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One Year Later, Zer01 Web Site Disappears

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the perilously-close-to-ponzi dept.

Cellphones 155

alphadogg writes "Zer01 Mobile — making promises of flat rate, no contract, unlimited cell phone service — made its grand entrance at the annual CTIA wireless convention about a year ago, but now the company's Web site has disappeared. The site recently began redirecting visitors to Google.com. Zer01, which was lauded for its plans in the mainstream press, aligned itself with a multilevel marketing company called Global Verge (whose founder had earlier been convicted of securities fraud), and the two companies began recruiting salespeople who paid a monthly fee to be part of a sales program. (Since then, Global Verge and Zer01 parted ways and Global Verge filed a lawsuit against its former partner.) But no mobile service from Zer01 ever materialized. Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program, although few appear to have received payment. But as late as the fall CTIA show in October, Zer01's CEO was still promising to launch the mobile service."

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MLM Scam strikes again? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502284)

So, based on no further information than that in the article... can you say Multi-level marketing scam? I knew you could

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502656)

Mod parent up..

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502702)

P-Py-Pyramid scheme? I guess AmWay was beat to the cell phone market by Zer01?

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (4, Insightful)

L3370 (1421413) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502756)

multi level, or network marketing is a legal scheme provided that there is a tangible product or service in the mix, like those herbal juices you see advertised on the back of peoples cars. Zer01 only sold the idea of a future product...vaporware. This doesn't seem to be an "MLM" type scam to me, but a full fledged 100% illegal pyramid scheme.

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (2, Interesting)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503986)

"like those herbal juices you see advertised on the back of peoples cars"

You mean the ones that get sold with a pitch that makes them out to be some elixir of eternal youth? While the scheme may be legitimate, I've yet to see it being used in conjunction with a product that wasn't a load of horseshit.

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (3, Informative)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504332)

"multi level, or network marketing is a legal scheme provided that there is a tangible product or service in the mix,"

Even if there is a tangible product, it's still a scam. See the Illinois rulings against Scentura Creations.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scentura [wikipedia.org]

In fact, most MLMs are violating one or more various laws in individual states.

The way MLMs are operated now is a violation of some state and some federal laws.

MLM is too polite a term (4, Interesting)

Adrian Lopez (2615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502786)

Scam is right. Multilevel marketing makes it almost seem legitimate, which apparently it wasn't.

BTW - I'm using the word "apparently" in the "please don't sue me" sense of the word.

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (3, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503206)

From the summary:

began recruiting salespeople who paid a monthly fee to be part of a sales program

What more do you need to know?

Re:MLM Scam strikes again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503544)

YOU GOT MADOFFED!

iPonzi (0, Offtopic)

fregare (923563) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502292)

Gee an iPonzi scheme. I think scheme is a language. I did not know Ponzi knew Lisp. He did stutter though.

Slut and a whore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502298)

Warning: this troll is illegal, do not read it

It has come to my attention that the entire Linux community is a hotbed of so called 'alternative sexuality', which includes anything from hedonistic orgies to homosexuality to paedophilia.

What better way of demonstrating this than by looking at the hidden messages contained within the names of some of Linux's most outspoken advocates:

  • Linus Torvalds [microsoft.com] is an anagram of slit anus or VD 'L,' clearly referring to himself by the first initial.
  • Richard M. Stallman [archive.org] , spokespervert for the Gaysex's Not Unusual 'movement' is an anagram of mans cram thrill ad.
  • Alan Cox [microsoft.com] is barely an anagram of anal cox which is just so filthy and unchristian it unnerves me.

I'm sure that Eric S. Raymond, composer of the satanic homosexual [goatse.fr] propaganda diatribe The Cathedral and the Bizarre, is probably an anagram of something queer, but we don't need to look that far as we know he's always shoving a gun up some poor little boy's rectum. Update: Eric S. Raymond is actually an anagram for secondary rim and cord in my arse. It just goes to show you that he is indeed queer.

Update the Second: It is also documented that Evil Sicko Gaymond is responsible for a nauseating piece of code called Fetchmail [microsoft.com] , which is obviously sinister sodomite slang for 'Felch Male' -- a disgusting practise. For those not in the know, 'felching' is the act performed by two perverts wherein one sucks their own post-coital ejaculate out of the other's rectum. In fact, it appears that the dirty Linux faggots set out to undermine the good Republican institution of e-mail, turning it into 'e-male.'

As far as Richard 'Master' Stallman goes, that filthy fudge-packer was actually quoted [salon.com] on leftist commie propaganda site Salon.com as saying the following: 'I've been resistant to the pressure to conform in any circumstance,' he says. 'It's about being able to question conventional wisdom,' he asserts. 'I believe in love, but not monogamy,' he says plainly.

And this isn't a made up troll bullshit either! He actually stated this tripe, which makes it obvious that he is trying to politely say that he's a flaming homo [comp-u-geek.net] slut [rotten.com] !

Speaking about 'flaming,' who better to point out as a filthy chutney ferret than Slashdot's very own self-confessed pederast Jon Katz. Although an obvious deviant anagram cannot be found from his name, he has already confessed, nay boasted of the homosexual [goatse.fr] perversion of corrupting the innocence of young children [slashdot.org] . To quote from the article linked:

'I've got a rare kidney disease,' I told her. 'I have to go to the bathroom a lot. You can come with me if you want, but it takes a while. Is that okay with you? Do you want a note from my doctor?'

Is this why you were touching your penis [rotten.com] in the cinema, Jon? And letting the other boys touch it too?

We should also point out that Jon Katz refers to himself as 'Slashdot's resident Gasbag.' Is there any more doubt? For those fortunate few who aren't aware of the list of homosexual [goatse.fr] terminology found inside the Linux 'Sauce Code,' a 'Gasbag' is a pervert who gains sexual gratification from having a thin straw inserted into his urethra (or to use the common parlance, 'piss-pipe'), then his homosexual [goatse.fr] lover blows firmly down the straw to inflate his scrotum. This is, of course, when he's not busy violating the dignity and copyright of posters to Slashdot by gathering together their postings and publishing them en masse to further his twisted and manipulative journalistic agenda.

Sick, disgusting antichristian perverts, the lot of them.

In addition, many of the Linux distributions (a 'distribution' is the most common way to spread the faggots' wares) are run by faggot groups. The Slackware [redhat.com] distro is named after the 'Slack-wear' fags wear to allow easy access to the anus for sexual purposes. Furthermore, Slackware is a close anagram of claw arse, a reference to the homosexual [goatse.fr] practise of anal fisting. The Mandrake [slackware.com] product is run by a group of French faggot satanists, and is named after the faggot nickname for the vibrator. It was also chosen because it is an anagram for dark amen and ram naked, which is what they do.

Another 'distro,' (abbrieviated as such because it sounds a bit like 'Disco,' which is where homosexuals [goatse.fr] preyed on young boys in the 1970s), is Debian, [mandrake.com] an anagram of in a bed, which could be considered innocent enough (after all, a bed is both where we sleep and pray), until we realise what other names Debian uses to describe their foul wares. 'Woody' is obvious enough, being a term for the erect male penis [rotten.com] , glistening with pre-cum. But far sicker is the phrase 'Frozen Potato' that they use. This filthy term, again found in the secret homosexual [goatse.fr] 'Sauce Code,' refers to the solo homosexual [goatse.fr] practice of defecating into a clear polythene bag, shaping the turd into a crude approximation of the male phallus, then leaving it in the freezer overnight until it becomes solid. The practitioner then proceeds to push the frozen 'potato' up his own rectum, squeezing it in and out until his tight young balls erupt in a screaming orgasm.

And Red Hat [debian.org] is secret homo [comp-u-geek.net] slang for the tip of a penis [rotten.com] that is soaked in blood from a freshly violated underage ringpiece.

The fags have even invented special tools to aid their faggotry! For example, the 'supermount' tool was devised to allow deeper penetration, which is good for fags because it gives more pressure on the prostate gland. 'Automount' is used, on the other hand, because Linux users are all fat and gay, and need to mount each other [comp-u-geek.net] automatically.

The depths of their depravity can be seen in their use of 'mount points.' These are, plainly speaking, the different points of penetration. The main one is obviously/anus, but there are others. Militant fags even say 'there is no/opt mount point' because for these dirty perverts faggotry is not optional but a way of life.

More evidence is in the fact that Linux users say how much they love `man`, even going so far as to say that all new Linux users (who are in fact just innocent heterosexuals indoctrinated by the gay propaganda) should try out `man`. In no other system do users boast of their frequent recourse to a man.

Other areas of the system also show Linux's inherent gayness. For example, people are often told of the 'FAQ,' but how many innocent heterosexual Windows [amiga.com] users know what this actually means. The answer is shocking: Faggot Anal Quest: the voyage of discovery for newly converted fags!

Even the title 'Slashdot [geekizoid.com] ' originally referred to a homosexual [goatse.fr] practice. Slashdot [kuro5hin.org] of course refers to the popular gay practice of blood-letting. The Slashbots, of course are those super-zealous homosexuals [goatse.fr] who take this perversion to its extreme by ripping open their anuses, as seen on the site most popular with Slashdot users, the depraved work of Satan, http://www.eff.org/ [eff.org] .

The editors of Slashdot [slashduh.org] also have homosexual [goatse.fr] names: 'Hemos' is obvious in itself, being one vowel away from 'Homos.' But even more sickening is 'Commander Taco' which sounds a bit like 'Commode in Taco,' filthy gay slang for a pair of spreadeagled buttocks that are caked with excrement [pboy.com] . (The best form of lubrication, they insist.) Sometimes, these 'Taco Commodes' have special 'Salsa Sauce' (blood from a ruptured rectum) and 'Cheese' (rancid flakes of penis [rotten.com] discharge) toppings. And to make it even worse, Slashdot [notslashdot.org] runs on Apache!

The Apache [microsoft.com] server, whose use among fags is as prevalent as AIDS, is named after homosexual [goatse.fr] activity -- as everyone knows, popular faggot band, the Village People, featured an Apache Indian, and it is for him that this gay program is named.

And that's not forgetting the use of patches in the Linux fag world -- patches are used to make the anus accessible for repeated anal sex even after its rupture by a session of fisting.

To summarise: Linux is gay. 'Slash -- Dot' is the graphical description of the space between a young boy's scrotum and anus. And BeOS [apple.com] is for hermaphrodites and disabled 'stumpers.'

FEEDBACK

What worries me is how much you know about what gay people do. I'm scared I actually read this whole thing. I think this post is a good example of the negative effects of Internet usage on people. This person obviously has no social life anymore and had to result to writing something as stupid as this. And actually take the time to do it too. Although... I think it was satire.. blah.. it's early. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well, the only reason I know all about this is because I had the misfortune to read the Linux 'Sauce code' once. Although publicised as the computer code needed to get Linux up and running on a computer (and haven't you always been worried about the phrase 'Monolithic Kernel'?), this foul document is actually a detailed and graphic description of every conceivable degrading perversion known to the human race, as well as a few of the major animal species. It has shocked and disturbed me, to the point of needing to shock and disturb the common man to warn them of the impending homo [comp-u-geek.net] -calypse which threatens to engulf our planet.

You must work for the government. Trying to post the most obscene stuff in hopes that slashdot won't be able to continue or something, due to legal woes. If i ever see your ugly face, i'm going to stick my fireplace poker up your ass, after it's nice and hot, to weld shut that nasty gaping hole of yours. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Doesn't it give you a hard-on to imagine your thick strong poker ramming it's way up my most sacred of sphincters? You're beyond help, my friend, as the only thing you can imagine is the foul penetrative violation of another man. Are you sure you're not Eric Raymond? The government, being populated by limp-wristed liberals, could never stem the sickening tide of homosexual [goatse.fr] child molesting Linux advocacy. Hell, they've given NAMBLA free reign for years!

you really should post this logged in. i wish i could remember jebus's password, cuz i'd give it to you. -- mighty jebus [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Thank you for your kind words of support. However, this document shall only ever be posted anonymously. This is because the 'Open Sauce' movement is a sham, proposing homoerotic cults of hero worshipping in the name of freedom. I speak for the common man. For any man who prefers the warm, enveloping velvet folds of a woman's vagina [bodysnatchers.co.uk] to the tight puckered ringpiece of a child. These men, being common, decent folk, don't have a say in the political hypocrisy that is Slashdot culture. I am the unknown liberator [hitler.org] .

ROLF LAMO i hate linux FAGGOTS -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

We shouldn't hate them, we should pity them for the misguided fools they are... Fanatical Linux zeal-outs need to be herded into camps for re-education and subsequent rehabilitation into normal heterosexual society. This re-education shall be achieved by forcing them to watch repeats of Baywatch until the very mention of Pamela Anderson [rotten.com] causes them to fill their pants with healthy heterosexual jism [zillabunny.com] .

Actually, that's not at all how scrotal inflation works. I understand it involves injecting sterile saline solution into the scrotum. I've never tried this, but you can read how to do it safely in case you're interested. (Before you moderate this down, ask yourself honestly -- who are the real crazies -- people who do scrotal inflation, or people who pay $1000+ for a game console?) -- double_h [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Well, it just goes to show that even the holy Linux 'sauce code' is riddled with bugs that need fixing. (The irony of Jon Katz not even being able to inflate his scrotum correctly has not been lost on me.) The Linux pervert elite already acknowledge this, with their queer slogan: 'Given enough arms, all rectums are shallow.' And anyway, the PS2 [xbox.com] sucks major cock and isn't worth the money. Intellivision forever!

dude did u used to post on msnbc's nt bulletin board now that u are doing anti-gay posts u also need to start in with anti-black stuff too c u in church -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

For one thing, whilst Linux is a cavalcade of queer propaganda masquerading as the future of computing, NT [linux.com] is used by people who think nothing better of encasing their genitals in quick setting plaster then going to see a really dirty porno film, enjoying the restriction enforced onto them. Remember, a wasted arousal is a sin in the eyes of the Catholic church [atheism.org] . Clearly, the only god-fearing Christian operating system in existence is CP/M -- The Christian Program Monitor. All computer users should immediately ask their local pastor to install this fine OS onto their systems. It is the only route to salvation.

Secondly, this message is for every man. Computers know no colour. Not only that, but one of the finest websites in the world is maintained by a Black Man [stileproject.com] . Now fuck off you racist donkey felcher.

And don't forget that slashdot was written in Perl, which is just too close to 'Pearl Necklace' for comfort.... oh wait; that's something all you heterosexuals do.... I can't help but wonder how much faster the trolls could do First-Posts on this site if it were redone in PHP... I could hand-type dynamic HTML pages faster than Perl can do them. -- phee [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Although there is nothing unholy about the fine heterosexual act of ejaculating between a woman's breasts, squirting one's load up towards her neck and chin area, it should be noted that Perl [python.org] (standing for Pansies Entering Rectums Locally) is also close to 'Pearl Monocle,' 'Pearl Nosering,' and the ubiquitous 'Pearl Enema.'

One scary thing about Perl [sun.com] is that it contains hidden homosexual [goatse.fr] messages. Take the following code: LWP::Simple -- It looks innocuous enough, doesn't it? But look at the line closely: There are two colons next to each other! As Larry 'Balls to the' Wall would openly admit in the Perl Documentation, Perl was designed from the ground up to indoctrinate it's programmers into performing unnatural sexual acts -- having two colons so closely together is clearly a reference to the perverse sickening act of 'colon kissing,' whereby two homosexual [goatse.fr] queers spread their buttocks wide, pressing their filthy torn sphincters together. They then share small round objects like marbles or golfballs by passing them from one rectum to another using muscle contraction alone. This is also referred to in programming 'circles' as 'Parameter Passing.'

And PHP [perl.org] stands for Perverted Homosexual Penetration. Didn't you know?

Thank you for your valuable input on this. I am sure you will be never forgotten. BTW: Did I mention that this could be useful in terraforming Mars? Mars rulaa. -- Eimernase [slashdot.org] , Slashdot

Well, I don't know about terraforming Mars, but I do know that homosexual [goatse.fr] Linux Advocates have been probing Uranus for years.

That's inspiring. Keep up the good work, AC. May God in his wisdom grant you the strength to bring the plain honest truth to this community, and make it pure again. Yours, Cerberus. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

*sniff* That brings a tear to my eye. Thank you once more for your kind support. I have taken faith in the knowledge that I am doing the Good Lord [atheism.org] 's work, but it is encouraging to know that I am helping out the common man here.

However, I should be cautious about revealing your name 'Cerberus' on such a filthy den of depravity as Slashdot. It is a well known fact that the 'Kerberos' documentation from Microsoft is a detailed manual describing, in intimate, exacting detail, how to sexually penetrate a variety of unwilling canine animals; be they domesticated, wild, or mythical. Slashdot posters have taken great pleasure in illegally spreading this documentation far and wide, treating it as an 'extension' to the Linux 'Sauce Code,' for the sake of 'interoperability.' (The slang term they use for nonconsensual intercourse -- their favourite kind.)

In fact, sick twisted Linux deviants are known to have LAN parties, (Love of Anal Naughtiness, needless to say.), wherein they entice a stray dog, known as the 'Samba Mount,' into their homes. Up to four of these filth-sodden blasphemers against nature take turns to plunge their erect, throbbing, uncircumcised members, conkers-deep, into the rectum, mouth, and other fleshy orifices of the poor animal. Eventually, the 'Samba Mount' collapses due to 'overload,' and needs to be 'rebooted.' (i.e., kicked out into the street, and left to fend for itself.) Many Linux users boast about their 'uptime' in such situations.

Inspiring stuff! If only all trolls were this quality! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

If only indeed. You can help our brave cause by moderating this message up as often as possible. I recommend '+1, Underrated,' as that will protect your precious Karma in Metamoderation [slashdot.org] . Only then can we break through the glass ceiling of Homosexual Slashdot Culture. Is it any wonder that the new version of Slashcode has been christened 'Bender'???

If we can get just one of these postings up to at least '+1,' then it will be archived forever! Others will learn of our struggle, and join with us in our battle for freedom!

It's pathetic you've spent so much time writing this. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I am compelled to document the foulness and carnal depravity [catholic.net] that is Linux, in order that we may prepare ourselves for the great holy war that is to follow. It is my solemn duty to peel back the foreskin of ignorance and apply the wire brush of enlightenment.

As with any great open-source project, you need someone asking this question, so I'll do it. When the hell is version 2.0 going to be ready?!?! -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I could make an arrogant, childish comment along the lines of 'Every time someone asks for 2.0, I won't release it for another 24 hours,' but the truth of the matter is that I'm quite nervous of releasing a 'number two,' as I can guarantee some filthy shit-slurping Linux pervert would want to suck it straight out of my anus before I've even had chance to wipe.

I desperately want to suck your monolithic kernel, you sexy hunk, you. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

I sincerely hope you're Natalie Portman [archive.org] .

Dude, nothing on slashdot larger than 3 paragraphs is worth reading. Try to distill the message, whatever it was, and maybe I'll read it. As it is, I have to much open source software to write to waste even 10 seconds of precious time. 10 seconds is all its gonna take M$ to whoop Linux's ass. Vigilence is the price of Free (as in libre -- from the fine, frou frou French language) Software. Hack on fellow geeks, and remember: Friday is Bouillabaisse day except for heathens who do not believe that Jesus died for their sins. Those godless, oil drench, bearded sexist clowns can pull grits from their pantaloons (another fine, fine French word) and eat that. Anyway, try to keep your message focused and concise. For concision is the soul of derision. Way. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

What the fuck?

I've read your gay conspiracy post version 1.3.0 and I must say I'm impressed. In particular, I appreciate how you have managed to squeeze in a healthy dose of the latent homosexuality you gay-bashing homos [comp-u-geek.net] tend to be full of. Thank you again. -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Well bugger me!

ooooh honey. how insecure are you!!! wann a little massage from deare bruci. love you -- Anonymous Coward, Slashdot

Fuck right off!

IMPORTANT: This message needs to be heard (Not HURD [linux.org] , which is an acronym for 'Huge Unclean Rectal Dilator') across the whole community, so it has been released into the Public Domain [icopyright.com] . You know, that licence that we all had before those homoerotic crypto-fascists came out with the GPL [apple.com] (Gay Penetration License) that is no more than an excuse to see who's got the biggest feces-encrusted [rotten.com] cock. I would have put this up on Freshmeat [adultmember.com] , but that name is known to be a euphemism for the tight rump of a young boy.

Come to think of it, the whole concept of 'Source Control' unnerves me, because it sounds a bit like 'Sauce Control,' which is a description of the homosexual [goatse.fr] practice of holding the base of the cock shaft tightly upon the point of ejaculation, thus causing a build up of semenal fluid that is only released upon entry into an incision made into the base of the receiver's scrotum. And 'Open Sauce' is the act of ejaculating into another mans face or perhaps a biscuit to be shared later. Obviously, 'Closed Sauce' is the only Christian thing to do, as evidenced by the fact that it is what Cathedrals are all about.

Contributors: (although not to the eternal game of 'soggy biscuit' that open 'sauce' development has become) Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, phee, Anonymous Coward, mighty jebus, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, double_h, Anonymous Coward, Eimernase, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward, Anonymous Coward. Further contributions are welcome.

Current changes: This version sent to FreeWIPO [slashdot.org] by 'Bring BackATV' as plain text. Reformatted everything, added all links back in (that we could match from the previous version), many new ones (Slashbot bait links). Even more spelling fixed. Who wrote this thing, CmdrTaco himself?

Previous changes: Yet more changes added. Spelling fixed. Feedback added. Explanation of 'distro' system. 'Mount Point' syntax described. More filth regarding `man` and Slashdot. Yet more fucking spelling fixed. 'Fetchmail' uncovered further. More Slashbot baiting. Apache exposed. Distribution licence at foot of document.

ANUX -- A full Linux distribution... Up your ass!

Re:Slut and a whore (0, Offtopic)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502720)

I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter, but it appears to have been shoved up some guy's ass in goatse #3. I don't want that copy, TYVM.

This is why I read Slashdot. Thanks OP. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31504270)

Best GNU's on Slashdot all month...

Hmm... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502306)

Ponzi scheme, anyone?

When will people learn (1)

jaymz2k4 (790806) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502308)

Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program, although few appear to have received payment.

Seriously? How people ever think this sort of plan makes fiscal sense and isn't at all dodgy I will never understand.

Re:When will people learn (4, Insightful)

SomeJoel (1061138) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502440)

Most people are bad at math and logical reasoning. The sooner you accept that, the sooner the world will suddenly make sense.

Re:When will people learn (3, Funny)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502576)

Most people are bad at math and logical reasoning.

Compared to what? The average person? That's impossible. The top 5% of people at math and logical reasoning? Well, they would be by definition. Compared with the level of math proficiency and logical reasoning -you- think they should be at? If that's the case, I'd argue you have unrealistic expectations. Compared to you?

Re:When will people learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502628)

Umm, I'm pretty sure that there are objective measures that can prove whether or not someone is bad at math.

Re:When will people learn (1)

Cryacin (657549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503024)

Umm, I'm pretty sure that there are objective measures that can prove whether or not someone is bad at math.

No there's not! I would never believe a statistic I didn't make up myself.

Re:When will people learn (0)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503036)

I'm pretty sure that there are objective measures that can prove whether or not someone is bad at math.

There are ways of suggesting a person is worse at math than the average person, yes. But you're using most people as the standard there. Saying "Most people are bad at math," what standard are you using there? "Most people are worse at math than..." what?

That's what I'm saying.

Re:When will people learn (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503150)

You can be bad at math without being worse than average. It's possible for the average to be bad. If 80% of people answer 5 when you ask them for the square root of 36, then 80% of people are bad at math.

Re:When will people learn (2, Insightful)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504040)

You fail to grasp the postmodern movement. In the modern epistemological paradigm, if 80% of people agree that the square root of 36 is 5, then the process we are morally obliged to embark upon is a redefinition of what the square root of 36 is, followed by a re-evaluation of all of the principles that are based upon the old, now-incorrect fact.

Failing to undertake this could result in children being left behind. We cannot afford to allow this to happen. Thus, we must allow not allow inflexible principles of mathematics to handicap the education of our children or the development of society as a whole.

(Just in case it's not clear: This post is sarcastic.)

Re:When will people learn (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504294)

You fail to grasp the postmodern movement. In the modern epistemological paradigm, if 80% of people agree that the square root of 36 is 5, then the process we are morally obliged to embark upon is a redefinition of what the square root of 36 is, followed by a re-evaluation of all of the principles that are based upon the old, now-incorrect fact.

Can't we just edit Wikipedia instead?

Re:When will people learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31504502)

> You fail to grasp the postmodern movement.

Actually, bitch, I lived with an epistemologist for 3 years, and was engaged to her for 2. So, not only did I grasp the postmodern movement, I fucked one of the soldiers. A bunch. It was a lot of fun, and so were the arguments, but she was definitely full of shit. But that was fun too. Unfortunately she was a whore.

Re:When will people learn (2, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503166)

"Most people are worse at math than..." what?

A horse that can count to three with his hoof? Well, it is his left hoof, and we all know left hoofedness is a sign of intelligence.

Re:When will people learn (1)

jim_v2000 (818799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502634)

Compared to smart people, duh.

Re:When will people learn (4, Insightful)

KahabutDieDrake (1515139) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503094)

Compared with the vast majority of slashdotters (for instance) that saw this as a scam from the very get go. I think my point here would be that you are "bad at math and logical reasoning" if you can't spot a pyramid scam the second someone shows it to you. Even real MLMs are only just barely not scams, and it doesn't take a genius to work out just how stupid this entire scheme was.

I'm not implying that I expect the majority of people to be "good" at math and logic, I just expect them to not be retarded either. Clearly I'm going to have to work on my expectations, as they are off a bit.

Re:When will people learn (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503268)

It's rational to join an MLM if you're high enough on the pyramid. Speaking for my self, the reason I don't join these things is that 1. I "know" (or believe that I know) I am very low on the chain; 2. I'm a bad salesperson anyways because I have trouble buying into lies.

I've never even bothered to compute my expected payoff, mostly because of the uncertainty associated with point 1., supra.

Re:When will people learn (1)

Josh04 (1596071) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503594)

If you're going to be 'high' on the chain, why not just go and set your own scheme up, and reap the benefits?

Re:When will people learn (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503658)

At that point, you have to be doing something with a product, like producing it. It's easier, and cheaper, to get yourself situated high up in the chain of another person's MLM since you don't have any of those requirements.

Re:When will people learn (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504052)

> Even real MLMs are only just barely not scams

Depends.

Some of them sell products that are only *theoretically* worth buying. Like those special juices that are supposed to be awesomely high in antioxidants (and therefore good for what ails you) because they're made from fruit that doesn't grow in North America. These are healthy, in the sense that, being fruit juice, they're much better for you than (say) pop; but they're sold at absurdly out-of-proportion prices that no honest sales pitch would convince anyone to pay. So yeah, they set off a lot of people's scam radar, even though they're technically legal (as long as the sales people don't make *concrete* fraudulent claims).

But there are also multilevel-marketed products that are quite good and markedly *superior* to what you can buy at the store. Not very many, mind you. But they exist. Tupperware is perhaps the best example. Sure, it costs more than competing brands, but it's also higher quality stuff. The lids fit better, go on easier, and stay on better. Also, until about ten years ago, all the major competing products were made from decidedly inferior plastics. (Lately the competition has improved considerably in that regard.)

Re:When will people learn (1)

GuruBuckaroo (833982) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504166)

Most people are bad at math and logical reasoning.

Compared to what?

Thank you for providing that excellent example of how most people are bad at logical reasoning.

Re:When will people learn (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504860)

In the same way that most people are bad at flying, jumping over the grand canyon, time travel, and teleportation. You determine a set of objective critera to form a test and see what the mean score is. If the mean score is above 50%, then most people are good at that task.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have some tests to administer to some subjects in Arizona.

Re:When will people learn (5, Insightful)

Jer (18391) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503162)

Most people are bad at math and logical reasoning. The sooner you accept that, the sooner the world will suddenly make sense.

Meh. Many people are greedy fools who think they're smarter than average and can't be easily tricked. Con artists have time-tested, good methods to exploit these attributes. Pyramid schemes are actually a great tool for exploiting people who think they're smarter than average - after all they only have to con X other people into the scam and then they're set. Clearly they're going to be able to find X other people who are dumber than they are that they can exploit and get money out of. And the X other people they con into the scam? Who cares - they're idiots and shouldn't have let themselves get conned into a pyramid scheme...

Nobody in a pyramid scheme thinks they're going to be left holding the bag at the end. That's how pyramid schemes work. They work great even if all of the participants are fully aware of the fact that they're in a pyramid scheme because everyone at every level is convinced that it's only the suckers below them who are going to lose their shirts and that their own risk is minimal. Even if everyone has awesome logical reasoning skills if they start from a faulty premise (i.e. I'm too smart to be left holding the bag at the end of this scam) they're going to reach a faulty conclusion.

Re:When will people learn (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504138)

> Nobody in a pyramid scheme thinks they're going to be left holding the bag at the end.

That's because they're bad at math.

Fundamentally, the pyramidal-growth property that makes the money multiply (geometrically, in most schemes) *also* makes the number of people who get left holding the bag multiply with the same curve. So in any pyramid scheme, the probability that you will lose your investment and end up with nothing correlates *strongly* with the amount of money your optimistic side hopes you can make.

And that's not even taking into consideration the probability of getting caught.

Re:When will people learn (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504378)

Posting to remove accidental mod.

Re:When will people learn (1)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504936)

Don't forget Greed. See the mortgage collapse. A majority of those people were good at math and reasoning, but they were greedy. They thought they could cut a few corners and make it big.

Re:When will people learn (2, Insightful)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502942)

Greed is probably the greatest foe of common-sense.

I say "probably" only because I think religion is neck-and-neck.

Combine the two, and, well...you end up with the likes of the Trinity Broadcast Network and Joel Osteen.

Re:When will people learn (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504354)

"Combine the two, and,"

You end up with our government for the past half century.

You must help spread the word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503050)

People who fall for these scams don't know any better. I'd like to change that. Please mail me to join my award-winning program: "MLM Schemes Exposed", and help spread the word. Every person you get to join my program will earn you 10% of their membership fee, and every person they recruit will earn you a further 10% of the 90% they pass onto you. Together we can spread the word: MLM schemes are evil and dangerous. Don't get caught in one!

People never learn (5, Insightful)

cytoman (792326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502316)

A simple adage - "If it's too good to be true, it probably is". People never seem to learn it. Always falling for scams. I'm not surprised.

Re:People never learn (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502744)

But maybe the next one is real.

Re:People never learn (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503546)

Bah. Next thing you'll say is that lotteries are a waste of money, and horoscopes aren't real.

Bet you don't visit church on Sundays, either.

Re:People never learn (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503586)

A simple adage - "If it's too good to be true, it probably is". People never seem to learn it. Always falling for scams. I'm not surprised.

it -probably- is. Even you hedged your wording, because even you know sometimes it just really is as good as the promise. Lots of stuff seems too good to be true, but delivers. Enough that its often hard for even a fairly intelligent and rational person to really know.

I mean, who'd believe linux, or bsd, or asterix, or postgresql, or apache, ... were all free. I've met people who were skeptical, who wanted to know what the catch was...

Re:People never learn (1)

Lord Dreamshaper (696630) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503906)

I mean, who'd believe linux, or bsd, or asterix, or postgresql, or apache, ... were all free

They aren't, they're just part of the most subtle pyramid scheme ever...they've even hooked you!

Re:People never learn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31504082)

ASTERISK!
Bloody hell you'd think that after years on the market people would learn how to spell it.

Re:People never learn (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504290)

"People never seem to learn it. Always falling for scams. I'm not surprised."

Even if people did learn it, there are new suckers being born every minute. See also: Construction in earthquake/flood areas, regulations on financial industries, international bodies to avoid war, etc.

Anyone surprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502328)

Give me a call, I got a great car to sell you.

A fool and his money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502388)

Fools and their money are soon parted. And, frankly, I rephrase that as "Fools and their money money SHOULD be soon parted."

There is nothing worse than fools holding onto capital and they deserve to be separated from it.

Re:A fool and his money... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502544)

True, I need the fool's money so I can give it to the government as taxes so they can give it back to the fools. Wait - that doesn't make sense does it?

Re:A fool and his money... (2, Funny)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502632)

If the government was to use scams instead of tax, it could be funded completely by fools! ...Then I realised this is already the case.

Re:A fool and his money... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502724)

We call them "lotteries".

Re:A fool and his money... (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503046)

More like tax write-offs, deductions, offshore accounts and phantom headquarters.

That's right. You, I, we are all fools.

Re:A fool and his money... (1)

cortesoft (1150075) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503958)

This is why I think Lotteries should only be used to fund math education... you will know the funds aren't needed any more when you stop making money.

Re:A fool and his money... (1)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502930)

True, I need the fool's money so I can give it to the government as taxes so they can give it back to the fools. Wait - that doesn't make sense does it?

Open a church like the rest of us have...Paying taxes is bullshit...

Linux? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502430)

Totally gay.




I hope all fags die of teh AIDS.

Breaking News: Pyramid Schemes are Sketchy? (3, Insightful)

Sparkycat (1703438) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502436)

"Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program, although few appear to have received payment."

The only newsworthy part of this is that Slashdot and others thought this business model was newsworthy in the first place.

It's a Pyramid Scheme with the phrase "Cell Phone" tacked on, anyone who bought into this deserved what they got.

Re:Breaking News: Pyramid Schemes are Sketchy? (1)

Macrat (638047) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502680)

It works for Amway.

Re:Breaking News: Pyramid Schemes are Sketchy? (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504216)

Amway actually sells products. They're a bit odd, but for a lonely bachelor or housewife, having a sales person turn up at your door and let you know about deals on things you actually use like plates and dishes and paper towels can be helpful. And for a _modest_ percentage of households, it can be a few hours of work a week that feeds that fourth kid.

It's the high pressure "make your friends into salespeople, that makes you money" that makes them an addictive and much hated pyramid scheme. But they've managed to stay in business because they actually sell a useful set of products, and they don't engage in the wholesale fraud of the "laundry balls" or the "Mangosteen Juice" or "Scientology E-Meters".

Re:Breaking News: Pyramid Schemes are Sketchy? (1)

rudy_wayne (414635) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504678)

And for a _modest_ percentage of households, it can be a few hours of work a week that feeds that fourth kid.

It's the high pressure "make your friends into salespeople, that makes you money" that makes them an addictive and much hated pyramid scheme. But they've managed to stay in business because they actually sell a useful set of products, and they don't engage in the wholesale fraud of the "laundry balls" or the "Mangosteen Juice" or "Scientology E-Meters".

Feeds the fourth kid? Not hardly. A few months ago I saw an Amway commercial and when I did the math -- Amway's claimed revenue divided by the number of people they claim to have selling their products ("we help xx milion people own their own business") -- it works out to an average of $2600 per person PER YEAR ($216.66 per month). That's gross sales. What do you suppose their net is?

The human condition... (5, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502484)

If you market to people's hopes & dreams, you will always find suckers for your hollow ploys.

Cosmetics are generally useless from a utilitarian standpoint, and yet mass marketing pushes that shit out to the female demographic as if they would evaporate without it, and now we're stuck with the fucking Barbie generation. Give somebody the hope that you can fulfill their dream, and you will have their wallet.

Re:The human condition... (1)

Sepultura (150245) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502944)

This is off the general topic but... cosmetics do serve a utilitarian/practical purpose. They help women attract mates (and to a lesser extend friends). You might say it's a concocted purpose, that the majority of women in many parts of the earth don't use much/any cosmetics and yet have no social problems, but you'll find that their societies don't emphasize the use of cosmetics as being attractive. In some cultures bandaging childrens heads/feet/etc. is/was practiced, causing deformities which were concerned attractive/normal. Individuals without those characteristics would be seen as less attractive if not ugly.

It's similar to the use of deodorant. Again, not strictly needed, but see how many people hang around with you when your stench kills nearby trees.
Richard Pryor did a hilarious routine about this very issue in Live on the Sunset Strip after returning from Africa.

Re:The human condition... (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503152)

but you'll find that their societies don't emphasize the use of cosmetics as being attractive.

That's rather the point, isn't it? Society -- in this case *heavily* influenced by marketing tactics -- does emphasize it. The question is, without those tactics, would the emphasis still be there? I would question that very much. (

Here's the interesting thing about it. Personally I find makeup distasteful... and most males I know do as well (though of course we tolerate it..). This led me to wonder, "Okay.... well if men don't really care to see their women in a ton fo makeup on a regular basis, what other motivation is there?"

Asking among female friends revealed two motivations*: for the younger crowd, it was about being more "mature" and sometimes for attracting men. For anyone out of their twenties, they want to look "put together" to other women. Basically concerned that other women would look down on them for *not* wearing it.

*Based only on my sample size of about 10 makeup-wearing women over several years, obviously not universally true... I'd love to hear the slashdotian woman's perspective, both makeup-wearing and non-makeup-wearing...

Re:The human condition... (2, Funny)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503784)

I'd love to hear the slashdotian woman's perspective,

And then you'll get the perspective of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, right?

Re:The human condition... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503008)

Your initial assertion is quite correct, but the example you provide is a bit weak, since (a) people who are perceived as being more attractive generally get treated more favourably by others and (b) people are known to have been using makeup for the last 5,000+ years [wikipedia.org] .

Re:The human condition... (2, Informative)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503218)

Cosmetics have been a part of human life for a lot longer than Estee Lauder. From the Ancient Egyptians [king-tut.org.uk] to the Greeks [fjkluth.com] , to the Native Americans [ethnicpaintings.com] - the idea of applying colour to your face or other parts of your body for one reason or another has been prevalent for thousands of years. Typically it's done to influence others' view of you - to find you attractive, or scary, or powerful. You may not consider that utilitarian, but do you dress entirely in hessian sack cloth? No? Then are your clothes strictly utilitarian?

Re:The human condition... (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504086)

but do you dress entirely in hessian sack cloth? No? Then are your clothes strictly utilitarian?

My T-Shirts and Jeans, made in Pakistan / China, are cheaper than a sack... In fact I've been considering the price of coin-operated laundry, and how close we are to the point that buying new clothes every week becomes cheaper than washing them...

Of course we've far since gone past that point when you count full-service laundry, particularly that found in hotels...

Real original (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502486)

They were just copying Equinox's business plan [npros.com] . You'd think people would know better by now.

You know what's funny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502506)

I have T-mobile unlimited flexpay. It's a no contract, month to month service. while I only have 500 minutes, I do have unlimited data usage. I pay $75/month for the service, and use skype extensively. Usage limits? I've never run into them. This month I've pushed 7GB on my Nokia N900 over the 3G connection, and nobody at T-mobile has ever complained to me or my service been cut off.

Sure, I pay a premium over MetroPCS and Cricket, but I get a decent service that I can use with a GSM smartphone.

could it be? (3, Funny)

troll -1 (956834) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502536)

Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program.

And were those other people promised payment based on how many others they signed up? Was the payment structure a hierarchical top down system like a pyramid?

fags and mooslims (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502566)

die of aids. all of you. just die.

Our Old Friend (4, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502584)

Is that you Amway? [amway.com]

Re:Our Old Friend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502862)

At least Amway has a real product. May not be worth what it costs, but there's goods changing hands.

That's more than we can say about these guys.

Re:Our Old Friend (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502902)

True. I don't think vaporware can be classified as a concrete noun. Grammar Nazi's?

Re:Our Old Friend (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503802)

There's no apostrophe in "Grammar Nazis."

Further, vaporware would probably be an abstract noun.

Re:Our Old Friend (1)

ls671 (1122017) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502886)

Damn the link you provided requires Flash, I am so sorry to miss important opportunities... ;-(

Re:Our Old Friend (1)

dubbreak (623656) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503540)

Is that you Amway? [amway.com]

Or maybe Quixtar [quixtar.com] ?

I had a girlfriend trick me into going to a quixtar meeting when they first started it up (forget the ploy she used, but she definitely wasn't up front about where we were going). Part way into the opening pitch I click, "WTF, you brought me to a amway meeting?!"

Her: "No, it's quixtar. It's totally different."

Me: "Ah.... no. It's not."

She was an english major so I forgave her for being tricked into joining a MLM scam.

WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502698)

...salespeople who paid a monthly fee to be part of a sales program.

Say. No. More.

Re:WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502996)

what? it goes on all the time! ever head of franchise fees? that's right, you pay for the right to shill processed smeat for ronald mcdonald.

Re:WTF? (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503168)

You pay for the right to use the brand name and products, while also tying into the marketing that they provide. Your profits don't rely on how many people you've gotten to open their own franchises.

Don't infer hostility from a lawsuit. (5, Informative)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502708)

Post makes the point that Global Verge is suing Zer01.

Don't infer hostility!!!!!

Collusive (friendly) lawsuits are a fraudulent way one person can transfer money to another person (himself?), thereby dodging legitimate creditors.

Fyi.

Re:Don't infer hostility from a lawsuit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31502926)

$FaithInTheWorld--;

Re:Don't infer hostility from a lawsuit. (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503504)

Collusive (friendly) lawsuits are a fraudulent way one person can transfer money to another person (himself?), thereby dodging legitimate creditors.

I thought this was the way it worked in all lawsuits. Someone sues, and money is trasferred to lawyers, regardless of anything else.

Re:Don't infer hostility from a lawsuit. (1)

Purist (716624) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503668)

Legal check kiting? :-)

Need more coops (2, Interesting)

porter235 (413926) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502796)

Instead of multi tier marketing schemes, we just need more cooperatives: owned and run by members, for the benefit of the members!

Piramid scheme anybody? (4, Insightful)

houghi (78078) | more than 4 years ago | (#31502908)

recruiting salespeople who paid a monthly fee to be part of a sales program. [...] Salespeople were promised payment based on how many other salespeople they signed up to the program,

That has pyramid scheme written all over it. I wonder why it took so long and why no legal action was taken against them. Or are these scams legal in the US?

