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Comment: The cards they do nothing (Score 4, Funny) 128

Hi, former Comcast support representative here.

Those cards do nothing, they're just placebos.

You dial the support number and punch in the code, and the switch drops you right into the same queue with everyone else.

At the call center we called them "idiot cards" because you'd have to be one to think they were any benefit to you.

We usually handed them out ironically to the least deserving customers.

Comment: Knowledge is power (Score 1, Insightful) 604

by ourlovecanlastforeve (#48603107) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

This is a simple case of knowledge as power.

Telling people they shouldn't use software to avoid freeway traffic is like telling black slaves they can't read because they might learn what it's like to have a life outside the plantation.

Knowledge exists whether or not you want it to and you can't force ignorance.

If someone discovers a way to improve their life in a way that is perfectly legal and legitimate, such as driving down a street in front of your house, you have no right to complain.

Comment: Dead market (Score 0) 110

Microsoft has intentionally made their mobile devices expire after a few years.

They have done it with every iteration of their mobile platform from Windows CE all the way to Windows Phone.

It works like this:

1. Buy our new mobile device! It's amazing! It does everything and we'll support it forever and ever, we promise! It's okay, go ahead and put all of your contacts and data on our devices. What could possibly go wrong?

2. New generation of our mobile platform is out! Buy our mobile devices! It's amazing! Oh and also we're dropping support for existing devices tomorrow and closing the app store. You will never receive another software update and your old device is now a brick. But new platform!

They did this with Windows CE, Windows Mobile 1 through 6 and they'll do it with Windows Phone.

They even had a phone that was entirely cloud based in Europe and when they shuttered the cloud service the device literally refused to boot.

Comment: Re:Comcast Business Class (Score 5, Informative) 291

Former comcast employee and Business Class customer here. They tell you that you have to use their modem so they can market VOIP phone service to you once it's installed. You can use any modem you want as long as it supports DOCSIS3. Go buy any DOCSIS3 modem and plug it in, then call them and tell them you want a modem swap.

Comment: Re:What's old is new again (Score 1) 39

by ourlovecanlastforeve (#48440625) Attached to: Some Early Nexus 6 Units Returned Over Startup Bug

I don't know why it's 2014 and error messages still don't just tell you what the actual problem is.

Why not have the error say:

"The application that displays the navigation bar stopped because of an error it couldn't recover from. I will now restart it. [OK]"

Because restarting it is the only action that could possibly be taken.

It doesn't make sense to tell the user that "system UI has stopped." The user doesn't care that "system UI has stopped." The user wants to know what the problem it is and have the only logical action taken for them.

Saying that "system UI has stopped" and waiting for the user to perform some action breaks one of the fundamental principles of software design: Never make the user do something the software can do for them.

Comment: Reality check (Score 4, Interesting) 334

by ourlovecanlastforeve (#48341065) Attached to: Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

Hi there, reality check here.

This is how petroleum prices are managed:

When the oil and gas industry wants fuel prices to be low they optimize the fuel supply chain and keep petroleum flowing so the supply meets demand.

When they want fuel prices to go up, they burden the supply chain to increase demand. One of their favorite tricks is to pilot their fuel container ships to about 20 miles off the coast of port and park them there, waiting for fuel prices to go up.

Fuel prices are managed much like department store sales.

Department stores gradually increase the price of popular items until customers stop buying, then they have a "sale" where they reduce the price of those items to the normal retail price.

Then they start to gradually drive up the prices again.

The petroleum industry does something similar; gradually drives prices up until consumers start to look into alternative fuel measures by stifling the supply of petroleum. Then when that point is reached they have a "sale" where they optimize the supply chain.

Your average consumer sees this as a modern miracle instead of researching to find out why the price went down, and they celebrate by driving, flying and using power sports vehicles more than ever.

Every time the supply chain is stifled the lowest price for petroleum notches upward a little bit to prevent customers from dumping petroleum but raise the overall price at the same time.

Comment: Only if you're a spammer (Score 4, Informative) 139

by ourlovecanlastforeve (#48295409) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Useful Are DMARC and DKIM?

Former technical support rep for an email marketing company, here.

You only need DKIM if you send a massive amount of mail to users at Yahoo or Microsoft (, hotmail) domains.

The purpose of DKIM is to verify the mail you're sending is actually coming from your domain and not someone who is spoofing your domain.

Nobody cares about DMARK.

Yahoo and Microsoft throttle email based on whether or not your domain has proper DKIM keys setup.

If you don't have them set up you can only spam about a thousand messages before you get blocked.

However if you set up DKIM you can spam Yahoo and Microsoft mail (hotmail,, etc) users all day long and those mail providers will turn a blind eye.

To downgrade the human mind is bad theology. - C. K. Chesterton