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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

ftobin Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

Whether or not I know how to run a hotel is irrevelant. The driving point I'm making is that customers do have a right to complain. Simly put:

1) Clients have a right to complain about their experience, no matter their booking arrangements. Such a complaint on a review site is perfectly valid. A hotel cannot reply to the review saying "they booked through an agency, so *shrug*", and it's settled. Other potential customers would not appreciate that attitude. Whether or not that's how hotels operate that way is not important -- a complaint in the lines of "I received poor service" is valid and provides true value to future potential customers.

2) Clients are not paid to do the work for management in reporting issues. Whether or not you may get a benefit from doing work for management is besides the point: the customer isn't signing up to do such work. The client expects good service independent of whether or not they do work for the owners. Management from various industries that value providing good service pay outside companies to evaluate their offering -- they don't expect the customer to do free work.

about a month and a half ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

ftobin Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

I have a couple of of issues:

I know quite a few hoteliers (protip: if you want a good room, book direct and not through an agency)

People don't want to have to deal with handing over booking details to each and every different hotel they may reserve at. If the hotel is providing lower-quality rooms for customers paying through an agency, the customer definitely has a right to complain. They aren't being offered a choice of room upon booking, and have no way of expressing a preference to pay more or less for different experiences.

the problem is that people are too meek (read: gutless) to bring a problem to a owner/managers attention. So the live with the problem for their entire stay and then make a "scathing" review on Yelp or trip advisor. So often a guest can do something about their problem with a short conversation with the owner or manager (or front desk if its a big hotel) but wont. Often the hotel management doesn't know about the problem (previous guests hide or ignore them because they're scared of being charged for it) and managers cant count on housekeepers working for minimum wage (or less in some countries) who have dozens of rooms to do, to do a thorough inspection when a guest leaves.

First, you're expecting the customer to do work for management. I don't know how many hotel customers are repeat customers, but from my own experience, I don't know if I've ever gone to the same hotel twice. Once I've stayed at the hotel and had a poor experience, I don't have incentive to report it to the management. I just want to leave and get back on with my trip.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

ftobin Re:various card games (382 comments)

I agree with your bit about the special build phase speeding up the games, we just skip that rule for simplicity and reducing the need for attentiveness when it's not your turn. I also agree with your points about trading -- I try to chime in and discourage people offering open-ended trades. You're free to ask "I'm looking for a brick", but not "What will someone give me for a brick".

What we have recently found to help the game along is Helpers of Catan. These helpers reduce the absolutely necessity of trading, and often make the game more "efficient" through the small bonuses they give.

http://www.catan.com/game/cata...

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

ftobin Re:various card games (382 comments)

We just don't do the optional build phase. This allows people to build up larger hands, and makes a 7-roll more devastating exciting.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Best Games To Have In Your Collection?

ftobin two classes of games (382 comments)

My wife and I very commonly play games with our friends. We break games up into two types: party games, and "long-form" games.
The party games are meant for slightly larger groups, with high iterations.
Long-form games are good for 4-6 people, spending the night playing one game in a more "serious" manner.

Favorite party games:
* Catchphrase (great party-starter)
* Turbo Cranium
* Charoodles
* Imaginiff

Favorite long-form games (3-4 hours):
* Settlers of Catan (with at least Seafarers or Traders & Barbarians)
* Ticket to Ride (Europe)
* Carcassonne

We tried Pandemic, a co-op game, but it wasn't that big of a hit. I'm hoping we try Robinson Crusoe: Cursed Island soon.

about 2 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

ftobin Re:drive with two feet? (394 comments)

Wouldn't you think using two feet is less complex than being required to move your foot around all the time, needing to keep the state of what foot is where, instead of just being programmed to always do the same action with the correct leg?

