Fraudulent sales methods in Spain

A few days ago, we were targeted by a team of sales people, who use fraudulent and very aggressive sales methods when trying to convince people in Spain to move to another internet provider.

Phone scrren with call log, showing +1004 and +1565 Continue reading

Have you noticed door-opener-spam?

When you install a fresh copy of wordpress, the most popular blogging platform in the world, you´ll automatically get two plugins:

  • Hello Dolly,a small demo plugin, that can be deleted safely.
  • and Akismet, a cloud-based protection against spam comments.

Obviously, lots of people want to put links to various weird things on your blog, so they use bots that spray more or less strange comments all over the blogosphere. Akismet does a good job on stopping most of these comments from being published on your blog.

But not all spam is that obvious to an unaided eye. Here and there, the comment will look just nice. It may just carry a couple of generic words about what a great site you´ve got. And no links. So what´s the issue? Hmm. Most of these generically nice comments use another thing: check the URL of the blog author. It´s very possible that it points to some very strange page on the internet that you´d prefer not to publish (nor follow).

However, recently I´ve seen that some of these generically nice comments pass the check of Akismet, and wordpress ask me to verify them. So what does a spammer gain from saying a couple of nice words about a blog, without even including any links???

Yes, this got me thinking for a while.

But I think I know what this is about:
Most blogs have a setting, where comments will go public immediately, if the comment author already has written an approved comment before. So, if you approve this comment "Hello, what a nice site you´ve got here!" Then the same spambot will be back a couple of days later, and this time, it will publish tons of garbage on your blog, and it will immediately become visible to all your visitors.

OK! This is just a theory. But I don´t want to prove it by trying. There´s enough spam around anyway.

Shaping Windows 8.1 and adding Russian custom phonetic layout

I’ve been using Windows 7 for quite some while now. And I’m really happy with it. Even so happy that I continue recommending friends and family to go for Windows 7 when buying a new computer, if they’ve got any chance to avoid Windows 8.

But, a couple of weeks ago we needed to get a new computer for my wife. And this time, we didn’t have any choice. So a couple of hours later, I started my attempts to turn a computer with Windows 8.1 into a useful tool for work.

Bad surprise number 1: Windows 8 doesn’t really bother about the the difference between a laptop and a tablet. Continue reading

Adjusting Google Analytics analytics.js (Universal analytics) for meaningful blog statistics

I’m running a wordpress site, where we want to keep an eye on the number of visitors and their behaviour on the site. It turned out to be very easy to get started: Create an account in google analytics and 10 minutes later, you’ll be instructed to enter a code snippet within your head tags (This is the version served for so called Universal Analytics, where the file analytics.js is called.):
(i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),

ga('create', 'UA-xxxxxxx-x', '');
ga('send', 'pageview');

Since I use the very functional wordpress theme graphene, adding the code was very easy: there’s a special section in the theme settings for that. Continue reading

Getting through

So, you need to call CITC, the telecom regulator in Saudi Arabia?
The good news is that their contact number is nicely indicated on their website.
The nice news is that their number is even correctly reflecting the fact that the country added an extra digit to all fixed telephone numbers a few months ago.
The bad news is that the switchboard seems to be heavily overloaded. According to my statistics, I may end up talking to a switchboard operator only once in 30-50 attempts. But, since they use IVR with DTMF selection, I have to pay for every attempt…
But I keep on trying. :)

It’s there now… Follow-up on fibre optic

Hello all,

As you may recall, quite a while ago, I was complaining about problems of getting connected with internet through fibre optic cable.

It took several months. It turned out that the connection box that was already installed in the house, was incorrectly placed. So it has been replaced by two junction boxes, one on each side of the house. Whenever a flat is to be connected, they’ll hang a vertical cable down to either of these boxes (depending on which side of the house the apartment is located.) So, it’s solved now.

I would like to keep Google reader

In its offical blog, Google has announced that they are taking down Google reader from July 1st 2013.

The quoted reason is declining usage. I’m afraid that it can be tricky to monetize such a wonderful service without doing evil things. Oh, and a lot of people may be relying on Google reader without really realizing it. Many nice apps for following your favorite blogs and news channels are just nice front-ends to Google reader. Continue reading

Corporate Spanish MNP experience

I just saw an interesting article with things to keep in mind, if you have corporate numbers in Spain and want to use Mobile Number Portability (MNP) to move your numbers to a different operator. The article is in Spanish, though. It’s from July 2012, but I’m sure it’s still valid all way through. Here goes the link: Portabilidad móvil: ¿Cómo funciona?

List of MWC events

Don’t miss the list of events around Mobile World Congress, which is published on BCN Tech Talk.

I’ve already found a couple of things I want to attend. :)

Among most visited LinkedIn profiles :)


I just got a nice reason to brag. LinkedIn just informed me that my profile is among the 5% most visited profiles on their system. (Of course, with 200 Million members, one just needs to hit the top 10 Million mark, but still…)