Search found 4047 matches

by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 26, 2016 1:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]
Replies: 30
Views: 2218

Re: Computer Security [Risk of using online financial services]

On the aggregators: I get the risk, but they really do provide value. Personal Capital does a really nice job delivering snapshots across your entire portfolio and giving you information you can act on. In doing some more research, I've found where a number of banks are saying the use of an aggrega...
by Mudpuppy
Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another socal housing post, can we afford this, what should we do?
Replies: 11
Views: 858

Re: Another socal housing post, can we afford this, what should we do?

Bit late to the post, but two thoughts occurred to me: 1) I'd be very leery of a builder who puts a demand to "decide NOW!"... They may indeed be that much in demand, or they may be using pressure tactics to create the appearance of being in demand. Either way, I don't like the tactic and ...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Honda maintenance schedule?
Replies: 41
Views: 2213

Re: Honda maintenance schedule?

The upcoming MM service codes were "B-1", which does NOT include a transmission fluid change. However, the dealer recommended that I have the transmission fluid changed. He said it was part of "their" 30,000 mile service. My inclination is to NOT have the transmission fluid chan...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help - Hanging Valances in Condo with Cement Ceilings
Replies: 3
Views: 249

Re: Help - Hanging Valances in Condo with Cement Celings

If you are concerned about his workmanship, you could ask another shade installer to come give you an estimate for fixing the current installation. That would allow you to get the opinion of another professional about how it can be fixed.
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?
Replies: 35
Views: 2288

Re: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?

jalbert wrote:You don't need a 2nd phone, just don't install apps on the 1st phone.

That is a highly unrealistic expectation for the average smartphone user.
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?
Replies: 35
Views: 2288

Re: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?

I personally wouldn't trust a smartphone enough to use it to access financial accounts. Not to get too academic, but there are too many ways for people to bypass the anti-malware scans used by Apple and Google app stores. Don't install any apps on it other than antivirus software (even install that...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice on what to do about recent property survey/neighbor's driveway
Replies: 28
Views: 2152

Re: Seeking advice on what to do about recent property survey/neighbor's driveway

In the interim, if they show signs of wanting to use the property against your will, then you will have to take stronger action as that is the basis for adverse possession. The basis for adverse possession has likely already come and gone with the prior owners. There is a new owner of a property ar...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?
Replies: 35
Views: 2288

Re: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?

I personally wouldn't trust a smartphone enough to use it to access financial accounts. Not to get too academic, but there are too many ways for people to bypass the anti-malware scans used by Apple and Google app stores. While the base smartphone and financial app may be fine, that says nothing abo...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking advice on what to do about recent property survey/neighbor's driveway
Replies: 28
Views: 2152

Re: Seeking advice on what to do about recent property survey/neighbor's driveway

If the driveway has been there for decades, it may be considered an easement that they have on your property at this point in time. It may even be a recorded easement, although that should have shown up in property searches. You should consult a lawyer who specializes in real estate law if you want ...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?
Replies: 35
Views: 2288

Re: Internet security: which is the lesser of 2 evils?

1. Hospital network computer (not wifi) which would require I enter the financial website password manually by keystroke. This may be against the acceptable use policy for your hospital, which is a whole different level of risk. Unless you want to get fired for unauthorized use of hospital resource...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should contractors working on my house be licensed? have insurance?
Replies: 22
Views: 1656

Re: Should contractors working on my house be licensed? have insurance?

As others have said, you want someone who is licensed and insured. Many states have a website where you can search for the current license and insurance status of contractors. This would include checking for expired licenses and/or insurance. California's database will also link you to prior DBA nam...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 24, 2016 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with insurance companies
Replies: 25
Views: 955

Re: Dealing with insurance companies

Going forward, you may want to re-evaluate having a liability-only auto policy on a fancy car that can have 5k in damages due to a minor fender bender. If you had your own collision coverage, your auto insurance would be handling a vast majority of this. In this situation, until the insurance compan...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 4218

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

I started carrying flood insurance a couple of years ago, despite not living in a designated flood zone per se. My situation is I live in a river valley, in earthquake country with a number of aged (seismically weak) dams in the region where worse case nearly 20' of water would come coursing thru m...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Homeowners should consider flood insurance
Replies: 57
Views: 4218

Re: Homeowners should consider flood insurance

During the current California drought, I feel a bit silly with flood insurance. Then I remind myself that before the drought, when the next neighborhood over flooded during a storm, the only thing that kept my neighborhood dry was the luck of the draw. The city just happened to get around to the def...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Rented a car on business, received a parking ticket 11 months later?
Replies: 29
Views: 2312

Re: Rented a car on business, received a parking ticket 11 months later?

I assume this was San Francisco or at least the Bay Area in general. San Fran is very strict with parking enforcement. Did you pay attention to day of week and time of day restrictions for street sweepers? That's a pretty common way visitors get ticketed. It might be legal to park there all the rest...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eyeglasses Problem - how to fix? Any Opticians Out There?
Replies: 24
Views: 1933

Re: Eyeglasses Problem - how to fix?

The optical shop I use always verifies the lens type and all lens options before finalizing the order. They can also cut lenses in-shop, so the turn-around to get lenses for existing frames is very fast. It usually takes no more than a week or two to get the lenses, then they can cut and mount them ...
by Mudpuppy
Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is responsible for bank errors
Replies: 16
Views: 1272

Re: Who is responsible for bank errors

Please note that bank tellers are usually the newest and lowest-paid employees at a bank. They will be least likely to fix problems. In the future, be nice to them, but ask to speak to a manager if you don't like the teller's answer. Everywhere I have banked has a separate customer service (or acco...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/safest/easiest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?
Replies: 40
Views: 2491

Re: Best/safest/easiest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?

I always heard that the word/excel password protection can be easily cracked by getting a cheap online utility to do it. Is that not the case anymore? That applies to the older versions of Office, which used a really bad proprietary algorithm build on top of the fairly weak RC4 cipher. This means o...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"
Replies: 34
Views: 3891

Re: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"

I'm in the tail-end of the age group targeted by this article. For my personal retirement planning, I assume that some sort of Social Security benefits will likely be there in a few decades, but won't be anywhere near the same as what exists now. Right now, my budget and projections spreadsheet ass...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 75
Views: 11529

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

I just switched over from the old 2GB plan to the new 3GB plan at the same plan price. Losing rollover data for this month won't matter, as I had less than 1GB rollover data available and the plan has more data. I'm only saving $5 a month with the change, since the second line on my plan is a basic ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best/safest/easiest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?
Replies: 40
Views: 2491

Re: Best/safest way to send sensitive files to another person over the internet?

What has worked well for me: ⋅  Create 4096-bit RSA PGP keypair ⋅  Create 4096-bit RSA SSH keys. ⋅  Meet person physically and sign each other's keys, exchange SSH public keys (snail mail also works as ε δ mentions) ⋅  Encrypt files with GnuPG. ⋅  U...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 22, 2016 1:54 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Please Try Out Test Posts Here
Replies: 134
Views: 140594

Re: Please Try Out Test Posts Here

You can also use the code tag for indentation with spaces and tabs.

Code: Select all

  two spaces
   tab


Doesn't look too pretty in-line though.
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all geeks ..... need help with my Laptop.
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Calling all geeks ..... need help with my Laptop.

Glad you found the problem. It might come loose again unless you replace the screw holding it down. So keep an eye on it if you can't find the screw or a replacement screw online. And the "HDD" label in the boot sequence usually refers to both magnetic hard drives and solid state hard driv...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?
Replies: 58
Views: 2439

Re: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?

bertilak, You should. Those tins could be used to store teas. Teas in a bag is cheaper at Upton Tea. After the first 6 tins, I bought all my teas in bag package and re-use the tins. KlangFool I also reuse my tea tins and just buy loose leaf in a bag, although I use a different vendor than Upton Tea...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calling all geeks ..... need help with my Laptop.
Replies: 11
Views: 1010

Re: Calling all geeks ..... need help with my Laptop.

As OAG said, "can't boot" is pretty nebulous. In addition to OAG's questions, I'm adding the following two:

Does anything show on screen when you turn it on? If so, what does it say?

Can you boot to BIOS/UEFI and access the menu?
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tips for Term [determining term insurance needs]
Replies: 10
Views: 754

Re: Tips for Term

I am not planning on getting any for my wife right now, as I believe family can step in to help. Thoughts? My thought is you should get a term policy for your wife as well. If she is a stay-at-home mother, she is doing multiple jobs that have a real economic benefit to the household such as houseke...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a house without a realtor, what's involved?
Replies: 26
Views: 2330

Re: Buying a house without a realtor, what's involved?

As previously mentioned, having your own real estate attorney who has no ties to the transaction other than you hiring the attorney is key. That the seller is also an attorney is a complication. You'll have to eliminate any attorneys at the same firm from consideration, as they may have a conflict o...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Under 25 Car Insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 441

Re: Under 25 Car Insurance

Teenage and college-age drivers are more statistically likely to get into auto accidents, which increases their premiums as a primary driver (which is the type of insurance you're getting by getting your son his own policy). But there are ways to get discounts if your son takes "good teen drive...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"
Replies: 34
Views: 3891

Re: Morningstar: "How Should Younger Investors Think About Social Security?"

I'm in the tail-end of the age group targeted by this article. For my personal retirement planning, I assume that some sort of Social Security benefits will likely be there in a few decades, but won't be anywhere near the same as what exists now. Right now, my budget and projections spreadsheet assu...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does downgrading credit card count towards Chase 5/24 rule?
Replies: 4
Views: 570

Re: Does downgrading credit card count towards Chase 5/24 rule?

The primary purpose of the 5/24 rule is to prevent accumulation of new account bonuses (e.g. get 100 rewards dollars after $1000 spend). Since this would not fall under that category, I don't think it would count against the 5/24 rule. That's just my personal logic though. I have no knowledge of spe...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ergonomic Workspace - your experiences
Replies: 3
Views: 299

Re: Ergonomic Workspace - your experiences

After a shoulder injury when I was in graduate school (so over a decade ago), my physical therapist worked with me to develop a more ergonomic workspace without spending a whole lot of money. The key things she pointed out were (a) height of the keyboard, (b) height of the monitor, and (c) distance ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 2:01 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Improving the Bogleheads forum
Replies: 86
Views: 5868

Re: Improving the Bogleheads forum

It should be just a simple plugin for phpbb. I hate to sound like an old IT curmudgeon, but rarely is there such a thing as a "simple" plugin. Yes, phpBB has the functionality for highlighting built into it, but changing all the links to have the "hilit=" option in the URL if th...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 1:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How common is ACH fraud on checking accounts?
Replies: 11
Views: 1507

Re: How common is ACH fraud on checking accounts?

ACH fraud happens less often on personal accounts than one might expect, given how easy it is to perpetrate. From my non-scientific perspective, I've seen more reports of debit card fraud against a personal account than ACH fraud. The impact of fraud on business accounts is far more severe than the ...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?
Replies: 58
Views: 2439

Re: How much do you spend on coffee/tea?

My most recent tea purchases were $10 for a 50-bag tin of English Breakfast, $15 for 3oz of loose leaf English Breakfast, and $10 for 4oz of loose leaf mint black tea. The tea bags are used when I'm in a rush and don't want to take the extra minute or two to clean up the tea infuser after steeping t...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 3:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?
Replies: 24
Views: 1284

Re: Credit Card Fraud: How many times is 'normal'?

Am I to blame because I buy things online? I wanted to address this question specifically. "Buying online" is far too generic to make a judgement call. There's a vast difference in risk profiles between buying something off a large retailer like Amazon.com and buying something off a small...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home energy efficiency
Replies: 7
Views: 630

Re: Home energy efficiency

Here's my thought on the matter... performing a home energy audit is a good idea in general, but I would be very cautious about using a company that called me. I would be concerned that they're going to sell more "improvements" than the house actually needs. If you are interested in this p...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slightly Overwhelmed on Home Maintenance Issues
Replies: 45
Views: 4458

Re: Slightly Overwhelmed on Home Maintenance Issues

Gas fired heating equipment only needs to be serviced every 2-3 years and the service is mostly a safety check. There is nothing to clean and not much to adjust other than the pressure regulator (which should be a set and forget unless it breaks). The last time I had my gas boiler "serviced&qu...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 11:14 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Improving the Bogleheads forum
Replies: 86
Views: 5868

Re: Improving the Bogleheads forum

Things like whatever you wash your car by yourself or not are absolutely not part of the reason this forum was conceived. In my view it degrades the excellent input of many on investments. And yet many others find value in the Consumer forum, as evidenced by the vocal outcry when it was temporarily...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Slightly Overwhelmed on Home Maintenance Issues
Replies: 45
Views: 4458

Re: Slightly Overwhelmed on Home Maintenance Issues

1) Talking to your neighbors about home maintenance is a great way to find out the types of things that the houses in your neighborhood need done and what has worked in the past. Another advantage of talking to your neighbors is you'll get a heads-up about what seems to be failing in general in the...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:48 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Improving the Bogleheads forum
Replies: 86
Views: 5868

Re: Improving the Bogleheads forum

Things like whatever you wash your car by yourself or not are absolutely not part of the reason this forum was conceived. In my view it degrades the excellent input of many on investments. And yet many others find value in the Consumer forum, as evidenced by the vocal outcry when it was temporarily...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:40 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Revealing Usernames
Replies: 71
Views: 7995

Re: Revealing Usernames

I'm not worried so much about revealing usernames (although I concede that it may be a problem for the unwary) as I am about a security breach of the forum as a whole. Imagine what would happen if an attacker got in and got a dump of the database. Combining the the email address with the content of...
by Mudpuppy
Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:36 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Improving the Bogleheads forum
Replies: 86
Views: 5868

Re: Improving the Bogleheads forum

Maybe for the Personal Consumers Issues , you could add a sticky that says: FIRST do a search to see if your issue has been addressed. Then, of course, explain how to do the search. What is the purpose of having a Personal Consumers Issues section, this is a forum about investments? This is a forum...
by Mudpuppy
Thu Aug 18, 2016 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans
Replies: 75
Views: 11529

Re: AT&T Mobile Users: Check your plans

The Mobile Share Advantage plans are not visible in my account yet Seems that this will be available by Aug 21st. I put a mark in my calendar, as this could be beneficial in my (family) case. Good to see that competitive pressure finally makes AT&T come to (slightly) more reasonable terms. I gu...
by Mudpuppy
Wed Aug 17, 2016 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]
Replies: 283
Views: 34437

Re: [Fidelity drops AmEx, Bank of America credit cards]

The fact that the 31st is omitted as a choice means that somebody responsible for the site implementation realized that not all months have a 31st day. But that person must have missed the memo about not every month having a 29th or 30th day either. Not necessarily. It could also mean Elan decided ...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 144
Views: 7858

Re: Are you on Facebook?

Stepping back from the generational gap debate up-thread.... Those of you on Facebook to monitor your teenagers should be aware that the real generational gap is Facebook is not really the social media app of choice for teenagers. Facebook is mostly the social media app for adults, and what teenage...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 144
Views: 7858

Re: Are you on Facebook?

Stepping back from the generational gap debate up-thread.... Those of you on Facebook to monitor your teenagers should be aware that the real generational gap is Facebook is not really the social media app of choice for teenagers. Facebook is mostly the social media app for adults, and what teenager...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 15, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Post Office Boxes-Junk and prior renter's mail
Replies: 32
Views: 2015

Re: Post Office Boxes-Junk and prior renter's mail

Once I was the "victim" of address identity theft: someone had lots of medical services, and many bills came to Mr Whoever at my POB. I returned them all to the PO, and I took the time to call each and every hospital, doctor, therapist, clinic and collection agency as an act of social res...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSE&G double charge because of browser issue, authorized or not?
Replies: 3
Views: 439

Re: PSE&G double charge because of browser issue, authorized or not?

It's just as legitimate as if you'd submitted two checks for the payment in the day of paper checks. The bank doesn't have to do anything to correct this, no more than they would have to do something to correct you sending in two checks for the same bill. They might help you, just to maintain good c...
by Mudpuppy
Mon Aug 15, 2016 12:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you on Facebook?
Replies: 144
Views: 7858

Re: Are you on Facebook?

1). I think FB does some really shady stuff. Like for example, I went out on a date with this girl a couple times (hopefully more in the future!) and the day after our second date she appeared in my "People you may know" list. How? We had no mutual friends. I never searched for her on FB,...
by Mudpuppy
Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?
Replies: 96
Views: 5243

Re: Do you wash your car yourself, or have it done?

Today I washed my car at home for the first time in more than a year. I thought the water pressure was little wimpy, and when I got back inside the house I was sloshing through water (through the carpet.) Ugh. I've make a couple of passes with the shopvac but the carpet is still really squishy. So ...

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