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Fix: Windows 10 laptops with AMD graphics adapter going really slow

Quoting my comment from a discussion thread on the AMD Community website

Actually the drivers back from 2015 that Microsoft serves for AMD laptop graphics adapters seem to make Windows 10 crawl (at everything, not just in graphics stuff). Installing the newest ones from AMD (in this case the beta driver) makes laptops work decently again.

This doesn’t occur only with the legacy adapters like HD 7310, but also with a bit newer supported adapters like AMD Radeon HD 8600M (have one combined with Intel HD on a Dell Inspiron laptop)

Also note that at every Windows 10 feature upgrade, it seems to replace the newer driver with that older one and then you have to replace it with the newer one again (assuming you had the newer installed before, can do it by right clicking Start menu, selecting to see Device Manager, opening display adapters, right clicking the AMD adapter and selecting Update Driver, then selecting to use one on the computer and then select to pick from list and choose the one with the newest release date or the one with bigger version [those two don’t always seem to be "matching"])

This thing makes both Microsoft and AMD look very bad and wonder when they’ll realize it

So if you have a graphics adapter like AMD Radeon HD 7310 grab the Radeon Software Crimson Edition Beta that contains a beta driver from 2016 (don’t get the WHQL one that comes with the older Catalyst Software Suite or the old one coming from Windows Update) from the AMD legacy drivers page:

https://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy3&os=Windows%2010%20-%2064

And if you have a newer graphics adapter like AMD Radeon HD 8600M that is still supported, get the latest AMD driver using https://support.amd.com/en-us/download/auto-detect-tool

Do not use the old back from 2015 driver that Windows Update installs and make sure you replace it with the newer driver again every time manually after you do a Windows 10 feature upgrade (the periodic major update that Microsoft releases). That is till Microsoft decides to fix this issue and install a performing graphics driver (e.g. have AMD get that legacy driver out of beta) and moreover to not replace your graphics driver with an old problematic one that makes your system crawl to its knees.

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Καταχρηστικές πρακτικές από Δημοτικές Επιχειρήσεις Ύδρευσης / Αποχέτευσης

Θαυμάστε παρακάτω ένα έγγραφο (από ΔΕΥΑ Αγρινίου, έτους 2015) που δείχνει το αίσχος με πολλές επιχειρήσεις ύδρευσης / αποχέτευσης που καταχρηστικά ορίζουν ως τριτεγγυητή για χρέη του ενοικιαστή προς αυτές τον ιδιοκτήτη ενός ακινήτου. Αναφέρει:

Δηλώνω δε με την παρούσα, ότι είμαι υπεύθυνος εξ’ ολοκλήρου για την εξόφληση των λογαριασμών, σε περίπτωση κατά την οποία, ο μισθωτής μου αφήσει οφειλές.

Αναζητώντας παλιότερα (2015) στο δίκτυο τους κανονισμούς ύδρευσης σε διάφορες πόλεις στον ελλαδικό χώρο, διαπίστωσα πως πρόκειται για διαδεδομένη πρακτική, αν και κάποιες επιχειρήσεις ύδρευσης αποτελούν εξαίρεση μιας και αναζητούν τα χρέη του ενοικιαστή (εφόσον ο λογαριασμός ύδρευσης είναι στο όνομα του) από αυτόν δικαστικά ή μέσω της εφορίας (υπάρχει και νομοθεσία σχετική αν θυμάμαι καλά για την υποχρέωση αναζήτησης χρεών προς Δημοτικές Επιχειρήσεις μέσω της εφορίας) όπως θα περίμενε κανείς από Δημοτικές Επιχειρήσεις.

Αντί γι’αυτό, όσες εταιρείες ύδρευσης έχουν τέτοιους καταχρηστικούς όρους, εκβιάζουν τον ιδιοκτήτη (με πρόφαση την υπογραφή ενός τέτοιου καταχρηστικού εγγράφου αίτησης αρχικής σύνδεσης στο δίκτυο ή ακόμη χειρότερα επικαλούμενες έναν κανονισμό ύδρευσης που αυθαίρετα όρισαν μόνοι τους αντί να ορίζει κάποιον ενιαίο το Δημόσιο για όλες τις εταιρείες αυτές), αρνούμενοι να παρέχουν νερό για τον επόμενο ενοικιαστή αν δεν αποπληρώσει ο ιδιοκτήτης τα χρέη του προηγούμενου ενοικιαστή (μόνο με εντολή εισαγγελέα – έχουν υπάρξει τέτοιες απ’ότι έχω ακούσει – μπορείς να τους υποχρεώσεις να συνδέσουν το νερό άμεσα).

Θυμήθηκα μάλιστα πως κάποτε η ΔΕΗ υποχρεώθηκε τελικά να επιτρέπει συμβόλαιο με τον ενοικιαστή αντί με τον ιδιοκτήτη ενός οικήματος και να αναζητά από τον (νυν ή πρώην) ενοικιαστή τυχόν χρέη που άφησε. Υποθέτω υπάρχουν και σχετικές πρότερες δικαστικές αποφάσεις ή σχετικές υπουργικές αποφάσεις / νομοθετικές ρυθμίσεις από τότε (μου φαίνεται ήταν επί θητείας Βάσως Παπανδρέου στο Υπουργείο Ανάπτυξης). Αυτές προφανώς θα έπρεπε να ισχύουν και για τις Δημοτικές Επιχειρήσεις Ύδρευσης δεδομένου ότι το νερό είναι Κοινωνικό Αγαθό, πέραν του ότι ως Επιχειρήσεις δεν μπορούν να εκμεταλλεύονται τη μονοπωλιακή θέση τους για να εκβιάζουν τους καταναλωτές βάζοντας τους να υπογράφουν συμφωνητικά με καταχρηστικούς όρους.

Μετά απορούμε για τα κλειστά διαμερίσματα ή γιατί ο άλλος προτιμάει να χρονομισθώσει με την Airbnb, αντί να δεσμευτεί με κάποιον ενοικιαστή στον οποίο δε θα μπορεί εύκολα να κάνει έξωση και ο οποίος θα τον φεσώσει ακόμη και με το νερό πέραν από τα ενοίκια και το φόρο που θα πρέπει να πληρώσει γι’αυτά στην εφορία (μέχρι τελεσίδικης δικαστικής απόφασης) κι ας μην τα εισέπραξε.

DEYAA AGRINIOY

Υ.Γ. Θα έπρεπε να έχω δημοσιεύσει το παρόν από το 2015, αλλά το είχα αναβάλλει για να μαζέψω και οργανώσω τους ανά την Ελλάδα κανονισμούς ύδρευσης για μετέπειτα καταγγελία στη Γ.Γ. Καταναλωτή. Δυστυχώς δεν πρόλαβα ν’αφιερώσω τον απαραίτητο χρόνο τότε. Με αφορμή συζήτηση για τη δυσκολία εύρεσης ακινήτων προς ενοικίαση και δεδομένου ότι υπάρχουν κλειστά διαμερίσματα λόγω του αυξημένου κόστους διαχείρισης τους αν ενοικιαστούν, στο οποίο συνεισφέρουν αυτές οι καταχρηστικές πρακτικές (αύξηση ρίσκου του ιδιοκτήτη), με τα παρόντα στοιχεία θα προβώ σε κοινοποίηση στη ΓΓ Καταναλωτή άμεσα και πέραν του να σταματήσει αυτές τις καταχρήσεις (το οποίο μπορεί άμεσα), ελπίζω να προωθήσει το θέμα και στο αρμόδιο υπουργείο για νομοθετική ρύθμιση (ενιαίο κανονισμό ύδρευσης).

Ελπίζω να σταματήσουν επιτέλους αυτές οι καταχρηστικές πρακτικές και αποκτήσουμε έναν ενιαίο κανονισμό ύδρευσης που να ορίζει το κράτος (και όπου να μπορούν να κάνουν παραρτήματα οι επιχειρήσεις ύδρευσης αν χρειαστεί, αρκεί να τα υπογράφει ο αρμόδιος υπουργός και να μην αντιβαίνουν στους όρους του ενιαίου κανονισμού ύδρευσης και στο πνεύμα του νομοθέτη με προσθήκη καταχρηστικών όρων).

Twitter #bot or not? Posing as Automation/AI specialist & Python guru

I just came across this strange thing on twitter:

Received a notification that some “Virginia A. Osborn” liked a tweet of mine that was a) in Greek b) totally of a subset of Greek residents interest, highly unlikely it would have meant anything to a person with a foreign name. Then I saw that twitter account started following me immediately after that action.

image

It smelled bot to me, so I took a look at that account’s profile. She seems to have joined twitter long ago (back in 2010), so I should have probably checked her very first tweets to see what that account was about (wonder if there is an archive of what the profile details were saying back then in case that was a dormant bot).

image

It seems that account has quite some followers and several people that post AI-related stuff that I follow, plus it didn’t seem to post unrelated stuff:

image

However, I decided to look her name up on Google. I didn’t find much. So I used Google Image Search to look up her profile photo and bingo, it came up at a stock photo collection, together with other shots of that model posing on the same business-related stock photo theme: https://www.istockphoto.com/search/stack/694124043?assettype=image

image

So, is this a personna account of some real person or are bots ruling twitter (wonder what the ratio of real persons to bots is currently) and preparing for a future bot-a-gedon? (similar to infected zombie machines that is – wonder if such accounts are already pushing malware links or something).

Of course there’s always the chance that person did a deal with some photographer to pose for him and then used one of those photos in their profile, but I find it highly unlikely.

HowTo: Download and install Windows Live Movie Maker

Unfortunately, Microsoft seems to have gone to extra lenghts to make the Windows Live suite of software go away, without anyone thinking that there were people who were using them and without offering file/project-level compatible replacements for user-friendly tools like Windows Live Movie Maker.

Only Windows Live Writer was at some point reincarnated as the Open Live Writer opensource software at http://openlivewriter.org/. Hope Microsoft will do the same at some point (some community pressure and offer for opensource work on it would help of course) with Windows Live Movie Maker at least. I’ve seen that one used by educators since it’s very user friendly. It is a pitty to force them to throw away their older student projects when they get a new machine (I’m not aware of any video editing tool that can import Windows Live Movie Maker’s XML-based project file [.wlmp]).

Luckily, people have managed to locate the latest archived versions of the offline software installers (obviously the web installers won’t work anymore) for various languages (need to pick the same language as the one your OS UI is displaying in) at the Internet Wayback Machine (arthive.org) website.

Copy-pasting the links (they point to archived versions at archive.org) for the latest version released (build 16.4.3528.0331, April 17, 2014) below (in case Microsoft decides to make that discussion thread disappear too in the future) from:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windowslive/forum/moviemaker-wlinstall/what-to-do-before-movie-maker-goes-away-jan-10/8b3a5345-7840-4a2c-922a-cf24d10771f7?page=2&msgId=7fbd8015-d7af-44ed-b81d-0d73e8abac45

as posted by the user “considerate_guy

updated links to the Archive.org copies of the *latest* versions (build 16.4.3528.0331)

HowTo: Install Skype desktop on Windows 10 (for older webcams)

On Windows 10, Microsoft (they’ve acquired Skype some years ago) provide a Windows Store app for Skype, however Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps like that one don’t support older webcams (even the ones embedded in not-that-old laptops).

Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn’t bothered to provide some frame grabber driver to bridge with DirectShow-based etc. older webcams that would allow modern UWP apps to work with such older webcams that do function fine with classic (Win32) applications, provided their classic Windows drivers are installed.

What’s worse though is that although Skype provides a Windows desktop application download at their website (https://www.skype.com/en/get-skype/), when that one is launched on Windows 10 (probably that is the can on Windows 8 too), it just shows a message that one should use the respective Store app and takes one to the respective Windows Store webpage. They haven’t bothered to consider all those users that don’t have a supported webcam on UWP and force them to move to the Skype UWP-based Store app. Note that they could have placed the classic (Win32) Skype application on the Windows Store too (which now supports deployment of such applications via a technology called Desktop Bridge), but I don’t think they’ve considered providing that option to the user either.

So a workarround I had to do on my laptop was to trick their desktop application installer into thinking it was running on Windows 7. To achieve this can right click the .exe file of the installer and select “Properties” (should be the last option at the popup menu shown).

Στιγμιότυπο οθόνης (1992)

Then, from the “Compatibility” tab select to run in compatibility mode for “Windows 7”. Press OK to close the dialog and just run the installer again, this time it will proceed fine to install the desktop application for Skype which should work with your older webcam, provided you’ve installed the camera drivers at your system. If it still doesn’t work, checkout the webcam diagnostics tool from http://noeld.com/programs.asp?cat=video (and also try webcam with the classic Win32 AMCap application provided there to see if it does show a video feed or not).

image

Workarround: IE11 changing download file extension to .zip

At ClipFlair Gallery, apart from opening a ClipFlair activity in ClipFlair Studio, downloading of an activity (.clipflair) file is also supported.

However, because the component serialization file format of ClipFlair Studio is XML plus media assets packed in .zip archive (with nesting allowed, where components and whole activities can be placed in other activities), Internet Explorer 11 (and probably other browsers too) was downloading .clipflair files as .zip (changing their file extension).

At first, I thought that occured because I was using MIME type “application/zip” at the IIS web server/site settings for that file extension. So then I tried to change it to “application/octet-stream” hoping that one would be treated as an “opaque” data stream.

However, eventually I ended up setting a custom MIME type “application/clipflair” for the file extension “.clipflair”, because even with “application/octet-stream” (as with the “application/zip” that I had before), IE11 was still saving the .clipflair file as .zip (obviously detecting the zip content in the download stream).

<?xml version=”1.0″?>
<configuration>

<system.webServer>

<directoryBrowse enabled=”true” showFlags=”Size, Extension”/>

<defaultDocument>
<files>
<clear/>
<add value=”index.html”/>
<add value=”Default.aspx”/>
<add value=”Default.html”/>
</files>
</defaultDocument>

<caching>
<profiles>
<add extension=”.log”
policy=”CacheUntilChange”
kernelCachePolicy=”CacheUntilChange”/>
</profiles>
</caching>

<staticContent>
<mimeMap fileExtension=”.log” mimeType=”text/plain”/>
<mimeMap fileExtension=”.clipflair” mimeType=”application/clipflair”/>
<mimeMap fileExtension=”.dzi” mimeType=”text/xml”/>
<mimeMap fileExtension=”.dzc” mimeType=”text/xml”/>
<mimeMap fileExtension=”.cxml” mimeType=”text/xml”/>
</staticContent>

</system.webServer>

<system.web>
<compilation debug=”true” targetFramework=”4.0.3″/>
</system.web>

</configuration>

HowTo: Show block on anchor hover and click to keep open with CSS

I was looking for a way to show a hidden HTML element with just CSS (no Javascript) when mouse hovers over an anchor (say over a “more…” note), while at the same time also supporting touch-only (no mouse) clients, where clicking should show (and keep open) that same element.

I ended up combining solutions and comments from
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/18849520/css-show-hide-content-with-anchor-name and

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5210033/using-only-css-show-div-on-hover-over-a#5210074

into

https://jsfiddle.net/birbilis/23nt74se/

Achieved the following behaviour:

  • Can hover over an anchor to temporarily show its respective more info block
  • Once the info block is open, hovering over that one too (having left the anchor above it) keeps it open (useful to select and copy content from the item)
  • Can click on an anchor to show its respective more info block and keep it open. Only one such block is kept open at a time. If multiple exist and you click on another’s anchor, the last one is shown and kept open instead (this doesn’t affect what is temporarily also shown via the hover mechanism).

Notes:

At Trafilm Gallery Metadata forms I ended up using yet another variation with simpler syntax, where the anchor and help text is placed inside a parent div that has text for the item the help is about and that div is marked with class “question”. See https://jsfiddle.net/birbilis/s3kaknt9/ – When the parent questions already have an ID, this has the benefit that you don’t need to add an ID to the anchor, just an href, plus when clicked it scrolls to the parent item (the question) instead of to the help item that is at the bottom of it which would put the question text out of the view when the help link is clicked, if the question is far enough down the page for it to scroll when targetted by the openhelp anchor.

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