An especially convincing Phishing scam

Here’s the email that came to me yesterday:

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  1. Notice that it appears to come from “Paypal.com,”  However, the original sender was 23.249.163.109 (if even that’s not spoofed) which is in Buffalo, NY rather than PayPal’s headquarters which is in California.
  2. Second, the message is an image rather than text. That’s a red flag right there. The images link back to:

These are definitely nothing linked to PayPal. So we know even without any further examination that we are dealing with a phishing scam.

The image itself, if you click on it, will lead you to a long URL which actually contains the email address that their phishing email was sent to. If you click on these links, they know who you are.

http://redirect.paypal.com.0.session…..=MyEmailAddress@comcast.net

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So notice that when you get to the phishing website, they already have your email address. This is what makes the scam more credible – they’re not asking for your PayPal ID, because they are counting on the fact that you use your same email address as your PayPal address, and they already have that.

If you foolishly enter your password, the first thing you’ll see is this bit of misdirection:

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But that’s just a clever bit of misdirection. So you try again, and this is what you get next:

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Which soon passes to:

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And off to the races we go.

REMEMBER: Banks or PayPal or other financial institutions will NEVER ask you to verify information like this via email. All such requests are SCAMS.

When I check out websites like this (don’t try this at home – you could also be picking up a lot of malware if you’re not properly protected), I usually enter really insulting phrases for names, cities, and so forth. It’s a small thing, but it’s really the only way I can get under the skins of these criminals.

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That billing address is nothing I would ever want to repeat in polite company – but notice that the scammers are trying to make their victim think they already have a credit card on file, and you’re just supposed to verify it.

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So again I give them some bogus information that could never be used as a real card or be used to hurt anyone else.

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The last screen will redirect the victim, once they have handed over their sensitive information to thieves, to the real PayPal website. Notice however – nothing else on the page works. All the other links are non-existent.

This scam is well-contrived enough that I fear any number of people will be taken in.

The most important thing to remember is that, as I said before, PayPal will NEVER ask you to give up sensitive financial information like this through an email message.

Be careful out there, and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

From INTERPOL? No, I don’t think so.

Another scam email from Benin. These boys are busy.

Subject: FROM THE DESK OF MR. MICHAEL DEEN International Police Interpol USA

From: INTERPOL POLICE <interpolgeneralofpoliceforce@gmail.com>

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

FROM THE DESK OF MR. MICHAEL DEEN

International Police Interpol USA

Urgent Attn:

OFFICIAL NOTICE: this is to notify you that Series of meetings have been held over the past (1) Week now with the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization United State of America, which ended 2 days ago. It is obvious that you have not received your fund which is now in the amount of $11,000,000.00 USD (Eleven Million United States Dollars) as a compensation award to you, due to past corrupt Governmental Officials who almost held your fund to themselves for their Selfish reasons and some individuals who have taken advantage of your fund all in an attempt to swindle your fund which has led to unnecessary delay in the receipt and so many losses from your end.

The National Central Bureau of Interpol enhanced by the United Nations and Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI USA/ IMF International Police Interpol USA, have successfully finalize to boost the exercise of clearing all foreign debts owed to you who have been found not to have received their Compensation Awards. Now, how would you like to receive your payment? Because we have two Method of payment which is by Check or by ATM card?

ATM Card: We will be issuing you a custom pin based ATM card which you will use to withdraw up to $5000.00 USD (Five Thousand Dollars) Per day from any ATM Machine that has the Master Card Logo on it and the card have to be renewed in 3 years time which is 2017. Also with the ATM card you will be able to transfer your funds to your Local Bank Account. Even if you do not have a Bank Account, the ATM card comes with a Handbook or Manual to Enlighten you about how to use it.

