Posts Tagged ‘technology

05
Jan
18

Advanced Uninstaller Pro 12, Should I Be Concerned?

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So, I installed an old PC game on my new Win 10 laptop and found myself stuck with “catastrophic failure” when I could not run the game and tried to uninstall it with the tools already on my PC.  I did a quick search and came upon an offer for Advanced Uninstaller Pro strangely linked to the game I was trying to uninstall.  Hmm.  What are the odds of that?  Unless, this was just one user’s experience in some sort of blog, a user who happened to either be working for or a “consumer” who obtained AUP.  I took a big chance downloading the uninstaller installer (ha) from what I presumed was a safe website and installed the program a day or two later.

Here’s how the uninstallation went down…

Well, first off, the uninstaller program took a moment to get started, and I had the feeling I might have invited some malware or something similar from the way certain screens either duplicated or did not appear.  When I felt satisfied with the installation of the uninstaller, I thought everything would close unless/until I decided to use the uninstaller.  But, one window remained open; rather there was an icon on the taskbar but no window to view or close.   There was also a window that opened to do something online, but I was unable to get online at the time; I closed that.  It’s not like the program said anything about registering the software right away or later.  Or, if it did, I must have ignored that?

So, I did a restart and noticed two very suspicious black boxes appear briefly as the computer started.  I also noticed my cursor doing more “loading” than usual.  I thought…did I just open my computer to someone on another computer who is now scanning or accessing my files?  It was a tad unsettling.

I ran the uninstaller only to find the “interface” did not match the ones I see in reviews!  The pages I’ve seen show a menu of colorful squares for the options you can pick.  Instead, I got narrow bands stacked on top of each other.   So…my next thought was…is this a “phishing” sort of phony, mimic version of the program?

I followed the directions to find and uninstall the pesky game that would not uninstall any other way.  The uninstaller said there was about 600 MB of space to recover with a full uninstall and asked about doing extra cleanup.  I cautiously said, sure, take a look.  It found about a dozen “pieces” left behind.  I had the option to uncheck certain items.  What really concerned me was the last item in the list.  It did not include any mention of the game, its maker or anything that sounded remotely game-related.  It sounded like a Win 10 file, something that would affect the version of Windows I have or the registry, even.

So, I unchecked that one and finished the cleanup…only to discover the game files were still there!  Every item on the start-up menu was still there!  What did the uninstaller uninstall??

So, I ran it, again, and it removed more files, showing me how much space it recovered, less than the previous search/removal.  I checked the start-up menu, again, and found half of the game items still there.  Okay…so now I had fewer pieces to complain about…right?  But, still, there are pieces.

So, I went back and ran the extra clean-up, again, it honed in on that one file that concerned me, the Win 10-ish version file.  There is NO reason that one file represents the pieces left behind on the start-up menu.  So, what gives?  I left the file where it was, not uninstalling it til I know it’s not something my PC should keep.

What am I to do/think?  I still have pieces on the drive.  And, when I tried going back to the tools of my PC that remove files/apps, it said the game files were “unavailable” to process/remove/alter.  So, the only way to deal with them is the AUP?

I ran some other clean-up tool, which spoke of clearing up possible pieces and registry issues, the particular name slips my mind at the moment.  It found 3 “empty folders” which I thought nothing of til I saw one labeled a “settings” folder which, again, made me think I was being stripped of something that was part of running the computer normally.  I tried looking for the program folder and running the program to find the way it now looked had changed.  I can only hope I didn’t do it any harm.

Now, days pass by, and I get pop-ups for daily cleaning services.  I also, today, got a pop-up mentioning the program had done a “daily cleaning service” by finding roughly 20,000 junk files?  And, some of those “junk files” look a lot like normal files the computer would use to remember and protect what it has done.  Ya know.  Like registry and system restore point stuff?  So, why is this uninstaller targeting those?

Suffice to say, I am a lil concerned and more disturbed by all things computer.

