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Comment Re:Easy Fix (Score 1) 54

Did you catch the article yesterday on /. "Microsoft intensifies data collection on Windows 7 and 8" they are hard coding sites, bypassing the HOSTS file.

The application firewall still works, though. You can shut off much of that traffic; it just takes a ridiculous amount of time and effort.

Comment Re:I have the right to watch it. (Score 1) 85

My PC is hobbled to near-uselessness with crapware installed by Lenovo

We've recently purchased some Lenovo machines, and yes, they came with a metric assload of shitty software that nobody could possibly use or want, and that soaked up RAM and CPU like a drunk in a vineyard. But you do know you're allowed to uninstall all that shovel-ware, right? And if you don't know what to remove or how to uninstall them yourself, a useful tool is the PC Decrapifier, which is so simple anyone can run it.

The Decrapifier is not perfect, though, as the authors seem to be dodging some legal lines by not being particularly aggressive in what they recommend you remove. And it won't get everything. My sister asked me to help her as her machine had slowed to the point of unusability. At some point her machine had become infested by some particularly nasty McAfee "free" malware that required a ludicrous amount of effort to destroy. It took me far too long to discover I had to surf to their site to download a custom uninstall tool. I think I spent almost two hours downloading updates and scrubbing the malware from three machines simultaneously. But once all the crapware was gone, and they had current patches, they actually became some decent machines. (Then I had to go home and take a shower, because that McAfee software made me feel filthy.)

I consider that wasted time as an expense that jacked up the cost of owning the machines by a couple hundred dollars. It would not be worth the investment on a cheap Lenovo, which I would never recommend unless you have the nothing but time to waste, but as I was getting a big SSD, fast CPU, hi res screen, and lots of RAM, I overlooked it. But I'm not forgetting it.

Lenovo, if you're reading this, know that I'm the senior buyer for all computer and electronic equipment purchased by my two extended families, and that $20 in kickbacks you got for installing the shitware on my machine will never recoup the costs of even one of the never-buy-Lenovo recommendations I've been handing out. Multiply that by the thousands of nerds who feel like I do, and that's millions of units you're not selling because of your own stupidity.

Comment Tell me it's an optional plugin... (Score 1) 32


If Mozilla wants to do other projects, GREAT.

But stop trying to fold in every half-assed pseudo-plugin into the browser! Allow people the ability to install AT WILL, rather than forcing people to fuck around with your buggy, unstable alpha code!

This is why Mozilla was born in the first place! Bloat in Netscape!

And, while you're at it, get someone developing Mozilla who actually BELIEVES in developing Mozilla. Not re-jiggering Mozilla to look and act like Chrome because you've got a hard-on for Chrome and want to fondle the Google cock.

Because the current leadership at Mozilla has exactly ZERO interest in continued development and bugfixing of their flagship product.

Comment Re:They almost got it right (Score 1) 141

I'm getting fiber in six months. I haven't yet decided to give up the TiVo, so I may keep Comcast cable for a while, but their internet can go fuck itself sideways with a chainsaw. I'm done.

Funny thing is, my local cable system used to belong to Time-Warner. Were they great? No, they were really expensive, and the speeds weren't that great - but the customer service was actually customer service.

Comment And Google/Amazon/Netflix will get whatever (Score 1) 62

Google will work with Netflix and Amazon to produce whatever that triumvirate wants, and Mozilla and Cisco will just be along for the ride. (I notice Microsoft isn't even listed here; they don't have anything even vaguely resembling any market power here, since the only platform of consequence they control is IE, and they know it.)

Comment Re:duh? (Score 1) 60

The point is that the relationship between sleep and the strength of the immune system has been well know and tested for years...

For a certain value of "well-known" and "tested". You could actually read the paper abstract and see what was novel about this particular study.

Comment Re:duh? (Score 4, Interesting) 60

Knowing it in principle and knowing when to put that knowledge to work are two different things.

I used to catch *everything* that was going around, including some things most other people didn't. I got sick three, maybe four times a year. I always put it down to having a lousy immune system, until in one checkup I mentioned to my doctor that I'm a pretty loud snorer. "Better have you checked for sleep apnea," he said, and sure enough I had it, although only a relatively mild case. He prescribed sleeping on a CPAP machine, and since I've been doing that I almost never get sick. Maybe once in four years.

Anecdotal evidence, I know, but my point is this. Now that there's research demonstrating the impact of sleep on immune system performance it makes sense to make questions about sleep quantity and quality a routine part of health surveillance. I just happened to mention snoring to my doctor on one visit; if I'd been asked twenty years earlier it would have saved my employers a lot of sick time and me a lot of misery.

Comment Re:Here's the thing about disasters. (Score 1) 195

A win-win game is not the only kind of non-zero-sum game there is. Suppose I set up a game in which the amount I win is 1/10 of what everyone else loses. I win $100; everyone else loses $1000. If I add up the net gains in the whole game, what we have as a net loss of $900 for all players. It's not fair; it's not reasonable for the community of players to favor such rules, but nonetheless I'm still up $100.

Broken windows may not be a net good thing for the community as a whole, but it certainly is a good thing for the glaziers.

Comment Re:Free speech hundreds of miles out in the desert (Score 2) 166

I'll bet a lot of people love the fact that all this "free speech" will be taking place hundreds of miles out in the desert...

You don't know people very well then. As Lord Macaulay observed in his The History of England from the Accession of James the Second,

“The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.”

You see it is not enough for prigs and busybodies that they're not involved in any way in the things you do that give you pleasure; their problem is with you enjoying something they don't enjoy, or perhaps understand.

Comment Re:"Action" cheaper than "Inaction" is a surprise? (Score 2) 195

We are doing next to nothing. We are certainly not doing nearly what is necessary to prevent the problem. It's like bailing flood water with a drinking glass down the kitchen drain and saying you're "doing something" about the flood.

Help me, I'm a prisoner in a Fortune cookie file!