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Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?

toddbu Re:Holy shit? (950 comments)

When it comes to protecting privacy, you can never be too careful with your kids. If we're telling our kids to be careful what they share on MySpace, shouldn't we be holding everyone to the same standard, including the schools? I can't imagine one compelling need for this data.

I quit giving blood several years ago because they started DNA testing and only offered "opt out" rather than "opt in". For all the assurance that the blood bank people gave me about keeping private data private, I know that all it takes is one court order and suddenly your very private DNA profile is shared with someone that wasn't intended to receive it.

more than 5 years ago

Sophisticated Balloons Could Help Steer Spacecraft

toddbu Re:Colbert (96 comments)

I have no problem if they don't want to have write-ins. What I have a problem with is when they offer the write-in and then don't respect the results. In business, they call this bait-and-switch. It demonstrates a lot of arrogance.

more than 5 years ago

Sophisticated Balloons Could Help Steer Spacecraft

toddbu Colbert (96 comments)

Maybe they should hold an Internet naming contest for this new system and then reject the results. I officially think that the folks at NASA are a bunch of jerks for not respecting the results of their ISS node naming contest. :-(

more than 5 years ago
top Uses Google Moderator System

toddbu Re:Ahh, true democracy (436 comments)

Depending on how they handle the input, they may indeed be undermining our system of government. You shouldn't assume that only the people who have a net connection are smart. I know plenty of really smart, wise people who know little to nothing about computers.

more than 5 years ago

Recourse For Poor Customer Service?

toddbu Re:Call your credit card company.... (593 comments)

I did my first chargeback ever a few weeks ago, and I've had a credit card for about 25 years. The key thing is that you have a limited amount of time to do this, so pay attention to dates. I think that 90 days from the date that the charge first appeared on your statement is typical, but check to make sure. When I did my chargeback, there was a ton of stuff to document, so make sure that you preserve *everything*. At minimum, you'll need a copy of the order and any communication that you had with them. Send them email, preferably using an account like Hotmail or Gmail. If you call, make a note of the date and time, the rep that you spoke with, and any details that they told you. And if you are going to do a chargeback, do everything that you can to show a "good faith" effort with the merchant. This means contacting them several times using both email and phone, and make more than one attempt with each. Then when you make your claim, instead of saying "these jerks screwed me", just point out everything that you did to work with the vendor and then say, "I did everything that I could to resolve this with the vendor and have run out of options". Your bank will love you for this because it helps them to justify the chargeback decision.

One final note - chargebacks aren't guaranteed. They work a large percentage of the time, mainly because the cost for the vendor to research what happened is much higher than the loss that they take on the product, and they are still likely to lose. When you put together your documentation, keep a copy in case you lose the case with your credit card company and need to take legal action against Dell.

more than 5 years ago


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