Tag Archive: The Box

Mr Symptom Boxes Clever

Strangely post on September 15th, 2011
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Crawling Chaos: The Box

It appears that finally, after much hesitation, the world is going to be able to enjoy the later works of Crawling Chaos which Jeff insisted should be called “Spookhoose“.  These were recorded in the last half of the 80’s.

 

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Virtual Box Running 32 bit Win7 inside 64 bit Win7

Introduction

These shots are primarily for the benefit of my friend.

Virtual Box

Sun’s (now Oracle’s) VirtualBox application allows computer users to run a variety of Operating Systems (OS) on virtually any computer operating system.  This is the VirtualBox homepage.

For example:

  • Windows XP on Mac
  • Solaris on Windows XP
  • Windows 7 32-bit on Windows 7 64-bit

This latter example is actually the system that I use to connect to my remote work computing system.  (We use a Citrix client which will not upgrade to 64 bit, hence the necessity of running the Citrix program in a 32-bit environment)

The two shots below show Task Manger’s “performance” tab in the two systems.  I’m showing this to demonstrate that upping the memory to 12Gb has left Windows the opportunity of using as much memory as it feels, and by not using the pagefile (much, if at all) it’s very fluid in operation now.

This screenshot shows Task Manager in the host Win7-64 system with its 12Gb of memory and four processor cores.

Win64 Processes

Win64 Processes

This screenshot shows Task Manager in the virtual Win7-32 system running inside a VirtualBox image with the 4Gb of memory and four virtual processor cores that I allocated to it.

Win32 Processes

Win32 Processes

This screenshot below shows the view across all three screens that I use.

Windows 7 across 3 screens

Windows 7 across 3 screens

In the shot you’ll see that I’ve set the VirtualBox image to run full screen on the right-hand monitor.  I’ve chosen a different background to emphasise this.

A notable feature of VirtualBox is that I have set the mouse cursor to float seamlessly between the two environments.

Previously, I’ve tried installs of several Linux flavours into their own virtual image areas.  These are all removed now, but previously I had several running concurrently – I wish I’d taken a screenshot at that time.  To demonstrate the capabilities of VirtualBox, I once had running concurrently these various operating systems inside my Win7 64-bit host:

  • Windows 7-32 bit
  • Windows XP version one
  • Windows XP version two
  • Ubuntu 10.1
  • Mandriva 10
  • Suse 11
  • Fedora

To enable this all to run in only 4Gb of memory I assigned about 300Mb to each image.  They all worked “out of the box”!

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The Three Rules of Trust – Using SwipeAuctions/Bids as an Example

Introduction

There’s a well-known adage that says,

Don’t believe everything you read in the papers (Point 1)

Another, (which is derived from the mantra of the old UK stock market) goes like,

An Englishman’s word is his bond (Point 2)

Make what you want of them, but many people still go by this, replacing “An Englishman’s” with the word “MY”.

The Need for New Rules of Trust

The internet has made the job of snake oil salesmen, gangsters and other assorted conmen so much easier that the adages need to be re-thought and rules written.  It’s a bit like Isaac Asimov’s Rules of Robotics.   Here are mine, but please note the notes just below….

Note 1: All on-line businesses are required to reveal their correct identity through the WHOIS process.  The only exclusions are for private non-trading individuals in certain countries.  (Some people have a bit of a debate about this, but when you sign up for a domain, you’ll see!)

Note 2: The internet, (or world wide web), by its very nature is like the newspaper business – see Point 1 above!

Note 3: There is a consensus among decent people and a certain legality regarding tax etc., that most legitimate businesses would like to be known and contactable, or else they appear like spiv barrow boys on the make.

Note 4: There is no note 4… yet.

The New Rules of Trust

Rule 1:

Do not believe anything on-line without double or treble checking as a minimum.

Rule 2:

For any business that hides its WHOIS entry, do not believe anything that they say!!

Rule 2 and a half:

For any business that previously hid their WHOIS entry and later chooses to reveal it – same as Rule 2!

Example: Jesse Willms and his “businesses”

n.b. This is one example.  This whole web area is currently ballooning and Willms is not alone!

  • A business that is anonymous, is on the edge of trust. (Willms’ businesses have previously been cloaked in the main.  Only recently have they had publicly exposed WHOIS records.)
  • A business that uses false or misleading advertising, is on the edge of trust. (This very website is plagued by dodgy adverts, for which I apologise – it takes some time for the Google adwords filters to kick into play.)

The infamous Jesse Willms got his internet start by selling counterfeit software from Microsoft and Symantech (at least), and for which he had to pay oodles of dollars in damages.

Note: Willms translates this information on his website fluffs like so:

Before becoming a philanthropist, Willms was known for starting his first business – buying and selling computers and software when he was 16 – and launching several Internet companies by the time he was 22.  see http://jessewillms.com/ & link & link (two links WHOIS hidden)

His current activities are in the business of skirting the lotteries and gambling laws with On-line “Bid” “Auctions”.   These (and Willms is only one of many) are so far removed from the normal concept of an auction that they are more like Bingo.

In tandem with this he’s promoting himself as an internet good guy while still hypocritically continuing along the same vein of his previous activities. Like so…

His previous businesses included flogging green tea and acai fruits to either clean your bowels or make you thin with rippling muscles, and nicking the idea of and ruining the rotten business of a teeth whitening company, for which there have been sues and counter-sues which were resolved “with prejudice” as the wigs say (see link courtesy of @Justin Asking).

Like many fly-by-night websites, these were all promoted and run:

  • via email spam from a plethora of hidden marketing businesses, some of which he may or may not have had direct control although he admits to having close contact….(see info from @Justin Asking again)
  • via fake websites in the form of informational blogs or news websites designed to appear as such, although minutely disclaimered as otherwise – good link with screenshots here and another hereThese first two are run under the concept of “affiliate marketing” which harbours a whole realm of fly-by-night operations with virtually no scruples or accountability.  Someone once remarked that managing affiliates was like herding cats….
  • via a plethora of drop-point contact addresses, widely dispersed around the globe having no relevance to site visitors’ locations.
  • via a plethora of dubious phone number contacts of highly variable functionality.
  • with an early predilection for multiple un-called for monetary withdrawals from customer credit accounts
  • with a penchant for rapidly changing website names that came and went faster than the seasons although much of the modus operandi and contact points would remain unaltered – a good test for these is that the registration period is generally only a year.

Swipe Offerings

SwipeBids.com which kicked off at the end of 2009 soon morphed into SwipeAuctions.com  (see final point above!)  How long this lasts is anyone’s guess… (p.s. swipebids domain expires soon).

Willms' Latest Fib

Currently, you’ll find that SwipeBids.com now redirects back to SwipeAuctions.com at a “prelogin” page.  There, sit a heap of hysterically hypocritical statements right on this front page – see screenshot on the left and dissection below!

This website is Jesse Willms’ latest saucy effort at world domination! Tied in with this has been a massive internet hype of “Jesse Willms, the caring philantropist”.

The plethora of websites for which he’s been loathed continues in the myriad of hype sites and linkage referrals containing the vomit inducing self-promotional bilge, plus a continuing swathe of fake news websites.

Uncharacteristically, he sticks with only one “bid auction” website…?  Hmm?  (p.s. since this was written, the site has been pulled although rumours are rife about a new startup…!)

Meanwhile, like snake oil, the Swipe-Bid-Auction scam has proved very enticing to all the scum of the earth and has turned into a veritable plague…  (p.s. since this was written, the plague of copycat sites is now a deluge)

Bid Auction Scum Fight it Out – it’s Getting Dirty

Dirty?

Yep! There’s a veritable bidding war going on to get to the top of the Google search results and the Facebook sidebar.  As noted elsewhere, BidSauce.com has joined the affray and Willms’ lawyers have been issuing writs a-plenty.

