Profile cover photo
Profile photo
Derek Hardwick
Derek's posts

Post has attachment

Post has attachment
A friend just launched a cool vpn wireless device, Keezel.  Check it out!

Stay safe when on public wifi networks, get content even when it's blocked in your country, and share wifi with all your devices when the hotel only gave you one stupid login code...   and you can even charge your phone with it!

Post has attachment
Extremely cool Soviet map of the Bay Area...

Post has attachment

Last week I saw my old printer (well, the same model) out on the street by the garbage... which got me googling my first real computer setup.

Sometime in 6th grade, (I think Christmas 1993) my parents brought home an Apple Macintosh Quadra 610.  This guy had a 25 MHz 68040 processor, 230MB hard drive, and maxed out at 68MB of RAM (4MB onboard, 2 SIMM slots).  Though I didn't know it, this was a pretty serious investment, probably costing them $3,000 or so.

Pretty quickly I got connected with a 33.6 modem and survived on whatever 30 day trials of AOL / CompuServe I could manage.  Thank god they waited until the first invoice run to validate CC numbers. :)

Around 1996-97, our local cable company (TCI) rolled out pilot cable modem program, called @Home, which I convinced my father to sign up for.  Upgrading a kid from 33.6 kbps to ~3 mbps was a pretty good way to ensure my grades plummeting and a need for better hardware.

The quick solution to the latter was an external Iomega Jaz drive with a few removable 1GB disks...

My parents could have bought the family a Mac SE or 286 (as many other kids on the street had), and left it at that.  Instead they bought this, installed it in my room, and didn't freak out when I forgot to sleep at night.

Thanks parents!
7 Photos - View album

The Daily show informs me that there's some big debate in the US about religious institutions not wanting to have to provide health-insurance (which covers contraception, something they disagree with) to their employees. Seems like the Dutch system may have an answer to this. Here's my understanding of how it works.

The government works with insurance companies to set up the minimums of an insurance plan. Beyond that, insurers can throw in whatever bells and whistles they want, have 100 different plans or just 1, charge as much as they want, it's their choice... They cannot, however, reject anyone.

1) Employers are required to pay into a health care fund per employee. This money gets divided amongst the health insurers based on how many subscribers they have. It's effectively a tax which is earmarked for insurance companies.
2) Residents are required to buy (basic) health insurance. It's their choice as to which insurer they pick, or which plan they choose.
3) The Government issues a credit to people who are unable to pay #2 due to the fact that they are unemployed, disabled, or low income.

Under this system, there's economic incentives to have good, cheap coverage. Everybody's covered, which is also good for insurer. People price-shop, compare plan features, compare service quality, pay more for extras (orthodontic, acupuncture), so there is real competition. Importantly, neither the government nor your employer is involved in your plan decision.

If this were the US, the government could exclude birth control from the minimum requirements due to religious freedom reasons. Most insurers would certainly include it (since female shoppers would demand it), but would also be free to set up 'zealot' plans for weirdos. Problem solved.
Wait while more posts are being loaded