* Posts by Barry Rueger

629 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

Barry Rueger
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Black is Black

Just because vintage techies hold their mobile phones at arm's length in order to be able to read the ridiculously titchy text

Dear God yes. When did it become de rigeur to use tiny, pale grey text on the Web, readable only by 21 year olds with 20/20 vision?

Then again, does the use of more or less unreadable typefaces explain the development of emojis?

"Why do you need a thesaurus when you have a smiley faced poop icon?"

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Noise-canceling headphones with a DO NOT DISTURB light can't silence your critics

Barry Rueger
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Re: Warning

Sometime back in the nineties there was actually a campaign in the US to try and get live music venues to turn down the volume.

As I recall, it was started by a sound guy who realised that everyone in the club - the musicians, the sound guy, the lighting guy, the fans, the bar people, the door people - were wearing earplugs at every show.

Made sense to me; went nowhere. Of course it's not just the overall sound pressure, it's the quality of the gear and the mix that also matter. Too often crap equipment + inadequate sound guy = SUPER LOUD.

Then again, a generation that has grown up with earbuds 24/7 is likely going to need that excessive volume by the time they're fifty.

Harumph! In my day we earned our deafness the old-fashioned way! Standing two feet away from a million watt speaker stack!

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Equifax's IT leaders 'retire' as company says it knew about the bug that brought it down

Barry Rueger
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Takeover target?

If you consider the depth and breadth of data held by Equifax, and the apparent complete lack of regulation, I can't help but think that one of either Facebook or Google is destined to buy them up.

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Barry Rueger
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Meanwhile in Canada

A class action suit is in the works, and the complete response for Canadian "customers" is:

Are you concerned you are affected by the Canadian impact of the breach against Equifax?

We are still investigating, but this is what we know now:

Only a limited number of Canadians may have been affected.

We are working on finding out how many.

The breach is contained.

At this point, it seems the personal information that may have been breached includes name and address and Social Insurance Number.

We will update this information as we learn more.

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User worked with wrong app for two weeks, then complained to IT that data had gone missing

Barry Rueger
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Re: Ped-ANT-ic typo in title

Typo isn't jewelry, but you could take her for a lovely vacation in Kentucky.

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Facebook let advertisers target 'Jew-haters'

Barry Rueger
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Re: I had problems with Google

This world needs a little more Kinky! No idea why anyone would down vote that.

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Barry Rueger
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Re: The looming power of Digital Dictators

While we're at it, can we please retire "slurp," a phrase that may have been cute the first time, but now is only slightly less grating than "Windoze."

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'All-screen display'? But surely every display is all-screen... or is a screen not a display?

Barry Rueger
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Re: Say what you mean and mean what you say

95% of the business of running a gym is getting someone in the door willing to buy

I'm always amazed by businesses that work so hard to turn away customers. On more than one occasion I have said, literally, "I want this, I have money in my pocket," but have walked out empty handed.

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

Barry Rueger
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Animoji

I'll stick with Olde Fashioned Texte Moji.

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Microsoft fixing Windows 10 'stuttering' bugs in Creators Update

Barry Rueger
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Re: Nope

Our Win 10 machine sometimes refuses to go fullscreen, leaving the Iplayer controls stuck at the bottom.

No apparent reason. We've ruled out phases of the moon, but the Sun was moving into Leo, so suspect something was influenced by my horoscope.

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Barry Rueger
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Sigh, Poor Ordinary Folks

I can speak on behalf of my girlfriend when I say "Lucky gamers - they actually got something fixed." Seeing her endless frustrations with Windows 10 reminds of the worst days of Windows 3.1 when you needed a witch doctor, a chicken to wave, and a CDROM full of possible driver candidates to make the thing work.

She's smart and experienced, and so am I, but we've largely given up trying to understand the downright strange and inexplicable things that Windows 10 does.

But hey, at least they're working hard to get VR perfected!

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Google to kill its Drive file locker in two confusing ways

Barry Rueger
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Re: What will people make of this?

Second vote for Geo Tracker. I have to wonder just how much it would have cost Google to keep My Tracks alive.

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Clouding the situation

Up vote. It's abundantly obvious that far too many developers have utterly no real world life experience, which is why so many products are only usable in specific ideal circumstances.

For instance, any service that assumes unlimited data on mobile is useless to much of Canada because of the incredibly stingy and expensive data allowances.

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Scotiabank internet whizzkids screw up their HTTPS security certs

Barry Rueger
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Surprise? I think not.

Scotiabank still does not allow customers to use upper case or special characters in passwords, arguing that it would confuse some customers.

Rather than putting resources into security, Scotiabank has been prioritising the disposal of long time employees and the centralisation of all decisions at head office in Toronto.

The days when you knew your branch manager, and they would bend the rules in an emergency, are long, long gone.

But hey! Scotiabank is still the industry leader in exorbitant service charges!

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Facebook's music plans mean you'll never leave Facebook

Barry Rueger
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Or, Perhaps Not

At the risk of being ridiculed by the Kewl Kidz, I'll openly admit to having and using a Facebook profile. At this point, aside from immediate family, I think there might be ten or twelve people attached to it as "Friends," and that number seems to decline every month as I pare back to whoever genuinely brings some joy or insight to my day. (Another dozen or so are still listed as "Friends" but have been quietly blocked so that I don't see the drivel they post.)

I remember Vampires, and Farmville, and even pokes.

Family members who were avid, rabid Facebook users a couple of years back have tapered off in their activity. I don't know what's replaced it, but they use it a lot less than in the past, and they're really part of the target Facebook demographic. I think that on some level they too have grown weary of the bad UI, the incessant ads and unsolicited crap, and are also finding that Facebook just doesn't deliver enough value to wade through the mess that it has become.

What Facebook had in their favour, and which I'm sure they still think they have, is lock-in based on ubiquity: pretty much everyone you know is likely on Facebook, and it become the default place to reach them. The problem for Facebook is that if a significant part of that audience moves away it can snowball. Surely Zuckerberg is quaking at the possibility that someone, somewhere will invent the "new Facebook" that will manage to draw away their users.

Not only can it happen, it's pretty likely, especially since Facebook has one significant weakness: there's literally nothing that they do well, and most things they do poorly.

For me, it'll remain Twitter, which somehow is a lot more useful, a lot more entertaining, and seems to let me really carefully manage what gets presented to me in a way that Facebook either can't do, or can't do without digging through a bizarre and annoying menu system.

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We experienced Windows Mixed Reality. Results: Well, mixed

Barry Rueger
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A Serious Question

I'm not a gamer. I'm not expecting to do woo-woo "data visualization" work. I'm don't expect to become a fighter pilot.

So what, exactly, is the use case for me, and for the 95% of the population that is like me?

And can it interface with my Smart Doorbell?

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Samsung keeps the smartwatch alive. Just

Barry Rueger
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Bright Ideas

Somehow whenever I read about "smart" watches I immediately also think about "smart" lightbulbs, "smart" doorbells, and other "smart" soon to arriving at yard sales, Craigslist, and the landfill devices.

I'm well and truly connected, but most of this stuff sounds nearly pointless except for some edge uses, appears to be half thought-out solutions to problems that don't exist, seems likely to break down in months if not weeks, and is probably entirely not repairable or recyclable.

Maybe in five years I'll be convinced, but most of this stuff looks like junk to me.

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Telcos waive bills during Houston hurricane recovery

Barry Rueger
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Re: "will have some or all of their costs waived"...

My thought exactly. The impressive move would have been a simple "will have all of their costs waived."

When they add "some or" I assume you'll be lucky to get $5 off your bill.

But hey, there will be lots of cash for post-storm self-congratulatory advertising!

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Google's Android 8.0 Oreo has been served

Barry Rueger
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Troll much. Reg?

A major part of Oreo's mission is to hasten operating system upgrades.

Seriously? This was said with a straight face?

Please Google, do tell how you'll force my carrier to actually let me install Oreo on my six month old name brand phone.

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FYI: Web ad fraud looks really bad. Like, really, really bad. Bigly bad

Barry Rueger
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Re: I've worked out why El Reg has no subscription option

Amateur. You forgot:

6) PROFIT!

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Barry Rueger
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Other side of the coin.

Advertisers are slowly beginning to understand that they have no way of knowing where their product ads might be served up.

A group calling itself "Sleeping Giant" has had considerable success in encouraging advertisers not to allow their ads to be placed on alt-right sites like Breitbart (in the US) and Rebel Media (in Canada.) The latter has been particularly hard hit, with more than 250 companies blocking them from their ad buys.

In most cases the advertisers had no idea that their ads were being served on sites that they, or their customers, found offensive.

On-line advertising looks like house of cards, and I suspect the whole thing will just collapse one day.

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Linux-loving lecturer 'lost' email, was actually confused by Outlook

Barry Rueger
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Re: Remember those days when you'd go on a course...

Still have my copy of Acerson's WordPerfect manual!

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Client support, we've heard about it

Up vote for Q3.

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World's largest private submarine in mystery sink accident

Barry Rueger
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Vs British Subs?

Lot of smart talk from the Brits who sold used subs to poor old Canada.

Yeah, we're sure that you didn't know that the things leaked.

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Hell desk to user: 'I know you're wrong. I wrote the software. And the protocol it runs on'

Barry Rueger
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Re: Possible or easy?

there is something wrong with a user who is belligerently ignorant and who insists they are correct and refuses to listen and to try what is being suggested by the support person.

To be fair, sometimes the support drone on the phone, or worse "live chat," genuinely doesn't know what they're talking about, or can do nothing but read through a script. Remember the bad old days when step one was always"Reinstall Windows?"

Many "support" people have no technical knowledge, just a seat in a random call centre. Last week they were selling steak knives.

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It's August 2017 and your Android gear can be pwned by, oh look, just patch the things

Barry Rueger
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"Hopefully?"

I can count on one hand the number of software upgrades I've seen on a series of phones since Honeycomb.

Google blames the manufacturer, who blames the wireless company, who honestly don't give a sweet God damn.

As irritating as Windows' endless stream of updates might be, and even though they often as not break things, at least I have the option of installing them.

Which is more than I have been able to say about any (non-CM) Android device.

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Meet VRfox: Mozilla's latest attempt at regaining browser share

Barry Rueger
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Priorities!

Surely there are one or two, maybe even three things that might merit attention more than gimmicks like VR.

How about a good, basic browser for viewing web pages, that doesn't grind the whole computer to a halt?

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

Barry Rueger
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Re: This isn't a terrible idea

That's a wonderful play on words, you must be really proud.

Hey, a little respect! He's also the guy who coined "Windoze."

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Up to 140,000 a year will be allowed in.

The"requirement"is in fact window dressing. A Stats Canada report this week shows Tagalog as the fastest growing immigrant language group in several provinces.

This isn't because of an influx of Filipino doctors and lawyers, it's the result of tens of thousands of minimum wage employees being flown in to work at Tim Hortons Donots and McDonalds.

Contrast these with so-called "investor class," who buy up a random company in order to get their family in the door.

I'm actually very pro-immigration, even for brown-skinned people, but would never suggest that Canada's immigration rules are a model to be emulated.

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Ye Bug List

Barry Rueger
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Edit Forum posts

Am I just thick, or is the claim of a ten minute window to edit posts just a myth.

I've looked, and fail to find anything that would allow editing.

Or is that not for users of the mobile site?

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Fox News fabricated faux news with Donald Trump, lawsuit claims

Barry Rueger
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Don't Read the Comments. Don't Read the Comments. Don't ...

Girlfriend is obsessed with Trump news, following multiple US and UK papers hourly.

I satisfy myself with one NPR morning newscast, and whatever bubbles up on Twitter from the tiny group of low traffic journos that I follow. This gives me just enough Trump to know what's happening, without thoroughly depressing me.

What's missing from all of the comments, memes, tweets, posts, video, and funny pictures? Any suggestion whatsoever of what people should be doing to change the situation.

Without a plan, and a call to action, we're just amusing ourselves while pretending it's "activism."

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New iPhone details leak: Yes, Apple is still chasing Samsung

Barry Rueger
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Re: $1400?

What? Crystal? Every iPhone that I've ever seen has been wrapped in a nasty, cheap plastic case.

Hello Kitty and Bedazzling optional depending on your region.

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Latest Windows 10 preview lets users link an Android to their PC

Barry Rueger
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Yawn

Seriously El Reg? This a pretty minimal trick to waste so many electrons on. I could just see it being useful in some cases, assuming that the app works with whatever stale-dated version of Android exists on your 13 month old phone, and assuming Windows 10 hasn't launched into the daily "why won't this stupid computer just do what I want?" mode. (Direct quote that was.)

There are many reasons to dislike Windows 10, but they stem from great, gaping lack of usability, not from a lack of kewl apps.

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Virgin Media's profanity warning triggered by chief exec's name

Barry Rueger
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Dianna Dichlich

No joke, and remarkably cool about it.

Then there was the Appalachian News Express, which learned the hard way that www.newsexpress.com had issues.

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Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

Barry Rueger
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Finally, safe!

I am just glad that whatever replaces Flash will be 100% secure and will never, ever have any bugs that would make it vulnerable to attack.

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Andy Rubin's overhyped and underdelivered Essential phone out 'in a few weeks'

Barry Rueger
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Re: Since when

" the rest of the world cares about quality."

Sarcasm, right?

Why do we need to drag US politics into EVERY discussion?

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Barry Rueger
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Re: For that you need (new term) OLED

Or Enhanced Bass sound bars and Bluetooth speakers with loudspeakers inside similar to a 1960s pocket transistor set.

This! Laptop speakers the size of a penny, much less whatever is inside your mobile phone, will never, ever produce a sound quality worth bothering with.

Though they'll still be better than anything "beats."

((Old enough to remember when the Bose and Bang & Olufsen names were something you would aspire to own.)

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Iranian duo charged with hacking US missile simulation software biz

Barry Rueger
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Five Years

If these guys could operate for five years without being detected I have to think that this is a company with serious security problems.

Beyond that, it's foolish and unrealistic to think that any software won't manage to leak outside of your facility. Maybe ten years ago you could believe that, but hopefully people finally appreciate that any secret is only one disgruntled / passionate / sloppy employee from being released to the world.

Anyhow, off to the Pirate Bay to download a copy!

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Vendors rush to call everything AI even if it isn't, or doesn't help

Barry Rueger
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Don't Bother Me With Details

I'm pretty up to date with all of my computer lingo, and know my way from a modem, to a Zip Drive, to The Cloud, but I can't think of any use case where I would be likely to say "Does it have AI?"

I'm a lot more interested in what, exactly, a product does that is useful to me. If you're flogging AI you better be able to explain what that actually does that makes your (probably more expensive) product better than what I'm already using.

Sure it's nice to have software that can make good guesses about what you might need next, but to date none the AI labelled products seem to take that much beyond what various music recommendation websites were doing in the 90s.

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UK government's war on e-cigs is over

Barry Rueger
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Re: Just wait

Or, equally likely, the stupid things will just go out of style. The powder blue polyester tuxedo of nicotine ingestion.

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Barry Rueger
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Just wait

Sure as anything in twenty or thirty years we'l discover that sucking vape juice into your lungs over the long term gives you some kind of nasty disease.

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Jodie Who-ttaker? The Doctor is in

Barry Rueger
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Re: @King Jack:

Worse yet, "I'm not racist, but let me tell you a joke..."

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'My dream job at Oracle left me homeless!' – A techie's relocation horror tale

Barry Rueger
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Don't people have savings any more?

Actually, the answer is increasingly "no." The last few decades have seen a fairly steady decline in real wages for a large swath of the working population while the costs of food, housing, and life in general have continued to climb.

The direct result is a decline in personal savings, and an increase in personal debt. Throw in a large medical emergency (in the US) or something like the sub-prime crash and any savings you may have had disapear very fast.

Ultimately a lot of this comes down to blind luck, and a lot of "I'm all right jack", bootstrap types have found out the hard way that self-motivation only goes so far. Some times you really do need help to recover.

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Linux 4.12 kernel lands: 'Go forth and use it' quoth Linus Torvalds

Barry Rueger
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Safe and trusted

GF runs Windows 10. Hates updates because they invariably demand a reboot at the worst possible time - and yeah we've done everything possible to schedule them for a sensible time.

Her other fear, from long experience, is that every update will "break" something, which is why she delayed replacing her XP box until the hardware died. (Having spent the last year beating Win10 almost into submission, I tend to think she was right.)

Meanwhile I picked up nice used laptop last week. I did no research, just downloaded a distro to a USB stick and had a fully working linux install in about 25 minutes. Including disabling CapsLock and letting updates install. I let my other machine update whenever it asks, and can't recall ever having a problem.

What does Linus know that seems to be so beyond Microsoft?

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Search results suddenly missing from Google? Well, BLAME CANADA!

Barry Rueger
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Ahem

American groups like the MPAA etc have been claiming extra-territorial control for decades. Remember when the Pirate Bay used to laugh with glee at takedown notices from US lawyers?

With respect to this case, I'd be asking, but can't bother to find out, if there isn't some treaty provision to support this decision.

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Hyperconverged leapfrog: Dell EMC borg overtakes Nutanix

Barry Rueger
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Jargon Lovers!

For those not up on this particular buzzword:

Hyper-convergence (hyperconvergence) is a type of infrastructure system with a software-centric architecture that tightly integrates compute, storage, networking and virtualization resources and other technologies from scratch in a commodity hardware box supported by a single vendor.

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It's fluffy bottom line time at Adobe. That's a good thing, if you were wondering

Barry Rueger
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Re: Adobe is actually the only one I would subscribe to

As much as people like to complain about Adobe, you have to acknowledge that they have created (and/or acquired and renamed) a suite of products that are, without dispute, the industry standards.

They are industry standard because they are far better than anything else on the market.

What Adobe have demonstrated is that people are still willing to pay a respectable price if they feel they're getting the right tool.

I wish most other software companies tried to match Adobe's quality.

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'OK, everyone. Stop typing, this software is DONE,' said no one ever

Barry Rueger
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Satisfying Screwing (Was: If you're into tool porn...)

Once worked with a radio engineer who owned a shelf full of $75 - each - Swiss made screwdrivers.

Oh my. There IS a difference.

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US voter info stored on wide-open cloud box, thanks to bungling Republican contractor

Barry Rueger
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Gizmodo

Gizmodo has a very long, very detailed article that answers pretty much every question posted here.

http://gizmodo.com/gop-data-firm-accidentally-leaks-personal-details-of-ne-1796211612

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Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist

Barry Rueger
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A radio engineer used to say, "Don't try to tell me what's wrong; tell me the symptoms."

Best advice ever.

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