FastSupport.com is a Scam!

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One day I logged into my Facebook account to find it has been disabled. Someone had reported my identity as fake and as a result Facebook requested a copy of my ID to prove I was, me.

I sent them my driver’s license. Easy enough, right? Of course not. It’s Facebook we are talking here.

So about 24 hours later they write me back and ask me for more proof.

This time I sent them the first page of my latest bank statement, which included my name and address, a copy of my social security card and a copy of my health insurance card which included my date of birth, which had to match the name and date of birth on my account.

About 24 hours later they write me back, with the exact letter they sent me 24 hours prior, as if I hadn’t just sent them 3 more forms of ID. Forms of ID mind you that they asked for (they provide you a list of what kinds of additional ID they want from you).

So this time I sent them a copy of my vehicle insurance card from Progressive.

The next day I tried to Google out a number for Facebook. I found some web page that gave me a 1-800 number for Facebook tech support. Within a few seconds I was on the phone with someone who said they were Facebook tech support and I told them my problem.

They wanted to connect to my account and asked me to go to FastSupport.com. I did and they connected to my computer remotely.

FastSupport.com Scam

He opened up Facebook and as it had said before, it said …

Thanks for providing your ID
Thanks for your patience as we work to verify this account. We’ll email you as soon as we’ve reviewed your ID.

The next thing he did was go to the command prompt and enter my email address. The thing of it is, you can’t access your gmail account from the dos command prompt. So next he ran the tree command, listing off every directly in my computer. It does nothing more than just display every directory on your drive.

He starts to talk about how someone from Las Vegas has access to my email and has hijacked my account.

Somehow magically when the tree command finished displaying all the directories on my computer he came up with a message telling me that very thing.

Funny thing is, I know just enough about computers to know that isn’t possible to get that sort of message. He would have had to type it in copy and paste it at the cmd line for it to display that message.

Long story short, to fix my poor hijacked computer, I would need to pay him $300. I asked him what this had to do with my Facebook account and he said we can’t fix that problem over the phone, even though previously he had said that’s why he wanted to connect to my computer, so that I didn’t need to upload my ids, he could verify it remotely.

No he can’t do that. But he can fix my “hacked computer” for only $300.

Long story short, don’t fall for the FastSupport.com scam. They are not the official support number for Facebook.

 

The Truth about Xfinity Cable

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Have you ever seen those commercials advertising Xfinity cable and how great their services are? If you are like me you probably have and that means you’ve seen them rave about how you can watch any TV show or movie you want on any device.

That sounds like a great thing, right? But just how great is it really?

Yes there is an app that you can download on your phone and pull up most episodes of any TV show for the current season that you can view on TV. If for example your cable plan doesn’t include BBC America, then you won’t be able to watch any shows from BBC America on your phone or iPad.

I missed the last few episodes of the popular Fox TV show called Lucifer so I decided to download the Xfinity app for my phone and watch one of the missed episodes.

If you were to catch it on TV, it will span 1 hour on TV but the show itself will actually only be about 52 minutes long. That means you’ll get 8 minutes of commercials. That’s usually spread out about 2 minutes long, during 4 different breaks.

You will get several of the same commercial breaks with the xfinity mobile app but even worse.

During the 52 minute long episode you will get about 6 to 10 commercial breaks during which time you’ll have to watch between 4 and 16 commercials each. Yes, you heard me right – I said 16 commercials in a row.

If that in itself wasn’t bad enough, I should point out that they aren’t different commercials, they are the same 4 or 5 commercials replayed over and over and over and over again.

Just imagine how bad it is to have to sit through the exact same United Healthcare commercial 6 times in a row.

If that wasn’t bad enough. When I went to watch the second episode of Lucifer I got about half way through. It played 4 commercials and then stopped playing. I pushed the play button and that triggered a new commercial cycle as if it didn’t realize I just sat through one. Only this time I had to sit through 16 new commercials. I finally got through it and it stopped playing again!

I finally just had to turn the app off before I threw my phone out the window.

The annoying commercials aren’t the only problem with Xfinity. They also have a horrible DVR functionality. You can only record one thing and that is the channel you are currently watching. If you change the channel while recording it will cancel the recording.

And as with all the people who tried to record the Superbowl this year learned the hard way, there is no “record show +30 minutes” feature. If a show is scheduled for say 1 to 2 pm, it will record that channel from 1 to 2 pm but that means a lot of people missed the last 5 minutes of the Superbowl – the overtime, arguably the best part of the game.

Now let’s talk about their customer service.

In addition to cable TV, I also have internet service through Xfinity. On January 11th I received a notification that I had gone over my data limit. Somehow in the previous 11 days my data usage had gone up ten times above normal.

I called tech support and they couldn’t figure it out either. They said they would escalate the ticket and get back with me within 24 hours.  Today is February 8th and I’m still waiting on them to get back with me.

Another thing I want to let you know about is their on time guarantee. They used to have a commercial, not sure if they play this one anymore but they used to advertise that you don’t have to sit around and wait for them to show up all day. They will give you an appointment or be there on time or you get a $20 credit.

In the 3 times during the last year I’ve had to have them out to my house, not a single time have they ever actually made it on time. They will make an appointment for say Monday from 2 to 5 pm. You sit around and wait and they don’t show up. They don’t call. Nothing. You have to call and file a complaint to get a new appointment and then demand the promised $20 credit.

This happened to me not once, not twice but three times now.

So next time you are thinking about getting cable TV or using Xfinity for internet service, just remember this post.

 

What’s the best way to make money in the Township game?

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I’ve been playing a new game, it’s the Township app for my iPhone. I did pretty good until I got to about level 30 but I also spent way to much real money buying Township Cash. That I didn’t want to do anymore but I found myself struggling, until I did the math.

So how do you earn enough money to do well in the game without spending real life money? The answer is farming wheat.

Township Game

Simply put, wheat takes 2 minutes to grow. It’s free to plan and in return you are paid 1 gold coin and 1 experience point.

If you have the super harvest bonus activated, you’ll make 2 gold because you’ll harvest 2x as much.

At level 38, I have 55 farming plots available.

That means I can plant 55 wheat plots that will take 2 minutes to grow. Because I have the super harvest bonus activated, I get 110 gold every 2 minutes. This works out to be 55 gold per minute.

I could take that wheat and instead of selling it outright turn it into bread which sells for 5 coins each and gives 2 experience points each. But if you do the math, that doesn’t pay as much per minute.

So the answer is, to make the most money you can in the Township game, you need to grow wheat and sell it as fast and as often as you can.

My doctor said I had IBS, but that wasn’t what was really wrong with me

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When I was a little girl, maybe as young as 10 years old I began having “stomach problems”. After lots and lots of tests, the doctor determined I needed more fiber in my diet. I would have to pour a spoonful of some sort of sawdust like substance on my fiber rich cereal each morning.

As an adult I never really got better. I wouldn’t have problems all the time but every once in a while things would flare up and I would begin to suffer again.

I was told as an adult I needed more protein in my diet and with a diet high in red meats, I absolutely didn’t get better. In fact, if anything it made me want to avoid red meats all together.

Eventually I was told I had IBS, which is short of irritable bowel syndrome – this was in my late 20s, or early 30s. My grandmother had IBS so apparently I did too.

If you look at the list of symptoms for IBS you would have agreed with the doctor too. I had pain, in my abdomen. The cramping and discomfort varied but at times it was horrible. I had excessive gas, and at times urgent need to defecate.

But despite being able to check off all the little symptom boxes for IBS that isn’t what I have. My doctors were wrong. All of them.

My little sister had a daughter who at a young age began to have similar symptoms to me. Only after all these years, medical testing had advanced and without much effort they were able to figure out her problem, she had some sort of milk allergy.

As we learned to pay attention to what she ate, I learned to watch my own food. I think I first noticed it when I went to Taco bell. Afterwards I had what I began to call episodes.

The one day I was at a Mexican restaurant and had the chips and queso. Again, another episode.

In time I figured out that any time I had cheese, milk and even butter, I would have an episode. After decades of suffering and misdiagnosis by countless doctors, I learned the one very simple truth, my body can’t tolerate dairy. I have to avoid it if I don’t want to get sick.

I had to get REALLY bad before things got better for me but now I know what causes my problems and I know not only to avoid all sorts of dairy but that if I still have occasional pains, I go on a very bland diet for a few days, maybe even a full week and I’m all good.

So before you get on tons of meds to treat your IBS, make sure in fact you do have IBS. Make sure it’s not something as simple as being lactose intolerance or a milk allergy.

 

The support of public televison

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I finally got around to watching season six of Downton Abbey which was the final season in the series. I loved Downtown Abbey. The production values for a TV show were quite simply out of this world I had never seen anything like it.

In the United States we have to watch this British television show on PBS, or like me, you pay to watch it on internet sites like Amazon Prime.

Downton Abbey was actually produced by the BBC but instead of getting to watch it on BBC America we instead have to watch it on PBS because they spend millions of dollars to buy the rights for it.

PBS (Public Service Television) doesn’t work like normal TV channels. Instead of making money through selling ad space (ie: commercials) or through monthly subscriptions (ie: HBO) PBS makes its money through donations.

I’m not a fan of this method. Why beg users for money and let’s be clear here, that is exactly what they do day in and day out, when you can just sell ad space and be done with it?

Beyond that, what happened to all that money they made on shows like Teletubbies and Barney? We all know that PBS made a killing in merchandise rights for those shows.

  • The Teletubbies began in 1997. They were an instant success.
  • Before that there was Barney and Friends in 1992. I think we all know how hugely successful that franchise was.

Those shows make a crap load of money, hundreds of millions a year in merchandising rights if not upwards of a billion a year.

PBS is a non-commercial not for profit, broadcast television distributor and in 2011 PBS made close to a billion dollars in revenue — $838.4 million to be exact.

It’s that money they use to buy the rights to shows like Downton Abbey so they can then play while they beg us for money.

It just doesn’t make sense!!

Most of public television’s revenues come from private membership donations and grants most stations solicit individual donations by methods including fundraising, pledge drives or telethons, which disrupt regularly scheduled programming.

This annoys some viewers, since regularly scheduled programming is often replaced with specials aimed at a wider audience (such as music specials aimed at the baby boomer generation, and financial, health and motivational programs) to solicit new members and donations; during fundraising events, these programs are often interrupted within the broadcast by long-form segments (of six to eight minutes in length) encouraging viewers to donate to their PBS member.

Instead of running a 6 to 8 minute commercial to beg for donations, why not just sell that 6 to 8 minutes in commercials and save us viewers the hassle?

Long story short, I hate PBS. Not because of lack of quality programming but because their business model is retarded and makes no sense.

Update: I found out today that the government spends almost half a billion dollars a year to fund PBS. So in addition to the nearly billion dollars a year in revenue, they also get an addition $500 million a year from the government. SERIOUSLY?

 

It’s Good to be the King’s Son

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They say it’s good to be king, but in reality it’s much better to be the king’s son, at least that is the case with the British monarchy.

tiara

Whoever is King or Queen of England automatically becomes the Duke (or Duchess) of Lancaster. That’s been the case since 1399. It’s a huge private estate, very much in the Downton Abbey style.

This estate is an amazing 45,550 acres of land holdings which includes some rural estates and farmland, urban developments, historical buildings and some commercial properties.

lancaster

The money this land generates goes to support the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II is the current Duchess of Lancaster.

The overall value of the land is worth about $580 million and generates about $19 a year in income which is used to support the royal family.

Sounds great, right?

Well, that’s nothing compared to what the King or Queen’s first born gets. As the eldest son of the current ruling monarch, you automatically inherit to Duke of Cornwall. This land is much bigger, and covers 135,000 acres.

cornwall

The modern day value of this land is almost a billion dollars and generates about $23 million a year in revenue, all for the Duke of Cornwall. The current Duke of Cornwall is Prince Charles.

When Prince Charles becomes King, he inherits the Duchy of Lancaster and, his son Prince William becomes the Duke of Cornwall.

 

Beyond the new IT television series

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I’ve been seeing ads for the new series called Beyond, for weeks now. I was really looking forward to seeing it.

But right off the bat there were problems … well, at least for me.

At the start you see a young Holden about to enter high school, drinking a beer with his best friend. This puts him at 14 or 15 years old. They are very clear at the very start where the two best friends are saying they are about to enter high school.

Fast forward 12 years and that makes him 26 or 27.

The problem is, he looks barely 18. He is 24 in real life.

The little brother who at the start of the show was a couple years younger than him, is now 12 years later in college. If he was 10 to 12 or so at the start, he would now be 22 to 24.

Most people graduate college at 21.

However in the first episode of the series Holden asks his little brother how old he is now and he says 17. This means his little brother at the start would have only been 5 years old.

Here are two images of the little brother. Obviously he’s not a 5 year old. He’s 10 if he’s a day!

little-brother-1 little-brother-2

If this “12 year coma” was such a key point in the story, why not make the characters obviously older or maybe the 12 years significantly less to match the new ages of the characters. It just doesn’t make sense.

In real life the man who plays the character of Holden’s younger brother is actually 25, a year older than the man who play’s Holden’s character is, in real life.

But to the show’s credit, Jonathan Whitesell does look way younger than Burkely Duffield.

When they re-introduce the best friend character, as an adult, he’s now working as a high school counselor, working on finishing his PhD. This matches up as the average student takes 8.2 years to get through the PhD program, and is 33 years old before they finally get their PhD.

Freeform which used to be the ABC Family Channel is known for teen shows like The Fosters, Shadowhunters, Pretty little Liars, Switched at Birth, and Cheer squard, it seems out of the ordinary for them to green-light a show meant for people in their mid to late 20s,

Then again maybe they are trying to break out and bring in a new age group. Their show Party Girl is about a 27 year old and Ben and Lauren Happily Ever After is a show for the Bachelor fans, which is most people with females in that 21 to 35 age group.

So back to the show itself … what do you think? Were you annoyed as I was about the age issues? To me it was so distracting. I had a hard time focusing on the show because I kept trying to do the math in my head.

Age discrepancy aside, I like the show. I think it has a lot of potential.

Update: I decided to binge watch the whole series. In episode 6 they reveal that he was 13 the summer before he went into a coma, making him 14 or near it a year later and he is now 25.

 

Rules of Engagement is a copy of ‘Til Death

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I realize that a lot of TV shows and movies are similar, but some don’t even try to be different. Case in point Rules of Engagement.

It’s a direct copy of the same ‘Til Death, which ran from 2006 to 2010 and starred Eddie Stark from Everybody Love Raymond.

In ‘Til Death there was a married couple, an engaged couple (that lives next door) and a single friend. In short it’s a show about an old married couple and a young, newly engaged couple.

til-death-tv

In Rules of Engagement there is a married couple, an engaged couple (that lives in the same building) and a single friend. In short it’s a show about an old married couple and a young, newly engaged couple.

rulesofengagementcurrentcast

I decided to do some digging to find other shows or movies that were alike and here is what I found …

  • Armageddon / Deep Impact
  • Paul Blart Mall Cop / Observe and Report
  • The Prestige / The Illusionist
  • Chasing Liberty / first Daughter
  • Antz / A Bug’s Life
  • Turner and Hooch / K-9
  • Olympus Has Fallen / White House Down
  • Friends with Benefits / No Strings Attached
  • Shark Tale / Finding Nemo
  • Mirror Mirror / Snow White and the Huntsman
  • Tombstone / Wyatt Earp
  • Striptease / Showgirls

 

Do you Stash? I just started.

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The experts say that you need to start investing for retirement by the time you are 30. I’m well past 30 and haven’t saved a single dime. Isn’t that horrible?

The Best Way To Predict The Future is to Create It
I know I should. I’ve always mean to and sometimes I even do, or at least I try to. But life happens and it seems like every time I start to get ahead, something blows up.
Recently however, I discovered an app called Stash. They have a 30-day free trial so I decided to check it out.

Basically, it’s an investment app. You put money in your account and use that money to invest into various funds.

I intended to start out slow with $5, the minimum required to invest in a fund. However, I messed up by clicking buttons without reading and ended up with $15 instead of $5. Still, $15 wasn’t bad so I went ahead and pushed forward.

With my $15 Stash balance, I spent $5 on three different funds.

Yes, I know investing $5 in something isn’t going to make me rich. But that wasn’t really my point. I was just trying to learn how it all worked.

After two weeks, I put another $5 into my Stash account, and then invested that in another fund.

At the end of the month, I seen a small return on all my investment funds, except for one. I picked “All That Glitters” because someone once told me that investing in things like Gold and Silver during times of political turmoil was a good idea. I put $5 into my fund during the Trump and Clinton election. So far, that fund is down 2.16%. Guess that’s what I get for listening to random people about investing.

Overall though I was still ahead, making more than I invested, so I put another $5 into my Stash account. This time, instead of finding a new fund, I put it in a fund that I had previously invested in. The Raw Earth fund had the most gains so now with a $10 investment into Raw Earth, I’m happy to say that I am showing a 4.27% growth.
By investing small amounts, $5 or $10 here and there, it makes saving money easier. My sister invests 4% of her check every month into her retirement account. That’s only $250 a month, and I know I should do that too but I just don’t. I’m sorry I’m just not that responsible.

Instead I’m going to try it this way. I’ll put $5 in every time I have a little bit of money. During the first 30 days of using this app that turned out to be $30.

By the way, you can find the Stash app in iTunes. It’s free to use for the first 30 days and then after that it cost $1 per month.

If you don’t know anything about investing, don’t worry. They make it easy.

  • Step 1: Deposit some money into your Stash Account
  • Step 2: Tell it something you like. ie: Movies, Jewelry, The Environment (You have a long list to pick from)
  • Step 3: Invest the money you put into your Stash account in one of the suggested funds.
  • Step 4: Wait and watch your money grow.

You won’t get rich overnight but it’s nice seeing that $5 you put in turn into $5.10 and then $5.43 and then eventually who knows how much.

This isn’t really meant for short term earnings. It’s about the long haul. Put some money in today, invest it and forget about it. Over time that $5 will grow. It will one day become $10 or maybe even more.

The point is, that you do something. Nobody ever really has a lot of spare money lying around but you have to try and saving money and investing in your future with a mobile app like Stash makes it a lot less painful.

If you put just a tiny bit of money in your Stash account every time you can, it will start to add up over time.

Update: In the end I used the app for 90 days, which ended up costing me $2 since my first 30 days were free. I ended up making a 1.46% return on my total investment. Since I actually made more than I spent I call it a win but even better, it actually forced me to save money that I wouldn’t have otherwise done.

Are you descended from royalty?

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Someone once said if you go back far enough, we are all related in some way or another to a member of some royal family.

The question is, what if you really can prove you are an heir to a long lost aristocratic title. Can you claim it?

Most counties, including the British peerage, pass title titles based on the eldest son. If a titled person dies with no son, it reverts to the line of the second son of the previous generation and if that fails it reverts to the third son an so on. For this reason it’s rare for their to be no heir to a title or go into abeyance as they call it, but it could and has happened.

For example, the 9th Baron De La Warr and 6th Baron West died in 1554. At his death, the baronies of West and De La Warr fell into abeyance because he had no children. This meant the co-heirs were the two daughters of his half-brother, Sir Owen West, who was the eldest son of his father’s third marriage.

The barony was eventually reclaimed and re-created by William West, the elder son of Sir George West, second son of Thomas West, 8th Baron De La Warr, by his third wife, Eleanor Copley, and Elizabeth Morton, widow of Robert Walden, and daughter of Sir Robert Morton of Lechlade, Gloucestershire. He was nephew and adopted heir of his uncle of the half blood, Thomas West, 9th Baron De La Warr, eldest son of the 8th Baron’s second wife, Elizabeth Mortimer.

But what about one that has been in abeyance for a really long time? Well it is entirely possible for a peerage to remain in abeyance for centuries. The Barony of Grey of Codnor was in abeyance for over 490 years. It fell into abeyance in 1496 and was only reclaimed in 1989.

That being said, as of 1972 it’s not easy to claim a title that has been in abeyance for more than 100 years. There are exceptions to the rules, but as I said before, it won’t be easy. You’ll have to no doubt do a lot of homework, have a lot of proof and get some legal help.

There are a lot of extinct British peerages. Here are just the Baron’s alone from the last 100 years and next to that is the year they went into abeyance.

  • Baron FitzHardinge 1916
  • Baron Colchester 1919
  • Baron Seaforth 1923
  • Baron Abercromby 1924
  • Baron Ribblesdale 1925
  • Baron Bateman 1931
  • Baron Emly 1932
  • Baron Wenlock 1932
  • Baron Castletown 1937
  • Baron Tenterden 1939
  • Baron Alington 1940
  • Baron Bingley 1947
  • Baron Berwick 1953
  • Baron Seaton 1955
  • Baron Egerton 1958
  • Baron Tredegar 1962
  • Baron Dorchester 1963
  • Baron Nugent 1973
  • Baron Romilly 1983
  • Baron Ormathwaite 1984
  • Baron St Leonards 1985
  • Baron Sherborne 1985
  • Baron Greville 1987
  • Baron Lurgan 1991
  • Baron Calthorpe 1997

These are the Earls

  • Earl Brassey 1919
  • Earl Brownlow 1921
  • Earl Farquhar 1923
  • Earl Loreburn 1923
  • Earl of Ashburnham 1924
  • Earl of Northbrook 1929
  • Earl of Lathom 1930
  • Earl of Orford 1931
  • Earl of Camperdown 1933
  • Earl of Dartrey 1933
  • Earl Buxton 1934
  • Earl of Londesborough 1937
  • Countess Cave of Richmond 1938
  • Earl of Berkeley 1942
  • Earl of Sussex 1943*
  • Earl Wavell 1953
  • Earl Manvers 1955
  • Earl Roberts 1955
  • Earl Jowitt 1957
  • Earl of Athlone 1957*
  • Earl of Feversham 1963
  • Earl of Danby 1964
  • Earl Alexander of Hillsborough 1965
  • Earl of Chesterfield 1967
  • Earl Stanhope 1967
  • Earl of Kilmuir 1967
  • Earl Poulett 1973
  • Earl of Stamford 1976
  • Earl of Midleton 1979
  • Earl Beauchamp 1979
  • Earl of Ancaster 1983
  • Earl of Birkenhead 1985
  • Earl of Avon 1985
  • Earl of Ypres 1988
  • Earl Amherst 1993
  • Earl Sondes 1996
  • Earl of Munster 2000
  • Earl of Halsbury 2010
  • Earl Kitchener of Khartoum 2011

If you want to claim claim to an Earldom, all you have to do is prove your claim. However it may not be easy. Abeyant titles can be claimed as of right, but only by someone who can prove that he (or she) is the sole surviving legitimate descendant in the entire world of the last holder.

Getting a hundred+ years worth of verified documents won’t be easy but it’s not impossible.