Deceptive business practice of the

Deceptive business practice of the day: popunder ads made to mimic Windows XP program widgets to the exact pixel.

While it’s been pretty common to incorporate window elements like minimize/maximize/close, and often you’ll find ads made to look like OK/Cancel dialog boxes, these fastclick ads take it a few steps further, not only appearing to be something clickable, but to mimic the OS exactly, and look as if it is part of your computer’s control panel or operating system.

Idea of the day:

Idea of the day: Why isn’t there a photo service online that does something like what Cafepress does for shirts and trinkets? Imagine being able to look at someone’s gallery of photos, say travel photos from Italy or Siberia, and clicking on a link to buy a 8×10 reprint for $10 or so, knowing full well that the person that took the photo and offerred the service will get a $4 kickback from it?

I know some service like ofoto or snapfish let other people order photos from galleries (like site visitors, family, etc), but they seemed to charge users actual printing prices. What I envision is a site more like Cafepress that gives you a photo “storefront”, so that photographers have incentives to create high quality photos espeically for resale as prints, and maybe make a few bucks along the way.

update: via email, this discussion and this site offer possibilities.

Feeling nostalgic tonight, I wandered

Feeling nostalgic tonight, I wandered over to Craig Mitchell’s Myboot for the first time in a year or so. I see that there’s a chapter of She Hates My Futon I haven’t read before, but I can’t remember what was going on in the story when I left off in chapter 22. It’s sad to see it sit unfinished to this day, as it was just a chapter or two away from completion back when he was working on it.

Reading the story back in 1999, it was one of the first moments I realized that maybe the web could really give old media a run for its money, creatively speaking. I remember sitting down and reading chapters 1 through 22 in one day, over the course of several hours. The story’s pretty much a 20-something, generation x tale of love lost and found. It reminded me a lot of Chasing Amy, and I’m surprised it hasn’t been turned into some sort of screenplay by now.

From: “Bernard Shifman”

From: "Bernard Shifman" <>
Subject: Content about Bernard Shifman
Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 09:40:39 -0500

Dear Sir,

Would it be possible for you to remove the content about me from your website. I'm really not a spammer and I was just looking for a job. Many of the responses that are posted from "me" have been doctored to me me look like a jerk. The content on your site is causing problems for me as you can imagine and it would be very kind of you to remove all content about me from your site. Why would you want to prevent me from getting work? I don't understand....


Bernard Shifman amazes me, he really does. I’m fully convinced he’s learned nothing from this moron spammer adventures. I’ve searched this site, and can only find one (tangential) reference to him, and there’s one reference on MetaFilter.

But look at today’s email above. He’s convinced he wasn’t spamming when he sent out (by my estimate, at least) 20,000 unsolicited resumes as word doc attachments to any and all email addresses scraped off the web. I got several copies, all to addresses found somewhere online, and from talking with people that also got copies, his email scraping bot sent messages to anything found in text that resembled an email address. Then he goes into the sob story of not finding work. If you google for “Bernard Shifman” you’re gonna get 1900 matches, most all pointing to his screwups, so much so that eradicating it from the web is going to be completely impossible.

I can understand someone new to online etiquette making a few mistakes along the way, and I do feel bad for people out of work having a tough time finding new positions, but Bernard here has screwed up so often, so consistently, and for so long, without learning from or even admitting he’s ever made a mistake, that I have no sympathy for him. Two things in this email also clinch it: the last two sentences, added as some backhanded guilt trip that I’m keeping him from finding work, not his own actions, and the CC line. He openly taints his request with a subtle legal threat, not learning in the past year that barratry is no way to gain understanding from others, not to mention the fact he hasn’t sued anyone he has threatened.

While getting back up on the horse after you’ve fallen is usually a good plan, at some point when you’ve fallen hundreds of times and kicked the horse several times, it’s time to think about other modes of transportation.