September 27th, 2016

#5338: The debate was typical and I didn't watch it.

As is typical, the Republican nominee had to debate both his opponent and the moderator. I did not watch much of the debate--I know who I'm voting for already and there is absolutely nothing drawing me to it--but Mrs. Fungus reports that Trump got some good salvos off at Hillary.

Reportedly, all Trump had to do was look "not scary" and he managed that.

The little bit that I watched--Hillary blamed the entirety of the federal budget deficit on the fact that Trump hasn't paid any income tax for several years and insisted that he release his tax forms. "What do you have to hide?"

The natural riposte to that would be (should be), "You deleted 33,000 e-mails. What do you have to hide?" At least he got the shot off as an answer to her demand to see his tax records ("I'll do it when you release those e-mails").

As far as I'm concerned, anyone who manages not to pay taxes while making scads of money is a good candidate for President. It shows that he knows how the system operates, or at least is capable of finding people who do. The tax code in this country is set up this way specifically so that the rich and powerful don't have to pay "their fair share"--whatever the hell that means--and at that level if you don't do everything under the law to avoid tax liability you're a blithering idiot who shouldn't be allowed to manage a lemonade stand, let alone the entire country.

Trump isn't calling for higher taxes (as far as I know) so he--unlike people like Warren Buffett--shouldn't be criticized for legally avoiding taxes by following what is written in the tax code. They all do it, Hillary and Bill included.

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More about the HP printer-bricking update. Turns out the update was done in March and only now is it rejecting cartridges.

Remember this the next time you need to buy a printer. HP has been off my short list for a rather long time for a variety of other reasons, but this is icing on the cake.

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This is something people do not understand about computers. A computer is not like a car, which has thousands of parts but can be assembled by one man in a couple days if he really wants to. A computer has billions of parts, and some of those parts are just etherial patterns of electrons. No one person in the world knows--can know--how all those parts interact.

The problem of this complexity is one I often found myself having to explain to people as a Geek Squad agent. Sometimes stuff just happens is not a very satisfying answer, but on occasion it's the only answer there is. People want to feel protected from viruses and malware, and when you tell them that no software can keep them completely safe from malware, they're unhappy: "Why am I paying all this money?"

("Stop surfing porno sites" is usually the actual answer to the problem. People don't want to hear that.)

But no software can do that, because the machine is irredeemably complex, and for every security hole patched, there are probably a thousand more. And some are created by the patch.

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Steven Den Beste has a page up today from Bakuon! which is pretty amusing.