The Old New Thing

Neuroscience can be used for good or for evil; this one might fall in the evil bucket

Marketplace radio interviews Martin Lindstrom, author of Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy (another book in the series Short catchy title: Long boring subtitle) about how stores get people to buy more stuff by taking advantage of how our brains are wired. (Unfortunately, at the time I checked, the Smell and Beer bonus tracks were...

When you start getting in-page errors on your hard drive, it’s time to go shopping for a new hard drive

The STATUS_IN_PAGE_ERROR describes itself as "The instruction at XXX referenced memory at YYY. The required data was not placed into memory because of an I/O error status of ZZZ." What does this mean? It means that the memory manager needed to read some memory from the disk, but the disk returned an error. (Namely, error ZZZ.) Since it has ...

High Contrast Mode is not the same as High Contrast Scheme

"High Contrast Mode" is an accessibility state controlled by the HCF_HIGHCONTRASTON flag in the dwFlags member of the HIGHCONTRAST structure. You can retrieve this structure programmatically by calling the SystemParametersInfo function with the SPI_GETHIGHCONTRAST parameter; conversely, you update the setting programmatically with ...

That guy in the neighborhood who has way too many Christmas lights

Weekend America profiles Dominic Luberto, that guy with his house so covered in Christmas lights that you're sure it's a fire hazard or something. I like how he pulls out the classic argument stopper when challenged that his display is too much. "Whoever comes against me - listen - goes against the kids." There you go. In the United States...

Raymond’s technique for getting people to leave a meeting room when their meeting runs over

It's certainly common at Microsoft, and probably common at many places, that a meeting runs over. The next group who has booked the room gathers outside waiting for the previous meeting to wrap up. Sometimes they wait timidly outside the door, and the group inside never realizes that they are running over. Late meetings have a cascade effect ...

Don’t be helpless: You can find information too, if you try (episode 2)

Commenter Joshua Blake wonders why Word's status bar says "Word is preparing to background print the document", wondering whether there used to be other types of printing like foreground. Well, first of all, this is a question about Office, something I explicitly deny any special knowledge of: Topics I am not inclined to cover...

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