Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the fraud-etc. dept
The FBI has been having a real tough time recruiting young tech savants to its cause, and this week our first place winner for insightful is an anonymous comment with some clear and simple thoughts on why that is:
He’s hoping to attract patriots, except the real patriots are the ones unwilling to help the FBI violate the Constitution and civil liberties at every opportunity.
But the agency might not need that expertise — after all, Hillary Clinton thinks the military might be the best response to hacking attacks like the one that targeted the DNC — which gave Wargazm a thought that won second most insightful comment of the week:
Are we just going to gloss over the idea that she thinks a *hack of the DNC* is grounds for introducing a new doctrine for dealing with cyber attacks?! Last I heard the DNC is NOT a government agency.
What exactly does she propose we defend here? If Russian hackers go after a grandmother’s bank account, are we going to put boots on the ground? Or is the goal just to prevent Democrats from being embarrassed during an election year?
One more thing: How the hell does she look at the DNC hack and not immediately change her position on encryption? If we had strong, encrypted email services readily available and easily used by anyone…bam, no DNC hack. Instead, she talks about using the military to respond. Christ.
For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got a pair of responses to the astonishing scandal in which Wells Fargo has fired 5,300 employees for fraudulent billing practices. First, That One Guy questioned the idea that this could be any kind of ‘mistake’ or accidental product of bad incentives:
Which might make sense if we were talking about a few, or even a few dozen people doing it across the entire company, but when we’re talking about literally thousands of employees the idea that no-one in management had so much as a hunch that something fishy might be going on before the investigation pointed it out to them goes right out the window.
As the article and the first AC noted, either upper management knew and looked the other way or they were so grossly incompetent that they never caught on, either way they need to be fired at best given the idea that they really had no clue is minuscule when you consider how many people we’re talking about here.
Next, we’ve got a response to that comment from MadAsASnake, who explained how it could be both — a broken incentive system coupled with managerial negligence:
This happened a lot in the UK as well. The incentives given to floor staff are usually in terms of “conversion rates”. The targets are based on the “best” staff calculated on those conversion rates. The “best” are invariably those that are cheating.
In one case I am aware of, one staff member “upgraded” the accounts of all 13 customers she saw that day. In return, she was:
– rewarded with a commission for each sale
– rewarded with a bonus for being a top op
– given recognition throughout the company
When her manager reviewed those upgrades, it was plain that the customers had not agreed to them. So what happened? The manager had to contact all 13, explain the “mistake” and put it right. This member of staff:
– kept the commission, bonus and recognition
– was not reprimanded (how could you having so publicly congratulated her)
The new targets the following week were increased in proportion to this record achievement. The reason this gets really out of hand is that those staff not making the targets face criticism and sometimes even dismissal for poor performance.
My wife was a co-worker in this branch. As she said, you could do you job with integrity, or you could hit your targets which were spectacularly unattainable. My guess is that stupid incentives structures combined with a refusal to reprimand dishonest behaviour is behind this too. The management need to be sacked whether they knew or not.
Over on the funny side, our top comment is one that pops up frequently whenever we level criticisms at Google (this time, over the Feedburner/Goo.gl link shortening fiasco). JD offered up the classic ironic-faux-troll:
Clearly this is just more proof that Mike Masnick is a Google shill.
Next, we have a quip on a thread about Comcast’s broken broadband meters which seemed to be vastly overcharging people. One commenter asked if it would be called fraud to sell 10,000 tickets for a show with a 3,000 seat capacity — and Michael had an answer:
No. That would be called an airline.
Dear Mr. Trump,
Here is a simple cyber policy for ISIS.
Make them have to use Comcast.
Finally, we’ve got one more response to our problems with Google’s link shortener — an anonymous commenter who found the silver lining:
And the good news is that you probably won’t be charged with a CFAA violation!
That’s all for this week, folks!