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Comments

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Property is Moral Opposite of Liberty

rk Re:How things become property (10 comments)

Love all the snark from both replies when I led off with "If".

I honestly don't know why I bother saying anything anymore.

about 3 months ago
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A new scientifically minded UFO Podcast

rk I think your link is borked (1 comments)

Try this instead.

I'll give it a listen later today. Thanks for posting.

about 3 months ago
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Property is Moral Opposite of Liberty

rk How things become property (10 comments)

If you assume two things as always true:

1. A person owns their own self, and
2. A person owns their labor and may use it as they see fit;

Then things free for the taking become a person's property when they transform it with their labor.

about 3 months ago
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For Half, Degrees In Computing, Math, Or Stats Lead To Other Jobs

rk Re:STEM is the new liberal arts degree (174 comments)

Let's match anecdote for anecdote: I've been in the industry for nearly 25 years, and I've used calculus quite a few times and statistics (beyond just mean/stddev type stuff) fairly regularly. Also a wild FFT and/or DCT has appeared a few times here and there. I'll readily admit my career has been a little different than most, including a near decade long stint at a NASA-funded research lab, but I've also had some of that stuff rear its head in odd places you might not expect, like doing predictive analysis programs for a manufacturing company, or programs to optimize course scheduling for college students. These tasks could not have been completed without at least exposure to more advanced mathematics.

about 3 months ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

rk Re:Oh noes, they yanked your chain (354 comments)

It looks like greencine.com is pretty much in a neglected state now, unfortunately. From the home page: "GreenCine Hot 15 Hottest Titles Jan-Feb '13". If they haven't updated their home page in a year and a half, I wonder...

Let's scan it for Heartbleed. It's still vulnerable to what is arguably the most publicized vulnerability in the history of the internet over three months since the story broke. Whether they still operate or not, I cannot say, but I'm not going to find out by giving them my credit card. :-(

about 3 months ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

rk Re: minivan dead? (205 comments)

I have an Odyssey, too, and it's pretty good for a mini-van. We got it because dogs, not kids, but many of the use cases are similar.

I do miss my Fusion Hybrid that I traded in for it, though. Pretty car, and I liked paying a lot less for gas.

about 3 months ago
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July 20, 1969

rk Thanks! (4 comments)

I love reading these stories. Mine is much simpler: I don't remember it because I was 20 months old at the time. My parents did set me down in front of it on the TV though, so the Apollo 11 landing did play out on my retinas then. My dad took pictures of the TV and I remember seeing the album of it when I was kid. Sadly, I think that album was lost when our basement flooded when I was 20.

I only barely remember the last one (17). And to me it is a travesty that people closing in on 50 (I'm older now than my grandparents were then) have effectively no real memory of the event. I feel like our country had a true opportunity for greatness. But we instead put the bean counters in charge, and anything that couldn't be measured in terms of the Almighty Dollar was irrelevant.

about 3 months ago
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The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

rk Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (443 comments)

Quit being dense. He was specifically referring to the person that jacks the car, not bystanders.

about 3 months ago
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UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

rk Re:What if he forgot it? (353 comments)

Toast, orange juice, 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, and black coffee in a Holiday Inn in Elk City, Oklahoma, on a cross-country road trip.

No, I don't have a memory of all my breakfasts, you just picked a lucky week. :)

about 4 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

rk Re:Car Insurance Companies Too! (353 comments)

That might be a part of it, but I've received 3 payments from insurance companies of other drivers from their liability and not once was an attorney actually brought in, or was a lawsuit mentioned. Well, I did think about it on one occasion, because the insurance company was dragging their feet and took weeks to schedule a fix (seriously, Farmer's sucks), but in the other two cases I had a check in my hand within 72 hours of the incident.

What mechanism would you provide to ensure people are compensated for loss when another party is at fault?

about 4 months ago
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Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

rk Re:Car Insurance Companies Too! (353 comments)

The only insurance that is required by law in any state I've lived in is liability, i.e. if I fuck up other people's shit or lives, I have some ability to see to it they are compensated. The only time I've been required to carry insurance that compensates for the damage to my car is if I financed it and I still owe money on it, and it's the (private) lender doing that, and understandably so.

about 4 months ago
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DC Entertainment Won't Allow Superman Logo On Murdered Child's Memorial Statue

rk Re:Superman (249 comments)

Some people mod humor as "insightful" because "funny" didn't/doesn't contribute positive karma to the recipient, whereas "insightful" does.

about 4 months ago
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Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

rk Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (272 comments)

Assuming there's not a business process patent on it, in which case you'll have licensing fees to work out first. There is the prior art argument working in your favor though.

about 4 months ago
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Why Amazon Might Want a Big Piece of the Smartphone Market

rk Re:An Amazon Phone?! (61 comments)

Well, technically, Apple launched exclusively with Cingular, then they merged with AT&T.

Relax, I was going for funny. I guess that didn't work.

about 4 months ago
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Why Amazon Might Want a Big Piece of the Smartphone Market

rk An Amazon Phone?! (61 comments)

And exclusively with AT&T?! Let me rush right out of here... and start shorting AMZN.

about 4 months ago
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Interviews: Ask "The King of Kong" Billy Mitchell About Classic Video Games

rk Re:World famous? (122 comments)

But now you have, so it must be true! :)

about 4 months ago
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Google: Indie Musicians Must Join Streaming Service Or Be Removed

rk Re:Ummm (364 comments)

I believed it until the IPO. Once a company goes public, all bets are off.

about 4 months ago
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Congressman Asks NSA To Provide Metadata For "Lost" IRS Emails

rk Re:Obviously a coverup (347 comments)

Also, Nixon was never impeached. He resigned before it got that far.

about 4 months ago
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Cable Companies Duped Community Groups Into Fighting Net Neutrality

rk Re:while we're bitching about cable companies.. (170 comments)

unless I drop cable entirely, which means giving up Game of Thrones, so screw that.

Oh, the horror! I guess not supporting Fox News isn't really that important after all.

about 4 months ago

Submissions

rk hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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CthulhuCoin!

rk rk writes  |  about 3 months ago

So this is a thing. It inspired me to write this:

Day 1: A "git clone git@github.com:thegreatoldone/offerings.git", "make -f makefile/unix" and I'm off generating Cthulhu Offerings cryptocoins!

Day 2: I managed to find a couple optimizations. It's almost as if the code is speaking to me! Also, switched to clang 5.1 and got an extra 8% performance boost with the LLVM toolchain. Awesome!

Day 4: My cryptocurrency generation is going quite well! I'm hoping to have enough to pay my tuition at Miskatonic University by the fall term.

Day 9: A quiet scraping noise seems to be coming from one of my hard drives. I should maybe have sprung for SSDs to save my coins.

Day 12: I awoke with a fever in the night, and the scraping noise has transformed into a frightful howling. Though the console monitor is off, strange non-Euclidean symbols reveal themselves from time to time on the screen. What it means I cannot say.

Day 17: My fever has broken, but I can no longer tolerate the sound from my compute cluster. I have pried the cover off to diagnose the problem, and the drive array is not in there. There is only a horrific eldritch non-emptiness that sears my very soul.

Day 22: Turning, turning, falling falling, Oh! How you speak! It is so...

Day 26: vvvvvvvvvvvmggggngl;l;;m122222

NO CARRIER

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The /. Armchair Engineers That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

rk rk writes  |  about 7 months ago

And everything else. Who knew there were so many avionics experts here with their "It's simple!" solutions? Hint: If you've never heard of ARINC 429 (or MIL-STD-1553) before now, you're not one. ;-)

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God, I'm old and cranky today

rk rk writes  |  about 8 months ago

So, there's this article here, and some of the comments by, shall we say, users of higher than normal userid value are really grating today. Between the one dipshit who won't use Google to figure out what a CRT is and has to ask (I know they're quickly headed towards obsolescence, and good riddance, but you've got no excuse for not knowing the term if you're 15 or older) and the other dipshit who is ignorant of historical truth and assumes Google's dictionary is the all-knowing, all-seeing Oracle I just kind of lost it and went on a mod-bombing campaign with them. I'm not proud of it, but it sure felt good.

There's a new breed of "techie" who comes here now, and they've got their profiles linked up with their Facebook, G+, and Twitter. I'm not anti these services, I have accounts with all three, but they ain't linked here because my "online presence" isn't about "marketing my unified digital voice" or whatever sewage the tech-hipsters are shoveling out today. They slam together two websites with a javascript library and confer themselves the titles of "wizard", "savant", or "genius". Maybe I come from a different time, but calling yourself that was the mark of a complete prat where I come from. Even self-referring as a "hacker" was a mark of hubris. These titles could only be conferred by others, and when they were, they were terms of respect and perhaps some awe, heartfelt and honest when given and touching and glorious when received.

Rant off, now get off my lawn you damn know-nothing kids, or hang out and have a picnic... say something. It's all good. :-)

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From the archives: or, LOL John Dvorak

rk rk writes  |  about a year ago

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2212850,00.asp

This article made me laugh 6 years ago, and just shows why nobody who knows anything takes John Dvorak seriously, with the possible exception of sticking an inverter gate in front of his output first. Granted, I'm keeping him in business by linking to him because he makes his living as a professional troll: say outrageously stupid things and get the money from ad impressions.

The Gphone is DOOMED!

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Cognitive Decline

rk rk writes  |  more than 2 years ago

So on the main page, there was a story about cognitive decline starting as early as 45. As a 44-year-old, I can testify personally that it starts much sooner than that, though it's in baby steps.

There's nothing I can't do now that I couldn't do when I was 20, but it's somehow different. Learning new things requires a little more effort on my part, and it takes a little more time. Nothing too onerous, but it's certainly a change. I'm still a sponge for new knowledge and skills, but where I used to be a dry sponge, I'm a fairly damp sponge.

What about you?

ps - It took me 10 minutes to find how to write in my journal. Is that due to cognitive decline, or the stupid interface that puts the "Write in Journal" only at the bottom of my list of journals, completely breaking the temporal organization of the page? Presumably, any journal I wish to write now will be more recent than any journals I've already posted, at least until I perfect that time-traveling web browser I've been working on (homepage set to powerball.com, natch).

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I've said this in comments

rk rk writes  |  more than 3 years ago

But for anyone who might have missed it, You can connect with me on Google + by putting together my user name here and my user id number (6314), and turning that into a Gmail address. Shadow Wrought's departure reminded me that people are indeed fleeing from here faster than Mensa members from a Pauly Shore Film Festival, so hit me up if you like.

I also have a metric ton of invites for it, so if you're actually still not part of THE NEW SOCIAL NETWORKING SENSATION (/me spits a little bile up), and would like to be, I can help.

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Hey, Slashdot's style sheet is missing!

rk rk writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Is it just me, or is everyone else having this problem, too?

I think I like this better.

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I hate HDF4

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I hate its crappily documented API. I hate how it randomly segfaults for reasons I can't divine. I hate ASTER data. As a result, I hate planet Earth now, too. Stupid useless damp blue orb!

I cannot wait until this project is done. Sorry, just had to rant.

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Article tags

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

So I click an article to tag it, and it takes me to the subscribe page. Either now only subscribers can tag articles, or the tag link is indescribably broken. Either way, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot? I don't even like the tagging feature overmuch. No wucking fay am I going to pay for it.

I just love being a beta tester for Slash.

Update: And now it's fine again. *sigh*

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Watching the Cards and Eagles

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

And rooting for the Cards, of course... but since I watch very little broadcast TV, I don't see many commercials.

Am I the only one who sees the irony in Microsoft's ads calling their technology "people_ready"? Maybe for an encore, they can call it People.setReadinessStatus(True).

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The fall of the United States?

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MOSCOW -- For a decade, Russian academic Igor Panarin has been predicting the U.S. will fall apart in 2010. For most of that time, he admits, few took his argument -- that an economic and moral collapse will trigger a civil war and the eventual breakup of the U.S. -- very seriously. Now he's found an eager audience: Russian state media.

Read on for the rest of the article.

Personally, I won't say that a prediction that the current central state called "The United States of America" will break down and collapse in the not-too-distant future is out of the question. If you'd told me in 1979 when Soviet tanks and troop transports were rolling into Afghanistan that the Soviet Union would collapse in 11 years, I'd have laughed at you. So, I'm not going to say it can't happen and it may well one day.

On the other hand, I think this guy probably had just a wee bit too much vodka when he came up with the regional divisions he's made. I mean, Utah and California together, seriously? New Mexico and Georgia? I don't think so. In addition, he's parceling out these regions to other countries seems a bit unrealistic. Given that he predicts Alaska to go back to Russia, I think it's more an ultra-nationalist "Boundless Russia" wet dream than anything based on intelligence reports.

Still, it's an interesting mental exercise to think how various political unions would reforge from a federal collapse. What sort of map would you envision in such a (maybe not so) hypothetical future?

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Shadow Wrought asked...

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

so, I answered. Once upon a time, I flirted with the idea of writing fiction. The most luck I had with a short story was a personal rejection letter from Gordon Van Gelder at The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (hey, I got it right, Fun Guy!).

So I can (somewhat) control the continued publication status of the story without deleting journals, I am linking to Laren Grey Steals The Stars instead of including the text here. This is more or less the same story I sent to F&SF nine years ago. The only change I made was a technical astronomical edit because those damned exoplanet researchers reduced the chances of a Terra-like planet in the original system I picked to almost nil. Obviously, they need their funding cut. :-)

Feel free to comment on the story. Constructive criticism is welcomed and you really can't be too harsh on it. I workshopped it with a bunch of serious SF writers, some of them now published, so I've probably heard worse. It's obvious it's not great, because if it were, I would've sold it!

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Screw it, I'm outta here

rk rk writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I had composed a reply to Bill Dog's journal entry on art. It was perhaps not the most original thing anyone ever has said about art, but apparently /. thought it was too unoriginal, because it wouldn't let me post it because the "repetition filter" thought it was too repetitive.

However, the repetition filter had no problem with my comment titled "this is repetition" with a body "this is repetition". Nice one, guys! Fuckin' A, who let the lab monkeys loose at Slashdot this last week? I tried to save the comment and post it here, but it got lost in the copy/paste buffer continuum somewhere. Basically, all I said is that IMO, art is creative things done for the love of it, although good art is subjective and a strict subset of art. I also said regarding the "Impeach Bush" ornament that if it were me, I would've said nothing and let it stay on the tree, unremarked... Streisand Effect, keep the idiot obscure, bla bla bla. Pretend it was marginally more eloquent than this journal and you've got the idea.

So, that's it. It's the last straw. When I get censored by a goddamned Javascript robot, the only thing left to do is surrender. My next journal post will be my last, and will have a link to my own self-hosted blog with an RSS feed and everything. If you care, you can catch me there. If you don't, that's cool too.

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Precious metals, again

rk rk writes  |  about 6 years ago

Full Disclosure: I currently only own about a $1,000 in precious metals. I post these because it's a study in the wacky economics we are experiencing. Even if precious metals triples in price, it's not going to cover a month of my expenses. I'm not a professional financial advisor, and I'm not responsible for decisions you make. My personal position on them is to hold, especially for physical possession. Your mileage may vary.

So, out of curiosity, I jump onto Kitco's site again to see what you can buy from them. If you want a gold bar for $295k or a silver bar for 9600, you're in luck. Otherwise, now there's nothing small. Not even the Olympic commemoratives.

And while gold is in decline, Kitco is now buying physical silver at almost 14.5% above spot, and gold at about a half percent above spot.

No premium for platinum. If you happened to buy any when it was $2,000 an ounce, you have my sympathies, plus a smack on the head and a "what is wrong with you?" Platinum really never had the attraction silver and gold have had as an investment, and platinum's primary industrial use is in automotive catalytic converters. Most people don't buy cars in times like these if they can help it. It's harder to work than gold or silver, and fewer people are familiar with it, so its not nearly as convertible as the others.

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I'm beginning to remember why...

rk rk writes  |  about 6 years ago

I left slashdot last time.

Edit: I originally titled this "I beginning to remember why..." which explains the repartee below between Steve and me.

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Precious metals; Redux

rk rk writes  |  about 6 years ago

In my journal I wrote a couple weeks ago about the prices versus availability of precious metals, particularly silver. It seems to be even worse now, if I can take Kitco's selling site to be any indication.

Your choices are either to buy a large scale bars (the cheapest of which is an $11,000 silver bar), requiring a substantial cash outlay if you're middle or working class, or you can buy the sub 1 oz coins (and the Olympic edition Gold Maple), all of which trade at a substantial premium above spot price. Kitco still seems to be only offering a buy premium on silver at the moment.

More telling, I think, is that while gold and silver have been fairly volatile, trading up and down over the last week, the lease rates have been steadily climbing. Make of that what you will, but I think somebody somewhere knows that there's another time bomb ticking in the financial infrastructure somewhere. 2009 could be an interesting year in the so-called Chinese sense of the word.

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Awesome!

rk rk writes  |  about 6 years ago

Okay, start here.

Now, go to YouTube and if you have a Google or YouTube account, go post a comment on a video.

I reiterate: AWESOME!

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Riddle me this

rk rk writes  |  about 6 years ago

Why is gold and and especially silver not higher in price? I challenge you to find a place where you can actually buy small unit silver like Silver Eagles and Silver Maples at anything close to the spot price. Not a pool or investment account, but a transaction where the end result is you getting shiny bits of metal in your grubby paws. The official bid price is not telling the whole story. As I write this, the spot price for silver is 12.21, but the 800 pound gorilla of precious metals, Kitco will buy Silver Maples and Eagles from you at 13.56, or 11% ABOVE spot. For those of you unaware, when dealing in immediate settlement, a commodities broker usually buys at a certain percentage below spot, and sells at a percentage above spot. This is how they make money, regardless of the market price. I've never seen a broker buying above spot, and 11% above spot is crazy high. Normally, I would consider a broker who tried to sell to me at 11% above spot a rip-off artist (3 to 4% is more normal), but they are voluntarily paying that high a premium to get their hands on the stuff. So, just what's going on here?

The only sensible reasons I can think of for them doing this is either A) They have contractual obligations to provide physical metal to someone, maybe to keep a pool account solid and the premium they are paying is cheaper than any sort of penalty they would have to pay, or B) They have a very good reason to expect that silver will increase in price dramatically in the short-term. If you can meet my challenge, then you should be able to make a tidy sum in arbitrage. Good luck with that.

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Leland Doyle Bland

rk rk writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Born June 26, 1923. Beer delivery man, trombonist, private pilot, real estage agent, deputy sheriff, K-mart appliance department manager, fireman aboard the Sangamon-class Suwannee in the Pacific theater of WWII, my mom's stepdad, but her real dad and my grandpa in all the ways that really matter, died on the morning of September 10, 2008 due to an aortic aneurysm. Growing up, I spent a few weeks every summer with my grandparents, and he was the guy responsible for my love of big band and jazz music. So, I'll forgive him for mocking my love of Led Zeppelin when I was a teenager. :-)

This event was not unexpected, as he beat doctors' estimates of longevity by damn near two years, but now that the time has come, it's still hard to say goodbye. I love you, Gramps.

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That's it! I'm sold!

rk rk writes  |  more than 6 years ago

After seeing the first Seinfeld Microsoft ad I'm totally sold! I went out and bought eight licenses for Windows Vista Ultimate right after viewing! I'm muking and paving my Linux boxes, and upgrading my XP ones. I even bought copies for my two PPC Mac laptops. It doesn't work on them, but I just stick the little license tags on them to because it makes me feel so good to see it.

Seriously, WTF? A 90 second ad for a computer software company that doesn't mention computers at all until the 75-second mark? I figure the standard 30 second spot will be the last 30 seconds (The first 60 seconds is the throwaway gag), but once again, it's Microsoft talking about all this wonderful software they'll make "someday".

The ad itself is mildly amusing, but these are the kind of ads that are supposed to make people buy Vista? At least the Mohave thing was about their actual products. This is a brand-building ad of the kind a new 90s internet startup would spend half their venture capital on to air during the Superbowl. Does Microsoft really need to have their name out there more? Well, yeah, brand-building is an ongoing task, but last I heard Microsoft is having product affinity problems, not brand-awareness issues. Hell, people are only too aware of the Microsoft brand, and the word on the street is "avoid their new thing if you can. XP is better." I'm not saying that viewpoint was or is accurate. I don't know enough about Vista to judge[1]. But, at least in marketing, perception is reality.

I do have to say that between the "Bill's last day" video and this one, he's shown that he's got a pretty good sense of comedic timing. But I know lots of funny people. It doesn't mean I'm buying an operating system from them.

[1] - I know XP is better for me because I have a driver for some music hardware I own that is XP only[2].

[2] - Well, It's been a while since I checked: Digitech GNX4 drivers are available for Vista now. I'm getting a free copy of Vista Ultimate later this month, so maybe I'll give it a whirl. So I guess the ad sorta worked after all. :-) Note that only because Microsoft is giving it away to me, and my hardware is now supported will I contemplate the upgrade. The features of Vista are not compelling enough to me on its own merits to justify the $110 gray-market upgrade price, much less the >$200 price that MS charges.

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