* Posts by Fluffy Cactus

114 posts • joined 8 Jul 2015


Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

Fluffy Cactus

Well, it's still cheaper, and Linux does not explain how to use it, nor does it have any support of any kind, because you'd have to be a super-genius to understand the meaning of what they say.

Then Apple not only is too expensive, but has taken to hating its customers, with insane policies like "You must have an appointment to get help with your I-Phone. Who loves the functionality of the Apple I-Cloud? That one is as bad as Microsoft, but more expensive.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Drivers crashing the OS

Yeah, that reminds me of the one time when I had this Brother HL-1244, and the new Vista or Win 7

Windows would not work with the new drivers Brother made available.

So, I remembered the movie line 'Hey, it worked in Blazing Saddles!" and accordingly went to the old

Win XP machine, copied the old Brother HL-1244 drivers to the new Windows machine. At first it didn't

work, but then I had the fabulous idea to rename the file name to the same name the "newer" Brother drivers" had, and also edited the references within the drivers to make it consistent.

And those worked like a charm (not the Windows8 charm, but like a charm when charms still were charming and working).

That was one of the few times when my victory dance over the MSFT empire was appropriate.

This was also back in the time when I thought that having ideas would be welcome. I wrote MSFT once, asking them to ask ALL Windows users whether they would be willing to pay $1 extra per year, as long as MSFT would promise to dedicate that extra $1 to a new state-of-the-art software, hardware, compatibility testing center. Because, with about 1,000,000,000 users, that would be $1,000,000,000 per year, and they could run a testing center, and still have enough left over for a new yacht for the head honcho. They never responded, because that would have been admitting that their current testing processes were insufficient.

Fluffy Cactus

May be you are just kidding, but after the first successful EMP attack you will be happy to have printed something, or at least written it to a CD-RW.

May be I am just kidding, but the fundamental rules of computing are:

If you have really important, irreplaceable data, the only copy was shredded,

but if you want to be sure something has been deleted forever, there will be umpteen copies in back-ups, in directories (folders) you didn't ever know about, in e-mail drafts never sent, on servers you don't know, on various clouds and in some dark web corners.

SolarWinds: Hey, only as many as 18,000 customers installed backdoored software linked to US govt hacks

Fluffy Cactus

Always fun to speculate

RE: Solarwinds - did the voting machine companies really use Solarwinds? Seems odd.

That would be "not so good", because it throws some actual doubt on the voting machine

integrity. So, then, it "sort of" follows that it might not have been the Russians with their

Cozy Bears, because, wasn't the whole idea for about four years, that Trump is a puppet

of Putin? The Russians would have loved to get Trump for another four years.

So, that confuses me a little. But not too much. Does anyone consider it possible for any American democrat to be smart enough to "pretend to be a fake Cozy Bear, break into Solarwinds, compromise 18,000 companies just to make it look like everyone is getting attacked, including the Dominion software company, and take over something like 20,000 voting machines, most of which are running on separate networks, with separate id's and passwords, in thousands of separate voting places"?

Highly unlikely. I am not that smart, so how can anyone be smarter than me? (It's a joke.)

Are there any democrats that speak Russian, write hacking software, and such? Aside from

Mila Kunis, who I consider "too cute to be a spy", and she doesn't hack, because that's not

her thing.

(Yes, I am waiting for a movie with that title "Too cute to be a spy!" )

Since I am more on the democrat side, I have been told by many Republicans that

democrats are idiots, dummies, fanatic leftist communist weirdos, environmentalists, involved

in child sex trade, globalists, crazed socialists who want a (gaaasp) affordable health care system,

who of course want to destroy "America" as we know it. In other words, if they are right, then I must

be fairly dumb.

One thing is certain: A good portion of Republicans simply cannot believe that Trump lost. In their minds, everything is rigged, corrupted, based on lies, etc. A few Republicans can believe that Trump lost, because they are tired of the ongoing absurd nonsensical political theater.

Next, Democrats of course believe that nothing was rigged, because the system is safe and secure.

To solve this puzzle, I remember the way one ensures that a pie is divided exactly into two equal parts: Let the democrat cut it in half, and let the Republican choose which half to take. (This works the same the other way round).

To apply this to a voting process, one would have to obtain two sets of voting machines:

A set of Democratic voting machines manufactured by a Democratic company, with Democratic security software and democratic/republican supervision,

and a second set of Republican voting machines manufactured by a Republican company, with a Republican security software, also under a democratic/republican supervision.

Each voter votes twice, i.e. once on the democratic and once on the republican machine.

If the count on both sets of these machines comes out to be the same (within a 0.0000005% margin of error) then we could rest assured that neither set was rigged. And if there is a large difference, then we'd have something to bitch about and investigate the why, and how, and what for.

Of course, this is too expensive, and ridiculous. But then again, if both sides trust each other as much as CIA and KGB in a movie spy exchange (complete with fog, light rain, at night, on a bridge, with stark lighting, guns and binoculars on both sides), then how else can you convince anyone?

'We've heard the feedback...' Microsoft 365 axes per-user productivity monitoring after privacy backlash

Fluffy Cactus

Re: I don't understand

Ok, File - Save As - Enter a filename - or decide where to save it if you don't want to use the "Documents folder".

