Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A new Standard Bank Internet Banking Scam is hitting inboxes...

I received a new scam in my inbox this morning - it targets Standard Bank customers and it goes something like this:

-----Original Message-----
From: Standard Bank [mailto:ibsa@standardbank.co.za]
Sent: 27 July 2010 03:17 AM
To: xxxxx@xxxxxxxxxxx.xxx
Subject: Standard Bank : Security Update Notification


Secure message received:

We request information from you for the following reason: Unauthorized
login attempt.

Please visit your account and make necessary steps before your account is
locked for security reasons.

If this is an unauthorised login attempt, we strongly advise that you
immediately log on to profile and change your password.
It is recommended that you regularly change your password and keep your
passwords unique from all other passwords.
Online Banking Team.

If you click on the embedded link (which is obviously dodgy), it brings up a slightly modded version of the Standard Bank site, complete with links back to the real Standard Bank site... so it all seems pretty real.

I then tried typing in some profanities into the login boxes, and lo and behold, I got this screen...:
So regardless of what you type into the login boxes, this screen pops up, to try and make you think that something is actually going on, while the only thing really happening is that your details have now been logged and captured, for use by some jellyfish somewhere on the planet. 

No offence intended to real sea-faring, stinging-type jellyfish of course...

Be careful out there, internet-goers and email-receivers.

There is a tiger on the loose!

According to Jacaranda news this morning, there is an escaped tiger on the loose somewhere between Bronkhorstspruit and Delmas...!

So what would you do if you spotted it?
Try to wrestle it to the ground?
Maybe offer it an Iced Zoo biscuit? :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cellphones give people a "licence to interrupt"...

Traditionally, when someone is engaged in a (face to face) conversation with someone else, it would be considered rude to even think of butting-in or interrupting that conversation.

In recent times though, every human being who has any kind of ear or mouth, has equipped themselves with a cellphone.

Mobile phone evolution (Japan 1997-2004)Image via Wikipedia
These technological marvels basically allow any other ear / mouth equipped human being, to abruptly barge into your life, without much prior warning or notification.
Sure there is that ringing noise that tells you to drop everything you are currently busy with, but that's about it.

Seriously though, how many times have you found yourself leaping to get to your ringing phone while you were already in another conversation, or busy doing something else...?

Hey I do it, and the problem is that we do it without much consideration of what is actually going on.

Somebody, somewhere else, has just decided that they need you to attend to them, right this second. So forget about that other person you were talking to, or that important job you were just busy working on.
Nope, I need to talk to you right now.

Chances are, once you are finished with the call, you will probably forget what it was that you were doing when the damn thing rang in the first place...!

Voicemail is the obvious workaround, but I find that it can just stress me out to know that there is an urgent message, just waiting to leap out at me from that virtual voice that lives somewhere in cellular cyberspace...

How would you manage this problem, or maybe you simply don't give it that much attention?
The bottom line is that cellphones are supposed to make our lives simpler, easier and safer, but they do so at a price - they can add a heck of a lot of stress in the process.
I can still recall back in the 80's when Telkom landlines were the only form of communication available - that and faxes... :)
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Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Feature on Blogger Blogs...

I logged into my Blog today and a notification popped up, informing me of a new feature on Blogger...

Basically it puts a quick shortcut bar at the bottom of each new post, so that anybody who views my posts can quickly and easily share a post that they like - with friends, colleagues or pretty much anybody who may be interested...

So let's see if this works as it should, when I hit the "Publish Post" button below...

Monday, July 19, 2010

A true genius of a site... you have to try it out :)

Once in a while you stumble across a website that truly is a stroke of genius.
Enter Dear Blank Please Blank...
Dear Blank Please Blank is a site where you can conjur up letters to whomever or whatever your heart desires, in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
Entries are then moderated and approved (or rejected), and posted on the site.

They make for some funny reading, for example:
Head on over and make your contribution :) It's funny stuff!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nokia N97 gets updated to firmware 22.0.110...

In the ongoing saga that is the Nokia N97, another firmware update is available for the phone via OTA.
The latest firmware is 22.0.110 - I won't go into changelog details here but it appears to be an update centered around stability and speed improvements for the most part.
Bear in mind that the update is region-dependent, so if you can't see the update yet, just be patient - hopefully it will become available in your country soon.

Are you an N97 owner? Do you love or hate your phone?

How was your World Cup experience...? What did you think of the Final...?

At the start of last night's Soccer World Cup final, I really was indifferent in terms of who I wanted to lift the trophy.
As the game progressed, however, it became increasingly apparent how dirty the Dutch were playing.
Sure they play a more "physical" game - I get that, but guys this is soccer, not rugby.

