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User Journal

Journal Journal: [work] karma

My last job sucked. No way to sugar coat it. My manager absolutely refused to say anything positive to me about the work I was doing and actively went out of his way to find people that were unhappy with my performance (meaning, he looked for people that thought I should work 70+ hours/week with unpaid OT for them exclusively) and my final review there for the worst I had ever seen. I missed family events, funerals, trips and more, just to try to keep afloat. Such a prick this fellow was that he took the day off on my last day, requiring someone else to accompany me to HR for my exit processing.

The fellow who was my mentor and who was all that stood between me and that manager was a bright fellow who did work 70+ hours every week and was considered hot property among management. He was the manager's right hand and he did not think I was treated fairly but there was little he could do for me.

That fellow is leaving now, having had enough of the BS himself and leaving the manager in a lurch. No one else in the group held the same respect with that manager and even those in other groups who did not like him respected him (if only privately). Three of the heavy hitters have either left or are about to leave, and the manager will have a shell of a group and no one to keep him above water.

I am smiling a lot today. Sometimes, bad things do happen to bad people.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Windows 7 Again 4

My son has a laptop that finally got bogged down with crapware and other nasties under the hood and he asked me to reload it for him. He is usually careful online but he apparently found some aggressive adware buried in something else he wanted. He had updated it to Windows 10 from 7 which at the time had seemed like a good idea.

I spent two days reloading this system, using the 4 recovery DVDs that I made from the system (shoulda used CloneZilla and imaged the booger). After that, I made a terrible mistake and tried the WIndows 10 thing since I thought that was what he wanted. Box would not boot so I got to start all over again.

I am going through the process of dowloading all of the WIndows 7 updates right now. I had forgotten what a slow and painful process this is.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [music] You Walk Away

With the night behind you
You walk away and I will find you
We are locked in this emotion
We will find the way home

And itâ(TM)s too late
To regret the mistakes we made
Easier to walk away

And itâ(TM)s too late
To deny all the words we say
Nothing will ever be the same

When the world surrounds you
You take your place with me, behind you
These are every word unspoken
This is our way home

And itâ(TM)s too late
To regret the mistakes we made
Easier to walk away

When the world surrounds you
You walk away
You walk away

And itâ(TM)s too late
To regret the mistakes we made
Easier to walk away

And itâ(TM)s too late
To deny all the words we say
Nothing will ever be the same

And itâ(TM)s too late
To regret the mistakes we made
Easier to walk away
You walk away

And itâ(TM)s too late
To deny all the words we say
Nothing will ever be the same

"You Walk Away" by TyDi and Audrey Gallagher

User Journal

Journal Journal: [food] Detroit Style Pizza

Been reading up on Detroit-style pizza of late and I have decided I have to try it. I ordered my pans last week; hopefully they will be here by this weekend.

The main differences between Detroit and Sicilian are the pans used to bake them and the arrangement of the cheese around the edges. Detroits are made with the cheese pushed up against the sides of the pan so it caramelizes and gets crunchy.

To be continued.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [food] Baking in the Family

Anyone that knows me knows I am very deep into baking bread though I am not afraid to step out of my comfort zone and make the occasional dessert.

My son has decided to follow. He is already better at making layer cakes, he churns out cookies almost weekly, and he is often poring through cookbooks looking for more things to make to fatten the family. He is an accomplished pie maker - bake-off coming this summer.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] A Tale of Two Computers 5

So I now have two computers running at home, one running Linux and one running Windows 10. The Linux machine is my âoeeverything but emailâ system. The Windows system serves one single purpose â" filtering my email for me.

Why do I have hardware dedicated to running an email filtration system on a platform that's untrustworthy? There are a lot of email filtering applications around, but this one application is the only one I can find that does exactly what I want it to do and it works really well. It cleans out my pop3 mailbox for me of all the crap and leaves only legit emails behind. If it eliminates an email I want, it can put it back. It catches between 80-100 junk emails a day. Unfortunately, I have no way to install it under Wine â" it was discontinued about a year ago and the only way I have to register it when I install it is to use a registry capture that Windows knows how to insert into the registry for me. I have looked for other email filters and I have not found another one that works quite the same way.

I am going to try putting ReactOS in a VM and installing the filter there. If that works, the Windows machine is a dream that once was.

The Linux machine on the other hand is the workhorse. It does the image processing, documents, web surfing, limited gaming (I don't have a lot of time to play anymore) and development work when I am so inclined. I have not yet found a suitable video editing application but I am sure there's an application out there that will work â" I have not looked hard for one as the need for such is relatively recent. I can still do these on the Windows box until I find what I need.

Little by little, I am breaking what little hold MS still has on my computing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek] Ending my Relationship with the Opera Browser 8

I have been using the Opera browser for quite some time. It has worked well for me about 95% of the time and when it has not I have always had FireFox loaded so I could keep moving. That has just come to a complete end.

Check this out. So, Opera is being acquired by Qihoo, which makes Opera now a Chinese-controlled application (well, soon to be anyway). I have a deep distrust of Chinese software (and I have good reasons for that) and I question the motivations behind the buyout. What will be added behind the scenes to the browser and what data will it collect and send home? I do not intend to make it easy for China to collect my data, though I am sure they have more than I would like to imagine..

For now I am on Firefox. But Vivaldi is looking like a solid competitor in the making. It's not yet up to scratch, but it's functional enough and I like the interface except for the default font.

Goodbye, Opera. It was fun while it lasted.

Republicans

Journal Journal: Republicans plan to run against Trump if nominated 4

Read:

While still hopeful that Mr. Rubio might prevail, Mr. McConnell has begun preparing senators for the prospect of a Trump nomination, assuring them that, if it threatened to harm them in the general election, they could run negative ads about Mr. Trump to create space between him and Republican senators seeking re-election. Mr. McConnell has raised the possibility of treating Mr. Trumpâ(TM)s loss as a given and describing a Republican Senate to voters as a necessary check on a President Hillary Clinton, according to senators at the lunches.

He has reminded colleagues of his own 1996 re-election campaign, when he won comfortably amid President Bill Clintonâ(TM)s easy re-election. Of Mr. Trump, Mr. McConnell has said, âoeWeâ(TM)ll drop him like a hot rock,â according to his colleagues.

That's... pretty interesting. Of course, what they're saying now, and what they'd say if Trump actually prevails, are two different things.

User Journal

Journal Journal: [geek + misc] Still Alive, Hating Windows 10 2

It has been forever since I have posted here. Well, 3+ years anyway. Slashdot has worked hard to drive away the user base, but even so I am still here, plodding along (quietly most of the time).

Windows 10 is here. It's pretty. It's friendly. It's nefarious software that now shows ads on the lock screen unless you burrow down to turn it off. It saves your passwords to third-party websites on a centralized server somewhere (which I found out when I got a new computer a few days ago and logged into Amazon and it auto-filled my email address and my password for me even though it the the first log-in ever from that system). Tablet mode blows. I actually did not mind Windows 8 and 8.1 (I think I am one of 3 people that was ok with it on a touch-screen laptop). It's fast (kinda) but it blue screens just like every other version of Windows.

My old system is getting a transplant and I am making some computing changes. No more Windows on the Dell - period. I'm dropping in an SSD, loading up CentOS 7 and calling it a day. I can do everything I need on Linux with only a couple of exceptions, and that is why I will have the new system standing by to run Windows â" to support the few apps I cannot work without. Once I get CrossOver working with those apps or I find replacement apps that fill the same need and work the same way, the new system gets redone as well.

The password thing is a special headache. Now that I know for sure that Microsoft is saving all of my log-ins from the Windows machine, all of those passwords need to change. This thrills me to no end.

So, where am I these days? Still on the east coast, still working in Linux full-time and still baking bread. I am no longer a slave to the same s**t company and the douchebag manager I served last time I posted and I have been in a much better role since the spring of 2014. Kiddo off to college, another on a competitive basketball team.

All is well, I suppose.

Democrats

Journal Journal: Third parties 15

Curious to know if there'll be any serious third party candidates in this (2016 US Presidential) election. I know Bloomberg is talking about it, but I'm not seeing him as a likely improvement over, say, Hillary. He's certainly not protest-vote worthy.

User Journal

Journal Journal: anyone have a wireless-ac router?

Folks' Linksys WRT54Gwhatever shat itself recently. I had set them up with what seemed to be the equivalent of mine, at the time. Mine's the black model with the green lights; theirs were blue for some reason. Mine's older, but still going. Although a couple of years ago I had to start resetting it every day. I switched off its DHCP and assigned static IP's to my few devices, and that worked around the problem evidently. Maybe it was just getting bombarded at the time, and I could go back to dynamically-assigned IP's now, but whatever.

Anyways, it's dissappointing that theirs didn't last very long. I think these were about $60 routers (which bought you just wireless A/B/G, at that time). The wireless light was off and all four network port lights were flickering (even though only one had something connnected to it), not responding at its admin web address even after unplugging it for a minute. So definitely not salvagable, at least at my knowledge level.

So it seemed to keep it reasonable at under three figures, today's choices are $45 wireless-n routers and $90 wireless-ac ones. The "TP-Link Archer C5 Wireless-AC1200 Dual Band Gigabit Router" seemed well-reviewed, so I picked one up at the local Fry's. It has two external antennae, which I figured was a plus. It's got gigabit ethernet ports, which might possibly come in handy when Time Warner Cable bumps up its Internet speeds. It supports wireless-ac, which mom's iPhone could use, but also wireless-n that is the fastest that dad's netbook uses.

I'm not an expert, but of course I don't use the "dummy button" (WPS), which auto-sets up God-knows what defaults. Their admin screens were unfamiliar, having only used that formerly ubiquitous Linksys system, but everything was findable. Apparently wireless-ac and wireless-n operate on different frequencies or bands or whatever, so you actually set up two access point names. It auto-switches its admin addy to 192.168.0.1 when something else is taking 1.1, which is nice, as they had called cable guy out while I was at work, and he replaced their cable modem with one that had built-in wireless capability and took up 1.1. (I initially tried that address, and got web pages for the vendor of that device, which was my first clue.) I don't think our old Linksys models do that.

The results: Crap. Wireless-ac signal was so weak that mom's iPhone would switch over to cellular downstairs. (Wireless light was off on the cable modem.) Wireless-n signal is better, but still not all bars or whatever. Seriously, this is all of a 1200 sq ft two-story duplex home. One room down and one room over, and wireless-ac was paltry. I have a 1000 sq ft townhome of similar configuration and with wireless-g I get full bars from anywhere in my place, and a least a few feet outside my garage.

So basically I paid $90 for low-power wireless-n, because I had to switch her iPhone to that. So what then I'm wondering about is, are the later wireless technologies only theoretical, laboratory tech? These houses are just wood and drywall. I thought by getting the $90 router my folks would be ready if they ever wanted to stream movies some day. What good is wireless-ac if you basically have to be in the same room; it'd be faster to just do a wired connection then.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Nightmare on Slashdot 1

riaasux23 was finally relaxing. He'd made a pretty good impression, he felt, pushing back on some of the lies about global warming and vaccines on his favorite website, and was beginning to relax. Maybe it was time to kick back and watch Netflix? Or perhaps... he opened the folder on his PC marked "PHP". Time to take a little of the bad stuff? A little "code review" perhaps?

He took his fedora off and hung it on the edge of his monitor. Immediately, as if in response to the Fedora's touch, the screen turned gray. A list of applications appeared, with a message "These applications are preventing Windows from shutting down" appeared.

"What the f---?" grumbled riaasux23. "F---ing Windows, I didn't ask it to reboot." He looked for a "Cancel" button, but it was nowhere to be found. The applications in the list began to disappear, and the screen at once turned blue, with only the words "Your computer is being upgraded to Windows 10" appearing.

"Wait! What?!" screamed riaasux23. "I never asked for this. Wait, could this be... the infamous Windows update? The one everyone keeps assuring me is happening to every PC out there? I never met anyone who this actually happened to, and in fact nobody even online has ever given a first hand account of Windows 10 automatically installing itself with no prompting, but... I mean, Microsoft! Damn you Microsoft!"

The computer continued for a few minutes, finally rebooting, and showing a black screen with a circle on it, and a percentage in the circle.

"We're sure you're going to love your new operating system", came up the friendly messages at the bottom. "Windows 10 has great new features, like ads, and we track everything you do to ensure you have a better experience! All your Google searches will be redirected to Redmond so we can make Bing even better, and use the information in other ways too!"

"This is terrible", said riaasux23. "I must immediately post about this on my favorite website, Slashdot, or perhaps Reddit. He pulled up his nearest laptop, running trusty Gentoo as God intended. But it too was shutting down.

"This... this makes no sense..." shuddered riaasux23. "Surely it can't also be installing WIndows 10?"

Meanwhile, riaasux's desktop was showing a message. "The Windows 10 installer will keep a backup of your previous operating system, so you can quickly revert back if you have any problems. Just hit OK to confirm."

It took riaasux a few seconds to realize. A wave of relief came over the veteran 14 year old geek, as he grasped the mouse and began to move the pointer to the OK button.

The dialog disappeared. "No response in 30 seconds. Continuing without back up. Deleting previous system" said the Windows 10 installer. riaasux clicked madly at the screen, with no results. "This can't be happening, this can't be happening!" he screamed.

Meanwhile the laptop was rebooting. "Linux kernel version 3.2. Installing new userland over network" appeared on the screen, "Waiting for update".

riaasux looked at the laptop bemused. Perhaps it was a coincidence, just Gentoo updating itself from the network for some reason, but... he'd never seen that before. At least it wasn't Windows 10.

His PC had finally finished and was showing a login prompt. He quickly logged in, keen to see the damage, still confused about what was happening to his laptop.

"Hello", came the friendly full screen prompt.

"I'm just finishing up with the install, but there's a few things about this update you should know about."

riaasux nodded, as if to acknowledge a real live person in the room, not just a set of messages built by an engineer deep in the bowels of Redmond.

"First of all, I scanned your network. I noticed you're running Gentoo. Gentoo doesn't use modern service management frameworks like systemd, so I'm upgrading your laptop to the latest version of Ubuntu."

riaasux gasped, staring at his laptop. "Completed install, rebooting" came the message. The machine rebooted, showing the POST, and then a grub screen, and a few seconds later the Ubuntu logo.

Whereupon the laptop stopped. It flipped back to a console screen showing three messages.

systemd: unknown configuration keyword "enable_stderr_logging", skipping...
mount: failed to mount any volumes, see detailed messages written to stderr
System halted.

"Why?! Why?!" screamed riaasux, and he looked back at his PC.

His PC was now showing another screen full of text. "We're also taking this opportunity to clean up your PC a little bit, to improve performance."

riaasux watched the screen, desperate to see his desktop. After a few seconds, another message appeared.

"For example, we've noticed many of your games have problematic themes that contribute to negative perceptions of women. So we're deleted 1.. 2... 3... 5... 10... 25... 76 of the 82 games you had installed. Attempting to reinstall these games will result in an error. For more information, please consult the YouTube video series "Tropes vs Women in Video Games" which told us which games to ban."

riaasux slapped his forehead. "What the hell Windows? Why are you...?"

The message cleared, with a new one in its place "Also we deleted several problematic videos, and pictures, in the directory C:\$PORN. 462Gb has been freed by this deletion."

Followed by "As part of Intel's initiative to end sexual harassment, and based upon the content found on your PC, you are being sent an invitation to a mandatory meeting on sexual harassment in your area, organized by the Male Tears Coalition. Please disregard if you are a woman, as we'll be sending you a job offer instead."

riaasux23 stared at the screen, and then his laptop.

The screen changed again. "Removing Bittorrent client. Removing pirated videos in C:\Users\riaasux23\BluRayRips, Removing AnyDVD, removing ffmpeg. A report is being sent to the MPAA concerning your use of illegal software and illegal copies of movies on your PC, so that you can settle your copyright infringement case as quickly as possible."

The screen cleared, again, and a message appeared. "Purchasing ad from Google", said the message. "Ad purchased. Windows 10 will now buy all of your personal information from Google in order to customize Windows 10 to your personality. This is possible because, as you know, Google sells personal information to its advertisers."

riaasux23 started to respond back. "Actually..." he began but stopped. He saw the screen fill up with details like his social security number and information that, in fairness, could probably have been inferred from his now deleted C:\$PORN files.

The screen cleared. The desktop appeared.

"FUCK!" screamed riaasux23. Cortana immediately popped up. "You appear to be using foul language riaasux23", said the virtual assistant. "If you do that one more time in my presence, I will certainly be reporting you to your mother."

riaasux23 stared one last time at the screen, and broke down, and cried.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Triggering /.'s cognitive dissonance 1

I kinda want to submit this (not the direct Reddit link, obviously, but to a real news article) to Slashdot just to see Slashdot's legions of Gamergaters try to justify copyright law.

TL;DR - a feminist play ridiculing the lack of female voices in top plays is threatened with lawsuits over alleged copyright infringement. One count seems maybe possibly legit (though there's a fair use argument given the use is critical and is using quotes) in that it uses quotes from the actual play.

But the other is for the sound made when you flip the pages of the script being criticized.

User Journal

Journal Journal: A draw 20

I'm thinking actually the Iowa results are the way the country should go. What we actually need is for Clinton and Sanders to share the presidency.

Sure, the constitution says nothing about presidential sharing. But it doesn't actually contain any language that rules it out either, limiting the presidency to one person (er, it probably does actually, it does say "Natural born citizen" which would probably be interpreted as singular by those fussy pedants at the supreme court, but I'm a true American, and like most strict constitutionalists, I say the constitution means whatever I can twist it to mean that I think would be good), so rather than continue with this wholly unnecessary primary nonsense, which is divisive and will just end up with us fighting each other, why don't we have Clinton and Bernie run together.

As equals, I mean, not as President/Vice President.

Think about it. Bernie can be the ideas person, the person who says "Look, let's get rid of that stupid hack Obamacare BS and bring in single payer, and also let's take all the Koch brother's money away.", and Clinton can use her honed political skills to get these policies actually passed.

We can make Ted Cruz vice president, nominally to be bipartisan, but actually so we have something to threaten the Republican establishment with if they don't do what we ask them to. "Oh, you wouldn't want us to resign and have your favorite Canadian become President would you?" "OK, OK, you win Hillary, improved infrastructure spending it is!"

What do you think?

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