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All Your Money Are Belong To Us [Spam from FBI Headquarters, Washington]

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Recently I got this really “stupid” spam from some claiming to be FBI. It really made me laugh. Do people really fall for this crap?

  1. First of all: Someone from FBI sends an email from sbcglobal.net and has williamsjack@yahoo.cn in the reply-to address.
  2. Phone number given is of a number in Nigeria (country code +234)
  3. Email was sent to an undisclosed recipients list (which means, many people won lottery)
  4. There is no division in FBI called “Anti-Terrorist And Monetory Crimes Division”. If you google for “Anti-Terrorist And Monetory Crimes Division” you’ll find all kinds of interesting scams.
  5. If paying $300 USD I could get 8 Million USD, everyone in this world would be all over it.

Email follows:

From: FBI Headquarters, Washington <bill.n@sbcglobal.net>

Subject: Treat As Urgent

To: undisclosed-recipients:;

Reply-To: williamsjack@yahoo.cn

Anti-Terrorist And Monetory Crimes Division

FBI Headquarters In Washington, D.C.

Federal Bureau Of Investigation

J. Edgar Hoover Building

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20535-0001

Website: www.fbi.gov

Telephone Number : (206) 973-2572

Attn: Beneficiary,

This is to Officially inform you that it has come to our notice and we have thoroughly completed an Investigation with the help of our Intelligence Monitoring Network System that you legally won the sum of $800,000.00 USD from a Lottery Company outside the United States of America. During our investigation we discovered that your e-mail won the money from an Online Balloting System and we have authorized this winning to be paid to you via a Certified Cashier’s Check.

Normally, it will take up to 10 business days for an International Check to be cashed by your local bank. We have successfully notified this company on your behalf that funds are to be drawn from a registered bank within the United States Of America so as to enable you cash the check instantly without any delay, henceforth the stated amount of $800,000.00 USD has been deposited with Bank Of America.

We have completed this investigation and you are hereby approved to receive the winning prize as we have verified the entire transaction to be Safe and 100% risk free, due to the fact that the funds have been deposited at Bank Of America you will be required to settle the following bills directly to the Lottery Agent in-charge of this transaction whom is located in Lagos, Nigeria. According to our discoveries, you were required to pay for the following -

(1) Deposit Fee’s ( Fee’s paid by the company for the deposit into an American Bank which is – Bank Of America )

(2) Cashier’s Check Conversion Fee ( Fee for converting the Wire Transfer payment into a Certified Cashier’s Check )

(3) Shipping Fee’s ( This is the charge for shipping the Cashier’s Check to your home address and this fee includes Insurance )

The total amount for everything is $300.00 (Three Hundred-US Dollars). We have tried our possible best to indicate that this $300.00 should be deducted from your winning prize but we found out that the funds have already been deposited at Bank Of America and cannot be accessed by anyone apart from you the winner, therefore you will be required to pay the required fee’s to the Agent in-charge of this transaction via Western Union Money Transfer Or Money Gram.

In order to proceed with this transaction, you will be required to contact the agent in-charge ( Mr. Jack Williams) via e-mail. Kindly look below to find appropriate contact information:

CONTACT AGENT NAME: MR. JACK WILLIAMS

E-MAIL ADDRESS: williamsjack@yahoo.cn

Telephone Number : +234-704-566-7523

You will be required to e-mail him with the following information:

FULL NAME:

ADDRESS:

CITY:

STATE:

ZIP CODE:

DIRECT CONTACT NUMBER:

You will also be required to request Western Union or Money Gram details on how to send the required $300.00 in order to immediately ship your prize of $800,000.00 USD via Certified Cashier’s Check drawn from Bank Of America, also include the following transaction code in order for him to immediately identify this transaction : EA2948-910.

This letter will serve as proof that the Federal Bureau Of Investigation is authorizing you to pay the required $300.00 ONLY to Mr. James Wellington via information in which he shall send to you, if you do not receive your winning prize of $800,000.00 we shall be held responsible for the loss and this shall invite a penalty of $3,000 which will be made PAYABLE ONLY to you (The Winner).

Mr. Bill Nicholson

Special Agent.

Washington DC FBI.

Room, 7367

J. Edgar Hoover Building

935 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20535-0001                                                                 

NOTE: In order to ensure your check gets delivered to you ASAP, you are advised to immediately contact Mr. Jack Williams via contact information provided above and make the required payment of $300.00 to information in which he shall provide to you

11 People Who Changed the World and who Died in 2011 (And Were Not Named Steve)

Sunday, January 1st, 2012
  1. Dennis Ritchie – one of the creators of the Unix operating system and author of C programming language
  2. Ken Olsen – Co-founder of Digital Equipment Corp, the company that built PDP-7 (first computer to run Unix)
  3. Paul Baran – an important Internet pioneer who developed packet switching
  4. Jacob Goldman – in 1969 came up with the idea of setting up an independent research lab for copier-maker Xerox Corp, which lead to inventing the graphical user interface, Ethernet, the laser printer, and object-oriented programming
  5. John McCarthy – Creator of Lisp and the person who coined the term “artificial intelligence”
  6. John R. Opel – IBM Chairman John Opel ushered IBM’s PC into the market, taking over as CEO of the company in 1981
  7. Ashawna Hailey – AMD’s first Intel-compatible chip, the 9080, was built in 1974, by a team led by Ashawna Hailey
  8. Jean Bartik – ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was the world’s first electronic computer’s programming was done by a crackerjack team of six women lead by Jean.
  9. Nobutoshi Kihara – Sony’s chief inventor. His groundbreaking work on magnetic tape recorders, videotape, and digital photography
  10. Robert Galvin – ran Motorola for nearly 30 years, ushering in the world’s first portable telephone and turning the small two-way radio manufacturing company he inherited from his father into the world’s leader in cellular phones
  11. Charles Walton – patented the technology used in RFID chips in the 1970s

Original Article: 11 Who Died in 2011 (And Were Not Named Steve)

A Message from Captain Planet

Monday, July 5th, 2010

A message from Captain Planet (aka Saurabh Arora) showing the effect of global warming and how we can take small steps everyday to avoid further worsening the situation.

Agile Bengaluru 2010 Conference
Agile Mumbai 2010 Conference

Social Credibility: Alternatives to Certification?

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

There is something very powerful about online education (eLearning). Assuming that one can create really good courses, it enables any individual to start competing with the large Universities. (Many Universities have seen the benefit of online education and they have certainly started offering their courses online.) Students can be located anywhere around the world and they can learn things at their own pace. With social media one can even achieve a very high collaboration between the students (peers) and teachers. This can scale very well and since the class capacity is infinite, we can completely remove the barrier to entry. Finally education can be made very affordable, since the cost of running an online course is extremely low compared to the bureaucratic Universities. Thus it helps in “Bringing quality education to everyone“.

One of the real problems we run into with this approach is, how do you “certify” the student? Coz these individual educators won’t have the credibility like a University nor will they be able to give an acceptable degree/certificate as a “proof of learning”. The question is can social media/web fill the void?

The Social Media/Web is still at a very nascent stage, evolving rapidly. Today people don’t really use it to validate someone’s credibility online. As of today “Certificates” have more value.

Globally, using social web to certify people has not taken off. LinkedIn is trying. I’m (or should I say, I was) trying something similar with the Agile Alliance LinkedIn Group. Lot of other people like http://www.wevouchfor.org and http://www.workingwithrails.com/ have tried.

To think about it, Open Source (being a committer/contributor on an open source project) helps you build social credibility. This model has certainly worked for a lot of developers.

Things like http://www.topcoder.com/ and http://www.codechef.com/ are taking off very well. But they are different, not so much social media.

Imagine “real” people on the web can vouch for your experience, knowledge and skill. You can demonstrate the same with applications/tools you’ve built. Your social status speaks for you and you can completely do away with the traditional certification model. I certainly see us moving in that direction. Decentralize and distribute the ability to certify people.

Browser Penetration Stats from my Blog

Saturday, May 1st, 2010

I was just looking through the Google Analytics on my blog, I was surprised to see Firefox dominate the browser usage race. Also surprised to see how fast Google Chrome has penetrated the market. (Over the years, Firefox has got really fat and slow. Chrome’s launch timing was perfect. Just when many geeks could not take FF’s speed and instability anymore.)

Yesterday, my blog had 3,697 visits from 16 different browsers.

browser_graphbrowser

And if you see the break up by Operating Systems

browser_os_graphbrowser_os

This data matches that from w3schools’ Browser Stats, except that my blog is not very IE friendly hence less IE traffic. Also I hope Windows usage goes down…

Post-Modern Agile

Thursday, January 28th, 2010

Beyond dogma, beyond ceremony, beyond logical & rational bull-shit, detaching self from cutting edge agile practices to embrace, scale & sustain essential agility.

From Fail Safe experimentation to lots of Safe Fail experimentation.

From Objectivity to Subjectivity to Relativity to Uncertainty.

From Structure to Chaos.

From Illusions to Idealism to Realism.

Beginner’s Mind, here I come….

Fun way to Conserve Energy

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

”Take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator and feel better” is something we often hear or read in the Sunday papers. Few people actually follow that advice. Can we get more people to take the stairs over the escalator by making it fun to do? See the results here:

Industrial Logic, India (Asia)

Sunday, October 4th, 2009

As you might already know, from 1st Oct 09, I’ve joined Industrial Logic full time. I’ll be based out of Mumbai.

Over the last two years, I’ve done various training and consulting gigs (part-time) for IL. Now we feel we can take this relationship to the next level.

My primary responsibilities at IL would be:

  • Setting up a small office in Mumbai (1-2 Biz Dev/wizardsMarketing Wizards + 2-4 Developers + 1 UX Designer)
  • Contribute content on diverse topics to Greatest Hits, IL’s elarning product
  • Help build the elearning platform (in near future, hire some kick ass developers to join this initiative)
  • Continue handling in-person training and consulting in Asia (in near future, build a small team to help out)
  • Help position IL and Greatest Hits in Asia (marketing elearning to working out an INR pricing, etc)
  • Continue building a thriving community of craftspersons in India (and globally)
  • Globally, continue pushing the envelope on true agility and bringing unconventional ideas to software development.
  • Above all, have fun and learn from THE experts

Getting Paid to Learn

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Would it not be great to get paid to learn new stuff? Unfortunately, we all get lots of offers where we know (at least have this feeling) that either I can earn a lot or I can learn a lot. Somehow its very difficult (not impossible) to have both (earn and learn).

What am I Thinking About

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

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