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Comment Re:Central point of failure.. (Score 1) 284

The main reason I keep my Blackberry is the Pin/Blackberry messaging feature. You can contact anyone else with a Blackberry for free, anywhere you are. I travel a lot for work, to multiple countries, and the messenger feature is essential for staying in touch with the people I work with, scheduling,sharing documents and calendars. Even when I can't get a decent enough signal to push email, I can send pins. I think that's the one feature that makes it indispensable for some people.

Comment The Governments Reply (Score 2, Informative) 1079

Here's a recently posted article that includes the government's side of the story. It seems to back up Watt's account that the border guards overreacted violently. "A Canadian science fiction writer is facing a felony charge after police said he assaulted a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer and resisted arrest at the Blue Water Bridge. But the writer, Peter Watts of Toronto, wrote on his blog that he was “punched in the face, pepper-sprayed, sh*t-kicked, handcuffed, thrown wet and half-naked into a holding cell for three (profanity deleted) hours, thrown into an even colder jail cell overnight, arraigned, and charged with assaulting a federal officer, all without access to legal representation (although they did try to get me to waive my Miranda rights. Twice.).” Neither Watts nor U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials returned phone calls Friday seeking comment about the Tuesday incident. Port Huron police Capt. Jim Jones would not provide the Times Herald with a copy of a police report about the incident Friday. But, he read the police report to a reporter. Jones said Watts was crossing into Michigan from Point Edward when he was selected at random for a secondary Customs inspection. Watts exited his vehicle “angrily” and border officers began checking the black sport utility vehicle he was driving, Jones said. Border officers ordered Watts back into the vehicle, and when he refused, officers attempted to handcuff him, Jones said. At that point, Watts began to resist and pull away from the officers “and became aggressive toward officers,” Jones said. Jones said a border officer used pepper spray to subdue Watts. Jones said Watts “choked” an officer during the struggle. "

Comment Auction Houses Work Differently (Score 1) 286

Auction Houses like Christie's, Sotheby's and Swann operate completely differently than most other businesses, in part due to the fact they usually deal in one of a kind items, many of dubious provenance. If you ever have attended an auction, you'll know that buyer beware is the law of the land. The auctions houses may state that such and such a work is by Egon Schiele, or whomever, but that's just an attribution. Basically, they are saying it is the best guest they can make that a certain person produced that work. The attributions are not guarantees, or statements of authenticity. All people bidding in auctions, are assumed to experts, or acting on the advice of experts. Once the hammer is down, if you have the highest bid, it's yours, you are stuck with it. In some cases, a house may 'buy back' an item that 'isn't right', but this usually occurs quietly, and only if the buyer is a good customer. Once you run to the press you're done - the auction house won't do a thing for you. Basically, the moral here is that auctions aren't for the faint of heart, or the broke. I have no sympathy for this guy, and if he knew how the system worked, he would understand that the auction house is just the agent, and he's responsible for verification. This ain't Ebay cowboy.

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