Check: A cashier check will be issued in your name and you will deposit it in your Bank for it to be Cleared within three Working Days. your payment would be sent to you via any of your Preferred Option above and would be Mailed to you Via UPS, because we have Signed a contract with UPS which Should expire (29TH) of March. 2015, You will only need to Pay $41.00 Honestly, I have confirmed that this is the Devil Work after all the Effort you made and thing are becoming so more Difficult well, I must confess that you have tried so much because it is not easy I know how much you have send in other to get this done please, do some thing over this to avoid Had I know because, the United State of America Government USA, will come into this Matter very soon and your Compensation Funds will be Transfer into the United State of America Government Account.

Take note that you will have to Stop Communication with every Other person if you have been in contact with any. Also remember that all you will ever have to spend is $41 Dollars nothing more! Nothing less! And we Guarantee the receipt of your fund to be successfully delivered to you within the next 48hrs after confirmation receipt of UPS fee of $41 Dollars). Note: Everything has been taken care of, including Taxes, Custom Paper and Clearance Duty. So, all you will ever need to pay is $41 Dollars.

secondly, you should know that Argument or delay can not do any thing or solve this problem if you can not find solution to solve this matter by trying your possible best for the final conclusion of this Transaction and send only $41.00 Right Away it means that i have no Other Option than to make down my Report. Note that you have been advice to urgently proceed to the Western Union or Money Gram and send the only required fee of $41 Dollars to our Branch payment Receiver Agent EMMA OBADI, COTONOU /BENIN, and get back to us with the MTCN.

RECEIVERS NAME: EMMA OBADI
COUNTRY/CITY: COTONOU / BENIN
AMOUNT TO SEND $41.00 DOLLARS ONLY.
TEXT QUESTION: IN GOD
ANSWER: WE ALWAYS TRUST
M.T.C#……..

Kindly get back to us as well with the MTCN and also be advice to reconfirm your full Delivery Address to avoid any Wrong Delivery of package. Apply Your Claims Promptly: For immediate release of your fund valued at $11,000,000.00 USD (Eleven Million United States Dollars) to you, you should contact our correspondent.

Your Full Name:________________________________
Your House Address:_________________________
Home/Cell/Phone Number:___________________
Choose ONE Preferable Payment Method (Visa ATM Card OR Cashier Check):_____________

Your package will be sent to you within 2 working Days upon confirmation receipt of UPS fee of $41.00 Dollars. We are so sure of everything and we are giving you a 100% Money back Guarantee if you do not Receive payment/package within the next 48hrs after you have made the payment for Shipping.

Thanks and God Bless You

Regards

MICHAEL DEEN
Chief Investigation Unit Department
International Police Interpol USA

  • You can safely ignore any email addressed to “undisclosed recipients.” It’s not to you. It’s a mass-mailing
  • INTERPOL will never contact you from Benin. There’s ample evidence that people from Nigeria and Benin have been collaborating with these scams for over a decade.
  • NEVER send money to strangers anywhere, in Africa or the US or anywhere else, via Western Union, MoneyGram, or Green Dot Money Pak Card. Ever. Just don’t.

Be careful out there and protect your loved ones.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

What do languages *sound like*?

Having occupied myself with languages for most of my life, both professionally and by avocation, I’ve had the chance to learn a handful, encounter many, and speak with people about them all over the world.

Every now and then a discussion crops up about this or that language being attractive, another language being harsh and unattractive. Dutch and German particularly tend often to fall on the cacophonous side.

I think German in particular gets a bad rap for sounding rough and bellicose because of the actions and people it was associated with during the last century. I’m convinced that the relative sound of a language is entirely dependent on what we’re used to. You want harsh? Listen to a Poujadiste screaming at a tax collector. There are sounds in Arabic that make German sound positively musical. As for German, have a listen to Mozart’s “Ruhe Sanft” aria, and you’ll hear true beauty.

On the other hand, even as early as the 1500’s Emperor Charles V may have codified the sound of certain languages (I say “may have,” because the only source is secondary – Girolamo Fabrizi d’Acquapendente’s 1601 “De Locutione”):

Latin:
Unde solebat, ut audio, Carolus V Imperator dicere, Germanorum linguam esse militarem: Hispanorum amatoriam: Italorum oratoriam: Gallorum nobilem. Alius vero, qui Germanus erat, retulit, eundem Carolum Quintum dicere aliquando solitum esse; Si loqui cum Deo oporteret, se Hispanice locuturum, quod lingua Hispanorum gravitatem maiestatemque prae se ferat; si cum amicis, Italice, quod Italorum dialectus familiaris sit; si cui blandiendum esset, Gallice, quod illorum lingua nihil blandius; si cui minandum aut asperius loquendum, Germanice, quod tota eorum lingua minax, aspera sit ac vehemens.

English:
“When Emperor Charles V used to say, as I hear, that the language of the Germans was military; that of the Spaniards pertained to love; that of the Italians was oratorical; that of the French was noble. Indeed another, who was German, related that the same Charles V sometimes used to say: if it was necessary to talk with God, that he would talk in Spanish, which language suggests itself for the graveness and majesty of the Spaniards; if with friends, in Italian, for the dialect of the Italians was one of familiarity; if to caress someone, in French, for no language is tenderer than theirs; if to threaten someone or to speak harshly to them, in German, for their entire language is threatening, rough and vehement.”

These sources distilled themselves over time into the shorter, but misattributed quote, “I speak Spanish to God, Italian to Women, French to Men, and German to my Horse.”

It must be remembered that these characterizations were being supposedly made from the point of view of a native Spanish speaker.

Is it possible that some languages sound harsh because of certain intrinsic linguistic qualities? Not only possible, it’s documented. I first heard the “Bouba/Kiki” Effect in 1978 when it was presented at a linguistics conference by Adam Makkai, although he used the 1946 variants of “Maluma” and “Takete”.

250px-Booba-Kiki.svg

When shown these two figures and asked to identify which one is “maluma” and which one is “takete” – and the words are presented in such a way as to avoid immediate association of one word with one figure – 88% of normally-developing individuals will associate the jagged shape with “takete” and the softer shape as “maluma.” (people on the autistic spectrum only 56% for some reason.) From these experiments it is evident that some linguistic sounds (typically stops, gutterals, affricates, and back vowels) are considered “harder” and others (liquids, glides, and front vowels) are considered “softer.”

Have a look at Tolkien’s linguistic creations:

Elvish:

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
Yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!

Black speech:

Ash nazg durbatulûk,
ash nazg gimbatul
ash nazg thrakatulûk
agh burzum-ishi krimpatul.

You need have no understanding of these synthetic languages whatsoever to imagine that the speakers of the first one might live in a world of softness and light.

cate-blanchett-elf-queen-006

The other? “Ashes and dust and thirst there is, and pits, pits, pits.”

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So there is justification for considering languages that use these kinds of sounds as being harsh and angular in feel, but when we are raised with a language, these considerations tend to become less important, or not important at all; those who do not concern themselves with literature, song, or poetry generally do not think about what their own language sounds like. And where there exist linguistic theories that the language we speak molds our world view and hence our personalities, there are no socio-linguistic absolutes: I know some really unpleasant French speakers, and some truly lovely Dutchmen.

Today I saw the question, “What does English sound like to people who don’t speak it?” The best representation I’ve seen of that is a delightful video by Adriano Celetano – “Prisencolinensinainciusol.”

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Why *do* we need another Cinderella?

I mean, there are so many. The Disney animated version, “The Slipper and the Rose,” “Ever After”, “Ella Enchanted”, at last count eight other movies just called “Cinderella,” and a host of others.

Disney-Princess-Wallpapers-Princess-Cinderella-disney-princess-32235585-5000-2813

richard-chamberlain-and-gemma-craven-in-the-slipper-and-the-rose

aLySEmo1JwnByQNZ7AiLsnoILJO

ever-after-original

Each one of those that I mention had its strong points and approached the story from a different angle. I was particularly fond of “Ever After” for a number of reasons, not the least of which was watching the evil stepmother get what was truly coming to her. Not that I’m really into Schadenfreude, but in this life there are and must necessarily be consequences of action – it was satisfying to see a bit of karma at work there.

