Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Goodbye Microsoft Home Use Program

with 53 comments

I just got an email that presents, what’s basically the end of the program, as an “exciting change.” Previously, with the Home Use Program (HUP), you could buy a complete copy of Office for a low price of like $10 (or maybe they raised it to $20). Whatever the exact price, it was a real bargain. Even though they claimed it was only for one computer and you were supposed to stop using it after you left your job, the reality on the ground was that you could install it on multiple computers and keep using it after you left your job, and Microsoft really didn’t seem to care.

But now, they replaced that with a discounted subscription to Office 365. Which means you have to keep paying year after year for the same program which hardly ever changes (I don’t see how Office 2016 is any better than the Office I was using in 2006), and after you leave your job, you stop getting access to the lower subscription price and your Office stops working unless you pay the jacked-up prices.

A big thumbs down to corporate greed.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 19, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

My first experience with the internet

with 39 comments

A commenter asks:

I’d be curious what your first experience was with the Internet, that you thought it was going nowhere.

I met the two lawyers described in this Wikipedia article in the summer, or maybe the fall, of 1994 after I graduated from law school, and being unemployed I was looking for any crappy sort of legal work, even if it was doing a small amount of part time research for a low hourly rate. Or maybe they wanted me to do some non-legal work for their company (mentioned in the Wikipedia article), such as helping them write a business plan. They were trying to do everything on the cheap, I guess they weren’t clued into to getting venture capital.

These two weird attorneys had their employee, an uber-nerd (the person called “Jason” in the Wikipedia article), demo the internet to me. Using the Mosaic web browser. It was ridiculously slow. And it seemed to be nothing but a bulletin board that was harder to access than Prodigy or Compuserve. I also got the impression that “Jason” wasn’t doing much real work, but also that he wasn’t getting paid much, his payment was that he got to play around on the internet.

I decided to decline any further contact with them, because they gave me a lot of bad vibes. A fellow graduate of my law school who had also met them warned me about them, and pointed out that they weren’t even admitted to the Arizona bar (which was a big sticking point for him). He was also put off by the fact that he was at the female lawyer’s house, and he saw the guy there wearing a bathrobe, or so he claimed. When I met them, the guy was dressed normally. Three years later, one of them was disbarred (from a state other than Arizona, my friend was right).

My impression of the internet, after Jason demoed it to me, was that it was something for uber-nerds and that regular people would never be interested in it. How wrong I was! I have to admit that the two weird lawyers were totally correct that there were huge amounts of money to be made from advertising on the internet. They were just too totally clueless about internet technology or start-up companies to personally cash in on it.

* * *

Holy ****. It just occurred to me that this was 25 years ago, and that means I missed my 25-year law school class reunion.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 18, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Law, Technology

Should I buy a huge iPhone 11?

with 48 comments

It looks huge. Can I live with such a huge phone? Does something that size still fit in a pants pocket?

But the only smaller iPhone that’s a reasonable price is the iPhone 8 which is now ancient technology, no thanks.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

September 11, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Practical advice, not NY Times whining

Let me re-iterate what I’ve written before:

1. Turn off third-party cookies
2. Install uBlock Origin on Chrome desktop. For mobile Safari on an iOS device, install AdGuard. Both are free. Both, by default, include privacy blocking as well as ad blocking. Ad blocking has the additional benefits of: (1) web pages load faster; (2) saves bandwidth which is limited on mobile devices; (3) you don’t see annoying ads.

And a word about VPNs: I have a subscription to Private Internet Access. I had some problems with it when I first started using it and had to mess with DNS settings. A VPN is a must if you are using any torrent software. For regular web browsing, it can be more of a hassle than the benefit of hiding your IP address. Sites with cookies know who you are anyway, and turning off first-party cookies makes much of the web unusable. Sites also have software which sometimes detects you are using a VPN, and they will block you from using their sites. Netflix, some e-commerce sites, block VPN users.

* * *

How I know about ad blockers?

Because the company I work for is run by a bunch of incompetent morons who don’t know what they are doing, I’ve had to multiple times bring to their attention problems where our website behaves in a buggy manner (or in some cases totally failed) when the user is using an ad blocker.

As a consequence, I’ve learned a little bit about how ad blockers work. I always have to remind people not to rely on Adobe Omniture for exact counts of user volume because a certain percentage of users are not tracked because they use ad blockers that block it. (However, by default, most ad blockers do not block Adobe Omniture. That’s why I recommend uBlock Origin, which does block Adobe Omniture, Google Analytics, and other things like that by default. It also blocks Adobe DTM, but the dumb people at my company have ignored my advice to rely on Adobe DTM as little as possible.)

That said, Adobe Omniture is a very valuable tool for analyzing behavior of people using your website, figuring out where your website has problems, figuring out the relative success of different ad campaigns, etc. In most cases it’s used in a non-sinister manner. The company I work for does a lot of scummy things, but I don’t consider using Adobe Omniture to be one of the scummy things.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 23, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

Shooter did NOT post his manifesto to 8chan

This adds up. That explains why there was a screenshot which showed a mostly error-free manifesto and a text file that was riddled with errors. Some bozo with bad typing skills transcribed the original manifesto which was four screenshots posted to Instagram.

But 8chan was de-platformed, along with the company providing DDOS protection to 8chan, while Instagram, the REAL source of the manifesto, remains up and running.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 6, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

How does Overwatch continue to make money?

Once you pay your $40, you can play the game forever without having to pay anything more. So I kind of figured that, being three years old, it’s probably no longer that profitable for Blizzard.

But it turns out, there’s another revenue stream. It has been reported that in June 2019, Overwatch surpassed the billion-dollar mark for money spent in-game. What is there to buy in-game? Nothing but loot boxes that cost a dollar each (slightly less if you buy them in bulk). The loot boxes don’t do anything for you except give you different voices and skins (and other stuff totally irrelevant to playing the game). And you get free loot boxes just from playing. Why would people spend real money buying more of them?

I can see how Hearthstone makes money. That game is a pay-to-win scam, requiring you to spend hundreds of dollars to have the best cards.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 26, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

Is it true that nobody has 56 dead friends?

There has been a meme about the #ClintonBodyCount. Sounds bogus to me.

I have several friends who died under mysterious circumstances, and I’m a loser who doesn’t have that many friends. Yet three have died, one each, from:

  • Murder
  • Suicide (at least that’s what I suspect)
  • Drug overdose (at least that’s what I suspect)

And someone I once talked to at a business meeting died in a mid-air seaplane crash, but I don’t consider him to be a friend.

If I had fifty times as many friends, like the Clintons do, I’m sure the list would be a lot bigger than that.

On the other hand, it’s a known and proven fact that Bill Clinton liked to get blowjobs from much younger women, so it’s totally plausible that Epstein might have helped him in that area.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 26, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Crime, Technology

PSA: Don’t keep your incriminating evidence on unencrypted CDs in a safe!

Epstein is supposed to be so smart, yet he kept his incriminating evidence on unencrypted CDs in a safe that the FBI had no problem opening.

Use Veracrypt! It’s free, and it will make it impossible for the FBI (or your wife or anyone else) to know that you have files containing images of underage girls, or instructions on how to make bombs, or whatever else you need to hide from them!

https://www.veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html

This just proves, once again, that billionaires really aren’t all that smart. I’m poor, and not any kind of cyber-security expert at all, but even I know how to encrypt data.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

July 11, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

The Donald forum banned (for all practical purposes ) by Reddit

More social media censoring of conservative voices.

The forum is now totally invisible at Reddit, even if you’re subscribed to it, unless you know the link (and few people who use that forum probably have it bookmarked), and if you do know the link, you get a big warning message: https://www.reddit.com/r/the_donald/

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 26, 2019 at EDT pm

Posted in Technology

PROOF: Google’s AI based political-correctness enforcement

Insider Blows Whistle & Exec Reveals Google Plan to Prevent “Trump situation” in 2020 on Hidden Cam

Proof that the suggested search results, as well as other things, are being manipulated by AI programmed to be politically correct.

And that Google is secretly working to defeat Trump in 2020.

Time to bust up the monopoly.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 24, 2019 at EDT am

Posted in Technology

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