This is going to be a short one, folks. I haven’t been sleeping well lately due to certain stresses and such, and when I got home on Monday from work, I ate and decided to take a short nap. I woke up two minutes before Raw came on. I also realized this morning that they gave me the wrong f*cking dosage of Lexapro (I’ve got renewals on the right dosage, so I’m going to see if I can get one of them refilled today). So I’ll just forego the formalities and get on with it…
THE PIMP SECTION
It’s the pills, Lucard.
Misha has some actual game releases to announce, but none of them will drive him away from Zelda.
Gordi takes us to the Land of Hope and Glory.
Hatton and his pals enjoy Raw again.
Porter tries to explain the basis of cricket, and does some Stupid Ref Tricks while he’s at it.
Yes, Gauss, I do sue for gimmick infringment, but since Nick already took it up the ass from Trump, I’ll forego the pain this time.
Memo to Hevia: I let My Beautiful and Beloved live her own life. As long as she comes back to Daddy at the end of the day, everything’s cool. However, with the whole Orton thing, I’m requiring her to bathe in slaughterhouse-strength antibacterial soap.
Shaffer rewrites the Invasion, and good for him. That sucker needs rewriting, badly.
Blatt has the final word on Royal Rumble.
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 that 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.)
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.
Surprisingly, many people have asked me about the Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta. I downloaded it and tried it, and it shockingly did a great job. Since it’s free, I’ll recommend it here.
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. Since all it does is add Registry entries, it doesn’t eat up anything. Run the Blocklist Manager every couple of days to make sure that you keep up on the latest banned URLs.
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.
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 1.0 has been released, I feel good in recommending Firefox as an alternative to IE. Go grab a copy and see what you’re missing.
JUST ONE NEWS ITEM
1bullshit Junior is doing their normal job of fact-checking on this one. They’re reporting that Amy Weber has supposedly parted ways with WWE due to the backstage behavior of certain male individuals. Weber supposedly contacted Johnny Ace and told him she was out. No one from Ace’s office can confirm or deny exactly what’s going on. Since this week’s Smackdown has already been taped, we probably won’t find out until next week’s SD if she’s still around, or what, because 1bullshit Junior sucks on their follow-ups (although they’ll report the same tidbit three times in the space of a day).
Aw, shit, Osterlund published this one. And I’m not going to get involved with another Brock Lesnar story. I’ve wasted too much energy on that goof to calculate.
And now, from the Land of the Rising Yen, comes Raw, and from the Land of Utter and Complete Boredom comes the Short Form…
THE SHORT FORM
Chris Benoit over Chris Jericho, Submission Match (modified Crossface): Yeah, like I’m going to say anything bad about this one. These two really turned the clock back ten years for the Tokyo crowd. It wasn’t as good as their Super-J match, but with the added experience that age and skill development (not to mention financial security and a family of your own) can give you, it was better-paced and more of a testament to ring skill. Congratulations for fifteen minutes of total joy, and the best Raw opener in dog’s years.
Dave Batista over Maven (Pinfall, DAVEBomb): Hey, the Japanese are even eating up the squash matches! Talk about different.
Mister Regal and Yoshihiro Tajiri over Rob Conway and Sylvain Grenier, Tag Titles Match (Pinfall, Tajiri pins Grenier, yakuza kick, New Tag Champions): Okay, so the result was as exploitive as La Res winning the tag titles in Montreal. However, maybe WWE has learned its lesson here in re Tajiri: let him run with it, goddamnit! This guy knows how to make a match exciting. Maybe a long tag reign will help that situation. He’s been buried for too long. I’m damn glad to see him get some gold for a change.
Shawn Michaels over Ric Flair (Pinfall, Sweet Chimp Music): I’m lucky that I’ve watched enough puro in my time to know that, in Japan, crowd silence does not equal apathy. In the Double-Team Short Form last week, I discussed the difference between “slow” and “methodical”. This match definitely fit into the “methodical” category, and that’s a good thing, folks. Moreso than with Benoit/Jericho, just the sight of these two getting it on was pleasure enough. The match was the cherry on top: well-booked for both guys, got enough time to establish some psychology, and the crowd got into the spots pretty well.
Randy Orton over Tyson Tomko (Pinfall, rollup): A little more than a week into it, and I’m already hating this concussion angle. That’s not a record or anything (hey, I hated Dinsmore’s angle before it started), but it is an accurate measure of its stupidity. And Memo to Christian: it’s bad enough that My Beautiful and Beloved has to be hanging around Orton, but no man-handling of her without my permission in the future, Jay.
Trip over Edge, World Title Match (Pinfall, Pedigree): For the first five minutes of the match, I played “Who’s The Face?”, and finally figured out that it was probably Trip. That was mind-boggling enough for me. Good match until the end, when it degenerated into an angle advancement match for Batista. I’d like to see a repeat of this prior to WM, but without Batista involved.
Ladies And Gentlemen, We Have A Temporary Feud: We were all wondering what Randy Orton was going to do between now and the time he gears up a feud against Trip for WM. Well, enter Christian. He at least has the mic skills to cove
r for Orton’s glaring deficiency in that area. Carrying him in the ring is a different question. Well, at least they have something to do for now.
A Question That Must Be Answered: Does NOAH or NJPW do T&A and nut shots? Guess not, because the crowd was really getting into that waste of time known as the Diva Fashion Show, even though the choice of Simon Dean for an interruption was pathetic (the guy’s getting over on his promos, and why risk that in Japan?). Personally, if there was an interruption, I was hoping for Snitsky or, like Hatton, Hassan and Daivari. Although something must be said for Victoria in leather. I will leave it to the younger members of the audience to say it, though.
And I’ll close this off quick. Hopefully I’ll have enough energy to do something tomorrow. If not, it’s definite over the weekend for the Short Form and the That Phil Collins Song Round Table. Until whenever, I’m going to try to get some sleep.