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Comment My goodness, those are fugly (Score 3, Informative) 73

I was picturing something more like Oakley's MP3 glasses, but with a super-flat little camera between your eyes. Instead it's a child's toy. They got the button on the device right (because it makes it obvious when you're recording) but they seem to have everything else wrong, including the price. That's too much for something that goofy.

Comment Re:OMG (Score 1) 137

There is no shortage of algae, it is overgrowing waterways worldwide. The stuff that falls towards the ocean bottom is often eaten before it even gets there, and there is life in the bottom of the deepest parts of the ocean working to turn the remainder of the waste into life again.

On the other hand, oceanic algae (which "produces" most of our breathable oxygen) has been driven subsurface by UV, which reduces respiration.

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 137

And you don't need two outlets on an 8'1" wall....you need an outlet at least 12' (measuring baseboard length, i.e. skipping doors) and on any wall greater than 24".

This is a local code thing. Because after the NEC you still have local bullshit to deal with. Some of it makes sense and some of it is just there so that they can slap you with a fine of some kind if they want to. If a wall is longer than 8' then you need two outlets in it. Whee! I'm all in favor of things like seismic codes but the building codes are just stupid anyway. For example, all wire must be sheathed specifically in PVC, which releases dioxin when it burns. Or how about people being allowed to install homes with flammable roofs and siding when they live in forest fire country? Hello? Here's another good one, in a fire propane tanks become bombs. In theory they can release their goods without exploding, in practice that's not what actually happens. But we're not required to have a blast-deflecting wall around them, which could be made out of earth bags for basically nothing in materials and a couple of Mexicans' labor for a day. Arguably, in most of California we should only be allowed to build homes out of stacks of shipping containers or similar so that they have both quake and fire resistance :P

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 137

Well, if it makes you feel better about yourself, good for you. But don't kid yourself: you don't really stick to that most of the time.

I do when it's reasonably convenient to do so. Many devices are now prohibitively difficult to repair. Sometimes I still try, and fail for one reason or another, at least learning something in the process. If it's out of warranty and it's broken and it costs too much to have someone else do it, I've got nothing to lose.

If you repaired and maintained your home and your car the way people used to, you wouldn't have any time for anything else.

I do everything vaguely within my skillset. That means all of the plumbing that's not underground (by which I mean the pump, I don't have a crane for pump fishing) and all of the electrical, and most carpentry-type repairs. If I don't know how to do it, I learn. There is one other exception, which is the roof. It is old and crappy and I am huge and clumsy. I don't mess around with the roof. That includes the part of the chimney that goes through it, but doesn't include the part inside the house, which I replaced. But this place is a rental, so I have relatively little motivation to climb up there. Electrical is easy, so I just do it. Plumbing is something you need right away, so I just do it. If I knock a hole in the wall I don't call a drywall guy, I just patch the hole. If I need an appliance installed I don't call the movers, I get out the blankets and dollies.

In spite of this, home maintenance takes up less than 1% of my time. Maybe this house is just less shit than average? It certainly seems to be made out of the same crap, though.

Comment Re:Who's gonna pay "THEIR FAIR SHARE"?!?!?! (Score 1) 137

Sweden has high taxes by American standards, but by many measures they are otherwise even more capitalist than America. Their post office is privatized, as is a big fraction of their educational system.

What a coincidence. Our post office is privatized, as is a big fraction of our educational system. And then there's the influence of school administrators' unions, which are not to be confused with educators' unions as they are not the same thing and they are typically in direct conflict over where the money should be spent. Educators' unions want to spend money on education, and on reasonable salaries for educators. The admins' unions want gross administrative salaries that detract from education, and fuck everyone else. Schools thus become for-profit enterprises, even when they're "public".

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 137

I had a lawnmower for 25 years, I went to buy another, with a straight face, they said no matter what I bought it would not last that long, lucky to get 5 or 10 years.

They lied like dogs. Buy a Honda. You will have to replace carburetor parts periodically if you buy pump gas for it, though. That's the ethanol's fault. It happens to carbureted cars, too, especially if you don't drive them enough. The ethanol is aggressively hygroscopic, and draws moisture into the carburetor. It also eats the fuel lines.

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 137

Enjoy your building code violations!