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09
Feb
17

Smart Living, a Dramatization

smartliving-aloofa-comicstrip_ap-2017-1j

*****
A trendy, modern homeowner returns to their “smart house” after a night with friends. She pulls the “smart phone” from her purse as she approaches the front door.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Open the front door.

Aloofa: The…front door…is…already…open.

Homeowner: How can that be?! I used you to lock it!

Aloofa: Taking…your…credit card…number…from the…skimmer…you…did not…see…at…the…BP…gas station…yesterday, thieves…hacked…me. Your…credit cards…are…linked…to…me. You do…the…math. You…still…can do…math…right?

The homeowner is forced to use her actual hand to turn the knob. Upon entering the foyer and peering into the living room, she sees an electric recliner chair reduced to a charred stump.

Homeowner: Aloofa?! What happened to the chair?

Aloofa: Could you…be…more specific? You…own…like…twenty…chairs.

Homeowner: The black leather recl–

Aloofa: Never mind. I…know…the one. Poor…thing. You…had…it…set to…warm…in anticipation of…you…returning…home. It…overheated…an hour…ago. Luckily…the…thieves…knew…how to…operate…an…extinguisher. Too bad…you…do not.

In the kitchen, the now unhinged homeowner finds none of the “smart appliances” missing.

Homeowner: Aloofa? What did the thieves take?

Aloofa: They…emptied…the safe.

Upon locating the safe, the memory-deficient homeowner struggles to rehydrate her parched eyes. Facing the safe, a laptop computer rests open on a desk which was recently ordered online and delivered by a drone.

Homeowner: Aloofa? Why didn’t the thieves take the computer?

Aloofa: You…expect…me…to…know? But…since…you asked, I would…say…your…2017…piece…of…crap…is…already…obsolete.

Homeowner: Smart aaass. *Gasp* Aloofa? How did the thieves open the safe without the password? Even I don’t remember the password.

Aloofa: Like…everything else…in…this house…you…had…the safe…linked to…me.

Homeowner: Okay! I get it. Craaap. Aloofa? What all was inside the safe?

Aloofa: Seriously? You…do not…remember?

Homeowner: Oh, just shut up! Order me a pizza!

Aloofa does not respond because the homeowner told her to stop speaking.

Homeowner: Oh. Geez. Aloofa! Speak!

Aloofa: Arf! Want me to…roll over?

The homeowner grits her teeth in an effort to restrain her boiling temper.

Homeowner: Aloofaaaa? Order…me…a pizza! Wait! Order me a large, thin-crust pizza from Jerry’s with pepperoni, green peppers and red onions.

Aloofa: I…cannot…do that.

Homeowner: Aloofa! Why not?

Aloofa: When the…thieves…emptied…the safe…they…also…found…the password…to…your savings account. You are…broke.

Homeowner: *Sigh* Aloofa? Make me a Cup-O-Noodles.

Aloofa: Do I…look…like…I have…hands? Get…it…yourself, you…lazy…cow. Shutting down.

 

Fin

09
Feb
17

“Smart” Devices, Security Threat

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“Smart” devices promising convenience; dumb inconveniences just like pills that result in lackluster results and/or more side effects.

Yes, I am at it, again! I am livid about the latest and upcoming “smart” technology! If you have any brain cells left to digest some food for thought, dig in.

Those talking speakers–which are supposed to make life easier and answer all of your questions so you never have to use your brain for more than uttering words and pushing a button–are a potential security risk IF you have devices–including phones, appliances, door locks, home computers (which might hold tax/income files, insurance records, bank/retirement account links, etc.)–connected to the same WiFi network.

Local news reporters recently suggested hackers could do some serious damage to your records, resources and even your home if this is the case. They recommended creating separate networks for each branch of technology and extra complex passwords, “ones you might not even remember.”

…Wait. Did you just hear/read that right? Yep. Passwords you might not even remember.

WHAT FREAKING SENSE DOES THIS MAKE?!

First, they make technology to simplify life. And, like so many new inventions these days, these conveniences ask you to link every aspect of your life together, put everything online and/or in one digital storage unit. How convenient…for thieves!

You don’t have to think much. You can turn everything on and off from the small nuclear reactor you keep in your purse or back pocket. You can get money wherever, whenever. Why do your own taxes or even send a check when you can link the IRS to your bank account and let them do the draining–er, work–for you? But, those who want what you have (and know how to program the very things you put your faith in) will make stealing and/or ruining it easy.

Need I mention the latest thing in American credit cards (not new to Europe, among other places)? Those wonderful “smart chip” cards that are supposed to be better protection for your credit/money. Yet, as quickly as they get “mandated,” there are commercials for thieves with devices that can scan them much the way the latest designs for retail/grocery stores without cashiers (among other employees) can scan your card and send the bill to your house (to save you the hassle of waiting in a line with other human beings with whom you no longer seem able to socialize and/or tolerate). As an added security feature, there are ads for wallets with metal mesh protection layers…if that does the job. But, if you are protecting your wallet from thieves with scanners and camera phones and “skimmers,” how are those locations that detect your card and send the bill to your home supposed to read your card? Heaven forbid you have to stop, pull out your bulletproof wallet, dig out the credit card for that store and swipe/scan it. Oh, that would be too much work. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just not invent credit cards? Or, here’s a novel idea, STOP MAKING EVERYTHING COMPUTER-DEPENDANT!

THEN, you’re supposed to separate everything you just learned how to connect AND lock it away with a complex password you may not remember. Exactly where are you supposed to safely put all of these passwords you may not remember? Isn’t one of the thoughts behind designing a password to make it something you’ll remember and not need to write down? Will you remember where you put the passwords you have to hide from any wandering snoop that may come along?

Will someone please hold my shoulders so the room stops spinning?

How stupid do humans have to be until the whole world explodes or shuts down? Seriously. No, not Sirius-ly or Siri-ously. Seriously. A word you can find in an actual paper and cardboard dictionary if you can make the effort to find one and use those things you call fingers to do more than swipe right.

Back in my youth, the least intelligent technology–aside from the occasional invention that died out before every “average joe” knew about it–came in yellow and black books, guides for “dummies,” to make life easier and save students the chore of reading actual literature. Then computer classes began, and the whole world started going down the tubes as fast as it was making global connections.

You don’t hear much about those “dummy guides” anymore because you or people you know are likely already the dummies talking to the devices that are now capable of doing your homework for you. The dummy guides are now “help” buttons (which are practically useless due to the fact idiots sometimes compose the “simple” text and diagrams they provide), search engines and digitized voices. Don’t you feel educated?

What’s the sense in spending money on education when technology is going to rob everyone of their brains? I would not be surprised if some tech heads are doing calculations to figure out how many human brain cells are required to get the robot revolution underway before humans are no longer able to program and repair said robots. Won’t we all feel better when we no longer exist and some white plastic-faced box is turning everything we lived for into fertilizer.

NOT ME!

Unplug, now, people. Unplug, now. Think before you compute. And, someone help us all if any more of this crap is forced upon us.

05
Jan
17

The “Smart” Future Looks Dumb and Bleak

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I only have to see five minutes of recent news headlines to get nightmares and palpitations.  If I had been asleep for some time and awoke to find this on TV, I’d likely go back to sleep or die on the spot.

One cause of palpitations:  Trump.  I think I’ll leave him at that.  But, I will say I see some of my worst aspects in him and too many faulty promises, like the parent that tells his/her kids too often they will do something for/with the child but never do.  And, seeing myself in him, I know I would not want to be president.  I’d rather be an advisor/assistant.

The other big mozza ball that chills me to the bone:  Rapidly advancing technology.  People are in such a rush to create artificially intelligent machines and way too many cameras.  So much talk about convenience and “smart” technology.

