* Posts by Updraft102

1529 posts • joined 31 May 2015

COVID-19 tracing without an app? There's an iOS and Android update for that

Updraft102 Silver badge

Contact tracing is no substitute for mask wearing.

But carrying a rabbit's foot or a four-leaf clover would be a perfect substitute for that, and a lot less harmful to the bearer too.

CDC, WHO, US Surgeon General, Fauci, Australian health service, et al, in March, agreed that mask wearing by members of the public was not effective in slowing the spread of respiratory viruses, and that it could actually be harmful to people not medically trained.

That was, and is, the sum total of all of the human knowledge on the subject. Science is a slow process, and a paradigm shift like this doesn't happen within a few months (how long it took for all of the above entities to contradict their previous statements). Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof, as the late great Carl Sagan said, and the idea that COVID is somehow unlike influenza, rhinovirus, cold coronavirus, SARS 1 coronavirus, and MERS coronavirus is an extraordinary claim. So is the assertion they made very early on, that unlike all those other respiratory viruses, this novel virus that we know nothing about absolutely, positively does not spread by aerosol.

The premise of droplets being the main modality of contagion is the basis for the six foot rule and the mask mania. Masks are useless for aerosols, and the evidence is quite clear by now that COVID is just a garden variety coronavirus, like all the others our species has known, and it spreads in the same way, which is to say, by aerosol. You'd have to ask the various "medical" government orgs why they refuse to state that the virus can and does spread by aerosol (airborne) the way that all the other respiratory viruses do.

Without the "it's about the droplet" excuse, we're back to the analogy of a mask (short of N95 or better respirator) to stop a virus being like using a chain link fence to keep mosquitoes out of your yard. If they admitted that the droplet thing was a ruse, they'd have to explain how their mask mandates and having us stand a couple a' meters away from one anothers have been the rule for weeks or months. Aerosols remain in the air for hours, and can be carried by HVAC systems into other rooms or even floors-- six feet isn't going to help you (or others around you), and neither is any mask short of a respirator of N95 or equivalent or better.

Preventing disease is not what masks are for, though... they're to give us a little ritual to carry out to make us think they're doing something about the virus, while demonstrating their subservience to their masters. Every problem calls for more government, right? People have been trained to think so. Despite their nearly perfect record to the contrary, people think governments solve problems, so when the media whips them into a lather with the latest out-of-context doom and gloom (in July, 73% of Americans surveyed thought COVID was getting worse, even though the death rate was by then down 98% from its mid-April peak), they get frightened and demand the government "do something." Mask rules are "something," all right, but "something effective?" No, quite assuredly not.

The virus is a force of nature. It's going to do what it is going to do until it runs its course. You know that little graph they showed when they were explaining what "flatten the curve" meant? Google it if you haven't. It showed the hospitalization rate from a virus like COVID if nothing was done, a curve that rose rapidly to a high peak, then dropped almost as quickly again to baseline. The "flattened" curve showed a slow rise to a peak in about July, and then a slow fall back toward baseline. The dotted line that cut across the highest part of the peak in the "do nothing" curve indicated the peak surge capacity of hospitals, while the flattened curve never crossed that line.

Note that the "do nothing" line didn't just keep rising, nor did it rise to a high level and stay put. It rose, then it fell rapidly. If you look at the death rate in the US (and probably other countries, but I don't know where to find their statistics... this is from the CDC), it rocketed to a peak in mid April, then began a drop that continues even now. There was a small peak in July (which did not show up in the stats until August, as it takes a while for the records to come in) that coincides with the riots/"mostly peaceful" protests, but it's been dropping again for well over a month since then.

From the way the media reports it, you'd think that without heroic measures by government officials, the death rate (and along with it the closely correlated hospitalization rate) would just go up and stay there. The media and pols breathlessly report the increased number of positive tests and imply that each one is virtually a death sentence, but they fail to report that the death rate dropped 98% (as reported by the CDC data from their site). It's not positive tests that made this thing so scary... it's deaths, and deaths are way, way down... but you won't hear that from the media. All you hear is the "this thing ain't goin' away" doom and gloom, even as it is in the process of going away. Despite our best efforts, the thing is in the process of running its course, just like pandemics always do. When you're going through hell, keep going! We keep trying to stop, and then they claim that slowing down will get us to the other side faster, which makes no sense.

We have bad news for non-US Microsoft fans: The incoming Surface Duo is underspecced, overpriced, and over there

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: MS **STILL** Making phones???

This new, "innovative" Microsoft is just copying every idea it sees. The whole Surface lineup is trying to capture Apple's "luxury goods" magic, and its Microsoft store is a pretty close copy of the App store or the Play store walled gardens (though the Play store walled garden has a gate). They've achieved 90% of the market for traditional PCs, so you'd think they'd realize they know how to do "Windows," but they keep trying to copy everyone else. They even copied Ubuntu's twice a year release schedule and nomenclature (they just removed the hyphen to make things less clear), though they missed the LTS bit. They're not innovating... they're demonstrating a corporate example of "monkey see, monkey do."

The future of signage is here, and it wants an update

Updraft102 Silver badge

When are active hours for a thing like a digital sign? All the time, you say?

Well, too bad. Lord Microsoft says you can't set them to 24 hours. They're benevolent enough to allow you some "you" time on your own hardware, but you WILL set aside some Microsoft time too.

Back in the GWX days, a woman was doing a weather forecast on live TV when an "upgrade to Windows 10" message popped up. Her reaction was priceless... she said, "Don't do it!"

Now, five years later, evidently nothing has changed. Microsoft is still making demands of other people's hardware. You see Youtube videos of people doing things with their PCs and "Let's cross this off your list" update nag appears at an inopportune moment. I loathe that pseudo-familiar tone that MS takes these days. Whatever it was you wanted to do with my PC wasn't actually ever ON my list, Microsoft.

Windows 10 needs to be crossed off the list.

Mozilla doubles down on anti-tracking tech: It'll be tougher for wily ad-biz cookie monsters to track Firefox

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Re: Barking up the wrong tree

Solution: block facebook.* at the router.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Truly. I clear all cookies (not just known trackers) a lot more often than once a day. Once the tab is closed, cookie is gone. Yeah, I get a lot of "we don't recognize your browser." Well, you're not supposed to, nor should you expect to.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

Updraft102 Silver badge

You mean going into the performance settings and unchecking "Use visual styles on buttons and dialogs" (or whatever it said? That brought back the 2k UI quickly. That and selecting the classic start menu could be done in about thirty seconds.

Another way to get rid of the XP "Luna" theme was to simply disable the Themes service, which is what I always did.

The icons were still different, but otherwise, it was Windows 2000 in appearance.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Windows 10 is not a bad OS

You have to have a Google or an Apple account to use these devices

Ah, the old standard, whataboutism!

What about the Windows versions I used for the 20+ years before MS accounts to log into Windows were a thing? That's the only thing I care about. What other platforms that Ihave chosen not to use do is no concern.

"if you use Chrome on Linux the telemetry and snooping is far more than on WIndows and you can't stop it at all, or any of the updates they push out, "

I would never use Chrome on anything, but do you have a reference for the "far worse" snooping?

The auto updating should only happen if you use the snap or other similar package. So don't do that! (Or install Chrome, on anything.)

everyone is more than willing to share their lives with everyone other than Microsoft who will take your info and sell it back to you.

Seems there is a lot of double standards going on or just selective memories.

I don't have any use for those other platforms either. No Android, no iOS, no Mac, no Chromebook, no Windows.

