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Comment Why 10 counts? (Score 1) 174

The article says the man was charged with 10 counts of possession of child pornography, stemming from more than 1000 images of child pornography found on his computer. I have to wonder, how did they decide to charge this man with 10 counts? Why not 1000+? Why not one? Does Florida law have some guideline for prosecution where 100 images of child pornography equates to one count?

Comment Oops (Score 1) 1

As it turns out my Skype account was compromised last night. (I didn't make those 428 international calls in a 13 minute period, honest!) The Auto-Recharge billing problem referenced in Skype's forum was unrelated. I've learned two lessons here. One, it is a bad idea to store payment information with any online vendor. I knew this already but somehow the extra step of going through PayPal obscured the fact that Skype had access to my credit card. Two, research your claims thoroughly before submitting a story to Slashdot! I didn't see any unusual calls in the Skype call history on my PC, but those calls did show up when I viewed my account on the web. D'oh!

Comment Re:going on for months/years (Score 4, Interesting) 154

Looking into this further, it does appear that my Skype account was compromised last night. There were 428 international calls made with SkypeOut in a 13 minute period. And yes, Skype has my PayPal information, which in turn is linked to my credit card.

In retrospect I was responsible for leaving a trail of financial data that allowed this to happen. Skype deserves credit for stopping the illegal activity so quickly. However, I'd prefer that Skype send me an e-mail for confirmation whenever account changes such as signing up for Auto-Recharge are requested. And obviously if an e-mail account change is requested I should get notified at my old address as well.

This certainly showed me that I need to be more vigilant about protecting any account that is linked in any way to my bank and credit accounts. I had considered Skype to be a very low risk account, but that changed when I signed up for SkypeOut.


Submission + - Skype billing gone haywire 1

Cousin Scuzzy writes: This morning I awoke to 26 e-mail messages from Skype and PayPal notifying me of multiple payments for my Skype account that had been charged to my credit card and subsequently refunded. At first I suspected that this was a new wave of spam that had slipped through my defenses, but it quickly became apparent that they were legitimate messages. I then began to worry that my Skype account had been compromised. The first message from Skype thanked me for setting up their "Auto-Recharge" service which automatically purchases Skype credit when the balance falls below a certain amount. This was very suspicious, as I had never requested this service. Based on posts to Skype's forum, it now appears that there have been serious billing problems at Skype relating to Auto-Recharge for over a month. Although I believe that all unauthorized charges to my credit card have been refunded, it is worrisome that Skype, or anyone, would charge my account erroneously. Skype, for their part, has not yet e-mailed me an explanation or posted one online. This problem reinforces my aversion to automatic bill payment services that give companies the authority to draw money from my bank account at their discretion.

Comment Re:To quote NOFX... (Score 5, Insightful) 187

Absolutely. How are large record companies even useful nowadays? It used to be that it was expensive to record and reproduce music, and distribution involved getting physical product out on shelves. Since shelves = floor space = rent, stores had to move as much product as possible, so there was value in having the music they were selling promoted by big companies with a lot of advertising money and a stranglehold on commercial radio.

The landscape has changed dramatically over the last decade. Recording is so cheap that it can be done reasonably well with equipment costing a few thousand dollars or less. That means it's pretty much accessible to everyone. For $10/month you can sign up with a digital music distributor who will put your mp3s on, itunes, etc. Set up a myspace page for your band or register a domain and get an inexpensive web host and you've got a web presence. It's up to you to get your music heard and purchased, but when you do you'll get most or all of the proceeds.

Seriously, what has the music industry given us lately except bland, pretty pop stars with little musical talent?

Comment Re:Not to knock bats... (Score 5, Insightful) 76

They may appear less graceful, but bats have greater control over their flight then birds. From Wikipedia:

Because their wings are much thinner than those of birds, bats can maneuver more quickly and more precisely than birds.

Gliding is certainly graceful and efficient, but it's somewhat at odds with being able to stop, hover, and change course quickly. For maneuvering indoors or in caves or tunnels, gliding would be a lower priority than not crashing into things.

Comment Re:Planned Obsolescence (Score 3, Informative) 210

Wow, thanks LoadWB. I had the same problem as you with my TDMA service back in 2006. After being with AT&T Wireless and then Cingular since 1999, my service abruptly became very flaky. Near my house I would lose service for hours at a time, when otherwise I would have an exceptionally strong signal. If I walked a few blocks away from my house my service would resume again, though at poor signal strength. As quickly as the problem appeared it would go away for several days. The frequency and predictability of the problem gradually increased until I had no service every single evening when I returned home from work.

I called Cingular (or AT&T, I can't remember which it was at the time) regularly and spent hours both on hold and troubleshooting with their customer service representatives. They sent me a used phone, the same antiquated model as mine, to try out. It had the exact same problem. Throughout it all they denied vehemently that there were any issues with their service or any specific tower(s). Naturally, their suggestion was to sign up for a new 2 year contract with a GSM phone.

At the time I strongly suspected that they were intentionally degrading the service to weed out the old technology, but not until I read your post just now did I get any degree of confirmation. You were lucky to eventually get through to someone who was truthful with you. I have no problem with changing technology, but feel that it is unacceptable to intentionally degrade the service your customers are paying for with no warning, no explanation, and no positive incentive to move to the new technology. This was the treatment they were giving me after subscribing to their service for 7 years.

I decided to complain with my wallet, so rather than sign up again with AT&T I switched to T-Mobile. Of course then I had endless problems with T-Mobile charging me for hundreds of phantom text messages and I ended up dropping them shortly thereafter. Sadly, I'm back with AT&T now. At least my 2 year contract is up so now I can try to find a competent, honest provider if such a thing exists in the US.

Comment Re:There is only one keyboard (Score 1) 523

I've been using a keyboard from for ages, and it's gotten dirty.

It certainly has gotten dirty. I'd say the drinking loosened it up, but that was after showering together.

I just bought another one, in case the company goes out of business (after all, who's crazy enough to pay $80 for a keyboard!).

Roughly, the same set of people who are crazy enough to shower with their peripherals.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky