Steve’s Views Rotating Header Image

Google Suggests Reporting Their Charges as Fraud

In short I tried to cancel a commercial app service for my business but they claim unable to do so.

We had an account with Google which provided a few apps for us. Then that same functionality was moved in house and the use dropped to zero. The account sat there for about two years collecting the monthly charge with no use.

At one point I decided to cancel the service, which is when it got interesting. First I screwed up on how I canceled the service and in effect only killed the admin account. Then forgot about the whole thing while busy with some new and exciting things. After a while I did notice that the charge was still coming through from Google so I attempted to have them close it.

However they told me that the only way I could stop them from taking my money each month would be to login as that admin. Problem is I have a lot of different accounts and that one was cleaned up and deleted, a long time ago. There’s no way for me to recover that information.

However Google obviously have records of transactions and should be able to ask questions that would verify my identity and then stop taking my money for the service I don’t use. Not so, even after escalation to a supervisor, they still said they could not cancel the service.

Google does have a pretty good security record and maybe they only allow a very select few access to data that could authenticate me. But the idea that a company could not stop putting through a charge for a service I’m not using is, let’s be nice and call it odd.

In the end I was told to go to my bank and tell them the charges are fraudulent so the bank would no longer pay Google. That is supposed to lead to the account being suspended and stop the charges. Of course once I told the bank they simply don’t accept the charge anymore, solving my problem. I found the whole thing is pretty unusual. There must be a ton of people that made the same mistake and could not get out of it in a simpler way.

Ideal Gender Equality

I see a lot of attempts to have more females in computer technologies such as programming.

I hold a firm view that whoever does the job they should be equally paid. To me that does not mean I expect to see a drive to get more females in what are traditionally more dangerous jobs or physically tough.

Why? We are not built the same. We don’t have the same basic drives, which is a good thing! The genetic build shows that males are more densely made, look at the muscle mass. Makes us better at handling cold weather for example. Carrying heavy things etc.

Females are typically more interested in things that provides a stable environment for rearing children. While males are more interested in, well getting into trouble. From an early age we throw our bodies around and brag about who beat it up the most.

Obviously it’s a generalization but the point is the game of life clearly has different designs for the two sexes. My observation has been that women are better at having order inside but are poor at external directions and males the opposite.

The most important job anyone can have is rearing our children to become able and responsible adults. That responsibility is to create a good home and females usually does a better job of it. Males provide the energy (money for example) and raw material to build the physical structure.

Now why is it important to have more women in various jobs, does it make them more equally worth? No, they are already probably more valuable than men. But the idea that males bring home the money so it belongs to them is a bunch of single minded bull!

For those of you who live together, but don’t share everything – something is out. One or both of you are only thinking of self. Once you got together and became a couple you need to work and act as one. One spouse does something bad like driving into the fence, you then don’t yell at that person but simply get the fence fixed, acting as it was you who did it, because it was. Remember, you are One. If backing into the fence continues then help practicing backing up.

The joy of going to a workplace and performing a job is valuable and key, but if you raise a family you’d better make sure your offspring are properly cared for. Which means sitting down and do your financial planning together. Work as the team you supposedly are and stop putting self first. In the long run you will be a lot happier.

Life requires a stable base to operate from. When the base is unshakable you can really create success. Actions with long term pro-survival effects are those most valuable.

Then the “equality” of the work space might solve itself.

WorldVentures ventures where the world should not go

Today I ran into an interesting article by Ken White, an attorney who often blogs on legal thuggery, as he calls it. The blog is called Popehat. As he puts it:

It’s time for the Popehat Signal — the call for pro bono assistance for a blogger threatened with frivolous and censorious litigation. This time the victim in need of help is Stephanie Yoder of She needs your help to face a thoroughly bogus and repugnant threat by multi-level marketing scheme “WorldVentures.”


My thought is that it’s quote possibly attorneys like the ones used by WorldMisadventures who gives attorneys a bad name. One likes think that an officer of the court would be a person of strong integrity, but of course that’s not always the case.

Though it surprises me each time I see a person who managed to get through the bar exam and then operates as if he thought he could not do an honest day’s work by doing this kind of, in my eyes, despicable work. I’ve been a student of life for many decades. I know that people who fester on other’s weaknesses have their own skeletons in their closets. It’s those past transgressions which bears down on an individual and makes them cry out for help by hoping someone will handle what they are not able to handle. Namely themselves.

Mess After Duke Energy Fixed Downed Wires

Of little interest to anyone but me and my neighbors was how electricity was cut on Thursday around midnight. A cracking sound not unlike a transformer failure was followed by the light and sound of nothing as all things electrical went dead.

When the outside temperature has dropped to around 45 degrees (F) it is not an optimum time to be without electricity. 🙂 My neighbors and I each called in and were all told nobody had reported any issues and that each one of us were the first to do so.

Around 5 am I was awoken by the sound of a chainsaw and went to investigate. The crew had shown up and were shining lights up my neighbor’s tree trunk to where the top part of it was hanging on the electrical cables.

Someplace around 8 am on Friday morning the first crew had cut down the trunk hanging on the cables and been replaced by a new crew who in turn had replaced the wires between the poles. Electricity was back on.

Seven days later I’m wondering why I’m left with my neighbor’s tree trunks on my lawn. Is there a third crew who are supposed to come by and clean up after the first, or did they just leave it for me?

I can understand how their messaging system reported first-to-call to each of us, which is not really a problem. But why did not somebody leave a simple message on my door explaining what’s going on? Why is the trunk and all the branches off it still on my lawn?

It was a windy night but not any worse than not being able to tear away my pool tarp. Plus the tree is looks to be in pretty poor condition. I can’t imagine there being so many other emergencies that they could not clean up after themselves. And even so leaving a message would have been good manners. Something like “Sorry we have not picked up everything but we’ll return on such and such a date.”

This is not the first time I’ve been faced with this from Duke Energy. Last time they came out and decided to work off my lawn I had to run down a foreman to get them to come back onto my backyard and clean up.

I find that for Duke Energy to be so sloppy is plenty reason to complain as they are far to experienced to be so unprofessional.

They eventually came out and said that the “brush is due to non-preventative tree failure. Duke will not pick up.”

The fact that Duke brought my neighbors tree onto my lawn and then left it is poor to say the least.

Interestingly they also say that “All pruning is conducted with consideration for the health of the tree while allowing for proper electrical line clearance.” and “Our pruning program adopts the latest standards of the American National Standards Institute and pruning recommendations of the National Arborist Association.”

Looking at the damage they left I cannot imagine how ANSI and NAA have such poor standards as to leave this gaping wound:


Again this is moot since it was Duke that dragged the trunk onto my property. If it had simply fallen straight down it would have landed either in the right of way or my neighbor’s side. Which is the whole contention here. I let them in to access the tree from my property thinking they would act responsibly

We have joined the two domains and and made it the primary site for OSDial with a new interface. This is part of the overhaul of OSDial and focus on the brand name OSDial represents.

This will place all resources on the same web site including some new capabilities that will make it easier to track both development as well as support issues.

You are always welcome to give us your thoughts and considerations, which is available under Feedback at See you there!

How To Give Away Your Bank Accounts To Criminals

Sherri Davidoff, Author of “Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace” has documented a real life example of someone giving away all their credentials which means someone else now have the same access to your identity and subsequently, money, that you have.

It is a very effective demonstration of what not to do, share it with others!

And not necessarily very hard to protect yourself from. The best is of course to never accept and use links in emails, IM, etc. Which can be hard when you think it is from your friend or family member, or in the above case, your bank.

A safer method would be to use a LiveCD (a CD which you boot and run programs from) which does not have the ability to be altered. Which means each time you boot it – it is completely untouched by any virus. But it means booting into it each time you want to visit your bank, or other sensitive websites.

Joanna Rutkowska is a Polish security researcher who released a modified Operating System called Qubes OS which I think is a great compromise, and the best I have seen. It accomplishes that by setting up virtual environments in a particularly nifty way. First the whole O/S have been modified to be hard to break into, then it uses dedicated virtual computers for each sensitive website (all according to your preference).

I created one environment for each bank, Paypal etc. Then I ONLY visited that one website using that virtual environment. In other words if you have Paypal you would use the Paypal virtual environment to only visit Paypal. And so on.

Now it requires that the banks website gets infected with the malware needed to infect my virtual computer but only for that bank. Not for any other. It is also particularly easy to fix. Remove it and add a new one.

Another virtual environment is used for casual browsing. Another for business, email etc.

This means an infected email cannot corrupt your other environments and you have a very effective tool against online malware.

Security is about balancing security and work-ability. Too secure and nothing can get done. Too easy and you’ve given easy access for criminals. You need to strike a balance. It took very little to get used to and is about the safest and best balance I’ve seen anywhere.

As you can see at the bottom of the above article LMG Security offers workshops and her book is a very good read.

Make the extra effort to be security aware and avoid being a victim while at the same time not being the tool used to wreck someone else’s life.

OSDial 3.0 Released!

Call Center Service Group has released the much awaited upgrade!
OSDial has been taken to a new level with all the functionality of a big dialer; featuring Asterisk 11, a freshly updated interface, mouse-over help, etc, etc.

From the Feature page: “Our aim with 3.0 was to make OSDial easier and friendlier to use than ever before.” If I do say so myself this is a great release which will raise the bar.

With seamless upgrades and a new all time high capacity of calls – this is the dialer to beat!

Step over to and find out for yourself!

Men, Freedom and Happiness

Growing up and seeing different social, political and geographical environments, never mind travelling all over, have been a great learning experience. For a young boy the world can be a huge adventure waiting for him to conquer it.

In my case I grew a certain moral aptitude and ineptness at the same time. Maybe it’s a normal thing with youth to feel superior to the foolish older generation, whom I felt were responsible for all the wrongs not yet resolved. Which, much to my surprise, few really seemed to care about. Maybe because they appeared stagnated due to no longer reaching to right the world, or whatnot. For me that brought the urge to go out and face the unknown and improve conditions.

Time does offer the opportunity to see the errors of ones way, if one is willing to look, and see the steadfast viewpoint which in the long run turned out not to be pro-survival. And if one, like me, had grown up with the certainty that I was mostly right in my decisions, I could easily afford seeing when I was wrong and adopt a new view.

In my mind the greatest lesson have been realizing that we are all here together on this small planet and most of us want to do right but sometimes lack the proper know how. We all have, at least at some point, dreams we wish to fulfill. One of them is to right the wrongs in the world.

The methods of how to go about righting the wrongs of the world varies drastically. For some individuals it means ample use of force. As in genocide, or just making others know how powerful you are by placing as many barriers for others as is possible.

For some it means suppressing the views of others as they might bring change, not caring what change it is, just to ensure no change is approaching. The fear of facing the unknown is just too much in a world where you are mostly a victim.

Regardless of what we dream of, big or small, we have this dream of pursuing what makes us happy. It just should not be at the expense of others. Yet how do we accomplish our goals in a world where others dream of the opposite?

I found some basic ideas that serve me well:

  • Do not create an effect on others that you are not willing to experience yourself
  • Take actions that help as many as possible and hurt as few as possible
  • Consider the effects of your action into the future
  • Be responsible for your immediate environment, which is limited to what you feel is Your environment

The latter part about responsibility I know is a no-no. The R word is a huge mistake and should be removed. But the fact of the matter is that one is actually only as successful as one assumes responsibility. And the success only lasts as long as it is helping as many as possible and hurt as few as possible.

Responsibility means that one does not wait for that unknown person to set things right, one does it simply because one knows about it, or suspects it and investigates and acts accordingly.

There seldom is someone else who will correct the thing you see wrong in life. If I’ve learned one thing in life that is that most wrong things are wrong because of that assumption. Oh, I know! It’s not always pleasant, in fact it can be a huge interruption to your lifestyle!

But that’s no valid excuse to let things stay wrong! Get off your butt and do something about it!

Oh, once you start putting in order in your environment the first thing that will happen is that all those things which run counter to your order will make themselves known. Screaming and crying, those who oppose order will complain. Often loudly!

That then is a good sign that you are putting in order. Because if there is no noise after a while, you are not putting in much order.

Whatever you do, don’t stop, simply continue putting in order and sooner or later you will see how things calm down.

When you put in that order make sure you consider what is helping as many as possible and stopping as few as possible.

The best decisions comes from a mind that is at great peace. One filled with compassion for his fellow man. A man at war is not compassionate, or he’s a fool thinking that violence solves anything. It never has. Education is the greatest tool ever to walk this earth. Always be of a mindset to learn every day. Allocate time to learn about your fellow man. Discover the real why someone is fiercely disagreeing or opposes you.

In all of that discover who you really are and be true to yourself, and you will find that personal freedom and happiness is possible.

The right to work and school shootings

What I find interesting is that in ancient Rome a child between 12 and 14 would get some sort of position that they could hold and in effect were made part of society as an active contributor. What is more interesting is that they did not have any juvenile delinquency.

If you look back, or look at a young person, they are quite able at that age. Now we have labor laws that forbid the same young person from holding a position. You apprenticed under someone. Today you are not allowed to partake in society even though you are quite able to. What’s a person to do who is not allowed to be part of the group? They create their own group with their own ideas, which often becomes a nuisance or menace to themselves and others.

To top it off, we have psychotropic drugs being handed out as some sort of solution to this inhibition placed on young people. And normal symptoms from restlessness and desire to create and produce is now considered a mental disease and treated with psychotropic drugs that carry black label warnings because it makes people suicidal.

The same drugs that are found in more than a dozen of the school shooters…

Behind Most School Shootings

What have 12 school shooters going back to 1998 have in common?
They Were Under The Influence Of Psychiatric Drugs!


Wounded: 109
Dead: 57

1. Kauhajoki, Finland — September 23, 2008: 22-year-old culinary student Matti Saari shot and killed 9 students and a teacher, and wounded another student, before killing himself. Saari was taking an SSRI and a benzodiazapine.

2. Dekalb, Illinois — February 14, 2008: 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak shot and killed five people and wounded 21 others before killing himself in a Northern Illinois University auditorium.

According to his girlfriend, he had recently been taking Prozac, Xanax and Ambien. Toxicology results showed that he still had trace amount of Xanax in his system.

3. Jokela, Finland — November 7, 2007: 18-year-old Finnish gunman Pekka-Eric Auvinen had been taking antidepressants before he killed eight people and wounded a dozen more at Jokela High School in southern Finland, then committed suicide.

4. Cleveland, Ohio — October 10, 2007: 14-year-old Asa Coon stormed through his school with a gun in each hand, shooting and wounding four before taking his own life. Court records show Coon had been placed on the antidepressant Trazodone.

5. Red Lake, Minnesota — March 2005: 16-year-old Jeff Weise, on Prozac, shot and killed his grandparents, then went to his school on the Red Lake Indian Reservation where he shot dead 7 students and a teacher, and wounded 7 before killing himself.

6. Greenbush, New York — February 2004: 16-year-old Jon Romano strolled into his high school in east Greenbush and opened fire with a shotgun. Special education teacher Michael Bennett was hit in the leg. Romano had been taking “medication for depression”.

7. El Cajon, California — March 22, 2001: 18-year-old Jason Hoffman, on the antidepressants Celexa and Effexor, opened fire on his classmates, wounding three students and two teachers at Granite Hills High School.

8. Williamsport, Pennsylvania — March 7, 2001: 14-year-old Elizabeth Bush was taking the antidepressant Prozac when she shot at fellow students, wounding one.

9. Conyers, Georgia — May 20, 1999: 15-year-old T.J. Solomon was being treated with antidepressants when he opened fire on and wounded six of his classmates.

10. Columbine, Colorado — April 20, 1999: 18-year-old Eric Harris and his accomplice, Dylan Klebold, killed 12 students and a teacher and wounded 26 others before killing themselves. Harris was on the antidepressant Luvox. Klebold’s medical records remain sealed.

11. Notus, Idaho — April 16, 1999: 15-year-old Shawn Cooper fired two shotgun rounds in his school, narrowly missing students. He was taking a prescribed SSRI antidepressant and Ritalin.

12. Springfield, Oregon — May 21, 1998: 15-year-old Kip Kinkel murdered his parents and then proceeded to school where he opened fire on students in the cafeteria, killing two and wounding 25. Kinkel had been taking the antidepressant Prozac.

Confirmed German Shooter on Anti-Depressants