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Comments

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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

ottothecow Re:Business class is a misnomer (144 comments)

Seems like it is pretty standard to fly economy. Even in the industries the parent poster listed, policies tend to be economy except for international flights and executives.

Thing is...if you fly often for work, you will reach status within a year and be getting upgraded on every flight. The monday-thursday consultants and other heavy business travelers are getting their upgrades for free...the fees are usually being billed to the client, and clients don't like to pay for first-class.

3 days ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

ottothecow Re:It's California (722 comments)

If you are telling truth (and not just parroting about a talking-point story as evidence the law sucks), you really should talk to an accountant.

What about incorporating in order to move that tax burden off of your books and onto that of your business? Should help your subsidy eligibility. I'm not an accountant (and can't speak to the intricacies of an LLC vs an S-Corp), but I know that a lot of self employed people who recently made the jump from sole proprietorship to incorporation and they all wish they had done it years ago.

about a week ago
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Can the ObamaCare Enrollment Numbers Be Believed?

ottothecow Re:What all is included? (722 comments)

That was pretty much my thought. There was a deadline, people are lazy and put off signing up until that deadline was looming over them (and were possibly reminded when trying to do their taxes that they need to enroll). The deadline was extended until April 15th...but it is near enough that you should see a big increase in signups.

They probably had a pretty good idea of how many people would be required to sign up, how many of those people would opt out, and how many people would switch over from something else. Using these numbers, they probably picked 7m people as a conservative estimate of how many people would sign up...and thus it was easy to hit it.

Making a big deal of this is as if it were front-page news that the number of people completing their tax returns skyrocketed between March 15th and April 15th...of course they do. Nobody calls it into question because everybody knows that you put stuff like that (especially if you owe money) as long as possible. The problem here might be that the people at places like Fox News have been on corporate payroll for so long (with health benefits), that they have no idea what is going through the minds of someone who has to actually signup on their own.

about a week ago
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Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

ottothecow Re:Summary from someone who skimmed it: (162 comments)

Still fundamentally different things. Dropbox is meant for continuous live access (and is actually a handy way to get some semblance of version control for word docs and other binary files that don't play well with VCSs). It is also meant for syncing across computers--which doesn't make sense at all if you are using it to back up system-specific information/configuration files/etc. It will protect the documents you store in it, but it makes disaster recovery a huge pain since you are starting from scratch (but hey, at least having your files is better than having nothing)

Backup systems are meant to never have to be accessed. Until you need them, in which case you want quick and easy access, and if you really care, you want more than just your pictures backed up so that you can get up and running quick (i.e. dropbox might be ok for some home user who only uses the computer for personal use and would otherwise have zero backups. It's not ok for someone who uses that computer for a living and needs to be able to get up and running again quickly in order to start making money again).

about two weeks ago
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New Service Lets You Hitch a Ride With Private Planes For Cost of Tank of Gas

ottothecow Re:um... (269 comments)

I don't think getting the license is particularily difficult in the US.

It can be very expensive and take time to get those hours...but a crazy person who wins the lottery (or an insurance settlement) wouldn't have much trouble making it into the air.

about two weeks ago
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Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

ottothecow Re:Summary from someone who skimmed it: (162 comments)

You don't even know the difference between actual backup and dropbox/google docs document sharing/syncing.

Do you even read slashdot, or do you just come here to post your awful shit?

about two weeks ago
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Judge (Tech) Advice By Results

ottothecow Re:Human nature (162 comments)

Get your own damn blog.

about two weeks ago
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Wal-Mart Sues Visa For $5 Billion For Rigging Card Swipe Fees

ottothecow Re:Walmart employees, rejoice! (455 comments)

While the practice isn't so nice, it's not exactly walmart's fault that this is the best way to get cheap labor.

Tying benefits to employment is stupid (especially with how often people are changing jobs these days). If everybody bought health insurance on their own (or had it provided by the government), then walmart wouldn't see a cost savings by hiring 2 people to work 20-30 hours instead of one to work 40-60, in fact they would probably see a savings since training costs would be reduced, turnover might be reduced (people will stop ditching the PT job as soon as they find something FT), and you might end up with a more effective employee.

