American Coradius International LLC Paypal Credit Account Letter

Recently my wife received a letter from American Coradius International LLC regarding a Paypal Credit account that she never had.

So I called the phone number on the letter and they would not give any details unless we provided the date of birth and last four digits of social. I didn’t want to give this info and they don’t want to give any more details and so I ended the call after mentioning that she never had a paypal account or a paypal credit account.

The letter said that I have to reply in writing to dispute it and if they don’t receive any response they will automatically assume that this debt is valid. So they force you to respond in writing.

I tried to call Paypal general customer service 1-888-221-1161 and after waiting for 30 mins to speak to an agent I gave up. That was on a friday.

Again I tried to call Paypal on Monday, and after waiting for 30 mins or so, I got an human. I explained the situation and she transferred me to  paypal collections dept : 877-380-6578. Again after telling a whole story, they transferred me to paypal credit card account : 888-334-6210.

Here the lady asked for all the details ( I had to give the full social, I guess I had to trust Paypal instead of someone that sent a letter). She concluded that someone used my wife’s name and a different social to open an account and marked it that we are not liable.

I asked her about this letter, she said we should call them and let me them know that someone used my name and wrong social. So I asked her is this company legit that is trying to collect Paypal debt. She said American Coradius is the collection company they work with and its safe share personal info with them.

She gave their number 800-213-7163 to call (The letter had a different number 855-224-5193). I called them and in two mins they cancelled the notice that was sent to us and done. At the end she mentioned, as per their investigation this is already marked as fraud and we have been disassociated from this debt.

Going to what happened, how could Paypal open a credit account when the social and address didn’t match ?

I have included the Paypal direct phone numbers so that its easy for anyone looking to resolve similar situations without having to wait in the line.

 

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Google Project Fi, port your number after trying it

You may have heard that Google became cell phone service provider like straight talk.

Google uses bandwidth from T-Mobile and Sprint and your cell phone would automatically switch between Wi-Fi, T-Mobile and Sprint depending on your coverage location and etc. It is heard it will try to use Wi-Fi first and then T-Mobile and then Sprint as a last resort.

Recently I received an invite for Project Fi. I was hesitant to use it for the following reasons

  1. There are no option for family plan. If you are on a family plan, then you are out of options
  2. You have to get a new phone from Google. Phone choices are limited.
  3. Not sure how the service is going to be ? like switching between Wi-Fi and Cell. I was not that happy when I was with T-Mobile. The call gets dropped most of time during hand off.

With this in mind, I was sure to go ahead and experiment with it.

But you need to ask, like Google itself ?

I had a chat with Project Fi representative and found the following points.

  1. You can try the Project Fi service first for few days and if you have happy, then you can initiate the number porting. All give them the call.
  2. Family plans is one of the popular requested feature and is in the works
  3. More supported and cheaper phones is also being requested more and is in the works.
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2015 Acura MDX real world mileage on a weekend

Recently on a weekend one hour drive to Germantown, Md gave me above 30MPG. Following is the snap shot. 31.2MPG to Germantown and 36 MPG on the way back.

IMG_1823

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Curses and Smoke by Vicky Alvear Shecter – Book Review

My book review is on the amazing story Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii
. Curses and Smoke
 is a 311 paged book by Vicky Alvear Shecter.   This book takes place long ago when Mt. Vesuvius erupted in Pompeii.  This detailed book is the fast-paced adventure of two young teens aching to break free.  Both enslaved in their own ways, both looking for the right opportunity to break out.  However, neither of them thought their ticket to freedom would come in the form it had.

The first chapter in the book is narrated by the young teen, Lucia Titurius. “Lucia was sure that the white-haired gentlemen reclining on the dinner couch would make a delightful grandfather. As a future husband, though, he left a great deal to be desired.” Lucia is a bright, young, and caring girl who loves science. She often reads books by Pliny, an illustrious geologist.  After her mother died, she’s had trouble persuading her father to buy any of Pliny’s new books, an unfortunate problem for Lucia.  As she reads some of Pliny’s old books, she realizes that there may be an earthquake coming along.  In reality, she seems like the only wealthy lady who realizes the true signs of these frequent and catastrophic tremors.  Though that may sound like a major problem, her real problem is that she is being sold off to a wealthy grandpa who needs a new play toy. She doesn’t want to move to Rome, where her betrothed lives.  She wishes to stay in Pompeii, her hometown, to stay close to her best friends. She wants to marry because she chooses too, not because her father needs the money for his failing gladiator school. Her version of free is the freedom of choice.  Her only path to freedom would be to run away, and her life in Pompeii to vanish from her memories. So what is holding her back?

Then there is Tag.  A poor boy literally enslaved by the Titurius household.  For the past 3 years, he has been in Rome, learning to be a gladiator and hoping to win a fight in the future.  Then suddenly he is called back to Pompeii, for a reason unknown to him until he reaches the household. He serves the Titurius household by being a medicus, a doctor that treats gladiators.  When he reaches the household, he meets a boy named Castor.  Whenever Castor goes near Tag’s father (another medicus), his father believes that Castor is Tag.  That’s when Tag realizes that his father’s sight is failing.  What will Tag do, when his apa (father) is thrown out of the household because he is of no use anymore? For a slave to win their freedom without their Dominus’s (master) permission in Pompeii, they must win in a gladiator fight. Tag hopes to win someday, and take his father to freedom as well. To Tag, freedom simply means not being owned by another man. To be able to live a happy life with his dear ones. So what is holding him back?

In the mist of it all, there is Lucia’s best friend Cornelia, who is pregnant, Quintus, a wealthy man that supposedly falls for Lucia, and Tag’s chance to be trained as an actual gladiator and win his freedom.  When Tag meets Lucia in the cave they had built as children, a forbidden love takes place.  For Tag and Lucia, the boundaries between the rich and the poor, the domina (mistress) and the slave are forgotten.  When they make hidden plans to leave and claim the amazing life that they so badly want, their plans fail. Who will look after Tag’s father, will he be beaten to death?  What will happen to Castor, a unique boy that Lucia and Tag have grown so fond of as mater (mother) and apa (father)?  If you don’t solve the mystery of these  severe tremors, are you betraying your city, your hometown, your friends?  How can Lucia and Tag be so selfish and take so many risks, for their loved ones?  A volcano’s eruption as an escape, however, is a risky and the ingenious perfect plan for Tag and Lucia.  The only real risk, is what if they can’t make it?

I give this book a five/five rating.  A story with twists at every corner, and a completely unpredictable ending. I don’t want to spoil it, but let’s just say that the ending isn’t exactly happily ever after. There are many pages of detail, but unlike my last book review, the details and feelings written down are amazing and doesn’t end with snooze fest plastered everywhere.  Each thought sparks a new question, a different and crazy emotion, and a totally unexpected outcome. It has a sad ending, but even then, the ending doesn’t answer all my questions, and it forms new ones too.  I always thought the best book isn’t the one with a happy ending, it is the one that keeps you awake at night wondering what might have happened to the characters, but doesn’t leave you completely hungry for the next book so you can find out.  It’ll let you create the ending that you want to happen. Curses and Smoke can be sappy from time to time, but I think that is the beauty of this totally amazing story.

The Ending of Curses and Smoke

“Almost there,” he half-whispered and half-croaked to the sleeping child.

But Castor had not been sleeping. He raised his head and looked up at Tag.

“Are we still free?” he whispered.

It was a long time before Tag could answer through the jagged rock of grief lodged in his throat. He would never be free of the sorrow and regret of losing her. But he knew that was not what the boy meant.

“Yes,” he answered finally. “She set us free.”

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Matched, by Ally Condle – Book Review

An interesting book that I read recently was the 366 paged book, Matched
 by Ally Condle. This book takes place sometime in the future, when technology has failed the previous generation. A government group called the Society takes control, and decides that the human race and everything associated to it, is too cluttered. To solve this problem, they make a hundred of everything, and destroy the rest! (Hundred poems, books, paintings, history lessons, etc.) They make many more changes to the world; a world that young girl named Cassia Reyes and her friends struggle in as time goes on.

