Posts in category internet - page 2

Calendar spam, the next nuisance?

Tomorrow morning at 5am where I can enjoy an advanced fee scam! I’ve had these in email format before but never in my calendar…

Screenshot of some spam in my calendar

Oddly there are no emails about this in my inbox and I sure didn’t tell it to add one to my calendar. As there is no ‘Report Spam’ link for calendar entries I had to return to calendar view, delete it from there and hope nothing else shows up.

Digital Inspiration also wrote about this and provide a link to Google’s spam reporting page.


Facebook’s bizarre search algorithm

I’ve been having some problems trying to locate friends on Facebook and now I know why.

Facebook’s search algorithm is the most bizarre search algorithm known to man.

If you know how to spell their name exactly and type it all in lower-case that works fine. As soon as you introduce a capital or partial then spacing, which letters are capitalized and the length of the match all seem to play their part in the bizarre matching process that never delivers what you would expect although does deliver the same results every time.

I’ll use my name as an example (~ indicates additional space character):

Damien Guard / damien guard

Finds me, two coast guards named Nick Zieser and Patrick Fernandez, a person called Romy Domingo and two groups that match on description. The other people have nothing in the “Matches” field to indicate why they were bought in but not too strange.

Damie guar

Finds me, Damien Guarnieri and Kyle Damien Guarco. This one makes sense.

damien guar / ~damie guar

Should return same as above but oddly excludes Kyle.

Damien Guar / damie Guar~ / ~Damie Guard / dami Guard~ / dami guar / dami guard / dami guar

No matches at all.

damie guar

Curiously only Damien Guarnieri. Worrying given that many people search with lower case.

damie Guar

Damien Guarnieri and Kyle Damien Guarco only. No sign of me.

dami gua

The above two plus Damian La Guardia but still no sign of me or Damian Guard.

Damie guard / damie guard / damie Guard / Damie Guard / damien Guar / ~damie Guar~

Just me.

dam guar

Finds a Damian Guard in Tulsa but nobody else.

~dami gua~

Includes most of the people mentioned here but excludes my partial-namesake Damian Guard.

Damia Guar

Finds Damian Guardia and Damian La Guardia which didn’t show for “Dami Guar” yet excludes Damian Guard again.

It’s likely a case of devs trying to be intelligent and ending up with a usability nightmare but until they get their act together be prepared to try all sorts of combinations for partial matching.


Access AIM and ICQ via Google Chat

Google just added support for AIM to Google Chat so you can just enter your login details and chat right away from your Gmail or Google Apps for Domains account as if they were Google Chat users.

Better yet you can actually enter your ICQ number in the user-name box, fill in your password and integrate your ICQ account although this is seemingly undocumented and likely just a result of the ICQ and AIM integration from some time back.

It’s not as comprehensive as the fantastic Mac-app Adium or the clever Meebo web-interface and doesn’t offer support for MSN Messenger like those two but it’s a great extra tool to have at your disposal when stuck behind a proxy needing to get hold of someone.


Friends Reunited violates own privacy policy to spam users

Hello Damien

You have received this email as a customer of our sister company, Friends Reunited.

Stared back at me from my inbox yesterday purporting to be from UK television company ITV. It was curious because I always de-select the marketing option. I visited Friends Reunited site to confirm the option was indeed off which it was. More interestingly it stated it would be for their own marketing messages, not third parties which their privacy policy clarified:

We, and (where relevant) our credit card processing agents, will not supply your personal data to a third party for commercial exploitation – thus, you can rest assured that we will not sell the lists of our Members’ email addresses to a third party; and

Yet here they are doing exactly what they claim not to.

Two subsequent emails to their support team resulted in one stating they have switched my third-party emailing option off (there is no such option, they claim never to do it at all) and when I clarified this for them another stating:

All members comments and suggestions are noted and passed onto our management team for consideration.

Such blatant disregard for their own policies and European regulation should not be ignored. If you live in the UK and a UK company is spamming you then complain to the Information Commissioners Office.