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The past 24 hours of questions at Ask MetaFilter

Published: Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:05:52 GMT

Last Build Date: Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:05:52 GMT


Prepping for software interviews that aren't algorithm heavy

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 23:05:52 GMT

I've been doing a lot of the "big 4" time complexity/algorithm heavy-style software dev interviews lately, but will soon start interviewing with smaller companies. What should I expect/prepare for?

As I mentioned above the fold, I've done interviews with big companies (Facebook, etc.) where algorithms and time/space complexity analysis are very important, and database questions and implementation questions are usually fairly marginal or more general than detail-oriented. However, I'm interviewing with some smaller software dev shops now while waiting to hear results from my first batch of interviews, and I get the impression that these interviews are usually quite different. (e.g., one I had recently required some database design questions, then some HTTP header questions, and asked for real implementation code, or as close as someone can get it on a whiteboard.)

I realize this will vary a lot based on the shop and their area of focus. I'm mostly interviewing for sort of "general" dev or full stack positions. One specializes in building business intelligence platforms, once is an IT consulting position, etc. But are there any general tips or areas that would be worthwhile to brush up on? And is it ever kosher to ask your contact what to prepare for in advance?

Important Note: I am a new grad so they won't be asking me in depth questions about my 15 years of experience in sys admin or anything like that.

Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me: Verbal jousting edition

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:35:08 GMT

What is the argument style where Person A (PA) takes Person B's (PB) constructed argument, and, in a matter of seconds, breaks down their logic into a single statement (or question) where 1.) PB's entire argument is invalidated and 2.) The statement/question is one which takes PB's logic out of context. Both of PA's tactics have the (intended or unintended) effect of making PB look as if they are acting unreasonable or making an unreasonable demand.

Sometimes PA takes PB's statement and exaggerates it to its extreme. It isn't bullying, because PB is not threatened or in danger in any way. This is a game of intellectual chess. Great for debates, impossible for intimate/emotionally charged discussions. The collateral damage of this argument style is emotional intimacy, understanding and empathy. It's kind of like stonewalling, but with an added layer of semantics. What is this argument style called?

Does this sound familiar? Bonus points: How have you responded (or how would you respond) in this situation?

Older article with theme of "reporting on USA as if a foreign country"?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 22:18:17 GMT

I seem to recall an article some years ago (Possibly about a previous US election?) from a US based news organization where they wrote in the tone and style that's normally used for foreign countries. Does that ring a bell with anyone? I think it was linked on Metafilter but haven't been able to find it.

Is there such a thing as a peer suicide-prevention counseling handbook?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 21:04:08 GMT

I'm part of a community with a scary high suicide rate, I talk openly about my own mental health struggles, and I make a point of checking in with friends if they seem to be doing poorly. That means that fairly often, people confess to me that they're thinking about hurting or killing themselves. I've been there myself and I can empathize, but I'd like to go beyond empathy and help my friends make sure they're safe. Is there something I can read about how to do that effectively?

Free software recommendation for photo mosaic

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:51:58 GMT

Can you recommend free software for creating photo mosaics (or gimp plugins)? (Windows or Linux)

I do not want to use an online service.

(Who) should we ask for help with a UK tax dispute?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:37:19 GMT

[UK tax filter] My boyfriend has been audited by the government on his 2014-15 tax returns, and his ex-company is withdrawing accounting support. The specific problem is with his account containing overseas income that he was getting tax relief for. Can you give us some advice on the situation and/or who to ask for help?

My boyfriend (Canadian citizen) is currently studying in the US, but he was based in London until mid-2015 working for a large multinational company, and so his 2014-15 taxes were duly filed. Because of the nature of his job (lots of international travel) the company helped him apply for overseas workday relief on the income received in his bank account based in Jersey (I believe his company did the whole bank account/tax relief setup - he came to the UK with a job offer from them). However he was audited recently and the HMRC is saying that his Jersey account had received non-income-related remittances (mostly small amounts from friends), which disqualifies it as an account under special mixed fund rules, and asked for a revised remittance computation. The deadline was early December for that.

Up till this point, his ex-company had been paying for accounting services but he's just been told they'll be withdrawing support, literally right at the HMRC deadline. They oh-so-graciously agreed to pay for the application of a deadline extension until early January but he still has to either find another accountant ASAP or manage this whole tax mess himself... which he isn't in the best position to do, being overseas and completely freaking out over exams.

