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Interactive Voice Systems Try New Consumer Approaches

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Illinois Telephone and Telegraph Co

Earlier today…

 

It’s one thing as a consumer to go through the frustrating experience of calling for customer service and getting lost in a maze of “Press one for…” and “press two for…” and inevitably being sent to the wrong extension, misunderstood by a bot, or simply cut off and forced to repeat the process. But it’s another to encounter it as a reporter trying to get in touch with companies that make these so-called interactive voice-response systems. Each request made to speak with a living, breathing human for this story was met with a recorded instruction to leave a voicemail. In short, IVRs systems practice what they preach. “We purposely designed it to have bad customer service”

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Interactive Voice Systems Try New Consumer Approaches

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Written by eggplant

August 17th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

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Ted Cruz launches Guam ground game as consultant is sent to tiny island | US news | The Guardian

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Sunset on Guam
(photo by Yuki Yaginuma, used under Creative Commons license. )

Can someone punch this Dennis Lennox guy in the face, and tell him to pass it along to Ted “Calgary” Cruz?
Earlier today…

The Cruz campaign has dispatched political consultant Dennis Lennox to Guam to organize in advance of that island’s GOP caucuses. The decision to send Lennox, a former county drain commissioner in his native Michigan, to Guam represents the most zealous outreach of any presidential campaign to the US island territory located nearly 8,000 miles from Washington DC, in bid to scoop up nine delegates from US island territory

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Ted Cruz launches Guam ground game as consultant is sent to tiny island | US news | The Guardian
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August 17th, 2015 at 1:11 pm

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How ‘Rock Star’ Became a Business Buzzword – The New York Times

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Boschsevendeadlysins
Earlier today…

Years ago, in the early ’90s, I took a copywriting class at a large Chicago ad agency, and the teacher told us a story about how, a few years earlier, he tried to persuade the indie band Timbuk3 to allow his client ­— I think it was Procter & Gamble — to use its song ‘‘Hairstyles and Attitudes’’ in a commercial, but the musicians refused. I was struck by his contempt for their decision, and how fresh his anger seemed. He kept sputtering the reason they gave for turning down his agency’s offer — ‘‘They didn’t want to sell out!’’ — as if it constituted not just an unthinkable betrayal but also a reprehensible moral lapse. He seemed to expect us to mirror his indignation, but we just sat there, feeling uncomfortable.

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How ‘Rock Star’ Became a Business Buzzword – The New York Times
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August 16th, 2015 at 9:32 am

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Today In Non-Apology Apologies – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money

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Earlier today…

You may remember Kristen McQueary from such op-eds as “oh, if only death and destruction could come to (poorer than me) people so that Chicago could be rid of Rahm Emmanuel’s uncompromising socialism.” The most offensive parts were quietly scrubbed without a note after the initial reaction, but even what remains is appalling. McQueary responds to the criticism her staggering inhumanity received in a manner that is, in its own way, appropriate: Many readers thought my premise — through my use of metaphor and hyperbole — was out of line. I certainly hear you. I am reading your tweets and emails. And I am horrified and sickened at how that column was read to mean I would be gunning for actual death and destruction. Now that’s how you do an “I apologize if you were offended by my extremely offensive remarks” non-apology, everyone.

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Today In Non-Apology Apologies – Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money
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Written by eggplant

August 15th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

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AT&T Helped N.S.A. Spy on an Array of Internet Traffic – The New York Times

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Ex-Lax

Earlier today…

The National Security Agency’s ability to spy on vast quantities of Internet traffic passing through the United States has relied on its extraordinary, decades-long partnership with a single company: the telecom giant AT&T. While it has been long known that American telecommunications companies worked closely with the spy agency, newly disclosed N.S.A. documents show that the relationship with AT&T has been considered unique and especially productive. One document described it as “highly collaborative,” while another lauded the company’s “extreme willingness to help.” AT&T’s cooperation has involved a broad range of classified activities, according to the documents, which date from 2003 to 2013.

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AT&T Helped N.S.A. Spy on an Array of Internet Traffic – The New York Times
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August 15th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T – The New York Times

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Chortle At Joker’s Boner

Earlier today…

If people consistently make logically incoherent, ignorant arguments, the duty of a commentator is to say just that — not to mislead readers by pretending that they’re actually serious and making sense. You shouldn’t make gratuitous insults — I have never, to my knowledge, declared that someone’s mother was a hamster and his father smelt of elderberries. But stupid/ignorant is as stupid/ignorant does, and influence changes nothing. Where I’ve been getting pushback lately is in my pronouncements that the whole Republican field is talking nonsense on economic policy. That’s a terrible thing to say, I’m told. But what if it’s true? And of course it is.

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T – The New York Times
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August 15th, 2015 at 10:35 am

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Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Leads to First ‘Weedery’ – The New York Times

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Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic

Earlier today…

Wineries and breweries should brace themselves for some unusual competition. Colorado, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, will get its first “weedery” in early 2016. The $35 million project, Colorado Cannabis Ranch and Amphitheater, the brainchild of Christian Hageseth, is set to open in Denver. Its greenhouses represent a major shift because producers have largely cultivated marijuana indoors; there will also be a performance space, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, a gift shop and, of course, a marijuana dispensary. Mr. Hageseth, who founded the Green Man Cannabis marijuana company and chronicled his adventures in the medical and legal marijuana business in the book “Big Weed,” says he enjoys his own product but shatters stereotypes.

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Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Leads to First ‘Weedery’ – The New York Times
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Written by eggplant

August 15th, 2015 at 10:29 am

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Low Oil Prices Pose Threat to Texas Fracking Bonanza – The New York Times

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iTunes Screensaver 1

Earlier today…

Record production in the United States, along with a drilling frenzy in Iraq and Saudi Arabia, as well as the prospect that Iranian oil will again flood world markets, have spooked traders into abandoning their positions. What’s more, the very productivity here in the heart of the Eagle Ford shale fields, and the efforts by the oil companies to make them increasingly efficient, are contributing to the glut as well.

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Low Oil Prices Pose Threat to Texas Fracking Bonanza – The New York Times
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Written by eggplant

August 15th, 2015 at 10:26 am

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Photo Republished at Did Pharmaceutical Firms Exploit Pancreas Problems to Increase Profits? – Truthdig

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My photo was used to illustrate this post

Photo by swanksalot (CC BY-SA 2.0) Successful efforts by patient advocacy groups to require new approval standards for a particular class of drugs have resulted, perhaps inadvertently, in a sharp reduction of available products and a spike in the cost of brand name drugs to a tune of $350 million per year, Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News contributor Monica J. Smith reports.

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Did Pharmaceutical Firms Exploit Pancreas Problems to Increase Profits? – Truthdig

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July 28th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Photo Republished at Drones: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Always Afraid to Ask | Mother Jones

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Foreign Policy 

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swanksalot/Flickr Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch released two separate new reports on civilian deaths in US drone strikes. Amnesty’s report examines 45 strikes in North Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan between January 2012 and August 2013, and HRW’s examines six examples of targeted killing in Yemen. “The drones are like the angels of death,” says Nazeer Gul, a shopkeeper in the Pakistani town of Miramshah. If you’ve checked out the news these past few (or many) months, you’ve probably noticed some news about drones. Drones used by the CIA to vaporize suspected terrorists. Drones used by the United States military. Drones that deliver food. Drones used by cops. Drones possibly violating the US Constitution. Drones protecting wildlife. Drones in pop culture. Maybe this has left you with some burning questions about these increasingly prominent flying robots. Here’s an easy-to-read, nonwonky guide to them—we’ll call it Drones for Dummies.

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Drones: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know But Were Always Afraid to Ask | Mother Jones

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July 28th, 2014 at 6:51 pm

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Photo Republished at The Biggest Box Office Bombs of the Modern Era | American News

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The Biggest Box Office Bombs of the Modern Era. #6, John Carter. Photo Credit – Flickr User – Seth Anderson.

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The Biggest Box Office Bombs of the Modern Era | American News

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July 22nd, 2014 at 3:33 pm

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Photo Republished at All that Big Data Is Not Going to Manage Itself: Part One | The Signal: Digital Preservation

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Data Dump 

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Since 2003 we’ve seen the National Science Foundation release its requirements for Data Management Plans (DMPs) and the White House address records management, open government data and “big data.”  There are now data management and sharing requirements from NASA, the Department of Energy… In this two-part series on government data management we’ll take a look back at some of the guidance that is driving data management practices across the federal government. In the second part we’ll look at the tools and services that have developed to meet the needs of this expanding data management infrastructure. It’s 2014 and we’re still struggling to ensure that the outputs of government-funded research are secure and made accessible as building blocks for new knowledge, but it’s not for lack of trying: federal government agencies such as NIH and the NSF recognized the need to preserve and keep data accessible through the requirements tied to their grant funding.

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All that Big Data Is Not Going to Manage Itself: Part One | The Signal: Digital Preservation

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May 29th, 2014 at 10:52 am

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Photo Republished at CraigsLostChicago

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Boston Store

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My photo of Boston Store used here, sans credit. I don’t care, much, because there are a lot of fun photos here. Though, it is unfortunate that this dude didn’t give credit to most of the photographers who took the photos.

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CraigsLostChicago

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April 24th, 2014 at 8:27 am

Photo Republished at Man Charged in Connection with Loop Bank Robbery

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Federal Bureau of Investigation Chicago Division

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CHICAGO — A man who was arrested by police shortly after the robbery of a Loop bank Tuesday afternoon has been charged in connection with the incident. Jamal Genson, 28, appeared in federal court Wednesday and was charged with a count of felony bank robbery. A Fifth Third Bank was robbed about 3 p.m. Tuesday after a man demanded money from a teller using a note before running off, according to FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde, an agency spokeswoman.

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Man Charged in Connection with Loop Bank Robbery – The Loop

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April 17th, 2014 at 9:52 am

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Photo Republished at Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

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Green Mill Daguerreotype
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Green Mill Jazz Club The speakeasy, 1920′s icon. When prohibition began, outlawing the sale of alcohol in the United States paved the way for criminals like Al Capone to come to fruition. And if you think prohibition stopped alcohol, well, then… the word naive comes to mind. Alcohol, if anything, was more rampant in the 1920′s. Want to make something that’s already fun even more popular?? Make it taboo. The “speakeasy” was the slang term for an establishment that illegally sold alcohol during these times. Some were seedy bars, others were extravagant nightclubs filled with the rich and famous. The Green Mill Jazz Club, still open today, was a popular speakeasy back during prohibition and at one point even owned by Jack McGurn, a right hand man of Al Capone.? photo credit:?swanksalot

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Gangsters & Speakeasies: Buildings of Historic Chicago

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April 8th, 2014 at 11:35 am