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Comment Re:Not worth the money? (Score 1) 253

Mod up parent!

To me, it's a question of economics. And for those sorts of questions, I go to people who know something about how it works, rich people. Particularly rich people who made it rich when they were young and managed to hold on to that money. I know a few of those, and none of them buy extended warranties on products, they self-insure. Granted, they have the money to do so. But, if you buy 2-3 extended warranties per year (that's $400-600/year), you could drop all that in a savings account and afford to replace 1 of those 3 big-ticket items every 3 years (I'm assuming a warranty is 10% of the sticker cost), which is probably how many times those extended warranties would have to completely replace your product. And that's full replacement mind you, that doesn't account for when it just needs a $100 or $200 repair, which if that is all you needed, you can do that 3-6 times a year.

Sure, there will be some bad years, but that's why you have a general emergency fund as well to soak those losses. And, all that money is sitting in your bank account earning you interest (keep it in the right kind of account and it could earn anywhere from 8-12% and still be accessible like a checking account), not some big insurance company.


Yellowstone Supervolcano Larger Than First Thought 451

drewtheman writes "New studies of the plumbing that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park shows the plume and the magma chamber under the volcano are larger than first thought and contradicts claims that only shallow hot rock exists. University of Utah research professor of geophysics Robert Smith led four separate studies that verify a plume of hot and molten rock at least 410 miles deep that rises at an angle from the northwest."

Comment Some Clarification (Score 1) 293

As has been mentioned several times, this is nothing new. I use this all the time because it saves me trouble. Don't know about the iPhone app, but there is some verification in that you have to enter the amount to deposit. And really, the bank doesn't hold on to a check after you've deposited it anyway. They scan it, store it under your account. But I've asked my banks for copies of checks deposited before, they gave me a printout. All they've done is ask you to scan it for them. Quite frankly, the convenience of
  • being able to access my money from any ATM in the world without fees
  • their awesome insurance rates (I pay less to insure my wife and I are two cars we don't fully own yet than my friends the same age pay to insure themselves on a single car that they do own, and we live 3 blocks from each other)
  • world-class customer service (my mom rear-ended someone, her fault, halfway across the US from home, USAA got her home, wrote out all the checks, handled all the claims, and just sent her a sheet of paper to sign and fax back along with a check less the deductible for the vehicle)
  • and numerous other benefits

more than compensates for them making me do that small portion of their job for them so I can access my money same-day rather than in 3 to 14 business days.

Comment Re:Please blog, but you can't use the network! (Score 1) 202

Breakdown in communication? Perhaps you've never actually been around the military. It's like a Dilbert cartoon with guns and 1,382 more layers of management. Oh, and free healthcare.

My father is in the military, they have a name for the people who manage their networks: DOIM Nazis (DOIM: Directorate of Information Management). Mordak the Preventer is their unofficial mascot.

Comment Impressive (Score 1) 10

I have the distinct displeasure of watching socialism decisively take root in America. Not that it wasn't here before, just not a prominent. Everytime I watch Obama speak, this quote keeps surfacing in my mind: "So this is how liberty dies, amid thunderous applause."

Comment Re:Stock markets as savings? (Score 1) 315

You know, historically the stock market is a great place to put money you won't be needing for 5+ years. In 59 of the 82 years the S&P 500 has been around, it had a positive return( That's 72%, not too bad (and probably more liquid than gold or countries). In fact, there are very few 5 year periods where the stock market averaged a negative return, and even fewer 10 year periods.

Now, the "stock market average" doesn't matter much to the daytrader investor who got a hot tip back in 2006 that CitiGroup was the next Microsoft and invested his entire life savings of $6,203.12 in Citi (there's a reason 90% of daytraders lose money). But when you're talking about enough money to decommission a nuclear reactor.... You can spread your money over a wide enough segment of the market that you should get pretty close to the market average.

Comment Re:Profits, but for whom? (Score 1) 624

Technically speaking, Social Security is the only legal Ponzi scheme out there (Put your money in and you'll get other people's money later). I'm not sure the market qualifies as a Ponzi scheme according to the strictest definition. After all, you are actually buying something, you're just paying a bunch for an electronic representation of a peice of paper that 90% of the time ends up not even being worth enough to wipe your butt with it.

Comment Re:I think your humor needs some work. (Score 1) 109

Seriously, dude. This is like arguing "The internet is like a series of tubes" jokes aren't funny because "The ethernet cables are a lot like tubing!"

Besides, have you actually listened to the people he's satiring? After some of the stuff I read just scant days ago debunking the faked landing myths, I'm surprised this wasn't actually one of the arguments presented! I mean, really. Did you know there are people out there who really, seriously believed that the Galileo space probe that was deorbited into Jupiter in 2003 was a plot by NASA to turn Jupiter into a star.

In short, lighten up.

Comment Re:False start (Score 1) 309

The day that I, as a nontechnical software user, can meaningfully participate in an open-source project is the day that open source will truly have won.

Show me an instance of this with Apple. In fact, I would argue the opposite - that their strict control of the platform has allowed them to focus on only approving software that specifically fits the customer's needs the best. As apposed to the open source model which is one tool, a million uses. With apple you get the universal 1-piece screw driver. With open source you get the Craftsmen all-in-one screw driver with 36 bits and 6 handles in 4 colors.

From my (admittedly) brief review of the article, it seems like logic to the argument went like this:

  1. I like open source stuff, it's nice, but
  2. I wish it were developed for less technically-minded people. Not for developers.
  3. Apple develops their stuff for less technically-minded people.
  4. And open source lets anybody contribute.
  5. I like the way Apple programs run.
  6. I wish I could make open source stuff look like Apple programs
  7. One day, open souce will be just like Apple and let everyone contribute. Then they'll win.

I've got to admit, I feel like I must have missed a few connecting arguments in there.

Comment Re:Apple viral marketing campaign (Score 1) 501

Well, at least we agree on one thing. We should all be striving to make this world a better place. The major difference is how we approach it. See, I recognize a pattern in all the YRO articles posted here. I see the commonality between Korea's botnet destroying people's computers and Lancaster's mayor exuberance over their new spy plane. And I approach any and every plan and idea to make this world a better place with the realization that people are evil. They don't make mistakes, they don't unintentionally screw things up. Rather, they have to try to not be evil. So maybe if we work together, your reason and my pessimistic opinion of human nature can make some changes for the better?

Comment Re:Apple viral marketing campaign (Score 5, Informative) 501

As someone who believe this, please don't confuse Catholics and Protestants. Catholics (a large percentage, but far from all of Christianity) believe in Transubstatiation (The bread and wine become the body of Christ). However, the majority of protestant traditions teach that communion is strictly symbolic. And it's not "Hey, be a cannibal so I can save you!" It's a backreference to (among other things) the first passover meal, in which a lamb was slaughtered and it's blood put on the doorposts of the house to save it's occupants from the angel of death in Egypt. It symbolises that just as the lamb had to die (and be eaten) to save those in the house in Egypt, so Christ had to give his body to save those who would believe in him; and just as the blood of the lamb protected everyone who took refuge in that house in Egypt, so the blood of Christ protects all who take refuge in his sacrifice.

Sorry to cloud the issue with pertinent facts though, carry on.

Comment Re:Caps lock will be the end of unintended shoutin (Score 1) 586

Gotta say, I've got a MS Natural 4000 at work, and I haven't had any RSI since I started using it. And I've dealt with that for over 4 years now. Anybody looking for an Ergonomic Keyboard, this is a good one. Now, I just need to figure out how to make this little zoom wheel in the center scroll instead (come on Microsoft, that option should have been a no-brainer!).

Comment Re:Begging the proposition. (Score 1) 217

Bottom line is, people don't care about privacy, but they do care about having their personal information being used to hurt them.

And therein lies the fundamental problem. In most people's minds, bad things should always happen fast. Few people realize that, in real life, most things develop slowly, over time. Until more people realize that fact, we will continue to take "short, fast, cheap, and easy" over "longer, slower, more expensive, and harder" as a default. Frankly, I worry about the privacy debate not for my own sake, but for my kid's sake. By the time they are born, it is likely that their entire lives will be recorded electronically (with the possible exception of the first few years). Where they live, what they do, etc, etc. I'm not worried someone in power today will do something bad with that, most of them aren't even aware of the possibilies. I'm worried that some politician-to-be from the class of 2009 is going to do something with it when they get into a high-level public office 15 to 20 years from now.

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