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5876  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 12:25:19 PM
@40hz - Man I've done the why don't they put this stuff below ground rant myself a few times ... But in seems that in a contest between Technology and Mother Nature ... Mom wins every time.

No argument from me on that point. You're 100% right.  Grin
5877  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 10:48:49 AM
Buried electric lines don't help when you have mostly flood damage, and may actually have contributed to the problems with Metro-North commuter rail lines and Amtrack in the areas surrounding New York City.

[attachthumb=#]

In CT (New Haven Line) it was mostly downed trees and power lines that were the main problem for MetroNorth.

The NH Line commuter trains use an overhead catenary wire/pantograph combo (like a trolley - see above) rather than the more common third-rail system for train power. (And the NH rail power mains are all above ground AKAIK.)

Local flooding and the storm debris in and around the stations didn't help either.

As of 8/30/2011 11:30am we still have about a half-million customers (45% of the state) without power.

But we're still better of than the folks up in VT from the news we've been hearing. The VT flooding situation is beyond anything we've seen down here. Best of luck to all those up in green mountain country.

 Sad

5878  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 30, 2011, 02:29:24 AM
@J-Mac - I'm gonna have to check. I'd suspect you are correct (and I'm wrong) since you've been "in the business." I'm probably guilty of oversimplifying and mixing up two (or more) completely different but related utility regulation issues. Because now that you mention it, I do seem to recall something about how the profitability was fixed but there were some major disputes as to how that profit was being calculated. Which is what steeladept was saying in his comment about it being all about costs rather than earnings.
 smiley
5879  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 08:14:00 PM
I disagree for the simple fact that earnings could be increased through tactful negotiations with the PUC.
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earnings are limited by the maximum charges the PUC allows.

Our PUC doesn't have absolute say any more. We're part of a "regionalization" plan that they're insisting (with some success) falls under federal rather than state regulation.

And their negotiations are seldom tactful. It's more like: if we don't get what we ask for you can expect outages.

 Grin
5880  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 07:44:20 PM
Don't get me wrong, I believe underground is THE way to go for mostly aesthetic reasons; but the original post was why are they still above ground.  And the reason is cost.

It's not so much an issue of cost as it is earnings.

[attach]

The utilities won't make the investment because they are operating like standard corporations even though their semi-monopoly status and favorable tax treatment begs the question as to just how much the public benefits from their continued "favored son" treatment.

Don't know how it works in other states, but in CT the favorable tax breaks some utilities were given in order to modernize their systems following Hurricane Gloria (1985) - and later on the big winter blizzards in the early 90s - largely went into replenishing pension plans that (illegally) went underfunded and boosting paper earnings.

It's only been recently that our Public Utility Commission started standing up to them by denying these companies rate increases that previously used to be "rubber stamped" whenever they were asked for.

What can I say? For the most part, the United States has the finest government (national, state, and municipal) that money can BUY.

 undecided

5881  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Reporting myself to a moderator on: August 29, 2011, 04:34:55 PM
Ways and means?

Time was when those were called war crimes.  Cool
5882  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Reporting myself to a moderator on: August 29, 2011, 07:34:14 AM
Report myself?

Hey...I ain't ratting myself out for nobody, Coppas!

[attach]

You think you got something on me? Then prove it!
 Grin
5883  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 29, 2011, 07:22:22 AM
Well...it's a beautiful sunny and cool Monday morning in SW-CT. Perfect weather for a lot of cleaning up. We lost about 6'-10' of beach from storm erosion. And a couple of houses down by the waterfront collapsed due to the tidal storm surge. But other than that, the damage is about Nor'easter level. Lots of trees and debris to be removed from roadways. Minor to moderate home damage.

Unless you were by the beaches:  tellme

[attach]

Our biggest problem right now is power. During the storm there were a reported 770,000 customers known to be blacked out. At 7:30 this morning, it was down to 585,000 (47% of all CT electric customers) - so a standing ovation to the electric company's (there are three in CT) road crews for what they've done overnight to get power restored. thumbs up

Still begs the question as to why utility lines are still being hung on exposed poles in this day and age. C'mon USA - it's 2011! Let's get these things underground and out of harm's way. If we can drop $1 billion every three days being in Iraq, we can spend a little money here. Make it a project for the military if that will get it funded. Electricity is a strategic resource so it shouldn't be hard to justify it with all the "homeland security" legislation that's been passed. Call it an anti-terrorism measure if that's what it takes to get the ball rolling.

Oh well...off to get my GF into work. She's a field operations manager for one of our lovely State agencies. Our newly elected and overly vocal (to say nothing of micro-managerial) Governor has ordered all personnel in for 8:00am. She's not part of an "essential service" or "first responder" agency - but Connecticut's 'child of a lesser god' has spoken! Grin

Onward! Thmbsup

5884  DonationCoder.com Software / Mouser's Zone / Re: Im going to be mostly away from the internet this week (Aug 29 - Sep 2, 2011) on: August 28, 2011, 03:48:55 PM
Have a nice trip! We'll hold the fort while you're gone Wink

Hold the fort? That's the code phrase for 'stage a coup,' isn't it? Grin

5885  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Centurylink is on CracK on: August 28, 2011, 03:17:56 PM
Flowcharters!!!  Angry "Step one. Then step 2. Don't ever think - just do."

Last time I dealt with someone like that they brushed what I was telling them aside, netted in, and then proceeded to remotely "brick" my client's main data switch. ("Yes Rashmi - ALL the friggin' panel lights are simultaneously blinking on and off - and NO, holding in the reset button and cycling power isn't fixing it. C'mon! We've already done this five times in a row....What?... What's that?..."We" need to try doing it one more time just to be sure?  Ok...)

Good thing (for them) it happened after business hours on a Friday.

5886  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: GOD IS DEAD~! =P on: August 28, 2011, 09:39:51 AM
It may be because of social media explosion but never found so much buzz around events of "bill gates stepping down" or "orcable buying sun". Steve jobs is getting lot of fan love in return for his hard work.

It's very nicely orchestrated. But "smart mobbing" and evangelism (along with dead-catting) is something the Apple fanboys have always excelled at. Contrast fanboys with Apple users who merely hope Apple doesn't go out of business before their AppleCare contract expires.
tongue 
5887  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Donation gamer: Games to give on: August 28, 2011, 08:13:41 AM
@iphigenie - I just wanted to commend you for your generosity. With all the hoarding going on, it's nice to see people sharing what they no longer have a use for. I have the same attitude towards my own stuff. These days, if I'm not currently using something (or keeping it as an emergency spare) it's out the door in a heartbeat. I'd much prefer to see something I bought put to use rather than gathering dust on a shelf.

[attachthumb=#]

The sole exception is my book collection. Those I keep more of than I probably should. Gonna have to get my head around doing something about that too. ohmy

 smiley
5888  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Goodnight Irene on: August 28, 2011, 07:43:00 AM
+1 w/J-Mac.  Thmbsup

The reports of our total destruction and the extirpation of all sentient life has been greatly exaggerated. Wink

We're about 3.5 hours away from the eye passing over us in SW-CT and nothing major is happening so far.

Some rolling blackouts and a lot of rain seems to be about it. Which is to say no excitement beyond what a Nor'easter provides.

And as J-Mac pointed out, we get those several times a year.



Onward! Grin
5889  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: GOD IS DEAD~! =P on: August 28, 2011, 07:18:01 AM
Excellent article putting Steve Jobs and his contributions into perspective can be found here.

ITWire writer Sam Varghese echoes many of the things tech writer and industry watcher Robert Cringely has said over the years - that there's a bit more legend than man in much of what's been said about Jobs.

Quote

If one were to go by the reaction to the news that Steve Jobs would no longer be the chief executive of Apple Computer, the man is Mother Teresa, the Dalai Lama and Henry Ford all rolled into one.

Hard-core journalists appear to have put all their scepticism aside and wallowed in trying to outdo each other in superlatives.

The emotional tributes give Jobs the credit for anything and everything that Apple has ever done, especially its achievements in the noughties.

The reality is a bit different. And if one strikes a sour note, there are no apologies - this is not a reality TV show where selective reality is played out. No, this is life and the warts and sores are as real as the plastic and the botox.

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While people continue to paint him as some kind of technical genius, the truth is that Jobs is nothing of the sort. What he is, is a supreme salesman. Apple was built on the back of technical geniuses like Steve Wozniak, the late Jef Raskin, Andy Hertzfeld, Burrell Smith, Randy Wigginton, Bill Atkinson, Rich Page, and Bud Tribble.

Page and Tribble left Apple with Jobs when he quit in 1985 and went off to found NeXT, the company that would come up with an operating system based on a BSD core which has morphed into Mac OS X. Page was in charge of hardware development and Tribble took the equivalent role in software at NeXT. Again, Jobs did not create anything.

The iMac was the result of the imagination of Apple design engineer Jonathan Ive.

Take the iPod. It was created by Apple's hardware engineering chief, Jon Rubinstein with his entourage who were given a year to build the device. Michael Dhuey, Tony Fadell and Ive were part of the team.

The iPad? A team led by Ive was responsible for it. Jobs created nothing.

The company has never given credit to anyone for anything, retaining Jobs as sole marketing point, creating legend after legend about him. This was done in the early days too, to the point where a much younger Jobs began to actually believe the hype.

In Accidental Empires, his history of the PC industry, veteran technology journalist Robert X. Cringely quotes an Apple marketer standing up and telling Jobs: "Steve, we wrote this stuff about you. We made it up."



Having watched the trajectory of Apple from it's inception (and owning a series of it's products starting with an Apple][ and hopefully concluding with the purchase of my iPhone 3G) - I'm amazed at the reality distortion field that's come into effect once Jobs returned to Apple after his NeXT debacle.

When it comes to Steve Jobs, I hope the industry wakes up to the fact its not so much that "God is Dead!" It's far more accurate to say, "There is no God."

Perhaps the best way to look at this can be found in the words of poet and lyricist E.Y.Harburg (most famous for the lyrics, and much of the dialog, in The Wizard of Oz movie):

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree;

And only God who makes the tree
Also makes the fools like me.

But only fools like me, you see,
Can make a God, who makes a tree.

                                       — Yip Harburg



How true... Like James Thurber once said: Mighty oafs from little icons grow.

 Thmbsup
5890  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Goodnight Irene on: August 27, 2011, 04:32:31 PM
My town, along with much of the eastern seaboard, is bracing for some unusually heavy weather.

[attach]

Wishing all who are in the path of Irene a safe night and a safer tomorrow.

 Thmbsup
5891  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Seriously, Youtube is becoming impossible! on: August 26, 2011, 11:24:21 PM
Admuncher here also, and after using it for a while I upgraded to the "lifetime license". (Just don’t know whose lifetime they're talkin's about!)

Jim

Yours or theirs - whichever comes first.  Grin

5892  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Seriously, Youtube is becoming impossible! on: August 26, 2011, 10:32:52 PM
what if your hardware breaks and you didn't uninstall or revert to trial mode and then you had to reinstall it on the same machine (with new HDD for example) or on a new machine?

Best bet is to ask them.

But any reputable company should be willing to reset their DRM to allow a reinstall if you lost a hard drive. Usually all it takes is phone call or a few e-mails to get it straightened out. I've only had one company, in all the years I've been using a PC, absolutely refuse to let me reinstall their product following a disk crash.
 smiley

5893  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cnet's Download.com and the installer scam on: August 26, 2011, 08:31:57 PM
@Seth - I can't help but ask, what is CNET's position about one of their employees speaking to the general public about a controversial issue surrounding the company.

Most corporations have fairly strict rules about employees not doing that sort of thing.
 smiley
5894  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cnet's Download.com and the installer scam on: August 26, 2011, 07:18:31 PM
i think you're talking about a distinction without a difference.

+1.  Cool



5895  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Cnet's Download.com and the installer scam on: August 26, 2011, 06:32:49 PM

This is not an official CNET response...


@Seth - Thanks for joining in the discussion. Always glad to get some perspective from a person who's on the 'inside' so to speak. smiley

Just out of curiosity, is there an official CNET response?  Or is the prolonged silence as much of an "official response" as we can expect to get?

I would like to point out that perhaps the reason they're seeing a much higher completion rate than before is because not enough people are aware of the change that's taken place. And also that the "wrapper" has effectively hijacked much of the direct download traffic that could not previously be monitored.

I do find it interesting that developers still need to opt out of having a revenue generating installer placed around their application when they didn't request their software be carried by CNET to begin with. I'm not quite sure what could have ever made anybody at CNET think doing something like that could ever be completely legal - or even moderately ethical.

Now if CNET had first contacted the developers; announced a change to the rules; and then required them to either opt in - or be automatically dropped from download.com - that would have been one thing. (The right thing in fact.) But I suspect that doing so would have drawn far more attention to what was about to take place than some parties at CNET wanted, hence this unannounced (and frankly sneaky) change.

Just my tuppence.  nono2 This is wrong on so many levels.
5896  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Seriously, Youtube is becoming impossible! on: August 26, 2011, 11:20:23 AM
Ad Muncher is terrific and takes care of the problem in all browsers, desktop RSS readers, etc..  Thmbsup


+1 Ad Muncher is probably the best of breed. We have it on my GF's laptop and I'm very impressed by it.

Only drawback to Ad Mucher is that it gets a little expensive if you regularly use more than one machine. It's licensed per seat rather than per user. (For obvious reasons.)

And multiples must be purchased at the same time as the original license to qualify for the quantity discount. You can't pay to "extend" your license after the fact.

I don't have a problem with any of that. It's just something you need to be aware of. smiley

5897  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 'Work Done' Lists Sofware, any ideas ? on: August 26, 2011, 10:46:44 AM
I use workflowy.com for this. Make an entry per week inside that the schedule and one entry per day and inside that a worklog of things I did that day.

Couldn't you do much the same thing just using any outliner app - and optionally hosting or (preferably) syncing the data file with something like a free Dropbox account? That way, if workflowy ever went out of business, or changed hands, you'd still be set to go.

 smiley
5898  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: 'Work Done' Lists Sofware, any ideas ? on: August 26, 2011, 09:05:55 AM
It seems like what your looking for is a "time sheet" program.

Take a look at Grindstone2 by Epiforge. The desktop app is free. They also offer online accounts if you want to sync among multiple machines. Once it's installed however, you can easily make it portable by copying a few files and changing the preferences to reflect the new location of the data file. Some very slick features too. Look at custom fields and think of all the clever uses you could find for them.

Good hands on review and discussion here.
 
 smiley
5899  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Seriously, Youtube is becoming impossible! on: August 26, 2011, 08:45:06 AM

I haven't seen a youtube ad ever in my life.


That's because the unicorns love you! tongue

 Grin


5900  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What Happened to Genie Backup Manager? on: August 26, 2011, 06:46:07 AM
I've had so many bad experiences with supposedly "good" and "verified" backups that I've given up on them for most purposes.

I will sync. I will mirror. I will version. I will copy. I will image...

But anything that backs up files in a format that isn't usable without the utility that created them is no longer welcome in my toolkit.

Classic backup utilities made sense when we were using tape drives. Because you needed to use compression and incremental strategies to save space and minimize wear & tear on your DAT or DLT media. But with fast and reliable hard drives dropping below $80 for 1TB of storage, doing 'incrementals' or using compression isn't worth the grief involved. If you run short of space, just buy an additional drive (or two  mrgreen) next time NewEgg puts them on sale.

If you do want a classic backup utility (with some nice modern touches) try Cobain Backup. Cobain is the only backup tool I never experienced a problem with. Which is more than I can say for some very expensive and highly recommended commercial programs I've used.
 Cool
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