Monday, February 23, 2015

Stupid spam/scam

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I noticed this amusing bit of spam in my spam folder today (some headers stripped away. I'm only including those I'm using to make my point):
To: (my e-mail address)
Subject: (first 4 letters of my e-mail address), Notice to Appear in Court
From: "State Court" <>
Reply-To: "State Court" <>

Dear (first 4 letters of my e-mail address),

You have to appear in the Court on the February 19.
Please, do not forget to bring all the documents related to the case.
Note: The case may be heard by the judge in your absence if you do not come.

The Court Notice is attached to this email.

Yours faithfully,
Angel Denton,
Court Secretary.

Attached to this mail is a zip file named "" (where #### is a bunch of digits I can't be bothered to re-type.) I didn't download it, but I think we can be 99% certain that this attachment, when opened, will install malware on your computer.

So let's see how stupid you would have to be to fall for this spam. In order to trust the source and believe it is important to open this zip file, you would have to believe:

  • That a legitimate court will issue a summons via e-mail
  • That such a summons will not identify which court it is that is issuing the summons
  • That a court will issue a summons without your name on it, preferring instead to make up a fake name based on your e-mail address.
  • That despite not knowing my name or address, they somehow know my e-mail address.
  • That a court is going to send official correspondence from domain belonging to Electric Groove Crusade (a rock band whose web page has had nothing more than a "coming soon" message since 2010) and not from a domain that actually belongs to the court.

Wired: An Ingenious Projector That Transforms Kitchen Tables Into TVs

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An Ingenious Projector That Transforms Kitchen Tables Into TVs

Small-scale projectors have been on the market for some time, but Beam is unique in that it is designed to screw into light sockets while pulling double duty as an ultrabright LED lightbulb. This is a simple change to the hardware, but fundamentally changes the way the product gets used. It’s not a matter or buying and installing a new gadget, but rather, upgrading an existing one.
Beam is more than just a lamp or projector. It connects to iPhone or Android phones via Bluetooth and an on-board computer allows it to deliver content over Wi-Fi. Obvious applications, like streaming Netflix or looking at pictures were a given, but a companion app that allows for the programming of “if this then that” scenarios allows it to be used in new ways.

This looks like a really nifty product. I'll be very interested to see how it works in real life once they start going into production.

Be sure to check out the Kickstarter page for a more detailed description of the product.

Wired: New Mod Lets You Use a Selfie Stick in Doom

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New Mod Lets You Use a Selfie Stick in Doom

Just when we thought the year of the selfie was coming to a close, the selfie stick brought it all back. Now a modder is sending them to Mars.

InstaDoom is a new mod from DoomWorld user Linguica that adds a selfie mode to the 22-year-old first-person shooter.

Just the thing to introduce a new generation of teenagers to that ancient VGA-based FPS.

Now I want to go back and play it again, but I think I'll skip the Selfie Mod. If I don't go spamming them in real life, I don't see any reason why I should do it in-game either.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Slate: History of the High Heel

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A Short History of the High Heel

As a fashion object and symbol, the high-heeled shoe is weighted with meaning. It’s also weighted with the wearer’s entire body weight. The stiletto might be one of the only designs that is physically painful but has somehow persisted for centuries.

High-heeled shoes were originally worn by men. As early as the 10th century, many horseback-riding cultures wore heels on their boots and on their shoes, because heels help you stay in the stirrups (which is why cowboy boots have heels).

A fascinating article. The only thing I'd add is that although high heels are no longer fashionable for men, men's dress shoes all have heels (typically about 1").

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Comic: St. Patrick

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h/t Kosher Kola

I know it's not St. Patrick's Day, nor is it even close, but I ran across this comic today and wanted to share it with the world.