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Comment Re:lessons in incompetence (Score 1) 591 591

Not that I agree with the school's decision, but a three day suspension is not a vacation spent watching TV. Bad parenting is a three day vacation spent watching TV. Some school activities call for detention... late to class, cutting a class, talking back to a teacher. Some activities might call for suspension (repeated offenses, violence, etc). Some call for expulsion (knifing a student). I'm not saying threatening someone with a magic spell is a call for suspension, but suspension has it's place. We see it outside of the school system too. I've seen people in an office sent home after a bad argument in a meeting gets out of control (go home, take the rest of the day, cool down). We see it in professional sports. There's a place.

Comment Re:One mile? (Score 1) 784 784

When I was 12 my parents a couple of times put me on a NJ Transit train in Central NJ. I would ride it alone to Penn Station in New York, where my grandfather would pick me up and take me back to my grandparent's apartment in Brooklyn where I'd spend the night, and travel back home the next day. I guess today that could be child abuse too. Having to walk up the stairs from the platform and meet me Grandfather in the middle of one of the busiest train stations in a city (NYC) that wasn't really quite as safe back then (80s) as it is today.

Oh yeah, I walked to school too for awhile, and used to wander the woods behind our neighborhood with friends.

I'm not sure I'd let me kids (currently a touch younger than the kids in the article) have quite as much free range, but that's just my own paranoid parenting self. I don't want to see other people who believe otherwise lose that freedom.

Comment Re:Just hire a CPA (Score 1) 450 450

If you're self-employed, have investment income, or asset depreciation, you probably already do your taxes with a real CPA. If you aren't, you probably should.

So one year, less than 10% of my income came from some 1099 consulting I did as a favor for a friend, who asked me to build out a server room for his company that was moving. That same year, although 99% of my investments are in 401(k), 529 plans for my kids, etc, I dropped $500 on Sirius or XM (I forget which one, it was before the merger). No real reason, except the stock was under a buck and in danger of being delisted, and I said "no way does a company with billions in satellites either find a way to survive or get bought out", and low and behold, I made a ton of money, and sold it, not really expecting it to be a long term holding.

So yeah, I neither used nor needed a CPA. But I needed some of those schedules.

Comment Re: Entitlement (Score 3, Informative) 325 325

Nexus doesn't. Moto X doesn't. Samsung does. Apple doesn't. LG does. It's not like the entire industry either does, or does not supply removable memory. And even those that do, who says it's easy? For awhile, I had a Sony Xperia Z Ultra. I sold it on eBay for a slight loss because I got tired of it. Quickly. Only had 16gb, but I didn't care, because it had that vaunted memory slot. Then I got the phone, and perhaps it's easier in Android 5.0, but on 4.X here's what I had to do to get things off of internal memory:

1) Insert a Micro SD card formatted with two partitions, one Ext4 for app storage and one FAT for data storage.
2) Root my phone.
3) Install a SU utility.
4) Purchase and install an app that would let me "link" app data to the SD card, since there was no built in way to move apps (I understand some phones have the capability, others don't).
5) Purchase and install FolderSync to handle application data moves, for apps that didn't support specifying a non-standard directory.

Then I had to live with the fact that I could no longer stream TiVo content to the phone, thanks to step #2 above.

So while my Sony had 16gb internal and 64gb external, and the performance on the external was actually pretty good, since I bought a quality, premium, fast SanDisk Ultra MicroSDXC card, and actually became terrific after installing and configuring a tuning app that let me change the caching settings and other parameters, I have an easier time today with my Moto X 32gb. Less storage, less headaches. And TiVo works again.

I understand some of the why (try to make casual pirating of apps harder by keeping them on a partition type that most people outside of Slashdot won't be able to read), but frankly it just wasn't worth it. I'm a techie. I had no trouble getting those steps figured out. I just don't want to do that. Then Lollipop was about to ship, right after I sold my phone, and I thought "I wonder if all those apps still work, or what the new process is". I just didn't want to go through with that. Kudos to Samsung for support SD slots. I hope moving apps is easier, but I hate their UI so I never consider their phones. Had an S3 once. Hated it. I'm sure TouchWiz is much better now, but I like Google's own interface best. So I had a Sony Xperia GPE and now a Moto X Pure edition.

Incidentally, Microsoft has figured it out better than Apple or Google and their phone OEMs. Got my kids a Lumia (hard to pass up for under $50 at their age when they just want to play the few games that exist for every major platform anyway). Just tick a box and all apps default to SD storage, except for an occasional app whose developer prohibits the behavior, in which case you're prompted and allowed to install it on internal memory.

Comment Re: Entitlement (Score 3, Informative) 325 325

Every iCloud user has 5gb for free. You remember 5gb, it's 3gb more than DropBox starts with. 20gb is a buck a month.And 1tb costs identical to DropBox's 1tb plan. It's really not all that expensive.

iOS used to be a pain to transfer files via USB. You had to use iTunes, and you could send files into specific apps only. The new iCloud Drive isn't quite as versatile as a DropBox, but it's awfully close, especially for simple things like copying a file in (without needing the cable, btw).

I don't know. I make my living in IT, but I manage to use Finder without buying a third party file manager. But even if I did, I'd probably go right to PathFinder, which I owned a copy of years and years ago when Finder truly was much worse than it is today. And incidentally, it's available without the App Store and Apple makes no cut on the sale of it.

