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Comment Re:Package Penetration (Score 1) 480

FedEx Ground was (or so I was told) a separate company initially, purchased by FedEx, and hence did not have the same quality standards. I sent a largish box to Atlanta once for pickup at the depot, following instructions from their 1-800 staff. The package disappeared for days until they finally tracked it down to some poor driver who had been trying to find "Hold At Depot Street" for 4 days. I was then informed they don't offer a hold-at-depot service.

It eventually got returned to me, to my billing address, not shipping address. As a final insult, I opened the door to my flat just in time to see the driver basically throw the box (now mangled beyond belief anyway, trailing styrofoam peanuts and cardboard bits) the last couple of feet onto my stairs. He looked at me and just said "What." then walked off.

Amazingly, the computer stuff inside was undamaged beyond a few bent bits of metal and some cracked plastic. What else to do but to hire a repair consultant (ie. me) to repair the damage (ie. bend the metal back with pliers) fabricate a stack of invoices for a fair repair cost (ie. 99% of the insured value) before reshipping with UPS.

To their credit they paid the claim without question.

Comment Re:Light makes a huge difference... to some people (Score 1) 144

My brother has spent several 6 month stints at the Alert encampment (not really a town per se) in Canada (82.5N) and the whole crew starts to a bit barmy both in winter (no light) and summer (too much light). Worst part is there's no where to go even if you wanted to brave the elements. I think it was originally built as a NORAD base, with room for over 200 but now it's manned by about 25. Sounds like a bad X-Files episode.

Comment Re:Headline Is So Very Wrong (Score 1) 1193

I think our analogies are orthogonal :)
The beer *is* everything we need and want, and the role of gov't (the bar) is to ensure that system continues to operate, which necessarily benefits the wealthy more than the poor as it's the same system in which they were able to become wealthy in the first place.
It's disingenuous to examine taxes solely from the perspective of direct benefit to an individual. "Taxes buy civilisation" is the old hackneyed phrase, but there's an amount of truth to it.
Speaking orthogonally, the Government of Ontario used to bottle and sell their own scotch ("GO Scotch" we called it), but I can assure you that was something you neither need nor want.

Comment Re:HERE'S AN IDEA (Score 1) 586

When did desktop keyboards become standardised? When I moved to the UK, I got one with keys in all the "wrong" places (although evoked fond memories of the Commodore 64). Better, the "wrong" keys produce the right keycodes (ie. the expected keycode for the key in that location) as my XP is configured to use a US-spec keyboard. Confuses the hell out of co-workers. Much better than using a keyboard in Japan though.

Comment Re:yeah yeah (Score 1) 186

I always thought the signature provided the retailer with some degree of security.
Which made me very confused when I bought a $400 iPod at the Apple Store in San Francisco and they just swiped my card and sent me on my way. I asked the clerk what they'd do if I denied making the charge and he just looked at my blankly and confused, insisting the card-swipe was sufficient.

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