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Comment: Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (Score 1) 1006

by CustomDesigned (#43275231) Attached to: Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

How long do you think the militia with the weapons it is legally allowed to own is going to last against the US military?

Well, how long did the Afghanistan militia hold out against the might of the Soviet military, followed by the might (not to mention "shock and awe") of the US military? Or do you think that we are pulling out because we "won"?

Comment: Re:Robotic chef (Score 1) 312

by CustomDesigned (#36867638) Attached to: I would soonest put my trust in a ...

A lot of the task of using fresh ingredients has to do with "cutting out the bad spots". I'm pretty sure robotics will eventually be up to this, but at the present it can only recognize bad items in a collection (on a conveyor belt, for instance). I wouldn't trust a robot to cut up my tomatoes and onions. Now I'm wondering how many "bad spots" are in canned pumpkin...

Comment: Re:Robotic chef (Score 1) 312

by CustomDesigned (#36859960) Attached to: I would soonest put my trust in a ...

While robotic chefs aren't very good at final prep, they do great on processing a great many ingredients. For instance, are you going to cut up, boil, strain, and puree pumpkins, or are you going to take a can of pumpkin from the pantry? Is your homemade pumpkin puree really better than the factory? If its got to be cooked and processed anyway, the factory does a good job. If it ought to be fresh, e.g. salsa, the factory does a lousy job. There is simply no canned salsa that can hold a candle to real fresh salsa.

So robotic chef is out, but robotic kitchen assistant is in.

Comment: This is the way it should work (Score 0) 281

by CustomDesigned (#33014702) Attached to: Rogers Shrinks Download Limits As Netflix Arrives

The key is to have any easy way for users to monitor usage, so they can cut back, or get ready to pay more. Also important, is making the process of paying more a pleasant experience. No, you are not "punishing" the customer for using your service too much. In fact, you want to reward them by offering them an upgrade to a plan with a higher allowance, at a substantial discount over the "a la carte" overlimit charge. And, you should find the increased gross revenue rewarding enough to invest in equipment, cables, and peering to keep customers ever expanding bandwidth hunger fed, and your cash flow flowing.

Less important, but nice, is to honor QoS tags from the customer, not you, so that with a smart router (or linux box), they can watch a high def movie (high bandwidth), while chatting on VOIP (low latency), and downloading the entire 50G Fedora distro (batch).

Comment: Justified Cynicism (Score 1) 709

by CustomDesigned (#32993338) Attached to: GOP Senators Move To Block FCC On Net Neutrality

When the civil rights act, written to explicitly prevent discrimination based on skin color, is used to justify federal discrimination based on skin color (with similar backward applications of the 1st and 2nd ammendments), it is somewhat justified (if cynical) to expect that a regulation written to explicitly prohibit internet censorship based on content, will be used to justify federal internet censorship based on content.

User Journal

Journal: Passive Obsessive Checking Disorder

Journal by CustomDesigned

In the standard distributed monitoring described in the Nagios docs, check results flow one way - from leaf to root. I needed something a little different - peer to peer distributed monitoring. There are several problems that drive this need. One is checking public services. Our nagios server runs in the same tiny backroom "data center" as the public web server. It can check things internally, but can't check that the general public can actually get to ho

User Journal

Journal: "Green" drives fubar servers 1

Journal by CustomDesigned

Laptop hard drives have long come with power saving features. This makes sense for laptops, which are generally single user systems. I just had the misfortune of installing a pair of "green" WD5000AADS-00M2B0 drives in a server. I soon noticed the problem of rapidly rising Load_cycle_count acknowledged at the WDC Faq.

Comment: HMO vs Real Insurance (Score 1) 146

by CustomDesigned (#32787770) Attached to: Poor Vision? There's an App For That

While HMO plans are a choice people should be able to make, you should look into actual high deductible insurance. Our family of 6 pays $500/mo with a $5500/yr deductible. We pay "out of pocket" by depositing the money into a Health Savings Account (HSA) first, and paying from that. This deducts the expense on the same line as IRA contributions. Fully funding the HSA for the deductible, plus the premiums, is about the cost of HMO coverage with the same exclusions and tax benefits. BUT, if we don't spend the entire deductible from the HSA, the balance stays in the account which can be used for non-covered expenses (e.g. our plan doesn't cover dental) or saved for retirement (it can be used like an IRA after retirement age). Notice that if you hit the deductible (which our daughter did last year by breaking two fingers), your total premium plus "out of pocket" expense is about the same as HMO premiums.

One nasty aspect of the current Obamacare bill is phasing out HSA accounts by 2015 ("forcing" people to buy HMO coverage similarly to how people are "forced" to use public schools because of the tax induced expense of private school).

Comment: Not really the internet (Score 1, Insightful) 175

by CustomDesigned (#31397284) Attached to: Time To Take the Internet Seriously

The article says "internet", but it really means "the HTTP based family of applications that use the internet". Sometimes a customer gets me by mistake when they need help because "their internet is down". I start to get mad because of self contradictory statements, but then I remember that they really mean, "my web browser stopped working". (You can tell I'm not really tech support because next I try to find out what browser they are using, and they are never able to tell me. Which means they are using IE.)

Having cleared that up, I can only see consolidation of HTTP applications under some super googly company (perhaps one the article writer envisions heading) as making things worse. I suggest that clutter in your web browser is not much different that clutter in your house. Get a book on Feng Shui or equivalent and start deleting the stuff that isn't helping you (making you happier, needed for work, etc).

P.S. I discovered a very important, but little known principle of error page design. If you put something in giant type at the top of the page, no one reads it. It you put it in little bitty 6 point type at the very bottom, everyone will read it. Even if they need to use their magnifier app. I can't explain it (it must have something to do with lawyers), but now that I know, I save a lot of frustration by putting the most important message in little bitty type at the bottom. (I still leave it at the top in big type also in case any old fashioned types like me see it.)

"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." -- Will Rogers

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