Just two oddball notes before I get back to navel-gazing and portentousness:
–The very first time I signed on to my email account at Boalt Hall (the law school at UC Berkeley), I had a queue of phishing emails waiting for me. You know: "Please click this link to update your account details (don’t forget your credit card number!) at eBay." To work or be worthwhile, a phishing scam would seem to need to use the name of a real, recognizable (if not popular) financial institution. But maybe not. Today, I got a phishing email purporting to be from an entity I had never heard of: Shazam Bank. Shazam is real — it’s a banking services firm based in Des Moines, Iowa, that mostly serves customers at smaller banks. In fact, its site carries a notice warning against phishing emails carrying the Shazam logo. Maybe the fact that a relatively small player and its customers are being targeted is a sign that the low-hanging fruit (unwary, unaware, or stupid customers banking with bigger outfits) has been pretty much picked.
–And just because I started on this thing with the tropical storm names: Tropical Storm Vince showed up way over on the other side of the Atlantic, southwest of Portugal, on Sunday. That’s the 20th named storm for 2005, and leaves only Wilma to go before we get into the Greek alphabet.