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HR Departments Tell Equifax Your Entire Salary History

bratloaf Re:Inaccuracy is a big problem (472 comments)

I was just thinking exactly that....

about a year and a half ago
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Time Warner Boosts Broadband Customer Speed — But Only Near Google Fiber

bratloaf Competing with Verizon FIOS up here in NY (203 comments)

Its amazing. For the past 10 years TW has been steadily increasing rates, "confusing" their billing (Oh, sorry sir for the $12/mo mistake for the past 3 years that was hidden in your "bundle"), and their service of ALL types has been getting crappier and crappier. To the point where I was ready to just ditch them all together and do ANY thing else.

Crappy cable box problems. Internet outages. S L O W internet (at times) and OK others. Finally FIOS came around here about a year ago, and several people I know switched. Initially they had some technical issues but nothing really bad, and NO one I know including myself has had any issues at all in the past year.

I called TW 4 times, and got all the way to a management type 3 of those times, to ask about a billing situation after our bill went up $60 a month. For no reason. They were NOT interested in fixing the situation and retaining me at ALL. In fact, the last words they told me, when I said I prefered to stay with them but was going to just go to FIOS if they couldnt fix it, were "Well, you have to do what you have to do". From a manager.

When I turned in my boxes, the girl said "wow, you have been a customer a LONG time, why are you leaving?" I told her, she just rolled her eyes and apologized and said "Thats typical (of the TW customer support folks)".

Now TW is running these commercials on the radio around here 24/7 trying to get people to "come back". "See the difference" "Your money back if you are not satisfied" etc. Too funny really. As long as VZ - another HUGE company - keeps their customer service and value where they are now, Im staying. For sure.

Competition is a GREAT thing....

about a year ago
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Hallowe'en is coming. Trick-or-Treaters who visit ...

bratloaf Re:Paintballs. (437 comments)

I did exactly this one year back when I was in my late teens (too old to trick or treat, but young enough to have fun still). Sitting on the roof all night was fun, and those moments when you get it right and scare the crap out of them make it all worth it. People simply do not generally look up....

about 2 years ago
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Sprint Allows LTE Service Over Mobile Virtual Network

bratloaf Re:It's only a minority because of Sprint (45 comments)

This... for me anyway. 5 lines on VZ is actually less than prepay. BUT we dont have data. So, when contract is up in December we will definitely look at straight talk or another MVNO. Our son already bought himself a used iPhone and switched to straight talk. He loves it.

about 2 years ago
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Lexmark To Exit Inkjet Printer Market

bratloaf Re:Not so bad (228 comments)

Except that if you only print occasionally the ink heads clog or dry up, requiring a ink-wasting cleaning cycle or replacement... A cheap laser, even a cheap color laser, is so much better a choice for anything but photo printing. Decent color lasers can be had for $200 on sale sometimes. Really decent ones for $300.

about 2 years ago
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'Mein Kampf' To Be Republished In Germany

bratloaf Re:Heil (462 comments)

My grandfather was in WWII, in Germany, and actually spent time in a POW camp (and escaped). He went in to the army 6'1" and 225, came out of the camp weighing 92 lbs. He hardly ever would speak about the things he saw, I only got little tidbits out over the years, until one day in 2000. We were on the deck with the whole family, nice day, etc, and I just asked about the war. He started with some basic stories and talked for over an hour. Everyone listened to him. I heard stuff I never thought anyone would want to see much less live. True atrocities by any measure. When he was done he just said "Phew. You know, I haven't talked about any of that in 50 years. It kinda feels good to get it out.". That was the only time he ever talked about it, even to my grandmother. I think that was the case with a lot of guys from WWII. I'm so glad I was there that day.

And to add to all the others on here who said so - thanks for doing what you did and standing up for what you believe in a very elegant way. I wish I had seen you do that.

more than 2 years ago
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Samsung TVs Can Be Hacked Into Endless Restart Loop

bratloaf Re:Anybody pine for that golden age (187 comments)

You can easily buy REALLY GOOD lcd monitors in whatever size you can imagine. I install them in office conference rooms all the time, generally large samsung in the 42-60" range. These are designed as transportation and information displays, and are very rugged and last a long time. You just won't find them in your local walmart or best buy. And they won't cost $399 on sale either...

http://www.samsung.com/us/business/commercial-display-solutions

more than 2 years ago
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The Specter of Gasoline At $5 a Gallon

bratloaf Re:Get out more (1205 comments)

And you can thank the mostly over-the-top EPA requirements for that. There is absolutely no GOOD reason why they should not be sold here, the only reason is the huge expense of getting each model EPA certified. I know for a fact that 90+% of the driving population does not remember or give a crap about the shitty 1970's failed GM diesel cars. We all know that there are good, reliable diesels available in the rest of the world - PLEASE get with the program USA and accept the Euro certifications as "equivalent" in the US.

Hell, they BUILD diesel models HERE IN THE US that you can not buy. Export only. Id love a nice little 2.0 diesel Jeep. Cant buy it here....

more than 2 years ago
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New All-Sky Map Shows the Magnetic Fields of the Milky Way

bratloaf Slashdotted already?!? (41 comments)

Looks like the slashdot effect is in full force already...

more than 2 years ago
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Boston Dynamics' PETMAN Humanoid On Video

bratloaf Creepawesome (70 comments)

Sorry, Ive been a bit out of the robotics loop lately, but holey freaking crap. If that isnt "uncanny valley" freaky, I dont know what is. It seems we really will see something resembling 100% humanoid robots in my lifetime. Tethered or not (think factory worker, hazmat, or ... military...) this is amazingly cool (creepy).

about 2 years ago
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Bill Gates On What Business Can Teach Schools

bratloaf Re:Comparison to Japanese Cars (Deming) (272 comments)

Wish I had Mod points... Bit how to implement this in regards to teaching? Again, what are the metrics? Its simple to measure a gear/bearing/physical tolerance. How do you measure teaching? But I do agree, Total Quality as an overarching goal, even a mantra or culture, would go a long way. The Japanese have a culture that melds very well with this philosophy, in the US not so much...

more than 2 years ago
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Stroke Victim Stranded At South Pole Base

bratloaf Re:What's the problem actually (264 comments)

I have to say, time and again, its pretty cool shit to see the breadth of people who hang out on Slashdot... Here's a story about a woman at the freaking SOUTH POLE and we have people posting who actually know her. AND someone chimes in from another one of the most isolated places on the planet. Its just cool in so many ways. (technology - the fact that anyone can read Slashdot from apparently anywhere... and then the fact that they do...) Hey, anyone on the ISS want to chime in?

more than 2 years ago
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Yahoo, Facebook Test "Six Degrees of Separation"

bratloaf Re:Artificial Test in an Artificial World ... (228 comments)

This is a really neat idea... I think you should probably submit it to Google and/or Facebook. Wouldnt it be possible to write an app that would do this? I mean, yes youd have to somehow have access to the FB/G+ data, but in a possibly generic way? Like your code determines the "anitpode" characteristics, and queries FB/G+ for some matches, which you anonomize and display to choose from somehow?

Pretty cool idea, I gotta say....

more than 2 years ago
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Why Your Dad's 30-Year-Old Stereo Sounds Better Than Yours

bratloaf Re:3 points (674 comments)

I have to agree.The most impressive thing I ever heard in my entire life was in 1988. A set of K-horns at a very very high-end audio place (that sold mainly pianos, and very high end audio gear). They had them in a listening room with two huge monoblock amps, and a very high end preamp and CD player. They played Phil Collins, "I wish it would rain down". I swear to god it sounded like he was standing RIGHT THERE singing. The two guys that were with me still, to this day, agree that was the most impressive thing we've ever heard audio-equipment-wise. This place also sold magnaplanars and Ohm, Paradigm, B&O etc. Sadly this place finally went out of business last year... Sad indeed. People just dont care for quality like they used to. Give me my old Klipsch over most of the new junk at chain stores anyday.

To the other points - figure the inflation adjusted cost of some of the "mid range" gear from the 70's and 80's, and you can still get good gear for THAT price. Its just that people dont want to pay $2K for a set of speakers anymore. They want to pay $500 for an entire home theater (7.1) setup. Heck, my old Infinity's cost over $1K a pair in 1989 and they are definitely just mid-range for that time. (Although, with new surrounds last year they are still really kickin...)

about 3 years ago
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Gates: Not Much To Show For $5B Spent On Education

bratloaf Re:What, no one size fits all solution? (496 comments)

Yes, this. I have watched the educational system from the inside locally for the past 10+ years, and this is a big part (only a part) of the issue. If we are talking about an implosion and ground-up rebuild, please make this a central theme of the redesign. Sorry, everyone is NOT equal - in ability, or in what they like, find interesting, or want to do with their life. Should everyone have ample opportunity to PROVE they are motivated? Yes. Should everyone be automatically "equal" so that we have to dumb-down (or at least slow down) the material for the other 80%? No. Please.

Kids should be allowed to fail. Plain and simple. We need to go back to teaching (and enforcing) that motivation leads to success. The current system just reinforces the "safety net" mentality that has pervaded society at large. No need to achieve, someone (Uncle Sam usually) will "save me". No, really its ME and the other achievers "Saving you" at our own expense.

Kids need to be challenged. Some kids need extra help, or slower pace. These things are generally mutually exclusive in the classroom. (on an ongoing basis anyway, not a single example)

about 3 years ago
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3D Chocolate Printer

bratloaf Re:Can't wait... (91 comments)

You really just have to look. "Go where the locals go" doesn't always work either - depending on who the locals are. For example, I've had some of the WORST BBQ I've ever had (by any measure I can surmise) in Memphis and Texas, both the BBQ capitals of the universe. By following the "locals". I managed to find MUCH better by simply going a few other places and not judging based on a small sample size. Ditto that for Beer, Pizza and many other foods, attractions, etc. Sometimes you just have to look around and find what YOU like. Chances are it's there someplace.

One of our local grocery chains (Wegmans) has fantastic stone-oven baked bread (many many different styles), a wide selection of gourmet chocolate, heck they even have palatable sushi (made fresh to order), and 1000 different brands of beer (not exaggerating). Not everyone everyplace is a troglodyte - those of us who like good food/beer/sweets know where to go...

about 3 years ago
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3D Chocolate Printer

bratloaf Re:Can't wait... (91 comments)

This ^

I can go into any reasonably decent grocery here, or even many WalMarts and buy good chocolate. 85% or more cacao. Even many "eurotrash" brands. I appreciate GOOD chocolate, and also dont care for Hershey's or most "milk" chocolates (including most european ones). Hershey's special extra dark is actually pretty decent. Just like beer. There are MANY great made in USA beers. Thousands of great micro-brews that I'd put against anything from Europe. GP is being especially short sighted and lame. This would be like me going to China and complaining that "all the stir fry is lame". Uh, there are about a billion different things, they can't ALL be lame.

about 3 years ago
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US Senate Votes For Repeal of Ethanol Subsidies

bratloaf Re:Physics: an alternative political spectrum (395 comments)

AMEN to that... Here's hoping for cane sugar back in soda as a general thing in a couple years.

What I'd love to see is every gas station with an E85 pump (priced accordingly) and GAS (E0). Then let people decide, based on mileage/cost/car. Some cars will do very well on E85, and if priced accordingly it might be worth it. The rest of us could have GAS and our mileage back...

more than 3 years ago
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US Senate Votes For Repeal of Ethanol Subsidies

bratloaf Re:Physics: an alternative political spectrum (395 comments)

I have personally seen a decline in my average MPG from 21 to 17 since the swap to "10% Ethanol everywhere". This is comparing the same time of year, same commute, same everything. To prove my hypothesis, I took a little side trip the other week, and gassed up with "gas" at the local marina/quickiemart that still sells "gas" for over $4 a gallon. No ethanol.

I made 2 complete 70+ mile commutes, and averaged... 21.3 MPG. Today, a couple weeks later and back on Gasohol, my overhead display (reset after last tank, about 3 commutes ago) reads 16.9MPG. It most definitely affects mileage.

Additionally, I work at an autoparts store part-time (day job is at a University). We see no end of people coming in with alcohol related problems. Especially on cars built from the mid 80's to mid 90's. I've personally seen some of the "gunk" that rubber turns to when exposed to alcohol too much. It looks like and acts like tar. Boats and motorcycles seem to be especially affected in many cases. I think 10% is really pushing the limit on any car built before about 2005.

Side rant: Most of these "clean air" additives were mandated back before multi port injection, electronic controls, hell even electronic ignition were standard. On a modern car (anything built since about 1990, especially any OBD-II car since 1995) it's just stupid to add "clean air" additives (oxygenates) to fuel. ANY modern car that has a working fuel control system (O2 sensor, Cat, no holes in exhaust) will simply re-calculate the fuel air mixture. If the car is broken in such a way that its running open loop, it will fail inspection anyway and illuminate the check engine light. A much simpler, and more effective solution to air pollution would be to get these "emissions dinosaurs" off the road, or fixed. Subsidize THAT (i.e. fixing O2 sensors, Cat converters, etc). and it might make a difference without costing EVERYONE a ton in gas costs.

more than 3 years ago

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Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" gets reboot on Fox Networks

bratloaf bratloaf writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I'm sure I'm no different than many Slashdotters in my memory of Carl Sagan's original "Cosmos" series back in the early 1980's. I even still have a signed copy of the book in my living room right now, from when I met Dr. Sagan in 1983 at Cornell University on a school field trip. But get this, Seth McFarlane - yes of Family Guy fame - is executive producing a new Cosmos - called "Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey." It will star Neil deGrasse Tyson as the narrator/host. I hope it rises to the level the original show did - it sure has a lot more competition now than Cosmos did in 1980.

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