The "C" Branch

A blend of commentary on life - with topics like society, culture, religion & spirituality
and politics, along with tech and internet industry education, news & more. Learn more »

Jun 03

Emailing AT&T Leads to a Cease and Desist Letter

It’s no secret that I really, really, REALLY hate AT&T. In case you have any doubts, feel freed to read AT&T: Possibly the Worst Company Ever. It’s true, I hate them.

That said, I guess it’s very good I happened to catch this in recent news: an AT&T customer recently received a phone call from AT&T’s legal department, warning him that he was on the fast track to receiving a “Cease & Desist” letter from the department. Why? He wrote two emails to Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s CEO, regarding legitimate customer concerns.

I guess this just continues to go to show that AT&T has absolutely no interest in actually addressing its customers’ problems and needs and is solely out to make a profit while irritating as many people like me as possible. Oh well. At least I know not to ever bother writing the CEO.

You can read more at this Endgadget Article.

May 30

Butterflies May Prevent Forged Currency

According to a Daily Mail report, researchers at Cambridge University have discovered a way to duplicate some of the intricate optical signatures found in butterfly wings for use as an encryption method. This complex structure found in butterfly wings allows butterflies to appear one color to other butterflies, but a different color to their predators and other species. By recreating this technology, scientists have been able to produce optical signatures that change color based on how they are viewed.

One practical use of this new technology is to help deter the forgery of documents such as bank notes. Due to its high complexity and difficulty to reproduce, the use of this technology would make it much more challenging for counterfeiters to forge documents that utilize it as an anti-duplication measure.

Essentially, the optical signature would cause marking(s) on the document to change appearance when viewed under different lighting conditions.

For the original article, please visit

Apr 01

Actually, the Gmail Mute Feature Looks Legit

From Gmail help:

If you’re subscribed to a mailing list, you’ve no doubt been subjected to the ‘thread that just won’t die!’ If you’re part of a long message conversation that isn’t relevant, you can ‘mute’ the conversation to keep all future additions out of your inbox.

Very interesting…

Apr 01

Gmail Mute Option?

I just noticed a “Mute” option in my Gmail menu. Considering I have no idea how you would mute an email, I’m guessing this is another April Fool’s Day joke. Does anyone have this? Or perhaps know anything about it?

On second thought, maybe this is legit…

Apr 01

Google Changes Name to Topeka

If you visit or drive through Kansas today, you may notice something different. Early last month the mayor of Topeka, Kansas stunned the world by announcing that his city was changing its name to Google. [Source: CNN]

As it turns out, the former Google felt so honored by this that the company decided to change its name to Topeka. If you don’t believe this, simply visit or take a look at the Official Google Blog and see for yourself!

Feb 17

What is Divine Providence?

A nice young lady looking for help with a Social Studies project asked for help with this today, so here’s a little explanation of divine providence.

Divine Providence essentially refers to God’s activity and intervention in the world and in people’s lives. It can be and has been used – and abused – as an explanation or justification for just about anything – good or bad.

For example, many ancient rulers (and the civilizations which they governed) took the very fact that they were in power to mean that God willed for that to be. Therefore, this allowed them to get away with doing lots of stuff that may or may not have necessarily been good – but people accepted it as “fate” because God allowed that person to be in power, so therefore everything that was happening must be the will of God.

In fact, everything from the rise and fall of nations and the outcomes of battles and wars to explanations for droughts and famine has been and continues even to this day to be associated with the will and action of God.

This philosophy applies on a much smaller scale as well – and can be attributed to “fate” or “karma” too. In fact, you probably experience it on a daily basis without even realizing it.

For example, if something bad happens to someone and you overhear someone say “he/she had it coming,” they are expressing this very concept – that some higher power (karma, or the universe, or God) had some sort of intervention on that event taking place. And, every single day, millions of believers in God (including myself) attribute good things happening to God’s mercy and power.

Hope that helps!