Thursday, December 28, 2006
It was great having the opportunity to talk on Fox 7 news about the local music scene. This blistering cold day didn't stop Austin residents from attending one of the cities annual festivals. I look forward to being a part of the festivals in the future as well.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
At UnlockAustin, we do not accept memberships from members under the age of 13 years old. It is stated on the sign-up that members must be 13 years old to sign-up for the service. Parental consent is necessary for children under the ages of 13 to join an Internet website. It is plausible that websites might accept parental consent so that their children can use the website, but this can be hard to verify. In the case of Xanga, parental consent wasn't enforced for those under the age of 13.
It is our duty to respect personal privacy laws and the wishes of these children's parents. This law was designed for protect children from capturing their personally identifiable information.
Many websites do not require members to be at least 13 years old, and these websites should heed the warning of the FTC, and take measures to stop children under 13 years of age from joining.
Some children avoid this rule by lying about their age to gain access to these websites. Examples of websites that require people to enter their age are alcohol sites or pornography sites. Stricter measures may need to be taken on these types of websites to ensure the age of their visitors, such as being required to enter their driver's license number. However, at websites that do not have provocative material, the request for identification numbers isn't always possible, especially for children under the age of 16.
Special software is available through certain Internet service providers, such as AOL. This software attempts to block access to adult sites when a child is logged into the service.
In all, privacy has come a long way over the years, and as the rules of the Internet continue to become more defined, websites will be forced to catch up with these rules.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
My initial reaction is: Wow, this is really impressive!
This is impressive because the sheer cost to implement a project of this scale is fairly substantial because it touches upon so much of the University's computer infrastructure. I give a lot of credit to UT for going through the effort to implement this system. They plan to provide possession-based security codes to every faculty member next year. These codes will be provided to users through USB key chains, cell phones, or key cards. If I could offer one bit of advice, it would be that cell phones are not completely secure, and therefore might be vulnerable to hacking.
However, the larger concern is whether the dean will find it necessary to implement the security system to all users. As president of Pitylak Security, I am telling my clients that comprehensive security measures like this are very important because of the high value organizations should place on personal identification protection.
This is a major step in the right direction.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
From: Susan Arenella, Attorney
Re: Clarification to June 2 article
Regarding the story “Note to Spam King: You Got Nailed” (by Howard Witt, June 2), I am requesting clarification of statements in the article. When Mr. Witt contacted me last week regarding my association with Mr. Ryan Pitylak, a client of mine who was the subject of the June 2 article, he introduced himself and spoke very quickly, asking me to answer questions regarding Mr. Pitylak, whose name he mispronounced. I asked him to repeat who he was asking me about. He repeated Mr. Pitylak’s name, pronouncing it differently, and further identified Mr. Pitylak in relation to “Unlock City,” a business name which I then recognized. He then asked me if I had filed corporate papers for Unlock City. I confirmed to him that Mr. Pitylak is my client, but that I could not comment on his questions until I had an opportunity to discuss them with my client. I repeated this statement to Mr. Witt several times as he continued to ask further questions. As you know, I am ethically obligated to keep the specifics of any of my clients’ cases confidential unless I have obtained permission from them to do otherwise.
However, Mr. Witt’s article states that “Susan Arenella, the attorney who filed the papers for Pitylak and whose signature appears on the [corporate] documents, said she did not know who Pitylak was…” This is a grossly inaccurate statement. Mr. Witt’s discussion of Mr. Pitylak’s recent abandonment of an assumed name falsely implies that there was some type of “assumed name” cover up regarding Mr. Pitylak’s new business, which is not the case. In fact, Mr. Pitylak instructed me to file the assumed name, Unlock Austin, for his new Internet city guide business to make it applicable to the Austin market, and then simply changed his mind as to which of his companies would carry the new name. Unlock Austin is by no means a secret. It is still the assumed name publicly filed under Mr. Pitlyak’s limited partnership and is currently the domain name that Mr. Pitylak has registered on the World Wide Web for his new company.
I would appreciate an immediate clarification of these points with regard to the article. Or, at least publish this letter. Thank you in advance for your response.
Susan Arenella, Attorney
901 South Mopac Expressway
Barton Oaks Plaza One, Suite 300
Austin, Texas 78746
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
The news of the Texas Attorney General lawsuit has been released.
I am pleased to announce that I am now a part of the anti-spam community, having started an internet security company – Pitylak Security – that offers my clients advice on systems to protect against spam.
Over time I have come to see how I was wrong to think of spam as just a game of cat and mouse with corporate email administrators. I now understand why so much effort is put into stopping it.
The settlements with Microsoft and the Attorney General’s office have been a serious reality check: harsh, but good, and in the public’s best interest.
I’m now working earnestly to help other entrepreneurs avoid the traps that deceived me and led me to make questionable business choices.
As a recent graduate from the University of Texas with honors degrees in economics and philosophy, it's my goal to apply what I've learned and use my entrepreneurial talents to help others.
- Ryan Pitylak
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
My main motive for providing my anti-spam services is to help out the anti-spam community. That desire is first and foremost. I really feel strongly about making a difference in the fight against spam, and I truly believe that I have some knowledge that can be helpful in that fight. Please visit my Combat Spam blog for some posts and comments that talk about the spam problem and solutions to those problems. This is an ongoing discussion that I hope continues so that I can continue to help out members of the internet community.
In non-public settings I can talk about the tricks that spammers use and the structures spammers setup to send out email. I do not feel comfortable speaking about these issues publicly because I do not want to give spammers any ideas.
I understand that it'll take time to build people's trust. The settlement of the civil lawsuits are an important step for me so that I can start down the path of rebuilding trust (however long that might take). I've learned a lot since I was in the email business. My economics training taught me to think about the economy as a whole. It taught me to think about my actions in terms of everyone involved, not just the stakeholders in my company. I used to have a very narrow view of what a corporation was supposed to do. However, the combination of a business ethics class and an economics theory class helped me to understand that corporations (and it's members) must think about their impact on everyone that interacts with the business.
Monday, June 05, 2006
I've given a lot of thought to that question - I haven't really been able to pinpoint a moment in time where I woke up in the middle of the night and had an "A-ha" moment.
If anything, I look back to some of the classes I was taking while the lawsuit was proceeding and I am now remembering my micro-economic theory class where we learned about the "Tragedy of the commons." The textbook was written by David Besanko and Ronald R. Braeutigam and they emphasized the problem of the tragedy of the commons. Mcgraw-Hill defines this problem as "The over-use of a natural resource as a result of unclear property rights. If ownership of a resource is not established, everyone has an incentive to take as much of it as possible, quickly depleting the resource. A typical example is the decline in the fish population resulting from over-fishing of the ocean."
Once I thought about this I realized that the internet had unclear ownership rights and that over-exploiting the unclear ownership rights was wrong. I decided that I wanted to be part of the solution to help bring clarity to who has the ownership rights. I think that the individual person and the internet service provider have the right to control what email comes through their network. I also think that the government is necessary to control the spam problem.
I hope this helps to clear up the reason why I made the transition into the anti-spam community. I feel very strongly about working with the anti-spam community, and I truly want to become a part of the solution.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
After spending two semesters reading what seemed like endless sources, I've completed the thesis. Dr. Bencivenga at the University of Texas was an awesome help, providing me with direction, constructive criticism, and corrections.
I strongly believe that poverty can be steadily lowered, and globalization is one way to accomplish this.
I also think that creative entrepreneurs are one of the keys to job creation, which is necessary for developing countries to become more developed. As poor people can find jobs, their wages can increase, and some will most out of poverty. This is crucial to global development, and I feel strongly that finding some way to stop people from starving is one of our most important goals as human beings. This may not be a large contribution to that goal, but it's a start.
Older papers are available at:
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Social entrepreneurialism is important for me because I feel like business creates jobs. After learning about the negative long-term effects of foreign aid on countries, I decided to look at alternative ways to think about how to help the world. I came across Michael Strong and Phyllis Blees, and they told me about FLOW Idealism. What they're trying to accomplish is great because they are trying to find ways to create socially conscious businesses. My feels are: why have a business that hinders society when you could have a business that helps society. And why stop there? Why not help people in developing countries move out of poverty by helping them find ways to increase their ability to earn a living? One of FLOW's missions, which is very important to me, is to help educate people in developing countries about ways to make more money and become financially stable. I am excited, and proud, to be part of such a great project!
Some helpful links if you are interested:
Working for Good: http://www.causealliancemarketing.com/W4G/a-p-ambassadors.html
Flow Idealsim: http://www.flowproject.org/
This opportunity for me to speak was delightful because I truly enjoy helping my fellow entrepreneurs. I love to hear about other people's business ideas and help them succeed with these business ventures. This group was interesting because several people had started businesses while still in school and were struggling balancing the work with school. I've gone through these same struggles myself, and having this opportunity for me to talk about how to manage all of this is really great.
One of my goals with helping to run the Bootstrap Student Organization is to help students build a community with one another. My pleasure is being able to be a part of that building process. Working with Bijoy Goswami to learn how to build communities has been a great learning experience for me, and I hope to apply this knowledge in practical application for building the Bootstrap Student organization.
The talk in available at this website (click here).
Please wait for the file to load. It's about 50MB, and therefore might take up to 15 minutes to load.
Sunday, April 30, 2006
This antispam blog is an opportunity for me to discuss details about how to stop spam. Helping the cause against spam is important to me because I've learned that spam negatively affects society by creating problems for systems administrators and consumers. Although email is a cost-effective way to communicate with consumers, regulations and anti-spam filters are important to keep spam from cluttering mail boxes.
Hopefully through this antispam blog I can help not only systems administrators but also consumers from receiving so much spam in their inbox.
Saturday, April 29, 2006
I've renamed Sky Corp Services to Pitylak Security because I wanted to be clear about the purpose of this business. My goal is to help take the information I've learned over the past few years, and help the anti-spam community in the fight against spam. Stopping spam is a long process that includes many different avenues to be successful, and I can help advise on what avenues should be taken.
Monday, April 24, 2006
For more information, visit www.bootstrapstudent.com
Bootstrap Student is an organization designed to teach students how to start up a company with minimal start-up capital. Most graduates do not have access to venture capital, so this is a practical method to starting up most businesses. We are focused on building a community for students who are entrepreneurially minded.
This experience is one of the most important things I'm doing right now because it's allowing me to help build a community of student entrepreneurs. We're working with Bootstrap-Austin and Bijoy Goswami to guide us through the process of building this community. Our goal is to create an environment where entrepreneurs talk with one another about running companies or about the desire to run companies. Getting everyone together to talk about this, and to give feedback on my personal experience is great, because I enjoy helping other people become successful entrepreneurs.