"Science – it works, bitch." #213

I feel a lot better about my indiscriminate wine palate after reading this.

You’d think it would be a bad idea to make grand claims about your skills if a simple blind experiment could show you up. Looks like these guys make a living at it, but no one has applied the simple science to see if they are just wankers or not.

Will the wine industry be thrown into turmoil by this? Will there be soul searching and a new approach to rating wine?

Don’t bet on it. Nobody wants to hear this so it will be quietly ignored and the “experts” will continue pontificating without even a hiccup.

Well, maybe a hiccup or two.


Wine-tasting: it’s junk science
Experiments have shown that people can’t tell plonk from grand cru. Now one US winemaker claims that even experts can’t judge wine accurately. What’s the science behind the taste?

Microsoft Still Don’t Get It, Do They

I made a reluctant expedition into the Microsoft jungle this evening because my ISP suggested one of my PCs might be infected with a virus. They suggested checking with Microsoft Security Essentials.

This is the download page.



I can only guess they are offering me the choice of a 32 or 64 bit version but what the hell is the average punter supposed to make of that?

It’s 2013 for god’s sake. Haven’t they learned anything about user experience? Anything?

So, nothing to see here. Time to retreat to the sane world as quickly as possible.

CIO of US agency tries to purge the evil virus spirits

Reshared post from +Ian Slinger

CIO of US agency tries to purge the evil virus spirits

Here's a tip.

If you are going to hire a Chief Information Officer (CIO), try to find one who understands at least something about technology.

This guy seems think viruses are some kind of evil spirit inhabiting his hardware and implements a "burn the witch" policy costing millions.

In fact the only thing that seems to have stopped him is running out of money before he could burn down the building. Just to be sure.


US agency baffled by modern technology, destroys mice to get rid of viruses
$170,000 of PCs, printers, keyboards, cameras, and mice destroyed in gross overreaction.

Death and (Microsoft) Taxes

So maybe this is how Microsoft fades out of the OS scene one day?Manufacturers get sick of paying the Microsoft Tax. More and more Android apps start to suit a desktop. Gradually Android infiltrates the desktop market and Windows fades into irrelevance.

Could happen. It’s hard to fight against an OS that is free.

Yeah, it could happen, but don’t sell your Microsoft shares yet. The industry graveyard is littered with the dusty headstones of Windows wannabes that died at birth. (R.I.P. HP New Wave).

And maybe Microsoft doesn’t even care if Android flourishes? It’s been estimated that they will reap $1.5-3.5 billion in royalties this year from licensing agreements with Android manufacturers. That’s more than their entire Entertainment and Devices Division!  And they didn’t have to deal with a single overheating, Red Ring Of Death XBox to earn it. Just needed a big enough wheelbarrow to collect the cheques from the mailbox.

Nice business model.

#microsoft   #android

Your next desktop could be a 21.5-inch Android tablet from HP
You said you wanted options, right?

Just threw out my 3.5" install disks for Windows 3.1

 (all 8 of them) along with the disks for OS/2, DOS 6.0, every driver disk for hardware I've owned over the last 25 years and a bunch of obscure games.

The disks are almost certainly unreadable, I don't have a working floppy drive if they did, the software is only of vague historical interest and I STILL had to agonise for five minutes over chucking them.

The deed is done, but I'm pretty sure that as soon as the garbage truck drives away there will be some reason why this was a bad idea (don't laugh, it's happened more than once with old hardware). 

Daily Embuggerances #1211

I've just realised there is no way I can adjust our thermostat for daylight savings without reading the damn manual.

It's about time we ditched these crappy devices and buried them in the same landfill as all the pre Android/iOS phones.

A recent gas outage caused it to mysteriously display a scrolling message that would quickly disappear. It refused to start the heater. A call to the supplier came up with:

Sigh. You need to press J12 while holding down the PROG button while rubbing your stomach anti-clockwise to force a reset.

Sounded like she'd told this story many times.

The consumer electronics industry really needs to get their shit together.

The article below gives you a glimpse of the way it should be done, but I don't see Janine letting me stick a phone on the wall with a USB cable sticking out of it.


Microsoft Support Scammers

I've been waiting for one of these guys to ring so I can have some fun!

My Dad gets them all the time and he likes to spin them out (you have lots of time on your hands when you are retired). They seem to target people who are older and possibly inexperienced with computers.

I wonder if any of the scammers on the other end of the phone are innocent dupes who actually think they are helping people?

“Can you fix my Windows 95 computer?”: How to troll a tech support scammer
The Internet gets mad—and hilarious—in exposing an obnoxious tech-related scam.