Apple Fritters

This morning, while crusin’ FaceScroll, I ran across this:

I have to admit that I was rather taken aback by a company announcing that their customers are not smart enough to worry about security. Or how to use their computers. 

But then I took a breath and thought about the Apple users I know. Most of them are smart, but not in computer ways. That is, they have appliance smarts but not tool smarts. And they are entirely too comfortable with the Apple slavery thing. So that at least explains why Apple can say these things and not lose big fractions of its customer base. They know they are slaves and are happy with it. Except maybe for plastic phones? 

But are they really too stupid to use the OS are they just oblivious. The latter I think. 

Electro-phonon Debacle

Yesterday was a young disaster. Got up, went to gym. Good, relatively speaking. Low density of educationalists and weight bouncers. Not much harassment. Podcast, two episodes of the “UK Ubuntu podcast”, was passable. Not much useful information but adequately diverting. Got in motorcar, drove towards Castellum SCP and as soon as I got to the city (?) limits, the dark engulfed. 

Total power outage. No house lights. No street lights. Perhaps no traffic lights although I didn’t get that far. It was so dark that I missed my turn off and had to overshoot and return. Since no electron potential difference, no point in awakening FD SCP. So I sat for a half hour. FD SCP woke up – it’s a sinus season – and after another ten minutes the potential difference was restored.

Sidebar: it just seems as if Alibam is one continuous sinus nightmare. It isn’t. There are actually several distinct sinus seasons,most months long and separated by a few days to a week of not-sinus season. Some are lucky; they are only susceptible to one or a few nose nasties. Our spectrum of pollen is enormous, spanning most of the spectrum of the nose. Even the dead of winter has its nastiness. 

Anyway, while FD SCP was doing her ablutions I did the tooth abrasion thing and then busied myself resetting the clocks in the castellum. Did my own cleansing ritual, attired myself, distributed seed to the tree mammals and dinosaur descendants and then assayed the orge. 

Rebooted both my deskboxes successfully and then discovered there was NO internet. The ass hats at Oneonta Telephone Company had economized again and fired more IT staff. This in a company that is bleeding land line users at thrice the speed of ISP users and still they maintain land line service is their core competency. Happily FD SCP motored off to her employment and I was free to say foul things in languages other than that uttered in Alibam.

Departed on errands and when I returned an hour later.- well after the 0800 opening for the corporate tardigrade that is Oneonta Telephone Company – the internet was back and I could get my network reconnected. But by that time I was mentally and emotionally drained and hence no blot.

Not that this travesty is much of a story. Other than a micro-paradigm of corporate greed, stupidity, and denial. Which seems to fit quite well in Alibam. 

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, asked – rhetorically? – on Face Scroll the other day when politician and denialist became synonyms. I thought that most apt. So I am considering renaming the two brands of Amerika’s oligarchs as Demodenialists and Repodenialists. Neither likes science. Both have their own way of ignoring reality to service their masters. None (?) have integrtity? Or if they do, we can’t tell it from the facade of the others. 

I keep getting propaganda from both sides urging me to assure that I exercise my franchise in November. The dilemma is that the only choices are those of the two parties and neither candidate is acceptable nor worthy. It’s a true Hellerian Catch-22. Everyone gets to vote but it does no good because no change nor benefit can be obtained. 

The only good thing I can say about it is that at least it is smarter than the Soviets with their one party/candidate elections.

Discontinued Distribution

There are times, I am told, when only violence will settle a problem. No, I don’t mean pogroms or what is inaccurately called genocide. Since the only genus we have left is homo, what with the Romans being reduced to not a city state, so genocide only applies if we are going to extinguish humanity. Which is a bit much for this nuisance.

My primary gripe with Linux is upgrades. They are the riskiest aspect of using the OS. They are what almost completely generates the term “nuke and pave”. Which I hope is self-explanatory? 

Anyway, I have been doing a lot of N&P (hopefully that is also self-explanatory) the last year. Mostly due to a combination of hard drive failures and something really whacked in an install of Ubuntu with KDE grafted on since Unity is so painful and aproductive. But for the last two months I have been getting increasingly stressed as a new Long Term Support release loomed, arrived, and I waited for the upgrade release.

Several years ago the hassle of selling actual media got to be too much for Canonical, probably offended some financial delusion of Saint Mark, and they started trumpeting the idea of direct by internet upgrades. Updates direct by internet were working pretty well, as they still do, but that’s nominally a few Mb rather than a few Gb! But they offered downloadable CD/DVD image files of the upgrades as well.

That turned out to be a necessity for me. Being a good user, I tried the direct by internet upgrade. I forget the numbers but it was one of those half-year things. If failed spectacularly. I downloaded a DVD image of the new release and did an N&P. Six months later I tried again and again downloaded a DVD image of the new release and did an N&P.

Thereafter I downloaded an upgrade DVD image and that worked pretty well. But when the next LTS (Long Term Support – read organizational version) came out I camped. And when a new LTS came out every two years I downloaded an upgrade DVD image and upgraded.

This year they announced that they were discontinuing the upgrade DVD image. Exclamation point. I was left with three choices: do nothing – not a good security strategy; try the direct internet upgrade; or N&P. I opted for the latter since if it failed, as I expected, I would have to exercise the third anyway.

So I did all the back up stuff, engaged the upgrade process, and it failed spectacularly!  The good news is that I now have statistical significance! The direct by internet upgrade process does NOT work! At least here in the hinterland. The other good news is that I am cutting ties with Canonical. If they can’t support me minimally with an upgrade DVD image then I ain’t going to support them. My deskboxes are now Ubuntu-free. They are still running Debian based distros but not Ubuntu based. And the few lapboxes I have still running Ubuntu based will be replaced as I can touch them. 

Canonical, you are herewith discontinued in Castellum SCP. The pony to poo ratio has finally gotten TOO low!

Stercus Brick

I have long wondered why almost all GEN Ys spend so much of their time staring at their cellular telephones. I now understand. My IBM PC circa 1984 CE worked better, faster than my Motorola DROID. And connected to the internet better, which is not at all instead of seldom and randomly.

No wonder we are turning into a third world country: our manufactured devices are crap. No, crap squared!

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