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Archive for the ‘Bad Company’ 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.

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

[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.

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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 »

[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!

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

[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.

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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 »

[Copyleft] Obama And The Copyright Act

Posted by Lex Fear on February 20, 2009

From Wired:

In a few weeks, we’ll likely know the Obama administration’s position on whether it supports hefty monetary awards in file sharing litigation brought by the Recording Industry Association of America.

The Bush administration’s position was clear. It supported the Copyright Act‘s penalties of up to $150,000 per infringed song.

“Congress acted reasonably in crafting the current incarnation by ensuring that it serves both a compensatory and deterrent purpose. Congress established a damages range that provides compensation for copyright owners in a regime in which actual damages are hard to quantify,” the Bush administration wrote in 2007.

Now it’s President Barack Obama’s turn, and we’ll see how tight he is with Hollywood.

One thing I’ve thought about that I don’t see mentioned anywhere by bloggers and media, is a challenge to how the MAFIAA justify their 9-to-1 ratio cost of a single music track.

No, I don’t mean how constitutional or fair it is, I mean challenging it on the basis of lost profits. Surely, after winning* their lawsuit against Jammie Thomas, all lawsuits should have stopped right there. You see they didn’t just sue Jammie Thomas for the tracks that she had downloaded or owned (worth approximately $1 a piece) they sued her for all the other people who otherwise would have bought the shared track too**.

Therefore if the MAFIAA recovered all that lost profit from Jammie Thomas (and someone can’t own one downloaded file twice over), then the score is even and there are no further profit losses i.e. no further lawsuits needed!

Am I just stating the obvious that no-one has thought up yet, or am I missing something?

*I say ‘won’, but it’s been public knowledge for a while now that the original judge has dismissed the original trial as a mistrial and it will be heard again.
**I’m obviously ignoring the fact that ( a ) many filesharers will buy an album anyway and ( b ) many other fileshares would not even buy if it was not available for download – so no profit to be had in the first place.

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Posted in Bad Company, Bollotics, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Little Hitlers, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Takeback, Technology, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Your Data] How Often Have They Lost Your Data

Posted by Lex Fear on February 17, 2009

Open Rights Group have a questionnaire which should tell you!

via: Ideal Government

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Posted in Absolute Power, Anti-Terrorists, Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Copywrong, Databases, Financial Terrorism, Free as in Speech, Minitruth, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Realpolitik, Technology, Uncircumcised Philistines, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Heroes] Fax Off

Posted by Lex Fear on February 13, 2009

This has to be one of my favourite stories of 2008:

OK. Fine by me. One great advantage of my VOIP provider (Primus, for anyone who cares) is that their base package includes many interesting features, including the possibility to redirect any number to another. Thirty seconds later, I had the fax number redirected to the receptionist’s number.

From: The Consumerist.

See my previous post on Culture Wars – dealing with corporate bullshit.

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Posted in Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Financial Terrorism, Ha-has, Predatory Systems, Takeback | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[MAFIAA Pwn UK] All Your Rights Are Belong To Us

Posted by Lex Fear on February 8, 2009

Two items of interest posted last year on TorrentFreak and The Register, that I never got round to commenting on.

Both Cleveland and Lancashire police caught defrauding the music industry, much like those it has arrested in the OiNK case before. Cleveland particularly appear to be hoisted by their own petard in this case, being the force to bring prosecution against the OiNKers.

Meanwhile it seems that Gordon Brown is also embracing piracy, by failing to acknowledge creative commons licensing.

I’ve been wrong all theses years. The government understands freedom perfectly, it just doesn’t want us to have any.

If the MAFIAA succeed in prosecuting Lancashire Police, then we are truly approaching a state where intellectual property rights trump all other forms of rights we know.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Civil Disobedience, Copland, Copywrong, Doublethink, Free as in Speech, Morals & Ethics, Pharisees, Untouchables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Circular Wikiness] The Zany Ones

Posted by Lex Fear on October 19, 2008

One reason why you should never use Wikipedia as your only source for research or collaborating your story*. Also, do not trust everything you read in the dead tree press.

From now on, when anyone quotes Wikipedia to me in an online discussion, I’m going to call them “the zany one”.

*First reported by Private Eye, no linky sorry.

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[High Noon] Bwankers vs Sheriff of Chicago

Posted by Lex Fear on October 13, 2008

From the Consumerist:

“Chicago’s sheriff has placed a moratorium on evictions for mortgage foreclosures, angering bankers who say he’s breaking the law.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he understood he was flouting the
law in refusing to have deputies carry out the rising number of
eviction requests, but mortgage holders must be accountable.”

Could this be a good reason to introduce Sheriffs back into the UK, Sheriffs who live in the community they work, have jurisdiction and character?

If only British bobbies and the very few (if any) honest bailiffs would step up to the plate here in the UK… unfortunately here in the UK we suffer from a disease of predatory systems and tick-box culture.

Let me explain.. the powerful (now nationalised) elite design the system, which is predatory and designed to be as inefficient and unhelpful as possible, utilizing holding actions against those they serve. They then train a portion of the monkeys that the predatory system is designed for, to abandon rational thought and follow a strict protocol of rules and tick boxes.

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Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Buyer Beware, Copland, Financial Terrorism, Holding Actions, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Property Market, Realpolitik, Tick-Box Culture, Wealth Creation | Leave a Comment »