* Posts by Fluffy Cactus

94 posts • joined 8 Jul 2015

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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

Boeing!

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.

Meanwhile:

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!

Yikes!

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.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: To be honest ...

I am not sure.

Honestly, I hate Microsoft, and Bezos almost equally, but I disdain the evil orange greed-monster even more, so is it wrong to say that I want all three of them disappear from the planet, all at the same time?

Like, poooof!

But then again, I don't want to give Apple, Google, Oracle an unfair advantage either, so I am really, really confused about the situation. Would it be allowable to say: "May they all die and roast in hell or at least in the core of the sun, or something?" Is that such a bad thing to wish for?

Is this what Pink Floyd meant, when they made that song: "Set the controls for the heart of the sun"?

Let me know!

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Rebranding exercise

Maybe they'll come out with the 737 FXD - hopefully fixed.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Minor edit...

Well, yeah, uhm, gee, Trump doing something right is sort of like praising Hitler for the autobahn and the VW. And somehow, I don't know how, I think it's possible to build a freeway and a car without starting a war that kills millions. But that's just me!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: ... the FAA's statutory mandate to "promote" the aviation industry

I know next to nothing about how to build a jet engine and a jet airplane. Yet I also like Mr. Feynman, who knew nothing about Space-shuttle Challenger, yet he figured out how it happened and why. From folding paper airplanes and letting them fly, both into the wind and against the wind, I know just a wee bit about airworthiness. With that knowledge, I'll say:

It's about BALANCE. In theory and in practice, you want a plane that "sits in the air comfortably". Anytime a plane either is too heavy at the front, or in the back, you got a problem with BALANCE. Kindly use your imagination, and keep your sense of humor handy as well.

With paper planes, it's easy to counteract a paper plane's tendency to fly up too steeply into the air, (especially against the wind) and to enter a stall condition, making it dive deeply, only to go up steeply again. That results in an "upsy, downsy, upsy, downsy" flight path, which can be fixed either by a counterweight (a paper clip, generally) at the nose, or by "ripping some wing-flaps (aka elevators) into the back-wings" and to adjust these "elevators on the back wing slightly downward" (via trial and error), to make the flight path smooth, easygoing, long-lasting and super-cool.

With jet planes, a gigantic paper clip attached to a B 737 Max to the nose, or thereabouts, is generally out of the question. Neither Office Depot, Office Max, or anyone carry such sufficiently gigantic paper clips, and even if they did, the result would be a type of "doo-hicky, duct-tape like" solution that does not inspire the desired confidence in the flying public. Thus, we can disregard the paper-clip solution from the start.

Clearly, Boeing tried to produce a solution that involved the elevators on the back wing, and a type of air-flow measuring device in the front, (which in essence functions like a weather vane or wind vane), that is electronically transmitting input to the flight computer. MCAS then tries to put together the info about speed, angle of the plane, stalling limits, and the level of change in how fast it's moving upwards or downwards, and provides automated output, leading to automated corrective action. Fair enough.

But then again, in practice, if the plane is flying in a type of weather, such as when either hot air over a desert, or humid hot air over an ocean, or a T-storm, is rising rapidly, would the weather vane input show false info, simply by being pushed slightly upward? I'd say that's a consideration. Has that been considered? Just wondering! Testing in Washington State, but then flying over Sahara or over tropical seas? Think!

Likewise, the elevator flaps in the back wings are really important to any pilot, because they make the plane either move up, or move down, or stay level. If I were a pilot, and some flight computer suddenly overrules my ability to maneuver the plane, I'd be more than slightly concerned, especially if Boeing, as it turned out, did not even inform me about this possibility. I am not accusing Boeing of wrong-doing, I am just reporting ideas.

Sure, is man always right? No! Is the computer always right? No again! Man vs machine, an age old problem. Lot's of variables to consider, such as balance, fuel use, profitability, etc.

Next, has Boeing considered refining the way the input from the weather vane indicators is handled? This type of input appears to be subject to more random moves by the elements, weather, etc. Updrafts, downdrafts, water, rain, ice, storms, etc... how are these factors weighing in on how the raw data is being used?

Has Boeing considered actual counterweights to the forward position of the new more efficient jet engines? Yup, weight costs money, but sometimes a small change makes a big diff.

Also, could the position of the thrust reversers be changed, such that only one part, one half of them, could be used to provide slight upward thrust as a corrective action, (as opposed to MCAS interfering with the elevators in the back wings). I think that the thrust reversers currently are used only horizontally, providing breaking action to the forward left and to the forward right upon landing, with each half of them fully deployed. A 45 degree rotation of the reverse thrust "thingies", and revamping, so that they could independently provide a bit of either upward or downward thrust could be a solution to that MCAS dilemma. Can you imagine what I say here?

Cost? I don't know! Come on, I started with paper airplanes, how should I know cost accounting? That's your job.

Sure, for the military, nothing appears to be too expensive to try, while for the commercial market nothing appears to be too cheap to try. How about some balance between the two? Really now, Boeing, can't you use some of your military profits to make your commercial planes a wee bit safer? Give yourself a push and do it. Without imagination, you got nothing.

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: A good u-turn

There is a free Notepad with a few bells and whistles available via GNU

it's called Notepad++

So if MSFT outlaws their own Notepad (because it works too well, I guess), you know what to look for.

Shock! US border cops need 'reasonable suspicion' of a crime before searching your phone, laptop

Fluffy Cactus

Re: A CITIZEN'S rights

There are numerous laws, especially tax laws, that are interpreted differently in the US than anywhere else. By law, for example, you become subject to US tax laws "simply by being there long enough", regardless of whether you are a US citizen or not. They do this by saying "Once you have been here a certain number of months, you are a resident and subject to US tax laws". And, you would think that this "residency" would stop automatically by simply "no longer being there for a sufficient number of months, but, nooo, you have to let them know that you are gone and won't come back, or else the long arm of US tax law can still get you". True in fact, and by law. Luckily, if you are a poor sap with nothing but a silly pay-check to your name, they won't come after you. But, if you are a "worthwhile billionaire" who has not bribed enough politicians with protection money, then they are gonna get you.

Yup, the Americans have often made laws that are valid "wherever, whenever, forevermore". Their mindset is weird, overbearing and without regard to the laws of other countries, similar to the million year contract a scientology member is supposed to sign.

So, people who are running governments and make laws often are certifiably insane. Most laws should come with an expiration date.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: A CITIZEN'S rights

In fair-minded US states, yes. In unfair-minded states, No.

Bloke thrown in the cooler for eight years after 3D-printing gun to dodge weapon ban

Fluffy Cactus

Re: There's a lot more heat than light in this thread, mostly from gun owners of the USA.

Anything going fast enough is trouble to whatever is just standing there.

These guys from "Mythbusters" sort of proved that by shooting a two-by-four inch piece of wood through

a brickwall, and , if I am not mistaken, they also shot a head of lettuce through something that was not strong enough to resist a head of lettuce going 1000 miles per hour, or something...

Fluffy Cactus

There are some things to consider: "The way people wrote and spoke in 1776", and the "situation the US was in as a country in 1776".

The 2nd amendment first states "the reason why", i.e. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state", for doing something, and it then states "the thing to be done or not done", which is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

To me, "a well regulated militia" means "not necessarily a loosely organized group of guys doing shooting practice in the woods and calling themselves a militia, because 'hey, we had a meeting or two'."

No, "a well regulated militia" means, in 1776, what is meant TODAY by a "legally authorized police force, a police department, or a County Sheriff's department" or a "legally authorized military force" (i.e. Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, etc.) In 1776, the US had trouble to maintain a standing army, because it costs money. The UK was the rich Top Dog of the world, in 1776.

Likewise, the USA of 1776 was for several decades in a state of war or rebellion with the United Kingdom of England. Back then, the US had good reason to believe that the UK would strike back and re-conquer those darn rebel Americans at any moment (as proven by the raid in 1812 by the Brits, that burned down the White House, 36 years after 1776).

For that reason the ability to pull together forces that "already had arms" was an important factor in writing the 2nd amendment the way it was written. This was the easiest cheapest method they had back then to raise an army. But things are different today. We got Police, we got Sheriffs, the National Guard, we got the US Armed Forces.

Your own so-called "well-regulated militias" are no longer being called up to serve, as such. Can you see that? I can.

I know that fact will make you sad, because anyone wants to be part of some "history-changing" movement, and everyone wants to believe that what they are doing is the absolute right thing. I get that. I know you won't like my reasoning, because you are a true believer in the "mindset" of 2nd amendment fans.

You think that your guns ("those toys") are what keep a state free of tyranny? Well, let me see. From your mindset, it seems likely that you think that "Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama" were trying to set up a tyrannical state. So, what would happen if you used your guns to "end the tyranny"? You'd get the death penalty or life in prison, depending on the state you live in! And for some folks on the left, "Reagan, Bush, Bush 2 and Trump" were the ones who

were trying to set up a state of tyranny. If they used guns to "end the tyranny", they'd get the same death or life in prison sentence. So it is not altogether THAT easy to "keep a state, a country free from tyranny" just by owning guns, don't you think?

Todays tyrannical leaders get "elected", somehow, by "pushing the right (or wrong) buttons of the electorate. (Maybe I should not mention that Hitler was initially elected into power, because it's always wrong to mention him. oops. It's like mentioning underwear in church.)

Like Detective Columbo, there is one more thing

"Let's look at what the 2nd amendment DOES NOT SAY":

It DOES NOT say "A slightly unwell de-regulated marauding militia, being necessary to the paranoia of a weird state, the right of crazy mass-murderers to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed".

Say what you will, but I am 100% certain that it never said that. It just didn't! No, no, no! Seven times no!

So, WHY didn't it say that? Because, WHATEVER the actual 2nd amendment means, it could not have meant that "crazy people shall be allowed and encouraged to have guns to kill others, especially innocent kids, like a freakin' monster from hell".

And WHY could it not have meant that?

Because laws must be interpreted for the most reasonable, most beneficial, most likely INTENT!

Because LAW WITHOUT REASON IS FOR NAUGHT!

LAW WITHOUT REASON IS WORTH NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, DE NADA! Alright, I stop yelling.

Whenever laws have unintended side-effects, any reasonable and lawful governing body is under an obligation to change the laws in such a way that the "unintended effect" goes away. Of course, I am idealist when I say that, since wherever I look, laws are being made by short-sided, and possibly corrupt lawmakers who somehow never get the time, the money or the votes to fix the laws they have made. (Similar to software companies, or the pharmaceutical industry, etc....)

Thus, because of all of the above, you are not convincing me that your ideas are right. They may sound great, strong, manly and patriotic, but once you think about them, they are not all that smart. And that's why I think that crazy people should not have guns. I hope I made myself clear.

As long as you are not insane, you can keep your guns, but please lock them up. As soon as you turn insane, please turn yourself in!

You can see why I am not a politician or a lawyer. Too effing honest. "Vote Fritz, because at least he is honest", or "Vote Fritzie, because he means well" are not the best campaign slogans for myself, but that's all I got in the short run.

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Because

Well, you can read it your way, and you can read it my way.

There are some things to consider: "The way people wrote and spoke in 1776", and the "situation the US was in as a country in 1776".

The 2nd amendment first states "the reason why", i.e. "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state", for doing something, and it then states "the thing to be done or not done", which is "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."

To me, "a well regulated militia" means "not necessarily a loosely organized group of guys doing shooting practice in the woods and calling themselves a militia, because 'hey, we had a meeting or two'."

No, "a well regulated militia" means, in 1776, what is meant TODAY by a "legally authorized police force, a police department, or a County Sheriff's department" or a "legally authorized military force" (i.e. Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, etc.) In 1776, the US had trouble to maintain a standing army, because it costs money. The UK was the rich Top Dog, in the world, in 1776.

Likewise, the USA of 1776 was for several decades in a state of war or rebellion with the United Kingdom of England. Back then, the US had good reason to believe that the UK would strike back and re-conquer those darn rebel Americans at any moment (as proven by the raid in 1812 by the Brits, that burned down the White House, 36 years after 1776).

For that reason the ability to pull together forces that "already had arms" was an important factor in writing the 2nd amendment the way it was written. This was the easiest cheapest method they had back then to raise an army. But things are different today. We got Police, we got Sheriffs, the National Guard, we got the US Armed Forces.

Your own so-called "well-regulated militias" are no longer being called up to serve. Can you see that? I can.

I know that fact will make you sad, because anyone wants to be part of some "history-changing" movement, and everyone wants to believe that what they are doing is the absolute right thing. I get that. I know you won't like my reasoning, because you are a true believer in the "mindset" of 2nd amendment fans.

You think that your guns ("those toys") are what keep a state free of tyranny? Well, let me see. From your mindset, it seems likely that you think that "Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama" were trying to set up a tyrannical state. So, what would happen if you used your guns to "end the tyranny"? You'd get the death penalty or life in prison, depending on the state you live in! And for some folks on the left, "Reagan, Bush, Bush 2 and Trump" were the ones who were trying to set up a state of tyranny. If they used guns to "end the tyranny", they'd get the same death or life in prison sentence. So it is not altogether THAT easy to "keep a state, a country free from tyranny" just by owning guns, don't you think?

Todays tyrannical leaders get "elected", somehow, by "pushing the right (or wrong) buttons of the electorate. (Maybe I should not mention that Hitler was initially elected into power, because it's always wrong to mention him. It's like mentioning underwear in church.)

Like Detective Columbo, there is one more thing

"Let's discuss what the 2nd amendment DOES NOT SAY":

It DOES NOT say "A slightly unwell de-regulated marauding militia, being necessary to the paranoia of a weird state, the right of crazy mass-murderers to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed".

Say what you will, but I am 100% certain that it never said that. It just didn't! No, no, no! Seven times no!

So, WHY didn't it say that? Because, WHATEVER the actual 2nd amendment means, it could not have meant that "crazy people shall be allowed and encouraged to have guns to kill others, especially innocent kids, like a freakin' monster from hell".

And WHY could it not have meant that?

Because laws must be interpreted for the most reasonable, most beneficial, most likely INTENT!

Because LAW WITHOUT REASON IS FOR NAUGHT!

LAW WITHOUT REASON IS WORTH NOTHING, ZERO, ZILCH, DE NADA!

Whenever laws have unintended side-effects, any reasonable and lawful governing body is under an obligation to change the laws in such a way that the "unintended effect" goes away. Of course, I am idealist when I say that, since wherever I look, laws are being made by short-sided, and possibly corrupt lawmakers who somehow never get the time, the money or the votes to fix the laws they have made. (Similar to software companies, or the pharmaceutical industry, etc....)

Thus, because of all of the above, you are not convincing me that your ideas are right. They may sound great, strong, manly and patriotic, but once you think about them, they are not all that smart. And that's why I think that crazy people should not have guns. I hope I made myself clear.

As long as you are not insane, you can keep your guns, but please lock them up. As soon as you turn insane, please turn yourself in!

You can see why I am not a politician or a lawyer. Too effing honest. "Vote Fritz, because at least he is honest", or "Vote Fritzie, because he means well" are not the best campaign slogans for myself, but that's all I got in the short run.

Google offers to leave robocallers hanging on the telephone

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Remember the olden days...

Actually I forgot the olden days

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Remember the olden days...

That you can easily counteract by picking up and hanging up in a second.

Fluffy Cactus

I don't have a blacklist, so unless I am working, or sleeping, or eating, or dealing with a host of necessary bodily functions, I'll still pick up the phone and say nothing at all. The robo calls appear to be voice activated, or even geared towards responding to something like "Hello", or "Hi this is ..." or "is this you, baby?"

When I say "meeeow!", or "Woof, woof, woof" they hang up quickly. Currently I am experimenting to see which bird call, elefant sound, lion roar, frog or duck sound, etc. confuses the robo caller the most.

I also confuse people by using manners: When someone calls and says "Is this Bobby?" without introducing themselves, then I say "The international standard of phone manners requires that the caller introduces themselves first! Without being properly introduced I cannot talk to you!" Not even legitimate callers can handle that sort of a lesson.

I should mention the most hilarious call situation I had in about 2015, when Obama was still president:

A "cold calling" guy from some mortgage company gave me this line: "Hi, we are working alongside president Obama to get you the lowest government guaranteed rate for your next mortgage,..."

and I interrupted him and asked "You are working alongside president Obama? Can you put him on the line? " ... and the guy was cracking up, laughing out loud and hung up.

I got both artificial and natural stupidity working for me. It doesn't get me a job, but it's entertaining.

And if it's not funny, it's just not worth it.

The butterfly defect: MacBook keys wrecked by single grain of sand

Fluffy Cactus

Re: "Der Reg" actually

No it's "Das Register" in German. And it's "Der Standard". Even if you has German as your first language, just like I do, you can still get it wrong. And that's in part because, like you said, inanimate things tend to carry a rather random grammatical gender in this weird language. I posted another item on this blog to explain more clearly why this is so. But, LeoP, if you talk about grammar and what is or is not right, it would help if you spelled "gramatical" as "grammatical, and "definitly" as definitely.

Your homework shall be to determine the proper grammatical gender of Jogurt (or Joghurt) in German.

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Was Intel Aware?

I don't know how address spaces inside Intel CPU's are accessed, and I don't know how they are protected from any access. With the benefit of wonderful un-informed ignorance, I am here to help!

(Cue Andy Kaufman's "Here I come to save the daaaay!!" )

So anyway, I remember when, in the 1980's and 1990's certain tricky viruses and worms would use "specific spaces" on a given hard drive, and would take advantage of the then existing technology of "hard-drive-management" which marked certain spots (clusters, specific hard drive memory areas, etc) as bad and unusable if they could not be read after a certain number of unsuccessful read attempts. So, these viruses would install themselves, and then mark the locations where they were hiding out, as "bad and unusable" to the system, while they themselves could still access their nasty programs.

Given this flashback down memory lane, I now am wondering whether the various memory units (clusters, registers, whatever you call it) inside Intel CPU's have a similar method of denying memory

access to the system? That is, an area marked unusable that actually is still good. Effectively invisible, but still accessible to those parts of the system that are informed about the "good bad spots".

That's how i imagine one could fix this problem, together with another system of pseudo-randomly storing the vulnerable data in pseudo-randomly different spots.

Anyone think this is possible, or able to tell why it's impossible?

Parity calamity! Wallet code bug destroys $280m in Ethereum

Fluffy Cactus

Re: TOld is when you remember the invention of the 8" floppy

No, the Winchester 73, from 1873 - definitely was before 8" floppies. I know because I am 198 years old,

and I exaggerate.

Cops hate encryption but the NSA loves it when you use PGP

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Warranted

I am sorry sir, but it is not very smart to reveal such secrets as the 'graphite nanoparticles in writing instruments'. Now that they know that, they are going to using stolen pencils from the "mini-golf-course'.

Brit moron tried buying a car bomb on dark web, posted it to his address. Now he's screwed

Fluffy Cactus

At the very least, the guy seems to be a bit old to act like a 10 year old who wants to build a rocket with

a chemistry set, which was possible and legal back in the 1960's, in a small European county. But it of course was rather stupid, as we could have hurt or killed ourselves and others.

At that age I and my brother learned that a rocket made of several rolled up newspapers paper, using

weedkiller and aluminum paint powder, and a couple other ingredients, has serious burn-thru issues. And since "dumb luck was the only guidance system" our rocket had, it ended up landing in the neighbors vegetable garden and destroyed a couple tomato plants. Our dad had to pay for the plants, and we tried to stay out of sight for several days. All the required parts and supplies were available to anyone, even kids, at garden and hobby stores. Fifty or sixty years on, and we could be considered not just stupid kids, but terrorists, and end up in jail, and such.. Just because we were inspired by the

Apollo Space program.

This story did not make into my "What I did on my summer vacation" assignment.

Boffins: We can identify you by your typing, and we're gonna sell the tech to biz, govt – yay!

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Accelerometer data

Several thoughts are streaming through my mind like rivulets

of cascading insights leading to a plethora of splendiferous

perceptions. . .

1) I always could tell whether it was Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, or Wagner who

were hitting the keys just so, same with KISS and Norah Jones, the Sex Beatles,

no, wait, the Beatles and the Sex Thistles, no Pistols, .... so I guess we'll all be famous.

Which is as useful as everyone winning the lottery at the same time.

2) W h a t i f I t y p e d r e a l l y s l o w l y

aaaa nnnnnn ddd m aa d e ma n n y m ee s t a k e ss

w o u l d "they" s t i l l f i g u u rr e o u t i t ' s m e?

What if I were rich and used a different secretary from the typist pool

each time? Oh wait, that was in the 50's. Forget it. End of story.

I got a "non-smart phone", I use "speed-dialing", and I don't text. Does that help?

3) I read somewhere that credit card companies can often determine who

is using a credit card by analyzing a mere three purchases. Pattern recognition, baby!

One particular credit card company needed only one (1) purchase to figure out my card info had been

snatched, because the hapless thief made a purchase at a "sports equipment store".

(Since "sport" costs money, is exhausting, can hurt you, can even kill you, such a

purchase was "so totally obviously not me", that this ID thief was busted on the first try. Ha!)

4) Isn't anything you do online already tied to some sort of global user id, in addition

to all sorts of IP address stuff? And aren't we already identified by the same old and tired

web-sites we visit each time? Plus, if I go online and check my e-mail, then MI6, the

NSA, Putin, Jong-Il, along with Google-Face-Apple-MSFT will know that it's me.

If they are interested in me. Which I bet they are not, because I know nothing, and

I got nothing.

5) I don't understand how VPN works, because if something is not encrypted from beginning to

end with a password that ONLY I and the FINAL RECIPIENT know, how can it be possibly safe?

Can anyone explain that to me?

Linus Torvalds may have damned systemd with faint praise

Fluffy Cactus

Re: Cannonlake, kabylake, coffeelake, skylake

I am sorry if this is off topic, but... since you brought up Emerson Lake and Palmer,

let me give you my "memory" version of the ending of the song "Lucky Man" circa 1970:

Lake: oooooooooooooooooooooh, what a luckkky maaaan, he waaaa-aaaas!

Emerson: ooooouuuuaaaaaiiiiiiiiiii badabad oooooeeee oooooeeeee

bididibaaaadaaaabooooodeeebaaadaaaa schawwwuuuuuooooowwwwongg...

Palmer: tit ka tit kat tit ka tit

Emerson: pscheeeooooo dscheeeiiooo booding ka tish ka tish badadada ting

pipipipiee didieieid badschuuung badschuioop tschhh bussschhh

Palmer: tit ka tit ka tit . . .

Emerson: dididi dididi bibaooobibaabaadschoooob oooooooeeeeee badschoooonnngg

ooooooohh waaaaaaaaay teep teep teip tip tip didl did did foooob

Palmer: tit ka tit ka tit dsch busch booof tsssooop

It sounded ok while it was in my head. It's hard to explain if you don't know the song.

If that doesn't make you happy, then I don't know what I am doing.

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