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User Journal

Journal Journal: Gone Again!

As always, if slashdot has borked the text, just go here.
She was gone again, shortly before my elderly cat died. I refer to my muse, of course.
I looked everywhere I could think of, to no avail. Stolen again? I went for a walk, on the lookout for that aged black aged Lincoln with that blonde and that brun

Comment Re: TracPhone: $7/month. (Score 1) 205

Oh rly? Which plan is that? The Pinocchio plan?

It's not really a plan. It's the $19.99 60-minute, 90 day refill card. With a smartphone, the minutes "triple" to 180, and you also get 180 texts and 180mb data. If you sign up for auto-refill, you get a small discount off that (and it becomes kind of a plan).

If your wireless needs fit that profile, it works out to around $7/month. I've saved a boatload of money going down that route, although I have needed to supplement it with a few data-only refills, which has only tacked on a couple of bucks per month for me on average. It does kind of rule out using any audio or video while not in WiFi range, and you can't yammer on the phone endlessly, but for me that's an acceptable trade-off.

Comment Re:More science (Score 2) 280

Over the time scale of the next century, only one input signal will dominate: the amount of added greenhouse gases. All of that other stuff either oscillates too fast or has an insignificant effect. Other signals that would have a big impact, such as changes in the earth's orbit that drive ice ages, or movement of mountain ranges due to continental drift, are too slow to have an impact over the next couple of centuries.

Relative to the greenhouse gas signal, the climate *was* very close to an equilibrium on a human timescale. It certainly isn't any longer; it's being strongly driven into ranges hotter than it's been for millions of years.

Comment Re:More science (Score 1) 280

The final color of mixing two buckets of paint is the integrated effect of chaotic stirring (and all of the world's supercomputers probably couldn't predict the exact pattern of those swirls). However, the final color can easily be calculated with high precision using a hand calculator. Integration has smaller error bars than you think it does.

Comment Re:Its pretty important... (Score 3, Informative) 307

So ironically, transporting the oil and gas out of the region is putting oil and gas production in jeopardy.

That would seem to be yet another reason to transition this country away from fossil fuels altogether. That would address both the erosion issue and the fossil fuel dependence at the same time.

As far as seafood goes, there's going to be a coastline somewhere, no matter how far it moves into the current state of Louisiana. The seafood will still come from wherever that is.

Comment This is clickbait... (Score 1) 359

So the real purpose of the article? Create a trumped up controversy in order to generate hype before the IPO. Everyone is supposed to think the stock is cheap because of the controversy while thinking they are the clever one who sees the business model will work because the consumables are what matter. When everyone is the clever "one" they all buy the stock and the original investors get the profits.

*yawn*

Comment Re:So? (Score 2) 122

I've been staying at places through VRBO for nearly 20 years, I doubt that anyone knew I was a temporary renter unless they're really familiar with their neighbors or were directly involved in the rental activity (I've been told to "see Clara next door for the keys" type of things multiple times). Just because there are assholes out there doesn't mean we should try to shut down an entire industry.

Comment BASIC cartridge on a Bally Astrocade (Score 1) 857

The Astrocade game console only had a numeric input keypad. Coding programs was like texting on a feature phone, but without any text prediction, and especially without switch debouncing logic.

The cartridge itself did have a 1/8" jack so you could possibly save the fruits of your labor onto a cassette tape, with some luck.

The game console had almost no memory, so BASIC programs were stored in every other bit of the video frame buffer, and palette tricks were used to make the raw program data invisible on the display.

Comment Re:A very negative spin (Score 1) 83

You certainly could and something like XFCE is definitely lighter weight. Personally I'm willing to invest about 15min in my desktop and want it feature rich. Considering Gnome and KDE were feature rich back when I ran my Linux desktop on a Pentium Pro there is no reason feature rich can't also be lightweight given how much faster the hardware is now and gpu graphics acceleration.

Comment Re:After a couple of decades of doing income... (Score 1) 399

"I don't know what used car prices are where you live, but that doesn't sound like realistic advice where I live."

You can buy a 2017 Honda HRV today for $14k, It won't be worth more than $10k in 3-5 years I guarantee it. If you maintain them properly most cars are reasonably reliable for 10-15 years. There are plenty of cars that fall in that price range after haggling.

"Abusing the mileage? What's that? Most people put most of the miles on their vehicles for their jobs. Most of mine is commuting to work and back, with some for going to stores and visiting close friends and relatives. I'd be hard-pressed to cut 10% off my yearly mileage and still work and eat."

Abusing the mileage would be frequently using it for long range transport. Typical lease limits are a fine high end for most everyone 12-15k/yr. That is what planes, trains, and buses are for.

"Alternately, focusing on low TCO means not buying insurance on the car itself, so if you're in an accident and it's ruled largely or all your fault (and these things happen), you suddenly need to get $8-$10K to buy a new car."

I fail to see how buying insurance significantly impacts the TCO of a car you own and didn't pay for vs a car the bank owns and depreciates about 10%/yr for the first five years.

"I paid a little under that for a new car, on a four-year zero-interest loan. After three years, I will have paid off 75% of the principal, and the car will be worth a lot more than $8K, so I won't be underwater."

No, zero interest is effectively the same thing as paying cash. I take 0% whenever I can barring any fees and then readjust what I pay so it actually pays everything off in time since they are often tricks that become deferred interest if you make the payment asked for. But a car you buy used for 8k is still worth about 8k a year or two later. That brand new $35k car will have depreciated by 8k within a year or two.

Repairs are a thing but if you maintain a vehicle and it isn't a rental or salesman car they are uncommon until you get in that 12-15yr range. Trying to make you think used cars which have been taken care of are breaking left and right and completely unreliable is partly true in that not all vehicles has been well cared for, also a factor for long drives and roadtrips that aren't really in fashion here in the states anymore, and the rest an argument used to help people feel good about spending way too much on something that doesn't get you to work any more successfully than the cheapest car in the lot.

Cars are liabilities not assets, sound financial planning is to minimize liabilities.

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