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Malcolm Bowes
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Outback sunset at Olympic Dam, South Australia
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Physics Catches Up With Philosophy

"With the Big Bang theory, modern scientists gave us a story about our universe’s birth. With special relativity and quantum mechanics, they elucidated the fundamental characteristics of that universe. With the multiverse and string theories, they’ve begun to pose hypotheses too massive to hang on even those frameworks. Equipped with particle accelerators to study the small stuff and enormous telescopes to study the big stuff, researchers are going back to the complicated basics, asking why and how the universe and all of its constituent parts, including humans, exists."

#physics #quantumphysics #philosophy #socrates


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This is a great competition for the international Android fans out there. The Galaxy S6 is a great phone if the many reviews are to be believed and the competition is open to those outside the US (a nice change).

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I hereby wholly, and without reservation, rescind my previous praise for Google's Play Store hardware support. After an initial positive experience, the level of customer service provided has since descended into unfunny buffoonery of the highest order.

Having had a problem with the charging cradle for my android wear watch (a known engineering shortcoming as it turns out), I called Google to arrange a replacement. Instead of simply supplying a replacement cradle (the simple option), they insisted that the watch, cradle and all other accessories be replaced (and that I had to have a hold/charge placed on my debit card from the time of replacement order until the faulty item was received back in their warehouse).

I received a replacement watch which did not work at all, so I called Google to suggest that I keep the good cradle and return the broken cradle along with the dead watch to them. They said if I did that I would likely end up paying for the faulty replacement watch and instructed me to return either the good watch with the broken cradle or the dead watch with the good cradle. Only then would they send yet another watch to (hopefully) resolve the situation.

So today, after I advised Google that my watch had been received at their warehouse, I received an email saying that I needed to order the replacement and that they would place yet another hold on my debit card!! Thankfully, in anticipation of just such a jerk-around, I had ordered a replacement cradle at my own cost so I have instructed Google to cancel my warranty claim, refund the charge for the returned dead watch on my card and say goodbye to any future play store hardware purchases from me!

A textbook example of inflexible, process driven, non-customer focussed "service". It shits me to say this, but Apple wouldn't do this to a customer (and there are very few occasions where I say that Apple is superior to Google these days).

Major kudos to google today! I had a problem with the watch I purchased from google play earlier this year and went in search of support (I googled Samsung gear live support and the page I needed was right there). The page requested the order number which, thanks to gmail, I was able to search and find in seconds.

I received a call in less than a minute from a rep who was extremely helpful and, after a couple of questions, he escalated my call to a specialist who arranged an advance replacement in about 2 minutes. The professionalism, courtesy and overall attitude displayed by both of the support people I spoke to was absolutely spot on and is an example that could benefit many companies if they followed it.

Overall, a really simple process that makes it very easy for me to recommend Google, not only for their services but also for hardware through their play store!

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Gold!
Today is a good day. I just had a call from a telemarketer. Did I yell and scream at them, you ask? Certainly not. Like a good IT administrator I put my skills to use for their benefit. Here's how the conversation went:

Computer: "Press 9 to not be contacted in the future. Press 4 to speak to someone about your mortgage issues"
<presses 4>
TM: "Hello, are you having problems paying your mortgage?"
Me: "Hi, this is the IT department. We intercepted your call as we detected a problem with you phone and need to fix it."
TM: "Oh... ok, well what do we need to do?"
Me: "We're going to need to fix the settings by pressing 4-6-8 and * at the same time"
TM: "Ok, nothing happened."
<alright, so he's not using a Polycom>
Me: "Are you using the new Polycom phones that we deployed?"
TM: "No, it's a Yealink"
Me: "Ok, I see. You haven't had the new Polycom phone deployed to your desk yet. Let me check our technical documentations for the Yealink."
<did a quick Google search, "yealink phone factory reset">
Me: "Alright, do you see an "OK" button on your phone?"
TM: "Yes I do"
Me: "Alright, you're going to press and hold that button for 10 seconds."
TM: "OK, pressing it now"
Me: "Perfect, let me know if you get a password request"
TM: "OK, nothing has popped up ye----"
<click>

That's right. I made a telemarketer unwittingly factory reset his phone which means he will be unable to make anymore calls until someone is able to reconfigure his phone and that will take at least an hour or longer if they can't do it right away!
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