Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Garbage (a.k.a. "Fake") News

Snapshot from a garbage fake new site:
http://usa-conservative.com
What you see is a fake news site. No sources, just a post that spews outright lies.

And yet, this garbage gets passed around as "fact."

You may think that this particular post isn't that big of a deal - but considering that this is supposed to be a "conservative site". 

I've been through this before, but maybe I wasn't clear. So here are steps you can take to make sure you aren't spreading lies.

DO: Check to see if there are sources.

If fake news sites actually link to anything, it's usually to another site that it plagiarized. Usually, however, there are no links.

DON'T: Link to the page based on its title. Read the article first.

DO: Use Google. Just type the title into the search box. If you can't find anything to your satisfaction, then pick up some keywords. "Monica Lewinski Died" would be a good search parameter to use.

DON'T: Post something without doing your research. Don't have time to research? Then don't post it.

---

Now to get all religious (a heads up to non-Christians)

As Christians, we are supposed to Purveyors of truth. If you are not posting something that isn't true, then you are spreading a lie. Guess who the father of all lies is? Guess who you are helping by sharing lies?

Now, more than ever, we are up for scrutiny. Don't give those who hate us more fodder. They already have enough as it is.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Store Update

Items in the Store
Finally, the CafePress store is very close to the design of my blog. Okay, maybe not, but at least when you visit it, you can tell that it belongs to this site.

My next project for this site is to fix mometek.com. I don't think I will be able to do that until Friday since I have another site to work on.

I've also added more journals if you are interested. I will be buying a few for myself and the kids. Two of them want one for drawing. Since one of the options happens to be blank pages, they'll have their drawing journals.

I do have a lot more planned for MOMETEK. Like the MOMETEK Facebook page, subscribe to MOMETEK YouTube channel (soon!), and for updates for more than just MOMETEK, follow me on Twitter.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Make Sure Your Angry Rant is Grammatically Correct

Grammar automaton
Grammar automaton (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Did someone make you so mad on Facebook that you cannot spell straight? Blogged a wall of text but when editing, you realize you are too tired to double-check your grammar?

You might want to check Grammarly. This addon is a step up from the standard spellcheck found in browsers.

The free version checks mostly spelling and some basic errors (like commas, etc.). It also has a premium version that makes you question your ability as a writer.

There are two ways to get premium access. You can either pay for it at low as $11.66 per a month, if you pay for an entire year at once, or if you invite people and they sign up for free and get this: you and the person that signs up gets a free week of premium.

Yeah, I'll get a free week of Premium if you sign up.
You can only see the advanced issues with premium.

I wouldn't be posting on it though if I didn't like it. To be honest, I've had some problems with Grammarly and Firefox up to about a week ago.  It's why I hadn't posted it until now.

You can also download and install the Grammarly app, which allows you to copy-paste or import articles to edit. If you don't have Microsoft Office Suite, then it won't work in One Note. There's no plug-in for LibreOffice either. It also doesn't work on some sites like Twitter and Patreon.

I use the app for a lot of my posts on my story blog as it's easier to keep it all in one place on One Note. Eventually, I will be expanding on the story, and I will have a book to sell, soon.

In the meantime, install the app,  and give it a shot. Don't let your anger make you look like an illiterate. Keep the Grammar Nazis from detracting from your point and the opposition on less thing to criticize.

Posts for this blog, Elusive Retrospection and related Patreon posts.


This post already corrected except for the "advanced issues". I usually use the plugin that works with Blogger but this makes a good example. FYI - I seem to love, the, comma, a, little, too, much.

Edit: I got my brother to sign up so that I can have a week to test premium. The good news is that I updated this article with the corrections. The bad news is that I didn't realize how bad my writing was until now.

I also used it for my book blog. The only shortcoming is that when you write someone's speech, some people speak grammatically incorrect. Grammarly cannot tell the difference. Fortunately, there is an ignore link.

Monday, May 29, 2017

This Scam is a little more Clever than the others

The SVG Facepalm v3.0
The SVG Facepalm v3.0 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I still sometimes go through my spam to make sure that none of the newsletters I signed up to ended up there.

It was mostly the same old, same old. I'm a winner in various sweepstakes that I never signed up to. I need to verify my credentials on supposedly legit sites that use too many dots in their email server. (I didn't know that Bank of America used angel.ocn.ne.jp email server). Life insurance, auto warranty extensions, and of course various "Final Notice" from a guy named Michael S.

For those of you who are wondering, companies sending you a final notice to anything will use their legitimate email server bearing the company name. Not some randomly generated alphanumeric name and email server.

You hear that "Michael"? You're an idiot. Even if you send it five times. Yeah, you're also "Andrew M." I'm on to you! Seventeen Emails! Take a hint already!


Of course, there were plenty others that were meant for a guy. I do not know any men named "Nancie". If they did, the algorithms that they set would leave male enhancements and messages like these out of my inbox.

It's not mine! I swear!

But then I came across this gem:


This one is odd. It has no pictures and no links. The email was sent via outlook. It was as legitimate as a friend sending a quick message.

However, all of the red flags started to go off. I'm not sure what triggered it at first, so I decided to check the original content. This actually contains all of the header information. It bounced around a few times, but nothing out of the ordinary.

After thinking a few minutes, it dawned on me. It was probably from a reshipping scam. This is a scam where thieves will send you stolen merchandise for you to "inspect", repackage and reship to another destination.
Criminals post job announcements on Internet career sites offering work-at-home positions—sometimes advertised as “merchandising manager” or “package processing assistant.” Duties include receiving packages and mailing them to a foreign address on behalf of a client, using postage-paid mailing labels provided via email. (source).

Some of the scams will deposit money into your account and tell you to send that money to another place. The money they deposit into your account is actually bogus and by the time you figure that out, it's too late. You have to pay that money back, regardless if you have it or not.

This particular scam in an economy that is still weak is the hardest to detect. I was able to detect this scam but only because I've had a few years of sniffing these out (since 1998, yes I'm that old). If you are not paying attention and you are struggling financially, it's easy to be taken.
Everything seemed perfectly legitimate in the beginning. The company had an extensive online presence, there was an employment contract, tax forms, and the offer of a decent income. (source)
Hopefully, as more people are informed about this scam, it becomes more and more difficult for these people to find the unsuspecting masses workers they need. Kind of hard to run a scam if no one is willing to be scammed.

I did get a Nigerian prince scam, but there are so many others, this got pushed down to three pages.  Sorry, (in this case) Saphia Farkash, the wife of an embattled Lybian leader, Colonel Muammar Gadaffi, you are no longer relevant.

By the looks of the related articles, however. Looks like people are falling for it still.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Why I am for Net Neutrality

Español: Torre Jenga cayendo.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Most people who know me will know that I am for limited government. However, most laws are in place to prevent the problems that are caused by laws to prevent the problems that were caused by laws to prevent the problems that were caused by laws that were based on good intentions.

Removing the right law at the wrong time is like picking the wrong block on a Jenga tower. The crash during the Bush (jr) administrations is an example of this. Since my blog is a tech blog, and not a political one (unless the two meet), I won't get into the details of that one.

Net neutrality laws are to prevent the problems that are caused by laws preventing competition. The larger companies have secured their monopoly by encouraging laws that are supposedly put in place to help the consumer.

Until we can limit government intervention in other areas, net neutrality laws are keeping the internet as the ultimate free market. You can start a competing website to YouTube and Comcast, and no one can stop you.