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Tax Refund Scam – Don’t Fall For It (updated)
Posted by on December 17th, 2008
December 18: More than 48 hours after being alerted that they're hosting a fake Canada Revenue Agency page that's clearly designed to steal private, personal information from Canadians...Maxnet.Co.NZ is still hosting the page. The company touts itself as a leading edge ISP and lists its awards, including finalist for the best ISP in New Zealand on more than one occasion. You'd think they'd be quick to pull a page designed to promote identity theft.


An email arrived yesterday (Dec 16/2008) claiming to be from Revenue Canada and telling me I was due for a surprise refund. And with less than a week to go before Christmas, that's great news, right?

"After the last annual calculation of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund of 386.00"

Too bad it's a scam designed to trick you into turning over your personal information - name, date of birth and Social Insurance Number.

So how do we know it's a scam?

Think about it. This is too good to be true, right? And when did RevCan start sending you refund notices by email? They just send a cheque in the mail.

Looking a little deeper - that's what suspicious computer types do - the email didn't actually come from - it came from an Internet site in Saudi Arabia that is doing its best to hide its ownership ( And the web site where this supposed claim form lives (no name - just an Internet Protocal or IP address - That's an Internet company called Maxnet.Co.NZ - based in New Zealand. Now kick me if I'm wrong, but I don't think RevCan has set up shop in New Zealand. Where you can enter your personal information and get a pre-Christmas tax refund.

One of the giveaways that this is a scam that doesn't require that sort of technical expertise - look at the link to French on the phony page. The scammer obviously doesn't know how to create the French characters properly and the result is a link to Fran?ais. Can't imagine RevCan making that kind of mistake.

You may have heard the Privacy Commissioner bemoaning the fact that Canada has no anti-spam law - one of the very few industrialized countries in the world that has not taken concrete steps to stop the scourge of increasingly criminal activity -  and is becoming know as a haven for cybercriminals. The nature of this latest scam - looking for SIN numbers, DOB and full name - suggests that while it came from the Middle East and the trick web site is hosted near Middle Earth - the criminals behind this latest online fraud are based right here in the Great White North.



November story on CBC:

"Warning issued over fake letter from Canada Revenue Agency"">

Posted in justFRED Stuff, Site News

Tech review: Flip Video Ultra (Part 1)
Posted by on September 9th, 2008
We've been playing around with the Flip Video Ultra for a couple of weeks now, so it's time to start the comprehensive review of what we've learned so far.

First of all, thanks to Miranda McCurlie at The iPR Group - the Canadian communications company that represents Flip video camera makers, Pure Digital Solutions - for providing the camera.

What we have is the 5.2 ounce Flip Ultra - the mid-range version that retails for $149.99. There's also the Flip Video - now called 'The Original' for $129.99 and the new Flip Mino (sounds faintly Apple-ish to me, too...) that tops the trio at $179.99 and comes with

The easiest way to compare the three units is to pay a visit to the specs page on the web site:">

The basic layout

The video screen - while relatively tiny at 1.5 inches - is also surprisingly rich. A power button is prominent on one side, and the pop-out USB connector is on the other. On the bottom is the release for the battery compartment - it runs on a pair of AA's - and a standard female camera mount.

There's a four-way button plate (about 1 inch square) centered beneath the screen and there's a big red button right smack on the middle of the plate. You don't need a manual to figure out what that's for. There are two other smaller buttons - one beneath each corner of the screen. On the left, an arrow. On the right, a trash can. One's for navigating, and the other's for eliminating. The lens is on the front - it's about the size of a large bottle cap. Next to it is a grid of holes in front of the microphone. Besides the USB 2 connector, there's a single socket: TV out.

It's slick. It's lightweight. It's easy to use. You turn it on, point it, push the red button, and start recording.

First Pros and Cons

The camera is light. Fits into a pocket or a purse, so it's not a chore to pack up and carry along, unlike our large camera kit with wireless mic/transmitter, tripod, tapes, cables, batteries. But the light weight also makes it difficult to keep steady. Mounted on a tripod, the image quality is more than acceptable. We even mounted it on our large fluid head tripod for a test. (You'll see that one later.)

The microphone is unidirectional. If you're using it to record someone speaking, and point the camera away from the speaker, the sound level drops noticeably. Sound is one of those things that a I'd trade that TV-out link for an audio input in a second. To be fair, the audio is surprisingly good. We've taken and posted acceptable videos of a professional string quartet and individual musicians.

We realize this camera wasn't built for professional use, but it doesn't have to stay that way.

The biggest plus with this camera is the speed at which you can go from shooting to editing to posting, whether that's to your own web site, blog or personal social network page. This sucker is fast. On a Mac.

We have both Mac and PC computers available, so tend to take the path of least resistance. Five minutes of frustration on the PC led directly to a MacBook. With the USB port popped out of its hiding place and plugged into the computer, the Flip appears on the desktop as a portable drive. Software installed. Opened the Flip folder,  find the folder labelled 'DCIM' (Digical Camera IMages folder). Inside that, you'll see one or more .avi files. You can play them as is, or drag them into iMovie.

The image quality is good - certainly better than most of what you'll find on YouTube.

Next, we'll tell you about how we took it down to the railway tracks with some tape...



Posted in justFRED Stuff, News and Announcements

Latest Internet Scam: Phony Airline Ticket Emails
Posted by on August 15th, 2008
One of the newest Internet scams - intended to get you to open a file which will infect your computer and give control of it and access to your personal information to online criminals - features an email claiming that your credit card has been charged for an airline ticket. Here's a sample:
Good day,
Thank you for using our new service "Buy flight ticket Online" on our website.
Your account has been created:

Your login:
Your password: passPRRZ

Your credit card has been charged for $413.22.
We would like to remind you that whenever you order tickets on our website you get a discount of 10%!
Attached to this message is the purchase Invoice and the airplane ticket.
To use your ticket, simply print it on a color printed, and you are set to take off for the journey!

Kind regards,
United Airlines

It's not from United Airlines, of course, and I didn't purchase a ticket from them using my credit card. But the immediate reaction is to open the attached email to find out what the heck is going on. And that's when your computer will be infected and control of it put into the hands of criminals somewhere out there on the Internet.

So if you get an email like this - DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHED FILE.



Posted in justFRED Stuff, News and Announcements

National Do Not Call List To Go Live September 30, 2008
Posted by on July 31st, 2008
Tired of telemarketers calling you just as you sit down to supper with your family or racking up charges on your cell phone?

After years of complaints from Canadian consumers, the federal government is expected to launch the National Do Not Call List (DNCL) today, a nation-wide registry that telemarketers will be required to honour or face fines of up to $15,000 per infraction.

Currently, each telemarketer is required to maintain and honour its own DNCL, a duplication of effort and a main pain for Canadians who must register with each individual list, a system that has all the earmarks of being designed to be unusable.

While the national DNCL will be free for consumers, and is expected to reduce annoying telemarketing calls, there are also enough exceptions to guarantee your mealtimes and cellphone won't be entirely free of annoying calls. So who are these exceptions allowed by the politicians who put the legislation into place?

- politicians
- registered charities
- newspapers selling subscriptions
- firms conducting public opinion polls
- companies that have an existing business relationship with you
- and calls to businesses.

Further details can be found here.

Posted in justFRED Stuff, News and Announcements, Site News

Server Upgrade – Some Problems
Posted by on June 28th, 2008
Update: 3:20 pm

The slideshow issue was resolved a few hours ago. There are other niggling problems - which we hope will be temporary while the servers are moved and installed in their new location. No word on the ETA for getting back to normal (yet)...

-----------original post------------

We're in the middle of a server upgrade (which includes the physical relocation of one of our main servers) and while most of the transition has gone smoothly, there have been a few problems.

The issue we're working on at the moment is preventing us from activating Saturday's home page update. The update is there - the links in place - but we can't get the new slideshow to replace Friday's version.

We're working on it...


Posted in justFRED Stuff, News and Announcements breaks the 10,000,000 page barrier…!!!
Posted by on May 10th, 2008
When we launched away back in November of 2006, we hoped it would generate some interest and, eventually, turn into a viable local business.

And sometime between late Friday and early Saturday,'s web servers dished up our 10-millionth page.

