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'Nutjob' serves half-baked Raspberry PI scam

Budget-priced board too expensive for 'BA applied math student and journo'

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Some people will go to any lengths to get a Raspberry PI, except pay the $35 price tag.

The Raspberry Pi Foundation has published an IM conversation it claims took place between 'Foundation founder Eben Upton and a “nutjob” trying to blag a PI for free.

The chancer employed a carrot-and-stick technique, dangling the prospect of thousands of sales from students but then accusing Upton of antisemitism and promising bad press coverage when Upton stuck to his guns and refused to provide a device.

It’s policy for the Foundation, a non-profit, not to dish out free devices.

The blagger claimed to be BA applied math student and a journalist working for a newspaper based in New York – a paper that goes unnamed throughout.

Somehow, the person managed to find Upton on IM on a Friday afternoon, resulting in an exchange that lasted about and hour and 40 minutes.

The nubjob said they wanted the Raspberry PI board to “present my lectures [sic] and administration.” The bait: “Because I am going to visit my high school too I can show it there too so if they will be interested then they may buy thousands of units.”

Upton is straight-up from the start: no free units, Foundation policy, but the blagger responds as Foundation director Upton can change the policy. Upton sticks to his guns, and the blagger plays the competitive angle, saying he has been offered another board that - like the paper he work for, goes unnamed - then claiming Samsung had handed out free equipment.

Upton closes the IM window to end the conversation, but our PI blagger is not deterred. He reloads, coming back at Upton by feigning incredulity that Upton should turn his nose up at the prospect of thousands of sales for want of giving a unit away for free.

Things also start to turn nasty with threats to upload Upton’s comments to YouTube and with press coverage to “show you how to treat potential customers.”

The blagger starts to push harder:

I am a journalist who works for a newspaper in New York. Do you really want me to post that you refused to have customers and didn’t want to grant a good guy who advertised your product?

When Eben says the blagger will come out worse for demanding fee product in return for positive coverage, the self-styled journalist amazingly accuses him of antisemitism.

“Maybe because I am Jewish. Now I get the point, you don’t want to do it because of my nationality,” he rants (though Judaism isn’t a nationality).

The nutter expands:

Eben Upton refused to have deal with Jews [sic]. I think I will add some and write a great coverage about the customer service of the director of RP. You have taken time from me. Hope my coverage will hurt your sells [sic] Maybe then you will talk in a different manner.

Upton remains cool the entire time, thanking his attacker for his time.

You can read the full exchange here, in a blog called: Nutjob attempts to extort $35 computer from non-profit foundation. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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