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Submission + - Removing harrasing photos from social media 1

EtherMonkey writes: Here's the situation. A friend of mine's wife's photo was used without permission on some creep's Facebook page. This 20y/o creep was arrested on suspicion of murdering a 15 year old girl he contacted through Facebook. My friend and his wife feel harassed and threatened by any association with the creep and asked Facebook repeatedly to take down the image from creep's page. Facebook refused. My friend reached out and asked his friends, including myself, to also report the image in the hope that sufficient reports would encourage Facebook to actually get a human being to look into the situation and make a responsible decision, but so far this has been ineffective.

Questions: I there any legal basis for forcing Facebook to remove the image? Is there anyway to contact a living human being at Facebook to have a conversation? Any other suggestions?

Story on the arrest:
Facebook page:

Comment Re:Americans (Score 1) 380

Actually, the continent is called "The Americas" as well, which means that if we persist in calling everyone from the continent of Europe "Europeans", then everyone from the continent of America is called an "American".

Actually, there are two continents: North America and South America. Culturally, North Americans are Europeans and South Americans are Latino.

Comment Re:Americans (Score 1) 380

But it's the only thing that can work now... Goldman Sachs execs and senators hanging from street lights.

While it is certainly possible that that would solve the problems you imagine it would, it would introduce a host of worse problems.

I don't know about worse problems, but certainly different problems. Not the least of which will be the smell of decomposing corpses permeating the community, and the clouds of flies that will be attracted by the smell. Maybe if you embalm and mummify them first? And apply a coat of polyurethane as a sealer?

Too bad you didn't come up with this idea a little sooner. It would have been a real hit for the Halloween season. I could easily envision the clamor for such popular figures as Senators Leahy, Hatch and Ashcroft, as well as past and present CEO's and Board Members of the RIAA.

But I'm not sure if we have enough street lights to hang all the corrupt politicians in my home state of New Jersey. Maybe we can share some bodies with Wyoming or Alaska?

Comment Re:similar to Snow Leopard (Score 1) 406

But if you advertise a "free upgrade" and then, after the purchase was made, change the terms to require payment of "shipping and handling" then you've committed fraud. Free is free.

If you advertise "Free*" and in the fine print says "shipping and handling charges will apply" then you can possibly get away with reasonable fees. I can duplicate, pack and ship a DVD to anywhere in the USA for about $5.79 per disk ($1.39 postage (USPS) + $0.36 DVD+R media + $0.15 DVD sleeve + $.89 padded DVD mailing envelope + 0.10 address label + $ 0.90 labor (2 min @ $20/hr + 40% benefits overhead) + $2.00 overhead = $5.79). Anything over this is windfall profit for the manufacturer/retailer.

Shipping to Zimbabwe is $2.23, raising the total price to $6.63. However, I don't know if the offer was valid in Zimbabwe. While I didn't check every country, I picked about a dozen at random and they are all in the range of $2.23 to $2.28 for a 2 ounce foam-lined, cardboard DVD mailing envelope. Sure, for larger and heavier items there might be an argument, but even if this offer extends to out-of-country buyers the difference in shipping and handling is small enough to be built into the price.

Unfortunately the FTC has yet to crack down on the widespread abuse of inflated shipping and handling fees (hopefully this day will come soon). So, as dishonest as it may be, it is not illegal for the vendor to make a 300% profit on S&H for a "free" offer.

Comment Re:Digital distribution has been needed for a whil (Score 1) 406

Um... okay. Well it's still damned inconvenient to spend this VISA card, since I have to worry about when/where/how I'm going to use a card before it expires. A $25 check would have been easier, because I can just dump twenty-five dollars in my wallet or savings account and forget it.

Customer service sure has gone to shit in 2009. NBC talked about that in regards to bank accounts raising fees, or stores refusing to take returns. It must be the result of companies tightening their belts.

ADD much? Oh look, a chicken!

Comment Re:Digital distribution has been needed for a whil (Score 1) 406

I have several price cards for each store, all of them with made-up names, addresses and phone numbers. When I forget or lose a card I just ask for a new one. I've never had to wait for a card and only once was I asked to show ID -- and refused and still got the card immediately.

At work we swap the cards around so I don't even know who physically applied for the card in the first place.

The point of these cards are to gather, mine and sell demographic data on a level that credit reporting agencies aren't allowed to report, all in an effort to maximize pricing and drive targeted marking. Research shows that consumers don't like targeted marking and considers such practices an invasion of privacy. I can personally vouch for being annoyed at receiving check-out reminders that I haven't bought any feminine napkins in a while and might be running low -- several months after divorcing my ex-wife!

Comment Re:Why is that legal? (Score 1) 520

However, if this update bricks my system, or if any future update stops home brew, then I'm done. I'm not going to buy any more nintendo games, any more VC games, etc. So by preventing me from using homebrew, they cost themselves those precious sales.

You and people like you are less than 1% of 1% of all Nintendo's sales. As much as this might offend your your delicate sensibilities, your saying "Fuck it" to Nintendo will get as much attention as a gnat fart in a hurricane. And still you won't get your money back.

Comment Re:Why is that legal? (Score 1) 520

Wal-Mart, like all the nationals, have started focusing on this type of fraud and now take the following actions for high-ticket items:
  1. They call someone who regularly works in the returned item's department to inspect the merchandise, including matching the serial number of the item to that printed on the box;
  2. If you don't have a receipt they will only give you store credit for the lowest price that item sold recently (I forget how long);
  3. They maintain a list (and share it at least regionally, if not nationally) of all returns and make note of any "issues," such as apparently old merchandise returned, no-receipt returns, other signs of abuse.
  4. If you are flagged as a repeat abuser your return "privileges" can be terminated and you won't be able to return anything else at any location.

I know this first-hand because I have an ex-wife who is now banned from returning anything to both Wal-Mart and K-Mart. I've seen her get turned-away at a K-Mart.

Comment Re:Why is that legal? (Score 2, Insightful) 520

Actually your proposal is even dumber because you defrauded a store *in your own state* and *without the protection of Visa/Mastercard* to back you up, plus your standing *in their territory* where a security guard can grab you and drag you into a backroom for interrogation.

[blah blah blah]

Escalating the dumbness scale:

- interstate lines

That makes you guilty of Interstate Wire Fraud under 18 U.S.C. Â 1343, a crime investigated by the FBI and prosecuted in a United States Federal Court. Not a trivial offense.

- U.S. post office delivery confirmation ("Yes we returned the console")

Congratulates, you've now committed Mail Fraud, which is the parent of Interstate Wire Fraud, and carries the same penalties.

- the law itself which states - if the consumer can provide proof-of-return, then the business must refund the money

What specific law are you referring to? There's no law I'm aware of that requires a business (or any other entity) to refund your money for the return of something other than what they sold you. Furthermore, a business is able to stipulate terms limiting or forbidding the return of merchandise, impose penalties and fees or other conditions.

There is no legal right to a refund.

- The credit card company

That is the federal crime of Bank Fraud, also described in U.S.C.Title 18. A credit card company will not just accept your word for a dispute. They will also contact the merchant and decide on the information and evidence provided by the difference parties, and always with respect to the law. If the merchant responds that you returned a used, out-of-warranty, non-functional item in place of the new item you received, they will very likely rule in favor of the merchant.

And if you used Paypal to make the credit card payment, then that's yet another layer of protection between you and the megacorp.

PayPal protection only applies for items purchased from eBay. Otherwise, PayPal doesn't want to get involved.

And now, if anyone participating in this discussion actually takes your advice, you are both also guilt of conspiracy to commit fraud.

Comment Re:TiVo was cool... (Score 3, Insightful) 335

TiVO was a fantanstic invention. The problem is that it just can't compete against carrier-subsidized hardware.

You go to your Cable or Satellite TV operator and get an HD DVR for an extra $10 - 15 per month (versus a standard box) and no up-front hardware costs. Or you can buy an HD TiVO for $300 plus pay another $12.95 per month for TiVO service and $4 to $10 per month for two CableCards to work with your carrier, and still not be able to access video-on-demand services. As you can see, there's just no ROI to buying a TiVO, and only a die-hard TiVO evangelist would spend on the hardware if the carrier's box is free and monthly costs are the same or less.

That leaves TiVO with only one asset to capitalize on over the long term: their intellectual property. If indeed they own valid patents on storing TV programming to hard disk then they are not only entitled, but required as a public company, to protect and capitalize on those assets. I would think that they would need to go after the box manufacturers, and not the carriers, to enforce those patents, but IANAL.

What this means to F/OSS projects such as MythTV will have to be determined.

Comment Re:They didn't have the right to sell it... (Score 1) 646

What I'm trying to grasp is that Kindle owners paid to obtain a book that was believed to be in the public domain (and, in fact, is in the public domain now in virtually every country but the United States)? So they paid money to get something that should be free???

Does Amazon sell or rent access to their customer list? I would love to market to such a group of compliant customers. Imagine: They'll pay $400 for the reader and then still cough-up more money for stuff that costs me nothing (except a few cents in airtime for the download). I love capitalism.

Comment Re:Parking Meter Botnet (Score 1) 221

[...] The reason for meters besides revenue collection is to control the availability of parking spots. Metered parking helps keeps store front spots open for customers. As well keeps abandoned or broken cars sitting indefinitely in good parking spots.

Theoretically, yes. But in practice it fails. Local employees just feed the meters (which itself might be illegal but is much more difficult to enforce). Meanwhile, the people you want to attract -- new customers -- have to worry about having change or a parking card AND finding a convenient, open parking spot before they can visit your store.

Comment Re:Sound Methods? (Score 2, Informative) 324

I draw the line at complete rat genocide.* After all, you've got to leave at least one breeding pair so you can restock for the next round of experiments.

Have you ever owned or bread rats? 3 weeks gestation, litter size of 6 to 16, sexual maturity after 90 days... it doesn't take long to be completely overwhelmed. I tried it once as an alternative to driving 45 minutes to a pet store to feed my 10-ft python. It only took me a few months to give up.

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