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Comment Credit card chargeback. (Score 3, Informative) 73

Go to your card provider (Visa/MC/Discover/Amex) and tell them to remove the charge because the service was not rendered and/or the charge was improper.

They will.

Once AT&T starts getting a lot of chargebacks, they will do something about it.

I had this sort of thing happen do me years back in NYC with Verizon. I called to cancel, was given a confirmation # and everything, and was still billed again the next month. When called again, furious, the manager I was escalated to said that they could not offer a refund because they did not have that policy. I said I don't care about policy, give me a refund, and he said there was literally no way for him to do that in the system and suggested (of course) that I accept the service for a month, since I'd already paid for it, and then if I didn't want it next month, I could call and cancel [n.b. AGAIN] then.

I hung up on him, dialed Visa, and had them charge it back. Of course THAT got Verizon's attention and a day or two later I was called by retention or some similar department to offer me a discount if I would stay on, along with a lot of apology garbage.

I told them I'd rather eat a bug.

Comment Re:Shudder. (Score 4, Insightful) 182

Sounds horrible to me. Why bother?

Not sure what MS' motivation is, but it's good news for a lot of scientific software developers. Small teams or single researchers rarely have enough time to even keep the main development going, never mind keeping up with multiple OS targets. With this everybody can simply focus on Linux, and tell Windows users to just run it under the Linux layer and stop asking about a native port.

Comment Re:So basically (Score 1) 119

This is why when strangers photograph me, I flip them the bird, not a peace sign. Then they don't get my fingerprint, since it is not facing them.

Most parts of your skin has distinctive, unique patterns. You can get a unique print from your elbow, wrist, knuckles, knees... And you tend to leave such marks around too, if less commonly than fingers.

Comment Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 119

Finger prints are fine for identification, not verification. They're your username, not your password. If you do use them like that they are not dangerous.

But of course nobody does; US, Japan and other countries all use fingerprints to verify the password identity for instance. And as a result they catch multiple people here in Japan every year that entered the country with fake fingerprints. And since they just catch people that happen to get arrested for some other reason, it probably means there's hundreds entering the country using other peoples' ID and fingerprints each year.

Comment Re:As someone that had used a Palm for many years (Score 1) 168

Updates are critical to me, too, but also filesystem access.

I wavered when switching from iOS the first time, I really did, but it was jailbreak carousel or "no files for you." iPhone's data model was light years ahead of other mobile devices when iOS was launched, but now it is a noose around the iOS neck.

On Android, root and filesystem access are much easier to get and maintain, and many, many more apps acknowledge the existence of files. I'm not a huge fan of managing my own updates—I'd rather have OTA—but I can do it when jailbreaking is the alternative. I refuse to use any device that doesn't give me filesystem access to work with data.

iOS is still powerful, esp. given some of its apps. For writers, Daedalus and Ulysses; for lightweight databases, TapForms or Ninox, etc.; for personal information management, DevonThink to Go. And of course there are excellent options for artists, videographers, musicians, etc. There is no equivalent to these in the Android space.

I don't have to do the art/music stuff, though, and so I'm not as tied to iOS as some. I recently tried to switch back with an iPad to be able to use TapForms, Ulysses, and DevonThink (I use all of them in my Mac OS space). I couldn't stay. Maintaining jailbreak was a massive PITA, and on top of that, the experience sucked. iOS right now is laggier, harder to use, more crashy, app-by-app, and has zero customization. It's also damned hard to sync local stuff on and off (images, music, files, etc) because iTunes is craptacular and getting worse.

On my Android devices, I plug them into USB, have USB mass storage support, copy the files over, and then can open them in any app that I please. For a work device that needs to quickly onboard and access, say, two dozen files that are a mix of Excel sheets, Word docs, and images, that workflow is head and shoulders above what iOS currently offers, even with jailbreak.

Yes, you can do the cloud thing, but then (a) you have to wait for sync and trust that it worked, then open each file one-by-one to localize (i.e. download) it using the cloud viewer app (e.g. Dropbox), then (b) hope that the app you need will be in the menu to let you open it. Eight times out of ten, maybe more, it won't.

I was sitting there one night using wget to pull files down from my own web server that I needed to access, then going into local application folders to and editing configuration files with vi to "onboard" them into the app on the iPad. Then I thought, "What am I doing?" and I logged on and bought a Galaxy Tab S then and there. Two days later it arrived, I ROMed+rooted (took about 20 minutes) and I'm back to my old workflow again.

iOS is a dream for lightweight consumer use. But for doing work—which (if you watch the original keynote) is how it was pitched—it is now behind the curve. But it's still 100,000x better than Palm or Blackjack back in the day. That was a nightmare. Even if you were totally wedded to your device for work, you always felt like "it's just not worth it" and "why am I even doing this, gaaaaah!?"

Those devices, which were state of the art just a year or two before iPhone, became laughable at the iPhone's release. Like, completely laughable. I still have a Palm 6xx somewhere around here. I stumbled across it and powered it up a while back. It's like using a mechanical typewriter vs. a Macbook Pro.

Comment Re:You don't get it. (Score 1) 427

Because you said "can better be described as bullying."

That is false. That is on the order of the same lineages I traced.

Impolite behavior / poor norms ~= aggressive behavior ~= bullying ~= abusive behavior ~= gaslighting (abuse)

It can not be described as bullying at all, and so none of what you cited matters in the least. If his co-worker(s) had hit him, hazed him by stealing his pants and forcing him to walk around the office naked, etc., that is bullying.

Changing appointments on a calendar, micromanaging, etc. is categorically NOT bullying. It is normal office politics, and the questioner needs not a shrink to feel sorry for how abused he is, but to do something about it.

And as I said before, if he goes to his boss claiming that this is "bullying" rather than saying that office politics are impeding his work and this person needs to stop, then he is putting himself in a position to get fired, because that is what happens in offices. I'd fire him on the spot if he came to me and said he was being "gaslighted" and then came out with those details.

Comment Re:You don't get it. (Score 1) 427

Of course I understand what you are saying. And of course it comes from the left.

Listen, I have a social science Ph.D. and have fought battles in this area. Just because something is published research doesn't mean that it's settled fact. Most of the body of research to which you are referring concerns custodial situations with ongoing physical abuse, or at the loosest, domestic co-habitation with the ongoing threat of physical abuse, and even then the findings are hotly contested, many of them having come out of the very ideologically driven (and, to my eye, nonsensical) unholy alliance between gender studies and a parts of post-theraputic psychology.

It is nowhere near having achieved consensus and the battles are pitched, primarily political battles inside the academy and in the journals. That of course doesn't stop the press from reporting on them, or more pointedly, the left from adopting them.

But point 1) the literature that you cite does not correspond to the situation that you site at all. Custodial/cohabitative threat-of-violence, most severe cases leading to psychological "trauma" that renders the subject unable to function vs. workplace hijinks and bad co-workers.

UNLESS you are suggesting (and here is where the left comes in) that workplace hijinks and bad co-workers == a most severe case of abuse leading to psychological trauma with all of the (hotly contested) psychological consequences that this implies, in which case:

Point 2) this is left activism run amok and is of the general form of many other "slippages" on the progressive left:

Donald Trump ~= Racist ~= KKK ~= Nazi Party Member in 1940, ergo Donald Trump == Nazi Party Member in 1940, ergo Trump Voter = Genocidal War Criminal
Classroom Topics ~= Uncomfortable ~= Triggering ~= Abusive ~= Violent, ergo Classroom Topics == Violent and Abusive and requiring federal intervention
and so on.

In this case, it is:

Co-worker violates norms ~= Co-worker is gaslighting ~= Co-worker is abusive ~= Co-worker is an abuser leading you to severe psychological harm,
ergo Employee is the victim of several psychological trauma rendering them dysfunctional to the point that the literature on extended intensive abuse must be cited

(Nevermind that they still have enough agency to post a whine to Slashdot)

And I am saying that any employer that sees the claim that the workplace is so incredibly abusive that a person has experienced complete, agency-neutering ego-destruction, rendering them unable to function or take initiative, is going to look for five minutes around them, walk to the water cooler and back, and then decide that this employee is a snowflake, can't hack it, and needs to be let go.

Or, the simpler claim, which is the one I made before: It's bullshit here, and that literature has nothing to do at all with this case, or indeed most any case, even most domestic abuse/violence situations (and again, even those have contested operational definitions and vary from project to project in the research), which do not rise to the level of the circumstances that you describe.

Comment As someone that had used a Palm for many years (Score 4, Insightful) 168

when I got my first iPhone, let me say—there is no comparison between the two.

Palm OS and Windows CE were clumsy, trying devices that you didn't trust with anything because they weren't all that stable, they were deeply, closely tethered to desktops with finicky sync systems that would break down often and whose connectivity to existing apps tended to last about 10 minutes beyond version releases, they had the capacity of a thimble, and anything you put into them was basically trapped there unless you mounted heroic and time-consuming efforts to get it back out again.

The iPhone showed that this state of affairs was *not* "as good as it gets" for a PDA and I got an iPhone because it made my life instantly immeasurably easier and saved me bucketloads of time. Plus, when apps happened, they were cheap as dirt, unlike the $34.99-$79.99-yet-still-crippled-and-often-incompatible apps that were out for Palm or CE.

Of course iOS is now not best-of-breed but rather an out-of-date, crippled (in comparison to current-best-of-breed products) just like PalmOS and CE once were and Android is running circles around it (all except in the apps space, which remains vexingly thin on Android, though that is gradually improving).

But that doesn't change the fact that the iPhone was transformative and the tech was exponentially better than anything that was present in the mobile space to that point. It hat gigabytes (not megabytes) of storage, a fast processor and a real web browser that could load any (!!!) web page, had Wi-Fi and a fast, USB-based sync, and so on. Then the app store came along and we were in a new era.

Sorry, but anyone that pooh-poohs the iPhone is as out to lunch as anyone right now that says iOS is king of the hill. The iPhone was absolutely transformative. And right now, iOS is absolutely struggling to keep up. Both are true.

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