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10 Lessons You Can Learn from a Pinterest Spammer

What do you think of when you think of spamming?  No, I’m not talking about the meat product that comes in a can, although I do kind of like that Spam.  You may think that a spammer sends a bunch of junk e-mail to your in-box, but what if I tell you there’s another kind?  A spammer who bombards social sites with information that leads to him making money.  Check out 10 lessons you can learn from a Pinterest Spammer.

  1. A Lot of money is being made: Spammers are making anywhere from $500-$2000 a day on Pinterest.  As they do more spamming their earnings grow.  No wonder they are interested in doing this.  If they kept this up for even a year they would make over a half a million dollars.
  2. It takes very little money to get started: No big investments are needed to do this.  You need to have a computer with a lot of bandwidth.  So you do need to have already purchased a decent computer and have excellent Internet service.  Other than that it’s all know-how.
  3. Spammers use bots: I really had no idea that spammers use bots to do their ‘dirty’ work.  Apparently they have the knowledge to create a program that will pin photos onto Pinterest and note a link on that photo.
  4. Not invitation only: When you go to www.pinterest.com you can look around at photos, but you can’t start pinning them to different boards until you become a user.  It says right up front that becoming a user is by “invitation only”.  The spammer tells that this is not true and that if you make a request from a valid e-mail address that you will get your invitation no matter what or you can invite yourself from a different e-mail account.
  5. Easy to spot: If you spend enough time on Pinterest the bot postings are pretty easy to spot.  There’s a picture, but the words under it have nothing to do with what’s in the picture.   You’ll see a cute photo of puppies and the link will be for hand bags.  Unless you are making hand bags out of the puppies like Cruella Deville I don’t think the link really relates to the photo.
  6. Pinterest not shutting spammer down: Out of the thousands of bots this spammer uses he’s only had one shut down.  His very first bot because he was posting too many photos.  He modified his approach and has had no more problems.  This seems surprising to even the spammer so why isn’t Pinterest shutting down his bots?
  7. Money made through Amazon: There’s a long-time existing affiliate referral program through Amazon where they will pay a referral fee to you if you refer someone to their site who buys something.  By creating links to Amazon products this spammer gets people to buy stuff on Amazon and he gets the affiliate money from them.  You’d think they could track down anyone who is making a great deal of money from them and make sure they are not cheating the system.  This spammer is cheating Amazon.
  8. Crowding out real posts: While this spammer doesn’t feel any guilt about how he’s making his living because he says he’s not hurting anyone.  He makes a point to say that he’s not uploading viruses or scamming anyone.  But he is hurting the intention of Pinterest.  When I go on to Pinterest I want to see real comments from real people.  I don’t want the site to fill up with fake stuff.
  9. Artificially raising photos to popular: On Pinterest the more a photo gets pinned the more popular that it is deemed to be.  Makes sense right?  Wrong, this doesn’t work when bots are posting pictures from fake accounts and then pinning and repinning those same photos to increase their popularity so that they are more visible.  Yet another way that Pinterest could stop this spammer.  Putting in a simple fix that allows you to only pin a photo to 3 boards or something like that.
  10. Always be alert: People will always try to make a buck the easiest way possible.  Some will not only cheat, but steal too.  If you don’t want to be a victim stay alert when you are on the web.  The number of scammers on the web is amazing and they would like to dupe you into giving them all your money.  Beware!

10 Different Ways to Play Roulette on the Web

The popular classic casino game Roulette has broken out of the casinos and moved into the online world, becoming a hit among internet gamers. Its simplicity and the James Bond-cool cache have made it a web fan favorite. Variations in form, game rules, and betting odds can be found throughout the internet. We’ll take a look at ten different ways that roulette can be played on the web:

