Archive for August, 2008

Fraud Alert – Target and the US Post Office (possibly Brentwood in DC)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 29, 2008 by lmdiorio

Two weekends ago while I was out with friends I get a phone call from my bank alerting me to several transactions on my brand new bank card account (I had opened the account 3 days prior) at an Exxon and Target in District Heights, Maryland.  Keep in mind I’ve never been to District Heights and as I mentioned literally opened the account 3 days prior.  I had not even received my new Check Card or even my Welcome packet for the new account.  Not only did the criminals spend $77 at a gas station but they also spent $650 at Target.  After those transactions they tried to spend another $600 and $950 at the same Target followed by trying to spend money at a 7-11 (I guess they were thirsty and needed a slurpee after spending my money).

So here are my thoughts – Why didn’t the cashier at Target think that maybe this could be a stolen card when it was declined twice after a big purchase?  This is a big issue to me and I called management and security at that Target and they seem to be just as stupid as the cashier and don’t want to do anything saying that the cashier is not responsible to do anything after the card is declined.  They will not do anything unless I file a police report and 2 weeks later my bank still has not refunded my money.

On another note – what is going at the US Post Office that some one is stealing mail.   There is no other explanation to this situation than the fact that it is an inside job.  There is someone within the Postal system who is creative enough to steal my mail with my Check Card and bank account information to commit fraud.  So I will do what I can to not send mail, I will pay my bills online.  On the bright side at least I will be helping the environment.

So from now on – I’m not shopping at Target, doing what I can to not use the USPS and from now on signing my cards with “Check ID.”  I would rather shop at Wal-Mart and K-Mart.

Craigslist Ride of the Day – 1964 Mustang

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2008 by lmdiorio

I have always been a huge fan of the classic Ford Mustang from the 60’s.  One of my favorite movies is Bullitt and the chase scene with Steve McQueen and his Bullitt Mustang is one of the best.  It is actually done in real-time and at one point when the cars go around a curve they actually hit a camera and you can see it.  Click below for a classic – 289 V8 manual trans – this is a dream to me.

1964 Ford Mustang – $14999 (Winchester, VA)

New Post! Craigslist Ride of the Day

Posted in Uncategorized on August 27, 2008 by lmdiorio

I’m going to start posting my Craigslist Ride of the Day as often as I see a really cool, interesting or outrageous car in the DC area.  Click on the link.

Here is the today’s Ride of the day!

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/cto/815535786.html

Beautiful Mint Condition 1988 Ferrari 328 GTS – $60000 (Silver Spring)

Humans Moving Powers the World!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on August 27, 2008 by lmdiorio

Thanks to Justin Mullins for reporting about this really cool technology!  Scientists at Boise State have invented a technology that can create energy from low-level vibrations meaning we can harvest energy from human movement to power gadgets and medical devices.  No more – my iPhone, Blackberry, Laptop or iPod battery is low excuses!

Read more about the Human-motion energy harvester at New Scientist Invention Blog here:

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 15, 2008 by lmdiorio

Faster, Higher, Stronger. This is the motto of the Olympics games and it couldn’t be closer to the truth this year. Athletes participating in the games have shredded world records left and right. There is of course always the doping speculations surrounding such great feats but with all of the rules in place this year about testing – it makes you wonder – if they aren’t doping, they are truly amazing athletes. Why can’t our sports stars such as Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens et. al. participant in their sport without the aid of an illegal substance (I know it has not been proven regarding Bonds and Clemens but I can have an opinion).

I think this also begs the question, why aren’t Olympic athletes compensated like our professional athletes. We pay the pros millions upon millions of dollars to play a sport that they supposedly love to play. Yes, they are extremely talented and gifted people but so are Olympic athletes. After the games, these athletes go back to life as usual training for the next four years, traveling the world to compete against other nations’ best not to be seen on TV. Not to mention that they represent our country as a whole not some media market in New York, LA or dare I say Oklahoma. Again, the difference between the US and other countries, other countries really do take pride in their Olympic athletes – look at what China is doing. And in my personal opinion, Olympic athletes are quite frankly excellent role models. You do not hear the stories of these athletes getting into gun fights on a Saturday or drug busts or operating dog fighting rings (yes, I went there). Now, Michael Phelps did get busted for a DUI but apparently that challenged him to train more intensely for these games and look at where that is getting him.

Olympic athletes much like our troops deserve much more respect. They should be the ones getting the multi-million dollar endorsement deals and the 7 figure salaries, they are the real deal. So I say go for the Gold not the Green!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_82SPkrB-SE

Who turned out the lights?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 13, 2008 by lmdiorio

As the WSJ Business Technology blog pointed out today – tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of the Big Blackout. The traditional 5th year anniversary gift is wood and the modern one is silverware.  Which one are you buying to celebrate $6B in losses due to spoilage, canceled flights and loss revenue?

I remember the blackout well, it was literally the first month that I lived here in DC.  I do not even think that I was in my apartment yet – still living with family.  Having occurred 2 years after 9/11 – I remember people really panicking.  I think that some of my friends literally had to walk home from downtown Manhattan to Queens that day.  People were re-analyzing their emergency preparedness procedures and generators were flying off of the shelves.

With all of this talk about energy policies in the news and having been a skeptic for so long – I am starting to wonder if energy conservation efforts are really necessary.  If we can reduce the demand on the grid by just a fraction and save ourselves money – why not?  I think that conservatism gets a bad rap.  As someone pointed out to me once – the freezing in the dark concept gave conservation a bad name.  Conservation is not about turning down the thermostat and putting on a sweater.  People need to realize that conserving is not a liberal, moderate or conservative (no pun intended) ideal.  I’m not saying that people need to be minimalists, trust me that goes against a lot of what I believe in.   All that I am saying is do you really need to have all of the lights on?  Why don’t people stock up on non-perishable groceries so that they do not have to get in the car as often to go to the store?  What is so hard about buying energy (cost) saving appliances? Conservation is not about giving something up – it is kind of like a diet – if you eat less you lose weight, if you conserve you potentially save money.  The idea is to not starve but maintain a health lifestyle enabling healthy outcomes.

It is up to the marketers and the media to present Conservationism as what it really is – a potential cost savings tool and an overall good practice.  I’m going to try, although it will be hard because it is just not in my nature.  But in a time when gas prices are outrageous and the economy seems to be tanking – a penny saved is a penny earned.  Hopefully we will not have to experience a Blackout again.

Can you see me now?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 12, 2008 by lmdiorio

The Invisible Woman from the Fantastic Four, Kevin Bacon as the Hollow Man or perhaps H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man – All may become a reality.  Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have developed the “invisibility cloak,”  a material that can control the direction in which visible light travels around an object. Now – let your imaginations run wild!

Although probably years away from becoming a reality, the work which has been funded by the American military, could render almost anything invisible.  According to the Times Online – “Xiang Zhang, the leader of the researchers, said: “In the case of invisibility cloaks or shields, the material would need to curve light waves completely around the object like a river flowing around a rock.” An observer looking at the cloaked object would then see light from behind it – making it seem to disappear.”

As exciting as this sounds do we really want to be able to just disappear and how do we regulate the use of this technology to the benefit of society not its detriment – can you see me now?

Look for more information in Science and Nature this month!