Author: Rob

I’m a keen technology and computing enthusiast and work as an IT consultant. My hobbies include PC gaming, electronic projects and tinkering with anything computer-related.

Warning: eBay Listing Work From Home Job Scam info.globaltrex@gmail.com Helen at Globaltrex Wayne Johnson Facebook

I recently noticed a job opportunity making the rounds on social media. See below:

Being in need of work myself, I thought I would respond and see where it went. I emailed the address as advised and told them about my previous eBay history:

I then shortly received the following response:

Initially I only noticed the one spelling mistake “spear” instead of “spare” and the occasional lack of capital letters so it’s not as bad as most scam emails. Notice that for such a successful company, they don’t say who they are. Alarm bells also rang when the income example they gave included a item valued at £500, and that how it worked involved receiving money myself and passing it on to them upon sale. Whilst I haven’t heard of a scam like this, it didn’t take me long to piece together a scenario which would leave me out of pocket so I then went on to ask a few more questions. A Google search on their email address and “Globaltrex” name also revealed absolutely nothing. Had no one fallen for it so far? And why would such a “successful company” not be listed anywhere? I checked out the email headers to see where the message was sent from and it turned out to be a iPhone on the O2 UK network which added a little hope, at least it was in the UK and not Nigeria for once!

She duly responded to my questions:

Notice how it starts off with a defensive statement “Hun I assure you”. If it was legitimate, a person would offer up some proof straight away not just say “I assure you”. A large successful business would also have a website and a registered business, and as it’s a eBay business they would presumably have a store with a proven feedback record as well. She avoided the topic and did not provide any proof at all and simply offered to move on and find someone else. I then did some searching and eventually found a useful combination of search terms which revealed hundreds of results relating to this scam, even some which had made it onto the UK JobCenter website! See for yourself here. I let her know about my findings and that I was not happy to proceed. She was of course quick to brush it off and find another victim.

Stay safe people! Hopefully this post will end up in a Google search and prevent at least one other person from falling victim to this scam. Let me know in the comments if you found this post useful.

[Update] Gmail Account Suspended After Adding POP3 Imported Account

Just a quick update on my previous post with this problem.

I eventually managed to get all of the accounts setup fine, however, every damn one of them got suspended in the process. I found a way around that though.

As long as you setup the POP3 import and leave the box UNCHECKED for “leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server”, you will then receive a email on your previous email system indicating that the account is suspended, and most importantly, some directions to appeal this decision.

After having a human at Gmail manually unsuspend the first two problem accounts for me (roughly 8 hours after submitting the appeal), the other 4 accounts were automatically unsuspended as soon as I submitted the appeal request which allowed me to continue setting up the accounts.

So from what I have learned here, the reason for suspension is completely unknown but is NOT for breach of terms and conditions (which I have thoroughly read every single word to make sure), And if this is happening to several different accounts, once the first couple are reviewed by staff at Google, I guess they whitelist your IP address or similar to have the others automatically resolved when you appeal it.

[ONGOING] Gmail Account Suspended After Adding POP3 Imported Account

I was recently tasked with setting up a handful of Gmail accounts for a company, creating the accounts worked fine as expected, but when trying to add their business email address as a POP3 import/send as address I have been facing some issues where the accounts are becoming suspended and at risk of deletion. Gmail’s reasoning for this? Apparently “Terms of Service Violation”. I have thoroughly read through the several pages of their Terms of Service, and there is not one rule within that, that we are breaking here.

To make matters even worse, I chose not to leave a copy of imported messages on the server (to free up mailbox space on the POP3 server) which means that all emails from the company address have been sucked up into Gmail and are being held at ransom, if I can’t get Gmail to unsuspend those accounts, the thousands of business emails will be gone for good.

My findings so far:

  • I am able to setup a account import from a POP3 account easily, it imports the messages fine, no problems at all there.
  • However, when setting up “send mail as” for this address, as soon as Gmail sends out the verification email to the address it is causing the Gmail account to immediately logout and state that it has been suspended. This is reflected by a email from Google sent to the recovery email address for the account stating that one can appeal the decision and wait for a response from their staff.

Of course this is very inconvenient and nerve wracking to think that crucial business emails are at risk of deletion, not to mention the downtime that it is causing for the users in question who are unable to deal with their emails in the meantime. I’m unsure what could be triggering this but presumably this is some sort of anti-spam measure. However, this is not a suitable way for Gmail to deal with the problem. Ideally, they should show a captcha or similar instead in a situation like this.

The Gmail accounts have been phone verified already, but for the first two accounts I was able to successfully appeal to Google, thankfully were reinstated after waiting about 10 hours for them to review the issue. I was then prompted to re-verify the phone number again when logging into the account again.

I have reached out to @gmail on Twitter to find out more, I won’t hold my breath but hopefully they will come back with some suitable answers and maybe even a change in their procedures to prevent this from happening again.

[FIX] Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, Linux Mint 18 / Ubuntu Xenial Not Refreshing Wireless Networks After Resume

After recently installing Linux Mint 18 on my Samsung Series 5 550 Chromebook, I noticed that after a system standby/resume, my wireless network list was not refreshing or connecting to networks if in a new location (for example, suspending the system at home, then resuming when at work it would not find new networks).

The following fix was found to work fine for me, credit goes to Ubuntu Forums here.

Apparently this is common for Broadcom wireless cards, mine however was a Atheros 93xx card:

rob@chromebook ~ $ lspci | grep -i wireless
01:00.0 Network controller: Qualcomm Atheros AR93xx Wireless Network Adapter (rev 01)

The fix was to create a new file:

sudo nano /etc/pm/sleep.d/10_restart-networkmanager

Paste the following into it:
#!/bin/sh
case "$1" in
resume|thaw)
service network-manager restart
;;
suspend|hibernate)
# Do nothing
;;
esac

Make sure root is the owner of the file:
sudo chown root /etc/pm/sleep.d/10_restart-networkmanager

And make the file executable:
sudo chmod +x /etc/pm/sleep.d/10_restart-networkmanager

Once done, reboot the laptop and you should then be able to suspend and resume the system without problems, upon resume, it will restart network-manager to work around the issue.

[Fix] Fallout 4 PC – Keyboard & Mouse Not Working – Logitech

Yesterday I started playing the Fallout 4 PC game. I was confronted with an issue right at the beginning of the game on the screen that says “Press any key to start” where no keys were detected so I couldn’t begin the game.

After some extensive searching, almost all answers were related to having a game pad or controller plugged into the computer, and the fix was to unplug it before starting the game or use the controller to go into the game settings and disable it. For me, this was not the case, I do not have a game pad or controller on my PC.

Eventually I figured out that it was the software for my Logitech G19 keyboard that was being falsely detected by the game as a controller. Unplugging the keyboard did not make a difference, but if I completely exit the Logitech Gaming Software before starting the game it worked flawlessly. I could then begin the game, and go into the game option screen to disable controller support. Once that has been done, you can run the Logitech Gaming Software again without it interfering with the game. You can still use the macros and hotkeys of your Logitech device after this.

As I couldn’t find any mention of this being the cause of the error, I thought I’d publish this post to help others.

3D Printer Upgrades for Prusa i3

My blog posts over the last year haven’t been as regular as I’d hoped, but hopefully it will change, at least temporarily for the next few weeks.

I own a Prusa i3 3D printer. It’s a great device, but I haven’t done half of the things I know it is capable of and have barely used it since I first got it but I’ve recently had some time to do some more with it and have had some great success following the previous issues that I had. I did somewhat jump in at the deep end with it, I knew nothing about 3D printers prior to this and I purchased a Prusa i3 kit because it was very cheap compared to other models available at the time. It was a self-build kit, all well and good as I am very technically minded and love a good project. What I wasn’t prepared for were the issues with getting it printing. The software is good and easy to understand, however trying to solve the various issues I had with it was another matter. Luckily, I discovered a local hackspace not too far from me and a awesome chap known as Dino, with his excellent knowledge of 3D printers helped iron out the issues and get it printing well.

Since then, I’ve printed quite a few items with great success, I get the odd hiccup from it but with my new found knowledge and the great online communities on Reddit and Facebook have proved so helpful with any issues I’ve had, and some insightful input on suggestions.

I’ve since decided to do a lot of upgrades to my printer which I’m very much looking forward to.

I will be upgrading the current E3D v6 hot end to a E3D Chimera which allows printing in two different colours or two different materials, something I think will offer some good options for prints I do in the future. For example, I could load up two different materials and not have to worry about changing filaments when I want to print with one or the other. I could also load two different colours as well, something that can have great results from what I’ve seen online. The Chimera hot end is a very compact unit which will significantly lower the weight of my X-carriage so there will be less movement on the frame of the printer from the reduced weight, and also it will allow me to speed up the printing process significantly.

Another upgrade that I’m very excited about is air cooling. At the moment, I’ve get just the bare minimum in terms of cooling. Just a single fan on the hot end is all I’ve got. No fan to cool the print, no fan to cool the electronics or power supply either. The stepper motor drivers currently run very hot which isn’t good for them and has on occasion caused some issues when printing larger items. As I’ve got a decent air compressor at home, a Jun Air silent dental compressor with built in air dryer, I thought this would be perfect for the job to keep a constand supply of cool air running over the various parts of the printer.

I’ve ordered what will hopefully be all the components I need to try this as well as a handful of extras. I managed to snag a 4 way solenoid air control valve on ebay which I think will be perfect to control air feeds to various parts of the printer. I will be running OctoPrint software from a Raspberry Pi computer to control the printer as it is, and this also gives me the flexibility for other automation as well so I could have a range of temperature sensors on different parts of the printer (the power supply, RAMPS board etc) and have the Raspberry Pi turn on/off the relevant air feed using the solenoid valve. I’ve ordered 100 meters of polyurethane tube to run from my compressor in the shed to my printer inside the house, that’s far more tubing than I will ever need but I couldn’t resist the 100 meter roll that was selling for less than many 20 meter lengths on ebay. I’ve got big ideas and I really hope it will be effective and inspire others to do the same.

I’ve so far printed many of the parts I will need for the upgrades such as bearing mounts, axis and motor mounts which are slightly different as I will also be changing the smooth rods on my axis to stainless steel ones (from mild steel, which is going rusty), and changing the regular threaded rods on the Z axis to use proper lead screws which are far better to use for this purpose, I found a very good guide to this upgrade including parts that had already been designed on this blog and have successfully printed those parts so now I’m just awaiting the metal parts that I have ordered.

More will follow with my progress on these various upgrades. I’ll try to actually put some pictures on the upcoming posts as well to act as a good reference source for others.

[Solved] PayPal Balance Does Not Show as a Payment Option on eBay

Another quick post today that may help other people.

Today I was making an eBay purchase and I wished to partly fund this transaction with my PayPal balance and have the remainder taken from my primary card. This is something I’ve done a number of times before without issue but today it was just not showing within the eBay checkout as an option.

I worked out the issue for me, which was that my PayPal balance was held in US Dollars, but my primary currency here in the UK is British Pound and it seems PayPal will only use a balance for a purchase in that currency (buying an item in dollars would work, but when buying an item in British pounds it would not be converted or used automatically.

I found a quick and easy solution, if you login to your PayPal account on the main PayPal website, click on the “PayPal Balance” link on the left hand side, and it provides a useful conversion tool where you can select the currency of your balance, type in how much you want to convert, and choose which currency you want to convert it to. Once converted to your primary currency (or the currency of the item you are purchasing), it will then show the balance as a payment option within the eBay checkout process.

I was initially very stumped by this but I figured it out in the end so I hope this will help others.

Griffin PowerMate Control Now Works with Windows 10

Just a quick post today. I’ve purchased a Griffin PowerMate Control Knob to use with my Windows 10 computer. There are hundreds of angry comments online that it apparently does not work with Windows 10.

I just wanted to clarify for anyone considering buying one, that they do indeed work with Windows 10, I’m not sure why so many people appear to have issues. I am running Windows 10 Professional 64 bit, I plugged the device into the USB port, Windows automatically installed the correct driver from Windows Update. I then downloaded the “XP & Vista” manager software from the Griffin website and installed it. The PowerMate then worked straight away to control the system volume, and opening the manager application allows you to customise the actions performed by the device. I’m currently using it to scroll through web pages and alter the volume but I’ll likely find more uses for it over the next few days.

Death of the Sony SmartBand SWR10

Sad to say that my Sony SmartBand SWR10 will soon be unusable once the battery has run down.

Today I went to charge my phone, and noticed the cable would not fit into my phone. Upon closer inspection it appears the metal shroud/surround for the USB charging port on the SWR10 has broken off and was stuck on the end of my micro USB cable. This was no case of carelessness or user error, I’m always incredibly careful with charging ports on all devices that I own and this is no exception. I also use high-quality USB cables and chargers from the likes of Anker as well which have proven to be flawless time and time again.

As the SWR10 is a sealed and waterproof unit, it does not look possible to repair this as all and the device will no longer charge despite the middle part of the connector still being in place. It’s a shame when things like this happen but undoubtedly something that one gets used to with modern technology getting smaller and smaller everything gets weaker and more delicate at the same time.

I guess I should now write a mini review of the product. My time with the Sony SmartBand SWR10 has been great, it has been hugely successful for my main use of it, the sleep monitoring, the software that accompanies it works very well indeed and easily runs on a non-Sony phones as well, I started off using it with my Sony Xperia Z2, but have since upgraded to a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and after downloading the required apps it connects first time and works as intended which is more than I can say for Samsung’s Gear Fit which absolutely refused to work on a Sony, or any non-Samsung phone. Overall, the SWR10 has been very useful and I haven’t even begun to use many of it’s features it is capable of so I’m sure many people would use it more to it’s full potential than me. Like everything though it’s not without it’s flaws, and the issue where it stops logging data is the main one of those flaws, luckily it’s easy, although inconvenient, to temporarily fix that issue. Battery life on it has been great and has remained at 6-7 days since it was brand new, dependent on use. I did find that using the vibrating alert for incoming calls is unsurprisingly a huge battery drain, if you receive many calls it’s worthwhile turning that feature off if you value a longer battery life.

Fix for Sony Smart Band SWR10 Not Tracking Sleep/Activity Data

I’ve had my Sony SWR10 Smart Band for some time now and it’s been great and so useful, especially the ‘Smart Wake Up’ alarm feature which I use all the time.

A couple of times I have run into an issue where the smart band stops tracking activity data including when asleep, which prevents the smart alarm feature from working.

I did contact Sony about this some time ago and arranged to return it for repair/replacement but I never got round to sending it off, a few weeks back I found it again and thought I would give it another go and surprisingly I found that it was working fine again so I started using it.

After about two weeks the same happened again and it stopped tracking activity data. After various troubleshooting methods I have worked out that the battery within it needs to be totally discharged to force it to turn off completely, then once recharged, it will work again just fine. There’s no easy way to discharge the battery sadly and it’s very much a waiting game, I tend to leave it for a week without using or charging it which in my case is usually enough to resolve the issue. It’s very much an inconvenience being stuck without it for such a long time when this happens but it’s the only way I know of.

This may not work in all situations but for me, it has worked perfectly 3 times now to resolve the issue of not tracking activity data.