Sunday, July 6, 2008

OOOPS! Squidoo's tentacles are in a twist

Yes, that's right! You can't get any more topicable than Squidoo lensmasters suffering withdrawal from those tentacles that are in a twist!

Since mid-day Saturday, July 5th, Squidoo lensmasters LIKE ME have had their tentacles all in a tangle over the Squidoo servers going out for a swim. Seems as though the swim was a bit longer than planned -- they decided to do a little scuba diving and fishing ... to hear tell, the gang might be back today some time. Well, not soon enough for us serious lensmasters who have normal commitments throughout the week and rely on our weekends to tweak lenses and create new ones.

This morning when I tried to access my one of my lenses, I got that cute little message. At least it helps to know that there is a bit of levity amongst all the feverish workings going on by our crack Squidoo tech staff. Personally, I'm pretty partial to Gil for a number of reasons -- but, that's for me and him to know and for you to find out. Maybe.

squidoo ooops

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Spammers and Phishers becoming more creative

A recent spammy email begs to ask, "Are internet spammers and phishers getting more creative in their emails?"

Take this example that was indicating it was from the FBI and that it was Advice -- definitely something I might be interest in reading about ... right? Yep, let me think, when was the last time that the FBI or even the CIA wanted to give me some advice or even want to email me? Perhaps because it is nearing the 4th of July, Independence Day, these spammers are thinking readers will be more inclined to read and respond to these type of spammy emails?

FBI magnetic@mails.ch
Reply-To: monitoringunit@zapak.com
ADVICE FROM THE FBI
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR FBI
FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION FBI. WASHINGTON DC.

Attention,

We have today through our inteligence monitoring system dictated that you have a transaction with African Bank International worth Two Million Six Hundred Thousand Dollars. This payment from our finding is as a result of Inheritance claim.

Be also informed that we spoke with the Bank and the African Authority to let them know that whatever that will be done to release your funds to you will directly be monitored by the FBI and they accepted as they have no option.

We advice you get back to us confirming the authenticity of this news before we can proceed. As soon as we here from you advicing us to guide you accordingly, we will proceed.

Hoping to hear from you urgently.

Thanks,
Mr Robert Mueller
Fbi Director
Spammy emails -- More than sixty percent of today's email traffic is spam, according to email filtering firm Brightmail. This year alone, five trillion spam messages will clog Internet users in-boxes, costing society an estimated $10-billion in lost productivity, filtering software, and other expenses.

I'm wondering, will internet spammers and phishers ever stop? First it was those usually 2-page letters from Nigeria back in the early 1990s. I worked at an terpene chemistry company that had an international focus, plus we sourced gum arabic out of Africa, so maybe that accounted for these spammers of the time finding that company. But, with the advent of the computer and the internet, these spammers and phishers became more creative. What's particularly interesting is how they've learned to mask their IP addresses. And, how they seem to think that the "normal" reader is going to be greedy enough to want to share in their millions of dollars of inheritance.

Bottomline: Something should be done about these spammers and phishers to put them out of business for good -- put them out of business for good in spamming hard-working individuals! Put them to work doing some good in their community. Why doesn't Bill Gates give them some computer programs to test? Or offer them some honest financial incentives to do some good on the internet? I know Bill Gates certainly has the influence and the money ... and I've heard that he's mellowed some over the years. Hello, Bill ... can you hear me now?