Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Health care- what's wrong with reporting your anti social co-workers?

Over some twenty years listening to people I know have told me some horror stories about health care issues, Insurance,  physicians, billing issues, or staff issues, that include nurses, aides, or assistants, etc.  Some of it was deplorable.  A few made me even wonder why they were still practicing medicine, or even had a license to practice medicine. 
Today we have a even bigger problem, that is not really discussed by anyone.  Not the Health care system, their doctors, or even most of the patients discuss it in public.  It is when a established health care system has a problem with a co-worker.  Maybe they are inept, non caring, cold or heartless.  They could be anti social, or even mean to the bone.  But one thing rings true, nothing is ever done about it. 
Ask yourself if you have even seen these type of people in the public eye, and your answer will be "no".  Never have you seen in your daily newspaper or news media the transgressions that they bring to their patients.  There is no accountability.  No where for the patient to turn to for help.  Many of these transgressions are hard to file a law suit against because many times there is no proof, or just vaguely proof. It is their word against the doctor or health professional. 
The health care industry is the only industry that is not in the public eye.  It should be.  They take a good mount of peoples wages, and insurance. You can't grade them, you don't have a means to report them.  If you believe that you do have the means, then I am sorry to have to tell you that you are wrong.  Let a doctor miss treat you in his office by either degrading you, or worse, and see if you can report him/her to the Medical Board.  Tell someone you suspect a health care person of wrong doing, and see how far you get trying to report them.  A patient should have the right to be able to file a paper on the wrong doings of a health care institute without worry of retaliation against them. 
Patents should have the right to report a doctor,  health care facilities, or health professional to the Medical Board (Or similar) when his/her character is very inept to the patent.  They should NOT have a door slammed in their face.  Most of what I am saying here is about wrong doings that are not related to malpractice.  Instead they are related to staff that mainly have no heart, or just plain don't care how they treat, etc their patents in office, out patient treatment centers,  or hospitals.  They just plain suck, and insurance companies insist their patents go to their offices.  Even if you explain the circumstances to the insurance company they still insist you see those health care facilities.
 If you have not had the pleasure of being treated by, or know someone that was treated like crap... then good for you.  But chances are eventually one day you will be, or you will know someone that has.   I am hearing more cases like these now.  The sad thing is some of these cases I have heard were deplorable, but when the patents went over the heads of the staff they hit dead end walls.  In every case they were told they could not, or did not have a means to report them.   What the hell is wrong with reporting them?  Why can't you have a say so in your medical care on whom can treat you?  Why can't you inform the public of a bad facility? You are paying out the butt for medical treatment, shouldn't you have the right to say no?  Why don't we have a system in place to report them?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

foreclosures abound, and to think it was all entirely preventable

"In 2007, for example, there were 17,000 foreclosures in Cleveland and its surrounding county, a conurbation roughly the size of Manchester; five years ago there were just a few hundred. During the first 11 weeks of 2008, there have been a further 3,132, sparking fears that this year will be the worst yet."
"As of January 2008, Stockton, Calif. (pop. 280,000), had 4,200 homes in default or foreclosure, with bad loans totaling a staggering $1.4 billion"
The Reagan administration and Congress stopped regulating the nation's financial institutions. Commercial banks and savings-and-loans used their political clout, and their  campaign contributions  to get Congress to loosen restrictions on the kinds of loans they could make. This opened the door up to abuse of the whole Lending market.  Banks, lenders, morgage brokers, and real estate agents everywhere went to work on the public to get them to take the bait.  many took the bait, and got bit hard with ruined credit, and homeless people everywhere. 
Why are other Nations also suffering from the foreclosure meltdown?  Because when the lenders saw what was happening they took some of the loans that were in bad shape and sold them to who ever would purchase them, and that included lenders overseas.  So the market will effect many Nations, instead of just the USA.  The top lenders in this meltdown has already gone belly up.  Many more will follow.
This is not the first time this meltdown has accured.  It happened back in the great depression too.  Also of note is the fact that the Government put new rules in place to keep it from happening again.  But oops! Thanks to the Reagan administration and Congress we get a second taste of what happens when the banks run wild. 
Now on to a few things you must know.  This past few weeks horror stories on how people were taken advantage of are coming out in drones.
Like story's of people that income was inflated by the broker to make them look like they were worthy of getting the loan.  No proof of income, just write it down in the contract, make it look good for the bank, it's not like the bank cares any way.  Many did not know what type of loan they were getting either, and those that did ask were told they were getting a good loan and their payments would always be such and such, which was not true.  Also it was not just brokers that was in on this is was also the lending institutions that wrote out the most nutty of contracts for customers that you ever did see.  Like not allowing the people to make a extra payment, if they did make a extra payment then their was a rate increase put on them,  and stiffing them with a house that was inflated to as much as 500% to 700% higher than what the home was worth.  The people that got the loan could not even put a for sale sign up because of this.  So homes that sold for $175,000.00 were really only worth $22,000.00.  Oh and don't forget the inflated home insurance that was crappy but the home owner paid dearly for it. This is just the tip of the iceburg people!  I am sure many more home owners will step forward and tell how they got shamed by the brokers and the bankers. 

