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Comment: Re:$7-per-month service (Score 1) 273

by jittles (#49755173) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?

If you're like me, it's the expense of your talk, text and data plan that you dislike, not the features of a smartphone.

I pay $20 every 90 days to Virgin Mobile (works out to $6.67 per month). I'll upgrade to a smart phone if and when the price of a plan that includes a reasonable amount of data drops to $15 per month. Until then, I'll make a mental note of what online content I'd like to consume, and wait until I get home to consume it.

Calculate the annual cost of your cell phone plan; do you find that having instant gratification of your online desires is worth that cost? Not judging; just curious.

Yes. For $50 a month, I get unlimited everything and free tethering. When I am at the airport, or a crappy hotel, etc I can tether my laptop and still get work done.

Comment: Re:The data (Score 1) 167

There are a few people using their .gov email addresses for this, some of those can be verified by the IP address

No, you can't. Remember, several different court cases have stated, and people on here have wholeheartedly agreed, you can't tie an IP address to a person, even if there is only one person at a residence.

So either you can use an IP address to tie it to someone or you can't. Which is it?

You can verify that someone with a .gov email address accessed a website with an IP address that corresponds to a government entity in the US. That's about all you can safely do.

Comment: Re:If the headline is posed as a question, the ans (Score 2) 368

by jittles (#49739251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

Besides, if you can do it in 1/16th of the time, you might find your maintenance budget get slashed to 1/16th of previous year/quarter. From what you described, it seems you/they allocate about a day to upgrade each station (16 units at 0.5 hour each.) Beats driving around in traffic to 16 different stations a day, too.

Don't be silly. The maintenance will still take just as long. He'll just have much more time to focus on his real priority - Clash of Clans.

Comment: Re:single-purpose tools better be awesome + durabl (Score 1, Redundant) 270

by jittles (#49699295) Attached to: Here Comes the Keurig of Everything

Yes, kitchen counter space is limited. And toolbox space, and desks, and dressers, etc etc. Keurig has a functional niche (places where mess is intolerable or there's no one to clean it up, like medical lobby or a low-use office), but their marketing has convinced a broader market that it's too cool not to have one. It won't last. Already there's blowback about the amount of waste produced by this particular device, and popularity is waning... just like most other uber-popular single-use doohickeys.

In order to survive past initial novelty-driven sales, a single-purpose/non-flexible device had better be utterly awesome at what it does, and seriously durable in both function and regularity of need. That's why the regular pan stays while the egg-magic pan goes to Goodwill (not durable, don't want eggs every day), and virtually every Rolodex has been replaced by a free app on a general-purpose portable computing device (not flexible, need changed). The Keurig makes consistent mid-grade coffee (not awesome), and is moderately durable at best (and DRM is a form of intentional breakage), which means market survival will eventually come down to flexibility. Can JoeBob consumer make ramen with a Keurig? No? Then eventually he'll keep the kettle and throw out the Keurig.

'Jus sayin... as I sip decent coffee out of a mug, made with a 15yo Cuisinart kettle, an $0.80 sbux Via packet, and less waste/cleanup than Keurig. The packet will change, the kettle will stay.

You could make ramen with a Keurig. I use one to make oatmeal in the mornings.

Comment: Re:Mostly good (Score 1) 544

by jittles (#49697013) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

The annual booster shots for dogs is greed. So is the leptospirosis vaccine, and heartworm treatments for anything bigger than a squirrel. The leptospirosis vaccine only protects against 6 of the more than 150 types, and it's transferred by wild infected animals pissing on your dog's food. For heartworm, just keep the mosquito population down, the same as you should be doing to prevent the transmission of West Nile disease in humans. It's not like dogs can catch it from each other.

There are some places where it is very difficult to control the mosquito population. I lived in Venezuela for a while. They have trucks come around and spray pesticides on everything and everyone in order to try and control the mosquito population and thereby prevent dengue fever. I can tell you right now that the mosquitoes were not under very good control. I also dated a girl whose dog died of heartworm. She had the dog on heartworm medication for its entire life until the dog was about 6 and then missed two months of treatment. In fact, where I live now, the animal shelters often have to put down stray dogs that are dying of heartworm. I rarely even see a mosquito in town.

Comment: Re:Does anyone else see the irony? (Score 1) 544

by jittles (#49696977) Attached to: California Senate Approves School Vaccine Bill

California is a microcosm of the United States as a whole: liberal around the coasts, except for the south coast; and conservative inland, except near the large body of water on the border.

They also tend to run liberal in federal elections and conservative in state elections.

This split personality is behind a lot of California's budget problems, as one part of the populace with a majority vote has mandated spending on certain programs, and another part of the populace with a majority vote has prohibited raising certain taxes, leaving the legislature tightly bound between the rock of having to spend money and the hard place of not being able to raise it, requiring them to borrow it.

Which, come to think of it, is another microcosm of the United States as a whole, and the reason for the constant debt crises we keep having. Congress mandates spending, doesn't authorize the necessary taxes, and then blames the president for coming to the unavoidable necessity of borrowing to pay for what they've required him to spend and not allowed him to raise.

If you watch California elections they only borrow money for education and repairing aging infrastructure. They seem to find the money they need for everything else by raiding the schools. If the dumbasses who vote in California would stop approving billions of dollars in school bonds every election, this practice might actually change.

Comment: Re:Obvious point of comparison? (Score 1) 211

by jittles (#49690345) Attached to: FCC May Stop 911 Access For NSI Phones

But the numbers you have come up with are not comparable to each other, as they are for different areas and data sets.

25% of calls are pranks, while 70% are dialled inadvertently - an inadvertent dial is not a prank, and a prank is not an inadvertent dial, so these figures are not comparable.

Of course they are comparable. You only have 100% of calls available to you. If 70% were dialed inadvertently and 25% were dialed as pranks, that would suggest that only 5% were dialed on purpose and NOT a prank.

Comment: Re:Trolling Douchebags (Score 1) 211

by jittles (#49689941) Attached to: FCC May Stop 911 Access For NSI Phones

The problem is that the language from that report suggests that some of the calls may be legitimate, but non-emergency calls. People call 911 all the time for the stupidest things. For instance, calling 911 to report a fender bender. That is entirely inappropriate, and a complete drain on emergency resources.

Comment: Re:Why is ITT even eligible for federal student lo (Score 1) 85

by jittles (#49688423) Attached to: SEC Charges ITT Educational Services With Fraud

The expected total expenditures for a student at my university when I graduated back in 2003 were in the range of $19,000 per year in today's dollars. Estimated total costs for students at the same university in the upcoming school year are about $35,000.

There really is no comparison here. School is vastly more expensive today than it was even 15 years ago. And that is tremendously unfair to current students.

Is that all expenses or just tuition expenses? The university has no control over outside expenses.

Comment: Re:Moral (Score 2, Insightful) 124

by jittles (#49688299) Attached to: Hackers Using Starbucks Gift Cards To Access Credit Cards

You trust the infrastructure between you and the second party, but only in the US (and some tourist areas) is it considered acceptable to hand over your card to a 3rd party who disappear with it for a while. The rest of the world, the third party never, or rarely even touches your card. So you don't have to trust a 3rd party with your card to use it. At most, you trust the infrastructure between you and the credit card company.

Except that the third patty controls the card terminal. If they're unscrupulous or if they don't have proper security, then anyone could come in there and install hardware that would get your card details, even your PIN if you're on a chip and pin system. Will that allow them to clone your chip? I'm not sure - probably not. But that doesn't stop them from having someone mug you when you're a few blocks away, either. Plus, you don't use the chip or pin for online purchases.

Comment: Re:Why is ITT even eligible for federal student lo (Score 2) 85

by jittles (#49682535) Attached to: SEC Charges ITT Educational Services With Fraud

"A better question may be, why do "federally-guaranteed loans" need to exist in the first place..." Exactly. If the question is "Why is higher education so expensive," that is the answer.

Don't be ridiculous. The loans don't exist because school is prohibitively expensive. I finished school just with the current group of "I can't pay my student loan" cry babies. I paid for all of my education, and have been supporting myself since I was 16 years old. My student loan total for 3.5 years (I graduated early) was $12,000. That included tuition, books, and my apartment minus the costs I paid myself by working throughout school. I received $1000 total in scholarships and did not qualify for grant money. I went to a school that I could afford. A state university program. Without the federally subsidized student loan, I would have been forced to work more, and would have had to spend more time on my degree.

At the time I started school, my girlfriend wanted me to attend the same private school she went to. I applied and was accepted but passed on the program because the tuition alone would have cost me over $30,000 a year. With decreased funding, my state university now charges double what it did when I attended, but your 4 year tuition is still less than 0.75 years at a private university. I have about as much sympathy for those crying about student loan repayment as I have for those people who took out a 5 year ARM on property back in 2008.

Comment: Re:It was an app on a WORK-Issued Phone! (Score 1) 776

That's a great point but it does seem like a company should have the right to enable GPS tracking for company assets. Perhaps a good compromise would be that you could indicate when you were off-work to avoid tracking, but if required the device could be signaled to turn back on tracking.

I personally would probably get one of those signal shielding bags and drop it in there when I wasn't to be on-call. Then you could carry it with you even. Then it also appears just as if it lost power for a while, so it would be hard to get in trouble over it...

She has an iPhone. The company can enable find my iPhone at any time if they need to figure out where it is. There is no reason that they need to log her location 24/7.

Comment: Re:Such is C (Score 2) 264

by jittles (#49637231) Attached to: C Code On GitHub Has the Most "Ugly Hacks"

Depends. Is it wrapped with #if __i386__ || __x86_64__ and followed by a #else clause that contains code without the insane optimization? If so, it is elegant. If not, it is ugly.

I would say it would depend even more on whether or not the programmer profiled the code in question prior to making that optimization change. If there is no perceived or noticeable benefit to this optimization, then there is no reason to put something unreadable and platform specific into your code base. I know I worked on a project once where the dev manager wanted to rewrite an entire library in assembly because there was a perceived performance problem in the library. While some more senior devs started the work on that, I profiled the library and saw that it was just one function call that was accounting for most of the performance problems. I also realized that this function call was being made 1200 times per second when we really only needed to make this call once and then we could cache that result. There is no point in putting in any sort of clever hack or optimization until you've identified a need for it. Most modern C/C++ compilers are pretty good at optimizing your code for you.

Comment: Re:Take the responsibility onto yourself (Score 1) 532

by jittles (#49629819) Attached to: The Medical Bill Mystery

And if he was to prescribe a standard antibiotic, you can buy them yourself at a pet supply. The same antibiotics used for fish are the same that you are given. Exactly the same, just different labels and no prescription required.

My grocery store, Walmart, and many other places will fill those same standard antibiotics for free. What's the point of buying it at a pet supply store if you can get it for free, anyway?

Where there's a will, there's an Inheritance Tax.