* Posts by Unicornpiss

396 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011

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Chap mines Bitcoin with PUNCH CARDS and ancient mainframe

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If..

If you could make sure the machine was reliable and place it in some sort of field where time passes millions of times faster, it would be feasible. Of course there would be better choices for your computing machine in this case...

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You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes

Unicornpiss
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Pint

I have no idea why this topic was revived...

But for anyone looking for a lightweight, free AV solution for Windows, I've been using "Ad-Aware" AV on Win 7 for some time now. It is free, does not nag you, doesn't seem to consume a lot of resources, and as far as I know is effective. I have not encountered an actual virus 'in the wild' to test it with, but it's gotten good reviews and it seems to respond to the Eicar test string, so I at least know it's functioning.

It's all the goodness that Avast used to be before losing their way, selling out, and losing sight of the true mission.

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Factory reset memory wipe FAILS in 500 MEELLION Android mobes

Unicornpiss
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Re: Simple solution

You could use the Blendtec (TM) data scrambler. Works on all smart (and not so smart) phones, hard drives, CDs, etc.

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Viagra makes it HARD for malaria, bug-boffins discover

Unicornpiss
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Joke

So...

A guy walks into a pharmacy and complains that he has difficulty maintaining an erection. The pharmacist asks: "Have you tried Viagra?" The man replies, "No, can you get it over the counter?" The pharmacist says, "If I take 3 I can."

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

I feel I should make some comment...

..about "mosquito dick", but I have no idea how to fit it in :)

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Well YES, Silicon Valley VCs do think you're a CRETIN

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Silly question...

Does the company that makes these toasters accept Bitcoin as a form of payment? Just asking...

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Unicornpiss
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Boffin

Better uses..

For the amount of return you're going to get, you'd be better off scrounging for change in your sofa. Instead of using a distributed computing network of toasters, fridges, dildos, whatever, to find meager amounts of cash for someone else, how about using them for "Fold at Home", "SETI", or whatever other research projects make sense if you're going to waste the electricity?

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FTC to scavengers: Radio Shack corpse doesn't include customer data

Unicornpiss
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Unhappy

I'll miss Radio Shack

It's kind of the end of an era. RS was one of the last stores that had a smorgasbord of electronics, computers, discrete components, hobby items, etc. Being the geek that I am, I used to go in there as a kid and wish I had money to buy half the store. Also, one of my first computing experiences was playing games for hours on the demo TRS-80 model I while the sympathetic store manager looked on. I had one of their "150 in one" electronics project kits as a kid and that helped shape me into the nerd I am today as well.

It seems like Radio Shack was trying to fill a niche that didn't really exist after 1990 or so. The world passed them by while they blinked. They were trying to be a jack of all trades I guess. Unfortunately the serious electronics hobbyists would only stop in for last minute things as the selection and pricing was better elsewhere. Only the very unsavvy would buy overpriced rebranded electronics gear and batteries there, and the "You've got questions, we've got answers" staff was unfortunately often clueless and untrained... except on how to upsell you a cell phone contract. But they never were 'hard sell' and they were either too small of a target or didn't survive long enough in our current age for a customer data breach to occur. Apparently anyway.

Let us all mourn the slow death of a gentle giant. Raise your glasses to the now defunct "Archer", "Realistic", "Microntis", and "Tandy" brands, and place your free battery club card on the casket as you leave.

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Microsoft's Surface 3 is sweet – but I wouldn't tickle my nads with it

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Pros and cons

I have one of these at work for 'evaluation' and we are beginning to deploy some of these. So to make this brief:

Pros:

-Seems pretty rugged

-Beautiful screen

-Good performance

-Responsive touchscreen

-Good battery life

-Very well designed magnetic mating for cover/keyboard

Cons:

-The damn thing is glued together so good luck if you need to pull or upgrade the drive. Memory is soldered in.

