Search found 5144 matches

by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b)/457 Provider Options
Replies: 5
Views: 286

Re: 403(b)/457 Provider Options

The acronym TSA and the preponderance of insurance companies are relics of how 403(b) plans started. Way back in the beginning, 403(b) plans were restricted to investing in annuities only, so the plans were nicknamed "tax sheltered annuity" (TSA) plans. This restriction was removed well before my ti...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"
Replies: 43
Views: 4912

Re: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"

The main risk is that the hackers will get a hold of the password file from the web site, and then throw heavy compute resources at it (e.g. purchased from Amazon cloud computing) to break all the easy passwords. That's why a website should never store your password but rather a hashed value that c...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"
Replies: 43
Views: 4912

Re: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"

I'm failing to understand one thing about this; why is a long, lowercase, English word only password better than a password of the same length which includes special characters, capitalization, etc.? It's not, from a mathematical perspective. A 64-character random password is much more complex than...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"
Replies: 43
Views: 4912

Re: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"

With a limited and fairly low maximum number of characters (which applies to many passwords), requiring numbers, lower and upper letters, and special characters does make sense from a probability standpoint. The mathematical aspects are not being questioned. Using a more complex character set for a...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Home Page Updated
Replies: 54
Views: 3283

Re: Home Page Updated

- The Home page tag line of "Investing Advice Inspired by Jack Bogle" has been changed to "Investing Advice Inspired by John Bogle". We also changed the forum and wiki tag lines to much. Just curious, why the change from Jack to John? I know John is Mr. Bogle's legal name, but my understanding is h...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"
Replies: 43
Views: 4912

Re: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"

This is great advice that is, unfortunately, nearly useless, since almost every site requires capital letters, numbers and special characters thrown in. Exactly. Ever site/program/workplace has different password requirements. Some require capital letters or special characters, some prohibit them. ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"
Replies: 43
Views: 4912

Re: "Forget Tough Passwords: New Guidelines Make It Simple"

These are not bad suggestions and it's good to see the NIST catching up to the XKCD cartoon, which dates from, what, 2010ish? But many sites don't allow very long passwords and require special characters. And in my opinion not reusing passwords is still the most important thing and I'm not going to...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Recent Residency Graduate Seeking Assistance Graduating from Lifecycle Funds
Replies: 9
Views: 914

Re: Recent Residency Graduate Seeking Assistance Graduating from Lifecycle Funds

pulps wrote:
Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:46 pm
$18000 her 457/401(k) (approximately $1100 match)
Is this a 457(b) plan or a 401(k) plan? They are different plans which should not be lumped together. For one, if she has BOTH a 401(k) and a 457(b) plan available, she can contribute $18k to each, for a total of $36k annually.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Teacher 403(b) signup - any tips?
Replies: 17
Views: 1437

Re: Teacher 403(b) signup - any tips?

Call fidelity first, they may require you to sign up (not contribute ) to see the options. That's what they needed us to do, and they had very competitive options. I'd also check tiaa and not bother with the rest. Thanks - I'll ask her to call this week and do this. She already has a Roth IRA with ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seal off rooms that are not used?
Replies: 21
Views: 2828

Re: Seal off rooms that are not used?

Thanks. Would having the HVAC guys come to the house help? I live in a "not so large" town, and am not sure there is a lot of high tech knowledge here, but I guess I can give it a try. They will be doing the pre-heating system checks in a month or two anyway. It wouldn't hurt to ask while they are ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: School District Quality
Replies: 15
Views: 1350

Re: School District Quality

Does anyone know of a good resource for looking into public school district quality? I define quality as results - SAT/ACT scores, graduation rate, % taking AP, % passing AP, average AP score, etc. Too many websites and rank lists I've looked at use self-reported numbers, color the rankings with th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seal off rooms that are not used?
Replies: 21
Views: 2828

Re: Seal off rooms that are not used?

Hard to answer without knowing the specifics of your system. Closing off a vent can increase the back-pressure in the system, but whether that will just take a little bit of time off the lifespan of the unit or cause serious issues is hard to say. We do a lot of things to HVAC units to make life har...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Painting Wood.
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: Help Painting Wood.

Wow, I was looking at the colors for the stains and I might go that route instead. I just need to see if the odor is lighter than the usual classic stains they have. Thank you! :happy Water-based stains have low odor compared to oil-based stains. I've gone exclusively with water-based stain and pol...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Painting Wood.
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: Help Painting Wood.

I would use a semi-solid or solid wood stain made for indoor / outdoor use if you are not going for a specific color. This will penetrate the wood and last for a very long time in my experience. I will be painting them in different colors but I will be staining them as well so that is good to know!...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 20, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides
Replies: 27
Views: 2298

Re: "Structured" Flip Flops, Slides

I don't notice my toes griping when I wear my Birkenstocks. But I can't compare them to flip-flops since I haven't worn flip-flops for decades. I have a pair of EVA Birkenstocks instead. One thing I have noticed with Birkenstocks is I wear a much smaller size in them than I do in tennis shoes or dre...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: sheets for older, thinner mattresses?
Replies: 13
Views: 930

Re: sheets for older, thinner mattresses?

I have the same recommendation as Duckie: buy two flat sheets and fold the second one over the mattress. That's what many hotels do instead of using fitted sheets for the mattress. You do have to be good at folding and tucking, with tight corners to keep everything secure. Alternatively, look for fi...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help Painting Wood.
Replies: 11
Views: 1066

Re: Help Painting Wood.

I'm not sure that you need to bother with finishing clothes pins. Paint or glossy polyacrylic would increase their "slipperiness" for one thing, which may make them less effective at holding the clothes to the line, particularly since the ones you have are not hinged. And wooden clothes pins are mad...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Media storage solutions
Replies: 16
Views: 800

Re: Media storage solutions

Guess that shows how old I am, I remember when a t1 was the fastest internet you could get so I assumed they got faster as did the home internet providers. T1 is a fixed 1.5Mb/s gross capacity protocol for trunk lines where the specifications are agreed upon by international standards organization....
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Media storage solutions
Replies: 16
Views: 800

Re: Media storage solutions

4. Keeping #3 in mind, 2 is 1 and 1 is none so, you gotta have your data and a backup copy. Depending upon how often your data changes a simple 4bay NAS along with manual backups to USB might fit the bill. Example: 4x8TB drives in a RAID6/dual parity type array yielding roughly 16TB of usable space...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Little P**S Ants
Replies: 57
Views: 7430

Re: Little P**S Ants

Apply a pesticide drench on the outside perimeter of the house that is rated for ants. The ants are completely harmless. They're not fleas infested with bubonic plague or poisonous spiders. Some people even keep them as pets. And that's why I let them live.... outside of the house. They can wander ...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawn Experts Help! How to get rid of this weed?
Replies: 17
Views: 1271

Re: Lawn Experts Help! How to get rid of this weed?

Believe it's purslane. Lots of it in FtWorth area. Supposedly edible and some say they really like it in salads. Google purslane for pics to compare with what you have. Don't think that is it. Agreed. It doesn't look "fleshy" enough to be purslane. Purslane is a succulent, so it has fat, fleshy lea...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie starting new job: Help choosing investments
Replies: 6
Views: 435

Re: Newbie starting new job: Help choosing investments

I agree with the others, the Fidelity Spartan U.S. Equity Index (FXSIX) ER .03 is your best choice in the plan. The bond options for Fidelity are also better than those for TIAA. The only area TIAA is better in is international and you can use the IRA or the 457 plan to hold international funds.
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mistake in payroll deduction for tax-deferred
Replies: 7
Views: 621

Re: Mistake in payroll deduction for tax-deferred

As painful as it is to deal with HR / Payroll, especially at the start of a term (which is why I assume you'll be busy next week), that's going to be your best first-step to figuring this out. You could also try calling the 457(b) plan directly, but I suspect this change came from either your univer...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deferred options
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: Tax deferred options

It looks like the 403(b) would be your most viable option for additional tax-deferred savings. Have you looked into the investment line-ups, as we suggested on the previous thread? Link to thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=225575&p=3490446#p3490446
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

My solar viewers from Amazon were recalled. I contacted Amazon. Not that it makes up for not getting a correctly sourced product, but they are giving me a $15 gift card in addition to the refund. Customer service claims that Amazon is bearing the cost of the recall, not the sellers. I was also told...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 19, 2017 1:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

P.S. I checked the Amazon tracking and it starts with "Package has left seller facility and is in transit to carrier" which indicates to me that the viewers were shipped directly from the seller and not comingled with viewers sourced from other sources. That wording is standard, even for Fulfilled ...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 18, 2017 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

P.S. I checked the Amazon tracking and it starts with "Package has left seller facility and is in transit to carrier" which indicates to me that the viewers were shipped directly from the seller and not comingled with viewers sourced from other sources. That wording is standard, even for Fulfilled ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

fillary wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:42 am
check out on aliexpress, they are cheap there
I don't think that's a reputable source of solar eclipse glasses. There may be a reason they are cheap. Eyesight is nothing to mess around with. When in doubt, use an indirect viewing method like a pinhole camera instead.
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:29 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 409
Views: 55876

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

I just did another test and again, the HTML tags pop in and never leave when - in my User Control Panel "Manage drafts" section - I go into the draft as "view/edit" and make a change then save it. So I'll have to change my writing behavior :shock: If you accidentally hit view/edit while changing ha...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:24 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 409
Views: 55876

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

When I scroll to the bottom of a topic page, there is a link to go back to topic index, but it appears there is not a link to go back to the main board index. In hte past I recall there were 2 links ... one to the board index, and one to the main page index (that which you get from clicking the lin...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:24 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 409
Views: 55876

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

I don't use HTML codes (remember, I'm a troglodyte :mrgreen: ) How could HTML sneak into my BH forum posts? BBCode is just a wrapper around HTML code. These were probably BBCode tags in the post that you had saved as a draft. It sounds like the following is happening when you save a draft: rather t...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 2039

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

Mudpuppy, What is you opinion of Cryptomator? compared to Veracrypt? Thanks I'm not familiar with Cryptomator, but while it is open-source, it does not appear to have been independently audited with formalized, published results. Veracrypt on the other hand has been independently audited: https://o...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:27 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 409
Views: 55876

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

The new platform is now automatically inserting a bullet symbol in the first paragraph of a [ list ] ... [ /list] series whether you want it or not. The old platform did not do that. In the past I've used [ list ] and [ /list ] as a substitute for [ indent ] and [ /indent] ... that is available in ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 2039

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

Will you please answer one other question. If I have to type in the local key does that mean the local key is simply the password used to encrypt the file. When I used Boxcrypter their software said they store the key in the cloud but I still needed a password to open Boxcrypter. I have no familiar...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart911 - Any Downsides You Can Think Of?
Replies: 4
Views: 535

Re: Smart911 - Any Downsides You Can Think Of?

Rave cannot guarantee the security of user account or other personal information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors, may compromise the security of user information at any time. I'm not a proponent or advocate for this company, but this disclaimer is not ala...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to Save and Invest more Efficiently
Replies: 10
Views: 1277

Re: Trying to Save and Invest more Efficiently

Regarding number three, I'm not sure what to do. I'll of course get more information ASAP but I guess the options are: a) begrudgingly invest in the American Fidelity 403b annuity despite the high expense ratio with the idea that it is still saving us money because it is being contributed pre-tax; ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 80
Views: 7216

Re: Drinking water price craziness

The real marketing and branding fad currently is in "enhanced" water. Basically, start with RO/DI water, then add back certain minerals, electrolytes, and/or vitamins. Tout how healthy it is and sell for a significant markup. Originally, enhanced water was limited to flavored water marketed as soda ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?
Replies: 242
Views: 11523

Re: How far would you travel to see The Eclipse?

I hope the travelers have planned for all the other travelers that will be traveling that day. Or, as xkcd put it in today's comic, bring water: https://xkcd.com/1876/
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lightning strikes nearby locking up my new smart thermostat
Replies: 12
Views: 1381

Re: Lightning strikes nearby locking up my new smart thermostat

Hard to say exactly what is causing it or whether surge protectors somewhere else would help. Most thermostats these days are battery-operated, right? So the connection to the connection to the AC power line is...well...circuitous. Even if it is battery powered, lightning surges can be powerful eno...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smart911 - Any Downsides You Can Think Of?
Replies: 4
Views: 535

Re: Smart911 - Any Downsides You Can Think Of?

Finally for this specific company, I dont like the fact that there is NO information on who they are. There is no address, no phone number, no way to contact this company other then filling out their web form. Who are they, how do you get ahold of them? Whois is your friend in this case. The domain...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Should this site highlight posts from the OP?
Replies: 7
Views: 1117

Re: Should this site highlight posts from the OP?

Biil McNeal wrote:
Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:26 am
This is the single feature of greatest need for this site.
But as Peculiar_Investor already pointed out, asking for it here won't help. You need to ask for it over at phpBB. It has to be supported by default in phpBB to be available here.
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:36 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests
Replies: 409
Views: 55876

Re: Forum software upgrade bug reports and change requests

What happened to the "Home" button at the bottom left of the thread pages? There is just a "Board Index" button there now, but no "Home" button. I found being able to go directly from a thread page back to the home page extremely useful. I thought it was there right after the update, but now it's g...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 15, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup of Sensitive Information
Replies: 32
Views: 2039

Re: Backup of Sensitive Information

and FYI, that means updating the WHOLE THING when you make changes Dropbox is able to sync only the changed portion of the file. Initial sync was lengthy but my updates are usually small and syncs for the updates are very quick. A proper encryption methodology should produce output that is indistin...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water price craziness
Replies: 80
Views: 7216

Re: Drinking water price craziness

My area has unsafe levels of lead So... Zerowater it is Lead is one of those contaminants where it can be wiser to use bottled water instead of treating it yourself. Personally, I would test the treated water to make sure the home filter is removing the contaminant in that situation. There are home...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

As a heads up....two weeks ago I purchased eclipse-viewing glasses from Amazon that were described as being ISO compliant. Yesterday I get an e-mail from Amazon saying that these glasses were not ISO complaint and to not use them for viewing the eclipse. So things are sometimes not what they seem. ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:55 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Software Updated to phpBB 3.2.1
Replies: 37
Views: 2188

Re: Software Updated to phpBB 3.2.1

Related to that is that when I searched for all my posts on my computer today, I went to the last page that shows my oldest posts. On that page, about half of the listings do not show a thread title which is also a link into that particular post. So now I can't go look at those posts since I don't ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 71
Views: 5637

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

Hint we just read from an eclipse chaser: Get an eye patch for one eye, and put it on a bit before totality. Then take it off as totality hits, and one eye will already be acclimated to the "darkness". Anyone know if this would make a difference? Mythbusters tested night vision after using an eye p...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tub/shower/bath cleaners...your recommended products?
Replies: 19
Views: 1696

Re: Tub/shower/bath cleaners...your recommended products?

After trying many things I've found that a foaming Clorox spray used about once a week eliminates it, even from the shower curtain. How do you get the Clorox to "foam?" Is it a certain product? Foaming Clorox spray is a commercial product: https://www.clorox.com/products/clorox-bleach-foamer/
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are we house poor? [Property Tax Madness]
Replies: 79
Views: 7914

Re: Property Tax Madness

If that is what your neighbor's homes are selling for, then how are you losing any market value? What you have determined, based on the sales of houses in your neighborhood, is your market value. You're simply asking to be appraised at market value by the tax agency. A buyer isn't going to care if ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sales Tax Calculation when Buying Online
Replies: 10
Views: 557

Re: Sales Tax Calculation when Buying Online

Every tax season, I go through my Amazon orders and tally up the sales tax to see if I need to report a use tax on my state tax return. Most of the time, it is correct. I've yet to see it be outrageously over the proper rate, but I avoid most overseas sellers on Amazon. Last year was annoying becaus...