Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Finally, I stopped by the local Verizon store and they dealt with the problem for me. Unfortunately they could (or would) not take the charges off my current bill, but assured me I would no longer receive the text massage nor be billed for them. That remains to be seen.
The service rep told me she had a similar incident recently when she downloaded a kid’s game on her computer at home and was asked to enter her cell phone number. Without realizing it, she had signed up for text messages with the Joke of the Month or something equally stupid.
My cell phone is a ‘secondary’ one I got attached to my wife’s contract because it was $20 per month. I used it a total of 2 minutes last month. I do not carry it (it’s kept in my car) because the only reason I have it is for emergencies so I had them block everything on it. Now all I can do is make and receive phone calls.
To my old fashioned way of thinking, that’s what phones are for. Not taking pictures; I have a camera for that. Not for playing games; the only game I play is chess and I don’t do that on the phone. I don’t need it to send e-mails either; got a computer. I do not know how to send text messages.
Cell phone companies are letting these companies get away with this because, at least under my plan, I get charged for every text message I receive or send so the sad fact is, it is to Verizon’s benefit that I receive a lot of cell phone spam.
As near as I was able to determine, the scum sucking dirtbags responsible for this spamming came from an outfit called Openmarket. Who Is OpenMarket/SimpleWire/Qpass? According to SimpleWire’s website, it is a premium billing and messaging aggregator whose aggregation services provide a direct route into each mobile operator’s network for the delivery of text-messages, premium content, cross-carrier short-codes, billing transactions and other value-added mobile services. According to OpenMarket’s website “Qpass customers include Cingular Wireless, T-Mobile International, Vodafone, Sprint, SunCom, Alltel, US Cellular, and Skype. Qpass serves more than 185 million mobile subscribers and more than 100 million Web portal, Wi-Fi and VoIP users worldwide. The Qpass technology platform processes tens of millions of premium services transactions per month and has processed more than 500 million premium downloads since the company’s inception, representing more than US $1.3 Billion in gross retail consumer sales.”
I will be filing a complaint with the FCC as soon as their website reopens after the government shutdown. Assuming the morons in Congress ever get the government running again. Under no circumstances should you ever enter your cell phone number when downloading anything off your computer. Also, check your cell phone bill!
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
My Calculators: This site has many calculators: loans, savings and investment, rate-yield, 401(k), annuitizations plus more.
The United States Federal Reserve has an online estimating program that will tell you how long it will take to pay off credit card balances HERE.
CNET has a nice Debt Reduction Calculator for Excel HERE. This debt management tool allows users to manage debts using built-in formulas that automatically calculate the total amount owed and total interest paid. The Debt Management Calculator has three tabs at the bottom of the spreadsheet: Calculator, Payment Schedule, and Chart. The program explains different methods of managing debt, namely the "snowball" or "avalanche" methods. The "snowball" method advises the user to pay the debt with the lowest balance faster, where the "avalanche" method advises the user to pay the debt with the highest interest faster. There is a strategy bar that allows you to choose either method to manage debts, or set up custom options. Clicking on the Payment Schedule tab showed us how much the monthly payments would be, and how long it will take to pay off the total amount of debt. The Chart tab presents a visual display of how his interest will decrease over time. This program is free and easy to install and uninstall.
Capital One is accused of using a "bait and switch" tactic with a zero percent annual percentage rate offer by luring cardholders to accept the balance transfers then slamming them with interest charges on new purchases from the day they are posted with complicated accounting maneuvers, according to a lawsuit hoping to gain class action status. MORE
Additional warnings HERE
My advice: when you get those zero percent annual percentage rate offers on balance transfers from any credit card company, THROW THEM AWAY!
Friday, August 30, 2013
Another simple program is called “Pokki” and it’s the one I installed on my new laptop. It’s available for download HERE.
Tuesday, July 2, 2013
First of all, don't leave your computer on 24/7 and second, make sure you install an anti-virus and keep it up to date! Do not download free installable programs unless they are from a legitimate source and avoid pirated software. While free music, books, etc. beats paying for them, in the long run you will be better off not trying to save a few dollars by trying to get them free. Other suggestions are to change your passwords frequently and NEVER store them on your computer. Financial records should be stored on a flash drive...they're cheap. Also, never pay bills or conduct financial business on a public computer like at a book store or library. That seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people do it. And, while I'm at it, you should NEVER view porn on your computer. I'm against it for moral reason, but even if you're not, I know a few people who picked up some ugly computer viruses doing it. It even happened on my job. Somebody took a peek at some porn on their company computer and the virus infected the server and everybody in the office got it. It drove the IT guy nuts trying to get rid of it. Don't do it!!
For years I ran Norton, but evidently it’s a target for hackers to bypass. Some time back, my 10-year old nephew was playing a game on my laptop and picked up a virus. I later discovered this had happened to several people. Norton failed to block the virus and when trying to contact them I found it difficult. The Web is jam-packed with addresses and phone numbers claiming to be Norton, but they aren’t. I ended up making a toll free call to India and when I became suspicious they were NOT from Norton and began asking questions, the lady hung up on me. I ended up taking the laptop to Best Buy where I discovered the clerk at the computer counter had picked up the same virus when her kid was playing an online game. It cost me $100 to get the computer fixed and Best Buy installed Web Root anti-virus software which is what they recommend. But, if you are looking for free, then AVG is good. I have posted on it HERE.
Another good program is Microsoft Security Essentials. Download HERE. MSE is free and guards against viruses, spyware and other malicious stuff. It’s simple and easy to install and updates are automatic.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Calibre is free and open source e-book computer software that organizes, saves and manages e-books, supporting a variety of formats. It also supports e-book syncing with a variety of popular e-book readers and will, within DRM restrictions, convert e-books between differing formats.
Calibre supports many file formats and reading devices. Most of these e-book formats can be edited, for example, by changing the font or the font size and by adding an auto-generated table of contents. Conversion and editing is only possible after digital rights management restrictions have been removed from commercially purchased e-book files.
Calibre helps to organize the personal e-book library by allowing the user to sort and group e-books by metadata fields. Metadata can be pulled from many different sources (ISBNdb.com, Google Books, Amazon). Search for author, title or keyword in the whole library, is possible.
E-books can be imported into the Calibre library, either by adding files manually, or by syncing an e-book reading device. On-line content-sources can be harvested and converted to e-books. E-books can be exported to all supported reading devices via USB or via the integrated mail-server. Mailing e-books enables, for example, sending personal documents to the Amazon Kindle. MUST HAVE! LINK
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Handbook with tips about protecting your information, and instructions, sample forms, and letters to help recover from theft.
The cyber threat is no longer limited to your office network and work persona. Adversaries realize that targets are typically more vulnerable when operating from their home network since there is less rigor associated with the protection, monitoring, and maintenance of most home networks. Home users need to maintain a basic level of network defense.