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Comment Re:I'm Pretty Sure That's Illegal (Score 2, Informative) 266

A collection agency is an "agent" working for the creditor. If they buy the debt, they are the new creditor, and can elect to be their own debt collector, but they are not the debt collection agency. These terms are defined by law, not the companies themselves.

Further, your "pay your bills on time" doesn't stop people getting into these situations. I have had scrapes with thee companies because of a person with the same name and different SSN - they have employed these dirty tactics against people with the same name living in nearby towns - even going to far as to file false paperwork to get judgments.

Comment Re:Mars the new Australia? (Score 1) 839

Ironically, the firearm is still cheaper. It can be re-used thousands of times. The syringe must be thrown away and replaced each time, because you wouldn't want your Death Penalty Applicant(tm) getting HIV or HepC or etc.

As an academic point: a syringe is not used in these procedures. They use multiple IVs and and IV needles to create ports to administer the three drugs.

The cost of hiring an additional someone to insert these items into the potentially unwilling DPA(tm) requires guards - guards who are already trained in the use of firearms and would be there anyway.

Comment How come? (Score 5, Insightful) 104

How come history is written so that "Modern Cryptography" starts when an American writes a paper, some seven years after the British have developed computers to automatically crack Germany's enigma codes? Modern cryptography isn't just the creation of the cipher, but the appreciation of modern techniques to crack it.

If this article can make such an arbitrary assumption about what is modern, I give little credit to how misinformed the rest of the article may be. It's how Americans steal history, so they can define it in their own favor.

I do not mean to flame. I am just skeptical of assumptions, when such a basic assumption is so inherently wrong.

Comment Re:Here is one of those "Austin Police" lies (Score 5, Interesting) 320

Or, my experience with APD. Sitting in a restaurant, two APD cops are seated in the booth behind me. They start talking about their new laser equipment and how it's much better than the old radar equipment. One then describes how he likes to inflate speeds by, I quote, "I can easily add 20 miles to the speed of a car." Wow. Just wow. Then, they start talking about the problem of "knowing black people are guilty of something" and using "throwdowns" they'd have taken off people earlier in the evening, and the best places to keep those stashes safe without getting in trouble. Uber wow.

Obviously, in reporting this, I have something to fear from those officers, so I would be inclined to report anonymously. However, I'm not a chickenshit and am prepared to stand up in court and repeat what I heard, if forced by the police. It's very hard for them to coerce people who are willing to speak openly, and who have access to forums the size of /.

Comment As a fellow author... (Score 5, Insightful) 987

Here are the questions I'd suggest you ask yourself:

The downloaders are probably unlikely to buy your book at retail anyway, but they do bring you more exposure. Given that they are not costing you much income, how much time/money do you want to invest in pursuing them?

The people offering the downloads are probably working on the assumption that you/the publisher don't care. Often, a simple contact from the author/publisher will get the result you want, as they prefer the easy route.

My usual course of action is to ignore the downloaders. I usually drop the people offering the downloads a nice note saying that they're publishing my work, and if they'd send me half the money they made and stop it, I'd go away. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't but just go away. Those who continue, regardless, I see if the site is in the USA then send a DMCA notice. I also proactively work to ensure my own/publisher's sites are the primary matches for my publications.

Most importantly, I don't lose any sleep over it, or invest much time in it. It's not a big loss to me, and the intangibles I gain from it are worth more to me as a specialist writer. I figure an hour of my time is worth $25, and if it won't earn me $25 in royalties, chasing these people is time badly spent.

IMHO

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