Here at D Mag HQ we’ve been hit with some spam of late. Our I.T. support engineer, Matt Shelley, issued a company-wide memorandum warning people to be careful about opening attachments from unfamiliar senders. As a public service, I pass along his note:
Dear technologically in-touch staff members,
It has come to my attention (and the attention of my tech legions — yes, I have those) that several of you are receiving spam email today from tiffany.com that includes an attachment. This attachment has the word “invoice” in its name. As you may have read two sentences ago, this is spam. And, in an effort to educate you and fill your bright, high-functioning tech brains with some useful information regarding email dangers and common sense, here are some good spam guidelines to keep in mind.
1. If you don’t know the person, do not open the attachment.
2. No legitimate business will ever send you an attachment, i.e. jewelry stores you can’t afford, shipping companies, banks.
3. There is not some unidentifiable source holding onto invoices for you out there in the whirlwind of debt accumulation that you do not know about.
4. Do not succumb to fear.
5. You are not significant, but you are considered useful.
6. Do not eat meat at the airport.
7. Stay alive.
So, with all the love I can fit in my back pocket, I come to you pleading for hope. Do not open attachments if you do not know the person. Did you give your email to tiffany.com? Do they work on a “bill you later” agreement with customers?
Anyway you peel the potato, I am sorry if this somewhat smug and genuinely scornful email hurts your feelings. Those tiny, cuddled, and seemingly confused feelings of yours are important to me. Lastly, if you would like to work on some awareness exercises pertaining to email and general grifting tomfoolery, send me a letter.
We’ve got a job opening. Here’s what you need to know:
We’re looking for an experienced web designer to help build D’s online properties by designing microsites, various online graphics, and the presentation of our magazine content online. This position will also play an integral role in the redesign ofÂ dmagazine.com. The online designer will work closely with the online art director, the web development team, and the online editors to continually advance the online experience of our users through design thinking.
Please send resume and portfolio (either as an online link or PDF) toÂ email@example.com.
Every month, with the publication of each new issue of D Magazine, I write a letter to our good, strong advertisers. I let them know what’s going on at the magazine, the reasoning behind some of our editorial decisions, that sort of thing. This month, I explained how a raspberry came to grace our December cover. You see, that raspberry in the lower left-hand corner doesn’t really exist. Or it didn’t exist when Kevin Marple took the picture of the cake from Sissy’s. We dropped it into the image digitally. Why? Here’s how I explained it to our advertisers:
What happened was, creative director Todd Johnson and I were working on the cover when the owner of D Magazine, Wick Allison, strolled into Todd’s office.
“What do you think?” I asked him.
“It needs a raspberry,” Wick proclaimed.
Todd and I rolled our eyes and made exasperated noises like 14-year-old girls who’d just been asked to put away all the clothes on their bedroom floor.
Long-suffering readers of this blog will notice that we’ve deployed a new system for commenting.
Commenters can now log in via Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, or accounts from a bunch of other social networks of which most of you have never heard. When you opt for one of these social log-ins, your comments will no longer be subject to moderation before posting. Keep in mind, though, that we are still carefully monitoring comments to ensure they adhere to the decency standards necessary for a civil discussion.
You can still comment on our site as a guest, but guest comments must be approved by a moderator before posting.
Now the new fun stuff that our new commenting allows:
Unfortunately, one cost of this transition is that any post published prior to the switch that we’ve made today can no longer be commented upon. It’s a cost we’re willing to accept for a system that we hope will continue to spur insightful conversations among our readers.
If you haven’t yet read the Gawker profile of Michael Brutsch, you should find some time today to do so. Brutsch is better known by his online handle, Violentacrez, which he used to post horrible stuff on Reddit just to rile people up. As Adrian Chen puts it in his story, “Violentacrez was the most influential user of one of the most influential websites on the internet.” Well, he was anyway. Now that Chen has unmasked Brutsch, his online life has gotten a bit complicated.
Elizabeth Escalona, the Dallas mom who brutally beat her 2-year-old daughter and super-glued the child’s hands to the wall, was today sentenced to 99 years in prison. Reaction from the Twitterverse:
Escalona got 99 years with possibility of parole in 30 years. Proud day for Dallas’ judicial system
– Turo (@r2omtz) October 12, 2012
When I first reported on the Escalona story a Dallas Police source told me it was one of the worst cases they had ever seen. – Rebecca Lopez (@rlopezwfaa) October 12, 2012
Some people should not be parents // Mom who glued toddler’s hands to wall faces life in prison calgaryherald.com/life/Texas+Eli…
– Mark Brennan (@YYCmortgageguy) October 8, 2012
Okay, the Cowboys aren’t really in the gay romance business. But Deadspin reports that Cowboys.com has launched as a — well, see for yourself. Once upon a time, the team actually won the URL at auction. But then team officials realized that they’d just bid $275,000 and not $275. They backed out of the deal.
Just for fun, I checked Bears.com. It’s also gay, but in a totally different way.
