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Archive for June, 2023

BT Raising the Prices Again and Discounts Are Impossible or Very Hard to Get

Video download link | md5sum 2b05fb5773a9dbb62489443cea324fe4
BT and the Vanishing Discounts
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

YESTERDAY when I checked E-mail I saw a message with the subject line “Driven from template” (yes, it’s a mistake, they mass-mailed perhaps millions of people and forget the set a subject line).

They said “line rental” costs would, in effect, rise by yet another 8% or something like that. That’s after the price had already been raised several times in recently years.

In addition, BT intentionally slows down connections.

The video above documents a call and show how I managed to keep the price lower. You really have to negotiate quite hard with them, especially if you don’t want to be ripped off. It’s a real nuisance at times.

As Ryan just put it in IRC: “ISPs play the “We’ll raise your price after a promo but if you bother to call us every year we’ll lower it again. That way they get to gouge people who are not sensitive to price, embarrassed to ask, or too busy. You just chat with a customer service person in the Philippines or something over a pop up box. They don’t give a shit what you pay for your internet account. They get a bonus for retaining customers.”

Sirius ‘Open Source’ Contributed to Perceptions That Open Source is a Fraud and the Government Lets It Off the Hook

Video download link | md5sum 25143997fa3602ec8a0eb4b96c0ea757
Complaining to the Government About Government Contractor
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: The accountability for crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’ will require government intervention, i.e. law enforcement and courts’ involvement; based on what we’ve witnessed so far, the British government would rather ignore crimes that involve its frequent contractor for Free software projects

THIS tenth part of the series is primarily a video. It talks about the government connections at Sirius ‘Open Source’. Not only the police ignores the matter; we’ve also shown that HMRC is looking the other way and later this month we’ll show the reaction from agencies that gave the contracts.

Next week is important because we’ll see whether British police also ignores Members of Parliament, who are understandably upset about this impunity. The police was given 4 weeks to respond — that’s very ample time — and Tuesday (or Wednesday) marks 4 weeks.

Time is Up: British Law Enforcement and Tax Collection Authorities Tolerate Crime by Government Contractor

Waiting for Godot: Let's report fraud by Sirius; To people overseen by Sirius clients

Summary: Today we conclude this week’s series, which explained how Sirius isn’t just funded by the British government but is also protected by the British government; HMRC is not responding to fraud reports (sent exactly 4 weeks ago) and Action Fraud, overseen by a client of Sirius (since 2013), does not seem to have even opened the Pension Fraud complaint (it sent a template response after exactly 4 weeks*)

WHEN we finally reach Tuesday or Wednesday (next week) it will be 4 weeks since my Member of Parliament contacted Action Fraud regarding the pension fraud complaint that Action Fraud is ignoring. Action Fraud has still not bothered responding to her. I’m not the sole victim of this fraud. Former colleagues were robbed as well (a lot of money was covertly stolen). For the time being we’re closing this series and will post another further update/s anew. This isn’t the end. This is only the beginning of a rather broad political scandal. Can one trust a government to regulate itself or its contractors? Can one complain to a government about abuse against its own workers? This in many ways resembles the EPO scandals. The EPO even invented its own Ombuds office or “EPO’s Ombuds service”, created and controlled by those who spent over a decade committing crimes at the EPO. Such “Ombuds” is farcical; it’s an exercise in optics (giving people out there the mere illusion of accountability).

Gaslighting and/or self-induced defeatism (learned helplessness) is a potent weapon leveraged against the impatient and unmotivated. We’re neither impatient nor unmotivated, so this will carry on and on until a resolution is found and the perpetrators of the crime are arrested.
* Out of business hours on a weekend. It seems safe to assume no actual person sent that.

BT Full Fibre Broadband is Throttling Down Fibre Connections and Then Upselling the ‘Real’ Speeds of Fibre-optics

All about bundling and complicated structuring for tiers (artificially-degraded services)

BT Full Fibre Broadband

I moved to fibre-optics earlier this year. It was already possible in 2021, but following a series of blunders I decided to delay the transition by nearly 2 years.

The thing about it this year is, BT lied about various things. It also lied about speeds (downstream and upstream) of the connection. How do I know? Well, the other day I did large uploads and then BT all of a sudden phoned me. It was a sales rep. He almost immediately started asking me if I wanted to upgrade speeds. I politely declined and explained why.

But now it’s changing some more. It now ‘feels’ different; now they seem to be severely throttling my uploads (probably to upsell again after a ‘free trial’ which lasted a fortnight; after this trial they tried to upsell it several times). How desperate are they for extra money?

Everyone knows that fibre should not be 100kB/sec upstream, no matter what (unless there is something wrong at the other end, the receiving end).

They want more money, so they hobble/throttle by upstream speeds and then phone me to ask me to pay more. They want me pay yet more money to get what I ALREADY paid for. Not nice. Will they be doing so more aggressively once they’ve transitions almost everyone to fibre-optics, under-delivering intentionally?

Your misery and impatience should not be their profit prospect. Because then they have a financial incentive to make you miserable or less productive.

BT “customer services” may fancy saying they don’t intentionally slow down connections, but of course they do. Selling you back the “real” speed is part of the business model. It’s a class system.

Government Contractors and Corporate Liability for Fraud

Summary: Contractors may seem glowingly popular at the Linux Foundation; but what does contracting mean for corporate liability?

WHEN this series started 6 months ago we promised not to name clients, even though most of them are listed and shown publicly in the company’s official Web site.

Seeing that the British authorities (or “Crown”) are unwilling to hold Sirius accountable for pension fraud, we thought it would be worth showing what’s already public anyway. Here are some government clients of Sirius:

Cabinet Office and Sirius Open Source

CESG and Sirius Open Source

Gatwick, FSA, and Sirius Open Source

Digital Office, GLA, and Sirius Open Source

Government clients of Sirius Open Source

Various Sirius Open Source clients

ERA, Europol, and Sirius Open Source

All the above is public anyway. And I’ve blurred out anything that’s not a public institution. Another page:

Parliamentary Ombudsman

There are many more that the company does not publicly name, including Parliamentary Ombudsman, Home Office, and more recently Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service). There are several more that are named, e.g. Bristol City Council. Some are omitted from the carousel, but appear in another page because almost nobody is left in the company who knows how to properly maintain its Drupal Web site e.g. myself or the Support Manager. Everyone is rapidly leaving and the replacement rate is near 0-to-1.

If we are going to expose our regime too, seeing that it does not want to look into very obvious evidence of fraud, it helps to provide evidence of the company’s ties to the government. It is very much possible that later this month it will implicate London’s municipality because it’s directly connected to the cops who aren’t investigating the matter and won’t even look into reports of crime. We don’t think it’s a coincidence. They probably just don’t that would be fun! Do they really want to participate in a blunder that embarrasses their sponsor? It’s not just any municipality; I worked on their systems for ages and I also have lots to prove just how much I worked for them while my boss defrauded me and my colleagues.

Stay tuned. We have lots left to show. Sans a D-Notice, maybe this will even hit the mainstream media.

“Hi, I have read your blog on Sirius. Do you have any time to discuss further?”

Anonymised message, earlier this month

Looking Back at Crimes of Sirius ‘Open Source’, Aside From Moral Depravity

Roy's resignation page 1: There is no such thing; Nothing was paid; they had us sign another; a decade out of date; Those terms are clearly applicable only while employed; stuff inapplicable after departure; It is not defamatory if it's true and honest; you are not my boss; The Company does that on its own

Summary: Six months ago Sirius ‘Open Source’ had the audacity to tell people whom it robbed that they need to “cool off” (no such obligation); imagine a rapist telling the victim to just “chill”; today we revisit the matter

THE departure from Sirius half a year ago was long overdue. The company had done a number of bad things other than the pension fraud (which we didn’t know about at the time; there were mere suspicions). At one point I even considered leaving abruptly, seeing how colleagues were being treated/mistreated. One of them got diarrhea from the stress. He was routinely and casually bullied by fake ‘managers’. I had enumerated clients I was not happy about and discussed it privately with friends. It’s my legal right. I can talk about work (though this was not at all mentioned internally; I had kept these 100% to myself and only Rianne knows the full reasons for disdain because she worked in the same company).

