Watch Out for Malicious E-mail Attachments!

safetyWith e-mail you can’t be too careful!

Despite the increasing role of texting and social media messaging in our lives, most of us still rely on e-mail for a range of important tasks, and often our children do too. To remain safe and secure we must learn how to be on the lookout for malicious attachments.

Perhaps half-a-dozen times or more a month I receive hoax letters from people on my school e-mail lists. These range from messages that call for help from strange places around to world to e-mails with links to web locations that claim to solve problems or help me out in some way. Many of these come from people who I consider to be web and Internet savvy, and most of the hoaxes are incredibly realistic, seeming like they just might need me to click on them. Recently a great article about e-mail security, with information that can help all of us learn more, appeared on the MakeUseOf website.                                        Continue reading

What on Earth is a Flash Mob?

A lone cellist gets the music started.

A lone cellist gets the music started.

When a group of people gets together suddenly and unexpectedly for a purpose (sensible or not) that group may be called a flash mob. These gatherings, appearing to come out of nowhere, have gained some notoriety in the connected digital world — it’s just so easy to arrange them via communication tools and via social media such as Facebook and Twitter.

Most often when I hear people talk about flash mobs, it has to do with crime. A large group of people descends on a small store, for instance, and clears off the shelves. Several countries have gone so far as to make flash mobs illegal. But most of these crowd events have nothing to do with crime or criminal behavior.

After a few more musicians join in the conductor arrives.

After a few more musicians join in the conductor arrives.

Most of the flash mobs today are for fun, and may even offer surprised audiences the opportunity to learn something. Interesting “mobs” may include dancers, music, improvisational theatre, poetry readers, or social protesters. Now, as experience with flash mobs expands, another purpose of these gatherings is to promote products

Sometimes a flash mob occurs and the event has nothing to do with digital communication. It becomes a performance  — not at all related to the social media-inspired gatherings encouraged by Twitter or Facebook.

In December 2013, a few of the visitors at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum were surprised by a single musician, a cellist, who came in and began playing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring in the huge main atrium. Continue reading