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Comment Re:maybe (Score 1) 579

3rd option is that perhaps they were traveling through the galaxy, looking for some takeout. Their buddies, getting tired of the normal fair, decide to see how tasty humans are. I've known folks to travel an hour or so to get to a good restaurant. So a short trip to another galaxy for a quick meal probably wouldn't be a problem for them.
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - How dating sites REALLY make money... BLACKMAIL

Kashdin writes: "You read about 'hidden' items in EULAs and privacy policies all the time, but here's my current winner.'s new site Chemistry site apparently has decided that they can make more money by blackmailing their users. I mean no one that is using a dating site bothers to read these, so why not just lay it all out there?

They start off all nice and pretty:
We at, L.P. ("we" or "Chemistry") have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to protecting your personal information and informing you about how we handle it.

So good, so far. Then they really cover their ass:

"This privacy policy only applies to transactions and activities in which you engage, and data gathered, on the Chemistry Website, Chemistry Messenger and double blind email communications between Chemistry members (collectively, the "Site") but does not apply to any other Website or offline point of contact between Chemistry, or any other company, and consumers."

Good to know that their privacy policy doesn't apply to the rest of the time one spends on the internet. Makes those lawyer fees almost worth it for catching this one!

Oh yeah, and if they decide to change the policy — "Each time you visit the Site or provide us with information, by doing so you are accepting the practices described in this privacy policy at that time."

Now we get to the fun stuff:

Information We Collect From You

In order to operate the Site and to provide you with information about products or services that may be of interest to you [READ AS "WE'RE GONNA SELL YOU PERSONAL INFORMATION TO ANYONE WE CAN THAT WILL PAY US MONEY TO SPAM YOU WITH PENIS PILLS AND HOT STOCK TIPS"], we may [THEY 'MAY' — YEAHHHH...JUST MAYBE..] collect "personal information" (i.e. information that could be used to contact you directly (without using the Site) such as full name, postal address, phone number or email address)[SO WE CAN EITHER CONTACT YOU TO LET YOU KNOW WE NEED MONEY OR WE'RE GONNA RELEASE THIS INFORMATION AT THE NEXT PATA MEETING — OR AT LEAST SELL THESE LISTS TO THE COMPANIES THAT ACTUALLY MAIL YOU CRAP]

You've probably seen similar terms before and just kind of 'chalked it up to the cost of registering with a site'. But these klowns go one better:

[We may collect]"financial information" (i.e. credit card numbers or passwords) [I SWEAR TO GOD THATS IN THERE]or "demographic information" (i.e. information that you submit, or that we collect, that is neither personal information nor financial information; [NOT JUST INFORMATION THAT YOU SUBMIT, BUT ALSO INFORMATION THAT THEY COLLECT?!]

"Please also be aware that when we disclose your financial information or personal information to a Co-Branded Company, as described above, we may also disclose to that Co-Branded Company your demographic information, on a non-anonymous basis" [OK THAT'S FAIR...AS LONG AS YOU TELL ME THAT I WILL HAVE OPTHER COMPANIES BLACKMAILING ME] ..."this may include, but is not limited to, zip code, postal code, hometown, gender, username, age/birth date, purchase history information, browsing history information, searching history information, registration history information, and the content of communications between you and other members over the Site) [PURCHASE HISTORY, BROWSING HISTORY, SEARCH HISTORY, THE CONTENT OF COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN ME AND OTHER MEMBERS!?!?!?]

OK.. So here's the Web 2.0 revenue model: blackmail. If they capture all this information, including my personal and financial information, they got me by the short hairs. Pay us or we release all this information to the public.

This is the way it could work:
If I 'communicate' this — "yeah that's about as funny as a child molester", then I will be posted to child molestation web sites, and my images and personal information will follow...UNLESS I PAY THEM!

If I 'communicate' the following: "That guy was so GAY it was funny" — then I need to pay them, or they will release my statements to the anti-gay discrimination watch list, and I will start go get gay sadomasochistic magazines in my mailbox for the neighbors to see.

Maybe this will happen, maybe it won't but the abuse potential is VERY HIGH.

Why can't I just make up a name and get a free email service, sign up to a dating service and have them hook me up with a bisexual billionaire nymphomaniac? Isn't THAT the dream of online dating sites?"

Submission + - Best Buy redefines "best"

Uknowwhoibe writes: " scam-site-to-trick-customers/ So Best Buy was apparently caught red-handed screwing over its customers. George Gombossy of the Hartford Courant gets the major-league kudos for exposing this. (And Gnomic gets a hat tip from me for pointing it out!) See, Best Buy had a secret intranet it used to trick customers. Note that the word is intranet — that is, an internal Web site. According to Gombossy, if a customer went to a sales person and commented that he thought such-and-such an item was cheaper online, the sales guy would pull up a Web site that looked like the real Best Buy Web site, but was in fact an internal site where the prices were higher. ...even when one informs a salesperson of the Internet price, customers have been shown the intranet site, which looks identical to the Internet site, but does not always show the lowest price. Thus the sales guy could say something like, "Actually, sir, it's more expensive on the Web." You had to be the kind of person who would either A) print out the Web page and bring it in to the store, or B) check the price online when you got home. Based on what his office has learned, [Connecticut State Attorney General Richard] Blumenthal said, it appears the consumer has the burden of informing Best Buy sales people of the cheaper price listed on its Internet site, which he said "is troubling." Further, Best Buy had denied that such a site existed. What I want to know is, has Best Buy also created spoofs of its competitors' sites? That way, a sales guy could say, "Let's see what Circuit City has it for" and pull up a higher — but fake — price. That would make the customer think Best Buy had better prices, and the store could avoid matching a competitor's price. Hmm."

Submission + - France bans blogs from reporting violence

Picass0 writes: "According to Yahoo News the French Constitutional Council has approved a law that would criminalize filming or broadcasting acts of violence by anyone other than a journalist. "The council chose an unfortunate anniversary to publish its decision approving the law... ...exactly 16 years after Los Angeles police officers beating Rodney King were filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday on the night of March 3, 1991." The French government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, etc..."

Submission + - HowTo: Save Internet Radio!

erktrek writes: One of the internet radio sites I listen to had this link to an online petition . In addition if you are feeling particularly perky you can write your Representative directly and tell him or her how you feel about this clusterf___. You must be a US citizen of course..

Here is the text from the petition:

To: Internet Radio Listeners

To my Congressional representatives, and to Congress as a whole,

As a fan of Internet radio, I was alarmed to learn that music royalty rates were recently determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) which, if enacted, would certainly silence most or all of my favorite online listening services. For most webcasters, this royalty rate represents more than 100% of their total revenues!

The shuttering of the webcasting industry would be a loss for not only independent business owners, but also for musical artists, for copyright owners, and for listeners like me who enjoy the wide variety of choices available via Internet radio.

I respectfully request that Congress look into this matter and initiate action to prevent it. As the CRB rate decision is retroactive to January 1, 2006, please understand that time is of the essence — as the immediate impact of this decision could silence many free Internet radio stations forever.

Sincerely, The Undersigned
The Internet

Submission + - France Bans Amateur Videos of Violent Acts

narramissic writes: "On the 16th anniversary of the Rodney King beating, which was filmed by amateur videographer George Holliday, the French Constitutional Council has approved a law that criminalizes the filming or broadcasting of acts of violence by people other than professional journalists. The government has also proposed a certification system for Web sites, blog hosters, mobile-phone operators and Internet service providers, identifying them as government-approved sources of information if they adhere to certain rules."

Submission + - RIAA to go after students

mjjw writes: The times has a story about the RIAA now planning to go after thousands of students in America. Interesting reading.
User Journal

Submission + - Trains, phones and poor customer service

Wizbit_007 writes: An IT PRO blogger writes: "Ever had the feeling that you shouldn't have got out of bed? I experienced it big time today. It started at 2am when my kind next-door neighbour decided to tumble dry her pants (I can only assume it was a smalls emergency given the ungodly hour)." e-holland/14685/trains-phones-and-poor-customer-se rvice.thtml
Data Storage

Submission + - Why we hate lawyers in IT: Reason No. 1,997

jcatcw writes: How many laws affect IT? Steve Duplessie says zillions. Most are about record retention, and they were a boon to the storage industry. The lawyers on the good side put tough laws in place to say, "Thou shalt keep stuff, electronic or other, so that we can see it when we think you're a lying dirtbag." The lawyers on the bad side then started making money, first by trying to show their clients how to skirt the issue, and then by showing them how to comply. But now retention isn't enough. You have to also find the stuff. There are numerous approaches to the problem, but they seem to be lumped into these basic categories: 1. Let someone else deal with it; 2. Categorize and classify things up front; 3. Index stuff in the backup stream; 4. Internal search technologies.

Submission + - Fuel Cell Car and Experiment Kit

Anonymous Coward writes: "Kids can't help but get excited about saving the planet when they see their own model car zoom across the floor powered by nothing but water! Fuel-cell technology is the environmentally friendly wave of the future. The water becomes fuel before kids' eyes as electrolysis (powered by a solar cell) breaks it into its separate components of hydrogen and oxygen, creating a gas that is then stored for use by the fuel cell when it's time for the car to get going. During the building process, children from age twelve can use the included 96-page Experiment Manual as a guide to performing thirty experiments on such subjects as the effects of direct and indirect radiation, the characteristics of a solar module, constructing and loading a reversible fuel cell, and decomposition of water in the fuel cell, plus they can design experiments of their own. The kit contains everything children need to build and experiment with their fuel cell and car (except 1 quart of distilled water)."
User Journal

Journal Journal: visible progress in the kitchen project

Hooooooo-kay. we're having some fun now!

cabinets are all sanded down, stained, and varnished. countertops with oak reveal bevel on the edges are built and installed. got the sink cut in and the water and sewer redone. dishwasher drain leak is fixed and it goes in tonight. the drawer fronts, all 21 of them, are cut from red oak and fitted, the staining and varnishing is done, and the interiors are to be painted this week. augmented wiring is fully done, and the tile backsplash is

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