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Comment Re:GOOD GRIEF! (Score 1) 542

1) Marketing / FUD about what is in your tap water
2) Taste - bottled water is typically filtered better with minimal amounts of bleach added and flavored if not conspicuously with actual flavors, most bottled water also contains high amounts of added sodium (yes, salt-like substances) to make it taste better. The Nestle brands being some of the worst, if I use it for actual hydration after exercise or manual labor, I still feel thirsty.

Comment Get a better bank (Score 1) 302

Sorry to say, but if your bank has poor customer service, fire it and get another card elsewhere. I hate to say it but Bank of America for all their past policy flaws has great customer service on their credit cards, I can handle most things including disputes online, they call me in case of suspicious transactions etc.

For my other checking, savings, loans and credit I have used local credit unions. They are likewise great at personalized customer service.

Comment Re:"Killed off"? (Score 1) 131

OpenSolaris wasn't fully open source. There are large portions (such as the kernel) that had to be replaced with truly open code and there are still large projects that made OpenSolaris usable ("Open" HA) that were never released.

People are working on OpenIndiana, it may be slow and packages may look outdated but that's quite on par with Solaris releases, these things are rock solid.

Comment Calculating is easy (Score 3, Informative) 89

You can look up the specs easy.

Back in the 80286 days, there was not even an L1 cache however the memory and ISA bus ran at CPU speed 8-20Mhz. Hard drive latency was ~65ms.

In the 80486 days L1 cache was introduced and L2 was sometimes available in (very) expensive modules. I remember buying 256kb for the same price as 16MB RAM. The L1 caches ran (if I remember correctly) at CPU speed, 1 cycle. However the bus speed started to slow down compared to the CPU. The VLB ran at CPU bus speed ("local" bus) and was often used for graphics but PCI (an inferior bus) ran at 33MHz so for anything over 33MHz, we started needing dividers. The RAM ran at 80-120ns so it started being slower than the CPU bus. Hard drive speeds were however up to ~30ms.

In the Pentium age memory slowed even farther compared to the CPU bus. Now it took several cycles to access memory, buses ran even slower (still PCI mostly, eventually PCI-X (133MHz?) until PCI-e (serial buses running) came along. Hard drive speeds went up to ~15ms

In modern age, L1 caches have slowed even further requiring 4 cycles for L1 cache and up to 30 for L3 caches. RAM is even slower access with bus speeds about a quarter of a single CPU but sometimes 16 CPU's need to share those lanes. Peripheral bus speeds however have gone up and PCIe 3.0 is now directly integrated into CPU 80486 VLB-style. Hard drives have latencies of 10ms (we have a mechanical issue there) still but even cheap SSD's can go down to ~1-2ms.

Comment Re:Considerations (Score 1) 444

You don't have to be rich to give attention to your kids.

My parents were never rich, I am not rich, yet I have a high IQ as do my kids, one of which is mixed race with one of these 'minority cultures'. I was always prompted by teachers to take more advanced and gifted classes because the class couldn't keep up. I finished with a US-equivalent college-level education before my 19th birthday. I have a friend who is Hispanic in the US, finished with a bachelors at 16yo.

The problem is that these 'minority' parents aren't speaking English correctly themselves or don't do math correctly themselves. I'm not talking about immigrants, I'm talking about people that have lived in the US for several generations. The problem is not with the culture at the school, it's with the culture in these groups. They feel entitled to get these benefits, then they have to put the effort in it to get them. Speak correct English at home, don't engage with other parents or family that puts people down for 'acting white' or trying to achieve something outside their own culture. Heck, look at some of the comments Neil deGrasse Tyson has made on his own venture into science, his peers were pressuring him to do more for his 'community' as well and leave astrophysics.

Since the 60's there has been a lot of time and effort wasted on these communities and brilliant people have probably given in to the pressure within those communities to not do the best they can. When proper English isn't even understood in schools, you have a problem, not a school problem but a community problem.

Comment Re:Chip and PIN would, but... (Score 1) 315

NO, it is not in most cases because the chip is capable of holding your information in plain text or plain text + pin for offline transactions. A well-installed skimmer (with the keypad etc) can read that information (and are available for purchase):

Comment Re:No.... (Score 1) 315

Your card holder rights are different when you enter a pin/signing a slip vs. not doing so. The bank will assume your PIN == your valid signature and you'll get to eat the losses.

If you dispute a transaction and the merchant produces a signed slip with your valid signature, you will not be successful in disputing the transaction (unless you claim that the merchandize is faulty or wasn't delivered).

In the future, when you enter a PIN, you will not be successful in disputing the transaction even though modern skimmers are capable of grabbing both your card info and your PIN information. In most cases, your card information is still available in plain text on the chip for offline transactions unless explicitly disabled by your bank. And if your bank has explicitly disabled ALL plain text transaction (some European banks and on-request in the US) your card is currently useless at the following places: Wal Mart, Tim Hortons and most gas stations (except Exxon/Mobil) - at least they'll still allow you to mag-swipe in those cases.

Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

Wrong, that is one of the capabilities of these chips but often, for convenience sake, the chip still contains the same information as the mag swipe in plain text. I have a chip card that I blocked non-encrypted transactions and the chip on the card simply doesn't work at any Wal Mart stores (it does at other stores), eventually (after 3 times chipping) the system will give in and allow me to swipe it.

Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

There is no exception. Your chip still contains (in most cases in the US) the plain text version of your card information just in case you need to do a transaction when the system is offline (read and weep

I know because I have a chip reader for POS testing and I can often get the plain text information from both the mag swipe and the chip. The only difference with the chip is who gets to hold the responsibility in case it does get compromised.

Comment Re:Re-what? (Score 1) 139

Why horrified? What do you think your chip contains, a wireless connection to your private bank server? Chip-and-pin is no more secure than magswipes, it contains the same data and can often broadcast the data a 100m around you through RFID activation. A culture of accepting that anything makes your card more secure will allow CC companies to lay the blame solely with you in case it does get compromised.

I'd rather keep my mag swipe, in case it gets compromised or even a problem with the vendor (if they won't do a warranty return), my bank will happily take the charges off the card. Once I've entered a PIN or used any of their stupid 'security measures' (eg. Verified by Visa which is a horribly broken design), they assume I'm to blame for any problem with my card.

Comment Re:Windows 7 EOL is coming soon (Score 1) 288

Win 7 SP1 EOL has already passed, it's in extended support meaning you have to pay them to fix anything about the OS. They'll release security updates but if your hardware doesn't work or the software doesn't do what it's supposed to do, they won't fix it nor will any new features be added.

Ubuntu support is a lot more extensive since it will fix software issues and integrate new features from upstream libraries for the extent of the support life. Plus you can still buy support for very early Ubuntu versions if you want too.

Comment Re:Wishful thinking (Score 1) 535

The original Razr (V3?) which was released a little before the iPhone but it was what we now consider a feature phone sold as a smartphone, it had everything (web, e-mail, bluetooth) but it was slow, had a bad camera, 5MB? storage. You could sync it over bluetooth with your computer but besides hacking in your own apps, it couldn't run what the company didn't already give you.

When the iPhone was released, I was using a full-fledged smartphone with WinMo. Again, it had everything (Internet Explorer, Outlook, Word, Excel ...) but would crash and burn, it was unusable as it was a desktop OS on a tiny screen and I remember it would sync contacts only once in any circumstance and then break.

Never trust an operating system.