Re: The Great $Pricelessware $Racket

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Flann O'Connor, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. whistleblower brought next idea :
    > --The Great $Pricelessware $Racket--
    > This is my story of Pricelessware which you won't find
    > on the Pricelessware website:
    > ___________________________________________________________
    > Executive Summary:
    > The owners and supporters of the Pricelesswarehome website are
    > accused ...
    > 4.Summary:
    > __________
    > a) it is quite likely that someone is going to get caught
    > in a trap for selling a PL CD and will be prosecuted under
    > law....
    > b) some of the PWH crowd may be subject to formal complaints
    > to their ISPs for abusing a Usenet newsgroup to conduct
    > private website business on....
    > - regards from your friendly whistleblower - :)

    You had to make that long post because you've been unable to get ANYone
    to take ANY action in ANY way against ANY person on ACF for ANYthing at
    ANYtime. Wake up, stop dreaming.

    You bolstered your self-serving arguments by saying all posters in ACF
    are going to face individual prosecution in each of their home
    countries for legitimate acts which may be undertaken sometime in the
    unpecified future by unnamed other people. Get real, buddy.

    You've been reduced to begging and pleading (mixed with ineffectual
    threats) to make posters help with your unbalanced objectives. No

    Methinks you doth protest too much. LOL

    Now go away.

    Flan O'Connor


    From: whistleblower <>
    Date: Thu, 01 Oct 2009 01:57:24 +0200
    Newsgroups: alt.comp.freeware
    X-No-Archive: yes

    --The Great $Pricelessware $Racket--

    This is the story of Pricelessware which you won't find
    on the Pricelessware website:

    Executive Summary:

    The owners and supporters of the Pricelesswarehome website are
    accused of abusing the alt.comp.freeware newsgroup by using it
    as their debating forum for private website business affairs and
    of trying to dominate and control the unmoderated ACF newsgroup
    by attacking anybody who speaks out against Pricelessware on ACF.
    Smear campaigns, false allegations and intimidation are the tactic.
    Some PWH Cultists are suspected of unlawfully selling 700MB CDs
    of free software for personal profit and of otherwise making
    ISOs available for others to download/burn and sell.

    Here's the full scoop. A story of a coup de'tat, netkopping,
    hate campaigns, probable unlawful selling of freeware and
    cultist behaviour, akin to any other political/religious cult.

    1.Abuse of alt.comp.freeware by Pricelessware Cult:

    The (PW) website was started in year 2000
    by a few well-meaning people who posted on alt.comp.freeware
    (ACF) about freeware. Their original aim was honourable,
    namely, to produce a list of freeware programs to reduce the
    number of regular requests by people who posted on ACF asking:
    "I want a program to do X, Y or Z". These people could easily
    be pointed to the Big List, as it was then called.

    But most of the original people involved have long gone and
    control of the PWH website was taken over by a different
    group of people with bigger aims. Some have bloated egos,
    others are control freaks who like to play fascist netkop
    and moderators of an unmoderated newsgroup, others saw $$$
    in freeware. PWH Cultists are nasty people filled with hate.

    Susan Bugher has an ego bigger than a hot air balloon
    and led the coup de'tat 5 years ago against the incumbent
    webmaster and she then became the new PWH webmaster.
    Soon after she took control, Bugher created the new website (PWH) as the ousted webmaster
    refused to hand over the original domain.
    Susan Bugher's announcement of her coup victory July 1, 2004:

    "My position as webmaster and point person for alt.comp.freeware
    was ratified recently by alt.comp.freeware newsgroup participants
    when they supported my request to move the Pricelessware List web

    Note how Susan Bugher described herself as
    "point person for alt.comp.freeware".

    Under Susan Bugher, one aim of the new regime was to remove
    the seperate identities of PWH and ACF by giving a clear
    impression to the outside world that ACF and PWH website
    were merged into two sides of the same coin: ACF being the
    place where regular PWH business was conducted for later
    inclusion on the PWH website. Anyone reading the PWH
    website during Bugher's era could not avoid the inescapable
    conclusion that ACF was a subsidiary of the PWH website, and
    that Susan Bugher ruled as the 'High Priestess of Freeware'.

    Further, the website gave the strong impression that most all
    posters on ACF were actively involved in debating and voting
    on PWH issues. This has always been a blatant deception, as
    it is only a minority of people over (say) a 12 month period.
    To keep PWH uppermost in peoples' minds, regular threads
    and votes were started by Bugher to agree this or that and
    anybody who dissented was simply ignored. That has been the
    pattern of PWH Cult behaviour on ACF for years.

    Thus, PWH has no debating forum attached to its website but
    it is stuffed full of ACF information, including ACF posting
    guidance, (the wrongly named) ACF Glossary, all carefully
    dressed up to support the 'two-sides-of-the-same-coin' aim.

    In the process of expansion, the PWH website adopted the
    appearance of a dog's breakfast.

    Susan Bugher was mostly responsible for all that but had
    ACF support from Ron May and other minions who rarely or
    never post onto ACF about freeware, and therefore add no
    value to the newsgroup.

    She developed a PWH Cult 'following' and in the eyes of
    her mindless minions, she could do no wrong. Anybody who
    dared to say "boo" to Susan Bugher was immediately attacked
    by her minions, who would appear out of nowhere to protect
    her and abuse dissenters.

    Obviously, her expanionist strategy resulted in ACF being
    regularly smothered with PWH business activities which have
    nothing to do with ACF.

    Further, each year PWH goes through a laborious process of
    nominating and voting for its latest "Pricelessware List"
    (PL), which is presented as the "Best of The Best" in freeware.
    Although some good programs are included, in actuality it is
    little more than a "Favourites List", mostly nominated and
    voted for by non-ACF regulars.
    Constructive suggestions by non-PWH groupies about how the
    PL could be enhanced have been completely ignored, probably
    because the PWH groupies fear it might devalue the PL.CD
    that gets produced for 'FREE' distribution (see below).

    A mere 46 people took part in the PL 2008 process and only
    a handful of those involved ever post on ACF about freeware.
    IOW they are not ACF freeware people, but PWH groupies and
    obviously keen to get their favourite programs onto the PL.
    One example is iNcReDuLoUs but there are others including REM,
    the appointed 'PWH Manager'. (NB: REM was recently exposed for
    posting abuse to a dissenter by using sockpuppets to hide his
    identity! Several other PWH groupies are known or suspected
    of playing similar tricks, eg Franklin is a mass sockpuppeteer.)

    Ron May was personally responsible for rigging a vote last
    year to get the PWH Glossary named as the ACF Glossary.
    Attempts by non-PWH people to get this sorted out were ignored
    by Ron May, Susan Bugher, Craig and others, who regularly refer
    to the fake ACF Glossary as though it is the de facto Freeware
    standard and should be used on ACF. It is not and most ACF
    people will decide for themselves whether a particular
    freeware program is 'nagware', 'donationware' or whateverware
    without Pricelessware groupies dictating to them.

    The PWH crowd have long justified their use and abuse of ACF
    by claiming that "PWH is owned and controlled by the people
    who post on ACF". This is clearly untrue because requests
    and comments about PWH from non-members of the PWH Cult are
    ignored. In fact Ron May has all dissenters, and anybody who
    disagrees with him about anything, killfiled, and claims not
    to see their posts. He conducts character assassination and
    innuendo hate campaigns against them from the cowardly hiding
    place behind his killfile.
    He is fond of sending abuse reports (LARTS) to newsserver
    admins to get dissenters' posting accounts closed. This is
    blatantly done to silence those who expose the PWH Racket.

    Countless requests to the PWH crowd by numerous people on ACF
    to move their private website business affairs to another
    forum have all been ignored, using the false aforementioned
    tactic "PWH is owned by ACF...". A few years ago a dissenter
    created a new newsgroup <alt.comp.pricelessware> exclusively
    for PWH use, but the PWH crowd ignore it because (presumably)
    it does not have the public visibility of ACF.

    present day.....
    Susan Bugher gave notice of stepping down as webmaster effective
    end June 2009 and endless recent threads about electing a new
    webmaster to replace her have dominated the newsgroup for some

    The new webmaster (Craig) was not 'elected' by ACF people
    but mysteriously 'appointed' after being singularly
    nominated by Ron May. One PWH minion actually raised an
    objection to the underhand ploy by Ron May but was ignored
    by him and the rest of the PWH Cult.

    Other threads about the PWH website design/page layout have
    also dominated the newsgroup.

    None of this is about freeware and ACF is the wrong place
    for PWH website debates.

    Ron May is running this year's misuse of ACF for the new PWH
    "PL 2009". No debate about this ever took place on ACF yet he
    claims "PWH is owned and controlled by ACF". hhmmm. How so?

    Is it any wonder that people believe there's a Pricelessware Cult
    trying to dominate and control ACF for its own reasons?
    Is it any wonder that people believe there's more to PWH and the
    PL than altruistically producing a list and CD.ISO of freeware
    programs for so-called "FREE" distribution? hhmmm.

    All this clearly demonstrates that ACF newsgroup is being
    used as a debating forum by the PWH Cult for their private
    website business.

    This is wrong wrong wrong.

    2.Unlawful Pricelessware freeware ISOs:

    When it became known that the person posting as »Q« provides
    Server space to host the PWH/PL CD ISOs for downloading/burning
    and distribution, he was asked to provide material evidence
    that each program on the ISOs is authorised by the author.
    Such information ought to be immediately available. »Q« claimed
    such information probably existed but passed the buck onto a
    person called "vince" who he claims handles all the necessary
    approvals for CD.ISO inclusion.
    Who is "vince"? He is yet another PWH groupie who is virtually
    unknown on ACF and never posts about freeware! IE: he's just
    another PWH groupie who has nothing to do with ACF proper.

    When it was pointed out to »Q« that HE hosted the ISOs and
    therefore HE should be in possession of material evidence
    regarding authorisation, he eventually stated that "PWH is
    only 'sort of' owned by ACF" and described the request to
    see the evidence as coming from a k00k, thereby deviously
    sidestepping a perfectly reasonable request to see it.

    Let there be no doubt that the reason »Q« cannot provide the
    evidence is that it does not exist, meaning that in some cases
    freeware programs are being unlawfully distributed. Therefore,
    the PWH ISOs are unlawful and people associated with PWH are
    aiding and abetting unlawful copywrite infringement and
    numerous other laws in the United States and elsewhere.

    »Q« has not posted much on ACF since being exposed, but at the
    time of writing his Server still hosts unlawful PWH/PL CD.ISOs.

    Further, given the amount of 'stick' that PWH people have
    received about their abuse of ACF, it's inconceivable they
    continue with it for altruistic reasons. The obvious
    explanation is that some PWH cultists are themselves SELLING
    freeware CDs and are determined to carry on regardless. Sale
    might be dressed up as a donation or preparation, postage and
    packing costs. In any case, since the ISOs are freely available
    for worldwide download by anyone from »Q«'s server, other
    people are almost certainly downloading/burning and selling
    them for profit. This means that »Q« is knowingly aiding and
    abetting unlawful activities and he cannot disclaim liability.

    3.List of URLS to download PWH/PL ISOs from »Q«'s server:

    Pricelessware Website CD.ISOs available for download:

    MD5 checksums:

    MD5 checksums:


    a) it is quite likely that someone is going to get caught
    in a trap for selling a PL CD and will be prosecuted under
    law. To avoid this, the PL ISOs need to be removed from
    »Q«'s download server and no more added UNLESS each program
    included is covered by explicit approval from the program
    author. These approvals need to be transparently available.

    b) some of the PWH crowd may be subject to formal complaints
    to their ISPs for abusing a Usenet newsgroup to conduct
    private website business on. To avoid this, they need to move
    Pricelessware debates to a new site.
    The easiest place is the (currently unused but existing)
    newsgroup <ALT.COMP.PRICELESSWARE>, but a PWH website forum
    would be an ideal alternative. That is what most other
    website owners do. ACF is the wrong place because it exists
    to debate freeware, not privately owned website business.

    - regards from your friendly whistleblower - :)
    - 1 September 2009 -
    Flann O'Connor, Oct 1, 2009
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