After some frantic Googling, my understanding is that even though those remittances from friends disqualifies his account from using "special mixed fund rules" theoretically he should still be able to claim OWR/tax relief on all the employment-related income in that account. It's just that instead of being able to do one calculation for the whole amount paid into that account, he has to do separate calculations for each transmittance from his company. So he shouldn't be on the hook for the cool £9000 the gov is asking him for. Um, I think?

My questions are thus:
(1) People with more expertise, am I completely on the wrong track with my understanding? Should he just pay up?
(2) What should he do next - try find an independent accountant, or go with an accountancy firm? Do it himself? (How?!)
(3) Given the looming deadline, any recommendations for firms/accountants in the UK dealing with this?
(4) His question: what are the consequences of simply not paying? Would there be ramifications for him in the US? [<-- I don't think this is a good idea, but I'm very risk-averse]

Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thanks!!

Need Downtown Los Angeles real estate and tenants rights lawyer

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 20:01:37 GMT

Degree of difficulty: Commercially-zoned warehouse converted to live-work lofts, now under scrutiny post-Oakland. 60+ units. Not anywhere near as dangerous as Ghost Ship, but they may try to make an example of us. There are more complex politics at work here than usual because of who our landlord is, so we really need someone who is politically dialed-in to DTLA.

The landlord has been working to get everything up to code -- the sprinklers and fire alarms all work, for instance -- but the zoning will always be an issue, so our time is going to run out eventually. Maybe sooner than later because this is happening:

Downtown Los Angeles Artists' Lofts Cited For Dozens Of Fire Safety Code Violations

There are a lot of shady lawyers preying on people in this situation. Anyone know someone reputable and connected?

Super experienced Qi gong/Tai Chi/Daoist teacher with cluttered website?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:57:58 GMT

Within the last few years I recall seeing a website of an instructor of Qi gong, Tai Chi, and related practices. Can you help me track him down. Snowflake clues inside.→→

* Cluttered, hard to use, non-responsive website
* White guy, based in United States or possibly Canada, between 40-60 years old
* Has lots of books, articles, in-person instruction/seminars on a wide range of these eastern practices

And the website? I'll recognize it when I see it. Any ideas will be helpful. I'll monitor the thread if there are questions.

I know the clues are vague, but I figure there are not 10,000 people offering what he does.

Holiday Nut Clusters

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 19:22:08 GMT

I would like to try to make some nut clusters this weekend out of mixed nuts and seeds plus some almond bark. I already have those ingredients. Tips? Suggestions for good additives? How about a nut free version?

I am not usually a candy maker, but I bake pies and cookies and cook dinner. I have a metal bowl and silicone spatulas ready to use over boiling water, but is the microwave a better way to melt the bark? I have some silicone ice cube molds that would make cute pieces. Do I need to grease or dust them? I want a version without nuts, so maybe a pretzel base and then what else? I want some kind of toffee-added version as well. I know I can get Heath bits in the baking aisle, is that a good option?

How do I report these defective contact lenses?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:40:33 GMT

I want to report faulty contact lenses to someone (I'm in the UK), or to sue the manufacturer. Who do I go to?

I've worn silicone hydrogel contact lenses (CIBA Vision Air Optix for Astigmatism) for years, but recently found myself unable to wear them. One eye gave me lots of trouble – irritation, discomfort, dryness, and the lens not centering properly. I couldn't keep the lenses in for more than a few hours. This persisted for months, even when changing to a new batch of lenses. I was considering giving up on contact lenses altogether.

I went to an optician while wearing the lenses and was told I was having an allergic reaction to something (there were papillae under my eyelid – she described it as "very bumpy"). She advised lubricating eye drops and anti-allergy drops for a couple of weeks, and eventually switching lenses.

Switching solutions didn't help, but switching to a different brand of lenses did. The eye is still a little dry, but I can at least wear lenses again and I'm overjoyed.

Funnily enough, lots of other people report having problems with these lenses (or rather, with the similar Air Optix Aqua lens):

It sounds like a serious manufacturing defect. The company I buy my lenses from has offered to send them back to the manufacturer for analysis – should I take them up on that or do I give up my only evidence by doing so?

I want a refund, but if a product recall needs to happen, who do I go to to report this? Should I be talking to a solicitor?

Can anyone ID this steel shelf support clip?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:36:06 GMT

I have a bunch of industrial shelving and I'm running out of clips to put it up with. I believe these are Edsal clips--they look similar to some of the Edsal clips I've seen online, and some of the clips have a letter "E" on them. I know there are similar clips out there where the support part isn't a nice right angle like these, but those will not work for my shelves. I need clips that are basically identical to these. Pics.

Favorite episodes of radio shows/podcasts

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 17:17:37 GMT

I like listening to This American Life while doing my PT exercises. I've been going through the favorites section, and it's pretty great. Do you have any favorite episodes of other shows to recommend? (I'm a total podcast newbie and "listen to RadioLab" is a bit overwhelming, hence specific episodes)

Of the dozen or so TAL's I've heard, the most memorable have been #513: 129 Cars, about what it's like to be a car salesman at a dealership with a quota system, and #218: Act V, about putting on Hamlet while in prison for murder.

Don't those get in the way?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:48:42 GMT

Genuinely curious: how do people adapt to life's daily demands while maintaining really long, ornate fingernails or wearing large bracelets and/or rings?

About me: I am a lifelong nail biter and I cannot STAND having anything on my wrists or hands save for one flat little Claddagh ring on my right hand.

But whenever I have been able to grow my nails out some, or when I wear another larger ring or accessory, I am IMMEDIATELY struck by how differently I now have to approach basically everything I do with my hands. I can't text the same way, I can't wash my hands the same way, I have to be more careful getting dressed or getting things in and out of a bag, and typing becomes more difficult.

So when I see people with really long, immaculately maintained nails, or super ornate 3D nail art, or someone with big rings on every finger, or someone who wears a whole lot of big bangles on their wrists, I am struck by just how differently they must have to do things than I, with my mostly unencumbered hands, do.

Mefites who have long, fancy nails, who wear hella rings, and/or who have a bit of a bracelet addiction: tell me your ways!

What concessions and changes have you had to make in order to accommodate your most excellent fashion and fingernail choices? Are there certain situations where you always have to remove your jewelry or trim your nails? Have you ever lost jewelry this way?

Are there certain types of clothing you avoid because they're too hard to manage with long nails? Do you feel "naked" without your rings or bracelets the same way my hands feel weirdly heavy whenever I wear extra jewelry?

Do you have any pet peeves or unique problems that are a direct result of having long nails or big rings (snagging sweaters, breaking nails, etc.)? Are there any unique advantages?


Bankruptcy Attorney in Los Angeles?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:47:06 GMT

I need a recommendation for a good bankruptcy attorney in L.A.

Is there a way to recover texts from an LG G4 that won't turn on?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:27:57 GMT

It turns on briefly and shuts right back off, gets stuck in a bootloop, or won't turn on at all. I tried changing the battery and nothing. I was able to get it to turn on long enough to transfer over my pictures back in October, but nothing since then. It will sometimes turn on enough to tell me the battery percentage, and the battery still charges.

Right now it's showing nothing; no battery percentage or anything. I've been putting the battery in and taking it back out, but still nothing. The Sprint store already looked at it and is going to replace it for me, but I really need these texts so I'm trying to get them off before I have to turn the phone in. Is there anything I can do to recover the texts while the phone is off? They were not saved to the SD Card or backed up anywhere. I did a google search but it's hard to tell which programs are legitimate.

bin me the heck up

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 16:01:55 GMT

greetings my fronds i am looking for shelf bin solutions for narrow ikea dark brown billy shelves.

please assume i have seen everything on the first few pages of a googly search for "bins for ikea billy shelves", including the very helpful links. i don't particularly like most of what i've seen on any of those posts, or on ikea's own website.

my demands are pretty few: i don't really want anything in wicker and i don't want anything in particularly cheap looking/bright colored plastic. i absolutely do NOT want anything with lids. i hate accursed lids. i will not be making anything myself, pls do not link me to a "make some bins" tutorial. my preference is to buy online.

the ideal bins will be 10"h x 10"d x 13"w but anything slightly smaller is also okay, by no more than 1 inch. i guess it would also be okay if they were slightly longer than the shelves are deep? by like an inch? but not much more than that.

right now the closest thing to what i want are these container store bins in natural canvas but i'm not really a fan of the color. i think my ideal color would be a dark red/winey/burgundy.

pls halp. show me your billy bins, mefi.

