Monthly Archives: May 2004

Now I can post pictures

Due to recent additions to the services offered by Blogger, I’ve now gained the ability to post pictures to this BLOG. This picture is merely the first experiment with that capability. I hope to get a bit more sophisticated with the function as time goes by, but for the moment, I’m pleased with the results.


The dawn of a new era in my blog. Posted by Hello

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Phishing

This site, Antiphishing.org, answers the question, “What is Phishing?”

Phishing attacks use ‘spoofed’ e-mails and fraudulent websites designed to fool recipients into divulging personal financial data such as credit card numbers, account usernames and passwords, social security numbers, etc. By hijacking the trusted brands of well-known banks, online retailers and credit card companies, phishers are able to convince up to 5% of recipients to respond to them.

The group also reports that phishing scams are up 75% in recent months.

And this article, “How to Avoid Phishing Scams”, offers guidance that is well worth heeding.

Searching

For anyone who is serious about using the computer in his daily life, and for quite a few who aren’t, Google is the first place they turn to find answers to almost any question, from the trivial to the profoundly serious. Google has, in fact, made the information available on the web almost instantly accessible to us all. And because so many of us turn to Google to get answers, advertisers are willing to pay large sums of money to Google for the opportunity to present their products to all those eyes.

That last fact, that advertisers will pay for access to those who use a search engine, hasn’t escaped the notice of some of the big boys, like Microsoft and Yahoo. It isn’t surprising that a race is on to build the next enhancement to the art and science and yes, even the magic of searching for information. As this quote from an article in Forbes magazine illustrates, getting people to switch from Google to another search engine means the new search tool had better offer some neat new features. And that, boys and girls, means good things for all of us. It’s an illustration of how competition causes advancement in the state of the art.

Forbes.com: Yahoo, Microsoft detail search strategies: “Yusuf Mehdi, the executive at Microsoft’s Internet unit MSN leading the charge on search, said that Microsoft had already started to discuss plans to integrate its new search technology with Longhorn, the code name for the next version of Windows due out in 2006.

‘We will do an MSN search starting shortly with a beta and well before Longhorn ships, everything across local PC search, e-mail search, Web search, deep database search,’ Mehdi said at the same conference on Wednesday, referring to the test version of Microsoft’s search technology due out later this year.

Mehdi said that search technology for the PC would appear well before the launch of the next version of Windows, although the details had yet to be worked out.

Ironically, Microsoft offers the ability to search for files within Windows, but Mehdi admitted that it could be done much faster and efficiently.

‘Why does it take so much time to search the PC when you can index the whole Web and find it in milliseconds,’ Mehdi said. “

Ron Klieman Dies

On Monday night at about 10:00 PM, I received a call from Ron Klieman’s wife, Charlotte, notifying me that he had succumbed to the battle he had been waging with cancer for the last year. He died in his own bed with his wife at his side, holding his hand. Services are planned for Thursday night at Gentry-Griffey Funeral Chapel in Fountain City, TN, at 7:00 PM. The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM Thursday before the service.

When a friend dies it is always sad. However, when the friend was someone like Ron, it’s hard not to smile as you remember the way he enjoyed himself at our company parties, his sense of humor and his love of a good joke. I don’t think it is disrespectful to smile in memory of a man who enjoyed life as Ron did.

Launched again! BellSouth, the client our company…

Launched again!

BellSouth, the client our company supports, has decided to give all of their customer service business (not their tech support business) to our competitor, a group called TAG (_T_he _A_nswer _G_roup). This means massive change for our group of about 100 people, with probable layoffs for a large percentage of them/us. Ostensibly the cause wasn’t our team’s performance but cost. TAG was cheaper than we are.

The Operations Manager called me here at home yesterday afternoon (I was off because I work today, Saturday) to give me the news so I wouldn’t be blindsided when I came in today with everyone else already knowing and my being ignorant. I appreciated the courtesy, but frankly I am not looking forward to the changes that are on the way. It’s real easy to get comfortable when you’ve worked yourself into a groove (some might call it a rut) and can handle the things that come your way with some degree of skill. But I suppose Life has decided it’s time for me to show again that I can adapt and succeed, so if that’s what’s in store, then that’s what I’ll do.

When my consulting firm folded, I drew a cartoon that captured the feeling it caused in me. It pictured a baby bird in a nest with its mouth wide open waiting, as they always are, to be fed. The next panel had the bird suspended in mid-air with his eyes the size of saucers and no nest beneath him. Several brush strokes signified that the nest had fallen, and the caption read, ” … and thus the enterprise begins.”

Some launches happen before you think you are ready!

Windows XP’s Remote Assistant Tonight my friend, …

Windows XP’s Remote Assistant

Tonight my friend, Josh Yonce, and I experimented with Windows XP’s Remote Assistant feature. It provides one the ability to give control of his computer to a trusted friend so that that friend can offer help when needed on the other person’s computer. This feature sure facilitates easy resolution of simple problems because you can see the remote computer’s screen over the network while you are tackling the problem. At the same time there is the ability to communicate in real time on the instant messaging screen.