Monthly Archives: April 2008

Telemarketers giving free Gift Cards

This post is off topic, but I recently recieved a call from a what I thought was Telemarketer. The caller id on my telephone read “Research Center 231-224-2031″.

They asked me if I would answer a few questions about “Household Services”. In return for my time, they promised that I would receive a ten dollar gift card from Target.

“Yeah, right, another scam”, I thought.

But the offer was enticing and I went ahead and answered about ten minutes worth of yes/no questions. At the end of the question and answer session, they took my name and address and promised to send me the gift card. I didn’t really believe them, but I took my chances and gave them the information.

About two weeks later my gift card arrived in the mail! I went to Target and splurged on some clearance items, parlaying my ten dollar bonanza into a sizable value based on original retail. All is well.

Moral of the story – be very careful, but sometimes telemarketers can be trusted!

Geocoder – find your latitude and longitude

Here is a quick way to find your latitude and longitude. It is a PHP script using the Google geocoding service. The Google Store Locator demo on this site utilizes the latitude and longitude from such a request to locate nearby Cyberstarweb locations. With this script as a start, you could build an entire site like

Here is the PHP source code of the geocoder.php


   if ($_POST['address'] != "") {

   doGeo($marker) {
   // Your Google Maps API key
   $key = "Your key here";
   // Desired address
   $address = "$marker&output=xml&key=$key";
   // Retrieve the URL contents
   $page = file_get_contents($address);
   // Parse the returned XML file
   $xml = new SimpleXMLElement($page);
// Retrieve the desired XML node
//   echo $xml->Response->Placemark->Point->coordinates;
   // Parse the coordinate string
   list($longitude, $latitude, $altitude) = explode($xml->Response->Placemark->Point->coordinates);

   // Output the coordinates
	echo($marker)." Longitude: $longitude, Latitude: $latitude";