There are reports of a huge increase in the amount of Japanese spam following the massive 9.0 earthquake, the aftershocks, and the tsunamis that battered Japan over the past weekend. There are several theories as to why the marked increase in spam from Japanese addresses and servers, ranging from “all hell breaking out” to “spammers, like cockroaches, can survive anything.”
With the concern over meltdown and containment (or lack thereof) of the nuclear reactors at the power plants in Japan, following the horrific 9.0 earthquake that Japan suffered this week, a lot of people are searching for information about Potassium Iodide (not “Potassium Iodine”), also known as KI (K for potassium’s elemental symbol, and I for iodide), which is the prescribed prophylactic measure to protect your thyroid from radiation poisoning from radioactive fallout from a nuclear disaster – military or otherwise. Here is the information you need about why to take pottasium iodide, dosage, and where to get it.
From our “Why online scams work” department, a woman (if she is indeed a woman) who was in an online relationship with an Illinois man for over two years has managed to scam at least $200,000 from the man. The scam came to light when the 48-year-old man from Naperville, Illinois contacted police because his ‘girlfriend’ had disappeared right after he wired her the last of the $200,000, and he feared she had been kidnapped.
The U.S. and U.K. both seem poised on the brink of allowing people to send text messages to emergency services, instead of dialing 911 (999 in the UK).
When Countries Such as Egypt and China Try to Keep Citizens Offline There are Ways Around Such Internet Blocking – The Internet is the ultimate free speech conduit, says creator of Internet block circumvention service, and must not be limited.
A rumour has been circulating that people should not use the URL shortening service Bit.ly because, the rumour goes, Bit.ly somehow benefits the Libyan government. Other than the fact that the government of Libya gets the registration fee for the domain ($75.00 a year), Bit.ly does not benefit the regime of Moammar Gadhafi.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been arrested for rape in Sweden, and his lawyers are ticked off that somebody leaked the confidential police files stemming from the rape allegation. Huh???
The growing backlash against the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, and the suspension of Internet hosting and financial funding services such as MasterCard, Visa and Paypal (through which Wikileaks was receiving donations) have led to retaliation by so-called ‘hacktavists’ in the form of DOS and other cyber-attacks against the websites of MasterCard, Visa, Paypal, and those Internet hosting and DNS services which have disconnected Wikileaks, in some cases bringing the services to their knees. Paypal was brought down yesterday, as were MasterCard and Visa.
If you thought that Wikileaks publishing of classified documents from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq would be a tough act to follow, think again. Wikileaks has now Wikileaked over a quarter of a million classifed documents, in the form of confidential cables from U.S. embassies all around the world. (Thought to have been given to them by someone with access to SIPRNet, the government’s confidential, “secure” network.) Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who has released a video statement from “a secret location” is now facing the possibility of being indicted under the U.S. Espionage Act, and PFC Bradley Manning is already being implicated as the leaker, while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tries to repair the damage done by the subjects of those catty cables learning what we were saying about them. Somehow, the whole thing has a feeling of our having passed notes about someone behind their back in class, and them finding out what we were saying about them.
Yesterday’s announcement by Apple that the music of the Beatles was finally available on iTunes brought cheers around the world (along with a few “So what?”s, it has to be said). And, it isn’t just a smattering of Beatles tunes – it is all of the Beatles music – every last bit of it. You can buy the albums individually, or in a compilation Box Set. Plus there is an exclusive “iTunes only” video of the Beatles’ very first U.S. concert, Live at the Washington Coliseum, 1964, (which you can watch for free through the end of the year)! Maybe now, at least, we will get that Beatles iPod, which has been rumoured for nearly 4 years.
If you think that you may have a sexually transmitted disease (“STD”, which used to be known as “VD”, or venereal disease or – as it’s known in the UK – sexually transmitted infection or “STI”), such as syphilis, herpes, chlamydia or gonorrhea, or even HIV, and want to get yourself tested without having to leave your house, well, now there’s an app for that. Or, there will be, once the eSTI project goes from prototype to drug store.
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There is a horrific scam going around that uses just about every trick in the book – and effectively at that – to get you to send the scammers some money. It uses social engineering, urgency, Facebook hacking, and email hacking, and looks so genuine that we have no doubt that many have fallen for it. It comes from your friend’s actual account, and starts out by saying “This message may be coming to you as a surprise..” It then goes on to say that “we were mugged” and that the muggers stole “all our cash, credit cards and cellphone but thank God we still have our lives”, and then begs “I need you to help me out with a loan to settle our bills here…” It sounds so real – and after all it comes right from your friend’s account – how can you refuse? But refuse you must, because it is a scam.