Well, I guess we know who number 3 was, after Leigh and Dangerfield. – BFM
I hate it when people steal my lines. Damn you, BFM, damn you to hell.
But, In Memoriam: Christopher Reeve, a much more effective and real advocate for the disabled than he was an actor.
Ah, it was good to have a day off yesterday. Thank God for obscure federal holidays and the plant deciding not to work. A lot better than when they decide not to work on non-federal-holidays and we have to come in and sit around for eight hours doing jack shit. No, really, that’s what happens. We don’t get the day off or anything, we have to come in and sit around. Your tax dollars at work, folks. So I sat around and did nothing all day. Played a few games, surfed for porn, read Hyatte, and enjoyed the fact that I finally upgraded my video card. I tend to spend $400 on the top of the line and then use it for five years, which is what happened with my last video card. Did the same this time and picked up a GeForce FX 6800GT. Next on the list is CPU, motherboard, and RAM, all in one shot, along with a very large hard drive to dump all the data from my motherboard-based and finicky RAID array. Then I’ll finally have a decent system for gaming again. I hate getting single-digit frame rates on Doom 3.
Well, that’s my excuse, so what’s the excuse for all the wrestling websites out there? There was a distinct lack of news floating around out there not only yesterday, but over the weekend as well. Shit, Fingers covered anything even remotely interesting, which leaves me nothing to talk about. Therefore, this column is not only going to be short, it’s gonna suck. Pimp Section, Spyware, Short Form, and that’s it. I’ll make it up tomorrow…well, actually Thursday because I’m going to delay it to catch the debate and submit it right after that, so it probably won’t be up until Thursday morning.
Oh, well, c’est la vie, and I’ll throw up what I have…
THE PIMP SECTION
Stein has what’s going on on the indy scene for you.
Toner thinks that pro athletes are whiny little bitches. And he’s right.
Urciuolo tries to make sense out of an insane weekend in college football and what it might mean to the BCS when it starts up next week. How ’bout them Huskers? Fuck Lincoln. I moved out for a reason other than the fact that I got a job out of town.
Shaffer digs out one of those columns that got “lost” when we all left 411. Hey, cool by me. Wish I could do the same. Maybe I could do one of those “reprint” books that have done so well for the Doktor and Scooter. Find me a publisher, Widro.
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:
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 that it’s moved to a release candidate status, I feel good in recommending Firefox as an alternative to IE. Go grab a copy and see what you’re missing.
As I said, no news that interests me (just read Fingers and get updated on the minutiae), so on to the Short Form…
THE SHORT FORM
Missus Hyatte over Missus Szulczewski, Women’s Title Match (Pinfall, Chick Kick): She dishonored me by wearing that ManU jersey, you know. I’ll deal with that when she gets home. She’ll be punished properly, believe you me. Unlike Hyatte, I know how to control my women.
Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier over Mister Regal and the retard, Tag Title Match (Pinfall, Grenier pins Regal, Greco-Roman flag shot): I didn’t care about the match because the retard was involved. But it was fantastic to see Regal get that kind of heat. I just wish it could be translated across the Atlantic, you know. But there are some things that do translate. As KC Evers puts it nicely:
Shouldn’t La Res have the French flags since they’re in the UK?
Not necessary. Regal gave them all the heel heat they needed. Oh, the English don’t forget. They’re still holding a grudge over the Hundred Years’ War.
Chris Jericho and Rhyno over Christian and Tyson Tomko (Pinfall, Jericho pins Tomko, Lionsault): I didn’t care about this match when it was Jericho versus Rhyno. Why should I care about it just because Christian and Tomko were thrown into the mix? I ended up shaving because I felt that saving time when I wake up in the morning is more important than this.
Our Lord and Savior, the Jim Cavieziel Impersonator, and the Guy Who Worships Both over Trip, Dave, and Ric (Pinfall, Edge pins Trip, Michaels Sweet Chimp Music): Better-than-adequate tag match there. The emphasis given to Benoit during the match and the show-hogging of Edge makes me think that it’ll be Trip/Benoit at Taboo Tuesday with Edge costing himself and Michaels the tag titles out of selfishness and peevishness (leading to a Michaels/Edge feud, which’ll be great for both of them). And don’t give me any of that “the fans decide” bullshit. The voting’s already rigged, enough so that we can do a Round Table predicting everything. We’re all longtime IWC people, and we know the way things work.
None, really, since the UK crowd had to be caught up on stuff due to delays in broadcasting. A little advancement of Taboo Tuesday (the only question remaining being whether it’ll be Christian or Batista against J
ericho, probably Batista), but nothing else.
Well, I’ll see you folks when tomorrow’s column gets uploaded and put up. Until then, be prepared.