If you click "Browse" to find the folder you want to save the document into, you will find that MS Word has arranged the various main folders on the left side of the appearing window in the most illogical way possible. For example, there are several folders called "Documents" and some are called "My Documents", and when selecting them, some of them do not work and others do.

So, you have to use that slider thingi to go up and down on the left area of the window, to find the Documents folder that will work for you. Once you have successfully save a file there, the next file you save will (usually) go into the same folder. You have to left-click or left-double click on a folder to see what's in it.

If you are on a Network at your employer, you should ask your computer guy (guy includes gal) to

tell you where you are allowed to save your stuff.

Personally, I never use OneDrive, because

a) your documents might not be available when Microsoft servers (aka cloud) go down, and

b) they strangely do not allow you to save password protected or encrypted files (why, do they want to

read my documents?)

Your employer may think otherwise.

There is so much that can't be understood at first, that I encourage you to try and save a document

in whatever folder you can find, and see whether it works out for you.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: I don't understand

That's another thing that MSFT gets utterly totally wrong: "Oh, only 2% or 3% use this or that tool, so we can "safely" get rid of it!"

Result: If you get rid of those 2% or 3% used tools, over and over again, then after getting rid of 15 or 20 of such actually used tools, then you managed to OFFEND about 30% to 40% of the whole user population. That's because use of this or that item does not necessarily overlap among different users.

What they should do instead: Ask why no one is using such and such item! Could it be that you never explained it sufficiently? Could it be that your "automated Help system" is totally inadequate, as in it never answers the questions a specific user might have? Could it be that we are just inhuman numbers to you, and not people who deserve to be taken seriously?

So, look at yourself Microsoft! Really!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: I don't understand

I disabled Cortana as soon as this weird intrusive voice started to bother me.

Supreme Court mulls whether a cop looking up a license plate for cash is equivalent to watching Instagram at work

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Supreme Court

No, it is not necessarily clear what the constitution meant in most or at least some cases. That's why jurisprudence at one point had something called "the prudent man standard". It asked: "Would a reasonably careful person under such and such circumstances find this or that conclusion reasonable and acceptable?" US law-making and law-interpretation did away with that standard long ago.

Today, the law can mean whatever a Supreme Court decides it should mean. Thus, keep stuffing a Supreme Court with crazy people, and the whole thing will go off the rails, to the right or to the left.

The judgments of German Courts between 1933 and 1945 is just one example. USSR courts, Chinese Communist Courts, Catholic Inquisition courts, are all examples of how wrong such systems can go.

To me, the issue of the police man using his ability to look up a license plate for a quick cash deal is

clear: You are allowed to use these official systems only for official purposes. The police guy did something wrong, overstepped the boundaries of what he was allowed to do. Should he be fired?

Maybe not at the first offense. A warning might suffice. But if he keeps doing the same thing over and

over and does not listen to reprimands, then eventually he's gonna get fired for a cause.

Another example of this is: A person working for the US Internal Revenue Service, or the British Inland Revenue is not allowed to look up his neighbor's tax return, just because he can. Such a person is required to work only the cases he is assigned. That's because that information is supposed to be private, as much as possible. Same with any medical doctor: Is a doctor allowed to publish whether such and such famous actor, politician, etc has had treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, etc? NO, I don't think so. There is a presumption and or requirement of privacy.

My sense of justice in these matters is merely based on the "Golden Rule", which says, more or less,

"if you didn't want to be treated like that, you should not allow to have anyone else treated like that".

So, would you want yourself, your wife, your children, your relatives be treated unfairly? Well then, stand up and say so. If your mindset is "Everyone else can be treated unfairly, except me", then you fail to understand what justice should be all about.

Either one has a sense for these issues, or one doesn't. I don't need to refer to any other law to come to that conclusion: "Justice is fairness, and if it is not fair, it's crap!"

LibreOffice 7.1 beta boasts impressive range of features let down by a lack of polish and poor mobile efforts

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Erm

No, CTRL C, CTRL V is not too much effort. Except in one of the most recent iterations of MSFT Office 365, or MSFT 365, where they managed to program in an error message: "There is a problem with the clipboard, but you can still paste the contents to the destination". Which is sort of weird.

Is MS Office now sending the contents of every copied item to Redmond, to see what we copy?

If so, then they know all my id's and passwords. Am I paranoid? Maybe, but how would I know? How would you know?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Lack of polish?

In German, Iceland is "Island" and is pronounced exactly like that "Eeesland".

Like the "'eee" in "Bee" and the a in the second a in "macabre". Or the "aa" in "Africaans".

To help with the confusion (or to cause more confusion), may be they should

call themselves " =land " which you can pronounce as " Is Land ".

But then again again people might call it "Equals Land", and we are back to confusion as such.

Communication is so complicated.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Unit testing

Not sure what you mean by regression testing, but I once sent a letter to Microsoft, asking them to consider making a quick survey of the about (I dunno) 1.100 million users of Office, like this:

1) Would you be willing to pay MSFT an extra $1 (0.77 pounds) per year to be earmarked and used exclusively for a new, amazing, state of the art software testing facility?

2) $1 times 1.100 million equals $1 billion, 100 millions. So if you subtract $100 million for the new yacht you need, wouldn't $ billion (1,000,000,000.) or 770 million pounds per year be enough to run and support a lovely, spanking new software testing facility?

