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Comment: Impossible mission (Score 1) 574

by RubberDogBone (#48316923) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

The company where I work created a new position to gather and present internal statistics for use in forecasting and project management and other things. This newly created job required a degree in something, several years of experience in statistics, and several years of experience in the custom-built statistics engine and toolset we had just created within our company. The product literally didn't exist a month prior to this job being created and it wasn't based on any off the shelf solution.

Also, it was going to pay a pretty low starting salary (we never pay new hires anything worth mentioning; if you can't actually speak any language and may or may not be legal, we love you but we won't pay you jack) and require relocating (not paid relocation mind you), in my case.

My bosses boss put very strong pressure on me to apply for this job. They wanted to hire internally, you know. Not bring in a newbie. I refused on the grounds that the job requirements meant I didn't qualify -and in fact it was not possible for any living being short of a time lord to have had ANY experience with this toolset much less the years experience stipulated. The sort of network access needed to gather the raw numbers needed was also clearly impossible to get and nobody would lift a finger to help with something like this. I could see the fail written all over it, so I refused.

The eventually hired an intern or something. They quit after a week.

Comment: TETRA is now being used in the US, too (Score 1) 215

by RubberDogBone (#48245931) Attached to: "Police Detector" Monitors Emergency Radio Transmissions

TETRA systems are now active in the USA: the FCC approved them under Part 90 two years ago, following trials in NJ and NY, among other places. http://urgentcomm.com/tetra/fc...

It is just going to be another digital option besides MOTOTRBO, P25, DMR, NEXEDGE etc. TETRA gear is cheap and proven so it should sell well, eventually. Pity a lot of it looks like old Nokia 5900 phones though.

Anyway, I question the value of such a detector device. Digital and analog two-way radio is used for so many things that have nothing to do with law enforcement, and/or law enforcement is using them for things other than coming after you, all in relatively close range. The thing is going to be going off constantly for no real reason.

For example, about 10 different law agencies cover my particular area and there's three different police stations within a few miles of me, not to mention fire, transit, and half a dozen other very active users. And that doesn't even include the private radio leasing companies which have their own trunk systems running EDACS. And then there are the stores using handhelds, hams, and who knows what else. Everybody is using two-way.

Basically merely knowing somebody is around using a two-way radio means nothing.

Comment: No incentive = why would they want it anyway? (Score 2) 558

by RubberDogBone (#48238817) Attached to: Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Why would CVS or RiteAid want Apple Pay anyway? If a shopper has bothered to come to the store, select items to buy and then go checkout, chances are they want the items relatively more than someone who hasn't gone to that effort. The stores of course support several different existing methods of payment which work just fine from their perspective. The customer is likely to pay anyway.

Perfect? No. There are middlemen involved in the transaction but it's a system everyone more or less tolerates. Extremely complicated financial deals are behind every card terminal you see in a store. None of that stuff just happens. It's all very carefully planned.

Along comes Apple which puts themselves into play as yet another layer of middlemen, one which the stores have zero control over and one which is outside their established payment process. It also runs counter to their own payment initiative which they have agreed to support exclusively. So what Apple tried to do was an end-run around the established players AND they did it using the existing installed card terminals. NOBODY piggybacks like Apple tried to do without having some major skin in the game. You try stunts like that, you are going to get your hand burned.

So, Apple is at once both another layer of middlemen interference and also potentially a contract issue for the other payment product. Apple was too late to the game. And from the store's perspective again, you have a cart full of stuff, you aren't going to just walk away, you'll probably pay with another method so they have nothing to lose really buy rejecting Apple Pay. Same for GooglePay which I never saw in the wild. Whatever.

Apple has a habit of intruding on entrenched turf and taking on the existing players. They did it with phones. But payment systems are a much more spread out target where everyone has their own idea of what they want and most of them think it works just fine as is, including the customers. Nobody who mattered much was asking for NFC payments. Apple has been pushing this, suddenly, so it's up to Apple to tell everyone why they should want it. It's totally on them. Until they do that, until they make some inroads at the card terminal issuers, Apple Pay is going to be limited.

Comment: How can an end-user even tell? (Score 1) 700

by RubberDogBone (#48210699) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

My only exposure to FTDI comes from using USB or serial cables to program various kinds of two-way radios. In many cases, an FTDI chip is involved somewhere in the cable that we use to do this programming.

But even in cables sourced directly from the radio manufacturer, there is no way for us to tell whether the chip is legit or not. And if we have to obtain a cable from eBay or some other supplier, all bets are off. But it's not like we can go to a certified place to get a cable. There aren't any such places. But again, even cables direct from the factory may or may not be legit. We don't control that.

All we do know is that we're supposed to use FTDI drivers to run it.

The real answer here is to come up with an open-source or free driver that can support these chips and remove the support needs from FTDI.

Comment: Re:Good luck, as carriers stop using 2G (Score 1) 27

by RubberDogBone (#48210669) Attached to: Deutsche Telecom Upgrades T-Mobile 2G Encryption In US

My Garmin also uses FM for real time traffic, however FM traffic is being phased out in favor of data over the "HD" radio signal, which is a different kind of thing. You'll need a new GPS to take advantage of it, and at some point the older FM signal you get now will cease to exist.

Honestly though, I use my phone GPS (Waze) exclusively now. It has all the real time traffic and updated maps and other benefits. My Garmin sits in a drawer and never gets used.

Comment: Re:Telomeres, tiny 'hairs' that split DNA for dupi (Score 2) 422

by RubberDogBone (#48182421) Attached to: Soda Pop Damages Your Cells' Telomeres

As someone who has invested a fair amount of effort and money into making a machine to make his own carbonated water, because I LOVE it and drink a lot of it, I can firmly tell you any excess CO2 you might consume in beverages leaves the body one of two ways: you burp it or fart it.

The kidneys are not involved in handling food CO2 because the process of digestion will free the gas and it will then vent directly in which ever way is easiest. Even if the gas stays in solution deep into the gun, it will not be absorbed by the body in gas form so it won't enter the blood.

Further evidence of this is from normal food digestion. The microbes in the intestines are always making CO2 and other gasses as they do their thing and likewise those gas products are vented directly as gas rather than being absorbed into the intestine membranes and then into the blood. Otherwise you would not fart. And everybody does.

Now, any CO2 that IS in the blood from normal biological processes (exercise, burning calories, etc) is cleaned out by the lungs, not the kidneys. Whatever you don't burp or fart is just whisked away when you breathe. You won't notice it.

So the bottom line is that consuming CO2 in food is fine. Harmless.

Comment: How do you hack a crank calculator (Score 2) 101

by RubberDogBone (#48120875) Attached to: Kmart Says Its Payment System Was Hacked

KMart is well known for having barely any IT infrastructure, and what they DO have doesn't work well. They are literally one step removed from only hand-crack adding machines.

How DO you hack that?

Yes this is a serious question. One of the key differences between Walmart and KMart was how each company approached IT back in the 80s when this stuff became affordable and powerful. Walmart embraced data and wrapped their whole process around it and still uses it quasi-magical ways to glean trends, predict sales, do reorders, and find efficiencies. They extract value from data just like they squeeze their suppliers.

KMart, on the other hand, looked at computers and laughed and went on laughing for years, not noticing as Walmart out flanked them and eventually drove them into the ground head first. KMart is barely alive now, because they spent decades not having any idea what was even in the stores or what was selling. They didn't know, didn't care, had no way to handle the data even if they had it, and generally treated IT like nothing more than office internet connections to surf Yahoo.

Baseline Magazine, I believe it was, did a stellar piece on Walmart vs. Kmart and how each handled IT as of about 10 years ago. KMart is not painted on a good light. It's actually amazing an organization as incompetent as KMart is even still in business. .They have never gotten it and still don't.

Walmart had them beat years before it happened, because Walmart knew all the data. They won the war in the server room. KMart never had a chance and didn't even fight back.

Comment: Keytronic clone (Score 1) 304

by RubberDogBone (#48099341) Attached to: The Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

My office spent a fair amount on a Keytronic clone of the Model M. It looked more or less identical and fell like you could kill someone will it, but the durability was actually a disaster. None of them lasted more than a few years.

We got new PCs with the cheap-in-the-box HP keyboards and those have held up for 8 years so far, hardly any problems. New Dell PCs replaced those but we kept the HP keyboards. Kinda weird but it worked. All the Keytronics went in the trash.

The moral here is that it may LOOK like a Model M, it may even sort of feel like you can kill someone with it. But it's got to be the real thing or nothing,

Comment: The causes of death were several (Score 1) 320

by RubberDogBone (#48071123) Attached to: The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead

The causes behind all these are several. In the 80s, there was a big push for so-called program length commercials, glorified toy ads. A lot of US fondly remember these shows decades later so it can be argued about the value if the shows being far beyond ads for toys.

The pressure to crack down on these programs -and corresponding flops in the fickle toy markets- caused fewer cartoons to be made, fewer for networks to air and also fewer for independent stations to run in the mornings and afternoon. This used to be a mainstay with multiple channels in some cities throwing out the best shows they could get to compete with each other. My town had three stations which fought for every show and bought anything they could find.

At the same time, the Fox network began picking up these independent stations to form their network, meaning the syndicated cartoons that did exist now had many fewer outlets to air, which caused even less of them to get made in the first place. My town had a series of musical chairs that resulted in the two biggest cartoon-airing stations dropping all their programs, cold. The third stations couldn't afford to buy them so basically they went away entirely locally.

And also around the same time, Cartoon Network launched and began picking up viewers that way. Nickelodeon responded and Disney with DXD, but no matter where they watched, in large part once kids went over to watching cartoons on cable, they never went back to broadcast stations looking for cartoons. And then after a few years, they forget they ever existed anyway.

Comment: Re:Rick Falkvinge on the subject... (Score 1) 274

by RubberDogBone (#48054897) Attached to: Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

THIS. The idea that a girl making peace signs in her bra then has to write an ESSAY basically about what's wrong with being a girl. WTF is that supposed to tell her about being female, which is already not an easy thing for a lot of girls and women?

You, because you are female and wear a bra, are teh suck for your entire life and are unfit to even take selfies. WOW. Way to clobber self esteem.

I always wanted to have a daughter but I wouldn't want one to have to deal with society like this.

Comment: Easy fix: lots of football tickets (Score 1) 242

by RubberDogBone (#48054857) Attached to: Senators Threaten To Rescind NFL Antitrust Exemption

All this huffing and puffing from Congress Critters can be solved by dumping some football tickets into constituent service offices, you know, to invite the staff to come see all the value a football team contributes to the community and see what NFL is all about.

Free of course, no strings attached. Just have some tickets.

And forget you were upset about blackouts and antitrust, okay? Okay!

Comment: Samsung has worked with Nuance forever (Score 3, Informative) 161

by RubberDogBone (#48054815) Attached to: Will Apple Lose Siri's Core Tech To Samsung?

An ancient Samsung flip-phone I had, gosh, 10 years ago maybe, had a sort of rudimentary voice command operation powered by Nuance. Between that and other similar things Samsung has done, they were working with Nuance long before SRI and Siri came along.

Rather than being something to damage Apple, I would say the current idea of buying them probably has more to do with "OK Google" now being mandated on devices, which in turn cuts Samsung and Nuance out of the game. I am not sure what buying Nuance is supposed to do but it has to be a defense of some sort.

Comment: Re:Since when do eBay and Paypal compete? (Score 1) 76

by RubberDogBone (#48033767) Attached to: eBay To Spin Off PayPal

They compete in the sense that eBay + PayPal is a competitor to something like Amazon which means Amazon won't let people pay via PayPal.

Split off, with PayPal on its own again, then only eBay will compete with Amazon directly, although PayPal will still compete with Amazon payments, there is a better chance Amazon will accept it, since they want to let people spend money.

And on the other side, there is no real advantage to eBay in keeping PayPal linked. It will still be a payment option just as it is now.

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