* Posts by Unicornpiss

963 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011

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Raspberry Pi burning up? Microsoft's recipe can save it and AI

Unicornpiss
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Wow, a CPU running at max needs additional cooling?

..who woulda' thunk it? Just maybe though, a larger, more efficient heat sink would do the job. A decade or two ago I used to work on POS systems made my NCR. These were P1 boxes that had only passive cooling for the processor, but they had a huge aluminum heatsink about as big as your hand on the CPU. And this is what kept them running very reliably, as all the other fans in the case would die after a few years in the hostile (restaurant) environment they were in. Ambient was sometimes over 100F where the machines were located too.

True, a POS box isn't typically running Crysis or full-motion HD video, but the heatsink on the Pi is just dinky.

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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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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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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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Unicornpiss
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Meh

Lack of indicator lights and ports

This has been a trend with all new Dells, and probably many other manufacturers. It used to be you got a nice, full complement of ports and lights indicating power, charging state, and hard drive activity at the least. My Dad used to lament the disappearance of gauges in cars giving way to 'idiot lights'. He probably would have had a lot to bitch about with laptops--now you don't even get those.

It would be nice if engineers would have a say in the design, and not marketing folks going for "the clean look", or whatever delusional thing they're going for. And I'd cheerfully pay an extra $50 for a laptop that had an extra port or two and could tell me what's going on internally.

This is especially a nuisance when a machine is getting updated--the Windows update process gives you scant information already, and without even a drive activity light to tell you what's going on, you just have to guess if the damn thing is actually doing anything or if you should hold down the power button and start over. And it sounds like the power button isn't very cooperative either.

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Voyager antenna operator: 'I was the first human to see images from Neptune'

Unicornpiss
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Pint

Re: Many jobs have their rewarding moments..

..And when an IT worker picks up his or her first pint of the evening when the day is over :)

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Kraut coppers seize 5,000 Donald Trump-shaped dance biscuits

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Defective?

Since there is no apparent empathy in the soul of the Donald, I'd have to wonder if these aren't actually a placebo.

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Ten spacecraft – from Venus Express to Voyager 2 – all tracked same solar flare

Unicornpiss
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Thumb Up

Re: Voyager 2

I agree. It made me smile a little that Voyager 2 significantly contributed to this effort. And the Voyager probes both have magnetometers.

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What weighs 800kg and runs Windows XP? How to buy an ATM for fun and profit

Unicornpiss
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ATMs are for life..

When she's done with it, she can always play Doom:

Doom on ATM

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Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

Unicornpiss
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I think..

..that if the Daily Stormer had just laid low after this mess, there would be no problem. But since they took the insane, violent tack of actually CONDONING the murder of an innocent victim, someone they never knew, that did nothing to anyone in their group personally other than disagreeing with their ideology, and that they never even met, I have to agree with the site being taken down. I wholeheartedly agree with free speech, but when people are rousing others to hurt and kill, common sense says you have to draw a line somewhere. Just like you allow your children a lot of leeway, but occasionally have to step in and say: "No, that's not going to happen." when they're pulling the cat's tail or setting fire to the drapes.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

Unicornpiss
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Re: \dev\null

An old favorite app called "Proxomotron" used to do that. It's still around, and still works, though it's now a bit dated. Unfortunately the developer of this great freeware app passed away some years ago so it's not being updated and is unlikely to ever be, and web specs and ad purveyors have moved on, so the app doesn't work as well as it used to. Still, it's out there, it's very configurable, can run on Linux under Wine, and you can write your own filters. And choose between multiple proxies with it. So still worth a look.

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

Personal solution

If a site makes me turn off my ad blocker to view their content, I will do so and give it a chance. If I then am exposed to intrusive, annoying ads, I will go to their competitor's site and never visit theirs again, even if they have a better product, price, whatever. I would rather have my money and time go to companies that don't think disrespectfully blasting you with unwanted content and inconveniencing you is a splendid business model.

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World's largest private submarine in mystery sink accident

Unicornpiss
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Re: Crush depth optimism?

Well, you don't run your car just below redline all the time either or use a capacitor with a working voltage of 20V in a circuit with 19.9 volts. At least not if you want some longevity. And running a sub at close to its theoretical crush depth would tend to make me fear for its occupants' longevity.

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Unicornpiss
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Meh

At the risk of inciting... something..

People miss the point. Men and women are different in some ways. Races have differences. Individual people are different from each other. (thankfully) Some people epitomize the negative or positive stereotypes of whatever gender, belief system, or ethnic group they are in. If they didn't, stereotypes would die out. Some people find it hard to go beyond these things based on their upbringing or a bad experience with some group or individual that they have become fixated on.

I fail to see what any difference in gender, race, sexual orientation, or anything else would have to do with an intelligent, competent, reasonably sane person's ability to do their job as a developer, or any other job where a physical characteristic is not required for the job. Eg. you would not hire a paraplegic to be an NFL linebacker. I would assume that all Google employees have to go through a mostly unbiased testing and hiring process, and are hired based on their competency for the job, not superficialities such as race, gender, favorite Kardashian, etc.

Companies make a big deal about diversity. If you would have posited how important diversity is to me when I was in my early 20s and found myself in a different 'career' as a restaurant manager in a bad part of town, I would have laughed at you or made some snide comment. But the whole point of hiring diverse people is that the different viewpoints, experiences, upbringing, world views,and cultural differences give different approaches to solving problems and innovating. While companies often push this seemingly more to be perceived as doing the right thing than actually doing so, I do believe this to be beneficial to everyone, as long as there is truly no bias in the process, like requiring quotas of diverse people to the point of denying qualified applicants a job, while people that are less qualified are chosen to meet said quota.

I have personally worked with people of all races, genders, and cultures. One universal equalizer is that there good people and born assholes across all walks of life.

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New Amiga to go on sale in late 2017

Unicornpiss
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The way of the world?

I kind of feel that with the Amiga and Commodore, if things were handled properly and allowed to 'organically' grow, that we'd be doing even more amazing things than we do with PCs, Android, and Apple devices now, but who's to say? Maybe we'd all be stuck at a lower level than now without the competition, though I do feel that the OS quality would put Windows to shame, but since MS was involved with Commodore since the early 80s, it's again hard to say. To use a (weak) analogy, I feel the same about our (USA) space program. If we hadn't quit at the moon due to budgetary and political reasons, we'd likely have a Mars colony or better, but again, who is to say? I'd love to be able to see an alternate timeline where Commodore succeeded in a big way.

This is the way of the world and life in general, and while it inspires sadness in me after a few cups, it's not something to dwell on, I guess.

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Unicornpiss
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Re: Video Toaster

True. There were TV stations that used them into at least the late 90s I believe, because they were cheap, reliable, and that good.

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Unicornpiss
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Facepalm

I'd say..

..that if Jack Tramiel hadn't been quite as greedy, and a little easier to get along with, that we'd all be using Commodore or Amiga-compatible PCs instead of IBM clones. Commodore was that far ahead of everyone. And the world would possibly be a little better, in a small way.

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Billion-tonne IceCube: Sterile neutrino does not exist

Unicornpiss
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Thumb Up

Re: microwave oven?

Upvote for the DuQuesne reference. Good series.

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Trump-backed RAISE Act decoded: Points-based immigration, green cards slashed

Unicornpiss
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Re: The Information Technology Industry Council, AKA "Isn't It Ironic".

"What I don't get is why anyone even wants to live in America anymore."

Well, despite our fascination with guns and reality TV (look what our unwashed masses elected), it's still a (mostly) safe land with a generally high standard of living, some opportunity, and (albeit having taken a beating these days) personal liberty and freedom.

And while our current leadership is a chaotic mess, to say the least, we at least had the choice of leaders, not that we collectively made a good one.

In other countries a rebellion or coup would be brewing, and the instability would throw the country into chaos. (Look at Venezuela) At least in the USA, our underlying framework of 'checks and balances' is good enough to throttle Mr. Trump's more insane notions and preserve the integrity of the overall system. (at least so far)

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Unicornpiss
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FAIL

I'm sure..

..that whatever the original intention is, that if it comes from his administration, that it will be needlessly cruel, poorly-implemented, and breathtakingly idiotic, and that the people in charge of making it happen will turn over several times as they walk out or get fired.

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Want to visit your loved one in jail? How about Skype instead?

Unicornpiss
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Thumb Down

Despicable

Here are a bunch of people that are already downtrodden and f*cked over in life. Yes, they were convicted of crimes, some of them pretty horrible. But they are still PEOPLE. Cutting off human contact with loved ones, which may be some of these folks only ray of hope or happiness in life is NOT the way to accomplish anything, and is just a shitty thing to do. This is supposed to encourage 'respect' for society when society treats you like crap?

If you disrespect people and treat them like animals, they will become (worse) animals.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Unicornpiss
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Meh

From the people that..

..gave us the utterly useless "TwinUI" photo viewer app. (that seems to break itself after you've been using Windows for a while)

Silly to get rid of Paint--it's not like it's taking up a lot of space. (though I use Paint.net anyway) Next to go will probably be Solitare.

And just a little rant here to make me feel better: My father used to complain when cars no longer had gauges, just "idiot lights". Microsoft has gone down the same path, only worse. Starting with the removal of the network activity widget that sat in the system tray and let you know that your computer was actually doing something, Windows has given less and less information in each new release. Now we have Windows updates that don't tell you anything about what's being installed, or how far along in any meaningful way. And on recent Dells, there is no hard drive activity light. So you can sit there and watch the pretty spinny thing on the screen, which has been happening for an hour, and with no indication as to whether your computer is actually doing anything, have to guess if you should wait another hour or if you should kill it and start over.

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Intel is upset that Qualcomm is treating it like Intel treated AMD for years and years

Unicornpiss
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Qualcom

..and the Qualcom chips are arguably better too..

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What can you do with adult VR, some bronze gears and a robotic thumb? On a Friday?

Unicornpiss
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Meh

If it was a Microsoft app..