-windows 8.1's schizophrenic UI

-Only one USB port on the unit?? And one that seems to only let you charge on the adapter. Deal breaker for IT use.

-Pizza-box keyboard and touchpad

-Some folks may have had luck using this on their lap, but I find it too wobbly and annoying.

I realize it's meant for light and casual use, but it won't be replacing my laptop anytime soon.

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That DRM support in Firefox you never asked for? It's here

Unicornpiss
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Flame

How is 4K any different?

At each point in history when a new technology was introduced for viewing media, people were already using the "cutting edge" available at the time. Ever since the open-reel and VHS tape days, people have been copying media and taping TV shows. This did not end civilization as we know it and I don't recall any studio or publisher going out of business due to John Q. Public sharing a movie or making a mix tape.

True, in these days of streaming everything, it's a lot easier to distribute pirated copies. But instead of hobbling the average person and discouraging fair use, how about just finding better ways of prosecuting those that abuse the privilege? I prefer to read on Kindle these days, but it pisses me off that I can't share a book at all in some cases, and in others I can't share it more than once in X amount of time. Which is fine if the person I share it with hurries up and reads it before it expires, but that doesn't always happen. Yet I can loan as many paperbacks as I wish forever. Sure, I could loan them my entire device to read it, but that's a bit impractical. There's got to be a better way.

When it comes down to it, soon enough 4K will be broken. It is always the way that the major criminals will be able to quickly get around any protection in place. It just screws the average consumer, as it's always done. A perfect example would be the original DVD standard with encryption. Remember how you couldn't play an encrypted DVD on Linux or in a different region, but still it was pathetically easy to copy the whole disk and sell it if so desired? I applaud the authors that shun DRM and distribute their work with no rights management in place.

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Unicornpiss
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Thumb Down

I think I can speak for the majority when I say:

Bleaugh!!

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Californians get first chance to be RUN OVER by a GOOGLE ROBOT

Unicornpiss
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Happy

I have a simple prediction for the public reaction...

People with 1/3 or more of a brain will downshift and pass these vehicles, probably at high speeds. Some of the more dickly, frustrated subset of the driving population may actively screw with these robot cars out of boredom like the asshats that take a ball bat to mailboxes on a drunken evening.

Really most folks will react just the same as fleeing from a wildcard 90-year-old driver or teen driver glued to their phone that you just can't anticipate what they will do or if they are in full possession of their sensorium. Hopefully Google has tested for this scenario and the cars won't stop, veer, or BSOD when someone "taps" them or blows by them at 120MPH.

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Astroboffins perplexed by QUADRUPLE QUASAR CLUSTER find

Unicornpiss
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Alien

Perhaps...

Perhaps a truly advanced race was just doing a bit of landscaping?

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Hacker 3D prints device that can crack a combo lock in 30 seconds

Unicornpiss
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Flame

@Bolt cutters

You're utterly missing the point. This was a fun experiment, and labor born of love and chutzpah, which is how computing and other fields have advanced by leaps and bounds over the years by hackers doing it for the sheer joy of it. I can open my car with a hammer too, forgo the twist tie and just rip the plastic on my loaf of bread, and get into all manner of spaces I'm not supposed to with brutality and no finesse, but anyone can do these things.

This guy's device can open a lock in under a minute and leave it intact, and tell you the combination so the lock can be reused. The practical applications (unless you count impressing his friends) are practically nil, but again, this isn't the point at all. It's more inspiration than a better mousetrap.

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Unicornpiss
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Happy

The ability to open these is old news

I even have a spreadsheet somewhere that helps you with calculating the possible combinations after you find the first number and based on the lock's behavior. I have opened a few Master combination locks over the years that were left unattended attached to fences, in people's junk drawers, and ones in my personal possession using just the spreadsheet and some tinkering. Typically it takes me under 5 minutes to obtain the combination. (I have never stolen anything or opened a lock used to lock up anyone's personal property, though I sometimes used to find some amusement in flipping the locks that my school faculty had facing backwards so they could use the little keyhole on the back on 'storage' lockers :P )

Basically a cheap lock like this is more a deterrent. Most thieves are not very sophisticated or all that bright and are only interested in "smash and grab". And my own lock at home is reasonable, but not excessive, as it's pointless to put a fancy lock on a house that has more than a dozen glass windows that anyone can open with their lucky brick.

