Free Utility to Clean Your Computer Screen


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Cleaning computer screen manually

I wipe my computer screen every other day with a soft cloth and use a small brush to dust the keyboard.

I was wondering whether there was any easy way out to do this task like the windshield wipers found on vehicles.

Windshield wiper

Yesterday, I came across a message asking me whether I clean the inside of my computer screen.

I was flabbergasted. Till yesterday, I never knew that you have to clean the inside or the backside or the other side or for that matter any side other than the front side of a computer screen.

The message then said:

This online utility to clean the inside of the computer screen is absolutely free.
Click this link —>  
Free Utility to Clean Your Computer Screen

I clicked the link and the utility licked my screen clean.

This online utility is completely free now and will be as long as that website is in existence – alive and running.

The utility works on all types of computer screens: desktop monitor, laptop, or whatever. Moreover, the creators of this utility claim that it is virus free.

Click the link, and decide yourself whether to pass this utility to your friends or not!

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CISPA Passes in Closed Door Vote


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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At the Congress of the United States begun and held in New York, on March 4, 1789, several States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, wanted to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers by adding further declaratory and restrictive clauses.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in its original form is as follows:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights ratified on December 15, 1791.

This amendment tries to protect two fundamental liberty interests – the right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary invasions. It guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially allowed and supported by probable cause.

Now, the United States Government is attempting to control and censor the internet by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a law that would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information among the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies.

The stated aim of the bill is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyber attacks. This bill would allow major internet entities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to share voluntarily our personal information with the U.S. Government. This will not only affect users in the United States, but also anyone with an account with these companies.

As written, CISPA will not protect us from cyber threats, but will violate our Fourth Amendment’s right to our privacy, and freedom from arbitrary invasions.

    • It lets the government to spy on us without a warrant
    • Companies cannot be sued when they do illegal things using our data.
    • It allows companies and corporations to cyber attack one another and harm individual people outside the law.

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“What Ever Happened to the Millennium Bug?” by Grumpa Joe


Posted on 28/11/2012 by Grumpa Joe in Grumpa Joe’s Place

Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit

Year 2000 Time Bomb Disposal Kit (Photo credit: rjw1)

Does anyone remember the millennium bug? Back in the late 1990′s the planet was a buzz about a worldwide catastrophe, “the bug.” Personal computers came into existence in the seventies. At the time, computers possessed limited storage capacity. Programmers allowed only two digits to define a year. After all, in nineteen eighty, who could imagine the world lasting until the year two thousand? Between two thousand, and the limited capacity of early computer memory, no one could imagine that using only two digits to define a year was a problem. Finally in the late nineteen nineties the world became aware. What will happen on New Year’s eve of 1999 when the calendar turns over and it becomes the year 2000? Will the year 00 mean 1900 or 2000? Imagine the confusion. What would happen to the stock market? What about our savings in the bank? Would we earn the interest of 1900 or the interest of 2000? Worse yet, would those on the verge of retirement in 2000 be set back to 1900 and not be recognized as being born?

The millennium bug caused a rash of business to change out all old computers with new ones that could handle the four digit year. I remember my company racing to check computers to decide if they contained any software that limited the year to two digits. If they identified a problem they replaced it, or bumped it down to an application where the year was not a factor. The whole world sat on the edge of their seats waiting for the clock to turn, and the computers to crash. It is now twelve years after the fact, and I have yet to hear of a problem related to the millennium bug. What that means is we converted every computer on time, or that the millennium bug was a non-problem.

Today, I hear a lot of discussion about a similar catastrophe, the “fiscal cliff.” What will happen to the economy if we reinstate the Clinton era taxes? Many pundits, Congressmen, Senators, and “we the Sheeple” believe it will destroy the economy and send us into another more deeper recession. Really? Who has any definitive knowledge or facts to back that up? I think it would make a great experiment to let it happen i.e. do nothing to avoid the fiscal cliff. Let the taxes go into effect. It is a democrat’s dream to get all that extra money into the coffers (or trough). Perhaps we would learn once and for all about economics. Is economics a real science, or is it a political folly? If it is a science, the democrats will be proven wrong and the people they profess to protect will suffer. If they are right, economics will be proven more witchcraft than science.

It might be interesting to take a simple poll and see how you feel about this argument. Click on the poll below.

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When a Palm Reader Knows More Than Your Life Line by Natasha Singer


By NATASHA SINGER

“PLEASE put your hand on the scanner,” a receptionist at a doctor’s office at New York University Langone Medical Center said to me recently, pointing to a small plastic device on the counter between us. “I need to take a palm scan for your file.”

I balked.

As a reporter who has been covering the growing business of data collection, I know the potential drawbacks — like customer profiling — of giving out my personal details. But the idea of submitting to an infrared scan at a medical center that would take a copy of the unique vein patterns in my palm seemed fraught.

The receptionist said it was for my own good. The medical center, she said, had recently instituted a biometric patient identification system to protect against identity theft.

I reluctantly stuck my hand on the machine. If I demurred, I thought, perhaps I’d be denied medical care.

Next, the receptionist said she needed to take my photo. After the palm scan, that seemed like data-collection overkill. Then an office manager appeared and explained that the scans and pictures were optional. Alas, my palm was already in the system.

No longer the province of security services and science-fiction films, biometric technology is on the march. Facebook uses facial-recognition software so its members can automatically put name tags on friends when they upload their photos. Apple uses voice recognition to power Siri. Some theme parks take digital fingerprints to help recognize season pass holders. Now some hospitals and school districts are using palm vein pattern recognition to identify and efficiently manage their patients or students — in effect, turning your palm into an E-ZPass.

But consumer advocates say that enterprises are increasingly employing biometric data to improve convenience — and that members of the public are paying for that convenience with their privacy.

Fingerprints, facial dimensions and vein patterns are unique, consumer advocates say, and should be treated as carefully as genetic samples. So collecting such information for expediency, they say, could increase the risks of serious identity theft. Yet companies and institutions that compile such data often fail to adequately explain the risks to consumers, they say.

“Let’s say someone makes a fake ID and goes in and has their photo and their palm print taken as you. What are you going to do when you go in?” said Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum, an advocacy group in San Diego. “Hospitals that are doing this are leaping over profound security issues that they are actually introducing into their systems.”

THE N.Y.U. medical center started researching biometric systems a few years ago in an effort to address several problems, said Kathryn McClellan, its vice president who is in charge of implementing its new electronic health records system. More than a million people in the New York area have the same or similar names, she said, creating a risk that medical personnel might pull up the wrong health record for a patient. Another issue, she said, was that some patients had multiple records from being treated at different affiliates; N.Y.U. wanted an efficient way to consolidate them.

Last year, the medical center adopted photography and palm-scan technology so that each patient would have two unique identifying features. Now, Ms. McClellan said, each arriving patient has his or her palm scanned, allowing the system to automatically pull up the correct file.

“It’s a patient safety initiative,” Ms. McClellan said. “We felt like the value to the patient was huge.”

N.Y.U.’s system, called PatientSecure and marketed by HT Systems of Tampa, has already scanned more than 250,000 patients. In the United States, over five million patients have had the scans, said Charles Yanak, a spokesman for Fujitsu Frontech North America, a division of Fujitsu, the Japanese company that developed the vein palm identification technology.

Yet, unless patients at N.Y.U. seem uncomfortable with the process, Ms. McClellan said, medical registration staff members don’t inform them that they can opt out of photos and scans.

“We don’t have formal consent,” Ms. McClellan said in a phone interview last Tuesday.

That raises red flags for privacy advocates. “If they are not informing patients it is optional,” said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham University Law School with an expertise in data privacy, “then effectively it is coerced consent.”

He noted that N.Y.U. medical center has had recent incidents in which computers or USB drives containing unencrypted patient data have been lost or stolen, suggesting that the center’s collection of biometric data might increase patients’ risk of identity theft.

Ms. McClellan responded that there was little chance of identity theft because the palm scan system turned the vein measurements into encrypted strings of binary numbers and stored them on an N.Y.U. server that is separate from the one with patients’ health records. Even if there were a breach, she added, the data would be useless to hackers because a unique key is needed to decode the number strings. As for patients’ photos, she said, they are attached to their medical records.

Still, Arthur Caplan, the director of the division of medical ethics at the N.Y.U. center, recommended that hospitals do a better job of explaining biometric ID systems to patients. He himself recently had an appointment at the N.Y.U. center, he recounted, and didn’t learn that the palm scan was optional until he hesitated and asked questions.

“It gave me pause,” Dr. Caplan said. “It would be useful to put up a sign saying ‘We are going to take biometric information which will help us track you through the system. If you don’t want to do this, please see’ ” an office manager.

Other institutions that use PatientSecure, however, have instituted opt-in programs for patients.

At the Duke University Health System, patients receive brochuresexplaining their options, said Eliana Owens, the health system’s director of patient revenue. The center also trains staff members at registration desks to read patients a script about the opt-in process for the palm scans, she said. (Duke does not take patients’ photos.)

