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All posts for the month February, 2015

javascript-scam-dialog

The dialog, sounding ominous, is using ignorance and fear to urge the user to “Act Fast” to avoid disaster. It is also a complete lie aimed at scamming you

Mistype “Twitter” or any popular URL into you browser and you might fall victim to scam-ware with an dialog box that looks like the one to the right. This screen shot is a dialog box that pops up upon being redirected to a domain name with a common miskeying of “twitter.” The landing page has a javascript that threw up this auto-opening dialog box that is intended to look like a system level warning. This is all a con game — and BTW: “con” stands for “confidence” because the whole scam is based on tricking people that they can trust the person scamming them with confidence.

This dialog box automatically opens on this page, and reopens after being closed. It contains text that is ripe with known psychological techniques that urge victims to take fast action and not look for outside help. Its wording is finely crafted to shuts down a person’s reasoning centers and on impulse.

The first is a warning of imminent warning of danger: Which is akin to a sailor in a bird’s nest yelling “VIRUSES HO!”

Back in the day when a warning would require immediate action to avoid crashing a ship on the rock, this was a good survival instinct: “Don’t think, thus do it” has saved countless lives. However, this assumes you know what to do in the case of an emergency. If you don’t, following the instructions of a trusted instructor could sometime land a plane safely — as in many a commercial airliner disaster movie. So, here is a manual that shows how these scams work which might help novice users avoid losing a lot of money for no other reason than not knowing any better.

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The problem with a lot of online and support options is knowledge base suffers from proximity bias. In addition to this, no one in the company tests their information architecture from a third party perspective. Since they know the exact terms, and have access to more detailed information,they never have to eat their own dog food.

While internal documents that tech support uses have step by step flowcharts of trouble shooting with a lot of detail and details exacting language, end users using the web site do not have access to the terminology. So often they must try searching multiple variations of terms to find the “magic words” to describe the problem to find the KB article that gives an answer.

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MFi-controllerOver a year ago when I found out about the MFi controller program that would allow manufacturers to create gaming controllers for iOS device, I was a bit excited. But after looking at the offerings, I decided to wait until the quality & price was in parity with other controllers on the market. Now, well over a year later, and I am still waiting.

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QualtyNerpFowndThis is actually the first time in a long time I am not taking an iTunes update, given that it doesn’t fix the graphic artifact during scrolling issue, and other users are reporting worse things happening. In retrospect, I should have stuck with 11.x . iTunes 12.x is looking more like Windows Millennium everyday.

Sad.

This was once SoundJam, an app so good that Apple bought it. But this is now another example of an app in the care of a company too big to care to give it the attention to detail, and true UI/UX modernizations and feature enhancements an indie would have. A third party company would have listened to their customers or face declining sales. Apple is too big to truly care about the declining quality of iTunes. Whomever is sitting in charge of shipping product quality control is obviously not paying attention, and this toxic style of management is what can and has brought once great companies down.

Since v4 the only “improvements” have been cosmetic and the addition of the various stores. Apple has never addressed iTunes key failings and has instead focused on bloating it u to the point where once loyal users are looking elsewhere for leading edge features.

But this isn’t really about Apple. Apple is really an example. This is about a mentality epidemic in proportion of people who think that marketing, money or someone else can make up (or take the blame) for subpar products. The logic is as follows:

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