Links 12/19/15

Yves here. The gods seem to be conspiring against me. My laptop appears to have crapped out en route to Alabama as in it is neither charging from nor able to run off my power cord. The power cord looks to be working, since I get the little light that says it does have power, but it is giving a false positive green “fully charged” light when the laptop is within minutes of being out of juice. However, the problem is more likely to be my machine, since the laptop normally runs off power (as in I keep it plugged in in my apartment) and when I got to the airport, it was already just about out of battery power (which suggests the power problem had already begun, with the charger I use at home, not the “on the road” charger I have in my possession now).

Further complicating factors: The only machines I want to buy are ones with extra RAM, as in not the kind I can walk into an Apple Store and purchase. Plus I have some critical stuff on my old machine that I am not sure will run on the new Mac OS (my Rolodex program, which is SBooks. And that assumes I can get at what is in my current machine. Even though I have backups at home, I keep interrupting them because Time Machine basically backs up all the time and makes the machine perform terribly while I am working. Pretty much everything I do is via e-mail or on the Web, so a 1-2x a day, not an every 15 minute backup would be plenty frequent for me).

At least I have a machine I can use, so this not as terrible as being on the road and having to scramble to find a loaner. But this one is so antique that Apple refuses to let me book a Genius Bar appointment with it (not making that up, must have spent a half-hour on 2 different browsers and I hit pages that refuse to load at certain points in the process).

When I saw Harry Shearer in November, he had just had a terrible experience with Apple when the motherboard failed on his laptop. He proceeded to explain how Apple was no longer making machines for “people like us,” by which he meant professionals. For instance, recording studios universally use disks to convey completed work and not USB sticks (the design imperative in a recording studio is that the talent not be able to mess with the software at all). Yet when dealing with the Apple repair/support people, it was clear they had no understanding of his needs, and worse, obtusely refused to understand even when he patiently tried explaining them (as in Apple was right, he as the customer was wrong). It was clear that their design imperative was skinny pretty machines at the expense of functionality (as in getting rid input/output ports and slots whenever possible). Historically, Apple’s reputation and products were based on the experience it had in serving various professional markets (movies, audio recording, publishing). Now all they care about are 15 year old iPhone users.

I had separately observed that Apple was trying to converge its desktop OS to its mobile device OS, to the detriment of desktop users. I had figured given how Apple was going, my next round of Apple purchases would be my last (but being the Yankee that I am, I use equipment longer than most people do) and then I would switch to Linux. I wish I could do that now, but I don’t have the time for a transition (and I am sorry, you tech types, it does take more operator work to run on Linux. You follks can’t relate to the fact that mere mortals just want to use their apps and not worry about the plumbing. My time is not well spent by having to deal with IT issues. Just the transition to new Mac equipment is more of a time sink than I can afford).

And the worst was I was actually planning to buy a new machine next week…..

So wish me luck, that the Apple Store will be able to buy me the few more weeks of life I need on my old MacBook Air so that the switchover is not too bad.

Congress insists on labels for GM salmon Financial Times

2015 Lists

The 2015 Hater’s Guide To The Williams-Sonoma Catalog Adequate Man. Scott: ” I Think You’re Enough of a Scrooge to Appreciate This.”

The biggest Pinocchios of 2015 Washington Post (furzy)

IMF Reform Is Too Little, Way Too Late Bloomberg


China’s Renminbi Declines After Being Named a Global Currency, Posing Challenges New York Times

China industrial payroll at 15-year low Financial Times

Beijing issues 2nd smog red alert of the month U.S. News

Beijing’s Smog Alarms Public, But Data Shows India’s Air Quality Is Far Worse Forbes

Germany’s Merkel Defends Russian Gas Pipeline Plan Wall Street Journal

The Inside Story of Syriza’s Struggle to Save Greece The Nation. I link to this story with considerable reluctance. Paul Mason did some very important on the ground reporting during the Greek negotiations, but then as now, he like many reporters is only as good as his sources. The fact that he leads the story with an account from Varoufakis, who had a correct economic analysis but utterly mishandled the negotiations (yes, he managed to make a bad situation worse) and has separately proven to be an unreliable reporter means one must read this account with a jaundiced eye.


US welcomes Syria ‘milestone’ at UN BBC

Al Jazeera Censors Its Own Anti-Saudi Arabia Article for International Readers Intercept

There Have Been Zero Terror Attacks in the U.S. by People Radicalized by ISIS Through Social Media Alternet

Big Brother is Watching You Watch

Tor Project: The super secure anonymity network that will definitely keep you safe (as long as hackers don’t break the rules) Yasha Levine, Pando (Gabriel, Bill B)

Imperial Collapse Watch

Why deficit hawks are missing in action on budget, tax bills Christian Science Monitor

It’s not about party, it’s about hunger for war: 19 percent of Democrats also said they’d bomb fake country from “Aladdin” Salon (resilc)

Virginia county closes schools as Islam assignment prompts backlash Reuters. EM: “‘Classes closed due to credible threat of open-minededness’. There, fixed it for ya.”

Terrorism Insurance Is a Booming Business After Paris and San Bernardino Vice (resilc). This proves our point re people grossly overestimating the odds that they will be a victim of terrorism and therefore correspondingly willing to greatly overpay for insurance (you can bet the insurers are smart enough NOT to be willing to insure against false alarms, like the cost of the shutdown of LAX last week). I’d be in the terrorism insurance business right now if I had any capital.

Meet the lobbyists who work for the world’s worst human rights abusers Slate (resilc)


Bernie Sanders sues DNC for $600,000 a day over removal of data access Guardian. And here‘s an interesting take from Slashdot on the technical aspects.

Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Reaches Voter Data Deal With Democratic National Committee Huffington Post (furzy)

Sanders regains access to voter files after bitter fight over data breach Reuters

The war on Sanders officially started failed evolution

Rubio’s equivocation leaves even supporters wondering what he believes WaPo


Stocks End the Week With a Sharp Skid, as Dow Falls 367.39 Points Wall Street Journal. On the off chance no one told you yet. So much for all the cheerleading earlier this week about the great success of the Fed’s liftoff. I had thought the mid-December timing was hazardous, since liquidity is thin at year end. Maybe the officialdom thought that would make it easier to push the markets around.

The Federal Reserve’s Shaky Optimism William Greider, Nation

Fed will have to reverse gears fast if anything goes wrong Ambrose Evans-Prithcard, Telegraph. From yesterday…..

Fed tipped to raise rates again in March Financial Times. Note publication time was before US market close. If Mr. Market continues to have a sad, what will the Fed do? This is the post-close story: No easy way for the Fed to reverse course Financial Times

Wall Street’s Biggest Junk Bond Dealer Weighs In on the Rout Wall Street Journal

Junk debt ETFs dodge contagion Reuters

How Martin Shkreli, Teen Wolf of Wall Street, Thrived New York Times

JPMorgan pays $307m over disclosure flaws Financial Times. Fraud is now “disclosure flaws”? Who came up with that one?

Guillotine Watch

Manhunt for Texas affluenza teen after he apparently goes missing | Reuters (EM)

Class Warfare

Drug overdose deaths in the US reach record levels BBC

The Empire Bites Back: British Now Have Better Teeth Than Americans Thanks to U.S. Inequality Alternet

Antidote du Jour (via):


See yesterday’s Links and Antidote du Jour here.

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  1. Kokuanani

    Sympathy and good wishes to you Yves.

    After reading the “Haters’ Guide to William-Sonoma,” folks should click on the links therein to prior guides. They too are hysterical.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      The worst thing that can happen to a person who is trying to impress you is for you to not even notice that person’s (or entity’s) existence.

      For example, when a girl says she hates you, there is still hope. Don’t give up…yet.

      But if she doesn’t know you even exist, well, that’s a problem.

      Who is William Sonoma. asks the Luddite.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I went to my friend’s house, his five-year old daughter was there, my friend said “Katey, you remember Mark, don’t you?”. Her reply: “Hello, NOBODY”
        Her remark has cut me to the quick ever since.

        1. fresno dan

          We went to my friend’s brother in laws house, and he told his young daughter to show Dan her pet rabbit, named wiggles. She replied, who is Dan wiggles?

    2. efschumacher

      Sadly, it’s not the ‘Yummy Mummy’ type who have no concept of what things ought to cost, but the arrivisterie in full pecuniary emulation who get the full Le Creuset set for the price of a year’s worth of groceries, and then pay proceed to pay double in credit card interest.

      I have a yellow plastic bowl with a handle that I bought for $2 in 1981 at Safeway, and have been preparing pancake dough (and bread dough) in it. Making my own from scratch too, ever since discovering that Aunt Jemima’s last African Ancestor left there 70,000 years ago. And that whole wheat flour, eggs, milk and a bit of olive oil are all you actually need.

    3. susan the other

      Yves, for your Mom I recommend 3 large glasses of red wine/day; and the rest of the (large) bottle for you. Fractures heal for bones and society at large. Merry Xmas in Alabama or where ever you are.

  2. allan

    The Friday afternoon wrist slap, “JPMorgan pays $307m over disclosure flaws “, proves once again that you don’t want to mess with Mary Jo … unless your initials happen to be JPMC.
    The victims were UHNW individuals, showing that the Madoff Principle doesn’t apply if the perp is big enough.

    Good luck with your laptop, Yves.

  3. The Rev Kev

    Sorry to hear about your computer problems as, with computers, it often seems to be a matter of BOHICA. One partial solution that may be of use to you is your quest to keep using SBooks may be installing VirtualBox ( onto your new ‘puter. If you are not familiar with this program, it sets up a partition or box inside your computer in which you can set up a different operating system.
    In your case, this would be an older version of the Mac OS. After this is done, you then install your SBooks program again. If you go to YouTube ( you will find a few tutorials and reviews on how to use this program that may be of help. Hope that this is of some help to you. Good luck then.

      1. L

        Short answer: yes.

        The virtual box has access to your peripherals (USB, networking, etc.) and you usually set up a shared disk area for transferring files. For something like a application it is usually a matter of copying files.

        If you are talking about moving between working on the virtual box and the acutual box that is even easier: Virtual is just another program running in a window.

  4. toschek

    Yves –

    Sorry to hear you’re having problems with the Air. It sounds like you have a bad cell in the internal battery though and it’s actually not that hard to fix. It’s pretty easy to locate one on eBay and you only need about 20 minutes and a couple of special screwdrivers to do it (most likely a jewelers phillips and a “tri-wing” screwdriver to remove and replace the battery itself). If you were in the Bay Area I’d even do it for you :)

    The “geniuses” at the Apple Store won’t be any help with this kind of thing, but you knew that already – if you have a technically inclined friend though and you can locate the battery (look for the Air’s model # and search evil-bay – new, non-apple ones typically sell for $50-$70) you may just be able to keep your current laptop alive for a year or more ….

    1. Kim Kaufman

      Yes I thought it might be battery also. Sounds similar to problem I had with a netbook. Be careful on eBay but that’s where I have bought batteries that were fine.

    2. ST

      An unknown about ebay batteries is how old are they? With lithium camera batteries, they are mostly aged product that is beyond its shelf life. The distributors are selling them to ebay resellers. My suggestion is to talk to a competent repair person who rebuilds older computers and ask specific questions about whether they know how “fresh” the batteries they buy are.

      1. Yves Smith Post author

        Aiee, I have no idea how to find one down here, and my needs are more urgent than that. And are you sure the batteries can be replaced in an Air? I thought that was one of the big limitations of the Airs, that hardware components were not replaceable.

          1. flora

            quick recap of comments vanished into moderation. All macbook air batteries are replaceable. you’ll need to find your macbook model number, printed in tiny lettering on the back and starting with letter “A”. Once you have your model number you can go to ifixit dot com or powermacmedic dot com and buy a new battery. They have install and fix guides online, but any good independent comp shop should be able to install it for you.

        1. NeqNeq

          I would walk in to the closest Apple store and ask about local shops. I know there is a Mac specialty shop in Huntsville which took care of my niece when she had simlar problems, but I have no idea how big a trek that is for you.

          At a minimum, the Apple store might let you use a (known) good power cord which will tell you if its a problem with the machine. I am not a Mac user, but some laptops will not charge if the voltage from the power cord is too low/high/noisy. If the transformer (the “brick” part of the power cord) is malfunctioning then the battery won’t charge — even though the light on the the cord and computer show it as operational.

          1. Dennis

            Some months ago, my wife’s MacBook Air would not hold a charge. It would run when plugged in. The mac store clerk was able to run a diagnostic that showed that the battery was in fact bad. I scheduled an appointment at the soonest possible date – three days later at the store – and they replaced her battery. Sounds like you have both a bad battery and a malfunctioning power adapter. I am replying just to say that the mac store was able to properly diagnose and assist. Service charge + the battery was $140.

    3. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      They said they would make computers like simple stone tools, or just tools. As simple to use as a hammer, for example.

      Just pick it up and use.

      That seems like an infantile dream.

      Maybe they can make computers like old TVs from the 60’s…you just bang it a few times if it refuses to cooperate.

  5. diptherio

    From Jail to Farm to Table ~The New Yorker

    With ribs, greens, and a martini before her, Brown wove the coöperative’s aims into a larger intellectual perspective. Most activism today, she said, was missing “a correct analysis”—an understanding of how capitalist dynamics shape our current condition. The guiding motto of our government, Brown quipped, is, “We care about you, but we won’t care for you.” If a person is poor or in prison, it is unfortunate but ultimately their fault, this ideology insists, and the state doesn’t owe them anything; it feigns empathy while willfully ignoring the broader circumstances that keep people impoverished and often cause individuals to turn to crime in the first place. And it is these circumstances that Brown wants to see radically changed. Yet she was aware of how hard that process would be. “There is no way to piecemeal, fix up, or reform any of these issues we all like to look at in isolation,” she said. She saw Oakland and the World Enterprises as a humble project in service of her transformative goals: “I’m just putting my little businesses together.”

    On a side note: what is with the umlauts on repeated vowels in the New Yorker? I don’t think I’ve seen that any place else…what’s the story behind that editing decision?

    1. Ivy

      In a little-noted paper press release, The New Yorker announced that it had expanded its editorial policy to reflect an homage to Mötley Crüe and that it will be investigating further diacritical modalities to combat the hegemony of the English language.

      1. ambrit

        Motley Crue!!??? (As is obvious, I’m umlaut challenged.)
        That should be Blue Oyster Cult!! (Their early albums. Patti Smith did some of their lyrics for Deities sake!)
        Which dialect of the ‘English’ language do you refer to: formal ‘Empire English,’ the American offshoot, Indian ‘official,’ Caribbean Creole, International Airport, Beeb???
        I take the evolution of formal Latin into the ‘Romance Languages’ as my guide.

        1. Ivy

          Ahh, the Blue Öyster Cult, one of the bands of my misspent youth. (I can’t remember the various key codes for accents, so I end up copying and pasting from some search)

          The Queen’s English once again nobly steps in to serve as the top of the pyramid, or first domino.

        2. hunkerdown

          “Godzilla” was groundbreaking for 1978, presaging thousands of also-rans in the [chicken]-rock subgenre.

          Which American offshoot of English? Deep Southern, New Yawker, Great Plains Simplified? Perhaps those of the Great Neoliberal Tone Shift local to Hollywood, Chicago or DC?

          1. ambrit

            I saw them at ‘The Warehouse’ in New Orleans. With, I believe, Strawbs! The Warehouse was famous for their mix and match.

    2. Kurt Sperry

      It’s just an idiosyncratic stylistic tic the New Yorker has had for ages. They apparently have their own in-house style guide.

      1. quixote

        They’re not technically umlauts. They’re diëreses (or diaereses) and they indicate that the two vowels are not a diphthong but pronounced separately. Cooperative for instance isn’t pronounced coop-as-in-chicken-coop-erative, but coöperative. And if you’re the New Yorker, you make a point of being super-precise about it because, well, because New Yorker.

        If you’re anybody else, you’ve figured out how to say it from context long ago.

    3. different clue

      It seems to be part of The New Yorker’s intellectual class-signalling snobbery pretension. Just as with their mispelling of certain American words in the “English” manner. “Focussing” and etc. It is a kind of Anglophilia which is really an ill-disguised Aristophilia. You can bet that self-identified Anglophiles don’t cultivate yob-style or soccer-hooligan style. That’s because such styles are not Aristophilliac.

      1. hunkerdown

        Good catch. Apropos that the Vichy Anglo-Saxon twits would borrow from Versailles for her poncy diacriticals. Mondo 2000 used to be big on correctly stealing from French, too, all the way down to such trifles as “rôle”. Can’t have upper-class twits saying “cooperate” with three syllables like some common barrel-maker, can we.

  6. Llewelyn Moss

    re: crapped out laptop

    Sometimes computers get themselves into Confused States of Consciousness and rebooting doesn’t help.

    I have found this can sometimes fix it. Remove the power cord AND the battery to 10 secs. Then reinsert the power cord and reboot. This procedure drains persistent memory chips which may be where the issue lies. Good luck Yves.

    1. optimader

      Remove the power cord AND the battery to 10 secs
      powering down completely is prob always good advice

      I’m no system geek, but at the systemic level, we’ve gone to keeping the human interface as dumb as possible –using cloud storage and a local server with mirrored drives –one removable and periodically switched (we do that once a week, it proves the backup drive is functioning properly). Keep the switched one in a fireproof box, better yet at second location.. Ok, I’m anal on this but your intellectual legacy shouldn’t be the disaster in disaster recovery.
      I was in a Apple store last week, my 4s was in a decaying orbit.
      Surveying the latest computing debris, looks like function following form. The cardboard thin keyboards may have a Gen Whateva aesthetic but they don’t look like “keyboard I’d like you to meet concrete floor” would have a good outcome.
      Everything looks like a hassle to try and get at the guts for repair/maintenance. Other than the fact that we’ve standardized on iphones, I don’t see too much distinctive merit to Apple products anymore, at one time it was a no brainer. no less a hassle to run certain softwareif at all, AutoCad for example.

    2. Jim Haygood

      ‘Remove the power cord AND the battery to 10 secs’

      This has worked for me, multiple times, with a laptop that was connected to a functional charger and indicating “charging” — but when disconnected from charger, had only 1 or 2% battery charge.

      Physically remove battery and power cord, hold ‘on’ button down for 30 sec (to drain voltage from any capacitors still storing charge), let it sit awhile, then power back up — charging restored.

    3. flora

      This works well on pc laptop where the batteries are easy to remove/disconnect. Mac laptops unfortunately have to be disassembled to remove the battery.

      1. Llewelyn Moss

        “have to be disassembled to remove the battery.”
        hahahahaha. Ok, i’ll stop laughing now.
        That is a pretty dumb design. But I have always used windoze machines, so what do I know. :-)

        1. OIFVet

          Some wintel machines, such as my Kirabook, employ the same design. At least it doesn’t require unique screwdrivers to open and replace the battery.

        2. Jim Haygood

          If Apple made Levis, they wouldn’t be equipped with a zipper.

          But aftermarket suppliers would offer Depends, for ’10-hour wear life.’

    4. Joe

      This. Pull battery. Plug in charger. Sometimes flaky batteries start saying all types awful messages to the motherboard and pulling it out and running on power can clear this out

    5. auskalo

      Apple instructions, for Yves:

      How to reset the SMC (System Management Controller)

      See the appropriate section below for your Mac notebook or desktop computer.
      On Mac notebooks with non-removable battery
      Mac notebook computers that have a battery you should not remove include: MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and later, all models of MacBook Air, MacBook (Late 2009), and MacBook (Retina, 12-inch, Early 2015).
      To reset the SMC:
      Shut down the computer.
      Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your computer.
      On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
      Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
      Press the power button to turn on the computer.
      On MagSafe power adapters, the LED might change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

      I hope this helps, Yves.

  7. Carla

    Yves, you have my deepest sympathy about having to dwell in tech hell, and at Christmas-time, too. Here’s wishing you speedy relief.

    But in the meantime, ain’t it great about the GM salmon labeling?

  8. run75441


    You do have a backup plan for the files which are critical? If not, I would buy an auxiliary drive (relatively cheap and usually a couple of Ts in size) first and download all you wish to protect while plugged in once you reach your hotel. If you have done so, then please excuse my intrusion.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      That’ s a nice thought but it will not run even off the charger, so I can’t do a fresh backup. And the charger looks to be working (as in it display a little light). Plus this problem may have started in NYC, since I got to the airport (a grand total of 1 hour off a DIFFERENT charger) with 18 minutes of battery power, when a mere month before, it would run for 3-5 hours off battery, depending on the apps in use.

      1. flora

        If your MacBook air is old the lithium ion battery has probably lost charging capacity to the point that the available chemical reaction (the charging process) is now so low that it is charging, is fully charged, but the fully charged availability is tiny. Each time the battery is charged, and time itself, reduces the charging capacity of lithium ion batteries. so….. if everything else is working fine, see if your Apple store will replace the battery for you. They may give you some Apple approved story about batteries not being replaceable in the MacBook laptop. This is not true. Batteries are replaceable. Identify your laptop model, an alpha-numeric number somewhere on the back starting with an “A”. Model No: A(something). Tiny writing so may need a magnifying glass to read. Once you know the model no. you can get the correct battery and have it installed.
        Here’s an example of how to install a mac laptop battery on one model, not necessarily you model.
        If the Apple store won’t do the install there are independent stores that will. Good luck.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          This not purely a battery problem. Normally when the laptop is running off power, it says “charging” and does not show how manyy minutes it has left on the battery.

          The readings I got showed battery time left AND that remaining life falling pretty much with clock time as I had it on, as in the reading were consistent with it running off battery, not power.

          The battery would hold a charge of 3-5 hours three weeks ago. I’ve run on old batteries before, and my experience was that their life fell more gradually over time.

          1. flora

            In that case it may be a damaged charging port socket. You’ll need to have someone at an Apple tech shop or independent shop look at it to know for sure.

              1. flora

                adding: (apologies for going on like this.) The charging port socket is on your laptop itself. It’s the socket that the power plug connects into. The charging port socket isn’t a part of the motherboard. It’s a part with a socket on one end (the part you see on the side of your laptop and attach the power plug into) and a ribbon cable that attaches it to the motherboard. It’s a relatively inexpensive part. Sorry to go on about this, but want to avoid any confusion.

        1. hunkerdown

          Or, run OS X on a commodity Intel laptop. It’s as picky as one would expect about hardware, since Apple isn’t going to spend a billion dollars writing drivers for hardware it’s never going to buy, but it works surprisingly well.

          1. cyclist

            Yup. I built a ‘hackentosh’ desktop machine from generic PC hardware (Intel i3 processor) and it has performed flawlessly for over a year. I needed to replace an aging Mac desktop and was put off by the Apple Store and the cult of Apple, but I still like OSX. Besides being a cheap way to get a new Mac (lots of memory and a SSD for around $500), it was also a way to learn a bit more about OSX. But you need some supplementary software to fake the motherboard into loading OSX (which doesn’t us a BIOS). There are people that do this with laptops too, but I’m not up on the latest with that. Here is a good place to start:

  9. ckm3

    The Mint version of Ubuntu Linux runs fine as a zero-plubing-required machine – once your desktop is configured the way you want. Have a local independent shop set it up for you as they build a machine with what you want…

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      None of this is as easy as you suggest. I have to find a developer. I have to choose a machine. I will most assured have file compatibility issues with old records. I won’t have the software to run my printer or scanner. I don’t have the time to deal with that. No joke, I bought a scanner and it sat in the box for 6 months until someone could set it up. Ten minutes is a ton of time for me and going to a new OS entails a HUGE number of extra tasks, all of which take my most precious resource, my time.

      1. Kurt Sperry

        I like Mint, it’s installed as a second boot option on the box I’m using now but learning a new OS while trying to remain productive isn’t likely to work. There will be frustration. I’d stick with whatever you already know and are familiar with, Mac in this case I guess. I’d give the same advice if you were already on Linux or Windows. They all work just fine once dialed in for your own needs, whatever their individual proponents tell you.

  10. Larry Headlund

    I am not a Mac person nor do I play one on TV.

    In reference to your SBooks program and your worries about upgrade compatibility: Oracle VM may offer a solution by permitting you to run your existing OS as a virtual machine on your coming soon new box. I add the qualifier ‘may’ because Apple has, I am told, some licensing restrictions on virtual machines. I am sure someone in the Apple community could set you straight.

    I used Oracle VM to run an obsolete accounting system (for support reasons) on a MS Windows VM hosted on a Linux system for years.

  11. Stephen Tynan

    Yves: similar experience with newer Apple products.
    I have learned to be content with old reconditioned MacBooks with CD bays bought back from schools.
    Viva L’Obsolete!

  12. Eureka Springs

    As a person who has been on powerbooks since they were gray scale screens… I can tell you with two new mac mini and a new 6s plus purchases in the last sixty days… the experience has been a disaster! Brand new machines that insisted on a 6 gig update the day you take it out of the box. Nothing sync’s, nothing works and you are constantly led far astray and in circles by apple support people while the machines insist you sign up and register, update over and over again for a number of things you do not want /will never use. Even the apple site where experienced techno savvy users discuss these problems is filled with people who cannot sort these things out.

    My kingdom for a 2004 powerbook and that era os, itune and iphoto as well as an 4s (with a larger screen). Both just needed more memory capacity… that’s it. I wholeheartedly regret staying with apple this year… Like you I cannot imagine trying a new system, but it’s time to do so anyway.

    Buh Bye apple.

    When ‘update’ alert grates more than – you need tooth extraction… it’s time to quit paying/ playing.

    1. optimader

      All the update and imposed purchasing “opportunities” are a very negative consumer impression for me.

      1. Jim Haygood

        Not to mention Apple’s debacle involving U2’s “Songs of Innocence” album, force-fed onto millions of iPhones. Afterward, U2 was constantly in your face, even spontaneously playing itself when the phone was supposedly off and running down the battery.

        Apparently the phone’s own menus offered no way to simply delete it (indicating just how dysfunctional Apple’s impoverished little ‘walled garden’ is). iPhone victims owners actually have to go to a dedicated page, sign in with their Apple ID and “password you use to buy from the iTunes Store” to get permission to delete this crap.

        Having watched someone go through this nasty little exercise convinced me that I don’t need no iPhone.

        1. optimader

          I remember that, oddly that never happened to my iphone? I wonder why –maybe because I have never bought any app/ iTunes product, or perhaps because I am perpetually one or two op system upgrades behind.??

        2. different clue

          Did all this bad Apple stuff start happening after Steve Jobs’s death? Or is Steve Jobs himself the one who put all these worms in the Apple?

          1. bob

            Urban legend. Steve Jobs didn’t die, he was uploaded onto the iCloud, and he is PISSED. Moreso than the time he had to fire 20 people for bringing him the wrong fruit juice smoothy.

        3. flora

          ‘walled garden’ is right. now with the mega-battle among Apple, MS, and Google (which is what the latest smart phone lawsuit was about), each is creating a consumer walled garden not only against the other vendors, but against its own earlier revisions of its own products. Imagine a car dealership being told it can’t install spark plugs in models over 5 years old because obsolete.
          On another thread in another post someone asked what would be the likely downfall of something like self-driving cars. How about planned software obsolescence, so that if your self-driving car is over 3 or 5 years old it becomes a brick? (/end rant)

          1. hunkerdown

            Imagine a car dealership being told it can’t install spark plugs in models over 5 years old because obsolete.

            You appear to be among the fortunate ones who never had to deal with GM dealer service, which makes the sleaziest gonif camera shops look like B&H.

          2. Lambert Strether

            “A walled garden is a dead garden.”

            Another way of saying that is that no garden can truly be walled; sun, water, soil, the mycelial mat, pollinators… None of these respect walls.

  13. Ulysses

    Cohan’s NYT piece (linked above) raises an important question:

    “The bigger question is whether Wall Street writ large will ever be able to reform itself to prevent acts of fraud and deception.”

    The answer is no, and the only way to significantly reduce fraud is to significantly reduce the power of “Wall Street writ large!”

    1. griffen

      It pays too well to do so. And let’s face it, sometimes the rubes walking this earth don’t deserve the labels of customer or investor.

      1. different clue

        But when the Rubes happen to be Retirement Plan Managers in local or regional authority who are managing MY survival money, then I ( and everyone like me) deserves protection from these scams no matter how much of a Rube or Simpleton my workplace Plan Managers may be.

