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Re: pet tags?

This is my house rule: the cat can be as unhappy as he or she wants, but he or she still won't get anything unless the human allows it. Cats may not be as pack-oriented as dogs, but they do recognize the concept of a pecking order, and you want to be at the top of that order. So let the cat panic wh...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pet tags?
Replies: 6
Views: 444

Re: Engineered Hardwood

If the underside of the engineered wood flooring is pressboard, then you're buying at the low end of the market. The better quality engineered flooring has 5 or 7 layer plywood. If you look at the edge of the board and can only see 2 or 3 layers and one of them is very thick, then it's the less exp...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: I Tunes updates

Most likely was the iPad that got iTunes on your PC. I haven't fiddled with Quicktime on Windows 8.1 yet, but the last time I installed Quicktime on Win7, it kept pestering me to get iTunes too. So either one of them could be the source of the pestering. My experience is Apple will keep relentlessly...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 6:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Tunes updates
Replies: 5
Views: 463

Re: Engineered Hardwood

Can anyone speak on the durability? I have engineered hardwood in my family room and living room. The veneer is oak and supposedly the veneer was pretreated with a scratch resistant coating. The underside is some sort of press-board. I had it glued down as I hate the feel of a floating floor. It ge...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: Engineered Hardwood

As the others have already said, laminate is not the same as engineered hardwood. If the flooring store is telling you it's the same, find another store ASAP. If you have small children still spilling things all over the place, then I would not go with laminate or engineered hardwood. Since the floo...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood
Replies: 13
Views: 822

Re: I Tunes updates

If you never went into Services after installing iTunes/Quicktime and disabled the Apple services, then some small component of iTunes is always running when your computer is on. Apple installs these services to "improve" the discovery of your iPod/iPhone when it's hooked up to USB on the ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Tunes updates
Replies: 5
Views: 463

Re: pet tags?

Same as rixer, with the added note that Petsmart has the same machines. Also, since this is a cat, a break-away collar is an absolute must. In fact, if this is going to be an indoor-only cat (which I would highly recommend), I'd skip the collar entirely and just get the cat microchipped. On the off ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: pet tags?
Replies: 6
Views: 444

Re: Air Purifier for Allergies

FYI, you might find this survey of studies on allergy filters, both free-standing units in the room and whole-house units, to be helpful: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3165134/ Edit: TL;DR - For standard 1" HVAC filters, you need to get MERV 11 or higher filters AND change the fil...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Purifier for Allergies
Replies: 23
Views: 1205

Re: Air Purifier for Allergies

If this really works, do they make a "whole house" unit that installs at the forced air furnace? Even if expensive, I'd consider it if this works. You might be able to have your air intake retrofitted for a thicker intake filter, but I'll emphasize the word might. The thicker intake box c...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Purifier for Allergies
Replies: 23
Views: 1205

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

... I clean my computers frequently and always attentive to airflow when I build my computers. Still, must be a lot of luck. I keep computers average about 7 years of heavy use and even transition them to media servers, etc, when I am done with them. I also read Newegg reviews and always attentive ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 20, 2014 1:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 2603

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Drobo Mini: http://www.drobo.com/storage-products/mini/ It uses four laptop hard drives so that the failure of one does not result in the loss of data. When one fails, you pop it out and put a new one in, and your data is fine. Single hard drives always fail. Caveat: Groups of hard drives purchased...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 18, 2014 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 2603

Re: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?

Like skylar, I also have lunch marked on my calendar. I've found I've had a lot fewer requests for lunch meetings since I've blocked out that time. I've also had more invites for social lunches with co-workers since doing that, particularly from folks in other groups who might have some useful conne...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meetings over the lunch hour, taboo?
Replies: 46
Views: 3840

Re: New Laptop, need help

I got a Surface Pro 3 through a grant at work, which has replaced both my laptop and tablet needs. I noticed you said an iPad was in your future, so the combined price of an iPad and your laptop budget would get you the mid-line Pro 3 with the optional keyboard attachment. I also got a docking stati...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2119

Re: LASTPASS Password Program

My concern with LastPass was if they get hacked - can ALL my critical passwords now be compromised. I use very complex passwords (which I keep on a locked file on my computer. I use 2FA whenever possible. LastPass would be great if it REALLY is completely or almost completely secure. There were som...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LASTPASS Password Program
Replies: 11
Views: 1147

Re: My first required EMV transaction in the US

During a chip transaction, the chip terminal does not read the mag strip. And the chip encrypts the communication with the financial institution, so this information can't be intercepted. ... Ok your point wasn't about an inherent unavailability of the numbers/codes, just that the EMV readers you a...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 16, 2014 11:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My first required EMV transaction in the US
Replies: 9
Views: 990

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

The card has a chip on it. Wal-Mart and other major retailers now have chip readers, and when you try to swipe it will force you to use the chip. This is good, because the chip is encrypted whereas the magnetic stripe is not. This is my first chipped card so that was a new experience. When you say ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Maybe I just have bad luck, but I've had several external hard drives fail on me (both Seagate and Western Digital). Check the voltage in your house. Ideally, it is 120 volts. If it is outside of 113 to 127, call your power company and complain. Anything outside of that will reduce life expectancy ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 2603

Re: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital

Each of the major hard drive (HDD) manufacturers has their own strengths and weaknesses. At a higher level, I feel like it's really just splitting hairs and all of the brand names you mention offer similar products. The key thing is the supporting software for your needs and the customer service (an...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External backup drives - Seagate vs Western Digital
Replies: 43
Views: 2603

Re: FLICKR

The biggest issue I've heard comes from people who do NOT keep offsite backups. Some people have lost substantial numbers of photographs since they only uploaded to flickr and didn't keep their own copies. Since you're keeping a local copy, this should not be a major issue for you, unless you have t...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FLICKR
Replies: 7
Views: 720

Re: FIOS [versus cable]

So for those of you who have or had FIOS, is it true you'll never go back to cable cause it is that much better and more reliable? Part of your evaluation of FIOS vs Cable is going to depend on the quality of the actual, physical infrastructure (e.g. coaxial cables, head nodes, etc.) for the cable ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIOS [versus cable]
Replies: 28
Views: 2071

Re: Glitchy Web-Browsing

You need a USB dongle to use Ethernet on a MacBook: http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC704ZM/A/apple-usb-ethernet-adapter I wouldn't worry about that though, as I doubt it is the WiFi. All indications point towards a DNS problem, which is a decidedly ISP issue. I have RoadRunner and it periodically...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Glitchy Web-Browsing
Replies: 21
Views: 961

Re: Email security risk from staying logged in?

There is a minor risk of someone using session-stealing malware to take the session information for your logged in email session and using that to duplicate your email session on their system. Session-stealing malware does not need the same level of permissions as keylogging or man-in-the-middle mal...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email security risk from staying logged in?
Replies: 10
Views: 1096

Re: Windows 8.1 Sleep Issue

Could it be trying to wake itself up in the middle of the night to install updates and getting "stuck"? We were having horrible issues with waking up a new Surface Pro 3 at work until we realized it was having issues with automatic updates. It would reboot itself to install the updates, th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows 8.1 Sleep Issue
Replies: 3
Views: 312

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I'm puzzled by "nearly"... is the total cash back less than 2%? Am I missing some fine print? :? There's been some speculation--and I think that's all it is for now, but would welcome any corrections--that the 1% cash back you get on the initial purchase doesn't count for purposes of the ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I just can't bring myself to do business with Sallie Mae, no matter how good the rewards are, after seeing how they treat some student loan holders. The threads on what has happened to student loan holders whose co-signers have died are particularly bitter-tasting. When somebody co-signs a loan, al...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I received an application from Citi for what I think is this card in the mail today. They're saying it pays 1% at purchase plus 1% at payment. Doesn't say if MC or Visa. The application says they'll also tack on an extra $100 if one charges at least $500 in the first 3 months. Anyone using this car...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Schem

Regardless of the finer points of the definition of a ponzi scheme or the intricacies of annuities as an investment vehicle, it's not the OP's place to comment on a coworker's financials UNLESS the co-worker asks for an opinion or help. Yes, the coworker could invest her money better and choose bett...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Scheme?
Replies: 54
Views: 5210

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Besides some truly odd omissions, like lost luggage coverage (really?), the new card is notably missing $0 liability on unauthorized charges . I noticed that when using the comparison table (where you can compare up to 3 current citi cards) on the citi website. I'm almost certain that $0 fraud liab...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: When do you have too many credit cards?

As the others have said, 5 isn't too many. I have one of each major issuer (well, HAD... since my Chase Freedom switched from Mastercard to VISA), plus some old odds and ends sitting in drawers. If you're thinking of getting a mortgage soon, then opening a new card recently is probably a bigger ding...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When do you have too many credit cards?
Replies: 16
Views: 1360

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

I'm personally not a fan of identity monitoring services over a credit card number breach. Unless you have a Home Depot card (and the hackers got into that particular database), there's not enough information on the magnetic stripe alone for successful identity theft. They could cross-tabulate it wi...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Sep 09, 2014 2:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 43
Views: 5827

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

One part of this story being ignored is how useless "flagship" (or other special representatives) are in solving problems. I had a different problem with my account and my "special" representative was no help whatsoever in getting it fixed. That's probably because the people who...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10722

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

And then it's only about 1% of your assets at Vanguard. You should be proud that it really doesn't matter in the end what happens to this $50K. Really. Net worth is irrelevant here. The bottom line is they somehow managed to misplace 50k and don't appear to be in any hurry to resolve it. OP has eve...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10722

Re: Vanguard Lost $50k

I checked my Vanguard account on line and the second 50k was shown as a pending order (duplicate) for the same mutual fund from 8-29. I called my Flagship representative on 9-3 who promised to investigate. I heard nothing, so on 9-4 I checked the Vanguard site, the pending transaction was gone (but...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Lost $50k
Replies: 103
Views: 10722

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

Oh! But why next week? Why not? I asked because I wanted to know the reasoning behind suggesting that I call next week. For instance is there a change in their rules/policies that's coming up in the next few days etc. I don't think anyone has been told the reasoning why. But several forums (myFICO,...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

I'm not sure HD has the situation under control yet. My coworker went to the store on Wednesday night to buy something. Last night she got a call from her cc company that there was suspicious activity on he her card. They were right, somebody had already cloned the card and were making fraudulent p...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Sep 05, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 43
Views: 5827

Re: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed

Hope this makes the migration to Chip+PIN faster. I am not well-versed in the credit card technologies. From what I read, Chip+PIN would still require some info be stored somewhere (server or not), no? If so, won't hackers still be able to get to it? Thanks! My understanding is that today, the actu...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Depot Breach - zip codes revealed
Replies: 43
Views: 5827

Re: sprinkler system question

Simon, If you had shut off the house system how would you have done it and would it have shut off the water to the irrigation system? The reason I ask is that most irrigation systems I have seen come off the incoming line after the street meter, but before the house shut off. How is yours set up? :...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sprinkler system question
Replies: 29
Views: 2822

Re: chip credit cards

Every time (Home Depot issues) I think oh, I wish my bank would send a Chip card instead of one with a magnetic strip I remember that I have yet to visit a store that has a reader for chip cards:( Hopefully soon... Walmart has them and they are enabled. It even forced me to use the chip the last tw...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: chip credit cards
Replies: 25
Views: 1545

Re: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?

Morro Bay sounds like a winner. Our visit to the central coast area is part of a sweeping road trip to scout out locations for retirement. Our plan is on this road trip across several states is to see as much as we can and then go back for longer stays in areas that appealed to us the most. If you'...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 2:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 964

Re: chip credit cards

The chip cards will deter thieves from copying information contained within the magnetic strip. This level of protection will not be the end all be all solution to data breaches and hacking. Thank you. I think I get it. The magnetic strip had all the info. I was afraid that a new card alone with ch...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Sep 04, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: chip credit cards
Replies: 25
Views: 1545

Re: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?

Morro Bay is very busy and too "touristy" for my tastes. It also has the barking sea lions to listen to at all hours of the day and night. I personally prefer Los Osos/Baywood Park for that part of the coast, as it has more of a quiet coastal village vibe and it's about halfway between Mor...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nipomo/Pismo/Obispo: Where to stay?
Replies: 18
Views: 964

Re: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?

So I think I have reached a resolution, which may not be the most ideal one, but the best one at the moment considering the circumstances and, most importantly, the one that will help me sleep well at night. Thank you, all. That is the most important thing: coming up with a compromise that will hel...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help out family without compromising my own retirement?
Replies: 72
Views: 5607

Re: AT&T Retiree Mobile Share Value Plan discounts

I'm not familiar with this particular discount, but my employer discount only applies to the phone service fee on the first line. It does not apply to the Mobile Share data fee or to the phone service fees for the additional lines. Make sure that this discount doesn't have similar restrictions, beca...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 3:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Retiree Mobile Share Value Plan discounts
Replies: 2
Views: 464

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

I don't know many who wouldn't opt for the statement credit, so while you and I can mentally shorthand this card to a 2% card, Citi, strictly speaking, cannot and must market it as a 1% + 1% card. I haven't seen Citi advertising it as a 2% card anywhere. Their webpage quite clearly has it as 1% on ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Sep 01, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: Policy on changing Passwords

By the way I would like to quote an interesting tidbit of information I just came across: it takes only 10 minutes to crack a lowercase password that is 6 characters long. Add two extra letters and a few uppercase letters and that number jumps to 3 years. Add just one more character and some number...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Policy on changing Passwords
Replies: 15
Views: 1195

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

A bit disturbing: Fraud: If your Card Account shows any sign of fraudulent, abusive or suspicious activity, we may close or suspend your Card Account immediately without giving you prior notice. You may also forfeit your accrued cash rewards. When you become a cardmember, you will receive the full ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 3:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: Probability question

The mathematics behind this is the Binomial distribution, which allows one to calculate the probability of getting exactly k specific outcomes from a series of n independent events. The events have to be able to be modeled as binary events, e.g. success and failure, heads and tails, and so on. In th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 31, 2014 2:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Probability question
Replies: 14
Views: 1146

Re: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi

My Chase Freedom Mastercard just got converted into a VISA. I was looking for a new Mastercard to get into the mix. I wonder if this is like Freedom used to be and like Quicksilver still is, where it can be either a VISA or Mastercard. In any event, I think like others, I will wait to see if there i...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2% cash back Mastercard from Citi
Replies: 195
Views: 20146

Re: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Schem

It's not a Ponzi scheme. It's just that your colleague is uninformed about more cost-effective choices for those types of insurance and investments. That "guaranteed" 4% return comes with a hefty price tag, and probably isn't really a guarantee if one looks at the fine print. I've seen thi...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Colleague being fleeced by insurance agent / Ponzi Scheme?
Replies: 54
Views: 5210

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

I'll chime in with a minority opinion here. I would ignore the issue of renters. Renters come and go. There were the wildest renters across the street from me last year (they liked to throw parties on the roof) and now that house is occupied by people who are spending the weekend tidying up the yard...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 30, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 46
Views: 4935
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