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Jad Chambers Blog

Posts from November 2011

Stupid Comments

An offhand Tweet makes national news… OK, I guess I’ll comment about this.

But, I won’t comment about the sentiment behind her Tweet, for two reasons.  One, it doesn’t matter what she said.  Agreeing or disagreeing with her sentiment is just more partisan b.s. and there’s already a wealth of that anywhere you look these days.  And two, she’s an 18 year old high school student… who really cares what she thinks?

Sorry if that came out a little harsh, but there is a point to be made here.  Looking back to my high school days I thought I had important opinions that people should have been made aware of.  I was wrong.  Even the current me would have found it a waste of time to listen to the opinions of 18 year old me.  I’m a great deal wiser and more experienced now, and I still don’t think my opinions are particularly important.

It’s a wonder that I even have a blog.

But this is the point; the Governor has people monitoring social media for mentions of him.  I don’t have a problem with that.  In a position like his it would be useful to know what people are saying about you.  Refusing to utilize technology to look into public opinion would just be downright stupid.

But Governor Brownback (heh, now you’re listening,) if you are going to pay for such a service… try hiring one that’s not staffed by brainless morons.  This girl had 60 some Twitter followers.  They might have laughed and responded for a few minutes, THEN THIS WOULD HAVE GONE AWAY FOREVER.  It was a comment that fewer than 100 people may have ever been aware of.  But because of some boneheaded monitoring service and a gutless and stupid PR staff, THIS THING MADE NATIONAL NEWS.  Most of the time ignoring a problem will not make it go away.  But this is an instance where ignoring a problem would have been the QUICKEST way to get rid of it.  And ignoring a problem is often the easiest response.  So if it would have been smarter AND easier, why didn’t they do it that way?  The only answer I could come up with was, “they were stupid.”  But who knows, maybe I’m just not brilliant enough to see the genius political maneuver behind opening up the Governor’s administration to ridicule and accusations because “she called me a name, whaaaaaa.”

That’s why I’m glad the Governor apologized.  His people made a huge mistake and “the buck stops here.”  Not that the girl is blameless in all of this however.  Even though they grew up with social media, people her age sometimes do forget that what they put online may come back to haunt them someday.  It’s not a generational dig at people her age.  Young people did the same thing before social media, just in different ways.  A tattoo that you wind up regretting is a valid example of similar behavior.  Social media is just a far more efficient way to make a fool of yourself.

Take for example some of the comments I see online from various sources like message boards and comment sections from news postings like we have here at our site or over on People with different opinions comment and argue back and forth on any number of topics, but I find one thing is almost always true.  The person with the better, well-reasoned, and smarter argument is usually the person who cares enough to use proper spelling and sentence structure.  How one makes an argument is just as important as what that argument is.  A comment about the Governor/Tweet story on Facebook I saw was a pretty good example.  I won’t go into specifics, but someone bashing the girl called her a name, but misspelled the insult he hurled at her (unless he wanted to call her a machine that incorporates a block-and-tackle like device.)  He also used an incorrect word form a sentence later.  And no matter what the argument or what side of it I’m on, it’s embarrassing to be on the same side of an argument as someone who is needlessly careless and obviously stupid.

But I am the last person who is in any place to be complaining about this.  My handwriting is all but unreadable to everyone including myself.  My spelling is absolutely atrocious and I would be lost without a good spell checker (it caught 2 in this sentence, by the way.)  I’m sure there are several structural things someone could nitpick about the way I’ve put together this blog update.  But at least I take the time to remove the obvious mistakes.

It’s an easy way to sound smarter than I really is.

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People: Brownback

A New Facebook Scam

Actually it's not new.  But that's nothing new either; many scams, spyware, viruses, ect. online are just new versions of old ones or different variations.  The latest scam is another facebook "clickjacking" scheme.  Somewhere on your or a friend's feed you'll see a message saying something like "You can't watch this video for more than 15 seconds" or "90% of people can't watch this video for more than 15 seconds."  Then there is an embedded video or a link to a video.  It's usually just a kind of gross video (like lancing a boil, or a bad bone break, that sort of thing.)  But there's also things like an age verification with your date of birth, and question fields that ask you things.  Simple things like the state that you live in, county or city you live in.  Zip code where you live.  YOUR STREET ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER.

Yeah, this isn't simple anymore, they are phishing for your personal information.  And they are getting personal information from people in exchange for watching someone lance a boil to see pus come out?  How stupid is that?  Plus, this is the internet.  There are plenty of places you can go to see "gross out" videos without picking up malware or falling for phishing scams.  Youtube or Ebaum's World will have you covered if that's your thing (although Ebaum's has been known to have spyware issues from time to time, which is why I won't link it.) 

And if losing personal information isn't bad enough, the information can be used to hack your facebook account, ensuring that all of your facebook friends get hit with the same clickjacking scam.  That's a quick way to get un-friended.

Likewise though, you can't be too lenient on facebook friends who don't follow basic security precautions and wind up getting hacked.  In that case the hackers can see your private profile and can post to your wall.  And that's unacceptable.  And if someone is mad or upset that you un-friended them, just tell them that you are still their friend.  But it's just an online safety precaution that you have to take to protect yourself.  Once they resolve their security issues, you can friend them again.

I've said I'm not a fan of social networking, but I can see the allure and usefulness of facebook and twitter.  But ever the increasing spiderweb of social circles on sites like facebook is a tailor made way for scammers to spread their malware.  So use caution.

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Topics: Technology_Internet

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