* Posts by Alan W. Rateliff, II

735 posts • joined 21 Nov 2007

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Shame

All music will be rated EC-10 and media burned, anyway.

A while back I ripped all of my CDs to FLAC, and do as I obtain new ones. Then I can mass convert FLAC into whatever format I need, which right now is medium-quality AAC in M4A so I can play from my phone over Bluetooth. Might not be "high fidelity" but it does sound far better than the MP3s from way back in the day, at any bit-rate setting.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Pirate

Re: MP3

Screw MP3. You will have to pry Fibonacci-Delta compressed IFFs from my cold dead hands.

Long live 8SVX.

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TVs are now tablet computers without a touchscreen

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Oh you optimist

I am happily ignorant to change with a new 1080p projector to give me any size screen I want, a $40 OTA DVR with HDMI output, and an Intel NUC. All-in cost under $1,000, including the going-out-of-business sale HDMI switching receiver.

DVDs and BluRays play on the NUC but most are already ripped to the NAS (with the exception of some ornery ones which refuse to be ripped.)

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Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Improvements?

As for Older hardware, I've got a Mac SE that's still going strong ~30 years on. It's quite a while since I felt the need for more speed from a PC and I'm only running an i5 2500k. If I want it to go fasterer, I'll overclock it.

Right, as an Amiga user running AmigaOS 3.9 on a 50MHz 68060 I understand the argument against the need for speed. However, the browser and many other programs I use cannot handle TLS 1.2 easily. (Though an update to AmiSSL was recently released which seems to have eased this quite a bit.)

A Mac SE would support OS7.5, maybe 8, correct? Out of curiosity, what kind of development has happened in this sphere to help these operating systems keep up with modern Internet security and performance requirements? Has yours been upgraded beyond the 68000? I know my 7MHz 68000 Amigas were damn near useless for browsing even in the late 90s and it took an upgrade to a 40MHz EC030 to moderately mediate the issue.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: And yet another MS stuff up

I completely fail to understand why Microsoft, once again, has elected to go to desperate lengths to exclude portions of its customer base and what the possible legitimate benefit could be.

The same crap happened with Server 2003 and Windows XP x64. As XP x64 and Server 2003 were built on the same kernel, they both had the same support road-map which extended one year beyond 32-bit XP's expiration date. Then almost last minute Microsoft decided XP x64 would die at the same time as its cousin. Indeed, Windows Updates failed to indicate available updates for XP x64, however if you manually download and installed Server 2003 x64 updates all was well.

Windows 7 has an extended support road-map expiration of 2020, still three years out. While many systems built on older Intel and AMD CPUs can feasibly last that long, Microsoft is for all intents and purposes reducing its promise on supporting what remains a viable alternative to its Lastest-and-Greatest(tm).

Likely, though, it will not make a difference to Intel, AMD, or Microsoft in the forward march of progress. The Gigabyte motherboard and Gen7 Intel CPU I wanted did not come with Windows 7 drivers (I am told by a reliable source this situation was demanded by Microsoft,) but it was demonstrably possible to load Gen6 drivers during OS installation. Since I was moving an existing installation with no easy way to know up-front if I could get the drivers going I wound up sticking with a Gen6 setup. Did Intel notice this lost sale of new product? Nope.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Holmes

Re: If you are forced into Windows 10

(Warning, some browsers won't like the certificate here.)

Not for nothing, but since free secure certificates are available these days, is a self-signed certificate even partially forgivable?

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TCP/IP headers leak info about what you're watching on Netflix

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Happy

Re: So.....

Crowd-sourced research.

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Douglas Coupland: The average IQ is now 103 and the present is melting into the future

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: IQ tests

Absolutely, I see that as a huge benefit in training, in particular when you need to absorb a skill as quickly as possible and you can learn incidentals and out-of-the-box scenarios on-the-job. I do not, however, see a place for this type of training in primary education, if only for two reasons: the minds being taught are different at the ages indicated and a majority of students cannot think and remember effectively when taught to the test, and the expected results of the education at these two points are different whereas one is expected to lay the groundwork for skills and knowledge which can be broadly applied and the other is meant to be very focused on a particular function.

