I had this question from a
listener: Does the earth rotate clockwise or counterclockwise? I didn't know
the answer. Can you help? - Anonymous
Anon: Here's the answer . . .
The sun rises in the east, which means that the Earth rotates on its axis toward
the east. As seen from the North Pole, the direction is counterclockwise.
However, when seen from the South Pole, the direction is clockwise. The correct
answer depends on your point of view of the Earth.
To the dude who was concerned
about the validity of Arbitron data: If you’re at all concerned, I would look
into the Eastlan Survey. I have found that their methods are much more
accurate, I too feel that Arbitron is inaccurate, especially in a small market
like mine. - Anonymous
Anon: I’m not going to comment on
your response until you provide scientific evidence backing up your statement
that, “…their methods are much more accurate.…” In addition, in scientific
research, a comment such as, “…I too feel that Arbitron is inaccurate” doesn’t
mean anything. You can “feel” all you want, but in science, that type of
“feeling” does not hold water.
I need objective scientific
evidence and your note provides none. When you provide that, I will be happy to
provide a comment or two.
Eastlan Surveys - 2
Hey doc, I have to chuckle at
your skeptical nature, but I will offer you an example of why I feel that
Arbitron is much less accurate in a small market than Eastlan.
In my market, in the evening
7-Mid slot, Arbitron gives the CHR station and the Classic Rock station a 2-way
tie for first place with a 25 share in the 25-54 female demo. Every other
station (there are 13 more) ties for second with a zero. In the 18-34
breakdown, the Country station gets a 14.2 and first place, while five stations,
including mine tie, for second with a 7.1. - Anonymous
Anon: I’m glad you chuckled with
my skepticism about Arbitron being less accurate than Eastlan in a small
market. Although I chuckle at myself quite often, I don’t share your chuckling
when it comes to research. I take research very seriously and that means I need
proof for such statements as “less accurate.”
I agree that the examples you
provide seem a bit odd, but that doesn’t mean the numbers are wrong. I don’t
know if they’re wrong because I don’t know what the correct numbers are. In
addition, you say that these Arbitron numbers are “less accurate” than Eastlan
numbers, but you don’t provide the data from Eastlan for the same demos and time
periods so a comparison can be made.
Without having additional
information, my guess is that the Arbitron examples you provide are a function
of sample size, probably a very small sample. If Eastlan uses a larger sample,
they might not have stations with “0” ratings, but that’s only a guess. It may
be that the “0” ratings are correct. I don’t know.
You say that you “feel” Arbitron is
“much less accurate” than Eastlan in a small market. First, when it comes to
research, how you “feel” about something
means nothing. I might feel that the speed of sound measurement of
approximately 1,088 feet per second is wrong, but that doesn’t make it wrong.
When it comes to debates, arguments, or comments about data, what means
something is an objective, scientific analysis of the situation.
Secondly, the words “much less
accurate” cause another problem. What is your definition of the word
“accurate”? You provide Arbitron data as examples of “less accurate” data, but
how do you know the data are less accurate? Do you have “accurate” data
you can compare to the “less accurate” Arbitron numbers?
Now, I do understand what you’re
trying to say, specifically in reference to the examples you provide. But from
my perspective, you don’t really know if the CHR and Classic Rock tie for first
place in 25-54 females is wrong. You just think the data are wrong. But
that’s not good enough in scientific research. There must be proof.
As a research person who follows
the scientific method, I am completely open to new findings, new methodologies,
and changes in long-held beliefs based on new scientific evidence (e.g. ulcers
are caused by bacteria). And I’m open to investigating your idea that Arbitron
is less accurate than Eastlan in small markets. But in order to support your
feelings about Eastlan and Arbitron, I must see valid and reliable scientific
information. That’s all there is to it.
I don’t work for Arbitron and I’m
not blindly supporting the company’s data. However, when it comes to statements
about Arbitron (or any other research) such as the data are “less accurate,”
it’s necessary to have supporting data. Personal opinions alone aren’t valid.
One more thing: Never give up your
curiosity (“Hmm, seems like Arbitron is less accurate than Eastlan. I need to
verify if that’s true.”) because that’s how you learn. Thanks for writing.
I love being in compliance.
Being in compliance means never having to say you’re sorry, or pay the fines.
What that said, can you point me in the direction of a link that explains
exactly what the FCC wants as far as EOE documentation? Forms, expected
contents, any and all help is welcome. Assume we are starting from scratch
(that's just hypothetical, of course) - Anonymous
Anon: First, let me set
something straight. The correct term is Equal Employment Opportunity
or EEO. It’s not EOE. Small point, but it means a lot when you’re
searching for things on the Internet and filing out forms.
Anyway, for the FCC’s information
about EEO (Section 73.2080),
click here. If you want more information about EEO, the FCC has a
specific page for that…just
If that’s not enough information,
you can see the whole list of FCC rules and regulations for broadcasters by
eHarmony Method – How
does it work?
Doc: My question is
about eHarmony, the website for finding dates. On the company's
it says: "Our patented Compatibility Matching System® pre-screens matches
for you based on deep levels of compatibility." I know each person fills out
a questionnaire, but do you know how the "matching" part of it works? Thanks
in advance. - Anonymous
Anon: I have seen commercials for
eHarmony, but didn't know anything
about it until I read several things on the Internet. I want to apologize
for taking a few days to answer your question, but I spent many hours
reading articles about eHarmony.
However, I don't consider myself as an expert on
eHarmony. My comments are based
only on the information I read and I'll be happy to adjust my comments upon
learning additional information. On to your question . . .
So that all readers are on the same level of understanding about
eHarmony, this is a statement from
the company's website:
eHarmony is the first service within the
online dating industry to use a scientific approach to matching highly
compatible singles. eHarmony's matching is based on using its 29 DIMENSIONS®
model to match couples based on features of compatibility found in thousands
of successful relationships.
One of the first things I noticed, and you included in your question, is
this item on eHarmony's home page:
eHarmony Compatibility Matching System®
Protected by U.S. Pat. No. 6,735,568
The Matching System is protected by a patent? Patent for what? I put this
aside for a moment and will do the same thing now. I'll get to the patent in
In order to answer your question (How does it work?), I needed to find an
explanation of the methodology. What I found is that a description of the
methodology is not available. Why not? Well, the founder of the company, Dr.
Neil Clark Warren, a clinical psychologist, not an M.D., states in many
references that the company's methodology is proprietary. As far as I know,
the eHarmony methodology has not
been reviewed by a competent panel of researchers ("panel of peers," as it's
called) and I thought I might have a difficult time finding out how the
company's procedure "works," as you ask. But I forged ahead.
With no access to a description of
eHarmony's methodology, the only thing I can do is take a guess. If I
were in charge of the eHarmony
methodology, I would follow the guideline of Ockham's Razor, which states
(paraphrase) that, "The simplest approach is always the best." With
simplicity as a guide, I would probably match people using Pearson
Product-Moment Correlation, known simply as "correlation," and/or Factor
Analysis, a multivariate statistic that, in simple terms, places items
(variables) into groups or categories called
Factors. (See note at end about
There Must be More
As I continued my reading, I thought there must be more information
available about the eHarmony
patent. Guess what? I found many things, and a summary of the patent claims
virtually explains the eHarmony
methodology. Dr. Neil Clark Warren and other people at
eHarmony may consider their
methodology as proprietary, but virtually all of the steps are contained in
the patent summary. Anyone with an understanding of research and statistics
can immediately identify the methodology from only the patent summary.
I haven't read the entire patent. Life is too short for that. However, what
I found is contained in the next section.
Methodology from the company's Patent
A website called
has this information:
US Patent 6735568 -
Method and system for identifying people who are likely to have a successful
relationship. Issued May 11, 2004
A summary of eHarmony's patent
claims is shown on the Patent Storm
page. A part of that summary is shown below. I include an explanation of
what each claim actually means after each claim.
