* Posts by GrapeBunch

362 posts • joined 19 Apr 2015

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It was bound to happen: Amazon launches first grocery store

GrapeBunch
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the full feeling of ownership

I'd claim credit for inventing internet grocery shopping, but nevermind it was probably modelled by some fantasist in 1832. In my model, there was no internet, it was server-modem-POTS-(300 BAUD) modem-client. And the groceries were delivered. It was a society where, for whatever reason, the personal automotive vehicle was deprecated.

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Bitcoin exchange Coinbase crashes after Asian buying frenzy

GrapeBunch
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Naive

I'm super naive about these things. But won't the crims and terrorists who are rumoured to own this cryptocurrency be encouraged to sell their holdings, receiving clean yen or wan or remnimbi or whatever as a fee for legitimizing the marketplace, thank you very much imperialist establishment, and then create a new cryptocurrency? Isn't Bitcoin becoming stodgy and saturated, even a tiny bit (oops, unintentional pun)? They are the new Bankers. Is it only Bitcoin that's being legitimized in Japan? If it is that sort of favoritism, perhaps that implies that there is something (in the realm of trackability) about the particular cryptocurrency Bitcoin that the person in the street would like to know.

Bitcoin intrigued me, but I never got any, perhaps I'm too accustomed to writing cheques and paying bills automatically with no service charges. Too much of that everyday banking convenience to see the bigger picture.

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Chipotle: Hackers did to our registers what our burritos did to your colon

GrapeBunch
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I prefer the traditional spelling of Chilpotle. I can't say that's why I've never been to one of those establishments, because I've absented myself from the Home of the Brave for almost a decade, in part because craziness. Mine or theirs, the reader may choose. One thing I do miss is the mama and papa Mexican restaurants. My test dish is Chiles Rellenos. The best ones are made with proper Poblano peppers (which, being open pollinated, may exhibit considerable variation in spiciness), not insipid Anaheims. You can also tell a lot from the quality of the cheese used, and there's play for Chef's skill. El alimento de los dioses.

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Tech firms sends Congress checklist of surveillance reforms

GrapeBunch
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Scurrilously off-topic

Scurrilously off-topic, but ... what would happen if I registered my browsing history at the Copyright Office? Would google et al have to remove it from their databases?

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Costs v sales agent? Not just yet, judge tells Retro Computers Ltd

GrapeBunch
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International Master of Chess

David Levy, International Master, the remaining original director, is no stranger to corporate misunderstandings. In this wiki article about Levy's former brother-in-law, scroll down to the heading "Brain Games".

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EU ministers approve anti-hate speech video rules

GrapeBunch
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Re: My child ...

"@LDS, I have friends with four kids, and the second child, a daughter, a young teenager, was brutally assaulted on socials after being filmed bullied and 'kissed' by a gang of boys. For some reason this is her shame on line, not theirs. What do the parents do? How could they have protected her from that?"

Once something is done, it cannot be undone. Society operates on the principle of deterrence. So it is believed that a person won't steal your vehicle if as a result of a previous theft, he received a custodial sentence. I don't think this necessarily works, and some other sanctions could be classified as "Science Fiction". Anyway, if there are sanctions against the bulliers, the poster of the video, and against the subsequent verbal assaulters, which might include suspension from school, community service, detention, fines, ..., [public whipping would be SF these days] even custodial sentences, then the theory is that the miscreants and their parents will be motivated to not allow or commit these acts again. And make it easier to get civil money compensation. Those would fall under the heading of "anti-bullying laws". Faint, but real, consolation to your daughter.

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GrapeBunch
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You can con the regulators, but you can't con cancon.

We've had Canadian content ("cancon") laws on the books for decades. In general, cancon has been a Good Thing. See also the more ancient term "canlit".

More pressing is, I don't know where to post the video in which I tell Euro residents how much I hate them, regardless of their skin shade, ethnicity, religion (or absence thereof), gender, sexual orientation, education, job, profession, standing, criminal record (or lack thereof), nationality (or lack thereof), eye colour, hair colour (natural or kitted), hair shape (natural or knitted), blood type, football affiliation, ....

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Media players wide open to malware fired from booby-trapped subtitles

GrapeBunch
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Re: vlc

Thanks, mr.K. As a vlctard, I'm used to occasional quirkiness on the part of that software, so I guess the check-for-update fail should give me warm fuzzy feelings. Yes, 2.2.5.1 is the current release version running on the same software / hardware as the 2.2.4 that was supposedly the most recent. O non, vlc. tard-if, tard-if, tard-if.

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GrapeBunch
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vlc

I've been using vlc 2.2.4 Weatherwax for months. Clicking > Help > Check for Updates ... confirms that it is the latest. Proactively ?

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Go ahead, stage a hackathon. But pray it doesn't work too well

GrapeBunch
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Re: Uhm...

"When Uber started up, it was not immediately clear what laws Uber was not respecting."

When Uber started up, it was not immediately clear how many laws Uber was not respecting.

FTFY.

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China's phone quartet is shouldering its way into Western markets

GrapeBunch
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Oppo

Is that the same company which makes (made?) niche high-end DVD players? If so, they're thriving by doubling their market (with sales increase of 15 megaunits) in the space of one year.

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‪There's a ransom-free fix for WannaCry‬pt. Oh snap, you've rebooted your XP box

GrapeBunch
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Hibernate?

If it is not in the swap file, could it be recovered from hibernate? Just a thought. Although if faced with that situation, I might have hoped to recover the previous configuation from the existing hibernate file.

I thought XP one of the better incarnations, along with 2000, 98 SE and 7. Much less good were ME, Vista, and 8.0 which I luckily managed mostly to avoid. Relatively speaking, as always. And excluding current reality. In the day, I liked OS/2, but work required Win95.

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You'll get a kick out of this: Qualcomm patents the 'Internet of Shoes'

GrapeBunch
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Imagine

My name in lights. No, not your name in lights, my name in lights.

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Julian Assange wins at hide-and-seek game against Sweden

GrapeBunch
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Terminator

No offence intended towards any character in popular fiction

But what is the Swedish word for "weasel"? No offence intended towards any Mustela genius either. I don't see how the Swedish pronouncement will make a tinker's cuss of difference to Assange. Though in the wacky world of bureaucracy, it may make a difference to Ecuador. His choice is the same: indefinitely remain a virtual prisoner (unless/until Ecuador gets tired of the opera), free to speak; or become a real prisoner "free" of any protections of international diplomacy, wanted forever by the relentless State of Destiny, known not for Scone but for extraordinary rendition. Because semper fie, he won't be getting a real tan anytime soon, except possibly in an exercise yard. Australians are so very careful about sunburn these days.

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Bloke charged under UK terror law for refusing to cough up passwords

GrapeBunch
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Ki?? me.

In Canada, courts regularly send poorly-designed laws back to Parliament, with a time limit. I do not like lawyers, but this (which I think started a few decades ago with Pierre Trudeau's Charter) is brilliant. It annoys politicians, especially ruling politicians. Since many to most politicians are lawyers, I'm not bothered by their annoyance.

Anyway, it's good that this law will be tested. And look on the bright side. In some other jurisdiction, the traveler, even as a citizen, might be held in custody indefinitely, or returned to the country he just came from with a big "Kick Me" sign on his arse.

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Sick of Java and C++? Google pours a cup o' Kotlin for Android devs

GrapeBunch
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Paris Hilton

Noob question

Noob question. Maybe it's even a pre-noob question. It's not just Kotlin that does this, but other languages, and I've never found an explanation in the typical Hello World beginner documents:

package hello

fun main(args: Array<String>) {

println("Hello World!")

}

In annotating fun main(args: Array<String>), the Kotlin frontpage describes it thusly: "Package-level function, which takes an Array of strings as a parameter".

"Hello World!" is a string. So why do you need to create a program(me) argument, an array of strings, that you aren't going to use in the program proper? My first thought was that it allows you to set some sort of errorlevel. Second thought: required by the built-in function println. Thanks in advance for the real answer ....

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74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

GrapeBunch
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Re: 'They've already been copied a dozen times for further use.'

AC: You don't know. Shadow Brokers could have had plenty of buyers, not via the auction route. The auction was plausibly a publicity stunt. Of course, "Corporation X", for any X, would get more value from buying exploit Y if World Z does not know about it. Having sold all they were going to sell (which is also how the original story goes), Shadow Brokers had no incentive to keep hiding the goodies, and credibility to gain by releasing.

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GrapeBunch
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It was three, not two, weeks ago. My bad. Here is the link to the advice I followed. Thank you, Doctor Evil. You get my firstborn. Since I'm a bit old to have children, this could be an empty promise, bwahaha.

https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/3159041

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GrapeBunch
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Replying to my own post. According to csoonline.com, MS on Friday evening (Saturday morning UK time) released patches for XP and for Server 2003, reversing its no support stance, after 120,000 horses had bolted.

I'm still unclear on the vector of infection. So the original infection requires opening a trojan email? This would presumably happen on a current Windows system, as no admin would ever let the mission-critical XP system running specialized software in 2017 be corrupted by also running a browser or email software (would he?). And then the infection spreads via LAN to XP machines which until Saturday morning all had an SMB vuln. The NHS and Telefonica networks all required SMB1 for proper operation? Or was the attitude more: "it's been working, so don't fix it." ? You don't know that you don't need it, so you keep it until bzzzt, you're dead?

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GrapeBunch
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Pint

XP systems are patched in the SMB1-doublepulsar vuln if their user followed the (simple) instructions provided here by El Reg reader(s) a couple of weeks ago. XP systems are not patched if their user is waiting for MS to do anything more than follow its own short-term monetary self-interest. Thanks to Iain for pulling together a cogent summary, late into a Friday night and Saturday morning.

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T-Mobile USA sued by parents after their baby dies amid 911 meltdown

GrapeBunch
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Re: Attention

In Canada, I'm required by law to pay a monthly 911 service charge on my landline, and also on my pay-as-you-go mobile phone. If I had further phones, I believe I would have to pay the charge on each one. By the same token, I should have every reason to expect that the 911 service work.

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WannaCrypt ransomware snatches NSA exploit, fscks over Telefónica, other orgs in Spain

GrapeBunch
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Pint

NSA didn't "hoard" vulnerabilities, it stockpiled, it weaponised, it planned to use them for its own attacks. MS probably knew about the vulns all along, but when news spread about their being imminently released, MS pointedly patched SOME OF its operating systems. So your appeal is definitely aimed at somebody else's choir.

Here's an IPA for the El Reg reader(s) who pointed out a way to shut down SMB (which I obviously didn't need) a couple of weeks ago, on my two XP systems, as a vaccine for the Doublepulsar vuln. Downvote me for mentioning XP or for mentioning India, or for implicitly criticizing MS; nobody but you will know precisely which.

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Mozilla to Thunderbird: You can stay here and we may give you cash, but as a couple, it's over

GrapeBunch
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Re: Thunderbird users?

I remember the ARC - PKARC - PKZIP kerfuffle. At the time, I preferred ARJ, perhaps because the author was mildly idiosyncratic. No, it was because the product better met my needs. Aaaah, the good old pre-corporate days.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: What are the alternatives?

Until not that long ago, I used YARN, and it worked fine (if you remembered when upgrading to Windows 2000 that you needed to use a DOS executable rather than the Windows executable that worked with Win 98), until my ISP stopped supporting the protocols it used. Very flexible roll-your-own filtering, and of course no problem with HTML mails, it just shows you the code!

Is there anything wrong with Pegasus? I've never used it, but I've been noticing its availability for ages.

Opera Mail worked OK-ish (it had some strange limitations, such as limiting the names and numbers of folders), but I believed was shut down by the Opera people. However, just now I dl'd Opera-Mail-1.0-1044.i386.exe from opera.com so it must still be alive. I did use Opera Mail.

I do like the idea of a mail client for LibreOffice. When I hear about a browser-friendly mail client wanting to use JS, I'm wanting to figure out how to install NoScript over it.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: - the dominate corporate email client is Outlook

The safe word is flagellum. The safe word is ... flagellum. Thank you.

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America 'will ban carry-on laptops on flights from UK, Europe to US'

GrapeBunch
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Re: I remember the old joke...

"He is Jack" Bang. "No, you are Jack" Bang. "Stop this dangerous behavior or I'll sh-" Bang.

