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Comment: Re:No surprise here (Score 1) 188

The US mainstream press has rarely been more than a non-analytical echo chamber for US policy, or worse yet, has/had an agenda of it's own (Hearst... Murdoch) What good is a press that merely repeats what the government says? A press that gives equal credence to two sides no matter how ridiculous one (or both) might be? A press that only bares it's teeth for scandal no matter how inconsequential? A press beholden to advertisers over readers?

At least now, we have variety at our fingertips if we wish, but it's hard not to be cynical about any of it. I personally think that Google News has been the best thing to happen to news in this century as at least we can now easily get a (theoretically) random sampling of all kinds of coverage, flawed though that coverage may be. It makes it a little easier for the critical reader to figure out what's really going on.

Comment: Re:Binoculars (Score 1) 187

by Simulant (#47739317) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Cheap But Reasonable Telescopes for Kids?
Binoculars won't cut it if you want to see Jupiter's moons or Saturn's rings. Even if they have the magnification you still need a tripod to hold the view steady and you really need something with an equatorial mount to follow the objects or they will slip out of view very quickly I used to have a 90mm refractor with a manual equatorial mount (you had to rotate with knobs).. I'd go electric if I got one today... especially if a bunch of kid's are taking turns looking through the thing.

Comment: Re:My wife has a Twist too... (Score 1) 337

by Simulant (#47649919) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
I find that my Twist has twitchy or broken touch & mouse control. All pointers can randomly jump around no matter if you are using the trackpoint, touchpad or external mouse. Touch misses so often it's practically useless for anything other than launching apps. Auto-rotate is unreliable and frequently sticks in the wrong orientation. I expect (or hope) that these hardware problems don't exist on the Surface but I would still expect any Windows 8.1 hybrid to act like a slow tablet and mediocre laptop combined into one device which frequently does what you did not mean to ask it to.... Even the appearance is hard to get used to. I can't see the windows controls/scroll bars very well, for instance, no matter the color scheme.

Comment: Re:I have a Lenovo Miix 2 11" (Score 4, Interesting) 337

by Simulant (#47645997) Attached to: Microsoft Surface Drowning?
I've got a Lenovo Twist and it is, by far, the most frustrating device I've ever used. It's partially Lenovo's fault for bloatware & minor hardware issues but mostly I blame it on the schizophrenic OS that is Windows 8.1. Want to use it as tablet? Try manipulating that file with your fingers when a default app takes you to the desktop. Want to use it as a desktop? Whoops... That file just opened up in some crippled, full screen metro app...
Just want to login to the damn thing? Why is the screen stuck upside down? I just pulled a neck muscle.... <Sigh>

Comment: Re:Yay.. This is easy to imagine (Score 2) 322

by Simulant (#47521403) Attached to: Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows
You'd think someone would have thought to allow separate default apps for desktop/tablet mode. Launching a file from one mode only to have it open in the other is aggravating hell... desktop windows controls don't work well with touch input.. not on my 8.1 tab/laptop anyway. And if you went the other way, you find yourself in a crippled metro app that doesn't have the function you were looking for.

Comment: Re:Massive conspiracy (Score 2) 465

by Simulant (#47259683) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Having worked in government IT for a bit, I'd say their story is entirely plausible and not entirely unreasonable. How many years of backups should they be required to keep? But hey, don't worry. Congress shall pass laws mandating backups and we will spend millions on tapes to be used once until

"Never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence"

In any case this is some petty, inconsequential, political bullshit we are talking about. Did the extra scrutiny result in anything? Anything at all?

Comment: Re:Whats the alternative? (Score 5, Insightful) 433

by Simulant (#47065277) Attached to: U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

Ultimately this is a culture war and will only be won over the long term. For starters we could push back against Saudi Arabia instead of coddling them. I don't see how anyone can expect to win a war against Islamic fundamentalist terror when the spiritual center of Islam is controlled by fundamentalists with unlimited funds from oil sales. We also need to promote a more equitable distribution of wealth, world wide. Poverty breeds violence, ignorance, and fundamentalists of many stripes.

We could quit behaving like hypocrites, ignoring blatant and obscene human rights abuses by our Islamic dictatorship "allies" because it's profitable in the short term.

We could quit pissing our pants at the thought of terrorism, accept that it may occasionally happen (as it always has), and carry on instead of over reacting. Islamic fundamentalist terrorism has never represented the existential threat to western society that some would have us believe. It may be a thorn in our side for quite some time but the pain and damage it inflicts is entirely absorbable.

We should quit using this pathetic war on terror as an excuse to destroy ourselves.

+ - The true cost of Microsoft->

Submitted by Simulant
Simulant (528590) writes "A recent blog post on Microsoft's Volume Licensing Website attempts to clarify just what requires a CAL (Client Access License). The answer appears to be more or less everything on your network if you have Windows servers doing network basics like DNS & DHCP. According to MS, not only do all your network printers and other gear need CALs, but also your e-commerce customers, once they've authenticated to any software running on Windows.

The ridiculous CAL situation has never gotten the outrage it deserves with most of us being ignorant or in denial. With more and more MS audits happening these days perhaps we can spread the word."

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A memorandum is written not to inform the reader, but to protect the writer. -- Dean Acheson