Coming to Korea? Here’s a Quick Guide to Customs Declaration and Phone Rentals

My parents are coming to Korea to see their first grandbaby, so I found out some great stuff about the airport, and renting phones.

First, about customs, and what to declare – it’s all in the Airport Guide here – you should print it and familiarize yourselves with it I guess – then you’ll have less to worry about.

Another New “Design” Site? Please

As one who is interested in design, I find reading design sites, and design blogs to be a wonderful way to gather information and inspiration. I am filled with a hunger for knowledge in this field, everything from typography to color to layouts to best practices and standards. Therefore, I love to read sites that are written by well-known designers and bloggers who have been around for a while and have a lot of experience. But, sometimes I run across a site (or a dozen) that claims to be “pro” but just follows the same pattern all the other “pro” sites follow. These days, with so many “design” sites doing so many of the same things, it almost makes it seem like “more of the same” can be – and is – a recipe for success. Let me break down why I think there are so many sites first: Read the rest of this entry »

Oh! What a Tangled WWW We Weave…

The quote “Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive” is one of the most famous quotes by Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott. It basically says that deception is a “fragile and complex weaving of truth, half truths’, lies and lies of omission.” And “To create a deception worthy of belief one must be able to create plausible details that help create the illusion of truth. It is the details that people listen to and remember…”

That isn’t to say that the whole World Wide Web is full of deception, but online, people can choose to “be” anyone they want. Online, no one really knows the real you, sees you face to face, or can ask probing questions to be sure you really are who you say you are. People with no friends can get online and make thousands of virtual friends and become a social butterfly – while in the real world they’re still too shy to speak. A 50-year old male can claim to be a 25-year old, athletic, blonde woman and post photos and a profile that fits with his description. But while we all know that these kinds of large deceptions can occur, I wonder how many of us stop to consider what minor deceptions may occur.

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Those Same-Old, Same-Old Web Design Sites

You know what I really like? I like things that don’t follow all “the rules” or traditional ways of doing things. I especially like those things that bend or break “the rules” and create their own guidelines and standards for doing things. I get tired of the same-old, same-old all the time.

I look around my house, and see the same-old books, addressing the same-old topics, in the same-old ways. I drive to and from work the same-old way. And when I get on the Internet, I do the same-old things: check the email, check Facebook, check Twitter, click “interesting” sounding links, look at the pretty pictures, read the “interesting” articles, and discover 25 “new” tips, tricks, tutorials, or trends that I “didn’t know about” already.

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Don’t be Fooled by Internet Virus Phishing Scams

Phishing annoys me to no end. Don’t people have anything better to do than trying to steal from others or create chaos? According to this (old) article, the US and Korea top the list of countries for number of phishing hosts. And I can only assume that phishing has gotten worse in the last 3 years since this was published. Additionally, these days, Korea is undergoing a big change in the sophistication of phishing scams – particularly “voice phishing” (phone phishing) scams.

I even heard the story of one lady in Korea who received a phone call telling her that her son had been kidnapped, and if she ever wanted to see him alive again she must immediately transfer X amount of money into an unknown bank account. She did so, and hurried home to call the police (I assume). Upon arriving home she found her son watching TV and eating snacks. She cried out, “Are you OK?” to which he replied, “Of course, I just arrived home from school on the bus.”  I don’t know all the facts about this story, or if it is 100% true or not, but the fact remains that it is 100% believable, because people do have a tendency to get fearful, emotional, and in a “fight-or-flight” mode when they think that something has gone terribly wrong.

So, in order to help other people not get into this same kind of fearful, emotional mode when surfing the Internet and a “Virus Alert!” pops up on their screen, I will break down the phishing scam that I encountered online today while looking for 2010 Olympics Coverage. With a little understanding of what to look for, more people would be able to avoid accidentally downloading virus programs that actually claim to be “virus cleaners.”

And for those who are convinced that viruses just “pop up” when they’re not looking, check out this post.

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Oh No! Virus Alert!

Today as I was browsing the web, searching for 2010 Olympics Coverage, I was suddenly confronted by this “Virus Alert!” message:

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Sexy Web Design Inspiration

Reading Sexy Web Design by Elliot Jay Stocks has given me a lot to consider in developing websites, as well as a lot of good inspiration and resource links. Therefore, I thought I’d quickly collect and catalog all the links that Elliot gives in his book for my future reference. Of course, these links are available freely on the web, so everyone can benefit from them. However, you won’t get the full benefit unless you read about them in the context in which they are written in the book, so head on over to and pick yourself up a copy.

As the majority of the links in the books are provided for inspiration, I’ll leave those in order below. However, there are some really excellent online articles and tutorials, as well as printed books that Elliot references in his book. Those are more relevant for learning about good design, and I’ll post those first.

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