I’m Sending Out Spam!

So yesterday, I thought my e-mail had been hacked when several contacts on my Gmail account notified me of a suspicious email that had as a heading line:

RE: Fr Stephen Smuts – 7/14/2014 10:36:01 AM

There was only a single link contained in the mail which my own antivirus wouldn’t let me open. Much to my embarrassment, the email was not generated, complied nor sent by me, though I could clearly see the ‘contacts’ who had been selected and contacted (the Bishop included) when a friend emailed me back asking what a spam mail from me was all about?!

Frantically, I spent a large part of the day beefing up my security – changing passwords, settings, doing virus and malware scans etc. I hope it has worked for I would hate to have to change my email address because the present one is somehow compromised! If anyone else has received such an email, please ignore, let me know, and definitely (!) do not click on the link.

But after having subsequently done some further googling, this is what I’ve come across:

If your Contacts received spam from you, or if you find access activity that you can’t account for, we suggest following all the steps outlined in the Gmail security checklist to make sure your account is secure.

We are very concerned about this activity. Please obtain the full headers of the spam message from Sent Mail or from one of your Contacts, and report it to our team. We’ll investigate your report, but we’re unable to respond to individual cases. In particular, please note that we aren’t able to provide you with information about attempted logins to your account including, but not limited to, the IP address from which the attempted login was made, and the time and date attempted logins occurred.

I only use a laptop for all my Internet work. So I tried to report the incident but couldn’t convert the mail to the .txt required, so I basically gave up, hoping and praying instead that this doesn’t happen to me again.

Is Gmail safe? That becomes my next question.



How Other People Stereotype Your Denomination

Over at Near Emmaus:

I read this fun article from Nate Shivar titled How Other People Stereotype Your City where he enters the name of a city into Google to see what Google AutoSuggest tells us about the most popular related searches. The questions people ask about a city says something about how they stereotype a city. I thought it might be fun to do the same thing with denominations (though I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else has done this already). This is what I found…


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And just in case you were wondering about non-denominational churches:

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Google Reader Replacement

Well, Google Reader is all but gone. And every time I log in, I keep getting the terminal reminder:

Not so long ago, I asked if anyone could recommend an alternative aggregator. I’ve been using Google Reader since I started blogging and will really miss it, but I think I’ve found a fine replacement: The Old Reader. In fact, I’ll go as far as recommending it as the perfect replacement.

I know that a lot of people are going with Feedly, but it is a little too complex for me. The Old Reader interface looks so familiar and is very simple. No wonder it’s being called: the traditionalist app. Yes, perfect indeed.

Moreover, one can import your Google Reader feeds effortlessly. All in all it makes for a great RSS feed reader.



So I See, Google Reader

Is to retire soon! I get most of my feeds there.

News that service will be taken down sparks online petitions and protest site.

Screengrab from saveGoogleReader

Google is killing off Google Reader, its less-than-mainstream RSS aggregation tool, citing declining popularity.

The service will be taken down on 1 July. In a Google blogpost on the company’s “spring clean”, the firm’s senior vice-president of technical infrastructure, Urs Hölzle, said Reader launched in 2005 to help people track updates on their favourite sites, and it will be retired despite a loyal following.

“Users and developers interested in RSS alternatives can export their data, including their subscriptions, with Google Takeout over the course of the next four months,” he wrote.

RSS, which stands for either rich site summary or really simple syndication, became a familiar fixture on news sites in particular, encouraging users to subscribe to updates in their RSS reader via its distinctive orange button.

I should protest too!

BTW has anybody got any alternative aggregator suggestions? Just in case…