There are two kinds of building code violations, relevant and irrelevant. An example of an irrelevant kind is not having at least two electrical outlets on a wall that's 8'1" long. An example of a relevant kind is using 2x2 instead of 2x4. Sadly, we used to build houses with 2x6 wall framing, and not this little candy-ass smooth-milled lumber that's under the stated size either, but rough-hewn timbers cut with a sawblade and then assembled. That's why so many of those houses are all moldy now; they actually remained standing during floods. Too bad they weren't placed somewhere sensible.

Building a house is actually easy AF. Designing it is the hard part. Our landlords did everything but design and frame this house and actually, it's the design that's let it down the most. After every earthquake, all the doors have a different set, because the house wasn't triangulated properly. It just flops around like a big square jello cube. They did pick out all the cheapest switches and the like, but any developer would do the same. I personally would spend just slightly more to get a halfway decent brand of switches and outlets, but maybe that's just me.

Make sure you buy LOTS of fire extinguishers and practice leaving in emergency situations.

If you don't do this in any home you're a dumb ass.

Comment Re:It's the cost of the labor, stupid (Score 1) 137

Don't forget to do the calculation of whether it's worth it: if a repair takes you two hours, think about how you could spend those two hours instead. That includes thinking about how much two hours of your own labor are worth relative to the cost of hiring someone else.

If it's only two hours, it's a pretty easy decision. Spending two hours of my life on repairing something will make me a better person. Not only am I reducing my footprint upon the planet but I'm also becoming better at repairing things. It becomes a more difficult decision when it's going to take a couple of days, at which point the job begins to actually impact your life and require that other parts of it be reorganized if you want to get it done in a timely fashion.

I do a lot of fixing of stuff. Much of it is quite simple, some of it turns out to be a lot harder. I just brought home a car which was originally $70k for which I paid $200. It's properly on PNO with no back reg so it was only $20 for a trip ticket plus $30 in registration/title fees. I'm going to swap a transmission and some other parts out of a $2000 car and get it some new glass and I'll be at around $4k all in including the timing belt tools, parts I've bought for the other car which are coming over, etc. The difference between that and the price of a new shitbox buys a lot of fuel to feed the 300HP V8 and my ass will thank me for parking it in a Recaro. Unlike some trivial "look it up on Youtube" exercise where you're replacing a motor start cap or something else equally trivial, this takes actual commitment and research.

It does however actually outline the potential problem; if I do that it's not really better for the planet. Well, if I do it, it might be, because I drive so little and am willing to drive a vehicle way into the big big mileage; most of the lifetime energy cost of one of my cars is in production. I can drive a V8 and still use less energy overall than an average Prius driver because I arrange my life to not include a commute. But it's equally possible for someone to do this and then drive the piss out of it and we haven't actually saved anything by paying them to repair it...

Comment Re:We need a new secure internet (Score 1) 178

Fine. Can I send you the bill for these multi-million dollar routers you want to turn in to boat anchors? I have two or three dozen I'll need to replace.

If the internet becomes just a lot of DDoS then they'll effectively be boat anchors anyway. The problem needs fixing at any cost, because the cost of not fixing it is that the internet becomes useless and that cost is too much to bear. Will you ignore the disease until it kills the host? Or will you administer a painful medicine?

Comment Re:We need a new secure internet (Score 1) 178

There isn't much daylight between Internet we have today and the ideal version of it in my view. Shit that runs over it is an entirely different story.

Uh no. The internet is the network and the computers. It's an inter-net-work of computers. The shit that runs over it is likewise therefore also part of the internet. If the internet will happily carry shit traffic, then it's a shit internet.

I love it too, but let's not pretend that it's not grossly flawed.

Comment Re:We tried to tell people (Score 1) 178

They don't care that IoT is a horrible idea, and they ignore countless other security practices to increase their own pocket wads.

If the internet is vulnerable to such attacks, then we have already lost. And of course, it is, so we have.

Stop connecting every damn thing to the Internet, and start securing what you have to have connected.

How about we add some security to the actual network? No amount of security will protect you from a DDoS.

Comment Re:Not good enough (Score 0) 54

What I certainly would like to see punished is the very very late disclosure of the breach. Starting this year, companies in the Netherlands are obliged to disclose data breaches. Fines for non compliance go up to â500k for simple cases; for more serious cases the fine is capped at 10% of net yearly turnover. It's a start...

No, it isn't. If loss of the company is not a potential reality for a breach, then it's not a start. It's just wankery.

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