  14. griffen

    Bet they find a rainbow unicorn before finding the “affluenza-afflicted” teenager.

    The court’s soft touch treatment / ruling really looks lame. But hey, what a great lesson for the kids out there – protect the 16-yr old from consequences of those actions that cost some lives.

    1. Jess

      Under the “lives lost” category, in addition to the four people he killed, one of the passengers in his truck was left permanently paralyzed and unable to speak, which is my definition of dead while still breathing.

      1. griffen

        Despicable doesn’t even begin to describe this affluenza cretin. Oh, the afflictions of wealth.

        Problem is, unfortunately, such behaviors are learned.

  15. Pavel

    I’ll add my voice to the list of disgruntled/discouraged/depressed Mac OS users. I’ve been with Apple since the Mac Plus (that ages me!) and have based my IT business on its products and software. I think the golden age was a few versions of OS X ago. They have dumbed down their desktop software (iPhoto, iWork) to work on iOS, and have abandoned their “pro” software entirely (Aperture, Final Cut Pro), and no longer care about pro-level hardware. Jony Ive seems to think thinness is all that counts (damn the useful ports and battery life!).

    I’ve been pretty lucky with my Macbook Airs over the last 5 years or so, but I know that when something goes wrong it can be very tricky and Apple “support” can be hopeless. I sympathise with Yves who is trying to maintain old software. Good luck!

    My iPhone 5S’s battery has gone to hell, and I hate the larger phones, so I bought an iPod for my music and apps (and Harry’s Le Show podcasts :) and a charming retro dual-SIM Nokia for my cellphone use for about $30. I hadn’t realised dual-SIM phones existed! As someone who travels constantly it is fantastic. There are great prepaid phone plans in the UK and elsewhere in the EU (Lebara, Lycamobile) where for say 20 euros I can talk for hours, and calls to the US are about 2 cents/minute. Sadly they don’t exist (as far as I can see) in the US or Canada.

    (On a separate, more political note, Tim Cook’s comments about the “unfairness” of corporate tax really angered me. AAPL makes so much profit by paying low wages to Chinese, sells the phones at a huge mark up all over the world, and then structures the foreign income via Ireland, Netherlands etc so they pay almost no tax. Cry me a river, Tim!)

    1. optimader

      the smaller 6s is still front pocketable but it’s form factor is the end of the road for me. The fact that it is stiff thin even with a conformable case makes it tolerable. We’ll see how long it lasts.
      The 4s had it’s memory sucked away w/ op system upgrades ( and I don’t have a lot of extraneous apps, certainly nothing purchased from apple) to the point where I was peeling off pics I wanted to keep on the phone, then the kill switch became unreliable –no reason for that other than intentional obsolescence is my assessment when looking into the fix..

    2. Oregoncharles

      He’s absolutely right, of course: the tax code is so “iron age” that it makes it easy for freeloaders like him to escape US taxes.

      Or is that not what he meant?

  16. nmwenn

    The Omnibus debacle is being treated like team sports… Dems won – Repugs lost. I have been scouring the internet for Progressives who aren’t toasting this false flag operation on them.

    Pelosi betrayed Democrats but the headlines are screaming that Gopers want Ryan’s head on a stick.

    Let’s think about that. Why is the media driven to report this Omnibus as a win for Democrats?

    Big Oil — win.

    Silicon Valley – win. — at the expense of American workers. the imported labor is part time and temporary… avoiding O care. How is this a win for Dems?

    Multi national corporations – wage suppression by millions of new unskilled workers.

    And something else I’ve yet to see discussed. Republicans are weeping over new Syrians… yet progressives may rue the day they sided with Islam against the GOP. Those conservative Muslims will not be sensitive to the rights of women, gays, Hollywood, or Jews.

    What’s to love about Islam on the left? that the GOP doesn’t want them?

    And nary a peep from the Sanders people.. the headlines are all aflutter about DNC data bases… when Dems should be thumping for Pelosi’s head. That bill was a betrayal of Americans.. left and right.

    So let’s think about why the Nation, Salon, MSNBC, WAPO, and NYT are reporting the bill as a WIN for Obama and the left. Well, we know why it’s a win for the O – he’s on a leash.

    Ditto for opportunists like Clinton, Ryan, McCain, Bush, Rubio…

    So where’s Bernie?? – he’s locked in a closet with a rag in his mouth, telling him to take one for the team…

    This is about anyone but Trump. Betrayed Progressives have more in common with Trump on this subject than their own party. Yet that’s not the headline. And Bernie is absent.

    Low information voters are treating this like team sports… the elephants got skunked! YEAH!!

    We all got skunked. The winners are the same ole same ole 1%. Republicans are screaming all over the internet… and nary a peep from the losers on the left.

    Where are the voices for CHANGE? Where are the voices for the people of THIS country?

  17. Seth Miller

    On Sanders: Hillary and the DNC left their wallet on the table on purpose, to see if anyone from Sanders’ campaign would pick it up.

  18. Anon

    Re: Sanders

    Why does Hillary make it seem like it’s Sanders’ fault that the update (placed on the server end, no less) is his fault? So this is the molehill that they want to make a mountain as opposed to the private property on a public server?

    Furthermore, is there a breakdown of what actually transpired? From reading Water Cooler yesterday and Links today, my understanding is this:

    1. Software company (NGP-VAN) releases an update that causes a glitch, making the entire D database viewable for everyone, but it wasn’t possible for it to be exported or saved
    2. Bernie Sanders’ campaign reported the faulty software at least two months ago, but not sure if the issue they reported is related to this one.
    3. Seeing as how everyone could view all records, Hillary’s campaign jumps the gun and accuses Sanders’ group of illegally accessing the data, despite the ability of everyone being able to
    4. To stem further backlash, Sanders’ fires a low-level staffer [and this is where it gets fuzzy] who might’ve been a former Clinton staffer
    5. A top level member of NGP-VAN is a Clinton campaign donor.

    Money quote:

    National Republicans used the opportunity to score political points. Sean Spicer, the chief strategist for the RNC, bragged: “Every candidate has equal access to our superior data file at the RNC because we believe primaries should be a process free from party interference and that puts voters and campaigns first.”

    He added: “That’s why it is so troubling to see the DNC engage in such heavy-handed favoritism benefitting Hillary Clinton, a pattern which will continue [Saturday] night with another debate deliberately scheduled to limit viewership.”

    Meta-level kayfabe? I feel as if I’m missing some variables, but that seems to be the gist of it, right?

    Also, sorry to hear about your laptop woes, Yves. I’m not too familiar with Mac hardware, but there’s a small soft spot in my heart for them, since learning math through one of the older models.

    1. Jim Haygood

      ‘A top level member of NGP-VAN is a Clinton campaign donor.’

      Elementary data security would suggest that each campaign should retain its own proprietary data, separate from the DNC voter data available to all.

      It’s Servergate II — more of the same, piled higher ‘n deeper.

      1. Carolinian

        Could be what the old time dirty tricksters like Rove called rat f*cking. More than likely Rove is secretly working for HRC. It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

        The Guardian Thursday said Sanders was finally going to call out Hillary on Libya at the debate tonight. Development of this sudden “scandal” surely is just coincidence.

        1. Jim Haygood

          ‘More than likely Rove is secretly working for HRC.’

          As a wise commenter observed here a few days ago, Hillary is certainly the most sensible Republican candidate.

          Asking why the Clintons engage in dirty tricks is like asking why snakes swallow field mice: because that’s how Nature provided for their survival.

    2. Llewelyn Moss

      IMO, the SlashDot link has the best description of what transpired.

      Sanders team reported the security problem months ago because Sanders data is exposed as well. NGP-VAN (run by the Clinton BFF) did Nothing to fix it. So Bernie’s IT guy finally lost patience, and out of frustration accessed the Clinton data only to make the point that IT IS BROKEN. Then he told them, look I can access Clinton’s data, so fix the dam thing.

      His reward for caring was to get fired. C’mon Bernie, WTH.

      1. Vatch

        I agree with you. He should be rehired. After the dust settles a bit, maybe that will happen — I certainly hope so.

    3. Eureka

      Snopes has a good article with most of the details about the debacle:

      Some things to note:
      A) it was the DNC that made this into a shitstorm. The Clinton camp didn’t start crying foul until after Bernie’s side threatened to sue the DNC.
      B) The DNC broke the contract with the campaign and NGP-VAN by blocking the Sanders campaign. According to the contract, there is a 10 day period to correct any breaches or issues, the company is solely responsible for any breaches, and the DNC cannot unilaterally block access. The Sanders campaign has a strong legal case to sue the DNC.
      C) the staffer fired was the National Data Director. There were 4 usernames (accounts, not people) that accessed the data, two of which were clearly dummy accounts. The staffer was doing what any tech person would do to file a comprehensive bug/security report. Not saying it was campaign-wise the correct thing, but this is how technical issues get resolved.
      D) permissions issues (aka the “firewall”) have occurred before.
      E) as per NGP-VAN, a) the data could not be saved or exported and b)the only file downloaded was a summary of some sort, not anything violating privacy.
      F) Someone high up within NGP-VAN was the CTO of the Clinton campaign in 2008.

      1. Vatch

        A) it was the DNC that made this into a sh[]tstorm. The Clinton camp didn’t start crying foul until after Bernie’s side threatened to sue the DNC.

        Well, yes and no. The boss of the DNC is Clinton supporter and trade traitor Debbie Wassermann Schultz. So I think it’s reasonable to say that a portion of the Clinton campaign was in on this from the beginning.

        1. Eureka

          Right. While I agree with you – I really despise DWS and know she’s doing this to hand the nomination to Clinton – I’m just repeating everything that happened on record. I find it quite unlikely that someone directly in the Clinton campaign wasn’t aware of this BS going on.

          The Clinton campaign is really pushing the issue and going overboard with this. I think it’s going to backfire big time. They keep using screenshots of some “logs” as proof, but from my understanding, they were posted by an anonymous source and, as a software engineer, lemme tell you, those are not like any logs I’ve ever read (aka way too readable!). Not to mention the timestamps are off…

    4. different clue

      Its only Kayfabe if Sanders was in on it. But since it looks like Sanders was the aggrieved victim of a Clintonite setup, then it is probably a one-sided Clintonite conspiracy and not any Kayfabe co-involving the Sanders forces.

      It looks like Sanders is getting an early education in Clintonite ethics. This will hopefully make him AND his people more willing to exterminate the Clintonite wing of the Party if he should somehow wrestle the nomination away from them . . . as McGovern did at Miami.

  19. Kim Kaufman

    Here’s an idea for a business that I’m throwing out here because I have no way of doing it. Linux Help Desks everywhere. Pay a monthly fee and get all the help you need. I’ve always been a PC person. XP was great, Windows 7 was fine. I am using 8.1 which is tolerable but 10 is unacceptable and I do not ever want to upgrade to it. I want my next computer to be Linux but the support for non-techies is the big hurdle.

    1. Pavel

      I’m a Mac person (see above rant) but have used Ubuntu (the most “consumer” Linux) a few times. (Interested parties can try it for free on a Mac (or Windows) using free virtual OS software e.g. VirtualBox.) It has a nice intuitive interface, but wouldn’t be suitable (probably) for people who use a lot of Mac or Windows apps for business (e.g. MS Word, Excel etc). Also one would have to migrate photos and music and find new ways to synch them with mobile device(s). I have two IT colleagues who are fanatically pro-open source and use linux laptops and they manage just fine.

      Linus is famously very stable (hence its server use) but I certainly take your point that help desks would be useful!

    2. ambrit

      I am leery of the Windows scheme now due to my having encountered what looks to be heavy handed pressure from Microsoft to switch to Windows 10. I tried to find information about a process on Windows 8. The page in Microsoft ‘mini support’ I found had information for XP, Windows 7, and then jumped to Windows 10. No Windows 8 to be found. I would like to devolve to Windows 7 but fear a wholesale stopping of support by Microsoft for anything but the “preferred” ‘product.’
      I know I’m the last person anyone with sense would look to for tech information but I had a desktop PC that died last year. We broke down and bought a mid-line replacement. Playing with the old PC, I was trying to salvage the extra memory strip for transfer to the new machine, I discovered that the on/off switch was broken. Now I’m trying to turn the old machine into a word processor.

      1. Anon

        No need to fear, as seen here:

        Windows 7 Mainstream Support

        Seeing as how mainstream support ended back in January, there’s still about four years in the tank before making the switch. Annoyances with Windows 10 aside, you can either have a free upgrade or a paid one.

      2. flora

        Windows 7 support extends until 1/14/2020, including patches and updates. There aren’t any more service packs (ended 1/13/2015) but those are just compilations of patches. So Windows 7 should be supported until Jan. 2020.

      3. optimader

        I would advise not upgrading until you have to. We did on our company network but I know the system folk spend a long time configuring it. In then end its an ok emulation of WIN 7, but I think as a personal computer user there is a lot of messing around to eliminate stuff like keystroke logging and making it a familiar environment. Ultimately it will be rendered down, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to upgrade for personal use until you have to.

      4. ambrit

        Hearty thanks to one and all.
        Curious is it not? The optimal strategy here is a ‘conservative’ one.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      I know you mean well, but I do not have the time to spend any more than the bare minimum amount of time on IT matters. It comes at the expense of blogging, and I separately loathe doing it. The Mac even with its increasing level of problem is still the least-hassle-all-in option for mere mortals.

      1. Jon Hooper

        Exactly!! It is unfortunate that your old Apple hardware just failed but I would say your best bet is to grit your teeth and get the new mac you were planning on upgrading to. Unfortunately with the death of SJ Apple is now on the glide slope to being just another big mediocre tech company. But a new mac will still be easier and less of a tech hassle than Windows or Linux. There will be that pain for a week or two as you figure out what works and what doesn’t, then you’ll get it working and hopefully not have to worry again for a few years.

        Not sure whether Sbook still works with El Capitan I got rid of it when I moved from NeXT 15 years ago. Unfortunately sometimes we have to move on (god rest Animo on NeXSTEP) …I’m sure there are more modern solutions if you look around :-)

  20. GlobalMisanthrope

    Re: DNC data breach

    I’m losing what’s left of my mind reading the reporting on this. DWS keeps saying that the Sanders campaign had possession of the data while the software company has said that the data was only searchable. Sorry, but this is not mere semantics.