IIRC, this essentially came as an unintended consequence of some government wage controls during/following the war. Companies couldn't raise wages to attract talent, so they started offering non-wage benefits. Now it is standard for it to come from your employer, while people buying their own insurance get screwed by high prices. Hard to break free of that system though...everybody expects the benefit, and it costs the company less to provide the benefit than they would have to pay you extra to afford your own insurance. So skilled/in demand workers keep getting their benefits, while the easily replaceable laborers get 30 hour work weeks.

about three weeks ago
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How Did Bill Nye Become the Science Guy?

ottothecow Re:His debate (220 comments)

This is a better alternative than that money going to other causes.

I'd much rather have a bunch of people out there building a life sized Ark (and maybe even employing some skilled tradesmen) than for that same money being spent winning local elections for candidates that want to take evolution out of textbooks.

about a month ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

ottothecow Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

Good to know--I will have to try again. Glad they fixed this, as it was really a bummer

about a month ago
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Amazon Hikes Prime Membership Fee

ottothecow Re:Still worth it (276 comments)

You forgot that Amazon won't deliver HD content to the browser (even for paid rentals where HD is an extra dollar).

Netflix wins hands down there...my HTPC is significantly more powerful than my parents roku...but their amazon streaming looks way better.

about a month ago
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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

ottothecow Re:Feds... (342 comments)

The local dealer chains in a lot of areas tend to be very successful.

This means they can make lots of local political campaign contributions (both to buy influence and to get themselves tickets to all of the fundraising galas where they can meet and great with the townsfolk). They also tend to be somewhat of a dynasty, having been started back in the golden age of automobiles and inherited by younger family members

Then, what do you do when you've got 2 kids, and your dealer brother's got 2 kids, and you don't have enough dealerships for them to all inherit? Why not send one of them into politics? It could be very beneficial to your business to have someone on the city counsel, and you've got the cash to finance the race. Maybe later they move on to the state senate.

about a month ago
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Daylight Saving Time ...

ottothecow Re:so much hate (310 comments)

What happens if you have a 12:00 meeting with people in a wide area that spans time zones and DST treatments.

Does the calendaring software decide that the person who started the meeting is the "master" (i.e. the meeting is always at 12 their time)? What if the meeting is originally at a time where it is during the workday outside of DST in all countries, but the DST switch would move it outside of the workday for someone who isn't the host? Then I would think you would want to allow the host's time to change so that someone else doesn't have to work overtime.

Obviously there are solutions, but I don't think the software will be able to fix it by itself. (for reference, I don't like the DST switch, but I actually prefer DST--more daylight after work is better than more daylight before work)

about a month ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

ottothecow Re:"... as a means to reduce theft." (158 comments)

To play devil's advocate--If I stole your phone...I'd probably want to wipe all of your crap off of it anyways. Flash a fresh OS on there and it is good as new.

Just like if I stole your laptop to use it myself, I would wipe the drive first (though many thieves are not so clever), or if I wanted to sell it, I would put a clean OS on it. Might be some valuable information stashed on your drive, but if I am a petty thief, I probably care more about the easy money of selling electronics vs the more complex prospect of figuring out how to profit off a stolen identity (much more difficult than cash).

A kill switch that bricked the phone (or made it unable to join a mobile network or fully boot until disabled) would kill the residual value of the phone. Sure, maybe you could harvest it for parts, but if the bootloader is locked and the OS is hosed, nobody is going to be using it as a phone again.

about a month and a half ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

ottothecow Re:"... as a means to reduce theft." (158 comments)

A lot of phone thefts in big cities like NYC/Chicago go like this:

Person is on the train, engrossed in their facebook news feed (and probably have their headphones on so as to be further zoned out). Train pulls into stop and doors open. Thief rips phone out of person's hand and dashes out the closing doors. By the time the victim or anyone nearby recognizes what just happened, the doors are closed and the train is pulling away (and to an outside observer on the platform, it just looked like a guy who forgot it was his stop and dashed to get off the train). Less pro thiefs may not have the timing down, but they can probably run fast enough to still avoid getting caught.

