Tech Stories Archives - October 2007
Critical Thinking at its finest
Problem: CableISP was growing unsatisfied with our number of calls escalated to a supervisor.
Solution: Push the employees to maintain a no-escalation streak, and hold the department accountable who ends up taking the call that breaks the streak. Because, you know, getting an unreasonable caller is something you have SO MUCH control over.[By: linkv / 2007-10-01]
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Not to mention, that'll make customers (reasonable or unreasonable) who are trying to get a supervisor, pissed. -Seamyst
Because heaven forbid that any problems ever get solved... -Grayhawk
and call centers wonder why A) people dislike tech support, and B)call centers are rotating doors as far as employees are concerned. -EtherRabbit
NZ's major ISP has something like 400% turnover in it's callcenters currently. And people wonder why the support they provide sucks so hard... -Mahal
BAD Apple! BAD!
Oops. Apple appear to have got themselves enmeshed in a rather HUGE Big Brother scare story here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7017660.stm
I expect the furore to develop over the next few days. Anyone GOT an iPhone?[By: SoldierJedi / 2007-10-01]
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Wellll, that just shows you. They pulled a Microsoft. -vacuumtubes
I don't own an iPhone and never will. A phone only needs to make/receive calls; not take pictures, play music or video. -Starfury
Damn it, I haven't been able to load bbc.co.uk all day. Keeps timing out. Anyone else have this problem, or is it just me? -Seamyst
Seamyst: since i know the story is on /. and probably digg as well, the server just probably hasnt recovered yet. -DigitalAngel
Oh, is this the iPhone-bricking story? Yeah, I read that on /. Just makes me VERY glad that I don't have an iPhone. -Seamyst
You know it's not just the iPhone. I find it ridiculus that you can't move songs off of an iPod onto a different PC, LIKE ANY OTHER MP3 PLAYER. I have my entire CD collection on my Mac and it is on my iPod, so when I reinstalled my OS, I couldn't just sync the iPod back to the harddrive. I had to get a 3rd party utility, one of these utilities was actually disabled by an iTunes update. Apple scares me more than MS, MS just seems inept and bloated, Apple is becoming very Orwellian. -Slartarama
Ballmer, Jobs and Gates all think on exactly the same wavelengths. Woz was the only person in that whole group with any sense, or dignity. -Seamus
Starfury, I second that! Just give me a phone that has the clarity and reliability of landline and you can keep ALL the other worthless bells & whistles. -Stryker One
The customer's rights to do unsupported stuff with the products they purchase is the company's right to snicker mercilessly and deny tech support if they cock it up. A big part of exclusivity, distribution, and other such agreements comes with the provision that the provider of the $GADGET will make it a PITA (at the very least) for customers to hack around and override the limits of the agreement. </DA> -56Kdaytrader
This article that came out before the bricking says it well: "Apple is the new Microsoft" http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=9034703 -MisterCommon
Wanna roll Jobs' evil update back? Try here:- http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,137926-page,1-c,pdacellphonehybrids/article.html -lineswine
Laptops need rest every 2-3 hours?
My mom likes to pass along tech tips from the guy who built her computer... this one had me curious and skeptical. He said that laptops should be shut off every 2-3 hours so they won't burn up (?). Her brother, who lives with her, said that a (different) tech told him the same - don't use a laptop for more than 2-3 hours without giving it "time to rest". My instinct is to call bullshit... am I right? Or are they?[By: Seamyst / 2007-10-01]
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"sniff sniff" I'm with you. My lappy runs on my desk at least 8hrs a day... -SoldierJedi
During the summer I leave my laptop on a week at a time. Just make sure the vents are clean.
Same here, my laptop is my only machine when I leave my home office. Often put in 8+ hour shifts at clients sites, with laptop running all the time, never going into standby, or even throttling down. It does run warm, but in 4 years hasn't burned up... -garwain
Soooo... when was the first reported laptop battery fires / laptop scorching? -ShujinTribble
The laptop on my desk has been running 24/7 for months with reboots for updates. So far it's working fine. -Starfury
mine usually operates in bed so i think its damn well rested enough. -r3tude
as long as the heat can vent... the laptop should work (this is also dependant on design... i've seen a few compaqs that coundn't vent heat for sheet)... i've got two that i use for work, and they've been running for about 6 months now. (of course the linux one hasn't had to be rebooted either) -duckhead
<DA> Since many people use their laptops on their laps and given the known risks of burns and infertility as a result of using the laptop is such a manner, it may be that the tech considered this the best way to get people to stop burning themselves and the mass killing of their sperm.
On the other hand, if this is truly the line of reasoning the tech used, he needs to reevaluate his priorities... -bewaretech
Could they have been told to let the battery run down so it doesn't burn out, maybe? -Slartarama
The battery prolly won't last longer then that, so you could BS it and say that the laptop is resting, when really the battery is dead. :P -EtherRabbit
ER- Naw, the laptop's just "pinin' for the fjords!" -Voz
I go with the consensus. Laptops in general don't need rest. Some with piss-poor venting, and some that are clogged with dust, will overheat after a couple of hours, but a properly-designed, properly vented, and relatively clean lappy can run effectively forever. -chazz
And, of course, the laptops will only run so long with their air intakes clogged by the cat hair it sucks from your lap. -TieDyedDinosaur
Properly maintained, a laptop running on AC can go indefinatly. (not taking into accout OS) On battery power, depends on the battery. Sounds like they are BSing or being misunderstood. -Belunar
The tech may have had one too many times where s/he was castigated because the fishies discovered "sleep" and began to believe they never had to save their data. (Reboot? DAMMIT, I demand you resolve this BSOD/beach ball/kernel panic without my having to restart!) -56Kdaytrader
like duckhead sed, if you worked compaq ts you'd have to tell users that just to get the q down every so often. friggin' lap blistering p.o.s. -stiffarm
Heh. I have to admit that I've been under the impression that laptops shouldn't be run as long/intensively as a desktop. I've even avoided installing BOINC on them. Your comments are causing me to rethink this. -WildKard
SOME pourly made laptops will overheat after a few hours of continuous useage if you don't provide extra cooling. But a simple litle laptop tray with a couple of 3 to 5 inch fans solves that. Otherwise unless the cooling in not sufficeint there should be no reason (aside from battery life) to not run em 24/7 -cyberguru
My give a ___ is busted
My employer has let me know (as some of you already know) that my job is being eliminated in 4 weeks, with my boss being the only one kept and relocated to FL (we're in KY). So with that knowledge, why for the love of all that's holy is he continuing to lecture me on how I word my tickets? Does he not realize that as a short timer my "give a damn" is now busted. It's really hard to care about doing more than the absolute minimum when you're getting canned in less than a month. [By: redfaery / 2007-10-01]
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In a word, DILLIGAF! </KBW> -flapjackboy
On the last two days or so, tell the twatpocket exactly how much you "appreciate" his asinine attempts at "improving your morale". -Seamus
It would have been too tempting not to tell him to go fornicate with a sheep at that point -Warrick
"You are cordially invited to traverse, and autocopulate." -Seamus
Well, you could just take up at issue with him, right then and there, in long terms, what it is he wants accomplished and how... the longer you take talking, the fewer calls you need to take.. and it's all HIS fault for not straitening it out and getting you back to work. Right? -ShujinTribble
You are invited to proceed to the place of eternal torment. There is a frying hot stone with your name on it waiting for your unclothed posterior! -TieDyedDinosaur
I would say something like. "The company shitcaned my job, you shit canned my tute. Can I take more of your useless calls now?" -virusjtg
Where at in KY are you? I live in Northern Kentucky, and currently work in Cincinnati -shortythetech
Error 404: **** not found. -EtherRabbit
I live in the Louisville area, Cincinnati is just a bit too far for me right now. :)
His last day at this location is this friday and he's traveling now, but he's still finding time to harrass me as I wade thru my last few weeks. -redfaery
you in pikeville? -HappyCrappy
sounds like your get up and got has got up and went! -Captain Trips
I HANKER for a HUN-- (O_O) >>DAMNIT<<!!! -ShujinTribble
71m3 70 £34rn £337 -stiffarm
And the fun continues. Asswipe is still in another state and still sending me nasty emails asking me why this or that hasn't been done up to his specifications. I'm like they are done, people are happy, shut the hell up. -redfaery
See if [My Company] is hiring.. You never really know stupidity until you get a customer who argues if you need to press a button to get a dryer working. Email me for contact info, or talk to Randstad about call center work for an Appliance Manufacturer. -madonnac
hope you don't need a rec letter from him, it could be a great 'going away party'! -stiffarm
Best Call of the Day
It's been super busy today. But this was my best call (so far)
Me: opening spiel
SF: Uhhhh....never mind.
Too bad they're not all like this.
[By: Starfury / 2007-10-01]
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Actually many of them are just like that, except, of course, for the 15-20 minutes of mind-bending delay represented by the three dots. -TieDyedDinosaur
and this one had 4 dots -stiffarm
I just got this email.... >.<
I’m currently taking classes towards a Masters in Organizational Communications/ including a certificate in Executive Coaching. I know…that’s a lot to take in and for the most part I bet everyone is saying “What does a Masters in Organizational Communications mean and what the heck is Executive Coaching?”
