* Posts by Snert Lee

203 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Jul 2007


Microsoft tears the wraps off Windows 8 Enterprise

Snert Lee

A Prediction

Windows 8 with be adopted by enterprise computing with almost as much enthusiasm as they used to greet Windows Vista.

Pre-release Windows 8 code hits PC makers

Snert Lee

About Time

Great! At this rate, Windows 8 will go RTM about the same time we finish our xpsp3 project.

Microsoft loses chief software architect Ray Ozzie

Snert Lee

MS's New Source of Innovation

Microsoft's next source of innovation will be a reality show/competition called Innovate!, or Die!

Loser's will be treated to a demonstration of just how much damage Steve Ballmer can coax out of a standard office chair, while winner's will go on to make promo ads where they take credit for specific OS features that Microsoft would prefer not to be responsible for.

Microsoft ID guru slams 'duplicitous' Apple

Snert Lee

Why publish a privacy policy?

To reduce the odds of the company from being sued for mismanaging a user's private data, of course.

Apple app police anoint un-Flash code translation

Snert Lee


Adobe should have just gone ahead and released their iPhone packager, leaving it up to the developers to decide if they wanted to use it or not. And leaving it up to Apple to figure out how to test binary code for its origin.

Dead Pink phone fallout hits Microsoft's top brass

Snert Lee

Synergy Denied

Well, poot. I had hoped, in my ignorance, that there would be some sort of amazing controller synergy to be announced between the Kin phone and the Kinect input device. Seems hard to believe that two similarly named devices could be introduce by the same company in the same time frame and have nothing in common than the name.

Fusion reactor eats Euro science budgets

Snert Lee

Scientific solutions

Obviously the ITER guys need to get the LHC folks to put the Higgs Boson on hiatus for a while and start focusing on that turning lead into gold problem.

Secret forum reveals Oz firewall backroom dealing

Snert Lee

Carts and Horses

I guess if you can get your national firewall in place and operational before the legislation that makes it needful is drafted, then you don't really need that pesky legislation.

Facebook farms out 'social graph' to Microsoft and chums

Snert Lee
Thumb Up

How to regain a measure of privacy on Facebook

Pretty good write up over here:


Facebook prepares for another privacy row with its users

Snert Lee

Some highlights

Payment info to be stored on opt-out basis, instead of opt-in, but they will allow you to delete it after it's been stored.

"Authorize" becomes "connect with".

"Facebook-enhanced applications" becomes "applications on Platform"

Removes suggestion to review default settings.

In the Rights and Responsibilities document:

Adds "You will not create more than one personal profile. ", so get your sockpuppets built now.

Adds prohibition against inciting violence. Take that, Tea Party.

If you cancel an ad you've bought, you owe them for showing it between the time you cancel and the time they actually stop.

FB claims to own the words Face, Poke, Wall, and the number 32665.

MSI tells 97,000 customers to 'Read The F***ing Manual'

Snert Lee


Read The Fine Calendar

Dedicated Vi device vies for buyers

Snert Lee

OpeNtindo DS?

It's a cute little thing, nonetheless.

Whatever happened to the email app?

Snert Lee

In the good ol' days...

In the old, old days, the only email client was system supplied, whether it was a user hostile thing layered over EMACS, such as was on the System360 in the late '80s (the program's name has been blotted from memory but the terminal client of choice was Kermit), or a BOFH inspired tendency to delete anything it regarded as too old (pine on HP-UX in the same era). There wasn't a choice of email client as such, just a set of step for downloading the text files.

The in the merely old days, along comes commercial ISPs, and you use a client because you want to receive email, not just have an address. Then usable web clients began to appear, and you still needed an email client to download and archive.

Today, unlimited storage is the norm and, for the casual user, there's just no compelling reason to have a stand alone client, until something terrible happens and all their data goes poof.

Where the icon for nostalgic reminiscings?

Is it ta-ta for Flash?

Snert Lee

But really...

Does Steve Jobs care about the technical perfection, or lack thereof, of Flash? Or does he want to close an uncontrollable content hole?

Further, it makes me curious if Apple has some sweetheart licensing deal on H.264, as in they're already paid up forever, or better yet, so invested they might see returns off wider adoption.

Climategate hits Westminster: MPs spring a surprise

Snert Lee

Climate changes.

