How can you tell when an advertiser is lying?

Answer: His lips are moving.

Let’s look at this ad that appeared on my Facebook feed (Android). The first one seems to indicate that US comsumers are urged to stop using WiFi after some sort of revelation by Donald Trump.

But click on the ad (which I never do, unless I’m following some sort of jiggery-pokery down the rabbit hole) and you end up with an advertorial (read: advertising thinly disguised to look like a news article) for YesBackup, a cloud backup service.

If you’re confident in your product’s abilities, Mr. or Ms. CEO, you shouldn’t resort to outright lies, trickery, and deception to get customers. Even the use of Advertorials (sometimes called “farticles” or “fake articles”) alone is enough to make your integrity suspect. Now this may be the the work of an affiliate marketer, that doesn’t really excuse the company – they are, after all, responsible for all of their advertising whether in-house or contracted out.

The takeaway: Be very careful clicking “sponsored ads” – the vast majority of them are going to be deceptive at best and outright scams at worst.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

A new twist on blog spam


I’ve written about blog spam before, a particularly underhanded and sleazy way of driving traffic to another website by flooding others with comments which contain backlinks or IP addresses.

The following chain of comments (unedited) appeared at various posts two days ago; it took me a minute or two to figure out what was going on, wondering if someone was really getting ad-based notices from my blog.

“you advise me to come to thjs site to unsubscribe, yet all i see are ads for your company which is wich you tell me”
“unsubscribe me thank you i am not interested”
“for the third time i an not interseted please do not send me any more blogs”
“not in the least bit interested, thank you”
“stop sendind me ads”

These all came on a single day within 6 minutes of each other, with a name (Salvatore Monda), an email address, and an IP address attached. It’s the IP address that provides the basis for raising search-engine rankings for spurious websites – aside from the fact that this tactic rarely works any longer, Google and others having factored it in to their search algorithms. Yet somehow, devious and stupid people keep trying.

I checked out the IP address – it appears to be defunct already, meaning someone has shut it down before anyone could be driven to it for whatever purposes – advertising, malware, who knows what. Akismet does a good job at filtering out most blog spam, but these look legitimate enough that they slipped through. Fortunately, I get to approve (or trash) comments at this blog before they go live – which I have done.

Salvatore Monda, this one’s for you.*

No Because No

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Not from Yahoo (scam)


“Your Mail version is outdated.” “Upgrade your account now.”

Never follow links like this that ask you to enter your email username and password. Would you hand your credit card to a criminal? Don’t give access to your Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, or other accounts to scammers.

If  you have loved ones who are not especially tech-savvy, please protect them from this kind of jiggery-pokery.

Be safe out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Celebrity Names (The original kind)

Cross posted From Livejournal

What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot when it comes to fame and fortune. Stage names are a longstanding tradition, and there are a number of reasons for adopting one. Fear of being perceived as too ethnic, Guild rules that state no two members may have the same name, anonymity, shock appeal… all play a rôle in determining the choice of your monicker.

From the Huffington Post, here are 44 celebrities and their real names. Some are well known, others came as quite a surprise to me. Listed here so you don’t have to page through their slide show, with concomitant advertisements, along with some gratuitous commentary by my own self, in blue.

Alicia Keys: Alicia Augello Cook
Ben Kingsley: Krishna Pandit Bhanji
(Now that’s an awesome name. I think he should have kept it.)
Bruce Willis: Walter Willis
Carmen Electra: Tara Leigh Patrick
Catherine Deneuve: Catherine Dorleac
To Anglophones, any French name sounds sexy. Perhaps there’s something in French that prompted the choice…
Charlie Sheen: Carlos Irwin Estevez
Chevy Chase: Cornelius Crane Chase
Christie Brinkley: Christie Lee Hudson
Christopher Walken: Ronald Walken
I like his choice.
Chuck Norris: Carlos Ray Norris
No disrespect intended, but “Carlos Norris Jokes” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.
Dakota Fanning: Hannah Fanning
Demi Moore: Demetria Gene Guyne
Diane Keaton: Diane Hall
Elton John: Reginald Kenneth Dwight
Elvis Costello: Declan Patrick MacManus
Etta James: Jamesetta Hawkins
Fred Astaire: Frederick Austerlitz
Helen Mirren: Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov
Jack Black: Thomas Jacob Black
Jamie Foxx: Eric Marlon Bishop
Joan Rivers: Joan Alexandra Molinsky
Joaquin Phoenix: Joaquin Rafael Bottom
Julie Andrews: Julia Elizabeth Wells
Katy Perry: Katheryn Elizabeth Hudson
Lana Del Rey: Elizabeth Grant
Larry King: Lawrence Harvey Zeiger
Marilyn Monroe: Norma Jean Mortenson
Meg Ryan: Margaret Hyra
Mel Brooks: Melvin Kaminsky
Michael Caine: Maurice Joseph Micklewhite
Miley Cyrus: Destiny Hope Cyrus
Natalie Portman: Natalie Hershlag
Nicolas Cage: Nicholas Kim Coppola
Olivia Wilde: Olivia Jane Cockburn
That’s pronounced “Coburn,” in case you were wondering.
Pat Benatar: Patricia Mae Andrzejewski
Yes. Thank you so very much. I can pronounce Eyjafjallajökull, but those Polish names give me fits.
Portia De Rossi: Amanda Lee Rogers
Spike Lee: Shelton Jackson Lee
Steven Tyler: Steven Victor Tallarico
Tina Fey: Elizabeth Stamatina Fey
Tina Turner: Anna Mae Bullock
Tom Cruise: Thomas Cruise Mapother IV
A cool name doesn’t make him any less strange.
Vin Diesel: Mark Vincent
Whoopi Goldberg: Caryn Elaine Johnson
Woody Allen: Allen Stewart Konigsberg

In the end analysis, it’s a shame that so many talented stars change their handles because of undercurrents of racism, but until the world becomes a more tolerant place, it will probably continue to happen.

