Joe Wein's blog

Comments from Tokyo, Japan

Domain scam: domainnotices8320.com / 1-716-650-4793

September 13th, 2014 · 10 Comments

Today I received an e-mail that first looked like a request to confirm domain registration ownership details (“Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above”), but on closer inspection turned out to be a scam:

Attention: Important Notice , DOMAIN SERVICE NOTICE
Domain Name: JOEWEIN.NET

Complete and return by fax to:
1-716-650-4793

ATT: JOE WEIN
ADMINISTRATIVE CONTACT
JOEWEIN.DE LLC
[my email address here]
[my postal address here]
WWW.JOEWEIN.NET
Please ensure that your contact information is correct or make the necessary changes above

Requested Reply
SEPTEMBER 15,2014

PART I: REVIEW SOLICITATION

Attn: JOE WEIN
As a courtesy to domain name holders, we are sending you this notification for your business Domain name search engine registration. This letter is to inform you that it’s time to send in your registration and save.

Failure to complete your Domain name search engine registration by the expiration date may result in cancellation of this offer making it difficult for your customers to locate you on the web.

Privatization allows the consumer a choice when registering. Search engine subscription includes domain name search engine submission. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated below unless you accept this offer. Do not discard, this notice is not an invoice it is a courtesy reminder to register your domain name search engine listing so your customers can locate you on the web.

This Notice for: WWW.JOEWEIN.NET will expire on SEPTEMBER 15,2014 Act today!

Select Term:

[ ] 1 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2015 $75.00
[ ] 2 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2016 $119.00
[ ] 5 year 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2019 $199.00
[ ] 10 year -Most Recommended- 09/15/2014 – 09/15/2024 $295.00
[ ] Lifetime (NEW!) Limited time offer – Best value! Lifetime $499.00

Today’s Date: _____________________ Signature: _____________________

Payment by Credit Card
Select the term above, then return by fax: 1-716-650-4793

JOEWEIN.NET

——————————————————————————————-

By accepting this offer, you agree not to hold DS liable for any part. Note that THIS IS NOT A BILL. This is a solicitation. You are under no obligation to pay the amounts stated unless you accept this offer. The information in this letter contains confidential and/or legally privileged information from the notification processing department of the DS 3501 Jack Northrop Ave. Suite #F9238 Hawthorne, CA 90250 USA, This information is intended only for the use of the individual(s) named above. There is no pre-existing relationship between DS and the domain mentioned above. This notice is not in any part associated with a continuation of services for domain registration. Search engine submission is an optional service that you can use as a part of your website optimization and alone may not increase the traffic to your site. If you do not wish to receive further updates from DS reply with Remove to unsubscribe. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents for this letter is strictly prohibited.

The disclaimer in the final paragraph reveals that this solicitation has nothing to do with my existing domain registration. It’s an offer for an obscenely overpriced “search engine registration” service, which is basically useless. If there is as much as a single existing link to your website from any other website known to Google or other significant search engines, then you don’t need this. Even if you only just created your website, a link from any other site already known to search engines will do — no need to fork out $295 for that. Once search engines find your site from any other site they’ll spider it and index it.

If you receive any such offer, delete it. It’s a rip-off and you don’t need it.

→ 10 CommentsTags: scams · spam

RNBI / Rainbow International Corp – Pump and Dump Spam

August 25th, 2014 · No Comments

Stay away from any from any stocks advertised in spam. The only people making money are the spammers who manipulate suck stock prices.

Example:

BREAKING NEWS

Every once in a while there is a nice opportunity that knocks on the door. The general market is so saturated with overvalued companies at the moment that amazing opportunities are becoming an extremely rare thing these days. One of my analyst friends gave me a call last week and told me that RNBI is about to soar like never before. This is a company that was worth 30 cents a share at the beginning of the summer. Now we can buy RNBI for just 3cents. You heard right, 3 cents. This is the best move of the summer for sure especially since he told me we ll see RNBI hit 10 cents+ this week.

Stay well away from this stock, unless you want to lose money!

→ No CommentsTags: scams · spam · stocks

Upgrading to 14.04.1 LTS or If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it

August 18th, 2014 · 2 Comments

I should have left my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS well alone. Yes, it is over 2 years old, but it worked rock solid and I’ve been good about installing updates on it.

I don’t know what devil rode me last Friday, but when the system informed me that an upgrade to 14.04.1 LTS was available, I went ahead and gave it a try. I should have known better.

When the upgrade finished many hours later, POP access to the dovecot server was no longer working and rsync using modules was broken (rsync daemon not running). I had accepted all the defaults to keep existing configuration files during the upgrade. It turned out that dovecot needed some changes for namespace inbox:

namespace inbox {
...
inbox=yes
}

The rsync daemon needed to be manually enabled again via

sudo vi /etc/default/rsync

RSYNC_ENABLE=true

Hopefully I won’t stumble across more problems that will need fixing, but the experience was a reminder not to needlessly mess with a working system.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Linux

Google Maps Engine brings back custom routes

March 4th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Last year I stopped updating Google Maps on my Android phone because Google had dropped important functionality with Google Maps 7.x. Google Maps 6.x for Android was a great tool for following mapped routes on long bicycle rides, especially randonnes of 200 km and more. After an update I had to revert to Google Maps 6.x to get it back. This also meant I could no longer allow Android to install all available updates in one go. I always had to manually confirm all updates except Maps to not lose 6.x again.

Finally Google has brought this functionality back. There are still missing bits, but at least the product seems usable again for my purposes.

On Android there is an app called Google Maps Engine, which supports loading custom maps. Select “Open a map” in the menu. You’ll get a list of maps created by you or shared with you.

This menu can be populated from a desktop machine. There you can import existing maps created for Maps 6.x. Go to https://mapsengine.google.com/map/ and select “Open a map” (you need to be logged in to your Google account). Select “Classic My Maps”. You’ll be able to select one of your existing maps and import it in to Maps Engine. After that it will become available to the Google Maps Engine app on your Android and you can use it for navigation. The route will show as a blue line and special locations, such as my brevet PCs (“points de controle”, route check points) will show marked with a pin.

One drawback of Maps Engine on the Android compared to the old Google Maps 6.x is that it doesn’t seem to support displaying a ruler on a map yet. Thus when you zoom in or out you won’t be able to tell how far you are from any point you see on the map, whether one cm on the screen corresponds to 100 m or 10 km on the map. This is the same problem that Google Maps 7.x had when it was launched last year. Hopefully it will be fixed soon. Still, it is disconcerting that Google misses out such basic functionality when launching products. Are all their eyes on monetization these days?

→ 1 CommentTags: Android · brevet · cycling · Google · software

Filco Majestouch-2 [FKBN104M/EB2]

February 25th, 2014 · No Comments

Recently, the space bar of the keyboard on my main machine developed a problem, so I ordered a Filco Majestouch-2 (US layout, USB version with PS/2 adapter). It uses brown Cherry MX switches.

I have always liked the feel and feedback of the original IBM PC and IBM PC/AT keyboards (which I first used in 1981). If you’re a fan of the original IBM keyboards, you’ll love this one. The Filco keyboards are not cheap, but you get what you pay for.

There are various models from Filco, some with the blue or black Cherry switches. The brown switches are recommended for general use, including office work and programming. I am very happy with mine and will probably order another one for another of my machines.

→ No CommentsTags: Computers · electronics

PRFC (Epcylon Technologies, Inc) – pump and dump OTC spam

February 22nd, 2014 · 1 Comment

If you removed the following spam, it a “pump and dump” scam. Never buy shares advertised in spam!

