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Intuit Charges More For Previously Offered TurboTax Features, Users Livid

Gim Tom Too Late for me DRM killed it a decade ago (450 comments)

I dumped Turbo Tax for a competitor when they used DRM at least a decade or more ago. I do my own taxes with TaxAct and have been using it since then. I am retired and have Social Security, some retirement income from a defined benefit plan that is still around and investment income. I could afford to hire a CPA or anyone else to do my taxes, but I don't want to. I use the process as an opportunity to review my investments and how they impact my taxes and make changes that benefit ME. As a retired engineer the way taxes are calculated drives me nuts, but what do you expect when Lawyers try to do math?

about three weeks ago
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Tesla vs. Car Dealers: the Lobbyist Went Down To Georgia

Gim Tom Y'all Jess Gota Understand ..... (190 comments)

Georgia has the BEST durn govment that MONEY can buy ---- and believe me it HAS been bought

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

Gim Tom Don't just fix it --- Re-engineer it! (840 comments)

I have often spent more time and money repairing something when it would have been much easier and cheaper to replace it. I am 67 and from the generation just after the Great Depression and I guess I learned that sort of frugality, or perhaps now false frugality from them. However, my late wife used to lament that I never just fixed something I would redesign or re-engineer it. And, yes I am an engineer.

about a month ago
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US Army Could Waive Combat Training For Hackers

Gim Tom Re:Why not as civilians? (223 comments)

I was in the USAF during Vietnam. I was never in Vietnam, but have the Vietnam service medal and credit for a Vietnam tour of duty. I worked on a computer system in Northern Thailand that monitored traffic on the Ho Chi Minh trail. The base was within rocket range of Laos and only about 75 miles from NORTH Vietnam. On base the only USAF personnel armed were the Air Force Security Police who, along with some other groups were responsible for Base security. HOWEVER, almost all of the USAF personnel, no matter what their technical skills, had a weapons card and there were armories around the base where we would draw weapons if needed. Depending on assignment there was even extra training in base defense. Even then everyone in uniform was expected to be able to defend the base if needed. THAT was the DIFFERENCE between those in uniform (which we were NOT allowed to wear off base -- the base was not officially there) and the civilian support personnel, and we had LOTS of civilian contractors since we had the largest computer system in that hemisphere and there was a crew IBM engineers on site to maintain it.

There were other USAF personnel who were support and technical that did go "over the river" to places we called Lima Sites. Look up Lima Site 85 and see if anyone really believes in the concept of a Non-Combatant in the military. Oh, and as for being stationed stateside when the NVA moved south in April of 1972 there were quite a few GI's who thought they would be in the states for their full tour of duty that suddenly found themselves in our tropical paradise within just a couple of days.

about 1 month ago
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Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Gim Tom Re:Interesting (293 comments)

You can passively block it, yes. There's nothing preventing you from building a Faraday cage around your home. You cannot ACTIVELY block it though (i.e. broadcast signals to intentionally interfere with it).

Get aluminum siding on your house and you WILL be in a Faraday cage! The voice of experience says so.

about a month ago
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North Korea Denies Responsibility for Sony Attack, Warns Against Retaliation

Gim Tom Incompetence vs Conspiracy (236 comments)

Do not attribute to a conspiracy that which can be adequately explained by incompetence -- especially if you won't show your evidence of said conspiracy. The company that thought a Root Kit was a good idea does seems to be lacking something in the competence department.

about a month and a half ago
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Dr. Dobb's 38-Year Run Comes To an End

Gim Tom Re:Hardly (and sadly) not a unique tale (156 comments)

Thanks for giving the full title of the original publication! When I saw that on the shelf I KNEW I had to buy it! However, my path diverged and went more toward system design and analysis and less coding -- which I did miss. I subscribed to Byte till well after it was bought out by the corporate Borg, but I have something between 6 and 10 years boxed up down stairs. Haven't looked at them in years, but just can't bring myself to get rid of them.

about a month and a half ago
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Ability To Consume Alcohol May Have Shaped Human Evolution

Gim Tom Re:Birds Get Drunk Too, and maybe the squirrels (89 comments)

There is a big mulberry tree in a park not far from me. I'll need to plan some trips next year to watch that show! Also the Bluejays tend to be the winners each year in my cherry trees.

about 2 months ago
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Ability To Consume Alcohol May Have Shaped Human Evolution

Gim Tom Birds Get Drunk Too, and maybe the squirrels (89 comments)

I read the article and while interesting it doesn't fully explain a phenomenon I have observed first hand for many years. I have two wild cherry trees on my property and sometimes the cherries remain on the tree long enough to begin fermenting. When this happens every bird for miles fights over the boozy cherries! The squirrels also seem to prefer these somewhat fermented cherries. Humans may have evolved a better way to metabolize ethanol, but I don't think we were the first creatures to appreciate a wee dram every now and then.

about 2 months ago
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Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

Gim Tom What's am Eletronic fence (213 comments)

What is this thread doing on /. anyway? Maybe is was the idea of an Eletronic fence, but why here?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

Gim Tom Depends on Latidude as much as Attitude (613 comments)

The daylight to dark ratio is approximately constant only in the tropics. There is gets light about 6am and dark about 6pm year round and with almost no twilight between the two. The further north you go the greater the difference between daylight and dark hours becomes until you reach the arctic circle (I left out the southern hemisphere intentionally -- there is very little land at the higher southern latitudes) where there is about 6 months of daylight and six of darkness. The whole thing about DST is so artificial anyway. Until the rail roads set up standard time zones in the US each town and village had its on time based on local noon by the sun.

However, I know that in my case sunlight in my bedroom window makes me wake up more easily and feel more refreshed than being awakened in darkness. This seems to be at least somewhat invariant as to the actual number of hours of sleep I got within limits. Since I inhabit the temperate zone in the Northern hemisphere I would much prefer to just hibernate through the 3 to 6 months of winter (depending on latitude) we have here and not worry about changing from DST and back.

about 3 months ago
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Chemists Grow Soil Fungus On Cheerios, Discover New Antifungal Compounds

Gim Tom Healthy Breakfast (77 comments)

No wonder I never seem to have a cold or other infections. I eat them almost every morning.

about 3 months ago
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Liking Analog Meters Doesn't Make You a Luddite (Video)

Gim Tom RF circuit alignment (155 comments)

If you have ever done anything like aligning RF circuits or devices you are often looking for a peak or minimum value as you make an adjustment (or several interacting adjustments). An analog display is about the only thing that really works for this. THIS can be simulated on a digital display IFF it is fast enough to follow the changes AND if the digital circuits are shielded well enough so they are not fried by high RF levels or conversely inject enough RF crap into what you are trying to adjust to make adjustment impossible.

about 4 months ago
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Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Gim Tom Re:Maybe Anthony Bourdain (103 comments)

Point Taken, and I do love independent non-chain eateries. Everything has become too generic and "safe" anyway.

Yes, I know that everything has changed in 40+ years. I was there in 1971 and 1972 and it was a different world and a different place then. Also I was aware even then that the foods used and preparation varied widely around the country. Where I was was right on the border with Laos and there was much overlap between the Thai and Laotian foods. Even the ubiquitous Khao Phat fried rice varies widely around the country.

I did eat as much of the local food where I was as my taste buds, and system could handle and only got amoebic dysentery once, and that was from some ice in a drink I think. By the way, eating the local food was one of the LEAST risky things I was involved in while I was there.

about 4 months ago
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Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Gim Tom Maybe Anthony Bourdain (103 comments)

I lived in North Eastern Thailand for a year decades ago and had some wonderful food while I was there, but it was almost never EXACTLY what the Thais in the area ate. Most westerners could not, or would not, eat the "REAL" Thai food. It wasn't just the spices, although they were far too hot for most people. The types of food and the way they were stored and prepared was just an entirely different culture and what is and is not food is to some extent determined by culture.

I saw a giant Mekong catfish lay on the side of the road for at least three or four days before it was considered "ripe" enough to use in food. When I was there refrigeration was rare and most food sat out in heat and humidity for extended periods. The climate was even a bit more that I was used to -- and I was born and raised in the deep south before air conditioning was common. The aroma of a Thai open air market is to say the least unique. Thailand is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, and the people are the friendliest and most open anywhere, but eating "real" Thai food is something I was never able to really appreciate.

There are places I have eaten in the US that have excellent Thai food, but it is not what you find the Thai's eating in Thailand. Maybe Anthony Bourdain can eat real Thai food, but on a recent episode of his show it appeared that even he was having a bit of trouble with some of it.

about 4 months ago
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When Everything Works Like Your Cell Phone

Gim Tom Was Ted right? (175 comments)

This sounds like what Ted Kaczynski thought things might come to. I don't agree with his methods, but it looks like some of the things he ranted about might be the way things are going.

about 4 months ago
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Utilities Should Worry; Rooftop Solar Could Soon Cut Their Profit

Gim Tom Private Solar becomming illegal (517 comments)

In Georgia both the PSC and the legislature is being lobbied hard to effectively outlaw private solar installations at the same time that the utilities are running a PR Blitz about how much they are working on solar energy. Having the most corrupt governor in the country doesn't help things here either

about 4 months ago
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Bioethicist At National Institutes of Health: "Why I Hope To Die At 75"

Gim Tom Jimmy Said it well (478 comments)

I watched both of my parents succumb due to Alzheimer's and if you have seen that disease up close and personal like I have you really don't want to go there. I really didn't expect to live as long as I have. That may be something common among those of us that grew up in the "duck and cover" generation and then took that year in South East Asia back during that unpleasantness. There is a song by Jimmy Buffett that sort of says it all to me -- the title is Pacing The Cage.

about 4 months ago
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Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

Gim Tom Re:Small government (157 comments)

Isn't Georgia one of those "small government" red-states? How's that working out?

Oh, yea... And we are also one of the most corrupt states too! The Attorney General was fined this week for withholding evidence in an ethics case that might have implicated the Governor.

about 5 months ago
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My degree of colorblindness:

Gim Tom Re:Surprised me as hell the first time (267 comments)

I have been doing electronics since I was about 10 years old ( I am now 67 ) I don't think my eyes have changed as much as the colors used on some of the imported components. I have some old new stock AB resistors that are just as sharp and clear as to which color is which since the day they were made. For some recent purchases of bulk resistors I have had to use a good lens and a halogen light to even read some of the colors and often would resort to a ohm meter to be sure. Only exception to this was when I was about 15 and read the third band of a two watt composition resistor as brown. Well, it had been a bit toasted and was really violet. The replacement didn't last but a few milliseconds when I applied power.

about 6 months ago

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