96 posts • joined 3 Nov 2009
I bought my own chair, best $150 ever spent
I spend more time in my seat at work than anywhere else on the planet. I realized that my arse and back deserved far better than the cheap task chair my company provided. I found a comfy leather chair with multiple adjustment points and it changed my life! The extra comfort and custom fit really makes the day better.
DON'T WAIT! Spring a few bucks for a good chair for yourself, it's totally worth it. Over the life of the chair so far, mine works out to about $5.00/month. That's 1/20th of what I pay for my smartphone.
It's pretty cool too that an IT geek has a nicer chair than the CEO, lol...
Option to disable cr-apps is decent compromise
My new S5 droid came with much bloatware on it, and my lip curled to snarl nastily as I stared at them all. And then I saw it... the option to disable any individual app I wanted. Now Facebook, et. al. are gray and silent, no spying or battery drain. I can actually disable necessary services, oops. I also like the "close all" feature to shut down recently used apps.
Someone may actually be listening to us, I wasn't expecting to be given such control over the partnerware. It's a good balance between partner deals and user experience. With the bloatware tamed, I'm loving this thing, where I was always playing process wack-a-mole on my old Moto.
Re: No worries
Don't forget the neckband-mounted wearables!! (colloquially known as the iSlave collar)
The single FAIL point for most business plans...
...is how they expect us to buy their New Shiny Thing (or "upgrade" software) just because they made it. Auto makers did this for years, expecting us to trade in and buy new forever.
For most people, if it's working for them, they won't replace it, whatever it is. Amazes me that business types so ardently ignore this fact.
Also, notice what rotten cars they made during the Planned Obsolescence years? Might this apply to tablets and such? After all, if you're expected to replace it in two years, why bother making it rock-solid good? Just sayin'...
Beware the Ultra-Macho Fist!
Traditional hand-grabs give one the opportunity to crush the other party's fingers to show what a STRONG, MANLY handshake one has. I suppose if you want to do that with a fist you simply punch the other party as hard as you can?
Shakes and bumps are so impersonal. French cheek kissing, FTW!
Nicely avoids random UI changes!
Seniors (and I'm not far behind) got used to devices that did a certain function and kept doing it.One learns how to use the thing and then it's all gravy.Smartphones change all the bloody time, usually for no good reason.
Handset makers and carriers think nothing of the constant learning curve they inflict on their users. Well, the users don't think much of them, and that's going to keep feature phones alive forever.
Example: Our users have Exchange e-mail on their phones. We enforce password changes, so the phone has to be regularly updated. A recent Android update moved the Exchange password setting from FOUR menu levels deep to EIGHT levels deep. Yep, a common corporate setting got worse, not better.
Smartphones are terrible in a lot of ways. Feature phones will die when fax machines do, lol...
Will that be hanging or drowning, sir?
There IS no ISP competition! Crap Service A or B, how is that a choice? People leave them constantly! It does no good, since they only go to another crap ISP that someone else just fired, and the average number of subscribers does not significantly change.
Which Guy out of thousands...?
Crackable or not, this is worth doing!
Let's assume the Feds note everyone who downloads Tor et. al and puts them on the Naughty list. You become one of thousands of people in Guy Fawkes masks. They would have to "remove the mask" from each of us, one by one, finding Nothing Much again and again. Right now it's easy to link us together and everything about us with a few clicks. The harder it gets, the less they will examine any one of us.
Where's the Fawkes mask icon when you need it?
Another solution in search of a problem
Sales are low simply because nobody really wants one. Done! What's so hard to understand? They won't sell until they offer enough usefulness for a good price.
Smartphone screens are barely large enough for most tasks already (which also drives tablet usage). The tiny screen of a smartwatch is horrible for most of what people use tablets and smartphones for. Try navigating with one, watching a video, reading a full-page document. The so-called convenience of having it glommed to your arm isn't worth the things you lose in that tiny form factor.
It's typical of tech companies these days. Wow, we invented something to make us rich! Why isn't everyone buying it? It's the future, you HAVE to buy it even if the old skull widgets still work fine! Gah...
Gives it all away in her own words
"we are having a great national conversation and debate about exactly how to manage privacy concerns".
No debate about total unwarranted surveillance of US citizens. No, only about how to MANAGE PRIVACY CONCERNS. In her own words, they're only concerned with how to make us worry less about having our privacy raped away.
Yeah, great choice. "Special Counsel on Minimizing Public Reaction to Privacy Violations".
Re: Google cars are obviously recognizable!?
People with dash cams don't post the footage online in a universally-searchable form. Google does.
How the nice guys have fallen...
It's interesting to me that these are all companies I used to really like. They made great products to meet pressing needs, made my life happier. That was then.
Now they make mediocre products designed to lock down their customers and prevent competition. In their incredible hubris, they decided they could stifle competition for good employees too. I doubt it happens, but I hope they're each fined billions. Arrogant bastards.
Innovative business model!
Come on folks, stop ripping the poor telcos. They've found a brilliant business model to pursue!
Sell internet access. Brag about high speeds and streaming movies to sell contracts. Then complain about how customers are actually using the service and institute bandwidth limits and data caps. Meanwhile, demand money from those who produce the content (it's not the telcos) which made the internet access worth having in the first place.
Eventually, they hope to charge us for internet service without having to actually deliver anything. They will also charge the content providers for the right to have their content offered to - but not delivered to - customers. Money rolling in from all directions, and they can simply disconnect the cable and fire their support staff to save even more money.
Doesn't it sound like that's where they want to go? Making good on promises is so troublesome, much easier to break them...
Pure protectionism, folks
"The question I have for the hotels is this: are you also OK with..." COMPETITION?
No, none of the existing business models want competition. They want to have their income stream nice and safe without pesky upstarts stealing their business and forcing their prices down. It's what they buy politicians for. Any mouthings about insurance and taxes are just "think of the children!" distraction. The cab companies want the disruptive startup crushed.
Here in Georgia, we only recently struck down laws against ordering wine online. That was some local protectionism for the alcohol distributors, took years to get rid of. They're all the same.
Meh, these always backfire anyway...
Incredibly stupid bill, no doubt.
I'm not worried though. These kinds of laws tend to injure few if any people in meaningful ways. What they DO is allow non-bigots to identify religiously oppressive businesses to deny custom (and profit) to. The first business to use such a law will probably be shamed online so quick they issue frantic apologies within hours of the rotten publicity. It always happens like that.
Nukes are hard, Cyberwar is easy - no comparison!
Leaving aside the fact that governments are going to run roughshod over their citizens' rights for power no matter what we want...
It's still quite difficult to make nukes or bioweapons. One needs serious specialty equipment and a nice lab somewhere. Any a-hole can knock together cyberweapons on a decent-spec home computer. Anti-nuke-proliferation tactics simply won't apply to cyber attacks. Totally different class of threat and availability.
Back to governments giving us some privacy and freedom... what the hell would they do THAT for? They want total access and control, they don't care about you or me. Yes, I'm calling him naive...
Glass is Google's Eye O' Sauron
You're all missing the obvious., Glass is Google's wandering spy eye to gather all the info on everything and sell it. It's creepy for anyone but the wearer.
I don't want a Google Eye pointed at me either. I would be MUCH cooler about a device that's not tied to a private spy agency that believes I have no right to privacy of any kind.
Sounds like not much has changed since I was a courier in 1990 (Washington, DC). Too many drivers, not enough work, no benefits, expendable and treated that way. After a month of breaking even, I quit. I did much better delivering pizza, which paid the bills nicely. Also drove half the miles, never had to scrape for parking in busy streets, etc.
I laughed like crazy over their breathless "changing the world" line. It's a bottom feeder courier job, what's new about those?
The Mach 5 revisited!
Wow, am I the only one who remembers? Speed Racer's car had a remote-controlled drone almost 50 years ago. Granted that it was only a cartoon, but this ain't a new concept. That was my favorite feature of the Mach 5... but not in the real world! Recipe for disaster in the hands of the public.
Missing the bloody obvious...
"The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to know what they think about an issue, I’ll pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance"
Did he miss the part where the phone call IS surveillance by the NSA? Does the Big-O think it's an automatic-meeting-minutes feature? BWAHAHAHA!!!
In favor of: Duckduckgo in my case
Duckduckgo seems to give me more relevant hits than Google these days, plus the many anti-spy benefits. If I can't find what I need there I'll try another search, but DDG finds me what I want 95% of the time.
At first I thought I was getting fewer hits on search terms, but then I realized I had fewer bogus hits than Google throws up. Your mileage may vary...
Russians assembly line: Radial Keratotomy
The Rooskies pioneered radial keratotomy, used for that assembly-line trick. They made a starburst of cuts in the cornea with a diamond knife. Still used for some patients, though the laser methods have mostly taken over.
Unlike most folks I have a HIGH corrective index (glasses/contacts not optional to get around) and eye surgery would make a huge difference to me. I've been tempted since RK first came out, but I have yet to find a procedure that I'm willing to trust my eyeballs to. I went as far as an appointment once, but the unskilled drone who did my "evaluation" wasn't qualified to sort rocks in a quarry, much less determine eye surgery.
The mountaineer was Beck Weathers, miracle survivor of the 1996 Everest disaster. I believe his problem was the low pressure more than the cold, but he was nearly blind when he came down. "Into Thin Air" is a great account of that BTW.
Random passwords for the masses!
I'm an IT geek for a 40-person non-profit. The usual password advice only confused my users - now which character got replaced with a number? The ones that did it couldn't remember them.
I'm sure I did NOT invent this, but nobody seems to talk about it so here we go. Pick a sentence! Movie quotes, lines from books, everyone knows a few. Then take the first character (or pair) from each word, add punctuation at the end, capitalize the first letter. Instant long random password, easy to recall.
Here's one you all know: "These aren't the droids you're looking for". Password becomes Tharthdryolofo! You do not have to remember the password itself, only the phrase.
Last time I checked, no cracker dictionary included this sort of thing. Hack-resistant and user-friendly!
Re: USA FREEDOM Act. - basic propaganda tactic
Old skull trick. Name your horrible legislation something warm and fuzzy that nobody can disagree with. What, you're not a PATRIOT? You don't believe in FREEDOM? You evil anarchist!!!
It's the other side of the coin from Demonizing Your Enemies. Paint your opponents as babykillers and nobody will support them. Goes a long way to obscuring the truth of a debate, therefore used heavily in politics and the press. Grrr...
"pay for the web"? Resistance for a better tomorrow!
Okay, let's address the argument that we need advertisements to "pay for the web". I'll grant that folks need to make some cash somehow.
However, we do not have to accept the existing methods they use to collect the cash. If the current ad-supported regime fails, GOOD! We need something better, and I refuse to support intrusive business models out of some weird sense of obligation. Let the ad-trackers fail and a better way will emerge.
Businesses choose a business model and expect everyone's help making it work, no matter how stupid or invasive. Consider telephone marketers, who wailed and whined when we all signed onto "do not call" lists. Are we obligated to answer SPAM calls to support telemarketers?
Hey admen! Your business model clearly sucks, if you can't make a buck without knowing everything about me. I will not support it. Find another one that better serves me, not you.
Modern scrimshaw variant!
Ivory's hard to come by and very non-PC these days. Bored sailors gotta fill the off-watches with something, eh?
And it's SOOO CUTE!
More reasons I avoid flying if at all possible
The wife and I have driven round-trip from Atlanta to Texas, Connecticut , and Wisconsin to avoid flying. It takes longer, but yanno? Plenty of legroom, no crying babies, complete choice of meals, more than one application of shampoo, good sound system with tunes we like. Fresh air and scenery. No TSA poking at us and stealing our luggage. Luggage not lost, no delays or being told we won't travel Today. Half the cost.
And definitely no snotty airline nazis trying to ruin our day because we're upset with the crappy service.
Flying: only if an ocean intervenes.
Second that! Ahhh, I've watched sanctimonious Brits sneer at my country plenty. Nice to see them hoist on their own petard and the deafening, embarrassed silence it generates.
The takeaway is this: we're all at the mercy of our unaccountable governments. Let's not rip and tear on the CITIZENS of any nation for the stupidity of their so-called leaders, eh? American-bashing is uncool and unproductive, and I won't be indulging in counter-strike Brit-bashing for that reason.
Re: Bull Run origin
The Battles of Bull Run were named after the watercourse that crossed the area. For some reason, in that part of Virgina they liked to call a creek a "run". It's equivalent to "Bull Creek". You see them everywhere in northern Virginia, I used to live beside Four Mile Run, which had nothing to do with jogging.
Re: You were holding it wrong
Second that. "Just a watch"? Hardly! Multiple alarms, chronograph functions, countdown timers, BACKLIGHT, no winding. Regular watches had none of that. My favorites had an analog face with a digital display bar across the top or bottom - decently stylish plus the functions. As far as accuracy, any quartz watch had to be adjusted properly, analog or digital.
Agreed that the hourly chime was a bad idea. I actually FIXED these things for a year, and the daily runs of chimes and alarms from dozens of them were horrifying. A popular Armitron model played "Dixie", which we heard at least 20 times a day. Brrr..
It's unfair to rip on the early LED watches. That's like damning the Messerschmitt 262 for not being an F-16. The first of anything tends to be too large, clunky and gobble power.
Re: @ Code Monkey
"Where is the proof that craft are not visiting us?" - First, it's impossible to prove something does not exist. But that doesn't matter, because if you claim there's a dragon in your garage, the burden is on YOU to prove it. The human-built spacecraft you mention are well-documented, and of no relevance to your argument about UN-documented alien spacecraft.
"And by UFO community I mean documented, under oath statements from Doctors, Teachers..." Are you seriously proposing that certain professions make people immune to mistakes? Lots of well-intentioned people are quite often wrong about what they thought they experienced.
One night in Alexandria, VA hundreds jammed 911 lines to report alien spacecraft zooming over a local mall, which was actually spotlights on low clouds. Made the news later, emergency calls weren't getting through. I saw it myself and knew instantly what it was. You would clearly consider their verbal accounts of a misinterpreted experience to be "documented" evidence, but it's just verbal assertions. Not proof.
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". Until the hordes of alien-visitation believers cough up some hard evidence, they shall remain firmly in the Crank category with Bigfoot sightings.
Re: Some sanity, defined as BLIND
Sport, you're probably one of those people who laughed at me when I said the government would be doing these things. Must be a terrible shock to find out they do after all.
OK, let's look at how the NSA and other government agencies qualify as "evil".
Trashed the protections guaranteed by Constitutional Amendments.
Lied about it. Apply the draconian power of government to punish anyone who tells.
When caught red-handed, lie more, use doublespeak to dodge straight questions, and use US domestic policy to attack the whistleblowers.
Using the government's own argument against it, if they're not doing anything wrong, why the need to hide?
Why cover up an activity you're proud of? And finally, if it's so LEGAL, why not do it legally, instead of bypassing most of the laws designed to protect us?
GAME. SET. AND MATCH to the so-called paranoid.
Lawful? Not at all!
Excerpt from the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
The NSA and others hide behind "this is a LAWFUL program", but they all directly violate the 4th Amendment. The 4th was enacted in response to "writs of assistance" issued by the Crown, which gave unlimited authority to search anyone anywhere for anything, and never expired. JUST LIKE THE NSA's SPYING. Far from being lawful, these programs directly attack our Constitutional rights!
Child Catcher, because we fell for the bright colors and promises and now we're in the digital prison.
GREAT IDEA, just poorly executed (so far)
Orright, the deployment of a system that simply doesn't work is asinine, and they should have to repay the money with interest. Grrr.
However, we should definitely keep working on anti-ballistic-missile tech. It gets a lot of mockery now because it hasn't worked out... YET. But seriously! Who would not want to be able to shoot down an incoming missile/warhead? Anyone? Just because it hasn't panned out yet does not mean it's a loser. That aviation thing was pretty crude for a long time (wood and cloth!) and now we have routine jet passenger service.
Pursue the technology. Wait to deploy until it works.
PLEASE stop bashing ordinary citizens for this BS!
American native here. This is merely one symptom of power-mad governments with no real accountability to their citizens. We, the people of the United Sates (mostly) do NOT condone or support this crap, nor the Patriot Act, TSA, various stupid wars on Stuff, universal data-gobbling, etc.
Before you bash "The US", please consider that. Also admit and accept that YOUR government is doing the exact same things, or trying hard to do so. You cannot show me a government ANYWHERE with clean hands and pure motives, so please spare the general population your sanctimonious condemnation.
It's tough enough to live under this BS without our so-called friends and allies calling me names I don't deserve. Don't claim I voted for these fools either. Candidates are carefully screened by the political establishment, we never get a decent person to vote FOR.
Let's fix Hollywood, that would help a lot
Second all comments on the stereotyped portrayal of geeks in film. The annoying so-called "scientist" in Independence Day is a prime example. Clearly the screenwriters never had much use for "eggheads", preferring the world be saved by the passionately-Green journalist (Goldblum).
But what do we expect? Hollywood and American media are stocked with the same folks who didn't do well in science or math, and got into journalism and theater instead. It permeates non-geek-bearing media also: simple stories, stock characters, absurdly simple Plots To Destroy (or save) The World. Stereotypes for all! (sigh...)
Companies drunk on their own Kool-Aid
Two main problems as I see it, which pervades ALL business these days. They don't try to build good products to fill needs and wait for the world the beat down their door. They dream up a Business Strategy they believe will make them rich, and develop products to fit their "vision." When the public reject that vision, they blame everyone but themselves for the stunning lack of uptake.
Second, the assumption that everything must be "refreshed", even if it's working fine. I wish I could go back in time and terminate whomever came up with this asinine strategy! No better example can be found than Win 8. After the Vista debacle they won most folks back with Win 7... then threw it all out the door! Combo of their myopic, uninformed "vision" and radically changing a product that was working fine.
I also blame databases, and business' crippling reliance on them. The "essay-answer" customer service feedback that might be useful is reduced to a few tick marks in database rows, stripping away any sense of what's working or what people think about it. "Rate your experience from 1-5" tells you NOTHING. So they know nothing useful about what we want, liked, or didn't like.
Re: Let's pick on NASCAR next...
I actually agree, draft trains on oval tracks are a good cure for insomnia. On the other hand, a spectator can see the whole course, not a tiny piece of it like most road courses. If anything interesting DOES happen, you can see it, not just hear about it on the radio. I too miss true "stock cars", not the hi-tech skeletons they race now.
In defense of its form factor, NASCAR grew its roots on small-scale dirt tracks so moonshiners could race their war wagons. It was never a road sport, except one-on-ones on country roads.
China winning one-entry space race
Homegrown outfits like SpaceX are awesome and making marvelous strides. I love 'em, wish them the very best. However, the Chinese are willing to do what nobody else can: burn huge piles of money. Private companies don't have billions to play with. NASA's budget gets routinely slashed, since a base on Mars won't buy socialist votes. The Russians are broke, no other space-capable nations are planning bases.
There's simply no competing with the Chinese. They have the will, and they're willing to spend the cash. That's true of nobody else on this planet. While everyone else is getting cheap and sending robots, they will put people on the moon and Mars.
Terrorize Target stores!
Those familiar with the Target department store chain will know the knee-high red balls they have on the sidewalks by the doors. I've daydreamed for YEARS of replacing a few with remote-control balls like this for general messing-with-people duty. Follow shoppers around, chase cars, run over cigarettes people throw down to extinguish them, etc. Never had the free time or money, meself.
You have two hand-picked partisan polticians: CHOOSE ONE
The Founders of the US wanted to avoid professional politicians holding office. They wanted Real People to take time off from being successful to help run the country. The people should be represented by their own.
Instead, we have career politicians (person who specialize in getting elected to office) hand-picked and pre-screened for party compliance. My choices in any election I can think of for 30 years have been Dickhead A or B. Whichever party holds the reins, they're going to do asinine things to further their political agenda, no matter how it screws the country.
Given the lack of decent folks to vote into office and no option for "none of the above, new election with new candidates, please", it's no mystery that Congress is full of misguided jerks. It's hardly a secret, so why should we have any confidence in them?
And would you Brits PLEASE keep our total lack of decent candidates in mind when bashing our government's actions? THEY DO NOT REPRESENT AMERICANS. Only the American political parties, who firmly control the process.
Re: Install updates
Let's not forget about that other security advice, that of not allowing end-users to install software. No thanks to Adobe et. al. for software updates that require admin rights to install, meaning most users can't do it.
Sorry, not so easy as that.
"Because of the fear of flying after 9/11 Americans took to the roads."
Actually it's not "fear of flying" it's "bloody ANNOYANCE with flying."
Pros for road trips: Plenty of legroom, no screaming babies, your choice of good meals when you want them, no luggage charges, not being rootered by the TSA or having luggage go missing. Stops to stretch legs and kick some footbag, check out interesting roadside things. Car rental and fuel cheaper than air tickets and doesn't rack up miles on our car. Choice of music on a good system instead of earplugs. Carry more than 4 ounces of shampoo in original bottles, nail clippers, and other deadly items without hassle.
Cons for road trips: Takes 50% longer to get there. Can't drive over water (where's my flying car, already?).
Nobody much is afraid of terrorists in the air except misguided politicians. Nope, we're simply avoiding the unpleasantness that is modern air travel.
Re: Hmmm - Berserkers!
I believe you're thinking of Fred Saberhagen's "Berserkers". Centuries-old, planetoid-sized autonomous war machines that repair and build more of themselves. Problem is, they are programmed with one simple edict; "Destroy all life". Good series of stories...
Kill your enemy safely, 500 years on
I can't help but think this is a new iteration of a very old argument. The first firearms were lambasted as uncivilized, while hacking bits off each other with sharp things was fine. That's the whole point of the arms race since fists and stones: to kill your enemy without being killed. Preferably, you deny your enemy the CHANCE to kill you. Fair fights lose too many soldiers, so the goal is to make the fight as "unfair" as possible.
It's this which causes the outrage, as anti-war types and those on the receiving end of better weapons whine about inhumanity. What are they proposing instead? War is somehow more moral if the enemy has more chance to kill your citizens?
War is hell, there's no civilizing it. When you fight one, load the dice your way as much as possible and get it done with minimal risk to your citizens. Nothing else makes sense.
“some doors, they are not back doors, but somewhere in-between”
So that must be... TRAP DOORS!
Yevgeny is doing the smart thing with this preemptive strike. If he waits until the State Department gets suspicious to say "look how clean we are" it sounds like the typical denials.
"I kill so many journalists..." Get off, any FPS shooter says that. I've killed my mates dozens of times, and hundreds of strangers online. Come to think of it, I've been Terminated quite a lot too!
Redirect "Arts" funding to science!
I can solve two social problems with one blow: spend Arts budgets on Science instead. Good research gets funded, and we're spared the horror of public art projects.
Been there, OMG WOT'S THAT NOISE!!!
My wife and I have stumbled into periodic cicada emergences about five times since 2003 (American South) usually while mountain biking. A large group can indeed be deafening. Half the people we show our pix to insist they're locusts, argh! The only actual damage they do is when laying eggs. The females slice into twigs to insert their eggs, weakening the twig which may break and fall off.
If you don't live where the noisy buggers emerge, the excellent Planet Earth series takes a great look at them in one episode (I forget which). If you have a chance to see then in the wild, DO IT! Wear a hat, they will blunder into anything.
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