* Posts by Unicornpiss

635 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011

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Intel has driven a dagger through Microsoft's mobile strategy

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: iOS just works..

Having supported hundreds of iOS devices for the last several years, I can assure you they definitely don't "just work". That said, I'm sure if we had all Android or any other platform to support, they wouldn't "just work" either. Hardly anything in IT "just works" most of the time, evidenced by the recent article about the US military's woes with the software on their newest fighter planes, and the fact that most of us manage to stay employed in this industry. Consumer-grade devices come and go so fast that by the time a platform is mature and the bugs are mostly worked out, we've all moved on to the next half-assed delusional attempt at what the manufacturers think we want.

Android is very consistent IMHO when it comes to where to find settings, and menus are similar in MOST applications. To me, Android seems very logically designed, while it's iOS that has settings scattered hither and yon. The only consistency in iOS is the big button to get home; to me the menus are just laid out appallingly. And the way iOS will nag and nag and nag you to enter a password for everything that it doesn't see as constantly logged in, popping the dialog right into the middle of what you're trying to do, is reprehensible and aggravating. Today while trying to help a user with a device, a 2nd password dialog kept popping up in the middle of my entering a password, thwarting me enough times that I really wanted to do violence to the poor iPhone.

But probably anything you're used to seems consistent to the person using it, while platforms with which someone isn't familiar seem horridly illogical.

P.S. It wasn't me that downvoted you.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

It's really Microsoft's own fault

Windows Phone failed to win hearts and minds because the UI was just not up to the offerings from Android and Apple. in much the same way that instead of listening to their customers and what they wanted and were used to, Windows 8 introduced the menu system that only a mother could love. When Windows GUI first came out, MS copied Apple, which itself copied Xerox. A pity that this trend didn't continue, as Windows phone could have been great. Not to detract from Microsoft's innovation, as IMHO, they did the GUI better than anyone, for a while anyway.

But I see Intel's point in pulling out of a market in which they're not selling much. A rewrite where necessary would mean that MS could use any chip family it wants, and not to detract from the enormous effort that converting applications requires, but I think that MS management these days is too moribund with 'market surveys', meetings, and yes men (and women) playing 'cover my ass' to just see the light of common sense and do what needs to be done to be relevant and functional. Maybe if they recruited people from their very successful X-Box division, which is one of the last bastions of continuing innovation at MS IMHO.

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Chrome edges out IE for desktop browser crown

Unicornpiss
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Still prefer Firefox

Both at home and at work. I just like the feature set better than either Chrome or IE. And say what you will about Java, but at least FF still supports it, Which may be a double-edged sword, but there are still tons of enterprise sites that rely on it, making FF the only real choice if IE isn't cooperating.

Re. the trend of dumbing down everything, I despise it utterly. One thing that may say a lot about Microsoft's management structure and communication is the way that when you upgrade to IE 11, MS 'helpfully' hides your menus and bookmark bars by default---but will add the useless "Web Slice Gallery" and "Suggested Sites" back to same bookmarks bar--which is now hidden. So, is MS trying to market to you but some division didn't get the memo? Just plain stupid.

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Must listen: We've found the real Bastard Operator From Hell

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Make this your ringtone!

That is just gorgeous. I love it and hope I won't be infringing on anyone's copyright if I rip it off to add to our phone system. Hey, there's an idea! I'll bet you could sell this to businesses and make a fortune. Everyone hates these calls. I actually had someone call to market Blackberry software to me today. The number was similar enough to our Helpdesk's VOIP line that I made the mistake of answering it.

My other suggestion for music would be anything from Yoko Ono.

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Microsoft's Windows 10 nagware storms live TV weather forecast

Unicornpiss
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Meh

You have to deploy a policy to stop this

Typically any machine we use in a high-stakes presentation also will have the WSUS service disabled as well.

That said, you can pry Windows 7 out of my cold dead CPU if I have to use a MS operating system. I have an almost pathological hatred of pop-ups and advertising of any kind, beneficial or not. I go to great lengths to keep from seeing advertising. Perhaps if everyone was like me, no one would make money and the economy would crumble. If your site has an annoying, blinky ad that can't be blocked, or is one of those that force you to enable ads to continue, we're done. I'll find an alternative vendor.

