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I'm mostly surprised that this didn't count as an existing 'business relationship', which has always been enough in the UK to send marketing emails to someone. The guy registered with the John Lewis website, and the only reason to do so is to purchase something. An odd case in my opinion.

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The article says:

unless it can be proven that the recipient consented to them or was a customer – with John Lewis unable to satisfy either requirement

So it sounds like in this case he didn't actually purchase anything.

I've never been a big fan of the "existing business relationship" rule. It basically means I have to click an unsubscribe link once for every company I buy from.

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When does an "existing business relationship" end? If I buy a £1 widget for auntieswidgetstore.co.uk, do they have an "existing business relationship" until the day I die?

In my books, once payment has been made, the goods received, and the sales contract completed, the business relationship is over. Comments? Anyone here a (British) lawyer?

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IANAL but the ICO has a readable summary. They say you should be given a simple way to opt out in every communication:

from http://ico.org.uk/concerns/marketing/11

The law says that marketers are allowed to send marketing messages if:

the marketer has obtained your details through a sale or negotiations for a sale (this includes asking for a quote); the messages are about similar products or services offered by the sender; and you were given an opportunity to refuse the marketing when your details were collected and, if you did not refuse, you were given a simple way to opt out in every future communication.

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To me it sounds like John Lewis met all of those conditions. I can see there might be some grey area in the first one. But I would argue that when the guy signed up on their site, he was at least taking the first step in negotiations for a sale. But it seems John Lewis argued that and lost so I guess I would lose too.

Edit to add: I do think that pre-checked opt-ins are a bit sleazy.

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What if there's a recall of those widgets? What if the company's DB is compromised and they need to notify you of a possible privacy breach? There has to be some leeway for contacting someone with whom you've done business online.

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EU law makes a distinction between service emails and emails with a commercial message.

A recall message (we've noticed a problem with a widget you have) is perfectly legal, while a message like "since you're an avid user of our widget we present you widget v2" isn't.

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Do you expect any kind of warranty with your widget? Should the relationship be considered to be ongoing if you might go back in the future for service or advice?

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You might just want to maintain a wish list which others can make use of. There might be other legitimate reasons for having a user account and not a 'business relationship'. I’ve always been taught that 'opt out' is illegal, so this is a welcome ruling, IMO.

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Working alongside 2 or 3 other coworkers isn't really the same thing as an open-office though. At the moment I'm sitting in an office of approximately 30+ people. Working on my own in this environment is annoying. Working with my team (2-3 other people) is also annoying, as we can't speak without being overheard. And I'm sure when we're working as a team, and conversing a lot, we'll be annoying others who require some quiet.

A private office doesn't mean you have to work on your own, it just means you have the option to.

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I am in an office of 4. It used to be an office of two, which was great - most productive time of my working life.

Even with just 4 of us, it means there is a good chance someone will be asked something, and regularly the head comes down to discuss stuff with one of us (often me). I can deal with it for the standard bug fix type work, but trying to learn something new is really difficult with constant interruption.

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Not always... I've seen private offices so small two people can just sit in there. It's like Brazil (the movie) but better lit.

So, IFF your company has the money to devote a fair amount of real estate to each worker, yes, private offices are great.

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Yep, I did Maths A-level in the UK back in the 90s, and a TI graphing calculator was basically a requirement for the exams.

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Interesting, I wasn't allowed to use one in A-Levels or university exams.

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I think you two must be using an older browser that doesn't support SVG properly. The green area contains an animated wireframe of an Xbox One.

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No, it started animating just fine. But only after about 5 seconds where it only showed a green page while loading. Which is irritating and lets you think that something is broken.

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Well Firefox 25 gave me the same bug

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It often seems to get missed that it was Why the lucky stiff that first coined the phrase tumblelog, which is where the name Tumblr comes from. Even this article just refers to him as a 'user of Redhanded.com'.

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Yes, it's _why who coined the word.

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Last year I made the decision to switch to drinking only decaf tea after 3pm, and since then I've found that I have much less trouble getting to sleep. Purely anecdotal of course, but I highly recommend it. Initially I was worried about the taste, but there's honestly not a huge difference.

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Spotify is the same. $9.99 in the US, and £9.99 (US $15.55) in the UK.

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Interesting. I've had the exact same problem, and yet what happened to me was the best customer service I've ever experienced.

I had bought a 15" retina MBP at launch, but only noticed the ghosting last month. After booking an appointment with a 'genius' online I arrived ready to argue my case. What actually happened was that the 'genius' agreed with me straight away that the ghosting was intolerable, and without doing any testing besides what I'd shown him recommended that they replace the screen. I left my MBP at the Apple Store and 3 hours later received a phone call to say that the repair had been completed and my machine was ready for collection.

I don't think there's another computer supplier that:-

A. I could book an appointment online to get my laptop looked at the same day.

B. Actually has a local store with support staff.

C. Could carry out the repair at said store, the very same day.

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Both Dell and Lenovo offer on-site service where a tech comes to you. It's an upgrade from their "standard" warranty service, but totally worth the extra $, especially if you rely on your computer.

In addition, they both have "accidental damage" with some of the higher-end warranties, so they'll cover you e.g. if you spill soda in your laptop.

More info:

Lenovo: http://www.lenovo.com/services_warranty/US/en/lenovo-warrant...

Dell: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/services/se...

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For what it's worth, Apple also offers on-site with AppleCare.

And then in the cases for certain quality programs, such as the iMac hard drive replacement [1], they will do on-site even if you don't have AppleCare and/or are out of your 1 year warranty.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/au/support/imac-harddrive/

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And Dell often throw in the on-site support option for free for a year or so, if you buy their higher-end models

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> Interesting. I've had the exact same problem, and yet what happened to me was the best customer service I've ever experienced.

Not all geniuses are created equal. Some of them are horrible. Some are great. It's like any other population of human beings. I've gotten both kinds.

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That's nonsensical. Apple is marketing these staff as "geniuses". They're supposed to operate on a higher standard than the stereotypical brain-dead tech support; thus we should hold them to that standard.

If Apple's standards are as low as those of other companies then they really don't deserve to earn the price premium they charge.

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> That's nonsensical.

Wow, I chime in with a on anecdote supporting your position, coupled with a universal truism, and you say I'm promulgating nonsense. Take a chill pill.

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It wasn't my intention to come across as an ass, sorry. Your anecdote implies a deeper insight though: if the "genius" is just another standard tech support employee then Apple's use of the moniker is misplaced.

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> then Apple's use of the moniker is misplaced

It's called marketing. Also, don't believe everything you read.

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Lenovo's service and support is superb. I have had screen repairs from both Lenovo and Apple this year, and Lenovo completely impressed me with their speed, courtesy, and follow through-- they sent a repairman to my office with a brand new screen, all fully covered by warranty.

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My dad broke the screen on his work Dell laptop. Entirely his fault. He called up Dell and they said they'd send a tech to his office to replace the screen. My dad said he was working from home that day and Dell said fair enough and sent the tech to his house. He had the screen fixed later that afternoon.

Now obviously I'm sure my dad's company pays handsomely for that service, but my point is that many companies do a lot better than Apple if you're willing to pay for it.

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UK or US? OP is in UK. Might be a significant fact, sadly.

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I'm also in the UK. It was the Apple Store in Newcastle.

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Then, Sir, you are blessed.

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It's not unheard of. I've had Dell service people out to my office on the same day. I don't think Apple even offers on-site service.

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This is one of the reasons I love services like Spotify and Netflix. They have no devices in the race, and tend to have client software for almost every platform. I can switch between phones, tablets and operating systems and still access to the same music and movies.

I could even drop Spotify and switch to Rdio if I wanted, and all I would lose are my playlists (not a big deal to me, but may be to some). These services don't lock me to devices, and I also don't feel locked into the services.

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> This is one of the reasons I love services like Spotify and Netflix. They have no devices in the race, and tend to have client software for almost every platform. I can switch between phones, tablets and operating systems and still access to the same music and movies.

You're joking right? Netflix? Only recently have we seen murmurs of having some hacky way of getting Netflix to run on Linux.

Microsoft Silverlight lock in was, IMHO, a huge slap to Linux. They're as bad an example of "services that support every platform" as can be.

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2012/09/netflix-no-change-in-our-...

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Don't hold your breath on that staying the case. We're going to start seeing those services get temporary exclusives on artists, because ultimately it's the only way to get an edge on their competitors.

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How strange. Google even highlights the term MySpace in the results as if it was one of the search terms.

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Could be that Bandcamp or MySpace has become a synonym of the other (in Google's index)? As far as I'm aware, this sort of paring is done automatically.

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