Saturday, August 28, 2010

Scammers strike again

This time my 14yo daughter answered the phone. Luckily she was aware of the previous phone call and has already developed a strategy for hanging up on unsolicited callers with Indian voices.
This time the caller claimed that there was a virus on our computer that was stopping their computers from operating correctly.
She hung up.
And laughed at the proposterous notion.

I feel so bad for the people who will inevitably be caught out by these scammers.

Now for something more tasty. The caramel slice my daughter was making when interrupted by the caller!

Recipe here .

Monday, August 23, 2010

Beware of the scammers ...

The other day I had a phone call. There was a man with an Indian accent on the other end. I'm afraid that we get so many phone calls from Indians trying to sell things that I'm instantly on guard. The conversation went something like this
"Esther A.......?"
"You have a computer?" Darn stupid question I thought.
"Our company work for Microsoft and your computer has been sending many warning messages. You know that computers send warning messages, right? And they tell me that your computer is full of viruses and malware and trogans..." (there was a whole lot of other mumbo jumbo in there that was unintelligible because of the poor line and his accent and my impatience)
"Can you turn your computer on, please."
"It is." (but I disconnected it from the Internet just in case)
"Can you tell me what operating system you use?" (here alarm bells started going off)
"You should know from the error message"
"Madam, your computer is sending error messages and they tell me that your computer is full of........" (more mumbo jumbo that went on and on and most of which was unintelligible)
"Madam, I just want to show you the viruses and trojans and malware that you have on your computer. Can you hold down the Windows button and press R for me."
"Have you done that?"
"Can you see a text box you can type into?" (of course, how stupid does he think I am?)
"Now type 'prefetch'"
"P R E F E T C H"
"Was that 'REACH'?"
"No, P for Paul, R for Roger, E for Elephant...." ...I think you get the idea.
He had me there, I don't know what prefetch does and I was starting to feel stupid. He claimed it showed me errors but they didn't look like errors to me. Then got me to do the same with  'eventvwr'. Supposedly more evidence of errors.

Then (and call me slow, but this is where alarm bells were going off madly) he asked me to type
a www.... into the run dialog box. I told him that there was no way I would do that. I expect he was trying to trick me into running some malicious program.
Since I was starting to get obstinate he warned me that these viruses and malware and trojans were damaging my computer and needed the help of an expert to remove. He gave me the website as their contact point.
Aha! They wanted me to pay big dollars to repair a problem I didn't have.
At that time I politely said I needed to think about it, took a name and phone number an hung up.
So, David Jones, of 02 09 1234 784, I will NOT be availing myself of your services.
In fact after a 1 minute search of the web (is Google the most amazing and empowering invention of the decade or what?!) I was able to ascertain that this was, indeed, all a scam - I was even able to match the spiel he was giving me.

I felt ill for the rest of the day. But I did run some extra virus scans and did fresh backups just in case. What sort of insane world do we live in that people do this?!!

Find out for yourself - and beware!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Another opportunity...!

There is another CT call at twolittlepixels, this one by Designs by Anita. Anita creates gorgeous kits and you can find them here.

Good luck!

Meantime it has been so wet and cold here. It seems like we haven't had a proper winter for years. It certainly hasn't rained this much for a very long time, probably for the entire life time of my youngest daughter (who is 14)!! It has even been raining INSIDE the house - something we DON'T need! Note to self: Must phone plumber!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Up for a digital scrapbooking challenge?

There is a new blog at twolittlepixels. I'm quite excited about that because it already has freebies and challenges. There is a template challenge using this fabulous template that you can grab for free:

and a scraplift challenge to lift this gorgeous page:
Hmm, so much inspiration, so little time! I think I need to retire!!
So add to your google reader.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

CT opportunity with Scooty's Designs

Interested in joining a digital scrapping creative team? Here's a great opportunity. You can see Scooty's Designs here at twolittlepixels.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Keeping it simple

I love all the gorgeous digital product that is out there. I find it SO hard to resist. And you know, $2 here, $3 there... less than a cup of coffee (or so the voice tells me!). Yet I prefer the minimalist pages I've created to the ones with lots of embellishment.
This leaves me somewhat in a state of turmoil!

I have a quite a few minimalist templates by [ksharonkdesigns]. Here's one page I created using one of her templates with hardly any embellishment, just some photos I was a bit proud of, a background paper and some leaf elements blended into the background.
 (credits here)
Many of the scrappers I admire most do pages that are far more minimalist than that! They also often have amazing photos. (I wonder what they do with their less-than-amazing photos. No one can take amazing photos ALL of the time, can they?!)

I recently stumbled upon a bunch of freebie, ultra simple templates on a blog by Julie Designs. I love the simple LOs. Here is an example:

But they are just photos on white backgrounds. You'd think that a person would not need a template to do that, yet I'm so inspired by the designs that I can't resist collecting them! And I do use them. Sometimes they sit in my stash for years. My 2010 POTD album is ultrasimple and I'm so happy how it's turning out. It is based on an older freebie template by [ksharonkdesigns] that sat in my stash for years...
I don't manage to get a photo I'm proud of every day, but it surprises me how well they scrub up when I pop them into this simple template.
I'll be printing these with blurb like I did for my 2009 POTD album. Can't wait!
So, to embellish or not to embellish... that is the question!

UPDATE: I just found a Margote's blog where she used those simple templates for her POTD. Love it! I think I may just have found my format for 2011 POTD!!
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