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Comment: Re:The Canadian middle class is dying out. (Score 2) 187

by bmo (#49366127) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

You blame the union members and the unions.

You blame them when the decision to sell shit products and ignore quality issues was an upper management problem, and remains to an upper management problem to this day.

Because if that responsibility doesn't lie with upper management, then why do they get paid fucking rockstar salaries? What do they do all day, financial masturbation?


Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 1) 187

Hadn't thought of a timer switch for the water heater. Only thing I did was lower the temp to 115F. That seems to be as low as you can go and still have a hot shower. Run the shower at maximum hot. Safer too, can't get scalded.

I really want to go to a solar water heater. But $5000 and up, when a cheap tank is only $350, is too much money. Would take a century to pay that difference back. I want payback times to be no more than 10 years, and that's stretching it. I'll take 5 year paybacks every time, but between 5 and 10 I have to think about it. Mroe than 10, forget it. Just too many other random events can intervene: dramatically improved tech or lower prices, or you might move or yoru house is damaged or destroyed by vandals, fire, tornado, earthquake, or flood. Well, I don't have to worry about a flood, as I refuse to ever live in a flood plain.

I looked into tankless as well. They cost about $1000. But mine is a gas powered unit. To change from tank to tankless, have to put in a larger diameter gas pipe, and a larger diameter flue pipe. The tankless unit is not freestanding, has to hang on a wall. It also needed an electrical outlet. To make all the changes needed to switch added about $500 to the cost. At $1000, switching was a toss up. At $1500, the tank wins.

At any rate, the new tank is way more efficient, using about half the energy of the old one that was made in the 80s and lasted 27 years. Only a 6 year warranty, and it's been a bit more than that now. I was hedging, hoping it lasts just long enough that solar will be a good deal by the time it fails.

Comment: Re:QuikClot and Celox (Score 1) 71

If it's between a slight possibility of an allergic reaction or a high likelihood of bleeding to death, the choice is simple. The prevalence of shellfish allergy seems to be under 2% anyway. In that light, it might be good to keep this stuff in public buildings next to the AED (if the shelf life isn't too short). More people die from blood loss after a bad cut than you might think, because it takes time for paramedics to arrive and few people know how to properly stanch a wound.

Comment: Re: What Would be a Trivial Amount? (Score 4, Interesting) 187

10 watts is bad. It's also typical. Last time I checked, some 6 years ago, AT&T's U-verse DVR box used about 10 watts while on standby. While 10 watts at a cost of a dollar per month doesn't sound like much, it adds up. If you have 3 game consoles, 3 DVRs, and a bunch of wall warts for recharging cell phones and whatever other battery powered devices you have, you could be spending $10 per month. And why burn it if a better design can work just as well and not use so much energy?

I have done a lot to cut my power use. And it's made a big difference. Went from about 10,000 KwH per year to 5,000 KwH. You don't get there by ignoring 10 watts. I did it by living with higher temps in the summer and lower in the winter (83F and 68F respectively). That was the biggest. Even after that, heating and cooling is still by far my biggest energy user, accounting for about 50% of my total usage. Have always had heavy drapes. But it's always frustrated me just how bad the cookie cutter house I have is for keeping temperatures comfortable without wasting megawatts of energy. The moronic builders put the outdoor part of the A/C on the west side of the house. Those guys who want to sell the expensive double pane windows could never justify the price. 30 year payback? Not doing that. I changed all the incandescent light bulbs for fluorescent, and now am moving to LED, and would like to employ skylights. Have had too many times when the electricity went out while I was in the shower, leaving me in total darkness though it was daylight, as the bathroom is an interior room. A skylight would fix that, and save energy. I got low energy computers, basically laptop designs that were packaged as a desktop. My best one uses 30W max, and that only when running an intense 3D game. If playing video on Youtube, it takes 20W, and if just reading and writing email, it takes 10W. Even so, I have them set to go to sleep after 10 minutes and use almost no power. The best old style desktops with the classic +12/+5/-5 volt power supplies take around 80W. The 80plus program helped with those kinds of power supplies, but it's better to run off a single voltage as laptops do. Another big help was the move from CRTs to flat screens. A CRT uses from 50W to 120W, depending greatly on how bright an image it's displaying and the resolution. Early flat screens use 30W no matter what's being displayed, and now with LED backlighting, that's down to 20W. In 1996, refrigerators took a big leap forward in efficiency. Unfortunately, we had a 1995 model. Finally ditched it, and got one that's twice as efficient. Another appliance that used an unexpected high amount of power while off was the Maytag gas drier of all things. 5W while "off" and doing nothing! Felt warm to the touch on top.

Comment: Re:Ikea good points (Score 4, Insightful) 65

by JaredOfEuropa (#49361451) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production
You don't need to have the best quality or be the cheapest, even from a customer perspective. As long as you offer the best value for money. Ikea does pretty good there as long as you know what to buy there and what to avoid. And don;t forget to put a price on convenience: instead of waiting 4-8 weeks for your new stuff, you get to take it home and use it right away (some assembly required). That's very useful... we use Ikea all the time in rental properties that need to be furnished on short notice.

Comment: Re:People CHOOSE to work for Amazon (Score 1) 324

by DigitAl56K (#49357215) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

Very few people are ever in a position to force you to do anything, and yet you may still be in no position but to accept their propositions. For example, perhaps you need to eat and keep a roof over your head and there aren't a lot of other opportunities in your area or fitting your qualifications. We have laws to protect people in these situations. Telling someone that they can't exercise their skillset and background for 18 months after they leave a position without otherwise providing due compensation is about as clear as an abuse of overwhelming power during a negotiation as you can get. Almost nobody would agree to that given a real choice, other than due to short-term need.

Comment: Re:Choice? (Score 1) 221

by Solandri (#49354363) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House
There are a lot of ways to get broadband internet which are a lot cheaper than selling a house. He mentions the nearest Comcast plant is 2500 ft away, and that he goes to a local Starbucks for their free wifi when he hits his cellular cap. So it sounds like there's a clustering of businesses about a half mile away, with broadband Internet. All he needs to do is make friends with a one of the businesses there, offer to pay half their monthly Internet bill if they'll mount an antenna on the roof, and mount a receiving antenna at his house. Best case it's about $150 for a pair of antennas and wireless bridges. Worst case it's $500-$1000 more to build a tower on his property to mount his antenna higher for clear line of sight.

He chose to sell his house instead of trying that.

Comment: Re:Easy Solution (Score 5, Insightful) 221

by Solandri (#49354205) Attached to: Broadband ISP Betrayal Forces Homeowner To Sell New House

Pass a law that if a service provider says that they offer service to an address they must do so by law. No fines, they have to install service. If that means $30,000 in new cable to be laid, then so be it. The service providers will get their service maps in order really quickly and we'd have accurate coverage numbers for the country. .The service providers will get their service maps in order really quickly and we'd have accurate coverage numbers for the country.

This is the problem with people who typically see regulation as the solution to everything - they assume the best possible outcome for themselves. When in fact the best possible outcome for the company targeted by the regulations is what will really happen.

If your proposal were implemented, the best possible outcome for the company is that they simply discontinue providing coverage maps for the country, and require you to call in. You will verbally be given a quote with a disclaimer that quoting a price does not constitute a guarantee that your address is within their service area. And if you need that guarantee, you will need to subscribe for a year and put down a deposit so they can send someone out there to survey the location. If it turns out they can't provide service, they'll refund your deposit. But if they can service you, you're committed to the year's subscription (thus neatly preventing you from finding if another ISP also covers you).

How do I know? Because I just went through this trying to get Time-Warner cable internet at the commercial building I manage.

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