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Social Networks

Classmates.com Settles Lawsuit Over Phony Friends 127

Posted by Soulskill
from the enjoy-your-three-bucks dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Techflash reports that Classmates.com has agreed to pay up to $9.5 million to its users to settle a lawsuit that accused the social network of sending deceptive emails that made people believe their old friends from high school were reaching out to connect — only to discover, after paying for a membership, that their long-lost buddies were nowhere to be found. Lawyers for the plaintiffs asserted that Classmates had 'profited tremendously from their false or deceptive e-mail subject lines and related marketing tactics.' Under terms of the proposed settlement, Classmates.com members who upgraded to premium memberships after receiving one of the 'guestbook' emails will be able to choose either a $3 cash payout or a $2 credit toward the future purchase or renewal of a Classmates.com membership. Classmates.com is also among companies that have come under scrutiny for their use of 'post-transaction marketing' tactics — in which customers are given additional offers as part of the online payment process, sometimes in such a way that they aren't aware they're also signing up to pay more. A November 2009 US Senate Committee report said Classmates made more than $70 million through its relationship with post-transaction marketing firms. The Classmates Media unit posted $58.8 million in operating profit for 2009, up more than 24 percent from the previous year, making Classmates 'the most profitable social network in the world,' according to CEO Mark Goldston."
Games

New WoW Patch Brings Cross-Server Instances 342

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-and-shiny dept.
ajs writes "World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion was staggered into 4 phases. The fourth and final phase, patch 3.3, was released on Tuesday. This patch is significant in that it will be the first introduction of one of the most anticipated new features in the game since PvP arenas: the cross-realm random dungeon, as well as the release of new end-game dungeons for 5, 10 and 25-player groups. The patch notes have been posted, and so has a trailer. The ultimate fight against the expansion's antagonist, the Lich King a.k.a. Arthas, will be gated as each of the four wings of the final dungeon are opened in turn — a process that may take several months. The next major patch after 3.3 (presumably 4.0) will be the release of Cataclysm, the next expansion."

Comment: Re:Hahahaha. (Score 3, Insightful) 520

by Kawolski (#26472201) Attached to: Breathalyzer Source Code Ruling Upheld
While I'm not happy to see a bunch of drunk drivers run free, it's a necessary evil. I hope this becomes precedent throughout the country, forcing manufacturers of devices used to send people to prison to be OPEN about how their devices work down to the source code. Besides, it's the defendant who's paying for the code review, not the taxpayers, and they should have the right to be allowed to review the code for a presence of a bug in the software may cause people to test over the limit regardless of their sobriety.

Can you imagine death-penalty murder trials with "we know you did it because this machine we bought from MegaProfitTechCo analyzed the crime scene and says you're guilty." "How does that machine even work? DNA profiling?" "Can't tell you, it's a trade secret and very complicated, but it took a piece of evidence and said you're guilty."
Republicans

+ - Are Ron Paul Supporters Real?

Submitted by
BunkAsInBed
BunkAsInBed writes "Following the first three Republican debates Ron Paul was shown as coming in first ,second and first in online and text page polls. He frequently places first in numerous online straw polls and has the largest amount of activity on YouTube then any other candidate. Major news sources such as Fox News suggest that this is the work of hackers, could this be true? In phone polls he is only receiving 1-2%, is this representative of his actual support or skewed from the growing number of people without land lines? Are Ron Paul Supports simply that much more active?"
Spam

+ - Good-natured (?) spam

Submitted by
TheSHAD0W
TheSHAD0W writes "Ever since I once used Panda Software's Activescan antivirus, they've been spamming me with advertising. I finally got fed up with it and followed a link to an unsubscribe page, but when given a confirmation link to follow in a follow-up email, I was told "We are sorry that we are unable to process your request at the moment". An email to their customer service address bounced. What else should I do to stop their spam? Has anyone else had trouble getting an otherwise legitimate company to stop sending repetitive advertising?"
Businesses

+ - FDA Considering Allowing Fake Chocolate

Submitted by
Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward writes "First, they replaced our cane sugar with icky, fattening high-fructose corn syrup. Now, the "great American chocolate bar" may soon be made of fake fillers so big candy companies can shave more profit off the cocoa bean.

This New York Times Op-Ed (registration maybe required) describes how "Industrial confectioners have petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to be able to replace cocoa butter with cheaper fats and still call the resulting product 'chocolate.' The reason: the substitution would allow them to use fewer beans and to sell off the butter for cosmetics and such."

The issue is not whether it would be legal for them to make it this way... this is America — they can do what they want. The issue is whether it would be legal for them to package the fake chocolate AS chocolate (and not something like "diluted chocolate substitute — contains 10% actual chocolate") so that consumers wouldn't know the difference (before tasting it). Kids would ultimately be eating this stuff. Could Corporate America really go so far just to squeeze more out of a buck?"
The Courts

+ - RIAA Sued for Malicious Prosecution

Submitted by
NewYorkCountryLawyer
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Tanya Andersen, the disabled single mother in Oregon who had been defending herself against baseless copyright infringement allegations by the RIAA for almost two years, until the RIAA finally dropped its case against her, has filed a lawsuit for malicious prosecution, Andersen v. Atlantic. Included as defendants in the complaint (pdf), in addition to the record companies, are the RIAA itself, Safenet (which owns MediaSentry), and Settlement Support Center LLC."
Portables

+ - Are laptop batteries the next "printer ink"

Submitted by Quixote
Quixote (154172) writes "Sometime back I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop because Dell was offering a very good deal on it. A few weeks after the warranty expired, the battery suddenly died. It was as if the battery was non-existent: the laptop would shutdown if unplugged even if the battery had been in the laptop the whole time. When plugged in, the battery charging light would keep flashing. This seemed quite puzzling, since just days before this, the battery used to give me a good 2 hours or so of use.

Searching around on the web to see if the flashing lights meant anything, I came across this page. It seems like lots of people have been reporting the same symptoms: just after the warranty expires, the battery mysteriously "dies". Even the Dell forums are replete with posts from unhappy users.

The solution from Dell is: buy a new battery. But they aren't cheap: a Dell one runs you about $100.

I know I should have known better than buying a Dell (cue the "Dude!" jokes). But this begs a bigger question: is this legal (it certainly doesn't seem ethical)? How many of these (working) batteries end up in the landfill? Have laptop batteries become the next "printer ink", forcing us to keep buying new ones?"
The Internet

+ - Emails Have 4th Amendment Protections

Submitted by taoman1
taoman1 (1050536) writes "It isn't just judges who define the protections of the 4th Amendment's ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. So do ordinary citizens, with the way they live their lives. A federal appeals court has reaffirmed that principle by ruling that e-mail messages stored by an Internet service provider deserve the same privacy protections as the contents of telephone calls. In both situations, the legal touchstone is the same: whether users of a communications service have a "reasonable expectation of privacy.""
Communications

+ - A good mobile phone with no camera?

Submitted by SuperG
SuperG (666) writes "It seems like every mobile phone out there has a camera on it these days. The only ones without cameras are low-end models with poor battery life, poor reception, and minimal features. And low-end means the cool factor is nonexistent as well. I often visit facilities where phones with cameras are not allowed, so I end up being incommunicado with my current camera phone. Is there a good (in terms of battery life, call quality, build quality, and style points) phone without a camera out there in the US market?"
Enlightenment

+ - Women are fleeing IT jobs

Submitted by
Lucas123
Lucas123 writes "An alarming number of women are currently abandoning IT jobs that require workers to be on-call at all hours, according to a story in Computerworld. One study cited in the article states that by 2012, 40% of women now working in IT will leave for careers with more flexible hours. 'I think women in that regard are at a real disadvantage,' said Dot Brunette, network and storage manager at Meijer Inc., a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer and a 30-year IT veteran. She noted that companies can fail to attract female workers, or see them leave key IT jobs because they fail to provide day care at work, or work-at-home options for someone who leaves to have a child.'"

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (2) Thank you for your generous donation, Mr. Wirth.

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