Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Deal of the Day - Pay What You Want for the Learn to Code Bundle, includes AngularJS, Python, HTML5, Ruby, and more. ×

Comment It takes a village (Score 1) 151

In 2002 I moved into a newly developed neighborhood. We actually did our closing on Halloween. The following year I realized rather quickly that the participation in my neighborhood was rather dismal. At the time, my daughter was born just a little over a month after we closed on our house. A few years later, we found ourselves trick-or-treating in other well-established neighborhoods just to give our daughter the real experiences. I took note that this older neighborhood really went to great extent to give the kids that spooky halloween feel. Some things I noticed were that one person put one of those metal outdoor fire pits in their driveway and burned wood to give it that campfire smell all throughout the neighborhood. The adults handing out treats took the time to also dress up in costumes. There were houses that decorated in full fledged themes with live actors of things link a mad scientist laboratory, etc.

  It has taken more than 10yrs to get my neighborhood to come around, but it seems like its on the right track. There are several stuck up retired old people that still screw up the process. Imagine going house to house and seeing a home with yard decorations for Halloween, porch lights on, garage lights lit on either side, sometimes even interior lights lit, only to discover that there's no one home. These people are so stuck on their lights being on to show off their home they don't even realize its implication for Halloween. Honestly, if toilet paper hadn't become so expensive, a healthy dose of eggs and TP would easily rectify the situation.

  Just like a neighborhood association, a group of people dedicated to making a kickass neighborhood for halloween requires a community to coordinate. I would recommend mailing everyone in your neighborhood a good 45 days in advance and explain what you want to achieve, where it has gone wrong in the past, and what you think can be implemented to bring about that change. Make sure you ask for ideas to help get to where the neighborhood should be. My advice is to treat halloween like coordinating a big part, wedding, block party, etc. You need lots of other neighbors to decide to do it up too. Once you think you've got something worth going to (if you build it, they will come), contact your local paper to see if they will run a story. Once word gets around, your neighborhood could become one that other kids import themselves to.

Comment Re:I should do this (Score 1) 215

get more information about the bill collector. If its not a direct creditor, but a actual collection attorney or agency, fax them or mail them a Cease & Desist letter telling them to never call you again in accordance with the FDCPA [15 USC 1692c] article 805

(b) COMMUNICATION WITH THIRD PARTIES. Except as provided in section 804, without the prior consent of the consumer given directly to the debt collector, or the express permission of a court of competent jurisdiction, or as reasonably necessary to effectuate a postjudgment judicial remedy, a debt collector may not communicate, in connection with the collection of any debt, with any person other than a consumer, his attorney, a consumer reporting agency if otherwise permitted by law, the creditor, the attorney of the creditor, or the attorney of the debt collector.

(c) CEASING COMMUNICATION. If a consumer notifies a debt collector in writing that the consumer refuses to pay a debt or that the consumer wishes the debt collector to cease further communication with the consumer, the debt collector shall not communicate further with the consumer with respect to such debt, except --

(1) to advise the consumer that the debt collector's further efforts are being terminated;

(2) to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor may invoke specified remedies which are ordinarily invoked by such debt collector or creditor; or

(3) where applicable, to notify the consumer that the debt collector or creditor intends to invoke a specified remedy.

If such notice from the consumer is made by mail, notification shall be complete upon receipt.
(d) For the purpose of this section, the term "consumer" includes the consumer's spouse, parent (if the consumer is a minor), guardian, executor, or administrator.

if they continue to call you can file suit in your local federal court against them for $1000 fine per time they violate it. Either they violated 805(c) and call you after a C&D or they refute that you are defined as a 'consumer' iaw 805(d) in which case they, under oath, admit to knowingly 805(b) and continue to contact you as a third party. Either way its $1000 per violation opting for 813(2) under civil liability.

Comment Re:'OWES' is the operative word. (Score 1) 215

and this is why losing appeals should come with a consideration of steeper penalties. Perhaps a court ordered suspension of services for 5 days would do the trick. "TWC, you are ordered to close your doors for no less than 5 days. You are to provide no phone service and no Cable video or internet services." I would deliberately pick a 5 day period that fell on either NCAA playoffs, World Series, Superbowl or something equally high profile. Imagine how pissed off you would be as an innocent consumer if you knew that because your provider was such a fucking asshole they literally got an injunction which impacted nearly everyone you know. Their revenues would go down, people would call in and wait for hours demanding credit on their bills, some people would leave their contracts and get internet or phone service from another provider that might be less at risk of having such injunctions slapped against them.

Comment Re:BS (Score 1) 215

thats only because a collection agency is regulated by the FDCPA which explicitly lists requirements and punitive action in the amount of $1000 per violation for non compliance. Sending someone a letter, fax, email that says "do not call me" is defined as a cease and desists. They must then ONLY use US Postal mail for delivery. Verbally saying you cannot take calls at work and this is your work number also counts as a C&D for the work number only. Most collection agencies spend massive time training people about the requirements of the FDCPA because they can lose their asses very fast. They are often small businesses of fewer than 20 employees and they had to register a bonded cash deposit with their secretary of state. If you win in court you get that money straight away and they have to re-bond to retain their business license. TWC could give a shit. Not only are they a billion dollar corporation, but they have half the senators and congressmen in their back pockets. Its hard for the NSA to spy on you all the time if the phone companies are not helping you spy on their customers. This is also why all the anti-competitive behavior against smaller ISPs has been ignored and downright OKd (see verizon removing copper from customer property so competitors cannot even provision services). This is partly why they have this culture of this sort of behavior. There is no telling what sort of murder they are capable of getting away with when the Obummer spying programs depend so heavily on their cooperation.

Comment Re:I get a call EVERY DAY from cardmember services (Score 1) 215

see my previous post of things I do...

I think if enough of us press 1 and tie up their call center, and on top of that spit out the most vile offensive things we can concoct, then we may eventually get all the employees to quit. 1 or 2 crazy assholes like me per day isnt so bad. If 5000 people a day opt to press 1 and spit out massively offensive verbal abuses, that will be something like death-by-a-thousand-cuts.

Comment Re:Invade Bangladesh! (Score 1) 215

Ironically I got another 'Rachael from Card Services' call earlier while posting to this very thread! That particular scam sells your CC info to a group in Palestine. Probably buying more iranian missiles. I always press 1 and say the most offensive things I can that I think will rattle them...

everything from "hold on, let me put down your grandfather; err i mean this hamburger" .. to
"The prophet Muhammad is a fucking pussy. Fuck him and fuck your credit card scam. I'm drawing a cartoon of him right this very minute.. its funny because in this cartoon he's sucking off a camel and chocking on it at the same time!"

they usually hang up as quickly as possible. its not like I actually did draw him, my drawing skills are so poor that they are more offensive than my creative insults; but they dont know that.

Comment Re:Miserable? (Score 1) 215

the argument can also be made that by paying someone a living wage, your selection process of who you hire goes up and you get less morons looking for a paycheck while doing almost nothing. So albeit a moron dont-giva-shit employee caused the problem, the corporation is still liable because it was their personal greed that led to the environment of shit wages to begin with. Much like Edison Electric laying off their entire IT staff and hiring H1B Visa replacements hoping to save $40k per employee. The guys at the top make a 8 - 9 figure salary and they have problems paying someone else even a 5 figure one. I have no sympathy for them. Sympathy falls between Shit and Syphilis in the dictionary.

Comment Re:Perfect is the enemy of good (Score 1) 78

or knowing you really did get a good price on plenum cable and not some cheap pvc knockoff. Agree 100% with your assessment that despite many limitations, it will have an abundance of cheap, useful applications. Considering some of the 3rd world uses smart phones are playing in the medical field, this could only enhance the usefulness of doctors without borders.

Comment what do you have against a paleo lifestyle? (Score 1, Informative) 496

you make it sound like its hard to maintain. Not to belittle a 30lb loss in 9mos, but after 9mos of my lifestyle change (including a shift to paleo nutrition) I had lost ALL of my excess body fat. That turned out to be about 100lb from my heaviest. But, had I been heavier, I have no doubt I still would have shed every bit of excess weight, whatever that number has been. I often encourage people to take up the paleo diet because its fairly simple to maintain (avoid grains, starchy foods, legumes, and the oils derived from them for the most part) and, due to the nature of protein having a high satiation effect, effectively also reduces your consumption of food in general. If someone wants to burn fat they first have to train their body to actually USE fat. That's never going to happen if you continue to eat a lot of carbs. Carbs are the low hanging fruit of fuel for your body. As long as there is plenty of that sort of fuel laying around your body is going to use it and never use fat. In an absence of glycogen, your body will begin converting a 9cal fat gram into a 7cal ketone; which, once converted, cannot be re-absorbed as fat. You either use it or piss it away. So before you've made any other lifestyle change, you're already getting a 25% bonus to your BMR out of basic inefficiencies.

  Compound this by training your muscles to burn more fat for fuel instead of carbs and you accelerate the weight loss significantly. White, fast-twitch, muscle fibers burn glucose and cannot oxidize during use, resulting in tired sore muscles after a short stent of activity. Whereas red muscle fibers of both fast and slow twitch burn fat directly and can self-oxidize during use. The calves of an Olympic sprinter are majority white muscle fibers, whereas a Olympic marathon runner re quite the opposite where 80% of the muscles in their calves are red fibers. This can be achieved by structuring your workouts to focus more on endurance and increasing workout times than trying to first increase resistance. Enough resistance to keep your HR within the cardio/peak ranges, but once there, focus on endurance building.

Comment Laserdisc? (Score 1) 169

Its my understanding that Laserdisc, the once fringe format that was usurped by DVD, differed in that, instead of a codec that recorded deviations from the previous frame, stored each and every video frame on the disc. I would think this might make for the best method to retrieve the information. To be sure, you could include the entire patent library for the laserdisc technology to ensure accurate reproduction in 100yrs time.

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.