There are certain days at work here that are f*cked up beyond belief. Monday was one of them. The plant decided not to operate; however, we inspectors had to show up and stay for seven hours. But, since neither shift was operating, us night people had the option of showing up at 6AM and spending the time with the day people for a change. We did this, which left us the whole day free to do stuff like shop and shit, or knock out part of this column before Raw in my case (and renew the Damn Vaninator’s plates; my ass still feels sore from the f*cking the State of Kansas gave me on that). That also explains why I’m too f*cked up to try to get a real lead for this column. Well, whatever. Besides, I’m in too good a mood to complain, despite the complete flop of the American Ryder Cup team (I didn’t get to see enough of it to complain or compliment), because I’m having a great time with a trio of games, The Sims 2, Madden 2005, and especially Star Wars Battlefront*. And the Bears beat the FudgePackers. At Lambeau. Convincingly. A New Era, the Lovie Era, began on Sunday, and I’m stuck here in the middle of f*cking nowhere watching what I have to say was a pretty good KC/Carolina tilt. Well, on to the Pimp Section…
* – The first part of the Clone Wars campaign is you playing the battle droids against a group of Gungans. You don’t know how many times I yelled “Die, Jar Jar, die!”. And I think you get to kill Ewoks later on. If that’s the case, it’ll be a near-10.
THE PIMP SECTION
Lucard exposes his arteries so that you can take his Daily Pulse.
The B Shows run wild again, with West on Heat, Hollyric with Afterburn, and Faria displaying Epilepsy.
DoubleJBass and Dave M both have Impact reports, but I beat them to it with the Short Form this week. Try again, boys.
Stein has his indy thing going good.
Urciuolo‘s comments about fandom also apply to the Wrestling part of this particular website, and even moreso.
I love Hourman, so Morrison gets a pimp.
And, what the hell, the whole TV area. I don’t get into reality shows at all, so what they’re doing is lost on me, but they’re doing a good job with whatever it is they are doing…can someone tell me what I just said?
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.
AW, SHIT, NOT QUICKIES
Yeah, quickies, because I don’t want to comment in any length on most of this shit.
As most major sites have reported (as well as Hyatte), Charlie Haas and Jackie Gayda got engaged two weeks ago, just in case you couldn’t figure out what Hyatte was getting at yesterday (I couldn’t, but that’s normal for me with Hyatte). Congratulations to the happy couple, and I give it one year.
Hyatte went on about Jim Barnett, so I don’t have to.
Flair suffered a groin injury over the weekend, so he’s going to be walking a bit gingerly for a while. Thanks, Big Johnson, for that tidbit.
Also on the injured list is Sonjay Dutt, according to Da Meltz and Big Johnson. He was working for Jersey Pro over the weekend when he suffered a dislocated elbow that was feared to be a break. It looked so bad in the ring that the ref stopped the match. Preliminary indications are three weeks out, although Dutt says he wants to work through it. Take the time off, Sonjay, please; you’re close enough to killing yourself already in every single X Division match that you do, and the Division can live without you for a few weeks. You’d just be used for trios matches on Impact anyway.
Joey Styles is so full of shit it dribbles out of his ears. Just wanted to throw that one in, what with his fake “fan letter” propagating the whole Heidenreich-raped-Cole thing that the anti-WWE crowd is throwing around. If anything anal was done between those two, you know that it was consensual on Cole’s part.
And speaking of consensual anal rape, let’s go to Raw…
THE SHORT FORM
My Beautiful and Beloved and Victoria Ferrari over Molly Holly and Trish Stratus (Pinfall, My Beautiful and Beloved pins Holly, rollup): Sorry, went to take a piss and came in for the end of it. Like I missed anything.
Yoshihiro Tajiri over Novocaine Helms (Pinfall, rollup, again): No, a heel turn cannot make me care about Ol’ Novocaine. He’s so far past gone that it’ll take a heel turn involving a cattle prod and Rosey being stripped naked to make people care, and that would only nauseate them. Well, it’s more of a reaction than he gets now.
Chris Jericho versus Shawn Michaels (ND, Christian-ference): Was going along well until the SE finish, I thought. Nothing spectacular, nothing noteworthy, just the solid match that we’d expect from these two.
Maven over Sylvain Grenier (Pinfall, rollup, yet again): WHO BOOKS THE FUCKING ENDINGS TO THESE MATCHES? THREE ROLLUPS AND A SCHMOZZ?! Well, it’s that or bitch about the match, but as soon as the intros started, I started to shuffle through my DVD collection to see what I’d rather watch than this. The answer was “Everything”.
Our Lord and Savior, Randy Orton, and Shelton Benjamin over Trip, Ric, and DAVE (Pinfall, Orton pins Flair, RKO): Superb mainly because they kept Orton out of the match and saved him for the end surprise, which was actually reasonably effective (although you knew it was coming). In the meantime, the five guys in there did an ace job in making each other look good. There’s not much more you can ask for a main event these days, although Scooter will have something to say about Orton getting the pinfall and having
to team with Benoit.
Breaking Taboos: Aw, they were going along so well there with the opening promo. Vince and Bisch on fire, doing their acts perfectly. And then they ruined it by bringing in the retard. Why can’t they admit that Dinsmore’s booking has been a mistake from the beginning, like I told them since BEFORE they introduced the character? You all agree with me, I’m certain of that, because you’re finally realizing that I’m right all the time about these sorts of things. They read me; we know that. So why can’t they admit it? One good promo flushed down the shitter.
Miscarriage In More Ways Than One: Gene Snitsky, WWE’s newest heel? And Kane being turned face by this angle? Kane had better do something to get his heel status back, quick. He was doing so well with the vows and all that a face turn could kill his heat completely. And how come Grisham was shoved out of the area of Lita’s room but the cameraman and soundman were able to hang on the door to capture the door on video and Kane’s anguished screams on audio?
Since It’s Finally Over…: Sure, Christy may have won, but Carmella almost certainly had a contract offer waiting backstage. Playboy playmate, starting quarterback beard, uh, boyfriend…she’s got what WWE wants, and they’ll get it. She’ll probably end up staying around longer than Christy anyway due to those credentials. So don’t worry, Carmella fans, she’ll be back soon.
And so will I, hopefully as soon as tomorrow depending on whether or not I’m enthused about anything enough to talk about it at length. Until then, enjoy yourselves and get your hands off your cocks.