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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses 452

superdave98 writes "As a sign that a CIO has way too much time on his hands, Santa Rosa Junior College is sending emails threatening lawsuits to staff and students who have the letters 'SRJC' in their private email addresses. They contend that people could be confused and think these are official email addresses. Sure, I suppose people who fall for 419 scams probably could be fooled, but not any reasonable humans. I can't believe they found a lawyer who thought this was a good idea."
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College Threatens Students Over Email Addresses

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  • Greed is Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Drakkenmensch ( 1255800 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:02PM (#27877339)
    For 150 dollars an hour, a lawyer will never tell you any idea of yours is bad, even if it's suing McDonalds because your hot coffee is (gasp!) HOT, and should not have been poured all over your crotch.
  • by rodrigoandrade ( 713371 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:02PM (#27877359)
    A lawyer will take any case he can make a buck on.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:05PM (#27877407)

    The thing is, if coffee is too hot to be poor over your crotch then how the hell wouldn't it ALSO be too hot to be drank?

    And I don't care if you're a testosterone-driven moron who thinks he's a hot stud because he can drink boiling hot coffee. Normal people can't and restaurants keep making fucking boiling hot coffee, that's just insane.

  • by Narnie ( 1349029 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:11PM (#27877493)
    I, Steven Ray Justin Curtis, take great offense to this. My initials are SRJC you insensitive clods!!
  • by chris098 ( 536090 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:11PM (#27877497) Homepage
    You're absolutely right most of the time, but there is the odd lawyer out there with morals. One that may actually recommend something that is in your own best interest, instead of theirs. If you can manage to find one of those, you've found a resource for life!
  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:12PM (#27877513) Journal
    I'm not saying I'm surprised; because idiocy is hardly surprising; but this move shows both legal asshattery and truly incredible ignorance of the technically mediated mores that exist on the internet.

    With an email address, everybody knows that the local-part (before the @) is arbitrary and the domain corresponds, of course, to a domain. Using the local-part as an organizational identifier, except in flaky ad-hoc setups for small sub organizations( style), just isn't done. The domain is always where you look for organizational information.

    This seems to be a case where somebody(who should know better, since he is part of their tech department) is treating all parts of the email address as being equally salient. If somebody had grabbed or (as opposed to the school's and was using email addresses in that domain for misleading purposes, I could sympathize with the case. Trying to dictate the form of email address local-parts from other domains is just bullshit, though.
  • by x78 ( 1099371 ) <> on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#27877809) Homepage

    Is it me or has the number of comments of an article been taken off the beta index?!
    I for one am not happy with this!
    Going back to the original, hmph.
    To keep on topic, yeah it's a little silly :)

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by inviolet ( 797804 ) <> on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:34PM (#27877845) Journal

    79 year old Stella Liebeck suffered third degree burns on her groin and inner thighs while trying to add sugar to her coffee at a McDonalds drive through. Third degree burns are the most serious kind of burn. McDonalds knew it had a problem. There were at least 700 previous cases of scalding coffee incidents at McDonalds before Liebeck's case. McDonalds had settled many claim before but refused Liebeck's request for $20,000 compensation, forcing the case into court. Lawyers found that McDonalds makes its coffee 30-50 degrees hotter than other restaurants, about 190 degrees.

    You know that coffee is brewed with water that is on the verge of boiling, right? Ditto for hot tea, at least if you follow worldwide British/Indian custom. So if your coffee is served fresh, as Starbucks does serve it, then it will be about 190 degrees. There would be a storm of "ZOMG my five-dollar coffee isn't fresh!!1!" complaints if they didn't.

    So I'd like to know the definition of "other restaurants" that plaintiff claims are serving cooler coffee. It is very telling that they do not cite any coffee- or restaurant-industry standard for coffee serve temperature.

    For added enlightenment, next time you brew a pot of coffee, let it sit in the carafe for a while with the coffeemaker still on to keep it warm, and then check the temperature with a cooking thermometer. Then come back and tell us whether plaintiff was justified in claiming that McDonalds' procedure was somehow out-of-the-ordinary.

  • by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:34PM (#27877849)
    Unless "he" is both a male and gender neutral pronoun...
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson ( 1177871 ) * on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:48PM (#27878089) Homepage Journal
    Everybody on this site needs to read that link couchslug just provided. That is some real ammo against some of the crap you hear on fox and such. Really, very enlightening. Thanks.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:48PM (#27878101)

    Interesting fact: The temperature the coffee would need to be at to cause lesser burning would have been so cold most people would not have accepted it as a hot cup of coffee.

    Burning associated with water is not linear with temperature, rather it is exponential.

    Once you go above 140 F burning happens faster than the reaction time of "slower" individuals. Above 160 F and there are no humans at all that can react fast enough to prevent serious burns.

    The reason you don't burn your mouth is you don't gulp large amounts of hot coffee down, you sip small amounts which reduces your exposure. However, in this case, the lady spilled an entire coffee in her lap and let it sit there for over 10 seconds (can't remember the exact number).

    For that amount and duration, anything over 160 F would have been extremely damaging. Anything over 140 F would have resulted in serious burns. In fact, the coffee would need to be served below about 130 F, maybe even 120 F to prevent scalding.

    Of course, science was not considered at all in this case. Only the fact that McDonald's coffee is served hotter. The fact that the damage does not seriously increase past the temperature it is served at elsewhere didn't come into play at all. I suppose that's justice. Right?

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ifdef ( 450739 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:50PM (#27878127)

    I make my own coffee, I get it from the coffee machine at work, I really like Tim Horton's coffee, I drink coffee from Coffee Time or Starbucks or whatever -- these are all palatable. Pretty much every time I've bought McDonald's coffee, I've had to pour out most of the cup because it was totally undrinkable.

    Why, you ask, would I have bought it more than once in such a case? It's because people were telling me that "McDonald's is making GOOD coffee now, you should try it again." I did, and they aren't.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Duradin ( 1261418 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:52PM (#27878153)

    No one ever mentions the fact she was holding the cup of coffee between her knees.

    Hot coffee + flimsy cup + holding with your legs = bad idea.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SolarCanine ( 892620 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @12:54PM (#27878191) Journal
    Normally, when purchasing coffee "to go" from a restaurant, I'm actually looking to drink it 20-30 minutes later. Boiling hot coffee remains drinkably hot a half-hour later, which suits me just fine. And I don't care if you're a testosterone-lacking intellectual who thinks a nanny state is required to protect its members from something as simple as "hot things can burn." Smart people learn this at a pretty young age, and Darwin can and should take care of reinforcing the lesson as necessary.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MaskedSlacker ( 911878 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:01PM (#27878277)

    I call it an exemplary safety record! If only my doctor made so few mistakes I--I--I--I wouldn't have this terrible stu--st---stutter.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:19PM (#27878521) Homepage Journal
    "n't see how you can be so indignant about the actions of businesses in what is essentially a public medium. Businesses will sue your ass if you take their name or likeness or something close enough to it in real life, so why not on the internet?"

    I don't see them having jurisdiction or basis to bring a case that the contents of something as innocuous as an email address (the username mind you ,not the domain part after @ sign) are.

    Frankly, I'd personally go further than that on domain names. I think it should be first come first serve really. I don't favor having things in favor of companies and celebrities that have fame and deep pockets to push the everyman from their domains they first register...ESPECIALLY when they have a very good reason to have it, like a company name or personal name or reasons. But, that part may be more debatable as to merit, but, for something small like a username part of an email, they should have no basis for that.

    I don't think that stringing together some alpha-numeric text for use as a username or even a URL should constitute infringement on images or company trademarks, etc.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ragzouken ( 943900 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:49PM (#27878995)

    Darwin should take care of reinforcing this lesson? You're seriously saying that people should learn that hot things burn by survival vs. death?

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SolarCanine ( 892620 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @01:55PM (#27879081) Journal
    If that's the only way they'll learn what a three-year-old can learn otherwise, then yes, that's what I'm seriously saying. Hot coffee is hot. This shouldn't be something that requires any further explanation, disclaimers, cautionary tales, or legal proceedings. Not in any sane situation, anyway. But it seems that my post was flamebait, so whatever. I guess I'm just a cranky bastard that thinks that common sense is a valuable commodity that happens to be scarce lately.
  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2009 @02:13PM (#27879371)

    Bullshit! If it is too fucking hot for my leg, it's going to burn the shit out of my mouth!

    Also, the facts of the McDonald's Hot Coffee case are that McDonald's required their franchisees to keep their coffee at 180F-190F. In addition, the coffee manufacturer has stated that such a high temperature is not ideal for the coffee's taste. It was simply a matter of time before someone got seriously injured.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by CarpetShark ( 865376 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @04:34PM (#27881627)

    Some things take time, and should be savored. If people don't have enough time to drink a coffee properly, they need to negotiate better work hours or take up a less insane lifestyle. Drinking tea used to be a beautiful ceremony ffs, and now we can't even handle having it made FOR us? Encouraging people to do everything at light speed -- especially when it means inferior heated-then-chilled or not-heated-enough coffee, is solving entirely the wrong problem.

  • Re:Greed is Good (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Friday May 08, 2009 @04:42PM (#27881765)

    I wasn't joking.

    My employer's office in the US doesn't have a kettle - only a coffee machine - and when I asked about it I was asked "what's a kettle?"

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken