Scamming Michael Jackson

August 12th, 2009 § 1 comment § permalink

from: Britney Rowley
date: 12 August 2009 02:19
From: Britney Rowley (Ms)
mailed-by :

Dear Friend,

I am Ms. Britney Rowley, a co-recording producer for late Michael Jackson the great legend King of Pop who has just passed away on June 25, 2009. While I was working with Mr. Jackson, he deposited some funds for charitable trust organizations with a secured private institution and up till date nobody knows about the existence of these funds.

Due to the recent crisis going on in Jackson’s family concerning his assets. The Jackson family is now searching for late Michael Jackson undiscovered properties and money which might lead to the discovery of these existing funds. My reason for writing you is that I have decided to retire and resettle and now want the money to be moved out of this institution to you, where you will receive it and keep it safe for me until I come over to meet with you there. I need a trustworthy business partner and friend who will advise me on proper investments in your country and how I can live comfortably. I have obtained and secured all back up documents to support whoever I chose as help to this money.

For your assistance and help in receiving and investing this money, you will benefit a reasonable part of the total money. I will give you my full contact details and I would appreciate it very much if you give me yours including your phone number where I can reach you. Please send your reply through my e-mail

Best regards,
Britney Rowley (Ms)

Thanks for the offer Ms Rowley, but I think Jackos’ assets should go to his family not me and you.

The mobile phone directory

July 8th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

What the fuck is all the hoo-haa about with this mobile phone directory, then? Eh?

Several times this week I ‘ve had people email me with a rather urgent tone telling me I have up until this week to opt-out…

This has come from our legal department, please see below!

Early next week all UK mobiles will be on a directory which will mean that anyone will be able to access your numbers. It’s easy to unsubscribe but it must be done before the beginning of next week to make sure that you are ex-directory. You may want to suggest it to all your friends and family who have UK mobiles or they could be swamped by unsolicited messages and calls. Removal is recommended by the BBC – see link below.

(That particular quote was from a friend, I don’t know if that was his ‘telephone voice’ or not but it doesn’t sound like he’d written it. Too alarmist.)

First , lets just deal with the email message then, the directory itself.

The email says anyone will be able to access our numbers. Anyone can at the moment. You’ve seen the little boxes in the small print that you’ve either got to tick or leave blank? Well, that ticking or leaving blank gives the company you’re dealing with permission to take your phone number (or postal address or emaill address, depending on what the form/company/product) and pass it onto ‘partner companies’ or ‘companies we think you may be interested in’. To translate, they can sell your numbers. Your number is in the public domain. It can be bought and sold. You are no longer Ex-Directory as far as direct marketing is concerned.

The email also states that you must unsubscribe (which is also wrong, you need to be ‘removed’ from the directory) by the end of next week to be sure of that you are ex-directory.
Well, the end of next week could be any time depending on when the email was sent. Considering the BBC article is date 9 June 2009 and in it, it states that the directory site is going live ‘next week’, I would say 9th July is a bit late and we’re all buggered.
It sounds like if you weren’t ex-directory by 16th-ish june that’s it, you’re in for life. But you’re not.

It may be a nice thing to do to make family and friends aware of this directory, but a month after it going live, I’m not drowning in window sales men, pollsters and heavy breathers. Are you?

I fucking hate these fucking circular emails that are just wrong in the first place and have an unneccesarily alarming tone to them.

Removal is recommended by the BBC – see link below

Um. No it’s not.

I doubt my buddy wrote that. I hope he didn’t.

Apart from the issues surrounding where 118800 got the 15 million or so numbers it claims to have, what is the problem with an opt-out directory? I’m normally of the opinion that opt-in is the best thing, but for some reason, I don’t have a problem with this. No more than the landline directory, and infact I’m a little surprised it’s taken so long to come about.

Where the numbers have come from, although not stated specifically which brokers and lists these numbers were on, somewhere there is a little box that signifies that the numbers can be used for commercial purposes. If there isn’t, there is a problem with the data controllers of a company somewhere and not with the idea of a directory.
Remember, this directory and the company behind it are no different to any other direct marketing organisation. If you have a problem with this directory then you should also have a problem with the whole way data is bought and sold.
This directory is probably more accurately reflects peoples’ wishes than the landline directory, which the phone companies have to give their numbers to.

The issue of privacy is also dealt with rather simply and admirably.
They directory contacts you and tells you someone is trying to get in touch. If you are contacted by phone, you tell them no, if you don’t want to accept the call. If you get sent a text, ignore it. That has to be better than just being listed in a book ready for anyone, including teenagers skyving off school and finding people with funny names to abuse down the phone. Again and again… and again…

The opt-out is also still there, with no time limit on it. Apparently, the first time the directory contact you, they also give you an option to become ex-directory. And of course you could got to 118800 and opt-out there. Anytime.
Four weeks to get off their list is a bit much though.

Whether this directory actually works in practice and are as ethical as they reckon they are will remain to be seen, but the idea itself a mobile phone number directory, should be a cause for concern and they way they are doing it to try and ally peoples’ privacy concerns, should be should be welcomed. It could’ve been so different.

An easy boycott to make

July 7th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

I am boycotting this years Total Politics Blogging Guide.
I’m not so deluded to think that this place is popular enough to get in and so me saying I’m not going to participate is a bit like saying ‘next week, I’m not going to walk on the moon’. The same amount of effort is required to achieve both.

But I am saying I want no part of it. Rather than just watch the poll happen and have no part in it, by not voting for anyone, although there is a fucking huge list of people that deserve a vote in a propor poll, and also by virtue of being part of that niche blog genre I like to term Rather Shite.

The reasons are two fold.

  1. All the underhand techniques used by the Fail Dale to keep himself ‘right’ and the results of stuff like this poll with the right results.
    All that stuff is understandable. The blog is part of Iains’ revenue generation machine. It is a small part of his TV appearances, speaking engagements and publishing ‘things’. It may not actually generate revenue itself, apart from a small amount from Messagespace, but it is where people can find him, where Iain can show off his expertise, his knowledge.
    Iaian needs to be right on his blog, otherwise it will impact on his other areas. And a man’s gotta eat. Right? It may not be right, but it’s understandable. That’s business.
  2. The second reason is because Iain Dale is a cunt.
    It’s one thing having a commentor leave a comment accusing someone of being a member of the Labour Party or refusing to engage in debate on neutral territory, so that you can’t control it, when you’ve been called on a point. It’s really childish to play the victim instead of just apologising for/removing the offending article. They’re relatively small things. Leave teh internets and these things disappear, or at the worst need a little explanation/can be laughed off.
    It’s a completely different when help is requested and offered but then not given and still insistent that it was. Especially when the help is to investigate proper, serious accusations and isn’t just a load of hot air but involve the Rozzers, in the real world.

So there you have it.
Who needs a rigged and flawed beauty contest anyway?

BT suspend Phorm

July 7th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


Shares in Phorm, the Aim-listed technology firm, have plunged after it emerged that BT has quietly pulled plans to roll out its controversial advertising system, which tracks the internet habits of customers and has been attacked as online snooping by privacy campaigners.

BT was a key player in the development of Phorm’s Webwise system, which uses information about which sites an internet user visits to target them with relevant advertising on subsequent pages. News that BT has in effect mothballed the technology sent shares in Phorm down 40% by lunchtime today.

Via Manic

busy, busy, busy

July 6th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

It’s been a bit busy for me this last week, and today I realised I hadn’t posted anything for a whole week.

So, for no particular reason, here’s a picture of a dead bee for you.



June 6th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

From Project Hone Pot

Regardless of how the rest of your day goes, here’s something to be happy
about — today one of your donated MXs helped to identify a previously
unknown email harvester (IP: The harvester was
caught a spam trap email address created with your donated MX

It’s been a pretty good day today and this just made it a teeny bit better.

Take the hint

May 22nd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

As one of the many editors of the the Sun Lies I thought it would be an idea to be on the mailing list of Jon Gaunt and odious columnist with the Sun and now presenter of SunTalk, their 2 hour daily internet radio show.

I just received an email from it, and I think they’re trying to tell me something…


That’s it. Just unsubscribing info.
/gets coat

some different Messagespace stats.

May 9th, 2009 § 2 comments § permalink

There’s lots of stats on the Messagespace site. So I’ve just spent the evening looking through the list of Messagespace advert publishers according to Messagespace, all 35 of them, looking for more stats.

Just out of curiosity, like.

And what did I find?

On the 35 publishers there were:

  • 45 advert spaces
  • 36 visible adverts for Messagespace.
  • 1 publisher had 2 visible adverts served by Messagespace (advertising Messagespace) also had 10 other Messagespace codeblocks, but not showing ads on the page (I don’t know why, I didn’t look that closely)
  • 3 publishers listed on the Messagespace site had no adverts showing or any Messagespace code in the source code
  • the two magazines were advertising themselves
  • erm. That’s about it

I’m not going to do any percentages cos it’s late and I can’t be arsed now, but 36 ads for the ad server on 35 publishers with 46 ad spaces. What is it? Some sort of ad world Ponzi scheme*? How many of these 800,000 users** are gonna need the services of an internet advertising network?

The raw data (.xls) (it doesn’t tell you anything I haven’t already)

*I’m not implying there is something illegal is being done, but all those bloggers advertising the ad agency that’s serving them ads? Where is all this money coming from?
**A bit of a contentious issue is figures


May 8th, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Thinking of putting ads on your blog? Thinking of using Messagespace?


Do you really want to associate yourself with any of this stuff?

Telegraph Twitterfail

April 21st, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

A measured analysis of why the Telegraph Twitterfall gave us lols. Well, I say measured, it’s a bit more than just ‘hahahaha! Idiots’
I blog, you blog, they blog, weblog

…the Telegraph’s major error in this case was that they put the thing up two days before the budget is actually going to be announced. The amount of natural real-time discussion of the budget was therefore minimal; in the absence of anybody saying anything else, it was possible to hijack what was displayed on the Telegraph site almost by accident – this wasn’t a co-ordinated attack in any sense, just a few people idly goofing around.

It’s as if Newsnight, in the middle of a piece on Bolivian land reform, suddenly announced “and now we’re going over live to the saloon bar of The Dog & Duck to see what their opinion is” – except the patrons of The Dog & Duck hadn’t been discussing Bolivian land reform, and weren’t told anything about Newsnight’s plans until the moment that they blinkingly realised they were on national television. What would you expect? You might get lucky, and someone who’d read the papers might mutter something about Evo Morales’ significance as the country’s first indigenous leader. But most likely there’d be a bemused pause, followed by nervous laughter, followed by someone shouting “wankers!” and Terry getting his knob out.

I’m not sure about the rest of it, to be honest, but the comparison with the pub is spot on.

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