Twitter Spam & Phishing Attacks: Avoid Them With One Rule of Thumb

Frankly, I’m getting a little sick of everyone always bitching about Twitter phishing attacks. Don’t get me wrong. I understand how awful it is to lose control over your own accounts to evil spammers trying to sell weight loss tips and sex advice to your friends. But it’s one thing to have your account hacked. It’s quite another to be dumb enough to fall prey to this latest round of ‘Is This You?’ phishing attacks.

Clicking on unsolicited links in a direct message is a lot like leaving all your doors open on a hot summer night and then being surprised when you end up with bugs in your house. Whether you know the sender or not, it’s a stupid thing to do. Especially since all it takes is two seconds to reply with ‘hey, did you mean to dm me that link or is it spam?’ Hell, you can send that & still have 90 characters left to fill in your message. And those two seconds could save you innumerable hours of spam-fueled tsoris (excuse my Yiddish).

So yes, spammers do suck. And phishers are the bane of the modern web user’s existence. But, that doesn’t mean we have to let them dominate the conversation, especially not when there’s so many more interesting things we could be tweeting and blogging and status updating about. And definitely not when all it takes is a two second defense mechanism and a little bit of brains to protect yourself from all those all-too-obvious phisher’s lines.

My Little Pony: The Musical

It’s a My Little Pony Musical. ‘Nuff said.

Robot Cooks: Machines Can Prepare Sushi & Rock A Chef’s Hat

Today, The New York Times ran an article about the rise of robotic chefs, including the new granola-bar-delivering Snackbot at Carnegie Mellon University and the omelet-making  Chief Cook bot in Switzerland.  From Japanese restaurants where robots make Ramen to entire conventions devoted to mechanized methods for preparing everything from sushi to sliced veggies, it appears that RoboCop is out and RoboChef is in. (Insert ‘dead or alive, you’re eating with me’ joke here).

Of course, I already have a robot that makes Ramen – it’s called the microwave. But it doesn’t have a jaunty chef’s hat and cute little googly eyes. So I suppose there are worse things modern technology could be churning out. Although, as an avowed foodie, a former foodservice employee and a long-time proponent of the ancient Jewish philosophy of ‘food is love,’ I’m not sure mechanical chefs can ever really replace the flesh and blood kind.

Sure, robots can slice and dice as methodically (or maybe even more so) as the best sous chef. But they can’t take a quick break to dirty dance with a waitress to whatever salsa tune is on the stereo. Or pour a tequila shot between services. Or freeze half to death looking for some long-lost root vegetable in the walk in and then spend the rest of the day complaining about it.  And they certainly can’t taste the food they prepare. Which, as far as I’m concerned, eliminates all the excitement and passion from the cooking process. Not to mention the tastebuds.

So although the gadget-geek side of me thinks a sushi-rolling robot is pretty darn cool, the side of me that loves food – and loves all the madcap behind-the-scenes drama and passion that goes into preparing it (and in most cases, preparing it well) – isn’t such a fan of seeing my chefs du jour replaced by chefs du circuitboard.

Not that I would argue with a robot making my morning toast. I just don’t want any Termibroilers taking over the food world full-force. Although having a chef with machine guns for arms might help cut down on those obnoxious diners who insist on sending their food back fifty times right in the middle of a rush.

IE6 Dies, Design Firm Hosts Funeral: Ding Dong IE6 Is Dead (Finally)

Today, TechCrunch reported that a web design firm in Denver will be holding the official funeral for IE6 on March 4. Given Mashable’s report today that YouTube plans to stop supporting the bane of my browser-testing existence on March 13, it seems like an appropriate time to officially wave bon voyage to the browser every web developer from here to HTML5 hates.

You can RSVP for the funeral here. And don’t worry, if you can’t make it, you can always send flowers as a tribute. Just don’t send them via IE6. At least not if you want them to actually arrive the way they’re supposed to.


Glee Cast Performing At White House: It’s An Easter Miracle!

Okay, so this news isn’t exactly about social media, but the fires of my passion for all things Glee were stoked by the active fan community I found myself participating in on Twitter during every episode. And for the record, I was NOT the only one crying when Mercedes belted out her big ballad or when Kurt came out to his dad. Once again, Twitter proves the universal nature of human emotion and experience. Or something like that.

But anyway, I digress. The real story here is that the Glee cast has been selected to perform, in all of their musical theater loving, gay culture celebrating glory, at the White House. On Easter nonetheless. It’s a big change from the middle-of-the-road milquetoast that characterized the last performers to grace the White House egg roll (the eunuch brothers).  And, it’s change I can believe in. With all my Liza-loving heart.


