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Guest2553
Aug 3, 2012


CommonShore posted:

Buy a b&w laser printer and throw your inkjet into the trash where it belongs. It costs 25% more up front for the laser, the toner doesn't dry out, and each toner cartridge lasts in the thousands of pages, and it's still only $60-80 for a third-party refill.

Ink jet printers are exercises in bullshit. I bought a multifunction laser printer for about $100 a couple years ago and it's still running the 'sample' toner cartridge that came with it. With my household's printer needs, a full toner cartridge would last the better part of a decade.

Inkjet delenda est.

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Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Inkjet has its uses but most people can get away with visiting a Kinkoís when they need color.

BiggerBoat
Sep 26, 2007

I'm sorry, everyone.

CommonShore posted:

Buy a b&w laser printer and throw your inkjet into the trash where it belongs. It costs 25% more up front for the laser, the toner doesn't dry out, and each toner cartridge lasts in the thousands of pages, and it's still only $60-80 for a third-party refill.

I have one but that wasn't really my point.

In the wake of this court decision

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marced...-antitrust-law/

that allows college athletes to make a little bit of money and even work, I got to thinking about college sports in general and how much these kids get loving used. OK, they get a free education but they can't hold a job, cash in on their celebrity and are basically used as free labor for big universities to rake in millions of dollars and promote the brand. These kids are one broken leg or torn ligament from being able to play the sport that led to their scholarship.

The NCAA and the way they treat these athletes is beyond lovely. It's basically slave labor as near as I can tell and pretty much no one is the least bit interested in making sure they get an education, including a lot of the players who don't even care about that and just want to play their way out of poverty while they're able. It got so bad and iffy that EA Sports stopped publishing college football video games due to using player likenesses and poo poo.

College sports is SO loving corrupt and shady it's beyond the pale really.

I live in the south where college football is king. A lot of the fans say they prefer to it the pro leagues because "these kids play for the love of the sport instead of the money". As if bribes and under the table cash deals don't bring these young men, many of whom are minorities with substandard high school grades going in, into a system designed to enrich everyone besides the players and that money never changes hands.

Boosters, advertisers, concession companies and coaches rake in millions and schools routinely find ways to pay recruits, fudge their grades and cram these "student athletes" into curriculums they're not equipped to handle. Many of these kids get hurt.

Inspector 34
Mar 9, 2009

DOES NOT RESPECT THE RUN

BUT THEY WILL


Midjack posted:

Inkjet has its uses but most people can get away with visiting a Kinkoís when they need color.

I don't think Kinko's exists anymore...

Guest2553
Aug 3, 2012


Inspector 34 posted:

I don't think Kinko's exists anymore...

A scathing commentary on how ostentatious color inkjet printing is :colbert:

Nuevo
May 23, 2006

:eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop::eyepop::shittypop:


Fun Shoe

Guest2553 posted:

a full toner cartridge would last the better part of a decade.

That made me curious so I went and checked.

Yep.

Current toner is from 2/09 and still going strong. :v:

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Inspector 34 posted:

I don't think Kinko's exists anymore...

FedEx Office then.

Pekinduck
May 10, 2008


The thread's moved on but slot machines have an interesting history, hopefully it interests someone besides me. Early on they weren't considered a significant source of income for casinos. Their main purpose was to keep the wives, girlfriends etc. of the gamblers amused while the real gamblers played at the tables. Their main limitation was the odds were pretty good and unchangeable. Take your classic three-reel slot machine: say each reel has, i dunno 20 spaces, 20 x 20 x 20 gives you a pretty good 1:800 chance of winning the jackpot so the casino had to keep the prize low to make a profit. You could add reels to make the odds lower but the difference would be obvious and no one would play it. Then in the 80's an inventor replaced the random mechanical spinning of the reels with a computer and RNG. The reels looked the same but what symbol they land on is predetermined by the computer. This allowed the casino to set whatever odds they wished. They could set the chance of a jackpot low and offer a large prize. This led to slot machines going from an afterthought to the main source of revenue for casinos. Now they've evolved into a video game carefully designed to be as addictive as possible.

tk
Dec 10, 2003



Nap Ghost

Midjack posted:

FedEx Office then.

I go to the library.

Pekinduck
May 10, 2008


Everyone should know your printer wastes yellow ink to snitch on you, that sniveling bastard

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Plaster Town Cop

You mean to tell me that they didn't come up with a way to rig the purely mechanical slot machines too? Some weight or friction or something physical added to create an advantage?

Organza Quiz
Nov 7, 2009




Speaking of rigging slot machines, if you haven't read this article about a Russian group beating the machines at their own game then it's absolutely worth your time.

Initio
Oct 29, 2007
!

Organza Quiz posted:

Speaking of rigging slot machines, if you haven't read this article about a Russian group beating the machines at their own game then it's absolutely worth your time.

Iím not sure that I see anything wrong with what that Russian group did.

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Initio posted:

Iím not sure that I see anything wrong with what that Russian group did.

There are a bunch of legal technicalities around gambling and using any sort of device to aid your play is often prohibited. If they could do the trick unassisted they would probably get barred from the casino at worst, but using a phone is probably whatís going to be prosecutable.

HerStuddMuffin
Aug 10, 2014

YOSPOS


Theyíre not interfering with the operation of the machine, so I donít think what theyíre doing qualifies as a scam, in spite of the journalist using that word several times.
I recall a trio of ďentrepreneursĒ hitting the roulette tables at French casinos a few years back. They used lasers to measure and predict the trajectory of the ball, and placed their bets in a group of most likely numbers. They were caught but prosecution failed because their method was not changing the outcome of the game, only predicting it. I donít have the link and may be misremembering some details.
In the same vein, card counting at blackjack isnít illegal, but it can definitely get you banned from a casino if youíre part of the tiny minority that actually does it properly.

Initio
Oct 29, 2007
!

Midjack posted:

There are a bunch of legal technicalities around gambling and using any sort of device to aid your play is often prohibited. If they could do the trick unassisted they would probably get barred from the casino at worst, but using a phone is probably whatís going to be prosecutable.

Iím reasonably sure itís not legal to use a mechanical aid to exploit what amounts to programming/timing flaws in a slot machine because :capitalism:, but I donít think itís wrong.

Red Oktober
May 24, 2006

wiggly eyes!





HerStuddMuffin posted:

Theyíre not interfering with the operation of the machine, so I donít think what theyíre doing qualifies as a scam, in spite of the journalist using that word several times.

In the same vein, card counting at blackjack isnít illegal, but it can definitely get you banned from a casino if youíre part of the tiny minority that actually does it properly.

Yeah, the article is a weird one. The two parts of your post I've quoted are the two different outcomes I think: In the first one I can't understand how they can be forced to forfeit winnings, that doesn't seem legal - unless it's in the T&Cs of the casino that you can't use any electronic equipment to help you gain and edge - and even then it's dodgy if that's enforced. But highly likely, given how much the area needs to keep the casinos sweet.

In the second one, it's not illegal, and I'm fairly sure you can't be forced to give up the money you've won (especially if you've cashed it out rather than just holding in chips) but the casino can absolutely ban you - it's a private premises and they can refuse admission for no reason at all.

ToxicSlurpee
Nov 5, 2003

-=SEND HELP=-




Pillbug

Midjack posted:

Inkjet has its uses but most people can get away with visiting a Kinkoís when they need color.

Eh, even for color I still mostly use my laser jet. I paid like $250 for it, shipping included, like eight years ago. I've had to buy new toner twice. That isn't twice for each color; that's twice ever. Both times it was the black. drat thing is still kicking.

AlbieQuirky
Oct 9, 2012



Inspector 34 posted:

I don't think Kinko's exists anymore...

Bought up by FedEx, name changed to FedEx Office.

SMEGMA_MAIL
May 4, 2018


THUNDERDOME LOSER 2021






HerStuddMuffin posted:

In the same vein, card counting at blackjack isnít illegal, but it can definitely get you banned from a casino if youíre part of the tiny minority that actually does it properly.


There was a magician/card expert type guy who had a YouTube channel where in one he gets caught on purpose, the pit boss watches him for a bit to see if he actually is doing it right and then just comes over surprisingly politely and says he either has accept to play with the same bet every hand until he leaves or he wonít be delt in. It was years ago so I doubt itís still up but it was interesting.

Card counting is pretty easy to spot unless a sophisticated group is doing it since alone you have to swing wildly from betting minimums when the count is bad to betting several times more when itís good. You have to be able to communicate and coordinate a bunch of people without anyone noticing to actually do it well.

HerStuddMuffin
Aug 10, 2014

YOSPOS


Itís not a bunch, itís two people. One to play the minimum bet constantly while keeping the count, and signaling an accomplice who only comes to table when the count is good to bet the max allowed.

