* Posts by Grunchy

380 posts • joined 20 Mar 2015


Actual real-life hoverbike makes US debut at Detroit Auto Show

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In the Star Wars movie their project was to kill all the hoverbike jockeys. Even though they never rode one before, they finished the project easily in just a couple minutes. None of the hoverbike armor was the least bit effective. To be fully accurate, everyone should have died!

Automating Excel tasks to come to Windows and Mac

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They say AppleScript has been around since System 7.2!

It’s only mentioned in “archive” web pages!


(Scripting was pretty much never useful for anybody except for hackers, which is why MS Office was ultimately forced to disable macros “by default”! Odd that they feel the need to resurrect this again…)

BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM

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Thunderbirds are GO!

Nichelle Nichols' ashes set for trek to the stars

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New cremation technique!

Yeah it’s called “chemical cremation” and your liquidated remains get flushed away to water treatment, you know, like faeces. Definitely with all the other faeces. They say it’s more environmental than getting scorched into ash via natural gas.

(Shakespeare called regular burial service tantamount to becoming “worm’s food,” so he takes top points for grossest description.)

Big Tech is building the metaverse of its own dreams. You don't want to go there

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Since at least 1992

I have here before me a prediction about the future, published in 1992 as “Popcorn Report” by a futurist known as Faith Popcorn. One future trend to be aware of, she contended, was “cocooning,” wherein you shop from the comfort of your own home (using some kind of computerized order catalog) and later have your orders delivered to and deposited at your house. She also predicted the “Security-Screen,” a hand-held remote control unit that will guard your front door, watch over your baby, scan the grounds, give you messages, and even turn off the pot roast! Cellular telephone? She didn’t go that far, but she did hit most of the typical home-control applications.

But she also gives an in-depth description of a “virtual reality supermarket”: some call it cyberspace, others call it artificial reality. What virtual reality is, is a technology that makes it possible to synthesize a world — a 3-dimensional, touchable, feelable, hearable, visible, interactive world — through computer-generated images and sensation. To enter this world, a person puts on some special clothing (at the time of 1992 this consisted of gloves and goggles) that gets connected to a computer the experts are calling a Home Reality Engine.

And because it’s a VR supermarket, what will we be doing in cyberspace? We will be shopping to buy things!

Back in 1992 this all belonged to VPL Research of Redwood City, California, or you could also say this was all demonstrated in 1992 “Lawnmower Man” by Stephen King.

Twitter unveils US midterm election integrity plans, upsets almost everyone

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People still use Twitter?

Last I heard Musk wanted to buy it so I deleted my ~50 odd posts I had ever made and deleted my user account, and have never been on it since. I actually never communicated with anybody on Twitter and literally could not care less about the “hashtag” scheme. Perhaps I fundamentally just never understood what it was for? I guess you could “follow” somebody, but I couldn’t think of anybody who says anything of any merit on Twitter.

(As you can imagine, my few 50 posts had zero impact on anyone anyway.)

Why the end of Optane is bad news for all IT

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Faster cheaper more durable

If optane had only advantages over flash then it should have been more competitive, but it seems like that wasn’t the case?

For example I hadn’t heard anything about optane for at least 10 years. I thought it sounded pretty good at the time, but then never heard about it in the slightest ever since!

General Motors charges mandatory $1,500 fee for three years of optional car features

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I have OnStar

I have 2002 Eldorado ETC with OnStar, you know, the old analog cellular network that was obsolesced back awhile ago. I never paid a nickle to those guys. If I get into a wreck on the highway perhaps I’ll be able to use my regular cell phone to call for help? I don’t think I’m liable to buy GM nuthen’ if this is what they’re up to (and besides — the Eldorado still works good! Don’t care about new cars thanks.)

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

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Re: Waste of money

"...then realised that I only watch maybe 2 movies per month..."

I know why you only watch maybe 2 movies a month, that is your diminished attention span. You can thank the internet for that!

I also know how many books you're reading a month, I bet it's less than 2 !

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I just steal whatever I want and forget about it, I've been doing this since the 1980s. Oh, come on. You can download every single game from PS1 through to PS3, and play in emulators. You can freely download every single NES and SNES game, too. Vectrex, C64, everything! I go to the library and borrow music CDs, and now you know why I keep a functioning "burner" drive: to dub that into MP3s. Listen, when Sony came out with Bluray one of the major innovations was that it could force you to watch a bunch of commercials, on the disc!, before you were permitted to watch the movie. Forget that noise, I'll just steal the Bluray movie copy and nuts to the commercials. There's one streaming service I might subscribe to again and that's MTOD ("motor trend on demand"). For Roadkill.

(You can download complete DOS setups, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows XP, you can get pretty much anything you want for nothing. I play SNES on my Android streaming box. Free.)

California accuses Tesla of false advertising over Autopilot

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Man, this was predicted day one

A self-driving car is nothing but a robot following a set of instructions. Ideally all such robots are roped off so that nobody gets within their operating envelope, where the robot is liable to suddenly (and unpredictably) murder any hapless living thing within reach. That’s the way all other robots are operated — for darn good reason.

Oh well, Musk got to enjoy murdering a certain number of Tesla customers. That’s an important “take-away” from this unfortunate spectacle!

Claims of AI sentience branded 'pure clickbait'

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Johnny Five is ALIVE !

I've been fired, says engineer who claimed Google chatbot was sentient

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My favorite was “Edgar” from Electric Dreams, who constantly called his owner “Moles” ‘cuz he was a crap typer & Edgar never liked ‘im.

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ELIZA was sentient, too

Even though I typed it in myself, from “Basic Computer Games,” (the big ol’ yellow one), I always knew that I was truly talking to another living being.

… like “Data,” from Star Trek TNG!

Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected

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We outsourced to India

The Indian outsource company did drafting updates on mechanical drawings according to redline pdfs sent to them, but the work was as shoddy as possible. We had to fix everything they did, most times it was easier to throw away their update & redo it. This persisted for months, finally in frustration we inquired with management why this was still happening? The boss was mystified because what he saw was that the Indian firm was turning around work overnight, faster than our dept could do it, and the status reports (sent directly to him from the Indian firm) showed 100% accuracy and completion! We said, hey wait a cotton-pickin minute, what status reports???? But the boss didn’t want to hear any bad news because this was a personal success for him. So we put 2+2 together and started rejecting the Indian updates no matter how urgently they were needed, and allowed their success rate to sink back to the true 15%. Once we let the company’s cost-cutting initiative fail, we at last were free of those outsource goofs.

(It didn’t matter though, management succeeded in scuttling the company after all. The CEO got out with a $50 million payday, all us greebs got was a kick in the arse.)

What are server makers really doing to and for the climate?

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You don’t need to be Chinese to be a liar, and (like any other group) most Chinese are not liars.

(I’d actually been to China & met many honorable people there.)

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All the companies mentioned have one overarching goal and that’s to earn a profit and capture more of the market. They are merely another consumer of energy and resources that impact the environment, same as any other consumer. Sure you could theoretically choose to buy more expensive, less impactful energy and resources but that acts counter to your overarching goal of maximizing profit. The manufacturer with the lowest environmental impact is the one that is most bankrupt, again opposite to the overarching goal of growing market share. All the companies mentioned are motivated to increase their environmental impact, not reduce it (duh). I have an inkling that this ESG problem/opportunity had been assumed by each of the companies’ Marketing Departments, whose job is to tell whatever lies are necessary to keep the ball rolling. This is more an issue of “communication” than achieving any costly environmental goals.

Foxconn faces fine for unsanctioned Chinese chip investments

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Taiwan gov is threating a 0.1 percent fine

Are they threating, or have they threated?

Stop confusing me!

Is this you in this explicit snap? No, it's just Discord phishing

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I dropped Twitter after Musk was trying to take it over, I'm tired of these internet assholes thinking they run the world.

I'm out!

Rufus and ExplorerPatcher: Tools to remove Windows 11 TPM pain and more

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Just like that, I got another spam from Microsoft


You’re receiving this email because we are updating the Microsoft Services Agreement, which applies to one or more Microsoft products or services you use. We’re making these updates to clarify our terms and ensure that they remain transparent for you, as well as to cover new Microsoft products, services and features.

The Microsoft Services Agreement is an agreement between you and Microsoft (or one of its affiliates) that governs your use of Microsoft consumer online products and services.

