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Comment Re:The problem with protests. (Score 1) 584

Violence in suffrage movement actually happened, so I don't understand your post.

This post argues there was no violence on the part of the movement, but they certainly endured violence.

However, over in England violence on the part of the movement was a tactic. "Meanwhile, and in striking contrast, the woman suffrage movement in Great Britain under such leaders as Emmaline Pankhurst, escalated its militant tactics. By 1910, it had moved from mass meetings, marches, and heckling of cabinet ministers, to arson, violence, and hunger strikes. The radical tactics enacted by British suffragists captured the media's attention and helped gain their victory."

Comment Re:Reverse Review of Poster of Review (Score 3, Interesting) 248

Unfortunately Amazon does not. I recently got in an argument with someone who (IMO) gave out 4/5 star reviews. The reviewer countered that no, she had given out 1 star reviews. She had reviewed hundreds of items, and Amazon's lame interface displays 10 reviews at a time, with no ability to sort by number of stars (or other useful filters). I finally found her 1-star review of a self-published e-book, but by that time didn't have the energy to pursue it further.

A histogram of reviews by star would be extremely useful. Obviously Amazon doesn't care about the consumer's ability to rate the reviews, though, given how little thought they've put into it.

Elsewhere I posted about bogus five-star reviews. I suspect publishers simply hand out money to shills to create bogus Amazon accounts and post 5-star reviews of their books that suck. I'm not why so many here think that limiting reviews to purchasers would solve things. Also, I always read books at libraries before I buy them. So, you'd cut down on the number of negative reviews from people like me.

Comment Re:Limit reviews to purchasers of the product (Score 1) 248

Another problem is Amazon's unwillingness to address "fraudulent" reviews that attempt to grant 5-star reviews to books. A good example is Jean Auel's disaster. Lots of reviews from "Amazon Verified Purchased" for which this was their first-ever (and only) review with zero mention of plot points or characters, just glowing short reviews.

Hmm, it appears Amazon finally cleaned that up - a couple of months that book had an astonishing number of 5-star reviews, given it may qualify as the worst book ever published. Initial reviews were all five-star, with quite clear evidence the reviewer had not read the book. Here's an example.

I suspect Amazon purged all comments & forum posts relating to a pretty good analyis of their rating system - it appeared that Amazon was weighting 4 & 5 star votes more than 1 & 2 star votes. I can't find reference to that now, though.

Comment Chance of infected MBR on replacement drive? (Score 1) 348

Quite relevant post for me, as I just had a Seagate 1.5T drive (which they sneakily had branded as Samsung) go bad after just 3000 hours - I purchased the drive in May and there are plenty of upset reviewers there complaining about Seagate trashing Samsung's name. I heard clicking, but interestingly SMART returned no errors. Luckily Seagate's SeaTools software detected the error:

Model: ST2000DL004 HD204UI
Firmware Revision: 1AQ10001
SMART - Pass 12/18/2012 10:45:55 AM
Short DST - Started 12/18/2012 10:46:11 AM
Short DST - FAIL 12/18/2012 10:48:14 AM
SeaTools Test Code: 6C9AC2A4

So, I set up the RMA. I think I'll go with a WD as a real replacement - they still have drives with 5 year warranties. Even there, though, on the newegg board are allegations they're either experiencing significant delays in getting a replacement, or the replacements are also bad.

But my real reason for posting was wondering about the integrity of a replacement drive? If I'm getting a "refurbished" drive, can I be guaranteed there's no virus/worm residing on the MBR? Is there a way to completely purge the drive that would clear any virus/worms?

I wiped my drive using HDDErase which worked without a hitch. I believe that would fix any infections, so maybe I'll start doing that before installing replacement drives. Thoughts?

Comment Re:I just can't live without a ZIF socket. (Score 1) 1009

When was the last time you upgraded a CPU and didn't get a new motherboard?

Last month, I just upgraded my system from Intel Core 2 Duo E6500 to E8500 because the original Intel CPU fan was getting so annoying I swapped it out for a Zalman. I figured if I'm in there already, might as well get the 2nd fastest version of the CPU. Prices have plummeted since that was a current processor!

But I grant in 20+ years of building my PCs, that was probably the first time I've ever swapped out a CPU. Sadly, I really didn't see much of a difference in speed, but the fan is significantly quieter.

Comment Re:Because Windows 7 Works? (Score 3, Interesting) 663

I guess I'm a dinosaur, because I only upgraded to XP last year, and the only reason I did that was to install Visual Studio 2010, which was the first VS to not run under Windows 2000. About the only benefit of moving to XP was better security - I could finally create a non-admin user and still be able to use SQL & Visual Studio productively.

I see zero reason to upgrade to Windows 7, let alone 8.

Comment Police confiscation (Score 1) 60

Awesome interview. I loved this part: "The other thing is making sure our customers understand that temporary systems are not good in situations like this. One of our major carriers, their backup system was to bring up a rollup generator. And from what I understand, they paid to have this generator there in four hours, and when they had this generator up, the police confiscated it for emergency use. So their backup generator wasn’t there any more."

Can anyone elaborate on what radio system he was talking about? I contributed to a DR plan several years ago, but my concerns about cell phone reliability were shot down.

Comment Re:Reminds me of the ``Biotron'' ads from the '70s (Score 3, Informative) 117

I'm in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), so my two main sources of information are these two books by Steve Solomon and Carol Deppe. Depending on your climate Elliot Coleman has good advice. I don't know about other climates. I'm using organic practices, so my advice isn't useful for those going the conventional route.

In the PNW the ground doesn't freeze, so some microorganisms aren't killed off like they are elsewhere. This means after gardening about three years in the same spot the ground becomes far less productive. So... best practice is to let the ground lie fallow for a year to starve out the bad microorganisms, which increases your land requirements.

Replenishing the soil in terms of fertilizer can be challenging if one is going the self-sufficiency route.

Raising meat requires add'l land, and coming up with self-sufficient animal food requires even more land. I'm raising poultry and find that in my climate ducks are the most self-sufficient, followed by geese. Goats are able to forage a bit. I do pigs, too, and while they do forage and consume all our scraps, they require external feed.

We are simply not able to grow certain staples such as rice. We're gluten-free, so wheat is out for us, but anyone trying to be self-sufficient who consumes white flour is in for a hard time. If growing grain, do you count fuel in your self-sufficiency? If not, are you using oxen?

Given our family's needs, I think three-four acres would do it (taking rotation into account), but we're not aiming for total self-sufficiency. This assumes shipping in animal feed. That said, I think fruit trees can be a significant source of food without requiring a bunch of input.

Given the realities of property taxes I don't think self-sufficient farming is possible except in areas well away from population centers where land/taxes are dirt cheap. It also takes a lot of work. There's a big learning curve, too. If you're thinking about raising your own food, get started (even on a small scale). This isn't something you can pick up by reading a few books...

Comment Play-by-mail games (Score 1) 18

If the author is intending to have a comprehensive history of RPG (which is ambitious) I'd argue play-by-mail games should be included in the history.

Difficult to imagine, but there was a time (before BBSs) where players actually played fantasy/strategic/etc games through the mail. Steve Jackson is one example, and there are others.

I used to work in that business, and it sadly seems to have been completely ignored -- Wikipedia has no entries for the games I worked on.

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