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Pill pusher spammer gets 30 years in federal prison

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2007 14:46

Just minutes after I wrote about a stupid idiot New Zealand guy who thinks spamming forums is ok and he's "disappointed" we deleted his posts, I read Spyware Sucks reporting of a U.S. spammer who got sentenced to 30 years in a PMITA federal prison:


Notorious spammer Christopher "Rizler" Smith was sentenced to 30 years in prison by a federal judge on Wednesday.

US District Judge Michael Davis called Smith a "drug kingpin" before throwing the book at him. Smith was convicted on charges of conspiracy, illegal distribution of drugs, money laundering and operating a continuing criminal enterprise."

"Under the spam companies Burnsville Internet and Xpress Pharmacy Direct, Smith allegedly sent more than one billion emails through America Online. The FBI claims he made approximately $18m


The original story is on The Register.

As someone noted on the comment in my previous post, spammers keep doing it because people buy from them.

And as noted by Spyware Sucks's Sandi, this is $18 million in a year, from a single spammer! How many people read spam and actually buy the crap this people sell? No surprise then that a lot of people also get sucked into other scams.

People, don't buy from spammers. What they sell won't enlarge anything, make you stronger, and you are not approved for a cheap home loan either. And no one left money in your name, and no dead African President left money for hist PA to distribute to you. Get a life people!



Forum spammers: begone

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2007 13:55

Last week someone registered on Geekzone just to post a reply in our Geekzone forums, shamelessly plugging his own on-line store selling some under quality goodies.

Of course the post was deleted and the user blocked.

Today I've got an e-mail from said user asking why his IP was blocked. I replied that spamming is not allowed and it won't be unlocked.

He then replied with this "sorry, I didn't know answering someone's question was spam. I am disappointed".

It is spam when you reply with loads of links to your own business. If you want advertising, we are happy to offer you an option, charging for the space used.

He was disappointed?

I am disappointed. Actually I shouldn't be, because how many people think the Internet is a "free for all" land?

A lot of people think that everything on the Internet should be free - free content, free links to their businesses.

How wrong they are.

They seem to forget there are costs involved in running a web site, producing content, keeping an infrastructure.

What a bunch of clowns.




Fake Steve Jobs busted: end of the fun blogging times?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 6-Aug-2007 10:37

This is really sad. One of the most read, influential bloggers in the Silicon Valley, Fake Steve Jobs was exposed by a New York Times reporter, not a fellow blogger:



Well it had to happen. Honestly I can't believe it's taken this long. But as you may have heard, I've been busted by a newspaper reporter. My cover has been blown. Guy named Brad Stone, who works for the New York Times. Have you heard of him? Well, tip of the hat to you, Brad Stone. You did the sleuthing. You put the pieces of the puzzle together. You went through my trash, hacked into my computer, and put listening devices in my home. Now you've ruined the mystery of Fake Steve, robbing thousands of people around the world of their sense of childlike wonder. Hope you feel good about yourself, you mangina. 


But FSJ, I mean Forbes's Senior Editor Daniel Lyons, says he will be back, now with the Forbes behind it:


Apple faithful, here in our darkest hour I know what you're thinking: What's next for FSJ? Well, I'm taking a few days off to sit in a lake and do some yoga and meditation and non-thinking. Then I'm coming back next week, badder than ever, with a new sponsor -- my homeboys at Forbes.com. Turns out they've been reading FSJ and liking it too. Who knew?



Daniel Lyons, according to the New Yor Times, is preparing to publish a book about... Steve Jobs:


Mr. Lyons writes and edits technology articles for Forbes and is the author of two works of fiction, most recently a 1998 novel, “Dog Days.” In October, Da Capo Press will publish his satirical novel written in the voice of the Fake Steve character, “Options: The Secret Life of Steve Jobs, a Parody."

Unlike the off-the-cuff ramblings on his blog, “Options” is a well-plotted satire that imagines Apple’s chief executive grappling with his real-life stock option backdating troubles and getting help, and bad advice, from friends like Larry Ellison, Bono and Al Gore.



Who knew indeed?



Mobile Number Portability...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 5-Aug-2007 11:22

I agree with Taniwha... Why do the New Zealand mobile operators offer their new plans with contract (12 and 24 month contracts) only?

To lock you in? How bad of them. They not only lock you in, but lock you out.

I am really, really trying to port my Vodafone New Zealand number over to Telecom New Zealand. I have been a Vodafone New Zealand customer for almost ten years now, and I don't have a contract, so I am free to move to another operator.

But there's no way to move to another operator on their new plans without signing up for at least a 12 month contract. And I am on account, which means a good amount of money every month for those operators.

It means Telecom New Zealand is not getting my business, as much as I want to leave the Vodafone New Zealand ranks.

It is the same if you are on Telecom New Zealand and want to move to Vodafone New Zealand, as Taniwha found out.

How dumb of them.





Server backup, migrating to virtual machine and disaster recovery with Acronis

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 3-Aug-2007 17:22

This is another post I would link to the "tools for Windows administrators" series... I spent the last few days installing and configuring my environemnt to use Acronis software for disc image backup.

The idea was to have an automatic backup configuration that would allow me to restore the Geekzone server to any other host in a matter of hours, with minimum loss, if anything bad happened.

But in the process I found that the software also provides a great way to migrate physical machines to virtual machines!

To start with I installed the Acronis Backup Server and the Acronis Management Console on my home server (in Wellington) running Windows Vista. Plugged to this machine I have an 1 TB Maxtor HDD for backup of all PCs around here - and the Geekzone server.

