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Comment Re:About that 911 thing.... (Score 2) 284

If security wants to cock block 911, they can call them back and direct the response to a specific gate, or cancel the call, or something.

No, they can't. If the ambulance service is on its game, they likely are at the gate or very near by the time someone thinks "gee, maybe 911 won't know where 'the brown trailer off of that one alley next to where the old greenhouse was' is and I should call security. You know, the guys we can reach by dialling the extension posted on the "Emergency? Call xxxx" sticker on every single phone in the complex or keying up the emergency channel programmed into every plant radio." Oh, and the reporting party hasn't been anywhere near the gate in hours and has no idea the gate they just sent the ambulance to is congested by truck traffic, and they now have to redirect. Or a car carrying product from an entirely different plant spilled near an access road and the clean-up crew has traffic blocked, making what would usually be the most efficient route the absolute worst at this very moment.

But absolutely, when your co-worker has collapsed from chest pains, the best plan is to initiate a half-assed response contrary to all of the plant policies and training that everyone completes, that takes incredibly much more time because those security guys are just dicks who HAVE to know everything. /s

Those policies exist for a reason. They weren't written to shaft the little guy, they're there to ensure we can get assistance to him/her when needed. It's not really in the company's best interest to have people, you know, dying at work. I thought the "don't call 911" mandate was ridiculous too when I started that job. Didn't take long to see why it's necessary.

Comment Re:About that 911 thing.... (Score 5, Informative) 284

Former security dispatcher for a large complex of manufacturing plants here, and this is absolutely correct. We know which of the multiple entry gates the ambulance should use to get to the complainant in the most efficient manner, and it isn't necessarily the one the reporting party uses to get to work every day (likely the only one he/she knows). We know the physical addresses of those gates, which few other people do, so emergency respondents know exactly where to go.

We contact the appropriate response (not always "911" -- usually more efficient to call the ambulance service directly) immediately. A guy with a broken finger doesn't need or want all of the response 911 will bring. Large-scale incidents, confined space rescues, etc.? That's when you want the whole cavalry. Often one dispatcher would initiate the ambulance response while another was still talking with the reporting party, so any questions about the complainant's condition could be answered.

We then work on the logistics of getting the response to the complainant. This usually involved sending one roving security unit to actually find the complainant, and another to the gate to escort the ambulance to the proper location. Once the first unit assessed the situation, they could advise the other via radio of exactly where to bring the ambulance. Depending on the response gate and time of the incident, we might also advise the local rail services to hold traffic. During times of heavy truck traffic, we'd advise the guards at gates in the ambulance's path to hold traffic, so there wasn't a mile-long line of semi trucks blocking the way.

Everyone involved was very well-trained and incidents almost always ran like clockwork. You know when they didn't? When someone called 911 directly and an ambulance showed up at a gate and no one in security knew anything about it.

Comment Re:I don't get Nintendo. (Score 3, Informative) 152

Pretty much all that's holding them afloat is exclusivity for the NES era intellectual property, which they keep re-hashing over and over and over again and their die-hard fans (of which there are a lot) keep buying.

F-Zero, Star Fox, Pokemon, Animal Crossing, Pikmin, and Splatoon are examples of Nintendo IP introduced from the SNES through Wii U era that are not related to NES-era IP.

Pretty much all that's holding Sony / MIcrosoft afloat is SUPER 3D SHOOTER CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 20XX THAT'S NOTHING LIKE LAST YEAR'S VERSION. I don't have any interest in Sony products (I trust I don't need to rehash Sony's shitty anti-consumer policies and products for the audience) but I did buy an Xbox 360 and didn't find much to play that wasn't a sports game or FPS. It collects dust and I'm not finding any attraction to an Xbone, while the Wii U gets frequent use for Smash Bros, Mario Kart, and Splatoon. Hard to understand the hate for Nintendo's "re-hashing" when it's prevalent from every manufacturer, and Nintendo's are actually good.

Comment Break existing contract? (Score 1) 353

I'm also a Mediacom subscriber. This week they've been injecting the occasional notice into web traffic stating that they'll be implementing this cap. I don't like it, but I can live with it. 250 GB cap, with a $10 charge per extra 50 GB used. That's more reasonable than other ISPs, and it's not like I can go to another provider. Monopoly aside, I live in a town of 1500 people. We're probably lucky to have any high speed options.

All that said, like every cable company their rates are exorbitant. I'm currently under a two-year contract expiring in March 2014 in exchange for lower rates. This added fee doesn't jive with me as, per the contract, rates and service cannot change. My usage last month was about 270 GB (I do a lot of streaming, and yes, the occasional torrenting). I wouldn't lose a lot of sleep over the extra $10 for my usage, but not with this contract in place. I'm thinking about giving them a call and offering two solutions -- no overcap charges until the contract expires, or terminate the contract (thus letting me cancel TV service). I decided earlier this year it's time to cut TV when the contract expires; that decision has nothing to do with this cap.