  1. Chat Roulette – In this variant of the game, “players” enter a chat room and can meet up with other users online from around the world for a webcam-based chat session.  Your initial contact is selected at random; from there you can opt to “roll the wheel’, so to speak and meet someone else.
  2. 3D Roulette – Downloadable software allows you to play the game using 3D graphics and sound. Or you can opt to play a limited version online, such as with this version. Different styles of the game are also available, such as …
  3. European Roulette – In this version of roulette, there are spaces on the wheel numbered 0 through 36, which places betting odds at 37-to-1. This was the original wheel layout, until it was revised by American casino owners, as below:
  4. American Roulette – In order to improve the house odds – and, hence, raise the odds against the bettor – American roulette wheels were given an added segment for the double-zero. This raised the odds of winning to 38-to-1.
  5. Russian Roulette – Then there’s this form of the game, which uses an entirely different “wheel”, one with usually only 5 or six “segments”, and the odds are not very good for players getting to walk away as winners. There are internet versions you can play, though, but they’re a bit graphic.
  6. Cute Roulette – This website “spins” through a random library of cute videos on YouTube. You can get your daily dose of warm fuzzies and then some, all with just a click of the arrow on the right.
  7. Kitteh Roulette – If you just can’t get enough video of kittens at play, then check out this site for a roulette of adorable kitties and their silly antics. Load up on some lulz to email your friends. Just don’t tell them who sent you.
  8. Mobile Roulette – There are all sorts of roulette apps available that you can download to your mobile, and take the casino along with you. Versions for every platform can be found online, as on this site.
  9. Reel Roulette – This website, created by Nick Campbell, Joshua Schaible and Trevor Turk provides both a search and a posting option for either browsing others’ films or showing off your own. Think of it as a job fair for motion designers.
  10. Live Roulette – Streaming video brings the croupier and casino table directly to your computer screen. Casinos from around the country offer software that will deliver live feeds to your PC. Choose from a variety of table layouts and wheel configurations.

10 Ugly Truths Twitter Tells Us About Ourselves

We hate to be the tweeter of bad news, but there is some downside to all this time we’ve been spending on social networking sites. Not that you didn’t already have your own suspicions, but it’s probably best that we get this out in the open once and for all, so here goes. The following are 10 ugly truths that twitter tells us about ourselves:

  1. We Are Voyeuristic – If Twitter tells us nothing else, it plainly demonstrates our incessant need to peer into the lives of others. We just can’t seem to get enough of what’s going on in the lives of complete strangers.
  2. We Prefer Superficial Interaction – Social media permit us to interact with people without geographical limits. Yet, we tend to use these same media to correspond locally as well. We’ve developed a taste for keeping our relationships at a distance, it seems.
  3. We Are Stalkers – At some level, we all seem to have a fascination with celebrity. Given the ability to correspond with famous people, we hang on their every tweet. Doesn’t seem to matter how outlandish their comments, we just eat them up.
  4. We Have Poor Time Management – So maybe we manage to get our work done, maybe not. There’s no denying, though, that we could be spending our time a lot more wisely and productively if we weren’t logged in so much of the day.
  5. We Are Our Avatars – The great thing about creating a profile on social websites is, well, creating a profile. There’s an undeniably gratifying element to this ability to define ourselves according to our own self-image, or even fantasy. We get to choose who we are and present that image to the world.
  6. We Have Less to Say Than We Thought – For all the time we spend online, consider how much of it is spent posting re-tweets, quotations, and links; not one word of any of them our own thoughts or feelings. If someone gave you just 140 characters with which to speak your mind, why would you choose to quote someone else?
  7. We Crave Attention – It might just be that what we have to say matters less than that we are heard at all. Think of that sense of relevance you feel whenever your tweets are retweeted. And all you shared was a link to an article about J.K. Rowling’s new book.
  8. We Want Followers – Popularity, a messianic complex, or maybe just lots of loyal customers. We’ve a need for our minions, haven’t we? It’s not like humans couldn’t find self-worth or financial success before Twitter, so there’s something more at work here.
  9. We Value Brevity Over Substance – The most popular tweets are the kind that are pithy, and require little thought. Sort of like bumper stickers. Twitter encourages a jingoistic form of communication.
  10. The Bottom Line – When you add it all up, it’s undeniable: We haven’t much to say and spend entirely too much time saying it. The inescapable conclusion is that we have no lives.

10 Ways People Use FaceBook to Spy on Others

You would think that when it comes to social media sites like Facebook, the people who use them are, well, socializing, right? Well, apparently not everyone is in a particularly social mood when they log in. Here are 10 ways that people use Facebook to spy on others:

  1. Checking Out Their Profile – Unless your privacy preferences are set accordingly, your personal info is not private. It requires action on the member’s part to safeguard from public view what that member wants to keep to herself, or limit to friends.
  2. Friending – Once a person has become a friend on Facebook, they can keep tabs on your status and posts fairly simply. The tendency to automatically friend someone who friends them can open doors that best remain shut.
  3. Fake Profiles – If someone wants to spy on another, and cannot expect to be friended using their actual persona and avatar, they might create a new one that appears less objectionable. This is one way of circumventing privacy settings, and another is …
  4. Spoof Profiles – it’s also possible to use the same name as another of the person’s friends to create an entirely new profile. They can select a friend on their list whose profile suggests a limited use of Facebook (ie, no profile photo, little personal info provided on profile), and pose as that other friend on a different account, adding mutual friends to the new profile as well.
  5. Friending Your Friends – It’s not uncommon for members to confirm friendships with unknown people based purely on the fact that they have mutual friends. So, the logic goes, they must be OK. Not necessarily.
  6. Sending Gifts – It’s just a friendly gesture in most cases, but it also opens your private info up to access by the 3rd party app that the gift was sent through. This in turn leaves your private info open to sharing with others who may want to access that info too.
  7. Reading posts – Although someone may not have access to your profile directly, they may be able to keep tabs on you through your friends’ walls and tagged photos.
  8. Adding an RSS Feed – In order to continuously keep up with your status, it’s possible for a member to simply add your updates and posts to their feed and then see whenever you are logged in, right from their desktop or website.
  9. Send a Message – Social engineering attempts to gain access to private info works essentially the same. In this case, Facebook provides the option of sending a message to someone who isn’t already a friend. It’s the first step toward gaining someone’s trust.
  10. Instant Personalization – Apps and programs that can be linked to your Facebook profile, are another means for others to spy on you. For instance, you’re reading a news article online and wish to make a comment. The website offers you the option of logging in, using your Facebook profile. Non-members can access your profile by following the link from your user name.

10 Signs Your Online Social Status is Climbing

You’ve been working hard to increase your online status, but you have no idea if your work is paying off. If you need a reliable barometer to measure your juice with your the ‘net crowd, some reliable indicator that you have at last arrived, look no further. Here are ten concrete signs that your online social status is climbing:

  1. Number of Friends/Followers – Of course, a good place to start is to check the number of people who are staying current with your updates. If you have a sizable following, chances are you are doing something right.
  2. Status of Followers – It’s not just how many people follow you, but who they are that counts as well. If you are resonating with reputable and popular users and websites, then you’ve definitely got something going.
  3. RT’s – Twitter re-tweets provide an immediate feedback to measure the popularity of your input. If your tweets are regularly being echoed across the web, that’s a very good sign that your status is climbing.
  4. Links – When the links you share are gaining traffic and are being shared by large numbers of visitors, you have definitely arrived. This is where your network really begins to take hold. Links are very important in online life.
  5. Backlinks – Social networking media is ideally a two-way street. As you develop relationships with other users, sharing one another’s links helps spread the word about one another. If your peers and followers are backlinking from their sites to yours, that’s another excellent milestone.
  6. Imitation – Imitation is, as they say, the sincerest form of flattery. When other users are not only re-tweeting your posts, but mimicking your style, you’ve just about reached cult status, my friend.
  7. @Mentions – Now, when your profile or website is mentioned by another user, independent of any update or tweets from you, then you know that you’re on the people’s collective conscience. You are a golden god! Okay, not really, but a vague Almost Famous reference was kind of fun.
  8. Comments – There’s not much point in keeping a blog if you don’t get any feedback. A blog without comments is really just an online diary. When your posts start getting large numbers of comments – good or bad – you’re resonating with your audience.
  9. Bandwidth – If your site is stretching the limits of your initial bandwidth limits, then the growth of your status has taken on a literal indication. Time to bulk up your website for stardom.
  10. Advertising – Your ads will become more and more plentiful on your website or blog in accordance with the increased traffic you’ve gained. This is where monetization begins to pay off, figuratively as well as literally.

