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Comment Specialty rules lasted beyond the early 70's (Score 1) 220

As has already been mentioned, when I took my Pilot's License the Cessena Student Kit included a Circular Rule, and was the standard tool used everywhere in Aviation. If you boarded an aircraft during the 1980's, you were depending on a type of Slide Rule to get wherever you were going safely; if you were flying a light aircraft you probably used one up until sometime in the last decade.

When I owned a retail store in an industry where discounts from MSRP were Standard Operating Procedure, we kept our Wholesale Price Lists at the front counter and staff made quotes and/or sales based on Cost Plus [our required margin]. The margin was based on paying all the bills and taxes and leaving between 5 and 10% as Net Profit for the year.

We used a Circular Slide Rule for that and other calculations, such as "We Pay The Tax" calculations to find the required retail price, the required Sales Tax amount, to, say, sell an item for $120 all in. And so on.

Our Retail stores used them up until the late 80's. With a manual entry sales invoice, a Cardboard Box for record storage (File Storage Boxes) and a Cash Box, we sold $Millions annually and had records of sales (e.g. for warranty work) for a decade that would fit in a closet.

We used Pocket Calculators to do addition/subtraction math, such as adding up the quote or writing the Sales Invoice. The "lack of precision" of the Rule made quotes much easier since you would get a visual representation of your cost plus margin, which made rounding to two or fewer decimal precision very easy.

One notable feature of the system was speed ... it was WAY faster to create a quote, give "ballpark" figures for transactions during the Sales or Demo phase (over the phone, like 5 seconds) or do a complete transaction of, say, 10 items with brief descriptions and Serial Numbers in less than a minute. It still drives me a bit crazy in retail as a customer today when it comes to how long it takes for simple transactions.

Comment Blueprint for future Trade Deals (Score 1) 278

The TPP covers enough of the current Global Economy (some of South America, Some of Asia, North America) so that it serves as a blueprint for future Trade Treaties between the current signatories and future signatories. It's important to get the deal crafted in such a way that anyone who wants to join in the future has to basically take on the same compromises and advantages. And make no mistake; other nations will want to join in the future.

If you don't get this deal done, you run the risk that future trade deals compromise your position further than maybe your country feels is reasonable. One thing that is almost certain is that the current signatories are looking at a weakening economic position in the future; by signing and crafting now, they negotiate from a position of strength that probably will not exist to the same extent in the future.

It might not be ideal for all the current signatories, but at least now we know where the advantages and disadvantages will lie, and current treaty nations can adjust accordingly so that they are in a position to take advantage in the future, with rules the future signatories will have to agree to.

Comment Re:Monster Business School (Score 1) 288

Monster does not make a bad cable. I'm sure they make a nice profit after they account for their marketing costs. The genius of their pricing is the huge margin they offer resellers. Let's use the "$10 cable" example. Standard assumptions with electronics is manufacturing cost ... the Bill of Materials and assembly ... is 20% of retail MSRP. There is packaging, shipping and marketing on top of that. Retail margins on accessories are close to 50% (100% markup). So ... the $10 cable should wholesale for maybe $25 and MSRP would be $50. Monster would put a MSRP on that item of $75, leaving the dealer with $50 ... or 200% markup (67% margin). You don't need to be a Rocket Scientist to see how much a reseller is going to push the sales force to sell that brand over others, and there is plenty of money to go around for cash or other incentives to be paid directly to the sales staff. As for Apple vs Monster, well, Monster is famous for sending an office tower's worth of lawyers at anyone and everyone they can scare into settling, most notably any Mom + Pop who dare use the word "monster" for anything at all. So it's no surprise they are in court, yet again.

Comment Trans-Fat free not free (Score 1) 851

You have to read the Ingredients list and seek out "hydrologised" or "partly hydrologised" fats. Because a small amount of trans fats below a certain threshold are allowed to be listed at zero in the main Nutritional Information list the manufacturers manipulate the Serving Size so that Trans Fats are below the threshold, you can't go by the Nutritional Information list. Also they can use "Trans Fat Free" banners on the package if the serving size is so manipulated.

Comment Force Fail ISP's tests (Score 2) 479

Take ISP's modem / router, place on top of microwave oven (I *know* you have long cables, if necessary, sitting around somewhere). Fill a very large bowl with water and heat on low for 20 minutes.** Do not touch bowl of water for at least an hour.** Take portable AM radio, tune to a station low on the dial, and place on top of modem / router. Call tech support.

Comment Probably True (Score 5, Informative) 164

In Canada there are basically two prison systems. One, for those sentenced to less than two years, is run by the province (thus a common sentence is "two years less a day"). The second, for those sentenced to two years or more, is run by the Federal Government. Recidivism rates for those sentenced to provincial jails is roughly 45% re-offend (statistics are lifelong, not three years as in the parent post's research). For the Federal system, it's less than 5%. Provincial inmates are released to the community they came from, while Federal inmates are paroled to a different community. They balance the releases by placing people based on the incarceration rate in a given community; in other words if 5 criminals are sent to Federal prison in a town, then 5 are released to that town, but are not from that town.

Comment I call bullshit (Score 1) 102

There is plenty of Uranium to go around; the current operating mines in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada can supply all Western needs for any foreseeable future needs. Proven reserves in the area are massive ... new mines take a decade or more to be approved and operating, but if needed there is so much available known deposits in the Athabaska Sand Basin in SK that supply is clearly not the issue. The Russians also have their own needs well met. Uranium spot prices are lower than in the past due to current market oversupply vs demand, although it's important to note that supply is almost always based on long-term contracts of 25 years or more ... power utilities contract for the expected life of the reactor at a fixed price. Now, if you want to talk the Chinese cornering the market for Rare Earth Minerals, well, maybe there is a story ...

Comment Nothing wrong with it (Score 1) 221

Been there, done that. Oh, did I mention it works? I worked and resided in a part of Canada that still retains a Microwave Transmission Network ... a tower every 60 miles stretching north ... as part of a strategic backup communications network. Most Microwave systems have been de-commissioned in Canada but a few were retained (Canadian teleco and media satellites were launched in the early 60's and that is the primary network to this day). But all our telephone and data networking is via a box about 12" square that has a direct line-of-sight to a tower, T1 speeds, plus telecom and DSL to a community about 20 miles from our worksite, plus a couple of other worksites with more than 200 employees each. Fast and reliable, we have on average 160 devices connecting at any given time. Cheap, too ... WAY cheaper than stringing poles.

Comment Stopping = Myth (Score 1) 281

" ... spread misconceptions about what it takes to be self-sufficient — and stop global warming." ..." There will be no stopping of Global Warming. Maybe reducing the rate of Global Warming. But no stopping, or at least no stopping without a time machine.

Comment Parallels works best (Score 1) 209

Although Bootcamp is an option, and the price is right, I recommend installing Parallels Desktop 10. Choose your Guest OS or (choose multiple versions of Windows, for example) and be done with it. On modern hardware the VM's are fast. Once you boot an OS (which takes about the same time as booting via Bootcamp) you can suspend and resume, which takes about 10 seconds. Dynamically sized virtual drives makes the task of dedicating a Bootcamp partition size seem primitive. I've yet to run an application that is not compatible including those that require a dongle. Fullscreen or Windowed mode (which is handy for those Patch Tuesdays ... keep working in MacOS). Build a base SystemOS and dedicate VM's to tasks where on Windows machines problems can be expected in a do-everything system. (eg, build an Audio-Only VM). And so on. And Linux is no problem either. I run XPSP3 on a 2013 MacBook Pro without issues; older OS's don't present problems. Parallels can be purchased cheaply by adding it to a hardware order from OWC. And so on.

Comment Re:Somewhat cheap - Sounds fine. (Score 1) 249

I spent the most that I felt needed to sound 'fine' to me. What's with the pairing of subjective terms? What I spent could be seen as a lot (to someone who's never bought audio equipment) or a super-budget (to an audiophile).

  • Onkyo TX-8255 receiver - $120
  • Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf speakers - $126
  • Audio Technica AT-LP60 - $100

I've also got an audio interface separate from the built-in one for my laptop, but I only use it for recording.

You could certainly go cheaper (laptop -> active speakers or cheapo turntable with speaker built into them) or way way more expensive (audiophile-quality).

Your choices ARE "audiophile quality" because you chose wisely (although I would have spent a bit more on the TT, say a Pro-Ject Debut Carbon). Price does not (and never has) = value. The point to take away, though, is your baseline is good enough that you could now evaluate a more expensive component and know whether it's an improvement or not, again regardless of the asking price. Another option would be TEAC who have a nice stereo receiver with phono for $180 with 100w/ch versus the Onkyo's 50w @ $120.

Comment Re:Cheap and sounds great! (Score 1) 249

Certainly there are good values available with used equipment and I recommend anyone interested in good sound to explore that option; typical savings over original MSRP with quality gear is more (sometimes much more) than 50%. However, there are certain areas where buying new pays dividends ... #1 is loudspeakers. Of all the areas of HiFi, there have been more advancements in loudspeaker technology than any other area, and I highly recommend buying new, regardless of budget (which could be as little as $150/pair; even at that price level you are looking at a few models that outclass what you would have had to spend $300 to get 5 years ago). The improvements cover the spectrum ... cabinet construction, crossover technology and the drivers themselves. I have been either following the industry or actively employed in it since the 70's ... there has never been more choice in the marketplace than there is today, and there is no need to spend megabucks to get truly great sound. But, as always, there is plenty of mediocre product out there as well. Use your own judgement.

Comment Re:Sony thought ... (Score 1) 391

VHS was licensed by JVC to anyone who asked, while SONY refused to license BetaMAX. So inertia built on the VHS format because everyone would sell you a VHS deck, even off-brand units at Wall-Mart. Then the *other* studios started dropping their BetaMAX releases. SONY did eventually decide to license their format, but once the software supply narrowed, it was just a matter of time. I'm not sure "marketing" had much to do with it, but even so, SONY's well-known propensity for exclusive formats was the real killer.

God is real, unless declared integer.