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Comment Google Alerts (Score 1, Interesting) 150

I don't know why Google Alerts isn't considered dead.

I have not received an alert from then about anything in over two years. Which is very unfortunate as I relied on it for my company. I would have it alert me anytime it was mentioned so I could watch for trouble, positive and negative reviews, etc. My company is still around and making news, but the alerts just stopped showing up.

Comment Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 480

Which would have been useful if her[Troi's] powers were used or well defined enough. Instead each writer for the show went his or her on way. Does telepathy work through a video screen? Depends on which episode of TNG you watch. At least the writers realized they were being idiots by the later seasons and stopped doing that stuff.

I agree, Troi's powers seemed to morph every episode. She can sense emotion, unless she can't. She knows when people are lying, except when they are good at it. She can read minds, unless the plot would be cut short. She can talk to people telepathically, but only if they can talk back.

The biggest blunder of her was probably during the best show of the series, "Darmok and Jalad". They encounter an alien race that essentially talks in metaphor. The only people who should be confused would be people that don't know the back story and just hear words. The whole point of the language is to invoke imagery. So unless her only skill is to see the words that someone says printed in their brain, as if reading a book, then any one of her previous skills would have helped defuse the whole thing.

Comment They forgot the "The Last of Us" method (Score 1) 163

They list only two method of virus spread, but seem to leave out a third; zombification/infection by both blood AND by latent, airborne contact.

**This will be kinda spoilery, but mostly open knowledge.**

In this model, "zombies" are created not just by blood contact, but by an airborne pathogen. So the initial wave of zombies were created due to a spore/fungus. One that was based on a real fungus so I would think that would rank even higher than say, "Shuan of the Dead".

So the ways to contract this "disease" are many:
1) The typical bite, scratch, splatter, etc due to blood contact
2) The fungus/spore that started the whole thing existing in the wild
3) Those infected, once they reach a specific point, either by the host being used up by the fungus, or by some external death, create a landmine for an airborne version

That third point is very important. Generally, once you "kill" a zombie, the threat is neutralized. Just kick 'em to the curb and burn when you get a chance. However in this model the corpse is still a carrier and must be handled and disposed of carefully to prevent new contamination. Once the fungus reaches a point where the host body no longer sustains it, it starts releasing spores which can infect any passer-by. So even though you stopped the horde today, tomorrow the battlefield can become one giant infectious cloud.

Which means that while the population takes up arms to stop the physically attacking bodies, you need to dedicate a large percentage of the population for waste disposal. You're not going to be an effective fighter wearing a hazmat suit so the two groups should not mix. This depletes the number of people "fighting the disease" which may allow for greater rates of infection.

Comment Re:All or nothing approach is silly (Score 1) 131

The main problem of this is the developer now has the onus of describing to the user exactly WHY they really need that functionality within the app, and put in warnings and error screens if the user decides to turn off/disallow access. This adds a huge amount of bulk/overhead to even the simplest of apps.

What happens if a photo editing software is denied access to your camera and/or saved photos? It appears broken so the developer gets negative reviews. This is an obvious example, but there could be more hidden rationals in other apps.

- Your ToDo app wants to use the GPS so it can remind you when you are at a location to fulfill a task.
- Your calendar needs your contact list to send out invitations.
- Your game needs to access your camera to use VR or adjust the lighting.

You end up with every app giving a series of popups asking for permissions that may or may not make sense. And if there is one thing we've learned, it's that when constantly bogged down with warning popups, people start ignoring them and just click "Yes" for everything making the whole security aspect moot.

I'd rather see on the app store product page a listing of, "Here are the permissions this app requires, and here is the explanation for why it needs it." Then I can choose BEFORE I EVEN DOWNLOAD the app if I feel safe. Now, they could still be lying through their virtual teeth, but at least I have the foreknowledge to ponder why this app that is supposed to teach me about the stars needs my contact list and access to Facebook.

Comment Businesses need to learn how to kill employees (Score 1) 599

Not actually kill them, but get in the mind set of a will; What would I do if Employee X died tonight?

I have a will, so if I die, there are instructions so that life can continue without me; how money is to be handled, where important documents are stored, and the top-level password to the password manager program. The same needs to be always thought of in regards to employees. How would the business carry on if someone was no longer an employee tomorrow; both long term AND short term. (Death, disability, family emergency, quit, kidnapping, blow-to-the-head induced amnesia, etc)

- What duties do they perform and who can we use as a backup?
- What information do they have that we'd need to keep things running?
- If a parasite crawled in their ear and they went rogue, who and how could we isolate them to prevent further damage?

You get the idea.

Comment Re:Arguably lied? (Score 1) 569

In other words, change the line of questioning from binary to quantifiable.

Not, "Is Linux open source?", but "What percentage of Linux do you consider open source?"

Not, "Did you have sexual relations with that woman?", but "What parts of your body have been in physical contact with that woman?"

Not, "Do you kick puppies?", but "Over the last two year, are you kicking more, less, or about the same amount of puppies?"

Comment Re:public? (Score 2) 276

Because the DMV doesn't know where you've been, or where you're heading.

Park a plate-recorder van near the entrance/exit of the local gun show. One in the parking structure near a rally. A couple at select places of worship around town. You get the idea.

Now cross reference that data with border checkpoints, HOV lanes, and other public traffic cameras.

Instant, no-effort, and of course infallible watch-list.

Comment Re:Seems reasonable (Score 1) 58

I don't know why they ever bought into the name in the first place. I never had any of the drives that exhibited the dreaded "click of death", but once I was foolish enough to buy a CD-RW drive made by someone else but in an Iomega box. It had problems from day 1. I later learned that the manufacturer had firmware updates for their version that fixed the problems, but even years later there were never firmware fixes offered for the Iomega version of the drive. First and last thing with the Iomega name on it that I'll ever buy.

Um... so... wait, I got lost somewhere in there. Are you saying you didn't ever use a Zip Drive and are talking out of your ass in the first bolded part, or that you're using overconfident and demonstrably false terms to try to impress us with your disdain for Iomega, meaning you're still talking out of your ass in the second bolded part?

I say the whole thing is BS. Let's break this down...

I never had any of the drives that exhibited the dreaded "click of death" - implies that he's owned more than one zip/jaz drive.
but once I was foolish enough to buy a CD-RW drive made by someone else but in an Iomega box - so he got a Mitsubishi or other OEM drive that happened to have an Iomega face plate? In that case he should be bitching about the OEM manufacturer. Or does he really mean just the "box", as in, it's a TEAC drive, but the cardboard box said Iomega and you said, "Seems legit"? In which case, you should really be bitching about TEAC.
I later learned that the manufacturer had firmware updates for their version - So there was a fix for the hardware
but even years later there were never firmware fixes offered for the Iomega version - But since the "box" said Iomega, he waited until Iomega said go. Unknown if he tried the drivers of "someone else".
First and last thing with the Iomega name on it that I'll ever buy. - Because the box it comes in is all that matters.

Nope... doesn't add up.

Personally, I've owned and used the parallel version of zip and it worked great on both Mac and PC. Installed a few IDE versions of the zip and they worked like a charm too. Recently had to fire up a system with the internal zip, and out of 10 disks I tried reading, only one failed to be read. And it's possible that that disk was a left over Mac format.

I miss the old zip disks but they didn't scale, weren't as portable, and cost more than the up-and-coming USB flash disks.

Comment Re:slow news day? (Score 1) 631

So anything that benefits me is 'income' and therefore taxable? What kind of strawman thinking is that?

I get Vitamin D benefit from the sun - not income
I get oxygen benefit from the trees - not income
I get psychological benefit from people smiling at me - not income
I get the benefit of time and enhanced productivity when people hold open the door for me - not income
I get nutritional benefit when I buy lunch - not only not income, but an expense!
I listen to a CD a friend let me borrow to help me relax - not only not income, but a possible fine of up to $22,000 and jail time!

Just because you get something out of it, doesn't make it an income.

Comment Re:Better answer (Score 5, Insightful) 572

"Hi, this is the Microsoft Vacuum Inspection Division. I see you're trying to turn on your vacuum. Let me just double check to make sure everything is in order."

"Oh? That's cool. So you're looking for defects, making sure that my device is going to give me a great experience?"

"Ah... yeah... no. That's not what we do."

"Oh. Well then you're going to double check the settings to make sure that I'm not using the wood floor setting on my shag rug, right?"

"Not so much."

"Are you at least going to make sure that the filter is installed correctly and warn me that it needs replacing?"

"No, but we will make sure that you're using official Microsoft Filters. Use of any other brand will void your warranty and cause the vacuum to overheat and burn a red ring into your carpet."

"I see. Well, speaking of carpet, I had to change out the wheels because the default wheels keep getting snagged on my rug. But I figure, I'm only vacuuming my own rug so it's no big deal."

"Oh? Is that so? Guess we're done here."

"Thanks for stopping by! Time to get back to... Hey... How come my vacuum doesn't work any more? I can turn it on, but nothing is getting clean."

"Since you modified the vacuum, that would give an unfair advantage to your abilities, so we had to stop you from using your vacuum."

"Unfair advantage? I'm cleaning my house. My own house! What does that give me an advantage over?"

"I'm sorry but we need to make sure that all customers of the SuckBox 720 have the same experience. Allowing you to use yours would cause problems if you ever vacuumed with your friends."

"Vacuumed with..? You really think I'm going to bring this to a friends house and have a race of who can do suck dirt better?"

"Sorry, but your vacuum is equipped with an Always-On Dirt Regulator Mechanism to prevent tampering so Microsoft can monitor vacuums to make sure no one is cheating or trying to give a bad experience to other owners."

"How do I cheat at vacuuming? And it's just MY OWN F'N CARPET! Who cares how I do it? Fine. I'll put the old wheels back."

"Sorry. But your vacuum has been marked as banned and will never work on our system again. If you wish to purchase a new vacuum, we will allow you get back on-line. However, we also flagged your registration information, and the credit card used to buy the vacuum. You'll have to register under a different name and use a different credit card or your new vacuum will be deactivated also."

"Hello, big name electronics store? I'd like to order a DysonStation 4..."

Comment Re:hmmmm (Score 1) 164

Not necessarily. Sometimes social engineering takes advantage of people's assumptions. If you wear a printer servicing uniform and people assume that you're there to fix a printer, are you lying or deceiving them? I'd posit that their assumptions are incorrect and you're not deceiving them unless you're challenged and you start lying.

Bullshit, of course you're deceiving them. You cannot expect normal human beings to question all their assumptions 24/7. Every time you blinked you'd have to prove to yourself that the whole universe hadn't just been switched off and then instantaneously recreated itself.

True story, I once walked into an Apple store wearing a blue shirt.
As luck would have it - it looked pretty damn close to the blue shirts that all the "Geniuses" were wearing that day.
Once inside the store, I was bombarded by a constant stream of people asking me technical questions - which it just so happens that I'm good at answering! ^_^

I didn't deliberately choose to wear a blue shirt that day - it was just the luck of the draw.
Did I deceive anyone in this case??

Social engineering can take on many forms.

Yes, yes you are deceiving people.

Someone comes in and says, "I need help with this." They are assuming that you are an Apple employee, and since you did not correct them, and you KNEW, or at least had a pretty reasonable certainty that they considered you an employee, you are deceiving them.

Now imagine the advice you gave backfired. The customer comes back and says, "Your genius said I should do this, and now my device is bricked. I demand a new one!" After someone back and forth they discover that you were not an employee, but your attire and your attitude convinced them you were. And since the customer did something that bricked the device, and it was not under the advice of a true Apple employee, the warranty is void. Or at the very least, Apple is off the hook and can choose whether or not to fix the problem.

It would have been simple to say, "Yes, I can try helping you with the problem. But just for the record, I am not an Apple Genius," for the sake of clarity and remove any possibility of deception.

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The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux