Thursday, January 28, 2010

random update while procrastinating

As the title says, I should be doing other things. I should have been doing other things for the past four hours, but my brain is set on playing computers. I installed Ubuntu Netbook Remix on my netbook (the netbook which I wrote about in a past entry). Ubuntu Netbook Remix is a version of Ubuntu that is optimized for netbooks, and has the priority of battery life and low CPU usage (since netbooks are typically not as powerful as regular computers). If you have a lovely netbook, you can go here and download UNR if you're curious. The best part is that it auto partitions. I wrote about my struggles with partitioning a while back when I first installed Ubuntu on a machine, so this is a nice breath of fresh air. There is also a Windows installer, but I tried it and it gave me some error that it couldn't obtain the ISO file. If you do decide to try Ubuntu, it's really easy to install, but despite that, if there are any problems (and this goes for anything post-installation as well) go to the Ubuntu Forums and make a post with your question. They are very good at answering questions, and can dumb it down if you're like me and are not a turbo computer user.

I am pleased with the progress of Ubuntu. I used it before, but stopped using it due to hardware problems (as in it wouldn't recognize my wireless device). This problem has been fixed, and the only problem I have is that the sound doesn't work on my desktop, but it sounds to be an easy fix. I am too lazy to do it now, but we will see in the future.

I really hope that someday Ubuntu, or Linux in general, kicks some Microshaft ass. The monopoly and money grabbing has to stop. Microshaft likes to rip people off every chance they get. Having to pay hundreds of dollars for an operating system that is inferior is retarded. Also for an office suite...although I use OpenOffice anyway, which can be downloaded for free here. OpenOffice is made by the people who made Java, and it's a totally free version of Microcrap Office. It is compatible with Office files, although there are occasional instances where things display strange, and it's more like pre-Office 2007 (which is better, in my opinion, since Office 2007 is something people should be wiping their asses with). The only reason I do/would willingly use a Microshit product is that there is no other acceptable alternative, I get it for free/can steal it, or other products are not compatible with Microshaft's products. The reason my stuff needs to be compatible is because I am in university and need to hand in digital documents. If they don't open on the teacher's computer, I am basically fucked. Most software is really good at compatibility (open source programmers are awesome for making things that are free and useful), but occasionally something doesn't work.

The main thing that is keeping Linux based operating systems from taking off is the fact that they take a lot to configure. I am not a power user and I still needed to take about two hours to configure my netbook to be usable to me. That is also a generous amount of time since I know what I am doing. Most average computer users don't know anything about the concept of a package manager, and the average computer user makes up the majority of the computer market (hence the term average). Ubuntu is slowly getting close enough to becoming an OS that is usable for the average person, but it still has a long way to go. I am in no way saying we should take away the customizability of Ubuntu, since that is part of what makes Linux great, but it should have more things that work out of the box (like hardware, basic plugins, etc.). That also doesn't mean that power users have to use Ubuntu, since other Linux distros might be more suited for heavy computer users who know a great deal about Linux and computers in general. Another reason why Linux isn't taking off, which I don't know about for sure but I am guessing, is that Microshaft doesn't want people knowing about it and what it can do, so they do things to prevent competition (why else would Microshaft have a near monopoly on the operating system market?). Some might think I am paranoid for thinking that, but I've been quite surprised by some of the things I've heard of large corporations doing.

Anyway, the world of Ubuntu will unfold before me (as I am typing this on my old desktop with Ubuntu on it), and I am enjoying almost every minute of it. If you have some kind of interest in computers, and computational diversity, try it, it's ridiculously easy to install. You don't even have to install over Windoze if you don't want to (I have a partition on my HDD just in case I absolutely need something from Microshaft). It is very rewarding for me so far :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Live Messenger scam, beware!

Please pay attention to the people who might be adding you to MSN Messenger. I recently got two friend invites, one from the email address, and the other (please feel free to spam those email addresses as much as you like). I opened up a window to ask who the hell they were, at the same time, and got the same responses from them in the exact same order, all of them trying to hint for me to click a link to "watch them on cam". If you get this, please do not click on the link!! I haven't done it but I can almost guarantee it will lead to spyware, viruses, adware, malware, or all of the above. What's better is that the "girl" says that they need your credit card information for "age verification". The reason why I am posting this is, unfortunately, some people are probably stupid enough to click the link and do what the "girl" tells them. It will likely be some disgusting perverted guy who thinks he is finally getting lucky...but anyway, the other reason why I posted it is because it is extremely likely these are not the only email addresses used by the piece of shit who's idea it was to spam people on MSN. Even more likely since I just blocked and reported the above email addresses, so likely the thieving piece of shit will make other accounts. I just find it quite sad that it will likely work with some retarded, horny victim....

This is all just evidence of what this world is coming to. People are getting more and more creative with ways to scam other people. The more outlets for communication and monetary transaction there are, the more ways people can get fucked by other people. What's even worse is that in a lot of cases the law can't protect you, either because the scam activities cannot be traced back to anyone, or the simple fact that the offenses took place on a website hosted in another country. The law does not transcend international boundaries, and unfortunately the citizens of some countries think it is acceptable to scam people outside their legal jurisdiction, therefore proving just how slimy they are. But no one is off the hook, I very much think people who fall for things like the bot thing truly deserve it. Really, how stupid do you have to be? One of the biggest reasons people keep scamming, I imagine, is because it works! Especially when it comes to people being led by their genitalia and not their brains, or people who are retarded enough to actually believe they are personally being contacted by a Nigerian prince to store his billions of dollars of savings in exchange for a hefty sum of his cash. Does Nigeria even have princes? I will have to look that one up.... (EDIT: I believe I am right in saying they don't, although other African countries might)

My point in this is that I think people should be given IQ tests in order to be able to use the internet. Knowing all of the damage that things like computer viruses, and the cost of the consequences of online scams, I think it would do a great service to the world if people using the internet were more focused on integrity, rather than just crackz and cumshots. I personally enjoy a nice, clean internet that I can travel around without needing to hold a hunting knife in my pocket while doing so. People need to be smarter when using the internet, and not fall for all of these scams, pyramid schemes, chain letters (it's basically the same principle as scams), and the spreading of false information (which is dangerous). If it looks, feels, or seems too good to be true it is! If it is from a "legitimate" company (companies can be just as big of scammers as anyone), you are likely not reading things in their entirety, and the company will find a loophole with which to rip you off. I could definitely go on about this topic for pages and pages, but I will keep a lid on it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

it's been a long time; my virus

So it's been a while since I've updated this thing. I guess I just haven't been very talkative lately. I have been quite busy with school since September, so that might account for some of the lack of posting. I have also moved since then, and that made things a bit chaotic.

I have been having some problems with this laptop lately. I tried installing Windows 7 a few months ago, and I noticed that it slowed the internet on my laptop down to a crawl (I was getting maybe 1.5mb/s download). It definitely had something to do with my laptop in particular, and I am sure it was the wireless (since it was saying something about not having a correct driver). I said 'fuck that shit' and uninstalled Windows 7 and reinstalled Vista (which was a severely annoying process, of course). The problem went away for a bit, and then I installed some updates for Vista, and it happened again. Most of the updates were insignificant (like Windows Defender updates), but there was one that was a Platform Update (the KB number ended in 44) that was the likely cause since it was the only thing that had more than just minor updates (and I believe I read something in the description about it having to do with the wireless). At this point I had Vista Home Basic back on my computer, and I had access to a free copy of Vista Business through the university (which is how I got Windows 7), so I decided I would install that. I installed it and everything was okay for a while. After a bit, the internet slowness started again. I have been looking into it ever since. Lately, according to other customers, my ISP has been experiencing some problems with lag and stuff, but that doesn't completely account for it (other computers in the household are not experiencing the same problems this computer is). Combining whatever the problem is with the problems the ISP are having leads to me being very, very pissed off. I have been told everything from "optimize your internet" to "powercycle your modem and router", but neither has worked.

Now I will bring up the virus/malware my computer seems to be infected with, which may or may not be connected to the internet problems (I would like it if it was since that would mean I know the cause of the problems). I noticed that recently, whenever I do a Google search and click on a link in the results, it will redirect me to some advertising page. It is really annoying because it happens 2 out of 3 times I search. I have done virus scans, spyware scans, a rootkit scan, etc. but nothing has come up so far. I've also cleared my Windows and browser cache, my cookies, my recycle, etc. I currently have a thread going on in the Tech Support Forums here, in case someone who is reading this is having the same problem. I really hope it does something to improve the problem with my internet. But it seems to me like my investment in Norton has been pretty useless, since it hasn't even picked up on whatever is wrong with my computer. I keep reading that one of the main culprits for viruses is uTorrent and BitTorrent. I would really, really hate to have to give up downloading torrents. But I doubt I would give it up. I just need to stop downloading pirated software.

On a pretty random note, I have decided to install Ubuntu on my desktop again. I installed Win XP Professional on my desktop (I had dual boot Ubuntu and Win XP Home) because it was also free from the university, and I had to reformat really badly, and it installed over Ubuntu for some reason. It's going to suck having to configure it all again, but hopefully they have improved it since I used it last. I am most worried about the wireless support, since I could not get it to work last time, and I don't have the option of using a wired connection with where the computer is located. So, hopefully that goes okay.

Well, I am bored. Slightly hungry as well. I also must check on my Ubuntu download. I have been hanging around on the DSL Reports forum lately for some reason. It is a good place for DSL broadband internet questions, concerns, reviews and other stuff. It is the unofficial support forum for my ISP and they're really quite helpful. It's Canadian and American, so I highly recommend it if you're having problems with your internet. They do non-ISP caused problems as well.