Archive for September, 2013

Enough with the Breaking Bad hype!

September 28, 2013

These next two lines are from our local paper:

At about 9:15 p.m. tonight, TV addicts across the country will let out a collective sigh of relief.

Or maybe it’ll be a scream of rage. There could be sobbing. Some stomachs may be roiling from anxiety and profound sadness.

C’mon people, it is just a TV show. It is another squalid drama where people kill each other to entertain the murder-starved media masses. I haven’t seen a single episode and my life goes on. Who cares?

I also missed the Sopranos, Friends, Will & Grace, and all the other prior “must-see TV events”.

It is JUST TELEVISION! It isn’t real. It is actors and actresses running around reciting words other people wrote (which mainly involve murder and mayhem and sleeping with anyone who is not their spouse).

Get a life, folks.


Today’s clueless fake comment from a spammer.

September 28, 2013

“Hey, You may have performed an incredible work. I am going to unquestionably reddit the idea in addition to in person propose for you to my girlfriends. Now i am assured they’re going to be took advantage of this great site.”

This one was for some sort of sex-cam website. It is nice that this person is willing to propose for me to their girlfriends. However, I am already married.

Why the GOP grass-roots likes Cruz

September 28, 2013

They have had it up to their eyeballs with Republicans who are timid, political insiders who are content to act like a mousy minority even when they are the majority. They are especially fed up with the GOP Geezer-Squad made up of guys like John McCain. These folks would rather knife their own side than get in serious tussle with the Democrat majority. They are content to be tossed scraps.

We have too many ‘Republi-can’ts’ in the GOP. Cruz offers them a vision of Republicans who are Republi-cans. As in, can win. Can do something. Can fight back.

Much like Lincoln was waiting for a Grant (a general who fights), the GOP has been waiting for someone who will get in the face of the insufferable Harry Reid, the wacky Nancy Pelosi, and who isn’t afraid to duke it out (with words) the incompetent Barack Obama.

Cruz is also dead-on right about the show votes and go-along-to-get-along attitude of the GOP fossil brigade. I also hope he helps bring in a new group of GOP consultants and campaign teams who will replace the losers we have running things now. They are in it for the money.

Fortune favors the bold. Cruz saw a power vacuum with a rudderless GOP. He took the initiative. Good for him! Give me someone who is willing to get in there and mix it up.

How notebook and PC makers can save the holiday buying season.

September 27, 2013

Here is what might save them from a repeat of the bloodbath that occurred after the releases (or rather the escape) of Windows 8. The vendors, pretty much all of them, were spanked as potential buyers avoided Windows 8 in droves.

First, they need to go as a group to have a visit to Microsoft’s top brass behind closed (and soundproof) doors. Here need to be the demands:

1. Microsoft needs to IMMEDIATELY make Windows 7 OEM license available to them to offer as an option on any/all machines these vendors wish to sell them on.

2. Microsoft needs to offer full downgrade rights to Windows 7 to anyone who buys a Windows 8 machine. Ideally they would make it retroactive, but a compromise can be to do it for any new machines sold.

3. Microsoft has to agree to an 8.2 release that restores FULL set of Windows 7 features and look. It can be Windows 8 under the hood, but what the user interacts with has to be Windows 7 — unless they choose to have it become the Metro interface.

Another demand that should be tossed on at the end is that the vendors reserve the right to dump touchscreens if they can’t dredge up a market for them outside of phones and tablets.

Microsoft really screwed the OEM manufacturers with this dud of an OS and untold millions of machines were not sold as a result. If Microsoft wishes to stop the bleeding, they will see the wisdom in these demands and agree to them. In the end, they also benefit.

All they have to do is to quit being the arrogant and obstinate Microsoft that gave us Windows Millennium Edition, Bob, Vista, Windows 8, and lots of other stuff that the marketplace gave thumbs down on. They need to admit they goofed up and then make it right.

As an aside, a coworker told me of getting a Windows 8 notebook for his wife. She took one look at it and asked for their older Windows 7 machine. He hates the Windows 8 OS on his brand-new machine and wouldn’t have bought it had he known how awful it was to use. He is VERY interested in downgrading it. If Microsoft would let him arrange a free Windows 7 rollback, then he would be a happy guy.

Are you listening Microsoft? Hint… Hint…

Why ultrabooks are flopping. Free analysis!

September 26, 2013

1. They have touchscreens and there is about zero user need for them on notebooks or desktops. They are about as useless as tits on a boar hog, as my dad was wont to explain. Steve Jobs and the gorilla arms reference was right all along. If I am using a keyboard and mouse or a keyboard and a good touchpad, then it is more work (and less precise) to touch a screen. I go from hands resting on a keyboard to arms extended to a screen. The cost of a touchscreen gets built into a machine and people are price sensitive, especially in the current economy. Also, it turns people off when they see all of the smearing and goo stuck on screens of demo machines on showroom floors. Hands are often dirty, but we don’t notice it on black keys. It stands out like crazy on screens. I have an absolute obsession about having a clean screen and NEVER TOUCH IT except with soft pad to clean it.

2. The darn things are way overpriced. I can still buy economical netbooks that do most everything that an ultrabook does for a fraction of the price. I can buy dirt-cheap full-sized notebooks for a small percentage of what an ultrabook would cost. The price differential for a small boost in performance and a bit less weight just isn’t there — especially when cheaper netbooks packed almost as much real-world performance (outside of gaming) in a light-weight package.

3. Windows 8. Yes, I had to get to it. I have watched people on the sales floor of my local big computer store look at the shiny new ultrabooks and try to figure out how to make W8 work. After a few minutes, they give up and walk away. It would be like going to test drive a car and you can’t find where to put the key, the gear shift is in the glove box, and the turn signals have to be operated from the truck. Microsoft really hosed their OEM vendors here and the smartest one seems to be Lenovo, which ships their systems with a utility to restore the Windows 7 start menu.

So, what is to be done. Here is free advice.

1. Get a clue that nobody wants touchscreens on anything but a smart phone or a tablet. These devices are used either flat or close to it, so it makes sense from an ergonomic standpoint.

2. Cut the prices. A lot. People can buy a lot of computer for $400 in the netbook or standard notebook market. They are not crazy about dropping multiples of that for something that offers marginal improvement.

3. Offer either Windows 7 or offer to ship Windows 8 preconfigured to look and work like Windows 7. You want people trying out the machine on the store aisle to be able to DO SOMETHING with it right off the bat. Next, the vendors need to pull Microsoft aside and SCREAM AT THEM until they get a promise that Windows 8.2 will come with the option of the complete Windows 7 user-interface, themes, and Aero look. Microsoft needs these vendors and apparently forgot that little fact when foisting Windows 8 on them (and Vista and Windows ME).

All you need to know about the market failure of Windows 8 can be found by looking on Newegg

September 8, 2013

All version of Windows 8 offered for sale have, at best, a mere three egg rating (out of five) while all versions of Windows 7 have ratings of 4 to 5. These are based on large numbers of user ratings and it is clear the market has spoken. Windows 8 = Suck.

It is being speculated that one user in three of Windows 8 downgrades their machine to Windows 7. That is an amazing statistic since Windows 8 comes as part of the machine and it may cost the user to replace it with Windows 7 (easily another $100). Basically, people are PAYING for the ability NOT to use the NEWEST OS.

Sadly, MS attempts to respond is the inadequate 8.1. They still haven’t learned from this Vista and Windows ME level of failure and need to bleed some more first.

Again, the fix is to ship Windows 8 with a “desktop mode” installation option that looks and works EXACTLY like Windows 7.

Or, they can remain stuck on stupid.