I have a new Selecline DECT phone on my landline here. It’s a mass market phone available in one of the bigger supermarkets, Auchan.
I know I have blogged about this general topic before but, as usual, the product came with paperwork which told me all 73,312 EU health and safety tests it had passed, but not how to work the bloody thing.
This morning – bored by now of having just two rings to get to the phone – I went online and Googled the product description. The first place I went to wanted forty quid to download it, the second claimed to have it but then sent me a tablet manual, and the third lot seemed infinitely more efficient. Unfortunately, they were a front for a perfectly legal online company called Optimus. This is a cutting edge virus creator that seeps into your laptop and proceeds to work very hard – allegedly – at discovering how to extract every penny you own.
Optimus is quite happy to be out there as a real company with a real name: but only an expert can detect the filename disguises. An expert virus fixing tool is what I called in this morning: it scanned for over two hours, and found 488 virus threats from seven different ‘producers’…all of whom, it transpires, have registered company names.
Seven months ago I paid a lady here in France to keep all these spies, viruses and malware out of my pcs. I also paid her to uninstall Windows 8.1 on both main machines. She failed in both tasks, but shows no interest whatsoever in either refunding the money, or redoing the job free. Two weeks ago I downloaded a highly-recommended suite of anti-virus stuff. That too failed, and I’m stuck with it. In fact, to run the new expert stuff, I had to delete it.
The expert outfit I used to do the job this time is billed online as ‘highly reputable’. For obvious reasons I won’t name them. They gave me the scare stuff about how I’d be penniless within weeks unless virus threats were removed, and then offered to run a FREE scan. At the end of this, the instructions said ALL I HAD TO DO was press ‘fix threats’ and life would return to normal. It has indeed done so…but of course, it wasn’t free at all. I don’t mind that – I just don’t like being legally lied to.
Here’s how the
blackmail billing process went: I filled in the form on the basis of a price of €29.99, ticking that box which was quite deliberately made to look like the cheapest option. When my details had gone through, I was congratulated upon the fact that €81.88 had been removed from my card. This turned out to be the price for 6 months of cover…viz, €13.65 a month. If you can work out the relationship of that price to the original offer made in this transaction, then I suggest you have a crack at decoding Stonehenge.
So to sum up, this entire saga has been a non-stop process of poor product delivery, refusal to recompense, lies, cheating, false premises – and fraud being left entirely free to flourish on a global scale.
I just want to make a few simple points here to explain why this apparent personal moan is hugely relevant in terms of politics in the Western world, and the amount of diahorrea that will be heaped on the heads of ordinary pc users as long as this ethically bereft economic neoliberal system survives.
BUT CAN I WARN EVERY READER NOW PLEASE THAT:
1.IF ANYONE TELLS ME TO GET A MAC, STOP WHINGEING, OR NEVER USE MICROSOFT OR GOOGLE AGAIN, I WILL BAN THEM FROM THE SITE FOR LIFE. NOT BECAUSE I HAVE ANY DESIRE TO BE CENSORIOUS, BUT BECAUSE I’M NOT INTERESTED IN WRITING FOR FREE EVERY DAY FOR UP THEMSELVES DICKHEADS WHO THINK THEIR CLEVER RUSES AROUND SUCH PROBLEMS ARE THE ANSWER.
2. SUCH RUSES ARE LIKE LETTING MURDER BE LEGALISED ON THE GROUNDS THAT IF YOU LEARN KARATE IT WON’T HAPPEN TO YOU.
3.THERE WILL BE NO APPEALS AGAINST THIS RULING…BECAUSE FRANKLY, IF YOU THINK THAT WAY, THEN THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT SITE FOR YOU.
OK, these are my points:
*Google puts the original company that caused all this mess at No 3 on my Selecline search. The link to Optimas is clear within minutes. Why is Google allowed to own the biggest search engine in the world with such hopeless quality control?
* All seven of these malware companies are registered companies, and among malware/virus protection providers, the links to theft and fraud are well known. Why are they still in business, and why has nobody gone to prison for it?
* It’s pretty obvious that every one of those pointless egos on legs who turned up to mouth Je Suis Charlie last month in Paris couldn’t give a flying f**k about Charlie: but one thing they’d really like to do is ban as many online Charlies as they possibly can….hence cops turning up to UK newsagents last week and asking for a list of those who bought the post-attentat issue. But they appear to have no plans at all to protect innocent and vulnerable people trying to navigate their way through this cross between Sodom, Gomorrah and the Wild West.
This, I would respectfully submit, is a very strong clue about who all these bastards work for.
They’re the same people who want Greece to pay its largely invented debts to hedge fund psychos, and get every market totally deregulated….just like the internet. The same people who refuse to send crooked bankers to jail, and pervert the course of justice to get Newscorp directors off; the same people who conspire with Murdoch to smear the innocent, the same people who tried to give him BSkyB on a plate, the same people who build houses to repay construction donors, the same people who got Wonga off because they are massive Tory contributors; and yes, the same people who managed to turn Levenson from a long-overdue investigation on the vexed subject of press malpractice into a witch-hunt against bloggers.
* Both the Conservative Party and UKip’s leader are fully signed-up neoliberals. They will do nothing at all to stop any of this. The LibDems and Labour aren’t neolibs, but they behave like them: two thirds of the Party were found to be guzzling embezzlers during the expenses scandals. They too will look the other way. Remember that in May this year.
* Grant Shapps made his money in this online cesspit with blatant lies about the efficacy of his worse-than-shit software by impersonating an American multi-millionaire. Grant Shapps is Chairman of the Conservative Party. Remember that on election day.
* To my American friends (and yes, I have many): the only person in Congress showing the grit, guts and girlpower to rid us all of this obscene attitude to “business” is Elizabeth Warren. She still says she won’t run; I suspect she says this because she’s smart, and knows she would disappear without trace. I’ve also seen casually written ‘judgements’ about her in the New York Times writing her off because she couldn’t win…which is not just the Catch 22 verdict of an idiot, it is a terrible indictment of America’s Democratic Party aspirations. Warren is smart because she’d rather have the power to do good than go down in glorious flames. My sincere hope is that American Democrats (and democrats for that matter) will push Conference delegates into a corner from which they cannot escape….and draft her for Vice-President with special powers of financial investigation.
Believe it or not, this is even directly related to what’s going on in Greece. A democratically elected Government enjoying the biggest single popular vote for decades is the victim of endless press, internet, central banking, spook, former DDR Jugendführer, IMF/USA and Opposition dirty tricks in a concerted, disgraceful attempt to have their unelected will prevail.The only thing the two main guys under attack want to do is help the citizens who elected them, and break the stranglehold on economic sanity that fluffy sprouts in Brussels and mad bankers in Frankfurt-am-WallStreet so obviously have.
That kind of crude, gangsteresque behaviour is where the globally mercantilist obsession with money must inevitably lead if it is not stopped – and soon.
Thank you for reading this – and please, do pay heed to the warning above.