Wednesday, September 3, 2008

free stuff from the government

I ordered some stuff a couple months ago from OnGuard Online which is sponsored the FTC and other agencies. And they just emailed me to say "Now, a Web 2.0 redesign allows users to grab and embed games and videos, search for topics on the site, and have a more interactive experience while getting useful tips and information."

Wow, videos and games produced by the government! And not even a fun agency, but the Federal Trade Commission. (What would be a fun agency?)

Okay, so in the interest of research, I just clicked on the first video, and it didn't make any sense. It has a guy who visits the potential "phishing" victim to get personal information so he can steal his identity. But the "phisher" has a fin stuck to his back as if he is a fish. And when the victim catches on, he calls to his wife for his tackle box so he can fish for the phisher.

If you're a phisher, you're not a fish. "Phishing" means you are the one using the bait to get the other to bite. So why does the phisher have the fin? Beats me.

And of the "games" (I think they use a loose definition of the word), the five I looked at were all multiple choice, "what should you do?" or "true/false" types. For example, here is a game where you are supposed to decide whether or not to accept a "friend request" from a social network:
"I just moved 2 ur school. ur cute. meet me l8tr?"
Accept or Deny the invitation.
If you Deny, you see:
"Smart thinking. Teens who avoid talking about sex online are less likely to make new friends and will probably remain alone for most of their lives. Stay in school. Read a book. Talk to your mom. Sex just causes more problems. But damn, it's fun."
I'm not sure what teen (or adult) would want to play these games. But like I mentioned, there are bookmarks and pamphlets you can order (which are free) and lots of stuff to download like banners and buttons you can put on your blog or library web site.

I don't normally promote government services. But I do have all this court-ordered community service to do... for all those crimes... involving farm animals. Mostly turkeys.