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Comment Neither commuter nor "communter" (Score 5, Informative) 50

VIA Rail is NOT a commuter train service. It offers "intercity passenger rail services", not commuter service, which Wikipedia defines better than I can: "Commuter rail, also called suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates between a city centre, and the middle to outer suburbs...". Again, not what VIA Rail primarily does.

Examples of agencies which offer commuter rail service in Canada include Greater Toronto's GO Transit trains and Montreal's AMT. These do, indeed, offer service between communities forming part of a greater metropolitan area and said area's city centre. At least in Montreal, the AMT has some exclusive tracks and agreements on shared tracks which prioritize commuter trains over other scheduled trains at rush hour.

Submission + - Mycroft, an open-source assistant AI

Roadmaster writes: I haven't seen this mentioned on Slashdot: The Mycroft Project aims to build an open-source assistant "A.I." (similar to Siri, Cortana, Amazon Echo and friends). They want to build both the software (which will be released under GPLv3) and a Raspberry Pi-based hardware/IoT device which listens to commands and leverages the AI to perform the actions the user requested.

Their Kickstarter campaign is 5 days from finishing and is still short of their goal, so if you'd like to see this project come to fruition, drop by to learn more about it and maybe give them some support.

Comment Re:It's not rude if everyone understands the proto (Score 1) 395

Who says they are unknown? I have caller ID at work. If I'm talking with a co-worker and a customer calls the customer should take priority in most cases. I've done this hundreds of times and it is the proper behavior. It's not rude, it's prudent. Our collective jobs depend on being responsive to our customers and we don't let our egos interfere with that fact.

What will you do if you're on the phone with a customer and another customer calls? Will your caller ID tell you if it is indeed a customer or maybe an unrelated (e.g. "wrong number") caller? How about the possibility of it being a new customer? (not sure if your org has a separate department to handle new signups).

It's only rude if there isn't a clearly understood reason for interrupting the call. My company employs just a handful of people and if a customer calls we need to have someone answer the phone. There is almost nothing I could be doing that would justify me ignoring a call from one of our customers during working hours. Anything I have to say to my coworker can probably wait a few minutes and we all understand that.

This is quite understandable. I was envisioning the above-mentioned scenario of two potentially-equal-priority callers in which case call waiting is a nuisance (that's what busy signals are for). Your "preemptable caller" scenario is a good use case for call waiting + caller id, but it will not always be the case.

Comment Re:I stopped using it 5 years ago (Score 3, Insightful) 395

Why would you prioritize an unknown caller over someone with whom you're already having a conversation? Just as interrupting a conversation is rude, call waiting should be banned (just as voicemail!) and emergency calls routed $SOMEWHERE that guarantees a live immediate response (or perhaps keep the sole instance of voicemail in organizations).

Comment Er, don't maximize your browser? (Score 1) 567

Maybe this guy hasn't heard of resizable application windows, invented over 30 years ago, and which render his "allow me to blow your mind" bravado into the realization that he's not as bright as he thought.

Just size the browser so it uses up half the screen, then you can have other stuff in the remaining half. You can use a tiling window manager, or just configure easy tiling shortcuts to set up your windows that way.

Using a single, maximized window at that resolution is doing it wrong (tm).

Comment OATH (Score 4, Informative) 113

My organization uses 2FA with a standard that's compatible with Google Authenticator and a Yubikey (OATH: and People with smartphones could use Google Authenticator to obtain auth tokens; an inexpensive ($25 per person) yubikey provides a very easy way to enter tokens without much hassle; and the open-source oathtool can generate tokens for other uses (i.e. add a "paper" authentication device with a long list of sequential tokens).

Comment Re:why? (Score 2, Interesting) 346

Not an entirely accurate analogy. You own the house (and even if you didn't, the *mailbox* from which you retrieved the letter is distinct from the dwelling where you're likely to store it afterwards).

In gmail's case, google *owns* everything, and they just let you use the storage and mailbox assigned to you. So given a court order, they could remove the email without technically accessing anything that's actually yours.

Now, if the recipient makes a local copy, then your "break into my house" analogy would be more accurate, applying to the copy in the recipient's system.

Comment Use of possessives (Score 3, Insightful) 691

I hate being a grammar nazi but, this Stross guy being a writer, I think it's warranted. Lack of mastery in his own craft makes me distrust his research a bit, even if it's a bit of an ad hominem on my part.

to damage states ability to collect tax and monitor their citizens financial transactions, as seen both in TFA and the Slashdot summary, lacks possessives and looks just plain bad.

Comment Re:I KNEW IT! (Score 1) 147

Where I live, Police will not enforce such laws. Animal control will not enforce those laws.

TFTFY. But really, if your authorities don't do their job, that's again no reason to seek outright bans on household animals. Vote to have the authorities changed by a team who cares. Failing that, move to a different location where authorities do care.

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