June 10, 2014

Comments... off

I have been inundated with spam.  Way way too much spam.  I turned off comments for now.  Not a big deal as I haven't been posting much.  It is annoying though. Damned spammers. 

If you want to leave me a comment you can drop me an email or head over to the Itty Bitty Security Podcast site where the spammers haven't found me quite yet

*** Update - an entire day with no spam.  Before turning off the comments I was getting 10+ pages of spam comments a day.  Oh well.

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February 05, 2014

And here we go again

The Winter Olympics start this week (in case you missed that bit of news). And just like the London Summer Olympics, NBC is going for the tape delay.

Behind schedule: why is NBC tape-delaying the Olympics again?

So they can do this:

"I think you’re coming down to the stories of the athletes."

That's right, it's not about the sporting event.  It's not about what they actually DO in Sochi - it's all about the "stories of the athletes". 

They will show 5 minutes of  the sport itself and 55 minutes of commercials, instant replays, and "stories about the athlete".  You'll get a chance to hear all the breathless talking heads tell us how wonderful these athletes are.  You'll find out all about their training schedules, what they eat, how much they sleep, technical details about their gear, and how much high school stuff they missed just to get to the Olympics.  You'll even get to relive past victories and even a few defeats.  

You won't get to see this competition, but that's a minor detail. 

Competition is hard to televise.  One never knows what might happen. It's not scripted.  It has surprises. It might even be... boring.  The talking heads wouldn't get enough airtime, they might have to *gasp* work!  We can't have that now can we.  Of course not.

They "could" take the time to create several specials leading up to the Olympics.  Talk about the various athletes, their backgrounds, their training, all of that BEFORE the games start.  But then they would have to show you the games...  

Guess I'll be watching the online streaming.  *sigh*  Hope I can airplay it to my television. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 06:27 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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November 13, 2013

Of Computers and Spam

My poor old iMac.  It's getting elderly.  Every time they update the OS, it gets slower.  Poor sad little thing.  There's not enough memory for it to work well.  I think a new machine is in my near future, especially as the screen popped and went black a couple nights ago.  I shut it down for the night, when I booted it up, it worked fine... but still. 

In the meantime, since we had the problem with the spam filter stopping people from commenting, I've been getting spam comments at the rate of 2 or 3 a day. 

Today they have figured out it's open season.  I just delete 3 pages of spam comments.  That's over the last few hours.  Good lord.

I've been busy with some other stuff outside of social media fun and games.  Sadly, I've had no ambition to blog once I get done with all the real life stuff.   Or I'm tired of waiting for this machine to catch up with me... not sure which. 

Anyhow, hopefully, more soon. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 03:16 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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July 16, 2013

Website Malware - the Mac version

If you use a Mac, you're probably used to thinking bad things will not happen to you as you wander about the internet. Well, this is not the worst thing that can happen, but it can scare the bejesus out of you if you don't know about it.

OS X Users Hit by Ransomware Websites Posing as FBI Notices

No, you have not been hit with a virus and the fix is simple.  So check it out.

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April 23, 2013

Forget the music

It's "the day the water heater died".  No one gives two hoots about music if you can't have hot water.  Seriously. 

This morning I made my usual trip to the basement office. I had planned to check the mail, do a couple of quick little things, and go get coffee.  

Best laid plans and all that...

Got to the bottom of the stairs, stepped on the carpet and it went : SQUISH.

Hmmmm... not supposed to do that. Panic moment ensues.  Last time this happened, the sewer line had collapsed and water was backing up through the drains.  So not good. 

A quick check of the bathroom showed there was no water backing up and no sign that water had been there.  The only other place water can come from is the hot water heater.  

Oh yeah.  Open the door to the utility room and there is a small lake. 

In all honesty I wanted to close the door, go get coffee and THEN think about it. But, it wasn't going to get fixed by itself and no one else (aka my husband) knew about this.  Therefore no one else (aka my husband) could call someone to come fix it. 

So, I called the oil company (it's an oil burning water heater). Then called my husband.  Bless the oil company - they sent someone right out.  He took one look and said, "New tank needed."  In the meantime my husband took off from work and came home to help me sop up water. 

About 2 hours later they were back with the new heater and ready to install.  Since the room with the water heater is in about the worst possible place, they had to drag the new one through 2 rooms  and over carpets and drag the old one out the same way.  

It took about an hour and a half, but they got the new one in and we were set.  The carpet was a mess. There are now a couple of places were the wood work got knicked.  But we have hot water.  

I'll take it. 

Tonight we have scrubbed carpets and fans running to dry things out.  I wish it was warm enough to have windows open, because I still smell oil.  I'll open them tomorrow even if it's snowing so I can get fresh air in this place. 

In the meantime I'll read a book, sleep a while, and then get up to take a shower. 

That works.  Life is good. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 09:50 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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April 22, 2013

Debugging the iPhone

Ah me.  Over the last weekend my phone decided to have some issues.  It is irritating enough that I have gone into full debug mode to pinpoint problem, if I can.  

At home I use wifi for my internet  connection, no point using the data plan when I don't need to. I have a mini-tower for the cell connection because we are in a sucky cell reception area.  Since I don't receive many calls and only a limited number of text messages, I'm not exactly sure when the cell data cuts out on me... before or after I leave the house.  

At some point in time,  I completely lose cell data connection.  No calls, no data until I reboot.  When I have a wifi connection I don't know there is a problem because the apps all work that connect to the internet (app.net, twitter, fb, safari) . It isn't until I leave the house and get the dreaded "no network connection" errors when the problem becomes apparent. 

What could cause this?  Here is a minor and incomplete list: 
- bad cell phone radio
- current cell phone 4G radio doesn't like to play nice with mini-tower radio which is 3G
- icloud (something I would not have thought of prior to listening to this podcast from Mac Geek Gab (MGG 445))
- iOS updates (unlikely since I haven't done one lately)  
- an app that is causing a conflict with the cell/data stream (unlikely but possible) 
- an app update conflicting with iOS - (not likely but certainly possible)
- the bluetooth radio not playing nice with the cell radio.  (I use bluetooth but turn it on and off as needed to save battery)

Today I did a complete restore of the phone.  With the restore done, I will be running on the cell data network with wifi off to see if I lose connection at home.   Next up I'll turn off icloud and see if that changes anything. Then anything else I can scrounge up by reading online. My last resort I'll be taking it to the Verizon store to see what they might be able to do for me.  

It will be interesting to see what happens. At the moment I suspect the problem occurs when I leave the house and the mini-tower connection. It appears as if the LTE connection does not pick up like it should. I get bars, I even get the LTE letters, but there is no data.  Turning "airplane mode" on and off does nothing.  A reboot of the device is necessary to restore the connection.  Yeah, annoying.    

Stay tuned if you are interested.  If I figure it out I will post results. 

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 12:18 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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March 12, 2013


Ah such a dull day.  It's been cloudy and drippy.  Then late afternoon it rained  hard.  Now the weather tweets from around here are about flooding.  What a change from last week when it was all snow.  

However I did get a little something today.  A Logitech Ultrathin  Keyboard for my ipad.  I'm typing on it now and it's pretty decent (although I'm not used to typing with the keyboard on my lap).  It's a nice size and the keys are in the right places so I'm not constantly hitting the wrong keys.  Well done Logitech.  

Now if we get some sunshine tomorrow I think everything will look much brighter.   

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 10:26 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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February 16, 2013

A Sad Demise

It's been a long week. Lots of stuff going on and I haven't had time to post anything here. I still have some work to do this weekend, but at least things are mostly slowing down which is good.

The one thing I didn't need to hear at the end of the week...

Posterous Will Shut Down On April 30th, Co-Founder Garry Tan Launches Posthaven To Save Your Sites

Oh how jolly. I was afraid this would happen when Twitter bought Posterous last year. I guess it has survived longer than I expected.

The one thing I'm happy about is that I posted few if any photos directly from a Posterous link. I think I mostly said - just go see my Posterous site. So my archived posts here are probably okay... but if not, oh well.  I don't have time to go digging through back posts to see what I did.

I'll leave the link to my Posterous site until April 30. I'm still trying to decide what I want to do next. I may just stick with Instagram and leave it at that. I don't know. The reason I liked Posterous is that it was much nicer for looking at photos. Instagram shows a whole bunch at once and you have to click for a larger version. I do have most all the photos from Posterous on Instagram and Flickr though, so technically I haven't lost anything just a viewing platform I liked.

There is Tumblr, but I don't know if I want to go that route again. I figure if I start a Tumblr site, I'll end up having to pull it down after a year because it got bought and now they are closing it.

The guys who built Posterous are starting another site called Posthaven. It will be a pay for site. And they claim:

Our pledge to you...
  • We'll never be acquired.
  • We'll always keep your URLs online.
  • We'll always keep it the best place to post.

Now granted they never made any such promises with Posterous, but it rather annoys me that they built Posterous, sold it off and got lots of money and now they want me to move to their new site and pay them... I'm not so keen on such a move. 

I know, I know, I suppose they would never have survived if they tried to start up the original site and made it a pay-for site.  But still, I find it irritating for some reason.  Thus I'm not inclined to move to their new venture. 

So that's what I'll be thinking about this weekend.  I still haven't decided what I'll do. I am making a backup of the site there and I won't be posting anything more at Posterous. 

Online stuff - it's always there until it isn't.  Ha.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 11:31 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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February 03, 2013

New, shiny, broken

Last Monday was the big day... the day I was eligible to get a new, shiny iphone 5.  The problem was, I didn't have time to get to the store on Monday.  That means Tuesday was new iphone day!  Yay!!!!  The crowd roars!!!

Well, kinda.

I did get a new iphone.  It was all very exciting.  Then I got it home... 

Immediately the little niggling problems started.  They weren't bad enough to make it a complete #fail, but they were bad enough to absorb a major portion of my attention for the entire week.

It was a problem of connection.  I'm pretty sure it was a bad cell radio in the phone.  It worked, after a fashion... somewhat... maybe.

I use a minitower at my house for cell coverage.  Every time I left the house or came home, I had to restart the phone in order for it to connect properly.  I mean a full shut down and restart.  I tried doing "airplane" mode to see if that would work, it didn't. 

Phone calls, voicemail, text messages, app notifications were all about a 50-50 shot as to whether I would get them or not. 

I kept testing and rebooting and testing and rebooting... maybe this time it will work... and once in a while it did. 

Therein lies the problem. 

An outright failure is easy.  It's dead, it doesn't work.  Simple.  A flaky "in and out" connection... not so easy.  I'm sure I rebooted that phone more often in one week than I did in an entire year with my iphone 4.  Sheesh.

I finally took it back to the Verizon store on Saturday.  They gave me a new sim card in hopes that this would solve it.  Apparently there are flaky sim cards that will cause these issues. I was really hoping that would work because it would be so easy. 

Right - like easy ever happens.  Ha.

Went out to dinner on Saturday night... had 4 bars of connection... but had to reboot the damned thing to get it to connect to the internet.  I call that a huge #fail.  Also no app notifications.  *sigh*

Today I took the phone back again and they exchanged it.  The new phone works.  It does everything it's supposed to do without needing extra care and feeding and it doesn't lose internet connectivity.  It texts, sends voicemails, all of it, no complaints (or silence as the case may be)

After a week with a flaky phone, I have one that works. 

It will take me a couple of days to get everything set up again.  I do have most of it logged back in, but I know I've forgotten a few things. 

In the meantime, I'm very happy to have a phone that does what it's supposed to do.  Maybe this week I can concentrate on other stuff.  Whew.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 11:50 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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January 26, 2013

And it was the charger all along...

Two weeks ago, when my laptop stopped charging, I had to try and figure out what was happening with it. There are 4 possibilities. It's a process of elimination to determine which it is and whether it should be fixed or not. My laptop is 3 years old so it's not worth much in money terms, OTOH I don't want to buy a new machine if I don't have to.

Let's start with the worst case scenario:

1 - Motherboard problem. If this is the case, it's not worth bothering to fix it. Just buy a new machine and be done.  This is the last thing  checked because it is the worst of the outcomes.

2 - Dock connector problem. This is the internal bit the power cord plugs into.  To get to it on most laptops, you have to take the entire machine apart. This includes taking the screen off and opening the whole thing up. It's quite the production. This laptop almost never moves. It doesn't get plugged and unplugged too much. Why would it break?  Save this one for second to last on the checklist.

3. Battery - being 3 years old and under constant charge, it is very possible the battery had given up and was dying, they have a finite life span. This being the case, the first thing I did was order a new battery. Unfortunately that did not solve my problem.

I will say though that Batteries Plus has an excellent system for finding the battery you need for your laptop. Not the cheapest, but reliable and easy to work with.

4. The charging cord. When this first happened my husband pulled out his voltmeter thing and checked the cord. The readings appeared to be normal. However, after the battery failed to solve the problem, I ordered a new charging cord, it arrived yesterday. Plugged it in, charging light lit right up.  Wow.  Unexpected, but I'll take it.

I used Amazon for this one, had to search using HP and the part number. It's far more difficult to find the right parts on Amazon since it's not always clear exactly what you might be ordering. However, it appears I ordered the correct part. Whew!

Thus I get to keep my laptop a while longer - thank goodness! I didn't want to go spending money on a new one. Next up, I suppose  the hard drive will die. I wonder if I can replace it with an SSD???? Must look into that.

Now I can relax for the weekend as I don't have to pull apart my computer. Nice.

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 01:29 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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