Boeing confirms it will finish building 747s in 2022, when last freighter flies off the production line

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Sad to see the queen of the sky’s go but won’t be flying in a 737 Max

Not Boeing's accountants... the accountants in question were those of the airlines. It costs money to certify pilots for a new plane, but if the new aircraft has the same type certification as the old one, all they need is a cheap "differences" training thing and they're off to go. That's why the Max had MCAS... it was supposed to handle like the 737 NG, but it didn't, and rather than have it be its own entity with its own handling characteristics, they tried to simulate the old plane. Evidently, it did not work, and the decision to use one sensor was just insane.

Reportedly, Boeing did want to design a new replacement for the 737 that would implement the newest technology (like a smaller 787), but the airlines wanted a better seven-three. Then Airbus refreshed the A320, giving it a competitive advantage over the 737 NG, and the die was cast.

Mozilla unveils $4.99/month subscription-based VPN, says it won't hang onto user logs

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Re: TBird

Didn't Mozilla cut Thunderbird loose years ago? I didn't think they had any funding at all from Mozilla anymore.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

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Re: Proudly ignorant

The tech industry has a terrible track record when it comes to well balanced employment ratios

There's nothing terrible about it. People have different interests. Equality of opportunity is a good thing, but we cannot possibly expect equality of outcome. Life does not work like that.

Updraft102 Silver badge

There's this thing about language

It's called context.

It matters.

That's why there's such a thing as "taking things out of context."

No one thinks of black people when they are talking about blacklists, any more than they are thinking of the black plague or black cats or blacktop or blackout curtains or blackheads or anything else that starts with black. No one is thinking of slavery when they replace the master cylinder in their car's braking system, or when they refer to the biggest bedroom in the house, or when they get a degree above bachelor but below PhD.

These are established terms that have meaning that is understood, and to change them because of a misunderstanding that no one has ever had is just a lame attempt at virtue signaling. It can't possibly be anything else, because no one is actually dumb enough to think things that have nothing to do with one another are related because they use the same words in vastly different contexts.

The things that are bad about history are bad because they were bad. They were not bad because of the words we used to describe them. Changing the words for established terms doesn't do anything except make things that used to be clear less so.

Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Updraft102 Silver badge

...Its great that your $75 phone comes with a charger, but how many chargers do you have now and how many more do you think you need?"

In my case... None and just one, respectively. I'd return a phone that didn't have the charger in the box, so I guess I won't be getting one of these as my first smart phone either.

On top of that, I know I am going to be paying for the charger either way, whether or not I receive it, and that being the case, I want what I paid for, even if it was redundant.

CompSci student bitten by fox after feeding it McNuggets

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Really?

Us are supposed to be the smart ones, you say?

Sure is wild that Apple, Google app store monopolies are way worse than what Windows got up to, sniffs Microsoft prez

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: @SloppyJesse - Microsoft still at it

It was not for want of trying.

They tried to get their walled garden, just as they tried to get Windows 10 mobile going. They failed in both, but if things had gone differently, you can bet MS would do everything it could to build an iOS style walled garden. They're playing sour grapes here.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Microsoft still at it

Not if you would like to use addons or features that get into the backend stuff a bit. For those of us that want more control over our kit, the lock-in to AppleWebKit comes with locking out of a lot of functionality we would like to have.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Damage the hard drive?

If the controller was fast enough to handle 1:1 interleaving, or if it was one of the 8-bit/3:1 slower ones, it should make no difference to the drive itself in terms of drive stress.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Microsoft are much more evil

In summary, you've not been a Windows user for years and haven't even used Windows 10, so really you don't know what you're talking about!!

I can vouch that he got it right.

I liked XP, and I kept that until Windows 8.1 came out. I began to chafe at the limitations of 4 GB, and XP x64 wasn't going to work (very little support, not much time left, etc.), so I had a look at 8.1. Er, no, I said.

I moved to 7 x64 at that point. I railed against 8.1 and the moronic minds who thought that was a good idea.

8.1 was such a flop that MS abandoned the idea of fixing it (originally, Threshold was to be Windows 8.2) and introduced Windows 10. People were saying that this was going to be the make or break OS for Microsoft... two flops in a row would doom them.

I saw Windows 10 when it came out, and I was appalled by what I saw. I moved back to 7 and waited for 10 to improve as Vista had (it actually got decent, though nobody knew that. People had abandoned Vista and never given it a second thought). It became evident that it was not going to get better, as the flaws were part of the grand design, not oversights or results of an unfinished product being released (like Vista).

I did keep 10 on one of my PCs so I could monitor the progress... or lack thereof. It didn't get any better in the ways that mattered.

When I thought back to Windows 8.1, my dislike of it seemed almost quaint compared to why I despised 10. Had I really hated 8.1 so much when its flaws were correctible with things like Classic Shell and other similar programs?

It took Windows 10 to make Windows 8/8.1 look good.

I did end up upgrading to 8.1 on several of my PCs... the last version of Windows I would use, it turned out. I bought several Windows 10 laptops and converted them to Linux since then, but I kept 10 on just in case I need it for something, and that something has really only been testing things to compare to Linux (like assessing battery life on each). They're on 1809 now, and I still can't stand 10. I can't wait to get out of there and back to a sane OS whenever I try it. That only happens once every few months, but still, it's like using a porta-potty that is, uh, ready for servicing, and that has been sitting in the hot sun. Can't wait to get out.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Unclear article point

They were hauled into court because they required OEMs to prominently display the IE logo on the desktop, and if they dared to install the (in the beginning) more popular Netscape Navigator, they would be denied the ability to sell Windows with their PCs. They used their OS monopoly to cause undue harm to makers of other browsers.

The design of Windows 98, with the line between Windows Explorer and Internet Explorer deliberately blurred, was all about heading off the inevitable government demand that MS simply remove IE. MS lied to Congress, telling them it was impossible, when they're Microsoft-- of course they could do it. If some guy out there figured out how to remove it with a free program called Mozilla's Revenge, the people who actually wrote Windows could do it. I used 98 SE with Mozilla's Revenge until I moved to XP, and it worked fine!

MS deliberately put Netscape out of business by means of their OS monopoly. It has nothing to do with IE being crappy.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: They didn't vote for him

"So if your parents die because Republicans are reseeding the Corona Virus, you know where blame lies and why they did it."

They did it because locking down kills a lot of people too (and not just old people in nursing homes who already had one foot in the grave), in addition to killing the economy, countless small businesses, and putting us trillions more in debt. Did you think that for all of the people with mental illness or substance abuse issues, many of whom have found successful strategies for dealing with their issues, would be just fine after we put them under tremendous stress, taking away their jobs, taking away their psychiatrist, taking away their social supports, taking away their hobbies, taking away every damned thing they used to do to cope with their illness other than pills (and they may not be able to get those after they run out if no one will prescribe them), and doing it for months on end, was not going to kill anyone? Even people without any history of depression are reporting symptoms now, sometimes severe, so what do you think happens to those who were already in bad shape?

Why is it that only corona deaths matter, not all the deaths that our response to corona causes? What about all of the people who have not had treatment for other things that kill people every year, either because their doctor has closed or because they've been made to fear going to the doctor? Why are emergency room doctors asking where all of the non-COVID patients, the ones with heart attacks and such, have gone? Does COVID cure heart disease, or are people just putting off calling the ambulance until they die?

The real cruelty of all of this is that lockdowns, social distancing, masks, forced shutdowns of business, stay at home orders, and all of that stuff, does not actually save anyone from coronavirus. It merely delays the deaths. That's why the initial goal was to flatten the curve, which we did (and in the US, it turns out that it wasn't even necessary in the first place). Flattening the curve changes the shape, but not the area under the curve. Do you think that all of the measures taken actually eliminated the risk completely? That hasn't been shown in the stats of any country (not counting China, as you can't believe them if they say the sky is blue). Despite the measures, the cases have continued to rise. If you haven't had COVID, your time is coming. So is mine, so is everyone's.

If you merely reduce the odds of transmission, but R0 is still above 1, then guess what, everyone that was gonna get it is still gonna get it. The Swedish are the only country in the world that got it right. You almost did in the UK, but then your leaders lost their nerve. The Swedes are well on their way to the only actual thing that will end the death, and that's herd immunity. The death rates for this month or that month don't matter in the long term, because they will bottom out and have the death rate drop to near zero while the rest of the world's old people are still dying. Sweden is in it for the long haul, and they are going to have one of the lowest death rates of any country when this is finally over, not to mention all of the people who were not killed by lockdowns that would not have been in the COVID totals anyway.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: You supported a system...

The electoral college system (as far as vote allocation... not talking about the actual presence of people known as electors here) is a reflection of how the primary unit of government in the US is the state, not the federal. The national popular vote is a nothing number because there is no national election; there are 50 state elections. The national popular vote is as meaningless as the total number of (goals, points, runs, whatever) scored across a series of games in your favorite sport. It doesn't matter who scored the most across all of the games; what matters is who won the most games. The game is the basic unit of sports, not the series, so the series total is just a statistic without any real meaning.

If each state had the same population, it would be easy to tally the various state elections-- simply have the winner of each state get their total of state votes incremented by 1. The states do not have equal populations, though, so the system we have weights it heavily by population, but not completely, in order to keep the urban areas in big states from being the only areas that anyone cares about.

It's not an outdated system. It's the only one that makes any sense in a federal system. The US is a federation of states, and we don't have a national government. We have a federal government (more akin to the EU than the government of any of the countries within the EU).

I don't think the US is repairable. Trump is a symptom, not the cause. I wish we could dissolve it and start again-- only I don't think it would just be one country the second time around.

DirectX comes to Linux (via WSL2): Microsoft unveils tricks needed to flash a GPU at a penguin

Updraft102 Silver badge

What do you mean DirectX "comes" to Linux? I've been running Windows DirectX (more properly, D3D, which is a subset of DX, but it seems to be what we are talking about here) programs in Linux for more than a year with framerates quite close to what they were in Windows on the same machine, and sometimes with more stability than the same program under Windows, strangely enough. DirectX support for Linux has been around for years longer than that, but there was a significant performance hit.

DXVK provides DirectX at near Windows native speed for Linux, while WINE makes the Windows programs that use DX work in the first place. That's DX in Linux, and it is not new, nor was it a product of Microsoft. Things like WINE, DXVK, Samba, etc., exist in spite of Microsoft's efforts, not because of them.

Adding DX to WSL is merely bringing DX to a part of Windows that didn't have it before... hardly justifying the headline. Let's not give them credit for bringing DX to Linux when they've done nothing of the sort.

Everything OK with Microsoft? Windows giant admits it was 'on the wrong side of history' with regard to open source

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Re: So...

Windows didn't become the spying mess that it is now under Ballmer...

'iOS security is f**ked' says exploit broker Zerodium: Prices crash for taking a bite out of Apple's core tech

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Re: "Zerodium said for the first time that it would pay more for flaws in Android"

Downvoters missed the sarcasm there, methinks?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Here's an idea

Is it not a bug if it is possible to find such a different use for "good" code? If the code can be made to do something that wasn't intended, that's a bug, until you document it and call it a feature, of course.

Sadly, 111 in this story isn't binary. It's decimal. It's the number of security fixes emitted by Microsoft this week

Updraft102 Silver badge

"Sadly, 111 in this story isn't binary. It's decimal. It's the number of security fixes emitted by Microsoft this week"

Would you rather they had patched only 7 of them?

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Nowadays Macs don't look different than PCs

The trash can Mac Pro was pretty distinctive. For a computer, that is; as a trash can, it's pretty generic. The more modern take on the cheese grater (which looks more like an actual cheese grater than the one they call the cheese grater) is distinctive in its ugliness.

Jeff Bezos tells shareholders to buckle up: Amazon to blow this quarter's profits and more on coronavirus costs

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Re: Robots don't get Covid-19

The local Wal-Mart has tried to implement one-way aisles throughout the store. I tried to respect it, but it's fairly impossible if you're the only one. Even people wearing masks, something which is not required in my area, who would appear to be the more COVID-conscious, were completely ignoring the markings.

Of course, this has nothing to do with Amazon warehouses, but I just thought it was an interesting point.

We're in a timeline where Dettol maker has to beg folks not to inject cleaning fluid into their veins. Thanks, Trump

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Give a child the information in the wrong order.

All those dummies at Cedars-Sinai need to be educated too. Willing to give it to them?

Hope this link makes it through whatever spam filters are here.

https://streamable.com/e/w7rpbn

They call it Healight, a UV light emitting catheter for disinfecting bronchial passages.

Microsoft decrees that all high-school IT teachers were wrong: Double spaces now flagged as typos in Word

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: It may be a US "standard", but...

You were taught it was wrong, but the teacher was wrong!

The serial comma (assuming you are referring to the Oxford comma) is necessary to delineate list items clearly.

Fred's favorite musical artists are The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, and Hall and Oates.

Fred's favorite artists are clear:

The Rolling Stones

Simon and Garfunkel

Hall and Oates

In contrast...

Fred's favorite musical artists are The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel and Hall and Oates.

Fred's favorite artists are:

The Rolling Stones

Simon

Garfunkel and Hall and Oates

or is it

The Rolling Stones

Simon and Garfunkel and Hall

Oates

or perhaps

The Rolling Stones

Simon and Garfunkel and Hall and Oates

Or, of course, the answer we know to be the actual one, the one answer that is unambiguous with the Oxford comma. If you were not familiar with any of the artists in the list, you would not know which of the four lists were the real one. You could grok out that all three of the wrong answers require a band to call itself something clumsy, like "Garfunkel and Hall and Oates," rather than the preferred list form, but you don't really know that such a clumsy usage is not actually how the artists in question refer to themselves without having prior knowledge.

Of course, not all examples are as ambiguous as this one, but the Oxford comma always works, while the dropped comma relies on the reader to grok out that the last item is not a compound item containing the word 'and'. The comma makes it very clear and precise regardless of context, and clarity should be the purpose of language.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Younger style

Won't they still be able to tell when you spell out words that have emoji representations?

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: spare disk space

I learned to type on a computer... without proportional spacing. Two spaces it was, and shall it ever be!

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: What's next?

That suggests that there is a very long title, but with no body text. Can be safely disregarded.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground

Updraft102 Silver badge

"Although the BAe-146 can fly on three of its four conventional jet engines, Cranfield's runway isn't long enough to do that safely."

How long would the runway have to be for it to fly on three engines?

I was not aware runways could fly on any number of engines.

Australia's contact-tracing app regulation avoids 'woolly' principles in comparable cyber-laws, say lawyers

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Re: "Here I Go, Again On My Own..." - DLR

1. The number of false-positive alerts because of bluetooth's range. You passed within 10m of someone who's registered as symptomatic/infected. Depending on absolute proximity and duration, your chances of being infected goes from high to remote. Do they account for this? Is it even possible to account for this with bluetooth? Signal strength maybe, but that's subject to local effects.

Right now, I can put bluetooth on in my PC and see all kinds of televisions and such that are not even in my house, some with signal strength that suggests that they are in the same room with me. This is in a free-standing house, so there are at least two walls between those bluetooth devices and mine, not to mention the air gap in between.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: "experts" should be ashamed

Can't they just use the laws of Australia to override what mathematical rules are in the device?

I don't know why they haven't just outlawed the disease. It's such a simple solution!

Wake up, Neo: Microsoft mulls using your brain waves or body heat to mine crypto-currency while viewing ads

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One of the ways the Windows giant's inventors imagine using the technology is to award cryptocurrency when people's brain waves indicate they've viewed an ad.

Surely there are simpler methods of detecting anger than this. If humans can do it visually without even thinking about it without looking at electroencephalograms, is it really that hard? Getting people to wear electrodes on their scalp has got to be harder than using the webcam to detect angry expressions on the victim's face.

Google calls a halt on Chrome 82, but the version 83 beta has arrived early – so it's coding and bug finding time ahead

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On March 18, Google paused the development of Chrome, Chromium, and Chrome OS releases due to the labor challenges posed by COVID-19 public health actions.

I can see where working at home would be impossible for a job like software development.

Mayday! Mayday! The next Windows 10 update is finally on approach to a PC near you

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Re: 20H1 - a longer wait for WSL2

WINE doesn't take over the desktop. What are you talking about?

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Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

Go to service manager, disable the theme service, done... XP reverts to Win2k look. First thing I did with every XP installation.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: daubing the veteran OS with the Fluent Design brush.

The flatness is just a theme. Don't like it, change it. You can get by quite well in 8.1 without ever having to see that "Metro" (Modern, TIFKAM, whatever) stuff... not like 10, where they moved half of Control Panel to Settings. When I ran Windows, I used 8.1 with a Classic theme that was a dead ringer for Windows 7 Classic , along with Old-New Explorer to get rid of the ribbon, Classic Shell (it was still called that back then), and some other assorted things. I had the Windows 7 start button (orb thingy) too, and if you didn't notice the centered text in the title bar for any given window, you'd think you were looking at Windows 7 with the Classic theme. I also had a thing called metro killer to prevent anything Metro from appearing. I did have to use third party programs for things like wireless network selection (I used Intel Proset) and bluetooth (Toshiba stack), and for others, like creating new accounts, just use MMC.

I agree completely on the ugly flatness, and I am very firm in my opinion that Win2k was the pinnacle of MS UI goodness, but on the Win32 bits of 8.1, it's just a theme, and there are hundreds more to choose from. You just need to install one of the hacks to get Windows to stop looking for the signature in the theme (Microsoft's attempt to thwart attempts to make Windows not match their branding).

I did port my theme over to 10 as a test when I tried 10 in 2015, but one of the first updates broke it completely, and it didn't work at all. By then I had given up on the idea that 10 would ever be usable, so I didn't bother to port it again.

Microsoft throws extended support lifeline for folk stuck on car-crash Windows 10 1809

Updraft102 Silver badge

"We recognize," said Microsoft, "this is an evolving situation. We will continue to listen to our customers."

Except, presumably, those still clinging to Windows 7.

Or those who want to be able to control their updates as with every other Windows version. Or those using consumer editions who want to be able to turn off telemetry. Or those who wish to be able to have a UI that's designed for the actual hardware in question (nearly always a traditional desktop or laptop with no touch and a discrete pointing device with separate pointing and clicking events). Or those who don't want to have to update every six months because Microsoft said so.

And so on.

People have been asking for the things I mentioned for 5 years, and if Microsoft is "listening," they have to be doing it while pointing and laughing. Windows 10 is not designed to meet the needs of their customers... it's designed to serve Microsoft.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: They can't even have sensible version numbers

It looks like an effort to copy Ubuntu.

Ubuntu releases twice a year, and the version number is in the format YY.MM. They've been doing it that way since the very first release... when was that, 2004?

Microsoft now releases Windows 10 twice a year, and the version number is YYMM. The only difference in the nomenclature is that they took out the period.

They also missed the part where every fourth Ubuntu release is LTS, with 5 years of support. According to Canonical, 95% of Ubuntu users are using one or another of the LTS versions. MS picked the 5% and forced that on nearly everyone (save the LTSB that's only supposed to be for embedded systems).

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: I have said it before

It's not the best can do. It's the best they're willing to do. They're all about the cloud now, because now that we've renamed "someone else's computer out there on the internet", it's revolutionary and new, and the stuff that got them to where they are is just yesterday's news. They're going to do Windows on the cheap while simultaneously monetizing it like some cheap piece of freemium crap, and they're going to charge full price for it, as long as people tolerate it. I

t looks like they will tolerate that quite a long time, so Windows users have only themselves to blame for enabling this. Allowing oneself to be locked in to a single supplier always carries the risk that the product and terms you've been getting is not the product and terms you're going to get in the future. It's why the term "second source" exists. The supplier that has you locked in can alter the deal, and all you can do is pray they don't alter it further. Ignore it at your peril.

Apple: We respect your privacy so much we've revealed a little about what we can track when you use Maps

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Week days

you brushed the cobwebs from the bike in the shed and got peddling

If your job is in sales, I suppose.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Shocking

You see Apple did what any reasonably large company releasing a bad product would do when that product was criticised. They spent an awful lot of money improving it.

Counterpoint: Microsoft and Windows 10.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots

Updraft102 Silver badge

Hiring lawyers to do accounting is too expensive, even if they are disreputable.

Updraft102 Silver badge

"Solving the problem is simple:"

Simple to describe, surely. Go fix the bug. That's how you solve it. Turning it off and on again is not fixing the problem... it's mitigating it, temporarily. Surely the readership here understands the difference!

We checked in with the new Windows 10X build, and let's just say getting this ready for late 2020 will be a challenge

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: UWP

I do not use a tablet, I do not have touch screens, I do have dual screens. Tell me Microsoft, what percentage of PC's HAVE a touch screen and of those how many people actually use the "touch" stuff.

You've hit the point exactly. Only a very small percentage of PCs have a touch screen... they don't need it, and most are sold without touchscreens, even now in this "let's make everything like smartphones" era. Some individuals or organizations may have fallen victim to the "touch is the future" thing and bought PCs with touch (desktops or laptops), and in that case, I would bet that very few of them that are used as regular workhorse PCs see those touchscreens being used much, if at all. It's just not workable to use touch for more than a few minutes on a non-handheld device.

Touchscreens are only really feasible on handheld devices and in limited special purpose machine (kiosks and such). On a standard desktop, touchscreens are an ergonomic nightmare. Try using one on a laptop or desktop for any length of time and see how long it takes for your arm, outstretched in front of you, to begin to feel as if it is made of lead. Then imagine using the computer that way all day, 5 days a week. How long would it be before an injury prevents you from continuing?

MS seems to have bought into the idea that everything has to look and act like a smartphone cuz smartphones iz kool. Now that Windows mobile has failed, the only reason to keep pushing the idiotic touch UI of part of Windows 10 is to suggest it has a place on the kinds of devices that Windows is actually used on, and it really doesn't, other than convertible 2-in-1 devices (and even they don't need both UIs at the same time).

Without touchscreens, there's no reason for Windows 10 to look like it does, and if it didn't look as it does, which is to say "like a phone," it would be even easier to think of it in the same terms that people thought of older Windows versions, so Windows as a Service would look even more stupid and counterproductive. Of course, people who know about computing already know this, but MS investors and many in the tech press don't. If this came to pass, Microsoft would be uncomfortably close to admitting that, quite literally, everything they've done with Windows during the Nadella era has been wrong.

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Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: "Microsoft cannot afford a re-run of Windows 8"

Ah, I remember the halcyon days when I thought Windows 8 was the worst possible Windows that MS could ever make. After Windows 10 arrived, I looked back at 8 (by now 8.1) and wondered why I'd disliked it so much. I ended up upgrading to 8.1 before I left the Windows plantation. With modification, 8.1 can be a really decent OS. Windows 10... not so much.

Updraft102 Silver badge

Re: Please, no more.....

Maybe "Wining" was a reference to how Windows 10 is so bad that many people have been driven off of the Microsoft Windows platform and are running their Windows programs on Linux using Wine.

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