500,000 hits

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Half a million hits. I don’t know how it happened. Basically here I am just catering to a topic that is applicable all across the globe in a subject matter which people are excited about and yet need help in (Myspace). I wrote about a dozen myspace pimping articles and they account for 90 percent of my hits.

I try to put all sorts of useful information up here, and it barely gets hits. I hope I can just help a few people with this site. Maybe they will stumble upon the things I’ve learned here accidentally.

My other site Jeffrey Tastes gets less than 200 hits a day. Maybe once I got over 600. That site, I spend time on daily, post a few times a week and devote much of my life with it in mind. It’s definitely an outlet of my passion (eating) and I am always trying to make it bigger. One of the reasons it doesn’t get as many hits is because it is 95 percent concentrated on regional topics around NYC. The audience is definitely limited, but still quite big. Cultural understandings is a worldwide topic, and like the article I wrote on fasting for Ramadan, I think I can write more universally food related posts.

While playing around on some food sites, I realized my next goal would be to get it linked on sites like seriouseats.com . I think the site is useful, written well, and is consistent. I hope people will realize it from the other sites.

Wish me luck!

Endorsement: Email Notifications – POP Peeper

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We had a problem at a company I’ve started working as a tech consultant…

They were having trouble setting email alerts in the Goldmine CRM program, they wanted each computer to get notifications if emails were sent to a multiple email accounts. Because goldmine didnt have a notification system that worked cleanly, I thought about a third party software…

Pop Peeper was my solution. This program is very simple, it runs in the background, and doesnt seem to intrude. You can use it to retrieve email, but what I am using it for is the notification window that pops up on the bottom left corner of the screen when you have a new message. From there, you can choose to access it through your own email client (goldmine, hotmail, outlook, etc), access through POP Peeker, or just ignore it.

Another fun option is the ability to have the scroll lock LED blink on your keyboard when you have a new message – cool right?? It is called “Flash scroll lock” – It’s about time they put that key to work.

I chose to have an icon visible next to the clock so the employees would have peace of mind that it is running and working. It is very important for people to have reassurance that everything is working.

What is also impressive is the fluidity of the website. The FAQs are straightforward and easy to navigate. The entire site is very functional, clean, but still has some fun ways of navigating.

I do not endorse much, when I do, you can bet it is a great, no hassle, functional program. I hereby endorse POP Peeper.

Check it out if you think it can help you. Send your problems my way – I’ll find you solutions.

Links:
Official Site
Cnet Download – See user reviews

Phishing Real Estate Message – starting at CL

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I had a run-in with a phishing scam recently, I think people should know about it…
First they had a listing on Craigslist for an apartment in Jackson Heights for $550 (what a steal right??). Well, me being naive, I wasted 10 minutes of my life explaining how I would be a great tenant to “Melanie Becker” of melanie.becker11@gmail.com

Heres the message I received a couple of days later:
“Hello,
Thank you for your interest. I have available the apartment but now I’m in London, United Kingdom with my job , I will stay here for 3 years. So this is the reason that I want to rent the apartment. I can rent you the apt for max 3 years because I have a contract here for this period. I’m the owner of the apt and its like in the pics. The rent for 1 month is $550.00 including all utilities (water,electricity,internet,cable, parking). You can move in the apt in the same day when you receive the keys.I must inform you that the keys from my apartment are with me and hope that we will find a compromise.
Thanks.”
—————————————
I knew it was a phishing scam of course because
A) they use no names in the email
B) this person is out of town and of course it will lead to some wiring of some sort
C) unfortunately, $550 in JH is too good to be true ( I hate that phrase )
D) I googled the first line of the email and found another person who got this message, wrote back, and received another message from the phisher
SOOOO, I copied THAT message and wrote it back to the phisher….
—————————-
From: me To: the phisher
“Obviously we need a way to complete this deal that will allow us to make sure we receive what we are after. I have found a way for us to complete the deal safely and fast, and in this way you will receive the Keys in less than 2 days, if you move fast as well. The solution is provided by a company called TNT which is similar to Fedex, DHL orUPS, which will handle the payment and delivery of the Keys.I have found a procedure that will allow you to pay for the rent of the apt only after you will receive the keys it and through this way you will see it and decide if you will stay in the apt or not before I receive my payment.Please click on the link bellow to the TNTwebsite to see how we can complete the deal safely and fast directly from the website of the company where the procedure is explained:http://www.tnt.com/country/en_generic/services/special_services/timecritical.html Let me know if you are interested please because I really need to take care of this matter by the end of the next week.Regards, ”
——————————————–
Now, I thought this was a real smart alec thing to do. Maybe the person would find it funny or come clean. I hoped I would get some sort of human response.
I was naive again, Here is the next message:
———————————————-
From: “melanie becker” To: Me

“Like I said, I will pay for a 2 days delivery so you will receive the Keys and the contract signed by me right away.I will explain to you step by step how this will work .
1) First you will have to send me your full name and address. I will need them for the shipping.
2) I go to the TNT store and leave the Keys and the contract onto your name as the intended receiver.
3) TNT will check the envelope to see if everything is OK with it and also the legal papers that will come along with the Keys.
4) TNT will send you a delivery notification to let you know they have the Keys and the papers in their custody, in which you will be told that they have the Keys and that they checked it.
5) At this point you will have to go to a Western Union Agent
Location and make a money deposit on the TNT payment agent name for the amount we agreed .
6) After you make the deposit you will have to send the info about the money deposit to TNT (MTCN, sender’s name and address)
7) TNT will verify the payment informations and if everything is in order they will deliver the Keys and the contract to you .
8) After you receive the package , You will go and check the apt and in 2 days you must contact them and tell them if you keep the apt or not, if all is in order you will instruct TNT to send me the informations about the money deposit and I will be able to receive the funds . If you don`t like the apt they will send your money back to you and you will send them
the keys and the contract to them.
I will pay TNT for the shipping and you will pay Western Union for the Money Transfer fee .
Let me know if we can do this.
Thank you, ”
———————————————-
So this person didnt get the fact that I sent them their own spam message back to them, and just proceeded to send the next in the string of messages to me.

Soooo, what do I do now? I don’t think anyone has gone beyond this point in the scam. I am playing with my favorite email address now, and I don’t want to taint that.
ahh, the person probably doesnt even speak english, there’s no use in dealing with them.
END.

Food Blog Help

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Ang,
Here are some links to sites that can help us with our food blogs.
I havent used them all yet, but they have some good info and resources
http://pingomatic.com/
http://www.benjaminchristie.com/article/260/food-blog-aggregators-and-content-syndication
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2006/11/more_blogging_a.html
http://www.benjaminchristie.com/article/265/food-blog-secrets-and-how-to-make-yours-successful
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2007/10/how_to_make_you.html
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/2005/08/my_1000th_post_.html

hope these help
for anyone else reading, feel free to post your own tips and websites

What’s the Difference Between Categories and Tags?

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I made the mistake originally with this blog of giving categories to all the related items with each blog post. Now I have the massive job of converting the categories to tags and figuring out which categories I want to have set here.

Tags and categories are used for search engines to be able to find which webpages are the most relevant to the words being searched. The SE will take into consideration website names, post titles, text sizes, categories, tags, links, and other factors.

Your list of categories could be used as a sidebar or widget on your blog. You can use this as a way for onlookers to navigate your site and find your posts related to that topic.

Categories can be used for people who are already on your site. Tags are for people to find it.

Tags are all words related to your post. You can just go off on this and type a million tags – you will only clutter that post. If you are spamming though, the more tags the less weight the tags hold though, but if you are an honest blogger you shouldn’t have to worry about this.

You want to put as tags specific words or phrases that people may search for to find your post. Put yourself in the person’s keyboard who might want to find you. What would they google search?

You can have multiple categories for a post.

There is much more to categories vs tagging, but this is just a start.

Jdate Auto-Renew , Cancel right away – Alternatives to Jdate

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JDate AUTO-RENEWS YOUR MEMBERSHIP. Cancel before your term is over or else they will charge you for a new months membership. I thought it would just expire, but no. Whenever you give a company your credit card number, you are just asking to be charged again. Well what can you do, right?

I strongly suggest you cancel your membership right away. And for new jdaters, get the membership, then cancel right away. And before you buy in, make sure you have specific people you want to contact. They do not charge to put up a profile and browse. Be pointed in your jdating. Find a few people you want to contact, then join, then cancel right away, so they do not charge you for the extra month. If you even join every 6 months or a year, you will probably be able to meet from the same pool.

Before even joining, check to see if they are using their AIM name for their screenname on jdate.
To cancel your jdate membership, go to member services on top then to member management then to turn off auto-renewal.
To cancel altogether, member services / member management / remove my profile

For Jdate customer service, call 1-877-453-3861 . I don’t have much hope here though.

With the extra 40, here is are a few options for meeting new people:
buy 6 people drinks at bars. This is an automatic conversations starter and people will at the very least talk to you. Don’t want to be burned? Ask the person if they want to talk FIRST – with your initial intention of you buying them a drink. If they say yes, then proceed to get them a drink when the bartender comes by.

If you are not into the “bar scene”, buy someone a magazine at the supermarket. I know this sounds weird, but the principle is the same. You show the person some grace by providing for them and they feel obligated to give you a chance.
“Hey, I got this for you.” how sweet?

If you are shy, maybe buy yourself a conversation piece to wear. some funky hat or shirt that says “I love jews”. People will probably come up to you with a shirt like that.

okay, so we have this extra 40 dollars to meet people… you have to realize that this money is allotted each month for meeting someone new. by redirecting these funds to something in real life that will allow you to meet people, you will probably get more output than on jdate.

comment in some other ideas that are working for you.

How to get a refund from jdate:
Today I called up 1-877-453-3861 I told them I didnt realize that it auto-renews. The guy saw that I opted out the day before and they are refunding the months money. It should take 5-7 days for the money to be transferred. That I appreciate.

How do I protect my computer from viruses? for free?

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People are always asking me:
How do I protect my computer from viruses?
Is there anything free to protect my computer?
what do you do with a trojan on your computer? help with removal?

Here is the suite of protection programs I use and recommend to everyone to use as well.

Most of the software I use is for free because they are usually made by good people and work the best – and its free. Practically the only things I pay for on the computer are my flickr account and webhosting.

There are a suite of 3 programs I use to prevent spyware, viruses, worms, etc from reaching my computer. Here they are:

1. Spybot – Search and Destroy
This is one of 2 programs i use to prevent spyware from coming to my PC.
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

2. Adaware
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/products/ad_aware_free.php
This and spybot always compete with eachother for best free anti-spyware. I like to have both at hand just in case.

3. Avast Anti-Virus
This wonderful program is powerful and free. It doesnt take up much of your resources on your computer at all.
http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

These three programs are great because they are free and they won’t slow down your computer too much. Plus, you can trust these 3 companies (as of nov 2007).
I would never pay for programs like McCaffee – they put huge programs on your computer and use up your resources, causing your computer to slow down.

Also, You must use Firefox instead of internet explorer.
www.getfirefox.com
The newer, more protected, versions of IE will eat up your resources causing it to slow down. IE is the number one enemy of many hackers and they love to cause trouble with that. Firefox used to be the darling of computer geeks, so no one really messed with people running it, but that is starting to change little by little.

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