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Michael Vaughan
Attends Deakin University
Lived in Mackay, Queensland
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Michael Vaughan

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Best headline of the day.
Slashdot reader Rei writes: NASA -- having already populated the Red Planet with robots and armed a car-sized nuclear juggernaut with a laser -- have now decided to grant fire control of that laser over to a new AI system operating on the rover itself. Intended to increase the scientific data-gath...
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Michael Vaughan

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8,400 newly released photos from the Apollo program!  "You think we faked this?  Fuck it!  Have it all!"
Explore · Recent Photos · TrendingNew · Flickr VR · The Commons · Galleries · World Map · App Garden · Camera Finder · The Weekly Flickr · Flickr Blog · Create · Upload · Sign In · Sign Up · Explore · Recent Photos · TrendingNew · The Commons · Galleries · The Weekly Flickr · Flickr Blog.
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Exactly, +Lordy​. That's the best circumstantial proof. 😀
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Michael Vaughan

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I like head mounted displays, but I think there's a clear design flaw, here...
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Michael Vaughan

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Yes, I filmed the wind rippling a puddle. What of it?
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Bryce Miller's profile photoPaul Hodson's profile photoMichael Vaughan's profile photoStephanie Heinemann's profile photo
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Yay! I can claim to have rubbed off on you!

It is actually really cool. o.0
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Michael Vaughan

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In the interests of applying what little Chinese I know, and furthering my education independently, does anyone have any recommendations for text-heavy games (like RPGs) written in Chinese?  Something like an early Final Fantasy title would be good.  I don't want my reading to be under time-pressure.  I'm going to encounter a lot of text I don't recognise, and I'll be looking it up in a dictionary constantly.
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Michael Vaughan

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I think I need to buy leg warmers for my arms, so I can use my laptop in bed on cold mornings...
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Michael Vaughan

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Saw this label on my bag. "If swallowed, seek medical advice". If what is swallowed? The whole bag?
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jesse s
 
Ha! The brand is called "fib"?!
Says it all really.... lol
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Michael Vaughan

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Dragon Ball Z:  The only two languages in the universe are English and Namekian.
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But only if the fridge runs, and changes the system.  If the fridge doesn't run, it's warm beer for everyone!
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Michael Vaughan

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I'm going to address every point in this article.  Having worked menial retail jobs, my knowledge is applicable to most of these.

22.  Staff hovering about when you're "just looking"
First, nobody is "just looking", according to retail statistics.  Even you.  You didn't haul your ass out of bed to go into a physical store in the age of online shopping, just so you can say you're "just looking".  Staff appearing to hover is just bad form, but every time you say you're "just looking", and staff seem to leave you alone, they're there, watching you, waiting for the moment you admit you're a babe in the woods, completely lost.  Additionally, even if you're shopping in a store that matches your interests and expertise, you don't know that store's full stock line, you don't know about any bundle deals, and you might have overlooked a lesser known product.  Sales staff aren't there to suck your money out of you in one hit (though some see it that way), they're there to make sure you come back again, and again, for the right reasons (i.e. you come back because the staff are helpful, knowledgeable, and help you get what you need, and not always what you've asked for)

21.  You look dumb, let me sell you some crap you don't need!
Like I said in 22, very few sales staff will actively prey on you, because it's bad for repeat business.  It might help their sales figure that day, but it will murder it for the foreseeable future.  You don't oversell the customer, because if the customer feels like they bought more than they needed, they won't trust you enough to come back.

20.  Lots of artists don't have jobs...
Good art does not make good web design.  There is some serious human interface design that goes into a good web page, which so many arts-focused web designers are entirely ignorant of.  I could make a better, more functional and informative web site in plain text HTML than your average script kiddie with his pirated copy of Dreamweaver could.

19.  Receipt checkers.  Customers are not thieves
No, they aren't.  Thieves are thieves.  A very common tactic for shoplifting is to buy something moderately priced, while you steal something else.  Sometimes this is done solo, other times it's done in pairs, or groups of four, so the one doing the stealing is less noticeable.  Shoplifting is huge, and stores need to appear to engage in loss prevention.  That guy at JB Hi-Fi checking your receipt and your bag?  He's less there to catch people, and more as a deterrent, making it appear harder to steal.  It's also another reason staff hover around when you say you're "just looking", because thieves are often "just looking".  They try to go unnoticed, and slip out the door at the same time as someone else.  That's something a guy at the door can prevent.

18.  Subscriptions
If you don't realise your subscription service is a subscription, you deserve to lose the money.  It's not a hard concept.

17.  Who let the couple with the baby in?
This one is fair, only because the image depicts an R rated movie, but if you go to the cinema, you have to accept that some people are going to be cunts, and not turn off their phones or their vermin children.  It's just another price we pay to legally consume media, instead of pirating it.

16.  The item you ordered is out of stock
That's just bad stock-keeping.  It happens, when the stocktake is off by one or two units.  Refunds are a serious pain in the ass, banks and payment processors drag their feet, and company accounting departments scrutinise every refund to make sure someone isn't secretly exploiting the refund system to embezzle money.  Suck it up, princess.

15.  Paying a bill requires ID
I used to work for a telco, and we checked ID on people who wanted to pay bills, if they didn't have the bill on them.  We had to be absolutely certain the payment was going to the account the customer intended, not the one they told us.  On several occasions, I prevented bill payments over $100 going to the wrong account, just by checking someone's ID, and querying them further.  It's called "covering your ass", when you're a minimum wage employee, because if a customer fucks up, and pays the wrong bill, YOU lose your job.

14.  Supermarkets open less than five checkout lanes
You like cheap groceries, right?  At Australian minimum wage, $18.50/hour, five checkout lanes, open for an hour, costs $92.50.  A minimum shift length for any employee is four hours, so, to have the staff around to do that, that's $370 out of the day.  To open the other fifteen lanes, and to have the staff just hanging around for four hours to do that, would cost an additional $1,110 per day for the supermarket.  What would you like to pay more for, to save yourself ten minutes in the line?  How about you just shop at some time other than peak hour?

13.  Restaurants not telling you how dishes are prepared
It's usually in the name of the dish, you uncultured swine!  Google it.  You want a nice, easy to read, minimalist menu?  You're the culture that can't read anything more than five words plastered on an image.  You probably haven't even read this far!

12.  Data caps are stupid in this day and age
For cellular data, they do make sense, still, as a deterrent to over-using the network.  Granted, if the networks were built to handle demand properly, this would not be an issue.  I will say that data caps are too low, particularly for what we pay, but given that the vast majority of mobile users basically only use it for facebook and email, the telcos aren't about to upgrade service quality to appease five percent of users.  It's the fault of consumers for not putting pressure on the networks.

11.  Employees too busy on a personal call
Any employee taking a personal call in a customer accessible area should be fired.  In my entire working life, I've only taken three personal calls, during work hours, two of them from my bank, about fraudulent transactions on my credit card, and I didn't take them anywhere customers could see.  Customers, however, will take up the space at the counter, chatting away on their phones, and then look all indignant when you start serving the customer behind them.  If you've ever been on your phone, keeping shop staff waiting, you deserve a kick in the face.

10.  Fast food places that have tip lines
This is entirely a product of America's $4/hour wage for waitstaff.  Tipping is almost an entirely alien concept for Australians, because our waitstaff are paid just enough to be poor, not destitute.  You want to see tipping go away, pay your waitstaff.

9.  Is there such a thing as a consistent clothing size?
Yes, there is, it's called precise measurements.  However, just like no two size 12 dresses are equal, no two size twelve women are shaped equally.  Women's clothing sizes are imprecise, so clothing lines can only be internally consistent, because you meatsacks sure as hell aren't consistently shaped.  In men's clothes, depending on the brand, I take anything from a small to a large.  Two of my shirts are XLs, that are the same size as Ms I own.  It's not a big deal, just eyeball it when you buy it.

8.  Interactive Voice Recordings
As long as you use them correctly, you get to the department you need.  Some companies are nefarious about this, by understaffing their support services, but overstaffing their sales, but that's not the problem, here.  An interactive voice recording saves money because you don't need a team of operators dedicated to routing your calls.  You like cheap stuff, right?  How much do operators cost?

7.  No prices in jewelers
That's what sales staff are for.  Price tags look tacky and take away from the display, when you're dealing with jewelry.  If you're in the market for buying shiny rocks, it's not going to be cheap, anyway.  Ask the staff, they're there to help.

