., low turn.

The statement specifically notes it was a "voluntary" maneuver - i.e., the fast, low turn wasn't the result of, say, a gust of wind or equipment failure - and is equally specific that too-high speed is the reason the maneuver failed.

However, perhaps a native French speaker could clear up whether there IS, also, an implication Blancher might have been hot dogging? Or is the president simply saying Blancher made an error, and failed inadvertently to achieve a recommended safe speed before the turn?

I ask because one commenter on Courrier Picard felt the president's statement was "indecent" and "distressing" - and further said he hoped the president had been misquoted, as otherwise the statement was "unworthy" of a representative of a formal skydiving "league".

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Microsoft advertises Surface, Excel with maths mistake

cordwainer 1

Quite easy...

If you actually know how to do an import, and perform all the steps, including the one where you view the columns, and can change the format of any or all BEFORE you click Finish. Try clicking "Next" sometime, until you run out of "Next" buttons, and read what's on the screen.

That said, however: per my longer comment, it is pretty ridiculous that Excel doesn't pop up a leading-zeroes or long-number warning when one clicks "Finish."

Not everyone is going to be intimately familiar with the data being imported. More to the point, data is not always completely clean.

There's nothing stupider than software that after this many years still fails to tag common, repeated, well-known import errors.

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cordwainer 1
Unhappy

Part of the problem there is data import....

Where the person opening a delimited file, or importing it into Excel:

1) Doesn't know enough to customize the import - taking the extra step to define certain columns as "Text" or something other than rather than the default "General" (there can be numerous reasons they are ignorant as to the need for this);

and/or

2) Doesn't know the data well enough to realize there are leading zeroes in it.

Re: 2) zip codes and postal codes regularly have leading zeroes, and anyone who learns Excel or who claims to be an "expert" user should know the General format will truncate these during import.

A good deal of the problem derives from failure to grasp the difference between a database and a spreadsheet, meaning Excel is too often employed in aid of tasks for which it it was not originally designed, and for which it is not the best choice, e.g., for mailing and contact lists.

However, it's nonetheless ridiculous Excel's import routine doesn't deal with leading zeroes in some intelligent way, such as ASKING the user about them during import, or giving a warning when the user clicks "Finish". Maybe a quick pop-up noting leading zeroes exist, and will be removed unless the column format is changed to Text? Giving users a "Go back" button, allowing them to fix the problem before finalizing the import? How hard would that be, really?

On a larger level, this is only a small example of how "User friendly" simply isn't. Microsoft certainly doesn't care to change that, and neither does the IT industry as a whole, given that truly user-friendly hardware and software tends to reduce profits.

Yes I'm cynical, but only because it's so often true.

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'It's a joke!' ... Bill Gates slams Mark Zuckerberg's web-for-the-poor dream

cordwainer 1

Re: "helplessly watching a child die"

Correct overall...but the problem is, too much of the developed world believes self-sufficiency and education are inextricably linked to industry and technology.

However, I'd probably agree with you if I knew for certain that your idea of "education" includes things such as affordable and sustainable farming and animal husbandry....or how to make a solar stove in order to cook and boil/sterilize water where no firewood is available, and certainly no kitchen facilities....or changing cultural habits for the better (to lower or eliminate disease, famine, tribal warfare, etc.) WITHOUT being required to give up valued traditions and ways of life....giving people the education and information they really need, not judging them inferior to we purportedly "civilized" folks, or being so bigoted we believe they must do things our way...and so on.

Gates pre-marriage history shows him to be a leeeeetle bit of a hypocrite, since he was well known, for a long time, as being one of the very few billionaires in the world who gave nothing to charity...did NO philantrophy whatsoever. Good for him now, but one can't help but remember that prior to Melinda, our Bill ignored the myriad articles and people who suggested he make at least a couple of charitable contributions every now and then.

Nonetheless, Gates was never so deluded he believed his "mission" was to sell DOS or Windows to every person in the world...or that it was even close to the "most important" task he needed to accomplish in his lifetime.

Whereas Zuckerberg is so immature and self-absorbed, he doesn't seem to grasp the basics of human existence. He seems not to "get" that the vast majority of human beings need food, shelter, medical care, etc. much more than they need to be on the Internet, or even own a computing device.

And if we haven't been able to solve those basics after hundreds of generations of recorded history...how hubristic must Zuck be to think getting 7+ billion people online by the end of his estimated life span is even possible?

