MyAKA Closing Its Second Number Service

This email originally distributed to MyAKA customers April 14th, 2016

Dear MyAKA Member,

It is with much sadness that I am writing you today, to inform you that we must close the MyAKA service as of Midnight, CST on May 15th, 2016.

365bet代理Over the past four years we’ve worked to fill a need and provide a privacy service to you, our loyal customers.  Unfortunately, we were unable to expand the service to a level of sustainability and we have been left with no choice but to cease its offering.

How this affects your MyAKA number.

Your number will remain active until Midnight, CST on May 15th365bet代理, 2016.  You will not be charged for this period and will receive no future billing from us.

In order to keep your number active beyond this period, we recommend that you transfer your service to .  This company is providing an exclusive option to MyAKA customers of a $75 dollar discount towards their service.  Grasshopper has a stellar voice/sms service with all the features you’ve enjoyed from our MyAKA service.  In addition, they offer more robust routing and administrative functions, as well as iPhone and Android apps.  They are backed by , a well-funded, publicly traded company which has been in business since 1989.

If you wish to transfer your service to Grasshopper, please visit the below link (you must use this link for the $75 discount).

Porting your number from MyAKA to Grasshopper can take up to two weeks so we encourage you to signup with their service as soon as possible.  The signup and transfer process is made simply by Grasshopper, but you will need to know two key pieces of information.


After choosing your plan, be sure to check the option “Keep Existing Number”, enter your MyAKA number and choose “Not Listed” under carrier in this step.


365bet代理Follow the instructions emailed by Grasshopper after you complete registration.  You will be asked for the name of your current provider and address as listed with them (your Customer Service Record).  Please use the following:

Twilio, Inc.

365bet代理548 Market St #14510

San Francisco, California 94104

SID:  Please write for SID

365bet代理We have also attached a brief tutorial to help you move through the process as quickly and effectively as possible.

If you do not wish to transfer your service to Grasshopper, you are welcome to seek other alternatives.  The porting process to any service can take up to two weeks, so it is important to being the transition, ASAP.

What happens after May 15th?

At Midnight CST, on May 15th, 2016, all MyAKA numbers will cease to work.  Within five business days of this date, all customer information will be purged from our system and deleted forever.

Thank you.

We would like to extend our sincere thanks for your support.  We have worked very hard to help you achieve privacy and every moment has been an absolute privilege.  We hope that you have enjoyed the service and have found it to be useful.  Our only regret is that we were unable to grow MyAKA to a level which assured we didn’t have to send this communication.

Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions or concerns you may have.


365bet代理John Skorick

MyAKA C&D from Intelius

Good Times: When Intelius Threatens to Sue

Intelius, chief among stalker websites, once threatened to sue me.  Here’s why.

Prior to launching MyAKA we entered beta with a few trusted partners and visions of a successful Google Adwords campaign.  Naturally we added targeted terms such as ‘second number’, ‘private number’, ‘alias number’, etc… but thought there must be a way to also gain some creative lift.

Being that MyAKA was created as a means to combat stalker websites like Spokeo and Intelius (and the hoards of others) I thought what better way to reach the people who need our services than to target these purveyors of privacy invasion.  And so, we setup a number of campaigns targeting keyword terms which these enablers of creep bid on, such as “how do I find someones address”, “locate (insert name)”, “Where does (insert name) live?” or work or hangout or…you get the point.  Then it dawned on me.  The people who are entering these terms are the creeps, perverts and stalkers who are trying to track someone down and find where the live.  We don’t want to associate with this riff-raff, we need to reach their intended targets.  But how?

365bet代理We decided to bid on the company names such as “intelius”, “spokeo”, “white pages”, “people finders”, etc…  The idea was that people would be trying to find out how someone, such as a complete stranger, found out where they lived and showed up at their doorstep to harass them (or worse).  They would find the names of these companies, search for them and our ads would be displayed telling them how to mitigate the stalkers best friend.

Within 2 hours of our ads going live, legal from Intelius sent me a C&D.

Now, I realize that bidding on another’s company name or TM isn’t proper etiquette but I felt that exposing their practices was more important than playing nice.  I thought it very interesting how quickly they responded but also, what a great way to get the word out about these creeps and what we’re doing to try and harm their privacy invasion business.

