Older blog entries for hacker (starting at number 146)

Long time no diary... lots going on.

GPL violators have tripled
Bluefish, MercuryGuide, TechXNY

    The second letter went out to Bluefish last week, and they have been given 5 days to respond, which ends today.

    It also appears that MercuryGuide is now also using our application (Plucker) in "their" version (MovieMobile) without providing source, and they neglected to change our CreatorID, so installing their application clobbers ours. Deleting it deletes ours. It also validates the previous assertion that MercuryGuide was delivered the parser components by Bluefish, and that they have the source code.

    TechXNY is the third one. They are also redistributing a "modified" Plucker application, stamped with Bluefish's name, without providing source, without retaining the original copyright that we provided in the package.

    This is going to get ugly. Is there a Slashdot editor in the house? Please contact me directly. I may need a favor from you.

    For those following the saga: [1] [2] [3] [4]

ianmacd, since you're beginning to get fluent with Ruby, care to contribute to the "Ruby Palm Bindings" effort? I've been wanting to get the Perl bindings ported to Ruby in pilot-link for awhile, but my time to devote, and skill with Ruby is sketchy.


GPG + Legal Matters

    It has come to my attention lately with all the "legal interludes" (Bluefish [1] [2] [3] [4], Ebay [1] [2] [3], Prodigy Movers [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]) I'm knee-deep in, that I'm not using enough gpg in my email correspondence.

    Consider that oversight amended.

Ebay Redux

    It looks like the same guy that nearly scammed $2350.00/USD from me has been hearing from his customers, who have asked me if they should pull their pending purchases, based on what they read from my negative ebay review of him. He has now "demanded" that I remove my diary entry that mentions him "from my webpage" (apparently he does not realize that advogato is not my webpage). In any case, my diary entry is a factual account of the events, and a summary of my opinion of the matters, as I saw them. Not libel, not slander, and the opinion belongs to me. The funniest part is the following:
    "You must immediately retract your statements, cease sending them, and remover any reference from us on your Web page, or we will take all necessary actions."
    I responded clearly letting him know the inaccuracies in his demands.

New Feet Enter the World

    davidm, congrats on your new son, Dylan.

    dyork, congrats on your new daughter, Chloe Jennett.

    So many ex-coworkers having children lately. That makes a total of three in the past month or so. Who's next?

Lots of new stuff going on. Grenada pictures should be somewhere online soon, moving my server and services (again) to the other coast, Cox Cable service screwups, new pilot-link code, and training for triathalons with E. I'm learning so many things that I've never taken the time to slow down and learn before about the nuts and bolts of kernels and hardware. Fun.

I'm also still unemployed. It's been five (5) months now. No sign of any good job leads out here yet.

Bluefish GPL (and Lanham Act) Violation Case is proceeding

    Our FSF-appointed attorney sent the initial letter to Bluefish Wireless today for their GPL violation of Plucker. She also is going to be persuing them on violation(s) of the Lanham Act.

    This is good news. The letter was emailed to James Fisher, CEO of Bluefish Wireless and sent via Federal Express

    They have ten (10) days to respond.

So much going on lately. Need to find work, doing tons of code, more cross-country server relocations, fraudulent moving companies, and much more.

I definately do not like this full-width colored table madness in the diary headers.

Can we make this a togglable option?


..just got back from 11 wonderful days in Grenada. More later.

    Congratulations Rasmus and Christine on the birth of their first child, a healthy baby boy.

    Anything at all we can do to help, you know how to find us.

lilo, the success of a project is often watermarked and deemed "successful" if it survives past it's first maintainer.

Why not just hand the project/maintenance off to someone who can work on it without requiring a salary to do so?

OPN does not need to be micromanaged to survive. It was created by the community, supported by the community, why not give it a chance at being managed responsible members of the community as well?

3 Mar 2002 (updated 1 Jun 2002 at 20:28 UTC) »


The Ebay Laptop Auction Fraud Continues

    All I wanted was a laptop so I could work on the road.

