Saturday, April 24, 2010

Some changes at home

Shea's computer was really slow. It's actually Debi's old system, dating back to the mid 1990's. I've boosted it a few times, and it has XP on it, but it really can't handle Youtube and animations. So we had to find a way to get him a computer that worked better. He really likes my desktop, so I asked my friends at Seattle Laptop whether they had a laptop Dock that I could get. They did.

So, my desktop is now up in Shea's room, along with my old monitor. I picked up a new monitor, flatscreen and widescreen, from Best Buy. I also switched out the router that we were using because it was a wireless that I needed for my laptop, which I don't need anymore. Meaning that we have our older wired router for the systems, Shea's computer connects to the router using a powerline connection, and everyone's online.

The last bit I'll say about this is what it makes possible for the 46th. The wireless router that I was using at home is now in the bag with the overhead projector. Anytime I go on the road with the projector, I can plug my Clear modem into the router, and connect via the wireless connection. And so can anyone else at our meetings.

One small step for Shea, one giant leap for the District. Ok, he doesn't think it's that small of a step. The computer upstairs is now a heck of a lot faster.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Chase, just shut up...

I got a call about 6 months ago from Chase, warning me about a terrible new law that was passed that required them to give me an option to opt out of their greatest deal, the magic "OverDraft Protection Coverage" or something. I listened to the speaker, and then asked this question:

Chad - "So, if I don't agree to continue with this overdraft protection, and I don't have enough money for a transaction, you won't approve the transaction?"

Chase rep - "Yes"

Chad - "And that also means that you won't charge me an overdraft fee?"

Chase rep - "Yes"

Chad - "So, you will no longer charge me an extra fee if I am stupid enough to try to make a transaction with my bank account that I can't afford?"

Chase rep - "Um, that's true, but..."

Chad - "But if I agree to your overdraft protection you will continue to do what you've been doing for years, which is charge my account $39 or more every time I try that?"

Chase rep - "Um, yes."

Chad - "So, you can probably guess what my answer is."

Chase rep - "Yes, I probably can."


But that didn't stop the warnings, of course. They're so terrified of losing their $39 stupidity reward, they send out warnings weekly, sometimes daily. Today they sent this one, and I had enough:

If you don't have Chase Debit Card Overdraft CoverageSM, beginning August 15, 2010, your everyday debit card purchases will not be approved if you don't have
sufficient available funds*.

These purchases may be approved at Chase's discretion if you have Chase Debit Card Overdraft Coverage.
Standard overdraft fees may apply.

So now they're at least being a little more honest and saying that the is charged at Chase's discretion, meaning they can choose whether to hurt their customers or not rather than it just being an automatic slap in the face every time they find someone who can't maintain their bank balance above zero.

Chase, just shut up...

Why does nobody ever ask this question?

I saw this question on one of the mailing lists that I subscribe to, and thought it was important enough to pass on as a seed for discussion.

Why are facts like this never put forth by any union or anyone?

When you rent a DVD from Netflix, the first thing you see is that if you pirate (copy) the DVD, you face a $250,000 and 5 years in jail. Yet, the coal companies, which have kill people in their death traps and continue to have repeat safety violations, face fines less then a $100,000 fine. They are repeat offenders and have killed many people over the years. It is appalling that we live in a society that values and has more fines and jail times for a $20 DVD then a human life.

Jeff Lyles