Spotting Fake Profiles on Facebook

Facebook’s social network now consists of over 2 billion users. Not all of them are real people and not all of them have your best interest in mind. Facebook attempts to weed them out automatically using advanced algorithms. Many fake accounts still get through. In the first three months of 2018, Facebook cleared out 583 million fake accounts.

Why is it important to spot fake accounts and what is the motivation for them? Generally speaking, fake accounts are attempting to either gather your personal information, to direct you to sites full of clickbait, or to sell you other services. So how do you spot them and what should you do about it?

Spotting fake accounts is getting more difficult as the perpetrators’ techniques become more advanced. Some accounts are quite convincing, but there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for..

  1. Profile Photos – Many fake accounts have only one or two profile photos available. Often times there will be a caption with an external website link – this is a dead giveaway. Take a look at when they uploaded the pictures and if it was within a few days of the request, chances are the account is not real. Also look to see if there are any likes or comments on the pictures. It’s very rare that a user will upload a profile picture and not have any friends respond to it.
  2. Friends – Most fake profiles only exist for a short time before they are reported. Therefore, it’s rare for those profiles to gather many friends – especially ‘Mutual Friends’. If an account has only one or two mutual friends, proceed with caution and dig a bit deeper into the publicly visible information. When in doubt, ask your mutual friends to see if they know the profile personally.
  3. Profile Activity – Even the most locked-down private profiles will have some activity visible to someone who has been sent a friend request. Take a look at their timeline. If it goes from their automatically generated birthday post directly to the post showing their profile pic, chances are very high that you are looking at a fake account.

fake facebook profiles

This is a good example of a fake account profile. Notice that Ms. Smith was born in 1956. In all that time, there is no public activity on her timeline. Also, she is extremely young looking for someone supposedly 60+ years old!

Fake accounts are rampant throughout social media and most are used for unethical marketing purposes. When one crosses your path, do everyone a favor and report the profile using the tools provided within Facebook. Look for the three dots on the profile picture and select the ‘Report’ option. Follow the instructions and help clean up the network for all of us real users!

Do You Even Petaflop Bro? The USA Now Has the World’s Fastest Supercomputer!

As of June 8, 2018 the fastest supercomputer in the world is now active at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Developed by IBM, the OLCF-4 or Summit supercomputer has been clocked at 200 petaflops. That’s 200 quadrillion operations per second! The Summit is 8 times more powerful than the previous system called Titan. This advanced computing technology is currently being used by the ORNL and also the US Department of Veterans Affairs for clinical research.

The Summit’s advanced architecture is helping them understand the genetic factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease, suicide, Alzheimer’s disease and more. Along with medical research, the Summit will also assist in our understanding of the universe, bolster US economic competitiveness and contribute to a better future.

ORNL has created a great infographic that helps illustrate the scale of this machine!

Summit Infographic

Star Trek Tech That Actually Exists?

As members of the tech community, we are always on the look out for the newest gadget or emerging technology. We are also fans of the science fiction genre, so occasionally our worlds collide and fiction starts to become reality. One of our favorite franchises is Star Trek and many of the items in that series have begun to appear in real life. Here’s a short list of some of our favorites:

1. Tablet Computers

The PADD or Personal Access Display Device is a hand-held computer interface used throughout the space-faring organizations within the Star Trek universe. PADDs are often used for a variety of functions including crew manifests, duty rosters, diagnostics, personal logs and more. In 2010, the PADD became a reality with the introduction of Apple’s iPad. This lightweight and powerful computing tool has worked its way into our daily lives with its ability to take photos, video, play music and support countless applications and games. As of March 2016 the App Store hosted over one million apps for the device.

2. Personal Communicators

Throughout the Star Trek series, whenever a crew member was away from the ship, they had the ability to phone home using their communicators. These handheld devices would flip open revealing an antenna, controls, a speaker and microphone. In later series this device was scaled down to fit as a badge worn on the uniforms of the crew members. In 1996 Motorola introduced the StarTAC, a clamshell design often referred to as the first ever flip phone. This device was almost identical in looks and functionality to the original series communicator, but of course, was not able to call any starships as that would require additional satellite technology. Bluetooth technology, however, has advanced to provide us similar interfaces for our mobile phones that work similar to the com-badges found in the later Trek series.

3. Replicators

One of the almost magical devices found in the Trek universe is the replicator. It has the ability to reproduce nearly anything from just a digital blueprint. Today, we have 3D printers which may not be at the same level as their fictional counterparts, but still offer a surprising amount of practical functionality. The cost of 3D printing has dropped dramatically in recent years making them commonly useful for printing replacement parts or prototype models.

Star Trek may not have inspired the development of all these devices but the show certainly popularized the concepts. Many scientists have certainly been inspired by the adventures of Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise. We look forward to seeing other Trek inspired technology develop into the real world.

The Benefits of Providing a Quality Mobile Experience

Mobile web traffic surpassed desktops back in late 2015. Since that time, mobile device usage has skyrocketed with 57% of all web traffic now mobile. More than ever before, people have a higher expectation of their mobile experience with brands on their phone. Every experience matters and with users primarily interacting on their phones, it’s more important than ever to get it right.

We have a few observations and tips that you should focus on to help your users have a quality mobile experience. One of the biggest complaints from mobile users is that they have a ‘slow experience’. Google provides a testing tool to address this and will report how well your site performs in a mobile environment.

Finding the information that a user is looking for is also critical for having a successful mobile presence. Simplifying the site navigation on mobile devices is part of the solution. Incorporating a ‘hamburger’ menu with direct links to important information is something we incorporate into all our responsive web sites.

Interrupting the mobile experience should be done with great caution. Pop-ups and full-screen ads that block people from seeing your content contribute to a negative mobile experience. On a desktop it may be easy to just ‘click off’ an ad but on mobile is may completely lock the viewer out of seeing any relevant information. The Coalition for Better Ads provides some good insight into the least preferred ad experiences for desktop and mobile web.

With rapid advances in technology and users spending more and more time on their smartphones, providing a quality mobile experience is key to your online success.

Welcoming a New Member to the Team…

Desktop support DaytonIt’s a bit of a tradition for us to shower gifts upon newborns in the office. When we heard the news that a baby was on the way, we scrambled to get some custom gear printed immediately!

Our go-to vendor for short-run custom printing is Zazzle. The people at Zazzle are equipped to customize nearly anything you can think of using their state-of-the art equipment and technology.

We added something special to this onesie and t-shirt combo since the father is one of our support techs. There’s nothing wrong with teaching them early!

A Beautiful Way to Manage Disk Usage in OSX

DaisyDiskDrive space and file management is one of the most difficult concepts to adopt for most computer users. It doesn’t take long to fill a hard drive these days. Even the most modest user has digital photos, HD videos and music files that all contribute. Clearing out or backing up files can be a daunting task.

Manually exploring the finder, looking at files and folders and trying to determine what is taking up all that space is time-consuming and frustrating. We found an app with a great UI that makes this process much easier.

DaisyDisk is an interactive disk space analysis tool that is simple to use and immensely helpful. Once you choose a drive to scan, DaisyDisk creates a graphical version of all your folders in a circular pattern or map. It separates the highest level folders into primary colors. Folders with the most data are shown as large wedges making the culprits easy to spot.

The full version of the app ($10.00) allows you to interact directly with the scanned files so that you may preview or delete them instantly. The trial version limits this capability though it does provide the file path so you may navigate quickly using the finder.

A Fresh Look for Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties

OmniSpear, Inc. has a long history of working with non-profit organizations throughout Dayton, Ohio and the surrounding areas. One of the organizations we work with is Habitat for Humanity of Miami and Shelby Counties (HFHMSCO). Their charitable work goes beyond just building houses. We were tasked to help them convey that message and their mission.

Once Habitat international released new branding and messaging standards, the existing HFHMSCO site had become outdated and needed a full refresh. We worked closely with their staff to outline the elements and structure of the site in preparation for a new look. Together, we slimmed down the site helping them target their message to the appropriate audiences. Once the structural outline was complete, we moved on to their branding and messaging. The new site features strong graphical elements which reflect the new colors of Habitat for Humanity. We also direct visitors with clear calls to action and provide engagement through the use of a news feed and blog.

We are proud of our work in the community by assisting organizations like Habitat for Humanity. You may learn more about their mission by visiting their new site: https://hfhmco.org

Happy Halloween from Team OmniSpear!

Ohio web development The OmniSpear office tradition continues as we all get dressed up to celebrate Halloween. From superheroes to super Mario our web team always comes up with a creative selection of costumes to celebrate the sweetest holiday of the year. Wishing you a great fall season, try not to eat too much candy and have a spooktacular good time!

Setting up an Ubuntu 14.04 LEMP Server with the Nightly Build of PHP7

Install nginx

apt-get update
apt-get install nginx

Install and secure MySQL

apt-get install mysql-server
mysql_install_db
mysql_secure_installation

Add Zend repo and install PHP7

echo "deb http://repos.zend.com/zend-server/early-access/php7/repos ubuntu/" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
apt-get update 
apt-get install php7-nightly

Configure PHP7 php-fpm.conf

cd /usr/local/php7/etc
cp php-fpm.conf.default php-fpm.conf
nano php-fpm.conf

Uncomment/Change

pid = /var/run/php7-fpm.pid

Uncomment/Change

error_log = /var/log/php-fpm.log

Configure PHP7 www.conf

cd /usr/local/php7/etc/php-fpm.d
cp www.conf.default www.conf
nano www.conf

Change

user = www-data

Change

group = www-data

Uncomment

listen.allowed_clients = 127.0.0.1

Uncomment

security.limit_extensions = .php .php3 .php4 .php5 .php7

Configure PHP7

wget -O /etc/init.d/php7-fpm "https://gist.github.com/bjornjohansen/bd1f0a39fd41c7dfeb3a/raw/f0312ec54d1be4a8f6f3e708e46ee34d44ef4657/etc%20inid.d%20php7-fpm"
chmod a+x /etc/init.d/php7-fpm
touch /etc/init/php7-fpm.conf
nano /etc/init/php7-fpm.conf

Add the following to php7-fpm.conf

exec /usr/local/php7/sbin/php-fpm --nodaemonize --fpm-config /usr/local/php7/etc/php-fpm.conf

Add the checkconf file for PHP7

touch /usr/local/lib/php7-fpm-checkconf
    nano /usr/local/lib/php7-fpm-checkconf

Add the following to the php7-fpm-checkconf

#!/bin/sh
set -e
errors=$(/usr/local/php7/sbin/php-fpm --fpm-config /usr/local/php7/etc/php-fpm.conf -t 2>&1 | grep "\[ERROR\]" || $
if [ -n "$errors" ]; then
    echo "Please fix your configuration file..."
    echo $errors
    exit 1
fi
exit 0

Configure PHP7 continued

chmod a+x /usr/local/lib/php7-fpm-checkconf
update-rc.d -f php7-fpm defaults
ln -s /usr/local/php7/bin/php /usr/local/bin/php
ln -s /usr/local/php7/sbin/php-fpm /usr/sbin/php-fpm
service php7-fpm start

Set up nginx config

cd /etc/nginx/sites-available
cp default (your site here).conf
nano (your site here).conf

Configure your config as needed (example script below)

server {
        listen *:80;
        server_name (server name here);

        root /usr/share/nginx/html;
        index index.php index.html index.htm;

        client_max_body_size 1m;

        error_log /var/log/nginx/(your site here).error.log;
        access_log /var/log/nginx/(your site here).access.log;

        location / {
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
        }

        location ~ \.php$ {
                fastcgi_index index.php;
                fastcgi_split_path_info ^(.+\.php)(/.*)$;
                try_files $uri $uri/ /index.php$is_args$args;
                fastcgi_pass 127.0.0.1:9000;
                include /etc/nginx/fastcgi_params;
                fastcgi_param SCRIPT_FILENAME $request_filename;
                fastcgi_param APP_ENV dev;
        }
}

Continue set up nginx

ln (your site here).conf ../sites-enabled/(your site here).conf
rm ../sites-enabled/default

Restart services

service php7-fpm restart
service nginx restart

Independent Sales Representative Position

OmniSpear, Inc. is looking for a seasoned and motivated sales representative who wants to be part of our fast-paced and innovative web and IT solutions team. This candidate should be someone who excels working both independently and as part of a close-knit collaboration. Since 2001, OmniSpear Inc. has been providing web and IT services to businesses in Dayton, Cincinnati, Columbus and beyond.

From IT Support to complex web application development, OmniSpear has the in-house staff to handle the design, development and implementation of both web and IT solutions. As our Sales Representative, you will help us bring new companies in need of one or more of our many customer models. The position offers both a commission on sales generated, as well as base salary – so growing our sales means you grow with us along the way.

The position requires a person who can take the sales function and utilize an entire process from start to finish. This includes devising a sales process, identifying target clients, research of prospective clients’ needs, arranging meetings and presentations, strong follow up and drip campaigns and closing sales.

Responsibilities Include:

– Identifying prospective clients and working to find qualified leads

– Prospective client contact, including cold calling, networking, and referrals

– Client presentations and meeting setup

– Active follow-up on leads and detailed activity notes on the sales process and client communication

– Closing of sales

Qualifications & Experience:

– Self-motivated – someone who doesn’t need to be monitored to get things done

– Team player with overall company focus, while still maintaining the ability to work independently

– Outgoing personality with strong interpersonal skills

– Detail-oriented and goal focused

– Strong computer and online technical skills

– Strong written and verbal communication skills

Compensation:

– Base salary plus commission

– Commission paid every two weeks

– Ongoing monthly commission on website hosting sales for as long as you hold a working business relationship with OmniSpear, Inc.

Job Type: Full-time

Required experience:

– Sales Experience: 2 years