July 21, 2011

Thanks a lot Google

Saw this story circulating tonight.

Google search: now with malware warnings


Google has activated a scheme which will see users warned if their Windows systems appear to have a particular type of malware. The warning "Your computer appears to be infected" will be displayed at the top of search results when Google detects that the search query has arrived at their systems via a proxy which modifies the search requests.

Just dandy. I have spent, I don't know how long, trying to make people stop clicking on links that purport to tell them they have some kind of "infection". All the variants of Windows Defender and more recently Mac Defender will pop onto your screen and tell you to "click here" to find out how to fix it.

Now GOOGLE of all entities just adds to the general confusion by giving people a link to click to "learn how to fix this".

I'll cut straight to the point - Google - you are MORONS! Thanks so much for muddying the waters because you saw some malware pointers. The problem is, the average users can NOT tell the difference between your half hearted baked effort to inform them of a problem and real malware.

This is idiocy taken to a whole new level. Especially when you find the link doesn't even give these poor people any decent information on how to get rid of the malware.

Geeze Google - just cut to the chase and hand out the malware yourself as they do the searches. It's easier that way.

BAH!

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 10:39 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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October 02, 2010

Can Someone Please Hurry and Make Adobe Flash an Outdated Piece of Software!

Hate!  Yes, I hate Adobe Flash at the moment.  Not because it isn't working, but because I was dumb enough to do an update on it while I was tired and not paying close attention.

You see, when Adobe Flash does their update, they have a cute little check box that is very easy to miss. 

Do you want to install McAfee scanning software while you are installing flash?

The box is PRE-CHECKED.  In other words if you don't UNCHECK the box, it will install.  Since you are doing an update on the Flash drive, you are already saying yes to updating software.  So, all of it goes ahead and installs.

-- I was tired this morning. 
-- I was trying to get some work done that I needed a browser to do. 
-- I downloaded the update very irritably for Firefox because it was after me yesterday and I said "not now" but every time I open the friggin' browser it asks.
-- after I let it update the damned browser it tells me "Update your Adobe Flash Right NOW".
-- I did
-- I forgot to look carefully for the damned check box
-- I ended up with McAfee's removal tool on my computer

DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!

I had to uninstall it, go to McAfee, get the removal tool, run it, reboot.

All because I didn't look for a tiny little checkbox.

Adobe and McAfee should be shot for this.  At the very least they should be pilloried for using malware tactics to get software onto someone's computer. 

I hate this kind of crap - especially when I'm tired and busy.  Like today.  Adobe is the major culprit here.  Adobe flash needs to die. We need to get rid of it as any kind of necessary part of computer use.  ASAP.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 12:34 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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September 27, 2010

I Think I'll Just Sit Here Looking at Myself in the Mirror

I am not a Netflix subscriber. I have considered it, but never quite managed to get my act together and set up an account. My problem has always been that I find so few movies lately that are worth my time to watch, not the service itself.

With all the online access that has lately popped up (things like Roku boxes) that allow instant online streaming of movies, I had once again started to think about it. After all, they are making it so easy, maybe it's worth it.

Then I read this

What Netflix CEO hopes U.S. won't notice

A misleading title for the article which annoys me greatly. Nowhere in the article does it say the Netflix CEO is hoping we won't notice the pricing difference. Nowhere. Go read it and see.

The gist of the article is that Netflix is going to charge Canadian users less for streaming video than American users. What is not said is that there is no "streaming only" option available in the US. So already we have a misleading article and a headline with a demonstrably false premise. The reporter is not grabbing me and gaining my sympathy or indignation here.

I don't give two hoots in hell what the company charges its customers. That is their call based on what they think the market will bear. In this case, the Canadians get a lower price because they are offered a little bit less than what an American subscription will give you. (as I noted above, this is not mentioned in the article)

For my part, I can look at a fee, the services received, and then decide whether or not I want the service. I can look at other similar services and see if they give me a better value for that same money. After gathering the information, I can make a decision on where to spend my money.

It's called "comparison shopping" - you may have heard of it.

The problem is, the CEO of Netflix, when questioned by the reporter about the price difference, opened his big mouth and had this to say:

THR: Are you concerned that American Netflix subscribers will look north and ask for the same discount Canadians get at $7.99?

