2008 The end and beginning of O’Flaherty

I wasn’t going to write a post about 2008, it’s been a year of turmoil, trouble and quite frankly, with one major exception, it’s been a year I’d rather forget.

This year has seen the end of my life in Denmark, multiple job changes, more changes of address than I can count on one hand and countless other stress’s.

2008 has seen travel, adventure and dull tedium.

It’s seen my dreams for the future ripped apart and be replaced by a new vision.

2008 has brought out the worst and the best of me and has changed me irrevocably from the person I was on 31st of January 2007.

2008 has proven to be such a year of change that in many senses I’m just not the same man anymore.

With all of the change that has gone on  I consider the old me dead in many ways.

With that in mind it’s only fitting that this blog dies to.

2009 will be a new beginning for this blog on a new domain.

2009 will be another year of adventure and I’m sure another major test of myself, however this time around my dreams, passion and goals will be fueled by the one thing that made 2008 a great year.

Happy New Year everybody!

I hope you have a great one.

My feed got flooded! Sorry!

I was testing out a new plugin (Shared Items Post) for sharing my Google Reader shared items as a daily post when I had a bit of a snafu, which resulted in anyone subscribed to the blog by RSS or email receiving 14+ versions of the same post.

I’m sorry I didn’t update on this sooner. Between work and deleting the 700+ versions of the same entry which the plugin created, things have been a bit busy.

FYI, as far as I can tell the plugin itself is solid and is not the cause of the issue. It’s a conflict between the plugin and one of the many others I use and it will take some investigating to figure out which one.

Again, sorry if you received multiple versions of the same post. Normal service will resume ASAP!

Thanks to TDavid for the heads-up about the flooded feed. Lesson to be learned here is always subscribe to your own feed (as I do) and check it regularly (which I didn’t)!

Caught on the Web – Wednesday 19/Nov/2008

Most realistic spam I’ve seen in a while

This attempt at a PayPal phishing scam is the most realistic spam email I’ve seen in a while.

Their only slip up is the return email address and the fact that the gmail address they sent it to is not my PayPal account.


from service@paypal.com <service@paypail.com>

reply-to service@paypal.com

to Paul <paul.oflaherty@gmail.com>

date Tue, Nov 18, 2008 at 8:08 AM

subject Notification of Limited Account Access

Dear Paul ,

PayPal Resolution Center: Your account is limited.

Why is my account access limited?

As part of our security measures, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. During a recent screening, we noticed an issue regarding your account:

Our system detected unusual number of invalid logging attempts on you account from these blacklist ip address.

Your case ID for this reason is PP-0042310.)

How can I restore my account access?

For your protection, we have limited access to your account until additional security measures can be completed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. In order to assist us with this security measure, we ask that you send us a photocopy or scan documents listed below and return them via email to security@paypalfraudcheck.com :

- A clear copy of your Passport or Photographic Drivers Licence or I.D. Card (both sides).

- A clear copy of both sides of the credit/debit card on your Paypal profile.

- A clear copy of a recent bank statement or utility bill on which your name and address are clearly visible -  less than 3 months old.

Completing all of the checklist items will automatically restore your account access

Thank you for using PayPal!

————————————-

Please do not reply to this email. This mailbox is not monitored and you will not receive a response. For assistance, log in to your PayPal account and click the Help link located in the top right corner of any PayPal page.

Three Mobile Impresses with 385 KB/s Download

I’ve been using my Three mobile broadband connection while at work and traveling around to keep up with my email, twitter, feeds, video Skype calls with Sara and besides a few minor connectivity issues I’ve been generally impressed by the speed.

Impressed that was until today, when I clocked the download at a whopping 385KB/s while grabbing a podcast. I was simply blown away by the realization that I was still on my mobile connection and not my ordinary broadband connection.

Not wanting to be overly geeky but I have to say “Impressive. Most impressive!”3g-download-speed

Engrish Funny – Retard Capsules and that’s not a typo!

I love Engrish Funny! As someone who’s made more than enough embarrassing mistakes speaking in other languages I can sympathise with all the posts on this site but have to admit it’s side splitting!

Oh, it’s also from the guys behind FAIL Blog.

retard-capsules

Engrish Pictures and other Funny Engrish Mistakes in English from around the world.

I’ve protected my Twitter updates

idiot While my idiot stalker lacks the intelligence to realize that my Twitter account will NEVER contain anything that could be used against me or others (in court or otherwise), he continues to pounce on every random comment I make and use it to harass people who are near and dear to me.

At one time I promised that I would never stop my online activities because of pressure from idiots like him and I NEVER will.

Yet, I have to do something as a protective measure, as I simply can’t have those I care about hurt and harassed by some idiot who has a poor IQ for a bottle of baby oil glass of water and a revenge fetish that appears to dominate everything in his life.

Instead of quitting Twitter I have chosen to protect my updates so I can, from here on in, vet all of the people who wish to follow me to ensure that they are not spammers or my stalker incognito.

As such, I’ve also removed my Twitter updates from the sidebar of this blog. Even though I’ve protected my updates they would still have been publicly visible here.

I know that Twitter is but one avenue available to my stalker but it is perhaps my most significant public (not any longer) communication tool, with the exception of this blog.

There is a positive side to all this.

As my account is now protected and I “know” everyone who is following me, I will now be a lot more forthcoming and as a consequence hopefully more interesting and less “reserved” on my Twitter account.

Protecting my account is not going to stop you from following me either. As soon as I get notification that you want to play along, I’ll be happy to add you!

The buzz has left blogging. Wah wah, f’n wah…

Nick Carr asks “Who killed the blogoshpere?“. In an excellently constructed piece he laments the blogosphere and compares it to Ham Radio‘s which, oddly enough, while once being the domain of the über geek back in the day, still have over 3 million registered operational users, which is double what Technorati believe is the current number of active blogs.

Nicks piece was obviously spurred by a piece on The Economist, “Oh, grow up : Blogging is no longer what it was, because it has entered the mainstream“.

The piece in question was very obviously written by somebody who doesn’t know his (or her) arse from his elbow and probably couldn’t find either in a dark room with both hands and a flash light.

Why do I claim this? Well all you have to do is read the piece! Once you see a statement such as:

Twitter messages, usually sent from mobile phones, are fewer than 140 characters long and answer the question “What are you doing?”

The emphasis is mine! Yeah, obviously what we are dealing with here is someone who vaguely keeps abreast of social media happenings but has no  “real” experience of the tools they are talking about.

Not to mention the fact that they rate Jason Calacanis’s departure from the blogosphere for his email list as a major occurrence.

Don’t get me wrong, I have the deepest respect for Jason, even if he is the man I love to hate and considering that I’ve only ever agreed with him twice in recorded history, but his leaving the blogosphere was NOT a major event.

It was comparable to a mouse fart of the Richter scale and one still has to question if he has actually departed the b’sphere considering there are at least 8 (at time of writing) posts on his blogs since his “retirement”.

But what of the blogoshpere? Is it dead?

Hell no!

It may have reached a plateau, but to call it dead is like saying that Elmer has truly beaten Bugs.

What we have at the moment is an issue where the entirely insular English speaking blogosphere is only paying attention to the English speaking b’sphere.

Worse. Those insular idiots are mainly looking only at the portion of the b’sphere that stems from the US.

The fact of the matter is this: English speaking people make up a small portion of the online world (about 29% and dropping). The US is only a small portion of that, already small portion, of users.

As the rest of the world comes online we will have to deal with the fact that the blogosphere will grow, not just as a medium but in diversity.

Not only will it grow in diversity, but I am fairly certain that we will find blogs written in English becoming the minority. The future is not the US or European markets. It’s the unsaturated Indian and Asian markets, which already boast a large numbers of online users as we have but at a fraction of our population saturation.

Is blogging dead? No!

Just like Ham Radio operators have had their day (but are still more numerous than ever) blogging isn’t going anywhere. It’s just shifting its emphasis from the US market to the rest of the world.

This shift is not because US bloggers are becoming any less active, but because the rest of the world is becoming more active.

Advertising agencies will have to wake up and realise this reality before long. It’s a reality which I believe is already starting to affect blogger’s wallets as advertisers have to figure out where they want their adverts displayed.

This is a harsh reality that bloggers like you and I will will have to deal with.

Some of us already do.

Do we blog in English or the language of the country we live in? Do we tie ourselves to a single b’sphere or try to engage it all?

As other languages supersede English on the net, do we try to make those our primary blogging languages in search of an extra buck or 20 or do we focus on our established market?

I already speak 4 languages. Am I prepared to take on another 2 just for blogging?

Is the blogoshere dead? No!

It’s just shifting focus, to where the people are.

Use FutureTweets to cheat… er… plan your life

Thanks to FutureTweets you can no longer trust my twitter account.

Seriously, I could be on a plane to Alabama and you could be reading twitter updates on my feed about how “‘orrible the Cork weather is”.futuretweets

FutureTweets is a neat concept in that it allows you to schedule tweets for the future or even set up recurring tweets so that you could set reminders for yourself (Twitter + SMS if you’re lucky enough to live in a serviced area) or simply bug the living crap out of someone everyday without having to lift a finger (Did I just give my stalker ideas??).

Of course you could always use it as an alibi!! Tweet you were watching fluffy bunnies on discovery channel while reenacting what bunnies are famous for.

This tool could be “Twitter Spammer” heaven.

Anyway, as I was saying, never again can you trust my tweets. Unless it’s an immediate @whatsyerface reply, I could be there only in spirit  (and indulging in spirits at the same time).