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Comment: Re:Such harassment (Score 2) 362

by taustin (#47472533) Attached to: Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

"Sexual harassment" has a specific legal definition - and the example given fits in it quite firmly. You are factually incorrect about it not being sexual. The "sexual" part of "sexual harassment" refers to gender, not the sex act. (My employer's mandatory - by state law - sexual harassment training used to be done by a trial lawyer who loved defendants - so long as he was on the other side - like you.)

And you implicated that I cannot possibly disagree with you unless I am mentally ill is proof that you have quite a bit of experience at one side of bullying. Unfortunately for you, son, you haven't got what it takes to troll the master, so go ask mummy for some milk and cookies, and head off to bed so you won't fall asleep in school tomorrow.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 401

by taustin (#47464061) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

Contract provision or no, they're a corporation, and that means they are required by law, in every state, to have a business address published (usually with the secretary of state for the state they're incorporated in).

They'll claim the contact prohibits notice by mail, but that's unenforceable to begin with, and when you describe the phone call - their flat refusal to accept the cancellation - or play the recording of it, even if it were technically enforceable the contract would be ruled unconscionable.

You can believe in the ultimate, unchallengeable power of the Mighty Corporation(tm) all you want, but their only real power comes from your belief. If you stand your ground, and bother to know what the law is, it's on your side.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 401

by taustin (#47464043) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

That's why you don't tell them until after you've told them to cancel the account. If they reserve the right to record it - which they did before the human came on the line - there is no expectation of privacy, and you don't need to tell them. You only tell them at the end to reinforce that you can prove you did.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 4, Insightful) 401

by taustin (#47462249) Attached to: Comcast Customer Service Rep Just Won't Take No For an Answer

"This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes" means that you have their permission to record it, too, even in California.

"Cancel my account."

"I can't do that unless you give me a reason."

"I'm recording this conversation, so I have proof that the account has been canceled. If I receive any more invoices, the next phone call will be from my lawyer, or the police."


The better method, though, is to do it in writing, by registered mail. End of equation.


New Class of Stars Are Totally Metal, Says Astrophysicist 119

Posted by samzenpus
from the hit-the-lights dept.
KentuckyFC writes Stars form when clouds of gas and dust collapse under their own gravity, generating enough heat and pressure to fuse the atoms inside them together. When this cloud of dust and gas is the remnants of a supernova, it can contain all kinds of heavy elements in addition to primordial hydrogen, helium and lithium. Now one astrophysicist has calculated that a recently discovered phenomenon of turbulence, called preferential concentration, can profoundly alter star formation. He points out that turbulence is essentially vortices rotating on many scales of time and space. On certain scales, the inertial forces these eddies create can push heavy particles into the calmer space between the vortices, thereby increasing their concentration. In giant clouds of interstellar gas, this concentrates heavy elements, increasing their gravitational field, attracting more mass and so on. The result is the formation of a star that is made entirely of heavy elements rather than primordial ones. Astrophysicists call the amount of heavy elements in a star its "metallicity". Including preferential concentration in the standard model of star formation leads to the prediction that 1 in 10,000 stars should be totally metal. Now the race is on to find the first of this new class of entirely metal stars.

Comment: Re:I work IT in the taxi industry. (Score 1) 273

And what happens when a passenger makes unreasonable demands - "Hey, I need to stop here and do some shopping, so you just wait here, and BTW, I only have half the money, so you won't get paid what I agreed to pay." - and then threatens to give the driver a bad rating if they complain about it, what mechanism is there to address that deliberate libel once it's posted publicly? Sure, the driver can give the passenger a bad rating, too, but that won't help him any.

And that is the failing of relying solely on a reputation system. There's no protection against liars.

Comment: Re:Trust (Score 1) 273

Uber drivers, as a rule, don't have insurance. There have already been lawsuits over it. Your private insurance will not cover you if they find out you're driving someone for money. Your private driver's license is not good enough, either. So, in most states, when you use Uber, you're riding in an uninsured car with an unlicensed driver, and if there's an accident, you, the passenger, are 100% responsible for whatever medical expenses you have (because the driver will be spending all his money to avoid prison).

Nothing succeeds like success. -- Alexandre Dumas