You can read the entire Microsoft Services Agreement here. You can also learn more about these updates on our FAQ page here, including a summary of the most notable changes. The updates to the Microsoft Services Agreement will take effect on Aug‍ust 1‍5, 20‍‍22. If you continue to use our products and services on or after Aug‍ust 1‍5, 20‍‍22, you are agreeing to the updated Microsoft Services Agreement.

If you do not agree, you can choose to discontinue using the products and services, and close your Microsoft account before these terms become effective. If you are a parent or guardian, you are responsible for your child’s or teenager’s use of Microsoft products and services, including purchases.

Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.

First steps into the world of thought leadership: What could go wrong?

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Re: 500 words about breaking her favorite coffee mug

I went to the thrift store and found some unbreakable Tupperware camp mugs that somebody else had used for a lifetime and wasn't able to wear out, now it's my turn. I swear they are practically indestructible, but the best part of it is, if/when I do successfully break the thing, I can take the fragments to another Tupperware vendor and exchange for a brand new replacement, free of charge. Yeah, even if these ones date to the 1950s.

I actually got rid of all the china and am going 100% Tupperware, because I don't give a crap!

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Connection request sent!

I don’t know anybody on LinkedIn, either!

My online passtime writing activity is with PMI. Somehow I swindled a PMP out of those folks, but they make me ‘maintain’ it with continuous education hours. However, instead of wasting time and money attending tedious project management classes and interacting with actual project managers (shudder), I instead take advantage of their wealth of webinars and course recordings. Then, when I’ve accumulated my 1/2 hr or 1 hr of continuous education, they mistakenly ask me for my comment about what I had just been exposed to! Well, since you asked… then I give a synopsis of the whole presentation with withering judgments about a) the presenter, b) the topic, c) the futility, d) how irrelevant it is to project management, e) what a scam project management is, f) and any other biting criticism I can think of. Next thing you know I’ve got several hundred followers and I’m a thought influencer! Even though I think the industry is a glorified scam and nobody would ever be foolish enough to ever hire me (yup: never even worked in the industry. Although when you think about it, isn’t *everything* project management?)

Even I have had invitations to join the real estate sales force, but I’m just busy doing important things, involving arduino ,and Linux, etc? I’ve got servers to configure, durn it! No time for listings.

NASA wants nuclear reactor on the Moon by 2030

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(To go from 1 kW/kg to 10 kW/kg you need to make the solar apparatus 1/10th as thick, I reckon !)

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Wind farms, I reckon?

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Re: Arabidopsis thaliana

If moon people would just start disposing of their scraps into the green bin instead of the black bin, they’ll soon find they have ample compost for all their proposed gardening !

(They should find a less hostile environment than the moon, though. Any farmer could tell you that !)

Thunderbird is coming to Android – in K-9 Mail form

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I always assumed that if Firefox + Thunderbird = Seamonkey, I may as well go the simplest route and just use Seamonkey.

Also, I don’t have an Android phone, I only got my iPhone SE 1st gen (the one that works with the original FLIR One, which I am also still rocken. Because what the hell good is any stupid cell phone if it doesn’t have FLIR???)

Tim Hortons collected location data constantly, without consent, report finds

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I heard that those automated traffic signs on the freeway track your phone’s unique Bluetooth identifier to work out how long it takes to travel to certain exit ramps. Shopping malls are known to use that same info to track where people go and presumably what they’re shopping for and how frequently they use the restroom. Companies that control cell towers could presumably use the same technique to determine how many people there are, where they all live, work, and what they’re up to in their off-hours, who they travel with, and who precisely are their friends, associates, colleagues.

So it’s not your head that needs the tinfoil hat, it’s your cellular device!

… as Osama Bin Laden famously found out.

New York City rips out last city-owned public payphones

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Michael Franti, Stay Human: “All the phreaky people make the beauty in the world!”

I had the black box tone generator on my trusty old C64, but I never got around to phreaking at all. Well the C64 was never all that portable so I would have had to record the tones on my trusty old Tandy tape recorder, but I could never bring it on the bus because it never measured up as a boombox, you see? Shame. Incidentally the noise for a quarter dropping is the same as for the nickel, just repeated 5 times. The dime was the same, but only 2 times.

By the time I had acceptable portable technology for phreaking on-the-go, I would just use that same technology to make the calls wirelessly instead!

Export bans prompt Russia to use Chinese x86 CPU replacement

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I buy all my obsolete Xeons from China e-waste salvagers, it’s quite hilarious that’s the place where you can still get the best deals!

(Yeah, those old Xeons are wasteful of energy, big deal! Russia has lots of energy, shut up already.)

Canada bans Huawei and ZTE from 5G networks, citing national security risks

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Re: Bit late to the party, aren't they?

You’re right, if Huawei hadn’t done anything illicit with its back doors yet that proves definitively that they never will. Once again Canadians smear egg all over their foolish, round eye faces !

Elon Musk puts Twitter deal on hold over bot numbers claim

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Make your own Twitter. “Twitter” is for ‘twits,’ after all!

MIPS discloses first RISC-V chips coming in Q4 2022

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Re: blah, blah, blah ...

According to legend, MIPS III was adapted by NEC to create the R4300i used in Nintendo 64 (while PlayStation used the R3000). Later on, Toshiba adapted MIPS IV to create the R5900 used by PlayStation 2. Sony and Microsoft went to PowerPC for PlayStation 3 / Xbox 360, then gave up all that nonsense and went with AMD x86-64 for PlayStation 4 / Xbox One (also PlayStation 5 / Xbox One X).

I guess the promise of RISC is faster, lower power calculations, as long as they are kept within their simpler instruction set. It made sense up until AMD adapted x86 rich instruction set to 64 bit, high clock rate, and low cost. I forget why they went to PowerPC for the PS3/X360 generation though. Apple had been using PowerPC for its OSX desktop computers up until G5 in 2006, then they, too, went to x86-64 (intel).

IBM's autonomous Mayflower ship breaks down in second transatlantic attempt

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Sea Hunter, 2018

Obviously it would be the Navy who knows how to do it. IBM be out of their element!


Email out, Slack and Teams in for business communications

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Except I don't use SLACK

First of all, "slack" is an inside joke about the church of the sub-genius, with "Bob" Dobbs. That's a bunch of nitwits and I'm not stooping to that level. (Same goes for "slackware linux," bunch of shmucks yes a'la alfred e neuman.)

Second of all, Microsoft harassed me one time too many to "sign in to keep using microsoft teams." You know what happens if you stop signing in to keep using microsoft teams? You can stop using that stupid thing. Which is nothing but a rehashed crappy version of "Skype," with all the same echo and crash problems it ever had. Let's put it this way: I clearly recognize "test call" as being identical.

You know what works just as flawlessly as it ever has? That would be my SPA2102 "voip" adapter and my e-mail account. If you can't talk to me on the 'phone and you can't send me information via e-mail, then I guess you & I just don't have anything to discuss.

Elon Musk flogs $8.4bn of Tesla shares amid Twitter offer drama

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Re: Reputation system

“The science is settled,” even though real world response doesn’t closely follow any of the simulations.

Not suspicious in the slightest!

Of course, Cracked had a bit of a war with the dental community about the overall benefit of flossing, seems nobody ever confirmed it’s actually efficacious. (Nevertheless, I still use flossing to break up that particular plaque, even if the benefit hasn’t been completely vetted. I’m not *that* stupid!)

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Re: Irony

I was one of the “several hundred thousand” that deleted their Twit account. I dunno, I had it for a few months, made 60 posts in total, had zero interaction with anybody, and witnessed mostly hostility or conspiracy or self-promotion. They make you delete each and every post individually so this was probably the best possible time.

I’m astonished at the colossal P/E ratio that Tesla currently enjoys, it’s nearly 200:1! No wonder Bill Gates shorted 1/2 billion dollars worth, it’s like free money. I’m too chicken myself, I bought Ford instead (P/E below 4:1).

I tried out the Mastodon app instead, it doesn’t really make any sense. Apparently it has a “furry” community, yet also has zero members thereof. I think I shall delete that as well.

Apple's self-repair service finally launches after months of silence

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I just replaced the screen & battery on my 1st gen iPhone SE — the iPhone 6 version. Well, the old battery bulged and was causing the old screen to separate. This is the last model that works with the original FLIR One infrared camera that also doubles as a battery extender. How soon before normal iPhones get FLIR capability? I might be persuaded to “upgrade” if and when. In the meantime, man, you cannot beat the pocketability of the 1st gen SE model. Plus I only paid $100 for it second hand several years ago!

Twitter preps poison pill to preclude Elon Musk's purchase plan

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There’s probably at least a couple Twitter alternatives by now, even ignoring Trump’s forgettable version (you just know Trump is operating that solely to harvest people’s passwords so he can one day soon execute “the mother of all frauds”).

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Yeah, well, Twitter is for twits. It’s just a convenient medium to show off how ignorant and loud-mouthed one might be (or for your audience to aspire to).

DARPA says US hypersonic missile is ready for real world

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Right, the nuclear detonation tries to last about 1 millisecond, during which 1 neutron hits another nucleus, shaking loose another 3 neutrons that hit 3 other nuclei. The goal is for the nuclear mass to hold together long enough for that to repeat about 20 times or so. So a ‘perfect’ detonation might release 3^20 neutrons (from the initial decay), an imperfect detonation would be somewhat less. How much less? Depends what didn’t “work right.”

You’re right, 1^20 neutrons going off all at once may not register very much…

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“New arms race,” this technology was shuttered in the 1970s. The fastest missiles will be launched from just offshore, hiding in some submarine.

Also: who says Russia even has any working nuclear bombs anymore? The USA spends $10 million per warhead, per year, keeping the extremely fickle things in operating condition. Does Russia do that? Unless the charge works pretty much perfectly the yield can easily be reduced by anything up to 20 orders of magnitude.

Microsoft brings Cloud PCs and local desktops together in Windows 365

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I don't get it

At some point I bought a license to Office 2016 for $20 or something, I reactivated it on my Windows 10 pc and it has morphed into some kind of cloud software (requires me to verify my credentials once in awhile, amazing since I just about have no use for Office). Is this the same as Office 365? Or what’s the difference. I just don’t get why anybody would pay a monthly fee for Office 365 vs the $20 they charged me once for Office 2016.

Also I have Windows 10 because I bought a Windows 7 license off Reddit license reseller, which Microsoft changed into Windows 10. I think it cost me $13 or something (been awhile). What is “Windows 365,” is this a perpetual payment scheme? I’m pretty sure I am locked out of Microsoft payments. See, one time I got 1 month of Xbox Live for $3 promotion but then Microsoft tried to turn it into a recurring $30-a-month charge, except I had anticipated this and cancelled the credit card. So Microsoft has insisted I owe them $30 for Xbox Live for June 2008 (which service they rescinded like June 2, 2008 due to no payment) and we have been deadlocked ever since. I can’t buy anything on Xbox Live because they will immediately seize $30 from the payment to cover that June 2008 charge, consequently I can’t buy anything at all. The lady said “just make a new Xbox account,” except my Burnout Paradise save state is locked to the account that they want $30 from. I guess it’s all moot now since they shut down Burnout Paradise for the Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live for the 360. And why is it Xbox 360 yet Windows 365?

Like, why is it 5 more.

I literally never use the MS Office, I just type up documents in Notepad “.txt” format and then copy-paste into my Seamonkey email. Swear to God.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York unionize in historic win against web giant

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I worked at Canadian Freightways under the union. One time they noticed I hadn’t been paying enough union dues. The union took my entire next paycheque and most of the following too. This was the Truckdriver’s union, they didn’t stop until the American parent, Consolidated Freightways, went bankrupt! One day they made a concession to management, and they were going to eliminate all the after-hours student positions, which was precisely one position: mine. I asked my co-worker, Frank, who was the shop steward, how could this happen? His answer: well, you never went to any of the meetings! Well, Frank, how could I go, they were all held “after hours,” precisely when I was doing the evening office work! Frank’s answer: Shrugs! Was nice working with you anyway!

