Making the Most of the Internet - Blog


Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Here We Go Again


Athens Financial Group Ltd. is another one of those scams where you can earn money for nothing.

Ignore it!

It is registered in China. Funny I thought Athens was either in Greece or the States.

In the last nine hours, I've had 297 of the blessed messages.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Tax Discs On Line


In the last few days, I've just bought two tax discs on line.

Generally the system works well, but we had terrible problems today in that the site was very busy.

So does that mean that the general public is embracing Internet purchase of Vehicle Licences?

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Spam Goes On


Shown is the latest graph from my spam trap.

The Spam Goes On - Click For Large

Note how since August the levels of spam have gone up by over sixty percent.

We are losing the battle.


Friday, October 27, 2006

Amazon and Phishing


I get about 300 phishing e-mails a day purporting to come from Barclays Bank. That is about 90% of all the phishing e-mails I get.

I wrote to Barclays and they didn't even reply.

For Amazon I get only one or two fraudulent e-mails every month. Perhaps this is because Amazon take this type of fraud very seriously and are prepared to turn up and talk about it on the radio.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

President Putin has Dead


No he hasn't. It's just that I've had several e-mails purporting to com efrom the BBC, saying that he has dead. Note the tense.

The e-mails point to a site selling fruit drinks.

Very strange.


Getting to the Top in Google


There is no substitute for solid hard work.

I always use Google Webmaster Tools to check why your site is being found in Google. Have a look every day and see the changes. If the company is in the news see if this changes the pattern.

Think, analyse and write it all down.

Also find a search in Google that finds the company on the second or so page. Make sure it's not company specific, by using the company name or a product. Then track how the position of this search goes up and down.

In my opinion, there is only one thing that gets your web site to the top of the lists. And that is good solid content, which is constantly being added to. Does the company have a news page which it updates daily? Or does it let the site grow old and mouldy like a sandwich in the fridge?

As you will see elsewhere in this letter, I've been using blogs integrated into the site as news pages. They are also great ways of generating traffic. Think of all those words, that Google can index. So does your CEO, Support Department or whoever run a blog.

Remember though that paying for position in Google, is much the same as feeding a drug habit. When you withdraw, the site's life goes quickly downhill.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The World's Least Professional Scammer


Over the last twenty four hours I have had endless copies of the same message, purporting to be from PayPal. As of 17:00, I had received 125 copies of the message.

PayPal Case PP-X26-928-08 Account Security Measures Notification.

All have the heading and are addressed to the same e-mail address. That in itself should make anybody with a modicum of common sense realise that this is a scam. The fact that they can't spell October is another clue.

So he's not very bright.

The web site that the e-mails point to is based in Virginia. Isn't that in the Land of the Free. Or should I say the Land of the Free to Scam and Spam?

Update - Just as quick as they came, the messages have now stopped. The last one was at 20:25, yesterday.


Monday, October 23, 2006



I have cancelled my subscription to Vonage.

You may ask why.

The reason is that I found it impossible to get the system working with a standard NetGear router, when I changed it. Support was non-existent, so I felt the best thing to do would be to cut my losses.

And they had a cancellation charge of £23.99.

That stinks!

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BT Digital Vault


BT Digital Vault appears to be a fully functional backup system for your PC for just £4.99 a month.

It seems that the Internet is growing fast in what it can do for you.

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Text Messages From Web Pages


Look at my contact page.

Note how you can send me a text message by typing it into the page and then clicking send.

This is based on LiquidDrop technology. They are a Cambridge based E-Mail to SMS company.


Integrating Google


On the links page for my web site, I have placed a Google search box.

Use that and the results of the search will be shown in a similar format as my web site. All you have to do, is register with Google, update a few default settings and then copy the generated code into your web site.

Yet another case of Google providing a powerful engine for web developers.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Pure H20 Inc.


In the last twenty minutes or so, I have received sixteen copies of the following e-mail.


Stock Radar Presents
Get Ready!! Possible breakout coming? PURH continues!
This one showing real resilience,real strength...
Don't you dare take your eyes off this one tomorrow morning.
When this St0ck moves... WATCH OUT!...

Red H0t News

Pure H20 Enters Negotiations to Acquire Cutting-Edge Patent and Technology Rights of Impure Water Treatment Systems

Pure H2O, Inc. (PURH - News), a provider of novel water and wastewater treatment systems, is pleased to announce they have entered into substantive negotiations to acquire the impure water treatment technologies of H20 Innovations Inc., (H20) and CMS Inc. H20 has been developing and commercializing water and impure water treatment systems for a number of years in a variety of industries. The company specializes in the agricultural, oil and gas and mining industries.

Company Secretary, Harvey Panesar stated "This is an exciting time for our company. We have made numerous contacts in the industry as of late and the acquisition of the H20 and CMS technologies will add nicely to our current portfolio of water solutions. We are particularly enthusiastic about the possibilities for this technology in the mining industry given the companies recent positive preliminary testing on mining retention and tailings ponds." Mr. Panesar further stated "H20 has shown that it can significantly increasee agricultural production in dairy and livestock while decreasing overall animal husbandry costs on a very cost effective basis."

About Pure H2O, Inc.:

Pure H2O, Inc. is a US corporation which provides end-to-end consultation, design, implementation, and sales of technical solutions for clients with problem water. Pure H2O provides a full-service program that includes comprehensive application development, integrated storage and dosing equipment, chemical inventory supply and management as well as ongoing field and technical operations support. The Companies objective is to provide every client with cost effective and value added full-service solutions to meet their water quality control needs.

This is your chance to get in the low. Big watch in play this tomorrow morning! Place PURH on your radar's now and reap the benefits early.
All signs show that PURH is going to explode!!

The Examples Above Show The Awesome, Earning Potential of Little Known Companies That Explode Onto Investor's Radar Screens; Many of You Are Already Familiar with This. Is PURH Poised and Positioned to Do that For You? Then You May Feel the Time Has Come to Act... And Please Watch this One Trade tomorrow! Go PURH.
Penny stocks are considered highly speculative and may be unsuitable for all but very aggressive investors. This Profile is not in any way affiliated with the featured company. This report is for entertainment and advertising purposes only and should not be used as investment advice. If you wish to stop future mailings, or if you feel you have been wrongfully placed in our membership, send a blank e mail with No Thanks in the sub ject to"

I have no idea whether this stock is worth anything, as I would never buy anything that is so unprofessionally promoted.

1. All of the sixteen e-mails came to addresses at, that had been made up. This probably means that some crook at some point generated a list of e-mails at my web site and then sold them on.

2. So whoever paid to have this message distributed paid for it to be sent to quite a few non-existent people. Perhaps the two of them should meet and explain this to each other. A court might be a good place to see who is the biggest crook.

3. Note that there is no unsubscribe address. Probably a good thing, as with many of this type of message, it only confirms that you exist.

4. This e-mail was sent to That is it was sent to someone in the UK. Me! Was that a waste of time? Yes!

It is no wonder that the rest of the world is getting fed up with America if one of the things it does is to send messages like this around the world to clog the Internet.


How Not To Navigate a Web Site


We like to go to the cinema at the weekends. Often we go to Cineworld in either Bury. St. Edmunds or Cambridge. Rumours persist that we may also be getting one in Haverhill.

All this is good.

However, the same can't be said for the website.

Try finding out quickly what film is on and the navigation is crap. Well it's actually worse than that, but I can't use a suitable word in a decent web site. Their old site was so much better.

So I go say to the Guardian which has an excellent film finder.


Thoughts on Integrated Blogs


I have been doing some experiments with blogs.

I put up a post and then searched for it using the Blogger search facility. The post appeared in the search after only 56 seconds. I tried it again and it took longer, but it still appeared very quickly.

This must be because every time you post, Blogger searches and indexes your post.

I've also checked and Blogger doesn't add these results to Google. But how long before it adds them immediately to the main Google index? And the other results it gets from posts and searches in YouTube! It is much quicker to index something that is presented to you on a plate, rather than search pages and pages of information that may not have changed.

So it would appear that if you want a quick reaction to news and updates you post on your web site, then you should use something like Blogger and integrate it fully into your web site.

There is also the fact that if the blog is stored on your web site, that every time it is updated, then Google itself, will find more pages to integrate, with new words describing your products and services.

Will this take you to a higher position in Google?

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Monday, October 16, 2006

YouTube and Marketing


I should say that I have used YouTube and have put the only Dory Previn video up there. It is a very easy site to use and one of the reasons for its success, is that anybody can upload a video very quickly and without fuss. I think that the site has tremendous potential and although at present it has a stereotypical market, that will expand dramatically.

I have invented a post puller that is a simple example, where showing a video should sell the product, as it is quite a difficult concept to explain on the flat page as it would need a whole series of still images. As to whether it gets stolen, I'm not actually bothered, as in the largest markets, I would have patent protection and there are plenty of lawyers who'll tackle copyists on a no-win no-fee basis. My wife and son are both lawyers, too!

Supposing that YouTube became the place of choice where any instructional video was placed. Let's say you sell laser printers! A ten minute video can show a lot of how it works, how you install it and how you do simple servicing and change cartridges. As YouTube can be integrated into your site, it doesn't matter whether anybody finds it on YouTube or not.

Just look at blogs. They started as something nerdy and fairly pointless. Now they are serious.

It's not surprising that Google bought Blogger a few years ago now. Perhaps, we will say they got a bargain with YouTube in a couple of years.

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An interesting web site, although when I looked at it, the Google Ads were showing rather inappropriate ones for those trying to sell 0870 numbers!


Saturday, October 14, 2006

News and the Integrated Blog


This blog or weblog is fully integrated with the Making the Most of the Internet web site. It also serves as a professional news page for the book :-

1. It has the same navigation bar and menu as the main site.
2. Colours and feel is the same.
3. The blog is updated using Blogger in the same way as any other blog.
4. It is stored on the Making the Most of the Internet web site.

So how was this achived?

The blog was originally created in the same way as a normal blog and it was stored in a sub-directory of the Making the Most of the Internet web site. One of the standard templates called Scribe was originally used, although it has since been extensively modified.

The main page of the blog was put in the menu of the site. This meant that the blog was called directly from any of the pages in the web site.

The template of the blog was then gradually changed. Typically changes were :-

1. The main site style sheet was used.
2. The background was changed to the same as the main site.
3. The header was modified so that it included the standard site header.
4. The site was then gradually adjusted until it resembled the one you see now.

Was it difficult?

Yes and no! If you don't know style sheets and html, then don't attempt it, but if you do with patience you should be able to do the integration in a few hours.

But I would make sure you save the template before modifying it.

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Friday, October 13, 2006

E-Mails to Multiple Recipients


When you send an e-mail to lots of recipients, you should never put all of the names in the To or Copy fields.

It is a very bad idea to give all the recipients, all of the other e-mail addresses. One might be a spammer or more likely have a virus that distributes all of those addresses to one.

Use the Bcc or Blind Copy field for the multiple e-mail addresses and put yourself in the To field. This protects everybody’s e-mail address.

Note how the e-mail addresses are separated by semi-colons (;) in the figure above.

Note that if you are sending e-mails to the same set of recipients on a regular basis, then you can define a distribution list in e-mail programs such as Outlook.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bronsard Advantage - Part 2


The registrant for is :-

Registrant ID: CNEU-140925
Registrant Name: Clyde Johnson
Registrant Address1: 175 West 200 South
Registrant City: Salt Lake City
Registrant State/Province: Utah
Registrant Postal Code: 84101
Registrant Country: United States
Registrant Country Code: US
Registrant Phone Number: +1.8014131026
Registrant Email:

Phoning the number gets a modem and I'll be interested to see what an e-mail brings.

The phone number on the web site is unobtainable.

So don't even bother to phone it.

And when you are asked to fill in your details, they want your bank details too. Are people really that gullible? I hope not.

Update - No reply from the e-mail. I hope Clyde is getting well and truly swamped.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Bronsard Advantage


This looks like the Israeli Brokerage Services, as some of the many e-mails I've had had similar headers and wording.

Ignore them.

By the way the domain is registered in Salt Lake City.


Is Barclays Serious About Fighting Phishing Scams?


I am compelled to write yet another note about phishing attacks on Barclays Bank. It did appear that they have stopped but now they are more numerous than ever.

Is Barclays Serious? - Click for large

The graph shows all bank phishing scams I have received from the 5th of May until the 7th of October to about ten different web domain names. Blue are messages supposedly from Barclays and the other banks with significant attacks are also shown.

