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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

rainmaestro Re:I have worked at a few ISPs (235 comments)

Must be nice to have competitors. One ISP in my area that provides anything beyond DSL speeds. Bundled utilities that you can't split: water, sewer, stormwater, waste pickup and recycling all in one bill. Even if you go with WM privately, you still pay for county collection as part of your utility bill. Same for recycling.


Gartner: Internet of Things Has Reached Hype Peak

rainmaestro Re: Why did they pick such a bad buzzword? (98 comments)

Wouldn't the simpler option be to educate people to not buy so much crap that they can't consume it in time? I'm always amazed to look in people's fridges and see how much stuff is just sitting there that hasn't been opened in a year. Making the fridge smarter is just masking the real issue.

about a week ago

Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be

rainmaestro Re:...The hell? (291 comments)

Like my "flagship" Galaxy phone? The one that I think I paid more for than the last three phones I owned. The one that reboots twice a day. The one that, at least once a week, gets itself into some fugue state where it is off but can't be turned back on until I pop the battery out. The one with the photo viewer that is too stupid to realize that landscape photos shouldn't be displayed in portrait orientation when I'm holding the phone in a landscape orientation. The one with a music player that randomly loses my playlists, occasionally in the middle of playing one.

Seems like every Galaxy owner I've talked to has their own list of twenty things their phones does really shittily. I miss my old low end crappy phone sometimes. At least it was reliable, even if the GPS app never quite worked right.

about a month ago

Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

rainmaestro Re:It's already going on... (353 comments)

Auto insurance isn't that bad compared to the rest. My insurance dropped 10% in the last adjustment, and is within a couple percent of where it was five years ago.

Homeowner's insurance, on the other hand, is truly predatory. My policy averages a 15% increase annually, with zero claims. And thanks to living in Florida, I have fuck all options for switching carriers. My insurance is about 20% of my total mortgage payment this year, and I'm not even in a flood zone.

And homeowner's insurance has that wonderful package-only system, so I'm paying for shit I don't need because I can't choose to opt out at all (my personal property coverage is 2x what I need because it is computed from the property value, there's a 25K identity theft coverage that I don't need at all, I'm covered for volcanic eruptions, etc). At least the auto insurance carriers give you an option.

about a month and a half ago

Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

rainmaestro Re:What about range on this smaller car? (247 comments)

Well, that's only partially correct. Drunk driving and speeding tickets will have no effect on your insurance because both of those issues apply to the policyholder and any additional named parties, not to the vehicle. Since your buddy isn't on your insurance, he gets the premium penalty for the DUI, not you.

In the event of an accident, the driver's policy covers bodily injury while the owner's policy covers physical damage. Typically, your insurance company would also seek partial compensation from your friend's carrier as well, and you both will be affected.

Also, where the hell do you live that parking tickets affect your insurance? Even if you don't pay them, the only consequence is that you can't renew your registration until you pay them off. Or if you live in a city that uses parking enforcement to generate cash, your car gets towed and you have to go pay it off immediately.

about a month and a half ago

Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

rainmaestro Re:What we need... (235 comments)

Such a simple concept that you managed to get it wrong, apparently.

From my state's laws:
        s. 316.151 – Required Position and Method of Turning at Intersections
        (b) Left turn . A person riding a bicycle and intending to turn left in accordance with this section is entitled to the full use of the lane from which the turn may be legally made.

If you are making a left turn at an intersection on a bicycle, you get in the turn lane just like a car. Laws could of course vary by state, but in every state I've biked in, this was the case.

about a month and a half ago

Encryption Keys For Kim Dotcom's Data Can't Be Given To FBI, Court Rules

rainmaestro Re:What a crazy situation (149 comments)

The fact that it is the #1 non-disease killer (even in the US) is pretty much meaningless in the overall picture when you consider that over 90% of deaths are caused by diseases. Traffic fatalities represent about 2% of the total deaths per annum. Now factor in that only about 30% of traffic fatalities have excess speed as a contributing factor (according to the NHTSA). And only about 35% of fatalities occur above 55 mph (again, NHTSA), so most people aren't even in the "lucky to survive" range when they are killed.

So...2% overall death rate, times 30% if speed traps could magically eliminate every instance of excessive speeding causing a crash, AND each of those crashes ONLY had excessive speed as a cause, and we get a *best case* 0.6% reduction in overall deaths if we went balls-out on speed traps. Complete and utter waste of time.

Your numbers, while theoretically valid, are ultimately pointless in practice. Putting that extra effort into reducing distracted driving or alcohol-impaired driving would both yield a better return. Or, even better, put it into reducing the staggering number of deaths caused by preventable diseases if you really want to cut down the death rate.

about a month and a half ago

Don't Want Google In Your House? Here Are a Few Home-Tech Startups To Watch

rainmaestro Re:Why? (88 comments)

Thank you. I was wondering how long it would be until someone made that joke. Less time that I had guessed.

about 2 months ago

Don't Want Google In Your House? Here Are a Few Home-Tech Startups To Watch

rainmaestro Why? (88 comments)

Yeah, I'm eagerly awaiting the day when attackers are able to exploit my smart fridge to remotely unlock the smart lock on my smart door. And the inevitable automatic firmware update that bricks my smart air conditioner.

Why does everything need to be a web appliance? My crockpot should convert electricity into heat and produce delicious stews and roasts. It doesn't need to use my search history to suggest new recipes, I have a PC that can do that.

On the bright side, I'm looking forward to the instructions on how to run Debian on my blender.

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

rainmaestro Re:How much reduced sleep is tied to long commutes (710 comments)

I really miss my old commute. When I started, the office was a five minute bike ride away. I could ride home, have a nice lunch, and ride back. Six months later, they moved 15 miles north. That 15 miles represents over an hour of rush hour driving. Ended up moving to a spot that wouldn't require me to deal with the worst rush hour roads, but I'm still a good 20-minute drive away.

The worst I've seen are devs at a client in DC. Between driving in from the surrounding area to a parking garage at the tail end of the Yellow line and then taking the metro into town, they spent an absurd amount of time in transit to their jobs (not to mention the $200/month or so they had to pay for parking).

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

rainmaestro Re:What choice do we have? (710 comments)

Oh, there have been more than three times where I could have gone over, but since my boss has to pay me for that extra time, he doesn't want me going over 40 (outside of emergencies, like when a RAID-5 VM host lost two drives in under an hour on a Saturday morning and had to be rebuilt). If I end up staying late two hours because a meeting runs long, I leave two hours early on Friday. If I spend Saturday doing out-of-hours maintenance on a mail server, I take a day off the next week to balance out the hours.

Funny thing happens when you negotiate for overtime pay: they stop asking you work late :)

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

rainmaestro Re:Net not profit (710 comments)

It really depends on where you live and what your circumstances are. Do you have a car loan and student loans? That'll make it really tough, as those alone can easily be $5K/year or more. Do you not have a mortgage? That makes it easier. My parents live on about 25K a year, but this was after moving and buying a smaller house in cash from what they made off their old one. No mortgage means your household expenses could be dirt cheap depending on location ($200/month for property taxes and insurance for them). No mortage, no car loans and no credit card debt makes $1800/month much more survivable.

Plain numbers are tricky. The possibility of surviving on a certain income really comes down to what specific expenses you have to contend with. I could do 35K/year (gross) pretty comfortably with my current costs, but not 25K.

Most people who can't survive on the 35K number the OP tossed out are unable to do so because of existing debt that is dragging them down. If they had been able to avoid getting sucked into that position from the outset, 35K would be a much easier number to handle. Debt is a dangerous creature that we've become far too complacent about.

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

rainmaestro Re:What choice do we have? (710 comments)

If you can take a pay cut, you can find better alternatives. Even though I'm exempt like most of IT, I never work over 40 hours outside of emergencies (only three times in five years with this company). On those rare times, I was paid for them. This was something I negotiated from the beginning: no overtime unless I'm paid.

My pay is about 15% below market average, but this was the tradeoff I was willing to make in order to have a less stressful work life (and my lifestyle is such that I could afford the cut). If you've got a huge mortgage, three kids, five cars and a mountain of student debt and credit card debt, yeah, you're pretty well fucked.

My parents quit their jobs when they moved about 10 years ago and became self-employed. They make half of what they did before, but only work about 30 hours a week. They've both said they will never go back to working for somebody else. The freedom was worth the reduced pay to them as well.

about 2 months ago

Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

rainmaestro Re:Kingston selling shit USB3 flash keys (289 comments)

SanDisk does that same crap. There's a huge difference between the write speeds for Ultra and Extreme models even though they are both rated USB3. Learned that lesson the hard way.

about 2 months ago

Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

rainmaestro Re:Or maybe... (309 comments)

More languages? No way. What we really need are more frameworks for our existing languages. What's a self-respecting web developer to do if he/she doesn't have to learn three new bleeding-edge frameworks every month?

I'm looking forward to the day when my resume is just a two-page, single-spaced paragraph of frameworks...

about 2 months ago

Report: Watch Dogs Game May Have Influenced Highway Sign Hacking

rainmaestro Re:Well then the SOLUTION is obvious (154 comments)

You'd be surprised. Most work programs are run by corporations nowadays (I used to work in the IT dept for one). It isn't like the old days where inmates were making products that sold for pennies on the dollar, prices at the company I worked for were good but typically were not that far below the industry averages. And as far as prison control, the inmates who made it into our programs were the low-risk ones that didn't need that much control to begin with. Typically they were "light" criminals with 2 year sentences. The high-risk inmates weren't considered viable for the programs.

about 2 months ago

Fixing the Humanities Ph.D.

rainmaestro Re:40%? (325 comments)

Not quite, the summary is misleading. According to the article, the 60% number came from this: there were 600 open tenure-track positions and 1000 fresh graduates, therefore 60%. What it ignores is that those 1000 graduates were emptying themselves into a pool already overflowing with graduates and existing non-tenure professors fighting for the same jobs. The actual percentage will be much, much lower.

And that's just tenure track. Only a fraction of people on the track will actually receive tenure. Humanities tenures certainly aren't as rare as STEM tenures, but they also aren't nearly as abundant as the summary suggests.

about 2 months ago

TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

rainmaestro Re:Truecrypt was the hardest thing for the NSA (566 comments)

The big problem is: if the summary is correct and the new code was signed with the same GPG key, how could we trust anything from TC from this point on? If it wasn't them posting and someone managed to pilfer the signing key, a security lapse that serious introduces major doubts about the trustworthiness of their security product. If it was them, then something happened to cause this that would make any return suspect by default.

In either case, the only safe option is to assume TC is compromised.

about 3 months ago

TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

rainmaestro Re:What's in my TrueCrypt volume? (566 comments)

Tax returns contain the following:
Name, address, Social Security number, income, employer info, spouse and dependent names and Social Security numbers, bank account number and routing number (if using direct deposit for your refund). Surely you can see why you wouldn't want that information falling into the hands of whoever stole your laptop, right? A tax return is basically the golden snitch of identity theft.

about 3 months ago

Severe Vulnerability At eBay's Website

rainmaestro Re:Fuck ePay (60 comments)

And let's not forget the fact that you can't leave negative feedback for a shitty buyer anymore. Or get a negative feedback rescinded. I have a negative on my seller account from a buyer who didn't like the size of the address label I put on the shipping box, a negative which eBay refused to remove.

A few years back I had a package returned unopened. Emailed the buyer to see what happened (thinking maybe I had the address wrong). No reply. Kept sending emails, about three weeks later I finally get a response: "Oh, I changed my mind and decided I didn't want the item anymore. I've filed a chargeback with my credit card company for it." Eventually, I got the contact from Paypal informing me of the disputed transaction. Her claim with her CC company was that it was an unauthorized charge. I sent everything I had (including that email chain) to Paypal. Naturally, I lost (I always expect to lose as a seller). And I couldn't leave a negative feedback for the buyer.

That was the last time I gave eBay any of my business. As long as they continue to operate like they do, I'll never buy or sell an item on there again.

about 3 months ago


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