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The Almighty Buck

'Free Broadband' Scam Exposed 168

dslknowitall writes: "It appears that is first on the crime scene regarding's scam to offer free broadband access for the price of only two spam's a day (remember winfire, anyone?). "If you remember back on December 18th we raised the warning flag concerning a DSL provider known as, who's business stank of illegitimacy. With a website made up of plagiarized portions of other providers terms of service, and a qualification system that claimed it could provide service to locations like "the dark side of the moon", it appeared to be a scam waiting to happen." Not only a well written piece but lots o' backgroud too!"
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'Free Broadband' Scam Exposed

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  • by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:44PM (#3086924) Homepage
    Not@home []

  • by InfinityWpi ( 175421 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:45PM (#3086936)
    You get what you pay for. Especially online.

    Unless you get less than what you pay for.

    Almost never do you get more than you pay for.
    • You get what you pay for. Especially online.

      Unless you get less than what you pay for.

      Almost never do you get more than you pay for.

      Except that you're reading this for free on Slashdot, run on open source software used for free, on a browser you didn't pay for (unless you use opera), ...

    • Yah, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is too good to be true. The problem is people want to believe there's such a thing as a free lunch and will go to great lengths to convince themselves that this is true. Most scams that I have run across or heard of have relied on the fact that people tend to do this.

      The hell of it is, you really can't disabuse the beguiled people of their notions. If you threaten to burst their bubble, they become highly defensive and behave as is you personally are trying to ruin this great deal they found.

      • Good thing I never fell for that Free operating system scam. NO ONE would ever believe that you could get software thats commercial quality (or better in many cases) for free.

        Cmon, if your Joe Sixpack, and looking to get fast internet access for p0rn, you've probably heard about all sorts of things on the internet that are free, or much much cheaper than the local store. Its not too much of a streach for him/her to think that this is legit.

        Especially if they know nothing about other DSL options/costs.
    • Well I once received a well used packaging tape gun inside a brown cardboard box that contained my mini skateboard.
  • hehe as often as i see that phrase bandied about on this site, perhaps here it really applies?

    seriously, DSL in BFE arkansas for free? c'mon, had to be a scam.
  • Oh nos!! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    We can't get something for free??? We have to pay for things??? This is anti-open source! I refuse to believe it!!
    • I'm still waiting for for my Earning $$$s At Home, the kidney machine for that Florida kid, and all the free pr0n^H^H^H^Humm..
  • Irony (Score:4, Interesting)

    by TrollMan 5000 ( 454685 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:46PM (#3086940)
    As it turns out, our scrutiny only helped to improve the scam, as our users nitpicking of the sites inconsistencies provided a template for DSLMonster to author a more convincing website that would appear a month later and would lead to more bilked customers.

    I just hope people don't get angry at DSLReports for what they did. They were only trying to provide a service for their readers.

    According to the employees of DSLMonster, many of whom seemed to have legitimate DSL industry experience, they claim they were completely unaware of Mr. Dyer's plans...

    The Enron defense, anyone? How can people in a compnay not know of the plans by management. Anyone in the billing department, for example, would have seen the excessive billing practices.
    • If the scam company had been up and running for more than two months maybe. The way it works is by the Proprerties of the 'Somebody Elses Problem' effect. You just spend 3 months unemployed (or longer) and this startup hires you right away. your first few weeks there you start to notice that the billing isn't consistant, but you were just hired so it Must be Somebody Elses Problem. Perhaps the programmer of the billing software etc. Maybe you send some anonymous e-mails out to feel better but you don't stop to question anyone directly.
      Anyways The Somebody Elses Problem field effect is so potent that a device to cloak you in a SEP field could run virtually forever on a AAA battery.
    • Inconsistant billing was pretty normal in the DSL arena. (Probably elsewhere as well) When I first signed up for DSL, I went monthes without being billed correctly. My service was so spotty that I was getting a lot of credit. I went several monthes without being billed at all. Then my provider got bought out. And I got charged for everything, even the credit I was supposed to given. Of course, they had laid off all the phone people to complain to about it. To make a long story short. My acount got sold to another company, who got bought out by yet another company. At that point I took them up on their offer to opt out of service. But you can probably guess the punchline of this story. In another 6 monthes, Company four puts a several hundred dollar charge on my credit card, insisting that I pay for service that wasn't provided. In the end, I had to dispute the charge through visa to get it reversed. In fact, almost every ISP that I have ever had accounts with have screwed up billing. The only exception was an ISP that I paid once a year with a check.

      The lesson I learned is that billing can be so screwed up, that it doesn't necessary follow that the people in the billing department even know what direction is up.
    • How can people in a compnay not know of the plans by management.

      3-hour Mandatory (and no pee break) all hands meetings.

      3-page handed-down-no-input-from-you-is-necessary-just-si gn-it-thank-you-very-much-or-you're-fired- "individualized*" recommendations for actalizing certain corporate initiatives with corporatespeak at the top like "two-way communication is vital"

      2-reorganizations per quarter, possibly more. ymmv

      * by typing your name near the top

      The realization that, in many respects, your manager is NOT the micromanaging prick you thought he was, but simply a note carrying go-fer whose notes have been passed through several other layers of go-fers for the real micromanagers, who should have been acting like VPs but are fighting over terf as if THEY were the ones in danger of being laid off.

      how CAN people in a company know the real pland by management?
  • SPAM (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Ahhh yet again we see the wonders of spam, but I would surely apply for broadband if they could promiss me that I would only get two spam emails pr day ;)
  • Remember Winfire? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grinwell ( 138078 )
    Hard to believe it's been a year (almost to the day).

    Winfire article []

    That was less scammy than this one though. Winfire was built on the solid premise that people would stay crazy and pour money into crazy ventures for at least another two years.
  • Detective Shelton informed us that he believes Dyer has fled the area. Dyer supposedly had a New Jersey driver's license, but New Jersey law prohibits releasing the photo.

    Umm, perhaps New Jersey law can make an exception in cases of suspected fraud? I don't understand how a photo of a suspect who pretty much appears to have ripped off consumers and advertisers alike has to be kept private, while he gets away more and hides his identity.

    I respect privacy, but I think I can make an exception for this guy.
    • Re:No Photo? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ari_j ( 90255 )
      New Jersey LAW . If you want to go around making exceptions to laws for reasons of hunting suspected criminals down, then feel free to go back to the USSR, Stalin era. For me, I'm proud to be an American, where laws are usually laws until the courts decide otherwise.
    • Re:No Photo? (Score:2, Informative)

      by jeffy124 ( 453342 )
      NJ cant release the photo because they dont have it! NJ DL's use an instant photo that doesnt get stored in a database. It's even possible in NJ to have non-photo DL's (as long as you've had a photo DL previously).
      • Thank you, I did not know that, and that completely answers my question.

        As for everyone else who flamed me b/c I want this guy to get busted, and telling me that I should go back to USSR Stalin era, are you suggesting and suspected criminals cannot have any information disclosed about them? I wasn't suggesting anything radical. If there is enough evidence that you have committed a crime, the authorities have every right to post your picture at the post office or announce your name on the news, especially if you are fleeing, as this guy is doing. If every potential criminal could not have their name or image disclosed, I would think that there would be a lot more criminals still at large. So please, think about what you're saying before bashing.
        • Yes, they have a right to post a picture.

          The DMV there, however, does not have the right to RELEASE the picture.

          If the police attain a picture of this guy through anyh other means, it's wanted poster time.
        • A few years ago someone broke into my then-current office through the skylight in the roof. The person really hurt himself coming in as the roof was about 20 feet above the floor and when I came in the door the following morning I found the electronic equipment that had been sitting on the counter under that skylight completely smashed and there was a trail of blood on the counter and along the floor and out the back fire exit door. In fact, I thought there might be someone laying dead in the office, that's how bad it looked.

          I phoned the police and they came and then went to the hospital to check on who had been admitted the previous night with severe injuries. No dice. The hospital would not provide any information to the police as to who, if anyone, had come to the hospital with that type of injury.

          And the case was never solved.
          • Wow. Again, this must differ by state, because I'm very sure I've heard of cases where hospitals report someone who came in with bullet wounds, or question people with severe drug use, who have the cops waiting for them when they come out of detox. Perhaps it was also different here because the injuries were not so closely linked to illegal activities, but if hospitals never disclosed info to authorities, there would be no need for underground doctors and clinics. Remember Reservoir Dogs, and Tim Roth wants to go to the ER?
          • sounds like that part in the Jim Carrey movie Liar Liar where his secretary told the story of a burglar who succesfully sued a friend of hers because he landed on a steak knife after he came down the skylight.

            curious, what state was that where the hospital wouldnt talk?
        • i agree with you when you say that if nj had it, they should release it, but unfortunately that law would get called into play during the guy's trial, nullifying any punishment against him. i do agree totally that if criminals could have their dl photos published, there'd be a lot less criminals out there. which is one reason i am in favor of systems like face recognizers running in Tampa and other cities. most people are against it, but they dont fully understand how the system works. if they knew how it worked, they'd see how their own privacy is protected and how false-positives are prevented. I personally view the ACLU as the American Criminal Liberties Union, as it seems everything they have a problem with is because it could potentially be used against a wanted criminal. (their own report on Tampa has major flaws in it, including how it works)
          • I've read quite a bit about the face recognition programs, and although they may have privacy issues, it's biggest problem is that it simply dose not work. Most law enforcement agencies that are trying it are experiencing extremely high false match rates, and are having more frustration with it than success. I'm sure you can point out some success stories, which may get trumpeted, but the truth is that face recognition technology does not seem to be at a point where it is usable. The fact that many airports announced they would installing it after 9/11 was a kneejerk reaction to calm the public about their safety more than anything else.

            As for the ACLU, well, they do stick up for criminals sometimes, but they're also an important entity for our rights. For every 1 wacko case they latch onto, they seem to undertake 10 worthwhile ones from what I've seen.
    • Re:No Photo? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 )
      Inocent until proven guilty.
      They can go to a judge for a warrant. If a judge won't issue them one, then they don't have any evidence this guy is commiting fraud.

      If you start throwingout laws, and privacy concerns just because someone may have committed a crime, you loose everything.
    • Re:No Photo? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by .sig ( 180877 )
      So if I accuse you of fraud you think privacy laws should be suspended allowing me to post your picture all over the place further accusing you?

      Remember, even if we all know it was a scam, he's still innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

      • You have to get him into that court of law somehow first. And if he uses fake documents and changes his name, and we can't find him because his picture is not available, what then? Well, he got away, but at least we protected his privacy! I'm not suggesting they give out his Social and Mother's Maiden Name to the public, only something that helps track him down.
        • And if he uses fake documents and changes his name...

          I'm a bartender and bouncer. In our town we must go to classes offered by the police where they tell us how to check for fake IDs. (drivers licenses anyway). One of the interesting facts we learn there is that New Jersey is one of the easier licenses to fake, and to be suspect of all of them.
          • That does ring a bell, I think I saw a special that listed that also as one of the states that many online help sites for making fake ids advocate using. Most states have switched to holograms, barcode, and different angles activating various images as ways of protecting licenses - any idea if NJ is planning to adopt these measures?
            • I live in New Jersey, and although previous administrations (Whitman, DeFrancesco) have given the idea of updating our licenses to something more modern lip service, the current governor (McGreevy) hasn't even mentioned.

              Not that the minors around here mind. They *are* very easy to fake. Hell, when your license comes up for renewel when you're 21 (assuming you get it at the minimum age of 17) you don't even have to have a photo on it!
              • You have to be kidding! Not only are they free to from any modern anti-counterfeiting measures, but your photo is optional? God, I'm over 21, but I'm going to see if I can get a fake license just for the heck of it :) Hmm, actually getting carded might be more difficult though.
          • New Jersey is one of the easier licenses to fake

            I'll attest to that. I'm from NJ and in college in PA. I've seen many using forged NJ licenses. One person even went to a NJ DMV claiming to be a friend who had lost his license. All he needed was his friend's mother's maiden name and $5 and he got a photo license in his friend's name. In PA, one just has to call the DMV and they mail you a new one, using a photo stored in a DB from your previous visit.

            When I turned 21, my original license expired. DMVs sends people a renewal form about 2 months before expiration, you fill out and send back with a check for the fees, and they send you a non-photo license. Well, I figured I could hang on to the previous license and use the two in conjunction at the liquor store, etc, especially since I was on an internship in MD and couldnt get up to NJ during business hours to get a photo license. Some would take it, others wouldnt, including some that would on some occasions, but not others. Even though the two cards had the same DL numbers on them, same physical info (eyes, height, etc), address, they wouldnt take them.

