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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Air your security gripes on TSA blog

Air your security gripes on TSA blog

Thu Jan 31, 7:40 AM ET
Via Yahoo News

Frustrated by long airport-security lines? Certain those screeners aren't paying attention? Wondering why your grandma always gets frisked? The federal government wants to hear — or at least read — your gripes at the "Evolution of Security" blog the Transportation Security Administration introduced Wednesday. And it promises those complaints and suggestions won't vanish into thin air.

The blog, at http://www.tsa.gov/blog, is getting a rather "blah" response from aviation analysts and passengers advocates who say it will do little to improve process or perception.

"This will just make it easier for them to receive complaints for them to ignore in the name of national security," said David Stempler, president of the Air Travelers Association.

In the blog's initial post, TSA Administrator Kip Hawley said the goal is to provide a forum for the agency to explain why travelers must go through certain steps at checkpoints since interaction at airports is often harried and halted, resulting in "feedback and venting ... circulating among passengers with no real opportunity for us to learn from you or vice versa."

"We will incorporate what we learn in this forum in our checkpoint process evolution," Hawley wrote. "Our postings from the public will be reviewed to remove the destructive, but not touch the critical or cranky."

Terry Trippler, a Minneapolis-based airline expert, applauded the idea but said TSA "was in the right church, just not the right pew yet."

And that church could become anything but sacred. Trippler said he envisions the blog quickly degenerating into an online vacuum where a handful of habitual complainers force TSA officials to respond to them, while other self-appointed security "experts" pontificate on the best ways to improve the process.

Even worse, he said some travelers will avoid the blog for fear of retribution from the government.

The TSA already is fighting an uphill battle in the court of public opinion.

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll conducted last month found that only the Federal Emergency Management Agency, still dealing with its mismanagement of Hurricane Katrina, ranked below the TSA among the least-liked federal agencies. TSA tied with tax collectors in the ranking of a dozen executive branch agencies.

The AP poll found that the more people traveled, the less they liked TSA, but also that 53 percent of air travelers though the agency did a "very" or "somewhat" good job. Their top complaint: the inconvenience of security.

By late Wednesday there were 29 comments on the blog, mostly from TSA employees and moderators. One anonymous poster asked why some airport body scanners stop him due to a hip replacement while others do not.

The response from "Christopher," identified as an "evolution blog team member," said answering those kinds of questions in future posts was why the site was started and added: "Come back on Friday to check out our post on the top three questions security officers get from passengers."

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nigerian Scammers target Sikh Community (and everyone else in between)

Well it was only a matter of time before this internet scam would target the Sikh community. Recently I got an email from an individual who I did not know, who informed me that a huge inheritance was awaiting for my withdrawal. The emailer also thought that I was part of some Sikh Gurudwara management board (ha!). Here’s a snapshot of the email below:

Mr. Muna Gborie, I presume?
Mr. Muna Gborie, I presume?

Now I’m sure you’ve seen many types of these emails in your inbox as well, hopefully it is picked up by your email spam blocker. These “I want to give you a bajillion dollars, so contact me right away” emails are all part of large of fraudulent email scam operation based out of Nigeria.

Known as Nigerian Letter scam (or 419 – link1, link2), individuals in Nigeria run intricate email extraction systems in order to find your email. From there, they send a bombardment of emails to you, and any body else they find, promising millions of dollars if you contact them back. To make the emails interesting, these individuals act as they are some type of rich king/queen/ambassador/billion dollar widow who can only trust you to hold their money in secret. In return, they will cut you a portion of the wealth… so long as you provide your bank account and some upfront money to take care of “administrative items.”

Recently ABC News show 20/20 did a special on these Nigerian scammers and all the people they have caused harm to. Most of the people were individuals who allowed their greed to take over them to fall into this scam. However, one group surprised me.

As you’ll see in the documentary, these scammers targeted a Christian church in New Jersey and twisted their spin a bit to state. The scammers disguised themselves as fellow Christians and stated that since they admired the Church’s work, they wished to pay off their mortgage in full. The scammers would go on to say that they wished to give the Church even more money to help promote their future projects.

Regrettably, this Church gave into this fraud and lost thousands of dollars, all because they trusted these “God-fearing people" in disguise.

And now, as seen in the email above, these Nigerian email scammers are targeting Sikhs and their Gurudwara establishments as well in the same manner.

So check out this video below as it is well worth the watch. This is good information for you, whether you watch it as an individual or as someone who may be affiliated with any type of organization.

20/20 investigation on Nigerian Email Scammers
20/20 investigation on Nigerian Email Scammers

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Thursday, July 05, 2007

It's that time again... for the annual SikhNet Youth Online Film Festival!

Big ups to my man Mr. SikhNet for always of thinking of new ways to promote Sikh youth to take an active role in their community.

I had the pleasure to hang out with Gurumustuk when he was in DC a couple weeks back. Within one day, we shot five quick promo videos for this year's film festival. It took me about another week to edit all five.

The neat part of this challenge was to use a very simple camcorder, pretty much like the one in your home, and shoot these quick promos.

So... you have no excuse not to make a video! =)

Take a look at the five promos shorts below. The Nihung Singh's are my favorite ones.

Check out these five promos, plus the last one made by Ambrosial Motion Pictures. Enjoy.

The deadline for this year's film festival is August 31st, 2007. Cash prizes are being awarded, and any age group can enter the competition. Check out the logo below for more information.

SikhNet Online Youth Film Festival 2007

So what are you waiting for you bama? Make a movie for the festival this year before Nihung Singh comes after you!

I'm pooped. Later.

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen.... meet Natasha Bedingfield

... I don't even want to know.

Natasha Bedingfield's "Unwritten," by jesse6i

By the way, check out the promo videos that I did with my good ol' buddy Mr. SikhNet for the 2007 SikhNet Online Youth Film Festival. Two are posted below.

Make a movie for the SikhNet Online Youth Film Festival!

I don't have time to use the computer Sir.

Be sure to make a video this year for the film festival you BAMA! More awesome promo videos to come soon! Here's a hint: "He He Heeeeeeeee, WAAAAAHHHHHEEEEEEEGUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!"

That will be the theme for the summer.

Enjoy the 4th if you are in the States. If you aren't here, go back to work.

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Sunday, March 04, 2007

Busted by the YouTube Police

Man, are these guys really cracking down! Take a look at the image below:

Gatka 1 got busted by YouTube.
Looks like YouTube's G-Men got Gatka 1.

They are even going after the small fish like Gatka 1. Maybe we need to think twice before posting videos to YouTube. Funny thing is that Google bought YouTube, and Gatka 1 is still on Google Video.



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