March, 2006

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McAfee can go to hell… again

Thursday, March 2nd, 2006

The online tracking page for my upgrade $30 mail-in rebate shows the status as “invalid”, with the explanation “Missing Original Proof of Purchase”. I’m 99% certain I followed the rebate instructions exactly.

Interestingly enough this is far from the first time I’ve been denied a rebate. It’s easy to see what’s going on. Mail-in rebates capitalize on people’s laziness and/or incompetence, either of which lead to the rebate not having to be paid out. But just to line their pockets further, they deny a certain number of rebates whose filings were perfectly valid, because the consumer has no evidence to the contrary. It’s a total scam, and the reason why I usually steer clear of mail-in rebates (other than the hassle).

McAfee and the rest of the mail-in-rebate scammers seriously need to have their business practices investigated.

12 seconds faster than Jeremy Clarkson

Wednesday, March 1st, 2006

[photo of my Evo at Laguna Seca]

Attended a track day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last Monday with the Golden Gate Lotus Club. In a recent episode of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson describes the track as “the most fearsome track in North America” and I think he’s rather given to exaggeration because Laguna Seca is actually a relatively safe track; I did my second track day ever there last January. In said episode, Clarkson tries to equal his “virtual performance” (on the Playstation) on the real track and does no better than a lap time of 1:57.

Here’s a video of one of my sessions on track (also available via Google Video):

I was one of the fastest cars/drivers there; in the space of 19 minutes, I passed 22 cars:

  • 5 Lotus Elises
  • 1 BMW Z4 (twice)
  • 1 Chevy Cobalt race car
  • 2 Porsche Caymans
  • 5 Mazda Miatas
  • 1 Mitsubishi Evo race car
  • 1 Mitsubishi Evo street car
  • 1 Porsche 968
  • 1 Porsche 944
  • 1 BMW E6 M3
  • 1 Ferrari 355
  • 1 Ferrari 360

My DL1 datalogger recorded my fastest lap as a 1:45.9, but that was in traffic having to slow down for and/or pass a car in front of me. Based on fast sector times, I ran a pace of about 1:44.1… but unfortunately never got a clear lap to pull it off. Still, it was a fun learning experience, passing cars in just about every turn (and straightaway).

[photo of my Evo going over the 'Corkscrew']