MrNemo
Aug 26, 2010

"I just love beeting off"



Nah, even then with an observant pit boss you'd probably identify the constant minimum bet as suspicious as soon as you get someone come in on big successful bets for the second or at least third time. Casinos expect people to be losing so if your big bets are all winners they'll start watching very closely for any kind of signals or cooperation.

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Plaster Town Cop

Here's a new scam. Organized crime in LA is somehow shuttling people's mail around to different mailboxes that they have physical access to. (Update -- that's not quite what was happening; see my next posts).

I can see how it makes money. They stole a whole month's pay from me.

Crazy story of it:

I was away from my main address last year due to construction, and didn't check my mail often. Every few months I would pick up what mail had accumulated, and would often be missing things like my new driver's license from the DMV that never came, or my wife's, but wouldn't think much of it. Just blamed the DMV.

I did have one suspicious incident where I found a big packet of someone else's mail in my box, with a "mail hold" notice. I wondered if my mailbox was being used to steal other people's mail, but chalked it up to the mailman's mistake. Wrong.

When I finally moved back home, I noticed I wasn't getting any expected mail. One day I finally did it but it was in a big packet folded up with an official USPS "mail hold". The problem was, I never put my mail on hold.

So who the hell did?

----

I called the postal inspector. Turns out thieves had been using mail holds to steal my mail for a while. The inspector said that my mail had been put on hold twice just this month, using a forged e-mail and phone number. The thieves would have needed a credit card in my name -- no problem for them, I could tell they were opening up credit cards as me, because those new cards had all arrived inside the big mail packet that I got. I should say, that I got, but wasn't supposed to --- due to a postal worker's mistake the hold got ignored and all the mail went to my box anyway, otherwise I would have never found out.

I worked with the local post office to make sure it stopped happening, and then started the long process of cleaning up my credit report and accounts.

That's when I noticed something funny. When they opened one of the credit cards in my name, they didn't list my address, but somebody else's across town.

I first looked up the address on Google to make sure it was another victim who lived there, and not the criminals! Google quickly came up with several residents, past and current, the current ones being two young women rooming together who seemed, on further Googling, to be trying to start small businesses or doing journalism. Nothing threatening.

----

I drove to the suspicious address and checked it out. It was some apartment complex in Hollywood. They had the exact same mailbox design as us, and I knew its vulnerabilities well. Our own complex's security footage showed three burglars coming in last year who had bootleg keys to open our whole row of mailboxes; this was the same type of mailbox. We had our mailbox lock changed, and I noticed the keyhole went from being gold colored to silver, but this Hollywood apartment still had the same gold keyhole that the thieves could open.

I slipped a note under their door that said contact me, I'm a victim of mail/identity theft and I think you might be too. After a while, I got a call from one of the residents saying yes, she had her rent check stolen from where she they them (her landlord had them hang them on their front doors :doh:), and the thieves tried to charge their own rent charge to my bank account. She plans to file a police report together with mine, since we have the same thief.

Then she asked me, "Did you leave TWO notes under our door? The other one from a month ago was you right?"

"Uh......... no, what is that?"

She had found another letter "from me" left under her door a month prior, forged in my name. It said:

"Hi, I'm (my own real name). I live in unit #5 and I just moved in to this building, you might receive some of my mail! I made a typo with change of address. Please leave my mail outside the mailbox and I'll pick it up!"

Sure enough, she and her roommate dutifully left piles of my junk mail on the mailbox for the thieves. The timing of the fake letter coincided exactly with when I got the post office to start cracking down and stop doing mail holds. The thieves somehow had one last trick up their sleeve, to reroute someone's mail to another mailbox they control.

I just got off the phone with the postal inspector again and they have no idea how the thieves did it. There's no record of a mail forward on file for me. Just a heads up that this can happen, and that ID theft groups can become VERY dedicated once they intercept your state ID in the mail.

---

Some observations:

- Presumably what they were after by stealing my mail for just a little bit longer was another monthly paycheck they could cash. They already managed to steal my paycheck for the entire month of June, so that's proven pretty lucrative for them. How can you cash a check that's not made out to you, you ask? Easy -- they already stole my state ID, so they can just show up at any bank branch and claim to be me opening a new account, deposit the check as me, and then immediately cash it out.

- The bootleg mail keys were hand-made by thieves, apparently. They're capable of buzzing a mailman (or a thief) into the front door of a complex, and then the same key opens all the mailboxes. When I mentioned our security footage to my postal worker, he told me that he and his coworkers have found bootleg keys along their route -- stuck in the front door buzzer of buildings, because they weren't made quite right. Once they got stuck the thieves had to just leave them there to be discovered by postal workers.