Eric “Slouchy” Nicholson over at Unfair Park wondered if “Stuff Dwaine Caraway Likes” is officially a meme yet. Maybe. I’ve tried to help it become one after the jump.
CultureMap has outposts in Houston and Austin. The Dallas version will launch this fall (helmed by a former D Magazine publisher and a former D Magazine managing editor). Here’s how it describes itself:
CultureMap will keep you plugged in, enlightened and entertained about culturally relevant news and information. We deliver real-time coverage, breaking news and opinions on music, film, food, drink, arts, design, style, life, innovation, scene, outdoors, fitness and sports. CultureMap combines a highly regarded editorial team with a cutting-edge Web and mobile publishing platform to offer unique intelligence and insight. We do not simply report on the communities we cover, we foster real-time conversation.Â CultureMap’s newsroom of experienced editors, photographers and writers are complemented by a stable of passionate contributors — all of whom bring insider expertise in each market CultureMap serves.
But wait. There’s more. If you’re a lady over the age of 30, you’ll soon have something called PureWow. From the job listing for the Dallas editor:
The ideal candidate will be an experienced writer and editor who has his/her finger on the pulse of the ideas, trends and topics that will interest our target demographic in the areas of fashion, culture, style, wellness, home, entertaining and other lifestyle subjects. Our publication covers not only brand-new establishments and businesses; we also seek out tried-and-true establishments that may be operating under the radar. We never write from press releases or paid pitches. We research online and offline to find original concepts and do real reporting before we cover.
If you can pay your bills writing for a dime a word, it’s a good time to be a freelancer in Dallas.
It’s way, way too long.
Best line comes early. “Can you get me a Coke?” Â ”What kind?” Â ”Dr Pepper.”
But that’s not even really a Dallas-specific thing, is it?
(H/T: Pegasus News)
Three Dallas guys — Stu Hill, Wes Hendrix, and Brad Alesi — want to build an app that only publish reviews of restaurants and bars and suchlike in haiku form. Is it as silly as it sounds? Maybe not. They’re using Kickstarter to fund the project, which is explained in the video below. PS: Today is National Haiku Poetry Day, so there’s that.
Spend a few minutes poking around on Texas Monthly‘s new TM Daily Post, which went live today. TexMo editor Jake Silverstein describes the effort as “an online destination devoted to organizing, prioritizing, and analyzing the news of Texas every day.” At first blush, here’s what I like: it goes beyond merely throwing up a link and saying, “Here’s something that’s interesting.” This post about the recent New York Times story on the fight in Gun Barrel City over late-night liquor sales is a good example. Dig the way Sonia Smith not only summarizes the story but lays out some of the reaction to it, from blogs around the state and from folks who live in Gun Barrel City. That sort of work can be exhausting. TM Daily Post, looks to me, is being populated by two people, Smith and Jason Cohen (though a third, Andrea Valdez, is also on the masthead). They all appear to have real jobs at the print product. I wish them luck in sustaining the grueling pace of a daily site that digests the entire state.
In the comments to Leading Off this morning, a FrontBurnervian named M Schwartz said that there has been a “significant drop in traffic on FrontBurner” because of the way we moderate comments. FBvians who have been around a while know all about the Time of Darkness a few years back, when Wick shut off comments altogether because they weren’t much fun to read. Traffic did drop then. But the decision to moderate comments — and to do it with a fairly heavy hand, tossing remarks not only because they are vulgar but because, for instance, they don’t use upper-case letters to begin sentences — has proven to be a solid decision.
From August to October last year, FrontBurner averaged about 56,000 unique visitors per month. For the same period this year, we have averaged about 114,000 unique visitors. Now then, owing to the way Google Analytics does its job (and the way we do ours), the number from last year doesn’t account for visits made on a mobile device, which the 2011 number does. A tech genius here (Hi, Randy!) says adding 10,000 unique visitors to last year’s average would be a crazy high number. Let’s do it anyway.
Conservative estimate: traffic is up 70 percent over last year. Lesson to be learned: don’t confuse the number of comments to a post with the number of people who are reading it.
We’re humbled by your patronage.
Here’s some more stuff from the September issue that didn’t make it online till here and now, with this up-to-the-minute update: I still haven’t approved Father Roch’s friend request. But I did call him to let him know about the story, in case he hadn’t read it yet. I told him I loved him and that I hoped he’d read it in the spirit in which it was intended. Still haven’t heard back from him. So, you know, see you hell, friends.
Barrett Brown, who until recently identified himself as an unofficial spokesman for Anonymous, has an op-ed in the Guardian today wherein he details the findings from an investigation he’s been working on for the past few months. Headline: “A Sinister Cyber-Surveillance Scheme Exposed: Hacked emails from security contractor HBGary reveal a disturbing public-private partnership to spy on web users.” You can learn more about what Brown has found on this wiki.
It all looks to me like a first step. Brown’s on to something, for sure. But as I told him, it seems to me like he’s trying to describe an animal by looking at its shadow. To see the beast, someone will need to shine a light on it. A whistle-blower will need to step forward.