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Comments

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3 Short Walking Breaks Can Reverse Harm From 3 Hours of Sitting

aclarke I have one (166 comments)

My employer bought me one.

Then again, I'm self-employed.

about two weeks ago
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

aclarke Re:Am I responding to a troll? (276 comments)

Are you really that dense? This is why I long ago foe'd you. I may live in the country, but did it not occur to you that I might actually sometimes leave my front lawn?

Your other comment about Santa Fe is equally specious. Can you really not figure out what people are saying, or do you take a perverse and misguided joy in pretending to misunderstand everything you read?

I know plenty of athiests around here and they fit in as well as anyone else. I'm not going to defend whatever communities you've experienced, but maybe you've just been "run out of several small communities" for being intolerant, obtuse, and pretentious.

about 1 month ago
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Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

aclarke Am I responding to a troll? (276 comments)

Wow, so much spewed opinion you seem to think is fact.

First, air in cities is generally worse than outside cities. You'll be able to find counter-examples, say outside a rural factory, but generally, no matter where you go in the world, city air is worse than rural air.

You're right that we are mostly a social species. However, this means different things to different people. Maybe you are more social than most. Personally, I have a family I enjoy seeing, and other than that I'm quite happy interacting with just a few other people every week. I neither want nor need more. The difference between the two of us seems to be that I'm willing to let you lead your lifestyle whereas you're unwilling to let me lead mine.

You're right that cities are easier on the environment on a per capita basis. Of course, there are also plenty of ways that people could be more distributed in a more environmentally advantageous fashion. If you have any interest in the subject and a certain level of intelligence it wouldn't be hard for you to come up with some ideas. Travelling around in other first world countries in Europe would also give you plenty of other viewpoints.

Additionally, while it's true that cities do in some ways subsidize rural areas, where do you think your food comes from? Other cities? Around here, stickers reminding us that "farmers feed cities" are quite common. Thank you for reminding me that there are people out there like you who need reminding. Finally, it's very rare for roads/phoneline/internet/etc to lead "nowhere". They lead somewhere, just apparently to areas you don't think are necessary.

Since you're the one painting "small town America" with one wide brush that includes racists, idiots, homophobes and chain store hellscapes, I'll throw that one back to you and state you're the one with the perception problems. The world outside your city is much bigger, and more important, than you seem to make it out to be. There are plenty racists, idiots, homophobes and chain stores in urban environments, and plenty of intelligent, tolerant, and educated people working in small business in small towns and rural communities all across your country.

For the record, I've spent close to a decade living in the US. I've lived in some of the world's largest cities, and worked in and travelled to many more. I feel very fortunate and privileged to now live on a farm in the country. Overall, my quality of life here is better than anywhere else I've lived.

about a month ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

aclarke Re:yeah yeah (368 comments)

Too many of us have had too many of these types of conversations. There's a Biblical parable that starts with "like a dog returns to its vomit".

Here my conversations of this sort generally revolve around Bell Canada. They hate their customers, lie to them, sell them insecure hardware, overcharge them, rope them into contracts, yet people I know won't switch to DSL providers with local tech support, cheaper prices, and no contracts. I can't really understand it either.

about a month ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

aclarke Re:What about Oregon and Washington? (368 comments)

Note that they don't say "we may record this call", they generally state that "this call may be recorded". That sounds to me as much like permission as it does notification.

about a month ago
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Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording

aclarke Re:What about Oregon and Washington? (368 comments)

I wouldn't even say you need to go that far. "This call may be recorded..." sounds like permission to me. Thanks! I think I WILL record it.

To answer the original poster, I recently switched our home phone to VOIP using voip.ms. I use the iOS app Groundwire to make and receive calls using my mobile phone as one of my methods for using my old land line number. Groundwire has easy one-button recording, with optional beeping to remind the other party that the call is being recorded.

about a month ago
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Comcast Confessions

aclarke Similar experience with Rogers yesterday (234 comments)

I needed to find out when a wireless contract ends. Of course they don't seem to show this anywhere on the customer service web portal or on the bill. So, I tried their live chat system. The chat basically went something like this:

Me: I'd like to know when this contract ends.
Rogers: Why would you like to know that?
Me: I'm not interested in going through a dog and pony retentions script rigamarole to qualify why I want to know the answer to the question. When you answer my question, I'll answer yours.
Rogers: I'm sorry, I can't tell you without you giving me a reason why you want to know.
Me (annoyed, so I typed the first thing that entered my head): I'm moving to Albania.
Rogers: I can't give you your contract expiration date. You need to call xxx or go into a store.

Why do these companies hate their customers so much? I had to qualify why I wanted to know in order to even get an answer that she wasn't allowed to answer me? WTF?

about 2 months ago
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

aclarke Pinched nerves (511 comments)

I'm pretty good at ignoring pain, but when I had a pinched nerve in my neck, I was lying on the ground, writhing in pain, practically screaming. It was terrible. Three days later I was in surgery. I'm not sure that level of pain deserves breaking out the Spinal Tap Scale, but it's the worst pain I've experienced in my life.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

aclarke That's just understood (509 comments)

If I got a 3% (or really > 1%) discount using cash, I'd probably use it. As it is, I usually don't get that discount so I use my credit card, where I DO get the discount.

In cases where I'm buying from a person I know well, or a business i paritcularly want to support, I'll often pay cash to help them out a little extra. If I'm buying from BigCorp, I'd rather give myself 1% than give them 2%.

I would imagine that most of us understand this concept, that the money used to pay for rewards are coming from the fees that the credit card companies charge vendors.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

aclarke Small enough, track workouts without phone present (427 comments)

I'm considering replacing my iPhone 4 with something bigger, as my eyes are getting worse. If I get a larger phone, I'm not going to want to take it with me as much when I'm running or skiing. Give me something that can still track my workouts without my phone being present, and isn't stupid large and I might consider it. It also needs to be reasonably inexpensive, durable, waterproof, and have battery life long enough that it won't always be out of batteries when I go to wear it.

about 3 months ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Re:invisible hood is "beyond criticism" (172 comments)

Do you actually drive off-road? This addresses a real issue, which is how to safely straddle obstacles in the road to protect your undercarraige. You may only see Land Rovers driven by "soccer moms", but they are one of the few companies producing vehicles that can genuinely be driven off-road.

I'm a curmudgeon driving an '80s Land Rover completely devoid of computers, but I have a large and increasing amount of respect for the capabilities of new Land Rovers.

about 5 months ago
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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

aclarke Rocks (172 comments)

The other advantage is where you place an obstacle under your vehicle. If there's a large sharp rock, you want to drive over it such that it doesn't rip open your differential, for example. Now, all modern Land Rovers have independent suspension, but you still want to be straddling obstacles in the safest way possible.

about 5 months ago
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3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

aclarke Parts are too small (251 comments)

Anything I can think of wanting to spend the time designing and printing is too big to fit in hobbyist printers. I thought about printing a replacement dash for my '80s Land Rover. Clearly even breaking that into pieces it was going to be too big for most printers. Then I looked at the cost of having it made, and decided I'd rather just go to a metal shop and have them bend something up for me out of stainless steel or aluminium.

Then I just puit my crappy old dash back in.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Moving From Tech Support To Development?

aclarke Work for free (133 comments)

Way back a long time ago I graduated from university with an engineering degree unrelated to programming. By that point, however, I had decided that I wanted to be a software developer. This was the mid '90s, and I took a job with an un-funded startup for equity and no pay. From there I worked at a friend's company doing Perl, again for no pay but I crashed with my friend and he paid for my food. So in that sense it's not that different from your situation.

Things are different now, as there are plenty of sites where employers offer contracts for unreasonably low wages. You could start bidding on those, and take some smaller projects and complete them. There's also the option to put your time into some sort of labour of your own love. Write some sotware that demos well, and bootstrap yourself up from there. A lot of companies would be happy to hire an enthusiastic junior Java developer with demonstrated experience that they had the drive to accomplish themselves.

Just do everything you can to pick up as much experience as you can. Keep a positive attitude, and work on all the "soft skills" like listening to your boss and coworkers, doing what you say you're going to do, communicating effectively, etc. With a year or so of this, you should find yourself very employable, assuming there are jobs where you're looking.

about 6 months ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Re:Audi have been doing this for years (521 comments)

The current Defender has aluminium body panels, but a steel ladder chassis and bulkhead. I imagine that the new one, whenever it comes out, might be all aluminium since that's the way Land Rover's going with their other vehicles.

about 9 months ago
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Ford Rolls the Dice With Breakthrough F-150 Aluminum Pickup Truck

aclarke Range Rover (521 comments)

It's true that Ford sells probably 10x as many F150s as Land Rover sells Range Rovers. However, Land Rover is probably selling about 50k Range Rovers a year (vague number as I couldn't find specifics). They saved 700lbs off their previous model by going to all aluminium. Sound familiar? The 2014 Range Rover Sport is also aluminium and they are moving all Jaguars and Land Rovers in that direction.

Land Rover currently runs the world's largest aluminium body shop, so they're hardly a "niche manufacturer". It's great that Ford is going this way with the high-volume F150, and they are breaking new ground in that they are going to produce MORE aluminium vehicles than other manufacturers. However, because many of the engineering challenges have already been solved by manufacturers like Jaguar Land Rover, it's a shame that none of the referenced articles even mention the word "Rover".

about 9 months ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

I don't remember exactly, but they were gone maybe 3-5 hours including cab rides.

about a year ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

aclarke Re:Seat weight (466 comments)

Why shouldn't I expect you to keep your seat upright? I have no problem making a trans-continental redeye flight with my seat upright. It's not what I'd call "comfortable", but it's not "comfortable" with the seat back either.

I could contend that if you want a more comfortable seat with reclining room, then YOU should be the one buying the more expensive seat.

I also make allowances for the fact that a larger person is going to want more reclining space than a smaller person, and what time of day/night it is. My point remains though, if you're 5'1 and the person behind you is 6'4, you should take that into consideration before you put your seat all the way back, right after take-off, in the middle of the afternoon.

about a year ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke Re:My spider sense in tingling.... (634 comments)

We had a similar experience (sort of) in the UK earlier this year. We had a 4 day stopover, and my daughter was sick with a fever and throwing up after getting off the plane. My wife took her to the emergency room, where she received top-knotch care from sympathetic and helpful medical staff. She received prescription antibiotics, and the entire process cost us a total of £0. Healthcare in the UK is free for children, whether they are citizens, residents, or visitors. We were really impressed and appreciative. Thanks, UK taxpayers!

I imagine that there's some limit, like maybe only emergency room visits are covered for visitors or something like that. Still, the process was simple, the staff were helpful, and my daughter got what she needed and she was fine as soon as the antibiotics kicked in.

about a year ago
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British NHS May Soon No Longer Offer Free Care

aclarke UK (634 comments)

That's an interesting post, but did you notice that the article is talking about the NHS? Regarding advertising, in the UK, http://www.mhra.gov.uk/Howweregulate/Medicines/Advertisingofmedicines/ states that "The Regulations prohibit the issue of any advertisement to the general public which is likely to lead to the use of a prescription only medicine (POM)."

Since you're talking about the US, that's an idea you Americans could take and run with. Once you've done that, we can all start dealing with the pharmaceutical industry's marketing towards doctors.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Canadian computer security professional arrested

aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 4 years ago

aclarke writes "CBC News reports that Byron Sonne, a Toronto-based computer security specialist, has been charged with explosives and weapons offences in what police are calling a G20-related arrest.

According to The Star, Internet strategist and CBC contributor Jesse Hirsh said he met Sonne once in May when both men attended a Surveillance Club meeting, a monthly gathering of professors, artists and activists "interested in the democratic regulation of surveillance technology and practice," according to its website.

Hirsh also said Sonne told a May meeting of activists and professors that he planned to monitor police chatter about the G-20 summit and post it on Twitter. He also said he would buy items online to attract police attention.

"He was trying to essentially provoke a response," Hirsh said. Hirsh said Sonne wanted the public to know "the extent to which the $1 billion plus security bill was being spent here." Sonne appeared in court June 23, although a publication ban has been placed on that appearance."
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aclarke aclarke writes  |  more than 7 years ago

aclarke (307017) writes "From CNET: CNET editor James Kim, his wife Kati, and his two daughters, Penelope and Sabine, are missing. We're hoping and praying for their safe return, and we'd like your help. If you have any information about the Kims' whereabouts, please call the San Francisco police at 415-558-5508 during business hours and at 415-553-1071 after hours. You can also contact the Portland Police Bureau's Missing Persons Unit at 503-823-0446. For more information, including photos of James and his family, please read the story."

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