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Irene Adler "The Woman" RSS Feed (San Diego, California)

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Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS413j
Synology DiskStation 4-Bay (Diskless) Network Attached Storage DS413j
6 used & new from $233.99

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst product in 40 years, September 24, 2015
I am an expert. Ran a $100M software development project so not a neophyte.
Bought the DS for backup.
After 1 year it ceased to function.
Contacted Synology "support". Got pigeon English instructions to get new disk and check out old disks on an "available" PC.
Found bad disk. Followed instruction which insisted on reinstall of DSM (the OS).(4-5 hours)
Tried to follow another set of instructions again in pigeon English which also failed. (4-5 hours)
Contact disk recovery specialists to try to salvage data. Possible for $4000. They said this happens all the time with Synology.
Tried reinstalling SA. And endless hours of fooling around. Nothing happened as per instructions. (6 hours)
Gave up on data as lost, i.e., many backups just gone, and decided to try to get the thing to work at all. So contacted Synology again.
Got two line reply that suggested reformatting disks in PC. Done 4hours.
Followed reset instructions by various routed. Unable to reinstall DSM and told to "Check network connection" whatever that means.

Software is confusing badly organized and filled with errors. Nothing works. No recovery strategy when a disk fails. Thousands of dollars wasted on purchase, time trying to follow incoherent, misspelled pigeon English instructions each issue of which was disconnected and tangential from the previous to the point that I am convinced Synology only hires schitzophrenics.

This thing is not reliable, has no coherent recovery strategy and the worst support that I have ever encountered. Whatever you imagine you save because of initial cost you will pay many times over if something goes wrong.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 7, 2015 12:27 PM PDT


Synology DiskStation 4-Bay 4 TB (4 x 1 TB) Network Attached Storage DS411J 4100 (White)
Synology DiskStation 4-Bay 4 TB (4 x 1 TB) Network Attached Storage DS411J 4100 (White)
Price: $1,199.99
2 used & new from $210.00

1.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous junk!, July 28, 2015
We bought this 4-bay disk station to do backups from computers and to store some large stable files.

It failed completely. Just stopped running with no indication of why. The process of attempted recovery (under the incoherent direction of Synology support) involved 1) having to own a separate pc to test the disks (they had no way of telling which failed), 2) buying another disk so the DSM (operating system) could be loaded, 3) numerous days and email messages, 4) being repeatedly told that if we failed to follow the instructions (that were given in illiterate pigeon English) we would lose all data, and 5) loosing all our data anyway.

Any notion that the Raid configuration protects you from a similar fate is pure fantasy, bunk and marketing propaganda.

In addition the so called Cloud Station is so unreliable as to be useless not to speak of difficult to understand and install, the user interface is opaque, terms are not defined, there are four or five useless "applications" stuck in "Synology Assistant" apparently primarily to keep programmers entertained by making any value so well hidden as to be effectively non-existent.

We think of no useful purpose for Synology DiskStation. It is no good for backup because you and easily lose all data with a single failure. It is not good for bulk storage unless you are not concerned about losing what you store. And it is too big to function as a paper weight. Doorstop perhaps?

What to do: easy, buy cheap USB disks for back and recovery and save yourself and anxiety of data loss.


Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus
Proving History: Bayes's Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus
by Richard Carrier
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $21.73
42 used & new from $15.09

3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars We will see, February 14, 2014
I have not read the book yet, but I have read most of the reviews. What is clear is that neither the pro or con reviewers seem to understand that results derived using Bayes Rule (it does not disserve the name theorem because its proof is almost tautology) are entirely dependent on the ability to estimate the conditional and prior probabilities.

The rule is useful in clarifying probabilistic estimates under conditionality when the input probabilities are known, and often in that context gives counter intuitive results. However, Bayes Rule is not magic, it is certainly not profound and its validity is not in doubt.

I will report back how well Carrier succeeds in estimating the prior and conditional probabilities and how much he tries to trade off of the aura of certainty mathematical theorems carry.

I am publishing this preview now in order to put the ultimate review in context, free of conclusions and prejudices regarding the conclusion.


