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Comments

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40% Of People On Terror Watch List Have No Terrorist Ties

Serenissima Re:The one question on my mind (256 comments)

I don't know if it's the "Terrorist Watch List" but my name somehow got on a list. I remember when I was getting my ticket at the check in stand, the agent took my ID and walked off. For 30 minutes I was standing there with no answers. When they came back, they said my name was similar to a name on a watchlist and in the future, I needed to make sure to add my middle initial to any tickets I purchased. I spaced on that the next ticket I bought and sure enough, the same 30 minute process. Since then I've always used my middle initial with no issues.

The real kicker is that my name is in no way unique. It's one of the top 10 most common names in the US for the last hundred years. My last name, while not THAT common, is still very common. I actually like it because no one can ever find me online - you can Google my name - even with my full middle name - in quotes and thousands of people with the same name. It's like saying "John Smith" is on the list, so anyone named John Smith could possibly be that guy. So, if it's anything like my situation, common names may get added to a list - and from what we've seen in the past - it can be very difficult to be removed from the list.

about a month ago
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35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Serenissima Re:medical services need a billing time limit (570 comments)

I'm an American. Join the club. Unfortunately our political system is turning into a plutocracy where the money of a few drowns out the voice of the many. A lot of us are beyond genuinely disgusted too - but have little choice in the matter.

about a month ago
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A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Serenissima Re:Wow ... (419 comments)

But that was the point I was making :)

It's totally the employee's fault. They violated the store policy in exactly the way that you're saying. I'm not agreeing with, or condoning it. I knew enough not to make that mistake, but knowing what I know about the pressures put on you as an Apple salesperson, I was saying I can totally see how someone less experienced or who didn't give a shit would do that. ;)

I'm totally not disagreeing with you at all. If you've spent any time in Retail, you'll know that 90% of the time, Customers really have no idea what they want or what the rules are. Most customers are pretty dumb. Hell, I couldn't even trust them to remember a password that they JUST created minutes before. They are the absolute WRONG source of any useful information - especially about transactions.

about a month ago
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A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Serenissima Re:Wow ... (419 comments)

Exactly. Apple Store employees (or Retail Employees in General) couldn't give a shit when they're incredibly busy. One person on a (somewhat) busy day could easily make up 10 times whatever revenue was lost due to that bad transaction.

about a month ago
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A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Serenissima Re:Wow ... (419 comments)

I used to work at The Apple Store. And that's really the way it should work. However, from my time there, we had credit cards declined all of the time. The Apple Store is a huge place for fraudulent purchases and credit cards routinely auto-blocked access when purchases were for Apple and outside of typical purchases. We actually had the VP of BOEING's Business credit card declined. The standard procedure was to have the customer call the bank, validate that they were them, and that they indeed DID want to make the purchase. After about a minute, we could re-run the card and it'd work.

Now, when the payment device asked for an Override code, it was the job of the EMPLOYEE to got to the back and call up the bank. We're provided special numbers to call and special codes we have to type in. It's a horribly clunky and long process which everyone hated to do, but that was it. So, this is completely the employee's fault - albeit it's really a training issue and the blame rests with Apple. I can totally see why an employee would

#1) Not want to go through that process when they need to get to the next sale

#2) Possibly be new and not completely understand the process

#3) Be susceptible to some clever social engineering - ie: There are some cases where the customer must call the bank. I need an override code from the bank to process this. The customer is calling the bank, so that means I don't have to!

So it's a big f-up, but I can totally understand how and why it happened.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Serenissima Re:Two Steps (113 comments)

Definitely my favorite internet quote! :D

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing an Android Tablet For Resale?

Serenissima Re:Two Steps (113 comments)

From TFS: "If you were feeling especially paranoid, but wanted to keep the hardware intact for the next user, what would you do? "

about a month ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Serenissima Re:Strabismus (550 comments)

I do have 3D vision, my strabismus is very slight compared to when I was younger. The surgery did work! I was worried that I would actually have to have surgery again because of how my eyes were acting up when I had my normal glasses and I would have to change focus from near to far to near again. Fortunately, the bifocal lenses help that tremendously to the point where it's not even an issue. I'm about 10-20 years younger than most people who need bifocals, but I can't argue with the results! I love reading and I'm a data analyst, so I use computers all the time - I think my eyes get a lot of training! :D As far as Lasik goes, it really doesn't seem like a worthwhile proposition because it won't really change anything for me! Thanks for the contemplation though... My appointment is coming up soon, maybe I'll look into it!

about a month ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Serenissima Re:Keratoconus (550 comments)

Save up some money to go to Europe and do the treatment there?

about a month ago
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Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Serenissima Strabismus (550 comments)

My eyes don't line up in the exact same place when I look at things. I had surgery when I was 15 to correct it, after 20 years, it's coming back a little (although to a much less significant degree). Fortunately, it's small enough that I can use lenses to correct it - I have to wear bifocals now - but that also means that Lasik will never work for me to improve my vision. I could have better than perfect vision in each eye and I'd still need corrective lenses. :|

about a month ago
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The Sci-Fi Myth of Robotic Competence

Serenissima Re:Measuring Competence (255 comments)

I see what you're saying. My takeaway was that he wasn't saying robots weren't more competent at specific things (in fact, he commented on how they can do very specific things much better than humans) but that they're not competent in replacing all human tasks. In the example he gave, he said a car-welding robot could weld faster and better than a human, but if asked to install upholstery in the car, it'd probably destroy it.

As part of that, cars are looking like they're going to be robots that are significantly more competent at driving than we'll ever be - but they'd make horrible robots to help an old lady go the bathroom in a nursing home, or any number of tasks not related to driving.

They're not competent in their ability to be "Bishop" from Aliens, but they are/will be plenty competent in driving. :)

about 3 months ago
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You've Got Male: Amazon's Growth Impacting Seattle Dating Scene

Serenissima Re:0.0002% are H1B (315 comments)

I have to agree. When I was there, it was easily 40% H1B workers in my department. Walking around the halls and cafes, I could see even more. I never actually sat down and counted anyone, but I would say that 40-50% of the people were H1Bs, easy.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Stewart Brand About Protecting Resources and Reviving Extinct Species

Serenissima Potential Risks of Invasive Species (59 comments)

If particular species have gone extinct, then I would assume their environment could no longer support them. If we manage to bring back those species, and introduce them into environments that could support them, it seems that we have the potential to unbalance that ecosystem by introducing an invasive species which has no natural predator there. How would you manage this risk?

about 4 months ago
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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

Serenissima Re:What now? 1 billion! (285 comments)

Because, unfortunately in some regards, (almost) everyone uses Excel for EVERYTHING. Most people outside of Slashdot could probably name one Database program (Microsoft Access) that they've heard of, and I'm willing to bet most of them don't know how to use it.

about 4 months ago
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Nokia Had a Production-Ready Web Tablet 13 Years Ago

Serenissima Re:Innovation (272 comments)

Because this is Slashdot. Anytime there's ANY post (positive or negative) about Apple, Microsoft, or any other large technology company, there will always be an inane, anti-"whichever company is being discussed" comment from the person who says, "You still use [product/software/operating system] from [company]?? The only true way to use a computer is by using the command line on [random Linux distro] running off of a Beowulf Cluster of Raspberry Pi's - Just like I have setup!!! If you use anything else, you're a loser!"

And there's always that guy somewhere. It's uncanny.

about 5 months ago
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Stephen Colbert To Be Letterman's Successor

Serenissima Re:WTF? (193 comments)

I see what you did there :)

about 5 months ago
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A New Robo-Soldier Will Test Chemical Warfare Suits

Serenissima Re:British phone box in Summary? (29 comments)

I'm pretty sure that the Phone Booth is the International Symbol for Britain.

about 5 months ago
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Time Dilation Drug Could Let Heinous Criminals Serve 1,000 Year Sentences

Serenissima Re: Ridiculous. (914 comments)

Well.. technically... wouldn't they need LESS recreation time if they're living in a time-dilated frame of reference? They'd only need minutes per day. If you gave them hours, it'd be like a week-long vacation from prison!

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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How do you keep your media library safe from a 4-Year Old?

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "I've spent many hours building my Media Library in XBMC and scraping all the DVD Covers and Fanart. And I love it, I can pull up movies on any computer or device in the house. I played a movie for my son the other day so I could get some cleaning done without him being underfoot. I noticed shortly after that the sound coming from the other room was from a DIFFERENT movie than I played for him. I snuck up and watched for a few minutes and saw him use a trackpad to navigate to the stop and play buttons of different movies in his folder. I know it's only a matter of time before he realizes he can see all of the movies. I don't want him to have nightmares because he saw the T-1000 stab someone in the face. The quickest solution I can think is a screen saver with a password. It's mildly inconvenient to me, but would stop him from accessing anything. However, I remember how much more I knew about computers than my parents when I was a kid, and I have a feeling he's going to surprise me one day. There's a lot of ways out there to stop it, the way we do it now is to not let him watch anything unless we're there (but there are only so many times I can watch the same kid's movie). How do YOU guys find yourself dealing with the convenience of running your own server while keeping your media safe from prying eyes?"
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IT Certification without an IT Background?

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "I come from a Geology background where I was a manager of geologists with my company for several years. I was doing logistical scheduling and managing dozens of concurrent projects using software like Primavera and Sharepoint. I was so good at keeping track of everything, my company asked me to do the same job nationally instead of regionally. Then later, they laid off my entire department. I found that I really enjoyed and excelled at project management, however when looking for a new job, I've found that — by and large — Project Management is an IT profession. I figured now is as good a time as any to switch professions and while I don't have enough money or time to go back to school for several years to get a CS degree, with my severance I can take some certification classes at a local IT Training School/Business. They gave me a list of certifications they can provide and since I'm new to IT, I was wondering what your (you in the IT workplace) opinions are on whether or not this is something that can start a career in IT or if it's a colossal waste of money because no one would hire me with only these certifications?



CompTIA Certified Professional — A+; CompTIA Certified Professional — Network +; Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician — MCDST; Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist — MCTS Windows 7 Configuration; Project Management for Professionals — PMP"
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Bad Driving May Have Genetic Basis

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "Bad drivers may in part have their genes to blame, suggests a new study by UC Irvine neuroscientists.People with a particular gene variant performed more than 20 percent worse on a driving test than people without it — and a follow-up test a few days later yielded similar results. About 30 percent of Americans have the variant.

"These people make more errors from the get-go, and they forget more of what they learned after time away," said Dr. Steven Cramer, neurology associate professor and senior author of the study published recently in the journal Cerebral Cortex."

Link to Original Source
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Bacteria Used To Make Radioactive Metals Inert

Serenissima Serenissima writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Serenissima (1210562) writes "Researcher Judy Wall is experimenting with bacteria that can cleanse the radioactivity from toxic areas by rendering the heavy metals into non-toxic, inert versions. The technology is not without it's flaws (the bacteria can't exist in an oxygenated environment yet), but it does have the potential to cleanse some of the world's hazardous sites.

From the article:

The bacteria Wall is studying are bio-corrosives and can change the solubility of heavy metals. They can take uranium and convert it to uraninite, a nearly insoluble substance

"

Link to Original Source

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