Archive for PEBKAC

Perhaps not an actual troll

Then again, it’s sort of tricky to tell. Get a load of this:

Sleeping under a bridge tonight and need help connecting to wifi at a coffee shop above?

No, really:

Hi so I’m visiting a friend what I do to save money is just sleep under a bridge with a friend. Anyway I was able to connect to the wifi from the shop above for about 10 mins and now I lost the connection and it won’t come back I had 2 bars so it wasn’t the best but stable enough worked with my tablet and phone…

I had to go back in for now to ask this please help I can’t sit here they close soon. Thanks

It is perhaps worthy of note that the earliest commenters, rather than commiserate with him, denounced him for stealing Wi-Fi.


There ought to be clones

If nothing else, it would keep this person from looking like a total boob: Someone else has same e-mail address on Yahoo as I do, and it has caused me to not be able to access Facebook?

Then again, one could argue that keeping her off Facebook would be a kindness.

Disclosure: It once appeared that another provider (not Yahoo!) had assigned the same address to two people, one of whom was me. As I would have expected, it was an error in transcription; surprisingly, it wasn’t my error.

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I live with dust on my fan

The usual routine upon getting home in the afternoon: drop off my Bag O’ Stuff in the kitchen, enter the office just long enough to start up the computer, and make wardrobe adjustments suitable to the day. By the time I get back to my desk, the Windows startup should be complete.

Except for when it isn’t. The other day, I got some insipid beepage and the threatening warning: “CPU Fan Error.” So far as I can tell, this means the UEFI (which is Urdu for “BIOS,” or something) didn’t see it spinning.

Fortunately for me, the next day brought a box from Amazon, including a hell of a lot of canned air. I must have gone through a third of a can relocating dust particles from Point A to several dozen Points B. The problem has not yet recurred.

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On a secret mission

At least, that’s what this guy looking for a four-exabyte hard drive wants you to think:

Before you ask, yes I really mean 4 EXABYTES (4000 petabytes, 4 million terabytes or 4 billion gigabytes). For reasons I’m not permitted to disclose, I need to get a portable storage device capable of holding at least 3.7 exabytes. Sadly these files cannot be separated for reasons I cannot explain, so getting any device capable of storing less than 4 exabytes just won’t do. BTW, money won’t be an issue. PS This is urgent.

Nobody is selling drives as large as 100 TB just yet, and when they do, he’ll need 40,000 of them. This is “portable,” maybe, if you can bench-press a BNSF boxcar.

I think this guy needs his meds adjusted.

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But muh speedtest!

In my experience, 49.9 percent of the people who complain online about their Internet speeds are pirates, plain and simple, and I give less than a tenth of a damn about their problems.

For the rest, please read on:

When you signed up for service, you were quoted a speed. It was a number somewhere between the IQ of people who own the Jackass DVD boxed set and the age Ray Kurzweil imagines he’ll achieve with a proper diet and reasonable advances in cybernetics. This number was followed by “Mbs.” Knowing what this stands for won’t help you.

What will help you are radioactive isotopes. Remember reading about them in high school? How they decay over time, at a rate known as a half-life? Remember that sad little isotope’s life curve, sloping downward, ever-shrinking but never quite disappearing entirely? That’s your internet speed over time. You have no more hope of stopping its decay than you can preserve cobalt-60 in a coffee cup.

So what do you do? You dial up customer service, of course. (And I do mean “dial.” Online help, when you can barely get online, is a contradiction in terms.) And after seven or eight climbs up and down the phone tree, you get an actual person:

He’ll introduce himself as “Tom” or “Frank,” or “Jake.” This is not his real name. Take the last letter of the middle name of every person in your immediate family, mash them all together, and this is closer to the name his mother gave him. She is, by the way, very proud of him. He supports her and nineteen of his siblings on the pittance your internet megalith pays him to sap the very marrow from your bones.

Jake grew up in a village without a reliable source of clean water. He doesn’t give a shit that you can’t watch The Americans when your kids are playing Fortnight. But he doesn’t mind being polite, because he knows that your grandchildren will cut the lawns and service the pools of his grandchildren.

What’s more, Jake is a genuinely nice guy. He would love to help you. Unfortunately, he cannot. Taped to his monitor is a list of factors that affect internet speed. Things like router age, computer processing power, wind shear, earthworm activity, sunspots, Russian espionage.

And after that, it gets complicated, so you may as well read the whole thing.

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The dreaded Google Eye

Rob O’Hara draws some unexpected scrutiny:

I received a message from Google, informing me that some of my blog posts had been flagged for linking to known sites containing malware. Whenever Google contacts you with news of this nature, you are forced to react, quickly, before they remove you from their global directory. After scouring both my own site and the site I was linking to I could find no hints of malware or debauchery.

Sensibly, he decides to pull the not-really-offending posts, just in case. Then down comes the other shoe:

In the process of this, well, process, WordPress got confused and decided some of these old posts from several years ago were in fact new again, and sent out email notifications along with Facebook and Twitter updates. Sorry about that. Those in charge of update notifications have been sacked.

Insult to injury.

(This is not the dreaded Google Eye.)


Skeezy Reader?

In between a network of Macs and an IBM System i sits Your Humble Narrator at a commodity Win10 box. And about every other PDF file I relay from Apple Valley to Big Blue generates this:

Adobe Reader error message: The file has properties that can't be copied to the new location

As a matter of policy, I blame everything possible on Adobe. But apparently the problem lies elsewhere:

On NTFS, files can have more than one stream of data. Usually there’s only one, the default, data stream.

Windows 2000 and XP used to use alternate streams to store additional properties which you could add in Summary tab of Properties dialog. This feature has been deprecated since Windows Vista. Yet you may still have files with such properties.

The warning is displayed when you copy a file which has alternate streams from NTFS drive to a drive that does not support alternate data streams. Therefore the alternate streams will be lost.

And Apple likes to pass on metadata through such streams; IBM scowls at such things. The best I can hope for is finding a toggle in Adobe Reader DC to shut this nonsense off. Unfortunately, I can’t find a damn thing in Adobe Reader DC.

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No sense of self-worth

Unless it’s in that little string of digits on screen:

I have instagram and i had 1700 followers after 2 hours i go check and it was down to 1663. What ddi i do to those people that made them unfollow me. I post often and i like on peoples post. I stay active on my account. It seems like i am following people more than followers. I post good things about me playing piano and breakdancing. I want to increase my followers. Anyone help … please?

Is this guy 12 or what? Nobody on social media owes anyone else on social media an explanation of an unfollow. There is no shortage of “If you support this heinous activity, get off my timeline immediately,” but that’s a slightly different matter.

A couple of folks have suggested that Instagram was deleting known bots, which seems like a reasonable thing to do, though some people will take it personally if they are told that a substantial percentage of their followers might not actually exist.

Especially if they’re 12.

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One fewer tool for fools?

The Law of Unintended Consequences came at this one fast:

Sarahah is a social networking service for providing anonymous feedback. In Arabic “sarahah” means “frankness” or “honesty”. It was created by Zain al-Abidin Tawfiq in the end of 2016 and reached a sudden worldwide success by mid-2017. This growth is considered to be deeply related with the release of a Snapchat update that allowed people to share URLs on their snaps.

Sarahah allows people to text messages to others and the person reading that could then reply anonymously. Initially it was meant for workers to compliment their bosses.

Yeah, right:

A Grimsby mother is celebrating “victory” after an online petition resulted in the removal of an app that had led to widespread bullying among local teenagers.

Lorretta Chester and her daughter Jazzminn, 14, had spoken out early this year about the widespread bullying that had been taking place on an “anonymous feedback” app called Sarahah, which was used in conjunction with popular app Snapchat.

Jazzminn had received numerous “disgusting and abusive” messages from anonymous people after she had been using the app, with some people going as far as encouraging her to self-harm or commit suicide.

Back to the wiki:

On 12 January, 2018, it was reported that a woman in Queensland, Australia had started a petition to have the app and others like it banned, after friends of her 13-year-old daughter sent her abusive messages, including ones suggesting that she kill herself. A news report from the Australian Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) stated that the child’s mother, Katrina, “called on Apple’s App Store and Google Play to stop downloads of Sarahah, which allows people to leave anonymous feedback for each other”. On 21 February Katrina posted a message declaring success, saying that both Apple and Google had removed the app from their stores.

I suspect that similar apps are already in development, possibly even in the stores. Asshats do not give up their enablers easily.

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Does porn make you stupid?

And if not, how do you explain this dumbass?

I watch porn every now and then. It’s not very often but sometimes I just have the urge. Anyway, about a week ago, I was searching and I came across this channel of a couple. I’ve came across videos of couples before but this couple was really funny. Apparently throughout most of their videos, they constantly make jokes. I liked it so much because it is exactly how and friend and I are in bed together. I don’t know much about them. It was a male and female, both white, they were both really funny, and most of their videos were shot with a headset camera. I don’t remember anything about their channel name. If anyone has any idea who this is, let me know.

Fortunately, there is very little porn on the Internet, so this should be really easy to find.

Seven-year-olds can learn how to set browser bookmarks. Why can’t he?

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Ding, dong, the Web is dead

Which old Web? The World Wide Web, and, says Rob LoCascio, founder and CEO of LivePerson, the first brick falls this year:

When we started building websites in the mid-90s, we had great dreams for e-commerce. We fundamentally thought all brick-and-mortar stores would disappear and everything dot-com would dominate. But e-commerce has failed us miserably. Today, less than 15 percent of commerce occurs through a website or app, and only a handful of brands (think: Amazon, eBay and Netflix) have found success with e-commerce at any real scale. There are two giant structural issues that make websites not work: HTML and Google.

In the case of HTML, it’s an instance of “We were never intended to do that”:

In the early years, we were speaking in library terms about “browsing” and “indexing,” and in many ways the core technology of a website, called HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), was designed to display static content — much like library books.

But retail stores aren’t libraries, and the library format can’t be applied to online stores either. Consumers need a way to dynamically answer the questions that enable them to make purchases. In the current model, we’re forced to find and read a series of static pages to get answers — when we tend to buy more if we can build trust over a series of questions and answers instead.

How often do you get the answer you need on your first trip to the FAQ? Not very, I suspect.

But that’s a design problem. The 800-lb gorilla in the room is far more sinister in intent:

As Google made it easier to find the world’s information, it also started to dictate the rules through the PageRank algorithm, which forced companies to design their websites in a certain way to be indexed at the top of Google’s search results. But its one-size-fits-all structure ultimately makes it flawed for e-commerce.

Now, almost every website looks the same — and performs poorly. Offline, brands try to make their store experiences unique to differentiate themselves. Online, every website — from Gucci to the Gap — offers the same experience: a top nav, descriptive text, some pictures and a handful of other elements arranged similarly. Google’s rules have sucked the life out of unique online experiences. Of course, as e-commerce has suffered, Google has become more powerful, and it continues to disintermediate the consumer from the brand by imposing a terrible e-commerce experience.

Meanwhile, about 15 percent of the questions flung at me on Quora boil down to “How can I get the highest possible ranking on Google?” I haven’t the heart to tell them “Build a really shitty site.” Yet.

LoCascio sees 404s in our future:

I am going to make a bold prediction based on my work with 18,000 companies and bringing conversational commerce to life: In 2018, we will see the first major brand shut down its website. The brand will shift how it connects with consumers — to conversations, with a combination of bots and humans, through a messaging front end like SMS or Facebook. We are already working with several large brands to make this a reality.

Facebook? Please.

When the first website ends, the dominoes will fall fast. This will have a positive impact on most companies in transforming how they conduct e-commerce and provide customer care. For Google, however, this will be devastating.

At least there’s some redeeming social value.

(Via Jeff Faria.)

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How times have changed

Joy of Tech update to classic tech cartoon

We never knew we had it so good.

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Admirably tooled

There exists something called LMMS, and this is its core functionality:

  • Compose music on Windows, Linux and macOS
  • Sequence, compose, mix and automate songs in one simple interface
  • Note playback via MIDI or typing keyboard
  • Consolidate instrument tracks using Beat+Bassline Editor
  • Fine tune patterns, notes, chords and melodies using Piano Roll Editor
  • Full user-defined track-based automation and computer-controlled automation sources
  • Import of MIDI files and Hydrogen project files

I understood about half of that, maybe. And it doesn’t do a thing for the visuals if you’re uploading it to YouTube or some such place. Still, someone with actual talent — not me — can make wondrous noises with it.

I found this one last night:

This chap might be a third my age; most of the 40 or so tracks I’ve acquired from him qualify as good “production music,” the sort of stuff you find in your better movie trailers before the actual musical score is completed. “Denouement” here is totally different, and totally, well, wondrous.

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Crueler intentions

This goes back a couple of years, but I only just saw it, and the truth of the matter remains:

Pure BDSM (Blue Damned Screen of Microsoft).

(Via Finestkind Clinic and fish market.)

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Sociopath says what?

A year and a half of diminished mobility has not made me happier, exactly, but I think I’m grateful I didn’t turn into this loser:

So people think that I am an idiot and that I can get some jail time now because I got verbally violent and threatning towards an at&t technician. I had severe issues with my internet where I cannot access certain websites and because everytime I am on an skype call it breaks up and I can’t hear my friend patty talking. The technician guy came and blamed everything on saying that I have too many things plugged and connected to my router and said that the lines and modem is all fine and that the problem is from us. I have an airport extreme router and that thing works fine because it is made by apple who makes good products. He says I have over 20 devices connected and said it is slowing down the bandwith and says the signal drops because the modem and router is in my room on the other side of the house and he wants to move it downstairs. I said no but he got my family on his side and they were forcing me to bring it down. I got mad and yelled at the technician and threatened to take a hammer and hit him. He then told my family that he can’t do it now because I don’t agree with it so I got what I wanted. He says he wants to press charges. After he left I called spectrum and setted up an installation date to get rid of at&t. My family is mad that I did it without their permission. My friend andy says that I am an idiot and says that the at&t guy is right and that I am such a selfish brat. He says its their house and your taking control over it. He says they should kick you out.

Update: He says the at&t guy knows what he is doing because he said he has been doing it for 15 years while you are a college drop out and know nothing. I took computer science classes back when I was in college so I know what I am talking about and the at&t guy is wrong. It is at&t’s fault and I am switching to spectrum regardless of what they say. Spectrum is better anyways. Andy says I am gonna get jail time. I have papers proving my mental illness so I am safe.

Update 2: How come people think that I can get in trouble for being violent to the technician when I have papers proving my mental illness ?? How come people don’t believe what I say when I took computer science and computer networking classes back in college ? Why do people think that I know nothing because I am a college drop out when I took these classes ? I know what I am saying and the problem is the at&t’s modem and poor crappy network service.

Worthless little corksoaker, wouldn’t you think? And he thinks he’s immune to any form of punishment because he has “mental illness.” That’s reason enough to lock up his unworthy ass for the rest of his unnatural life.

Oh, and Andy? You deserve better friends than this.

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“Or else,” it says. We all made fun of Oregon when they decided to allow self-service gas pumps sufficiently far from Portland or Salem to keep the legislators from ever having to witness such a ghastly sight, but in real life, the joke’s been on us for quite a while:

We now expect as a matter of course that we will be self-servicing much of our interaction with everybody from Wells Fargo to Kroger to Google to the airlines, via Byzantine web forms with unique logins and mandatory 12-character passwords that expire every afternoon at 3:01. We understand that when we call for help that we will be forced to navigate through a deliberately confusing touch-tone questionnaire in which the penalty for making a single mistake is to be disconnected and pressing the “O” key out of frustration results in a snippy-sounding recording of a stoned Valley Girl saying, “Hmmm… I didn’t get that.” Bitch, of course you didn’t get that! You’re not real!

They promised us that service and retail work would replace the factory jobs that were sent to China, but the minute people got uppity about wanting to earn the inflation-adjusted equivalent of 1968’s minimum wage the corporate cash taps get opened and all of a sudden an insane amount of money is being spent on machines to replace those service and retail jobs. The most obvious and obnoxious example: the self-checkout machines at grocery stores and Wal-Marts across the country, which cost about $20,000 per lane and last five years, thus theoretically saving money over the $60,000 per year it would cost to staff a checkout lane sixteen hours per day.

I obviously have never hung around all day to check, but I must ask: can these things actually run sixteen hours a day? God knows Voldemart is not in the habit of keeping checkout lanes open for more than a few consecutive hours.

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In the fall of 2013, WordPress came up with a perfectly wonderful enhancement:

Updates while you sleep: With WordPress 3.7, you don’t have to lift a finger to apply maintenance and security updates. Most sites are now able to automatically apply these updates in the background. The update process also has been made even more reliable and secure, with dozens of new checks and safeguards.

On Monday, 4.9.3 was released. On Tuesday, 4.9.4 was released:

This maintenance release fixes a severe bug in 4.9.3, which will cause sites that support automatic background updates to fail to update automatically, and will require action from you (or your host) for it to be updated to 4.9.4.

Well, hey, it lasted almost four and a half years without breaking. And at least they wasted no time getting the problem solved.

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Adventures in malware

The trouble started Saturday morning when a Windows function I wasn’t even aware existed suddenly stopped running. Shortly thereafter, up popped a notification from Malwarebytes, to the effect that real-time protection had been switched off. Okay, fine. I toggled the switch; the legend “Starting” appeared, but “On” never quite got there. I switched over to Scan mode, and the scanner lingered on “Checking for updates” for several minutes, but no actual scan was to be had. I rebooted and watched as the same sequence of events began.

What to do? Desperate times call for desperate measures. I uninstalled both my browser — in case that had been the attack vector — and Malwarebytes, and cranked System Restore to go back four days.

It failed. I shook my head, started to hunt down some more help files, then tripped over the problem: I hadn’t disabled good old Windows Defender before running System Restore, so it quit. The second System Restore did actually work; I reinstalled both the browser and Malwarebytes. (Never, ever throw away a product key, children. Trust me on this.) Satisfied that things were normal once more, I posted my tale of woe on Facebook. Others had suffered similarly; Roherta X was the first to point me to the actual cause, which was Malwarebytes itself:

Earlier this morning, we published a protection update that caused connection issues for many of our customers. As a side effect of the web protection blocks, the product also spiked memory usage and possibly caused a crash. We have triaged this issue and pushed a protection update that resolves it.

If the update does not resolve the issue automatically for you, please shut down web protection, check for protection updates, and restart your computer.

The root cause of the issue was a malformed protection update that the client couldn’t process correctly. We have pushed upwards of 20,000 of these protection updates routinely. We test every single one before it goes out. We pride ourselves on the safety and accuracy of our detection engines. To say I am heartbroken is an understatement.

Heh. He said “root cause.”

So maybe I didn’t have to jump through all those hoops. Still, I’m going to figure out some way to reward myself for not panicking.

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Admitted tripod

Somehow we never knew this until just now:

Then, shalt thou count to three. No more. No less. Three shalt be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.

Note to future Photoshop failers: The best-looking three-legged women are the ones commonly believed to have two nice legs.

(Via HelloGiggles.)

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Comparison test

In the post-Rand McNally era, we will need evaluations like this:

Or you can wait for a GPS to lead you into a lake.

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One piece at a time

The modern-day site builder takes the place of so much scutwork that it’s possible to overlook a scut or two. I shan’t tell you where I found this, for I am kind, kinda sorta:

© 2023 by Name of Site. Proudly created with

Surely this will be found and updated some time in the next five years or so.

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The times, they are ahead of us

CFI Care (not its real initials), my current health-insurance provider, recognizes that some of the documents on their Web site might require some, um, additional software to view. Thoughtfully, they’ve put links to such applications on the claims page.

Or maybe not so thoughtfully:

Software links

Apple, of course, dropped support for the Windows version of QuickTime and encouraged its uninstallation, two years ago; Adobe will take Flash Player out back behind the woodshed and shoot it, two years from now. Windows Media Player, inexplicably, refuses to die.

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The right to be an asshat

It’s evidently more limited than some people think:

Three months ago PB & Jeff got to what they thought was the end of their Pikmin 2 playthrough because they had gotten enough money to pay off the debt. They posted a comment on the video saying that they knew that that wasn’t the true ending of the game but that because they were getting sick of playing it and it wasn’t getting as many views as the other games that they played that they weren’t going to play anymore. That video got a lot of comments telling them to continue playing it. As the days went by less and less people told them to continue playing it. Myself, however, has been posting “Finish Pikmin 2!” on every video they upload since they quit playing. I up the amount of comments I leave every video. The first video I posted it once, the second video twice, the third three times, etc. By this week I had gotten to the point of posting it around 90 times each video. Even though people were telling me to stop and Jeff himself told me that they were completely done with Pikmin 2 I kept at it because I refused to let them not truly finish the story. Earlier this week my account got shut down so I automatically created another one to continue spamming. That got shut down so I created another. Same story. Again and again I kept creating accounts to spam their comments. Now whenever I create an account it is instantly shut down within a minute. Why?

There is reason to doubt that this person exists; there is no reason to doubt that the world would be a better place if he didn’t.

That said:

Look, jagoff, you’re messing with YouTube. That means you’re messing with Google. And Google has all kinds of ways to make you wish you were dead. (We do not know for certain if they can actually kill you, but do you want to take that chance?)

And be grateful it’s not 150 years ago. Either PB or Jeff could perforate your unworthy carcass with lead, and the law would gravely assent: “You were right, he needed killing.”

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Dead but insufficiently buried

Save the date: the 15th of February marks the return of Circuit City.
That’s what they say, anyway:

Following a tease of a CES announcement, current company CEO Ronny Shmoel confirmed on Monday that something called Circuit City will arrive as “a new, more personalized online shopping experience” starting February 15. The announcement event, which was reported by tech-business outlet Twice, included promises of AI-driven recommendations fueled by IBM’s Watson platform, plus unexplained “augmented reality” and “search by photo” features.

Curiously, Shmoel also promised “real-time tech support via video chat,” but it’s unclear whether this feature will include two-way video feeds—and, thus, whether Circuit City is prepared for a deluge of Chatroulette-caliber video surprises from trolls.

Wait a minute. Didn’t we hear this same story two years ago? Why, yes, we did. From the late, lamented Consumerist:

Back in 2009, the medium-box consumer electronics chain Circuit City closed. Systemax, the owner of TigerDirect, acquired the brand’s website and customer list, and kept it going until 2012. Late last year, Systemax decided to shut down its technology business, and that included selling the twice-defunct Circuit City brand. Now yet another company has acquired the brand and wants to make a go of it as physical retail stores.

Call me when someone opens an actual Montgomery Ward store.

(Via Fark.)

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Over and done with

The technological revolution, says the Z Man, has just about run its course:

Companies like Google and Apple stopped being technology companies a long time ago. Instead, they are oligopolists. In the case of Apple, they were never a technology company. They were a design and marketing firm that repackaged existing technology into cool consumer products appealing to cosmopolitan hipsters. They sell expensive display items for the trend setters and the fashionable.

As a reader at Sailer’s site observed, Google now resembles an adult daycare center where mentally disturbed women terrorize the few people doing real work. Google has not done much of anything, in terms of tech, once it gained a near monopoly of on-line advertising. The reason Susan Wojcicki can wage endless jihad at a money losing division like YouTube is it is owned by an oligopolist given a special right to skim from every internet user on earth. Google is now a tax farmer, not a tech company.

Well, that and the fact that Wojcicki was the head of rival Google Video, which YouTube was trouncing in the marketplace. The solution she proposed: buy out YouTube. Which they did, there not being too many things on earth that Google can’t buy out. (One of them, we may assume, is Apple.)

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Increasing clouds

“We have incentivized instability,” says Tam:

Nowadays, half the software you interact with doesn’t even reside on your PC. Further, there are whole departments at, say, Facebook or Blizzard or Google whose entire job is to “enhance the user experience”. If they’re not constantly dicking around, adding and removing features, changing what buttons do, moving things around … then they’re not doing their jobs.

There’s one sort-of-amusing upside to all this: it’s tricky to pirate software when that software calls home every time you use it. Guys who’ve gotten used to reinstalling the trial version every 29 days are despondent; why, they don’t even beg for serial numbers anymore.

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Get with the program

A refugee from the Department of Redundancy Department, I suspect:

Yahoo Answers screenshot: Is there a site where you can hire programmers to program ideas for a program?

It’s almost a shame to tell him Yes.

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This will not be your only warning

Web sites in the European Union routinely warn you of the hazards of cookies, those tiny little files that get dropped on your computer so that you can stay logged in, keep shopping, or get tracked. This sort of thing is not required Stateside, but if it were, I’d kind of hope it read like this:

Cookies in use. If you’re in the EU, consider this a warning. This is a Blogspot site, so Google runs the backend. I don’t know what they are doing with the cookies and they’re not saying. If you are concerned that Google is tracking you, you should never visit a Google Blogspot site, use Gmail, or use Google as a search engine.

If you are concerned about being tracked on the internet, you should log off, shut down your PC, move to a cabin in the woods, grow your own food, never visit a bank, use a cell phone, or drive a car made after 1999. Don’t go outside and look up at the sky, either.

If you are visiting this site from a EU country, you should get an annoying popup at the top of the screen. If you want to see it, here it is in English.

Do I drop a cookie on you? If your name and email address and URL remain inside the comment box, even though you haven’t logged in any time in the last 10 years, then the answer is Yes.

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You were expecting maybe Blogger?, the official Web site of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, has changed its underpinnings:

Eight years ago, the Obama administration chose an open-source content management system to power the website. In 2017, the Trump administration also chose an open-source CMS, albeit a different one from what has been in use since 2009.

In October 2009, the open-source Drupal CMS was chosen to power the website, a move that was heralded at the time as a big win for both Drupal and open source. With relatively little fanfare, the website was relaunched on Dec. 15 using a WordPress CMS, instead of Drupal.

Why go through that sort of change? Some say it’s money:

According to a report in the Washington Examiner, the move to WordPress is all about cost saving, with the relaunched site saving U.S. taxpayers an estimated $3 million a year.

The distinguished developer and “open-sourceror” Snipe isn’t buying that explanation:

The decision for the whitehouse to move from Drupal to WordPress makes no sense. No money is saved, and more likely they will end up using insecure WP plugins (or risky defaults) which will increase the threat profile.

I’m also not buying the money-saving explanation, but I’m thinking purely politically here: the Trumpians wanted to toss Drupal because the Obama administration picked Drupal. No other reason is necessary.

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Shorts circuit

I can’t even think of an introduction for this:

[T]he Cleveland Clinic — the country’s leading center for clinical research in male fertility — found that men who keep their phones in their pocket for more than 4 hours per day experience a 50% reduction in sperm count! Here at SPARTAN, we didn’t want to this to threaten our modern life. We want to keep using technology without changing any of our habits. That’s why we have created the SPARTAN Boxers.

The product, briefly:

The SPARTAN Boxer is the boxer of the future. For the first time, we are bringing together design with innovation to create underwear that shields your family jewels from wireless radiation.

We’re bringing to underwear the same advanced technology used in space suits (no kidding!). We developed a unique technology, WaveTech, a high-tech fabric incorporating pure silver fibers within the cotton of the boxer. WaveTech acts as a faraday cage (or electromagnetic shielding), which prevents radiation from reaching your cherries. Our SPARTAN Boxers have been tested by the MET Laboratory, Baltimore, USA and they block over 99% of all cellphone and Wi-Fi radiation.

Is there a demand for this? Well, the Kickstarter goal was $2371; backers have put up about $27,000 so far.