Dear [randomvalue],

I know you were expecting to hear back from me much earlier but I didn’t want to get back to you empty-handed. I finally found the perfect stock for you and I am confident that it will make you some serious profit.
Remember the one I told you about in November of last year right? You did very well on it and I think this PRFC stock will do the same for your portfolio again.
I have to let you know though that I’m not the only one who found out about PRFC today.
A few of my colleagues are aware as well and they are telling their friends and family about it so I must advise you to move fast if you want to buy it.
I think it’s trading at just around 15 cents right now, if you wait too long it might be at 30 or even higher and at that time I won’t be able to safely advise you to buy it.
You can buy as many shares as you can first thing at market open on Friday or worst case scenario buy it on Monday but move fast.
I know you don’t care about what the company does because you know I’ve done all the due diligence for you already but PRFC is actually amazing and I think it will do much better than even the one I told you about a few months ago.
One of the company’s divisions offers mobile software solutions for the gaming industry. The mobile apps allow customers to play lottery and other games of chance and skill on their smartphones.
The software is extremely advanced and could be the backbone of all mobile casinos in the future.
It is expected that the US will legalize online gaming in the near future and this could catapult PRFC to new highs however even without that the company’s software is extremely valuable in the rest of the world and could become extremely profitable.
Something big is definitely brewing at the company. I heard something about buy out rumors but I don’t have all the details yet I will keep you posted over the coming days or weeks.
Anyway I won’t bore you with much more blabber, but if you have a second do check out PRFC. By the way I will be expecting a nice gift from you once you make fat bank on this one and a nice dinner with the wives is in order.
It’s been too long since we last spent a good evening over a bottle of wine. I was going to call you to tell you about PRFC but I figured youre probably asleep now with those crazy shifts you’ve been working. Take care and call me if there’s anything.

Talk soon
Your favorite friend and only broker :)

→ 1 CommentTags: scams · spam · stocks

Ex-general Tamogami scores 12% in Tokyo election

February 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Retired Japanese general Toshio Tamogami gained 610,865 votes in the Tokyo gubernatorial in February 2014. This is about 1/8 of the total vote. Tamogami became notorious for remarks justifying Japan’s war of aggression against China and the Allies. He favours abolishing the war-renouncing Japanese constitution and has stated that he thinks Japan should develop nuclear weapons to be taken seriously by China.

Surprising for someone with right wing views like that, an exit poll conducted by Asahi Shimbun showed that the younger the voters, the more support he gained. While only 6% of voters in their seventies had voted for him, 24% of those in their twenties did. This been credited to a successful Internet campaign by Tamogami and his supporters. A less charitable interpretation of it would be that the more likely people are to still remember World War II, the less keen they are to see a repeat of it.

→ No CommentsTags: Japan

The End of Prohibition

January 17th, 2014 · No Comments

At the beginning of 2014, sales of cannabis (marijuana) to adults became legal again in Colorado. It was legal there until 1927. Personal possession and cultivation have already been legal again for one year in both Colorado and Washington, following referendums in which a majority of voters supported ending prohibition in both states. In late December, Uruguay become the first sovereign country to officially permit regulated sales of Cannabis to adults again.

What I find remarkable about these legislative changes is how relatively little fuss they caused. Unlike the 1980s, where political crusades led to increasingly harsh drug laws in many countries, with little regard for human rights, the cost of enforcement and lack of effectiveness, the responses this time have been largely dispassionate and rational. In the US the federal government has adopted a wait and see attitude, deciding to give the states space to enforce their laws as they see fit, as long as cannabis does not cross state lines. Other states are likely to follow in the next couple of years.

America has experimented with Prohibition before, as production and sales of alcohol were illegal from 1919-1933. As we know, alcohol prohibition was an abysmal failure, handing organized crime a huge business opportunity. The US then repeated that mistake with the 1937 “Marihuana Tax Act”. When the US Supreme Court finally declared it unconstitutional in 1969, President Nixon soon replaced it with the Controlled Substances Act. He ignored the recommendations of the Shafer Commission that he had tasked with investigating its harmfulness and the best way to regulate it. The Shafer commission had recommended to decriminalize it.

Over the last decades several countries and states (including the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal) have decriminalized cannabis without legalising sales. Retail sales in Dutch coffee shops are only tolerated, but technically still illegal. Suppliers of coffee shops still operate in a Black Market and can be prosecuted. Spain chose a different model, permitting personal cultivation at home as well as within cannabis social clubs. The model in Uruguay and Colorado goes one step further and is similar to how production and sale of alcohol is handled in many countries.

While there are still international conventions, such as the 1961 Single Convention that restrict national drugs laws of signatory states, they will ultimately have no permanent effect, as they permit member states to withdraw and rejoin with reservations. Bolivia did that a few years ago, to be able to legalise its traditional use of the coca plant. Any other country can do the same for cannabis.

The legal changes in Uruguay, Washington and Colorado reflect a generational change. As people who gathered personal experience with cannabis and had found it less harmful than alcohol gradually aged into their 40s, 50s and 60s, cannabis is less associated with a particular generation. It became increasingly difficult to demonize this herb. Medical use of cannabis further contributed to changes in attitudes.

It makes no sense to use heavy handed criminal law to try to deny adults the use of a less harmful alternative to alcohol. Even if we acknowledge that cannabis use is not entirely benign, laws that would be harsh enough to have a deterrent effect will almost certainly cause more harm to individuals when enforced than use of the substance itself might have. This realization will take longer in some countries than in others, but it will come. Legal discrimination against users of cannabis for recreational, spiritual and medicinal purposes will one day go the way of racial discrimination and homophobia. It took a century from the US civil war to the end of formal segregation in southern states. It has taken decades to dismantle discrimination against homosexual couples. One day we will look back on the war on cannabis users the same way and wonder how come it lasted for so long.

→ No CommentsTags: politics

Road bike rentals in Tokyo

November 18th, 2013 · No Comments

Yesterday I visited the new Astuto Continental shop in Akasaka, Tokyo (map link). GS Astuto is a local wheel builder and bicycle shop run by long time Japan resident Tim Smith.

Besides selling high quality wheels and road bikes, it is now also filling a void in the market in this metroplis of 13 million people: road bike rentals. While there are several companies here renting out “mamachari” (simple utility bikes) and city bikes, it has been difficult for locals and visitors to find road bikes for weekend rides or to explore the country on short stays.

A couple of weeks ago, GS Astuto announced on the Tokyo Cycling Club forum that they were building up a stable of rental bikes in various sizes and shapes, including lightweight road bikes, TT/aero bikes and cyclocross/CX bikes. Tokyo and surroundings are a great place for cycling all year round, whether you prefer flat rides along the major rivers and the coast line or the hills to the west and around Mt Fuji.

The Astuto Continental shop is based in Akasaka Mitsuke not far from Aoyama dori, right next to the Akasaka police station.

Address: 1,2F Akasaka TO Building, 4-9-19 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052 (〒107-0052東京都港区赤坂4-9-19赤坂TOビル1,2F)
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/astutoconti
Contact form: Road Bike Rental in Japan

→ No CommentsTags: cycling · Japan

Adding sudo on Debian Linux

October 4th, 2013 · 1 Comment

For a long time I had been using the sudo command on Ubuntu and other Linux versions, but my main server did not have it installed. I always had to use ‘su’ with the root password to do be able to do administrative jobs. It turns out it was really easy to fix. Simply follow these steps as root (using your actual user name in place of jsmith):

apt-get install sudo
adduser jsmith sudo

This installs the sudo package, creates a sudo user group and the /etc/sudoers configuration file. It then adds your user to the user group sudo, which per the default /etc/sudoers file is permitted to run sudo.

Note that these changes do not take effect for any ssh sessions already open. If you have a running session logged in as the user you just added to the sudoers list and you attempt to use sudo from there, it will ask for your password and then fail with this error message:

jsmith is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

The fix is simple: log out and log back in again. On the new login, the new configuration will be picked up and you will be able to use sudo as intended.

If you would like to do multiple commands from sudo like you could from su, it’s very easy. Simply use sudo to launch a copy of bash and exit after you’re done:

sudo bash

→ 1 CommentTags: Linux · software