Before her Matched Banquet, Cassia was a girl that always followed the rules set before her. The Matched Banquet is the most important occasion for someone that is part of the Society; it is the celebration where a person is given their ideal mate. It is celebrated with great pomp, and is one of the only times these citizens are allowed to wear nice clothes.  Before the banquet, her grandfather gave her an amazing golden compact as an artifact to take with her. This compact has a small hidden compartment in which her grandmother had stored hidden poem, a poem that shouldn’t exist. As Cassia chooses a bright green dress that makes her stand out and lets her embrace her individuality, there are many that find her rather beautiful. She is matched to her best friend Xander Carrow, and everybody thinks she is very lucky, and of course, vice versa.

After the Matched Banquet, the moment comes in which Cassia’s inner rebel stirs. Unlike many of Cassia’s friends, Cassia was matched to somebody who lived in her province. (A province is like a city) Cassia is lucky because she already knows Xander, but her friends have no idea who there match is as a person. For everybody else (including Cassia), the Society provides them with a microcard. A microcard is a device that can store information and videos. This particular microcard is set to display information on the person’s match. Cassia is sure that she already knows Xander, but decides to view the microcard anyway. As she is met with information that she already knows, she sees the face of Ky Markham before the microcard’s screen goes black.

Cassia is worried about why the Society had given her a microcard that viewed two separate faces, but decides to shake it off and join her friends at the game center. There, Cassia is greeted by an Official who wishes to have a private word with Cassia. The Official and Cassia have a conversation outside in which the Official assures Cassia that she is not in any trouble (yet). Instead, the Official gives Cassia some reassurance and that the other face she saw was a mistake, and that she is still matched to Xander. At the same time, the Official tells Cassia why Ky was not supposed to be entered into the matching pool. The Official told Cassia that Ky was an Abberation and that this piece of information was confidential so she could not tell anybody. An Abberation is somebody who’s family has been Reclassified because they have committed an Infraction (crime). Cassia is shocked as she never knew that such people existed in her own community, but gives her word that she will not interfere with Ky, or his life. Before the Official leaves, Cassia asks if she could tell her grandfather about what happened today, as he is fated to die the next day. The Official nods a yes, and goes away, hoping that she will not have to make another visit on the account of a broken promise.

Cassia’s grandfather dies the next day, as he was supposed to. Cassia, as the person that is closest to her grandfather, is deeply upset. As a leisure activity, Cassia decides that she will take on hiking, a sport that was recently brought back from the time when her grandfather was a child. She takes it on, as she believes it will help her stay close to her grandfather. On her first hiking trip, she hides in the bushes and reads the poem that her grandfather had mentioned before he died. She knows immediately why this poem is not part of the hundred, it sends out the message which tells people to fight for what they believe in.

Ky and Cassia meet at the top of the hill, as Ky finished first, and she finished second. She and Ky start spending time with each other at the top of the hill. Ky teaches Cassia to write and a few other skills in which Cassia is impressed upon. Cassia knows that if an Official were ever to find the poem, Cassia and her family would be in great danger. She knows that she has to destroy the poem and commit the words to memory so that the poem may live on. That next day, she destroys the poem in a fire, and regrets in immediately, but knows that she did the right thing. Along the way, she grows to trust Ky more and more, day by day. She grows to trust him so much, that she tells him the poem, bit by bit from memory.

At the same time, the Society strengthens themselves. They start to take away all the artifacts. Cassia lets them unwillingly take her and her brothers Bram’s artifact away. with thoughts in her mind that word themselves into the sentence that means that she will get her stuff back. Along the way, she was able to protect Ky’s artifact, a compass that he had entrusted the safety of to Cassia. She protected it by giving it to Xander to bury so that the Officials won’t be able to find it.

As Cassia is upset, Ky consoles her, and she grows to love him. She finds her every waking moment wondering and wrestling in her mind the same question, Who does she want to be with, Ky or Xander? As she finds herself answering the question all the time with the answer Ky, she decides that she has to tell Xander that she has fallen for somebody else, that she couldn’t keep it a secret anymore.

