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Comment Thank you, and When will Beta be over? (Score 1) 357

Thank you for setting us straight. But I would like to politely remind you that the beta period for Windows 10 was supposed to end last Summer, and Windows 10 is now supposed to be in general release. This kind of mess shouldn't be happening.

Those of us with longer memories remember that this is Microsoft standard procedure with its operating systems: beta test via the general public for at least a year, including taking liberties to break people's machines in the interest of getting the OS right. This happened with Win 2000 until the first or second SP, XP until the second SP, and Windows 7 was kind of an SP for Vista (plus allowing time for hardware and drivers to catch up).

The reason XP and 7 stick around is because they each have evolved into something solid and reliable, but they got that way through a painful first year or so, after which Microsoft stopped adding features and just stuck with fixing critical bugs. So, warts and all, XP and 7 are stable, and you can write software and drivers for them and pretty much count on them working into the foreseeable future.

With 10, however, Microsoft is not only chasing the desktop, but also this crazy goal of grabbing the phone and tablet market. So how long should the Windows community expect Windows 10 to re-arrange itself whenever Microsoft feels like it? Windows 10 Home Edition (and Pro? can't remember) is the first OS I know of that actually forces updates upon people, kind of like the androids turning red in "I, Robot". Sure, this eliminates the problem of users who stick with buggy, malware-prone versions so common with XP, but more thoughtful users (and IT managers) now have to consider whether 10 is going to render something unusable, literally overnight with a mandatory update. Microsoft is apparently aware of this problem, which is why they permit Enterprise users to shut off automatic updates.

But non-Enterprise users want a stable, reliable platform, too. Right now, that means sticking with 7. My guess is that's part of Microsoft's master plan, why 7 is still officially supported, whereas people with 10 are still considered "early adopters" who should expect to go along with all the updates and spyware intended to "improve the Windows 10 experience".

Would be nice to know when beta is really over, hopefully before 7 goes the way of XP.

Comment Re:Sympathy only goes so far. (Score 1) 812

It's not about sympathy, and may not even be about the family. It's about lawyers, and whether it can be shown that the kid was singled-out because of his appearance or (what people assume to be) his religion.

Yeah, today it's fun/acceptable to assume he's a bad guy because his name is Ahmed. But sub in some other minority (e.g., Asian, Canadian, Mutant, Prawn, or White-Male) who got the third-degree over a completely false alarm, and you clearly have a case that has been time-tested in the courts. The lawyer just has to show a jury that none of this would have happened if the offensive clock had belonged to Susie Blue-eyes with curly red hair and a polka-dot skirt, instead of a brown-skinned boy named Ahmed (or an even darker-skinned fellow named Flav). If so, he was singled-out because of his ethnicity/color of his skin, and we can move on to discussing damages.

Q: How do you know she is a witch? A: She looks like one!

Regardless, it's entirely about lawyers now. Ahmed is reduced to just a pawn in a bigger game, particularly as he's just a kid and all. Chances are anyway this will end in a settlement. By the time this ever gets to trial, maybe some other ethnic group will be on the hot-seat.

Comment Fuck Really? (Score 1) 812

RALPH: Now, look Norton, your gonna go to the school with this clock I made that looks just like a bomb from the movies.

NORTON: Okay! What happens then, Ralph?

RALPH: What happens then? What happens then? Then, they go completely ape shit, and they arrest you and cuff you and give you a good cavity search, and then, you and me call this lawyer I heard about, and we SUE and make MILLIONS! It's fool-proof, Norton! FOOL-PROOF!

NORTON: I dunno Ralph! What if they think it's just a clock?

RALPH: Norton!


ALICE: Ralph Kramden! Are you cooking up another one of your schemes again?

RALPH: One of these days, Alice... POW!!! Right in the kisser!

ALICE: Ahhh, shaddap Ralph!

[Laughter, Applause]

Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 3, Insightful) 812

THIS. My bet is they did not once ask him to name his religion or what religious establishment his parents drag him to each week. Nor would they have cared what his answer was. It wouldn't have mattered if had a stack of Joel Osteen books in his locker and a card-carrying member of the "700 Club"... he LOOKS LIKE one of 'em terrerists ya see on TV, and had the NERVE to come to school with a thing with wires and flashy lights on it.

Comment Network TV might Collapse (Score 1) 305

Pharma ads have been growing like weeds in TV spots, pushing aside old stalwarts like cars and beer. Even better for the networks, pharma ads tends to be long, 60 seconds or even more, easily filling ad space, including some of the most expensive ad space a network sells (like the Evening News). If they all went away, big revenue for the big networks would go up in smoke.

Of course, I'd love it. Save me from having to skip over them all the time, 'cause they're horrible, the way they show idyllic scenes of fantasy family life while a voice-over rattles off legaleze and side-effects. Good drinking game, take a shot every time you hear the phrase "can lead to death".

Comment No way! (Score 2) 305

How else will you learn that the miracle drug you saw advertised a week ago is causing death and injury worthy of substantial compensation?

Week one: "Hoomirratt has made a difference in my lung function!"
Week two: "This is an Important Announcement for people who took Hoomirratt, or their grieving loved ones."
Two shots if both ads are running at the same time.

Comment Naah, they're evil. (Score 1) 519

While it's a good thing to take a moment and thoughtfully consider where ISIS may be coming from ("know your enemy" is may be distasteful for the impatient, but it's the smart way to go), once you get past all the smoke and mirrors of all the religious and political propaganda, ISIS is a blown up street gang making their way by the classic trades of evil: murder, rape, pillaging, and extortion. That's how they survive. That's how the organization sustains itself, and the unknown fatcats who run it.

