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Google Releases an AI Tool For Publishers To Spot and Weed Out Toxic Comments (bbc.com) 167

Google today launched a new technology to help news organizations and online platforms identify and swiftly remove abusive comments on their websites. The technology, called Perspective, will review comments and score them based on how similar they are to comments people said were "toxic" or likely to make them leave a conversation. From a report on BBC: The search giant has developed something called Perspective, which it describes as a technology that uses machine learning to identify problematic comments. The software has been developed by Jigsaw, a division of Google with a mission to tackle online security dangers such as extremism and cyberbullying. The system learns by seeing how thousands of online conversations have been moderated and then scores new comments by assessing how "toxic" they are and whether similar language had led other people to leave conversations. What it's doing is trying to improve the quality of debate and make sure people aren't put off from joining in.

Comment Suicide (Score 1) 303

And this is why their budget will be cut again - focusing on expensive, relatively pointless shit that has been done before. SLS is dead, and why shouldn't it be? Incremental advances and dead-end projects are of no interest to bean counters. Of course I'd love to see a small percentage of our defense budget reallocated to double or triple NASA's annual budget, but that isn't going to happen, so trips to drive past the moon without even stopping are not going to happen.

This would be merely an unnecessary step toward using the moon or another orbital base as a launch point for a manned Mars mission, and one which would not generate enough excitement to spur budget increases or wider demand for such projects. I'm all for it, in theory, but the minimal benefit doesn't justify the cost, and heaven forbid it should fail or go way over budget.

Comment Re:Shipping charges on Amazon (Score 1) 183

$20 items with $150 shipping charges, and non-free shipping advertised as free? I've had plenty of issues with them missing "guaranteed" delivery dates, but I've never seen what you're talking about. Are those through third-party sellers? I pretty much only use them for items they sell and ship themselves, or at least ones they handle the fulfillment on, and never run into that sort of problem.

Comment Re:Response to Walmart.com (Score 1) 183

I'm sure it has nothing to do with Walmart offering free 2-day shipping on orders greater than $35, no membership required.... Under $35, no worries, $5.99.

Walmart also has a reputation for shipping things out promptly unlike Amazon. Amazon is fine if you have prime, but if you choose free shipping, there are times you may wait a week for your item to even ship.

I can't speak to Walmart's rep for shipping promptly, but Amazon has been letting me down on that front way too often lately. I just can't stand Walmart's website, though I'll admit that when you search for something very specific they don't show you as much unrelated garbage as Amazon. I wish you could refine Amazon searches as tightly as eBay searches, since eBay doesn't seem so determined to advertize what they want you to see rather than just what you tell them you're looking for.

Comment Re:There is no such thing as free shipping. (Score 1) 183

Its all just word play and mind games.

I suppose so, but when an online retailer offers an item at the same price as another retailer but offers included shipping, it does benefit you. And one of the big draws with Amazon is that they offer so many items with free/included/low-cost 2-day guaranteed shipping, which no one else does on the same scale. So call it a game if you like, but interpret it correctly rather than oversimplifying it and you'll see that not all "free" shipping is equal, or equally non-free.

Comment Re:Jet.com is gunning for them (Score 1) 183

they're an eCommerce outfit formed by an ex-amazon guy. Got a lot of capital so they can spend a few years trying to beat Amazon at it's own game of loss leading and .0001% profit margins. It'd be nice if somebody managed to compete with Amazon. I'm not looking forward to a time when they're literally the only retailer in the world.

I've had a lot of luck with eBay, though I won't buy through them when I know I need something quick. I've never bought from Jet, nor do I know anyone who has, and they're owned by Walmart now, IIRC.

Not a Walmart fan, can't stand their website, and have never ordered from them for home delivery, admittedly. I did order online for store pickup three orfour times, and each time was a pain because the employees seemed clueless as to how to find my order and took a surprisingly long time. I wonder whether Newegg will continue to try to diversify their online sales, now that they've changed ownership, too. They've always been quick and reliable for me, though I've only ever ordered computer stuff.

Comment Re:Prime is starting to suck (Score 1) 183

First, if the delivery is via USPS, they consider the item delivered when it arrives at the local post office, not at your house. And they often promise "second day by EIGHT PM", which means that any delivery to a commercial address where the receiving dept. goes home at 5PM is actually at least three day. And they know when an address is commercial.

If they consider my post office my house, they're going to lose me for sure. I get the commercial address thing, since if they've delivered it to the address they really shouldn't be responsible for another company's internal package handling. But I don't have access to the back room of the post office, and they do not deliver to residential addresses after 5:00, unlike UPS. Hell, when they tried to blame USPS the last time, my package was still at a post office in another county on the night it was originally supposed to be delivered, because they took over 24 hours to send it out. I've ordered numerous times from Amazon over the past 5 or 6 years, and they used to always get things to me on time, but now it's become hit and miss.

Comment Re:Prime is starting to suck (Score 1) 183

Actually, what I would do is check with the carrier, and if it claims to be delivered but isn't, contact Amazon and ask them to overnight a replacement. They'll usually overnight products at no charge if you're annoyed enough to write them to complain about shipping delays even if you're not a Prime member.

Thanks, but of all the times an Amazon delivery has been late, I've never had a case of them claiming it was delivered on time. They usually just say something like, "Sorry, the carrier was delayed," or, "Sorry, we'll look into it." The last time, they ended up issuing a one-month Prime extension, but only after too much whining. I did ask for a refund last time, since it was something I needed before a work deadline and had to scramble and buy a replacement locally, and they told me just to use the normal return process.

Online chat helpfulness seems spotty, with various reps much more reluctant than others to do anything that costs them money. Loosing subscribers and shoppers would cost them more, of course. Just my own experience here, which used to be excellent but has been much different over the last year or so.

Comment Re:Prime is starting to suck (Score 1) 183

Yes, No, Yes and No. These and other questions can be answered on their help pages. Open a chat with them and say "Order # xxxx was due xx/xx/xxxx, but has not yet arrived. The shipper is now estimating the due date as xx/xx/xxxx . Would you please issue me a prime extension for the missed guarantee? Thanks so much." Takes about 5 minutes and "earns" me a tax-free $8.25 off of a bill I would otherwise pay.

Thank you, but as I said, they seem very reluctant to issue any refund or extension, in my experience.

Comment Re: Prime is starting to suck (Score 1) 183

In these cases, you should be entitled to some sort of credit.

Yeah, but from the carrier, not Amazon (who can't control it). Unfortunately, you're not the carrier's customer.

Good luck with that.

In the one incident I alluded to specifically, Amazon took over a full day to ship the item out, then incorrectly blamed the carrier. And I am indeed a USPS customer, though they are not to blame when Amazon takes too long to get things out of the warehouse. And perhaps they shouldn't offer a guarantee that they have no intention of backing.

Comment Prime is starting to suck (Score 1, Informative) 183

I'm a Prime subscriber (for now), so I get free shipping on lots of stuff already, with no $35 minimum. But am I the only one whose "guaranteed" 2-day shipping often takes 3-4 days? I can't figure out how they guarantee their "guaranteed" delivery dates, since they miss the mark so often then do nothing for me in return. This didn't used to be the case.

Am I being scammed if I subscribe for the 2-day shipping but barely ever use any other Prime features? I asked a chat rep recently about all their failed 2-day deliveries, and after about 30 minutes of me whining all he would do is say "Sorry, I'll have the shipping department look into it." Right. I finally got pissed off and told him a friend got a free month of Prime after complaining about the same thing, and only then did he offer me the same thing.

Am I missing something about their guarantee, or do I have to bitch and moan every time a late package costs me money? Will they limit this, and do they compensate you in some other way? Last time they sent my package out a day late and the chat rep blamed the carrier for the delay, which I knew was bogus. I can usually wait for personal stuff, but an extra day or two for work-related items can cost me money and be a genuine problem.

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