Not like I have a lot of leverage here, and I'm sure they know that. I can threaten to complain to the municipal authority I suppose. Any thoughts on this idea? My biggest problem is that I don't know what this "contract" consists of as a printed copy was not provided; first step is to request and review that.

Comment MS Family Safety (Score 1) 646

I bought my niece (12) and nephew (11) laptops for Christmas, and I had the same problem. If you're running Windows as well, I found the answer in MS Windows Family Safety. As others have mentioned, a filter isn't really a replacement for parenting. I fully expect that when the boy's hormones start running wild he'll find a way to see boobs, and I'm not losing sleep over that. This (and MSE, and no admin access) keeps them reasonably safe from accidental malware installs.

It's also nice for time limits. Set a time to keep them from getting stupid on YouTube all night. They're told they'll be logged off 15 minutes prior, and they're logged off at the appropriate time. Their login is basically not functional, but you can still log in with your account. The filters are nice too -- you can manually white/blacklist sites (and occasionally some strange things are blocked for no reason -- Google searches will sometimes be blocked even though safesearch is forced on) or use their categories. The girl is currently banned from social networking as she went batshit crazy on Facebook. This wipes out FB, Myspace, etc. It also kills all webmail, though they have Google accounts (on my domain) and Google is whitelisted for that.

You can configure and monitor everything from anywhere with an internet connection. It's not perfect, and again not a replacement for parenting, but it's "free" (with a valid Windows license) and definitely "good enough."

Comment Re:Irrelevant (Score 4, Insightful) 183

I moved on from Nintendo after I played Mario Kart 96 and Zelda 47.

Went back to Halo 67, Rock Guitar Band Hero 82, and Call of Duty 391, eh?

Oh, and Final Fantasy MCMX-37 part 24 disc 13.

How about Resident Evil 113?

Street Fighter 602 Gamma EX Super Turbo Edition perhaps?

Crash Bandicoot Bros. Racer part 88? Ok, that's really stretching.

I never understood people's incessant bitching about Nintendo milking their best franchises. Please name the companies that don't. Wouldn't be much of a company if they didn't.

Comment This is just now news? (Score 5, Interesting) 243

I cannot believe this is just now becoming a "scandal."

I was a Gamestop assistant store manager in the early 2000's. This was policy way back then, and we abused the shit out of it. Yes, policy said you could only check out one thing at a time for a certain period of time (I remember it being six days, maybe things have changed ...) and you could only check out any given product once, and no products like OSes or consoles. In practice, we took whatever we wanted whenever we wanted for however long we wanted. All the managers covered for each other and the other employees when the district bigwigs came by. On inventory days everyone brought in a list of things to add to inventory. This was SOP for all the stores in my district, and pretty much every store nationwide if you believe the chit chat at the annual store manager meetings.

"Gutting" has been policy for at least that long too. Per policy, you'd "gut" one copy of a game and when it came time to sell, you'd repackage and re-shrink wrap it. We were supposed to shrink wrap the shit out of everything (Dreamcast software for example: pull the entire CD tray out of the jewel case, shrink the case and put it on the sales floor, shrink the CD tray and secure it behind the counter), but in practice that was too much work once there were 500+ PSX titles, 200+ DC titles, etc. I made sure there wasn't anything obvious left over (stickers with SKU numbers on CDs, for example), but many people didn't. We were also instructed when selling the gutted copy to just walk it to the back and shrink wrap it without offering any explanation. The old pre-EB POS system (which was written in QuickBASIC Professional, and I swear I am not making that up) used to say "Gut checks save lives!" as a part of the screen saver.

This is been going on for well over 10 years. CD-based software borrowed out and scratched. Cartridge-based software borrowed and sold as "new" with saved data on it. Ask any Gamestop employee if they pay for magazines or tax software. Ever wonder why every Gamestop has a shrink wrapper in back? Do you not know how to tell the difference between factory shrink wrap and re-wrap? Factory wrap is "crinklier" ... and there's always a seam somewhere where a small machine with a glorified hair dryer can't produce one (usually down the middle of the back of the package).

Oh, and my apologies to whoever ended up buying that one copy of XP Home we had. I didn't realize at the time that the product key couldn't be reused.

Comment Re:Shocking News (Score 1) 103

Maybe I'm just getting too old, but why are people still arguing back and forth over what their system can do graphics-wise instead of gameplay? The shininess of your textures and number of polygons whizzing around on the screen has little to do with whether the game is actually fun to play.

I'll take a good SNES game over yet another "beat up whores ... in 3D!" game any day.

Anything cut to length will be too short.