Why does Microsoft hate Edge?

I have the default browser set to Chrome in the Windows OS. So, when I click a link in Outlook, it opens in Chrome. So, any time an application opens Internet Explorer, it is obviously something weird.

Okay, confession time, it makes me wonder if I am computer illiterate every time IE opens.

Since Edge will be three years old this coming July, I kind of expected the switch by now. Why are Microsoft applications opening links in anything other than the default browser? And why are they picking IE instead of Edge?

I thought I would fix the issue by uninstalling IE. In Control Panel > Programs > Turn features on and off, one can choose whether IE is installed. Unfortunately, that seems to have broken the ability of programs to use the default browser. Reinstalling IE fixed that.

Why Trump should counter Russian meddling in 2018 elections

A common complaint the PotUS has is that Democrats should agree with him. He rails on Twitter about this lack of support.

The Russian meddling in the 2016 elections was designed to target certain groups of people to discourage them from voting. We were already divided. The meddling exacerbated it. So, Democrats would hate Trump even more because of it.

If he wants a real chance at getting Democratic voters to agree with him, then he needs to reverse the effects of the Russian Effect.

ISP Maybe Not Neutral

It looks like maybe my ISP is forging their Ookla speed test results. Whenever I use that speed test, I get the speed I paid for, but performance otherwise still seems slow. Whenever I use other speed tests, I get results that are a quarter to a twentieth as fast.

The tests were not concurrently run. They were sequentially back and forth several times for consistent results. I’d need a lot more data to say one way or the other. I have not gotten to the point of running a thousand automated tests on every tester I can find.

Both consistently slow or intermittently slow Internet speeds might explain the issues streaming Hulu and Netflix. If it was intermittent, then in testing the speed the service might decide high speed means give me HD quality, but then a slow down causes it to start buffering and before it downgrades the fast speed is back.

How many records are there?

On the surface, it may seem like an easy question. Data Owners typically think this has an easy answer.

If their data followed a very simplistic model, then it would have an easy answer. Just “select count(*) from table;” and report the value.

Unfortunately for Data Custodians, the data is often organized in relational data structures. In my case, we almost always buy a product and are not provided or not allowed to see schema documentation. So, this question requires making judgment calls.

  1. What kinds of data do I have? Hopefully, the tables have decent names that are meaningful. Learn how to use the product and the basic concepts of what things are will come with it. Assuming the tables are meaningful, then a review of the table names will suggest where the likely important data is stored.
  2. Research elsewhere if necessary. People blog about what they know. They ask questions in forums.
  3. Experiment. Change the value in the application and look to see whether it shows in the table.
  4. Count. Get the number of records for the relevant tables.

 

Likelihood to read a tweetstorm

I’ve noticed something weird about my reading habits. I think only read maybe 1 on 25 tweetstorms authored by someone I follow. I will read about 1 in 5 retweeted by someone I follow.

Tweets appear with most recent at the top and oldest at the bottom. So, when I encounter a tweetstorm in my feed, the natural inclination is to scroll to the end and read them in reverse order. It is an unnatural threading.

When someone retweets a tweetstorm, it is just the one tweet with a notation that there is more in the thread. So, I click the tweet, it opens a page with the tweets in order where I can read them in order. It feels natural.

I guess I could click the last tweet from those I follow, get taken to the end and scroll back up to the top. That would put things in the right order.

The trouble with geek friends

Geeks have intense interests. They border on obsessions. They know EVERYTHING about those interests. And argue vehemently for them, about them, and against others. These habits bleed over into other non-geek areas such that it felt like an intrinsic part of the culture.

For decades I doubted you could have geeks without arguments, so I find it interesting when I run across people discovering a community and getting turned off when arguments break out. They just wanted to find others who love the thing. Love led to arguments in my teens through twenty-somethings. It took making enough non-geek friends in order to realize just how skewed my understanding of reality was.

The trouble is, you better not have feelings. For they will be stepped on. Eventually. Well, unless you fall solidly on the autism spectrum. For the segments of geekdom who do, they might not be aware how they make others feel without very direct response. I am calling them arguments because to outsiders these discussions seem full of anger. to strong geeks, this is how we discuss.

It seems theoretically possible for people to get along wonderfully well. I have seen it more with children who sometimes treat their beloved things as malleable. They love them, but they can alter these impressions when they need. By shifting their opinion, they remove the conflict. Older humans are a bit more rigid.

As an introvert, small talk is meh. I much prefer deep conversations. And geek friends bring depth. Find their interests to bring out a conversation. That is easy. And to my mind a rewarding part of socialization. Finding people who wanted to talk about deep things is how and why I cultivated so many of my friendships. Having broad but deep interests allowed me to engage on many things.

Displaying confidence in so many different things is why people considered me intelligent. Given my social circles, I figured this normal so just average.

No worries. People self-select into geekdom. Either they acclimate or they move on to another group. They will keep their interests either way.

 

 

Cognitive dissonance of UGA and Falcons fans

It is funny to me how many rivalries UGA football has:

  1. Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate
  2. World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party
  3. Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry
  4. “Grown Man Football” with Missouri
  5. with South Carolina
  6. with Tennessee
  7. fans talk about hating Clemson
  8. fans talk about hating Alabama

Since Atlanta is the closest metropolitan area to UGA, there is a strong crossover of fandom with the Atlanta Falcons NFL team. The funny thing is that all those rival teams have quality talent, so some of the players are going to end up drafted into the NFL. So, the odds are a player UGA fans hated for hurting them as a college player could become a beloved player for the Falcons.

That is how the NFL draft cookies crumble.

Crappy Geofencing

A friend claimed geofencing is the solution to the problem of minor league baseball players clocking in and out for work. (Sure, I had other issues with the plan, but this is specifically about how if all that other stuff is wonderful, how geofencing would fail.)

The concept is that when one arrives at a destination, then a phone undertakes certain behaviors. Across a few phones over the past 4 years, I have been very, very underwhelmed.

  • Hit or miss: Location services are often inaccurate. Not like the wrong city inaccurate, but they often indicate I am at the wrong address which is just enough the action does not trigger. For example, a reminder app will trigger when I visit the grocery store to get things on the list. Except, it doesn’t half the time because it thinks I am at a business next door.
  • Battery drain: They usually demand one have GPS enabled. They also demand that you not be in a battery saving mode. So, you better have a great device with a huge battery or frequent access to recharging it.

I will admit this generally works much better today than it did 4 years ago. So, there is hope for the future. And the optimistic view is it probably just a couple years away, so the pessimistic view is more like a decade, so splitting the difference: 6 years.

Lying to Big Data

The reaction people have towards social media companies is to lie. This amuses me because self-reporting is well known as the worst data. The data scientists expect people to lie.[1] Which is why they ignore what you say about yourself and focus on your behavior.

So, you need to start having intentionally deceptive behavior. The problem is: if people like you all deceive in the same patterns, then the data points to the same place anyway. You have to deceive in novel ways others like you would never think of doing.

Good luck with that.

1. Christian Rudder’s Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking) is about how as a data scientist for OKCupid, a dating website, he cannot depend on the honesty of people. He has data on what they say and compares it to what they do.

DVR Feature Request: Record In The Future

Being limited to things just two weeks in advance is a pain in my ass. I keep seeing buzz about shows of interest, so I go to schedule recording it to find out that it is not out yet. The one that prompted this is not even out until for months.

In the past, I have missed almost a whole season because I saw ads about the show during the one other show I watched on that channel, the other show ended more a month before, so I saw nothing until it was almost over. I ended up setting up the recording and had to wait until season two before the old episodes aired again.