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Comment Re:Not a problem anymore (Score 1) 48

I can understand people engaging in telemarketing (because they're evil), but I don't get the point of making a call that you know ahead of time with absolute certainty is not going to end in a sale.

Fucked up incentives. Presumably because calls statistically leads to sales, someone was ordered to increase call volume. Presumably cold calling random people could get them in more trouble with the FTC or is against corporate policy, so to deliver on that they're making pointless calls. That the sell-through rate drops in proportion is muddled by competition, random variance, pricing policy etc. so the executives probably don't know it's happening. That kind of corporate dysfunction is quite common when employees don't have any incentive to run the actual business well, just according to the metrics.

Comment Re:Go back in time (Score 1) 216

Pretty much. In retrospect, I thought Bitcoin was going to be one of those geek idea that just didn't pass beyond geek circles. I was considering getting in on it when it was like $1/BTC and like.. nah... not going to happen. In retrospect it's prety obvious but hey.. it's like the dotcom boom, even if you recognized it as a bubble you could make a lot of money riding it and cashing out at the right time. Bitcoin worked because it was first and everybody was rooting for some crypocurrency to be taken seriously. All the rest seem like "get rich quick" schemes where you keep some to yourself and try to make it valuable. I still use BTC but I have the feeling it has no "natural" level, it could be worth $10 or $100 or $1000 in a while. That doesn't stop it from being used in transactions, but as an investment it's pretty fucked up.

Comment Re:Sad in a philosophical sense (Score 1) 108

For having so many small experiments and projects to maintain, a human presence is really not that much more effort compared to building robotic versions of each experiment. The human is also far more adaptable, able to repair and rebuild systems as needed.

Well, except that humans are pretty much stuck at the landing site. Mars has half the circumference of earth or about 20000 km, you can get the equivalent of the lunar rover and cover maybe 20 km before you have to turn back. Sure, the rovers are a snooze feast but we got several of them in different places. For the same reason it's not practical to repair them or return samples to base either, even if we had a man on Mars.

Comment Re:Meaningless stats (Score 1) 108

Yes, but... what users are complaining about isn't really how "fair" it is from a CS perspective. What they really want to know is how they can say my video streaming is a lot more important than my bittorrent client and if there's CPU contention or IO contention or network contention just let the video take priority. Because usually somebody with a server has optimized the IO quite well for the use case with 100 streams and they're all equally important. That's usually not the case on the client, some things matter much, much more than others.

Comment Re:Caller ID Blocker (Score 5, Informative) 240

Neither will the system in the summary. The advanced call blockers do everything stated in the summary with the exception of the last sentence, they don't jabber or press buttons randomly.

They operate in two modes, whitelist only smart mode and white/black list or training mode. In the training mode everything rings through except black listed numbers. You manually indicate white or black list status to the device for a few weeks for incoming calls. Then, once you have built a whitelist database up, you put it in smart mode. That only allows whitelist calls through, and anything else gets answered with a prompt to be put through if you are a human caller.

Rejected calls and "no caller ID", "anonymous" and "unknown" are all automatically blocked. I have one and I'm very happy with it, and no I don't work for either a manufacturer of them or Amazon.

Although it doesn't maximize the time-wasting aspect of annoying the incoming callers, it at least answers and hangs up on them, so it costs them their dime.

Anyway, most telemarketers use Entropy mass dialers that call 10 numbers at a time and only transfer the one that answers to a live agent, so 9 out of 10 times you're bot is only hassling another bot.

Comment Re:What year is this? (Score 3, Informative) 161

It all depends on how far you are from the nearest central, 3-5 km out on basic ADSL is pretty crap. If you live close to the exchange or they've pulled fiber "close" and you get ADSL2 or VDSL you can get decent 10-50 Mbit. No doubt the growth is fiber though, here in Norway it's now 28% (+6%) fiber, 22% (-5%) DSL since last year.

Comment Re:Porsche != 'Luddite' (Score 1) 212

The only problem is that insurance is based on risk pools. This means that as people switch to self driving cars the risk pool for cars that people drive shrinks and by definition they are the most unsafe drivers compared to the autodrive cars. This will mean insurance will go up and move people will stop driving their cars for money reasons and the insurance will keep going up.

No, insurance goes up as risk goes up. Unless driving a car becomes much riskier due to the interaction with self-driving cars or there's a selection bias where the above average safe drivers switch to self-driving and the below average stay the cost should remain constant. There would be a cheaper alternative and many people would surely prefer it but it's not like a wooden house in the countryside becomes more or less flammable because they build concrete condos in the city. Personally I suspect it would be the opposite, the people who know they probably ought not be driving but need a practical way to get from A to B go self-driving and the people who drive are those who want to, when they want to. And you're driving in a world where most cars actually follow the rules and behave nicely, I believe accident rates will go down on both sides. Whether competition works and the rates come down is another matter.

Comment Re:Add-ons? (Score 1) 388

You guys just can't be satisfied. "This or that feature should be a plugin!" Mozilla removes features and suggests they are better handled by plugins "No! Not that feature!"

There's a huge gap between "You can have the car painted any color you want as long as it's black" and "We've stripped it down to the chassis, pick the parts that are right for you". I always thought extensions were going to cover niche functionality and act as a test bed so you could slowly pull in core shortcomings into the main browser at a leisurely and well structured pace because there's an overhead to extensions when you have many installed and your browser runs like shit because of some bad plug-ins and bad interactions. Depending on what glasses you look at it seems that Mozilla first pushes you to extensions, then blames the extensions, then breaks the extension. The user don't care why it's broken or whose fault it is, they just want it to work. And if you have to turn Firefox into Chrome to do that, well we already have Chrome. And it's a lot better at it...

Comment Re:Cats & dogs living together (Score 1) 166

Google's core business is delivering targeted advertising and marketing data, give it away "free" then monetize the hell out of it. They're only opposed to malware and deceptive ads because it hurts their much bigger business of ordinary ads. What on earth made you think Google likes ad blockers? They're all cloud and web apps and put your data online so we can analyze it. And praise Jeebus they didn't get anywhere with G+, if they had Facebook's data too you'd almost have them shoulder surfing with you. Apple? It's the iSphere and you're paying for it but as long as they get a cut they're happy. And they got all sorts of stores like iTunes to sell things themselves, don't need to remind people of the world outside the iSphere. Maybe you're thinking about the part where Google uses open source, but that's just on the client side to break monopolies and get users hooked up to Google services. It's a tool and sometimes there's a common enemy but they're not your friend.

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