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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Tuidjy Re:maybe (349 comments)

This is exactly what's going on. The company I work for had this problem, at one of our warehouses (not AT&T, different provider, probably subletting from someone).

The warehouse manager threatened his local rep with a law suit, they laughed at him. The company lawyer mentioned a class action law suit, they fixed our billing the same month.

When we had to renew, the new contract spelled out that they will bill us for the 'resulting' traffic. It got signed without anyone from my department getting asked, but the funny thing is, months later, they are still billing us the old way i.e. without the overhead.

As for the original poster - check your contract. If you have not agreed to pay for their internal overhead, you will get amazing results if you remind them that they are overcharging thousands of customers, and that they can be on the hook for millions, when a lawyer agrees to take the case for a percentage. If you have agreed to pay for the overhead... I doubt there is much you can do.

By the way, I am an IT director ,not a lawyer, so don't go blindly follow my advice, either.

3 days ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

Tuidjy Re:AT&T DSL/Uverse Data Limits (349 comments)

You are kidding, I hope.

Unless you are running an e-mail server on your own home network, of course it counts against your data cap.

The file is encoded, transmitted to an e-mail server somewhere else, and stored there until your e-mail client retrieves it.

A 10M file can easily count as 60M against your cap, depending on the encoding your client uses. x3 for the encoding, and x2 for the transmission.

3 days ago

The First Particle Physics Evidence of Physics Beyond the Standard Model?

Tuidjy Re:Annoying header graphics (97 comments)

I certainly hate this post.

Headline ending with a question mark? Check.
Big image that insists on occupying the whole screen! Check.
Self-promoting claim of being the first, when there was evidence of something not being quite right with the Standard Model as early as the 90s? (I'm no physicist, but I read it on Slashdot)
And finally, there is no new data. They are setting up an experiment, which will not bear fruit for years.

about two weeks ago

Scientists Find Traces of Sea Plankton On ISS Surface

Tuidjy Re:But is it really plankton? (117 comments)

Let see.

Did viable Space Plankton drift from outer space to the ISS as it was orbiting Earth, and just happened to be DNA-identical to the one that has been living (and maybe evolving) in Earth's seas?

Or was Sea Plankton carried by the wind to the hold of the vehicle carrying these components up from cape Canaveral?

Oh, my... so hard to decide which is more likely.

about two weeks ago

Selectable Ethics For Robotic Cars and the Possibility of a Robot Car Bomb

Tuidjy Re:MUCH easier. (239 comments)

Your idea sound great on first glance, but less so on second.

" If there is no safe escape route, it should not be moving"

This would not work, for the simple reason that there is no way to safely move on most roads, if you assume that everyone else is a malevolent actor, waiting to slam into you as soon as you place yourself in a position from which you cannot avoid him.

We all try not to get into situations where someone else's mistake will doom us. But we assume that most people are sane and will try to avoid accidents. Sometimes, we see that a particular car behaves dangerously, and we start planning our moves with the assumption that this particular actor may create problems. You cannot do that for everyone, or you will be paralyzed.

An automated car will assume that the car driving in the opposite direction on that two lane road will NOT swerve at the precise wrong moment when collision will be unavoidable. And most times, it will be a good assumptions, especially if the other car is also automated, and in good working order.

But some times, the other car will blow a left tire, or the other driver will have a heart attack and lean on the wheel. And an accident will be about to happen.

At this point, the automated car will have to do something. It will have very little time to react - more than a human, maybe, but it will have a lot less information.

I know that the huge object at the corner of my exit is an inflatable truck advertising for the Ford dealership, and that it is sitting on flimsy tubing frame covered with a plastic shroud. My automated car would not know that, and for it, it will be just an immobile object that it has to avoid.

With an automated car, all objects would be of three types - immobile objects, moving objects controlled by an known automated driver, all other moving objects. (It would be nice to have a category "Safe to hit", but there would be one in the foreseeable future, unless it is mandated by law that things get labeled that way)

When a collision is imminent, the car should try to avoid hitting anything. If it cannot, it will have a fail mode, which I bet dollars to donuts will be "Maintain heading and reduce speed". Why? Because that is the safest setting in many situations, because it is what you want everyone else to do, and because it is easy to mandate it by law. Car manufacturers and insurance companies will both want it, and guess what? They are the one who will be able to afford politicians, not the navel gazing ignoramuses like the author of the damn article.

about two weeks ago

Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Tuidjy Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

Not quite true.

First of all, your arms mobility is already quite restricted, even by a simple breastplate. Vertical ridges and bulges in the middle of your chest or belly do not additionally hinder your mobility all that much.

Second, all armor is a compromise between protection and mobility, so some loss of mobility is acceptable. Bulges in the right places can deflect blows away from vital areas. Ridges make the armor stronger, and better able to distribute impact. This is the theory, and practice seems to confirm it.

And third, try google. You will see tons of pictures of historical armor, and you will notice that vertical ridges from neck to groin are common in all periods, and that a bulge over the plackart is often seen in late period armor. And before you claim that it's for the wearer's beer gut, remember, the plackart goes over another armor layer, one that does not have the bulge. It is for deflection.

about a month and a half ago

Marvel's New Thor Will Be a Woman

Tuidjy Re:Ridiculous! (590 comments)

The few comics I read are mostly Humanoid/Vertigo, so I'm not familiar with the original armor... But if it is any less practical than the armor displayed on that screen, it must consist of a funnel channeling all blows to the heart of the wearer.

Lets see.

Openings between the helmet and the shoulder pads, to divert blows to the neck. That gorgeous hair must flow!

Pauldrons coming short of protecting the shoulders. Can't hide too much skin!

Armpits completely exposed. Those curves must be seen!

Boob mounds channeling blows towards the center of the chest. What's the point of having a female character if you're not going to draw boobs?!

The stomach is completely exposed. Even the cloth has a belly window, to make sure that no attacker has any doubts about the entrails being vulnerable.

Frankly, it is sickening that anyone would call this travesty practical... Female armor should looks like male armor, with slightly different proportions, to account for different shoulder/hip/chest ratios. Once the padding is on, most of the differences are smoothed over.

Expensive and late period armor that can afford the added weigh would have a single bulge on the chest - to divert the blows, not two to channel them where they would do the most harm.

about a month and a half ago

US Arrests Son of Russian MP In Maldives For Hacking

Tuidjy Re:Guam is in the Maldives now? (176 comments)

This is not the first time the United States does something similar, i.e. has the authorities in country A apprehend someone who is not accused of anything there, expel him from A without notifying the country of origin, and 'somehow' have US officials waiting to arrest the 'expelled' individual on 'international' ground.

US lawyers have consistently explained that this is somehow very different from illegal extradition/kidnapping which is explicitly condemned by the UN. It only looks the same. And I very much doubt the States are the only ones doing it. The Brits and Russians have done the same.

Is it a travesty of justice? Meh, I'm not a lawyer. Is it an example of the strong getting what they want? Hell, yeah!

The only thing that makes this interesting is that the Russians will raise a more stench than usual, because the arrested individual is more than just a 'paysan'.

about 2 months ago

Ninety-Nine Percent of the Ocean's Plastic Is Missing

Tuidjy Re: One non-disturbing theory (304 comments)

I am not buying the universal solvent theory, because even accounting for the salts in the water, it would take hundreds of years for most plastics to dissolve.

The bacteria theory is more likely, because I remember reading something about bacteria living in trash dumps, and supposedly breaking down plastic. I do not remember a followup, but it's still more likely than the above. The problem is, this does not necessarily result in harmless components being the end result.

Here's another theory that I consider more likely: algae and barnacles attach themselves to plastic objects, and eventually sink them out of sight. Not as perfectly conductive to happily singing "La-la-la" and dismissing all worries, but hey, if you wish, you can just come up with more comforting theories, like "Magical pink narwhals are spearing the floating plastic, and melting it in underwater volcanoes to build underwater cooling systems to fight global warming".

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

Tuidjy Re: work life balance is a myth (710 comments)

My salary is below 150K. We're an aftermarket automotive manufacturer, and times have been better.

Last year, I declared 170K from programing projects.

I billed anywhere from $110 to $350 per hour for side projects, and I prefer negotiating for payment upon completion rather than having to give an estimate, and charging per the hour. Many customers prefer it this way, are ready to just pay 5-10K to get something done, and do not really care how long it takes me, as long as I'm done before they need the results This is especially true for companies who are forced to migrate from one application to another, and who do not want to pay a new service provider to transfer old data to the new system, but still want to be able to access it.

It takes a fraction of a weekend to write a program to pull the data from a ADP payroll database, a Kronos timekeeper system, a Business Works Accounts Payable module, a Solomon Ledger, etc... transfer it to MariaDB and throw together a few reports that can answer 99% of the client questions about their past history.

Service providers easily charge 50k+ for stuff like this. Big companies pay without a second thought, but privately owned shops balk. And people in the same industrial parks talk to each other... to the point that I simply do not have the time to take all the lucrative projects that come my way. (Or the inclination, really. Computer vision and game AI is what really gets my attention nowadays.)

about 2 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

Tuidjy Re: work life balance is a myth (710 comments)

I got excited about computers when I saw a computer with BASIC in a chain store in the early 80's. Must have been a Vic20.

I took an 'Informatics' High School curriculum, got an M.Eng. in Computer Science, and started as 'The Computer guy' in a small, privately owned manufacturing company. Now the company has four plants, 50 warehouses, 600 PCs, and my card says CTO. I still do some programming on the job, but it's probably less than 5 hours per week.

But in my spare time, I take on real programming projects. My last three were a IDE interface for company that uses hardware that is WAY too old, a computer vision search tool, and a video game AI module. I earn more outside of my day job, and have to refuse projects... but of course the day job comes with security and health insurance.

But, yeah, mileage varies. There is nothing I would rather do to earn money than write code for applications where a small memory footprint and execution speed are the first priority. This has not changed since 1988, except that since then I've decided that maybe I can afford to use C as opposed to assembly. And, yeah, I have written AI routines for two games released in 2013 in plain old C, because pointy headed bastards think that AI does not deserve ANY resources...

about 2 months ago

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

Tuidjy Re:Bets, anyone? (431 comments)

No, because I drive a 1990 Toyota Supra, and a 2004 Volvo S60-R, and the electronics on both are quite fine, thank you very much. I sold my previous 1990 Supra in 2010, because a cop read ended me while I was fully stopped, and twisted the frame like a pretzel, but before the crash, the electronics were just fine.

Crap has always been crap, and quality cars have always been quality cars. Take your own advice, and do pop a panel. The quality is very different between a Volvo S60-R and my neighbor's Ford Mustang (I helped her change a brake light) I can vouch for that, even though they were both made in the mid-2000s.

about 2 months ago

Chinese-Built Cars Are Coming To the US Next Year

Tuidjy Re:Bets, anyone? (431 comments)

I own a Volvo S60-R made in Sweden, in 2004. Before we got married, my wife bought a Volvo S40-1.9T which was made in the US, in 2001.

Apart from regular maintenance, and consumables like tires and oil, the S60 has needed its turn signal stick replaced and its CD player repaired. True, I have replaced the original clutch, turbo and downpipe, and I have added a second intercooler, but this was done to increase performance in 2005-2006. Since then, the car has been rock solid.

The S40 had the shocks, the engine mounts, the catalytic converter and more replaced since 2009. A headlight fell off, the exhaust burned through. At some point, my wife got a new car, so I stopped throwing money at the damn thing. We still keep it, because she does not drive stick, and likes to have a car when the Audi is in the shop. The AC has its own mind, the stereo is busted, the transmission computer is on the blink, and it leaks a bit of oil. Its MPG is comparable to that of the 460hp S60.

I am not saying that this is anything more than anecdotal evidence, and that all Sweden made Volvos stack as well against all US made ones. But I would not be even a little bit surprised if the China made ones differ from the Swedish ones just as much.

about 2 months ago

Why the Moon's New Birthday Means the Earth Is Older Than We Thought

Tuidjy Re:Origin story sounds familiar (98 comments)

You'd think so, but I remember that in the early 90s, the Bulgarian Air Force School in Dolna Mitropolia was still flying them.

Considering how great the country has been doing since, I doubt they have been replaced... and considering how long they have already lasted, I doubt they are no longer being maintained.

about 2 months ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Tuidjy Re:Good (376 comments)

I would certainly kick people out of my property if I disapprove of what they are doing. I have not had to do it for a T-shirt or tie, but I can imagine T-shirts and ties that would piss me off enough.

I am also very much OK with a bar/restaurant's owner/manager kicking out people they do not like. Depending on their reasons, I will be more or less likely to patronize their establishment.

In my book, it does not matter whether you are using a Google Glass, a phone, or a hand-held camera. If it looks as if you are filming people who have made it clear they do not want to be filmed, you have to be prepared to deal with the repercussions. If you are on the property of someone who will not allow it, you may be asked to leave. If you are in a place where you cannot defend yourself, you may see your toy in pieces.

about 3 months ago

Was Turing Test Legitimately Beaten, Or Just Cleverly Tricked?

Tuidjy Re:but that's the problem with the turing test... (309 comments)

The modified Turning test:

One human judge, who knows that he is dealing with one human test subject and one computer test subject. The judge talks to the computer and the human for five minutes, then tries to guess which is the human. If the judge guesses incorrectly, both he and human subject get whipped for five minutes.

I bet you that if you were to test the program from the article my way, you would not get anywhere close to 30% of judges guessing incorrectly. If you restrict your judges and test subjects to non-masochists with an IQ above 90, you probably could not break 10%, either.

about 3 months ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Tuidjy Re:Good (376 comments)

Arghh.. "I hope she does not have the bad taste to use it when I am hosting a party at my house."

about 3 months ago

Theater Chain Bans Google Glass

Tuidjy Re:Good (376 comments)

No need for violence.

Three days ago, I had my first experience with a Glasshole.

I was in a bar at the edge of Chino's industrial park. Most of the patrons were people who stopped for a few beers after work. At some point a few people in their thirties showed up, and one of them was wearing Google Glass. His girlfriend or whatever kept a running commentary on the bar, the dartboard action, and how they were going to see "The Edge of Tomorrow."

At some point one of the other patrons got pissed off and asked the Glasshole to get rid of his toy. Before the situation could escalate, the barmaid stepped from behind the bar and told the guy he would have to leave unless he removed the glasses. He started to say something about having paid for the drinks, but at some point realized that he was getting really dirty looks from almost everyone, and got lost.

I fully expect that as Google Glass and similar devices become more popular, some places will welcome them, and other won't. As far as I am concerned, this is how things should be. I certainly know which kind of bars/restaurants/clubs I'll choose to patronize.

It's no different from Thad Starner at MIT back in the 90s. He got asked to leave quite a few parties, but he was also welcomed by many. I didn't particularly enjoy meeting him in E14 after pulling an all-nighter and feeling/looking like shit, but at least I knew that no one was looking at his feed.

Now that storage is cheap, and processing is becoming much cheaper, I am even more leery of being recorded in some specific situations. A friend of mine has the device, and I hope she has the bad taste to use it when I am hosting a party at my house.

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Communication With Locked-in Syndrome Patient?

Tuidjy Re: As painful as it is... (552 comments)

What kind of nonsense is this?

The original article makes it absolutely clear that she is able to communicate. The only person who should decide whether she will live like this or be unplugged is the woman herself.

That was "should". In the real world, the costs of keeping her alive matter. But suggesting to unplug a human being who can think and communicate is in no way different from advocating murder.

Hale and happy as I am today, I think that I would like to be unplugged in her situation. But I may feel very different if I actually were in the state she's in.

So, try to help the original poster and his sister with their predicament, and please keep your sociopathic tenancies to yourself.

about 3 months ago

NASA Looks To Volcanic Rocks As Target For Next Mars Rover

Tuidjy Re:can we think bigger picture? (33 comments)

1) Name one.
The term "Spinoff" was coined to describe exactly this. NASA publishes a list, which was up to 1500 last time I checked... but I guess your Google is broken.

So, I'll just mention something I learned last week, when I had some Teflon-coated fiberglass installed. The contractor mentioned it was developed by NASA for astronauts' suits, and I checked it - he was right.

2) Sounds an awful lot like circular reasoning... like a religion!

"Do this, and you may have a result similar to what has as has occurred 1500 times for NASA, and innumerable times for other people (Viagra, aspirin, porcelain) ..."

May I inquire which religion you are referring to, so that I hurry up and join?

about 3 months ago


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