The North Face Cheated Google Search Results by Mass Editing Wikipedia Articles

I find this disgusting. Yes, the brand violated Wikipedia’s Terms of Use, but more importantly, they promoted a company by violating the integrity of one of the few remaining ideals of the Internet.

The brand and agency took pictures of athletes wearing the brand while trekking to famous locations around the world, including Brazil’s Guarita State Park and Farol do Mampimptuba, Cuillin in Scotland and Peru’s Huayna Picchu. They then updated the Wikipedia images in the articles for those locations so that now, the brand would appear in the top of Google image search results when consumers researched any of those locations

Source: The North Face used Wikipedia to climb to the top of Google search results | AdAge

Scene report from the Chernobyl Zone

Amazing account of hiking through Chernobyl. Some of the details they recount are incredible, for instance, the levels of radiation at the same building being drastically different based on assumed conditions at the time of the explosion.

Exhausted, we picked an apartment building at random and went in. Our initial thought was to camp on the roof, but the radiation on the roof’s surface was over 50 μSv/hr, so we moved to apartment #23 instead. The radiation there was only 0.08 μSv/hr (actually lower than our apartment in California). The former occupants must have had their windows closed when the explosion occurred. We collapsed and slept for most of the day.

Source: Moxie Marlinspike >> Stories >> Scene report from the Chernobyl Zone

One-Ring Scams

The FCC details a common phone scam strategy, the one-ring scam.

One-ring calls may appear to be from phone numbers somewhere in the United States, including three initial digits that resemble U.S. area codes. But savvy scammers often use international numbers from regions that also begin with three-digit codes – for example, “649” goes to the Turks and Caicos and “809” goes to the Dominican Republic.

If you call any such number, you risk being connected to a phone number outside the U.S. As a result, you may wind up being charged a fee for connecting, along with significant per-minute fees for as long as they can keep you on the phone. These charges may show up on your bill as premium services.

The current administration is fine with this being the best you hear about one-ring scams. In fact, I’m surprised the FCC (which still has many people who do good work, and want to help people, but have been hampered from doing so) has released this much information on the scam and how to avoid it.

Long story short – in this age of VOIP services and cell phones, if you don’t recognize a number, don’t answer it. If they don’t leave a voicemail, don’t call them back. If you do, you may want to disable international calling on your service.

As long as phone service providers make money, they have little incentive stop these scams without government intervention and regulation.