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Comment: Re:I had no choice (Score 1) 108

What do you mean, no choice? Whenever I get one of those popups that says they want my cell phone number "for better security", I click the "no thanks, maybe later" option.

Of course, all that's for nothing if they can dig up phone numbers by any means necessary.

My cell number is also my business phone, so I had to provide it to create a merchant account.

Comment: Hybrid electrical system (Score 1) 422

Your new home should have a 12 VDC electrical system supplied by batteries (charged by solar panels) to run lights, fans, and anything else that does not require AC line voltage.
This will avoid the 20% losses creating AC from stored battery power, and will greatly decrease your reliance on the local electric company.

Comment: I had no choice (Score 1) 108

1) I have a Nokia Lumia 1520 Windows phone (yes, I'm the guy).
2) I accepted credit cards with Square, until I got a Windows phone: Square does not offer a Winfone app.
3) Nobody else offered a decent merchant terminal app with fair prices until PayPal Here came to the Windows Store.

Unfortunately, I'm stuck with PayPal for now... whoever calls and/or texts, and whoever advertises on those calls and/or texts, can expect some serious abuse and adverse publicity.

Comment: Fark those clowns (Score 4, Interesting) 328

by spywhere (#49725549) Attached to: Battle To Regulate Ridesharing Moves Through States
Licensed, legitimate cab companies run a gauntlet of state & local regulations before they can collect fares. Uber and Lyft bypass them, start operating, and then act surprised when their illegal operation using unlicensed, unvetted drivers run into trouble.

In most places, the individual drivers and/or the company itself are required to have mercantile licenses... where are theirs?

Comment: If I create the image... (Score 3, Interesting) 564

by spywhere (#49171935) Attached to: Why We Should Stop Hiding File-Name Extensions
When I did Windows XP images for clients, I always set the Default User profile to display extensions.
I did this without asking, without any discussion beforehand, and only had to defend the decision once near the end of the design project... my defense was, "This is the right way to do it, so that's what we're doing." End of discussion.

Comment: Apples and oranges (Score 1) 328

by spywhere (#49072983) Attached to: Federal Study: Marijuana Use Doesn't Increase Auto Crash Rates
Marijuana does not impair a persons motor skills or reflexes.
A drunk driver is dangerous because they are likely to lose control of their car.
A stoned driver is not nearly as dangerous: they can control their car, and react to danger, just fine. The most likely mistake a stoned driver will make is to miss their exit because Stairway to Heaven is on the radio.

Comment: Batch files (Score 2) 635

by spywhere (#47788169) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?
I work in support, and I still find the CMD environment and batch file language to be incredibly powerful tools. I've written everything from simple one- or two-command files to long, interactive programs that interact with other batch files and, by writing to the Registry, resume after reboots.
Sometimes, in a crisis, I'm the only one who can produce a reliable solution the same morning that the crisis starts...

Comment: Not scientific, but... (Score 1) 237

by spywhere (#46106667) Attached to: Hard Drive Reliability Study Flawed?
FWIW (not much), I've bought forty or fifty 2.5" and 3.5" drives a year for the last nine years, mostly for resale in my computer repair business; lately, I pick them up at our local Tiger Direct retail store or order them from Amazon. I have the fewest problems with Seagate drives.

Almost every time I buy another brand, the damn thing takes a crap and I get to do the job again for free. (Thank FSM Maxtor went away: they were the WORST).

Comment: two more steps (Score 1) 310

by spywhere (#45830225) Attached to: 4 Tips For Your New Laptop
Create an additional administrative account, with a complex password (but don't lose it). You will use this to effect repairs if malware infects your main profile. (Most Win6.x malware is confined to the user profile and C:\ProgramData folders to avoid the UAC prompt).

Download the Hosts file from, which will protect you from all kinds of threats (and it hides a buttload of advertising, too).

Comment: We called them (Score 5, Interesting) 225

by spywhere (#45660351) Attached to: Doom Is Twenty Years Old
My roommate came home back in '93 with a bootleg copy of the original game. After we installed it, we were concerned about "going to HELL," so we called id Software.

"Hi, we're calling because someone gave us a bootleg copy of Doom...
"We need the address, so we can send a check... how much do we owe you?"

The person on the phone, after recovering from their shock, gave us the address, and told us to make sure to include OUR mailing address with the check.

A few weeks later, we received a boxed copy of Doom, and a bunch of other cool swag.

Neutrinos are into physicists.