A Tip off the Old Block

Chris “Long Tail” Anderson fires off at PR with both barrels, blocking unsolicited press releases and naming-and-shaming those who sent them: Everything else gets banned on first abuse. The following is just the last month’s list of people and companies who have been added to my Outlook blocked list. All of them have sent me …

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Strip CAPTCHA Spam

Whatever useful stuff the good guys come up with, the bad guys ain’t far behind. A few months back I wrote about researchers at Carnegie Mellon coming up with a way to use CAPTCHA tools to help decipher words in text by the Internet Archive. The basic idea is that the effort to prevent spammers …

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Confusing, Sleazy Checkbox Syndrome

(Please see update below) I am always amused by how even those companies you would think wouldn’t stoop to the foot-in-the-door tactics of spammers, do. Like this one from IBM, at the foot of a submission form — specifically for journalists, no less: (The text reads: This data may be used by IBM or selected …

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The Leopard’s Spot (On)

Just gotten back from a demo of the new version of Mac’s operating system, Mac OS X Leopard (must confess I don’t like the names. It’s slightly better than Vista, but still a bit lame in my view.) But that’s not the point. I arrived halfway through the demo and so missed a lot of …

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Hit the Road, Hack

Interesting project from Reuters, who have teamed up with Nokia to create a mobile journalism toolkit:  So what is in the Mobile Journalism Toolkit? First of all the phone. This is a Nokia N95 which now comes in three different versions. The original European version that we used for most of the trial (image on …

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Banks Cross Borders, But Their Service Doesn’t

Banks always talk about being global, and thinking local, and all that tosh. And it is tosh. Really. My bank just called me, for example, to congratulate me for linking my bank accounts in different parts of the world so I can see them from one website. Great idea, weird it hasn’t been possible until …

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Soccer 2.0

  Photo: The Offside In Soccer 1.0 the manager is king. But an Israeli football team is experimenting with a sort of crowd-sourcing, wisdom-of-the-Kop type approach, where fans monitor the game online and suggest starting line-up, tactics and substitutions. Reuters reports from Tel Aviv that “diehard football fan Moshe Hogeg was so upset when star …

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Time to Give the Telephone Back to the Cellphone?

Was interviewing a guy intimately involved in the mobile phone industry the other day, and we were comparing the various features of our sophisticated smartphones, when he suddenly leaned over and said, “Off the record, but this is my favorite phone.” And he showed me this: Nokia 1100, photo Mobile Phones UK The Nokia 1100, …

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Sleazy Linkers Lose An Ally

Seems as if there’s a bit of a groundswell building against internal links, which I got all upset about a few months ago. (internal linking is where you place a link on a word like, say, Google, but instead of actually linking to Google you link to another page on your own blog about Google.) …

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The Puppy Love Scam

A few weeks back I wrote about love scams (“You Give Love a Bad Name,” WSJ.com) — how scammers are trawling online dating sites looking for suckers. What interested me about the scam is that in some cases the scammers play a very patient game — luring the mark in over a period of months …

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