For the Love of Shift+Z

Did you ever wonder if the term “Love-Hate Relationship” existed before computers?

I think it probably did. But I’m guessing it’s used a great deal more today.

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Continue reading For the Love of Shift+Z

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Get to Work with Google Apps

A few years ago I migrated our office of about a dozen people to Google Apps. It’s one of the smartest I.T. decisions I’ve ever made.

GoogleAppsCouponGoogle Apps for Work allowed me to retire our aging Microsoft Exchange server, a headache I was more than happy to be rid of. No more software patches, no more obsolete hardware. Our domain email moved over seamlessly with no interruption and users were immediately able to access mail from whatever device they preferred using Gmail.
Continue reading Get to Work with Google Apps

Go Phish

Phight Back!

Bogus emails are a pain.There is constantly a barrage of scumbags hoping to gain access to your private accounts. They use legitimate looking emails to lure the unsuspecting into a bogus website- once again, very legitimate looking- in the hopes you will enter your login or personal information. It’s called “phishing.” Fake eBay and Paypal messages are a favorite of these scammers.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could report these assholes?

Now you can.

Just as Gmail offers special tools for declaring a message is spam- there is an option available specifically for these bogus phishing scams.

Using the “Report Phishing” option (see image) will report the sender, content and network particulars to Google. While it ain’t the FBI it does serve to blacklist the bad people and stop this especially malicious spam before it spreads.

Every time we report spam or phishing with these tools it makes the world a better place.  Even if just a little bit.

Corporate Bulletins by Email

Just a quick note to let everyone know: all Maduko stockholders can now receive updates via email!

Simply sign up by adding your email address, then jumping through the requisite hoops to confirm and validate. Then you will magically be informed when new and critical information is added to this wonderful blog.

Note for Geeks and the Paranoid:
The email updates and RSS feeds for this blog are delivered via Feedburner. They are a reputable company (so don’t be paranoid) owned by Google (okay, be a little paranoid) and promise not to sell your email, steal your secret identity or hide your shoes. If you have a blog you might be interested to know Feedburner is totally free, offers several nifty tools and takes about 48 seconds to set up. But enough about that…

Subscribe Now!

Unique Spam: Your Helicopter is Reserved

While perusing my spam folder for legitimate messages I came across this creative attempt at identity theft. Who wouldn’t be curious about the helicopter they rented for the weekend?

Note the “Internet Explorer only” part. Probably means they’re using a hack that doesn’t work with Chrome or Firefox.

Your order for our air transportation services has been accepted and processed. The rotorcraft will be at your disposal from 6.00 a.m. saturday to 10.30 monday. Once again, our rates are:
1 hour in the air: 816$
Takeoff / Landing: 291$
1 hour standstill on the ground: 85$
Longest fly-time is 3 hours.
When flying for longer distances, a second pilot is needed, and the cost accordingly increases by 120$ per hour.

Invoice you will be find in the attachment.(Open with Internet Explorer Only)

With respect
John Doe

Secure Checksum: 7208e1954bd37203a5e19f7d8e661b

Tracfone Buyers Beware!

Don’t get me wrong, the Tracfone plan is the most economical way I’ve found to own a mobile phone. I consider myself a “casual user” and average about $15 per month for my cell phone service.

But I recently got sucker-punched by a problem that took me weeks to unravel. Fortunately it’s a simple matter to rectify- even easier to avoid!

The Trouble
My new LG600G was unable to send images via email or browse the web. This surprised me because my lame little Motorola was capable of sending photos via email to friends, Picasa or my Facebook page with no trouble at all. After a little digging I learned that my old phone had been on AT&T but the new one was assigned to the T-Mobile network.

Spring into Savings
Many people are not aware that Tracfone and Net 10 do not have their own network. They buy airtime from carriers then resell it to you. Depending on where you’re located one carrier may offer better coverage than another. For me, in Oklahoma, the coverage offered by T-Mobile was pretty bad. And to top it off none of the data features of my phone worked at all!

The Solution
After some wrangling with customer support at Tracfone they finally agreed to send me a new SIM card. The trick here is to insist they provide you with a SIM card for the AT&T network. I’ve included info below on using the SIM card number to identify which network your phone is using.

It’s also possible to avoid this problem altogether before you purchase a phone. The trick is to know a few of the codes used on the Tracfone packaging and website.

Codes to Remember

Model Number suffix shown on retail packaging
AT&T: P4
T-Mobile: P5

SIM Card serial numbers available from the Prepaid menu of your phone
AT&T: 890141…
T-Mobile: 890126…

Market Code shown in the URL as market= when ordering a phone online
AT&T: GSM4, COGSM4
T-Mobile: GSM5, COGSM5
Verizon, Alltel and US Cellular: CO
GSM5AT will most likely be assigned to the T-Mobile network

I hope this might help others avoid the aggravation of spotty coverage and unusable features that I have gone through!