Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:October:07 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2005/10/7-9 [Transportation/Car, Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:40008 Activity:nil
10/7    My 2 year old motorcycle that I bought new has about 8000 miles and
        I already need to change my rear tire. In addition, my lead-acid
        battery is crapping out. I've been having to add distilled water and
        the negative contact keeps getting corroded. Today while checking
        the cable the contact just broke off! I went to the shop today and
        got a new maintenance-free SLA Yuasa battery for $71. In addition
        a new rear tire costs about $175. In comparison, my car battery costs
        about the same and lasts twice as long, and each car tire costs about
        1/2 of the motorcycle tire and lasts 5-6X as long. As for mileage?
        I get only 45MPG, which is still less than a Prius. This totally
        debunks the myth that motorcycles are much more economical to operate
        than cars. What a dissapointment.
        \_ Never seen the battery issue, but yes motorcycle tires don't
           last as long.  They are made to be super sticky because you
           need that traction a lot more than you do on a car.  Also,
           especially if you are a new rider, you are a lot more likely
           to skid the rear tire.  That being said there are tires out there
           that will last 10-15k, but they are going to add a tiny bit of
           risk to your ride, is that worth it to you? 2 tires/8k miles is
           about 2-3 cents a mile.
           As to 45MPG what bike do you have and how do you ride it?
           If all you want is a commuter bike you don't need a super sporty
           bike.  Even a dinky motorcycle has an obscene power/weight ratio
           when compared to any car, esepcially a prius.
                \_ How about the Bugatti Veyron?
        \_ A coworker rides a motorcycle to work every day.  He said he has
           to change tires every 7500 or so and gas mileage varies a lot
           based on how you ride.  He also gets to lane split his way to
           work which I'm pretty sure a Prius can't ;-) and can park almost
           anywhere, sometimes for free.  How much research did you do before
           buying a bike?  And what's up with 4k miles/year?  That isn't a
           commute vehicle.
        \_ Who makes your crappy bike?
           \_ Kawasaki
        \_ My bikes are 55 and 60 years old, have ca. 30k miles, and I don't
           have this problem 8)  -John
           \_ You have a bike from 1945 and 1950? Are you serious? What
              brand are they and do you have problem getting a mechanic
              servicing them?
              \_ 1951 Condor A580 (Swiss army bike) and 1946 Moto Guzzi
                 Airone 250.  The Condor's no prob, since as with all army
                 stuff everywhere there's loads of spare parts and it never
                 breaks (had some major repairs on replacement of worn out
                 cylinders and valves though).  As for the Airone, I'm about to
                 find out how much pain it'll be to get it street legal and
                 store it (it's more of an investment).  There are garages
                 specializing in both here though, and I made friends with the
                 old guy who bought all the surplus stocks of spares for
                 Condors a while ago.  Not for the faint of heart.  Pics are
                 in ~john/Bikes if you're interested.  -John
                 Condors a while ago.  Not for the faint of heart.  -John
        \_ How much is your insurance?
        \_ Yes, repairing a motorcycle is more expensive than fixing a
           car.  No surprise there, the demand is low, and to most, it is
           a toy.  However, you win on gas, insurance, parking, and
           \_ And depreciation.
              \_ But lose big on safety.
                 \_ And you can't get laid in the back seat.
                    \_ And you lack imagination.  And flexibility.  -John
2005/10/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:40009 Activity:nil
10/7    He's getting there...
        \_ Very nice graphic. -mrauser
2005/10/7-9 [Consumer/CellPhone] UID:40010 Activity:nil
10/7    An excellent web site showing you GSM coverage in the US.
        I'm very surprised that T-Mobile has a much better coverage
        in the US than Cingular, even as people claim that Cingular
        has a better coverage in metro areas.
        \_ Add Cingular and AT+T together.  -tom
           \_ Hmm, even after doing so, I still see plenty of blank spots
              all over the Midwest. I have a 1900Mhz-only (ancient) cellphone
              that seems to perform very well in the inner East Bay, while my
              850/1900 Mhz phone seems to have inferior reception. Could it
              be because my 850/1900 constantly force itself to communicate
              with the 850Mhz tower (which is a rarity) while my 1900Mhz-only
              is happily interacting with the abundance of 1900Mhz towers?
              (just guessing) Both phones are through AT&T Wireless - jthoms
              \_ it has nothing to do with 850 Mhz capability.
        \_ The Cingular=better reception argument doesn't really mean wider
           coverage.  The addition of 850MHz band from the AT&T merger gave it
           better building penetration.  850MHz signals penetrate buildings
           better.  I had virtually no trouble with T-mobile when I was
           outside.  It was the fact that I had no reception in my office that
           forced me to switch to Cingular.  I now have full bars in my office.
           \_ someone who are better at physics need to help me out there.
              I thought higher the frequency, better the penetration, but
              at the cost of having a much shorter range per tower.
              that seems to perform very well in the inner East Bay, while my 850/1900
              Mhz phone seems to have inferior reception. Could it be because my
              850/1900 constantly force itself to communicate with the 850Mhz
              tower (which is a rarity) while my 1900Mhz-only is happily interacting
              with the abundance of 1900Mhz towers? (just guessing) Both phones are
              through AT&T Wireless - jthoms
2005/10/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush, Politics/Domestic/SocialSecurity] UID:40011 Activity:nil
10/7    Al Gore on why Television (news) sucks.  Aside from a few petty
        digs at his enemies, and some mistaken historical facts,
        (protests invented in the 60s?) I basically agree with him.
        \_ Gore is a smart guy, but the electorate decided they didn't like
           sighing so we got W instead.
           \_ This has what to do with the link?
        \_ Watch the News Hour.
        \_ Thanks, this is great reading.
2005/10/7 [Uncategorized] UID:40012 Activity:nil 80%like:40021
10/7    Talk about full circle: SBC may rename itself AT&T after merger:
2005/10/7-9 [Politics/Domestic/Abortion, Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:40013 Activity:nil
10/7    Another conservative thinker hammers the Miers nomination:
        And important point he makes that I haven't seen before:
        "This, say her advocates: We are now at war, and therefore the great
        issue of our time is the powers of the president, under Article II, to
        wage war. For four years Miers has been immersed in war-and-peace
        decisions and therefore will have a deep familiarity with the tough
        constitutional issues regarding detention, prisoner treatment and war
        "Perhaps. We have no idea what her role in these decisions was. But to
        the extent that there was any role, it becomes a liability. For years
        -- crucial years in the war on terrorism -- she will have to recuse
        herself from judging the constitutionality of these decisions because
        she will have been a party to having made them in the first place. The
        Supreme Court will be left with an absent chair on precisely the
        laws-of-war issues to which she is supposed to bring so much."
        \_ While Miers' nomination seems weak, it's stronger than this
           argument.  -tom
           \_ Oh, you actually support the Miers nomination?  Can you tell us
              all why?
              \_ Did I say that?  -tom
                \_ not tom: The only good thing about the nomination is that
                   we don't know for sure if she's as bad as Thomas/Scalia.
                   Would I rather have an incompetent reasonable person or
                   a competent frothing loony? Tough call!
                   \_ Thomas didn't have any more experience than Miers
                      when he was nominated, so he's an incompetent frothing
                      loony.  -tom
                        \_ Yes I was referring more to Scalia in that sense
                   \_ And her supporters are trying to soothe us conservatives
                      by saying, "Really!  She's a religious preson!"  Which
                      makes me wonder if Bush is trying to put someone in who
                      will overturn Roe vs. Wade but doesn't care about
                      anything else.  I'd rather have someone who interprets
                      the Constitution with an Originalist eye. -emarkp
                      \_ good, that means get rid of hand guns. :p
                      \_ Funny, I've been thinking it was the opposite. The
                         republicans like to talk about "protecting the
                         unborn" to keep their religious base mobilized, but
                         the political strategists are smart enough to know
                         that actually overturning Roe would be political
                         suicide. Hence the relatively moderate (at least
                         compared to what liberals like me feared) nominees.
                         \_ I view Miers as the Ham Sandwich choice, akin to
                            the grand jury indictment rule. The way the GOP
                            is these days, Bush could have nominated a ham
                            sandwich and gotten it in. Sure, it's cronyism.
                            Yes, it's the victory of the mediocre. But, really,
                            maybe one or two Republicans might vote against
                            her or perhaps abstain from voting since all the
                            rest will vote for her. Given 55 Republican
                            Senators, it's a done deal.
2005/10/7-9 [Health/Men, Recreation/Pets] UID:40014 Activity:nil
10/7    Fake Dog Testicle Creator wins Ig Nobel
        Apparently they are called "Neuticles."
        \_ What is a "testical"?
           \_ It's like a cubical.
        \_ This one makes me chuckle:
           PEACE: Two researchers at Newcastle University in England
           monitored the brain activity of locusts as they watched clips from
           the movie "Star Wars."
           I imagine all these little locust brains hooked up with wires
           and a big screen playing "Star Wars" in the background. Hilarious!
           I wonder if they are hooked up "Clockwork Orange" style.
           \_ You should have seen the activity go off the chart when
              cell phones started ringing and the popcorn ran out.
        \_ What is a "testical"?
           \_ It's like a cubical.
2005/10/7-9 [Recreation/Dating] UID:40015 Activity:nil
10/7    War on Porn. "About 38 percent of men used porn three times per week
        or more, which makes you wonder what these guys do for a living.
        ... Maybe that special FBI squad should plant porn inside terrorist
        cells. You know, keep 'em busy."
        \_ It's only taxpayer money, it's not like we're wasting the money
           of a corporation on this shit.
        \_ How do you "use porn"?  -John
           \_ Which porn are you talking about?
              > _
              \_ I dunno, I always sort of assmed it was a fairly passive
                 form of entertainment.  Am I behind the times?  -John
                 \_ Lack of a paper cut fetish is a sign of poor mental
                    \_ And slight smacks on the back of your head are conducive
                       to analytical ability.  Your point?  This is porn. -John
2005/10/7-9 [Health, Reference/Tax] UID:40016 Activity:nil
10/7    Can I get some advice on where to go for health insurance?
        There is a cute set of circumstances which sadly leave me without, and
        I was wondering where I should go/look to buy it.  I would likely
        want a plan with a high deductible (aka low monthly?) that would
        basically just be needed if I had some catastrophic health issue.
        Thanks. -mrauser
        \_ Mike, I went through the same thing few yrs back and used
  After you feed them your basic info
           (age, smoking/nonsmoking, zip code, etc) they will present you with
           a list of options. You can certainly find the high deductible ones
           with low monthly. For example, I got one through Blue Shield with
           $2400 deductible (yes, it's outrageous, but) with dues around
           $86/mo. Assuming you're 30+ yrs old, Bay Area nonsmoker. They also
           offer short-term insurance (12 months or less) if you're simply
           between jobs. Hope this helps! - jthoms
           \_ I got this same plan through Cal Alumni Assoc. Check it out.
           \_ Forgot to add, with high deductible, you're also eligible to
              open a Health Savings Acct (the so-called 'Healthcare IRA')
              or HSA. So with a $2400 deductible, you can open a $2400 HSA
              and write off $2400 from your 1040 for tax year 2005. Sweet!
              Go to for more info (but you don't have to open
              it through HSA Bank).
              \_ You still need to make sure that your high deductible plan
                 is HSA-compatible.  My wife's Blue Cross plan was not, even
                 though the deductible was $2500.
              \_ Yes, but if you don't use the money you lose it.
                 \_ Wrong. You're thinking the HCRA, the 'use-it-or-lose-it'
                    acct. HSA is totally separate, you accrue it for life, and
                    you can only use it for qualified medical expenses. (no,
                    your monthly dues don't count, unfortunately). It's a gov't
                    ploy to encourage folks to save up for their hlthcare exp
                    prior to and during retirement. Unlike IRA though, you can
                    use the money even before you turn 59.5, as long as it's
                    for qualified medical exp. STFG for a list.
              open a Health Savings Acct (the so-called 'Healthcare IRA') or HSA.
              So with a $2400 deductible, you can open a $2400 HSA and write off
              $2400 from your 1040 for tax year 2005. Sweet! Go to
              for more info (but you don't have to open it through HSA Bank).
2005/10/7-9 [Computer/SW/OS/Solaris] UID:40017 Activity:nil
10/7    I'm using winxp's rsh to connect to a solaris 2.8 machine. Is there
        anyway to have the rsh connection timeout? Currently, it seems to
        hang forever when something goes wrong. So far the only remedy is
        to reboot the windoze machine. TIA.
        \_ I don't know anything about winxp's rsh but generically speaking
           you can wrap anything with perl or expect alarms/timers.
           \_ I have some dos scripts which invoke certain programs on
              solaris. Sometimes these scripts are invoked from other
              scripts and/or programs, but when someone uses ctrl-c, the
              rsh connection isn't closed properly, so the solaris host
              will refuse further rsh connections for the user in question.
              So on windows, rsh is no longer running (you can't kill it),
              but if you reboot the windows host, it will work again. Using
              netstat on solaris shows that it's waiting to close for the
              windows machine even though rsh on windows is no longer running.
              \_ use cygwin's rsh then.
                 \_ would this rsh close the network connection in the above
                    scenario? our build machine doesn't have cygwin installed
                    yet since our build-meister is still debating on whether
                    to include it or not on std build machines.
2005/10/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:40018 Activity:nil
10/7    Heading to Miami and the Florida Keys around Thanksgiving for
        6 days with my gf.  Any recommendations on where to visit and what
        to do?  Hotel and restaurant recommendations?  My only plan so
        far is to do some snorkeling and kayaking at the reefs off the Keys.
2005/10/7-9 [Computer/SW/Languages/C_Cplusplus] UID:40019 Activity:nil
10/7    I declared a function that takes (char const* const*), which
        protects array[x] and array[x][y] from being re-assigned (but
        still allows array to be assigned to a different entity), why
        do I need to cast a regular (char **) to it?  Just like I
        don't need to cast a (char *) to a (const char *).  Is this a
        known bug because no one uses (char const* const*) or (const
        char * const *)?
        \_ Your compiler is broken.  This conversion is safe; gcc and Visual
           C++ both allow it without a cast.  (You need both consts, though.
           Converting char ** to const char ** is not safe.)  --mconst
2005/10/7-9 [Computer/SW/WWW/Browsers] UID:40020 Activity:nil
10/7    Firefox 1.5 Beta 2 is out:
        \_ For reference, 1.5B1 was the biggest improvement in Mozillae
        \_ For reference, 1.5B1 is the biggest improvement in Mozillae
           rendering speed I've seen since 0.8.
2005/10/7-9 [Uncategorized] UID:40021 Activity:nil 80%like:40012
10/7    Talk about full circle: SBC may rename itself AT&T after merger: (
2005/10/7-9 [Recreation/Pets] UID:40022 Activity:nil
10/7    Do people name their pets: Michael or Jennifer?  - not a pet owner.
        \_ Why not?
        \_ Are all your pets named Eric?
        \_ Personally I'd name my dog 'sex':
        \_ Human names for pets are the norm these days.  Theories on this
           generally center around the way pets are more members of the family
           now and/or surrogates for children in many households.
2005/10/7 [Transportation/Motorcycle] UID:40145 Activity:nil
\_ Kawasaki
2019/04/20 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2005:October:07 Friday <Thursday, Saturday>