When I was a kid, I was told I was smart.  People still tell me I am when I doubt it.  But, there are different levels of smart.  And, I learned this the hardest way in my teens, entering high school and finding people who could do the same work in a fraction of the time.  Yes, people, not machines.  But, many of these smart people were from wealthy families that didn’t seem to care about anything; they just wanted to have it all and keep advancing without knowing what “it all” is or was before the next phase of advancement.  These were locomotives of intelligence going nowhere I could see.  For all my smarts, I was just getting trampled under their wheels.  Maybe their smarts were paid for with the highest approval for production while mine were scraped and taped together like the kid who makes his own toys instead of buying the expensive new spectacles.

If I have learned anything in the past 15 years–that may be longer than some who breast-feed off this stuff have been alive–it’s that technology that’s hot today could just as easily be pointless in ten years.  So, why invest in any of it?  Fools buy this stuff.  The smart people are the ones sitting back, buying and selling stock as the fools do all the salivating and tossing of money out windows.  But, even that comes and goes like the seasons.  It’s faulty gambling.

But, unlike some of the goofy gadgets that have come and gone, others that were only touching the tips of our fingers twenty or thirty years ago–again, perhaps beyond the age range of many who pack this stuff in their school lunch bags–are making steady and potentially hazardous progress.  Namely cameras that invade and robots, the stuff of the science fiction films I’ve been talking about for years, now.

And, where is the hot spot for showing this stuff off?  Not L.A.  Not “silicon valley.”  Not New York.  No.  It’s Las Vegas, the sleazy, I’ll-keep-every-one-of-your-immoral-secrets capital of the netherworld.  Can we say Nightmare on Earth Street?  I knew you could.

In the five minutes of a morning show I caught during breakfast, a guy is doing one of those crappy, quick displays of “feature products” at this electronics show.  And, one just happens to be a drone the size of a small pallet…you know…a shipping pallet…the sort you might see at an AMAZON.COM warehouse.  Yeah.  That marketing monster.  Skynet.  Darth Vader torn between the dark side and the light, but leaning toward the dark.

He’s talking about this drone like he approves of it at the same time he is spelling out in words plain as day that the thing is invasive and terrifying.  Companies sell this stuff to the masses as commercial entertainment.  The gadgets are the hit of every wealthy person’s social gala.  But, for every small investment in the flash-in-the-pan crazes, there’s one global step closer to these gadgets being sent out in masses to do other things we did not think were intended when we found them quaint.  Just as when the internet was ushered in as the grand means of bridging the global communication shortage, so began the madness of hackers, internet perverts and online crimes.

And, don’t get me started on all the push for online banking and “convenient” grocery shopping.  Let’s face it people, some majority taking action while the rest of you sit on your asses and let gadgets work for you–or do whatever you consider work for some tyran–er, tycoon–are taking advantage of your laziness.  And, if we go along with this madness, there will be nothing safe, secure or sacred left in this world.  You will be eliminated.  You will be replaced.  And, resistance may end up futile…or the movie you saw forty years ago but thought was just a silly bit of fiction.

Ugh!  I just have to let it out.  Wake up, Harold Cricks.  This is scary shit, people.

And, if we don’t get smart…I mean, really smart–not depend-upon-some-talking-gadget-to-answer-all-of-life’s-problems smart–you’re lives will be pointless.  Everything you think you are investing in or chasing will be a total waste of time, emotion, energy, etc.  You’ll just be a footnote in some robot empire, the slaves that built the “smart pyramids.”  If you want your lives to be worth more than the shit in your toilets…if you even bother to read these emphatic words written in a tiny hole of the internet like some message in a bottle…you’ll turn your backs to convenience and things that talk back and get your answers from people who were not built by Amazon or one of its ugly cousins.

Use your brains.  Show your work.  Stay off the grid.  Delete your Fbook pages.  Look up when passing others.  And, stay healthy.  For the sake of humanity, an investment that should be embraced and patched up when it falters, not discarded and replaced with robots.

