Still Incommunicado

Sorry, folks… this is what you get when your apartment complex gives the sole contract to AT&T… resounding silence to my request for assistance.  (And don’t say “satellite”, because guess who owns DirecTV?)

Anyway, I have a few moments to write some stuff, and I’ll do so in a moment.  Regular programming should resume In’shallah when AT&T deigns to give it back to me.

Well Now

Was directed to a Microsoft page explaining terms of use and all that stuff, which will take effect in mid-June.  Just for once, I decided to plow through the MEGO document, which is mostly all the usual guff, and not much jumped out and stuck me in the eye.

Until I saw this (highlights added):

3. Code of Conduct.

a. By agreeing to these Terms, you’re agreeing that, when using the Services, you will follow these rules:
i. Don’t do anything illegal.
ii. Don’t engage in any activity that exploits, harms, or threatens to harm children.
iii. Don’t send spam or engage in phishing. Spam is unwanted or unsolicited bulk email, postings, contact requests, SMS (text messages), instant messages, or similar electronic communications. Phishing is sending emails or other electronic communications to fraudulently or unlawfully induce recipients to reveal personal or sensitive information, such as passwords, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, passport numbers, credit card information, financial information, or other sensitive information, or to gain access to accounts or records, exfiltration of documents or other sensitive information, payment and/or financial benefit.
iv. Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share inappropriate content or material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence, or criminal activity).
v. Don’t engage in activity that is fraudulent, false or misleading (e.g., asking for money under false pretenses, impersonating someone else, manipulating the Services to increase play count, or affect rankings, ratings, or comments).
vi. Don’t circumvent any restrictions on access to or availability of the Services.
vii. Don’t engage in activity that is harmful to you, the Services or others (e.g., transmitting viruses, stalking, posting terrorist or violent extremist content, communicating hate speech, or advocating violence against others).
viii. Don’t infringe upon the rights of others (e.g., unauthorized sharing of copyrighted music or other copyrighted material, resale or other distribution of Bing maps, or photographs).
ix. Don’t engage in activity that violates the privacy of others.
x. Don’t help others break these rules.

So, for instance, calling Chuck Schumer a rancid Commie cocksucker could possibly cause Big Redmond to yank me off Microsoft?   Or posting pictures like these could cause the same?

Then there’s this:

How about:

or this:

Asking for a friend.  Because he wants to know who, precisely, is going to determine what constitutes “offensive”, “inappropriate”, “extremist content” and “hate speech”.

RFI: Brave Problems

I know a couple of you folks use the Brave browser, and I need a little assistance.

When I create a bookmark for a page, it doesn’t appear anywhere:  not in the folder I select, nor, it appears, anywhere else.  This happens regardless of whether I use the little Bookmark shortcut on the left of the URL, or hit CTRL+D.

Brave’s homepage doesn’t seem to have any actual help functions — only FAQs and a forum to which I can’t submit a query, or start a thread.  Highly irritating.

Any advice or assistance will be appreciated.


Software Issues

Something’s fucked up with my Thunderbird email and I’m not getting any email, nor can I send anything out.  It seems to be a local issue (on my home computer) and Tech Support II will be looking into it as soon as he gets back from spewing carbon all over the place  his business trip.

So if you’ve written to me recently and got no reply, that’s why.

Normal service should resume shortly.

Way Too Much

Insty posted a link to the Car & Driver  long-term road test of the Porsche Cayenne SUV, and while I am generally a fan of Porsche (other than their Germanic penchant for over-engineering and the fact that all their cars are pig-ugly), there were still a couple of things pointed out in the study which set my teeth on edge, to whit:

The perfect long-term car is one that delivers 40,000 happy miles, and our 2019 Cayenne is well on its way to achieving that platonic ideal. It’s never left us stranded, and so far all of our gripes have been handled by the dealer.

You know what?  That reliability is a given nowadays, thanks to manufacturers like Honda and Toyota,  In fact, after shelling out the ~$100K for a fucking SUV, I would demand that nothing breaks in the first 40,000 miles.  But that’s not the end of it.

While that 10K service and recall work didn’t come with an invoice, the 20,000-mile service reminded us that Porsche ownership is just as expensive as it sounds. It set us back $632. In addition to the work done at the 10K visit, the 20K visit calls for replacement of both the cabin and the engine air filters. The dealer also replaced some worn-out wipers for $82.

I know, I know:  if you can’t afford the maintenance, don’t buy the car.  Over six hundred for a lousy 20k service, and eighty-plus bucks for a pair of windshield wipers?   Ah don’ theenk so, Manfred.

But that’s not the worst of it.  Enter the most useless fucking technology ever inflicted on car owners, all for the sake of eco-consciousness:

An aggressive stop-start system often kills the engine too early, and the restart occasionally comes with a horrible driveline thud. Disabling stop-start eliminates the thud, but we can’t help but wonder if the occasional transmission stumble on cold mornings is related and a sign of something else going on with the ZF automatic.

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again:  if I buy any car, this stupid stop-start bullshit would be turned off before I left the dealership.  (And if it couldn’t be turned off permanently, it’s to a different car brand I’d be going.)  As for the Cayenne, any kind of “driveline thud” is a Bad Thing.  I can’t believe the C&D testers didn’t address the issue after the first hundred miles, let alone after forty thousand.  (Don’t even get me started on the engineering philosophy behind an “aggressive stop-start system, or we’ll be here all day.)

I seldom pay much attention to new-car tests because all new cars are going to be okay.  It’s the long-term tests that are interesting because that’s what exposes faulty materials, engineering or design.

And I’m sorry, but all the joys of “90mph cruising” (with the concomitant shitty fuel consumption) don’t  compensate for all the above.