6.  Anti-piracy messages on DVDs
While ignorance is no defense in a court of law, there can be a degree of mitigating plausible deniability.  These messages are plastered all over DVDs so anyone who produces copies of them cannot reasonably claim they weren't aware of the copyright status of the work they're copying.  The messages don't work, though, and they're just another cost of legally consuming media, that pirates don't have to see.

5.  Facebook changing your settings to their bullshit "relevance" model
Nobody said you have to use Facebook.  If you don't like it, complain to them.  If they don't listen, don't use it.  Simple.

4.  Restaurants up-selling
If you ask for a medium, staff behind the counter might ask if you want to up-size that.  Sometimes it's cheaper than you think.  Usually, people do up-size, when asked.  Extra shot in your coffee?  You want a large coke, with that?  A cookie, for just a dollar more?  Standard up-selling.  You can always say "no".  Suck it up, Princess.

3.  Troubleshooting your wireless modem
Usually troubleshooting points you to a website, now.  Frankly, in this age, if you don't have four ways to get to a website on your person at any given time, what are you even doing?  It is perfectly reasonable, these days, to have troubleshooting instructions for your internet service online, because you probably have a smartphone on you.  It also provides an opportunity to funnel you to live chat support, which could isolate a fault that the troubleshooting doesn't cover, ultimately reducing burden on tech support phone lines.  Live chat staff can carry on more than one conversation at once; text is easy.  Phone staff are fully occupied with one client.

2.  Self serve checkout errors
I have literally never had a problem with a self serve that has required a staff member to clear.  You scan the item, you put it in the bagging area.  Don't change the weight in the bagging area, unexpectedly, and you'll have no problem.  Self serves are the answer to the "only five checkout lanes open" problem from before.  Embrace them, learn to deal with them.  They're machines, tools, glorified calculators, not sentient, malevolent robots.

1.  Crackly drivethrough speakers
Some of these systems haven't been upgraded since before Bill Clinton's oval office blowjob, and even if they had been, systems like these are built to a predefined standard.  Standards usually don't change for decades.  It makes parts easily available and replaceable, it means there's no weird funky setup at one store that's unique to that store, and technicians always know what they're getting into.  On the cusp of automation taking over fast food, why would McDonald's and the like sink literally millions of dollars into upgrading every drivethrough in the world?  The entire talking aspect of the drivethrough could be replaced with a phone app!  Or a touch screen in reach of the driver's side window!  I give the spoken drivethrough experience six more years before you start seeing it disappear.



Ultimately, all of the gripes in this article are funny, but only if you have absolutely no idea about the background of each gripe.  It's like the whole "NASA spent millions designing a pen that could be used in space, while Russia sent their cosmonauts up with pencils".  Sounds like a great smartass story, until you realise that fine graphite and wood particles, in an oxygen rich, contained environment, with cold-war wiring standards, is a ridiculous fire risk.  People who don't think these things through can laugh it up at how clever they are, while the rest of us just sneer in contempt.
Welcome to the future, where we still deal with ancient B.S. while we catch Pokemon on our smartphones.
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I can't send you a Hangout message from your profile. Can you shoot me one and I'll tell you what I know? 
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Michael Vaughan

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Really, how easy would it be for Microsoft to make this true, regardless of fair results?  I wonder what would happen if Chrome or Firefox were to spoof their process names or IDs to look like Edge...  If you don't think this happens, you'd be wrong.  Intel's compiler adds flags to code that literally check for Intel processors, not capable processors, so, if you have two otherwise comparable processors, one from Intel, one from AMD, and you try to run, say, Crysis, the software won't provide the optimised code for certain instruction sets, even if the AMD processor supports it, because it's not an Intel processor.
A month after Microsoft claimed that its Edge web browser is more power efficient than Google Chrome and Firefox, the company is now warning Windows 10 users about the same. VentureBeat reports: Microsoft has turned on a new set of Windows Tips that warn Windows 10 users that Google Chrome or Mozill...
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Mackay, Queensland
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Return trip? My kerbals set up small colonies!
Introduction
Standard scrawny nerd type.
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I learned how to use computers back when they were actually difficult to use. Nowadays you have pretty pictures with labels on them.
Education
  • Deakin University
    2016 - present
  • Mackay North State High Schcool
    2001 - 2005
  • Central Queensland University
    Education, 2006 - 2006
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Had to explain the contents of my meal to them. The fillets clearly weren't fried. They weren't even the right colour. Got original when I asked for zinger.
Public - 2 months ago
reviewed 2 months ago
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