How Sony, Microsoft, and Other Gadget Makers Violate Federal Warranty Law | Motherboard

There are big “no trespassing” signs affixed to most of our electronics.

If you own a gaming console, laptop, or computer, it’s likely you’ve seen one of these warnings in the form of a sticker placed over a screw or a seam: “Warranty void if removed.

”In addition, big manufacturers such as Sony, Microsoft, and Apple explicitly note or imply in their official agreements that their year-long manufacturer warranties—which entitle you to a replacement or repair if your device is defective—are void if consumers attempt to repair their gadgets or take them to a third party repair professional.

What almost no one knows is that these stickers and clauses are illegal under a federal law passed in 1975 called the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Source: How Sony, Microsoft, and Other Gadget Makers Violate Federal Warranty Law | Motherboard

Scratch ANOTHER credit card. Sigh

Kelly was checking her email this morning, expecting to find more birthday greetings. Instead, she turned to me and asked me if I had purchased pizza at Domino’s. Buying pizza at 7 AM is a little … unconventional, so I walked over to see why she would pose such a silly question. Turns out she was reading a “fraud alert” email from our credit card company, showing a purchase at Domino’s sometime today.

Cue the internal cursing and rolling eyes.

A phone call to the credit card company confirmed our fears. Someone had purchased $40 worth of Domino’s pizza in Missouri and used our credit card to do it. Our card was promptly canceled and new ones put in the mail.

It had been less than two weeks that we had those particular cards. Two. Fricking. Weeks (in truth, these new cards had the same number as our old cards but with a different CVV).

Turns out, last night I bought something online just a few hours prior. Rather than buy yet another product from Amazon, I bought it from a mom-and-pop shop. I don’t know for sure but I’m assuming their e-commerce website has been hacked.
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Raleigh quietly pulled the plug on Camp Ranoca. Why?

We met Kelly’s family at a Virginia state park for our new “Cabin Thanksgiving” tradition. Standing around the campfire Friday night, we were close to exhausting our measly repertoire of camp songs when Hallie and Travis giddily led the others through several zany camp songs they had picked up from their summers at Raleigh’s Camp Ranoca. Anything that gets both of my kids to happily cooperate gets my attention and it was obvious they both looked back fondly on their Camp Ranoca experiences.

Hallie was greatly looking forward to the chance to be a camp counselor this summer at Camp Ranoca. She is excellent with kids and loves the camp experience. Goofiness runs in the family (if you couldn’t tell). She would’ve been great. I was probably as crushed as she was when we found out at the beginning of the year that Raleigh had quietly discontinued Camp Ranoca.
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T-Mobile trips Google’s security measures

This afternoon Kelly forwarded me an alarming-looking email purportedly from Google and asked me to see if it was a phishing attempt. “Someone has your password,” warned the emails. Kelly is rightfully suspicious of any unexpected email claiming that one’s account is locked or compromised so I thought this was just another phishing attempt.

Fraud or not? Always be on guard!

Fraud or not? Always be on guard!

But then I looked carefully at the message. The headers showed it came from Google. The link included went to an actual Google server. It was legit. Yikes! Did Kelly get hacked?
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Mysterious illness that can cause hallucinations hits Coos Bay |

This is X-Files-worthy.

A mysterious illness that can cause hallucinations has struck Coos Bay.It all started Tuesday afternoon when a caregiver who works with a 78-year-old woman called 911. She reported that seven or eight people were trying to take the roof off her vehicle.

A deputy who showed up found nothing amiss, said Sgt. Patrick Downing, spokesman for the Coos Bay Sheriff’s Office.

The caregiver, 52, called back early Wednesday, reporting the same thing. This time the deputy who responded figured something was wrong and arranged to have another deputy with a more suitable vehicle take the caregiver to Coos Bay Hospital on a mental health hold, Downing said.

Not long after the two deputies reported feeling nauseous, light-headed and euphoric. The elderly woman also came down with symptoms.

Source: Mysterious illness that can cause hallucinations hits Coos Bay |

Speeding point proven at 2 AM

I’d spent many evenings last week going door to door along State Street, methodically collecting signatures on a city petition to reduce the State Street speed limit to 25 MPH from its current 35 MPH. The first two days garnered the lion’s share of signatures; before I knew it I was up to ten. The last four, however, have been a challenge. Some neighbors tell me they agree 100% with reducing the speed and yet they’re very reluctant to put their name on the list. Some of these neighbors are older and some are renters who are perhaps worried any more neighborhood improvements might price them right out of the home they are renting. It’s hard to know what their real reasons are but it’s frustrating that they want it done and yet don’t want to do anything to make it happen.

Sunday afternoon I was particularly bummed when some friends I thought I could count on to sign decided against it, citing the mess that the water main replacement/traffic calming on Glascock has been. Even though I stressed it was only a new set of speed limit signs I could not convince them. I felt like chucking my clipboard into the street and giving up on the whole damn process. It would be just like five years ago, when I spent hours walking up and down State only to collect just enough signatures to barely miss the threshold.
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Corroded wire led to Rachel Rosoff’s death


Wake County Inspectors released their report on what caused the pool at Heritage Point to become electrically charged, killing lifeguard and Enloe High senior Rachel Rosoff on Saturday, 3 September. I’ve perused the report [PDF] and it appears that the pool pump shorted out for some reason (age? damage? No one knows). This wouldn’t ordinarily be a problem but the grounded conductor which normally protects from such faults had become so corroded over time that it no longer completed the circuit.

There’s no telling how long ago the corroded ground wire had stopped protecting the pool equipment. Once the motor failed there was no other place for the electricity to flow but into the pool.

Was there negligence? It appears not. The pool’s electrical system was up to the 1978 NEC Electrical code it was built under. So what else might be done? Perhaps pool owners (or county inspectors) could test the grounds on other pools on a regular basis to ensure everything is working properly. I’m sure many are already considering this.