opensource and the white house

Former-President-elect Barrack Obama had some sort of “open data” policy for government. So I thought I’d do some data-mining up in their data.

  • “transparency” = 10 results
  • “budget” = 4 results
  • “charts” = 1 result
  • “healthcare” = 0 results
  • “spending” = 0 results
  • “military” = 0 results
  • “aliens” = 0 results
  • “embargo” = 0 results
  • “taliban” = 0 results
  • “bin laden” = 0 results
  • “kennedy” = 0 results
  • “assassination” = 0 results

I’m imagining Donald right now standing there next to the file server and telling people to pull the plug on that, perhaps citing “National Security” or some other nonsense.

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why stackoverflow sucks

In my series of “why x sucks” articles, today I add AskUbuntu.com, one of the off-shoots of the StackOverflow collection of forums.  If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to go there for computer or software support, I’d strongly suggest against it.

I learned from before that StackOverflow is populated by packs of people who in real life you’d want to punch in the face. That probably sounds like a mean statement if you’d not had any interaction with these people. The big problem with the forum’s system is that it accidentally rewards power-hungry assholes.

And today’s PHA appears to be none other than CelticWarrior who takes little effort in solving problems but every opportunity to show to others on the forum that he’s claimed it as his turf.

Next, mark-ysiri jumps into the conversation to backup the bullying by CelticWarrior, suggesting that my advice is “low quality” and without offering any advice to the OP.

Immediately, a seemingly kind-hearted person named fabby jumps into the conversation to suggest to me that I ought to simply delete my post to avoid the negative down-ticks of reputation. Basically, he’s supporting that anyone who’s a noob should just not post. He means well but I’m really not into self-censorship as you might have guessed from my own posts here.

I’ve now been informed there that helping people with hardware-related problems is considered “off-topic” by the collection of software-loving folks who frequent the forum on a Saturday, you know, that day that people are usually out there enjoying the sunshine. I suppose for the person whose computer needs possibly a better driver, then they’re totally screwed on that forum.

Oh fun, and not two minutes goes by but fabby now is closing the topic because he’s ruling it off-topic and the original author is screwed out of any support whatsoever.

Read it and weep

windows 10 sucks balls

Seriously. So today’s saga ends with me giving up on my relatively-new Windows 10—based laptop as just a lost cause. Since around November, it’s had its microprocessor firmly stuffed up its I/O port.

The Symptoms

The symptoms began about the same time. The Mail app just failed to sync: no new email.

Further troubleshooting suggested that the wi-fi adapter wasn’t consistently connecting to my own zone and not that of one of my neighbors. Tracking down the correct settings allowed me to definitely not connect to that other zone. Although that worked, still no resolution of the problem.

I thought updating might help. Unfortunately, Windows Update thought that it wasn’t connected to the Internet so I couldn’t update. I could browse the Internet with my browser but it just didn’t think that I was connected to the Internet.

The Attempts

I tried using only the wi-fi. I tried using only an Ethernet connection. Same result.

I tried opening an administrative MS-DOS console and entering a variety of terse commands in an effort to clear my DNS cache, reset my IP adapter’s DHCP lease, reset the WINS catalog, you-name-it.

I tried rebooting. Oh yeah, I rebooted the fuck out of that thing. Still, no-go.

I wanted to adjust the network’s location so that instead of thinking that I’m in a public space, it would know that I’m in a private place. But since it thinks I’m not connected, you can’t do that.

The Research

It turns out that I’m not the only one experiencing this. Almost 70,000 viewers on one Microsoft help page alone and thousands of participants in the discussion. Keep in mind that a subset of the users think that this is an email problem, another just-as-large collection of users think that their Windows Update has a problem, another several thousand think that they have a Firewall problem, another several thousand think that they have an Ethernet adapter problem…, (you get the point).

It looks to me like Microsoft has painted themselves into a corner. If Windows Update now doesn’t function, then you can’t easily push out a fix. You then have to rely upon the millions of users to ask you for help.

The Fix

Fortunately, it hit upon me how I could fix the problem which I now share with you.

buy-a-macbook

Update

Now that I’ve formatted the HP laptop with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, I’ve been able to spin up a virtual machine and run Windows 10 Pro in it… and it doesn’t have the aforementioned bug.  Read more