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Comments

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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

PhoenixFlare Re:Do longevity tests account for crappy power? (602 comments)

Are you implying that people who don't have awful-quality power aren't running with "real-world" power sources? What you're describing isn't normal by almost any stretch of the imagination.

Personally i've been using CFLs in all our lamps for close to 10 years, I think maybe 1 or 2 have failed out of about 9 or so during that period.

about a month ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

PhoenixFlare Re:Past due not reported by companies (570 comments)

You use a check for Rent?? Mine is paid using PayPal (for both of my rental spaces)

I would quit writing a check in a second if I could, but unfortunately my property manager is stuck in the stone age...it's hard enough getting them off their asses to fix maintenance issues, let alone set up Paypal rent payment.

I can tell you I may never deposit a check in person again though - the remote deposit app on my phone is a godsend.

about 3 months ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

PhoenixFlare Re:Past due not reported by companies (570 comments)

Seriously, I moved to the US last year... and I'm shocked that I can't pay my bills electronically and automatically... WTF?
I have never used a check before coming to the US, no wonder people end up in collections because of wrong addresses, etc.

Please tell me you're trolling and not really this ignorant.

I've lived in the US my whole life, currently reside in a town of about 20,000 people, and I haven't paid using a check for anything besides my rent for about 15 years now. My cable, electric, water, trash, phone, Netflix, credit cards, etc. can all be paid electronically, and set up to automatically pay what's due (or any amount of my choosing) every month, on-time, via their websites. Although I prefer to keep a few things on manual for better control, all the bills can still be seen online with all the pertinent information & due dates.

They other day I just found out that I hadn't payed my electricity bill for 3 months, because apparent that's not what an ebill does...

So you signed up for e-billing, which if it's like my local utility, sends you an email every month with an electronic copy of the bill basically saying "Hey, you have $xxx due, log in and pay it by this date". And then...what? Just ignored it or figured you were getting free power?

about 3 months ago
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Teachers Union: Computers Can Negatively Impact Children's Ability To Learn

PhoenixFlare Re:Meatspace is losing to userspace (310 comments)

Also as an IT guy, I find his comments pretty accurate. I work somewhere that employs a lot of recent college grads, and anything that doesn't involve going to their email or into our main software package (which better look exactly the same with all the icons in the same place) might as well be ancient magic to many of them.

For example, when it involves a computer, many of them don't seem able to go through a thought process like "X isn't working. X needs to be turned on through Y, I should check Y and see if X is turned on."

Maybe you think you're some kind of genius because you learned the very obscure Ctrl-c, Ctrl-v shortcuts, but... you're obviously not.

You joke, but i've had users treat me like i'm a goddammned wizard for simple stuff like that many a time, it's actually a bit disheartening.

about 5 months ago
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Americans Hate TV and Internet Providers More Than Other Industries

PhoenixFlare Re:so? americans always hate some company (255 comments)

Just to nitpick/be pedantic - Hulu Plus is not ad-free. I signed up for it back over the winter, and promptly canceled a few days into the free trial after seeing that the commercials were the same as watching OTA, if not worse.

And to make it even more bothersome, they couldn't be bothered to use a feed that just streamed the show with ads inserted after the fact, they more or less just straight rebroadcasted a station about 2 hours away and included their local ads.

I'm sure there's some sort of technical or monetary reason for that, but it annoyed the hell out of me.

about 5 months ago
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Average American Cable Subscriber Gets 189 Channels and Views 17

PhoenixFlare Re:200 channels... (340 comments)

Depends on the sport, but there's still solutions in some cases - my wife and I dropped our cable TV service about a year ago in favor of Netflix, Amazon, and MLB's streaming service.

The MLB streaming is $29.99/month for the duration of the season, and obviously comes out way cheaper than keeping an $80+/month TV package all year. Plus I can always tune in the game(s) I want regardless of what the networks feel like showing, aside from blackouts (and even then there's still a radio feed).

about 6 months ago
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Google Tries To Defuse Glass "Myths"

PhoenixFlare Re:I, on the other hand, find it more interesting (363 comments)

I see something similar at work even without Glass involved, although not quite to "frothing psychotic" level - our Dell laptop of choice has a webcam, which leads to a (small, granted) subset of our users being utterly convinced that they are being watched through it at all times....so they tape paper/stickers/etc. over them, and are very resistant to being convinced otherwise.

