* Posts by kernelpickle

20 posts • joined 24 Oct 2016

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

kernelpickle

Re: I think you underestimate it...

Well, despite the fact schools often fail to prepare their graduates for the real-world--the one area where that's not the case, is with the software they require students to learn on.

Since MS Office has been the gold standard in productivity since the 90's, it makes sense that kids would be taught those applications growing up, and why teachers would be trained on them as well. Just like GIMP will never replace PhotoShop in the professional space, students won't be taught to use GIMP instead.

This is one of those chicken/egg scenarios, because you could easily argue that if all students were taught GIMP or LibreOffice from a young age, that they'd grow up preferring those applications and businesses would switch to match the preferences of their employees--but we all know that things never work like that from the bottom up. It's always been from the top down. Once Microsoft got their foot in the door of the largest corporations, their suppliers needed to fall in line in order to collaborate and share documents back and forth, and it spread from there.

Another thing people don't seem to realize is that cost doesn't matter as much when software is used for making money. If it leads to less downtime, or lower costs of retraining employees, or some other business needs being met--and also comes with a support structure that includes professional certifications that can be used to vet the in-house staff they can hire to support it--that is far more valuable than a few dollars per license.

It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students

kernelpickle

Re: Macs

By correct American spellings, I assume that you mean to spell things exactly like the French--with the letter U where it doesn't belong. Like in the word color, which sounds exactly like the word as it's pronounced--but for some reason, you insist on spelling colour which looks awfully similar to couleur if you ask me.

Which isn't surprising since the suffix -our is rooted in Old French, and the -or suffix is rooted in Latin.

https://www.etymonline.com/word/-or

I suppose if you like your language looking all French and fruity, then I guess that works for you--but it cracks me up to hear you pompous Brits performing Shakespeare in your silly accents--when Americans actually speak using the original (and some might argue, correct) pronunciations of certain words.

http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20180207-how-americans-preserved-british-english

I know you think you're fancy speaking The Queen's English, but the English that we're speaking in America sounds far more similar to Elizabeth I (often regarded as one of your best Queens through the ages) or Shakespeare, than that snooty French nonsense you're speaking today.

Even the French on this side of the Atlantic is a truer, older form of French, because when everyone first arrived our languages forked into two distinct versions, due to the less frequent mixing back and forth. So, I'm sorry to say that your Old French spelling with an excessive number of silent U's is the linguistic equivalent of a duck billed platypus, kangaroo, or any number of ridiculous creatures that exist only in Australia.

I'm sure you might feel like your way is correct, because you had all those wars with France. I suppose that their close proximity has rubbed off on you, but as you can see (by checking my sources,) that you're the ones who changed things--not us. I'm sure that any number of engineering types on here can back me up on this point: as things go through various iterations, it's subtractive changes (which reduce complexity) that are far more desirable than additive changes (which increase complexity.) Unless of course you went to the Rube Goldberg School of Engineering!

I will concede on only one point, which is Zed--derived from the Old French (shocker) word Zede. In our defense, Zee is much better for rhyming with lyrics in the Alphabet song.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2012/10/why-do-the-british-pronounce-z-as-zed/

I just love your accent – please, have a new password

kernelpickle

I've absolutely refused sketchy requests

Back when I provided support to folks in the medical field, I received an odd call one day that I almost performed the password reset for--but didn't quite pass the sniff test.

The user that had called in asked me to reset his password, I verified the user by having him provide all the requisite information (month/day of birth, last 4 of SSN, etc...) but during the conversation, it came up that he was annoyed about having to reset his password while he was on vacation on the opposite coast. I assumed that he probably needed access to his email or something, and when I asked him to pull up the login screen from his device so that I could read off the temporary password and make sure he was able to login and reset--I found out that he didn't have his laptop, or any corporate (or even personal) device capable of reaching the login page which required Citrix to be installed.

It was at that point, I was confused enough that I started asking follow-up questions while digging through the guy's previous tickets. The caller was a medical technician that had zero reason to log into anything remotely, since his job required direct contact with patients and a giant machine located at his work site. Upon investigation of the guy's previous tickets, I saw a previous call for a password reset and when I read the notes from the last agent that took the call, I saw the reason that nothing added up.