This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital
This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital
by Mark Leibovich
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.92
355 used & new from $0.01

14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Corruption and decadence exhaulted, October 23, 2013
Get one thing clear if you intend to buy this book: it is not a critique of Washington, it is a thinly disguised paean to that vipers nest of corruption, and the corporate "news" media that supports it. It is about the personalities of "journalists" in whom mostly one would have no interest if they were not so instrumental in perpetuating the rot in Washington. A complete waste of time.


Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog
Sergeant Rex: The Unbreakable Bond Between a Marine and His Military Working Dog
by Damien Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.00
86 used & new from $0.01

1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat disingenuous, October 23, 2013
There is a lot good about this book. Its acceptance of the dubious morality and flawed excuse for the Iraq war while noting that that is irrelevant to the bravery and constancy of the warriors, both human and canine. It gives an intimate portrait of what it was like for boots-on-the-ground. One is struck by the contrast between stupidity of Bush and cynical callousness of Rumsfelt

However, it is more than a little disingenuous of the author to have loudly proclaimed his devotion to Rex and yet been willing to have taken him back to his kennel on a marine base in the US and simply walked away, never to see him again. I know that he had to leave Rex, but never to give him a second thought?


The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies
The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies
by Alan Taylor
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.59
79 used & new from $5.04

1 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This book isn't HISTORY and it isn't about the War of 1812, but ..., February 27, 2013
The previous version of this review was overtly negative, but no one likes negative reviews, so here is the new version.

First, Professor Taylor writes what is called "micro history" gathering extremely detailed data from journals, newspaper reports, official papers, etc. The presumption is that such a collection of dubious sources will somehow bounce around the truth, and, even more important, that they are statistically representative. Neither assumption is generally true. While such an approach can sometimes help to provide an rich picture of the times, it cannot be taken to provide an accurate global picture of what happened. There is value in the minutia and a richness of detail (as seen in William Couper's Town), but all too often when the global issues must be understood, one is left uncertain whether to take the minutia as representative.

In addition, the author often mixes in sweeping unreferenced statements of generality with his mix of possibly (or even probably) unrepresentative minutia. The net is that the reader is not sure what to believe. It is not that he cannot see the forest for the trees (although that is certainly the case), he cannot determine whether he is seeing a tree or the forest.

Second, Taylor ignores many of the critical historical events in pursuit of an indefensible, by any other means, thesis that the War of 1812 was "Civil". It was not. Major, if not decisive, aspects of the war did not occur on the US/Canada border, in which locations the "civil" label cannot be remotely stretched to apply. It was a war between a massive empire and the fledgling US republic. The fact that some of the participants and one part of the war were ethnically, linguistically, and racially similar does not make it a civil war. There were clear boundaries and distinct not predominantly intermixed populations and political systems. Civil wars are between peoples of the same country. That was simply not the case in the War of 1812. Taylor repeatedly asserts, without convincing evidence, that most people on the US/Canada border were not interested in the war at all, which is hardly a sign of civil discord. In short, the "civil" adjective is at best a stretch that adds novelty, but does not constitute a useful encapsulation of the historical events.

Third, in contrast to the person-by-person minutia presented about the border war whole segments of the war are largely ignored, e.g., the sea war with warships and privateer, the war in the American south, the Battle of Bladensburg, etc. One suspects that this is more due to Taylor's familiarity with the sources relating to that region than with a conscious decision of its relative importance. Basically, Taylor has written in the style of a PhD dissertation.

Forth, contrary to the claims of other reviewers, the writing is average and not economical as one would expect from well presented popular history such as written by Tuchman and Churchill.

In short, if your expectation is a history or the War of 1812, then you will be disappointed. If you are interested in a quixotic, selective and irregular presentation of the Great Lakes theater of the War of 1812 (and accept that it was in essence "civil"), then you might find this a useful, but for me the book lacked too much to be recommended.


