Tag Archive: CEO

Robots and Fuel Strikes – What Are People Supposed to Do?

The Role of Work – What Is It?

  • Robot waiters in China

    Robot waiters in China

    The role of work is at the heart of many societal norms, take the so-called “protestant work ethic”.

  • The current strikes in France, inspired by the fuel tanker driver strike, will have many of a “work ethic” mindset secretly envious but openly tut-tutting.
    •  http://www.thelocal.fr/20160526/french-fuel-crisis-4600-petrol-stations-run-dry
  • China, despite its vast available workforce, is expanding the world of robotics at a rate of 40% annually.
    • https://www.therobotreport.com/news/40-annual-growth-forecast-for-chinese-robotics

But what’s it about?

France

At the heart of the French issue is the unilateral imposition, without a vote, by the apparently socialist (but in reality just as no-liberal as the rest of the West) French government.  This imposes a relaxing of the 35 hour weekly work-time rule.

This is said to be good for employers.

China

Foxconn, one of the world’s largest computer & electronic equipment makers is ditching 60, 000 people, for robots!

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-36376966

This is said to be good for…. erm….

Not Only That, But Also

Well, Big Mcdonald’s in the USA may be ditching workers for robots

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2016/05/24/fmr-mcdonalds-usa-ceo-35k-robots-cheaper-than-hiring-at-15-per-hour.html

Munch & Sleep

We all have to eat and in The West we use money to pay for it all.  We also pay for our dwellings and all the knick-knacks that make our lives what they are (studies thumb while blundering down high street with little box in hand).

The role of money in our lives and how we get it is paramount.

Now let’s consider those workers striking to keep their hours down, their money up and the role of robots in all of this, because it affects us all.

Sooner or later, most of us will have to consider our place in this robotic world.  Really.  What will you do?

Final Thoughts & Conclusion

French petrol staion queues, 2016

Workers Going Nowhere in France

  • Work is NOT the be-all and end-all of everything.
  • Happiness is the be-all and end-all of everything.  (n.b. not the pursuit of happiness, just your average, every day happiness.  Goddit?)

So if:

  • McDonald’s and other fast food outlets ditch real human workers for robots (maybe just a food window like on the Star Trek Enterprise?),
  • waiters are replaced by robots,
  • computer makers ditch real people for robots,
  • doctors and even surgeons are replaced by robots,
  • trains, planes, buses and cars are all driven by robots…

…then we will all have much more free time.

BUT, and it is a big but,

  • How will we pay for our free time?

And for all those tut-tutting about the French workers on strike and jealous of a fully paid 35-hour working week

  • Where will your job be?
  • Where will you get your money?
  • Where’s your protestant work ethic now?

How will universal happiness be attained?

Because:

  • Not everyone is blessed with the muses.
  • Not everyone can be a politician.
  • Not everyone can run quaint tea shops and sell tat to tourists.
  • Not everyone can be a plumber.

Don’t start the argument that people will be needed to fix the machines, the phones, the computers.  Electronic devices are consumables now and do not need fixing.  They just get replaced. The people that currently devise new machines have been redundant for many years.

In fact, most new computer circuitry is designed…by computer!

Terminated

…and with robots creating robots that do all the work, what place for people?  With decision-making robots, maybe the Terminator series are closer than we think?

Terminated

Terminated

Related Posts:

From Google Treasure Chest to Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

From Google Treasure Chest to Ubertan Sun Tan Scam in Nevis on the BBC?

A.  yes it’s true!

Ubertan On BBC

Ubertan On BBC

An article on the BBC website today highlighted the dangers of a tanning products called Ubertan.  On reading it, and following up with a simple Google search, the way it is portrayed in forums immediately set off warning bells because of its similarity to other scams I’ve seen.

Ubertan

Ubertan Search

Ubertan Search

A simple Google search showed that warnings about Ubertan have been going on for some time.  This website warned way back in April 2011 and here we have a Mens’s Health forum being shilled by Ubertanners with a post starting in Jan 2011…  The first even shows that the Ubertan website changed it’s copy when folks started complaining.

The Ubertan website is currently ‘live’ however, it is showing no content!  At all!  The Google cache is interesting though (more on that later)…

WHOIS Ubertan

Ubertan WHOIS

Ubertan WHOIS

Who is Ubertan indeed?  !!

WarningBell

Warning Bell

What we see is that “Manufacturers Direct” owns several domains and one Vernon Veira is the contact on the dual island nation of Kitts-Nevis.

10 Solomons Arcade
Charlestown,  00000
KN
+1.3057484919

This is when the warning bells started ringing….

Doing The Charlestown in Nevis

It’s two years ago that I started looking at the now seriously-discredited Google Treasure Chest scam (see http://strangelyperfect.tv/3099/google-treasure-chest-its-a-scam-and-a-half/).  the amount of information I had, meant I had to post over several different postings, and it was during these later investigations that a Post Office address (P.O. Box) came up on Nevis.  In Charlestown.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember exactly what address it was.  But it’s easily found here a comment from @NotKevin.  I think it’s the first time we saw the address, although it has since popped up many times when checking out folks that would be preferred to be known as “online marketeers” but we like to call scammers.  This is on the posting,

This is the address.

New Online Systems Ltd.
P.O. Box 642, Main Street
Charlestown, Nevis, West Indies

Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

Ubertan Google Cache

Ubertan may be silent, but the Google Cache is active and shows this address down at the bottom of the first cached page:

Ubertan.com +44 161 408 5816
Subertan Ltd 642 Main Street, Charlestown, Nevis

 

Uber morphs into Suber, and because the Post Office on Charlestown is one of the few buildings on Main  Street, Charlestown; a whole host of P.O. Boxes exist inside.

P.O. Box 642 means 642 Main Street!

Who are these people using 642?  I don’t know.

What I do know is that the domains listed by @NotKevin, although not exactly the same,  bear a shocking similarity to those domains used by people like Jesse Willms (say) before he decided to turn into a saint-like activist and Pacific WebWorks (say) before they got their pants sued off them.  This is what @NotKevin said:

That West Indies address is also linked with porn:
http://www.highdefriches.com/contact.php
http://www.eshspt.com/
(another Co Durham address on that one too!)
“health products”:
http://hiltonhg.com/
Colon cleansing:
http://www.colocleansemax.com/contact-us.php
Acai:
http://acaidetoxmaxx.com/
and Govt Grants:
http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/government-grants-avaliable-cd-c116063.html

Now compare and contrast those domains and businesses with the very large list to be found here on WebCops – the plethora of time-limited similarly-named domains means tracking them is an onerous task, well beyond my spare time.

However, yet again, we have seen the same address appear when dealing with dodgy ego-massaging products.

Phoenix-Like TryUbertan

Ubertan may be dead, but it doesn’t take long to find son-of-Ubertan when looking at the decidedly un-Caribbean telephone number for Ubertan.

+44 161 408 5816 is actually a Manchester, UK number!!

TryUbertan Contact Page

TryUbertan Contact Page

A quick search pulls out…..

Beginnings

Now I know they’re trying to hide!!!

TryUbertan.net on the T&C page now shows the address of Ubertan to be:

Ubertan Sunless Tanning System
c/o Toocoo Media Inc.
39555 Orchard Hill Place
Suite 600
Novi, Michigan
48375

Although it’s supposed to be available from ” high end salons in the U.K, France, Germany, Spain and North America” from their FAQ page, these stores will be doing so ILLEGALLY!  The UK government has officially banned it (as per the UK news item) and is EXPLICITLY ISSUING DANGER WARNINGS about its usage!

Still, TryUbertan (WHOIS is Pennsylvania USA) don’t care.  They’ll just grab the cash and morph into something else.

TooCoo Media CEO

TooCoo Media CEO

The decidedly minimalist website of Toocoo Media Inc, http://www.toocoomedia.com, throws up some interesting conundrums, if that really is their mailing address.  There are two LinkedIn links:

  • http://www.linkedin.com/company/toocoo-media-inc.
  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/jumanok

The latter is for the CEO, a Peter B. Lee whose 3 website links at the bottom of his profile point to the totally and bizarrely un-related websites of:

  • http://www.viafoura.com/
  • https://www.netiq.com/products/migrate/ which then redirects to novell.com as Novell has bought them out
  • http://www.oracle.com/index.html

Mr Lee, who claims to be Canadian from the LinkedIn profile, also has a poetry blog on blogger assuming the same quite distinct user name is being re-used, which is for invited guests only!!!  See The Poetry of Peter B. Lee with the url of http://jumanok.blogspot.com/  I’ve highlighted his key username as it matches the LinkedIn profile.  I don’t think that this Peter Lee (interestingly, a place name in County Durham of all places!) is the same who’s name is used in some recent versions of the classic 419 scam.  Try these examples for a start:

To add to the surreal mix that I’m uncovering, there are also two videos on YouTube uploaded by a “jumanok”!!  One of half a minute looks very much like Mr Lee, doing  some testing thing in Nov 2008 here:

This is a screenshot in case it’s pulled:

Jumanok YouTube

Jumanok YouTube

This is Jumanok from LinkedIn:

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

Jumanok LinkedIn LargePic

And here is “Crystal” telling us how her life state has improved after seeing something on OPRAH (down below she says) – except there’s nothing below!!  It appears to be a video plug for something intended to include Oprah in the spiel, except it never happened as there’s nowt to see.  This was uploaded in May, 2009.  The termination of Oprah-related plans may or may not have had something to do with the legal action, taken in May 2009, by Oprah, and reported here on her website;

http://www.oprah.com/health/The-Truth-About-Oprah-Dr-Oz-Acai-Resveratrol-and-Colon-Cleanse

Of course, Oprah sued and won damages against a host of scammers, one of which was Jesse Willms.

Conclusion

  • Time and again we come across scams that are based on a business with a very flakey base (here it’s a banned tanning product with government issued health warnings).  Usually, they are about improving one’s body or finances via unproven “new” medicines or foodstuffs, or get-rich-quick schemes.
  • Time and again we find a myriad of international contact phone numbers & addresses, for businesses that are very minor and specialist yet feel the need to spread themselves to the far corners of the globe.  Q. Why?  A.  Avoidance of easy scrutiny.
  • Time and again, we trace these businesses via LinkedIn (a bit like Jonathon Eborn, say) and other social networks high and wide.  They all start off appearing very legitimate.   As an aside, the Eborn results show a consulting website of http://www.jonathanebornconsulting.com/ and another of http://www.jonathandeborn.com/ which have both been hacked and defaced!  Made my day that!
  • Many businesses have a very public website, of minimalist design and content.  It’s very hard to discern exactly what they’re doing.  Compare these “online marketeers” to the website of Ford or Esso, say?  Now can you tell the difference?

Finally, (and very importantly for your health).  Don’t shove dodgy untested stuff of unknown provender up your nose.  Simple eh?

Related Posts:

Pacific Webworks, Lawyers and Social Networking

Introduction

The last thing we need is more scummy scammers and following on from Google’s legal action against Pacific Webworks (PWW) one would naively have thought that the “business” folk would be more circumspect.  (See previous article and comments, http://strangelyperfect.tv/5146/more-on-google-profits-and-pacific-webworks/ )

At the beginning of June, it appeared that the Google case against PWW had fallen flat and that PWW had gotten away with it.  This certainly appears so from yesterday’s press announcement by the odious PWW management, such as here.  It says,

SALT LAKE CITY, Jun 28, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Pacific WebWorks, Inc.  today announced that a Stipulated Final Judgment and Order for Permanent Injunction was entered in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah in the Google, Inc. vs. Pacific WebWorks, Inc. matter.

CEO Ken Bell commented, “We are very pleased to have this behind us. We have devoted a great deal of time and energy to resolving this situation and are anxious to return to the business of growing our company responsibly and profitably through our new marketing program. We appreciate our shareholders’ patience and understanding as we deal with the many details involved in the development and marketing of our products to small business users.”

Quite Bad

This looks quite bad until you realise that the PWW share price and dealing volumes have both fallen!

So what does the market know about the “settlement” that we don’t, eh?

Bloosky.com and The lawyer

PWW and Bloosky, were both named by Google, and Bloosky were (and still are) represented by Blair Jackson, who is a lawyer and on the company payroll of Bloosky in various positions.  (See at the bottom of here).

On checking out Mr Jackson, he’s part of:

CHRISTIANSEN & JACKSON, P.C.
10421 S. Jordan Gateway, Suite 600
South Jordan, Utah 84095
Telephone 801.576.2662
Facsimile 801.415.9340
Attorneys for Defendant Bloosky Interactive, LLC

You can see this on some delaying action in the Google case by Jackson for Bloosky, documents here and here.  But it gets better…   In this document, you’ll see that Bloosky are suing someone called Daniel L. Balsam for not adhering to an earlier agreement not to disclose what was said… or something. (I’ve yet to check this through!  But it looks a bit like pot-kettle-black to me…)

Whatever.

socialtoolkit.com

Yes. Whatever.  A bit more fishing on Jackson took me to the website(s) of one Vernon Howard.

He was scammed by socialtoolkit.com, in  exactly the same way as thousands of others were by Google Treasure Chest – promoted, run, designed and financed by Pacific Webworks.  It’s a scammers paradise with copious bad-web references and complaints.   The “business” says on it’s website,

Each day, more and more individuals, small business owners and Fortune 500 companies across the globe are realizing the value of SocialToolKit.com and choosing to increase their Social Networking efficiency, productivity and profits.   (Note to self:  “I must increase my Social Networking efficiency” – SP)

Here’s Vernon’s extremely well written story:

It’s an incredibly detailed tale, complete with copious screenshots, of his dealings with the various parties involved.  And he’s no shrinking violet.  He’s taking the buggers on!

There’s only one trouble.

He’s using Blair Jackson of Christiansen & Jackson, PC – Attorneys at Law, to take on socialtoolkit.com !!

How is this Weird?

Weird?  It’s positively scary!

Because if you read Vernon Howard’s account, you’ll see that he was billed by  YourProfitGateway.com

YourProfitGateway.com, when you check it’s (now freely accessible) WHOIS, unsurprisingly redirects to http://www.visualwebtools.com/site/

visualwebtools.com

If you’ve been following this, you’ll know from a while back that Visual WebTools is owned and run by…….. (trumpet fanfare)

Pacific WebWorks!

Latest News from The Visual WebTools Camp

Pacific WebWorks Updates Marketing Efforts

Thursday June 24, 2010 11:52:01 EDT SALT LAKE CITY, Jun 24, 2010

Last Thursday, this is what the odious CEO Ken Bell of PWW said about his company, their marketing and their product, Visual WebTools.

Pacific WebWorks, Inc., www.pacificwebworks.com, (OTCBB:PWEB) announced today that the company continues to perfect their new marketing program which offers prospective customers the opportunity to receive a tutorial on the product and interact with the company during the buying process.

CEO Ken Bell stated,

“Visual WebTools continues to be one of the premier online software products for small businesses in the marketplace. We expect our new, more interactive marketing approach to result in a more informed buyer who will be better equipped to employ our technologies into their online business. As a result, we expect future revenues to be more stable. We anticipate revenues to accelerate during the second half of the year with continued profitability.”

Bell continued,

“During the first six months of 2010 (i.e. since Google sued them – SP the company has focused on stabilizing profitability, servicing current customers and developing our new multi-tiered marketing program. We expect new customer acquisition in the future to be derived largely from our new direct contact marketing program. With our strong balance sheet, a current ratio in excess of 10x, tangible book value of nearly double our current market capitalization and strong historical earnings, we are positioned to continue to take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace.”

What are Google Doing?

The emphasis above, is mine.  From it, you can clearly see that Bell claims that his company is responsible for all the things that lead up to the nefarious practices that then lead to people being scammed.

So is the Google thing over with yet?  Why haven’t the Salt Lake Tribune said anything about it yet?

I still think there’s more to come out with this.  Remember the falling share price of PWW?  The markets know, you know.

Related Posts:

Robert G Allen, Grants, and a Credit Card Slimeball

Introduction

This is a small investigation into mail lists and scammy companies.  Some companies are fine, but I always go by the adage to judge a man by the company he keeps.  This shows how lists spread far beyond their initial purpose when you sign up for something.  It also shows how the privacy policies of these marketting websites are just words wrapped in fluff.

Robert G Allen runs ‘courses’ and is highly public in his utterances.  His website is http://web.archive.org/web/20090106001934/http://robertallenmedia.com/

Robert G AllenHere you’ll find the chubby faced entrepreneur open and engaging, and in common with all such sites, remarkably thin in actual methods used despite the vast amount of time extolling their virtues.  They will always say it’s “to protect our secrets” etc.

Funnily enough, when EasyJet was started by Stelios Haji-Ioannou, I remember him going on national telly and saying “I’m starting a new airline – we are different because we are cheap and there are no frills” and it didn’t do him any harm.

Whatever.

