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Comment Novelty has worn off (Score 1) 285

I see a lot of good comments here, but the fact of the matter is that the novelty of editing has worn off for many of us. In the beginning, when Wikipedia was small, or when it was new, or whatever the reason, it was fun to keep an eye on a few pages. That novelty has worn off, and along with it, any desire to fix the little spelling errors I find along the way.

As a side note, Wikipedia had, at one time, a large number of articles about my profession. None of them was accurate, at least in the US sense of defining many terms, specializations, and equipment. Maybe other parts of the world call things differently, but I doubt to the degree that Wikipedia was wrong. Still, I wasn't about to go re-write and fix links in every article -- even if I would have been able to find sources.

So frankly, I've given up. Yes, I notice spelling errors on Wikipedia. I just read past them. It's not worth fighting with people over and it's not worth my time to fix. My interests lie elsewhere. Sorry, universe.

Also, misspellings and bad grammar on the internet are cool. Just look at some of drivel published by actual legitimate news sources (AP, I'm looking at you. Would it kill you to spell check an article before posting? I know it wouldn't fix the "their/there" and related problems, but it's a start.)

Comment Re:My father died a few years ago - Morningstar (Score 1) 402

Operator: "What's the username he has the account under?"
Me: "Uh, billsmith2222 is the username."
Operator: "OK, let's see... looks like the password is Sarajane. The 'S' is uppercase."
Me: -- Stunned silence --- "Thanks?"

The fact that 1) they even store unhashed passwords, much less 2) let their first line phone support people see them is disturbing. There are too many companies that do that (and other equally insecure practices), but it's not like I can ask each company to describe in complete detail their security set up before creating an account. It makes me wonder whether we're doomed to have companies constantly disclosing our personal information or overbearing government regulation that doesn't fully solve the problem :/

Comment Re:Eating your own dog food. (Score 1) 204

(This is from memory, as I can't find a link, but was widely discussed on /. several years ago. Hopefully someone remembers enough detail to get a link.)

This reminds me of the judge who ruled that garbage out by the curb was not private; in turn some reporters then went through the judge's trash and he freaked out and, I believe, tried to sue them.

Regardless, this exposure of private information is out of control. Too bad there don't seem to be many alternatives.

Comment Re:California Law (Score 1) 485

I had the opposite experience...the theft occurred in a store that had security cameras and I was able to determine where the thief was staying. A officer at my local police was happy to go look at the footage and go confront the guy. It could have helped that I had everything laid out for him, but even before I had the location the officer was going to go look at the tapes and try to ID the guy. I know in the majority of cases, you're right (we've heard too many of those stories here on /.), but time time it mattered to me, my local police department was there for me.

And it's exactly as you said, the guy didn't have a lawyer and plead guilty, so the evidence wasn't even involved.

Comment Re:bribery (Score 1) 141

As I mentioned a few lines above here, these pitch zone graphics aren't always accurate. It's a pretty complex system that needs to be calibrated properly each game, and that calibration could be affected throughout the game. In most ballparks, the camera angle isn't straight-on, so sometimes what you think you see is misleading. Not to mention the fact that the camera location is on the order of 500 feet away from the plate while the umpire is like three feet away. So while I'm under no delusions about the accuracy of umpires, I'm also not glued to the TV watching the pitch zone graphic, either.

Comment Re:Good for balls and strikes (Score 1) 141

As the other AC commented, these pitch zone graphics aren't always accurate. It's a pretty complex system that needs to be calibrated properly each game, and that calibration could be affected throughout the game. In most ballparks, the camera angle isn't straight-on, so sometimes what you think you see is misleading. So while I'm under no delusions about the accuracy of umpires, I'm also not glued to the TV watching the pitch zone graphic, either.

Comment Re:G+ (Score 1) 126

This. It's exactly why I (a long-time gmail and general fan of their applications) haven't started using Google+ -- and have no intention of starting with it any time soon.

I've got paid Apps clients with them, I've used their mobile syncing, and plenty more...it's just too big a risk. And a shame they don't realize that's scaring you, me, and plenty of others. Or maybe they do, but don't care.

Thanks for putting it so well.

Comment Re:Trade Secrets (Score 1) 131

If I could use NFC at every store that takes Paypass, and Google Wallet was available here, then I would be the first to sign up. One less piece of crap in my wallet.

See, that's the part I don't get. Even if you plan on using NFC in your phone, I would imagine you'd still have to carry cash or a credit card just in case. What if the reader is down, what if you need gas and they don't have a reader, etc. There are some places around here that take Paypass, but more that don't -- especially restaurants, grocery stores...all the place I tend to spend more than a few dollars at once. Even though I pay with credit whenever I can, it's still handy to have some cash on hand. Or am I over-thinking it -- do you hope to only shop where you can use your NFC device?