One user even went so far as to call the IT dept. of a local university in high dudgeon after being asked to remove the obstruction, who told them (jokingly, I hope), that asking them to take the junk off the camera meant that we really were watching them :):P

about 7 months ago
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FCC Chair: It's Ok For ISPs To Discriminate Traffic

PhoenixFlare Re:News to me (365 comments)

If you actually have a real choice, then great for you, most of us don't.

In my neck of the woods, it's either one cable company ($89.95 for 25 meg at the moment) or craptastic 1-3 meg Verizon DSL for whatever they charge.

Even when I lived 10 miles from DC, the only choice was still Cox or DSL. Verizon never did deign to bring FIOS out, despite a neverending barrage of ads and mailers.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Track a Skype Account Hijacker?

PhoenixFlare Re:What about the IP (152 comments)

What sort of dodgy bank are you with that doesn't have a 24-hour line for reporting card loss/theft?

A couple years ago, my wife's check card number was stolen and run for about $300 at a Wal-Mart in Dallas - at about 10 PM local time on a Sunday, I was able to call and report the theft on a 24-hour number, get the number blocked, and even managed to get the store manager at the Wal-Mart to pull video from the checkout line of the thief. The next morning I faxed in the appropriate form, and the money was back in our account by Tuesday.

about a year and a half ago
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Steam Hit By 'No Connection' Error Worldwide

PhoenixFlare Re:Sensationalism? (126 comments)

Get over yourself.

Sure thing, lil' AC buddy, i'll get right on that.

It's always a good time to bash DRM. While this may have only happened briefly, you absolutely should not lose access to anything. You shouldn't have to run Steam to play your games, either. Valve should scrap the DRM and turn Steam into a platform to buy games (like it partly is now) and keep all the additional functionality. The only change would be that you wouldn't have to run games from Steam.

Would that be nice? Sure. Would it increase piracy of their game catalog even more than there is now? Probably - I mean, take a look at TPB, pretty sure you could get most of the GOG catalog there, if not the entire thing.

DRM-free like GOG is awesome (and i've bought about 45 games from them also), but I can't really blame Valve or the publishers that sell on Steam for not wanting to open up another piracy avenue.

Do you have any solid evidence that there's a majority that wants Steam's DRM gone for reasons other than getting free stuff?

about 2 years ago
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Steam Hit By 'No Connection' Error Worldwide

PhoenixFlare Re:Sensationalism? (126 comments)

Seriously...I guess maybe this would have affected access to save games and settings for some people briefly? I was actively playing games and didn't even notice till I saw this story.

Probably someone hoping to start a firestorm about Valves eeeeeeevilllll DRM.

about 2 years ago
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The 'Cable Guy' Now a Network Specialist

PhoenixFlare Re:Not comcast (235 comments)

Sounds about like my local company (Shentel) too - we had outages 5 separate times in October, each time the idiots on the phone were convinced that something was wrong with our router or computers, how dare we insinuate that their equipment could POSSIBLY be broken.

Finally after 5 calls, a 15-minute browbeating of one of their phone monkeys, and 3 dispatches....they futzed around for almost 3 hours and finally figured out that someone sliced a line putting in a privacy fence.

And this after I had to talk to 3 separate people to actually get the provisioning right on our modem to get the speeds we were paying for.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Robs Bank of $1 To Get Health Care In Jail

PhoenixFlare Re:Sad, but I can see doing it too (950 comments)

Oh, you would rather have two cars, cable, and a big house than health insurance? That is your choice, stop whining to me about it.

No, it's more like I would rather have food, electricity, and a place to rent than health insurance at that cost. I'm pretty well-off (but no big house), and it would still be a serious hit, probably close to 15-20% of our combined monthly income, depending on what figure you use.

more than 3 years ago
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Tofu Activists Spoof Meat-Based Indie Game

PhoenixFlare Re:Bunch of dicks (420 comments)

I know you're being facetious to prove a point, but Linux isn't exactly obscure or old anymore.

Their main customer base is XBLA & Steam at the moment....is the pool of Linux gamers really on par with that combination enough to make it worth the effort?

True, but they appear to be misinformed about Linux and are instead going off a stereotype. They're programmers, shouldn't they be at least aware of what's out there? Or am I just being naive?

At the risk of being a bit pedantic, of the 2 developers, only one of them is a programmer.

more than 3 years ago
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Study Claims Cellphones Implicated In Bee Loss

PhoenixFlare Re:It doesn't explain losses at remote apiaries... (542 comments)

I just came back from a stay at a bed & breakfast in rural Virginia, where the innkeeper's husband also happens to keep 10 hives of bees on the property - very poor cellphone service in the whole area, 1 bar of EDGE reception, if even that much. He lost 8 of the 10 hives to apparent Colony Collapse a few years ago, but completely back to normal now.

more than 4 years ago
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Civilization V To Use Steamworks

PhoenixFlare Re:Civ was my offline game (295 comments)

They seemed to have patched this problem now but it's very dismaying and I avoid whenever possible buying games through Steam.

So they fixed the bug, but you're still going to hold a grudge anyway? Seems like a bit of an overreaction to me.

more than 4 years ago
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Win7 Can Delete All System Restore Points On Reboot

PhoenixFlare Re:How prevalent? (449 comments)

i don't know about you but i prefer to be alone while i'm taking a dump, and I generally flush before opening the door. so, if someone is in there with me flushing before i leave, then i'd probably be a little pissed.

Ah, I miss those days, before I had cats...

more than 4 years ago
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When PC Ports of Console Games Go Wrong

PhoenixFlare Re:Worse than bad ports are bad translations (398 comments)

"Summon Lich" vs. "Summon Rich"

I always kinda liked that one, I imagined some guy named Rich in a Grim Reaper costume appearing to smite my enemies.

more than 4 years ago
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NCSoft Drops GameGuard From Western Launch of Aion

PhoenixFlare Re:examples (104 comments)

And GunBound - wanted to try it again after having played several years ago...GameGuard made my system immediately BSOD and reboot every single time I tried to start the game.

more than 5 years ago
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The Worst US Cities To Work In IT

PhoenixFlare Re:Upstate New York Isn't That Bad... (538 comments)

And of course, the drivers in D.C. and Seattle don't know how to deal with snow/ice: at the first flake, ancient reptilian instincts cause them to drive straight into trees, jersey barriers, other cars, etc.

Yep, annoying, but also keeps me (originally from Syracuse area, college at RIT) amused - if we ever got the multi-foot snowstorms here in DC/NoVA on a regular basis, it would be utter chaos. I still remember the day my wife and I moved here, 1.5 inches of snow and everything closed like 2 hours early.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

PhoenixFlare hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Read, THEN moderate

PhoenixFlare PhoenixFlare writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Never had the inclination to write a journal entry before, but I guess i've got to start sometime.

This first entry is a bit short, but concerns a few recent posts.

First, this gem. Pretty standard these days, just an AC pretending to post a Google cache link which is actually a link to a page with a picture of the goatse.cx man.

So, I come along, and make this post. Also pretty standard, just warning people not to be fooled and follow the link to the offensive picture, posted with an initial score of 2. Now, this is where things get just plain stupid.

Within 3 hours at the most, my post is marked as Funny, then soon after as Troll, and upon checking today is down to "0, Troll" after being hit with Overrated moderation(s) as well.

For further fun, another post of mine complaning is given an Overrated mod, and a somewhat blunt post from another user is given the same.

Soooo.....

A) Whoever came across these posts was not browsing with their rating threshold set low enough, and upon seeing the thread but not the AC parent, thought I was stating that the main link for the story was somehow a goatse.cx redirect.

B) Trolls are waiting until someone points out one of their posts, and using other accounts with mod points to drop people that posted warnings. Saw this same sort of completely nonsensical and/or retaliatory mod behavior on several other posts today.

And now you're probably saying "Yep, but so what?". I dunno. At any rate, something's quickly becoming broken (if you don't think it's already ruined) with the moderation system around here.

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