Looking at the results, I find it interesting that the search engines and blog tracking sites aren’t nearly as quick on the uptake as we previously thought. This puts serious doubt on how a person is supposed to use a blog for ‘breaking news’. It seems like is anyone were to blog on a breaking news story, the story would be on the news sites, and possibly in the paper, by the time a search engine of blog index picked it up.
Interesting. This puts a new perspective on the professional-blogger world. To stay relevant, you need high traffic, RSS subscription rates, or exceptional content. It doesn’t seem like you’ll make it happen just because you’re the first to know…|W|P|114401460046250941|W|P|blog timing with ‘brrreeeport’ and Scoble|W|P|
OrgName: Performance Systems International Inc. OrgID: PSI Address: 1015 31st St NW City: Washington StateProv: DC PostalCode: 20007 Country: USI can also see that they control the IP address range from 18.104.22.168 to 22.214.171.124. That's over 500,000 public IP addresses, which makes it seem like they're an ISP, since no normal business would have that many addresses, save for someone like Google. Alright, so it's looking like this email came from someone's machine on an ISP's network. It's possible that Chase is using this ISP, although unlikely. Let's look up Chases' info:
NetRange: 126.96.36.199 - 188.8.131.52 CIDR: 184.108.40.206/16 NetName: BANKONE-159-53 NetHandle: NET-159-53-0-0-1 Parent: NET-159-0-0-0-0 NetType: Direct Assignment NameServer: NS1.JPMORGANCHASE.COM NameServer: NS2.JPMORGANCHASE.COM NameServer: NS05.JPMORGANCHASE.COM NameServer: NS06.JPMORGANCHASE.COMAlright, so now I know something is up. If the email had come from Chase, it would have links in the body to jpmorganchase.com, chase.com, or an IP address in their own range which is in Columbus, Ohio, not the IP that was listed, which are assigned to an ISP Washington, DC. So where did the email come from? In Thunderbird, I open up the email and select view > headers > all. Then I get all of the information on how this email got to me. Here are a few interesting lines:
Return Path: email@example.com Received: from kahless-ro.org (wsip-24-234-125-84.lv.lv.cox.net [220.127.116.11]) X-Mailer: PHP v4.4.6Mmkay. That's not Chase. kahless-ro.org is a web site about some Star Trek Klingon fan club in Las Vegas. The maintainer of the site is seq'dogh, er, I mean Daniel Davidson, but that's not really important. Cox.net is an ISP, so this guy probably just has a machine in his house an is using it as a web server for his club. Opening up a command prompt and giving it a tracert 18.104.22.168 Shows that the route between me and the, er, Klingons go from my local router, to my ISP's router, to a connection in downtown Chicago, to Los Angeles, to Las Vegas, then back down through local routers to the web server. I can even scan the web server to get an idea of what it's set up to do with a port scanner. I get the following ports that the server is actively listening on:
TCP: 22.214.171.124 [21-ftp] TCP: 126.96.36.199 [25-smtp] TCP: 188.8.131.52 [22-ssh] TCP: 184.108.40.206 [23-telnet] TCP: 220.127.116.11 [53-domain] TCP: 18.104.22.168 [110-pop3] TCP: 22.214.171.124 [80-www-http] TCP: 126.96.36.199 [111-sunrpc] TCP: 188.8.131.52 [143-imap] TCP: 184.108.40.206 [587-submission]Port 25 tells me this machine can send email. Port 111 tells me this is a Sun-based Linux or UNIX system that is advertising its ports and services (security problem!) Port 587 is open to accept email submission. Basically, what this seems to be is what's called a 'mail relay'. The Klingons probably don't know it, but someone most likely has access to their web server (Port 111), and the server is set up to accept scam emails on port 587, and send them out through the normal SMTP port. Taking a wild guess here, but the website is in HTML, and the email was sent via PHP. If the web server owner doesn't have PHP installed, they might want to check again... It's porssible that someone broke into this older UNIX-based machine and installed PHP. If I were a scam-email-sender, I would have the server set up to receive a list of email addresses and bogus email content, then have the server send out the emails for me. This would require some scripting, hence the PHP. In any case, I think we've found the problem. This machine (or mor likely, the machine's router/firewall) is not locked down properly, and someone is using that vulnerability to send scam emails. The idea would be that I would go to the fake web page listed in the email, it would look just like a normal Chase web site, I would enter in my Chase username and password, and they would then have it to do with as they wished... On the other hand, there might be someone with the address firstname.lastname@example.org with some malware on his machine. In this case, it's a legitimate user that's "sending" these emails. Definitely a possibility these days, as spyware is on pretty much every machine... Only way to fix this is to make sure the machine is clean. Have you scanned yours lately? So let's let our Klingon friends know that they are an open relay, since there's not much we can do about someone's machine being infected, they just need to clean it:
To: email@example.com Subject: Hello! Body: I wanted to let you know that I received a JPMorgan Chase scam email from your web server. You might want to look into it. Maybe we can get it fixed? I've posted my findings in a tutorial here. Thanks, DanWell, that's boring. I'll send this instead:
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Transmission error Body: Attention Klingon of sector 'Las Vegas'. This is Captian Dan of the Federation Starship Technocrat. We have received a transmission from your coordinates which we believe to have originated from the Borg alliance. We are sending a report from Engineering as to this infestation. We request your assistance in dealing with this matter by stardate -317215.75. Captain Dan out.I hope they don't think I'm a nerd... :-) |W|P|114260819205551265|W|P|How to check out fraud emails|W|P|
User InfoOK, so that's pretty easy to figure out. It's also easy to take this info and plan out how you're going to store the info in a MySQL table. (a MySQL table is like a spreadsheet in Excel (OpenOffice Calc!)) So I will take my data requirements and make a table called user_info, as follows. I will also define what will be in each data type. I also need to add some more fields...
- First Name
- Last name
- Employee ID number
- Email Address
user_infoThis is going to lay out a table in MySQL that looks like this when it is full:
(* this data will be required to be unique - I can't have 2 users with the same name!)
|supr_lady||13:10:13||03-15-2006||hi john, what's up?|
|php_ddy||13:10:17||03-15-2006||nothing much, just saying hi.|
hi jane! posted by php_ddy 1:10:09 PM hi john, what's up? posted by supr_lady 1:10:13 PM nothing much, just saying hi. posted by php_ddy 1:10:17 PMThis is okay, but since I can link the tables together, I can have PHP temporarily combine them, display the info, and then let them go back to normal. I get something like this:
hi jane! posted by John Doe 1:10:09 PM hi john, what's up? posted by Jane Doe 1:10:13 PM nothing much, just saying hi. posted by John Doe 1:10:17 PMNow this is what web apps are all about. I've only defined two very, very basic tables of data for MySQL, and by using PHP to access the data and work with it, I can make a word of difference! So far, I've explained everything you need to know about making a web application. You see, web applications aren't about the code you know, etc. You can work on that. Web applications are made great by what you do with the data. Some of the best applications on the web are so simple, but extremely powerful because of how they cross-index information like this:
To recap, design the app on paper, in a spreadsheet, or whatever. Plan out what info you will be storing, and how you are going to mix your data tables to provide a service. Plan everything out ahead of time, and you won't have to go back and re-do anything later (like when you forgot to gather your 10,000 user's zip codes or something)|W|P|114245889614004506|W|P|Getting started on a Web Application (with PHP and MySQL)|W|P|
HelpdeskKB is a play-by-play of the issues and solutions I come across while administrating 400+ machines and 1200+ users. I'll be tracking my past issues, and share my solutions with other IT pros, people interested in the IT life, and you!|W|P|114166842819178121|W|P|Moving in|W|P|
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00 ;Specify the background image [HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System] "WallpaperStyle"="2" "Wallpaper"="C:\background.JPG" ;Tell Windows XP how much L2 on-die cache memory there is (in KB) [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management] "SecondLevelDataCache"="1024"(note the semi-colon lines are comments...use them so you rememebr why you're doing something. also, put 'Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00' on the first line) If I were to save the file, and double-click it, Windows will ask me if I want to make all of the registry settings, then will execute all of them, with very minimal error checking. What this means is that you can start crawling the web for performance-enhancing registry settings, carefully making sure to modify them to fit your particular hardware. I've managed to grow quite the registry file myself. This particular one is for older machines at the school district I work for. the idea is to boost the performance to get another year or two out of low-powered machines. I found these settings from all over the place, and they do everything from turn off normally-uneccessary services to removing the arrows from shortcut icons. I haven't worked on this file for a few months. Let's do this: check out my file. There's probably a hundred more preformance settings out there. If you find any, come back here and leave them in a comment. I'll add your tweak to the file, along with your name (or screen name) and one URL or email.
You MUST include a semi-colon line in front of every registry setting explaining what it does. We need proper documentation. And yes, I will be checking to make sure it does what you say it does.Here is the contents of the .reg file as of right now
USE AT YOUR OWN RISK! DO NOT RUN THIS FILE UNTIL YOU CHECK EVERY SINGLE ENTRY YOU ARE ABOUT TO CHANGE! YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ANYTHING THAT HAPPENS TO YOUR MACHINE! FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES IN A TEST ENVIRONMENT ONLY!
Not all marketing departments are bad. Not all advertising departments are bad. Just most of the ones I've know about or heard of.Here is my problem with advertising and marketing. Yes, their goal is to sell you something, but it seems as if they'll do anything possible to do it, EXCEPT sell a good product. Here are a just a few methods I've observed, please chime in with your own if you like:
Playing for the lawyers, not the customer
This is one method that really aggravates me. Most companies could spend a small amount more to make an excellent product/service for their customers. Many don't, because they know that you really don't have a choice than to buy from them. Also, they know that they've done just enough not to get sued, so if someone doesn't like it, they've technically done enough where they can get away with it, even if it isn't with the spirit of what they originally advertised.
The customer doesn't know any better
This one is really annoying. Take your product and advertise statistics and features that have nothing to do with its quality of operation.
This one is in full force right now with flat-panel TV's. Head on down to Best Buy sometime - all of the manufacturers are in on it. They all are in competition for the brightest screens, and are using that quality to justify higher prices. What is ridiculous is that a bright screen has nothing to do with picture quality. In fact, it's easy to see how washed-out the colors get, and how the blacks just aren't that black on screen. However, they're convinced most people that brightness = clarity, so while a customer is looking into a screen as bright as a flashlight, they fall for it. It may be clear, but at the cost of color precision. The customer has usually no idea that they've done something relatively cheap (make the screen brighter) so they don't have to do something expensive (make the picture better).
Also on the list is debt reduction. Yes, it will get you a lower monthly payment. Unfortunately, what you'll find out afterwards is that you'll spend the next 20 years paying higher interest rates because your credit is worthless.
Play to the benchmarks
This one is just downright deceptive. If you know that your product is going to be tested against a standard, tweak it so it will get good test results, even if in the real world it does terrible.
Companies know that if they make a car, it's going to be reviewed by the EPA for fuel mileage, and they can make the car get great mileage in that test, because they know exactly what the test is. In the real world, however, the mileage is much different. They could make it get better mileage in the real world, but the test results would be worse, and hat doesn't sell cars.
Likewise, most LCD monitor manufacturers know that their product will have its latency measured. Latency is how fast it can switch from one color to another. You may have seen older LCD screens that look "blurry" with fast motion on them. This is a high latency, since the screen can't respond fast enough to show clear high-speed movement. Most manufacturers know that the standard of latency measurement is to time how long it takes to go black to white. So...just make the screen go from black-to-white quickly, and who cares about green-to-red or beige-to-white, etc.
This is basically scaring the customer into paying you, since they don't know any better. Most people who have bought a car in the last few years can look in their manual and see that the oil only needs to be changed every 4500 miles. But when told that their car will immediately explode at 3000 miles, most people short-change themselves.
Another perfect example of this is when you buy your own domain name (www._____.com). You pay the $35/year for the domain name, but the company will contact you 10 months later with an email saying that your immediate attention is needed, or you might lose your domain. They want you to pay for the rights to the name for another 12 months. Let's say you do. You just paid twice for the next two months...the money you just paid, plus the money you paid originally. In order to not get sued, they usually include the expiration date of the domain in small font somewhere under the gigantic headline...
Disable a good product, and call the original product 'premium'
This one happens all the time. Build a product, and make it the best you can. People want to buy it, but you want more money than you should have. Instead of coming up with new features or other justifiable means to get the extra money, you just turn off some of the features in your product, and send it to market. Then take your original product and market it as the 'better' alternative.
The worst offenders in this area could be software vendors, except people have a nasty habit of figuring out how to turn all the features back on within a few hours of a product's launch... So this one goes to the automotive industry, who makes a cheap, efficient, powerful engine, then completely cripples it and puts it in their lower-end offerings. The original, unmolested engine goes to the 'premium' brands, and if you try to fix your crippled engine to make it operate as it should, no more warranty for you.
There are so many examples of this, it's unbelievable. "They don't make them like they used to" is right. That's because they figured out that products that last forever are only bought once. But if they can make the product age prematurely, usually as the warranty expires, you really don't have a choice but to buy something over and over. Another variation of this is to change formats every few years. Want to watch movies at home? Better buy the new player/media that will work with that new VHS / Laserdisc / DVD / OnDemand Broadcast / HD-DVD standard.
Changing the rules after you've started playing
I don't think I need to describe this one too much. Remember how the toll roads are supposed to stop collecting after the road was paid for? Or maybe how cable and satellite radio charged you more, but you got no commercials? The plan here is to charge a premium price for a service that has a great quality to it. Then, once you have enough people paying, get rid of the service. Luckily for them, they built enough loopholes for themselves to do whatever they want. Charge more? Well, that's what we meant by 'we will determine appropriate pricing'. We gave away your social security number to anyone who wants it? We told you 'your information will be used by us and our partners'... Also in this category is the 'promotional pricing' sneak-attack. I understand you want to advertise your low monthly rate, but you should also have to advertise just as strongly how the service goes up $50/month after the three-month trial period ends. Oh, we didn't tell you about that? It was in the four pages of 4-font legalese... Crazy fees
A while back, blockbuster got, well, busted on this one. I experienced this firsthand in college when a girlfriend didn't return a movie we had checked out (she lost it). The replacement fee? $100. For one VHS tape. (btw, I had her pay it before calling it off with her...for a lot of reasons though, I'm not that unreasonable)
Also on the top of the scumbag list for this type of thing is cable/telecom companies. I was told to bring the box back after I canceled my service when I moved, or be charged $320. After driving 20 minutes to the nearest center to return it (would it be so hard to have the service people come get it when they're in the area, or let me mail it for $3.85?), I was told that I had forgotten the power cord. This is a standard cord like the one for a PC's power supply, and I think at the time I had about 30 of them in a box somehwere. The replacement cost? $30. Luckily I had one in my trunk, but I still had to fight with them since it was grey, and the Comcast ones are black. Whatever. I'm very sure my $30 would have gone in your pocket, and you'd go get another cord out of the bucket in the back. Proprietary "rights"
Sony takes the cake on this one. One way to make sure a customer has to buy your stuff is to make up your own proprietary system. Sure, it would be convenient for customers if you would make your digital camera to be able to take any memory card, but then you wouldn't be able to charge twice as much for yours. Oh, and they need to buy your software to work with the pictures, because they're locked down. This approach is based on the assumption that a product isn't the customer's, even after they pay for it. The more you can control how people use it after they pay for it, the better.
A plus B does not equal C
This is the most ridiculous of all. Instead of telling you how beneficial my product would be to you, I'll show you something that has nothing to do with it. Have some ailment? Take this pill, and you'll be rolling around on the grass with somebody and a puppy in no time! Want to make a mint in the stock market? Try opening a free starter account with brokerage firm xyz. Unfortunately, the truth is that the pill may fix the ailment, and the account may be free, but you still need to have a personality to use and money to deposit to get what they're advertising.
If I were to follow along, I could say that you're reading 'The Daily Technocrat', and the earth hasn't been destroyed by a meteor since I started blogging. Therefore, keep reading, unless you want a globe-killing meteor strike. You do want life on earth to continue, don't you? :-)
Got any more examples? Comment away!
Have a great weekend everyone!|W|P|114433692537256253|W|P|10 ways how companies deceive customers|W|P|
There are a few reasons why Origami will most likely be a handheld computing platform that will extend the laptop lineage, compete with the exploding Treo market and enter the ring with the PSP: This has already been done before
OQO's Model 01+ is a little larger than a treo, but runs Windows XP. It comes with the following options:
Unfortunately, the OQO's pricing is a bit prohibitive. The XP Pro model gets $2000, and Tablet Edition is another $100. XP Home comes in at $1900 and a rubber chicken for spending $1900 to use XP Home. Basically, this tells us that for years now, this type of device is possible, but has been held up because of battery life and price, both of which can be addressed by hardware innovations in the last 18 months, and Microsoft's unique market positioning.
XBox needs a competitor to the PSP
The PSP is dominating right now. It would make sense that Microsoft wouldn't let Sony dominate the handheld market by simply being the sole supplier of a modern gaming console. By leveraging their investment in XP, Microsoft can roll out a gaming console that already has thousands of games supported.
Microsoft needs a competitor to iTunes/the iPod
For the same reasons as competing with the PSP, Microsoft needs to find something to compete with in the mobile audio market. Not only do they need to enter the market, but they will need to bring a feature set that utterly dominates it. A mobile computing platform running XP will bring enough additional support from consumers who may be considering a laptop and iPod. (a fairly average consumer these days) By leveraging Windows Media Player, and possibly partnering with someone like Amazon, Microsoft could start to chip away at Apple's lead in this category. The Origami would be a little large to use as a music player, but if you market it as a full-powered (mini) laptop that also is a music player, you gain an advantage over (just) a music player. The fact that Origami is marketing itself as a competitor to the photo iPod should give some clarity for the target Microsfot is putting on the Photo and Video iPods. The BlackBerry market is quite nervous right now
The time to strike with a device like this would be as soon as possible. Microsoft is saying that there won't be that big of a production at CeBit. This may well be because Origami isn't quite ready for primetime yet, but it would be important to get a mobile computing platform out there while the current one is in doubt, no matter how unfounded those fears are.
Microsoft gets a better price
The price of XP Pro to a company like OQO is confidential, like with Dell or others. But it goes without saying that Microsoft doesn't have to pay to put their own OS on a Microsoft-branded machine. The Origami just became an OQO, but more affordable due to a near-zero cost to Microsoft or whoever will be building the device for them. Also, Microsoft is in a pretty unique situation with hardware vendors. It's reasonable to say that they have the leverage to get the price they want on components. The addition of this fact puts the Origami in the price range of a laptop user, which is highly desirable. I'd count on someone like Dell to be making the hardware at low cost, while getting promotional pricing from Microsoft on the OS and Office until the market segment for a handheld PC is established.
The Origami will probably be 2-5 times as expensive as a photo iPod, or 2-4 times as expensive as a PSP. But since it's equal to a laptop in performance, (but not screen size or battery life) it most likely will be able to compete in the handheld/laptop market, while also infringing on the iPod/PSP dominance.
EDIT: Google Video link to Origami Commercial|W|P|114433727201757439|W|P|5 reasons why Microsoft's 'Origami' is a handheld PC|W|P|