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Comment Re:Pay for Laundry jobs with it (Score 5, Insightful) 691

Well, he's a sci-fi author, so he's probably spent a lot of time thinking about disruptive technology. He's a geek at heart, with a sysadmin and programming background, so his opinion probably isn't any worse than most of Slashdot's subscribers. On the economy? Well, none of us are probably very qualified to discuss it.

I would highly recommend his Laundry series, though.

Comment Re:Gray area? Not in the US (Score 3, Insightful) 617

Sigh

Oh how horrible for you.

First, this is not "unsolicited merchandise", because you did order something. So it's not a "gift" (as it would be if it were truly "unsolicited").

Is this so clear-cut? The law says it is: "merchandise mailed without the prior expressed request or consent of the recipient." It does not seem to differentiate mistakes. That is, none of these people ordered a Vita bundle--they ordered something different. Therefore the merchandise of a Vita bundle was mailed without prior request or consent. What was requested was a particular game.

Unless there is prior case law, I don't think anyone can really say whether the particular order (or an identical one taking place in the US) would qualify as "mailed without prior expressed request."

I'm referencing http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title39/html/USCODE-2011-title39-partIV-chap30-sec3009.htm which doesn't have any obligation to the recipient--and expressly says so: "Any merchandise mailed in violation of subsection (a) of this section, or within the exceptions contained therein, may be treated as a gift by the recipient, who shall have the right to retain, use, discard, or dispose of it in any manner he sees fit without any obligation whatsoever to the sender"

Nothing in this code indicates that you can charge for storage should you return the item, either.

Is there a different law I'm unfamiliar with that you're referring to?

Comment Re:Gray area? Not in the US (Score 3, Insightful) 617

Back around the dot-com boom, lots of really good deals (re: obvious mistakes, like a 17" monitor for $50) would show up on e-commerce sites. These deals would get passed around, orders would skyrocket, the company would void the orders, and people would whine and moan about the company not holding up their end of the bargain. Eventually, terms of use began including this reserved right to void orders due to pricing mistakes, even if that right needn't be explicitly reserved.

Now a company has made a mistake further into the interaction with their customer--a mistake in delivery. I wonder if we will start to see terms of use/purchase including an obligation to return erroneous deliveries.

I genuinely think that the demarcation of responsibility should be after the item is shipped. You shouldn't place an onus, however small, on a customer to correct your mistake. In a more perfect world, people would be willing to take on such a slight burden as shipping an item back. However, the world is an imperfect place. Screws fall out all the time. We don't always treat others as we would like to be treated, whether due to laziness or greed.

Comment Re:Send them back and get over it. (Score 2) 617

It even sounds like the company was willing arrange to collect the item from the recipient--unless that terminology is slang that could mean "we'll collect it after you've sent it."

I really hate having to mail packages, and the idea that some company can put such an item on my to-do list (mistakenly or not) bothers me. I'd probably do it, but I'd be grumpy about it, and I sure as hell wouldn't make it a priority.

Comment Re:How did they prove intent? (Score 1) 670

Troopers noticed an overwhelming smell of raw marijuana which gave them probable cause to search the car.

Assuming they are telling the truth, there is reason to believe the compartment was in fact used to transport drugs. ...
most likely the case

I've never done drugs in my life, nor have I ever possessed any drugs.

In college, I had a pretty nice car. The local police stopped me for failing to use my blinker. When I rolled down the window, they said they smelled marijuana and used that as an excuse to tear apart my car without my consent.

Unfortunately, this experience has lead me to distrust the police, in particular when they say they smell drugs. There's no evidence or reproducible test to corroborate the cop's senses. Sure, they can swab the vehicle, but they'll tear up your seats first (and in my state, at the time at least, there aren't convictions for the residue, so there's no point in actually swabbing.)

I happen to think it would be really cool to have a secret compartment. I think they're technologically nifty, and it would be a reasonably safe place to store things that I don't want to be stolen.

Comment Re:big surprise (Score 4, Insightful) 165

FOIA does not require that you make it easy to comply with FOIA requests. Nothing in there says you have to have globally searchable e-mail or document storage, in fact. And the costs to fulfill the request are paid by the requestor, not the agency. By using an archaic, difficult to use system, they can legitimately make the costs of fulfilling FOIA requests prohibitively high. Thus they follow the letter of the law, though not the spirit.

Comment Re:Version numbering (Score 2) 62

Chrome has always maintained a stable extension API, and have largely stuck with it (I'm not aware of any deviations, but I don't discount the possibility that they've existed.) Also, because they never exposed a version number in a prominent way, we haven't had web developers targeting versions of Chrome.

Firefox maintained a stable extension API, but then they also hosted third-party extensions which used unstable interfaces. By hosting them, they gave legitimacy to the unstable interfaces. With every Firefox version update, a handful of my extensions would break. When they first started the accelerated versioning, it was horrible. Now things have stabilized a bit, so there's that. Additionally, I spread my annoyance to both Mozilla and to Web devs when there's a "target" version of Firefox and later versions won't work with a website. For the web devs, "Dammit, write to the standard!" For Moz, why are they changing their rendering engine so much that it breaks compatibility with existing webpages?

But mostly, I think people just gripe at change. They didn't (seem) to complain that Chrome doesn't prominently display the version number, but they balk when Firefox decides to start doing that. Some of that may have been because of the issues related to versioning in the past--I don't know.

Comment Re:iCal support in Calendar? (Score 1) 416

Interesting. I'll admit that I just searched long enough to find the blogspot post that I originally saw.

That statement doesn't make it clear to me that they are supporting CalDAV for the future, though--just that they've worked with the developers responsible for 98% of their CalDAV traffic. This is consistent with their previous statement--that CalDAV developers can get whitelisted. It sounds like iCal probably won't be affected (surely Apple is in that 98%) but it looks like new applications will be unable to use that protocol.

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