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Comment: Funny, my experience has been completely different (Score 5, Insightful) 237

by KingOfBLASH (#49100533) Attached to: Ten Lies T-Mobile Told Me About My Data Plan

I find this article funny because my experience with T-Mobile has been completely different.

I'll admit, I only consider them good because the competition is so bad (and I've had a number of cell carriers), but so far I'm very happy with them:

  • I get an unlimited data plan for the cost of a limited data plan on Verizon
  • I get LTE in all major metro areas, and it's FAST
  • Unlimited really seems to be unlimited. I abuse it (streaming movies for instance) and haven't once seen a slow down. And I check periodically with a speed test app
  • Due to a large european network, roaming abroad can be cheaper than other carriers
  • While other carriers like Verizon and AT&T have a lot of bad press for tracking of users / selling users data, there's been none from T-Mobile. A cynical person might say this is because they're just better at it, but I feel it's important to reward companies who do the right thing.

The only complaint I have is they disable the personal hotspot on my phone after 5 GB of usage each month. After that I have to pay.

In short: they might not have everything I want, but they are awesome compared to everyone else out there.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 1) 165

by KingOfBLASH (#49066179) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

May be you've never had a good cigar then as the aroma of a good cigar is nothing short of heavenly.

The funny thing about cigar smoking is a lot of people try something cheap, because they don't want to spend a lot of money on something they're not going to enjoy.

But as the high end cigars are more likely to be tasty (it's hard to find anything tasty for less than $10 a stick), you may have a better experience with a better stick.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 2) 165

by KingOfBLASH (#49064079) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

They're only illegal in the US. Drive North to Canada, or South to Mexico, and you can buy them.

Getting them back is the tricky part. While anyone who has been through a border crossing can tell you it's pretty unlikely you get searched, the penalty is quite severe (something like $50k per incident). And while customs generally won't throw the book at you for a box of cigars, to make it worth while to drive to mexico you'd need to buy an awful lot of boxes.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 2) 165

by KingOfBLASH (#49063881) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

Smoking Cigarettes and Smoking Cigars are not equivalent.

Cigarettes are highly addictive and yes the lower class and poor do seem to be disproportionately affected.

Cigars are something enjoyed by the upper class, and generally people don't smoke a pack a day. You have one or two for a special occasion.

It's two completely different things. If you don't believe me try bringing back a box of expensive Cuban cigars and handing them out. Plenty of people who don't smoke will take one because they enjoy experiencing something new.

Comment: Re:What type of Non-Fiction? And fiction? (Score 1) 164

by KingOfBLASH (#49063389) Attached to: How is your book reading divided between fiction and non-fiction?

As far as I'm concerned, Matterhorn is non fiction. Sure he's changed the names of people and woven the story together in a way that reads like a novel, but if you read his other books (like What is it like to go to war?) which are more essays about war, you'll see he didn't really make anything important to the story up. Although I do understand how the fact that he writes it like a novel might make it seem like fiction.

Comment: Re:Cigar Prices (Score 2) 165

by KingOfBLASH (#49063347) Attached to: Cubans Allowed To Export Software and Software Services To the US

You've got it wrong. Even in Europe where they're legal, a good cuban cigar can go for upwards of $10 a stick.[1]

Good cigars take years to manufacture (mainly due to the fact that you have to cure the tobacco for years). Even though the cuban government might (and has been known to) rush out cigars that have not properly cured, people who smoke cigars will generally still want ones that are properly aged (unless you're aging them yourself). And I should add that cigars that have not been cured long enough taste like cleaning products, and are very unpleasant because the chemicals you are getting rid of by the curing process are what make them a joy to smoke.

So, all of a sudden, people who would never before dream of buying cuban cigars will start buying them[2]. And the increased demand without an increase in supply will cause a RISE to the price of cigars.[3]

[1] Don't tell me about the cheap stick you smoked that someone told you was made. Brands like Montecristo, Punch, Trinidad, Hoyo de Monterray are the quality ones I'm talking about

[2] Yes many smokers who are wise to the ways of the world know how to get smuggled cigars, but there are plenty of people who won't smuggle -- either out of fear or principles.

[3] If you live in somewhere cubans are legal, this might be a good time to start stockpiling boxes. If cigar prices do go through the roof you can make a tidy profit. And if they don't, well, you have a humidor full of delicious cigars. Win Win

Comment: What type of Non-Fiction? And fiction? (Score 3, Informative) 164

by KingOfBLASH (#49055735) Attached to: How is your book reading divided between fiction and non-fiction?

Non fiction tends to get a bad rap because people think of reading a text book from school. But not every piece of non fiction is as dry as reading an encyclopedia -- there are plenty of books that are both as gripping as any fiction novel, and also illuminating.

A great example is Matterhon by Karl Marlantes. The book is technically non-fiction because it's true, but it's written as a novel (about being in Vietnam). It was as gripping as any fiction writer's novel, but by the end of it you really have a good sense of what it was like to be in Vietnam, and a better understanding of the struggle of Veterans returning home.

Then there is non fiction that's maybe better titled "self help." If you're reading those books, it's a different type of reading. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Awaken the Giant -- all these sorts of books will be a really great help for your career and life. But if I'm sitting down and reading one, it's not because I'm looking to get lost (as the case will be when Patrick Rothfuss releases his next novel), but because I want to improve my life[1]. Same thing when I'm trying to brush up on my skills and stay current with new reference books. And the reading is different. While I might get lost in a novel by Neil Gaiman, for instance, reading of 7 Habits is more methodical, as in "I should read a chapter tonight"

Conversely, not all fiction has worlds you want to just get lost in. Ulysses, Proust's Remembrances of Things past [2], and any other number of books classified as "literature" present mountains to climb, partly for just the feeling of accomplishment that comes with finishing them. They can feel more like reading 7 Habits, as in "Oh I should read a few more chapters to better myself"

[1] You may laugh at this. I laughed at people who read such books when I was 20. But what I've found in my old age is that they really can help you in your career. For instance, your boss won't promote you to a manager if he doesn't think you're ready. While you might consider trial and error as a learning path, it'll be much longer. And it's a bit foolish, because only a fool would learn from his own mistakes when he can just spend some time and find out from others how to do what he wants.

[2] If you're prone to argue about the translation of the title (literary nerds unite!), let's just call it À la recherche du temps perdu.

Comment: Re:Except (Score 1) 480

by KingOfBLASH (#49034483) Attached to: The Mathematical Case For Buying a Powerball Ticket

You're missing the point. $2 is worthless to me. I can't buy a coffee (one I would drink) with $2, someplaces you won't even get a soda with it, and maybe would get me breakfast if I ate a donut but if I'm honest I have trouble thinking of a single restaurant I'd actually eat at with something on the menu for $2 or less.

$200 million is worth a lot to me, there's so much I can do with it.

Therefore, it's worth my trading $2 for the prospect of $200 million because I give away something I don't value ($2) for the chance of having something I do value ($200 million)

The fact that you are trying to value dollars with, well, dollars is the problem.

Of course, if I only made minimum wage I might really care about those $2, but I don't

Comment: Re:Christian fundamentalists will smile knowingly (Score 1) 168

So can you explain how an RFID chip is "...the name of the beast or the number of its name."?

Each RFID chip would be unique to identify the buyer and seller. Which means they'd all be different. And unless the beast has one name per person, the RFID cannot be the name of the beast. And not the mark of the beast.


Thanks for playing. I love how people who insist on a "literal interpretation" allow their mind to wander. If you believe that revelation is fact, and will come to pass, you should look for a "mark of the beast" that is the same across every person, and is the name of "the beast." Maybe if Hitler had everyone tattooed with his name I'd agree it could be the mark, for instance.

Comment: Re:Insane Government Officials.... (Score 4, Informative) 208

by KingOfBLASH (#48976925) Attached to: Art Project Causes Atlanta Police To Close Highway and Call Bomb Squad

And what if the duct tape package was filled with a nerve agent that could be dispersed by the explosion genius?

Blowing it up is just reckless. Either they didn't evaluate it correctly, or they realized it wasn't a bomb and just wanted to see a boom (which is irresponsible)

This is the reason why there's a bomb squad, and we don't just issue cops C-4 to take out anything that they decide is dangerous. Before actual detonation you should verify a) the device is explosive b) it needs to be detonated because it can't be safely dismantled c) detonation won't cause any bad effects like dispersing a nerve agent and probably a thousand other things I don't know because I'm not in a bomb squad.

Avoid strange women and temporary variables.