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SSN Required To Buy Palm Pre 543

UltraOne writes "Sprint requires your Social Security number in order to run a credit check before they will allow you to open an account, according to a store manager in Silver Spring, MD. Since Sprint is the exclusive carrier for the Palm Pre, if you are not willing to provide an SSN, you can't buy this product. I believe a full credit check for this level of consumer purchase is a clear example of overkill. I have supplied an SSN when buying a house and renting an apartment, but never for any other consumer purchase. I have purchased my cars with cash so far, so I don't have first-hand experience, but a car loan also seems to be an appropriate place to require an SSN for a credit check. At the very least, Sprint should have an alternative for people who don't want to give out their SSN. I also found the entire experience a powerful argument against exclusive license agreements." Read below for details of this reader's experience.

Where Has All My Spam Gone? 597

An anonymous reader writes "I have my own domain, which has its own email server, where I receive all my personal email. I've been getting about 800 emails a day, of which perhaps 20 are real. Suddenly, Sunday or Monday evening, the spam pretty much stopped. My volume of mail has plummeted to less than 100 a day, and as far as I can tell, I'm not missing any real mail — I'm still getting the email list subscriptions I'm expecting, and every time I ask someone to send me a test message, it gets through. My domain host insists that it doesn't do any spam filtering before mail gets to my inbox, and that they've changed nothing about their configuration. I run SpamAssassin on my server to mark, but not delete, spam, and download the whole mess to my home client, and I'm still seeing the occasional message tagged by SpamAssassin. But it's virtually all gone. And I haven't changed anything about my own mail configuration, or the harvestability of my site (my personal email has been harvestable for almost a decade). So what's going on? I can't believe that several major botnets would have vanished overnight. Any ideas?"

In 1750 Issac Newton became discouraged when he fell up a flight of stairs.