Friday, February 16, 2018

Local DC station gives comprehensive result on fake business address scams



WJLA aired its story on search engine map fraud Feb. 15, here.
    
Map points turn out to be random addresses (sometimes homes) but not the businesses advertised. But they make it much harder for legitimate businesses to be found on Adwords, and divert customers away from legitimate businesses.
    
You would think the search engine companies could work with USPS (MoveForward, etc) to solve this problem.  If I were in the job market (at 74) maybe they would hire me based on my old resume.
        
But the problem could also link up to issues with county business licenses, home based businesses, state sales tax licenses, and even condo bylaws. 
    
Splinternews reports on a fake business experiment here
    
I would even be concerned about this problem for self-published book authors.  Some self-publishing companies pressure their authors to be able to retail books on their own commercially and advertise themselves as doing such, rather than just depend on Amazon.
   
The problem can also invite foreign hacking, as we saw from the story about Russian indictments today.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

USPS address software gets manipulated by scam artists for fake business listings




WJLA-7 TV in Washington was gong to air a story tonight on fake business scams, using real USPS land addresses, which would often be other businesses, even residences.

The airing was delayed by coverage of the Florida school shooting today.
  
However this early 2017 story in the UK Daily Mail seems to explain how the scam works.  Much of it has to do with attempts to manipulate Google search results with its map app.  Google says it now has procedures in place to counter the scam.  It's also possible for the scam to create false results on other sites like Yelp. 

 Unlicensed contractors would use the scam to get higher prices from consumers.
  
I’ve worked with the Pitney-Bowes (formerly Group 1) Software  Move-Forward (when I worked for ING-Reliastar – I did an NCOA implementation in 1998).  So I am aware of how clientization and address verification can work.
  
This might be an issue for local governments when they issue business licenses, especially for home-based businesses, as more governments move more of their public records online. So there could be more to this story.  Let’s hope WJLA airs it soon or gives its own web address for it today. 

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Companies trend toward not asking salary history of job applicants (Bank of America is the latest)


The Bank of America will stop asking job applicants for salary history in March 2018, according to multiple news reports, following an example set by Wells Fargo in October and by tech companie sin many states, typical story here

The Bank said that avoiding salary history discussions will allow more parity by gender in pay. But it won’t necessarily address other issues, like seniority and promotions.

But employers have sometimes asked salary history to avoid hiring “overqualified” people during recessions.  People also vary greatly, by temperament, in their interest in formal promotions, and that can distort attempts to show equality.
  
I took a pay cut at the end of 1981 when I moved to Chilton (in Dallas) and then again in 1988 when I moved back to DC to go to work for CCG which became Lewin.  Then when I went to work for USLICO at the start of 1990 I took the same salary, but got much more generous salary progression in the twelve years that would follow (ReliaStar, ING).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

How I fixed "iCloud not updating" my photos (cheating a little)


When I moved into my condo, I got a new cable-Internet (Cox) and pretty soon noticed that even though I was connecting my iPhone to wifi, my iCloud backup stopped working.

Then I find that scheduling an appointment with the “genius bar” at an Apple store is much harder than it used to be.  It was over a week in advance.  When I got there, they didn’t solve it.
So here is what finally happened.  I managed to change the PW to the iCloud account on my iPhone from the Settings, my name, ICloud. 

With the new one, I changed the logon to the  (https) icloud site on a macbook.  It took.  The Macbook keeps flashing two extra logons where the PW takes but it never sends back the two-step verification box on the MacBook.  This seems like an OS problem, might go away with a new OS.

I bought a new phone-USB connector at a Best Buy, and tried both windows machines and then the MacBook.  On Windows, I couldn’t easily get to the photos on the phone (without some third party app). But on the MacBook I did, and under iPhoto, it quickly added all the new photos to the MacBook HD.  Then suddenly, with the Icloud site logged on, it started updating the iCloud from the MacBook.   The whole event took about 90 minutes for 300 photos (it was slow), just before Trump’s SOTU. 

Update: February 2

Here is a detailed article on how iCloud works. 

Monday, January 01, 2018

New York State mandates paid family leave even on small employers; Vermont prohibits social media password demands


New York State has passed a law, starting today, to require employers to offer paid family leave for up to 12 weeks in a variety of circumstances.  These appear to include eldercare for parents or family pressures when someone (a spouse) is deployed in the military, as well as birth of a child.
The NBC article (by Pete Williams) did not say if it includes adoption of a child.
Vermont has passed a law, joining about half the states in banning employers from asking social media passwords. ]

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Want a job as a content moderator?


Here’s a job area that seems to be growing: content moderation.

Facebook (and I guess Twitter) hires content moderators to review user complaints or flags, or also content flagged by algorithms. 

I’ve wondered if people could get these jobs to do from home, or local office parks.  You would think this sort of job could be geographically decentralized.


No question, I could do that kind of job, given my background.  But would I have the time for it?

The WSJ story today is by Lauren Weber and Deepa Seetharaman.  

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Does Facebook's algorithmic placement of client employment ads lead to age discrimination?


Does Facebook’s algorithmic technique for placing ads on members’ pages lead to perhaps unintentional age or sex discrimination in employment?
  
The New York Times revisits that question today, in a story by Julia Angwin, Noam Scheiber, and Ariana Tobin, link here

Older job searchers might not see openings pitched by algorithms only to younger Facebook members.
  
The indirect result of this story is a reminder of the potential importance of online reputation, especially in major social media (not just Linked In) today in employment.  That wasn’t so much the case when I was working.