Monday, 27 April 2009

Unless you've been pot holing for the past week

Apparently we are on the brink of a pig flu pandemic, which is serious stuff considering what previous flu pandemics have done to the human population in the past.

But slightly more worrying and a one hell of a lot scarier was a small item in slipped in below the swine fever ...fever.... that seems to have passed people by, namely our wonderful and expertly paranoid government's wish to monitor all communications traffic, be that mobile phone, twitter, facebook, emails and website visits. Now to some that might seem like a good idea, and don't get me wrong I'm no conspiracy theorist or grassy knoll confirmer..... but what a lot of people don't seem to realise is that we as individuals are having our civil liberties chipped away at an alarming rate..... We have more CCTV cameras in this country than could be considered healthy, and now (like they don't already) they want to monitor who we speak to, when we speak to them and what we look at on the internet.

Now I used to eavesdrop on Ivan during the cold war, but that was a whole different kettle of fish or is that Borsch ?.... that was purely to keep an eye on what they were doing and have some kind of early warning of troop know before 3 Shock Army completely over ran us and sipped fine wine over Paris (that's France not Hilton) they did exactly the same thing to us and we watched them watching us with binoculars and spy satellites and listened to each other over crackling radio equipment.....ahhh the glory days ..... But I hasten to add we were not listening in or watching Svetlana's online video chat room.... or in fact noting that she had called the butcher six times in one evening whilst her husband was fighting off CIA backed RPG firing Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan.....

It seems our Orwellian Government under the glorious leadership of Crash Gordon is proposing that they have a need to listen to every little thing we do or say to each other and have the power to eavesdrop if they so wish. Now I'm all for preventing atrocities happening such as the terrorist raids in New York and our own troubles with Islamic fundamentalism... but truly at what cost to Joe Public ? we seem to be closer to 1984 now in 2009 than ever and personally I find this an extremely worrying trend....

They cite that it will enable them to gather intelligence more efficiently.... I'm sure it will and no doubt just as local councils have abused the recent changes in law to spy on individuals for benefit fraud (both of which I find abhorrent) the law will be bent and twisted to suit until a whistle blower informs the Guardian newspaper and of course a civil liberties riot will ensue and the TSG will slap another hippy down, who in turn will make a fortune selling her story to whoever will listen via Max Clifford.......(yeah both as bad as each other in my opinion.... rolls eyes)

Anyway don't they understand what will happen ? and just like the banning of handguns in the UK it won't stop criminals from owning them.. they don't care about the law.... that's why they carry a gun (a Homer Simpson DOHHHHHH !!! ) ........

"excuse me copper, I'd like to register a permit for a .357 magnum and soft nose ammunition for pest control".......

"Rat problem ?...."

"Yeah huge ones the size of small goats ......Nah only joking I've taken up the sport of drive by shootings in Peckham...."

"Oh right you are then....sign here"

On a serious note surely (please SURELY) if they block one fairly "secure" method of criminals communicating with each other they will simply find another method of talking to each other securely, even if that means down the local pub in a quiet corner over a pint.... meanwhile the Government (I use the term loosely) will have legally unlocked a treasure trove of personal information....

all well and good but who guards the guards ???????

(If you notice that my blog isn't being updated for a few months I'm probably detained at her Majesty's pleasure in some concrete scream proof bunker at a disused WW2 airfield with a Hessian sack over my head being repeatedly asked courtesy of a JJB aluminium baseball bat if I've ever used high explosives ....... damn.... see yah ;¬) )

Friday, 24 April 2009

On a scale of 1 to 10

Just how hard is it trying to update your blog with an 18 month old sticking her head between your thigh and elbow wanting to press any key within reach ??? ohhhh about a 12 I should think... so far I've had to delete a load of "rrrrrrrr's" and "<<<<<<<<'s"..... she's had her lunch and been out to look at the horses in our field had a rather daring dive off the slide head first and liked it so much did it again !!! and is now happily trying to connect a TV aerial plug into a D-Link 502 wifi card which was laying on my desk at my feet singing "Dada lol..Dada...Mama" .... so that should keep her happy for 20 minutes :)

I'm really enjoying looking after Freya if the truth be known, I missed out on all of this with my other kids, too busy working I guess and too dog tired when I got home....but I guess that comes with getting older you appreciate different things.....

speaking of my other kids apparently one of my friends from what I can gather ended up talking to a girl called Emma who was wanting models for some art project, she was quite willing to help out and hadn't made the connection between Emma and myself.... right up until she sent a photograph of herself to Emma who replied with "nice try, ... go figure it out." then the penny dropped she remembered that I had talked about one of my daughters doing art and it all fell into place....I can presume Emma still stalks me on the internet otherwise she wouldn't have known Ffion from Adam hence recognising her picture when it was sent.... her loss Ffion is a really lovely person and genuine too.... not many of those about these days .... I

I find it quite laughable really that my daughter thought it was some lame attempt by me to gain access to her via a friend, when in fact it was by pure chance that any of this came about, to be perfectly honest I gave up all hope of any reconciliation between my kids and I years ago, if they want to contact me they can, but as far as I am concerned they have a brain and they are adults now so it's entirely up to them if they do or they don't.... as long as they are happy that's all that matters to me, I've got a new life and family now in which I am very happy in, they can share in it or not.....whatever :)

Now I have more pressing things to deal with like a very familiar whiff emanating from Freya under my office desk which will have to be dealt with immediately ....

Monday, 13 April 2009

Microsoft Windows.....sigh

I've just spent the best part of two days trying to rid my computer of the W32/Virut.n.gen virus....

the score so far is :-

Virus 1 Derek 0

In the sense that after numerous attempts to get rid of the rootkit from my PC and then all the damaged files I eventually threw in the towel and reinstalled Windoze XP Professional.... I have however found the chink in the armour of my PC that caused the infection to slip in undetected.... I burned a CD for my step daughter they were wma music files.... all of them were infected with the virus and only activated once they were played on Windows Media Player... which of course I did after burning the CD for her to check they were ok....Dohhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

I threw every single bit of hardcore Operating System knowledge and utility I possessed at this virus and it stuck to my Windoze like a bottle of red wine does when spilt on a white shirt... no sooner did I destroy it and my virus scanners confirm it, as sure as the sun rises in the morning at the next reboot it was back in there taking root.... I threw in the towel when it opened an IRC backdoor and let in several other trojans... in all I had over 2800 exe files infected.... an almost impossible task to repair.... it's a bit of a stupid virus in that it lets you know it's there by reducing your kick ass PC to a Sinclair Spectrum and of course everybody thinks it's normal when you browse the web that it makes Firefox eat up 400Mbytes of ram and run all four CPU's at full tilt.... perfectly normal ...... I would have thought the idea of a virus was to keep maximum stealth... not spray your entire filesystem executables with bird flu...... :(

granted at first it was a bit stealthy and it would probably have gone unnoticed by an average computer user..... but if my pc so much as stutters I'm on it like a hawk finding out why.... I knew it was infected within about 1 minute PC froze for about 20 seconds then my default partition just went into overdrive...... and at that point I wasn't that bothered..... easily got rid of so I thought.... wrong, by the time I had fired up my Antivirus update the damage was done..... :( no sooner was my Antivirus killing one infection than the virus was infected 10 other files.....

I could quite happily cleave the writer(s) of this particular nasty virus into two separate script kiddies.... in fact I would actively support the public flogging of all script kiddies .... they are pointless things to have in the food chain... a bit like wasps.....

I am seriously considering running Windows XP on a Xen virtual machine under Linux... I don't after all use anything in Windows that I can't use in Linux.... at the moment it's the other way around I run Linux in a virtual machine under Windows....

Still I'd pay good money to watch script kiddies thrashed to within an inch of their miserable lives :)

take my advice if you EVER get infected with this particular virus or one of it's variants..... format and reinstall Windows..... your wife will love you for it ;¬)

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

I've inherited a chainsaw :)

I repaired a computer belonging to a friend and I don't charge friends for my time...(although in these hard times I'm seriously considering it !!!) I only charge them for any parts I might have to change.... Anyway she felt bad not paying anything and after I asked her if she knew anybody who had a chainsaw to chop up the fallen tree next to our decking she mentioned she had three chainsaws but one needed a bit of TLC and if I wanted I could have it.....

Now it's always useful to have a chainsaw there is no quicker way to chop up a large amount of wood, or to dispose of a body efficiently...... but I've always been very wary of them, they are after all a quickly rotating razor sharp barbed wire fence .... but way sharper and would do considerable damage to any body part which came into contact with the teeth...... so maintaining them is very important and vital if you don't want to end up like the bloke in the picture above....

Anyway after giving it the once over and finding it impossible to start I resorted to a liberal spraying of "Damp Start" that I've found will start a anything providing there is either a weak spark or enough compression.... after a few attempts it did start but stopped as soon as the "Damp Start" had run out.... so I consulted the "Oracle" of all things mechanical .... my Dad...

"Not a problem.... you'll find two screws on the side of the chainsaw .....just screw both screws in one should be labelled "Fast" the other "Slow" ... start the chainsaw and undo the "Slow" screw until it ticks over nicely......then rev the chainsaw and then turn the "Fast" screw until it starts screaming at full revs.... then adjust the tick over until the chain stops running when the clutch disengages.....then stop the chainsaw (obviously) and adjust the chain tension ......job done !!

so after about 10 minutes I had a perfectly running chainsaw :)

I sharpened it (correctly) and it cuts wood like it's dropping through butter now ......

Monday, 6 April 2009

Well I've seen it all now

Apparently for those of you who remember Peter Norton, of Norton Utilities fame, who sold his business to Symantec in 1990..... well it just goes to show you can patent anything these days

This is taken from the Symantec Website......(of whom Mr Peter Norton is the vice president)

"Peter Norton, Peter Norton's stylized signature, and Peter Norton's crossed-arm pose are U.S. registered trademarks of Peter Norton."

Does this mean that you can't have your picture taken in a cross armed pose a la "Peter Norton" style ? or in fact did Peter Norton invent the cross armed pose ? who knows maybe he did ? I think they are trying to say the image of Peter Norton in his famous cross armed pose is a patent ... but then again when you read it back a few times, I think they are actually saying the cross armed pose is trademarked...comments welcome

you can view the magnificent pose here

Judge for yourself unique enough to be patented ??????

Correction it's a trademark not a patent.... oooops

Other news.... 75% of the kids have gone to see their Dad down in darkest Dartmoor.... no news yet so we assume they are having a good time.... and we are actually enjoying the peace and quiet :)