Sunday, September 25, 2011

Waving hi to South Korea

Looking over my stats for this blog tonight, I discovered something interesting.

The biggest section of my audience for the month has been mostly from South Korea, a little over double the next biggest share of pageviews from the United States.

For the week, the traffic from South Korea has been almost double the traffic from the United States.

So far today, it has been neck and neck for the United States and South Korea.

For all time page views, the United States wins; but South Korea still is the second biggest share of my audience, representing a third as many views as from the United States.

And all this makes me wonder---What do the South Koreans find so interesting about my blog? Is it actual South Koreans, or just people living in South Korea?

Nevertheless, I would like to say a big hi to everyone in South Korea. Thanks for finding my blog.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Facebook is not going to charge you

There is a bad meme, a Facebook Status Virus, making the rounds today. It is one of those copy and paste to your status things insisting that Facebook is about to start charging users for the service.

It is false, untrue, and completely wrong.

Facebook is not about to charge you for using the service.

Sure, they change your privacy settings back to their uber-preferred "everything is public" setting everytime you turn your back on them.

Sure, they change the layout everytime the wind shifts.

But they are not going to charge you for using the service.

You see, they are already making quite a bit off of you. They count up all your eyeballs, and tell their advertisers that they have a mighty X number of eyes available to look at advertisements everyday.

And then the advertisers hand them big bags of money.

Charging you to use Facebook would hurt their eyeball count, and the flow of those big bags of money that they love so much. They are not going to kill the golden goose by making it pay.

No, they are going to continue to mess up your settings, and changing the layout...that way, you keep noticing the ads. After all, it is ok to upset the golden goose as long as you don't kill it.

Business advice from Winning the email lottery

I won the email freelotto lottery. Or so, I have been told...

...with about fifty emails.

Yes, it is a phishing campaign.

But it does remind me of some important internet business advice:

If you are going to use an automated email program, make sure that it does not send multiple emails to the same email address. And if you have multiple email mailing lists, figure out how to sync the lists.


Because if someone recieves the exact same email from a single or multiple senders, they are more likely to treat it as spam, even if their spam filters do not catch it.

And there you go, my winning prize in the email freelotto lottery, a crappy bit of internet business advice. Ain't you glad that I shared the winnings with you?

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

Image courtesy of Brian Nieman and adopted by the Library of Congress for their 9/11/01 exhibition.
Ten years ago, the Twin Towers fell in a terrorist attack.

And I suppose that I really should write something about it.

(Beyond the article about how 9/11 affected me that is still awaiting approval on one of the online writing sites---it could be weeks before it goes live at the pace that they are moving---but that was more about how the terror attack affected the business that I was working for at the time and affected my decision to go to college.)

But honestly, I was more deeply concerned about the Columbia school shooting (or any school shooting for that matter). School shootings affect me more emotionally than the events of September 11th ever have.

I guess it is because I have studied too many wars. Senseless deaths happen in all wars. Entire cities are destoryed periodically in the name of idealogies and terrority conquest.

There is also the little fact that I was born on the anniversary of the German invasion of Poland. I was raised hearing stories about the horrors of Nazi Germany and what happened in that conflict.

For me, outside of the reactions of people in the local community, the events that happened in New York City that day ten years ago are remote. Sure, I am reminded of it every time I have to go through a security checkpoint (most of which are laughable when you actually have been taught something about security measures); but beyond that for me, 9/11 was a bizzare act in a rather strange war, one that the United States started decades ago.

(Forgive me, I am a history major. I have seen enourgh to convince me that there are some real complaints to be lodged against the United States about our actions in the Middle East before 2001---I just wish that there were other ways to address the wrongs that the United States did without having to blow up and kill innocent people. And if you really want to hear about horrors, read up on the Crusades.)

It is the school shootings that cut me to the bone. I understand the envirnoment they happen in. And I understand how mentally ill someone must be to commit them. For me, school shootings are an act of terror---bombing buildings and civilians are just acts of war.

I am not saying that we should forget 9/11. It was a tragedy.

I am just saying that I did not have as strong of an emotional reaction as others had to it.

It makes me wonder if I have been writing about non-humans for too long.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What information do identity thieves want?

Looking through my spam mail folder today, I found a perfect example to illustrate the type of information that identity thieves want to get from you, the type of information that allows someone to steal your identity.

The email is supposely from PayPal, citing a claim that the email address of my PayPal account has been changed causing my PayPal account to be temporary suspended, and that I need to give them certain information to restore my account.

The information that they, identity thieves---not PayPal, is asking for is:

My Full Name
My Address
My Mother's Maiden Name
My Date of Birth
My Social Security Number
One of my Credit or Debit Card Account Numbers, along with the issuing banks' name, the expiration date, the Card Security Code (CSC---the little number on the back that proves that you have the physical card), and my PIN (Personal Identification Number) for that card

By the way, some of this information, PayPal didn't even ask for when I opened my account. And if they did ask for it, I would be very alarmed---hint, never give anyone your PIN or Passwords that belongs to another account.

With this type of information, a identity thief can steal your identity, they can also instantly withdraw all your money from one of your accounts or use all the credit on one of your cards.

It is a scary world out there people, so be careful who you give this type of personal information to.