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Comment Re:Assumes it ever lived (Score 1) 456

It WOULD have been nice. Microsoft's grand-unified platform included some good ideas, and potential for more, which would have benefited everyone. But they were so way way way late to the game. They needed to be pouring out product once Android started to stick, preferably sooner. Instead, their desperate catch-up strategy of leveraging Windows Desktop as a platform to sell Phone (looking at you, Windows 8) only angered the public... forcing live-tiles and "modern" apps on desktop users did NOT make them turn around and buy Phones, at least because it was part of a new, buggy, immature platform, where iOS and Android had had time to become reliable and ubiquitous.

Microsoft could try again in a few years, by making touch-friendly desktop and Surface really really great (somehow), along with really great iOS and Android tie-in apps, which get used so extensively that a market comes into existence for a phone more dedicated to those functions. Or, Microsoft could just "back in" to a new phone market by offering, over years and years, smaller and smaller Surfaces, with phone capabilities, but also with BlueTooth and HDMI ports that drive a desktop (in other words, a pocket-sized PC with Skype and a built-in touch-screen). This, of course, remains to be seen. iOS and Android are not going to wait for Microsoft to catch up. That's what happens when you miss the boat (looking at you, Steve Ballmer).

Submission + - Newegg Sues Patent Troll after Troll Dropped Its Own Lawsuit (arstechnica.com)

WheezyJoe writes: Not satisfied that a patent troll dropped its lawsuit against them after just one phone call, Newegg has sued the troll, to set the record straight that the troll's lawsuit would never have won. So-called "patent holding company" Minero Digital sought to exact royalty payments on a wide range of USB hubs, suing, among others, Newegg's subsidiary Rosewill. But the "non-practicing entity" dropped its East Texas lawsuit against Rosewill within days of getting a call from the Newegg's lawyer. However, Minero dismissed its Texas lawsuit "without prejudice", meaning it can refile the case at a time of its choosing. So, Newegg filed its own lawsuit against Minero in Los Angeles federal court, asking a judge to lay down a ruling that Minero's case against Rosewill is baseless.

Says Newegg's never-settle-with-trolls Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng, "Minero’s case does not have merit, and its patent is not only expired but would suck even if it wasn’t expired. Now that they have started the litigation, it would be irresponsible for Newegg to not finish it."

Comment Re:This is the least insane Trump has said (Score 1) 875

A Boeing plant in China would cause trouble. China will, sooner or later, start building fleets of their own passenger jets, if for no other reason than they need them and want to pay for them without using a foreign currency, 'cause they like to over and undervalue their own currency at will. And then there's the national pride thing, building up a middle class, and all the spillover for a more powerful and modern military... everything to keep a Communist regime in power in modern times when communism as an economic practice is all but dead.

Going protectionist on Boeing wouldn't be too hard, because we already have the factories here in the U.S. The worst that would happen is China would deal with Airbus instead, and the vast Chinese market would go to Europe. Boeing stock price goes bye-bye, layoffs to follow, and China gets what it wants regardless. Life can be funny like that.

OTOH, going protectionist on Apple would mean building factories and infrastructure that the U.S. no longer has. I'd love nothing else but to see an American Foxconn on U.S. soil populated with skilled U.S. high-tech workers, but who's gonna pay for it? How're you gonna train hundreds of thousands of Americans to work like hungry Chinese, eager for a new life out of the sticks whatever the cost? Not saying it's impossible, but it's going to be expensive. Where's Trump going to find the money? Mexicans? Their vast riches are already earmarked for a great big fence. Apple's got cash, sure, but if they spend it away, their stock price will plummet until Samsung can afford to buy them out. And whaddya think FoxConn in China will do with all that capacity but no iPhones to build? Ya think China will let them close and scatter? Or can they think of a military use for all that know-how? Missile guidance systems, anyone?

Being President is complicated. Not as easy as hiring general contractors to build overpriced golf courses and casinos, Mr. Trump.

Comment Re:Mismanagement on a planetary scale (Score 1) 875

"Great USA" returns from... what exactly? Red scare 50's? Vietnam nuke-testing 60's (although the moon landing was cool...)? Gas-crisis disco 70's? Roth-era Van Halen Reagan Hardcore Punk 80's? Grunge? Be more specific. I don't remember any golden-age USA so much I want Trump to bring it "back" (although I miss the hardcore).

Comment Gotta keep the Beast alive (Score 1) 230

Ultimately, the point here is if we don't keep working (spending) on nukes, advancing them, new models and all, the people who know about nukes will retire and die off, and no young-uns will learn the trade... which would be all cool, except that Iran and NK and Pakistan and fuck knows who else has started making them, and their politician bosses are going to sabre-rattle to get what they want. Strong first-world deterrent is, unfortunately, the only way to make sure those sabres stay buried in their scabbards, unused. OTOH, if all the expertise in nuclear weapons is overseas, we will be, in the words of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman, in a world of shit.

There are two things to nukes: the warheads, and the delivery system. Turns out, the brass balls are in the latter. The nation with the biggest swinging dick is the one that can deliver nukes quickly, quietly, and precisely enough that the target cannot fire off a response. To maintain this, the U.S. is working on improving precision, and Vlad the Putin is working on stealth.

The Cold War is alive, people. Kim Jong-un may have already smuggled a nuke into a harbor near you, buried in one of a thousand shipping containers sitting around on the lot. The only difference between us and them? Ours are better, smaller, faster, and we got a shitload more of 'em. NK might be capable of taking out Long Beach, but with that he will have blown his wad, whereas our response can dig a crater big enough to permanently separate the South from the Korean peninsula. So, Kimmy keeps careful to keep all the nuke talk to just that.... talk.

Comment Re:This has obvious value (Score 1) 230

It helps that we don't rely on Saudi oil as much as we used to. Fracking is kinda filthy, but for the first time in my lifetime we don't need to be muscled around by the Saudis to keep our nation moving. And they feel the hurt - to raise cash, they've announced they may offer shares of their state-owned oil company to the pubic. And that's not the worst... the whole region is literally heating up, to the point it may become uninhabitable in 80 or 90 years.

It may not hurt now to re-think who's side we have to be on in the weird cat-fight between the Saudis and Iran that serves to fuck up the entire region. The way it used to be, we'd bend-over backward for the Saudis, even in spite of their frequent violations of human rights (like this one)... all because we needed a friend in the region with oil. Now, maybe not so much. Hell, Iran is actually trying to make nice with us. Changing times, maybe.

Comment Install Fresh Instead! (Score 1) 720

That's the tragedy of all this nagware... upgrading is not guaranteed to work and can lead to a hosed system.

Best thing to do is mothball your old drive, get a new SSD, and install fresh. All you need is here to create a legit installable DVD or USB stick, and a license key from any of Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10, and you don't really even need the key because unlicensed Windows 10 doesn't do much to bitch at you except put up a water-mark on the desktop and present an alert from time to time about how great it is to have a fully legal copy. Unlicensed Windows 10 does none of that auto logout or shutdown nonesense (at least, not for now).

If you think you have too much installed cruft on your machine to start fresh, well, all that cruft is more likely to fuck up the magic upgrade process. Catch-22. Back up your shit, find your old install media, check out ninite for installing free software and Steam or Gog for installing games. Besides, new SSDs these days are way good and affordable. Better than taking a chance at some hit-or-miss upgrade routine. Even Linux distros haven't perfected major in-place upgrades. Always safer to start over fresh, and your rig will thank you for it.

Comment Who Thinks This is a GOOD IDEA? (Score 1) 720

So people at Microsoft are sitting around, thinking about users everywhere and what they may be doing to keep themselves on Win 7 or 8 or 8.1, brain-storming how to get around whatever those pesky users have done to protect themselves (e.g., GWX_control_panel), and then ordering a team OS-level programmers to get it done. Perhaps this division of the corporate structure have a code name? Team Borg, perhaps? Do you get a pay hike if you're part of the spacial operation to assimilate users into the Windows 10 collective? Is this where you go to be a Big Swinging Dick at Microsoft?

These managers and minions feel entitled to spend company time and resources thinking this kind of stuff up Reminds me of those guys at Comcast who say "they're our pipes" when they want to justify poor service, data caps, price hikes, or net non-neutrality. These people are not trolls in Mama's basement with nothing better to do... these are career suits who could be spending effort making Windows suck less. Instead, They're all Vladimir Harkonnen, scheming to fuck customers to... what? please the almighty god of Windows 10 penetration statistics?

Power hungry fucks. Windows 10 sucks less than it did, but I, for one, do not want my PC penetrated.

Comment Re:The brief puff of black soot... (Score 1) 496

It's too bad that CO2 is plant food. No CO2 no plants. No plants no humans. This CO2 as pollution is so much bullshit.

Will answer your over-simplification with another one: the CO2 created comes at the cost of O2, you know, oxygen, the stuff we need to breathe to stay alive. No oxygen, no humans. A further over-simplistic check at wikipedia shows that the atmosphere is only 20% O2, not much to spare, whereas CO2 in concentrations of just 7% to 10% will kill you.

There was plenty enough CO2 to keep plants healthy before humans started liberating massive amounts of the stuff from inside the Earth, like gas out of a bag. Just for one minute, just one, look at the cars going back and forth on any Interstate near a city, all day, every day, non-stop, every one of 'em turning tanks of fuel into gas out the tailpipe. Ever get stuck in traffic? More cars than you can count spewing out gas that will kill you in a closed garage, and nobody's even moving. Humans liberate exhaust gases from 19 million barrels of oil every fucking day, and that's just the U.S. Just because you can't see it, don't mean it ain't there. Where do you think it all goes?

Seen from space, we're like the yeast in making beer, only instead of turning sugars into CO2, we're turning coal and crude into CO2, freeing carbon trapped in the ground into CO2 running free in the air. The simple of it is, that CO2 wasn't in the air before - it got there because humans put it there from where it used to be in the ground. If you can get your head around that, the only question remaining is whether all that extra CO2 is going to just hang around in the atmosphere and not fuck with anything. Well, gasses gonna do what gasses gonna do. Ain't no wishful thinking or head-in-the-sand shit gonna change the laws of chemistry, any more than thinking happy thoughts and taking short breaths is gonna keep you alive when the garage is closed and the car's running. Nighty-night.

Comment Re:Well I guess ticket sales say different (Score 1) 562

Uh, is that $1.4 billion for Phantom's first 28 days, or it's entire run?
Force Awakens made $1 billion in just 28 days, and it damn-well hasn't even begun. The only question is whether Awakens is good enough for anyone to want to see more than once, and push it into hyper-money.
  OTOH, once was more than enough for Phantom - I think it sold so many tickets because people wouldn't believe the stories of how bad it was. But nobody would pay to sit through that twice. Maybe catch it on cable, just to see if they maybe missed something interesting... (nope, nothing).

Comment Re:The world is happy about Lucas not participatin (Score 5, Interesting) 562

"I...I killed them. I killed them all. They're dead, every single one of them. And not just the men, but the women and the children too." Anakin Skywalker Episode II. The most cringe worthy scene in the entire series.

Yes, that was horrible. But one of so damn many. For me it was the drivel about Midichlorians, and then a child's half-baked "yippee"s in horrid Episode 1. The prequels broke suspension of disbelief many many times, but even Jar-Jar didn't bug me as bad as the boy actor playing young Annakin because, you know, the whole damned story is ultimately about Annakin. The kid was so poorly directed and his lines so bad, I never believed in him or in any of his abilities or that someday he would become an arch-villain who would choke the life out of people as easy as look at them. Every seen he was in, every line, and every ridiculously contrived tie-in with the other films (I fucking built C-3PO!!!) shoved me out of the movie to look for the nearest exit. I couldn't forgive that shit. Kids can act well and carry a movie if a director takes them serious enough (e.g., The Sixth Sense), but Lucas didn't bother to give a shit.

Count Dooku in Episode II was pretty fucking cringe-worthy as well, stopping a fight with Yoda because, you know, let's fight with light saber instead. And does Yoda defeat him? No... he does a little thing and walks away, leaving three Jedi holding their limp little dicks. Clued me in on something, though: the Force sucks, particularly the good side. "Failed, have I" in Episode III. No shit, Yoda, because you SUCK! Mace Windu almost smoked Palpatine, except the good side didn't clue him in to an attack coming from amateur Annakin.

You didn't watch the prequels, you fucking endured them, waiting out one dull scene after another, hoping something redemptively cool would happen. Next thing you know, the movie's over. Two hours and ten bucks you'll never have again. Fuck you, Lucas. Take your billions, buy an island, and live on it with all the most expensive, pure, uncut highest-quality coke money your billions can buy. That'll get your mind off Disney giving you the shove.

Comment The Entrapment Bot Cometh (Score 4, Interesting) 94

Behold the "Entrapment Bot." Indistinguishably human-appearing bots everywhere inviting you to chat, e-mail, speak, whatever, and applying continuously evolving AI to lure you into doing something sufficient to justify and automatically generate search and arrest warrants.

More fun, the back-end server can invite law enforcement and IT personnel to place bets how many chats it will take to get you to incriminate yourself. Sound stupid? Some contractor's gonna make millions selling this to surveillance-crazed governments world-wide before writing one line of code.

You saw it here first, folks. Someday, the only safe way to talk shit with somebody is in person, down in a bug-proof hole. And the Entrapment Replicants will number those days, too.

Comment Why a Florida Landing this time? (Score 1) 373

Not raining on the parade, but the last two attempts were out in the ocean, so if something went wrong, a very large object with fuel still in it wouldn't fall on someone's minivan on I-95 on the way to grandma's house in Boca Raton.

How come this time around SpaceX had the cajones to return the vehicle to Florida? At the altitude this thing reaches, wouldn't a small ballistic error and motor failure (resulting, say, from a little software error that reboots the controller) send the launcher anywhere from a few feet to multiple miles off target? Like Ft. Lauderdale?

I mean, it's fuck crazy cool what just happened, truly, but I sure hope it's got old-fashioned parachutes as a backup before it lands by accident in a retirement community, because the plan is to launch and land a lot more of them and something is bound to go a little wack.

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