11. A method to be performed by a computer
for operating a matching service, comprising:
receiving a plurality of surveys completed
by different individuals, each survey including a plurality of inquiries
into matters which are relevant to each individual forming relationships
with other people, at least a portion of the inquiries having answers that
are associated with a number; [What? This means that the company
collects questionnaires from many (plurality) people. The questionnaire
includes many (plurality) questions, reportedly 430 questions. Some of the
questions ("a portion of the inquires") are used to compute a "number,"
which I assume is the "Satisfaction Index" mentioned later. Nothing fancy,
just simple statistics and research procedures.]
performing a factor analysis on the answers to
the inquiries to identify a plurality of factors, each factor corresponding
to a function of one or more variables representing the inquiries;
[What? This means that each questionnaire is analyzed via the multivariate
statistic, factor analysis (identified later as
Principal Components factor analysis)
to identify the "29 Dimensions® of Compatibility" the company uses to match
people. (Note: Principal Components factor analysis assumes that the
factors, called dimensions by eHarmony,
in the factor analysis are not related to each other—that the 29 dimensions
are unique and distinct from the other factors in the analysis. One more
thing...each person will have a "factor score" for each of the 29 factors
(dimensions). In brief, a factor score is a summary score, where a person's
score for all the variables in a factor (dimension) are added together
(linear combination). In statistics, the factor scores are called
eigenvalues. Nothing fancy, just a simple factor analysis.]
generating a satisfaction index that
approximates the satisfaction that a first candidate has in the
relationships that the first candidate forms with others; and [What?
Of the 430 questions in the questionnaire, some are used to develop the
"Satisfaction Index." I obviously don't know what these questions are, but I
assume they relate to a person's "happiness with their current situation,"
or a "satisfaction with their life and job," and so on. The company simply
adds together the numerical answers (ratings of some kind) for the
"satisfaction questions" to produce the Satisfaction Index. Nothing fancy,
just simple statistics.]
matching the first candidate to a second
candidate based upon the satisfaction index and based upon differences
between the value of at least one factor for the first candidate and the
value of at least one factor for the second candidate. [What? The
Satisfaction Index and one factor score from a person's questionnaire are
compared to other people in the database. This is probably done with simple
correlation. Nothing fancy, just simple statistics.]
12. The method of claim 11, wherein the factor analysis is a principal
component analysis. [What? There it is. The company identifies the
primary statistic used to analyze questionnaires. Nothing fancy, just a
simple multivariate procedure.]
13. The method of claim 11, further
comprising: selecting the factors that most highly predict satisfaction in a
relationship. [What? The company uses "29 Dimensions of
Compatibility" to match people, but not everyone will rate or score all the
questions in each factor the same way. For example, a person's factor
analysis may show that only 10 of the 29 dimensions are important. My guess
is that the company probably computes a correlation between the factor
scores of one person to all other people in the database. In addition, they
also use linear regression, which is mentioned in the next claim. Nothing
fancy, just simple statistics.]
14. The method of claim 11, wherein
selecting the factors includes performing a linear regression on the factors
and the satisfaction index. [What? A linear regression just compares
one variable (factor scores) to another (Satisfaction Index). Nothing fancy,
just simple statistics.]
15. The method of claim 11, wherein
selecting the factors includes performing a correlation analysis on the
factors and the satisfaction index. [What? There it is. The company
uses correlation to compare the factor scores and Satisfaction Index from
one person to the other people in the database. Nothing fancy, just simple
Ah ha! My guess was correct. The eHarmony
patent states that the methodology involves factor analysis, correlation,
and linear regression—nothing fancy, just simple statistics. The problem I
have is understanding why the company would receive a patent for this
procedure. It's comparable to me receiving a patent for something called, "A
Method to Compute Students' Grades in a Classroom Setting," and I go on to
explain how to add together scores on tests and quizzes (and other things)
to get a total score and then say something like . . .An "A" grade is
designated for students who receive 90-100 total points; a "B" grade is
designated for 80-89 points, a "C" grade is designated 70-79 points, and so
on. The eHarmony patent seems a bit silly and it's not clear to me why
the U.S. Patent Office would grant a patent for a simple statistical
eHarmony Methodology in Simple
I would like to explain the ]eHarmony
methodology in another way in the event some readers don't understand the
statistics. From the patent information, here is what the company does:
The Questionnaire: I assume that eHarmony researchers (or whomever) followed the typical steps
used in research to develop a questionnaire such as the one used to match
people. Initially, the company probably tested 1,000 or more questions to
determine which were good and which were bad. After a number of tests, they
reduced to the number of questions to 430, most of which are used for the
"29 Dimensions of Compatibility," and a few questions for the Satisfaction
Assuming that the questionnaire does include 430 questions, my guess is that
each of the "29 Dimensions of Compatibility" is represented by 14 questions,
which means that about 24 questions are used for the Satisfaction Index. Is
that clear? Try this...when a factor analysis is computed on a set of
variables, the statistic identifies variables that relate to a similar
concept. In the eHarmony procedure,
I would imagine that the factors/dimensions are labeled something like,
"Marriage," "Career," "Children," "Spending Habits," and so on.
