Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Why I Switched To Firefox

Once again, people who use Internet Explorer are getting hacked--this time, it's so bad some companies are telling people to switch browsers until the security breach has been fixed--despite Microsoft's protestations.

Over the years, I feel as though I have spent an inordinate amount of time and money getting rid of viruses and spyware on my computer--and almost every time, the problem has been linked to some security flaw in IE.

I finally got fed up with Internet Explorer about two weeks ago--despite the fact that I had a firewall and antivirus software installed on my computer, my machine still ended up getting infected with a nasty bug that included a keylogger and a number of "downloaders" that I could not seem to get rid of no matter what anti-spyware or antivirus software I tried--I finally ended up having to spend an entire day manually removing the malicious software and editing my registry in order to finally get some relief...and that's when I installed Firefox. I will probably never go back to IE.

It's not that I feel Microsoft is producing a shoddy product--it's just that since Internet Explorer is the most popular browser, it's the one that is most profitable for hackers to target.

I'm no computer expert, so I don't have an answer to all the technical problems associated with spyware and viruses--but I do feel government should pass laws that require greater privacy protections for internet users--and people in general.


Monday, December 15, 2008

Hilarious! The Mean Kitty Song

Now, if we could just get this guy to do a video about throwing shoes at Bush!


Iraqi Journalist Chucks Shoes At Bush

During a press conference Sunday in Baghdad, an Iraqi journalist threw shoes at President Bush, which the lame duck narrowly avoided being clobbered by:

The Iraqi journalist, Muntader al-Zaidi, 28, a correspondent for Al Baghdadia, an independent Iraqi television station, stood up about 12 feet from Mr. Bush and shouted in Arabic: “This is a gift from the Iraqis; this is the farewell kiss, you dog!” He then threw a shoe at Mr. Bush, who ducked and narrowly avoided it.

As stunned security agents and guards, officials and journalists watched, Mr. Zaidi then threw his other shoe, shouting in Arabic, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” That shoe also narrowly missed Mr. Bush as Prime Minister Maliki stuck a hand in front of the president’s face to help shield him.

Security agents then jumped the poor guy, beat the snot out of him, and dragged him out of the room as Bush looked on calmly. His employer called upon the Iraqi government to release him in the name of democracy and freedom of speech. In the Mideast, showing someone the bottom of your foot is considerd the lowest of insults, comparable to our practice of telling someone to "f*** themselves. "

By this morning, Muntader al-Zaidi was already being hailed as a hero, as thousands of protesters gathered in Iraq throwing shoes and groups around the world have worked to secure his release. Across the Mideast, his insult is being praised as a proper send-off for Bush.

Bush has done more to destroy our relations with the rest of the world than any president in history--not to mention all the damage he has done at home. He is truly going to be remembered as the worst president in history.


Grandma's Porcupine Meatballs

Here's an old recipe from the Depression era my grandmother used to make--it's best served with mashed potatoes and some kind of green vegetable.

1 lb. hamburger
1/2 cup rice
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup ketchup

Combine hamburger, egg, rice, and, onion. Form into meatballs and place in the bottom of a large kettle or deep frying pan. Combine ketchup with enough water to cover the meatballs and simmer on low heat until the meatballs are done and the liquid is thickened.


Bush Attempting To Undermine Obama Administration

Talk about sour grapes...

President Bush is spending his last days in office pushing through an unprecedented number of "midnight regulations" by exploiting a loophole in the law which allows him to put regulations into the Code of Federal Regulations--which have the same force as laws passed by Congress. Most of these regulations primarily benefit industries and constituent groups that supported him during his two terms as President. It could take the Obama administration months or even years to overturn some of these rules, especially if the companies and special interest groups that will benefit decide to sue.

Here's a run-down on some of the regulations from The Guardian:

Bush's midnight regulations will:

• Make it easier for coal companies to dump waste from strip-mining into valleys and streams.

• Ease the building of coal-fired power stations nearer to national parks.

• Allow people to carry loaded and concealed weapons in national parks.

• Open up millions of acres to mining for oil shale.

• Allow healthcare workers to opt out of giving treatment for religious or moral reasons, thus weakening abortion rights.

• Hurt road safety by allowing truck drivers to stay at the wheel for 11 consecutive hours.

No doubt, Bush and his right-wing allies are furious with the American people for rejecting their fascist, theocratic vision for the nation's future--and this is a last ditch attempt at exacting a measure of revenge. Can't these guys give it a rest? They have already damaged this country so badly that we could well spend decades recovering--if we ever do.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Upcoming Fed Vote Could Remake Credit Card Regulations

The Fed will vote Thursday on a proposal which will ban practices such as retroactively raising interest rates and not giving consumers a reasonable amount of time to make payments. It represents the biggest overhaul of the credit card industry to occur in decades.

Among the many provisions is a ban on raising interest rates on existing balances unless the customer was 30 days or more late in paying the minimum. Other circumstances in which a rate change would be allowed would be if the card had a variable rate or a promotional rate that was set to expire. Banks would also not be able to treat a payment as late if the customer had not been given a fair amount of time to make that payment.

The proposal would also dictate how credit card companies should apply customers' payments that exceed the minimum required each month. When different annual percentage rates apply to different balances on the same card, banks would be prohibited from applying the entire amount to the balance with the lowest rate. Many card issuers do that so that debts with the highest interest rates linger the longest, thereby costing the consumer more.

Of course, the credit card industry has lobbied against these changes, and claim that if they are implemented, they will have to jack up everybody's interest rates, not just those who get behind--an obvious attempt to punish consumers for daring to question their usurious practices.

While the measure, as written, won't ban all of the deceptive and dishonest practices of the credit card industry, at least it's a start.


Meet The Senate Morons

Salon has an article on some of the GOP Senators opposed to the auto bail-out bill that is worth a read--according to the article, they are putting their states' interests above those of the nation as a whole. All of them have foreign car manufacturers in their states, who provide them with major campaign cash.

Are they really so stupid they think killing the US auto industry will help boost sales of foreign cars made in their home states? Are they so dense that they can't understand what a massive impact the loss of 3 million jobs could have on the overall economy--and that fewer good paying jobs means fewer dollars available to buy cars of any kind?

I have a feeling these guys may have just hung themselves. It is doubtful Democrats or union supporters across the country will ever let them live it down.


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