Gift ideas for someone recuperating in Bremen, Germany

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:51:10 GMT

I want to get a treat for someone laid up at the moment in Bremen, and I don't live there or know it at all. I'd normally go for an experience gift but they can't do much at the moment. What treat can I order and have delivered, preferably locally to reduce air miles?

The person likes architecture, design, psychology, and weird alternative things.

Alternatively to a "thing"... is there anything in Bremen that the person could do as a treat, that wouldn't be too physically taxing?

German mefites, your advice would be particularly valued because if I can avoid posting internationally then that would be ideal. I'm in the UK and my budget is up to about £40.

US/Canada Dual Citizenship Explainer?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:48:32 GMT

I was born in Canada in 1974 to a Canadian father and American mother. I have a US State Department-issued Birth of US Citizen Abroad and a Canadian birth certificate. In 1977, we all moved to the US, where we have stayed. My dad is a permanent resident alien with a green card. I have a US passport and social security number. I'm married to a US citizen and have a son. What is the process should I want to return to Canada, with my family?

YANM Immigration Lawyer and this is now and will likely remain purely theoretical. But for my own mental health (and especially the mental health of my husband who this election has really plunged into some serious anxiety) I'd really like to get a better handle on what would happen if the shit legitimately hit the fan in the US and we really saw no other choice for the safety of ourselves and our son but to go to another country. Can I just rock up to Canada and be like, "Hey long time, no see! I'm back, let me on in! Oh and by the way here's my husband and child, you'll love them." Would I have to have sponsorship? A job lined up? Would husband and child be able to get fast-tracked for their own citizenship? Would our family have to be separated first? Am I delusional about all of this and actually the fact that I was born in Canada to a Canadian citizen means nothing and I'd have to get to the back of the line with all the other "I'm moving to Canada" Americans?

Is there anything I can do now to get my papers in order just in case a hasty retreat needs to be beat?

Baby knitting ideas for soft, but crazy hot synthetic yarn

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:37:53 GMT

I live in a hot, humid climate. I have bought a 60% acrylic, 40% nylon yarn to make baby presents for friends. It's not the best choice for this climate. What can I make with it?

In my defense, the yarn felt wonderfully soft and smooth in the air-conditioned store. Outside in the sweltering heat though, it's pretty obvious that any clothing made with this yarn is going to give the baby a bad heat rash. It does still feel soft though, but it's not absorbent. What can I make with this yarn so it doesn't go to waste?

Current ideas:
1. Hat - still not too bad. Hats don't have to be cooling, right?
2. Blanket - only works if my friends put the baby in air-conditioned rooms, which they prpbably will not.
3. Mittens/socks/cardigan - if I had gloves made of this stuff, in this weather, I'd have permanently sweaty extremities. I don't eant to subject an innocent baby to that.
4. Wipes/bibs - this materials doesn't seem absorbent at all.
5 . ???

If all else fails, I could crochet a little toy or something, but I'd rather make something my friends could really use.

Thanks in advance for any ideas!

Wife loves kickboxing – Christmas edition

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:19:17 GMT

Hey all, my wife recently discovered a passion for kickboxing and I'd love to support her in it via Christmas presents in the equipment and accessories areas.

I've never done kickboxing before and quite frankly a couple of weeks probably isn't enough time to join up and learn enough to identify for myself what would be useful or helpful to her. She already has boxing gloves, tape, an equipment bag, and a gym with classes she likes.

I'd like to find some other stuff that would be helpful to her as she continues with kickboxing. It's amazing how much she's gotten into kickboxing, and I want to support her in this passion in the new year.

Ideas much appreciated, and anything I can pick up local to Toronto or the GTA is especially helpful.


What are some small things you can do to help service people?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 15:12:22 GMT

Service workers of Metafilter (retail workers, contractors, plumbers, baristas, etc.): What are some small, non-obvious things customers can do that are a big help?

If you are, have been, or know someone who deals with customers: what are some things that people can do (or avoid doing) that make your job smoother, easier, or more pleasant? I don't mean the basic "if you don't like the food don't take it out on the waiter" stuff, but things that customers probably wouldn't realize unless they'd worked a similar job.

I'm thinking of examples like "this certain kind of drink always takes a super long time to make, so don't get cranky if you think I'm being slow", or "if I had the measurements of the rooms my electrician job would be 100% easier" or something.


Contemporary design hubs/stores in Mexico City? Eindhoven?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:59:06 GMT

I'm looking for suggestions of boutiques, museum stores, experimental design studios, and the like in fertile design centers not in the U.S. (online stores or willingness to ship to the U.S. is a necessity)?

I'd like to have some fun finding gifts for the holidays before whoknowswhat happens to trade. This is my gimmick, anyway, and it's been fun so far but I need some suggestions. Basically, I've been happily translating web pages to try to find smallish boutiques, museum stores, design studios, and the like where I can find products, textiles, scarves, tabletop accessories, whatever -- designed (well) ... obviously I'm making this harder than it has to be but it's fun and interesting. Would love some direction from MeFites, as I'm starting to spin my wheels ....

Off the shelf question database/management system for repeated surveys?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 11:04:17 GMT

Is there an existing piece of software that would allow me to track and manage questions on several waves of a large survey?

I work on several surveys that run twice a year. We would like to have an easier way of tracking what questions were in each wave, who requested their inclusion, how long they take, etc.

We are in the early stages of improving our existing system, which is functional but limited, but I find it hard to believe that there isn't an off the shelf solution that would do most of this far better and wouldn't require the same time investment from us.

I'm also happy to hear about your own experiences/suggestions for how to do this beyond an unwieldy excel file.

Looking for a short story level up your starbucks skill

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 07:36:13 GMT

I've been looking for this short story I read online - I'm pretty sure it was part of a collection linked from a mefi front page. Where there was multiple authors collected about how the future might be. Not necessarily dystopian.

The one particular story I am after is where a young adult had to run all over town and do odd jobs - retail shelve stacking, make coffee (starbucks possibly).

You had to bid for the work on a smart phone and you got credits and also leveled up your skills like some kind of online game. This allowed you to potentially set higher rates on future work. Where employers set short tasks.

Task rabbit on steroids. But essentially the whole economy was like this. Normally my google fu does not let me down. Hopefully the green can.


Help Me Dance Better About Architecture

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 06:22:42 GMT

What are your favourite examples of music writing? I'm looking specifically for pieces and articles that introduced you to someone new, that made you want to either buy their records or go see them live. My own favourite example is the artist biographies from the Golden Plains Music Festival.

A part of my day job, which I love, involves writing about music and artists that we're bringing over to China. Many of these artists are small, independent, underground names - and we frequently have to introduce them to an audience unfamiliar with the band/musician in question.

It's an uphill struggle, and I want to go beyond the usual cliches of music writing (how many times can I say that a band is 'eclectic'?) to try and convince people to take a chance on an artist they have not heard of.

The title for this question comes from (probably apocryphal) Elvis Costello quote that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture."

Who will rid us of this troublesome beast?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:54:26 GMT

Why can Alex Jones make outlandish claims that provoke gullible people into illegal acts without breaking any laws himself? Why haven't he and his cohort been sued into oblivion?

Reliable Computer Repair Shop in Brooklyn, The Bronx or Manhattan

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:44:41 GMT

Does anyone have a recommendation for a computer repair shop ideally in Brooklyn, The Bronx or Manhattan?

My PC was having an issue where it would spontaneously turn itself off and I thought the power supply might be going. I bought a replacement power supply and now the computer won't turn on at all, so I obviously did something wrong. I have always been able to repair my computer myself, so I have zero experience with repair shops.

I am open to placing a Mefi Jobs post if that is the best plan, but what would be an acceptable rate for this kind of work?

Books about Celtic Christianity or Spirituality

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 03:15:19 GMT

I am interested in learning about the history of Celtic Christianity or spirituality. I am having trouble finding books that are about the history of this period, rather than being "self help" type books about lessons from that period that can be applied to today. I want a good, solid history, preferably one that is available on Kindle. Can you suggest something?

I know that Celtic Christianity is no longer the preferred term historians use, but I am not sure what search term to use for what I am looking for. I am interested in histories of Christianity in Northern England and Ireland in the early middle ages or maybe even the dark ages -- roughly the period from 300ish to 1000ish AD. I am not afraid of big, long, heavy academic tomes, but I'd prefer to find a popularization if I could. I'm specifically interested in what was unique about the Christianity of this period and location, but also about their approach to mission/evangelizing and just the general history. What should I read?

Need spreadsheet with pivot tables, but can't really use Excel or Sheets

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:46:07 GMT

We have a very large Excel spreadsheet with a lot of raw sales data. I'm then creating pivot tables to look at the info in various ways to help our sales team. However, we're bumping into some severe limitations with regards security, sharing, and user-friendliness of the UI and trying to figure out if there are alternatives.

Why we want to move away from Excel:
1. The spreadsheet is HUGE (over 100mb) and playing around with pivot tables and/or adding info takes a long time.

2. We want our sales managers access to the data to create/filter/tweak reports themselves, but we really don't want to send people all the raw data.

Ideally, I would put this on a Google Sheet, and it'd kind of solve problem #2, because I could, in theory, put the raw data on an unshared Sheet, then do an Importrange to a protected, shared sheet that people could pivot from. That way, they don't have *direct* access to the raw data, but could construct useful pivot tables to do sales analyses.

Also, this would make it a lot easier for some of our more tech-literate people to help the managers construct pivot tables and then just send them a link and give them basic instructions (if you want to see only these customers, filter the pivot table this way...)

However, the spreadsheet is way too big for Google Sheets to handle.

I think we're probably in the realm of putting the data in an actual database and then using something like Jasper Reports or Crystal Reports (too expensive), but that's got a *steep* learning curve for our sales managers, who can barely figure out pivot tables.

We've also looked at relatively inexpensive tools like Amazon Quicksight, but that seems more geared towards graphs and charts than pivot-table-like reporting/analysis.

Are there any viable, and relatively inexpensive alternatives that give us the flexibility of having a large amount of data in the backend, and a fairly simple-to-use front end that's similar to pivot tables?

Ideas for how to practice receiving criticism

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:37:10 GMT

The best way to get better at something is to practice. I'd like to get better at handling criticism and rejection. What are some good ways to practice that?

Obviously, one way would be to just try getting better at handling all the day-to-day interactions that involve various forms of criticism (real or perceived). I'm looking for suggestions for more structured activities that could ideally be done online and in more measured doses, as a sort of exposure therapy.

Just posting this question might be a good example! What if no one responds? That means no one liked it! Deal with that, sucker!

My first idea was to do write terrible poems and find some online poetry criticism group. Unfortunately, apparently no one wants to read bad poetry for free, even if you volunteer to read some yourself. However, there seem to be a number of online short fiction criticism web sites, so that might be a viable option.

In real life, Toastmasters seems like it would be another structured way to hit the same buttons.

Any other ideas?

Finding files consisting of only NUL character in Windows

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:31:08 GMT

So I've got a folder for my music projects going back to 2000. It's a mess, and I back it up every so often. I had a HD crash a few years ago, and I have no idea what I used to restore it, but I remember at the time I felt lucky I got back everything. Except I don't think I did. Whatever I used ended up writing files with the proper byte size consisting entirely of NUL characters.

There seems to be a large amount of them. Maybe about a third from what I'm guessing at by comparing different backups with Anti-twin.

Does anyone have any advice for checking through a large nested directory in Windows for a string of 4 or 5 of NUL characters in a row in each file so I can generate a list (with paths) that I could use to check them?

I'm thinking a list generated from the command shell would be ideal so I could maybe mass delete them with it once I've gotten a handle on what data's got the rot. I'm open to other ideas. I've known about this issue for a couple of years, but finally have a computer fast enough to deal with it once and for all.

Is spontaneous recovery from Borderline Personality Disorder a thing?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:24:22 GMT

For 5-6 months last year, my daughter was falling apart. Symptoms included extreme hostility, depression, inability to focus on simple tasks, insomnia. She was virtually incapable of caring for herself, so I moved in with her. She was taken to the ER 6 times between July and Oct and hospitalized for 3-7 days each time (4 different university affiliated Chicago hospitals). Diagnoses included PTSD, anxiety disorder(s), Bipolar, and Borderline Personality Disorder. (I first wrote about these issues here.) Then the crisis passed and within a matter of weeks, these labels no longer seemed applicable. So, what happened?As always, I will apply all common sense caveats re "you are not my doctor/lawyer/whatever". Prior to this crisis period: 1. she had been in a serious car accident in CA, but did not receive medical attention (she walked away from an accident that the police officer who later found her car described as "not survivable"), so we (her father, friends, and I) suspected a possible brain injury. Unfortunately, by the time we learned the facts of the accident, it was too late to do relevant tests to determine if this might be causing the problems. 2. she had been taking Adderall for ADD off-and-on for several years and the same doctor had been prescribing Xanax for anxiety issues for at least the last year. At first, her friends suspected she was abusing her prescriptions, but it turned out that she actually had pills left over at the end of the month. (The prescribed doses were above average, but well within the normal range.) From the beginning (before the first hospitalization) she said she had anxiety disorder, PTSD (sometimes she said the underlying trauma was a sexual assault that occurred last year, other times—notably, when she was pissed at her dad about something—she blamed her "childhood"), and also, Bipolar, which, frankly, I didn't see, i.e., her supposed manic episodes seemed Adderall-related to me. BPD was added by three different psychiatrists during hospital stays. As far as I know, she self-diagnosed PTSD, anxiety disorder, and Bipolar. Fwiw, she never accepted the BPD diagnosis because, as she said, "BPD is seriously fucked up". To my untrained (but not completely uniformed) eyes, BPD seemed to fit. However, I recognize that this disorder is difficult to diagnosis and/or overlaps Bipolar. Note: between hospitalizations, she occasionally saw the doctor who wrote the Adderall and Xanax prescriptions, but that was the extent of her therapy. Over the course of this crisis period, she was prescribed 4 different anti-psychotics, 4 different benzodiazepines, an SSRI antidepressant, an antihypertensive that is sometimes used off-label for PTSD symptoms, and Adderall, even though every single doctor (at one time, even the doctor who wrote the original prescription) said it was contraindicated. And amazingly, there were no duplicates among the doctors. As a result, she amassed quite a collection of meds and ended up experimenting to try to determine what might work. Btw, this wasn't about seeking a "high", she was trying to find "normal". In October, she moved into an apartment that was supposed to add stability to her life, but her landlord turned out t[...]

Physics Filter: Height of capillary rise

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:22:33 GMT

Where can I buy a glass capillary tube so narrow such that I can see the maximum capillary rise for water?

I was teaching a school student about capillary rise. In order to show it practically, I bought some of the glass capillary tubes available online. However the rise in them was very little. In order to show it better, I tried to find a narrower tube and got some glass microcapillary tubes. Here the capillary rise was more, but not as much as I expected. This piqued my interest further. Where can I buy a capillary tube as narrow as possible that would show the highest capillary rise? Of course, narrower the tube, the higher the capillary rise. Here I am just using a capillary tube and water from kitchen faucet.

2006 Hyundai Sonata Front Wheel Issue

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 02:02:51 GMT

I have a 2006 Hyundai Sonata that is making a loud clunking noise when I first put the car in gear. I start the car, put my foot on the brake, put the car in R and I hear a creeeeaakkk, clunk! noise coming from the front, passenger side wheel. I back up out of the driveway/parking spot, put the car in D and get a slight clunk! noise out of the same wheel again. Then I'm off down the road and all seems good unless I hit a pothole or some other bump in the road and it's another clunk! noise out of the same wheel. What could this be? Any thoughts?

What to do in Montreal on Christmas Night?

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:42:56 GMT

Hello All, My husband and I will be traveling to Montreal for the Christmas Holiday. We will be arriving on Christmas night and leaving New Years Day. As a traveler I tend to want to live as a local when visiting another city/country. And one of my favorite things to do on Christmas Night is drink cheap beers in a dive bar. As such, I was hoping that someone might be able to tell me if there are any good dive bars in Montreal that will be open on Christmas Night that would be good for libations and merriment. We will be staying in the Mile End Neighborhood of Montreal. Thanks and Cheers!