    The article in my local paper this morning, after the deal was reached, is titled “Data breach sets off charges of theft in ’16 Democratic race” and introduces a previously unmentioned person by last name only (Fallon) and without quotation marks to make the claim that the Sanders campaign stole data.

    Back to tearing my hair out…

  21. Ed

    What currently is the best alternative for a laptop to an Apple product? I am a Mac user who is totally open to switching for my next computer purchase. But my impression is that machines in the Wintel group have the same problem. In my salaried jobs, I have used Wintel machines (both laptops and desktops).

    1. Chris Williams

      Both Apple and Microsoft have proven that they cannot be trusted to keep bringing out new operating systems as each tries to game you and force you into products and services you will never need or want.

      For me, the transition from Win 7 on an three year old ASUS laptop to Linux Mint, was easy. And well worth it.

      The hardest part is creating a bootable USB thumb drive (after you have copied all your documents, pics, videos and music that you want onto a separate hard drive) and then interrupting the boot process so that boots from the USB drive.

      Then, I took great pleasure in reformatting my 128GB solid state drive (and removing all that Microsoft crap) and partitioning it (setting aside percentages of the hard drive) for use. Tutorials tell you how to do this from multiple sources.

      Prior to the switch, my machine was prone to spy and malware attacks. I only had 8GB spare and any videos I attempted to stream would always only work at a low resolution than I would have liked. Afterward, I had 40GB spare and everything just works, better software too.

      I am never going back.

  22. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

    Beijing’s air vs India’s air. India’s far worse.

    All of India?

    That’s about 30% to 40% of the world population with bad air if it’s all of India and all of China.

    Not only is the air warmer, it’s quality is worse.

    1. different clue

      And its going to get way more worser once Modi is done getting all his shiny new coal plants built.

      1. Vatch

        It will get worse in both countries, since the populations of both countries continue to rise, which means that the demand for energy will also continue to rise. Sure, some of that demand could be satisfied by renewable solar and wind power, but they’re still going to need the old fashioned fossil fuel energy sources for a long time.

        People in India have barely acknowledged that overpopulation is a problem, and China just eliminated their one child policy. Admittedly, the one child policy had loopholes, but it was better than nothing.

        Just yesterday, there was an article in the Links about a company that sells bottles or cans of fresh air to people in China. It seemed like satire, but it may have been real.

  23. Greg L

    I’m retired now, so my needs are basically just email and a browser. I’m a ex-programmer/computer scientist. I had to use Windows at work and I preferred Linux at home. Now I’m happy as can be on a Chromebook and probably more secure that way.

  24. Sammy Maudlin

    Fraud = disclosure flaws
    Theft = inappropriate appropriation
    Arson = faulty fire handling
    Grand theft auto = non-titled car operation
    Murder = life expectancy substitution

  25. kgw

    System Management Controller:

    To reset the SMC: Shut down the computer. Plug in the MagSafe or USB-C power adapter to a power source and to your computer. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
    Go to the link below for a complete how and why…I have a 2013 MacBook Air, these two procedures are very good to know.

  26. Jim Haygood

    Regrettably, the war situation in Fallujah has developed not necessarily to our advantage:

    An air strike by the US-led coalition during an offensive against the so-called Islamic State killed nine Iraqi soldiers, including an officer, Iraq’s defence ministry has confirmed.

    US Defence Secretary Ash Carter called Iraq’s PM to express his condolences. Mr Carter told reporters on Saturday that the air strike appeared to be a “mistake that involved both sides.”

    “Both sides,” LOL. Carter must have pulled out his Israeli-Palestinian cue card by mistake.

    At least it wasn’t a hospital. :)

    They don’t call the Kennedy School o’ Gubmint alumnus “KSOG’s klown” for nothin’.

  27. OIFVet

    So Merkel is all for Nord Stream 2, and will get her way, but Bulgaria was threatened with all kinds of dire consequences over South Stream? When the government was slow in suspending the project, its Western “partners” simply engineered its replacement with more reliable puppets. Russian president perplexed by Bulgarian decision to act against its own interests.. I doubt that Putin is actually “perplexed”, I suspect he is simply tr0lling the puppets.

  28. Stephen Liss

    Yves, you make a pretty good case for trying something like Ubuntu Linux.

    You might want to consider getting a quality built laptop (I like Lenovo), max out the RAM, put in a massive SSD (solid state drive, fast and reliable) instead of the hard drive, and put on a non-annoying open source operating system.

    It’s not that scary!

  29. Oregoncharles

    Yves – in case no one else has said this: it may well be the battery not holding a charge. I’d also have them make sure the charger is ACTUALLY working and not just pretending. A new battery isn’t cheap, but it’s about the simplest fix there is. That’s assuming the batteries come off of Macs – not what I use.

    No need to even post this, just seems like the quickest way to send a message.

    And good luck!

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      Normally, the charger would be the prime culprit, BUT

      1. The little green light on it is working (power is clearly coming through the cord) and

      2. The timing of the battery being so severely discharged suggests the problem started when I was using a different charger (I have one for at home, one for on the road).

      1. Oregoncharles

        Points to the battery or (worst case scenario) the charging circuit, as someone more expert said above. I gather Mac batteries are not user-serviceable, at least for mere mortals, but the shop should be able to swap it out (perhaps wishful thinking?) The cheapest, quickest way to buy a few days.

        The contents should be on the hard drive, which on PCs is easy to swap around.

      2. The Cleaner

        This is almost certainly a battery problem. I suggest installing a (free) program like Battery Health ( and see what it says about the battery health. Also check out the number of charging cycles it has been through — if the number is less than 2000, Apple should replace the battery for you, as I believe that’s how many cycles the batteries are rated for.

        If you had an earlier model macbook, I would have suggested recalibrating the battery, but it seems that the newer models do not need recalibrating.

        1. Yves Smith Post author

          I am afraid you did not read what I said earlier in the thread

          1. The machine kept running off the battery EVEN WHEN PLUGGED IN.

          2. The machine was apparently running off battery, not power, when plugged in in my apartment on a different charger.

          3. The charger I have shows the green/orange light, which means power is indeed getting from the socket to the other end of the charger.

          So the charger does not appear to be the problem.

          The fact that the battery is powering the computer and the computer is NOT running off power when plugged in AND the charger seems to be OK (as in this behavior appears to have extended across 2 chargers) means the most probable culprit is the charger PORT, not the battery.

      3. Christoph Stein

        So I think You have two problems:
        The battery is almost broken, stores far too little energie.
        The charger is too weak. The charger has to charge the battery and it has to provide the Mac with power. Your charger at home does the job, but your travel-charger is too small for these two tasks.

        1. Christoph Stein

          Sorry i forgot the most important issue:
          How to solve these two problems?
          You have no time, so the solution must be easy:

          First you need a stronger supply. You should find this in any better computer shop. Look at the “A” number. Every supply has a “volt” and an “ampere” number. The “v” number must fit, but your Mac needs a bigger “a” number. Bigger than your travel-charger. The Mac and its battery seeks only what they need, but the supply must be able to deliver enough. The bigger the supply, the better.

          Sekond you have to change the battery. For this you have time. This is for comfort. If you have the time to change the battery in a repair shop, do it.

  30. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    As an Apple enthusiast since 1984, I sympathize deeply. They’ve turned into a rent extraction entity, obtuse to the needs of their most loyal customers.

    1. bob

      It’s a very expensive vending machine. You constantly have to feed to CC numbers and personal information to get it to work properly.

      That’s what the ghost of steve jobs, still lurking in the iCloud, consumes these days in his post corporeal form.

      Better than 3rd world kidneys, I suppose.

  31. different clue

    First, before even reading anything, let me apologize for a comment I left on a now-long-dead thread from yesterday. Under a needlessly self-imposed seconds-count deadline I severely dis-remembered something Colonel Lang wrote several years ago. As I search my memory, what I think he really wrote was that IF the Mexican government remains incapable of handling its violent cartels, and IF the unrestrainable cartels export their violence into America, THEN it may be necessary to give JSOC an assassination-list and send them into Mexico to kill every key carteler on that list. And stop as soon as the cartels’ capacity for crime and violence has been terminated. I think I way over-interpretated what I disremembered him having written.

    Second, let me be very clear that . . . IF the cartels are indeed expanding their operations into America, and esPECially IF this includes bringing their violence here,
    then I mySELF suspect that a “state of insurrection” of some sort will have to be declared, and we will have to wage a war of total, complete and very very thorough extermination against every single cartel-connected person operating in THIS country.
    And I will NOT apologise for advancing THAT as MY OWN view on the matter.

    There is suspicion that MexiCartels are behind the invasive growing of marijuana in our National Parks and Forests, and making these areas too dangerous for citizen-owners of the National Parks and Forests to even go into. IF that is true, then every person involved in these operations will have to be declared an Outlaw Insurrectionary, and carefully exterminated in complete detail if we are to have any chance of being safe in our OWN National Parks and Forests. And I do NOT apologise for thinking THAT..

      1. different clue

        Actually, the way to handle the Meth problem is to legalize Meth and make oil drums filled with Meth available on every street corner. Those people who choose to dip into them and get addicted will physically decay so fast and in such public view that other people will be repelled from the thought of doing Meth by the time that every prospective Meth user has been assisted in killing himself/herself through Free Meth Availability overdosing. Et voila’ ! No more Meth users . . . no more Meth labs.

        The MexiCartel problem can not be solved so easily. Marijuana does not cause the fast user decay and death that Meth does. That means that the market for MexiCartelers’ marijuana remains stable for years. That means that the incentive for MexiCartelers to invade our Public lands and grow their marijuana there remains in place for years. And that brings us back to the basic fact that declaring the MexiCartel-connected grower-tresspassers in OUR public lands to be domestic insurrectionaries and exterminating every single individual connected with their tresspass operations on OUR public lands is the only actual real-world-effective way to deal with the problem.

        1. bob

          “That means that the market for MexiCartelers’ marijuana remains stable for years”

          Stable? California legalizing weed completely ruined any advantage that Mexico ever had in the marijuana market.

          A lot of very smart people who follow this stuff more closely than me have said that most of the uptick in violence in Mexico is a direct result of loss of revenue from the US in the marijuana market.

          Yeah, yeah, marijuana might not be the most easy to smuggle, or highest value per pound, but it’s always been the #1 cash crop in Mexico, by a huge margin.

          Now, no market for it.

    1. fresno dan

      The Horror!!!
      the depravity humans can sink to!!!!!!
      Obviously, we need to carpet bomb these blokes before they can reach our shores, spreading their mayhem and chaos…..these of course are the carpet bombs that only destroy Karaoke pirates….

  32. efschumacher

    Americans on average missing 7.31 teeth, the British only 6.97.

    Yes but the .31 of a remaining American tooth is a good base to build a composition falsie onto, whereas the .03 fragment of a British tooth just sits in your gum and hurts like hell.

  33. ewmayer

    When my 2009-vintage Macbook classic crapped out on me (in a way that pointed to a mobo/cpu fault, i.e. likely to be either unrepairable or mighty expensive to replace the faulty parts), I found a little-used one of similar vintage on Craigslist – even managed to find one sans battery and charger, perfect for me as I have 2x each of those on hand from my just-dead and previous macbooks – $95 and a quick car trip later I swapped in my old HD and within minutes was back up and running without any work loss or setup/config-time needed. Typing this on the replacement unit, 5 months later. And I got a free spare HD with OS preinstalled out of the deal for the if/when my old one dies. YMMV but I say fuck the “genius bar” racket – this is a tool, the only thing that really matters is my time and data, I intend to continue using the above strategy as long as feasible.

  34. Molly

    FWIW you don’t have to let Time Machine run continuously. I back up to an external drive and it only runs when I plug in the drive and tell it to begin. It does nag me about not having backed up for … days (I don’t have the criticality of stuff on my Mac that you obviously do, so a once a week or so backup is fine. And you can back up and restore from the cloud, too.

  35. Oregoncharles

    2016 – from Bill Curry’s article on Salon, :
    “Sanders doesn’t want to be the guy who softened Clinton up for the Republican kill so he keeps hitting his own mute button. Trump threatens to run as an independent if Republicans don’t “treat me fairly.” Sanders gets knifed by Schultz and can’t call for her removal, only an audit of DNC management practices. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel ought to be impeached. Clinton stands by him. Sanders criticizes him, but never by name. He should lead the charge against Schultz and Emmanuel. It isn’t negative politics. It’s a fight for the soul of the Democratic Party.”

    Curry can be a bit clueless, but he’s got that one. It’s the essence of the problem with Sanders. Sure, most of his policy positions sound good; that’s easy when you’re really going to go along to get along, when you’re “afraid” to speak the truth or carry the fight to power. And in this case, it’s undercutting his own campaign, as if he never intended to really run for President (which would very likely kill him).

    Why Curry thinks the DP has a soul is beyond explanation.,

    1. sd

      Why should Sanders waste his bully pulpit over DWS? There’s an assumption he can call a press conference, get reporters to show up and then report accurately what he has to say. The DNC and DWS have gone out of their way to ensure Sanders media time is limited – hence the poor debate schedule. Feature, not a bug.

      I’d much rather Sanders keep publicizing very real issues affecting the vast majority of us down here below the 20% mark.

  36. TheCatSaid

    Greece: I’ll weigh in on the Paul Mason’s article (which includes the 4 documentary episodes within). I think it’s very good–fair and accurate, shows the various errors. Worth the time to watch & read. Analysis (near the end) seems spot-on. Doesn’t give anyone a free ride. Tsipras’ analysis of his mistakes & current position also seems correct. There’s more analysis in the article than in the documentary.

    Varoufakis comments on the documentary (haven’t read it yet):

    1. TheCatSaid

      Hmmm. Varoufakis’ comments are interesting, he highlights a number of inaccuracies from his perspective.

      The comments to VF’s piece are revealing. (In particular, I agree with a commenter’s criticism about the documentary not mentioning the vaguely worded referendum, which could be interpreted any number of ways.

      Here’s also a Greek (?) academic’s commentary on the Paul Mason documentary (very critical):

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