Art Of Twitter: John Mayer, Martha Stewart & More

These hilarious images come courtesy of the Museum of Modern Tweets, where artist Odessa Begay creates these modern masterpieces inspired by celebrity Tweeters. You can read more about the Museum over at Mashable.

Or, you can just do what I did, and track down the almost-NSFW rendering of Anderson Cooper talking about sexual healing in his birthday suit, and then promptly make that your desktop background.

Augmented Reality Tattoo: Don’t Adjust Your Glasses, That Tat Really Is Flying

Yeah, that’s an augmented reality tattoo you’re looking at. And yes, it is the height of ballsy, badass geekery. Now, if only I could create an app that would crowdsource the process of convincing my mom not to disown me if I actually got one. . .

The Dating Olympics: Why Not Go For The Gold?

See this post in its original format on Speed LA DatingIce Bumper Cars Skating

In case you’ve been living under a rock, there’s a little something called The Olympics going on right now. You know, that thing with all the pomp, circumstance and figure skating? Well, it’s happening, whether you’re watching or not. And, regardless of your personal interest – or lack thereof – in the great sport of curling, you can still inject some gold medal-worthy fun into your love life.

Figure Skating

So, you love sparkles, sequins and spinning around on a few inches of ice? Then figure skating is clearly the sport for you. Lucky for you, there are plenty of local places to take your beau for some blades of glory fun. Tutu and tight bodysuit not required. Pasadena has the gorgeous, state of the art Pasadena Ice Skating Center, where you can take classes, join a Freestyle skating session or even sign up for some hardcore broomball. Olympic skater Miri Nagasu even started her career in this huge facility, located in the heart of Pasadena. Although nobody will hold it against you if you’re not exactly up to her level.

In Culver City, kitsch is the name of the game, at the historic Culver Ice Arena, where pickup hockey games, open skating sessions and a vintage vibe make it the perfect place for a more low-key skating experience. And, in the valley, you can check out Iceland Ice Skating Center in Van Nuys, home of the perfect date activity – bumper cars on ice. And what’s better than the opportunity to show off your driving skills and your ability to come up with witty puns involving ‘bumping’ all in the same date?

Skiing & Snowboarding

Okay, so you don’t want to go all the way to the snow. Well, how about some virtual snowsports instead? For about $20 onAmazon, you can buy We Ski for the Nintendo Wii, which lets you ski and snowboard your way to victory all within the warmth and comfort of your very own living room. The balance board is going to cost you a little extra, but you’ll get to enjoy all the fun of frolicking in the snow without any of that actual pesky snow stuff. Because let’s face it. Us Angelenos weren’t exactly built to bulk up in those big ol’ winter coats anyway.

Hockey

Hey, did you know there are two whole hockey teams in the LA area? We’ve got the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks. Yeah, those Ducks. Although, I don’t think Joshua Jackson is playing for them anymore, you can still check them out any time during their season, which runs well into April. Both the Ducks and the Kings have totally affordable tickets that start at less than $20 and often come in packages that include perks like hot dogs, sodas and more. Even if you’re not that into hockey, you can’t really turn down a date night that involves watching hot, sweaty men duking it out on the ice and comes with hot dogs included, can you? Sounds like a gold medal night to me.

Me + CNN? Awesome.

If you’re a prolific content creator on the web, then there are few things as awesome as a positive google alert. They’re like sending yourself flowers, but not telling yourself when they’re going to arrive. Randomly, when you least expect it, they show up at your front door and remind you that people actually read – and sometimes even enjoy – the content you post online.

Plus, if the alert just so happens to be informing you that a piece of content you posted got quoted in an article on CNN, then you get an equally awesome excuse to feel especially awesome about yourself. And to blog about how awesome it all is.

Which is, of course, awesome too. Especially if the article in question happens to be about perennially awesome film director Kevin Smith. Which makes the whole thing…well…really freakin’ awesome.

Is That An iPhone Being Charged With Your Pants, Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Proving once again why I am proud to be a graduate of the UC system, researchers at UC Berkeley have created a new technology that essentially embeds ‘energy-scavenging microfibers’ into your clothes, which produce an electric current when you move around. Thereby turning that top into a terrifically portable piece of electronic-charging equipment, and giving fashion-conscious nerds everywhere (or at least the ones who are currently typing this blog post) a total techgasm.

Of course, the technology isn’t completely there yet, as VentureBeat points out in today’s article about it. But, it’s one still one step closer to giving me an excuse to buy new clothes. And I say that’s one small step for technology, one giant leap for this fashion conscious  nerd.