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Is the RIAA killing music?

For many decades now the public has enjoyed music of different types.  From Country, Classical, Rock, and Trance everyone has their favorite. Ever since the invention of electricity, new technologies have been developed to create better ways for the storage and transmission of music. and because of this,  we have enjoyed it on Ipod, TV, Radio, cassettes, Disk, mp3 players, live concerts, and even the home computer.
It's no joke when I say all over the world their are individuals out there policing the music you listen too.  It is not just whom you listen too, it's how you listen to it, where you got it from, and if you shared it deliberate, or not..  Countries like the UK are up in arms when a local charity can't play the music that the children have grown to love because the music police are on the prowl, and claim they have to pay up for the rights to play the music, or not play at all. Charity Forced to Pay Copyright Fee  The UK has been hit hard, but the USA is no better off. Bars in the USA are being hauled to Court because the RIAA claim they don't have a license to play the music.  Radios everywhere could be going silent because of fear of reprimand of the music police.  Some radio stations have switched to using bumper music, and none copyrighted music in order to be compliant, and not have to pay the hefty fees placed on them. Satellite is also being hit.  But get this! It is not just the everyday Joe, or Sally trying to fileshare that is being hauled to Court.  It is also Businesses being hauled in just for the fact that their customers can hear the little radio playing down the hall in a small office owned by the secretary. Yup you heard that right.   The RIAA's radio lawsuit  It is not just one type it is free music also that is under attack.  RIAA Sues Radio Stations For Giving Away Free Music  Then there is this: Facts about the RIAA's Digital Radio Copy Protection Proposal  So the public formed a new type of radio station... 100% RIAA free radio and 75minutes.com podcast plus  stonerrock radio   Whole Wheat Radio Could Creative Commons Radio be next? I am sure there are other RIAA Free Radio broadcast out there for you to choose from.  But to note, these are all independent artist that don't mind sharing their music with the public. 
Now Attorneys are fighting back against the RIAA.  See here:  Recording Industry vs The People and also States are fighting the RIAA.  The state Attorney General's office of Oregon is fighting them "It is a really huge step when the head law enforcement officer of a state wants to investigate the RIAA's evidence-gathering techniques," said Ray Beckerman, a New York-based lawyer who has been defending individuals in RIAA lawsuits." Read the whole article here: Oregon: Ground Zero in fight between RIAA, alleged music pirates?   Here is a list of Attorneys willing to go up against the RIAA: Directory of Lawyers Defending Against RIAA Lawsuits
So my take on the whole matter at hand is the public, and the States are not going to let the music die without a good fight.  Yes I do boycott anyone associated with the RIAA.  Plus their Artist.  I have not bought a CD in months now.  Plus I went one step further, and stopped going to their concerts as well.  Why? Because Artist have a choice now.  They are not dependant on the RIAA to get their music bought, or even heard.  I just hope that this whole farce does not drag on for years.  The RIAA seems to be funded well.  But there are searches online that can tell you if the music you own is RIAA funded RIAA Radar  The RIAA Radar is a tool that music consumers can use to easily and instantly distinguish whether an album was released by a member of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Plus a few have released the  RIAA Hit List located here: TECHTV VAULT: RIAA Hit List  
The RIAA went after the consumer for which for years was permitted to copy etc, and by law is still permitted to copy their cds.  This info is in the copyright act.  View this here: Copyright Law of the United States  You can copy a cd, but you can't share the copied cd, or any type of copy you make that is copyrighted.  I don't think music is dead as of yet.  But if the RIAA keeps up with their law suit happy war monger vendetta against the public and the Businesses around the world, they eventually wont have a public listener, or buyer.  You can't blame people for your own actions.  You do reap what you sow.  The RIAA, needs to save what little reputation they have left.  Other than to die humiliated, untrustworthy, broke, and hated by all.  "Until Now"  The whole world now wants a piece of the RIAA.  Who can blame them?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

AT&T threatens to disconnect subscribers who criticize the company

 It has come to light that AT&T has rolled out new Terms of Service for its DSL service that restricts users, while leaving the proof as a rather abstract concept.  Here's the skinny, "…In section 5 of its legal ToS, AT&T stipulates the following:

AT&T may immediately terminate or suspend all or a portion of your Service, any Member ID, electronic mail address, IP address, Universal Resource Locator or domain name used by you, without notice, for conduct that AT&T believes (a) violates the Acceptable Use Policy; (b) constitutes a violation of any law, regulation or tariff (including, without limitation, copyright and intellectual property laws) or a violation of these TOS, or any applicable policies or guidelines, or (c) tends to damage the name or reputation of AT&T, or its parents, affiliates and subsidiaries.

The Translation: "conduct" that AT&T "believes" "tends to damage" its name, or the name of its partners, can get you booted off the service. Note the use of "tends to damage": the language of the contract does not require any proof of any actual damage."  Nice, so much for free speech!  So AT&T can terminate your service regardless of what proof they have, they only need to hate "your cause".   Plus who has time to look up ALL of their parents, affiliates and subsidiaries. And who are they?

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Can Spam

Consumer wise the following thread I placed on a forum, but because it deals with a problem that computer users have to address on a day to day basis, I decided to place it on my blog.  There have been many to say that if you block spam from one direction, then you are opening it in another.  This may be true, but if harsh penalties were in place instead of the slap on the wrist then chances are many will take heed, and not want the raft of the law down upon them. The laws we have in place right now don't even address all of the problems we have to address everyday when it comes to email spam.  What most don't realize is that even though your home computer is online, and you are having a good time online, or taking care of that trip you plan to take, or even brushing up on the news... You share the Internet with Business too.  What vulnerabilities you face every day, Business faces too.  So I decided to post this.  It does not mean it is the answer to the problem.  It just might instead open your eyes up to what EVERYONE faces everyday online.  The major fact is that business websites including my own about 90% of the emails received is spam.  This means that your ISP, your bank online, or even the store you visit online fights spam at a very large scale every day of the week too.  Many businesses have disabled email through their company online website.  I, myself put in place a new system to handle email, and did away with my own email accounts at my domain website in order to stop the spam.  But it did not stop entirely, I still get about twenty each day.  
On to my post...
While affiliates can help to sell products, they are pretty simple to sign up for, and sell the products that you like selling.  I have tested some of the websites that you can sign up to be a affiliate. There is not much screening done at all. Some do not screen at all. Just sign up, and get the code.
I have asked in the past as to why they permit a affiliate to advertise without showing a valid ID that can be reported to the "RIGHT" website that is paying them? For those whom do not know... When you get a spam email it includes a link, and for the most part the portion of it is the only part there is that shows who is fixing to get paid.  The problem with this is... For the most part the link goes to a website on the product, but it does not mean "That" website is the one paying them. Certain company's allow them to set up the webpages as they see fit. They only ask that certain elements be present on the page. They can use free hosting company's, email, their own paid website, forums, etc. So I am just curious to the fact if they "had" to use a ID that also showed whom was paying them, with maybe a built in address in the ID, or someway to identify who was paying them would this help to cut down on the abuse of the affiliate programs out there? This could also cut down on the amount of Spam. It would cut down on the amount of Spam because the ID would link to the payer, and the spammer would not be able to change the ID in any way in order to hide behind the link. Because the ID they use has to be valid, and because part of their ID is also the information you need incase of abuse. They don't get paid, unless they use that FULL ID. Then the ones getting the Spam would only have to grab that ID check the link in the ID or what ever and go to that website, and file a report on the spammer. The second part of this that needs to be done is the fact that the affiliate paying websites, a lot of them do not have a link to report bad affiliates at. So this would have to be implemented also.  Or maybe the ones paying affiliates would have to announce to maybe the FTC, or some other enity whom among their affiliates made the most money for that quarter? Or that year? Or even that month?  The idea here is to get the ones paying the affiliates to show a little responsibility here.  
Next and this is a maybe, is the ID would be enforced, and no USA affiliates will be allowed to inter into this type of business unless the company hiring them follows the rules.  make it illegal for any affiliate in the USA to go to a foreign country that does not use the same rules, and make the penalty harsh if they do.  Extra fines, that maybe are put into a kettle to help cover the cost of the program maybe?

Plus! The ones allowing the spammer to Spam could be held more accountable, because in the past this has been the number one reason why these websites claim they can't catch them spamming, or do anything about it. or maybe they do know, but choose to do nothing about it.  While you are at it to keep them from claiming 1st 2nd and 3rd party affiliation be sure you cover all the bases and that includes any one on something like a tier.  This way no one can say that person is 2nd tier therfore the rules don't emply.

