Is Amazon Trying to Rip Off Canadians?

I mentioned this on the podcast a few episodes ago, but I go shot down. I edited my comments out. However there continues to be a huge disparity in the pricing of identical products between Amazon Canada and the main Amazon in the USA. I was looking for a track for my grandson’s birthday in July. I fooled up the price on the Apple Store as well as on Amazon. Apple was asking $45 and Amazon Canada was asking over $350 plus shipping! I bought the track from Apple with free shipping. See the screenshot below. A 560% increase in cost (based on today’s exchange rate)

Note the discrepancy between the Canadian price above and the US Store price.


A few days later I was looking for a shock mount for my Yeti microphone. Imagine my surprise when there was a huge discrepancy between the US and Canadian stores. see the image. A 370% increase.



Again today I found another potential rip off. A 400% increase.


So I’m calling out Amazon Canada. WTF? Every price I look up is marked up incredibly.

FounderDating – beware of strangers bearing gifts.

Note: The original source of this post was an email that I received on a Meetup email. The Administrator of the Meetup group normally screens emails sent to the group, for relevancy. Turns out there are a lot of spam messages sent to Meetup groups regarding FounderDating. The content is common, but the subject changes based on the group. The original post follows:

Beware of FounderDating it appears to be a viral mechanism to phish your contacts. You may receive an endorsement appearing to be from me. It is not an endorsement – not at this time any way. I’ll let you know if that changes.

A colleague of mine gave them an endorsement on a private network. So I figured I would take a look and applied. I didn’t think it was odd that it wanted me to apply through my LinkedIn profile. I rarely do allow strangers access to my contacts, but this was supposed to be a professional connection. So linkedIn made sense. I was applying to be a mentor…

What was odd was that a few hours after applying, I got an email saying that my application was incomplete. I was given a token to access the application. Before I was able to to get back to “finishing” the application, I received a “thanks but no thanks” rejection from FounderDating.

I should mention that I reached out to a friend who apparently was a member already. He didn’t mention anything was odd.

After I received the rejection, FounderDating proceed to contact the people I asked to vouch for me. Now I’m scrambling to stop them before they proceed.

I found another person whom’s experience in identical to mine.

FounderDating: Nice concept, dodgy viral mechanism

Hopefully you will read this and avoid this potential scam.

I’m not the only one who is unhappy with their endorsing system

Here’s the letter they are sending on my behalf:

Hi M*****,
I’m applying to join FounderDating (no, it’s NOT romantic) – a handpicked network of entrepreneurs – to meet other talented entrepreneurs. Can you do me a quick favor and vouch for (aka reference) me as an entrepreneur? Should take 2 minutes.

[link redacted]

(To prove that you’re the real M*****, you will be asked to use LinkedIn.)
The network is invite-only and they won’t consider my application without vouches, so I appreciate your help; adding your vouch will help me connect with world-class entrepreneurs.

Thank you,

Scam – Some limitations have been placed on your Apple account

Wow, this is a pretty convincing email that appears to be coming from Apple. Right down to the links at the bottom. I get emails from Apple all week long, and this is how they look for the most part. Before I clicked the “Verify Now” link, which is an odd request from Apple, I checked the sender address. That’s where I spotted the “.RU” at the end.

Please don’t be fooled by these types of scams. Always verify the sender information. Apple would always address you by name and seldom would ask you to verify your info in this way.

BTW at the bottom of the email, is a broken graphic. That graphic is most likely used to verify your email address and track that you’ve opened the email. Which means that even if you don’t get fooled and click the links, you can look forward to months of new Spam.


You’re Damn Right – Your Mac does need antivirus software – recess is over!

I began to write a response to an article entitled Holy Cow! Yet Another App To Find Viruses On Your Mac (and they want money) by  when it dawned on me that I should post my response here.

I do agree with the general gist of his article, however there’s more to the issue than whether we Mac users need Anti-Virus software and whether we should pay for it. Notwithstanding all the years we have suffered through Norton et al, virus tools which would disruptively scanning any foreign media we interested into our Macs in the Classic days. They were simply blocking to people’s productivity and many dupes paid big bucks annually to maintain a virus definitions subscription. That along with the pricey subscription Windows users must pay. (Many more of them would dismiss the dialog to stop the virus scan.)

The real problem is that with a Windows PC you can contract a virus simply by turning the computer on and using it (or so it seems.) In 25 years of support Macs and PCs,  it has become clear that Mac users have had practically nothing to worry about. (It got so bad that we don’t support Windows at all any more.) In the years I’ve been around, there have been around three to five actual threats. (I will see if I can list them at the end.)

With the sleepy time experience of using Macs, many users don’t even know their computers password – even worse many users have nothing entered in their password field. They blindly hit the “Enter” key (aka the “Whatever” key) and accept any annoying authentication box that opens up. So the latest barrage of exploits are taking advantage of many Mac users trusting nature. I would argue that even products like MacKeeper are exploiting users as we speak – promising to fix your unbroken Mac.

Hey mac users!  – If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it.

Hey Window’s users! – By all means possible, install that update, fix your firewall and maintain your virus definitions.

Sorry, I’m back…

So Yes, Virginia – you can share an contagious email with your defenseless Windows colleagues. Yes, you can accidentally install malware by clicking on an installer and entering your password. (That’s how 700,000 Macs got infected recently. The users had to authenticate the installation. Later it was discovered that users with loose (default) Java settings could get infected without approving the installation.)

If you don’t know your admin password – you need to run antivirus software on your Mac.
If you don’t know what your email password is because it “just works“, then you need to run antivirus software.
If you don’t know what your DNS settings are – your need to run antivirus software (and run the DNS check ).
If you don’t know how software is installed;
If you  don’t know how to install and run a script;
if you don’t know your SSID or WPA2 password;
if you don’t know how to configure a wireless printer;

You need to be running AntiVirus Software.

And you should pay for it! Paying for software will keep the developers fed and interested in helping you. Even if you paid $100 per year. You’re not going to like my bill if I have to come and fix your Mac. A Good Mac technician will cost you $100 to $300 per hour and it’s going to take several hours (days) to fix your Mac. You can find most Mac antivirus apps on the app store – and you can install it on all your own Macs. C’mon Apple made that part easier for everyone.

OK Kids! Recess is over.

Recommended Solutions

On a regular Mac:
VirusBarrier Plus (there is a free version)
Mac’s do have ClamAV installed and there is a free client app… but it’s rocket science if you don’t understand (sorry NASA)

On a Server Mac:
VirusBarrier Mac





Backdoor Man: Hackers emailing Mac and iOS users with infected zip files.

According to Kaspersky Labs:

Cyberthreats targeting the Mac OS X platform continue to appear in various types of attacks and techniques. On June 27, 2012, Kaspersky Lab’s experts intercepted a new wave of Mac OS X attacks targeting Uyghur activists that were part of an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) campaign.

The APT attackers were sending customized emails to a select number of Uyghur activists who were presumed Mac users. The targeted emails included ZIP attachments inside them, which contain a malicious Mac OS X backdoor. To disguise the malware, the ZIP file showed a JPEG photo together with the malicious application.


Read more here:

Check you DNS settings – DNS Changer Virus Looms

On July 9, 2012, the FBI will cutoff access to the web from bogus DNS servers and infected users.

How to check for the DNS Changer virus

Double-checking for the malware only takes a minute. Here’s how to do it:

The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has done much of the legwork for you by setting up an online screening system for your computer.

Visit the website and click on a link agreeing to run your computer through the DNSChanger malware checker. The page should refresh and show you either a green or red banner, with a message stating whether DNSChanger has been detected.

If it’s green, you’re in the clear. If the banner is red and a message confirms the virus has been detected, you can go to one of several websites set up to help inform the public about the virus and the related FBI operation for further instructions on how to remove it:

Read more about it here :