* Posts by a_yank_lurker

3635 posts • joined 16 Nov 2013

It's not a Windows 10 release without something breaking so here's a troubleshooter for your OneDrive woes

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Re: Again?

Nah, alpha testers

'Google cannot stop it, control it or curtail it...' Inside the murky world of fake addiction treatment center search spam

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Not Just Google

I have seen ads on the boob tube for various medical practices. Some of them struck as a bit dodgy at best and I am not talking about chiropractors. So I am not truly surprised at this. I would think the number of licensed (maybe legitimate) treatment centers would be easy enough to police for Google. While a lucrative business potentially, there are licensing requirements that should make verifying a facility with the authorities relatively straightforward.

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

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Pointless

The updates to the Start Menu look to be meh at best. What I would like the Rejects of Redmond do is fix USB connectivity of wireless keyboards. It is rather irritating to be typing something and suddenly nothing appears as I hit keys. And the real irritation is when this happens when logging in.

The internet becomes trademarkable, sort of, with near-unanimous Supreme Court ruling on Booking.com

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Many terms for products were originally trademarks for a brand. If a company does not vigorously protect its trademarks it will lose them in due time. But the point of trademarks is protect people from being confused by similar sounding frauds in a market. A simple concept but one that is rather messy in its details.

No matter what the Nine Seniles ruled there will still be plenty of trademark litigation as to when someone has stepped over the line and to some extent exactly where the line is.

Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro

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A Question for the Chief Idiot

Should any company outsource their finance and accounting? I suspect the answer is no so why do they insist on outsourcing IT? Inquiring minds want to know. It appears the main qualification to get an MBA is an IQ so low a rock looks like Einstein.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

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Idiots

There are several problems with the approach used. One is using a database developed for an entirely different purpose and assuming no work needs to be done on the data. The data, in this case, is not valid for the new purpose. Second is the photo scraping instead of generating your own set of photos. Online images are widely variable in terms of suitability and quality. You need quality photos that are suitable for the purpose. Plus, the vast majority of the images needed will be covered by copyright which means there could be nasty class action lawsuit.

CIOs will force SaaS vendors to limber up and get more flexible about contracts in the post-pandemic world

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Agile Nonsense

When I see someone touting 'Agile' as the only methodology for a business I know the writer is an idiot who does not understand what agile truly is. Agile as it was intended was not a methodology but a mindset. The core idea was various key stake holders will be in direct communication with the developers as the project unfolds. It postulates correctly that while a general spec can be written rather quickly often key details can only be determined as the project progresses. Thus, the need for direct communication between everyone so the project can move forward in a timely manner. The communication, while often regular, needs to be based on the project's requirements not some arbitrary lunacy. Agile is not about 'minimum viable product', '2 week sprints', 'scrums', or any other nonsense the 'Agile' methodology requires. The key is mindset of communication between people some relatively junior in the hierarchy with others whose input is needed without being excessively fastidious about chains of command or necessarily formal involvement of immediate management.

It's now safe to turn off your computer shop: Microsoft to shutter its bricks-and-mortar retail locations worldwide

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Marketing 101

First rule of marketing is to understand your customers who are likely a varied lot. This means knowing each segment well and understanding how to approach each segment. If you are going to sell to consumers a house brand (Surface e.g.) it has to either be a genuine bargain or possess a wow-factor to stand out against the OEM products. As far as captive retail stores, they work for a fruity outfit as they are one the major outlets for the entire product line (trying finding Macs at Wally World (Wal-mart) or the like). But for the Rejects of Redmond Wally World, et. al. carry numerous moderately priced models from a variety of manufacturers. So to go to a captive retail store is probably point less as there is real advantage as consumer.

The Rejects have a long history of aping someone's successful ideas or products without understanding why the idea or product is doing well. This is why there is a long list of abandonware, you can't copy an idea or product and have be successful you have to understand the idea or product. Understanding takes real work while copying is easy.

Windows 10 Insider wondering where Notepad has gone? Fear not, Microsoft found it down the back of Dev Channel

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What Do the Rejects of Redmond Use?

The Rejects of Redmond must not write Bloatware code on Bloatware boxes. Notepad, as simple as it is, is a very handy tool for any developer working in Bloatware. As a developer on a Bloatware box I use it everyday for something, it's just to handy.

US Department of Defense releases list of firms allegedly linked to the Chinese Army. Surprise surprise, Huawei makes an appearance

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In China

For the list, it would be much shorter if you only included companies that do not have ties to the PLA, may be a blank sheet.

Once again, racial biases show up in AI image databases, this time turning Barack Obama white

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Re: this is not bias

It's not bias per se that is the problem but that the Artificial Idiocy consistently fails on relatively simple tasks. Tasks that a child could easily complete with a much higher accuracy rate.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

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Phrenology with a Computer

So the pseudoscience reappears with a computer algorithm to make it all good. Basically it sounds like someone needs to study statistics and understand the difference between causation and correlation. What a load for a 'Pile it Higher and Deeper'.

With intelligent life in scant supply on Earth, boffins search for technosignatures of civilizations in the galaxy

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Major Assumption

One fatal flaw is the assumption there is intelligent life in the universe </snark>

By emptying offices, coronavirus has hastened the paperless office

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Not So Paperless Office

How much one needs to actually print documents varies from basically none to bring a pallet of paper daily. As one person often says: "Context matters". Most were probably more than they needed to because of convenience so wringing that unnecessary printing will drop the number pages printed. Others, for numerous reasons, need to print documents. Some of the reasons for printing today will become unnecessary as legal requirements and work flow requirements are updated. But some documents will still be printed (shipping labels for one). So there will never be a truly paperless office or home, just that most will not find a need to print as much as they did in the past.

Windows 10 once more in print condition: Microsoft applies out-of-band fix to Patch Tuesday cock-up

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Re: Deja Vu Again

I suspect I am closer to the user who would foolishly volunteer to be a guinea pig for the Rejects in skill and knowledge. So the way I work is probably much more electronic than paper. But as you noted not everyone 95% electronic in their work flow. Some actually print stuff out with some regularity. The real failure of the Rejects is not having a testing protocol in place that covers a broad set of relatively common use cases (i.e. a proper QA department).

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Deja Vu Again

To quote Yogi Berra, "It's Deja vu, again". The Rejects of Redmond need to hire a proper QA staff and stop relying on what is effectively amateur hour (not intended to insult the participants) with their channels. Printing and storage are essential activities of any OS and they need to work flawlessly in the OS otherwise users will be at risk of not being able to do something mission critical. This is something that should be tested thoroughly by an internal QA staff not a bunch of random users. I would hate for someone to be fired or flunked because the Rejects refuse to get their act together and actually fix Bloatware-as-a-(dis)service (a couple of legal beagles might want to advise if this might lead to a nasty suit).

If I was on the Insider Program I might not print something or even think to print something as a test. Personally I have not printed anything in several months and probably would not fire up the printer just to print a random test.

For years, the internet giants have held on dear to their get-out-of-jail-free card. Here are those trying to take that away

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The original intent of Section 230 was pretty much point 2. The idea was to allow some very limited moderation of comments without being considered the publisher. If the site is considered the publisher the implication is they are required to exercise more explicit editorial control. By not exercising editorial control of the comments, without Section 230, they would be legitimate target in a lawsuit.

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

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Re: Tut....kids today....

What most do not realize is much of this information was readily available in the old days. You just had spend more time doing the manual search through business directories, phone books, receipts (if the store lets you), various government records, etc. Because of time constraints and the difficulty in tracking down the correct vendor, etc. you might not find the information you need to solve a case. Today, the difference is you can google something and probably find what the information in may be a few hours or at most a couple of days versus days or weeks digging through paper.

What she did in having an easily identifiable shirt and tats is old hat and predates the Internet. Something unique is likely to be sold by only a few vendors and visible tats are always a good way to id someone.

Adobe about to pull the plug on Creative Cloud freebie 'at-home' access for students

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Re: Are Adobe products the only ones ...

From what I heard from the pros in various forums they really only care about being able to efficiently edit their photos. They prefer to use 1 package (not necessarily Abode) so they get real proficient with it.

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Re: Are Adobe products the only ones ...

I do RAW photo processing and over the years I have used a number of photo processing wares. They all take a little time to learn the basics but if you have used a couple and understand what you are doing it is not a major problem to switch. Adobe is just another vendor to me and one I do not use because they have been too greedy. The only reason for a class to use brand X is it is easier on the instructor as they only need to be familiar with 1 program not 3 or 4.

Microsoft disbands three-ring Windows Insider circus and replaces it with 'channels'

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Manglement

The Rejects of Redmond still fail to understand they need a real, internal QA staff before the code is released to each of the groups.

Ex-eBay security execs among six charged with harassing, threatening bloggers who dared criticize web tat souk

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E-Bay et. al.

I have been rather leery of E-Bay and the like from the start. A digital flea market does not appeal to me and in particular when buying something used I want to see and literally touch it before buying. Call old-fashioned but the risks of getting ripped off are too high for my tastes. From what I have seen of live flea markets, I am somewhat dubious of the people involved and by extension a digital flea market probably attracts same somewhat dubious people.

So any site that tries to police these operations has a tough road and they providing a valuable service.

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Re: Streisand Effect, now with Federal Agents!!

I would argue with the blunder stupidity exhibited often in Silly Valley they generally hire the rejects of well run companies. Also since they tend to those still in diapers they often get in trouble when a gray hair would know how to avoid the problem.

Microsoft 365 and Azure outage struck Australia and New Zealand just as business rocked up for a new week

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Re: Great status page, guys

The Rejects of Redmond must be relying on user telemetry to tell them they have a problem much like they do with Bloat10 (not).

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Was is it ever reliable? </snark>

Don't like Mondays? Neither does Microsoft 364's Outlook Exchange Online service

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Ah The Cloud

What a perfect excuse not to get any work done because the Rejects of Redmond buggered something again.

Forget biz insider threats for a moment – let's talk about partners turning rogue and installing spyware on phones

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Nasty Problem

People who have regular access to your home, phone, computer, car, etc. by definition have the potential to do all sorts of nasty things. Even in the old days this was a problem just not talked about much. Easy access and trusting those with such access is always a potential security nightmare.

Wailing Wednesday follows Patch Tuesday as versions of Windows 10 stop playing nicely with plugged-in printers

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Rejects Strike Again

Brother printers are not exactly rare and this would something that could be easily tested with a proper QA staff. Alas, the Rejects of Redmond are relying on the 'beta testers' to actually test something without proper procedures and often knowledge. Compound this the Rejects inability to read the reports and you have this mess.

Russia-linked Gamaredon hacker crew using Microsoft's Visual Basic for Applications to pwn Microsoft's Outlook

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VBA

VBA is the disease that keeps on giving.

IBM blames 'external' network provider, incorrect routing, traffic flood for its two-hour cloud outage

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Well 1 Nickname

Ignorant Boring Morons sounds like a good description.

Keepnet kerfuffle: Firing legal threats at bloggers did infosec biz more damage than its exposed database

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Generally the best damage control is to thank those who discovered the problem, fix it, and depending on the scope make restitution to those directly affected.

Yeah, great start after sacking human hacks: Microsoft's AI-powered news portal mixes up photos of women-of-color in article about racism

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AI

AI = artificial idiocy, artificial incompetence, artificial imbeciles

Windoze 10: New levels of tedium reached with latest Insider build while 'stable' release still a bit wonky

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History Rhymes

It seems like I read the same article just a few weeks ago with only details changed. So the question is can the Rejects of Redmond really change?

Travel-sick Windows needing a Systemwiederherstellung would be in Germany, right? Austria? Not necessarily

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According to Mark Twain

Life is too short to learn German

Have I Been Pwned breach report email pwned entire firm's helldesk ticket system

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Keeping the software up to date has been good practice for eons now. The only question is whether one should let most updates marinate for a couple of weeks to make sure there are regressions made. Of course those issues being actively exploited in the wild or are causing you grief for other reasons probably get updated more quickly.

Zealous Zoom's zesty zymotic zone zinger: Zestful zealots zip zillions

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Re: Why?

I do not know how Zoom pulled it off. But one of the reasons many flocked to it was because it is not perceived spyware from the Rejects of Redmond. The other is it was available and apparently fairly easy to install and use, something to consider when most groups IT department is one lone person. A person is inherited the role because they know the most about computers in the group.

How many? 28 million fewer PCs and tablets to find a home in 2020

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Demand

The PC market will probably over the long term be relatively flat. It will probably change a couple percent either way from year to year but over several years be bouncing around a mean. Actual long term market growth will be as the population grows.

If you bought a CRT monitor, TV 13+ years ago, hold on a little longer, there may be a small check for you

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Re: Last two bits of article sum it up nicely

Still, how do you prove that you bought a TV or CRT from one of the manufacturers during the period if you no longer have it or any paperwork relating to it. I bought several monitors during that time period and 1 TV (which I still have ironically). The monitors are long gone having been replaced the flat screen monitors over time. I probably threw out the paperwork manuals a long time ago as they were not needed.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation

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Real Fix

The real fix would be for Chipzilla to get their act together as this issue was caused by their blunders. Kernel level fixes are at best a kludge and are likely to be a source of some nasty unintentional bugs.

Microsoft's carefully crafted Surfaces are having trouble with its carefully crafted Windows 10 May 2020 Update

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Who are the Rejects of Redmond hiring?

Software releases of your own products should be tested on your own hardware internally rather thoroughly. You have control of both products so all problems are on you. It seems the Rejects of Redmond do not have enough collective gray matter to grasp this obvious point. And if you ignore the home brew kit out there, OEMs tend to each have fairly limited hardware combinations so internal testing of commercial hardware from OEMs would cover most of the kit (probably on the order of 80-90% of the kit) in the wild. I can accept that some home brew kit might be better described as a Frankenputer with an odd combination that is difficult to test. But the Frankenputers are not a large share of the market and those users are hopefully more knowledgeable and skilled; they are not likely your dear, elderly Aunt Martha.

AppGet 'really helped us,' Microsoft says, but offers no apology to dev for killing open-source package manager

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Re: The spots never changed

Just a better polished turd is all the Rejects of Redmond are these days.

They've only gone and bloody done it! NASA, SpaceX send two fellas off to the International Space Station

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Good Job

Great to see this mission start successfully.

Before IBM started axing staff, it told them Q3 2020 would be super-busy with post-lockdown catch-up jobs

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Super busy for .whom? The company shysters or the regular grunts?

Frontier: Yes, yes, we've filed for bankruptcy protection, but that's not stopping us giving key staff $38m in bonuses

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Re: The Golden Rule

The bankruptcy court will act if the filing is deemed frivolous. Also, a Chapter 11 can be converted into a Chapter 7. The creditors have a lot of say in the bankruptcy settlement. So there is a risk the creditors might not like your plans (a big problem).

Home working is here to stay, says Lenovo boss, and will grow the total addressable PC market by up to 30%

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Re: "it’s going to last forever" LMAO

Short term the computer market will likely be volatile as Mark192 suggests. But long term the shift will rob units from on column to another, possibly stabilizing at a modest increase in yearly sales from current levels.

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Re: I have to say I'm with Lenovo on this

WFH with the option of being on premise when needed is probably the best overall option for many. Most of the time you are except when you need to do something at/near the office. This will take some time to occur but many have successfully been WFH for several months now.

WFH will have several knock on effects.

Commercial real estate will be underutilized and companies will reducing their commercial foot print as they need much less physical space. Many office buildings will be empty with rents dropping. Also, this will have an effect on local businesses around the offices that depended on the staff for business.

A side benefit of not commuting is less pollution and wear and tear on the car, this will help stretch vehicle lifespans and might reduce the overall number of cars per family. Less driving will mean less demand for oil and fewer cars being sold every year. It might make electric vehicles a more viable option for many more people accelerating the demand.

There will be shift in the types of computer equipment sold, more laptops vs desktops. But I do not see a long sales boom but more likely the more will stabilize around the current levels with a possible modest increase in the yearly volume. This would change if remote education becomes more common at the lower grades as this would require more computers for the family. But here again it would probably create a modest increase in yearly volume (kids do not need a new computer every year).

Business travel will be another area hit, as people get use to online meetings they will perceive less need to travel for meetings. There will always be some face-to-face meetings but fewer. This will hit the hospitality industry and airlines hard as leisure travel is not likely to make up for the loss.

General retail will not be affected that much though segments may have to switch their mix. Restaurants will hit or miss. Many that cater to the office workers will hit hard but those that cater to shoppers and local residents will probably recover somewhat. The problem they face is with the time needed to commute it is easier to cook at home. Also, food delivery services might do very well for the lunch trade. Food trucks will probably be hard hit.

Lawsuit klaxon: HP, HPE accused of coordinated plan to oust older staff in favor of cheaper, compliant youngsters

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Re: This Is About As Shocking As The News That Bears Shit In The Woods.

What gray haired staff have over the diaper brigade is life and professional experience. How many fads have you seen if are over 40 that flamed out, the answer is many. Also, anyone who is beyond wearing diapers realizes there is more to life the working around the clock, there is such a thing as burnout and work-life balance. In the professional area, they are aware of the history of the development of something. This is often overlooked as people who were not around do not know what was like to work in an office 25 to 40 years ago. Look at any technology and the gray hairs can tell what using the predecessor was like and often give a good idea how it developed. And sometimes they might have an example of the previous technology around in the attic.

What a work force needs is a balance between gray hairs for their knowledge and wisdom and youth for their enthusiasm and curiosity (asking questions is always good). But Silly Valley does not realize (or the diaper wearing leaders do not know) is how technology and markets develop. A gray hair will have seen products come and go, companies come and go, and might have idea of what makes a product a long term success (e.g. it has to solve a real pain point for people that is not being solved with current products).

Microsoft announces official Windows package manager. 'Not a package manager' users snap back

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Re: Cough, Splutter, Gasp

AFAIK you only have one or occasionally two package managers in Linux distro so what is used elsewhere is irrelevant.

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

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Re: Got to love ‘em

The Rejects of Redmond butcher American English for good measure. It is unclear exactly what language they actually do speak.

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Re: Abdroid

I am surprised the Rejects of Redmond did not ditch Welsh or Scots Gaelic among others.

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