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Comments

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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

ducomputergeek Re:Oh why not? (313 comments)

I've said this before, the US Military does obliterating an opposing force quite well. Which serves well when the objective is the liberation of a territory from hostile occupation, where the US can go in, win, and then the local populace can quickly get things back the way it was. It does not do occupation very well nor really has outside of the Wester Hemisphere.

The exception being post World War II with the Marshal Plan. Which planning for that began in 1943 and by 1945 the government had managed to twist the arms of a lot of academics, economists, finance, and high ranking industry officials to spend two years post war to help rebuild western Europe.

about two weeks ago
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How much do you spend yearly on mobile apps?

ducomputergeek Does digital subscriptions count? (240 comments)

I get MLB at bat premium so I can listen to games radio broadcasts even if I'm travelling. Also have subscriptions to The Economist and WSJ Digital...

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

ducomputergeek Re:This is one thing I love about it (544 comments)

Battery held up fine over the winter, even on the cold days she wasn't burning any gas. I think we've filled up twice since the first of the year.

We did have the 220v charger installed.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's Fire TV: Is It Worth Game Developers' Time?

ducomputergeek Depends on your games revenue model... (88 comments)

If it's ad based, then getting in front of more eyeballs via Android and derivatives is the way to go.

If it's depending upon purchases or in-app purchases then iOS is the platform to concentrate on first.

about two weeks ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

ducomputergeek Re:This is one thing I love about it (544 comments)

A friend of mine just bought a Tesla. As far as I know it maybe the only one in the St. Louis area. I recently bought a Chevy Volt. We were at an event and the topic came up. One of the people there asked me why I went with the volt. And the answer was fairly simple:

My wife's commute is 15 miles round trip a day. Maybe 20 if she does some afterwork shopping. So the vast majority of the time it's running on electric. But my Dad lives ~ 70 mile round trip from us. He's older and I'm usually out there once a week to check up on him or help him clean out gutters or whatever needs to be done around his house. I have farms that are 300 mile round trip that need seen after. That is certainly a problem with a Tesla.

Also my budget for a new car was between $25,000 - $30,000. With lower base price for 2014, tax credits, and GM card earnings the Volt fit in the price range and was a little bit smaller of a car than the Malibu Eco, which meant it fit in the garage better. (I really wish we had a 3 car garage, but...)

Finally, there are a dozen Chevy and GM dealers around the city. I'm not even sure there is somewhere here that can do work on a Tesla.

about two weeks ago
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Russian Officials Dump iPads For Samsung Tablets Over Spy Fears

ducomputergeek Re:Globalization (198 comments)

Um, actually the Chinese and NSA go back a long ways as the NSA and China have run a series of listening posts long the former/current Soviet border since the 1970's...

about three weeks ago
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Minnesota Teen Wins Settlement After School Takes Facebook Password

ducomputergeek Re:Without her permission? (367 comments)

It would be interesting because if this were to go onto an actual court battle I'm not sure the kid would win. There is a legal concept in common law called: In loco parentis. In a nutshell it gives institutions such a schools quite a bit of leeway as long as it doesn't "Infringe Civil Liberties" and in the United States we've ended up with the Tinker Doctrine. But that covers more of the limitation of Freedom of Speech in a school than other items.

But In loco parentis has longed been used to allow justification of locker searches. The argument being a parent is allowed to search the room of their child, therefore the school is allowed to the right to search the locker of a student. None of those cases have actually reached the Supreme court to really have a final ruling on where the lines are actually are as far as schools are concerned with In loco parentis. I don't think any schools want this court to make a ruling and set precedence about the limits of In loco parentis because Clarence Thomas has been a critic of the Tinker Doctrine in the past and school may lose a lot of their legal power over students if it ended up there.

about three weeks ago
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Google Cuts Prices On Enterprise Cloud Services

ducomputergeek Re:The Big Data Crash (43 comments)

I think we've seen the shift away from Time Share 2.0 (What I call "Cloud Computing) back to applications hosted in house similarly to what happened with the adoption of the microcomputer (PC). I figured the shift would start occurring around 2015 - 2020 after a some major disaster or if companies and people suddenly realized they no longer controlled their data. Well it was the later with the NSA that is probably the catalyst.

And that's not saying that the "cloud" is all bad. I use services like iCloud to store my pictures and to sync calendars across computers, etc.. My wife and I use Evernote to share grocery lists etc.. But we don't keep things like financial information etc. in the cloud.

about three weeks ago
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Recent news events re: Bitcoin ...

ducomputergeek Re:changed my view of it for the better (192 comments)

This. Back in Janurary a client of mine and I had a few meetings. He wanted their company phones to get a push notification every time someone filled out a form on his website. But during our conversation he talked about some friends of his who were into bit coin mining and said we should go into a venture. And I said no. I think I mined 4 bit coins through a pool once many years ago, mainly because I've always been fascinated by various distributed computing things over the past decade and was interested in seeing what they had done. But it was clear to me it was going no where, especially when I read about the ASICS and then all the shenanigans about those a couple years go.

Well when I delivered the solution to the push notification thing two weeks ago I asked him what he though about bit coins now. Apparently his buddies lost nearly everything, something like over a year's worth of coins, when Mt. Gox closed down. Not sure if he ever went in on a new rig with his buddies or not, but he knows I've done fairly well for myself owning and selling a couple of businesses in my young life. He's the the type where he's looking for the next billion dollar idea and will never get there. I look for ideas and projects that have a solid idea with realistic expectations.

about a month ago
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What If the Next Presidential Limo Was a Tesla?

ducomputergeek And what if there were an EMP? (330 comments)

Would the electric car still work? Could you easily find a place to charge up in that event? A car for the president has some different considerations than me in Suburbia who works from home 3 days a week and doesn't drive much. (For the record I'm a Chevy Volt owner)

about a month ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

ducomputergeek Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

We ended up Amazon Prime after me or the wife forgot to uncheck the box and were billed for it during the christmas holidays. We were ordering a lot during that period and it wasn't until a month later when we got the credit card statement that we realized it. Well we looked and quickly found Amazon Prime had everything we were watching on Netflix plus a few shows no longer available on netflix. So we cancelled Netflix and kept prime.

The biggest reason why we've kept it now is because my wife and I are both busy professionals now with young kids. We don't have a lot of time to shop and the two day shipping makes it convenient for a lot of things.

So for $99 a year we'll take the expedited shipping and as far as I'm concerned the streaming is just a nice bonus.

about a month ago
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Top U.S. Scientific Misconduct Official Quits In Frustration With Bureaucracy

ducomputergeek Re:Been there. (172 comments)

Seriously this. Before I owned my company, had a start up which we turned into a successful company and sold for enough that I now can live comfortably.

After about a year off, I had spent the last 5 working 70 hours a week or more at times, a new start up approached me. They had all the technical talent they ever needed, but wanted some help on the business side. I had been in their shoes and I worked about 30 - 40 hours a week for the first 5 months developing and getting their sales/marketing implemented.

Well here we are a year later and I really only do about 15 hours a week of work if that. Things have been successful. We are meeting sales goals, now have 3 sales people plus one trainer on staff. Literally I got to sales meetings on Tuesdays & Thursdays and then spend a couple hours making sure emails are being sent and going over numbers. And I get paid salary for 40 hours a week. The other 30 hours a week really are "In case something comes up". That may happen once or twice a month where I spend 20 hours actually doing work instead of 15.

about a month ago
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White House: Get ACA Insurance Coverage, Launch Start-Ups

ducomputergeek Re:The day it is cheaper to have my own insurance (578 comments)

This. For the past 6 years I've paid for my own health insurance or had a HSA depending on the state I was living in. Past four years I had a plan that worked for me. Cost was a little under $100 a month for health insurance plus dental. And I used the dental coverage more than the medical side. I was in my late 20's early 30's and pretty healthy. I spent more on dental work during that time than medical. Other than my annual check up, provided free under my plan, I think I had one other doctors visit for a sinus infection. Medication was $4 for generics and I don't think they even billed my insurance. Deductible was $2500 with max out of pocket of $11,000. While that maybe "high" to some people, it was an amount that if I really needed it I could afford to pay out of pocket and it wasn't going to bankrupt me.

Well last October I got a notice stating my plan was "Catastrophic only" and I no longer qualified for it under the ACA because I was over 30. So I go shopping and the "Plan closest to mine" was 3x the cost. The deducible was $5500 and max out of pocket $21,000. When I bring this up in conversations I get told by ACA supporters, "Well that's because before you had a crap Catastrophic only plan and now you'll have a better plan". Well I compared point for point and as far as I can tell, at least on the things that really matter to me, the two plans are nearly identical on what they cover. This new plan appears to be Catastrophic Only, only now if I actually have to use it it's going to hurt my pocket book even more. Typically I only kept around $25,000 in cash on hand in my money market and another $5,000 in checking/savings. Now I'm going to have to look into doubling that over the next few years.

I'll end up going on the plan offered through my fiancé's job when we get married in a few weeks, but there is a big question of whether that will be available next year. So far indications are it's going to be far cheaper for her company to pay the fine and push everyone to the exchange than continue to provide health coverage.

about a month ago
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70% of U.S. Government Spending Is Writing Checks To Individuals

ducomputergeek Re:And... (676 comments)

Sorta. The largest direct recipient of "Farm Subsidies" a few years ago was Riceland. Which is a coop technically. When people who own farms like me and my family sell Riceland our rice or soybeans or wheat they cut us a check including the subsidy from the government. That is how we get any subsidy payments for crops. The check doesn't come directly from the government to us. It goes to Riceland first (or ConAgra or Bunge, etc..)

about a month ago
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Sony & Panasonic Next-Gen Optical Discs Moving Forward

ducomputergeek Re:Compared to 4TB? (250 comments)

But that's not even as big of deal as it was a few years ago when most homes had 1 computer. Today our home has 8 computers, two tablets, and two smart phones. And right now it's just me and my wife. (I do IT stuff and she's a geeky lawyer who likes tech stuff)

If one of our machines are doing a back up, chances are we just go to another room and use a different one.

That being said, I installed a 16TB FreeNAS system on the home network last year and that's now how we keep track of most things these days.

about a month ago
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Why Nissan Is Talking To Tesla Model S Owners

ducomputergeek Re:Odd (335 comments)

I'm starting to car shop. Mine is 10 years old, 150k miles and hers is 5 years old and 50k miles. Currently I drive a Chevy and she has a Nissan. Her daily commute is about 35 miles round trip. Could be less if she takes a new job closer to the house. And I work from home 3 days a week, but I can travel upwards of 60 miles for meetings or if I need to go help my Dad with something (40 miles one way).

We are seriously looking at the Volt. With the current tax credits, the price of the Volt is in line with say a Cruse Eco or Malibu Eco. Plus most days we probably wouldn't need to use the gas engine, but if we did it would go the extra distance no problem.

about 2 months ago
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How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

ducomputergeek Re:Gave it up (270 comments)

I gave it up about 2005. I had a start up at the time that was 70 - 80 hours a week. I sold it in 2010 and made out pretty well. After a few months of "going out" all the time I and seeing how much I was spending I actually got back into gaming. But I was never one to buy a lot of games. I just tended to play the ones I liked a lot. For instance I bought an Xbox 360 in 2010. Bought the Halo Reach edition. Between then and now the list of 360 titles I own: Halo Reach and Battlefield 3 Premium. In fact ended up using the Xbox more for streaming Netflix and Amazon Prime than gaming.

Instead of getting a new console I elected to buy my first "gaming pc" since 2003 ($850 rig) as well as I got a new set of CH Joystick/Pedals/Throttle and TrackIR like I had in the late 1990's for flight sims. Ironically the flight sim I'm playing is Falcon 4 BMS, an updated version of the game I bought back in 1998. Then I spent $40 on a pledge for this Star Citizen, which I suspect I'll spend a lot of time playing over these next few years given the hours I spent in my teen years playing Wing Commander Privateer.

about 2 months ago
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ISP Fights Causing Netflix Packet Drops

ducomputergeek Re:Network vs Content providers (289 comments)

We really missed the boat with not having local governments at the city/county level build the infrastructure. Where I grew up we had an electric coop. My Dad still lives there. Other than the main lines, it was all buried cables. Power outages were extreme rarities. His rates have been between $.08 - .11 per kilowatt hour. Hell a few years ago the rates went DOWN after the coop paid off some debt. In the city our rates are about .145 per kilowatt hour and increasing to .16 per kilowatt hour here soon. Last state I lived in started to force Utilities to open up their lines to competitors. My electric rates there went down from $0.18 per KW/hr to $.12 when that happened.

When I moved into the city, it was a major utility company, overhead wires, and if we got some ice or wind the power would go out.

Where my Dad lives, water & sewer is maintained by the city, and now contracts out with the county for water. His bill is about 1/3rd less than what our bill is closer to the city and our water is owned by a private utility.

Where it made sense we should have had cities or counties putting in fibre and allowed rural areas to form wireless coops. Then lease out service to whomever at a fixed cost per line.

about 2 months ago
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Is Google Making the Digital Divide Worse?

ducomputergeek Re:First, Do Evil (259 comments)

What about places like where my family farms are located? The costs to lay fibre down all those roads would be prohibitive since you maybe would serve .5 homes per mile. Maybe even less. Hell my grandmother didn't have a private line until 1991. I remember going down there in the 1980's and she had a party line still.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Senator Feinstein: we need video game control

ducomputergeek ducomputergeek writes  |  1 year,14 days

ducomputergeek (595742) writes "Since the AWB seems to have died in congress looks like she's now turning her angst on video games...again. Yet as the article points out, since the introduction of games like DOOM, the crime rate in the US has gone down. Dramatically. Correlation != causation and all that jazz, but there are a lot of violent video games these days and yet crime has continued to go down."
Link to Original Source
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PA-DSS and Opensource Applications

ducomputergeek ducomputergeek writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ducomputergeek (595742) writes "Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) certification requirements is now 60 days away. After July 1st, 2010 merchants will be required to process credit card transactions with PA-DSS certified software or face fines and/or terminal of their merchant accounts by Visa. (Mastercard, Discover, Amex as well, but Visa is the one leading the charge). And from experience the author is dead on.

We forked an opensource Point-Of-Sale application because the original project flat out said they were not going to get PA-DSS certified and seemed to think that it some how did not apply to them. We currently going through the PA-DSS certification process. Technical changes to the software to meet PA-DSS needs were minimal. That only took a couple weeks. We are in month 5 of writing documentation and shortly going to have the on-site inspection."

Link to Original Source

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