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Comment Re:yu0 f4il i7 n00b (Score 1) 157

Not that I'm entirely biased towards Israel (they don't treat non-terrorist Palestinians the best), but I don't think it's exactly "paranoid" when all of your neighbors have tried to kill you at least once. In most cases, several times. And have one or two terrorist attacks in addition to full out wars. And a couple countries routinely chant death to their entire country, possibly all the inhabitants as well. Though I hear the Iranian President is trying to get "Death to Israel" labels removed from their ballistic missiles.

At some point, "absolutely paranoid security levels" become "probably appropriate, but could be more tactful about it especially when dealing with not involved third parties".

Comment Re: Could be worse (Score 1) 626

Sadly, I own my own home. And my water heater just died, so it's yet another trip to Lowes this week. Still have to reseal the driveway, lay down engineered hardwood flooring in the living room, finish the trim work in the bathroom, always more landscaping, put in more curtains, the list never ends. Still, I got it for a very good price and I like having the extra space around the house.

Happily am putting 10% (combined) into the 401K, plus $50 every week into direct investments. Retirement is on track. My parents were from the age were companies had pensions, so they're already retired and have an annuity for the rest of their lives. Actually, they just got back from a wine tour in Italy. I would like to travel more, but I mostly do more long weekend road trips rather than one or two week long trips per year. Spent a very nice long weekend in Harper's Ferry on kinda an extended date. My siblings and I are renting a cabin up in NY wine country on a lake for a vacation this year, house looks incredible.

Comment Re:Could be worse (Score 1) 626

You'd love this article if you're a nitro-toluene guy:

Because adding hexanitroisowurtzitane isn't quite nerve wracking enough. You know, stuff that gets more stable when you add TNT. Someone added 98% hydrogen peroxide, then crystallized with acetonitrile. Same crazy chemists co-crystallized the beta-phase of HMX with CL-20, which I'm sure deeply interested the USAF folks.

Comment Re:Could be worse (Score 2) 626

Probably because I admitted it was potcheen, which is Irish moonshine. I assume he wanted to make sure I was carrying the legal kind, not the illegal kind. Or he was making sure it was actually duty free. He asked if I was importing alcohol or tobacco. I said yep, potcheen and a 21 year old Glenlivet that I picked up in Shannon. He asked to see the bottles and receipt.

So I forked over my SAW until I snagged the bottles. Then traded. He looked at the receipt for about a second then moved onto the next guy.

Comment Could be worse (Score 5, Interesting) 626

Back when I was in the Army, I unfortunately had a clearance. Which means when you go on TDY, you become a classified material pack mule. In this particular case, in addition to a bunch of sealed envelopes, I had to carry a stickered laptop. Unshockingly, electronics certified to handle classified material are labeled clearly to include the words "US Government Property" and "Protect from unauthorized disclosure". I was also traveling on a government purchased ticket using government ID. But in civvies, because post-9/11.

Sadly didn't have my crypto carrier card as I wasn't carrying crypto material, that one gets you waved past any security checkpoint. TSA had semi-recently been spun up. Naturally US military people are high risk on aircraft, so we got selected for 'random searching'.

TSA: Sign into the laptop and turn it over.
Me: Uhm. No? It's a classified laptop, and I have no proof you have proper clearance.
TSA: We handle government laptops all the time.
Me: Not my problem. You can swab it for explosives all you want, but if it leaves my line of sight, I'm grabbing the real cops to arrest you while I call the FBI to report theft of classified material.

They squawked like a bunch of chickens. Dumped out all of our stuff, triple checked everything. Sadly none of our stuff was easily breakable, because well, soldiers. Not for a lack of trying. They also tried to make us miss the flight. Like we cared, as again, government travel voucher. This was before body cavity searches and sexually assaulting folks, but it got pretty hands on. Laptop however remained within my line of sight and turned off the entire time. You could almost taste the bureaucrat rage. Got the "special" random selection treatment every time I flew (again, usually on govt dime) for a long while afterwards, so I guess they did get the last laugh.

Hell, that's TSA and pretty expected. Fed buddy was made to bin his bottled water, but his loaded Sig and spare loaded magazines were fine. CBP made me dig out receipts to prove the booze I picked up in Ireland were from the duty free shop. I had him hold my SAW (a not small belt fed machine gun) while I dug around for the bottles and receipt. He didn't even blink. Never underestimate a government employee's ability to follow stupid rules.

Comment Re:Security expert? (Score 1) 377

I have a number of utility laptops that I use for random stuff. Most of them are not encrypted. They tend to be old laptops I got from work or other places, and saved from the bin. Never underestimate the usefulness of a laptop with an actual serial port. For some reason, USB serial dongles tend to be twitchy. A lot of them are too slow for full disk encryption. And honestly, don't care if even the NSA got their hands on them. I'd barely care if they were stolen.

Admittedly not everyone has a crate of obsolete laptops lying around.

Comment Re:move it back to usa where you can make each act (Score 1) 81

This is true in a literal sense. But completely false in practical terms.

Worker's comp is a trade off. They must cover you if you are injured, but generally you cannot sue for additional damages even if the employer is at serious fault. Damages are capped to medical bills and a paycheck. Without worker's comp limit of liability, there is no cap. A significant number of insurance providers demand employers ask for proof of workman's comp insurance for their contractors or pay for their workman's comp just as if they were a normal employee. Elsewise, said insurance provider leave themselves potentially open for significant uncapped liability.

Workman's comp insurance is pretty cheap for occupations that aren't statistically dangerous. Electricians, chainsaw jugglers and commercial fishermen might have a much harder job.

Comment Re:$$$ Workstations (Score 1) 310

There are times where it makes sense. If you have existing tools or scripts that are not cloud/cluster compatible, $33k is chump change compared to development costs. Sometimes it indeed makes sense to throw money at the hardware. Not to mention sometimes you CAN'T cloud things for security, liability or just plain licensing reasons.

I get what you're saying, but a decade or so tells you sometimes there are really really really good reasons for seemingly extremely inefficient procedures.

Comment Kinda feel guilty (Score 3, Informative) 47

I moved over to ODROID to get around certain Pi limitations. Specifically to include easy to implement Android. Pi has a lot of physical limitations and I've had stability issues. But they have an insanely large user base as well as tons of accessories.

ODROID-C1+ is cheaper at $32, includes quad core, 1GE, 1GB RAM and a better GPU. I normally buy the ODROID-C2 because it plays XBMC/Kodi better with the extra gig of RAM, and can actually output 4K.

Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 1) 222

We tried Smart TVs for video players. Unreliable and we had lag between video clips. Didn't power on as smoothly as we'd like for recovery from power outage. Failed pretty much every "seamless solution" criteria we tried. They do actually make digital signage TVs, but they tend to be more specialized than generally desired.

A consumer TV and a dedicated video unit are cheaper, and we "toss" the TVs every year or so.

Comment Re:Not sure you have a lot of options? (Score 1) 222

Did a fashion display a bit ago on Madison Ave for Fashion Week. PCs and Smart TVs do a crap job. Best solution for absolutely no fail, 24/7/365 displays is a dedicated video unit. We went with VideoTel unit for $300. Cheap, SD card for media and dumb as a brick, which is exactly what we wanted. BrightSign always more scripting and niftier features but costs more.

No updates, no way to hack without physical access, no nothing except playing a video on a loop. They automatically power up after power loss. Our units typically run for months without hiccups.

Comment Re: Let's get physical (Score 1) 97

On board NAND is indeed always going to be faster. Because well, it's on the friggin board. MicroSD however is good enough for sequential reads. Like music, photos, video, etc. Which tends to be what people store on MicroSD cards. So, yes, sometimes I indeed DO want cheap slow storage. That's why folks often back up to NAS's instead of backing up to SAN's with twenty times the cost.

Comment Re:Yay for regressive taxes! (Score 1) 271

That's why the tax bill also included significant tobacco hikes. And in case people just decide to quit, they included a huge hike on vaping products. Along with shutting down a significant number of vaping stores by a one time 40% inventory tax, payable within 90 days. And licensing, which doesn't exist yet.

You are correct that Netflix, et al are not essentials. However, they're economic alternatives to a high cable bill. The poor are (hopefully) more likely to pick one or two services like Netflix or Hulu rather than pay $100+ for a full cable package. They're budget luxuries. While the poor don't NEED them, it makes life better. On the plus side, this might get folks going to libraries more. Tis what I do, my library has hundreds of TV shows on DVD and Blu-Rays. I'm not poor, just prefer spending my money on other stuff.

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