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Comments

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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

NormalVisual Re:Is it a legitimate collection? (514 comments)

People are so afraid of a credit rating problem these days that they will often pay off a "bad debt" that is fraudulent to get their score "fixed".

And this is sad, because they're not aware that there are some relatively strong laws that protect them in regards to debt collectors.

11 hours ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

NormalVisual Re:Because collections agencies do not accept faul (514 comments)

but nothing can convince a collection agency that they were sold bad debt.

Having to explain to the judge why they're collecting when you can prove you paid it often works, and can put *their* money in your pocket to boot. Small claims court is great for this, especially when they don't bother showing up and you get a default judgment.

11 hours ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

NormalVisual Re:I'm probably one of them (514 comments)

I said no problems, just give me a copy of the invoice and we'll pay up. They said. Can't do that.

The proper response: "If you can't validate the debt, you can't legally attempt to collect it, and if you continue to do so I'll sue you for violating the applicable sections of the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, in addition to whatever state laws apply. You'll be receiving a letter via certified mail saying essentially the same thing once you give me your agency's name and address."

To cut a long story short, the phone company sells anything past due date to a collection agency BUT doesn't bother to give them the supporting documentation.
How retarded is that!


It's stupid of any collection agency to fail to get the necessary documentation to prove a debt is valid, but it works very much in favor of the supposed debtor.

11 hours ago
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Two South African Cancer Patients Receive 3D Printed Titanium Jaw Implants

NormalVisual Re:Don't Call it Waste (71 comments)

It'll be recycled, but what they'll get for the shavings will be a lot less than the equivalent weight of a fresh block.

4 days ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

NormalVisual Re:Alternative explanation (394 comments)

No, the traceroute wouldn't show the hops between your PC and the VPN server, so that part of path could not be compared.

This is true as long as the VPN link is up. If it's down, then it's trivial to do a traceroute between yourself and the VPN server to fill in the missing hops.

4 days ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

NormalVisual Re:So release your own video on demand... (200 comments)

I don't care how big they get because they can't form the same kind of monopoly.

And this is why content providers and ISPs should be separate. This is only an issue for cable companies because they provide both bandwidth and content, and Netflix threatens their content offerings because it provides a service that people actually *want* at a reasonable price.

5 days ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

NormalVisual IPv6 routers (144 comments)

Can anyone recommend a SOHO-level router that properly supports IPv6? Right now I've got my desktop on a Teredo (okay, stop laughing) tunnel set up to a server I have colo'd which in turn has a real /64. It works pretty well, but it was a pain to set up and counts against my colo bandwidth, and of course adds a bit of latency. Router support for IPv6 may be moot since I don't even know for sure that AT&T has IPv6 rolled out here anyway.

about a week ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

NormalVisual Re:Their implementation sucks. (144 comments)

With all the IPV6 address space available, why not give out a static IPV6 prefix, but no, they want to change it frequently.

Because they don't want you running servers with a static IP? Can't have that now, can we?

about a week ago
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Comcast Carrying 1Tbit/s of IPv6 Internet Traffic

NormalVisual Re:Crap Traffic (144 comments)

18,446,744,073,709,551,616, or 18 quintillion, or 18 million trillion, minus a couple for netblock addresses. "Practically unlimited" is a good term here. :-)

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:Welcome to engineering (368 comments)

Your argument boils down to "Engineering is hard".

Not at all. The main point of my argument is that the idea that requirements are free to be changed, regardless of scope, is resulting in implementation being far more expensive than it needs to be, and IMO this isn't a good engineering practice. How many development shops take the customer aside after a project is finished, show him the dollar amounts for all the change orders, and point out that having had the requirements more in order beforehand might have ended up only costing him only half of what it actually did? "But you saw new stuff working every two weeks, even if it wasn't what you really needed!"

Requirements analysis is (or should be) just as much part of any engineering discipline as construction. Some degree of change is inevitable, but we shouldn't be in the situation where we build an airplane with four wings before determining two would have been sufficient.

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:Analogies are poor... (368 comments)

Ah, okay - yes, you're absolutely right that the Windows environment itself doesn't come with what you need to be productive as a programmer, and you do have to know what you need beforehand.

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:The price you pay (368 comments)

OK, maybe that last one''s a stretch. Nobody bothers to document "simple" programs, since we all know the code IS the documentation and any good programmer can work out what is going on (are they still teaching that garbage?)

