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Comment Re:eBay problems - buyers and sellers (Score 1) 62

The problem with the 'buyer is always 200% correct' mentality at ebay can screw small sellers. Or if you only sell something once or twice a year. You're better off using craigslist.

I sold a generator head to a guy on ebay, packed the item perfectly, it got delivered without damage and the guy couldn't figure out how to get it working so I got stuck with having paid the shipping out to the other coast AND the seller fee. I had to issue a chargeback to ebay and fight for two weeks to get the seller fee off my account. Just sell larger ticket items ($100+) locally... not worth the hassle. What nerve does ebay have to charge you a fee for an item that's now un-sold and expects you to pay to sell it again. No thank you.

There are loopholes to the 'buyer is always 200% correct' policy as well. I bought some rare LPs on ebay for a friend and one arrived warped and unplayable, they were supposed to be Near Mint A+. So at $125, I damn well wanted my money back. So I had to escalate the issue through three different levels because the buyer refused to provide a refund and return shipping. So ebay's 100% money back guarantee is bullshit, because when ebay forced the refund back to me and I mailed the item back. Ebay does not count shipping and delivery within the time window for returns, so now the seller has my item and ebay deducted the refund back off my account. I immediately unlinked my bank account and blocked all further transactions from ebay. Luckily I had recently sold an expensive item and had $100 in seller fees due on my account. So I refused to pay because ebay still owes me the $125. They suspended my account because of the seller fees and every 'supervisor' I talked to could not credit my account the difference I had lost. So I cut my losses and just refuse to do business with them.

Comment Re:One can hope (Score 1) 124

Yeah this is nothing to do with systemD. Try installing crashplan on *any* distro and feel free to notice that it's using the max open file handles.

I believe crashplan uses inotify()... and if you have any decent count of files to be backed up, you'll hit your sysctl limit of open file handles. What we need is a single handle event notification in the linux (like *bsd kqueue) kernel and it would make these apps a lot simpler and less resource intensive.

Comment Re:Still too far (Score 1) 254

All of those options can be disabled, have you even tried? Disable the Windows update service, disable suggestions on your start menu, and disable the data collection options...

I did most of that within the first 5 minutes of installing Windows 10. Windows update I didn't realize would run automatically until one day my computer wouldn't boot (my boot HDD had been dying, I just didn't realize since I never rebooted the machine and all of my apps are on the other drives.) Once I got the computer back up I found a group policy to disable Windows updates without disabling the service, but if you don't have Professional Edition you can only disable automatic updates by disabling the service (as far as I know.)

Cortana is gone, all of the Microsoft Store garbage is gone, the OS runs great if you get rid of all that extra crap that Microsoft wants you to run.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

'He' meaning 'me'. I wonder if you noticed I was replying to my own comment. So, the math has everything to do with my circumstances.

Thanks.

None of these numbers are 'made up'. I'm doing estimates based on a projected 50% increase in utilities over the next 20 years, which seems to be the expectations based on the media.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

So, let's run some calculations

Assume you're breaking even with your utility costs versus solar

Start with $1000, a reasonable first investment, or a reasonable minimum up front cost for solar
Put $275/month into a 1% Money Market, or into solar

This is pretty simplistic and compares a basic lease-only solar.

Lets do a really rough guesstimate and some basic math assuming that electric will be an average of 25% more expensive in 10 years. Let's assume that electric costs bumped by 25% the day after your system was installed (best case imaginable for solar, but highly unlikely)

Year 1 MM: +$4328 In your pocket
Year 1 Solar: $825 In your Pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric, which just went up 25%)

10 Years of Electric Costs Avoided: $8160

Year 10 MM: $35,817 In your pocket
Year 10 Solar: +$8160 In your Pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric)

Let's assume another 25% increase at 10 years + 1 day

Another 10 Years of Electric Costs Avoided: $10,290

Year 20 MM: $74,276
Year 20 Solar Totals, First 10 years plus last 10 years = +$18,450 in your pocket in theory (Fixed solar cost, versus increasing electric)

This is super basic math with super basic assumptions, but you get the picture.

