* Posts by Barry Rueger

359 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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iPhones clock-blocked and crocked by setting date to Jan 1, 1970

Barry Rueger

Re: " date format between US mm/dd/yy and the rest of us should die in a fire"

Yes! Anything that goes through many versions on my computer gets named 2016_02_14_filename.txt.

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OnePlus ends rationing. You can now buy its phones just like that!

Barry Rueger

Questionable Pricing

I was looking over one of those Chinese Web stores this week, and being sorely tempted by some of the sub-$100 phones on offer.

Even if I allow for the questionable build quality of some of these no-name products I really can't understand why brand name phones are priced five or even ten times as much. It's inconceivable that the manufacturing costs are that much more than a Zing Dong brand phone.

Now that I'm off the "free" phone with contract cycle, I tend to shop for a less than current brand name phone and usually spend about $250 or less.

Given that the average phone is replaced every 18 to 24 months I can't fathom spending $750 to a thousand bucks.

That's a LOT of beer!

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Why does herbal cough syrup work so well? It may be full of morphine

Barry Rueger

Codeine

For many years I gave up on buying cough medicine because as far as I could tell it just didn't make any difference.

Eventually, in the middle a particularity nasty throat condition, I ran into a helpful pharmacist that suggested that I try the Other Cough Medicine behind the counter.

What she meant was, the syrup with good old fashioned opiate based codeine, instead of the usual "safe" dextromethorphan.

Wow. what a relief that was! The codeine knocked my cough dead in no time at all, and I had the first good night's sleep in days.

Although a nurse friend warned me that codeine does have notable side effect - constipation.

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Linux Foundation assembles gang to build a better Blockchain

Barry Rueger

Re: Bad news for Govt.

"Once an enterprise level of bitcoin starts being traded between banks this will make the control by central banks harder."

Once upon a time the Greatest Minds Of The Internet® knew, just knew that regular laws didn't apply in cyberspace - stuff like copyright laws, libel and slander etc.

Turns out they were wrong.

Problem was this: if there's enough money involved governments will always make it their business to regulate and control things.

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Newspaper kills 'what was fake' column as pointless in internet age

Barry Rueger

MSM can Blame Themselves

I'm astonished how "reputable" media web sites sell a big chunk of real estate (usually below the story copy, but above the comments section) to those annoying clickbait ad blocks.

"You won't believe..." "Ten most outrageous...." etc.

Do these people not realize that this devalues everything that they publish?

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Adobe: We locked our customers in the cloud and out poured money

Barry Rueger

Where are the GIMP fan boys?

I'm astonished that no-one has jumped in yet to claim that the GIMP is a viable alternative to Photoshop.

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Snapchat TITSUP on heels of Google App Engine outage

Barry Rueger

And not Kevin Spacey

More and more I'm convinced that the Internet is one humongous house of cards, just one flick of a finger from total collapse.

2
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Smart telly, router, app makers have left a security hole open for – drum-roll – three years

Barry Rueger

Re: Easy Updates

Our Sony does that as well.

Problem is that the Sony software is pure and utter garbage, so the auto-download just gives us freshly updated garbage.

Sony's software is so deficient in both features and functionality - seriously, for a couple of months Netflix would crash the OS! - that I would never for a moment expect it to be secure.

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Mozilla: Five... Four... Three... Two... One... Thunderbirds are – gone

Barry Rueger

A Really Good Email Cluent

Every few months I poke around looking for an email client that might help me escape Gmail.

The choice always seems to be Thunderbird or.... Nothing else.

Tbird feels decidedly antique to me, clunky and not particularly good looking.

Back in the day I was a big fan of Pegasus, and honestly don't see any client that improves significantly on it.

It's long overdue for someone to build a new, modern email client from scratch.

5
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Google takedown requests mushroom as copyright holders play whack-a-mole

Barry Rueger

Re: "Yes, Google is your friend."

You wake up with one eyebrow and half your hair missing on a northbound train, no wallet, with a one way ticket to Ben Nevis.

Really? That sounds more like Facebook to me.

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BlackBerry Priv: After two weeks on test, looks like this is a keeper

Barry Rueger

BlackBerry keyboard

The absolute best thing about the Priv is that I can now install BlackBerry's seriously excellent on-screen keyboard on my garden variety Android phone.

I wasn't particularly heartbroken to lose my Z10, but boy oh boy was it painful to go back to trying to write using the utterly crap Android keyboard.

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'Shut down the parts of internet used by Islamic State masterminds'

Barry Rueger

Facebook? Responsible?

"There are countless examples of what Twitter and Facebook are doing when it comes to the use of their services in distasteful ways."

Only if by "distasteful" you mean "Pictures of breastfeeding."

As recently as last month I reported some virulently racist crap posted to Facebook by a relative, only to be told that it didn't violate their "community standards."

I hardly think that corporations operated by man-boys whose world view never made it past grade seven tittie jokes have much chance of stopping the Islamic State, Jugalos, or my local Girl Guide troop.

Assuming they even wanted to.

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Apple’s TV platform just became a little more secure (well, the apps at least)

Barry Rueger

Re: What eaxctly defines a Smart TV?

Agreed. Our Sony "smart" TV is anything but.

Simply the worst software package imaginable - it can't even handle Netflix reliably.

Well on it's way to being a dumb terminal with an external box.

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Anonymous hack group plans to out anonymous hate group

Barry Rueger

Free Speech?

Ah yes, the Internet, where so many, many commentards fail to understand the distinction between "free speech" and "being an asshole."

What the KKK bozos are about to learn, hopefully with considerable force, is that while you have the freedom to maintain whatever obnoxious, racist, asshole ideas you wish, you are also free to live with consequences of your actions.

Funny how so many lovers of "free speech" get all miffed when they find themselves on the receiving end.

20
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Aussies' distinctive Strine down to drunk forefathers

Barry Rueger

Two words: Tom Jones.

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Elderly? Disabled? You clearly need a .38" Palm Pistol

Barry Rueger

Green Avenger

An obvious rip-off of the design of one of my all time favourite toys back in the day - the Green Avenger water pistol.

https://img1.etsystatic.com/006/0/7099949/il_fullxfull.367502843_9vda.jpg

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Sprint sprints away from no-throttle policy – punishes 'unlimited' network hoggers

Barry Rueger

Re: Howls of Outrage!

The dollar price was just an example, not a prediction of prices.

If the "Invisible Hand" actually existed we would see data prices at the cost of production plus some arbitrary amount of profit.

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Barry Rueger

Howls of Outrage!

Surely we're approaching the point where ISPs, wireless companies, and similar providers will dispense with irritating and arbitrary rules and do what they should have done in the first place: sell bits, and bill people based on volume used.

The water utility doesn't "throttle" your pipes if you use too much aqua. The electric company doesn't reduce you to 35 volts if you hit a certain threshold. (Yes, brownouts have happened in the past, but that's on a regional basis, not individual consumers.)

The time has come for these companies to just say "We're selling you usage. The first 25 gigs of data are $35 a month, and $1 a gig after that. How you use that data is your business."

If there's enough demand the providers will build up their networks to provide for it. If one provider won't do that they'll lose customers.

9
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Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos

Barry Rueger

Re: Rant: Why so slow, and why such a rubbish UX?

God yes. Our Sony 55", bought last Christmas, has about the worst UI I've seen in many years.

At a minimum, you can't even set which service it starts into at boot-up - we use it 99% for Netflix, yet it insists on booting to a screen telling us that it can't find the AV Player attached to Input #1.

Honestly, aside from a great picture and decent enough audio, this thing does nothing well, and most things poorly.

I would dearly love to root the thing and install something, anything else to replace the horrible Sony software package.

(And I'm ignoring the random crashes that make watching anything an exercise in frustration.)

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Amazon Echo: We put Jeff Bezos' always-on microphone-speaker in a Reg family home

Barry Rueger

Re: Kieren, out of interest, how old are you?

"I believe Echo has been particularly popular with the older generations, as it allows them to interact with technology and the internet in a natural, personal way, rather than via a computer."

Um, which older generations are those? I'm creeping up on sixty, and have worked my way through programming on punch cards, C-64, many versions of Windows, an Apple, and Linux, along with a couple of dedicated word processors.

I know at least a few people over seventy who have a programming background, plus a lot of time spent doing graphic design and computer music composition on various machines.

In fact, with the single exception of my 87 year old mother I don't know a single person over the age of 65 who doesn't have smart phones, computers, or tablets, and usually all three.

We are the generation that invented, and grew up with personal computers. It's absurd to suggest that we are any less capable of using technology than you are.

In other words, you can't complain about old people not understanding tech, and then also complain that they've taken over Facebook and Twitter.

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El Reg keeps pushing Apple's buttons – its new Magic Keyboard

Barry Rueger

Wow. Just Wow.

For twenty years I've been buying the cheapest Logitech (or even no-name) keyboard I could find.

Wired, wireless, cheap, not so cheap, simple, or festooned with twenty five extra "media" buttons. I have never had any of the mechanical problems described.

Plug it in (or plug in the wireless receiver thingy) and it Just Works.

Seriously, Apple can't even make a keyboard??

A KEYBOARD?

15
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How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?

Barry Rueger

Re: And your point is?

"I've had people ask me if a remote control for their TV needs batteries fitted to work."

Minor quibble, but the key fob for their car doesn't need batteries, nor do any number of "things that are sort of like a remote control," so it's not an entirely unreasonable question.

Either that, or it's one of those things where the battery hatch is completely hidden, or can't be opened without knowing the secret handshake.

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PHONE me if you feel DIRTY: Yanks and 'Nadians wave bye-bye to magstripe

Barry Rueger

Choose your poison.

Some thirty-five years ago I knew the guy who launched the very first no-name, white box ATMs in Canada. He's now stupidly rich.

At the time he said that the banks were entirely aware that it was a simple matter to copy bank cards, and in any case your PIN was on the stripe, and at four digits was pretty much useless as security.

Now the same banks are rushing headlong into pay by bonk.

There was significant retailer pushback because the transaction fee for a contactless payment is much higher than a regular chip and PIN debit.

As for using my phone for payments, I'll consider that when manufacturers and wireless companies will promise security fixes to my Android software will arrive in weeks instead of every other year when Google does a major version upgrade.

(I expect to see Marshmallow sometime in mid-2016.)

(Still wondering what plausible security is enhanced by entering the three digit CVS number from the back of a card.)

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Ubuntu 15.10: More kitten than beast – but beware the claws

Barry Rueger

Re: How do you know there's scrollable content?

When the web page you open is just an image and headline, then you know you have to scroll (glares at ElReg "hero" images....)

Mobile Reg is your friend. Haven't looked at the desktop site for ages and ages.

3
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Scary Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty signed off

Barry Rueger

More of the Same

"Free Trade" agreements invariably wind up meaning one thing: someone no longer has be follow the rules that you have in place to regulate business.

The minute a government signs one of these things some of the rules that protect people will be removed or gutted.

12
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Only a CNUT would hold back the waves of the sharing economy

Barry Rueger

Re: But! Red! Tape!

A) I call bullshit.

B) buy a bigger ladder. Standing on the top step of a short ladder is stupid and dangerous.

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Barry Rueger

But! Red! Tape!

Must! Cut! Red! Tape!

Or so goes the refrain from allegedly small business people across the land.

Red! Tape! Stops profits! Red! Tape! Prevents us from hiring people! Red! Tape! Makes us move our factories to China!

I like the Red Tape that keeps someone from starting a lead smelter in my residential neighbourhood.

I like the Red Tape that limits the speed on local streets to 50kmh.

I like the Red Tape that prevents manufacturers from dumping cyanide laced waste into local rivers.

And I'll bet anything that these allegedly hard-done businesses also like the Red Tape that protects their market share, that keeps the CEO from being sued, and prevents their competitor from firebombing their warehouse.

Yes, if it helps me it's "much needed regulation." If it cuts into my profits it's "Red Tape."

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Five things that doomed the big and brilliant BlackBerry 10

Barry Rueger

The Phone For Adults

Forget apps, the thing that my Z10 did EXTRAORDINARILY well was let me actually write. The on-screen keyboard and predictive text were many generations beyond the crap Android software.

With the BB I could actually write fairly long, multi-paragraph letters. Back on Android I think twice before doing a text message.

Beyond that though, the issues with apps that I actually did need, the horrible way BB mangled my Google contact lists, and the absolute and complete lack of end user support all contributed to my decision to abandon them when the phone finally was dropped and broken.

Oh, and BB steadfastly refuses to support Linux users, so good luck backing up your data.

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Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

Barry Rueger

Forrest Gump

I have to believe this is a horrible troll, although I can see my Alberta relatives LOVING this.

But if you want to understand why VCs would buy into this, I tend to think that the Gumpster said it all.

"Stupid is as stupid does."

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It's BACK – Stagefright 2.0: Zillions of Android gadgets can be hijacked by MP3s, movie files

Barry Rueger

Can they fix Android?

I'm repeating myself, but it will require some very large lawsuits to force Google, manufacturers, and carriers to fix this mess.

Each of those should be terrified to think that their customers are doing banking, stock trades, business email, and other sensitive business using devices that likely will never see security updates.

It's just a matter of time before something large and expensive uses an unpatched exploit to hammer hundreds of thousands of users on a scale that cant be ignored.

9
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Hello? HELLO? Major Skype outage hits folk WORLDWIDE

Barry Rueger

So Disappointed

Really folks, has no one else thought to suggest that this is because Microsoft insisted that Skype's servers be upgraded to Windows 10?

(Yeah, yeah, I don't even know if there's a Win 10 server software, and am too busy to look.)

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Apple iPhones, iPads BRICKED by iOS 9's 'slide-to-upgrade' bug

Barry Rueger

Re: It must have worked OK...

Apple would have had to have done a _lot_ of testing using iOS 7 devices.

Or could have the good graces to prevent a 7 to 9 upgrade, or at least offer up a stern warning that "Upgrades from your OS version have not been fully tested, and we cannot guarantee that they will work. Please upgrade to version 8 before attempting this upgrade."

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Apple's big secret: It's an insurance firm (now with added finance)

Barry Rueger

Jumped the Shark

Last week we went laptop shopping. It was a real education into what Apple isn't doing.

We actually looked at Apple first, and at the prices.

Then we walked across the aisle and looked at Windows machines. Dozens of them, at much lower prices.

What quickly became apparent was how far Apple is behind the tech curve.

Specifically, the complete lack of touchscreen support, something which, after years of smartphones, is actually expected. It made the Apple productats feel decidedly out of date.

The deciding feature though was something that has been around in various forms for long time, but which Windows PC makers have embraced with gusto: the ability to flip the laptop lid over and use the machine as a tablet.

Again, this is approaching being a feature that is just expected, and Apple doesn't have it.

These days most makers offer thin, shiny, cool looking laptops. There's nothing outstanding in that anymore.

Windows makers have moved the tech game forward in noteable ways, while Apple is selling more or less the same products that they offered ten years ago.

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Slow handclap for Google mail!

Barry Rueger
Paris Hilton

Ah Google....

A "feature" that was obviously coded by the same genius that decided that no Android user should be allowed to send more than handful of text messages each day.

I honestly don't know what the people at Google HQ are doing, but they really need to get out of the chocolate factory and into the Real world once in a while.

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Ubuntu Wily gaggle builds 15.10 beta beachhead

Barry Rueger

Yes 'cause Windows automatically comes with Office, and Adobe Creative Suite also pre-installed as well right?

Just helped my SO set up a spankin' new Windows 10 laptop, and it actually is jam packed with menu items that will, with just one click, install Office and about a hundred other things.

Was quite intrigued that even after we installed trusty old Office 2012 (I think) off CD, it still had defaults set to Office 365, which wasn't even turned on.

That said, it still amuses me that I can do fresh install of Mint and have almost every application that I use up and running in less than twenty minutes. It took three times that long just to get her printer working on Win 10.

3
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Embracing the life-changing qualities of USB power packs and battery extenders

Barry Rueger

Re: elegant metallic finishing

Ah yes. The days when US auto companies charged you hundreds of dollars for the "optional" automatic transmission on a car that couldn't be purchased with a clutch.

Which, to think about it, is the business model for half of the companies on the Internet.

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Duncan Campbell: GCHQ and me and a roomful of Reg readers

Barry Rueger

Clarification needed

Speaking on behalf of an awful lot of people on the West Coast of Canada, I need to ask:

When you say “a gangly fellow with a stutter who loved long-distance running and mushrooms,” do you mean mushrooms, or MUSHROOMS......

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Barry Rueger

Phew!

Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed!

My experience is rather different: for at least four years my Linux system, and Open/Libre Office, has worked with minimal problems.

Aside from figuring out where Mint has hidden the "Disable CapsLock" setting.

In fact, the reason I stay with Linux is because it doesn't have the problems that seem to be endless in Windows boxes.

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Slashdot, SourceForge looking for new owners after parent dumps them on the web's doorstep

Barry Rueger

Re: SoylentNews

I too jumped ship to SoylentNews and have to say that it seems to do just fine. But hey, with User ID 66, I may be biased.

Mostly I like the the overall attitude of trying to respond to what the community wants, or at least needs, which is refreshing after the last few years of Slash madness.

Worth a visit.

3
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Voyager's Golden Record now free to download

Barry Rueger

Re: Here...

Thank you! My thought exactly - why the hell do you write an article like this and not add the link to the darned page??

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OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

Barry Rueger

Can they fix Android?

