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Comment Re: Now if they will sell them without MS Windows (Score 1) 161

This could easily be due to incompetence on Lenovo's part and the fact the system has Linux instead of Windows might be irrelevant.

My son's Yoga 2 Pro was purchased in the Fall. The wireless on his laptop was flaky as hell in our house (FIOS standard-issue wireless router), but worked elsewhere. Updated the drivers, no improvement. Spent hours on Lenovo forums and elsewhere online, trying all sorts of suggestions. No improvement. Disabled the FIOS router wireless and bought a moderately expensive new Netgear wireless router. Still no joy.

Replaced the Lenovo wireless driver with an older, non-model-specific Windows wireless driver, and Happy Days Are Here Again.

So even with Windows the Lenovo driver was garbage, but the MS driver was just fine.

Comment Credo unusable for work smartphones (Score 3, Insightful) 48

Several years ago I wanted to switch to Credo, but they had no Windows Phones & I needed a WP for work, so I couldn't use them. They eventually got Windows Phones, but their ToS prohibits using the data plan for business uses, or as a hotspot, or with Push-email (ActiveSync).

So as much as I'd like the money I'm spending already on mobile service to benefit Credo's causes, I can't use them. I routinely receive emails from them asking me to switch, and each time I wonder how much $ Credo is leaving on the table by forbidding these uses of their network.

Comment A Tactical Mistake (Score 1) 415

Until a few years ago I saw doctors so infrequently I would not remember the last time I'd been, and didn't have a regular doctor or know any doctor's name. (There's probably a Doctor Who? joke in here somewhere.)

I seldom watch the David Letterman show, but shortly before Warren Zevon died I saw that he was going to be on Letterman and so I tuned in. Dave asked him about his terminal cancer, and Zevon responded with "I might have made a tactical error not going to a physician for 20 years."

That spoke to me. I believe I WAS that guy, the one that never visits a doctor unless he's so incapacitated he can't fight off being dragged to the doctor by others.

Soon afterward I made an appointment for a check-up. Since then I've gone approximately once every 54 weeks - my insurance won't allow me to visit more than once/year for annual exams, and there's always a week or two extra due to scheduling issues.

Comment Awful if true, well-written regardless (Score 1) 1233

I've just read the article (heresy, I know) and while there was nothing at all there to cause me any doubt, after getting over how awful the story is, and how bad things have gotten in our country when it comes to things involving personal freedoms, I immediately recalled the story posted on Slashdot many years ago about the woman who motorcycled through the remains outside of Chernobyl and documented the full experience. I think it was over a year later when it came to light that *that* whole article was a hoax.

This story demonstrates vividly just how rotten our security apparatus in the United States has become, with personal protections & liberties (& laws) completely ignored anytime a person with a badge decrees. But there's still that nagging though that this whole thing might just be a work of art engineered to get us thinking about these topics.

Comment Re: Congratulations! (Score 1) 446

Are you in the US?

$30,000 is really not much for a new car. You aren't going to find many "real luxury cars" for $30k, new.
For that price you can probably get a pretty maxed-out Accord, Camry, Mazda 6, Altima, Fusion, or Malibu. $30k buys a mid-level minivan.

Insurance costs aren't going to be unusually high just because a car is $30,000 either.

I don't know your frame of reference, but unfortunately many middle-of-the-road, not-spectacular cars are $30,000 in today's world.

Comment make the time to workout (Score 1) 635

It's a difficult PITA, but I wake up 2 hours early 3-4 days each week and go to a gym. I spend 45 minutes-1 hour on a treadmill or elliptical and pass the time by watching sci-fi shows saved to an iPod, connected to the exercise machine. (Off-topic - just finished BSG, am now getting started with Farscape). I can watch the show on the 12" display instead of the bouncing 1.5" ipod screen, with the added bonus of my workout history being tracked at Nike+.

It *IS* difficult to make the time, but it can be done. You may even feel a positive effect. I've spent my entire adult life always short-of-breath. I believed I had a slight case of asthma. Once I began regularly working out the out-of-breath feeling lessened and eventually disappeared. I now find it returns if I stop going to the gym for about a week or more.

I also try to be health-conscious when I eat. That is also not easy, but is a choice. I frequently eat turkey sandwiches on wheat (no cheese), salads, or supermarket sushi when I'd really rather have a cheeseburger.

Comment Re:Did this already, was asked to stop. (Score 2) 505

I was only providing the freely-accessible network to be neighborly. Turns out my doing so was a problem for my neighbor. So, again, in the interests of being a good neighbor I turned the netwok off.

It didn't hurt me at all to do so. (In fact, I saved on electricity costs, negligible though they may be.)

Over time I've no doubt at all that my neighbors have done far more for me than I've done for them - this wasn't at all a big deal and I was happy to accomodate.

Comment Did this already, was asked to stop. (Score 5, Funny) 505

Years ago I set up a free wi-fi network from my house, and called it something like 'Free WiFi'. A few weeks later a neighbor asked me to stop.

He regulated his kids' internet usage, and they had been using the free network to get online during those times when they were prohibited from doing so.

So I turned it off.

Comment NJ - early morning, all smooth (Score 1) 821

I'm in what I'd call an upper-middle-class suburb in Northern NJ.

Our area suffered multi-day power outages and some downed trees from Sandy, but minimal rain, no flooding, and other than gas lines things are getting back to normal.

I arrived at my polling place around 8:45am or so. There were 2 voting machines available for my precinct. One other designated for voters from a different precinct, but located in the same room.

Both machines were occupied when I arrived, and there was 1 other voter in front of me in line.

I waited about 5 minutes, during which time one other person lined up behind me. I voted, I left.

Regarding the machines - they were AVC Advantage machines - electronic, but I don't think they are digital/computerized/black-box systems (I hope not, at any rate). Found a .pdf describing them here:

Comment Confirm coverage before travelling somewhere new (Score 1) 365

I just spent the last 5 weeks on a cross-country road-trip doing something similar. I'd travel to a destination with my family, and then while they explored the new locale I'd work during biz hours. Over the 5 weeks I used two weeks vacation and enjoyed an immensely satisfying vacation with my family, seeing a lot of the USA I'd have never seen otherwise.

BUT: I'm accustomed to the southeast & northeast. I'd never spent any substantial amount of time in the west. Once we travelled much past Indiana T-Mobile coverage became MUCH more sporadic. There were huge stretches of highway with no coverage at all. In my 'normal' life I'd never seen any coverage lapses and T-Mo was always stellar, but out west the coverage was absent in a lot of areas. I'd guess the same is true of the other carriers but don't really know.

Comment Cross-country road-trip (Score 1) 240

Not sure whether this qualifies as spectacular to others, but that's what I voted.

My family & I have been road-tripping across the country in our minivan for about 2.5 weeks now, with another approximately 2.5 weeks to go.

We've seen family, friends, and wildlife. We've visited and camped in national & state parks, and seen parts of the country that were completely new and subtly alien to us.

This weekend I'll be at Classic Gaming Expo 2012, and while in the area we'll be visiting Hoover Dam & the Grand Canyon.

It's a summer to remember, and makes it easy to appreciate life and not think about politics. I've watched so little TV these last few weeks I haven't even noticed any political campaign ads.

Our family is having a blast, and I'm still able to work from wherever we stop thanks to the internet.

This is, truly, a spectacular summer vacation.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 485

<quote><p>Yeah but we WANTED their products.</p><p>We don't want Microsofts.</p><p>Btw I worked at Microsoft for a decade as a software engineer and I don't even want their products, except maybe Visual Studio and Office and DirectX and Windows 7 .....</p></quote>

So, even *you* don't want their products, except for their flagship products that they are best known for? Heavens!

I'm reminded of the scene in The Jerk when Steve Martin explains that he doesn't need anything, except the paddle-ball, and the lamp, and the.....

Comment Re:Flat-Line (Score 2) 485

A simple example why the computer *can't* be as simple as the other devices:

Telephone - you buy a phone, plug it in to the jack in the wall. It just works.
*BUT* it isn't necessary to program your phone # into the phone to identify yourself, or enter a password to authenticate yourself.

E-Mail - You *must* enter your email address in to the computer so that it knows what e-mail to retrieve and display. You also must authenticate yourself, so you must enter a password. Exchange servers coupled with Outlook clients support autodiscover, eliminating the need for a user to configure server settings; I don't know if that is an Exchange thing or more widespread. If it is exclusive to Exchange than the server settings must also be configured before the email client will work properly.

Unless some single, monolithic & centralized email system ever comes into being I don't see how an email-device could ever be as simple as a toaster or wired telephone.

That right there is a reason why a computer simply can't be as simple as the other devices.

Fundamentally, any 'thing' that is multi-purpose will be more complicated than a single-task 'thing' for the simple reason that the user must somehow express what specifically the device should do.

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