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Member Since 05 Jun 2006
Offline Last Active Jul 09 2013 12:14 PM

Topics I've Started

The Wisdom of noreply and Commerce

08 June 2013 - 12:14 PM

I have long wondered why emails are sent by companies from noreply, with no custom reply field. The email typically warns you not to reply to this email but if you do want to contact them, them send an email to <this> place.

I have to strongly question the competence of anyone using this system. They have sent you an email, typically for a specific purpose, often including things like transaction ids. Your next step if you want to contact them is to either begin a whole new email chain, or fill out a form, enter into a ticket system or possibly even call them.

All of that could be avoided by filling the reply field with a transaction unique address. Or alternatively, they could use a common reply address and fill the subject line with a unique id.


Why do you think so many companies do this with electronic business?

Wal-Mart's new plan: Have customers deliver online orders

30 March 2013 - 06:33 PM

(Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc is considering a radical plan to have store customers deliver packages to online buyers, a new twist on speedier delivery services that the company hopes will enable it to better compete with Amazon.com Inc.

Tapping customers to deliver goods would put the world's largest retailer squarely in middle of a new phenomenon sometimes known as "crowd-sourcing," or the "sharing economy."

A plethora of start-ups now help people make money by renting out a spare room, a car, or even a cocktail dress, and Wal-Mart would in effect be inviting people to rent out space in their vehicle and their willingness to deliver packages to others.

Such an effort would, however, face numerous legal, regulatory and privacy obstacles, and Wal-Mart executives said it was at an early planning stage.

Wal-Mart is making a big push to ship online orders directly from stores, hoping to cut transportation costs and gain an edge over Amazon and other online retailers, which have no physical store locations. Wal-Mart does this at 25 stores currently, but plans to double that to 50 this year and could expand the program to hundreds of stores in the future.

Wal-Mart currently uses carriers like FedEx Corp for delivery from stores - or, in the case of a same-day delivery service called Walmart To Go that is being tested in five metro areas, its own delivery trucks.

"I see a path to where this is crowd-sourced," Joel Anderson, chief executive of Walmart.com in the United States, said in a recent interview with Reuters.


Full article

I suspect this is a job's program for trial lawyers. This whole thing reads like a law school fact pattern on tort liability for respondeat superior.


List three ways Wal-Mart could be sued for this plan.

I'll start.

1. Car accident on way to deliver goods

2. Delivery person is shot by home owner mistaking them for a trespasser

3. Burglars use service to case targets

Like Last.fm but for games?

01 March 2013 - 09:36 PM

Last.fm has been an amazing contributor to my music library. I've found that it does an excellent job of selecting other music I would like. When listening to the radio on one of my favorite artists, I use the skip feature maybe 1-2 times per hour and even those songs aren't really all that bad. Should you be unfamiliar with the system, it basically takes artists you feed it and matches you to other compatible artists(but not in a blind way, genre based way). I don't know how the nuts and bolts of the selection process works, but the results it turns out are impressive.


What I would love is a similar matching system for games. However, I am not asking for something like Gamepot's miserable "You might also like" panel. That thing is about as useful as nothing. 


Games often take quite a while to get to a point where you know if you'll like them or not(and that assumes the demo is long enough and an accurate reflection of the game). I'd probably play more games if I had a better chance of liking what I start playing.


So, is there anything like this?

Why can't Bilinear/Bicubic resize transparent images properly?

27 September 2012 - 03:30 PM

I've noticed that Bilinear/Bicubic resize filters refuse to blend transparent images. No matter what graphics program you're using. Photoshop, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro. The same thing. They fill the transparent pixels up with random grey shades and blend all of the edge pixels in the image with the grayscale noise, which is profoundly stupid as far as I can see. I understand they're made to average pixels by taking input from surrounding pixels. But clearly it can't require eight neighbor pixels to each one - because rectangular images *still* have edges. And the edges do not end up averaged with random grayscale noise.

So could someone explain to me exactly why Bilinear/Bicubic don't treat transparent pixels the exact same way they treat the edge of a rectangular image?

Attached examples of what I'm talking about(may need to zoom in to see all the grayscale artifacts). First image is transparent, second is the full sized image with a background, third is resized image with background(I resized it without a background and added it afterwards).

Felt like this topic belongs slightly more here than the creative graphics section, and I figure someone here is more likely to know why this is handled the way it is.

Fullscreen SDL+OpenGL and Alt Tab

23 September 2012 - 10:37 AM

I've decided to dust off my old 2d DX7 games and port them to SDL/SFML so they work on modern systems.
I used SDL once upon a time in some simple demos and I know it had major issues with the renderer getting stuck on Alt-Tab. Doing some Googling on the issue, I see it was still a problem as of 1.2, but *may* have been fixed on 2.0. Has it?

I'm more familiar with SDL and I don't really need any of the feature differences on either SDL or SFML. For me there will be little benefit in choosing one over the other. This one is just a deal killer for me, and I'll use SFML if it *still* hasn't been fixed on SDL.