..it would get you to the brink and then "Something went wrong :( " If Apple, it would get you almost there and then ask you for another $9.99 to continue, or cause you extreme pain but keep going because a marketing survey showed that that's how users like it.

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User left unable to type passwords after 'tropical island stress therapy'

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Lotion and cologne

What tends to be kind of nasty is when (usually some of our female) users use a lot of hand or body lotion continually. While it smells nice, their keyboards and mice tend to be.. glossy.. with the letters worn off the keys and the lotion typically gunks up the scroll wheel on the mouse so that it's gooey and sticky to the touch.

Re. odor, we had for a time a couple of users I could track through the parking lot outdoors... in a windstorm.. minutes after they'd passed through. BO? No. Just way, way too much cologne or perfume. One guy who doused himself with Drakkar before leaving home, and a woman who wore some particularly acrid scent that smelled to me like suntan lotion on an unwashed blanket. (older admin assistants were known for this) I would literally wait several minutes after she passed by to walk in her wake, it was that bad and would instantly give me a slight headache. Particularly bad too is a cologne abuser when encountered doing something stinky in a lavatory. The combo of biological and unnatural odors would be enough to make your head swim and your gorge rise.

If you can be detected more than a couple feet away, you're using too much. Where is the vomit icon?

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Never been very impressed by these..

..at least not in the business world. I feel they are a nice toy for home use or perhaps light use by someone who has simple IT needs. They do have a beautiful display and an accurate touch screen.

That said, the lack of USB ports, cardboard pizza box keyboard, and awful touchpad make these terrible to use IMHO compared to a proper laptop. We bought these like hotcakes when they came out. (not our decision, but made by management) After the first few, "machine envy" took over: "Ooh, when can I get one?!" The clincher is the poor reliability we experienced, combined with the glued-together chassis making battery replacement, upgrade, and data recovery difficult when they fail. We have a drawer full of broken Surfaces and ones that were returned by users who wanted to go back to their old laptops. The docks were very troublesome too.

Dell's line of tablets show some promise, and they are serviceable. (mostly) Annoyingly, Dell's USB docks have been troublesome, and there is no video output to connect to equipment in situations where wireless is not available.

I think I'll hold on to my laptop for the time being and I try to dissuade users from wanting a tablet. I rather like Asus' line of "convertible" laptops though.

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Male escort says he gave up IT to do something more meaningful

Unicornpiss
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Happy

I'm glad his story has a happy ending

..daily

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Shock: NASA denies secret child sex slave cannibal colony on Mars

Unicornpiss
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I don't want to see Uranus

That is all.

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Unicornpiss
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On the dark side..

If you look at the dark side of the Moon, you can see the new CIA detention camp, next to the camps of NK, China, Russia, 5eyes and all other leading repressive regimes.

At least in the course of building these things they eradicated the Nazis:

Nazis on the Moon

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

So now you know

So, whenever any of us expecting rationality in the world are amazed that [insert your favorite name here] got elected, got promoted, got rich, received some kind of support or accolade that makes no sense, proposed or passed some idiotic legislation, or just plain seems to operate on a form of logic that makes the famous Pentium bug look 100% fit for purpose, all we must do is remember this article. People are absolutely crazy and are the broken gears that drive a mad, mad world. If someone that is completely batshit (beyond even the normal standards) can rise to a prominent government post, causing who even knows how much harm in the course of their career, then have a public channel with countless listeners to further confuse hearts and minds, what hope do any of us have? It really makes a person just want to find an island and withdraw from society.

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US engineer in the clink for wrecking ex-bosses' smart meter radio masts with Pink Floyd lyrics

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Does anyone but me..

..think that the original proposed sentence of "90 years" is a tad high for essentially disrupting a radio station??

I mean all references of "Careful with that Axe Eugene" aside, you could truly be an axe murderer or do other unspeakable acts and be sentenced to a fraction of that.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: Not a PC but...

Back in the days when our company had Blackberries, when a mass meeting was called, the first announcement over the PA in the room was to have everyone turn off their Blackberries. Not for the disruption, but because the audio gear would pick up the poorly-shielded CPUs with several hundred of these devices 'broadcasting' in the meeting room.

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Unicornpiss
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Pint

I read this story about 15 years ago..

I don't remember where, but it was in a column on troubleshooting odd problems. The only differences I can spot are that in the story I read, replacing the weak power supply in the PC, not the well pump, was the resolution.

Of course this could certainly have happened more than once. Either way, a fun problem to diagnose.

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Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Perhaps we've been unfairly blaming Windows..

..for the random blue-screens and freezes that nearly every Windows box seems to experience in our organization once in a while. Issues that have happened to our newer Dells with i5s and i7s and that we've never been fully able to eradicate, despite patching/updating everything possible, swapping memory, hardware, etc.

No excuses or benefit of the doubt though for the utterly awful Windows update process that needs to be taken out back of the barn and shot.

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BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Re: Exactly

"All the tools ive made for our staff are command prompt tools. its good for them!"

Ah, but what color is the background of the command prompt window that comes up?

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