Not just teaching it, *practicing* it. My boss is a hardcore Agile fan, and his official stance is "out of date documentation is worse than no documentation, so don't spend any time documenting anything, and if you can't figure out why this 12-year-old code is doing something, find someone in the group that does". Nice, except none of the guys that actually wrote that cruft are still there, and reading code doesn't necessarily provide any insights as to the higher-level theory of operation when multiple modules work together. Then on top of that, he says "I don't want to see any research tasks in this sprint". So what, I'm supposed to know how this works by osmosis?

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:Documentation (368 comments)

For example, I am really excited about node.js, but on the page proper, their docs just dump some bits of info on standard functions. That ends up making learning something new, really fast, more difficult than it used to be because you have to go to 3rd party sources, they may be full of crap, way out of date or both.

It's especially discouraging if you've been around for a while and remember what documentation used to be like. I still have the 30 pounds or so of manuals that the old Borland C++ compiler came with. Microsoft's current electronic documentation is pretty good, but it can sometimes still be a bit tough to find exactly what you need.

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:Thats why I stock MILLIONS of retro-components. (368 comments)

Everything is specialized and we literally have no jack-of-all-trades coders anymore, pity...that's what we need IMHO.

I would consider myself one of those. I don't pretend to be the ultimate expert in anything I work with, but I've had enough exposure to enough different environments and situations to at least be competent in just about any problem domain, or say, "y'know, over on this other system, this is how we often do this and it might be a more appropriate solution to the problem at hand". It cracks me up anytime Mr. "I'm the best thing since buttered bread" can't figure out why his VM isn't working because he's got a network submask set wrong or something similar, or is completely lost when presented with a Linux command line because all he's ever worked with is Windows and the filesystem organization is totally foreign to him.

However, my experience has been that coders that specialize in one particular thing but can't do anything outside that domain are far more marketable than those with a wide breadth of general knowledge and honest about not being the do-all and end-all of any one skill.

about a week ago
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'Just Let Me Code!'

NormalVisual Re:Who is stopping him? (368 comments)

You are why spec and finished product do not match.

I think the main reason why spec and finished product don't match is because "spec" is a moving target that never solidifies. Agile processes just make it worse by not even attempting to nail down requirements beforehand - "it's more important to be able to show progress than actually know what we're supposed to end up with, and don't you dare document anything because it's going to change anyway" along with the idea that it's okay to spend thousands of dollars completely rewriting stuff as the requirements continue to change. It's impossible to properly engineer a product when you don't even know what the product is in advance.

about a week ago
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Buying New Commercial IT Hardware Isn't Always Worthwhile (Video)

NormalVisual Re:My company... (92 comments)

My Sawtooth Mac had white LEDs back in 2000. :-D

about a week ago
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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

NormalVisual Re:Microsoft (161 comments)

I wasn't the one asking for a smart dryer. I was pointing out *why* someone might want a smart dryer, and I do in fact just run the dryer again a little longer if stuff gets wrinkled.

I'll bet your neurosurgeon friend can read and derive context, too.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft's Missed Opportunities: Memo From 1997

NormalVisual Re:Microsoft (161 comments)

It's not about saving electricity so much as arriving to find that you've got a whole dryer full of now-wrinkled clothes, which either have to be ironed or run through the dryer again.

about two weeks ago
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Sony Forgets To Pay For Domain, Hilarity Ensues

NormalVisual Re:Special email addresses ... (277 comments)

You're suggesting a tactical solution to a process issue. Better to have the responsible group track and update necessary renewals on a regular basis, instead of depending on notifications from external parties being received.

I only hold a couple of dozen domains, but this is exactly what I do. I get notifications from the registrar directly to a specific e-mail address I've set up for that purpose, but I also automatically generate an email to my personal account on the first of each month reminding me to check with the registrar to see if anything needs attention anyway.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Newegg Patent Case

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  about 7 months ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes ""It's a really tough time to be a patent owner", said Soverain Software, LLC president Katharine Wolanyk, after the Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated three of Soverain's shopping cart patents. Soverain had sued Newegg for allegedly infringing the patents in question, and had won in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Newegg later had the decision overturned on appeal, with the court ruling that the patents in question were obvious, and thus invalid."
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Jack Daniels Shows How to Write a Cease and Desist Letter

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  about 2 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "When the Jack Daniels distillery recently became aware of a book whose cover they felt substantially infringed their trademark, they didn't go into instant "Terminator mode" — instead, they wrote a very thoughtful, civil letter to the infringing party, and even offered to help defray the costs of coming into compliance. I believe plenty of other companies (and many in the tech world) could use this as an example of how *not* to alienate people and come off looking like a bunch of greedy jerks."
Link to Original Source
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Whose Cameras Are Watching New York Roads?

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "License-plate reading cameras are popping up on utility poles all over St. Lawrence County in upstate New York, but no one is willing to say who they belong to . One camera was found by a utility crew, removed from the pole, and given to the local police. "Massena Police Chief Timmy Currier said he returned it to the owner, but wouldn’t say how he knew who the owner was, nor would he say who he gave it to....(Andrew) McMahon, the superintendent at Massena Electric Department, said one of his crews found a box on one of their poles and took it down because “it was in the electric space,” the top tier of wires on the pole above the telephone and cable TV wires, and whoever put it there had taken a chance with electrocution. He said they had never received a request or been informed about its placement.""
Link to Original Source
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Australian Restaurant To Use iPads As Menus

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 4 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "The Pearl restaurant in Melbourne will soon begin using Apple iPads running custom software to describe the available culinary options to its customers. Chris Lucas, the proprietor, has spent $40,000 in development costs on top of the costs of the devices themselves in order to research the food offerings in as much detail as they choose.

No word regarding the expected longevity of the iMenus, but it's doubtful they'll deal with spills and accidental drops nearly as well as paper menus."

Link to Original Source
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Sony Offices Raided In Copyright Dispute

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 4 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "A copyright dispute between Latin recording artist Alejandro Fernández and Sony Music has resulted in more than 6,000 CDs being seized from Sony's Mexico City office by the Mexican police, along with master tapes and cover art. Fernández's contract with Sony was for seven albums, and the label had compiled and was attempting to market and sell an eighth album, created from previously unreleased tracks. The seizure comes two weeks after Sony ignored a cease and desist letter from Fernández's attornies. Sony of course maintains it has done nothing wrong."
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Seagate 1TB Drives Failing at Alarming Rate

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 5 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "Owners of Seagate 1TB drives have been experiencing serious issues of late — many recent 7200.11 Barracuda SATA drives have a problem with the version SD15 firmware that often results in the drive failing on power-up after working perfectly fine for a time. While the data on the drive appears to be safe, the drive is completely bricked, resulting in the inability to flash it to any further firmware revisions without a bit of hardware hacking. The problem is making for an interesting discussion on Seagate's community forums, particularly since Seagate still refuses to acknowledge the issue and is tightly censoring the "official" discussion on the forums, so many 7200.11 owners are having to discuss the issue outside of Seagate's control. Tom's Hardware has also picked up the increasingly-vocal story. So, if you've got one of the big Barracudas, it's probably a good idea to to stay on top of those backups."
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"Cloverfield" Trailer Available on Apple.c

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 6 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "After much waiting and speculation, the hi-def trailer for J.J. Abrams' new monster movie "Cloverfield" has finally been made available on Apple's web site. Still no really clear shots of the monster(s), but we really didn't expect that, did we? Let the hours of vapid and pointless speculation begin!"
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MythTV Listings To Cost $15 for 3 Months

NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 6 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "Schedules Direct, the folks that have been working towards providing listing data for MythTV users in the shadow of the impending shutdown of existing listing services by Zap2It, has finally announced pricing for their soon-to-be-available service. They will be initially charging $15 for a 3-month subscription, but anticipate substantial price decreases as they get more people on board. I for one am quite happy to hear this news."
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NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 7 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "The mailing lists were buzzing recently when Michael Buesch, one of the maintainers for the GPL'd bc43xx Broadcom wireless chip driver project, called the OpenBSD folks to task for apparently including code without permission from his project in the OpenBSD bcw project, which aims to provide functionality with Broadcom wireless chips under that OS. It seems that the problem has been resolved for now with the BSD driver author totally giving up on the project and Theo De Raadt taking the position that Buesch's posts on the subject were "inhuman"."
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NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 7 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "U.S. District Judge Deborah A. Batts ruled today that recording XM Satellite Radio broadcasts using the built-in recording functionality of some XM receivers is not equivalent to taping music off the radio with an analog cassette deck, as detailed in this article. The judge's reasoning was that the built-in recorders in XM units essentially make XM a broadcaster and distributor, whereas XM is only paying to be a broadcaster."
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NormalVisual NormalVisual writes  |  more than 7 years ago

NormalVisual (565491) writes "It appears that the unconstitutional and controversial warrantless surveillance program being conducted by the Bush Administration can continue until an appeals court can hear the case, according to this AP article. The 6th Circuit ruled that while the lower court had ruled the program was unconstitutional, they felt that the case's chances before the appeals court and the possible danger to national security warranted their decision to let it continue despite the likelihood that the appeal process will take months.

Good to know that the whole "separation of powers" thing works so well for keeping the government in check, eh?"

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