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Comment So Far, All the Netflix Content Is A Total DUD! (Score 1) 185

They're going to have to start upping the quality of content. Their rude rip-off of the Brits' "House of Cards" has been a long, drawn-out mess, with none of the political logic in the original...and Spacey is LOUSY as a corrupt politician. We watch a lot more British shows than we do Netflix, and what we DO enjoy on Netflix are recent series we wouldn't otherwise get (think Miss Fisher's Mysteries, or Doc Martin).

If they favor their own content, licensing will be cheaper, but they'll bear ALL the production costs, and with a corporate cheapskate like Netflix that means YouTube quality scripts, and production values.

Comment This is related to another HP Scam I've Identified (Score 3, Informative) 386

The very popular HP m451 is a Color Laser with a very attractive price, but the cartridges (e.g. the black CE410X) is priced at HP at $103.99 each. I was replacing that, and the three color cartridges about every six months. But, I got suspicious. So, when the messages started showing up on my computer about the toner being low, I decided to ignore them. Then the printer started demanding I press the "OK" button to print because, it claimed, the "Black cartridge is Very Low." After I punched the button, the next message suggests that print quality will be poor, and "could become gray."

However, I have now printed more than a ream and a half (about 750 pages) with not a single flaw in the quality of black printing without changing the cartridge (yet). It is clearly a scam.

I think there's a specific intent to delude customers into buying excessively-priced cartridges LONG before they're empty, as a means to increase HP's supplies income at the expense of customers. By charging excessive prices, and rigging their printer software to emit scary messages long before the toner is exhausted, HP is reaping huge income increases. Messrs. Hewlett and Packard are spinning in their graves, because the company has now sunk so low as to scam their customers with specifically designed software to encourage them to throw away still usable toner cartridges.

If others can share similar stories, this seems ripe for a class-action lawyer to file a legitimate case of fraud against HP for designing the software to try to scare people into buying over-priced cartridges when the existing cartridge is far from empty.

Comment Re:Why would you want tech companies in the downto (Score 2) 305

#1. Because they provide tax revenues from many businesses that otherwise would enjoy income only in the evenings (e.g., restaurants).

#2. Because they work inside existing buildings, without crowding out retail "frontage" on main streets.

#3. Because being together creates interchange of information and ideas, leading to even more new tech startsup.

#4: Because programming (aka coding) is becoming embedded in the mid-level jobs of nearly everyone working at a desk in that city.

#5: Because these four things improve Palo Alto's sales tax (8.75%) revenues, in addition to major local property taxes from those very businesses.

I suspect the writer of the original story doesn't understand the issues, and if there IS a "zoning regulation banning firms whose 'primary business is research and development, including software coding,' it's likely to be challenged, successfully, in court, on First Amendment grounds. The proof would be on Palo Alto city government to show the putative harm to University Ave. businesses. And, that their neglect of that ordinance for decades has been their own fault.

Comment Re:Come the fuck on (Score 1) 366

Despite your vulgarity, there are another options: I always keep one of my three backup drives in the trunk of my car (the second is standby, the first is connected, and I rotate them regularly). The car is almost always with me, and the first thing I'd do in case of fire is to get the car out of the garage.

If that's not adequate, you can rent a cheap safety deposit box at your local bank. I did that for years, especially when the data included a lot of client data on them (I'm now retired).

Comment Microsoft Has Abandoned Quality for $$$ (Score 1) 405

I've used Linux and Windows (and Unix, and OS/360 and IBSYS, etc.) for years, and have several clients on Windows.

The key issues for them are industry-specific software products at the core of their businesses which, without, they would have a significantly smaller number of business opportunities. These products are often poorly maintained, or not updated very often, and so require very strictly-configured Windows systems. Wine (or other attempts to emulate Windows) is not a solution; it merely introduces even more problems that need more frequent attention.

I've always argued for Windows over Apple, because, my reasoning was, Windows is an "open" ecosystem, while Apple is a "closed" system. Now that M$ is closing up its' systems, giving us less stability, and forcing updates we don't want or need (e.g., "telemetry," which is just a cover word for "spying"), that distinction is significantly eroded.
The "one-size fits all" approach to Windows maintenance leaves me scared, and unhappy.

We still need stable operating systems, delivered by honorable people trying to do their best in a constantly-moving field, and I fear that we (and include myself) have let M$ corrupt themselves and their products by flocking to them despite rampant, unmitigated bugs and defects accepted without rebellion. For instance: Look at the sad state of affairs in the inability of huge fractions of the Windows 7 and 8 customer populations who can't get Windows Update to run reliably

The market is ripe for a new commercial (not open-sourced) operating system that can become the new standard bearer, because I doubt Microsoft will reverse their trend; they're capitalizing on past success, and tempting future failure.

