Beware! Origin Energy email scam

I just received a warning from the government website – Stay Smart Online:

https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/alert-service/malicious-emails-impersonate-origin-energy

It’s free to register and the warnings can save you from malicious attack. Anyway, this particular warning referred to a new email scam that was reported by the Herald Sun newspaper on the 19th of July, 2017. You can read it here:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/technology/origin-energy-scam-emails-new-malware-attack-hits-australians/news-story/9d5bd312efa909a548fb9e9e3ac00e23

Basically, the scammers have copied the Origin Energy bill payment email format to trick customers into clicking on fake links that will expose them to malware or worse. Sadly, this is an eventuality I predicted over a year ago when I wrote a post about this very issue:

‘What’s wrong [with email bills] is that each link is a potential opening for scammers to steal your information, especially that big, orange ‘Pay now’ button. You see, these days, the really good scammers can reproduce the Origin Energy logo, its fonts, the colours, even the text…PERFECTLY. If you were to receive one of these reproductions, you would need to look very, very carefully to pick the fake from the original. And let’s face it, how many of us scrutinise each email we receive, especially when we are expecting to receive it?’

You can read the full post here:

http://wp.me/p25AFu-2mi

The Origin Energy response has been to ‘teach’ customers how to spot a fake email. Not good enough. Here’s what I wrote in that same post from June last year:

‘And what do you think the big corporations are going to do about the theft of all my money? Will they pull their hair out by the roots and cry ‘mea culpa, mea culpa’? Not on your life. They’ll say that the fault was all mine. They’ll say that they warn customers about ‘scammers’ so it’s a case of ‘buyer beware’.

Having our accounts hacked is too high a price to pay for the convenience on offer. NEVER pay your Origin Energy bills via their emails. Pretend they’re just paper bills and go into your internet banking to pay them safely. Origin Energy created an opening for scammers and you didn’t have to be a psychic to know this would be the result. 😦

Meeks

 


A fascinating peek at Hungarian history

The policy of the house of Austria, which aimed at destroying the independence of Hungary as a state, has been pursued unaltered for 300 years. Lajos Kossuth (1802-1894) A bronze winged genius, a protecting spirit defiantly bearing a torch of freedom, stands guard with a powerful lion atop the recently restored massive wedding-cake-like mausoleum memorializing […]

via Postcard from Budapest, Hungary: Graves reveal layers of Hungarian history — postcards from san antonio

As some of you may know, I was born in Hungary but left as a very young child. I have been back to visit relatives, but there’s so much of Budapest I’ve never seen so I’ll be journeying with Post Cards from San Antonio along with everyone else. Enjoy!


Missing in action

Apologies for not answering comments the last couple of days but I’ve been at the hospital where the Offspring has just had a malfunctioning appendix removed. This was preceded by a great many tests, all of which proceeded at a glacial pace, and very little sleep, for either of us. The op. went well and the Offspring should be coming home today or tomorrow. Normal transmission will resume as soon as possible. 🙂

cheers

Meeks


Office #Word 2016 really is a piece of…

Shyte.

What follows is a raged induced rant so look away now.

-breathe-

I’ve just wasted an hour trying to fix the Word 2016 dictionary. It started with ‘Mira Than‘.

No, actually, it started with the combination of two big episodes of Innerscape into one very BIG Word 16 document. How big? 375 pages. Apparently, Word still has issues with very big files. That’s the reason I originally migrated my writing to a dedicated writing package [StoryBox]. Unfortunately, to publish a print version of Innerscape, I have to go Word >>PDF>>Createspace.

Anyway, after spending hours wrestling with Word’s section breaks [more on that in another post], I began doing a this-is-absolutely-the-last edit, when I realised that every time I typed in Miira Tahn, Word would ‘correct’ it to ‘Mira Than’ as soon as my attention moved elsewhere.

I tried getting Word to ‘Ignore All’, but it wouldn’t – and no, it wasn’t just variations on the name, like ‘Miira Tahn‘s‘ etc. And then it began throwing up other ‘errors’, all to do with US spelling. So, naturally, I used the nifty option at the bottom of the Spell Check pane to change the dictionary back to UK spelling:

My efforts obviously confused Word because it suddenly switched to the French dictionary. -growls in rage-

The French dictionary finds every word written in English to be incorrect…

I changed the dictionary back to English UK.

Nope…Word now wants to stay in French.

I look up fixes to the problem. I attempt to reset my language preferences. I restart Word…

Now Word wants to use the US dictionary again BUT the page full of French ‘errors’ is still set to the French dictionary. And then Word stopped working.

It’s back now, but I haven’t been game to check my document in case I end up throwing the monitor across the room. There are many basic, useful formatting functions in Word, and it works well for short-ish, business type documents, but the more Microsoft tries to automate the process, the more mangled and unstable it becomes. Especially with big documents.

I hate to think how convoluted the Word code must be because Microsoft almost never delete anything. They just keep adding to it, and adding to it, and adding to it…

Sadly, while this rant did make me feel a little less homicidal, it’s only a temporary distraction from the main event. I have to get this stupid piece of shit to play nice or I may never get my hands on those lovely, shiny books. 😦

Thanks for letting me vent,

Meeks

 

 


Miira cover – in 3D

Just finished the Miira cover, version nth [honestly? I’ve lost track], so I thought I’d celebrate by playing around with a 3D version. I think it turned out okay. 🙂

The new blurb for the back is:

In 2101, the average person can expect to reach one hundred and ten. Miira Tahn, last Lady of Dhurai, is dying at just fifty-two. Faced with a slow, agonizing death, her only hope is a virtual paradise called Innerscape. There, the Residents inhabit beautiful, digital bodies indistinguishable from the real thing.

Or so the brochures say. But even Eden had a snake, and once inducted, the Residents of Innerscape can never return to the real world. If anything goes wrong, they will be lost in the dark forever.

Yet for Miira Tahn, even a tenuous hope is better than the fate that awaits her.

‘…sometimes you just have to close your eyes and jump…’

And finally, underneath the blurb will be this:

‘Miira’ is the first book of the Innerscape cyle and corresponds to Episode 1 of the original series.

After way too much angst, I finally decided to bite the bullet and redo the ebooks as well. Once I’m finished, both print and digital versions will comprise just three books:

  • Miira, book 1 = Episode 1 of Innerscape
  • The Godsend, book 2 = Episodes 2 and 3 of Innerscape, and
  • Nabatea, book 3 = Episodes 4 and 5 of Innerscape.

It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s the only one I can think of that will translate a five-part serial into three, organic story arcs. And as an added bonus, the new splits will allow me to make book 1 permafree…once I persuade Amazon that it’s necessary.

But those are long range plans. For now I’d just like to thank everyone who commented on version 1 of the covers. You’ll never know how valuable your feedback was. Massive hugs all round! Now I’m off to make a pretty toy out of books 2 and 3. 😀

love

Meeks

 


3D printed food! omg…..

3d Printed food ( pasta ) 3d printed food is well know. We love to eat pasta in different forms. almost every country has some kind of pasta or related food. Pasta comes in different shapes, but when we want to make our own design based pasta its little bit hard for some of […]

via 3d Printed food ( pasta ) — SV3DPRINTER.com


Nabatea – Innerscape book 3 cover

Still heaps of work to do, but I’m kind of pleased how this last cover turned out. Again, it’s still a mockup but I’d appreciate some feedback. Too bold? Too hard to see? Too something else??

I really need fresh eyes so please tell me if you notice something wrong. I also need to know whether the three covers provide enough visual continuity to make it obvious this is a series?

In particular, should I change no.1 to be more like 2 and 3 in terms of the circuit board wires and size of title?

Thanks 🙂

Meeks

p.s. no.2 will actually be darker in the finished version.


Barbra Streisand – The Broadway Album

The Offspring and I were listening to The Broadway Album on the way home, and it was…wonderful. I’d forgotten how exceptional this album truly is. Here are a few tracks that bring me out in goosebumps, even after so many years.

The first track is a re-arrangement/medley from The King and I, one of my favourite old-time musicals:

Next up is a song I didn’t much like when I first heard it. But Streisand’s version makes me shiver. This particular rendition was recorded only a couple of years ago. She still has it.

And now, Pretty Women. It’s another medley and always makes me smile.

Last but not least is a song that every Indie should listen to at least once a year! Pay attention to the lyrics. You won’t be disappointed. 😀

 

Enjoy. 🙂

Meeks


Toxic #nanoparticles in baby formula?

I was first introduced to the idea of very small, man-made ‘objects’ by the 1966 sci-fi movie ‘The Fantastic Voyage’:

The story was fanciful in the extreme – science will never be able to shrink humans to the size of atoms – but the concept of building a microscopic sized machine was not that far off the mark. These days, you can find nanoparticles in ‘…scratchproof eyeglasses, crack- resistant paints, anti-graffiti coatings for walls, transparent sunscreens, stain-repellent fabrics, self-cleaning windows and ceramic coatings for solar cells.¹

Unfortunately, the one place you do not want to find nanoparticles is in infant formula, so I was shocked when I read this article from Friends of the Earth:

http://emergingtech.foe.org.au/illegal-and-potentially-toxic-nanoparticles-found-in-baby-formula/

In a quick summary, Friends of the Earth commissioned the Arizona State University to test seven samples of baby formula on sale here in Australia. The test results showed that five of the seven contained nanoparticles that are specifically prohibited in baby food. Despite this, Food Standards Australia and New Zealand [FSANZ] dismissed the concerns raised by these results without even running tests of their own.

Friends of the Earth believe that FSANZ is overly influenced by large multinational corporations and is calling for the body to be investigated. I don’t know whether their claims are justified or not. All I know is that if I had a baby, I’d be switching brands until these allegations are either proved by more testing…or disproved by more testing. Either way, the tests must be done.

The following table is taken from the Friends of the Earth article. The yellow highlight at the bottom is mine.

 

If this information proves to be alarmist, then I apologise in advance but when it comes to health, especially the health of babies, I believe the precautionary principle should trump every other consideration. As mothers, we have the right to choose what food we put into the mouths of our children.

Meeks

¹ http://ec.europa.eu/health/scientific_committees/opinions_layman/en/nanotechnologies/l-3/5-nanoparticles-consumer-products.htm


…an eCar for car lovers :)

I’m not exactly a petrol head, but I do love beautiful cars, and the new EMotion by Fisker is extraordinarily sexy:

According to futurism.com:

‘The car will, reportedly, have a range of over 643 km (400 miles), a top speed of 260 km/h (161 m/h), a charge time of nine minutes for 100 km (62 miles), and utilizes the wonder material graphene in its battery, which was developed in collaboration with Nanotech Energy Inc.’

You can read the full article on:

https://futurism.com/heres-a-first-ever-look-at-the-new-electric-vehicle-that-charges-in-9-minutes/

As for me, I’m very happy because this news drives another nail into the coffin of the polluting technology of the past. Electric cars now have range, speed and sexy. All they lack is a pricepoint suitable for the average driver, but with competition, the prices will drop. And guess what? Tesla now has competition.

I won’t be driving one of these beauties any time soon, but I predict that by the late 2020s, electric cars will be as popular as the SUV is now.

Have a great weekend,

cheers

Meeks


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