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Journal Journal: Chronicle: Emailed Walmart about confusing item description 4

Walmart has a Slinky for $3.00. The description says: Clearance! Was $1.86. That seemed backwards.

So, i sent an email from their website:

Metal Slinky http://www.walmart.com/ip/Metal-Slinky/882938#Q%26A+Exchange

says the price is $3.00. The description says "Clearance! Was $1.86" Isn't that backwards? Because it went to clearance the price went up?

Comment Don't get to cocky about your options ... (Score 5, Interesting) 139

I'm sure its nothing that a can of spray-paint and some bubble-gum can't deal with.

Don't get to cocky about your options in an orwellian/cyberpunk future.

The corps in turn are sure your spray-paint and bubble-gum tactic is nothing 99.999% reliability facial-recognition + cell-phone tracking + behavioural-and-movement-pattern-recognition + god-knows-what can't deal with by tracking you down, sueing you into next wednesday, locking your creditcards/bankaccounts for that specific mall (all all others connected to the same megacorp and data-exchange conglumerate), putting you on a special surveillance & potential terrorist threat list, ban you from accessing gated communities of type X,Y and Z until further notice and upping your rent for being a threat to society all for spraying and gumming up their new survelliance & minion control bot toy.

Just saying.

Comment Re:Cost-benefit analysis (Score 1) 319

(1) waiting at lights, (2) stuck in traffic, or (3) travelling side-by-side on multi-laned straight roads in smooth uniform traffic... only the latter situation is actually remotely dangerous.

Wrong: you are operating a motor vehicle. The task is inherently dangerous, even if you aren't texting. Even if you could text and 100% drive "correctly", because part of the responsibility of driving is guarding against other drivers, pedestrians, and road debris that doesn't behave "correctly".

Besides, situations (1) and (2) aren't as safe as they seem. In situation (1), people begin texting at a complete stop but end up trying to finish their texts after beginning to roll again. Though not fatal, low speed rear-endings are still vexing to everyone involved. In situation (2), "stand-still" traffic is pretty rare; usually the traffic you are stuck in is of the lurching "stop-and-go" variety. Texting here increases your odds of low and moderate speed rear-endings.

Comment It's the beginning of a cyberpunk world. (Score 1) 233

I see a lot of comments here pointing out that uncertainty is the most demanding parameter when doing a postdoc. Well, I'm not in a position to comment on that, because despite being a few decades old, I haven't really started my acamedic career yet - allthough I'm inching my way into it, should nothing notably better come up. Mind you, this is Germany, where there's no tuition to pay and they accept you at university if you've got the grades and the track record to prove you really mean it.

However, there is one thing that I've been noticing ever since the last decade started with the first internet bubble:

Today uncertainty is everywhere, no matter what you do.

It's a simple fact, and I'm sure most of you would agree, that we are moving head on into a cyberpunk world the likes described in William Gibson and Neal Stephenson novels. Move to post-scarcity economy, peak capitalism, permantent environmental damage, constant economic and currency votality, work & travel throughout your career, constant precarious personal life, etc. It's happening all around. Regular lives of people falling apart left, right and center and those stuggling to maintain a modestly secure life feeling more and more miserable by the day in doing so, because they have to cut so many throats and compromise in to many places to even be able to. I've had 3 jobs this year, the current one with a web programming hovel with no versioning or deployment, a passive-agressive boss, 5 different main admins in 5 years and a higher turnover rate of programmers than McD's has with burger-flippers, accompanied by the according codebase. The last gig was 60+ hrs of unpaid overtime in 7 weeks, working on a project that consilidates Germanys online travel booking market by orders of magnitude and will put quite a few people out of work when the rush is over.

I'm certain we're moving into a world where acamedic rank will count less and less and even universities will be consolidated, because their cruel selection mechanisms don't guarantee a solid career anymore. And do we need them? I can get more education off Khan Academy today than I could of half of the universities in Germany 3 decades ago. For free, without moving anywhere. Those are the upsides of a cyberpunk society.

My 2 cents.

Comment Re:look out below ! (Score 1) 332

I take it that you missed the part where she kept a diary the entire time. Do you think that she might have written in her diary something about the death of a family friend and the odd exchange of her father and the Secretary General of the Soviet Union? You also have no proof that this is the only utterance about this she ever made, for all we know she could be the origin of the quote, nor can you prove she ever heard it outside of him saying it. In any event if you are going to dismiss 50 year old recollections then I am sure I can come up with reams of historical documents that took fifty years to write or talk about that you are going to have to toss out as well, not to mention a wealth of history itself. I also note that you didn't even peep about that in the interview she doesn't get the quote exactly right. Which tells me you didn't even watch it, which makes me wonder if you are more interested in being right or correct.

Face it, she was actually was present at the exchange. The onus is on you to prove that she was mistaken with something other than a variant of 'memory is a tricky thing' for someone who has apparently doesn't have memory issues.

Comment Dunning-K (Score 1) 494

I'm pretty sure the guy at the top was in on the ruse too.

By your comment, I'm pretty sure you've never worked a contract for government at a high level.

For a reality-based perspective, understand that silos are DEATH to most projects, and government structures are ALL SILOS. The fact that every single one of the "senior political figures" refused (make no mistake--it is always an active decision) is just par for the course.

So, how to change this? There are two key policies that must be implemented from the top:
1) The career of anyone who lies or fails to report bad news up the chain to those who need it is over, regardless of that person's position.
2) The reporting of bad news is to be treated as a problem to be solved, not an issue with the messenger (or the person who caused it).

Example: at a major metropolitan newspaper, a tech made a mistake and rm -rf * the website's home directory. He immediately reported it up the chain and the team dropped everything and worked on restoring the files. They then sat down and discussed how to mitigate the problem so that human error could not cause the same situation or how it could be restored quicker when it happened again. No retaliatory action was taken against the tech.

Comment Re:look out below ! (Score 1) 332

"In an interview with the BBC's Andrew Marr (11.11.2011) Winston Churchill's daughter, Mary Soames, explained that she overheard Stalin say this to her father. Churchill, was upset having received news that a family friend had died. He apologised to Stalin in light of the vast loss of Russian life. And Stalin then gave this reply."

From your wiki link

Oh, and I do believe that first hand accounts still count for quotes do they not?

Comment Re:Spoof the line as disconnected.. (Score 5, Interesting) 497

I did this a few years ago when I had a similar problem with a collection agency that was looking for a former renter. I changed my answering machine message to the intercept tone sequence, followed by a scratchy message that sounded similar to the telco's automated message:

"We're sorry, your call cannot be answered at this time. Please check the number or contact the operator... (3 second delay) Or if you're a friend just leave a message at the beep." *BEEP*

My friends thought it was hilarious and the collectors usually hung up long before the part about leaving a message kicked in. It took a couple of months, but the calls finally stopped.

Now a friend of mine who was being harassed took a different track. He would answer the phone and listen politely to find out who they were looking for. Then he would start yelling at the collector, claiming he was owed a large sum of money from the same person. He would accuse them of being a friend of the debtor, demand they reveal where he was and threaten to sue them to get his money back. The calls stopped soon afterwards.

Your mileage may vary, etc. etc.

Comment Wrong. (Score 1) 209

Imagine if Microsoft had released an MS-branded laptop which only allowed you to use HTML+Javascript and Silverlight apps, and then released a development environment which ran under Silverlight.
That'd be as retarded as this is.

No it wouldn't.

If they gave away all of the software for free, integrated online services for free, if the software were based on an FOSS core, new very essential core components itself were released as FOSS (V8 anyone?) which all would basically prevent long-term lock-in powers for good and gain aknowledgement from the opinion leaders (i.e. us), the hard- and software were well integrated and the hardware itself were usable, sturdy, cheap, lightweight and pleasing in a visual and aesthetical way ... etc.

If all that would happen, then it would definitely not be retarded.
It would actually be quite smart and entrench a solid global market dominance even further. ...

Which is why Google is kicking MSes ass in that dept. btw. ... 1 billion activated android devices and counting. One-stop, cheap, total zero fuss, buy-unpack-turnon-use pissing-into-serious-apple-massuser-territory Chrome OS (mini) laptops that start to look as flashy as iStuff moving into the market, etc. .. You get the picture.

Bottom line:
I'd be carefull to call anything Google is doing right now retarded.

Comment Nothing new. GIB has been a browser IDE for years. (Score 5, Interesting) 209

What's all the excitement? The General Interface Builder is basically full-blown bsd licensed browser-based offline IDE of Eclipse proportions. It's quite amazing, certainly speeds up development of non-trivial GeneralInterface Ajax Applications quite a bit and is very well matured.

I'm not holding my breath for Google to catch up on GI anytime soon.

My 2 cents.

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