In short, Org Comm “provides students with an understanding of the theories and practices of that lifeblood of all organizations--communication” (as defined by Queen’s University of Charlotte). I'm learning about communication within all organizations, including, but not limited to, For-Profits, Non-profits, corporations, businesses, etc...
Coaching is "an ongoing relationship that focuses on clients taking action toward the realization of their visions, goals or desires" (as defined by the International Coaching Federation). A coach can be very helpful in helping you to redefine your personal or professional goals and help you to create a strategic action plan to attain those goals; besides that, you'll have someone to share all your problems with!
Now that you have an idea as to what I'm learning, I'd like to get to the point of this email. Our assignment is to find a person to coach. We'd have 6-8 weekly sessions. It is not necessary for them to be in person either. Many coaches (executive and life coaches) work via telephone and if you don't have a problem with it, than I don't either. If this sounds like something you or someone you know is interested in, please contact me via email
Edited to preserve anonymity.
This went out to a group of people, but I think some one thinks I am depraved and dysfunctional enough to need a life coach.
LET THE LARTs BEGIN!
DD, CD, may I please channel you two for about 2 days. If I can't lay enough waist in that time, then enough waist can't be laid.[By: virusjtg / 2007-10-01]
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I believe the terms you are looking for are, "Bullshit Artist", "Spin Doctor", "Historical Re-envisionist".... -ShujinTribble
My girlfriend said my executive coach cock wobbled inside her. That's when I decided to try Me ga D|k to plump it <TINK!!> -vacuumtubes
“provides students with an understanding of the theories and practices of that lifeblood of all organizations--communication”...if you don't have a problem with it, **than** I don't either. -Kid
"If I can't lay enough waist in that time, then enough waist can't be laid." I'm trying to figure out if that's supposed to be intentional, or if you meant "waste". I presume the latter, but the former also makes sense in a twisted, Burkiss-esque kind of way. -Seamyst
It was ment to be a pun of sorts. -virusjtg
they want you to volunteer to be their phone bitch? did they ask for your bank info yet? -stiffarm
So, you're getting a Masters in writing memos? (j/k from a Communications/Theater Arts Double Major) -Grayhawk
Stupid question of the day.
A use just asked me... "Is my computer busy writing because you are updating switches?"
It as all I could do to keep enough composure to just say "A switch has nothing to do with your hard drive." I was only slightly terse.[By: virusjtg / 2007-10-01]
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A door is ajar. A Jar. Jar-Jar...<TINK!> -vacuumtubes
It's writing your obituary for when you meet OTIS......right about....now <TINK> -formatCdrive
yes, it's downloading transistor updates -stiffarm
Job Karma (NT/0T)
Well, despite how the last job ended...
I have an agency interview tomorrow for a temp-to-hire spot with
a specialized software co for t1 cs/tech, starting at $12 p/h. (Another $80 a week!)
Luckily, it seems that being cut that way isn't quite so fatal to the career as it seems, no matter how true/untrue the reason is.
Call me crazy to go right back to the kind of stress I just left; but, CS is still one of my best skills.
Wish me luck, it hasn't been but two weeks and I'm going nuts not being able to work... [By: MadJack / 2007-10-02]
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Karma Lawn Darts launched, stand still and they SHOULD land in a nice circle all around you. -TieDyedDinosaur
karmarsupials (armoured becuase of raining karma darts) on way:) -timelady
Have some Texas Karma Chili! -56Kdaytrader
KITTY KARMA KANNONS....ARMED..... FIRE!!!! Good luck MadJack -TechKittenNotts
So I get a call from a vendor who farms out work to us. It's usually stupid, but, we make them pay for it
Now, the ppl who call aren't techs, just phone centre monkeys. This call was one of the funniest I've had from this company
Him: Hi this is Tom from %company%. We have a domestic call for a hdd replacement. Do you think you could get to it in the next day or so ?
Bah, more mindless shit Me: Maybe, where is the call ?
Him: I can't pronounce this name, maybe if I give you the zip code ?
Me: Well, I'm not near a computer to look it up, maybe you could try to pronounce it
Him: I'm sorry, there's no way that I could do that
Me: C'mon, be brave man, give it a shot
Him: I'm sorry, I can't
Me: Maybe you could spell it out
The word he was afraid to say...
