Taking a Knee

Recently the NFL has decided that if a player takes a knee during the National Anthem they will be fined.

Let’s review while this is not the best decision the NFL could have made, it is a correct, legal, logical decision albeit not entirely popular.

I’ll explain what I mean because the mass populous has responded in expected fashion:

  • 50% of the people on the Internet have praised the NFL for doing “the right thing”
  • 50% of the people on the Internet is now boycotting the NFL in protest / outrage.
  • 99% of the people on the Internet cannot be happy just to have formed an opinion and must prove to everyone else that they are wrong
  • 100% of the people that say they will boycott the NFL are doing the best thing to protest this change
  • 75% of the people boycotting the NFL will still watch games – including the Super Bowl – this season
  • 99% of the people with season tickets will keep them for the rest of their lives
  • 100% of the people outraged that this policy violates Freedom of Speech are completely wrong

Continue reading Taking a Knee

Extortionist For Hire

MyNorthwest: Zillow slams ‘head tax’ and may grow outside of Seattle

Sweet. First Amazon pushes back, then union construction workers, and now Zillow – the whole city should be in an uproar right now.

You’d think Seattle would know better after all of the Boeing business the state lost to other part of the US. Guess someone forgot the memo and the whole council doesn’t realize that business can simply step out to Bellevue, Tacoma, or pretty much anywhere else in country. Feels like a sizable bill for the homeless. Rather than forcibly taxing companies, why not offer a tax rebate or tax cut for companies that show a track record of helping the homeless through foundations, donations, or new work acts? Nope – the head tax is the city’s solution.

Overall, I feel I have to give Seattle some shit for voting for someone like Kshama Sawant into office – I hope you don’t reward her performance or behavior because as a councilperson, I find her to be delusional, misguided, and so naive that it’s frankly rather embarrassing. Consider the seemingly endless run of taxes and laws for the layman in the city over the years like bring-your-own-bag taxes or sugar-soda taxes or sort-your-garbage fines – where is that money going by the way? – or the you-have-to-rent-to-the-first-bell-ringer but then you’ve got a democratic socialist running around on the city, staging protests, and proclaiming statements for the entire city that this work is OK because in her mind, “Amazon can afford it.” As a shareholder of Amazon, I can honestly say: screw you, hippie. Instead of taking all of these people around the city to protest, why not help them find homes in other towns in the area? Why the fight to keep them in the city? It can’t be a tax play because if homeless, there’s not much taxable income there. As a socialist, maybe she’s not be aware that people can move out of Seattle if they choose to, that they are not required to stay in the city limits. There’s no state-based obligation for anyone to stay where they are and gods know there’s no city mandate that states that everyone is entitled to live in the Pike/Pine/12th/Broadway corridor.

Further, who are you to say what Amazon can and cannot afford? Do you think they have to stay in Seattle? Do you think they can’t find another city to call home? Go ask Connecticut what happened to their business that had been there for decades. You know, the ones that moved HQ’s to New York or Massachusetts which are historically high taxed states. I mean, you do know that they have no state, city, or moral obligation to stay in Seattle, right? Like Expedia, who moved from Bellevue to Seattle, Amazon can go where ever the hell they want.

That aside, I love that fact that you say Bezos is holding the construction of a new building as a hostage. That’s just a smart business move. If I decided to buy a piece of land and build on it only to find out that the taxes I’d be paying would quintuple before I finished construction, I too would have second thoughts. Maybe you should demand that Jeff donate the land to the city for a shelter or something you want to feel warm and fuzzy over. But you must acknowledge that they can build or not build wherever the hell they want. They can build in or move to a city where they are made to feel far more welcome than here.

If Bezos is a bully, take a look at yourself in the mirror Ms. Sawant: you’ll find not only a bully but an extortionist as well.

SharpKeys 3.6

SharpKeys is a Registry hack that is used to make certain keys on a keyboard act like other keys. For example, if you accidentally hit Caps Lock often, you could use this utility to map Caps Lock to a Shift key or even turn it off completely. This official release includes support for up to 104 mappings, an extensive list of available keys, and a “Type Key” option to help when managing mappings. As it relies on internal support within Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10 you must be running one of these OS’s for this Registry hack to work.

With the move to version 3.6, I’ve recompiled the most recent code that has been posted to the GitHub project. It includes some bug fixes and a couple of text changes; I encourage anyone interested in working on the code to visit http://www.github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys for more project changes.

Download SharpKeys 3.6: MSI | ZIP | requires .NET Framework 4.0

Windows 10: Turn on SMB v1 for clean installs (starting with 1709)

Over the weekend, we got a new desktop in the house and as per usual, I blew away the bloated pre-installed image in favor for a clean install of Windows 10 Pro. Post install, I found 4 drivers that defaulted to the built-in Windows versions; clicking “Update driver” immediately reached out to Windows Update and I had a completed and successful install. Some time after that, Jolene mentioned that “Scan to network folder” from our HP printer wasn’t working and if I could take a look at it.

Six hours later I was ready to smash the desktop and the printer in short order. I considered peeing on the monitor for good measure. This note is to prevent the same problem from happening in the future.

As it turns out, on clean installs of the 1709 build of Windows 10, a particular component of Windows is no longer installed with the rest of the OS. A component that shipped in Windows for a long, long time and continues to be left in place on computers that are upgraded to 1709. A component that will prevent most printers from successfully talking to any PC in the house. Because of this change I found that while the new box had issues, the reset of the PC’s in the house didn’t have this issue and could scan over the network successfully.

*sigh*

The change was seemingly made for security purposes. I can’t object to that, but at no point did anything in the printer/scanner configuration – pages or app – tell me what the problem was. Whenever I tried to scan to the network share, I got error messages like “An error occurred communicating with the scanning device” or “An error occurred while communicating with the HP imaging device” which was great because these message appeared on pages that were hosted by the printer/scanner! Odd in that I had to connect to the device successfully to get the error messages telling me I couldn’t connect.

I rebooted all the things. I reset the printer to factory settings four times. Re-installed Windows twice. Searched Bing and Google and HP support sites. Saw a bunch of posts on HP’s site that strongly state the most recent firmware – released this October – broke “Scan to network folder” for everyone (which is again odd, since I had three machines that continued to support the feature.) And then, after randomly clicking links and searches, I saw a tiny blurb on a related post somewhere that called out that SMB v1 was disabled on clean installs of Windows 10, starting with September’s build. And that printers would have to take a firmware update to re-enable some functionality for machines in this state.

*SIGH*

TL;DR version, if you are having issues where your printer/scanner does not talk to your PC after a clean install of Windows 10 (1709 or newer) you can re-enable SMBv1 support temporarily, until your printer gets a firmware update to support SMB v2 or v3:

  1. Open Settings on your PC (Win+I)
  2. Search for “Turn Windows feature on or off”
  3. Find “SMB 1.0/CIFS File Sharing Support” in the tree
  4. Make sure everything underneath the parent node is selected – for me Server wasn’t
  5. Reboot

At this point, scanning to the network share should be working again. If it’s not, give the printer a reboot; if it still doesn’t work, my apologizes for the lengthy post that didn’t work for you.

Mostly, I’m taking this note down to remind myself that this needs fixing on new installs.

Thanks, CodePlex – Hello, GitHub

Looks like CodePlex is beginning it’s long ride off into the sunset! As part of that, people that have their source code in the TFS instance we being encouraged to migrate their projects to GitHub. It’s a pretty straightforward process and so I’ve been spending some time getting my existing source up there:

SharpKeys, for keyboard remapping: https://github.com/randyrants/sharpkeys

SharpMT, for blog writing: https://github.com/randyrants/sharpmt

Compile and enjoy!

Data in the Details

As the media and the masses battle, march, and generally freak out, there’s been an ongoing comparison of the current government to Nazi Germany, the USSR, and even Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. I get that comparing everything to the Third Reich is a common practice on the Internet but as everyone is lamenting “woe is me!” or “woe is MY country!” please review these tiny but critical details:

Hitler came to power by rising through the government but he claimed the top spot on his own. He grabbed power.

The USSR appointed their Premier from the senior leaders of the Party. The average citizen had no say in the matter.

Big Brother was given the unilateral power of Oceania at the start of the superstate but when the story opens, the human is likely gone and become just a picture on a poster; it’s Ingsoc that has control over the Proles of the country, who really have no impact on who becomes members of the ruling Party.

This country elected Trump. Assuming that all investigations don’t reveal that something in the election process went awry and let’s be honest: we’ll never have a satisfactory answer to that. There are still people contesting what happened in Florida’s election 2000. We still don’t know who really shot JFK and even if we had an eye witness with a news reel that captured everything turn up tomorrow, we will still not believe it 100%. No one wants to believe the facts in these scenarios and we’ll always harbor some doubt. Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Don’t ever forget that: this country elected Trump and that makes things very, very different from these real and fictional nations.

‘MERICA: How It’s Supposed To Work

This came directly out of my Facebook feed today and I had to snag a screenshot because it actually made me smile. Not the subject matter, no, but that’s a different conversation. No, what I liked in this image are the two comments that happened to bubble up to the surface when I happened to see this post.

The back to back comments made me smile because I know that if I post this image to my blog or my Facebook page that I will immediately piss off everyone I know.

Unilaterally. Continue reading ‘MERICA: How It’s Supposed To Work

“COPY!”

USA Today: Trump is ‘unfit for the presidency’

Interesting thought, after seeing that USA Today has taken their first stance in a presidential debate which is kind of a big deal since it’s been printed for 34 years now.

For all of the people chest thumping that “The media is out to get Trump” has it every occurred to the same people that the most presidential thing that POTUS has to do is influence people without having to resort to threatens and violence? Meaning that if the entire media pool of the US is against your candidate that it means that he was *unable* to gain any influence from them.

FWIW, if the media went the other way, I would change “chest thumping” to “lamenting”, “Trump” to “Clinton”, and “he” to “she” but still be asking the same question. IMHO, if you can’t get *any* sway in the mainstream media before you get elected, it’s a pretty clear sign you shouldn’t be elected.

RDC, DPI, and You

I recently became the proud owner of a Lenovo Yoga X1. This replaced my generation Lenovo X1 Carbon, which is only being retired because of some wonky video connections on the mini-DP port. Fine box otherwise even after three years.

One of the new features of the Yoga X1 – and there have been a bunch I didn’t even know about, like the Wacom-based pen! – is the extremely high resolution display at 2560×1440. While I love the concept of having so many lines of resolution, the laptop still have a 14″-or so screen, which means you almost have to start messing around with the font size, aka DPI. Being able to change the DPI value has been in Windows for a while, like I think Windows 95 or maybe even Windows 3.1. For decades I’ve left it alone. You see, for DPI to be useful, applications have to support it. In more modern applications – think .NET 2.0 and newer – this Just Works but for older apps it’s one of those things developers were supposed to do but almost never bothered with. Like bidi text or help systems.

With modern boxes with uber-big resolutions, keeping the DPI at 100% is nearly impossible. I’ve run 1920×1080 on a 15″ display with DPI set to 100% but trying to do 2560×1440 on a 14″ display isn’t going to work. The worst part of this is how the DPI changes have been impacting my Remote Desktop Connections.
Continue reading RDC, DPI, and You

Life Lesson #7452: Fancy Fridays

After living on the west coast for almost 12 years, I’m always shocked at how shocked I feel when I see someone in a suit, even when walking around downtown Seattle. Maybe it has changed over the last decade but the east coast I remember has always had the terms “business attire” and “business casual” in their HR manuals for workers. Especially as you approach the financial centers of New York, Boston, and D.C. The almighty tie on a person immediately declared that person to be “respected and in power” of a job.

Long story short, I’ve always called bullshit on this thought process.
Continue reading Life Lesson #7452: Fancy Fridays

That Cooking Smell…

BetaNews: iOS 9.3 is more stable than Android 6.0 Marshmallow

*sigh*

I hate articles like this. Especially because I can’t tell if it was written as click bait or if it’s just a cooked-data fanboy piece or because they just don’t understand Testing and Quality.

Sadly, I think it’s a strong statement on the author’s ignorance of Quality. Sure, they have charts and numbers and are pointing fingers, but they’re missing the point: not all bugs are created equal. Some bugs are edge cases. Some bugs are rough patches of code. Some bugs block a critical mainstream use cases. Some bugs crash the app and/or device. Can you guess which one is more important or which has the biggest impact, which thereby lowers the Quality of the product?

Here’s a Quality test: if you run Marshmallow run long enough, an application crashes, which forces its crash rate to increase. If you run iOS 9.3, you may or may not be able to successfully click on a hyperlink in any application, but there’s no crash.

Technically, sure, iOS 9.3 is more stable. However, who gives a shit about stability when the damned OS blocks a mainline, mainstream scenario?! Really?!

Honestly, it’s saying that the most stable car you can drive is one without an engine.

I really, really hope this cooked bit of data was for fanboys and click bait.

Feel The Burn!

Honestly, I still think of this as a tag line for an STD or UTI medication.

With the Democratic caucus recently completed in WA state – and the Republican primary at least five weeks away – repeat visitors to my blog and Facebook page have likely been surprised that there hasn’t been as much commentary on the Presidential hopefuls as there have been in past years.

In truth, the field on both sides of the aisle have left me mostly speechless.
Continue reading Feel The Burn!

Is it Alive or is it Memorex?

The Telegraph: Microsoft deletes ‘teen girl’ AI after it became a Hitler-loving sex robot within 24 hours […] “Tay” went from “humans are super cool” to full nazi in < 24 hrs and I’m not at all concerned about the future of AI

Call me a bit cynical, but how do you know this is a problem with the AI and not what could happen to a human if you take away all responsibilty, social graces, honor, and morality?

Given how the 2016 primaries are running, worry about the humans that have turned into this – the AI can be shut down, rebooted and debugged.

Randy No Arms' ongoing commentary on life, gaming, and the rest of the world