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Comment Re:This is painfully obvious. (Score 1) 772

What about saving toward retirement? Emergency funds if you become injured or sick? I imagine it would be difficult to build usable financial cushions on $35k/yr. True, with good fiscal management over enough time it would be possible to accumulate something, but accidents or lawsuits probably won't wait until you're ready before making an unannounced (and unwelcome) visit.

Just imagine if your salary doubles to $70k. Keeping your current lifestyle, your savings would accumulate at far greater than double the rate it is now since every untaxed cent you receive above $35k is gravy and can go straight to your savings, thus preparing you for either the unforseen or the long future (starting a family, caring for relatives, or retirement) that much faster.

It might be possible to deliberately not worry about the future but that would mean simply turning a blind eye on unpleasant realities for the sake of feeling good.

Comment Re:Bionic? (Score 1) 225

Yep, the news here contains zero bionics and is mostly biotech/bioengineering. The advancements in prosethetic limb technology seen here is pretty significant but this is in no way bionics. Surprisingly, the BBC article had a bad title while the Popsci article's title was accurate.

Comment Re:News (Score 2, Interesting) 124

I agree with this. Their move toward engaging the less serious folks alienates those of us who are interested in proper news reports. What's also annoying to me is how their Headline News channel seem to be increasingly populated by talk shows. Is there really not enough news going on around the world to report on for 24hrs a day or do their bean counters simply deem it to be too expensive? I'm guessing also that they believe a less casual pop-news format would increase CNN's viewership.

Comment Secret passages? (Score 1) 134

"Secret passages" to content that should be safely behind the paywall? What are they on about? You can't magically link to a full article that's behind a login / subscription unless their site security code is very broken.

If there we doing this right then for non-logged in users they would show a brief intro to the article and a link to the login / subscribe forms.

Comment Re:Not to sound overly nationalist (Score 1) 277

The secret is only in wrecking the environment and abusing your workers if you are in the cheap-ass consumer product market. Germany gets around that problem by producing high-quality, comparatively low-quantity goods as machining tools, scientific instruments, medical technology, power stations, pharmaceuticals and stuff like that. And, cars, of course. All the easily mass production goods we used to make (e.g. textiles in the region where I am from) are long since outsourced to Asia, too.

Comment When paywalled.. (Score 1) 344

When paywalled they didn't deny free access to the entire website. They just make it quite annoying to access for the people who didn't pay. is still around and occasionally interesting. Especially when they can get Camille Paglia to do a column. They seem to have a lot of people on staff that do little more than come up with new ways to annoy their web site viewers. But they were the first people to tell me about MP3 files twelve years ago, so I'm eternally grateful to them for that.

      The worst paywalls are the video clips that make you wait through a 30 second to one minute commercial before they will show what you clicked on. I just jump out of these situations because I hate commercials and I have seen too many already in my life.

      The ugliest website that I have ever seen is Asia Times ( Good content is buried somewhere deep in all this mess. Ebay is getting to be quite ugly too, as is Yahoo!. I'm switching my main e-main address to Google mail so that I don't have to wait for all the schmaltz useless photos on Yahoo that clog my dial-up bandwidth.

Comment I've encountered the same problem... (Score 1) 249

...and solved it with Panasonic Toughbooks. I did SONAR research systems for a half a decade, and we always had problems with not just sand and dirt from the remote locations we were in, but often saltwater spray as well. Panasonic Toughbooks were the only laptops that stood up to everything we did, and never failed. Yes, they're expensive, but they're worth it, especially when you're paying $2500 per day for a research vessel and your laptop dies when you're 4 days out into the ocean. That's a $20,000 (there and back) failure.

Comment Re:Limited to Broadcom only? (Score 1) 49

Intel uses IPMI, which tends to not have quite as many management hooks into higher level functions as ASF. There are still plenty of things that can go horribly, horribly wrong with a bad IPMI implementation...but they're more likely to be exploitable because of something on the system side than something on the NIC side.

Comment Re:Government Project Cost Overruns? (Score 1) 306

Yeah, the idea that someone is making 2/3 of their normal salary under unemployment gives you two mathematical possibilities: either unemployment payouts are high or the person's original salary was low. It's most likely the latter. I think unemployment is usually only a couple hundred a week, so it means the teacher in question probably wasn't making much more than $30k. Hardly rolling in it.

If you think about it, it's all the more reason why that person probably needs the unemployment. In most places, it's not easy to save much money for a rainy day when you're making $30k.

It's kind of like when people complain about some statistic like "The 10% of people who make the most money pay 50% of the taxes in this country." If true, that leaves 2 mathematical possibilities: either we're placing heavy taxes on the richest people in this country, or the richest 10% are making *way* more money than the rest of us. It's most likely the latter.

Comment Re:Use a disposable laptop (Score 1) 249

all you really need to do is build an installation USB stick and archive your deb files (for example) on it, and put /home and maybe /etc on a SDHC card. Anything important is kept on that card and backed up to another USB stick periodically. When the machine fails, you boot the machine off the installer and install the archives. When the card fails, you restore to a new one from the USB key (but you can use the USB key in the interim if you don't have a new SDHC card handy. Do you feel lucky?) If you create users in the same order each time (especially if they are few) then you don't need /etc very badly.

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