Rants!

My rantings…

RIAA -Bunch of cry babies!

The RIAA is a big old bunch of cry babies… They actually need to just go away, they are effectively stealing money from the music industry, the actual musicians and artists themselves if you think about it. These guys make so much money it’s stupid to think they are in trouble and going broke, if you listen to their whining you’d think they were about to file for bankruptcy.

There’s an interesting article from the President of the RIAA over at NEWS.COM,  Click HERE to read it if you wish, but be warned it’s just a bunch of whining…

They are making money in the billions and are complaining about it, what was it? Over a billion cds and downloads were legally sold… hmm, I wish I had the money the RIAA claims it doesn’t have, I could live very comfortably on that…

I’ll be honest, I do think it’s a bit unfair to the artists to not make money off their work, but sharing is what people do in life, and it’s fun…

I can say I’ve never had any P2P stuff installed in my computer,I never got into it like that..Don’t get me wrong though, I love music and all that, but I live in a college town where there are a few USED Cd stores here and I can easily pick up cds for very cheap, in fact almost all of my music was bought used, yeah some of it was bought new, but only if I really wanted it and couldn’t find it in a used store.

I’m waiting for the day when they finally try and really push to outlaw that as well, I know they tried a little bit ago and I never heard anything more about it…

In the end they are a bunch of greedy pricks, I really don’t see a need for the RIAA anymore, don’t you think that the artists should see 100% of their money, and not have numerous percentages taken by all sorts of groups who claim to be working in their best interest? IF they really want to their artists maybe they shouldn’t take home such a large salary, or take such a large percentage of the artists profits, that would REALLY be in the best interest of the artist and the biggest help to them…

Oh well… somehow though I don’t think the RIAA will ever go away… Until they try and make it illegal to stop selling and buying used cds I essentially don’t care what they do… In essence if you think about it, used cds are a from of sharing as well, but just don’t let the RIAA in on that…

Nothing will change until the artists finally get fed up and tell them and their labels to go to hell… from what I’ve read the artists really only make money on tickets and merchandise and they don’t make much on the sale of their actual music because these groups take most of the profit, until they realize that they’ll never be free to actually create and own their music themselves…

Rant: Driving and Traffic in Pittsburgh

It’s been a while since I’ve really gone on any rants, but I’ve been rather pissed lately when I drive my car, and I don’t like it… I loved driving, but now I hate it, I hate these mother fucking prick ass bastard drivers out there today…

I live in Pittsburgh, not by choice but by birth, and yeah sadly I’m still here.. but it’s not really that bad… unless you drive everywhere as I do…

Pittsburgh has lots of tunnels and for some unknown reason people feel they must hit the breaks when they come to a tunnel… Five days per week I drive through a tunnel going towards town, called the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, in the mornings, and every 4 out of those five days traffic enters the tunnel going 10 miles per hour, but yet exits doing 60 mph… There’s some time-tunnel effect going on that I just can’t explain I guess. And this need to brake for tunnels causes traffic to back up for miles and miles… This not only happens in the morning but of course in the evening coming out of town as well. I don’t understand it, why do people feel the need to slow down or brake for tunnels? It’s just a tunnel, it’s not going to collapse on you, it’s not going to close, it’s open on the other end honestly ….

The next thing I’d like to know is WHEN was a law enacted that allowed a LEFT turn on RED? When the opposing traffic has a green light… The other day myself and my family were almost killed by this asshole who felt he was special and allowed to turn on red… My light turned green, dude drove up and actually stopped for the red light, I started to go and then the dude made his left turn on red, if I wasn’t paying attention we would have been in a nice accident… This isn’t an isolated incident either it happens all the time!

Speaking of red lights what makes people think they are so fucking special that they don’t have to stop for them? What makes you so important that you don’t have to obey the laws?!? The other day my wife asked me why I was slowing down coming to an intersection where my light was green, just then some moron sped though their red light right past us… DUH, wonder why I slowed down…
Speaking of left turns, every morning when I take my youngest son to daycare I go on the Blvd of the Allies, a main road to PGH, well near his daycare is Magee Women’s Hospital and one of their parking lots is across the street. There are two signs there that say NO LEFT TURN 7AM to 9A, this is there because it is dangerous with the morning rush hour traffic, but yet at least three times per week I get stuck behind some asshole turning left and backing up traffic…

The same goes with STOP signs as well!! It says STOP, not slow down and continue on through, and especially it doesn’t mean to SPEED UP if you see someone coming though the intersection so you can cut them off and almost kill them!

I live on a main thoroughfare where you can only park on one side of the street, and that would be the side I live on, so I basically have to drive on a parallel stree, pass my house and turn left, and then left to get onto my street to get to my house. The street I go up has stop signs at the intersection I go up and I don’t have a stop sign, so this means I have the right of way, people are supposed to stop and let the traffic coming though the intersection proceed, but no, no one ever does, well maybe 1 time per week someone actually stops and lets me through. Yesterday I was coming home, cruising through, chick on cellphone totally ignores the stop sign and just go right through it, I had to slam on my brakes to stop from getting hit by her… and then I proceeded through the intersection, but apparently dude who was coming the other way didn’t like the fact that I had the right of way and decided to ride up on my bumper beeping the horn, if my kid was not in the car I would have happily slammed on the breaks to see what the problem was exactly… I don’t get it?!?! he was pissed at me for NOT having a STOP sign and he did?!?!?!?

I’m on a roll here… SO since when did turn signals NOT become a standard item on cars? I have followed people and have watched them NEVER use a turn signal, too busy on the phone to reach over and hit the lever to let drivers behind them know they are turning.. The best is when they stop to make the turn, I can’t figure out why the hell the guy is stopping?! There’s no STOP sign, no LIGHTS, but yet they’re stopping.. OH they’re turning! I should have knew that huh?

As I mentioned I live on a main street, but where I live, on my side is just a strip of 10 houses with woods on either side and behind, and then houses again past the woods..so where the woods are there is no sidewalk, sucks having to cross the street… My wife took the car today because she had class so I had to walk to get the kids their haircut, this involved crossing this main thoroughfare.. Not fun… So there we stood, waiting for a break in the traffic or some nice person to stop and let us cross, 10 cars go by, 15 cars go by, 20 cars go by.. all looking at us as they drive by, I guess they’re wondering why were standing on the side of the road or something (DUH!)… SO, along comes a Police Car, I’m thinking GREAT now’s our chance, the officer will stop to let us cross the street right? NO FUCKING WAY DID HE STOP! He looked right at us as he drove by… Ignorant prick.. eventually we made it, but of course we had to repeat that again coming home… fun-fun

I drive a lot, and I see all sorts of just amazing things going on in other cars.. personally I hate talking on the phone in the car, it’s just too distracting, especially if I have my kids in the car with me. If someone calls me I’ll let voicemail get it or I’ll answer it (if it’s not in my pocket) and tell them I’m driving and call them back when I’m not driving, but I see like every other car driver talking on the phone… There was a time my wife worked the 6:30am shift, and we left he house at 6am, who the hell where all these people taking to at 6AM? What is so important that you have to talk while you’re driving? Better yet what is on the floor of the passenger side of your car that you just have to bend down and get while you’re driving?!? Another one would be to women: why the hell don’t you set your alarm early enough so you can put your makeup on at home and NOT WHILE DRIVING!

One thing I guess is that I can say that after you drive here for a while you get accustomed to the assholes out there, but why should I have to get accustomed to assholes who break the law and feel they are better than everyone else?!? Why can’t they just obey the laws! What the fuck is so important that you feel the need to endanger my life, the lives of my family and the lives of everyone else on the road?!

Oh and last I checked, when a school bus is stopped with blinking lights and the little STOP sign is out, that means traffic stops in both directions right?! That law is still the same as far as I know… But the other day when I was going to pick my son up from daycare, the school bus comes across the intersection and stops a bit behind me going the other way, now I’m past the bus so I can continue on, but I still have a red light… So I watch as traffic comes through the intersection only to have to stop behind the bus, and in the lane next to the bus, it’s two lanes, the bus is in the curb lane… Well the light starts to change, yellow, then red, of course you get the asshole blowing through the red light.. some dumb chick blows through, only to run full speed smack into the guy stopped for the school bus… this literally happened right next to me, her window was right next to me and I just looked at her and laughed and continued on my merry way… it was funny, really it was…

Oh well.. enough for now.. I feel better! Sort of, until tomorrow, or now.. when I have to run out and get cigs..

Rebates Suck!

I hate mail-in rebates, then again I don’t know many people that actually like them so I’m sure you understand..

Anyway, last month I bought three  EVGA products from NewEgg, I needed to update my system so I got a new motherboard and two video cards. I really wasn’t paying attention that there was a rebate on them I got them because that’s what I wanted and I wanted to match the brands up.

Well it turns out there was a $10 rebate on the mobo and $15 rebate on the video card. Now everywhere you look EVGA and every other company for that matter promotes SLI and that you should buy two cards for the best performance…

So I got three emails a couple days ago mentioning that they got the rebates and were processing them, I checked the status and it says one of my video card rebates was invalid because only one is allowed…

It’s only $15, but it’s still the point, anymore when people are building a system they’ll buy two cards, either for SLI or Crossfire and they know this, so is this just a way to screw over customers?  To save a few bucks here and there by denying the rebates, even though they know people are going to buy two of the cards for SLI? Kind of discourages people from buying two of the cards with the rebates… The point of the rebate is to attract the consumer to buy the products right?

And of course a two weeks after I bought cards  EVGA announces that they are giving Quake Wars for free if you buy one of their video cards…. so I got screwed all around here. I would have rather had Quake Wars than the rebates, if I would have gotten the full rebates it wouldn’t have been enough to pay for the game most likely….

Oh well… sucks to be me!

Halo 3 pt2 – spoiler warning and gizmodo

Oh well… if you haven’t seen it yet, and if you don’t want to know, Brian over at Gizmodo posted  a video where he re-bags all the Halo 3 swag and then throws it off his balcony, and then gives away the ending to the game…

what a moron… I’m not a Halo fanboy or anything but it’s wrong how he treated the gear that was given to him and it’s really wrong how he gave away the ending of the game…

I mean yeah he can be pissed off at the comments he got, and I agree totally that he did treat the stuff wrong in his first video unbagging… he just tossed the stuff around his room like it was garbage… but why would you go and spoil the ending of the game for everyone else just to get back at a couple assholes who posted rude comments and supposed ‘death threats’ about him…

I don’t know… I guess he’s just a total asshole, and I’ve lost quite a bit of respect for Gizmodo now… not that that really means much though…

anyway, the things I treat carefully and with respect, I guess it’s because I’m happy to get them and thrilled that the companies would give them to me… I guess Brian is just a fucking primadonna who thinks he deserves what he gets from companies… I know if I was in the marketing dept of the sponsors for gizmodo I’d be thinking twice about sending anything to Brian anymore, just for the lack of respect and just basically for being an asshole….

Oh well…  it must be nice to get great stuff like that from Microsoft and literally throw away a few hundred dollars worth of stuff… I just don’t understand it… what an asshole

www.checkgrants.com

I’ve been a busy little bee lately… Doing what you might wonder? well, uncovering a wonderful little scam…

This scam involves www.checkgrants.com www.checkgrants.biz and www.checkgrants.net

It all started when I got another of those too good to be true letters and checks in the mail just like the Inslink Financial Inc scam I already told you about. It’s yet another one of those deposit the check and send a percentage to get the rest of the money deals… Yeppers it’s a scam alright…

First here’s the letter/check I received, I blacked out my home address… You can click it to see a large image in a new window to read everything in details.. it’s kinda funny actually!

If you paid attention to the actual check which I’m sure you did you can see it appears it’s from Metavante Corporation, and a little further digging led me to learn that Metavante is a huge financial consortium type company…

So of course I had to go poking around their website to find a contact to ask about all of this, and I found one whom I emailed and actually called, it’s their PR rep, Chip Swearngan, which his contact info you can easily find on the site if you wish. He actually forwarded me to their abuse department who I spoke with on the phone, they do know about this scam involving their company and they are working with law enforcement to put and end to it once and for all.

If anyone receives a letter involving Metavante Corporation they are asked to contact their abuse department at abuse[at] metavante.com (obviously the [at] is supposed to be the @ symbol in the email address…)

When I first emailed Chip about this, this was the response I got:

Metavante is aware of the fraudulent scheme that you have reported. We have been working with law enforcement agencies as these instances are brought to our attention. The check is counterfit and misappropriates the name and trademark of our company. Furthermore the fraud seeks to deceive unsuspecting consumers. We appreciate your notifying Metavante. By copy of this email I will ask our Information Security team to follow up with you.

Then the abuse team contacted me as I mentioned above and well it’s being worked on…

It gets better though.. if you read the letter you’ll see it mentions places to go to send your % commission to collect the rest of your fee. When I first got the letter of course I went to the sites, what’s funny is that it says checkgrants.com is NOT their website, and it directs you to the same .net and .biz sites. When I first got the letter the .net and .biz sites didn’t exist, but the .com version had a brief message directing me to go to the .biz site.

Then yesterday I decided to check on these sites again, well the .com site was online and it was so bad it was actually funny, it’s something out of the web .5 days design period. The site is down now (dunno how that could have happened hehehe) but I managed to grab a screenshot for you, click it to see it larger in a new window:

You see al those people there who are your official grant brokers, well if you look back at the letter I received you’ll see that Jim Welch is my personal grant broker:

Friendly looking guy isn’t he? I wonder who he really is?! Look like he could be an attorney, most likely lifted from some corporate website of somewhere…

Anyway, if you click on any of the names other than Jim, you get a canned brief message telling you to send the commission payment to:

Check Grants
29350 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265
Fax: 310-421-0311

But if you click on Jim’s profile you get a large in depth message explaining how he wants paid, and that he just happens to be away in Europe on emergency business, yeah the FBI came knocking huh ?!

