Category Archives: Geek News

News geeks would like

Nigerian spam mutates again

This was on Slashdot earlier for the 5 minutes Slashdot was actually up today. (503s and 500s abounded. But that’s a different storry.) This is too awesome not to comment on.

The Register is carrying a story titled 419ers morph into Murder Incorporated.

we have received a fax message from our headquaters,new york,this morning to inform you to produce a mandatory sum of US$40,000.00 {FOURTHY THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS} only,into our account given below in nigeria within ninety six hours{96},alternatively you will be SNIPPED and GUNNED down during the period of our oncoming anniversary of fifty years.

I’ve really enjoyed watching this scam mutate the past few years. From various deposed ministers to desposed oil magnates to various countries other than Nigeria. What is not funny with this is how many people and how much money people are taken for in this scam.

According to Billions lost each year due to spam.

The US Secret Service has designated the so-called ‘Nigerian scam,’ in which the sender offers to pass on windfall sums of money if a percentage payment is made in advance, as an ‘epidemic,’ defrauding people of hundreds of millions of dollars per year,” said The Age.

I never would have predicted the mutation into including death threats. Not that it wasn’t illegal before, but I think the average person knows that a death threat is clearly illegal. The older versions I could see people not fully getting as illegal.

I can see many inexperianced computer users being scammed and/or getting scared off of the internet forever, which is the real problem.

Yet another Fry’s update.

My sources tell me that the Downer’s Grove Fry’s is open today until 7pm in a preview mode. From what I’ve been told they are doing a run through with the staff so they have some experiance before the grand opening. My sources also report that the grand opening will be over the weekend of the 4th.

Other sources say that “Old man Fry” was there yesterday making sure that all was ready.

Looks like its almost time. Whee.

Google being evil? NOT

Edward Kasner, with the help of his nephew, Milton Sirotta, coined the term googol. We all know it now to be 10100. Kasner’s relatives are supposedly upset that everyone’s favorite search engine Google is making money of the word he coined. Peri Fleisher, Kasner’s great-neice, is appearently talking to NPR and anyone who will listen about this injustice.

First note, in that second article, I love this quote: “I had heard of Google in 1988 before most people were aware of it. I didn’t know if the company was going to take off or not.” (Emphasis mine.) I’m sure this is a typing mistake, but its still funny to me.

Second note, this seems really silly to me. I guess the controversy comes to these two points: 1) In Google’s favor, Google spelled it differently. 2) In the family’s favor Google acknowledges that they based their name on this term, but doing a play on the word. The family might have some merit, but once a word is released into the lexicon for general use, its too late. Especially a seemlingly general term like googol. Unless you’ve trademarked it and defend that trademark, or something like that.

Being a geek, I knew the world googol long before Google came along. How many “normal” people did? Scrabble and Upwords players maybe. And that’s why the family is all ticked off.

Seems like a lot of sour grapes to me.

Fry’s news

Looks like the Chicago area Fry’s is still moving forward. (Thanks to MARK NOTARUS for the link.)

From Suburban Chicago News:

A new power player

Fry’s Electronics wants to broaden its national presence and hopes its first venture east of the Mississippi River will pay big dividends.

After almost two decades of operating exclusively in the western and southwestern United States, the consumer electronics retailer is ready to make its Midwest debut in Downers Grove. The store is near interstates 88 and 355 and was built on the site once occupied by Auto Nation.

Martin Maney has pointed out on the LUNI mailing list, that our friend whyme has a newer update at his site that says Fry’s is actually hiring.