Comment Me too (Score 1) 12

I didn't even know Slashdot was on Facebook. If there's one place I've been spending less time than Slashdot lately, it's Facebook. I check both two or three times per week. If I have some extra downtime, I'll browse the front page of Slashdot for a few minutes, but I've found the discussions aren't nearly as good as they used to be...and since I can get the news elsewhere a day or two sooner elsewhere, that doesn't leave much appeal for me with Slashdot anymore.

Comment Re:Please listen (Score 1) 171

Yeah, that's flat out obnoxious. I like the one at Continental Airlines: "We are sorry but we are experiencing higher than usual call volume. Please try again later." Then they disconnect you. No chance to ever speak to anyone, which is a shame if, say, they cancel your flight, 200 angry people are lined up at the one woman at the ticket counter, and you're already four hours late for takeoff. Or so I've heard, anyway.

Along the same lines of your comment, Bank of America has this great feature to "Request a Chat", which would be perfect because I don't want to call (they have bad hours for phone support), and as I'm not an account holder I can't send an email (using their 'secure email' from inside your account)...except chat is never available. It's just there to taunt me. Sheesh.

Comment Re:Bad passwords are not always the user's fault. (Score 1) 276

Bank accounts (or at least I would, if my bank wasn't retarded).

What is this about? Seems to be more widespread than it should be. At one point, I had a bank account that, among other things, did not allow passwords longer than 8 or 10 characters. I think any non-alphanumeric characters were also out. And I'm supposed to trust them with my money?

I've also had an account somewhere (I forget if it was a 401k, employer payroll system to see my paycheck, or maybe something less important) that uses your SSN as the login name and requires a short (numeric-only) PIN for the password. Plus some sort of funky javascript to "encrypt" each character on each keypress (which also means I can't type it at breakneck speed).

Now, I go out of my way not to deal with companies that force me to use weak passwords...

Comment Re:So how does TV work? (Score 1) 322

You're speaking about the early days of TV -- history, really. The GP is speaking in the present tense, so while you're right about the origins, saying "That is so horribly wrong" is actually, um, wrong itself. I believe stox, the poster above you was correct when stating that the tolerances needed when color was introduced meant a better timing source was needed.

Comment Re:DOS 3 entire OS (Score 1) 498

That's a great story..I mean, not the fact that the machine that makes or breaks the contract is that old and fragile, obviously, but I remember when my HDD was 20MB and there's no way I could recover some of those files anymore, or even use them if I could. It doesn't help that one of my biggest data losses was when I was in the middle of writing a file to 5.25" floppy on an Apple ][c -- which had no hard drive, and I was working on the only copy of my text files...and mistakenly pulled the disk before it had finished writing. Clobbered quite a bit in that one error in judgement, but fortunately it was only personal, nothing like the lathe you fixed. Nice of him to reward you (both finanicially and by telling your boss), but even better that he took your advice and checks things out monthly.

Some said I should have reamed the kid on the price, since he needed them so much, but by being square with the kid not only did we end up with the job modernizing their offices, but they probably threw us another $10k-$20k worth of work for businesses and families that were connected to them. So it pays in the long run to treat people with fairness, and not try to gouge them just because they are in a bad way.

I'm with you -- we have this same discussion at work from time to time and I never think it's worth getting a few extra dollars now at the expense of definetely never working for them again. As you said, better to be fair. I'd rather have that be my repuatation anyway.

Comment Re:Get Off My Lawn, Astro Division (Score 1) 498

I'm on the same page as you at least -- while we didn't bother going to extremes for the transfers as it was mostly personal stuff, one of my clients recently decommisioned their last 3/4" deck (somewhat prematurely, if you ask me, as a lot of important archival/historical material hasn't yet been transferred). The engineers spent that week cleaning all the oxide off the heads after just about each tape that went through, which is what came to mind when reading the GP.

I, of course, had the foresight to transfer my material years ago, but it was mostly the talent with their big interview of so-and-so or the time they were on location at such-and-such. I'd say only half of the tapes even played anymore. Wish i would have thought to help bake them, I could have been a hero :-)

It's kind of frustrating, though -- "back in the day" there were very few formats to chose from, now I've got material spread across at least five tape formats and four or five proprietary file types/codecs...in five or ten years, it's going to be a lot harder to transfer everything than it was getting material off of 3/4.

Comment Re:Aussies IT Directors Retarded (Score 1) 179

OSX ships with a much better PDF reader out of the box

I used to think this, then within a week or two I had the following problems

  • Created a PDF from OS X which someone couldn't open (not sure what reader she was using but as it was a corporate PC and she does a lot of PDF work, I assume it was the full Adobe suite).
  • Edited a lengthy interactive PDF, saved it with my input, and sent it back to someone else, who saw a blank form (I ended up using my PC which has Foxit Reader to re-enter everything).
  • Tried to open an interactive PDF that had form fields filled in, but the fields were just blank.

That's when I decided that Preview is okay for quickly viewing simple PDFs but that I really need to find a replacement program for anything serious.

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