I'm one of those who finds that every iteration of Android breaks something else that I actually use.

(Actually that goes for every Google product these days.)

I honestly can't fathom what their Contact app is useful for, and why it randomly changes stuff without asking me.

Today though I was reminded once again of my number one gripe with Android: the insane limit on text messages.

I think this appeared in ICS, or maybe JB, but Google in their wisdom decided that Thou Shall Not Send a Text message To More Than Ten People.

In an emergency there is a list of 39 people to whom I need to send a text message.

Google does not allow that, and after about ten texts are sent I need to approve EVERY SINGLE ONE by clicking "Allow."

There is no conceivable reason for this, and many, many people have chimed in on the bug reports, but Google refuses to bend.

Sigh. I may need to bite the bullet and go Cyanogenmod once again.

The point being, I shouldn’t have to root my phone for basic functionality.

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GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

Barry Rueger

On No. Another Google Screw-up ahead?

Is it just me, or does Google manage to break everything that they create?

Certainly search is not as useful as it used to be, the new Contacts thingy sucks big time, Maps has become just plain irritating, and the new Gmail interface looks like a dud.

And Android... don't get me started.

Google's excellent spam filtering was one of the very few things that have made me stay with Gmail.

Lately though I'm seeing hundreds of spam filtered messages each day in the spam folder. A month ago it may have been a couple dozen.

Sure enough, it looks like Google is "improving" their spam handling.

I expect nothing but a complete disaster.

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GM's cheaper-than-Tesla 'leccy car tested at batt-powered data centre

Barry Rueger

Say what?

"Electric vehicle batteries are still capable of holding a lot of their capacity when drivers choose to replace them in order to maintain their vehicle's range capabilities."

Am I alone in reading that sentence three times before even guessing extactly what it said?

Somehow from a fine British publication I expect reasonable grammar.

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Abort, abort! Metal-on-metal VIOLENCE as Google's robo-car nearly CRASHES

Barry Rueger

Audi Drivers Throughout History

The year was 1986. A co-worker had just bought a used Audi.

A friend visiting from France looked at him, looked at the car, and moaned, "Oh Peter! How could you buy this? All of the Audi drivers are - how do you say? - Assholes!"

Of course for at least the last couple of decades Volkswagon drivers seem to have taken over that title.

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British banks consider emoji as password replacement

Barry Rueger

Re: Great Idea!

Been asking my bank fot three years, and it's still alpha letters, not case sensitive, numbers, and no, repeat NO special characters.

Their argument, with an apparently straight face, is that anything better would confuse customers.

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Auto-playing video ads? People love auto-playing video ads – Twitter

Barry Rueger

Phew!

Boy, am I ever glad I've got my Ello account to fall back on.

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Cinnamon 2.6 – a Linux desktop for Windows XP refugees

Barry Rueger

So Far they haven't F*cked it up!

I swear to God that Mint is the only system I use (computers, phones, TVs etc.) that hasn't managed to add an "improvement" that made it seriously less usable.

Somehow the choices they make are sensible and don't force users into some dramatic new environment.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Unity.

Mint seems to avoid "change for the sake of change," or even "change for the sake of OMFG LOOK AT THIS COOL THING I DID!!"

As a bonus, the Mint team actually reads, and even finds fixes for, bug reports.

I've tried a lot of software over the years, and multiple OSs. I don't crave novelty, I just want to get work done.

13
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'Lemme tell you about my trouble with girls ...' Er, please don't, bro-ffin

Barry Rueger

Bye bye Broffin

Come on folks. No organization is going to fire a Nobel laureate because of one stupid joke.

If nothing else, the PR boffins would have told the bosses to sit tight til the smoke cleared in a couple of days and it was all forgotten.

More likely the "joke" was the last straw in a long history of offensive behaviour.

Somewhere Dr Broffin likely has a big fat personnel file that has "Your last warning." on the second to last page.

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Fire, fire! Just move your data centre onto my lawn ... Oh rats!

Barry Rueger

Re: Power of Three

Arguably what every business needs is a plan for what to do when the technology just fails entirely.

Even if it amounts to "We'll email all of our clients from the boss' Hotmail account."

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Nobel bro-ffin: 'Girls in the lab fall in love with me ... then start crying'

Barry Rueger

Such impressive trolling!

It probably speaks volumes that it is nearly impossible to tell which comments here are honest debate, and which are well crafted trolls.

As regards the good Doctor, sometimes in life the only reasonable response is, "Wow, you really are a fucking idiot, aren't you?"

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