Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

More Quantum Strangeness: Particles Separated From Their Properties

sinij This is compiler optimization error (136 comments)

This is optimization error in the compiler of our simulated universe.

2 days ago
top

Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

sinij Car analogy? (305 comments)

Could someone explain this to me with a car analogy?

2 days ago
top

Comcast Confessions

sinij Re:Every single day (231 comments)

I understand that above suggestion to "saw their heads off" was likely made in jest, but there is grain of truth to it.

We live in an era where people in charge have very little accountability to the masses. "The Mob" no longer puts fear into politicians or business community. As such "maybe I shouldn't do this nefarious yet legal deed because it could end up with guillotine" check is no longer there.

2 days ago
top

Amazon Fire Phone Reviews: Solid But Overly Ambitious

sinij Face tracking? (58 comments)

Could someone explain to me, why would I want my phone to have capability to track my face? With a car analogy?

about a week ago
top

Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

sinij Re:I don't see the problem. (667 comments)

False equivalence.
 
Sides are not equally wrong, and truth is not somewhere in the middle. There is a very clear wrong side - Russian equipment operated by Russian-sponsored terrorists and/or Russian military misidentifying civilian aircraft and shooting it down. Anything else is intentional misinformation.

about two weeks ago
top

"Intelligent" Avatars Poised To Manage Airline Check-In

sinij SOlution looking for a problem (102 comments)

Lining up to get sexually assaulted, lining up to pay predatory fees, and then suffering many hours on a dirty plane in sardines-in-a-box seating plan are main concerns.

If the problems above solved, I would gladly register using CLI, if necessary.

about two weeks ago
top

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

sinij Generations before us (211 comments)

Great generation defeated Nazis, landed on the moon; Baby Boomer generation built Internet and tackled racial and gender issues. What are we doing other that building surveillance state and wealth inequality?

about two weeks ago
top

Google To Stop Describing Games With In-App Purchases As 'Free'

sinij Operant conditioning - just like gambling (139 comments)

These "free" games use the same addiction mechanisms, called operant conditioning, as gambling. I am surprised targeting these at minors is even allowed.

about two weeks ago
top

NIF Compresses Diamonds With 50 Million Atmospheres of Pressure

sinij Car analogy? (81 comments)

Can someone explain this with a car analogy?

about two weeks ago
top

LibreSSL PRNG Vulnerability Patched

sinij Re:'Vulnerability" is rubbish. (151 comments)

Ok, so best-case scenario is that OpenBSD has additional sources of randomness and that issue simply weakened crypto instead of outright breaking it.

For ignoramus that downmoded my GPP - all cryptographic functions heavily rely on random numbers being both unpredictable and computationally indistinguishable from true random. It can break two ways - first by broken seeding, where it becomes predictable. Second by having algorithm that has non-uniform (e.g. some numbers have higher chance than 1/u). Both of these can be exploited to break strongest crypto. Why? Because all our crypto is deterministic.

about two weeks ago
top

LibreSSL PRNG Vulnerability Patched

sinij Re:'Vulnerability" is rubbish. (151 comments)

Incorrect. If your PRNG is garbage, all crypto is also garbage.

A car analogy - if I know where and when you started driving I can make fairly accurate guesses of your location without having to rely on GPS tracking.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

sinij Re:Engineering (509 comments)

As an engineer, I can tell you have not considered all definitions of future. What about dystopian futures where access to technology is luxury and sustenance farming in increasingly arid climate rules the day?

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

sinij Re:Jobs aren't future proof, skills are (509 comments)

Skills become obsolete or can be automated. If you rely on skills you have to dedicate yourself to a lifetime of learning.

about two weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Future-Proof Jobs?

sinij Oversimplified answer (509 comments)

Common dangers to your career and wages are:
1. Outsourcing
2. Automation
3. Disruptive innovation
4. Boom and bust economic cycles

Ways to protect your career and wages are:
1. Merit and Knowledge
2. Restricted professions & credentials
3. Union or government position

Not all dangers are avoidable, for example disruptive innovation is all but unavoidable, but boom and bust cycles are easier to survive in a bigger industry.

Not all way to protect career are available to everyone, for example merit and knowledge is unobtainable goal for significant portion of population (merit, by definition, it is zero-sum game). Additionally some have drawbacks - proximity to government or union usually has negative effect on one's maximum earning potential.

Now for more practical advice - a technical profession that interfaces with government, requires accreditation, and deals with local or critical infrastructure would be most stable long-term position. Civil engineer, food inspector, dentist are some typical example.

about two weeks ago
top

Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

sinij Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (157 comments)

Yes, gathering bananas and chasing tail. Intelligence does not increase your reproductive fitness past some baseline number, as a result we see regression to the mean. Why mean? Because it used to be optimal. It still might be optimal, because you don't see driven, successful people out-reproducing average bears.

about three weeks ago
top

Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

sinij This just in! (157 comments)

This just in, intelligence also highly heritable in humans. Only it isn't politically correct to talk about.

about three weeks ago
top

Physicists Spot Potential Source of 'Oh-My-God' Particles

sinij Re:Alien Spacecraft (144 comments)

This would imply that they are decelerating on the approaching trajectory.

about three weeks ago
top

Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

sinij Re:largely expected, for good reason (236 comments)

They are not a pipe dream in Silicon Valley, and may not be a pipe dream on dedicated highways that only allow automated cars.
 
You are mostly correct, any Google car that lacks manual controls will be grounded during bad weather and/or novel conditions since 'autonomous' parts heavily relies on detailed mapped and predictable environment.

about a month ago
top

Google, Detroit Split On Autonomous Cars

sinij Detroit is not always wrong. (236 comments)

Traditional car makers (e.g. Detroit 3) are not always wrong and in this case Google should not be simply assumed to be correct. Since I was not part of these meetings, I can only form my opinions based on what was reported. Still, there are some things that concern me with Google/Tesla approach to autos:

* Unwillingness to finalize the product is part of Silicon culture. When I buy a car, I expect final product with very rare instance of patching (e.g. recalls) and no instances of altered or added functionality. The fact that when you buy Tesla you are subjected to "patch Tuesday" tinkering greatly worries me.
* No defined model years. With traditional cars you usually know that parts from years X-Y models A-Z are interchangeable. Not so much with Tesla - where mid-model changes are commonplace. What going to happen when 10+ year old Tesla needs a new part? Always buy new, because no two of them are ever the same?
* Used car market. For electric cars it doesn't exists. This means that depreciation on these is largely unknown.

about a month ago

Submissions

top

ActivisionBlizzard numbers - WoW providing 30% of the revenue

sinij sinij writes  |  about 2 years ago

sinij (911942) writes "

World of Warcraft (WoW) has helped ATVI maintain its stock price, with this one single game providing roughly 30% of the revenue for the entire company via its expansion packs and monthly payments. Subscription revenue alone totaled $1.2 billion both in 2008 and 2009, and an additional $1.36 billion in 2010. Corresponding costs (the overhead cost of maintaining WoW’s virtual world) totaled a mere $404 million in the first two years mentioned, and $241 million in 2010. This means that WoW subscriptions have generated gross margins over 80% consistently. Since WoW has very high operating leverage any decline in revenue will have dramatic effects on the bottom line.

Forbes takes a detailed look into underlying finances of ActivisionBlizzard, and Vivendi's on-going efforts to sell its stake in the company. Diablo3 cash-shop revenues are not mentioned, but this would explain Blizzard's desperation to diversify from WoW subscription revenues."
Link to Original Source

top

Why Warhammer Failed - Insider Story

sinij sinij writes  |  more than 3 years ago

sinij (911942) writes "EA insider, airs dirty laundry over what went wrong with Warhammer and what could this mean for upcoming Bioware Old Republic mmorpg.

Anyway, back to Warhammer. We shouldn’t have released when we did, everyone knows it. The game wasn’t done, but EA gave us a deadline and threatened the leaders of Mythic with pink slips. We slipped so many times, it had to go out. We sold mor ethan a million boxes, and only had 300k subs a month later. Going down every since. It’s “stable” now, but guess what? Even Dark Age and Ultima have more subs than we have. How great is that? Games almost a decade make more money than our biggest project.

Read it all here! "

top

sinij sinij writes  |  more than 7 years ago

sinij (911942) writes "I'm tired of hypocritical complaints about canned and outsourced customer support from people that given choice, will switch brand/provider/subscription to save extra 5%.

A while ago I had to write some customer support scripts as part of my work turning around small telecom. These scripts were badly needed, some of the people that were doing technical support were outright abusive ether without realizing it (cultural differences) or as a way to get let go and collect unemployment or as a way to channel their frustration with the universe on unwilling victims.

Script and demonstrative firing for not following it drastically improved things by eliminating what-were-they-thinking calls and subsequent PR nightmares. Most calls are trivial and can be scripted - they are ether RTFM, 12-oclock flashers that are too cheap to pay for 'complete install' option and are too stupid to follow step-by-step instructions or people venting about things we can't/won't change.

You also have to realize that CS/TS is never about helping people, its all about customer retention at lowest cost - when you have somebody to yell at when problems happen you are not as likely to stop paying. Trying to help customers cost a lot more, often cost-prohibitive, and leads to customers relying on your technical support to solve every single, no matter how trivial or marginally related problem. My favorite example for scripts is a four hour recording of a complicated problem that that resulted in service costs being equal to TWO (2) year profit from that client.

I understand everyone would love to have perfect customer support, where they deal directly with a professional that tries to work on your problem. Thing is, unless you are enterprise client brining thousands of dollars of profit you are not going to get it. Your bargain discounted plan that you switched to save 5% from your last deal typically has 10-20% profit margin and can't support anything better than scripted scapegoat support. Most people want cheap, quality service, right away and all the time - you can do maybe 1.5 of these things at once.

Another problem with first tier technical support is that all qualified people move on/get promoted, resulting in bulk of people working at first-tier support are ether recently hired students that don't plan on sticking around, immigrants with language/cultural difficulties or people with significant social/attitude/whatever problems. Without canned script, that strictly enforced, you end up with few people that end up better-off and most that work significantly worse. You also cannot allow exceptions for qualified people or next time you fire some asshat for trying to have phone sex with a customer (true story) you will get sued for discrimination or selective enforcement."

Journals

top

Necessity of enforced customer support scripts

sinij sinij writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm tired of hypocritical complaints about canned and outsourced customer support from people that given choice, will switch brand/provider/subscription to save extra 5%.

A while ago I had to write some customer support scripts as part of my work turning around small telecom. These scripts were badly needed, some of the people that were doing technical support were outright abusive ether without realizing it (cultural differences) or as a way to get let go and collect unemployment or as a way to channel their frustration with the universe on unwilling victims.

Script and demonstrative firing for not following it drastically improved things by eliminating what-were-they-thinking calls and subsequent PR nightmares. Most calls are trivial and can be scripted - they are ether RTFM, 12-oclock flashers that are too cheap to pay for 'complete install' option and are too stupid to follow step-by-step instructions or people venting about things we can't/won't change.

You also have to realize that CS/TS is never about helping people, its all about customer retention at lowest cost - when you have somebody to yell at when problems happen you are not as likely to stop paying. Trying to help customers cost a lot more, often cost-prohibitive, and leads to customers relying on your technical support to solve every single, no matter how trivial or marginally related problem. My favorite example for scripts is a four hour recording of a complicated problem that that resulted in service costs being equal to TWO (2) year profit from that client.

I understand everyone would love to have perfect customer support, where they deal directly with a professional that tries to work on your problem. Thing is, unless you are enterprise client brining thousands of dollars of profit you are not going to get it. Your bargain discounted plan that you switched to save 5% from your last deal typically has 10-20% profit margin and can't support anything better than scripted scapegoat support. Most people want cheap, quality service, right away and all the time - you can do maybe 1.5 of these things at once.

Another problem with first tier technical support is that all qualified people move on/get promoted, resulting in bulk of people working at first-tier support are ether recently hired students that don't plan on sticking around, immigrants with language/cultural difficulties or people with significant social/attitude/whatever problems. Without canned script, that strictly enforced, you end up with few people that end up better-off and most that work significantly worse. You also cannot allow exceptions for qualified people or next time you fire some asshat for trying to have phone sex with a customer (true story) you will get sued for discrimination or selective enforcement.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>