Climate changes. I don't think anyone really denies this. (Which is what makes the "denialist" label so irksome that it tends to provoke increased response, instead of the "sit down and shut up" reaction that comes from better ad hominem attacks.)

Why, how much, and will it change back are the real questions, but any answers more refined than lots of reasons, some, and probably open the door to debate.

No doubt, lots of amazing deductive techniques have been developed in the efforts to document climate history, and in analyzing the components of climate and weather. But for each part so far that's been reduced to something more concrete that statistical probability, there's a glob of iffy speculation gluing it to the next data point in the AGW/sky-is-falling-and-it's-all-our-fault tapestry.

Proponents of this point of view seem to be willing to gloss over the cumulative effects of serial what-iffing because, hey, if the sky really is falling then it's for our own good, right?

But, with the advent of An Inconvenient Truth, climate science let the marketing department take over public relations. Instead of duly noting milestones of discovery and understanding, the science was sold, an active campaign to change the average consumer's awareness of, and opinion about, these matters, this global warming, later rebranded to the more flexible climate change.

Accuracy is not the sales guys' primary concern. They have been known to stretch the truth and exaggerate the occasional embellishment, as long as they make the sell. Or in this case, as long as public opinion is changed. And if they gather agreement by allowing the public to misunderstand, well hey, they didn't lie, exactly, and it's for our own good, isn't it?

My personal beef with it is that, in the long run, these tactics undermine science, not just climate science, but all science.

Like most disputes, I am sure it will be easier to resolve by adding more light, not more heat.

Snert Lee

On the other hand...

If they'd made the data publicly available from the get go, then there'd have been no FOIA requests, and they'd be a darn sight better off than they are now.

Having lost the data, and the transformations done to it, the results are unrepeatable, and that is not science.

Forgot your ThinkPad password? Get new hardware

Snert Lee


Because, if you're under warranty and you've forgotten the supervisor password, then the solution is to come up with different reason to get the systemboard exchanged under warranty. ZeroStat, anyone?

So rather than provide an easy fix for a security-thru-obscurity situation, Lenovo ensures an expensive fix.

Motorola Droid - the not quite iPhone killer

Snert Lee

me2 4droid

Got one. Like it a bunch. Only have two beefs with it so far.

One is somewhere about two months after they came out in the US, the default behavior was changed so that bringing up the soft keyboard in landscape orientation became more difficult. But a pleasant little thing called Home++ took care of that and brought some other nice feature, too.

The other is the waiting for Android 2.1 to drop. I think it'll raise the over all level of polish on the Droid, and am looking forward to it.

Favorite app? Nethack. A bit awkward, sure, but none too difficult if you're familiar with terminal or PC versions.

Best battery drainer? Parallel Kingdom. An interesting idea, but anything that works the GPS a bunch also quickly drains the battery, Full charge is good for about 90 minutes of play. (A full charge would probably keep Nethack going for several days at least.)

Echelon computers can't cope with bad lines

Snert Lee

Incongruent coincidence?

So while Google, recently partnering with the NSA, makes steady progress improving its voice to text/voice recognition services, ...

And at the same time the Dept of Justice is arguing in a federal appeals court that citizens don't have a reasonable expectation of privacy, with regard to both content and location, on mobile phones because they've seen movies where the gov't eavesdrops on mobile phones ...

Darpa jumps up and says don't worry, none of that stuff really works anyways?

umm... color me skeptical.

'Electronic fags' are useless - US prof's startling claim

Snert Lee


The only thing that causes cancer is saliva. But only when swallowed in small amounts, over long periods of time.

(Yes, I did steal that from George Carlin.)

Opera plays chicken with Apple iPhone police

Snert Lee

Now with More Cloud

Since the server is the browser engine and the phone piece is just the display, doesn't that mean that Opera now has the cloudiest browser available?

On the other hand, it also puts the Opera servers in the prime spot for adding some user focused advertising to whatever pages are passing through.

Prisoners chucked off Facebook

Snert Lee

rights for those convicted of wrongs

Your mileage may vary, especially when measured in kilometers, but anyways...

But around here, if your convicted of a felony, you don't have much in the way of rights. Depending on the state you're in, this condition can persist for a number of years even after the sentence is served, until a formal process for the restoration of rights has been performed.

Adobe apologizes for festering Flash crash bug

Snert Lee

no crash

IE7.0.5, FF3.5.1, Flash, bluebox.swf

No crash. IE7 is rather stubborn about opening the flashcrash page in two tabs of the same window, but aside from that, no ill effects. (It's not that IE7 won't open the flashcrash in two tabs, but that the second tab takes 10 - 20x longer to load than the first tab did.)

FF had no problems with it.

Google (Voice) solves universal translation soonish

Snert Lee


Because a bit of platform warfare drives up the number of eyeballs on the page?

Snert Lee

also, sorta, nearly on the droid too

Fiddled with it a bit, but the flow is somewhat less than ideal. Speech to text, Lang1 text translated to Lang2 text, vox synth reads out the translated text. Supposed to get better when 2.1 lands on the droid.

Bishop Hill: Gonzo science and the Hockey Stick

Snert Lee

For example

A post that appears as a rebuttal, yet contains no facts or contrary arguments. It merely attempts to cast aspersions of bias on both the author and the subject of the article. It does not attempt to shed light or foster understanding. Its only goal is to shutdown discussion of the favored topic.

I call this a faith based argument because it relies on nothing beyond the poster's feeling for what's right and what's not. Remarkably, most folks who make faith based arguments are convinced that their expressed opinion is not faith based, but merely draws upon well known facts which anyone, if right thinking and properly informed, need not have referenced.

It's a bit like saying, "People who agree with me already know I'm right, whereas people who disagree with me are either misinformed or delusional, because if they weren't, then they'd agree with me."

Carly Fiorina unleashes 'demon sheep'

Snert Lee

almost works

It's a bad ad because the intro pretty much requires you to already have an opinion on the other guy to get the joke, which means the uninformed probably won't take the hook. And FCINO will never work without a catchy way to say, like RINO and DINO and ... fuh'psy-no ? Or maybe with a hard C like fuh'k-eye-no.

Would make better ads for HP than their Harry Potter typography does. Seems to say HP always thinks it's Halloween, or some such.

Obama plagiarist has a legal posse

Snert Lee

Fairey quote

Found this in an article on theconsumerist, attributed to Shepard Fairey:

"I've never had an original thought in my life...and there's tons of people on the internet happy to tell me just that."

Guess it just proves that even the worst duffer can hit one out of the park sometimes.

iPad forces operators to shave their SIMs

Snert Lee

function and form

The etsi.org seems to prefer a space between the mini or micro and sim.

Is the U in USIM supposed to stand for micro, a la greek lettering conventions?

Aside from that, it appears that features are not a function of form factor.

The three different sizes seem to mean nothing more than how much plastic is wrapped around the working bits and contacts.

Apple vs the iPad Bedwetters

Snert Lee

Market Segments

I suspect that in the long run, ipads will be the hallmark of people with more money, and more desire for the appearance of cool, than good sense. Netbooks can do more for less.

And I think Apple is about to get a comeuppance in the near future when Adobe tells them Apple can either figure out how to make Flash work, or they can take their tiny market share and shove off.

(k, k, their phone share is more significant than their computer share, but folks are not going to be buying ipads to replace their phones.)

Microsoft wishes it could be a Google number two

Snert Lee


So that means what part of a Windows license goes toward improving (subsidizing) Microsoft's search ranking?

Microsoft 'offered sex and drugs to distributors'

Snert Lee


Viral infections?

California school pulls 'oral sex' dictionary

Snert Lee

Why stop there?

After all, the dictionary just reports on words used in the language. Obviously the real culprit is the language itself which allows these ideas to be expressed. Stop using the language and there will be no more need for dictionaries. Problem resolved.

IT spending to rise in 2010, says Gartner

Snert Lee

one theory

And here I thought corporate PC spending would be going up because Vista was finally off the menu.

Second US man admits DDoS attack on Scientology

Snert Lee


Perhaps Mr Mettenbrink had been informed that the Church of Scientology was a "fair game" target.

Super-soldier exoskeleton to get 3-day fuel cell powerpack

Snert Lee

Future timelines

So, how many steps between HULC and GUNDAM?

US Army's robot kill-chopper chopped

Snert Lee

Alternate Cation

Baby Bolos at Play

Ex-AMD exec called own company 'pathetic'

Snert Lee

Intel's Argument?

So Intel is saying their predatory monopolistic practices were ok because the victim's former head of sales said they had a poor product?

