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Comments

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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

gishzida Which is to say... (2219 comments)

"We want to take our current content and all the stuff that matters to this community and deliver it on a site that still speaks to the interests and habits of our current audience, but that is, at the same time, more accessible and shareable by a wider audience."

You think we are that dumb? "Wider Audience????"

  Really?

So why not just come out and say you want to turn Slashdot into something other than Slashdot because you need to monetize the investment.

Does telling the truth to your users hurt your sales and marketing training that much? Go ahead... tell us we're fu... ^H^H^H.... going to have to find another web site to replace you. Just be truthful.

How many times have you been screwed and been told "we're doing this for your own good?' Never? You must be a newbie.

It is obvious that you are going to give us an unusable site with a "pretty" Metro-style UI because... well because... you've already been given your marching orders.

Alas. Slashdot.

about 7 months ago
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Sound System Simulates the Roar of a Rocket Launch

gishzida Re:154dB is not fatal, or unusual (113 comments)

I once had the opportunity to witness a night time test firing of an Atlas rocket engine set [three engines] at the Rocketdyne Santa Susanna Field Test Lab. We were put in an observation area at a distance of 3/4 of a mile away from the test stand. The test was about thirty seconds long. The sound pressure from the engines compressed the diaphragm enough to make breathing difficult or impossible.

Imagine trying to take a breath and you find you are unable to do so all the while you are hearing an impossibly loud roaring and the flashing brightness of the engines bathing the hills with yellow-white light.

It was the nearest I ever got to an actual ride into space... it was impressive and I found myself wanting "to go on that ride again" but never had the opportunity.

about 7 months ago
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Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating

gishzida Re:What are the questions? (313 comments)

Except that 1/2 of them are now shown to be cheaters. There goes the trustworthiness, the technical training, and the unblemished record in one shot. Maybe they can work...

^H ^H ^H ^H ... on Wall Street.... for a political party... as an HR Director... as IT management at a financial institution.... As head of the NSA [I hear they are looking]...

There, fixed that for ya!

about 7 months ago
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Meet the Electric Porsche From 1898

gishzida Re:Generalizing much? (143 comments)

Hybrid.... hmmmm....

The Mass storage system for the original IBM PC had a hybrid option.

The original IBM "True Blue" [bare bones, five slot] PC did not come by default with a hard drive [the original 5 Mb drive was insanely priced]. An optional second 5 1/4 inch floppy drive cost several hundred dollars.... IBM trying to widen their market decided to give 'low end' [i.e. read: poor engineers, hobbyists, techno-working class, and students] users an option for mass storage, IBM designed and included a "cassette interface' which used a 5 pin DIN connector and sold a cable that allowed a user to use a low-cost 'off the shelf' audio cassette recorder. The cassette could be controlled by programs written with the embedded "PC Basic" which was in ROM on the motherboard. I had occasion to use the cassette interface until a bit of research in a local dumpster behind a floppy drive manufacturing "start up" turned up a fully functional disk drive. DOS 1.1A... those were the days!

about 7 months ago
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OneDrive Is Microsoft's Rebranded Name For SkyDrive

gishzida Obligatory Tolkienism (197 comments)

OneDrive to Rule them all and in the Darkness bind them.

about 7 months ago
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A Thermodynamics Theory of the Origins of Life

gishzida Re:Of-course no 'threat' to evolution (185 comments)

Because everybody is either democrat or republican, black or white, american or terrorist...

You forgot a few:

  everyone believes in:
"Science" and his prophet Darwin or "God" and his prophet [fill in religious leader],
reason or emotion ,
starched or tie-died,
rational or magical,
whistle-blowers or politicians,
capitalist or communists.
Christian nation or Deist nation,
Monotheist or Trinitarian,
Libertarian or Rational,
Successful or Failed
talent or no talent,
monochrome or multichrome.

See? Fixed that for ya!

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

gishzida The code which executes... (533 comments)

the BSoD stack dump...

about 7 months ago
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Microsoft Remotely Deleted Tor From Windows Machines To Stop Botnet

gishzida A Microsoft Killswitch (214 comments)

Who knew?

about 7 months ago
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Previously-Unseen Photos of Challenger Disaster Appear Online

gishzida Re:PHB's strike again (207 comments)

I think it was a bit more nuanced than bosses vs. engineers. We've had 2 disasters shortly after "run NASA like a business" campaigns. That kind of culture leads to compromises that can work out well for disposable goods, consumer software, etc., but when you're talking about the razor's edge of technology, pushing a launch because delays are bad for PR is going to get people killed.

*Very Nuanced*

I worked for Rocketdyne, the SSME main contractor, through the 80's in the quality organization... the "way things worked" then was NASA gave delivery / target launch dates. If the corporate contractor delivered early or the launch went ahead of schedule, the contractor got a bonus.

When NASA down-sized all of its Engineering talent after the Apollo program, it became dependent upon the corporate contractor's for 'assistance' in making the engineering decisions . The ultimate decisions were made by the Bosses of the Engineers because the bosses saw dollar signs rather than safety and science... and NASA went along.

Morton-Thiokol was the main contractor for the SRBs modules which stacked together and held together with "O" rings and interface pins. The ring materials becomes brittle in "low temperatures" [below freezing as it was that morning]. Their engineers did not want to launch in the cold since it was far colder that the SRB had been designed for. Management at Morton-Thiokol knowing a bonus depended on the launch told NASA "go" and so they launched. I still cannot look at those pictures without getting upset. I could not event look at the full set of these.

Just so its clear-- the problem is with NASA isn't that its run by the government. The problem is that it is run by a bunch of ex-aerospace revolving-door [public-private] rubber-stamp management administrators and not run by true engineers... if NASA had then had a real engineering staff for the Shuttle program rather than playing for money and politics, things would have been different...

The people that made those decisions should have been "hung out to dry" for both of those shuttle "accidents". They should have been criminally charged for the deaths... with the corporations financially liable to the victims and to the government for the losses. But as the recent financial crisis has demonstrated yet again-- the corporations squeal, the politicians make "oratory", and then the government [you and me] pay for those corporate mistakes. Then after a while everyone forgets how they were robbed... of lives, money, and honor by greedy types that only see term profits as good....

The Shuttle program was about science -- or at least it was supposed to be... but what it became was "Aerospace Corporate Welfare"... [just as the various subsidies paid to various industries by the Government are corporate welfare...]

You should not play politics with science... or at least be aware you do it at your peril -- go ahead play politics with the laws of gravity [or "O" rings] and see how far it gets you. You can do science or you can do greed but not both. In this case seven people were killed because someone wanted a bonus.

about 7 months ago
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Could an Erasable Internet Kill Google?

gishzida Not NSA erasible (210 comments)

Nice idea but flawed...

Until we outlaw the NSA-Military-Corporate-Industrial Government's ability to do their "Big Data Spying" in the name of "security" no application / service will elude the rooms where they scrape your data & mail before it hits your application.

No mention of that in the article... but then you would not expect real reporting from a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch

about 8 months ago
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UK Men Arrested For Anti-Semitic Tweets After Football Game

gishzida Re:Perhaps not (598 comments)

We didn't have something happen within the last 80 years? Eat a rancid dick you moron.

No we did not have a holocaust in the US. For all of the talk on the part of the free speech and free guns crowd, it is from among their number that are more likely to espouse a new holocaust. I cannot think of a single liberal Democrat that would cry "Death to the Jews!" while the fringe wingnuts get fed snippets of hate from that "fair and balanced" Fox News.

No body has been rounded up en masse in the United States because their were considered "evil outcasts" of the government in power. No one was stripped of all of their earthy possessions and sent to their death in as many ways as could be found or given over to be a lab test animal until they died. Yes the government did send Japanese citizens to camps during WWII... but it did not turn them into mountains of bones dumped into unmarked graves. What happened to Americans during WWII was shameful but what the German government did was unadulterated evil.

