* Posts by Unicornpiss

1027 posts • joined 7 Oct 2011

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NRA gives FCC boss Ajit Pai a gun as reward for killing net neutrality. Yeah, an actual gun

Unicornpiss
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Missing the point..

You're never going to be able to eliminate guns in the US. There are just too many in circulation. That said, when I was a kid, every boy child carried a pocket knife, and a lot of us had pellet guns and .22 rifles, and had families with shotguns and other arms. It never would have occurred to me to take one to school unless it was for show and tell, which probably would have actually been allowed if you cleared it with the teacher first. Or to use my pocketknife to stab someone. There were fistfights and bullying (which is not okay), but no one really considered actually killing their classmates. There weren't any mass shootings that I can recall before Columbine.

What changed in these decades? Were mass shootings just a meme, an idea whose time had come? Did the first one somehow make it "okay" for others to do the same? I don't know. One thing I do know is that our sanitized, politically-correct society allows resentment and anger to fester and build without a safety valve, and parenting skills are at an all-time low. And I believe that information being freely available is a wonderful thing, but I would have to admit that letting your kids view uncensored violence and destruction with no supervision does desensitize them. We also seem to think that kids are equal to adults and responsible for their own actions in the same way, while they are often still way too immature to realize the consequences of their actions or deal with heady emotions that they're feeling for the first time.

So what is the answer? I don't know. Banning everything in life that can be misused is not it though. This is the equivalent of putting your hands over your ears and singing "LaLaLaLa" to tune out something you don't want to hear. And arming teachers is ridiculous. If there is any solution IMHO, it is giving kids more education than what they get in Algebra class. Kids need to be raised to value their own lives and that of others, and when warning signs present themselves, the answer isn't to lock them up forever, but to work with them to salvage their troubled psyches before they become truly lost.

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Billionaire's Babylon beach ban battle barrels toward Supreme Court

Unicornpiss
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Here is a man..

..who desperately needs to be forced to subsist on a job flipping burgers for a few years, or until it instills a sense of humility, if possible.

I get that he wants a private beach. Who wouldn't? But there have to be plenty of places he could own a private beach without screwing over the local populace.

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Developer recovered deleted data with his face – his Poker face

Unicornpiss
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Happy

Kind of like..

..a flight attendant calmly asking "Is there anyone on board that knows how to fly a plane?"

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BOFH: Turn your server rack hotspot to a server rack notspot

Unicornpiss
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Re: Still a sweet resolution...

A little off the subject, but some years ago colleague of mine was imaging 6 or so Precision workstations simultaneously on the same circuit, actually even plugged into the same power strip. These workstations have 1300W power supplies, though they're obviously not using a lot of horsepower when an image is being applied. Still, with dual Xeons and hefty video cards, they draw a lot at all times.

The power strip was an old one that had apparently seen some shop floor use, as it was battered and filthy. It also lacked a circuit breaker. I noticed what he was doing, saw that the imaging job on all (Ghost) was over 90% complete, then touched the power strip, which was alarmingly warm. I opened my mouth to say something and the room's breaker (20A) tripped audibly, ending the imaging job, to my colleague's chagrin, and expressing the thought that was on my mind more eloquently than I could have done with mere speech.

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Six things I learned from using the iPad Pro for Real Work™

Unicornpiss
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Re: Android has come on leaps and bounds,

"Apple are generally less shitty than the rest, more or less.

Why didn't you use the joke icon for your post?

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Unicornpiss
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Re: tangent

"Can you just pop the Citrix or RDP client on their iPad and let them access it that way?"

Yeah, after you port all the myriad apps they will claim to need to a VM or publish them in Citrix. Seems like a lot of work to accommodate a small minority.

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Unicornpiss
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If you must have a tablet..

..Then why not check out one of the better offerings from Dell, Asus and the like? Or if you hate Windows and you're not that into Apple, one of the Android offerings? Either of these will give you a ton of functionality, actual access to the file system, and either a better version of Office or good freeware alternatives. And you can pocket the difference in cash and use it to buy whatever keyboard you want. You also will have USB ports. (well, at least one anyway)

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Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Unicornpiss
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Tape longevity

I still have a BASF audiocassette of an elementary school Christmas program that I sang in back in 1977, painstakingly recorded in the school gymnasium by my father using an even older monaural SoundDesign cassette deck and a handheld mike, complete with my parents' comments and fidgeting.

It still plays fine, and the sound quality is probably about the same as it ever was. This is one of the few things that has survived from a much more innocent, hopeful time in my life, and is precious as gold. Somehow it doesn't even seem right to make an MP3 or other recording of it, though I probably should someday for safety's sake.

It's amazing how old analog media like this is so durable, when not mistreated, similar to actual paper books, while a (supposedly forever) digital stream or recording can apparently be so easily corrupted or lost. Not the least of reasons for this is that analog equipment doesn't recognize errors but will just reproduce what you have, for better or worse. It may degrade in time, but there will still be something there. The power of digital is how easily you can make an infinite number of copies, even it they're much more ephemeral on an individual basis. I also have a wire recording made by my father when he was in the service in WWII and I have little doubt that it would be playable, if I had anything to play it on.

Yeah, the old days kind of sucked in many ways, but it makes me a little sad that current generations won't know the rite of passage that was making a mix tape (or even CD) to give to the person you had a crush on.

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MY GOD, IT'S FULL OF CARS: SpaceX parks a Tesla in orbit (just don't mention the barge)

Unicornpiss
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Joke

GPS

Actually Elon had nothing to do with it. The driver was simply trying to get to Albuquerque and blindly following his GPS..

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Unicornpiss
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Hey Mac, you can't park that there!

"Any aliens who encounter it along the way will no doubt conclude that humans are crazy."

Simply finding an automobile in orbit is pretty much the equivalent of noticing someone wore 2 mismatched socks compared to the big crazy some dozen miles below. I mean standing naked in the rain painted purple strumming a cheese grater and screaming "F you and the atom bomb too!" crazy down below....

BTW, shouldn't he have launched the Supercharger station first?

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Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Superbowl..

"You don't think politics is a sport? Aren't there people that root for their political party the same way others root for their team?"

Yeah, but the Superbowl's halftime commercials are way better than the political ads. Maybe if the same effort and spirit were applied to political ads in an election year the whole process would make me somewhat less nauseous.

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NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Unicornpiss
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Boffin

Engineering and Bureaucracy

Well, you can say what you want about the climate and culture at NASA that would allow totally losing documentation on how to talk to one of their own birds, but you certainly can't fault the quality of the engineering and build quality that goes into these things.

NASA has launched a LOT of stuff over the years, and has had some spectacular failures too, But other space agencies often can't seem to get a single thing to work, while discarded, lost efforts from NASA emerge from the ether, apparently not much worse for wear, calmly still doing their thing.

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Ever wondered why tech products fail so frequently? No, me neither

Unicornpiss
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Re: Software testing?

With all the talk of cheap and expensive boots, perhaps what we need is a good boot manager..

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Unicornpiss
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Re: Software testing?

"Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

I don't disagree with that, at least not entirely. Look at financial products--the richer people with good credit get the loans with the best interest rates. (if they even need a loan at all) They also get the credit cards with the most benefits and no fees and can afford the education, attire, and schmoozing to get a job that pays better and has better benefits.

It's the poor that always get crapped on by life (and by the rich), and it's extremely difficult to escape from the vicious cycle that keeps the poor where they are.

When I was young I worked with a guy that had about 2 cents to rub together and one day he was fretting about having to go to court. Which prompted him to say something I've remembered all these years-- "It's easy to get stuck in jail when you're poor." Nuff said.

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Unicornpiss
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Re: Software testing?

These days I find it best to not buy the cheapest nor the most expensive version of an item.

That way when it fails prematurely (as it still does), I'm at least not kicking myself for spending a fortune or blaming myself for the failure because I cheaped out on it.

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It's 2018 and… wow, you're still using Firefox? All right then, patch these horrid bugs

Unicornpiss
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Misc

Yes, I'm still using Firefox... at least on PCs. The user interface is just light years beyond Chrome IMHO, though Chrome performs perfectly well.

On mobile devices I find the last release of FF to be utterly unusable---deathly slow and crashes from just zooming in or resizing items.

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Why did I buy a gadget I know I'll never use?

Unicornpiss
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Hoarding has saved me a few times

Much to the chagrin of my boss, and other corporate 'leaders', I save a lot of things at work that they don't understand why I'm keeping them. The "5S" mentality. (mine is more like 5F)

But when a 15-year old production system that they've been too cheap to upgrade for a few generations goes down, and I can dig through my bin and find the funky power supply or proprietary controller card needed to fix it and have production running in an hour, instead of in weeks and with $$$$$ they are occasionally a bit more appreciative.

Of course being able to rescue this old crap repeatedly does add to the complacency about ever upgrading...

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Butt plugs, mock cocks, late pay and paranoia: The world of Waymo star Anthony Levandowski… by his kids' nanny

Unicornpiss
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Don't those things always come in pairs?

"Also 24 sex toys is not that many, does it include restraints?"

When counting nipple clamps, do you count them individually, or as a set?

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Unicornpiss
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Meh

More shaming to the nanny

It sounds like what we have here is a clash of personalities and an opportunistic gold digger (Wong) trying to make the 'most' of a situation.

Who truly cares in this day and age if someone has a box of dildoes under the bed? And I would consider with the amount of stress Levandowski was going through at the time, that some absentmindedness in being on time could be forgiven.

While embarrassing to Levandowski, who is no saint himself no doubt, as pretty much none of us are, I would have to say Wong should be utterly ashamed of herself for betraying the trust given her. People like Wong are scum of the Earth. Hopefully she never manages to con anyone into trusting her again.

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Hawaiian fake nukes alert caused by fat-fingered fumble of garbage GUI

Unicornpiss
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Re: Oh my GUI

"One hopes that the people in the bunkers with the actual pointy fire-sticks have a better procedure/GUI."

Drop down menu:

-Launch Missiles

-Launch Missiles Now!

-Simulate Missile Launch

<OK> <APPLY>

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BOFH: Buttock And Departmental Defence ... As A Service

Unicornpiss
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Before the count..

..you first need to be able to find it with both hands and a flashlight.

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If Australian animals don't poison you or eat you, they'll BURN DOWN YOUR HOUSE

Unicornpiss
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Re: Picking up burning/smoldering twigs

Would that be an African Kite or could a European Kite do it too if the twig is small enough?

But what is the airspeed of an unladen Kite?

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WD My Cloud NAS devices have hard-wired backdoor

Unicornpiss
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Meh

No surprise..

..just further disappointment.

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Unicornpiss
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Light speed

"My... not that this was unexpected but the lawyers seem to be approaching lightspeed these days."

And as we know, as you approach light speed, time slows down and mass becomes infinite.

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Whizzes' lithium-iron-oxide battery 'octuples' capacity on the cheap

Unicornpiss
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8x worse failures a possibility? (speculative)

Others have mentioned this as well I'm sure, though I haven't read through all the comments.

I'm a bit concerned with one of these failing if it packs 8x the energy density of a standard Li-ion battery, plus oxygen as a bonus. If a standard Li-ion battery packs approximately the energy density of an equivalent amount of TNT (although it releases it much slower, even in a failure), I expect a catastrophic failure of a device with 8x the energy would turn a bad day where someone's phone or other personal device burns up and causes some burns and significant personal injury to a really bad day with lethal consequences. And I wonder if after the first failure or two, if these will even be permitted on passenger aircraft? With 8x the energy, a clever baddie wouldn't even need to smuggle a bomb onboard a plane--just rig a big battery with the safety protocols disabled to short circuit.

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The healing hands of customer support get an acronym: Do YOU have 'tallah-toe-big'?

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Re: IICBTIMAF

"And it gets bonus points if it manages to pop up the dialog box behind everything else."

In Windows, this is done to atone for the OS shamelessly stealing focus from you with EVERY other dialog and application the rest of the time.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Unicornpiss
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Meh

F00F

I think I'll keep buying AMD for a bit longer... and possibly avoiding any kernel updates for a bit too.

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Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Reliability/repairability

These are my concerns with hardware from Microsoft. And this is based on my experience with several generations of Surface tablets in our organization.

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Seagate's lightbulb moment: Make read-write heads operate independently

Unicornpiss
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Disagree..

"This is why all cars have 2 camshafts these days. Lightbulb moment."

Actually not nearly all cars have or need 2 camshafts. Including some quite powerful ones.

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Fridge killed my baby? Mag-field radiation from household stuff 'boosts miscarriage risk'

Unicornpiss
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Meh

Much more likely to die of other natural causes..

As an IT worker for almost 2 decades and a technophile since I was a small child, I'm sure I've had much more exposure than most will ever get. One time when imaging about a half dozen laptops in a small room I had to leave the room as the fumes from electronics that had gotten hot for possibly the first time actually drove me out. (added bonus chemical risk!)

But I'm sure I'm much more likely to die of some other 'natural' cause, such as cirrhosis, a random wreck, having a pallet of toilet paper fall on me at Wal-Mart, or some other random dumb luck, not counting the Alzheimer's that runs in my family and the possibility of Armageddon.

So while I won't go to bed with two cell phones strapped to my head (the Li-ion batteries are more likely to explode and roast me than the EM risk anyway), or stick my face in an operating microwave oven, I think I'm safe comfortably ignoring this. If I had a pregnant wife, I might feel a bit different.

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Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Unicornpiss
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Re: Power Cables...

A classic is with the last couple of generations of Dell laptops. If the power cable is about 1-2mm from being fully plugged into the machine or dock, the machine will operate on AC power, but no battery charging will occur. Drove us crazy until we realized what the cause was. Apparently the pin that provides telemetry doesn't quite make contact.

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Mozilla's creepy Mr Robot stunt in Firefox flops in touching tribute to TV show's 2nd season

Unicornpiss
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"They really are trying to follow Microsoft off of the cliff."

You may be right.. Look at how similar the last release of FF looks to the hated Edge browser.

I've been a loyal FF user for 10+ years on several platforms and this makes me sad. Mozilla's last Android FF release is also completely unusable.

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Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Unicornpiss
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Happy

New calendar..

This is what you do:

Every year's calendar should be only 11 months long. We can make up the missing days by extending weekends on the remaining months. Each year a different month is omitted. Eg. the the year this is implemented we don't have January. Next year no February, but January is back, the 3rd year no March, etc.

This can have many benefits:

-Longer weeks means an extra day off for most people. For people that have to work, more opportunity for overtime pay. People on salary will see their average pay per check rise, as there are less months to be paid.

-Every 12 years you have one less birthday, so you don't age quite as fast.

-Every 12 years there is no tax day. Yay! no taxes for that year.

-No Christmas on the 12th year--mixed feelings about this, but Christmas is over hyped anyway.

-COBOL programmers will have more to do :)

Of course this could be confusing for many, but most people seem a bit confused anyway, myself included a lot of days, so this shouldn't be much worse than normal. And the astrologers won't be happy.

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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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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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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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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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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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