terriko: (Default)
A friend posted a screenshot of this impressive webkit issue:

12717998_10208687820094489_6961418503102908676_n

Which of course, inspired me to write this:

"Really, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to present the Yellow Sign in court. It was something of a miracle that more people hadn't tried to enter it into the public record. Still, she'd apparently gotten complacent about it in her old age. As voting expert Persily pulled out his maps, she didn't notice the sign tucked into the corner of the document until his voice started to change. Thankfully, while youth and speed had long since passed her by, age and cunning held well in their stead, and the glasses she'd had enchanted did their job leaving her mind clear despite the exposure to the symbol. She waited a moment as he continued the incanatation overlaid in some statement about voting in Texas, then began her own counter-charm. Justice Ginsberg wasn't about to let some cultist stand in the way of government accountability, not this day."

And to think I was just thinking, the other day, that it was a shame that I didn't write as much fiction as I used to. I'm not even sure how I feel about this now. ;)

WAT

Jul. 14th, 2014 04:00 pm
terriko: (Default)
I can't tell if this is a real message or some sort of spam trolling...


Hello Ms.Terri

My name is $NAME,

i just start to learn linux and i visit ur website http://terri.toybox.ca/me/resume/

could please help me to learn and improve myself about sysadmin

Thank you

$DIFFERENT_NAME


What's up at that url is a modern, fairly recent version of my resume, one that includes no mention whatsoever of my sordid sysadmin past. I guess I mention Linux in there, but that's about it.

Also, if you read my resume and still address me as Ms. instead of Dr., you get an automatic -10 points. Just saying.

I'm probably just jetlagged and tired and cranky, but I don't think I'll bother answering that one. What would I have to say, anyhow? "Run now, sysadminning is rapidly becoming the unpleasant janitorial work of the tech world?"
terriko: (Pi)
So, I was catching up on the news from home when I saw this article on the 10 worst household products for greenwashing. As it happens, I know something about #1 here, because the landlords arranged to have a similar product used around our house and we were curious. Here's what marketplace says:


1. Raid EarthBlends Multi-bug Killer

With an insecticide derived from the chrysanthemum flower, Raid EarthBlends Multi-bug Killer touts itself as an alternative insect control solution. Despite its naturally derived component, the label warns users to avoid contact with skin and clothes, and not to inhale the mist when spraying it.

"A lot of things in nature are actually dangerous and toxic," said Vasil. "Not all natural things are good for you. And this is a perfect example."

The product states it can be used for bed bugs, despite that in many parts of Canada, homeowners are banned from using such pesticides on their lawns. "Banned from your backyard, but OK for your bed?" questioned Vasil.

In a statement, the maker, SC Johnson, said it is "committed to using sustainable ingredients in our products" and the products are "safe and effective when used as directed."


"Banned from your backyard, but OK for your bed?" DOOOOOOOOM.

If the CBC marketplace folk had done their research, they could have *easily* found out that the active ingredient here is, as promised, not known to be dangerous to mammals. It is an insecticide, so obviously it's bad for insects. But why can't it be used outside? It's also very bad for aquatic life, so the concern is that if used outside, it will get washed away in rain and end up in our waterways. This would be a Bad Thing. And that's why you're not allowed to use it in your backyard.

But unless you're Aquaman, or plan to bring your goldfish to bed, it is indeed pretty safe to use on bedding.

One website I found noted that after being fed high doses of pyrethrums for 2 years, rats were mostly fine with some minor liver damage (as one might expect for many intentional overdoses of anything). When forced to inhale the stuff for 30 minutes a day, there was some very minor lung irritation. Basically, don't try to kill yourself with it and you'll probably be fine. Heck, even if you try to kill yourself with it you'll probably be mostly fine.

This whole "banned from your backyard/ok for bed" doom and gloom implication is utterly misleading and uninformed. And this ignorance is really embarrassing: I found most of my information about Pyrethrums (the class of chemicals involved) using a couple of google searches and then confirmed with my sister who happens to be an expert in the field, but she pointed out that I can get all the same information via Health Canada's website. These should be very easy for the CBC Marketplace research team to find and read.

I don't know anything about the other products being discussed, but I'd take what they say with a pretty healthy dose of skepticism.
terriko: Evil Soup (evil soup)
Got some Quality Spam today:

This is a compound that is used to increase nitric oxide release. As a matter of fact, gamers playing bowling games actually have to go as far as to run and go into a bowling stance before the release as a method of providing a more realistic experience. Would you like a way to build a back-end stream of revenue so you can have positive cash flow come the first of every month?


The folk on IRC with me earlier agreed that bowling on nitrous would probably make the game more funny. But will it provide more revenue?
terriko: I am a serious academic (Twlight Sparkle looking confused) (Serious Academic)
I had a not so great experience with a customer service rep on one of those live-chat things today, so I sent in a complaint after suffering through statements like "when u log in with yr used id and password what does it comes?"

I got a response back, which was nice, but it included a variant on "she's a great rep but English isn't her first language"

And while they don't really try to claim it's an excuse, it got me thinking... is our collective distaste for outsourced customer service and non-native speakers part of some internalized racism?

It's got a some of the hallmarks, but I don't really think it's the core issue. The core issue is communication and failure thereof. If I'd gotten that sentence above from a native speaker (and believe me, I've seen worse chatting with folk in games) I'd still have made my complaint that she didn't seem very professional with her tendency to abbreviate words that were already three or four letters long. It still would have been a problem that despite me telling her explicitly 3 times that I was not a student, she was still telling me to click on a "student" tab that doesn't appear in my interface and thus couldn't help me with that part of the question.

So then the question is, why tell me that she's a non-native speaker? Are you just trying to make me feel guilty about complaining about her? She still did a poor job today; it doesn't really matter to me if she's normally better at it or if it's harder for her than it would be for me. I just wanted to report that so that she could be helped with her listening and writing skills, as well as her knowledge about the differing interfaces to the system.

I'm used to making allowances for poor language skills (native and non-native speakers alike) within the university system, but when communication is the job she's being paid to do, I think it's fair for me to complain when her language skills are not at the level I expect.

In conclusion, it's always good to examine internal racism, but making a complaint about poor customer service seems fair regardless.

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