I do think this is a very cool device though, very creative, and tuning it to get the tension just right on the lock's shackle must have been a real chore.

Not everyone knows that you can open a Master combo and other combo locks with a "left hand" combination too. This might be fun if you need to write down a combination to remember it--anyone using a combination lock is used to turning it right-left-right, not left-right-left:

https://woodgears.ca/combolock/left.html

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BOFH: Getting to the brown, nutty heart of the water cooler matter

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Thank you for improving what is turning into a very aggravating day.

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What to do when the users are watching Nazi dwarf smut at work?

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Same old same old...

I worked a job about 12 years ago working on POS equipment. (both point-of-sale and the other accepted definition for that acronym)

My counterpart that took care of the network in the corporate office noticed a lot of requests being made to all manner of porn sites. The logging in place was primitive and only showed what was going on with the gateway, not which PC was making the requests. She tried in vain to catch the culprit in the act, but the porn fest was happening at all hours of the day, not just lunchtime or early or late. Eventually, she figured out that our CEO was sitting in his private office surfing porn all day. It must be nice to have that much free time at work. I never asked whether she confronted our fearless leader, but the company went into bankruptcy about 4 years later, by which point I was long gone.

Re. disgusting keyboards, I once walked up to a user's desk just in time to see him do two open-mouthed violent sneezes all over his desk, monitor, and keyboard. He hadn't seen me, so I quietly backed away and called him instead saying: "I'm waiting on a call, do you mind if I remote in to work on your PC?" We had another user that had a skin condition and his keyboard was inundated with flakes of dead skin that would fall like volcanic ash if you turned over the keyboard. It's also always nice to realize the person in the bathroom stall is surfing on their company iPhone as well. Really, working in IT can be worse for germ exposure than working in a daycare.

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Why don't you rent your electronic wireless doorlock, asks man selling doorlocks

Unicornpiss
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Meh

I'm a Luddite...

...when it comes to locks. I like the simple satisfaction of turning a key. And this applies to cars too. True, I can't look at my phone and tell that the house is locked, but I also don't have to change batteries, worry about the vendor's cloud site being hacked, and still carry a spare key in case it stops working. And I LIKE keys. It might be handy if I have a ton of groceries to carry in and I can just unlock the door before I leave my car, but it's not that big a deal. Where this might be handy is in large commercial facilities where instead of re-coring locks whenever someone leaves, you can simply manage access from software and instantly see the state of the entire building. THAT, I think would be the 'killer app' for this, not residential.

I do have a WiFi-connected thermostat and I love it. (it's not a "Nest") It's great to be able to see what the temp is inside my home and bump it up or down if I'm going to be home early, late, etc. It's also a little bit of peace of mind if you're away in the winter to know pipes aren't going to freeze because you can hopefully see a malfunction before it turns into a real disaster.

For the person that mentioned: "Would love to understand how it interacts with a modulating (variable output) gas boiler. Exercise for the student..." --I have a standard gas boiler and the answer is not very well at all. My old 'smart' thermostat's anticipation feature was very confused. It would not account very well for situations where the system had been off long enough for everything to cool down vs. days where it runs near constantly and the radiators stay hot. Maybe with enough sensors it could. I would just set the heat to come on a bit early and adjust a bit for really cold days.

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Word to your mother: Office 2016 preview flung at world + dog

Unicornpiss
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Meh

I really want to like this...

There are two peeves I have with Office 365. (and really everything from Office 2007 on up) One is the bazillion options on the ribbon interface, some not where you'd expect them to be. Maybe a 'simplified' UI can be toggled on and off, such as the way a lot of copiers do?

