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Comment Re:Legacy system based on Fox DB (Score 2) 614 614

I hope it's been replaced, but based on what I knew then about government IT policies, it's possible that it's still in use.

I'm pretty sure my states' turnpike still uses PDP-11s to process tolls. DEC has been gone for at least 20 years so I have no idea what they do when they need service.

Comment Re:Uhmmmm (Score 3, Interesting) 614 614

Reminds me of the time I was working with an older engineer and we needed to know the current coming out of a variac. I went to fetch my digital ammeter and when I came back found he had looped a piece of wire around the output leads and connected it to an analog meter. When I said let's use my meter it will be more accurate he said "I know how this works" (pointing to his setup) ".. and I don't know how that works" (pointing to my digital meter). I have to admit, he won that round.

Comment Re:Amazon (Score 1) 216 216

I've only watched the first couple of Battlebots this season but already there was one bot with a freaking flame thrower. I expect there are some sort of rules as to what you can attach to your bot in that competition, but was pleasantly surprised to see flame throwers aren't excluded. Explosives, I imagine, are :)

Comment Re:Not an interesting story (Score 5, Interesting) 309 309

If you look around you'll find wackos of every kind.

Some of them are trolls, I'll bet, just out to make mischief. But I personally know three people who are officially diagnosed with schizophrenia, and talking to them is sometimes illuminating, albeit extremely frustrating. Their world view is just too different to relate to.

Delusional thinking isn't just for full blown schizophrenics, either. One woman I used to work with (and I thought was normal) told me one day about her encounter with a UFO and it's alien occupants. Wow, I did not expect that from her.

When I was a very young kid, I either had visual hallucinations or maybe I was dreaming and only thought I was awake, but my experience was that I saw some really weird stuff. Stuff that can't possibly be true, so I can't exclude myself from the delusional category, either. Thankfully nothing like that has happened since.

Comment Re:Worst? Heh (Score 2) 573 573

I'll bet a steak dinner that he couldn't tell the difference between any of the streaming services and a CD, or any other commercially produced medium, in double blind test.

I'll take you up on that. I l like a nice Delmonico steak, rare, with all the fixins. I can tell the difference, and so can every audio engineer I've ever met. People who make their living from their exceptional hearing tend to take their music seriously.

As for Neil Young , I've never met the man but I'm inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt, given that his considerable career is based on his ability to produce sound others pay for. He's done things I don't care for, but he's probably not losing any sleep over it. There are some songs of his I like. He probably doesn't care about that either.

He's from that hippy era, though, where principles mean something. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss it.

Comment Re:No local intelligence (Score 1) 431 431

The tiny bit of mercury in a mercury switch. Not much more than the mercury in your medicine cabinet if you have a thermometer. I'm not worried about some kid with a tiny bit of mercury.

On the other hand large amounts of gasoline, oil, and black powder are easily and readily obtained by anyone who wants it.

Comment Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 1) 288 288

As main tech support person for my mother, I certainly can sympathize and whole-heartedly recommend Teamviewer or the equivalent. Part of the problem is she doesn't have the vocabulary to describe what her problems are. She'll use the word "download" as a placeholder for some concept she doesn't fully grasp and I know now when I see that word I could substitute virtually any other english word in it's place and achieve the same meaning. This is where spending a few minutes on Teamviewer becomes invaluable. I can figure out quickly the exact nature of the problem she is experiencing.

One interesting thing I learned from watching her interaction with the mouse is that if she clicks on something and doesn't get the expected result within a fraction of a second she'll click it again, only harder. Or multiple times. What I find most interesting about that is that's exactly what I have to do to get my air conditioner to turn on and off. It has these faulty flat panel buttons that sometimes don't make contact until I go to absurdly extreme lengths of banging and pleading with it to work properly.

I think some enterprising engineer should design a pressure sensitive mouse so when you press really hard or in rapid succession it means "I really mean to do this, do it NOW!

Comment Re:Try and make an OS that viruses couldn't target (Score 1) 484 484

Can you explain how a keylogger in Windows gets access to user input in another application without a security approval by the user when it was installed?

If I remember correctly there's a system-wide hook chain for keyboard events, and you add the logger to the chain with a system call. SetWindowsHookEx or something like that. I'm not really sure what the purpose of that function is except to install key loggers, but perhaps someone has a legitimate need for it.

As far as getting an application to run after rebooting, there are (unfortunately) a myriad of ways to go about that too.

Caveat: it's been a number of years since I used Windows so this may have changed in more recent versions.

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 4, Interesting) 377 377

How many people will refrain from posting because the statute of limitations hasn't run out yet?

Well, I'm certainly not going to admit to the most costly mistake as it appears no one realizes it was me and what I had done. So I'm not gonna do it; wouldn't be prudent.

The most embarrassing mistake was I inadvertently brought down the clients' network (a major hospital) during the middle of the day. Didn't realize what I had done until about three minutes later when about a dozen IT guys flooded the computer room paying particular attention to the area I was just working in. It appears I made an error. To this day I am likely persona non grata in that computer room.

Comment Re:At least he included warrants (Score 2) 260 260

The warrant provisions are there to ensure the the political elite can continue to communicate without surveillance. You won't get a warrant for their communications.

We don't need one. Nearly everyone has a recording device in their pocket now. Record politicians, whenever they are in your view, and post it online.

The politicians I'm familiar with have more to hide than the average citizen. If they want to do away with privacy, then so be it. That's what they wanted, right?

Comment Re:How does that compare to desktops? (Score 1) 195 195

Similar statements could be made for desktops, where tray icon pop-ups for updates, email and chat notifications distract and interrupt workflows.

Popups and notifications are high on my list of things we can do without. If I am sitting at my computer it means that I am there to accomplish a specific task. I do not welcome interruptions on my computer any more than I appreciate robo-calls when I sit down to dinner.

Highest on my list are those dialog boxes that pop up after selecting an option that say "Are you sure you really want to do that?" Yes, I am you fucking retard that's why I clicked the button in the first place and to think that someone had to program this functionality in means you are probably trying to see how far my blood pressure will rise today and I will tell you this, programmer, you are playing a dangerous game thinking I am sane and rational but I'm not, really, deep down, I have it in me to track you down....

Anyways you get the point. I am not a big fan of interruptions to my workflow.

If all else fails, lower your standards.