Abandon All Fear

What nobody else seems to be saying…

Archive for the ‘Takeback’ Category

[Blogidarity] Lord Matt Appeal

Posted by Lex Fear on July 1, 2007

This Post Is Rated: N for Nothing to hide, nothing to fear. Contains reference to a possible abuse of process.

Long time supporter and reader of Abandon All Fear, Lord Matt reports his local council’s zealousness over council tax collection. Despite being subject to council tax benefit (which is under review) they haven’t given him any time to respond to a demand for payment before sending him a court summons.

It smells like an abuse of process but Alex Fear is limited to his experience with parking enforcement and speeding. If anyone has an idea about these things, feel free to get in touch with LM, as he is now facing a bill of £1000 or more.

LM’s Court Appeal
Blog of trial and courts decision
Thanet Council breaching the law?

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Posted in Blogidarity, Bollotics, Civil Disobedience, Justice & Mercy, Little Hitlers, Non-Compliance, Property Market, Takeback | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[DMCA] Stealing Abstracts Part 1

Posted by Lex Fear on June 22, 2007

This Post Is Rated: I for Ooh… Illegal. Or is it… and what are the implications?

It’s already been done 1.3 million times and counting. After some careful consideration, I thought I’d join in and “break the law” too:

09-f9-11-02-9d-74-e3-5b-d8-41-56-c5-63-56-88-c0

This string of seemingly random numbers forms a key to unlocking the DRM on HD-DVD and Blue Ray hardware. The AACS-LA does not want people to publish this number. In fact it has even threatened legal action against those who choose to publish this set of numbers.

I won’t go into too much detail here because this story is old and there is already plenty of information on the web and it’s been covered extensively by BoingBoing.

But is it really illegal to publish a set of numbers? Interestingly (at the time of publishing this post) it has not been tested in court which really raises the question of whether it’s actually illegal to own and publish these numbers. Can you really own a number? Something tells me it never will be tested, or if it is, the AACS will probably fail. Can you really see them filing a law-suit against 1.3 million people, many who probably don’t even reside in America?

Interestingly, Ed Felton of Freedom to Tinker already addressed the issue of 128-bit number ownership:

Now, thanks to our newly developed VirtualLandGrab technology, you can own a 128-bit integer of your very own (and then presumably, start issuing take-down notices to anyone who publishes the numbers or keeps a copy of them).

Here’s how we do it. First, we generate a fresh pseudorandom integer, just for you. Then we use your integer to encrypt a copyrighted haiku, thereby transforming your integer into a circumvention device capable of decrypting the haiku without your permission. We then give you all of our rights to decrypt the haiku using your integer. The DMCA does the rest. – You Can Own An Integer Too – Get Yours Here!

I’m plan to do a follow up post on this subject as it demands a more thoughtful analysis, but my initial thoughts on this subject is that we have moved beyond a mere Information Age and are becoming part of a type of Information Revolution. Traditional business models and capitalist frameworks are being usurped by Creative Commons and Open Source. These examples speak for themselves:

EFF: Public Interest Prevails in Digital Copyright Showdown
The Inquirer: Linux Man says Microsoft screwed itself
Finish Court Rules CSS Protection used in DVDs “ineffective”
Lessig Blog: Required Reading: The Next 10 Years
The Enquirer: EMI Has DRM Free Sales Boom
SmartFlix: This Post is for You, Robert Tourtelot
eCoustics: Dell Introduces Linux Based Computers
Software Journal: Microsoft and IBM admits Google is now a rival…

Whether you know it or not you are witness to a civil war taking place over the net. The internet is a type of ‘wild west’ or Electronic Frontier if you will. All the rules from the old country no longer count. If you Google search, blog, social network, make internet calls or have ever used any kind of free or open source software then you have already chosen your side or become a sympathiser for the revolutionaries.

My second thought is this, by pursuing legal action even against people who simply publish a string of numbers (regardless of knowledge of how to use them), then the AACS and other vested interests are already losing the battle. They dilute the severity of their claim by attacking anyone without discretion, and they will be opening the door for people to claim ownership of numbers and text (see above)- the end result would be death of progress, innovation and design. Imagine a programmer that would have to obtain rights from a different ‘owner’ for every line of code they wrote for a new program? Perhaps the only way to move forward would be for programmers to learn Klingon or some other language- until the AACS claimed ownership of certain strings of Klingon numbers and words.

In my view, those who are blurring the lines between what is and isn’t illegal copying are the proprietors and proponents of DRM and the DMCA.

More to come.

Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Copywrong, Justice & Mercy, Opinion, Pharisees, Profiteering, Takeback, Technology | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

[Trollfeed] No Comment

Posted by Lex Fear on June 9, 2007

Well, I guess when you post anything slighty critical of Rachel North, you can expect at some point for a member of the Northsquad to show up. I did always say they were welcome but I’m getting pretty tired of the relentlessness of one Anonymous commenter.

Despite claims, I haven’t seen a large boost in traffic coming from Oxford. Oh well, guess I won’t be picking up one of these anytime soon.

Stats… stats… preeeccciiioouus staaats!

I can’t stand comment moderation, I never thought I would have to use it, but after this comment:

“I can see what you are putting forward and it looks to me like an attack on a blogger to get publicity for your own blog by being ‘controversial and doing a bit of victim-blaming. Perhaps you do not care to talk to readers. Perhaps you do not care about your reputation. R clearly does and fair play to her.”

Anything involving Rachel North seems to get serious pretty quickly, so I’m taking steps to ensure this doesn’t escalate.

I seem to have suffered a bit of a comment explosion, at the moment. I may have taken on too many battles at once. I think this blog needs to cool down a bit so I’m going to be posting light humour for a while before I resume Fallible Design, Housing Market Myths and other subjects.

Regular readers, feel free to dribble away till my stats are near death. Alex Fear needs a rest before once again taking up arms against the Philistine hordes.

Moderation will be removed as soon as stupidity levels are reasonably lower.

Posted in Blogidarity, Little Hitlers, Metablog, Opinion, Takeback, Uncircumcised Philistines, V for Vendetta | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

[Resolutions] Foolish Words

Posted by Lex Fear on May 16, 2007

This is a sidestep from my usual rant.

This new year I made 1 resolution. My resolution could be viewed as foolhardy, unwise and uninformed. It felt that way anyway. Even as the words left my lips, I felt uncomfortable and had no way of backing it up. Nevertheless the words had passed into the air, and were out there. They were verbal deeds. My declaration?

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Anecdotes, Civil Disobedience, Dark Side of the Light, Justice & Mercy, Morals & Ethics, Non-Compliance, Takeback, The Purpose Missing Church, Wealth Creation | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

[Penalty Charges] Calls to Stop Conducting Illegal Activities are Unfair

Posted by Lex Fear on March 31, 2007

Hit with millions of claims, customer complaints, an online petition and impending OFT investigation- banks are now crying “foul play” and threatening to end free banking.

“Banks were accused of blackmail yesterday for threatening to end free banking if they were forced to reduce overdraft charges and other penalty fees.

The banks, which charge up to £39 for bounced cheques and unauthorised overdrafts, had been expected to be told to reduce the charges to around £12.” – Telegraph

Let’s forget the fact they are already operating illegally by imposing fines greater than £12- therefore sounding like a burglar who complains he’s been asked to reduce his amount of breaking and entering.

These are the companies who this year posted pre-tax profits of:

£11.5bn: HSBC
£.7.14bn: Barclays
£5.7bn: HBOS
£559.2ml: Nationwide
£585ml: Alliance & Leicester

These are the companies who insist on charging Average Joe up to £39 for even dipping into the red:

Penalised for just over £27
Penalised for delay in clearing customers cheques – wait a minute, who delays the cheques in the first place?
Penalised for unforseen circumstances

Well, perhaps if you make a mistake, even if it is accidental, unforseen or just business, you deserve to be charged right?

So I look forward to seeing what kind of charges are levied on these errors:

Oops! Delay in receiving monthly salary
Oops! Sent details to wrong address

Quid es equitas?

Posted in Absolute Power, Bank Robbers, Financial Terrorism, Justice & Mercy, Pharisees, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Takeback, Uncircumcised Philistines, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Bwankers] Account-ability Advice for Banks

Posted by Lex Fear on March 28, 2007

Most blogs we’re so busy discussing the budget last week they missed the BBC’s undercover whistleblower program exposing underhand standard business practices by Barclays Bank. (Barclays was the focus, just like McDonalds was with fast food. And just like Burger King to McDonalds, you can bank on the rest of the industry using the same business ethic).

