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Comment The Asterisk solution (Score 1) 218

I've been thinking about running my own in-home PBX to deal with this, too.

Whitelisted numbers, friends, family, and businesses I want to talk to: Rings right through.

Numbers not on the whitelist: straight to voicemail, my phone does not ring, not even once. The voicemail says, "Hello?" a few times to see if anyone answers, then says "This is a recording, please leave a message" in order to (presumably) get the robo-calls routed to an actual agent.

Numbers on the blacklist: Forwarded to Lenny, or something very special I program myself. (I don't like that "Lenny" says "Yeah" and similar positive type words from time to time; those crooks might claim that was an agreement to get a subscription to The Wisdum of L. Ron Hubbard crammed onto my phone bill.) My ideal would be to sound perfectly normal, do some interpretation of what they're saying to actually address things they say, and do a "curious about the product but not agreeing to anything" act for as long as they stay on the phone.

On the top of the blacklist are those evil <redacted> who call six times simultaneously, so the phone rings a whole lot longer than normal before going to voicemail, and the Caller-ID announces their name six times. Bastards. This is the sort of thing that makes me yearn for the "Scanners" power to reach down the phone line telekinetically and set their computer on fire.

Bonus, custom voicemail messages for appropriate callers, white/non/blacklisted. Like "Hi, Mom, we're not home, call my cell."

Comment Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score 1) 218

I told the "Microsoft Tech Support" crook "But I don't have a computer."

That apparently wasn't in his script; it took a while for that to register.

My wife was about to bust up laughing. After I hung up, she said "You lied!".

I said "No, I didn't. I don't have *a* computer. I have *a bunch of* computers.

Comment Re:An Oscar in the works? (Score 1) 255

Why doesn't someone pull up the list of all Oscar winners and nominees for the past 20 years, and do an analysis on that? (Actually, I read an article where someone did, and reported that the percentage of People of Color was ... pretty much in line with percentage of population. I haven't checked their numbers independently, though.)

Comment I don't block ads. (Score 2) 442

I don't block ads. I don't have a problem with ads as such. I do block scripts unless I feel the domain has some degree of trustworthiness. No ad servers have any degree of trustworthiness whatsoever.

Sites like, which will not show you anything but their "Give us carte blanche to ream you with malware laden ads or you can't see our domain" splash page can die in a fire for all I care. I'm not doing it.

Comment Re:return to reality, please (Score 1) 357

And onions are deadly to dogs! Why do you hate America, onion eaters???

And Xylitol is even worse. Blood sugar crash and death if dogs eat it, and not much of it at that. But there at Whole Foods, a big bag of the "Wonderful all natural non-sugar sweetener", pure xylitol, and not a word on the bag about how Fido is going to die horribly if he gets ahold of any of it.

Comment Re:Lots of unwarranted concerns (Score 1) 319

The Greens prefer fusion because it does not exist. Yet. If/when fusion does exist, it will get the full attention of the usual omni-obstructionists.

They're opposed to anything that produces energy on a scale sufficient to power industrial civilization. That's the issue. Energy that really is cheap, clean, and abundant? "Nothing short of a disaster" (Amory Lovins) "Like giving a machine gun to a retarded child" (Paul Ehrlich)

Submission + - Most powerful supernovae ever detected 1

schwit1 writes: Astronomers have discovered the most powerful supernovae ever detected.

This one, called ASASSN-15lh, is about 3.8 billion light years away, 200 times more powerful than most supernovas, and twice as bright as the previous record holder. It shines 20 times brighter than the combined output of the Milky Way's 100 billion stars, and in the last six months, it has spewed as much energy as the sun would in 10 lifetimes, says Krzysztof Stanek of the Ohio State University, co-principal investigator of the All Sky Automated Survey for SuperNovae (ASAS-SN) network that spotted the explosion. "This is really on steroids, and then some," he says. "If it was in our own galaxy, it would shine brighter than the full moon; there would be no night, and it would be easily seen during the day."

At the moment astronomers don't really have an theory to explain how the supernovae could produce that much energy.

Comment I wonder why anyone would bother. (Score 2) 338

I mean, by the time you've gotten your infrared reflector photonic crystal tungsten ribbon rectangular emitter Rube Goldberg thing perfected, it's bound to be a lot more expensive than current incandescent bulbs, and probably more expensive than LED bulbs. Plus, it is still working by getting a thin piece of metal hot enough to glow brightly. That inevitably means limited lifespan.

Personally, I buy cheap LED bulbs when I see them on sale, and I haven't had one fail yet. Other than the older silicone-rubber-over-glass Cree bulb which I dropped. It still works fine, actually, but with electrically 'hot' bits exposed, I'm not running it.

I don't know from spectrum, but I got a lot of pushback on installing CFLs. This has not been an issue with the LEDs I've gotten; they seem to have a good WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) whatever their "spectrum" might be.

The big problem with LEDs might turn out to be they just don't die. Once everyone has replaced every bulb with an LED, who's going to be buying bulbs?

What I'm wanting to see is more fixtures that are built with LEDs, rather than assuming people are going to have to replace bulbs constantly.

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