Screw you, pay us

It was just a matter of time, right?

First instance of ransomware showing up on campus. Ugh. Someone clicked on an attachment to an e-mail that was apparently claiming “here’s the invoice you asked for” and boom. I guess I better be extra careful (though I almost never open attachments, and only then if it’s something I KNOW I need and if it’s clearly sent by someone I know). Maybe time to send all the vital stuff I’ve not backed up yet to the campus cloud.

I tend to feel like penal colonies should be re-established for folks who commit cybercrimes (and people who do stuff like install skimmers on credit card readers). No, they wouldn’t have to be hellish pits, just places people could not leave and that would prevent them from having access to whatever technology they used to commit their crimes. Surely there are a few islands full of time-share properties people are looking to unload? There could be periodic air-drops of food and whatnot so the people stay alive, just, they have NO internet or cell phone access whatsoever.

Ransomware seems especially bad; Computer Services indicated this one was 128-bit encryption so hard for a white-hat hacker to fix it and of course it fundamentally “bricks” your computer. And if you pay the ransom, you’re just encouraging the goons to do it again. (And who knows where that money goes; it could even buy blocks of C4 for would-be terrorists, for all we know.)

But … but … they mean well, don’t they?

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Rehab: day zero

I think the decision was made when I worked myself into a walker, and then promptly dropped to the floor. (Hey, gravity works.)

Physical therapy, industrial strength. Nobody knows how long it will last.

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Technical difficulties

It is extremely difficult to run this place off a Chromebook; no respectable FTP clients, and Google of course thinks it knows what you want in a keyboard. (They don’t.) I had major problems with the next Vent, because CHROME DOESN’T HAVE A GODDAMN TEXT EDITOR and HALF THEIR APPS ARE FUCKING AD-DISTRIBUTION DEVICES. It will be very short, and mostly video.

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You gotta believe

Well, kinda sorta:

Never could deal with those Nothing Is Real types.

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To my surprise and delight

Who knew?

https://www.gofundme.com/2buab5hc

From the text:

I remember when he took time from his World Tour ’05 to visit me. I can barely believe it’s now over 10 years ago.

He’s been having some spinal issues. Look up “spinal stenosis.” It’s certainly not pretty stuff.

This is a guy who has always been independent. He’s taken his paid days off and now … well, let’s rally around him.

Chaz is not a guy who would ask for help. He’s too proud but just a little will go a long way. Help him with some bills. Let him relax and take the time he needs to get better.

To have such friends…

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Pictorial judgment

I stumbled across this picture over the weekend, and mostly, I think, I was surprised that I was surprised: I mean, there’s a definite trend toward Moar Body Art, and patterned hosiery is coming back into style, so I should expect to see potential clashes like this:

Thigh-highs but not as high as the ink

On one level, I’m thinking “This does not work.” On another, perhaps more elemental, I’m thinking “Rawr.”

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Primary concern

If I’m discharged from the hospital on Tuesday, well, it occurs to me that the polling place for my precinct is on my way home, and if I’m actually able to walk, something I haven’t been in the last few days, I ought to drop in and fill out a ballot. I haven’t missed an election since 1990 or so, and I’d hate to start now.

Before you ask: Early voting started last Thursday; I wasn’t in any condition to leave the house. And earlier on, it would not have occurred to me to ask for an absentee ballot, because I didn’t have any expectations of being absent.

Addendum: Obviously this is not happening.

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Surprisingly, not a Hamburglary

You may grimace just the same:

This was no happy meal.

An argument outside a Sonic Drive-In restaurant in North Carolina turned violent Thursday when a man named Ronald McDonald was shot, police said.

The 35-year-old — who happens to share a name with the mascot of Sonic’s fast-food rival, McDonald’s — was treated for non-life threatening injuries following the shootout in Lumberton, WNCN reported.

In a statement, Lumberton police said McDonald was arguing with 24-year-old Sonic employee Telvin Drummond around 7 p.m. when things turned ugly.

McDonald briefly left the fast-food restaurant, where his wife is a manager. When he returned, things got serious.

Um, Ron, if I may call you Ron: this is not how you Sonic.

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We want to see more

Bai Ling has been in Moscow of late, and she sent up an Instagram of an impromptu photo shoot, which ended like this:

Bai Ling takes the floor

But that’s the last frame of a short video. If you look at the whole thing, you’ll get the idea that someone asked her to display a bit more flesh, and it might have been someone who saw her here:

Bai Ling takes the stairs

Not that she’s ever balked at displaying more flesh, as you’ll see in a turn-of-the-century magazine shot below the jump:

Read the rest of this entry »

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As the digits fall

Victor Oladipo wore #5 in Orlando, and I was sort of wondering what would happen when he got to Oklahoma City, where Kyle Singler wears #5. If Wikipedia is to be believed — as of Sunday night, when this was written, the club Web site had not been updated — Singler is switching to #25, the number he wore as a Detroit Piston, leaving #5 for Oladipo.

Meanwhile, Ersan İlyasova is assigned #7. Of the draft picks, Domantas Sabonis apparently will be #23 — he was probably hoping for #11, worn by his dad as a Portland Trail Blazer, but Enes Kanter isn’t giving it up — and Daniel Hamilton will wear #55. (Hamilton was #5 at UConn.)

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On the table

About the time this goes live, I’ll be on the operating table, getting my nerves realigned. (Literally. Look up “spinal stenosis.”) I have been given no reason to think this is a particularly complicated procedure, and I expect to come out of it no worse than I went in.

Saturday I sprung this idea:

I still hate the idea. Then again, I’ve burned up the last of my paid days at work as of this afternoon, so “subsequent expenses” are still something of a worry. (I have, I think, enough on hand to cover the annual out-of-pocket on my gold silver bronze zinc health-insurance plan.) I don’t plan a formal fundraiser or anything like that, largely because this requires setting an official goal, which sort of rubs me the wrong way. (If you’re curious, I was thinking in terms of $4,000.) That said, I would be grateful for anything anyone feels like stashing into my PayPal account (chaz -at- dustbury.com).

Any posts I have in the can will be dribbled out over the next day or two. I expect to be released Tuesday, maybe Wednesday at the latest.

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Strange search-engine queries (543)

Once more, we pop the lid off last week’s visitors and try to figure out just what the heck they were looking for.

cooties übersetzung:  Cooties are like, well, cooties, man.

suppose ford, gm, and dodge make the majority of pick-up trucks sold in the united states if they all sell for approximately the same price, and ford offers a $2,000 rebate on new truck sales, what can ford expect to see?  $2000 new “customer cash” on Chevy Silverado.

mississippi goddam chords:  Read the farging sheet music.

bulldog smasher:  It’s not enough to smash pumpkins anymore.

which of the following best summarizes the main idea of this paragraph? most people steal money if it is left in an open basket. few people steal money from plywood boxes with slots in the top. most people are honest enough not to commit major theft. few people are aware when they commit crimes:  Too many people think they can finish their homework by Googling the exercise questions.

as the four winners of the grade-school spelling bee posed for a picture, each was recollecting over the day’s success. which of the following children exhibits an external locus of control?  For instance, this one.

what is a primary source:  Hint: you’re not looking at one.

how siri ios rich voip mayo:  Siri might put up with that, but Cortana would kick your ass just for thinking it.

ghostbusters fail:  Well, that explains the dogs and cats living together.

brother jukebox sister wine:  And the second cousin winds up busing tables.

fingering doesnt work:  Perhaps you’re doing it wrong.

atomic groove girlz nite out, pt.1 happy hour, april 22:  I’d say there’s a reasonable possibility that someone was fingered.

i’m a loser yahoo answers:  One among thousands.

doel 3 tihange 2:  Walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth.

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Vaya con queso

If I were to list all the individuals with whom I might associate quesadillas, William Shatner would probably be second from the bottom. Still:

Shatner Quesadilla via Bad Menu

First from the bottom? After the jump:

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Dole out the barrel

I’d thought I’d heard all the arguments on behalf of the Negative Income Tax aka Guaranteed Annual Income, but this one is new to me:

It might also help with [the] problem of people being homeless and with the skyrocketing cost of rent. If you have a guaranteed but limited income, you are going to look for a place you can afford to live. There are thousands of towns in middle America that are shrinking because there are no jobs. You can bet the rents in those places are going to be much lower than they are in the big cities. So this negative income tax might lead to a rebirth of small town America. If people start are leaving the big cities for the small towns we should see a reduction in traffic congestion in the big cities. Good news all around.

I dunno. I think you’d have to make the dole conditional, mandating that the recipients move to some place where Section 8 is more like five and a half, for this actually to work.

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Block partier

Not so long ago, Stuart Weitzman came up with a shoe called, for good and sensible reasons, “Tasselmania.” What happens when the shoe is not so, well, manic?

Tasselean by Stuart Weitzman

The nice thing about the block heel is that it looks like it won’t give way under you, unlike some styles you could name. Says Weitzman’s storefront about “Tasselean”:

Boho goes modern by way of a tassel detail and a minimalist single-sole design. This fashionista favorite is finished with braided straps and is crafted from cipria leather or suede. Wear with structured shorts and a silk tunic.

Um, “structured”? Okay. These are structured AF, or at least A&F.

The cipria version of “Tasselean” is “Frosted White.” Either way, it’s $398.

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Dragged into the next century

From 2010:

Last month, you’ll remember, privately-owned (but Senate-appointed) tag agents registered their displeasure with the state’s plan to process orders over the Web, which might put a dent in their business model.

Displeasure duly noted, the Oklahoma Tax Commission has now opened up that Web site and bestowed upon it the incredibly-obvious acronym CARS, which stands for “Convenient Auto Renewal System.”

At the time, I noted that this wasn’t likely to change my own habits; I have an agent of choice, and I’ve been going there for a decade or so.

Then again, I spent none of that decade in the hospital. And now that I’m at an appalling level of incapacitation, now is the time to learn the online stuff.

Elapsed time: about six minutes. Trickiest bit was on insurance verification, where they have options for either name or NAIC number of insurer: perhaps they never expected anyone actually to have the NAIC number. There’s a $1.50 fee. And some time next week, right about the time the old year tab expires, I should have a new one. I just hope I feel well enough to put it in place.

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