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Comment: Re:"facebook", if your not paying for the ad... (Score 2) 61

by Skater (#47755419) Attached to: Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines
It has only gotten worse. I'm planning to close my account soon. The final straw for me was a group that a friend runs is now invisible to several of us in the group - there's nothing on his end that would seem to be causing it, and I (and several others) didn't block it, least three of us can't see the group (there are probably more, but you don't notice it's missing until you go look for it, and of course any post from the group doesn't show up on our walls). Even when he sends us a direct URL to the group page, it just takes us back to our own feed. Facebook is turning into Skynet. I just need to get a few family members to revert back to email for contacting me, clean up a few things, then I'm out.

Comment: Re:Lies and statistics... (Score 1) 570

by Skater (#47562571) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'
Oh, yeah, I've been turned over to collections a couple times, because of old bills that weren't paid that I was unaware of. One was a medical bill for $100 that I thought had been paid but hadn't (an error on my part); another was a vehicle tax bill (in which my former state even HAD my new address but still somehow neglected to bother to contact me before heading to collections - and it turned out in fact I didn't owe them a cent; I was able to give three separate reasons for why I didn't owe that money) for $35. It wasn't a matter of not being able to pay it. Knowing what has happened to me makes me laugh at that 35% number - it's certainly artificially inflated with stupid debts in situations like mine - someone goofs (me or someone else) and the debt just sits there unbeknownst to you, until you check your credit report, apply for a mortgage, or get something in the mail about it. This reminds me, we haven't checked ours lately... last time I did, I found a credit card for Wal-Mart on my record, a card I've never had.

Comment: Re:Of course it depends... (Score 1) 163

by Skater (#47317889) Attached to: I suffer from jet lag ...

I recently flew from the east coast of the US to Austria, a time change of 6 hours. I didn't sleep well on the plane over, got perhaps an hour on the first flight, followed by another half hour or 45 minutes on the second flight (woke up just in time to get food). Then my luggage didn't make it in, so I was awake until midnight Vienna time waiting for it - so I think aside from those naps I was awake about 36 hours straight. That was pretty rough - I've never pulled an all-nighter - but the next few days I did fine, actually. I also had an extra day in the schedule to let myself recover.

Coming back, I couldn't sleep on the plane so it was a really long day, but I woke up at 3:30 a.m. or so the next few days despite trying to keep my regular schedule and going to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. Then, my luggage arrived at 3 a.m., three days later. (Yes, British Airways delayed my luggage in both directions; fortunately the longer problematic delay was on the way home where I had other clothes and toiletries I could use.)

The hassle was definitely worth getting to visit Vienna. I didn't get to see everything, unfortunately, so I'll have to go back later.

Comment: Re:No. Simply No. (Score 1) 522

I've not heard anyone describe functionality added to MS Office since Office 2000. Excel has it's uses, but what have they done to it since, except forced people to learn new places for buttons?

Exactly! And they didn't really even do that - they just converted the drop down menus into the "ribbon". They didn't rethink the logic. For example, it still throws me - after using Word for at least 15 years - that page numbering is on the "Insert" menu/tab. I can see "inserting" page numbers the first time I add them to a document, but most of the time I need that control, it's because I'm editing page numbers that are already there, so "insert" is not the menu I think of when I want to do that. It should be a "page layout" option - it's something that's usually fixed on every page, in a defined layout, regardless of what else is on the page, like headers, footers, margins, etc.

In short, Microsoft didn't take the time to rethink how people use Office and see if they could perhaps improve efficiency, with a cost of a learning curve while people learned the new way. Instead, they just converted the menus to buttons and sold it as a huge upgrade, at the cost of the learning curve for the ribbon with no net gain in the end.

Comment: Re:Grammar (Score 1) 329

by Skater (#47000653) Attached to: Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

Ever seen an older Airstream? Think that's dust?

The shells aren't, but often the frames are, or are close to it - they're just steel. (Airstream owner here, although ours is a relatively young one, built in '95. I do have quite a few friends with vintage units from the 60s and before, though. Some of them had to do shell-off restorations, starting with the frame, to get them usable again.)

Comment: Re:America is *finally* implementing chip-and-pin (Score 1) 210

by Skater (#46881291) Attached to: Target Moves To Chip and Pin Cards To Boost Security
I'm going to Vienna, Austria (from the US) in a few weeks for work. My work-supplied credit card doesn't have the chip, so I asked about getting one with it. The area that handles the cards in my office said, "You're the first to ask about them," and called the credit card issuer. The CC company came back and said, "No, we don't issue them." Oddly enough, I have a personal CC in my wallet with the chip, issued by that same company. That card will be going with me to Europe.

Comment: Re:Mass transit (Score 1) 398

by Skater (#46817439) Attached to: Will the Nissan Leaf Take On the Tesla Model S At Half the Price?

i'm all for mass transit and use it almost every day, but i'm in NYC a lot of cities in the US aren't dense enough to support the costs of the system

I'm not sure mass transit is self-supporting anywhere in the world. But people see the build cost + maintenance costs and flip out, ignoring that roads also have a build cost + maintenance cost + police cost + etc.

Comment: Re:Less apple more ISO standard interface please (Score 1) 194

by Skater (#46762539) Attached to: How Apple's CarPlay Could Shore Up the Car Stereo Industry

They failed to mention it only supports apple products.

Are you sure? Android phones now use something called "MTP", which most devices don't seem to support (neither of our car stereos do, one is a factory Honda, the other is a Pioneer; similarly, my Macbook Pro *still* can't connect to my S3, a year and a half after I bought the phone). Did you try a standard USB drive? I bet it'll work.

Comment: Re:Does it really cost $100k? (Score 1) 461

by Skater (#46462329) Attached to: The $100,000 Device That Could Have Solved Missing Plane Mystery

They have those already - at least the sonar one. It pings for up to 30 days once it hits the water. The issue is that you have to be relatively close to the plane to hear the pinging. Even with Air France 447 when the ACARS data told us where the plane was as it was crashing, it still took almost two years and several searches to find the hull of the plane. In this case, it appears everyone spent the last several days looking in the wrong place, because the military either didn't report or no one listened to their report of spotting the plane in a very different, unexpected location over an hour after it disappeared off the civilian radar. I hope someone in charge wrote down that lesson.

As for the cost of the devices: How much is this search costing the countries involved? It's probably enough to pay for installation on quite a few airliners at this point...

"I have more information in one place than anybody in the world." -- Jerry Pournelle, an absurd notion, apparently about the BIX BBS