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The Internet Your Rights Online

Verizon Denies DSL Because of Subscriber's Name 493

Posted by kdawson
from the gravel-in-ya-guts-and-the-spit-in-ya-eye dept.
mikek2 writes "When retired Philadelphia-area doctor and Vietnam veteran Dr. Herman I. Libshitz went to upgrade his dial-up connection to Verizon DSL, he was informed they wouldn't complete the order because his last name contained an expletive. Repeated calls to several levels of management at Verizon failed to resolve the problem, with several managers suggesting he change his last name. It all worked out in the end, after the Philadelphia Enquirer intervened."
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Verizon Denies DSL Because of Subscriber's Name

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  • Monopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alex Belits (437) * on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:47AM (#24454633) Homepage

    Next time someone will claim that monopolies' power over the market does not negate the very mechanism that is supposed to implement the market, refer him to this.

    Then punch him in the face.

    • Re:Monopoly (Score:5, Informative)

      by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:47AM (#24455403)

      Heh, and someone else said SpeakEasy is a competitor in his area, and they provide better service.

      "Monopoly"? You didn't even check; you just want to bitch about big business.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rick Zeman (15628)

        Heh, and someone else said SpeakEasy is a competitor in his area, and they provide better service.

        I moved and tried to bring my Speakeasy service with me...and ended up NOT being able to--not from being too far from the C.O., but because Verizon had a digital loop [] installed instead of copper coming into the neighborhood. Let me ask you this: Do you think they would have have taken that step if the area wasn't provisioned with FIOS? Doubtful.... So, in effect, by being a monopoly, they lowered the number

      • Re:Monopoly (Score:4, Interesting)

        by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @03:38PM (#24458253) Homepage Journal

        You didn't check either. SpeakEasy doesn't try to compete with consumer ISPs. If you want a business type VoIP package, a lot of bandwidth, symmetric DSL so you can host your own server, they'll cut you a good deal. But if you want simple home DSL, they'll charge you maybe twice as much as the phone company.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          That doesn't change the fact that there's competition.

          The entire system is screwed up because of how the infrastructure is set up, but you cannot claim that Verizon is a monopoly if there is a competition, even if the competition charges more. Service does not have to directly mirror another company's in order to be considered "competition", if it did, there would be no point to competition anyway.

          • Re:Monopoly (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fm6 (162816) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:58PM (#24459699) Homepage Journal

            "Monopoly" is defined in terms of a marketplace. If consumers don't have a practical alternative to a supplier, then that is a monopoly. The presence of impractical alternatives is irrelevant. It only Toyota were allowed to sell cars and small trucks, it would be a monopoly, no matter how many people bought Peterbilt rigs.

            Another detail: the landline companies clearly do have a monopoly on the copper "last-mile" networks that all DSL providers use. In theory, these networks are equally available to all ISPs. But by an amazing coincidence, the dominant ISP in any given market is always the one that belongs to the local landline company. that's just not consistent with the idea that the DSL market is "open".

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mi (197448)

      You did not read the article... And neither did the submitter nor the editor...

      The argument was not over providing him with service. It was over his choice of the user-name:

      informing him that he could not have the user name because it didn't comply with company rules.

      So the couple returned the Verizon DSL kit.

      See? There was no problem ordering — and getting the "DSL kit" delivered. It was, when he wanted to use something like "hlibshitz" for login, that the problem began — the computer auto-re

  • by Fred_A (10934) <fred.fredshome@org> on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:50AM (#24454655) Homepage

    In the end he changed his name to "Harold I. Libshitz" and everything finally went through.

  • Most famous Lipshitz (Score:5, Informative)

    by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <> on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:53AM (#24454665)

    People who have odd names (it seems especially prevalent in the Jewish community) are at a serious disadvantage in the culture that considers the name odd. This is the reason that the most famous Lipshitz ever changed his name to Ralph Lauren.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      What? Surely the most famous Lips(c)hitz is
      Rudolf Lipschitz after whom Lipschitz continuity is named. Come on guys lets stick ti "stuff that matters".

      By the way it looks like Herman should have kept the "c", if indeed his family did at some time drop it for ease of spelling.

    • I thought the most famous Lipshitz ever was Dr. Lipshitz [] from Rugrats

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @09:40AM (#24455633)

      People who have odd names (it seems especially prevalent in the Jewish community) are at a serious disadvantage in the culture that considers the name odd. This is the reason that the most famous Lipshitz ever changed his name to Ralph Lauren.

