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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Re:Subaru Impreza (184 comments)

Only I wouldn't buy a new one, since they seem to have severe ring problems and a lot end up burning oil while still new.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Re:Not necessarily (184 comments)

Yes, you are correct, OBD II will show RPM through the port. The OBD port itself is the size of a DB-25 connector, so neatly wiring it could be tricky.
 
As far as modifying functionality of anything, like implementing one-touch windows, will not be possible through OBD. The port is diagnostic in nature.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Re:Nothing made after 2000 (184 comments)

A copy of touchless Mercedes key fob is easily $500.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Re:OBD2 (184 comments)

OBD II is diagnostic tool/protocol/format. It will let you read error codes, it will show some information about operational parameters that might not normally be available through dashboard functions. It will not allow you to modify. To make things worse, to access advanced diagnostic features on a modern car you will need to have proprietary software and/or dealer keys.

To further educate yourself, look into work done by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek.

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Re:Not necessarily (184 comments)

OBD II, while universally adopted, is poorly supported by manufacturers. It will still allow access to some basic information, will let you read error codes, but as far as modifying anything you will need to get always-proprietary software. Even with that you will be hard-pressed to redesign how something works, at best you will be able to toggle some values. Adding new functionality - good luck with that.

2 days ago
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Opensource game rejected from Debian for authors social beliefs

sinij "Who routinely trolls Debian" (2 comments)

The link says "who routinely trolls Debian", where does conservatism comes into this?

2 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Hackable Car?

sinij Nothing made after 2000 (184 comments)

Modern cars use proprietary designs and even smallest modification would require you to re-flash software. While it is possible, and there are 'dealer' keys out there, modern cars are overly complex.

Your best bet is to get something classic and not too rare.

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

sinij Re:Slash Jezebel (541 comments)

In a certain sense, a person is welcome to devote their life to stamp collecting

Or devote some of their life to reading technical news on a technical news site. Glad we agree.

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

sinij Outrage not done right (541 comments)

If timothy wanted to properly generate outrage on /., then Barbie would have said "I love systemd" when you pull her string, and article would be authored by Bennett.

2 days ago
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As Amazon Grows In Seattle, Pay Equity For Women Declines

sinij Here we go again (479 comments)

Here we go again. Timothy, are you angling for a gig at Jezebel?

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

sinij Re:Slash Jezebel (541 comments)

Wait, but what about STARVING AFRICAN CHILDREN, why worry about privileged white women in first-world countries when CHILDREN ARE STARVING?!?! What kind of monster are you?! I expect you to dedicate all your attention to issues that I care about! NOW!

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

sinij Re:So close, so far (541 comments)

While you are entitled to your own self-loathing, but please count me out of your bogus statistics.

2 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

sinij Slash Jezebel (541 comments)

The amount of social justice news and outrage click bait that get posted here makes me think about drastic re-definition of "staff that matters". I hope /. editors understand their demographics and understand that "X is dead" style of articles in the going to provide positive reaction from the readership.

2 days ago
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Nielsen Will Start Tracking Netflix and Amazon Video

sinij Re:What? (55 comments)

Next, you will realize why cable TV shows are getting dumber and commercials more obnoxious.

3 days ago
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Magic Tricks Created Using Artificial Intelligence For the First Time

sinij Next trick (77 comments)

Next trick - Earth disappearing into a black hole at the bottom of the magician's hat.

Maybe we shouldn't ask AI things like these?

5 days ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

sinij Re: What about the male stereotypes? (635 comments)

Yes, and everything that happens is fault of patriarchy. It must be nice to have a worldview where everything is so clear-case and explainable.

Don't you see that "males are at fault for male stereotypes" is a clear-case of victim blaming?

5 days ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

sinij Re:Whoa whoa whoa (635 comments)

>>>It would be disingenuous to suggest that sexism does not primarily impact women negatively.

How about we do some substitution.

It would be disingenuous to suggest that graft does not primarily impact women negatively.

Do you see the problem with your statement? Yes, of course it impacts women negatively, but suggesting that it only impacts women is disingenuous.

5 days ago
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Sweden Considers Adding "Sexism" Ratings To Video Games

sinij Re:What about the male stereotypes? (635 comments)

Male stereotypes and gender roles (e.g. machismo, not showing emotions) are equally harmful and problematic. Unfortunately, you will not see any effort from SJW to even acknowledge these exists.

5 days ago
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Facebook Planning Office Version To Rival LinkedIn, Google

sinij Re:OR (91 comments)

As much as I personally prefer "walk over and talk", this becomes a lot less feasible with remote workforce. Typical development team these days is international and/or no longer tied to cubicles. Sure, there are still hell-holes that insist you sit in a box 9 to 5 (or more), but most allow telecommute. I think turning point was 08-09, when talented folks got tied to upsidedown mortgages and were no longer able to move to take the job.

5 days ago
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Facebook Planning Office Version To Rival LinkedIn, Google

sinij Facebook does not get it (91 comments)

In most fields, trying to do business networking through Facebook is a career-ending move. The brand is forever poisoned.

5 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  |  more than 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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