Of course, I never heard back from them. They can't handle snarky comments, they can't handle the truth of anything! That's how I see it. You don't have to believe it.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: @ TonyJ -- Whilst I agree that cloud collaboration is important these days...

What is "That - - - - >" supposed to mean?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Whilst I agree that cloud collaboration is important these days...

There is a simple Notepad for that sort of thing!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Whilst I agree that cloud collaboration is important these days...

Yes, agree to that too. But if I had to work on the road, I would never use a mobile phone for that.

I see younger folks (sorry, I am old) typing on mobile phones with almost the speed of light, while I being a "FATFINGER, he is the man with the clumsy touch!", can't keep up with that sort of thing.

My excuse is not only being old, but also that I don't really have hands that are squirrel sized.

Zero ergonomics on any mobile!

(Fatfinger is a joke relating to Goldfinger, an ancient James Bond flick. Explain any joke!)

Tell me, do I remember this right, that Microsoft offered Office 365 (or whatever it's called now) for free on mobile phones? Whenever that was, I did not take them up on that offer.

If that's true, this should tell you how much fun it is to enter data on a spreadsheet on a mobile phone.

Especially with an Android OS, which takes away about half the functions available on a regular keyboard. Copy and paste on an Android powered OS is like: "What, oh wait wait, I will in the next three minutes figure out how to "actually select" the data I wanted to copy, and then, maybe, I'll figure out how to paste where it's supposed to go. And no, it's not obvious, and it's not explained anywhere!"

Maybe I am the only person who, kind of, figuratively, not literally, wants to grab Apple, Android, MSFT programmers by the nape of the neck and scream at them: "Why did you think that was a good idea!? Have you ever done any complex computing work, with formulas, macros, statistics, etc? Where have you been? At the crusades? Gaaah!"

To me texting is good for: "See you soon!", "Be right there!", "Out of petrol!", Out of battery in 5 secs!" and my favorite "Sent you an e-mail, read it, print it out, or else it's gone and forgotten!"

And remember: "the name is Jond, Bames Jond!" Yes, the dyslexic cousin!

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Fluffy Cactus

Re: 25 years and still a pain to use

Sorry, no! "He who pays calls the shots" is generally not true in the field of software.

My proof for that is: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, plus any software made for a specific company or purpose, which had to be abandoned after paying too much for it, because it worked only in theory, but not in practice.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: 25 years and still a pain to use

You must be a super genius!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Single window interface

So many terms in GIMP are never fully explained to the user. Flocke Kroes points this out very well.

Can GIMP people explain the following to new users, with examples please? :

What is a layer?

How is a layer in GIMP different from a "transparent plastic slide thingi in an overhead projector"?

What can a layer do or not do in GIMP?

How does one make a layer an active layer?

How does one "anchor a layer"?

How does one ""anchor a temporary layer"?

How does one know that a layer is "anchored"?

How does one know that a specific layer is indeed the active layer?

How does one put "a transparency band" into a layer? Is there a sign? A mark?

Is there a popup that says: "You are now working with the active layer!" ?

How does one see whether there is a "transparency band" in a layer?

What does a transparency band look like?

What does alpha channel mean?

How do I know what item is the alpha channel?

Is the alpha channel a type of a layer?

Or is it something else?

Is an Alpha Channel a "method to transport something, like data"? If yes, then "from where to where" does it transport? Or is an Alpha Channel similar to the "Alpha Dog", the leader of the pack?

Do words have meaning? Or are they meaningless drivel like what Mr. Trump tweets?

Can programmers please come to conclusion on that question?

Is there a beta or a gamma channel?

How do they differ from alpha channel?

Why was "Save as a TIFF" discarded?

Can GIMP programmers think about renaming processes in such a way, that they "mean what they say, and say what they mean"?

It goes without saying that people who wish to work with GIMP are people who think "more visually than mathematically or in programming terms". These people are your target audience.

Think of attributes that seem self-evident to a person who thinks visually:

Color, brightness, opacity, sharpness, blurriness, and so forth. One can easily imagine that one could

select "all pixels in a picture" that "satisfy a specific attribute, or a range of attributes".

One would reasonably expect that the user then could "work with the selected item" and "do something" with it, such as "copy, paste, change, delete, transform, subtract, add, combine with another item". But, somehow GIMP does not mean "select" when it says "select".

Is there any GIMP person who can find the appropriate word that better describes what "select" does?

If I or any artistically oriented person ever had the chance to get together with GIMP programmers, I would pester them to "show, and tell, and clearly explain" what their terms mean, what does what,

what is what, why is this called that, etc.

Lawyers, chemists, tax accountants all use obfuscation and unexplained terms in their business.

Why would programmers do the same thing, when the success of their program depends on being as clear as possible to the majority of people? Do you know of any car manufacturer who

proudly proclaims "We hid the steering wheel in the trunk (boot) of the car, because most of the time

you drive straight ahead...!" ??

That's the attitude in software people I don't get, and it does not matter whether their output is free or

paid for, they seem to delight in being "not understood". Why? I don't know! Complete mystery!

Then I'd write down what I have learned, in plain English, and publish that, just so there is a type of

"Beginners Intro to GIMP".