      The second-most famous Lipshitz changed his name to Dirty Sanchez.

  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by untaken_name (660789) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:53AM (#24454669) Homepage

    So, let me see if I have this straight: Verizon wanted someone to change their last name in order to get DSL, and that person didn't do it??? What, are you going to get a cablemodem or something? Just change your name, already. This is internet connectivity we're talking about here. It's important. It isn't like you haven't been getting libshitz for yoru name all your life, anyway.

    • Re:Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Standard User 79 (1209050) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:03AM (#24454701)
      I read the article. They wanted him to change his verizon email address. They were fine with giving him dsl service, etc.. Most likely it was a problem because some programmer hard coded a prof filter in email creation.
      • by untaken_name (660789) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:46AM (#24454881) Homepage

        Very true. However, it's funnier for Verizon to want him to change his last name, so I prefer to believe that version.

  • by XaXXon (202882) <xaxxon@gmail . c om> on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:54AM (#24454675) Homepage

    It has everything to do with the EMAIL ADDRESS he apparently wasn't willing to change. They wouldn't grant him the address he requested. All he had to do was pick another email address and he would have been fine. I'm sorry, but you are not entitled to any email address you want.

    • by OldManAndTheC++ (723450) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:10AM (#24454723)

      Oh come on. Don't defend these losers. He asked for an email address based on his name, just like millions of other customers.

      It's a perfectly reasonable request, which Verizon denied solely because some arbitrary filter detected a naughty word buried in the address, a word that would only be noticed by someone with a juvenile mindset. The filter is obviously intended to screen out truly nasty phrases, like "", but like most such filters it is crude and inflexible, and unsuited for its purpose.

      And to make things worse, no one at Verizon had the authority or inclination to override this zero tolerance policy for the substring "shit". The only choice they gave him, if he wanted DSL, was to select an email address that was not based on his name. Naturally he refused, as would anyone with an ounce of pride in his family name.

      • by rolfwind (528248)

        It's a perfectly reasonable request, which Verizon denied solely because some arbitrary filter detected a naughty word buried in the address, a word that would only be noticed by someone with a juvenile mindset.

        Well, I would think everybody would notice the bad word. It's in the cultural mindset now. Have you ever noticed that kids love bad words so much because it's forbidden, and it's forbidden only because of the reactions it gets out of adults? If they wouldn't garner such a overreaction most of the

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MichaelSmith (789609)
        If I moved to Israel I would hate to be told that "Michael Smith" sounds like a rude word in the local language and I couldn't use my normal email address.

        Jewish people here occasionally have a chuckle at the name of our Friends Of The Zoos [] society.
        • by dotancohen (1015143) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @10:48AM (#24456037) Homepage

          If I moved to Israel I would hate to be told that "Michael Smith" sounds like a rude word in the local language and I couldn't use my normal email address.

          What does Michael Smith sound like in Hebrew? I cannot think of a single dirty Hebrew phrase that sounds like Michael Smith, especially since Michael is a Hebrew name ("Mi CaEl"- "Who is like God?" in Hebrew).

          Jewish people here occasionally have a chuckle at the name of our Friends Of The Zoos [] society.

          Potz is more of a Yiddish term than Hebrew, though I do believe that most American Jews are of Yiddish-language decent. In any case, nice one! The Kia car company is another funny one in Hebrew, the name means "vomit".

      • by jeremyp (130771) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @07:16AM (#24455009) Homepage Journal

        The filter is obviously intended to screen out truly nasty phrases, like ""

        FFS stop posting my e-mail address on the Internet. Now I'm going to get spammed.

      • by netwiz (33291) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @12:39PM (#24456871) Homepage

        Having worked for Verizon, and directly supported the system responsible for this bullshit, I can confirm the idiocy in the story. It is physically impossible to get anything done through customer service, the development teams run by Verizon IT are made of failure and shame, and they really do reboot every system at midnight so that it passes Sheygan Kheradpir's (the IT company's president) 1am "system check," where he logs in to everything personally to make sure it's working.

        It is a culture of scapegoatism and "we made the date" development, with zero regard for code quality or robustness, or even "does it work?" Ever pay your bill online? Ever wonder why there's now only a single path through the website that will actually get it paid? This is why. Anecdote: The support team on which I worked hired a Java programmer to assist with the forensic troubleshooting of the "" site, since development never delivered the documentation of the site's design and function (I am certain it didn't exist), and after he solved two major problems by inverting two lines and reducing a 200 line module to 11 lines, he was locked out of the CVS repository, presumably to keep him from making the IT developers look bad.

        They are colossal failures inside Verizon, and the company as a whole has been working to drive out every last bit of talent since Chuck Lee sold GTE to Bell Atlantic. The executives are completely disconnected from every aspect of production. Anecdote: the group president was down for a "meet the troops" day, and had been touring the Verizon Online NOC when she had to get on a conference call. Her assistant sat down at one of the work stations (visualize a NASA Mission Control-type layout) and used one of the duty phones to dial in. She then handed the phone to the local executive (which is fine, that's her job). The exec attended the call, and when she was done, rather than simply hang up the phone (which was literally within arms reach), the executive handed the phone back to ther assistant!

        The bureaucratic structure is openly worshiped by every member of management (ask me how I know) regardless of the detriment to the business.It was absolutely unreal. Manipulation of performance statistics is commonplace. There is zero management accountability in any department. Check out some of the deeper pages in the "pay my bill online" section of the web site. The "Help and Support" section pages generate 404 errors. There is no way to actually order service over the phone, so if you don't already have some kind of internet service, you can't order anything from Verizon.

        The only thing keeping these guys afloat is the fact that the FiOS product genuinely slays every competing technology available, and they know it.

    • by Auckerman (223266) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:11AM (#24454727)

      They were also giving the reason that he couldn't have an e-mail address with his name in it was because it was offensive. That's not a valid reason to decline an e-mail address based off a person's name and he was quite reasonably offended by that. It's unreasonable to ban an e-mail address based off the clients name merely because you find a few select letters in his name fit a banned word. I know that, you know that, he knew that and now Verizon realizes their mistake.

      You can be cut and dry about what went on, but seriously, life shouldn't be that way. If we all looked at and dealt with each other on that level, I think it would be time for me to find another country to live in.

      • You're just now starting to look? Sorry bud, the good real estate is already sold. You'll be renting from those who had the sense to look before. Most places royally suck. It makes just as little sense elsewhere. You'll be paying lots and lots of "imposits" they don't call'em taxes, but they have far more of them, and you'll be submitting paperwork far more often for having the right to take a shit or to walk somewhere... or *gasp* try taking the bus while being foreign. The upside is being an English

    • by johannesg (664142)

      Could you maybe refer to us to the RFC that forbids the use of undesirable words in email addresses? If his name were l@bshitz, I understand why it wouldn't be possible, but this is just political correctness taken to its most silly extreme.

      What's next? Should be be forbidden to get a telephone number in his own name? Not being allowed to open a bank account with his name on it? Be refused entry to any English-speaking countries for having a rude name?

      Note that the article is just as guilty: they do not wan

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pla (258480)
      All he had to do was pick another email address and he would have been fine.

      Any name but his own. That seems fair, right?

      I'm sorry, but you are not entitled to any email address you want.

      True. But when you "want" your own name, following the same standard template as 47 million other Verizon customers, it just makes Verizon look like callous monopoly-abusing bastards to say "No".

      Don't defend BS like this - Let Verizon (and the rest) know that we won't forsake our own names for their convenience
    • It has everything to do with the EMAIL ADDRESS he apparently wasn't willing to change. They wouldn't grant him the address he requested. All he had to do was pick another email address and he would have been fine. I'm sorry, but you are not entitled to any email address you want.

      1) He was already using his name in his email address for his dial-up connection. Keeping the same email username and merely switching domains is a good way to help your friends & family remember your email address. User-centere

  • by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @05:59AM (#24454689)

    They gladly gave him DSL. What they didn't do was allow a username/email address with 'shit' in it and he insisted since that was part of his name. I'm glad he got his way in the end, but he wasn't being denied the service itself.

    • by Dan541 (1032000) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:16AM (#24454749) Homepage

      But "Shit" is not normally considered to be a rude word.

      I can understand if the name was Cuntington but "shit" is an everyday word (So is "cunt" where I live) and part of someone's name.

      I've never understood the whole profanity thing, why would someone want to be offended by a word, you would think people would have better things to do than create reasons to be offended.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Some (really stupid) anti-spam systems scan email addresses for rude words. It's likely that their accounts system prevents the creation of email addresses containing these kinds of words, eg because the IT people couldn't be bothered to fix their deployed anti-spam software.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Shadowlore (10860)

        See, that is the problem: we don't. It seems to be the natural result of what appears to me to be a fundamental driving fore of humanity: make things better.

        Parents refer to wanting "a better life" for their children, and generally work toward that goal. Non-parents tend to identify what they believe to be better things for society, and work toward those goals.

        This process has in general served us well, but like most evolutionary changes will eventually become a detriment, if it has not done so already, to

  • Quoth TFS:"Repeated calls to several levels of management at Verizon failed to resolve the problem, with several managers suggesting he change his last name."

    Good idea! He could change it to "Dr Herman Verizon management are cocks"

    The arrogance reportedly shown by the managers isn't exactly reasonable. Change a name just to use a poxy DSL service? This must have been in jest.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:14AM (#24454741)

    I can't even get dial up and had to wait until my neighbors had wireless to steal it.

      -- John Fuckinson

  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stanislav_J (947290) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:15AM (#24454743)

    It has everything to do with the EMAIL ADDRESS he apparently wasn't willing to change. They wouldn't grant him the address he requested. All he had to do was pick another email address and he would have been fine. I'm sorry, but you are not entitled to any email address you want.

    Are you serious? Why in the hell should he have to -- IT'S HIS NAME. It's on his birth certificate, his Social Security card, his drivers license. It's probably in the phone book, and on every check he's ever written. And now he can't use his OWN LEGAL NAME that he has had since birth for his e-mail address because it "contains an expletive?" It's not even like he's some anarchistic goofball who somehow managed to legally change his surname to "Shit" in an attempt to be cute or radical -- it's his family name, borne by his ancestors, and it just happens to contain that four-letter sequence in the middle of the name. And, what, he can't use it because somewhere, somehow there might be some handful of insanely moralistic wackos who would be offended by it?

    I'm sorry, but this is just about the most ridiculous thing I've heard of in my life. And, given what I've witnessed in my half century on this planet, that's really saying something.

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:17AM (#24454751)

    "What's in a name? That which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet."

    - Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare

    Of course that quote would have serious humour ramifications with a name like "Libshitz". Shakespeare was however cognizant of the political ramification of mere words and, alas, names. My theory that bad and stupid people primarily get into management positions has once again proven to be correct.

  • by KH (28388) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:31AM (#24454809)

    Does Verizon also refuse email addresses to those who have such last names like: Takeshita, Fukuoka (common Japanese names), Dikshit (common Indian name). There must be more unfortunate names.

  • Indeed a sorry preoccupation you guys in the USofA have.

    Nearly any dickhead can (without serious checks on mental health etc) have guns but the moment someone has a misunderstood name it becomes a management issue.

    I know many US ISP's don't allow hosting your own (mail)server at home, what would Verizon have done in case the man registered (still free!) and pointed to his own server on a Verizon line?

    Well at least someone finally had the good taste to not levy a fine for

  • Ouch! (Score:5, Informative)

    by beadfulthings (975812) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:33AM (#24454817) Journal

    The "National Enquirer" is a notorious scandal sheet.

    The "Philadelphia Inquirer" is a respectable daily newspaper.

    I just felt the need to point that out.

  • by cigaretteroutine (1233782) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:34AM (#24454819)
    Speaking of names that have bad connotations... plz fix our newspaper's name to its correct spelling of Philadelphia INquirer rather then ENquirer. (we have our many flaws here, but our newspaper is at least mildly legitimate)
  • by pedrop357 (681672) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:41AM (#24454851)

    Pointing out the obvious:
    The headline and summary aren't really accurate to the linked article.

    Has anyone considered the impact this sort of thing has on Slashdot's credibility?

    Maybe I'm looking at it through rose colored glasses, but I used to like reading through all the summaries and linked articles on Slashdot. Now it seems like in the last 8-12 months, more and more headlines and their accompanying sumamries are deliberately misleading and inflammatory. I skim the RSS headlines and have found myself assuming that any headline that says "Microsft does X", "Comcast now doing Y", "Verizon did Z" etc. is probably off the mark and just nother boy crying wolf. It seems that I'm right about hald the time; which is about 45% more then I should be.

    Most of these "inaccuracies" seem to pander to various anti-insert-company-here sentiments - ie., Verizon has been shown to have done a bunch of shady shit regarding spying or Comcast with it's throttling/filtering/P2P blocking or whatever, so now they do something stupid and it gets twisted into something much larger and more sinister.

    Yes, Verizon is moronic for not allowing customer serivce people a little latitude or for having simplistic filtering, but nowhere did I read they denied DSL. They did deny an email address though. Verizon should also probably work on dealing with people-telling someone to misspell their name in order to avoid some stupid email address name filter misses the point. BUT, everything I read suggests that he would have been ok with an email address like DrHermanIL@XXX; not that he should he have to do that though.

    If Slashdot's motto was something like "It's not news, it's Slashdot", I'd make a little one line post about how the headline and linked article disagree. But with a motto of "News for Nerds. Stuff that matters", I'd expect accuracy and a little less hysteria and/or pandering.

    • by kaos07 (1113443) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:10AM (#24455239)

      Yet again the answer lies with kdawson. I'm not trying to flame, but every point you've mentioned is valid and the vast majority of cases regarding mis-information, poor headlines, shoddily edited articles and the general "Anti-company" tendencies come from kdawson.

      Lately I've been playing a game with myself. I'll read Slashdot articles and try and guess who "edited" them. Strangely, the only guesses I get right are the stories posted up by kdawson.

  • Scunthorpe (Score:3, Funny)

    by cliveholloway (132299) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:42AM (#24454853) Homepage Journal
    Coincidentally, nobody in the town of Scunthorpe has Verizon service either. Reps are apparently mystified...
  • by Lord Byron II (671689) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @06:59AM (#24454939)
    Back in the early days of the WWW, I was doing IT for a small business whose name was RTS Executive Services. Their phone number was 1-800-RTS-EXEC, so they wanted their website to match:, but that lead to a "sex" in the middle of the domain name and I can't tell you the number of customers we had who couldn't access the website because the blocking software they installed on their computers to stop their kids from accessing porn had determined that our website must be porn too.
  • by Cathoderoytube (1088737) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @07:15AM (#24455005)

    Here's a personal story about profanity and a content company... My user name for my cable account is an expletive describing my feelings about the cable company. What's interesting though, is that apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way about the company, since 'fuckyourogers' has been taken and I've had to add numbers on the end of it.
    What's even MORE interesting though have been my attempts to get technical support on my account. But during my somewhat angry registration process I didn't hit any snags where the cable company thought my username was inappropriate.

    Funny how life works...

  • NPR (Score:3, Informative)

    by Pancake Bandit (987571) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @07:39AM (#24455111)
  • by twazzock (928396) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:02AM (#24455199)
    The whole concept of 'swearwords', IMHO is terribly outdated anyway. As someone else mentioned above, while these select words are considered taboo, their synonyms are not. Why is it okay to say 'crap' or 'poo' and not 'shit'? They mean the exact same thing. I can only imagine it was taboo to say 'shit' in public because of what it meant, but no-one seems to care about that any more. Everyone remembers it's a taboo word, but not why.
    • by GearheadX (414240) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:06AM (#24455219)

      It's because words such as this are derived from a 'lower' dialect of English than the English which was spoken by the nobility when the French took over England. A lot of the words we consider swear words today are words derived from the language of the peasants that no noble would be caught dead saying.

    • by jamesh (87723) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:42AM (#24455375)

      I also find it interesting how the word 'nigger' has actually become more taboo than it was 20 or so years ago (unless you actually happen to have black skin, then you can say it all you like). Watching some old episodes of The Goodies they made reference to black South African persons as 'Nig-nogs'. They'd never get away with that these days, despite the fact that the whole episode was poking fun at the whole idea of apartheid(sp?) anyway.

      Also, does anyone remember reading a book called 'The Faraway Tree' by Enid Blyton? One of the characters had the name Fanny. Recent editions of the book have had her name changed to Franny.

      Funny old world isn't it?

      • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @12:24PM (#24456787)

        But if you think about it, 'nigger' is actually highly offensive and using it is likely going to brand you as a terrible person (unless you are black, in which case you are just ignorant). It's probably one of a few words my potty mouth will never use, it bothers me to type it. Pretty much any racial slur falls in to that category. They're mean spirited words intended to cause hurt. Yet there was a time when they were everyday bad words.

        Shit on the other hand is just a "bad" word. Why it's bad has been lost to time. At most using it is impolite and brands the speaker as such...but that's a designation most people can tolerate.

        I think all it says is today we're more sensitive to heredity than to social status. Insulting someones background is the most crude thing you can do. Perhaps in the future words like fag/queer/dyke/heshe etc. will also become taboo for the same reason. For the moment they're impolite words, best not used at work, but pretty common.

  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:04AM (#24455209) Homepage

    Petty officialdom is no different than it has ever been. There's nothing new about bureaucrats rigidly implementing regulations and claiming that there is no way to make an exception in cases where the rules are patently inapplicable. "The computer made me do it" is just a variant on "Sir, we cannot do anything about it because of our policy."

    But I don't think this would have been a problem five decades ago because the word "shit" was truly taboo... because nobody would have been willing to admit that they noticed the English-language vulgarities lurking within a name like Libshitz.

    It couldn't have been done by computer, because no executive would have been willing to dictate such words in a specification that an (almost-certainly female) secretary would have to listen to, no secretary would have been willing to type them up, and, very likely, coders would have been unwilling to key them in.

    Sure, in those days people might change the spelling of their surname from "Fuchs" to "Fewkes" but nobody would ever dare way why!

    (Come to think of it, did Bible translations start using the phrase "gopher wood" in place of "shittim wood?")


  • by erroneus (253617) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @08:36AM (#24455341) Homepage

    Are we REALLY that stupid? Apparently so!

    In Japan, it's nearly impossible to order something from a restaurant if it isn't on the menu. (I say nearly, because I haven't been to every restaurant in Japan, so this only applies to EVERY SINGLE restaurant I've been to in Japan) IF, on the menu is a ham sandwich and a cheese sandwich, and you try to order a ham and cheese sandwich, they will look at you funny and/or tell you that it is not available to order this item. This example, of course is fictitious, but a real life example was at an "italian" restaurant I went to in Japan. (Most of them are pretty good, but this one was not!) I wanted spaghetti with italian sausage. Not on the menu. So I ordered spaghetti with sauce and the sausage as two items that WERE on the menu. I thought I had successfully solved the problem. Nope! Failure: The two orders came out SEPARATELY at COMPLETELY different times. It was considered an appetizer and came out first... people started eating from it and was gone before my spaghetti with sauce arrived. I didn't know how to say anything but "Dame!" which would have been very rude so I said nothing. I was defeated.

    And every time I see human minds get trumped by a script or something in software, I get offended. Perhaps it's odd that I, as a "technology professional" would be offended by technology, but I am. But then again, I would consider this to be a clear misapplication of technology and I find that equally offensive. To this day, I prefer going through a checkout line run by humans rather than the 'self checkout' lines where you scan and pay for your stuff by yourself. Humans are still better than machines... for now... and only when humans aren't acting like machines.

  • Bad summary (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @09:16AM (#24455519) Homepage

    If you actually read the article, the problem wasn't that they wouldn't let him enter his last name. The problem was that they wouldn't let him include his last name in his -login- name because it contained a four-letter word as a substring.

    Why would Verizon care what you put in your username? How about the fact that when you call support, the rep will have to say what you typed in multiple times. And then a troll is going to record it and upload it to Youtube. Why should their staff be subjected to that embarrassment?

    Granted in this case the call should have been passed to an engineer with the ability to edit at a level past the word filter. But that's Verizon for you: compartmentalized to hell and back.

    • by Shados (741919)

      The article said it was in their email address that they couldn't use bad language. I guess its to stop people from having stuff like "" or something. And considering what the article said further, it seemed like it was configured that way in the system and they couldn't bypass it, thus they refused it. (But further down they DO state they make exceptions, and it was a big confusion that they didn't in this case...yeah, right).

  • by cbowland (205263) on Sunday August 03, 2008 @10:37AM (#24455933)

    My favorite name is the Chicago Cubs player Kosuke Fukudome []. MLB won't let you put "cubs suck" on official merchandize, but you can get "Fuk u do me" (minus the spaces) with no problem. Plus, his number is 1, which could be interpreted as extending the one figure salute.

Felson's Law: To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.