links for 2011-02-15

Post edited to put this link at the top.  Please read it! This scam is actively being run in Ireland at the moment.

  • A member of the family got a call today from someone running this scam. The call really spooked them as you can imagine, even though they were wary enough not to give the caller any useful information. So thank the Lord for knowledge that I can pass on with absolute certainty:
    1. Internet routers simply do not not NOT pinpoint people’s houses, only the ISP. The same goes for the variety on this scam that claims to be calling from Micro$oft.
    2. Every Windows system since 1990 has had hundreds and thousands of errors in the event viewer. The fact that you have thousands is perfectly normal.
    3. Use Google to check if you are being scammed.  It brought up this useful page giving the specifics of the scam and putting our minds entirely at rest: http://www.webologist.co.uk/internet-news/pc-support-security-scams-zfsendtotarget-clsid-trick
    There are some sensible “Windows Security Tips” (and just general good sense) at the end of the article, especially the final bullet point. “Scareware”, as it is known, is a huge growth area, but if you have a reputable security program installed, such as Norton (paid) or AVG (if you want to go free), there’s no way anyone outside your house, or any website, can scan your computer more effectively than your security software.
    And if in doubt – call me!!
  • Lots of interesting news, video and photos of events in Bahrain, Yemen and (to a lesser extent) Egypt.
  • “Enda Kenny deserves credit for bringing seriousness to Fine Gael’s policy formation and that seriousness is evident from the party manifesto published yesterday. But seriousness does not mean fairness or thoroughness and, in my opinion, the manifesto is deficient on both counts, in ways that will have bad consequences for this country.”
    Vincent Browne, not hopeful of anything better from FG.
  • “The McLaren is absurdly fast; you worry that you’ve crossed the line from fast to too fast, that your mind might not be able to keep up. And when you run out of nerve, the optional carbon-ceramic brakes stop you so hard you’ll be hanging from your seat belt. “
    OK – not very green, but it’s got the classic McLaren orange instead. 🙂
  • A nice piece of reminiscing about the golden days for cinema projectionists.
  • Staffordshire bull terriers are having a bad time in the UK. They’re not very common here though AFAIK.
  • “[The Blackout] mesmerized the worldwide technical community and raised concerns that with unrest coursing through the Middle East, other autocratic governments — many of them already known to interfere with and filter specific Web sites and e-mails — may also possess what is essentially a kill switch for the Internet. “
    This is a really impressive move by the Egyptian government – not a good one of course – which demonstrates the vulnerability of communication in a country where all of the information infrastructure is government controlled.  Having said that, while they managed to shut down access for the common citizen, the tech-savvy leaders of the protests were able to get around the shutdown.  Good for them.
  • WikiLeaks row intensifies as US makes ‘privacy’ move against Twitter | Media | The Guardian
    “The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, praised the role of social networks such as Twitter in promoting freedom – at the same time as the US government was in court seeking to invade the privacy of Twitter users.”

    Ironic indeed!  I can’t understand how the US has come to find itself in a situation where ordinary citizens can have their privacy invaded without ever being charged with a crime.  Isn’t there a cast-iron right to privacy in the US constitution?
  • “The corporate spy business thus amounts to a shadow para-law enforcement system that basically can get around any of the safeguards set out in the American legal system; it ought to be subject first to transparency, and then to banning. “
    This is a really entertaining read, especially when taken in conjunction with the piece about the US Government looking to have access to people’s Twitter accounts (although only those of US citizens I think).  If it’s not the government, the corporate sector will oblige instead!
  • It has occurred to me before that I’d nearly go to a race just to get one of these! They used to be called Kangaroo TV, and basically they broadcast FOM’s live streams (up to 9) of what is happening on the track. I’ve read many times that it can be a lot harder to follow a race when you are sitting in the stands than from home, so people loved these things when the were introduced a few years ago.
    Now all we need is a HD version!
  • Despite a clear need to get people to make provision for care and support in their old age, the idea of compulsion “doesn’t feel to me as though it fits the public mood music at the moment, or the mood music for the foreseeable future”, Warner said today [snip] An estimated one in five of today’s 65-year-olds will need care costing at least £50,000.
    So, so glad that my parents are not in this situation.  Having good health insurance gives them enormous peace of mind, and of course since I’m here, they won’t be shipped off to a nursing home any time soon.
  • Eminem’s personal history is full of self-loathing, self-destructive behaviour, a penchant for lyrical violence and inexcusable insensitivity about the damaging effects of sexist and homophobic performances. Despite the stains on his resume, Eminem managed to get clean and climb back to the top of the pop-cultural mountain with his haul at the 2011 Grammys. He forged an unlikely path back from a wasteland of substance abuse – one paved with anger, honesty, and vulnerability.
    Clearly I have not been paying enough attention to Eminem.  When did all this angst occur? I thought he was just a mysogynistic junkie. 🙂
  • Ugh, he really gives me the creeps. Loathsome, creepy, dirty and (morally and fiscally) corrupt old man.
  • Rapid food price inflation in 2008 sparked riots in a number of countries. At that time, the World Bank estimated 125 million “people were in extreme poverty.
    The World Bank says prices are not quite back at those levels – just 3% below – although they are 27% higher than a year ago.”
    I’ve said it before… it’s time to start digging up the back garden and planting spuds!   Seriously though, this is only the start of this food crisis I am afraid.
  • Pretty. And useless. WTF?
  • See? Absolutely no need to waste your time watching the bloody thing. The author was not much impressed with Gerry Adams. but the biggest loser was apparently the format, which prevented any of them from speaking for long enough to set out their stand. I’m glad I didn’t watch it though. From the comments on John Gormley’s contribution, I would not be changing my vote.
  • “Sometimes they’re daft lies. Take the lie about the company behind Grand Theft Auto planning a game called Grand Theft Rothbury, inspired by the Raoul Moat saga. “We made no attempt to check the accuracy of the story before publication . . . We apologise for publishing a mock-up of the game cover, our own comments on the matter and soliciting critical comments from a grieving family member,” read part of the paper’s subsequent grovelling apology.
    Sometimes they’re visual lies. Take the time it Photoshopped a bald scalp and headscarf on to an image of Jade Goody in a wedding dress.”
    And so on. Good article. I have never read a tabloid -; are the Irish ones are as bad as the UK? Most of them seem to be owned by them anyway.
    “Just pop into WH Smith’s. There they are, those headlines, the steady drip-drip-drip: MUSLIM-ONLY LOOS and BBC PUTS MUSLIMS BEFORE YOU and MUSLIM SICKOS’ MADDIE KIDNAP SHOCK “
    Excellent point. These lies set the tone and the agenda, even if you never read them.
  • “Since October, the campaign against tax dodgers, the Big Society Revenue and Customs consistently found spectacular and imaginative ways to make tax avoiding corporations pay. In Brighton, Santa Clause glued himself to a BHS. In Oxford, the tax dodger’s grand prix whizzed round the avoiders dotting their high street. In London, volunteers set up a library inside Vodafone, a Sports Day inside Topshop and a NHS field hospital in Boots.”
    Very creative stuff – nothing like making a protest funny and/or fun to get people participating. Some of these protests are starting to get media coverage.
  • “But if she committed a crime, it’s one that I, like tho”usands of other freegans across the UK, commit daily. I have lived healthily for several years on discarded food. I take my pick from sacks full of heavily packaged sushi, bread, ready meals and fruit, all perfectly edible but dumped as they go out of date.”
    Freegans have a lot of good ideas… it really is appalling how much food is wasted in wealthy countries. Even in our own house, I’m sure we must end up putting about a third of what we cook into the fridge and dumping it eventually.
  • “In anarchic comedy The Producers, Mars played a Nazi enthusiast whose play, Springtime for Hitler, is turned into a tasteless Broadway musical.”
    Winter for Poland and France… Bombs falling from the SKIES again… Deutchland is on the RISE again – RIP
  • Members of Iran’s parliament have called for opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi to be tried and executed. State TV showed some 50 conservative MPs marching through parliament’s main hall on Tuesday, chanting “Death to Mousavi, death to Karroubi”.
    Lovely. Parliamentary privilege?
  • Outside almost every government building at one time or another in the last few days has been a crowd of disgruntled employees. [snip] The biggest and noisiest demonstrations have been by the police outside the interior ministry.
  • Cool. When do we get this for Firefox?
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~ by Lynn Duffy on February 16, 2011.

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