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.

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.

We Love Employee Reviews!

James PhotoWe love receiving amazing notes about our fellow teammates.  This latest review on James Porcha from our IT department makes us so happy!

“Every team has that “go-to-guy” that it counts on when the game is on the line. The legendary Michael Jordan was that “guy” for the Chicago Bulls Dynasty in the 1990s.  Fast forward to 2016, LeBron James assumes “go-to-guy” status for the defending World Champion Cleveland Cavaliers.

OmniSpear, Inc. has its own version of “go-to-guy.” Most of us depend on computers daily.  So when something goes wrong, we need that “guy” to turn to.  OmniSpear’s version of MJ or King James is James Porcha, a help-desk technician at OmniSpear.  With over 10 years in the IT field, I know James has the experience to help whatever issues arise.

It is interesting to note that this all started out as a hobby for James.  His passion for technology was truly helpful to family and friends who encountered computer issues.  It has now transitioned into a successful career.  And you can count on James during times of need.

As stated on OmniSpear’s website, when it comes to buying or repairing computers and other technology, James has clearly established a reputation for himself as everyone’s – wait for it – “Go-To-Guy!”

OmniSpear Scene75 Office Party

LAN PartyWhat better way to celebrate successful project launches than to head out to Scene75 for a day of games, Go-Karts, bowling and bumper cars?  Our group had a great time enjoying some team building this past Friday.  A few competitive rounds of Go-Karts, game racing and mini-golf challenges really helped pump us up for upcoming projects!

 

Fresh New Look for Melink

melink-mock

Melink is an energy solutions company that strives to make building construction greener with a focus on integrity and innovation.  For this project, our team was tasked with providing an overhaul to the main company pages, as well as microsite for their product, Intelli-hood.  These sites represent two separate domains (www.melinkcorp.com & www.intellihood.com) but are seamlessly combined into a single overall theme.  The sleeker design makes it simple to jump from site to site, while remaining in the company’s overall vision and branding.  Each webpage is also responsive with clean layouts for easy navigation.  We are proud of the redesign and think Melink has a fresh face forward as they continue to expand.

OmniSpear Has Upgraded!  Come See Our New Office Space.

OmniSpear, Inc. Has Upgraded!  Come See Our New Office Space.

We’ve outgrown our old office space and have made a move up the the 2nd floor.  By designing a new office layout from scratch, we have been given the opportunity to more than double our existing space while also giving ourselves room for continued growth.

Some highlights of our new digs include an additional huddle room and lounge area for formal / informal meetings as well as a break room complete with bar and table seating.

Our new space is more inviting and allows more room for departments to grow, as well as harness our internal communication more effectively. Our development team is no longer crowded together, but has a creative seating arrangement that allows for both group and individual work.  Our IT support team has a quieter space that provides them privacy for even better phone support and hardware work-space. The entire development team now has stand up / sit down desks as well, which has done wonders in helping keep them more refreshed and ready for action.

Come see our new office and we’ll give you a tour!

Lobby

 

developer2 developer1 conference_room

 

We’re Hiring! Full-Time Network Technician

Description:
OmniSpear, Inc. located between Dayton and Cincinnati is seeking a full-time Network Administrator to provide client support. Duties will include workstation and network troubleshooting and server administration. Position requires both inter-office technical support as well as client on-site services.
Candidates must meet or exceed our listed requirements to be considered for this position.

Technical Requirements:
Experience with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Windows, and Linux (or OS X).
Working knowledge of networking technologies such as ethernet, switches, computer hardware, and software.
Knowledge of Active Directory.
Provide computer and network support to end-users, both local and remote.
Perform support and maintenance, both local and remote, of server and network hardware.
Provide resolution to help desk tickets, covering all IT technology issues and accurately document the nature of the problem with supporting details.
Diagnose reported PC/peripheral/client software problems and enact appropriate solutions with a high level of user satisfaction.
Configure, install and deploy user-issued hardware and software, ensuring reliability and a high level of performance.
Maintain inventory of both client and network assets (make, model, serial number, location, assigned user).
Ensure compliance to hardware and software standards and licensing.
Manage ticket queue and escalate tickets to upper tier network team, as needed.
Work with third party vendors to resolve hardware issues that are covered under manufacturer and extended warranties.
Maintain system image configurations and continue to improve software standardization.
Strong customer service through communications and follow-up.
Additional related duties as assigned by management.

Wage/Salary:
Varies based on experience of Candidate

Non-Technical Requirements:

Candidate should have completed or be actively be pursuing Associates or Bachelors in an Information Technology field.

Excellent troubleshooting and diagnostic capabilities.
Must be able to effectively prioritize tasks in a high-pressure environment with strong customer service orientation.
Must be able to balance working independently or in a team and provide effective communication communication skills to main office and client contacts.
Maintain the appropriate level of confidentiality.
Maintain and extend current knowledge of technology innovations in networking and computing.
Must be able maintain travel accommodations to client offices.

Application Instructions:

Email resumes to careers@omnispear.com for consideration. Please include your name and the position in the subject of the email.

Office Location:
9039 Springboro Pike
Miamisburg OH 45342