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Comment yet more peanut panic and profiteering (Score 2) 155

Sigh... It's sad to watch the "peanut panic" crowd -- the people who claim all sorts of wild stats about allergy deaths unsupported by evidence -- and the companies that make money by giving them a soapbox. This US/UK-centered phenomenon is a cultural and economic situation, not a medical one. According to the Centers for Disease Control/CDC researchers and American Medical Association/AMA's actual reputable scientists (not med mfr salespeople), the verified death rate from the relevant allergens has been consistent for 50+ years, as long as they've been keeping statistics. No significant rise.

What *has* happened is the massive thousand-fold rise in the number of people *diagnosed* with *some* anaphalactic reaction to peanuts and a zillion other irritants. When more people get *informed* there is a risk, the risk gets wildly exaggerated because of medical liability to any medical provider that does not address the completely-consistent-not-rising remote possibility of fatal reaction. And that translates into sales of expensive epi-pens from the company that conveniently funded the first and oft-cited major study into peanut allergy. And keeps funding other shoddy whitepapers on the topic. And keeps raising prices.

These guys are thieves. Those people are fools. Nothing new under the sun.

Comment Hypocrites, criminals, and nihilists, oh no! (Score 1, Troll) 326

Hypocrites, criminals, and nihilists, oh noes! This is precisely what the electorate wanted, what they voted for, and now someone (anyone?) is surprised by it?

Hillary should be thrown in jail for the email server and Benghazi... but Trump's illegal hidden email and messaging servers? It's ok because yuge hackers and fake news.
Trump wiping his ass with the constitution as Bannon hands it to him sheet by sheet? No problem because Muslims and walls and Messicans! And a million uppity fat women in pussy hats!
Take a sledgehammer to American healthcare because they hate the black guy? No problem, because God helps the sick, and you know, Jesus loves tax cuts.

I weep for the nation. This is the childish petulant sonofabitch we deserve.

Comment More stuff to undo, if possible (Score 4, Insightful) 46

I can't express how much I don't want these features. Intents? Unseen data sharing? Unwanted desktop links? More "apps" that are just PII-leaking bookmarks? Blurring every border? Solutions to 9000+ problems I don't have. Ffs Chrome is like Benjamin Button progressing backward in time to the bad old days of giant local applications engorged with ole and directory services and odbc and the kitchen sink, with so many attack surfaces that they become legion. I just want a damn browser not a Gitmo feeding tube.

Comment Re:This is participation and dialog (Score 1) 244

Does anyone... anyone... seriously believe that Trump will pay attention to any thoughts and direction to come from this Strategic and Policy Forum? Will he listen at all?

Thus far Trump has ignored most briefings on a wide variety of critical topics, refused his daily presidential briefings to prepare for taking over the office, held mock forums in which he assembles rooms full of people smarter than him and then berates and insults them (e.g. the post-election summit with news org leaders, among others), and is generally packing his cabinet choices with loud logic-challenged people with little or no experience related to the orgs they've been named to. These aren't even the best right-wing choices, they're almost randomly selected friends and business associates -- while Trump himself is relentlessly resistant to external input or validated data.

The initial fear of many on the left was that Trump would take the country on hard turn to the right, but instead he seems to be going straight to a chaotic shitshow. Is it believable that Trump will suddenly now start taking informed advice seriously? Ever?

Comment RECs, TRCs, and now BitCoin? Woot! (Score 3, Insightful) 36

Wait... "Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), also known as Green tags, Renewable Energy Credits, Renewable Electricity Certificates, or Tradable Renewable Certificates (TRCs), are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities" (src:WikPed) in the US... and now I can directly pay for power consumption in another locale with a currency I can directly generate from power here... that I can can receive or sell thru these commodity markets? And it's international/lets one avoid taxes and currency markets or end-run them? Woot! Here in the PNW US, bitcoin mining is relatively profitable... maybe another couple of racks in Wenatchee are in order. Or Iceland.

TL;DR: Bitcoin is just another TRC... only international.

Comment Trying so hard to fail in a market they dominate (Score 5, Insightful) 535

Reality check:

TL;DR: Older geek, former windows guy struggling to GAF. Moved on.

I'm on a plane, using a Chromebook to browse the web and post here, because chromebooks get free GoGo service on a dozen flights a year. Gotta pay $15 to use Windows. If I flip the keyboard back, people mistake it for an iPad, kinda sexy looking, fun to use, not Windows. I get 14hrs per charge from a device that literally cost less than a Windows license by itself. Win10 provides an ok switchable touch-or-type experience, but it's not as mature. (The distinctive principles behind recent MS Office UI seem to be "waste space on your small screen" and "guess if this is clickable". Jerks.)

In another couple tabs, I have my work's Office365 open -- outlook, calendar, a word doc, and I can see edits in onenote as one of my guys updates it a continent away. It's clunky compared to Google Apps at my last company, but it totally eliminates any compatibility issues re MSOffice files. Work just gave me a mac, and to be honest its just a different way to launch a browser, so I left it home as well. (Hmm. Onenote is nicer than Keep, but it's basically a direct copy of Lotus Organizer... 20 years ago...20!!. Funny. ) I kinda miss Visio.

In my bag is a nice ultrabook running Mint 18, which is super stable and runs shockingly faster than Win10 on the same system.This weekend's project is scanning a couple thousand pages of family documents, and I can't bring a Windows laptop with me because the windows software for the hi-end scanner is an unstable clusterf*ck on WIn7/8 and Win10 simply doesn't recognize the device at all. Tried diff hw; it's the OS. I don't have hours to waste making this crap work on WIndows when it just works on Linux (Simplescan and XSane both worked perfectly with no jiggery-pokery at all). Same for numerous storage, wireless, input, a/v and other devices; I end up trying to fix Windows Update's wrong or borked drivers, when stuff just works on Linux. I find the reversal over the past decade pretty funny-not-funny.

I have backups at home on external systems, some with NTFS and some with EXT4. The kids asked me to buy a consumer media server a while back, and then we pulled the drives when the p/s died. Surprise, surprise, EXT3. Why would I screw around with Windows when it can't read half of my media drives and most of the IOT devices out there?

Bing? Oh please, I worked in Redmond for years, and tried hard to like them, but Microsoft simply can't get its collective shit together regarding search quality. Duckduckgo gives better results without the stalking behavior and implied-consent analysis. Win10 sending filesystem hashes back to the mothership without consent (or an ability to turn it off now) is creepy and rude. Even my kids were creeped out by the Xbox1 camera kerfuffle, and said they would rather have steam accounts and a badass theater projector+sound setup. So the old Xbox360 went to Goodwill. Want a cheap xbox and kinect?-- head over to the thrift store.

Cortana? Not as good as Android voice search. Doesn't work on my phone. Doesn't work on my recent stupid-toy-smartwatch. Doesn't remotely replace a voicerec program like Dragon, which I still used occasionally until recently. But then the goog rolled out voicerec on Chrome, which gives me an excellent voice input into Docs and decent nav experience on this here Chromebook. Super convenient, just works.

I'm struggling to find any reason why I care about Windows at all. Except I kinda miss Visio. And now they want to prevent me from turning off the WIndows App Store and the "Consumer Experience" that sends oodles of inappropriate data back to them? I just don't care anymore, but they're like the loudest guy at a party -- just waiting for him to leave.

Comment The Verge is 100% wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 56

The Verge's advice focuses on value in a packed market, and explicitly recommends against attempting novelty. This is crap advice, the kind of numbing pablum that Walmart gives to reps with a new product. "You want to make jeans? Sure, you have to make them in a way that fits on the existing shelving and matches the existing pipeline of ass-coverings, and don't come to us in the spring without lighter weight stuff and shorts." The message is that innovation doesn't sell, which is completely wrong, you can still sell the hell out of yoga pants (high volume/moderate margin) and utilikilts (high margin low volume) if you are careful. Innovation doesn't sell in volume right away. Was Tesla thought to be a competitor to the big automakers? Puhleez. But they put out an innovative niche product and did it goddamn well, and now as they ramp production and solve nontrivial production problems, they are becoming a serious threat to a super-defined market dominated by a few big players.

Also, the Verge article mixes up the use of the word "value" between low-cost+performant product vs premium product, and implies you must choose one end of the spectrum or you are fools. This is also complete BS; it's entirely possible to put out a mid-market device that eats the premium product's lunch (with the exception of the 1% of the market that buys Kardashian-style gold-plated iPhones just because of the logo and the gold). This is how Samsung arrived at its current market position. Let's not forget that along the way to it's current dominance, Samsung put out versions of the Galaxy phone that had stylii, projectors, card slots, display adapters, etc etc. Some of those are still highly profitable products at high volume today, and there's certainly room for improvement -- particularly with respect to flexibility. To dismiss as "high school science fair" and unaware of the global market is profoundly ignorant of the history of this market.

Not only is this a viable play-book for Moto, it's exactly what they should do in order to not become part of the "value" market on the clearance shelf.

Comment Re:posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

Battery life is good. ---- By that I mean I'm an extremely heavy user, and a charge lasts me all day on most but not all days. I run probably 2hrs of voice calls and 4hrs of video calls a day on average, w/Google hangouts, Starleaf, Zoom, and Webex. There's a constant flow of email, handful of document downloads every day for review (tho I edit on laptop/not a complete masochist), and Hipchat is constantly running in the background which is a total battery hog. On top of that there are a few personal items; vlc, spotify, duolingo, etc for about an hour a day. Many of these are total power sinks, and the Priv handles all of this adequately, almost as well as the Passport held up and I have far more running on the Priv. TL;DR: I would rather keep this form factor than have them make it fatter.

Out of the box, battery life was terrible, but it improved markedly after the first 3-5 days. I don't know if that's because it finished a bunch of background updates, or if the battery optimization algorithm needed time to figure things out, but instead of starting at 6am and dying at 3pm, it started to last until 9-10pm. if I'd based my judgement on the first day or two's battery life, I would have returned the phone. Glad I didn't.

Comment Re:posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

Passport is not running Android at all, it is running BB10 based on QNX

Incorrect: Android apps run on top of BB10 in a proper Android runtime subsystem, not in emulated functions within BB10/QNX. This provides a proper architecture for sandboxing*, and allowed for them to smooth things out in later versions -- e.g. direct appstore support with Amazon in 10.3. The integration is really smooth, though -- to a casual user, BB apps and Android apps run identically, task switching between different-OS apps is quick and seamless swiping back and forth, and it's unexpectedly pleasant to use.

*I wish they'd done more with this on the PRIV. AppOps works with a few glitches on the Passport, since the Android runtime is 4.3 iirc, but not always. With the PRIV, I've actually lost ability to control info-harvesting apps, which means you have to root the device to make it more secure. Go figure.

Comment posting from my BlackBerry PRIV now (Score 1) 78

This is a fabulous device. Seriously. What's tragic is that Rim seems unable to market a fire hose to a man in a burning building.
For years and years, I see people posting here lamenting about missing a good physical keyboard wanting a good touch screen, and to mitigate crap security on Android. After a series of halfway decent Android phones, I bought the passport and was extremely pleasantly surprised. Android support, a great keyboard, surprising innovation with touch support across the keyboard surface and exceedingly good build quality. On top of all that, a default configuration that includes mildly sandboxed Android with much better security. Not quite the detailed control I wanted, but a damn sight better than you get with default Android without rooting.
Then I picked up a Priv. It's a different set of trade-offs and certainly far from perfect. But it's pocketable, fast, great screen, and carries many excellent features over including a decent version of Hub. And the keyboard is very good, if a little small.
What I find most telling is that my kids want it. These are the same teenagers who referred to the Windows phone as "the punishment phone" and have been very picky about their other Android devices. A surprising majority of their school work is now completed and submitted through Google Docs, so this device totally fits the bill.
How the hell you market to this weird amalgam of people who want a serious piece of hardware that doesn't look like a frosted iPastry is Beyond me. But clearly the money and desire is out there, it's just that RIM is unable to communicate or put their hands on it.

Comment not worth reading (Score 4, Insightful) 30

I got to "Stuxnet, arguably the world's first digital weapon" and hit the limit for stupid in the first sentence. No need to read further.
I could also argue that dirt is water, and it'd be just as ridiculous.

How about Buckshot Yankee in 2005, using a modified version of agent.btz that combined compromise with persistence, worm, and staging tool?
How about the automation portion of Titan Rain in 2003, that combined seeking, filtering, persisting, gathering, and moving on?
Or maybe the 2007 Sinowal/Torpig/Mebroot variants that were pretty much fully autonomous self-updating weapons once launched -- do weapons against commercial entities not count as much as weapons from or toward nation-states?
Does none of that count? Stuxnet had more self-contained payload tuned for the target environment, but less self-updating/persistence and other capabilities. So what the hell kind of n00b idiocy is "world's first digital weapon"?

FFS, if you don't know the first thing about history, please don't try to pontificate on the topic.

Comment Re:borg^h^h^h^hSpaceX interpret damage as educatio (Score 1) 150

Sort of... there's far more heat stress behind the engines on re-entry than launch. And while low-level fire suppression (misting, more or less) on the drone ship is more or less par for the course, the SpaceX operators had to be significantly worried to fire up a high-pressure nozzle toward the engines, what with the potential thermal damage from sudden uneven cooling, not to mention physically pushing it sideways. All speculation, but yeah, it was alarming.

Overall, though, another serious win for science and balls.

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