I also felt that all the cards that were handed out were justified - well done Howard Webb.
I had the chance to see Howard Webb in action at the Italy - Slovakia game as well, and I must say that the man has significant presence on the field.
To keep it together under immense pressure from 22 pumped up players on a volatile field (and 90 000 crazed fans!!), is a feat to be admired and a job which I must say, it takes a brave man to do.

Viva Espana and Viva Howard Webb!

Zakumi, the official mascot for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

Well done South Africa - we hosted a kick-ass World Cup, we silenced all the doomsday prophets and changed perceptions worldwide.
I don't think that we even fully realize the process of transformation that has been put in motion in our country as a result of this massive event...

As one of the ushers at Soccer City was chanting to the queue at the Rea Vaya station: "Forwards ever, backwards never!"

Cosma - this man could make some kick-ass music...

I have updated my Cool Links section with a link to the site of the late, great Avihen Livne (a.k.a. Cosma).
If you are into Psytrance or Goa Trance music, then you will know who Cosma was - a true genius of the genre in my opinion.

In all the time I have been a follower of trance music, I have yet to come across someone who can structure tracks as cleverly as did Cosma - each track being a stroke of genius and an awesome trip from beginning to end.

In case you were wondering, I keep referring to Cosma in the past tense, because he unfortunately passed away in a motorbike accident while holidaying in Goa, India in 2003. RIP.
His work will not be forgotten and will likely be the inspiration for many future artists of the genre.

Want to get a feel for his music? Click here for some video search results of his work, or click on one of the Amazon links below to download .
These are a few of my personal Cosma favourites:
- Land of Freedom
- We are the Same
- The Moon is a God
- People on Hold
- Unidentified Forms of Sound (VS. Domestic)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A polite letter to Sep entitled: "How to fix soccer"...

Dear Sep,

Thank you for bringing the beautiful game to our beautiful country in 2010.
We have all had huge fun supporting our teams and generally being massively festive (and a bit crazy) during this incredible event.

Even so, in light of some of the decidedly questionable events surrounding ref decisions during some matches, my mates and I have put together a list of what we feel are innovative, forward-thinking and downright brilliant ideas for you to implement in the sport in future.
We would love for you to take a quick squizz through our (awesome) list of suggestions, and hey who knows - maybe it will sort out some of the niggles that are most likely keeping you up at night...

So without further ado, here goes:
  • Handballs allowed (no grabbing or holding the ball, but pushing or punching it around is fine) - we feel that this would speed up play significantly and allow any player to become a goalie at will!
    Imagine that - a defender finds himself on his goal line with a cracker rocketing in towards his goal (a la Suarez...;) and voila - he can just punch it out.
    No red card, no penalty. It's magic!
  • Boring play should be punished with a combination of red / yellow cards (depending on the level of boredom), e.g. in a prolonged 0-0 battle, the most boring players should be sent off, ending their reign of boredom and reviving excitement in supporters and the other players. Fantastic!
  • Remove the goal keeper altogether. How unfair is it when a brilliant strike is met by some over-dressed gloved-up guy hogging the goal mouth??? GET OUT OF THE WAY MAN!! THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN THE NET!!
  • Okay okay, maybe that last one was a bit extreme... but at least make it illegal for the keeper to handle the ball. Now that would be cool - just imagine a penalty where the goalie has to use everything but his hands to keep the ball out. This is good stuff man.
  • If players decide that the refs' decisions are repeatedly unacceptable or unfair, they are allowed to take him down right there on the field.
    What's that Mr Ref? A foul? Well now I don't quite agree with you there and *WHAM* right in the spleen.
    New ref please!
  • If FIFA predicts beforehand that a match will be boring, they go straight into a penalty shootout from the get-go. What a way to avoid wasted time and boredom!
Thank you for taking the time to consider our list of (incredible) suggestions above.
As inspiration bites, we will likely add further new rule suggestions and send them over - we trust that you will share our enthusiasm, in the name of improving the sport exponentially.

Yours sincerely,

Hardcore South African Soccer Aficionados Society (HSASAS).

What is up with the internet at the moment?

So all hell broke loose yesterday as regards internet connectivity in our country - officially, a repeater on the SEACOM cable that runs up the East African coastline went down.

In short, this sent a number of ISP's down as ADSL connections coutrywide started dropping like flies...
Well, they didn't actually drop - they remained connected but sporadically so.
In some cases, browsing was a no-no but mail was working fine - so it would seem to be affecting specific ports on ADSL connections.

Last I heard, we can expect to wait from 6-8 days until the fault is fully repaired.
Much customer grumbling can be heard when a 6-8 day repair time is offered by a provider, however it must be noted that such a repair involves locating the fault physically, bringing the faulty portion up to the surface, repairing it and then re-laying it on the seabed.
Not an easy fix by any means.

SEACOM - I wish you loads of luck!

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