Steve Cotler

Steve Cotler

Category Archives: Internet/Computing

Nigerian Scam Mathematics

Over the last 15 years or so I have received perhaps as many as a dozen emails frantically explaining that I have millions of dollars waiting for me in Nigeria if only I would help some poor, benighted soul get his money out of a locked bank account. Usually the scam requires I provide my  […]

Mac Crash

My 3.5-year-old Macbook Pro went on the disabled list Wednesday. Symptoms: Normal start up, but then, as the blue screen and desktop icons appeared, so did the spinning beach ball of death…and a queasy stomach. Interior sirens wailing, I rushed to my not-too-far-away Apple Store where, amid dozens of milling i-enthusiasts, the patient was taken […]

Evaluating Charities

Now, as at the end of every calendar year, we are besieged by charities asking for support. Incoming mail brims with urgent and passionate pleas. Your phone will ring at dinner time. Even with a “Do Not Call” prohibition installed on your phone number, you can still expect calls from non-profits you have previously supported […]

H1N1 Phishing

Just arrived: an email announcing the “the launching of a State Vaccination H1N1 Program.” It commands: “you need to create your personal H1N1 (swine flu) Vaccination Profile on the Centers for Disease Control website.” Purporting to come from CDC in Atlanta <Centers for Disease Control and Prevention <>, mine actually came from Peru. It’s phishing. […]

How to Fix Intermittent Errors

Today my four-year-old Mac G4 laptop began acting its age. Groups of pixels jittered chaotically in horizontal regiments, sometimes covering the screen. Then, without anodyne application, the problem would disappear. And just as unpredictably, reappear. Further investigation revealed that these video measles increased or decreased as a function of manual pressure exerted on the case. […]