Coxsackie[By: Spyder19 / 2007-10-02]
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Like that old joke about two semi-illiterates reading a court paper that they were given - "Sub-Penie" - "Boy, theys gots you by thuh balls now!" -TieDyedDinosaur
Man, that's a bad one - even if you try to change the emphasis on the syllables it still comes out "cock-sucky". How _do_ you say that? -veaudaux
Just like it's spelled "cock sacky", but, even the right way, sheesh, it still smacks of burkiss -Spyder19
So the people from this town, they are called Coxsackers? -MacDaddy
Coxsackie-fackie...$5 - me love you long time! -lineswine
Since ST switched it over to cities: http://www.onmylist.com/category/travel/The_Worst_City_Names_in_the_World_1 -Ramblin
Not so oddly enough, Coxackie is on that list -Spyder19
Kinda like handing out papers in class when I was growing up....."Joe, Shaniqua, Jose, Truong, Rajneesh, Quynh, Tommy...Oh, I am NOT calling THIS name out." (Phuc grumbles, and snatches the paper from the top of the stack) -56Kdaytrader
Why did the indians leave Oklahoma? Broken Arrow, Broken Bow, Nowata. (That was the first "Okie" joke I heard after moving here, and yes, told by a native Okie. Yes, it's corny. Yep, those are all cities in OK. Nope, I'm not an Okie.) -missourimule
Good news (n/t)
Got some karma to give away, folks. Two major pieces of good news have passed my way recently. First off, the incompetent, self-serving, porn surfing supervisor that I've posted about previously was basically forced out of his management position and left the company last week. I never have to deal with his pissing matches again. Second, at least some of us left behind got big fat raises, including me. I normally wouldn't say how much, but I finally broke the $20/hr mark, which makes me feel a lot more appreciated. So, a round of karma for everyone, on me. Cheers![By: NightSteel / 2007-10-02]
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:-)) Very happy for you. Congrats! -NanoGeek
Hey, congrats! -Chipsterian
Congrats! And thanks on the extra karma, I need some; I have two papers due tomorrow (love being a history grad student) and one of them isn't even halfway finished yet. -Seamyst
Cool Biz! Sooo... when do we get to bit-torrent the LHA Archive of that born backup? -ShujinTribble
Congrats, NS!!! 'Bout time, too! -Ulfgaard
CG buddy -chris081888
you mean I can go back to work there?....actually I broke the $20/hr mark when I started my new job which is just phone support -areatech
Congratulations, dude! You deserve it! -Bobsentme
Congratulations! :) Sounds like you got a good deal for once.
Way to go and congratulations all around. He was the the blight in an otherwise fun working environment. Miss you guys. I'm glad your being appreciated as you should be. I'm making $0 an hour but get to go to Disney World. Want to trade? -Paisley
Congrats! -Dr Jerkyl
'grats! so what your saying is your buying the beer tonight? -SpitefulTech
WOOTage for you! -Learyban
Thanks! Thats why those Cedar trees are dumping their little leaflets all over the neighbors yard! And I thought it was the windstorm! -TieDyedDinosaur
Congrats indeed! -Grue
Rick the callback
Alright, so this guy, we'll call him Rick, is my favorite customer ever.
This guy calls us, his ISP, because he cannot preview his webpage in frontpage. His password works, he can upload, but he cannot preview within the program.
So Rick calls us. Almost everynight. For three weeks.
Finally, my supervisor comes over to me, and tells me I have free reign over this guy, they want to transger him to me as a technical supervisor, and says I can be as rude and direct as I want.
I spoke to this guy 3-4 times, stayed late, and spent over an hour at a time on each call telling him consistantly to call microsoft.
Eventually, I simply repeated to him that he needs to call microsoft, gave my closing speech and hung up the phone while he was in mid-scentence.[By: chris081888 / 2007-10-02]
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Oh, I forgot to mention, Rick is an IT tech that has worked for 20 years with IBM. -chris081888
Of course, one of those Starfish that found a certificate in a CrackerJack box and think they can call themselves a tech. I love dealing with asscaskets like that. -Seamus
I'm not a programmer, but I *do* take pride in the clean HTML and CSS code I write for my site. Frontpage takes my code and messes it all to hell. -Seamyst
Notepad all the way! (Dreamweaver does have a convenient template feature, though). -AmazingKreskin
I concur. I've used Notepad for my HTML editing for over a decade. And my code is also human readable. Hand crafted code is often the best. -Wraith556
what should I do
Customer opens comand prompt , this is what happens......
request is not supported, please contact microsoft technical support for further assistance
Me : Well sir, I guess the next step should be apparent, let me give you the number for microsoft.
Cx: What makes you think that they can help me.
Me: .... read your screen while I get the number sir.[By: chris081888 / 2007-10-02]
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Shouldn't it read ipconfig /renew? -StarFishHearder
First you don't need the space, second that's not the point ...... -chris081888
The fact that you don't need the slash is a WTF in and of itself. I've been trying to develop some tiny batch scripts to take care of routine calls. What the hell were they on when they developed it? -Mikoangelo
my first thought, check the path... -Tarantulus
OK, I'm more than a little confused here - what the hell kind of MS OS/NOS were they running that ipconfig /renew wasn't supported?! It even works on the illegitimate offspring of a thin client and Windows PC that's called "XP Embedded"! (if I had my way it would be known as "axe embedded" but that's a whole different story). -Loon
There is a knowledge base article on that somewhere out there, sorry been too long to remember the #. If I remember the fix correctly, you have to uninstall/reinstall some of the windows networking components (assuming an XP install). It's not an error you see very often. -DigitalAngel
Can you read that to me again sir/maddam? And again? Again please? Now, have you followed the instructions on the screen?? No? Well there is where your problem is. -Belunar
[ot/nt] unexpected smartphone review
a fantastic review of smartphones, by an unexpectedly tech savvy stephen fry. with his usual amazing wit and wisdom
READ HIS BOOKS, please:)
-- [By: timelady / 2007-10-02]
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A bit of warning: Mr. Fry is not familiar with the concept of 'brevity'. -MeanDean
That may in fact be so, my dear Meandean, but despite this he has the quintessentially English ability to expound at some length and in considerable depth of detail about his chosen subject without committing the cardinal sin of becoming unnecessarily circumlocutory, or indeed loquatious, don't you think? -Gromit
The pleonastic Mr Fry is mostly right and strikes a chord with me. I always want the next greatest thing - and I can't have it because I don't have as much money as him. -Gerund
(**BRRRRZT!**) That was obviously deviation!</'Just A Minute'> -ShujinTribble
Gromit: I'm afraid I disagree with you on this one. Mr Fry is most definitely loquacious and circumlocutory but fails to commit the cardinal sin - he uses both techniques to illustrate his points rather than avoid them by befuddling the reader. Add to that his rather dry sense of humour and it most assuerdly works! Thank you timelady, I think, I may check back on that site semi-regularly now. -Loon
"One Electronic Object To Rule Them All." Excelsior! -TieDyedDinosaur
TDD: Try the alternative version: Uppards http://ingeb.org/songs/twereget.html. Done that one alongside Excelsior and simply switching verses - glorious! -Loon
The Sandwich Mafia
Some of you might remember the Far Side cartoon with the caption "The
Sandwich Mafia sends Luigi to sleep with the fourth-graders" and the picture is
these two sandwiches dropping another one into a cafeteria full of little
kids... Yesterday I had my own encounter with the Snack Food Cosa-Nostra...
I was driving down the road, following a white pickup truck. Suddenly
something flew out of the bed of the truck, heading towards my windshield!
Thinking that it must be a stone I attempted to swerve and slow down, but to no
avail - the item impacted. Only it was no stone, but a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich! The sandwich split up in flight and one half stuck to the windshield,
held on by the peanut butter and jelly mixture. Then it slowly slid up and over
/ 2007-10-02 ]
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Oh, to be a Deliverator... -Seamus
Percolator? No, Pizzalator!! </ad takeoff> -MadJack
We had traffic stopped for hours on one of our busiest roads yesterday while firies were cleaning up a hazardous spill.....of curry powder! -karlata
We've been JAMMED!! </Spaceballs> -MacDaddy
Karlata - don't sniff that stuff, or you'll end up in a deep Korma! -lineswine
LS, that was a BHAT joke. -halfstarfish
Traffic was backed up? I thought the running joke was that curry made you... well.. GO! -ShujinTribble
ST - that's Hurry Curry. -Gerund
Gerund: Any relation to Harry Carry? -CyBear
Harry Carry didn't Hara-Kiri -ShujinTribble
damn you! It's not good to make me laugh when I am on conference calls! -DreadPirate
Only *one* man would *dare* give me the Raspberry! </continue MacDaddy's line of thinking> -missourimule
Just goes to show, even at highway speeds, it lands spread side down. -Belunar
(Looks at DreadPirate) Did *I* do thaaaaaat? -ShujinTribble
LS, I'm surprised the Pun Police didn't give you a Tikka for that one! -Frazzled
mmule, FYI, releasing the lion is the best defense against the raspberry stalker. -JTSBrown
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