Monday, 19 September 2016

Thieves tried to steal my blog!!!

I am not happy, I have found that a certain aquaponics company (whose name I am not going to mention) stole my blog pages and posted them on no less than eight different spam blogs!  There may even be more that I am yet to find.

I have reported all of them to blogger and hope that they are removed soon.  I have also posted comments on some of the other people's blogs that had pages stolen and have requested that they also report these criminals to blogger.

Spam Blogs (with my stolen blog content) that I have found and reported so far.  Do NOT click on them (I put a space in to make it difficult to click by accident):
and apparently even one from Russia whcih I am yet to click on:  е-импорт.рф/4-foto/tree-onion.php

What happened
They cut and paste every word and picture from several pages from my blog, as well as several pages from other people's blogs.  They even cut and paste the pages about the birth of my first daughter!!!

Why would they bother
They do this so that the blog appears legitimate, then they put an ad to their company on each of the pages.  After people read through the blog for a while and feel connected to the blogger they are more likely to click on the link.

This does several things, first it may create some sales for their low quality products.  Secondly it raises their profile on google so they come out at the top of any google search.  The more pages that have links the higher the rating in a google search.  They benefit from extra sales.  Google explicitly forbids this kind of thing.

They remove links, but that is about all
They seem to remove all of the internal links, which is not overly difficult.  Yet they have not even read the posts that they steal.  They have made these spam blogs this year (2016) yet some of the post headings are about other years.  They even stole some blog posts from people which are month specific and posted them on a different month.  Very poor effort.  I have a post called "skirret harvest 2015", that post has a comment in the first sentence saying that it was written during Winter in Australia.  These thieves stole that post and re-posted it in March 2016 and again in May 2016.  Not terribly bright.

They write their own reviews
I think this heading is pretty self explanatory.  They write reviews of their own company on different web pages they make and then spam them until they are at the top of a google search.  They have written dozens of these ridiculous reviews, strangely they are all word for word exactly the same.

If you want a second opinion of any aquaponics company go onto any aquaponics forum and search for them there.  No one who knows anything about aquaponics will deal with these criminals.

I have decided not to post the name of these criminals
It is not terribly difficult to find out who they are, but posting there name here may result in legal consequences (or more likely these criminals doing something horrible to my blog) that I don't want to deal with.  If you can't work out who they are send me a message and I can tell you privately.  If  these criminals had quality products they would not feel tempted to stoop this low.  If someone is willing to create at least EIGHT different spam blogs and steal content from other people's blogs you can NOT trust them.

What have I done
First I reported the spam blogs to Blogger and Google on 16 September 2016.  I have been told by other bloggers that even though I have reported all of these spam blogs that Blogger will do nothing.  I will keep an eye on these spam blogs and see when/if they do anything.

Second I went onto one of the spam blogs and clicked on a few of the other stolen pages, then I tracked down the blogs they came from and sent them a message asking for them to also report these spam blogs.  I personally would be wary of a message like this so I included the URL of the spam blog page that has their content, this way even if they do not want to click on the link they can google it.

Other than that I don't know what to do.  My opinion of humanity is slipping all the time.

Update 22 October 2016 
All eight of those spam blogs are still active.  They have even stolen more pages from my blog over the past week.  Clearly this is contravening blogger policy which is meant to result in the blogs being deactivated and deleted.  Even though these spam blogs have been reported nothing has been done.

Update 17 December 2016
All eight of the spam blogs are still there three months after being reported.  They continue to steal more posts, I wonder if they will ever bother stealing this one?  It would appear that reporting them was a waste of time as blogger and google have no interest in dealing with them.  I must admit that I am disappointed.

Update 26 February 2017
All eight of the spam blogs are still there.  It has been over five months since I reported them all.  It is seeming increasingly unlikely that blogger or google have any intention of doing anything.  I find it odd how many legitimate blogs get shut down yet these eight spam blogs remain active.

Update 25 April 2017
All eight blogs are still there and continue to steal more of my pages.   It has been over seven months.  I wonder why both blogger and google allow this kind of thing to continue...

Update 27 August 2017
After 11 months all eight spam blogs are still up and running.  When reporting the blogger page says not to report them more than once.  As it has been so long, and those eight blogs are clearly spam blogs, I don't think that blogger or google will ever close them down.  

Update 3 February 2018
After quite some time all eight of the spam blogs are still up and running.  It appears that blogger has no interest in removing them.  In a strange twist most of my blog posts seem to have disappeared from google and not show up in a search, while the spam blogs are easy to find.  Very disappointing.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Amazing Black or Blue Strawberries Do NOT Exist

Recently I looked on Ebay for strawberry seeds.  It was amazing how many different colours were listed for little money and free postage.  It is too bad that none of them actually exist.

After reaching page five and only finding three listing for seeds that actually exist I decided to write a quick post to help buyers protect themselves.

While you will be sold strawberry seeds, they will not grow into anything like you have been told they will.  The legal term for this is "theft by deception", it is illegal, it is immoral, and the people involved should be ashamed of themselves.

I have not bothered to complain to ebay.  I know of some people who have been reporting every listing of multi-coloured blue roses (which do not exist) to ebay for years and nothing is ever done.  The same sellers keep selling seed of white roses while stealing thousands of dollars from people.  Ebay should be held accountable for knowingly allowing laws to be broken like this, but they aren't and they likely never will.  Ebay makes a lot of money from this kind of thing, and there are no consequences for them, so it is in their best interest to allow it to continue.

Please do NOT buy any of the following seeds from anyone ever.  If anyone is selling any seeds of these do not buy anything from them at all as they are thieves and liars!

The following seeds do NOT exist, by the time you have worked it out you have already left glowing reviews and these fraudsters have stolen your money!  You will most likely be sold seed from red strawberries, if you want that please go buy a punnet from the market and save seeds from there rather than fund these thieves.  Do not give money to thieves, it will only make things worse!

Black Strawberries
How amazing do these black strawberries look, it seems almost reasonable for these to be real as we have blackberries etc.  Black Strawberries like in this picture do NOT exist.  There are a few dark red varieties but nothing that looks remotely black.  This picture, and many more like it, have been altered.  Do NOT buy seeds for black strawberries.

Black Strawberries like this do not exist

Blue Strawberries
These look amazing and the sellers often claim that they are rare which is why you have never seen them in real life.  Blue strawberries like in the pictures do NOT exist!  Strawberries never have and they never will look like this (unless there are massive leaps in genetic modification technology in the future).  Even the GM blue strawberries which you will not have access to do not look anything like this, they are more of a red/mauve colour as we simply do not have the technology to produce these yet and the seeds are never released to home growers.  Do NOT buy seeds for blue strawberries.
Looks delicious, too bad it is photoshopped
Blue Strawberries like this do not exist
Green Strawberries
Green when ripe strawberries do not exist.  There are no varieties of strawberry that look anything like in this picture.  Even unripe strawberries do not look like this, the seller has gone out of their way to alter the colour of the picture in order to deceive you and steal your money.  They have photoshopped a picture of red strawberries.  They didn't even bother to use white strawberries and shine a green light on them.  Do NOT buy seeds for green strawberries

Green Strawberries like this do not exist

Pineberry Strawberry
Pineberry Strawberries actually DO exist, I have a few plants myself, but they will not grow from seeds.

Unfortunately pineberry are a complex hybrid of various strawberries that can only be grown by division, runners or tissue culture and not by seed.  Even if the flowers are self pollinated, any seeds that are grown will NOT result in a pineberry plant and you will get a mix of different strawberries.  If you want a pineberry strawberry (they are pretty cool) buy a plant from a reputable seller.

If you want the weird mix of seed with which to do some breeding work do NOT encourage these ebay thieves, please buy a pineberry plant and save the seed yourself.  Feel free to buy plants but do NOT buy SEEDS of pineberry strawberries.

Pineberry Strawberries do exist but can not be grown from seed

Pink Strawberries
Pink strawberries do exist, kind of, but they look nothing like in this picture.  The colour in the picture has been deliberately modified and the description embellished to try and steal your money.  Do NOT buy seeds of these.
Pink strawberries like this do not exist

Purple Strawberries
Purple strawberries like below do NOT exist.  Nothing like this picture has ever existed or will ever exist.  The seller is trying to steal from you.  Do NOT buy seeds of purple strawberries.

Strawberries do not exist in this colour
Real 'purple' strawberries are more of a dark red as per the picture below.  These ones do exist but are only sold as plants and not seeds.  Similar to pineberry these seeds will not produce true to type and they can only be purchased as plants.
Purple strawberries on the left exist but do no grow by seeds

Multi coloured Rainbow Strawberries
How amazing do these strawberries look!  There are heaps of amazing colours here, imagine all of the nutrients that they must have.  They even advertise that they are being sold by an Australian seller to seem more credible.  They have a lot of positive ebay reviews and have sold many hundreds of packet of seeds so appear to be legitimate.

We have thieves in Australia too, that is why you lock your car or your house when you are not there.  The positive reviews are left after the seeds arrive quickly and possibly after they germinate, several months before the plants have even flowered, let alone set fruit.  Once they all set red fruit it is far too late for the buyer to do anything.  Some buyers complain and are fooled into buying more seeds as they think perhaps they happened to just get the red ones in their mix.  It makes me mad.

The colours in this picture, other than the red, do NOT exist.  I hate these thieves and everyone like them.  Do NOT buy seeds of multi coloured strawberries.

White Strawberries
White strawberries do exist.  I have eaten several different varieties, some alpine strawberries and others larger garden strawberries.  Some are very bland, others are lovely and sweet.  It is important to research any variety of white strawberry before you buy it.

Unfortunately that makes it simple for thieves to change the colours in a photo and try to steal money from people.  These particular ebay thieves (which call themselves AussieTown) sell a variety of different seeds, some exist but many do NOT exist.  If they are happily selling some things that don't exist there is a high chance that everything they sell is not what they say it is.  The picture is from an ebay listing claiming to sell "white cloud" strawberry seeds, unfortunately white cloud strawberries do not exist.  Do NOT buy seeds from anyone who sells anything that does not exist.

White strawberries exist, but this photo is NOT real and 'white cloud' strawberries do NOT exist

Giant Strawberries
Strawberries do not have the genetic potential to ever reach this size.  Even with GM technology we will never see strawberries this big.  Seriously, these thieves will try to sell anything, no matter how unlikely it is.  Luckily it would be simple to tell that they gave you the wrong this when the 'seeds' arrive.  Do NOT buy giant strawberry seeds (or trade your family cow for magic bean seeds).
Giant strawberries do NOT exist

Buyer beware!
Please NEVER buy ANYTHING from any of these ebay thieves.  If someone lists any of these seeds for sale do not buy anything from them.

Some people buy these seeds from them with the view that at worst they will at least get strawberry seeds.  While true, it is wrong to fund thieves, especially when you could buy strawberry seeds from an honest person or even buy a punnet of strawberries and plant those seeds.  You can get several hundred or even a few thousand strawberry seeds from a punnet of strawberries, plus you get to eat the strawberries.  That is far better than giving your money to these liars and encouraging them to steal from more people.

There is an old saying that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably isn't.  In the plant world, especially with fruit and vegetables, this saying doesn't help.  Almost everything that I grow and eat sounds too good to be true.  I sell vegetable plants and seeds through the internet but am yet to use ebay.  I do the right thing as I am not trying to make fast money and want people to grow my plants.  That is why these thieves annoy me so much.

NOTE: this is not an exclusive list, there are plenty of other fake strawberry pictures and colours that I haven't shown here but may try to add later.  Pictures used in this post were copied from actual ebay seed listings.  Sometimes the same pictures were used by several different sellers in different countries (grumble grumble).