gozer: tes_fic made this (Liberator)
Over on my LJ, on an entry dated a few weeks back, called Feed the Rich, Starve the Worker: That's Bullshit... from Madison, [livejournal.com profile] neuralclone commented:

What bamboozles me is the way ordinary people are supporting the corporatists. Economics 101 - can't they understand that by reducing people to a subsistence level they're going to destroy the consumer economy that sustains them? It will eventually rebound upon themselves.

And my rant got kinda long, so I made it an entry:

Corporatists have been working on this for thirty to fifty years (or more, kinda hard to tell when it really started), just chipping away, and they do it by taking advantage of this annoying thing called Human Nature, the desire for short-term gains pitted against long-term gains that require patience and, more importantly, thought. It's what con men rely on. Like all scams, they need the cooperation of the person they're scamming for this shit to work. Despite what the old saying says, you *can* cheat an honest man, but it's a lot more difficult than cheating some idiot who's helping you do it, usually with a smile, because they think they're in on the con with you.

Case in point: )

/rant! I feel better! Especially since Fox just announced they're dumping Glenn Beck! Let's hope this is a the beginning of a down-turn for all corporate shills everywhere!

In other news, LJ is messed up again. I wanted to Import my LJ to Dreamwidth, which I didn't even realize I could do until several friends mentioned it on their journals, but don't think it's a good idea to attempt it until LJ is working again. Besides, I can't get in and change my LJ password, which is suggested on the handy-dandy Import Journal page on Dreamwidth.
gozer: I made this! (Default)

I know terrible things are still happening in Japan, but it's also important to remember what's at stake in Wisconsin, too. I hate the idea that there are politicians and corporatists heaving a sigh of relief that the tragedy in Japan is the perfect distraction from their happy dismantling of the US middle class. It's not like attention the striking workers in WI had been getting from the media was anything but scant in the first place.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
From The ESET Threat Blog: http://blog.eset.com/2011/03/11/japanese-earthquake-inevitable-seo

FYI, SEO is Search Engine Optimization. Right now, people all over the planet are doing Google searches for terms like "Japan", "Japanese", "earthquake", and tsunami". The bad guys know it, and they're plugging those words into their sites, the better to infect you with malware, spam, and pop ups that just won't quit when you do a search-and-click. They're also sending out emails with links and creating phony charities to separate the well-meaning from their hard-earned cash.

1-DO NOT click on social media and email “shocking news” or “shocking video” links. Apparently the use of the word "shocking" as a come-on is kind of a dead giveaway.

2-DO NOT go to untrusted websites for news. Could be a black-hat website waiting to infect your computer with malware.

3-And in the coming weeks, when things start settling down, DO NOT send money to unverified charities and fundraisers. Even the not-totally-criminal, "legit" ones will cheerfully take 90% and only give 10% (or even less!) to the actual charity.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
I've been neglecting my flist of late, partly because I can't seem to sit through five minutes of H50 and you guys are all in the first blush of sweet, sweet fannish lurve with it, bless your hearts, but mainly because of what's going on with regard to Wikileaks. I've been reading all things Wikileaks and I cannot stop. It's too complicated for me to cover what's going on if you haven't been keeping up via the internet*, because so damned much is happening all over the planet, but this latest turn of events is so fucking chilling, I just feel like more people desperately need to know about it. I've cribbed info from articles I've found all over the net (with URLs!), and I'll try to keep this simple, but yeah, good luck with that:

In 2010, Wikileaks announced it was going to post major shit about "a corrupt U.S. bank", unnamed, some time in 2011. Bank of America immediately assumed that bank was itself, because even they have to admit the BofA makes Luthorcorp look like a charitable organization run by nuns. BofA immediately went into KILL KILL KILL DIE DIE DIE mode.

Excerpted from Thinkprogress:

According to e-mails obtained by ThinkProgress, the (US Chamber of Commerce) hired the lobbying firm Hunton and Williams. Hunton And Williams’ attorney Richard Wyatt was hired by the Chamber in October of last year. To assist the Chamber, Wyatt and his associates solicited a set of private security firms — HBGary Federal, Palantir, and Berico Technologies (collectively called Team Themis**) — to develop tactics for damaging progressive groups and labor unions, in particular ThinkProgress, the labor coalition called Change to Win, the SEIU, US Chamber Watch, and StopTheChamber.com.

Basically these powerful minions of the major corporations as represented by the US Chamber of Commerce were conspiring to start a surreptitious sabotage campaign against anyone who might try to take power from Big Business and give it back to the people. And how did we, the people, find out about it? This is where it gets good:

From here: Poking a bear with a sharp stick is smarter than this!>

Aaron Barr, the head of the security services firm mentioned above, HBGary Federal, bragged in an interview with The Financial Times that, via Facebook and other online sources, he had identified key members of Anonymous in the U.S., Germany, Netherlands, Italy, and Australia.

If you know who Anonymous is, you know that Barr might as well have tattooed "Kick Me" on his own ass. They're the hacktivists who went after Scientology a few years ago and more recently did an internet slow down of service for Amazon, Paypal, and several credit card companies to protest when those companies refusing to service Wikileaks. (Please note that you can donate cash to the KKK via any and all of those financial service companies, just not Wikileaks.)

In less than 24 hours, Anonymous mocked Barr in a deadpan post sarcastically entitled "Anonymous admits defeat", then they hacked HBGary's emails and Barr's own private emails and posted them (50,000 emails!) on the internet. Anonymous also posted a slide presentation they'd found, the point of which was a plot detailing how to destroy Wikileaks that included threatening specific liberal-leaning journalists by name (there are actual pictures of the journalists to be attacked right there on the slides!) The emails indicated the presentation was part of a proposal to be submitted to Bank of America. That was Sunday, Feb. 5.

See also: More Fallout from Anonymous

Bank of America is doing their best Sgt. Schultz imitation -- they know "NOTHING! NOTHING!" about this dastardly and somewhat illegal plot to sow dissent, threaten journalists, and plant false documents to discredit Wikileaks. Palantir and Berico Technologies immediately distanced themselves from HBGary, and personally apologized to Glenn Greenwald, one of the journalists mentioned by name and face on the slide deck. A respected journalist, Greenwald has been writing about and supporting Wikileaks and whistle-blowers in general since the beginning at Salon.com. At first he shrugged off HBGary's intent as laughable, but as the reality of the situation set in, he got angry.

An excerpt from Greenwald's article:

But the real issue highlighted by this episode is just how lawless and unrestrained is the unified axis of government and corporate power. I've written many times about this issue -- the full-scale merger between public and private spheres -- because it's easily one of the most critical yet under-discussed political topics. Especially (though by no means only) in the worlds of the Surveillance and National Security State, the powers of the state have become largely privatized. There is very little separation between government power and corporate power. Those who wield the latter intrinsically wield the former. The revolving door between the highest levels of government and corporate offices rotates so fast and continuously that it has basically flown off its track and no longer provides even the minimal barrier it once did. It's not merely that corporate power is unrestrained; it's worse than that: corporations actively exploit the power of the state to further entrench and enhance their power.

A comment by Salon's Editor in Chief: read it here!

Aaron Barr is having a bad day... but not as bad as America is having. Actually, we've been having a few bad decades. I wonder if America will one day go the way of Egypt and Tunisia, with rioting in the streets to protest corruption. I do not think the Tea Party is up to this task, as they are, themselves, a puppet organization funded by the Koch brothers of Koch Industries, Inc.

See also my main reading site: Greg Mitchell's blog called The WIKILEAKS NEWS & VIEWS BLOG. Every day he posts links to commentary and articles about what's being leaked and what the response is in the general public. It's fascinating to refresh the page and have more links and snark pop up! Go to http://www.thenation.com/ and click on their link to their blogs, you'll find a link to his blog there.

*And you would have to be reading about this on the internet because hardly anybody on TV or cable news is bothering to cover this due the overwhelming importance of reporting what Lindsey Lohan was wearing to her court date instead.