If any or all of these ten signs have occurred, you can be sure you’ve got it made in the shade! Congratulations on successfully promoting your site, self, or blog. You’ve worked hard, now enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Is There Truly a Way to Delete a Twitter Account?

Depending on your reasons for considering the deletion of your Twitter account, there may be less drastic options available. If you’re simply ready for a new username, changing the handle on your existing account or the connected email address is quite simple. For those with privacy concerns, a Twitter account can very easily be locked, meaning that only followers approved by the account holder can view that user’s tweets. These options can save users who simply need a change a fair amount of headache related to the permanent removal of a social networking trail.

However, if you’re determined to remove your Twitter footprint permanently, there are ways to go about it. Unlike Facebook, Twitter doesn’t hide the link to delete a profile or resort to passive-aggressive tactics to entice you to stay. Twitter users in the process of deleting their account will simply be presented with a playful request for the reason behind their decision, “Are you sure you don’t want to reconsider? Was it something we said? Tell us.” Deleting your account starts with the “Deactivate My Account” option in the account settings menu. This permanent deactivation will result in the eventual removal of your data, though it may take up to four weeks after the deactivation period for all of the information to be completely purged.

Users are urged to change the email address, user name and phone number connected to their Twitter accounts before deactivation; though the microblogging site doesn’t specifically state that these pieces of information will be permanently blocked, it could make starting a new account with that information difficult, should you regret your decision after the deactivation period has ended. Also, it’s important to note that deactivating your Twitter account can not be accomplished through a smartphone app or a mobile browser; completing the process will require use of the web from a Mac or PC.

In a move vaguely similar to Facebook’s convoluted policy, there is a thirty day deactivation period in which users can opt to reinstate their account by logging in. However, Twitter clearly states that all user information will be permanently deleted after this period ends, unlike Facebook’s secretive responses to the same question. Any other sites with a Twitter login connect should be cleared, smartphone apps removed and browser caches cleared in order to avoid an accidental login that will start the month-long process again. If you’ve been using Twitter via SMS and you’ve stored the number in your contacts, it’s probably a good idea to also delete that information, as an accidentally-sent text will also result in the reactivation of your account.

Though Twitter’s model includes an immediate settings change that removes most search indexing, old links can sometimes appear in a Google search. After the deactivation period ends, it’s a good idea to Google your Twitter handle to see if any information remains. If there are old tweets or related data, you can send Google a take-down request by following this link.

10 Famous Speeches and How They’d Look on Twitter

Have you ever noticed that most of history’s greatest speeches are, shall we say, rather longish? It would be nice if we could find a Reader’s Digest condensed version of them, something that summed up the message in just a few words. Well, then why not 140 characters, we say. Here are 10 famous speeches and how they’d look on Twitter:

1. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech:
@MartinJR I have a #dream that one sweet day we can all like, follow and RT one another regardless of #race, #creed or #religion.

2. Not a speech, per se, but a declaration – of independence:
@FoundingFathers76 RT @KGeorgeIII – We are so over your controlling ways, and have decided to go it alone. In short, we the undersigned declare: You’re fired.

3. Franklin D. Roosevelt addresses the nation after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor:
@FDR RT @Japan Well, we tried to work things out with you like adults, but no. You had to go and attack us when we weren’t looking. It’s on now.

4. Abraham Lincoln gives his Gettysburg Address:
@HonestAbe Just 87 years ago we founded this country upon our belief in freedom. Yet here we are killing each other over slavery. WTF?

5. Gen. Douglas MacArthur gives his farewell speech to Congress:
@TheGeneral Before I fade into retirement, I just want to take the time to say with regard to the mess you’ve made in Asia, “I told you so.”

6. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have Been to the Mountaintop” speech:
@MartinJR RT @mankind I know it doesn’t look good from here, but keep the faith. I promise you that someday you will see as I have seen.

7. Jesus gives his Sermon on the Mount:
@JChrist @mankind You’ve gotten it all wrong. It’s not about laws and works and power. It’s about faith, humility and love. Recognize.

8. John F. Kennedy gives his “Ich Bin Ein Berliner” speech:
@JFK RT @Commies You guys think you’re hot stuff with your fancy wall and your big tanks; but we’re here to tell you, you suck.

9. President Bill Clinton’s “I Have Sinned” Speech:
@BillPrez OK, America, you caught me. What can I say? Sometimes a cigar is not just a cigar, and this was one of those times. My bad.

10. Alexander the Great, to his troops, to inspire them to continue fighting into India:
@BigAl Who’s got a map? Look here, we own like half the planet right now, dudes. And that’s because we don’t back down. Who’s still with me?

10 Technical Terms That Sound Dirty

Sometimes we can’t help but wonder if those tech geeks sit around and create terms just to be naughty in their own nerdy kind of way. After all, how else do you account for some of the names they’ve given us for common technical terms? Don’t believe us? Try these on for size – 10 technical terms that sound dirty (but really aren’t):

  1. Core Dump – Seriously, was there not a better way to describe large-scale memory storage to a device that wouldn’t summon images of large mammals with fiber issues? We suspect that someone willfully opted for this more graphic term after their computer crashed and they lost a lot of valuable data.
  2. Joystick – OK, we realize that many millions of people really enjoy their video games. We get it. We’re just not so sure they should be having quite as much fun as this term suggests. Let’s see those hands, Space Ranger.
  3. Packet Sniffing – Get your mind out of the gutter! This is simply a network analysis program that analyzes incoming traffic; never mind the fact that it sounds suspiciously like something you’ve tried to train your dog to stop doing to house guests.
  4. Dongle – This is a small device that plugs into a computer, acting as a key to access specific programs. Oh, that’s not what you thought it was? As far as we’ve been able to tell, the word didn’t exist anywhere before some geek came up with it to describe a very small piece of hardware. Hmm.
  5. Plug and Play – No, this is not a frat-boy reference to Friday night frolics. It’s a term meant to describe hardware that can be automatically recognized by a computer when it’s connected. The obvious question, though, is will it call tomorrow?
  6. Daisy Chain – Don’t get any ideas about trying this one out at your next pool party. It’s actually an electrical or electronic wiring configuration that connects devices together in sequence, forming them into a ring.
  7. Firmware – We’d love to see someone market a line of undergarments that would replace the old-school tube-sock technique. Alas, however, this term refers of course to the fixed internal programs which control an electronic device.
  8. Root User – Although it can indeed be used to accurately describe a few techies we know, the official definition of this term refers to the user of a program or device who has all permissions and rights, in all modes of operation.
  9. Floppy Disk – You don’t hear this one mentioned very often anymore, and it’s not because of all those Cialis ads either. These storage devices simply became passé because they were no longer – wait for it – up to the task.
  10. Hard Drive – Again, not so much a modern medical marvel; it is the permanent, rigid disk storage device on a computer which stores and retrieves data for its operation. By the way, just because they are typically non-volatile and random-access doesn’t mean they’re easy.

10 Ways iPads are Used in Schools

The power and portability of Apple’s iPad line have been catching the attention of progressive educators; some schools have actually begun distributing the devices to students and making them a major part of the curriculum. Here are ten of the ways that the iPad is making waves in the modern classroom.

  1. To Replace Textbooks – The lightweight iPad not only eliminates the need for heavy, bulky book bags; there are also apps that allow teachers to design and distribute their own textbooks to their students.
  2. As a Collaborative Project Aid – Group projects and collaborations are made significantly easier by utilizing the iPad. Students can work together from home or while in the same room. Easy sharing and editing can help to foster a sense of teamwork.
  3. Collecting and Storing Student Information – One of the iconic pieces of teacher’s equipment is the grade-book; the often leatherette-covered volume required manual entry of grading information. With the iPad, teachers can manage all required student data quickly and efficiently.
  4. Bringing the Computer Lab into Every Classroom – Instead of a trek down the hall to a dedicated computer lab, kids that attend a school with an iPad program have the power of the computer lab at their fingertips.
  5. “Go-Green” Paper Saving Programs – Eliminating grade books, text books and many other paper-based products by distributing iPads to every student is a powerful “go-green” initiative, and has been one of the greatest sticking points for proponents.
  6. Interactive Learning – Instead of simply reading about a subject, students can use their iPads to locate pictures, diagrams and even to watch related video content. This interactive approach to learning may help disinterested kids become more excited about learning.
  7. Homework Planners and Scheduling – Teachers can create a syllabus, share homework assignments and classroom schedules with their students and coordinate projects, all from their iPads. This organized approach can often prove beneficial for kids that crave structure, as well as helping less orderly children keep everything in one place. Instead of several notebooks filled with information dedicated to each class, students can store all of their information in one place.
  8. Creating a Digital Portfolio – Creating a portfolio of classroom work has never been easier than it is for kids with access to iPads. The ability to carry their work with them and to transfer it from one digital device to another is another way that the iPad is making inroads into the education system.
  9. Taking the Classroom Home – Students participating in an iPad-based curriculum are no longer dependent on the classroom for all of their needs; even situations such as collecting homework during an illness are a snap when the work can be sent directly to the student’s iPad.
  10. Virtual Field Trips – An actual field trip to the pyramids may not be feasible for most school kids, but the iPad can often serve as the next best thing. Students can immerse themselves in these virtual field trips, which all take place from the safety of the classroom.

Portability and affordability are continuing to bring technology to new levels in our education systems; a benefit for educators and students alike. As technology becomes a bigger part of our lives, education can empower kids to make it useful as well as entertaining.

Is There Truly a Way to Delete a Facebook Account?

As social media continues to become more deeply integrated into our everyday lives, we are slowly becoming more aware of the fact that using social media carelessly doesn’t only affect our online lives. When you start thinking about how it can also impact our offline lives the idea of completely erasing a Facebook footprint starts to become exponentially more appealing. Whether the desire to delete a Facebook profile stems from an awareness of personal branding, disagreements with the networking giant’s business practices, or distrust regarding privacy issues, it’s not an altogether uncommon one. However, as many users have discovered, it’s not as easy as simply clicking a “delete” button.

The option to deactivate a Facebook account is found rather quickly within the user menus, though it does come complete with a not so subtle guilt trip. Once you begin to deactivate your account you’re met with a very passive-aggressive confirmation message that includes the profile picture of one of your friends and the statement, “Your friend will miss you”, something that is sure to make some user’s think twice before going through with the deactivation.

Deactivating your account is the first step to deleting an account, though it’s certainly not the end of the process. A deactivated account ID is for all purposes and intents disabled, but all of your information remains on the Facebook servers. Deactivated accounts can still be tagged in photographs and invited to events, which means that you’ll still receive notification emails from Facebook after the deactivation unless you opt out of their automated email system. Reactivating an account can be done by signing in to the Facebook site deliberately, or even by accidentally using a Facebook ID login on an unrelated site. Upon logging in, your full profile will be restored.

If you truly want to delete all traces of your account, following the somewhat difficult-to-locate Delete Your Account link will ostensibly remove all of the information you’ve shared on Facebook. A look at the fine print reveals, however, that this only deactivates your profile initially, leaving you with a 14 day period in which you can change your mind; logging in, deliberately or inadvertently, will restore your “deleted” profile to all of its former glory immediately. If you seriously want to delete your profile then during this 14 day period it’s best to avoid any services or sites that allow login with Facebook ID, otherwise you will have to complete the process all over again from the beginning. Deleting all cookies and clearing your browser cache, avoiding the Facebook Share button on other sites like the plague and removing any Facebook apps from your phone will help you avoid any accidental logins, but it’s important that you also pay close attention to your login activities during the two-week waiting period. Any Facebook connected accounts on other sites should be removed before beginning the profile deletion process as further insurance against an accidental restoration due to inadvertent logins. Sending an email to [email protected] requesting that your account be fully deleted may also speed up the deletion process, though even a profile deleted by the staff is likely to be subjected to the two-week waiting period.

In addition to making it difficult for novice web users to delete their accounts, Facebook has also been unclear about how much information is retained from an account once it has been deleted, and how long any retained information is stored. Though you may not be able to access your old account information, police and other authorities will still be able to obtain any data that Facebook has retained. This deliberately difficult deletion process makes a strong case for Facebook being invested in the data-mining industry, rather than being purely committed to social media and networking.