Nobody begrudges you sticking to Linux on a laptop or refusing Apple products because they have limitations. Well, obviously this is Slashdot, someone will very violently begrudge you, but that's unavoidable. Most people don't care / don't mind. But the truth is, for the vast majority of people, off the shelf, non-rooted or jailbroke Apple or Android phones do 99.9999% to 100% of what most people care about.

Believe me, I'm not (strictly) an Apple apologist. My phone is the 2014 Moto X (no flash slot, by the way, just like the Nexus and many other non-Samsung phones). My current laptop is a Surface Pro 3. And my current tablet is an iPad Air.

It's all balance. I loved my old MacBook Air, but for $200 more than a new one I chose the Surface Pro, which is lighter, has the stylus I wanted for taking notes in meetings without banging on a keyboard, and has a high definition screen. I loved my old iPhone, but the Moto X was far cheaper when I went to upgrade (under $400 unlocked, contract free thanks to the Black Friday $150 coupon), and let me do some customization I really wanted to do on a phone. And on the Tablet side, I wasn't interested in an Android tablet (I've certainly tried my fair share), because for media consumption, there's nothing that compares to the library of apps that are iPad native.

Comment Re:I seem to remember... (Score 1) 275 275

Dropbox has always sucked and the only reason people use it is because they are stupid. My Box.com account gives me 50GB WebDAV storage for free for life and OneDrive gives me 27GB free and is integrated into my OS.

Are you SURE that's the only reason anyone uses it? I use it, because within the free tier, especially with the referral bonuses I've received, I have enough space to use Dropbox with a myriad of apps that support it for syncing.

Comment Re:I must be the outlier (Score 1) 234 234

Sounds like you had it almost as bad as me. Took six days to get my TiVo activated (TiVo support is really great, by the way, but they can't fix Comcast's problems). I had two tech visits, I drove to the local retail store four times, and went through six cable cards, plus had to wake one tech up who fell asleep in my house!

Comment Re:Your opeinion is not surprising (Score 1) 83 83

But what's your reliable and dependable address?

The truth is, there's no way I want to have just one address. Here's what I use:

1) A very personal address that very few people have, but for close friends and family. I wouldn't even tell you what service I use, let alone accidentally give it out in a public place. I'm super protective of it, it's one that does do notifications on my iPhone, etc., and remarkably is still spam free. To be honest, I even have some family members that don't use it. I told them I was changing my email address and gave them a different one, since they can't stop sending joke chain emails with 200 people in the CC list.

2) A somewhat personal address that I give out to business contacts that aren't work-related (I use my corporate email account for those obviously). Pretty much spam free. It's the one that largely gets the Linkedin invites, the Plaxo spam, etc, but largely hasn't been sold off to spammers.

3) An address I use for websites that I reasonably trust. Amazon. Slashdot. Things that you sign up for once, and then have to opt out of whatever stupid newsletters you get by default. Rarely gets spam.

4) An address I use for websites I reasonably don't trust. Something where I want some content on a site but don't want them to have a way to contact me. Not loaded on a phone or computer, if I need to look for an account activation email, I hit web mail, wade through the incessant spam, find what I need, log back out.

5) Work email. Not much I can do about that. Loaded on my work computer, and on my work provided phone. Gets too much email. Very little spam though, since I use address #3 or #4 when signing up for web sites, even if they are work related.

That said, while it was a little work setting up, it's very easy to manage. Email #1 is checked constantly. #2 and #5 regularly. #3 occasionally, and most stuff is automatically filtered away (Amazon order receipts into a folder, etc). #4 is very popular with viagra sites and porno sites, since it's the address captured by sites that turn around and sell your email.

Amazon isn't likely to sell your email, they'd rather have you all to yourself.

There's other things you can do. If you use Apple products, they make it very easy to hook your phone number and every email address you own (iCloud or otherwise) to iMessage. But you don't have to. If you have multiple addresses, make sure just the private ones are hooked up to iMessage. For SMS, I have my cell published sparingly, most people get my Google Voice number, and those texts are reviewed less frequently.

But, email is broken. For sure. That's a lot of work just because I don't want to buy sugar pills labeled as Viagra from unknown sources and am comfortable in my manhood enough to not need to try to change anything geometrically.

Comment Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (Score 1) 423 423

You know a store is in trouble if they cannot even compete with BestBuy (which is usually overpriced too)

True. Plus, on top of that, Best Buy has a price match with Amazon, and unlike some of the price matches scams I've seen through the years, it's easy to do, and requires no manager involvement. You show them the price on your phone at Amazon.com and as long as it's sold BY Amazon (and not a third party), they match the price instantly.

Sure, with tax it's higher overall, but this is about as reasonable as possible.

Comment Re:lipstick and suction cups (Score 1) 241 241

Not only do you have a computer incapable of upgrading beyond 10.6, you've also made it clear that you're intentionally remaining there, which is exactly what I listed.

I would think that's only half true. I have a first or second generation Intel iMac, don't even remember. It's "About Mac" calls it a 24-inch Mid 2007, so it's 6+ years old already. Core 2 Duo with 2mb of RAM. It's sitting in my office running a few things I can't be bothered to worry about where they run from, Plex Media Server, for one. It's running 10.9.1 presently. A bit sluggish, sometimes I wish I had stayed one version back (but not 3), but other times I realized I'd normally have given this thing away years ago, except for some dumb reason it keeps working.

A large number of installed systems work by fiat. That is, they work by being declared to work. -- Anatol Holt