But I have the solution. Arm everybody, but only if they are Swiss.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: More 'Walls'

Come to Canada. We keep our violence on the hockey rink, where it belongs.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: More 'Walls'

Acronym warning for oldsters (like me): FSB is not Front-side Bus (my first guess) or FernSchach Bundesrepublik (yeah, really nobody's first guess because there's no such thing) but rather the inheritor of the NKVD > KGB. In Russia.

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Microsoft's .NET-mare for developers: ASP.NET Core 2.0 won't work on Windows-only .NET

GrapeBunch
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Coat

Once Bitten

In '17 the ' looks a bit like an insect stinger, the 1 looks like a skewer, and the 7 like a spatula. Don't fret on which arm is the handle. Will 2017 be the year, also, of the fork? Gasp. Or perhaps GASP. Gnu ASP--too retro, too jarring? HASP, to lock down on compatibility? Or CASPer, the friendly platform with a ghost of a chance? RASP, because it grates or is dehiscent? WASP, for So Many Reasons? In school, teachers downvoted me for flippancy. I say, if you have a spatula, flip away. And bite me.

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'Crazy bad' bug in Microsoft's Windows malware scanner can be used to install malware

GrapeBunch
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Windows

Diet of Write-Only Random Memories

"Mommy, can I get syphilis from reading porn?" "Yes, Billy."

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Plus ça change...

By the power vested in me by nobody, as Queen of Canada, I now pronounce you Admiral Badmouth. Kindly get your bad mouth around this India Pale Ale.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Use Windows 10 for the best protection

Nothing says "I love you" better than the new Windows On-Off Condom. Now with nettles. It's organic.

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Italian F-35 facility rolls out its first STOVL stealth fighter

GrapeBunch
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Re: You are not buying this equipment

The F35 has been decades in gestation. There's a chance that it contains an "off" switch controlled from DC or thereabouts. A whiff of global domination is the potential prize to any dissenting country or group that can figure out how to activate that switch. Or devise a weapon with one purpose: to take down F35's. In the most recent (39-45) global conflict, there were more--and more varied--fighters in play. In contemporary money, you could (my guesstimate) build about 200 Spitfires for the cost of one F-35. One of these babies defines an awfully large bassinet. A squadron? Whoa, Nelly.

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Windows 10 S: Good, bad, and how this could get ugly for PC makers

GrapeBunch
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Coat

ActiveXXX is so 90s.

I can't wait to see the ad Subjects in the spam directory.

See Windows 10 snaked! Etch closer to the Bung.

They are Edging closer to the real final version, Windows Simon Fraser University. It's just a matter of positioning the Fraser and the University, which have been otherwise engaged.

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Welsh Linux Mint terror nerd jailed for 8 years

GrapeBunch
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Push Pull

I wonder if Islamic State could get more "traction" by declaring its supporters "citizens", issuing passports etc? Or would that not work because the community of nations hasn't welcomed IS into its ranks? Surely that sort of manoeuvre was on their mind when they named themselves a "State" ? I'm not a supporter of IS, just wondering out loud.

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What's driving people out of tech biz? Unfair treatment, harassment, funnily enough – study

GrapeBunch
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Tweedledo

I left a position with a Tech company because I saw that my skills and work performance were undervalued. Sure enough, when I popped into the office months later, three (3) people were fulfilling my job(s). "Doubtless" they were doing those jobs better or more fully, but still. "Does the work of three" would be a funny line on the CV.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

GrapeBunch
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Re: Bureaucracy

(shamelessly lifting somebody's comment): "In Canada, he'd be considered a crank by some, a prophet by others. That would be his Free Speech. The difference seems to be that he backed up his arguments with Mathematics rather than bluster or bullster. Mathematics is Truth, so Free Speech is OK so long as it isn't true? Say it ain't so, Galileo."

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O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

GrapeBunch
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I'm good with gotten

It's "has gotten" that drives me to distraction. When an item was obtained from a retail store (rather than as a gift, or an item made by its owner), my mother used to use the adjective "boughten". "It's boughten goods." She would never, however, use "Them's boughten botten" (to mean those are Japanese robots purchased as such, not Pi robots made in a garage), because "Them" is ungrammatical.

I have Shaw Internet, but didn't notice a slowdown. I was scanning, so that was a lucky afternoon activity choice. Mrs. Bunch noticed some outage, but not enough to complain to me at the time. Shaw is expensive, but has offered good service. Then they cut facilities (no Usenet, no member pages) but claimed we weren't paying for them anyway. Yeah, right. Going forward, I don't know how this is going to pan out. With vastly fewer employees, they will be unable to offer the same levels of service. They'll be just like their competitors. Yuk, race to the bottom. The one thing Shaw still does have is "Shaw Go", which allows subscribers to connect mobile devices to internet via wi-fi all around town, including at bus stops. Last time our service went down at home, about a year ago, I walked to the nearest bus stop, sat in the shelter protected from the rain, took out a tablet and engaged in online chat with the Shaw rep. Way less noise than a phone support call. Besides, since our phone is Shaw VOIP, the service outage meant that it wasn't working anyway. For the technically-minded, our issue was that the service was marginal due to oxidation, corrosion on parts up in the pole. When Shaw TV Cable went digital, deficiencies were unmasked. Even though we don't subscribe to Cable TV. The technician, to his credit, identified the problem pretty quickly, and it was also repaired soon enough.

I hope you've all got(ten) a down home flavour from this and do not feel the need to downvote me too strenuously. If you do feel the need to downvote, please go ahead, accept my apologies in advance, and may the pasta deity bless you.

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NSA pulls plug on some email spying before Congress slaps it down

GrapeBunch
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Re: Agreed. They don't want to reveal what a count query on their DB shows for nationality=US

If a foreign person gets a gmail account, I assume the US considers it fair game for the NSA to slurp his email. Moi, a "a foreign intelligence target"? Bien sûr. And a US citizen who gets a foreign e-mail account and doesn't publish the address and his identity for all to see, surely they'd slurp that, just for completeness. Going back to gmail, how are you sure that "John Smith" of Davenport, Iowa is actually who he says he is? Spies, traitors, terrorists and paedophiles, like government agencies, don't necessarily fight fair. So might as well slurp that, just to be safe. In case you missed it, I've just slurped all email in the world, for the NSA. That's even if you imagine that they are telling the truth. The ball is under the nth shell.

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Don't listen to the doomsayers – DRM is headed for the historical dustbin, says Doctorow

GrapeBunch
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Re: DRM vs Property Rights

"Kick a person when she or he is down" seems the byword of both big government and big business. If the crucial process of life is "be eaten", for economic life it is "be kicked".

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It's a question worth asking: Why is the FCC boss being such a jerk?

GrapeBunch
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Re: Never saw that coming

I have a great title for the movie version: "All the President's Men". Oops.

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Apache OpenOffice: Not dead yet, you'll just have to wait until mid-May for mystery security fixes

GrapeBunch
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Re: I admire their spunk!

I suppose there was a time when the phrase "fair dinkum" might have occasioned a raised eyebrow anywhere except Australia. When a gf went to study in the UK, she let go with the expression "a coon's age" (meaning "a long time", a decade or more) to collective shock and horror around the lunch table. I'm sure she would have received feedback around a USA lunch table, too.

Because of the market dominance of MS, I suppose that open developers must have spent a lot of time around the lunch table discussing to what extent they should provide a compatibility mode. In other words, they will try to render a document as the document instructs them, but in compatibility mode they would render the document the way a particular version of MS Office would render it. Seems like a no-brainer, but seeking compatibility uber alles is a slippery path.

Around a more exalted table at MS, they must spend a lot of time figuring out ways to get open software to fail to properly render an MS Office document. This also can be a slippery path, though usually a win for the market dominator. E.g. MS-DOS versus DR-DOS.

I use LibreOffice, but not often. In olden days when faced with (the possibility of) screen garbage, I would ask the originator to save the document to a format old even then (was it Word 2.1 ?). That would stand a better chance of indigestion-free consumption by whatever version of AbiWord I happened to be using. That approach is less productive when the document has been published rather than sent.

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Shock horror: US military sticks jump leads on human brains to teach them a lesson

GrapeBunch
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Happy

Happy face, onnit

If they just happen to discover ways to enhance brainwashing, information extraction, or plain old torture, then softly will they carry the big electrode.