**Themis means "divine law" rather than human ordinance, literally "that which is put in place by the gods" -- which sounds pretty fucking arrogant to me.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
This morning I woke to find that someone quite evil grabbed my hotmail account's address list and sent out spam (or possibly worse) to the people on it. The email looks like it's from Telzey Amberdon, which is my hotmail name. It bounced to a lot of defunct addresses I still had in there. I can still get into my hotmail account, I wasn't locked out, but I changed the password because, what the hell, why not.

How did these guys get hold of my email address book? Did they actually hack my email account with my password, or did they do it by using the new Facebook-like connectivity Hotmail and Gmail seem to be trying to constantly force on us in new and clever ways? Any suggestions, other than "change your password", which I've done? I went into my account info and zeroed out all the "Isn't it neat how we're sharing all your personal info with your friends!" crap they build in, with friends being able to access all sorts of things on your account. This should not be the default, privacy should be the default!

EDITED TO ADD UPDATE: I got nothin' in my Hotmail "sent emails" folder, so this happened off-Hotmail! The spammers took info and ran and did not use my hotmail account itself to send their spam.

I recently tried to set up an Outlook account on my computer so that Hotmail would drop into it when I hit "send/receive" on my home computer, but was unsuccessful -- and my Hotmail address and password being input into Outlook were part of that attempt. Maybe the bad guys got the info that way? NOT A KLEW.

EDITED AGAINDeleted the second half of my post because I figured out how to get rid of a defunct alternate email address... man, they don't make it easy.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
If I hear one more CNN news-mannequin self-righteously talking about those terrible, awful people parasites on society who absolutely refuse to get health insurance and decide to "roll the dice" instead, I am going to reach right through that TV screen and throttle them, or at least muss up their overly-hairsprayed and gelled hair.


Not if we want to pay our rent and eat. Health Insurance is magnificently, freakishly, awesomely expensive. Even cheap-o, crappy, low-balled health insurance is beyond our ability to pay. And the state-provided* insurance can only be had if you're living in a box on the street. Seriously, we have a friend got laid off 3 years ago and has a kid, who squeezes in some shit-pay temp work when he can find it, who is coming to the end of the long, slow, horrible process of losing his house because he hasn't paid his mortgage for quite a long time -- AND HE CANNOT GET STATE-OFFERED "HEALTH INSURANCE" BECAUSE THEY SAY HE MAKES WAY TOO MUCH MONEY!

I seriously have yet to hear one news-mannequin talk about how awful it is that people cannot afford health insurance BECAUSE IT IS SO EXPENSIVE, and how unfair it is to force people to buy it or be fined when it's so far out of reach of so many of us. And how, if there was a single-payer system, it would make life so much easier for everyone, and we'd all have health insurance like the civilized countries do.

*Massachusetts, which, courtesy of that opportunistic weasel-douche-bag from hell, Mitt Romney, has that charming government-mandated thing where you must buy health insurance or pay a fine, which should be familiar to you all at this point, as it's been expanded to the rest of the country.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
On November 11 at 1:15AM, my 'puter picked up a particularly insidious computer virus/malware/trojan-fucking-horse/rootkit/A.I. scurvy*/whatever the kids are calling computer cooties these days. I wish I'd realized it right off -- I could have used Firefox's History to see where I picked it up! Unfortunately, by the time I figured it out (I noted that the computer created a "restore point" in response to the influx of software), I'd already done a (completely useless) System Restore and it was too late. The problem first presented itself as the Thinkpoint virus, but once I got rid of that, I didn't have time to cheer because Thinkpoint had brought along some friends. Lots and lots of friends.

So I've been slaving over a hot computer for a week and have certainly demonstrably killed a lot of malware in that time, but I cannot seem to get all of it. The thing that's entrenched in there now spontaneously opens tabs in both IE and Firefox to malware sites, and if I open up a search in Google or Yahoo, clicking on a URL invariably causes an automatic redirect to various malware sites -- sometimes fake "Walmart" sites with a "YOU'VE WON A PRIZE!" popup, or to one of those sites you cannot ever, ever close down as it keeps on throwing up a blocking-popup that says, "Are you sure you want to close this site down?" over and over when you try. I've figured out a clever way around that, though. I take my little victories where I can.

I've used every malware-killing software imaginable and have gotten lots of help from the kindly folks at SUPERAntiSpyware, but I'm going to draw the line at getting involved with the crazy IT people at bleepingcomputer.com. That is just too rich for my blood. Seriously, if you want to break out in a cold sweat, read some of the How-To instructions on their "Malware, Trojan Horse, Virus" forums. The prep they expect you to do *before* a tech starts telling you what to do made my hands shake.

In the past week, I've learned a lot of stuff I didn't want to know -- for instance, what Safe Mode is. If you don't know, I hope you never need to know. I learned that NOD32 is a really good antivirus software that I wish I'd had before this happened, as it would have stopped it before it started. It's bundled with a good firewall in ESET Smart Security, and I plan to purchase the bundle after I get my computer back from the shop.

I'm very lucky in that I had only just backed *everything* up a couple of days before my computer was stricken. Plus I now know how to back up my bookmarks and tabs, which I didn't know how to do before. Losing my bookmarks and gazillion open tabs really messed me up the last two times I had a computer meltdown.

Tomorrow I will take my baby to be put down... I mean, to have the (irreparably corrupted) harddrive reformatted at either Staples or a local computer repair shop, if they'll do it quicker than Staples will. I love the professionalism of the IT guys at Staples, but they put your computer on the shelf for a week or more before they get around to it, as they invariably have a long waiting list.

Wanna tell me a computer war story of your own to cheer me up? Or suggest a good antivirus software that might be even better than ESET? Please feel free, but I may not be able to read it for a while! ::weeps at thought of not having an online presence::

*I made that one up.


Nov. 12th, 2010 10:01 am
gozer: I made this! (Default)
I was sneezing a bit yesterday, and I thought, "I'm getting an allergy shot tomorrow, that'll clear that right up!" But I woke up this morning with a teeny-tiny sore throat and stuffiness and PND so I began to think that maybe, just maybe, I should call and get that shot switched to another day. But no, I decided to take a shower first, before I made the decision!* Usually when I wake up feeling a little off, once I take a hot shower, I feel better... but after my shower, I felt worse. So no allergy shot, no shopping trip in Boston, no sack of awesomely inexpensive Haymarket strawberries, no walking around in the sunshine for me.

It's such a gorgeous day and I'm going to miss it! I switched the shot to Tuesday, and I bet it's cold and rainy that day. I'm just glad I didn't also schedule a Red Cross blood donation, too!

I'm going to slither off and have a nice hot cup of tea now.

Speaking of "sick like a dog", did you guys see Jon Stewart's one-hour interview on Rachel Maddow last night? Go watch it online if you missed it. He had The Buboes (I believe he called it) and dragged himself in to chat with her even though he was sick, in addition to doing the Daily Show last night. I wondered if he wasn't a little feverish every now and again during the interview.

*That was my usual dodge back when I had a job --"Maybe I'll feel better after a hot shower!" I used to drag my sorry butt into work no matter how craptastic I felt. Stupid work ethic! It's not like it got me anywhere--nobody ever said, "She's so loyal to the company that she comes in no matter what!" In addition, I probably spread a lot of head colds to my fellow wage slaves back in the day. So take a lesson: stay home and take care of yourself if you're sick! NOBODY GIVES "ATTENDANCE" BROWNIE POINTS TO ZOMBIES WITH DRIPPY RED NOSES.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
From demandprogress.org:

Just the other day, President Obama urged other countries to stop censoring the Internet. But now the United States Congress is trying to censor the Internet here at home. A new bill being debated this week would have the Attorney General create an Internet blacklist of sites that US Internet providers would be required to block.

This is the kind of heavy-handed censorship you'd expect from a dictatorship, where one man can decide what web sites you're not allowed to visit. But the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to pass the bill this week -- and Senators say they haven't heard much in the way of objections! That's why we need you to sign our urgent petition to Congress demanding they oppose the Internet blacklist.


Read more about the bill:


This article explains how the government is proposing it censors the internet, the way it would work:


gozer: I made this! (Default)
I'm sticking this instructional video here as it would be handy to have it tagged in my journal(s) for future re-viewing. It's not a viral video I'm sharing with the class or anything! I have a Mortons neuroma in my foot; it's hella painful and this vid is basically a very useful consult with a physical therapist.

If you have pain in the bottom of your foot, you may have a neuroma (irritation of one of the nerves passing between the long-bones in the foot), or possibly capsulitis (irritation of one of the ligaments holding the long-bones in the foot in place.) The therapy in this video should help with either.

A free consultation with a knowledgeable physical therapist! YAY, the internets!
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Edited for the solution: WOOT!

I tried a few things, but this seems to have fixed my problem: when I got my computer back on Monday, I had originally changed the DPI setting to Large (120 DPI) and slid the slider on the Display Properties: Setting box one over to the left. That made my screen images nice & big & viewable.

To fix the problem, I reset the DPI setting back to 96 DPI (normal, which is the default.) Then I pushed the slider on the Display Properties: Setting box over to the left once more to embiggen everything on the screen to make up for losing the Large DPI. Currently, my screen resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels. I've rebooted a few times and let the computer/monitor go to screensaver a few times and it hasn't gone to "Input Not Supported" even once!

Can anyone in the hivemind of LJ or DW help me with a computer problem? (Also, apologies for not replying to the lovely commenters on my previous posts -- I've been playing computer catch-up and will make time to do that tonight.)

Since I got my baby back on Monday, I have had a small problem. When the computer went to screensaver, the screensaver would be on for a few minutes, but after those minutes, the screen would go entirely black. If I then moved the mouse to bring the desktop back into focus and pop out of screensaver mode, instead I would get a box bouncing around that said "Input Not Supported" -- the box around those words had "HP" for Hewlett Packard (the make of my computer) on it. The only way to get the desktop (or whatever I had on the screen) back on the monitor would be to unscrew and then reseat and re-screw-in the DPI cable that attaches the monitor to the computer. Then, the monitor would work perfectly, like nothing had happened. But this happened over a dozen times over the next few days.

I did a google check and found there were a few others who had this problem, but none of their suggests were overly helpful. Some of the queries people made on tech sites went unanswered, others had people telling them to go into "safe" mode to do lines of type, which is something I don't feel comfortable doing.

I called the Staples repair guy and he had me do a right-click on the desktop to get into "Display Properties" on the Screensaver tab, then click the "Power" button. You get another box for Power Options, and he had me pick "NEVER" for all four of the choices you get there. Basically, he felt that after a few minutes of being in "screensaver" mode, the computer was slipping into "sleep" mode and that was... I don't know, doing something to cause the monitor to not understand and give me the Input Not Supported box. Now, when my computer screen rests, the computer itself never goes into sleep mode. Which begs the question, is it okay for a computer to never go into sleep mode?

SO, this actually did fix the problem -- I can walk away and go take a shower or go out to a store and when I come back, the screensaver image is on, not the "Input Not Supported" image.

Except that now when I turn on and boot up or restart the computer, it doesn't go to my desktop, it goes directly from loading Windows into "Input Not Suported". So every time I turn on the computer, I have to pull it out, unscrew the cable, reseat said cable and rescrew it in. Then the computer is fine and I can see my desktop.

I got the Input Not Supported box bopping about on my monitor when I turned on the computer for the first time after I got home on Monday night and put the system together -- I assumed that I simply hadn't screwed in the monitor cable properly and reseated it as a matter of course, so I didn't think anything of it at the time. For the next couple of days, I had to reboot the computer quite often (due to downloading over a dozen software packages and executing them), and I never had this problem once. But now that I've told the computer NOT to go to sleep mode when at rest, it's doing this when it starts instead.

Any ideas? Have any of you heard of this? No fear, I'm gonna called that guy at Staples in a bit, but I thought maybe one of you might have an idea first. This is the guy who assured me that my computer not going into sleep mode, ever, would not be a problem, so I'd love some feedback on whether or not I can trust him on this even if you don't know how to fix the DPI cable/monitor problem.
gozer: tweeter made this! (Give her a pony!)
Did you ever sit a newbie down in front of a computer to try to teach them how to use it, and they got all big-eyed and their fingers curled away from the keyboard and they said, "I'm afraid I'm going to break it!" and you told them not to be afraid, they weren't going to break the computer just by using it -- all they had to do was avoid opening suspect emails or downloading viruses and they'd be fine!

Well, it turns out you CAN break a computer in a fairly spontaneous fashion all by your own bad self without any help from some scum-sucking virus-maker living in his mother's basement.

Here is my very good advice to you: NEVER EVER EVER interrupt a download of a Windows service pack or security update or patch. If you do, you will live to regret it. Your computer probably won't live to regret it, but you will. I won't go into why I stopped the download, but it was for an almost perfectly good reason, and I started it back up again when I was finished doing whatever the hell it was I needed to do just then.

When I turned on my computer the next day after stopping that freakin' Windows Update download, the computer would not load Windows. It went to a blue screen of death, then rebooted and blue-screened and rebooted over and over, Ourobouros. We took the patient to Staples, and they did a recovery that set my baby back to factory specs using the Recovery DVDs I made last year when something disturbingly similar happened (but that time I was able to hit F10 when it rebooted, so I managed the reset myself for free.) Staples charged us a total of $99 and it took a full week to do this quick and simple fix because half of their techs were on vacation.

Anyways, it's going to take me for-fucking-ever to get the 'puter back to the way I like it, if I can even remember how I set some of this stuff up. How do I make everything look bigger for my tired old eyes, for instance? I have forgotten how to change the look of my desktop and dictate file preferences; this make me feel so stupid! I lost my many (30 or 40, possibly more) Firefox tabs, I have no idea how to get my mail client, The Bat!, back, and I'm on the CNET Download website downloading all the software that wasn't loaded at the factory (like Word Web, VLC, ZoneAlarm Free, etc.) I also wish I'd done a more recent backup of my hard drive, but all bitching aside, I am happy I have the computer back. So insanely grateful to have it back! I was computerless for a full week and must now admit that I am something of a computerholic, because it was a terrible experience that I do not wish to duplicate.

Useful: I have a ten-page print out with my logins, usernames, and coded versions of my various passwords that is proving invaluable to the reconstruction. (Though I feel I must add, you should never have a hardcopy, document, or file with your full and uncoded passwords on it!)

I really missed reading my Reading List and Friends List and hope you are all well.
gozer: I made this! (Default)
Hey guys! Have any of youse ever seen a chiropractor? I've seen one on and off for many years for various problems, and was lucky enough to have one of the world's most famous and talented chiropractors work on my knee back in Brooklyn (thus saving me from a very painful knee operation). I recently started seeing a new chiropractor here in the Boston area because I stepped funny and threw my leg into a downward spiral of OUCH, and he's doing a pretty good job, but he did something weird and I wondered if it was common in chiropractic circles to do this.

After doing a neck, spinal and leg manipulation, he took a long, smooth bar that resembled a knife (to my myopic eyes, as I wasn't wearing glasses), and he put lube on my leg on and above the knee where I've got a pulled and stiff front-of-thigh muscle. He then used the bar to smoosh out all the nasty little lumps and kinks in my stiff and painful muscle and knee. The action was as if he was trying to scrape something off of the skin, very hard, but the lube made the leg slippery. It really hurt like hell, too! But it did feel better afterward -- the area felt hot, as all the blood rushed where he'd been smooshing. My leg is a mass of tiny clumped bruises where he worked the muscle (he warned me that I'd be badly bruised.) He said he was breaking up the kinks and working them out.

I've never seen this before and can't find it online as something chiropractors do. What is this action called? Anyone else have any experience with this?

I'm all-over painful today, but then I went to a very tough yoga class before my chiropractor visit, so it's to be expected. He is seeing me again next week after my yoga class -- he likes that I've worked out before I show up, as it helps loosen my muscles up.

I'm going to take a nice, hot bath now. I may not be in Gregory House levels of pain, but it still hurts enough for me to be chugging motrin.

June 2011

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