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Comment I used to do this (Score 3, Insightful) 171

I worked for the company that used to provide this service (and a lot fo other 800, 866 and 900 numbers) for the NJ and NYC areas.

It was fascinating equipment. Ancient but robust. It was a constantly turning magnetic drum that had the recording on it about 6 inches tall with a little oil reservoir on top that had to be filled every few months.

It synced against the radio signal from the Navel Observatory, which was perfect but also perfectly useless. You see, there was a short delay induce by the phone lines, so if we let it set itself we'd get irate calls as people listened to it and the radio and they weren't synced. Yes, there are those people and out of the millions of population there are enough of them. So every time the time changed for daylight savings we'd set it, and then manually speed it up by a fraction of a second until it sounded right. Mind you it still wasn't perfect - the phone line induced delay varied by distance and number of trunks, but it was close enough.

Remarkable gear. Never lost time after we set it.

Comment Re:Apples-Oranges (Score 2) 760

But can 250,000 people in California get a free two-year education? Or are the grants few and far between?

It also assumes time (many work a job or two and still fall below the poverty line), regular availability (so they can't have work that assigns shift because it could overlap classes), that they don't have dependents to care for, nor does it consider the costs of mass transit to places to get this.

I applaud anyone who can pull themselves out of poverty by their bootstraps like that, but I don't think you have a general solution.

Comment Judge on the OS merits, not on nerd-rage (Score 1) 982

So, you're angry with M$ and therefore their OS sucks? Sorry, that's not causation. If you're actually someone who should be reading "News for Nerds" you can like or dislike Win10 on it's own merits, not just what the company is doing.

First, privacy issues suck. Horribly. You can turn off many of them. A few others you need to turn of on a MS website. All of that is easy to find documented on the web. That doesn't get them all. Turning off Cortona and keeping it off takes a bit of work.

Upgraded three desktops and one laptop of various powers, purpose and pedigrees. All went easy. All kept my data and software. You need to be aware that buttons that they want you to push (such as setting up a MS account) look like buttons, and buttons they don't want you to push (like setting up a local account) look like links and sometimes take a few extra screens.

None of them had cutting edge hardware, including the laptop. If you are worried about that, flex your nerd-muscles and check it out first. Everything including integrated components on the laptop had drivers from either MS or the vendor.

Haven't blue-screened once on any of the four. I have had an issue where it closed a program because it was running out of memory, which was legitimate but still unexpected.

Performance has been fine including gaming, but I don't run anything ultra-intensive. Multi-monitor support has been fine. Updates can cause reboots overnight, but won't be a surprise unless you don't touch the machine for a week.

Start menu can be made more useful without needing 3rd party, but it's a bit of work to customize it. MUCH better then 8.1, slightly worse than 7.

Edge is better than IE, but who cares because who uses a MS browser?

If you have windows 8.1, upgrade. If you have windows 7 I'd say it's up to you, but your window for free upgrades is closing. Extended support for Win7 ends Jan 24, 2020. So that's 3.5 years. I wouldn't expect that Win10 will be replaced by then, so eventually it's going to be Win10 or a non-Windows OS. Up to you if you want to take the plunge now or in a few years. Considering how hard MS was pushing to get people up to Win10, I wonder how much support the older versions are going to get from 3rd parties for anything new coming out.

Comment Re:"Did you even test this??!!!" (Score 1) 523

In reality, we should be constantly aware that 50% of our users are literally below average (by definition, not because we think they're "morons".)

By definition, 50% of coders are below average as well.

50% of coders are below average compared to other coders. That has no relevance either way if the average for coders is above or below the average for users.

Comment Re:More importantly... (Score 3, Insightful) 100

That sort of example strikes me as a classic case of legal overthinking of the problem though. It sounds like the case revolved around nonsense such as whether humans were present near or at the wreck, when really the only real legal question that actually needed answering was "Should first finders get first dibs on the wreck".

I think perhaps you are oversimplifying the problem. If I were to theorize 2352 potential shipwreck locations based on satellite imagery and publish it, am I the "first finder"? If I get odd sonar pings but don't follow it up am I the "first finder"?

I believe maritime law may specifically want to grant salvage rights to the first people at the wreck, and anything else opens doors to abuse. Can anyone who actually knows it speak to this?

Comment Re:How is that even legal? (Score 1) 202

"such as OS upgrades that you click Accept in order to install"

I just put a Post-it note over the text, saying something like "By continuing the installation after I click Accept, you grant me unlimited rights to use the product in any way I want." That way, a coercive, unnegotiated contract which is good for the goose can be turned into one which is good for the gander.

That will hold up in court, just like putting your own UPC codes on boxes in the store so they ring up differently. Hey, that price tag is an unnegotiated contract!

Oh wait, no, that doesn't work.

I'm not good little corporate shill - I strongly dislike EULAs and educated myself about how enforceable they are. The answer is "it depends", and I have at least some grasp about the particulars. It's much better than just wishful thinking.

For example I don't install any software on my kids machines or tell them to install any software - they are too young to sign a binding contract so as long as I don't tell them to do it and they act on their own behalf, there's a good chance the EULAs are null.

When you live in denial, you only have yourself to blame for the consequences of your ignorance.

Comment Re:How is that even legal? (Score 1) 202

It was never presented at sale, nor signed off on. The terms are also onerous.

They can put whatever they want in the EULA, but it doesn't mean it's enforceable.

Yes, based on it not being given at point of sale, it shouldn't be enforcable. However, many court have ruled it is. Beware of additional offerings, such as OS upgrades that you click Accept in order to install. There you are getting something new and entering into a new contract.

Comment Re: What do you mean... (Score 1) 190

If it were truly a better system I wouldn't have to switch endlessly between ribbon tabs while performing simple formatting tasks. Once configured (even minimally), the toolbar stayed *put*, allowing muscle memory to speed operation.

The ribbon is great for discovery and people who never get past "ransom letter" documents. It sucks ass for experienced users.

I'm glad that the tasks you do are so constrained that they fit into a single toolbar. As an experienced user I use many different features and being able to switch context to have a much wider selection then would fit into one toolbar is beneficial. This is even more true in Excel then Word.

Swore at it for a month when I first started using it because I needed to unlearn some habits, now find it much easier.

Comment Re:Complete article below: (Score 1) 225

Yes. He was making $122,000 as an employee of a consulting firm. Right there's it's a red flag: people with a solid resume don't go in consulting for other people because that's getting the worst of both world:/quote.

Now that's a bit of a generalization. The gov't contracts out a lot of work. And I have several friends who work for firms contracted to do gov't work. Sure, the firm takes the majority of the ABSOLUTELY LUDICROUS rate, but that leaves a good chunk left. And they couldn't get those contract directly,

Not saying some aren't as you put it, but contracting for the gov't is a real thing that solid people do.

Comment Re:18 years is nothing (Score 1) 332

Got to agree. Still have RS6K systems in satellite datacenters with the fool "Y2K Ready Stickers" that they were putting on everything as it was getting certified in 1999. Left over for whatever "historic legal data retention" needs where they can't get the data out of the app.

Of course, on other servers I'm spending money to get vendors to certify old applications on AIX 7.1, which came out over five years ago. Sometimes everything being stable has it's drawbacks.

I can't claim that any of them haven't rebooted in 18 years, but multi-year is common.

Comment Re:Mythbusters Died When... (Score 1) 187

If the show needed "girl-next-door fun-n-curvy hotness" to hold your entertainment, something was very wrong with it. Or maybe with you, but judging by the number of similar comments I'd say with the show.

You know, the show grew quite well from the "we don't have the budget for more weather balloons" early episodes before the production company wanted a second team and gave the build team trio some spotlight. While I'm sure that the production company was quite aware of any added appeal from her and Tori for their respective audiences, it's quite a stretch to say the whole show was held up it.

Your science doesn't seem particularly rigorous, but don't worry, the Mythbusters have tested that. Can the show work without Kari? Confirmed by the early episodes.

Comment Driverless (Score 1) 397

What is begin ignored is that some of the biggest real-world use cases are driver-less or have a driver-less component.

Drop me off at work, then return home for my family to use. Come pick me up at the end of the day.
Drive my elderly grandmother somewhere. Or me when I'm sick/tired/impared/got a good book.
Distribution, getting loaded at warehouses by their staff and dropping of at final locations, unloaded by their staff.

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