Do not get RBL Bank credit card! They do not know how to deal with fraudulent transactions!

by Yash 0 Comments

My wife has an RBL bank credit card. On 31 August 2017 she got a text message about a transaction of $750 (Rs. 50,243.05) on her card. We had not initiated such transaction. W called the bank immediately and got the card cancelled. We also said we wanted to chargeback the said amount. They informed us that the charge back process can be initiated once the transaction shows up on the card. But we got the card cancelled immediately. They cancelled the old card and issued a new one. We waited for a couple of days and as soon as the transaction showed up on the card we initiated the chargeback process.

I am aware of how chargeback works and how professional banks deal with it because I have had a fraudulent charge on my Citibank card few years back and it went all fine then. We got the first surprise when we were asked to lodge a police complaint about the fraud transaction. In the earlier instance I did not have to file any complaint. We nonetheless filed a complaint and sent a copy to the bank. They gave us a credit for the transaction on 14 September 2017 and we thought it would be the end of it.

Then on 9 November 2017 my wife got a mail from them with the reply from PayPal where the transaction ad taken place and they gave her 7 days to continue the dispute. We did so immediately. We replied saying we still dispute the transaction also sent them a letter via courier. However, they reversed the earlier credit given. Now they want to us pay back the amount pending further investigation. This is not how fraud chargebacks work as far as I know. Even in my earlier case with Citibank, the merchant had contested the chargeback but Citibank had given me time to refute that and the credit was not reversed till my response was received. RBL bank sent another email the next day informing of the same. So we replied to that mail as well. It seemed like by sending us multiple mails they wanted to make us at fault so if we missed replying to any of them the liability would be on us.

We sent couple of mails and a physical letter and received no response from them. On 16 November 2017, my wife sent mails to their head of card services at Headcardservice@rblbank.com and the principal nodal officer of card services at Principalnodalofficercards@rblbank.com. We only got automated email replies.

We wrote to them again on 22 November to which they replied on 26 November asking us to pay the minimum amount due while the investigation is pending. This is ridiculous. The bank is utterly clueless about handling chargebacks. I should not have to pay a single rupee for a transaction that is not done by me. The transaction happened on an international website without OTP verification and we informed the bank of the same even before the charge appeared on the statement.

Calling their customer service number is a futile exercise. It is virtually impossible to talk to a human on their service number. There are long holds, and call gets disconnected often and every time you have to explain the case to a new person and their standard response is to write them an email.

Do not get an RBL credit card. If you have one, better get it cancelled. This bank just does not know how to run a credit card business.

The connection between milk and beef

by Yash 0 Comments

Dairy cattle like cows and buffaloes are mammals. Humans are also mammals. Females of mammals produce milk for their offspring for a short period after giving birth.

Other than humans no other adult mammals consume milk, definitely not of another species. Only humans do that. Even in adult humans the ability to digest milk is limited. As many as 60% humans can’t digest milk!

Milk is not our food.

And how do we get milk? Cows and buffaloes are not benevolent. They do not produce milk for us humans. Their milk is for their calves. So we get them to give birth and then separate the newborn from the mother and milk the animal for human consumption.

We give dairy cattle hormones to produce additional milk. Far more than they would produce in nature for their calves. And since they give milk only after giving birth, the cows are impregnated again within 2-3 months of giving birth for the next cycle. So a cow spends pretty much all of its “productive” life as constantly being pregnant. About 5 years. Imagine being pregnant for 5 years!

The farmers and commercial dairy farms that raise these cattle treat them as machines. Machines that take fodder at one end and produce milk at the other. After 4 or 5 pregnancies the milk production starts to decline. The cattle does not remain economically viable for the farmer. What do you do with a machine which is no longer productive?

You sell it.

Who would buy a cow that cannot be milked? Enter slaughterhouses.

Slaughterhouses buy the unproductive cattle from farmers. Farmers use the money to buy new cattle and the cycle goes on. Slaughterhouses kill the animal and sell the meat and leather. That’s how the industry works.

If you shut down slaughter houses, it breaks the chain. Farmers are now suddenly left with unproductive cattle they cannot sell and can’t afford to feed either. What do they do? There aren’t enough cow shelters to take care of the millions of cattle we have and nobody would be willing to bear the economic cost of feeding all those cows. Farmers will turn to cattle that are still slowed to be slaughtered like buffaloes.

Data shows that as ban on cow slaughter spread through various states of India, milk production from cows declined and that from buffaloes increased. Because farmers could sell buffaloes to slaughterhouses.

Milk and beef are two sides of the same coin. Milk and beef industry are dependent on each other. If you shut down one of them the other will suffer. Simple economics.

Milk production is cruel. It has traumatic effect on the cattle and their offspring. If you really care for cows, you should stop consuming milk. And if you can’t give up milk then you have to allow slaughter as well.

Free Speech

by Yash 0 Comments

Freedom of speech is the right to articulate your opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.

Free speech gives you the right to say whatever you want. However it does not mean people have to listen to it, let alone agree to it.

If you own a communication medium, a platform then you do not necessarily have to give space to anyone who wants to express their opinion.

If you own a newspaper and you refuse to carry my article that does not take away my right to free speech.

But if I write my article on my blog or on a website I own and you ask the government to block the access to my website, that does attack my right to free speech.

In simpler terms, I can print my opinions on a pamphlet and distribute it outside a railway station. That is free speech. If you don’t take the pamphlet, or take it and throw it away or wipe your nose with it, it does not affect my right to free speech.

So I can write a book, give a speech, write a poem, make a movie, draw a cartoon about whatever I want to convey. That is my freedom of expression. You DO NOT HAVE to read it, listen to it or watch it.

However there is a difference between free speech and hate speech. If you espouse hatred through your speeches, you can be prosecuted.

Here are some examples of free speech vs hate speech

I am a proud Hindu – Free speech
All Muslims are terrorists – Hate speech

Kejriwal is an idiot – Free speech
Kejriwal is a traitor, send him to Pakistan – Hate speech

Barkha Dutt is disgusting – Free speech
Someone should rape Barkha – Hate speech

There is no god – Free speech
Let’s burn all the churches – Hate speech

Identifying hate speech is just a matter of plain old commonsense. If you encourage violence through your speech it is hate speech. If you target a person or a group of people based on their race, colour, caste, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age or any other criteria and your intention is to cause them harm – it is hate speech.

It’s as simple as that. Everybody is free to say anything as long they don’t intend harm to anyone. You don’t have to listen what they are saying, you don’t have to agree to what they are saying and you don’t have to provide them a platform either.

We need to get rid of the death penalty

by Yash 0 Comments

I used to be in favour of death penalty, I am not anymore. Other than emotional appeal of retribution I can’t find any logical reason for continuing with state sanctioned murder. Especially in a country like India where the capital punishment is increasingly being used as a quick fix solution to appease the masses. Conditions that hardly justify the rarest of the rare criteria. I am still in a dilemma about what a society should do with open and shut cases like Ajmal Kasab or Delhi bus rapists but continuing with the death penalty for such cases just gives an excuse to the state to hang anyone to satisfy a mob.

Death penalty could have been avoided in two recent instances – Afzal Guru and Yakub Memon where I feel the trials were murky and two people were sacrificed just to give people an illusion of justice.

Capital punishment has to go.

But what to do with extreme cases is something we still need to figure out. Anders Behring Breivik – the  Norwegian right wing terrorist who killed 77 people is going to study political science at Oslo University from his prison cell. He’s in solitary confinement probably for the rest of his life. His quality of life in prison seems to be better than living conditions of many in India, yet he complains that his coffee is served cold, he does not have enough butter for his bread, and he is not allowed moisturiser. This baffles me.

An argument for capital punishment

by Yash 0 Comments

Updated 27 July, 2015 – I have changed my views about the capital punishment. I feel the death penalty has to go.

I am in favour of capital punishment in rarest of the rare cases. Like the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab and the four Delhi rapists. They don’t deserve to live.

It is true capital punishment does not act as a deterrence. For the matter of fact no punishment does. Does that mean we stop punishing criminals altogether? No we still punish people. Criminals have to be locked up or made to pay fine so as to realise the harm they have done, to protect society from their repeated offences or to reform them. But none of this acts as a deterrent and nor does capital punishment. Capital punishment is retributive justice. You committed a very heinous crime, you gotta pay for it!

Right to life is a fundamental human right

Right to life? Opponents of death penalty say everyone has right to life even the most ruthless murderers and criminals. True. Life is precious. But doesn’t that apply to the victims of the criminal as well? When one commits a gruesome murder and takes away someone’s life he does not care for the victim’s right to live, then why should the society care for the murderer’s right to life? You forfeit your right to life the moment you encroach on other’s life. When people commit theft, we either fine them or put them behind the bars. Isn’t right to enjoy your property and freedom also a fundamental human right? When we can disregard those rights of criminals why do we hold the right to life so sacrosanct when they themselves don’t?

Because we are humans! If we do that what is the difference between us and them?

That’s a lofty idea, as useless as the idea of communism. We are social animals. We live in a group and we mutually benefit by living in a society. So there are some rules, some laws that have to be followed by all members of the society. If you want to enjoy the benefits of the group, you have to follow the societal conduct. If you break the social contract, the society does not owe you anything. If you act against the members of the society, the society has the right to stop you, even take away your life if you threaten the life of other law abiding members of the society.

A society should not be burdened with keeping the law breaking renegades alive if there is absolutely no remorse, no chance of reformation and definite possibility of repeated crime if let lose.

I am not advocating an eye for an eye approach. I am not saying all rapists or all terrorists should be hanged. Common sense should prevail. The penalty should be given only in the rarest of the rare cases. Someone asked, who gets to decide what is rarest of the rare case? What is the yardstick with which we measure whether a particular criminal deserves death? Well, we should leave it to the judiciary to decide. If we trust them to give non death sentences then we should trust our judges to also decide the rarest of the rare cases and give death sentences.

What is there is a mistake? What if the law is misused? You never give a punishment that you can not take back.

That’s a wrong argument. Which law is not prone to misuse? Innocents do get convicted falsely. But does that mean we shouldn’t have any law? Rarest of the rare case also means the culpability is proven beyond any doubt. If there is even an ounce of a doubt, don’t grant death penalty. But when the case is crystal clear, there should not be any hesitation in awarding capital punishment. When people oppose strong anti-dowry and pro women laws citing the reason that it might be used by women to harass innocent men, we laugh at them. So how can we bring up the same the-law-can-be-misused-so-don’t-make-it excuse?

Besides how can you ever give back a punishment which is not financial in nature? How do you give back time spent in jail? How do you give back a tarnished reputation, loss of opportunity or anything that a jail term takes away from a person? You can’t, just like the death. So if the culpability is clear, there is no question of having to take the sentence back in future. Send’em to the gallows!

Sources-
https://www.pharmawatchdogs.com/2016/12/06/risperdal-side-effects/

Tips for online book shopping in India

by Yash 3 Comments

Tip for online book shoppers in India: Compare prices at Iglooo.in and isbn.net.in before buying. I got The God Delusion from landmarkonnet for Rs. 171 (After 10% discount), which is available for as high as 325 at some other sites. Don’t remember when I last bought a book from Crossword or a bookstore.

Other book price comparison sites are indiabookstore.net and mysmartprice.com.

Also whenever you buy something online always search for discount coupon codes for that site. I searched for a coupon for landmarkonnet and got 10% discount. :) RetailMeNot is the site to find coupons and Google is always there.

http://www.landmarkonthenet.com/

Routine

by Yash 0 Comments

I sleep at 3 AM, wake up at 9. Reach office at 11, have lunch at 3, reach home at 10, have dinner at 11, sleep at 3 and the cycle continues…
Days, Weeks, Months, Years. Robotic life. I hate monotony. Sometimes its kick ass stuff, sometimes t]just plain old shit.

What the fuck am I doing here…….

A Chinese way of selling domain names

by Yash 2 Comments

I have been receiving emails from certain companies in China saying they have been approached by some company to register various domains for “Uconomix” like uconomix.cn, uconomix.asia, uconomix.cn, uconomix.com.cn, uconomix.com.hk, uconomix.com.tw etc. And since I own Uconomix.com domain and the Uconomix name, they have kept the application of the other company interested in registering these domains on hold and contacted me! So kind of them!! So if I want to protect my brand name then I must contact them and purchase the said domains from them! And warn that they will wait for my reply only for 7 days after which they will approve the application of the other company.

I was a little surprised when I received one such mail a few months back. I thought of contacting them but then used some common sense, if someone wants to book Uconomix.cn domain name They can just go and buy it! The registrar will not come to the owner of .com domain asking for permission!! So this is a ploy to scare domain owners and make them buy a handful of Chinese domains names. And there are many Chinese registrars who engage in such practices. I keep receiving such mails on various email ids. Obviously they have a bot or a a few idle guys sitting and contacting every .com domain owner they come across and send them a similar mail.

Here’s one such email –

(If you are not the person who is in charge of this, please forward to the right person/ department, as this is urgent, thank you!)

Dear CEO,

We are a leading internet solutions organization in Asia, have something urgent to confirm with you. Yesterday we formally received an application from a company which called “Monotia Trading Co.,LTD”, they were seeking to apply for “uconomix” as Brand name and following Domain Names through our organization:

uconomix.asia
uconomix.cn
uconomix.com.cn
uconomix.com.hk
uconomix.com.tw
uconomix.hk
uconomix.in
uconomix.net.cn
uconomix.org.cn
uconomix.tw

After our initial examination, we found that the Brand name and Domain Names applied for registration are similar to your company’s. These days we are dealing with it, hope to get the affirmation from your company. If your company did not authorize the aforesaid company to register these, please contact us as soon as possible.

In addition, we hereby declare the time limit for this issue is 7 workdays, if your company files no reply within the time limit, we will unconditionally approve the application submitted by  “Monotia Trading Co.,LTD”.

This is nothing but a scam and a way of fooling unsuspecting people!

Phishing email in Hindi

by Yash 0 Comments

Scamsters have now started sending phishing emails in Hindi! I received one today telling me my Bank of India account has been blocked and I should login and activate it. Of course I dont have an account in Bank of India but what is interesting is the mail is in Hindi. Very bad Hindi actually. Looks like it was translated in some automatic tool like Google Translation.

प्रिय ग्राहकों,

हमारे रिकॉर्ड इंगित करते हैं कि आपके ऑनलाइन खाते की वजह से रोक दिया गया है निम्नलिखित कारणों से.

झूठी जानकारी के साथ परीक्षण में साइन इन करें.

अधूरा या गुम भारत के बैंक में इस्तेमाल किया ऑनलाइन खाते के डेटा.

हम आग्रह करता हूं कि आप भारत के अपने बैंक खाते को पुनर्स्थापित करने के लिए ऑनलाइन तुरंत अपने खाते को बंद करने को रोकने के.

लिंक पर क्लिक करें नीचे भारत के बैंक खाते को पुनर्स्थापित करने के लिए ऑनलाइन:

My favourite line in this – हम आग्रह करता हूं कि.. As if Laloo Prasad Yadav had drafted this email! :P

Server is hung

by Yash 2 Comments

“Server is hung”, informs Rohit. “Hung”? ins’t it supposed to be “hang”? asks Vijay. “Its past contonous tense” tells Rohit. “Past continous?, I think that is present continous.” Param jumps in the conversation. “I think that is present perfect” I give my opinion. By now everyone is interested in knowing what tense is that. So I grabbed a marker and white board and start writing the twelve tenses.

Simple
I eat – Present
I ate – Past
I will eat – Future

Continuos
I am eating – Present
I was eating – Past
I will be eating – Future

Perfect
I have eaten – Present
I had eaten – Past
I would have eaten – Future

Perfect Continous
I have being eating – Present
I had been eating – Past
I would have been eating – Future

Hung is past participle (3pp) form of verb Hang. And 3pp is used in perfect tense. So the conclusion is “Server is hung” is present perfect tense!

Cool! So we have the answer.

And Rohit reminds “Dude, BUT the server is still down!” Ouch! :P Nobody remembered to reboot the server!