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Comment: Re:We don't need a complicated technical "solution (Score 1) 66

by TimothyDavis (#47353139) Attached to: The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

Does your solution account for weather forecast? Because watering the lawn 12 hours before it is going to rain seems like a bit of a waste.

I'd love to have a timer that was smart enough to read the local weather forecast, and make decisions. I'd also love to have a timer where I could walk the zones in my garden periodically and using my smart phone/tablet and increase/decrease the amount of watering duration for the zone.

Comment: Re:Time to move into the Century of the fruit bat. (Score 1) 1198

by TimothyDavis (#46879923) Attached to: Oklahoma Botched an Execution With Untested Lethal Injection Drugs

Given that the death penalty was in existence prior to his crime, yet the perp still did what he did, it seems that the threat of punishment was no deterrent.

While I personally agree that death penalties probably don't have much of an effect on capital crimes, I do feel the need to point out that a deterrent doesn't always eliminate the undesired behavior. Saying that the deterrent didn't work because instances still occur does not take into account all of the instances that did not occur because of the deterrent.

Comment: Re:FCC Shouldn't Ban It, But Airlines Should (Score 1) 340

by TimothyDavis (#45988511) Attached to: Americans To FCC Chair: No Cell Calls On Planes, Please

They shouldn't ban it - they should just charge an arm and a leg for the service. Something like $5 per minute.

Phones at the seats are not new to airplanes. The prior phones were too expensive for any casual use - though I have never flown first class, so I don't know if people were being annoying with them up there.

Comment: Re:Next! (Score 1) 103

by TimothyDavis (#45850901) Attached to: Unencrypted Windows Crash Reports a Blueprint For Attackers

Reporting them, you see nothing back. All those people who get error reports upon upgrading to a duff hotfix, it takes someone to whinge to Microsoft to get it fixed. Millions of crash reports aren't acted up, from what I see. I doubt anyone reads them.

I look at them. So do many others here at Microsoft.

Background: I sit on an engineering team that works with OEMs and IHVs. I formerly supported driver developers with support and posting drivers to Windows Update

The challenge with OCA is that there are many sources of crashes. It can be caused by a bug in a Microsoft component, 3rd party driver, faulty hardware, or something else in the kernel doing something wrong (such as malware, etc). Crashes are assigned to buckets, where the hope is that there is a one-to-one relationship been a bucket and a bug. Unfortunately a lot of buckets are an aggregation of different kinds of bugs.

Grouping the crashes into buckets gives us a list of trending crash causes. As expected, the buckets with the highest counts are researched first, where analysts try and identify root cause. If the bug is identified in a Microsoft product, the product sustained engineering team is engaged to build a hotfix to resolve the issue. If the bug is in a 3rd party driver, we engage the 3rd party to resolve the issue.

When a bucket has a resolution, we will typically link that bucket to a response that will notify affected users through the "Action Center" on the system tray. This only works if the bucket is solved, and the entire bucket can be solved by the solution. A lot of buckets do not have a linked response, but the resolution is posted to Windows Update as a Windows hotfix or a 3rd party driver update.

Comment: What exactly is ADD? (Score 1) 246

by TimothyDavis (#45705435) Attached to: The Business of Attention Deficit Disorder

I am 34 and have been on Adderal for about six years now. Being on this medication has had such an improvement on my life that I really wish I had been on it at a much younger age - especially in high school.

The problem that I have is that ADD/ADHD is that it is a classification of a symptom, but does not define the root cause. I also have dyslexia. After doing research into the characteristics of dyslexia, I believe that is really what my source of ADD symptoms is. What I have found is that I need to be stimulated in order to have functional cognitive capacity. When stimulated, I am generally well above average in cognitive capabilities. When non-stimulated, my brain simply shuts down. Stimulation can come from several sources: Medication, exercise, and engaging in an activity that I find interesting.

In an ideal world I would not use medication, but instead stick to exercise and activities I enjoy. I unfortunately live in a world of rigid school structuring designed to prepare students for a similar corporate environment. I have learned to cope with the corporate environment by reducing as much of the TPS reporting from my job description as possible, and standing most of the day. I have a standing desk, and in almost every meeting you find me at, I will be in the back standing or slowly pacing. I loathe wasteful meetings, and avoid them when possible.

I personally think that we need to re-evaluate our education system with the thought that there might not be a one size fits all solution. Take all the kids who have "ADD" and put them in a separate school, and figure out what kind of curriculum works best for them. That might sound like the worst nightmare of a teacher, but I believe that with a proper engagement, you'd end up with a school full of superstars.

Comment: Re:Zero Tolerance (Score 1) 453

Is this a joke?

I might be bad at names, but I surely can remember the 5 people seated in front of me. I just met them. Your meetings must have more drinking than mine.

I encourage you to consider that social norms didn't evolve to meet your personal strengths.

Many meetings don't have a unified list of attendees. Handing over a business card is a lot easier than trying to insert names and contact information into devices.

Comment: Re:Patch is already dead (Score 2) 248

The "local" reporters are now, if you look at their profiles, all over the country and making errors in articles that just make them look like idiots to anyone actually living here. Reviews and articles about places that closed a year or two ago do not make for credibility. Much of the supposedly local news is just repackaged national stats. "How is unemployment in YourLocalTown compared to the rest of the country?" and the like. Other stuff is somewhat local looking blog stuff that turns out to be identical on all the sites.

This American Life had an interesting story on this. Transcript here - (skip down to "Act Two. Forgive us our Press Passes").

tldr: The local news is being outsourced to places that grab data from public record, and then write canned stories with whatever sparse facts they have.

Comment: Re:you are an idiot (Score 4, Informative) 173

by TimothyDavis (#42924759) Attached to: Windows 7 RTM Support Ending Soon

I can add some clarity to this.

When Windows reaches RTM, the ownership of support is handed off from the Windows team to the Windows Sustained Engineering (WinSE) team. Two code branches are opened up for creating QFEs, a Limited Distribution Release (LDR) branch, and a General Distribution Release (GDR) branch.

The GDR branch is used for updates that are going wide to all users, which include security updates and high impact updates. Depending on the severity of the QFE, it might be posted to Windows Update as a security update, or alternatively it would be provided to OEMs to preinstall on shipping systems to resolve a specific issue.

The LDR branch is used for updates that aren't going to be distributed to a wide audience. This might be something like a QFE that fixes a bug that some enterprise customer is seeing, but doesn't have much applicabilty to the majority of Winodws users. Microsoft doesn't want to distribute an update like this wide, because there is a risk that it will cause regressions for other users. Every update in the GDR branch is also put into the LDR branch, because ultimately the user is going to be running a single instance of the binary file, and so it better have all of the security updates included if it is going to also fix issues of lesser importance

When you go to Windows Update and install a QFE, the package that you install usually contains at least two versions of the applicable binaries: One from the LDR branch, and one from the GDR branch. The hotfix installer will look at what is currently on system, and if you have the LDR version of the binary already installed, the hotfix installer will update with the corresponding LDR binary. The effect is that once you install an LDR update, you are now on the LDR branch for that binary for all future updates - that is, until the next service pack release.

The service pack is a release that includes all updates from the LDR and GDR branches rolled up into one major release. Pre-release versions of service packs are provided to enterprises for testing, and to see if any of the updates that were put into the LDR branch break anything. This gives the enterprise and Microsoft time to address the issue and fix it for the final service pack release.

Since not all enterprises participate in full testing of the service pack, there may be things that end up in the final version that can break things. This is why Microsoft will continue to support the pre|prior service pack release with security updates for a time, so that these issues can be resolved. At some future time, the pre|prior service pack becomes no longer supported, which is what TFA is all about.

Comment: Meanwhile.. (Score 1) 610

by TimothyDavis (#40606689) Attached to: Steve Ballmer: We Won't Be Out-Innovated By Apple Anymore

And I am sure that Apple will soon release an Apple TV product that shakes up the market and makes Microsoft look stupid for being there already (media center, xbox), but not actually ever having a product that was compelling.

Home theaters are just begging for simplification – and I don’t expect that Microsoft will be the one to deliver.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen

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