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Comment: Re:What Microsoft could do (Score 1) 208

by anyGould (#47897839) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

Employees are also told to say they’re calling from Ontario, and the callers used fake names.

Using fake names is actually a thing in call centres. Once upon a time, I worked for a completely legitimate educational facility, calling alumni for donations. (Hey, better than retail, right)? Rule 1 was to never use your real name, because (a) you never knew if someone was going to go all stalker-y, and (b) it's an easy mental barrier between people venting at you, and, well, you (because they're not yelling at me, they're yelling at "Antonio".)

Comment: Re: Actually (Score 1) 208

by anyGould (#47897815) Attached to: Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

I know this is sort of off topic, but duct cleaning is a real thing. I work in the HVACR (air conditioning / refrigeration) business. Now there are scammers in all trades, but if you are worried check the BBB or Angie's list to see. Duct cleaning makes the system more efficient, removes mold and bacteria. Just my $.02 .

As a consumer, I'm not going to buy *anything* over the phone. If you're a legit business, you'll have better luck running ads or putting flyers in my mailbox or even knocking on my front door. There's so much spam over the phone (between the OMG-you're-in-trouble to the You-Just-Won-A-Trip-From-An-Airline), that you can be the most reputable company on the planet - I'm not buying shit from you over the phone.

Comment: Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 462

by anyGould (#47891347) Attached to: CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

The only way to stop this is to criminally prosecute corrupt cops. Which happens from time to time, but not nearly enough.

To be honest, that was my second thought. (My first being "well, there's another reason not to go to the States - as if I needed another one"). What would happen if you simply called your embassy, then the local police and reported a highway robbery?

Comment: Re:Bikes lanes are nice (Score 1) 213

by anyGould (#47876849) Attached to: Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

Bicycles honestly do belong on the road. Where else are you going to put them, on the sidewalk? There are pedestrians up there.

Sure, but what's more dangerous - a car hitting a bike, or a bike hitting a pedestrian? Not to mention differential in speed...

Give me a decently wide sidewalk, and let the bikes watch out for people. Safer all around.

Comment: Re: What the heck? (Score 1) 354

by anyGould (#47857973) Attached to: DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

The problem is the risk: fighting this DCMA takedown requires expensive lawyer, and there is a small risk that wolfse has some reasoning that a court will agree with. In that case the costs will be so high, that the "in their free time"projects would make them bankrupt or something like that.

There's a simpler problem - you're trying to blackmail Mojang into open-sourcing code by holding hostage a fan project on the side. Wolfse has killed the bukkit project, but that just pisses off all the server/plugin owners. Vanilla Minecraft will continue on it's merry way while other programmers re-write his contributions.

And Wolfse has the problem of ever finding a programming job again.

Comment: Re:Don't Compare One Guy Getting Fired... (Score 1) 441

by anyGould (#47818073) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

And what's worse, is that the cops (who, remember, are the source of all this news!) have already firmly established this guy in everyone's mind as "the crazy teacher who writes books about shooting kids".

So, what's the best case scenario for this teacher? Gets a clean bill of health, and spends the rest of his days as "the crazy teacher"? (And of course, you know that if the psych exam comes out clean the cops aren't going to release big press releases trumping the mistake).

More likely, since he's in involuntary detention, the report will say whatever the cops need it to say, and we may never see this fellow again. He's certainly not going to get his job back.

Comment: Re:Sue the bastards (Score 1) 441

by anyGould (#47817987) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

That depends on getting enough public notice (and sympathy) that the school board feels the need to make the problem go away.

Barring that, school boards are astoundingly good at playing the Very Long Game - they keep lawyers on staff, after all. It costs them next to nothing to just dig their heels in and wait this guy out.

Comment: Re:They still need to orchestrate a show and tell (Score 2) 419

by anyGould (#47802441) Attached to: Microsoft Defies Court Order, Will Not Give Emails To US Government

Ain't you so glad now that Microsoft has finally becomes a company with "MORAL PRINCIPLES"???

Technically true, though - if you define "protecting next-quarter profits" and "not wanting every country they do business in demanding the same favors" as moral principles.