The point is that having ‘signed’ up for three scammy looking enterprises, the flood of spam I initially received has now turned into a deluge.  I’m now definitely one of the

“business opportunity enthusiasts who have invested (…) to learn how to make money using Incentivized Freebie Websites”!!! – as I said here.

Spam

The fact that Bobbie Allen has a 365 day money-back guarantee and a nice Reno address is besides the point.  Myself, Allen, Grants scams, EBay Success schemes, Christian Debt Solutions and Cash For Gold (to name several, but not all);   we are all now intimately connected by email lists which are passed around with gay abandon as proven in the link above to Monica St John’s Project Payday.  A secret once out is no longer a secret, and it’s no good these sites in their ‘policies’ saying spam is forbidden by their affiliates, which they do, because they don’t care.  They’ve got the money;  and the sites, as shown by the connections below, breed like rabbits!  Several have only lasted a week, a week when they can scam a few folk and then bog off.

Links and Query Strings

The connections run very deep.  While Robert Allen is at robertallenmedia.com, it’s accessed by these links from 2 weeks of spam mail relating to various subjects I’ve listed.

Robert Allen doesn’t get linked to by accident, remember.  He is getting money from them and because of that point, he’s as much part of it as anyone.

You’ll see that there are various links back to similar sounding websites,  most of which pointed to grantsforcitizens.org  initially.  All email was sent to the same person ‘Murdon’, an alias I used only once.  Both websites use the annoying helpful popups as you try to close them down, (something that my webhost has started doing so they need telling off )!  The last three are when ‘Murdon’ passed into someone else’s control.   Epic Media Solutions was a common factor in these.  They are listed in the order received;

  • – Robert Allen! (Dabblers need not apply)
  • – Robert Allen! (Dabblers need not apply)
  • – Robert Allen! (Dabblers need not apply)
  • http://affiliate.wtclicks.com/rd/r.php?sid=134&pub=400189&c1=33 – an auction work at home scheme, Customer Service at 800-715-1074.   Returns Department PO Box 1158 Pleasant Grove, UT 84062 800-715-1074
  • http://profitagents.com/track.asp?a=588&o=3&c=0&l=0
    is Mining Gold Corporation
    No. 348
    3780 Old Norcross Rd. Suite 103
    Duluth, GA 30096
  • – redir to http://web.archive.org/web/20090602030928/http://netsuccess.yoursecureorder.com:80/04132/ which is a Google Treasure Chest/Money Kit page without ANY contacts or T&Cs!!!  -but sent by Epic Media Solutions PO Box 970804 Orem, UT 84097 United States whose whois is protected and whose page is under construction.
From the desk of Robert Miller1 President, GrantsForCitizens.org Massillon, Ohio

Robert Miller?

The similarities in this are obvious.  All these addresses (except the last three) redirect to either Robert Allen as shown or else the odious avatar of Robert Miller, terribly concerned about the current financial crisis.  He’s so concerned that he forgot to leave any real USA contacts in any of the T&C links even though it’s all about US grants!  He’s a busy man.  He has buried a statement from LANETE ENTERPRISES LTD WHOSE REGISTERED ADDRESS IS 3, BELL LANE, GIBRALTAR and helpfully makes a teeny comment that the business is subject to the laws of Nicosia in Cyprus!

Author’s Note: if you wish to be subject to the laws of Cyprus but make a claim against someone in Gibraltar regarding US Gov’t Grants – it’s up to you…

Continuing Links

Concurrent with the above, I also signed up to a scheme using the alias, ‘morton House’.  It’s a good idea to use slightly wrong case as it shows that automation has missed it and allows better traceability…  The signup time was about halfway down the above list.

This bunch start with eBay websites featuring an equally obnoxiously cheery avatar purporting to be Michael Green.  It the same financial tale of woe and optimism.  Robert Allen appears again!  It then morphs into Acai shite.

  • – eBay Success System
  • – eBay Success System
  • – grants for citizens
  • – grants for citizens – but dead
  • – grants for citizens
  • – grants for citizens
  • -acai
  • – redirects to and a Jackie Walsh avatar flogging acai shit.
    • cust serv= Central Coast Nutraceuticals, Inc.
      2375 East Camelback Rd.
      5th Floor
      Phoneix, AZ 85016 Toll Free Customer Support: 1-888-692-8352
    • Return Address:
      Fulfillment Center
      Attn: CCN Returns
      12399 Belcher Road South
      Suite 140
      Largo, FL 33773
  • – supposedly from Robert Allen! (Dabblers need not apply) – but the redirection goes to the previous Acai shit
  • – supposedly from Free Federal Grant Software – but the redirection goes to the previous Acai shit, again.

All the above used a new type of string (for me) in their spam.  Like so:

Sometimes this can be very large and references pictures etc

<http://ressourcehurtcentral.com/x/NTYxMTA5OTgx|MTUzMTA3Mw==

|bWRyQHJlZXNob3VzZS5zY3JlYW1pbmcubmV0|MTEwNjA4MQ==

|MzQ0|MTE3ODk=|MzU1Njc=

|MTc1NzA=||MA==|MA==||

|Mzg3NjQ1OA==|NDQzODY=|NzEx|MA==|MA==|Ug==.html>

Both Murdon & morton House were sent mail from Citizen Grant Notification. This proves they are accessing the same email lists.  Ressourcehurtcentral.com sent a lot.  They always redirected to which is part of one of the most odious legitimate companies on the world.  Ressourcehurtcentral.com in a web browser calls itself InteractiveMediaSpaces.com and it’s a very soothing, professional-looking space…..  Helpfully, they provide the following comforting sentiment from their office in 73 Greentree Dr Suite #81, Dover, DE 19904

Email Anti-Spam Policy:
Interactive Media Spaces does not send unsolicited commercial email through our systems. If you believe you have received an unsolicited commercial email from Interactive Media Spaces on behalf of any of our advertisers, please send an email (with the reported unsolicited commercial email included or attached with the ‘full header’) to: abuse@interactivemediaspaces.com.

So yes, I actually do believe I received a Niagara of unsolicited mail from them.  When I subscribed I subscribed to different addresses altogether.  I shouldn’t have to unsubscribe!  I shouldn’t be there in the first place!  They can fuck right off with that one if they think I’m going to cut the headers from this pile of crap….

…calm down Reesy!  Check at the bottom of the page…

Oh Yes.  They have a blanket email removal service – right at the fucking bottom!

To globally unsubscribe from all of our lists, send an email to
unsubscribe@interactivemediaspaces.com.

Well that’s enough on them.  UPDATE:  I did as I was told.  This came back:

The following message to <unsubscribe@interactivemediaspaces.com> was undeliverable.
The reason for the problem:
5.1.0 – Unknown address error 550-‘5.1.1 <unsubscribe@interactivemediaspaces.com>: Recipient address rejected: User unknown in relay recipient table’

You’ve got to laugh.

Names in the Above Spam Sources

FONDCAVEINUTILITIES.COM
My Results Today
364 E Main St
STE #185
Middletown
DE
19709
US

KISONCOMMUNICATIONS.COM
My Results Today
364 E Main St
STE #185
Middletown
DE
19709
US

GOODBELIEVEDATAFILE.COM
My Results Today
364 E Main St
STE #185
Middletown
DE
19709
US

MANILACONTINENTAL.COM
Interactive Media Spaces
73 Greentree Dr
Suite #81
Dover
DE
19904
US

EASYBIZOPPORTUNITIES.COM
Lunar Media Network
4001 Kennett Pike
Suite 134-967
Greenville
DE
19807
US

EPICMEDIASOLUTIONS.COM
Created on: 27-Nov-07
Expires on: 27-Nov-09
Last Updated on: 08-Nov-08
Administrative Contact:
Private, Registration
Domains by Proxy, Inc.

RESSOURCEHURTCENTRAL.COM
Interactive Media Spaces
73 Greentree Dr
Suite #81
Dover
DE
19904
US

INTERACTIVEMEDIASPACES.COM
Interactive Media Spaces
73 Greentree Dr
Suite #81
Dover
DE
19904
US

centennialcard.com

These fat fuckers deserve a paragraph or two here. Their two gaffers seem to be involved in the redistribution of wealth from poor people in financial difficulties up to nice middle America Sports College things, Republican Party donations – as well as increasing the physical bulk of the head banker.  See:

How Centennial Credit Card Terms & Conditions actually Redistribute Wealth Upwards!

….you understand that your initial credit limit will be at least $250.00 and the following fees will be billed to your first statement: Annual Fee of $48.00, Account Set-Up Fee of $29.00, Program Fee of $95.00, Monthly Servicing Fee of $7.00, and an Additional Card Fee of $20.00 per card (if applicable).

Well that’s what it says.  So you borrow $250 and are instantly charged $179!

…well not quite.  Many people on phoning FPB claim that the company says it’s never received stuff and thus charge the ‘customer’ another $29 for late payment.  Well that’s okay and fair.

…apart from the internet access fee and the late and overlimit fees?  Yes….

– Because you only have access to $71 from the $250 you think you have after the first month, you may easily go over $250.  Then you are billed $29.  So you re-arrange the credit limit to cover this for which you are charged $25.

This is exactly the trap people fall into.  To borrow $72 you have to pay back $304 which kind-of makes a mockery of the 9.9% APR!!!

It doesn’t stop there though.  If you are credit-worthy, your limit is automatically increased to say, $500.  But don’t forget the $25 credit limit change fee!!!  Ha Ha.

Conclusion

Needless to say, I’m putting the Centennial Credit Card into the ‘No’ pile along with everything else.  In fact, as a special consideration, First Premier Bank of Sioux Falls are going straight down the German Toilet.  I advise everyone to do the same who gets a spam from them like this.   This is my gift to FPB:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

All future spam is going straight in the bin as time’s too short to analyse further.  Thank god for Mailwasher Pro!!  In fact, because FPB are so crap, my well-known bad taste has returned, just for them…

Shit in a Toilet

Shit in a Toilet

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Chipping or Chopping: Phorm, Google and The Erosion of Privacy

The acknowledged founder of the World Wide Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, created the idea and much of the system that allows information to be shared, from the web page, by hyper-links, across the globe.  His was a basically altruistic idea.

Sir Tim Berners-LeeBrilliantly, it has brought disparate peoples together in hitherto unforeseen ways.  Anyone (like me), can place a link on a page to help further the cause of knowledge spreading.  It saves research time, the key phrase being “the semantic linking of information”.  Many people add links for purely altruistic reasons – others to promote and further a cause, say.  Whatever;  you must follow a link –   it’s the user’s choice.

But commercial organisations  always act in their own interests.

In parliament yesterday, in a specially invited debate, Sir Tim and the spy-ware promoter CEO of Phorm clashed.  Phorm (who had previously secretly tracked web user habits last year with the connivance of BT, just like their previous spyware offering) say it’s all good and will help advertisers and consumers.  Berners-Lee says it’s all bad because we, as people, have no idea what happens to our information.  It’s like CCTV and ID Cards following you everywhere.  You have no choice!

And Berners-Lee is right!

BTW, Google is also following suit with their plans for behavioural advertising!  Their “do no harm” mantra is looking very, very thin now.  (I’m seriously looking at their adsense for usage on this website right now).

Data is data is data.  It sits in a box, waiting to be used.  The Phorm data is intercepted by ISPs (like BT etc).  It can sit in their box.  How do you tell?  How do you know where it is?  Have you tried to ask BT what they hold in their box on you?  Most people haven’t a clue what data is held or what it looks like until it is lost and appears on a train or car park or the internet.  Then they’re worried!  H.M. Government insists that all connection records to be kept by ISPs now as part of the anti-terror hype.  What happens to it?  Do you believe the answer if you ask and get a reply?

Whenever a commercial or government organization says “safeguards are in place” blah, blah, blah – you must check what their previous actions have been.  In this light, Phorm has bad form! Phorm (in whatever incarnation) and their boss Kent Ertugrul have a catalogue of dodgy dealingsErtugrul’s CV lists his previous ‘achievments’ as working for the loser banks that have dumped the world into this current financial crisis!  His team, which includes several recent additions from the world of spiv gambling bankers and is composed almost entirely of bankers and salespeople, specialises “in creating and developing technology to enhance social interaction”!

All I can say is that I’ve never heard spying called social interaction before….

Tim Berners-Lee’s actions are well known.  His original concept is summed up in an early web page here.   So who would you believe is right in the debate?  The philanthropist or the spiv?

This is all part of the chipping away at all our personal freedoms.  Like ID Cards, lost government and DVLA data discs, CCTV cameras on every corner ( – but no right to take photographs);  the whole thing is now a wholesale chopping at our freedoms.  It’s not a chip, chip, chip any more.  It’s Chop, Chop, CHOP!

And then they’re gone.

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