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Comment Re:Well, I agree with this (Score 2) 154

"The US does not have an official right to privacy."

Yes, it does, also known as the 4th amendment.

"[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

The right to privacy in a public forum (or on a public network) is debatable, and the conduct of the US government is as the 4th amendment never existed. But it exists, at least on paper.

Comment Re:Let me guess... (Score 1) 115

Not just RAM. Vista video requirements led to a generation of laptops with Intel GMA 900 video that were obsolete before leaving the factory. Instead of relegating such hardware to the recycle bin, it was marketed as "Vista Capable". https://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-e-mails-reveal-intel-pressure-over-vista

Comment I call BS on blaming the Russians (Score 1) 272

If the Russians needed a strategy to influence the US election and control the next President, consider 2 choices. Which one is easier to implement and more reliable?

1. Use negative propaganda to knock down a candidate who is blatantly supported by the mainstream media -- in the hope of electing a billionaire who is (a) notoriously unpredictable and (b) difficult to bribe because he doesn't need the money. It may not be possible to add enough propaganda to overwhelm the lapdog media shills.

2. Write a check to the Clinton Foundation and send email to hrod17@clintonemail.com with instructions. If necessary, threaten to dump the entire email archive after she's elected. What's Hillary gong to do at that point? Call Putin's bluff and hope for the best? The beauty of the blackmail strategy is that the Russians don't actually need the emails. The mere threat would be sufficient.

Washington is filled with people who solicit checks from donors and follow instructions. The Clintons have been doing this on a grand scale for a long time. If you can wire transfer enough money, the Clintons are easily transformed into political muppets. Controlling them is a lot easier than defeating them.

Comment I had a Passat as well; same problem (Score 1) 82

My Passat was fun to drive, but only on the days when the car actually worked. Unfortunately, there were not enough of those days. Over the course of six months, I spent about $3600 at the dealership on a wide variety of problems. Each time, I thought the car would be OK for a while. And it was -- for about a month. After a while, I realized I was spending about $600/month to drive a 5-year old car. It would be cheaper to buy a new car whose payments are less than $600/month and drive that instead. So I did. I owned several VWs up to that point, but never again.

Comment Who needs Office Depot? (Score 4, Funny) 161

I get all the tech support I need from helpful services that call me whenever my computer has a virus. Somehow they know! Sure, it's expensive, but all I have to do is answer the phone and follow simple directions. A bunch of smart people with foreign accents take care of everything!

Comment OS X market needs hardware competition (Score 1) 535

When a Windows PC vendor makes a bone-headed move, Microsoft is protected by diversity among manufacturers. They won't all ditch USB 3.0 and HDMI at the same time. As long as you can tolerate Windows, somebody will always offer a PC worth buying.

With OS X, the consumer's choice in products is only as good as Apple's hardware. In the past, Apple made some really excellent decisions with the MacBook Pro. In recent years? Not so much. If this is the best Apple can do, maybe they should exit the laptop hardware business. Open up the drivers and sell OS X to the rest of the Intel-based laptop world. At least then, somebody will offer a 2016 GPU and 32G of memory in a machine that doesn't require a basket of dongles to connect a phone, mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

Comment Re: Had Bernie won... (Score 1) 822

I wouldn't be voting for him, but he's not a pathological liar, didn't sell out to the establishment (except maybe Obamacare), and his heart is in the right place. We could do a lot worse than Bernie.

Washington is so corrupt and disconnected from reality, I'm voting for maximum disruption.

Comment Open memo to Apple: You're Fired (Score 1) 524

How many customers asked for keys to be deleted? My guess is ZERO. And then we have the one port USB-C debacle of this year's MacBook. Soldered memory? No thanks.

I am the customer, and the customer is always right. If you don't want to offer me the products I want, I'll find someone who does.

Apple is going back to the bad-old-days, repeating the mistakes that got Steve Jobs fired.

Comment Contractors (Score 1) 44

It important to remember that Edward Snowden was a contractor. Why did he work for NSA as a contractor instead of a regular employee? Because he had no degree. Such people are generally shunned by HR managers. But if they have the right skills, hiring managers will often use contractor status to circumvent their own HR dept.

Thanks to a number of lawsuits, most employers have mandatory time limits for contractors, typically 1-3 years. Although many employers promote their best contractors to regular employment, HR often balks at waiving a degree requirement, even for people who are doing excellent work without one.

All contractors know (or should know) how much time they have on the clock. Once they understand the time limit, every contractor needs an exit strategy in case the employer declines to offer full-time employment when the time limit expires.

Whatever Snowden did, he did it with the understanding that his time at NSA was limited, and crossing over to full-time employment was going to be a challenge. In other words, he had nothing to lose.

If employers didn't have to use contract employment to circumvent their self-imposed budget and HR obstacles, you wouldn't see so many contractors with incentives to take secrets put the door.

I'm wouldn't be surprised to see this scenario repeated many times at the NSA.

Comment No surprises here (Score 1) 524

For years, friends and relatives asked me to help with their Windows problems. After it became unbearable to fix my computers and fix theirs too, I switched to OS X. I told everyone that I no longer had a Windows machine and therefore could not help them. I advised everyone to switch when they could no longer tolerate their PC's behavior. Some people switched, some didn't. Those who switched never needed my help again. Those who didn't were on their own. Ultimately, my pro-bono support incidents dropped to ZERO.

Microsoft has made progress in recent years. And Apple has dropped the ball a few times, especially when they punish people who don't upgrade their computers and phones fast enough, or migrate their data to icloud. Even so, if you consider the cost of support labor and the lost productivity while waiting for help, Macs should have replaced PC's in corporate life years ago.

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