I actually work at Amazon today, doing deliveries for one of the associate delivery groups. It’s the structure they put in place to keep out the very same Trucker’s Union. The rolling stock is brand new, top quality (some argument about which is better, Ford or Dodge). But the outfit is run on a razor margin. They only just started to turn a profit in recent years. There are definite barriers to entry for competitors, allowing Amazon to build up a good monopoly. Unionization will drive up their costs which will inevitably raise their prices. Once the prices are high enough, non-union competitors will be able to wiggle their way in through that crack, and topple that tower. The best part of driving is the 20,000+ days on the FitBit, a bit of physical conditioning and opportunity to drop some flab. I cannot wait to get a real job again though, the summer heat is fast approaching!

UK Cyber Security Centre advises review of risk posed by Russian tech

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MSNBC reminds us of Russia doing the exact same tactics back in 1995 (were we all too caught up in Windows 95 to take notice?)

Russia attacking Chechnya the first time, 1995:


Yeah, I have not trusted Kaspersky with any kind of root access for at least a decade.

Zlib crash-an-app bug finally squashed, 17 years later

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“Much ado about nothing.”

Must be a real subtle bug, since this software is used just about everywhere and yet the issue was pretty much forgotten about for nearly two decades.

Speaking about long-forgotten topics, Vans Hardware (alternative to the Register) is still reporting about a “potential” false flag attack on its front page… for 2013!

“A pastebin post self-attributed to the secretive and nebulous activist group “Anonymous” claims that a 9/11-style false flag attack on the Los Angeles Citibank building may occur tomorrow, Friday, November 15, 2013…”

Intel counters AMD’s big-cache PC chip with 5.5GHz 16-core rival

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Does it fit in my MSI B350 "PC Mate" motherboard from 2017 though.

I'm not buying nothin if it don't fit AND WORK.

In the graveyard of good ideas, how does yours measure up to these?

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Metaverse = PlayStation Home?

You know how 3D television didn’t catch on because the hardware was too awkward? New fabulous idea: we require a $1,000 dedicated 3D viewing helmet - for each viewer!


PlayStation Home was a virtual 3D social gaming platform developed by Sony Computer Entertainment's London Studio for the PlayStation 3 (PS3) on the PlayStation Network (PSN). It was accessible from the PS3's XrossMediaBar (XMB). Membership was free but required a PSN account. Upon installation, users could choose how much hard disk space they wished to reserve for Home. Development of the service began in early 2005 and it launched as an open beta on 11 December 2008. Home remained as a perpetual beta until its closure on 31 March 2015.

Distributor dumps Kaspersky to show solidarity with Ukraine

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Kaspersky makes security software for the PC, and I’m dumb enough to trust them? Nope I’ve always been contrary to that way of thinking.

(I actually got to visit Uralmash in Yekaterinburg/Sverdlovsk back in 2012, the factory was reclaimed from being condemned, in fact they pulled the handrails off the stairways and bent them up to make radiators for the central boilers. It’s like, we’d show up at the factory office each morning and line up in the same queue, everybody bringing their passports to the security desk to be inspected, meanwhile the guards were hanging around with their AK47 rifles. Come on, guys, gimme a break!)

And you expect me to believe Putin doesn’t leverage that Kaspersky network for his own surveillance network??

I sincerely believe Kaspersky looks through all your files for “viruses” and uploads everything “suspicious” to the FSB for a second look.

This browser-in-browser attack is perfect for phishing

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I got duped

In my case it was the YouTube scams, the perpetrators were creating videos on hacked accounts including SpaceX and Steve Wozniak and several others. It never occurred to me that Wozniak, SpaceX, and several more would all be simultaneously hacked repeatedly and sustainably on YouTube for weeks and months on end.

My 0.3 btc wallet was drained, the one single video I ultimately fell for collected over 8 btc before they harvested it.

Theoretically the transactions are 100% fully traceable due to blockchain but practically not. What I learned is that not only is cryptocurrency a complete scam from day one, that scam has endured to this very day, spawning endless new scams. I intend never to get involved again and the only stories I read about crypto are how it’s only used by crooks anyway and the innumerable hacking attacks and confidence tricks surrounding it. The destiny of crypto is that every ‘coin’ is going to be stolen by criminals and they will be the only ones left ‘using’ it (notwithstanding that there is zero practical way to use crypto, it’s just something that people scam back and forth off one another.) For instance, you cannot buy a slurpee with crypto at any 7-11.



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