Is that supposed to excuse bad actions on Intel's part, or just make them look all the sadder because they couldn't compete fairly against AMD even though AMD's products were allegedly awful?

Police cuff citizens for videotaping arrests

Snert Lee

Reasonable expectations

IANAL, k? And, the devil's in the details, as they say, but...

The whole thing seems to hinge on the concept of reasonable expectations. As suggested by the phrase "two-party consent", the law against secret recording came from folks who, having participated in a one-to-one conversation on the phone, or other private setting, and believing that in that scenario they had a reasonable expectation of privacy, had their expectations upended by the other party, or some third party, making audio recordings of the conversation. In other words, it protects private individuals who believe they are conducting private conversations from having their expectations abused.

However, a police officer, as a public servant who, among other functions, is tasked with creating public documents, tickets, citations, incident reports, arrest reports, etc., would have no basis for forming a reasonable expectation of privacy in the execution of the officer's public duties.

Audio vs visual recording, concealment of microphones, etc. are just red herring issues for derailing the logic train before it pulls into Common Sense Station.

The charge of the alternative gadget chargers

Snert Lee


So how long would it take the Airnergy to charge up if you put it in a microwave oven?

Trouser-bomb clown attacks - how much should we laugh?

Snert Lee


Possibly excited at the prospect.

If you were a TSA screener, would reluctance or eagerness be more likely to get you the groin groping job?

Lenovo demos mini laptop with slip-out screen

Snert Lee


Tablet is the original term for the form factor used by the iSlate, amongst others. Laptops with rotating displays came about, and were called tablets also, mostly because it was too hard to fit all the necessary bits into the keyboardless form and because the IT industry, when presented with two markets, always tries to pick both.

At one point around that time, Microsoft had a RDP like protocol which would let a user detach the touch or digitizer enabled display from the rest of the system, so you could wander around with the tablet and then come back to the base for sync and recharge.

Welcome to the out-of-control decade

Snert Lee

Who ya gonna trust?

So you'd rather be in the hands of temporal corporate interests who might decide it's better return on shareholder value to have your body corporal disassembled and sold for parts?

Crypto snafu grounds 3D Avatar screenings in Germany

Snert Lee

Say what?

"The snag would have been avoided if the multiplexes had resisted the temptation to show the blockbuster across multiple screens"...

In other words, the technology would have worked better, if they'd used it less.

'CRU cherrypicked Russian climate data', says Russian

Snert Lee

No, no, /you're/ in denial.

I think if you'll look more carefully, you'll see the "denialists" have been steadily gaining momentum for the past four or five years, though they might never have been heard over the hue and cry of the "alarmists" had it not been for the leak of the CRU data and emails.

Data and emails which has really thrown open the question of just who has "years of abusing normal scientific process purely to delay and harass."

At this point in time, it seems like the science of Anthropogenic Global Warming has a lot in common with the Emperor's New Clothes. Can't you see the hockey stick? All the smart and worthy of funding scientists can see it, can't they?

Snert Lee

Science by Consensus

Once upon a time, there was a vast consensus of opinion that said the Earth is the center of the universe and shaped like a pancake. There was considerably more debate on whether the flat earth was held up in space by resting on the backs of giant turtles, elephants, or on elephants who were in turn standing upon giant turtles. This third opinion being, of course, the compromise consensus.

Research suggests Wii Fit is no flab fighter

Snert Lee

On the other hand...

So what exercise /can/ cause weight loss with only four minutes per day usage?

If they'd throw a set of sensors around it, it could be the stair stepper DDR.

Modders turn nook reader into Android tablet

Snert Lee

Wouldn't it be cool if...

Barnes and Noble realized that an Android tablet computer with a dedicated book reader function is a lot more interesting than a dedicated book reader.

US Supremes to hear text-message privacy case

Snert Lee

Who's paying the lawyers?

Has the Supreme Court ever decided for individual privacy where the employing company provided the tools and service? Yet Quon has spent seven years to get to this point?

He'd have been better off claiming to be a sex addict who needed rehab.

US Congress seeks control over NASA moonshot

Snert Lee

NASA needs all the help it can get.

Of course Senator Shelby is motivated on the issue, but is that a bad thing if it means locking down some funding for NASA?

What's the one sure cure for global warming? Get off the globe!