Archive for October 16th, 2006

Corporate Podcast and Website Management Service

Over the past few days I’ve been giving some thought to what I could do if the #### #### I require for a job I’ve been offered doesn’t come through. My main thought here has been a Corporate Podcasting Service where I produce (and optionally present) podcasts for organisations, and also offer website management services.

At the moment it sounds like a good idea, I can think of a few organisations that would benefit from newsletter style podcasts which contain general notices for customers/clients, as well as short interviews with various people responsible for aspects of the organisation’s work. I can also think of a few places which could benefit from website management services.

I haven’t come across the downside of the idea yet…I’m sure it’ll come to me in the next day or two.

Any thoughts?

Samuel

7 comments October 16th, 2006 at 02:55pm

Five emails…because we know you’ll ignore the first four!

It must have been International Loopy Spammer day yesterday. For some reason I received the same bit of spam five times…the exact same email to the exact same email address five times.

The spam in question was titled “[TKO] : your (eBay) account could be suspended” and was, not surprisingly, a bogus email about an eBay account being suspended. Unfortunately these spammers aren’t very bright, they have copied various aspects of eBay messages, but not very well.

For example, there is no “from” or “reply-to” address, and as such these emails, which slipped past the spam filter somehow, landed in my inbox, and not in my eBay folder…there are further dead giveaways in the email itself.

eBay sent this message to member of ebay
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay.

Hmmm, surely my eBay username should be in the first sentence then.

The links are very amusing, most eBay scam emails have links to real pages on eBay…these scammers managed to link to Yahoo Mail’s login page instead, and include faulty javascript redirects to the actual eBay pages, they even managed to have the fualty javascript redirect on an ebay.com link point to ebay.com.au

The link to “update your user account details” (which basically means “give us all your personal info so we can commit identity theft”) comes from a “respond now” button, which in a real eBay email would take you to eBay’s message centre, but in this case is the only working link, and takes you to http://madahbahana.org/signin.ebay.com

madahbahana.org is registered to something called the “Indomarching Group” in Jakarta, which for a while was using the website to “sell” fake university degrees, unfortunately in the last 24 hours or so the website has been destroyed and now only returns “403 forbidden” messages…which is a pity because I would have liked to see how bad their attempt at emulating a real eBay page was.

For the record, I received the emails yesterday at 6:06am, 6:09am, 5:41pm, 5:43pm and 6:11pm.

The headers from one email show that a php script at zvvurk.nl on behalf of 125.160.82.205 sent the emails, and the people responsible used Microsoft Word to write the emails…they really are dumb.

Update: Since writing this post I have received another one of these emails, it came in at 9:14am. End Update

Samuel

October 16th, 2006 at 12:51pm

Desperate Directories

I received an odd email on the Samuel’s Persiflage email address yesterday…have a read…

From: administrator@pod-planet.com <administrator@pod-planet.com>
To: podcast@samuelgordonstewart.com
Date: Oct 15, 2006 7:51 AM
Subject: Your Podcast Was Added to Pod-Planet.com

Hello From Pod-Planet.com!
Your Podcast Was Added to Our Directory.

Dear Podcaster,

Congratulations! A fan of your Podcast added your RSS feed for Samuel’s Persiflage to the Pod-Planet.com Podcast Directory! Pod-Planet.com is quickly becoming the hottest Podcast directory on the Web. Use our site to post or subscribe, rate or sell (coming FY07) Podcasts.

Although your Podcast has been added to our Directory, you may want to go in and categorize your Podcast in our taxonomy so that Users can quickly and easily find your Podcast by category.

In order to categorize your Podcast, you simply need to create a free account on our site. Once your account is created, simply click ‘My Administration’ in the toolbar to view and categorize your Podcast.

So far so good, it all sounds very nice, a random podcast directory has taken the time (even if a robot took the time) to let me know that I’m in their directory…the emails takes an interesting turn though…

All we ask in return for being listed in our directory is for you to add the Pod-Planet.com badge to your Website. The badges for Pod-Planet.com can be found on our badges page, and is depicted here:
pod-planet
It is important to note, that for security purposes, your email address in your Podcast feed must match the email account you specify during the registration process or you will not be able to categorize your Podcast.

Once again, congratulations on being submitted to Pod-Planet.com.

Pod-Planet.com (A Subsidiary of BerkeleySoft, Inc.)
http://www.pod-planet.com

Uh huh…a listener, or probably more likely a BerkeleySoft employee or robot has added me to a random podcast directory, and because of that I have to add an advertisement to my website.

A whois search shows that pod-planet.com has existed since March, but other research shows that these emails have only started in the last couple days…has BerkeleySoft wasted a heap of money on yet another pointless podcast directory and decided that they should embark on a semi-spam advertising campaign and trick a bunch of egotistical podcasters into advertising pod-planet in a bid to save their ailing investment?

I don’t know why I remember the name BerkeleySoft, but if memory serves me correctly, in a previous incarnation they were responsible for “The Learning Company” brand, which sold old software titles for $5 (I’ve got a copy of Microsoft Golf 98 from them around here somewhere, purchased sometime around 2002) and included various bits of invasive and buggy software with it. I might have them mixed up with someone else, but the name rings a bell, and for bad reasons…just can’t quite put my finger on it.

I’m not going to sign up on their website, and I don’t care if they de-list Samuel’s Persiflage, but the next episode of Samuel’s Persiflage looks like it will have a theme of “Tricks, Scams and Cons”, and I might just record a phone call with them where I probe them about their spammish practices…I’ve got a couple Australian ISPs I would like to probe the same way about other topics too.

Samuel

October 16th, 2006 at 09:10am


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