Tired of PayPal’s games?

About a year ago, we had a bit of trouble with PayPal:  not only had they frozen my son’s account with birthday money in it, they actually went back and reversed payments to some vendors which they had approved several days earlier! We had received the goods, the payment disappeared from the vendors’ account and the vendors were seriously unimpressed.

With us!

It took me a while to contact these vendors, explain the situation and beg them not to suspend our accounts because of an unforseen action by PayPal, which we had no control over.  (In the case of Steam, loosing the account would also have lost us all the games we had previously bought on that site over several years.)

Then, I started jumping through all kinds of ‘hoops’ that PayPal dictated, so that they would release the funds.  I did everything – and fulfilled their every demand, however unreasonable, to the best of my abilities.

They still would not release the funds.

After well over a month, they finally re-activated the account:  for a day.  We had 24 hours to spend the money – whatever was not spent would be frozen for ever

At this point, I will rather not buy something than use PayPal to do it.

Which is why I am glad to hear that more and more retailers are looking at PayPal alternatives.  Here is a good article about one company’s search and why they ditched PayPal for Stripe:  if you receive money through PayPal, this is required reading!

US government abandons due process as it censors a polular blog for over a year

This is truly astonishing – and why SOPA and similar such nonsense must be opposed by all pro-free-speech people!!!

‘Imagine if the US government, with no notice or warning, raided a small but popular magazine’s offices over a Thanksgiving weekend, seized the company’s printing presses, and told the world that the magazine was a criminal enterprise with a giant banner on their building. Then imagine that it never arrested anyone, never let a trial happen, and filed everything about the case under seal, not even letting the magazine’s lawyers talk to the judge presiding over the case. And it continued to deny any due process at all for over a year, before finally just handing everything back to the magazine and pretending nothing happened. I expect most people would be outraged. I expect that nearly all of you would say that’s a classic case of prior restraint, a massive First Amendment violation, and exactly the kind of thing that does not, or should not, happen in the United States.

But, in a story that’s been in the making for over a year, and which we’re exposing to the public for the first time now, this is exactly the scenario that has played out over the past year — with the only difference being that, rather than “a printing press” and a “magazine,” the story involved “a domain” and a “blog.”‘

Read the full story at TechDirt – and weep, because this is not the only such case.

Then get ready to fight against oppression of free speech under ALL its guises!

Cancer treatment breakthrough – from a 17-year-old!

This is one of those feel-good stories that just makes you wonder…

‘Her creation is being heralded as a “Swiss army knife of cancer treatment.” Zhang managed to develop a nanoparticle that can be delivered to the site of a tumor through the drug salinomycin. Once there it kills the cancer stem cells. However, Zhang went further and included both gold and iron-oxide components, which allow for non-invasive imaging of the site through MRI and Photoacoustics.’

For her success, Angela Zhang was awarded the grand prize at the Siemens competition which highligts research excellence at high school level.