No One Has The Power In This Conversation

, , , | Right | April 27, 2021

I work in a tech support call center for an Internet service provider. A lady has called to troubleshoot Internet connection problems.

Me: “Could I please have you unplug the power cord from the router, wait thirty seconds, and plug it back in?”

Lady: “Which one is the power cord? Is that the white one?”

We walk through everything connected to the router to confirm that the power cord is, in fact, the white one. She unplugs the power cord and we wait.

Me: “All right, it’s been thirty seconds; you can go ahead and plug it back in.”

Lady: “How do I do that?”

Me: “Well, plug the power cord back into where you unplugged it.”

Lady: “I can’t see it.”

I spend at least five minutes trying to talk her through plugging the power cord back in.

Lady: “Did I tell you I used to install computer equipment for a living?”

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Microphone Needs Micro-Thinking

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2021

A user through chat support informs me that no one hears him whenever he talks through Skype calls. I go through the regular troubleshooting steps for almost twenty minutes but nothing seems to work.

User: “Do you think nobody can hear me because I don’t have a microphone?”

Me: “Do you have an internal microphone?”

User: “How can I know?”

Me: “Are you contacting me through a laptop or a PC?”

User: “A PC.”

Me: “Oh… Then please buy a microphone and try again.”

User: “Okay. Thank you.”

Me: “Welcome.”

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Not Thinking Inside The Box, Part 5

, , , | Right | CREDIT: bithxd | April 26, 2021

A customer buys two studio monitors and as a gift, we include the audio cables for free. I personally inform him that the extra cables will be placed in one of the boxes. After two days he calls back:

Customer: “Hi, I just got the monitors, everything is fine but I see you didn’t send me the cables you told me about.

I start thinking that maybe the other guy who packed the order may have forgotten the cables so I ask him to check once more if possible just to be extra sure.

Customer: “Okay sure I’ll check again but I have the boxes opened so I don’t think the cables can be somewhere else.”

After a few seconds and while I’m explaining to him that if he checked again and there are no cables we will send new ones.

Customer: “Okay, thanks but let me check the one box that I haven’t opened yet.”

Guess what was in that box…

Not Thinking Inside The Box, Part 4
Not Thinking Inside The Box, Part 3
Not Thinking Inside The Box, Part 2
Not Thinking Inside The Box

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Those |337 Haxxor Skillz Are Finally Paying Off

, , , , , , | Learning | April 24, 2021

Our school’s MFL (Modern Foreign Languages) department has signed up to [Website], which has lots of puzzles and vocabulary testing. [Website] is not particularly well made, and soon, people are finding bugs.

[Classmate #1] finishes a test and clicks “Submit.” The website buffers, and [Classmate #1] clicks repeatedly, at speed.

Website: “You have gained 1,000 out of 100 points on this test!”

This, of course, is shared loudly and excitedly with other students. For that entire lesson, nobody does any work, and instead, everyone utilises the easiest game on the website to gain hundreds of points in seconds.

My friend meanwhile does Computer Science for A-Level. Having recently completed a unit about websites and security, he decides to take a look at the code behind the website. He identifies how, at the end of the puzzle, the authentication key stops changing, letting the website send the points several times. He also identifies the exact request being sent to the website’s database, and writes a line in cURL, which sends a request to the website.

Website: “You now have 1,000 more points than before!”

My friend now sets up a while: True loop repeating the request. (A while loop repeats something while a condition is true, and True is always true, so it does it infinitely.) It runs overnight.

Teacher: “Wow, everyone, I’m impressed! You’ve all clearly done lots of homework; the school has over a million points!”

This would have taken rather longer than we had, but several other schools have several million points. Therefore, my friend declares his intention to reach a BILLION points!

Me: “I don’t think that’s wise. Ms. [Teacher] will notice your absurd score.”

Friend #1: “It’s fine. Everyone else has really high scores from that previous glitch. Besides, the scores reset every month [in about a week].”

Me: “Still, you might get in trouble with the [Website] technicians.”

Friend #1: “The whole website is bad; they probably don’t have much to do. And it isn’t as if I will hurt the server; they will have [technical stuff] in place to stop my requests from overloading the server.”

The program runs fine overnight, but the next day he is disappointed that he “only” earned several million points. Trusting in [Website]’s ability to withstand his onslaught, despite the fact that it has up until this point been coded mostly with Swiss cheese, he sets up a loop that will open his program in new windows. Within a few seconds, he has several thousand windows open and his program almost overloads his own computer, though he stops his program pretty quickly.

Friend #1: *Via text* “I’ve just DOSed [Website]. The police will come to my house now.”

Spoiler: they don’t.

After confirming that I am unable to do my own homework on the website:

Me: “I warned you about loops, bro. I told you about loops.”

However, about half an hour later, the server is back up again, and [Friend]’s own Wi-Fi is immediately destroyed by the server, which sends a reply to every packet [Friend] sent to it. In the meantime, however, he has shared the original loop, which did not crash the program, with a friend of ours with a better connection. It is at this point that a technician notices. Encoded in the replies to the packets the program sends is this message:

Technician: “Oi, matey, I see you. Stop that.”

The technician changes the authentication key which is being used by the program [Friend #1] wrote. Of course, [Friend #2] now knows what to look for and manages to get it running again.

The next morning, [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] find that the entire school has zero points on the accounts. During a lesson that day:

Teacher: “I’ve just received an email from [Website]. It says that several students have been messing with [Website] and that the school’s score has been reset to zero! It also says that [Friend #1] and [Friend #2] are clearly very clever and that they would like to talk to them?!”

[Website] corresponded with the school and my friends for a while; they seemed more impressed than annoyed. They managed to fix many of the bugs, and eventually, [Friend #1] was offered work experience with [Website]!

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He Needs An Amazon Store

, , , , | Right | April 22, 2021

I’m working at the self-checkout. I see a man staring at the screen and not scanning anything.

Me: “Can I help you, sir?”

Customer: “The PIN pad said please insert card, so I did.”

He was standing there waiting for the machine to tell him how much he owed, without scanning anything.

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