Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!


Halloween Kathryn 1417
Originally uploaded by Yanov.

We found this scary little creature on our back deck.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Hey! Keep moving!

Trick or Treat Kathryn 1256Linda caught this winning picture of Baby Kathryn after our hike in Paris Mountain State Park on Saturday. I think she was about to register her displeasure with either her feeding schedule or our current state of immobility.

Parents of babies are a lot like sharks... keep moving or suffer the consequences.


qv: Slideshow: Baby Yanov's Latest

Friday, October 21, 2005

What's not to love about Rachael Ray?

For me and Rachael Ray, it was not love at first sight. There was just something about her that didn't quite click. She kept at it, however, and her down home charm and persistent perkiness have drawn me in. Now, I too, am a Rachael Ray fan.

We watch a lot of Food TV around here, so we have learned the names and modus operandis of quite a few of the various hosts appearing on the network. While Alton Brown educates, Mario mystifies, and Giada De Laurentiis titillates, Rachael Ray comforts. She reminds us that even on the cheap, we can add a bit of adventure to every day of our lives. She prepares meals full of comfort foods using easily found ingredients in a kitchen that looks more like mine than Cher's. She delivers attainable adventure and that lends hope.

Few of us could hope to be as smart as Alton Brown, as exotic as Mario, or as sultry as Giada, but we certainly believe it possible that we could have as much fun as Rachael. She knows how to smile and she does it a lot. We can do that right along with her.

Rachael Ray and I are buds now (although I suspect she does not know me.) So I found today's story in the NY Times an entertaining bit of background on how she got to where she is today. It made me smile. Good for her.


qv: AOL News: Being Rachael Ray - How cool is that?


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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Are you a nerd in need of a better job?

Programmers, networkers, and other IT nerds rejoice! An Information Technology Job Fair has returned to the upstate, but you had better hurry because the event is next week!


qv: GSA Technology Council Job Fair

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Now that's customer service!

I pulled this quote from the Ask Dave Taylor website...
There's a $50 charge for immediate assistance, but I guarantee you'll receive a response within two business days...

In theory, you could receive your immediate assistance only three or even five calendar days later.

It sounds a lot like the US Postal Service's "Priority" mail which doesn't guarantee any particular delivery schedule at all. Their marketing material observes that packages are "delivered in an average of 2-3 days to any destination."

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

It's National Podcast Week!

I am thinking about declaring this week as National Podcast Week. What better week to listen to podcasts than the week of the NPR fund drive? The problem with the fund drive is that making a contribution offers no escape from the mental anguish of their shrill, persistent begging.

My recommendation -- send your local public radio station a check and then listen to podcasts the rest of the week. I'll be catching up on my backlog of Weekend America and On The Media podcasts.

Are you with me?

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Friday, October 14, 2005

1000 Jib Jab Fans Can't Be Wrong... Or Can they?

Jib Jab, the presenter's of last Election's wildly popular "This Land" and It's Good to Be in D.C. internet videos have now taken a shot at Wal-Mart it's latest video - "Big Box Mart." There's no election this time, so the Spiradellis brothers added a twist to the new video. For the weeks prior to it's release they offered to put your face in their video for a small fee. Apparently a number of fans paid the price and can now lay claim to their fame as an extra in an internet delivered computer animation. This may be no small claim as the "This Land" video was viewed over 100 million times! There is a bit of real irony in this because the video is a political outcry against the harms done to Americans by Wal-Mart, but over 1000 Jib Jab fans paid to have their faces appear (mostly) as cart pushing shoppers in the very same store.


qv: www.jibjab.com

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Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Podcast: Phishing Report on Your Day

Miss the Your Day technology segment on Phishing? Learn what phishing is and learn how to protect yourself from internet fraud in this podcast.



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Some additional notes about Nigerian Scams

I made a quick post yesterday about the Your Day radio broadcast / podcast and ran out of time to write a few words about the Nigerian scams we get so many emails about.

The Nigerian Scam is listed as a type of advance fee fraud. In the scam, someone, usually from a foreign country, is asking you for help in getting money out of a bank in their country. The letters are quaint and sometimes charming. Their goal is to get you to give them a bit of money in promise of getting back a lot of money from them. A recent story on The World reported that these scams usually net $3500 per victim and sometimes they net tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I mentioned that I thought these scams may have originally been called the Pigeon Drop. It turns out that it is more closley related to the Spanish Prisoner confidence scam that dates back to the 1600s.

I still get these emails a couple of times a week.

I usually check out questionable emails at snopes.com.


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Monday, October 10, 2005

Come on in, the Phishing is great!

Welcome again to Your Day Listeners. Today we talked about phishing, quite probably the most evil thing to hit the internet so far.

Number one tip to protect yourself from phishing scams / online identity theft:

  • Delete ALL email from your bank, any other bank, your credit card company, and Paypal without reading it.

  • Don't even look at the links in those emails. Chances are, you can't tell if those emails are legitimate or not. If you think you actually need to read something from your bank, open a new browser window, type in the URL of your bank, and log in normally.

    More tips to protect yourself from Phishing:

    • Never provide provide personal information such as your bank account number, an account password, credit card number, PIN number, mother’s maiden name, or Social Security number via email.

    • Never answer emails that warn you that your account will be shut down unless you reconfirm your financial information.

    • Never answer emails that claim you’ve been a victim of fraud.

    more tips: www.visa.com/security


    Phishing Traffic reports:

    • Number of phishing reports received in July: 14,135

    • Number of brands hijacked by phishing campaigns in July: 71

    • Number of brands comprising the top 80% of phishing campaigns in July: 6

    • Country hosting the most phishing websites in July: United States

    • Contain some form of target name in URL: 46 %

    • No hostname just IP address: 41 %

    • Percentage of sites not using port 80: 9 %

    • Average time online for site: 5.9 days

    • Longest time online for site: 30 days

    stats from: www.antiphishing.org

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    Tuesday, October 04, 2005

    Honeymooning in Space

    No one has honeymooned on the moon, but apparently George Whitesides and his fiancée Loretta Hildago have already made their plans to honeymoon in space aboard Virgin Galactic's Global Flyer. The couple publicly announced their intention at the AirVenture air show recently held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

    Attempts to ask them if they plan to found a "62 mile high" club have thus far proved fruitless.

    qv: Virgin Galactic - September Newsletter

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    Kathryn Calendar October 2005

    October Calendar
    Kathryn Calendar October 2005
    Originally uploaded by Yanov.

    The guy at Flagrant Disregard has developed his own cottage industry around letting you do wonderful things with your Flickr photos. One of his cool toys lets you create calendars from your Flickr photos.


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    Writeboard - A One Man Wiki (of sorts.)

    The guys at 37 signals approach business problems in a way that seems unique to them. It isn't clear from a casual observer if their various efforts are profitable, but they certainly are inspiring and thus popular.

    Their latest effort, Writeboard, is a lightweight, web based, word processor with versioning and collaboration built in. Writeboard allows anyone with a need to write to very quickly begin editing a document and just as quickly save it to some hidden storage area on the web. While this may not sound like much, it's a pretty useful tool to writers who have persistent and ready access to the web.

    My own experience with Windows and Microsoft Word is that my word processor has become so slow to launch that I find myself writing articles in my text editor, NoteTab rather than waiting for Word to launch. When I think I might need to access the document from computers other than my own, I use a personal wiki that I have set up on a private webserver. Both of these tools launch very quickly and allow me to get to the business of writing while I can still remember why I am writing. Writeboard delivers the same immediate gratification to writers with a far easier entry point.

    Using Writeboard instead of a wiki saves you from installing wiki software on a webserver, configuring it, maintaining it, and protecting it against vandals, simple security is built into the Writeboard architecture. Writeboard is lean, fast, and easy to use. The question, as it seems to be for all of 37signals most recent offerings is... Is it enough?

    qv: www.writeboard.com


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