Hastings: How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It's something we'll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.


Why not just say - there's a sucker born every minute and we aim to make as much money from them as possible. It would be less of a slap in the face to those who do spend their money with this company.

To be fair Hastings has apologized. Of course he tries to pass it off as an "awkward joke". Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. All we have is the end printed product. Since no one reading this was present at the interview, it's hard to say what was said and the tone of voice. Hastings is not claiming he was misquoted and that is something to keep in mind.

Go read the apology. I don't know whether to believe him or not.  Astute business people do not deride their customers, even jokingly.  To express such "joking" sentiments to a reporter, when you have no control over the end product, is astoundingly stupid on his part.   

For now, I'll just sit here and gaze in my mirror. If I can manage to tear my gaze away from my awesome self, I'll have a look at my options and decide whether I need to spend any money on this new technology and where I should spend it. Right this minute, Mr. Hastings will have to excuse me, while I gaze.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 12:12 PM | Comments (13) | Add Comment
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September 20, 2010

Irritation

So last month a charge showed up on my credit card statement.  Which is not an unusual event you might say... except it was a charge for a recurring web site subscription that I had canceled years ago. 

I did use the site back then and I liked it, but when I realized I didn't have time to use it anymore, I canceled and didn't think about it again. 

This was well before we moved here to Massachusetts 5 years ago.  The email address I used is also defunct, so they had no way to get in touch with me even if they wanted to offer me services again.

Then this month a charge showed up for the site on my credit card!!! What?  How can that be?  Surely I haven't been paying them every year and forgetting it have I?  (no I haven't I checked my last 3 years of statements just tonight to make sure - no charges from them in that time).

I called the credit card company.  They said, you need to call them and cancel it.  Recurring charges continue until you tell them to stop.  Even if the credit card they originally used expires!!!! Even if the address on the billing statement is so old even the post office won't forward the mail!!!  I didn't know that.  That does not sound right to me and I will be sending my credit card company a snail mail letter of complaint. 

So first I try email - there is no contact phone number on their site. We exchange several emails before they decide I need to call instead.  Since they can't find me in the system with my current address (email or street - there's a surprise),  they sent me a phone number so I could call and talk to an account person.  She assures me it will be taken care of and the charge removed. 

Right.

I go to pay the bill at the end of the month - the charge is still there.  Of course,  I dispute the charge and file a claim.  I tell the chick at the credit card company, "I called and told them I did NOT want to continue with the service and to remove the charge. They said they would do that, but the charge is still on my card and I am not going to pay it!"  The credit card company chick says, "No problem we'll get it fixed."

Today I get a letter from the credit card company.... The idiots.  They said they contacted the company and they were told the charge was valid and lookee here, they sent us a statement too.  See, you need to pay them.

Can you see my head about to explode.

So I called the credit card company again.  Got hold of another chick.  She sent it into the dispute queue again with a different code.  We'll see. 

Tomorrow I get to waste even more time calling the company and blasting them for not taking me off their list.  I will get names and I will get cancellation codes. 

If that doesn't work - I will cancel that credit card.  Yes, I will cancel a card I've had since the 1980's for wasting my time.  Up to now I have never had a problem with them, but if I have to keep calling people over and over just to get an invalid charge removed, it's not worth it to me. 

I had an issue with this company years ago when I first started using them.  I ordered a book.  One book.  That got me on the "let's send her a book every time we publish" list.  I had to send them a letter and tell them to stop and not send me any more books or I would keep them at their expense. 

So what is this lovely company?  Cooks Illustrated.   Deal with them at your own risk.

Seriously.

***
PS - I knew there was a great reason to never do automatic renews on stuff. 

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 09:35 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment
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March 25, 2010

But Officer... I AM over 21!

In an effort to make the roads "safer" (how this will be accomplished is not quite clear).  New Jersey wants all young drivers to display a red sticker on their license plate.

Should other drivers be aware that the vehicle they're tailing is piloted by someone under the age of 21? New Jersey thinks so and has become the first state to enact a law requiring drivers under 21 to affix a red sticker to both their front and rear license plates.


So you know the person in the car is a young driver... I see many drivers in this world, they've been driving a long time, and they are dangerous.  What kind of sticker do they get? Oh, that's right, they have experience so it's okay if they drive erratically.

Ha.

Now for the crucial questions. 

Does this apply only to kids who drive their own cars?  Or does this apply to the "family car"?   I know that many kids do have their own cars, but is it fair to flag a car as being driven by a new driver when the car may actually be driven by mom, dad, or older sibling 90% of the time?

Will this cause accidents as people not only peer at license plates instead of where they are going, but then try to peer at the driver to determine the age of the person?  

Here's one of the things they want to use it for:

According to the state, the stickers will help local police to enforce the state's 11 o'clock curfew for young drivers and to enforce other laws specific to restricted license drivers.


I guess this means that the adults in the family will not be able to drive after curfew without being stopped.  How fun for everyone!  The joy of working late or going to a party and being stopped continually by cops.

Or how about this, mom and dad go out with some of their friends - they drive.  Most states now don't allow new drivers to have friends in the car with them.  Does this mean that the car gets pulled over in every jurisdiction because the cops think Junior is out illegally with his buddies?

Leaving that aside, what is with these people and RED stickers?  There are any number of people in this country who are RED/GREEN color blind.  It's the highest percentage of color blindness there is.  And yet they decided that RED would be the color of choice.  As usual the pols are really with it.

But we all know what this really is don't we... We all know you'll have to PAY for the sticker.  It's basically a tax on young drivers.  These stickers will not be handed out for free.  So, moms and dads in NJ, get out your wallet yet again.  For your own protection, the government is going to take yet more of your money.  That little red sticker will make us all safer!

Yeah right. 


Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 10:00 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time...

Bah - Humbug.  Pick a time and just stick with it.

That is all.

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January 27, 2010

Giving Vegans and Vegetarians Everywhere A Bad Name

PETA seems hell bent on making themselves into the butt of all jokes. They have people working overtime in this endeavor. Either that or they have decided "any publicity is good publicity" and "I don't care what you say, just spell my name right".

Today LeeAnn linked to the first PETA related public relations idiocy. Go read it - especially if you need a laugh.

Then blogless friend Mirmie sends this gem.  Yes folks, they have gone completely and utterly insane.

An animal rights group wants organizers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day festival to replace Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.


I know a few vegetarians and vegans.  They seem to be sensible people.  I know people who subsist on a diet of ding dongs and soda.  And others who try not to touch carbs even with a 10 foot pole.  I have no issue with anyone's diet as long as they let me eat what I want to eat.

PETA thinks they know what's best for everyone and they want to be in charge of what you eat.  I wonder what they'd say if I decided I wanted to be in charge and I insisted everyone had to eat steak at least once a day! 

Wouldn't they have a cow over that... so to speak.

If you'll excuse me, in honor of these two delightful media excursions PETA has made today, I'm headed to my kitchen to get a chuck roast cooking in my slow cooker.  It should be an excellent meal.  I'll drink a toast to PETA while I'm eating it and thank them for the reminder that it was time to get dinner started.

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 02:15 PM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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December 29, 2009

Can I Get There In A Car?

In yet another attempt by terrorists to use an airplane to kill many people in a spectacular fashion, I've been sitting here pondering various things.

1.

The 3 most spectacular efforts (the shoe bomber dude, the liquid gang, and underwear man) took place on flights originating in Europe and a gang arrested in England if I recall correctly.

The attempted shoe bombing resulted in passengers having to remove their shoes and have them scanned in all American airports. No one knows why as the shoe explosive is not detected by X-ray. The only discernible result is longer lines, shorter tempers, and a probable epidemic spread of athlete's foot fungus among air travelers.

The liquid gang arrests resulted in travelers having to carry teeny bottles of liquid through security in one quart containers. How this will stop a gang from moving through security with their small bottles and then combining them after arriving on the other side of the checkpoint is not discussed. One assumes this is for security reasons.

Will the underwear weapon result in us having to remove our underwear for scanning? If so will it be underpants only or will we women need to hand over our bras?  Spanx removal may slow the lines quite a bit.  Will men have to remove undershirts? Will babies and toddlers have to remove their diapers?

Do European airports make people remove shoes for scanning before boarding flights? Underwear? What about liquids? Inquiring minds would like to know.

2.

