Archive for December, 2010

The ‘Nigerian trap’ is taking a new turn #email #spam #scam


I’m spammed almost daily by people from West-Africa soliciting fro my bank account because they have a dead uncle/aunt/sister/brother/father/mother/camel  with millions of dollars on a blocked bank account that they want to liberate. If I can help them, please ? Against reward of course, what do you think o a nice 10% of the total sum that is “blocked”.

Therefor we need your full name, telephone number, bank account and – oh yes – your pin could come in handy as well

I always wonder if people are still falling for this kind of scams…

They go back to the time when fax machines were the business summum of communications (the era right after telex – how old are you if you remember telex).  They followed the evolution of times, started mailing people, but always with the same message.  Never ever did they change the strucutre of the letter; maybe some words, sometimes  a name, but never ever the structure.  Lately I heard from a business relation that they turned back old school and send him a letter.  Seemingly they printed the mail, put it in an envelop with a stamp (stamps – how old are you if you collected stamps) and send it on its way.

Most of the time I delete them immediately.  Sometimes, I take the time to read and smirk (Cheap on line translation tools, dear West-African friends, are not always accurate – but thank you for brightening my day with the utter rubbish it produces).

The one I received lately – however –  jumped out !  I published it later in this post

First of all its not a beggar letter.  It has the form of a genuine business proposition, addressed to me both in French and English

Further it stands out because it does not mention a huge amount in the first paragraph, nor is it directly inquiring for my physical address, phone number or banking details.

It is honestly demanding a business partnership.  Bells should start ringing because the guys is ready to invest in about anything that you can prove will be profitable.

So if you want to loose your money, don’t hesitate to drop him a mail

 

Bonjour monsieur/dame
 
C’est au cours d’une séance de navigation sur le net que j’ai eu la joie et le plaisir de découvrir votre adresse électronique. 
En effet, je suis investisseur privé basé à Cotonou  (République du Bénin) en Afrique de l’Ouest. J’ai l’ambition légitime d’investir 
dans tous les domaines d’affaires et dans les pays économiquement et politiquement stables et dont les lois et les règlements protègent 
et sécurisent les investisseurs étrangers c’est pour toutes ces considérations que je viens respectueusement solliciter votre franche et 
sincère collaboration dans le cadre de toutes activités rentables du secteur privé. Accepteriez-vous ma collaboration dont je vous 
offre l’opportunité. Avez-vous des recommandations à me faire ? je suis dès lors disposé à financer toute entreprise privée répondant à 
des critères suivants :
1- Le placement de mes fonds en activité bénéfique
 
2- la sauvegarde d’un commun profit
 
3- si ces critères ci- dessus énumérés rencontrent votre parfaite et sincère adhésion, je serai ravi de connaître sans délai votre décision. 
Informations relatives à ses activités, ses expériences professionnelles éventuelles en matière d’affaires. Pour plus d'amples de compréhension, 
veuillez bien me donner votre numéro de téléphone direct dans votre réponse afin de pouvoir vous contactez. Dans l’espoir d’une suite attrayante, 
je vous prie de croire  l’expression  de mes sentiments profonds.
Gratitude à traverse une parfait ET sincère collaboration.
 
 
Dear sir/madam
It is with a great pleasure that I’m writing this to you.
Therefore after having deeply reflected on the business field I’d like you to be my business partner based on faithful collaboration because I’m 
looking forward to investing in any business fields in economically and politically stable countries in which foreign investors are protected and 
secured by economic laws and regulations. Taking into account all these features, i respectfully step towards you to ask for sincere and faithful 
collaboration in any flourishing fields of activities in the private sector.
Please would you agree to this opportunity that i kindly offer you? Or do you have anything to suggest to me on this stand?
I’m thereon available to finance any private company abiding with these features:
 
1-My fund (Money) injection in lucrative (Money rising) activity.
 
2-A fair and secured management of our common profit
 
3-If the listed conditions meet your faithful in sincere agreement; please let me know without any delay.
Awaiting your prompt reply, please have my sincere greetings.
 
NB: for any further information please contact me very soon. Ou can reply me directly by my mail:
 
 
 
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First time ever TV game #Jeopardy will have computer as contestant. #IBM’s #Watson on air February 14, 15, 16


Today, IBM and Jeopardy  announced that an IBM computing system named “Watson” will compete on Jeopardy against the show’s two most successful and celebrated contestants — Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter, and that the competition will air on television on February 14, 15 and 16, 2011.

Watson, named after IBM founder Thomas J. Watson, has been developed over the past 4 years by a team of IBM scientists who set out to accomplish a grand challenge – build a computing system that rivals a human’s ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence.  Jeopardy provides the ultimate challenge because the game’s clues involve analyzing subtle meaning, irony, riddles, and other complexities in which humans excel and computers traditionally do not.

When the IBM scientists began this project, others in the scientific community believed this task to be impossible and the IBM scientists themselves believed the challenge was so difficult, they did not know what they would be able to achieve. This fall, the scientists achieved remarkable results, when Watson played more than 55 “sparring games” against former Jeopardy Tournament of Champions contestants. Highlights of the sparring matches can be viewed and tracked over the next few weeks at IBMWatson.com

Watson is the most recent example of how IBM’s approximate $6 billion per year investment in R&D is spurring new technologies to help build a smarter planet — driving progress in areas such as healthcare, biology, energy, water resources, food safety, and more.

Watson’s ability to understand the meaning and context of human language, and rapidly process information to find precise answers to complex questions, holds enormous potential to transform how computers help people accomplish tasks in business and their personal lives. Watson will enable people to rapidly find specific answers to complex questions. The technology could be applied in areas such as healthcare, for accurately diagnosing patients, to improve online self-service help desks, to provide tourists and citizens with specific information regarding cities, prompt customer support via phone, and much more.

Like Deep Blue, the IBM supercomputer that defeated the reigning world chess champion in 1997, Watson represents a major leap in the capacity of information technology systems to identify patterns, gain critical insight and enhance decision-making despite daunting complexity. But while Deep Blue was an amazing achievement in the application of compute power to a computationally well-defined and well-bounded game, Watson faces a challenge that is open-ended and defies the well-bounded mathematical formulation of a game like Chess. Watson has to operate in the near limitless, ambiguous and highly contextual domain of human language and knowledge.

Watson’s patented technology furthers IBM’s leadership in analytics solutions, which help organizations use the vast amount of information they collect to improve their business operations and service to their customers. Additionally, Watson harnesses IBM’s commercial Power 7 system, showcasing how IBM workload-optimized systems provide unmatched capabilities for processing thousands of simultaneous tasks at rapid speeds, once the realm of only scientific supercomputers.

In his 2009 letter to shareholders, Sam Palmisano said: Many companies are reacting to the current global downturn by drastically curtailing spending and investment, even in areas that are important to their future. We’re not looking back, we’re looking ahead. We’re continuing to invest in R&D, in strategic acquisitions, in growth initiatives— and most importantly, during these difficult times, in our people. In other words, we will not simply ride out the storm. Rather, we will take a long-term view, and go on offense. Throughout our history, during periods of disruption and global change, this is what IBM has done. Again and again, we have played a leadership role. We have imagined what the world might be, and actually built it.

Watson is the latest example of IBM scientists imagining what might be and inventing it. On February 14, 15 and 16, the world will see the result of their imagination and ingenuity compete against two of the world’s most successful and celebrated Jeopardy champions.

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