Each of the factors, as I mentioned, is represented by about 14 questions,
and about 50% would have a negative slant toward the concept ("Marriage")
and 50% with a positive slant toward the concept. A person's answers to all
14 "Marriage" related questions are added together to produce the person's
Factor Score (eigenvalue) for the "Marriage" concept. It would be easy,
therefore, to compute a correlation between one person's factors scores for
all factors/dimensions and another person's factor scores.
For readers who know something about factor analysis . . . Since
eHarmony uses Principal Components
factor analysis, they would more than likely use Kaiser's Normal Varimax
Rotation to identify significant factors (those with eigenvalues greater
Note: For anyone who wants to complete the
eHarmony questionnaire, you should be able to identify the 14 or so
questions for each of the "29 Dimensions of Compatibility." Each factor's 14
(or so) questions may be spread randomly throughout the questionnaire, or
they may follow a simple pattern. If a "Marriage" factor exists, and one of
the "Marriage" questions is #1, then the other 13 marriage questions would
be in positions 30, 59, 88, 177, 146, 175, 204, 233, 262, 297, 320, 349, and
378. Now, I'm not suggesting that you do this, but if you want to be
consistent with your answers, make sure you answer each factor's questions
in the same way—that is, answer the negatively leaned questions with a
negative rating, and the positively leaned questions with a positive rating.
This is cheating, but that is the way to "fool the computer" if you have a
desire to do so.
From the information I read, it appears that
eHarmony has probably followed the
correct steps in producing a questionnaire and uses simple statistical
methods to analyze the data, but this doesn't mean that the methodology is
valid and reliable. However, even if the methodology is valid and reliable,
it doesn't necessarily follow that the "matching" aspect of the process will
be successful. My guess is that much of the success with
eHarmony is based on a
self-fulfilling prophecy developed by those who use the website. In other
words, the people are determined to find someone, invest their time and
money into the website, and are convinced the method will work.
The process of answering about 430 questions to find a soulmate or partner
may overlook (or be incapable of identifying) some major differences. The
430 questions may indicate a "match" according to
eHarmony's methodology, but the
match does not necessarily mean that the couple will have a successful
relationship, and, to eHarmony's credit, they do mention that there are no guarantees.
For example, the questionnaire may indicate a match with two people, but
when the two people meet, they both might sing: U-G-L-Y, you ain't got no
alibi. You ugly, uh-huh, you ugly. (Sorry, I have wanted to use that "cheer"
from the 2007 remake of the movie, "The Longest Yard" for a long time.
However, regardless of my cynicism, compatibility on answering questions
does not necessarily equate to success in a relationship.)
Now on to the most important point of the whole Internet dating process . .
Regardless of whether the methodology of any Internet dating website is
valid and reliable, the aspect of safety overshadows any concern for the
correctness of the methodology.
Once again, to eHarmony's credit,
the company includes a section on its website called, "eHarmony Advice," and
I think it's important to read everything there if you plan to use the site.
For example, there is a section called
5 Dating Rules you Should Never Break.
In addition, you should carefully read
Terms of Service
section. Some of the things in that area include:
a. Minimum Age. You must be at least 13 years old to use the Site (or the
age of majority in your jurisdiction, if it is older), and at least 18 years
old to register for the Services. By using the Singles Service, you
represent and warrant that you are at least 18 years old. Other Services may
have other age requirements for all or portion of such Services, and such
other age requirements are stated on such Services or portions thereof.
b. Marital Status. By requesting to use, registering to use, or using the
Singles Service, you represent and warrant that you are not married. If you
are separated, but not yet legally divorced, you may not request to use,
register to use, or use the Singles Service.
c. Criminal History. By requesting to use, registering to use, and/or using
the Singles Service, you represent and warrant that you have never been
convicted of a felony and are not required to register as a sex offender
with any government entity. EHARMONY DOES NOT CURRENTLY CONDUCT CRIMINAL
BACKGROUND SCREENINGS ON ITS MEMBERS. However, eHarmony reserves the right
to conduct a criminal background check, at any time and using available
public records, to confirm your compliance with this subsection.
