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Comment: Re:The one question on my mind (Score 2) 256

by Serenissima (#47615135) Attached to: 40% Of People On Terror Watch List Have No Terrorist Ties
I don't know if it's the "Terrorist Watch List" but my name somehow got on a list. I remember when I was getting my ticket at the check in stand, the agent took my ID and walked off. For 30 minutes I was standing there with no answers. When they came back, they said my name was similar to a name on a watchlist and in the future, I needed to make sure to add my middle initial to any tickets I purchased. I spaced on that the next ticket I bought and sure enough, the same 30 minute process. Since then I've always used my middle initial with no issues.

The real kicker is that my name is in no way unique. It's one of the top 10 most common names in the US for the last hundred years. My last name, while not THAT common, is still very common. I actually like it because no one can ever find me online - you can Google my name - even with my full middle name - in quotes and thousands of people with the same name. It's like saying "John Smith" is on the list, so anyone named John Smith could possibly be that guy. So, if it's anything like my situation, common names may get added to a list - and from what we've seen in the past - it can be very difficult to be removed from the list.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 419

by Serenissima (#47561255) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States
But that was the point I was making :)

It's totally the employee's fault. They violated the store policy in exactly the way that you're saying. I'm not agreeing with, or condoning it. I knew enough not to make that mistake, but knowing what I know about the pressures put on you as an Apple salesperson, I was saying I can totally see how someone less experienced or who didn't give a shit would do that. ;)

I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all. If you've spent any time in Retail, you'll know that 90% of the time, Customers really have no idea what they want or what the rules are. Most customers are pretty dumb. Hell, I couldn't even trust them to remember a password that they JUST created minutes before. They are the absolute WRONG source of any useful information - especially about transactions.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 5, Informative) 419

by Serenissima (#47559147) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States
I used to work at The Apple Store. And that's really the way it should work. However, from my time there, we had credit cards declined all of the time. The Apple Store is a huge place for fraudulent purchases and credit cards routinely auto-blocked access when purchases were for Apple and outside of typical purchases. We actually had the VP of BOEING's Business credit card declined. The standard procedure was to have the customer call the bank, validate that they were them, and that they indeed DID want to make the purchase. After about a minute, we could re-run the card and it'd work.

Now, when the payment device asked for an Override code, it was the job of the EMPLOYEE to got to the back and call up the bank. We're provided special numbers to call and special codes we have to type in. It's a horribly clunky and long process which everyone hated to do, but that was it. So, this is completely the employee's fault - albeit it's really a training issue and the blame rests with Apple. I can totally see why an employee would

#1) Not want to go through that process when they need to get to the next sale

#2) Possibly be new and not completely understand the process

#3) Be susceptible to some clever social engineering - ie: There are some cases where the customer must call the bank. I need an override code from the bank to process this. The customer is calling the bank, so that means I don't have to!

So it's a big f-up, but I can totally understand how and why it happened.

Comment: Re:Strabismus (Score 1) 550

by Serenissima (#47526457) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
I do have 3D vision, my strabismus is very slight compared to when I was younger. The surgery did work! I was worried that I would actually have to have surgery again because of how my eyes were acting up when I had my normal glasses and I would have to change focus from near to far to near again. Fortunately, the bifocal lenses help that tremendously to the point where it's not even an issue. I'm about 10-20 years younger than most people who need bifocals, but I can't argue with the results! I love reading and I'm a data analyst, so I use computers all the time - I think my eyes get a lot of training! :D As far as Lasik goes, it really doesn't seem like a worthwhile proposition because it won't really change anything for me! Thanks for the contemplation though... My appointment is coming up soon, maybe I'll look into it!

Comment: Strabismus (Score 2) 550

by Serenissima (#47524701) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later
My eyes don't line up in the exact same place when I look at things. I had surgery when I was 15 to correct it, after 20 years, it's coming back a little (although to a much less significant degree). Fortunately, it's small enough that I can use lenses to correct it - I have to wear bifocals now - but that also means that Lasik will never work for me to improve my vision. I could have better than perfect vision in each eye and I'd still need corrective lenses. :|

Comment: Re:Measuring Competence (Score 1) 255

by Serenissima (#47049679) Attached to: The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence
I see what you're saying. My takeaway was that he wasn't saying robots weren't more competent at specific things (in fact, he commented on how they can do very specific things much better than humans) but that they're not competent in replacing all human tasks. In the example he gave, he said a car-welding robot could weld faster and better than a human, but if asked to install upholstery in the car, it'd probably destroy it.

As part of that, cars are looking like they're going to be robots that are significantly more competent at driving than we'll ever be - but they'd make horrible robots to help an old lady go the bathroom in a nursing home, or any number of tasks not related to driving.

They're not competent in their ability to be "Bishop" from Aliens, but they are/will be plenty competent in driving. :)

Comment: Potential Risks of Invasive Species (Score 3, Insightful) 59

If particular species have gone extinct, then I would assume their environment could no longer support them. If we manage to bring back those species, and introduce them into environments that could support them, it seems that we have the potential to unbalance that ecosystem by introducing an invasive species which has no natural predator there. How would you manage this risk?

The number of arguments is unimportant unless some of them are correct. -- Ralph Hartley