* Posts by Barry Rueger

492 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

Barry Rueger
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Ahem

Does that account for the obnoxious, full screen Windows 10 pop up ads that are obliterating The Reg mobile site this week?

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Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

Barry Rueger
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Horse, meet Barn Door

I'd argue that the majority of review sites have long ago become entirely untrustworthy.

Does anyone ever trust Yelp? Much less the Play store?

I just can't be bothered sorting through the obviously bogus reviews any more.

And that's not even considering the "review" or "bargain" spam sites that make up the top twenty items whenever you Google a product.

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Netflix and fill – our coffers: Canada mulls taxing vid streaming giant 5% of subs cash

Barry Rueger
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GST

5% is the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST), which applies to pretty much everything, much like UK VAT.

Communications regulations are the domain of the Federal government.

Unlike the US we generally don't see taxes levied at county or municipal level, aside from property taxes. It's pretty clearly defined who is allowed to tax what.

On a simplistic level, Netflix is doing business in Canada, and in doing so can reasonably expect to pay taxes on that income.

A large part of Netflix's success in Canada is the geo-blocking of competing services like Hulu and Amazon Prime. It's either Netflix for $10 a month, or cable for $75-100.

Easy choice for many people

.

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Another Canadian uni hit by ransomware, students told to keep Windows PCs away

Barry Rueger
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Cartoon U

Ahem. Cartoon U is not really in the same league as say Oxford or Harvard. I am not remotely surprised.

FWIW, we once bought a group of PCs from their computer services department when I worked there.

One by one they all died, first with smoke, then with showers of sparks like roman candles out of the back of the power supplies.

Stuck with Dell after that.

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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

Barry Rueger
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Also, discovered penicillin.

Apple reshaped the Wi-Fi market – and consumer expectations – by making WiFi routers simple.

Seriously? Reshaped the market?

When at least a half dozen companies were each outselling the Apple product by what - ten to one?

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Barry Rueger
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Upgrade to last year's model

Two years ago, I got the then just discontinued 2012 Mac Mini for my media serving needs ...

I think that for a lot of knowledgeable people this is the reality - "upgrade" to last year, or the year before's model.

Unless you have pretty specific, high-end needs it's entirely likely that whatever is on-sale at the end of the year at Best Buy or wherever will give you a perfectly fine machine for at least a few years.

For those of us who are a) old enough to be really tired of building our own and b) not rolling in cash, this is the preferred route.

(Though I did in fact just finish building my own box. Figure it's good for the next five years.)

(Re Apple: gave it my best for three years with a Powerbook as my primary machine, but ultimately really, really couldn't work within the Apple paradigm. Something about the way Apple's OS does things just doesn't work for me.)

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Barry Rueger
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

I supposed the phrase "Power button" is jargon, but most electrical devices have some way of turning the power on or off, be it a button, sensor or switch.

Thinking about this, literally the only power button in regular use in our house is on the TV remote.

Aside from light switches, everything else is always on (like printers or the router) or is initiated by some functional choice or setting (toaster, stove, kettle) but doesn't have an actual "power" button.

Actually powering down an appliance or other household unit either involves pulling the plug from the wall or slapping around on the backside looking a tiny, obscure button.

Unless there's NO button, and you unplug the power adaptor from the device.

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Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Barry Rueger
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Re: Built into the firmware?

I can't imagine why the previous comment was down voted.

That was my immediate thought - most carriers will go to any lengths to avoid passing on OTA updates, and most users don't realize the hazard.

A patch is completely worthless if you can't get it on to your device.

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China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Barry Rueger
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Re: China knows something

"We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine."

Until we've seen the paperwork reporting the campaign finances (the US has that?) we don't know that at all.

Somehow getting hard information out of Trump has proved near impossible. Tax returns?

Besides, it's hard to hire the head of the GOP to your staff and still credibly claim to not be part of that "rotten DC machine.

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Portable drive, 5TB capacity. Hmm, there's something fishy here

Barry Rueger
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Re: ... in my waste bin now ...

Locally it's Craigslist "Free" to find new homes for old tech.

Or vice versa. Picked up a lovely Samsung colour laser last month for free.

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Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Barry Rueger
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Details Below

* For Facebook's definition of "true" or "false"

** For Facebook's definition of "percent."

*** Your mileage may vary.

**** Some (dis)assembly required.

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Drubbed Grubhub bub scrubs anti-Donald-dubbed snub sub-hubbub

Barry Rueger
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Re: Simple questions, simple answers

Stating the stereotype that many Mexican immigrants are criminals etc is not racist. It's stereotyping and xenophobic at worse.

So we've reached the point where defending Trump requires splitting hairs between "stereotyping and xenophobia" and "racism."

Because the former is SO much more positive than the latter.

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Panicked WH Smith kills website to stop sales of how-to terrorism manuals

Barry Rueger
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Madness!

Surely WH Smith will also remove titles related to shooting, archery, knife making, karate, boxing......

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Groupon buys Living Social

Barry Rueger
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The Next Merger

It seems inevitable that Groupon will need to merge with Yelp to create a fully vertically integrated, one stop service for misdirecting consumers and wasting businesses' money.

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Let's praise Surface, not bury it

Barry Rueger
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Re: Bah!

I try not to feed the trolls, but what in God's name are you doing that requires a CD?

I literally can't recall the last time I used one.

Oops, sorry. I used our USB CD drive once last year to install Office 2003 on the SO's new Win10 laptop.

Previous to that?

Maybe digging through backups looking for a 10 year old file.

A $5 USB stick just does things better.

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Vatican and musicians at odds over appropriate use of crematorium leftovers

Barry Rueger
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Negativland

Sad to hear the news about Negativland.

They were a truly innovative group, and not just because of "The Letter U and the Numeral 2."

Saw them live once, with full-on banks of tape cartridges. A tour de force of analog technology, and and a stunning demonstration that no, it wasn't all done in editing.

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ARM: Hold my beer, we'll install patches for your crappy IoT gear for you

Barry Rueger
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Re: How can we fix this?

Perhaps governments should also implement (as others have suggested before) the idea of implementing an international standards testing organization to security test and approve all Internet appliances before they can be sold.

Though I expect howls of outrage from the Usual Suspects, I'd say that's exactly what's coming - some kind of Underwriters Laboratory type thing. (or whatever the EU equivalent is.)

Just as it was eventually agreed that manufacturers couldn't be trusted to make safe electrical stuff,

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Finally, that tech fad's over: Smartwatch sales tank more than 50%

Barry Rueger
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Re: Called it

BUT! What happens when merge a smart phone AND VR???

Surely there's SOME problem for which this is a solution?

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What will happen when I'm too old to push? (buttons, that is)

Barry Rueger
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Re: RE; LEDs

Probably the best Slashdot poll ever asked people to count the number of LEDs that they could see from where they were sitting.

I recall that the average came in somewhere between fifteen and twenty.

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DNS devastation: Top websites whacked offline as Dyn dies again

Barry Rueger
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Inevitable

Arguably this sort of "bring the Internet to its knees" attack was pretty much inevitable.

And arguably that has been the case for most of a decade.

Right now a lot of companies must be quaking in their boots wondering what's next.

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Coming soon to smart home devices? Best Before labels – with patch cut-off dates

Barry Rueger
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Re: My Toaster...

The fact that I can build a crystal set to receive a radio station is lost with some of these people.

Well, an AM radio station.

Do people still listen to those any more?

I mean, besides OTR fans?

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Think virtual reality is just about games? Think again, friend

Barry Rueger
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Head Mounted Gadgets

Although I can see the appeal for gaming, and for some kinds of specific use-cases, I just can't see VR taking off in a big way until you can eliminate the goggles.

Same with 3D TV, which was sure to be the Next Big Thing, until people realized that wearing cheap plastic sunglasses to watch a movie at home wasn't quite what they wanted to do.

It's different in an actual cinema, with a crowd, a big screen, and a darkened room - the 3D becomes part of an overall bigger than life experience.

The fact of the matter is that good old 2D cinema and TV are already sufficiently immersive that for most stories and uses there's very, very little to be added by using 3D effects.

Especially if you've also got multi channel audio.

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LG’s V20 may be the phone of the year. So why the fsck can’t you buy it?

Barry Rueger
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Re: Phone features? What phone features?

More to the point, how well the phone functions when you're not in the middle of a major city.

From downtown Vancouver I can drive 15 minutes and be in the fringest of fringe coverage.

Tell me how often the phone drops a call when you have one flickering bar.

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Mysterious algorithms, black-box AI recruiters are binning our résumés

Barry Rueger
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First, the Gross Edit

Algorithms seem to suck in 80% of the places they're employed.

Maybe in a decade they'll be able to accurately sort resumes, or even serve up ads that I care about.

Problem is that humans pretty much handle stacks of resumes the same as an algorithm.

If you think someone hiring is reading every word of every application you're dreaming.

Any decent job gets dozens of applications at a mininum, so the first cull goes roughly :

1) Ugly fonts or layout - GONE!

2) Photocopied photo of applicant on cover page - GONE!

3) Gross spelling mistakes, especially the name of the person hiring - GONE!

4) Names of pets - GONE!

5) More buzzwords than content - GONE!

Now that you've eliminated 60% of the applications, you can do a FAST skim for any with major qualification issues.

That's when the person doing the hiring actually starts looking at them in detail.

The sad truth is that a significant number of resumes received are sad, deficient efforts, and don't get a second glance.

It's not about being "fair," it's about keeping a time-consuming job under control.

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Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'

Barry Rueger
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Niagara Hipsters?

This must be what it feels like for Ontarian hipsters teleworking from a cafe at Niagara Falls, except with less humidity and better tea.

Spent many hours in Niagara Falls, and even know people who grew up there.

Trust me, no town that has a "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" museum will ever be "hipster."

Do check out the Flying Saucer Cafe though.

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3D printers might sell. Really

Barry Rueger
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I'm thrilled!

Can I hook my 3D printer up to my 3D TV, VR goggles, Apple watch, and WIFI enabled kettle?

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Windows updates? Just trust us, says Microsoft executive

Barry Rueger
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Re: El Reg sat down with....? Wow!

Know what? You almost got an up vote for:

"Easily 99% of you who say that Windows 10 is the last straw said that about Vista and said that about Windows 95."

This is true, especially if they think they're clever for using "Windoze" or "M$."

Your bizarre, uninformed, trolling anti-Linux rant turned that up vote upside-down. :(

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Barry Rueger
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Up vote 'cause it's true

Can't understand the downvotes for the parent comment.

It's bleeding obvious that for World+Dog the best security practice is to let the OS download and install patches without needing permission.

I'm certain that the people down voting are equally vocal in complaining about users that leave unpatched security holes on their machines.

You can't have it both ways.

(None of this disputes that MS upgrades and patches generally break stuff.

Sadly, these days, the average user just has to live with breakage in order to be secure )

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Barry Rueger
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No, I trusted the flack entirely until:

"Credential Guard stores your credentials in a way that it is impossible for an attacker to get credentials. "

"Impossible."

Uh huh......

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Barry Rueger
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Re: I hope...

I have to say I've tried 3 or 4 Android keyboards, including Swype and have found them all awful.

If you look around you can find an apk for BlackBerry's keyboard.

For my money it's the best. I can actually compose multi-paragraph messages on my phone with minimal pain.

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Barry Rueger
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Sigh.The Cloud.

Run out of storage space for your pics and videos? Google is offering unlimited storage (in the cloud) for free.

Is Canada the only place where wireless companies rob you blind for data?

Unlimited cloud storage is of limited use when you're only getting one or two gigs a month.

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Markslist: Facebook touts its own tat bazaar

Barry Rueger
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Oh Joy.....

Yes I'm a Facebook user, mostly family stuff, and will state with no hesitation that it's about the most irritating jumble of bad design, bad functionality, and generally offensive policies that I've ever seen from a major corporation.

They literally do nothing well, including sell advertising.

In fact, one of the reasons why I finally installed an ad-blocker in my browser is because I was SO tired of Facebook's endless stream of ads for things that I have utterly no interest in, from companies that I would never, ever do business with.

This is bound to be a disaster. I can see no way that Facebook could do this without balling up the whole works.

God only knows WHAT their gobsmackingly bad algorithms will do with an endless stream of used furniture ads.

And honestly, given the ease and ubiquity of Craigslist I can't see why anyone would bother with Facebook to sell their used crap.

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A year living with the Nexus 5X – the good, the bad, and the Nougat

Barry Rueger
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Re Battery Life: Save me From Electro-pedants!

Possibly the most impressive thing about the new phone is battery life. A day's use is easily handled and, if you're careful about keeping battery saver on and apps in power-sipping mode, two full days is realistic.

Lord save me from reviews and comments that suggest that turning off half of your smartphone is a reasonable approach to device operation.

Announcing that you turn off wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, and everything else just to save battery is about as sensible as announcing that your solution to the high cost of printer toner is to not print anything.

I have a smart phone because of these features, and have no intention of disabling half of the functionality that is built in.

Which is why a review that tells me how long a battery lasts on a device that's half-crippled is utterly useless to me.

Then again, l also tend to expect at least some mention of how well a smartPHONE handles the task of making phone calls.

Or did the reviewer also cancel his wireless plan because the cel radio was using too much battery?

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4K-ing-A! Roku bangs out broad range of new streaming boom boxes

Barry Rueger
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Um. With my Oculus headset?

"Where the Roku falls down is where it isn't leaping ahead: where is 3D support? "

Seriously? I thought 3D TV kind of stopped being kewl about two years ago.

I'll check out the new Roku boxes very soon in the hope of replacing the truly pathetic Sony software that our "smart" TV inflicts on us.

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That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

Barry Rueger
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Plan For The Future!

All of this reminds me that it's never too early to begin stocking up on PostIt notes, copier paper, and markers at your employer's expense.

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Intel, Lenovo officially gone to the dogs – with FIDO fingerprint logins

Barry Rueger
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Scary stuff

In the first place, I have to assume that someone will manage to beat the FIDO system within a year.

In the second place, right now you can refuse to give police or customs your passcode or encryption key, and about all they can do is jail you.

If your finger is your pass key it only takes a couple of burley cops to unlock your device.

Finally, what this really looks like is a fantastic tool for tracking individuals with no chance for anonymity.

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'Everyone' is buying Twitter

Barry Rueger
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Re: Sigh, It was inevitable I guess.

Me too. It's bizarre that you can be downvoted for saying that you get value from a particular platform.

Do these people also say "Because spam, all email is bad, and no-one should ever use it."

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Barry Rueger
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Sigh, It was inevitable I guess.

Twitter is actually one of the things on the Internet that works well - if you have half the sense needed to use it effectively.

It's managed to avoid becoming the massive craphole that is Facebook, and has resisted the urge to try and add a thousand and one "features" that add nothing to the actual utility of the service.

It's one of very few things on the Internet that I actually use and enjoy.

Given Google's ongoing campaign to either ruin or just shut down anything they touch, this could be a sad day. Microsoft - not much better.

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Brave telco giants kill threat of decent internet service in rural North Carolina

Barry Rueger
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Re: Only in US

So in the land of the free and home of the brave local communities are forbidden to look after, you know, the local communities?

I'll remind you that this is one of the basic rules of modern "free" trade agreements - no government may pass a law that infringes on corporate profits.

Do so and you'll be frogmarched to an "independent" tribunal that will forcefully remind you that mere governments are NOT allowed to infringe on multinational corporations.

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Two Sundays wrecked by boss who couldn't use a calendar

Barry Rueger
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Looking Out for Yourself

Regardless of what your contract might say - and especially if you don't have anything on paper - your actions during the first week or two on a new job will define how things are done in the future.

If you get sucked into working ten hours of unpaid overtime in the first week, because you want to show that you're an eager employee, you will have established that this is a normal practice, and will keep doing it pretty much forever.

If though, during that first week, when asked to donate time for unplanned work, you can beg off - "gee, if only you had told me earlier, my kid is having a heart transplant, and I'm assisting the surgeon, otherwise I would have been happy to do it," you will have established on some level that doing extra is an unusual situation.

Funny thing is, if you can consistently avoid extra, unpaid work, you'll find that they'll manage just fine, or that someone less clever will be given the work.

Timesheets are a GOOD thing, not because bosses insist on them, but because they force YOU to keep track of what you do.

Even if they're not required, it's very good practice to sit down at the end of each day and make notes about how your time was consumed.

It's good for you to actually think about these things, and it will make you a more productive employee. It also allows you to spot problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.

Best of all though, in the event that you and your employer wind up facing off behind lawyers you'll be very, very glad to have documented your work patterns and conditions.

Detailed notes and time sheets can save you if there's any dispute.

Which is why you not only fill out the damned time sheets, you make sure to take a copy off site, and store it at home.

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HP doorsteps Apple shoppers at the altar of dreams

Barry Rueger
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Re: This is what innovation is?

True story. GF was shopping for a laptop. Price was not the deciding factor, but does matter.

At Best Buy there were a handful of Apple notebooks, and a few dozen with Windows to choose from at much lower price.

The kicker though were two things she felt she would use (and does) - the ability to flip the screen and use the laptop as a tablet, and a touchscreen.

I was actually kind of surprised that Apple products didn't offer either feature.

I might agree with the feeling that Win10 is a mess, and with the piles of bloat ware, but in pure hardware terms HP felt like HP was five years ahead of Apple.

And yes, it's pretty thin too.

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New Skype for Linux Alpha

Barry Rueger
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Download link

Download: https://www.skype.com/en/download-skype/skype-for-computer/

For those who care,

a) It installed easily on my Mint box

b) As far as I can tell it's audio only, not video

c) The actual UI looks like about 1998

d) There was some confusion because I tried to sign in using my email address (which works if you sign as a Microsoft account holder) rather than my Skype ID, which apparently I do not have even though I had set up a brand new Skype log-in mere minutes earlier.

Aside from all of that, if Skype works in your browser why would you bother?

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

Barry Rueger
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Refrigerator

17 billion would easily replace about 17 million 20+ year old refrigerators.

I suspect that would save significantly more electricity than "smart" meters ever will.

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Is there paper in the printer? Yes and it's so neatly wrapped!

Barry Rueger
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Re: Locked in? BTDT.

It's often the case that internal walls don't extend above the suspended ceiling tiles.

Climb on a file cabinet, pop a tile, over you go.

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Excel abuse hits new heights as dev uses VBA to code spreadsheet messaging app

Barry Rueger
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Fundraising Drive

Managed a community radio station.

One volunteer, yearly, came in with a floppy disk that generated a massive group of linked sheets.

One sheet* for each radio show; probably twenty shows each day. added rows automatically so that each pledge phoned in could be entered with a name and amount.

Plus daily summaries, and weekly, and grand totals.

It was, for its time, (c 1999) a truly wonderful and impressive feat.

Probably still have it buried somewhere on my hard drive.

* tabs? We didn't need no stinkin' tabs in those days!

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Rate our bugs, says Yelp

Barry Rueger
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Bugs aren't the problem

Methinks Yelp would do better spending time to fix a system which dumps legitimate reviews into a hidden cupboard while obvious spam raves are filtered to the top.

Then again, if I paid them maybe my ratings would improve.

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Google emits three sets of Android patches to fend off evil texts, files

Barry Rueger
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Imaginary Bugfixes

As far as I can recall, my Motorola phone has seen one major upgrade (to Lollipop) and one lesser bug fix update - maybe six months ago.

I highly doubt that I'll see any other system upgrade, either major or minor.

The whole Android concept, where end users are at the mercy of device manufacturers and carriers, is insane.

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If you haven't changed your Dropbox password for 4 years, do so now

Barry Rueger
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Re: Sounds fishy to me

I'm also a fan of Lee D's system - 99 times in a 100 I know the likely password from memory. Or the previous password for a security level, missed when I last did a global "change all passwords," sweep, a semi-annual practice.

Barring that, I'm a heavy user of "Reset password" and will sometimes abandon a site if that's too cumbersome.

For some reason user forums are a specific problem, which leads to multiple accounts of the Barry, Barry1, Barry2 variety.

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Barry Rueger
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Re: Welcome to Britain. Home of the shittest customer service, anywhere in the world.

"Welcome to Britain. Home of the shittest customer service, anywhere in the world."

Hah! I'm from Canada.

I win.

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Microsoft promises free terrible coffee every month you use Edge

Barry Rueger
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Re: I've seen some desperate stuff over the years...

God yes! The guy with a dozen tickets check, cash in, or renew, plus he wants to buy five scratch tickets, no, not that one , THAT one there, and can I choose which one you give me, and no, I won't accept a ticket with a random generated number, I want my LUCKY number.

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