Friday, December 30, 2005

My cancer has has defiled all forms of medical treatment!!!!

This is the best 419 scam email I have received in a long time. What a hoot!

Dear Friend,

My name is Mrs. Mary-Ann Williams, a wife of late Mr. George Williams, an American Businessman based in West Indonesia. I got your contact through the listed postal address in your country. I lost my husband to the international disaster in West Indonesia (the Tsunami attack) and I am also in the hospital receiving treatment after the exposure to the hard conditions of the Tsunami. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts.

My Late husband and I, before his death, once asked members of his family to close one of our accounts and distribute the money which he had there to charity organization in Ethiopia and Somalia; they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what my husband had left for them.

The last of my money, which no one knows of, is secured in a bank in Europe worth US$15,000,000.00 (Fifteen million United States dollars only) and secretly defaced and is coded for security reasons; this could be released at short notice when a willing and acceptable partner emerges. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations.

I have set aside 20% for you and for your time as well as any expenses incurred during this process. Get back to me A.S.A.P.

I will give you more details when I get your assurance and willingness to help me in this my present state of predicament.

Please send your response to:


Mrs. Mary-Ann Williams.

Trojan Threat to AdSense Users and Viewers?

TechShout reports that there might be a new trojan out there that targets advertising delivered by the Google AdSense service.

Yet more interesting links

Man oh man do I have a backlog of stuff to post. I'm gonna try and just throw a load of links I've been hoarding recently. Here goes...

There's a useful/entertaining Yiddish Dictionary and potted history of the language here.

Read all about the next, errr, big thing in children's stuffed toys, Pee and Poo, here. Now back and available in a "Duo Pack". Class, true class.

Tanya Headon has a sweet rant against music going at I Hate Music. I'm particularly enjoying AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 LOUSY TUNES.

Larry Pratt raves on about the threats to personal freedoms and privacy potentially enjoyed through the use/exploitation of RFID technology in Spychips.

Ever wondered what Markham, Ontario, Canada looks like?

Inelegantly wasted: Britain's obsession with the bottle discusses Britain's problems with unhealthy drinking habits. No response yet from the leader of the Liberal Democrats....

Most Americans wrongly believe that the USA was founded by Christians, on Christian beliefs, and with the aim of creating a Christian nation. This mistaken belief tends to stem from a combination of historical ignorance, ignorance of history, a certain amount of Christian Right-wing historical revisionism, and a large helping of what amounts to little more than brain-washing by key figures in the government and amongst its supporters. Jim Walker goes into much greater detail in The Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense founded on the Christian religion

I know, it's a little behind the curve now that it's almost New Year's Eve. My thoroughly bad, my good man, wot? Some people should not be allowed to buy Louis XIV furniture or Christmas lights.

The recent discovery of a Mayan mural in Guatemala has turned the "known" history of Mayan culture completely on its head, apparently.

Members and Associates of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility hold investments in a large part of corporate America. The ICCR investor coalition has 275 members with a combined market portfolio of more than 110 billion US dollars. Money talks, as they say, and these people are putting their money where their mouths are. Using their power as investors, they coerce and force companies to do the right thing. This is often achieved through the power of shareholder-sponsored corporate resolutions. It involves companies like McDonald's, GE, Lockheed, Anheuser-Busch, ChevronTexaco and issues such as the labelling of products to include information on the use of genetically modified organisms, the cleaning up of PCB contamination of the environment, depleted uranium, and other environmental and social issues. You can read more here.

The ICCR maintains a subcription-only Ethical Investment Services database here and the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire Service is here..

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Google headquarters: One big search party

Malcolm Fleschner of the Washington Examiner has written a most entertaining article about life at, and other aspects of, Google.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Google Irony AKA Blogspot et al vs Sitemaps et Verification

I finally found some time to start optimising my holistic approach to making these blog things pay for themselves, or at least upping the visitor numbers somewhat.

No, I don't mean I've started a new ultra-rightwing, conservative, foaming-at-the-mouth, nationalistic, pig-ignorant Arab-bashing blog. That would be too easy a way to generate loads of comments and links.

Instead, I've started going through the nice shiny tips William Nabaza has helpfully compiled in "10 Secret Ways Of Getting Your Website Listed on Google". He's obviously done quite a good job as his content is being ripped off, sorry, I mean syndicated by just about EVERYBODY.

One of the most important things to getting good coverage of your blog or any other type of website is ensuring it's fully indexed by Google. Google Sitemaps is a new service that attempts to improve the accuracy of their index of your site as well as give you access to handy statistics and information about errors.

Where does the irony come from? Well... in order to get access to those statistics, you have to upload a tiny text file to your website that Google then uses to verify your ownership of the site.

Quite a few blogging services don't allow uploading of files to their servers. This includes blogspot, part of the Google empire and also the blogging tool used by Google to publish information about, you guessed it... Google!

One of the best postings about this seems to be unavailable now but you can still get the, ahem, Google cache of it here. Technorati's search results are here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

If we don't (blank), then the terrorists will have won

WASHINGTON -- After the national nightmare of September 11, 2001, those urging their fellow Americans to pursue a particular activity or to support a particular public policy -- whether drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or outlawing civil unions between gay Americans, or buying a new car -- would often argue that their fellow Americans' unwillingness or refusal would force the world to conclude: "... then the terrorists have won!" CNN

Best wishes to the BBC

Here's a nice Christmas message for the BBC from Gabriele Zamparini.

Could you please ask Paul Wood to wear a military uniform the next time he says that British and American forces "came to Iraq in the first place to bring democracy and human rights" ? [BBC News at Ten, 22.12]

Monday, December 26, 2005

World Awed 'n' Shocked As Peace Breaks Out...

And goodwill to all men...

Merry Usurped Pagan Festival, y'all!!

The Human Security Centre reports...

Comprehensive Three-Year Study Shows Surprising Evidence of Major Declines in Armed Conflicts, Genocides, Human Rights Abuse, Military Coups and International Crises, Worldwide.

The Number of Armed Conflicts Has Dropped 40% since 1992.

This Unheralded Decline is Linked to a Dramatic Increase in UN Conflict Prevention and Peace Building Efforts.

NEW YORK -- Confounding conventional wisdom, a major new report reveals that all forms of political violence, except international terrorism, have declined worldwide since the early 1990s.

Supported by five governments, published by Oxford University Press and released today, the Human Security Report is the most comprehensive annual survey of trends in warfare, genocide, and human rights abuses. The Report, which was produced by the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia, shows how, after nearly five decades of inexorable increase, the number of genocides and violent conflicts dropped rapidly in the wake of the Cold War. It also reveals that wars are not only far less frequent today, but are also far less deadly.

In tracking and analyzing these trends the Report draws on specially commissioned studies and confirms the little-publicized findings of earlier research to explode a number of widely believed myths about contemporary political violence. The latter include claims that terrorism is currently the gravest threat to international security, that 90% of those killed in today’s wars are civilians and that women are disproportionately victimized by armed conflict.

Analyzing the causes of the improvement in global security since the early 1990s, the Report argues that the UN played a critically important role in spearheading a huge upsurge of international conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peace building activities.

Although marred by much–publicized failures, these efforts have been the major driver of the reduction in war numbers around the world. The Report examines alternative explanations for the decline and finds them wanting.

Professor Andrew Mack, who directed the Report project, says that these extraordinary changes have attracted little discussion because so few realize that they have taken place. ‘No international agency collects data on wars, genocides, terrorist acts, or core human rights abuses,’ he said. ‘The issues are just too politically sensitive. And ignorance is compounded by the fact that the global media give far more coverage to wars that start than those that quietly end.’

Read the full press release (PDF format).

Read the report.