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Comment Not everyone is like you. (Score 1) 558

I get so tired, every time this topic comes up, of seeing all the comments of "what's the problem? No one uses cash anymore!"

Maybe you don't. Maybe your friends don't. You're probably middle-to-upper class, living in an urban area, working 9-5 jobs. But not everyone is like you. Many people in this country do not have bank accounts or credit cards. Many people in this country do not get regular paychecks. Many people conduct business outside banking hours. Many people live dozens or hundreds of miles from the nearest bank!

There are still a hell of a lot of situations where cash is the most practical way to conduct transactions, even large transactions, and eliminating large bills does nothing but add hassle and decrease security.

Comment Re:OP & litigator here (Score 3, Informative) 122

John Brennan did pretty much that, stripping naked in protest of invasive TSA procedures. He was arrested for indecent exposure, taken to jail, and fined $1000 by TSA for "interference with screening personnel." He was found not guilty on the indecent exposure charge, the fine is still in appeals 4+ years later, but I'm pretty sure his legal expenses are in five figures.

I wouldn't for a moment discourage you from this plan, but please do be aware of what you're getting into, and the extent to which they will fuck with you.

Comment Re:Thank you. (Score 4, Informative) 122

Well, supporting Sai's Patreon is a decent place to start. I've been tossing him $10/mo for a while now, it's a pittance but at least it's something. He's been shockingly effective for someone who's just One Random Guy with practically no support. https://www.patreon.com/saizai

Comment This isn't new? Show me. (Score 1) 116

Lots of people claiming that this has been done before, or is available for cheaper. Really? Show me.

The point of this desk is that it lets you transition seamlessly between standing, sitting, and reclining positions, with the desk and monitor properly positioned in all cases. I'm unaware of anything in the under-$5000 range that does this.

The workstation setup I've found that's most comfortable for me is a monitor arm swinging out over a recliner, but it doesn't let me move around, and my neck is bent forward to look at the monitor, causing neck and shoulder pain. (Without the monitor arm, looking at the laptop screen, it's even worse.) A conventional desk setup, even with fancy ergonomic chair and keyboard, creates problems with my back and arms. I've briefly experimented with standing desks (IKEA hack) but my knees are very emphatic about their dislike of the idea of standing all day - an anti-fatigue mat would help, as would a sit/stand setup, but trying to use both is a hassle because you have to both change your desk height and roll out / put away the mat every time you change positions. And it's a pretty substantial investment of both time and money in a style of working that I have little reason to think will work for me.

The Altwork would let me recline while having the monitor directly in my line of site without hunching over, and transition from that into sitting with one button press, and from there get up and swing the desk out to the side over an anti-fatigue mat and work standing up. I am certainly not looking to spend $6000 on a desk - or $4000, the pre-order price - or $2400, my after-tax-deduction pre-order price - but it seems like a complete solution to an ergonomic dilemma I've had for over a decade now, and I don't see any cheaper alternative that does it.

Is there something out there already that's cheaper and better? Great! Show me! Take my money!

Comment Correlation is not causation (Score 4, Insightful) 270

If you don't care about what kind of job you get, just how much money you make, then:

a) You will make more money than someone who considers other factors in their choice of career.
b) You will take any courses which you're told will enhance your marketability, no matter how disgusting. Like COBOL.

Hence it's unsurprising that people who take COBOL make more money... but is it *because* they took COBOL? That's less clear. Correlation is not causation.

Comment And if you work nights, fuck you. (Score 1) 567

“Bad drivers will at some point need to improve their driving or accept [having] to pay for the real risk they represent” ... yeah, right. If you drive at night, such as for work, Progressive will penalize you no matter how good a driver you are and how safely you drive and how many precautions you take against the possible hazards caused by darkness. They will toss you in the same premium bin with the partiers and drunks. Screw that.

Snapshot can't measure driving quality. It measures speed and distance travelled and sudden stops. Presumably if I'm driving at night and take a longer route going 75mph on a wide-open freeway, instead of driving 35mph on the shorter twisty two-lane country road with far more hazards from drivers crossing the center line or deer jumping into the road, Snapshot will penalize me for it. Again, screw that.

Comment Layouts aren't important... but Dvorak has issues (Score 3, Insightful) 165

Speaking as someone who's still struggling with the extensor tendinitis he developed as a young programmer over 15 years ago, with hundreds of nights of pain and hundreds of thousands in lost earnings as a result...

First: It's a natural hacker impulse to focus on keyboard layouts and hardware and other fun toys like that. Resist that urge. The importance of that stuff is tiny compared to good overall ergonomic habits, good posture, taking breaks, and managing tension. Get all the help that you can on those issues. Watch your own habits. Have someone else watch you. Make adjustments.

Second: Having said that... when I was first having hand trouble, I switched to Dvorak. This was, for me, a very poor decision. As you've noticed, Dvorak overloads the right pinky finger, which is a bad idea on a typewriter, but a horrible idea on a computer keyboard where other often-used keys are on the right edge of the layout.

Moving the entire arm to hit Enter and other right-edge keys with a non-pinky finger helped some, but not enough. After a couple weeks of increasing right-pinky pain, I simply swapped the L and P keys, so the commonly-used L was on the left index instead of the right pinky.

The L/P swap helped with the overloading, but exacerbated my second problem with a new layout, which was greater tension while typing. Even though I felt comfortable with Dvorak on a conscious level, I was still sometimes tensing up before keystrokes as my fingers weren't sure which way to go for an extra few milliseconds. And I was still having to use QWERTY keyboards often enough that I couldn't completely banish that muscle memory. Eventually I just switched back to QWERTY. More finger-mileage, yes, but is finger-mileage really the issue? It wasn't for me.

Third: No, really. Spend your time on the annoying difficult-to-scientifically-analyze meatspace issues like posture, not on keyboard layouts.

Comment Laptops are more complicated (Score 2) 336

A new econobox 15" laptop is not even close to equivalent to a three-year-old high-end ultraportable. Or a three-year-old 17" gaming laptop. Or a three-year-old tablet PC. Or even a three-year-old high-end 15" office laptop. It's dishonest to suggest that because the new econobox has comparable benchmarks, that it's a comparable system. Laptops are more complicated than that. The econobox has nowhere near the same utility.

If you disagree, try lugging it through an airport instead of the older ultraportable, or try holding it in one hand to take inventory instead of the older tablet. See how much good the extra PCMarks do you.

Also, what kind of laptops are you buying that cost $2000 but can't be sold for $350 three years later? I bought a three-year-old high-end ThinkPad for a friend for $750 recently. Cost twice as much as a new econobox, benchmarks were worse, but it was still a great deal for a far better user experience.

Comment Background on the case (Score 5, Informative) 594

The following article from the New England Journal of Medicine has a good summary of why the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program exists, and why some of its recent decisions, including the award in the Poling case, have been problematic. Basically, since 2005 the policy has been to concede cases where petitioners establish a plausible theory by which their injury could have been caused by the vaccine, rather than requiring proof or even scientific evidence that the vaccine caused said injury.

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp0802904

See also the Wikipedia article on the program, which also discusses the Poling case.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaccine_court

Comment "Too large for a phone"? (Score 2, Interesting) 167

"Too large for a phone" is a matter of opinion. This is exactly the size of phone I've been waiting for. I want as large a screen as possible, without making it impossible to hold it to my ear for my (very occasional) voice calls, or conveniently carry it in a holster or (less often) a pocket.

For me, a phone being tiny is of little value. Give me vast amounts of screen space, a large physical keyboard with hard keys with spacing and some travel distance, and a huge battery that won't run out even if I spend all day using it heavily in areas with poor signal. The Dell Streak isn't what I want, having only the screen space but not the physical keyboard and an unknown battery (and an obsolete OS), but the size? Perfect.

"Not useful for serious business"? Depends on your business. Much of my business is coordinating employees via email and text message, keeping records in spreadsheets and simple text documents, and occasionally consulting and searching through previous emails and web-based resources. A smartphone with a 5" screen, a reasonable array of apps, and a keyboard that lets me do 50wpm, is just fine for this.

Even my T-Mobile Sidekick was adequate for most of my business needs, despite the dubious browser and poor screen, thanks to the ultra-quick app switching and utterly fabulous hard keyboard unmatched by any other device. If Microsoft hadn't bought the platform, stripped it of development resources, and left it to die, I might still be using it.

Sure, this large a phone isn't for everyone. But that's one of the lovely things about an open OS - you have choices in hardware. I'd rather use iPhone OS, it's a far smoother user experience, but where am I going to find an iPhone with a 4-5" screen? or a physical keyboard? or running on a carrier other than AT&T?

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