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Comment: Re:How many other flaws (Score 1) 173 173

I'm married and have developed myself largely, professionally, as someone with local skills

I don't hate the US enough to move out - I just don't like it enough to ultimately convince my children to move somewhere better

Where did you ultimately go and why? What is your trade/background?

Comment: Re:How many other flaws (Score 1) 173 173

For better or worse my plan is to...

-Convince my future children to study abroad in Scandinavia (or some other legitimately 1st world country) and ultimately move there
-When they do, I'll follow
-Give up on the United States as it's a poor excuse for a 1st world country (especially when we trail in virtually every measure)

Consider watching the first 10 minutes of Newsroom except that the anchor there has higher hopes and expectations than I do (i.e., much easier to go somewhere already fixed than live in a place which will be broken for a long while...)

Comment: Getting faster speeds than you pay for (Score 4, Insightful) 142 142

by Bourdain (#49474803) Attached to: How do your actual ISP speeds compare to the advertised speed?
I've found that if you provide your own DOCSIS 3.0 modem on a connection where they would typically provide a DOCSIS 2.0 modem, at least on Time Warner in NYC, you get markedly faster speeds than you would otherwise be paying for - especially during off-peak times

Perhaps those with DOCSIS 3.0 modems on faster paid connections might get higher priority than I do for those speeds, but perhaps not?

Comment: Schwab offers security token for regular banking (Score 1) 271 271

by Bourdain (#48994579) Attached to: Why Gmail Has Better Security Than Your Bank
It's one of the reasons I signed up is that they offer a free security token for signing in.

There are no fees and sadly, when I asked them how popular it is, they said virtually no one uses it.

I suspect it's not so popular because most accounts are insured against most fraud so there's little incentive to using them for most users.

What I'd like is to use that token (or even SMS) for an ATM pin...

Comment: Hopefully this still gets read... (Score 1) 167 167

by Bourdain (#48750957) Attached to: Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here
To address the two common themes I see here:

(1) Make no mistake, semi-autonomous cars are useless, but meaningful collision avoidance systems are useful and that's the first stepping stone in the process

(2) Autonomous cars are still decades away from any sort of real adoption and automobile manufacturers should (I suspect they are...) develop them in the context of a shared usage vehicle given their much higher utilization than a regular car (an autonomous car could be in use 100% of the time as opposed to how most cars sit parked most of their time). As such, most users of such vehicles will use them like taxi's but they would cost much less, be safer, and would be available anywhere and for any length trip unlike just metropolitan areas.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 2) 196 196

by Bourdain (#48742205) Attached to: Dish Introduces $20-a-Month Streaming-TV Service

They will charge you though the nose for a "dry" internet connection (i.e. when you only have internet service with them). The delta between internet and TV with internet is just about $20 and add phone for another $10 (with per/min charges). Add a few dollars for the cable box and this deal will only be a small gain over an internet connection and TV.

Perhaps so, but I have TWC in NY and pay just $34.99/month for a 50/5 connection (granted, I think it is rated lower but if you use a docsis 3.0 modem on an otherwise slower priced connection, you get higher speeds) and just use a few shared accounts for netflix/hbo go/nimble tv/amazon/WatchESPN all on a Roku3 that come to something like $10-15/month

perhaps doing this is somewhat against the TOS of those services, but last time I checked, TWC bundling prices is against the terms of service of the federal government...

Comment: An alternative approach (Score 1) 699 699

by Bourdain (#48549143) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus
-We can think of all sorts of analogies for intrusive ads (which are perfectly valid) but the truth is is that most people don't block ads on most sites unless someone can cite some statistics suggesting otherwise so I suggest a technologically feasible approach to serve unobtrusive ads to adblockers.

-As such, if website publishers want to get paid more for their content and think they are being shortchanged by ad-blockers, they could insist that the networks they work with provide them with a less interactive/obtrusive (i.e., non-flash, etc.) ad which will display when the user is using adblock (presumably in conjunction with the functionality already embedded in adblock to allow for those unobtrusive ads; presumably in the form of a cookie that an ad server could read then determine what th serve the user?)

Comment: Practically speaking as a CPA... (Score 2) 410 410

(1) Our tax structure isn't going to change meaningfully anytime soon
(2) The IRS won't allow or enforce any sort of efile for everyone in the short-term
(3) The IRS does allow you to file Form 14039 which puts a flag on your account which will make it harder for someone to cheat you out of your refund because your account will go through extra checks (such as making sure that your address and other information hasn't changed from last year since most information breaches don't contain all of the information necessary to file your tax return) and will reject fraudulent looking returns
(4) The IRS might decide to, upon filing form 14039 or if you have experienced a fraudulent return filed for you, a distinct PIN which is like a PIN for a credit freeze

Morale of the story if you're concerned about not getting your refund
-file form 8822 when you change address and notify your employees and other agencies which file forms on your behalf to have your current address so all filings point to the same physical address
-file form 14039 to have the identify theft flag added to your profile
-always try to arrange so you owe a little money come tax time (but not so much that you owe a penalty) so your refund is not in purgatory in the event of a fraudulent return filed on your behalf
-if you do indeed get a refund, try to file as early as possible to beat out a fraudster

Comment: Re:How might their cost structure / roll-out chang (Score 1) 147 147

I emailed the author of the Ars article, this is what he said though I can't opine as to whether or not it is truly applicable (though I'm certain Aereo's attorney's would know for sure though it seems too low to me intuitively...):

The fee is (more or less) 1% of gross revenue if you're a cable system.

See section 111 here:

(F) If the actual gross receipts paid by subscribers to a cable system for the period covered by the statement for the basic service of providing secondary transmissions of primary broadcast transmitters are more than $263,800 but less than $527,600, the royalty fee payable under this paragraph to copyright owners pursuant to paragraph (3) shall be—

(i) 0.5 percent of any gross receipts up to $263,800, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any; and

(ii) 1 percent of any gross receipts in excess of $263,800, but less than $527,600, regardless of the number of distant signal equivalents, if any.

Comment: How might their cost structure / roll-out change? (Score 1) 147 147

According to Ars:

the royalties are set by the government, not the broadcasters

--> Is the above true, does someone know this for certain?

--> If so, what would the marginal cost be per user?

One other thing to consider is that Aereo has pretty good software developed right now and if they don't need farms of antenna's with local presence anymore, they could theoretically be located anywhere if they are, effectively, a retransmission service and would no longer need to build out local infrastructure (i.e., which I suspect was one of their larger costs) and could just use cloud type services (e.g., amazon/rackspace) to host their DVR/transcoding/etc. services

Comment: Re:One switch to rule them all? (Score 1) 681 681

I, embarrassingly and sadly, live in Excel through my job as a CPA and as a frequent reader and occasional contributor here, unsurprisingly have a little bit of a programming/IT background.

I fully appreciate that the ribbon interface is better for novice users and has a flatter learning curve compared to the 2003 conventional interface but what really got me about the new versions is the slowness (only minimized slightly by being on a well configured new core i7, etc.). The new versions are so poorly engineered that they:
(1) frequently miss keystrokes/combinations that I enter
(2) calculate generally more slowly and/or less intelligently
(3) execute vba substantially more slowly

As such, my preferred setup is that I have Office 2003 and 2010 installed on the same machine (2010 via sandboxie which is tricky but doable to get right except that I use Outlook 2010 directly as opposed to sandboxed instead of Outlook 2003 since the newer Outlook is a real improvement and the ribbon doesn't bother me in that context of lighter usage)

I use Excel 2003 for almost everything and, only when I need to, I open up files in 2010 if they won't open in 2003.

Office 2007 is crap
Office 2013 is crap
Office 2010 is the least bad version of the new Office's

If you can't learn to do it well, learn to enjoy doing it badly.