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Comment: Re:It's finally time (Score 2, Interesting) 219

by johnlcallaway (#49569283) Attached to: Feds Say It's Time To Cut Back On Fluoride In Drinking Water

Dental health is a service provided by people who spend money to outfit dental clinics. Same as medical professionals. As such, the market dictates the availability and costs. Instead of the government, which is the way it should be. It's amazing to me the number of people who think the government, who can't seem to run anything well, should be running healthcare and dental care. Just so a small minority of the population can afford something. Rather than provide services that only that small portion of the population can use if they choose to.

Insurance is 'crappy' because the most expensive treatments are cosmetic and most insurance won't cover more than 50%. Same as health regular insurance, it doesn't cover many cosmetic treatments. Because, if it did, insurance rates would go up to cover the increased costs. Providing orthodontic coverage for anyone other than those with serious misalignment places a large monetary burden on everyone else, just so they can look pretty. Why should I have pay for someone to have a pretty smile?? Letting me decide what insurance I want is the best way to provide efficient coverage without further driving up demand and costs.

You see that in the medical field. Breast augmentations are covered as the result of cancer treatments, not simply because someone got old. Cataract surgery isn't covered until it affects ones ability to drive, not because someone just wants to see better.

Many companies provide dental insurance as an inexpensive benefit. It's inexpensive because most people CHOOSE to not use it.

Comment: Re:This product reminds me of... (Score 2) 171

by johnlcallaway (#49548197) Attached to: Apple Watch Launches

I agree with your comment that spending $350 on a watch isn't a big deal. My wife bought me a Samsung Gear 2 for my birthday last year, and I've worn it every day since. I didn't buy one myself because, like so many others, I didn't think any smartwatch was worth the money. But my wife or I usually try to buy something for the other person they would never buy for themselves on their birthday, so now I have a smartwatch. And won't leave home without it. And I can go swimming with it, and have done so!

Apple will continue to sell the iWatch to iPhone users, and Google/Samsung/LG/Motorola/et. al. will continue to sell their smart watches to Android users. And I'm sure that any app or feature the iWatch has will soon start showing up in the other phones. Just as Apple copied a whole lot of features from the other smart watches. I doubt if any watch is going to cause very many people to switch phone types.

I personally see no reason to switch to the iWatch based on all the reviews I have read and features it has, especially since it doesn't have a camera. I use my camera all the time and think not including that will come back to haunt them.

Comment: All it does is encourage me to read more (Score 1) 214

by johnlcallaway (#49519597) Attached to: Netflix Is Betting On Exclusive Programming

One of the draws of network television was if I sorta liked a show, I would 'make time' to watch it when it came on. Especially back in the old days when if you missed a show you had to wait months to see it again on reruns. It was easy to sit in a chair at 7pm and watch whatever shows were one. Even more compelling if they had a story-line that required seeing every episode. I remember making time to watch every episode of Heroes (the first season only) and Babylon 5.

Now that so many shows are streaming, I find that I'm more likely to pick up my tablet and go outside and read. I can always catch a show later if I really want to.

And I find that I rarely really want to. There are a few shows that I watch regularly. And a whole lot that, because they are on Netflix or Hulu, I would like to watch. But I'm really tired of ads and if a show isn't all that good (which most aren't), I find myself more and more just reading. Or playing games on my tablet. Or watching YouTube videos.

Some of my friends just go on and on about their favorite shows and how I should watch them. I'm finding that it just isn't that much a part of my life anymore. I'm getting really tired of paying for satellite and Hulu and Netflix and if my wife didn't watch them, I'd cancel the lot. I've tried to convince her we don't need satellite, but there are about 5 channels that we do watch and she isn't willing to give that up.

Thank you Internet Netflix, and Hulu for encouraging me to read me. And thank you Chromecast for giving me all kinds of free stuff to watch when I do want to.

Comment: Re:Who wears a watch these days (Score 1) 290

Apple didn't invent the smartphone, they added a slick case and a few additional features that existing phones already had. At most, it was an incremental improvement in functionality wrapped up in a slick marketing campaign. Then they locked their customer base to their store, which was fine with all the iSheeple. Things like the pinch-to-zoom were already developed and in use by other tools before Apple used it and people went gah-gah over it. Apple simply took existing ideas, wrapped then in a phone, and make the world think they invented the concepts.

To be clear, I didn't suggest Samsung invent the smart watch either. I only mentioned all of the things existing smart watches can do because some pooh-pooh the idea, and that Apple is very late to the game. Because Apple's commercials make it sound like they invented the damn thing. And so does much of the media coverage.

Just as Apple didn't invent the desktop computer, or the portable music player, or a host of other things they act like they were the first company to actually create.

Comment: Re:Who wears a watch these days (Score 1) 290

I have a Samsung 4 watch and a Samsung Gear 2. My phone is usually in the living room if I'm just running around the house, so it has to pass through one wall if I'm out back, 2 if I'm out front. There are windows, I don't know how much that makes a difference And it's stated to be waterproof for 30 minutes. I'm rarely in the pool for more than 10 (do yard work, get hot, jump in the pool, relax, get out, repeat), but between the hot tub and pool, I'd say the claim is pretty good.

I've found the range to be about 40ft. through the house, I have no idea line-of-sight.

But, if I know I'm going to be outside for awhile, I take the phone out with me and the range easily covers the back yard. It's a Phoenix back yard, so it's not too big.

Comment: Re:Who wears a watch these days (Score 1) 290

It's not a timer for the boil. It's a timer to help me to remember I put the damn pot on to boil so I don't run it dry.

And it's not a cup. It's a quart. I'm making iced tea. If I make hot tea, I nuke it.

And I use loose leaf tea, it's so much better than bagged tea.

And all it takes is to tap my watch once to select the timer, and once again to start it, since it's almost always set to 4.5 minutes. My wife and I drink a pitcher of tea a day on the weekends when doing yard work, and another pitcher or two the rest of the week. (I live in Phoenix, it's really dry here. And I'm probably outside doing something all year round. What can I say, I enjoy doing yard work on the weekend.)

Then exactly 4.5 minutes to steep. Another timer, but this is more important as too long makes the tea bitter. And it's the same as the timer I just used to boil water.

Comment: Re:Who wears a watch these days (Score 5, Insightful) 290

Neither had I. Until last July, when my wife gave me an Android smartwatch for my birthday (suck it Apple ... you are not an innovator of smart watches).

Since then, I've worn it every day. I know, what's the big deal about taking your phone out of your pocket.

Well ...

When your hands are covered with mortar dust, and your phone rings. it's pretty convenient.

When you are expecting a call but want to go swimming, it's pretty nice to have a watch that's waterproof for swimming.

When you are driving down the highway and want to get a picture of something, it's pretty convenient. (Oh wait .. the iWatch doesn't have a camera). And it's not distracted driving when all you have to do point your hand in the general direction, and say 'shoot'.

When you want to shut off that damn alarm about turning off the pool equipment, and your phone is in the house.(Pool timer broke, so I direct wired it until I order another one.)

When you don't have to carry your phone around the house all day in your pocket because if someone calls you, you can answer using your watch.

When you need to set a timer to remind you to check the water boiling for tea, it's pretty convenient to not take the phone out of your pocket.

When you can't find your phone and your watch can set off the ring tone.

Oh .. and it tells the time too.

Notice I didn't say anything about the fitness apps. I used them for awhile, then noticed that they really sucked down the battery. Then I realized that I don't need a watch to tell me how far I've walked today BECAUSE IT JUST ISN'T THAT FREAKIN IMPORTANT! My scale tells me every morning if I'm not exercising enough or eating too much.

Is it worth $300? Depends on how much $300 is worth to you. I didn't think it was worth that much, but my wife felt it would make a great birthday present since I was always looking at it but refused to spend the money. Now that I've used it for 9 months, I'd say it was worth every dime. I've learned to discount anyone that says something isn't worth the money, because they only know whether or not it's worth it to them. And since they have never had one, they have no idea what they are talking about.

If I had an Apple phone, I might buy the iWatch. It's definitely not enough to get me to switch from Android. (Has Apple innovated two windows on their iPads yet??? How about multiple users.) Mine has definitely been worth the $300. Isn't. that's cheaper than the iWatch? And it has a camera. And can use standard watch bands.

But I won't be buying the latest Samsung phone either. Why would I buy a phone that I can't swap out the battery or use an SSD card.

If I wanted that, I'd spend more money and buy an iPhone.

Comment: It's really sad ... (Score 0) 489

by johnlcallaway (#49438055) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"

... that people like Deray McKesson ignore the how there are so many more videos showing police officers helping than those showing brutality. He has an agenda, and won't let facts get in the way of spreading his FUD.

There are always bad apples in any group. Deray would have us believe that it's an overwhelming number and that nothing is being done to reduce it. Al Sharpton just wants any excuse to spread his racist remarks. And the media is there to help them, because pain and suffering and extremes sell, helping others does not.

It's really sad that the media (and Slashdot) gives these people so much air time, yet virtually ignores the many instances where police officers go out of there way to help people. It paints a jaded picture of an entire group of people simply because of the actions of a few.

It is highly doubtful that Michael Slager would have gotten away with what he did. It would have been quite easy to establish where he was at the time of the shooting, where the victim was, and in what direction he was facing. It would have been very simple to show he was not in any danger at all, and even without the camera, there was another eye witness.

All the camera did was get him fired and arrested a lot sooner.

And, of course Mr. McKesson fails to point out that cameras would probably have exonerated the officer int he Ferguson shooting much sooner, and many others cleared of charges.

Be careful what you wish for Mr. McKesson .The camera only shows one view and it doesn't necessarily prove what you would like it to prove.

Comment: What I learned after attending one semester (Score 2) 145

by johnlcallaway (#49385857) Attached to: The End of College? Not So Fast

I learned that I can learn a lot faster on my own. Maybe not everyone can, but after suffering through classes with people that seemed to not be able to get basic concepts in physics and calculus, I realized that I could buy the text books and teach myself at a much faster rate. And since the computer lab was open to the public, I had full use of the facilities to do the homework assignments.

What I hope happens is that those that need college to learn continue to have the opportunity to go. And the smart people that don't need it will stop having to justify themselves simply because they don't have a piece of paper that says they had to spend a lot of money to learn something because they weren't able to do it themselves.

I'd much rather hire self-motivated people who can learn new things by themselves. They are much quicker to adapt to changing technology than someone that had to go to school to learn.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 1) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378989) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

They can't have the same opportunities, they don't have the skills to do so. 'Equal' would suggest that if this mythical stupid, lazy person and I applied for the same job, a flip of the coin would decide who gets it.

The opportunity is always there, what one chooses to do with it is another matter. I've never gotten every job I've interviewed for, so apparently there are people out there smarter than I am.

I didn't go whining to the government to make it 'more equal'.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 1) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378985) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

He has to buy gas to drive, which helps pay for the roads. Unless you know of a way one can drive a 1978 diesel Volkswagen that barely runs without using fuel. I suppose technically, his friend that converted his diesel to run off of used cooking oil is a bit of a leech in that regard.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 1) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378971) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

'Stupid' and 'ignorant' are two different things. People who are ignorant can be educated, people who are stupid don't have the same mental capacity and will NEVER have the same opportunity. You can teach them all you want, they will never have the same abilities as smart people.

Liars and thieves will always be liars and thieves. Giving them more stuff will never change that, they will just take more stuff. I've known plenty of liars and thieves that had more stuff than I did.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 2) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378947) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

You do realize that 35 years ago I lived with my parents and didn't get married or raise kids until my income became enough to actually move out and do it. By then I was a computer programmer. Took me 5 years to go from office clerk to junior programmer, and then 20 more to make the salary I make today.

Please explain why people today can't do the same thing I did (it's called living within one's means) Just because somebody wants to get married and have kids doesn't mean they should do it and then expect taxpayers to pay for it. No harm in taking it if it's available, but still pretty shortsighted.

My oldest step-son lived with his mother until he was in his late 20s. Married a woman who made enough together to have a kid, then was able to get a job himself in computers. They now own their own home. He's 32.

My other step-son joined the navy at 24, and will probably be in the navy until he retires. He has learned some great IT skills himself.

BTW ... she was a single divorced mother before we got married 8 years ago, barely making ends meet. But she never took charity (except from family) or food stamps. So don't tell me it can't be done today. Sure, she had to go without cable or cell phones and drove junk cars, but she made sure her kids were well fed and educated using today's public schools.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 1) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378905) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

Umm ... that's why 'equal opportunity' doesn't mean anything. Someone who is smart and personable already has an 'unfair' advantage of people with lesser intelligence and poor social skills.

My son, even in times when people are out of work, never seemed to have problems finding enough work to feed himself, keep a roof over his head, and his car running and insured. He had to work at finding work, but he always managed to find something. So why is it so many others can't find work??

BTW .. I'm a libertarian, meaning I feel government interference is usually causes far worse situations than the problem trying to be solved.

Try to actually understand labels before you use them.

Comment: Re:More BS blaming 'the system' for bad parenting (Score 1) 324

by johnlcallaway (#49378861) Attached to: Poverty May Affect the Growth of Children's Brains

You are a moron. What are you, about 25???

Your first argument about public services is nonsense. I have no idea how I would have survived in those situations, but 'poverty' and 'sustenance living' are pretty much synonymous. Just because someone is poor doesn't mean they don't have enough to eat. Or a place to live.

Sure .. there are areas of the world with corrupt governments that exploit their people, or are so crime ridden that people live in fear. Short of invading those countries, there is very little the 'civilized' world can do about it.

The argument about 'finding himself in a situation where he wants to support a wife and child' is also a moronic argument. A person who lives within their means doesn't get married unless they can support a wife, and doesn't have children.

Your definition of opportunity means something only to you. As I noted, my son seems to be able to get by just find without succumbing to such a narrow world view. He has had plenty of opportunity to learn many trades.

No one is trapped in poverty, except in their own mind.

You should look around in the US to see the movement toward 'less is more' living. Take the minimum wage. Sure, living on $9/hour is tough with a wife and kids. But for four people that share an apartment, it's not a bad life. Or several people that live in an area where they can grow their own food.

And they all would qualify as living under the poverty line.

The problem isn't poverty, it's people who don't understand how to live within their means.

"Thank heaven for startups; without them we'd never have any advances." -- Seymour Cray