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Comment: Re:Update cycles (Score 1) 77

by Pharmboy (#47569737) Attached to: How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

I tend to buy boxes with fairly high end parts (not expensive, just high quality), and when I built them I did the same. High end enough that I really didn't have to upgrade until everything was no longer "state of the art", so no parts to recycle in.

My ooold computer has a Q9550 and 8 gigs of ram, just as I ordered it. It is still pretty usable as a daily backup video player, and not bad for midline gaming like Portal 2, Goat Simulator, etc. Upgraded the video 3 years ago, $150-175 for what was then a steal.

5 years old, and the CPU is still on the front page of Passmark, at >4000 pmarks. Not bad. Paid around 1800 without monitor. Upgraded to 7 Pro over Vista, but even the original install is intact. Hard to beat that kind of stability, and not convinced you can build it by hand anymore.

Comment: Re: 'unreliability' (Score 1) 137

by tnk1 (#47569285) Attached to: An Accidental Wikipedia Hoax

The person you are talking about was Brigadier General S.L.A. Marshall who wrote "Men Against Fire" about WWII experiences, which is where the low direct fire ratio theory came from.

And yes, it was very controversial and got debunked, but I've heard that factoid repeated to the present day. I think it gets repeated because it sounds both interesting and believable at the same time to people who haven't been shot at. For those who have been shot at (and shot back), it obviously does not ring true.

For extra irony, here's his Wikipedia entry:

Comment: Re:Experience outside the valley (Score 1) 298

by LWATCDR (#47568915) Attached to: Jesse Jackson: Tech Diversity Is Next Civil Rights Step

In the firmware development group I work in we actually have a good amount of diversity.
We will hire anyone with talent.
The lack of opportunity is not in the hiring area. It is in the home and education. Hiring someone because of race is bigotry. I doesn't matter if the race happens to be anglo or african descent.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 488

by Shakrai (#47568823) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Pre-existing condition exclusions are required because of adverse selection. Flood insurance works the same way; you've got no coverage at all until the policy has been in effect for 30 days. If your house washes away on Day 29 you're SOL.

In any case, I didn't share my story to indict the insurance companies. It was more of an indictment of the healthcare system in general. There was one unavoidable expense: the $4,500 immunoglobulin shot. Why then did the total bill come to nearly $7,000? It came to that much because treatment was routed through the most expensive delivery system (the ER) available in our healthcare system. Why is that? The rabies series is not time sensitive, waiting a few days causes no ill effects. The taxpayers ostensibly pay for it anyway so why not just have it at the County Health Department Monday through Friday?

I try to route my healthcare through my PCP, because 1) I like him, 2) It's cheaper (both for me and society) than the alternatives. Of course, we're killing the PCP providers, they're barely paid cost as it is (less than cost for medicare patients) and there's no incentives for med students to pursue primary/family medicine as a specialty. The ACA didn't do anything to address this either, a fat lot of good having insurance for the first time is going to do you when you can't find an MD that's taking new patients.

Comment: Simple. (Score 1) 296

The Vendor will have issues with their product running if you do not configure the firewall correctly and will cost the Vendor support time.
If you get hacked because you let malware onto your POS systems or put a compromised machine on the network it is your problem.
A firewall will just prevent an exploit of a service. So only run the services you need. The real issue for this POS would be an exploit that gains access to the SQL server and a firewall is probably not going to stop that.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 488

by Shakrai (#47566549) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

That's a valid point but you kind of missed the bigger picture. With my history and health status they shouldn't be on the hook for more than $300-$500 annually. That's the cost of an annual physical and standard blood/urine lab work. All it took was one incident to largely wipe out their earnings on me and in this case the costs really weren't inflated all that much. Despite what the other poster thinks, the immunoglobulin really is that expensive. It has a very short shelf life, production is a bitch, and there's little economy of scale because it's so rarely needed. Socialized medicine won't fix any of that....

Comment: Re:The American Dream (Score 1) 488

by Loki_1929 (#47566049) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Not that I disagree in principle, but it seems as though home ownership is only now available in many areas to those who are either making truly ridiculous amounts of money or those who are making very good money and are willing to live house-poor. I don't know any home owners making truly ridiculous amounts of money, but I do know plenty of people who make good money, own their own homes (with a mortgage), and have almost no room in their budgets for things like going to the movies or going out to eat, let alone actually do real vacations or weekend trips. I'm talking about people with household incomes in the top 15% of the country who didn't run around buying ridiculous homes; just nice normal ones.

I guess I just don't understand how you have huge areas where you don't see anything selling at under $650,000. Hundreds of houses in neighborhood after neighborhood all across the region that sell easily at prices that maybe 3-4% of households could possibly afford. In my area, $350k+ is considered a normal price for an okay home in an okay neighborhood. Nothing fancy, not even especially nice, just okay. That excludes around 83% of households from being able to affordably buy one, yet there they go, all day long selling like hotcakes. Who the hell is buying these things?

Comment: Re:Radicalization (Score 1) 807

by sumdumass (#47562815) Attached to: Gaza's Only Power Plant Knocked Offline

Umm.. if you would have watched that charlie rose interview with Iran's last president "imadinnerjacket" or whatever his name was, you would know that Iran has no gays. That is a western thing.

This was on the "Bush is teh satan" tour to the UN if you want to look it up. He hit quite a few of the news shows on thst tour.

Comment: Re:Not surprised. (Score 2) 488

by sumdumass (#47562297) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

They likely sold your debt to another company who packaged it and sold it yet again. The debt is probably so far down the line that they probably sell it as soon as they figure they won't collect.

If they take you to small claims court, counter sue them for the amount. Someone will show up, or you will win by default and can pay them with their own money.

Also, send request for a validation of the debt in writing. Your state may have other solutions, but I believe federal law requires them to validate the debt once you do this. If they do not, they lose the right to try and collect it.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 488

by sumdumass (#47562225) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

I don't think you understand what he was talking about.

It isn't a matter of no insurance or inability to pay that he describes, it is a matter of something not being billed correctly or coming in later and being missed by the insurance payments (as well as you needing to pay your portion too). So you go through life thinking everything has been taken care of and review your credit report because you are thinking of some major purchase (car, home, RV- whatever) and discover that you have a bill in collections.

You see, this would be in spite of having insurance.

Comment: Re:So! The game is rigged! (Score 3, Interesting) 488

by Loki_1929 (#47562201) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

The whole point of a "credit score" is horribly broken.

The idea isn't bad. The implementation is okay, though it can be gamed to some degree. The biggest issue most people actually have with it comes down to a serious lack of financial education. It isn't the easiest or most intuitive system; it's the one that's worked well for a long time thanks to a lot of trial and error.

In order to get approved for debt, you must have debt.

Now that's just untrue. If it were true, you'd have a chicken and egg problem with debt. The reality is that certain types of credit/debt (e.g. student loans) don't care whether you have other credit/debts or not. Some types of credit/debt (e.g. credit cards) are rate-sensitive to whether you've demonstrated - through your behavior with previous credit/debts - the likelihood that you'll stick to the terms of the new credit vehicle. Some types of credit/debt (e.g. a mortgage) are much more difficult to get at all without a demonstrated ability to manage credit/debt responsibly. That's due to the fact that different types of credit have different risk profiles. A credit card company can set a ceiling on how much the issuer can lose if you're a high or unknown risk. When it comes to a mortgage, you're talking about tying yourself to the borrower for a very long time with an asset that could tank in value anywhere during that time. Since student loans survive everything up to and including the end of the world, they're easy to get.

If you have money in the bank and no monthly debt payments you have a reduced score.

The first part is another myth. The amount of money you have in the bank means absolutely zero to a FICO score. It means something to a mortgage company, but that's it. FICO scores are completely unaffected by money in the bank. The second is somewhat true, depending on circumstances. Cracking 800 is going to be very tough without some sort of installment loan (vehicle or mortgage). That said, you can hit top-tier rate scores (740+, even 760+) without either of those. You can have credit cards you pay off every single month and hit the scores you need to secure the best available rates. No debt required. It's just tougher.

It's a SCAM! A scheme to make sure that you are constantly in debt, and yet it's perfectly legal.

Wait, what? People with the highest FICO scores typically have little to no debt, aside from perhaps a mortgage, maybe a car loan. It's rare that they'll have any serious credit card debt or other revolving accounts with any substantial balances. In fact, having substantial balances on your revolving credit accounts hurts your score. The point isn't to keep anyone in debt, it's to provide a score that tells potential lenders how likely it is that an individual they've never met before will stick to the terms of their agreement if they're granted credit.

I don't have a lot of debt so have a laughably low credit score.

If your credit score is "laughably low", it isn't because you don't have enough debt. In reality, what drives your score is 5 simple things. The largest component is payment history. Don't pay back debts? Bad history, bad score. A perfect score here is no delinquencies or bankruptcies. Any accounts listed should be "paid as agreed" or something to that effect. If you have no debts, pay your utilities and medical bills (things that report delinquencies to the credit reporting companies), and pay that car loan on time, you should have a perfect score here. The second is the balance of all your revolving accounts. No balances on credit cards? Low balances relative to total available credit? Perfect or near perfect score. That's 65% of the total score right there. More info here: (bank balance isn't listed because it doesn't apply).

If I don't have cash I can wait to buy something. Actually since I manage my personal finances very well purchasing something I want is never an issue.

Well, except that car. Someone apparently ponied up the cash to pay for that for you. Not saying that's bad, but I think you can drop the pretentious hipster anti-credit attitude seeing as you admit it's actually a necessity for big ticket items.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 5, Insightful) 488

by Shakrai (#47562169) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Yes, since the bills would be covered by insurance.

After the deductibles and co-pays. I have a "platinum" plan through my employer; better insurance than anyone else I know and the co-pays still total up to a considerable amount. No deductibles for in-network on my plan, which makes me extremely fortunate. As a single guy I can afford the co-pays even with my modest salary but I can see how quickly they would bankrupt someone with a family, particularly if said family had one or more members with a chronic illness.

Incidentally, I was just exposed to rabies a few months ago:

Strike One: The only place to get the immunoglobulin is the ER, because it's very expensive (>$4,500) and has a short shelf-life. ER co-pay: $150
Strike Two: There's a set schedule for the vaccine, Days 0, 3, 7, and 14. You can get the vaccine from your primary, in theory, but of course my primary has a months long waiting list because we're driving PCPs out of business. Bottom line, I can't get appointments with them for Days 3 or 7, so that's two more trips to the ER. Additional co-pay total: $300
Strike Three: New York State ostensibly has a fund to pay for out of pocket expenses related to rabies exposures, but they only reimburse for the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin. Since the ER decided to give me a tetanus shot on Day 0 NYS won't reimburse me, even though my out of pocket would have been $150 with or without this extra shot. Hooray for bureaucracy!

Totaling all this up, that stupid bat that found its way into my apartment has personally cost me $465 ($450 of ER co-pays, $15 of PCP co-pay) while my insurance company is on the hook for close to $7,000. My annual premium is about $6,000. So this one incident wiped out every penny they made on me and then some. I'm an otherwise healthy 32 year old marathon runner that ought to be subsidizing those who are less fortunate. Now imagine a family of four that were all exposed to the same scenario I was.....

Never test for an error condition you don't know how to handle. -- Steinbach