Virus advarsler og skræmmehistorier

I går fik min søn en advarsel mod en SMS-virus fra to af sine kammerater. Der stod sådan her:

Hej… Advar alle du kender imod at svare på en sms fra 20(…) og 51(…) det kan koste dig 2500 kr. Det er lige sagt i P3 (Send videre).

Denne “advarsel” har jeg sporet tilbage til 2006, måske er den endnu ældre. Den er opfundet af nogle ondskabsfulde mennesker, som et mobningsredskab over for folk de ikke bryder sig om. Telefonnumrene er skiftet ud nogle gange i løbet af SMS’ens levetid. Heldigvis kom min søn til mig, inden han sendte den nogen steder hen, men hans to kammerater er enten ikke gået til deres forældre, eller forældrene har glemt at tænke sig om og er hoppet på limpinden. Prøv engang at tænke over, hvor mange der er hoppet på den limpind, når den har cirkuleret siden 2006 (mindst)?

Jeg vil gerne slå fast, at det stadig er sandt, at man ikke skal tro på alt, hvad man hører (eller læser). Det er dog blevet meget nemmere for den enkelte borger at checke, om den slags rundsendte beskeder har noget på sig. Det nemmeste er at smide hele teksten ind i Google. Prøv fx at gøre det med ovenstående. Et af de nedslående resultater er fra denne landbrugsskoles hjemmeside, hvor redaktøren har indsat teksten som en advarsel til skolens elever og dermed sanktioneret dette ondsindede vrøvl.

Får man advarsler/sygdomshistorier/politiske opråb etc., der er rundsendt via mail uden datering og troværdig kildegengivelse og uden egentlig afsender, er der god grund til at tro, at der er ugler i mosen.

Læg mærke til

  • hvem er den oprindelige afsender? Fremgår det?
  • er der en form for datering?
  • er det helbredsråd, som du aldrig før har hørt om?
  • hænger mailen en bestemt befolkningsgruppe ud med tal og “statistik”?
  • er teksten på engelsk eller på ubehjælpsomt dansk?
  • hvis det er en virusadvarsel, kommer den så fra din bank, din internetudbyder, en troværdig nyhedskilde eller en IT-prof, du stoler på?

Udover at smide teksten ind i Google og se, hvad der dukker frem, er der også specialiserede hjemmesider, man kan “spørge”. Er teksten på dansk, skal den måske lige en tur gennem Google Translate til engelsk, inden du tester den, men prøv endelig at Google den på dansk først. Rigtig mange af de “advarsler”, der florerer, er gamle som Metusalem.

Der er en side, der hedder Hoax-slayer – man skal ikke lade sig narre af sidens amatøragtige layout – det er ikke udseendet, der ligger ophavsmanden på sinde. Der fandt jeg oprindelsen til en e-mail, rundtsendt af min svigerfar (fra England). Han havde selv fået den fra sin svigerinde og de havde begge sendt den til alle på deres mailing-liste. Med den fart har denne ondsindede misinformation nok ramt samtlige postkasser hos hvide pensionister i England.

Der står bl.a. sådan her:

Her kan du læse Hoax-Slayers redegørelse for, hvor e-mailen kommer fra (Australien, 2004) og hvem der gladeligt puster til ilden (BNP (British National Party) og ligesindede). Det er sørgeligt, at der overhovedet er nogen, der falder for, at flygtninge skulle modtage 4 1/2 gang så meget i offentlige ydelser, som en britisk pensionist, men hvis det er det nemmeste at tro på?

For nogle år siden fik jeg et link til en Powerpoint, der angiveligt forklarede, hvad man skulle gøre, hvis man fik et hjerteanfald, mens man var alene – fx. i bilen. Mailen var videresendt af en veluddannet bekendt. Vejledningen gik ud på, at man skulle hoste… Ja ja, du griner, men denne Powerpoint har cirkuleret på nettet siden 1999! Alle læger, der hører om den eller ser den, tager sig til hovedet, og man ser for sig, hvordan en person alene hjemme oplever smerter i armen og hjertet og giver  sig til at hoste i stedet for at ringe efter en ambulance! Læs her på Snopes.com – et andet godt sted at checke sludder og vrøvl – om denne e-mail-scam.

Mit budskab er, at det godt kan være, du ikke selv falder for historier som “hvis du “liker” den her side, får du 20$ af Microsoft”, men har du husket at tale med dine børn om den slags, der florerer som SMS, på Facebook, på mail, men skam også stadig som almindelige vandrehistorier fra mund til øre?

I dag er det let at sætte sig sammen med barnet og spore oprindelsen til den slags historier og få sig et godt grin eller sammen undre sig over, hvad det er for nogle ubehagelige typer, der opfinder den slags. Og dit barn vil have lært en lektie for livet.

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7 pencils made of paper…

Dane and I have developed a taste for Origami. The pencils to the left are folded by Dane. Soon I’ll make a brag-post with pictures of our best creations. My most refined to date was a Triceratops (that’s a dinosaur) which I made earlier this evening. Dane’s comment: “Oh Mummy, that’s SO COOL!” A reward in it’s own… Inspiration and instruction courtesy of The Natural History Museum where we spent most of the day with good friends visiting from Denmark.

The rest of this post is devoted to all the nice places on the web you never knew you were missing…

On Slate there’s a quick’n’dirty guide to testing various search engines, obviously prompted by the emergence of the self-proclaimed Google-competitor Cuil (pronounced COOL). It’s quite good and it’s more quick than it’s dirty, if you get my drift. Still, it’s good to bear in mind that if you often search within a specialty realm, it’s a good idea to make your trial searches with well known items within that realm.

Another way to waste some time online is to check if your use of the Internet is gender specific or not. Take the test here, it takes only a few seconds. Apparently I’m 64% male… and that’s without ever having visited a sports page in my online existence. The pointer came from Marginal Revolution – as usual.

Here’s an interesting article about US presidential candidate John McCain. I’m not a taker, so I needn’t be convinced. But reading an article like this, where the author clearly likes McCain and takes him serious as a candidate, is much more interesting than reading hundreds of articles that just make fun of McCain. He’s not to be made fun of, really. He’s one of two contestants for the world’s most influential job – and almost half of all American voters are looking his way at the moment. The article focuses on McCain’s Internet illiteracy. Apparently, he needs an aid to log on to a news site or a blog for him and the man has never sent an e-mail. I don’t believe that has anything – or much at least – to do with age. I know quite a few people of his age or near it who are very proficient on the web. It has to do with a kind of arrogance and stubborn defiance that is far more troubling than age! But read the article for yourself, it appears in the Washingtonian, the local website for all things Washington D.C. Pointer from Ezra Klein.

Tomorrow we head south for the first part of our holiday here in Great Britain.

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Oh no!

Up early, all eager and happy. Arrive at new flat in excellent mood and lovely sunshine with son and helpful sister-in-law. Get call from movers that they can’t get through gate. Look like big questionmark – gate is very wide, removals lorries, delivery vans etc. drive in and out every day. Appears they‘ve used a 17 meter long giant-lorry to transport our stuff…

Must be the one at the back…

Bottom line – they drive back to depot, reload our stuff into a smaller vehicle (See, it’s possible, it fits!!!) and come back. On Monday.

I don’t cry about things like that, but I do feel very, very disappointed!

So tonight we’re back with our hospitable and patient family for another weekend with nothing much to do.

While sitting in the almost-empty flat waiting for a delivery (new vaccuum cleaner), I found that one of the undoubtedly nice neighbours has left his/her router without protection, so I’ve been perusing the Internet most profusely in my echoing and almost-empty kitchen.

Here’s some of the interesting things I’ve read today:

The Independent tells about research that has now proved that some colour additives bring on or enhance ADHD or “just” generally unruly behaviour in children. If this subject interests you, be sure to check out the other articles in the series, found at the bottom of the story.

My heart fluttered a little when I saw this headline:

The Email Habits That Make People Hate You

because I use e-mail a lot and often wonder why some some people don’t reply. Maybe they just don’t care about me and think I’m a general nuisance (just let it lie there, will you…), or maybe I’m just breaking lots of e-mail rules and annoy people that way? I was relieved to learn that I only really break a couple of the rules (4 & 5) and only some times.

On my friend Gabriela’s blog I found this wonderful speach to the American people, which made me laugh out loud. I thought of John Cleese only yesterday when I overheard two Englishmen doing their traditional good bye routine, where both parties try to pile as many compliments and niceties on top of the other person as possible within a couple of minutes. Cleese & Co. had a lovely sketch about that once upon a time. Maybe one day I’ll try to locate it on Youtube. If you’re one of those people with sticky brains and long memories, please tell me the name of the sketch and where to find it.

The Chief Happiness Officer had a look at office pranks and this is his favourite. It’s mine too. But I couldn’t help wondering when these people work and what they do?

Finally, I learned that videos can now be uploaded to Flickr. So I tried it – and it worked. Next step is to learn how to embed videos here on the blog. I just haven’t had sufficient time online to look into these matters, but mark my words, I will SOON! After all, on my old and much simpler Danish blog, I embedded videos succesfully.

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