- clepetit: Swoon, why did you stop?
- Swoon: I was getting all flustered.
- clepetit: So was I.
- clepetit: Continue.
— nathan-022 imagines what it must like to be Meliae this week (via anb-nagrand)
So there’s a scam going around where people list places to rent / share / etc, claim they are working overseas and provide images of the apartment, then disappear without a trace once money has been handed over.
I’ve just been a victim of this by proxy, so I wanted to share with everyone a quick way to spot it before you even email the person.
Look their images up on Google Image Search.
For example, take the above image, save it to your machine and go here to Google Image Search:
Then click on the camera icon in the searchbox, and choose to upload this photo.
You’ll then find four pages of fake listings on various real estate and flat mate sites where this person is scamming everyone, with addresses ranging from Sydney to Perth to Brisbane.
Edit: Additionally, as @k_mazzle pointed out, look out for red flags:
- Not being able to physically see the place
- Requiring Western Union to transfer the money instead of a standard or more local payment method
- Having to deal with them via email only - try and at least call the person you are dealing with
So next time that place looks too good to be true, use this to see if this image has been listed before in a different location and if it has, report it and stay away.
Hope this helps :)
I absolutely hated Red Dead Redemption until I realised that when the main NPC characters icons were visible on the map it meant they had more storyline quests for me. For the longest time I thought it was simply a marker to say they were there, in case I wanted to hang out or something.
I like it a great deal more now. As I grow impatient with the NPCs around me so does John and they wrap up their stories - quite well timed.
Also, best horse physics ever.
I’ve recently started a new role - which is a new role in two senses. It’s new for me, having been a JIRA / GreenHopper Support Engineer for two years previously and it’s new to Atlassian in general. Until a few months ago, the Service Enablement Team was little more than a series of pages and thoughts on our internal wiki and not a tangible thing.
I’m loving being a Service Enablement Engineer - for me, it embodies one of my favourite Atlassian values:
Be the Change You Seek
A lot of the role is more about co-ordinating and focussing that change rather than directly being it, but the principal remains. Perhaps the value should be renamed with the company growth to be facilitate or enable the change you seek.
Having said that, the title of this role is crap. When I talked to Kelvin about this, he pointed out that as soon as you understand what is required of the role and what it involves, the title makes sense. But until you know that, it doesn’t get the point across quickly. As a result, we’re finding that the people we interview for this role had originally applied for another role. Once this one was suggested to them during the screening process that our awesome Talent Team does, then they read through it and find this role and discover it’s pretty cool after all. And then the title makes sense. Kind of.
My goal for this financial year is simple in terms of understanding it, but difficult in execution. I am required to reduce our Support Contact rate by 12% of what it is right now.
Roughly put, for every 10 customers that contact us today, I want a little more than one of them to not contact us. This is to help us scale our support team, meaning that if the company grows 20%, we don’t to hire an additional 20% of our current support workforce just to keep up. We want to Support smarter, not harder.
But all this must be carefully balanced with another of our values. This one is not one of my favourites, because I’ve spent so long in customer service that it feels second nature rather than a value:
Don’t F**k the Customer
So, that ‘little more than 1’ customer per 10 that I stop from contacting us - I want to make sure that I don’t disallow them from contacting us, I want to instead make it so they have no need to contact us. So that they don’t want to.
In order to do this, I sit in a peculiar position, part way between the Developers, the Product Managers and the Support team, balancing the needs of everyone yet fighting to make this product need less Support.
And I am at a complete loss for words when I try to describe it any other way. Service Enablement Engineer is simultaneously the best and worst title ever.
Once you know what we’re talking about, it captures all the needs. We need someone with very high technical skills - there will be a lot of time spent looking at bugs or features and needing to understand their technical and Support implications at every level, very quickly. Almost translating between the Dev and Support teams too. Hence the Engineer title.
We provide customer service, we want to enable this part of the business to grow and scale and make both better at the same time. If you can solve your problems without contacting Support (or not experience them in the first place) then that is what I want. That’s what we mean by Service Enablement.
But it doesn’t sit right. It’s not obvious. And it ignores the fact that it’s closer to something like the Product Manager role than a Support Engineer.
It’s a tricky thing to find a good title for a new role. Do we champion this so much that it becomes the new standard, or do we find a better name that makes things clearer in the mean time?
If you can come up with a better title or a good idea on how to make this title a standard, please ping me :)
I’ll wrap this up with a shameless plug. We have myself and one other person in this role already, but need a third for the remaining products. We’re picky. Very picky. But in my experience, we are worth it. If this kind of job excites you, please read more here. If you’re keen on this and think you have what it takes, contact me on clepetit at atlassian dot com as there’s a slick referral system that I’d love to take further advantage of.
Anonymous said: No offence, but I advise you to step away from your own needs and look at the bigger picture. Until you have the qualifications, you won't understand just how difficult it is doing maintenance on an MMO. Not to mention the fact that they didn't give a ETA on when it's fixed is a good thing to do. Why would they give an ETA, and then not have it up within that ETA?
I agree, I’m not a sysadmin for an MMO. I’m not a sysadmin at all. Having said that, my primary role for the past two years has been to support sysadmins, but not face the daily work they face.
I do however have some experience with software, especially the stuff that runs server side - thanks to my current employer. It’s not MMO’s or even games, but it does put me in touch with sysadmins who do run this kind of stuff.
I know it’s not easy to maintain these servers, and my point (which could have been expressed clearer, I suppose) was that if you have a customer / client / steakholder to inform and keep happy, then it’s best to follow a ‘Do No Harm’ principal and roll back to the last known good state.
I assume that if at any point during the maintenance, things got to a state where they could no longer repair the servers, they would roll back to the backups they took before they started and everything would be fine again - granted with the maintenance being incomplete but the servers would be in a working state.
The fact that they originally had an ETA, then broke that ETA and explained they had no new ETA says to me the following:
1. They scoped out how long it would take to do this maintenance and possibly even tested it beforehand on a staging instance (Good!)
2. Something unexpected occurred whilst deploying on production (This happens, neither good nor bad)
3. They were thrown off course so badly by it, that they weren’t able to make a judgement call on either rolling back, or continuing on for the next X minutes / hours at which point if a solution was not found a rollback would occur (Bad)
So whilst it appears that I am criticising their skills at maintaining servers, actually I am criticising their ability to co-ordinate between their internal and customer facing teams to determine A: the best course of action for their customers and B: provide firm commitments on the time this would take to these customers.
Over a decade in customer service has given me a number of experiences with what customers (and people in general) do and do not like. They do not like to be kept in the dark. Not having an ETA says to me that you are hiding information from me, or you are seriously that clueless that you do not know how long it will take to fix this problem and are likely not qualified to fix it in the first place.
EA/Bioware are corporations needing to make money and they get their money from consumers. If you don’t treat the consumers with respect and keep them informed about what is happening with the service they want to use, they will find another service. Essentially since this is just a WoW clone with a Star Wars license.
Like I said, I love the game dearly and want it to succeed. But in order for it to do so, changes need to be made. Maintenance needs to be more reliably done.
Let’s be clear, I really like Star Wars: The Old Republic. So much so, that the majority of the time I’ve spent in the game has been playing it as a single player game. I’m hoping they get people back into it, ‘cause I’d like to go back and finish some storylines.
But when things like this happen, I worry that no-one knows what is going on there:
If it was in such a bad state that you didn’t know how long it would take, wouldn’t rolling back and trying again next week be the better option instead of ploughing on ahead blind? For three hours before you knew it would work?
If they did know, why not get an ETA? Not confident enough in their own abilities?
My last serious MMO game was one where monthly maintenance was about the most you’d get, so to take it down, every single Tuesday for a year and still not be able to predict how long it will take seems a bit ridiculous to me.
I’m also afraid that in a few months time the excuse will be that the majority of people are not paying and therefore have no right to complain. Which sucks, because I pay for MMO’s so that there is someone responsible for the service.
Either way, hopefully they get their act together and work on a Mac client and get these maintenance nights sorted out (I know, I’m dreaming.)
Lately I’ve been watching The Newsroom and have loved every minute of it. If you don’t know what it is, it’s a show about a nightly news show trying to do journalism the right way. Here’s the first (8 minute) scene of the first episode (so basically, no spoilers!)
It’s an 8 minute investment, but I urge you to give it a go, the whole thing.
This is a fantastic show. I’ve watched Law & Order for years and loved (and I’ve very heavily typecast) Sam Waterson in that, but love him even more in this - and I’m generally not good with change :P
For the most party this show is completely unrealistic, but it captures the emotion, passion and spirit of a breaking story.
My Dad was watching The Newsroom whilst staying with me and said the above about the show. He hasn’t worked on a nightly news show, but has spent a lifetime working for newspapers. From the Southland times in NZ (more than four decades ago), to covering crime in the UK, to spending the better part of two decades as an Arts Editor for the News Limited Empire (but please, don’t hold that against him…) Pick up an Australian copy of The Matrix or Stuart Little and there’s a good chance his quote will still be on the back. He’s lived and breathed the journalist world for longer than I imagine most people reading this have been alive, and he believes that whilst it doesn’t portray journalism with detailed accuracy, it does capture the spirit, the overall feeling of it.
Shows like this make me feel good about the world in general - ‘hey look, maybe things are heading to hell in a handbasket after all.’ I like that someone is standing up and throwing well formed arguments and logic at people who are trying push agendas with scare tactics. I like that there is a chance for the clever people in the world to have their say, and I like that this show blurs the line between reality and fiction by using real world events and reporting them the way I wish I could have seen them reported.
But when an episode is over, I feel sad that we don’t actually have a real nightly news show like this - because I would watch that religiously if it existed.
In the mean time, I will enjoy the fact that someone is championing what could be a really good and honourable line of work, if it weren’t tainted by paparazzi style affairs, and enjoy the witty one liners.
I’ll also thoroughly enjoy the way Dad would smile intensely as the big stories started to break and characters in the show moved into action.