Your basic 1% Money Market is the clear winner here. And this is assuming an incredible best case for solar: two massive, 25% rate increases during the 20 year install. And 1% is a bare minimum for a "good" investment, ideally you'll find at least 5%, and a good overall is 8-10% return if you're into max growth. Your 20 year return on a cash investment (or even real estate) is looking A LOT better than solar. Even if the total 20 year money in your pocket savings for solar DOUBLED to $36,900, your basic 1% market investment is STILL a clear winner.

Comment Re:Solar bubble? (Score 1) 160

Totally Agree.

Solar sounded interesting when I saw a dealer at a local trade show and signed up for a free quote. I have the whole home-office shebang and use 1500kwh monthly, so I would need a sizable system. SolarCity quoted me a no money down something like $275 a month to cover 1200kwh, and I would be paying the grid for the remainder. Including paying the $50-75 additional to the grid, I was looking at a net savings of -$55/monthly off my current bill! What a DEAL! I would love to sign a contract that creates a loss for me every month.

And! If I want to sell the house (my first house, w/possibly growing family), now the new owners have to either buy the lease outright for some thousands or suck up the $275/month lease for the remainder of the term, which will be generating way more than your average 2.5 people need.

But wait, there's more! With inflation and utility cost increases, you'll have "free" electricity in 20 years after it's "paid off". Of course by then, half your panels are defunct and your inverters have blown up, requiring a whole new system for the low low price of $275 a month.

The more I looked into it, the more I realized I can put $275 a month into a money market and be way more ahead in 20 years than with solar (generally I put more like 500+, but lets just use that). I then thought hmmmm... what if I just outright bought the system? So some local contractors gave me the spiel and for $40-50,000 minus tax credits, i would be good to go. But wait, you can lease to own! For the low low price of $125 a month and $7500 down.... this still doesn't make any sense because during the first 10-12 years I'm still at a net loss, and by then I've lost enough efficiency that the already slow gains are minimal.

I went through the same thing with my parents house, and a few neighbors who got quotes as well. For all the homes and quotes I've seen, most likely the majority of the population would really not benefit in $$ from solar unless they buy rock solid panels and are willing to wait 20 years for a good solid positive return.

I'm all for saving the planet and everything, but solar prices have to really come down to have it make sense for the 'average joe'.

Comment I chose 4, 2 on each side (Score 1) 301

I would love if my laptop had 2 more USB ports on the other side. It's my bosses old laptop and he abused the two existing USB ports to the point where sometimes I need to keep USB thumb drives half in for them to be recognized. I also have an issue with the console cable where it falls out while I'm in the middle of using a USB to serial cable through PuTTY and I get a BSOD. If I had two more USB ports on the other side I might be able to get by using those (maybe they'd be less abused, or there'd be abuse evenly distributed between 4 ports instead of 2.) Plus, sometimes I'm using my laptop in a position where I want the console cable on the other side (pretty much any time I'm at my desk since my desktop keyboard is on the right where the laptop ports are.)

Space

NASA-ESA Project Will Shoot an Asteroid To See What Happens 113

astroengine writes What better way to understand how to deflect an incoming asteroid than to smash into one to see what happens? This may sound like the storyline to a certain science fiction movie involving a team of oil drillers, but this is science fact, and Europe has started planning a mission to map a small target asteroid that NASA will attempt to shoot with a speeding spacecraft, no nukes required. As the first half of the joint Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment mission, the European Space Agency this month has started planning for the launch of its Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) in October 2020. AIM's target will be the binary asteroid system of Didymos, which is composed of a main 800 meter-wide hunk of space rock circled by a smaller 170 meter-wide asteroid informally known as "Didymoon." It's the smaller asteroid that the joint NASA/ESA mission is interested in bullying.

Comment It makes sense (Score 1) 193

It makes sense though, they know how well iPhone, iPads and all their other iProducts sell but the Apple Watch is new and is not likely to sell anywhere near as well as those other products. This way they can save on manufacturing tons of watches and having them shipped to all the stores just for them to sit on the shelves. Sure it'll reduce the number of people that might just walk in and purchase a watch on the same day but they'll save more than they could potentially make.

Comment Re:Leave then (Score 1) 886

I understand the reasoning behind this since I've felt the same way in the past, but then this reopens the door to "Well we don't serve blacks at our restaurant, you'll have to eat somewhere else." Any privately owned business that provides services to the general public is not allowed to discriminate as to who they serve.

And seriously what's the big deal? A customer comes in and wants a cake, you bake cakes, why does it matter if you're baking a cake for a straight marriage, a gay marriage or even a bar mitzvah? They're not asking you to officiate the wedding, they're not asking you to get married with them, and unless they're asking for a cake with two guys fucking on it, I don't see why it matters.

Comment Re:How many minutes until this is mandatory? (Score 1) 287

Did you even read the remark under that line?

"The driver can override the speed limit by pressing "firmly" on the accelerator."

That's what you already have to do to make an automatic downshift. Have you driven one lately that didn't do this?

The person driving the car will already be pressing firmly on the accelerator to pass, it's just normal behavior that is learned quickly through driving on a highway.

Comment Re:Get ready for metered service (Score 1) 631

There is in fact a limit to how much bandwidth you have, it might seem like a fiber optic cable should have infinite bandwidth, but it doesn't. I never really thought about why there would be a limit but I just always remember thinking there must be something restricting the amount of bandwidth you have between two points, otherwise why wouldn't everyone have at least gigabit to their homes? Not only is there a technological limit (which was the first limit I learned about many years ago) due to having to process and handle the large amount of data coming in over the pipe, there's also a physical limit.

Basically, there's a limit to how short a pulse you can send down fiber optic cable, and the shorter you can make those pulses the more bandwidth you have. According to the video, the shortest pulse width is around 1 femtosecond which gives a maximum total bandwidth over fiber optic cable of 125TB/sec. While a very large number, it's certainly not infinite.

Plus, your posts seem to point out that you feel the costs to increase maximum theoretical bandwidth are trivial. It's not cheap supporting a hundred fiber connected gigabit devices, let alone the millions an ISP would need to support to give ever customer guaranteed gigabit bandwidth. It's not just the gigabit links that cost money, it's also the equipment required for the uplinks. You would need to be able to handle all of the traffic going back up to the tier 1 network, which is going to require a lot more than just a couple 1 gig GBICs. While I feel that plenty of ISPs are holding off upgrading their equipment since they can just continue charging their customers high fees for low speeds, I also don't think it would be feasible for any of them to start providing gigabit speed to everyone. Even 100 mbit is extremely cost prohibitive and not worth most ISPs resources. There are plenty that will provide guaranteed asynchronous bandwidth but they have a very small target market.

Comment Re:Could be nice (Score 2, Informative) 156

For this exact type of thing, check out Dwolla. Paypal-style transactions (unique id is your email, but that's where the similarities end). It's run by a REAL bank (Veridian Credit Union, that's been around since 1934), and they do bank to bank transactions for 25 cents.

Disclaimer: I'm not in any way affiliated with Dwolla and don't gain anything by this post! Actually, as a business owner who accepts Dwolla payments, it would be nice to see this thing grow and become a standard thing people have to make it easier for everyone to pay each other, including me! :)

Comment Re:UPS (Score 1) 236

Definitely not a theoretical risk... as being in computer related work for the last 20 years I've seen a dozen machines fail due to power issues (lightning strikes mainly). I had a customer *using* a ups who had his motherboard, drive and mostly everything fry (the cdrom still worked) after a lightning hit. Despite having backups, he needed to recover the last day's work which forced him to send his drive out for full recovery for several thousand dollars.

I had a customer with an office of 20+ machines have half of them fail when lightning took out their main panel. The machines that survived were ones with UPSes.

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