As a case in point, while a student in education I observed two grade levels preparing for the FCAT. First, I would note that a number of these students were absolute emotional wrecks with the weight of the school on their shoulders, these being the lower-performers who could "bring the school down." But more importantly, they were missing particular aspects of each subject being taught. I worked with one student trying to grasp the area of a rectangle, the formula for which is L x W. But when presented a square he stumbled on the notion of which was the length and which was the width, because both were equal. Yes, from our perspective this is a non-issue, but, again, these were not necessarily the high-performers with whom I was working.

Now, right there on the same page as the L x W formula was the S x S formula for squares. I remember being taught this, not necessarily that squares were different than rectangles, but that the formula was more suited to the square as every side is equal. I pointed that out to the student and he informed me that he had not been taught that formula. I inquired of the teacher and she told me the formula was not in the school's curriculum because it was not on the FCAT.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: IQ tests

That pretty much sums up my thoughts on cheating, or for that matter "targeted studying" for any test.

For instance, the UCF business school cheating incident† in which a number of students studied from sample questions available on-line. These students studied 700 sample questions for a 50 question mid-term. Why not just, I dunno, learn the material, instead?

As for targeted studying, I have a physical reaction to students asking "what's going to be on the test?" So far as I am concerned everything in the text and lectures up to now is fair-game, kind-of like life.

Brings me as an aside to standardized testing and how schools have been "teaching to the test." When I was in elementary we had these standardized tests, as well. The one I took was called the ITBS: the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. Our preparation for the test consisted of "Tuesday next week make sure you have a number-two pencil and an eraser" and I recall we did quite well. The whole point, as the name implied, was to test your basic skills, how you were applying the things being taught in regular lessons.

† There is some additional reading which makes this incident a little controversial in its construct but does not affect my over-all point about studying questions rather than material.

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Microsoft cloud TITSUP: Skype, Outlook, Xbox, OneDrive, Hotmail down

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Happy

Re: Sorry, my fault...

And for all that cancer...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WP3X0dSV9kI

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Facepalm

You tossers have it all wrong: just delete system32. Duh!

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Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

Alan W. Rateliff, II

-Confirm:$false

Now always your friend.

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81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: What no Geneve?

Likely because the Geneve out-right replaces the 99/4A as a much more capable machine. It is compatible to a large degree being able to run pretty much everything from the old console, including "ripping" cartridges, and use the same hardware expansions. The Geneve is like the SuperCPU of the TI world, but a little easier to find, and I just picked up one at last year's Chicago TI Users Group Faire but like with all things time is my worst enemy.

While a massive upgrade for the 99/4A, almost all of the major development in the forum is directed solely at the 4A console, even down to the bare-bones 256 bytes of CPU RAM and 9918A, only -- no 32k, etc. This is changing, though, to require 32k now that the nanoPEB and 32k sidecar expansions are pretty prevalent. Games and demos by Rasmus and a few others all require 32k, as do numerous Extended BASIC (following tradition of the Old Days when XB and 32k went pretty much hand-in-hand.)

Maybe a future article could delve into the Geneve world and the salivating anticipation for the FPGA-based Geneve II. There are several experts on and developers for the Geneve around to help with that.

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Google Chrome 56's crypto tweak 'borked thousands of computers' using Blue Coat security

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Coat

Re: The curse of "Blue" security

Like the Blue Duck!

(Oh, Gawd, I just saw it next to the Twitter bird and now I feel sad. And a little dirty.)

I fail to see the need for all the dick-measuring over this. Forgetting for a second that Google is arrogant and everything Google is in perpetual beta, and Symantec does have a reputation for ruining everything useful, both are implementing a standard which is still in draft. These are the kinds of things we should expect to happen on occasion and instead of childish mud-slinging and disparagement, the cooperative spirit of the Internet should emerge.

Try to read that with a straight face.

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'First ever' SHA-1 hash collision calculated. All it took were five clever brains... and 6,610 years of processor time

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: "Why does the size have to be identical? "

Just a few thoughts.

PDFs are compressed containers, right? That being the case, you can change quite a lot of the payload and all you have to do is ensure the compressed output of your manipulated file has the same size and hash. Being that the input to the hash generator is essentially already manipulated in a manner which essentially obfuscates the source document.

Of course, that is a narrow application but still seems practical. Going a similar route, look at any compressed file you might download: .zip, .7z, .tgz, etc. For full confidence a check for all parts should be applied, not just the download but the individual hashes of each and every part. For instance, the hash of the archive, the hash of all parts combined, the hash of each individual file, hunk, etc. Doing so gets heavy and resource expensive rather quickly.

More broadly, think of the Open Document formats which are zipped containers, among others.

But what of TLS sessions? Consider that a spook or nefarious agency (arguably one in the same) has a packet capture of a TLS-encrypted session signed with a SHA-1 certificate. We already know sessions signed by a certificate generated with poor entropy (the debacle from a few years back) can be undone. $130k is nothing to throw at this for such agencies, maybe even enough to get the GPU calculation requirements down to something more reasonable than a year (how much was paid for the San Bernadino iPhone hack?) Whatever was in that session is at risk, be it an email, web search, forum posting, or penis-enhancement purchase confirmation page.

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Did you know? The FBI investigated Gamergate. Now you can read the agents' thrilling dossier

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Humanity fail.

I have more general issues to address here than the "Gamergate" situation.

"Only about 1 in 3 rapes are ever investigated, and less than 1 in a hundred are prosecuted."

This is misleading on a several points. First is the assumption that all rapes reported actually occured, and second due to the ever-changing and broadening definition of rape which in some surveys include feeling guilty afterward, while intoxicated, or other ambiguous or dubious terms, including the bureau of justice statistics were "attempted rape includes verbal threats of rape" and sexual assault "also includes verbal threats."

Your "1 in 100" prosecuted should actually be your "1 in 3," but even so the number of prosecutions is misleading because, again, we have to take into account what constitutes rape as well as mistakes by investigators, retractions of false allegations, presence of exculpatory and necessary inculpatory evidence for prosecution, and the fact that majority of criminal cases get plead-out or settled before ever making it to prosecution.

"...the FBI's criminal statistics division... is a voluntary program, and for obvious political reasons, most police departments want to downplay the instances of violent crime in their precincts. As a result, rape is severely under-reported."

This is also misleading and calling upon the presumption of an "obvious political" slant on the part of law enforcement. The UCR is voluntary but strongly suggested, and law enforcement agencies which do not participate are generally smaller forces and most often covered by some sort of state open-records law. The under-reporting of crime happens /before/ law enforcement is contacted.

"rape is severely under-reported. Most women don't even bother reporting it because they know -- from their friends and family -- that it is largely futile."

What exactly do they know? They know how a woman's allegations alone are treated as fact? How the current approach of "the seriousness of the allegation is most important" has ruined careers and lives even after a claim has been proven false?

"dismissed by authorities and the -- male -- public"

Yet analysis of these instances show that women are more likely to be dismissive than men.

"what you are matters a lot when it comes to criminal investigations, public sympathy, and credibility."

In the public eye rape, harassment, and violence are taken very seriously and given great credibility even when not deserved due to being inaccurate or blatantly false. What you are matters when you are telling the truth, when you are fabricating, and when you are lying.

"The statistics are so depressing it makes me hate the very concept of numbers. Just look down and to the right of this post at the number of thumbs down"

I infer, then, the negative reaction to a post spewing anecdotal account of numbers or alluding to statistics which are proven to be misleading or inflated, is enough to prove the post in the first place.

"Most women have bigger balls than you'll ever have. It takes guts to walk out the door, every day, and endure this with a smile, to never let it show that it bothers you. It takes courage that most men cannot comprehend, and it is shameful that men have allowed themselves to become this weak and pathetic that they won't stand up for others."

Men have a higher likelihood of being assaulted and "bullied" than women do, including on-line where analysis shows that over half of the on-line harassment women experience are from other women.

Even the FBI's uniform crime reports statistics historically dismisses male rape and sexual abuse. Sexual assaults on men are ridiculed and joked about as "you can't rape the willing" implying that men are just walking erections looking for a hole. Men who complain about assault and battery are derided as wimps, pussy, not man enough, etc. So do not for one second think that women own the market on rape, assault, and harassment in the dark figure of crime.

"no different than being upset with muslims because some of them are terrorists. Why won't you do more, you ask. It's a muslim problem, so it's okay to discriminate because they haven't done a good enough job policing their community."

Here we are given a false equivalency: the assumption that men are inherently indiscriminately violent and mysoginst, compared to a religion which within its scriptures and doctrine preaches the death of those who will not submit and the destruction of other cultures and has never, unlike others, undergone reformations called for by prominent figures.

There is a problem in this world with a religion which teaches world domination as a tenant which outsiders have no power to correct; there is not a problem in this world in which men are taught from day one to hate and disrespect women. At the very least the "bad guys" in the religion are instructed to hide their true nature during their march toward domination, while the "bad guys" in both genders actually stick out like sore thumbs.

Men are, as a whole, well-adjusted and taught to respect and love women, both by the very nature of their mothers and by a well-adjusted father. We are taught to be protective and defensive of women as we would of our own mothers and sisters, and most of us will take a beat-down or a bullet to do so.

"Well men... what are you doing to police yours?"

We police our community quite well, thank you, including putting a beat-down on those who are disrespectful and abusive to women. Otherwise there would be no stories of men coming out to take on another man abusing a women in public, or the long walks in the woods or behind the shed given to men who are secretly abusive, or the beat-downs put on other men for transgressions against women. For that matter, ask any pedophile or rapist how well they fare in prison.

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Naughty sysadmins use dark magic to fix PCs for clueless users

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Devil

BOFH fan-fic?

Who shall accept the challenge?

Yeah, my schtick is to tell customers that technology fears me, as it is often the case the problem clears up within moments of placing the call to me. I explain that once the misbehaving piece of kit heard I was getting involved it knew time had come to straighten up and fly right. Much like how hearing "just you wait until I tell your father" could elicit angelic behavior in many demon children... myself included.

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Annoyingly precocious teen who ruined Trek is now an asteroid

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Blame the EU?

Ah, "Lifeforce," the movie in which Mathilda May ruined my adolescence. I actually saw Patrick Stewart in "Excalibur," first.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Why are you emphasizing the "h"? "Wil" does not even HAVE an "h"!

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Being close to his age at the time I was more able to relate to Wesley Crusher. He did all the cool stuff, had great toys to play with (c'mon, site-to-site beaming!), fun travels, hung out with Ashley Judd before she was "cool," and befriended an android. I could have been just like him, or he could have been my best friend with the hot mom.

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Solaris 12 disappears from Oracle's roadmap

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Flame

So glad Oracle is aware of the rumors...

Apparently Oracle is not aware of the reality of its crap sales. I have been trying to get support contracts on x86 boxen for several years but not a single sales person has called back.

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Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Chinese now?

And through which servers does OperaMini proxy its connections?

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Not OK Google: Tree-loving family turns down Page and pals' $7m

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Condemn?

Given the surroundings, the value of the property could be re-assessed to an amount which would make paying property taxes damn near impossible. Of course, thanks to Kelo we could just watch the news for the inevitable eminent domain claim.

(0-dark-thirty cannot sleep, post knee-jerk reaction, continue to read and find others with same thoughts, commence sleep-deprived paranoia.)

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If any idiot can do it, we're heading in the right direction

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Joke

Re: If any idiot can do it..

But then again...

“You can't make anything idiot proof because idiots are so ingenious.”

― Ron Burns

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Microsoft ends OEM sales of Windows 7 Pro and Windows 8.1

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Mushroom

Re: Now's the time

Okay, why in the hell are comments about downgrading being down-voted? Are there a bunch of voting trolls among us commentards? Windows 10 shills?

(Maybe you got it for saying you wanna switch to Linux.)

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Downgrade rights...

The official procedure given to system builders is to use an already-activated key. There is a limit to the number of times a key can be activated automatically, and indeed used in this manner, so I have a long list of valid OEM Pro keys. As for reaching MS activation techs with no idea of the downgrade rights, you should try again or demand a supervisor -- so far as I can tell our downgrade rights have not yet been revoked.

https://www.microsoft.com/OEM/en/licensing/sblicensing/Pages/downgrade_rights.aspx

"...downgrade rights are only available as long as Microsoft provides support for that earlier version..."

Though it also makes this claim which would seem to apply to system builders as "third party facilitators" and in the sense of the ambiguous "large scale."

"Because downgrade rights apply to end users, they are not designed for third-party facilitation, which has many complications. Also, such facilitation is not suitable for carrying out on a large scale."

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Downgrade rights...

...still exist. Buy Windows 10 Pro license, install Windows 7 Pro, activate already activated key. May require a call to MS, but it works.

For now.

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Chinese electronics biz recalls webcams at heart of botnet DDoS woes

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: How are these devices accessed from the internet though?

Well, one of statements prior is to use OUTBOUND connections, only. Though this requires the provider build a better infrastructure, thus a potential increase in price. But markets adjust: as properly working and better secured devices appear on the market, the price will drop as they become more successful and price for manufacture and support go down.

Automated VLAN of "guest" devices would be a way, as well. Though that will not cut down on the hijacked devices nuking a target if UPnP port forwards are still in progress. Whether in-bound or out-bound connections are being made, internal users could still make contact with the devices. Though if it is something like a DLNA broadcaster... one could override in the firewall/router.

Software integration with the firewall might be a neat tool, too. Some way for the firewall to interact with anti-virus/firewall software on a computer in order to notify a user when not just a program wants Internet access but also a device, along with access options for said device. The presumption being the owner of the network uses a computer and not devices, solely. Well, then an app on a device, anything to cover the bases.

Anyway... yes, there are solutions.

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Wi-Fi baby heart monitor may have the worst IoT security of 2016

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Meh

Re: First security problem is using wireless for critical application

"No, the first problem is using a gadget instead of an actual medical device. The Independent ran an article a couple of years ago that these monitors were mostly useless."

I said security problem, not usage problem of the device in question. Our points are complementary.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
FAIL

First security problem is using wireless for critical application

How easy is it to send de-auth packets? A flood of them? You want to trust your baby's life to that?

Owlet has a disclaimer and indemnity clause in the EULA, which indicates to me the device should NOT be used as some parents are likely to use it and (I would hope and assume) Owlet likely does not encourage such use.

The reality, however, is wireless and cloud is becoming so ubiquitous in our society to be almost inescapable, and thus implicitly trusted, even with all of its faults. Who should carry the burden of culpability for this: the vendors who push and push, the users who push and push onto others, or the poor suckers who just think things should work like magic?

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NHS patients must be taught to share their data, says EU lobby group

Alan W. Rateliff, II

"symptom masking drugs"

There is not much reward in trial-and-error diagnosing (troubleshooting) to find and treat root causes of many ailments, so treating the symptom meets peoples' expectations of immediate resolution (because they saw it done on TV in an hour including commercials or just out of desperation) and the system's expectation of funneling patients through as quickly as possible with as little cost as possible.

"at price gouging prices."

This is a legitimately confusing point for me. As I understand, the NHS has price controls on care and medications, so the cost for patients should ostensibly be minimal.

This being the case, irrespective of whether the drug treats a symptom or the cause, development takes resources which need to be recouped. So, when faced with one outlet with price controls which cannot meet the cost of R&D (and regulatory compliance and investment expectations, both which can be abusive,) then the price for the other outlet must compensate.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Possible?

Or just "lost," of course unencrypted, on misplaced laptops, USB sticks, backup devices, etc.

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Majority of underage sexting suspects turn out to be underage too

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Post your Kik, Snap, or cell phone number and I am certain there are a plethora of sources willing to indulge your curiosities.

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Social media flame wars to be illegal, says top Crown prosecutor

Alan W. Rateliff, II

I can because I live in a terrorist state that started a bloody revolutionary war against being ruled by people like this and so have pretty near absolute freedom of speech.

Yet, here we come full-circle.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Joke

Shut it you old fart!

That's just funny.

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It's time for Microsoft to revisit dated defaults

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: I call bullshit on that marketing exec

So this marketing exec purchased a brand new laptop from a vendor, opened the packaging on the laptop and less than 15 minutes later walked into a meeting with said laptop and tried to do a customer presentation with it? Riiiiight.

Not an unreasonable nor unheard-of scenario by any means. I can see this clearly: the computer the exec would normally use which was carefully set up and configured by ITS has barfed up (yet, again) because of all of the things this user has done to it. The user decides the computer is a piece of crap, and since every time he or she calls ITS he or she is told that his or her preferred usage of the computer is the cause of all problems, aforementioned user, having read plenty of tech blogs and threads on the matter, decides the only solution is to obtain a replacement machine immediately. Again, ITS is obviously incompetent as it takes at least several hours for the request for a replacement machine to be handled, so a quick run off to Worst Buy is the ticket, and there will be JUST enough time to run in, be talked into the completely wrong thing by the Blue Shirt, and dash back, open it, pop in the USB stick and once again shine as PowerPoint Hero.

FTFA:

"...a marketing executive who purchased a new notebook and registered it against the company's network using the provided cloud-based mobile device management service, as she had been instructed."

Yes, there were instructions, and while you have the pithier parts of what supporting a marketing exec is like, you have conveniently ignored that said marketing execs will almost always ignore the important parts of the instructions which give the caveats as these are not "action items" but rather "informational items" which are seen as optional -- read that as, "items not to be read" no matter how bold or what color the print.

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‘You can’t opt out of IoT’: Our future is the Rise of the Sensor Machines

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Creature comforts

All this tracking, monitoring, ordering automatically, and what-not and I will bet my stove and microwave clocks will still flash "12:00" every time the friggen power goes out.

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BOFH: There are no wrong answers, just wrong questions. Mmm, really wrong ones

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: But are you...

No... Banana Man!

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Employee Surveys

"out-house training"

Now here is a company trapped in the past.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: 2B) or not.

After working for a company for a couple of years and being promoted to a manager, I took a personality test which had been recently implemented for new hires. I failed. Yet, at this and another company which had a personality test as part of the hire process, I watched as several employees who passed were fired or in one case arrested for stealing from the store, as well as other "minor" policy infractions like showing up for work drunk, showing up hours late or not at all, non-physical (unprofessional dialogue, to say the least) altercations with customers, and general don't-give-a-shit attitudes.

Yeah, great tests, these; great test of upper-management or HR gullibility.

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Oh Snap! How intelligent people make themselves stupid for Snapchat

Alan W. Rateliff, II

New, from MomCorp

The eyePhone!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAhxpWylMsk

http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/EyePhone

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The server's down. At 3AM. On Christmas. You're drunk. So you put a disk in the freezer

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: DAT tape?

But dat tape, tho.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Same here

It is a yuge gamble, but a stuck spindle might be unstuck if struck at just the right moment with just the right impact, usually just before or immediately after you hear the spindle motor start trying to spin. I do not know if the heads move at all before the platters are spinning -- ISTR they need the spin to keep them "floating" above the media.

In any case, I would much rather send the drive off to someone like DriveSavers but this is rarely (close to never) the first resort for customers. I found the pricing model to be the problem: DriveSavers and its ilk post recovery costs up front, whereas the time you will take lighting candles, sacrificing poultry (the Popeye's lunch suffices, IMHO,) formulating new incantations (mostly of curse words, old and new,) and such is an intangible until the invoice is received.

I tested and confirmed this the last time I had to do data recovery in which there was no backup (not a regular client, thankfully.) I worked up an estimate based upon a worse-case scenario of the above-mentioned voodoo with no promise of results, then presented a specialized recovery quote which would not charge if no data was recovered. Off it went in next-day shipping.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: ending his elbow

Indeed we discover he was providing much longer-lasting pleasure to himself, upon which the kibosh was put, like virtually all pleasures, by a ringing phone.

I'll start:

Dashing through the snow

the drunk two wheels conveyed

through the streets he roamed

wailing all the way.

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Uni student cuffed for 'hacking professor's PC to change his grades'

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: It might not have been War Games...

Covering up for the fact that uni professors use shitty passwords, and use the same shitty passwords for everything?

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Star Trek film theory: 50 years, 13 films, odds good, evens bad? Horta puckey!

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Mushroom

Re: The bullsh@t of space

This is bait. Begone, troll.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Well, I pretty much love all of it

I am /almost/ there with you. I just could not stomach DS9 after a couple of seasons. I recall watching an episode every so often in the beginning and leaving it having my curiosity stimulated, but later I found I could not make it more than a few minutes in and DS9 became one of those things which you have on TV because nothing else is on and you really are not watching. I very much enjoyed Voyager, though I found Kes more interesting than 7-of-9. I grew up in the decade after you, and I wonder if, like me, anyone else carries fond memories of the animated series.

I had the benefit of seeing both TMP and SW as a youngin', when my imagination was soaring and easily carried me away. I remember distinctly different feelings while watching and after having watched each of them, as well as the movies which followed. Star Wars gave me many hours of play time and I was fortunate enough to own much of the toy collection to play out the good-versus-evil, black/gray/white hat Jedi concepts. Star Trek, on the other hand, was something to which I related when my wanderlust took hold, when I would contemplate travels to new places, both terrestrial and extra-terrestrial, meeting new people. That may be because of TAS and TNG, which seem to be more about new encounter than the movies.

With Star Trek I can relate to getting away from Earth. There are places in the ST universe to go in relation to home. SW is a completely different, unrelatable* universe. One appeals to me more than the other. Anyway, I am sure comparisons between the two have been hashed to death.

* red squigglies, I really thought that was a word.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Terminator

Re: Evens good, odds bad only applies to the first six

I award an up-vote with one minor change: while religion is easier to identify and explicitly takes center-stage, the danger to which ST:V alludes is blind faith in, and obedience to, any idea or idealism.

We live in a period now in which we are experiencing the re-emergence of a number of Great Ideas which have failed spectacularly in recorded human past, underlined and with an exclamation mark at the end, usually at an incredible cost of human lives. The very fact and fabric of history does not, however, stop the uninformed, willfully or otherwise, "enlightened" ones from forging forth, progressing head-strong and hell-bent that they can do it better than those masterminds who failed before them. You see, history begins today with this new breed of mastermind.

Those who point out the failures, repetitions, and marked similarity to the past are ridiculed, demonized, and minimized. The ones who speak the loudest and often the most clear are washed over with comparisons to the very events and people about which they warn occurring again. The ones who truly question the prevailing authority are admonished as being closed-minded, bigoted, and insensitive; sore losers who will not accept the direction in which the herd is turning and moving at ramming speed.

Question everything, damn it.

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Speaking in Tech: Nope, sorry waiter. I won't pay with that card reader

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Facepalm

Re: Pay cash

Or... just stay with me, here... you can use a PLASTIC card to draw money directly from your checking account. I know, that sounds crazy, but imagine it: it has the convenience of and works like a credit card, but instead of drawing against credit it automatically DEBITS from your existing cash reserves held at the bank. Not really a credit card, but perhaps a "debit" card. Yeah, since it debits from your account and it is not credit.

Just crazy enough to make billions!

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Sex ban IT man loses appeal – but judge labels order 'unpoliceable'

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Trollface

Re: downvote here

This approach of community policing is generally considered to be racist.

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