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Comment Re:USPS (Score 3, Interesting) 228

In the boonies, where many of us heat with woodstoves, snail mail spam is called "free fuel". Some of us even write letters (though I tend to print mine as my handwriting isn't great, or maybe even include a gasp - paper check - for record keeping that doesn't have bit-rot and isn't subject to hacking quite the same as e-transfers are. Selection bias much?

Comment Re:USPS (Score 2) 228

I get more and more of my Amazon stuff via USPS, and it's a good deal, it seems. for all concerned. The USPS has to drive the route anyway, so why not carry something? On our rural route, UPS, FedEx etc can't make money, UPS in particular has a bad attitude as mentioned elsewhere and a high rate of damage to the product. I'm not sure how Amazon actually gets things to the local USPS so fast - clearly they didn't just mail it, as regular mail is never "two day" around here, but I'm getting the stuff on time. Fedex has been super good from McMaster-Carr, sometimes under 20 hours from mouse click to delivery - in good shape and with good attitude - on *ground* shipping. I also have no clue how they manage that, other than that McMaster has warehouses all over. And they are good the few times Amazon uses them. But really, in my case nothing beats the USPS these days (wasn't always so, they don't like big stuff) "out here". My mail persons are all nice as can be, know where to leave stuff if I'm not home (will even lock it in one of my cars if it seems valuable), don't get fiddly about details and make me go somewhere (at my further cost) to get what I already paid to have delivered to me. One of my mail people is a retired physicist doing it "for fun" and often drops in just to chat about my physics work. It's another world from what most city folk experience. We'd really hate to lose them "out here". No way Amazon is making money off me. A small order every few days on prime - if you figure the UPS rates *I'd* pay, prime pays for itself in a month or two. Maybe that's what's driving them.

Comment Re:Drug delivery device (Score 1) 312

Of course they are a drug delivery device. One with far less damage than combustion versions, and easier to taper off with. I was an utterly addicted 3-pack a day smoker of full strength cigarettes. At age 62, couldn't make it up a flight of stairs - yes, they are bad for you. Vape, less bad. Smoking == stupid, I agree. But if you were addicted at age 14, it becomes hard to stop, and there's tremendous medical consensus that it's about the hardest addiction to kick. (having kicked a few others, I agree with scientific consensus on this) Been vaping, gradually diluting the nicotine fluid with USP glycerine for two years now. And now I can RUN up and down the stairs. Anecdotal, but I feel like it's winning. And damn, with the cost of cigs what it is and the cost of juice - it paid for itself in a month (fancy temp controlled rig and a few months worth of juice cost less than a month's cigs).

I'm dead sure, having tried a few, that those e-cigs at the convenience store are BAD, and maybe worse than plain tobacco. It's easy to cherry-pick data, ain't it - troll.

Comment Real news. Uncompetitive company has billions. (Score 1) 206

In cash to by a worthless piece of junk. Yet also has money to fight the FCC to avoid any hint of being fair to consumers, keep other companies off their "turf" and so forth - can't even let you have a set top box they don't get rent on - they'll die. Yet they can afford this loser?

Comment Re:Backups...other issues (Score 1) 465

Curious, I'm in about the same situation. Though I point out that even the attny general (Holder) pointed out that the big banks, who bought laws that allow legal co-mingling of their derivative bets and depositors money are "too big to jail". And yeah - "Free Jon Corzine!"
I note that the FDIC is ridiculously underfunded. Can't get blood from a turnip. You could print more, but we know where that goes.
I note that while we have a defense department that seems at least to support a lot of large defense contractors, and theoretically my stuff, we also have civil asset forfeiture so bad that last year it exceeded all losses by theft and burglary - 4.7 vs 4.2 billion bucks. (!)
So yes, it's good to have non money assets and especially ones that are NOT liquid enough to be desireable for thieves in uniforms to steal.
This is probably not the right thread to discuss this, but I was reacting to the "OMG, no backup - what an idiot" for something a lot less meaningful to most than "my next meal/rent or my kid's next doctor appointment".
Seemed kinda silly in terms of getting priorities straight.

Comment Backups...other issues (Score 1) 465

I'd bet just about zero percent on this thread have "backed up" their money - which is bits in some bank's computer - at most. Their "TOS" were recently changed to "bail-in" by lawmakers. Yet you all seem to be perfectly happy with money that's basically fake and which only exists as bits on a computer you don't own. Which can be taken from you -legally- if the bank makes bad bets (yes, they are allowed to co-mingle funds now too). Don't take my word for it, but don't be surprised if more than GIF's go missing at some point.

Comment Re:Arguing over the subjective (Score 2) 523

It's also moderately trivial to re-format comments in source using many available tools if one desires to do so. Some already-rolled ones, almost any language that supports regex, even, gawd, bash scripts with sed and awk etc can do this. If you don't like it that much, make a tool that fixes it. It ain't rocket surgery, it's a job for an otherwise boring afternoon. I don't recall any compiler whatever having an issue figuring out which of the input was comments. Go to town, how hard can it be?

Comment Calling IBM and others (Score 1) 122

How much did Oracle pay to steal SQL itself? Or as another poster mentioned, nearly all of c++ syntax (without some of the freedom and power because programmers are too stupid to manage memory allocation so we steal real time abilities from you and do it ourselves, like, um, perl). And so on. If Oracle wins any of this - and I'd like to see API's not copyrightable at all, it's obviously not the intent of having them - we ALL lose, particularly those dumb enough to either work and live in the US or to sign one of those ignorant "not free trade" agreements that give corporations higher powers than governments over such things.

Comment Re:That's what catalytic converters are about. (Score 2) 216

This is about diesel. Call us back when they have a throttle. Your post is about how it's done in gasoline spark-ignition engines where you can keep the mixture as you please. Diesel's won't fire unless there is enough pressure to compression-ignite the fuel so there is no throttle to close up, and the mixture is therefore "all over the place".

Comment Re:50% from tax dodges TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 147

Oh, I did all that back when I had taxable income. I'm now retired and fairly well off. I just feel for those who aren't doing as well, and never will under the current regulatory regime. FWIW, I 5x'd my retirement account trading from March 2009 to 2014, then got out and am still out. I'd sold after about 20% loss off the previous peak to the protestations of my then broker (who now thinks I'm a genius). That game is now so rigged itself it's better to wait awhile for after the tide next goes out and the naked swimmers have to dump at pennies on the dollar. Being responsible puts one in a position of being able to wait for things like that, and just take the easy winnings. I'll do ok on the mountain (well, a buncha hills in Appalachia) I now own outright, and am off-grid mostly. I changed a buncha cash into things that are unpleasant or difficult to confiscate, but which benefit me just fine. .gov doesn't want to be in the real estate business or try to make money selling my solar system, farm, and so on. They like to just cntrl-x cntrl-v cash (eg bits in the bank - fiat), so it's wise to not make it too easy for them to do that. Oh, made the money in the first place as a systems engineer and coder. I still do that, but now it's only for fun.

Comment Re:50% from tax dodges TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 147

Too bad I commented here or I'd use mod points to mod you up. There are a lot of tricks, and the one you mention is one of them (I believe Apple and others also use Ireland and the Netherlands among others, as havens). The point is, the normal taxpayer can't afford them - it's not gain at the margin for the taxes a little guy saves, but is for the big guys. In a rather long life, it seems nearly every law or regulation passed has favored the big over the small and perhaps disruptive. That's the real problem in my mind.

Comment Re:50% from tax dodges TANSTAAFL (Score 1) 147

Tax the corps and they pass it through as price increases that are net regressive taxes on all customers. Affecting the poor more than the rich. It's not that simple, not that I believe they shouldn't pay.
All they do (well almost all) is legal. Should I want to hire someone at a PO box in some lax country to assign my income around - it'd be legal for me too. It's just that what isn't even pocket change for these guys is more than my total income (and I'm not poor).
Anatole France: "In its majestic equality, the law forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal loaves of bread."

It's hard to devise a system that doesn't favor entities with money - which is power, given human nature. Fix the latter and the former works itself out.
As we say here, GoodLuckWithThat.

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