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  • Geebo 9:07 am on October 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Facebook to manually review ads, so why don’t others? 

    Facebook to manually review ads, so why don't others?

    Facebook has come under fire recently for allegedly accepting money for ads from a Russian entity known as the Internet Research Agency. For two years these ads ran which intended to fuel the fires of rampant political discord already troubling our country. Some of the ads could have even been viewed as racist or anti-Semitic. After turning over records of these ads to Congress, Facebook announced they would be hiring 1000 people to manually review certain ads targeted toward religious, ethnic, and social groups.

    However, this blog post ultimately is not about Facebook, but another website that touts itself as being socially responsible. We’re of course referring to craigslist. From its iconic purple peace sign logo to the numerous charitable foundations craigslist founder Craig Newmark has donated to, craigslist appears on the surface to be this socially conscious entity, yet they still do nothing to try to protect their own users.

    Craigslist ads remain largely unmoderated which has led to a vast number of scams and violent crimes. Their rants & raves section is filled all sorts of vitriol and hate from blatant racism to calls for violence. Their casual encounters section is often the playground of child predators looking for their next victim. Yet craigslist does not hire any moderators, refusing to expand from their alleged two dozen employees.

    While craigslist may not be as lucrative as Facebook, I think they could probably scrounge enough to money to hire a team of moderators. They just choose not to.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on October 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , montana, repackaging, ,   

    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam 

    Beware of new work at home repackaging scam

    Many work at home job offers that you might find online are scams. In most of those cases, the scam is designed to either get you to pay money up front for ‘materials’ or some kind of background check. Again, you should never have to pay to apply for a legitimate job. However, a new twist on the work at home scam has been reported out of Montana and many of the state’s residents have fallen victim to it.

    In this new scam, the supposed job is that of a ‘repackager’. The ‘company’ sends products to your home then asks you to repackage them and mail the products to their destination address. The problem is that these products have been bought with stolen credit card information. Instead of having the items sent to the thieves themselves, they instead have them sent to an unwitting person who thinks they’re just doing the job asked of them. The victim then unknowingly repackages the products and sends them to the destination intended by the thieves. The victim has then transferred stolen goods and of course, the victim never gets paid.

    This isn’t just a stolen goods scam either. When a victim applies for this kind of job they’re asked to submit their social security number, address and a copy of their driver’s license. That in turn leads to identities being stolen scamming the victim twice in one go. If you believe you have been the victim of this scam it is recommended that you contact your local police.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Is Amazon getting ready to enter into the pharmacy market? 

    Is Amazon getting ready to enter into the pharmacy market?

    If you have health insurance you might be familiar with having your prescription drugs being delivered by mail. Many health insurers use pharmacy benefit managers, PBMs for short, as middlemen between the pharmaceutical companies and the consumers. The PBMs determine which prescription drugs are covered under you insurance and at what percentage. Many of these PBMs encourage prescriptions to be filled by them to be mailed to the consumers. They offer some pretty substantial discounts to customers who use this procedure. Now, rumors are circulating in the business world that online home delivery giant Amazon is looking to enter the PBM market.

    There are pros and cons to Amazon moving into the pharmacy space. One of the pros is that this will offer more competition, as the PBM scene is ruled by only three companies, CVS, Express Scripts and United Healthcare. More choices for consumers is always a good thing as it could lead to competitive pricing for prescription drug coverage. However, the con could be that if Amazon does enter this market it could actually result in less competition as Amazon has a history of not being to fond of any competition.

    The even bigger problem with Amazon entering into this space is Amazon’s usual problem of trying to be all things to all people, a faceless global corporation that pervades itself into every facet of our lives. Is that what we really want, because that scenario benefits no one except Amazon. If we’re not careful Amazon could become a mega-monopoly with no one to challenge them.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on October 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Backpage settles child sex trafficking lawsuit 

    Backpage settles child sex trafficking lawsuit

    Back in 2012, three women filed a lawsuit against Backpage in the state of Washington. They claimed they were underage when they were forcibly trafficked for sex on the website. Previous lawsuits like this filed against Backpage have failed, however, in 2015, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled the lawsuit could proceed.

    Yesterday, it was reported Backpage settled the lawsuit with these women, although the details of the settlement have remain undisclosed.

