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June 2008

June 30, 2008

Our legal system at work (with an economics test after)

From an actual document I recently received, not one word made up.

Why did I get this notice package?

You may have been a Time Warner Cable subscriber at some time between January 1, 1994 and December 31, 1998 and may have been on a list of subscribers whose personal information may have been made available for sale by Time Warner Cable to other companies for marketing purposes. . . .

What is this lawsuit about?

The lawsuit claimed that Time Warner Cable sold personal information about its subscribers to other companies that wanted the information to advertise and try to sell you products and services. The lawsuit claimed that Time Warner Cable is required to tell subscribers how it collects and uses their personal information, and that Time Warner Cable failed to do so in compliance with applicable law. Time Warner Cable denies that it did anything wrong or that it violated any law, and believes that it would have ultimately prevailed at trial. . . .

What benefits does the settlement provide?

If you qualify, you may receive $5 or free services. If you choose to receive free services, here are the free Time Warner Cable services you can get. . . .

(1) One free month of any Time Warner Cable service that is available on a monthly basis and that you don't already have.


(2) Two (2) free Movies on Demand. . . .

Are there other settlement benefits in addition to the $5 of free services?

Yes. As part of the settlement, Time Warner Cable has agreed: (1) to change its disclosure to subscribers about how it collects and uses their personal information; (2) to employ a Chief Privacy Officer in charge of making sure the company complies with privacy laws; (3) to give money to two public interest groups that care about and work on privacy issues; (4) to pay the costs of sending and publishing this notice and giving out the free services and $5 checks; (5) to give money to the two Class Representatives who participated in this case for all the subscribers; and (6) to pay for the lawyers who represented the subscribers throughout this case.

Now, for some questions--and a prize offer--please read the continuation.

UPDATE: For a different view on the merits of this settlement, see the comments of Daniel L. Anderson, the attorney who represented objectors to the original settlement agreement.

Continue reading "Our legal system at work (with an economics test after)" »

Sunspots are still missing

Solar activity still seems to be unusually quiet. Scientists speculate that that could indicate some cooler temperatures may be coming. So maybe--just maybe--mankind putting a lot of CO2 into the air will turn out to be a good thing.

If so, how ironic would that be? Gotta be an 11 on a 1 to 10 scale.

Google and the DOJ

As I've written before, Google's success, size, and visibility mean that it's just a matter of time before it attracts antitrust interest. Here's another indication that I will be right.

Government medical care

Michael F. Cannon, director of Health Policy Studies at Cato, finds a possible reason why Medicare has "low" administrative costs.

Two possibly useful things to know

Wired tells us how to land an airplane. (Bonus: how to reduce "brain freeze" from cold drinks.)

June 29, 2008

Congratulations to Meredith Newmark . . .

. . . the youngest of the Raleigh Newmarks, on her recent publication (a letter to the editor of the Raleigh News & Observer).

More on "tip-of-the-tongue" syndrome

"The research suggests why the tip-of-the-tongue experience becomes so much more common with age. Numerous studies have documented the effects of the aging process on the frontal lobes, with the areas shrinking in size and decreasing in density. As a result, the frontal lobes become less effective at searching the rest of the cortex for specific pieces of information."

June 28, 2008

How iconic is she?

An indication that Erin Andrews has reached a new level of icon-hood (icon-ness?): former Cubs pitcher, now broadcaster, Rick Sutcliffe, about to have additional surgery for cancer, jokes that he's "more worried" about Ms. Andrews's skirt.

June 27, 2008

There's no resume like a stupid resume

"Stupid Shit People ACTUALLY Put On Their Resumes".

1. I am very detail-oreinted.

5. It’s best for employers that I not work with people.

12. Please disregard the attached resume-it is terribly out of date.

14. Graduated in the top 66% of my class.

21. Excellent memory; strong math aptitude; excellent memory; effective management skills; and very good at math.

25. Married, eight children. Prefer frequent travel.

If you want still more, see "150 Funniest Resume Mistakes, Bloopers, and Blunders Ever".

"Hy-pathetic-al Questions"

"What if Gene inflicted another 'What if' column on us?"

WHAT IF Barack Obama were exactly the same person he is but were named Stanley P. Nussbaum?

First, let's list the positives:

1. His initials would no longer be "B.O."


Yeah, that's about it.

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