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Look, jackass.

The illegals came here under false pretense.  There are millions of people who want to come here legally.  One of my friends was just accepted as a citizen and will soon take the oath; she has been working toward this for years, and never jumped the line, paid her taxes every single year and had to prove it, and has been fully vetted.  It was an arduous and difficult process that she complied with willingly because she wants to be an AMERICAN -- and now IS.

These "amnesty" plans, and that's exactly what they are, reward criminality.

Those who wish to reward criminality ought to be branded as criminals and thrown in prison themselves.

That means you, Jeb.

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Blackberry has launched the Priv, an Android handset.  It went into limited release on the 6th and there was limited stock at AT&T stores, most of which disappeared within minutes (yes, Mildred, it is selling well from all initial indications.)

However, the company also announced and opened pre-orders for factory units on October 23rd.  A fair number of people ordered them this way for direct shipment, myself included, with shipments stated to begin on 6 November -- the same day you could buy it in an AT&T store.  So far, so good.

But here BlackBerry stuck a shotgun in its own mouth and blew its brains out in terms of doing severe and perhaps even irreparable damage to its brand among the most loyal of its customers.

See, you don't go ordering something this way "on the come", unable to look at and hold it first as you can in a physical store, with a device class that a company has never made before unless you're pretty confident in the brand.

These are people who you really need to treat well.

Those who have been reading The Ticker for any length of time know that I really, really like what BlackBerry did with BB10.  I purchased a Z10 on launch day from T-Mobile (at full retail) and subsequently bought a second one and a Z30 (for my kid) from ShopBlackBerry, and a Passport (from Amazon) -- the latter of which is my phone at the present time.  There have been a number of articles on the phones posted here over the years, all positive.  Given this history I was quite confident I'd like the Priv, and ordered one direct -- again, from ShopBlackBerry.

BlackBerry has contracted out their fulfillment to Digital River.  They've been doing that for a long time; Digital River isn't exactly a small outfit, but in this case there's a big problem: They're lying to people and acting in a generally-outrageous manner.

First, the company immediately hit anyone's credit card that paid through PayPal, even though they were in no position to ship.

This is a direct violation of card-not-present transaction rules on merchant accounts for physical goods.

PayPal does properly handle this provided the merchant codes the transaction correctly; I've had a PayPal merchant account for a long time and have IPN (their "interface") code that has been used here at The Market Ticker in the past.  Further, I use PayPal all the time as a means of not handing my credit card number out willy-nilly to merchants all over the net, and invariably I do not get charged until goods move.  Except this time.

Digital River did not so-code the transactions and immediately took settled funds on orders they couldn't ship, including from me.

Second, the company is not shipping orders in the order received.  My order was placed literal minutes after it was possible to do so, yet there are people who ordered days later but have tracking numbers and are expecting product today.  I have no tracking information despite repeated calls to their customer disservice department, and since they are allegedly shipping via FedEx I also have the ability to track anything that is coming to me via FedEx through their Delivery Manager.

There is nothing in the pipe headed toward me at this point in time.

Third, Digital River has three times told me something that is provably not true -- first by claiming me that they shipped my order (when they clearly have not), second by trying to excuse the lack of a tracking number on "slow" updates from their shipping system (also not true; FedEx's delivery manager will notify you of a label being printed even if they don't have the packet yet) and third, when pressed, they claim that "delivery" (via "Express", in this case FedEx) may take up to 14 days!  This is what Delivery Manager shows right now (yes, I blacked out my address and tracking number; that's a previous shipment that I have not bothered to clear.)

Look, I understand stock-outs and demand exceeding supply.  But it is inexcusable to not fill pre-orders in sequence, it is inexcusable and probably either a violation of your merchant agreement, the law or both to bill for products you haven't shipped yet and finally there is never, ever an excuse to lie to a customer.

I've heard of these sorts of problems with Digital River before but I have ordered two previous BlackBerry phones through them without a problem -- both arrived as expected and with tracking numbers properly spit back to me when they were shipped.

BlackBerry's (yes, it's their hit on this; they contracted with Digital River and they control that relationship) current behavior is utterly inexcusable.  BlackBerry Corporate needs to put a boot on the neck of these people, get the devices out and provide an honest status to customers who had their money taken on the 23rd of October and have exactly zero in terms of accurate communication on when their order will be in their hands.

Finally, to the extent that Digital River is shipping out-of-order that needs to be stopped immediately so those of us who were first in line have our orders fulfilled in order.

I'm looking forward to giving you a full, complete and honest review on the BlackBerry Priv -- once I have one and can form a cogent opinion of it in real-world use.  It may well be the best Android device I've ever used, and the most-secure -- that is what I'm expecting.

In keeping with my policy around here, however, I'm not going to ignore customer service issues that have a material, say much less severe impact, on customer satisfaction.

This series of events unfortunately (and wildly) exceeds that threshold.

Some of us have lives and are not always home -- we can plan around a known delivery date but having no idea if or when the unit will ship makes that planning impossible.

Having no idea when this device is going to ship, along with charging people for goods prior to being able to fulfill the order is unacceptable.

Update: I just had a rep from DR on the phone who admitted they are shipping orders randomly!  WHAT?!

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Seriously?  Yeah...

Yeah, you’re leading to my next point. Part of the solution to this problem or this set of problems associated with climate change is getting the deniers out of our discourse. You know, we can’t have these people – they’re absolutely toxic.

So what are you going to do Bill?  What do you advocate?  Gas-filled showers?

How do you respond to the recalcitrant skeptics, the ones who say, “OK, I acknowledge that the earth is heating up, and I understand why that’s a bad thing. However, we don’t really know what’s causing that. And we don’t really know to what degree humans are responsible.”

Yes, we do! It’s human activity. It’s the burning of fossil fuels and the release of methane, a natural gas mostly from agriculture, but to a lesser extent from leakage, so-called fugitive gas from an oil field. But these are solvable problems.

Oh, so now we see some of the reality poking through.  Methane, mostly from agriculture.  You know, cow farts, basically.

So the solution is to kill you with refined grains instead.  Think I'm kidding?  Actually, I'm not.  There are in fact a bunch of people, and Nye appears to have joined that bandwagon, who like to claim that we can do this sort of thing without monstrous harm to humans on the planet, in fact harm that grossly outweighs anything "climate change" could do.  They lie flat-out about evolutionary reality -- one common claim is that "refined grains" made possible the large brain size that is characteristic of humans.

The truth is that the human genome, that is, homo sapiens, has been more-or-less fixed for about 100,000 years, and the line that led us there has been evolving for millions of years.  We've been using refined grains in all forms for about 6,000 years, or at most 6% of modern man's human history and, in evolutionary terms, for less than 1% of it.

This sort of nonsense is a flat-out lie.

So is the nonsense that we can replace fossil fuels with wind.  Well, at least if you'd like your light switch to work all the time, instead of just when the wind is blowing, or you'd like to be able to get in your car and drive from, oh, Chicago to Atlanta -- more-or-less non-stop.

See, this is the problem when you get down to it -- we don't use fossil fuels because we're mean, earth-destroying monsters.  We use them because they contain a lot of Joules (BTUs if you prefer) of energy in a reasonable amount of space.

Further, CO2 is not an evil gas.  It has been higher in atmospheric concentration than it is now (by quite a bit) and lower.  The higher the CO2 concentration the better plants grow, and we want that since Bill (and everyone else) refuses to talk about exponents in the context of human population growth and the inevitable nature of how that interacts with the finite size and mass of this planet.

As for sea levels they've been higher and lower too -- by a lot.  There's a place out here in the Gulf about 10ish miles offshore called The Timberholes.  It's a diving and fishing destination; there's a lot of underwater structure comprised of holes in limestone.  Guess where it got its name?  That's right -- those holes are there from the previous presence of trees a very long time ago.

At present that "land" is at an elevation of 100' underwater and that didn't happen due to seismic or plate tectonic activity either; there is no active fault in the area.  In short those former tree stands were drowned by entirely-natural changes in the level of the sea and I assure you that when it happened there were no gas-guzzling SUVs or human-husbanded cows farting up the atmosphere.

But see, that's part of the big lie that Bill Nye refuses to take on, just like this crap here.

Grains — whole, ancient or neither — are under attack. Just as we have finally embraced vegetables on our plates, grains and starches have started disappearing from our meals at a rapid clip. Go to many a restaurant, and good luck finding rice, bread or potatoes next to your hunk of meat or fish. Top restaurateurs have whispered into my ear that people simply don’t want any grains, so they have cut back on serving them. Yet, if you have visited drought-plagued California lately, you know it is high time to rethink our meat-based diet and hit reset.

In other words we can just ignore mathematics if we stop eating animals.

Well, maybe for a little while.  But not for long. As I've pointed out repeatedly, including in this post from 2011exponents are just a mathematical fact and nothing you can do about it will change them -- or what happens to you if you react to the impending doom they show you by trying to "work around" the edges instead of stopping their progression.

Note that the above link willfully and intentionally ignores the mathematical reality of an exponentially-increasing population and at the same time tries to kill you with higher levels of Type II diabetes and heart attacks!

No folks, there is no answer found there, just as there isn't in Bill Nye's mathematics-denying nonsense when it comes to "climate change."

And by the way, Bill, if you think I'm getting in the boxcar you're wrong since I know what's on the other end of the rail line; history has taught me that climbing in will be my last voluntary act.

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Come and get it!

On Stocks-n-Jocks yesterday morning early, if you were snoring or not able to listen live, the archive of the show segment is here -- most of the time focused on the Ben Carson deal, but there's employment report commentary in there too.


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I'll just get right to the lie up front:

On average, the Android apps they tested shared "potentially sensitive" data to 3.1 third-party domains, while iOS apps connected to 2.6 third-party domains.

Here are the kinds of sharing that happen:

Name and e-mail address – each shared by 73 per cent of Android apps tested, compared to 16 per cent of iOS apps.
Location – iOS apps were worse, with 47 per cent of the apps sharing location data versus 33 per cent of Android apps.
Health – three out of 30 "medical, health and fitness" apps shared search terms and user inputs with third parties.


Something that is shared you hand over voluntarily, with full knowledge that it has left your control.

Something that changes hands without that knowledge isn't shared, it's stolen.

And let's not understate the issue either -- apps like Facebook stick pieces of themselves in the background and thus continue their stealing even when you're not actively using them, a fact that isn't made clear either.

It's one thing to grab your location when you actively say "check in" at a given place; how else would it know where, unless you told it?  It's quite another to grab location data on a more-or-less continual basis and send it up to Big Data Seller whenever it wants, including when you think the app is closed.

If you think this data can't be linked back to you, think again.  It most-certainly can be and is, with the biggest culprit there being you -- when you take a selfie, post something on social media or interact with said app having signed in.

Do the app "publishers" and "big data folks" like Facebook have a legal "out"?  Probably.  After all, you did say "yes" to loading the app complete with that permission list.  Same with Walgreens, Yahoo, Map My Run (!), Pinterest, etc -- you invited these apps on your device.

But I bet you didn't know that they were and are siphoning off detailed information including, in many cases, while the app is not actually in use.

Still want to be on Facebook and Pinterest eh?

You ain't very bright are 'ya.....

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