The OS that wouldn’t die

Microsoft can’t possibly be happy with this: BGR reports that Windows 7 has over 47 percent of the PC operating-system market, while Windows 8 and 8.1 combined barely broke 10 percent.

This, however, escalates to Utterly Flabbergasting:

According to the latest report from Net Market Share, XP’s market share increased from 28.98% in December to 29.23% in January.

XP. Otherwise known as 5.1. Who knew? (Me. I still run XP at home and on my work box.)

Implausible as it may seem, there are still a few actual Vista (Windows 6) users out there. Everyone I know who bought Vista either downgraded to XP or happily jumped to 7 the moment it appeared.

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Junior members of the pack

If anyone was wondering if the Timberwolves had any depth, the answer is clearly Yes: with three starters sidelined — Kevin Love, Corey Brewer and Nikola Peković were all hors de combat — the depleted Wolves trailed the Thunder by only one after the first quarter, by two at halftime, by three after the third quarter. Did they lose by four? Surprisingly, no: Minnesota faltered a bit late, and the Thunder were able to send them back to their barely-colder-than-here home town on the wrong side of a 106-97 final. (Temperatures at the horn: Oklahoma City 12°; Minneapolis-St. Paul -1°.)

Maybe there was some fatigue involved: the Wolves were at home last night, thrashing the Lakers. Then again, big minutes didn’t seem to hurt Ricky Rubio (19 points, 33 minutes) very much until the very end, or Dante Cunningham (18 points, 43 minutes) at all. And the Wolves got 40 points out of what was left of their bench, led by the ever-pesky J. J. Barea with 11. The Wolves also didn’t foul very much: the Thunder took only 11 free throws all night. (There have been times when Kevin Durant got that many by himself.)

But the Thunder, who lost the first game of this season series, weren’t about to split 2-2 with another Northwest team. KD checked in with a below-average 26 points — how often is 26 points below anyone’s average? — and Reggie Jackson rose to the occasion with 20 points and nine assists, the latter a career high. Guarding the middle, Kendrick Perkins managed six points (above his average) and 12 rebounds. Derek Fisher led the bench with 13. Jeremy Lamb’s assignment toward the end of the game was to guard rookie forward Shabazz Muhammad; while Muhammad was calmly knocking down six points in six minutes, radio guy Matt Pinto was wondering if maybe Lamb didn’t know, or had forgotten, that Muhammad was left-handed. Some days life is like that.

The Thunder are off to Orlando for a Friday-night contest, and will be back home Sunday afternoon to entertain the struggling New York Knicks.

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The old family name

Surnames, apparently, tend to have little social mobility: they’re established at a particular point on the food chain, and they tend to stay there. Steve Sailer suggests a reason why this may be so in certain cases:

[H]igh status surnames can recruit new female talent. For example, John Churchill, the first duke of Marlborough, enjoyed a spectacular career as a politician-adventurer, eventually winning the crucial battle of his generation over the French at Blenheim. He was made the first Duke of Marlborough and given a palace and then … not much happened talentwise for five or six generations of Churchills. But then the dull 6th or 7th Duke of Marlborough married a woman of energy and ambition, and their son Randolph landed an American heiress, Jennie Jerome, who was a tigress, and, voila, Winston Churchill.

The seventh, actually.

While I was checking that out, I found this little tidbit: Marlborough is the one and only dukedom in the UK that can pass to, or through, a female. The succession order:

  1. The heirs-male of the 1st Duke’s body lawfully begotten;
  2. his eldest daughter and the heirs-male of her body lawfully begotten;
  3. his second and other daughters, in seniority, and the heirs-male of their bodies lawfully begotten;
  4. his eldest daughter’s oldest daughter and the heirs male of her body lawfully begotten;
  5. his eldest daughter’s second and other daughters, in seniority, and the heirs-male of their bodies lawfully begotten;
  6. all other daughters of his daughters, in seniority, and the heirs-male of their bodies lawfully begotten;
  7. and other descendants into the future in like fashion, with the intent that the Marlborough title never become extinct.

The first two contingencies are now lapsed; the current Duke (the eleventh, John George Vanderbilt Henry Spencer-Churchill) comes from section 3. And yes, it’s that Spencer.

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Multiple offenses

Against the eye, if nothing else:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Can i put 22 rims on 2007 monte carlo with no problem?

Fortunately, someone has dealt with this chap with dispatch:

I believe you can only put 4 rims on it. Not sure about 22 of them.

Were it possible, some jerk would try. Count on it.

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Callous at the palace

Was this where she was heading all along?

Fox has put in development Queen Of Everything, a half-hour animated comedy executive produced by Zooey Deschanel and Sophia Rossi via their Miss Hawkins banner. It hails from 20th Century Fox TV where Miss Hawkins has a first-look deal. Written/executive produced by Ali Waller (American Dad, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon), Queen Of Everything is a workplace comedy set in a modern fairytale world. It centers on an evil queen who comes into power and realizes that running a Queendom isn’t easy when you have no people skills and everyone hates you.

Rossi and Deschanel are also partners, with Molly McAleer, in the Web site HelloGiggles.

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Core weaknesses

Apple was getting insistent about iTunes 11.1.4, so I yielded. Not a good idea: the installation halted halfway through because one of the supporting packages hadn’t started. Okay, fine. The package wouldn’t start. The install claimed to have completed, but then the program wouldn’t start, claiming there was a missing DLL (for those keeping score, it was msvcr80.dll).

WTF are you talking about? I didn’t lose any DLLs. I attempted a reinstall, which wouldn’t even start. When that failed, I called up trusty System Restore, which went 0-3 on the dates chosen. Finally I had to uninstall everything Apple-related on the box, throw out a bunch of files manually, and only then would the installer work.

At least it didn’t screw up the actual iTunes library (7400 tracks, several playlists, and a couple of radio stations).

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The ultimate automotive click bait

Readers of commercial sites will tell you that they want long, drawn out, involved pieces with plenty of cultural references and historical perspective. Of course, they lie through their teeth:

Don’t get me wrong; I am obsessed with putting high-quality, hype-and-PR-free, ethically outstanding articles on TTAC’s front page as often as possible. That doesn’t mean there’s a lot of money in the hopper to do so, however. More annoyingly, those articles almost never do the kind of numbers that you could show off to an advertising sales department or senior management. The readers want click-friendly content more than they want to be lectured or taught or even informed. Even if they say they don’t. Even if individual readers truthfully don’t. As a group, they want an idealized article which could be summarized as

A Naked Playboy Playmate Drunk-Drove A Diesel Wagon Off A Giant Ramp While The LAPD Gave Chase. What Happened Next Will Touch Your Heart. (NSFW Photos Of Gorgeous Women And Diesel Wagons Inside.)

and if you don’t give it to them, the stats will sag and before you know it, you’re too insignificant for Alexa to rank you. And then, as Bill Paxton says in Aliens, IT’S GAME OVER, MAN!

Unless this is a brown diesel wagon with a manual transmission, I’m not interested. (Much.)

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Not blocky

I honestly don’t understand this dress, but it definitely draws my attention:

Ming-Na Wen at the LEGO Movie premiere 2-1-14

Ming-Na Wen wore this to the premiere of The LEGO Movie. (In other news, there is a LEGO Movie.) There’s a definite air of “I’m fifty years old and I’ll wear what I damn well please” to it.

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Man from Mars

I miss so much by not watching the Superb Owl. However, I seem to catch up quickly enough:

Bruno Mars at the kit

The Mayweather Report: Cindi did way better than Floyd, Jr.

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And the door revolves once more

Cliff Branan, who represents Senate District 40 and therefore me, will be term-limited out of the Senate after this year, and already he’s planning his next gig: he’s running for Corporation Commissioner.

And he has some heavy hitters on his side:

Branan said co-chairs of his campaign include Larry Nichols, executive chairman of Devon Energy Corp.; Greg Love, president of Love’s development companies,; Brian Bingman, president pro tem of the state Senate; and Harold Hamm, chief executive officer of Continental Resources.

Any of these guys — well, maybe not Bingman — could finance Branan’s campaign out of pocket change.

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Backhanded truth

Penmanship was never my strong suit until my middle teens, when I assume that the onrush of hormones that screwed up everything else somehow induced me to change my scrawl to a sweet flowing script. (My original Social Security card, issued in the 1960s, contains a signature worthy of Sister Catherine.) Today, well, not so much.

Still, that doesn’t constitute anything like an argument for the abandonment of actual handwriting:

If you can’t read cursive, someone could hand you page 12 of the owner’s manual of a ’94 Toyota Camry and tell you that it’s Article Three of the Constitution, and if you can’t read the original to compare, you’d just need to take their word for it that the Supreme Court has a 3 year/36,000 mile powertrain warranty.

And as we all know, there are entire cities — Washington, D.C. comes quickly to mind — of people who are manifestly incapable of reading the Constitution. I doubt many of them are driving ’94 Camrys, though.

Addendum: Learning it once is hard enough; learning it twice is torturous.

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The usual Grizzly business

Halfway through the second quarter, you could see the grindhouse door: it was Oklahoma City 33, Memphis 32. Then suddenly the Thunder took off, landing in the locker room at halftime with a 51-36 lead. The Griz were not having any of that, and gradually eroded that lead to as little as three. With the Thunder up 78-75, it was Kevin Durant for two, Thabo Sefolosha for three and then Durant for two more for a ten-point lead, but a subsequent Zach Randolph layup was the last Memphis score, and the Thunder goes up 2-1 in the season series with an 86-77 win.

Durant’s game-high 31 was nice, of course, and Serge Ibaka put together a double-double in the first half, finishing with 21 points and 12 rebounds, but perhaps the pivotal factor was defense by Steven Adams, who blocked four shots in 23 minutes and basically dared anyone to get around him. (Adams also drew five fouls, but by no means is that news.) And if the bench didn’t score a lot — only 14 points in all — well, this wasn’t a big offensive display; the Thunder went 4-18 from beyond the arc, which is terrible, but the Grizzlies were 2-16.

How much Memphis missed Mike Conley is hard to tell. Rookie Nick Calathes started at the point, and if he’s not the offensive machine Conley is, he performed respectably well, with eight points and four steals. Randolph and Marc Gasol each scored 13 to lead the Griz, with Mike Miller and Courtney Lee kicking in 11 apiece, but what Memphis did best was force turnovers: OKC handed it over 16 times, the Griz only 11.

And once again, we get to defend Kendrick Perkins, who scored one point — a free throw (out of two) in the waning moments — but who contributed eight boards, two blocks and even a steal. With the Griz not hitting the long ball, all Perk had to do was keep them out of the paint, and you know he enjoyed it.

Fifty games done, 39 won. Not that anyone’s going to mention that this is on pace for a 64-win season. And by March, maybe Russell Westbrook — remember him? — will be back.

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Case insensitive

The only way this could have been sillier would have been if the password had been “PASSWORD” or something like that:

CBS Super Bowl Command Center coverage screenshot

And I thought my security might have been, um, somewhat porous.

(Via Deadspin.)

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The community comes forward

He was eleven, a fairly typical kid for his age, with one exception that comes to mind: he was a fan of My Little Pony, and he wasn’t going to change that for anypony.

Then came the rage, the bullying, the anger. At eleven, you wonder why, and maybe you think it’s your fault. And you get out the rope.

It didn’t kill Michael Morones, but it came too close for comfort. Pony fans put together a short fundraiser to help cover the kid’s medical expenses; it raised five grand in something like ten hours. The donations kept coming in. The goal was raised to $10,000, then to $20,000. As of last night over $33,000 had been donated.

This quote from the fund site seems pertinent:

I read about Michael the other day at the everfree network and have seen news about him daily. When I saw the photo of him in the hospital bed with all the tubes I couldn’t help but shed a tear for the poor kid. I myself was bullied in high school and teased all my school life. Early on I was teased and shunned for being poor. But then when I was 10 years old I was severely burned in an explosion. High school was a very difficult time for me. My sophomore year I was basically physically assaulted leaving science class and to make things worse the school administration turned a blind eye. I was targeted for being different because of my scars and appearance. I’ve grown since then and I still have a philosophy in life. Enjoy your life and be grateful for what you have. Don’t feel pressure to be like everyone else. I enjoy the things and act how I want to as long as it’s not hurting anybody. MLP is just another positive message in a world where kids need more hope, magic, and friendship, in their lives. Bullying should never ever be accepted and Michael nor anyone else should have to hide what they like or who they are simply because others don’t understand. We are all different yet the same.

“How dare you like what I don’t like!” is not, and will never be, a viable philosophy, its echoes in far-off lands like the District of Columbia notwithstanding.

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Man with a grudge

Either that, or he has delusions of Christie-hood and just likes the idea of closed lanes:

For the second time, Phillip DeClemente has forced authorities to shut lanes on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge because of his threatening behavior, officials said Saturday.

Late Friday night, DeClemente was taken into custody after police closed the bridge’s northbound lanes for more than an hour.

Let’s see. What can we learn from DeClemente’s first time?

In the 2012 incident, DeClemente was arrested after he parked his SUV sideways on the bridge, blocking traffic, and contemplated killing himself, police said. On the Lexus’ windows, DeClemente painted the words “Stay Away,” “Back Off” and “Game Over.” Inside the car, he had a smoke grenade and two cans of pepper spray, police said.

Police closed the bridge and eventually talked him into surrendering. DeClemente spent 30 days in the Medical University of South Carolina psychiatric unit.

After being discharged from the hospital, DeClemente told The Post and Courier that he wasn’t suicidal, didn’t have a bomb and had no plans to harm the bridge. He said he was trying to expose what he described as a smear campaign against him and ongoing harassment by police and private investigators.

I refuse to believe that this guy doesn’t have his own blog.

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Every pirate on earth rolled into one

Is there any rationalization this guy might have missed?

Soooooo… I’m looking for the best way to download torrents I keep getting those pesky letters from Verizon saying that we have been involved in piracy. so they slow down our network speeds and I have had so many at this point they could possibly kick us off of their service permanently… and I really enjoy Verizons services.. I hate buying music just generally because It always ends up getting deleted at some point in the future via computer crash or having to restore a computer or internal/external hard drives becoming corrupt then I have to buy the stuff all over again.. and some albums you cant find unless you torrent them. so bottom line is I need the best way to hide my IP address. be it a proxy of some sort or whatever is best. but it MUST BE FULL PROOF!!!! I use vuze. and I have good antivirus and anti spyware programs so Im not concerned about getting bugs.

Oh, and musicians never, ever object to being ripped off:

Music isnt about money. It should never be about money.. music is art and expression and reaching out to people via that art or expression I didnt ask for your two cents on How what I am doing is wrong If I were an artist I wouldnt give two craps if people downloaded my music illegally as long as people were listening to it and getting something out of it. music is about changing lives and for enjoyment go listen to some immortal technique. He verbally expresses he would boot his own music to reach listeners… Also these people make millions on tours and gear that they sell. I doubt its gonna effect their sails that much if I download some of their music illegally

Since there’s basically no chance this yutz is living on his own and paying his own bills, I’m envisioning a scene in which his mom confiscates his computer:

“Where are you going with that?”

“Just reaching out to people and changing some lives. Surely you can’t object to that.”

And the door closes.

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