How blatant can you get in a scam?

April 28, 2011 at 4:42 pm (computers, internet, security) (, )

Just received one of the most blatent and in-your-face banking scam, spam emails I think I’ve ever seen.

The only thing missing is the checkbox at the bottom that states “Yes, I agree to you emptying my account and transferring all my money somewhere else” …


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Whats your royal wedding name then?

April 21, 2011 at 8:35 am (computers, internet, security) (, , )

Heard an odd thing on the radio this morning – people inventing their royal wedding name by starting with Lord/Lady, using a great-grandparents forename and then creating a double-barrelled surname by taking the street where you live and appending the name of your first pet.

I think they missed a trick here – they should have asked for your mother’s maiden name, the street where you were born and your first pet’s name.  That way you’d have the answers to three of the common ‘I’ve lost my password’, “security” questions …

In fact, why not write a Facebook or iPhone app that asks all these but also creates a “the first”, “the 2nd”, “the third”, etc hashed from your date of birth – then you’d get that too.

And while we’re at it, ask for Facebook credentials and post it to your wall (most people won’t know you don’t actually need to give a site your username and password for them to post to your wall, that Facebook provides federated identity services to third party sites).

Actually I’d be surprised if said app doesn’t already exist … let me know if you find it 🙂


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Natively Digital …

April 16, 2011 at 7:00 pm (computers, internet, kids) (, , , )

I hear the term ‘digital native‘ quite a lot.  The idea is that it refers to a generation that have grown up with digital technology and are perfectly at home with using it.  This is of course in contrast to the idea that they understand it.  Its a tool – it is used as a means to an end.

There is no more understanding of how digital technology works in the average digital native than there is detailed knowledge of the insides of a car’s engine for me.  My father’s generation grew up with servicing cars themselves, but for me – well, that is what the garage is for.  I just use it to get me from A to B.

And so it is the same with a lot of today’s digital youth.  Computer goes wrong?  Find the chap who’ll fix it.  Internet down … “Daaad …”

In fact a Royal Society article from last year discusses how current ICT teaching in schools appears to be damaging enthusiasm for understanding computers.  Its obvious to any who care to look that long gone are the days of computers coming with programming manuals (although of course, arguably mindstorms might be more interesting …)

Well, I got a taste of native digital behaviour first hand today.  6 year old playing games on the computer announces ‘I got some music on.  I typed in ‘give me what I want’ to Google and its playing it’ … sure enough, ‘Kids in glass houses‘ track on YouTube is the top link in the Google search results, so its playing in the background whilst she plays games.

Natively digital?  Oh yes.


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