Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Archive for the ‘Corporate Irresponsibility’ Category

[The Enemy of my Enemy] is Still not my Friend

Posted by Lex Fear on November 1, 2009

If TalkTalk was not such an odious company I would thoroughly applaud this move by Andrew Heaney, TalkTalk’s Executive Director of strategy and regulation.

Advertisements

Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Copywrong, Morals & Ethics, Protest, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Power of the Church] Power of the Government

Posted by Lex Fear on October 25, 2009

I’ve discussed before on this blog, what the differences are between America Churchianity and British Churchianity. I can’t think of a better example of why separation of church and state is a good thing, a thing invented by Christians than this little gem by the perspicacious Martin Turner:

“Richard Dawkins’s followers will no doubt be quick to claim this is another example of the heinous effect of ‘the God delusion’. But they would be wrong. Under charity law, the Church of England has to diligently pursue all of its debtors, and, coupled with the laws on ‘chancel repair liability’ which date back to Valor Ecclesiasticus in 1535, they have no choice.

<snip>

What lunatic changed the law in that way? (You know the answer to this one, but, in case you don’t, the legislation is the Land Registration Act 2002.)

Since the Church of England is powerless to extricate itself from a situation which bankrupts ordinary people and brings the church, and thus the entire Christian faith, into disrepute, the government ought to have intervened to simply cancel chancel liability. This would free the Church of England to pursue grants and even Lottery money. This is in fact what the Law Commission and the Church of England Synod recommended in the 1980s.”

At the time when this hit the headlines I was not aware of these facts. I’m glad I reserved my judgement.

Posted in Apologetics, Churchianity, Fact Erosion, Morals & Ethics, Property Market, Quoteyness, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

[Filesharing] The Cost Of An Idea

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2009

David Dunham at CaPC poses the question “So is the judge making an example out of her or does this seem like a reasonable price to pay?”

I started commenting but realised it was too long and so I’ve moved my response here.

Let’s start by saying that these fines are supposed to be representative of lost sales.

Forget the fact that many people who download music tracks wouldn’t buy them anyway (and – shockingly – might even delete the crap ones).

What I think the lawmakers have glossed over is the fact that if you fine one person for *every* *lost* *sale*, then there should be no-one left to pursue for the downloading of those tracks she shared. Ie. if I had downloaded those 24 tracks from Jamie Thomas, it’s OK because she is already paying for *my* lost sale – as well as – literally – millions of others.

I’m pro-filesharing and I file-share.

I look forward to the day that these media companies grovel in the dirt – I’ll make no bones about that fact. Increasingly I’m ‘coming out’ to many friends and people I wouldn’t have before, because I see it as a revolution, a cold war, where as many people need to be recruited as possible.

I look forward to the day that we look back on these events in history and marvel at the ignorance of the politicians and industry that supported this 21st Century ‘House of Un-American Activities’.

I see filesharing as the future – setting knowledge, information and arts free – like they used to be before the 20th Century. Perhaps it’s not ‘the future’, perhaps it’s simply restoring values of the past.

Did any of those black slaves or their families who worked in the cotton fields see a ‘dime’ for their musical contribution to the blues? Intellectual Property is about as anti-creativity as I can imagine.

How do you prevent new ideas and human progress? Introduce ownership of ideas by long lasting corporate bodies to buy up and own *ideas*, then sue anyone who independently thinks up, tries to share or improve that idea for an arm and a leg.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Bad Company, Copywrong, Corporate Irresponsibility, Free as in Speech, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Resistance, Takeback, Technology, Terrorist State | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Linux] How Xandros Shot Linux In The Foot

Posted by Lex Fear on April 6, 2009

It was an open goal. M$ decommissioning  XP, Linux being the only capable OS of running on this tight new ultra-portable sub-notebook. Dare we say it… “The year…” had finally arrived?!

So how could it go wrong?

El Reg has just published a new article on the competition between Windows and Linux on the Netbook, and by outward appearances, it looks like Micro$haft is has caught up and overtaken Linux in popularity… but I haven’t seen anyone yet analyse WHY:

Microsoft cries netbook victory against Linux

Rubbing in the salt, LeBlanc added: “Not only are people overwhelmingly buying Windows, but those that try Linux are often returning it,” he said.

Why, you might ask? LeBlanc: “Because users simply expect the Windows experience. When they realize their Linux-based netbook PC doesn’t deliver that same quality of experience, they get frustrated and take it back.”

Aah, the Windows experience, but what is this elusive ‘Windows Experience’ that Linux lacks? Is it the need to purchase an external DVD drive in order to install software? Is it the slow-down and need to defrag every couple of months in order to return to a usable speed? Is it the comfort of knowing you will get no vendor support from M$ and have to rely on techy friends to spend 30 hours ridding your system of that pesky “mywebsearch” trojan that you got from accepting some preloaded-with-malware stupid free game download that you installed last week which is now bringing your system to a halt?

No, let me attempt to define the “Windows Experience”… It’s the comfort of having a logical bottom of screen taskbar, showing the time/date, running programs, background programs and a start/logo to click on which gives you instant access to all your programs.

Sure Windows XP is old, it’s vulnerable to every security risk going, it randomly does things in the background and must be constantly purged of bloat. But the thing about Windows XP is that it feels professional. It feels like a grown up operating system.

Don’t tell me about familiarity, plenty of boomers have managed to get their heads around Firefox, Google, Skype, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook and the rest of Web 2.0 not to mention the myriad of operating systems installed with their mobile phones. Last time I checked Web 2.0 was not bundled with Windows XP. No, it’s not familiarity that’s an issue here, it’s the GUI.

Just contrast this child-friendly looking interface:

To this more grown up one:

If something looks like it’s made for children, adults won’t use it for themselves. I mean, couldn’t Asus/Xandros just package the Easy Mode GUI as an option rather than the default GUI?

It doesn’t matter that the Easy Mode is more intuitive and ‘easy’ for a smaller screen. Mainstream people don’t mind the small text, the small buttons, the little graphical issues that a full blown OS like XP presents when it tries to open a 1100×600 window on a 1024 x 600 screen. They accept that as part of the package, just like they accept they’ve got to run several different internet security solutions in tandem just to be able to surf and write email.

And I know what you’re going to say – “But Xandros can be configured to look just like XP, they even changed the name of the applications…” Well that just turns it into a cheaper imitation of XP, something that will turn mainstream users off faster than a childish GUI.

Average net-heads see installing Windows XP on their netbooks as a kind of technological feat, as though it somehow demonstrates their technical prowess and smarts despite the fact it’s more a demonstration of their fear or stepping outside their comfort zone.

What netbook manufacturers and Linux advocates need to do if they want to keep flogging a free OS on their netbooks- Is to offer a professional, decent looking OS which has the same functionality as Windows, the same comforting feel, yet is not, and is not trying to be, Windows. They need to embrace the alternative OS. Don’t try to make it easy and don’t try to make it like XP. Just make it good.

I got a Samsung NC10 for Christmas from my wonderful wife. It came Windows XP Home ULPC.. do you know how shitty that version is? And yet, for a larger hdd and Intel Atom processor this is the OS of choice over something like Ubuntu or Fedora!

Needless to say I set about formatting the Windows Virus off my nc10 and installing Ubuntu from a pendrive (yeah – did you know some Linux distros have options to create pendrives now?), later moving to Ubuntu Ultimate.. which wipes the floor with both XP and Vista.

Check this out:

My Atom processor handles Ultimate Edition quite well, starts to balk if I enable desktop Sphere, but handles Cylinder no problem.

Sure, there are always going to be people who are stuck in their comfort zone, and die-hard Windows fanboys, but distro makers have to stop trying to emulate the ‘Windows Experience’, and cheating newbies out of the ‘Linux Experience’ like Xandros has with the Eee PC.

It was an open goal for Linux which somehow become an own goal, but the match is not over. They seriously need to rethink and regroup if they want to prevent what is becoming the year of  Windows 7 on the Netbook.

Posted in Buyer Beware, Duh!, Open Source, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

[Health & Safety] More Lessons In Killing For The Met

Posted by Lex Fear on April 5, 2009

I don’t think I want to be safe anymore. I don’t think I want the police to “protect” me from terrorists, anarchists or active protesters.

I’m not a member of the above groups, which means, being an innocent subject of the UK, my life is at risk when the security services are targetting the above groups.

Once again, security services were on high paranoid alert, itchy trigger fingers, or in this case, itchy baton hand.

And if we are to believe that the slaying of Jean Charles de Menezes was an honest, sincere mistake, WHAT BLOODY LESSONS WERE LEARNED?

I feel sorry for Ian Tomlinson’s widow and family. I feel sorry for the grueling smear and dirty tricks campaign that is about to befall them.

You know the drill by now, check the boxes which apply:

It will probably take about 3-4 years, and in the end they may be lucky to win a simple breach of the Health & Safety at Work Act against the Met, along with a “Sorry” and “Lessons have been learned”.

After all, if they can get away with shooting an innocent man, they can get away with shoving one too.

Posted in Anti-Terrorists, Copland, Doublespeak, Fact Erosion, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Londonland, Minitruth, Opinion, Protest, Realpolitik, Smear Campaigns, Untouchables, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Scammy] How Defraud eBay Users – Courtesy Of Paypal

Posted by Lex Fear on March 17, 2009

I have been meaning to discuss this one for a while, but it only just popped back into memory recently whilst I was looking through some old emails.

I’m writing this to warn you of the systematic failure of Paypal customer service and how this creates potential for easy, undetected scamming and profiteering opportunities for eBay power-sellers by abusing low-usage eBay users.

Last year I gave up eBay for good. I gave it up after I received 1 negative feedback having achieved in 2 years over 50 positive. The negative feedback was not warranted – it was retaliatory, from an eBay power-seller going by the trader name of notebookspares, offline company name: Rolta Limited, email address: hanspals@hotmail.com. I found a bunch of linked websites too, from googling their phone number: 0208 561 3960 – I wonder how many scams they are running?

I put up this power seller’s details as a warning to other potential buyers – particularly to buyers who do not do hundreds of trades a day and have a large feedback cache. I have copies of all correspondence and other details regarding this transaction, if requested.

Last year I received retaliatory feedback for posting negative feedback after not receiving an item from notebookspares (Rolta Limited). I posted the negative feedback after I’d exhausted all possibilities with Paypal resolutions.

You see, one day early in 2008 I had ordered an item from notebookspares, but on failing to receive it or any communication within 2 weeks I tried eBay’s contact form, then I tried emailing direct and finally a phone call leaving a message – all to no avail.

Since it was now outside of the time limit for escalating no item/no response, I went through eBay to get to Paypals “Item Not Recieved Dispute Resolution Centre”. Despite the power-seller, notebookspares , not being arsed to return my messages or calls, a day later he responded to confirm that the item had been posted and signed as recieved. News to me.

So I took the Proof Of Delivery he provided, plugged it into Royal Mail website and found that it referred to a delivery to a completely different name and address. No other details were provided unfortunately. Sounds like an honest mistake right, either notebookspares had provided the wrong POD, or they posted to a wrong address. Anyone would be able to detect this and make amends – Paypal however didn’t check the POD provided and now wanted to close the dispute.

Therefore, I escalated it, I complained that notebookspares had not bothered with any correspondence and had now provided an incorrect POD. It took 3 weeks for Paypal to respond, in that time, they still had not checked the POD with Royal Mail online, instead informing me that since the power-seller, notebookspares, had provided a POD, the resolution was now closed. I was livid.

Note: The POWER-SELLER had provided POD, so there was NO DISPUTE! It doesn’t matter that the POD was to a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NAME AND ADDRESS, the POD had been provided, so PAYPAL concluded there was NO DISPUTE.

Despite escalating this again, stating the facts of the matter again (POD was wrong name/address, power-seller notebookspares, had not responded to any hails), 4 weeks later Paypal concluded once again there was NO DISPUTE – they didn’t even bother to gather facts from the interested parties.

I should mention at this point, I did contact Royal Mail, and attempt to find out where the parcel got delivered and obtain a refund this way, but Royal Mail requested more details about the delivery than I had to give. Which left me with the same problem, notebookspares would not respond to messages or requests for information which Royal Mail needed, and Paypal would do sweet FA about it.

The only thing I had left was the power of democracy, which, like real democracy, is weak. I left a negative feedback on notebookspares. 1 negative feedback against 1000’s of positives, which affected his feedback score NIL. Not satisfied with being an asshat, notebookspares immediately left retaliatory feedback that wasn’t even anything to do with the service or item, which of course brought me down to about 95% positive. I complained to eBay directly – but guess what – they couldn’t give a shit.

Finally, receiving no further correspondence or recourse from Paypal, notebookspares or eBay, I refused to settle my eBay fees which were around the £10 mark- which got my account suspended. The item itself was worth £25, so I made a loss of £15. eBay tried to recover the fees by threatening court action, but I dealt with them like I dealt with my gym recently (for another post, another day) and they chickened out.

Since it was such a small amount, I didn’t bother reporting the fraud to the police (apart from reporting it to the press, what else would they do?), but I did write to eBay and threaten to call in the police. I got no reply from eBay so why bother reply to their emails asking for their fees?

So, hopefully you can now see the potential pitfall?

Here’s how the scam works – Paypal practically endorses it by design!

If you are a power seller, like notebookspares (Rolta Limited) was, and you have built up a large number of positive feedbacks, here is your chance to make a bit of extra profit on the side!

Every now and then, take an order from a low-level user (50 feedbacks or less) for a small item (£50 or less), when you have recieved payment through Paypal, deliver the item to another address you use and get you POD from Royal Mail.

When the buyer inevitably complains using Paypals resolutions, provide the POD – it doesn’t matter what NAME, ADDRESS or SIGNATURE is on the POD, as long as a POD exists, Paypal will close the case and you have made yourself a tidy little profit on the side.

When the little buyer leaves negative feedback, you can devastate his score by RETALIATORY FEEDBACK. eBay will do nothing about retaliatory feedback so you are SAFE!

Paypal and eBay will turn a blind eye to this as long as you are generating a big revenue for them, so this is not for the little guy – power sellers only.

Just make sure that you don’t do this too often as it will eventually effect your feedback score, but if you do it once or twice for every 100 buyers you have yourself a nice little racket!

Technorati Tags:
, , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Anecdotes, Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Profiteering, Technology, Untouchables, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Legalities] Ignorantia Juris Non Excusat

Posted by Lex Fear on February 27, 2009

Gavin Ayling thinks the law should be written in plain English. I’d like to expand on his post. I’ve always been amazed at this legal principle that underlines society.

Since there are so many laws and regulations to follows wouldn’t many of us be ignorant until pulled up on one?

And yet how many times have we come up against authorities themselves who play upon our ignorance and ignore the laws meant to keep them in check?

It seems to me laws have been crafted as to cover every tiny possibility and remove as much discretion as possible for a judge to employ. I think an efficient and humanitarian society should look to reducing laws and regulations as much as possible – wording them so that they cover a ‘multitude of sins’ rather than every single little possibility. This would then assure people of (a) their rights and (b) their responsibilities.

For example, what is the point of having a Racial and Religious Hatred Act, a Protection from Harrassment Act, a Domestic Violence, Crime and Victims Act, a Criminal Justice Act, an Anti-Social Behaviour Act, a Female Genital Mutilation Act (yes, there is one), a Sexual Offenses Act, a Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act, a Violent Crime Reduction Act, plus hundreds of others I cannot be bothered to reference (but you get the picture).

All of the above acts deal with or touch on violence of some sort. Obviously we could say most reasonable people are not the violent type so many of these rules won’t apply, but this is just an example.

What this tells me is at least one of the following reasons,

  • The lawmakers are too lazy, or braindead, to check if something is already covered in exsisting law
  • The existing law was not good enough
  • The law was created for political expediency, not for genuine practical reasons
  • There is money to be made in lawmaking

Is not violence or harrassment against a black person as bad it is against a white person? A gay person or straight person? A child or adult? An immigrant or local? A man or woman?

Does this also mean that any minority not covered by this existing legislation is at risk from lawful violence?

“Your honour, I would like to point out that the man my client attacked is a narcoleptic and is therefore not protected by any existing legislation. My client was therefore acting in a lawful manner and I would request this case is thrown out.”

Would it not be a better society if lawmakers actually tried to include the widest possible interpretation when crafting legislation? Then, leave it for the judges to interpret and decide if a law had actually been broken or not.

What’s wrong with, for example, a law that states “You shall not inflict violence upon another person”. It would then be for a judge and jury to distinguish between a bloody beheading or a playful punch and award compensation and punishments on a scale.

“To make laws that a man cannot, and will not obey, serves to bring all law into contempt.”
– Elizabeth Candy Stanton

People do not exist for laws, laws exist for people and politicians need to get it into their head that society cannot be controlled or coerced into being happy and nice to each other, but most of us are capable of telling right from wrong. No-one needs to consult various regulations and acts each day before leaving their house to ensure that they don’t commit an offence. It’s time for better laws, not more laws.

, , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Absolute Power, Bollotics, Doublethink, Justice & Mercy, Minitruth, Non-Compliance, Pharisees, Realpolitik, Tick-Box Culture | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Cyburbia] Religion 2.0

Posted by Lex Fear on February 24, 2009

Interesting interview of James Harkin on the media obsession with Web 2.0 and failure to criticise the medium. Well worth a read of the whole article, even Neo-Darwinism gets a mention. Here’s a couple of excerpts:

Now I’m not arguing people are stupid or lazy if they do that – but there’s an electronic peer pressure online. Academic studies that have been done by people who are very sympathetic to Web 2.0 and networks, people like Clay Shirky and Duncan Watts, show that the whole decision making process tends to become a robotic routine. One person makes a decision, and everyone else falls in line.

It’s a refreshing perspective and nice to read a contrarian view, enough to make me want to buy the book.

, , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Quoteyness, Technology, Tick-Box Culture, Warring Memes | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Intriguing] Blunkett’s Guidedog?

Posted by Lex Fear on February 23, 2009

That’s my first guess at what has caused his near U-turn on ID cards:

David Blunkett, who as Home Secretary led the government’s push for compulsory ID cards, will tomorrow call for the scheme to be curtailed, according to a report.

Instead he will propose that only foreigners be made to hold an ID card. UK nationals should only be required to hold a passport, Blunkett will argue.

For those not in the know, whilst Blunkett was in public office, flogging ID Cards and all manner of Orwellian devices to use on us, the British public, he received a nice directorship with Entrust, the company who created Spains ID card system and lobbied for the contract for the British one.

I’m sure there was no link between Blunketts cushty new job and his policy towards ID cards at the time.

A glance at the news show Entrust doing reasonably well profits wise during the recession, so what has caused Blunkett to shift his stance?

Worth watching this one, lack of sight has caused Blunketts nose to develop a keen sense of smell for money and influence.

, , , , , , , , , ,

Powered by ScribeFire.

Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bad Company, Bollotics, Databases, Dorks, Doublespeak, Financial Terrorism, Minitruth, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Uncircumcised Philistines, Untouchables, Wealth Creation, Xenophobia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Profit of Doom] Blair Must Hang

Posted by Lex Fear on February 22, 2009

“In January 2008, J P Morgan Chase took him on as an advisor, plunging the bank into a crisis from which it may not recover. “Our firm will benefit greatly from his knowledge and experience”, they said. Over the next year the share price halved and profits plunged by more than 80%, much as I expected.

Now he’s helping to modernise Rwanda. Woe to that land that appoints Blair to modernise it! His normal way of expressing concern and trying to help is to send the RAF to destroy their infrastructure. I don’t know what precise form the catastrophe in Rwanda will take –could be genocide, could be a plague of frogs- but it will come. And if the Americans ever ask his advice on resolving the financial crisis he may yet succeed in ruining us all.”

From Chase Me Ladies, I’m in the cavalry

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bank Robbers, Bollotics, Financial Terrorism, Ha-has, Quoteyness, Untouchables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »