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Comment 66KPH (Score 4, Funny) 241

One year I was working at a Radio Shack in Ottawa (South Keys! Recognize!) over Christmas. Actually, it was the last year before they became "The Source." One of the products that corporate was really pushing for the season were these "customization" miniature remote-control car sets, where you could change things like tires. rims, spoilers, etc. and collect different sets to build your own fleet of racers. The margins were huge and the parts were all crap, but they looked cool, and they knew kids who got hooked would want more than one set, and would want to talk with employees about them.

So, to encourage us sales associates to familiarize ourselves with the kits, they gave each store in the Ottawa region an extra write-off allowance, and told us to use it opening some of the kits and playing with them, and that there would be a race among all the stores at the regional Christmas party in late November.

I was determined to win, so I asked Artie, the store manager, if adding more batteries was a violation of the "stock parts only" rule, and he said he didn't give a fuck. The motor in the kits was driven by a single 9V battery, so I opened four kits and tore the 9V leads/housings off three of them. I then added them to the remaining car, wiring all the leads in parallel, and gluing the housings to the top of the frame, where I was "supposed" to attach some sort of molded-plastic carapace that looked like an exotic street car.

We tested it on the carpet in the store and it was very fast, despite getting bogged down in the fibers. We kept it at low speeds because we didn't want to blow the engine out.

When the big night came, I put in 4 of the expensive lithium 9Vs from the top shelf. I put it down on the hard wood of the race track, next to seven other cars, each with just the stock design, despite their varied appearances. One of the visiting executives called a simple "Ready, set go!" and pandemonium ensued. You see, nobody had realized that all the sets being used were still configured with the default radio frequency settings. So the start of the race was just a burst of cross-talk, and the cars when zipping off in all directions. Our car lost three tires, as its axles spun so fast that the double-sided tape securing the tires to the rims completely delaminated.

Anyway, we eventually realized that there were not enough frequencies available to race the cars all at once, so the decided to judge the winner with a small device that simply measured the rotational velocity of the wheels and reported back an actual speed (as opposed to scale speed) in kilometers per hour. I replaced the tires on our car, and brought it to the tester. After the performance with the tires, they let me get tested last. The record car among the other seven was capable of a respectable 11 km/H. I put the car in the test bed, and gently pulled the throttle trigger up to maxim. The tester stared at it a moment, as the wheels whined away with a high-pitched scream. "Sixty six." he finally said, slowly, as if not really believing the number on the display. "Sixty..." and then motor burst into flames.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 337

Once they use the "refund" feature on paypal there's no way to leave feedback because the transaction is marked as incomplete. I told them I would contactebay about it but didn't care enough to actually do so - just went to the next cheapest vendor and spent a few cents more.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 337

This was their issue. I completed the sale and gave them a shipping address that was not my regular one. They said that was grounds to kill the sale, even though I said "well then send it to my regular address" - since it was a digital product (unlock code) anyway and I didn't care what address was on the invoice, but they said that using the address where I actually was when submitting the invoice was grounds to kill the whole deal.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 2) 337

It's even worse than that. I've had legitimate purchases through eBay where, when I contact the seller after winning the auction, they say that they are refusing the sale because they thing something about my account may trigger Paypal's fraud protection. I pay the money, and they refuse to accept the paypal transfer, and refund it, because they don't think I'll pass Paypal's fraud protection.

Comment Double down. (Score 2) 370

You can always do what I did. Anonymous Canada "D0xed" me a couple years ago, because I pointed out how week their OpSec was (they were posting highly sensitive d0x-in-progeress about minors on an open forum with no login or password required.) Once they released their incredibly cursory and inaccurate collection of stuff from public source, I replied with this: http://obsceneworks.com/blog/o...

Comment Lol nothing new here. (Score 1) 136

same shit since 1979... "The first Walkman weighed in at a solid 390 grams (plus 50 grams for the headphones). With its strong square lines and metallic blue finish, it was almost as streamlined as today's surge protectors. To emphasize its portability, Morito reportedly had a shirt custom-tailored with an oversized chest pocket in which to carry the 3.5 x 5.5 x 1.25 inch device." https://reason.com/archives/20...

Comment fix (Score 1) 240

I've come up with a relatively simple solution. The text at the end of this post is a batch file. You can copy it from here, and paste it into notepad, and save it with any name you want, and the file extension .bat and then click on it to run it. It will look for each of the corrupted updates in order, and either tell you that they aren't installed, or give you the option of removing them. If you do choose to remove one or more of them, it will prompt you to reset your computer after each successful removal. Don't do this - choose the other option, to reset later, instead. Then, once the whole batch file has run, you can reset your computer to make all the changes take effect. Also note that the final line deals with an update to Skype and may affect Skype functionality. If this matters to you, simply don't include that line in your batch file. Batchfile contents begin on the line below. EDIT: Slashdot won't let me post the batch file text here ("too much repetition") so you can find it at pastebin here: http://pastebin.com/B3DjTSX1

"You must have an IQ of at least half a million." -- Popeye