Search found 3105 matches

by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 30, 2015 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Just received notification that the entire database (e-QIP/OPM) has been taken offline for "security enhancements" Make sure to lock those barn doors after 18 million horses have left! Unlike horses, which can only be stolen once, the data can be stolen again and again. So this is actuall...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flame Retardants
Replies: 6
Views: 494

Re: Flame Retardants

This is a variation on the California Prop 65 warning (aka everything is known by the state of California as potentially causing cancer*). In a nutshell, office chairs don't have to be coated in flame retardant chemicals to be sold in California. However, Office Max deals with all 50 states, so it c...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon getting too smart?
Replies: 33
Views: 4028

Re: Amazon getting too smart?

They stopped showing me the used paperback books for this author when a more expensive kindle edition was available. Stopped showing as in.... you couldn't access the used paperbacks at all, even by searching for them? Or stopped showing as in.... your recommendation list only recommended Kindle bo...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 29, 2015 12:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon getting too smart?
Replies: 33
Views: 4028

Re: Amazon getting too smart?

I've noticed this type of thing for the last few years. Also - my wife now has Prime - sometimes prices as per account show up higher than if I log in using my credentials (or don't use any at all). When searching for the best price I usually check prices without logging in - then log in using my a...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 29, 2015 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.
Replies: 37
Views: 2891

Re: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.

Covered the tube with a blanket then using a hammer broke the tube. As previously noted, it is dangerous to dismantle a CRT since they can retain electricity even years after being unplugged. You have to use special tools to discharge the tube before dismantling. The glass might also be coated in h...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MS money plus and Win 8.1
Replies: 8
Views: 627

Re: MS money plus and Win 8.1

For the most part, although not universally, if a program can run on Win 7, then it can usually run in desktop mode on Win 8. You won't have Metro (tablet) mode functionality with a Win 7 program, but you probably don't need it.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backyard conundrum
Replies: 61
Views: 9164

Re: Backyard conundrum

Given our drought in California, I would focus right now on hardscaping and leave the planting until wetter years. I know there is the desire to get it all done now, but if you're in the part of CA that I think you're in, it would really be best to wait. This is the worst time of year for planting, ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.
Replies: 37
Views: 2891

Re: Need to dispose tube TV in Pennsylvania. Township won't pick up.

If the relative is okay with the idea of Internet strangers coming by, you could try Freecycle or posting it on the free section of Craigslist. Might be safer at least getting it out to the curb for such a transaction though, so random Internet strangers can't case your relative's home.
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 27, 2015 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Three devices = redundancy
Replies: 30
Views: 3104

Re: Three devices = redundancy

I personally combined the tablet into the laptop with a Surface Pro 3. Then I have an old Galaxy Note 2 that I use for smartphone capabilities. On a day-to-day basis, the Galaxy Note is used for GPS, music streaming to Bluetooth speakers, looking up reviews on Yelp, email, text, and phone calls. I'l...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 26, 2015 7:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Workplace Instability
Replies: 15
Views: 2190

Re: Workplace Instability

One of my coworkers got a lousy performance review based on non-performance for something she had no idea she was supposed to be doing. Performance reviews are another area of contention. I've been flat out told by the upper manager that the performance evaluations I complete don't matter. That it'...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Workplace Instability
Replies: 15
Views: 2190

Re: Workplace Instability

Best thing to do is look at your 3 feet of space - what you can control directly. That's the problem. The upper manager micro-manages so much that I don't have direct control over much of anything anymore. According to the other mid-level managers, the previous upper managers delegated a great deal...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

I acknowledge and agree that the potential for harm and damage is frightening, but knowing this, what can we do? Are we helpless potential victims? There's not much we can do about wide-spread actions by foreign entities against financial institutions. However, you can be vigilant for personal leve...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Workplace Instability
Replies: 15
Views: 2190

Workplace Instability

I am facing a workplace dilemma and hoping to lean on the collective wisdom of the Bogleheads. As I have said previously, a little under two years ago, a new upper manager chose me to replace the previous middle manager (who retired due to sudden and severe medical issues), over three more senior em...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 23, 2015 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

This will create a really good outcome: the profits of incompetent corporations will disappear, or they will start really beefing up their security. IT is usually considered a blue collar type function in corporations. Cost center, loss leader, whatever. Would Anthem rather spend $14B a year on use...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Moving to low cost of living area
Replies: 5
Views: 1661

Re: Moving to low cost of living area

You don't need to give references at your current place of employment when doing a job search. Almost all hiring managers will understand why you've done so, as long as you include professional references (e.g. references from old jobs or former colleagues from the current employer who have gone on ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?
Replies: 30
Views: 3151

Re: Anyone have A/C fail on an older Honda CRV?

Your choices are basically: (a) pay the $1200 to fix it, (b) live without AC, or (c) get another vehicle. And the resale/trade-in value of a 13+ year old CRV is already in the low thousands side, so I wouldn't let that affect your decision. Only you can decide which one is best for you right now. Fi...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Ok, so now they have to not only know what you look like, they also have find someone who is your virtual lookalike to pull this off. This could get rather interesting for your hypothetical emergency room scenario. LOL When you start reading about rampant increase in plastic surgery by fraudsters a...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Edit: And if you're still not concerned, perhaps this quote from a Forbes article ( http://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2015/02/23/new-study-says-over-2-million-americans-are-victims-of-medical-identity-theft/ ) will be enlightening: The direct out‒of‒pocket costs to victims of medical identity th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Well IF that occurs short of checking your account periodically for bogus charges( I do ), there probably isn't much you can do. IIRC, both my physician and my dentist offices made a copy of both my health ins. card and my drivers license. So, unless the perp looks virtually identical to me, it sho...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Echo pro attachement series
Replies: 3
Views: 398

Re: Echo pro attachement series

I'm going to get it at home depot because I have a gift card I need to use. Anyone have any luck haggling with them in store on price? I don't have any feedback on the Echo Pro series, but I do have some here. Haggling is a bit of hit and miss with big box stores. It all depends on the employee you...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Password manager recommendations?
Replies: 86
Views: 8114

Re: Password manager recommendations?

How about a really long password with a pattern that's easy to remember? Password Haystacks: How Well Hidden is Your Needle? I can program a pattern into oclHashCat-plus faster than I can type this sentence. I use a very simple GPU rig to show people the fallacy of using patterns as part of a cyber...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pools in San Jose - Worth it?
Replies: 7
Views: 1204

Re: Pools in San Jose - Worth it?

Personally, coming from an even hotter part of the state, I don't want the hassles of owning a pool. Make sure you know what you're signing up for there. It is a lot of work. I find it far easier to just travel to the nearest public pool when I feel the urge to swim. As for adding a pool, just wait ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rear ended another vehicle
Replies: 11
Views: 1671

Re: Rear ended another vehicle

I would not report this unless there was damage in excess of your state's required declarations. Then I would file the appropriate paperwork with the state DMV. Insurance agencies are far too happy to take such reports and increase your rates because of it, particularly an "at fault" event...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Blue Apron
Replies: 63
Views: 6604

Re: Blue Apron

I didn't look too far into this, since they wanted an email address along with the zip code to give out particulars, but I would be concerned about getting such a delivery during our summer heat waves. We don't quite have the same level of heat as say Phoenix, but it's pretty toasty for about 4-5 mo...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Well IF that occurs short of checking your account periodically for bogus charges( I do ), there probably isn't much you can do. IIRC, both my physician and my dentist offices made a copy of both my health ins. card and my drivers license. So, unless the perp looks virtually identical to me, it sho...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

I don't know who took the data, but the idea that the Chinese government would sell data to hackers to enable credit card theft or income tax fraud is insane. If you think about it, doing so is a great way to introduce uncertainty into the market. It would also be a great way to destabilize some po...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 1:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Since credit freezes are relatively easy to put in place, I would be more concerned about health insurance / health care fraud from a data breach that includes personal information. That would presume the goal of this breach was to sell the information, which may not be the case if this was perpetr...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 21, 2015 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: OPM breach and credit freeze
Replies: 161
Views: 12687

Re: OPM breach and credit freeze

Since credit freezes are relatively easy to put in place, I would be more concerned about health insurance / health care fraud from a data breach that includes personal information. That would presume the goal of this breach was to sell the information, which may not be the case if this was perpetra...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My funds are frozen
Replies: 25
Views: 4611

Re: My funds are frozen

They're refusing to accept my mailing address since it's a mailbox service company. Should they be accepting it? Every bank I deal with does. Did you set up temporary mail forwarding from your physical address to your mailbox service company? If not, there is a small fee to do this online at the US...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wife's personal info may have been hacked - should we freeze our credit?
Replies: 24
Views: 2436

Re: wife's personal info may have been hacked - should we freeze our credit?

I have the same question - got the same email from OPM this morning. Just what does a fraud alert do for you? How is a fraud alert different from freezing your credit? Also it says somewhere in the email that you notify one of the credit agencies and it will notify the other 2. Fraud Alert - A poli...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: wife's personal info may have been hacked - should we freeze our credit?
Replies: 24
Views: 2436

Re: wife's personal info may have been hacked - should we freeze our credit?

There's already a lengthy thread on the OPM hack and should one do a credit freeze vs credit monitoring on the Personal Consumer Issues forum: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=168059
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 20, 2015 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My funds are frozen
Replies: 25
Views: 4611

Re: My funds are frozen

I'm a US citizen on vacation. But seriously that's the best I can do? Do you have someone retrieving your mail who could relay the letter's contents on to you? If not, in the future, you should use such a service. There are several recommendations in the Personal Consumer Issues forum on companies ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 20, 2015 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I buy wiper blade inserts?
Replies: 22
Views: 2695

Re: Where can I buy wiper blade inserts?

This is driving me crazy. Apparently, I haven't bought wiper blades in a long time. I use to buy the inserts and change out the inserts myself. Now, all I can find are the entire wiper blade. What a way to make more money. If anyone has a clue where to purchase just the inserts, please let me know....
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flash Drive Problems
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

Re: Flash Drive Problems

I use 32GB HP thumb drives for backup. I have tried several 64GB HP thumb drives, but unlike the 32GB HP ones, the 64GB ones have never been reliable. I think I've bought nearly all the 64GB HP ones via amazon, and searching through the back orders they've all been fulfilled by amazon itself, which...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flash Drive Problems
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

Re: Flash Drive Problems

I use 32GB HP thumb drives for backup. I have tried several 64GB HP thumb drives, but unlike the 32GB HP ones, the 64GB ones have never been reliable. I think I've bought nearly all the 64GB HP ones via amazon, and searching through the back orders they've all been fulfilled by amazon itself, which...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 19, 2015 1:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flash Drive Problems
Replies: 11
Views: 1555

Re: Flash Drive Problems

It's relatively easy for the forgers to change the flash drive to report to the OS that it's 128GB while it's really 1GB or so under the covers. As toast0 noted, short of taking the drive apart, the only way to diagnose this is to write large chunks of data to the drive and see how it performs. I ha...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online shopping account hacked
Replies: 22
Views: 3127

Re: Online shopping account hacked

They'll never brute force crack an 11 character string. Just as a general FYI, depending on the cipher used, they reasonably could brute force an 11 character master password if they have the ciphertext. Lastpass uses a reasonably strong cipher where 11 characters would still take time, but an 11 c...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumber question
Replies: 28
Views: 3479

Re: Plumber question

And as a follow up question: anyone with experience of Aeroseal for the AC ducts? That's initial reason why we had energy auditor to come out since one of the bedroom is always hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Did the auditor discuss the design of your HVAC ducts or just offer to install a...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Plumber question
Replies: 28
Views: 3479

Re: Plumber question

You're allowing a multi-year relationship to be tainted on the word of one auditor, who may or may not even be correct. You first need to verify that the auditor is correct (as opposed to trying to scare you into buying some expensive service he sells). The home energy audit market unfortunately var...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Jun 14, 2015 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to securely dispose old computer?
Replies: 43
Views: 4018

Re: How to securely dispose old computer?

