Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Microsoft redefines just about everything

MS is making a Consumer Preview of Windows 8 available for download, installation, rebooting, and rebooting once or twice more today. The company has made major changes to the clunky UI that's been around since the days of Windows 95, including some innovative features that make win8 the first OS to catch up to a few of the features that have been around in OSX, iOS, and some Linux UI managers for a few years now.

With Metro, gone is the tired, old metaphor of clicking on full-color square icons to run a program. The new hotness involves simply tapping on monochrome square tiles to interact with an app! Clicking these new tiles to run an app, er... that is, tapping icons to interact with programs is just a paradigm shift in outside-of-the-box thinking when it comes to streamlining my computer synergy, especially compared to the old method of clicking on squares to run... uh... apps, I guess. In retrospect, the user experience of all the shitty old windows versions (everything before 8, I mean) was just really dreadful.

Surely that's all going to change, this time for sure, with all the new definitions and no more of those distracting multiple colors.

I haven't tried out this amazing piece of software yet, but I can report on some anticipated changes that are likely to debut in windows 8:
  • Users can tap on tiles using either a FeelSurface or their gerbils.
  • Apps can store data in one or more boxes, arranged in various drawers in the computer's main shipping container.
  • The Start Menu has been replaced by a list of apps that can be started via the new Launch Cookbook.
  • Gone are the awful days of the Blue Screen of Death. The functionality of the unpopular feature is now handled by the Full-screen Indicator of Unscheduled Coffee Break.
This changes everything! Users who've been screwed over by Microsoft for decades now, time after time, might just want to give MS one more chance yet again to try to not rape them. Eight just might be your lucky number for not getting raped. If not, be assured that the Picayune Tech Squad is the place to be for hopeful speculation about 9, after 8 turns out to be more of the same crap that we've always seen from MS. Surely it's all going to change, with Nine for sure!

Update, March 13, 2012: We broke the story first! The mainstream news is catching up to the realization that 8 is going to be crap but 9... maybe 9 will be good! Slashdot is confirming that 8 will be a mistake. "The company needs to learn from its mistakes as quickly and nimbly as they can — and then turn around and make Windows 9 exceed all of our expectations."

If not, then 10. Or 11. It is statistically impossible for Microsoft to deliver with perfect consistency such utter useless shit every time. Eventually they will slip up and accidentally make something that doesn't make their users' lives hell.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hacked by parasitic greedhead scam

There are some jobs that I don't think need to exist at all. These include, among countless others:
  • Baby-seal pulverizer
  • TSA crotchprober/deathray technician
  • Telephone scamvertiser
  • Realtor(R)
That little (R) is there so that no one else can say they do what a realtor does, so if all the realtors demand outrageous fees, what can you do but accept it?
Opposing or intended to regulate business monopolies, such as trusts or cartels, especially in the interest of promoting competition

A cartel is a formal (explicit) agreement among competing firms. It is a formal organization of producers and manufacturers that agree to fix prices, marketing, and production.

REALTOR® members [...] are the only ones who have the right to list your property on the MLS® Systems of their local real estate boards.
MLS® and the corresponding web site have changed the way people search for homes, and it's hard to court buyers without it.

Let us consider the economics of realtor fees. For a $400,000 house, the standard realtor fee will run you 4% of the house value (it's higher for less expensive houses). If you move houses several times in your life, you're skimming one 25th of your house value every time, and giving it to someone who has "earned" that much of your property by helping you sell it.

What does that number mean in conceptual terms? Suppose you have a 25-year mortgage on your house. Every year you pay off one 25th of the house. Pick one of those years, and say "This one's for my Realtor." Then go to work every workday that year, and start the day thinking "I do this for my Realtor." Put a smiling picture of them on your cubicle wall for motivation, if it's getting you down.

To be fair, you don't devote all your time to work, and you don't devote all your income to your mortgage. So maybe think "Here's some for my Realtor, here's some to feed my kids.*"

And remember, it's only one year of your life you'd need to do this for! One... for each time you move, I mean.

But perhaps it's worth it. Perhaps your Realtor will devote a year of work to selling your house.

* If you do choose to think of it in terms of food, you may wish to calculate how much is going to your kids and how much to your Realtor. If you spend $300 per month on food for the kids, it will take 4.44 years, not one, to add up to our example realtor fees. So you may choose to spend 4.44 years devoting equal time to your realtor and to feeding your kids, or you may wish to for example dedicate the first hour of work to your kids, and the next 4.44 to your realtor. Again, that's only for one tiny insignificant year of your life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

MPs Really Get Behind Seal Hunt

Canada's embattled sealing industry has been suffering these past few years, bleeding like a dead bag of meat left out on the snow (Photo Gallery with the Huff Post story).

Some conservative MPs are lending their support this year by participating in the seal hunt. MPs donned clubs and enthusiastic smiles as they paused for photo ops in between manic sessions of bashing in the brains of some cute baby seals.

"It's a lot of fun," said one MP, catching his breath and wiping some spattered blood from his lips. "Maybe we could expand the industry with an adventure-tourism aspect. I think that for many people, if they had a chance to bash in the face of one of the little critters, they wouldn't have such negative feelings towards it."

The MPs pinned dead seals to their lapels. "It's quite patriotic, I think, almost like a Canadian flag really. All that red and white."

One of the MPs held out a baby seal carcass to members of the press, offering it for sale. When there were no takers, the MP remarked "Well that's certainly odd. The market for dead seals is actually quite healthy."