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Comment F'ing Mice (Score 1) 225

Back in the mid '90s playing Doom and Quake using mouse look, I had a problem that my left hand would cramp up horribly from trying to handle all of the keyboard buttons.

So I took a few old mice, a copping saw, hot glue gun, and soldering iron, and made my own left hand controller.

It resembled two mice going at it. The upper mouse my hand rested on and the first segment of my pointer and middle fingers controlled the top mouse buttons, and my finger tips controlled the bottom mouse buttons. Thumb and pink controlled side buttons.

I ran the mice wires into an AT keyboard (this was either pre-USB or really early in the rollout) and solder them in as a secondary path for assorted keys.

It was the greatest thing since sliced bread IMO. These days you can get quality made left handed controllers like the Nostromo 52 and other ergonomically designed devices, so I haven't been hacking up mice any more ;)


Comment Do the math... (Score 1) 301

The 2007 and newer standards (phased in from 2007-2010)

The emission standards included new, very stringent limits for PM (0.01 g/bhpÂhr) and NOx (0.20 g/bhpÂhr).

The preceding 2004-2006 standards:

The goal was to reduce NOx emissions from highway heavy-duty engines to levels approximately 2.0 g/bhpÂhr beginning in 2004.

From a Vox article with actual details ( ):

On the road, VW's Jetta was emitting 15 to 35 times as much nitrogen oxide as the allowable limit.

Assuming they mean the 2010 limit, that puts it at 3.0-7.0 g/bhp*hr

The VW Passat was emitting 5 to 20 times as much.

Or roughly 1.0-4.0 g/bhp*hr

So the NEW Passat is capable of meeting the OLD Passat's emissions rate, some of the time.

The NEW Jetta never comes close to meeting the OLD Jetta's emissions rate.

Somehow, not only did they not improve on power or mileage over the last 8 years, they also are doing worse on emissions?!?

I love my '06 Golf, but I've got to wonder what the hell they've been doing for the last decade...


Comment Re:Silly story... (Score 1) 361

I agree with you, you can disguise a bomb to look like damn near anything.

Which leads to the next question; if you can disguise a bomb to look like anything, why aren't kids getting arrested/suspended left and right for taking hoax bombs into school?

If a Campbell's soup can is such a great way to disguise a bomb, why is it that kids bring them to school, in their lunches or repurposed for pencil holders, or for food drives? Why are these kids not being arrested for carrying hoax bombs?


Comment Re:Seize your Privilege (Score 1) 1291

Why should I pay for your health insurance if I have no say in how you live?

Why should I have to pay for your health care when you inevitably rack up a higher bill than you can pay?

If I am not that important than neither are you.

Ahh, but the difference is that ~90% of all Americans have health insurance.

Roughly Just because one did not have health insurance does not mean they couldn't have received medical care. In fact, paying for health insurance, on the whole, costs more than paying for basic medical treatment out of one's own pocket.

Keyword BASIC. I've know people to do it before. Hell, I did it before. One of my good friends went for 14 years without health insurance, then got a job with a company that provided it at such a cheap rate it would be silly to not take it. 3 weeks later he had a heart attack. Over the next two weeks he racked up almost $200,000 in medical expenses. Had he not had insurance, he wouldn't have paid even a quarter of that, and everyone else in the system would be paying more for services to cover his costs.

I have an upcoming doctor's visit for which I will pay $15. However, during the entire year I will have spent over 12 times that amount for insurance which doesn't include what my employer has paid. That extra money I will never see, will never get to use and is instead, lost. Imagine what benefit that extra money could have been put to use for.

And imagine what a relief it will be when you get diagnosed with cancer, that you will not lose 100 times that much in trying to cover your treatment options.

In that regard, my money isn't mine but should be forcibly taken because I'm not allowed to decide how I should live my life.

The problem is that when you choose to live your life betting against the odds that you will never have a major medical issue, when you do have that major medical issue, your choices are forcibly taking MY money. You get to decide how to live your life, and I have to pay for it.

So here's the deal. If you don't want to have insurance, great. If you want to make your own choices, great. But that means you have to deal with the consequences of your choices. So if you get hit by a bus, you cannot use any medical services you can't pay for out of pocket. If you have a heart attack and it's two weeks to pay day, you will die. If it's cancer, don't bother with treatment, just spend your money on a world tour then die.

If you are willing to ensure that you are not a burden to anyone else, if you are willing to kill yourself rather than infringe upon the rights of others to keep their money, then by all means, opt out! Keep your money, life your life as you see fit, and die as soon as the bill for that lifestyle exceeds your bank account.

If you aren't willing to go to that extreme, if you expect that in such a situation you should be able to declare bankruptcy, if believe that you should be able to get insurance after a major incident has occurred without paying into the system, then yeah, I'm all for forcibly parting you and your money. And that money will go to fund other's health care needs so that WHEN you have a need, their money will go to fund YOUR needs.


Comment Re:Seize your Privilege (Score 1) 1291

For all the talk about choice that goes on around here (choice of OS, choice of ISP, choice of browser, etc), it's amazing how suddenly I have no choice how I'm supposed to spend my money.

And I, as someone who pays for health insurance, who is forced to subsidize those who don't, now have a choice. Since you are now required to pay for health insurance, I have more money that isn't paying for subsidizing others, so I have more choice.

It's funny how easily people can focus in on only their own personal view and ignore everyone else's.

"Freedom" is a zero sum game. The more you have, the less someone else has. And while you may have been one of those few individuals who is financially stable enough to cover a quarter million dollar hospital stay out of pocket without the need for insurance, you sir are in a tiny minority.

Your right, as a tiny minority who is already of significant financial worth, does not trump the vast majority of the population who has to offset the costs of the larger minority of people who don't have insurance due to a lack of material wealth.

Sorry, you are just not that important.


Comment Re:Summary (Score 1) 137

Tests are great, but in real world usage Edge has been absolutely a shit fest for Facebook usage on my PC and tablet.

Scrolling locks up, typing often hits .5 to 3 second lag spikes. Occasionally, if I type too fast while it's lagging, I get a audible beep and any characters that were lagging are dropped and I have to re-type what I was writing.

Outside of Facebook, it seems fine. But I've reverted to Chrome for social media.

On my media PC it works fine. I don't get the disappearing cursor issue when binge watching Netflix. My only gripe is that even in tablet mode the navigation buttons are too small for my fat fingers.


Comment Re:I actually like the idea... (Score 1) 371

This office was:

1) Staffed primarily by millennials
2) Developed a product written using node.js and/or ruby and/or scala or was not a software development business

1) In part, average age was probably split evenly across gen X/Y and Millennials.

2) Nope, .Net through and through (and some Obj-C for the iPad client). Shrink wrapped software and SaaS for the building materials industry. If you buy a window or door you are almost guaranteed to have it go through this company's software.


Comment Re:I actually like the idea... (Score 1) 371

Hah, yeah, there was some of that too.

Like moving from offices to an open floor plan. But the CEO didn't like the part about parting with /his/ office for a cubical in the middle of the floor.

But the corporate culture and fun loving atmosphere were a huge boon to working there. Nerf gun wars, Segway races, RC vehicle battles, M:tG lunches, board game nights, LAN parties, etc... were regular occurrences. Things like the City Scour (a company wide off-site team based scavenger hunt) which took months of planning and research, and gave the whole company a chance to get out of the office and have some fun, the holiday party in the winter and the family picnic in the summer weren't some little shindig. The holiday party was held at some of the premiere conference facilities in the area, typically included a full casino, video arcade, and a short movie competition. The movies that would compete were written, directed, and starred by employees, the company funded the cost of bringing in the videographers and their editing.

Quarterly release parties included free beer (assorted microbrews, not a cheap MGD keg), h'ordeuvres, and a wall of fame picture for the release heroes.

The summer picnic was similarly a big deal. Bouncy houses, temp tattoos, spin painting, corn holing, a huge banquet spread... all at one of the nicest golf courses in the area.

Basically, the CEO was a dick, but he was a dick that knew the importance of employee moral, and he put people in positions to ensure that even when things were hard, employees had opportunities to unwind, relax, and do something fun.


Comment I actually like the idea... (Score 5, Interesting) 371

... just not the execution of it.

Having a dedicated staff to driving the culture of your company can have a huge impact and pay massive dividends in retention, employee satisfaction, and willingness to go the extra mile.

One of my previous employers had an employee that started out as a receptionist. She always decorated for the holidays, and she was super social, so she organized extra circular activities. Bowling leagues, wine tastings, etc... She was also tasked with organizing our holiday party, summer picnic, office Olympics, city scour scavenger hunt, and tons of other ideas she helped build in the company.

Eventually, it became clear that these tasks took too much time for her to also be the receptionist, so the CEO created a new position for her to focus on the corporate culture, events, and social media.

Best decision he made. She wasn't a cheer leader running around in a short skirt, but her efforts to make the company a fun place to work were way more impactful than any executive direction.


Comment Re: Looks like the VCs found their unicorn (Score 1) 367

I'm curious though, is it at all similar to an individual who monetized their YouTube account?

They sign up for the YouTube service, they produce a transformative product/service, and they get paid for it.

Are successful YouTube users effectively Google employees as well?


Comment Re:if you can't do it legally, legally you can't d (Score 1) 195

My example was a hyperbole to demonstrate how international headquarters are used to avoid local regulations. Microsoft has been guilty of this many times over. They expatriate US revenues to avoid paying taxes on it, they expatriate R&D and patents to avoid US export controls, etc...

Also, do you realize that that staff represents less than 1% of Microsoft's personnel, right?

If the US is going after EU citizen data that is held on servers in the EU, that is communicated over networks that exist in the EU, then yeah, I'm fully on board, the US can get bent.

But if Microsoft is saying "We're not going to comply with the US because we're an Irish company" they're full of shit.


Comment Re:if you can't do it legally, legally you can't d (Score 1) 195

So if I make a business, and I HQ it out of Ireland, but I don't have anything but a PO Box and tax filings in Ireland. My servers are in the US. My staff is in the US. I am in the US. My revenue is generated in the US. My customers are in the US. My packaging and distribution is in the US, etc...

Then I should be exempt from US laws?

It would take some more digging, but giving the clearly biased summary, I'd wager there is more to this than just the Federal government trying to run roughshod over Irish law.


I'm always looking for a new idea that will be more productive than its cost. -- David Rockefeller