3-7 passes of a low-level software "shredder" that ignores the logical layers of the disk and just goes bit-by-bit, such as DBAN or dd, is good enough for most people's old-fashioned magnetic hard drives. Contrary to videos and movies, hackers aren't sifting through recycled hard drives lo...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dilemma Selling and Buying House
Replies: 19
Views: 2118

Re: Dilemma Selling and Buying House

I might be somewhat reluctant to tell the agent that you were going to take your time buying, least the agent assume that you will be one of those people who burns up their time but never buys anything. Got it but what, in your opinion should I tell them? I feel I need to just be upfront. Negotiate...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3160

Re: A/C efficiency question

I guess those new windows I put in a couple years ago have made the living room (where the wall thermostat is) just too darn well-insulated. Meaning, if I set my central air for 74 (or even 72) at night, the system seems to be able to hold that temp for hours, and the blower does not come on (often...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online shopping account hacked
Replies: 22
Views: 3127

Re: Online shopping account hacked

The biggest concern one should have about a shopping account getting compromised is not that they could buy something, but rather what information were they able to gather. Most shopping websites display some information about the stored credit card number (like the last 4 digits and/or expiration d...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?
Replies: 44
Views: 4859

Re: Non-Bogleheads approach to changing cars?

Don't pay mind to what others do. That's as much falling into the trap of referential bias as is "keeping up with the Jones". The more important questions to ask are "can I afford it?" and "do I really need it?" If you could afford the cars when you bought them and you ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tree Trimming Etiquette with Neighbors
Replies: 30
Views: 4159

Re: Tree Trimming Etiquette with Neighbors

My neighbor called the town for a code violation on me while I was actively working on resolving the issue (she didn't even talk to me).... She hasn't mowed in a few weeks now, I'm just waiting for the grass to get tall enough that I can call the town on her :twisted: Unless your neighbor actively ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3160

Re: A/C efficiency question

I guess those new windows I put in a couple years ago have made the living room (where the wall thermostat is) just too darn well-insulated. Meaning, if I set my central air for 74 (or even 72) at night, the system seems to be able to hold that temp for hours, and the blower does not come on (often...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Jun 10, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3160

Re: A/C efficiency question

Some people that set their AC way back during the day and then set it back to a more cool setting after work find that the AC runs for a really, really long time trying to cool the house. That doesn't necessarily have a lot to do with the question about efficiency, but it is something to think abou...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Barclay doing away w/ the 2 screen login process
Replies: 9
Views: 1158

Re: Barclay doing away w/ the 2 screen login process

The two-screen login is more security theater than actual security. The idea was that it let you detect a phishing attack because attackers "won't be able" to replicate the picture and caption. The problem is, it's really rather easy for attackers to replicate the picture and caption. All ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A/C efficiency question
Replies: 31
Views: 3160

Re: A/C efficiency question

^^^ I understand your logic but what about 85, 90, or higher inside the house? We get quite a few 100 degree days here. I wonder how much extra energy is consumed cooling the house back to 75 from 80 (or higher). I don't have a clue, but at some point there is a trade off. Hoping someone here has s...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead flea treatment?
Replies: 39
Views: 2371

Re: Boglehead flea treatment?

My cats have come back from the emergency vet or regular vet with fleas from time to time. I assume an animal in a neighboring cage came in with an infestation. I usually just treat them with Advantage or Advantage Multi for a month or two and that deals with it. I find having no carpet in the house...

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