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Comment Fraudulent 1040 filed for me last year (Score 2) 77

On March 30, 2016 someone filed a fraudulent return with a refund going to a debit card. I found out when the IRS returned a payment. It's been a big headache with lots of paperwork. Only one of the credit bureaus accepted my paperwork to freeze my credit. The others gave bogus reasons for rejecting my application. My bank couldn't handle a auto loan. My suggestion: file your taxes early before the criminals can.

Comment Alexander Fraser Tytler Misquotation (Score 2) 269

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it simply cannot exist as a permanent form of government. A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship."

Comment Speed Test 20 Mb/s (Score 5, Informative) 79

My friend did a speed test on JetBlue today and got 20 Mb/s. He isn't very technical so I assume he did the test on his iPhone or iPad. He said there was over 100 devices connected on his flight. He's a JB pilot but was in the back on this flight. He said the service is free until April. Take it for what it is worth.

Comment Re:Reach the "nearby" ISS? From Hubble? Uh, No. (Score 5, Interesting) 97

Many years ago I "advised" a real-live screen writer (credited with seven movies) on a space shuttle movie, meaning he bought me lunch. He wanted to fly the shuttle to the sun. I told him it was impossible. He didn't care. I ate my lunch and he wrote his script. That's the way it goes in Hollywood. (The movie was released but his credit was something other than screenwriter on this particular film. Must have been my bad advice.)

Comment Re:As opposed to actual Model Ms which are still m (Score 2) 298

I purchased a Unicomp "Linux" keyboard. I stopped using it after a few months. It's PS2 not USB and I had roll-over issues.

I replaced it with the Newegg Rosewill model. I'm happy with it but I'd like back-lighting in my next "Model M clone".

Does anyone know of a Bluetooth Model M clone?

Comment Re:Samsung have themselves to blame...not the Judg (Score 1) 404

I was involved in copyright litigation. The other side missed almost every deadline and the judge let them get away with it. They also wiped hard drives during discovery and amended their complaint *after* discovery ended. Our attorney said some judges use strict deadlines, others don't. The point is, don't assume deadlines are always strictly enforced. I know from experience that they aren't. You should be able to read the filings on PACER if you really care about the deadline issue. Note that discovery isn't on PACER. (If you use the RECAP Firefox plugin, the filings should be free.)

Comment How Termination Fees Work (Score 5, Informative) 76

The way termination fees used to work was that you paid your long distance carrier 10 cents a minute for a long distance phone call. The LD carrier shared that ten cents with the local phone companies on both sides of the call. The shared amount vary but a penny to each side was a common amount. The FCC granted a abnormally high fee to rural telephone companies of about five cents a minute. A call from a big city to the country was split 1 cent to the big city telco, 4 cents to the long distance carrier, and 5 cents to the rural telco. The long distance companies didn't make as much money on a call to or from a rural phone company but the amount of traffic was small.

There was also a termination fee for local calls, but it was much less than a penny. Various companies began to "exploit" the termination fees. The guys with lots of modems were some of the first (e.g. whoever AOL outsourced their modems to). The free conference guys figured out you could make good money as well. Remember that conference call companies charged 25 cents a minute, so it was cheaper to pay 10 cents a minute for a long distance call to a free conference service. If they were efficient, they could even make money at 1 cent per minute, but 5 cents was much better so they located in rural areas.

The large telcos started to change their models for long distance from per-minute to a block of minutes (e.g. 500 minutes for $$ per month). The local telcos mostly took over the long distance business so now the telcos were cutting checks to the free conference guys and not getting anything back. Telcos hate that. So they stopped paying or arbitrarily started paying 50 cents on the dollar. They also lobbied to change the rules. And here we are with the FCC tariff change.

(Universal Service Fees are different. They are one of many taxes on your phone bill. The taxes are used to subsidize the phone bills for the "poor".)

I do not run a free conference service (or free anything), but the death star and friends owe me about $50k and I'm very very small.

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