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Republicans want IT bloke to take fall for Clinton email brouhaha

GrapeBunch
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It's confusing, but Platte River Networks = PRN = People's Republic of Nebraska. Doesn't that give you a warm fuzzy feeling?

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Would you believe it? The Museum of Failure contains quite a few pieces of technology

GrapeBunch
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Re: Bic for her

Glad those comments and commentators are all on the same page, so to speak.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: Philips Digital Cassette Tape etc

Re: text entry on Apple Newton. I rather miss Giraffe on the Handspring whats-its-name, a Palm-like PDA. I got fairly skilled (at least, by my own standards) using Giraffe for manual text input, then Giraffe went away.

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GrapeBunch
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Re: mein Kampf mit Scheitern

I remember one year a PC magazine with great fanfare announced its annual awards for Technical Excellence. The winner in a software category was MS-DOS, even though it was vastly inferior to a direct competitor, Digital Research DOS, aka DR-DOS or Dr. DOS. I was so miffed I wrote a letter, to which they replied something like that MS-DOS was a better seller. Excellent. Not.

When Windows was a product that worked on top of--and over--DOS, there was reportedly a saying at Microsoft to the effect: "It don't go out the door, until DR-DOS don't work no more." DR ended up at the mercy of MS's production schedules. When Windows released a new version, then DR had to scramble to bypass the DR-unfriendly code that MS had introduced, and only then could they release the next DR-DOS version. Digital Research also had a great product called Concurrent DOS. I believe DR-DOS was mainly a crippled version of Concurrent DOS, with a flag set to "off", the one that would have activated the concurrent processing. Instead, DR-DOS acted as a task-switcher. In 1985-86 I worked for a company that exploited the power of Concurrent DOS in off-the-shelf PCs to create software that is impressive even decades later. None of the brilliance came from me, but I did work for the company.

If Digital Research is allowed only one entry in the FAIL museum, I'm not sure which one it should be.

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GrapeBunch
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FAIL

Re: mein Kampf mit Scheitern

AVRO Arrow, the greatest jet aeroplane of the 20th century, was built, tested, then junked, destroyed, obliterated. That is Canada's biggest fail. Although the rumour was that Prime Minister Diefenbaker had nightmares about Canada becoming a war-monger or a nuclear power, I've long believed that it must have been USA influence--whether commercial, military, or political--applied in secret. The cancellation was a tremendous boost to the USA aero industry, without loss of a single life. They've done more to get less.

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GrapeBunch
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mein Kampf mit Scheitern

at least that's how Google translated it. I'm not making this up. Has a (mood) ring about it that "My Struggle with Failure" lacks.

My brother had an Apple Newton. I had (have?) a Kodak digital camera (DC215 http://www.digicammuseum.com/en/prototypes-rarities/item/kodak-dc215-metallics ), which as a digital camera for its time was just fine. It took 3,000 pics of up to 1 Megapixel, then I loaned it to a youngster. I also have two Betamaxen in the basement (and, just to be fair, a stereo VHS). The transport mechanisms on these machines tend to use rubber-like bands, which over the decades oxidize. If they don't disintegrate, they do get slack. So the mission, should I choose to accept it, is to get the replacement band, disassemble the damn thing (taking frequent snapshots of the process on my Kodak, oops) ... and hope that disassembly wasn't a one-way process. I doubt that a couple of minutes with a hair dryer would tighten up a slack band, but you never know .... well, if worst comes to worst, the units contain so much metal that they could stop a fairly good-sized bullet: beta-armour?

I also have a tech that succeeded but was discontinued, the butterfly keyboard. It appeared in the Thinkpad 701C and 701CS circa 1994?. Then the idea was deep-sixed by IBM because their craze was ever-thinner machines with ever-larger screens. Silly gits.

The list of failed tech could be much much longer. There's not just failed products, but also failed ideas.

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Script kiddies pwn 1000s of Windows boxes using leaked NSA hack tools

GrapeBunch
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Re: just throw it over the side?

(and make sure you reboot)

I did as you suggested on an old XP machine. On rebooting, it could not connect with the Internet. After a few minutes of futzing around, I fell back upon an old method that often works, though I never know why. I rebooted a second time. All normal after that. Thanks!

It strikes me that much of one's security should reside in the router. It even runs a different OS ! Don't know how one might go about that, though.

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