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Comment: This just in: PNRs include notes (Score 1) 210

I know, Occam's Razor would explain this by simply having all airline employees be psychic, but in fact, when you call and talk to someone, they note what you talked about, then when you call and talk to an entirely different person who magically knows what you talked about before, they're just reading that note. OMG!

Comment: Re:Mr Dell's just upset (Score 2) 173

by Shag (#47237693) Attached to: Dell Exec Calls HP's New 'Machine' Architecture 'Laughable'

Well, there's a difference between that raw retail part you bought, and an identical mobo in a pre-built PC. A guy I knew did IT at a big paper in... Annapolis, if I recall. Several years ago, they upgraded to shiny new all-in-one PC's all over the newsroom. I don't remember the brand - either HP/Compaq or Gateway, probably. Anyway, a few months in, they start failing, one after another. Turns out a bunch of them had components that had all been in one shipping container in a warehouse - and that container was under the leaky spot in the roof. By the time they were built, the boards had dried out and nobody noticed, but the damage had been done.

Your retail part, on the other hand, has been in its happy little shrink-wrapped box from the day it was born.

Comment: This is just K-12 for now, yes? (Score 1) 519

by Shag (#47208391) Attached to: Teacher Tenure Laws Ruled Unconstitutional In California

Perhaps it's more of an issue at the primary and secondary levels - at universities, it takes a while to get tenure, and the bad apples should be sorted out by then (although there are certainly those who get tenure, then do things they probably shouldn't). It does make me wonder whether there'll be a push for something similar at the university level, though. Given the horror stories in the press about how adjuncts and lecturers are treated, moving away from a tenured faculty (claiming "cost" and "responsibility" reasons, or whatever) might fit just fine.

Comment: Other than profit, difference from SETI@home? (Score 1) 220

by Shag (#47200455) Attached to: NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

I remember a decade ago when we'd install the SETI@home screensaver on every computer we could get our hands on. (Putting it on a Power Mac G5 and setting the machine to not go to sleep bumped my electric bill at home up 50% for a couple months.) I guess the difference here is that a profit is being made.

Comment: What a horrible misquote. (Score 1) 415

by Shag (#47014625) Attached to: Apple's Revenge: iMessage Might Eat Your Texts If You Switch To Android

Just to be clear, "an Apple support person" did not say that. Nor would they. Ever. A tech calling Apple's engineering team clueless about anything? Surely you jest.

The original writer, Adam Pash, was clearly paraphrasing what the tech "explained" (his word) in his post at - and even used bullet points to group the general themes, rather than quotes, to make it abundantly clear it wasn't a direct quote. The tech probably said something like "the engineering team isn't yet sure what the best course of action is," or something similarly honest-yet-noncommittal. Pash decided to simplify that as "clueless."

Selena Larson on ReadWriteWeb, for her part, changed "explained" to "told" (slight difference there, the latter being more direct, which this wasn't), and then our own redletterdave (or perhaps timothy) managed to change it to a direct quote. What is this, some twenty-first-century game of telephone? And we wonder why people still don't take online news seriously. Sigh.

Comment: Not bad - sorry your scope is so small. ;) (Score 1) 146

by Shag (#46753623) Attached to: The Best Way To Watch the "Blood Moon" Tonight

I'm stuck spending the night at an 8.3-meter with a bunch of people who're tinkering with something called "Visible Aperture Masking Polarimetric Interferometer for Resolving Exoplanetary Signatures” - VAMPIRES for short. Unfortunately, we're not lasering the moon, or doing spectroscopy of it during totality like we did last eclipse (you can measure elemental abundances and pollutants in Earth's atmosphere that way, nifty). But at least we're somewhere that it all happens 2 hours earlier in the evening than on the west coast. :)

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben