Social Scams and Why They Work

Over the last week, as New Zealanders begin to change their jandals (flip-flops / thongs) for shoes, I’ve noted a significant increase in the number of “warnings” being posted in my social network feeds. This is not uncommon and it’s not unique only to my network of contacts as these articles point out.

Scam ImageNow, for the most part, folks in my social stream tend to only get caught on an infrequent basis by these messages. I do my best to flick a link back if it’s an obvious hoax, as do others who we share as common contacts. I have been caught myself and have more than once shared something which, if I’d relied on more than wishful thinking, would/should have been filtered out.

So – why do these attacks work, why do the hoaxes perpetuate, and what can we do as a community to reduce our chances of passing on misinformation to our networks?

The simple answer is diligence. Continue reading “Social Scams and Why They Work”

ASUS Garmin A10

I got one of these phones when they first came out – they were pretty awesome back then, however over time they have been orphaned on older, vulnerable iterations of Android and they simply don’t have what it takes to be a primary device any longer.

Because of this – I’m currently looking to root the phone and install upon it a modified ROM which will give me *just* what I need to turn this into a useful device for sitting in the car.

I got one of these phones when they first came out – they were pretty awesome back then, however over time they have been orphaned on older, vulnerable iterations of Android and they simply don’t have what it takes to be a primary device any longer.

Because of this – I’m currently looking to root the phone and install upon it a modified ROM which will give me *just* what I need to turn this into a useful device for sitting in the car.

Step #1 – Hard Reset to Factory Defaults.

  • Turn the phone OFF
  • While holding the volume UP button, press and HOLD the power button
  • Keep holding the buttons until ‘Clear User Data’ is displayed in text on the phone’s screen.

The phone will continue to boot after factory resetting the device (note, items on the Micro SD card will NOT be affected – you would need to reformat that independently yourself.

Step #2 – Find a ROM.

  • The new firmware needs to enable the more recent features of Android without overtaxing the processing power or battery capacity of the aging device…
  • Suggestions?

NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – 21st Century Parenting

21st Century Parenting – Challenges and Solutions

Lee Chisholm, Operations manager, NetSafe

This was an obvious choice as a session for me to attend, and it opened with an attention grabbing quote…

“Three times as many smart phones every minute are activated than there are babies being born” – Hans Vestberg, CEO of Ericsson

This quote sets the stage for the overwhelming influx of technologies into our lives and especially the lives of our children. The problem is, parents are being fed these lines time and again to the point where many throw in the towel and give up trying to stay current with what their children are doing.

Even more worrisome than the parents giving up, is the parents abdicating the responsibility of teaching and modelling these skills to schools. Schools do not have the resources to do this stuff alone

Continue reading “NetHui 2011 – Day 1: Digital Citizenship – 21st Century Parenting”

Wh EEE ! It’s here

My ASUS EEE 701 arrived today and was delivered over a tasty lunch of chicken fried  rice (not that that has anything to do with the device, but it may go someway to explaining some of the out of box images I took while unpacking it at the lunch table 🙂 ).

 Overall I’m impressed by the device, however I do think I will be installing Ubuntu on the device (using this guide?), as it seems to lack some of the functionality and flexibiliy that I want out to use it for. That said, it’s 110% fine for a normal user in my opinion, it has all the applications on it you’d expect, it crazy fast and very very nice to use (loving the tactility of the keyboard).

The unopened boxBox opened - Quick UserguideThe unit itselfThe rest of the box contents

The Product Details


It’s got a bit of interest in the office today – and I’ll spend much of this weekend fnarkling with it I’m sure 🙂

Wahoo! Just ordered my ASUS EEE 701

Sweeet… My ASUS EEE 701 sub notebook is on its way 🙂

Fortuantly (for me) I still had enough left in my ‘Technology Refresh’ budget to secure one of the first of these units to come into New Zealand and of course, big thanks go out to Tom for getting the wheels in motion to make this happen.

 ASUS EEE 701


For those who’ve not heard of these units, they are specced as follows:

  • Display 7″
  • CPU & Chipset: Intel mobile CPU & chipset (900Mhz)
  • OS: Linux/ Microsoft Windows XP compatible
  • Communication: 10/100 Mbps Ethernet; 56K modem
  • WLAN: WiFi 802.11b/g
  • Graphic: Intel UMA
  • Memory: 512MB, DDR2-400
  • Storage: 4/ 8/ 16GB Flash
  • Webcam: 300K pixel video camera
  • Audio: Hi-Definition Audio CODEC; Built-in stereo speaker; Built-in microphone
  • Battery Life: ~3hrs (4 cells: 5200mAh, 2S2P)
  • Dimension & Weight: 22.5 x 16.5 x 2.1~3.5cm, 0.89kg

So – small, low powered (in a relitive sense) and ideal to take it’s place as my kitchen PC or the thing that travels with me when I want connectivity but not the weight or power of my primary laptop. Devices like this would have been ideal for me back in the days when I was timing multisport events. With the additional power – better connectivity, and better battery life they would have allowed me to provide more ‘real-time’ results from each of the timing stations – of course, 802.11g would have had to have been invented then but – let’s not quibble with fond memories eh?

I’ll do my best to restrain myself sufficiently to provide an out of box experience post when the unit arrives… HURRY!

smartFeed – Podcasting for your Pocket PC

I’ve found out about a new piece of software called smartFeed which allows you to manage your podcasts directly on your PocketPC (or SmartPhone)… I’ve installed it and it’s pretty good!

I’ve been a keen listener to Podcasts for just over a year now and it’s getting easier all the time as it becomes more mainstream.

You may remember I wrote a piece a while back about the whole blogging / podcasting thing. Well, last night as I was painting the hallway (or dining room, I can’t exactly remember – there’s a lot of painting going on) I was listening to a Podcast from Geek News Central which referred to this entry over on DavesiPAQ.com. Now I’ve been happily using the Doppler software for windows to manage my podcast subscriptions and, through an entry on one of the Blogs that I subscribe to by Sean Alexander, I dutifully went through the HowTo and set things up to manage these Podcasts that doppler downloads, via Windows Media Player – which in turn allows me to sync them to my portable device… sounds complicated eh? Well – it kind of is, and I have some issues with Doppler as a package which doesn’t seem to want to allow itself to be killed automatically on a windows shutdown, but I may go into that in another entry at a later date.

So the good news, after quickly wiping paint off my fingers, I did a dash to the notebook (which was out of the way of paint splashes thanks very much), rewound the file a wee bit and grabbed the link. I installed it this morning (why don’t they give you 2 cradles for your PDA when you buy it, you *need* one at home and one at work!) and – though it didn’t work first off, giving me a "Could not find resource assembly" error message. Which in fact means that you need to download and install SP3 of .NET CF (of course) which you can get from here.
From there it was a simple task of setting the Podcasts to load to a particular directory of my storage card (root is default – yuck) and choosing which casts to subscribe to via the PDA.

To summarise:

  1. Install the latest .NET service pack for your PocketPC / SmartPhone
  2. Download smartFeed for your platform from http://smartfeed.org/
  3. Install the software
  4. Setup your destination directory (under settings)
  5. Add your Podcasts
  6. Retrieve some files (I’d recommend using the cradle link – bandwidth is MUCH cheaper when it’s not mobile 🙂
  7. Start listening…

Update [28/06/2005]: While preaching the good word of Podcasts to a collegue here at work, I’ve just seen that Doppler 3.0 has been announced and includes some very cool features including more support for Windows Media player, a plugin to launch Doppler and auto-download feeds and even uses the BITS technology to background load podcasts… nice!
Not yet launched into Beta, but definatly something worth keeping an eye out for 😀 😀