    This story has huge implications when it comes to the future of trafficking on Backpage. The first is, you probably shouldn’t think this is some magnanimous move on Backpage’s part. This is more than likely an attempt to try to get into the good graces of Congress, who supposedly has evidence of criminal activity in the way Backpage edits their ‘adult’ ads. Secondly, this could pave the way either for future settlements or for similar lawsuits pending against Backpage to proceed in states like Texas, California and Alabama. This and future settlements could cost Backpage a pretty penny which could turn Backpage into a company that is no longer profitable.

    Could this be the heads of Backpage trying to ‘donate’ their way out of criminal prosecution? That remains to be seen.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on October 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Parcel, ,   

    The latest salvos in the WalMart-Amazon war 

    The latest salvos in the WalMart-Amazon war

    The war between the internet giant and the brick and mortar goliath continue with each making gains in each others’ territory.

    WalMart is trying yet another solution to the last mile problem. Again, the ‘last mile’ of delivery is considered the most expensive part of the delivery and WalMart has been experimenting with different possible solutions. Recently, WalMart has bought a delivery startup called Parcel which touts itself as a last mile delivery service. Parcel also has other clients who they say will continue to provide service to, even after the WalMart purchase.

    Meanwhile, Bloomberg is reporting that Amazon has taken a sizeable chunk of customers from other retail chains with their purchase of Whole Foods. Hurt most by this influx of customers to Whole Foods is Trader Joe’s. Whole Foods are also said to have taken a number of customers from WalMart, however, those customers they took from WalMart could already afford Whole Food prices. Lower income customers are still sticking with WalMart as the best value for their dollar.

    Lastly, the Denver Post is reporting that Whole Foods’ prices that Amazon slashed in the first week after the purchase have crept back up to the ‘Whole Paycheck’ price levels.

    Usually competition like this opens up more choices and benefits for consumers, but since both WalMart and Amazon tend to gobble up or eliminate any real competition they have we could possibly end up with less choice where the retailers could set prices anywhere they want.

     
  • Geebo 9:46 am on October 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mandalay Bay,   

    Remembering the victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting 

    Remembering the victims of the Las Vegas concert shooting

    Many of us woke up this morning to the horrific news of the mass shooting at a music festival in Las Vegas near the Mandalay Bay casino. According to many reports, 50 people have been killed and at least 400 have been injured. This massive loss of life has made the shooting the deadliest mass shooting in our country’s history.

    In today’s polarized climate within our nation, instead of retreating to our echo chambers and politicizing this tragedy with our pet causes, we should come together as a nation in order to help victims and their loved ones try to recover from this tragedy.

    If you’d like to help you can always donate blood to the Red Cross. While it may not go to Las Vegas directly, it can still help greatly not just in your community but nationwide.

    Our thoughts and condolences go out to the victims, and friends and families of the victims.

     
  • Geebo 9:08 am on September 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Family Link, ,   

    Google’s new parental app for Android leaves a lot to be desired 

    Google's new parental app for Android leaves a lot to be desired

    Recently, Google announced the public release of their parenting app for android devices called Family Link. For a family of Android phone and tablet users this is a welcome announcement as Android has had no built-in child safety apps until now. Unfortunately, there are still some major kinks in the system which could make the app pointless.

    In theory, once you install the Family Link app on yours and your children’s Android devices you’ll be able to see what apps they’re using, restrict control to some apps and even set a time when the device is to be shut off at night. You’re able to basically monitor your children’s devices from your own device. However, that comes with several caveats.

    The first hurdle is your children’s devices will need to be running Android Nought (7.0) or higher. That’s fairly recent and many budget Android devices are not currently running Nougat. The second and most glaring problem is that Family Link can only be set up on new Google accounts and not preexisting ones. Depending on the age of your child, this could be a deal breaker considering the email address they’ve been using for a while may be tied into that account.

    Google has valiantly tried to bring parental control to Android with this app, unfortunately it’s fallen short of its goal.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on September 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ann Kirkpatrick, , ,   

    When it comes to Backpage money AZ pols focus on wrong issue 

    When it comes to Backpage money AZ pols focus on wrong issue

    Back in April, we posted about how Backpage donated money to several Arizona politicians in seemingly underhanded ways. According to reports, donations were made not by Backpage as a corporate entity, but by individual employees of Backpage and their spouses. When it was discovered the money had come from Backpage many of the politicians who received the donations denounced the donations and in turn gave the money to charity.

    More recently, U.S. Representative Ann Kirkpatrick came under fire for not getting rid of Backpage money she received until now. As is usually the norm in politics, the opposing party took this as an opportunity to admonish Kirkpatrick for taking the money and waiting so long to donate it. That’s putting it mildly by the way, the opposition basically accused her of willingly taking money from a company tied to a child sex trafficking scandal. Kirkpatrick has said she is donating the money to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

    Unfortunately, the political climate in our country has devolved into little more than personal attacks, name calling and assigning blame. This didn’t just happen recently, as it’s been getting worse for years if not decades. Instead of worrying about where the money is going, Congress should be taking a serious look how it got there in the first place. Backpage allegedly took steps to obfuscate that the money was coming from them in order to try to buy political influence. Considering Backpage has been under intense Congressional scrutiny for the past year or so, that should not come as a coincidence. While Rep. Kirkpatrick may have dragged her heels on donating the money, it’s still going to a worthy cause that helps fight the sex trafficking blight that Backpage has unleashed on this country. I see no better justice than taking the money that Backpage gave to politicians and donating it to worthwhile causes that oppose Backpage’s objectives.

     
  • Geebo 8:48 am on September 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , puppy scam   

    The online puppy scam is back 

    The online puppy scam is back

    Geebo CEO Greg Collier has spoken in the past about why Geebo does not take listings for pets. It’s mostly because of puppy mills that put the needs for profit over the welfare of the animals. In too many cases where people purchase a dog online from one of these puppy mills, the animal often turns out to be grievously ill. There’s also another reason not to purchase pets online and it seems to be making the rounds again.

    It’s known as the Cameroon Puppy Scam because the scam mostly originates from the African country of Cameroon. The scammers will post ads on other online marketplaces advertising popular breeds at cut-rate prices. Of course, the scammers will ask you to wire them the money for the purchase of the pet which you should absolutely never do. Often the scammer is happy to take your money and disappear leaving you with no dog to show for it. However, the more bold scammer will try to milk you for more money claiming things like delivery fees and insurance and if you don’t pay these ‘fees’ the scammers will threaten to send the FBI after you for what they claim is animal abandonment. Remember, this is all over an animal which probably doesn’t even exist.

    Instead of trying to purchase a pet online, think about adopting a pet from your local shelter. This way you not only avoid the puppy mill but you get to interact with your potential future pet before taking them home. Never purchase a pet sight unseen. It can spell bad news for both you and your furry friend while animal abusers and scammers continue to make money.

     
  • Geebo 9:06 am on September 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: cryptocurrency,   

    Websites may be using your computer to mine for cryptocurrency 

    Websites may be using your computer to mine for cryptocurrency

    Advertising and the internet have a contentious relationship to say the least. While advertising is where the majority of content creators make their money, there are many drawbacks to taking in advertiser money. Many advertising programs, like Google’s Adsense, seem to have arbitrary policies that see some creators penalized while others do not for providing similar content. Not to mention that one only need to look at YouTube’s recent adverting restrictions that users have referred to the as the ‘Adpocalypse’ to see advertisement money can disappear at a moment’s notice. With those dollars disappearing, a number of content creators have turned to cryptocurrency mining.

    It was discovered recently that a number of websites owned by television network CBS, had code injected into their websites that ‘borrowed’ processing power from viewers’ computers in order to help mine concurrency for someone. In this instance, it was reported to be the cryptocurrency Moreno. It’s viewed as a more private alternative to the more popular Bitcoin. While the injection of code into CBS’ websites may have been perpetrated by a bad actor, that hasn’t stopped some websites from using such code on unsuspecting users. Mining cryptocurrencies requires massive amounts of computing power, so it should come as no surprise that some less than legitimate websites have begun using this tactic.

    Not all hope is lost though. There are ways to protect your computer from having its computing power leeched for the benefit of someone else. Many of the popular browsers have extensions that will block mining code. A number of the most used ad blockers already block the coin code and a search for coin blocker should turn up a few more.

     
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