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Comments

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Researcher Finds Tor Exit Node Adding Malware To Downloads

sinij Re:Downloading unsigned binaries? (103 comments)

Yes and no.
 
You could substitute hash, but if it is actually public-key signed then you'd have less luck. Your substitution would not originate from example.com OR would not belong to the same root CA.

10 hours ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

sinij Re:Remember when WSJ had a modicrum of decency? (620 comments)

You are not misremembering, at one point WSJ published a lot of insightful business and economic commentary, and kept politics contained in the opinion pages. Now political narrative dominates all aspects and as a result business and economic aspect suffer.

I stopped reading it for this reason - profit has no ideology, moment you view data through a lens of politics is the moment you stop noticing opportunities.

yesterday
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

sinij Automation and jobs (620 comments)

This goes further to demonstrate that automation will take over many menial jobs in my lifetime. This leaves us with a problem - what to do with all the unwanted and unskilled labor? Skilled worker's salaries have not kept up with productivity gains, as such there is no chance they could support service-based economy to offer unskilled workers a living wage.

Sadly, the likely outcome is drop in the quality of life for everyone involved.

yesterday
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

sinij Dog harrassment numbers? (540 comments)

On the Internet, nobody knows you are a dog. So how dog harassment numbers look like? Probably the same.

According to PA's Greater Internet Fuckward Theory (GIFT), it is gender-neutral and widespread. It is unfortunate, but that is the only way it could exists and still allow unauthenticated participation. To me, this unauthenticated quality that allows anonymity is a lot more valuable than eliminating GIFT asshatery.

2 days ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

sinij Re:Dear Canada.... (521 comments)

>>> It's time to deal with radical Islamist extremists.

How? Declare Islam a thought-crime?

2 days ago
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DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

sinij Re:Wolf! Wolf! (78 comments)

Using your kitchen knives "example". How would you "just keep prosecuting" if stabbing could be done remotely, anonymously, on a large scale, and with nearly unlimited frequency?

That is, imagine that it could be possible for a group of individuals to remotely cause 1mil/second stabbings in all households in say New York. It is just like that.

2 days ago
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DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

sinij Re:Basic Medical Technology 101. (78 comments)

Only liability insurance industry can force the change. Otherwise it will be impossible to put a monetary value on this effort.

When bad things happen, the liability is covered by the insurance. The insurance industry can accurately estimate the risk, and raise premiums accordingly. They generally don't reward greatly reducing marginal risks, as such expense of completely securing medical information systems would not meaningfully reduce premiums. It is only when prevalence of compromise increases, something (at much greater expense and urgency) will be done.

The underlying issue is that these types of risks seen as negligible. Historically, this is accurate view, but they have not experienced almost-none to all-the-time ramp up of incidences we have seen in say network security.

2 days ago
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DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

sinij The only surprise (78 comments)

The only surprise is that catastrophes are not commonplace. As an information security professional I can tell you based on a first-hand experience that we are metasploit module away from a major disaster. Industrial automation, medical, automotive and many other industries simply do not get information security. Chances are, your municipal water treatment system, you office building's elevators and heating, your glucose monitoring system, your car's infotainment system, your neighborhood's stoplights are trivially hackable. The only good news is that there is no money (but plenty of mayhem) to be made from compromising these systems. As such, people who can ether don't have a motivation or a conscientious enough to do that. Such miniscule margin of safety keeps me up at night.

2 days ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

sinij Re:1..2..3 before SJW (765 comments)

Assigning guilt/blame to a group of people based on a characteristic outside of their control tends to do that.

3 days ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

sinij Re:What? (765 comments)

Neckbeard/RTFM culture passively discourage everyone, regardless of gender, from pursuing that career. If you don't believe me, just read a random Linus rant. Lots of encouragement to work elsewhere in every reply.

3 days ago
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NPR: '80s Ads Are Responsible For the Lack of Women Coders

sinij 1..2..3 before SJW (765 comments)

In before SJW brigade comes in demanding everyone involved apologized.

3 days ago
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Cell Transplant Allows Paralyzed Man To Walk

sinij Re:Not always about the money... (161 comments)

Most promising EBOLA vaccine currently in human trials was developed in Canada, another single-payer country.

For-profit medicine is indisputably good at generating profit. Various outrageously priced targeted cancer treatments are ample evidence of this.

3 days ago
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

sinij Re:TV without ads is expensive (126 comments)

I would gladly trade money for time, but often in case of TV this is simply not offered in a timely manner.

3 days ago
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Your Online TV Watching Can Now Be Tracked Across Devices

sinij Re:Sounding another death knell for cable companie (126 comments)

I realize that it is all about advertising, but where do these outrageous cable fees go? If it is all about advertising, why do cable providers charge substantial fees for channel packages? Clearly, you can show more adds if you let everyone with a cable watch it.

So it must be not that simple.

3 days ago
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Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

sinij Re:Slashdot Effect (120 comments)

This isn't dotcom bubble days, if /. can crash a website they are doing something majorly wrong.
 
Now lets proceed to share "up the hill both ways" stories and lament how ACs these days don't know what is good for them.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

sinij Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (397 comments)

You could also decrease speed limit to something unreasonable. For example, 15mph and issue tickets at 21mph.

You can also hide a max speed sign behind something, like a bush, and install it in otherwise higher speed zone.

You can also install speed trap on the down-slope road, where drivers would naturally speed up without any conscious input.

You can also offer "early payment" discounts on tickets, where if you pay and plead guilty your fine reduced to the point of not worth the time fighting it.

You can establish a ticket challenge procedure that would conflict with working hours, making it logistically difficult for people to challenge.

You can intentionally mail tickets to old addresses, then rake up late fees and interest.

Oh, all of these happened in one or another municipality at some point in time.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

sinij Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (397 comments)

The amber light gets decreased, making intersection less safe. Does it matter what party to this money-grabbing public-private sector collusion actually carried out the work?

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

sinij Re:Easy to solve - calibrate them to overestimate (397 comments)

>>>You're not even supposed to run the amber, never mind the red.

Incorrect. When you see light turning yellow, you are suppose to stop when it is safe to do so, otherwise proceed through the intersection. If you are a municipality concerned about safety - increase timer on yellow light.

Instead, exact opposite happens - municipality concerned with a budget shortfalls decreases yellow light timer to generate additional red light ticket revenue. As a result, many people slam on the brakes increasing instances of rear-end collisions.

3 days ago
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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

sinij Re:This is good (397 comments)

>>>It proves the cameras are working, and people are speeding less.

In before "why won't you think of the children!?".

It does not. It may indicate that problem was overblown in the first place. Also since report focuses on revenue, and no accident rates (possibly because there is zero impact) we can conclude that these were always about revenue-generation.

3 days ago

Submissions

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ActivisionBlizzard numbers - WoW providing 30% of the revenue

sinij sinij writes  |  more than 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

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Why Warhammer Failed - Insider Story

sinij sinij writes  |  about 4 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! "

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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

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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.

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