Politics & Society

More Scams

These online job scams have been a real nuisance lately. I routinely receive scam/spam offers via Facebook messages, often as responses to my “marketplace” listing. Today I received one, however, that I wasn’t quite sure about.

Reading it twice, it does not sound auto-generated. There are no hyperlinks, so I don’t instantly associate it as spam. The offer itself sounded good; essentially the company is searching for an career-minded administrative assistant in Georgia (my area) for one of their executive managers.

But then the giveaways: no company names are given; the sender does not have a Facebook profile, much less a profile picture. Then, the only way to contact the sender is via email (no phone, no fax), and the email address given is clearly not that of an HR Director: aairlinesticket@aol.com.

My prediction (though I do not care to verify) is that by emailing this address, your email will be added to a long list of addresses in a spam list.

I am reproducing the entire message that I recieved, as an example and to help other recipients of this message.


One of the world’s leading financial management and advisory firms is currently seeking Executive Assistant to support Managing Directors Firm is seeking a candidate to serve as an Executive Assistant based in GA. Job Responsibilities: · Tasks will include coordinating Director’s calendar with scheduling meetings and conference calls · Phone coverage while presenting a professional, positive attitude. · Refer calls appropriately and takes accurate messages · Maintains vacation/attendance records and ensures accuracy of new employee processing · Articulate - excellent verbal and written communication skills · Ability to work independently with strong administrative/problem solving skills · Highly organized and able to prioritize · Ability to multi-task in a highly visible fast-paced, team-oriented environment · Attention to detail · Ability to interface with all levels of Executive Management. You will be making a minumum of $50,000.00 per year.

A Rare Priviledge

Last night, I saw a documentary that captured one very rare treat: a man with a mohawk. And a rat-tail.

Yes, his head was shaved, except for a line down the middle, from front to back. But then it kept going a bit down his back.

My wife and I were very pleased.

And it wasn’t so much a documentary as it was an episode of COPS. Best television show, ever? Yes. Also, he was being arrested for drunken sexual harassment. What are the odds of that?

Is Wireless Piggybacking from a Neighbor Illegal?

First, a quick definition of Piggybacking. I like to define it as the act of using a notebook computer or other electronic device to connect to an open an unencrypted wireless access point, often with the Intention of connecting to the Internet.

Internet Service can be expensive. It tends to range from the $25 to $75, depending on your Internet Service Provider, your service plan, and area.

But why pay when you can get it for free from a neighbor? We all know by now that there is at least one neighbor around us that doesn’t secure their wireless network. But is using their network instead of buying your own legal?

Technically speaking, you are stealing from your neighbor by doing this. You are using their router’s resources (the one that has to send and receive packets to maintain communication with your computer), and you are stealing bandwidth.

(Bandwidth is tricky, because while there is typically no limit to how much data a person or store can download, there is a limit to the speed. By downloading your email, you are making every other user’s bandwidth slightly slower.)

But you are not just hurting your neighbor with this sort of activity. You are hurting local Internet Service Providers. They depend on having customers, and by doubling-up with your neighbor, you are stealing from them. (And what happens when a company loses money? It rises prices, of course!)

Is it ethical? Not really. It negatively impacts both your neighbor and local ISPs.

Is it legal? Just like stealing cable, wireless piggybacking from a neighbor is illegal.

Presidential Speeches on YouTube

With all of the new YouTube and MySpace campaigning for the 2008 Presidential Election, I would have expected that existing important presidential speeches would be listed on YouTube.

And by important, I mean all of them. YouTube certainly has the resources to have all video of the President that exists. However, I could not find one full-length video of him speaking. Not one!

Sure, there are hundreds of videos splicing together the “hilarious” mis-speakings that Bush so frequently incurs. And multiple copies of comedians impersonating Bush. But not one actual video of either of his Inauguration Speeches, or any other speech.

But surely these speeches are public domain? More public domain than the thousands of music videos that are being illegal uploaded and viewed on YouTube.

Yes, they are. And they are available from the White House. Link? www.whitehouse.gov.

It should have been more obvious: the White House web site has loads of information about the President, Administrative Press Releases, various issues, and biographies on major elected leaders.

There are RSS feeds and Podcast feeds to the daily press briefings and other comings-and-goings of the Bush Administration. I subscribed to them all, and am watching yesterday’s press release now. Unfortunantly it is in Windows video fromat, which is buggy in Linux, but at least it is there and viewable. There are also audio-only MP3 files for those who
don’t want the video (and yes, it can go on your iPod).