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Comment: Make them spend money (Score 5, Insightful) 497

Pick up the phone. Ask them who they're calling from, have them spell your name specifically, state you "do not recall" such alleged debt. If you can, record the call. ("It's for my own records" if they ask.) Don't ever give them ANY information. If they insist on collection, ask them to send you a physical claim. If such arrives, find a defect and tell them about it when they call back. (unless, of course, they have an actually-toll-free number, which they have to pay for.)

Oh, and always, ALWAYS make them repeat themselves. Repeat yourself ad-naueum, as well.

Just don't make any false statements, or agree to the validity of any debt you are not willing to pay.

(Honestly, though, I'd expect a scam to drop at "I'm recording this call, and your name is?")

Comment: Re:Documents shared with Google? (Score 3, Informative) 178

by Planesdragon (#45311185) Attached to: Google Attacks Microsoft Again: Android 4.4 Ships With Quickoffice

Quickoffice was a document-editing program way back in the PalmOS days, and it was the only major player to make a WebOS version.

Quickoffice does not require Google Docs to work. Although it does have some features which are counter-intuitive and don't work depending on the view you're in.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 638

by quadelirus (#45280617) Attached to: Drive With Google Glass: Get a Ticket

To name one: "or when his or her privilege to drive is suspended" from RCW 46.20.342 in Washington state. The assumption in the law is that it is a privilege and not a right. You of course have the right to drive and text on your own property, just not on the roads which are built, owned and operated by the people.

Besides, an iota of reflection will get you to the fact without looking at any laws. There is a real distinction between basic human rights and rights of a citizen. Basic human rights are those which you have by virtue of the fact that you are human. Things like access to food/water/shelter. Freedom to move around. Freedom to own property. Citizen rights are those rights which you have by virtue of being a citizen of some particular country, like the right to vote in a particular election--so a person living in Washington state has no basic human right to vote in a gubernatorial election in Florida. Obviously driving a car is not a right you get simply by virtue of being human. People need to stop overusing the term "basic human right" to mean "whatever I think I should be allowed to do." There are plenty of things that you have the right to do which are not basic human rights.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 638

by quadelirus (#45280123) Attached to: Drive With Google Glass: Get a Ticket
You have no "basic human right" to drive a car and therefore have no basic human right to drive a car and hold a phone or even, for that matter, to drive a car and talk to the passenger next to you. You are licensed to drive a car, and that entails tacit approval of whatever road & safety regulations currently stand at the time you get behind the wheel. Currently that license does allow you to talk to the passenger next to you, but even if it didn't it wouldn't be rights infringement, because you HAVE NO RIGHT TO DRIVE A CAR. I am all for regulating cell phone use to the point that people cannot hold a phone while driving since a police officer on a parked motorcycle on the side of the road cannot tell the difference between such and texting, and it is far more important to keep people from texting while driving than it is to allow them to idly handle their phones while driving. I think this reasonably extends to Google Glass as well.

Comment: Re:$5000 gets you... (Score 1) 196

by Planesdragon (#45118097) Attached to: Cadillac Unveils Pricier Alternative To Tesla Model S

> 3) Its battery life is pathetic, so it makes up for it with a mediocre ICE to charge with. Wake me when it has a range near 1000 miles, which is what a setup like this should be sporting.

This is a serial electric hybrid. You are evaluating a metric that only really matters for an all-electric car.

A Volt (or any other car with a gasoline engine) can make a journey of 1,000 miles significantly faster than any car tesla makes. They can also be rescued if energy runs out with a common plastic container, instead of a tow truck.

An electric car is an excellent choice if your daily commute and fiscal budget allow it. (I know people whose daily commute is well over 100 miles each way.). But they are simply not the same category as hybrid cars, be those hybrids serial or parallel.

(And, yes, I know that the Volt's engine and likely the ESR have a physical connection to the drivetrain that is used at certain highway speeds. That makes it a semi-paralel hybrid, not an electric car.)

Comment: Re:Great (Score 1) 300

I remember the "What's New?" thing you're talking about. But I have a PSN account. PSN+, in fact (just recently upgraded) and I haven't seen it in like a year, despite constantly updating. Just fiddle around in the settings and you can get it to start anywhere, I believe.

And for the record, I do believe there is a difference between a tiny ad within an icon that links to a store built into the system and actually displaying full video ads.

Comment: Re:Until they hit the max number of bitcoins (Score 1) 595

by Planesdragon (#43448983) Attached to: Is Bitcoin Mining a Real-World Environmental Problem?

I've tried and tried to wrap my head around this, but it makes no sense to me. How can you have fractional-reserve banking if the coins have to match a digital signature? Fractional-reserve banking creates money out of thin air. How can you create bitcoins out of thin air?

1: It's "wealth", not "money." Fractional reserve banking doesn't create more US dollars, it just creates a debt from one part to another and formalizes the transfer of debts instead of the physical exchange of bank notes.

2: Annuities and futures. If I loan you 500 bitcoins to buy a car, with terms that you pay me back over 12 months with interest, I have ~500 BTC as an asset I can promise to others.

Comment: Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 1) 605

by Planesdragon (#43418387) Attached to: BitCoin Value Collapses, Possibly Due To DDoS

but what I have not seen is a technical discussion on how Bitcoin is going to be shut down.

Assuming for the moment as a given that the feds describe to shut down BitCoin (let's say Congress passes a law banning it), I'd wager that the implementation would not be not dissimilar to the approach they take against child porn. Ban the practice outright, impose punitive sentences for dealing with it, and employ police officers to track down those engaging in the practice.

And if that happens, I wager domestic bitcoin usage would just shutter rather than deal with persecution. Bitcoin 2 would be written to concur with the law, and likely overtake its predecessor due to simple market weight.

Comment: Re:Well the ultimate value of Bitcoin is (Score 4, Informative) 605

by Planesdragon (#43418321) Attached to: BitCoin Value Collapses, Possibly Due To DDoS

In the United States, people cannot ... trade real goods and services with BC -- because the U.S. gov' ...will enforce the dollar as the sole legal tender

That's not what "legal tender" means.

I could set up shop today in New York State and accept only bitcoins if I wanted to. The government wouldn't stop me, and in fact they'd back up my right to set my prices as whatever my little heart desires, in whatever strange currency I want.

But as soon as I ask the police to force a shoplifter to pay, I'll wind up having to deal with dollars, because that's all the government will force anyone to pay a debt in. And if I am on the other end of that transaction, I might wind up having to convert some bitcoins to dollars at a sub-optimal time when the bill comes due.

(That I'll also have to pay my taxes in dollars and likely pay my vendors and suppliers in the same means I'll have to deal with some local currency regardless. but that's a different issue.)

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.

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