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Comment Nuclear Visa disupte (Score 1) 295

On *rare* occasions I've had products not arrive. Stolen? Delivered to wrong address? Don't care. Until I receive the product from the vendor, this is NOT my problem. Investigating failures of the vendor's delivery agent is also NOT my problem.

Most vendors realize that delivery is not complete until they can show it was delivered. Most of them will also take the risk to ship without signature; it's more convenient for them and their customers are generally happier with it. But it's their risk. If the delivery fails, usually calling the vendor and complaining will cause them to "reship" the product and require a delivery signature. In the rare cases this doesn't work, the below has worked for me 100% of the time.

Last time I had to do this was over a year ago, with bogus hotel charges, not package delivery. Vendor did eventually do what they were supposed to, but not before the Visa dispute. They knew they were wrong and tried to run out the clock. When the dispute went through they refunded to avoid a ding from Visa.

The statement at the end gets Visa out of any liablity; they do NOT care. Because if you're committing fraud, the vendor can go after you.

$Credit Card Issuer

Re: Visa $AccountNo: Dispute Transaction ID $TID

On $Date I ordered and paid for $Product from $Vendor using Visa $AccountNo.
The transaction ID for the purchase follows:

By $Date, $Vendor has failed to deliver $Product.

On $Date I contacted $[email address or phone number], representing $Vendor.
I explained that $Vendor has not delivered $Product after $Days and that the period to dispute the charge is running out, therefore I am following up the issue.
$Vendor is unable to confirm they have delivered $Product to me, however $Vendor has refused to refund $Price or to agree to deliver $Product by $Date.

I have therefore made a good$faith effort to resolve the issue with $Vendor.

I dispute Visa charge of $Price to $Vendor. Refer to Transaction ID above.

I affirm under penalty of perjury that the above statements are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.


Comment Well, duh. (Score 1) 40

their house their rules.
If you want good feedback, look at the reviews on several different websites. Amazon, Newegg, whatever. community sites? Maybe some of the folks at videohelp can point you in the right direction--it's not about TVs, but I'm thinking some of them might know what a TV is.

Too much trouble?
Seriously--how long did it take you to earn the cost of that toy? Maybe spend 1% as much time researching how you're going to blow your money?

Still no guarantee but what do you expect when you go to the mfr's site?

Comment Re:Language creates strong AI (Score 1) 69

bleah. WTF. /.--you don't do unicode (yeah, yeah, I knew that; just forgot how hard you suck).
fine, weiji "opportunity" + "danger" = crisis.

kinda douchey to quote pop wisdom from the 90s now I look at it so maybe /. is onto something.
But still here I think it's appropriate. I guess it's better to be douchey and say what you mean than polite and meaningless.

Comment Language creates strong AI (Score 1) 69

That's how Turing tests (duck tests) work. If you can carry on a conversation with it and a human and you can't tell which is which...then you have AI.

Language encodes thought. From 1984's newspeak to fifty words (or whatever) for different kinds of snow, language defines how (if?) the language-user "thinks".

I find this development both exciting and frightening. The singularity will be . Don't know if this is it, but when it gets here it will be.

Comment Live by the letter of the law... (Score 1) 171

Die by the letter of the law.

"Oooh, I'm so clever--I've found a trick to get something for no (or damned near little) effort, while actually contributing NOTHING of value."
Fine. You better make *damned* sure you read *all* the rules.

These sorts of shenanigans are reserved for billionaires and large corporations.
Folks who can afford high priced lawyers and high priced congresscritters.
Not you.

Comment Real PLCs support signed firmware (Score 1) 59

They've found a cheap PLC they can exploit. Buy a decent PLC and you have a fair shot against something like this.

I was a PLC monkey (still am) when Stuxnet was new. Shortly afterward I watched one of my Clients, an automation manufacturer with a fairly decent market share migrate their critical products to signed firmware. Controllers, ethernet bridges, and industrial switches to start with, but it continues--there's signed firmware options for more and more of the available products.

You buy the products from an authorized reseller with unsigned firmware (if it's available) and if you want signed, you can flash it yourself.
After that, there's no going back--from that point forward you can only flash signed firmware from the mfr.

You can still put bad things in the user code, but such is the nature of user programs. Those can be signed, fingerprinted, and locked too.

Of course none of that is "proof against" attackers, but a real PLC should certainly not be as vulnerable as an embedded controller from a terminal block manufacturer.

These Wago units run about 500 bucks. You can get cheaper units with built-in I/O from new places like plcdirect, or used from radwell.
Heck, if you've got some patience you can get a "PLC" from aliexpress for less than fifty bucks. Won't have Ethernet, though.
If I delivered a project to a Client built around any of that stuff, they would *not* pay me; they'd sue me.

It's going to cost you around $2K (depending on your multiplier, of course...) to get a modern micro PLC with included I/O from a real automation company--trust ain't cheap.

Comment Re:Well, duh. (Score 1) 75

"Maths" is a lot more than arithmetic (A rat in Tommy's house...).
The most important mathematical discipline in science is simple Boolean logic that (at least at one time) was taught as part of the freshman high school math curriculum. The tools of logical thought and formal deduction rather than "hand waving" explanations are the *first* requirements.

More to the point of the article...
Scientists generally organize themselves into a couple of different disciplines--simply because the skill sets (and technical requirements) tend to diverge:
Statistical analysis and mathematical modeling (the subject of the article) are extremely important to both.
The job of the theoretician is to produce a descriptive, predictive, and testable mathematical model and study that model. And to describe experiments and predict what the results might be *if* the model and the hypotheses it's built on are representative of reality.
The job of the experimentalist is to determine whether the model is actually consistent with reality.

Take as a timely example the theoretician's prediction of gravity waves, and around a hundred years later, the experimentalist's observation of same.
Makes a nice ringtone...and a nice conversation starter--when folks ask "what's that noise", you can explain how science takes a lot of persistence and work.

Of course, sometimes experimentalist invalidates the theoretician's model; this is when some of my old professors told me "I was writing Science Fiction...didn't mean to, but the results are in...". Of course you have the theoretician who refuses to submit to experiment, but that doesn't mean they're all charlatans.

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