You think ISIS takes territory in Iraq over some holy mission? The Caliphate? Bullshit! They take territory because they gotta eat and buy more ammunition, or else the whole thing will start coming apart leaving the leaders with no protection. They rape and blow up ancient artifacts to keep themselves occupied during down time, lest some of the new recruits leave or start fighting each other or seek out revenge against the bosses who beat on them.

Every crime organization has some narrative for excusing the fact that they have to steal or extort everything they have, why they can't lead ordinary lives. ISIS is a glorified street gang, and once their completely invested in rape-murder-pillage-extortion for making their way in the world such that there's no turning back, you've got evil.

Again, it's good to think about them and figure their point of view, but recall the President in Independent Day. Even after DC, New York, and god knows where else had been blown up by the aliens, he was still like "they're not evil" until he accidentally mind-melded with one of them. Then, that idiot finally got what everyone in the audience already knew. Don't be like him. You don't have to mind-meld with a guy who makes a living strapping bombs onto kids to know he's an evil fuck, no matter what religious verses come out of his mouth.

Comment Here's what is Looks Like (Score 4, Insightful) 161

Maybe this video will help you, some schmuck lighting up a news chopper, caught on film. It doesn't take much, particularly at night. In the video, when the laser hits just right, the entire canopy lights up green. Even through the video camera, the light shows as very, very bright, bright enough to burn the eyelid and cornea leading to blindness (which is not cool when you need to be piloting an aircraft).

It should be common knowledge by now that this is stupid stupid shit. It's only sheer luck that this idiocy hasn't incapacitated a pilot to the point that the aircraft went down.

Comment Re:Nerdgasm (Score 1) 242

You mean something like this?
Seriously... how did the 401K become the predominant retirement vehicle in the U.S., anyway? Does it REALLY make sense to expect markets to increase in value without limit, at a sufficient rate to keep retirees alive? Does it really make sense to expect every American to be a part-time investor, or expect commercial retirement funds to "do the right thing" and invest everybody's nest eggs wisely and successfully? Maybe pensions sound like "wasteful spending" these days, but they're a helluva lot better than grandpa knocking on the door, hoping to live at your place for the rest of his life 'cause the oil market took a hit (and your account ain't lookin' so hot either). And if anyone's a true believer in the trustworthiness of the financial industry, I URGE them to take your car title to to a title loan company, and enjoy a big spoonful of what the industry is ready to dish out.

Comment Here's the Picture! (Score 1) 956

The "bomb" is pictured here, as part of a Reuters story that the kid has won a personal invitation from President Barack Obama on Wednesday to attend an astronomy night at the White House.

The report goes on to say "Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg also invited the teenager to drop by his California-based company. "Having the skill and ambition to build something cool should lead to applause, not arrest. The future belongs to people like Ahmed," he wrote on his Facebook page.

I maintain that he shortly will be on the circuit of morning news shows. Congrats, kid, you're a star. Don't blow it.

From the report:

The incident has launched a social media campaign called #IStandWithAhmed, which was the No. 1 trending topic in the United States on Twitter on Wednesday with about 600,000 tweets, many critical of the school district and police.

"My hobby is to invent stuff," Mohamed told the Dallas Morning News in a video it posted online.

He told the newspaper he enjoys robotics and was looking to continue his interests as he started high school so he showed the clock, which had a digital display and a circuit board, to a teacher. The teacher notified officials.

"They took me to a room filled with five officers," Mohamed told the Morning News.

A spokeswoman for the Irving Independent School District said at a news conference that school officials could not discuss the matter to protect the student's privacy. Police said no charges have been filed and they considered the case closed.

Mohamed was handcuffed and taken to a detention center where he was fingerprinted and had mug shots taken. He was freed when his parents came for him.

Mohamed has been suspended from school, the Morning News said.

Police said the device was in a case and could be mistaken for a bomb. Police spokesman James McLellan said Mohamed's religion had nothing to do with their response.

Two school police officers initially questioned the student and he told them he had built a clock. He did not offer further explanation, McLellan said.

"He didn't explain properly what it was and they felt compelled to arrest him," McLellan said.

Comment Only in America! (Score 1) 956

If this kid is not to become a terrorist (or spend the rest of his life on a no-fly list), his parents need to contact a publicist and GET HIS ASS ON THE TODAY SHOW. Tearfully explain to Matt Lauer that it was all a big misunderstanding, how frightened his parents were, show some tears running down Matt's face as he speaks softly and sympathetic and reports that nobody from the school or police or governor's office returned requests for comment... the kid will get his 15 minutes of fame and the scholarships will start to roll in. Kickstarter to help this family move to a decent, tolerant town. Four more years, he'll be at an Ivy League school (oh, you're THAT kid!).

That's how it's done in America.

Comment Re:Magic Internet Access (Score 1) 354

That wasn't in the GA release, there was a Dial-Up Networking update that eventually got rolled into a Service Pack. Before that you have to install PPP drivers etc supplied by your ISP.

You gotta razor-sharp memory on you, my friend. I guess my Gateway came with the update already packaged, so I never knew early adopters still had to hassle with SLIP or PPP apps. Either way, Microsoft deserves credit for making dial-up as painless as your modem and your ISP could allow.

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