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Comment Sprint to T-Mobile per replacement phone pricing. (Score 1) 207

My recent Sprint to T-Mobile switch was per the need to replace a failing phone, and Sprint's inability to offer a price comparable to what I'd pay T-Mobile on a new activation. I spoke to two different agents, telling them specifically that I'd leave if they didn't offer me a better deal. In all fairness, I'd previously switched from T-Mobile to Sprint for the same reason. There must be some accounting reason why both carriers would sooner lose a ($99/mth, auto-paid on time every month) customer rather than offer replacement phones at lower cost to retain them. They both got me to switch by discounting the phones anyway.

Comment Re:Petty thieves (Score 1) 196

This is not how bank fraud should be done. The right and proper way is to become too big to fail, to big to jail, rig the LIBOR rates, create systematic rigging, award oneself huge salaries and bonuses, threaten worldwide economic collapse, hold governments to ransom and get huge bail out money. The master criminals running the banks are dismayed by petty criminals stealing from them.

After LIBOR, it appears that the new big(ger) thing it to manipulate interest rate swaps http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/everything-is-rigged-the-biggest-financial-scandal-yet-20130425

Comment Re:Go read Dale Carnegie's book (Score 1) 823

I believe "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is where I first ran across

“In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Often when a client says something along the lines of "I couldn't do your job" I'll respond with "I don't know how to do your job either". They usually appreciate that.

Comment Local police anti-fraud specialist resources (Score 1) 104

We recently invited the local police department's anti-fraud specialist to speak to our local computer users group about this and similar topics in the wake of this scam robo-dialing it's way across our area. The officer gave an interesting talk, and shared several anecdotes about scam methods that were new to me. If you have a local computer users group, civic organization, seniors group, or the like, a presentation like this is a great way to spread the word on scam prevention.

Comment Re:Quality and quantity (Score 1) 285

Real world bandwidth use in our cord cutter household of 3 actively used TVs attached to consoles with netflix and hulu accounts peaks in the mid 250GB range, with most months around 200GB, per the bandwidth meter of our DDWRT equipped router. 40+ usable channels of OTA content with many channels offering beautiful uncompressed HD on the primary TV via a media PC also helps.

Comment Re:Can you explain? (Score 1) 538

Imagine a world where the stock market is a small piece of the actual market. It's just a place where the chumps, who don't have HFT, have to trade at a loss. Meanwhile the real markets are competing networks maintained by various deep-pocketed organizations which trade whatever they want to trade at whatever speeds they want to trade at.

The crude oil commodity market (for one) has worked like this for some time, with a "visible" market (NYMEX originally) trading a minority of the futures, and private futures trades dwarfing the volume of the NYMEX.

Comment Re:Most won't notice (Score 1) 329

I was getting worried about our usage at home, since the kids now watch a few hours of Neflix a day along with out other internet usage

Our home likely has above average streaming and Internet use- 3 TVs with actively used Netflix and Hulu streaming devices, 4 active PCs, multiple gaming consoles, etc. The ddwrt wan bandwidth monitor in our router reports our monthly downloads over the last 6 months are in the 110-220GB range, with the average below 200GB.

Comment Re:long time? (Score 1) 655

I've just run the simulator in TFA on my known variables for the last year (I got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had to make some very controlled, measured, changes to my lifestyle which got me back to being healthy). It said I'd have lost over 30Kg over that year. I actually lost just under 10Kg, but went from being unable to run for more than 100m to completing a 12Km fun-run and confidently entering for a half-marathon in 3 months' time. I also lost about 6inches off my waistline (as in I gained a waist!).

Also, humans are not controlled by variables and equations. The equations describe an average person, who doesn't exist. They're useful approximations, but in the end just approximations.

Glad to hear of your success. Agreed that the simulator is flawed. As one who actively tracked caloric intake, improved food quality, and increased activity in the process of losing over 150lbs in the past 5 years, the simulator's assumptions about caloric intake are way off for me. The simulator's suggested "lose weight" calorie level is my personal "maintain weight" calorie level.

Comment Re:Not for "Google Apps for your domain" users. (Score 1) 323

Wrong, I have it and it works (at least the Android client and web interface, I don't use Windows or Mac), enable doc in the control panel or request it to the domain admin, it is the same Google Docs permission

Paying apps user here, not working for me. I visit https://drive.google.com/start#home and get "Google Drive is not yet enabled for the XXXX domain." Visit the domain management page> settings> Drive and Docs Settings. "Allow users to install Google Drive for Mac/PC" and "Allow users to install Google Drive apps" were both already checked. Unchecked them, saved, re-checked them, saved. Refreshing https://drive.google.com/start#home still shows "Google Drive is not yet enabled for the XXXX domain." I get the same "Google Drive is not yet enabled for the XXXX domain." from my Android phone. Guess I'll try later, glad it's working for you...

Also, when is Google going to fix Contacts so that non-domain Contacts can be shared between domain users without resorting to third party workarounds?

Comment Bad recent repair experience (Score 1) 513

A client recently had a PC fail under warranty, so I took it in to the local Best Buy where they purchased it for repair, hoping to save them time and the costs of packaging and shipping. It likely needs a new motherboard. Three times they have failed to repair the verifiable, duplicate able issue, eventually telling me there was nothing more they could do. They've emailed me service surveys where I've expressed my dissatisfaction, and asked to be contacted. They have not contacted me. I ended up sending the machine to the manufacturer, and won't make the mistake of taking a machine to BB for repair again.

Comment Re:Watch professional racers (Score 1) 756

Make sure your legs are close enough that you can easily flatten the brake pedal to the floor.

Many times while teaching how to perform panic stops at http://streetsurvival.org/ schools, we find that the young drivers don't or can't push the brake pedal hard enough to activate ABS. In those cases we'll tell them to use both feet.

Comment Re:It's not just the textbooks (Score 1) 446

After seeing websites like "khan academy" it may be that textbooks are obsolete. Why keep reinventing the wheel if there are excellent individual lessons available for free online? Clearly the textbook market is turning into a scam because of the disconnect between buyers and sellers.

Perhaps entities accrediting teaching institutions should begin accrediting textbooks - formalizing the process of textbook selection instead of pushing this crucial decision to the lowest levels.

Another intriguing new system is the http://schoolofone.org/ pilot program in with multiple teaching modes- group lesson, online independant, online with tutor, etc. Lessons are customized for each student daily by an algorithm that measures progress, and adapts lesson mode based on how well each student does with a given subject and mode. Each lesson module is evaluated for it's effectiveness, and under performing modules are identified and updated. This freakonomics podcast discusses it http://www.freakonomics.com/2010/05/12/freakonomics-radio-how-is-a-bad-radio-station-like-the-public-school-system/

Comment Re:This is an americano-centric joke (Score 1) 1205

If I remember correctly, there was a change at the end of the 90's that changed the way that the oil market was traded, and it decoupled the price of oil from the actual supply and demand model to a speculative model. The reason oil prices jump dramatically whenever Iran sneezes is not because the actual supply changes, but because speculators think it will change. The oil market is very happy when the price goes up now but the supply doesn't actually decrease, because in that window between the 2 events they make a crap-ton more money.

"The Asylum: The Renegades Who Hijacked the World's Oil Market" By Leah McGrath Goodman is a good recent history of the NYMEX- which became the futures market for oil and petrol, and how the oil futures markets (dis)function.

The first version always gets thrown away.