Zombies and Tech Stuff

Two quick updates. So glad my friend Richard Kamins acknowledged Willard’s reception and award. Still looking for coverage in the Middletown Press and Hartford Courant. That’s too much to hope for, I know.

Entries for the next couple of days may be shorter than usual because on top of everything else, I’m preparing to talk to a Read to Succeed class on Wednesday and have piles of material to organize. At the moment I can’t think because all the windows in my house started shaking when the propane delivery truck fired up the pumps.

Zombies: Well, this should be called social networking, but zombies are so “in” now, and it’s great to have them linked to Twitter and Facebook. This Trend Micro report has too much information, but the basic advice holds: Be suspicious of links even if they look like they come from a friend; update your web browser and keep Windows current, which can be a total nuisance. Adobe seems to be the biggest problem right now. Firefox yelled at me last week, saying, “You must download a new version of Adobe now!” Of course I was in the midst of something important but stopped to reload. It’s always good to obey your web browser. And I guess I shouldn’t complain because Firefox always leads in security protection. So I won’t throw a fit the next time it says “updating.”

More Zombies Just to make everyone feel really insecure, here’s a link to an essay on programs that claim to offer security protection (for a fee) and don’t do a thing.

The following scam is great, though the guy could have written a much better opener – what’s a triple payload email?

But the advice is sound. I never open attachments in my email until the stuff appears in the window below. And then if it’s got a long string of folks who have passed it along, I delete without opening. I don’t know why but the computer slowed to a crawl while I was looking at the site. Time to reboot.

Glitch’: Maybe this one should be called “gremlins.” Webster Bank delayed posting transactions  for an hour this morning. The reason was unknown at noon, and remained that way when I checked the Hartford Courant‘s web site at 8:30 p.m.

Computers: Here’s a truly spooky factoid. When using a laptop on electric power, one should remove the battery, per Slate. Hang on. … Five minutes later. Well, that was an adventure! I think that may have been the second time I’ve ever removed the battery in the three? four? years I’ve owned this computer. The first time it was because the little thing had caught a virus, and I couldn’t shut it off any other way. I wound up having to have the entire drive rebuilt and the idiot kid wiped my email. This time removal took a while because I couldn’t find the switch. And then the battery popped out and fell on the floor, hitting the base of the lamp on the way down. It scared the cat more than anything. I won’t check to see if it still works till I need to use it. After all it’s only a 25 plus minute drive to the closest place to buy another one.

It’s probably just a coincidence, but the letter “n” seems to be sticking. I can still type, but it takes far more pressure. A little compressed air should take care of that problem. Cleaning the keyboard is always an experience. The usual results are equal portions of Isis fur, my hair, and dust. Yuck.

Texting: I am so much in support of Britain’s approach to texting while driving that results in a casualty. The judges over there mete out good, stiff prison sentences. The charge is “death by dangerous driving.”  The prosecutor complained in the example cited by the Times that the 21 months was too lenient. Part of the reason may have been that the young woman wasn’t actually texting or reading a text at the time of the accident, though she had been doing both over the previous hour. In defense of the lenient sentence, the killer’s cousin said she didn’t think the young woman “realized the danger she was causing.” If that’s the case, the killer should never have been allowed behind the wheel of a car. Ever. I hope similar laws are enacted all over this country. Since we don’t even have consistent helmet laws for motorcyclists, I’m sure I’m expecting too much.

Video: The hot new thing among the folks in the writers union seems to be YouTube promotions This one disappoints because we don’t see the insides of the places. But if she really slept with all those men, she’s really, really, really lucky to be alive. The sound quality isn’t all that great, either.

Audio: A shout-out to my former colleague Kevin Hunt for making audio technology understandable, even if I don’t have enough space in my house or the money in my checking account to put even a few of the pieces he reviews.

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