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Comments

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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

roc97007 Re:OMFG, stupid (597 comments)

Yep, I think that nailed it.

yesterday
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Microsoft Announces Windows 10

roc97007 Re:Win7=good, 8=bad, 9=non-existant, 10=bad? (597 comments)

I was wondering about that too. It could be that this is their way to break the "even numbered curse". On the other hand, it could be an admission that two releases in a row are a-gonna suck.

yesterday
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

roc97007 single point of failure? (221 comments)

I don't know much of anything about how air traffic control works, but a fire at a single radar station practically shutting down o'hare seems to point towards a single point of failure, that probably ought to be looked at.

4 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

roc97007 Re:what a difference a day makes (221 comments)

That's actually a really good point. If you want to get access to sensitive locations, get hired onto the work crew. Want a key to the CEO's office? Become a janitor.

4 days ago
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Nearly 2,000 Chicago Flights Canceled After Worker Sets Fire At Radar Center

roc97007 Re:Smart move moron (221 comments)

Apparently he tried (unsuccessfully, so far) to commit suicide, so job prospects were probably not part of his agenda.

4 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

roc97007 Re:CFL/LED 4LIFE! (595 comments)

Of the three CFLs I purchased when they first became widely available in the 1990's, one is still working, 20 years later. On the other hand, the CFLs I've purchased since the turn of the century don't appear to last any longer than incandescents. It appears that CFLs have been "value engineered" around, say, 2005, much the same way that incandescents were in the 1920s. Following this pattern, I expect LEDs to have a tremendous life span during the first years they become popular, gradually decreasing to 1000 hours or so.

The problem with selling something that lasts forever is that you don't have any repeat business.

5 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

roc97007 incandescents will be available for awhile yet (595 comments)

"Rough Service" incandescents, designed for outdoor hard to reach places in harsh conditions, where CFLs are not appropriate and LEDs have not yet made inroads, are still available, cost about $2 apiece, have a rated lifespan of 10,000 hours, and are not affected by the ban on incandescents. Just sayin'...

5 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

roc97007 Re:How does this differ... (903 comments)

...from having your car repoed? Don't incur the debt if you can't afford the payments. Or talk to your lender if you need a few days extension. The real issue here is that too many people ignore the payment request instead of using communication to come to an equitable agreement.

I second this. Having been in tight financial spots a couple of times, I rapidly learned that the WORST thing you can do is ignore your creditors. That only leads to unpleasant escalation. Creditors (with a few exceptions that I won't mention here) don't want to escalate, that just increases their expenses. They want some reasonable assurance that they're going to get paid at some point. During the bad times (the dot com bust was one such time) I had to make arrangements with mortgage, utilities, internet (so I could continue looking for a job), the IRS, various loan companies, and medical services, and they all will talk to you and try to come to some reasonable solution, if you contact them early on. Just blindly missing payments is a really good way to get your stuff taken away, or turned off.

There are exceptions. My wife borrowed money once with a financial institution that was a real jerk to her for the entire time she had the loan, despite her best efforts to be on time and meet their expectations. There are institutions out there with which one should never do business.

5 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

roc97007 ambivalent (903 comments)

Ok I get that the loan company perhaps shouldn't turn off the car randomly for a missed payment if it puts the driver at risk (for whatever reason). But I have to ask, how is this different from a car shutting down randomly when the driver missed a gas fillup? How is it different from a burner phone shutting down when the user misses adding minutes to the phone? If the user agreed to a high risk loan (or whatever they're calling it these days) they've agreed to what is essentially a "pay as you go" arrangement. You have to make a payment in order to continue driving, just as you have to continue to pay to put gas in the car, and you have to continue to buy minutes for your phone, or put more money in the account from which your debit card draws, or any other pay as you go scheme.

On the one hand, an argument could be made that turning off a car for nonpayment could be dangerous. (I happen to agree.) But on the other hand, it's essentially pay-as-go and works the same as any other pay-as-go scheme. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

5 days ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

roc97007 Re:solution to late refunds (406 comments)

You're right, but I was specifically addressing the complaint that steps to stop fraud will delay tax returns. If you're financially dependent on your tax return, you're doing it wrong.

about a week ago
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To Fight $5.2B In Identity Theft, IRS May Need To Change the Way You File Taxes

roc97007 solution to late refunds (406 comments)

Engineer your taxes so you don't get refunds. I calculate my deductions so that I end up owing something under $1K to the feds and a couple hundred to the state. That way, I'm never inconvenienced by late refunds, and the bills are small enough so they're not a hardship to pay.

Overpaying your taxes is not a savings account; you don't get interest on your investment.

about a week ago
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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

roc97007 Re:Dogs as compass (127 comments)

I wonder what would happen if you don't allow a dog to align north-south.

It explodes.

about two weeks ago
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'Why Banana Skins Are Slippery' Wins IgNobel

roc97007 Re:Dogs as compass (127 comments)

On our walk last night, my dog defecated while facing west. Clearly he's broken.

about two weeks ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

roc97007 Re:the photography equivalent of tweeting (97 comments)

If I'm not a "real" photographer, I sure have enough people fooled to make a decent living.

about two weeks ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

roc97007 Re:the photography equivalent of tweeting (97 comments)

> How is ubiquity of cameras making them inane exactly?

I don't mean to imply such a close cause and effect. I'm commenting that for whatever reason, we as a society are taking what is arguably a cool thing and turning it into something inane. It's not the ubiquity of cameras that's making them inane, it's the use to which they are put.

For every photo or video that makes headlines or brings down a crooked cop, there are millions of banal selfies or photos of burritos. It's just exactly as depressing as the popularity of celebs who are famous only for being famous, and for much the same reason.

I tell you, this is the answer to the Fermi Paradox -- we haven't seen any other civilizations because they all invented personal electronics, became irredeemably narcissistic, and civilization collapsed as a result.

about two weeks ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

roc97007 the photography equivalent of tweeting (97 comments)

There's something to be said for having a camera (no matter how feeble) with you at all times, but aren't we getting tired of pictures of food and blurry portraits taken in the bathroom? People are taking this great thing (a camera with you always) and making it inane. There will inevitably be a backlash. Personally I've stopped taking photos with my phone, except in emergencies (like for accident evidence) when I don't have a "real" camera on me.

about two weeks ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (545 comments)

> Rumor has it that Satya has personally delivered a massive smackdown to the management team responsible for Win8 fuckup. The user sat numbers were sad indeed.

This gives me hope.

about two weeks ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (545 comments)

Must have: Useable start menu, (a button to dump us into the "start screen" was just plain insulting) a useable desktop, and the ability to not run any metro (or whatever it's called) apps whatsoever.

Important but not a deal killer: Put all the control panel functions back in the control panel. You can keep the charms bar for tablet compatibility, but I'd want some way to turn it off on a desktop. In fact, I would like a way to turn off all hot corners, hot sides, and swiping gestures while on a KVM machine. Registry changes to do this would be fine, as I would intend to do it once and never revert back.

Sounds like you want to try Linux Mint. It does all of that right out of the box. For free. Seriously, try it if you are going to change OS anyway.

You have a point, and Mint is on my list to try. I have an older machine I can use for evaluation.

Truly, the only reason I keep Windows around is for the Adobe creative suite (which I use daily). The moment Adobe ports Linux, I'm done with Windows.

about two weeks ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

roc97007 Re:my list is not long (545 comments)

Yes, I've read that. I'm waiting for the punchline, (like, you have to use gestures to log in! C'mon it'll be fun!) but what I've heard so far make me cautiously hopeful. I'm fine with 7 for now, but know I need to upgrade eventually, probably to 9 when it's on SP2 or 3, and when 10 comes out and is obviously a POS. And then, we wait until 11...

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Google Latitude leaves Google Maps, will be turned off August 9

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  about a year ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "According to Cnet (and notifications to google users) Google Latitude is no longer part of Maps and will be turned off August 9. The functionality will be incorporated into Google+. Is this a natural progression or an effort to increase participation in Plus? Will users migrate to Plus, or switch to competing platforms like Life 360?

I used to use Latitude to track my daughter's whereabouts, first as a child while on vacations, and again when she first started driving solo, and having it directly incorporated into Maps was a plus. But now that she's on her own my use case has gone away, so I'm ambivalent about this. Others might feel differently."
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Malware causes fatal plane crash

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "As if you needed another reason not to get on the plane: Malware, possibly from an infected USB stick, caused a fatal crash of Spanair flight 5022. From the article:

  Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais."

Link to Original Source
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Yorke says music industry on verge of collapse

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

roc97007 (608802) writes "Thom Yorke cautions up and coming musicians not to sign traditional record deals because the industry could collapse within months.

From the article: "It will be only a matter of time — months rather than years — before the music business establishment completely folds. (It will be) no great loss to the world.""

Link to Original Source

Journals

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First week on company iPhone

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

A week ago, my team received their new company iPhones. For the first few days, lots of playing, exploring, downloading of apps, taking pictures, putting funny faces on them, showing off various discoveries.

Today was the first team meeting since the iPhones were delivered. It wasn't pretty.

One team member has already traded in his for a Motorola Razr because "it will receive calls". Another says she keeps hers in Edge mode normally, so the phone will work, switching to G3 only when she needs to be on the internet. Another guy forwarded his iPhone to his private cell and uses the iPhone as a rather expensive iPod. The recently released firmware update made no noticeably difference to the reception issues. Our program manager described trying to make a call as "hello? I'd like to... damn" (redial) "Hello? I'd like... damn" (redial) "Hello? damn" (redial).

Other gripes -- Rapid battery death in GPS mode. The camera isn't as good as the one in the company-issued Blackberry. (2.0 Mp vs 3.0 Mp). No flash. No video capabilities. No MMS. Awkward file management. One person said "Once you get past the flashy interface, you realize the guts are five or six years old".

Early adopters. Don't you love 'em.

But seriously, I'm glad there are people out there who will put up with teething issues as the necessary price of being the first to have something shiny and new. I think the concept has merit, and will be glad to "drink the Kool-Aid" as the detractors put it, when the time is right. Which isn't now. My phone, is, like, my phone. First and foremost, it has to work as a phone. The rest is cake.

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Are the number of MS licenses significantly overreported?

roc97007 roc97007 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Yesterday I was helping move around some desktop and laptop machines at work, and noticed for the first time that every one of these units had an official Microsoft sticker with a Windows license key, the great majority of which were for Windows Home Edition, which we do not use at work. (We only use XP Professional or Windows Server.)

I asked around, and apparently all those Home Edition licenses are legitimate; they are part of the cost of the unit. The company then stages the disk with the copy of windows for which we have a corporate license.

I haven't checked yet, but I suspect the latest hardware come with a Vista Home Basic license, which is then re-imaged with corporate XP Pro. (I will check this and update as necessary.)

I'm wondering -- doesn't this effectively double the number of licenses that Microsoft can claim to have sold, at least for corporate customers?

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