Sunday, December 07, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I thought it was an email hoax at first...you know, like the one about the 190 pound cougar that someone supposedly shot in Iowa...but I guess it's real.
Here's the email I received:
Another one, actually a malware, is called Anti-Virus 2009. It is a seriously obnoxious problem. You will go to a website that looks innocuous, and suddently this fake anti-virus program takes over your screen and you can't get rid of it. It tells you you have been attacked (which is true) and wants $39.95 or some such amount to get rid of it. This fake program looks exactly like Microsoft's anit-virus program and is a royal pain in the ass. Internet Explorer is made inoperable when it strikes. It was apparently created by some Russian creeps who now distribute it like some kind of franchise. It tried to mess with my Mac, too, but either couldn't get a grip or the program I have for malware, spyware, and other obnoxious stuff stopped it.
The only way I could get rid of it on my wife's pc was to downloadmbam-setup.exe from Malwarebytes.com onto my Mac, make a CD of it, install on her machine, and turn it loose. I have the program, and if you want it I'll send it along.
It sure reads like one of those hoax emails that goes around. Microsoft doesn't have an antivirus program, for one thing. Also, why is anyone still using Internet Explorer? Haven't we learned our security lessons about Microsoft software yet?
I always wonder how much Microsoft gets paid by the antivirus software companies to stay out of the market. I mean, the fact that windows is insecure is their fault. And, they are certainly happy to take over the business model of any other company that writes software.
Anyhow, a little digging revealed that it's a malware program that you get by going to a bad or compromised website.
Another method of distributing Antivirus 2009 involves tricking you by displaying deceptive pop-up ads that may appear as regular Windows notifications with links which look like buttons reading Yes and No. No matter which "button" that you click on, a download starts, installing Antivirus 2009 on your system. Antivirus 2009 installs on your computer through a trojan and may infect your system without your knowledge or consent.
So yeah. Hope the guys who wrote this get their karmic comeuppance.
The other thing that was a surprise to me in that email, was the fact that Malwarebytes is a real program, and that a lot of people recommend it. I hadn't heard of it yet, which is strange cause I get asked to help people with this sort of problem a lot and so I pretty much keep up with developments in the field. Not lately, I guess.
Just for fun, here are a couple of links that talk about removing this spyware.
Note that I am not recommending Enigmasoftware or Bleepingcomputer or their instructions as I have not had this problem and so don't have any personal experience getting rid of it (yet).
So, use Firefox and keep your shields up when you stray off the beaten path! (how's that for mixed metaphores?)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
(Update: I was using an old, trial version of Nod32. Updated copies of Nod32 apparently did not make this mistake.)
At least that's what Nod32 thought.
I installed the demo via Steam and after it finished (2GB download!), I tried to launch the game.
Steam told me, "This game is currently unavailable. Try again later."
So I g-g-googled it, and the Steam knowledgebase told me to rename ClientRegistry.blob, to delete a bunch of files in the Steam folder, to verify the game cache...yada yada.
What the problem was, was that Nod32 quarantined the Left4Dead executable. I just happened to notice the quarantine take place when I tried reinstalling the game.
So, I set Nod32 to exclude the Left4Dead folder from scanning. Now it works.
Except for the stutter.
Also, Left4Dead is going to be a Really Fun Game.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
The proton precession magnetometer operates on the principal that the protons in all atoms are spinning on an axis aligned with the magnetic field. Ordinarily, protons tend to line up with the earth's magnetic field. When subjected to an artificially-induced magnetic field, the protons will align themselves with the new field. When this new field is interrupted, the protons return to their original alignment with the earth's magnetic field.
"Insolation is a measure of solar radiation energy received on a given surface area in a given time.""The radiant power is distributed across the entire electromagnetic spectrum, although most of the power is in the visible light portion of the spectrum. The Sun's rays are attenuated as they pass though the atmosphere, thus reducing the insolation at the Earth's surface to approximately 1000 watts per square meter for a surface perpendicular to the Sun's rays at sea level on a clear day."
"The actual figure varies with the Sun angle at different times of year, according to the distance the sunlight travels through the air, and depending on the extent of atmospheric haze and cloud cover. Ignoring clouds, the average insolation for the Earth is approximately 250 watts per square meter (6 (kW·h/m²)/day), taking into account the lower radiation intensity in early morning and evening, and its near-absence at night."
The difference in energy: 1000 vs 0.000,001
Moreover, public exposure near cell phone towers (Way more juice than your phone) is not significantly different than background levels of RF radiation in urban areas from other sources, such as radio and television broadcast stations.
What Does the Epidemiologic Evidence Say?
No human studies have focused specifically on cellular phone towers or even on radio waves more generally. Several studies have looked at the effects of radio waves and microwaves combined; these have generally not shown any increase in cancer, except for a US Air Force study that suggested an increase in brain tumors in association with radiofrequency/microwave exposure.
What Does the Animal Evidence Say?
A number of animal studies have been conducted, generally showing no carcinogenic (cancer-causing) effect of radio waves. Several experiments have used exposure levels that cause a rise in tissue temperature(!), and even in these studies, there was no increase in DNA mutations or in cancer. A recent review concluded that: "The scientific evidence indicates that exposure to radiofrequency radiation fields is not mutagenic and is therefore unlikely to act as an initiator of carcinogenesis.” (Emphasis, mine)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
If you Don't Already Get Spam
First and foremost, never put your email address anywhere out the internet where it will be visible on a page. If you do put it out there, you will get spam. Do not register a domain name without whois protection. If your registrar can't hide your email in the domain registration records, use a Gmail acct for your domain contact.(see below).
Next, Have two email addresses.
One gives you everything you really need to see, the other is for all the misc. stuff.
Your PRIVATE email is one that you only give out to real actual live people (and maybe your bank or another business with which you have a private and trusting relationship)
The other email is your PUBLIC email address, and I suggest a Gmail address for this, because Gmail has the greatest spam filters in the world. This address is used for newsletters, Amazon orders, and friends that like to send FW: RE: emails.
I collect email from these two addresses in two separate email programs (Outlook and Thunderbird). That way my private email account only gets mail from people I REALLY want to hear from. It cuts down on the distractions in a BIG way.
If you give your email address to someone who likes to send FW: RE: type emails, get them to change to start sending stuff to you at your public (Gmail) account, or sooner or later your PRIVATE email addr will end up on a computer that is virus infected and you will start to get spam. This has happened to me.
For an email address that gets spam, a couple ideas.
You can set up Gmail to receive your email, and then you can set up Gmail and your email program (Outlook, Thunderbird...) to get the email from Gmail. That way your email gets filtered by Gmail. Gmail's filters are so good that one of my clients had 2000+ spams filtered out, 2 that got through and no false positives.
Outlook has pretty good spam filters. Update Outlook at Office Update, and then set Outlook's junk mail options to High. What happens for me is that almost all the spam goes into the Junk folder, and I also get false positives on a regular (predictable) basis. The false positives are fairly easy to deal with. I only get them once, and I only get them from new correspondents. I keep and eye on the contents of my junk folder and 'mark as not junk' any emails coming from a real person. Now, I don't have a lot of new correspondents, and I don't get thousands of spams, so this works for me.
If you have your own domain and website, you can even change your MX records so that Google apps for domains collects your email, instead of your hosting company's email servers. Again, you get the benefit of Gmail's awesome spam filters. I set this up for a client and it's been awesomely successful. It's transparent for the client, he just collects his email in Outlook the same way he did previously.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Here is an example:
According to Adwords there is a medium high degree of advertiser competition for the phrase "visa logo"
Yet when I go to Google and do a search for "visa logo" I get zero ads.Click for larger image
So, what is going on here?
When I am working with Adsense or Adwords I have started doing searched to verify that there are competing ads in Google. In Adsense, if you are trying to write content for a high competition ad, to get highly paid clicks, then you will want to know that there really are NO advertisers for that keyword.
In Adwords, no advertisers can mean a niche that none of your competitors have discovered, which is like finding money on the street.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Like 99.9% of these forwarded emails, this one is also not true.
Snopes is a really good place to check the truth of FW[re:] fw: RE: type emails. Or, you can safely ignore ALL these types of emails. In 14 years of internet usage I have only ever seen two that were true. (One was the "uses of bounce sheets" email, which had a few true items on it).
Pepsi and AOL are not going to give us $123 for each email we forward, Captain Kangaroo was not a war hero, nobody shot a 190# mountain lion in Iowa, the lawyer of that deposed Nigerian dictator will not share his former master's 30 mil with us if we help him with transferring some money(to give just a few examples I have seen).
Also, if you look at the top of the email, you will see a whole bunch of email addresses, of all the people it was sent to. These are all now ripe for the picking for any scam artists or spammers who will get this email down the road. And since this email has already been circulating since 2001, we can expect it to get a lot of mileage in the future.
I, for one, don't want my email address to travel along with it.
Feel free to send this back to the person who sent the [amber alert] to you, maybe it will help cut down on this kind of stupidity, and waste of time and network resources.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Comment them out like this://define('DB_CHARSET', 'utf8');
Fixed our problem.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Ok, so this is how I solved a problem with Win xp install.
Problem presented itself as a file that could not be copied during file copy stage. Comctl32.dll and controls.man could not be copied from the xp cd.
I got a copy of comctl file from my laptop's xp, and I was able to copy the controls.man file from the xp cd, using the cdrom drive in my laptop instead of the desktop I was trying to install to. I also applied a little darkroom grease to the cd (nose grease is an old darkroom trick for dealing with scratches in negatives)...may have helped. It has before.
Installation continued. I reformatted the HDD in NTFS. After that(!) when there really was no OS on the box anymore, I found out that the comctl32 file I used did not match the one that was expected in the manifest file. Setup would not continue. I could not get into DOS or safe mode. Arghhg!
On my laptop I edited the controls.man file and got rid of the hash="4f02ff771050b8657e289d75f19163fe2ab02600" hashalg="SHA1" part of the man file. Hoping that setup would not check for a hash if it couldn't find one to check for. Put the file on a floppy.
You cannot boot into DOS at this point, so I booted from the XP cd and used recovery console to get into DOS. I did attrib -r controls.man. I copied the controls.man file, and a new version of comctl32.dll into the folder (the version that was in the setup folder on the HDD was smaller than the file that my XP had on the disk.)
Then I rebooted and Holy Mother of Mary It Worked!
I should note that the MS Win XP CD was messed up. It was a fresh CD, never used, comctl32.dll could not be copied from the disk by any of the three cd drives I had access to.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
]mkixfgaalkes[/url], [link=http://snjibiwuplkb.com/ ]snjibiwuplkb[/link], http://fwzxmxcpvhbo.com/
Yesterday I did a ton of research.
One of my 'back burner' projects is to set up a multi blog for a bunch of hardcore outdoorsmen. yesterday I did a long power search on multiple blog systems. I found at least three promising paths:
- Wordpress Multi user or wpmu -
- The forums for WPMU, in a stickied post, indicates that it is not for tha faint of heart. Undeterred, I still think I could hack it, because I am tenacious and have a good deal of experience setting up php scripts.
- Aside from the WPMU forums and project site, there is a great resource site at http://wpmudev.org/ with themes, and plugins galore.
- Lyceum - Ibiblio's work with wpmu, packaging it in an 'enterprise ready' format. It is just as easy as Wordpress to install. It uses directories instead of subdomains. Most plugins should work with Lyceum. Not as much activity as WPMU in the forum threads, but all the threads have replies of some sort.
- Elgg - an open source social networking project. Elgg looks interesting. It's got the whole Web 2.0 thing going on. Blogging, (of course) friends networks, podcasting, community groups. It is only at version 0.9.1 now, but it's getting a refactoring and will go 1.0 with all kindsa craazy new features this summer.
I think Joomla might also be a possibility and since I am working on a Joomla site already I will have to look into it.
So, as I get time, I will delve into these platforms a little more and see if any of them will work for my purposes.