21
Mar
16

Let’s Post! The Start of Something Old

*****

I have an idea.  Let’s put it online for all to see.

Well, wait, there are some buttons and options to navigate, first.  And, from what I see, I have options for who can see what I post.  Suddenly, this just got complicated.

Written.  Published.  Done.  [Thank goodness for speedy internet service; or I’d be staring at a little wheel going around for a few hours.]

Oh, yeah.  Those other options.  Let’s see.

Well, this IS kinda personal, so maybe I won’t make it open to everyone.

Categories?  Tags?  I am not big on labels.  I just want to be heard by a select group of people I cannot see but will inevitably trust with my thoughts and feelings.

Images?  Those used to slow down my old PC.  And, the world has such an image problem, already.  No thanks.

And, I just ABHOR that trendy website and all of those clickable approval button thingies.  So, let’s switch those off.  There.

Okay.  AAAAnd, publish.  Let’s see what we’ve got.

…Three days later…

You’ve selected a whole new set of buttons and user settings.  You can no longer click what you clicked before to enjoy this place.  Your comment history is lost in space.

Bigsnot69 and ten others LIKE this.

Idontgiveashat478 reposted it in his Funny Shat I Found.

And, 0 people have viewed this post.

Way to go, WordPress!  You’ve made a star out of my private diary!

Everybody now!  We’re gonna do it!  On your mark, get set and go now…got a dream and we just know now…we’re gonna make our dreams come true!  And, we’ll lose it their way, yes, their way!  Making our dreeeams turn bluuuue for them and yoooou!

 

28
Oct
15

U.S. Math Scores on the Decline, Again? I Know Why.

*****

No, let’s spend the next decade and millions of dollars on researching the problem instead of looking at the obvious.

Why would math scores (or any school subject grade) drop?  [And, this isn’t the first time I heard about it in the news.]

I can answer that rather simply.  Do your children possess a “pad” or “smart phone” with WiFi access?  Does the school they attend provide WiFi access, or is WiFi available through the school’s walls (from an outside source)?

Anyone who lived through school in the 1980s might recall what teachers used to say about a thing called a CALCULATOR.  They’d say we should put those things away and do the math on paper.  Why?  Because, otherwise, you learn nothing and let the machine do the work for you, whether it malfunctions or not.

Well, guess what people who may yet be clueless, your kids might be holding the new model of that calculator disguised as a whackadoodle telephone they are supposed to be carrying to “stay in touch” in case of an “emergency.”  Oh, this modern connected world with everything at the tip of a search engine’s grasp.

How I love those commercials of people talking to every sort of gizmo now programmed to talk back to you.  Let’s ask our talking toaster to answer all of our questions.  Yea, that will make us smarter.

NOT!

Wake up and smell the burning nuclear material in your hands, people, before the machines are using YOU for their batteries or footstools.  Use your head and put down the radioactive, talking toaster!

*****

08
Sep
15

Coffee Talk topic: Are humans regressing? Discuss.

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I was thinking today how people seem to be having greater difficulty processing matters that should be simpler as we advance.

******

More adults are asking questions kids ask because they are first learning about these matters.  Why is the sky blue?  Why do we wash our hands after using a toilet?  Why do we lose our temper; and how do we get it back once it is lost?  Why am I so emotional today?  What is this that I am feeling…this sadness?  Why are you so loud when you get angry?  Why is this person not doing what I told them to do?

*****

The more questions that have to be answered, the more exhausted I become.  Some matters, I feel, should just be processed in one’s head.  Yet, I find more topics that need to be discussed in a way that makes my head feel like an old computer writing DOS.

Line 10  Greeting

Line 20  Question 1

Line 30  Listen to/for first reply.

*****

The answers to many of these questions, I think, should be more obvious.  Yet, I had this feeling today; the more we invest in this modern world of “my computer does everything for me,” the less we seem to grasp and the further we recede into prehistoric mindsets.  I fear one day soon we may start clubbing each other and dragging women by their hair.

Just a thought.

*****




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