But in your tiny little child-like mind you want to be able to say whatever you want to say and like most "games" that you play there should be no consequences for speaking lashon hara in real life.. On the contrary, TANSTAAFL applies. There Ain't No Such Thing as A Free Lunch--- the same must be said of speech... So speech should be limited for bullies, pug-uglies, wayward inarticulate children [you sound like one] or anyone else that tends to want to put the blame on someone else for the results of their own actions. You cannot compare President Bush or President Obama or any other President of the last 70 years to the horrors Fuehrer Hitler ordered.

Hate speech can and does lead to further hatefulness regardless of the source. The "sticks and stones can break bones, but name never hurt me." is a fallacy repeatedly disproved by every hate monger that has sprung up through history. Words can and have incited riots, lynch mobs, and mass murder. Better to limit the incitement by requiring the hateful to either remain silent or pay a price for breaking the peace and social cohesion.

There is a story told of a Jew who hated his Rabbi for some imagined slight so he said evil things about the Rabbi. Eventually, the man realized he had made a mistake in saying the things he did. So he went to the Rabbi and asked what he could do for penance for having spoken evil words. The Rabbi asked the the man to go and purchase two feather pillows and return with them. So the man bought the pillows and returned. It was a fine gusty day. The Rabbi instructed the man to tear open the pillows and when he did the wind caught the feathers and spread them far and wide. "Now," said the Rabbi. "You must go and pick up every feather, put them back into the pillow cases, a then return here. Then I will consider you have completed your penance." "But Rabbi that is impossible!" Said the man. "How can I pick up every feather? The wind has taken them every where." "And so it is with evil speech." Replied the Rabbi. "Once spoken evil speech cannot be returned to its source."

Evil speech led to the murder of 15 million outcasts [Decadent, Gay, Romany, Mentally and physically handicapped, and Jewish] by the German government during WWII. Six million were Jewish or of Jewish descent. Is it any wonder we do not like hate speech of any kind?

Think before you speak. The price of lashon hara is your humanity.

about 8 months ago
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Critics Reassess Starship Troopers As a Misunderstood Masterpiece

gishzida The Book vs. The Movie,. Satire? Really???? (726 comments)

One of the strangest things I've often heard repeated concerning the book is it is "glorified fascist fantasy"... which shows a lack of understanding of what Heinlein was trying to communicate. A better understanding of Heinlein's views might be take from his character Prof. Bernardo dela Paz in "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress".-- which is to say Heinlein appears to have been a "rational anarchist"... perfectly happy to obey [or not] any rules you happen to set... The pill that chokes the critics of this book appears to be that Heinlein proposes that having a government made up of people that have proved their willingness to put themselves in harms way to protect humanity by serving it for 20 or 30 years might be better than the usual way Democracy does things.

If you follow the chain of logic of Starship Troopers story the society and government of his earth is exceedingly rational... Heinlein pointed out how our current "military-industrial complex" is hopelessly bogged in bureaucracy... The "Mobile Infantry" is built so everybody works & everybody fights... unlike our current military. For Heinlein's other "send up" of the military and "politics as usual" read Glory Road.

Even being the spine-less Liberal that I am, I can read the book and understand how / why someone might believe things should be arranged this way... On the other hand I am not so trusting of modern jingoist "rugged individualist" folks that call themselves libertarian [when in fact they are more often than not whiney self-centered babies who believe that a souless corporation is better than a gunked up bureaucracy... Which only proves they are the kind of ignorant that Heinlein would have hated.]. Heinlein graduated from Annapolis and he did serve this country. Where did Verhoeven serve?

As for the movie... If it is a satire it is not of Heinlein or the book he wrote, since the only thing that they have in common is the name.

There were no female troopers in the book.
While Heinlein has been called anti-feminist and a patristic SOB, the reason he only had males fighting is he believed [right or wrong] that males and females have certain roles... females make better pilots and males better warriors [we're not talkin' equal rights agit-prop here, just biology]. Females are the future of humankind and deserve to be protected [see the Notebooks of Lazerus Long about the true purpose of laws] Heinlein believed that a man will fight better if the last thing he hears before he drops is a female voice wishing him luck... Is it true? Who knows? -- we've never tried it. It appears that the Heinlein that is held up by liberal critics is actually a "straw man".

There were no jump troopers in the movie.
The purpose of the mobile infantry is being "the most effective fighting organization in history"... What we see in the movie is the equivalent of the old Saturday Matinee B Monster movies... Heroes or monster fodder... either or... which only shows a failure to understand Heinlein's chain of reasoning.

So if the movie is a satire, then it must be a satire of someone trying to satirize a book with which they disagree and do not have the wit or the art to craft a movie to accurately depict both the right and the wrong of the author's thesis and how the author chose to resolve the conflict... if it is a an actual satire of Heinlein then it is a FAIL -- and even a liberal like me can see that...

As for Card's "Ender's Game"... Here is a story written by homophobic writer telling a story about how someone exploits a child into murdering another race by playing the equivalent of a video game... Um... yeah... Better title: "Molested by the Military"...

I think the exploitation of Ender and Card's homophobia are probably related... Yet the difference between Ender and Card is that Ender actually has some kind compassion for people that are not like him... while Card has proven how really small he is as a person and that he is apparently incapable of compassion for people that are not like him [i.e. if you are not straight & Mormon then you should have no right to be happy]

Heinlein never doubted that in the race to survive Humankind should fight tooth and nail to survive and not lose sleep over dead enemies... As an old saying puts it: "The best revenge is to outlive your enemies." Yet even as we look to survive we might some time stop and ask as Rabbi Hillel did: "If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, then what am I? And if not now, when?”

No Heinlein is not perfect and for those who don't want to think through the hard parts it's easy to say he was a jingo-ist and goose step fascist... I have not seen a "liberal SF writer" address the issues or ideas that Heinlein did and offer "alternate solutions." Where are Doctorow, Sterling, Gibson, or Stephenson's equivalent stories and solutions? I may not completely agree with Heinlein's politics but I'm smart enough to respect his ruminations on the subject...

about 10 months ago
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Google's Scanning of Gmail To Deliver Ads May Violate Federal Wiretap Laws

gishzida Re:Amazon Does this too (325 comments)

Google may be a CIA project for all I know... but they are not trying to make a profit by recommending you buy a book about how to write a eulogy for a relative who's body has barely cooled-- That my friend *IS* creepy.

Do I like the fact that Eric Schmidt thinks we all live in glass houses and thinks there is no such thing a a right to privacy? That's a crass elitist talking... but believe me he would change his tune if some one started posting his "private life" or the private lives of his loved ones...

But Amazon? Mr. Bezos built his profit platform without a thought to "loving kindness" or ethical standards... which is why they are willing to make creepy recommendations...

about a year ago
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Google's Scanning of Gmail To Deliver Ads May Violate Federal Wiretap Laws

gishzida Amazon Does this too (325 comments)

Google isn't the only one that reads your mail.

If you have a Kindle Fire or Fire HD they are reading it too. I had the upsetting experience of reading an email on my Kindle Fire HD that announced my father's death and then not more than a few hours later was served a "recommendation" on my Kindle a book on how to write a Eulogy.

I deleted my email account information from the kindle and shut down the recommendation system on the device... and I told Amazon how creepy they were... At least Google hasn't served creepy ads like that... so far...

Maybe Amazon should learn from Google and adopt "Don't Be Creepy" as their motto. Are you listening, Mr. Bezos?