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30 years on, Chernobyl wildlife still feeling effects of nuke plant catastrophe

Unicornpiss
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Joke

Re: I'm surprised that the wolves are doing well

"smaller body means higher surface area to mass ratio which is bad when you're licking your balls perched comfortably on a nice warm piece of graphite"

I'd think flexibility and stretching first would be more important in that scenario..

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BOFH: Thermo-electric funeral

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: Surprising how much thermal mass there is in the cool head of a hammer

But it's such a pain to get it to pair properly with the anvil..

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Unicornpiss
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Happy

Re: as if owning IT antiquity was one of those positive character traits

I don't have any 8" drives left. I do have a 5 1/4 that must have shrunk in the wash.

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What the world needs now is... not disk drives

Unicornpiss
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Happy

A V8 engine's a good start for me...

The article didn't seem to mention (or maybe I missed it after a long day) the vastly increased reliability of SSDs over all but Enterprise-grade spinning rust, especially if you're considering WD's "Black" series or Seagate's "Momentus Thin" series, which IMHO might make reliable doorstops on a good day, but only if you mirror them.

Mechanical drives have pretty much gone the way of the CRT and CD, at least for consumer devices. And I for one won't miss them. Since we've been replacing laptop drives with SSDs (mostly offerings from Crucial), we have gone from the "Monday morning disease" of 1-3 hard drive failures each week to exactly 3 SSD failures over the last 2 years, and these were Hynix and Lite-on offerings that shipped with Dell Ultrabook PCs, the lowest bidders I'm sure. I won't bother belaboring the point of how much faster they are as well.

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Adobe scrambles to untangle itself from QuickTime after Apple throws it over a cliff

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Re: Chuckle ...

Neither one is as bad as the current version of iTunes for Windows.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

Back the bus up...

..and run it over a few more times.

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Intel literally decimates workforce: 12,000 will be axed, CFO shifts to sales

Unicornpiss
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Loyalty?

Another dick move from a company with questionable business practices. (well, to be fair, like all of them) Things are trending down? New "paradigm" in mind? Axe 10% of your workforce, that'll make it better!

What's always irked me about moves like this is companies expect their workers to give 100%, be loyal, support corporate directives, culture, etc. But when dark clouds loom, employees are not entitled to any fealty in return, other than (if you're lucky) a bit of severance pay and not being escorted out by security. (maybe) Most CEOs seem to be too high to see down, and don't realize what an upheaval a layoff is for most people, or have little enough conscience that a move like this is a first/best option. Of course, I may be biased, having been laid off several times.

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Woz says wearables – even Apple Watch – aren't 'compelling'

Unicornpiss
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Happy

I can't really disagree with the Woz..

But I'd also add that when if I'm going to wear a watch, I don't want to have to recharge it every day or every other day. If the battery life can be made to be at least a week, I'll bite.

I'd also say that the Apple ][ was a great success, and I have the utmost respect for the world's first mainstream color computer, but it would have been even more popular if it had included a live text/program editor like Commodore machines had from the beginning. I had a PET as my first computer and was amazed that early Fanbois had to retype lines of code instead of just navigating with cursor keys, replacing characters, and hitting "Return". I'm sure there will be some down votes for this, but this was such an intuitive feature that it may have helped pave the way for word processors to become more mainstream.

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Tracking HDMI cables...

I'd love it if we could track the HDMI cables from the conference rooms. They disappear faster than airline-sized bottles of liquor from our conference rooms. Apparently very well-paid people can't seem to afford them for their home entertainment systems.

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Uninstall QuickTime for Windows: Apple will not patch its security bugs

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Whenever I notice Quicktime on a PC...

I always get disgusted, like when I'm following someone with a particularly annoying bumper sticker. I've always despised that app. Nice to know even its publisher is giving it the heave ho.

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Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

Unicornpiss
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Thumb Down

So by that rationale..

Aren't kids' bunk beds that are pretty well enclosed even worse? How is this a fire hazard unless he's smoking in it or cooking in it? What if he were to install a 2nd exit or a sprinkler system? I've seen lofts every bit as bad that are apparently up to code.

There always has to be some asshat that will spoil the fun for anyone doing something unusual.

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The future of Firefox is … Chrome

Unicornpiss
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Meh

I suppose if this happens..

..then the company I work for will not have any browsers that will work with certain cites. I've been switching users back and forth between IE and FF every time some of our vendor/partner sites make changes. Used to be Chrome, but now that Chrome refuses to support Java, forget it. And before you get started about Java being insecure, yes, I know. But there are still myriads of corporations that haven't bothered to update their sites and won't anytime soon. Our company studied banning FF because of the difficulty of centrally managing it via policies, but after the outcry from weary IT workers and corporate users, that directive was shelved, at least for now. (it's amazing how much clout the Payroll dept. has when people realize that there may be severe difficulties in processing employee pay)

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

How it feels...

I like FF a lot and have been using if for many years. If they're going to do this, I hope they get it right. It's impossible to tell what this will mean for it functionally or realistically from a few sentences.

But what it feels like is getting a kite flying nice and high and stable, turning the string over to a kid and saying: "You got it? You got it?", then watching with sick resignation as he immediately plummets it into the top bough of some inaccessible tree.

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Websites take control of USB devices: Googlers propose WebUSB API

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Malware writers should love it!

There was just another article about how people will pick up a flash drive they found in a parking lot and indiscriminately plug it in. This opens up whole new avenues for simplifying attacks.

And is it really that hard for even the slightly savvy to go to a website, download a driver, and install it? Or download it, drag it to removable media, and install it on another PC if needed?

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Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If I found a flash drive (and I have)

I would plug it in to see what was on it. On my Linux PC or a Win box with autoruns disabled and no network connection. (My PCs don't generate thumbnails either) Now truly, most people would not take any precautions, but would anyone who reads this forum not examine a found flash drive to see what was on it? After taking some precautions of course.

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'Fart detector' wins Chinese Physics prize

Unicornpiss
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Mushroom

@The trouble is...

Only a ninja can successfully steal away from their own fart.

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Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

Unicornpiss
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Pint

While I don't condone it at all..

Part of me respects his ingenuity and feels that you can't blame the man for trying. Of course since he was caught, maybe he wasn't so ingenious.

I think we all have on some level a deep-seated desire to pull one over on the powers that be, and winning the lottery, naturally. Most of us have somewhat better impulse control though. Morality? Or at least more fear of repercussions.

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Unicornpiss
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Unhappy

Re: You think this is bad, imagine the voting machines

I wouldn't put it past Trump to try it, too.

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Windows 10 with Ubuntu now in public preview

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Fundamental differences/Alien DNA

Unless MS ditches the registry and goes to a config-file-based environment, I can't see a true integration occurring between the two. The way permissions are handled are utterly different too, of course. However, it will be interesting to see what develops from this...

I suppose it's only fair. We have WINE on Linux, why not Linux on Windows natively? Mix n' match. Perhaps some time when I've lost my last marble I will make an unholy conglomeration of Linux hosting a VM running Windows running Linux running WINE just to see what happens... It couldn't be much less problematic than SharePoint and Office 365 is right now :)

OS2/Warp/Zoroastrianism anyone?

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Linux Mint forums hacked: All users urged to reset passwords

Unicornpiss
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Re: Quite a lot of whiners commenting here.

Linux is a free OS, as in speech and beer. Repeat, it is free. And it does many things much better than any version of Windows since XP (or at least 7) has managed. It is stable, fairly mature, and an ongoing project. It is also a "labor of love", where devs donate their time. It will not nag you about idiotic things, nor will it prevent you from self-immolation if you don't know what you're doing. (like any Unix-like OS) This is a big part of its elegance and power. It is probably more secure out of the box than any version of Windows, provided you're not silly enough to turn on every service in existence that you don't need, or install from unapproved sources.

A web forum got hacked. This happens. Daily. It's only going to get worse. The webmasters notified the populace and have taken measures to secure the site. You could argue that it should have been more secure to begin with, but you can say that about anything that has been pwned. Hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy to solve the world's problems with a pint in your hand in a nice warm bar.

If someone gives me a car, computer, operating system, whatever, with no expectations of recompense, I might be upset if it has a few flaws, but not as upset as if I've paid a lot of money for it and it has a lot of them. (Windows, Office come to mind) And again, it wasn't the OS that was hacked, but a web server. Even the NSA has had notable breaches. Cut Mint some slack.

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You can't dust-proof a PC with kitchen-grade plastic food wrap

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Re: Lightning strikes are always fun

I had a lightning strike experience when I was working a point-of-sale support job. The strip mall where one of the restaurant units I supported was struck by lightning in the wee hours of the morning. I arrived to find a long line of contractor and repair vans all down the row of shops, as no one had been spared. After I finished replacing the phone system, server, one of the dumb terminals, and the power supply for the credit card terminal, everything was working acceptably again. (the electronic safe was still fried, but I couldn't do anything about that)

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Unicornpiss
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Happy

Industrial PCs

There are industrial PCs made expressly for this type of situation. They are typically rack mount, but I've seen desktops before. The cases have filters at all air entry/exit points. Where I work, some of the machine controllers are vendor-supplied, and have cases like this even though they're not really needed in our environment.

Over a decade ago I worked a job where I did Point of Sale systems support. The PCs were mostly made by NCR, ran Red Hat or SCO UNIX, and ran a slew of dumb terminals and printers through a serial terminal server box. These PCs had an enormous heat sink on the processor, which was fanless. A lot of them had been running 24/7/365 for 10+ years. They were nearly all located in the restaurant kitchen where the temp could get up to over 100F in the summer. (restaurants are not known for great climate control in their kitchens)

Usually I would find that the power supply fan and case fan had long since stopped turning, and the fans and some internals were coated with a think layer of sticky brown goo, from ingesting the greasy vapors in the kitchen air. (Imagine what it must have been doing to the lungs of workers over time) To their credit, NCR built a heck of a reliable box. Even with all this, I only ever saw 2 motherboard failures. One from natural causes, and one from a mouse living in the case and defecating/urinating on the system board until its urine eventually corroded through one of the traces that ran the PCI bus, stopping communication with the rest of the terminals. (the machine was still running) That one was such a biohazard I pulled the drives and the rest went in the dumpster.

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Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Unicornpiss
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Meh

The 9 Billion Names of God

For some reason the article and associated comments reminded me of the 1950s Arthur C. Clarke story where a computer was enlisted to generate all the possible names of God. After which, the universe had served its purpose and peacefully self-destructed.

I expect a similar thing would happen if the day ever comes when EVERY vulnerability in any OS is named and corrected. (or if there is ever a day in my city when all the road construction is completed)

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Here's a great idea: Let's make a gun that looks like a mobile phone

Unicornpiss
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Joke

iKill

It will never catch on... to load it you need to use iTunes.

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X-ray scanners, CCTV cams, hefty machinery ... let's play: VNC Roulette!

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Geez...

You can argue forever about how insecure it is to use VNC. But if some of these machines' admins would just go the the bother of setting a password.. You can use LDAP if you wish. Yes, it's more secure to use SSH. But VNC does have some security. Use it.

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Glum, depressed ... and addicted to Facebook, Twitter? There's a link, say medical eggheads

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Captain Obvious says...

A study was really needed to figure this out?? If you're depressed, you're looking for any stimulation to get you off that couch. (perhaps the researchers have never worked in IT) Seriously, a moment of quiet thought could have figured that out for most anyone.

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Net neut naught: Netflix throttles its own video

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If you can opt out...

And resume normal quality, then fine, great idea. Otherwise, incredibly stupid.

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Something useful from Cupertino?! Apple sees the light – finally

Unicornpiss
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Joke

Blue affecting sleep?

That must be why the sky is a deep blue at twilight and thereafter until the next dawn.

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Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: Almost 500 books - for which I paid little..

Sadly, the freeware reader app for Android is a lot more flexible, responsive, and feature-rich than the native one on a Kindle device. That said, the last update of the Android app seems to have no effect except that it now crashes on the first launch and I have to launch it again immediately. And do I really need to be reminded how to use it at every launch?

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Irish shun beer, whiskey in favour of … wine

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Everyone must pitch in

Everyone must do their part to make up for the declining consumption in Ireland lest Guinness and assorted distilleries go bankrupt. It's a tough task, but I think we're all equal to the challenge and should step up to answer the call.

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Apple iPhone GPU designers Imagination axes 20 per cent of staff

Unicornpiss
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Unhappy

"Actively seeking to fill over 50 roles..."

Yeah, those jobs are secure and have a future.

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Western Digital spins up a USB disk just for the Raspberry Pi

Unicornpiss
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Re: The price is right...

While SD cards may not be all that they could be, pretty much any SSD has a better MTBF than any mechanical drive other than dedicated enterprise drives costing many orders of magnitude more. Better power consumption and shock resistance too for those battery powered PI projects. Buy Crucial's "BX" series if ultra-performance isn't needed (which isn't with the PI) and you're approaching mechanical drive pricing.

I stand by my wondering why anyone would want spinning rust for most applications these days when SSDs are getting cheaper and cheaper.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

The price is right...

But why would you want a mechanical drive in this day and age? Especially with a PI, which has no moving parts and is inherently rugged?

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Mechanic computers used to pwn cars in new model-agnostic attack

Unicornpiss
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Alert

Dichotomy..

We just had an article about how TP-Link isn't going to allow modding routers because of the FCC. And there was a recent debacle with VW and emissions. I can already mod my car's firmware with a handheld programmer, adding 'performance' or 'economy' tuning to the ECU, or tweak parameters enough to kill my engine or transmission if I'm not careful. And there are totally customizable ECUs for people that add aftermarket toys like superchargers to their cars.

So only now people are clamoring for Open Source software on cars? On the one hand, it will give more transparency and customization. (which could be argued is already there in the enthusiast community) On the other, the last thing we need is the average moron that doesn't understand how a light switch works downloading unapproved "hacks" for their cars allowing terrible emissions, defeating safety features, etc. And no, we don't need the whole thing malfunctioning at 80MPH, wreaking havoc, because of a poorly-programmed mod. There needs to be a middle ground for sure, and signed code might be a good start.

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Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Unicornpiss
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Meh

I understand, but...

On my old Netgear router, I could download and flash with the European version which allowed operation on 2 more channels than was legal in the US, and this is a sanctioned firmware upgrade from Netgear. I didn't bother, as my USA wireless devices wouldn't work on the extra channels, but the option was there. Oh, and there were hobbyist versions of firmware that would run on this as well. I don't see why TP-Link wouldn't be permitted to just offer a disclaimer on the website, then let people accept responsibility for their actions.

In the old days of scanners and ham gear, there were plenty of illegal hardware mods that people had to use at their own risk, it's irksome that the FCC is stepping in here. It would be like fitting every single car built with a brathalyzer ignition because a few people drive drunk.

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Critical flaw in Pidgin, Adium's Off The Record chat lib. Patch ASAP

Unicornpiss
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5.5 GB...

Is one hell of a chat message!

But I have to admit that when we're all busy, do we even notice what our chat software is doing for up to an hour at at time?

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Mozilla burns Firefox on old Androids

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Agree with the article, but...

While I'm a long time and nearly exclusive FF user on PCs, and I do use it on Android, the damn thing is the least stable browser I've seen on Android. Merely resizing the screen will cause crashes sometimes on my Samsung device. I like FF for the UI and the way it's the only browser that will consistently render the desktop version of sites on sites that insist on giving you the mobile version, but I've nearly stopped using it anyway due to how unreliable it is.

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Solus: A welcome ground-up break from the Linux herd

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: "One thing that's less clear, is who Solus is really for."

One thing for sure, is it couldn't be as slow as Microsoft Windows' update system, even if they tried. I suspect if it was written in BASIC it wouldn't be any slower...

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Oracle's old hands are supporting the support n00bs who support you

Unicornpiss
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Re: So what is the big deal?

IMHO the big deal is that:

-Customer service suffers tremendously

-It's a shitty thing to do to your veteran employees

-It's a shitty thing to do to your long time customers and partners

-It's a shitty thing to do to the local economies of the countries in which you operate

-It's an unnecessary move for an already profitable company, and probably just to make the stock price go up and make more money for the top brass.

These decisions always save money in the short term only. When old customers and veteran talent defect for greener pastures, the revenue goes down and it just requires more cost cutting. Lather, rinse, repeat.

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Vendor rep 'Stinky Sam' told to wash and brush teeth or lose job

Unicornpiss
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Alert

Funk

Executive assistants are the worst. For every young, attractive, personable one, there are 4 dour, backstabbing witches that wear perfume (in copious amounts) that will make your eyes water. Always a harsh, nose-burning scent too, or maybe just their corrupted flesh alters it. There is one woman in the building where I work that I realized I could actually track her progress not just through the building, but from her car to the building on a windy day.

Second only to that are a few of the more obnoxious (and noxious) middle-managers that wear entirely too much cologne. The worst is when you enter a rest room and one of them is taking a dump, so the air is redolent of someone shitting on the Polo display at the local department store.

Then we had the young intern that practised good hygiene, but would enter your personal space and let out long, squeaky farts that smelled like they came from hell's bilge pump. He was apparently oblivious to this habit of his and found nothing wrong with it. He would also occasionally burp like a seal barking.

On the other side of the coin is a lovely woman that wears a chocolate-vanilla scent that smells like fresh cupcakes. I would never offend her by mentioning it, but I'd love to roll in it like a cat with catnip.

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Electrified bird bum bomb shuts down US nuclear power plant

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Re: "In a bizarre turns of events..."

Beat me to it...

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Everything bad in the world can be traced to crap Wi-Fi

Unicornpiss
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Re: hipsterwankcafe

Pretty much any of them...

Right next to the Bukkake Bar & Grill..

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

I have been the person...

...tasked with making very poorly-planned meetings go as well as possible. I have seen machines blue-screen in the middle of presentations, people showing up with shiny iStuff that won't connect to anything and expecting us to have adapters for it, have had a person with half the presentations show up while the first speaker was 15 minutes into theirs. (Ended up locating the presenter's laptop's IP and dropping the next slide deck on the desktop over the LAN)

The universe has a cruel and whimsical sense of humor when it comes to these things, and always finds some new way that you never imagined for things to go wrong. If it's a Monday and you're hung over, forget anything going smoothly, regardless of how many times you've tested or how well prepared you are.

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Donald Trump promises 'such trouble' for Jeff Bezos and Amazon

Unicornpiss
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Meh

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world...

Everyone keeps saying "Trump isn't stupid." While I might beg to differ with that assessment, you can certainly be crazy without being stupid. Personally I think he's a self-serving asshole, and that if he was not already wealthy, couldn't properly manage a Burger King. Certainly he should not be leader of the most powerful nation in the free world. His rhetoric disgusts me, even the physical sight of him disgusts me. He is hateful, tactless, and uninformed. His viewpoint is narrow, toxic, and ill-considered. And what scares the hell out of me most is that there are apparently enough morons out there that seem to think any change is good, and that support this cretin. In a sane, just world, a yappy dog like this would never have gotten this far. Sometimes I wonder if his hair is a parasitic alien organism that is controlling what is left of his deranged little brain.

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BOFH: This laptop has ceased to be. And it's pub o'clock soon

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Today, at 4:30...

I had to talk someone out of taking down a server to move it to a different UPS. A server that had been running with at least a year of uptime and no maintenance.

They were worried the UPS would die and take the server down over the weekend, and I had to explain the futility of doing something like this on a Friday, when assuredly it would fail to come back up, wreck their whole evening, Saturday and Sunday too, and not get fixed until Monday anyway, just like if it were to die of natural causes over the weekend. I had to explain how the universe does not reward cocky behavior such as this except with misery and failure. Finally I managed to talk them out of it.

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