I got home from work at 10 tonight, heated up some soup and cracked open a bottle of Shiraz intending to prepare some e-mails for the morning. But after making my daily check of Friendfeed, I was suddenly inclined to procrastinate, or shall I say, experiment, with FriendFeed. Having been in on the Friendfeed frenzy since its early days (joined February 4 according to the welcome e-mail) I felt a twinge of frustration that my items in my Friendfeed were never (OK, barely) “liked” or commented on. I even instinctively changed my profile photo thinking that maybe I just looked scary or unfriendly. Then, before hitting the soup I half-assedly posted a vanity shout-out, just to see if I was really invisible, or if Friendfeed was fostering a good-spirited, web 2.0 early-adopter-centric community in its nascent pre-Alpha test phase.
The result: despite my admittedly lame and value-subtracted content/link, I received a half-dozen “likes” and comments in the 15 minutes it took me to finish my soup. It didn’t hurt that early adopter man-and/or-machine Robert Scoble jumped in on the parade, as the Friendfeed stream is weighted on the users side based on who their friends are *and* who their friends’ friends are. While Friendfeed’s popularity is still ramping up among the already-hip-to-microblogging set, early adopters like Louis Gray and Scoble (whose enthusiasm for the product hasn’t waned since I discussed it with him briefly in March) have only bolstered its stature and reputation by remaining Active (with a capital ‘A’).
Friendfeed is perfect for the ADD media junkie in many ways. It brings the conversation to you and the most recent / popular discussions in your circle cycle to the top of the feed when appropriate. It makes for a good replacement for blogging — the discussion is very organic and viral, however, it can be incredibly mind-numbing trying to keep up with comments and feedback not only on your posts but also on the comments you make tangentially. Fun and utilitarian but also a total productivity killer.
I have a feeling that I will continue to attract minimal attention / discussion on Friendfeed. But I am glad that I set the bar incredibly low. It proved to me that Friendfeed is an exciting place to be while it is in Beta and many Twitterers are just starting to bite and get the bug. As Julian Baldwin remarked on the above thread: “This could only happen on FF.”
The Scott McClellan story implicates the president with such red hands, it almost seems like the White House will be set on fire by it’s two-term disaster of a tenant solely to incinerate all of the evidence. I exaggerate, of course. But on several talk shows today, one day after Politico.com leaked the juiciest bits from his upcoming autobiography, “What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington’s Culture of Deception,” McLellan said what he never had a chance to explain to the press or even Patrick Fitzgerald: Bush personally and explicitly authorized Cheney and Libby to anonymously leak the bogus 2002 National Intelligence Estimate on WMD in Iraq to select members of the media such as Judith Miller, Matt Cooper, and Robert Novak:
Continue reading “McClellan: Bush DID Authorize NIE Leak, Plamegate”
Well the best news I heard all day is that I’ll no longer have to settle for 5-15 minute audio clips of Keith Olbermann’s Countdown. I know, I’m a non-cable, non-satellite subscribing dude — but I love hearing Keith and Co when pulling out of the garage after work. Now — assuming they upload them in a timely fashion (it’s currently 6:30 on the West Coast and while the short audio podcast is available, neither the full-length audio and video are) I’ll be able to tune in for the entire drive home.
I was appalled to find out that not only am I being charged monthly for a service — FreeCreditReport.com (billed as CIC*TRIPLE ADVANTAGE) — that I don’t use but that according to Experian, my SS# and credit history is apparently tied to one ANDREA LAVELLE, also known as Andrew C. Sternberg, and born in 1964 (my actual year of birth is 1975). Only one of three addresses listed are mine and among my supposed debts are a quarter-million dollars in real estate assets (I’ve only rented — never owned).
UPDATE JUNE 6: Finally got thru to Experian (the number for disputes that worked was 1 800 208 9232) and cleared 21 accounts from my credit report that weren’t mine as well as at least a dozen addresses where I never lived. The woman on the phone confirmed that “this happens all the time.” These computers are made by humans, she said. Sounds like you really need some new computers, or an overhaul of your IT staff, I rebutted.
UPDATE: I discovered that indeed one Andrea Lavelle does work at Antioch Tire in Antioch, IL — at the very address listed on MY Experian credit report. Thanks to some Google searching and a call to my purported identity thief’s workplace, I know when she’ll be in the office — but I don’t know who to send (or if there might be a third party involved whose hijacking both of our identities). Guess I’ll call the FTC in the morning.
Upon calling FreeCreditReport.com customer care I was instructed to file a dispute on the website, however, when disputing the first thing listed (the address) i was told that their online disputing system is currently unavailable. I then asked, no, demanded to know why two unknown addresses as well as several assets that aren’t mine are listed on this record which is supposedly based on my social security number. Fill out this form is all I was told. And they will e-mail you. Well the second form didn’t get me anywhere as you can see from the error message below.
So, HOW can I find out what’s up with this BS on my credit report? Is this a bug on Experian’s end (owner of FreeCreditReport.com and issuer of my inaccurate credit report) or has someone who goes by Andrea Lavelle been piggybacking on my credit for better and/or worse? For the record, my credit score according this report is fine, so I have yet to be adversely affected by this mystery (as far as I know).
Has anyone else had issues like this with Experian or other credit history farmers? I can’t find any info about the addresses or identities attached to my profile either (see images below)… To be continued…
Continue reading “My FreeCreditReport.com is in Someone Else’s Name”