Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Another clever way to prevent opt-out

Here's another clever way for spammers to keep spamming you.  Legally they have to include a way to opt out, usually via a link at the bottom of the email.  As I wrote a few days ago, sometimes those links cleverly look like phish attempts, so anti-phish measures block them.

Today I got one I could actually click, and did so. It seems the unsubscribe page was (accidentally, I'm sure) so badly written as to crash the browser!  Outstanding!

Friday, July 15, 2016

How anti-phishing is giving me more spam

I hate to write this one, for fear the spammers will learn from it and send more. But really ...

I'm getting spam from a particular sender. Same old thing.  But this one looks sufficient like a phish ..  well, our corporate anti-phish technology is triggering on it and removing the URLs. Which means I can't use the legally-mandated URL to opt-out.  So I get more spam from them.

It kinda sucks.  Protection implemented for the best of reasons, to block phishing, is making spam more prevalent.

Damned if you do.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Mai Tai chez Glen

I've been fiddling with my Mai Tai recipe off and on for a couple of years ... here's what I'm making now, gets good reviews from my favorite tasters (you know who you are).

This makes about 4 tall drinks.

7 oz spiced rum
3.5 oz coconut rum
7 oz pineapple juice
2 oz guava nectar
8 oz orange juice (homestyle - ie. with pulp)
6 or 8 solid shakes of Angostura Bitters
1 oz dark rum
6 or 8 chunks of fresh pineapple

Serve over ice.

If you're being fancy, save the dark rum to the end. Fill the glass 3/4 with drink and 3 to 5 ice cubes. Pour a little grenadine down the side of the glass to layer on the bottom, and float a little dark rum on top.  I can't be bothered, and just mix the dark rum in, skipping the grenadine 'cuz I don't like pink drinks.

Some people have crappy paper umbrellas, and stab the pineapple chunks with them. I don't. I just throw a couple of chunks of pineapple in the glass at the end.  My guests can eat the infused pineapple when they're ready for another. :)


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Rude android apps

I'm getting pretty annoyed at the self-indulgence of some Android apps.  Facebook, gmail, and others.

Here's the deal. When I leave my home, I often turn off WiFi ... I've found that if I leave it on, sometimes my phone connects automatically to networks that need a signin, and because I didn't plan to connect, I don't sign in, and for a while any transfers are blocked. Eventually I might notice, but in the meantime an important email hasn't been delivered to me, or something I've sent hasn't actually gone upstream. So I turn off WiFi when I leave the house.

Sometime later, I want to do something that will use a fair amount of traffic, and deliberately connect to the local wifi where I am. Usually at a bar. Just thought you might like to know. :)

However, after I connect, my phone basically stops working for a couple of minutes as every friggin little pissant app I have on my phone decides now is an awesome time to sync. I watch the little traffic icon thing, and the up and down signals are pegged. In both senses of that word. It's really annoying, and all because these crappy apps think their background transfers are the most important thing in my life right now. I couldn't care less about the 39 Facebook updates in my network. Not in the next few minutes anyway. I deliberately connected to a network because I wanted to get something done! And I can't.

I guess what I need to find is some app that doesn't completely disable background transfers .. but maybe delays some of them so they don't all go at once.

In the meantime, if the apps themselves would just wait a danged minute or two - you know, be polite - I'd be a lot happier. Catch the signal that the network is now present, and set a timer for yourself. Wake up in 1 to 3 minutes. Do your sync.

I'm frankly about 5 more episodes of this away from uninstalling Facebook from my phone.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Detailed specifications

As a Product Manager, I frequently struggle with how many details I need to supply in an Epic. Say too much, the team doesn't read it. Too little, weird things happen.

Lest my current staff think I'm pointing at them, I'm not.  :)

Broken cookiesYears ago I wrote a requirement that spoke of an unique sequence number. The product delivered to me had randomly selected numbers that nonetheless were unique.  I couldn't believe it .. randomly choosing the numbers, then testing uniqueness, was harder than just allocating the number in sequence. Which was, in fact what I had asked for.

Today, another wonderful example, this time from my local bakery. Box up some cookies so we can sell by the package. Seems simple. What bake shop owner in their right mind would imagine some industrious packer breaking cookies to make the boxes as full as possible? Such as this box, straight from the market, over half the cookies are, well, halves. Who would ever think to write in the epic, "Box up some whole cookies, take broken ones home for your kids." Or, "Don't break my pieces of art to make them fit!"

It would be like writing in the manual for the pizza delivery driver, "Don't hit any fire hydrants with our delivery car!" Though come to think of it, when I was in high school another student did in fact wreck a pizza delivery car by driving it into a fire hydrant at full speed. Hmmm.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Caller ID; or, Wireless Caller my butt

I've got this telemarketer calling me and they won't stop. Different number each time, different name in the Caller ID, vague about their company name, and continuing to call despite being asked at least 3 times now to add me to their Do Not Call list.  For that matter, they are ignoring the National Do Not Call Registry.

And here's the rub: I pay for Caller ID precisely so I can not interrupt my work to deal with this crap.

Meanwhile, the Telco I pay is letting disreputable callers spoof the system I pay for. It hasn't, after all, escaped me that the caller ID is reporting pretty unlikely names. This morning is "Wireless Caller". Tell me, since when has a telemarketer clearly in a call center (lots of background voices) used cellphones for the calls?

And I'm starting to wonder why I pay, and why others pay.  Class action refund, anyone?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Greece as a condo corporation

Is is possible to draw an analogy between an EU country and a condo corporation?

I read this morning that Greek treasury debt rates are in excess of 23%.  It seems obvious that they must somehow increase their revenue to service that debt. How?

A start is to increase their tax rates and/or get serious about collection. No more of this "Only a fool would pay taxes" attitude many Greek (non-)taxpayers are said to have.  That can lead to two things: one, property owners are forced to focus on revenue from their properties, leading many of them to move and rent their homes to comparatively rich Germans and Brits; or two, homeowners flee to a cheaper EU country and/or the government repossesses their property out from under them and turns it into vacation rentals.

The government becomes a vacation timeshare operator.

And if they don't, or otherwise don't make enough net to pay their debt obligations, the Greek government could and perhaps should be viewed more like a condo corporation and the taxpayers like homeowners. Government debt is held on behalf of the citizens (homeowners), and paid for in revenues derived from the citizens (condo fees). If the the condo corp goes bankrupt, it is repossessed for its assets, and the new owner can liquidate or operate to recoup their investment.

Who can repossess Greece?