1. As you can see from the graph, phishing scams are increasing in number, rather than decreasing.

2. Barclays now constitute over ninety percent of the phishing messages that I receive and this share has been increasing in recent weeks.

3. Seven of the receiving domains are .com’s so I would hope I’d get a share of messages for foreign banks. I don’t! So have US and Continental banks got a grip on phishing.

4. Bank of Scotland was targeted for several weeks. They stopped on the 9th September and have not resumed. This behaviour has also been seen with the Co-operative Bank, NatWest and Nationwide. I suspect that they may have stopped the problem.

5. I wrote to the Chief Executive of Barclays, John Varley, explaining what I had found and didn’t even get the courtesy of a reply.

I can only assume that either I am being specifically targeted, in the mistaken belief that I have a Barclays account or Barclays are indifferent to security. Note that I would never open an on-line account with Barclays, until they convinced me they had solved the problem of phishing.

A note is now available for downloading and distribution which gives full details.

Is Barclays Serious about Fighting Phishing Scams?

Feel free to read and distribute as you require.

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Israel Relocates to China


Israeli Brokerage Services appears to be another Chinese web site behind yet another scam. I've had 106 messages since the start of yesterday.

Looks like another Norway Consulting Group.

Ignore it and don't buy anything Chinese where there is an alternative.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Printing Postage On-Line


I have used this facility from Royal Mail several times and feel that in general it is a very good and professional system. There are a few issues though.

Good Features

1. The ability to print as many times as needed. I have a rather old laser, that isn’t too smart and sometimes jams with envelopes.

2. The e-mails that say you’ve posted. Not exactly a proof of posting, but good enough for many purposes. Did I actually post that letter? When did I send it?

3. The general structure of the site, which means you get the address right.


1. Sometimes I have tried several times to submit a label/stamp and it tells me to try later. I’ve been persistent and not failed, but would put many off.

2. It did confuse my return address with a line in the recipient’s address. Not repeated since. Could have been finger trouble, but doubt it.

3. When you print a label/stamp to say Ireland, it returns to print another overseas stamp. Should return to the general print again.

4. I sent a letter to a company with their own postcode – Dyson Ltd. The system wanted me to put a house name, flat number etc. in. In the end I entered Dyson Ltd. as a building name.

5. There is no place when sending to a business to enter the job title.

Requested Features

1. A simpler interface so I don’t have to click so many times to print a First Class label/stamp. Look at Amazon’s One Click approach.

2. Saved recipients so if you send a lot of letters to the same person, you login and print.

3. The ability to cut and paste an address from Outlook, bypassing the address checker. I can understand that this might not be easy, but I have written a lot of software that decodes names and addresses and extracts the post code.

4. The ability to upload a list of names and addresses and then print them on labels. Why not allow people to update their Christmas card lists in this way? You shouldn’t lose them like we all do.

5. The timeout is too short. It should also remember you when you return.

6. A small point is that I always address letters to Ireland as Eire. This may be wrong, but I can’t change it.


I'll give it about eight out of ten for now.

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Monday, October 02, 2006

On-Line Gambling in the US


So the US Senate has made it illegal for those in the US to use bank accounts and credit cards to gamble on-line. So what! In the twenties they made it illegal to drink alcohol and who benefited? The gangsters.

The Chinese have made it illegal to look at pornographic Internet sites like the BBC and Amnesty International. Do the Chinese look at them? Of course! They just use a proxy web site or some clever software.

So those in the US will continue to gamble on-line. They'll just have to use different methods.

For instance, people will setup bogus transactions to places like the UK, to transfer money to a trusted individual or company, who will then load the money into their account for a fee.

How for instance would you know that a PayPal transaction to me of a $1,000 for software services, was actually a payment for an on-line casino? I'd have no problem, as I'd just declare the payment and the corresponding outgoing one to the Inland Revenue as to what it really was. It's perfectly legal here. There might be a problem delivering significant winnings back to the US, but then I'm a cynic who doesn't think on-line casinos ever pay out.

So just like Canute couldn't stop the tides, the US authorities will not be able to stop on-line gambling. All they'll do is benefit offshore companies and crooks.