* Posts by Unicornpiss

994 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011

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Looking through walls, now easier than ever

Unicornpiss
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Black Helicopters

Get out the tinfoil hats..

..and wallpaper!

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Oregon will let engineer refer to himself as an 'engineer'

Unicornpiss
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Coat

Re: let me guess

"An engineer isn't an engineer unless he's an engineer. Now which train do you want to ride?"

What about locomotive engineers?

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Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Add a proper hard drive..

..and I might have a flicker of interest. Flash is cheap these days. Offer it with a 256GB drive and not only would I have some interest, but businesses might as well. Putting everything in the cloud is great for fluffy people that use their devices for nothing but Facebook and photo collections. It's not so great for people doing data acquisition, massive spreadsheets, video editing, or numerous other tasks. Or traveling to venues where cell coverage may be spotty or insanely expensive.

It also makes me sad that while we have more technology than ever before in our lives, that people are less and less technically savvy every year, it seems. People want their devices to 'just work', yes, but not understanding how things work under the hood makes them victims to marketing and whatever data companies want to slurp from them. Also often blind to alternatives such as Open Source software, etc. Once something doesn't work and the Microsoft troubleshooter has been tried, and rebooting didn't fix it, most folks just have a blank look on their faces. This happened with cars some decades ago too--people used to work on their cars. (and not need them to park themselves)

I guess I'm just a Luddite. All the advances make technology and knowledge more accessible than ever to everyone, and that is wonderful, yet people understand things less and less it seems. You can lookup the Candiru fish in seconds or share cat photos, but people don't bother to try and get a grip on how things they use daily actually work.

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2001: A Stob Odyssey

Unicornpiss
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Coat

I wonder if anyone with a lisp..

..ever had a job answering the phone at Cisco Systems...

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Some 'security people are f*cking morons' says Linus Torvalds

Unicornpiss
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Alert

Can't disagree..

Anything whipped up on short notice that can potentially destabilize the OS kernel needs some thorough vetting before being released, "fallback mode" or not.

Otherwise, frankly, the Linux community will start experiencing the joys that Windows customers have lived with for years, basically the user and business community being their beta testers and the "out the door now, we'll fix it later" mentality.

All that said, and while I think Linus is a very bright guy, I don't think I'd want to work for or with him--I work in a toxic enough workplace already. Truly though, if Linus ever decides he's done with the project, passes on prematurely, etc., I'd expect the whole project to founder a bit, similar to the drop in quality at Apple when Steve Jobs passed away. He does keep things on track, whether you agree with his methods or not.

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Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

Unicornpiss
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Alert

Deep discounts..

"I bet Munich had discounts so steep that the purchasing manager soiled him/herself."

The more you spend, the more you save!!

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Unicornpiss
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Unfriendly Linux users

I guess I'm one of those grumps. And there are a bunch of Linux Enterprise-oriented distros that are in very much mainstream use.

But I'd have to say that USUALLY, answers abound in the Linux forums. There are some bullies and people full of themselves. Have you looked at Windows forums though?? Pointless bickering is apparently the main currency of the online world.

At least when I go searching for an answer on a Linux forum, I can usually sort out the problem. I'm so sick of reading the stock answers on Windows forums. "Scan your PC for viruses." "Do an in-place reinstall of Windows" "Have you tried these 19 useless steps? -- Corollary: 19 users saying "None of these steps worked for me." And this after finding the first 50 or so results of your web search contain crap like "Driver Manager", "Nevergonnawork Fixit Tool", etc. Even MS's own Fixits are often pretty useless.

FYI, I support Windows machines all day long for my day job.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

I totally agree with you, however...

(There had to be a "but", right?)

Microsoft also abandons its own users. Win 7 had "XP Mode", which was a nice gesture, if even more flaky than a real Win XP installation. We installed it, and (better) emulators like DOSBox to support ancient apps that no one was willing to upgrade. Then 8 came along and goodbye even more compatibility. Now 10, and even some apps that worked with 7 are flaking out a bit. I know no OS purveyor can support everyone forever. But there are utilities like Wine, DOSBox and the like, plus virtualization as needed. I suspect that someone just made the decision makers in Munich a great deal and the blood is still tacky on the contract.

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Unicornpiss
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Re: A modest proposal...

"Another possibility, that I'm sure everyone here will be happy to consider, is that perhaps Linux is not as good or usable as Windows in an environment consisting mostly of non-technical people."

I'm mostly in agreement with the poster who said "Once you show people how to open their web browser, email, spreadsheets, your training is mostly done" (to paraphrase) So unless you're leaving your users to support their own equipment, where is the problem? Using Mint running Cinnamon desktop as an example, you have icons, a "start" menu that's intelligently laid out, support for multiple monitors, and tons of office and other productivity apps.

What you don't have is the fairly useful but double-edged sword of SharePoint, the one that will get most of the chopping job done, then the handle comes off and you drop it through your foot. And domain authentication and Samba can certainly be made to interoperate with Linux, but it's a bit more of a chore and without big brother's tech dept. to support you when it's not cooperating. There also is a bit less functionality in Libre Office than the real deal, but (admittedly subjective) I certainly haven't seen Libre Office just hang with no clue given to what it's doing, as I often see with MS. I also routinely rescue Office docs that Microsoft's products can no longer open for whatever reason using Libre Office, then resaving them. I would say Libre is a bit more stable overall, if not as polished.

Another concern is even in this day and age, a lot of business software just won't run on Linux (as has been pointed out), and a lot of web-based stuff still isn't supported properly in anything but IE, often because the app looks at the browser string and goes "nope!" even though changing the reported browser will allow it to run. (Amazon streaming video comes to mind, though not an Enterprise app)

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: "IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

"None of those things apply to Enterprise Windows versions."

I very much beg to differ. I have been supporting Windows and Linux devices of many flavors in Enterprise environments for the last 15 years. Yes, you can damp some of it down with policy. But just stupid things like the appearance of the Windows Store icon in Office, unsolicited, after a recent update. Annoying nags like "Add a photo for that personal touch!" in Skype. The "Paid Wifi and Cellular" icon (and others) on the Win10 menu. I can cite more examples to the point of exhaustion, but do I have to?

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Unicornpiss
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Unhappy

"IT issues are normal regardless of operating system"

Oh, but you haven't had stupid issues until you've run Windows in an Enterprise environment.

I have to admit, Active Directory is a jewel that works pretty well, and things do interoperate. But Windows also nags you, lags your machine, and markets to you, even when you've already paid for it. I don't wish Munich's government bad things, but I do hope they live to regret their decision a bit, especially when it hits their wallet.

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User asked help desk to debug a Post-it Note that survived a reboot

Unicornpiss
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Re: This kind of idiocy is not confined to matters IT

This guy's site is pretty amusing. I'm not a chemical engineer, but it's good to hear insanity from other fields: Things I won't work with

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

I'd like to think..

..that pretty much anyone, even someone with a severe learning disability, could tell a physical piece of paper from an image being generated on a screen. My cat understands the difference. But I've worked in IT for a long time now, so I'll reserve judgment.

Things that just make me sad:

A Legal contractor making over 6 figures for a 6-month stint, angrily complaining that her monitor was dead. I asked the obvious question, "Are you sure it's turned on?" To which I got a rather nasty reply "Of course I've checked that!" I walked across the facility to her office, pressed the power button, and walked back out. No words were spoken by either of us. No eye contact was made.

Someone promoted to a "Team Lead" in IT that I had to walk through using IPCONFIG to get an IP address from a machine. <sigh>

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Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Unicornpiss
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Coat

"..posted it to his address"

Aren't they usually delivered by car?

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You know what's coming next: FBI is upset it can't get into Texas church gunman's smartphone

Unicornpiss
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iPhone legislation

That's now two unstable people that committed serious crimes and both had iPhones. Perhaps we need legislation to keep criminals from buying iPhones, or at least a cooling off period before being able to purchase one.

Of course anyone that shelled out money for the iPhone X may need an additional cooling off period to keep them from purchasing a gun and doing violent acts after succumbing to buyers remorse after purchasing one.

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Unicornpiss
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I doubt legislation would have helped much

Waiting periods and not selling guns to unfit people only keeps guns out of the hands of people who are poor, are utterly stupid, or are hotheads doing spur of the moment crimes, or one or more of the above. He was none of these. And sadly you can be quite psychotic or very bipolar and intelligent as all hell.

Since his crime was premeditated and highly preplanned, and there are plenty of guns to be had legally and otherwise, if he wanted a gun, he was going to find one. And if he couldn't get guns, he would probably have built some sort of IED or similar bomb.

Sadly, if you want to kill people, all it really takes in most societies is a third of a brain and a willingness to trade your life for the lives of others. (in a bad way)

If a maladjusted intelligent person is willing to take time and plan out their crime spree, there's not much any society can do to fully prevent them from hurting people.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: FBI can't unlock smartphone

"Right. He was clearly a disturbed individual - felt rejected, dejected, depressed and anti-social etc. - he hurt animals etc."

With the exception of hurting animals, as most of us would never do, you'd think IT workers are being profiled here..

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Alexa, please cause the cops to raid my home

Unicornpiss
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Sounds like Alexa needs a 'safe word'

"Alexa, Rumplestiltskin! Play my special alone mix...

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Google paying Apple BEEELLIONS to stay search top dog on iDevices, say analysts

Unicornpiss
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Flame

This disgusts me

Google is apparently utterly lacking in fortitude. Most folks have found out the hard way that Google is far and away the best at finding what you are looking for, ethics, privacy, and all other considerations aside. To pay Apple to use them is pretty weak. A billion dollars! Geez--imagine how much Google's public opinion would soar if this was donated to charity and not used to bribe one of the world's most profitable companies to come to a conclusion that should have been logical anyway. Or just put back into R&D. On the surface, it seems like a bold business decision. But it is born of greed and cowardice and apparently utterly lacking in confidence in the strength of their product. Re. Apple, they should "Let them eat Bing" and see how long before the pitchforks and torches come out to the tune of the resounding laughter of Android users. Or let Apple try to roll their own and see if it works as well as Apple's own maps service did.

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Over a million Android users fooled by fake WhatsApp app in official Google Play Store

Unicornpiss
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Unhappy

As a longtime Android user..

..and enthusiast, this makes me sad. IMO, Android is the most flexible, versatile, and to me, most logical to use platform. And this sort of thing is what gives it a bad name. Apple is very, very good at making their platform a walled garden and thoroughly (for the most part) vetting their available apps for malware. (functionality may be a different story) One of the joys of Android is the openness of the platform and the ability to side-load apps if you want. With this freedom comes the ability to really screw up your device. But there should not be poisoned apps in the main repository that your grandma is downloading from.

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Giza geezers' muon-geyser visor reveals Great Pyramid's hidden void surpriser

Unicornpiss
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Happy

"I am hoping its the Stargate chamber."

You beat me to it

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OK, we admit it. Under the hood, the iPhone X is a feat of engineering

Unicornpiss
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Paris Hilton

Re: yes, it's very nice but...

Are you saying the iPhone X is a $1,000 suction dildo?

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Astroboffins spot a fat 'monster' ALIEN planet terrorizing tiny dwarf

Unicornpiss
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Re: Wrong method

Considering the size of the planet, possibly a failed star in itself, and the (comparatively) dinky size of the parent star, that's probably a pretty big tug.

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Those IT gadget freebies you picked up this year? They make AWFUL Christmas presents

Unicornpiss
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Re: Smallish sticks make handy Live USBs

I had a clear blue 256MB one with our company logo that was studded inside with various colored LEDs. When you plugged it in, the lights would blink in amusing patterns giving a little light show. I used it for years as a "Ghost" boot disk for imaging before this simple, reliable process was superseded by a more cumbersome, aggravating, approved process. I still have it, though its utility is pretty limited these days.

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Unicornpiss
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Re: vendors and slowness

I rather feel the same way. I work for a company known for manufacturing and when our Marketing dept. gives out cheap crap to visitors and partners, it does make you wonder what impression is made. Pens that quit writing after a day or two. Slow, small flash drives, .7A output cell phone chargers that you hope won't burn your house down, cheap plastic stuff in attractive gift boxes. (I swear more effort was made in engineering the container than the contents)

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Unicornpiss
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Re: freebie USB sticks

Let's not forget how ungodly SLOOOOW the freebie flash drives are. It makes you wonder if they've somehow adapted floppy technology for the crappy things.

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Funnily enough, when Qualcomm's licensees stop sending in their royalty checks, profits start going south

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: Has anyone else seen Qualcomm advertising?

Another possibility is just insanity. Execs, especially the ones just below the top, the ones pining for the big chairs and corner offices, are not known for their rationality. Combine this with marketing folks, who are often a bit loopy themselves, but know how to please those higher up on the food chain, and you have a fairly useless advertising campaign whose original purpose is lost in the noise.

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BOFH: Do I smell burning toes, I mean burning toast?

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: decisions HAVE been made! - we had this happen

Our already modest server room was chopped in half and the 'extra' space taken to make a big conference room, including the removal of the raised floor and large Liebert aircon in that area. Then as time progressed and space was an issue, the 'conference' room had very small cubes installed to make a mini cube farm to accommodate the growth spurt we were undergoing.

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Re: You ended up with a Nissan Puke? Unlucky!

I had a Juke as a rental. The employees at the rental company referred to it as "the Frog".

Despite the ugliness it drove well enough. One peeve though was even with the seat all the way back, my knees were still bent driving it, and I don't have very long legs.

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IBM broke its cloud by letting three domain names expire

Unicornpiss
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FAIL

This may not have happened..

..if IBM wasn't so keen on cutting staff recently. Not only does this lead to situations like: "Oh, Jones was in charge of that, wasn't he?" "Jones was let go a year ago." ..but also doesn't really inspire much extra effort to notice such things and be proactive when your employees' morale can only be measured with a microscope.

In the end it's likely to have cost them more in the long run than any short term savings.

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Hate to break it to you, but billions of people can see Uranus tonight

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Be sure to text all your friends..

Ur anus is visible tonite

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I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs

Unicornpiss
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Pint

British revenge

I can't really disagree with anything you're saying here. Possibly the only worse documentation is that which comes poorly translated from India. But all I can say in us Yanks' defense is that you Brits created ITIL, apparently as a punishment and loathing for all IT workers everywhere.

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Look! Over there! Intel's cooked a 17-qubit chip quantum package

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Zen

It both has and doesn't have the Intel floating point bug..

I have to ask. How much does one of these babies cost?

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Let's go live now to Magic Leap and... Ah, still making millions from made-up tech

Unicornpiss
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@Ledswinger

So by your logic, it's perfectly fine if a company's proprietor, board, or whatever ruling body rips people off and uses the money taken to benefit no one but a small select group of self-serving elitists because they are spending it somewhere and thusly keeping people employed? Wow, that's really "trickle-down" economics at its best. (or worst) To extend that only a little, it's just fine if I vandalize something because it keeps the police employed and provides useful work for whoever has to clean up after I defecated on a salad bar somewhere. I'm all for free enterprise, but this smacks of fraud on an amazing scale.

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Unicornpiss
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Thumb Down

But think of the children!

..well, not actually. But wow, a BEELION dollars spent. That could do a lot of good in the world instead of buying 2nd yachts and summer homes for some folks that probably couldn't hack a job flipping burgers. I'm sure this is more than the budgets of a lot of fairly large cities and some third-world countries. Even if you just converted it to $1 bills and burned it publicly, some needy people could gather around it and keep warm for a while, and this would still be a more efficient use of the money.

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What is the probability of being drunk at work and also being tested? Let's find out! Correctly

Unicornpiss
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Pint

No testing required

The probability of me being drunk tonight after I finish my fear, frustration, disgust, and despair-inducing day at work today approaches 100%. (I also have a funeral to go to today)

At work? Nah. I like to be sober during the day just to mix things up a bit. Unless you count our company picnic..

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30 strong fingers but still no happy ending for robotic back rub

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Something went wrong :(

But will you get a cold, jerky, possibly penile-lacerating Happy Ending as you listen to the whirring of gears and click of solenoids?

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Unicornpiss
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Syntax error..

10 PRINT JOSEPH SIMPKINS FANCIES BARRY CRABTREES SISTER

20 GOTO 10

You forgot the quotation marks

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Patch alert! Easy-to-exploit flaw in Linux kernel rated 'high risk'

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: Please...

<sigh> The difference is that it seems like *every* Windows patch session requires a laborious install, then a reboot, then another laborious bootup while it's "Getting things ready." or whatever it's doing, as it certainly doesn't share that information with you, then perhaps yet another reboot if the Windows kernel is being replaced.

At least with Linux, 95% of the updates are speedy, verbose if you want them to be, and do not require a reboot. My only complaint with Linux kernel updates is that after the reboot you often have to struggle with your graphics drivers no longer working, at least if you use a proprietary driver and not the underachieving ones included with Linux. But IMHO, the overall pain is far less than what MS gives you.

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iPhone 8: Apple has CPU cycles to burn

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Impressive chipset

I really mean that--impressive specs and kudos to their hardware engineering team.

..and I'd consider trading in my Android phone for it if:

-It had an SD card slot.

-I didn't have to use iTunes

-It had filesystem access allowing me to download, store, manage and access files like a normal human being does on a proper computing device instead of having to make do with what apps will allow you or cloud storage.

-The battery was removable or at least more easily replaceable. (and higher capacity would be nice)

-It wasn't fragile as a Ming vase like all of its ilk. (and nearly as pricey)

-It didn't run the IMHO extremely annoying, nagging, attempting to think for you and always getting it wrong iOS operating system full of kitschy features that no one needs. (put a face on an emoji--cute, but really? How about a more usable keyboard for those of us with hands bigger than a child's?)

(And yeah, a headphone jack would be nice too, and I hope they dumped the Intel radio transceiver chip)

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Scared of that new-fangled 'cloud'? Office 2019 to the rescue!

Unicornpiss
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Happy

I eagerly await..

..the new "features" we will have to work around and/or repair.

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Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 is hot, but not much more than the S8+

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Re: "ever became noticeably warmer"

...better than the Note 7, which occasionally became noticeably much, much warmer.

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Sacre bleu! Apple's high price, marginal gain iPhone strategy leaves it stuck in the mud

Unicornpiss
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Thumb Down

Facial recognition..

Facial recognition worked (and works) just fine on my old Galaxy S5. I just felt like an utter dork staring at my phone like I was getting a passport photo taken every time I wanted to unlock it.

The author's note about anyone wanting to unlock someone's phone can just hold it up to their face is something I hadn't even considered---but it's not just law enforcement you should be worried about. You could ostensibly hold the phone up to a sleeping or unconscious person's face and unlock it, unless it needs your eyes wide open.

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Apple: Our stores are your 'town square' and a $1,000 iPhone is your 'future'

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Thinner..

The NEXT iPhone will be so thin you'll be able to shave with it. (feature!) It will come with a glove like falconers use to prevent injury, and for an extra $200, the iStrop to keep it cutting edge. Airports will ban it.

Seriously though... $1K for a phone? And damn, it looks fragile. I'm sure a lot of people that need therapy IMHO will buy it, but you can get a pretty decent tablet PC for that. Or a drivable used car. Or a couple of months rent in an okay apartment. Or 200 pints of good beer, which will probably bring you enjoyment for longer than takes for buyer's remorse to set in for iPhoneX customers.

Facial recognition to unlock? I've no doubt they've improved it somewhat, but my Galaxy S5 had that in 2013. While it worked reasonably well, you looked like an idiot staring at your phone to unlock. It's like a selfie passport photo every time you need to access your phone.

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Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

Unicornpiss
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Coffee/keyboard

Keyboard

At the risk of being flamed for not reading through 200+ comments to see if someone already suggested it, I would recommend a new or selectable on-screen keyboard styles. The iPhone keyboard has always been crap.

Peeves about Apple's obsolete keyboard and what Android does better:

-Apple's on-screen keys on iPhone are too small for those of us with bigger hands, and usually will not rotate with the screen orientation when you want them to.

-No "Swype" or similar without installing a 3rd-party app.

-No easily selectable numeric keypad like Android has had since the beginning of forever.

-No 'long press' to get the alternate symbol on the key, such as numbers, punctuation, etc.

-No easy 'shift lock'

-No swipe-to-modify the case of a word or capitalize the first letter on the fly.

-Why is it such a pain on iOS to insert the cursor into existing text just where you want it, such as when editing a mistyped URL? It jumps around like a greased weasel.

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Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Unicornpiss
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Pint

RIP Jerry

I can't say I agree with his politics or choice in associates, but putting that aside, he was a good author, and that's what I will choose to remember him by, not that it's of any real consequence in the grand scheme of things.

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It's happening! Official retro Thinkpad lappy spotted in the wild

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Wow, a company that listened to its customers?

..and gave them what they were asking for? How is such a thing possible?

Was that distant echo I heard Microsoft spinning in its grave in a not too distant future?

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Don’t buy that Surface, plead Surface cloners

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If we must have Surface-like machines..

..I'll be glad to see ones that aren't made by Microsoft. The Surfaces we've had have all been temperamental and unreliable. (not to mention unrepairable) Dell's version of the tablet has been better, but whose silly idea was it to not have any sort of video output unless you use a dock or USB-based video adapter?

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Dell's flagship XPS13 – a 2-in-1 that may fatally frustrate your fingers

Unicornpiss
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Meh

We can all buy extra accessories for connectivity..

..but why should we have to? When I buy a car, the passenger seats aren't extra. (yet anyway)

The whole point of a laptop is portability, but not at the cost of reduced functionality. Yes, the sleeker ones are maybe a little more portable for people with tiny stick arms that do nothing but travel and probably no meaningful work. If I have to lug around another peripheral device so I can plug in more than one USB device or (heaven forbid) use a physical connection to a monitor or projector, then what's the point of having the smaller, sleeker machine?

Maybe I'm complaining too much--we all know wireless connectivity works flawlessly all the time, and venues where you might have to present are always up to date with the current wireless technology.

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