In addition, Part D of the section titled, "Use of Site and Service,"
Assumption and Precautions. You assume all risk when using the
Services, including but not limited to all of the risks associated with any
online or offline interactions with others, including dating. You agree to
take all necessary precautions when meeting individuals through the Singles
Service. In addition, you agree to review and follow the recommendations set
forth in eHarmony’s Safety Tips, which will be provided to you prior to
entering the “Open Communication” phase with your matches in the Singles
Service and is available at the bottom of all pages of the Singles Service.
You understand that eHarmony makes no guarantees, either express or implied,
regarding your ultimate compatibility with individuals you meet through the
Singles Service or as to the conduct of such individuals. You further
understand that eHarmony makes no guarantees as to number or frequency of
matches through the Singles Service.
While the Terms of Service is
several pages long. I strongly urge you to read the entire document if you
intend to use eHarmony.
While I give credit to eHarmony and
other dating websites for including precautions about using the service, I
don't think the cautions are strong enough. Here is why . . .
It would be easy for any "evil" person to take advantage of any of the
dating websites. For example, with the
eHarmony site, a person with knowledge of questionnaire design and
how to cheat on answers could easily find matches with almost anyone—just
answer the questions "correctly." I know that most of the dating websites
say that they have never had a problem, but that doesn't mean something
won't happen in the future.
If you read some of the "Terms of Service" from
eHarmony I included above, you
should remember reading this (I'm repeating it because I want to make sure
every reader sees it):
Criminal History. By requesting to use,
registering to use, and/or using the Singles Service, you represent and
warrant that you have never been convicted of a felony and are not required
to register as a sex offender with any government entity. EHARMONY DOES NOT
CURRENTLY CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND SCREENINGS ON ITS MEMBERS. However,
eHarmony reserves the right to conduct a criminal background check, at any
time and using available public records, to confirm your compliance with
Oh, please. AS IF a
convicted felon/sex offender is going to answer that question honestly. And
that's the problem . . . the people who use the dating websites in hopes of
finding "Mr./Ms Right" may actually find "Mr./Ms Convicted Felon." So, if
you use the dating websites, please be very cautious. There is no
methodology on this planet that can guarantee that the person you are
matched with is a nice/kind human being.
Based on the limited
information about eHarmony's methodology contained in the patent
summary, I don't see anything wrong with the procedures. The statistics used
are very basic and there is no indication that a new statistical procedure
or algorithm (formula) was developed. Correlation, linear regression, and
factor analysis have been used for many decades, and this makes me wonder
about how eHarmony received a patent the company received.
In order for me to give a 100%
approval score or some form of overall "pass" grade, I would need to have
access to a lot more information. However, for the time being, the
methodology seems OK. What you have here is a simple methodology with an
excellent marketing plan. The methodology isn't unique, but the people who
designed the marketing plan know what they're doing—they have taken a simple
procedure and made it into a "big deal."
So, while I say that the
methodology is OK, I still want to emphasize the necessity to be very
cautious with the service—not just eHarmony, but with every dating service
on the Internet.
Correlation is a number from –1.00 to +1.00. A positive correlation
indicates that the elements being tested are similar. A correlation of +1.00
if called a "perfect positive correlation," which means that the elements
tested are essentially identical. A correlation of -1.00 if called a
"perfect negative correlation," which means that the elements tested are
essentially opposite. A zero correlation means that there is no relationship
at all between the elements tested.
As Joe Dominick and I state in our book,
Mass Media Research: An Introduction (page 321), A correlation
coefficient is a pure number; it s not expressed in feet, inches, or pounds,
nor is it a proportion or percentage. The Pearson r is independent of the
size and units of measurement of the original data.
Just ONE More Thing
OK. That's it. Enough with all the frivolity. It's time to get serious.
After reading all the information about Internet dating, I decided that
"enough is enough" and I'm tired of seeing all these companies make money
just by helping people finds dates. So I created my own. It's time for me to
get my share of the fun and money.
So . . . to see the latest
dating site on the Internet, just
800 Telephone Numbers
Doc: I recently saw a TV
commercial for Orkin pest control, and the ad includes an 800 number to call for
more information. The number is 1-800-800-ORKIN, which translates to
1-800-800-67546. That's one too many numbers. My question is: Do people
actually include the last number (6) when they call? I can't believe anyone
would do that. - Anonymous
Anon: I don't have any
research on your question, but since I have experience with millions of
"average" people in research studies for more than 30 years, my guess is that
many people probably do punch in the last "6" on their telephones when they call
Since you asked the question the
way you did, you know that the first 11 numbers are the only numbers that
matter—the last number is irrelevant and does nothing. In fact, if you call a
local telephone number, such as 634-5789, the phone will connect after hitting
the "9," and any number after that does nothing. It's the same with areas that
require an area code plus the 7-digit phone number—any number entered after the
10th number does nothing (or 11th number if a "1" is dialed first for long
Why does Orkin do this?
Because it looks good. Their advertising would seem a bit strange if they said,
"Call 1-800-800 ORKI."
By the way, as you may know,
Orkin isn't the only company that does this. I did a search on the Internet
and found these toll-free numbers:
1-866-Junk Be Gone
I have no idea why anyone would hit
the extra numbers. Maybe these people should call:
One more thing . . . If you want to
see if your telephone number spells anything, there are several Internet
websites to help, such as
Phone Spell. Not
every phone number will spell something, especially numbers that have 1s or 0s
Can you post a link to a site
where I can find the specifics on election policies for radio stations. It’s
getting to be that time and I haven’t worked in radio during an election in
years...just curious as to what the specifics are. I appreciate you. - Josh
Josh: It’s nice to be
Here are two Internet searches that
will help you. Not all of the sources are relevant, but there are many good
Election Policies One and
Election Policies Two.
Doc: Is it true that if one
leaves an appliance plugged in but turned off, electricity is still being used?
I think it's called "residual power" or something like that. Is it true? How
much money could an average person save by unplugging lamps, TV sets, etc? -
Anon: You're partly
correct. First, you are correct in saying that some appliances/devices use
electricity when they are turned off. This is known as electricity leaking
because the appliance/device uses electricity (energy) without performing its
principal function. For example, most TV sets that are turned off use a small
amount of energy in a "stand by" mode so the set will turn on immediately when
you hit the "on" button. The same is true for many other audio and video
Where you are incorrect is your
comment about lamps (light bulbs). Unless the lamp/light bulb is on a dimmer
switch, no electricity is leaked when the bulb is turned off. This means that
unplugging a lamp would not save energy.
If you read some of the articles in
search, you'll find that, on average, about 5% of a typical household's
electricity costs are related to electricity leaking. That's a lot of energy
wasted if you consider all the households in the United States and all other
There are hundreds of
appliances/devices that leak electricity. Here are just a few: TV & video
equipment, VCR/DVD, satellite TV system, telephone answering machine, cordless
telephone, home security system, smoke detector, garage door opener, baby
monitor, and a variety of home office equipment such as printers and copiers.
Email - Admissible?
How does one prove that an email
is legit? I have an email from my GM where he says he won't enforce a
non-compete in my contract. Is the email admissible in a legal case? -
Anon: First, I need to say
that I’m not an attorney or judge, so don’t interpret my comments as a legal
opinion. OK, with that said, here are your answers…
1. You can determine if an email
is legitimate (to some extent) by right-clicking on the message in your in box.
When you do that, you’ll see several options to select. One of them should be
“Options.” When you click on that, it will show you the technical aspects of
the email, such as who sent it and when.
2. If you look at several
sources on the Internet, you’ll find that email may or may not be
admissible evidence in a legal case. It depends on the nature of the email, how
it was obtained, and how it relates to the specific case. My guess is that your
email would be admissible, but you need to contact a lawyer before you purse the
matter…if that’s you intent.
By the way, a few people have
submitted questions about the correct spelling of email. Is it e-mail or
email? When email first became a reality, most people used a hyphen, but the
convention now is to delete the hyphen and just use email.
received an email from a friend. It says this . . .
an attorney, and I know the law. This thing is for real. Rest assured AOL and
Intel will follow through with their promises for fear of facing an multimillion
dollar class action suit similar to the one filed by Pepsico against General
Electric not too long ago. I'll be damned if we're all going to help them
out with their email beta test without getting a little something for our time.
brother's girlfriend got in on this a few months ago. When I went to visit him
for the Baylor/UT game she showed me her check. It was for the sum of $4,324.44
and was stamped "Paid In Full." Like I said before, I know the law,
and this is for real.
letter then says . . .
is not a joke. I am forwarding this because the person who sent it to me is a
good friend and does not send me junk. Intel and AOL are now discussing a merger
which would make them the largest Internet company and in an effort make sure
that AOL remains the most widely used program, Intel and AOL are running an
email beta test. When you forward this email to friends, Intel can and will
track it (if you are a Microsoft Windows user) for a two week time period. For
every person that you forward this email to, Microsoft will pay you $203.15,
for every person that you sent it to that forwards it on, Microsoft will pay you
$156.29 and for every third person that receives it, you will be paid $17.65.
Within two weeks, Intel will contact you for your address and then send you a
check. I thought this was a scam myself, but a friend of my good friend's Aunt
Patricia, who works at Intel actually got a check for $4,543.23 by forwarding
question is: Is this for real? - Jim
This is phony and a pile of garbage. However, so I don't have to reinvent the
here for more
keep in mind the old saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it's a
Vulpes Fulva leavings." Or something like that.
use Outlook 2000 for my email and after I downloaded the recent patch, I can no
longer send pictures in my email. I can attach them, but not insert them. I get
an "Error 195: Undefined is null or not an object." Do you know
what's going on? Thanks. - Anonymous
I have had this same problem and it's annoying. Here is what you need to do.
your email program, go to Tools/Options/Security and in the "Secure
Content" area in the middle of the box, change the "Zone
Settings" to "Internet" from "Restricted Sites." You
will be able to insert pictures. If you want to continue using the
"Restricted" option, you'll need to go back and change back to the
"Restricted Sites" option after you send your email with the inserted
I get an email from a person, especially people in radio, and I'm one of
several dozen people who receive the letter. The problem is that all of the
dozens of names are on the letter. If I send the same note to several people, is
there a way for me to do it so the people on the list don't see all of the
other names? - Anonymous
Yes, there is a very simple way. Send your letter to yourself and then put all
of the other names on the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) line. None of the people on
your list will see who received the note.
Doc: Do you have any idea how
many emails are sent each day? - Anonymous
Anon: You didn't mention
where, such as the United States or the world, so I went with the world.
If you check the sources on the
Internet, you'll find several estimates — all of which are fairly close to each
other. The estimates are: About 11 billion emails were sent each day worldwide
in 2001, and about 36 billion per day in 2005. One
article predicts that in 2006, about 60 billion emails will be sent
each day in the world.
Although you didn't ask, you may be
interested to know that most estimates show that about 12 billion text messages
are sent each day in the world. That's a lot of messages.
Doc: I applied for a job
yesterday where the ad said to keep all submittals under 2 MB. To prove I can
follow simple instructions, I made my air check 1.75 MB, my resume 100K (.1 MB)
and my resume 65K (.065 MB), for a total of 1.915 MB. Add in some text
introducing myself to my potential employer, and the email size should easily
fit into the "under 2MB" category, right?
I don't have any fancy
letterhead or anything else to clutter it up. When I sent the email though, it
says that the size is 2.615 MB, or 36% LARGER than the email I intended to send
and I cannot for the life of me figure out why. Can you help? I used MSN on my
home computer, Hotmail and Gmail, and ended up with essentially (20K difference)
the same results. Thanks. - Email Extraordinaire
EE: I have encountered
this before, so I wasn't surprised when I read about your problem. Here's the
deal . . . When you send an email with attachments, most email software converts
the attachments with "Base64 encoding" so the information can be sent faster and
safer through the system. In most situations, the Base64 encoding makes the
email about 33% larger than original size (so your stuff was about average).
By the way, I was a bit confused
with your note because you used the word "resume" twice. Regardless, I assumed
you had two unique attachments.
So, the problem is the Base64
encoding, and you'll have to consider that the next time you send an email where
there are size limitations. For more information about Base64 encoding,
do you go about finding demo specific email addresses? I would like to purchase
a database for a direct email marketing campaign. Any suggestions or words of
wisdom? - Moneen
Moneen: There are a few things you can do to start. First, go to a few sites
like www.everythingemail.com and
these aren't what you need, then you might consider doing a search.
For example, I entered "purchase+email+addresses" on Alta Vista and
came up with several potential sites. I believe that you should be able to find
the information you need.
received an email from a friend that says, in part,
was brought to my attention yesterday that a virus was on all of our computers
here at work. I do not know how long it has been on our computers, but
Virus software cannot detect it. It will not become active until June 1,
2001, at that point it will become active and will be to late. It wipes
out all files and folders on the hard drive. This virus travels through
E-mail and migrates to the ‘C\windows\command’ folder. To find it and
get rid of it, off your computer, do the following. Go to the
"START" button. Go to "FIND" or
"SEARCH." Go to "FILES & FOLDER." Make sure
the find box is searching the "C:" drive. Type in; SULFNBK.EXE.
Begin search. If it finds it, highlight it. Go to ‘File’ and
delete it. Close the find Dialog box, Open the Recycle Bin, Find the file,
and delete it from the Recycle Bin. You should be safe.
you know anything about this? - Anonymous
This is a complete and total hoax. For more information,
am a new Internet user and I'm worried about email viruses. What can I
do to help protect from getting a virus on my computer? Thanks. - Jennifer
If you have been reading this column for a while, you'll know that I don't
like to "reinvent the wheel" when it comes to answering questions. I
went to the McAfee Virus page located at
and found this information (I corrected a few grammatical errors):
Detection and Prevention Tips
not open any files attached to an email from an unknown, suspicious or
not open any files attached to an email unless you know what it is, even if
it appears to come from a dear friend or someone you know. Some viruses can
replicate themselves and spread through email. Better be safe than
sorry and confirm that they really sent it.
not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable
or unexpected. If the need to do so is there, always save the file to your
hard drive before doing so.
chain emails and junk email. Do not forward or reply to any to them.
These types of email are considered spam, which is unsolicited, intrusive
mail that clogs up the network.
not download any files from strangers.
caution when downloading files from the Internet. Ensure that the source is
a legitimate and reputable one. Verify that an anti-virus program
checks the files on the download site. If you're uncertain, don't
download the file at all or download the file to a floppy and test it with
your own anti-virus software.
your anti-virus software regularly. Over 500 viruses are discovered each
month, so you'll want to be protected. These updates should be at the
least the product's virus signature files. You may also need to update the
product's scanning engine as well.
up your files on a regular basis. If a virus destroys your files, at least
you can replace them with your back-up copy. You should store your
backup copy in a separate location from your work files, one that is
preferably not on your computer.
in doubt, always err
on the side of caution and do not open, download, or execute any files or
email attachments. Not executing is the more important
of these caveats. Check with your product vendors for updates that
include those for your operating system web browser, and email. One
example is the security site section of Microsoft located at
Email Viruses - Finding
Where's the best place to find
information about new email viruses? - Anonymous
Anon: Here are two suggestions:
Click on “Newly Discovered Threats” on the left side of your screen, and
Click on the “What’s New” icon at the upper left of the page.
Email Virus Hoax
It seems like every day I get
email about a new virus, a missing child, or something stupid. I think most of
this stuff is garbage, but is there a way for me to check to see if the stuff I
get is real? - Anonymous
Anon: Sure, there are
several good websites to help you. The problem with most of this garbage is
that many people think the stuff is real and when they receive it, they simply
forward it to all their friends without verifying the information. In some
cases, these people will include a line such as, “You HAVE to read this,” or
“THIS is important,” but in most cases, they just forward the stuff, which
oftentimes has several other “FWs” in the subject line. It’s a perpetuation of
Four sites for email hoax
Click Here for Additional E Questions
Roger D. Wimmer, Ph.D.
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