The other peeve is speed and reliability. While each increasing version of Office has more impressive document recovery features built in for when something goes wrong, it's annoying how often they must be used. When you combine the bloat of Office with Microsoft's cloud services, I'm very afraid for the future. Since my company migrated to SharePoint and inked the deal in blood with MS for cloud services, I can't tell you how many times mail, SharePoint, etc. has been offline, slow, or just a general pain the butt. Maybe Lotus wasn't as shiny or feature-packed (let the flames begin), but when we had our mail servers in house, we never had a failure of the magnitude that we currently experience about once a month. I guess such is the cloud, eh?

Also, with each Office release, the number of users that have Excel (especially) just 'hang' for no explicable reason increases. Since everything in MS's world has its hooks into each other, this typically means Windows Explorer stops responding and users freak out when they can't click their desktop icons or do anything until Task Manager is invoked to whack the errant app or it eventually begins responding again. The classic error "Something went wrong." is nice too, as are errors to the effect of 'your system is low on resources' when only email, one spreadsheet, and maybe a couple of other apps are open on a machine with 8GB of RAM. Then begins the hunt for what may be causing Office to throw tantrums. Defunct network drives or printers? Nope. (Why must Office apparently verify all of these at startup anyway, even when they're not being used?) Third party software (that works normally), nope. All updates installed... looks like it. Oh wait, check Office too since it eschews Windows Updates and has its own mechanism now.

There are a lot of gorgeous features and abilities in Office and SharePoint. I just wish the damn things worked more consistently. To quote Douglas Adams: "It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of them by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all"

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Why should I learn by ORAL tradition? Where's the DOCUMENTATION?

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Like a mechanic without a driver's license...

There are many apps where I work that I know how to fix when they break... but don't ask me to coherently use them, as the only training I've had on them is poking around with them trying to either get them to break or to ensure that I've actually fixed them. Sometimes the user has to be present to perform whatever procedure made it misbehave, as I have no idea how to use the application. This is common.

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Tesla reveals Powerwall battery packs for homes, Powerpacks for cities

Unicornpiss
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Meh

This technology has its place

People that already have alternative energy generation available, such as solar, wind, small hydro, etc. will find this a real boon. It's got to be better than lead-acid and other existing battery technologies in current use for night and off-peak generation times. People living where commercial and residential power is billed at flexible rates depending on the time of day could also set up a timing system where the unit charges during hours of the day where rates are lower and gives you juice when power is most expensive. They also could be useful if you live where power is pretty unreliable, I'm sure.

But I do not expect you will see these in every home anytime soon. I live in an area where commercial power is very reliable overall, and while I own my home, there are too many trees to make solar practical. (also, I just don't use that much power) Plus, a large percentage of the populace everywhere rents their digs.

Maybe if this was licensed to Apple, whose marketing department seems to have an uncanny knack for convincing people to buy things they only have a marginal use for.

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Apple to devs: Watch out, don't make the Watch into a, well, a watch

Unicornpiss
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For fuck's sake...

You bought the device. (for a hefty premium too) You should be able to install pretty much what you want on it, as long as it's been vetted for malware and basic quality (eg. it doesn't crash all the time), and if the software sucks, change it or live with it. No clock apps for your iPhone/Watch, eh? Say what you will about Android, but at least you can do what the hell you want with your device, which is what drives evolution and innovation--finding uses you never knew you needed. If I buy an Apple TV device, will it eventually have software to filter out all appearances of Roku, Kindle Fire, etc. in media content?

I understand that it would be stupid to mention a competitor’s products in a good light if you're trying to make money off your own. But it's still a silly strategy that fools no one (God, I hope), any more than watching a TV show where they've cunningly blocked out the manufacturer emblem on a car, but anyone who's not an idiot can still see it's a Ford or whatever.

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Unicornpiss
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Coat

Re: Well, well, well, well...

"You could display a coffinated Jobs slowly rotating in microgravity and cunningly deduce the time-of-day based on the position of his outstretched arms."

---No you couldn't, he's by now spinning way too fast in his grave to make a reliable timepiece.

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Range Rover Sport: Like a cathedral on wheels, only with comfier pews

Unicornpiss
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If I was looking for an SUV...

I'd rather just buy a new Jeep, a good used sports car, and still have enough money left to pay off a good chunk of my mortgage without touching the Rover's price. And still get better reliability and as good of off-road ability out of the Jeep. (but I'm not rich enough to be able to aspire to that degree of impracticality)

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The Apple Watch: THROBBING STRAP-ON with a knurled knob

Unicornpiss
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Meh

@"Live a better day"

Ugh. I met a beautiful girl with a tattoo of "Find quality in life", which I really liked and that was a much more profound slogan than the sappy "Live a better day", which sounds like a poorly translated Bond movie title. Unfortunately, she decided I wasn't high enough quality for her. But I still liked the tattoo.

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Unicornpiss
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Flame

The obvious for me...

..is that I won't buy any smart watch or "watch device" that you have to recharge every frickin' day. A watch is for convenience. Remembering to recharge my watch is not convenient. Even a windup watch you have to wind every day is more convenient than this.

Maybe once battery life reaches a week between charges, or charging options are more convenient, such as inductive charging while you wear it but without giving you cancer or waking up soft boiled, but nah, probably not even then.

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Who was downloading smut in the office while eating ice cream?

Unicornpiss
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Paris Hilton

Similar experiences..

In 2002 I worked a job supporting POS equipment. (both point-of-sale and the other accepted definition for this acronym are true) My counterpart that worked in the corporate office taking care of the meager network there kept finding many, many connections in the log files to multiple porn sites, including some really sick stuff. Since this had not come up before, she didn't have any sort of logging in place to determine who the culprit was other than general logs as to what the internet gateway was being used for. So she embarked on a campaign to try and catch the person in the act, but couldn't find anyone doing anything they shouldn't be. (yes, there are better ways) She was further stumped by the fact that the porn sites were being accessed at random times throughout the day, not just at lunchtime, after hours, etc. Finally, she managed to finger the culprit. (no pun intended) It turned out to be none other than our CEO and part owner, who apparently had nothing better to do with his day than randomly surf porn in his private office.

I never did find out if she confronted our CEO, but she did manage to block further transgressions by the simple method of remotely editing the hosts file on his machine to point all of his favorite sites to 127.0.0.1. Incidentally, the company filed for bankruptcy and was broken up about 10 years ago

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Disk drive shipment numbers set to spin down

Unicornpiss
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FAIL

Re: Don't forget the third reason...

Actually, the drives have one and three year warranties. But the thing of it is, assuming I could warranty every mechanical drive that failed and get a free replacement, I just don't want them. Why would I want another mechanical drive that's just going to fail me in a year or two (and probably sooner, as you typically get a "refurbished" drive on warranty claims), inconvenience both the user and our department, and cost my company productivity and possibly even reputation if a user's laptop is acting up when working with a business partner?

If we have an SSD fail, we will warranty it and get a replacement. (and we have 5 and 10-year warranties on them) But all the mechanical drives can just rot in hell as far as I'm concerned. I'm done with the pathetic fragility, unreliability, and slowness of them. (and I agree with the poster that mentioned that drives used to be better some years ago) I will no more buy another mechanical drive for a laptop or desktop machine than I will stop using digital media and put my music on 8-track tapes. Let them be a monument to the folly of using an obsolete technology to store data.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

@DropBear

Yes, they can bury the heaps of mechanical drives next to the boatload of E.T. cartridges that Atari consigned to legend 30 years ago. The only difference is no one will ever want to dig them up again. Though if you ever did, you could probably find them from the anomalous magnetic field in the area caused by thousands of neodymium magnets.

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Unicornpiss
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Alert

Don't forget the third reason...

SSDs rarely fail, unlike spinning rust. At least 40% of the crop of spinning rust we bought a couple of years ago at our company (mostly WD black label laptop drives) have given up the ghost already and/or have been questionable enough to replace with SSDs. We have bought mostly Crucial SSDs, and have had zero failures on the upgrades.

So the built-in obsolescence you get with mechanical drives, and the need to replace them due to attrition also dries up.

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What's broken in this week's Windows 10 build? Try the Start Menu, for one

Unicornpiss
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Flame

Company bloat/inertia?

I am a certified professional that owes their employment to MS being less than perfect with their products. But I still wonder how it is that free OSes like Mint, Ubuntu, etc. manage to get so many things right that Microsoft struggles with. Oh, I'm not saying that the Mint OS that I'm using at the moment is perfect. Everything has problems. But nothing steals focus on this OS, it isn't constantly wasting resources trying to index everything, I don't get absurd warnings like "Do you trust this printer?", and I'm not constantly nagged to tweak this, disable that, "your computer could perform better", etc.

Perhaps I'm asking a rhetorical question here, but this is a FREE operating system that gets most everything right, including not rearranging my icons when it feels like it in dual monitor mode, nor the asinine "pin to taskbar" method of creating links. Which I wouldn't be so unhappy with if they'd just stay put and not randomly arrange themselves on a whim. How about updates? My Linux OS tells me updates are available, I click to install, things happen for a couple of minutes, and we're done. Never a reboot unless the kernel is being updated. With MS, updating is a cross your appendages and pray affair--Wait for updates to install, see what failed, reboot, endure "Preparing to configure Windows" (always good to be prepared I guess), possibly reboot again. How is it that an OS with man-years of development behind it, and for which we will pay hundreds of dollars (or thousands in subscriptions) manages to be so flaky/buggy/irritating?

How many times has my Linux OS crashed in the last year, even when gaming with it and doing other things that stress it? Not once, not counting having to restart the window manager a few times after doing something stupid. How many times has my Surface Pro at work crashed while just 'idling'? Every 3 days or so, with the latest drivers available from MS, and the Surface is their in-house effort. And let's not get started with Office and SharePoint. Brilliant concepts, but a lot of debugging yet to do.

Maybe it takes a village to write an OS and not a dictatorship where no one communicates with anyone else.

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Fed-up Colorado man takes 9mm PISTOL to vexing Dell PC

Unicornpiss
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Meh

HP "Kayak"

We had an HP Kayak PC at work running a piece of lab equipment. Shooting was too good for it and pissing on it would have been a waste of a good piss.

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iPhone vs. Galaxy fight hospitalises two after beer bottle stabbing

Unicornpiss
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Coat

After being arrested...

Did they get their one phone call?

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TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'

Unicornpiss
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Angel

Hmm... Is Uri Geller still around?

'Nuff said...

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One small shot for Man, one espresso maker IN SPAAACE: Dragon snatched by ISS

Unicornpiss
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Coat

Next upgrade...

With all that coffee, the next upgrade will be to the station's toilet I expect...

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Google's new scribble-tab-ulous handwriting interface for Android

Unicornpiss
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Re: Graffiti anyone?

@bep: Your comment makes sense. It's the same reason that in the days of typewriters that secretaries used shorthand to take notes. I like Swype. Someone mentioned that Swype is great on phones but not so wonderful on tablets and larger devices. I'd agree with that, but why couldn't you just use a smaller (or adjustable/scalable) Swype keyboard on the tablets? What is making you use a keyboard that spans the full screen and forces long distances between characters or using 2 hands?

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Unicornpiss
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Paris Hilton

Swype?

Having gotten completely used to "Swype", I'll bet the handwriting recognition is quite a bit slower, but I'd still rather use it than a fiddly virtual keyboard on a touch screen.

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Revealed: The AMAZING technology behind Apple's $1299 Retina MacBooks – a lot of glue

Unicornpiss
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Flame

Re: Guys, it's really no different on the PC side

There's a difference between having a 'non-replaceable' battery and gluing the living shit out of everything such that it's frustrating and nigh impossible to work on the device. Most integrated batteries can be replaced relatively simply with a little patience and a light touch, but I wouldn't want the pain of dealing with one of these.

It should also make it a serious challenge to recycle these devices at end of life.

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Unicornpiss
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Re: How does this pass EU battery regulations?

"They quote their laptop batteries are good for at least 1000 full cycles to 80% capacity. So let's break that down - you would have to charge and discharge the battery fully every single day (not just work days) for around 2 years 9 months until it was only holding 80% charge."

Maybe, in a perfect world. If you're careful to not let it cook on the dock and run it halfway down several times a week, always floss, and generally life a charmed life. But the fact is that Apple buys their batteries from the same manufacturers as everyone else. And in practice, if you get 18 months of service out of a laptop battery before it starts to significantly degrade, that's pretty good. For every person that manages to stretch a battery to 3 years, there's at least one that starts to have problems after a little over a year. At least this has been my experience dealing with all manner of electronics personally and professionally for the last decade.

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Unicornpiss
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The hacker spirit...

Is dead and mummified in glue at Apple. A device you can't disassemble, upgrade, or tinker with in any way is a soulless appliance and just completely rubs me the wrong way.

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Consumers beware! Ofcom's seen a scary new mobe nasty: APPS

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Just thought...

...the definition of patronising at the end was a beautiful touch :)

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Chrome version 42 will pour your Java coffee down the drain: Plugin blocked by default

Unicornpiss
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Meh

<sigh>

Where I work we have a hodgepodge of IE, Chrome, and Firefox. Like many organizations, we keep older versions of IE around for legacy stuff that just will not run right on anything else, even on 11 in "Enterprise Mode". We then allow users to install and use Firefox and Chrome for more modern apps or as a personal preference. Chrome is a big hit. (I'm partial to FF myself) If Chrome will no longer run Java, that will be a deal breaker. And Java is far from dead. One of our departments (with no consulting IT) began using a finance news and file sharing site that requires not only Java, but Java 8. Which is another story for keeping compatibility, but we won't go there.

I suppose my point is that it's wonderful that Google is taking a stand (sarcasm), but if we (and many other companies) must now rely on older versions of Chrome, etc. now to run outdated Java, security has actually decreased, counter to Google's intentions.

I'm sure some well meaning pundit will bring up: "Well, you should be updating/phasing out all those vulnerable legacy apps. You'll get no sympathy from me." Yes, I wholeheartedly agree. And by making such a statement, you've clearly not worked for a large company to whom IT is at best a necessary extravagance and at worst a bastard stepchild whose recommendations are to be viewed with disdain and ignored until a crisis emerges. "What do you mean we can't keep using this DOS app in production?? Oooh, do you have my Surface 3 tablet ready? Shiny!"

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Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If it was available a year ago with an SD card slot..

..I would have one of these instead of my S5.

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
Meh

Re: Well well.. I own an S5

Where do you get "no DS card slot?" I have an S5 and the SD card slot was one of the selling points for me. Look under your battery cover again...

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Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
Flame

It must not be too bad...

..If it can sway an obviously biased reviewer who mentions the iPhone 6 in nearly every paragraph.

Yes, it looks like an iPhone6. Samsung was obviously influenced in their design by Apple... who were obviously influenced in their design of the 6 by Samsung and other Android models. And so it goes in every sphere of the marketing world. A car becomes popular and all the other manufactures ape the design. True innovation is rare. While I will be sticking to my S5 for a while longer, it makes me happy that Samsung has gotten rid of the 50s diner/kitchen table border around the phone, though the 6 does look more fragile, as the iPhone 6 definitely is. (and I can vouch for that, having replaced at least 20 at our company)

I too wish the author could substantiate his comments about the Android OS being "buggy". All phone software is buggy. I have stationery in my email describing the iPhone reboot process as I've had to explain it so many times I got sick of typing it. It's not worth getting into a pissing contest about which OS is better, though I will say that at least those of us partisan to Android don't have to suffer the kick in the nuts that is iTunes.

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Midlife crisis, suck ingenuity? Microsoft turns 40; does the dad dance

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
Meh

You may be correct sir...

"The only reason we lack choice now (Linux excepted) is Apple & IBM charging unreasonable prices and Amiga and Commodore both being run into the ground by idiots. The Amiga and ST blew PC hardware into the weeds and given proper support, backing and a decent business model they'd have probably left it there with Bill Gates and Microsoft being confined to the Where Are They Now? lists with x86 hardware being run on the server side by a combination of OS/2 and some version of Unix."

I've always thought that if Jack Tramiel hadn't been such a megalomaniac, that we'd all be running "Amiga Standard" computers instead of PCs. However, Microsoft Basic was (at the time) arguably the best and most bug-free of what was out there in the early 80s, Windows 3.1 and 95 (even DOS-based and a ripoff of Apple's GUI--which was itself a ripoff of Xerox) was still revolutionary. And XP ended up being the "Model T" of computing. It's a shame that MS totally lost their way with the UI on Windows 8, as the back end is fairly decent. I was a skeptic until I ran benchmarks on similar PCs, one running 7 Enterprise and one running 8 with a little worse hardware, and found 8 to be faster.

Anyway, we all have to admit, what a long strange trip it's been, even if the current state of the OS is a bit dystopian these days...

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Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
FAIL

My Sony account was hacked and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!

Just another bad decision in a long string of them by Sony management at all levels. Really, how hard would it be to comp this guy? In light of the last decade of bad decisions by Sony, building a little goodwill would go a long way. Sony's hardware has always been impeccable. It's their software and implementation of corporate decisions that will end up doing them in.

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SPY FRY: Smart meters EXPLODE in Californian power surge

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
Meh

Failure mode

It's likely they failed like any electronic device subjected to a major power surge--the power supply for the electronics probably failed, possibly with the capacitors blowing up. I'm sure the circuitry included MOVs to protect against most short-duration power spikes, but thousands of volts for seconds or perhaps minutes is way beyond what any protective circuits are designed to handle.

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Snakes on a backplane: Server-room cabling horrors

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
Meh

Sadly...

Most of these pics still look better organized than the wiring closets at my current workplace.

My previous job was worse though, supporting a restaurant chain that had been in business for decades. I found among other things, a UPS plugged into itself with everything else in a power strip. (not a very good perpetual motion machine) A chicken wing with a cable embedded in it behind a computer cabinet, hanging in space. Demarks which had been added to/repaired/modded by indifferent, incompetent, and hostile phone techs over a decade or more--fun fun fun tracing any of that stuff out. A PC that had died from a mouse that was living in it peeing on the motherboard, and the piece d' resistance (in ohms) may be the electrical fire that started behind a toaster oven while I was on the premises of one of the restaurant units.

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Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge in Vulture's claws: we find looks AND brains

Unicornpiss
Bronze badge
FAIL

Lack of removable storage=deal breaker

I would have rather stuck with Motorola when I upgraded my phone last time, but none of the Moto offerings had an SD card slot. So I got an S5, which I've overall been pretty happy with, once I got past the 1950s kitchen table styling.

Cloud services are nice for backups and LT storage, but speed, bandwidth, connectivity, and convenience concerns are why I like having onboard storage. Plus, you break you phone, pop out the SD card, drop it in a new phone or USB reader, and there are all your files, including what didn't get a chance to sync with "the cloud". This is one of my main peeves about iStuff as well. (though there are many others too) A non-removable battery is also a minus, though not that big of a deal.

I will be looking to another company when it's time to replace the S5 unless there are current models with an SD card slot available from Sammy.

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