Edit: I forgot to provide the link to the Wiki article on Stage Names, which gives many more examples and various reasons for the changes.

go0dvinez: Malware Central

With uBlock Origin attached to Chrome and a host of other malware protections on my computer, I almost never see ads, spam, malware, popups, popunders, or any such things.

My phone is not so fortunate.

Recently I’ve checked out a couple of things on my Android that had shown up on my Facebook wall, and it’s been a long time since I’ve seen such a blatant effort to redirect, scam, browser-hijack, deceive, and annoy visitors as I experienced today with (don’t go there.)

When you get a link like [], you know something is going to be off in the first place – but that didn’t show up until I did some researching on my desktop. On the phone, as soon as you hit the site, you’re immediately taken on like a six-level-deep redirect, and this is what you see:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I don’t even want to think about what kind of insidious garbage you wuld be downloading to your handheld device if you followed those links or clicked on the install buttons. One of them completely locks your browser; the only way out is to restart.

This is internet evil in its most distilled form, topped only by ransomware viruses and the unspeakable horrors of the deep web where few of us ever wander.

Stay away from this website, and if you see strange things happening to your phone when you follow a link, get out of there as fast as you can. Legitimate websites will never give you virus popup warnings like this.

Be careful out there.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Nine more Crypto Emails

Today in the mail, another gush of spam emails, each one with a .zip attachment labelled “invoice” or “statement” or “employees” or some other innocuous title. Each one containing a .js (javascript) file which would download encryption software, corrupt my files, and demand a ransom. Please do not be victimized by these criminals.

From: Carole Middleton <>
Subject: [SPAM] Re: Chart of Accounts
hello info,
You may refer to the attached document for details.
Norma Palmer

From: Beatrice Salinas <> Subject: [SPAM] FW: vendors

Hi info
The attached spreadsheet contains bills. Please review
Beatrice Salinas

From: Devon Garcia <>
Subject: [SPAM] Re:

Hi info,
As promised, the document you requested is attached\
Devon Garcia

Subject: [SPAM] Emailing: Photo 05-11-2016, 98 43 44

Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Photo 05-11-2016, 98 43 44
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent sending or receiving certain types of file attachments.  Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

Note: How kind of them to warn me against viruses.

Subject: [SPAM] Emailing: Photo 05-12-2016, 64 94 68

Your message is ready to be sent with the following file or link attachments:
Photo 05-12-2016, 64 94 68
Note: To protect against computer viruses, e-mail programs may prevent ending or receiving certain types of file attachments.  Check your e-mail security settings to determine how attachments are handled.

From: Kareem Sweeney <>
Subject: [SPAM] Re:

hi info,
As promised, the document you requested is attached
Kareem Sweeney

From: Kristine Brennan <>
Subject: [SPAM] build assemblies

hello info
Attached please find the build assemblies report for your review
Thank you.
Kristine Brennan

From: Mable Ward <>
Subject: [SPAM] FW: invoices

Hi info
The attached spreadsheet contains employees. Please review
Mable Ward

From: Milagros Wiley <>
Subject: [SPAM] receive payments

hello info
Attached please find the receive payments report for your review
Thank you.
Milagros Wiley

From: Norma Palmer <>
Subject: [SPAM] Re: Chart of Accounts

hello info,
You may refer to the attached document for details.
Norma Palmer

I post these only in case people out there are searching the web for similar messages.


Be careful out there

The Old Wolf has spoken.

Improving the web, one word at a time.

XKCD is a wonderful strip. Sometimes Munroe’s posts are based in deep and often incomprehensible (to me) math, sometimes intriguing science, and sometimes the most violently twisted whimsy one could imagine.

The most recent installment gives some suggestions for making the web-browsing experience more interesting.


The internet being what it is, and people’s creativity and free time factoring in, it was no surprise that a vehicle has already been created that allows such a list (or any other) to be implemented.

My news feed now looks like this:


This courtesy of Word Replacer II, a chrome extension that allows you to wipe out any word in your browser that you might find offensive, tiresome, or annoying, and replace it with any other. Tired of seeing Justin Bieber or Kim Kardashian all over the news? Replace them with “Little Bunny Froo-froo” or “King Koopa.”

Trust me, it will make your daily perusal of the news much more uplifting.

The user interface is a bit hard to use, but the fastest way to get things in is to build a blob with this format and import it. Notice that the closing brace after each segment has a comma after it – all except for the last one.

“version”: “2.0.10”,
“replacements”: [
“repA”: “Hillary Clinton”,
“repB”: “Her Supreme Corruptness”,
“type”: “Simple”,
“case”: “Maintain”,
“active”: true
“repA”: “Donald Trump”,
“repB”: “the bombastic blowhard”,
“type”: “Simple”,
“case”: “Maintain”,
“active”: true

It took me a while of fiddling to get them in, but I was able to get about 30 replacements installed and now watching the news feeds actually gives me a smile.


The Old Wolf has spoken