Yeah! And maybe I'll get a blowjob from Natalie Portman, while eating a nice bowl of hot buttered cheese grits.
There was an option at one point to convert your AOL account to a free "bring your own access" option. When it was first introduced it was just a lower monthly fee, but once broadband had become ubiquitous in the US, you could nix the monthly fee altogether as long as you never dialed up. You had to seek out that particular billing plan, of course; they didn't just quit charging you because you stopped hitting their modem pool.
I did this conversion some years back (my account was already comped at the time, but I was future-proofing against their credit card shenanigans) and I haven't paid a penny to AOL since 1995 or so. My old AOL screen names are still valid @aol.com email addresses that I can use through their webmail interface, and it occasionally freaks people out to see "Member since: 1994" on my AIM profile. Last time I checked, I could even log on to whatever's left of the proprietary AOL service with their client software. That thing hasn't touched my own machines in years so I can't tell whether or not that still works.
I would imagine there's still some manner for paying users to convert their accounts this way, but they have to know about it in order to do it. If you know any AOL users, have them try the keyword "BILLING" and see what options come up.
elaborate and lucrative scheme to defraud online advertisers
So giant botnets, massively spreading keyloggers, etc. designed to defraud individuals are no big deal, but holy shit... Go after the advertisers' money and you're inviting the wrath of governments. Yep, I see how it works!
I think it must mean ending the enslavement of vegans by their non-carniverous masters. So what we need is a Maneatsbacon Proclamation, by Abraham Lincoln.
Except they HAVEN't done anything about the boner pills.
I really do have confidence that the commercials for boner pills have been scrutinized and approved by FDA. I haven't seen an ad for Vi[boner]ra in ages, but Ci[boner]is with that low bluesy guitar riff in the background is all over TV in the US. The pills work as advertised and are prescription-based (hahahah yeah I know). Plenty of "if you encounter symptoms such as difficulty breathing, or if you have trouble with your eyesight or hearing, stop taking [boner pills] and seek medical attention right away." And the seemingly requisite "Ask your doctor about [boner pills]."
23andme isn't offering to cure anything, they aren't offering to diagnose anything, and they aren't offering to treat anything. They're advertising a service where you spit in a cup, send it off, and get back some "okay, this shit might be going on in your family lineage" results. They're not telling you that you have sickle cell, or that you're going to die if you eat asparagus, or anything of the sort. But they are making medical-type claims regarding your DNA, such that perhaps your brain isn't receptive to flubber-baz antagonists, which might make you argue with your physician or stop taking such medication altogether, to your own detriment.
Works for me, but if your average Duck Dynasty fan picks one of these up, they might flip the fuck out at what they get back. "YOU SAYIN I GOTS NIGGER IN MAH BLOOD? ANN MAH DICK NEVER GONN' GET GOIN' AFTER AH DRINK BEERS? AHHH'MA CALL UP MY REPRASENTIVE! GET THIS SHIT BANT!"
FDA's issue is very narrow. 23andme is making marketing claims of a medical nature which have not been approved by the FDA. The advertisements do not adequately disclaim that 23andme cannot prove whatever their DNA tests might come up with. If they rebrand themselves as a novelty, or work with FDA to achieve de novo compliance (which is basically FDA saying "hey! let's start it all over and get you compliant! woo! yeah let's do it!"), they should be just fine. I hope. Because I do still want to get that shit done for my spit.
I figure that a product which makes claims about its ability to predict (note that they won't say diagnose) your potential for developing certain diseases later in life should fall under the FDA's purview. I've been interested in 23andme for a long time. The first time I heard about them, the test and resulting reports ran something like $500. I added it to my "wish list" way back then and nobody bit. It's apparently down to the $99 mark now and is being marketed on television in time for the holiday season.
I'm a fairly intelligent individual and I'd be absolutely sure to take anything they reported about my genetic profile with a grain of salt. However, the FDA exists to protect your average Joe out there, who believes those TV commercials that say taking Penalis will give you a raging boner, and that lady who was on "Las Vegas" really does have an amazing non-surgical facelift procedure that will remove 20 years from your face.
A lot of these products get away with using a very blatant disclaimer that "these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA" etc. I'm not entirely sure why 23andme can't just put that disclaimer in there as well, and be all good. But the fact is, FDA has been trying to work with them for several years to get them into whatever is considered to be FDA marketing compliance, and the company apparently hasn't cooperated.
If they'd not put commercials on TV, they probably wouldn't be in any trouble. I just checked their site and can't immediately find the old list of stuff that they said they'd test your DNA for (and there was a big list). Not saying they've taken it down, but I didn't see it with a quick glance.
All of that said, the 23andme spit-and-get-results thingy is still on my wish list.
Is your business going to be publicly traded, with public shareholders, and subject to SEC regulations? No? Then I don't think anybody (in the US, anyway) is talking about you. Even if they were, US minimum wage is $7.25/hr. Assuming 40 hours per week, 52 weeks per year, that's a whopping $15,080 per year. If you can't live off 100 times that amount, fuck you.
I mean how would you know if this doesn't just send all traffic to a pseudo TOR network setup by the NSA which captures everything you do?
AKA half of Tor, I'd imagine. The point of Tor has never been to evade detection by the NSA. It's to anonymize your internet traffic to prevent the destination service operator from knowing who/where you are. It's essentially a chain of "legitimate," marginally highly-available TCP proxies that anyone can use without having to create or rent a botnet. Hidden services are a nice side effect, or at least were until Silk Road's compromise spooked everyone.
That said, your point stands: there's not enough information about how this magic box works.
I'm with you. I still have UO and Razor installed on this laptop, I wonder if Hybrid is still around. I stopped paying and playing on the OSI shards around my ~10 year mark.
FYI, Richard Garriott is involved in a new project called Shroud of the Avatar which he's gone on record as saying that if he could have bought the naming rights from EA, he literally would have named it "Ultima Online 2." (Ignoring of course the previous attempt/failure at a UO 2 from the EA sie of things.) It's being crowdfunded and there's progress being made, there's a nice demo reel at the official site. Actually now that I just looked, there's a new six-month progress demo that wasn't there a couple of weeks ago.
I'm not a huge fan of the 3D aspect - the 2D/isometric client is a big part of what hooked me into UO before they cranked out their 3D client. But I'm still very much looking forward to Shroud.
Just scroll down a couple of posts. "Quite soon the Wolfram Language is going to start showing up in lots of places, notably on the web and in the cloud."
Once I sued my neighbor because her cat kept defecating in my potted plants. Judge said that I couldn't show any actual monetary damages, so that was the end of that.
Out of sheer curiosity, what if any other remedies did you pursue first? The judge, oddly, was correct: if anything, the cat's feces were "free fertilizer" for you (yes, I agree, that's not how you or I would see it). Without injury or actual damage to property, there isn't really a tort. Animal Control would likely have been a better route.
All that's going to accomplish is to momentarily delay their FaxPress (or whatever) for a little while, and perhaps bombard some email account with a bunch of TIFF or PDF files that they'll delete in a few seconds. You may still own a plain-paper fax, but nobody in the enterprise does anymore.