If everyone knew that that phone would become worthless, these types of thefts would calm down. You might have a phone to play with for an hour (and if you were savvy, you might try using the linked email to break into some financial accounts), but the sketchy guy in the ice cream truck with a "cash for phones" sign isn't going to want soon-to-be bricked devices.

As an aside, if I were a robber, I am not sure if I would take the phone or not. Maybe take it and toss or break it (especially if it will be bricked remotely). The last thing I would want after robbing someone is something that is so easily tracked. My movements after the theft might be recorded and the phone might be hard to sell since they are much easier to check the history on than cash or random jewelry (and I would have to turn it on show any potential buyer that it was working).

about a month and a half ago
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Android Beats iOS As the Top Tablet OS

ottothecow Re:The year of the Linux Tablet (487 comments)

The audio latency issues on android are kind of a shame.

The one reason I almost bought an ipad instead of an android tablet was basically so I could use the ReBirth app (and maybe other music apps in the future). Figured it wasn't worth double the money for a single app when I got a deal on a 2013 Nexus 7...but I wish I could run it.

There are some alternatives but the audio latency just kills it. You can write stuff and then hit play, but you can't adjust it on the fly without lag. If you are writing it in advance, might as well use a computer since you aren't taking advantage of a big multitouch control surface to have live control of multiple effects.

about a month and a half ago
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Girl's Facebook Post Costs Her Dad $80,000

ottothecow Re:So why is this here? (387 comments)

To be fair, ctrl-shift-t is magical. I found out about it years ago and use it multiple times per day.

In fact, now that I have started doing my breakfast/couchbound casual browsing on a Nexus 7 instead of a netbook, I have come to miss the ease of restoring closed tabs (that and easy within-page searching...you can at least do that on a tablet, but it is a lot slower than with ctrl-f and f3)

about a month and a half ago
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

ottothecow Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (794 comments)

Unless you are burning your food to a crisp until it is a bitter, blackened mess, you are fine. Food temps don't traditionally get anywhere near high enough for this to be a problem or a danger.

about a month and a half ago
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

ottothecow Re:Why single out Whole Foods? (794 comments)

Its not nitrite-free: http://www.good.is/posts/your-...

It may be a well made and tasty bacon (I have had TJ's bacon, its not bad at all), but it is definitely cured and definitely contained nitrites. This article explains why sometimes, it can even be labeled "Uncured" despite the fact that it is actually cured (since USDA regulations apparently don't currently include celery-curing): http://fyi.uwex.edu/meats/file...

I don't even know why you would want to eat nitrite-free bacon...it won't taste like bacon and it might give you botulism. Either stick to fresh pork or accept that nitrites are required when consuming cured/smoked/aged pork products.

about a month and a half ago
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Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

ottothecow Re: Why single out Whole Foods? (794 comments)

Check out my response to his request for sources above. I found an abstract for a paper that corroborates the fact that you can't actually measure the amount of nitrites going in to a celery-cured product (probably due to the reasons you specified).

I also cite an article that cites a cooks illustrated study that found more residual nitrites in the celery-bacon than in traditional bacon, suggesting that they might use more nitrites in the curing process. However, I just found this abstract which says that bacteria growth was found to be higher in "no-nitrate-or-nitrite-added" meats than in traditional cured meats. This suggests to me that they might have *less* nitrites since the bacteria isn't being inhibited (it also suggests that you should avoid the alternative methods if you plan to store the meat for a long period of time before consuming).

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Pidgin adds Google Talk Voice and Video support!

ottothecow ottothecow writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ottothecow (600101) writes "While various attempts at video and voice support have been in the pipeline since long before GAIM became Pidgin, fully functioning support over XMPP is on its way. Lifehacker reports that Pidgin 2.6 adds voice and video support for GChat (and presumably any other xmpp network) for Mac and Linux. Windows still has a few bugs but they are being worked on. Pidgin 2.6.1 is only available as source at the moment (but precompiled versions are available at getdeb."

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