Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Beware of free money (Scam alert)
We have become aware of a new kind of scam, and wanted to warn you.
Example: A person receives a check via UPS/FedEx for $2800 from an out-of-state law firm or real estate office or something.
The envelope may contain instructions, or they may be sent later through email/mail.
The instructions will explain that the sender needs your help getting money out of this account/settlement/whatever. There will be an explanation why this is necessary, and why they need your help.
Their instructions will tell you to deposit the check, keep $1000 or so for yourself, and then send a money order to an address outside of the United States (like, the Philippines, or Nigeria).
The problem is this: the check is an absolute fake. Only your money order is real, so you've just sent $1800 to a criminal in another country. Possibly a country that may benefit if they don't do that great of a job trying to catch these types of criminals.
Don't fall for this variation of the Nigerian scam. Times are tough, so easy money like this may be tempting, but you'll only lose if you play their game.
Monday, May 28, 2012
Happy Memorial Day, and The Star-Spangled Banner examined
Happy Memorial Day, a day in honor of those veterans who died in the service of the United States of America (and no, not just for Union soldiers).
While searching for a quote that I half-remembered about "war's desolation" and those that stood between us and it, I found myself reading about The Star-Spangled Banner, the national anthem of the U.S.A. I was shamed by how much I didn't know about it (not just all the lyrics), and fascinated by its history.
While technically about a earlier and slightly different flag than our current one, this song is from a poem by Francis Scott Key, and is about his inpiration at seeing the American Flag raised as Fort McHenry was massively bombarded by British Royal Navy Ships (one of which he was, it is my understanding, currently held captive upon).
Imagine a dark and rainy night, with only the explosions of "bombs bursting in air" to light up the scene. Like camera flashes in the dark, showing this epic battle as if in a stop-motion movie. The terrific sounds, the smoke and smell of fire and gunpowder, the yelling and screaming. Truly horrific, from Key's viewpoint from one of the ships that was attacking it.
The flag flying was a statement. We were defiant, and would not give in. As long as that flag was flying, it meant Fort McHenry was still ours, and we were still fighting.
Enough jibber-jabber from me. I'm going to post the lyrics, and say no more. It's also worth going to the wikipedia page for this if you want to read the extra stanza written by Oliver Wendell Holmes in indignation to the start of the American Civil War. The whole article is interesting reading, and won't take up hardly 10 minutes of your glorious Memorial Day.:
"The Star-Spangled Banner" - poem by Francis Scott Key
O say can you see by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there;
O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
On the shore dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner, O! long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country, should leave us no more?
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave,
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.
O thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation.
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the Heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
New study: 38% of U.S. household TVs connected to the internet
Whether it's through a game system, Blu-ray disc player, or other device, a lot of more of U.S. households are operating TVs that access the internet in some way or another.
Largely, that's due to Netflix subscriptions, but the new "Smart" TVs also allow access to web-based services and apps.
It's the future: read more here
Friday, February 10, 2012
Millions protest ACTA worldwide for internet freedom
Apparently more protests are taking place over legal moves to make the internet a far less free place. More info here:
KillActa.org website - If you're interested in learning more.