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Comment Re:It happened to me (Score 1) 336

I'm sure this works if you have it packed and boxed and labeled correctly, etc. I don't have a box to ship it in (the original is gone), I don't have any packing tape, and no way to securely seal the lable to the package. Will it really work if I just leave the knife on the porch with the piece of paper with the return label taped to it and a note that says, "Hey UPS guy, take care of this"?

Comment Re:It happened to me (Score 1) 336

I can totally believe that. That's a product ripe for exploiting. It's expensive, inconvenient to buy, and lot's of people need them.

BTW, not that I'm trying to sell a particular product, but since you mentioned razor blades, I've been using the Dollar Shave Club stuff for four years now and I am totally happy with them. I get five of the higher quality blades for $6 per month. Of course, they just got bought out by Unilever, so that might be the beginning of the end for DSC, but so far their products and service have been great.

Comment Re:It happened to me (Score 1) 336

While I am sure that it probably happens that companies do extra runs as you describe, I think it's erroneous to assume that "there is no company that is designing knockoff electric knives". China is famous for selling all kinds of knockoffs of all types -- batteries, chargers, cell phones, automobile parts, and so on. I cannot accept the simple argument that "B&D stuff is crap." I have a couple of friends and family members who have B&D electric knives and they function just fine. I also have a drill, orbital sander, and jigsaw made by B&D that are perfectly adequate. If I were a contractor, they probably would not be up to snuff, but as an occasional handyman they do just fine. No one expects Black and Decker to be the Lexus of the tool world, but they are not the Yugo of the tool world either. For that, you need to go to Harbor Freight.

Comment Re:It happened to me (Score 1) 336

Nope. Not so in my case. I just checked the instructions I received to make sure. There is nothing that says I can have UPS come pick up the package. In fact, the only place UPS is mentioned in the instructions is where it says, "We recommend returns be made via UPS insured freight or fedex insured only and you keep the tracking number so that you would make sure that we would receive the item."


Comment Re:Wait a minute (Score 1) 115

I was in the Navy for eleven years. I was an AT in a light attack squadron, working on A-7's and F/A-18's, and served on an aircraft carrier. I am well aware how a fucking military base operates, smartass. No, 600K indifvidual installs is NOT easy to believe, not even counting civilians and contractors. I sincerely doubt every squid, civilian, and contractor is walking around with an install of this software. This is not Pokemon Go. This is 3D imaging software from a company no one has ever heard of. A lot of other people have offered better explanations for how that many installs could have occurred, and some of these seem plausible. Your explanation, however, is ridiculous.

Comment It happened to me (Score 4, Insightful) 336

When you think of fake products, knock-offs and the like, you think primarily of fashion goods, like the Birkenstock sandals in the article. So, when I bought a Black and Decker electric knife recently, I never dreamed there would be a problem. The knife is a piece of crap. It was haphazardly packaged, and will not cut through anything. True to form, when I complained about it, they offered to take it back if I would return it. But then I thought, "What I bought was an errand." Instead of getting a legitimate product, conveniently delivered to my front door, I got a crappy product, and now I have to print out the return strip, repackage it, and then go down to the UPS store and stand in line to have it shipped off. They say they'll pay for the shipping and refund my money, but isn't my time and effort worth something? Why should I have to waste an hour dealing with something that is obviously a fake product? If they can deliver me a glob of shit, they can goddam well come around and pick it back up. Amazon needs to scrutinize their sellers better.

Comment Wait a minute (Score 3, Interesting) 115

600,000 computers? How big do they think the U.S. Navy is anyway? That's almost two computers for every active duty service member. That's over 2,000 computers per ship. I'm not saying the Navy didn't steal their software, I have no clue about that. I'm just saying that 600,000 installs is A LOT for such an obscure piece of software.

Comment Re:Somebody didn't get the memo... (Score 1) 279

Yes, that was the article. Thank you. And yes, science as a tool is not broken, but as an institution, yes. That is to say, how we go about doing science, where we are doing it in such a way that we must always have positive results, and that there must be some sort of "return on investment", this is broken. There is a business mentality that is driving science. It's driving almost every endeavor, actually, and it's causing us to stagnate.

Comment Re:Somebody didn't get the memo... (Score 5, Interesting) 279

Indeed. I don't know where I was reading it this week (it may have been here on /.) there was an interesting article about how science is basically "broken". The gist is that there is a lot of BS floating around as science that is really nothing of the sort. Just as truth has devolved into "truthiness", science has devolved into "scienciness". That is not to say that there are not good scientists out there doing good work, but a lot of them have to come up with plausible, "sciencey" bullshit in order to justify their existence and get funding.

No, I don't know how to fix it.

Comment My illusions have been shattered (Score 5, Funny) 282

This is so disappointing for an American. We Americans have always been a little insecure about our accents, our education level, etc, and we look at the British, with their smart-sounding accents, and their large vocabularies, and we just intrinsically KNOW that they are smarter than us. And then something like this happens that shatters our illusions, and tells us that British people can be just as dumb as anyone else.

Comment Accountability (Score 1) 983

The worst aspect about this is accountability. I've noticed a trend in corporate America where decisions are made less and less by one person, and are now more often made collectively (or at least are given the appearance of having been made collectively). The advantage of this is that, if the decision is made by multiple people, then no single person can be blamed if the decision is a bad one. It's a safe way to manage. If several people can agree to do something, then no one has to take the heat if there is a failure somewhere down the line. "Passing the buck" is, of course, as old as civilization itself, and Harry S. Truman had a sign made for his desk in the oval office that read, "The buck stops here." But in this new method of decision making, the buck isn't passed, and it never lands anywhere, it simply does not exist.

This concept applies to the use of robots. No single person wields the weapon. Many people are involved in the operation of the robot. Therefore, no single person can be held accountable if anything goes wrong. I worry that, in the future, more and more policing will be done remotely. No single person will be making the decisions, so that it will be easier to make poor decisions and get away with it.

Comment Re:Video is often the worst way to convey informat (Score 1) 244

I agree completely. I think it will be short-lived. Look at applications like Skype and Facetime. They are certainly useful, and when people first get them, they use them a lot, but the novelty wears off pretty fast. There are occasions where video apps make sense, but no one wants to do video all the time -- whether they are the sender or receiver.

Comment Nope. (Score 1) 244

The live video thing will be short lived. If Skype and Facetime haven't really taken off, live video on Facebook won't either. Of course, there will be special occasions from time to time when it will make sense, and people will use it -- just like Skype and Facetime -- but once the novelty wears off, most people are going to be like, "Meh".

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If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens