* Posts by Barry Rueger

672 posts • joined 20 Feb 2007

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Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed

Barry Rueger
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Re: Wine for Android

Does anybody know why Wine 3.0 is available for download for Android?

FTFY

The problem with WINE remains that it's really hit and miss whether a specific app will work. The WINE database is full of comments that basically say "this app version worked, but only with this WINE version," followed by a list of ways it won't work.

I get my bookkeeping done with a Vista VM, and save the hassle.

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

Barry Rueger
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Re: Bags full of the stuff

Best advice ever, for paper, but also works for junk:

Box under desk. If you're unsure whether you need to keep/ file a piece of paper, toss it in the box.

When the box is full, tape it shut, date it, stick it in a closet, and start a new one.

If the box hasn't been opened in x months, toss it in the trash.

Once or twice I've had to dig out something, but it's exceedingly rare.

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Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

Barry Rueger
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Re: Now I'm feeling old

Sadly, there will probably never be a Linux version. If there were, I'd dump (al)pine in a heartbeat and pay money for it.

Me too. I just don't understand the resistance to a Linux version.

(I'd love to know why someone downvoted your comment. Strange people...)

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Now I'm feeling old

Pegasus Mail. Sigh. I could ANYTHING with program.

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Barry Rueger
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Re: "modern GMail UI"???

GMail UI is already old - and never was a great UI.

In recent years I've found the Gmail interface increasingly frustrating. Too much of what I don't want, too little of what I do.

Last week I needed a non-Gmail address for testing and decided to set up one at Yahoo.

Check it out. It's really a lovely UI, very modern, but also clean and simple.

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Self-driving cars still do not exist even if we think they do

Barry Rueger
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Re: They kinda do and kinda don't

It is possible that autonomous cars will negotiate between themselves as to who is closest to the passing place better than humans but I can see problems with one human driver and one autonomous.

I'm far more concerned with how the algorithms on (for example) my Ford behave compared to the algorithms on the approaching VW. What are the odds that the Ford's emergency default is "Emergency! Swerve LEFT!" while the VW's will be "Emergency! Swerve RIGHT!." *

Thus far we've learned that most software only works reliably if you're within a contained ecosystem. Anyone who has tried to move email from (for example) an Windows email client to an Apple client -- much less tried to sync calendars between different OSs and versions -- will appreciate that the likelihood of all car manufacturers developing software that will reliably work without conflicts approaches zero.

* OK, admittedly the VW software will likely just ignore every other car on the road.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

Barry Rueger
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Netscape Days

This reminds of the early days of the Internet when the US government decreed that a browser with a certain level of encryption could not be "exported" outside of the US borders.

I imagine this will be equally successful.

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Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

Barry Rueger
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Coming soon!

According to at least one source, you'll be there by 2060!

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EEk! Mobe network's customer services down for more than 24 hours

Barry Rueger
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Why, oh why?

To all wireless providers: providing actual quality customer service is unlikely to be much more costly than treating clients like crap.

In fact it's probably cheaper than burning mega-bucks on marketing to capture competitors' clients when they become available during "churn."

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'Twas the night before Y2K and a grinch stole the IT department's overtime payout

Barry Rueger
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Re: Overtime payments

I always kept a spreadsheet of hours worked after my first long hours project where I was persuaded to take £1,000 bonus instead of time off in lieu.

Always a good practice for two reasons. Obviously good records - kept off site! - are invaluable if you need to dispute payment, especially after you've been tossed out the door.

Just as important though is that keeping careful daily records of hours worked and tasks completed really reinforces the reality of how much you work. Usually people grossly underestimate such things. Once you can sit down and see that you're only being paid for two thirds of hours worked you can consider whether it's time to move on.

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'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

Barry Rueger
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Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

Canada, grade 11 and 12 math teacher, who always reeked of cigarette smoke, also worked as a waiter at a local beer parlour.

"Beer parlour" was a 70s term that carried a significantly seedy overtone. A large room with 24" round tables, covered with terry cloth. Beer was commonly drunk with either tomato juice or salt

No entertainment, no hard liquor, just serious drunkenness.

Until the 70s there were separate entrances and areas for "Men" and "Ladies with escorts."

Anyhow, the same math teacher refused to teach or test us on factoring square roots because "there's a table in the back of your book."

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OK Google: A stranger with stash of pirated films is spamming my Google Team Drive

Barry Rueger
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Re: Surprised?

OK, I'll give them spam filtering, although given that their business is delivering advertising I guess that's more about blocking the competition.

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Barry Rueger
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Surprised?

I have a serious question : is there anything left at Google that actually works or hasn't been ruined or removed?

Search seems worse every year.

Gmail becomes less useful with every "upgrade."

The whole of G Suite is a confusing mess.

There's no support for anything.

And Android.....

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Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm

Barry Rueger
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Re: Hello! Real World here!

Is it just North America where cellular (and fixed internet) pricing is pure highway robbery?

Wireless in Canada is controlled by three companies, Bell, Rogers, and Telus (less a handful of tiny outliers, who almost always wind up being bought by the big three). These companies also own the lions share of cable companies, newspapers, TV and radio stations, much of production for both, as well as sundry other things like advertising and magazines. They can and do set prices at whatever the market will bear because for the majority of the population there is no alternative. (Two of them, Bell and Telus, even share the same wireless infrastructure!)

Back in the day, forty or fifty years ago, phone companies were well regulated by the government to ensure that they didn't use their monopoly position to gouge consumers. They made a healthy profit, but not an obscene one.

When cel phones became a thing Canada decided that the industry didn't need regulation, that surely competition would protect consumers. Boy, were they wrong. Profits for each are measured in billions.

Right now I pay $90 a month (about €60). That gets me a moderate amount of airtime, and includes 1 gig of data that costs $25, and voicemail for $5*. There's also a low end phone in there somewhere. Last time I checked extra data was priced at $5 a gig.

This is the best deal I could get after being a customer for around ten years.

* the voicemail scam is brilliant. Unless you pay extra you get a voicemail that will only store THREE messages. If you use your phone for business, or in an emergency, you can imagine how useless that is.

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Barry Rueger
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Hello! Real World here!

The argument ... is that people hate struggling with Wi-Fi networks - ... – so why not just put 4G/LTE connectivity into the PC and pipe the internet straight into the thing?...some Qualy staffers estimated, an extra $10 a month.

Why? Because a lot of users in the Real World don't have the luxury of always on, unlimited data wireless plans. $10 a month? Not from any Canadian carrier. There is no way I would ever consider this in Canada - it would bankrupt me in no time. I suspect that a lot of other people are in the same boat.

Beyond that, The number of places I'm likely to visit that lack wireless coverage is quite a bit larger than the places that don't have WIFI. The one exception to this is local hospitals which still force you onto the horribly expensive Fat Port WIFI.

I've yet to find anyone who finds it all that difficult to log onto whatever WIFI hotspot is available.

Hey Silicon Valley: get in your Tesla, drive 500 miles away from San Francisco, and go sign up for a cel phone plan, paid for out of your own pocket.

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Crypto-cash souk Coinbase forced to rat out its high rollers to probing US taxmen

Barry Rueger
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Or did they take the Uber approach and simply claim obeying Laws is for chumps?

But! But! But! It's on the Internet! Bitcoins want to be free!

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The End of Abandondroid? Treble might rescue Google from OTA Hell

Barry Rueger
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Re: always wondered why..

This! It's one thing for manufacturers and carriers to just stop providing updates, but a much more significant problem that it is nearly impossible to update a device on your own. Google could at least make core components easily available and installable so that end users could find a way around lazy phone companies.

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Twitter's blue tick rule changes may lower the sueball barrier

Barry Rueger
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Surprise?

Is it really a surprise that large, influential corporations like Google, Twitter, or Facebook have finally decided that they need to make an effort to moderate what is distributed through their systems?

The surprise is that it took this long.

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WordPress 4.9: This one's for you, developers!

Barry Rueger
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The Heroin of Web Design

Recently had to whip up a quick emergency Web site. I chose WordPress because I figured it would be fast and easy. And it was.

After many years away from WP, I'm reminded why I avoided it for so long.

Installing and dumping in page contents is quick, but when you start trying to do anything more elaborate you find yourself diving down the rabbit hole of (mostly ugly) themes, (often half-baked) plug-ins, and (untested or out of date) CSS hacks.

Very soon you've wasted invested enough hours that turning back seems impossible.

The absurd thing is that if WordPress just offered a product that created a web site and not a blog they would wipe the floor with "big" guys like Joomla and Drupal. Sometimes you just need a half dozen mostly static pages. WordPress should do that, but it always seems to be a battle.

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BlackBerry Motion: The Phone That Won't Die

Barry Rueger
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Keyboards

The lack of a physical keyboard is not too much of an issue. Blackberry makes a truly wonderful soft keyboard which can actually handle writing fairly long messages and emails with ease.

Even the predictive text usually manages to suggest what you actually want to type.

If you hunt around you can find the BlackBerry keyboard APK and install it on any Android phone. You'll never go back to the crappy stock Android keyboards.

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Shiver me timbers! 67cm Playmobil pirate ship sets sail for Caribbean

Barry Rueger
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Prior Art

The National Film Board of Canada's "Paddle to the Sea."

1966. Thrill to the sight of a young child melting LEAD to use as ballast! And Niagara Falls beats a Swedish tree for excitement.

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'Sticky runway' closes Canadian airport

Barry Rueger
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Re: Duh?

Goose Bay is in Labrador - Gander is in Newfoundland

At the risk of being pedantic, both are located in the province called Newfoundland and Labrador.

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El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

Barry Rueger
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Re: Apps - Security ???

Came here to make the same point. If, as I do, you do a lot of banking on your phone, you have to accept the fact that manufacturer + carrier make it likely that your device is one great, gaping security hole.

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Google's phone woes: The Pixel and the damage done

Barry Rueger
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Updates

I'd wager that the big selling point of the Pixel is the likelihood of frequent software and security updates.

Given that many people now use a phone as a primary computing device, the usual lack of support by manufacturers and carriers is a serious problem.

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Hey, you know why it's called the iPhone X? When you see Apple's repair bill, your response will be X-rated

Barry Rueger
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Re: And now for something completely different:

Your article has nice black type. Then you put in a list of repair costs, and it is pale grey

I'm with you. When did it become de rigueur to use type so pale that it can't be read by anyone over forty, or with eye weaknesses.

There's reason why every book in the world published with black ink on white paper.

(OK, there was one publisher of paperbacks in the seventies that used pale green paper which was supposed to eliminate eye strain. Can't recall who.)

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Barry Rueger
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Apple Care +

Surprised the article didn't mention Apple's extended warranty. $200 for two years.

AppleCare+ ($199.00)

Get up to two years of technical support and accidental damage coverage.

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Is the FCC purposefully screwing up US school broadband projects?

Barry Rueger
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Re: Timeline? What timeline...?

As much as I hate agreeing with Big Bad John, I read,

"In 2016, for example, of 426 applications for special construction, 52 per cent of them were denied..."

the same way. My editor hat suggests:

"For example, of 426 applications made in 2016 for special construction, 52 per cent of them were denied in 2017"

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Barry Rueger
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'Ok' to a message on the infotainment unit confirming that you are responsible if something goes wrong.

Lord yes. Our new Fiat turbo, an otherwise delightful car, has the same thing.

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Feel the pension pot burn, Canadian DXCers

Barry Rueger
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How Low Can You Get?

Screwing retirees out of their paltry pension income. Much of the corporate sector is scum, but these types are the scum under the testicles of regular scum.

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Ubuntu 17.10: We're coming GNOME! Plenty that's Artful in Aardvark, with a few Wayland wails

Barry Rueger
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Re: Tension, apprehension, And dissension have begun.

I just want something that works.

HERETIC! Back to Windows with you!

Seriously, my measure of a distro is whether I can plug in a USB stick with the ISO, have it install with everything working with no extra steps, and make the few changes that I prefer (add Chrome; disable CapsLock) in under fifteen minutes.

I'm currently liking Pop!_OS. Super easy install, and super-minimal experience. I care less about Wayland and SystemD than I do about how it stays out of my way when I actually want to work.

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Barry Rueger
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Re: Ch-Ch-Changes

There may be a worse file manager out there, but I thank my lucky stars that I haven't encountered it.

*cough* Finder */cough*

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Xperia XZ1: Sony spies with its MotionEye something beginning...

Barry Rueger
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Re: Great review...

My thought too. There was almost nothing that held any interest for me. All of the gee whiz gadgetry is novel, but I care about basic functionality first.

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BOFH: Oh dear. Did someone get lost on the Audit Trail?

Barry Rueger
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Re: Ah!!

As a USian, I've run across the term "red diesel" in British literature but never could figure out what it meant.

Canada used to have "purple gas" for farm use. Don't know if it's still around.

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How many times can Microsoft kill Mobile?

Barry Rueger
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Re: I disagree.

They completely dumbed the business world whom relied on M$ Office and Outlook (the program NOT the webmail) for this ZUNE-like phone OS targetted at consumers.

That would have been about the time when BlackBerry abandoned business customers to try and sell sparkly pink phones to teenagers.

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It's 4PM on Friday, almost time to log off and, oh look, Disqus says it's been hacked

Barry Rueger
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No loss

I abandoned Disqus (Disqis? Disquas? Never can remember how they spell it) ages ago when every attempt to comment seemed to involve multiple login and authentication hoops that needed to be jumped through.

Maybe it improved, but I just couldn't be bothered.

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Hipster disruptor? Never trust a well-groomed caveman with your clams

Barry Rueger
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Blah blah blah

You carry it with you at all times so that, if you want to speak to another troglodyte on the next hill, you raise the mobile bone to your ear and yell as loudly as you can in his direction.

Just yesterday, while hiking in the forest, following the Baden Powell trail above West Vancouver, followed by not one, but two insufferable idiot having shouted conversations into the speaker phones in their hands.

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Patch your Android, peeps, it has up to 14 nasty flaws to flog

Barry Rueger
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Oh Canada. My G4 is also on 6.0, but 2027-03-01.

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Alleged dark web drug baron cuffed – after he flew to US for World Beard Championships

Barry Rueger
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One more reason to avoid the US

OK, the guy was an idiot, and not just for the hipster beard, but,

The indictment claimed Vallerius and OxyMonster both made repeated use of the word the word "cheers," the use of double exclamation marks, frequent use of quotation marks, and "intermittent French posts."

That is genuinely terrifying, and would apply to probably 25% of all Internet users. At least the British ones.

Quotation marks now brand you as a criminal.

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Twitter's 280-char blog mode can be enabled client-side. Just sayin'

Barry Rueger
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Damned Trump basher! (Was: Re: Double trouble)

Trump is some sort of neo-cryptoAnarchist

Come on, just because Bannon and Trump seem intent on dismantling the entire structure of government does not make them "anarchist."

You really should stop insulting them.

(The anarchists, I mean.)

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Dyson to build electric car that doesn't suck

Barry Rueger
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Prediction

The Dyson EV will cost twice as much as other EVs, will have the same battery + electric motor as every other EV, and will have four tires and a steering wheel.

The Dyson marketing machine will flog it as an astounding advance on the "primitive" EVs currently available.

Dyson is no doubt brilliant, but in marketing chuzpah, not engineering.

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Twitter to upgrade from micro-blogging to milli-blogging with 280 chars

Barry Rueger
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Sad day

The thing that makes Twitter stand out (YMMV depending who you follow) is the 140 character limit. To use that effectively you need to be bright, literate, and be able craft a succinct message.

In the hands of intelligent people that encourages some brilliant writing, some sparkling wit, and frequent moments of insight.

There's a lovely moment of quiet pride when you craft a perfect 140 character tweet and see the retweets cascade.

280 characters? SAD!

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NBD: Adobe just dumped its private PGP key on the internet

Barry Rueger
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Re: Really nothing new

Nope, Macromedia wrote Flash. Adobe got it when they bought Macromedia.

Adobe's only real creations are what? Photoshop and Illustrator? PDF?

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Chap tames Slack by piping it into Emacs

Barry Rueger
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Re: I don't see the point

Slack can do all this natively, notifications can be configured...

Hmmm. Don't use Slack, but find this claim dubious. Of course I'm basing that on my unending battle to kill off pointless notifications in Android.

Did Mr. Emacs user run into the Slack equivalent of the LG Android "Your battery is fully charged." notification? The one that by all indications cannot be defeated?

Or did he fall prey to the users who clog tools like Slack or WhatsApp with endless and pointless "me too" comments at every turn?

Too many things can't be fixed in "settings."

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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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