It seems everyone is confused about what to expect when flying. When my kids flew out here before Christmas, my son was waived through security. He later found he had forgotten to empty his pockets of: about $1 worth of change, a wood screw, and his apartment key on a large metal keyholder. No one said a word, he wasn't stopped.

On the way back, neither of my kids had bags to check, the security line was short and they had no problems at all. YMMV but I expect the major delays will be in checked baggage lines because no bomber has tried to use checked baggage. It must therefore be screened even more thoroughly than ever before.

3.

I have been reading about the new and improved in-flight restrictions...

-Having to stay seated the last hour of a flight.

I must have missed the reason given that a terrorist can only strike during the last hour of a flight.  I looked an looked and couldn't find it. 

This recent incident took place while underwear man was in his seat.  I believe shoe bomber dude was in his seat too.  In light of these facts, the conclusion could be, the government wants to encourage this behavior. 

-One article said this included flight attendants too.

Because the latest terrorism attempt was by a flight attendant walking down the aisle of the plane? To keep the flight attendants from being traumatized by seeing someone trying to light their undies on fire?

The answer to these burning questions are being withheld for security reasons.

- No laptops, books, magazines, iPods, in-flight entertainment, etc. during the last hour of flight.

Thus ensuring every passenger will suddenly realize they desperately need to use the bathroom but they aren't allowed to leave their seats. Will airlines start issuing a stack of Depends for passengers before allowing them to board?

- No blankets or pillows during the last hour of the flight.

Does this include coats that didn't fit in the overhead bin? Will they also be taking away shoes and underwear just in case?

****

When I have spoken to people about the airport screening measures, I have found that many don't mind because they feel better when they think the government is doing something to protect us.

Will having their iPods and computers taken away in-flight be a more daunting prospect than taking off their shoes? Will there be a passenger revolt?

One hopes so.

It will be interesting to see how far this goes. In the meantime, I may have to do quite a lot of driving.


Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 06:00 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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August 03, 2009

Adults Say the Darndest Things

If you missed Bou's post about the family meal at the restaurant, go read it now.  Good Grief!  I can't believe the things people think it's okay to ask!

Her story took me back to the days when my kids were young.  (no, nobody asked if they were both mine)  My daughter drew attention merely because she was cute and she smiled at everyone.  That was never an issue.  But my poor son! 

You see he was born with very red hair.  I see a number of people in the world with red hair, but apparently no one else sees them.  Whenever I took him out to the store we were invariably stopped at least 3 to 6 times (depending on the length of time we were there) by older ladies. 

These ladies would spot my son, do a double take and proceed to make majestic leaps to block our progress.  Once they had positioned themselves directly in front of the stoller (so I had to either stop or risk hurting my son when I ran them down like bowling pins), they'd proclaim at the top of their voices...

"OH MY GAWD! WHERE'D HE GET THE RED HAIR!!!!" (think Fran Drescher on steroids)

Then they'd laugh hysterically because... you know... He had RED HAIR.

My son hated it after he was old enough to understand what they were saying.  He would never even look at them if he could help it.  I'd be counting to 10, all the while reminding myself that they didn't know we'd already been stopped 15 other times by old women saying exactly the same thing.   *sigh*  Then I'd take a deep breath, smile and say, "I have no idea." 

At about this time they all wanted to settle in for a discussion of genetics and traits.  So I'd have to say, "Gee I'm sorry, but we really have to go now".   They would then say good bye and go blithely along their way secure in the knowledge they had made my day because they noticed my son. 

I guess it's a good thing I had my kids when I was way younger.  I don't think I'd have the patience for that any more.  Of course now days I'd have a stroller built like a tank and I could roll right over them... 

Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 11:38 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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May 18, 2009

Far More Idiotic than Plagiaristic

Today it's all over the blogs.  NY Times blathermonger Maureen Dowd grabbed a blogger's words and used them for her own. Oops!

Here is the AP's story

But the real story is not the possible plagiarism, it's the cockeyed defense she gives...

She claims she never read Marshall's post last week and had heard the line from a friend who did not mention reading it in Marshall's blog.


Heard the line from a friend?  And she reprints it and attributes the line to herself?  No attribution to the friend? If you believe her defense, I have to add, this is better how?

Well, it clearly points out the obvious, Mo is a gossip columnist.  Move over Rona Barrett.


Posted by: Teresa in Idiocies at 12:49 PM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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