A domain by any other name…

Happy 32nd Birthday symbolics.com – they were the very first company to have a domain name registered on the internet! Now there are over 325 million domain names.

Why are domain names useful? It saves you having to know the actual computer address (known as an IP address) of the website you want to visit. When you use your mobile phone to call your friends, you never enter their actual phone number, you just look up their name in your phone book app. A domain name works in a similar way.

The ‘phone book’ for the internet is known as the DNS – the Domain Name System. It translates the ‘human language’ of www.philthegeek.com to a computer readable IP address and sends you on to the site.

Now you know!

Share or Copy/Paste?

Just about everyone on Facebook will have a seen a post from a friend which is clearly not original but rather like a chain letter.  It’s often called a ‘viral message’.  Often they have included the phrase “in honour of someone who has…” or “I’m doing this for a friend to show…“.

In almost all cases, it asks you to ‘copy and paste this as your status and NOT share it.’

So why is that? Why don’t they want you to click the share button?  It’s certainly much easier to share a post then copy the text and create a new post of your own.   I bet if you asked your friend why they don’t want you to click share, I bet they won’t be able to tell you why.  Today’s blog post explains why.

Sharing The Post

If you click “share” on your friend’s post, the only ones who will see it are those people with whom your friend shares posts.  Your friends who are NOT friends with person whose post you are sharing will NOT see it. Confused?  Think of it this way:  if you have 100 friends but you only have 15 common, then only those 15 will see the post when you share it.  In addition, if the original post is removed, then ALL the  shares from other people are deleted as well.

If you’re trying to spread a message far and wide (regardless of the content), it’s not a very effective way of doing it. copypaste

Copy and Paste

If you copy the text and paste it into a NEW post on YOUR profile then ALL of your friends have the potential to see it. We say ‘potential’ as there’s no guarantee they will, due to other factors (their timeline settings, the ability to be a ‘friend’ but not follow’ etc. but that’s a subject for another post).

If you have 100 friends, that’s a potential 100 people who will see it.  If all those 100 friends then did the same as you, then all their friends could see the post. It’s easy to see how quickly the number of duplicate posts will spread.  If you delete your post, the other 99 who copy and pasted your post will still be there.

If the post is a scam or just simply untrue, then it is very hard to find out who started it in the first place.

Remember the advice your parents gave you? If your friends jumped off a cliff would you do it too?  It’s exactly the same here.

Stop and think before you copy and paste a viral message.  Is there any actual positive effect of sharing it in the first place?  If not, then don’t. You may be doing more harm than good.

Of course, you are more than welcome to SHARE this post.  You can do so by clicking the buttons below.

Just The Facts Ma’am

#FakeNews is everywhere and it’s getting harder to tell what’s true and what isn’t.   Some sites are very clever and so convincing they fool many people.  It always makes me smile when they fool politicians who gleefully share the news, then end up having egg on their face afterwards.  If seasoned politicians, who SHOULD be media aware, are fooled, what chance does the average joe have?  

First, if you’re not sure it’s true, DON’T share it.  Not even to say “I’m not sure if it’s true or not but…”.   Once a false story is out on the net, it takes on a life of its own and people will believe it because “so and so shared it”.

Don’t be part of the problem, be part of the solution.  Make your motto: “Be Sure. Then Share”. Get your facts checked first. This brief, but helpful video, from Channel 4 ‘s Facebook Page provides some helpful tips.  

When you’ve watched that, have a look at the LINKS page for a list of current satircal news sites.

IWD: Thanks for the WiFi Hedy!

Today is International Women’s Day!  In honour of that, I felt it was a good idea to introduce to you to someone you may have heard of but not for the reason you might think.

Hedy_Lamarr_Publicity_Photo_for_The_Heavenly_Body_1944

Hedy Lamarr c.1944

Ever heard of Hedy Lamarr? Chances are your parents or grandparents might.  She was an Austrian born American film star in the 1930’s and 1940’s.    She is probably best known for her role as Delilah in Cecil B. DeMille‘s Samson and Delilah.  

However, she wasn’t just a pretty face – she was a bit of an inventor.  In 1942, she, along with avant-garde composer George Antheil invented and patented a radio guidance system for torpedoes that was resistant to being jammed.

The principles of their design is one of the most important parts of current communications technology including Bluetooth and WiFi.   Their work in those wartime years has become so important now, that in 2014 they were inducted into the American National Inventors Hall of Fame .

So the next time you pop into a coffee shop and take a photo of your coffee and uploaded it on Facebook using their free WiFi – give a thought to Hedy and George.  Without them WiFI just might not exist!

 

Scammers Target Talk Talk Customers

“TalkTalk customers are being targeted by an industrial-scale fraud network…” reports the BBC. It’s a good reminder to always be wary of cold callers asking for information or suggesting you need to install software on your computer to “fix” problems.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39177981

You may wish to revisit this earlier post on the Top Ten Scams of 2017.

Top Ten Scams in 2017

The internet is an amazing place full of amazing people doing amazing things. Unfortunately, it has its share of bad people doing bad things. There’s always someone out there trying to take advantage of you.

Don’t let them. Have a read of the Top 10 Scams going on right now as published by the Better Business Bureau – Vancouver Island, BC branch.

If you know of any scams or have been a victim of one, get in touch – it might help others avoid becoming victims.