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Comment: Re:Already happening (Score 1) 867

by Sam Nitzberg (#44379569) Attached to: Door-To-Door Mail Delivery To End Under New Plan

I've been able to get rid of about 90% of my junk mail measured by its senders, and about 95+percent if you want to measure by its volume.

I knew that it would be annoying if each time I contacted the senders I just requested them to stop sending the mail. So, I had to view it almost as a game, and to observe (a bit) how their responses varied. Also, one or more tricks for efficiency helped greatly...

First, contact the senders of the largest mail items, and those leaving unwanted newspapers on your lawn (ok -if you have a lawn...). You can call them, but e-mail is often best, even if it takes another few moments to get their email addresses. Send an email, and it will usually stop soon enought, but the papers that are stopped often resume the next year / season. Just find your email and response (newspapers have been pretty good at answering requests not to send me mail, or to leave it on the lawn), and forward the thread back to them again if they resume the next season with a short note reminding them that you asked them to stop previously.

Some mass-mailings are a bit more of a hassle. Things like RedPlum mailings (which have a lot of ads inside them)..... they will take you off their mailing lists, but it may take 3 or 4+ weeks. Again, they will likely restart at some point, so email if you can, and forward the same email thread back to them with a note that they've started again. Again, it will take some weeks for it to stop again. If you need to lookup their online contact form or another organizations phone number, keep it in a short list so you don't have to dig it up again manually.

Comcast was the worst offender. They are happy to take you off their mailing lists if you are a customer, but it took an extended period of time (1 or 2 plus years?) to stop the mail from them. Fortunately, their advertising cards tend to be small and take little space. It took more time to stop their unwanted mail then anyone else's. I had a problem with Comcast in the past, and really didn't want their mail.

If you have two addresses, or a friend and want to organize your effort, you can cover two addresses with each shared request. This is much more efficient, and helps greatly.

I also called a number of businesses and asked them to take me off their lists by phone. This generally worked reasonably well.

You can see a good toehold in the reduction of unwanted mail in 6 months progressing through 9 months. By one year to a year-and-a-half, you should be at a point where you only make occassional calls or emails to stop the junk mail, as the number of issuers going to you is greatly reduced, but the volume is much,much lower..... again, ask the senders of the 'largest' junk mail items to stop early on, and focus your time there. By 1 1/2 to 2 years, there should be few items of junk mail, they will generally be small, and almost not worth the bother to call-in or email about. I tend to throw out the smaller items.

One slight surprise is that getting off a junk mail list doesn't exactly mean by itself that you won't receive the items from that sender. Some senders send larger collections of junk mail to everyone in a community. Getting off their list doesn't always help (practically). What happens often enough is this -- suppose you are at 65 Smith Street, and your next door neighbor is at 67 Smith street. What happens? Often - sometimes very often - you will get his junk mail for that circular advertising... Since virtually nobody gets off these mail lists, you get his [the postal carriers don't notice that your street number isn't on the mail, unlike everyone else's on the street], and everyone else gets the junk mail for this package that was intended for the next house over. Then, you have to see if the junk mail was intended for you before contacting the company asking them not to send to you, because they have in fact removed you from the list already... you just got the junk mail for next door, etc. I guess the last guy on the street, or last residence in the city benefits from the one missing ad in the mail that they don't get since you got stuck with it.

Anyway about 2+ years in, i get very small amounts of junk mail, and am happy with the result. I will on rare occasion ask someone not to send me mail - usually just if they send larger items of junk mail. If you try to view it as a mission as opposed to a game (or experiment) to see what it takes to get off the lists, it may be a little frustrating.

  -- Sam

-- Sam

Comment: I really don't see it... (Score 1) 220

by Sam Nitzberg (#43644653) Attached to: A Case For a Software Testing Undergrad Major

I don't see the basis for a B.S. in Software Testing... it's not a broad enough discipline or practice

Within a C.S. Curriculum, you would need to take the core courses - applicable pretty much anywhere...including
- Data Structures
- Compilers

and a number of electives. All the relevant math courses... including Calc. I, Calc II, Discrete Math, Linear Algebra, probability, statistics, and others...

I see software testing fitting in a as a possible elective after all 2nd and probably most 3rd year/required courses were completed. I wouldn't feel someone would be capable of understanding how to properly test software (in general), unless they already had the math and cs basis for computer science down first.

There are also colleges/universities offering a B.S. in Software Engineering. Again, I don't see the value of teaching software testing until they understand how to composes and architect sw systems properly.

When I was doing my masters in S.E., I did take a class in software testing. One of the textbooks was written by Dr. Musa. There was some significant use of math involved, and other texts as well. It wasn't a simple hands-on class to see where software integration would experience faults due to mismatched parameters, etc. The class covered a significant amount of substantial material in one semester. I don't see the (general) need for more than this - and if a student wanted to specialize in this at a graduate level, a special/independent - study would probably be the best way to achieve this. If there were demand, a Software Testing II could be offered. But, I don't see any basis for it to become even a 3 or 4 course concentration.

Comment: Re:Apparently (Score 2) 131

by Sam Nitzberg (#43414195) Attached to: Yokohama Accidentally Tweets That NK Missile Is Inbound

Here are the two relevant Wikipedia Links regarding this series of events that happened:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Able_Archer_83
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_RYAN

There is also a documentary on this called something like Soviet War Scare 1983 that has been on the military channel.

-- Sam

Comment: media bay boot / SD card boot... (Score 1) 572

by Sam Nitzberg (#43362469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Protecting Home Computers From Guests?

My two cents...

Keep an extra media bay or hard drive for a notebook that lets you just remove your hard drive and stick another in.
Take your regular hard drive and put it away when you've got guests coming over. let anyone use your notebook with this alternate media to boot and run from. Just keep a .iso or other backup from which to do a restore.
At the end of the night, just reimage the alternate media and put it back on a shelf.
Put your drive / boot media back in and you've got your machine back. No worries...

You do have to tie up a drive and / or drive carrier or media bay, and may need to pay a license for the OS if you don't plan to use Linux.

-- Sam

Comment: abuse@organizationname.com (Score 3, Informative) 241

It's been years, but a few times I found the organization sending traffic and sent an email to abuse@
the domain name and had positive results.

You can look up the whois online registry information on where the traffic is coming from, and there can be additional contact information there.

Regards,

Sam

Comment: Re:Easy to demand more security (Score 1) 266

by Sam Nitzberg (#40894269) Attached to: Apple Support Allowed Hackers Access To User's iCloud Account

Medical / Legal power of attorney?

Had she formally conveyed approprate powers of attorney to a family member or someone she trusts?
If she did, you may be able to get a certified copy / notarized representation of such documentation into the right hands at AT&T, and they could respond to you.
The holder of such authority would have a legal basis to represent her to anyone in her interests, including these matters.

I'm not saying it's guaranteed, but if you can navigate their bureaucracy a bit, you may be able to get the needed access if she's still locked out.

Regards,

Sam

Comment: Broadcast on Internet for those who cant be there (Score 1) 399

by Sam Nitzberg (#38839667) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Techie Wedding Invitation Ideas?

If you have any close friends or family members who can't attend, I'd recommend working out a way to broadcast the wedding over the Internet so they can see it.
Assuming you are digitally recording it anyway, this may not be too difficult, and they don't have to wait for a DVD or image file of it later. They can still get a sense of being there.

Perhaps doing something similar for any reception as well.

I'd test the equipment and setups at their end prior to the big day to make sure they didn't have any little browser issues or sw or connectivity issues interfering, so there wouldn't be unpleasant surprises if they couldn't get through.

-- Sam

Comment: It was good enough for this guy... (Score 0) 422

by Sam Nitzberg (#37880360) Attached to: Career Advice: Don't Call Yourself a Programmer

Yes, Ken Thompson....

Quote:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/k/kenthompso254835.html

From the original document...

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cache:7bAOKq-gu0oJ:citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download%3Fdoi%3D10.1.1.167.4096%26rep%3Drep1%26type%3Dpdf+I+am+a+programmer,ken+thompson&hl=en&gl=us&pid=bl&srcid=ADGEESibF-uVJXM7x_bfCWNz5chFMmYAUIxab__PJLL6zJOzKIFFP7_matZ6wmwqghTasmglEDX-UeS3McfIK1xR5i8_BY-wZ9fcbOitAsETD0o-MyewT8PPveCyQ7lZZD2jI0ArQA52&sig=AHIEtbSKScx76XaTVYkxJ0sl05FJWnQI2A

Comment: Re:Yes, this is legit and no, we're not idiots (Score 1) 387

by Sam Nitzberg (#37397694) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Use For a New Supercomputing Cluster?

I like the other comment on this thread, to visit the supercomputing conference/s for ideas. Besides, a lot of useful contacts will likely be made, and it can help you or your team get familiar with a bunch of issues.

You indicated that you have a private philanthropist that has a medical issue being researched by your labs. I don't know if your organization is a non-profit, or what it's charter is, but if your current labs project/s aren't enough to keep a supercomputer / cluster running at capacity right now, perhaps you can team up with other centers working on related problems. You have a great opportunity with this gear to help solve real problems.

I took a quick look for what the NIH is doing with supercomputing (just for ideas), and found this link:

http://cit.nih.gov/Science/SupercomputingResources/

I'd actually look for a list of projects, and prioritize them based on your organizations mission. Depending on your setup (I'm not a clustering / super-computing expert), you may wish to break your array down into more groups of fewer computers, or run it as one large system.

Good luck...

- Sam

"Never ascribe to malice that which is caused by greed and ignorance." -- Cal Keegan

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