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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:52 PM   #1
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Default Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Guys,

I have a very urgent logistical issue that has come to fore. The type that normally I won't even write about, as I tend to just handle these things in the background and let you guys focus mostly on what's more important for you to focus on.

However, this is a particularly complex software issue that may end up effecting everyone here one way or another.

Until it's solved, I can't really focus on any of the things I prefer to focus on. Thus, you'll see my input diminished in other areas for a bit.

Sorry about that guys.

That's the short of it. Most of you should stop reading right there.

For the those who want "the long version", here it is. Bear in mind this deals with software and merchant systems, which most people are unfamiliar with.

Our cart needs to be upgraded to support a new version of Verisign Payflow Pro, but at the same time, an upgrade means we slip out of our merchant provider's agreement to only upgrade when a completely "PCI Certified" version of our cart is available.

For our cart software, that means upgrading to v4.3.

A version that, interestingly, is not out yet!

A version we, and many other merchants, have been waiting for for a very, very long time.

It's been about 3/4s of a year since the cart programmers have committed to a specific "PCI Complaint version" version publicly (v4.3), but most of the merchants using our cart have wanted a PCI Certified solution for something like 2 years now.

While most of us (something like 40k merchants) are as PCI compliant as we can be, full out PCI certification is the way to go. PCI Certification may be a tough pickle, but it's ultimately good for everyone.

The problem with "waiting" for a "PCI Certified" cart is that PayFlow Pro isn't waiting. They need upgraded modules now to work with their own new system. Now, btw, as in today.

As we are dependent on outside services to provide these modules, and the cart itself, that places in a catch-22 whereby we a forced to upgrade a portion of our cart to ensure software compatibility with a system that is changing (PayFlow Pro). We need to upgrade to the very latest 4.2.2 version of the cart to be PayFlow Pro compliant.

Unfortunately, doing so puts us in a situation where we're no longer "compatible" with the agreement we made with our merchant accounts that provides us access to the Visa and MasterCard network.

The agreement stipulates that we can make no major changes to our cart, or no switches to newer systems or different carts that are not PCI Certified. Which was all well and dandy by me initially, since I had wanted PCI Certification for quite some time now, anyway.

For those who can follow along, you'll see the catch-22 quite clearly. There's different things here moving at different speeds. Not all systems are "on the same page yet".

For those even more interested (so I don't have to field questions), the gist of the technical problem is this:

While we follow PCI compliance guidelines, using a service that tests and patches our servers monthly for security, and the makers of our software cart do so, as well, our cart software itself not yet "PCI certified".

"Compliance" and "certification" are two different things. Compliance means you follow guidelines. Certifications means you not only follow guidelines, but meet with very specific regulations, and often inspections by 3rd party verifications services, etc.

This isn't too bad for us as a merchant, per se, but our cart maker themselves say they must have their site (where they work) and apparently each of their programmers "certified" in person to make a "certified version".

This version, again, was supposed to come in the form of v4.3 by the start of summer. However, it's the end of summer, and it's not yet complete. I just heard the new wait may be something like 6 months, although we literally have just moments left to become compatible with the new Payflow Pro software platform.

(Payflow Pro is like the credit card machine in the store -- the thing that swipes a card and spits out a receipt -- it's not a merchant account or a cart, but it's a very important part of the process)

From what I understand from the people who program our cart, with somewhere around 80 employees in different parts of the world it's been a very difficult for them to be certified for this yet. I guess it's tougher for software makers to be PCI certified than it is for merchants themselves. (and I suppose that makes sense -- if you make the "tools" of commerce, you come under even more scrutiny)

While I understand our cart maker's pain and normally appreciate their technical prowess, there's only so much patience we can have. We may very well need to move to a new cart solution from a different company entirely.

If that needs to happen, there may be a "pause" in service while the switchover takes place. These large carts are complex systems, with many custom modifications. Switching systems isn't exactly a walk in the park, especially amidst all of the other duties we currently have to tackle.

This is what we're working on now, simultaneously with with a several month long effort to get our cart upgraded for changes to the PayFlow Pro system, combined and with a multiyear effort to get it PCI Certified.

The pressure that's being layed upon the cart programmers from other merchants is helping. One or the other solution will work, but there may some downtime and/or growing pains inherent in either solution.

In any case, thank you for understanding.

I look forward to being able to focus on new mixes and other activities again soon. In the meantime, Amy, and if she's able to, Jasmin, will focus more on those activities in the time being.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Again, I will not be able to field questions about this. Ask them as you may, but this is more of an research and action scenario, more than it is a Q&A scenario. Most questions should already be answered as completely as I possibly can answer them in what I wrote above.

I also request that you please keep PMs to emergency situations only. I try to give each person who writes my undivided attention, and while I like helping everyone as much as I can, that's simply not possible at this time.

I prefer 2-way communication as much as possible, but I'm simply too slow a PMer to be able to both write to people individually and tackle issues like this. What I like and what I have to do are often at odds in a project of this scale. Sorry about that, guys!

Thank you kindly.
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Old September 1st, 2009, 01:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Ah, man! *Tear.*
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Guys, today I post this, about a weak spot we're in, and I find out that Jasmin and her children are attacked AGAIN within the past hour.

This related directly to this post:
http://www.pheromonetalk.com/store-a...eep-32807.html

I also understand that when she calling around frantically to our people to let us know she's unable to work anymore, Steve told her about an interesting timing correlation to another event.

It's obvious what's happening, folks. This is no different than an arsonist standing at the fire as part of the audience while the firetrucks come. Watching to see the effects of their handywork.

The internet truly makes "the invisible man" syndrome (i.e., "what would you do if you were invisible"?) real and present, when it comes both to stalkers and sociopaths.

It is clear that we have no freedom of speech on our own forum to let people publicly know anything. Whenever we do so, whenever we indicate that we are somehow "busy", "sleeping" or in a weakened positioned, we are then then being on the receiving end of yet another attack. A simple predator and prey relationship.

First, these came in the way of computer and financial attacks. Normal "hacker stuff".

Now they're in the form of personal attacks on our staff, and our families... and on children. The lowest of the low type of attack, and what our lawyers say is a "gateway" attack. Something sociopaths use to become comfortable, so they can escalate to even stronger forms of attack, such as murder.

To our stalkers:

How fucking dare you?

You think your need to hurt people is this important, huh? And your need to "get caught" is really important enough to divert my time like this?

I understand that you sociopaths that have no concept of right and wrong. I understand that you think it's okay to toy with innocent human beings and their lives, because you feel no guilt or remorse. You have no empathy and descend upon any one you consider "weak", since you are truly broken to your core.

I, the FBI and US intelligence is here to say to you: We will not stop until you have your freedom taken away. Period.

I don't care if you don't have a conscience to keep you good. There are repercussions to your actions, and it's not as if you don't make it obvious who you are since you few are so entirely ego driven. You just can't help but to take credit for your work. Well, your downfall is already well on it's way.

To everyone else:
Please read or listen to The Sociopath Next Door. It's available on Amazon for about $10 bucks in book form, and about $20 in CD form. I will give you a $30 gift certificate to buy and read any form of it. Or hell, I'll send over a few thousand dollars of the CD form now to drop into packages.

I think this book is a little dramatic in it's presentation, but I never before realized just how 96 out of every 100 good people are so dramatically suppressed and repressed by the approximately 4 out of 100 with extreme forms of antisocial disorders.

This is not okay. We must all work together to put such people in jail, or in good old fashioned, high security mental hospitals.

We are not sheep, we're humans (I'm talking about each and one of us now, not just the folks who work here).

Most of us lead our lives innocently, and each of us is capable of nearly infinite good when we really drive ourselves. We cannot be "their food" any longer. Period.

Best wishes to our best people, and that's most of you.

To the worst... all I can say that is that you should've forced yourself to turn your eyes away from here a long time ago. In any truly bad person's lives, there's always "the one" to take you down. You've found that one. Goodbye.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

I've read that book and you are 100% correct. Circle the wagons and do what you have to do Michael. If you need ANYTHING let me know and I'll help in any way that I can. The products you have developed have literally helped to turn my life around. Always remember that you aren't alone- you have friends with you.

Please let Jasmin know that her and her family are in our thoughts and prayers as well. This is too much.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Guys, I just sent out 100 copies of The Sociopath Next Door over to Amy, Jacob and Michelle. They'll drop them into packages of known users here.

You'll understand clear as bell what's been going on here the past few months. Or actually past couple years. The sociopaths just weren't as confident and as "needy" as they are now. Not as hungry for "blood", you could say.

Folks, we basically ban sociopaths who attack users here... people who have driven some of our users to having even suicidal feelings, as reported to me by the PM system.

The fact is we serve a lot of lonely or otherwise socially maladjusted people here. People who have real hearts, real souls, who explore things like pheromones to get their lives back on track. People are often extra sensitive to criticism. Some folks with bad intent have seen this forum sort of like a human farm, as their "lunch".

When we remove their access to the forum and to our products, the attention of these sociopaths turns from the "free range prey" they found on the forum to *us*. The people who run the forum. The gatekeepers to what a sociopath sees as nothing more than "cattle" -- i.e., you.

This is not okay. These "people" are not even people. As you'll learn in this book, these people commit actions like these because they are simply without souls. They're not anything like you and I. They only pretend to be for periods of time, only when it serves their "higher goal" of destruction and harm. Their "end goal" is never pretty.

While there are no easy answers to dealing with disruptive individuals like this, I will first of all fight fiction with facts. I will fight stupidity with intelligence. That's job #1, and thus, I'm giving as many of you as possible this book as an additional step.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

MHarris, I'm also here for you and the staff if you ever need anything. Not sure what I can offer, but we're all friends here (at least us good guys and girls) so just let me know if you need me.

These scum bags need to be taken care of, who knows what else they're capable of! But you need to stop them before we can find out just what other damage they can or will do, so I hope that the FBI will be able to help you guys out. I don't want to know what else they're capable of, these people (or person) are nothing but creeps.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snoopyace View Post
I've read that book and you are 100% correct. Circle the wagons and do what you have to do Michael. If you need ANYTHING let me know and I'll help in any way that I can. The products you have developed have literally helped to turn my life around. Always remember that you aren't alone- you have friends with you.
Thank you.

I just don't know what friends can do, besides being aware. What else could I ask you for besides understanding? I don't want to drag anyone into this any further than that. Heck, I wish I didn't have to mention any of this at all.

The only reason I write about it whatsoever is because we have been open traditionally, and these kinds of these behaviors towards us -- from financial crimes and clickfraud attacks, to attacks on us personally -- are a major reason why we've been less open with time.

We haven't wanted to "educate the stalkers", you could say, and I certainly didn't want to support them. Nothing could be more repugnant than supporting those who harm you.

Nonetheless, I want to make sure you guys will have a sense of what's going on. I don't want to keep you completely in the dark anymore about why we've been quieter than ever the past year or two. Since many of these are "gateway crimes", I also wanted to let everyone know the likely causes should anything truly gruesome happen to us.

I also want to let the few sociopaths know that there ARE repercussions to their actions. The one thing predators hate is being the prey, and it's important to let them know that's exactly what they are. As you well know from reading that book, the only thing that stops a sociopath are repercussions.

Quote:
Please let Jasmin know that her and her family are in our thoughts and prayers as well. This is too much.
I will.

I'm very thankful for people like you, and the one thing I think we can all be thankful for is how bold some true sociopaths are.

As you learned in that book, many don't care how obvious they are. This is especially true in the case today.

1. I post a sign of "weakness" to the forum. A very real issue that has some rather serious repercussions if I do not invest all of time and effort into it.

I literally have to put my tail into hyperdrive testing out new cart solutions, etc. -- seeing how they can work with our current systems (including points here, which many would miss), as well as what we intend for the future.

The less I can focus on this task, the more we're just going to likely disappear into the ethers.

I guess I should've been smart enough to NOT have posted this! I have to stop feeling "comfortable" on my own damn forum, I guess!

2. Those who've been criminal here before with our users are somehow stirred and "activated", with inappropriate direct contact out of nowhere. This is similar to how an arsonist goes to stand in the audience gathered to watch a house burn, they "hide" out in the open.

3. Jasmin and her children attacked on her property, yet again

I'm sorry. This is no coincidence.

Not too long ago, I thought nobody would possibly do anything this obvious. This bold. Yet as you now well know, Snoopy, I was very wrong. Some sociopaths like to be admired for their boldness. They get off on it.

It was painful for me to read that book... and listen to the audio CDs, especially. I wanted to do anything other than learn about this type of personality. I'm damn glad I did, though. At least I now better know what I'm dealing with.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

and of course, this is a really important point to mention:

4. As a non-sociopath, I cannot easily explain this to any of you as well as a sociopath can. I do not have the superficial charisma of a sociopath.

I can only explains things as best I can, whereas sociopaths tend to be masters of persuasion.

Thus, you're probably not as likely to "believe" us as you would be a sociopath. A major catch-22, unless I'm able to educate you guys on the tools sociopaths use to influence or even control you.

The only people who "follow me" enjoy the quality of my work, and the depth of my passion to help others.

Most people don't like my words, since... let's face it... I talk too damn much, and I think too much in systems to really say anything succinctly. There's no one "point" to a systems thinker. There's 360 of them.

This is the exact opposite of a sociopath who hammers down one or two simple points.

They're no different from a magician. They hold up a dove in one hand to grab your attention all mystically, while stabbing you in the back with the other hand.

There is nothing more dangerous than the charismatic sociopath. Nothing. With their gift of social control, they can often get complete support from the majority for their amoral actions. This is exactly what I've been seeing here.

We've had plenty of people trying to re-victimize the victim. Trying to harm Jasmin further for what has happened to her.

All I can really do is "fight" with education about antisocial personality disorders and sociopathy. I will do so.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 03:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Logistical problem -- time depleted, and possible "pause" in service

Urban Dictionary: sociopath
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