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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.

Comment Cannot Have Mine (Score 5, Interesting) 123

I save old CDs and DVDs. About this time of year, I take several and drill a small hole near the edge of each disc. Using kite twine, I then hang them from my fruit trees and grape vines to scare birds away. I have to do that shortly before the fruit ripens so that I can harvest the ripe fruit before the birds get used to the flashing of the discs as they rotate in the sun. I need a supply of discs because the silvering eventually deteriorates hanging outdoors.

Comment Good Keyboards Under $100 (Score 1) 147

I am generally a "touch typist", having learned keyboarding on a manual typewriting more than 60 years ago.

When I bought a new PC from Dell, it came with a Dell keyboard with a USB connection. The keys were nearly flat on top with straight sides and little space between, which meant I had constant problems with positioning my fingers without looking down on the keyboard. Since the keyboard was black with white lettering (very poor ergonomics), I had to keep the lights on in my home office to see where I was placing my fingers; bright indirect daylight through the adjacent window was insufficient. The spacing between groups of function keys at the top was too little, which meant that I often hit the wrong function key.

I quickly replaced the keyboard with a beige Microsoft keyboard, again with a USB connection. This was purchased through The keys were tapered and concave on top. There was sufficient spacing between groups of function keys. Its design indeed met my needs. However, certain character keys were defective; quickly repeated strokes did not register. If I typed "11", for example, it would give me only "1". At first, this was merely an annoyance. Paying my bills via the Web through my credit union, however, I once paid a bill requesting $110.00 by sending only $10.00. Microsoft, the manufacturer of the keyboard, referred me to indicated they no longer stock that keyboard and refunded my purchase price and even said to keep the keyboard.

My wife's PC is several years old and has a KeyTronic keyboard that is even older, from a prior PC. I found KeyTronic on the Web at The most pricy item in their list of keyboards was under $100 unless you wanted a package of 10 keyboards. They have wired and wireless. The have PS2 and USB. They have black, light gray, and beige. They guarantee a keyboard for as long as you own it (as long as they remain in business). My KeyTronic keyboard is wonderfully noisy, letting me know when a key-touch actually registered.

By the way, I much prefer wired keyboard and mouse. I really do not want to deal with batteries. Too often, I have had a battery leak and destroy the device that used it. I now have two extra keyboards for anyone who want them.

Comment A Problem and Its Solutions (Score 1) 29

It took quite a bit of searching before I could identify the specific root certificate involved. It turns out that root was already marked as "untrusted", which means I would not have been affected by this problem.

Also, the subscriber certificate involved is apparently marked as revoked in OCSP (Online Certificate Status Protocol) messages. Those who set their browsers to always confirm the validity of subscriber certificates via an OCSP server and who also set their browsers to assume a subscriber certificate is invalid if an OCSP response cannot be obtained are well protected from this problem.

Of course, for this solutions to be implemented, users must have browsers that allow root certificates to be marked "untrusted", that have an option to check certificates against OCSP servers, and that have an option to assume that a certificate is invalid if an OCSP response cannot be obtained. Mozilla-based browsers -- Firefox and SeaMonkey -- have all of those capabilities.

Comment FUDD (Score 1) 224

(FUDD = fear, uncertainty, doubt, and disinformation)

Money-transfer businesses are already regulated in California as the result of several such businesses failing. The proposed law merely adds bitcoin-transfer businesses to that category. This is a consumer-protection proposal in an attempt to prevent another Mt. Gox.

Is your job running? You'd better go catch it!