The guy's manager had called up pretending to be the user, and thankfully my colleague refused to reset the guy's password, and when that happened the caller then owned up to the fact that he was the manager in hopes he could demand the reset from a position of authority--which the other agent didn't, and had informed the guy that only the actual user could initiate a reset and be provided with a temporary password.

So, this guy's jerk of a boss decided that instead of following proper security protocols, and requesting access for each user that needed to perform this guy's job--that they'd all just use his credentials. Well, the guy apparently changed his password recently enough that the account got locked and when he called to reset the password, and we refused (because THAT was the right thing to do) he woke this poor guy up on his Honeymoon to annoy him with problems that weren't his--on top of that, the time he called was early morning 8:00 AM eastern time so the user on the opposite coast was being harassed at 5:00 AM with the time zone difference!

After learning the truth about the whole situation, and confirming with management that if it didn't feel right to do it, that I shouldn't--and that they would back me when this guy complained. I told the user that given the circumstances, I can't knowingly reset his password when I know that it was being done to circumvent the security policy, and told him that his manager could suck it up and request access for himself or another user and we'd be happy to expedite it--but we wouldn't be resetting his password before he returned from his trip. I even made sure to reset the guys password to something random (that I made sure I couldn't remember and didn't write it down anywhere) and re-locked his account to make sure nobody could login. Made sure to leave notes for the next agent if the boss tried again, and instructed them not to do it either.

I made sure to congratulate the guy on his nuptials, and told him to enjoy the rest of his vacation, because he was under no obligation to put up with his manager's nonsense, and that if his boss persisted, that he could instruct him to contact the Help Desk for assistance requesting his own access, and an in depth explanation of the security policy. When I told the caller that if someone screwed up, or did something shady while logged into his account, that he was the one liable--at which point he thanked me, and went on his merry way.

Technically, the corporate policy said that I needed to reset that user's password, because he was able to verify his identity as the correct user--but I just couldn't do it in good conscience, because I didn't want to be the one in front of the firing squad if that manager did something stupid and I knowingly enabled it. Sure the employee would probably be the one fired for giving his credentials to his manager, but he was following orders, and I knew it was wrong--even if he didn't.

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing

kernelpickle

I've known about this for awhile...

I follow an interesting YouTube channel that's an offshoot of an equally interesting website called Today I Found Out, and they did some research into this awhile back that came to the same sad conclusion.

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2017/11/tapping-soda-can-actually-anything/

Remember the OpenAI text spewer that was too dangerous to release? Fear not, boffins have built a BS detector for it

kernelpickle

Re: A simpler solution

It’ll be labor saving for everyone but the Alex Jones types of the world. With infinitely more rabbit holes being procedurally generated, it’ll be hilarious watching them chase their tails until their heads explode!

...but maybe knowing that it’s all just bullshit written by bots will finally make them give up their shenanigans entirely?

Either way, I’m looking forward to watching the chaos!

Want to know what an organisation is really like? Visit the restroom

kernelpickle

Re: We need some ...

Well done sir! The brilliant imagery you conjured with your words, has caused me to literally laugh out loud as I read your post!

Thank you for your contribution, it is greatly appreciated!

Zookeepers charged after Kodiak bear rides shotgun to Dairy Queen

kernelpickle

Re: Sense of humor

Oh, it's way more out of control up in Canada. Just look up Canada's Human Rights Tribunals to see what I mean--it's terrible what they're doing to people in the name of human rights because it's having a chilling effect on free speech.

The only reason I even know about their humorless culture, was because they fined a guy who was barely more than an open mic comic $15k for insulting lesbians that were heckling him on-stage. It appears that since then, it's gotten even worse, because they've done it a few more times and ratcheted up the fines considerably.

Apparently, the only place that Canadian's still appear to have a sense of humor is in Montreal, during their annual comedy festival. I can't speak to whether or not that carries over through the rest of the year, but I'm sure that the local comics performing in Montreal are already pulling punches to to stay out of trouble.

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

kernelpickle

Re: Perfect!

Wow--you just brought back a memory from my childhood that I'd completely forgotten about!

We had one of those KoalaPads for an old Atari 800, which I recall being pretty disappointed with by the time my Dad finally got it up and working (I must have been 6 or 7 at the time). My childhood imagination was far too much hype for that primitive little gizmo to live up to!

I can't recall if we ever had the printer hooked up to it or not, but I don't think you missed much--even if you were amazing with that thing, those 8-bit systems weren't capable of rendering very much detail back then, and most dot matrix printers were even worse!

Equifax reveals full horror of that monstrous cyber-heist of its servers

kernelpickle

Re: And how...

Well, your silly little GDPR doesn't give you the ability to exist outside of society--and whether you like it or not, modern society has been built upon CRA's like Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

If you were to allow people to apply these insane rules to every organization that they don't trust, you'll have the foil hat brigade telling the police, and other government agencies that they don't trust them--which opens a loophole for all sorts of ne'er do wells to disappear of the official radar.

What about creditors? If someone owes money to someone they don't trust, what would stop them from filing a request to effectively block them from being able to collect on debts that are owed?!

Clearly, that simply cannot be how this ridiculousness is intended to function. I don't care how progressive you Europeans think you are, there's just no way that any government, let alone all of your collective governments, would agree to give citizens the right to avoid debts and law enforcement by filing some paperwork.

It would also break the secondary market for debts as well, because if companies can't share that information, they can't sell your debts to anyone else--which is an annoying and sketchy practice to be sure, but it's big business and big business usually wins over private citizens.

If indeed you are correct in your interpretation of the law, clearly it was an oversight, and will surely break the system. It would literally plunge the EU into the dark ages, because you'll all have to live without credit and switch to using hard or cryptocurrency for any/all transactions--good luck with that!

Civil war erupts at top of FCC over Sinclair's creepy grasp on US telly

kernelpickle

Re: I raised this Sinclair comedy Sock-Puppets incident in another forum...

...did this "angry Alt-Right nutter" like to RANDOMLY capitalize entire WORDS, for NO REASON?!

Wait, never mind--I just re-read your post and saw that you also said "His words made sense..." so, I think we're clearly talking about a different guy.

Machines making music, translating Chinese, self-driving trucks, and more

kernelpickle

I thought I heard some distinct Mozart influences in there, as well as the Bach--so it's sort of in between the two. More of a Mach piece, really...

Intellisense was off and developer learned you can't code in Canadian

kernelpickle

Re: I also considered the lazy / efficient option...

"Gifted" and "given" both have the same number of syllables--so, I don't get where it takes any longer to say. I'd also like to point out that the word "give" is used in a more broad sense, to mean the transfer of something, which may or may not involve receiving something in return--but the word "gifted" often carries further implications.

Gift:

something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.

So, it's all about context--in the case of a purchase, you wouldn't say that you were gifted something after handing the cashier money, because it was part of a transaction. You gave them money, and they gave you what you agreed to purchase. However, if they declined your payment, they could have gifted you with the item you desired to purchase--because it was given without expectation.

While there may be a "U" in the UK and EU, there's no "U" in Bexit--so, maybe some of those goofy French spellings will get dropped in the process?

Fun fact: US Customs slaps eyeglass taxes on optical networking gear

kernelpickle

Re: Tax on Glasses?

I used to work in one of Luxottica's retail stores one upon a time, and they do indeed make a very large number of lenses. They've also sold products made with lenses by Zeiss and Essilor (who they just merged with), but even before that there were plenty of house branded lenses being cut on-site.

It's not just LensCrafters either, they own Pearle Vision too, as well as their own vision benefits company, EyeMed Vision Care, and ridiculous number of retail outlets.

Sunglass Hut International | Apex by Sunglass Hut | Sears Optical | Target Optical

OPSM | ILORI | Optical Shop of Aspen | Laubman & Pank | GMO | Oliver Peoples

Alain Mikli | Oakley | David Clulow | Glasses.com | Econópticas | Salmoiraghi e Viganò

...and there's easily around 30 different designer brands that they either own, or manufacture frames for. Luxottica is not only the largest optical retailer in the United States, with 7.3% of US retail sales in 2015--but as of 2014, it is the second largest vision benefits company in the United States.

They're absolutely massive and they throw their weight around all the time. When they got into a dispute with Oakley, Luxottica simply dropped their frames from all their stores, and when Oakley stock tanked--Luxottica bought them up for next to nothing. Their largest competitor is Safilo, and they're only worth about a third of what Luxottica is--so it's not even close.

They are about as monopolistic as a company can get without getting sanctioned by the government.

Australia's new insta-pay scheme has insta-lookup of any user's phone number

kernelpickle

Re: Stupid

Yes, but there's still potential for enumeration in that system--albeit a lengthier, and far more annoying method.

If someone wanted to find out the phone number of a particular individual, all they would have to do is run through all the possible combinations of phone numbers, to see which ones hit. Now, if phone numbers were a purely random 10 digit number, it would be quite daunting to brute force your way through 10 billion possible numbers. Since phone numbers are generated in a predictable fashion, it's not hard to guess someone's area code--so, for any given area code, there is a range of 10 thousand to 10 million possible phone numbers, which would be far easier for a computer to brute force.

To avoid the issue of payments being made incorrectly to the wrong person, AND avoid enumeration attacks, the service would need to require that both name and phone number were provided by the sender. Then, after pressing the "Send" button, the service would need to respond to all attempts in the exact same fashion. After a several minute delay, the sender would then receive an email with either a confirmation that it was sent successfully--or a message that said that the name did not match the, and they would need to try it again.

That extra step would induce a massive delay, making any attempts to brute force the system so painfully slow, it becomes unfeasible--but it also require that someone first commit to sending cash, before it ever performs the check that would generate the confirmation message.

I'm sure that there are other folks that are much smarter that could come up with fancier ways to solve that problem, but if they're looking for a quick and dirty solution to the problem, my proposal wouldn't be hard to implement.

Why is Bitcoin fscked? Here are three reasons: South Korea, India... and now China clamps down on cryptocurrencies

kernelpickle

Re: I am confused

False.

Value is just a construct of the mind, and is in no way related to tangibility or utility. If we all agree that something has value, then it's valuable, and subject to supply and demand like anything else.

If we were to apply your constraints [is tangible/has utility] to the labor market, then it would be literally the opposite of what it is. Folks that work hard, doing things with their hands and serving a real purpose would be paid much more than someone working in management, human resources, marketing, etc...

Once upon a time, paper money wasn't any different that crypto-currency--because we went through numerous failed currencies in the U.S. before they moved to a gold backed currency. Even though it's no longer backed by gold, the U.S. dollar still has value, because people still have enough confidence in it, to continue trading it for goods and services.

If we all agree not to use Bitcoin, and have no faith in it's value, it won't be worth anything--but the fact that there was inflated confidence is the reason why the bubble was so big. Eventually we'll all be using Crypto-currencies for everything, because it beats the system we have now where we rely upon centralized banks to move our money around for us in a purely digital realm.

When you realize just how little cash physically exists in circulation, as compared to the amount the amount actually in use, it's staggering. If everyone made a run on the banks, and called in all their debts to be paid in full, with cash, it'd be all over--the entire system would break down.

Crypto-currency beats cash, in the fact that all the digital transactions are the same has handing physical cash to someone in person, and unlike gold--could feasibly be used in direct transactions, without having to be liquidated. As it currently stands, the stuff is just too valuable to trade directly, and it's being traded more like stocks than money--hence the ICO's, but there's still potential. Also the physical space required to store it are much less cumbersome than finding a place to keep large amounts of gold.

Amount of pixels needed to make VR less crap may set your PC on fire

kernelpickle

Re: Glasses anyone?

Correction--you my friend have presbyopia! Which is what happens to everyone as they age, because our crystalline lens loses it's ability to change shape, and adjust our focal depth--hence the reason for progressive lenses that correct for distance, intermediate, and near vision.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presbyopia

I've looked into some headsets with lens inserts, and they're pretty straightforward for folks that rely on a spherical correction (either - for myopia or + for hyperopia) to their vision, because you can get close enough with the OC height, and PD and they'll work.

However, for folks with more complicated prescriptions, it's not that easy, because there are tighter tolerances required. If you have any cylindrical correction (for astigmatism) you have the added variable of Axis to worry about, and minor changes to the OC height, PD, or angle of the lenses will produce a fishbowl effect--which can induce nausea in someone with a high enough prescription. A lens with only 0.25 correction to cylinder can be rotated by as much as 5-10 degrees without the wearer having any issues--but an RX with higher amounts of cylinder (mine I have over -3.00 in mine) can be greatly affected by changes of less than 1<5 degrees! That said, you can flip cylindrical lenses by 180 degrees and be perfectly fine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prism_correction#Prentice's_rule

Then there's the most complicated prescriptions, that have multi-focal correction (for presbyopia), which still requires lenses remain perfectly in position, because the seg height measurements need to line up correctly, so that the intermediate segment doesn't intrude on the distance vision and the wearer doesn't have tilt their head up drastically to see something at arms length--so a mm difference can be huge!

Basically--I'm all sorts of fucked now (as far as getting fancy lens inserts goes) and I'm only going to be more fucked as I age! So, I'm REALLY hoping that in my lifetime, that they'll be able to figure out how to interface with the optic nerve directly.

In the much nearer future, there may be some hope, because they've come a long way with implanted IOLs (used to repair cataracts) and now they're not only able to correct any refractive errors (including astigmatism) but the latest technology are accommodating IOLs that are able correct presbyopia! They're obviously not quite perfect yet, so you wouldn't want to get them if you didn't already have cataracts--but it seems like we're closer to making the technological advances needed to create a mechanical (or even a bio-mechanical) solution to the problem.

Hortonworks takes ex-sales manager to court over non-compete allegations

kernelpickle

It's a sad state of affairs that we allow, disgusting behavior like this is allowed to continue, completely unchecked by the government!

It's absolutely sickening, that we even allow a scenario where an innocent person like Hortonworks, would even be in a position to get abused by scumbags like this Ben Rudall! For God's sake, Hortonworks is ONLY 6 years old--doesn't anyone ever think of the children?!

Clearly, we're not doing enough to protect the most vulnerable among us, from such rampant greed! Companies have tried forcing employees to sign employment agreements that contain non-solicit, non-compete, and mandatory arbitration agreements in the past--but it hasn't been enough on it's own. Even when you've thrown in right-to-work, and at-will employment laws, people still act like the company owes THEM something!

The time has come to stop coddling these people, and it's time start getting rid of ridiculous laws that protect whistle blowers, or force corporations to pay for healthcare or taxes! #MAGA

Get ready for laptop-tab-smartphone threesomes from Microsoft, Lenovo, HP, Asus, Qualcomm

kernelpickle

Re: "binge watch TV shows for 12 hours straight"

Apparently you've never flown over an ocean, or had a delay or layover that's lasted more than a few hours.

When you've easily got that kind of time to kill, and have a hard time falling asleep on a plane--a device that can play streaming or downloaded content for that long is invaluable!

The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

kernelpickle

Re: Timely advice

Don't worry about our special relationship, things have just gotten a little more special--now that a little bit of digital penetration has been brought into the mix! ;-)

Just to be clear, I'm referring to BOTH kinds of digital penetration here... We promise to warm you up slowly, by deeply probing into all the digital bits stored inside of your electronic devices, and hopefully dig up anything naughty that you've been up to. Once we've gotten over some inhibitions, we'll REALLY start digging deep--by using several digits to meticulously probe around inside of your naughty bits, to look around for any devices that may be stored up in you!

I realize that you many not be initially on all the changes we've been making to our arrangement after so many years, but I think that we can both admit that we've simply lost some of that spark between us. This is just something new that we've decided to try out, because we really feel like it's going to help spice things up a bit! :-P

Sysadmin flees asbestos scare with disk drive, blank pay cheques, angry builders in pursuit

kernelpickle

Re: Die Hard VII: Sysadmin

...direct deposit!

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