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Bug Sends Lost-Phone Seekers To Same Wrong Address

pauls2272 Re:Sucks to be him (298 comments)

Yeah, I did that too. But the vast majority of the callers work from home- I even heard babies crying in the background a couple times.

about 2 years ago

Bug Sends Lost-Phone Seekers To Same Wrong Address

pauls2272 Re:Sucks to be him (298 comments)

Certified mail to PO boxes is worthless and a waste of money. You can spend the money to do it, but the form is just deposited in the PO Box and they won't go to the window to actually get the certified mail.

None of the collection agencies that called me ever gave me a real address. Most hung up when I asked for one, others insisted that the PO box was all that was required by the FTC.

about 2 years ago

Bug Sends Lost-Phone Seekers To Same Wrong Address

pauls2272 Re:Sucks to be him (298 comments)

No. Your wrong. The max you can get is controlled by the FTC. The max is quite small - like $500. Then Good Luck ever collecting that even after you "win".

This is assuming you can get them to 1. Identify themselves, 2. Give you a real address (not a PO box) so you can spend $50+ on a server to serve them after you file suit in small claims court. Most would hang up once I asked for them to identify themselves and give me a real address.

Then there are the larger companies that not only spoof the caller id but use a record-a-call wanting you to call back and give a incident number to. When you do that, the debt collector will claim they are no longer bound by the FDCPA ( Fair Debt Collection Practices Act) because THEY didn't call you, you called THEM.

I had the exact situation the OP had. I moved, got a new number and was then inundated with phone calls from collectors. Even telling them that this was my new number didn't really help. Debt Collection was a "growth industry" in the 90s. There are lists of deadbeats that are produced monthly that you can buy and start calling in your own "startup collection" business. So I was constantly getting new collection agencies calling me about the deadbeat.

The only way I got them to stop, was when I switch phone providers (I went from Cox to AT&T), I LISTED my number. Now my number was published and no longer appearing as the deadbeats number in the newest Deadbeat lists. The number of collection calls I received dramatically dropped. From getting 2-3 per week, I've got maybe 2 all last year.

Oh, I also filed a large number of complaints with the FTC - I'm sure this did nothing as I never heard 1 thing from the FTC about any of my complaints.

about 2 years ago

Game Review: Planetside 2 (video)

pauls2272 Re:LOve the game, hate the real money bullshit (157 comments)

The most effective way of getting certs is to follow the huge zerg and cap empty bases. This gives lots of experience and certs. Very boring however.

But the most fun I've had in PS2, involved things like defending the Citadel. Lots of fun but little experience defending and few certs.

more than 2 years ago

The Elder Scrolls Return With Skyrim

pauls2272 Re:Crashes (158 comments)

Crash to desktop, choppy framerate on extreme hardware, game freezes, sound issues... the list goes on.

I played it for a hour or two last night - got to the 1st town. Seemed very Fallout 3ish... only you have to hit R instead of A to Take All - what is up with That?

Had no graphic issues but it crashed to desktop when I opened a chest. Figured it was time to go to bed anyway...

more than 3 years ago

Windows OS Coming To the Mainframe

pauls2272 Re:Is this something the market forces are demandi (148 comments)

The ZBX is designed to replace Racks of X86 servers. The shops that want this either already have a big backend Mainframe - for DB2/ADABAS/IMS with midrange Window/Unix servers or they process everything on the mainframe and FTP down to Windows/Unix boxes (last place I worked FTPed Terrabytes every night down from the mainframe to servers).

The ZBX has a high speed bus connection between the Mainframe (Z196/Z114). This speeds up the network lag for large MQSeries systems, FTPs, etc. Also the ZBX is managed/upgraded by IBM Customer Engineers so the firmware will be IBM supported. They also integrate the ZBX into the Hardware Management Console to have a single point of control. I believe the ZBX can also take advantage of Server Time Protocol so the mainframe can be used as a time source for all the ZBX blade servers.

Shops that currently do not have a mainframe probably won't be interested in the ZBX and the ability to run Windows on it. The ZBX has been out for a year or so but was Linux only until this announcement.

more than 3 years ago

Congress May Permit Robot Calls To Cell Phones

pauls2272 COMPLETELY WRONG (619 comments)

I have experience with this. The "BIG FINE" is a $250 dollar fine and you have to SUE THEM in small claims court to collect. This means hiring an off duty police officer (around $50 bucks) to serve the summons - assuming you can get their address to begin with then paying the court costs to file.

You want a BIG FINE, have them change it to a $25000 dollar fine but $250 bucks isn't worth the hassle.

When I moved I got a new phone number and a got a ton of calls for Mr X who had the number prior to me. As usual, I didn't list my number in the phone book. I explained that Mr X is not here and most of the calls died down. YEARS PASS and I am still getting calls for Mr X - although it is maybe 4-6 a month (some months I'd get a lot more - I think this was when a new collection debt list was published). I become very familiar with the FTC rules regarding collection agencies.

My experience was:
1. Most collection agency people calling you have NO CLUE what the FTC laws and regulations are.
2. Most will not really identify themselves and not give out their address - REQUIRED BY FTC but ignored.
3. Most will tell you their "supervisor" is not available - in some cases they refused to identify the supervisor (FTC violation - they MUST identify themselves, the business, their supervisor and address of business)
4. Many are working off lists they bought and are calling you from their house. These lists are what caused me to get
a lot of calls. Mr X was on them with my number and every time they published and sold a new list to people, I would get
calls. Debt collection is a growing home business...
5. You tell them you aren't this person and NEVER CALL AGAIN and they ignore this (FTC VIOLATION). I got called so
often by some collection agencies, I recognized their voices.

I filed a lot of complaints with the FTC but never heard anything back from them.

Your recourse is to Sue them but as above it isn't worth the time and effort. I was only able to end 95% of the calls by listing my number - this caused the lists to be updated. I still get calls for Mr X but only about 1-2 every few months now not every week or day.

more than 3 years ago

Amazon Drops California Associates to Avoid Sales Tax

pauls2272 Re:Why are Libs so enamored with taxes? (623 comments)

It's not that hard.

These days, we use computers to aid in our transactions.

The data's not "a ridiculous amount" - it's a few KB of data sent from each state each year.

iggest market. I can understand why they don't want to pay taxes.

Yeah, the data is available but not from the states. There are companies whose business is to collect all the sales tax data (from state, city, county and local levels) and they will sell you the info. A number of years ago, when I worked for a major car manufacturer, they had to start buying this data. The data was reloaded/changed monthly. These days, it might be a "cloud" service somewhere.

But they're not going to just throw away the entire market to avoid paying it.

They can sell to CA residents all they want and aren't affected. They are dropping the Affiliate program. My brother runs an internet used bookstore. He is/was an affiliate of Amazon - they would list his books so if you were looking for a used book - it would show up on the Amazon store. Since he is based in CA, I think he is now dropped.

There are a lot of small CA business that were Amazon affiliates.

more than 3 years ago

MGM and Warner Near On Deal For Hobbit Films

pauls2272 Re:Peter jackson... (222 comments)

It wasn't what was cut so much as what was changed:


Before he did it, I would have said that the Fellowship of the Ring was un-Filmable.

I have a few nitpicks with it but it captures the flavor of the book without too many major character changes. Yes, Merry and Pippen were made comic relief along with the dwarf.
But instead of changing things whole cloth and adding stuff to make the scene "dramatically interesting", in the FOTR, he had to just cut cut cut. There was too much material there to try to film everything and condensing things like Arwen and Glorfindel made sense.

In the other movies, he started adding nonsense that wasn't in the books. This is where he went wrong. All he had to do was stick with the story and characters and CUT where needed...

more than 4 years ago

MGM and Warner Near On Deal For Hobbit Films

pauls2272 Re:Peter jackson... (222 comments)

So would they have the same kind of Hobbit One Ring-resistance?

No. Even the lesser rings they had did corrupt them and brought Evil to the Dwarves. Sauron could not control them, the way he could Men so his plot "failed'. But research what happened to each of the 7 Ring Bearers of the Dwarves...

In Letters, JRRT says there are only a few beings in Arda that can control and use the 1 ring - pretty much Gandalf, Elrond and Galadriel.
You had to have Great Power yourself to master the One Ring. No mortal could do it and dwarves are technically mortals.

Every one else attempting to use the Ring would eventually fail and Sauron would eventually prevail. The Ring is part of Sauron after all...

more than 4 years ago

MGM and Warner Near On Deal For Hobbit Films

pauls2272 Re:Peter jackson... (222 comments)

That is interesting. I always just thought Tom was JRR Tolkien.

No. Tom is just a doll that his children played with when they were kids. He put Tom in to amuse them. Later he denied that Tom was Eru (God) and that not everything in the LOTR should be explainable.

more than 4 years ago

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm To Launch Dec. 7th

pauls2272 Re:Sorry Blizzard, no longer a customer (431 comments)

t2) The difficulty is ramped way, way up. The standing intention now is mana/resource conservation along with the return crowd control. Also, there will be a progression of 'Normals > Heroics > Raids' that cannot be skipped.

Interesting. It might be worth my checking out then. I dropped the game after Patch 3.0 or so when they ramped the damage up so high that Crowd Control became meaningless and every encounter was so easy - the hard part was looting the bodies.

Wow became just a tedious grind with no strategy or danger or excitement. Leveling became a real chore.

more than 4 years ago

EA To Charge For Game Demos

pauls2272 Re:EA, you've missed the point (313 comments)

>The point of a demo is to convince people to purchase your game

But this isn't a Demo. They are already milking the back end by selling DLC "addons" to the base product that were probably developed in tandem with the base product. Now they want to sell PDLC "addons" to the product by releasing bits of it early. I'd bet the programmers/developers won't use much if any feedback from the PDLC people as they will be too busy trying to get the base product out the door as well as the DLC content that is to be sold immediately after the base product.

So, in some respects, it is ingenious. Prior to the DLC stuff, you had:

"Base product" if that sold well then a lot of time later "expansion to base product"

Now the business model is:

"PDLC content reaps in big bucks", "base product (which gets smaller and smaller)" ,"DLC content "addons" reaps in more bucks"

Next they will start charging you for character generation, Saves, multiplayer, etc...

more than 4 years ago

Star Wars TV Show Tainted By Memories of Jar Jar

pauls2272 Original is Classic Film making (474 comments)

>But now, almost thirty years older, I still like the first film the best.

Star Wars had a farm boy, a princess, a wizard, a pirate and comic relief. What is not to like? That is Classic Moving Making and story telling!

The 2nd film explored the characters and made the characters make tough decisions - Should Luke go try to rescue his friends or let them die when letting them die is the smarter move...

The 3rd film is where Lucas started going wrong - trying to appeal to 5 year olds and boost the merchandising aspect of the movies instead of telling a story and letting the merchandising take care of itself.

It has been all downhill since then and as long as Lucas equates TOYS = $$$$, his stuff will always suck.

more than 4 years ago

Dune Remake Could Mean 3D Sandworms

pauls2272 Re:Oh, Hubris! (589 comments)

I love how all these directors want to fix/do it right/etc... instead of doing the story AS IS.

I used to think as you do --- Then I saw WATCHMEN...

Sometimes religiously following the source material doesn't work in a movie.

more than 4 years ago

I keep track of my passwords ...

pauls2272 Re:Too Many To Remember (414 comments)

I have upwards of 10 passwords at work that have to change every 30 days

Only 10? I must have 30+ ids/passwords (all different of course), for work. I keep them written down and locked in the drawer in my office. This is what the head security guy told me to do when I complained to him that the IDs/Passwords were WAY OUT OF CONTROL.

I said we needed to get a SINGLE SIGNON product. But that is too expensive so each new product/feature they get, we get another set of IDs and passwords. The old shop I worked at, had the same problem but started requiring any new software acquired had to use the LAN ID/Password or the guys could not buy it. We went down from dozens of IDs/passwords to just a couple.

For home, I use a very strong password for my main sites but the personal websites I access do not require me to change it every 30 days. I also have a throw away password (very easy password) that I use for 1 time websites that want you to register (that I will probably never access again - that way I don't compromise my strong password).

about 5 years ago

CES Vendors Kicked Out of Hotels For Showcasing Wares in Room

pauls2272 Re:And this is news why? (285 comments)

>Most states have no specific laws on the books whatsoever in regard to race or >anything else. In general, a hotel management can deny service to anyone for >pretty much any reason

States don't need one because there is a Federal law:

Its called Federal Public Accommodation Law:


about 5 years ago

The best pizza I have ever had, I found ...

pauls2272 Re:Best Pizza? (920 comments)

>I've had pizza all over the world and nothing >gets close to real Neapolitan pizza in Italy

Yeah, Naples style pizza is fantastic. I had it in Sorrento and once I ate one, that is what I ordered from there on out.

I wish I could get it in the US.

However, the best pizza I ever ate was Chicago Deep Dish pizza. I forget the name of the place - it was a few block walk from the downtown area where I was staying. It was worth the walk.

Completely different style from Neapolitan style.

more than 5 years ago

Saying No To Promotions Away From Tech?

pauls2272 Like Management work or Tech Work? (410 comments)

>a new manager essentially told me that I have to move into a different role oriented towards

If you "have to", I guess you know the answer already.

The question then is "are you happy doing management stuff instead of technical stuff?"

Years ago, I accepted a management promotion (at the time, it was the only way to get more money from that company). I discovered that I hated all the budget/review/meetings stuff. I ended up keeping all the technical stuff (I never replaced myself) and just did both jobs. But that didn't really work out and I ended up moving to a new company for a tech only job. It did teach me that I didn't like management positions much and since then I only do tech work.

As far as oncall goes, the last couple companies I worked at had the official policy of "your oncall 24x7, 365". But if you work at a decent shop, there aren't that many calls to begin with and if you have decent co-workers, it is easy enough to cover each other (either officially thru rotating oncall or unofficially by telling the person calling you to call coworker X instead if you are unavailable/busy).

But I agree with previous posters - it sounds like your company is planning on outsourcing/offshoring the tech groups and will only retain the managers...

more than 5 years ago

SarBox Lawsuit Could Rewrite IT Compliance Rules

pauls2272 Re:Who do you work for? (124 comments)

>Development, Test, Operations. I'm on development >side so I check builds and docs into the source >code control system.

Sounds like your an application dude and not a sysadmin/sysprog. You get source from Vendors and log that into your "source code control system"? Microsoft gives you the source to Windows so you can log the changes Microsoft makes to Windows? Who maintains this "source code control system" and who implements changes into that? Another source code control system to manage the 1st source code control system?

The vendor fixes I get are all object code and need special software to install them - SMP/E For IBM PTFS, Smitty for AIX, etc.

I've worked for Fortune 100 companies and I've never seen a set of "development" sysadmins/sysprogs and another set for Test and another set for Operations. Way too expensive to spend all that money paying people to do the exact same work.

more than 5 years ago


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