* Posts by Barry Rueger

531 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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Nokia's 3310 revival – what's NEXT? Vote now

Barry Rueger
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Re: I want my Palm back!

Oh, those are easy. I'm now trying to kill off the "Your battery is charged" notification, the "You took seven pictures today, would you like to review them?" pop-up, and the bizarre "You're at location X, {something something} pictures?" request. (I've never actually bothered to explore the last one, so I'm kind of guessing what it said.)

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Barry Rueger
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I want my Palm back!

Just this week we were talking about how poorly smartphones seem to handle the basics - calendar and contacts. They're just too clever by far for what should be simple functions.

I was reminded how my old Palm used to do these things very well, without a cel connection, and without constantly beeping, vibrating, and flashing at me.

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New Royal Navy Wildcat helicopters can't transmit vital data

Barry Rueger
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Re: No problem

Starbucks & Costa DO serve a liquid 'described as Coffee', it just is being somewhat 'economical with the truth'

"Alternative facts" if you please.

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WTF is up with the W3C, DRM and security bods threatened – we explain

Barry Rueger
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Open the Door

Surely this is only the beginning of the end. This fairly benign DRM regime will expand to eventually block all manner of activity that rightsholders consider threatening.

I can easily see a day when visiting the Pirate Bay would be pointless because the underpinnings of the Web will make it impossible to download using a torrent, or at least a torrent without a corporate seal of approval.

I've no doubt that new ways will be found to circumvent new restrictions, but slowly but surely you'll see end users give up all control over what they view and read.

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Tech Trailblazers Awards: Shortlist out - now it’s over to you

Barry Rueger
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Web Design Award?

Apparently not, that is one butt ugly web site. Would it have been too much to ask for a capsule summary of what the finalists do? In the big empty space beside the logo perhaps?

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Vivaldi and me: Just browsing? Nah, I'm sold

Barry Rueger
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Customizing

Yeah, I used to spend hours fiddling with all sorts of settings on my computer, and spent hours tuning my '67 Impala for that little bit of performance.

Eventually though you reach a point where you just want to get work done, choose a stable platform, and get on with it. For me that has been Mint Cinnamon for several years, with exactly two settings to change: turn off Caps Lock and change the wallpaper to something NASA.

That's also why I stay far away from Windows 10.

Chrome is popular because it's simple, and "just works" out of the box, and because it stays the same from one version to the next. For the vast majority of users that consistency is more important than stacked tabs or command line interfaces.

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Tablets become feebleslabs as sales spiral down

Barry Rueger
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Re: How many tablets does a person need?

I would actually use a tablet, but thus far any brand name fondle-slab is priced the same or higher than a midrange laptop.

Handy though it may be, I can't bring myself to pay more money for half the utility.

So I continue to read the papers (and The Reg) on my smart phone. The bigger screen would be nice, but not X hundred dollars nicer.

Now, if the street price of 7+ inch tablets can get below $200....

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MEEELLIONs of Brits stick with current broadband provider rather than risk no Netflix

Barry Rueger
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Re: If UK'ISPs are like Canada's Bell...

Although, assuming Bell is like Telus, that discount will cost you an hour on the phone with an obtuse employee determined to also sell you cable TV that you don't want.

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President Trump tweets from insecure Android, security boffins roll eyes

Barry Rueger
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But not Facebook

At least it's Twitter and not Facebook. I can just imagine the Department of Agriculture run to reflect Trump's YUGE success at playing Farmville.

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President Donald Trump taken on by unlikely foe: Badass park rangers

Barry Rueger
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Oh Canada!

Trump is so unimaginative. Or, alternately, learns from past masters.

Stephen Harper had exactly the same draconian policies when Prime Minister, muzzling employees, refusing to allow scientists to speak at scholarly conferences, and insisting that everything issued to the public had to be vetted by his minions before release.

As if that wasn't bad enough, they went one step further and dumpstered several scientific libraries, trashing decades of fisheries data and research.

Seriously folks, anything of scientific value that you think might offend the Trumpists should be copied and stored off-site NOW.

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Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Barry Rueger
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Re: All is Strange in MS Land

I'll second the VirtualBox suggestion. Mine runs Vista so we can access our QuickBooks accounting software. On any reasonably up to date machine it's an easy install, and best of all if you change machines you don't need to re-install Windows and the apps - just copy over the directory.

In my experience the success of WINE depends entirely on there being someone knowledgeable who needed a specific app bad enough to keep at it until it actually worked reliably. The WINE database is full of entries that more or less say "THIS version works sometimes with THIS version of WINE, but not necessarily with YOUR hardware."

With notable exceptions like MS Office and popular games it's really a case of trial and error - try to install it and see if it works.

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Welcome to the Wipe House: President Trump shreds climate change, privacy, LGBT policies on WhiteHouse.gov

Barry Rueger
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Just the Guy We Need

Sources tell me that Trump's choice to head the National Archives is a fellow named Montag.

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Silence is golden: How Google hunts Android malware in the wild

Barry Rueger
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Security Through Irritation

I seriously doubt that the endless trickle of Android "security" pop-ups do anything other than irritate the end user.

I tend to assume that anything running Android is insecure five minutes after it's been purchased.

Instead of sending users pop-ups and nags that will just be ignored, Google would do better to figure out how to keep the millions of Android devices in use patched and safe.

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Happy birthday: Jimbo Wales' sweet 16 Wikipedia fails

Barry Rueger
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Old Timer Here

Yes, I actually owned a real, honest to God Encyclopedia Brittanica. Moved it from house to house a few times too. Heavy sucker.

At the end of the day this all comes down to one fact: a strong, smart editor makes content better and a skilled, knowledgeable fact-checking staff will find and remove gross, and even small mistakes.

Publishing on paper gives the time and incentive to make sure what you're publishing is accurate and honest. You want to find and fix mistakes before the presses roll, and don't want dumb errors looking you in the face for years or decades.

Handy though Wikipedia is, it does not have a centuries long reputation for professionally prepared content and reliable accuracy.

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Just give up: 123456 is still the world's most popular password

Barry Rueger
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Don't Just Blame Users

One of my banks doesn't allow uppercase or special characters. The other, after a major software upgrade that took much of their systems of line for several days, only allows numbers in passwords.

On the other hand, there are sites like infrequently visited tech forums that represent no real security risk to me. A short and weak password is fine.

The point being, the strength of a password should reflect risk levels. Sometimes 12345 is good enough.

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Canada fines Amazon seven hours of profit for false advertising

Barry Rueger
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Re: As A Canadian, I would Just Like to Add ...

Whatever happened to NAFTA?

Silly rabbit. You actually thought that NAFTA was intended to benefit the proles?

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Dear Canada...

Obviously,unlike the banking cartel, the cel phone cartel, the oil cartel, and the media cartel, Amazon didn't donate enough cash to the governing parties to buy freedom from prosecution for anti- competitive practises.

Amateurs.

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Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment

Barry Rueger
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Re: Document-Centrism and the Right Tool for the Job

Browsers are "document-centric" because the vast majority of information is best presented in words, sentences, and paragraphs.

I have to assume that Kolandra is one of the people who believe that emoji represent an actual advance in human communication.

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Barry Rueger
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Good to be warned

cool effects and animations

This, and "bubble tabs" are all I need to know.

Novelty and kewlness almost never improve usability.

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Oh, for F...acebook: WhatsApp, critics spar over alleged 'backdoor'

Barry Rueger
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Real user case

My company is one of fifty that occasionally needs to reach others in the field in an emergency situation. For years we relied on a group SMS list, which worked great because everyone had a cel phone.

Then Google, in their wisdom, decided that sending a group text was a Bad Thing, and coded in a hard limit to the number of recipients you could send to on an Android phone. An emergency message to fifty people now became five messages to five small groups.

This year everyone save a lone BlackBerry user moved over to WhatsApp, which as far as I can tell does exactly what text messaging used to, except with Facebook spying on us instead of Google.

Way to shoot yourselves in the foot Google.

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Reg straps on goggles from upstart that wants to 'democratize' VR

Barry Rueger
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Still dubious.

Despite goldcd's comment I fail to see any widespread market for VR aside from gaming, a few very specific applications, and novelty.

Probably most VR goggles will wind up on a shelf, collecting dust right beside the 3D sunglasses that came with the TV.

And I write this just after reading Neal Stephenson's excellent "Snow Crash."

For the vast majority of media scenarios regular 2D video is more than adequately immersive. 3D and VR just don't add enough to the experience to make it worthwhile messing with extra hardware and software.

Maybe some killer app will emerge that will suddenly make VR the thing that everyone wants, but it wasn't too many years ago when "Avatar" was supposed to make 3D the new wave in home entertainment.

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This'll be the next thing Trump crows about: Apple assembling servers on American soil

Barry Rueger
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Re: What's old is new again

Many companies are barely making profit as it is, they couldn't afford a 1000% increase in contract manufacturing labor cost.

If the jump from $8 to $15 is enough to bankrupt a major corporation I'd say that there are significantly larger problems than outsourcing.

Then again, when the local minimum wage went up by 35 cents an hour last year there were literally thousands of imaginary businesses that closed their doors.

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Barry Rueger
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Re: What's old is new again

My iPhone is built in China, and I would gladly purchase one built in the US, but they don't make them here because the labor is still dirt-cheap in China.

I'd love to know just how much of the cost of an iPhone is actually labour. My suspicion is that it's actually the much reduced regulatory and environmental costs that make China so popular.

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Barry Rueger
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Author of their own misfortune.

"As part of the loan agreement with Cupertino, GT had to commit to supplying glass almost exclusively ... Apple had no obligation to buy any of it. GT would also have to pay a fine if it sold glass to anyone Apple disapproved of and the whole deal had a $50m charge if GT made the details of the contract public."

I read this as the manufacturer being greedy or dumb enough to agree to a really one-sided deal, with a really bad contract that left them holding most of the risk and none of the control.

As much as I might dislike Apple, it takes two to tango. If you're planning to dance you should be clear whether or not you're the one going backwards in high-heeled shoes.

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Oh Britain. Worried your routers will be hacked, but won't touch the admin settings

Barry Rueger
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A very important point. A lot of people have had a device borked by a bad upgrade - Anniversary anyone ? - and not unreasonably conclude that upgrades should be avoided as long hardware seems to work OK.

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Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts

Barry Rueger
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Related case

A Canadian Mountie has launched a similar suit, alleging PTSD.

http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/british-columbia/surrey-mountie-ptsd-child-porn-1.3891306

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Is! Yahoo! dead?! Why! web! biz! will! rename! to! Altaba! – the! truth!

Barry Rueger
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JCEYUIJOKVBYHUJIOK.com

Yet again a tech firm grabs a handful of tiles out of the Scrabble bag, slams them down, and says, "That's our new name!"

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Hangouts hangs up on third party apps

Barry Rueger
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Re: The Google giveth...

Reader, MyTracks....

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Bank robber reveals identity – by using his debit card during crime

Barry Rueger
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Old School!

Some forty years ago, before ATM cards and PINs, I knew a bank teller. Conversation naturally turned to bank robbery.

It wasn't surprising that the rule was "Give them the money in the drawer without argument."

The surprising bit was how often they caught the culprit because he had written his hold up note on the back of his own pre-printed cheque or deposit slip.

The lower echelons of crime haven't changed much in four decades.

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How Google.org stole the Christmas Spirit

Barry Rueger
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Not new

Corporate "charity" has always been about marketing and branding, not about philanthropy. Ronald McDonald houses are a prime example, with corporate "donations" that actually represent some tiny skim on the sales of Big Macs, with customers encouraged to believe that buying a burger = giving to a worthy cause.

The companies that do genuine charitable giving are usually small, with strong local ties, and do it because it's the right thing, not to polish a tarnished reputation.

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Spotty battery life costs Apple's MacBook Pro its gold-star rating

Barry Rueger
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Good advice.

don't run anything on it that consumes power.

This seems to be the go to advice to anyone who complains about smartphone battery life: tell them your battery life is great, you just need to turn down the screen brightness, don't watch videos, turn off GPS, WIFI, NFC, and the cel radio.

Three, even four days of battery!

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Backup Exec console goes AWOL

Barry Rueger
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Up vote!

GF compliant that W10 forced restart disables the alarm she set to wake her in the morning.

Updates are set to only happen at 3am because they ALWAYS interrupted something critical.

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Meat pies in SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!

Barry Rueger
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With apologies to Dean Martin..

When the moon hits your eye,

Like a launched Wigan pie,

That's amore.....

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Kids, look at the Deep Learnings! (We’re just going to slurp your data)

Barry Rueger
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Dhalgren

+1 for Dhalgren reference, in reference to Naked Lunch.

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Is your Windows 10, 8 PC falling off the 'net? Microsoft doesn't care

Barry Rueger
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A New Record!

Hey folks! We managed to get through seventeen comments before someone who thought they were clever said "windoze."

Oh yeah. Switch to Linux.

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Revamped Cortana finally lands on UK mobe mass market

Barry Rueger
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OK Google

Someone explain how this differs from Google's version?

I do occasionally use Google's voice recognition, for email or text, and have actually been pretty impressed how well it does the job.

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Bluetooth 5.0 emerges, ready to chew on the internet of things

Barry Rueger
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Reliability?

I am I alone in finding Bluetooth kind of hit and miss? It always seems to be about 85% reliable.

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Don't have a Dirty COW, man: Android gets full kernel hijack patch

Barry Rueger
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Also, unicorns

other devices should be getting the updates shortly, depending on how on-the-ball your manufacturer and cell network is.

Serious question for you El Reg: why bother printing nonsense like this when we all know that some large proportion of Android users - a majority I'd wager - will never see this patch.

The time has come to start naming and shaming the manufacturers and carriers that put their customers at risk.

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Going underground: The Royal Mail's great London train squeeze

Barry Rueger
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Night Mail

Here's a 1936 classic for your lunch break. From the days when postal mail was fast and efficient.

Night Mail

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Windows 10 market share growth just barely has a pulse

Barry Rueger
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Ahem

Does that account for the obnoxious, full screen Windows 10 pop up ads that are obliterating The Reg mobile site this week?

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Congrats America, you can now safely slag off who you like online

Barry Rueger
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Horse, meet Barn Door

I'd argue that the majority of review sites have long ago become entirely untrustworthy.

Does anyone ever trust Yelp? Much less the Play store?

I just can't be bothered sorting through the obviously bogus reviews any more.

And that's not even considering the "review" or "bargain" spam sites that make up the top twenty items whenever you Google a product.

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Netflix and fill – our coffers: Canada mulls taxing vid streaming giant 5% of subs cash

Barry Rueger
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GST

5% is the federal Goods and Services Tax (GST), which applies to pretty much everything, much like UK VAT.

Communications regulations are the domain of the Federal government.

Unlike the US we generally don't see taxes levied at county or municipal level, aside from property taxes. It's pretty clearly defined who is allowed to tax what.

On a simplistic level, Netflix is doing business in Canada, and in doing so can reasonably expect to pay taxes on that income.

A large part of Netflix's success in Canada is the geo-blocking of competing services like Hulu and Amazon Prime. It's either Netflix for $10 a month, or cable for $75-100.

Easy choice for many people

.

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Another Canadian uni hit by ransomware, students told to keep Windows PCs away

Barry Rueger
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Cartoon U

Ahem. Cartoon U is not really in the same league as say Oxford or Harvard. I am not remotely surprised.

FWIW, we once bought a group of PCs from their computer services department when I worked there.

One by one they all died, first with smoke, then with showers of sparks like roman candles out of the back of the power supplies.

Stuck with Dell after that.

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Apple unplugs its home LAN biz, allegedly

Barry Rueger
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Also, discovered penicillin.

Apple reshaped the Wi-Fi market – and consumer expectations – by making WiFi routers simple.

Seriously? Reshaped the market?

When at least a half dozen companies were each outselling the Apple product by what - ten to one?

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Why I just bought a MacBook Air instead of the new Pro

Barry Rueger
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Upgrade to last year's model

Two years ago, I got the then just discontinued 2012 Mac Mini for my media serving needs ...

I think that for a lot of knowledgeable people this is the reality - "upgrade" to last year, or the year before's model.

Unless you have pretty specific, high-end needs it's entirely likely that whatever is on-sale at the end of the year at Best Buy or wherever will give you a perfectly fine machine for at least a few years.

For those of us who are a) old enough to be really tired of building our own and b) not rolling in cash, this is the preferred route.

(Though I did in fact just finish building my own box. Figure it's good for the next five years.)

(Re Apple: gave it my best for three years with a Powerbook as my primary machine, but ultimately really, really couldn't work within the Apple paradigm. Something about the way Apple's OS does things just doesn't work for me.)

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User needed 40-minute lesson in turning it off and turning it on again

Barry Rueger
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Re: Can you hold down the power button

I supposed the phrase "Power button" is jargon, but most electrical devices have some way of turning the power on or off, be it a button, sensor or switch.

Thinking about this, literally the only power button in regular use in our house is on the TV remote.

Aside from light switches, everything else is always on (like printers or the router) or is initiated by some functional choice or setting (toaster, stove, kettle) but doesn't have an actual "power" button.

Actually powering down an appliance or other household unit either involves pulling the plug from the wall or slapping around on the backside looking a tiny, obscure button.

Unless there's NO button, and you unplug the power adaptor from the device.

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Security bods find Android phoning home. Home being China

Barry Rueger
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Re: Built into the firmware?

I can't imagine why the previous comment was down voted.

That was my immediate thought - most carriers will go to any lengths to avoid passing on OTA updates, and most users don't realize the hazard.

A patch is completely worthless if you can't get it on to your device.

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China gets mad at Donald Trump, threatens to ruin Apple

Barry Rueger
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Re: China knows something

"We all just witnessed a candidate win without becoming beholden to that rotten DC machine."

Until we've seen the paperwork reporting the campaign finances (the US has that?) we don't know that at all.

Somehow getting hard information out of Trump has proved near impossible. Tax returns?

Besides, it's hard to hire the head of the GOP to your staff and still credibly claim to not be part of that "rotten DC machine.

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Portable drive, 5TB capacity. Hmm, there's something fishy here

Barry Rueger
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Re: ... in my waste bin now ...

Locally it's Craigslist "Free" to find new homes for old tech.

Or vice versa. Picked up a lovely Samsung colour laser last month for free.

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Zuckerberg says just one per cent of news on Facebook is fake

Barry Rueger
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Details Below

* For Facebook's definition of "true" or "false"

** For Facebook's definition of "percent."

*** Your mileage may vary.

**** Some (dis)assembly required.

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