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Comment Re:Opposite experience (Score 1, Interesting) 228

Right. If a rep is sitting around just waiting for the customer to finish typing, then that is very inefficient. I would think they should be handling multiple chats at the same time.

His responses should require minimal interaction. His first couple responses should either be completely automated, or at least copy/pasted. He should also have multiple troubleshooting steps and solutions ready to be pasted into the chat window. And, hopefully, his chat application should be able to at least paste images, which would really help guide the customer through the steps.

Further, the OP seems to forget how many times that either he or the customer has to repeat himself on the phone because he couldn't understand. Plus, you can't just fire off 5 steps for the customer to take at once while on the phone, like you can in chat. You have to wait until the customer is done with each step before moving on the next. And, of course, you can only talk to one customer at a time on the phone. A chat rep should be handling multiple cases at a time.

Comment Re:How hard can it be? (Score 1) 559

Exactly. There are sports that I have no idea why we have them separated today, like Marksmanship, Archery, Diving, Badminton, Gymnastics, Snowboarding, Downhill Skiing. The list goes on and on. There's no reason why a woman couldn't compete and win in those sports against men. In fact, I think it would be kind of cool to see a mixed Gymnastics Overall competition where in some events like the rings, would probably see more men, but in others like the uneven bars, would see more women.

Comment Re:Goodbye jobs (Score 1) 475

Flip the burgers: Burger King designed one quite a while ago, there are others http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/534610484/Automatic_burger_making_machine.html , keep in mind that "taste" is a creative field, so anything produced this way is likely to be fast-food, not restaurants.

I think that coming up with the recipes is creative, but once you have the recipe, that can easily be automated.

- Plumbing/Gas, machines don't work well with water, we can invent tools and robots to help, but it's a lot easier for a human to solve a plumbing problem by seeing where things are leaking/clogged and engineer a solution on the spot with available materials. Again, this is a creative angle.

It's a "creative" angle now but easily solvable. If we were to add sensors to plumbing/gas lines, then leaks and other problems could be identified fairly quickly. Just add sensors for moisture detection, pressure, etc... Place them along the plumbing, and you would not only know when there was a problem but what section was faulty.

- Customer Service. We don't as yet have a way for robots to do anything other than say NO. Can you imagine not being able to return anything, even unopened?

That's the easiest one to solve, and could probably be solved fairly quickly. Just scan the product and scan your receipt. Somehow come up with a way to determine if a package has been opened, if it hasn't then issue a store credit.

Comment Re:France has a problem (Score 4, Funny) 1198

I've actually started checking "African-American" on all surveys now, even though I'm "white," because we all came from Africa - everybody in the human race. So, technically, I'm an African-American, too. They never specify how far you're supposed to go back when they ask that question.

Comment Re:Facebook is a public place (Score 1) 483

Here's a slightly altered version from the example above: 'A man in his early 30s was chatting with a 13-year-old South Florida girl and planned to meet her after middle-school classes the next day. Facebook's extensive but little-discussed technology for scanning postings and chats for criminal activity automatically flagged the conversation for employees, who read it and quickly called police. Officers arrested the man the next day. However, after further research and due diligence, it was found that the man was actually the girl's uncle, and he was just giving her a ride home from school that day.'

Comment Re:In-house staff do have advantages (Score 1) 232

Yep, exactly. My dad was one of those first EDS people who ran around to the different banks in the middle of the night, picked up their punch cards, and then ran em to the mainframe. It was Ross who realized that there was a mainframe that was sitting around idle in the middle of the night in downtown Dallas, so they utilized this downtime to jumpstart EDS' business. So, you're exactly right. They were outsourcers from the start.

Comment Re:In-house staff do have advantages (Score 3, Interesting) 232

My dad was one of EDS' first 100 employees back in the '60s. My mom described the company as just like the one in the movie "The Firm." Not only did they have the whole super-strict dress code, but even the mothers were "suggested" to hang out with the other EDS wives. The first EDS building on Forest Ln in Dallas had a golf course, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. (Hell, that's even where I learned how to swim.) This was all to keep the men at work, and to work crazy, long hours.

Comment Re:What happens when people change their minds.. (Score 2) 299

I've lived in suburbia with all new streets and traffic lights, and, yes, those are great. What a godsend. However, I bet most inner-city traffic lights were probably built at least 30 or more years ago, and a lot of those were built on timers. And, of course, with the lack of transportation infrastructure upgrades, these lights still have the exact same technology that they had when they were built. This is just another example of our crumbling, outdated roadways.

Comment Re:What happens when people change their minds.. (Score 2) 299

What kind of non-rural area do you live in where there's no traffic?

North Atlanta, and, yes, there are side streets where there's only traffic in rush hour but pretty dead on the off-times. And, of course, because of the spike in traffic, there needs to be traffic lights. Unfortunately, they were built decades ago and not improved upon since then, so most are just on timers, which means that you just sit there until the light cycles.

Plus, don't most lights go to flashing yellow (= 4 way stop) at off-peak times?

Not the light right where I live. It never goes to flashing yellow. I typically spend 2-3 minutes at that light to turn left anytime I decide to go out, no matter the time or the traffic.

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