Legal cleanup

And another class-action suit settlement crosses my desk, though I stand to gain utterly nothing, instead of practically nothing, from it.

This lawsuit was brought by Plaintiffs Dawn Fairchild, Robert Nachshin, Brian Geers and Larry Gerrard (collectively “Plaintiffs” or “Settlement Class Representatives”) against Defendant AOL LLC, now known as AOL Inc (“AOL”). Plaintiffs allege that (1) the failure to inform them that AOL would insert e-mail footers in their sent e-mails and (2) the insertion of such footers, violate the law.

AOL denies Plaintiffs’ allegations and maintains that it acted in accordance with all laws and regulations.

The proposed Revised Settlement (“Settlement”) is on behalf of all AOL Members as of August 1, 2009 (“Settlement Class Members”). It resolves claims regarding advertising or promotional “footers” that may have been appended to the bottom of your e-mails by AOL.

This is the same case that you received a notice of in 2009. The Settlement was rejected on the ground that some of the selected charities receiving payments did not have a sufficient connection to the class and the subject matter of the lawsuit. The settlement has been revised to include charities that are connected to the class and the subject matter of the lawsuit.

AOL ceased its former practice of appending footers on or around August 1, 2009 and has not used them since that time. The proposed Settlement provides that if AOL re-establishes its former footer practice, it will provide notice to all Settlement Class Members of the footers and their ability to discontinue the footers via AOL Keyword: Footer and http://footer.aol.com and that, if AOL re-establishes appending footers to its Members’ e-mails, such notice will be provided to all new customers upon their registration of an AOL account.

The proposed Settlement provides that AOL shall make donations to several different charities totaling $110,000.

Mental note: Explain to these folks how to use a proper POP3 client with AOL Mail.

Anyway, Fairchild et al. v. AOL did in fact exist, and here’s the complete list of settlement-fund recipients:

Under the original Settlement approved by the Court, the Court awarded the lawyers for the Settlement Class $320,000 in fees and costs that they incurred over the course of this lawsuit. AOL has already paid these fees and costs, and the parties agree that no additional fees or costs will be sought in this case. In addition AOL will pay $110,000 in charitable donations and the costs of administering the Settlement, including the notice process. AOL’s payment of attorneys’ fees and litigation costs will not reduce any amounts paid or credited to the Charities.

Under the settlement, the Settlement Class Representatives do not receive any direct payment. Instead, AOL will donate money to the charity of each Settlement Class Representative’s choice. The relationships between the Settlement Class Representatives and their selected charities are as follows: (1) Dawn Fairchild is employed at her designated charity the New Roads School of Santa Monica; (2) Robert Nachshin’s wife is on the Board of Trustees of his designated charity the New Roads School of Santa Monica, (3) Brian Geers has previously personally supported his designated charity the Oklahoma Indian Legal Services; and (4) Lawrence Gerard has previously worked at his designated charity the Friars Foundation.

Mr. Geers’ charity of choice, as it happens, is right down the road a couple of miles.

A trip to AOLE-MailFooterSettlement.com will bring you a PDF version of the settlement, running 44 pages.

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Almost missed a stereotype there

Usually I screen-print Y!A stuff, but this is a bit long and I’d prefer the text to be searchable, Just In Case.

The question: “Is it weird to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic?”

Short answer: Maybe. But here’s the rest of it:

I would prefer a woman to answer this.

I am a 21 year old male, but I am not overweight or jobless. I am worried however that it is weird for me to like My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. I don’t own toys or merchandise from the show. I take it as it is: an entertaining cartoon much like Bugs Bunny or Sponge-bob (before it started to suck). Will women think it’s weird if they find out? I try to hide that part of my life.

Let me make it perfectly clear that I do not obsess about the show or anything. If it is on, I watch it. But I don’t go out looking for a DVD collection.

Not being a woman, I’m not going to answer this poor fellow directly, but I’ll say this much:

(1) I can cite no instance where a woman who might have been interested in me suddenly lost interest after discovering my own involvement with pony — which, in most cases, takes about 45 seconds to a minute.

(2) Buy a plushie. It’s not a guaranteed key to her heart, but you might be able to wedge the door open.

Incidentally, one of the Office Babes (Senior Division) showed up yesterday in a pony T-shirt, and a Generation ThreeMLP:FiM is Generation Four — pony T-shirt, at that. There’s always the possibility that the object of your affections has already been assimilated into the herd.

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Last gasp of the phlopping phish

In about two weeks, Lloyds TSB, the retail bank formed by a 1995 merger of Lloyds Bank and Trustee Savings Bank, will cease to exist: the merger will be effectively undone, and Lloyds and TSB will go their separate ways. So this may be the last opportunity for this phish:

Dear Lloyds TSB valued customer,

You received this email as a notice for the database update for this month. This update is designed by our IT engineers to provide higher security to our customers online accounts, prevent unauthorized account access and other types of online fraud.

You are required to update your online profile by downloading the document attached to this e-mail.

“Required,” yet. Here’s a look at the document:

Phishing document received 10 September 2013

So much easier than picking pockets, am I right?

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California split

Not the Robert Altman film, but a tongue-in-cheek (I think) proposal by John Chase to split the Golden State in twain:

How to make California into two separate states

This is Chase’s Facebook page, where the map was originally posted. I really think they’d have to subdivide it into three segments, but then I haven’t been to California since my sojourn in Twerkywood a quarter-century ago, so my observations are likely dated, which is more than I can say for me.

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Why my host is adorable

I am told that some of the suits at DreamHost actually wear suits now, which makes me a little uneasy about continuing to refer to them as “surfer dudes,” but hey, they’re turning Sweet Sixteen this week, and since I’ve been one of their customers for roughly two-thirds of that time, I figure the least I can do is show them a little birthday love. Besides, they answer their tech requests pretty promptly, and while — like everyone else who’s ever had a hosting account — I’ve had occasional downtime, they’ve busted a nut (or other body part as appropriate) to take care of such matters pronto.

There is also, of course, a purely mercenary reason for posting this.

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Wronger wrongness

It would be difficult, I think, to get much wronger than this:

Jonathan Weil miscredited

This photo was duly pasted into a reprint from Bloomberg News: however, the article is credited to Jonathan Weil, and it’s pretty obviously Weil, not Virginia Postrel, in the picture.

I’m hearing laughter in the background:

I should say not.

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Slightly less raw

Before the weekend, Nancy Friedman put out a call for “corporate or product names [that] make you shudder and cringe,” and I admitted to having, namewise anyway, a love-hate relationship with Cuppies & Joe on 23rd; the name itself was, I said, “awfully twee,” but not enough to discourage visiting the place, which serves up a decent joe and very nice cuppies.

If that’s twee, though, this is not quite ate:

I used to work in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, where I often walked past one of the best worst business names ever! It was a restaurant named “Half Price Day Old Sushi” — Mmmmmmmm … what could possibly go wrong?

I think I’m just going to leave it at that and tiptoe quietly away.

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See the library, room 101

I’m assuming respondents to this survey were actually telling the truth:

A recent survey of 2,000 people suggests that the majority of people pretend to have read classic books in order to appear more intelligent, with more than half of those polled displaying unread books on their shelves and 3% slipping a highbrow cover on books they’d rather not be seen reading in public.

Is there a market for book covers without actual books?

The book most fibbed about, says the survey, is George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, which seems forgivable in these Orwellian times: apart from some character names, reading the news is almost exactly like reading the book.

Just the same, Emmanuel Goldstein was not available for comment.

(With thanks to Fillyjonk.)

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The war goes ever on

Mac vs PC

We must remember, of course, that Twilight Sparkle runs Linux.

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We got 3.6 seconds to change that battery

The guys behind Formula 1 racing have come up with Formula E, for pure electric vehicles, and Tam is doubtful about the prospects:

[T]his has the potential to turn the proposed Formula E into the least exciting thing since the invention of competitive paint-drying during refueling stops.

Plus, the whole force-fed nature of the thing feels artificial. It feels like the American Medical Association sponsoring a High Fiber Vegetable Eating Contest, which just wouldn’t be as fun to watch as fat guys burying their mugs in blueberry pies.

There’s always the technology trickling down: racing, they say, improves the breed. On the other hand, I don’t particularly want to be a witness to activities that involve breeding.

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Press all the keys

Here’s a quick brown fox jumping over a lazy dog:

Fox jumps dog, film at 11

In other news, Mr. Jock, TV quiz PhD, bags few lynx.

(Via Fark.)

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A folk remedy for our time

As discovered by Suzette:

I had a big swollen painful thing happening on the side of my right pointer fingernail. It started yesterday but was stupidly sore to the touch by late this afternoon. Then I used some spray paint and employed the affected finger to push the button on the spray can. Later on I noticed two things:

  • my finger was covered in a fine mist of Ivory Gloss
  • the big swollen painful area was no longer swollen and neither was it painful

Sounds promising. If only there were such a treatment for paper cuts.

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The harder hard way

Angus MacKenzie is tooling about in a ’13 BMW 6-series Gran Coupe for a Motor Trend long-term test, and he seemed perturbed by this incident (see 10/13 issue):

The low oil level warning flashed on at 2600 miles, and checking the oil is a ritual. Park on a level service with the trans in Park or Neutral and the engine idling at operating temperature. Hit the menu button on iDrive controller, scroll to Vehicle Info, press the controller button again, scroll down to the fourth icon, and press the controller again. The revs will rise from normal idle speed of 750 rpm to 1100, and 72 seconds later, you’ll be told how much oil to add.

I figure one of the hardcore Bimmeristi will be along shortly to tell me why this is so much better than a freaking dipstick. (Oh, and MacKenzie was down a quart.)

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Snooze alarmed

Maybe I’m getting all worked up over nothing — or maybe I’m not.

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Strange search-engine queries (397)

It’s an all-automotive edition of SSEQ, what with a large number of people asking a stupid number of questions — or maybe it’s a number of stupid questions. Oh, well, we’ll figure it out in the editing pass.

what are the signs of a bad transmission in a mazda 626:  If you have to ask, you might as well get out the checkbook.

2002 mazda 626 overdrive light is flashing:  Have you ever, in fact, changed the fluid?

how often do you change the transmission fluid in a mazda 626:  If the overdrive light is flashing, it’s already too late.

1996 mazda 626 transmission has how many gears?  Assuming you have the automatic, there are four, unless you forgot to change the fluid, in which case there might be one. (If you have the stick shift, you have five, which is printed on top of the shift knob.)

what tranny oil does a 1996 626 use?  It’s too late for that, Bunky.

1997 mazda 626 wheel size:  Well, at least you didn’t say “rim.”

1997 mazda 626 stock tire size:  Did it not occur to you that there may have been more than one?

could a dirty filter cause mazda 626 hold light to blink:  How would you know it’s dirty? I’d lay odds you’ve never even seen the filter.

fix mazda jerky shift:  Hint: Don’t try to clean the filter.

why would a mazda have a fird transmission:  That’s a “Ford” transmission. Or, at least, some other four-letter word starting with F.

And, just to get away from this brand for a moment:

what happens when you cross the cables on your 1994 ford probe gt:  Apart from frying your entire electrical system, not much at all.

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Totally tubeless

One of many attempts over the years to make “support” hosiery look a little less clinical:

Mid-1960s ad for Vyrene fiber by Uniroyal

Yes, that’s the same Uniroyal that makes tires, though they’re now owned by Michelin. As U. S. Rubber, their one big success in apparel — you never see Vyrene anymore — was the casual shoe once known as U. S. Keds, now simply Keds. (Stride Rite, a Wolverine subsidiary, currently owns the brand.)

As for the lovely Valma Valle, we find her here sporting a Beatle ‘do.

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