Big Data vs Stupid People



  • My client has a web form allowing potential customers to apply for a loan. The form contains the following items:

    1. [Textbox] Name
    2. [Textbox] Email address
    3. [Checkbox] Employed
    4. [Checkbox] Retired
    5. [Dropdown: {No Income, 0-50k, 50k-100k, 100k+ }] Income
    6. [Textbox] Name of employer (no autocomplete)

    The client is mad because "his reports don't make sense". Apparently 8% of their customers are employed but have no income, while 2% are both employed and retired yet have no income, 4% of retired people have an employer and 34% of people with a job have no employer. The form has no validation because according to the head of marketing the cost of dealing with errors is exponentially lower than the cost of losing business because people are annoyed by a form.

    Of course writing off penniless workers is apparently not a solution. Fixing the form is not a priority either; according to most people who were present during a meeting on this issue, they could redesign the form until Kingdom Come but stupid people would always find a way to submit stupid answers but that does not mean they can't afford a loan.

    So a decision was made that "since Google can identify a flu pandemic faster than the CDC by clustering search results we should be able to data mine our way out of this mess". Basically what they want is to run a statistical analysis on those fields that will somehow provide further information allowing them to re-qualify a large number of penniless workers. According to the head of marketing this can be done easily with Soundex and the R language but of course he does not have "mental cycles" available to work on this so they are outsourcing the implementation.

    And what about the thousands of invalid or empty email addresses (the only way to reach the potential customers)? Pretty easy: for those who qualify, take whatever is available in the Name or Email field, put @gmail.com at the end and check if it bounces, then try with @hotmail.com and a few others. It's an optimal solution because it's not even necessary to prepare reports about those, all the info can be obtained from Sendgrid (smtp provider).



  • Ah, that must be why I keep receiving those low-interest loan offers by mail all the time!



  • Don't tell me, no actual developers were asked (or listened to) regarding this.

    Maybe they just need a chance to get their ducks in a row.



  • @Ronald said:

    8% of their customers are employed but have no income
    Unpaid internships.@Ronald said:
    2% are both employed and retired yet have no income
    Old people got to have a hobby.@Ronald said:
    4% of retired people have an employer
    See previous.@Ronald said:
    34% of people with a job have no employer
    Self employment / freelancers.

     



  • @Shoreline said:

    Don't tell me, no actual developers were asked (or listened to) regarding this.
    Make that: no people with common sense or any ethics or knowledge of recent financial history. Holy mother of God, what a cluster fuck.

     



  • @Ronald said:

    "since Google can identify a flu pandemic faster than the CDC by clustering search results"
     

    Said no one ever. Searching for that gets you the CDC website, a Google Flu tool that in no way makes that claim, and this forum post.

    And if it were true, anyone who says "Google does..." and doesn't have a $1 billion R&D and operating budget needs to be bludgeoned.

    "Google also puts validation on their forms..."

     



  • Hit post instead of quote-- fucking not enough coffee.

    @Ronald said:

    And what about the thousands of invalid or empty email addresses (the only way to reach the potential customers)? Pretty easy: for those who qualify, take whatever is available in the Name or Email field, put @gmail.com at the end and check if it bounces, then try with @hotmail.com and a few others.
     

    Oh PLEASE give us a link to the form. I would love to try to sign up Mr. "I sue spammers for fun" Lastname at no fixed email address for an insurance quote.

    Sad part is-- it's one of those things that's hit that level of so unbelievably stupid that you just can't argue with it. Because anyone who comes up with something that stupid will just say "Yeah, and it'll work for the people who put their name in the field right? So IT WORKS."  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR{brainoverload}



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    @Ronald said:

    "since Google can identify a flu pandemic faster than the CDC by clustering search results"
     

    Said no one ever. Searching for that gets you the CDC website, a Google Flu tool that in no way makes that claim, and this forum post.

    Maybe they didn't say it, but they wrote it:

    @Abstract in Nature said:

    Because the relative frequency of certain queries is highly correlated with the percentage of physician visits in which a patient presents with influenza-like symptoms, we can accurately estimate the current level of weekly influenza activity in each region of the United States, with a reporting lag of about one day.

    I guess the abstract doesn't explicitly compare with official CDC timings (though one of the authors was from the CDC), but I'd be pretty shocked if they were doing it inside of a day.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Sad part is-- it's one of those things that's hit that level of so unbelievably stupid that you just can't argue with it. Because anyone who comes up with something that stupid will just say "Yeah, and it'll work for the people who put their name in the field right? So IT WORKS."  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR{brainoverload}

    It actually sounds like the way they would solve a crime or mystery or miracle cure or whatever on a TV show.



  • @boomzilla said:

    It actually sounds like the way they would solve a crime or mystery or miracle cure or whatever on a TV show.
     

    "We're trying to hack the hard drive we found at the crime scene, but I haven't been able to guess that password yet."

    TV show

    Other person: "Did you try these numbers we found on a piece of paper on the vics body?"

    Tech: click click "I'm in."

    Real Life

    Other person: "Do-- do you have the original, uncloned hard drive plugged into your workstation? WHAT THE HOLY FUCK?  Have you never heard of failed attempt lockouts? Self-destructing hardware?  Motherfucking MALWARE you're exposing our entire law enforcement network to. And Jesus jesusfucking Christ, you're trying the passwords by hand?"

    Tech: "ummmm... I thought I'd try the numbers wer found on a piece of paper by the body..."

    Other person: "Did you try a 50-character long random string of numbers, letters and symbols, because that's way more fucking likely, dipshit. Do you type at the round of thousands of passwords per second? Where the fuck did you get your training?"

    Tech: "Training?"

     


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @Lorne Kates said:

    Real Life

    Other person: "Do-- do you have the original, uncloned hard drive plugged into your workstation? WHAT THE HOLY FUCK? Have you never heard of failed attempt lockouts? Self-destructing hardware? Motherfucking MALWARE you're exposing our entire law enforcement network to. And Jesus jesusfucking Christ, you're trying the passwords by hand?"

    Tech: "ummmm... I thought I'd try the numbers wer found on a piece of paper by the body..."

    Other person: "Did you try a 50-character long random string of numbers, letters and symbols, because that's way more fucking likely, dipshit. Do you type at the round of thousands of passwords per second? Where the fuck did you get your training?"

    Tech: "Training?"

    Also in Real Life:

    Tech: What password shall we try?

    Other person: “Password”?

    Tech: Let's try that…

    Other person: See? I was right.


    For every sort of stupid there's an equal and opposite amount of opposing stupid. They don't ever cancel out.



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    Other person: "Do you type at the round of thousands of passwords per second?

    Tech: "Don't be stupid, I wrote some VB to hack teh Gibson."



  •  What is that gibson thing from anyway?



  • @dhromed said:

     What is that gibson thing from anyway?

    The worst movie about hacking ever.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:

     What is that gibson thing from anyway?

    The worst movie about hacking ever.

    The worst?



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:

     What is that gibson thing from anyway?

    The worst movie about hacking ever.

    The worst?
    May I suggest this one be added to the finalists' list also?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @PJH said:

    @joe.edwards said:
    @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:

     What is that gibson thing from anyway?

    The worst movie about hacking ever.

    The worst?
    May I suggest this one be added to the finalists' list also?

    I concede.


    Also:





    And this.



  • Yes, I liked this phase of Gabe's art style best.



  • I don't think I'd put Antitrust on the worst list. There was at least a modicum of effort to understand the medium.

    This list is missing [url="http://blip.tv/phelous/dotcom-for-murder-3872283"]DotCom For Murder[/url]. 

    (Yes that review video is in the middle of a plot line-- you can skip to 4:20 and no one will blame you. Or do the fun thing and watch the entire Phelous archive starting at, say, "Day of the Dead", when he hit his stride. I mean, you don't have anything better to do with then next 80 hours of your life, do you?)



  • @joe.edwards said:

    And this.
     

    And now I've fulfiled my stupid quota for the week-- possibly right up to next Sunday (A.D.)



  • I see someone posted Die Hard already so here's my other worst hacker movie. It was so bad I lost all concern for the plot about 45 minutes in and just wanted the good guys to die in a senseless accident so the movie would end and I could go home.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1059786/



  • @mott555 said:

    and I could go home.
     

    The movie doesn't keep you in your seat. Empower yourself, bold laddy!



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    I don't think I'd put Antitrust on the worst list. There was at least a modicum of effort to understand the medium.

    No there wasn't.



  • @DaveK said:

    @dhromed said:

     What is that gibson thing from anyway?

    The worst movie about hacking ever.

    YOU SHUT YOUR DIRTY WHORE MOUTH THAT IS A MASTERPIECE OF MODERN CINEMA.



  • I assume Swordfish has been linked to (it would be nice if IMDB had user friendly URLs). Anyway, it wasn't so bad. (NSFW)



  • With so many companies being hacked today I don't understand why more of them don't scramble their HTML code.

     

    Unrelated: After a few years on this forum I think I finally learned what all those "fucking hell backspace" etc etc tags were about.



  • @bullrider718 said:

    With so many companies being hacked today I don't understand why more of them don't scramble their HTML code.

     



  • @TGV said:

    @Shoreline said:

    Don't tell me, no actual developers were asked (or listened to) regarding this.
    Make that: no people with common sense or any ethics or knowledge of recent financial history. Holy mother of God, what a cluster fuck.

     

    They have a strong relationship with a big consulting firm. The lead architect in the organization is a guy from that consulting firm and he has a huge resume (basically all the big names on Wall Street going back 20 years). During the meeting he was there and they asked him: can this be done? He replied: "of course it *could* be done, but we would need to bring in a few more heavy hitters and right now I'm afraid there is no one on the bench with that specific skill set at my firm, we would have to steal them from a minor account which is not something we typically do. Unless your HR group has decent guys in their database?". Of course the decision was made to pressure the consulting firm in getting them those "heavy hitters" because everyone knows that local talent sucks.

    Later I went for a coffee with him and asked him what was his plan and who were the heavy hitters. He laughed and said: "head office will just fly 4-5 warm bodies in shiny suits, they'll sit in the war room for a few weeks and study up for a certification or something until this shit is cancelled; worst case scenario another emergency will pop up and we'll have to reassign them. I'm taking care of the Powerpoint this weekend".

    It's nothing new with this client and this firm. Last year they had an emergency, they wanted people to see new tickers in real time in Sharepoint ("to monitor IPOs opportunities") so they brought in a Dream Team to handle that. It took them 3 months but it's hard to tell if the solution works because the market data provider does not update its master data feed during the day, it's all imported during nightly ETL batches. Answer from the technical PMO? "We'll be ready when they get there".



  • @Ronald said:


    And what about the thousands of invalid or empty email addresses (the only way to reach the potential customers)? Pretty easy: for those who qualify, take whatever is available in the Name or Email field, put @gmail.com at the end and check if it bounces, then try with @hotmail.com and a few others. It's an optimal solution because it's not even necessary to prepare reports about those, all the info can be obtained from Sendgrid (smtp provider).


     

     That would be illegal in several countries, including Germany. Nice one.

     



  • @Lorne Kates said:

    I don't think I'd put Antitrust on the worst list. There was at least a modicum of effort to understand the medium.

    This list is missing DotCom For Murder

    (Yes that review video is in the middle of a plot line-- you can skip to 4:20 and no one will blame you. Or do the fun thing and watch the entire Phelous archive starting at, say, "Day of the Dead", when he hit his stride. I mean, you don't have anything better to do with then next 80 hours of your life, do you?)

    Phelous' review is one of the last things I've expected to see in those forums. I tip my hat to you, sir.

    Also, I'd add this one, but it's sadly in Polish. To give you a sample of the movie quality, I'll throw in a quote:

    Turbo: Have you tried emacs through sendmail?
    McFly: Yeah, but they lured me into a fake.
    (...)
    McFly: Triple firewall. Unbreakable.
    


  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Turbo: Have you tried emacs through sendmail?

    I'd be surprised if nobody has written a script to use emacs via an email server yet.

    Bonus points if the email client is another instance of emacs.



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Also, I'd add this one, but it's sadly in Polish.

    Subtitles are available. Unfortunately, they're available only in Polish, too. They are a text file, so one could try running them through a translation program; the result might be even more amusing than the original.



  • @Ben L. said:

    Bonus points if the email client is another instance of emacs.
     

    Define "bonus point".



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    They are a text file, so one could try running them through a translation program; the result might be even more amusing than the original.
     

    Meh, just needs a bit of polish.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    Also, I'd add this one, but it's sadly in Polish.

    Subtitles are available. Unfortunately, they're available only in Polish, too. They are a text file, so one could try running them through a translation program; the result might be even more amusing than the original.

    Amusing as in "all your base are belong to us"?  Or "Backstroke of the West" amusing?

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    Or "Backstroke of the West" amusing?
     

    Polish is not a terribly foreign language, not like Chinese or Japanese anyway, so I don't expect too backstrokey things. :<br>



  • @Ben L. said:

    @Maciejasjmj said:
    Turbo: Have you tried emacs through sendmail?

    I'd be surprised if nobody has written a script to use emacs via an email server yet.

    Bonus points if the email client is another instance of emacs.

    Using emacs via an email server, okay. Hacking something using emacs via sendmail, kinda stretches it.



  • @HardwareGeek said:

    @Maciejasjmj said:

    Also, I'd add this one, but it's sadly in Polish.

    Subtitles are available. Unfortunately, they're available only in Polish, too. They are a text file, so one could try running them through a translation program; the result might be even more amusing than the original.

    I ran a bit through Google Translate, nothing amusing. It's a nice target for Bad Translator, though, provided you can get it to English first.

    "Are you happy, Mr. Makowski? Of course! I told you to set the bar as high as possible. You see, there turned out to be a genius that managed to solve our task."

    @8 translations later... said:

    "Are you fond of you makooski? The answer is Yes! You said that you have set the bar as high as possible. As you can see has the talent for us to get treated."

    @18 translations later... said:

    "Makowski says? Yes, of course! It's hard to do, took a cup of coffee. Take a look at this camera to work all the best fighting génie."

    @27 translations later... said:

    "So, as much as possible and to create do not Makooski and I want to do and think. In the same field, trying the working of the invention."

    @35 translations later... said:

    "Makoosk, 5-ton ship will change its meaning."



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    @35 translations later... said:
    "Makoosk, 5-ton ship will change its meaning."
     

    Indeed!



  • @Maciejasjmj said:

    Phelous' review is one of the last things I've expected to see in those forums. I tip my hat to you, sir.
     

    I'm a fan. I may or may not have built a [url=http://www.houghtonhaunt.com/?page_id=45]full-sized Halloweenie[/url] for my haunted house.

    (I did)



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