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Submission + - Google Plus Locks Out Firefox Users, Then Pretends It Didn't Happen (

Whuffo writes: People using the latest Firefox releases were presented with a "Your browser is no longer supported" screen when they tried to visit Google Plus on the 10th and 11th of August. The Google Plus support board lit up with hundreds of complaints — which were met with such helpful tips as "use Chrome". It's accessible again as of August 12, but every Google Plus posting concerning this problem has been hidden from view.

Boneheaded coding mistakes happen, even to the giants. But failing to properly test the code and rolling it out on Friday night isn't very smart. What's much worse is their concerted effort to purge the net of any and every bit of information concerning the events of the weekend. Rewrite history, put the "wrong" version into the memory hole.

Comment Re:The question is... (Score 0, Troll) 193

And if it's on a BlackBerry, you can't operate the app without several attempts at each button push.

I've had too much experience with those things; I supported them for a major corporation (ugh) and even had one of my own. After a month or so I was ready to trash it; my wife insisted that it was a nice phone and I should give it to her instead. So I did; a month later she was ready to stomp on it.

The only thing they ever had going for them was email - and that required a BES (or BIS) server. Now that other phones do email (very well, actually) there's no reason to put up with that RIM nonsense any longer. They've been circling the drain for a while now and their last hurrah isn't a wise investment. Take it from someone who knows; just say no and get some other kind of phone. You'll be glad you did

Comment I've Got All Three (Score 1, Interesting) 417

I've got a laptop, tablet, and a desktop computer. I've been going back and forth for a couple of years now and I've discovered what matters to me and how I use them

I use the tablet a lot - and the desktop gets used a lot, too. The laptop just sits around collecting dust; it's been powered up once in the last three months - and only because I needed a file from it.

Those who recommend a Chromebook - they don't consider that there will be times when you have no internet connectivity and want to use your tablet. This, and the availability of tablet apps that meet your needs will point your way to the correct tablet device for you.

Comment Re:An Affordable Pen (Score 1) 712

Parkers are great - but you've got to have a fairly fresh refill to avoid blobbing. Black ink behaves better than the blue does. You can get gel refills for them, too. Their textured ball gets good traction on slick paper and they handle nicely.

You can go with the cheap plastic bodied Parker pens from the office supply superstore, or search out the better grades. The more expensive versions have a nice snug fit between the point and the barrel which gives neater lines, and the additional weight helps them handle better.

My personal choice is the Ciselle style; very nice. Only problem is that you can't set it down and walk away from it; it's liable to walk off while you back is turned. Try one of these on good paper (like a Moleskine notebook) and you'll be well pleased.

Comment Re:See what happens? (Score 0) 281

You can't imagine how ridiculous this hyperventilating over a miserable tropical storm appears. I live on a tropical island and we have an average of 28 of these storms come our way every year.

Clear the loose items from your yard and put them indoors; lawn furniture, BBQ, garbage cans, etc. That's easier than chasing them down later. And be prepared for some flooding in low lying areas. If you live in one of those low lying areas, consider moving to higher ground.

And if you can't deal with a tropical storm, don't live on the coast. They can be inconvenient, but they're also infrequent. Pop open a cold one and watch nature's show. When it's over, clean up the mess and go on with your life. This isn't a crisis, it's just another day on earth.

Comment I read all through these comments (Score 1) 405

And never saw the problem of third-party driver support mentioned. I do some audio work, and have a high-end digital audio PCI card installed. The company that made it was "acquired" a couple of times and this product is no longer even remembered by the current owners.

The last OS that they had working drivers for was XP - and it took a while for those to come out.

To upgrade would require that I replace this audio card - it cost over $1200 when it was new and there are NO new replacements. Without a driver, it'd be useless. So I'm sticking with XP.

The latest and greatest from MS would remove needed functionality and replace it with useless eye candy. No thanks.

Comment Re:Try out one of each (Score 0) 415

So how many hours have you spent staring at a TV screen in your life? Or a computer screen?

The whole "self lit screens hurt your eyes" meme was thought up by companies like Amazon who didn't have a self lit screen to sell

You may have various reasons for preferring a specific device, but if you're going to trot out that tired "self lit hurts" nonsense, how about citing some research that backs up that assertion?

Comment Re:Highlights the importance of risk management (Score 1) 214

If their risk analysis is as good as the ones being touted here, they're in real trouble

I retired to a tropical island a few years back and I'm quite familiar with what a hurricane (we call them typhoons) can do. The winds can be quite destructive, but the real damage comes from the rain. Flooding of near biblical proportion is quite possible.

Altitude isn't going to prevent flooding and unless the building is watertight, the servers are going to drown. Even if it is, those diesel generators - how well do you think they'll work when they're underwater?

When these storms come through, all you can reasonably do is get out of the way and check back later to see what's left. Imagine the most sturdy and secure datacenter around. Now imagine it with 10 feet of flood water on the property. Not so safe and secure, is it?

Want to see what that can look like? Google "quezon city flooding 2012" - that's where I live and it's still going on right now.

Comment Re:One word (Score 1) 504

That's the best answer out of a whole bunch of bad ones.

Stiction? Yes, this was a problem once upon a time. If you have a hard drive that old that just quit working, that's amazing. Go ahead and bang on it. But if your hard drive was made within the last 15 years - this isn't the problem, don't bother.

Replace the circuit board with one from an identical drive? This works for drives that have controller failures; Maxtor had an issue with a chip on the controller board about 8 years ago; the chip (made by Philips) would fail - usually burning a hole in the top of the chip as it died. I worked in a large corporate IT department, and we saved data from dozens of dead Maxtor drives with controller board swaps. That was an isolated incident; the chances of a hard drive controller board failing these days is somewhere between zip and zero.

The real killer of hard drives today is due to the embedded servo technology they use - there's a servo track written to the platter that the drive uses to find the tracks and sectors; if a write error (usually due to a bug in the drive's firmware that only shows up in edge cases) causes the servo track to be corrupted, the drive becomes totally unreadable. This is unrepairable; even by the data recovery companies.

If the data is valuable - you should have been making backups. If you didn't, data recovery services *may* be able to recover some but probably not all of it. Watch out for the charlatans, though - some big name drive recovery companies just give it a half-hearted try and bill you for their failures. And be aware that a competent drive recovery service will charge you thousands of dollars to recover the data - and they'll earn every penny. There are techniques for reading drive platters, but they require clean rooms, electron microscopes, and a high level of knowledge and skill.

If it's your personal hard drive, then go ahead and futz around with it trying to recover some data; you've got nothing to lose. Whatever you had on there doesn't justify the price of recovery. If it's a drive in a corporate environment with critical data - then it may be worth paying for recovery. Don't mess with it first, give the recovery service the drive untouched so they'll have the best chance to save the data. And if recovering your data is any concern at all - back up your data. Do it regularly. The question of hard drive failure is not "if", it's "when".

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