Fluffy Cactus

Re: 25 years and still a pain to use

Plus the good people who contribute to GIMP as programmers might take at least one hour out of twenty to try and explain how something works to a new user.

Richard Feynman said once: "You don't really know a subject matter until you have explained it to a five year old" (or was it a ten year old, I forget...)

New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they're not even in use?

Fluffy Cactus

Just to let you know: Older Android's phones have the "Mobile Data On/Off" button right on the

"Slide down twice from the top menu", where it is easy to find. (Easy, once you are initiated to the idea of what "slide down twice from the top" might mean, of course).

For reasons easy to guess, newer Android phones have now moved the

"Mobile Data On/Off" button to

"Settings -> Connections -> Mobile Networks -> Mobile Data.

That way fewer people will find it, and more people will be charged more money for data usage.

You gotta love how Google is helpful to Verizon, ATT, or any other cell-phone carrier. In the olden days that would be something for these "illegal trust busters". Now, I don't know, since it first would require a conscience to figure how can laws be made fair, we are all in big deep doodoo.

(Uhm, are cell-phones called cell-phones in England, or are they like "Magical-Data-Lorries". I really just don't know. "Electronic Annoyance Bricks"? "Mind-Destruction-Modules"? "Alien-Customer-Depreciation-Units"? It's so tough to figure out another language, I tell you!

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Fundamentals

Enter Bill Murray, coming in with a smirk, saying: "Hey, dudes, maybe I can be of assistance!"

As for the trim wheels, would they allow pilots to weld on their own metal bars,

so they have more torque to physically move these wheelee-gigs?

Crazy Idea alert: Maybe it would be better to have a system that pushes the back and the whole body of the airplane up instead of the nose down.

For example, a 90 degree modification to the thrust reversers, so they could be employed with only one of the two reverser blades. Meaning, to push part of the

the jet output downwards, and thus the airplane upwards.

Is that too crazy, or just too expensive?

As a boy I folded paper airplanes, and from trial and error I learned the importance

of the trim in the wings, as well as the need for having the paper plane weighted

just so that it would "sit easily in the air", (i.e. without going nose up & loopy, or

nose down & crashy.) In that environment it was easy to tear an extra pair of trims

into the wings, as needed.

Plus, using paper clips, the proper weight distribution can easily established. The main problem with this approach is that the required monster-sized paper clips are likely no longer in production, hard to stick on with Velcro, and possibly a bit unsightly on an actual 737 Max.

Ok, clarification, I am not really Bill Murray.

Bratty Uber throws tantrum, threatens to cut off California unless judge does what it says in driver labor rights row

Fluffy Cactus

Re: I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam until I’m sick!!

Overall, it's a sad affair when a business cannot survive unless it pays its workers a sub-standard wage, without any benefits, without health insurance, without retirement or social security etc.

What's the point of work, when you cannot survive by working?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: I’ll scweam and scweam and scweam until I’m sick!!

So, in essence, you think that to be robbed by your choice of several robbers is an advantage?

From a very basic and simple accounting point of view, the calculation that Uber, Lyft, and similar

digital robber barons make is this:

Oh, let's see, you are a student, and you wanna make a few extra bucks, here you go, and since you

already have a car anyway, we owe you exactly nothing for the wear and tear that your car goes through, nothing for the gas, nothing for the insurance, nothing for license, repairs, oil, etc.

Alrighty then, for that trip of 12 miles, we charge say $15.00, we skim 20% - that's $3 bucks of the top,

and you get $12, minus certain fees in the fine print. So you make $11 or so.

But, if you think about it, then you know that the IRS (the equivalent of the beloved Brit Inland Revenue) allows 58 cents per mile as a 'standard cost per mile'. IRS is not exactly generous.

That cost is based on long run averages. So now do the math: 58 cents times 12 miles = $6.96 is your allowable cost deduction for that 12 miles. Now $11 less $6.96 = $4.04. So, there you are, you made $4.04 for that trip. Save up the $6.96 for gas,oil, repair, license, car payments, insurance, etc.

Yes, I know, for a new car, and for just a few trips here and there, and when you have nothing else to do, a few extra dollars are nice. But in the long run, the costs for using the car for someone else's business are starting to hit the pocket book, and you wonder if it's worth it. Oh, yes, since you have a smart-phone "anyway", that cost does not need to be reimbursed to you either. There goes another

$60 to $80 per month.

To me, Uber and Lyft is a greedy as the "multi level marketing schemes", where only the big boss makes the big money, and the rest get peanuts.

Now, if there is an accident, and you are not covered by "workers comp insurance", or you are out

of work, but you are not covered by "Unemployment insurance", then the true greed of Lyft and Uber

kicks you in the butt.

Thus, they are uncivilised, meanspirited, people-abusing companies, who try to talk people into a hardly at all profitable scheme via "fancy technology" and promises.

By comparison, if you pick up a hitch-hiker, who happens to stand by the road, asking if you could

give him a ride to the next town (since you are going there anyway), then you can certainly do that out of the goodness of your heart. But it is not a business model you can use to buy rent, food, medicine, clothing, etc. It does not work, just like selling combs and diet drinks door to door does not work. It's

a barely there existence. It's desperate and sad.

