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Comment: Re:Watches (Score 2, Interesting) 141

by Jhon (#49124947) Attached to: Pebble Time Smartwatch Receives Overwhelming Support On Kickstarter

"I freed myself from wearing a watch about 10 years ago. No longer having the familiar restraint around my wrist has made me feel free. I much prefer a phone in the pocket to a phone on my wrist."

And I felt the same way -- until I started wearing a pebble. I like keeping my phone in my pocket rather than taking it out 50+ times per day to see if an email or text is trivial or not.

Comment: Re:Late to the party... (Score 2) 155

by Jhon (#48991831) Attached to: Apple Said To Be Working On a Pay TV Service

I have Sling. Had it for just about a week now. $20/mo for 12 channels. News? CNN. Sports? ESPN 1&2. Entertainment? ABC Family/TBS/TNT + HGTV, Food network, Cartoon network and Disney.

I went from nearly $200 for internet+home securty+TV down to ~$90

Sling is really just starting. Minor glitches (sound sync sometimes), stream quality (sometimes switches to lower quality with no known bandwidth issue on MY side). They have a few other packages with 5 stations each that you can add for an additional $5/month.

So far, i'm very happy with the service. Got it installed on my Fire Stick (side loaded) and I launch it through Kodi. They should have a Fire Stick/TV specific app in the near future, too.

Comment: Re:DVD (Score 1) 251

by Jhon (#48917639) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

I've got 3 2 TB USB drives (encrypted -- about 700GB free). (1) Main drive with my data. (2) Backup (which get's synced nightly) and (3) one at my mother-in-laws house in a drawer.

Every year I buy a new drive to replace the (1). The old (1) becomes (2), the old (2) becomes (3). And (3) gets wiped and either given to friends/family or ebay. Also, drive (2) and (3) get swapped every week or so the "off site" drive is never more than a week or two out of sync.

I've been following a version of this procedure for 15 years (starting with IDE drive drawers) and increase size as necessary. So far I haven't had a drive completely fail once, although at the tail end of the life cycle of one I was begging to get some SMART errors.

Comment: Re:Cable company still doesn't get it (Score 1) 43

by Jhon (#48905103) Attached to: For New Yorkers, Cablevision Introduces a Wi-Fi-Centric VoiP Network

Freedompop also offers free service. 200 mins/mo, 500 text and 500mb of data. Free. As in zero ($) dollars.

I picked up a cheap iphone 4s (sprint), activated it on FP and it is decent. It doesn't do great on the move (driving), but stationary, the voice quality isn't bad. Data speeds are around 1mbps +/- 500mbps.

Their app also offers a similar free service via an app (wifi only) sans data (for obvious reasons).

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by Jhon (#48832411) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

"Only 115 of those cases were classified as a stereotypical kidnapping "

That's right. And there are hundreds of unsolved child homicides each year that may or may not be part of that number as they are only provided to the FBI on a voluntary basis. And the stats you listed were with regards to ONLY that number.

There's also the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) which currently has something like 50k active missing juvenile cases which are not part of that classification because of unknown variables. 115 per year is a low ball number by any reasonable observation.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by Jhon (#48832231) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

"Kidnapping as we general think of it (a stranger taking a child with nefarious intent) is exceptionally rare. In the United States, there are some 100 incidents per year."

That's not really accurate. it's some 100 incidents per year that are IDd as "stranger kidnapping". There are hundreds per year on top of that which are unsolved child homicides that are not included in that statistic.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by Jhon (#48832021) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

"But crime experts warn that statistics about child homicides and how often such cases are solved are imperfect. Participation in the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report program is entirely voluntary. Many police departments decline to report how many cases they've solved or how many cases involved juvenile victims."

You are only as good as the numbers you are given to work with. I'd rather go with reported missing numbers (which are more accurate) then try to whittle it down than look at numbers that aren't consistently or completely reported to the FBI. This is one of the issues I have with these numbers and reports of how the numbers appear today.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 0) 784

by Jhon (#48831167) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

"Despite the fact that crime rates are less than half of what they were 20 years ago and that you were are far more risk than your kids would be? "

~150k reported missing in 1980 vs. almost a million last year. Granted, most of those are resolved, but the numbers suggest kidnappings aren't the same type of crime as gang, theft or violence. They are not going down. You've got about 800k which were juveniles (half of which were runaways). 200k of the other half were abductions by relatives. That leaves about 200k missing kids that weren't resolved quickly or at all.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by Jhon (#48831091) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

" What distance is appropriate, then? I think it's much more an "either/or" - you are either too young or old enough to walk home alone. Distance is immaterial."

For a 10 and 6 year old? Across the street. With a parent or guardian waiting on the porch as they exit the school. Or any distance with an older kid present (say 13 or older). And distance is NOT immaterial. You cannot remove risk entirely, you can only reduce it. Distance adds time. The less time they are walking alone, the lower the risk.

"That said, the neighborhood/region may be more than safe enough. I know I wouldn't sweat it in many locales, but others I wouldn't feel safe walking alone..."

I mention that in my original post. However, I feel 10 is just too prime a target for a number of peds.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 0, Flamebait) 784

by Jhon (#48830991) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

"It bears repeating though that it is also terribly unusual - more so now than it was in the '80s. We live in a far, far safer (although not perfect) world today then we did when we were kids by almost every possible measurement."

It's not safe enough. We have predators stalking our children. We wouldn't send them in to the hills alone with known mountain lions -- why on the streets? To do is is playing a type of roulette with your kids. Sooner or later green double zeros are going to come up and someone is going to lose their chips.

I'm not saying to disallow independence. What I am saying to to be "smarter" about it. The FA mentions that the children walked together. Great. That shouldn't happen until the eldest is 12 or maybe 13 and preferably there's more than just two of them walking home. Two -- and two that young is just too much risk. You'll never get the risk to zero, but somethings can dramatically reduce that risk.


Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 5, Interesting) 784

by Jhon (#48830725) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

Every town/city in the US is different as far as risk. That said, the risk that a child will be kidnapped is not zero.

My daughter was kidnapped*. She was 10 years old at the time. I feel I have "some" input to offer...

I feel the parents were stupid to allow their children at this age to walk that distance alone. My opinion of this can be argued to be colored by the events in my families life, yes. Yet I believe I'm right on this issue. I also believe that the decision to allow their children to do this was THEIR choice. The kids were together which is a plus. The eldest was 10 years old which fills me with concern. I do not believe they irresponsibility put their children in danger to the level of calling CPS on them. This was just over kill.

Background: At 10 years old I was getting up at 4:30 in the morning to deliver newspapers (1980's Los Angeles County). I would never allow my children to do this today. I also walked and/or rode a bike to/from school from 3rd grade-9th grade. The distances were all less than 2 miles. I got a ride TO high school (10th-12th) and took a bus back -- it was a hike. I'd be hard pressed to allow my kids to go to/from school on their own before high-school.

*My daughter was recovered some 12 hours later alive. The monster who took her is facing 3 life sentences + 300+ years on various counts and has yet to go to trial (probably will happen within the next 3-4 months)

Serving coffee on aircraft causes turbulence.