On the Geekzone server (in Auckland) I installed Acronis True Image Windows Agent and Acronis True Image Enterprise Server engine. This allows me to use the Management Console (pictured below) from here to manage remote backups if needed.

The Backup Server allows me create a backup area with parameters such as number of backups to store, when to consolidate full backups and incremental backups and more.
 
The full backup (which only happens every couple of weeks) takes about three hours to complete, over a 10 Mbps cable connection (which I hope to increase to 25 Mbps when TelstraClear decide to come out with their already announced new product). Daily incremental backups take about 45 minutes 15 minutes.

To test the restoration I created a virtual machine with Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 (which I already have installed on my home server to run test and development machines) and booted it from a special restore CD containing the Acronis Universal Restore.

After booting it automatically connected through my LAN to the Backup Server, and after authentication I was able to choose from various backup sets on that space. I started the restore process, which took about two hours. Once completed I rebooted the virtual machine, logged in and installed Virtual Additions.

The server came up ok, immediately recognised the network connection and I had not changed anything - it means I can restore my production server to other hardware or even to a virtual environment with minimum downtime.

If you want to just migrate a physical machine to a virtual machine you could just use a Microsoft tool for that - but they require chages in configuration before and after, while I found out that using this method I needed nothing but the Acronis software to have this running.



Wellington Blogger Group meetup

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 2-Aug-2007 15:46

Yesterday I went to The Southern Cross (Abel Smith Street, Wellington) to meet other Wellington-based bloggers.

The meeting was the initiative of Stuart Maxwell, through a Facebook group called... Wellington Bloggers (which is open to join, no invitation needed).

Present there were Stuart Maxwell, Martha Craig, Brenda Leeuwenberg, Tom Ackroyd, David Farrar, Will de Cleene, Mike Gregg, Jo (sorry I don't have a link!) and Sandy Mamoli (if I forgot anyone, please post in the comments!).

We had eight people confirmed, seventeen "maybe", eighteen "sorry" and eight people who couldn't be bothered replying to the invitation.

It was a good night, knowing a bit more of people we get to read (almost) daily.

Just for some testing I also posted the event on a new New Zealand-based event website called Eventfinder.




Unlimited Potential Geeks, Gadgets and Games event

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 31-Jul-2007 11:17

The Unlimited Potential folks are again running their UP Geeks, Gadgets and Games event. This is where the region’s information and communications technology (ICT) providers meet like-minded individuals and showcase industry developments.

This year high profile industry players will also be sharing their tricks of the trade as headline speakers. Glynn Foster from Sun MicroSystems will talk about Project Indiana - a binary distribution of OpenSolaris, and Mario Wynands will talk about the latest accomplishments for New Zealand’s leading game development studio Sidhe Interactive.

Exhibitors this year are expected to be as exciting and progressive as ever. Returning exhibitor Vision Limited will be displaying their ergonomically designed gaming chair which is based on NASA space technology.


The event will be held at the Wellington Convention Centre on Wednesday 8 August from 4:30pm and is being run by ICT industry networking group Unlimited Potential.



Last year's was a good event, and I will show up there again - but not for long, since I have another meeting from 6pm across town.

Geeks, Gadgets and Games is free and open to the public. 




Windows Mobile 6 for Treo 750: control your voice mail

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 30-Jul-2007 11:58

This is really neat. A new feature in the AT&T version of the Palm Treo 750 ROM allows you to manage your voice mail playback with the directional pad on your Treo.

It works really well with the Vodafone New Zealand voice mail system.

I hope Vodafone New Zealand doesn't remove this feature (or includes it) when they come around to actually releasing the Windows Mobile 6 ROM upgrade for the Treo 750v here in New Zealand (which seems to be taking forever).





Joost RSS feeds?

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 29-Jul-2007 09:24

Look at the number of channels on Joost... It's just hard to go through all channels and find content you are interested on.

Enters OnTheToob. The site provides a current list of providers and programs, plus Joost RSS feeds with new content and channels.

Worth adding to your RSS feed reader.



Appaling lack of justice, balances and checks...

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 28-Jul-2007 18:37

This news made my day go down. Reading what the FBI did is just (U.S. ordered to pay $100m)... Well, the whole thing is appaling:


A federal judge Thursday ordered the government to pay more than $101 million in the case of four men who spent decades in prison for a 1965 murder they didn't commit after the FBI withheld evidence of their innocence.

The FBI encouraged perjury, helped frame the four men and withheld for more than three decades information that could have cleared them, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner said in issuing her ruling Thursday.

She called the government's argument that the FBI had no duty to get involved in the state case "absurd."

Peter Limone, Joseph Salvati and the families of the two other men who died in prison had sued the federal government for malicious prosecution.

They argued that Boston FBI agents knew mob hitman Joseph "the Animal" Barboza lied when he named the men as killers in the 1965 death of Edward Deegan. They said Barboza was protecting a fellow FBI informant, Vincent "Jimmy" Flemmi, who was involved.

Salvati had been sentenced to life in prison as an accessory to murder and served more than 29 years before his sentence was commuted in 1997.



A crime they did not commit, but they were framed, and convicted, sentenced to die in the electric chair (changed to life in prison later). And framed by the very organisation who should "protect" citizens?

Appaling.

UPDATE: I would say the title in this post is wrong. Justice was made, albeit thirty years later.



freitasm's profile

Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

I work for Intergen and I'm also the Geekzone admin. On Geekzone we publish news, reviews and articles on technology topics. The site also has some busy forums.

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If you want to contact me, please use this page or email me freitasm@geekzone.co.nz. Note this email is not for technical support. I don't give technical support. You can use our Geekzone Forums for community discussions on technical issues.

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