* Posts by skeptical i

1196 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Aug 2007


T-Mobile US joins suppliers on $2.7B DoD contract for next-gen comms services

skeptical i

Re: where am I

My $0.02, FWIW:

Mint Mobile used to have good customer service, then right about the time T-Mobile courted and bought them customer service nosedived. Porting a landline number to a cellphone with Mint took less than 48 hours a couple of years ago; last year it took FOUR WEEKS of almost-daily calling to run the next support person ragged trying to port a different landline number to a different cellphone (the landline company's support responded that they had not received any port requests the handful of times I called them and I got the sense that the landline company's support staff was more on the ball and knowledgeable) and, of course, no discount or rebate was forthcoming from Mint to compensate the lost time for which I had pre-paid. Each individual CSR was friendly and most seemed genuinely interested in trying to solve the problem but I infer that they are simply not given the tools to do so and that their escalations up the support food chain yield unreliable results. T-Mobile/Mint cell reception has generally been good (in the southwest and on the northeast coast), except in the middle of Kansas where calls (to tech support to try to solve the landline porting problem) would drop but, in fairness, I don't know that other carriers have more robust coverage in this area. Sorry, Dorothy.

Sacramento airport goes no-fly after AT&T internet cable snipped

skeptical i


Wasn't this a plot point in one of the Die Hard movies, the bad guys cutting a data cable at an airport in order splice into it false information to mislead the airplanes' systems to think they were higher above ground than they actually were? Add "movies that give kids ideas" to AC's list of proscribed items.

Twitter's lawsuit against anti-hate-speech crusaders gets SLAPPed out of court

skeptical i

Re: a fool and his money

re: "If [Musk] became a homeless person . . . being told by a bunch of rednecks to go back to his country because of his accent, I would be quite amused."

Agree. But it's more likely he'll get some well-salaried "consultant" job at a company operated by one of his fan bros. Not quite a golden parachute, but better than the lead one anyone else would get.

Musk 'texts' Nadella about Windows 11's demands for a Microsoft account

skeptical i

Re: Great last line

Maybe the cover of _Mother Jones_'s Jan-Feb issue will make that vision a bit less traumatic -- https://www.motherjones.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/mojo_cover_janfeb24.jpg

BOFH: Good news, everyone – we're in the sausage business

skeptical i
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Re: CMOT Dibbler

re: named meat

ST: What is that?

ML: It's priest. Have a little priest.

ST: Is it really good?

ML: Sir, it's too good, at least.

Patti Lupone, George Hearn, and Michael Cerveris sing "A Little Priest" for Stephen Sondheim's 80th birthday celebration (7:40) -- https://www.youtube.com/embed/5aQ_uEEMPqE

Google HR hounds threaten 'next steps' for slackers not coming in 3 days a week

skeptical i
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if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it

Employees are adults, and if they think they can do better work at the office they will do so. (I for one might prefer a change of scenery on occasion to prod some "new" thinking, but that's solely my opinion.) Do companies really think that forcing commutes and office-babble-noise in order for employees to do the same thing at the office that one can do at home is going to raise morale?

Has Amazon found the ultimate lock-in? Cheap cellphone service for Prime

skeptical i

one wonders if they can shove adverts in there somehow

"People who called Joe's Pizza also called .... "

Russian businesses want to party like it's 1959 with 6-day workweek

skeptical i

Re: Seriously?

Will childcare, school, and whatever else cares for the sprogs while parents work also be extended to six days? (Not that a six-day workweek would be acceptable if they were, mind.) This would definitely be a concern in the States.

Icon because "won't someone think of the children?" is actually relevant to this topic. -->

Pornhub walls off Utah in age-verification law protest

skeptical i
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Re: I imagine Utah's most of lawmakers are happy about this outcome

Maybe operators of other restricted adult content sites should consider also walling off Utah in solidarity.

Parisians say au revoir to shared e-scooters

skeptical i

Re: Spin class ...

89% of 7.5% (6.7%) of population says get rid of 'em.

11% of 7.5% (0.8%) of population says, presumably, keep 'em.

92.5% of population shrugs.

Ain't hardly a mandate, is it.

Mind, I have no love (or animus) for e-scooters. Yes, a lot of riders are self-centered twunts who act as if anyone else on the road (or sidewalks/pavements) is "in the way" but then again so are many MANY people in vehicles. If I get hit by a scooter I may get knocked down and crack something (it's likely the scooter user will too), but if I get hit by a car my odds of survival (as a pedestrian, cyclist, or scooter user) plummet (and the driver may suffer the inconvenience of a deployed airbag, assuming the driver tries to stop). Also, scooters left in the sidewalk are more easily picked up and thrown elsewhere (no, we should not have to but at least we can); this is much harder to do with the many MANY vehicles that routinely block sidewalks/pavements with impunity.

Again, not excusing the scoo-tards who act with no consideration or even awareness of others, but in my corner of the world they ain't hardly the worst offender on that score.

SHEIN has the look of America's next tech-meets-geopolitics fit-up

skeptical i

cheap plastic shittification

If Sheit's clothes were made of cheap cotton, wool, or fabrics that could be tossed onto a compost pile (or will bio-degrade in a landfill) it would not be as big a problem, but cheap plastic (polyester, nylon, whatever) fabric only breaks down into smaller bits of plastic and causes a whole 'nother raft of problems. "Your cheap Sheit kills [marine critter of the month]" might raise some awareness, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Adam Minter's _Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale_ covers fast fashion and its [almost entirely negative] impacts, if anyone is interested; review at -- https://www.npr.org/2019/11/13/778555967/what-happens-to-your-used-stuff-secondhand-tells-of-a-billion-dollar-industry

Apple sued for allegedly firing, threatening union organizers

skeptical i
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re: a supposedly "first world" country

It's actually a "me-first world" country, with corporations getting a capital 'M' on that.

Baidu's AI chatbot ducks out of public demo

skeptical i

rubber duckie

Might ERNIE have gone MIA because Ernie, the Sesame Street character, once sang a song about his beloved rubber duckie? Of possible note is the lyric:

Every day when I

Make my way to the


I find a little fella'

who's cute and yella'

and chu-ubby:

Rubber duck duck duckie.

Given the response to Winnie-the-Pooh, one wonders if all chubby yellow (historic slur against Asians) beings are verboten. There's also another line, "rubber duckie, joy of joys, when I squeeze you you make noise" which could be read as a criticism of leadership style.


US cyber spymaster calls TikTok China's 'Trojan horse'

skeptical i

another communist plot

re: "... a generation of American civic, nonprofit, military, government leaders who, day by day minute by minute, just feel a little shittier about America"

Not to dismiss the potential of TikTok to nudge viewers' opinions, but America still not being in reality what it says on the tin is not new news. Which probably fits nicely into some people's agenda to find another way to discredit any criticism of Amurka (however well documented or researched) as just another communist plot to steal our freedom.

French parliament says oui to AI surveillance for 2024 Paris Olympics

skeptical i

Re: Between this and the pension "reform" action ...

Thanks, Luke, for this clarification. :^)

skeptical i

Between this and the pension "reform" action ...

one wonders if M. Macron actually wants to be re-elected. I infer that his victory over Marine Le Pen (~60-40 or thereabouts) was not about the voters liking him but more about disliking Ms. Le Pen (and/or her policies). Perhaps M. Macron misread the results? Or am I missing something?

Utah outlaws kids' social media addiction, sets digital curfew

skeptical i
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I have *zero* use for social media

and the cesspool much of it has become, but will concede that many populations (LGBTQ, minority religion in an enthusiastically other-religion country, women and girls in fundamentalist countries, &c) have found support and community where/when it otherwise would not exist. If, as the article suggests, these politicians are truly concerned about The Children, then redirecting effort to reducing deaths by firearm and by motor vehicle would be more productive. Yes, it will be unpopular to question Amurkins' two greatest loves -- their cars and their guns -- let alone dare to suggest anything that even smells like further regulation, but certainly The Children are worth it, yes?

Software-controlled food tech: 3D printed pipe-dream, or fatal stack instability?

skeptical i

Maybe for wedding and other specialty cakes ...

a 3-D printer could be loaded with different coloured frostings to build more detailed and intricate cake toppers than one could do "by hand" (with frosting bags, squirty tubes, and whatever else baker-wizards use these days). Otherwise methinks this is, as has already been noted, a solution looking for a problem.

T-Mobile US buys Ryan Reynolds-backed Mint Mobile for $1.35B

skeptical i
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Re: Great.

And me as well, I dumped T-Mobile for Mint (a friend had good experience with Mint and, so far, so have I) and now I'm being dumped back. Not happy about this, dunno if I'll be torqued off about it come renewal time to seek another dance partner. Pah.

Elon Musk yearns for AI devs to build 'anti-woke' rival ChatGPT bot

skeptical i

Re: It will write a positive poem about Trump

There once was a man, Donald Trump,

who needed to take a huge dump.

He thought his commode

was made out of gold,

but it left a stained ring* on his rump.

* This would explain his "golden circle" of advisors, groupies, and other hangers-on.

The fact that he used a toilet would be the positive angle.

Four top euro carriers will use phone numbers to target ads and annoy Google & Facebook

skeptical i
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Does this "targetting" stuff actually work?

Yes, to some extent, of course (most kids don't buy insurance or financial planning services, most adults don't buy sugar-bomb cereal -- not that there's anything wrong with that -- and advert placement tends to reflect this), but I am hard-pressed to believe that such fine-grained targetting will yield more enough sales to justify the expense, hassle, and privacy risks (which corporations won't care about, but politicians could be made to with enough public outcry). I can not help but think that there is something deeply wrong with The System if this is what corporations feel they need to do in order to stay solvent.

Fat EVs may cause 'more death on our roads' – watchdog

skeptical i

Re: Old people want "safe" cars

re: "Mandating a weight limit is probably the only way to go."

One could try adding a per-pound fee to the annual vehicle registration process. This might be something to consider as states lose petrol tax revenues with increased electric vehicle use, and the per-pound fees can be dedicated to the increased amount of maintenance roads will require (the point is well taken that heavy commercial trucks are already messing up our roads, but they typically do not frequent residential streets -- this is where heavier electric family sedans will have a more noticeable effect).

Amazon's attempt to crush New York union slapped down

skeptical i
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Re: I don't get it

I thought I read somewhere that some employees in Alabama (don't remember if at Amazon specifically or if this was from "man on the street" surveys of passers-by) were concerned that if they did manage to get a union, the company would just close that location and move on (half a loaf -- or, maybe more accurately, "a stale slice" -- being better than none).

Icon for the companies and municipalities that create the conditions for such speculation to be plausible, not for the employees looking out for their paychecks.

CES Worst in Show slams gummi gouging, money-wasting mugs, and other dubious kit

skeptical i

re: "iFixit's forums are full of people looking to replace the batteries on their $200 Ember mug,"

More than one person (the inventor's mum) actually bought one of these things?

New York gets right-to-repair law – after some industry-friendly repairs to the rules

skeptical i

Re: Narp

re: " basically anything that requires power to run ... the quality has fallen off a cliff in recent time"

"Durable goods" are now defined as appliances with an expected lifespan of three years . . . or maybe it's five, but I think it's three. Either way, it's a far cry from when a brand of clothes washers used to spotlight its repairman being in utter despair because there was no work for him because the machines were so darn reliable. The high cost of cheap stuff. At least most "white goods" appliances are in steel containers that can be recycled.

Twitter datacenter melted down in Labor Day heat

skeptical i

such a waste

All the leccy being used at Twaddle's three datacenters (to run the servers, the cooling, the lights, the coffee machine, &c) while other parts of California were told not to use "too much" juice in order to mitigate the chance of brownouts. Perhaps shutting down this not-essential nonsense should be the first step, before asking Grandma to not turn on the aircon until after "peak hours".

Chemical plant taken offline by the best one of all: C8H10N4O2

skeptical i
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Re: Coffee as glue

"all that was left was the dusty ancient ruins of their civilisation"

My name is Coffeemandias.

Google Maps, search results to point women to actual abortion providers

skeptical i

Re: Care

George Carlin (RIP) made this very point back in 1996 (~8:10) -- https://www.youtube.com/embed/M-bLf4F0PM4 -- sanctity of life until it's born, then you're on your own.

Google gets the green light to flood US Gmail inboxes with political spam

skeptical i

Re: Forward it on the FCC

Whatcha' doin'?

Eatin' chocolate.

Where'd you get it?

Doggie dropped it.

I believe this was posted by another commentard a while back, I can not take credit.

Google hit with lawsuit for dropping free Workspace apps

skeptical i
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Re: re: Look, it’s new! Get it quick!

re: "be prepared for [the latest goober product] to simply stop working after a period"

Or be "improved" to the point of extreme frustration if not uselessness.

Amazon to buy Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7b

skeptical i

when the ringie-thingie talks to the roomba

I'm waiting for Amazon't to "upgrade" their Ring thing so it can communicate with the Roomba and order it to scramble out the cat/doggie door to chase away any door-knockers (political campaign/ candidate canvassers, union organizers) that Amazon't deems unworthy. While it may not put The Fear into said canvassers now ("oh, how cute, your vacuum escaped") options available to future Roombas (flame thrower, whirling razor blades, frikkin laser beams) may do the trick.

Lockheed Martin wins $213m contract to update F-35 datacenter

skeptical i
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Re: How much more money is going to be poured into this money pit?

"It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the Air Force has to hold a bake sale to buy a B-1 bomber."

Poster archived on the Smithsonian website -- https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1300187

National defense is important. So too are technical advances that ideally save pilot and civilian lives. But this is just greed dolled up and sold as a multi-function aircraft.

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

skeptical i
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re: "If you have 95% of search traffic why do anything better"

Ayup. Many places, not just gooble, seem to have abandoned the idea of good customer service or product experience in favour of "we just have to suck a little bit less than everyone else" (or "we can suck as bad as the rest of 'em if we're cheaper").

