WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice has recently become aware of fraudulent spam e-mail messages claiming to be from DOJ. Based upon complaints from the public, it is believed that the fraudulent messages are addressed "Dear Citizen." The messages are believed to assert that the recipients or their businesses have been the subject of complaints filed with DOJ and also forwarded to the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, such email messages may provide a case number, and state that the complaint was "filled [sic] by Mr. Henry Stewart." A DOJ logo may appear at the top of the email message or in an attached file. Finally, the message may include an attachment that supposedly contains a copy of the complaint and contact information for Mr. Stewart.


These spam email messages are bogus and should be immediately deleted. Computers may be put at risk simply by an attempt to examine these messages for signs of fraud. It is possible that by "double-clicking" on attachments to these messages, recipients will cause malicious software – e.g., viruses, keystroke loggers, or other Trojan horse programs – to be launched on their computers.
Do not open any attachment to such messages. Delete the e-mail. Empty the deleted items folder.
If you have received this, or a similar hoax, please file a complaint at Within the complaint, please list "DOJ Spoof Email" in the "Business Name" field of the complaint.

How much do hackers sell your identity for?

UK Credit Card $6, US Credit Card $3, Compromised PC $8, Complete Identity $16


A new trend is emerging that suggests marketers start mapping out their product(s) life stories strategy. This trend is especially important to food companies where the ability of a consumer to trace the origins of a product will soon play a role in product credibility.

In the case of Dole Bananas, for example, “traceability” starts with the ubiquitous and low-tech sticker that you find on the banana. Each banana’s sticker will identify the origin of the product with a three digit farm code.

Go to Dole’s site ( ), text in your farm code … in this case “776” … and you’ll be taken to “Don Pedro’s Farm” complete with photos, a description of the farm, it’s certification and a link to Google Earth for a birds-eye view.

Driven by the lowly banana sticker, the integration with high-tech internet capabilities allows the consumer, for the first time, to become one with the product. As the number of food recalls increase, this application will be in high demand … and eventually be expected of firms operating in the food chain.

Companies already on the bandwagon are coding Eggs, Olive Oils, Fruits, Vegetables, Meats, Wines and more. It’s only a matter of time before the origins of the cotton in your shirt will carry a traceability code.

Take the process one step further …. integrate it with barcodes, QR codes and RFID tags, and using the scanner capable phones now prevalent in Japan, we will have the ability to call up, on-demand, more information than we ever thought possible.

And now for a bit of levity ….


In a bold move and in anticipation of an industry caught in the throws of a revolutionary upheaval,
US News and World Report fired its editorial staff writing for the printed edition several months ago.

It promptly rehired them to write exclusively for the online edition.
What is so remarkable is that the printed edition is now an offshoot of the online edition. Faster to market, news on the fly … the consumer has a wide choice …. a printed version of the news is no longer the choice.

This week, following in the footsteps of US News, in a move heralding the importance of the online edition,
BusinessWeek moved its top editor, John Byrne, from its print publication to lead . The company’s site registered a 22 percent increase in monthly users during the past year with 6.7 million unique users per month. By contrast, the printed edition registered a 10 percent drop in ad pages during the same period with a 900,000 circulation rate base in North America.

The difficulty the magazine business faces stems from a business model that cannot easily translate from a printed page to an online page. The face of the buyer has changed and the sellers need to cope with that change in an effort to understand how their new model fulfills the needs of the new online market mentality.

The change is permanent and growing. In the scramble to monetize the online versions and the millions of inventory impressions (many of which go unsold), publishers cannot afford to stray from their compass … that of editorial integrity and relevance.

What looms on the horizon? Independent networks that will categorize the news genre and offer a “network” of competitive online news sites with relevant content and sold, in part, through an online auction based model.

When Will The Other Shoe Drop?

Launch date for the iPhone: June 29, 2007

Waiting with baited breath, we can expect campers to line outside the Apple Stores the evening before it goes on sale …. for the privilege of spending $499 to $599 for the 4GB or 8GB models.

Oh! Did you want a carrier for that iPhone? Both AT&T and Apple have yet to announce service plans for these phones. Just 15 days to launch and millions of callers don’t know what to expect to shell out on a monthly basis to stay connected.

To take advantage of all the services and communication applications, many have estimated an annual cost of $850 before taxes on the low end. Buy-in will likely require a 2-year contract. Total entry cost: At best, $2300 including the phone.

This from a fellow blogger: “iPhone users will expect their new whizzy phones to work as they do in the advertisements. When you want to surf the Web, press the Safari icon and be on your way. When you need to get in touch via text, email or an SMS message is the way to go. When you want to find directions to the local pizza shack, Google Maps takes you there. The last thing you want is to access one of these options and discover it doesn’t work because you haven’t signed up for the correct data plan or that it does work but, whoops, you’ve exceeded your data limit for the month and it’s going to cost you a buck fifty to check the baseball score."

Before you put on your running shoes to get to your local Apple Store, understand what it’s going to cost you to be “cool” for a few months.


Every once in a while we come across a company that promises to deliver on high expectations in the web development arena. The company that accomplishes this, Memetrics, does not create websites …. it tears them apart.

The focus of this company is to test a host of variable assets that, when combined, make up a website. That’s keeping it very, very simple. Multivariate testing and analysis is the name of the game.

As marketers are faced with the mission critical need to stretch their ROI, Memetrics can step in and tell you what’s working, what’s not, and how to fix it. Mulitvariate testing can successfully boosted conversion rates by as much as 600%. Yes ….. 600%!!

Memetrics performs this task in short order as it leverages the dynamics of the web to reduce traditional (and limited) testing scenarios from months to weeks.

The company also opened itself to work across multiple channels …. Direct mail, interactive TV and call centers

The “brainiac” Co-CEOs that run this company are led by Hikaru Phillips and Matt Symons. Hikaru trained as an evolutionary biologist. Hikaru's approach to "adaptive marketing" has helped leading marketers leverage hypothesis testing, experimental design and optimization based on Nobel Prize winning Choice Modeling theory. Matt, formerly an attorney for one of Australia's largest law firms has been designing and delivering experimentation roadmaps for Memetrics' global clients since joining the company in 1999.

Now you know one of my secret weapons. Defend yourselves!

You can reach Memetrics though their website at, or call Chad Miller at (815) 389-0530.