Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

9/7/2018

Burner Email Addresses

Filed under: Red Herrings,The Day Job — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning or 7:00 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

Because having a disposable email means having privacy.

I hate spam. I mean, I really hate spam and spammers with a passion. As a system administrator, which is what I really am no matter what fancy title I may currently have, I can tell you that dealing with spam is the single most time-consuming and irritating thing about having an email server. The last time I checked, spam accounted for something like 75% of all email communication. The problem is, a lot of the time, to get the one thing you want from a site, you are forced to sign up for an email newsletter that you don’t really want. Now, don’t get me wrong, I actually like email newsletters. I subscribe to several and I’m even working on setting up one of my own. But, for those times you really just want the one “free” download a site is offering and don’t have any intention of coming back, what are you to do? Or, what if you’re not even sure that it’s a legitimate download or website? Maybe you’re afraid that a hacker has set up a site just to collect personal information, what then?
Well, then, you use nBox by notif.me to setup a free, anonymous and private “burner” email for any site you want to sign up for. You can then choose how and when you’re notified when they send something out. You can even delete the addresses you’ve used for sites you don’t want to be bothered with any more and *poof* they’re all gone, all at once.
And, yes, it’s free. How? Well, it’s free because it’s notif.me’s way of advertising and getting the word out about their service.
So, why not try it and take control of your email notifications this fine Friday?

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words!

6/23/2017

A Different Kind of Ad-Blocker

Filed under: Art,Fun,Marginalia and Notes from the Editor — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Hare which is terribly early in the morning or 6:05 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a New Moon

We pretty much all hate ads, right?

Especially on our favorite websites. Yes, I know, those ads help pay for the site, and I even have some, hopefully unintrusive, ads on one of my sites. But, the honest truth is that even I hate ads. In fact, I’ve been thinking about dropping the ads on Diary of a Network Geek completely and just coming up with a product to sell to try and pay for the hosting. It’s not much per month, and I love my websites, so I’d pay it no matter what, but defraying that cost would not hurt my feelings. In any case, all that said, even I hate web advertising. Adblockers have been around for a long time and there are probably thousands of browser plugins and addons to hide or remove those pesky ads. This week, though, I have a new variation on that for you; Intently.
This browser plugin for Chrome, Firefox and Safari doesn’t just remove advertising on websites, it replaces it with pretty pictures and inspirational quotes. You do have to sign up for a free account, but then you can download the plugin and get inspired instead of sold to by your favorite websites. There is a “Pro” version, which costs money, that lets you add more “premium channels” of content, so you could make the ad replacements skew heavier toward fitness or motivational quotes or puppies or whatever you’re into. I, personally, have stayed with the free account and been quite happy with it in the two weeks or so that I’ve been using the plugin.

So, there you go. Short, sweet and to the point. Free ad-blocking with a paid option for better replacements. (By the way, I don’t get any money if you upgrade to the paid version, so don’t do it thinking you’re helping me!)
Next week, maybe I’ll test my audience and share something even geekier than that!
Come back and check it out!

This post originally appeared on Use Your Words.

3/7/2012

Security and QR Codes

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Geek Work,The Dark Side — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:53 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Do you trust everything you see?

We’ve all seen QR codes, even if we may not have all recognized what they are.  These little, square dot patterns are everywhere these days, especially in advertising.  In fact, some people have gotten so used to scanning them with their smart phones to get more information about products and services that hackers are now exploiting them.  I recently read a very interesting article on TechRepublic by Michael Kassner titled Beware of QR Codes about an exploit found in the wild, and QR code exploits in general.  The problem is, we tend to trust them, mainly, I think, because they’re too new for us to have been burned bad by them yet, and they are popping up everywhere!  Pay attention as you go through your day and see how many of these little deals you bump into.  They’re in everything from magazine ads to product labels to posters to coupons!  Even Doonesbury has run a strip with a QR code in it!

So, as you swim out there, awash in the ocean of marketing and sales that we live in, pay attention to those who might subvert your complacency.  If it’s easy for you to use, it’s probably easy for someone to abuse, just like the QR code seems to be!

12/20/2010

A Truly Honest Privacy Statement

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Fun Work,Geek Work,News and Current Events — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:08 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

Websites lie.

There, I said it.
Well, I wrote it.  Anyway, you and I and everyone else with half a brain know that these “free” websites are paid for in some way.  Mostly, that way is advertising.  Sometimes, that advertising involves selling personal data that they’ve collected.  Oh, c’mon, don’t act so shocked.  You know it’s true just like I do.  The big [amazon_link id=”B0001EQIFQ” target=”_blank” ]Internet Bust of 2000[/amazon_link] showed us all that companies without a good revenue model will, ultimately, fail.  And, the best revenue model of all on the Internet is selling your data to advertisers.

The thing is, wouldn’t it be nice if they just admitted that up front?
Well, Dan Tynan over at IT World has a modest proposal; The first truly honest privacy policy.

Watch out, because I may just start using this on my sites!
But, I won’t warn you ahead of time…

8/3/2009

The Geek As Rockstar

Filed under: Art,Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Geek Work,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Ooo, shiny...,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:17 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Because, this is totally why I got into computers.

Yeah, right, sure it is.
Look, these new ads by Intel highlighting the “rockstars” of the geek world are great.  They’re cute.  They’re funny.  But they work because this is so NOT how our society works.  Geniuses who invent things that change the way many of us live are mostly not appreciated in their time.  They don’t have trading cards.  They aren’t the subject of comic books.  They don’t get their faces on boxes of breakfast cereal.
But, isn’t that wrong?  I mean, shouldn’t that be what we reward?  Not the super-jocks who can throw a ball or run the bases or whatever, but the geniuses who actually change the world?

Maybe I live in a dream land, but, well, that’s how I wish it was.

6/17/2009

A New Level

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Fun,Fun Work,Life Goals,Personal,Red Herrings — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Tiger which is terribly early in the morning or 5:15 am for you boring, normal people.
The moon is Waning Crescent

No, I’m not talking about leveling up in some game.

I found out last night that my blog has reached a new level.  It’s self-supporting.
Do you see the ads over to the side there, on the right?  The rows of words and phrases that are linked?  Those are ads.  Last night I was checking something at the site where those are bought and sold and where I get the code to allow them to be sold on my website.  When I signed in, I saw that this month, I had finally, after nine years having a blog and four or five of having advertising, finally, I had made more in a month than my hosting fees.  Not much more, but enough that this little hobby, this obsession of words and pictures, this dance of code and graphics, pays for itself, and a little extra.  Enough to buy a latte and a piece of pastry.  Enough.

That may not seem like much for the people who are trying to make a living at this, but I’m not.  In fact, I’ve been hoping to find just what’s happened; that magic balance between effort and reward.  I’ve hit that perfect equilibrium where I post enough, rank enough, and pull enough traffic to pay for myself.
It’s not a big goal, perhaps, but it makes me happy.


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