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Comment: Re:I just must be drunk. (Score 4, Interesting) 98

by berberine (#49145695) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

Anyway, back on topic. Why not just teach seniors to tell anyone claiming to be their grandchild to call their parents if they need money? It's not as if haven't spent a good portion of their lives paying to support parasites already, right?

Because hearing gets bad as you age and you're not totally sure it's your grandkid or not. Because people suffer dementia when they get older. Because it's easy to confuse people when they get older. Because if you're a scammer and you're good at what you do, it's easy to guilt people or threaten people into giving you money.

There's a reason these scams are done worldwide. They work. I saw my own very intelligent grandma fall victim to a phone scammer once. She never would have fallen for it in her younger days, but at 85, those fast talking bastards nearly cleaned her bank account out. My mom was able to get all her money back after about 14 months. And you know what, my grandma died in 2011 and those fuckers are still calling. They told my mom last week that they had just talked to my grandma and she authorized payment so my mother better stop meddling, or else. My mom told them to feel free to go to the police and report her.

It happens. It doesn't matter how old you are. Pressure tactics, when done right, are scary as hell, particularly to the elderly. I live in a small town and the banks here already have similar alerts available. If you try to make a payment that is out of the ordinary, which you set up what would be considered normal transactions, they won't allow payment until they speak with you or your representative. Just because you've been used to scams your whole life, doesn't mean you still won't fall victim to one.

Comment: Most places I know start around 8am (Score 1) 161

by berberine (#48679303) Attached to: Boston Elementary, Middle Schools To Get a Longer Day
Where I live, the elementary schools are roughly 8am-335 pm. They vary by 10 minutes earlier or later to accommodate the bus schedule. The elementary schools also get out at 1pm every Wednesday. The junior high is 805am-328pm and the high school is 8am-325pm. I used to work at the junior high and it seemed it wasn't long enough. For instance, lunch at the junior high had shove three grades of kids through in less than an hour. After standing in line, kids were lucky if they got 10 minutes to eat lunch.

Where I grew up my high school schedule was 710am-220pm. I actually liked that schedule. If you didn't play a sport, you could still get home and complete homework and still have part of the afternoon and evening to hang out or do whatever you liked. If you did play a sport, you had about an hour and a half to finish homework before practice and two and a half hours to finish before a game.

The kids in my local school district always complain they can't do their homework until they get home and are often up until midnight finishing hit. While studies have shown that teenagers' circadian rhythms are different from adults and going to school early is harmful to them, it didn't bother me personally.

If we were to have them start much later, we also would have to change adult worktimes. For example, I grew up a 90 minute train ride into NYC. If the schools in my town didn't start early, then there would be many parents who were late for work each day. My district made those changes to take that into account. After school programs are easy to get grants for. Before school programs? Not so much.

Comment: Re:In Finland (Score 1) 516

by berberine (#48465801) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?
I have not been along the Gulf Coast, but when I lived in North Carolina and visited the Outer Banks there were many houses that were up on stilts.

As for wooden houses, wood is cheaper than concrete. Often when you buy a house in America, the house is already built and you're just purchasing it. I live in a town of 10,000 and I only know two people who built their own houses and they were wood. Most of the middle class cannot afford anything but a house built of wood.

In Florida, there are concrete block stone houses, but they are more expensive. IIRC, they also have some steel framing. I think a lot of it comes down to cost. I could not afford any of the brick homes in my town. They are simply far out of my price range and I suspect this is a large reason why most builders don't build with concrete.

Comment: Re:Question is stupid (Score 1) 146

by berberine (#47342799) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?
Question is not stupid. Maybe OP should have said what part of America they are returning to, but, where I live nothing in #1 or #2 works for me.

I had T-Mobile for a while, but there is no data plan with it, texts took several days to get to people, but voice worked. They were nice about cancelling my contract. ,br>
We have two providers in town, Viaero and Verizon. The Verizon pay-as-you-go plan was $10 more expensive a month and they wouldn't let me use my unlocked phone on their system. I don't know why, but I just couldn't be bothered arguing with them. Drove across town and got Viaero. The only down side is if I'm out of the county, I can't get an internet connection.

Comment: Re:I can't buy one (Score 1) 377

by berberine (#47252885) Attached to: Are US Hybrid Sales Peaking Already?
Why are they doing it wrong? I bought my car brand new 14 years ago. I've got 134,000 miles on it, never had a problem and have done maintenance (oil changes, tire rotation, replacement of belts, etc.) whenever it was scheduled. The only thing I've had to replace is the clutch, which wore out at 99,960 miles. It does exactly as I want it to and I get 30/35. I don't see anything wrong with my choice.

Comment: Re:I can never wrap my head around this. (Score 2, Informative) 1040

by berberine (#47153701) Attached to: Seattle Approves $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

So how in the word is it possible that in the US 15/hour is barely a living wage? How wasteful a life are you living there seriously?

These are my monthly bills.

Mortgage $500

Electric $120

Car payment $300

Internet $70

Water & Trash $50

Phone $50

Student loan $300

Car Insurance $120

Medicine $250

Retirement $100

Gas & Groceries $550

Savings $100

Life Insurance $60

That's a total of $2570

If I take out savings, life insurance and retirement savings, that would be $2310. Let's say my car and student loan is paid off. That would be $1710. My take home pay after taxes is $1100 a month. I am fortunate enough to be married to someone who makes more than me and we can pay our bills and save for retirement.

If you make $15 an hour in my town, you might be able to cover that $1710, depending on how much your health insurance costs. I have a friend that makes $15.17 an hour and brings home just under $1800 a month. This was before the Affordable Care Act went into place and everyone had to have some kind of insurance.

Let's say I'm a healthy person who doesn't need medication. Subtracting that $250, you get $1460. My salary would still not be enough to cover the bills. My friend may be able to cover the bills, but that depends on how much she is paying for health insurances as well. At $15 an hour, if there's nothing wrong with you, you would probably be okay, providing nothing ever goes wrong. This is also in my rural area of the country. I'm thinking a large city like Seattle, NY, LA, Miami, etc., $15 will still force you to find a second job.

For $15 an hour, where I live, you're just scraping by. You're not going to get any vacation pay, not that you need it because you couldn't afford to go anywhere anyway. Most people in my town make $10-12 an hour and have a second job.

I don't live an extravagant life. My life is mostly work and home with an occasional night out with friends. If I was on my own, with my salary, I'd never be able to eat out, travel, or do much other than work just to cover my bills.

Comment: Re:Here's a trick: Don't live in the U.S. (Score 1) 390

by berberine (#46798829) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Well, ok, but then again, in Europe, you don't need a car. Not even to "get away".

I've lived there. Yes, you do. You can get around any U.S. city just as well by public transport, but you can do a LOT more with a car in the U.S. or the EU...

This is not true. I'm an American. My hometown, which is a city, (East Coast) has no public transportation. When I lived in North Carolina, the city I lived in had no public transportation and still doesn't. The state I live in now has public transportation, but only if you live in the eastern part of the state and only in the two major cities. If I want to travel anywhere, I have to take my car. There are numerous other cities, large and small, in the US that have no public transportation.

Comment: Re:Um, right. (Score 2) 278

by berberine (#46556621) Attached to: Don't Help Your Kids With Their Homework
My mom had to work nights as a kid, so I had to stay with my grandma. My grandma didn't help with my homework, but she always checked it after I was finished. She would put little pencil marks next to the problems that were wrong. she only helped when I couldn't figure out what I had done wrong.

When it came to math, she was old enough that high school didn't really teach her more than basic Algebra, so she learned along with me. I always thought it was cool that she would sit with me and watch how I did problems and that I could explain Algebra and Geometry to her. I hated math so this made it more fun and I was a lot more willing to try to learn it even though math made me want to punch things.

I have recently seen some Common Core math problems and heard some parents talking about it. I have to admit, I don't understand the reasoning at all behind some of the basic math that they're changing. I'm not sure if a lot of parents will ever be able to help their kids anymore.

Comment: Re:Gas price probably has more to do with it. (Score 1) 635

by berberine (#46006779) Attached to: U.S. Teenagers Are Driving Much Less: 4 Theories About Why
I live just a few miles from our movie theater. It has six screens. It's an old one, with sticky floors and seating so bad, if someone sits in front of me, I can't see the screen. Anyway, most of the movies I want to see never come here. They only show blockbusters and kids movies. If I want to see anything else I have to drive 2.5 hours. When I do this, I have to plan an entire Saturday or Sunday and make it worth driving that far. As a result, I've seen far less movies in the past six years because it's a pain in the ass to arrange an entire day just to see a movie.

Comment: Re: Decreased Costs (Score 1) 1043

by berberine (#45938091) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs
And what if the girl had five children and her husband died or walked out and now she's scrambling for a way to help pay for her family? You going to deny that woman too? Where do you draw the line? Do you know what will happen if she's charged with child endangerment? Her children will be taken from her home and placed into the system. Now you will be paying five additional people to look after her children plus pay for those children to eat and be able to seek medical care.

Comment: Re:Change food stamps... (Score 1) 1043

by berberine (#45938063) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs
The problem with this, is that things will be mandated that people won't eat, thus increasing the fraud. If you mandate that people get orange/apple juice and they prefer water, then they are going to be forced to sell the juice so they can purchase water.

I think maybe a better way would to just eliminate a lot of things that are unhealthy first and then people will make better choices. If you take soda off the list of choices, but keep milk, juice, water, they will make a better decision.

Comment: Re:Good Journalsim, Good Article (Score 3, Interesting) 68

by berberine (#45781377) Attached to: Who's Selling Credit Cards From Target?

rare is the teenager who knows not to brag...

Not quite on the same level, but my local paper recently ran a story of a convenience store robbery. The person who did it stole a lot of junk food and close to $1000. The police admitted they had no leads and were clueless about who did it. They were basically saying that the perpetrator was going to get away with it. Two days later, they arrest a 16-year old male because he was bragging to his classmates at school about how dumb everyone was and how smart he was because no one knew it was him.

Comment: Re:So is it libre or not? (Score 1) 162

by berberine (#45560403) Attached to: Encrypted Social Network Vies For Disgruntled Facebook Users
In the early 2000s there were a few places that had free binaries. I tried them out. They were slower than dialup and a pain to use, but if you wanted to wait several days to get your binary files, they were there. I didn't like to wait and I had kept my paid usenet account so I just went back to it. The last time I tried one of those free ones was around 2005.

"When it comes to humility, I'm the greatest." -- Bullwinkle Moose

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