“They say: ‘The enrollment is optional. If you choose not to participate, we will continue to ask you for your photo ID on subsequent visits,’ ” Ms. Owens said.

Consent or not, some leading identity experts see little value in palm scans for patients right now. If medical centers are going to use patients’ biometric data for their own institutional convenience, they argue, the centers should also enhance patient privacy — by, say, permitting lower-echelon medical personnel to look at a person’s medical record only if that patient is present and approves access by having a palm scanned.

Otherwise, “you are enabling another level of danger,” said Joseph Atick, a pioneer in biometric identity systems who consults for governments, “instead of using the technology to enable another level of privacy.”

At my request, N.Y.U. medical center has deleted my palm print.

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E-mail: slipstream@nytimes.com.

Reproduced from The New York Times – Business Day Technology

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Sun Shines on the Sun-deprived Italian Village of Viganella


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj .

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Viganella village

Viganella village

In the far northwestern corner of Piedmont region, in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in Italy, at the bottom of a quiet steep valley, and surrounded by tall hills sits the tiny hamlet of Viganella.

The centuries old village, located 120 km northeast of Turin and 30 km northwest of Verbania, in an area of 13.7 square kilometers, slumbers in darkness during winter without direct sunlight. The mountains to the south of the village block the low winter sun for almost three months from November 11 through February 2. No place in Viganella gets any sunlight, bringing on a permanent gloom to the village.

The desolate stone houses in the hamlet may soon become ruins due to a dwindling community. As of December 31, 2004, it had a population of 185, mostly German Buddhists. Within the next fifteen years, the population of Viganella might decrease to 100 or even 30 people.

Aware of this precarious situation, Pierfranco Midali, the mayor of the town, came up with a novel solution to bring life to Viganella. He came up with a crazy idea – “Lo Specchio” (The mirror).

Lo specchio di Viganella

Lo specchio di Viganella

On December 17, 2006, a 40 square meter sheet of polished steel mirror weighing 1.1 tons, installed on a nearby peak at an altitude of 1,100 meters reflected sunlight on Viganella’s main town square below.

The mayor of Viganella, Italy, holds a computer that controls a giant mirror on the hillside behind

Pierfranco Midali, the mayor of Viganella, Italy, holds a computer that controls a giant mirror on the hillside behind.

Built at a cost of €100,000, financed by the regional authorities and a bank, the towering mirror remotely controlled by a computer constantly follows the Sun throughout the day.

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Hackers Reveal 10 PC Security Mistakes We ALL Make


No one knows security mistakes better than hackers – because for them, tiny errors in security are the ‘keys’ that allow access to home PCs and office computer systems.

And hackers are clear about one thing. Computer users make mistakes all the time – and often the same ones, over and over again. Two hackers – one ‘ethical hacker’, who tests computer systems by attempting to break into them, and one ex-hacker who now works in security – lay bare the ten errors that crop up most often.

‘People are too trusting,’ says Tom Beale, who has worked as an ‘ethical hacker’ for 10 years, protecting corporate and government systems by finding weaknesses.

‘The human element is always the weak link in the chain. People are very easily distracted – and particular attackers prey on that.’

‘People are just getting more and more stupid,’ says Cal Leeming, an ex-hacker who was convicted for a cyber crime, but now works in computer security.

‘They want their stuff to be protected, but they expect someone else to do it for them. People don’t want to know. Even for companies, computer security isn’t a priority, because it’s not a primary source of income. It’s only once the company’s been hit that they realise, “Oh we should have paid more attention than that”.’

1. Don’t use the same username everywhere

‘People often upload photos of themselves to an online library, say,’ says Cal Leeming, a former hacker who works in security at Simplicity Media, ‘But they use a username they use on other sites. They don’t realise that people can use Google to connect them across all the different worlds they visit, and then work out a way in.’

2. Don’t trust public wi-fi

‘When you go on a public wi-fi network you have no way to determine whether it’s a real network run by a reputable company, or a fake run by a spotty guy next to you,’ says Tom Beale of Vigilante Bespoke. ‘The problem’s particularly bad on mobile, where you really can’t tell if you’re on a fake network set up to steal your data. If you’re going to use public networks for business, use a laptop, because the browser will warn you of security breaches – your phone won’t.’

3. Be careful about who you friend on Facebook

‘Facebook has been basically forced to implement privacy settings,’ says Cal. ‘But people still get it wrong. They randomly friend other people, not realising they are giving away information that could be useful in a cyber attack – for instance names of pets or family that might be a password or security question.’

4. Don’t trust people you don’t know

‘I always tell people to do an ‘offline test’ – ie would you do the same thing if you were offline? So for instance, if you’re chatting to someone online, and you tell them some information, would you give that information to someone you’d just met in a bar?,’ says Tom. ‘Online, you’re even LESS safe – because you may not be talking to who you think you are. People just seem to lose all concept of reality when they’re on a PC.’

5. Use two-factor passwords when you can

‘People resist this except when they’re made to do it – like by their bank,’ says Tom. ‘But it does add that extra layer. It does offer protection. People accept that their bank will use tokens or keycard readers, but when other sites add it, people resist it – they just want quick access.’

6. Don’t re-use your email password

‘This isn’t going to be a problem that goes away any time soon,’ says Cal. ‘People don’t realise what are the risks of using the same password. If you reuse your email password, you’re handing out the keys to be hacked and breached – giving hackers access to the information they’ll need to hack your bank account and other networks you use. People use simple passwords for convenience – memorising too many is just a pain.’

7. Don’t be fooled by ‘cries for help’

‘Some of the most effective attacks are “cries for help” from friends – sent by email from a compromised machine. It’s incredible how many people respond to that,’ says Tom. ‘If it’s someone who travels a lot, and their email is hacked, it’s more convincing when you get an email saying that they are stranded abroad, and need money. They target people with a scattergun approach, but when they find someone who IS abroad a lot, it’s very effective.’

8. Use antivirus software

‘I can’t see any reason why you wouldn’t run AV software,’ says Tom. ‘It’s not a Holy Grail, but it helps you to deal with most known problems. Browsing without it is like driving without a seatbelt. It’s your first layer of defence, whether you’re using PC, Mac or Android.’

9. Remember that funny videos can be very unfunny

‘Facebook’s system doesn’t filter for malicious links, so they can be very dangerous. Often a ‘video’ link will try to fool people into visiting an infected site or downloading something in the guise of video software or fake antivirus software. Your only defence is to think, ‘Would my friend really post that?’ so be careful about people you only half-know. Facebook and Twitter need to inform users better.’

10. Set everything to auto update

‘Attackers will be actively looking for vulnerabilities – not just in your operating system, but in your browser, in plug-ins such as Flash and Java. Be sure that all of those are up to date,’ says Tom. ‘If you don’t, you are leaving security holes. Most updates don’t add functions, they just fix holes, and if you don’t get them, you still have the holes.’

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Reproduced from Yahoo! News – Thu, Sep 13, 2012

 

What is the World’s Longest Domain Name?


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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One of the silliest attempt at securing an Internet Record is for the longest domain name.

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is a large village and community on the island of Anglesey in Wales, situated on the Menai Strait next to the Britannia Bridge and across the strait from Bangor. This village has the longest place-name in Europe and one of the longest place names in the world. The short form of the village’s name is Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, also spelled Llanfair Pwllgwyngyll. It is commonly known as Llanfair PG or Llanfairpwll.

Visitors stop at the railway station to be photographed next to this station sign.

The website http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.com/ says that it is he World’s Longest Single Word Domain Name, named after a Welsh Village.

But is it?

Technically, according to the domain registrars, the longest legal domain name  can have up to 63 characters starting with a letter or number (not including sub-domains or suffixes).

The following websites too have the name of the village.

http://www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.co.uk/

http://llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochuchaf.com/

The ending “uchaf” in the above domain name is the welsh for “higher” or “upper”, and refers to the upper (old) part of the village .

I wonder whether any one will type in these long domain names. These sites can only be  reached by clicking links or selecting from a list.

Here is one of a fun long domain names I came across on the net:

http://www.abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijk.com/

Another is

http://3.141592653589793238462643383279502884197169399375105820974944592.com/

The owners of the website

http://www.thelongestdomainnameintheworldandthensomeandthensomemoreandmore.com/

claim that their website has the world’s longest domain name.

Is this a world record?

So, they asked Guinness World Records. And this is the reply they received from Guinness World Records:


From : <crm@guinnessrecords.com>

To : <email>
Subject : Guinness World Record
Date : Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:54:32 +0100

Received: from intranet ([212.2.15.105]) by mc4-f32.law16.hotmail.com with Microsoft SMTPSVC(5.0.2195.5600); Wed, 25 Sep 2002 08:53:23 -0700
Received: from mail pickup service by intranet with Microsoft SMTPSVC; Wed, 25 Sep 2002 16:54:32 +0100
X-Priority: 3
X-MSMail-Priority: Normal
Importance: Normal
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V6.00.2600.0000
Message-ID: <INTRANETutJLtosJ3Ih00000103@intranet>
X-OriginalArrivalTime: 25 Sep 2002 15:54:32.0515 (UTC) FILETIME=[D6C40130:01C264AB]
Return-Path: crm@guinnessrecords.com

Content-Type: text/plain

Claim ID: 33140

25 September 2002

Dear Sir
Thank you for sending us the details of your recent record proposal for ‘Registering the worlds longest computer domain name’

After having examined the information you sent, and given full consideration to your proposal, I am afraid we are unable to accept your proposal as a record.

This record is currently rested, which means that no one can attempt this record and become a new record holder. It has been rested because there is no merit whatsoever in this. It takes little to no effort and is similar to taking the largest number in the world and then adding 1 to it.

I appreciate you have gone to a lot of effort, and we are delighted to hear from people around the world with their record claims and suggestions. However, given the sheer scope of the records on our database, and the growing number of people contacting us with record claims and suggestions, we need to exercise some editorial control over
what is and is not accepted as a record.

I appreciate this may be disappointing for you, but I hope this does not deter you from trying again. We are always keen to hear from people who wish to break Guinness World Records. If you should need any advice regarding breaking an existing record, please contact us again quoting the above reference number. Alternatively, you can contact us through our website at:

http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com

Once again, thank you for writing. We wish you every success with any future record-breaking endeavours.

Yours sincerely,

Scott Christie
Records Research Services
Guinness World Records

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What Do You See?


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj
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Wake up, wake up … Your privacy is compromised.

What Do You See?

A mosquito?

NO! You are absolutely wrong.

On close scrutiny you will notice that this is something else – an “INSECT SPY DRONE”.

This tiny drone can be controlled from a great distance. It is equipped with a camera and microphone. It can land on you, and if needed, use it’s needle to take a DNA sample of you. The priclk, and the subsequent pain will be akin to that of a mosquito bite. Also, it is possible to inject into you, under your skin, a micro RFID tracking device.

It can enter your home by landing on you, attach on to your clothing until you take it inside your home; or it can fly into your home through a window.

This is already in production, funded by the US Government. Now, who is the real enemy?

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“Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845″ – Nate St. Pierre


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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On May 8, 2012, Nate St. Pierre, a social media consultant and a blogger from Illinois claimed “Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845“.

Click on this image to read the post titled “Abraham Lincoln Filed a Patent for Facebook in 1845″ by Nate St. Pierre.

Lincoln was requesting a patent for “The Gazette,” a system to “keep People aware of Others in the Town.” He laid out a plan where every town would have its own Gazette, named after the town itself. He listed the Springfield Gazette as his Visual Appendix, an example of the system he was talking about. Lincoln was proposing that each town build a centrally located collection of documents where “every Man may have his own page, where he might discuss his Family, his Work, and his Various Endeavors.” - Nate St. Pierre

Washington Post commented on this post:

The Washington Post May 8, 2012

A section of the blogger community was in an uproar over the claim made by Nate St. Pierre in this post that in 1845 Abraham Lincoln had requested for a patent for the visual appendix and concept of what we now call “Facebook” and that Lincoln’s request had been rejected. But many  skeptics like me had our fingers crossed.

Click on this image to read the post titled: “Abraham Lincoln didn’t invent Facebook, says the guy who wrote the piece saying he did”

We now know for sure that this story as a fake. Here it is straight from the horse’s mouth.

Click on this image to read the post titled: “Anatomy of a Hoax: How Abraham Lincoln Invented Facebook″ by Nate St. Pierre.

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THE CONFESSION OF NATE ST. PIERRE

The original story is 100% fabricated. It’s a tip of the hat to P.T. Barnum’s celebrated hoaxes (or humbugs) and Abe Lincoln’s tall tales. Absolutely nothing in it is true, except for the existence of the circus graveyard and the Lincoln Museum, both of which I would like to visit someday. The main image is a (very poorly) Photoshopped copy of a newspaper from Massachusetts. This was meant to be an easy one to debunk – there are clues throughout the entire article telling you it’s a hoax (detailed in the second part of this article).

I wrote it for a few reasons. Here they are, in order of importance:

  • I wanted to do something fun that would make me (and others) laugh.
  • I was tired of all the same old boring blog posts rolling past me that day.
  • I was officially launching my consulting services the next day, so I wanted a bigger audience.
  • I wanted to illustrate one of the drawbacks to our “first and fastest” news aggregation and reporting mentality, especially online.
  • This isn’t my first rodeo in the “poke the internet” department, but I only do it every 2-3 years or so. The last thing I did on this scale was when I hijacked the Fast Company Influence Project. The one before that I would prefer to remain anonymous on.

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