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Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 345

I have two Visa cards from my credit union. One I rarely use other than for purchases via the Internet; that one sits in my desk at home. The other Visa card I carry with me.

I always call my credit union before traveling. This past summer, we visited out daughter in Saskatoon, Canada. Going, we changed planes in Edmonton with a long layover. Returning, we changed planes in Calgary. Before the trip, I called my credit union and gave them the dates of travel and the three cities I was visiting. Treating my daughter and her family to dinner in a nice restaurant, the Visa card in my wallet was rejected. We had to use my wife's Master Card, for which I also called the bank before traveling.

Back at our hotel, I called my credit union. They had entered my "vacation alert" into my account only for the Visa card that was still sitting in my desk in California. During this phone call, they added a "vacation alert" for the Visa card in my wallet.

Interestingly, we traveled in France earlier in the year. For that, I also called my credit union and bank about my travel plans. I used the Visa card I had in my wallet and my wife used her Master Card, all without any problems.

Also, my credit union occasionally calls me about very large Visa charges when I have not even left southern California. Frankly, I am happy that they are monitoring my account. Once my pocket was picked in Washington, DC. My Visa credit limit was totally consumed in the three hours between when I last remembered handling my wallet and when I reported the theft to Visa. It took one day to get a replacement Visa card but several days to restore my access to the account, something I hope the current monitoring procedures would prevent.

Comment Just the First Step (Score 1) 40

Becoming a public-benefit corporation is the first step towards becoming a non-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. A private-benefit corporation cannot be tax-exempt.

Of course, this means much more than Kickstarter merely avoiding taxes. It also means it cannot compete with for-profit companies; any profits unrelated to its public-benefit purpose are taxed at a higher rate than for-profit corporations. This also means that it cannot endorse any candidate for election to public office and severely limits its ability to lobby government officials and agencies.

Comment The Logical Conclusion of Opposing Ad-Blocking (Score 2) 351

Those who would prevent the use of ad-blockers need to consider where the logical path of their position leads. Advertisements also appear on television and radio, in newspapers and magazines, and on billboards along our highways.

Action to prevent ad-blockers must therefore also prohibit Mute buttons on TV remotes and prohibit me from running to the bathroom during long commercial breaks on TV. They must also prohibit me from switching radio stations or turning off the radio while driving They must force me me read every ad in my morning newspaper and make me stop my car to carefully read every billboard.

NO. I can choose to be deaf and blind to advertisements in other media. Why can I not choose to block advertisements on the Internet? What is it about the Internet that mandates its advertisements on me, something other media cannot do?

Comment Old News (Score 1) 527

The updates for the cited KB numbers appeared some time ago. I did not install them.

The best practice now is to set Microsoft Update to check for updates and alert you but not to download or install any updates. Note however that this is NOT an option with Windows 10, which is a good reason to avoid Windows 10. .

Then review the details of why each update should be installed. In Windows Update (Windows 7), select an update. At the right will be a link "More information". Select that link and read the Web page. If the information presented there does not tell you how the update will benefit you, the user, do not install it. In that case, the update most likely benefits only Microsoft.

Comment Age Discrimination is Real (Score 2) 242

For almost 14 years, there has been a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court who used to chair the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). While heading the EEOC he held up some 20,000 age-discrimination complaints until the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits expired.

Yet there are ways to hide your age until you actually sign-on as an employee. Never discuss any part of your career that ended more than 10 years ago. Touch up your gray hair; Clairol (or some other brand) is your friend. Men should touch up their mustaches and beards, too. (But DO NOT resort to comb-overs, toupees, or other ways to hide your baldness.) You can readily claim your college degrees, but do not mention when you earned them.

Another area for caution is your salary history. Avoid discussing this. Take the position that you prefer to consider total compensation, including fringe benefits. Also indicate that past compensation might have been earned for an effort different from the one you are being considered. If you need the job and are willing to work for less than you used to make, do not allow your prospective employer use your past salary to disqualify you.

Also, remember that old dogs do indeed learn new tricks. If you are experienced in three computer languages and three operating systems, the next one will be very easy to learn. In any case, the old tricks are sometimes very valuable.

See my This might be somewhat dated, but the overall content could prove useful.

Comment Prior-Use (Score 1) 224

Columbia Pictures' claim of some form of intellectual property rights to the term "Pixels" must be invalid on the basis of prior use. Over 10 years ago, one of my copyrighted Web pages used the term "pixels". The Internet Archive contains a copy of that page dated 10 February 2005; that copy contains the notice "Copyright © 2003-2004 by David E. Ross".