            Now hat I have a photo license, I still have problems on occasion. Every now and then someone will point to the "DUP" marking on it (it means duplicate). They make me see a credit card or my school ID (which used to be faded and tough to make out my face, but I've since gotten a new one).

            Now that I've ranted about NJ's problems, it's plainly easy to see how NJ can stop being targeted for fake IDs and stop all the annoyances for the real 21 year olds by simply adopting a PA or MD style system.

            I'm curious, what types of things are you instructed to be suspicious about with NJ licenses?
      • So if I accuse you of fraud you think privacy laws should be suspended allowing me to post your picture all over the place further accusing you?

        No, and no one is suggesting allowing individuals to act as vigilantes in the case. I do think a legitimate law enforcement agency ought to be able to obtain information, with a warrant (or other appropriate legal document), that may help solve a crime. Now, the case may not yet have reached the stage of issuing a warrant, but when that happens, I have a problem with a state agency not complying with a warrant due to state laws. A doubt a criminal suspect has a reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to government records containing information about him or her.

        No one is saying state agencies ought to routinely provide information to the police so they can monitor citizens.

        Now, if NJ doesn't have a picture (as some have opioned), then that's a different story as to why they won't provide it - but doesn't change my opinion on the need to provide such data when available.

        • New Jersey is a photo-id drivers license state, and afaik has been longer than the renewal date. Hence they most likely have a picture of the gentleman somewhere...
          • New Jersey only requires that your first in-state license be a photo license. After that, as someone else mentioned, they send you a form in the mail about 2 months before the four year expiration comes up, you mail it back to DMV with a check, and they send you a non-photo license.

            And the photos for your first license are instant, not digital, they don't keep a copy in a database.
    • No photo? I find it really hard to believe.

      I suspect that if they go through proper channels, or have their ADA contact the NJ. ADA they could get it.

      Geek wins against Mattel, Mattel retaliates! []

    • I live in New Jersey, and don't remember exactly when photo licenses here were introduced - 12 or 14 years ago I think, about.

      The way the Department of Motor Vehicles operates, photo licenses are only issued to applicants who apply for them in person at a DMV office, which is widely considered throughout the state to be an experience to be avoided at all costs. Renewals by mail or www are issued without photographs.

      I hope this crook gets caught, but it's entirely possible if the guy has been driving for a few decades that DMV may have no photograph on file.

    • Err ... he's an accused scalawag, not a proven scalawag. You'd be surprised at how strict drivers' privacy protection laws have become since the death of that actress from Kate & Alley a few years back. And the Supreme Court has upheld the restrictions over claims that they violate the Commerce Clause and the Tenth Amendment.
      • I tried doing a quick search, and I really can't find anything about this death that you mention. I don't remember this at all - can you provide any quick details?
  • by teamhasnoi ( 554944 ) <> on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:47PM (#3086949) Journal
    I would think if I was an employee at this company, I'd start to wonder just when we were going to start installing anything.. for pete's sake, you can't tell me the employees didn't have a clue what was going on, unless of course they were too busy bidding on figurines at eBay, and watching their Enron stock plummet....
    • To be honest with you, the company "I" used to work for was doing some scummy stuff..ya know what? Everyone knew, but no one cared? Why? Because they were having massive layoffs, and people were just happy to WORK, People were having kid's birthdays, and marriages, so the "bad" stuff the company was doing was just talk for the smoking lounge. It ultimately didnt matter. Am I responsible for the Board of Director's actions? Am I held accountable? If I WERE held accountable, raise my salary to what THEY got, and I'll accept the accountability. Other than that, people don't give a crap. Tell Walmart employees that they work for a monopoly, and tell me how manyof them care. :)
  • You just knew it couldn't be true ...

    My father signed up for their service a few months back, despite the fact that I told him it was a bad idea (I had read the articles questioning their legitimacy). I guess he has a report to file when he gets back in town now.

    Tsk, Tsk.
  • I Don't Get It (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ksw2 ( 520093 )
    If the service was only supposed to cost users "two spams a day", how did they pocket a bunch of money? Did you have to leave a deposit or what?
  • by Christianfreak ( 100697 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:50PM (#3086964) Homepage Journal
    regarding's scam to offer free broadband access for the price of only two spam's a day

    What a second. The linked article says that customers were double and triple billed. What did they get 4-6 spams instead of 2? Or is this statement wrong and there was a cost for the service?
    • read the article. people had to pony up $129 via credit card for a DSL modem.
    • What a second. The linked article says that customers were double and triple billed. What did they get 4-6 spams instead of 2? Or is this statement wrong and there was a cost for the service?

      It's a bit difficult to tell from the article. I took "customers" to mean the people for whom they were advertising, rather than the people to whom they were (not) providing DSL service.

  • Always remember, You get what you pay for.
  • by Kiwi ( 5214 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:52PM (#3086983) Homepage Journal
    This is not the first time that the people running a free ISP have, well, less than perfect morals. I know that one of the first free ISPs, back when free ISPs existed on the premise of "Pay us $60 once; have this ad banner up all the time, and get free internet for life", wan run by dishonest people.

    While this ISP was not as much of a sham as the ISP the articule links to, they had an executive with access to the company's purse strings. This person outright stole money from the company's bank account for personal use; we are talking about millions of dollars here. Finally, when the company went bankrupt one or two years later, this crook fled the country, and, as far as I know, is living in the Carribian.

    Similar to how Enron did things; get a lot of investment money; start a company, hire employees and pay off congressmen to give the company an air of legitimacy; then take as much money from the company bank account as one can get away with. Do this until the company dies and the executives are living in the bahamas.

    - Sam

    • That's not how Enron did things, my friend. They started out with a successful, specialized product, then they blew it by overexpanding into idiotic endeavors, like broadband. The shenanigans didn't come until long after the stupidity in that case.

      Here, there was nothing but unvarnished shenanigans, and, I would venture, not enough clout or cash to purchase the help of politicos.
  • Here's the monetary impact the scam had:

    According to detective Shelton, as many as 250 customers were double and triple billed, without a single one receiving so much as a minute of DSL service. Local area advertisers were also out of luck, as checks from Mr. Dyer repeatedly bounced. Employees felt the sting as well, scammed out of thousands of dollars.

    I guess they forgot a crucial step of Microsoft's business plan: if you're going to copy everyone else and offer something that's too good to be true, you have to have the MONEY to back it up.
  • by FredBaxter ( 158979 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:54PM (#3087005) Homepage
    I really feel for the people who got ripped off yet...

    Isn't the first rule of life, on the internet especially, is that if it says it is free, you DO NOT give out your credit card number? Just a thought.

    --"Do you have any .sig lunch-lady Dorris?" "Yes, yes we do." "Then .sig me up woman!" "Okey dokey."
    • Not really - feel free to give out your credit card number. Your purchase is insured. If the recipient charges more than you agreed, doesn't deliver, etc., you just dispute the charge and get the money back. If your credit card provider is worth staying with, there'll be no trouble about this.

      As an Internet merchant, I get the rough side of the coin - we regularly get people who register our software and turn out to be using stolen cards, or (after we've sent them the unretractible registration details) decide they don't want to pay. The credit card company just charges the money back off us. I'm convinced this is at least in part the reason that credit cards aren't yet more secure - there's basically very little incentive for the credit card companies to reduce the level of fraud, since the fraud doesn't hit them but the merchants.
  • by parliboy ( 233658 ) <parliboy@gmail.cMONETom minus painter> on Thursday February 28, 2002 @05:59PM (#3087037) Homepage
    For the heck of it, I ran a Google Search for "Corey Dyer" "New Jersey" [] and it brought up one white pages entry. Maybe it's him, maybe it's not. Might as well try.
  • by ArcadeNut ( 85398 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @06:03PM (#3087059) Homepage
    access for the price of only two spam's a day

    I want to lower my SPAM to only two a day! Where can I get that kind of service?

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @06:06PM (#3087076) Homepage
    If they'd provided service to 10% of their customers, and stalled the others, they could have kept this scam going for years. It would be hard to distinguish that approach from "legitimate" DSL providers.
  • claimed it could provide service to locations like "the dark side of the moon"

    Of course, any real geek would known that there's no such thing [].

    • Any point on the near side of the moon, except during the lunar eclipse, is perpetually illuminated by either the sun or the Earth. Earthlight is much brighter on the moon than moonlight is on the Earth.

      In the lunar night, you could see quite well on the bright side of the moon, but the dark side would only be very dimly starlit (respective nights -- not the same time, obviously). It seems to me that lunar colonists are quite likely to say "bright side" and "dark side" for this reason.

      People who have the gall to pose as authorities "correcting popular misconceptions," but only look at the most superficial interpretations, disgust me. I've seen a few sites like that, which start out by interpreting common expressions or sayings in some very narrow, technical sense (which the users of those expressions wouldn't recognize), then tear down the straw man they set up, and enjoy a pained sigh for having to live on a planet with the poor idiots who haven't already recognized their obvious correctness. That they also include some well-known true misconceptions only makes them more harmful by making them seem legitimate. Why not I hate snobs.
      • wow, they got your panties in a bunch.
        they simple state that all the surface of the moon gets sunlight at some point during its cycle. Many people our tought that there is a side of the moon that never gets sunlight, and that is false.
        • It starts off with:
          Bad Astronomy: "That's as remote as the dark side of the Moon!"
          Good astronomy: "That's as remote as the far side of the Moon!"

          ...then goes on to complain about popular song lyrics and generally whine about the fact that anyone has ever used the expression "dark side of the moon."

          It finishes with: "The Pink Floyd album may be one of the best selling albums of all time, but astronomically it's in eclipse."

          It contains no claim about people being mistaught that one side of the moon is always dark, just a baseless assumption that the expression must be interpreted that way. And it fails as an educational resource by missing a good reason to call the far side the "dark side."

          It's obnoxious "ha ha!" nitpicking, but worse for being built on bad reasoning. If it was isolated, I wouldn't have bothered, but it's not the only example on the site: take this, for example. [] This page doesn't even make sense:
          Bad Astronomy: The Moon appears larger on the horizon than overhead because you are comparing it to foreground objects.
          Good astronomy: The Moon does appear larger on the horizon, but it is because of the way we perceive the sky.

          What the heck is with that? The page itself doesn't contain an explanation of "the way we perceive the sky," and the linked essays actually imply that the presence of foreground objects, particularly the horizon, is a key part of this optical illusion.

          At best, he's making a meaningless distinction, and being rude about it. This is characteristic of the site in general, and it is not a worthy reference.
          • It seems to me that the problem here is the reading of "dark" in a bit more literal than necessary way. I think the expression is using "dark" to refer to any place that is not visible. Certainly the far side of the Moon is hidden, which is what the Old English "deorc" meant. And the expression "in the dark" means literally "in secret," which is what the far side was until the Soviets orbited it for the first time. Certainly there are folks who draw the conclusion from the expression that there is actually a side that is always dark, but then there are people who can't figure out why there's no ham in hamburger and others who think that peanuts are nuts. These characters will be with us for a while yet and correcting their limited astroinimical knowledge, it seems to me, is a waste of valuable time.

            What's being missed in regard to the song title is the feeling it's trying to express, that is, somewhere far far away. This is basically the same meaning expressed when one makes reference to the city of Timbuktu. Certainly Timbuktu isn't any farther away than a lot of other places. The point, though, is that the normal way to get there by those who actually do so is to travel across the Saharu on the back of a camel. The natural question, then, is how do you get to the "dark side of the Moon"? Well, first you have to get to the Moon, though preferably not on the back of camel. And you're certainly not going to land on the side that's not illuminated. So you land on the light side and then travel overland from there. That is indeed a long way away and expresses the intended feeling in a clear enough way. This is about art. It's not about science. People who try to make it about science are, really, missing the point, and need to find a hobby.
          • Bad Astronomy: The Moon appears larger on the horizon than overhead because you are comparing it to foreground objects.

            I'm with you, man. It does appear larger, exacly becuase we are comparing it to objects we normally don't juxtapose with the moon.

  • Advertisers aside aren't the customers protected by their credit card company? If I order a service with my credit card and the service isn't rendered or a goods not delivered aren't I only liable for up to a certain amount (terms of agreement defined by the credit card company, usually its $50 maximum)
    • I think you're only protected from payments which you didn't make/authorise. As in when your credit card (or information) gets stolen.

      These people clearly authorised the payments (the $ 129 for the DSL modem not the 2 spams) that they made!
      • Bzzzzt. Wrong! You are protected for fraudulent use of your credit card details! See (visa also covers you for 100%, you wont even owe $50.)
        • You have to report the problem to the credit card company within 30 days of receiving your credit card bill.

          I'd bet that if you were promised to get your free DSL installed in 60-90 days, you'd expect that you only needed the DSL modem then so you wouldn't report the fraud.
          • No it's within 60 days of recieving your statement. And you must file a complaint in Writing Or else you risk voiding your rights.
            The 60 day requirment is also only applicable to companies not run by or affiliated with your credit card, for affiliated companies your rights are preserved for a minimum of one year.
            Obviously though this scam wasn't affiliated with any credit card company.
  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld@gmai l . c om> on Thursday February 28, 2002 @06:12PM (#3087113) Homepage
    I could have told you it was a scam two words into it; "Free broadband"? Who on earth would believe something like that?

  • I'll create a new product called RAD-DSL, you can find information about it at our "corporate" geocities website, most of the content I'll copy from @home or something similar. I'll have a form for ppl to send me $100 (the actual amount doesn't matter) for their new RAD-DSL FM radio via credit card. (Trust us, anywhere you can get FM radio reception, you can get our "service") I'd only need about 1,000 customers with $1k credit limits to rip-off a cool million. Then, off to the carribean for me!


  • by Dead_Smiley ( 49033 ) on Thursday February 28, 2002 @06:13PM (#3087116) Journal
    Can they garauntee this? I pay for my current ISP and get a lot more spam than that. This sounds tempting...
  • "For only $200.00 and your consent to send you directed advertising via mail, you can get a brand new laptop computer (1 GHz, 20Gb, blah blah)..." It's similar to the Aizohn (sp?) scam that was going on a few months ago. What amazes me isn't that so many people fell for it, but that THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT!!!!

    I have a co-worker who sent a check, which was cashed. Then he noticed that in his statement, identical checks were being sent through even though he hadn't written any. All he can do is recover the amount for the checks he didn't write. The first $200.00 is gone, and so is the company.

    Buyer beware...
  • Does anyone have a mirror of the site?
    Google seems to lock when I view the cache........
  • My mom tried to sign up for winfire's 'free' service and found out that you could only sign up by buying a $50 adsl modem for $200 or something. I had an old adsl modem she could have used, but winfire wouldn't give her 'free' service without soaking her on the modem.

    Rocky J Squirrel
  • well, DUH (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ctp ( 29513 )
    Seems to me that we humans are just genetically designed to be bilked and suckered.

    How else could things like this have worked?

    How else could the whole "Nigerian banking transfer with your help needed desperately" genre still be successful after all these years?

    A fool and his money do part quite often.
  • ... just e-mail me at

    oh! great now that adress is going to be spammed, with *alot* more than two e-mails pr. day

    who on earth thoght they could get free broadband by just saying "yes" to spam, when people who pay for their connection get loads of it anyway?

  • Not only a well written piece but lots o' backgroud too!
    Yeah, everything about DSLReports is impressive. I especially like their home-rolled forum software. They keep promising to release it as a product, but....
    • I agree the forum is good; the editor basically just summarized (very well) the research and information that was provided by the forum members. One guy was using Terraserver to look at pictures of the addresses used at the DSLMonster web site, and another actually went to one of the addresses. Imagine if Slashdot's audience could be focused that way...nah.
  • You'd think that people would be smart enough to think that anything with a Free moniker would be a scam. That is just how life is, shit ain't free. Hay wait isn't that Linux thing labeled as fre...*sounds of being flogged by Linux zealots*
  • " we thank you morons that called and abused that..."

    "...actions will soon be taken against a chosen few..."

    "...not to mention the hits that you have generated for our site, much appreciated there..."

    Does this guy remind anybody else of Bernard Shifman? [] =)

    I'm not really suprised, in my experience anything free is a scam. Except those little food samples at grocery stores.

  • a website made up of plagiarized portions of other providers terms of service

    A lawyer recently informed me that copyright does not apply to legal documents (including terms of service and licenses). I was surprised at first, but then I realized that I've never seen a (c) on any such document.

    So it's actually perfectly okay (and probably a good idea) to "steal" the best parts of other well written legal documents, rather than reinvent them. There is standard language for all of these things, so it would be pretty ridiculous to copyright them. It's not plagiarism.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.