- In hindsight, it was a big red flag when that big packet of someone else's mail that showed up in my box with a hold notice. My neglected mailbox was being used as a base to steal other people's mail, all around the neighborhood. If you ever see that happen in your mailbox, that's what's happening.

Happy Thread fucked around with this message at 16:38 on Sep 21, 2019

Midjack
Dec 24, 2007





Yeah, the mail hold/forward thing has been known and possible for a while now but recently got some traction on the internet and had been proliferating ever since. Good detective work by you and as Iím sure youíre discovering the Postal Inspectors do not gently caress around.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





Some woman changed her address to mine a few weeks ago and also signed up for some sort of USPS package tracking thing where she could see packages come to the house. Canceled this (USPS actually sent me card asking if it was me with instructions on how to cancel it) and have been marking all the mail arriving in her name with change of address stickers on them with "NOT AT THIS ADDRESS" and sending them back. Been watching my credit like a hawk have a camera watching my front porch, nothing out of the ordinary on either front. My mail is also delivered via a slot that empties into my locked garage, so it can't be flat out stolen (and I have a camera watching that too just in case). If it's an attempt at a scam, it appears to be a really poor attempt.

DizzyBum
Apr 16, 2007




Oh hey, I missed printer ink chat? Well, allow me to share this great video from last year. The markup on printer ink is absolutely bonkers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHX6tHdQGiQ

Seriously, either buy a laser printer, or do your printing outside the home (office, library, Staples, etc).

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Plaster Town Cop

Sydin posted:

Some woman changed her address to mine a few weeks ago and also signed up for some sort of USPS package tracking thing where she could see packages come to the house. Canceled this (USPS actually sent me card asking if it was me with instructions on how to cancel it) and have been marking all the mail arriving in her name with change of address stickers on them with "NOT AT THIS ADDRESS" and sending them back. Been watching my credit like a hawk have a camera watching my front porch, nothing out of the ordinary on either front. My mail is also delivered via a slot that empties into my locked garage, so it can't be flat out stolen (and I have a camera watching that too just in case). If it's an attempt at a scam, it appears to be a really poor attempt.

If there's mail theft it's probably not about your mail, it's about hers. She might not have been the one who did the address change. It could have been filled out for her by thieves and there is practically no way to find out if it's happened. Like I said, I only ever found out because a postal worker made a mistake.

Eric the Mauve
May 8, 2012

Making you happy for a buck since 199X


DizzyBum posted:

Oh hey, I missed printer ink chat? Well, allow me to share this great video from last year. The markup on printer ink is absolutely bonkers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHX6tHdQGiQ

Seriously, either buy a laser printer, or do your printing outside the home (office, library, Staples, etc).

I assume the video makes mention of this but printers are also programmed to pester the user (sometimes to the extent of refusing to operate) for new ink/toner long, long before it is actually necessary.

EL BROMANCE
Jun 10, 2006

COWABUNGA DUDES!



quote:

They already managed to steal my paycheck for the entire month of June, so that's proven pretty lucrative for them. How can you cash a check that's not made out to you, you ask? Easy the banks don't give a gently caress and will just cash anything regardless.

Edited to my experience which I'm sure I've noted in the thread before.

Inceltown
Aug 6, 2019



Eric the Mauve posted:

I assume the video makes mention of this but printers are also programmed to pester the user (sometimes to the extent of refusing to operate) for new ink/toner long, long before it is actually necessary.

It does mention it and that how simply doing a reset on the chip controlling the level alertness you find out you still have tonnes and it keeps working.

peanut
Sep 9, 2007




I went to an explanation thing for an "ear acupuncture diet." It was 60 minutes of personal assessment, nutrition, and lifestyle talk, 5 minutes of talk about ear acupuncture, 10 minutes about nutritional supplements, and a quick mention about cutting all meals in half for the 3 month course.
The last 5 minutes was revealing the estimated price for the 3 month course was $3500, and me nope'ing out.

Trastion
Jul 24, 2003
The one and only.

peanut posted:

I went to an explanation thing for an "ear acupuncture diet." It was 60 minutes of personal assessment, nutrition, and lifestyle talk, 5 minutes of talk about ear acupuncture, 10 minutes about nutritional supplements, and a quick mention about cutting all meals in half for the 3 month course.
The last 5 minutes was revealing the estimated price for the 3 month course was $3500, and me nope'ing out.

The bolded part is the part of the diet that will actually help you lose weight if any of it does. Follow that and save yourself the $3500.

Parallelwoody
Apr 9, 2008



peanut posted:

I went to an explanation thing for an "ear acupuncture diet."

But...why?

MightyJoe36
Dec 29, 2013

:minnie: Cat Army :minnie:


https://www.foxnews.com/us/florida-woman-psychic-family-curse-sentenced

quote:

A woman in Florida who claimed to be a psychic fortune teller has been sentenced to over three years in prison for scamming a Texas woman out of $1.6 million to lift a made-up curse on her and her family.

Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Plaster Town Cop

Midjack posted:

Yeah, the mail hold/forward thing has been known and possible for a while now but recently got some traction on the internet and had been proliferating ever since. Good detective work by you and as Iím sure youíre discovering the Postal Inspectors do not gently caress around.

Today I figured out what really happened with this. No, the thieves in my case do not have a way of "tricking" the post office into redirecting mail without it showing up as anything. When the post office said I never had a mail forward, it was accurate.

What I was observing was that I am getting some of my mail, and the other victim was also getting lots of mail in my name at her address (and a forged note claiming to be me instructing her to leave out my mail). I wasn't sure what could explain me getting some of my mail, and her getting some of it.

Now I see that I am actually getting 100% of my legitimate mail. Therefore what she is getting is 100% stuff that the thieves signed up for, that I don't know about. Not merely my unwanted junk mail after all, sadly, but things like new credit applications.

When thieves start any new account or services in my name they can just put down her address, and then whatever company will just believe them, and mail all the stuff her way such that I never find out it exists. That's how it works apparently, no post office trickery necessary. Makes a lot more sense this way.

The timeline of my case seems to be this, then:

1. Thieves notice I'm away because my mailbox is piling up
2. They steal my ID from my mail, and use it open up lines of credit, and to cash my paychecks (mailed because my employer ignored my direct deposit signup)
3. They notice that I'm back and the mailbox is no longer under their control
4. Then continuously sign up for mail holds as me to try to keep intercepting more mail, hoping to get more paychecks they can cash
5. Around the same time, they stop listing my real address down for new lines of credit they open as me, because they no longer control the mailbox. Instead they list down another address with a similarly keyed mailbox they can break into.
6. Other person gets tons of phony credit applications in my name, and a phony letter saying not to worry and just leave it on the mailbox.

Guess it's time to run all my credit bureau checks AGAIN because there's god knows how much new stuff they signed up for this way, in all the piles of mail that person says she got.

I guess the packet of someone else's mail I found in my box with a "mail hold ended" notice last year really may have just been a postal worker's mistake after all, and not some trick the thieves have of re-routing held mail to wrong addresses. Just a coincidence.

Happy Thread fucked around with this message at 19:28 on Sep 19, 2019

Inceltown
Aug 6, 2019



Seems like having credit trashed to the point that no one will be able to take out fake loans in your name is the smart way to go after all. That sounds like it's going to be a massive headache for years to come as you try sort it all out.

Sydin
Oct 29, 2011

Another rainy day commute





I assume you have but just in case: if you haven't already done so put a freeze on your credit with all of the big three credit providers ASAP. This will prevent anything new from being opened in your name while you sort through the mess and will hopefully cause the thieves to eventually move on.

bamhand
Apr 15, 2010


Just about everyone should have a credit freeze. There's no real downside to having one. Unfreezing takes less than 10 minutes when you need it.

Proteus Jones
Feb 28, 2013





bamhand posted:

Just about everyone should have a credit freeze. There's no real downside to having one. Unfreezing takes less than 10 minutes when you need it.

You can also do a temporary unfreeze where it will automatically re-freeze after 5-7 days with all three as well. I did this when I applied for an equity loan to do some home improvement/renovations.

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Happy Thread
Jul 9, 2005

by Fluffdaddy


Plaster Town Cop

I did a one year freeze (edit: whoops, meant fraud alert) -- but I'm going to also apply for a seven year one, which according to Equifax has to be done in writing and I think requires documentation proving you need it.

I got one last piece of mail the other day from Bloomingdales Department Store National Bank. It said they were denying a new line of credit. But this time it was because of my recent credit freeze, whereas my previous letter from them said it was because they couldn't verify my identity. So the thieves already knew that Bloomingdales was a no-go, but they applied again for their card anyway -- because they knew Bloomingdales would happily snitch out anyone's credit freeze status by sending a different letter if there is one. Thanks for gathering that info on me Bloomingdales, I have never shopped in one of your stores in my life.

Happy Thread fucked around with this message at 16:37 on Sep 21, 2019

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