The current page is

Comment Re:"NO" to Any Automatic Updates (Score 2) 317

By the way, Microsoft does own the Windows and Office software on my PC. Thus, Microsoft might have the right to alter that software. But Acronis owns the Acronis True Image application; I am not sure what permissions Microsoft has from Acronis for altering that application. Did Microsoft have permission to alter NVida's driver?

In any case, I own my PC. It did not come from Microsoft. And I have the right to control what signals enter it, including electronic transmissions of software updates. I will not yield that control to Microsoft.

Comment "NO" to Any Automatic Updates (Score 2) 317

Currently running Windows 7, I allow Microsoft to notify me about updates; but I block them from downloading or installing. But that is how I handle all software. The only automatic updates that I allow are virus definitions for my anti-virus application, and updates to that application itself are also blocked until I am ready to download and install them.

For Microsoft updates, I wait at least a week after they are released. I read news reports and the alt.windows7.general newsgroup to see what others have experienced with those updates. I try to read Microsoft's "details" about its updates, but those are generally so vague that I cannot tell whether an update benefits me or benefits Microsoft. I reject any Microsoft updates for applications that I never use (e.g., Outlook, Silverlight) and any updates that facilitate installing Windows 10. I also reject Microsoft updates for non-Microsoft products. (Because I bought Acronis True Image, I get notices about updates directly from Acronis. I rejected Microsoft's recently released Acronis updates.)

In all cases, I want to delay any updates to any software on my PC until I know the process will not interfere with other tasks to which I have assigned a higher priority. Microsoft might release its updates on its own schedule, but I will install them on my own schedule.

All this means I certainly will not be updating Windows 7 to Windows 10. Another reason is that I have applications that run on Windows 7 -- some that I originally ran with Windows 95 -- that (1) are no longer being developed or even available but still serve my purposes and (2) Microsoft admits will not run with Windows 10.

Windows 10 (or even a later Windows) might be in my future only when I need a new application that will not run on any earlier version of Windows. Given that I am already 74 years old, my Windows 7 configuration might last longer than I will.

Comment "Over-Fishing" in Advertising (Score 5, Interesting) 351

Television in the U.S. gives us strong evidence that advertisers are "over-fishing" their audience.

Many years ago, shows on TV would be longer; and commercial breaks would be fewer and shorter. Some shows had only one sponsor: the "Colgate Comedy Hour", the "U.S. Steel Hour" (drama), "Milton Berl" (comedy sponsored by Texaco), "Armstrong Theater" (drama sponsored by Armstrong Floors and Carpets), "The Voice of Firestone" (both popular and classical vocal music sponsored by Firestone Tires), and "I Love Lucy" (comedy sponsored by Phillip Morris Tobacco).

Today, TV shows are shorter so that commercial breaks can be longer and more frequent. Furthermore, more commercials are packed into each break. I have counted advertisements for four different automobile manufacturers in a single break. I also notice the constant selling of health-care products -- both over-the-counter and prescription -- one right after another. And then there are the same commercials repeated during a single break. We are so saturated with TV advertising that few commercials create any lasting impression on consumers.

If I were the CEO of an automobile or pharmaceutical manufacturer, I would order my marketing department to insist that any TV commercial from my company must not appear during the same commercial break as a product from a competing company. Nor would I allow my commercials to appear within 15 minutes of another commercial break advertising products from a competing company. Yes, such restrictions would cost my company more than the current saturation placement of commercials; but the lasting impression of isolating my advertisements from my competitors would be worth the cost.

Comment Re:Check Current Credit Report And Go From There (Score 2) 213

You can get one free credit report a year.

Check your credit report from only ONE agency (one of Experian, Equifax, or Transunion). Four months later, check it with another agency. Four months later, check it with the third agency. Four months later, it will be a year since you checked with the first one; now you can get another free report from them. This way, you can get a free report every four months.

Comment Clearing Cache Often, History Daily (Score 1) 308

My browser cache is cleared automatically every time I terminate the browser. Sometimes when I am having a problem viewing a particular Web site, I change some of my browser settings and manually clear the cache. Daily, I manually clear all browser history that is more than 30 days old.

Some of my computer files are encrypted using PGP. The passphrase -- more than merely a password -- exists only in my head. When I decrypt such a file to view or use it, I use a military-strength, multiple-pass file eraser on the decrypted file. I also use that eraser on old backup files before doing a new backup.

Comment Re:Cannot Have Mine (Score 1) 123

I hung six from my loquat tree (Eriobotrya japonica). Later this year, I will leave those that are towards my peach tree, hang about five from the peach itself, and one or two from the Australian tea tree near the peach tree. The grape vines will get their own, two or three on each vine.

Remember, timing is important. You do not want the birds to become accustomed to the flashing before the fruit is ripe.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal