Category: Internet


Brave Unknown

It doesn’t hurt that part of my freelance work involves Twitter and I’ve gotten hooked reading about current events and posts about politics on the micro-blogger platform since I quit Facebook last year. One day my curiosity brought me to unfamiliar territory and even though part of me felt I wasted so much time that day, I did take away a valuable lesson about cyberbullies.

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Image courtesy of: Thoughtrepostrepository

What surprised me clicking through various Twitter profiles was how it became clearer that all of the notorious basher accounts do not have display pictures on their profile that’s uniquely theirs, i.e., their own profile picture. I don’t have a problem with critical thinkers hiding behind a different identity but what gives me pause is their intention to malign. Does this kind of anonymity make them feel entitled to lambaste known personalities? It sure does seem that way to me.

My hat goes off to a number of people I follow that are brave enough to critique presidents and other government officials and still show their authentic faces via their display picture. On the other end of the spectrum are faceless users with copied avatars spreading negativity. It’s one thing to criticize, it’s another to malign. Some cyberbullies I encountered that day feel braver with the latter.

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King of Wands

I just need to get this off my chest. Perhaps to be clearer I ought to post the events in chronological order.

Around late August or early September 2012 a random guy from a popular online dating site initiated a conversation with me. I had mentioned a name of an esoteric branch I am affiliated with on my profile and he had inquired which specific group I belonged to.  Despite the interesting yet unusual nature of our short exchange of messages and the fact that he was a kindred spirit, I did not feel compelled to check out his profile or read what he had to say about himself. I believe what contributed to the ambivalence was the first impressions I had formed from looking at his thumbnail profile picture – he seemed one overconfident (read: bordering on cockiness) and ambitious alpha male that’s way out of my league. It’s probably not true and I’m not in a position to confirm that because I don’t know him at all. When we had stopped chatting, it was I who had asked him a question about which body of esoteric teachings he resonated well with. He had not replied then and it was okay with me since we all have the freedom not to write back. I do admit I also have a record of not writing back. If I don’t like to reply, I just ignore and everyone moves on happily.

On October 18, 2013, I woke up at around 6 a.m. from a very disturbing dream. In a nutshell, this was the sequence: a local investigating agency gives a free seminar to civilians, I saw not more than 10 snakes which did not pose any threat at all as I had not been bitten, I saw centuries-old buildings crumble in an earthquake but I was no casualty, I saw the sky and clouds alternating between blue and violet hues which made me so scared to declare it was already the apocalypse and lastly, it felt like martial law all over again. I did not like the overall feeling in the dream – I had panicked and I felt it signified imminent life changes that might shake the core of my being despite getting out of it unscathed.

I got around to checking my mail at around 8 or 9 a.m. To my surprise the kindred spirit from last year had sent another message and it kinda took me close to 5 minutes to try to recall who he was or what we had talked about the last time. I had not visited the online dating site for about a year. I read the preview of the message and didn’t click through until probably an hour later, which was too long a procrastination. He said he was sorry we lost touch, that he MIGHT be coming to my neck of the woods soon and that it would be good to meet some kindred spirits here. He divulged his first name and e-mail address in case I was interested to correspond.

Okay. I don’t know why he would message me back with the possibility of meeting in person. I really didn’t think I had made a lasting impression and someone from a state in the US in their right mind would not go through the hassle of visiting a small city in the Philippines to meet some kindred spirits.

I finally found out his last name from the first e-mail correspondence. Because people who slowly get curious instinctively go to Google to do a little searching, that’s eventually what I did. Wow. He has an IMDb profile. That was unexpected and kinda intimidating at the same time and he, I reiterate, does seem out of my league. He had a few US TV appearances and had uncredited roles in some big Hollywood films. He seems to know a lot about esoteric stuff more than I do. Oh well I have got to cut myself some slack as I only really have 3 years of study in the esoteric group I’m in. His years of study is probably a decade more than mine. Heck, maybe even more.

I asked him whether or not his trip had to do with business. He replied he was going to one Asian country for a business trip for the first time but was thinking of visiting the Philippines as he had not been to both Asian countries. He asked me which part of the country I was in. After the second correspondence I had not gotten any reply. This was kinda annoying because you either go or you don’t. If you are set to go and have everything in place, that’s when you tell others of your set plan. I get annoyed with the use of MIGHT and SOON. Needless to say, I don’t really believe him.

Apparently inactive members who log in again to the site get their profiles bumped up to the top of the list, they suddenly get more profile visibility and possibly get few messages from newer members. That’s what happened to me when I logged on to the site again after a year. A few days ago I got a message from another member and I clicked through to at least give him a courteous reply. Someone buzzed in on my IM window and unexpectedly it was Mr. I’m-Sorry-We-Lost-Touch . He typed, “Hey there. I see I probably lured you back in here.”

Instead of pretending that I did not know he was insinuating about the fact that he had not written back, I pretended I did not read his IM. I shut down his presumptuous assumption by not replying and then closing the IM window. Where does he get that confidence to assume that I was following him there? Tsk tsk.

This person seemed to have brought seemingly uncontrollable internal chaos into my life on the second point of contact. I have a weird feeling about it. I can’t explain it. On the other hand I have no right to pass on judgment to someone I don’t know personally.

But everything’s cool yet having seen his communication pattern with me, I don’t think I’d want to talk to this person again.

For two weeks I’ve been mentioning to my sister and cousin about a Power Point file which was once provided to me by my boss back in 2005 during my first call center stint. I told them that training material contained tips on how to pronounce some of United Kingdom’s towns and cities. I once heard my cousin pronounce a place in the UK incorrectly and I corrected him and cited that Power Point training material. I know very well it was still in my Hotmail account and I was hoping I could still retrieve my account there after over a year or so of dormancy.

Strangely for myself I only ever got the urge to try to open my Hotmail account today. I had to go through the proverbial password resetting and secondary e-mail verification. I did find the Power Point file in less than 5 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised with Hotmail/Live inbox’s new makeover. It’s much more cleaner and much more organized. I had 1,800+ emails 98% of which were notifications from old Friendster, and a high school Yahoo! Group. I didn’t bother sifting through each of them, of course, though I did get a few curious e-mails from two friends. Apparently Hotmail had been sending spam links to most of my Hotmail contacts. I hope the new Outlook has improved spam/junk mail detection just like GMail.

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It did feel weird responding to 1-year-old e-mails, even more awkward because I had to apologize for the spam links for which Hotmail was the culprit. However, the new Outlook definitely looks more encouraging to engage in.

 

**This post was originally published in RedGage, TheEmpress. 

Dazzling Mermaid Online Game

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I broke out into laughter yesterday afternoon while my 4-year-old niece was playing with a game on Y8 on a laptop. At first I wasn’t sure what she was doing, if she was watching or playing an online game. I was sitting with my back to her while waiting for my friends’ text message to confirm what time they would arrive because there were forms they wanted me to sign.

It was the monotonous flash player sound of the game that caught my attention. I glanced over my shoulder at what she was doing and saw an animation with a green-haired pretty girl. Next to the green-haired girl were color palettes to choose from. I noticed she was clicking on one palette and then pointing the cursor to the eyebrows of the pretty girl.

She always plays those kinds of games online so there was nothing new about it. But when I caught her scrolling down the page, the green-haired pretty girl turned out to be a mermaid. I found out the title of the game was Dazzling Mermaid. That’s when I broke out into laughter and told my niece that I was so amused at the idea that a mermaid was putting on makeup while she’s underwater.

Kids’ games are funny. There’s no limit to what the imagination can come up.

 

LR

This is the reason why I like GMail a lot – it has an intelligent spam filtering system. Despite that, I still check my Spam folder just in case some of my important e-mails were redirected to that folder by mistake. Last night I found one phishing e-mail legitimately disguised to look like it’s coming from Liberty Reserve.

If you have ever received the same kind of e-mail and it landed in your main inbox, never click on that link. I’m glad GMail never gave me reason to debate myself on the e-mail’s credibility by giving me the warning message which goes like this:

“Be careful with this message. It contains a suspicious link that was used to steal people’s personal information. Unless you trust the sender, don’t click links or reply with personal information. Learn more.”

I have to give mad props for the creator of this phishing e-mail. Assuming themselves as Liberty Reserve and subtly convincing registered members that their account will be suspended if they do not click through the suspicious link for the Liberty Reserve Terms of Service Update is utterly brilliant. If only they would redirect their energies towards something more productive than simple black hat methods.

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