60 million in the Matrix as users seek decentralized messaging

skeptical i
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Re: What I'd like to see

I was just going to say that Jitsi ticks most, if not all, of Steelpillow's boxes. However, I'm not a daily "power user" and while it works just ducky for me, YMMV.

1.9m patient records exposed in healthcare debt collector ransomware attack

skeptical i

Re: The root cause here...

@JacobZ: Came here to say the same thing but you beat me to it. Have some mental health care. ---->

SCOTUS judges 'doxxed' after overturning Roe v Wade

skeptical i

Re: The left no longer understand what democracy means.

@Khaptain: With all due respect, doxing appears to be an equal opportunity activity, with individuals on the "left" and the "right" (and elsewhere) being targets. That said, I share your concern about this form of mob rule ("Dox the witch!") being mistaken for democracy.

Boris Johnson set to step down with tech legacy in tatters

skeptical i

Re: 37 Billions

@iron: I am so sorry about your loss.

UK signs deal to share police biometric database with US border guards

skeptical i
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not helpful

There are many many lovely places (and people) in Amurka, but despite many mostly locally owned businesses in these places being heavily reliant on tourism our gubmint is not exactly making it easier or more welcoming for non-Murkins to visit (if this is how we treat the citizens of countries with whom we notionally have "a special relationship", how do we treat "mere" allies? everyone else?).

Soviet-era tech could change the geothermal industry

skeptical i
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Re: Is 500°C (932°F) hot enough?

Might help with the politics of the Green New Deal, if current coal plant operators can replace their dirty black chunks with an FDH (and some other modifications that will no doubt be needed) and keep on running. Maybe Joe Manchin will even support it.

Meta agrees to tweak ad system after US govt brands it discriminatory

skeptical i

wasted overkill

Anything more complicated/ invasive than "you posted about going out to dinner, your profile indicates you're in East Sometown, we'll show an advert for a restaurant within ten miles of East Sometown or for a national restaurant chain if we don't have anything specifically in East Sometown" or "you posted about going to your kid's ball game, we'll flash an advert for a sporting goods store" seems wasted to me, but I don't do fecesbook so what do I know.

Amazon fears it could run out of US warehouse workers by 2024

skeptical i

military equip

Just remember, soldiers, your equipment was made by the low bidder. Now get out there.

Taser maker offers electric-shock drones to stop school shootings

skeptical i

Re: Causes

Hi, GP:

Actually it was Michael Moore who did the _Bowling for Columbine_ documentary -- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bowling_for_Columbine -- and -- https://watchdocumentaries.com/bowling-for-columbine/

Roger Moore was somewhere else in the firearms discussion, saving the world from various baddies as James Bond 007.

IBM adds side order of NLP to McDonald's AI drive-thru chatbots

skeptical i

Re: do you want fries with that?

"Here I am with a brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take fast food orders. Call that job satisfaction? I don't." Apologies to Marvin.

US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew

skeptical i

re: "operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed"

Depending on how one defines "view", this can be true of google and other ad-/track-ware slingers: does "view" mean that the image was summoned (and may have been blocked)? that the advert image actually loaded into the viewer's browser as intended (and wasn't s/adimage.gif/smilyface.gif/ by a browser extension or other end-user magic)? that the viewer actually laid eyeballs on that corner of the page? that the viewer paid enough attention to recall the product or service? Not to let Threeve off the hook, they just seem to have been more creative about exploiting a flaw in the whole concept.

Bing! Microsoft tests search box in the middle of Windows 11 desktop

skeptical i

your cheating hearts (or blackjack or rummy or ...)

re: "Microsoft warned that games using anti-cheat software might cause the OS to fall over."

I'm sure there's a technical reason for this (some bit of code that stops the cheating gunks up Win11's innards), but it's still ... interesting ... that Win11 would seem to endorse cheating. Sorry, gaming is not my world and maybe I'm missing something.

Jeffrey Snover claims Microsoft demoted him for inventing PowerShell

skeptical i

la plus ca change ....

"Courage is a key characteristic of future leaders and previous employees." -- J. Snover

"'Controversial' only means 'this will lose you votes'. 'Courageous' means 'this will lose you the election'!" -- Sir H. Applebee

Google Docs crashed when fed 'And. And. And. And. And.'

skeptical i


Anyone try a snippet of the Monty Python skit to see what happens?

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

skeptical i

Re: Fun Audio Fisticuffs

... and be a gneiss guy ...

Meta materials: Facebook using AI to design green concrete

skeptical i

Re: oh dear, that's made things complicated

Yeah, I was just wondering "huh? fecesbook has done something USEFUL?" Will wonders never cease.

Amazon internal chat app that censored talk of unions and ethics may 'never launch at all'

skeptical i

It's not forced overtime.

It's a special productivity operation. Vladimir said so.