Monday, June 6, 2011

Blogging is Dying

But wait, people still write them and read them! Yes, Virgina that is true. Some do. But of the past 6 blogs I have read by syndicated or semi-professional writers, 4 of them were not actually well thought out articles of pith or merit, they were a paragraph and a link to a video, not even one of their own - so they do not qualify as Vblogs. So for all you entrepreneurs looking to get rich of your blogs, for all of you branding experts that say nothing new or of interest but just bandy around the buzz word of the day and rehash another blogger's words. For those of you who have muddied the waters of coherent thought, new ideas and opinion with your me too or empty prose to get public attention - you can stop now.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Professional Editing

At a friend's request I started the Dresden series by Jim Butcher. I recommend it and am addicted However I could not help but notice that the editing in the paperback editions at least is atrocious. There are typos, misspellings, and just poor sentence structure all over. Is this the result of poor editing, of leaving it all to word processors or poor typesetting; if that is is even done anymore?

Friday, May 13, 2011

Phone scams are getting out of hand

Ok if you don't not know about this one read this article. This is not the only company to do this nor is it likely to be the last. However. at this point I have to say it is time people started putting pressure on lawmakers to crack down on these scams.

Why you ask? Why should I care? I am not stupid enough to enter my cell phone number in a site like that. Most of us are not. However my daughter's phone has been hit twice by these now. We conjecture one of 2 things happened. Her number was entered by someone who knows it or someone entered her number by pure dumb luck on one of these when entering random numbers and it found its way to a list somewhere.

Either way, it stands she did not enter her number, she did not take one of the IQ tests, yet her phone was charged. There was no verification process to ensure that the number entered matched the person taking the "test".

What is the worst place for these? Facebook. Does Facebook care? No, they will take anyone's money. They do not care if their users get scammed or slammed. So, the onus is upon the victims to stop the predators once again.

First WATCH YOUR PHONE BILLS. If you get a text from a service you did not sign up for or a text saying you can now renew your subscription, find out who the company is and CALL them immediately. It may be they are a legitimate company that made a mistake. It maybe someone put in your number trying random numbers without reading the fine print, in my daughter's case one is refunding her money. That is fine and to most of us it shows they are a legitimate operation. The other says there is nothing they can do.

So for the second type of company here is the thing I suggest, start by finding out where their home offices are. If in The US contact the Better Business Bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and any other local business association. Inform them of the practices of that company. If they feel they cannot do anything, then contact their local paper, the next largest city's paper and you own city's paper - most have a consumer column of some sort. Spread the word on Facebook, MySpace, DIGG, Twitter. Contact Facebook and report the advertiser and the application. Write your state representative and your federal. If congress can waste time asking companies to explain how they could allow hackers to steal their data (As if anyone allows things to be stolen.) They can damn well spend some time asking these companies how they can justify stealing money from people based on a string of numbers not verified.

Last, NEVER enter your cellphone number on an unsecured page. Treat it like your social security, your bank account or any other important number. Do not post it anywhere, do not give it out on IRC or post it on resume online. Start asking companies online WHY they want the information they do. Tell them you are not comfortable that all transmission points are secure. Because ten to one they are not, your end may be secure, their end may be but t has to go from one place to another and with All the wireless technology today, interception may be possible. In the end you are responsible for protecting your information and therefore your money.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Lies and Calls for Attention

First read this about the woman who faked a pregnancy in her blog.

Now, I have a Twitter account. Why do I have only 83 followers most of whom are marketing to me?

Perhaps it is because I am honest. No that can't be it. For those who know you know Zeta Is NOT my real name but rather the pseudonym I have used for almost 25 years now for the gaming community and to avoid contract conflicts when I wrote for a living.

Perhaps it is because I write nothing interesting. Well, I think it is interesting.

Perhaps, just perhaps it is because I feel no need to validate my existence by asking for attention from strangers. Hmm maybe.

The Internet is a wonderful tool, but there is a lot of misinformation out there put up, in many cases, by misinformed people. Then there are cases like this. People who want to be the center of attention who want to be popular for some reason in their sad lives they cannot accept that the world does not revolve around them.

So they seek attention from strangers. Perhaps she started out meaning to tell a story and it became a lie inadvertently. Perhaps she had tried like so many others to make her voice and opinion heard and was ignored. I tend to believe the latter.

People reached out to her and wanted to help her because hers was such a tragic story. It tugged heart strings and pushed hot buttons on a volatile topic in the United States. Unfortunately, it was also all a lie. The issue was pro-life vs. pro-choice. The problem is she has now done more harm to the pro-life movement than good. She has shown that she was willing to lie to get her point across. What is worse people listened to the lie and not to the truths told by others, they feel betrayed.

This is the danger of buying into information on the Internet that comes from a non verifiable and non accountable source. What is sadder it is also a product of what has seems to have become the American Culture. The desire to be a celebrity. Not to be an expert in your field, not to be good at what you do, not even to be a good member of the local community who helps others. Just to be famous. Drama and tragedy mean more to people than good works and reality. Perhaps it is time that we woke up and listened to the person next to us and helped our neighbors out instead of worrying about who Brad Pitt was seen with last week. That would set a better example for our communities of what is really important.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Economy Challenge

Ok everyone knows it sucks. ANd if you read my other stuff you know I have been saying for years we have gotten ourselves into it. So what can we do to get out of it?

My theory is that it fell apart from the local levels up. SO what can we each do as individuals to support the economy?

Post your ideas on the comments

No area can sustain itself in a service industry only. Retail, consulting, janitorial, reapir are all services. So I try to support all local people who make and sell a product. If I need a premade dessert, I go to the local baker, not to the chain store, If I need a dress made I go to a local tailor. I buy food from the farmer's markets and local growers as much as I can. If I cannot find it locally made, then i try to find somethin in a local store chain or not. If that does not work, then I hit the internet and try to find a US manufacturer. If that does not work, I select a product from a country I choose to support financially who seems to have supported us in the past. I do not boycott any country specifically,but I do refuse to buy from certain comapnies that have moved all operations overseas.