Japan is hunting whales again apparently. Sign the petition and maybe save some of these poor creatures. The website apparently is hard on browsers so save any open work.
Reuters is reporting on a Russian website, CyberLover.ru, which has made a chatbot that supposedly can romance women in chat rooms into giving up their digits. Unfortunately, the whole thing is in Russian, so I can’t evaluate it. I am really curious what sort of output this thing gives. I think it also points out just how desperate people in chat rooms are to connect with someone. Assuming, of course, it actually works.
Whenever I’m in the lab and mistype my password logging into my laptop, there is an insanely loud beep from the PC speaker. Why not use the actual speakers on the machine rather than resorting to the PC speaker, a relic from the times when computers and dinosaurs walked side-by-side and computers had to be loud in order to be heard over the rumbling of the earth? Tonight I was messing around on the command line in MySQL and entered a bad command only to have my ears blown away by this 270 decibel dinosaur-alerting screech.
So I went searching for a solution to my problem and I was willing to do anything — even if it meant opening my system and ripping out the little speaker’s still-beeping heart. I gotta hand it to Microsoft, though, they make things easy. Psyche!
Under Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager, you get a screen like so:
You would think that the PC Speaker would be under “Sound, video and game controllers”, but you’d be wrong. PC Speaker is hidden under System Devices. Disabling that does absolutely nothing. This is because Microsoft practices something called function obfuscation. Basically, if you expect something to do something because doing so would be intuitive, the actual function is performed by something else.
The Microsoft developers had this conversation:
Bob: Ok, we need to add the PC Speaker to the Device Manager.
Jim: I think we should add it to “Display Adapters” since it is displaying sound in the air.
Bob: Good point.
Jill: Wait, that is really messed up. People might guess that.
Bob: I just had an idea. People might guess that.
Jill: That’s what I said.
Bob: Be quiet, Jill, men are talking.
Jill: <storms out of the room>
Jim: I know, let’s make it a hidden option called Beep.
Bob: Brilliant. It’ll be years before anyone finds it.
To make a long story about a really boring topic that just totally pissed me off so I had to vent short:
Under View, choose the option “Show hidden devices.” This will reveal the “Non-plug and play devices” node in the tree under which is the “Beep” device. Click on the Driver tab and click “Stop” and under Startup choose the type as “Disabled”. Now wasn’t that easy?