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Journal: Nobots: now in paperback 1

Journal by mcgrew

It annoys the hell out of me that my books are so damned expensive, which is why I wanted Mars, Ho! to be 100,000 words. I'd hoped that possibly Baen might publish it so it would be, oddly, far cheaper. I can buy a copy of Andy Wier's excellent novel The Martian from Barnes and Noble or Amazon for less than I can get a copy of my own Paxil Diaries from my printer, and Wier's book is a lot longer.

Comment: Tablets are cheap (Score 1) 88

by davidwr (#47565687) Attached to: Reglue: Opening Up the World To Deserving Kids With Linux Computers

In the USA you can get a low-end tablet for under $60 easy. In many urban areas you can get 768Kbps internet for under $20/month. If your carrier allows previous-generation modems (some don't) you can get a used modem dirt cheap.

If Mom or Dad has a smart phone that acts like a hotspot you don't even need a separate internet - just make sure the kids don't use up all of your gigabytes (most low-end cell data plans in America are metered or they throttle to "2G" speed after a certan amount of usage each month).

Businesses

Comcast Confessions 231

Posted by Soulskill
from the beancounters-shouldn't-run-the-show dept.
An anonymous reader writes: We heard a couple weeks ago about an incredibly pushy Comcast customer service representative who turned a quick cancellation into an ordeal you wouldn't wish on your enemies. To try and find out what could cause such behavior, The Verge reached out to Comcast employees, hoping a few of them would explain training practices and management directives. They got more than they bargained for — over 100 employees responded, and they painted a picture of a corporation overrun by the neverending quest for greater profit. From the article: 'These employees told us the same stories over and over again: customer service has been replaced by an obsession with sales, technicians are understaffed and tech support is poorly trained, and the massive company is hobbled by internal fragmentation. ... Brian Van Horn, a billing specialist who worked at Comcast for 10 years, says the sales pitch gradually got more aggressive. "They were starting off with, 'just ask," he says. "Then instead of 'just ask,' it was 'just ask again,' then 'engage the customer in a conversation,' then 'overcome their objections.'" He was even pressured to pitch new services to a customer who was 55 days late on her bill, he says.'
User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Thirty Six

Journal by mcgrew

Drills
I got woke up early again, about five thirty this time. Fire in passengers quarters number forty seven. God damned drills, but I had to get up and inspect forty seven anyway. I put on a robe and trudged down there.
Yep, just a stupid drill. I noticed that Tammy was in the commons with the German woman as I walked past on my way back home. It was still early enough that I could still get another hour's sleep or so.

Comment: Re:You are one ignorant jackass (Score 1) 211

by mcgrew (#47549375) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

You, sir, are an abusive moron who is obviously not intelligent enough to realize that the Mars rovers are spinoffs from Apollo. Were it not for Apollo there would be no Hubble, no Martian robots, no ISS, none of the space exploration done today. Obviously unlike you, I remember Sputnik. We can thank the Russians for Apollo.

Now crawl back to 4chan where flamebait like yours is welcome. Where in the hell are the moderators?

Comment: Re:Where were you when the Eagle landed? (Score 1) 211

by mcgrew (#47543305) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

I was working at Disney World when the first shuttle took off, and saw every shuttle launch before Challenger without a TV. One was a night launch I saw from my mom's house in Tampa. We drove to the cape to watch one, man that thing is LOUD.

The first one I not only didn't see firsthand was Challenger; I missed that launch completely. I was in Illinois looking for work (we'd just had our first kid and moved back to be close to family and besides, Florida is a shitty place to live).

Comment: Re:no doubter here, I watched the launch (Score 1) 211

by mcgrew (#47543207) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

I reposted this journal the day before the anniversary; it's my story of that day.

our driver of innovation today? cat pictures and dashcam video of accidents.

Telescopes in outer space, robots crawling around Mars, all sorts of robotic probes all over the solar system, self-driving cars, a permanent space station, GPS, private space launches... And, you know, when Apollo 11 took off, flat screen displays and Star Trek communicators were only fantasy. Those cat pictures themselves were impossible science fiction; a computer as powerful as a smart phone didn't exist. Hell, cars didn't even have seat belts then, let alone ABS, disc brakes, air bags, bluetooth... I think your memory of just how primitive it was and how far we've come is a bit faulty.

Comment: Unknown (Score 1) 16

by mcgrew (#47543125) Attached to: Shot in the back, in self-defense

Investigators would not say whether the shooting occurred inside the home or in the alley behind the house. According to the station, Greer is not under arrest and police are still determining whether or not the homeowner will face charges.

The guy was eighty years old, the young people attacked and robbed him in his own house and had done so before. If he shot her before they left, it was certainly justified. If it was indeed in the alley he should certainly face murder charges. As the article says, that hasn't been determined. Personally, I'm going to withhold judgement.

"A mind is a terrible thing to have leaking out your ears." -- The League of Sadistic Telepaths

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