Next we could have a list of websites that have a bad reputation, and possibly block their emails, and website popups out right server side because we have a better way of knowing whom is doing the spamming from where.  Don't follow USA rules on hiring USA affiliates, and USA affiliates will be ban from participating in your affiliate program.  This also means that banks, and places like paypal would not be able to accept money from a foreign country that is banned.  Cover all bases.
Now last of all you outlaw spam bots, and you place on these individuals very very hefty fines, and imprisonment  for many years, they lose their house because their business has destroyed business, or is hurting business.  etc.  Don't play games with them hurt them where it counts.  After all they are hurting everyone online with their botnets, and their zombies.  What they are doing is deplorable.  Show them no mercy. 
Now you educate the public on how to tell if the affiliate is using a valid ID, and they are following the rules.  It will be those websites that are deemed Spam friendly, and the public will know they can visit those websites.  They can ignore all other spam they receive.
Treat some of them like drug pushers.  because that is what they are selling drugs not approved in the USA, and is being sold by a  foreign country and not sold by USA standards.  Many individuals are scammed, or lose their kidneys, etc because of drugs sold by spammers are illegal in the USA because of their content, or lack of.  get them for fraud too while you are at it.
Another thing to consider is to have someone create a software that works like a anti-virus software, but works on servers or host websites that scans for Spam pages not in compliance.  If the content is nothing but advertising, it should say so in the header of the page.  The ones not labeled as advertisements will be removed, and you would almost have to include the same ID as above. Or include the identifying information of the one supplying the product.  This here could be one of the main keys to the whole system working properly.  A good bonus to this is this could possibly do away with domains that are nothing but advertisments.  A website that is page after page of nothing but ads could be found easier, and if possibe (Big IF) maybe a means to warn the public they are fixing to visit a advertising domain.  Or some sort of warning.  Like I said a (Big If).
There are pitfalls to this, the major one is: What is considered a advertisement?  Would you look for key words?  Or look for key sentences?  Does the admission of a certain type word make the whole page a advertisement?  Do you remove content simply because the website is getting web hits that are coming from a certain ISP? Do you remover the content simply because a ISP asked you too?  I believe you would have to study how anti-spam software works.  You would also have to have a team that could inspect WebPages that you are getting complaints from.   This would get Hosting companies more envolved with the people they are hosting content for.  Even though some may not like this, in the end I believe it's a good idea.  In the past and even now days very few Web Host know exactly whom they are giving space too on the Internet, and what exactly they are doing with that web space.  So this idea makes everyone more accountable for content.

The fact is that up till now they claim a majority of spammers are in the US. If this is true, then possibly a better system for affiliates to follow may be in order.  The USA needs rules for affiliates to follow in order to protect consumers, and business from spam.  No one has of yet come up with anything that works, and this includes the Can Spam Act
Now I know what you are thinking...  that there is no way the USA would ever put this type of system in place, it is way harsh, and may even be too harsh.  Yes it could be far fetched, the idea is to get you to think as a consumer, but also to think ahead when you get that that new very large hard drive.  Do you want twice or three times of spam coming to your inbox? The fact is Spam is taking over the Internet.  The Can Spam Act still allows spammers to spam.  They found a way around the laws, and went back to work spamming in less than a few weeks time.   It is the one lucrative business that someone can hide behind, and never be seen.   Put them in the public eye along with the one that is paying them, and hopefully we will see a differance.  Opting out does not work, placing (spam) in the subject line does not work, and neither does the fines and jail time they have put in place work.  The FTC has stated: "Based on the FTC's experience in more than 60 cases that targeted spam, the report notes that there are three hurdles for the FTC and other law enforcers in anti-spam investigations: identifying, and locating the spammer; developing sufficient evidence to prove the spammer is legally responsible for sending the spam." Even my ideas are ideas, but it does accomplish this.   We need, and this includes everyone to be able to take control of our inboxes.  This is why I posted this. I just have not thought of a better way than this so far.  So if you know of anything better then comment on my blog. 

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Security Software reviews

I run a list on Yahoo, and occasionally I will get a question on the very subject of all of these websites online that recommend Security software or not.  They ask time, and again on how do you know if their review on the software is a good one?
There are no clear cut rules on whom can place these reviews online.  You only need a computer, and a small bit of love or hate for the software.
OH Wait!
Um this means anyone can place their reviews for a product online.  Including the ones selling the product, or advertising it.  Even a rival! So regardless if you have a motive or not, you can pretty much say what you want about the product because in doing so may get you nice rewards, like a check every month. 
So check out the website first before taking their word for it.  See if they are offering the product, or advertising the product.  They may advertise on that page, or they may advertise on a page  not even related to the software.  Be sure they have their customers in good mind, and not their wallets.   
You need to watch other websites too that are only online to bash products.  These website tend to all have one thing in common, and that is, none of their reviews are good ones.  They may bash in order to get you to purchase a rival product.  Or they may just have a hatred for the product.
A well rounded review website shows no biased reports.  They don't limit their reviews in any way.  So say you did post a bad review, no one working on the website would remove your review just because it was a bad review.  The same goes, if you had of given it a good review.  Some don't want good reviews, they just want as much dirt as they can find on the software, they could care less if you like the product.  However you could get your post removed regardless if the review is good or not simply because of the language you used.
The same goes for a website that has a team of people that do nothing but review software.  They will have good reviews, and bad reviews. 
But, the BBB will tell me if the product is a good one or not?
The BBB will only give you reports for the business.  The larger the company, the less chance of you even finding a report on the company.  The smaller the company the better chance they are not even listed on the BBB.  The BBB does not have advice on the product itself.  Yes they may (or might) have info on the transactions for the product.  So it is still a good idea to visit them, and see if they have a listing for that website.
Your security software is one of the most precious of softwares you have on your computer.  Be sure you check around at several places first.  It is also best to do a trial run of the software, before purchasing it.  Not all of your security software will run flawlessly on your computer. 
Last but not least...  If someone is advertising this type software as if you have spyware, adware, virus, or worm on your computer, then just use the esc key to leave that website (located in the upper left hand corner of your keyboard)  and use your own search methods to find out if you do have a problem with your computer.  Don't let these websites use scare tactics to get you to download their software. Most have bad motives for using these scare tactics1 to get you to download their software.  The biggest motive is spyware, and viruses. The second biggest motive is to get you to purchase so they can make money off of you.  You never want to be scared into buying a product.  Never!
1 You need to use the esc key because some of these websites have their windows set up in a way that it doesn't matter what option you click the download still happens. Thus, you end up with the download regardless of what you click.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

(Slashdot and Digg links) Retailer Refuses Hardware Repair Due To Linux installed

manufacturing fault: the hinge to the display has started to crack the plastic casing. Repair was refused, because he has Gentoo Linux on the laptop, replacing the Windows Vista that was pre-installed. PC World said that installing Linux had voided the warranty and there is nothing they will do. The manager said that he has been told to refuse any repairs if the operating system has been changed.  Poster to /. (slashdot) will review comments for your advice.
This guy did nothing wrong, he only installed what most computer stores refuse too offer their customers.  PC World is one of the largest manufacturers of computers in the UK.  If they win this which I doubt, it will open the door up for other manufacturers, like in the USA to try the same stunt.  Many so far have offered advice on slashdot that range from postings like this tidbit posted by  h4rm0ny:
PC World might have a legitimate case in refusing software support for software they didn't supply, it is not legitimate for them to use this to support a different area of failure. Whilst car analogies are not useful for arguing on /., they can be useful in explaining things to a lawyer - it's like changing the car radio and then getting a problem with the exhaust. PC World have taken a look at that radio and said - "we don't support that radio, we can't fix your exhaust."
Now if you look at this and take it word by word it means is that any software you install on the OS could be reason for the manufacturer not to cover the warranty.  They just simply have to hate the software, etc.  They don't like Firefox... Too bad we wont fix your computer because you have Firefox on your computer. 
Yes it's a stupid reason, but I just wanted to point this out because it is well worth mentioning. 
As  Aenoxi pointed out on slashdot:
Section 14(2) of the Sale of Goods Act 1979 imposes a statutory implied warranty that goods sold in the course of a business are of 'satisfactory quality'. This expressly includes issues of durability. Section 6 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act states that when dealing with a consumer, liability arising from a breach of the s. 14 implied warranty cannot be excluded or restricted by reference to any contract term.
So to me this means that the contract that Tikka agreed to is void because the contract itself is unfair due to a warranty contract term.  It's unfair because the durability of the laptop was compromised due to a defect, and the warranty is refused due to a none hardware issue.  So Tikka should be able to get the warranty to cover the cost of fixing the laptop.  Using the OS as a excuse for not fixing the laptop is ludicrous. 
Go to Slashdot if you have good sound advice, or even if you happen to be a Attorney in the UK.  The poster needs help, and or advice.
This same story is on Digg also located here: