Posts filed under the 'Blog' category


The Auto Warranty sleaze, part deux

A couple of years ago, I wrote what turned out to be one of the more popular posts on this blog: The Auto Warranty Sleaze . It was about those dodgy-looking letters and postcards you get once you, say, pay off your car lease or loan, exhorting you to get an extra warranty on your engine or transmission or whatever, because it could all go wrong at any moment . Normally, I just shred them and get on with my life, but every now and then there’s one that just makes me laugh. This latest one is one of...

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Caveat venditor, part 2

Recently Earnest published a report about rent costs , with the surprising fact (at least for me) that Colorado Springs (where I live) is fourth in the nation for percentage of total income spent on rent. The median rent overall? A smidge under $1400. Do you know what size mortgage you can get for that? Income Spent on Rent, By City Copyright (c) Earnest.com Consequently Colorado Springs is going through a bit of a property shortage at the moment, especially in the up-to-$300K range. Sure, there...

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Caveat venditor

I don’t know about you, but the news over the past year has trashed my usual relatively sunny state of mind. I find myself despairing of the future, not only for my adopted country but also the country I left behind nearly 25 years ago. This translates into me losing my temper and getting angry and pissed off over the most minor of things. Take for example this little story… So, this summer we moved into a bigger house in a quieter area with space for three cars. As part of this move, I forced myself...

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Marketing emails

As CTO of DevExpress , and as someone who’s had his personal email address for nearly 20 years now (I bought boyet.com in November 1998 and created my email address immediately), I get a lot of marketing-type emails, let alone those of a phishing variety. And, to be honest, I’m sure my readers are in the same boat. For quite a while now I’ve made fun on Twitter of some of the “personalized” marketing emails I’ve received (that is, those that are addressed to me, er, personally). A quick set of examples...

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Backups, Schmackups

Today we learned that Code42 are going to be shuttering their CrashPlan for Home product . If you use it – and I do – you have around 14 months to find something else and switch your online backups to another provider. Backups… I’m sure, or rather, I would hope , that you do regular backups. For us here at home, it’s complicated: daily file backup to our Synology NAS, weekly full disk backup to an external drive I only connect when doing the backups (that way, I can grab it and go if there’s an emergency...

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Calculating the Net Present Value for the Tesla solar roof…

…in which your blogger finds he has to take several deep breaths at the sheer vacuity and cluelessness of an anti-Tesla-solar-roof guy who tries to use a Net Present Value calculation to show that said solar roofing is not worth it. In essence, he’s saying, “I think it’s crap, ergo I’ll fudge something I don’t understand to show I’m right.” <another deep breath> Let’s see what the issue is. There’s an article on Inverse (not a site I’ve come across before) that discusses how much one of Tesla...

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The Mortgage Protection sleaze

Back in August 2015, I wrote a blog post about the sleazy auto-warranty companies mailing me trying to get me to sign up after I’d bought out the lease on my wife’s car. It’s turned into one of the more popular posts on this site, so, without further ado: it’s time for another sleaze! A couple of weeks ago, I closed on a new house for us: bigger plot and house, with a garage for a third car (hello, 64SAINT !), and air conditioning. We’re certainly happy about it and are going to be moving in a couple...

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Five dozen

Numerology, like a whole bunch of New Age-y things, is a complete load of old bollocks. If you want to see some “meaning” in a bunch of numbers, those associations will be there to spot. Sometimes you can be convinced enough to put them on a lottery ticket and watch your money disappear. For me in my life – weirdly, perhaps coincidentally – it’s the number 12. But then again, 12 is this nice number that’s divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6. You could also make some argument that it forms “nice” fractions...

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Sheer panic

You might know the feeling. You’ve got a flight, 2+ hours. You’ve prepared and uploaded a bunch of ripped DVDs to your tablet, at least one or two of which you’ll watch during the flight. You pop your headphones on as the doors are closed and you start the first video. “Cannot play video. Please try again later.” Yes, this was me on Monday morning, my heart sinking into my boots. All I had, literally, for this flight to entertain myself were these videos. And they wouldn’t play. Maybe I’d overloaded...

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Why I won’t use WordPress, in one image

From a site I’m the webmaster for, a list of requests that caused a 404 not found error: PHP attack! In essence, this was an automated attack, as it happened all within a couple of minutes (the list goes on for a second and third page). Some script kiddie running a script that was trying to get some response from the assumed PHP that’s running the site. Requesting a whole bunch of PHP files, one after the other. In fact it’s probably four kiddies (unless it’s the same kiddie trying four times, because...

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