Archive for the 'Suckers' Category

Why Class Action Lawsuits Are Not As Bad As You Think.

Verizon Makes Canceling Over Their Txt Msg Hike Impossible.

The problem here is that Verizon can take advantage of economies of scale. Say you are some kind of crusader that writes the article and/or has the experience that the author did regarding the difficulty of canceling your contract over the material increase in text message fees. They know that maybe 1 or 2 out of a million will actually take them to court over it. So they pay what, 2 or 3 grand to settle those cases? Meanwhile, they have a 50 percent increase in revenue for every text message that its tens of millions of customers are sending. If I was some kind of Verizon executive, I would be creaming in my pants over this trade-off.

Meanwhile, over the past few years, there have been constant attacks by Big Tobacco, Big Medicine, and Big Insurance to reduce the recovery that class action litigants can get. They call this “tort reform,” and to date, these attacks have been largely successful, resulting on limitations (judicial or legislative) on the recoveries that class action litigants can get.

On the other end of the assrape of the American people, you have unscrupulous class action lawyers that only seek coupon settlements because they get 30% of the value of the coupon, in cash. So even if there was a class action lawsuit, it will never result in any real recovery to the class action pool, just to the lawyers who represent them.

So basically, you, Joe Public, are getting fucked from both ends. The class action system is broken, vendors like Verizon know it, and they sure as hell take advantage of it.

Internet Explorer is for suckers

Part 3 in my series, Things for Suckers. Now, don’t get my wrong. I love me some Microsoft. They make Xboxes, they make sweet sweet Office, and I love XP. I put my money where my mouth is – I even own shares of Microsoft at about $24.50. BUT there is no doubt that Firefox straight up OWNS Internet Explorer and anyone that uses Internet Explorer is a complete sucker. The use of Tabs alone is reason enough to use Firefox over IE.

Firefox is customizable, and I customize the hell out of mine. Among the plugins I have:
Google Send To Phone – puts a little cell phone in the corner of your browser that you can use to send text messages.
TabSwitcher – pretty self explanatory
Autofill – fill in personal information into form pages.
Google Notebook – store little notes about webpages and such. You know you have made it when Google is making plugins for your browser.
SessionSaver – Sometimes Firefox crashes (pff, as if IE doesn’t!) and you want to remember where you were.
Stealther – I use this at work for obvious reasons
Gmail Space – Use Gmail as a hard drive. Sweet.
Firefox Extension Backup Extension. It backs up your extensions.

I also have MozBackup, for saving all my settings, bookmarks, and so forth so that I can put it on other computers or revert to an old setup. Finally, I also have GreaseMonkey, which has its own plugins. For Greasemonkey, I have: Remove IMDB ad column (sorry!), Linkify Plus (automatically link unlinked URL’s), UPS/FedEX Tracking Linkify (link tracking numbers in emails and such), Expedia Expanded Search, Gizmodo Hide Ads, Flyertalk Adremove, Hide Google Adsense Ads, IMDB Links in Netflix, Netflix Links in IMDB, and Remove IMDB a9 Search. Now, show me how to do all that shit in IE! I thought so.

I have a little Google bar to search on the quick, I have a bunch of frequently used sites on little buttons, and I have Gmail Notifier to let me know when I have email. My god Firefox is so sweet and owns everything out there. There isn’t even a close second.

So finally I had to write this page because I found a site which has all the best plugins. It is called “I want a Firefox Extension to…“, and it helped me find some of these plugins. I just got Performancing, and am using it now to make my first post directly from the Firefox Extensions list. I think I am going to name my first born Firefox.

The United Homeless Organization

Number 2 in my multipart series, Things for Suckers.

Anyone that gives money to the the United Homeless Organization, or UHO, is an utter chump. I’ve always suspected that it was just a scam run by a bunch of homeless people to get you to give them money. Today, I did some surfing around on the internet and found out I was right.

Basically it works like this: A suspicious individual sits at a table with a water jug with the letters “UHO” on it and begs you to spare a dime, a nickle, EVEN A PENNY! to help the homeless.

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So you reach for some loose change, but what you should realize unless you are a complete sucker is that any fool with a water jug could do this, and that your money is not going to help the homeless, but this homeless guy right here. If you really want to help the homeless, try donating to a reputable charity. According to the NY Post, (alt link) 80% of the money goes directly to the guy who is aggressively bellowing at you. Its nothing more than organized panhandling. You have to feel sorry for the homeless people involved in this scam, but the shame goes to the UHO itself, for profiting off of the panhandling of its “employees.” It is a complete racket, and smacks of a pyramid scheme. Someone should investigate their finances.

Things for Suckers: A Multipart Series

There are a lot of things that are out there that are specifically made for Suckers. For example, the Gizmondo. Another example: working hard. I could give a million examples.

And I will, as part of my multipart series on Things For Suckers. I came across the following article at the NYTimes titled: “Someone Has to Pay for TV. But Who? And How?” Dear non-existent reader, I will tell you the answer. 1. Maybe. 2. Not me. 3. I could care less. The article talks about how 70 percent of DVR users skip commercials. Well duh. That is because 99% of all commercials suck and aren’t worth watching. Watching TV in real time with commercials IS FOR SUCKERS. The article is definitely worth a read, and I thought this perspective was actually quite innovative:

James Boyle, a law professor at Duke University, said that broadcasters offer a program knowing that only a fraction of the audience watches the commercials. Advertisers, he added, buy nothing more than “an option on a probability,” and the viewer is no more obligated to watch every commercial than a driver is obligated to read every billboard.

An option on probability. I like that.

In my view, the advertising industry is taking too many cues from the RIAA. The solution is not to battle against the erosion of your business plan using technology. As the RIAA and MPAA have learned painfully, that is never going to work. What advertisers should be doing is looking internally, for a way to make their generic car commercials suck less. Beer commercials. The old Volkswagen commercials. Even the new Burger King commercials. Those are funny. I’ll watch ’em. The latest Mercury Merkur commercial? I’ll pass, thanks. Just try and stop me.

Follow up: Here is an example of someone doing something right. Whoever came up with this at Warner Bros. should be promoted.