Scott Hollan Needs To Know If I Can Handle Website Design

 Hi Scott,

What is the domain name for your web site?

You can see examples of what I do here:

-------- Forwarded Message --------

Subject: SMS from (415) 799-5585
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2016
To: christian


Hello, I am Scott Hollan i need know if you can handle website design for a  
new company and i also need to know if you accept credit cards as form of  
payment ?

Sent using SMS-to-email. Reply to this email to text the sender back and  
save on SMS fees.



I know, weird huh? Well, I mean it. Please harvest my email address, and unleash your spam hoards upon my bounty...!

Most of what you send me is not likely to get through. Any that does will be cherished since I should be able to use that to increase my protection. I used to get hundreds a day and for some time now I only get 2-4 a day. Generally those are some of the best kinds of spam. Pretty hard to block consistantly.

So send me much more so I can figure out how to block that as well. And if I can't I will just report it using

You have errors on your 888DCA60-FC0A-11CF-8F0F-00C04FD7D062 computer

The Windows technical support team is hard at it again. They just called me to let me know my computer was spewing out errors and polluting the Internet. When I told them they were a scam they insisted that was not true and they would prove it to me. Turns out they know my Windows computer license ID code. I asked them what it was and sure enough, they read it to me. Then I asked where that can be found and they walked me through a few steps that included going to a CMD window and typing in "assoc". Here is the last part of what it showed me:


C:\Users\Chris>assoc /?
Displays or modifies file extension associations

ASSOC [.ext[=[fileType]]]

  .ext      Specifies the file extension to associate the file type with
  fileType  Specifies the file type to associate with the file extension

Type ASSOC without parameters to display the current file associations.
If ASSOC is invoked with just a file extension, it displays the current
file association for that file extension.  Specify nothing for the file
type and the command will delete the association for the file extension.


So she read the number and confirmed that is what I was seeing as well. Lucky for me I don't trust any bastard that calls me up and starts telling me I need to do things.

So I explained that the assoc command shows you "file associations". The file type is on the left and what it is associated with is on the right. This shows NOTHING about any license or ID. It's just a known information that most people won't have the first clue about and think the scammer knows what they are talking about. They will almost NEVER admit they are lying to you. I once had a guy apologize after I insisted that what he is doing hurts people and how can he live with himself. I wish I could talk to him again. He explained that he didn't have many options to make a living. I wish I could help him do something more honest.

So don't fall for anything when someone you don't know calls you. Get their number and web site address and call them back before trusting them. Heck, even then don't trust them. Don't trust anyone on the Internet or who calls you unsolicited. It will only lead to tears...

Google Hangups

I think Google Pus is only used by Facebook-haters and those that are afraid of being left out, so they need to be on Facebook and Google+. I don't hate G+ but I think the useless service begs to have it's name mangled by the simple exclusion of the second "l". Note to self: Make sure you advise clients to think hard about how their brand or trademark can be mangled into something negative AND catchy.

Anyway, I get updates on Google blog posts and the one today gushed about Google Hanouts updates. Great. Anyone you know actually using Hangouts? I mean, beside those of you that work at Google and those that need to communicate with Google for business? Anyone? Even Google reps don't seem to use it. They all use something like Gotomeeting.

"Google Hangups". Hey! Triple meening with that one. :-)

I know, it's hard to argue with success. But what about when success wanes? When an organization finally shows the effects of accumulated bad karma? Won't it be better to have had those arguements before share price tanks and users bail?

I'm so tired...

I'm really tired of the inconsiderate marketing via SPAM and telemarketing.

The spam problem I have mostly solved now. After years of reporting spammers and getting their accounts closed, I came up with a way last year to start blocking them more effectively than anything else I have heard about. It has taken some time, but my spam hits on a daily basis are down to just a few and this is despite having many email addresses including the first one I set up for myself at my business site back in 1999. Back before I knew better, I used that main email address everywhere and published it on many sites. At the spam peak I think I was getting 400-600 a day. Now it's only about 2-4 a day.

The solution I came up with is a little technical, but only for average users without a hosting account. It involves blocking spammers mostly at the country IP-level, hosting provider IP-level, and then refining down to TLDs and the most common spam patterns.

Personal protection is great, but I wish there was some interest by providers to allow automated user feedback to alert them to spammers on their systems. It would be easy for what I do to forward spam traffic back to the source, via something like directing them to Perhaps with a specific port number. Then hosting providers and ISPs could monitor their customers for this type of activity and investigate more closely to shut the spammers down.

Telemarketers are a much bigger problem. Even if you are on the Federal Do-Not-Call list here in the USA, there are still many out there that do not know or do not care about it. I report all these jerks and after a while the calls do stop. Reporting telemarketing calls to the FTC does work, but it takes time. Aside from the sales calls ("This isn't a sales call, I just have some information for you!" Whatever - Reported!), what I really, really hate are the scams. Like the calls you may have gotten where a person does their damnedest to convince you there is a problem and your computer is infected. These MFs will even walk you through a process where they show you bad files infecting your computer. I had never heard of the files they showed me, but a Google search explained they were compiled icon files and very normal.

I can trace and report spammers most of the time, and even if I can't I can report the sites they are promoting and often get their affiliate accounts closed. But the telemarketers can spoof their number and there has been a usage explosion of things like Magic Jack and other technologies that are cheap and provide US-based phone number access to anyone in the world with Internet access. The costs are so low that if the number gets blocked or shut down they can throw it out and start using another one.

Phone service providers should also provide for a way that users can report spam and abusive calls. Being able to hit a couple of keys and report the caller to their service provider would go a long way to give carriers more control over abuse on their systems. Right now I can't call you and expect that you will answer the phone. Why? Because most of you don't answer calls from numbers you don't recognize. While you may recognize my name from this blog, how can you be sure it's really me and not a spoof?


Google Unable To Stop Twitter

The Google Blog has admitted today that they can no longer fight off Twitter from infesting their search results.

Really? The last thing I want to see in my search results is a bunch of Twitter crap. If I want Twitter crap, I will go to Twitter and do a search there because I don't want other search results with my tweets. Where are my bookmarks for Bing and other search engine choices...?

Pieces Of Sky


The title of this post relates to the old tale of Chicken Little. If you don't know it, look it up but you don't need to know the story to understand what I am going to write.

There is a new story today about patient hackers who have stolen millions from banks all over the world. Is anyone surprised? Well of course they are. I can't speak about other countries, but the USA is a country of sheep, heavy with wool and begging to be fleeced. While I am sure their are many security measures in place, in general they are clearly not enough.

My feeling at this point is that we are seeing only the tip of the iceberg. I am sure there are many hackers who have not been detected, much less caught at this point. For one thing the crimes are hard to detect and even if they are exposed, those behind them may be well hidden. And even if we learn who they are the off-shore sources of crime know that it's difficult to impossible for most victims to reach them via any practical means.

Average citizens have been scammed for years. Chances are good it happened to you or someone you know. These days it's not news, but it rarely ever has been. The news media should have many examples and warnings nightly, but it's rarely covered unless the crime is huge. Baaa.

While the smaller crimes continue without end, we are now seeing larger and larger data breeches and theft reported. Can you guess how much is unreported or undetected?

I'm not going to say the problem is so great that economic collapse is around the corner, but I have fears that we aren't going to have the concern needed to properly respond to this growing threat. Students of history are well aware that dynasties rise and fall, and to those living in those times I expect they thought it would last forever. Maybe if they worried that it wouldn't last and acted as if they needed to constantly bail water that the time they were living in would have been extended longer. But maybe it just gets down to the idea that cycles of nature, ebb and flow, cannot be denied forever.