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Comment Win10 Anniv Update was PAINFUL (Score 1) 110

A couple of months ago I'd gotten sufficiently fed up with Android that, when my Android tablet decided to reset itself again, a week or so before I was going on a trip, at the same time that Fry's had an Ematic Win10 tablet on sale, that I'd give Windows tablets a chance. The one I bought had 32GB of flash (plus a microSD card slot), and had 15.9GB of that free. I ran Windows Update, which told me that Anniversary Update was available and needed 16GB of free space; turns out that doesn't mean 15.9, nor 16, nor 16 with an empty 64GB SD card - I had to drag&drop enough different things over to the SD card to get about 18-19GB free on the built-in to get the update to run. But once it had enough space it ran cleanly.

The latest outrage from MS is that the email account I registered it with had the form "username+tag@domain.com", and MS has decided that to protect me from losing access to the account if I forget the password, they need to VERIFY that by sending it an email, which never arrives because they're confused by the "+tag" in the name field, so when I tried to add a different email by answering a bunch of bogus security questions with the same answers as last time, they sent the "VERIFICATION" email to the new address, I clicked on it, and the first thing it does is demand that I re-verify it by having them send a code to the old address. I have not given them a phone number to call, since I have no interest in giving them my real information; I'm tempted to borrow a burner for that, or see if they can send the code by audio to a VOIP system or something.

(That's not even counting that Windows 10 tablet mode is pretty lame, and works much better with a keyboard, and the nice ergonomically designed keyboard that came with the tablet died after about a month, but that's more a symptom of what you get for $70 on sale.)

Comment I was never encouraged to take up programming. (Score 1) 370

I was born in the 70s. I was never encouraged to get into computers as a hobby or as a career path. It was an unusual choice of hobbies and set me apart from my peers. I am a man.

When I was younger, it was fun. When I was older, I was able to read job listings and salary ranges. There was no gender angle, pro or con.

Comment Keeps the annoying part, loses the useful parts! (Score 1) 92

As far as I could tell, the main reason people were annoyed about Google Glass (besides the ostentatious bragging of wearing $1500 glasses) was that somebody wearing them could be taking your picture at any time, without obviously holding up a camera or a phone or wearing a lapel-pin camera or having a pen-sized camera in their shirt pocket or something clipped to their backpack straps or whatever else. These glasses still do that, just not as well as a cheap camera or phone.

But the display inside the glasses, which made Google Glass more useful than a camera thing, isn't in these, and it's also missing the potential Google functionality of doing face recognition and telling you the name of the person you're looking at, which you forgot. Sure, somebody wearing Google Glasses could look like they're looking at you but really be watching cat videos or talking to somebody else, but cellphone headsets had given us those a decade earlier, and now there's Pokemon Go or whatever follows it.

Also, social views of always-connected cameras are changing, as a result of Black Lives Matter and other episodes of people recording cops behaving badly and the near-ubiquity of cellphone video. Yes, there are privacy tradeoffs we need to figure out (e.g. secure recording for your pictures doesn't have to also mean that Google or Apple iCloud has access to your data.)

Comment Obama Should But Won't - Will Merkel/EU/others? (Score 1) 375

Of course Obama should pardon Snowden, but we all know that ain't gonna happen. The real question is whether some EU country like Germany or some other country besides Russia will offer Snowden asylum. So far, none of them have had the guts, even Ecuador which is giving Julian Assange some slack, though most Latin American governments are too tightly tied to the US to offer protection against kidnapping as well as against official extradition or look-the-other-way rendition.

Russia's currently some protection for Snowden, but only while he's politically useful to Putin, and Putin's still in power. If anything happens to Putin, or to Snowden's usefulness (e.g. Putin wants to do a favor for President Trump), he's in trouble.

Comment Re:Taxes = theft (Score 4, Insightful) 579

You don't use gas, water, electric, telephone, or internet connections? Those were all built and regulated with taxes.

Work for a company, ever? That company was built from a civilization that benefited from government and the taxes it uses for those purposes.

Live in a house you didn't build from lumber you cut yourself with an axe you made yourself from a rock and a stick? You benefited from government and taxes other people paid into it in numerous ways.

Ever walk on a road you didn't clear yourself? Taxes. Government.

You're a trolling idiot, or gloriously naive. Governments are hugely wasteful and corrupt, but it's better than anarchy.

Comment Fixing Number Spoofing is Hard (Score 1) 120

Sure, it's just a simple matter of programming to re-architect the signalling system that's driven the phone companies since the mid-80s. Unfortunately, number spoofing has been an important feature for legitimate businesses - it lets them do things like always give you the number of their main office as caller-id, even if the person is calling from a remote office, or let you give the direct number of the caller, even if the call is getting routed through the company's main office PBX VOIP gateway. It also provides the ability to do a lot more complicated things. And (this mattered more back then than now) it let them run phone switches on processors that were made in the 1960s and 1970s, and with mainframes that might have 10 MIPS of CPU power (compared with the wimpy 1 MIPS VAX I was using in 1980.) My wristwatch probably has less RAM than that, but probably a much faster CPU, and my wimpy Android phone has about as much RAM as my VAX had disk.

And yes, within the next decade we may well have re-architected the world's phone systems away from the designs we used back then (and much of the implementation has changed radically already), but interface standards stick around a lot longer than implementations, and are a lot harder to get rid of.

Comment Stupidest rant ever. (Score 1) 729

There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of PC resellers who assemble, test, and ship the completed PC to you. You choose what kind of PC you want with the parts you want (usually from a few templates, like Office PC, Gaming PC, etc., with a few choices for upgrades) and you pay a relatively small uptick in price for this service, like 20%. For someone who doesn't want to (or can't because of sausage fingers) assemble their own PC, it's a legitimate choice that many companies and consumers make.

Comment Re: Women.... (Score 1) 499

Yeah, work smarter, not harder. Bleach once a week, toilet duck once a month. Scrub for like 30 seconds once it has sit for like 10 minutes.

Same with the shower. Spray it with that daily shower stuff, takes a minute. Throw a little bleach in there once in a while (not at the same time), then rinse it out. Then a quick 5-minute scrub before your shower once a month is all it takes to maintain it unless you're waffle stomping in there.

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