I would prefer an open-sourced solution (for security reasons), but time has proven that there is little incentive for improving and stabilizing products that are good, but not rewarded with huge income. While I appreciate the Linux movement, and the common source of kernels, there is too little invested in pre-release testing, because there's no money...and it's been so successful, M$ clearly decided, last year, with Windows 10, to follow that same lead. M$'s twist is to make revenue from the final product. So far, not one of my clients (and I) have found a need to move to Windows 10, largely because of Microsoft's changes in licensing agreement, and their abandonment of insistence on quality in their paid-for and delivered products.

Fortunately (for me), I've decided to retire at the end of this year, so I'll stick with my existing infrastructure at home 'til they pry it from my cold, dead fingers. My clientele are fearful, because the alternatives they've interviewed to take my place are generally unskilled, and barely able to change batteries in their laptops. So, part of the problem is the acceptance of these declining standards Microsoft USED to uphold, by the self-proclaimed "techies" who are too brainwashed to understand the problems they have to get around to keep business systems running, all the time.

Comment Re:I don't understand the text security angle (Score 1) 46

Only an A.C. can make this claim. Fully one third of people DON'T want or need a cellphone, and of those, about half can't afford it. Further, as others have noted, many people don't even KNOW HOW to enable SMS on their cellphone. This is gubmint bureaucracy at it's worst: MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY system design. They can use email, and anyone who access My SSA through the internet has an email address...or can get one, free.

Comment Braindead SSA (Score 1) 46

I've tried to address this issue with SSA: One-third of Americans have no cellphone service. That's all SSA will allow!

Most banks do this with an eMail account: If they're uncertain (e.g., you've been offline for a long time), they'll send you a random string of digits you must provide back on the login page, so they know you're YOU.

But, the SSA decided that if you don't have a cellphone, you don't deserve access to My SSA at all.

My guess: The contractor they engaged to implement the recently mandated two-factor authentication made a side deal with AT&T or Verizon to get extra money by only implementing something from which they financially benefit!

Please write to SSA and tell them this is not a way to treat citizens...they MUST implement the email option in their two-factor authentication, in my opinion.

Comment M$ is following a well-known path (Score 4, Insightful) 162

1. They unload Win10 on the world, only partially designed, and sucker us into doing their product testing. Then, the add more and more complexity with unnecessary "features" that are mere click bait.

2. Then, the declare it's the last of the "Windows" line (unlikely, and a stupid claim by an executive without credibility to assert it.)

3. Now, they plan to get rid of productive employees. Why? "Bottom line" or, as Jack Welch said, early in his career at GE CEO, "the purpose of a corporation is to maximize shareholder return on investment." Then, two years ago, after retirement, he admits in Forbes' magazine that his was "...the dumbest idea in the world."

4. And Microsoft is joining the cadre of companies with "great (aka overpaid) CEOs" (usually self-proclaimed) who produce poor results over the long-term (see http://www.wsj.com/articles/be...).
They're about to fall off a cliff...and they think they're on solid ground. Mark my words.

Comment Re: Sinking ship (Score -1) 176

Another unsubstantiated "economic theory" posted by a financial illiterate. Knowledge bears no relationship to money; it does bear some relationship to work.

You can't BUY knowledge...you can buy (and have a relationship with) knowledgeable people, and some of it might rub off.

If Money can buy Knowledge, how is it that Trump/Drumpf is so ignorant???

Comment Read some Ha-Joon Chang (Score 1) 519

His "23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism" is a masterpiece of writing, explaining how totally WRONG most economists are about nearly everything they say. e.g.: There is no such think as a "free market," there are always rules, regulations, legislation that--for example, keep practitioners of homeopathy from being considered 'doctors,' because they have no evidence that it is anything but a placebo. Or, for another example, that truckers hauling things for sale still have to adhere to speed limits, for safety's sake. Or, the FDA, so hated by the Right, that mandates that drugs for sale have to meet certain proven safety requirements (too bad they don't regulate profits as well).

Or, for another one of those 23 things: Jack Welch said, when he headed General Electric, that the first duty of any business was to "maximize shareholder value." Then, in Forbes a couple of years ago, he admitted that (and I quote) it was "the dumbest idea in the world!"

He doesn't idolize Communism, but he sure picks at the threads of what the 1% would have us believe...except the United States Constitution gives us the right to learn from a writer, like Chang, that they're all blowing smoke up our economics for their own selfish benefit.

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