In Memoriam: Laura Branigan, underestimated as a singer because of the lightweight material she had to work with.
Well, I’m developing a wonderful reputation for being late about stuff, aren’t I? I was called into work early on Monday and forgot to set the VCR. That means I had to wait until Raw was uploaded to Usenet, which happened Tuesday morning. Unfortunately, it didn’t finish until I was back from work on Tuesday night. This does give me the opportunity to do those screen caps that people (and Widro) loved in the Triple Threat Short Form last week, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that a report that was supposed to be published in August isn’t uploaded until September. Life, like the War on Terror, is not winnable (not my words, Dubbaya’s). Well, let’s get on with it…
THE PIMP SECTION
Laflin and I are, of course, playing chess by e-mail, and we’re intertwined like a couple of newlywed virgins. In other news, he did invite me to be part of the posse for the Smackdown taping, but I’m still working nights on that date, so that’s out. Too bad. It’d make for a very early Short Form.
What’s the secret code to get Misha nude? Bet Cooling knows.
Gloomchen‘s mother is not too old to rock. Mine, however, is, although I try my best. If anything will kill her…
JJ graces us with his presence, as usual.
Gordi is almost as old a I am, believe it or not.
West Starts our cavalcade of B-show coverage by claiming Heat.
Fothergill-Brown has your monthly WWE summary on tap.
Urciuolo discusses the FudgePackers. Well, f*ck him. Although his anti-Wannie stance buys him his life.
Stevens has the DC news all wrapped up in one nice little package, while Burnside keeps pace from the Marvel side.
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 few months now.
(And as I understand it, there are some unscrupulous browser toolbar people trying to advertise here at the Pulse. Well, don’t click on that ad, whatever you do. We’ll still get the money from the impressions, and your system will stay safe.)
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 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 at various websites.
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.
NOW CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT HIM?
Brock Lesnar was cut by the ViQueens. That’s the end, right? No, unfortunately, it isn’t. As Slayer pointed out correctly, the plan that Tice and his boys laid out for Lesnar was always to see if he could cut it during training camp and then resign him to put him on an NFL Europe roster so he could get some PT under non-pressure conditions. Now they’re even considering aborting that and putting him on the practice squad. So this story is never going to die unless he gives it up and comes hat-in-hand to Vince with kneepads on, ready to apologize in the manner that Vince wants him to, namely putting him on Epilepsy every week and having him job to Funaki for a month straight. And that’s only after the ass-kissing and the blowjob.
Hasn’t been a good week for Happy Fun Brock, you have to admit. First he has to watch as John Fucking Heidenreich, of all people, starts getting the same exact type of push that he did (unstoppable monster, managed by Heyman), then he gets cut this deep into the pre-season. Next thing you know, Cena will walk out wearing a Lesnar jersey, just so the humiliation will be that much more complete.
Look, let’s stop talking about him until he gets back into a wrestling locker room, okay? It makes it much easier on all of us.
And that’s the only story I want to cover. You want more, read Grut. He’s a glutton for alleged news. Time for the Short Form.
THE SHORT FORM
Rob Conway, Sylvain Grenier, and Jonathan Coachman over Rhyno and Yoshihiro Tajiri, Handicrap Opener (Pinfall, Grenier pins Rhyno, Au Revoir): Dull, dull, dull, next.
Coachman gets the GOAR GOAR GOAR
Dave Batista over Mister Regal (Pinfall, Clothesline From the Castro): Hmmmm, Batista sold a little of Regal’s offense, and Regal made him look like a million quid. Maybe there’s a lesson in here for Trip…oh, wait, let’s hope he doesn’t let that lesson sink in tonight. There’s no way in hell I want Dinsmore to look good.
“It’s fun to stay at the Y…”
Regal and his man-titties excite the SF crowd
Chris Benoit over Ric Flair (DQ, Batista-ference): Too damn short. Much too damn short. Give it fifteen and do the same booking (but not the same ending), and Scooter would give it four snowflakes. There’s just something about Benoit beating the crap out of Flair for extended periods of time that so…well, satisfying. Benoit’s the best at dishing it out and Flair’s the best at taking it. I just want to see more of it than this. Shit.
And Memo to Scooter: Happy belated birthday. You want to see bitching and whining about that subject, wait until my November 30th column. I’ll have ten times more reason to complain.
It’s Benoit/Flair! Who cares if it sucked?
Victoria and Nidia over Trish Stratus and Gail Kim (Pinfall, Victoria pins Kim, rollup): So it’s Stratus’ first mat
ch back since she broke her hand. As someone once
said, “Whoop-de-ding-dong”. Apathy reigns supreme on this special episode of Raw.
Trish directs traffic
Gail Kim demonstrates the secret way to inflate Victoria’s implants
Nick Dinsmore over Trip, No-DQ Match (Pinfall, Orton-ference): Nice to see Trip competing as a face for once, but you know I FFed through it. So no further comments necessary.
Death to retards
Pictures At An Exhibition: What’s this? Randy Orton cutting a coherent, quality face promo in response to Trip’s usual blather? Will miracles never cease? Bravo, Randy, I didn’t know you had it in you.
Trip “practicing” for his next meeting with Vince
Randy Orton in the process of cutting a coherent promo
You’d be smug if you had a giant phallic symbol on your shoulder too
Nothing Says “I Love You” Like A Superkick: Well, we all knew that Shawn Michaels was going to get involved with this whole Kane/Lita thing for a while now, and all of the dirt sheets knew about the planning for Unforgiven. They just filled in an angle where there wasn’t going to be any, then everyone got to laugh at them when Michaels didn’t show up at the wedding. Thank God I didn’t fall for that. Or cared, for that matter.
And last but not least…
And that’s it for this one. I’ll knock out another column on Wednesday and Thursday, wherein I’ll cover various and sundry (you know, that’s what the Daily Pulse is supposed to be about). Until I appear again, you keep it safe.