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Comment: Re:Reminder of who not to credit (Score 2) 151

by Skater (#48349881) Attached to: 25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell
Don't believe everything you read on the internet. I've lived in the US my entire life, and I've read a lot about the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, but the GP post was the very first time I'd heard this supposed strong connection between Reagan's speech and the wall falling. His speech may have been a significant event - everyone remembers "Tear down this wall!" - but I've never heard the theory that that's what caused the opening. I've also never heard that the Hoff had anything to do with it, either, other than singing atop it after the gates opened. I didn't bother to check the article for the other three people.

Comment: Re:Slashdot Effect (Score 1) 120

by Skater (#48197789) Attached to: Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Why? You'd have the gov't spend money to overbuild or be able to scale a website for the one time every few years it gets overloaded? Seems like a waste of money to me. It does just fine 99.9999999% of the time.

The other issue was that all the news articles said things like, "X Million Hondas Recalled!" As a Honda Accord owner, I clicked on the article and looked, only to discover it was for rather old Accords (nothing newer than like 2003; ours is a 2012). Others probably went to instead, only to find it didn't apply. (That headline should have been in the favorite clickbait poll. "X Million Cars from 1998-2003 recalled!" would have been better, but...fewer clicks!)

Comment: Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (Score 1) 398

by Skater (#48195941) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
I know of one near DC where the speed limit is 55 mph and there are traffic lights (it's actually a very well-known road - Pennsylvania Avenue - but the Maryland portion of it). However, during rush hour, the traffic rarely moves as fast as 55 mph, at least inside the beltway, I suspect because of volume and people are conditioned to think "traffic lights = max speed is 45 mph" or something like that. The latter theory is based on seeing people doing 45 mph with a clear stretch of road in front of them, and the next light quite a ways away.

Comment: Re:Study is quite incomplete (Score 4, Interesting) 261

by Skater (#48036401) Attached to: Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?
I lost faith when I saw this entry:

Mercury Topaz – 28.8%

A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets? It's the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo, which didn't make the top 20 at all. And I'd be willing to bet Ford sold a lot more Tempos than they did Topazs...

Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 189

by Skater (#47985227) Attached to: BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone
I had a similar problem with a work-issued Blackberry 9930. The only chargers that worked with it were the included Blackberry charger and the charger for my Samsung S3. We have at least 30 chargers laying around our house and cars, ranging from name brands like Apple and Samsung to no-name chargers we got for free, including chargers for my wife's iPad and my Asus tablet, and I tried them all. Only the Blackberry and Samsung adapters worked to charge the Blackberry. The cable didn't seem to matter - as long as it had the correct USB port, it worked - but the power adapter did.

Comment: Re:Nope they are clever (Score 1) 336

by Skater (#47935853) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Here in the US, I've done it once, and that was to confirm the chip in my card worked before I flew off to Europe with it. Turns out it's a chip-and-signature card, so it was as useless there as any other non-NFC card...perhaps even more useless come to think of it, because it ACTED like it was working. (From reading Slashdot, I knew this was likely the case before leaving, and I'd asked my banks about a chip-and-PIN card and got back, "Wuuhhh?", so I was prepared for this problem.)

So, for us, the Apple pay is actually a nice leap forward - as others said, right now it's a very fragmented market. I've had an Android phone with an NFC chip for two years now, and I've used it perhaps half a dozen times, just playing around to see if I could scan a credit card, my passport, or my cat's RFID chip (no go on the cat). Until I saw the Apple Pay announcement, I didn't care whether my next phone (which I had already decided was going to be an iPhone) had an NFC chip or not. I get why people in other countries wouldn't care as much about it, though.

Comment: Just one question... (Score 1) 216

by Skater (#47929777) Attached to: iOS 8 Review
I have an iPhone 6 on order, and I plan to use it either way, but I couldn't find the answer to this in the article: Can I use a playlist for an alarm, or can alarm apps work correctly in the background? Since the built-in alarm app only plays one song, you had to use another app if you wanted to wake up to a random song off a playlist. iOS 7 and older versions required that app to be in the foreground for it to play the song. Normally not a big deal, but if you answered a text message in the middle of the night or couldn't sleep and did a little websurfing and forgot to switch back to the alarm app, your alarm wouldn't go off. This isn't an issue with Android, and I'm hoping Apple has fixed this serious limitation - either by allowing the alarm app to use a playlist, or by allowing 3rd party apps to play a song without being in the foreground. It's my biggest pet peeve about iOS, especially after having an Android phone without this limit for the last two years. (If you read reviews in the App Store for alarm apps, most or all of them have people complaining about the app having to be in the foreground - they don't realize it's a limit of iOS rather than a limit of the app. So, I know it's not just me that's annoyed by this.)

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.

The first rule of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Paul Erlich