Newspapers going online

I just got a text message ad from a cloaked number telling me about
reading the Punch newspaper on my mobile phone for 600 Naira a month.
First thing that ran through my head was: SCAM. This is just my hunch.
I've got no way to prove it. Now, I wonder, why would a newspaper like
The Punch use such a medium, a relatively expensive one at that, to
advertise a new service that required payment, and payment into an
unnamed firstbank account. How did they get a hold of my number? They
are intruding on my solitude by sending me an unsolicited text
message, and providing me no way of opting out, or even voicing my
lack of interest.

With these questions unanswered, i did take a look at the site:
mobile.punchng.com. It looks legitimate, even though i've got images
disabled on my browser, and i'm not sure if that is the newspaper's
usual domain name. The site looks well-designed, and does contain
news. I goes a-checking, and pretty soon, it asks me for a login. Not
exactly professional or thoughtful, methinks. I mean, i've searched my
brain for all the news sites i browse. I can't remember any that
charge me for online access. Some niche journals yes, but a general
newspaper?

Well, if this site is legitimate, and the rather klunky subscription
process works, then praises to them for taking such a forward-thinking
step. However, i don't think requiring subscription is a winning idea.
Moreover, i still suspect that this is an elaborate scam.

Morale of the story: don't use spoofed phone numbers to send sms
requesting prospective clients to pay cash into an unnamed bank
account in order to access a service that nearly all your competitors
offer for free. Also, the distinction between mobile sites and
full-fledged ones is blurring ever so fast. My mobile phone has a
300mhz processor equipped with 96mb of RAM and a browser with some
javascript support as well as flash lite. In other words, only the
screen size prevents me from viewing full-featured websites in their
original layout. I won't want to pay extra to view a site specially
formatted for small screens. Among other reason…

Hmmm, I'm getting really bored in this orientation camp.


Sent from my mobile device

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