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Comment: Re:Simple. Easy. (Score 2) 62

by nblender (#47786457) Attached to: Japanese Publishers Lash Out At Amazon's Policies

A pleasure no longer available in my city. The small bookstores were pushed out of the market decades ago by big conglomerates like "Chapters" and "Indigo". "Chapters" has since bought "Indigo" so now there's really only one retailer in the city that sells books, at a dozen locations... The problem is, they also sell scented candles, scented notepads, scented plushies, scented pillows, scented throws, etc... So the place is a veritable onslaught to the senses... My wife and I can endure maybe about 5 minutes in the store before we're sneezing and our eyes are all puffy...

So now we just order online, sometimes from Amazon.

I will always remember the smell of an old independant bookstore...

Comment: realtor. (Score 2) 238

I was looking at an acreage and asked the realtor if he knew where the septic field was.. He said no but would find it. He grabbed a wire coat hanger out of the closet, bent it into some divining sticks, and went outside trudging through 2' deep snow... My wife and I just kind of glanced at one another and rolled our eyes... Thing is, he honestly thought he was helping...

Comment: another possibility ... (Score 5, Interesting) 349

by nblender (#47769967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

If it's not the ATM encapsulation overhead as many others have rightly suggested, have a look at the traffic... I had similar concerns with my ISP... I have a Cisco switch between my local firewall and my cable modem... I set one port to monitor mode (copy all packets to a write-only switch port) and captured all of my internet traffic for a number of months... I then analyzed the .cap file and discovered a ginormous amount of SMB advertisements and arp who-has from other cable customers... For those few months, it was on the order of about 10% of my traffic... My ISP has been threatening to bill for over-usage for years so I was gathering data to throw back at them in the event that I ever received a bill. I haven't ever received a bill for over-usage and so haven't pursued the matter.

Comment: Re:Bad actors? (Score 4, Insightful) 145

by nblender (#47748139) Attached to: Airbnb To Hand Over Data On 124 Hosts To New York Attorney General

It can be argued that bylaws and residential restrictions are a form of HOA.. It really should be "if you want to do whatever you want with your own property, live out in the country" but even in the country, there are rules about what you can and can't do. As long as you live near other people and services, there are valid restrictions about what you can and can't do with your private property. Suck it up, buttercup.

Comment: Re:Living in the country is an anachronism (Score 1) 276

by nblender (#47748031) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I live in the suburbs. The nearest grocery store has 11 traffic lights between me and the store. There are 3 major roads that I have to take to get to the store. Those roads are frequently busy so sometimes I have to wait two or more changes to get through a light... It's 10km away but traffic and traffic control is what increases my commute time.

Comment: Re:Living in the country is an anachronism (Score 4, Interesting) 276

by nblender (#47715293) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars

I live in both. I live in the city on weekdays, and in the country on weekends and holidays.

Guess which I prefer.

In the country, I have to travel 20 minutes to the town that has the grocery store, gas station, hardware store, liquor store, and pizza takeout.
In the city, I have to travel 20 minutes to the grocery store/hardware store, and favourite restaurants. The distance is much shorter but there are more people in the way.
In the country, I can sit on my porch and listen to birds, frogs, wind, and not much else.
In the city, I can sit on my porch and listen to wankers with loud diesel trucks, or loud motorcycles, or loud music.
In the country, the air smells clean.
In the city, the air smells like.... people/exhaust.
In the country, if I need emergency medical care, I can drive to the hospital in 20 minutes, and be seen by a doctor in under an hour.
In the city, if I need emergency medical care, I can drive to the hospital in 30+ minutes and be seen by a doctor occasionally in under 8 hours but usually in under 16 hours.
In the country, my water comes out of the ground and tastes like water.
In the city, my water comes from under my street and tastes like bleach.

Obviously, there are some advantages to living in the city and other advantages to living in the country.

Comment: Re:uh-huh (Score 1) 171

by nblender (#47706669) Attached to: Why Chinese Hackers Would Want US Hospital Patient Data

A friend of mine had to travel to New Orleans for his liver transplant because he was going to die before getting it in Canada... He paid cash, about $250k. He was told he got a deal because he paid cash. Insurance companies get billed about double because they take months or sometimes years to pay, and always argue the amount so the hospital has to settle for a lesser amount to get paid in finite time; hence the artificial inflation.

Comment: Re:LibreOffice/OpenOffice still kind of suck (Score 1) 579

by nblender (#47704511) Attached to: Munich Reverses Course, May Ditch Linux For Microsoft

At my son's school, kids are allowed to use whatever OS/productivity software they want, as long as they all interoperate with what the school uses, which is MS Office... So my son has the entire gamut, Libre Office, oOo, iWork or whatever... Occasionally he gets a document from some other kid that he's collaborating with and can't open it; or when he opens it, he can't edit it. Sure the school to flip the whole thing on its ear and encourage the use of LibreOffice/oOo but let kids use whatever they want but ensure that the lowest common denominator is the free software, but they're not about to do that...

My wife is writing a book using Pages under OS X... It didn't handle automatic End-notes or some such thing. She tried figuring it out and certainly there was a menu option for it... But it didn't work. After taking it to the Genius bar, the 'Genius' threw up his hands and said 'come back tomorrow'... She went back and he showed her an e-mail from someone in the Pages group at corporate saying 'Pages doesn't support that. If you need that feature, you'll have to use MS Office"...

So much for 'alternatives'.

How many hardware guys does it take to change a light bulb? "Well the diagnostics say it's fine buddy, so it's a software problem."