We seem to have no problem with people using one arm for one thing, another for something else: video game controllers, keyboards and mouse, etc.

about 7 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

ftobin Re:drive with two feet? (394 comments)

I have no real advice on what we should do about stick...perhaps the clutch is in the middle?

about 7 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

ftobin Re:drive with two feet? (394 comments)

True, that might be what would occur too. But why not use two feet since we have them? I'm not convinced that hitting both pedals simultaneously is a big concern though...brakes override the engine, and from my experience I'm extremely hard-wired to only using my left for braking. It'd be dangerous for me to use my right.

about 7 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

ftobin drive with two feet? (394 comments)

I was taught from my driving instructor (who drove trucks for a living) to drive with two feet. As long as you're driving automatics, it only made sense that this provides safer driving since:

1) You can't hit the wrong pedal with the "one foot" you're using. Left foot is always brake, right is always gas.

2) You can cover the brake while holding the accelerator down. Not needing to depress and switch pedals improves reaction times.

3) If you ever did slam down with two feet, brakes override the engine. As a two-foot driver, I doubt I'd press the right foot down to brake, though -- I've had enough close calls. Additionally, I've occasionally tried using my right foot to brake in low-speed situations and it's scary, since I'm so hard-wired to only use the left.

I don't recommend re-teaching existing drivers, but we should at least be teaching new drivers the safest way.

The "one foot" style of driving is simply a poor carryover from manual transmissions. If automatic-transmission cars were designed from scratch today with no backstory, we'd have the brake over on the left, the gas on the right. Simple, obvious.

about 7 months ago
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Is the Tesla Model S Pedal Placement A Safety Hazard?

ftobin Re:One pedal to rule them all... (394 comments)

I suspect the pedal would move, just like it does in my radar-guided cruise control.

about 7 months ago
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Debian Technical Committee Votes For Systemd Over Upstart

ftobin Re:Beware journald... (379 comments)

Tab completion is largely a function of the shell (bash/zsh/etc.), not of the program being completed.

about 9 months ago
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Edward Snowden Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize

ftobin Re:Great news! (343 comments)

By causing some degree of inflammation now and causing reforms, the revelations may reduce greater conflicts in the future. Imagine these programs were revealed in their infancy, and stopped then. We wouldn't have had the increased tension we have now. The scope of these programs appears to have continually expanded, virtually unchecked. The uproar over even larger programs could be worse.

It can be analogous to the Pentagon papers from revelation immediately, but long-term, many lives were saved.

about 9 months ago
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How Silicon Valley CEOs Conspired To Suppress Engineers' Wages

ftobin Re:So, cue up.. (462 comments)

I fully agree. Our goal should be competitive markets. Whether that means more regulation, or less regulation, our goal is increased competition.

about 9 months ago
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Scientists Detect Two Dozen Computers Trying To Sabotage Tor Privacy Network

ftobin Re:Slashdot does this... (94 comments)

Subscribers get HTTPS.

about 9 months ago
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Ford Engineers Test 'Predictive Logic' To Improve Cruise Control

ftobin Re:i'm all for it... (112 comments)

I think what is happening is that people can be paced easily. I see it when traffic starts to roll at a traffic light -- people will match the car beside them often.

about 10 months ago
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This Whole Bitcoin Thing Could Be Big, Says Bank of America

ftobin Re:Replacement for cash not bank accounts (276 comments)

A deflationary currency sucks, because over time, you will be paying back your loans over time in deflating BTCs that are worth more and more in real money terms, than the money you borrowed.

Most of the time you are baying back more money in real terms than the money you borrowed -- it just depends on the APR of the loan.

An APR of %0 in bitcoins based against a 2% USD inflation would be a equivalent to a 4% APR in USD against the same inflation rate.

about a year ago
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Comet ISON Survives Perihelion (Barely)

ftobin Re:A snowball's chance in Hell? (62 comments)

Will it be possible that Democrats and Republicans work together for the nation?
Will RIAA/MIAA admit that they have been wrong and allow that piracy in fact is not as harmful to the music industry as they have said?
Will sheeple wake up and take charge of their lives?
Will Thanksgiving day shoppers will be calm, patient, and polite?
Will my boss give me a raise?

In no particular order, "no", "no", "no", "no" and "probably not".

about a year ago
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Silk Road Shut Down, Founder Arrested, $3.6 Million Worth of Bitcoin Seized

ftobin Re:Tor compromised (620 comments)

This time it's appropriate to Blame Canada!

1 year,28 days

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