Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vindale Research

I received this in my Spam box today. 

From: Vindale Research


Since I haven't heard from them before, I decided to see what's going-on and whether this is just another scam.

Well, they don't appear to be a deliberate fraud. But, the company's online reputation is rather tainted and I would advise against anyone signing-up for a membership.

First, I tried to do an IP trace of the email itself and discovered that the IP cannot be traced to its point of origin. Looks like someone is trying to hide.

Second, researching the company itself, I learned that their website can be found at and their contact information is
Vindale Research
243 Fifth Avenue, Suite 541
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: 1-855-VINDALE (846-3253)
Fax: 1-866-841-3898
The given address does not appear to be their physical address, but seems to be a mailbox at the UPS Store there. So, the "suite number" is actually their mailbox number. So, if you ever wanted to have legal documents served on them for some reason, you'd be out of luck.

Vindale is making use of social networking sites and you can visit them on Facebook and Twitter.

Vindale Research is a subsidiary by SayForExample, Inc.which also is the parent company of Paid Samples (website is offline) Survey 4 Profit (website and is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, though the BBB has a review of the company and has given them a C+ rating. I found it rather disturbing that there have so far been 22 complaints filed against SayForExample, Inc in the last year.

Nathanael "Nate" Ehrich is the Founder and CEO of SayForExamle, Inc.

Next, I Googled "Vindale Research" and found complaints against this company going back to 2008:
However, a fairly balanced review that presents both the good and bad points of signing-up for Vindale Research can be found here. He did a particularly good job of examining how the company works and explains it very well. I read this on his review which totally convinced me to have nothing to do with these people
The catch, if it can be called that, lies in the “evaluation surveys” (more about that later). Here the company signs-up members for a number of product trials and then later on passes a part of its own commissions to these members. This is followed by the dispatching of some stock surveys, which gives off the impression that you’re giving out useful feedback.

Although this tactic is entirely legal, there’s no denying about its deceptiveness as it doesn’t conform to accepted market research methods. Similarly, the payouts advertised by the company are also smartly inflated.

For instance, as a member you might be offered a 10-day trial run at an internet dating site. Say you are charged $30 by the dating site for the given trial period and at the end of it, Vindale Research remunerates you $45. Now although you end up being paid only $15, the company says it paid you $45.
Vindale Research is not an outright scam. But, I don't like how they do business and will never sign-up for a membership.

Duane Browning

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Awakened to Textspam

While trying to get some sleep, I received five text messages in just a few minutes:

Subject:Message id:CZZC
CentralPacificBan.k CWGG alert 597567.Please call [515]309-6975

Subject:Message id:CQQM
CentralPacificBan.k AWQG alert 123759.Please call [515]309-6975

Subject:Message id:FZJD
CentralPacificBan.k FRQL alert 565497.Please call [515]309-6975

Subject:Message id:FZEX
CentralPacificBan.k QQNG alert 977814.Please call [515]309-6975

Subject:Message id:HPYH
CentralPacificBan.k QAGM alert 713353.Please call [515]309-6975
Doing a reverse lookup revealed the number given as registered to a customer of cellular provider Windstream, a company formerly known as Paetec. Getting through to a real person at customer service was a bit difficult, but eventually I spoke to someone who asked me to send my complaint to
and I paused only long enough to post this information on my blog.

The reported goal of the spammer is to get you to call the number, then you'll be told that your credit card has been blocked. You will then be directed to enter your card number to unblock it. Of course, it's just a phishing scam and the scammers are just trying to steal your credit card information.

Duane Browning

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A More Realistic View of Mother Theresa of Calcutta

Many in the West have long viewed Mother Theresa as a selfless advocate for the poor and wretched of the world. However, the Truth is that Mother Theresa was demonstrably a self-serving religious fanatic to did little to nothing to reduce suffering anywhere.

Here are two documentaries on YouTube that you can watch and come to your own conclusions

Mother Teresa - Hell's Angel 

Penn & Teller's "Bullshit - Holier Than Thou"

I was inspired to write this entry after reading this article "A new exposé of Mother Teresa shows that she—and the Vatican—were even worse than we thought" and I decided to post this entry with information and links gathered from the 'Net.

A truly damning expose of Mother Theresa's hypocrisy was "Mother Teresa: The Final Verdict" by Aroup Chatterjee. However, that book is difficult to obtain, even from, but it is available online and you can read it here. Mr Hitchens also responded to a criticism of his book in this letter to the editor in The New York Review of Books.

As far as published works, Christopher Hitchens wrote "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice" and is easily available from the link to the Amazon page I provided or from a nearby bookstore.

There's also "Hope Endures: Leaving Mother Teresa, Losing Faith, and Searching for Meaning" by Colette Livermore.

On the other side of this, the Vatican has already fast-tracked Mother Theresa to become canonized as a saint in the near future. A dubious "miracle" was used as evidence for her beatification, so it looks like she'll be Saint Mother Theresa is a relatively short time.

I think that one rationale for all this hype is that the Roman Catholic Church has been taking quite a beating in the public eye over the past few years, with scandals reported in the media in graphic detail. The Church needs a public figure to be held up for the masses to idolize and Mother Theresa seems to fit the bill. After all, even though they've got priests molesting children, they've also got Mother Theresa, for whatever that's worth.

Duane Browning