The whole Gonads series she's talking about was pretty interesting (that's code for "mindblowing"). Find it in your favourite podcast player or at radiolab.org; six 40ish minute episodes starting from June 15th 2018.
10 posts • joined 20 May 2019
Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected
I'm battling this exact thing today. I've ordered a pair of shoes online that are apparently being shipped directly from the manufacturer. I'm in Sweden, and whilst you can say many things about the postal carrier in this country, their tracking app is usually pretty damn good. Usually being the operative word.
Since yesterday, my delivery was listed as being in Denmark; well, OK; that's fine. This morning I get an email saying "Hey, your delivery from Reebok is on its way - click this link to select when you want it delivered!". I click, and get their tracking website, spinny-wheel, preloaded page that says "Tracking your package from Reebok...", screen goes blank and then just "Tracking your package INCORRECT PACKAGE OR TRACKING NUMBER Try Again". Trying again yields the same result, so I try calling the helpline number they included in the email.
After hopping through the IVR menu to find the package tracking section, the kind albeit slightly mechanical lady tells me "I have, based on your phone number found a package for you, last digits of tracking number is 1234 - if this is correct, press one; if not, press two". I obviously press 2 since that was nowhere near my number; she proceeds to ask me to key in my ACTUAL tracking number, and as I'm well-behaved I do so. She then proceeds me to say "We've sent you a text message, please hang up this call and continue the conversation via the link we sent you." Umm, thanks?
So I get the text, click the link and someone in a chat window asks me "How can we help you with this package?". I stupidly enough type a courteous, longish, well-reasoned and witty explanation of my problem and I get the response "It looks like we haven't sent you a notice to pick this package up yet.". "Well, you sent me an email saying I should pick a delivery date?" "It looks like we haven't sent you a notice to pick this package up yet." OK, so you're a chatbot; gotcha. "You did, at 9:42 today." "Here are some questions you can ask, please choose one: What is my nearest pickup point?" *close window*
Now there's a notice in the app that they're experiencing issues with their tracking system. The tracking website is just a spinning wheel. Friday the 13th, anyone?
Not thirty seconds after I posted this, my phone notifies me that I can now schedule the pickup, and it now works. Is this a case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease. or are they just watching me...?
How four rotten packets broke CenturyLink's network for 37 hours, knackering 911 calls, VoIP, broadband
Re: How to fix?
Part of the problem with this particular situation is that these broadcasts were regenerated at each hop, it wasn't simply a case of rebooting the devices one by one. All the devices not currently being rebooted would still be busy happily regenerating the broadcasts and sending them to all their neighbours - including those devices that had already been rebooted...
The only solution here - if the CLI or other management tools aren't able to access devices to add filters on the fly (if it's even possible on this equipment type) - would be to take down ALL THE DEVICES that take part in the broadcast mayhem AT THE SAME TIME to ensure that the bad packets are gone.
It will never be safe to turn off your computer: Prankster harnesses the power of Windows 95 to torment fellow students
Early versions of MS SharePoint (15 years ago or so?) had an error page to which you could send any text you wanted in the URL - something like http://.../error.aspx?errmsg=Please+insert+credit+card+to+continue or similar. (You could probably obfuscate the URL with ASCII entities or something, but back in those days people didn't read the URLs they clicked to the same extent as today.)
It was good fun to send people links saying "You won't believe what $female_colleague did Friday night!" and have the error message saying "Your request has been reported to HR".
Re: I'm boring
When moving desks once, I took a photo of my new desk with all the cables arranged properly and even the monitor stand without the actual screen in place and used that as my desktop wallpaper. It worked out very well as an optical illusion.
I eventually had to stop using it because I kept talking to a colleague who was accidentally caught in that photo at his desk behind mine even when he wasn't there.