Favorite spots and experiences at Yankee Stadium since the ballpark in the Bronx opened in 2009. — Foursquare list and photos by Valerie Seckler
Going to a baseball game at the new Yankee Stadium can bring on a bout of sensory overload. The experience is something akin to visiting an amusement park. Visual and audio stimulation is neverending. Music plays. Flashback footage and video games cross the massive outfield screens. Ads flashing lights and colors zip around the Stadium decks’ facades. Baseball game broadcasts by John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on WCBS radio accompany trips to restrooms and to food stands, where flat screens monitor the action on the field.
Since the 2009 season, the one the Yankees organization tagged the venue’s inaugural season, the volume has returned to a reasonable level in the Stadium’s high-quality JBL speaker system. Commercials no longer blast relentlessly between half-innings. Less than one season of loud griping by fans and the media moved Yankee Stadium game days closer to the pastoral feeling imparted by blue sky, sun, and green grass, a momentary departure from their urban setting.
Fans come and go from their seats with greater frequency than in the old Yankee Stadium. There’s so much more to do and see. There’s an expansive team store, filled with tempting merch. There’s a Yankees museum. That’s just the beginning.
— Valerie Seckler
What means most to people deciding on disposition of their digital assets after their own life ends?
For Evan Carroll, founder of The Digital Beyond, the emphasis is on the personal. Social media content, for example. A consultant and author of “Your Digital Afterlife,” based in Raleigh, N.C., Carroll’s perspective could seem counterintuitive. Entrusting inheritors with sensitive digital documents like financials might loom larger than bequeathing social media content that is largely shared in the first place. As estate attorney Suzanne Brown Walsh, principal at Cummings & Lockwood, observes, “Accounts exist to create an expectation of privacy.”
The notion that personal digital content and assets are prime for the passing along also departs from the longtime, low value survivors typically place on estate items such as photographs and letters. One exception would be letters, photos, postcards and other ephemera in the estate of a celebrity.
Digital property rights after an owner’s death is emerging as a concern because intellectual property and estate matters “don’t often intersect,” Walsh explains. “We are at the point people are aware this is a big issue…a very complicated area.”
Secklerism: What, if any, plans of your own have you made for your digital assets?
Evan Carroll: I keep a list of passwords available to my heirs. I’ve had conversations with them and they know about my wishes and who should handle my digital assets. I’m still in my 20s, but when I do my will (probably within the next year) I’m planning to include language about my digital assets.
Secklerism: Is there any difference in degree of interest and difficulty in protecting and passing along social media assets, compared with other digital assets, like email and online documents?
Evan Carroll: Assets like online documents, financial records and website accounts are fairly non-controversial. Assets like email and social media, which contain a richer, and perhaps more personal, record of the deceased are more contentious as some feel that they want these assets to remain private. The difficulty varies because the terms of service and policies of each provider are different. It’s important to note, however, that most account passwords can be reset if you have access to the decedent’s email account. In this way, email acts as a master key helping to gain access to other online accounts.
Secklerism: What action is underway, addressing the rights to digital assets of the deceased, beyond the five states now allowing people to pass along their passwords and account access to inheritors? [These states are Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Indiana and Idaho.]
Evan Carroll: Here’s a current list of laws and states considering laws — Digital Estate Resouce map: http://bit.ly/13LDEmp [Also see Secklerism, March 13, “Living a Digital Afterlife,” on pending digital rights legislation in Virginia. Estate attorneys such as Walsh in Connecticut and Naomi Cahn, Harold H. Greene Professor of Law at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., expect Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell to sign the bill into law by this summer.]
Note: Even as some U.S. locales start granting citizens rights to legally designate heirs to digital accounts and content, corporate service providers like Facebook, Google and Microsoft may have user agreements that preempt third-party access to decedents’ digital assets.
By Valerie Seckler
Okay, doubters, skeptics, cynics. AT&T Mobile is a wireless telecom provider people love to hate. A Facebook friend bemoaning the fate of her newly departed mobile phone spawned a lengthy conversation thread, weaving one storyline berating AT&T smartphones as a must to avoid. Few defended the smartphones of AT&T, a brand formerly linked to Ma Bell, long since departed caretaker.
Following the death on April 10 of a 2012 vintage 4G AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9900, service given by this year’s AT&T varied by location. Social media managers at AT&T provided excellent assistance in replacing the broken smartphone. A nearby AT&T wireless boutique just north of Union Square, where service is usually helpful and timely, did not deliver. Staff wouldn’t honor Asurion insurance or enable replacement under an early upgrade policy in a current phone contract. A big, airy, service center with comfortable lounge seating did not foretell the poor service to come at that AT&T Device Support Center on West 32nd Street in Manhattan.
5 Things I Learned in Replacing an AT&T BlackBerry Smartphone
1. Social media ruled. @ATTCustomerCare’s response to a help request Tweeted from @vaseckler came inside an hour. Simple and direct. “Sorry, I’ll try to help,” read the Tweet on April 11 at 10:01 a.m. AT&T solicited further details via email. The 58-minute response time took the middle ground in social media responses to calls for help. Some replies come in well less than 30 minutes; others in more than a day. An April 11th Tweet from @vaseckler at 9:05 a.m., noting the support center “could use a service upgrade,” got things started.
2. First responders aren’t necessarily the problem solvers. AT&T’s Facebook responded shortly after @ATTCustomerCare and ran with it, bringing the deal home [AT&T Facebook: http://on.fb.me/175sdIn]. A clear, responsive, helpful and effective member of the AT&T Social Media Team, Catherine immediately offered to check replacement options through corporate ordering and/or partnering with a local store manager. FedEx delivered a new 4G AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9900, four days (two business days) later. The long wait was offset by a replacement price south of $100.
3. You never really know who your friends are. Repeated screen display darkening sharply limited the AT&T BlackBerry Bold’s use. A login fail knocked it out. After examining the smartphone and explaining it would need to be replaced due to display darkening, an AT&T Device Support Center employee returned it and asked that I log in. Then she blamed this customer for the mobile device’s login fail. She claimed I’d tried 10 times to log in, triggering the fail. Not so. Declining to help further, the support center employee advised a call to Asurion or to AT&T’s customer service at 611, looping back to the usual starting point.
4. AT&T wireless shops sometimes nix people’s requests to replace their broken smartphones by using the Asurion insurance they recommend. This customer’s citation of Asurion’s $6.99 monthly fee for insurance covering the broken AT&T BlackBerry Bold mobile device met with a sales consultant’s response that purchase of the goods at AT&T’s East 17th Street store is not covered by Asurion’s third-party policy. When reminded AT&T recommended and facilitated the purchase of Asurion insurance for this customer at the very East 17th Street shop, the sales consultant resumed talks about replacement terms.
5. Flexibility in early upgrades can be limited, zapping a policy intended to bring good prices for new smartphones before phone service contracts expire. An early upgrade for the broken 4G AT&T BlackBerry Bold 9900 was due in August. AT&T’s Union Square shop would only advance its upgrade/replacement provision to July. That’s after being informed that the mobile device broke due to no fault of this owner. As for cost, $425 was the best the local AT&T wireless boutique quoted for a new BlackBerry Bold 9900, $125 shy of the full $550 price.