  • 1/18/2002
    I won a bid on an IBM Thinkpad T23 laptop on Ebay, sold by a one "Brian Silverman", aka "electro_depot", and overnighted the payment to him in certified funds (as required by his terms) within 5 days of auction close.

  • 1/25/2002
    The payment was received on 1/25/2002 and signed by one "Jena/Tina A. Waterman" and immediately deposited. Based on the terms of the auction, this individual had 2-4 weeks to ship the laptop from this date.

  • 1/31/2002 09:50:31 -0800 (PST)
    Received an email from Brian acknowledging the receipt of the payment.

    1/31/2002 10:19:13 -0800 (PST)
    Requested a tracking number for the shipment.

  • 2/18/2002 16:41:26 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian asking for the ebay tracking number. This number was clearly written on the cashier's check, and on an included note that was shipped with the check, which he recieved and signed for on 1/25/2002.

    2/18/2002 17:11:28 -0800 (PST)
    Responded with tracking number within 30 minutes.

  • 2/19/2002 16:47:17 -0800 (PST)
    Received an email from Brian stating that my Sony Vaio 300 series (PCG-FX370 or PCG-FX390) laptop was no longer available, and asked that I select another model.

    2/19/2002 17:11:28 -0800 (PST)Responded to this email, clarifying that my auction was for an IBM Thinkpad T23 laptop, model 26479LU, not a Sony VAIO.

    2/19/2002 17:53:04 -0800 (PST)Received an email acknowledging the error, and stating that the item would ship "shortly".

  • 2/20/2002 04:57:56 -0800 (PST)
    Responded to last email from Brian, stating that it was now a month after the date of the auction close and over three weeks since he received and deposited my payment into his account. "Where is my laptop?!"

    2/20/2002 06:30:59 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that they're "running the full shipping time" on this item, and that I should be glad to wait the extra time to save the money on

    the hardware.

  • 2/27/2002 12:18:48 -0800 (PST)
    Sent email to Brian clarifying his violation of his own auction

    terms. It is now 40 days past the close of auction. After researching his feedback profile on ebay it became clear that this person has a real problem with shipping dates and times.

    2/27/2002 12:18:48 -0800 (PST)
    Made it very clear that if he could not ship the laptop to meet my deadline of March 4th (I had a speaking engagement in Berkeley, CA), to overnight me a full refund, so I could use the cash to purchase another laptop in time for my speaking engagement.

  • 3/1/2002 09:15:25 -0800 (PST)
    Sent email to Brian with my telephone number requesting that he contact me directly to work out issues related to shipping and delays.

    3/1/2002 18:20:34 -0800 (PST)
    Receive an email from Brian asking for my shipping name and address. He stated that he sent me an email "several days ago" asking for this information.

    3/1/2002 18:58:14 -0800 (PST)
    Requested copies of the original emails sent "several days ago", to try to track down what may have caused the disconnect. Never received copies of his emails. I receive over 400 emails a day, and never lose a single one. Brian never emailed me, this was a delay tactic.

    Demanded refund or laptop by Monday 3/4/2002, or I would initiate an investigation. Also requested a full receipt for the item, if it shipped. Brian's feedback profile led me to believe that he does not provide receipts, and hence no way to secure the manufacturer warantee.

    3/1/2002 19:27:36 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that the "warehouse" was closed on the weekend, and the best way to proceed was to refund my payment by wire transfer.

    3/1/2002 19:30:30 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that a "printout of the ebay auction webpage" is a valid receipt. He also states that he is not late in delivering the laptop (he's 42 days past the close of the auction at this point). He also states that he does $1,000,000 annually in sales, and asks me not to start quoting him federal infractions and IRS tax laws regarding his questionable business practices.

    3/1/2002 19:52:09 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that he could come in on Saturday (3/2/2002) to check on his email, presumably in anticipation of my rapid response.

  • 3/2/2002 09:07:03 -0800 (PST)
    Sent email to Brian: "Do you have the laptop or not? You've had 42 days to obtain the merchandise. Do you have it or not?!"

    3/2/2002 14:29:51 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that these items ship "warehouse-direct" and that they usually have no problems shipping on time (another lie, since his feedback profile has 60% or more of his buyers complaining about incorrect or "epic" shipping delays). He states that he thinks the T23 is in stock, and could ship in 1-2 days. He also states that he can upgrade it to overnight shipping "..if that helps".

    3/2/2002 14:39:34 -0800 (PST)
    Responded to Brian stating that even if he shipped the laptop on Monday, it wouldn't get to me in time for my departure to Berkeley and my speaking engagement. The delays and the transaction in general have caused me to miss two speaking engagements already, and will now cause me to miss a third.

    I request that he upgrade it to overnight shipping, and if possible, upgrade the RAM in the laptop as a complimentary compensation for my troubles.

  • 3/3/2002 12:45:23 -0800 (PST)
    Received email from Brian stating that they cannot help me, and that he will be sending me back my money.

At this point, the scam becomes abundantly clear. He's had my $2350.00/USD in his bank account for 37 days, gaining him interest on my money. In this time, I have seen Brian put identical laptops up onto ebay for sale, and seen other bidders bid, win, and be successfully shipped their laptops, all in less time than I've had, and I still have no laptop, and no money back from Brian.

Based on his current auctions, and this scam he's got running, he's making literally thousands of dollars a month in interest alone on these "sales". I'll bet he double and triple sells the same laptops to different bidders, gains the interest from all of them sending him their money, then cancels out on all but one bidder, refunding their payment, minus the interest he's gained on their money in his account. Some bidders have even waited up to 8 weeks to receive their purchases, all the while, Brian states he's still within his auction terms of 2-4 weeks. Where? On Jupiter?

If I do not receive the exact funds in return on Monday, I will be calling the FBI and the IRS on Brian Silverman. Perhaps they'd be interested in his "$1,000,000 in sales annually". If he's doing that much business, why is it so hard to ship a single laptop 100 miles away? Why is it so hard to provide a valid receipt? Why is it so hard to keep your word without excuses and lies? Well, I'll let the FBI and IRS figure it all out on Monday.

Meanwhile, I'm out one laptop and $2350.00/USD.

I'm pissed. Why does so much "dark cloud" always come my way. I'm a vortex for bad luck.

"Junkyard" LAN
    Crippling and hobbling through spare parts while the movers make more excuses about missing boxes, I managed to get a NetBSD firewall set up, in preparation for the relocation of about 15 or so domains from Rasmus' DSL connection to my LAN here (cable modem currently, while I figure out T1/T3 pricing plans).

    I still don't quite have all the parts needed to do this right, so I'm hijacking an IP from my provider over dhcp right now until I can get my router, switch and power brick back from the movers.

eBay Fraud redux

    The next step, once this fraudulent ebay laptop purchase is settled, is to get a laptop and get wireless back up, then I can start "selling" 802.11b to my neighbors, which is going to be MUCH cheaper than the broadband rape artists around here ($299.00/mo. for 1.5 SDSL, $249.00/mo. for 512/512 cable). If I sell off 128k slots to the neighbors at $50.00/month, I'm doing good, and they're still getting it at 1/2 price.

    I'm trying to sell my DSL router on eBay now too, what a pain, tons of little "micro-charges" they tack on when you create your entry.

Furniture, or Doors

    I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do about a desk. The movers completely trashed it, so I went out and bought a solid-core birch door, 36x80. I'll drop some legs under it, and add some shelves around the sides and back, and still come in sturdier and more indestructable than the original desk. Hrm, drawers..

Then I can get back to billing customers, since that was never taken care of when I delegated it to someone else (isn't that always the case, nothing gets done right unless you end up doing it yourself).

Then I can get started working on the design for the Plucker t-shirts. Anyone want one?

Then there's the job search.. I suppose I should get started soon, but I am so busy travelling this month, and getting things back on track, trying to sweep up the pieces of all my damaged belongings from all over the country, shore up overdue bills, and stay afloat. It's not quite time to start selling the bike or snowboard yet.


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