Archive for August, 2005

Hurricane Katrina phishing scams are here

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

The murky depths that the low-life of this world inhabit sometimes staggers me. Take these latest phishing scams running off the back of the suffering of people battered by [tag]Hurricane[/tag] [tag]Katrina[/tag]:

"It was bound to happen. On a hunch that we might see phishing scams popping up that take advantage of the terrible destruction that Hurricane Katrina has wrought on the Gulf Coast, I started looking up new Web address registrations for possible scam sites. In just a few minutes, I stumbled upon Katrinahelp.com, which claims to be a donation site for Katrina victims but was almost certainly constructed to steal Paypal usernames and passwords."
Washington Post

Oddly enough I was just about to go looking for scam sites when I noticed the above in my RSS reader.

Family-friendly words that I want to use in this blog to describe the people behind this sort of scam fail me at this point ...

Gotta blog or website? Then donate some ad space to the Red Cross

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

We all know why the Red Cross want some ad space on your blog/site so go grab an ad that will really help make a difference to others who are suffering and in need.

DON'T put this off until the next site design or because you think it will make your site look untidy!!!!

DO IT NOW!

Note - the site's very slow at present due to overwhelming demand (a good thing) so do be patient with it and if you can't get there now try again later.

Gmail unlimited virtual addresses hack

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Here's a very useful Gmail hack that I just came across that I thought I'd share with readers here - Gmail unlimited virtual addresses hack (original post here). I think that this little trick could be very useful for a lot of Gmail users out there!

Cool!!!!

Are photos you upload to Flickr yours or theirs?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Where do you stand with "free" online services who decide to change the terms and conditions on you? In limbo land it would seem. Shel Israel made an interesting post today based on a post by Tara Hunt.

OK, as I see it there are two issues here:

  • Is the change to the T&C an oversight or a sign of things to come?
  • What happens when a service provider (free in this case but it needn't be) changes their agreements or terms and conditions?

Hmmm, on the first one I find it hard to believe that the change is accidental or as a result of an oversight - these kind of things are written by lawyers after all! If it is an oversight then a correction would have been made and an announcement made (or so you'd think).

On the second point, I have to say that while I think that there have been a huge number of free online services that have had a profound and positive impact on the web world, there are also a scary aspect to most free services when you realize that they can change their agreements with their users en masse, especially when it's popular, useful and holds some of your data. Take-overs and buy-outs by bigger companies also don't help - these companies come along and see holes int he T&Cs that need closing along with financial opportunities galore (selling data, taking ownership over it, ads ...). A small startup tends to value and appreciate the individual customer/user while bigger companies also tend, as a general rule, tend to care less about the individual end user - they can have a "you-know-you-want-it, take-it-or-leave-it, plenty-more-fish-in-the-sea" attitude. To borrow a term from Scott Adams, the individual is transformed into an in-duh-vidual.

I think that the best defense would be if users took the same "take-it-or-leave-it, plenty-more-fish-in-the-sea" attitude to the service - oh, and remember, "you-get-what-you-pay-for" and "there's-no-such-thing-as-a-free-lunch".

Microsoft Windows Vista domains start to go live

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

Microsoft has a number of web domains relating to Windows Vista that have gone live.

http://www.windowsvista.us
http://www.windowsvista.tv
http://www.windowsvista.com

I think that the funny thing about these domains is how Microsoft registered them all the way back in April and still kept it all a secret!

Currently these just point to the main Vista page on Microsoft but expect this to change over the coming months!