Anyway here’s the text I lifted from the site, I didn’t have time to grab the pictures but they were just screen grabs from the Greendot site anyway…

Hello, I’m Grant Broker Jim Welch,

If I acquired your grant for you you must choose me to send the 10% commission to.

I had to fly to Europe on an emergency business errand and I will not be back in the United States’ office in Malibu, California until late next month. However, the deadline to pay the commission and qualify to receive the other half of your payment is still 5-days after you cash or deposit the check. I have your checks with me in Europe. Please follow the instructions below to allot me the10% commission of your first payment and I will still send your other check – for the same amount as the first check you received – by Next Day Air from Europe!

I Accept Commission Payments Via: GREENDOT® – A New Way To Send Cash

You can send me a cash payment by adding money onto a GREENDOT® Universal Reload Card or a GRENDOT® MoneyPak (same thing) and sending me the card number. This will allow me to load the money into my bank account instantly. You can purchase these cards in the prepaid section of any Right Aid, Walgreens, CVS, Ralph’s and many other smaller retailers throughout the United States. The prepaid section is the section with the gift cards, cell phone cards and etc.

Here is what the cards look like:

Notice that I’ve circled in red the words MoneyPak on one card and MoneyPak – Universal Reload on the other card. This is because GREENDOT® also sells Pre-Paid Visa & MasterCard Credit Cards as shown below.

Warning: Here Is What The Cards DO NOT Look Like:

Notice that none of these cards says MoneyPak or Universal Reload! They say Prepaid Visa or Prepaid MasterCard as I’ve also circled in red. You DO NOT want to get any of these cards as I cannot accept them. Again the card you want Must Say, “MoneyPak” or “MoneyPak” & “Universal Reload” near the GREENDOT® logo. If you ask the cashier for a GREENDOT® MoneyPak or Universal Reload card they may hand you a Pre-Paid Visa or MasterCard by mistake, because many of them don’t know the difference. It is your responsibility to make sure the card you load funds onto says either “MoneyPak” or “MoneyPak” and “Universal Reload.”

It cost only $4.95 to load up to $500 on one of these cards. If the 10% commission your paying is over $500 because your first check was over $5,000, simply load money onto additional cards.

Let’s Start

If you don’t know where a local RiteAid, CVS Drugs, Walgreens, Ralph’s or Albertsons supermarket is, Click Here to find the nearest GREENDOT® Universal Reload Card or GREENDOT® MoneyPak vender in you aria.
Come back to this page once you have the card and Click Here electronically send me the number which will be located on the back of this card along with your name and the amount you loaded onto the card. I can then instantly transfer the funds to my bank account and I’ll send you your other check, which is being held in waiting, by Next Day Express Airmail.

There’s is a link there that leads to an http address, not even an https address for you to input the information from the cards. The site is a joke, there are so many spelling and grammar mistakes it’s actually sort of funny… I do think it’s funny how he helps you out by letting you know where to get the card locally and even links to a ‘finder site’ to find places near you to get the card, and he goes in depth about how to do everything..

The site was originally hosted on zettahost.com / atspace.com (same company) and they did an excellent job of shutting the site down for us in record time.

All of the information about these domains is readily accessible through any whois query, and in that query it pretty much tells you who, if anyone is hosting the site:
Domain Name: CHECKGRANTS.COM
Registrar: NETFIRMS, INC.
Whois Server: whois.netfirms.com
Referral URL: http://www.netfirms.com
Name Server: NS1.ATSPACE.COM
Name Server: NS2.ATSPACE.COM
Status: ok
Updated Date: 03-aug-2007
Creation Date: 24-jul-2007
Expiration Date: 24-jul-2008

What I found funny is that the domain was registered on July 24th 2007, but yet the ‘About’ page goes to mention about what they (CheckGrants.com) were doing for thousands of people in 2006..?!?!

and here’s the other one:

Domain Name: CHECKGRANTS.NET
Registrar: INTERNET.BS CORP.
Whois Server: whois.internet.bs
Referral URL: http://www.internet.bs
Name Server: No nameserver
Status: redemptionPeriod
Updated Date: 08-aug-2007
Creation Date: 24-jul-2007
Expiration Date: 24-jul-2008

This one as you can see has no nameserver which essentially means it’s not hosted yet… have to keep checking that one eh?!

I forgot one didn’t I.. hmm the checkgrants.biz Whois got me quite a bit more information including names, addresses, telephone numbers etc of the registrant, which I’m sure are all false, but I’ve forwarded it all to the proper authorities and they can handle it from there… I’ll leave it as a surprise for you, if you wish to check it out go HERE and learn!

Remember though there is a disclaimer on the link and it might not be accurate, or correct according to NeuLevel Inc who the Whois query went through…. and of course remember please most likely the information in the Whois entry is false and if probably someone else’s address and contact information…

Well that’s my PSA for the day…

These scammers need to be stopped and be shut down!