Just Talk

Garbage In – Garbage Out.

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Garbage-In – Garbage Out. This is a statement meant to imply that if you input faulty data, the result will be faulty as well. Asked my Pixel if it was going to rain today because I was seeing some pretty ominous clouds above. Here is Google’s answer at 8:15am…

And now, at 9:09am it is raining. So, of course, I just HAD to ask it once again…

…I realize that Google is probably relying on a weather service for the info…and of course, all weather reports lead back to the U.S. Government. Why should I be surprised?

I honestly didn’t know whether to post this here on the tech blog because it deals with Google Assistant …on laughingbrian.wordpress.com because my first inclination is to laugh …or constitutionalbrian.wordpress.com because the US Gov’t has veered so far off its original mandate that it can’t get a weather report right…and it shouldn’t be doing the DAMNED WEATHER ANYWAY!!



Hold on to Your Butts*: Linux on Windows

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With thanks to Patrick Monroe Brenner, I found out that Microsoft and Canonical (Ubuntu) have hatched Linux in Win10.

Wow, baby. Imagine the possibilities if they can get it to run efficiently!


Here’s the link.


*In case you’re wondering, “Hold on to your butts!” is a quote from the first Jurassic Park movie (Samuel L. Jackson).

Words of Wisdom About Your Career & Life

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This article is wise beyond the wisdom of the ages because it is precisely what I ‘take to the bank’ when I supposedly “waste my time” playing World of Warcraft. The two big ones are Strategy (long term planning/goals) and Tactics (specific, short-term, goal-oriented plans for achieving an essential piece of your strategy). B$

Is Microsoft Cool Again?

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…the question should be, “Was Microsoft EVER cool?”.

However, even if it has never been what one would call, “cool”, it certainly is true that it is regenerating itself.

Too bad the coming recession will crush it and other tech companies.

XML and Special Characters

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I just learned the hard way when my IIS website crashed because  I used an ampersand “&” instead of the word “and” in a menu title.

  <Item Category="Misc">
    <Option filename="/FAQ/DropBoxReg.pdf" title="How to get a Dropbox account" />
    <Option filename="/FAQ/AccessingDropbox.pdf" title="Setting up GSM & Personal Dropbox" />
    <Option filename="/FAQ/iClickerOverview.pdf" title="Using iClicker in GSM Classrooms" />
    <Option filename="/FAQ/Crestron.pdf" title="How to use the Crestron Air Media system" />

Can you spot it?

Yeah…I had a really long title for the document in the menu list so I thought I’d shorten it with an ampersand. I thought, “It’s between quotes…that ain’t no THANG!”

FAIL. After restarting the website, I received the bad news.

I found a good article on TechRepublic about the why and workarounds for this phenomenon Beware the Ampersand…. Enjoy. B$

Role Reversal: The Band vs. Apple Watch

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In a lot of ways, I’m starting to draw the conclusion from their actions that Microsoft is acting more like Apple did in it’s heyday and Apple like Microsoft…as this article about Microsoft’s The Band points out.

I’m rooting for Microsoft…who used to be my arch-enemy and less for Apple, who appears to be lacking in the vision that used to emanate from it.

Keep an eye on Yahoo as well. Necessity to stay alive rears it’s entrepreneurial head. Down but not out.

Innovation comes from taking risks with capital, effort by a team of talented believers and evangelists and is sparked by the vision created by entrepreneurs. Does that describe today’s Apple? B$

Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 vs. Apples new MacBook, March 2015

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I thought it was important to put a date in the title because technical comparisons have a very short half-life.

Since our shop appears to moving away from Dell laptops in favor of Microsoft Surface Pros, I thought it would be cool to say a couple of things and then point you to the article that compares it to it’s Apple equivalent.

I believe a lot of IT groups that are close to their customers (and recommend/purchase these items for their customers) really need these kinds of comparisons along with doing their own homework to form a clear understanding of the good, bad & ugly aspects of these consumer-level platforms. Then you can give your customers usable advice and perhaps avoid your own IT headaches when you have to support this stuff. <smile>

Although, in our shop, the tendency for our Mac users is to go to the ‘Air’ versions of Apple’s product line, the comparison I link to at the end of this rant is a still good comparison to make. Just keep in mind that this article doesn’t take into account OS differences; always a factor in enterprise-level computing.

So, some comments about the Surface Pro:

  • Surface Pro’s 1 & 2 kinda sucked on features, usability and performance.
  • Surface Pro 3’s features, usability and performance are outstanding.
  • Imaging a Surface Pro 3 is a BITCH because it doesn’t like to boot to our MDT deployment share from USB Stick. That may be solved that using the Microsoft’s new Surface Pro drivers package. I’ll plug those puppies into MDT and see if it helps; then report my success/failure.
    • I’m also sure that I haven’t researched this issue enough. I’ll bet there is a method to boot these puppies to MDT that we haven’t tried yet because of the task-time-compression that our IT shop is dealing with currently.
  • In summary, the two biggest complaints on the Surface Pro:
    • It’s a bitch to image (for now!)
    • The thin keyboard (an extra purchase) has a “PC Jr” kind of feel to it. For those of you that aren’t 117 years old, another way of saying that is that it doesn’t provide enough bio-feedback on your fingers when you type. If you’ve ever tried to use the Win8.1 keyboard on a touch screen for speed touch typing, that’s the equivalent experience. I venture to guess that this complaint only comes from those who were trained on traditional keyboards, which give you a specific tactile feedback that you’ve hit the right key and that the “keystroke” was actually registered by the computer. I think the younger crowd have & will take to new input devices it quite easily, IMHO.

All that said, here’s the article on Tech Republic. Be careful: they’re data miners at Tech Republic. Just read it, close the page then clear any cookies they left you, lest they sign you up for tons of spam.



Why is Internet Explorer security such a challenge?

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This is the best brief primer on IE vulnerabilities and browser/internet exploits that I’ve seen in awhile.

It also contains some great advice for the IT pro and the typical user as well. Don’t forget to click the links within the article if you don’t understand something. F’rinstance: I didn’t know what a ‘Zero-Day Exploit‘ was.

SEXY New Site ALERT! – DeployHappiness

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I just found a insanely great deployment/group policy site for those of us ‘in the BIZ’ called DeployHappiness .

You’ll find this intro screen at http://deployhappiness.com/about-deployhappiness/

Joseph, you’ve put together a kickass site, sir.  Thanks!