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Comment: The problem I have with this... (Score 4, Insightful) 453

by roc97007 (#48043381) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay? that for Microsoft to create an OS that doesn't slow and become wonky over time removes one of the primary reasons to upgrade to a new version of Windows. Already Microsoft is dealing with Old Windows That Won't Go Away (XP, and now Win7). It is in their best interest for the OS to degrade over time. I can't imagine this obvious cash cow going away. And if so, what replaces it? MSFT tried floating OS as subscription before, and it didn't fly. Unlike the x-box, some phones and their competitor's platforms, Microsoft sells OS's and applications, not hardware. So an OS you can buy once and use forever (or for the life of the hardware) just isn't part of their business model.

So.... what, then?

This is a serious question. I'm a user of MSFT products. Until certain apps get ported to Linux, I'm likely to continue to be a user of MSFT products. But the OS to me has never been the app. It's a program loader and resource manager in which I run the apps that I actually use. I have no interest in new versions of the OS, as long as it'll still run my programs. I was one of the people who didn't leave XP until forced. And I won't leave Win7 until forced. I don't look forward to OS upgrades, I want to get work done. It seems to me that this frame of mind directly contradicts Microsoft's business model of endless costly upgrades. How are endless non-costly upgrades going to work for them? (It certainly works for me, but I don't really believe it yet.)

Comment: Re:CFL/LED 4LIFE! (Score 1) 596

by roc97007 (#48003207) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Of the three CFLs I purchased when they first became widely available in the 1990's, one is still working, 20 years later. On the other hand, the CFLs I've purchased since the turn of the century don't appear to last any longer than incandescents. It appears that CFLs have been "value engineered" around, say, 2005, much the same way that incandescents were in the 1920s. Following this pattern, I expect LEDs to have a tremendous life span during the first years they become popular, gradually decreasing to 1000 hours or so.

The problem with selling something that lasts forever is that you don't have any repeat business.

Comment: incandescents will be available for awhile yet (Score 2) 596

by roc97007 (#48003153) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

"Rough Service" incandescents, designed for outdoor hard to reach places in harsh conditions, where CFLs are not appropriate and LEDs have not yet made inroads, are still available, cost about $2 apiece, have a rated lifespan of 10,000 hours, and are not affected by the ban on incandescents. Just sayin'...

Comment: Re:How does this differ... (Score 1) 904

by roc97007 (#47997541) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

...from having your car repoed? Don't incur the debt if you can't afford the payments. Or talk to your lender if you need a few days extension. The real issue here is that too many people ignore the payment request instead of using communication to come to an equitable agreement.

I second this. Having been in tight financial spots a couple of times, I rapidly learned that the WORST thing you can do is ignore your creditors. That only leads to unpleasant escalation. Creditors (with a few exceptions that I won't mention here) don't want to escalate, that just increases their expenses. They want some reasonable assurance that they're going to get paid at some point. During the bad times (the dot com bust was one such time) I had to make arrangements with mortgage, utilities, internet (so I could continue looking for a job), the IRS, various loan companies, and medical services, and they all will talk to you and try to come to some reasonable solution, if you contact them early on. Just blindly missing payments is a really good way to get your stuff taken away, or turned off.

There are exceptions. My wife borrowed money once with a financial institution that was a real jerk to her for the entire time she had the loan, despite her best efforts to be on time and meet their expectations. There are institutions out there with which one should never do business.

Comment: ambivalent (Score 1) 904

by roc97007 (#47997463) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

Ok I get that the loan company perhaps shouldn't turn off the car randomly for a missed payment if it puts the driver at risk (for whatever reason). But I have to ask, how is this different from a car shutting down randomly when the driver missed a gas fillup? How is it different from a burner phone shutting down when the user misses adding minutes to the phone? If the user agreed to a high risk loan (or whatever they're calling it these days) they've agreed to what is essentially a "pay as you go" arrangement. You have to make a payment in order to continue driving, just as you have to continue to pay to put gas in the car, and you have to continue to buy minutes for your phone, or put more money in the account from which your debit card draws, or any other pay as you go scheme.

On the one hand, an argument could be made that turning off a car for nonpayment could be dangerous. (I happen to agree.) But on the other hand, it's essentially pay-as-go and works the same as any other pay-as-go scheme. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

Comment: solution to late refunds (Score 1) 407

Engineer your taxes so you don't get refunds. I calculate my deductions so that I end up owing something under $1K to the feds and a couple hundred to the state. That way, I'm never inconvenienced by late refunds, and the bills are small enough so they're not a hardship to pay.

Overpaying your taxes is not a savings account; you don't get interest on your investment.

If Machiavelli were a hacker, he'd have worked for the CSSG. -- Phil Lapsley