Tag Archive: BMW

FTC Take Action: Is This The End of The Fake News Site?

FTC Permanently Stops Six Operators from Using Fake News Sites that Allegedly Deceived Consumers about Acai Berry Weight-Loss Products

Above is the FTC’s own headline from a news release yesterday.  The story is that they’ve hammered six operators of fake news sites into making settlements that surrender their assets.  They’ve also halted the six operations plus those of four others, making ten by my calculation!

What Is a Fake News Site?

Do you really need to ask?   !!    (These are for news7digest, see more below on this!).

Anyone who even casually browses the web will have seen these news exposes, quite often advertised down the right side on Facebook and in banner adverts on even the most sensible of websites – like this one, say!

How the adverts work is that they are paid for by the operators.  They deliberately pay to get premium visibility slots, using Google often, but not exclusively.

The fake news site itself will be plastered with well known icons of top companies (like CNN, BBC, CBC, ABC, Google even!) and purport to be a serious investigation by a journalist into whatever the scam may be.  A short list of such scams that we’ve revealed here are:

  • Acai weight loss
  • Tea weight loss.
  • Acai bowel cleanse.
  • Other bowel cleanse.
  • Get rippling muscles.
  • Make money on Google.
  • Get a cheap payday loan.
  • Get a cheap government grant.
  • Get rejuvenation skin cream.
  • Look younger in other ways.
  • Gamble on penny auctions.

channel4online.co.uk

Just yesterday, Peter Farrahy asked why these fake news sites are still going on this post about Jesse Willms.

So taking his example of the very plausible looking channel4online.co.uk and doing a search on it like so:

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=channel4online.co.uk

…produces several links to the actual Channel 4 in the UK, and the scam site….

This shows the deliberate, deceptive and despicable way in which the site name has been chosen to closely imitate a legitimate and bona-fide news organisation.  Fraud, in other words – as the definition says – “an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual”

Amazingly, if you click the link several times, each effort takes you to one of three different landing pages for a new site, the actual fake news site of,

news7digest.com

This shows up in the header image in two, but confusingly is called Consumer Reporter in the other!  They are all visually quite different.

The three screenshots near the top of this article are indeed the three fake news sites which you’ll land on by clicking on channel4online.co.uk.

Here they are again, to save you scrolling:

Conclusion

Is this the end of the fake news sites?  Well, obviously not.

They are still very very current and still very very visible.  The highly photoshopped images adorn well known websites to the point of irritation.  However, the settlement was only yesterday.  The note on the FTC statement goes on the say;

A settlement order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant that the law has been violated. Settlement orders have the force of law when approved and signed by the District Court judge.

Despite this, it appears the six defendants are caving in as no appeals have been launched.  They are and the details of the settlements are as follows:

  • Ricardo Jose Labra Labra’s $2.5 million judgment will be suspended when he pays $280,000 and records a $39,500 lien on his home.
  • Zachary S. Graham, Ambervine Marketing, LLC and Encastle, Inc. Graham’s $953,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $110,000 plus most of the proceeds from the sale of a truck.
  • Tanner Garrett Vaughn Vaughn’s $203,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays close to $80,000 over a three-year period.
  • Thou Lee Lee’s $204,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays $13,000 plus the proceeds from the sale of a BMW.
  • Charles Dunlevy Dunlevy’s $143,000 judgment will be suspended when he pays an estimated $2,000 from frozen assets and the sale of a boat.
  • DLXM, LLC and Michael Volozin The $594,000 judgment will be suspended because of the defendants’ inability to pay.

 

I see it as a warning shot.  The actual wording of the terms against the six goes as follows.  It’s quite onerous and specific, I think, which means that these News7Digest screenshots at the top of this posting put the operators in deep doggy do if they don’t get their act together pronto.  The highlights are mine.

As part of its ongoing crackdown on bogus health claims, the proposed settlements will require that the six operations make clear when their commercial messages are advertisements rather than objective journalism, and will bar the defendants from further deceptive claims about health-related products such as the acai berry weight-loss supplements and colon cleansers that they marketed.

The defendants also are required to disclose any material connections they have with merchants, and will be barred from making deceptive claims about other products, such as the work-at-home schemes or penny auctions that most of them promoted.  The settlements also require that these defendants collectively pay roughly $500,000 to the Commission because their advertisements violated federal law.  This money amounts to most of their assets.

A Sample of My Previous Posts Mentioning Fake News Websites

This all proves that what I and others are saying is wrong – and the FTC is proving it!  Virtually everything that the scammers do the FTC has now taken issue with and imposed heavy penalties.  It’s now, as they say, case law, as well as being the law of the land.  Let’s hope that Willms who chucked his power derived from ill-gotten wealth at me making me pull a page or two for a time, gets his just deserts – sometime this year would be nice.

 

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Spiv Britain

You’ve Got to Laugh

Following the biggest financial meltdown in history over the last 2 years, the optimists are vociferously making themselves known and talking the economies of the world, up.

Money, it´s a crimeHowever, the United Kingdom is not doing as well as Germany (and France), apparently.  The reason for this is that Germany’s profits have mainly come from manufacturing exports and their trading is done mainly in the Euro which makes their transactions and agreements easier.  Also, in Europe they are not so het up about house ownership and thus didn’t have the collateral to increase the levels of personal debt that has been seen in Britain.  This was the news this morning.

Meanwhile, UK house prices are sliding up again….

HOUSE PRICES BOOM

  • Q.  So is it back to normal?
  • A.  I think attitudes are back to normal.

White van man and the manic BMW & Audi drivers are hammering down the motorways again, so they can obviously afford it.

In the same news programme this morning it was stated that Britain’s recent prosperity is based on…  the financial markets.

So Germany makes, while Britain gambles…

wall of banksAnd as optimism returns, all the platitudes about financial controls are being quietly swept aside.  Instead of controls, HM Gov is going to increase the tax on the gamblers!!!  (see “Call for bank tax to curb bonuses” )

These are all clever people apparently, and they’ve all done their economics homework.

But they fail to correlate the fact that the gambling spiv country has done badly in the recession and that the prime reason for the recession was people acting like gambling spivs.

So while they’ve made “agreements” for tax-havens like Bermuda & Liechtenstein to behave better, Britain, in actual fact, has not altered it’s behaviour.    It’s whole raison d’etre and source of wealth is gambling and spiv cons.

Britain is like a Las Vegas in the ocean.   Only bigger.

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Nice Car -such a Shame.

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

New Jaguar XJ

In common with most cars like this, it’s a lovely looking machine – a style marvel; sleek and vapid, mercurial.

It’s also a waste of space and a waste of effort.

It’s two tonnes of mass for a 400kg payload is pants.  An ecological disaster zone.

Money for Old Rope

New York Congestion

New York Congestion

Not only that, with the firm reputably losing £1m per day, it’s cost of >£50k to a tad under £90k means that 10-20 will need to be sold each day just to cover that loss, without any pretence at covering their own manufacturing costs.

Utah Congestion

Utah Congestion

Tata, it’s Indian owner paid $2.3bn for the company.  Now the UK and Europe are being asked to bail it out for £300m to keep the 15k workers in jobs and preserve the veneer of a static environmental world, bathed in an everlasting sea of fossil fuel.  Ravi Kant sees profits in two years…

Worldwide, Jaguar sold ~65k cars in 2008.  Most luxury makers are seeing sales drops of  at least 20% for each of the last two years.  Many barely made money even in the good times!! This figure covers some fuzz though.  Because these 65k cars cost from ~£20k to ~£80k, a simple like-for-like calculation cannot be made.  The intention is to drop some models next year in favour of the more expensive car.  So 65k cars again?

I don’t think so.  Call it 50k cars.

Melbourne, Australia congestion

Melbourne, Australia congestion

The irony isn’t just in the financial gloss applied to make it appear that Shangri-La is returning very soon;  a bizarre hope exists of a ‘business as usual’ scenario, when we can repeat the whole cycle again.

The irony is in the design of the vehicle, it’s presentation to the public, and the public’s perception of the machine as a desirable status symbol, swooping over life’s problems like fuel shortages, the congestion of our urban sprawls and speed limits.

The Jaguar website provides full technical specifications for the vehicle, which show it to have good acceleration and economy.  They fail to point out that the standard laws of physics mean these aren’t at the same time…

Jaguar cub

Bored young Jaguar

The slow-motion pictures at the beginning of the launch video aren’t slow at all.  This is real-time speed in a traffic queue, the place where the vehicle will spend most of it’s travelling life.

And whenever the Jaguar owner feels like opening it up to it’s 155mph limited maximum, hopefully they’ll be reassured that it’s lightweight, rivetted aluminium structure is stronger than that of the similarly shiny, magnesium and aluminium Mercedes which was in this crash below, at only 125mph.

The point is that rapid transport itself is a luxury.  Although we in the West have become accustomed to ever cheaper travel of all types, this has been at the expense of the future.  Like the credit crunch, we are “leveraging” today’s resources against tomorrows expectations of a miracle.  The pot of black gold isn’t bottomless, but the continuing production of anachronisms like this beautiful car, seeks only to deceive us that it is.

The only miracle will be if people see the truth that they’ve been living in a dream world for the past century.   In the 35,000 years of human existence, these last hundred are but a plip in a pond.

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How to Commit Murder, Legally

Introduction

Simple.

@Amazon

  • Live in County Durham, UK
  • Don’t pass the driving test
  • Drive a car, unsupervised, with your partner and her 6-year old child as passengers!
  • Find a cyclist while driving around
  • Make sure the cyclist is not wearing a helmet
  • Knock over the cyclist with your illegally driven and thus un-insured car
  • Make sure the cyclist dies

That’s how!

Quoting from The Journal, Live, here’s what happened:

@AmazonA MOTORIST who had driven for eight years without ever passing a test escaped jail after killing a cyclist.

Denis Moore, 50, regularly drove his partner’s Hyundai Matrix mobility car despite only holding a provisional licence.   Durham Crown Court was told yesterday how he was behind the wheel when he collided with cyclist James Jorgensen at 6pm on September 24 last year.

Mr Jorgensen, 55, of East Shore Village, Seaham, County Durham, was riding round a roundabout near his home when Moore’s car hit him.   He was flung to the ground and died eight days later of severe head injuries.

But Moore, 50, of Byron Terrace, Houghton-le-Spring, near Sunderland, escaped jail after the court was told Mr Jorgensen had not been wearing a safety helmet.

That’s murder in my book.  The man Moore plainly has no consideration for the lives of others and the laws that we have to protect us.

The twat judge is no better and should be strung up or struck off.  Like our forgetful MPs and their expenses, the judge has shown a complete disregard for the law, both literally and in it’s spirit.  The judge’s tiny supposition that “helmets are safe” has completely outweighed the cascade of offences that Moore committed by actually driving on the public highway.  If Jorgenson had lived, what hope would there have been for him to get any damages from Moore?  None!  Because by driving on the road, Moore’s insurance was invalidated and any compensation would have had to be derived from Moore’s limited means.  His partner Bell was the same by allowing the offences.

In fact, it could be argued that Jorgenson, the cyclist, may have cycled differently and avoided a collision if he’d spotted some L-Plates on Moore’s car – but of course, Moore didn’t have any.

What a pair of complete and utter bastards, Moore and the Judge.

The completely un-reasoned argument the judge used could be applied to all ‘accidents’ (I hate that term – they should be called crashes, because that’s what they are, and almost all are completely avoidable).

By the same criteria;

  • Anyone knocked over on the footpath could have been saved by wearing a helmet or a suit of armour.
  • Anyone shot by a gunman could have escaped death by wearing a bullet-proof vest.
  • Anyone killed in a airplane crash should have had a parachute.

It’s the same, stupid, un-reasoned logic that shifts the onus of responsibility onto the injured person.

@AmazonBy The Way, Moore had to pay a £15 ‘victim surcharge’.  That’s the price of a life.

L-Plates are £2.99 from Amazon…

Latest News

I saw this tragic news (Pregnant woman dies in kerb crash) after writing the above today.  Both the woman and her foetus died when hit by a BMW while walking on the footpath.  It’ll be interesting to see if the stupid logic of the previous case is used when justice is finally served…  Should she have been wearing a suit of armour last night?  Can you see the rubbish logic at work now?

See local news link: Pregnant Carlisle woman dies after car mounts pavement

References

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WordPress 2.7 Mysterious Permalinks Problem

Strangely post on December 24th, 2008
Posted in Technology Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Problem With Pretty Permalinks.

Following on from the recent WordPress update to 2.7, I’ve had the weird effect of

  • first a single post losing the pretty permalinks,
  • then two,
  • then all of them,
  • then I had a big twiddle, (this involved a lot of forum work.  This question from Storax I thought nearly had it working for me at this point as you’ll see from my posting!)
  • and now I’m back to the original weird post that doesn’t work properly.

The post is one about the self-induced motor industry crisis of poor planning and foresight combined with consumer greed in a world of limited resources – an ordinary tale. (there may be other posts with this effect, but this is the only one I’ve found!!!).  Pretty permalinks are set to…

/%post_id%/%postname%/

…which has worked for months and months without a problem.

This is what the post should be like but it doesn’t work and returns a 404:

And this is a version that works!

Weirdly, if you enter the default-should-work-in-all-cases format:

…it fails and redirects to the first duff version.

Aha! I can hear everyone cry.  It’s yer redirects, it’s yer permalinks in htaccess, it’s a plugin….  Okay.  Maybe it is.  But it doesn’t explain this behaviour in a similarly numbered, slightly later posting:

This is what it should be like:

And this version also works!

Weirdly, if you enter the default-should-work-in-all-cases format:

…this works also!!!

But that must be when you implemented a permalinks change? I hear you cry.  Possibly, it was about then.  This is the results for the next earlier posting:

So there we have it!  Exactly the same each side of the problem posting.   I’ve renamed the posting (to give it less chars as suggested in pne forum posting), remade it and re-dated it as a replacement (i.e. brand new post with same text).   I’ve changed the categories (following some forum prompts).   I’ve removed plugins.

And now I’m knackered from playing with all the permutations and eating too many Xmas sweeties….

One day I’ll crack this and let you know.  Until then, triple zeds folks.

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