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Comments

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Comcast Confessions

WheezyJoe Re:I must be the outlier (228 comments)

Aren't they obliged to cancel your account if you ask, though? I mean, say you say "i want to close my account", they asked if you're sure, aware of the great deals etc. Say no, again, politely, then firmly "close my account now". What would happen if they continued trying to get you to stay and you stay silent?

You make me smile, my friend. But your cable company is not like the police who have to stop questioning you when you invoke your rights to remain silent and ask for a lawyer. Unless an ambitious attorney-general is riding up their ass over some consumer-protection clause, your cable company can keep on shilling until they (not you) become convinced they are wasting their time.

Tell them you're moving out of town (to a location that's not served by the company). Tell them you're broke and destitute with no job, and your wife left you and took the TV. Tell them your cable box overheated and burned your house down. Tell them you're appeals have run out and you're going to prison.

Then they might give up.

yesterday
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Comcast Confessions

WheezyJoe Bullet-Proof Glass (228 comments)

Every cable company office I've ever been in - every single one - all the employees are behind bullet proof glass that would make a bank teller envious.

My experience also. Would mod up if I had mod points. Everywhere I've lived, returning a cable box was like visiting a prison. Desolate white-washed cinderblock waiting rooms with strange-smelling air in a run-down part of town. The security glass makes you think you're looking out from a decompression chamber. The steel drawer you put your equipment in can take your arm clean off.

What could have happened in these places to inspire this much security? I wanna know!

yesterday
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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

WheezyJoe Re:all that article tells me is that they are (149 comments)

staying the corse with fewer people.

I'm sure that'll work out well, like the current corse is.

Agreed. The article is MBA-speak, with no vision, ideas, or anticipation. You hear this kind of shit, irrelevance is coming.

I'm sad to see it come to this, but the rumors have been persistent that MS had become more and more of an un-fun drudgery politics look-over-your-shoulder shit-hole to work at, and that can only lead to brain-drain, loss of morale, and a black-hole sucking away product ideas that might make the company worthwhile again, leaving only the suits and bean-counters steering the ship.

3 days ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

WheezyJoe Re:Discrimination against atheists (198 comments)

Plus good luck getting elected if you are honest about being an atheist. It's basically considered political suicide in most of the country.

Pffft. Who's requiring you to be honest? It's politics. Fuck being honest about that shit. It ain't nobody's business.
(besides, if religious nuts would just keep it as their business, instead of always making it everyone else's business, religion wouldn't be such a fucking problem)

about a week ago
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Two Cities Ask the FCC To Preempt State Laws Banning Municipal Fiber Internet

WheezyJoe Re:recoiling in disgust is not the same as apathy (198 comments)

Then run for office yourself.

EEEEEWWWWWW

Have you seen the caliber of psychopathic nimrods that run for office?
That's beneath me. /jk

Yep. And that's how shit keeps happening, the circle jerk goes round and round.
But just imagine if a bunch of non-nimrods stepped up, put cooler heads together, start chipping away at the nimrods.
Might go slow at first, but man, how cool would it be if our legislatures were nimrod-free.

Nimrod-free
(how nice it would be)

about a week ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

WheezyJoe Re:Hmmm (205 comments)

As for the "pull down mirror", that isn't even remotely new technology. Other vehicles have had those for a decade or more.

Yeah, like limos. So where's the feature that lets the kids raise the privacy partition to cut their parent off?

about two weeks ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

WheezyJoe Re:There is no magic bullet (474 comments)

Ending prohibition didn't kill the mob. They just switched from bootlegging to trafficking narcotics, and they reached the height of their power in the 50s and 60s, long after the prohibition ended.

Well... by this thinking, the mob continued because prohibition didn't end. They moved from one prohibited product to another, but always a product the people wanted, but couldn't get because of a prohibition, and the mob was in a particularly good position (with their organization and international reach) to supply.

In the same way, while legalizing marijuana might reduce crime here in the US, cartels in Mexico are Too Big to Fail. They won't pack up their things and head home quietly if marijuana is legalized; they'll just start peddling something new.

What might happen if the cartels' market dried up is, at best, speculation. Could be risky, change is scary. But doing nothing and maintaining the status quo is worse. The cartels continue to get better and better at smuggling (they got submarines for fuck sake) and much, much richer while turning Central and South American countries into murderous hell-holes from which children flee to the U.S. on foot, and that ain't no shit.

I don't see how decriminalizing them good possibly be a good idea. The addiction rate for these drugs is 2.5 to 3 times that of alcohol.

I'm also nervous about cocaine and meth easily getting around (like, more than it already is). But the fact is, drug addiction and mental illness is just gonna have to be something that this country has to shut up, knuckle-down and deal with. It's not going away, and prohibition doesn't help. Prohibition only has power to do one thing... throw people in jail. It doesn't cure addiction (drugs make their way into prisons all the time), and distracts everyone from the larger issue of mental illness. It's like taking out the garbage: nobody wants to do it, nobody gets credit for doing it, but it's gotta be done or shit just piles up and gets worse.

about two weeks ago
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World Health Organization Calls For Decriminalization of Drug Use

WheezyJoe Re:No public drug use (474 comments)

Companies should not be permitted to profit from the sale of addictive substances for recreational purposes.

like tobacco in cigarettes?

or the 200 other ingredients in there to get you addicted?

The poster is saying what's typically said. You would think that selling a highly addictive substances for recreational purposes would make you rich and invincible, entire nations hopelessly enslaved by your product. Addict-zombie attack. But you'd be wrong.

Sometimes, the answer isn't the easy one. The lesson painfully learned from prohibition is that prohibition raises demand, not lowers it.

On the other hand, education and regulation, not out-and-out bans, really work. Tobacco smoking in the U.S. used to be around 50% in the Don Draper years. Now it's under 20 and still dropping. Tobacco companies are having to merge to maintain market share.

The difference is between people politely, but firmly, told to take their habit outside or into a (dirty) designated area or else you'll get a fine, and police breaking down doors and throwing flash-bombs that kill your grandma with a heart attack (because the Informant lied, and the Chief gave the green-light because the Politician wanted to go on the news that evening with pictures of drugs on the table.

about two weeks ago
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Dungeons & Dragons' Influence and Legacy

WheezyJoe Blame the Players, not the Game (127 comments)

The great thing about D&D (that's often lost on people) is that it was a social thing. All your friends get together, kinda like college poker nights (except you're NOT trying to drain the sucker next to you). Best campaign I ever had we were ten kids in a room (on a rainy day), working together, hashing things out. The DM was really prepared, and we got completely immersed and the hours flew by like they do when you're really having fun. It was great.

The fact is, it's just damn hard to get a good campaign together, get a lot of people interested. Probably much harder now because D&D has that (false) anti-social stigma these days, and who needs a DM when you got a computer? D&D takes a lot more work than just firing up WoW (or, for that matter, Zork) by yourself in the basement. Even in the day, if your friends weren't into it, role-playing games kinda suck. On the flip side, if your friends are stoked, your DM puts in the prep-time, and you're all keen to cooperate and work with each other, D&D can make some of the best memories you'll ever have. 'cause it's with your friends.

Most people I know who shit on D&D either never played it, or had a lame experience in a lame campaign. That's a shame, but that's life. Anything involving people, from drama club to Boy Scouts to playing football can leave a bad taste in your mouth if the people in it don't care or are uncooperative assholes.

about two weeks ago
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Steve Wozniak Endorses Lessig's Mayday Super PAC

WheezyJoe Re:Major source of corruption is Tax Code not PACs (209 comments)

To get rid of the major source of political corruption in the U.S. we need to rewrite the tax codes.

In order for "we" to rewrite the tax codes, better people need to be elected to Congress and state legislatures. Today, to a great extent, that means PACs, because PACs raise the money for campaigns that make the difference between someone wanting to get elected and someone having a real chance of getting elected.

The weak link of democracy is... democracy. First, the voting public needs to know who you are, and second, the voting public needs to get off their asses and vote. Seriously. There's a mid-term election coming up... pay attention to the turn-out.

"We" will continue to elect puppets and pawns, owned by and obligated to the "secret" donors to the PACs (and who will continue to twist the tax code for their benefit), until "we" start coming out in sufficient numbers and elect other people, and thus embarrass all the "secret" donors who sent money to the PACs but got no return on their "investment".

about a month and a half ago
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X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

WheezyJoe Re:1994-95 (204 comments)

The machines or the OS?

The machines. Fine black slabs (NeXTstations), cubes with giant NeXT Dimension monitors, and matching black 400dpi laser printers... Sun made some fine-looking Sparc pizza boxes back in the day with cute purple feet, but the NeXTs were a joy to use for anything from research to productivity. I recall Mathematica, Webster's Dictionary, and WriteNow were bundled for free!

As to OS X, I appreciate the underlying NeXTStep framework, which is particularly evident from Xcode. But the display is something new (not Display Postscript), and ever since version 1 "cheetah" I have wondered why the performance seemed so poor, when NeXTStep ran just fine on Motorola 68030's and 68040's and 16 MBytes RAM.

I mean, OS X performs fine now, but it's running on Intel hardware that's not even in the same sport as what NeXTStep was running on in the early 90's. In view of that, I would expect something based on NeXTStep to be absolutely stunning quick on modern Mac Intel hardware, but it's just ok.
 

about a month and a half ago
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X Window System Turns 30 Years Old

WheezyJoe Re:1994-95 (204 comments)

NeXT machines used Display Postscript not X.

X11 was available, both commercial and free (e.g. CoXist), as an app that ran on NeXT's Display Postscript. I miss NeXT computers, looked good, performed well, easy to service, easy to program, good networking, good documentation, sported floppies that could write DOS disks which came in handy so many many times in those days before thumb drives. And I remember Display Postscript having some X-like network capability (but I didn't use it much). Besides, both the WWW and Doom, and who knows what else, started life on a NeXT. I wish them well, wherever they be.

Am I old?

Not at all, though there are some younger people around.

True.

about a month and a half ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

WheezyJoe Re: Incompetent -- Learning Archival Strategies (396 comments)

Simple: It is a "Datasheet" covering an "archival grade medium". If you do not know that, you have absolutely no business working on any kind of "mission critical" storage, as you are simply incompetent with regard to that subject.

Easy, there, big fella. Posting a link to a datasheet would have sufficed. Ain't right to call a man incompetent for asking a question. Truly, an incompetent is one who don't never ask the question assuming he already knows. Credit is due for seeking to learn something.

about a month and a half ago
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One Developer's Experience With Real Life Bitrot Under HFS+

WheezyJoe Re:Those that are incompetent will lose their data (396 comments)

There are only two options for reliable data archiving: 1. Spinning disks with redundancy and regular checks 2. Archival grade tape. There used to be MOD as well, but as nobody cared enough to buy it, development stalled and then died.

Any experience with M-discs as archival media? Newer cd and dvd burners are compatible with them, but do they deliver?

about a month and a half ago
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Human Blood Substitute Could Help Meet Donor Blood Shortfall

WheezyJoe The Secret's in the Crystals (172 comments)

Are dark, sparkling Foldger's Crystals rich enough to keep these patients alive and well?

Spokesman: How do you feel?

Patient #1: Fine, thank you.

Spokesman: Did you know that we've replaced all of your blood with Foldger's Crystals?

Patient #1: An instant?

Spokesman: That's right.

Patient #1: I can't believe it. I feel great. I'm full of Foldger's Crystals, really?

Spokesman: Yes, and so are all the other patients in this intensive care unit. How do you all feel?

[ The other patients show reactions of approval ]

about a month and a half ago
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China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8

WheezyJoe Re:And what's better? (200 comments)

It is disingenuous to count XP's support period from its first release date...Support for original XP (without a Service Pack) ended in 2005- only 4 years supported. The last Service Pack, SP3, was released in 2008- giving it a respectable 6 years supported.

That sounds about right. I refused to upgrade from Windows 2000 until XP had made it past SP1, because XP had so many problems on release. These days, we think of patches to fix security issues. But with XP, most patches just fixed things that were plain broken. The years before SP2, and probably SP3, really shouldn't count in XP's lifespan.

about 2 months ago
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China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8

WheezyJoe Re:To be fair, they'll probably buy one copy... (200 comments)

...and then do absolutely nothing to stop the rampant pirating of that copy...

Stop it? They'd promote it! ...after hacking it to send keystrokes and user-data to their own intelligence servers.
Windows CN, coming to a torrent near you.

about 2 months ago
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The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

WheezyJoe Re:So how to report an actual problem? (373 comments)

Lawyer speak. They are trying to make it difficult for investigators to find incriminating or "smoking gun" evidence through a word-search on their electronic documents (such as when they are forced to hand them over on discovery or under subpoena, or else leaked by a whistleblower or hacker).

about 2 months ago
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Your Old CD Collection Is Dying

WheezyJoe Re:Yet Vinyl still endures (329 comments)

This. Wise words and true. I have no mod points left :\

about 3 months ago
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The Next Unreal Tournament: Totally Free, Developed By Public

WheezyJoe Re:Avid UT player here... (122 comments)

Still love UT99. So much so that when it wouldn't play on my new Mac, I bought Parallels, Windows XP and the Windows version of UT.

That's dedication, my friend. It runs fine with Windows 7, too, if you ever find yourself forced out of XP.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Apple seeking laid-off BlackBerry workers

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about 10 months ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Coming from the 'I saw it coming but it's still sad' dept., the Financial Post reports "Just days after BlackBerry Ltd. revealed plans to lay off 40% of its global workforce amid disastrous financial results, representatives from smartphone rival Apple Inc. hosted a recruitment drive roughly 20 kilometres away from the embattled technology company’s Waterloo, Ont. home base... the iPhone maker invited local talent with the aim of luring them to their Silicon Valley operations." BlackBerry is expected to post a nearly $1 Billion loss."
Link to Original Source
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Keyless Remote Entry for Cars May Have Been Cracked

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "The Today Show had a piece this morning showing video of thieves apparently using a small device to open and enter cars equipped with keyless entry. Electronic key fobs, which are supposed to be secure, are replacing keys in more and more new cars, but the evidence suggests that a device has been developed which effortlessly bypasses this security (at least on certain makes and models). Says the article, police and security experts are "stumped"."
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A Computer-based Smart Rifle with Incredible Accuracy, Now On Sale

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "A story on NPR reports that the TrackingPoint rifle went on sale today, and can enable a "novice" to hit a target 500 yards away on the first try. "The rifle's scope features a sophisticated color graphics display. The shooter locks a laser on the target by pushing a small button by the trigger... But here's where it's different: You pull the trigger but the gun decides when to shoot. It fires only when the weapon has been pointed in exactly the right place, taking into account dozens of variables, including wind, shake and distance to the target. The rifle has a built-in laser range finder, a ballistics computer and a Wi-Fi transmitter to stream live video and audio to a nearby iPad. Every shot is recorded so it can be replayed, or posted to YouTube or Facebook."
Link to Original Source
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Passenger's iPhone May Have Sent a Plane Off Course

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Bloomberg reports that as the airlines and the FAA wrangle over whether to permit the use of electronics onboard passenger aircraft, anecdotal evidence continues to suggest that personal electronics can mess with a plane's avionics. The article cites a particular incident in 2011 where turning off a passenger's iPhone seemed to fix a problem with the cockpit compass that was sending the plane several miles off course. "Laboratory tests have shown some devices broadcast radio waves powerful enough to interfere with airline equipment, according to NASA, aircraft manufacturer Boeing Co. (BA) and the U.K.’s Civil Aviation Authority... Delta Air Lines Inc. (DAL), which argued for relaxed rules, told the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration its pilots and mechanics reported 27 suspected incidents of passenger electronics causing aircraft malfunctions from 2010 to 2012. Atlanta-based Delta said it couldn’t verify there was interference in any of those cases.""
Link to Original Source
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Copyright Troll Righthaven Loses Last Appeal

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Ars Technica reports that copyright troll Righthaven is finished. Righthaven is the Las Vegas operation that sought to make a business out of making copyright claims to newspaper articles, find people who had posted pieces of those articles online, and then threaten those people with massive statutory damages unless they sent in checks. This morning, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit told Righthaven to take a hike (PDF).
In a follow-up press release, Marc Randazza, the lawyer who helped bring Righthaven down, said "given Righthaven’s unwillingness to make rational choices, I expect a petition for the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. Stay tuned.”"
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Another Internet Scam: Scientific Journals

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year ago

WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Wanna get rich quick with a server and a business plan? Dupe unwitting researchers, gullible scientists, and unapologetic charlatans seeking to pad their resumes into sending you their precious papers — and then charge 'em a nice fat fee. Peer review? Nope! The "editorial board" is there to recruit more sales (submissions)! According to this article in the New York Times, all you need is a name that looks and sounds like a legitimate scientific journal or seminar (e.g., just add a hyphen), and sucker scientists will make your business a success! Own one journal, own 250! Fill cyberspace with "scientific" papers of dubious quality! Ain't the Internet great?"
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Ransomware Is On The Rise

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  about a year and a half ago

WheezyJoe writes "Ransomware is becoming big enough that the NY Times is covering it. Essentially online extortion, ransomware involves infecting a user’s computer with a virus that locks it, scours the drive for personal info, and demands money before the computer will be unlocked. In some countries, the payout rate has been as high as 15 percent. Early variations of ransomware locked computers, displayed porno, and, in Russian, demanded a fee to have it removed. Now, fake messages from local law enforcement accuse victims of visiting illegal pornography, gambling or piracy sites and demand fines to unlock the computer, many originating from sites hacked from GoDaddy. 'This is the new Nigerian e-mail scam... We’ll be talking about this for the next two years.'"
Link to Original Source
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US Mobile Carriers Won't Brick Stolen Phones

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 2 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "NBC News has some wicked disturbing security video of people getting beat up... over their smart phones. And it's on the rise. Police Chiefs like D.C.'s Cathy Lanier are asking US mobile carriers to brick phones that are reported stolen to dry up what must be a big underground market for your favorite Android or iPhone, but right now they won't do it. So I suppose we're best leaving our mobile phones at home?"
Link to Original Source
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Shadowy Source of a TV Attack Ad

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 3 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "How many people actually read that text at the end of an attack ad about some "coalition" or "people for such-and-such" or remember to look up the web-site for dose of greater truthiness? The author of this NY Times article (subscription maybe required) checked up on a Medicare ad (complete with a talking baby!) and found a series of dead-ends, a PO box at Mailboxes Etc., and a shadowy corporation with no staff. From the article,
One last clue emerged from the filings. They showed that much of its money had gone to a Florida consulting firm, the Fenwick Group, a two-person outfit whose Web site listed other clients that included health care and technology companies.
I called the phone number for Fenwick. A man answered.
“K & M Insurance,” he said.
“I’m looking to speak to somebody with the Fenwick Group,” I said.
“Oh, that would be Jay.”"

Link to Original Source
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Microsoft Open-Sources U-Prove Secure ID Framework

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "ArsTechnica posts that Microsoft has released an SDK for U-Prove under its Open Specification Promise. The U-Prove system allows the creation of secure ID tokens, incorporating whatever information is needed for a given transaction — but no more — along with cryptographic protection to ensure that it can't be forged, reused, traced back to the user, or linked to other tokens.

FTFA: "In a world with U-Prove, many existing identity management problems would go away. If my credit card company and online music service both supported U-Prove, I could create a token that allowed a single limited electronic money transfer from my card to the music company, without disclosing my name, address, or date of birth, and without that token being usable to make further purchases."
The release as Open Source is apparently to encourage the adoption of the technology, which would require new software at both vendors and end-users."

Link to Original Source
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Download Trouble with Windows 7 Student Offer

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 4 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "Windows 7, Home Premium or Professional, can be had by students with an .edu e-mail account for only $29.99if it works. The special pricing is handled by a third-party host that surprised many takers by failing to produce a burnable ISO. Microsoft acknowledges the problem and suggests a workaround, with which some have claimed success. Speaking personally, confidence is uncertain. Why couldn't they just put a DVD in the mail like normal people?"
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Apple Stores Demonstrate that Retail Still Lives

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "Maybe OS X Leopard has its problems, but the New York Times seems to think Apple has designed the ideal techie retail store. A policy that encourages lingering, with dozens of fully functioning computers, iPods and iPhones for visitors to try, even for hours on end (one patron wrote a manuscript entirely at the store) has 'given some stores, especially those in urban neighborhoods, the feel of a community center... Meanwhile, the Sony flagship store on West 56th Street, a few blocks from Apple's Fifth Avenue store, has the hush of a mausoleum. And being inside the long and narrow blue-toned Nokia store on 57th Street feels a bit like being inside an aquarium. The high-end Samsung Experience showroom, its nuevo tech music on full blast one recent morning, was nearly empty.'"
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Little Old Lady Hammers Comcast

WheezyJoe WheezyJoe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

WheezyJoe writes "The Washington Post reports that a little old lady took a hammer to Comcast. Apparently fed up with the lousy service she received from a botched Comcast installation of "triple-play", and a completely humiliating experience at a customer service center, 75-year-old Mona "The Hammer" Shaw took her claw hammer back to the customer service center and bludgeoned the office equipment into tiny plastic pieces. The article includes pictures."

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