A few days later, she was walking down the street and she spots the Official that she had talked to her before. She tells Cassia that putting Ky in her microcard was not a mistake, and that the Matching Department had done it on purpose to play around and have a little fun. She said that if Ky wasn’t an Abberation, he would have been matched with Cassia. Cassia is furious with the Society for messing up her life like that, but keeps her anger in check and doesn’t say anything. Cassia asks who specifically put Ky in the matching pool, and the Official responds and says that she did. Cassia knows that the Official is lying, and is determined to find who committed such a terrible act. Before the Official leaves, she reminds Cassia that Ky is an Abberation, and they were not allowed to be together. Of course, by now, Cassia would never listen.

The final event in the book is when Ky is taken away from the Oria Province to be sent to a remote place, the Outer Provinces. They put up quite a scene, but nevertheless, Ky was still taken away. Before he unwillingly boards the airship, Cassia points toward the sky, their secret symbol that means, I will find you! 

Yes, I liked the book! It was mysterious in a way that always kept you reading. Matched was a first-person book narrated by Cassia. Matched is also a trilogy in which each book was as exciting as the last. Matched has so many pages because there are several pages that contain just Cassia’s thoughts. Although those pages can sometimes be very boring, they also contained a lot of imagery and other figurative language that made them worth reading. This book and the unique story that tells is a very intriguing and amazing story.

 

Do Not Got Gentle Into That Good Night

A Poem by Dylan Thomas

 

Do not go gentle into that good night,

Old age should burn and rage at the close of day;

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,

Because their words had forked no lightning they

Do not go gentle into that good night

 

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright

Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,

And learn, too late, they grieved it on it’s way,

Do not go gentle into that good night.

 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight

Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

 

And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

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The First Space Mission, an Epic Fail?

The First Space Mission, an Epic Fail?

One of the most interesting facts that I learned today, was that the first space mission was programmed to land and discover more about Earth’s “sister planet”, Venus! NASA called the spacecraft Mariner 1, and launched it in 1962. Sadly, the scientist in charge of its programming hadn’t done the math right! (He forgot to add a minus sign to the equation! Whoops!) The whole mission went haywire, and the Mariner 1 took a nosedive into the Atlantic Ocean! Luckily for NASA, they had a back-up. On December 14, 1962, NASA had made history. The Mariner 2 had successfully reached Venus and given NASA immense information. NASA was so excited over their first success; they launched 10 more Mariners to various planets over the next two years! Layers upon layers of gases, remote temperatures, volcanic activity, and giant dust storms are just some of the few stunning facts that the Mariners’ have discovered about other planets. Let’s just say, by the end of 1975, (the end of Mariner 10’s voyage) mind-blowing facts were discovered, and spectacular photos of amazing scenery were revealed to the inhabitants of the Blue Planet!

One of the reasons I thought this article was interesting, was the fact that one little mistake could cause a disastrous outcome. This thought had entered my mind as I was reading about the part where the NASA scientist had sent the Mariner 1 on a detour route to the Atlantic Ocean. I thought about how that scientist might’ve been treated after the tragic crash-land of the spacecraft. He only forgot one little thing, and the entire mission had gone wrong! Another fact that interested me, was how much information NASA had gotten from the other 9 Mariners’ that had gone to Mercury, Venus, and Mars. They had taken so many pictures, that the Mariner 10 was taking a picture every 40 seconds! I think that this part of history really emphasizes the theory, “If you don’t get it right on the first try, then try try try again!” Perseverance! I’ve always been interested in space so this article was really engaging when I first read it. These are some of the many reasons of why I thought the article about the first space mission was really interesting!

Mercury  Updated calibration and subsequent mosaicing led to substantial improvements in NASA's Mariner 10 color image data; the spacecraft launched in 1974.

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Port from Straight Talk (with at&t network) to AT&T

Recently I ported from Straight Talk BYOD SIM with AT&T network to AT&T.

You need to two pieces of information to migrate to AT&T.

1. Last 15 digits of your SIM card number

2. PIN

Before you start the porting process, you need to setup your pin. So I logged in to my straight talk online account and setup a pin.

Eject your sim card and note down the last 15 digits of sim number printed on it. If your eyes are not co-operating to see those tiny numbers, you can install an app that shows you sim card number.

Go to an AT&T store and give these information and the porting will be complete in 5 mins.

If you are trying to migrate to AT&T via on-line, then it will not work, it will error out saying your number is already with AT&T. So you need to go AT&T store to do it.

If you are moving to AT&T and pre-ordering an iphone 6 at the same time, then you will get an error.  So first you need to migrate and port your number and then pre-order your iphone 6.

I traded by iphone 4s and received $200 at&t gift card.

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T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925 on Straight Talk (AT&T Network)

Previously I purchased no-contract T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925 from Newegg and after few months T-Mobile unlocked it.

Lumia 925 has a nice camera and has all the bands for AT&T including LTE bands. So I wanted to test it for sure. Following is the steps to configure the APN for internet and MMS settings.

Input the straight talk AT&T sim into the Nokia Lumia 925 and restart the phone.

By default, you will be able to place the calls and send text messages, but internet and mms will not work. It will say 4G on the top notification bar but internet and mms will not work.

So we have to configure the APN settings to get internet and mms working. Before you do the following steps, make sure you installed the updates.

  1. Go to Settings
  2. select Access Point as below
  3. 1Click on Add to add a new APN.
  4. 2-1Set the connection name to tfdata and Access Point Name to tfdata
  5. 3Scroll down to set the MMS APN settings
  6. 6Click on the Save icon
  7. It will take you back to the previous screen showing the list of APNs. It will show AT&T as active
  8. Click on tfdata APN to make it active.
  9. 7Now reboot the phone.
  10. You will see LTE on the top notification bar
  11. 8Thats it and try going the internet and re-install the speedtest app and test your LTE speed.

 

 

 

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Buying new or used smartphones on swappa or ebay or craigslist ?

Are you planning to buy new smartphones or used smartphones on the internet or craigslist or ebay or swappa ? Beaware there is lot of fraud happening these days.

Sellers often sell their new phones. Swappa does a good job of verifying the phone’s ESN and makes sure thats its on etc. But after couple of months your phone might get black listed by the carrier. How ? What happened ? Why ?

Often what the sellers do is they take insurance on the smartphone before selling them and wait for few months and then claim that the phone is lost and makes the claim. The insurance company will in turn inform the Cell phone carrier that its lost and request the ESM/IMEI number to be placed in the blacklist. And suddenly your phone is dead.

The problem here is that neither the carrier nor the insurance company has no knowledge of the buyer.

Paypal will not be able to do anything after few months.

So when you are buying, ensure that you are buying from a company or a business and not an individual. Individuals could sell and disappear. Businesses have a lot riding on them and may not do fraud..

Overall what I meant to say is there is lot risk in buying used phones. I recommend buy from someone you know. Just like how you check the review of an online site etc and their return policy, there is more risk on buying phones in ebay, swappa or craigslist because there is no way to know if the phone is insured and no way to register the new owner.

Swappa will verify before you purchase the phone, after the grace period in paypal is over, if the seller says its lost and claims replacement, swappa will not do anything and so is paypal because by that time 2 or 3 months have already past.

I know there are lot of people who buy and sell phones on swappa or ebay, you should be aware that there is risk in buying from someone unknown because of the blacklisting by the insurance company and the carrier. AT&T and T-mobile have a common database for blacklisting so you wont be able to use them here in USA. I heard there is a huge market for blacklisted phones in the Asian market.

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How to change Straight Talk SIM Card to AT&T LTE SIM Card with out calling customer service

 

If you are on Straight talk bring your own phone program and you wanted to use another phone and its SIM card is a different size, or perhaps you wanted to use the new AT&T LTE sim card to get LTE speeds, then you have move the service to the new SIM card of the new phone.

Note: If you want to know how to get an AT&T LTE sim card, then visit this site http://www.prepaidphonenews.com/2011/12/how-to-get-tracfone-net10-or-straight.html

There are two ways to switch your sim

Option 1 : Call the customer service and go through the maze of prompts and wait for a long time to get to the customer service and then explain go through all the process over the phone.

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