Sadly, he's not the only person who fails at humane prioritizing. The developed nations and their middle to upper classes are increasingly out of touch with worldwide realities, including the harsh global truth that billions live in abject poverty, millions starve to death annually, and every day thousands die for lack of access to basic health care and crucial medication.

Of course, the "wealthy" nations have a lot of practice at ignoring unpleasant facts, including the unacceptably large percentages of their own population who must be numbered with the poor, hungry, and sick.

Perhaps instead of pursuing larger market share and personal profit while pretending he is attempting to benefit others, Zuck the Schmuck could spend some of his leisure time interacting with a few non-millionaires. Hang out with some minimum-wage workers, say. Or spend his next vacation volunteering and working in a culture as much unlike his own sheltered, pampered, privileged life as possible.

Maybe then he might gain some genuine perspective....adjust his priorities to be more in line with real needs....

But I won't be holding my breath.

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Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

cordwainer 1
Angel

Re: Floppy disk -- I've got one in the car

Reel men had two big round ones and a long, stiff leader.

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Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

cordwainer 1
Happy

Re: I've said it before

"Clueless cockwomble" has just been added to my list of favorite invectives.

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'Microsoft Word is a tyrant of the imagination'

cordwainer 1
Stop

Re: right on @mike acker

Unless he turned off the auto-capitalization feature, given it often can't tell the difference between a sentence and other character strings containing periods/full stops.

Or had turned off auto-correct entirely, being tired of, say, trying to type an abbreviation such as "BMW" only to find MS Word has helpfully "corrected" it to "Bmw".

Or unless he turned off the "Check spelling..." option, being tired of distracting red underlines in documents containing perfectly good words the built-in dictionary doesn't happen to know (you don't work in biological research or advanced science, do you?)

I don't care for misspellings either, believe in rules of grammar, do my best to write well. However, this is an informal online forum, and contributors are often in a hurry.

Sure, I'll be one of the first to point and jeer at a mistake in an edited, proofread, professional publication.

But suggesting someone run their comment through a word processor before posting seems a bit cruel. If there is anywhere we should be allowed freedom from the tyranny and repression of exposure to buggy, crashing applications, it is here. A time and place to rest and recover from the software beating we take elsewhere.

Also: Vive l'orthographe créative!

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Down with Unicode! Why 16 bits per character is a right pain in the ASCII

cordwainer 1

Re: The historical accident of little-endian

Even as a non-programmer gasping for air attempting to follow these comments, I at least understand the difference between scanning that number right-to-left as opposed to left-to-right.

If one were going to approach it as a mathematical amateur - i.e., insert the commas that mark off the 1000s - one can not count off from the left three numbers at a time. One must start at the right and insert the commas every three numbers.

Yes, one can count them all, but why would one? Doing it right-to-left is how the average person would divide up the number so it made sense.

For example, it's how most non-programmers and non-mathmaticians approach a number such as 10000000. Quick, is it 1 million or 10 million? Go right-to-left 3 digits at a time, and you'll know a lot faster than if you try to approach it left-to-right

Anyway, that's what I got from the comment, and so when you write, "...that makes no sense", I have to say, "Uh, yes, it does make sense". It may not be how YOU do it, and it may not be how an "expert" does it. But it does make sense.

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Oh, shoppin’ HELL: I’m in the supermarket of the DAMNED

cordwainer 1
WTF?

Re: Where do you shop? "My little pony"

Why sad? Why shouldn't a boy like My Little Pony? Shouldn't children of any age be allowed to develop likes and dislikes and enjoy an imaginary and fantasy life without worrying about whether it meets with an adult's approval, or conforms to adult sensibilities and/or prejudices?

Your comment seems either age-ist or sexist, or both, but certainly not logical, and definitely lacking in the compassion and open-mindedness one would hope a teacher would embody and exemplify. Rebuttal welcome, of course, if you feel it's defensible.

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Teen buys WikiLeaks server for $33,000 – with dad's eBay account

cordwainer 1

Re: Ah the stupid

Or the kid was smart enough to turn off the easy-to-find setting that determines whether an e-mail is sent when a Buyer is outbid...Or the kid entered 33,000 at the beginning, and the 8 bids were actually autobids, not ones he entered himself...Or the father had changed his settings so he wouldn't get a zillion e-mails at every stage of the bidding process, being an adult who is smart enough to know when the auction ends, and doesn't need constant reminders clogging up his inbox...

There are any number of reasons the Dad would have no warning. I'm more curious about why the son had access to the eBay account in the first place.....did Dad tell him the username and password? Did the son guess it?

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cordwainer 1

Re: You Sure?

The "owned by Elvis Presley" example you give doesn't seem likely to be a trademark issue. It's not trademark infringement to state, factually, that a collectible item you are selling was previously owned by a famous person.

The key word there is "factually." The more specific key word is, "provenance," i.e., you had damned well be able to prove that particular Cadillac WAS owned by Elvis himself.

That said: I suppose it's possible Elvis Presley's estate threatened to sue eBay, or some other venue, or sellers of Elvis collectibles, and perhaps prevailed in an unusual copyright or trademark ruling, which prohibited the use of Elvis Presley's name in certain commercial contexts, including perhaps sales of items formerly owned by Presley.

But I'd like to see a copy of an actual court judgment if so. I'd also appreciate it if you'd point me to the part of U.S. Trademark law that states one needs permission simply to state the history of an item one is selling.

What is much more likely is that at one time 99% of the Elvis Presley memorabilia being auctioned on eBay was counterfeit, meaning thousands of buyers were cheated, leading eBay to change its own policies in response. I haven't checked, but it's at least possible eBay might prohibit sales/auctions of items said to be associated with Elvis simply to prevent fraud.

It's even more likely sellers claiming their item was once owned by some guy in a sparkly suit who sang 'Hound Dog' are referring to their Uncle Murray who did Elvis imitations at family parties. Counterfeiting is common - muzzling of free and truthful speech by trademark law not so common, despite some admittedly insane court rulings that might lead one to believe we don't even own our own names.

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Billionaire engineer Ray Dolby, 80, dies at home in San Francisco

cordwainer 1

Re: Blinded Me with Science

Or to paraphrase: "He Deafened Me With Silence"

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Wanna boost app speed? Think of the server, and tune 'er to NUMA

cordwainer 1

Ohhhhh....now I get it

I thought this had something to do with tuning into the NUMA NUMA guy. I should have known better. Wall Street has no sense of humor, or human feelings.

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Pair of complete tits sorry for pervy app

cordwainer 1

Re: You should only apologize for behaviour you can control

I don't think there's any reason for men to apologize for automatically staring at breasts, or any other feature....as long as they are not so crass as to stare for long periods of time, or while simultaneously making crude comments. Discourtesy is never acceptable, and overt, offensive behavior IS in fact controllable, and should be apologized for. I agree, though, that male or female, no human being can help being attracted to certain visual stimuli, nor should they have to apologize for being attracted...so long as their attraction doesn't affect the object being observed.

However, men (and women, to be balanced) CAN control whether or not they program/code a breast-gazing app, considering such behavior is obviously not instinctive, or autonomic, or even learned. It was simply a stupid, ill-considered non-joke. And, sorry, but huge numbers of women ARE getting really, really weary of being treated as brainless objects and inferior human beings, and having such things shoved in their faces in public forums.

More to the point: While Batts and Boulton certainly have every right to present whatever they wish (I'm a firm believer in freedom of speech, regardless of my feelings about what's conveyed)....

Their fitness to run a startup, and wisely use investors' money, IS nonetheless a valid question if their judgment and organization skills are so poor they (1) failed to complete their alleged "initial idea" presentation in time (missed a professional deadline) and (2) decided a "last minute mock-up" of an adolescent concept was in any way an acceptable or professional substitute for a real presentation.

That behavior was, again, easily controllable. And based on their antics, I'd sure as hell want to go over their business plan with a fine tooth comb before investing in any venture they initiated.

There are boundaries between "public" and "private" - between "personal" and "professional". Those incapable of recognizing where those boundaries lie need to learn the difference, and fast. Meaning if Batts and Boulton want their startup to succeed, they need to take this particular lesson to heart.

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Canadian family gives up modern tech to live like it's 1986

cordwainer 1

Re: Re:80's?

In 1986, yes, you COULD have all those things. But those who did were still a tiny minority . . . and it wasn't cheap. I seem to remember one company I worked for getting a quote on an IBM PC/AT in late 1984 or early 1985 of $10,000. It had 512KB of RAM and a 40MB hard drive, and as most of you already know, those are not typos.

Your average family today owns some form of computing device. Your average family in the mid-80s was barely aware of them, if at all, despite some TV advertisements now recognized as classics. But actually owning one wasn't on most people's radar. Even small businesses were hesitant to invest in a PC, given it was, at that time, likely to be a capital investment.

Mid-1980s, at most of the temp jobs I worked, the company was still using typewriters. Granted, some of them were word-processing typewriters (a hideous combination of all the worst qualities of both technologies), but most were plain old electric typewriters jazzed up with built-in correction tape so you could at least auto-white-out a certain number of mistyped characters. Those of you who never typed a college term paper on a manual, non-correcting typewriter have no idea what a luxury that seemed at the time.

And, no, I'm not really, really old. I'm 52, and finished college while working part-time and during the summer. I did, later on, have access at home to a Commodore 128 and a PC running MS-DOS 3...an Osborne, Kaypro and, still later, a Mac SE I could use anytime at the university . . . a semester on the DEC VAX . . . and a few temp jobs where the company had invested in one or more computers (including a rather depressing couple of months cold-calling prospects in hopes they'd purchase a Wang). And, yes, I remember WordPerfect fondly, and still believe it beats the swinging hell out of Word, even without the WYSIWHG.

But a mullet? That's just scary.

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Forget Mars: Let's get someone on the Moon – NASA veteran

cordwainer 1
Joke

Re: Lets go!!

According to Gary Larson, "Kemosabe: Apache expression for a horse's rear end . . ."

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'WTF! MORONS!' Yahoo! Groups! redesign! traumatises! users!

cordwainer 1

Re: What! Is! This! Yahoo! Of! Which! You! Speak?!

FROM: Yahoo! Legal

RE: Misuse of Trademark Symbology; Dilution of Brand; Irreverent Punctuation

Dear Mr. Martian:

Pursuant to Article 7, Subsection XI, Subparagraph Q of the Yahoo! Press Room Style Guide, we are writing to inform you use of Yahoo!'s Trademarked exclamation point (the "Yahoosteria Ultima") is governed by U.S. Law, the Internet Highway Contract of Carriage, and international punctuative regulatory agencies.

Per the Y!.P.R.S.G., any headline, sentence, or other word group containing the Yahoo! corporate name must conform strictly to usage rules for the Y.U. itself. Specifically, ". . . neither the Y.U. nor any exclamatory indicator within [any] syntactical grouping may be preceded by a character other than the concluding alphanumeric of the immediately previous discrete word-analog character string."

Consequently, not only is your title mis-punctuated with regard to standard query construction, it is in violation of the Terms and Conditions of the Y!.P.R.S.G., to which all publicly published materials and commentary must conform.

We believe your improper ordering of punctuatorial markage, in combination with inclusion of a mark similar to the Yahoosteria Ultima which concludes our mark, in proximity to our mark, has the potential to cause confusion among consumers and our customers.

While the purpose of this letter is to make you aware of your error, please be advised any further malformation related to the Yahoo! trademark may result in legal action on our part including, but not limited to, punitive damages or remedial English classes.

Regards!

Carlton Smyth

Yahoo! Assistant! General! Counsel!

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cordwainer 1
Headmaster

Re: @Turtle Insight.

Would that be "paring" as in shaving off unwanted bits until only the edible portion remains? [burp]

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Hypersonic 'scramjet' aims for Mach 8 test flight

cordwainer 1

Re: Are you staring at my tail pipe?

True, attitude is the correct term...also true the line "Are you staring at my tail pipe?" did make me smile briefly. Especially since everyone knows a jet with real attitude would simply say, "Oi! 'ands off me nozzle!"

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Anatomy of a killer bug: How just 5 characters can murder iPhone, Mac apps

cordwainer 1
Pint

Re: BLIT

I was so, so tempted to reply, "Don't be a blittering idiot."

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Canadian comet impact fingered for triggering prehistoric climate shift

cordwainer 1

LOL, I also read that initially as if there were a comma after "animals."

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iPad classes for DOGS offered in New York

cordwainer 1
Facepalm

Uh....

quote: They're not children. You can't give them a fucking iPad and let them entertain themselves.

If you really think that's OK for children, then you shouldn't have kids either.

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Boffins lay bare exotic Lara Croft meteorite element ununpentium

cordwainer 1

They should call it Ponderous man...

Really Ponderous.

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Kim Kardashian's bosom pal in bling snatch Instagram unpleasantness

cordwainer 1
Happy

A rich guy with class . . .

Would have helped the mugger remove the watch and said, "No need to cause a scene, my good man. Here, take it. And good riddance, hideous thing. What WAS I thinking?"

I can't answer for others here, but I'm betting the majority have more sense than to play tug-of-war with a mugger who might have a knife or a gun or be a total psychopath. Me? I say, it's just a thing, no matter how expensive. Let them have it. It's not worth risking my life, the one item I can't replace. Not to mention pesky laws noting self defsnse only comes into play when one's actual self is threatened with injury or death.

And speaking of death, $500,000 would go a long way toward preventing quite a lot of suffering and it....and that's where you might want to look up "envious" in the dictionary, because I'm not sure you know what it means.

"A lot" of people here are genuinely depressed and/or appalled at how many wealthy individuals like Cheban seem to think simply having and spending large sums of money is something to brag about. Whereas in reality, inheriting millions then blowing a great wad of it on a shiny thing to wave around is not an achievement.

I don't know exactly what it IS. Except what's clear from history is that inability to grasp the real-world value of that kind of money, and the lack of perspective such a purchase reveals, are all too often indicators of underlying pathology, at the very least some kind of mild mental illness or psychological impairment. It's unhealthy, and robs them of the ability to recognize when their behavior might lead to serious harm, whether to themselves or others.

Oh, you're right when you say it's not a crime. Not legally. But you have to remember: the mindset behind such an action - the decision to waste an enormous investment that could accomplish something of genuine value, even if only in that individual's own life - is the equivalent of a crime in most belief systems and many social systems. Religion I suppose would call it "sin" instead, though whether "greed" or "vanity" I leave for others to debate.

If you object to the mention of sin, I must reply (somewhat childishly), "you started it" by accusing other commenters of the mortal sin of envy. Nonsense. The majority of comments criticizing Mr. Cheban merely point out (albeit with a good deal of disbelief and contempt) that spending the sum in question on an item such as the one shown can in no way be considered an "accomplishment", at least not one a completely sane or mature person would take pride in.

Any halfway rational adult would instead be embarrassed to admit he was so badly conned by a salesman, or a bit of clever marketing, and that he let himself be ripped off so royally. A fully rational adult would seek help.

4
2

Study finds online commentards easily duped, manipulated

cordwainer 1
Go

Re: Good job, guys!

No. Really? :-D

(Testing, testing: will "humorously sarcastic retort" proponents and opponents be likewise equally divided?)

1
1

Jokes of no more than 2 lines

cordwainer 1

A priest, a rabbi and a leprechaun walk into a bar.

The leprechaun looks around and says, "Saints preserve us! I'm in the wrong joke!"

0
0

MYSTERY of 19th-century DEAD WALRUS found in London graveyard

cordwainer 1
Happy

Gesundheit.

1
0

You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY

cordwainer 1
Stop

What part of NO AUTOPLAY ANYTHING don't web designers get...

considering it has been listed as one of the Top Ten NoNos in every "Dos and Don'ts of Web Design" article for the past 20 years?

NO autoplaying video. (I use Click-To-Plugin myself. Nothing plays, or even loads so much as a preview frame, unless I want it to.)

No autoplaying music. (I listen to music often, with headphones, while I work. Aside from some moronic site interrupting one of my favorite songs, and my concentration to boot, the commenters who noted the volume of "surprise" audio is usually painfully high are absolutely right.)

No autoplaying voices. I know how to read. (And the product the speaker is so excited about is usually a scam anyway.)

Any site that manages to slip ANY autoplay item past AdBlock and Click-to-Plugin gets specifically blocked. Permanently.

Extreme? Look, the world has become a constantly noisy place. It's one of the reasons so many of us are irritable all the time. We're bombarded everywhere we go.

Silence really has become worth its weight in gold, and 1000 times rarer.

4
0

UK discovers Huawei UK staff auditing Huawei kit: Govt orders probe

cordwainer 1
Big Brother

Re: General Principles

"The United States is no longer a normal civilized democracy. People, including U.S. Citizens, can be whisked off by the government to Guantanamo without due process and held there indefinitely, while any incriminating documents are somehow "lost."

"The NSA believes it is acceptable to spy on anyone in the world, including its own citizens, also without probable cause, warrants, or due process - yet hypocritically, along with Great Britain, believes the alleged "right" to collect any and all information, secretly, and keep it indefinitely, should be reserved only for "democracies" that would never DREAM of abusing it.

"Of course, thanks to the many holes in their systems, and the numerous leaks, no agency such as the NSA can give credible assurances that vulnerabilities haven't been designed into its equipment - even if the threat may still be overblown at present because of the technical difficulty of not getting caught (thanks to whistleblowers such as Snowden).

"In the future, though, much more insidious vulnerabilities and abuses of legal and democratic processes and human rights may be possible."

There - fixed that for you.

7
0

Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

cordwainer 1

Re: If car manufacturers were to do the same...

That comment would seem to imply that a desktop computer and a mobile device are analogous, to the point having the same interface makes sense. However, it's pretty clear they are not. Just because a mobile device such as a smartphone - or even some tablets - performs certain computing functions doesn't make it a personal computer.

All are tools which perform certain tasks and functions, some more complex than others, some requiring greater processing power...and some requiring a completely different interface for smoothest use.

But what's even MORE worrisome about Windows 8 than the dumbed down previously-Metro interface is how much functionality and how many features were also ripped out from UNDER the hood. It isn't just a matter of looks, or, to use the automobile analogy, paddle shifters instead of the standard stick. There are some serious changes to the underlying code and how Windows handles routine tasks, including many worrying omissions, that make Windows 8 unsuitable for a majority of professional and business environments, and even a huge number of home users.

Maybe, just maybe, if everyone used computers only for email, web browsing, and word processing, having a "consistent" interface, or dumbing down the OS to such an extent would make sense.

But anyone who uses their desktop computer as a heavy-duty tool for dozens or hundreds of tasks - from system administration to desktop publishing to gene sequencing - will be not only frustrated but balked by Windows 8. No matter how much one might TRY to like it, adjust to it, slap third-party interfaces on top of it....it simply can't handle much of what Windows has historically handled. It WILL trip up experienced Windows users at some point, regardless of their level of expertise.

The anger at Microsoft is specifically at their boneheaded assumption that users as a whole care more about form than function, and that "one size fits all." Sorry, MS, but most of us still care more that we be able to get our work done, work that comes in millions of sizes and shapes....and in Windows 8, you've failed even to get function right.

Showing bad form in the interface and with regard to customer feedback is merely the insult added to the functional injury - one Microsoft is obviously trying desperately to hide.

2
1
cordwainer 1
Coffee/keyboard

Re: Search as primary means of navigation?

"the 83-speed gearbox is in the back seat; the steering wheel is hidden in the glovebox and there's 3 anchors and a parachute hanging off the back.

made me laugh out loud (which in a house that had been otherwise silent for over an hour scared the daylights out of the cat, thanks a lot...pardon me while I fetch the stepladder and attempt to detach the feline from the ceiling.)

7
0

Trick-cyclist's claim: I have FOUND how to get GIRLS INTO TECH

cordwainer 1

Re: Big deal, I can get tech into girls ..

Nicho's comment didn't refer to a woman's "sexuality." It referred to women as if they were, all in all, nothing more than a few handy orifices into which objects can be inserted.

"Objectifying" a human being means acting or speaking of them as if they have no brain or mind, no intellect or ability, but are only an object to be used for a physical purpose.

Whereas sexuality is a combination of the physical, mental and, for many people, the spiritual - sexuality is not a synonym for sexual activity, but a term referring to every aspect of one's intimate physical feelings and relationships - whether or not batteries are included.

Those who clam Nicho's comment is actually "objectifying" men rather than women are ignoring who is controlling the "getting into" part, and who is being treated as a brainless hole.

1
0

Flash flaw potentially makes every webcam or laptop a peephole

cordwainer 1
Go

Re: Surprise! > Chrome

There are not only PPC but also Intel Macs still running OS 10.5 Leopard, and even 10.4 Tiger. Chrome won't work on those either as it requires OS 10.6 minimum.

Fortunately, however, many of those Macs are still vulnerable to the Java exploit that must be manually dealt with in older OS versions. So while users may not get the exhibitionist enjoyment of being secretly voyeured via webcam, they can still look forward to other forms of clandestine computer control :-D

1
0

Apple reveals payouts for parents of in-app purchase nippers

cordwainer 1

Re: My darling daughter

Completely agree with your reply, nicely stated. (Though I admit to mixed emotions with regard to the original comment, given there ARE parents who do such genuinely appalling things even I sometimes wish a parenting license existed.)

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