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Comment Re:I get no updates from my carrier (Score 1) 66

Did your brother-in-law run the phone down to 0% a lot?

Li-ion batteries can only fully discharge and recharge a limited number of times, and their lifetimes are hugely affected by how much you run them down before charging. So they might only advertise 1000 charge cycles, but that's for a full (or mostly full) discharge. But if you recharge every time it hits 50%, you could get an order of magnitude more cycles out of it.

Bottom line: don't run your phone's battery down.

Also, it's good to get a phone with a removable battery. I can get new batteries for my S5 for $10.

Comment Re:Because Manufacturers Suck (Score 1) 66

Can you imagine having to wait for, say, Dell to OK to every package for your next "apt-get update"?

Except Dell will do just this if the update has anything to do with hardware, and in most server environments a lot of it does. I've done the dosey doe with Dell on their server platforms with drivers, debating whether my problems are due to the vendor-supplied drivers sucking or whether the Dell-provided drivers six months behind the OEM vendor are at fault.

I think the problem carriers worry about is unapproved software that effects their networks. My guess is this is pretty remote in reality. but shikata ga nai.

Comment Re:So, the gist of it is... (Score 3, Interesting) 97

More than a burner, they should coordinate their burners. Load them up with tantalizing information that wastes a ton of investigation time, but being careful not to have any actual prosecutor conspiracies.

Use burners with known weaknesses or backdoors and set them up with passcodes or weak encryption so they look legitimate but are easily broken with diagnostic software.

Emails about stuff supposedly buried in parks, or sunk in lakes at specific GPS coordinates. Treasure-map fantasies. Rent a storage space and decorate it with Independence Day decorations, but make it sound like it's full of anarchist equipment.

Bonus points if you can capture video streams of the Feds digging up a park or walking into a storage locker filled with decorations.

If you did it right, they might get tired of grabbing phones with the idea that they won't know which ones have real solid info and which ones will leave them chasing their tails.

Comment Re:I'm all over this (Score 1) 115

There's a whole world of people for whom the bargain side of everything matters more than the thing they got a bargain on.

My dad is like this -- he will always put up with inferior quality or drastically reduced choice if it saves him a buck and it really has nothing to do with his financial status. In fact, he often has broken or otherwise unusable things cluttering his life that he can't use but can't get rid of because he "spent good money on them"

Meanwhile, he spends so much time shopping for a low price that he doesn't have much time left to enjoy the thing he was looking for a bargain on or the experience is so degraded by low quality that he doesn't get any enjoyment out of it.

In terms of this, it's ridiculously expensive for an average at-home movie night. There's a million movie choices for $5 or less at home.

But there's a lot of ways I could see $30 being reasonable -- a big new movie for a group, people with kids who'd spend $30 on a babysitter alone, etc. It kind of doesn't have to be the greatest movie ever made, because it's about the larger experience. Sure, you could do it 6 months later when it hits Redbox, but by then the impetus is gone because it's just another title.

Comment Re:Stupid analogy (Score 1) 253

The average end user knows nothing about security, has never had to configure the sound card manually, cares about graphics only when actually trying to move backward makes it noticeable. Caching and indexing have never been end-user terms that they understand, and arguably those are only necessary because the bloat has made real-time searches almost impossibly long.

Notifications are nothing new, and if anything has really changed it's just that the software isn't user-loaded third-party anymore. Palm Desktop could notify one of calendar stuff and task list items coming due, and if one's email client was open it would notify when new email was received.

Auto-mounting might be the one thing that's well and truly new in what you've brought up. That feature appeared in Windows 95.

Comment Re:It's the economy, etc. (Score 2) 181

Your vehicle numbers are way off.

A 2017 Ram 1500 base truck is about $26,500 MSRP, which probably means it can be had for $25,000 at the dealer if buying off the lot. If you want the base as a 4x4 it's about $31,500 MSRP, which can probably still be had for under $30,000 out the door.

A Ram Promaster 1500 (based on the large Fiat van chassis) is around $30,000 MSRP. The 2500 model is $33,000 MSRP and the 3500 is about $36,000 MSRP, all as cargo configurations. The passenger variants, only availabe as a 2500 chassis and a 3500 chassis are $34,500 MSRP and $38,500 MSRP respectively, and given that there are a lot more parts on the passenger versions this $1500-$2500 markup isn't unreasonable.

Now, if you want the Laramie package, or you want all leather, or you want the megacab with the 8' bed and the Longhorn custom interior with the Katzin seats, yeah, you're going to be spending quite a bit more. Thing is, you don't really need that stuff. You might need a stronger engine in the base model truck, but those modern V6 engines that all three domestic automakers use are quite good, better than their entry-level V8s were only a generation ago. You probably don't need that upgraded configuration.

If your numbers are coming in $60,000 for a cargo van and $45,000 for a pickup truck, it's because of standards that you set.

Comment Re:Debt (Score 1) 403

Unfortunately this has been proven time and again to be wrong, at least as far as the smart use of credit is concerned. If you want to own a home you're almost always going to have to finance it. If you want to own a car that will give you more than a decade of service with few issues you're probably going to need to finance it. Hell, if you have a skill in a profession that requires materiel or tools that can make you a good income, you might have to finance some business expenses for those tools or for that materiel in order to get the ball rolling. The trick is to set a reasonable debt limit for yourself and to stick to it- don't take all the financing that they'll offer, be reasonable about what you can afford and take only what you need. This has even worked among poor populations like in India, where poor people, offered small loans by our standards, have been able to establish what they need to start businesses to provide services to those in the same situation, become profitable, pay back the loan, and slowly move themselves up to a better standard of living.

The stupid use of credit, whether it's to buy items far beyond one's means (keeping up with the Joneses), or to finance means to then make money without work and without having something to serve as collateral (speculation on the stock market with borrowed money) is obviously another matter. If the bank is willing to loan you $400,000 for a house, you shoul probably look for a house in the $250,000 range. If you regularly have to carry a balance on your credit cards then you need to evaluate your spending patterns; that $100 pair of shoes shouldn't really cost you $200. And you definitely shouldn't buy things like stocks that cannot serve as their own collateral on credit, that's the fastest way of having literally nothing but debt to show for it.

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