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A Plan To Fix Daylight Savings Time By Creating Two National Time Zones

egburr Re:I don't see the problem (545 comments)

Actually, many A/Cs now do run according to the clock. For the past 10 years, my thermostat has been programmable on a weekly schedule, and thanks to our government changing the weekends of the DST changes, I have had to manually reset its clock 4 times a year: correct it for not shifting on the right weekend in the spring, correct it again when it shifts automatically on the wrong weekend, correct it for shifting automatically on the wrong weekend in the fall, and correct it again when the right weekend arrives.

I recently upgraded to a wi-fi capable one (so much easier to program the schedule through a web interface), and it will change correctly on its own (I assume, since this weekend will be the first DST change since I've had it).

I would still prefer to get rid of the DST shift altogether.

about 10 months ago

Georgia Cop Issues 800 Tickets To Drivers Texting At Red Lights

egburr Re:Officer dickhead is a dickhead. (1440 comments)

The one time I got bumped from behind, a very light bump (no visible damage to my car), my glasses flew off my head, and I was probably rolling a good 5 seconds before I even realized I was moving and stuck my foot back on the brake; I hadn't even realized it had come off. The three cars behind me were crunched up pretty bad, but the police offer didn't even believe I'd been hit. So, yeah, I can easily believe your foot can come off the brake when you get bumped.

about a year ago

Have eBooks Peaked?

egburr e or paper, each has its place (323 comments)

I don't buy many ebooks, mainly because I can often get the same book on paper for the same price (or less!) than the ebook. With the drawbacks of the ebook (difficult or impossible to share, may be disappeared at any time, cannot resell, etc.), I am not willing to pay the same for the ebook as I am for the paper book.

I do own a kindle and have read a few books on it. But overall, there's just something about the paper book that is a better reading experience.

What I do like about ebooks is that I can keep one loaded on my phone, so I always have a book available on the spur of the moment when I have an unexpected 10+ minutes of idle time.

1 year,17 days

Sprint Finally Joins 4G LTE Wireless Race

egburr wish they'd hurry up (67 comments)

I wish they'd hurry up and get to my area. I love my Galaxy Nexus, but it's really irritating to have to pay the 4G surcharge when the 4G isn't even on the schedule to come to my area.

more than 2 years ago

NHTSA Suggestion Would Cripple In-Car GPS Displays

egburr Re:Ever hear of a "map"? (516 comments)

There are so many streets out in the area I''m at that either don't have signs or have small, hard-to-find signs (imagine trying to find a sign on a random corner of an intersection of a 4-lane-plus-turn-lanes road and a 2-lane side road, with trees and poor lighting). Often by the time I've found the sign, assuming I even find it at all while making sure I don't hit something, I've gone right through the intersection I was supposed to turn at. I've seen a lot of accidents and close calls caused by people slowing to a crawl coming up on an intersection, presumably trying to find the sign to see what street they've reached, sometimes swerving into the turn lane at the last second. I don't want to be one of those.

For some reason, the DOT out here doesn't seem to have heard of the concept of putting the signs up on the traffic light cross-poles or even putting up signs on multiple corners of a large intersection.

I love my GPS just for that.

It's just an added bonus that I don't have to pull over and pick up the tattered old map to remind myself which tree-named street I want again, and is it the 3rd or 4th turn after the last major intersection that I haven't reached yet, and then is it left-right-right-left or left-right-left-left once I get into the subdivision. It's not because I can't use a map of because I'm lazy, but the GPS is so much easier and a time-saver, that I am able to concentrate more on the driving and not on where I'm trying to go, that I feel it's much safer to use the GPS than to not use it.

more than 2 years ago

Study Finds Growing Up WIth Gadgets Has a Downside: Social Skill Impairment

egburr "least likely to develop normal social tendencies" (203 comments)

least likely to develop normal social tendencies

Well, from what I remember of "normal social tendencies" in high school, maybe it's better that fewer people develop them.

about 2 years ago

Why We Agonize Over Buying $1 Apps

egburr give me more evaluation tmie (523 comments)

I don't pay $4 for a coffee or a latte; it's not that hard to make my own. I don't like paying $2 for a soft drink at a restaurant when I can buy a full 2-liter bottle for $1.25; often times I choose to stick to water instead, which is probably better anyway.

I don't like paying $1 for an app, because of the insanely short return period. Other than the very basic features, which I should already know about before I buy it, it's hard to figure out I dislike the app until well after the return period is up. If I could have a few days to evaluate it and return it for a full refund if I don't like it, I'd be a lot more willing to spend that $1 up front.

about 2 years ago

Warner Bros Sued For Pirating Louis Vuitton Trademark

egburr Re:It's a prop! (227 comments)

but that's the whole point. Do you really think a bottle of Jack Daniels in a movie really contains Jack Daniaels or even real whiskey? Do you think some guy in a white house set that some other character calls "Mr. President" is really the president or even an actual politician? What makes the "Louis Vuiton" bag so special that the prop has to be an actual LV bag?

more than 2 years ago

Warner Bros Sued For Pirating Louis Vuitton Trademark

egburr It's a prop! (227 comments)

It's just a prop. Do props have to be the real thing? Should we sue because the nuclear sub in a movie isn't a real nuclear sub? How about an intergalactic space ship? Maybe we should go back to obvious props like laundry detergent being labeled "SOAP" and soda pop being labeled "COLA" and so on.

Or maybe expand the standard disclaimer "any resemblence to real people or events is uninentional" to add "or objects".

more than 2 years ago

Hybrids Safer In Crashes — Except For Pedestrians

egburr Look both ways.... (392 comments)

Dangerous to pedestrians? Come on. I don't have a hybrid, and I don't worry about not hearing them, because I actually listened when I was taught to look both ways before crossing!

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Launching eBook Lending Program, Publishers Unenthusiastic

egburr Re:"Lending" something with no cost to reproduce (150 comments)

"The cost of reproducing and distributing an ebook is a good approximation of zero so the notion of lending makes a lot less sense."

That's what I would have thought, too, except that the prices of ebooks are typically higher than the physical book in the bookstore down the street. Apparently, that server costs a lot more to maintain than all that paper costs to ship.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Launching eBook Lending Program, Publishers Unenthusiastic

egburr Re:first sale doctrine is dead? (150 comments)

Yeah. The one 2 blocks from my house is long gone. "Going to the bookstore" has for years been "going to Borders". I know it's gone. I just have to re-train my internal labeling system inside my head. The Barnes & Noble down the street is not nearly as convenient, and I don't go nearly as often. It's just as easy to visit the used book store a few miles away as it is to visit B&N.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Launching eBook Lending Program, Publishers Unenthusiastic

egburr Re:Stupid (150 comments)

I don't think it's so dumb. Why should I buy a book that's permanently attached to me if I only expect to read it one time? Maybe if I like it enough and want to re-read it, I'll go buy it. A good book will be permanently mine, while a lesser book will be returned.

It's easy enough to pirate ebooks already. Amazon makes it easy to buy books, and soon borrow them, so there is little incentive to pirate them. I agree that a nice organized ebook store can be better than piracy. However, many ebooks currently are priced higher than the same physical book; this does not do much to encourage the purchase of the ebook.

A lending library for ebooks will at least let you decide if the book is worth purchasing before you are committed to a non-refundable purchase.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Launching eBook Lending Program, Publishers Unenthusiastic

egburr first sale doctrine is dead? (150 comments)

I'm still waiting for the used ebook market to claw it's way to life. Unfortunately, it seems as if the first sale doctrine has been derailed by DRM to become the only sale doctrine.

I love my kindle, but I am reluctant to buy new books unless I am absolutely sure I will like them. At Borders (I guess Barnes & Noble now) I flip through the book, which I can to a limited extent with Amazon. However, with ebooks, I can not take a stack of finished books to the used book store and sell them for a fraction of the cost, and then buy more used books at half the original price. What really bugs me, though, is that the ebooks are often priced higher than the ones in Borders! As much as I like my knidle, I'm still more inclined to browse the used book store than to buy new ebooks.

One good thing from this is that I've been re-reading a bunch of the classics lately, since they're all free.

more than 2 years ago

Amazon Launching eBook Lending Program, Publishers Unenthusiastic

egburr Will this be a library or a rental? (150 comments)

Will this be like a library, where you check out a book for free, or will it be a rental, where you pay to borrow it?

more than 2 years ago

DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

egburr Re:+1 for SUV bashing (263 comments)

Check out the rates for:
4-door sedan vs. 4-door sedan
4-door sedan vs. SUV

From what I've read over the years, sedan vs. sedan is a lot less dangerous than SUV vs. SUV. Unfortunately, the sedan vs. SUV makes people think SUVs are safer. As the numbers of SUVs out there keep growing, SUV vs. SUV is getting more and more common. So overall, the danger is growing, and the people in the sedans get to suffer for it.

more than 2 years ago

DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

egburr Re:Giant SUV's (263 comments)

The insurance don't bear the bulk of those costs. Any "cost" they have to pay out is reflected in a rate increase for everyone else. They never lose. Insurance is one of the biggest scams around. When you pay for insurance, you are essentially placing a bet that you will have an accident. If you don't have an accident, you lose and are out that month's wager. If you do have an accident, you "win" and recover most (but never all) of the costs of dealing with the accident.

The insurance just lets you spread out the cost of the accident across months/years ahead of time, so that when it does eventually occur you're not hit with an unbearable giant debt.

more than 2 years ago

DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

egburr Re:Giant SUV's (263 comments)

The problem is not someone pulling in front of you. the problem is that it is impossible to leave the proper amount of space, because it will be filled no matter what. Either you slow down more and more to keep re-opening the space, or you end up on the bumper of the last person who squeezed in. There is no middle ground.

If people would stop weaving in/out of lanes trying to get another car-length ahead of everyone else in traffic, you wouldn't have traffic keep slowing down. We could all maintain a safe speed and distance and all get home that much quicker. Some days, I'm amazed I actually reach home intact.

more than 2 years ago

BMW Working On Laser Headlamps

egburr Re:next logical step (330 comments)

"adequate"? My headlights do a perfectly fine job of illuminating the road in front of me. That is, until someone with HID or LED headlights comes up behind me. Then all I can see is the cone of shadow my car casts in its own headlights, and a pretty brightly illuminated shoulder of the road, so bright that I find it difficult to see the actual road where I am trying to drive.

Are people really so blind that they must have the road lit to daylight levels to be able to see?

more than 2 years ago

Hurricane Irene Threatens US Northeast; Cover Your Assets

egburr pre-hardened locations? (202 comments)

"consider just moving your whole data center to a location that's been conveniently pre-hardened, like a water tower or a boiler room."

So, move it to a place where if something does go wrong, in addition to the disaster you also have a huge tank of water nearby to douse your whole center? I'm not so sure I'd like that idea.

about 3 years ago



How good a job did I do? Just "satisfied" isn't good enough.

egburr egburr writes  |  about 2 years ago

egburr (141740) writes "I've been working in a customer service / tech support role for many years. Initially, we had a survey rating system that made sense. Great ratings were wonderful, good ratings were okay, and even neutral ratings didn't hurt much, while bad ratings were definitely something to worry about. Over time, that changed to a system with five ratings: very satisfied, satisfied, neutral, dissatisfied, and very dissatisfied. The problem is that ONLY a very satisfied rating is good, while everything else is very bad. I never thought much about it other than that it seems to be a very poor system.

Recently, however, I've been noticing many places seem to have adopted that same system, and the customer service people are a lot more blatant about asking for a very satisfied rating with some even telling me how the system works and that if I couldn't give a very satisfied rating they would prefer that I not respond to the survey at all. I used to give accurate assessments when I completed these surveys, but anymore I feel that I have to say "very satisfied" in order to give the person a good rating if I thought they earned better than a "dissatisfied".

So, I've been wondering, who came up with such a stupid system? What does it really tell you about how good a job was done? What can we do to get a more sane rating system implemented? Does anyone out there have a better system in use where you work? Heck, I would even prefer a system with just two ratings (satisfied and dissatisfied) over what we have now."

ISP Tech Support - why reset the modem?

egburr egburr writes  |  about 7 years ago

egburr (141740) writes "Suffering through yet another series of calls to "Customer Service" at my ISP, I have to wonder why the initial reaction is always to assume the problem is at my house. In the nine years I have had broadband service (originally DSL, now cable), the problem I have called in about has never been solved by unplugging the modem to 60 seconds and plugging it back in. All but one time has ended up being a problem on the ISP's side (DHCP server failure, DNS failure, hardware failure). Once I was losing connectivity for about four hours every evening; a technician came and replaced the modem (in the morning, while it was working), and the problem did not happen again. I still don't know what happened then, but I'm willing to count it as a problem on my side.

So, with only one time out of about 20 (rough guess, I haven't kept track) being a problem on my side, why do they always insist on wasting the first five minutes of *every* call with resetting the modem twice? Has that *ever* solved the problem for anyone?

Even with my doubts, I have bought into the idea so well that I do it a couple times before picking up the phone to call (my neighbor first, to verify that his is down too, then my ISP), a couple times while on hold, and still the one or two times they insist on before they will consider any other cause or even check to see that the rest of my neighborhood is also down."


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