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Comment If you can antenna... (Score 2) 68

do it. I have about $200 worth of antenna wire and splitters feeding four sets. All get networks and PBS. Cablevision jacked me $10 per month for no TV, but after raising the bill $6 per month for sports I don't watch, and $8 per month per box to decrypt a signal THEY decided to encrypt, I am still way ahead. My Tivos are well amortized, but for $40 you can get a Homeworx/Mediasonic box and add a $60 Hard Drive, and for one expense of $100 once you get basic VCR function. If you can't put up an antenna, or you are too far for what you can put up, I understand...but if you can, a bunch of wire in the air for a one time expense is the ultimate bargain.

Comment What is a Warranty Worth ? (Score 2) 622

For most folks, the reason they pay the big bucks, discounting ego (eg Mercedes CLA, BMW 320i) is for a warranty. This is a promise that if it breaks, someone else will fix it, on an open ended contract. This is the warranty premium, and what sells most new cars. (I"m sick of my POS whatever, I was late again, I NEED A NEW CAR). Interestingly, repair costs are set up specifically to be just a bit more than car payments when the car begins to age...at dealer prices.... Now, in reality, it isn't that simple, but you need 99% uptime to get to work, and it plays into that. If you can afford two cheaper cars, you don't need that 100 % uptime from one, and it can be cheaper. You need space, so city dwellers can't do this. If you can do some work on the car yourself, or have basic knowledge such that you can discuss reasonably with a service tech, you can buy used pretty safely. If you know where the gas goes and the key goes, and the "check engine" (yup, still there) light scares you and results in random $500 bills, then you can't buy used. I'm driving a $50k car (new) that I bought used for $16k. I did $2500 in catch up work and this includes an alternator which puked 15k miles after I got the car. Most folks think I'm driving a $50k car, but as I have another car, and I DIY most work that does not need a lift, I can afford to drive a used car. Mileage is a factor. Warranty is because they know how much folks drive, so 3 yrs/36k means I'm out of warranty early year #2. It is brief warm feeling, like a towel out of the dryer....so new, for me, isn't equal to warranty. You can do a LOT of repair work for the "warranty premium, even a whole engine in most cases". Again, this only works if you have some space, and understand the mechanics. Otherwise, they are awfully good at separation of you and money, aren't they ?

Comment Nothing new here... (Score 1) 767

I've used Waze in LA and NYC. Normally, it will only put you on local streets if the highway grid is fully locked up. I've crossed a few Queens neighborhoods, when the Cross Island is slammed and took some interesting canyon roads out west to avoid the 101. Back in the 80's I used to have a book called "no time for tie ups" which routed around most crux points in NYC. Waze does this dynamically. Luckily, I live on a dead end street !

Comment Its all about the description (Score 2) 420

Over 20 years ago, I worked in a law firm. I did all the non immigration work. The firm had a huge immigration practice, but they needed a guy who knew where the Civil, Criminal, Family, Traffic and Supreme Courts were located....that was me. 1. Immigrants come in and save their money, often in coffee cans. They know the US will eventually change the laws, declare amnesty, for a price. (When Trump legalizes them for a price, they will have the ready cash...trust me) The only problem arises when someone in the home country really needs you (birth, death) and you can't go, because you've over stayed and can't legally travel back once you leave. 2. H1B was a scam even back then. You write the description as follows "Must know code language A, B and C. Must speak Farsi, Mandarin and Spanish fluently. Experience in VT100 Terminal Emulation to HDMI conversion essential. Ability to repair Peugeot vehicles with a factory certificate required. By the time you are done, you have described your ideal candidate, with a description only your H1B could fill, because you wrote the description for that person. We used to run want ads in the paper of record (I said it was 20 years ago) and all the poor bastards who sent resumes in good faith were used as exhibits to prove "does not speak mandarin and Farsi" or "cannot program in language B", or "No VT100 to HDMI conversion experience", or "VW mechanic only, no French cars". The concept, to bring in unique talent, for narrow positions, is legitimate. Importing folks to replace US citizens at 60% salary with zero rights at the job is the result. I never personally worked on these petitions, (I only played the piano) but I saw enough even in my non tech oriented practice to know it was/is a total scam.

Comment You missed Toshiba (Score 2) 103

Bought a "Toshiba" TV set at Best Buy. When I got it home, found it was a "Best Buy" set with a Toshiba name, and that Toshiba no longer sells TV sets in the US. Don't see how anyone can be making money in this market. A 50 inch used to be $4k, then dropped to 2.5k, then dropped to the current $700....

Comment Bit here too (Score 1) 501

I know Apple ain't perfect, but when Win 10 showed up uninvited on a family machine, it clashed with an Netgear AC wireless dongle. Took about two hours to realize that was the problem... Since all I do is Word or Excel, I'm happy to pay the Apple tax...they never stole my time like this.....and time spent fixing a computer that was NOT broken is truly wasted time.

Comment Who do I bill for the malware ? (Score 1) 328

We have a gamer in the house, with the usual overpowered machine, running 7. 10 was being avoided, until the "x out" window that really meant "load windows 10" was hit. I always thought that was a malware trick circa 1998, but I guess it is a classic. Boom ! A stable system 7 goes blooey. If you use a netgear wifi card to get ac, you will jam up the machine and until you figure out you need to remove the netgear card, you will lose your mind. Bonus points for the fact that you lose wifi entirely. Two hours of Googling and trial and error reveal that Windows 10 and Netgear cards sometimes don't get along. So, I lose two hours and a card that under 7 had a rock steady 300 mbs connection, for a program that loaded under false pretenses for a user who tried his best to avoid.

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