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Comment Re:Why does this API exist? (Score 1) 107

However, there is no cost if you don't hit "Send". You have the option to cancel the text just as we have done for years with mailto: links.

Now, if they figure out how to actually send the text without consent, that's another game altogether.

If you accidentally hit 'Send' on a mailto link, there are no monetary consequences either, unless there's a whack of data attached to the email. If you do on the text, you're unwittingly establishing a monetary contract to pay some asshat real dollars on a regular basis. I have also heard that once 'subscribed' to these jerks, it can be hellish to get them to 'unsubscribe' you.

They're banking on the fact that the user a) is a fumble-fingered idiot like me, or b) isn't technically savvy enough to know how to cancel the text, like my parents, grandparents or the 5yo playing with moms phone in the grocery store. Actually, strike that, the 5yo would probably know how to cancel a text better than me, but they wouldn't necessarily understand why they should cancel instead of hitting send.

In a similar vein, those scam 'your windows computer has a virus' phone calls are often hilarious diversions to people who know better, but there must be a percentage of people who don't otherwise they'd die off for lack of funds/results. IMO this is in roughly the same category of sleaze.

Comment Re:Why does this API exist? (Score 1) 107

Why is there an API for sending a text message from a web page? Why does this need to exist at all?

You'd think someone at Apple, when they came up for this idea for this, would be shot down by someone else saying "Sorry dude, this is a feature that can be abused."

It wasn't shot down when mailto: was included in the HTML spec. As long as the API doesn't allow you to actually send it without further consent, how is it any different than every other app's "Send to Facebook|Twitter|Email|Whatever" functionality?

The difference is money.

For many people, there is a cost per message (over some monthly limit) to send/receive texts, and 'subscription' texts (as the ad in the article was apparently trying to set up through this sketchy exploit) charge the user above and beyond the carrier costs. Posting to FB or Twitter doesn't carry any significant cost rider (just loss of dignity, but that's going cheap nowadays), unless the payload is big enough to impact data costs. Even emails are not individually metered like text messages, although I suppose there the data costs could potentially be higher depending on attachments.

This is even worse than those scammy mailers for credit cards, the ones that 'helpfully' pre-fill the application form out with as much of your personal info as they have access to. At least for those you have to make an effort to fill in the remaining fields and physically mail the application form: here you just have to accidentally hit the 'send' button instead of the 'cancel' button (easy to do, esp. if you're used to Android) in order to give them 'permission' to charge you, not only once but multiple times. Also, you can bet that your phone number is now on as many robot scam-dialer databases as possible...there's just no way the user wins in this scenario.

Comment Re:If I turn the page of an ad in a magazine.... (Score 1) 241

No, because it's unlikely you'll completely ignore the ad if you mute the TV or ignore the web ad because it still registers in your peripheral vision, sometimes you'll notice it by accident.

It is stealing if you read a magazine where the postman, following your instructions, has used scissors to cut out all the ads from it. That analogy is similar to this case.

That's a fantastic idea! Let's make the postal service relevant again!

So, am I to understand by your very narrow definition, heading to the kitchen to make popcorn, going to the bathroom, or in any way removing ourselves from the vicinity of the television while commercials are on is stealing, correct? Because the advertisers went to all the trouble to create and send us those obnoxious little video clips, helpfully sprinkled throughout video we are actually interested in seeing (and 'stealing' as much as 30% of our time to do so) we are obliged to participate? Fat chance, buddy. As one poster mentions, how long before an obligation to watch becomes an obligation to purchase? Oh, wait, it already is for online advertising, since the customer is footing the delivery bill...

You know what the most common comment from new Netflix users is? How much time they save watching their favourite shows. 20 minutes per half-hour episode, 40 minutes per hour-episode. If we added up all of the time that commercials have wasted out of our lives, I think the average person would be surprised (and probably quite angry) at the result.

We've paid enough. We're taking it back.

Comment Re:PMP - YES! (Score 1) 118

especially in giving you tools to estimate project progress

What? I had the classes and passed the test. We didn't talk at all about estimating project progress, much less what tools to use to do so.

Managing scope creep

If the course covered that, that would have been awesome. The last three startups I worked for died because of scope creep. We just couldn't get a product out the door. My PMP certification didn't prepare me at all for how to deal with that. Maybe that is something new that has been added.

Wow, I guess I didn't realize how good the course I took was, then. They covered project documentation, including Scope Change Approval forms, and described thoroughly why they are needed (and need to be signed off on prior to adopting). It may be the one concept that has been most helpful to me since the course, I have a blank sheet and have the requester identify what change is 'required', the justification, and the expected cost or time difference. Then I take it to my project sponsors/stakeholders, and it doesn't go in the project until the sponsors approve (and sign the form saying it's approved). It doesn't stop scope creep (I don't think anything can), but it certainly reduces the "ooh, ooh, we should do this!" requests.

Just making people stop and articulate why 'this' is a good idea sometimes makes them realize that it isn't, really.

Comment Re:Who decides: HR or CEO or Manager (Score 1) 118

HR incorrectly screens people, and thus prefers certifications,...

And thus believes that a PMP cert is a real thing. They are scams. I have never once heard PMP mentioned except in fraud or spam complaints. Companies like are complete scams. PMP is a scam.

PMP courses from legitimate companies actually provide great tools for managing project uncertainty and variables. I've taken a level-1 course with a legitimate company, and found it very useful, even when I wasn't the one running the least I could speak the lingo and knew why the PM wanted the data that they were asking for. I didn't go for for the full certification, but am considering it as I get more and more pushed into lead roles on projects.

Of course, if your company always scopes everything perfectly and right down to the nuts before the project proceeds, and everyone on your projects does exactly what the scope calls for in exactly the allotted time, and nobody has any bright ideas after the project has started ("but we really should do THIS while we're doing THAT, we're going to need it later anyway!"), and outside interference (read WEATHER) is not a risk factor...then I want to live in your candyland.

Maybe what's needed is for some sort of external accreditation of PMP courses, like they have for Universities? Sure, I can email for a Bachelor's degree in pretty much anything I want nowadays, but HR knows to check the accreditation status of "University of All Science Stuff" (affectionately known by the vast alumni body as "U-ASS"). Does the email spam devalue my own, actual B.Sc.Eng.? Not to a savvy hiring agent, but where can they go to check the accreditation status of PMP or similar certifications?

Comment Re:PMP - YES! (Score 0) 118

Having a solid understanding of what actually needs to go into a project - even if you are not a project manager - is a huge help in making sure that you are doing your part for the project to succeed. That's the flip side of the same coin as the project manager having a fundamental understanding of the development and programming process.

Time - Resources (headcount) - Money -- The three primary legs of a project.

I'm not saying that you need to go all the way and get your full PMP... but taking a couple seminars on the core PMP would definitely be a step that would help you immensely.

How do projects succeed or fail? One day at a time. One day at a time.


This. Actual, true PMP classes are very useful, especially in giving you tools to estimate project progress and (hopefully) see if it's going sideways on you before it actually drops off the rails. Managing scope creep and project's never easy.

I guess I've been lucky, in that I haven't been subjected to the PMP certification spam that it sounds like others have endured. That's a real shame, since the courses provide very useful information even if you aren't running the project, and the scammers are just make it harder for those people to sift the chaff to find the genuine article...good luck, if you're looking!

Comment Re:Stupid people are stupid (Score 1) 956

But do you mean to tell me that by the 9th grade this kid couldn't play this scenario out in his head before taking the device to school? Kids younger than him are being arrested for poptarts, and that one wasn't even "foreign looking". Whether it was the kid or his father, someone here knew what was going to happen and was being intentionally antagonistic. After having seen their interview this morning I refuse to believe that either one of them is clueless enough to have not seen this coming. 9th grade isn't the place for political protests.

I call bullshit. The kid has an interest in and an aptitude for electronics, brought his project to school to show it off (perfectly natural to take geek-pride in your work), and instead of admiration for his initiative he gets slapped down...hard. I just hope it doesn't dampen his enthusiasm too much, we need more makers in the world!

I suppose next you'd claim that Americans of Chinese ancestry shouldn't expect to be able to use school computers, because it's not only reasonable but likely that someone will assume they're designing a computer virus. Don't try to blame the victim for the prejudices of the morons at the school. And, as another poster noted, anywhere and everywhere is the place for political protest, especially when the 'politics' in this case are so damned stupid.

Comment No wind? Not surprising (Score 1) 224

I can tell you where the wind went, it's all here in Canada due to the upcoming federal election. Just wait until Oct 20th, you'll be good to go, as everyone sighs in relief that it's finally over.

Buncha blowhards...gawd I hate how these things get more and more like a circus every cycle...

Comment Re:Over 20 million employees? (Score 1) 71

That was 4.2 miliion, not 4.2 thousand.

The 22 million is folks listed on forms by individuals who applied for a government security clearance. That's employees, contractors and all of their immediate family.

That having been said, nearly 40 million people in the US either work for the government as employees or work for them indirectly under one contract or another.


Whoops, sorry, reading comprehension fail :)

40 million direct and indirect employees, 12.5% of the population. How much are your income taxes again? Not that Canada's doing any better in that regard. I'd be curious to see what the comparative numbers north of the border are...

Comment Re:Over 20 million employees? (Score 1) 71

The most shocking statement in this article, to me, is that there are more than 20 million government employees in the US...that's over half the population of Canada!

It's not 20M current employees.

It's everybody who's worked directly for the government or worked as a contractor who needed regulary access to a government facility or needed a security clearance (probably mostly contractors) since 2000, and maybe before. And people who applied in that period and got as far as the investigation forms and were declined. It's everyone who filled out one of three forms: SF-85 (people in non-sensitive positions), SF-85P (people in "public trust" but not national security positions, and SF-86 (security clearances secret or higher), including all the information from the investigation.

Wow, that is a much wider range than just 'government employees'. 20 million definitely starts to make sense in that context, even if their refusal to deal with the situation doesn't.

Comment Re:Over 20 million employees? (Score 1) 71

Ah, okay then, that makes more sense! Thanks for the clarification!

Just over 4000 people is a lot better than 20 million, but the number of people who apply to government position (the reason, I assume, why they'd want a background investigation?) is still impressive! Or, as a previous poster mentioned, perhaps it simply included a *lot* of historical data.

Whoops, I see another poster mentioned that if you just want to want to work on a government contract, you would need the background investigation through E-QUIP. Now the numbers start to look reasonable, even if their actions are not.

Good luck with this, glad your employer is stepping up for you guys!

Comment Over 20 million employees? (Score 2) 71

The most shocking statement in this article, to me, is that there are more than 20 million government employees in the US...that's over half the population of Canada!

Granted, that's only about 6% of the population of the US, but's a pretty high MER.

Comment Re: I have the right to watch it. (Score 1) 147

You don't have to upload.
I kick/ban peers. Seeds are what's important to me.
Also those little slices are nothing and get deleted if you don't get the whole block from the same source. So when I kick them they auto delete whatever they got from me.

You're a 'take a penny...what was the rest, again?' kinda guy, aren't you?

If it has syntax, it isn't user friendly.