From Microsoft's chair, they have no choice but to fight this - how many non-US countries and corporations are going to subscribe to Office365 and other MS-cloud services if it's publicly known that MS will give your information to a foreign government?

Comment: Re:"Accidentally" (Score 2) 455

by anyGould (#47785653) Attached to: Should police have cameras recording their work at all times?

On the other hand, anyone who works in store is probably under surveillance all day. I'm an office drone and there's a camera looking at me right now. Plenty of far less critical jobs are expected to deal with being filmed throughout their work shift.

So, why shouldn't cops - who are given the ability to use lethal force - be expected to work under the same surveillance that the guy flipping burgers for minimum wage does?

Comment: Re:Send in the drones! (Score 3, Insightful) 848

by anyGould (#47785575) Attached to: Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

A slightly more cynical view:

Putin is going to grab Ukraine (or as much as he can), because he's willing to put boots on the ground and the Western World isn't. He's correctly surmised that the West has overextended itself a wee bit (both in terms of materials and willpower and moral authority). After all, he's "liberating", ain't he? Isn't that what the US did in Iraq? And Afghanistan? He's even invited by the locals!

Ukraine likely doesn't have the forces to stop them (if they did, they woulda kept them out of Crimea). The western world doesn't care enough to put skin in the game. As long as he doesn't heat the water too fast, I'd bet on Putin getting his Ukrainian lobster dinner.

Comment: Re:Got one of these once (Score 1) 251

by anyGould (#47766733) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

I treat it as a civic duty to keep them on the phone as long as possible (personal time permitting, obviously).

Sometimes it's just the old "hang on" and put them down routine. But the fun days are when you argue with the "Account Services" lady about why they need your credit card number, or (my personal high score) getting the "car warranty" guy to tilt and swear at me when I told him I wanted to extend the warranty on my 1967 DeLorean.

Comment: Re:Bring on the toll roads (Score 2) 531

by anyGould (#47766669) Attached to: Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

After reading this, please let me know what would be so awful about 100% toll roads.

This makes an easy comparison.

Currently, you pay a gas tax, per kilometer. No-body cares *what* you do with the gas at that point, or where you go. You can drive on freeways, you can commute to work, you can roadtrip across the country, you can just drive around the block for hours on end if you want. The only limit is the physical ability of the roads (expressed as a speed limit).

Conversely, a toll road will charge you for each segment of road. Suddenly, *where* this road is and what it connects to becomes a huge factor. If I own the major route, I can charge more (forcing you to pay or take a longer but cheaper detour) If I own the road that goes past the supermarket, I can charge more for that segment because it's popular (and the limit of what I can charge is "as long as it's cheaper than driving to the next furthest market"). If I own this movie theatre and the road in front of the competition's theatre? I can make it prohibitive for anyone to do business there. Just think how much fun you could have with speed limits. And how much is access to the road in front of your *house* worth?

And if you own a whole lot of roads, you can change speed limits to encourage traffic to go to stores you like/own, and away from competition.

This is the world the ISPs want to live in - they control all your roads, and they want to be able to adjust the toll road pricing so it's "cheaper" to go to their stores instead of their competition.

Comment: Re:What's a reboot? (Score 1) 252

by anyGould (#47655515) Attached to: <em>Babylon 5</em> May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

Yes, but there are very few new viewers.

It is not shown on TV so really, the only real way for it to spread is for people that loved the show to spread it. It's possible if you can get them threw season 1. (I skipped season one with my late wife but she was hooked pretty quick in season 2.)

The secret to hooking viewers is not to sell it as a TV series - it's a novel being shown on television (or a really really multi-part mini-series, I suppose). Season 1 is a bit slow, but mostly we're setting up places and people and themes. Sometimes the villain is a throwaway one-shot, and sometimes it's someone we're going to keep seeing for years and years.

Barring that, there's plenty of sites that list the "essential" episodes, so you can give them the short-version to get them hooked and then back up to get the details.

"An open mind has but one disadvantage: it collects dirt." -- a saying at RPI