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  • Geebo 10:04 am on October 21, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , hurricane matthew, job scam,   

    Beware of hurricane work scams 

    Beware of hurricane work scams

    When huge disasters happen in our country it usually unites us in aiding those affected by the calamity. While they can bring out the best in us these disasters can also bring out the worst in us as it gives scammers and con artists a new opportunity to take advantage of our willingness to help.

    One of those disasters from recent times was the Deepwater Horizon oil spill that dumped millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico for 87 days. Once the spill was contained many workers were needed to help clean up the spill and reclaim the environment. Online ads started popping up promising paying jobs to help clean up the spill. However, a lot of these jobs turned out to be scams that left people stranded without money.

    In that vein, a man from Wichita, Kansas, recently came across a similar scam involving Hurricane Matthew. Matthew did a lot of damage from Florida to the Carolinas and the Wichita man saw an ad that was offering work to help repair the damage done to the Southeast. When the man called the number in the ad the man on the other side of the line asked for $100 for transportation but the man would need to find his own job once he got there. Luckily, the man realized that this was a scam before he lost any money.

    To keep yourself safe from these scams just keep in mind that no legitimate employer will ever ask you for money up front. A lot of these scams will ask for a processing fee, a background check fee, or a drug test fee. If any potential employer asks you for any of these, it’s a good indicator that it’s a scam and there is no job.

  • Geebo 10:08 am on October 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Google to launch its own streaming service 

    Google to launch its own streaming service

    Google announced recently that they will be launching their own video streaming service in 2017 to compete with services like Netflix. Reports say that Google is already in talks with Disney, FOX, and CBS to feature their content. This is both good news and bad news for consumers.

    The good news is that Netflix could use some real competition. Once the darling of the cord-cutting movement Netflix has recently been shown not to have access to all the movies that users feel they should. So, if Google offers an alternative to Netflix, this could cause Netflix to step up its game. Competition and choice is usually good for consumers.

    On the other hand however, Google is entering into an already crowded industry and if Google has the same issues obtaining properties like Netflix does it could just be another service that cord-cutters may have to sign up for. Since not all the services have all the movies or TV shows, this could cause some cord-cutters to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Sling TV, HBO Go and now the new Google service. Since these services cost anywhere from $9.95 to $19.95 a month, the charges for these services start to add up and start to resemble the cable bill that cord-cutters were trying to escape in the first place.

    If any one can beat Netflix at its own game it’s Google with their branding and cache. Maybe we can see a time where Google and Netflix actually become complimentary with each other so we won’t see the return of outrageous bills for our entertainment.

  • Geebo 9:58 am on October 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Atlanta, fake nurse, , used car   

    Ga. woman taken in fake nurse scam 

    Ga. woman taken in fake nurse scam

    In DeKalb County, Georgia, a local woman was scammed out of $1600 after responding to an online ad for a used car. The ‘seller’ met the woman at an Atlanta hospital claiming that she was a nurse. The woman paid the ‘nurse’ $1600 and was given a set of keys. The seller claimed that since she was ‘at work’ and had patients, she couldn’t leave the hospital and instructed the woman where she could find the car in the parking garage. The problem was not only that there was no car but it’s believed the suspect was not a nurse and was only using the hospital to complete the scam.

    This should serve as a warning to other potential buyers. Whether you’re searching for a used car or even a rental property, never put money down on anything sight unseen. If someone is telling you for whatever reason that they can’t present the item or property, walk away. While a legitimate seller may have valid reasons for doing so, most times it will be a scam and as seen in this story, scammers will stoop to any level in order to swindle their victims.

  • Geebo 11:41 am on October 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , phone scam,   

    Con artists cashing in on the election 

    Con artists cashing in on the election

    With election season now in full swing, it has brought out all the liars, cheats and thieves, and that’s not just the candidates. *rimshot*

    Consumer Affairs is reporting that with such a heated presidential election, phone related election scams have increased by multitudes. As they point out the election season is such a fertile breeding ground for phone scams because political organizations are exempt from the national do not call list. This has allowed scammers to pose as various members of election rated organizations to try to separate you from either your money or your personal information.

    The top three of these phone scams are people asking you to re-register to vote, campaign donations and the political survey that promises a prize. First off, once you’re registered to vote you do not have to ever re-register unless you move to a new municipality and that can not be done over the phone. With the survey prize offer, that could turn out to be either an attempt to get your personal information or to try to get you pay a ‘processing fee’ to claim the non-existent prize. Lastly the campaign donation is a simple one in that they just want to get your money. As Consumer Affairs suggests, even if you are being solicited for a legitimate campaign donation, you should go to the candidate’s website to make the donation.

    As a common rule you should never give any information or money to anyone who calls you unsolicited. Whether they claim to be the IRS, an election campaign or a charity, do not give any of your information over the phone.

  • Geebo 9:57 am on October 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , free press, , Sheldon Adelson   

    Why is Peter Thiel doubling down on Donald Trump? 

    Why is Peter Thiel doubling down on Donald Trump?

    Donald Trump’s campaign for President took a massive publicity hit recently after recordings of misogynistic comments he made in private were made public. This doesn’t help with Trump’s image since many already view him as being xenophobic and racist. So one would have to wonder that after all this controversy, why would venture capitalist Peter Thiel double down on Trump by donating an additional $1.25 million to the Trump campaign?

    As TechCrunch points out, Thiel is not only an immigrant to this country, having been born in Germany, bur he is also openly gay. These are two camps of voters that have not exactly been supportive of Trump. A Thiel representative told TechCrunch that the reason Thiel supports Trump is…

    Thiel is motivated by his view that feels the country ‘needs fixing’, and thinks Mr. Trump pull it off.

    So the question remains, what does Peter Thiel think needs fixing in our country?

    If you go by history, what may need fixing in Peter Thiel’s mind is a free press that he may view as being a little too free. BY now we all should know about Thiel’s backing of Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit that bankrupted Gawker in revenge for Gawker outing Thiel as gay. This is not to mention that there was an alleged Thiel backed motion to threaten Gawker further over a piece they wrote about Donald Trump’s hair.

    You could also surmise that the Trump campaign is friendly to a less free press due to another one of its financial backers, and that’s casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Adelson also bought the Las Vegas Review Journal newspaper that was previously critical of him. Since the purchase of the Review-Journal it’s long been rumored there that stories about Adelson are not viewed as newsworthy as they used to be.

    Trump is no fan of the media himself so it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for Trump and his uber-rich supporters to form a cabal of billionaires that are willing to buy their way around the First Amendment.

  • Geebo 9:52 am on October 14, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: fact checking, , Google News,   

    Google to bring fact checking to News 

    Google to bring fact checking to News

    With the advent of fake news sites, wild Facebook claims and slanted political sites, Google has decided to enter the fray. Google has added the tag ‘Fact Check’ to Google News along with the already active tags of ‘highly cited’ and ‘opinion’. Google says that they have strict guidelines in place to be considered a fact checking source. It’s almost guaranteed that someone will try to game the system however, Google has a better reputation for content moderation than someone like Facebook.

    Will it be a successful feature though? With the 2016 Presidential Election being what it is, never before have we seen more people clutch to their confirmation bias. Even if a controversial story has been vetted by Google’s fact checking process there will still be a large enough group of people who will refuse to believe the evidence to make the fact check tag irrelevant or they will accuse Google of having a bias.

    People who do actually try to fact check a story generally tend to be like-minded, not necessarily politically aligned, but having the same sense of wanting to know the truth. This group tends not to engage the groups with confirmation bias so there will still be a rather large rift between the two. That’s not to say that the fact check tag isn’t completely useless. As long as someone in our society is striving to find the impartial truth then maybe there is hope for civil discourse after all.

  • Geebo 10:09 am on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Facebook gives rise to new voters, but are they informed? 

    Facebook gives rise to new voters, but are they informed?

    Facebook is being credited with sparking a spike in voter registration thanks to their campaign to get their US users to vote. It really should come as no surprise as Facebook has become a daily utility that has almost become a public service. Providing easy access to state voter registration resources more than likely encouraged many people who may have not registered otherwise.

    While this is encouraging that more people are registering to vote in such a pivotal election that could have repercussions for generations, Facebook is not really the ideal environment for political discourse and learning. When it comes to discussing politics on Facebook, it’s usually nothing more than the reposting of meme, shouting into the echo chamber, or the sharing of misinformed or even completely fake articles.

    While mostly everyone has the right to vote are we raising a generation of misinformed voters? While the internet gives us access to much of the world’s information it also allows us to engage in our biases and surround ourselves in comfortable lies rather than inconvenient truths.

  • Geebo 10:01 am on October 12, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Yahoo kicking itself while it’s down 

    Yahoo kicking itself while it's down

    It was bad enough when it was revealed that Yahoo had been hacked to the tune of 500 million users, now it turns out there nay have been more. Many AT&T and SBC-Global email accounts were set up through Yahoo servers and many users have been reporting that they’ve been unable to change their passwords.

    Then, in what could be considered a bad PR move, Yahoo has temporarily disabled email forwarding. That means if you were leaving Yahoo and wanted your email forwarded to your new address, you wouldn’t be able to do that now. It can be understood that Yahoo would want to stop hemorrhaging users, but to use technical sleight of hand to prevent them from leaving is questionable at best.

    So it should come as no surprise that with all of Yahoo’s problems, Verizon is asking for a $1 billion discount in the asking price for Yahoo. Can you blame them? It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Verizon even decided to back out of the deal.

    If Yahoo continues to have these kind of controversies it may find itself in the ever-increasing graveyard of tech companies that failed to achieve their full potential.

  • Geebo 9:57 am on October 11, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Free Basics,   

    What is Facebook’s ‘Free Basics’ and why is it controversial? 

    What is Facebook's 'Free Basics' and why is it controversial?

    In a move that may seem philanthropic Facebook has plans to bring its Free Basics internet service to the US. Free Basics is a plan to bring free but limited internet to rural and poorer areas. Facebook sees it as a way to be able to bring much-needed access to government and health services to low-income families. Facebook tried to bring this service to India, however the service was largely rejected because of what Facebook limited the service to.

    Opponents see Free Basics as another way of Facebook trying to keep its users in their walled garden. Facebook has an alleged reputation of trying to keep its users on Facebook without going to other websites or apps. Since Facebook just happens to be one of the services offered in their Free Basics that fear may not be unjustified.

    However, Facebook has almost become a public service with its safe notifications when natural disasters or major tragedies occur. In that maybe a limited internet is better than no internet at all.

  • Geebo 9:51 am on October 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Kim Kardashian, , ,   

    What Kim Kardashian can teach you about social media security 

    What Kim Kardashian can teach you about social media security

    One of the bigger entertainment stories last week was the armed robbery of reality TV presence Kim Kardashian. She was said to have been robbed of $10 million in jewelry while in her Paris hotel room. Some reports have alleged that the perpetrators may have used her ubiquitous presence on social media to plan the heist. The truth is that you don’t have to be famous to have your social media betray you like that.

    Apps like Twitter and Instagram are constantly trying to get you to post your location. If you’re out in public and away from home this can present a number of problems for your real world security. Mashable, has a great blog post about how to disable your location in several apps. Another safety issue is with check in apps that announce where you may be such as a restaurant or concert. Instead of checking in as soon as you get there you may want to wait until after you leave before checking in.

    The biggest security flaw that has come back to bite social media mavens is being on vacation. It’s become common place to announce your vacation plans on social media before documenting the entire trip. This has the potential to let one of your followers know that you may not be home for a while which has led to burglaries in the past.

    Instead of documenting every moment of your life on social media as it happens, maybe put some time aside at the end of the day to do more of a ‘day in review’ type of update. Your safety and security is not worth a handful of likes and emojis.

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