Amongst others…..  How so?

A. Well do a Google search for BidSauce.com, SwipeAuctions.com & SwipeBids.com (click links to see results – my results today are below), and you’ll see what I mean.

BidSauce.com

SwipeAuctions.com

SwipeBids.com

Bid Auction Scum New Kids on the Block

My results show the following paid for ads on Google and their WHOIS hidden status.

BidSauce.com

Bidhere.com – Hidden

Biddi.com – disclosed UK company, KSB Trading Ltd

SwipeAuctions.com

SwipeAuctions-Register.com – Hidden!  It also redirects to SwipeAuctions.com which is registered in California.  Check out this info from @Not Kevin for an earlier version of the listings.

MadBid.com – disclosed as Marcandi Ltd in the UK

Bidhere.com – Hidden (again!)

SwipeBids.com

No paid for ads at the top but some of the above appear in the right-side advert box of paid for ads.  Interestingly, swipeauctions.com is top!

What Does it Mean and What Should I Do?

puZZleMean? It means that many people have seen this “bid-auction” as a good bandwagon to join, while it lasts!

Do? What I do is click on the paid for ads as much as possible! These ads are costing well over a pound to place and it costs those businesses for every click!!!   (n.b. if you think I’m being hypocritical in allowing similar ads onto this website, then read my privacy policy.)

If it’s Facebook where I see the ad, I also click on it so that it fires up in a new window so the geezers have to pay again, then I click the cross next to the advert and report the adverts as “Misleading” – because, from all my research as seen on this website and others, plus the example searches shown above, they are all misleading.

Penny/Bid Auctions Mislead?

They mislead as it’s gambling, not an auction.

They mislead as you pay to enter the auction at each step, it’s not a bid.

They take money in advance – no auction does this, even one for a Van Gogh or an old wardrobe, because anyone can bid!

Swipe Auctions Duff Photo Evidence

Willms' Latest Fib (at the bottom)

Yep! At the bottom of his new landing page of swipeauctions.com, under “picture testimonials” Jesse states, today:

Each and every testimonial on the site should have a picture of the customer who sent it in. You can only use someone’s picture with his or her permission, so if there is a photo you can be sure the testimonial is legitimate. If there is no photo, the site’s management could have written a false testimonial.

Compare and contrast with my screen-shots of his website here where I explicitly show the fake photos from a testimonial: http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/ –   these photos are from an affiliate’s website about which there is some conflict of ownership evidence.

And compare Jesse’s fine words with the fantastic investigative ScamRaiders revelation that the picture of an “auctioned” Honda as used on his website was taken and then Photo-shopped even before the website was set up!!!

Don’t you just love it when the creeps are so blatantly bad? !!

Suggested Further Reading

http://www.webcops.net/just_think_media_spam_scams_8001.html – Best expose on early Willms’ scams.  How he threatened legal action as his whereabouts were exposed.

http://strangelyperfect.tv/7955/facebook-msnbc-jesse-willms-swipe-auctions-and-doctored-photos/#comments-2834 – info on the incarnations and IP addresses of Willms’ Swipe**** sites  (I am currently taking legal advice on this article so it’s withdrawn pending notice.  Contact me for its contents which most right-minded folk would consider fair and accurate reporting.)

http://www.jimlillig.com/internet-marketing/abcs-news-2020-features-jesse-willms-among-others-in-alleged-deceptive-practices-story/ – smiling Jesse is exposed by “the CPA Guy”  n.b. currently offline but transcribed here courtesy of this link.

http://www.bbbroundup.com/ – discredits much of the BBB rating system and how entries flip and change due to possible business collusion.

http://www.walletpop.com/blog/2010/09/14/better-business-bureau-risks-losing-credibility-over-ratings-co/ – more info on BBB ratings not being what they seem…

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showpost.html?p=36648669&postcount=22 – comment detailing the above BBB conflict of interests and how Jesse Willms’ businesses generated 2612 complaints at the BBB before they revised his status with his newer websites!  n.b.  This is one of the top UK websites!

http://onlinescamwebsites.com/how-do-penny-auctions-work/ – clearly explains how these “auctions” work

Suggested Reverse IP Checks

Reverse IP checking is a very good indicator that many websites are related in some businesses, commercial or personal sense.  Using this website, this website strangelyperfect.tv shows as follows:

Found 4 domains hosted on the same web server as strangelyperfect.tv (174.120.2.125).

ceinonline.org

crawlingchaos.co.uk

strangelyperfect.tv

www.foetusproducts.com

This is hardly surprising and I make no secret of the fact…

Using this website again, enter these three domains into the box. What you find are a host of probably related dodgy websites, fake blogs and news sites, and other stuff. Look and see!

SWIPEAUCTIONS-REVIEW.COM :2 domains

live9news.com, swipeauctions-review.com

SWIPEAUCTIONS-REGISTER.COM: 101 domains including such gems as:

1r2chat.com 24-7keybank.com  AcaiBerryBurnTrial.com  ColonCleanse4FreeTrial.com  Resveratrol-Resveratrol.com  acaiforceformen.com buy-wii-in-stock.com  buyipodnow.net  buyps4console.com  buyps4now.com  consumerhealthreporter.com  consumernewsreporter.com dazzlesmilefreetrial.com findluxurywatches.com   goboff.com hairexpert.org myhairexpert.org natural-hair-transplant.com  naturalhairtransplant.org swipeauctions-register.com thumoney.com  top3-coloncleanse.com top3-whiteteeth.com  www.buywiinow.net www.findluxurywatches.com www.natural-hair-transplant.com www.thumedia.net  www.thumoney.com  www.top3-resveratrol.com  www.tradeblogger.net

I’ve omitted most of the “foreign” domains.  Make of that what you will but it is noticable that many snake oil websites are to be found grouped under a single IP address.

SWIPEAUCTIONS.COM: has just the canonical and www domains.

Disclaimer

Many things are said above that rope all “bid” “auctions” into the same boat.  While some may have differing operational procedures with perfectly legal transactional and customer services, and may differ in their Terms & Conditions to Jesse Willms’ offerings, I accept those facts.

However, I consider all web-operations in this field of “bid” “auction” to be nothing more than gambling, and they should all be governed by those gambling laws applicable to their country of viewing and business location.


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Windows 7 Impressive First Experience

Windows 7 Ultimate Install

To say that I’m seriously impressed is an understatement!

Having an MSDN subscription confers certain benefits, but for most Microsoft stuff that I have to use, it’s usually an exercise in teeth-gritting somewhere from the banal to the infuriating as I plod on through.

My personal experience of Vista comes into the latter which is why I’ve never used it and have stuck with XP… like most professionals in the Windows camp have done.

Windows Experience 2.0

Win7 1st install showing it working on minimal system specifications

Win7 1st install showing it working on minimal system specifications

Having only 2 x 256MB memory sticks in my old main-board, and because of it’s on-board graphics there’s only 383MB spare for the operating system, I installed the thing onto a bit of spare hard-drive (an old Samsung 160GB IDE) and was amazingly surprised by the ease of the install…

  • XP is still there and appears on the new boot menu.
  • Networking worked out of the box and I flipped between the configurations with absolute ease.
  • All the drivers were installed straight from the Microsoft website:
    • ATI Radeon system and graphics
    • Realtek sound and network
  • Once drivers were updated, the monitor was detected and set up automatically.
  • The networked HP All-in-One printer installed in seconds…
  • The new taskbar/start-menu right-click pinning works like a charm.
  • IE8 is installed by default and Firefox can be installed and defaulted without any bother
  • I even like the new  way of classifying user files and the concept of “libraries” is intuitive and easy to use and understand.

Absolutely amazing – even the aero interface works!

Windows 7 system requirements

Windows 7 system requirements

For a bit extra speed, the aero has been turned off in the “Themes” area.  Also, I don’t actually like it that much, but that’s just me I guess. More importantly, my system is well below the Microsoft Minimum System Requirements – I only installed it for a laugh and to see what would happen!

You’ll see in the screen-dump above, (which contrasts markedly with the Microsoft Minimum recommendations), that windows rates the system as 2.0 – it recommends 3.0 for the Aero interface.  What I plan to do is stick 1GB of memory in the spare slots from my other PC, and then put new giblets in that one’s box.  I intend to make that one a 4-core 64-bit platform to play with this new Microsoft OS….  Reaper should work fantastically!

Windows Experience

It’s truly an order of magnitude better than Vista and 5x better than XP!

In actual fact, it’s more like the jump from 3.1 to Win98.  I have actually been smiling at how good it is! The effort Microsoft has put in seems to have been worth it – this same install that I’ve just done is supposed to work on netbooks with ARM processors!  In fact, the claim that file-copying is faster on a Win7 Arm laptop than WinXP is probably true – I just copied several gigs of user files from the old partition which went extremely quickly.

All this copying was done after installing Office 2007 Ultimate and ESET’s NOD32 antivirus software (which works much better than on WinXP, by the way).  Microsoft’s Defender is installed and runs by default – it’s a spyware catcher and doesn’t seem to slow stuff up.

However, to show how impressed I am, the copying was done while Windows/Microsoft Update downloaded ~300MB of updates!!!  Before the copying was finished, the long process (about 20mins) of installing the updates had begun…

This is some serious disc and processor activity, I can tell you – and all done on a single 64-bit processor running in 32-bit mode in 383 of system memory!  It never missed a beat or got confused once!

In fact, during the copying, it prompts for Videos/Pictures & Music, which were previously in the \My Documents\My Music\ etc path to go into their correct library!…..   It’s the little touches like this, plus the sensible ease of installing programs (goodbye to Vista mad-clickitty-click HELL) that has put oodles of polish onto an already robust and comforting experience.

Conclusion

  • I’m typing this as Win7 is de-fragmenting the old partition.
  • I’m doing it from within Firefox (running the Web-Developer, Screengrab and British Dictionary plugins)….

……so you’ll guess that I’m impressed by this serious bit of software kit.  With another Gig of Crucial Ballistix memory it should fly even more and be good for another three years!

Finally: Never in a million years could I have dreamed of praising Microsoft so much!!!

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mystimulusmoney dot con

Site Statistics

@AmazonOne of the benefits of managing your own website is you can check exactly who’s been visiting your site.  There are various sorts of visit, the most common for most sites being from search engine robots.  If you include these in your statistics, it makes you look really good….

mystimulusmoney.com

Another sort are called ‘referral visits’, the place where a visitor arrives from.  One such visit today was from:

mystimulusmoney.com

“Hey up?”  I thought.  “What have I here?”  And what indeed.  Why would a scammy site reference me?  I think they clicked a link in their logs…

If you’ve read about my investigations into Google Treasure Chest and it’s sequels, then this will now become depressingly familiar.  MyStimulusMoney purports to make it easier for people to get Grants from Uncle Sam.  Now if you’ve read the post, Drill Down Through bsadn.pantherssl.com, you’ll recall that I stumbled on a large list of folders, some of which were campaigns for ‘Grants’ type website scams.

@AmazonAnd mystimulusmoney.com is one of them, or at least related (the later flash movie is partly served from pantherssl.com).  It’s owned by Steven Pratt of 11573 Royal Palm Blvd, Coral Springs, Florida 33065.  This in itself is a bit of a novelty in the world of shrouded identities.

Calvin Knowles is what the webpage claims to be about and written by.  The cheesy white toothed smiles from ‘Calvin’ and his wife are humorously commented upon – but of course, all is not what it seems.  Using the TinEye image search system I find that the cheesy grinned twosome are actually also shown on a more appropriate website, Ebrahimian Aesthetic Dentistry (I kid ye not!).  This is a hosted and created ‘solution’ from ihealthspot.com.  It’s a major part of their eznetpublish business.  I doubt Dr Max and ‘Calvin’ are one and the same.  All I can say is “aye up!  What’s going on ‘ere then?” and leave it at that.

It does become interesting when you follow through the two links provided by ‘Calvin Knowles’ as his ‘secrets’ to ‘almost’ guarantee success!  The first points to:

mystimulusmoney.com/grants.php?grants=23332954

Living in the UK, I get redirected to a prize draw for Ugg boots (you can’t make this up, can you?)  However, using a program developed to help censored Chinese bypass the great firewall called UltraSurf, I get to see what the Yanks can see.  And it’s not good!  (UltraSurf works more effectively for me than all the myriad of proxy services around.  Give it a try – the BBC News website is full of adverts, I’ve just discovered, if you don’t live in the UK!)

Anyway, you go to grantnow.com, a seriously depressing place with a baldy salesman extolling the virtues of the $350 billion that the USA gives out in grants each year.  I haven’t verified the figure…  The terms and conditions, payments and payment systems are very like the Google Treasure Chest ones .  Time to leave….

Now to visit the second site recommended by ‘Calvin’.

yoursearchprofits.com

mystimulusmoney.com/grants.php?grants=23332422

This links takes you to yoursearchprofits.com.  I again had to use my proxy service to access the USA aimed content.  The actual landing page is,

It has a nice red Google purse and there are stacks of cash and a lot of gold letters and gold discs.  (hmmm, a bit of subtleness going on – I’d better watch out!) Privacy Policy and T&C page links are at the bottom.  To get anywhere else you have to put some (false, of course) personal details in.  I of course ticked the box labelled “Yes, I Want To Create Multiple Income Streams Free.”

At this point you need to add your credit card details and you find that the basic terms are thus:

Terms and Disclosures. By clicking “Send My Software” I am ordering the Earn Google Cash™ CD and trial membership for $2.29 S&H, after the 7-day trial I will be charged $39.95 if I do not cancel. I also agree to the 14 day and 21 day bonus trials to Grant Members Site™ and Network Agenda™ for $7.95 a month and $9.95 a month thereafter, should I choose not to cancel. I have read and agree to the Privacy Policy / Terms and Conditions. To Cancel, call 866-396-5695. Customer service hours are now available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

So there we have it – another continuous money sucking site, it’s terms somewhat at odds with it’s initial claim of “Everything you need… Your cost = $0”.

Well not quite.  While I was investigating, the website changed from ‘Earn Google Gash’ to ‘Google Pay Day’ and  a blonde called ‘Carol’ introduced it…   All else was the same.   Check out the actual Privacy Policy and Terms & Conditions links.  You’ll find they are from

JRS MEDIA SOLUTIONS, 22nd Floor Raffles Corporate Center Emerald Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines

You’ll see that all terms and disputes are subject to the Philippines’ Law.  There are cancellation phone mumbers and a customer services department.  But even so….. Philippines giving advise on US Government Central, State and County Grants?  It doesn’t quite hang together does it?

These people agree.

This last link is very interesting.  The guy has amassed a huge list of scam sites.  He has also estimated that JRS is making ~$4.5m per scammy month from this!  His whole site is a neat piece of careful detective work.  I suggest anyone thinking of ‘having a go’ at this easy money on the web takes a look at the long, long list of dodgy sites before they take that leap into the unknown.  Ha Ha.


Comments are now closed on this posting as Google Treasure Chest is dead.
However, the problem has not gone away – the menace continues.

For further information, all chat on this and subsequent scams is now here:
Google Revolution, Different Name, Same Scam!
and here:
More on Google Profits and Pacific Webworks/

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