Duracell Enshitified

Duracell batteries used to be so good. They’d last a long time and just be a great product.
Now, they are absolute garbage. They leak, they burst, they’re just gross. I’ve had so many things ruined by these trashy batteries. We’re moving to Energizer now. I’ll never buy these again.

Leaking duracell battey

leaking duracell battery

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An old man yelling at the (internet) cloud

Old man yelling at cloud

I’m yelling at the chatGPT cloud as Wolfram Mathemmatica is a shell of it now

I did a trial install of Mathematica 14 (The Thirring Institute is a Mathematica shop).  I was pretty excited to try out the new LLM features. The Big Change(tm) advertised for this version was the inclusion of AI. I tried to use the various AI features and found it’s just a shell to ChatGPT, not even Wolfram(the company behind it)’s own stuff. Trying to use it gives errors like “Unable to complete the task, rate limited” (even on the first use). Other features require a paid ChatGPT 4 account. Keep in mind, Mathematica can cost up to several thousand dollars (depending on if you’re in industry, government or even a student)

Now don’t get me wrong, Mathematica is an amazing product, filled with many many features. I’ve been using it since the first version. Incredibly powerful and wonderful stuff. However, if your best feature is an enshitified shell of someone else’s product, than your new product isn’t that great either! If you’re going to buy Mathematica, get it for all the internal features and other cool things. Forget the AI crap

Mathematica 14 logo

Mathematica 14 logo

 

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Still trying to fix the plugin. Might be working now though

The issue could be on the internal side due to the wierd nature of the thirring network setup

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Techno Meltdown Hell Week

Melted computer all broken down

Oh what a week it’s been. Endless technological failures plaguing us.
It started with the failure of a microphone! This was bought only a year or two ago…suddenly it just stopped working. Would only record faintly with alot of static.

A planned network upgrade went terribly wrong with Shaw as the equipment they sent us for the TV won’t work with my configuration. (modem in bridge mode). A call to their support line confirmed this so I had requested to keep my old TV service but go with the higher speed network ended with  no TV service and a cut off internet.

After a two hour struggle with their agents and many comments of “this is beyond anything..”(from the agent) we got internet restored. At the time of writing, no TV service.
I’ve been afraid to call them lest they cut off the internet again. (The upgrade was planned for the weekend as we work remotely)

My wife has had numerous techno issues at her work..one in which she was told to re-install a remote client for what was very obviously a server problem (no available resources). This caused a dual monitor issue for which another helpdesk call was needed

Here’s a full list of all the techo failures here and about

Airline system failed in the US
Microphone failure
3 Shaw agents (and more pending for the upgrade)
Wife’s parents lost internet
Wife’s coworker lost internet (obscure account issue)
Order for Instacart wouldn’t go through (error processing your order…but no clue what that was…took 3 agents to figure out that the particular store doesn’t deliver anymore)
Uber app decided to do an unstoppable update while waiting for an order
Microsoft update broke my wife’s second monitor…needed two reboots to fix it
A DVD remote that just suddenly stopped working…a Scotty solution fixed it (new batteries didn’t)

So may gremlins…the weekend upgrade is still a go and I have no idea if we’ll ever have TV again…lol. What a week1

 

 

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Ipad OS 16.1 is terrible. Let’s hope they improve it!

So I updated to Ipad OS 16 on my ipad mini in tingly anticipation of a number of features.
What a mistake that was!  The features Apple was crowing about either aren’t there or don’t work.

  1. Undo e-mail does not work. There simply is no option to do this on an ipad
  2. Stage Manager doesn’t work. Doesn’t even exist on the mini. Maybe on the ipad pro, I don’t know at this point.
  3. Undo imessage does not work.  Even amongst IOS 16 devices. Works from an iphone with Ios 16 to the ipad, but not the other way around.

We do get a new weather app, and maybe some security updates, but nothing more. It’s a half-finished low grade beta version compared to even what is released on iphones.

The lock screen font is also terrible. The numbers look like fat greasy sausages

I beg Apple to fix these issues and make Ipad OS 16 the software update it should be!
Poor Steve Jobs would be rolling in his grave!

Font as fat greasy sausages
Awful font
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Update to the chalkboard situation

Turns out there’s something called the Amazon A to Z guarantee that guarantees if a third party seller doesn’t acknowledge your issue within 3 days you can contact them and they’ll sort it out. We had contacted the seller who had “escalated” the issue but did nothing with it. After the three days, we contacted Amazon. Next thing you know there was a UPS shipping label ready to go. UPS picked the massive bookshelf up. We did eventually get our refund. Still a pain.. I ended up getting the chalkboard from someone else.

 

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Amazon third party seller issues and the A to Z guarantee.

I ordered a chalkboard from Amazon to add to my studio. Sounded like a good idea at the time. Took two weeks+ to get here, but did I get the chalkboard? Nope. I got a large and very heavy bookshelf.

.

Absolute incompetence on the part of the seller. The wrong item packaged.. Purolator weighed in as 1 lb. Clearly nobody was paying attention. Gets worse! Contact the seller. All they do is send us a Canada Post shipping label and expect us to cart this massive heavy (50lb)plus bookshelf we didn’t order to there in order to ship it back. They won’t even send the chalkboard I’d originally ordered. Just a refund. (Hardly making up for all the extra effort put in to return it). There’s no direct contact with the seller, just a tiny portal into the vast ocean of crap that is Amazon. I sure wish this seller would do the right thing, have it picked up and provide what I’d already ordered.

What a complete disaster!

 

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Transitioning to a tech thoughts site

When I’d first set this site up, I’d hoped it would be a place to find fixes and such, but I never got that part off the ground for a variety of reasons. This blog will now become a place for me to discuss my thoughts on technological trends, issues, and problems I see with today’s technology. I see alot of things that are stupid, irritating and angering with the way current technology works. Hopefully this will provide some thoughtful insight

 

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My ebook experience and why I think libraries and Bookstores are pretty much safe for now

Recently I had heard of an interesting story by Geoffrey ALandis called “Vacuum States”. A quick searc h of the net showed no copies available to read on their own. I found that this story was located in two places. A long gone back issue of Analog Science Fiction,Science Fact, and an anthology by Mike Ashley called “The Mammoth book of Mind-blowing SF” . A quick look around showed no open source/free copies available of this. Fine, no problem. I’ll go to iTunes and purchase the book. Ooops, no can do.. I’m greeted with an error. “This item is not available in the Canadian store”. Quick google search shows a complex and perilous means to change your country with no guarantee that this will work and a pile of “I have the same problem “ posts in the apple forums. Do I need a credit card from that country? I don’t know. Tried to find it on amazon.ca. No ebooks, no hard copies in the Canadian store. There were some in the US store, but I’ve tried to buy from there in the past only to be greeted with errors such as this item doesn’t ship to Canada. Check google books. Yup, listed there. Nope, no ebook format. Can’t purchase there either. After about an hour and a half of searching around, I find the book on ebooks.com. Do actually get to purchase it and start to download it. But wait! Now I have to install some proprietary software. Can’t read this just yet….oh software won’t install…don’t have the right Microsoft dot Net extensions added. Here’s where I sit now….a slow and painful install of dot net, and no ebook in site. When I do get it, it will be wrapped in DRM and not readable on anything except perhaps that one machine. Compare this to a book store or library….so much easier. The Big Corporations and Big Governments wonder why people turn to piracy…..

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