What's even better news for us is that in late 2007, we changed many of our home page links to point to slideshows rather than individual gallery pages. In technical terms, a slideshow counts as one page. Under the old system, a visitor viewing 20 photos would ring up 20 pages. Under the new system, watching a slideshow of 40 photos counts as one page. So the change initially resulted in a drop in our daily average. Slowly, but surely, even that couldn't prevent from reaching the 10,000,000 page milestone.

So now that we've passed that magic number, what next? Ten more mililion, of course, and in a shorter period of time.

While we know we can take some of the credit, we also know that without you, our loyal visitors and supporters, we'd still be in the thousands of pages rather than double digit millions. So means a lot.

Now if you'll excuse me...YAAAAAAYYYYYYYYY.......


Posted in justFRED Stuff, News and Announcements, Site News

justFRED-0-GRAM Last Snowball in April?
Posted by on April 4th, 2008
Sure, it's been spring - on paper - for more than two weeks - but

don't put your snow shovel away just yet. We could get up to 5 cm of

the white stuff overnight.

In addition to our usual collection of smiling faces - including some

shots of the people who keep us smiling and an invite to a private

birthday bash - we have clear evidence that the annual melt us

underway. You'll find those and more photos in the galleries...

One very busy weekend coming up. Michale Graves, the former frontman

from the Misfits (a big oops on that spelling error yesterday), is

the headliner at the benefit concert tonight for the Memphis 3 at

Musiplex. On Saturday, Steve Waylon & Rebel Ridge are @ The Plex

fresh from their European tour. All day Saturday at FHS - Stem Expo -

the annual showcase of science, math, engineering and science put on

by students from District 18.

There are still tickets to be won for the concerts tonight &

Saturday. But time's running out. More info here:

So whether it's music to your ears, or fodder for your brain, get out

and about this weekend - snow or not - and if you see us with our

cameras, don't forget to Say Cheese...


Posted in justFRED Stuff

justFRED-0-GRAM Music Music Music
Posted by on April 3rd, 2008

The musical week continues. In our galleries, photos of the rehearsal

for the performance of the Requiem on Monday, the New Orleans show

organizer, and the first set from the rock show at the Kinsmen


In the calendar, Buddy Whassisname @ the Playhouse, Shameless @

Dolan's Pub, Ross Neilson @ The Suffrin' Bastards @ the Snooty

Fox...and a public meeting tonight to discuss the fate of the UNB


And two new contests...for a pair of tickets to the benefit concert

for the Memphis 3 featuring Michael Graves, former front-man for the

Misfits on Friday @ The Plex and a pair of tickets to the Saturday

night country show @ The Plex featuring Steve Waylon & Rebel Ridge

with special guest Chris Cummings.

Music for every taste...



Posted in justFRED Stuff

justFRED-0-GRAM Computers – sigh
Posted by on April 2nd, 2008

What turned out to be a minor glitch - a loose cable - held up the

daily post. So here it is...


A dying snowman, a bald eagle and a whole bunch of smiling faces in

today's photo galleries.


A fairly musical day on tap from the sounds of New Orlean's jazz @

The Playhouse to the River Valley Fiddlers @ The Plex to Dub Antenna

@ The Phoenix...

justFRED Stuff

We've been in development mode again - working on a complete overhaul

of our calendar, designing web sites for clients, and fine tuning the

site while we wait for the weather to improve.

The latest web site project launched a few days ago is the web site

for Child Find Saskatchewan.

Check out the way the links along the bottom of the home page work:



Posted in justFRED Stuff

justFRED-0-GRAM justFRED Shuts Down
Posted by on April 1st, 2008

In one of the first reported incidents of a photograph-eating Internet

virus, justFRED's massive collection of photo files of Fredericton and

the people who live in and visit the city, was reduced to a dozen

pictures of snow and part of a video of an unidentified heavy metal

guitar player.

The virus also destroyed banner ads, logos and two drawings of the

justFRED mascot in development.

The destruction was so fast and pervasive than it prevented the

production and delivery of today's Daily Fred-O-Gram.

The virus appeared to either originate from a criminal gang in the

former Soviet Union, or it was just an April Fool's joke and the

albums and calendars are right where they always were:



Posted in justFRED Stuff


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