The moment somebody comes to me and tells me I can earn a lot of money, but first I need to pay a bit up front will NOT be my new employer. The will NOT be my business partner. They will be sorted under scammer. If I need to recruit people and payed on basis of how many people I can enlist, I will NOT work for that company (unless I am HR.)

Why were they not closed sooner? Even without the links to other dubious companies, this sounds like a first class pyramid scam.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1, Interesting)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503246)

Pyramid schemes are only legal in the US if they are being run by the government.

The most popular government pyramid scheme is called "social security," where the payout you receive after retirement depends on how many additional payers you and everyone else bring into the system throughout your lifetimes.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31503366)

SS money is actually invested. Collective insurance isn't a "pyramid scheme" either.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (2, Insightful)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503674)

If the expected returns on the investment does not meet the expected payouts and the difference is made up by new contributors then it is by definition a pyramid scheme.

Social security funds are invested in treasuries. The expected returns on those are crap (since interest rates are being held low). And of course the Treasury doesn't have the money to pay back those bonds anyway - the government balance sheet is in the red. Of course it can print it, but that leads to a whole bunch of other problems.

What would happen if SS contributions were cut to 0 tomorrow - no more contributions to social security (the equivalent on no one earning any taxable income). Could SS make all the payments it is on the hook for now? What about when the baby boomers all retire? If not then it is a pyramid scheme since it is relying on future contributions not investments to make payments.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503848)

I think you're abusing the definition of pyramid scheme. What you're really looking for is "poorly managed system." Now, excuse me, I need to get "pyramid scheme" to a doctor to see how bad your abuse was. You'll be hearing from its lawyer.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504042)

I think you're abusing the definition of pyramid scheme. What you're really looking for is "poorly managed system." Now, excuse me, I need to get "pyramid scheme" to a doctor to see how bad your abuse was. You'll be hearing from its lawyer.

NO, SSA isn't a poorly managed system. And while it's not totally unfair to call it a pyramid scheme, they're pretty up-front about it. The laws governing SSA pretty much state right out that you're paying in now to support current recipients, and when you need a payout by and by, new people will be paying in to support you.

Of course, there's those misleading letters they send out every couple years which mention "your investment" in SSA. Untruthful, at the least.

Note that once upon a time, when SSA was first created, it was sold to the American people as an "investment" into their individual retirements. That's because back then, it was considered embarrassing to be on the dole - and SSA is basically the dole by another name (and restricted to the elderly).

Nowadays, that particular form of embarrassment has been eliminated (mostly) from the American psyche.

Oh, and note, for the record, that this is the first year that the SSA has taken in less than it will pay out. Used to be estimated that that wouldn't happen till 2017 or 2018. They do expect that they'll be net positive for a couple years mid-decade, but till then, and after that, the SSA will no longer be usable to hide the size of the deficit....

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504510)

It's not just poorly managed, it's impossible for it to do what it claims to do even with great management (well short of magical prescient management).

But yes pyramid scheme isn't quite true, because the government can change the rules whenever they want to. It is a pyramid scheme under the current rules - it wasn't when it began, but things have changed such as life expectancies.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503296)

The (sic) will NOT be my business partner.

So you expect to go into partnership with someone without putting in any equity? If you don't put something in, you're not a partner -you're an employee.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503686)

That's not true at all.

If you have the skills/contacts/whatever that someone wants they could employ you or the could offer you an equity stake and some control over the company.

You don't have to actually put money down to be a business partner. It's the usual case of course, but there's no requirement for it.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503924)

If you have the skills/contacts/whatever that someone wants they could employ you or the could offer you an equity stake and some control over the company.

Taking a partner on for their customer or vendor contact lists opens you up to a lawsuit, and to having to basically turn over your company to their former employer. Do you really want to engineer your own liquidation?

Taking them on as an employee is only slightly less risky.

This isn't just the case in high tech. From industrial rubber products to fried chicken outlets (just to cite 2 local lawsuits) and everything in between, it's a really stupid move.

And in today's economy, there's enough people with the skills in most areas that offers of equity and partial control simply aren't needed - unless you're already so shaky that that's all you can really offer them.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504380)

Doesn't matter if it's a stupid move or an unlikely move, it's a possibility and hence your "If you don't put something [equity] in, you're not a partner -you're an employee" isn't true

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504438)

If it's not legal, then you're a partner in crime - not exactly the same thing. If that's what floats your boat, that's your problem, not mine. We could also claim that you can never have to work a day in your life - just commit 3 felonies in a "3 strikes" state. Somehow, I don't think people would buy that as a valid argument.

Re:Piramid scheme anybody? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503682)

Well, pyramid schemes are not legal. However, a multi-level marketing "scheme" is, as there's actually product being delivered through the network of people tricked into selling it and/or getting people to sell it for them. Since no product ended up being produced in this case, this was a pyramid, and is illegal. It's a fairly fine distinction here in the states.

A typosquatter is reeling them in (2, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31503356)

ZERO1MOBILE.COM
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Whois Server: whois.enom.com
Referral URL: http://www.enom.com/ [enom.com]
Name Server: NS1.PARKED.COM
Name Server: NS2.PARKED.COM
Status: clientTransferProhibited
Updated Date: 07-mar-2010
Creation Date: 13-mar-2009
Expiration Date: 13-mar-2011

The only difference is that it's O1 (the letter 'O'), not 01

Seems to me that, to add insult to injury, the typo-squatter picked the better domain name to begin with...

Paying Money to Work (1)

Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) | more than 4 years ago | (#31504020)

...and the two companies began recruiting salespeople who paid a monthly fee to be part of a sales program.

Any time that you're required to pay money to work - and I mean this outside of regular expenses such as supplies and travel, etc. - it's probably a good idea to turn around and run as far away as you can. A monthly fee to be part of a sales program? This is even worse than the typical MLM such as Primerica or Quixtar. At least those programs offer some sort of good or service in return, despite having an initial start-up cost.

But to collect money like that on a monthly basis and to vanish?

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