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Windows 10: Charms Bar Removed, No Start Screen For Desktops

Peter Simpson Re:Terrible names (376 comments)

Charms bar? Continuum? Names used to be fairly intuitive, and even when they weren't completely intuitive their names were derived from their technical function. I'm thinking "context menu", "start menu", "task list", "quick-launch menu", and "system tray". Now they're just marketing doublespeak.

Hey Microsoft!

Pick a UI and stick to it! I'm getting very tired of having to relearn the entire UI whenever you make a new release.

4 days ago
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Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Peter Simpson Re: He'll win in a landslide (120 comments)

Fraud by ineligeable voters is a ridiculously inefficient and costly way to rig an election.

You sound like you think that either party would consider that a reason not to do something.

Nope, I'm thinking from the point of view of someone who wants to win an election. Counting on ineligeable voters to show up is risky, and if I wanted to make sure my guy came out ahead, I wouldn't bet all the marbles on that scheme. I'd mess with the machines or the accounting software. Much cleaner and, if done right, leaves no trace. Or, I'd take advantage of defects in the voting system itself (hanging chads, for example).

Whatever you might think of political parties (and I probably share your feelings, but perhaps not about the same party), they employ some very smart people. Smart enough to realize that "voter fraud" is and always has been, a non-issue. Voter ID laws are about one thing and one thing only: raising the bar high enough so the people you don't want voting...can't. It's literacy tests all over again. To claim otherwise is to insult the intelligence of the people you're talking with.

4 days ago
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Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds

Peter Simpson Re:What's the problem? (146 comments)

They don't seem to have any issues spying on the rest of us and ignoring our privacy. What's the harm in a drone?

I'm gonna go out on a limb here, and guess that he's not going to be getting that back...

4 days ago
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Fark's Drew Curtis Running For Governor of Kentucky

Peter Simpson Re: He'll win in a landslide (120 comments)

Fraud by ineligeable voters is a ridiculously inefficient and costly way to rig an election. Unpredictable, too. Anyone wanting to fix an election would either mess with the voting machines or the totals if they wanted to guarantee success.

4 days ago
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NJ Museum Revives TIROS Satellite Dish After 40 Years

Peter Simpson Other old tech (28 comments)

Occasioned by a weekend trip to the (bitingly frigid cold) Sunday River ski area this past weekend, I learned that TELSTAR 1 is still happily orbiting the earth. The US ground terminal was in Andover, Maine, not too far from Sunday River. It's now just a few equipment shelters and some dishes, but back in the day, there was a huge horn antenna inside a radome. The regional high school is named Telstar. I wonder if the students (or the administration, for that matter) realize the history behind the name...

about two weeks ago
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Washington DC's Public Library Will Teach People How To Avoid the NSA

Peter Simpson Re:Librarians for Liberty (81 comments)

Hear, hear! Librarians are awesome and some of the most underappreciated people. But when they stand up for something, watch out! Freedom for anonymous browsing is another cause they stood up for.

about two weeks ago
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IEEE: New H-1B Bill Will "Help Destroy" US Tech Workforce

Peter Simpson Re:More US workers == offshoring?? (484 comments)

Explain to me how allowing more foreign workers to come to the US under H1B visas will increase offshoring? Surely not allowing people to work here is going to cause work to be sent overseas, not the other way around.

Every H1B worker I've met (including myself) wants to get a green card so they can live and work in the US permanently. At which point they are just as much part of the US tech workforce as a citizen who was born and raised here.

H1B workers are a boon to employers. They work for lower wages because they can't legally change jobs. So the employers can get a better deal - longer hours, fewer perks, than with US workers, who are free to demand more and leave if they don't get it. It's a scam, everyone knows it, and our elected officials, by continually increasing the H1B cap, show exactly who they work for...and it's not the US tech worker.

The US has plenty of good engineering schools and plenty of graduates from those schools are looking for work. There is no shortage of skilled tech workers in this country, they're just asking for more money than the employers are willing to pay.

about two weeks ago
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Intel Pledges $300 Million To Improve Diversity In Tech

Peter Simpson Re:5 stages of handling a PR problem (341 comments)

1. Profess shock 2. Start an investigation 3. Promise to do better 4. Apologize and abase yourself to every aggrieved group you can find 5. Throw some money at anything related, esp. self-appointed "community spokesmen" Looks like Intel has hit stage 5.

6. Claim that there are not enough qualified graduates in the US and ask for yet another increase in H1B visas. Remind us that the US can't stay competitive without being able to hire H1Bs.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Revamps Customer Complaint System

Peter Simpson Re:Slowed to 1bit/year without NN (41 comments)

That's completely not true. Comcast is working hard on improving transmission speeds over their slow speed lanes. They're going to have facilities on the peaks of mountain ranges that transmit the information via semaphore flags.

I believe they're in full compliance with RFC1149. https://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc11...

about three weeks ago
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Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Peter Simpson Re:Additional background (293 comments)

A few things are worth noting about the original case. Marriott agreed in a plea deal to have improperly used "containment features" of FCC-licensed equipment to block Wi-Fi hotspots, and this was performed in conference facilities, not the hotel. https://www.fcc.gov/document/m...: "Marriott Hotel Services, Inc., will pay $600,000 to resolve a Federal Communications Commission investigation into whether Marriott intentionally interfered with and disabled Wi-Fi networks established by consumers in the conference facilities of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act. The FCC Enforcement Bureau’s investigation revealed that Marriott employees had used containment features of a Wi-Fi monitoring system at the Gaylord Opryland to prevent individuals from connecting to the Internet via their own personal Wi-Fi networks, while at the same time charging consumers, small businesses, and exhibitors as much as $1,000 per device to access Marriott’s Wi-Fi network."

"containment features"??? You mean "illegal jammers", don't you, Marriott? Because, unless the FCC has drastically changed the rules, intentional jamming of legal signals is absolutely illegal, no matter what the reason, unless of course, they have prior FCC authorization. Which I highly doubt. Sauce for the goose, etc...

about a month ago
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UK MP Says ISPs Must Take Responsibility For Movie Leaks, Sony Eyes North Korea

Peter Simpson "The theory is that 'something' should be done" (216 comments)

Politicians aren't the right people to be handling this. You can legislate all the laws you want, but they don't fix the problem. It's illegal to burgle houses, but it happens all the time. Sony got burgled. Better luck next time. Buy better locks, build a more secure IT infrastructure, and be thankful that nobody died. Nobody even lost real money, as I read it, except, of course, for the costs of the cleanup.

Although the thought of all those Sony employees filling out paper forms with typewriters is kinda humorous...

about 2 months ago
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Cameron Accuses Internet Companies Of Giving Terrorists Safe Haven

Peter Simpson Oh, shut up, for God's sake. (183 comments)

I'm tired of politicians beating the {jihadi|pedo|copyright} drum. You can use a pipe wrench to provide clean water or you can beat someone to death withit, but that's no reason to outlaw pipe wrenches.
You can also use telephones to arrange contract killings. Let's ban them.
On second thought, maybe we could use our phones and internet servers to get rid of annoying politicians.

about 2 months ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

Peter Simpson from the Institute of the Blindingly Obvious (454 comments)

"Many in the tech industry are using it for cheaper, indentured labor..."

Gee, you think?
Seriously, as a working engineer, the fact that this hasn't been emphasised this has annoyed me for years. There is no shortage of bright, hard working engineering talent in the US, and the our schools are (and have been for years) capable of turning out as many well-educated engineering graduates as the industry requires. It's just that they want to make enough money to live a good life (and pay back the cost of their education). Graduates from the Farkistan Institue of Technology are *so* much cheaper. And they don't ask for raises or threaten to change jobs...because they would get sent home.

Do you seriously believe that a foreign H1B with an MS, working for $35k is equivalent to a US graduate?

about 2 months ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

Peter Simpson Re:Put the glasses on, stupid. (200 comments)

I had my glasses on, and read it the same way.

My second thought: Does the minifig have an insatiable desire to go shoe shopping? :-)

I believe I need another cup of coffee this morning...

about 2 months ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Peter Simpson Re:related (438 comments)

Well, *that* goes a long way towards explaining why someone with an MS in computer science doesn't know who Kernighan and Ritchie are. And why they're working here for $45k.

about 3 months ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

Peter Simpson something, something... (429 comments)

...a whale and a small bowl of petunias.

about 3 months ago
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Bats Can Jam Each Other's Ultrasonic Signals

Peter Simpson Bats are interesting creatures (50 comments)

Even better -- they eat mosquitos. Something else that should endear them to us.

about 3 months ago
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Discovery Claims It Will Show a Man Being "Eaten Alive" By an Anaconda

Peter Simpson Reason #14 not to intern at Discovery Channel (164 comments)

Interns are snake food.

Has anyone mentioned yet that this sounds like a stunningly poor idea?

about 3 months ago
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Another Election, Another Slew of Voting Machine Glitches

Peter Simpson Re: Marked Paper Ballots FTW (388 comments)

From what I understand, the (Diebold, etc) are basically special-purpose embedded PCs or tablets. Now try this: take your PC, tablet, whatever, and put it in your basement for 2 years, then pull it out and try powering it up. Honestly, I'm surprised *any* of them work. I'm sure they're stored in better locations than my basement (at least, I hope they are), but even with proper storage, electronics, especially cheap electronics, don't age well. Batteries have basically a 4-year lifetime, whether or not you use them.

Paper ballots, machine and human readable. Spend some money for a few ballot counter boxes, instead of four to ten times that number of voting machines. You get automatic counting, machine readable totals and the indisputable, original, individual voter-marked paper ballots, which should always be the final authority of votes cast.

Technology alone doesn't solve problems. *Intelligent use* of technology can.

about 3 months ago

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