azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Today was just a kind of great day all around.


I got some lovely quality time with someone important, and acted as an inadvertent muse for some writing. :)


It turns out that someone I have long been acquainted with via the internet is now local, and we met up for hot chocolate and gossip at Borderlands. I look forward to many more beverages-gossip-and-writing meetups as long as we remain local!

It turns out that when I'm forced to choose between Foreigner and Rosemary and Rue, I will go with Bren. They're for different things, with me, and the application here felt more like that one.


TMI )


There was dinner with a friend who was in from out of town. Purple had offered that he might be available, but teased me that he didn't *have* to be available, if it was that kind of dinner.

It was the kind of dinner where things that had previously been hinted at were made somewhat less oblique. It was also the kind of dinner where my phone decided to malfunction by turning itself off repeatedly, in a way that made me despair for its actual lifespan. Fortunately, applying power made it behave itself better. (Even though the battery was showing 30-something percent.)

It took us a while to actually successfully wish each other goodnight, as additional topics of discussion kept occurring. But I was home at a sensible hour, and gave Dawn the promised update. (My primary partner got first update.)

And tomorrow will be General Togetherness! Should be fun.
azurelunatic: An RSS feed symbol, fingerpainted on concrete in blood. (zombies)
It's very apparent that Kingsman, in the finest tradition of the super-technospy-thriller genre, is stuffed full of tomorrow-and-several-weeks-later technology. The bad guy wears what looks like a full-on Google Glass; everybody else with super spy glasses is a leeetle more subtle.

And my favorite part:
spoiler for bad guy tech )
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
Yesterday I was finally able to replace my failing fitbit Clippy. Clippy was suffering from the basic design defects of the Ultra series (the plastic was not flexible enough to deal with the hinge being bent, so plastic was chipping off the hinge, and the black layer was coming loose from the blue layer, and little bumpy shards of blue plastic rained out every time the two halves separated), but also had the screen crack (I mean WTF, a fitbit's screen is not supposed to crack) and had ceased to charge at home despite reinstalling all the things. (It still charged at work though, but it wouldn't sync at work because firewall on steroids. So I was carting the adapter between home and work every few days the last few weeks.) I've come to rely on the data that Clippy feeds me enough that I become anxious at the thought of not having it, and since it's had a measurable good effect on my general stamina and well-being, I felt it worth replacing.

Despite the design flaws, I would have been happy with another Ultra, but the series was discontinued, and all of the places still carrying it had jacked up their prices to well above the prices of the current line.

The current line of Fitbits are Zip, One, and Flex.

My needs in a tracker, and my self-guided rehabilitation process, featuring the Fitbit. )

Unfortunately, Fitbit is not designed with the needs of people who need to limit their step count in mind. It is designed for people who need motivation to reach their goal step count, and who will be able to limit themselves from harmfully overstepping it after they reach it, without being warned or prompted. If the Flex showed me the time, and then allowed me to set green/amber/red levels for after I've reached my goal, I could probably use it. It doesn't, so I can't.

That left me with the One.

I was nervous about the One because it's described as having a silicone holder, and the pictures show a thin clip on the back of a flexible silicone basket that cradles the tracker.

Upon actually examining the thing, I was less nervous. Details on the actual One which other reviews have sort of ignored. )
azurelunatic: "Where's the goddamn NERF BAT when you *really* need it?" Animated cartoon tech support loses her cool.  (headset)
On Friday night, I experienced the power and the glory of having my satnav directions whispered directly into my ear via headset for the first time.

As I was executing a particularly complicated series of turns to get myself from Fort Mason back down the coast in a generally Pacifica-ward direction, I realized that the confident, calm directions that I was blithely following were being whispered into my left ear, as that's my good phone ear.

I contemplated that perhaps, once I was home, I should consider swapping my headset over to the angel side.
azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
Didn't find this on the internet when searching. Did find someone on Yahoo Answers asking for it. Figured I might as well type it up (and clarify a few things) for public service.

I don't recommend this headset for users who cannot see the lights flashing, because the on and off tone for this headset is the same, thus it is hard to know which it is, until you get a call, or don't. [This entry has been edited with insights from a week of owning the thing. I say "a week", because after the second time it interrupted a perfectly good phone call of less than an hour by beeping low-battery at me (coincidentally, the second day with a conversation of more than five minutes) I returned it.]

Read more... )
Tags:
azurelunatic: Computer with a wind-up key captioned "Which version of STUPID are you running?" (tech support)
So they can detect angry callers now. Therefore, some people's workplaces are thinking about using this to route audibly angry callers to upper tiers or supervisors. This struck them (and me) as a bad plan.

Yes, from a management perspective, it is really great to have angry people being handled by the people who are screened to deal with them and have the most latitude to either help them or tell them to go jump in a lake (with sharks with lasers).

From a tech/customer service perspective, there's already enough urban legend with an element of truth floating around about voice telephone mazes and how saying certain things and sounding angry and mean on the phone is possibly going to get you through to a human faster. It's great to help genuinely upset people, but encouraging abusive customers is going to get techs so mad so fast.

I had a few ideas about how it could be used without falling into the old "The Jackass Is Always Right" trap:

Flag the call when it comes in, to alert the poor tech who's going to deal with it that there's a cranky one on the line and to brace for it. But some techs like to play with pissed-off customers. Their supervisor should know, to make sure that the tech isn't playing, and whoever's monitoring the calls, particularly if they do real-time monitoring.

A pissed-off customer is likely to genuinely need a supervisor anyway, so it's good to alert the supervisors that they too may have incoming, so they can check on what's going on with that customer and not have to spend post-"I want to talk to your supervisor" time doing research. Even if the customer doesn't need a live supervisor on the line, the tech may need a hand in general.

If I were supervising, I'd occasionally like the ability to sort my agents by their soft skills, and route the angriest customers at techs who could handle it better for whatever reason (more tact, the ability to tell actual jerks where to get off but handle righteous anger, a disinclination to cave) but who were the same Official Tier as the rest -- but I wouldn't want to leave an agent in that queue for long, ow.

It's also wise to not have your phone system do things to further piss them off, even if you can't or shouldn't route them to a supervisor to start with, or get them to a human faster.
  • Turn off advertisements in their hold soundtrack. If I am mad and getting madder, I do not need to be enjoined to buy something from this company. I don't know what the stats are on people coming through and buying things they heard about while steaming at the ears, but I would imagine I would be less receptive, and in the short term, it is likely to make me more angry, and more likely to start talking back to the advertisement.
  • Switch from telling them how important their call is (likely to come off as artificial and not actual caring when you're mad) and give a factual message (ideally recorded by a human and not a soothing robot) about calls being answered in the order they're received.
  • Even before figuring out whether they're cranky, give them a choice about hold music (off or on).
  • Telling me that I can do X on the website, when I have found myself unable to do X on the website, is another thing guaranteed to get me from irritable to boiling in about fifteen seconds flat.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
There was some question of my sanity early Sunday morning. The roommate therefore is polling my sanity. I cannot vouch for how sane other people think I am.

I was supposed to have gone to work today to get together with Snarky Lady. She was going to touch base with me on the damn database project. The end is in sight, I think. However, Grandma Cinderella told me that unfortunately she was out sick. So I poked a little bit more at what I could do, then submitted my timesheet and left. (I was about at the regular work week length of time already; there was overtime authorized for phone goons so we could get away with coming in extra too.)

On my way out, one of the random co-workers (the guy with the Hawaiian shirts who got that abused kid on the survey and we called in the Guru to retrieve the phone number because in his utter state of shock he'd neglected to write it down) asked me if Snarky Lady was going to be in. I told him she was out. He asked me if I could contact her to tell her that $DUDE had been shot in the stomach three times and was at $HOSPITAL, because he knew that she was kindly disposed toward the guy. (Yikes!)

I wound up at AZ Mills mall, given that Darkside was out with some friends when I called before work this afternoon. I wandered around, talked to Dawn, talked to [livejournal.com profile] amberfox (that was on headset while en route, and featured things like the badly-placed stoppage to traffic from some random cop), and wound up poking through both music and rocks. I now have my OK Go fix, and Vash now has a supplemental string of undyed howlite looped around the rearview mirror, and a full elemental-color set of different semiprecious stones stowed in the bin.

I still had time to waste before picking up the roommate. Darkside wasn't back yet. Fry's Electronics had just closed. I got dinner, then washed up at Target. I went in desiring to obtain a PS/2 keyboard for the Bigass Old Gateway and its ilk, and to blow an hour or so before heading over to the airport on the surface streets with the window down and the stereo cranked.

I came out with, well... Technology. )

I'd likely get a debugger error, incidentally. I realized after I was done that I had left something out from the example I'd been copying. It's been on my mental list of "things I want" in the "and a pony" category, but then I noticed that a) they're no longer pony-priced, and b) this upcoming month is one of the odd-months-out for insurance.
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
[livejournal.com profile] amberfox has a guide on how to make money in World of Warcraft. This led me, in a roundabout fashion, to the idea that someday, the now-familiar MMORPG interface may be work.

Currently, a lot of dirty, sweaty, nasty, but exacting work is done by real live human beings, because there's rather a lot that needs a human brain at the helm to know exactly what needs to be done. For almost anything that requires comprehension and decision-making, a human is a lot better than almost any form of automation. A human is really good at recognizing a broad variety of situations and reacting appropriately, or notifying someone in charge if there's something that they need help dealing with.

Robots are getting better and better at fitting in places, doing things, and being flexible. Bandwidth is getting cheap enough that video chat is all over the place, but the real kicker that bandwidth is cheap is vidding, and the overnight explosion of places like YouTube.

I suddenly flashed to Ender's Game, where children fight a war by remote control, under the impression that they are playing a tactical game. Then I thought about things like the Roomba. How much different would it be to create an MMORPG for things like picking up litter? You could have a small army of robots (once robots are cheap like those $20 cellphones you see at Target now) all hardwired to play the game, and there are people logging in and competing to see who can pick up and get rid of the most cigarette butts. Kids could do it. People with limited mobility who can use a computer could do it.

As gas prices go up, there may even be a rise in an enhanced form of telecommuting, video-conferencing with a twist: waldo-commuting. If the only reason you need to be physically in the workplace is because you have some physical things there that you need to refer to on any given day, and you've got your laptop, got access to the work network, and you have an audio-video-motion (grasp and transport and move around inside the office) robot available, why go in at all? Perhaps to stay motivated/on task, but perhaps you can do that better at home.

I can honestly see a day where the sign of status is that you do go in to the office every day to work, rather than staying at home with your own machine and operate a robot remotely.
azurelunatic: Vivid pink wild rose.  (wild rose)

  • Mormons are not supposed to gamble.

  • The Figment is known as "Dilbert" to the rest of the bullpen staff.

  • Current plan of eating stuff is the "two meals a day" version, because I learned my lesson with previous restrictive attempts at diet planning that did not allow for "OMG HUNGRY" and the whole dizzy/weak/braingoboom thing, which leads to uncontrolled diet-breaking and then feeling lousy. Allowing for OMG HUNGRY and random snacking on stuff (carrots are a primo snack food, actually) it'll round out to three-ish actual meals a day. Breakfast is sorta mandatory.

  • Airzooka. Bright pink airzooka. ♥ my aunt. Date of planned roll-out: April 01. This will coincide with the new crap going down. Not a coincidence.

  • Am in on Wednesday for client call. Pizza afterward supplied by client. Is not a break; is a Business Lunch, and therefore is charged as Meeting time. (Yes. I'm going in on my day off to get paid to eat their pizza. And do surveys, but hey. Client call. Score.)

  • Supervisor uptraining. Running jobs and stuff. Stressy College Chick asked to see if I could be on the $OTHER_SIDE_JOB team. I firmly declined.

  • The fellow whose name reminds me of the band "7 Seconds of Love" is going to be a supervisor. Ph34r. (I actually don't know him, but since he hasn't come to my negative attention on the phones, I'm all for it.)

  • Wrist-strap flash drive: I want one.

  • Flash Disc: Inexpensive enough so that you can give one to your mom, and they're big enough so she might not lose it.

  • Sad: Cryogenics would-be survivors partially thawed through hardware failure, and reluctantly laid to rest.

  • I am on a romantic high from the progress of two separate-but-related relationships: the way Naomi is courting Darkside, and the stuff that's progressing between the (fictional) Mike and Colleen.

azurelunatic: Cordless phone showing a heart.  (phone)
I need retrospective image capture technology. Glasses that store about 30 seconds of high-resolution video to grab.
azurelunatic: Teddybear that contains ethernet switch.  (teddyborg)
I woke up early to transplant Tigereye's hard drive into the spare identical laptop case from [livejournal.com profile] figment0. (I'm not yet secure enough in my geek to transplant a hard drive into a different laptop case when I don't know what drivers it needs or anything.) There was much cussing as I discovered that the screw holding the hard drive in was impossible to unscrew. I unscrewed a lot of other things, but that didn't work to pry the hard drive free. (There was no actual prying per se, just conceptual.)

Finally, by dint of the sort of focus that martial artists and practitioners of magic need to have, I managed to ease the screw loose, bit by bit. Turned out that some asshat had secured it with a dab of some form of screw glue. I cussed up a storm and put the hard drive in the clone body.

I did not plug the thing into wall current, thinking (probably wisely) that I should try it just on battery power lest something be wrong. (In retrospect, I should have tried it first with battery without HD, then with.) There was a massive failure to boot. I growled, glowered, and began the (much easier) process of putting everything back where I found it. V called just as I was finishing up screwing, and I told her the bad news.

She came over to pick the thing up and to get a few more things done while I was still around. It was finally time to go. I unplugged my spare green cat-5 cable from her new NIC, and something about the end of it caught my eye. "Hey, this thing has holes in it!" I discovered.

I looked closer. Yep, dozens of tiny little puncture marks. The sort not made by any machine. I started laughing and showed it to V.

"Looks like you've got about four cats left on that thing," she told me.

If [livejournal.com profile] eris_raven and I were still living together, that impertinent little fluff would get a severe glaring-at, and perhaps a bath. ([livejournal.com profile] shammash categorically does not chew cords or step on keyboards, because of bellow-induced trauma when he tried this as a kitten. Miss Raven was never so trained.)

...

19/7/05 23:38
azurelunatic: Log book entry from Adm. Hopper's command: "Relay #70 Panel F (moth) in relay. First actual case of bug being found" (bug)
What the bloody buggering fuckweasel was that? I poke at the new wireless doohicky, and nothing happens. Then I install the wired NIC and plug that in. I have connectivity.

Then I take a good solid look and realize that the LAN connection with the activity is not the wired one, but the fucking wireless.

I disable the wired NIC.

Connection up and going strong.

What. The. Fuck. ?!?!?!?

Next step: plugging the NIC that V got from a friend (for free) back in and playing about with it to see if it'll cooperate too now that the D-Link wireless is working.

I don't know how that conspired to make it do something, but ... holy fuck. Wholly fucked. Sheesh.

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