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Comment Re:Uber supporters (Score 1) 51

I can get an Uber any time of the day or night to take me where I want to go. An Uber shows up within 5 minutes - always. If I call the taxi company for a cab, one may or may not show up between 45 minutes and an hour - if one shows up at all. Uber drivers are held accountable for the condition of their cars, their appearance, their personality. Taxi drivers stink, are rude and their cars are always a mess. I would never use a taxi. I always use uber.
Better yet, for the world traveler, Uber works in pretty much all major cities, tied to the same account. No messing around with local vs foreigner rates, tipping, blah blah blah. Just get in and GO. Then get OUT when you arrive. I HATE arguing with cabbies over fares, rates etc etc. it's absurd. Uber gets rid of all that and gives me a simple interface and one point of billing. If Uber was forced out of my city, I'd go buy a car rather than use Taxis.

Comment Disrespect goes both ways (Score 1) 581

My current work on userspace graphics enabling may require me to send an occasional quirks kernel patch, but I know I will spend at least a day dreading the potential toxic background radiation of interacting with the kernel community before I send anything

My wife and I did some extensive work to learn how to avoid expressing disrespect to each other.

One day I complained to her that she'd made me swim in a sea of toxic disrespectful judgments all day.

What I learned from the professionals was that using hyperbolic labels like "toxic" is also disrespectful. It's better to just stick to noting that you felt disrespected by a particular statement or statements until the message gets across - assuming the other side is working on learning to avoid disrespect. If they aren't, you identify the disrespect for them, notify them you aren't going to tolerate it any more, and then enforce boundaries to make sure you aren't subjected to it any more.

Another thing I learned is that people who are in an abusive relationship (including disrespect) tend to become abusers themselves.

Comment Re:will they "cost no more to" buy? (Score 1) 180

Well it's down to 55c/ kWh over an entire year. Over 11 years it's actually cheaper than electricity. Assuming 50% utilization and a 25 year service life (rated, real world is expected to be 30) they are in fact both cheaper than grid electricity and by quite a bit! Especially if you are living on an island. Which about a billion humans are right now.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 323

Once they use the "refund" feature on paypal there's no way to leave feedback because the transaction is marked as incomplete.

OK... apparently in September 2015, there are some changes to the process.

Refund because they refuse to ship will count as a "Defect" on the seller's record, unless they Actually Lied and claimed that the buyer requested to cancel as the reason chosen for refunding. If they did that, I would definitely contact eBay customer service and complain about the seller and them cancelling the transaction without permission.

I would try the old Seller Non-Performance complaint form to eBay customer service, anyways, though.

I wonder if there is still a workflow that allows still leaving negative feedback, such as finding a "Mark transaction as payment sent" option somewhere, and then post the Negative FB.

It doesn't help that eBay keeps monkeying with their website design lately.

Comment Re:I wonder if TiVo is long for thisworld (Score 1) 79

I'm also not particularly tempted to replace my satellite bill with a bunch of smaller streaming bills especially when support for any particular service on any particular device is hit or miss.

The absence of standardisation here is one of my bugbears. My Sony TV supports Netflix and iPlayer (The must-haves in the UK), but players for the other major channels seem to be missing.

Still, you can get cheap android based devices, and Android itself is a fairly stable standard. Even Amazon's fork for FireTV seems to be pretty well represented, and the devices are cheap enough I don't mind throwing it out if it does become obsolete in a year or two.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 323

They said that was grounds to kill the sale, even though I said "well then send it to my regular address"

My response to them would be that it is not acceptable, and I expect them to complete the sale through my validated address.

Again, if they refused, I would immediately leave negative seller feedback on the listing and submit the Non-Performing Seller complaint form to eBay.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 323

Would you think it normal or necessary to contact your ISP ahead of time should you choose to start surfing secure websites outside of your country?

Well, your ISP doesn't look at what websites you are visiting (or shouldn't). Unless your ISP is a Cell provider or Dialup account, there's no way you left the country and still use your ISP's services.

Let's try another one: Would you think it's necessary to inform your ISP you will be accessing your e-mail account from outside the country?

(HINT: Many ISPs use geoblocking. On an ISP provided e-mail account, many times overseas IP addresses will be blocked by firewall from contacting the ISP's servers over POP3 or SMTP)

Let's try another one.... would you think it's normal or necessary to contact your Cell phone carrier, before leaving the country and thus using international data roaming service?

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 323

My BoA Visa card has constantly hit their "fraud detection". I don't use the card terribly often anymore; it seems every other time I did use it for an online purchase of any sort, it triggers the fraud detection: even one time I was using it in a local shop; I think the local shop had some kind of issue with their CC machine as they needed to run the card through twice.

It was very annoying that every 4 weeks or so, they were calling me up with a "fraud alert".

I have been much happier in my experience with Amex and Citi.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 2) 323

they say that they are refusing the sale because they thing something about my account may trigger Paypal's fraud protection.

File a complaint with eBay. Report them as a Non-Performing seller which is an eBay Terms of Service Violation.

A completed sale is contractual, the seller must go through with the transaction, otherwise they are violating the contract and can even be sued by you.

Hardware Hacking

Desktop Turing-Welchman Bombe Build 64

An anonymous reader writes: I completed a months long project to build my own version of the Turing-Welchman Bombe. My machine uses a Raspberry Pi2 and an Arduino to drive stepper motors to turn the three output indicator drums and to drive an LCD display, to work like the indicator unit on the real Bombe. Everything was custom made by me at home. The unit is built to reflect the style of the real Bombe at Bletchley Park and to run in a similar way but as a portable, desktop sized unit. To demonstrate it I use the same Weather Report Menu as used at BP to demonstrate their real Bombe. The entire build was painstakingly documented over many months but the link given shows an overview and a film of the completed machine in action.

Comment Encryption (Score 4, Informative) 109

Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information?

NONE. Zip. Zero. Nada.

If you wish to secure what you host, then use a solution that encrypts it on the client side.

I believe BitTorrent Sync is an example of that.

Some hosting and online backup providers also offer solutions where every file is encrypted on the client side, and the hosting provider never gains access to the plaintext files.... this is what you need.

Submission Why It Was Easier to Be Skinny in the 1980s 2

schwit1 writes: A new study finds that people today who eat and exercise the same amount as people 20 years ago are still fatter.

A study published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice found that it's harder for adults today to maintain the same weight as those 20 to 30 years ago did, even at the same levels of food intake and exercise. The authors examined the dietary data of 36,400 Americans between 1971 and 2008 and the physical activity data of 14,419 people between 1988 and 2006. They grouped the data sets together by the amount of food and activity, age, and BMI.

They found a very surprising correlation: A given person, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988 would have a BMI that was about 2.3 points higher. In other words, people today are about 10 percent heavier than people were in the 1980s, even if they follow the exact same diet and exercise plans.

You will lose an important tape file.