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steve2470

Profile Information

Name: Steve
Gender: Male
Hometown: Florida
Home country: US
Current location: US
Member since: Sat Oct 16, 2004, 01:04 PM
Number of posts: 27,340

Journal Archives

“Thank you for calling tech support, now please die”

sub-title: I answered calls from the public for a few months so you don’t have to

(yes original titles on website)

http://arstechnica.com/business/2015/07/thank-you-for-calling-tech-support-now-please-die/



I felt unmoored and directionless after my high school job at Babbage’s dissolved at the end of 1997. I’d met my wonderful wife there—we’d go on to get married in 2003—but Babbage’s had been the only job I’d known. When the doors finally shut, I wasn’t sure what to do. I skipped the typical teenager process of wandering around the mall filling out dozens of applications for various stores—I’d gotten the job at Babbage’s merely by asking for it. Now I had no idea how to get another with nearly the same level of awesome.

For a while I slummed it at Electronics Boutique, since my Babbage’s experience was enough to get me hired with only a quick interview. It just wasn’t the same. This was long before both EB and Babbage’s were swallowed by the Gamestop monster, and although the merchandise was similar, the atmosphere was totally different. EB wasn’t anywhere near as fun as Babbage’s (probably because I was more used to slacking with friends than working), so I kept up the search for the perfect replacement job.

Back then, tech support seemed like a viable career option. Just a few years before, Microsoft had very famously hired armies of phone warriors to assist Windows 95 buyers with installing and working with the new operating system. Now Windows 98 had just launched a few months prior, and I had some relevant experience on the phones. Sometimes folks would call into Babbage’s or EB asking for help installing a program they’d bought, and I genuinely enjoyed helping them. It followed, I thought, that actually doing phone support as a job would be a great way to spend my time. I envisioned sitting back in a cubicle with my feet up on the desk, headset on my ear as I snappily answered question after question, earning the immense personal satisfaction one must feel when finishing up a workday filled from start to finish with the smiles and thanks of people you’d helped.

Those of you who’ve worked phones can start laughing at me now.

Courtship

(more at site above)

my list, starting in 1969 (age 11)

stuffed Seiko watches into boxes for shipment

made pizzas in return for free pizza and sodas (barter with the manager arrangement)

mowed yards and sweated my southern ass off a lot

worked construction outdoors one summer, never again!

made pizza again for real money

food runner at nice restaurant

busboy at same restaurant

eta: forgot my stint as a waiter at a downtown restaurant

asst. manager for Walgreen's

asst. manager for skating rink

several jobs in my chosen profession spanning 20 years

rented internet server space

fun poll: are you a nerd ?

Just for fun, please don't take this too seriously!

One definition:
Nerd
One whose IQ exceeds his weight
at: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Nerd


Another definition:
an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits <computer nerds>
at: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nerd


I guess I'm a semi-nerd and proud of it ?

Astronomical twilight: a weather geek's delightful discovery!

5:08 AM EDT 9:54 PM EDT for Orlando, FL at: http://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:32801.1.99999

I always thought of the words "early dawn" and "almost dark" when I thought of this phenomenon.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight#Astronomical_twilight

Morning astronomical twilight is defined to begin when the center of the sun is geometrically 18 degrees below the horizon and to end at sunrise. Evening astronomical twilight is defined to begin at sunset and end when the center of the sun is 18 degrees below the horizon. From the end of astronomical twilight in the evening to the beginning of astronomical twilight in the morning, the sky (away from urban light pollution, moonlight, auroras, and other sources of light in the sky) is dark enough for nearly all astronomical observations. In some places, especially those with sky glow, astronomical twilight may be almost indistinguishable from night.

Most casual observers would consider the entire sky fully dark even when astronomical twilight is just beginning in the evening or just ending in the morning, and astronomers can easily make observations of point sources such as stars. However, some critical observations, such as of faint diffuse items such as nebulae and galaxies, may require that the sun be more than 18° below the horizon, beyond the limit of astronomical twilight.

Theoretically, the dimmest stars ever visible to the naked eye (those of the sixth magnitude) will become visible in the evening once the sun falls more than 18° below the horizon (i.e., at astronomical dusk), and become invisible when the sun moves to within 18° of the horizon in the morning (at astronomical dawn). However, because of light pollution, some localities, generally those in large cities, may never have the opportunity to view even fourth-magnitude stars, irrespective of the presence of any twilight at all, and to experience truly dark skies.

Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/07/15/the_problem_with_firefox/

For some time now Firefox, the once mighty web browser, has been bleeding market share and – perhaps more importantly – developer mind share.

Between bundling unwanted features such as Pocket, proffering popcorn-worthy CEO dramas atop Mozilla, being led by a seemingly clueless management, and the fact that that Chrome feels faster, more stable and less bloated, Firefox long ago started to feel like a project in need of euthanising.

In fact, Firefox feels a bit like it has come full circle. The browser that started as a fork of the bloated, poorly managed Netscape project has become the very same thing itself. That sort of symmetry makes Firefox feel a bit dead.

It's tempting to dance on Firefox's grave, but that doesn't help the web. Firefox and yes, Mozilla.org, were a huge part of making the web the standards-friendly, accessible thing that it is today.

more at link

Palace defends footage of Queen's Nazi salute

http://www.channel4.com/news/queen-royal-family-nazi-salute-edward-viii-adolf-hitler

Buckingham Palace says it is "disappointing" The Sun newspaper has released a film showing the Queen and Queen mother giving Nazi salutes around 1933.

The Queen, who was then aged six or seven, is shown at Balmoral raising her arm in a Nazi salute as she played alongside her sister Margaret, the Queen mother and her uncle Prince Edward.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "It is disappointing that film, shot eight decades ago and apparently from Her Majesty's personal family archive, has been obtained and exploited in this manner."

I understand that they don't like this coming out
The Sun's managing editor


The film lasts about 17 seconds, and shows the Queen Mother making a Nazi salute, then the Queen glancing towards her and mimicking the gesture.

Revisionist BS about the Ku Klux Klan

Lawlessness among ex-slaves and troublesome whites was the rule of the day. No relief was given by the carpetbag and scalawag government or by the Union troops. The result was the emergence of secret societies claiming to bring law and order to the county. One of these groups was the Ku Klux Klan, an organization that sometimes took vigilante justice to extremes but was sometimes the only control the county knew over those outside the law.


from: http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/07/16/florida_kkk_courthouse_mural_controversial_finally.html , in a GD thread. The artist of the Baker County, Florida courthouse mural depicting the "heroic" Klan said that. I have NEVER run into that piece of revisionist bullshit in all my reading about the Reconstruction era.

Microsoft commits to 10-year support lifecycle for Windows 10

http://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-commits-to-10-year-support-lifecycle-for-windows-10/

With the global launch of Windows 10 less than two weeks away, Microsoft's lawyers and business managers are finishing the pieces of the puzzle that don't involve code.

Earlier this week, Microsoft published its license terms for Windows 10. Today, the company updated its support lifecycle policy for the new OS. In the process, they've cleared up the confusion over a phrase that defines the new Windows 10 servicing model.


Here's the tl;dr:


• For Windows 10, Microsoft will continue its traditional 10-year support lifecycle. The five-year mainstream support phase begins with the release of Windows 10 on July 29, 2015, and a second five-year extended support phase begins in 2020 and extends until October 2025. (That's a few months later than July 29, 2025, because of the way Microsoft calculates support dates.)


more at link

If you are very careful and really know what you're doing, XP is fine

Notice what I said. XP is wide open to viruses and other bad stuff invading. YES, you can use it, but you have to be very very careful and know what you're doing.

Windows 7 will be around for years. If you can afford to buy an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) DVD disk for $99.99 plus shipping, you'll be good to go for quite a while. Here is a link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416805

Windows 7 will have extended support from Microsoft until January 14, 2020. Windows 8 (not that hard to learn and about as pricey) is even longer. Windows 10 (which comes out for free July 29th for some people) will be supported for a long time, although you will have to pay for it at some point.

Bottom line: Don't use XP any more. You're really running big risks, unless you 1) run it in a virtual sandbox or 2) have antivirus/antimalware somehow modified to protect it.

This link lists antivirus products that protected XP in 2014. That was a year ago. Some probably still do, but check very carefully on their website.

If you have questions, please ask.

Windows 10 is now RTM, in build 10240

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/wiki/insider_wintp-insider_install/how-to-upgrade-from-the-windows-10-insider-preview/3a482b9c-553d-47e0-b6a4-1916e70d9b3d

It's stable with no BSOD's so far. It does everything I need. Some on the forums are having trouble, but I'm not. There is a driver issue with WoW but I'm sure that will be fixed pretty soon with Nvidia's cooperation. There is already a security update for the x64 edition, and probably the x86 version as well.

Best of all, it's truly free, for now. I expect if my hardware changes dramatically (i.e, motherboard and/or CPU), that I'll have to pay. I've seen figures on the net of up to 4 years before one is expected to pay, but no one seems to have a rock solid answer so far.
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