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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 2 accepted (15 total, 13.33% accepted)

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Submission + - Amazon's mysterious threat bots

metrix007 writes: Amazon has an email address,, from which messages come to remind people about the terms of service of using Amazon Prime. The message text contains the following: "We have noticed that you have returned a large number of your orders. While we expect occasional problems with orders, such large numbers of returns can suggest that customers are unaware of our return policies.

We want to call your attention to our returns policies because repeated misuse can result in the closure of your Amazon account. To learn more about our policies, search “About Our Returns Policies” in the Help section of

If there is something we can do to help solve any recurring problems you are having with your orders, please reply to this email to reach an Account Specialist."

Now, as a heavy user of amazon (thousands of dollars, more than 100 orders in a six month period), I inevitably end up returning some things, and probably more than the casual user. This email seemed mildly threatening/warning, and so I asked for more details. If there was an issue with some of my returns, I would like to know and provide as much information as possible.

What got interesting is when replying to this email address, every reply contained the same text, saying I was contacted to better understand the activities on my account. No questions were asked, and repeated requests for clarification were ignored, with only a veiled threat being sent each time as a response. Even asking to escalate to a supervisor, or to file a complaint was ignored.

It seems Amazon is using bots to send out these mass emails, and does not actually have a human being on the other end to help clarify things. This seems like a step in the wrong direction. Surely, having automated threatening emails sent out can't be good for business, especially when repeated attempts for clarification only lead to feeling ignored and further veiled threats.

What are your thoughts fellow slashdotters? Has anyone else experienced this?

Submission + - UK Goverment sedates a pregant woman and takes baby from womb (

metrix007 writes: The UK Goverment as part of it's onward march to becoming a full police state has reached a new low. British Social Services received a court order to sedate a woman and perform a ceasarian section to take custody of the unborn child. The woman was an Italian citizen who was in the UK for training. Her family stated the "breakdown" was due to her not taking her mediccation for her bi-polar condition. This is a new low...not only did they deprive a mother of childbirth and bonding with her child, they did it with little cause to someone who was not even a British citizen, but a visitor. Appaling.

Submission + - Why is it so hard to get a serious 3rd party in place?

metrix007 writes: Everyone in the US seems to complain that the Democrats and the GOP are the same ala Kang and Kodos, and that it doesn't make too much of a difference which one you vote for as you will get screwed either way. Well, since the frame work is in place that anyone can form a political party..why isn't that being undertaken seriously?

Organized protests like OWS show that the support is there. Most states don't make it very hard to get on the ballot, and to be in a presidential debate you only need to have 15% support...which if the OWS support is any indication that should be easy.

What is stopping a real 3rd party from taking place? A 3rd party that has separation of church and state, complete support for LGBT, not shutting down the government over healthcare, holding the NSA responsible for the laws that have been broken, holding corporations responsible for the laws they continue to break, fixing patents, fixing copyright, fixing all the ridiculous problems with the hard can it be to get support from 15% of the population for all of that stuff?

Submission + - Can we elect anyone to office with enough support? 12

metrix007 writes: I'm a recent immigrant to the US, so I don't think I fully understand the political system in place. My understanding is that with enough public support, any party can be on the ballot and be elected into office. I keep being told, and seening comments on Slashdot that it is not a real democracy because we are confined to the two party system. Is this accurate? Can enough people not make a public party and with enough support be voted in? If this is not the case, what is preventing it?

Submission + - New study shows organic food the healthier choice (

metrix007 writes: A study done in the wake of the controversial Stanford study on Organic food which showed that there was no advantage, has been performed on fruit flies which have long been used to model effects on humans. The studies show that in almost every category, organic food has a clear advantage. Better fertility, less chance of disease, longer lives etc. I've been pretty skeptical of the entire organic food debacle thinking it easy to dismiss, but this evidence is convincing. The actual study is here.

Submission + - A cheap cell phone plan with an unlocked phone? 3

metrix007 writes: I am a recent immigrant to the USA. I am used to going to countries and paying a small amount, say $30 for a simcard and using it with my unlocked phone. I can't seem to do that in the US, where the only options seem to be to buy a phone and buy minutes as I need them such as with Tracfone, or a contract where I pay an amount per month to pay off a phone and a certain amount of minutes. I have a Google Nexus One, which is better than any phone offered on the basic plans from all the cell providers. Is there any way I can use it as a cell phone in the US for about $30-$50/month? It seems a shame to waste it and have to pay for a lesser phone.

Submission + - Why are there not more political parties? 4

metrix007 writes: Why are there not more political parties being formed? With all the upset over the 1% and all the protests, there is obviously enough people disenfranchised with the current system in place that they would welcome a change. What is stopping such groups who have sizable numbers from starting a party and voting themselves in? They may not get a huge amount but they would get enough votes to get a seat surely. What if all the the different occupy protests across the US voted themselves in as a unified party? Likewise the student protests in Montreal, students are a huge demographic in Quebec, what is stopping this and similar groups from voting themselves in and fixing things? Why are people not using the framework that has been in place for hundreds of years?

Submission + - Firefox 4 beta 10 available (

metrix007 writes: Firefox 4 Beta 10 has now been released, and is available for download or update. This is meant to be Mozilla's final beta before the actual release, which is not scheduled to be until the end of February. Is this early final beta a sign of more beta versions to come, or an earlier release? Have people finally gotten use to the lack of status bar and stopped complaining, or is it still the subject of much controversy?

Submission + - Stargate Universe cancelled (

Jason writes: So Stargate Universe has finally been canceled, after it's remaining 10 episodes air in the Spring. I never liked the show very much but had thought SyFy were sure to stick with it if it survived after the first season. Given the amount of reasons the show was still trying to get over it isn't surprising it never attracted many viewers. So, is this the end of the Stargate franchise, or will it posisbly continue on in some other, more familiar form?

Submission + - Scotland Yard to arrest Assange (

metrix007 writes: Julian Assange has been hiding in the UK for some time, and now it seems Scotland Yard are just waiting for the go ahead to arrest him. I don't know how he can safely travel at the moment, but maybe it's time to try and old man mask bound for Ecuador. With this and the removal of from DNS, it seems a pretty effective albeit temporary measure. There must be some really incriminate stuff in those cables.

Submission + - Firefox 4.0b7 released - insanely faster

metrix007 writes: The next beta of Firefox has been released and it is insanely faster. I don't know what they have done, but the new JavaScript engine is a godsend. The Slashdot site has always had performance killing JS, and now I can restore a session of 20 tabs each with 1000 comments or more, all fully expeanded in a matter of seconds. Amazing.

Submission + - Duke Nukem release imminent! (

metrix007 writes: Well, as unlikely as it is, the game is finished and playable, and it now won't be too long until it is actually released. Is there any way in hell this game can live up to the hype? Will this be the matrix or star wars of games....something revolutionary that will be imitated for years to come?

Submission + - UK placing CCTV into 20,000 family homes 1

metrix007 writes: The UK government now wants to place CCTV camera to monitor 20,000 cameras deemed to be in a sin bin to make sure that the kids go to bed on time and eat healthy meals and the like. This is going to far, and hopefully will not pass. Where will it end? Article here

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