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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

dskoll Re:McDonallds should sue ... (196 comments)

It's Comcast or no TV.

This is a concept I do not understand. Paying someone to watch TV shows riddled with commercials?

We use an antenna and receive about 12 channels very clearly. I have yet to see a TV show I would pay for. I spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer; not being able to spend another 3 hours vegging in front of the 500-channel universe is not a big loss.

2 hours ago
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Comcast Training Materials Leaked

dskoll Re:McDonallds should sue ... (196 comments)

I understand upselling. I run a business and can appreciate its effectiveness. However, there's a time and a place for everything, and customers who do not want to be sold anything should always have their wishes respected.

When I deal with large corporations who try to upsell me, I tell the reps to stop doing that and deal with my question. It usually works. If it doesn't work, I cut them off and ask to speak to the manager. That always works.

2 hours ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

Is that all you can come up with? Calling someone names instead of actually trying to understand where he's coming from?

Hint: My business runs on email. My business, in fact, is in the email security space. I think I understand a little more about email than you think I do.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

Sorting by sender or by date is not usually useful to me. Sorting by importance and urgency is, but I've yet to teach my computer to do this.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Fuck 'em. (229 comments)

"Long story short, if someone did that to me I'd take my business elsewhere, I don't appreciate having my time wasted . Fuck 'em."

We used to have customers like you until we fired them.

The correct protocol (and the one we follow at my company) is to use role addersses such as sales@, support@, info@, etc for things that absolutely must be read by a human being in a timely manner. Think requests for product information, price quotes, requests for technical support, etc.

We guarantee that those addresses will be routed to a person who can respond quickly. All bets are off for personal email addresses, however. I see no harm in asking a requestor to redirect his or her request if a person is away on vacation. Odds are the requestor will appreciate being able to resend it to someone who can respond quickly rather than waiting for the original person to return.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

"Great. Here is a stack of 100 letters. I give you 2 seconds to sort them by sender. Go!"

First of all, that's not what faces me when I get back from vacation. I have a stack of flyers, etc. which are nuked very quickly, a few bills, and then (if I'm very lucky) *one* actual letter. Secondly, why would I want to sort them by sender? I sort them by priority and that's really easy to do with physical mail.

"If you don't have separate work and personal email accounts ... Oh I see. I'm being trolled."

I have multiple accounts, but I do get some personal email on my work account. I also get email of varying importance at work, ranging from unimportant to urgent, and there's no obvious way to sort it without at least reading the subject and sometimes the body. Why should I have to sift through all kinds of stuff on my return? Once senders know I'm away, I can trust them to refrain from sending me unimportant stuff, and to send urgent stuff to the contact person in my initial auto-reply.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Not a bad strategy (229 comments)

I would not use "Delivery Failed" in the subject line. Most of those are annoying backscatter that just gets deleted. And most of the rest are delivery status notifications in a form 99.9% of people don't understand.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

How hard was it to separate out the junk mail vs. scan a large email INBOX? When I get back from a couple of weeks of vacation, the junk mail is gone within about two minutes. It takes me much longer to go through the equivalent amount of email.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

Physical email is actually easier to sort than email. Flyers, pamphlets and other junk mail naturally separates itself from the rest. Personal letters are usually very easy to recognize -- much easier than personal vs. work email.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:We don't allow OoO replies to external emails (229 comments)

This is only a problem if you don't have a decent anti-spam filter in front of your back-end mail server. Any company that can operate like that has far bigger problems than worrying about what to do with valid inbound email.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Not a bad strategy (229 comments)

No, replying to each and every message is really a bad idea. I worded my auto-reply something like this:

"Hello, you've reached D.... Skoll. I am out of the office until .... Any messages you send me before I return, including the one that caused this auto-reply, will be deleted automatically and I won't see them. For urgent matters, please email .... or call .... Otherwise, please get in touch with me after I return."

Also, in the subject of the auto-reply, I put: "Out of office: D. Skoll will not receive your email" just to make it clear.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Re:Not a bad strategy (229 comments)

If a sender does not pay attention to my message, then why should I pay attention to the sender's message?

If I send something important and then soon afterwards get an out-of-office reply, I certainly read it.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Physical mail vs. email (229 comments)

Physical mail costs money to send, so you are unlikely to come back from vacation to a pile of 2,000 letters. Email costs virtually nothing to send, so it piles up far more quickly than physical mail.

Also, people who send physical mail tend not to Cc: 25+ recipients just because they can, and there's no physical equivalent of the hellish "Reply to All" button.

2 days ago
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Daimler's Solution For Annoying Out-of-office Email: Delete It

dskoll Not a bad strategy (229 comments)

I did this once and it worked really well. However, in order for it to work, you need a couple of things:

1) The auto-reply needs to be very clear that the original message was discarded and will never be read.

2) The auto-reply must contain contact information of a person who can help out with urgent matters.

It was so relaxing to come back from vacation and not have to face an inbox with 1000 messages...

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

dskoll What you need (153 comments)

I find a lot of developers need a recliner like this one.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

dskoll Re: False dichotomy. (198 comments)

I am not a big fan of having the primary documentation for a product off-site. Unless you take a lot of care to set up version-specific pages, people who are running an older version of the product end up reading the documentation related to the current version and get very confused.

A wiki has its place as supplemental documentation to answer frequently-asked questions or to help with troubleshooting.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

dskoll Re: False dichotomy. (198 comments)

See my comment above. We generate both PDF and HTML from exactly the same source. PDF sucks for online viewing, but it's great for printing. HTML is just the opposite.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should You Invest In Documentation, Or UX?

dskoll Re: False dichotomy. (198 comments)

We do something similar in our product. We use LaTeX as the source format for our documentation. This generates a very nice PDF for offline reading. It also generates very nice HTML using htlatex. Finally, we define custom LaTeX commands that link specific sections of the manual to specific pages in our web-base UI. So when you click on the Online Documentation link from any web page, you go exactly to the spot describing that page.

We also have custom LaTeX commands that expand to null commands when generating the PDF, but which embed training videos when generating HTML.

To the OP: I would never use a product that lacked documentation. To me, that shows that the developers are not serious about producing a polished application.

5 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

dskoll Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (430 comments)

Not everywhere. One free software project has the best documentation I've ever seen. We need to point people at shining examples of excellent documentation so they can realize how important it is.

about two weeks ago

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