Well, damn…got called into work early on Monday, which means I’m not even starting this column until Tuesday morning (no, there was no way I could stay up to do anything; I was not only trashed, I was seeing hallucinations at work*). That was sorta the capper to a sucky weekend. Thunderbird f*cked up on me and I lost all of my e-mail from the last five months or so. One guy will be missing from work today on day shift, but other people snagged the overtime before I could (okay, mixed blessings, because it gives me time to watch Raw and get this column done). And I had a bad case of insomnia on Saturday night; not even the Jap shit from Adult Swim could help me get to sleep. Normally, that combined with a K-Dawg puts me out like a light. So, let’s get on with it…
* – If you want to go Jungian, I was seeing religious imagery, mostly non-Christian, in blood patterns on the pleura of carcasses while trying to examine them. Talk about distracting. I’m looking for attachments and shit and seeing pictures of Shiva surrounded by Norse runes. And that was one of the more mild images. I wish I could cut down on these goddamn meds, but I know that without them, it’s slit-wrist time at work, and being around those knives makes it too easy.
So Porter Goss has been nominated to head up the CIA. Congressman from, of course, Florida, where his experience with dirty tricks and partisan politics will come in handy come November. That alone puts me against the nomination. Eleven years as a spook, but unfortunately not during the time when Senior headed up the CIA (oh, people do forget about that, don’t they?), so he can’t be tarred with that particular brush. However, Jay Rockefeller is gearing up for a contentious nomination battle that will help expose the evil inherent in this nomination. According to CNN:
Last month, when the congressman’s name was first mentioned in connection with the top CIA job, Rockefeller and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said Goss was too close to the intelligence community and was too partisan to be effective in the post.
As chaircreature of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, he was the Junta’s attack poodle when it came time to jettison George Tenet as the fall guy for September 11th. Again, according to CNN:
In June, Goss’ committee attached a scathing report to an intelligence appropriations bill passed by the House. The report called the CIA’s human intelligence gathering apparatus “dysfunctional” and adverse to change, and charged that its intelligence analysts were timid and lacked proper focus. In response, Tenet fired off a letter to Goss, characterizing the committee’s criticisms as “ill-informed” and “absurd.”
Congrats to the Junta. This is the second miscalculation they’ve performed this week. First it was Laura opening her big pill-addled mouth about stem cell research, which a majority of Americans approve of, and in the process neutering Nancy’s message to the GOP (which has greater symbolic value to them). Now it’s this nomination, which will culminate in a bitter fight before the election and expose certain things the Junta would rather keep private. It’s nice to see them self-destruct, isn’t it?
Let’s get on with the pimps…
THE PIMP SECTION
Scotsman has today’s Daily Pulse. I have tomorrow’s. Just wanted to warn you.
Laflin is with us here on the games beat, and so is Misha. All’s well and good. Now if my review of Doom 3 ever gets up, Widro…
Geist covers fantasy football for you. Cool addition, as is the Sports section.
Stevens carries the banner for the Nexus with pride, and covers DC news while he’s at it. Nice trick if you can do it. Burnside, of course, has the Marvel side of the aisle nicely covered.
Baker has a nice little controversial piece that’s causing a stir among comics fans out there. Read it.
Who’s going on tour to help out the Good Guys? Blottie has all of the info on that.
Hey, I got a Pimp Section out of a site that still has its new-car smell. Now let’s deal with something less pleasing from an olfactory standpoint…
THE PULSE DEBUT OF THE ANTI-SPYWARE SECTION
Remember, this all started because the slugs at Enigma Software dared to advertise their piece of shit SpyHunter at 411 (one of the reasons why I decided to leave, honestly). So I’m responding every single column with proper anti-spyware information. And guess what? People are actually taking this to heart. They’re asking me for help if they’re infested, or they’re writing me telling me that their browsing experience is less annoying thanks to the stuff I’ve been putting up here three times a week for a couple months now.
Big, big Kudos to the guys at the Spyware Warrior Forum for pointing out to everyone the extent of criminal activity participated in by Enigma Software, makers of the bane of advertising on this site, SpyHunter. Slimeballs extraordinare, aren’t they? And in case you need more info about what flaming bags of shit they are, try here. Suzi’s Blog has a great list of other flaming bags of shit that promote anti-spyware programs that are spyware themselves. Consult it if you have questions.
(On a side note, those SpyHunter ads started over at Reality News Online, and BFM, a contributor there, spotted them. He told the webmaster, gave him those links that I cited above, the webmaster read them, the blood drained out of his face, and he contacted his ad provider. No more ads for Enigma products on RNO, thank you. So guess what? If you provide the info, there are sites who will listen.)