Where does one even start describing what went on in the company? First there’s Bill Gates: notorious, corrupt, working in the shadows and perhaps passing a bribe? I never ever had any contact with that (perhaps LDAP) project, but that still reeks/stinks a lot. Why was there an NDA and why would an American approach a British company? The one that employs a Gates critics who is pursing police files about Gates at the time. It’s not like Microsoft did not already try this. It tried contacting the same company, explicitly complaining about me. Some other day I’ll elaborate some more on that. It’s another kind of bullying.

Then we had this public sector client that was also connected to Microsoft; well, they moved from Windows to GNU/Linux but stayed on Azure; thankfully I never even logged in to that crap (but one day they MIGHT ask me, or so I worried, and then what?). For another client there was an Amazon/AWS migration planned (used to be a domestic company doing the hosting); more AWS is not the ‘skill’ we want to develop, is it? By 2022 there 3 more “problematic” clients: some Army-connected thing (US), a loan shark, a company that employs criminals and us acting as secretaries of theirs, picking up fault reports, not even solving them. What was happening to Sirius? As I noted the day I left the company, at one point that year I was even asked to look at server logs for an anti-abortion group. Was the twice-divorced CEO becoming a misogynist, too?

The irony is that the CEO kept bragging about me working for the company, using that to recruit people (those people told me that). And after he defrauded me and my colleagues (some of them friends) he had the audacity to assert the victims were in fact the problem.

It’s hard to believe it has been this long, but it took about 3 months just to get to the bottom of the pension fraud (with Standard Life openly admitting it in writing). Sure, it’s bad publicity for them if it drags on for months and months, but that’s not the point. It’s just a really slow process and the Sirius scandal will deepen. It will expose and implicate the state, too. Just because Sirius was a contractor and state agencies were “clients” doesn’t mean that the state had no responsibilities and obligations. We suppose this is becoming an epic liability scandal and that’s why they keep so quiet about it. They hope the victims will just forget about it or “move on” out of sheer desperation.

We have a lot left to say; if it were not for source protection, it would boil over completely by now (but possibly burn some innocent people). We’ve heard from journalists, ex staff, applicants, clients… they’re really unhappy about what’s happening in Sirius right now. And just wait, there’s lots more to come.

British Government May Be Indirectly Liable for Fraud at Sirius ‘Open Source’

Video download link | md5sum f4f239686d76f30d562cc44bb70cb997
Serious Scandal by Sirius
Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0

Summary: What started as fraud committed by one company (since 2011 if not earlier) is becoming a blunder and major embarrassment to high-profile clients that are government agencies, in effect employing programmers and system administrators via a contractor that grossly underpays workers while secretly defrauding them (stealing money from them)

THE previous part spoke of the brain drain that had reduced Sirius ‘Open Source’ to almost nothing; even before pension fraud was exposed (we broke the story here this past spring) the company had almost nothing left in terms of physical assets, monetary assets, human resources, and clients. It’s just milking what’s left of contracts signed or renewed last year.

The really obnoxious thing is the two-faceted ‘coverup’ (to use the term loosely) by entities that should know better and should do better. If the British authorities are so desperate to save face and spare themselves negative publicity, then they should hurry up and act, showing strength of law, accountability, and drastic consequences. Instead, based on the lack of interaction (also my Member of Parliament is being ignored), it certainly seems like this scandal will just deepen, implicating a growing network of facilitators and enablers. This scandal isn’t about just Sirius anymore; Sirius received millions of pounds from the British government and the government oughtn’t look the other way when people who worked on government computer systems become victims of employment crimes and embezzlement or just plain old fraud.

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