“A nine-month investigation by BBC reporters working undercover in a leading British bank has revealed a culture of ruthlessness and lies which will shock their customers.” – BBC Whistleblower

Undercover reporter Amanda Egbujo went undercover as an employee of Barclays for 9 months. In that time she witnessed common practices such as:

  • Treating customers with contempt (particularly those who struggled paying/complained about unlawful charges)
  • Lying – illegally claiming to be Account Consultants rather than Sales Monkeys
  • Moving money from accounts – without authority – to gain commission
  • Adding financial products to customer accounts without knowledge- for a monthly charge
  • Refusing customers products they require, but then offering a financial product they do not need.
  • Staff employed with no criminal background checks
  • Fraud accounts set up with relative ease

I asserted this was not just Barclays, and I have my own experience with HSBC, when they decided to cancel my Graduate 0% Interest Overdraft (which stood over £1000), then reinstate the overdraft a year later at a standard 15% interest. This case is currently with the small claims court.

Indeed this week Halifax had to issue an apology for stolen mortgage details. Unlike average joe who has £20-£35 penalties automatically deducted at the end of the month for going over agreed limits, Halifax is given plenty of time to get their act together by the FSA.

I’ve said this before, it’s not legal, it’s not business, it’s immoral and indefensible.

As a Christian, I believe that these corrupt financial institutions will one day have to answer to God:

“If you see that the donkey of someone who hates you has collapsed under its load, do not walk by. Instead, stop and help. In a lawsuit, you must not deny justice to the poor.” – Exodus 23:5-6

“But I, the Lord, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve. Like a partridge that hatches eggs she has not laid, so are those who get their wealth by unjust means. At midlife they will lose their riches; in the end, they will become poor old fools.” – Jeremiah 17:10-11

“How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth! You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them. For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.” – Amos 5:10-12

Posted in Absolute Power, Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Buyer Beware, Financial Terrorism, Laymans Theology, Morals & Ethics, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Property Market, Takeback, The Purpose Missing Church, Uncircumcised Philistines, Wealth Creation, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Resistance] Homeowner Holdouts

Posted by Lex Fear on March 15, 2007

Simply awesome… these guys inspire.



Referral: BoingBoing and various other sources.

Update: 16/03/07

Tish writes in the comments … (3/16/2007 1:14 PM) :

“This story and picture of “China’s Most Incredible Holdout” traveled around China’s blogs and the original story was lost, elaborated on, and then pieced together and rediscovered by Chinese netizens, and finally translated into English by “bridge bloggers.”

Here is a link to the original post.

Posted in Ha-has, Justice & Mercy, Property Market, Takeback | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

[Murderoch] Lost The Plot

Posted by Lex Fear on March 5, 2007

Is it just me or has Rupert Murderoch bought ‘Lost’ for the sole purpose to use as a marketing campaign.

The fact he has decided to float the whole Sky ship (well, not entirely, using ’24’ as the rudder) on one show is just moronic, especially since this show can be downloaded from numerous sources on the interweb.

Anyone who cancels their subscription to VM for Sky just for this show must have very limited cultural tastes.

However if you were considering it don’t, it’s not worth it. The only thing ‘lost’ in Season 3 so far seems to be the script. Check out the sci-fi channel instead for what is probably the best American TV show so far.

Image Referral: Digital Spy

Posted in Bad Company, Buyer Beware, Little Hitlers, Opinion, Profiteering, Takeback, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Takeback] The Public 1 HSBC 0

Posted by Lex Fear on February 28, 2007

It’s about time one of the Dragons finally had their teeth knocked out and the smile wiped off it’s face.

If you have been reading the MSM and considering whether you should take a shot yourself, join the millions who have already have.

If you need to know where to start, try these links:

MoneySavingExpert
BBC How To
This is Money
Consumer Action Group Forums
Times Online

and you can get more by googling “claim back unfair charges”.

Do it… Now!

Posted in Bad Company, Bank Robbers, Justice & Mercy, Profiteering, Takeback, Uncircumcised Philistines | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

[Even The BBC Are Getting In On The Act] EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS… RIGHT NOW!

Posted by Lex Fear on December 15, 2006

If you own a UK bank account- even the BBC are publishing it: How to claim back penalty charges.

Posted in Bank Robbers, Buyer Beware, Financial Terrorism, Justice & Mercy, Predatory Systems, Profiteering, Takeback, WhatTheyDontWantU2C | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »