* Posts by Kubla Cant

1820 posts • joined 28 Jun 2010

Captain Piccard's planet-orbiting solar aircraft in warped drive drama

Kubla Cant
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Lighter than air?

I can see that it will be difficult to scale a solar-electric heavier-than-air plane up to anything useful. But I wonder if it makes more sense for airship-like craft such as this. It seems to have a very big upper surface, and the battery weight is less of an issue.

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

Kubla Cant
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What I think I'll do

I have a laptop that's running Windows 7, and I've been wondering what to do. I don't especially like Windows, but it's occasionally a nuisance not to have a copy. Here's my plan:

Boot off a Linux USB and take an image backup of the Windows 7 disk.

Upgrade to Windows 10.

Take another backup of the disk.

Install Mint.

Create VMs of Windows 7 and 10.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Just like to say . . . .

Windows 10. Because you're worth it.

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She wants it. She needs it. Shall I give it to her or keep doing it by myself?

Kubla Cant
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Re: Drag and drop between windows

why does no FS by default keep all versions of all the files

You mean like VMS did 30 years ago?

I believe you can get similar safety feature on modern journalling filesystems, but I think you have to be using Linux.

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HMRC research finds 'resistance' to proposals to shift contractor tax compliance burden

Kubla Cant
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A bit of history

Back in the day, there was a good deal of dismay in the contractor community when Red Dawn Primarolo introduced IR35. I initially shared that dismay, until I read an article by an employment lawyer that described the history of attempts by Inland Revenue (HMRC's predecessor) to prove employment status. Mostly they were trying to prove that somebody was an employee, but occasionally they were trying the opposite. Either way, they lost just about every case. Even with IR35, I don't think they've enjoyed much success since then.

Unsurprisingly, HMRC's preference is for a system where they decide who pays tax as an employee, without reference to any pesky rules.

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Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

Kubla Cant
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Skype spam

The only reason I have Skype is that I seem to work in a lot of offices with WiFi but no mobile signal. I can rent a landline number that I can give to people who might want to call me. If anyone can suggest a good alternative, I'd be interested.

But I'm heartily sick of Skype spam. I get numerous contact requests and even (unanswered) calls from exotically-named women that I've never heard of. What's the business model here? I can understand email spam - it's as easy to send a million messages as one, so the infinitesimal response rate is still profitable. But phone call spam sounds much more time-consuming, and where's the payoff?

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Correction: There was no hangman's noose, claims Hyperloop countersuit ... it was a cowboy's lasso

Kubla Cant
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Re: I'm sorry...

I know the proper term is portmanteau word

Even portmanteau words aren't usually camel-case.

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Blighty's Coastguard goes into battle against waterborne Pokemon

Kubla Cant
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Re: New Brighton Marine Lake

Was it too much trouble to create a channel from the lake to the ocean, so that boaters could explore beyond the rather limited boundaries of the lake?

Tides present a problem. Also, these lakes tend to be used by fairly young children. With all due respect to Arthur Ransome, I don't suppose many parents want their kids to set sail for Ireland in a 10-foot rowing boat.

And, if the lake was built with public money (not clear from the linked article), why are people prohibited from using it in a way which doesn't interfere with any boating activity?

Jobsworths. Local council mentality: everything that is not compulsory is prohibited.

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Cycling paramedics in epic rush to save patient who ate stale sandwich

Kubla Cant
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Re: Swiss Mountain Patrol

Driving down the Swiss side of the St Bernard Pass (IIRC) a few years ago, we met the cycling Swiss soldiers coming up. I was stunned with admiration.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Excellent job folks

how do they balance a stretcher on a bike?

There's obviously no room on the carrier with those monster panniers, so presumably the patient rides on the crossbar, or perhaps the handlebars.

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Wannabe Prime Minister Andrea Leadsom thinks all websites should be rated – just like movies

Kubla Cant
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yet another politician trying to regulate something they have zero understanding of

How can you say such a thing. Just look at her CV. Andrea Leadsom will have learned everything there is to know about IT during the time she was a Director in charge of thousands of employees and billions of pounds.

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The Great Brain Scan Scandal: It isn’t just boffins who should be ashamed

Kubla Cant
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“Philosophy is dead. Philosophy has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly physics. Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge,” boasted Professor Stephen Hawking at the start of his bestseller The Grand Design.

I don't think Professor Hawking actually knows what philosophy is for. It's not a quest for knowledge so much as a quest for meta-knowledge.

The brain-scanning fad always looked to me like phrenology with the skull removed. I'm glad to find my prejudice confirmed.

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Bloke 'lobbed molotov cocktails' at Street View car because Google was 'watching him'

Kubla Cant
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Re: yep

When I recently installed Pale Moon I found that Duckduckgo is the default search engine. Seemed promising, until I searched for Cambridge restaurants and got a lot of results for some foreign country that's copied the name.

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Just the facts, STT-MRAM: Your DRAM replacement's on its way

Kubla Cant
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Re: Call me jaded...

Sounds a lot like all the new battery technologies that fuel dissertations...

Isn't fuel dissertation one of the new battery technologies?

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Get ready for mandatory porn site age checks, Brits. You read that right

Kubla Cant
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Re: Thank you, Sir

and Slough

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ZTE Axon 7: A surprise flagship contender

Kubla Cant
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A question of balance

it's tall but well balanced

What does this mean? Do you make a habit of standing your phone on end?

To judge from what I've seen inside most smartphones, I'd be surprised if they don't all have a similar centre of gravity.

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Last panel in place, China ready to boot up giant telescope

Kubla Cant
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Igor?

Not that I don't recognise the allusion, but is Igor a common name in China?

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Kubla Cant
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Re: size conversions

To quote a brilliant mind of of our age, the great Aleister Dabbs

I think the spelling "Aleister" is more usually found in Aleister Crowley, The Wickedest Man in the World (TM).

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Isis crisis: Facebook makes Bristol lass an unperson

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Re: Isis

I've never heard of Isis Academy, but Oxford has had a magazine called Isis since 1892, and an eponymous river (aka Thames) for rather longer.

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Bacon is not my vodka friend

Kubla Cant
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It's OK in other states

Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo

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You can be my wingman any time! RaspBerry Pi AI waxes Air Force top gun's tail in dogfights

Kubla Cant
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Re: Is that my flying car I hear approaching.....?

@LDS All good points. It sounds like what we need is a lighter-than-air flying car, but I suppose there are problems, such as size and slowness, with that.

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This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!

Kubla Cant
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Re: Procurement always works this wonder

The expensive supplier is often chosen because it delivers on account and invoices.

It might be cheaper and quicker to pop out to Maplin, but it creates issues like "Why isn't X at his desk?" and then there's the faff of drawing petty cash or paying with your own money and claiming on expenses. The solution is a company charge card, but the PHB doesn't like allowing minions to spend company money.

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My plan to heal this BROKEN, BREXITED BRITAIN

Kubla Cant
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Re: Order and decency can only be restored by reversing the First Referendum vote

That would be the Scotland one, then.

Tick, tock...

The First Referendum was on 5 June 1975. Reverse the result of that and we've been out of the Common Market European Economic Community European Union for 41 years.

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'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

Kubla Cant
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Re: GOOD FOR HER!

Dupl post

And that means dupl downvotes.

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Gun-jumping French pols demand rapid end to English in EU

Kubla Cant
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Whichever way you voted, it's fun to see the Eurocrats spitting the dummy. First of all, we get "Leave means leave! We want you out tomorrow." Then we had "We won't let you screen immigrants in Calais any more." Now it's "See how you like it when we all start speaking French."

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Botnet-powered ballot stuffing suspected in 2nd referendum petition

Kubla Cant
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Re: The next question is whether the UK should add this min limit for next Scottish IndyRef?

Definitely not. The 60%/75% rule only applies to referenda that return the wrong result.

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Germany: If Brits vote to Remain, we'll admit Hurst's 1966 goal was a goal

Kubla Cant
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Re: As I think Spike Milligan said..

Laugh? I almost did.

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You lucky creatures! Mammals only JUUUST survived asteroid that killed dinosaurs

Kubla Cant
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Re: Yep, there's a huge difference between ''wiped out" and "nearly wiped out".

Moa, Ostrich, Rhea, Elephant Bird, Penguins, ...

I don't see many of those 'hopping around in the treetops'.

I suspect the flightless birds evolved from flying birds, rather than being dinosaurs that couldn't climb trees. Even though they're grounded, they retain most of their bird-like adaptations, such as wings and beaks. That's why they're "flightless birds", rather than "feathered dinosaurs".

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Hey cloud lawyer: Can I take my client list with me?

Kubla Cant
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Willie Eckerslike

Steve Eckersley, head of enforcement at the ICO

As soon as I read his name, I found myself thinking of Willie Eckerslike*. In light of the toothless enforcement reported in the article it seems appropriate.

* I thought this was just the name of a character invented by the much-missed Victoria Wood, but It seems to have wider currency.

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Cats understand the laws of physics, researchers claim

Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

A cute accent

I'd never heard of a cat café, so when I read "Twenty-two cats from Japanese cat cafes" [sic], I thought I'd post a short WTF. I didn't want to appear ignorant, so I copied "cat cafes" from the article and did a quick search of the 45 comments already in place. Nothing found, so I went ahead.

When I came to read through the posts, I found there was quite a bit about "cat cafés", with the accent, so I had to withdraw my post. Serves me right for under-estimating the literacy of Reg commentards.

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Austrians are most likely to bare all on beaches

Kubla Cant
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I recall a girl saying around 1990 that all her friends suntanned topless at the swimming pool, and she was feeling peer pressure.

The peer in question is now being investigated by Operation Yewtree.

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Virgin Media goes TITSUP* in South London due to painful piles

Kubla Cant
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Re: Not just Virgin....

a separate incident with a rogue JCB

Backhoe screws backhaul?

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Kubla Cant
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Publicly owned open spaces in Wales now feature a Red Button...

Sounds like the Brecon Beacons or Snowdonia National Park.

(OK, maybe these aren't actually publicly-owned, but I don't know the names of any other Welsh open spaces.)

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Strange Sign

"bulking out bread flour with white Lead" That doesn't make any sense. Lead carbonate is, and has always been, more expensive than flour.

The main adulterants for white flour were alum (hydrated potassium aluminium sulfate) and chalk. Ground bone was sometimes added, too.

If you didn't want to eat it, you could always pave the patio with slices.

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Anonymous? Really?

the real health issue in Wales, alcohol

So Sunday closing really worked as expected?

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No 10's online EU vote signup crash 'inevitable' – GDS overseer

Kubla Cant
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Re: Still don't understand how this happens

This stuff shouldn't go out to AWS or any other commercial cloud provider. G-Cloud should be able to offer the same. And if it doesn't, why not?

Because the scalability of cloud services is largely a result of serving a lot of different clients with varying load requirements. A government facility isn't a cloud in this sense, it's just a web server scaled to what is thought to be the maximum likely demand.

The odd thing is that the sites always crash when they're overloaded. If overload is likely it would make sense to throttle access through a proxy that is sufficiently lightweight to have little risk of overload. It wouldn't solve the deadline problem, but it would reduce the problem where slow response makes people queue up numerous retries and open several clients, thereby increasing the overload.

I accept that the use of a commercial provider might be inappropriate, but I should have thought that the information being processed isn't super-sensitive, and it ought to be possible to devise an arrangement that respects security requirements in a commercial environment.

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Don’t let the Barmy Brexiteers wreck #digital #europe

Kubla Cant
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WTF?

Re: fx comapny gb

onepintleft? I'd guess you've drunk a few dozen.

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So. Why don't people talk to invisible robots in public?

Kubla Cant
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Wouldn't it be 'format space c colon backslash enter'?

No backslash. "C:\" is a directory. The thing you want to format is a drive, so "format space C colon".

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Kubla Cant
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Re: Tidal?

Rivers are another massive (and reliable!) source of energy and again untapped ( in this country)

@Prst. V.Jeltz: citation? I'd be amazed to learn that the comparatively small, slow-moving rivers of England could deliver much energy.

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Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

Kubla Cant
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Re: I'm still upset...

No doubt you still telephone for a taximeter cabriolet to take you home?

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Kubla Cant
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Headmaster

Language, by it's nature (at least the English language in all it's various flavors) changes. As a tech writer in the defense industry seemingly eons ago, I used to use machine-gun... then that was changed to machinegun.

I hope that in your role as a tech writer you observed the difference between "it's" and "its". One is a contraction of "it is"; the other is the possessive form of the inanimate pronoun. It's the latter you want.

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Winston Churchill glowers from Blighty's plastic fiver

Kubla Cant
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Re: Isle of Man did this nearly 50 years ago - at last our Mint wakes up

I think the Isle of Man issues novel notes and coins with an eye on the collector market. I recall that they issued a £1 coin some time before the Royal Mint did, and advertised it as the "Round Pound".

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Kubla Cant
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Re: Legal tender?

I always thought it was about settling debts to the state, ie taxes, otherwise I'm fully at liberty to accept or reject your cash/goats) as you please

I suspect that if payment is offered in legal tender then you cannot seek legal remedy for non-payment.

As to whether the shops will continue to accept them, it surely depends on what the shopkeeper does with the contents of the till. If he deposits the cash at the bank, then demonetized fivers shouldn't be a problem. Many big shops accept USD and EUR even though they have never been legal tender. If he simply stuffs it in his wallet, then he's likely to be more choosy.

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Kubla Cant
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Re: Ted Baker shoes are good for wide feet

... but not for long, I suspect. I've bought two items of leather goods from Ted Baker, and both fell apart within weeks. One was a belt - how incompetent do you have to be to fail when making a belt?

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Kubla Cant
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Re: 9 1/2 shoes

most people have wider feet than the average shoe is made for

Clothing and footwear manufacturers seem blind to the actual dimensions of real people. Try buying a casual shirt. Most are so tight they constrict my breathing. I may not be as svelte as I used to be, but I don't think the size of my rib-cage has changed. And I find it hard to believe that skinny twenty-somethings have the financial resources to be the target market for Thomas Pink, Gant, Ted Baker et al.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Kubla Cant
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Re: Fit for purpose

If you're sent a document that contains scripts, I suggest you treat it as malware.

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Tech support locker scam poses as failed Microsoft Update

Kubla Cant
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Re: Erm... theres

And when you phone them up they presumably take a card payment. It should be simple enough for card companies to identify the beneficiary.

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BBC's Britflix likely dead before the ink has even dried on the news

Kubla Cant
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Re: I think a paid service would only work

people who only view the BBC online, but who live in the UK, will now be obliged to pay for a TV licence

I'm wondering how they expect this to work. The implication is that every licence-holder will be issued with a username and password that they're expected to enter using the TV remote control. Such a preposterous plan would require an expensive support network and could cut authorised iPlayer use by 90%.

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You wanted innovation? We gave you Clippy the Paperclip in your IM client

Kubla Cant
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Linux

Re: Clippy was a nice idea but poorly executed

I bet I can apt-get install faster than you can "Alexa install bla bla bla"

No doubt, but you have to remember the tedious rigmarole required to install on Windows: search the web, download ye olde install.msi, run it, install missing .NET framework (even though you already have three installed), run the .msi again, shut down all other programs, run the .msi again, reboot (maybe twice).

Whenever I install something new on Linux I find myself asking "Why isn't it this easy on Windows?"

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