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Comments

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Former GM Product Czar: Tesla a "Fringe Brand"

sinij Re:How does the quote go...? (221 comments)

Pedantic correction - Donald Trump might actually offer good advice on how to be born rich, as he has first-hand experiences.

10 hours ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

sinij Re:Root it (312 comments)

"Oh wait.." as in, the present situation is comparable to the worst of Microsoft excesses where they were justifiably criticized? If that was your point, then yes, I agree.

10 hours ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

sinij Re:not Alright... (312 comments)

Issue with rooting, is that almost anything in mobile space defaults to auto-run. This is not a big deal if permissions are severely restricted in non-rooted phone and the worst stuff won't survive the reboot. Modifying this default promiscuous behavior is not a simple configuration change and is beyond abilities of majority of technically-inclined /. crowd.

11 hours ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

sinij Re:Root it (312 comments)

>>>They can be removed if you have unlocked the bootloader and flashed an OS image that contains su. Then you can become root, remount the OS partition read-write, and remove the apps completely.

This is why mobile space computing devices will always be toys in my eyes. They system designed to dictate how you suppose to use it. Sure, with enough effort you could bypass and regain control that should have been there from the beginning.

As for quoted response - imagine buying a PC during 90s era where you didn't have enough permission to uninstall AOL. Plus you'd get prompted for AOL credentials to use unrelated productivity software. Even MS in its prime wasn't that evil. Google, on other hand...

11 hours ago
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How Did the 'Berlin Patient' Rid Himself of HIV?

sinij Re:To any fundamentalists who may have stumbled in (107 comments)

Please, try being a Pastafarian. I get cursed with a terminal disease at least once before my morning coffee. Considering our vengeful god, it is amazing any of us still alive.

Partially due to above circumstances, on a long enough scale, Pastafarian mortality approaches 100%.

3 days ago
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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

sinij Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (585 comments)

I purchased couple L-Prize winning Phillips LED bulb when they first came to market many years ago and they are still going. Under heavy use. YMMV.

3 days ago
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FBI Chief: Apple, Google Phone Encryption Perilous

sinij Fuck you and the horse you rode in on (353 comments)

>>>"I like and believe very much that we should be able to take the contents,"
 
Do you also believe in the Santa Claus?
 
In closing, fuck you. No.

4 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

sinij Re:You have to have a car payment to drive? (903 comments)

I disagree with this line of thinking. People are not poor by choice. Almost always there is some underlying condition, sometimes outside the control of the individual. This underlying condition will also impact ability to help themselves.

Just consider how feasible would it be for a single mom juggling two minimum wage jobs to also find time, motivation, and capacity to learn how to fix the car. I am sure there are super-humans out there that could pull this off, but such people never stay poor for very long.

4 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

sinij Re:This is evil (903 comments)

>>>People who got NINJA loans were a prime reason for the mortgage crisis.

Not quite. People who gave out NINJA loans to people who had no hope of repaying these loans and then proceeding to misrepresent these loans as AAA were the prime reason for the crisis.

4 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

sinij Re:You have to have a car payment to drive? (903 comments)

Learning anything is hard. If it was trivial to fix your cars, only rich would pay others to do it for them. Just like cutting grass or doing your laundry. Unfortunately, modern automobile is much more complex device than ether your laptop or smartphone, with mechanic, pneumatic, hydraulic, electrical systems interfacing in whichever way.

Is it possible to maintain your own car? Well, yes, but you have to be intelligent and motivated, something that highly correlates with high income and status that generally enables you to pay others to work on your car.

4 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

sinij Symbtom of the bigger issue (903 comments)

This indignity is a symptom of a larger issue - hardships that have to be endured by poor. We should be asking how we can make sure they can afford transportation instead of getting outraged at sausage-making that is going on at the "no credit" used car lots. Perhaps we could invest into better public transportation and affordable housing in proximity to transportation hubs?
 
With that said, the choices here are likely a) much more expensive cars for at-risk debtors due to significant risk premium b) this indignity of being subjected to such devices and much lower costs. I am sure both options are available at the same time.

4 days ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

sinij Re:Cake and eat it too (363 comments)

I think you are factually wrong on Canadians and H1B. Under NAFTA any Canadian with a college degree can get a 'no questions asked' work visa at the border. The same applies to US folk wanting to work in Canada.

4 days ago
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Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

sinij Cake and eat it too (363 comments)

Corporations want infrastructure, rule of the law, and educated workforce that comes with doing business in US while paying third-world wages and hiding income in tax shelters. You can't have it both ways.

I also highly doubt that Canada, for example, going to look any more favorable on work visas. If they move to Canada, they will have to hire Canadians (or people eligible for NAFTA visas). That won't be 25K/year PhDs from India.

4 days ago
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Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

sinij Re:I'm happy about it (154 comments)

I have been playing since 1998, made to Diamond in Season 1 and 2 and still think that competitive SC2 game play is highly formalistic and largely a miss. As a result I did not purchase expansions.

Watching other play, I think SC2 is actually more fun at Silver-Bronze level, where there isn't skill level to instantly identify right strategy. Anything above that level becomes a repetitive exercise in doing one thing over and over and over again.

about a week ago
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Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

sinij Re:I'm happy about it (154 comments)

No, you can thank Robert "the packaged goods" Kotick that sacrificed fun at the altar of profit.

about a week ago
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Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

sinij Re:I'm happy about it (154 comments)

Star Craft 2, at competitive level was about executing a single optimal strategy with as much polish as you could. As such, entire gameplay devolved into timed pushes instead of actual strategy.

As to single player SC2, it was mildly entertaining with Blizzard Cinematics. Maybe they should turn into animation studio if their key (and arguably the only) strength is cut scenes.

about a week ago
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Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

sinij Re:Warcraft Killed it? (154 comments)

Ultima Online is still around with people still paying subscriptions. It turns that prolonged death spiral with minimal investment is more profitable than trying to replicate poorly-understood success. It would have been highly ironic if Blizzard failed to clone WoW with Titan.

It turns out, even Blizzard doesn't understand its own success enough to replicate it.

about a week ago
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Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

sinij Search algorithm failure and Yelp (249 comments)

Search engines are absolutely awful at finding reviews. Try goggling "reviews for X", absolutely zero useful content. Into this void Yelp and other smaller rent-seekers stepped in. With their racketeering they poisoned the system to the point of being useless.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

sinij Re:Masochist (334 comments)

Absolutely perfect if you enjoy pain. Safe word "banana".

about two weeks 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  |  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! "

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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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