365bet代理I consulted with our attorney and, shock and horror, they’ve been involved in a number of lawsuits where they were the plaintiff gripping about this and that. Color me dismayed that a company which sells peoples private information to complete strangers is also a lawsuit troll. I was quoted mid-five figures to defend a lawsuit and, as a boot-strapped startup, we couldn’t fund the defense so I decided to take the ad down and look to raise awareness to their shenanigans through other means (like blogging!).

If only I’d been as clever as  and raised attention to their shitty business the world would be a much better place.

365bet代理I’m sorry I let you down world.  You too, dear reader(s).

Why do we keep enabling keyboard warriors

The Keyboard Warrior Goes Mobile

365bet代理Why do we keep enabling the keyboard warrior?

I just read an article by Jordan Crook at TechCrunch about yet another gossip thingie called  which lets you send an email anonymously.  You know, so you don’t need to put your name to some bullshit you want to send to another.  Or, as she so eloquently put it, “totally mess with their head.”

Near as I can tell, it’s another spin on Secret or Whisper and another way in which people can avoid all responsibility for or repercussions of their actions.  Their actions generally being talking nonsense about others, companies, co-workers and the like.  What possible good can come of services like this and why do people continue thinking up ways to enable keyboard warriors?  Oh, I know, because .

There are obviously some smart people behind these thingies (I refuse to call them products or services) and surely they could put those brains to use figuring out bigger problems than how to brag about getting laid on the copy machine or complaining about the food in your office cafeteria without anyone knowing it’s you doing the ghostwriting.

365bet代理Anonymity for Good, Not Gossip.

Comic Con puts the Kibosh on Glasstrolls

Abandon Glass All Ye Who Enter Here

I’m a little late to the game here (pun intended) and unfortunately it isn’t because I’ve been traveling from San Diego, my second favorite city.  Nevertheless, I must share a recent delight with you my loyal reader….readers.  I meant readers.

I’m not a gamer and I didn’t grow up collecting comic books but I am a new found fan of .  No, not because of the cosplay (well, OK, that too) but because they put the ol’ kibosh on hoards of descending Glassholes.

As so eloquently pointed out, “When that “naturally receptive” audience is sending you home, what’s left?”  

I am a big Google honk.  I’ve had two different Android phones and an Android tablet.  I absolutely love like them not delivering text message when users switch away from their phones.  Nobody takes a little ribbing as seriously as an Apple Fanperson, of which I know many.  But Google and I see very differently on this matter.

Glass has the potential to be the single most invasive piece of technology ever invented.  In part, because those who want to wear it are invasive by nature.  Take the former Business Insider reporter who was beat-up for wearing Glass “in the wrong part of San Francisco.” (hint: it had less to do with the part of San Francisco you were in and more to do with the creep-cam on your mug)  Or the Glass owners who (Glasstrolls!  I need to TM that) for not allowing them to wear glass inside because, I don’t know, the other 99.9% of their customers were uncomfortable at the proposition of being filmed by the pale, sweaty dude in the hoodie.  These are perfect examples of the self-absorbed nature of the vast majority of people who clamored to get glass and have a “look at me” moment and every time I hear of their creepy nonsense being pushed back on, I rejoice.

Comic-Con you crafty devil.  I may have a new excuse to go to San Diego next year.  For that, and the cosplay, I thank you.


Foursquare moves on from the checkin

Death to the Check-in (one can hope)

365bet代理I was reading  article on transition from stalking tool…I mean check-in app…to Yelp clone and couldn’t help but hope that this is the end of the check-in.  I realize they moved this to their new app Swarm and that Facebook still enables this sort of feature but enough is enough.

365bet代理I believe we all need to assume a certain level of personal responsibility but technology companies also have a responsibility to develop products that, I don’t know, don’t put us in eminent danger.  Foursquare and their check-in nonsense was about as great a risk to personal safety as one can imagine.  Encouraging people to share with the world and every knucklehead in it exactly where you are grabbing a coffee early in the morning or drink late at night is insanity.  And let’s not forget how haphazardly they treated this data by allowing open access to their API and the birth of the app.  Only after significant outcry did they button up the API.

I don’t know whether their version of Yelp will be a success but feel, as Christina points out, they’re a bit late to the game and Yelp is so synonomous that they have an awful lot of catching up to do.  I’m just happy to see them moving away from the check-in centric model and hope this is the end of a ridiculous and dangerous trend.

Stop checking in, good people.  If not for me, then for the children.

#VoicesHavePower Verizon Helps Dating and Domestic Violence Prevention

365bet代理Verizon Wireless has launched a HopeLine program called through which they will donate $3 for every message of hope to help support dating and domestic violence awareness initiatives.  They have created a social hashtag of #VoicesHavePower to help raise awareness to the campaign and provide additional support.

365bet代理From the website:

365bet代理“Through Voices Have Power, every one of us can share our unique voice and take part in the national effort to put an end to this issue. For every message of hope submitted by someone such as yourself, we will donate $3 toward supporting proven and innovative dating and domestic violence prevention programs produced by our national and local campaign partners. Here are the ways a message of hope can be shared:

1. On your favorite social, share a message of hope on your favorite social network with the hashtag #VoicesHavePower

365bet代理2. On your phone, text a message of hope to #94079

3. On , write or select a previously generated message of hope”

Verizon has been a longtime supporter of sexual assault and domestic violence awareness, support and education initiatives, including a current partner in this program, .

365bet代理This is an excellent campaign and well worth the time it will take you to text a quick message of support and share with those you know.


I Found Your Address in Google, Why Don’t I Drop By

If you’re like me, you hate the drop by.  So dreaded is the drop by that I lived by a rule of not making friends in apartment buildings I’ve lived in.  We all have a cell phone glued to our ear or thumbs.  We have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any number of ways in which our friends and loved ones can drop us a line to see if it’s cool to drop in.  But what about perfect strangers?  Thanks to stalking websites like Spokeo365bet代理 and Intelius, absolutely anyone can purchase your address and drop by unannounced.  It happens more often than you think, it happened to someone I know, and is one of the main reasons I jumped in the privacy ring.

But worry not internet friend, these sites state that they are for connecting lost loved ones and such.  Surely no one, such as that creep you met on  (I really hope you didn’t meet him), would use one of these services for a nefarious purpose.  Nor would that coworker who always seemed a bit off in the break room and was recently let go.  Or that guy who always seems to be at the market when you are.  Of course these sites wouldn’t enable them to gain access to your personal information and violate your privacy and safety.  Yeah they would; and happily.  You see, this is what their entire business model is built on and business is good.

If you haven’t lately (or *gasp* ever), run a Google search on yourself and you’ll see these stalkers best friends tripping over each other for expensive, premium ad space just itching to sell your personal details.  If you think this should be illegal, I agree, but unfortunately it is not as they are simply pulling public record information, making it easily searchable and, naturally, profiting off of it.

Hey now, say these enablers of creep, we allow you to find your personal record and remove it.  After, of course, you meander through our maze of steps designed to frustrate you into abandoning the process.  And don’t mind that in many cases you have to signup and give us your email address in order to deactivate your listing.  P.S., as soon as your public record is updated, your listing will reappear.

In addition to the burdensome removal process, there are hundreds of sites listing this information for sale and your choices in combating this are unfortunately few.  You can attempt to manage these records yourself but I’ve done it and it is both frustrating and time consuming.  The other option is to use an anti-stalking tool like or .  These fine folks will monitor and remove your information from these sites for a small monthly fee.  Our service is also designed to negate the creepers as your name and address are not collected and therefore these sites have no way to link your number to you.  We can help moving forward but you need something to cleanup what is already available.

I recommend using a service and putting the time you save to reading this blog or thinking of the next best Kickstarter campaign.  However, if you enjoy banging your head against a wall, here are a few helpful links to get you started with some of the biggest offenders.

People Smart
Google Person Finder
Zaba Search
Search Bug

Stay safe fellow traveler.  I’m sorry I had to be the bearer of bad news but I encourage you to share this with anyone you care about.  This scourge is rampant but without your data, they have no viable business.