[By the way I tried at the time to put Amazon's actions up as a news story on Slashdot... but it was not picked up as a story...]

about a year ago
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Yahoo CEO Says It Would Be Treason To Decline To Cooperate With the NSA

gishzida Define Treason (524 comments)

It's like asking "what do you mean by sex?" and yet... how is what Snowden did treason? All he has done is reveal the fact that the three branches of our government have basically said "we have the right to spy on you be cause we say so. and if you reveal the fact that we are violating your rights under the constitution they pull the magic "States Secrets" bunny out of the hat that waves its magic wand and gags those that would speak because it is treason... Um... How's that again? Where does it say that "State Secrets" trumps the constitution?

about a year ago
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Here Come the Chromebooks, As Google and Intel Cozy-Up On Haswell

gishzida Re:Interesting (139 comments)

Actually... yes Malware is already available for devices like these... Its a multi-platorm, multi-government malware called NSA-ware(TM)... you can't leave home without it... but please don't tell anyone.... they might think we live in Soviet Russia.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Security, In Light of NSA Crypto-Subverting Attacks?

gishzida Re:Linux and RdRand (472 comments)

And don't forget the Reptilians who are *REALLY* the ones behind all of this...

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Security, In Light of NSA Crypto-Subverting Attacks?

gishzida Re:It has never been safe. (472 comments)

Why not just rent the CPUs from a cloud provider with an encrypted private line to the locak NSA data center and hide it in plain sight?

about a year ago

Submissions

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Is Amazon scraping Kindle Fire HD user's email?

gishzida gishzida writes  |  about a year and a half ago

gishzida writes "I had an upsetting experience with my Kindle Fire HD today that seems to indicate that Amazon is snooping on user email accounts. I've recorded my my attempt to get answers from Kindle Customer Support in my Slashdot journal. Read on and remember this when your Kindle starts giving you recommendations for things you had no idea that Amazon knew about."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Is Amazon scraping Kindle Fire HD user's email?

gishzida gishzida writes  |  about a year and a half ago

I had a rather untoward Amazon experience today. I was browsing the Kindle store on my Kindle Fire HD 7 this afternoon. I had done a search in the Kindle store for "Guitar Design" and as I was skimming through the results I was surprised to see "How to write a Eulogy" as a recommendation. Now to you that might not seem strange but for me it was outrageous. Why? My father passed away a little over two weeks ago.

Now we all know that Amazon and other large on-line firms do everything they can to get a sales edge. Amazon is proud of its recommendation system which allegedly only scans your purchases and your searches in their quest to eek out every dollar they can. There is just one thing wrong here. I made no purchase nor did any searches regarding "death" on Amazon. The only way Amazon might have discovered their was a death in the family was by scraping one of my Gmail email accounts.

So I went looking at the Amazon privacy policy. There is nothing in the policy that allows them to scrape email. So I sent kindle support the following note:

****
You know your "recommendation system" is broken when you recommend a book on how to write a eulogy to a customer who has just lost his father. How could you?

But what I find really upsetting is that the only way you could discover this is that you are scraping my Google email with out specific permission to do so and without there being any indication in your "privacy policy" that you are permitted do such a thing...

While you might think it might sell products all it does for me is mean I will use some other application for email on this device... I have also turned off all of your product advertising... You have shown me how truly low you will go to make a buck....

that's sad.

****

So after a short while , not satisfied with rubbing salt in a fresh wound, they replied:

***
I'm really sorry for any frustration this may have caused. This is definitely not what we want our customers to experience.

We display recommendations in several areas throughout our store. To make these suggestions, we determine your interests by examining the items you've purchased, items you've told us you own, items you've liked, items you've rated and items you've browsed recently on Amazon.com. We then compare your activity on our website with that of other customers to recommend items that may interest you.

Since our system is highly automated, it saves all these details and provide these recommendations.

Your recommendations will change regularly based on a number of factors, including new orders or ratings that you submit and changes in the interests of other customers like you.

To turn off these recommendations :

Simply move your cursor to the Your Account drop-down menu at the top of the homepage and select "Sign Out" from the list of options. Then, leave the e-mail and password spaces blank and click the "Amazon.com" icon in the upper-left corner of the page that appears. This will remove our recommendations for you until you sign in again.

To clear your recent history, visit Your Browsing History and click the "Delete this item" link located next to each item. To remove all items, click the "Delete All" button in the left column.

To learn more about rating items you own, excluding purchases or gifts from affecting your recommendations, and improving your personalized recommendations, please our Help pages:

http://www.amazon.com/help/recommendations

Please know that this situation was the result of technical calculations, and that in no way did we intend for this to happen. I hope you'll consider this an isolated incident and give us another chance in the future.

I appreciate the admirable restraint you exercised in your message. My sincere apologies for the time you have spent dealing with this issue.

We value your business and hope to serve you better in the future.

We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Thanks for using Kindle and have a pleasant day ahead.

***
"We hope to do better in the future"???? Ya gotta be kiding!

Yes I realize that I am tilting at a Corporate windmill here but I needed to reply:

***
Unfortunately you did not address the fact the only way your system could know about a death in my family was by your system scraping my private email -- without permission -- since the only place that information was available was in my google email. I see nothing in your privacy policy that allows you to scrape my email and I do not recall their being a notification by the kindle email app notifying me that it was reading my email for marketing purposes-- unlike Google and Google Play where they are very above board. Funny thing that-- I have not had one "targeted ad" from Google that reminded me about the passing of a loved one. Why would Amazon care so little about it customers? What were your programmers thinking other than the marketing department thought it was a good idea?

I find the "recommendaation system" intrusive and I should not have to 'sign out" to "opt out" especially when I paid for the privileged of not having advertising on my kindle. If I wanted a recommendation I'd ask for it... What can I expect next from your system? An offering of a subscription of Yarhzeit Candles?

Why don't you ask Mr. Bezos if he'd like his email scraped so you can sell him items related to *his* personal life? Somehow I don't think he'd like it. Do you?

Yes I realize there is nothing you can do since you are only a cog in the "Soothe the Stupid / Ignorant Customer" group -- your job is to make customers forget the error of their / your ways... but a "cut-and-paste" from the Kindle FAQ does not resolve an issue created by Amazon's unauthorized use of my email... nor does it make Amazon appear that it is even understanding that this kind of thing is hurtful to its relationship with its customers. Even if there was some kind of "click through" authorization your reminding someone about a death which only occurred two weeks ago is tasteless and crude.

How can customers trust your products and services if you are so untrustworthy with a customer's feelings just to make a buck?

Yes I do realize I am jousting at a windmill here as I don't believe Amazon is actually willing to change its behavior... and that is sad too...

But after all large corporations such as Amazon are only made of "automated systems" and tiny, underpaid cogs such as yourself... with no control and/or no soul.. I'm sure your boss will enjoy hearing about the idiot that whined that your wonderful recommendation system reminded him is father is dead and that Amazon thinks death is just another marketing opportunity. *That* is so very sad.

I hope your day is better than Amazon has made mine.

*****

Of course there was a cookie cutter reply:

***
Hello,

I'm sorry for the problem that you had with the recommendation that we had for you.

I'd like to inform you that we don't have any power or whatsoever to browse on your email account.

We display recommendations in several areas throughout our store. To make these suggestions, we determine your interests by examining the items you've purchased, items you've told us you own, items you've liked, items you've rated and items you've browsed recently on Amazon.com. We then compare your activity on our website with that of other customers to recommend items that may interest you.

Your recommendations will change regularly based on a number of factors, including new orders or ratings that you submit and changes in the interests of other customers like you. Because your recommendations will change, we suggest you add items that interest you to your Wish List or Shopping Cart.

I really sorry if the recommendation somewhat offended you. We didn't intend to cause you this.

We always try our best to meet your expectations but unfortunately, despite all our efforts, unforeseen circumstances sometimes occur that would prevent us in providing a satisfactory experience.

I apologize for any trouble or frustration you experienced in this case. We did not intend, in any way, to cause you disappointment. Furthermore, in order to rectify this situation, I'm reporting this concern regarding the incident to the Technical department in our company--I know they'll want to hear more about your experience. We will make sure that we'll take note of this so in the future, we may prevent problems like this from happening and we will take this into account as we plan for further developments within our services.

Please remember that it is always important for us to hear how you react to all aspects of our service. Strong customer feedback like yours helps us make important decisions about how our service can be improved over the course of time, and we appreciate the time you took to write to us so we can better address this concern.

I hope you'll understand that we do our best to ensure that all of our customer needs will be met perfectly. Clearly, we have not met those standards in this case. I understand that this hasn't been as positive as you'd hoped, but I hope you'll consider this and give us another chance to serve you better in the future.

**********

So there you have it Amazon claims it does not scrape user e-mail which still does not explain how they could offer that "recommendation". I made no searches related to death or writing a eulogy so there was no way Amazon could offer that result unless their Customer Support is unaware [plausable denial] that Amazon's crafty big data scraping system is sniffing email traffic.

But let's say that someone else in my family were to have made such a query without my knowledge, how tacky is it that Amazon thinks there's money to be made by making recommendations to a mourner...

It seems to me that there has to be a line drawn somewhere when it comes to how up close and personal we should allow our online vendors and social media become.

Regardless what the actual reason for the recommendation I received, the fact that I received such a recommendation in the first place it indicates that Amazon has hit another low in the race to the bottom for market share.

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Is Amazon scraping Kindle Fire HD user's email?

gishzida gishzida writes  |  about a year and a half ago

nothing to read here move along

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Capitalist Morals versus Human Values

gishzida gishzida writes  |  about 2 years ago

Reading through the comments on the report that the SCOTUS ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act I found one commenter who asked "Don't you believe in Capitalism?"

I started to reply to that remark but decided to instead note it down here.

Capitalism is one of many ways to make a society work. Unfortunately here in the United States we have not learned to "soften" our desire for a profit when it impinges on moral behavior. Hard core capitalists believe in "Profits before morals" -- That is a "dog-eat-dog" Darwinian view of society-- There are certain political groups that love this idea because they believe that the object in life is whoever has the most toys wins. Regardless of what they might say about their "moral code" or "ethical views" or even [for some] their alleged religious beliefs all of it gets checked at the door when it comes to profits.

One of the simplest moral codes ever put forward [by multiple religious and philosophic systems] is the Golden Rule -- "Do to others what you would have them do to you." From what I have seen and experienced, the Capitalist view of this is inverted in the US to mean "Charge the highest possible going rate but cut your losses --- we don't care what the other guy would do to us."

Most people that have adopted this view of life have never had a tragedy strike... have never been out of work with no money for health care... have never had to watch a loved one suffer because there was no way to pay for a doctor... This kind of "moral-less" Capitalism is unacceptable. .I don't believe in Capitalism at the price of giving up moral behavior. There are other democratic countries in the world that do care for their citizens... more than we do... We don't -- Why? If the US is, as some conservative pundits have proposed, "a Christian nation" What part of taking care of you fellow man is not Christian? [Not that I am Christian, but most of the big time Capitalists / Conservatives allegedly ascribe to the Golden Rule in one form or another] What part of putting a price on some one's pain is moral?

Then we come to the brass tacks of: How much is your life worth to you? Do you really trust a "Capitalist" system that is all about profit and has no moral will except to maximize profits? You trust a system that sees you as a profit or a loss rather than a human being? How will you feel when they decide you are one of the losses to be cut?

I don't expect that this law will stand as the forces opposed to it have a lot of money to throw at repealing it... which of course they will take their expenses out of your pocket after they have repealed it.

Why won't they take it out of my pocket? I've got nothing to give. I'm one of those older tech workers that got the boot in favor of a 'younger, cheaper' replacement. So I've been unemployed for 15 months without health care. Prognosis for a new job is not good-- after all who needs a network admin who pushing 59 -- IT is a "young person's field" So I'm a year short of early retirement age so I cannot touch my 401K... So I'm screwed by the system and screwed by the fellows that love their H1B employees.... Do I believe in this kind of capitalism? not by a long shot.

Frankly I come to the believe that American Capitalists are no different that the old Soviet Commissars in their firm belief that lying, cheating, stealing, and otherwise screwing their employees is moral behavior... for a Slave master and Conservative / Libertarian Capitalists are nothing more than slave masters by another name. Of course after the 14th amendment you aren't supposed to call them slaves any more-- you're supposed to call 'em employees.

A foot note:

The ACA is a congressional act that was signed into law by the President. Calling it "Obamacare" is deriding the President [They could not get away with calling it what they'd like to call it as it would reveal what kind of people they really are!] at the expense of who and what debated and put the law on the president's desk. That's right it was Congress not the President that passed the law.

America was once a great country... and who knows maybe it will be again when the cry-baby capitalists grow up and realize that in a truly mature society we all need to move forward not just some of us... Elites can only rob the poor or send them off to fight pointless wars for so long before the poor rise up to smite them. It is sad that libertarians are such children who are lead around by the nose and have no true moral will of their own. .

Of course this is all just my opinion and we know what opinions are worth on \.

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A Comment about "Politics for geeks"

gishzida gishzida writes  |  more than 5 years ago Superwiz says http://slashdot.org/~superwiz "Politics for geeks: libertarians want govt like Unix and liberals want govt like Windows."

I have to disagree.

Republicans want government like Windows: Non-free. Non-private. Non-Choice. Pro-religon (as long as it's theirs)

Some would say that Liberals want government provided by Pirate Bay: Totally Free at someone else's expense or for those Liberals with Money who want government like MacOSX: pretty with a lower user intelligence threshold.

But I tend to think Liberals want government in a GNU / Free software mold: From each according to their talents, to each according to their needs.

As for Libertarians? Some how I don't see them liking SCO or Novell (The Rock 'Em Sockem Robots of UNIX) I'd say they'd like government Open Source but don't really care too much about the source of the code as long as it does not personally cost them to much (because Libertarianism tends to measure things on the basis of personal wealth and/or personal survival)... Libertarians don't see (or care) about the "ecosystem" as long as it does not interfere with what they consider their "personal freedom".

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The song the tyrants sing

gishzida gishzida writes  |  more than 5 years ago I saw Phantomfive's tag:

"In America, how did the powerful become powerful? Have they done something you couldn't do?"

Here's the song the powerful sing:

"Lie. Cheat. Steal. Deceive.
We'll do anything, to make you believe
Sunny Skies, or Cloudy Day
Bend over now, and let us do it our way..."

Most of the "powerful" got to be where they are by deception. Sure I could do that... but I won't.

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gishzida gishzida writes  |  more than 10 years ago There are some days when I am blissfully unaware of my status. Other days it is obvious. I find I know a little bit about everything and do that little bit very well. A general specialist AKA the idiot savant who goes where angels fear to tred.

It has been claimed [indirectly] that I am a 'faith healer' of network hardware. I've taken to joking with my co-workers by laying my hand on a 'sick' server while crying alound "I say YOU are HEALED!

Strange thing is it's worked on a couple of machines... But somehow I don't think that IDIOT SAVANT can go on a resume.

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gishzida gishzida writes  |  more than 10 years ago I was just reading some of the comments on "The Surprising Benefits of Being Unemployed". Some of those folks obviously are under forty and have never been broke, laid off, or both. I find myself a bit annoyed that some people don't 'get it'.

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