One of the leading vectors for spyware is so-called free programs that contain this shit in order to “pay the bills”. No one deserves that kind of treatment. If you’ve got a question about whether or not a certain program contains spyware, head over here. It’s a nice alphabetized list of programs that do contain spyware and should be avoided at all costs.
Here’s a list of the programs you really need to help you get rid of menaces, and, more importantly, prevent them from occurring in the first place:
Spybot and AdAware. The ONLY two spyware removal tools to trust. Do NOT buy any spyware removal tools, because none of them work better than these two, and all of them except these two are suspect.
SpywareBlaster. Will nuke thousands of different potentially malicious ActiveX controls, and now has the ability to prevent a number of non-ActiveX methods of installing spyware for people who use Mozilla/Firefox.
SpywareGuard. From Javacool, like SpywareBlaster. It’s a real-time scanner for spyware. A decent first line of defense.
IE-SpyAd. Throws numerous ad-related URLs into IE’s Restricted Zone, where they won’t display or affect your system. Bookmark this one, since it’s the only one that doesn’t have an in-program update.
A few people have recommended also installing the Sun Java Virtual Machine, since it’s Windows’ buggy, half-assed implementation of the JVM that allows a lot of spyware to install (less so within the past month and a half than before). I’ve resisted putting it here because of a couple things: 1) The MS JVM was removed in XP SP1a due to the Sun court case and replaced with a Sun JVM, and I’m not sure how many people have actually patched. 2) The link above is an automatic download, and that does scare some people. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly safe. I wouldn’t have put it here if it wasn’t. But I STRONGLY recommend that you visit here and update your version of Java.
So many people have asked about a free anti-virus program that I’m also going to recommend AVG. Totally free, and works really, really well, as well as commercial anti-virus programs. Frequent database updates, good heuristic detection, everything you want in an anti-virus package.
Another program that I’d like to add here is a little tough to work with for noobs if it goes buggy (you need to know a little something about your Networking settings in order to debug if something should go wrong). Protowall is a supplement to your firewall or NAT system. It hooks directly into XP’s networking system to block any and all traffic that comes from URLs on a list maintained by the program (all protocols, not just TCP/UDP). It’s mainly designed for anti-P2P purposes (which will appeal to a great many of my readers), but it contains lists to block spyware and ads. Its blocklist can easily be updated using its supplementary program, Blocklist Manager. I have Protowall running and a Blocklist Manager icon on my desktop, and I use Blocklist Manager to update the blocklist every couple of days. You will have problems getting to some sites unless you shut down Protowall temporarily, like ESPN or Sports Illustrated, but it does have a tray icon you can right-click and shut down in a few seconds. It’s the third layer of anti-ad material for me, with IE-SpyAd and AdSubtract running alongside it. Warning, though: it only works with XP. I’d recommend its predecessor, Peer Guardian, for other MS OSes, but it isn’t being developed anymore, and there were still bugs in it when development stopped. You can get Protowall and the Blocklist Manager (which will also work with Peer Guardian) at Bluetack’s site.
Of course, only download them from the links provided above. And only download those programs; don’t fall for the ads that are shown here.
With AdAware and Spybot, check for updates using their internal update function at least once a week. Run them at least once a week or whenever you think you might have problems. Remember, the new version of Spybot has browser protection capabilities, so have that run at startup and leave it running. Check for updates to SpywareBlaster once a week. It only needs to be run once initially in order to establish protection. Then, after it downloads updates, just click on the line that says “Enable Protection For All Unprotected Items” and kill it. It doesn’t need to be active. For IE-SpyAd, bookmark the site and check for updates twice a week, since it has no kind of internal updater. Run the Blocklist Manager every couple of days to make sure that you keep up on the latest banned URLs. Since all it does is add Registry entries, it doesn’t eat up anything.
If you’re having trouble with spyware or a browser hijacker, or think that you do, head over to the SpywareInfo Forums, where the pros there can help you diagnose and get rid of stuff. I was promoted to Full Helper status there and ended up joining ASAP, the Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals. Look for their symbol, which I’m not going to try to link to anymore because someone at the other end keeps munging it.
The Ravin’ Cajun asks me to recommend a good client-side spam filter for MS mail programs running under Windows. Now, this is something I don’t have experience with because my ISPs have always had good spam filtering, plus, I use Thunderbird, which handles the remainder quite nicely, thank you. Some readers wrote in and recommended SpamBayes, which is totally free and supposedly works very well, so I’ll add it on to the anti-annoyance list that we’re building up here. Said Ravin’ also states that when XP SP2 comes out, it’s a good idea to grab it. Yes, definitely. If you’re not running a firewall (and you should be), the one in SP2 is extremely robust and works quite well. Also, the built-in pop-up blocking on IE will be a wonderful addition.
AND SOME STUFF DEALING WITH PIRACY, OF COURSE…
Aussie Bureau Chief Brett Wortham asks me about which programs I use for BitTorrent and eDonkey. For BT, I use here. The latest Sivka is at the top of that particular page (never mind the German).
And Memo to Byron Turk: the proper netiquette on BitTorrent is to seed after you’re finished downloading until your share ratio reaches 50%. I normally do that if there aren’t enough seeds for a particular file.
Do we have any wrestling news to talk about? Let’s see…
LET’S DO SOME QUICKIES SINCE THERE ISN’T MUCH
From Da Meltz:
8-year-old Jeremy Hielscher won the date
with Sable this weekend at the Tigers-Red Sox game.
How much do you want to put down that she’ll try to do him anyway? And let’s try to give Jeremy some good pick-up lines:
“My God, how old are you?”
“Did Vince force you to get leathery skin just like his?”
“Does that much plastic surgery hurt?”
“Have you done Botox?”
“Has your gash moved upward like your nipples have?”
“Do you really expect for people to believe those boobs are real?”
“Where’s the connection for the air hose on those? Can you use a bicycle pump?”
“My dad says you inflate to 35 psi, my uncle says 40. Who’s right? And my uncle would like to f*ck you, but he’s drunk most of the time.”
“Johnny B. Badd’s hung like a moose, isn’t he? That’s why you stayed with him.”
“Did you share your makeup with him?”
“When he was doing that angle with DDP, did you two, Page, and Kimberly used to do four-ways?”
“Did you ever f*ck wrestlers for crack like Sytch?”
Oh, enough Sable baiting. Next story…
Your dark matches and International Heat matches (remember, PPV this weekend) from the Raw shoot:
Shelton Benjamin over the Artist Usually Known As Nova
Maven over Chuck Palumbo
Rosey over Stevie Richards
Rodney Mack over Val Venis
In other words, your normal Heat episode. And speaking of normal episodes, was Raw of that crappy status, or did they actually build up to SummerSlam nicely? I took a full week off of watching any type of wrestling (or doing any writing), so I’m refreshed and ready for the Pulse debut of…
THE SHORT FORM
My Beautiful and Beloved, Nidia, and Victoria Ferrari (tm KC Evers) over Molly Holly, Jazz, and Gail Kim (Pinfall, Nidia pins Holly, bridge rollup): Oh, yuck. Bleh, bleh, bleh. Just an attempt to front-load the tits at the beginning of the show (combined with the repulsive Diva Search). However, Trish’s plan was quite intriguing. Anything that can unite heels and faces must be, by definition.
Chris Jericho over Edge, Non-Title Match (Pinfall, rollup): Nice, nice little old-school match there. I don’t think I can find the words to praise it properly, since it was a low-key, low-intensity buildup to the PPV Triple Threat. Those things are usually negligible, but not this match. It showed that these two guys can really work well together as opponents. Tad Dixon has some nice comments, though:
I really like the direction they went tonight with the Jericho-Edge feud. Having Jericho act like a complete asshole (tossing his shirt at Edge before the match, winning w/ his feet on the rope) gives the feud an air of uncertainty as to who will end up the full-fledged heel. Of course, I’m referring to uncertainty for the idiot rubes with fewer teeth than children…damn the dirt sheets!!
I’m hoping they don’t do a full Jericho heel turn here. It looks like a definite tweener move, though, which produces a nice balance for the SS match with one full face, one full heel, and Jericho. Good decision on their part.
Yoshihiro Tajiri and Rhyno versus Brent Albright and Chris Cage, Two Minutes Or Less Match (Time Expired): Two minutes, two words: Total. Waste.
Our Lord and Savior over Trip and Dorkboy (tm Randle), (Lack Of The Mentally) Handicap(ped) Match (DQ, Naitcha-ference): Well, it did its job, that being to increase interest in the PPV. Otherwise, though, decent match that made Benoit look strong. Too bad he’s dropping the title on Sunday.
Till Death Do Us Fart: I’m sorry, but the reveal that Kane is the father of the baby and the whole contract signing stuff has definitely not increased my interest in the match in the slightest. In fact, thanks to the revelation, Kane’s become a bit of a face in this match. After all, he’s now trying to defend his rights as the genetic father over the person who’s threatened to raise the child as his own. As for Lita, she got herself into this, now she has to get out of this. Is there a minimum length requirement for the marriage? Why can’t she file for divorce the second after the ceremony (or annulment, since she’s not going to consummate the marriage)? Oh, who cares, really?
KC Evers, though, asks this:
This Lita story’s gonna end in a miscarriage or some controversial abortion angle. Which do you think it’ll be?
Miscarriage, but I’m hoping for the abortion angle. At least that’ll spice it up a bit.
And speaking of miscarriage, I’ll be back tomorrow for the Pulse. You stay tuned.