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Messages - Frenzie

I think I've only seen that kind of content in e-mail and Skype spam. I'm surprised IRC is even worth the effort, but I suppose that it's trivial to automate.
It does some p2p file sharing too, but only creeps use that.
Ouch. I've sent and received files over IRC.[1]  :insane:
Possibly not this decade.
Have you heard of Slack? Tried it? What do you think of it? At my earlier job we made a little bit of use of it. It is of course group-focused rather than p2p or 1to1 focused.
Heard of sure, used it not exactly, not as more than a curiosity. But I've used Mattermost and Gitter, which are roughly the same thing. For that matter, so is Discord, and Microsoft Teams too.

Afaik Discord is actually better at productivity stuff like voice & video calls because it's "for gamers," where voice is ever so slightly important, as well as advanced keyboard shortcut and notification control. Also Slack has a Linux beta, while Discord's had a stable for years and years.

I still find IRC the best messaging system ever.
It's missing some things though, like a history from when you're not in the channel and putting in screenshots. Whether that's necessarily a problem I'm not sure, but it does potentially give it a different purpose. (I'm not sure if that's really true. In my experience chat is just used as too small for e-mail; some say that Slack has replaced e-mail but tbh I'm not really sure how that's supposed to work; were the people who say that using chat at all?)

Those things can also exist for IRC with some extensions these days, presumably mainly thanks to pressure from stuff like Slack:

Calculator would be okay, but it also disregards the overall theme (particularly the titlebar colour) and it for some incomprehensible reason is unable to swallow its own formatting of longer numbers upon paste. So much for productivity.
I don't really understand that contraption in Windows 10. It seems to be reasonably functional but mainly it's just a showcase of the problems with the Windows 8/10 design aesthetic.
If Skype wants to really improve, it would be in the area of video calls and screen-sharing rather than the messaging. I'm putting my hopes on improvements of video calls and screen-sharing because the thing that I really hope for - ability to make searches in the message history - is evidently never going to improve.
You used to have these excellent plain-text archives. I'm sure they had some ridiculous performance excuse, but they only ever showed you a week or something of history anyway, and I think they show even less now.

Iirc Skype also used to have a pretty decent history search functionality all built in. Or at least much better than what it has now.

particularly when Facebook Messenger manifestly destroys photo and video quality in the process of transfer
So does WhatsApp btw. I understand that to send a proper quality photo, you need to use "send file" instead.

I may wish to count as one of those who appreciates the "productivity focus" (really: just ease of typing-and-sending and of making a video call) but really I am just left behind. I have no clue what Snapchat is or does - anything different from Instagram? - and my attempts at connecting to Whatsapp have been unsuccessful. And from what I know, it is the exact clone of Skype except that you have to give away your phone number instead of it being optional.
I don't understand WhatsApp period. It's the exactly the same as every IM program ever, except more limited! That it'd be limited to Android and Windows is one thing, but phone only with some weird desktop feature that requires your phone to be on?

It must probably be because WhasApp has those easy group chats.

My wife and I switched to Discord years ago. I use Skype to talk to my parents, and last week even a business call (because "Skype for Business"/Lync crapped out, and the quality on Skype was actually noticeably better).
China has many industrial policies and other measures that disadvantage if not outright discriminate against foreign companies, poor protection of intellectual property, and cheap financing and subsidies for state-owned firms. These are definitely breaches of WTO regulations. Forbes seems to be downplaying that rather much, even if I agree that to quit doing business is just stupid, and that there doesn't seem to be much if any rhyme or reason to what the Trump administration is doing.
That made me wonder how many Trump had used so far, apparently 120:
I've been using Qalculate as my preferred calculator for a while now, but I recently discovered Speedcrunch as an interesting alternative. (I don't like most calculators.) But Qalculate has more useful built-in conversion stuff, like currency, temperature, and distance. Speedcrunch is more plainly math/physics.
That's all pretty random, lol.
That's... kinda random @midnight raccoon, lol
What you describe sounds a bit like why hire someone at all if you trust them that little?

I haven't experienced that, just being locked out of the ability to approve administrator stuff. It makes sense to have to get IT involved to install Photoshop, although that's more about the license, much less so for Paint.NET, if at all.
Curiously, the scroll ring on my Expert Mouse has mysteriously resumed operation after a decade or so of being broken. Perhaps the excessive 38° heat a few weeks ago had a positive effect? I can't really think of any other explanation.

I'm surprised to read so many people say they prefer a regular scroll wheel in reactions to the Adesso trackball. Obviously these are specifically the people attracted to a regular scrollwheel, but I'm of the opinion that regular scrollwheels are absolutely terrible. It's only the recent scrollwheels that have more or less free spinning that are usable.

At my new job it turns out the IT is made to block all attempts by ordinary people to install software that is not pre-approved
It's understandable with the threat of malware/ransomware but yeah, company equipment is pretty annoying to use.
- headphone jack
I understand why manufacturers want to sell junk with a built-in expiration date,[1] but I don't comprehend people who defend having yet another thing to charge. Most of the reason my phone has usurped various other mostly superior dedicated devices[2] is precisely because it means I don't have to worry about their batteries anymore. The remainder mainly being that I have to plug in my mp3 player to update my podcasts while my phone has wifi, that I have to manually transfer pictures from my old P&S and even my much superior DSLR camera while my phone has wifi + auto-backup, plus of course I always have my phone on me for phone reasons.

The next step is losing the microSD slot...
I maintain that a phone that requires the Internet to access all of Wikipedia, for instance, is a dumb terminal, not "smart."

- removable battery
I bought an XA2 and Sailfish. The battery replacement procedure is... somewhat reasonable.

I have an ASUS laptop where the battery is quite easy to replace. It's not the traditional quick swap which seems like a stupid feature to lose,[3] but pretty much all it takes is a few screws. Okay, a lot of screws, and you need one of those special Torx screwdrivers to take off the back of the laptop, but provided you have those (and they are genuinely better, none of that destroying the head or losing grip nonsense) you can do it in a couple of minutes.

Unfortunately it has soldered on RAM, something I wasn't really aware was even a thing when I bought it,[4] so I suspect that by the time it'd make sense to replace the battery I'll still want to get a new one because 4 GB is already starting to feel a lot more inadequate than back in 2016.

Right now I'm thinking I might look into used business laptops when the time comes.
I just looked it up and Apple is apparently willing to replace your AirPod batteries for about 70. That would pay for some top of the line wired earbuds...
Except for my old defunct '09 GPS. It's slower with a slightly smaller, less sharp screen.
I have two batteries with my DSLR for a reason. It's like carrying around an extra roll of film or two in the old days.
I know it's something Apple did, but I didn't realize manufacturers followed suit.
There's a new(ish) Kensington lookalike, the Adesso iMouse T50, but it doesn't seem to be sold in Europe:
The DuckDuckGo bangs could also be of interest (if you happen to use that search engine).
There was a vaguely similar court case with Eminem a few years back:

The rapper accused Slim Shady and his record label Shady Records of sampling his song "Lookin Boy" without permission in the hit song "Rap God". The man sued Eminem for 8 million dollars in damages for stealing his track.

Eminem fired back at the no-name rapper's claims he stole his song. He explains that the lawsuit filed by Jones is vague and confusing. Further, he says that he is a Grammy Award winning artist and clearly he wouldn't steal from someone nobody has heard of before.

The rapper says that Jones didn't explain any other similarities between the two tracks -- besides the fact they both have the lyric "looking boy". Eminem says if the court would just listen to the songs side by side, while they both are in the rap genre, they are vastly different musical and lyrically.


Slim Shady said if anything his song renewed interest in "Looking Boy" and didn't cause Jones any damages and demanded the entire lawsuit be dismissed without any money being awarded to the no-name rapper.

I wonder how much Abba received in royalties for being sampled by Madonna?
DnD Central / Re: The Internet of Things
And to those who say half the Internet will die I say kill it with fire. ;)
's pretty cool. :)
Hopefully some thunderstorms soon. :ko:
Change how? :)
This Sunday it will Belgian National Day. It commemorates King Leopold I swearing allegiance to the constitution. Once upon a time they used to celebrate the withdrawal of Dutch forces from Brussels on 27 September 1830. It's not clear to me why it was changed; this page only says that it was changed in 1890.

I was leafing through the Metro on the train today, and it was full of silly stuff. Sauces & condiments proclaiming they were best to go with the "Belbicue," and the Metro itself had an article about 10 great inventions from Belgium. French fries, roller skates, saxophones, bakelite, gasoline engines, the Big Bang, and some other stuff that slipped my mind. They claimed 60% of Belgians dislikes it when you say French fries instead of Belgian fries, probably tongue in cheek but I wasn't 100 % sure. ;)
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
The only real disadvantage is that it can be difficult to use satellite dishes in the city. I wouldn't be surprised if anti-dish stipulations in rental contracts and the like were thinly veiled anti-Turkish/Moroccan racism.

Personally I find the North African and Turkish channels... less interesting to put it mildly, like an even worse version of the regular dreck on your average commercial channel. In any event, there's this odd perception among city dwellers that dish equals foreigner.

Perhaps I'm a foreigner at heart,[1] but I find even one of the random German theme channels like the opera channel, the train trip channel or the nature channel more worthwhile than all of the commercial channels combined.

The cabled TV providers say they have an "extensive offering" of ~75 channels. Back before satellite that might've impressed me. You could only get three channels through antenna, and if the wind blew in the right direction or something you could catch some snowy German channels.[2] But on cable/telephone you only get a single Arte. Given that we're in Belgium probably the French one? They don't specify on the website, but point being that back when I had TV I was used to French and German. And get this, the one on cable isn't even in HD.

Anyway, on satellite you can watch hundreds of German channels for free, dozens of French, a dozen Dutch, a couple dozen Czech, a couple dozen Spanish, and hundreds of English ones, not to mention the various smaller languages like Welsh, Luxembourgish (possibly available on cable in the Benelux, but even then I suspect only one or two instead of the full three) and even Farsi. The Brits even have all kinds of weird commercial theme channels, like one that plays only Western movies. Your average viewer would get a subscription for the encrypted Dutch/Belgian channels along with it, which starts at about € 15/month. Cabled starts at twice that.

You have to figure a few hundred for equipment with satellite, but a simple calculation shows that it only takes one to two years to make up the difference with cable. Slightly more perhaps if you compare with one of those triple-play formulas the cable/phone company loves to push on people.[3]

To put it bluntly, around here I think it's pretty crazy to pick cable when satellite is a realistic option.

PS I haven't had a "TV" in any sense since '08, so I'm clearly not the target audience for regular TV. But what TV meant for me when I was growing up was a window on the world. I wouldn't speak German nearly as well without it, and your requisite ARD and ZDF that they used to broadcast on Dutch cable wouldn't have done that for me. The occasional Krimi was about the most interesting thing on those. And admittedly I like the ARD Tagesschau (daily news).
Technically I am a foreigner of course, but in the Netherlands you get most Belgian channels on cable and vice versa so not in a relevant sense.
I believe you can catch a few dozen via digital antenna nowadays, provided you pay. This might even be the second-best option, not much worse than cable but significantly cheaper. Here in Belgium it seems to cost about € 10/month and equipment is pretty cheap. However, it seems that you only get a proper selection of receivers if you import the equipment from Germany... odd, that.
But also you could just wait for when one of the satellite providers has an offer for free equipment of a "€ 200 value" (which is what they offer right now). Assuming the receiver they give away for "free" with the contract is one you like.
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
HDD as in harddrives inside the tv device? The problem with them is that the saving/recording stays within the particular tv device. It would be a giant leap forward if one could record stuff on a USB stick and play the recording anywhere, but likely not giant enough to change my low opinion on modern tv.
Whatever horrific energy slurping box a cable/telephony provider forces on people is often artificially limited so it won't do much of anything. Most satellite receivers, where there's a healthy competitive consumer market, can record on USB.[1] There are even low-cost options for under € 50 without built-in harddrives that require you to supply your own USB drive if you want to record anything.

In satellite receivers more expensive models can record something like 4 or 5 programs at once, while the cheap option might do only 1 like we used to in the early 2000s. The local cable provider here in Flanders (Telenet) allows you to record 2 programs at once if I'm not mistaken. I don't know if it's a physical limitation or an artificial limitation, but the superiority of free receiver choice with satellite TV speaks for itself. I wouldn't be surprised if sometime soon they rolled out a big marketing campaign to trumpet the introduction of recording 3 programs at once, even though that's been standard on satellite receivers for a decade. Heck, it might even just be a simple software switch.

Incidentally, besides rather significantly more things to watch[2] and free receiver choice, satellite TV also has better image quality.
Modern digital tv is very much a paid service that you must subscribe to in order to have it. Or isn't it in your country? Even the radiowave-broadcast tv was a paid service (by means of tv/radio tax) in countries like UK, Sweden, and Finland.
The Dutch public channels are encrypted on satellite for some incomprehensible reason,[3] but English, French and German TV are largely FTA, public and commercial alike. There hasn't really been any change in which channels are encrypted and which aren't with the switch from analog to digital over a decade ago, except for the usual minor changes.

It's true that public radio/TV is partially tax funded, but that was no different all the way back in the early 1920s, so I'm not entirely sure what you're driving at.
Without Tour de France, I would for example never have known that e.g. this castle exists
I imagine vistas and such are at the very least considered as part of the route they plan.
Actually I don't know how healthy the market is as such. The point is you've got a decent variety to choose from, starting at tens of Euros going up to hundreds of Euros, all of which are probably better than the forced nightmare box from the cable provider even when the hardware is inferior (i.e., in the cheapest models).
Assuming you're even the tiniest bit interested in TV from across Europe and North Africa.
I suspect the argument is that you can pick it up for free with an antenna. The regional channels are FTA though.
DnD Central / Re: The weekend post
Are you still giving them a benefit of the doubt?
Benefit of the doubt? I'm not quite sure in what regard I'd be doing that. I use it because it's a sufficiently convenient way to track my subscriptions. Occasionally seeing the worthless suggestions is more of a combination between an accident, curiosity, and perhaps schadenfreude.

You mean where the TV signals when the show starts so the VCR can start recording at the correct moment? Did this feature ever work?
No, that was already available on VHS recorders (and yes, it worked back in the '90s). I was referring simply to the fact that HDDs aren't tapes or DVDs. Sure, you have to perform the occasional bit of management, i.e., deletion and programming, but that's about it.

Absolute piece of crap worthless junk service not worth paying for.
But... that's not a paid service. It's just part of the signal. :)

The missus likes funny animal vids and sometimes I watch clips from movies or TV, to see if I'm interested. I've learned clicking dislike, regardless of how I felt about it, helps the algorithm understand not to littler my suggested with such... sorta.
One thing the suggestions/autoplay do seem to get right is going from part 1 to part 2 of a series of videos.