* Posts by Herby

2949 posts • joined 14 Dec 2007

Look out, fanbois! EVIL charger will inject FILTH into your iPHONE

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Counterfit Chargers?

Given that some of the small USB chargers that are posing as Apple ones exist (usually cost reduced by removing the hash filters!), this might be a real problem. The biggest problem is that the space for the "nasty" part is quite small. That being said, it could be reduced down to a single chip if its only function were to install a file on the "host".

Lots of $$$ needed for this, but some people (governments) had such resources! Possibly even the US government you never know (file detects Arabic script and goes further...).

Look, it may have already been done, and we just don't know about it!

Film crew plans dig to find lost burial ground of Atari's E.T.

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Parking lots are full of things!

I've heard of ICs (programmed ROMs) being ground up and used as asphalt filler. After all it is just a bit of refined sand and some Aluminum bonding wires. The plastic makes pretty good glue after being melted.

Yes, there are some things like this. I have heard of examples about Panasonic, Motorola, and Signetics just to name a few.

It seems that revenue people what the objects destroyed in order to claim a total loss. Either that, or they sell them off to surplus stores for pennies and claim the loss that way. Amazing what you can get a surplus stores these days. Some in "reasonable" shape, suitable for re-purposing at low cost!

Motorola shows off tattoo and swallowable password hardware

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But 666 is a wonderful number!!

Just try to find a house number with that one. My sister had an address with that number and was forced to change it to 668. It is kinda like the 13th floor which also has "bad karma" associated with it. The solution for 13th floors is to skip it, but apartments, you just change it to 12a (I've seen both!).

I will note that it is amazing what stomach acid will do, it is pretty caustic!

Microsoft offers free keyboard covers for Surface RT

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More lipstick...

...on a non-selling pig.

How do I load Linux on it?

Call it a "dance card" and be done with it.

New EXPLICIT pics support notion of moist, welcoming past for Mars

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Water, water everywhere...

...but not a drop to drink(see).

When they drill and get a gusher, that will be VERY exciting!

BOFH: Go on, beancounter, type DROP TABLE asset;

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This goes into the category of...

Worse Than Failure (or better known as WTF).

Of course coffee spray over the keyboard might fit in that category as well.

Isn't SQL so nice :-)!!

Ubuntu's Shuttleworth: Microsoft no longer dominates PC biz

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More traction...

If Linux (in whatever form) gets an application that ISN'T available for Windows. That will be the attention getter.

This is being done to some extent with Android and its apps.

FTW!

UN to call for 'pre-emptive' ban on soulless robot bomber assassins

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War is hell. What else is new.

The object of Armies (as stated by a general a while ago) is to:

1) Kill people.

2) Break things.

All else is irrelevant, or aids in the task at hand. Sure there are several ways of doing these tasks, some "more humane" than others, but the basic tasks remain.

Consider your own body. It is continually at war with germs and other nasties. Disarming it (read AIDS) doesn't work, so we make up helpers (antibiotics) to fight the "war". Sometimes the drugs we invent can be harmful to the bodies "civilian" population (chemotherapy) but we soldier on. In the end we hope the good guys beat out the bad guys. Life is like that. Sorry!

Microsoft's Windows 8.1 secrets REVEALED ... sort of

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A place for everything, and everything in its place....

Yes, Virginia, touch is here to stay. That is all fine and dandy, but when people sit down and want to do WORK they have no need for a touch screen which takes reaching for the large screen they are used to having in front of them. If you aren't holding the screen, touch really doesn't make ANY sense, no matter HOW much lipstick, mascara and gold plating they do to the operating system.

Those who have offices or cubicles who use computers use the mouse (or the occasional trackball) as the pointing device since it takes little hand movement from the keyboard. Maybe if Microsoft mandated that those who created W8 actually had to USE it on small screens and using touch they might figure out a different interface.

So, yes, fondleslabs and smaller devices exist, but work gets done with a keyboard, mouse and a nice large (1920x1200 pixel in my case) screen.

Oi, butterfingers! Drop your mobe in a pint? Hope it's not an iPhone

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Just remember...

Toast always lands butter side down

So: don't drop that phone or soak it in water!!

How God and übergeek Ron Crane saved 3Com's bacon

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Then there is the 3C501 card.

Enough said.

Microsoft caves to Google, pulls YouTube app from WinPhone Store

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Why can't we...

Watch Google and Microsoft battle it out "gladiator style" where neither of them lives at the end, and the tiger eats everyone.

Ah, but to dream.

AT&T adds 61¢ 'Mobility Administrative Fee' for users

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A billion here, a billion there...

Pretty soon it adds up to "real money".

Put this in the category of a "tax", where AT&T (a modem test command!) is both the tax collector and the beneficiary of the tax. Yes, it will be raised. This is just a nice way to up the price. The problem now is that we've gotten used to it.

So, this just drops to the bottom line.

Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

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Units?

How about an "Orange", being the amount of information he actually downloaded.

So Mr. Mazkouri downloaded an orange of data.

To make things clearer, maybe define an "orange" as 1Tbyte, then he downloaded 1.6 oranges of data (units should be nice round numbers).

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

FLABBER-JASTED: It's 'jif', NOT '.gif', says man who should know

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Choosy mothers chose JIF

Sorry, its an American ad for peanut butter, and the brand is 'JIF'.

Me? hard G for me!

Cook: Apple has 'no current plan' to pull profits out of Ireland

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Sentators would rathar have

35% of nothing than 10% of a bunch of money.

Fools all!

Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

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Why don't they call it a PC and be done with it

Then load Windows 8. All one needs to do is add a keyboard and a mouse (or take in some hand gestures) and you got a reasonable piece of kit.

Sure there is $$$ to be made doing games (more that the Movie industry I'm told) but I really don't want to be holed up in some dark living room watching stuff wander on my screen.

If I wanted a game, I'd get my old "Pong" game that I built on a circuit board (only a couple of chips) and entertain myself. It was OK then, and it is OK now. For more advanced stuff, a nice spacewar (on a pdp-11) like I saw at the Stanford coffee house in the early 70's. Otherwise, why bother. Sure there are lots of nice graphics, but Cinema is much more entertaining to me.

As for the name. Why is it called "One"? didn't they already have the first "Xbox" a long time ago. Seems that going from "360" to "One" is backwards to me. Maybe they should call it "Xbox Vista" or some such.

IBM puts supercomputer Watson to work in ROBOT CALL CENTRE

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If it will help...

...get rid of the stupid "computer noise" that is injected while it "looks up" things, it might be helpful. I do know that SQL querys are a fact of life, but silly beep-boop-bleep sounds while you are doing it is terrible.

All of this gives new meaning to the quote "Watson come here, I need to see you", uttered over 125+ years ago.

On a personal note: Calling it by that name isn't the best thing in the world.

Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

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But...

I like a nice tasty steak, with a nice baked potato. Heavy on the chives, bacon, and sour cream on the potato.

Vegetables? Not if I can help it (my wife has other ideas though (*SIGH*)).

If this was "ideal" restaurants would be out of business. What do you do for that nice "conversation over dinner"?

Rogue Nokia splinter cell drops its Jolla phone A-BOMB

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Another thought...

Maybe these guys are developing a version of their OS that WILL work on Nokia phones. They already know the hardware, so it won't be that difficult.

They could offer an "UPDATE" to the silly WP8 Nokia thing that Microsoft likes to have battles in weddings about.

Maybe this IS Nokia's "Plan B". You never know.

Curiosity plunges its drill into Mars AGAIN, seeks life-giving sample

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Technology progress.

Less than 50 years ago, the first Martian "probe" was a "flyby" mission that took pictures to a tape recorder (for storage) and then sending the (monochrome, with two filters) results back here to Earth. That was the "state of the art" at the time (around 1965 or so). We really have come a long way since then.

Think of the technology changes in your lifetime. They are quite "fascinating" (as Spock would say).

Irish deputy PM: You want more tax from Apple? Your problem, not ours

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Rules, laws and more rules.

Look, Apple and other companies didn't write the rules that were enacted by the various governments (much as they would like to). Instead they FOLLOWED the rules as they stand. Sure the matrix of rules was analyzed to find the lowest tax rates available, but that is what a company is supposed to do. To do anything else would be irresponsible.

If a government wants to generate tax revenue, it needs to look at the matrix and find out that (surprise) they get more money by taxing big bux at lower rates than by taxing less at higher rates. Here in the USA, we have this terrible tax rate (30%+) for corporations. If they reduced it to a more amenable rate they would get more money to the treasury, simple as that.

This was shown to be true when they reduced the tax rate on capital gains here in the USA. The lower rate for more $$$ to the treasury. Unfortunately our Big Hefe who resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. thought that lowering taxes to increase revenue was "unfair".

"Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples money" (ob British quote)

Schmidt: Don't like our tiny tax bills? Google this... 'Change the law'

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To tie this all in, why not...

Just use BitCoin for all the "profits" and let them land in whatever country you want.

Taxes? Go to BitCoin and take it from them!

Of course that may be what Google has in mind already, but you heard it here first!

Jailed Romanian hacker repents, invents ATM security scheme

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Fine until...

The skimmer is internal to the machine reading the card, and attaches itself to the logic circuity.

Why not just build a circuit board that takes the output of the magnetics and intercepts it before passing it along. Man in the middle style. The bad guys seem to have access to the innards of machines these days (there was a news story about a gas (petrol) station here that was compromised on its inside.

Still, a nice idea!

US military welcomes Apple iOS 6 kit onto its networks

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Joke

Close neighbor Canada?

I thought Canada was a wholly owned subsidiary of the US of A. It just operates a little more independently.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS

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You mean they don't have an exit gate?

Here in the US of A the "self service" parking usually entails getting a ticket when you go into the parking facility, and then when you are about to leave, going up to a vending machine, and submitting said ticket and plying the machine with folding green paper with pictures of presidents and other elder statesmen, or a credit card. The machine dutifly records said payment on the ticket and the time, and you slip said (now validated) ticket in the slot at the exit gate and your car is now out of jail, and you are free to go.

Now if you don't pay, you don't get out of the garage/car-park, being trapped until you can find some attendant or just give up and ram the gate (they are usually pretty flimsy) and bust out of "car jail".

The alternatives are as I saw this last weekend, having a fixed price to pay upon entering a parking facility (it was up to $30/vehicle at the Rock Concert in Napa!), and the time was "unlimited". Of course if the car stayed overnight or was abandoned, a nice friendly towing company would take possession and cost MUCH MORE to get it out of "maximum security car jail" (aka impound lot).

Now where was that nice portable jet pack when you needed it!

Tablet? Laptop? HP does the splits with Tegra-based SlateBook x2

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Now we might have a comparison

Between an Android version and a "Surface" version. Hopefully the former won't have a paid up Microsoft License, and then we will know the "Real Microsoft Tax" value for such an item.

Oracle updates Java versioning to allow more security fixes

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Why not use the Knuth scheme

Where he used increasing accuracy of Pi to generate versions.

First: 3

Next: 3.1

Next: 3.14

Next: 3.141

Next: 3.1415

Next: 3.14159

You get the picture, and I don't need to rack my brain for the next digit(s).

All aboard the patch wagon! Next stop: Microsoft, Adobe, Mozilla

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Another hole, another patch...

Life goes on.

Same story next month. We all gripe about it, and yes in a perfect world software would be "right", but the standards of production of software (and bugs) has been set and we all obey.

Till next time...

Alleged CIA spook cuffed by Russians: US Gmail 'spycraft' revealed

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Wrong introduction!

Spy1: I've got the YoYo.

Spy2: I've got the string.

It goes on from there. It was the 60's. Or as the saying goes: "If you remember the 60's you weren't there!"

Review: HP Pavilion 14 Chromebook

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Microsoft ought to take warning!

These "ChromeBooks" are like dogs nibbling at their heels. Ignored at first but later VERY annoying. The ChromeBook described is a perfect "Wife's computer" for someone that just needs to browse a bunch and send out a few emails. Connectivity via WiFi is perfectly nice and the few extra features are available for the "tech of the family" (Me) to help out.

One of these is going to be MUCH better than a silly "Dance Card" (Surface) designed by the increasing insignificant company in Redmond, which costs more than twice than this model!

Good job HP (I seem to say this more in the past 6 months :-)

Google adds Atari Easter Egg for Breakout's birthday

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Outsourcing?

So Mr. Jobs outsourced his job. Looks like he learned business pretty early in his life.

Of course, it would be interesting to see a schematic of the 40+ chip solution to ponder just how it works.

Yes, I do like to program in "solder". I find it amazing how few people understand any facet of the language!

Microsoft: YES! You can have your desktop back again for FREE!

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Why not call the update...

Windows 7 and call it a day.

Samsung sends gigabit '5G' signal TWO WHOLE KILOMETRES

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Just remember...

The lower the frequency, the less bandwidth us usually available. So, all this new 700 MHz stuff that is appearing from the old UHF TV channels won't have lots of capacity. They demonstrated 1GHz bit rate at 11 GHz, which is just about right. Assuming 8 bits per signaling element (good luck with that!) you still need 125 MHz of bandwidth to get stuff through. Finding that much RF real estate is VERY difficult at low frequencies as the pie is quite subdivided for all the users.

So, you have high frequencies, and there the path loss starts climbing in and you end up heating the air you pass the waves through. This indicates a higher power in BOTH directions which gets difficult in something hand held.

Bottom line: Good luck, you WILL need it!

El Reg drills into Office 365: What's under the hood?

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As the saying goes...

Nobody got fired for buying Microsoft products.

Sadly this is quite true in the "business" world. It really doesn't matter what the costs are, a big company like Microsoft is considered infallible. They keep adding features to products and convince suckers (aka customers) that the product is necessary, even if they really don't need the latest upgrade. This cycle persists with every new release of Office/Windows.

One of these days, LibreOffice will have a NEW valuable feature that will catch the attention of an IT CTO or something "C" similar, and then they will latch onto it as being cool necessary to do their business functions. Microsoft will, of course, implement it in an incompatible way, but if there is enough delay between the "open" implementation and the Microsoft (closed) implementation that the "business world" takes notice, it might turn the tide. Until then all I can do is call the BSA hotline and complain that my software (Linux/LibreOffice) doesn't have a license key, and it is copied all over the place, just to see what they do.

Life goes on (*SIGH*).

Microsoft splashes big bucks to blast Google Apps

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Repeat after me:

Nothing to see here, please go away.

Another oxymoron: "Microsoft Comparability". Doesn't apply here, never will.

Microsoft honcho pleads with media: 'Stop picking on us!'

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Being critical of Microsoft...

Is SO easy. That's why we do it, and will continue to do it.

We know that Microsoft doesn't care, and never will, so we will be critical for quite a long time.

Get over it. We know Microsoft products are just an effort to maintain your monopoly, and due to all your tie-ins and non published "standards", we're stuck. Hell yes we are critical!

And yes, I use Linux as much as I can, even at work where they foistered a laptop on me (it had W7, and the first thing I did was load Fedora 17 on it).

More Wi-Fi in the sky: FCC to help keep US flyers tweeting

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But...

I want my airplane time to be "Quiet Time" where NOBODY will disturb me. I can get one of those head covering pillows (I just saw it on TV) and get some (medically induced, or otherwise) shut-eye.

The difference between doing it "in-flight" or on the ground is of little consequence to me. If people need my input, they know I'm on the plane, and they can WAIT! Besides, most of the time I'm on a plane I'm on VACATION!

RTFM! NSA tome reveals THE TRUTH behind spooks on the web

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Of course, this begs the question...

Is ElReg mentioned in the document as a "good source" of information?

The next question: Has ElReg been approached by spooks to plant a story, as they DO have a schedule of costs for this sort of thing (I know it exists, but I don't have a link ready).

'Liberator': Proof that you can't make a working gun in a 3D printer

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One thing you forget here!

While this "concept" won't actually be a viable weapon, there is one thing you forget. As far as regulators are concerned, the "receiver" IS the gun. Barrels aren't considered as a "gun", and need not have serial numbers attached to them (they have other characteristics that are unique though). It is the receiver that is 3D printed and as far as regulators (ATF people) are concerned that is the heart of the gun.

Anyone (with money) can obtain a barrel quite easily. This has ALWAYS been the case. Couple this with a 3-D printed "rest of the gun" and you have a very workable device. Oh, by the way, VERY untraceable as well. The sales of gun barrels are not recorded, nor are they restricted in any way, so the net result is a nice multishot device that anyone can make.

This is like back in prohibition times when a kit of yeast, and condensed fruit juice was sold with a big warning "if you put these together and let it sit for a while, you could make an illegal substance". They sold lots of said kits. No alcohol, but easily made!

Israeli activists tell Hawking to yank his Intel chips over Palestine

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Maybe he should boycott...

Those states which don't recognize Israel's right to exist (in any form), of which there are many!

We recognize your right to exist, so why not others?

Ban Samsung sales in the US? Sorry, Apple: Tech titans say 'No'

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The only people getting any "reward" are...

...the lawyers that are chewing up $$$ at a billable rate of around $500/hour (maybe more). Maybe if they made the "loser pay" it could get settled quite quickly. We can only hope.

Of course, the better solution is to get rid of "software patents" all together. Maybe one could patent "software patents" and get the really big bux!! What a plan!

San Francisco caves over mobile radiation warnings

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Only in San Francisco!

Maybe they got some sense pounded into them. Unfortunately it was probably the costs that drove home the argument.

Now if they get rid of the plastic bag ordinance which bans them, I'll be a much happier camper!

Coke? Windows 8 is Microsoft's 'Vista moment'. Again

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Regarding touch screens for desktops...

I am reminded about an earlier time before mice were everywhere. In those days the "pointer" was a light pen (remember those). I saw a screen based workstation that had one "new fancy" (for the time) lightpens. The people in the hospital (where it was used) had gotten used to it to select things and edit fields (it might have been character entry based, I don't recall). One thing that I did notice was that they had a hand rest for the monitor. This obviously was due to user complaints for having to reach and point on the screen (as touch screens do now). At the time I believe (this might have been over 20 years ago) I commented about the arm rest, and asked "why". The response was that they couldn't use the tab key to switch from field to field on the entry form, so they HAD to use the light pen and it was very tiring after a shift (pre-cursor to carpal tunnel syndrome?).

Now if the people at Microsoft had been FORCED to use their new interface to generate those reports in Word, or Excel, there might have been a different choice. As it stands now, Touch for a desktop machine, isn't going to happen. EVER! OSHA might even have a say in this!

Google's Schmidt calls for 'DELETE from INTERWEBS' button

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Expiration date?

What a concept?

Maybe what people "collect" (like search engines do) should put an expiration date on everything they collect. If it is there the next time around, the date gets renewed. If not, the data must "die". Of course there might be exceptions (the Wayback machine is quite useful at times), but personal data should have a "destroy" date.

Of course, I'm dreaming, but that is what I do sometimes.

Watchdog: Y'know what Bitcoin really needs? A REGULATOR!

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Any good currency...

Has an army behind it. When I see a "bitcoin army" I might believe it has some value. Until then, "Do not pass go, do not collect $200".

Report: Icahn spoiling for a proxy fight with Dell over buyout deal

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Why doesn't Icahn go play...

Monopoly somewhere "else". Maybe he can get his board out and play with the paper money they produce. When he doesn't like the outcome, he throws the board in the air and starts silly things like "Proxy Fights", giving vultures a bad name!

Redmond probes new IE 8 vulnerability

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Shocked, I say, shocked!!

Microsoft software has an exploited vulnerability? Shocked, I say.

So, are we taking wagers on when the next one appears and has already taken advantage of?

Let's see, when is "Patch Tuesday"?

Movie review: Star Trek Into Darkness

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Nothing beats...

The original series, watched as it premiered on TV in the late 60's. I was in high school then (4th to 6th form) and it was THE thing to talk about at lunch time Friday (the series ran on Thursday nights 10-11pm, on NBC).

Being a bit older now, I kinda dismiss it as being from a time long ago. Sure the six movies were OK (the evens better than the odds), but I'm getting older now, and have other things to do (having a wife does that to you).

Oh, well, maybe I'll take it in, or wait for the eventual DVD, and pop my own popcorn.

37,000-machine study finds most reliable Windows PC is a Mac

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Reliable? Interesting adverts on TV

Yes we get a bunch of these. They are magic potions that make your PC "run faster" "crash less" and other such diatribe. So, somebody must be making $$$ on these as I keep seeing the adverts where clueless person 1 says to clueless person 2 "just use (insert magic potion program here)" and it will all be good.

So, why doesn't the operating system come with such things? Are they THAT stupid?

We live in trying times!

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