Garmin GPSMAP 196 Aviation GPS Receiver
Garmin GPSMAP 196 Aviation GPS Receiver

6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Worst human interface ever, December 27, 2011
Strictly speaking this review is based on another similar Garmin product, the GPSmap 296, but because much of it regards Garmin as a company and so is relevant.

It is difficult to know where to start in criticizing Garmin.

First, the human interface is totally unfathomable. I am a computer expert with experience in interface design. In this case, it is almost impossible to follow the logic of the menus and functions. There is no consistency or pattern. Finding how to change the degree of screen intensity, for example requires a manual and holding one of the buttons for several seconds, but there is no indication of this in any of the menus.

Second, despite spending several hours with the "manual" which is almost as obscure as the menu system, I am only able to use small percentage of the functionality.

Finally, I spent several hours trying to download an update to the database without success while still being charged $50. Garmin's probably automated response was that they are "Sorry for the inconvenience" which to me is wholly lame for having wasted several hours of my time. No help with getting the problem fixed was offered.

In all, I doubt that Garmin would be in business if they did not have a near monopoly, which fortunately may soon be coming to an end since I have heard that the FAA is in the process of approving an app for the iPhone. As soon as they do I will dump this un-updatable, over priced piece of junk.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 3, 2013 9:24 PM PDT


Plugable USB 2.0 to VGA/DVI/HDMI VGA / DVI / HDMI Video Graphics Adapter for Multiple Monitors up to 2048x1152 / 1920x1200 Each (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP)
Plugable USB 2.0 to VGA/DVI/HDMI VGA / DVI / HDMI Video Graphics Adapter for Multiple Monitors up to 2048x1152 / 1920x1200 Each (Supports Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent product that works perfectly, March 14, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had a great deal of difficulty discovering how to run three monitors on my Win7 Hp desktop. There is a lot of noise out there. I even bought a high-end Gforce video driver having been led to believe that it would run three displays. It turns out Win7 only supports two displays. Finally, I took chance on this product, although there are comments about flickering and other difficulties that made me concerned.

Well, as it turns out the unit works perfectly in my application, which is high-end desktop running three identical 1900x1200 displays doing ordinary software development work and architectural design (no games). Perfectly!! No flickering, no apparent delay on the usb-driven display, no drop outs.

I occasionally transfer to a laptop (hp PROBOOK4720) which works perfectly also showing the build-in and accessory displays at their maximum resolution. Shifting over requires less than a minute. Just transfer the usb plug from one computer to another and one is up an running. So you can buy this one with confidence.


SmartDraw 2009
SmartDraw 2009

3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lousy help, January 19, 2009
This review is from: SmartDraw 2009 (CD-ROM)
If you want to do a variety of specialized diagrams "Smart"Draw is pretty good. If you want to put shadow on text, forget it ... either because you can't do it or can't find out how to do it ... the standard help is terrible ... nay, literally nonexistent ... and a not searchable "User Guide" is infantile and wholy uninformative ... they have a bunch of tutorials however, but the so called "SmartHelp" is totally, completely, and entirely useless.

We needed a drawing program that allowed us to control the size of various picture outputs and word take WMF files ... it does that but ... my advise is to stick with Powerpoint for simple tasks and use Corel otherwise. Don't waste your $200.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 11, 2010 4:51 PM PST


The Winslow Boy
The Winslow Boy
DVD ~ Gemma Jones
Price: $15.95
34 used & new from $8.95

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Most of you missed the point, August 10, 2008
This review is from: The Winslow Boy (DVD)
It must be discouraging to Mamet to have so many completely miss the point of this movie. This movie is not about "right" or "justice" or "honor" or "perseverance" or any of the stuff mentioned by many other reviewers (at least the several that I read). It is about epigamic differentiation, a biological phenomenon known to most of you as "love at first sight". It is a romance, completely and entirely, between Pidgeon's character (Catherine) and Northam's (Sir Robert). It is all there, but disguised by the apparent story about a boy falsely accused of cheating at school, or whatever. Sir Robert falls in love with Catherine on first seeing her in his office and all his actions from then on are driven by it. She does not catch on until the last scene. It is delicious.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2010 5:35 AM PDT


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