So why did Disney bother to do another one?

disney_cinderella_2015-wide

Because it was absolutely magical, that’s why – and in the end analysis, despite the fact that I suspect Walt would not approve of many of the things his beloved company has done over the years, nobody does magic better than Disney.

The performances carried the movie along with nothing to detract from the miracle. Some of the characters were weaker than others, but Helena Bonham Carter, Cate Blanchett, and Lily James were brilliant. Wonderfully brilliant. We’re now technologically to the point that the effects were seamless and delightful.

And lastly, the message of the film is one that the world desperately needs.

“Be brave, and be kind.”

How much needless suffering and judgment would be done away if we could all live in a world where those two virtues were assiduously cultivated? To break the walls of fantasy and return to the real world for a moment, that’s exactly the message that one finds in Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. Other human beings can take away from you everything you have – your clothes, your home, your food, your very life – but if we retain our bravery and our kindness, then no one can steal our humanity. Living in the poorest circumstances is not, in the end, an excuse for cruelty or parsimony or cowardice.

I left the theatre today with a heart full of gratitude that there are those in the world who are willing to put messages like this into the public stream of consciousness. Sure, they did it to make money, but that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. I want desperately to live in, and work for, a world where kindness and beauty and bravery and goodness are the rule rather than the exception.

Cary Elwes was the perfect Westley, Robin Wright the perfect buttercup. The Princess Bride should never be defiled with a remake. In my book, Cinderella has reached a zenith with this production, and needs never more to be tampered with.

Overall rating – ten out of ten stars.

10Stars

Cinderella-2015-cinderella-2015-37349615-245-323

Dang, those slippers, though.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Well yeah, why *can’t* public transit be free?

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Of course, it comes down to economics. But I’m reminded of a couple of stories.

A corporation needs a new accountant, and the VP of HR does the interviewing. In comes the first candidate.
“How much is two plus two?”
“What is this, a joke? I don’t need to work with simpletons!” And the first candidate walks out.
In comes the second candidate.
“How much is two plus two?”
“Well, four of course.”
“Thank you for your time, we’ll be in touch.”
In comes the third candidate.
“How much is two plus two?”
“How much would you like it to be?”
“You’re hired.”

Second was the delightful scene in the film “Dave” with Bill Pullman where a presidential stand-in rewrites the budget with the help of an accountant buddy of his to save a previously-vetoed homeless shelter that the (real) First Lady was supporting.

Now, that’s fiction – but you can’t tell me that if a room full of people of good will sat down with our national budget and cut out the fat and the folly and the inhumane bulldust, you couldn’t fund all sorts of useful and needful infrastructure and social programs like transportation and education. I simply refuse to believe it. The money is there, it’s just that so much of it is being redirected toward pork and waste and death and destruction, and the good will isn’t, because everyone wants to belly up to the public trough.

I got thinking about this today because of a recent article at the BBC reporting on a three-day free transit window in Paris (to reduce pollution), and one at The Atlantic which asks and explores the issue of free public trasnsporation.

When I was at the University of Utah in 1974, I began my experience as a freelance translator, and one of the pro-bono jobs I did was translating certain documents from Italian in to English for the benefit of Utah State Representative Sam Taylor regarding a free transit experiment in Rome. His obituary from the year 2000 illustrates that he was a controversial figure; in retrospect, I’m not sure if Representative Taylor was actually for or against the idea of free transit.

In 1970, Mr. Taylor was elected to the Utah House of Representatives, where he served until 1986. In 1973, he passed the Transit Act, which created the Utah Transit Authority.

Mr. Taylor would later become a UTA critic. In a 1995 letter to the editor printed in the Deseret News, Mr. Taylor lamented that too much tax money was being used for mass transit. He referred to the yet-to-be constructed light-rail system from Sandy to Salt Lake as “political boondoggle.”

In 1993, Mr. Taylor was appointed to the transit authority’s board and served two terms. He was often the sole voice of dissent on UTA board decisions and in 1995, while a board member, he filed a lawsuit against UTA to try to stop construction of Salt Lake County light rail.

Mr. Taylor was recognized in 1997 by the Amalgamated Transit Union and the AFL-CIO for “leadership and untiring support for the men and women who make UTA go.” Mr. Taylor left his position on the transit board last year.

The article below from the Deseret News is published from the Utah Transit Authority’s slant, but it does point out that Sam was an activist who was looking out for the rider rather than the corporation (click the image to read in full size).

Taylor

Well, Light Rail and later the FrontRunner heavy rail system ultimately went through and continues to be expanded. It was needful and remains useful, but the UTA still struggles to increase ridership. From my extensive travels in Europe, I can tell you that a good and reliable mass transit system is a huge blessing for people from all economic strata. But here in America, where people are wedded to their cars, it’s constantly an uphill battle.

That experiment in Rome? Well, it didn’t work out so positively, but I give them props for trying.

The earliest urban experiment in free public transit took place in Rome in the early 1970s. The city, plagued by unbearable traffic congestion, tried making its public buses free. At first, many passengers were confused: “There must be a trick,” a 62-year-old Roman carpenter told The New York Times as he boarded one bus. Then riders grew irritable. One “woman commuter” predicted that “swarms of kids and mixed-up people will ride around all day just because it doesn’t cost anything.” Romans couldn’t be bothered to ditch their cars—the buses were only half-full during the mid-day rush hour, “when hundreds of thousands battle their way home for a plate of spaghetti.” Six months after the failed, costly experiment, a cash-strapped Rome reinstated its fare system.

If public transit is to succeed, it must be both convenient and affordable. A monthly pass which includes Trax and buses in Salt Lake runs $83.00, with 50% reduction for seniors and the disabled. Add another $100 (or $50) if you want to use the FrontRunner heavy rail. That’s not overly burdensome for the average wage earner, but the main problem in this area is that it’s not convenient if you don’t live near a bus line, and getting from one place to another can double your commute time as opposed to driving. mostly due to the time getting to a bus stop and the wait for transfers.

In the end, I am left wondering what the effect would be if public transit were free altogether, always. I’m not offering any suggestions on how to fund this, just wondering what the overall impact would be. In the meantime, follow this link to see how your city’s public transit system stacks up.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

If they’re willing to spam you, think twice. No, think three times.

Spam is one of the plagues of the 21st century. Despite feeble efforts of government regulatory bodies (think CAN-SPAM act, which resulted in an increase of spam), spammers continue their tactics. In the second quarter of 2013, per Kaspersky, spam comprised 70.7% of all email sent globally.

All you have to do is look at the kind of things caught by your spam filters to get an idea of the reputability of companies who are willing to spam you – porn, get-rich-quick offers, penis/breast enlargement, Canadian pharmacies (typically run by
Russian crime syndicates), diploma mills, real-estate swindles, wrinkle creams, hair-regrowers, insurance fraud, worthless supplements, cable/satellite/internet/TV scams, weight loss “miracle pills,”… the list goes on and on.

The trouble is – spam is profitable. People answer ads, buy products that they don’t need and that don’t work, and spammers make money.

Granny-Grandma-Internet-old-people

But there’s a reason that spam is also called “junk email” – and that’s because almost everything offered to you by spammers is just that – junk. It’s worthless, and probably worse than worthless – it could end up costing you lots of money and frustration. You would think this goes without saying, but obviously it doesn’t.

Let’s look at an example, arrived freshly steaming in my junk folder today:

CHW

First off, the mail consists of an image, which makes it hard for spam filters to tag it. Anyone who works hard to defeat built-in and ISP protections against spam probably has the ethics of a honey badger.

This particular ad touts a “home warranty service,” which is really nothing more than a pre-paid service contract on home appliances and infrastructure. But what does the Better Business Bureau have to say about CHW?

Government Actions

New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Complaint
Date of Action: 7/28/2014
The following describes a pending government action that has been formally brought by a government agency but has not yet been resolved. We are providing a summary of the governments allegations, which have not yet been proven.

On July 28, 2014, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs filed a Complaint in Superior Court in Middlesex County against CHW Group, Inc., d/b/a “Choice Home Warranty,” an Edison-based company that allegedly induced consumers to buy “comprehensive” coverage for crucial home systems and appliances, and then denied consumers’ claims for repair or replacement through the use of deceptive tactics. As a result, consumers who paid hundreds of dollars for CHW’s “home warranties” – which are actually residential service contracts – were forced to pay out-of-pocket for air conditioning, refrigerator, or other repairs that allegedly should have been covered under their “warranties” with CHW.

As set forth in the State’s complaint, filed by the Division of Law on behalf of the Division of Consumer Affairs:

CHW and its principals often denied claims based on consumers’ supposed failure to properly maintain their covered home systems or appliances. The defendants also often denied claims based on supposed pre-existing defects. The company denied claims even when technicians declared that the covered home systems or appliances had been properly maintained, and/or had failed for reasons not related to poor maintenance or pre-existing problems.

As a way of denying claims, the defendants on many occasions demanded that the consumers provide years’ worth of records to prove they performed regular maintenance on the covered items. These denials were issued despite the fact that CHW’s residential service contract does not state that the company can demand maintenance records from consumers.

Additionally, when consumers requested specific explanations for their denial of claims in writing, CHW on many occasions failed or refused to provide written explanations.

CHW also promised consumers that if covered items could not be repaired, the company would replace them. However, when consumers needed to replace covered items, the company often required consumers to accept cash “buy-outs.” These “buy-outs” were hundreds of dollars less than the consumers’ cost to replace the items.

CHW also repeatedly failed to deliver on its promises for prompt service. In several cases this was because the company failed to pay its contracted technicians.

CHW’s residential service contract states that, upon receiving a request for service, the company will contact a local technician within two days during normal business hours and four days on weekends and holidays. However, CHW did not have contracted technicians in some areas. Consumers in those areas had to find their own technicians, then pay the technicians directly and seek reimbursement from CHW. On other occasions, contractors sent to consumers’ homes by CHW turned out to be unlicensed and/or uninsured.

The State’s Complaint ultimately requests that the Court, among other things, find that the defendants violated the Consumer Fraud Act and Advertising Regulations; order defendants to pay consumer restitution; declare CHW’s residential service contracts with consumers to be null and void; and impose civil penalties.

For more details go to:
http://nj.gov/oag/newsreleases14/pr20140728a.html

In response to these charges, the business provided the following statement:

“We are disappointed that the State has chosen to file this lawsuit. We unequivocally dispute the allegations, intend to vigorously defend against them, and are confident that we will ultimately prevail. Choice Home Warranty has fielded thousands of warranty claims from our customers, resulting in claims payments of tens of millions of dollars. In fact, many of the complaints referred to by the Attorney General’s office, were resolved long ago, to the satisfaction of the consumer.”

This particular suit is ongoing, and allegations have not been proven… but the number of complaints, roughly 300 per year, is probably a pretty good indication that not all is well. I return again to the simple fact that this company is willing to advertise via spam, always a huge red flag in my book.

Have a look at a gripe posted at complaintsboard.com on 3/20/15, yesterday as of this writing:

Every time I called, they sent someone out. I paid the $45, only to find out a repair wasn’t covered. Then, my washing machine was acting up. Replacing the mother boards was more than what the machine was worth. They opted to send me a check for $300. That was a month ago – currently, no check. I then had another claim, and again, it wasn’t covered. So I told them that since they don’t cover items for my home, I wanted to cancel. I received a call last week stating that since I cancelled, they wouldn’t send the $300 check. I told that person that I filed the Washing Machine claim over a month ago, and that check should have already been issued and mailed. He hung up on me. So, I have been emailing CHW about the status of my account and check and received nothing. Then, just now, I called CHW customer service and asked who the President and CEO is, and they put me on hold and never came back on the phone. I want to file a formal complaint. Make sure to have my account closed and have that $300 check which I am entitled to. Horrible, horrible bait and switch and God awful Customer Service.

Here’s one from Ripoff Report:

Our A/C compressor stopped working. It is 17 years old (we bought the home less than 6 months ago) and choice thinks it should last 18 years. They call it “premature failure” which is not due to normal wear and tear, so they denied the claim. They advertise that they will cover your appliances no matter how old. Don’t believe it! Their exclusions are general enough that they can deny any claim.

So you pay to sign up, you pay $45.00 for a service call, and often you are told that the repair isn’t covered… this echoes the kind of allegations leveled by the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. And when you try to get a complaint resolved and get the kind of “customer service” related above, you know you are dealing with a company that doesn’t give a rat’s south-40.

Before you even consider dealing with a company that spams you, no matter how appealing the offer may look, do some research.

In the interest of full disclosure, and the Internet being what it is, the presence of a complaint anywhere does not guarantee that a company is malfeasant or dishonest. But as you are doing your research, look for patterns. If there seems to be an abundance of complaints across multiple sites, you might want to look elsewhere. Also, the BBB is in business to make money, and companies can purchase accreditation with them, so being accredited with the BBB is also not a guarantee of ethicality.

As always, please watch over your loved ones – especially the elderly and vulnerable. Educate them to stay away from spam offers if they have access to email.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Gender Bias in the Workplace – an evolving Metastudy

I’m sharing this because it needs to be shared. (The link to the relevant article is at the end.)

  • It’s intriguing and well-considered, and does its best to bring all variables under one umbrella
  • It makes nothing cast-in concrete, but rather presents a wide range of data, reaches certain conclusions, and keeps the door wide open for future modifications based on future data.
  • It shows that feminists today are both brilliantly right and stubbornly wrong, and suggests an alternative course of action for crossing the finish line.
  • It leaves out one glaring variable, although this is probably an oversight because it’s assumed to be obvious: This data is relevant only for America, and other countries’ mileage may vary – although similar meta-studies could be done by interested parties.
  • And, it’s by Scott Adams, the author of “Dilbert” – someone who is not a social scientist, but a man who seems keenly interested, at his core, in a world of fairness that works for everyone.

Here, from my own perspective, is the TL;DR for the entire post (but I highly recommend reading and considering the whole thing):

Feminism currently sends this message to young girls: The world is full of gender bias and male privilege. If you are born a woman, you are a second-class citizen. Adult women are failing to achieve equal pay with men.

Compare that to a message that is just as consistent with the available data but to me sounds more positive: Despite thousands of years of gender bias, women are succeeding in every field that interests them. The gender pay gap has shrunk to the point where we can not identify gender bias as a cause. You are all winners. And all paths are open.

Feminists, I think it is time to take a bow. You won. And the world is a far better place for your efforts. I think I can speak for all men who have mothers, sisters, female friends, female spouses, and female lovers when I say, “Thank you.”

But I also say maybe it is time to stop fighting the last war and adjust your strategy to reflect the reality in 2015.

Adams’ presentation is lay in nature but very unbiased in spirit. His conclusions and the presentation of the data used (summarized at the end of his article, by category) are out there for anyone to review and consider. He has attempted to consider all possible variables, and admits that there are many he hasn’t even touched. And everything he says strikes me as being supremely rational.

There will be feminists out there who snort derisively and dismiss this study because they are convinced that all men are worthless, evil piles of camel ejecta who must be punished, punished, punished! for centuries of patriarchal oppression. These do no good for themselves or for a push toward human equality, and can be safely dismissed.

There will be scientists out there who snort derisively and dismiss this study because it was done by someone unqualified – such is the bane of the ivory tower. Let them do their own studies and come up with something better. That’s how science – even social science – is supposed to work. But I tell you this – I’ve never seen a more honest attempt to be comprehensive and complete and fair.

☛ Now, go and read. ☚

The Old Wolf has spoken.