So, California is doing the right thing here, and only paid-off, bribed Republican business politicos will

agree with the way of Lyft and Uber.

NSA warns that mobile device location services constantly compromise snoops and soldiers

Fluffy Cactus

Or maybe they could learn from Ghislaine Maxwell and wrap their phone in aluminum foil, after first wrapping it in lead-based foil.

There's got to be a way to foil anything.

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Wrong tool for the job

Well, but if you are a dedicated scientist, then you won't throw up your hands, but try and find ways

to work around the problem.

For example, if you are faced with a column of text data, where some of it has been changed into dates,

then you can fairly easily copy that column into a new spreadsheet, change the format of that column

to 'Text', and then use the 'Search and replace' function to undo the damage. You could even write

a little macro, or a formula to do something like that. Yes, Excel is wrong and dumb, as they do not let the user decide up front what data format an imported data can have.

Way back when, I once wrote a macro in Lotus 123, that replaced all the missing zeros in a system

that required "left-filled zeros", and formatted the field as text. No good reason why, but can you argue with tax authorities?

With Lotus 123, I could actually do that. With Excel, not so much, because their macro language is not intuitive, not in the least. In fact, I consider it so utterly un-intuitive that it stinks.

Nonetheless, a scientist ought to be resourceful, and if they are not, they are not good scientists.

Twitter Qracks down on QAnon and its Qooky Qonspiracies

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Wait what?

The manufacture of false, fake, insane rumor and conspiracy theories

has at least three, ok, four purposes:

1) Get people talking about nonsense, so that they are distracted from what goes on behind the scenes.

2) Be as divisive as possible. Always attack, never apologize, deflect and replace nutty with even nuttier.

3) Accuse the opposing party of all the things that the Republicans are guilty of:

Example: Trump went on numerous junkets with Epstein and Ghislaine, and there

are many different pictures of that. Given the testimony of the abused underage girls,

and the (either murder or suicide) death of Epstein, the arrest of Ghislaine, the rumors, the things Trump admitted to himself, his longings to date his daughter, etc. we

can safely assume that Trump didn't go to that island trip to collect sea shells.

(I am not going to leave out the fact, that Bill Clinton was another one of those arrogant, over-sexed, entitled a$$h0les with a hankering for under age sex partners, because that's true as well)

Since that looks bad, Repub political slime ball operatives were busy to come up with

the most absurd story of saying that "Hillary is running a sex trafficking ring out of the

basement of a pizza shop". Patently false, but when you try to make other people look

bad, then your own dirty deeds don't look as bad, by comparison.

That's how that works. Just ask yourself "Who benefits from that lie" and you know

out of which quarters it's coming from.

Example: Conservatives are the most racist, so QAnon has to accuse Democrats of being

the most racist. Not really the case. (You can convince me easily that everyone is racist, because racism is implicitly contained in the human emotions of fear, hate, greed, and the idea of wanting to push someone down in order to feel more amazing yourself. Who among us does not have several relatives that they can barely stand? A limping comparison, but there it is.)

Example: Republicans hate Medicare and Medicaid ( These are USA Gov run totally insuficient health care plans with 100 loopholes to charge you extra fees, but, they are at the very least

better than nothing). When Democrats wanted to expand Medicare ot cover more people

with it, Republicans accused Democrats of wanting to "destroy Medicare". Totally false attack!

4) Make up even more unbelievable and crazy stories, if only for the purpose of "getting

both your own followers" as well as those "who don't believe a word you are saying"

USED to the constant barrage of insanity, weirdness, craziness. Why, because against

the backdrop of "effing crazy", the "insane policies being pursued look "merely relatively

speaking" a tiny bit more harmless. In other words, compared to garbage, this trash doesn't

smell as bad.

Teenagers use the same scheme, when they ask whether the parents could buy them

a car, and if not that, then may be a motorcycle, and if not that, can I get at least some

cash to go to the movies. Use that method too often, and it's clear to the dullest parent

what you are trying to do here.

Qanon is nothing but a managed propaganda scheme, bought and paid for by Republican secret

operatives. Why? Because who benefits from these crazy lies?

It is quite possible that my own world view is biased, misinformed and manipulated. I can admit to that easily.

I leave you with Mark Twain's observation from 140 years ago: "If I don't read the papers, I am uninformed. If I read the papers, I am misinformed!"

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

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Not enough

So, now, those darn words can get corona as well? (not Smith-Corona = American typewriter company from the 1960's or so...)

Socially distancing words.

Much better !

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Isn't it just a historical anachronism?

Yeah, I am so old I still end up using the "Enter" key as a "Line Feed Carriage Return" Ding Dong key, espacially when writing, uhm, inspired. Later when editing sober, I have to edit out all that stuff.

Well, in my day, we had knights, and we liked it!

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

Fluffy Cactus

Re: HP printers

Exactly right! HP Series II ruled from about 1987 to 2001. The someone came on board to say: Down with quality, up with printer cartridge cost. Really a dumb move on HP's part, because they lost lots of long term customers that way. Since then, for any business that still needs to print out documents and and have them signed in blue ink (lawyers, accountants, tax and real estate offices, banks, mortgage companies, etc) if you want a good balance in black and white laser printer cost and quality, Brother Laser printers are the way to go. You don't have to pay me anything to say that.

I am not using Ink jets, for the same reason I don't like liquid detergent: You pay for water or fluid you don't need. Toner is more economical. I must be a real cheap skate.

To HP I say: You guys lost your minds, your common sense and your printer customers all at once. If you had the idea of "good quality at a good price" even as just a 2nd priority, you wouldn't do what you are doing.

I am just guessing what's going on in HP corporate meetings: "Corporate USA types at their best: Let's make our customer mad with bad quality and high prices, they'll never figure it out, man, and yeah, more Whisky please..."

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

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Am I surprised?

This reminds me to ask another question: We are so used to the great name the Boeing used to have, that no one even wonders anymore if it ever was a good idea to name an aircraft manufacturer


I wouldn't do that. I would not name an aircraft company "Kaboom!" or "Oopsidaisy Aircraft".

Not even the Russians have an airplane manufacturer called "Crashki-Burnski Planes-ky Factory"

Sorry, Antonov, Tupolev or Sukhoi all do not translate into anything funny at all.

Then there is Piper - US single engine aircraft - they seemed to have to pay the piper somewhere along the line. The Canadian company "Bombardier" at least gives you the feeling that you are going to be bombing someone else, which is only somewhat reassuring, because pesky SAM's might give you a little bump in mid-air. uuh, stop that!

"Embraer" does not provide any feeling one way or the other, so is that a good thing? I don't know

So, may be it's time that Boeing renames itself to "Majestic Aluma-plastic Happy Flying Machines", or maybe "Sitting Vulture Soaring Eagle Planes". Just trying to help them out here.

Overall, the topic reminds me of Brian Eno's 1970/1980's song entitled, a bit sarcastically:

"Burning Airlines give you so much more!"

Here ends the reading!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Windows Server 2000

So, re Windows 95 on a Boeing 787 :

If you are flying at the standard 30,000 feet, and you need to reboot, how long can the aircraft glide without any power? Because, somehow, if waiting the customary 2 minutes before rebooting, and then adding the time it takes to reboot, will the aircraft have crashed by then?

As a potential airline customer, these issues are of medium importance to me, as other ways of kicking the bucket could get me first.

That awful moment when what you thought was a number 1 turned out to be a number 2

Fluffy Cactus

Old people, i.e. those from age 70 to age 105, still use checks (cheques) and like stuff mailed to them, because, they missed the computer age, but are still alive. They don't have e-mail, don't have a computer, they don't do texting, they pay bills by check (cheque).

Apart from that, if you sent a payment to the Inland Revenue electronically, the way they prefer, and they somehow lost track of where the money went, and did not credit your tax account, then good luck with proving to them that you paid your taxes. If you used a cheque (check in US) and you kept a copy of the cashed check, which your bank will provide if they are reasonable, then you could prove it to them, in court, if need be.

Many IT computer people don't seem to appreciate how much damage they did to the ability to prove stuff in court. I hope it happens to all of you, who are joking about cheque users, that your "funny, smart, electronic money" just disappears. Then you would start thinking differently.

Do you remember the 2008 mortgage crisis in the USA. Because of incomplete computerized chains of proof, some big banks could not even prove that they owned a property, because some non-thinking

computerization experts could not understand the idea of scanning in and attaching a PDF file to a transaction. That's how dumb some computer experts are. And they ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Likewise, computerization impoverishes history, knowledge, science, because so much data that simply is not online, thus no longer exists for practical purposes. This is an obvious bad side effect, and while the lot of you are smart in one way, you are ignorant in other ways, often costing big companies lots of money, simply because it is a "failure of your imagination" if you don't understand what is required.

That is, you "think you know", but you "don't really know".

I use computers all the time, pay bills via internet, but for really important things I use cheques (checks) and so should you. And keep a copy.


How much wood would a woodchuck chuck

if a wood chuck could chuck wood.

How many czech cheques would a wood tick check

if a wood tick could check czech cheques.

Hello, support? What do I click if I want some cash?

Fluffy Cactus

What's a "chippy" in English? Is it like a "fish and chips" place were one drinks lots of beer. Is it any place where there is only beer? I thought that a "chippy scot" was an upbeat, friendly talkative Scotsman, but I could be wrong. Maybe it's a Scotsman who hangs out in bars and drinks beer?

Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Curiosity is a wonderful thing

An article like that just begs for silly comments. In particular, the quote "You normally think of an atomic nucleus as a sphere of charge, but that's just an approximation. In reality, the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped. So the electric field can be used to reorient the 'potato' along a certain axis."

If I were an American Mega-church evangelist preacher, this would get me to say: "Clearly, if the nuclear charge is slightly potato shaped, this proves that God truly loved and continues to love potatoes!" Which makes no sense whatsoever.

But that's not me. Instead I am reminded of the odd "Ole and Lina Norwegian jokes". Please imagine the best Norwegian-American accent. Ya, will ya? Goot!

Ole goes to the beach, and he sees these pretty girls there, and he thinks to himself "Oh, if I only could get their attention!" So he talks to Lina, who always has good advice for him, and she says "To get the attention of the girls, Ole just put a potato in your swim-suit", and Ole says "Really, that's weird, but I am gonna try it". A little while later he comes back and says "Lina, your idea with the potato did not work at all!", and she looks at him and says "Ole, you know what, you hafta put da potato in da front!".

So, it's always great to solve a problem by mistake.

Google: You know we said that Chrome tracker contained no personally identifiable info? Yeah, about that...

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Niggle about terminology

I read somewhere - short memory, sorry - that credit card companies can determine from three or four of your purchases whether that's really you that made the purchase. Which only sounds scary, because if I have your name, address, phone, id, and your purchase history over many years, it seems easy to figure out whether something fits your profile.

On occasion, this even works to our advantage: Someone scammed my credit card info, made a new card with it, and went shopping - of all places at a shop that sells camping equipment, sports equipment, golf clubs, guns, ammo, bows and arrows. I never was in such a store in my lifetime, so they immediately flagged it as potential fraud. Definitely more of an "in-doorsy" guy I am. I hate camping. Golf is terrible, because of the people on the course. If I ever would need a gun, maybe because of a zombie apocalypso (a new dance), then I am not worried, because people in the US will have killed so many of their own crazies, for fun and profit, that there will be plenty of guns on the ground, allowing me to subsist on raccoons and squirrels. So, what, me worry?

Fluffy Cactus

Hmmm, to fingerprint my browser?

My browser ... has fingers ?

That's disgusting!

Next thing you tell my browser has hands as well, and doesn't wash them!


PS: Some answers just present themselves, when you want to be silly. If you don't get silly, get out!

Judge Vulcan-nerve pinches JEDI deal after Amazon forks out $42m to pause Microsoft's military machinations

Fluffy Cactus

Anyone who hires MSFT for some kind of mission critical military SOFTWARE, is an idiot.

Because MSFT does not know the meaning of "mission critical".

Nor does it know the meaning of "customer service".

MSFT is the equivalent of General Motors "Chevy Vega" of the 1970's. As in: "it just might work for you for a while, but don't come complaining to us!"

Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Possible? Yes. Probable? No.

Well, excuuuuuse me, but...

wasn't it Mr. Buttigieg who decided on hiring that mysterious "Shadow, Inc" company for the

purpose of totaling up the caucus voting results?

Really, if it were up to me to plan such a thing I would

1) Prepare an exactly similar Excel spreadsheet for each county, that is to be used

to total up their results.

2) Provide a password to each county, via a secure channel, to be used to save that excel file in an encrypted form. Easily done, it takes 5 minutes to learn that. Do you know how to save a Word or Excel file with a password? Easy if you know how. Anything with less than 20 characters is easily cracked. Don't ya know?

What's a good password? For example: "Raccoon7Blunder9Squared$#&SillyWalks"

Long, irrational, yet possible to remember.

3) Next I would ask each county officer to sign up for the Swiss "Protonmail.com" system, which is the

only e-mail system in the world today that provides "End to End" encryption. Such that the transmissions are encrypted twice, once by you, and a second time by Protonmail.

Neither Google, MSFT, Apple or anyone else does anything like that. Not even Protonmail has the password. (if you are dumb enough to lose your password, then you are too dumb to work for a caucus, or dumber than a bag of hammers, whichever comes first.) I am not affiliated with Protonmail, or have any other insight into it.

I can of course not know whether Protonmail has some secret contract with the CIA, or any other countries. The story of about the US and German co-operation with swiss-based "Crypto AG", which enabled the US to look at other countries secret messages for decades, still makes it necessary to wonder about who indeed one is able to trust.

The one way to find out whether a Encryption has been cracked by someone else, is to run a secret message through it which makes the other party react, if they could decrypt it. If they show their hand, you know your own encryption is no good. You learn that by reading about wars, ciphers, spy movies, and the various tricks of spy trade-craft. Obvious!

4) Next, after decrypting the results at the "Central shop" (whatever you call it, I don't know), one will have in the meantime a simple script that totals up all the subtotals. And it's done!

5) The number of people in computing today, who make "mere Apps" instead of well thought out, both simple and sturdy software, are legion. To many idiots working that know nothing. That there is an "App" that is supposed to reliably and safely complete this task, seems suspicious to me.

Whether Mayor Pete was essentially "bamboozled" by a Republican attempt to interfere with this "Shadow, Inc" outfit, I do not know. Given Republican lack of conscience, anything is possible. Being careful is essential. There is not enough vetting of who is behind what. Say what you will, this makes me think way less of Pete Buttigieg, because it shows a certain naivety that does not make sense in a politician, or else it makes him suspicious as a counter-agent, witting or unwitting.

Overall, I am surprised at the willful ignorance among democratic political operators. It's shameful. Be naive, and you lose. But then again, since the whole US diplomatic corps is incapable to send messages in safe encryption, why is that even a surprise? Remember Manning? Why would a low level guy get access to unencrypted top secret stuff. Are the Keystone Cops in charge of security?

Numerous wikileaks revelations were indeed the fault of those who made it "totally easy to get to, by being careless."

Were do I stand? I am a foreigner, in the US, not voting there. In terms of bias, there are more sensible ideas on the democratic side, and more mean-spirited ones on the Republican side. The ignorance on both sides is appalling.

I rest my case, or, to be more exact, my case is in a coma, because the DNC appears to be in one as well.

DNC means Democratic National Committee, i.e. the folks who decide who should be the democratic candicate for Pretzeldent.

I hope that make the rest of you happy.

Microsoft brings the pane: You'll be looking at Xamarin and React Native to design apps for dual-screen gizmos

Fluffy Cactus

I don't understand why anyone still even wants to work for MSFT. It's like working for Trump. You are asked to do something that is either impossible or illegal and then you get fired if you cannot deliver something possible or legal. These MSFT must be crazy. I had shied away from calling Mr Satyan Nadella by his real name

"Satan Nutella", but the more I hear, the more it seems to fit.

Dual screens, fast updates, no registry cruft and security in mind: Microsoft gives devs the lowdown on Windows 10X

Fluffy Cactus

Re: TL:DR version

Does it seem to anyone that software companies are the latest way to act like a MAFIA?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: TL:DR version

Long enough to read. Totally true!

Fluffy Cactus

Well, MSFT is a crazy company on whom millions rely on, the same way Trump or Boris is a crazy person on whom millions rely on.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Way to go...

From experience: From approxmately 1993 to 2016, I had never found a problem with the

basic concept of copy and paste. A k a Ctrl C and Ctrl V.

Leave it to MSFT Office 365 to mess that up.

Now, I get messages like "There is a problem with the clipboard" and "You may be able to

still paste the info to its destination"

Ask yourself: "Why would any software corporation mess with something that worked just fine for

the last 30 or 40 years? "

Leave it to MSFT to do exactly that! Do they respond to inquiries? No of course not!

Do they ban you from their "MSFT community" for asking questions? Yes they do!

Are they insane? Apparently yes!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Dual screen?

Mega excellent!

More banana-cream PIES into the face of all that is MSFT!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Not Windows 11 then

Millenium Falcon maybe?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Er, who?

Triggering from something you said, buit now forgot!

Fluffy Cactus

I don't know what Windows 10X is or does,

What I do know is that, the latest Windows 10 update (aka destroyd-ate) ended up destroying the

"Dropbox system" I had on my computer. Now, I didn't and wouldn't use Dropbox on my own accord,

but just because a client (a human, not a computer) used it to send documents to me, that's why it

became an issue. Dropbox needs a lot of help. But MSFT does not give a lot of damn, about anything!

Once again, and for the 357th time: Does MSFT ever test its updates in a real live environment?

I think: No! Noooo! Not ever! Not even close!

Crazy idea but hear us out... With robots taking people's jobs, can we rethink this whole working to survive thing?

Fluffy Cactus

Re: They toooock ewre joohbs!!!

Well, bring up the Nazis as a subject of discussion is always a bit "iffy"...

There are those who benefited from the economic upswing in Nazi Germany, specifically between

1933 and 1939, what with a) rebuilding arms of all kinds, b) which brought about jobs for many, c) having some technical advantages from building a VW, a Volksempfaenger (an fairly cheap radio made to get the German government channel in the best possible way, d) building of the "Autobahn" (a freeway system intended first and foremost to move troops in the fastest and most efficient way)

All this was paid for with "printed and borrowed money", ... funny how that reminds one of the British, the European Union, Japan, as well as the USA of today. Read all about it! It must be news to you!

Yes, I am that old!

The thing about propaganda is that "many times numerous things that people like and agree with" are

used as a "wrapper around the various big lies".

Can you find the big lie in this picture?

Let's put it another way: "just because you like an "autobahn system" does not mean you have to agree to a "slavery-prison-work-camp-and-murder-and destruction-system". You see?

It's one thing to approve of what you are allowed to see, and another to "sort-of-well-dont-wanna-know" put up with what your don't see and what you don't really want to know about.

That's the Nazi system in a quick summary. But, look around you right now, and ask yourself how many "Nazi-like" systems you see, and you don't complain, because it does not concern you directly,

and - tadaaa - there we go again, repeating history like a bunch of idiots.

Is that sort of thinking a problem to you? Or are you just in the "same old evil mold" of "whitish-beige people" vs "brown-people"?

A reasonable, fair and kind person would say: It's enough! Stop the angry, mean, ignorant, indset. But how many angry, mean,ignorant people are there? Is it possible to change them to kind, despite the many true and problematic issues they face?

Personally, I have problems. Job problems. Financial problems. But I do not blame them on people that have nothing to do with my problems. That's the difference! Do you want an easy scape-goat, or

can you accept that your problems are simply your problems?

I know that reason does not work in many situations. In many cases, people have been wronged so many times, that a blind "lashing out" is almost to be expected.

Just to make you think.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: They toooock ewre joohbs!!!

On average, if a person stands with one foot on a hot stove, and with the other on a big ice cube, government statistics will always report that they ought to feel just fine. On average!

By the same token, if the standard of living of a bunch of billionaires went up, and it went down for everyone else, there will, sure as hell, be a government report to tell us that the "economy is doing just great".

Except, who believes that sort of stuff?

Jeff Bezos: I will depose King Trump

Fluffy Cactus

Re: To be honest ...

To be honest, it gets really difficult to be honest anymore, if you fight a bunch of White Old Republican Men (a.k.a WORMs) with zero conscience and too much cash...

Fluffy Cactus

Re: To be honest ... 95 & 42

I can only hope that there are plenty of older people who, despite their racist republican hankering, would not like to have their Social Security cut.



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