Thursday, November 30, 2006

What is Phishing

Phishing is a form of Internet fraud that aims to steal valuable information such as credit cards, social security numbers, user IDs and passwords. A fake website is created that is similar to that of a legitimatorganizationon, typically a financial institution such as a bank or insurance company. An email is sent requesting that the recipient access the fake website (which will usually be a replica of a trusted site) and enter their personal details, including security access codes. ...

The latest phishing scam has to do with paypal. This phish is almost comically clumsy to the naked eye, and we're not here to analyze it seriously. The e-mail is extremely simple, composed only of text and no real attempt to make it look like it came from PayPal other than using a "" address. The subject line of the email is: You have added a new e-mail address to your account. (normally this would freak you out if you had paypal as it would mean someone hacked you).

How to combat phishing schemes? The answer is ALWAYS the same! Never click on an embedded link in an email, especially one you didn't know was coming. So you ask, "how do I know then if my paypal (or bank or whatever) account was hacked. Launch a separate browser window, log in to your account and see what if anything has changed. I myself received this phish for the paypal account. It was about 2 weeks after we changed email addresses for the TimeWarner/Comcast buyout so I was confused. I just logged in to my paypaaccountnt and checked the email addresses. Simple. I never clicked on the link embedded in the email message.

Educate yourself about phishing at Phishing

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Internet Explorer 7.0 & Heuristics

Or - What has Microsoft done for me lately?

In case some of you using Windows XP haven't noticed, one of the Automatic Windows updates that you may have downloaded automatically or by just trusting Microsoft by clicking download - was that you automatically downloaded IE 7.0. What does this mean? Well for most people, it means more security! YAY!! One of the most important features of IE 7 for home users is that the new browser includes Heuristics. The definition of Heuristics is: A problem-solving technique (in the computer world - an algorithm) in which the most appropriate solution is selected using rules. Interfaces using heuristics may perform different actions on different data given the same command. All systems using heuristics are classified as intelligent.

What does this do for you? Simply put - Microsoft has enabled your Internet Explorer browser to actually notify you if you stumble upon a phishing scam or website. It reports the site as "Suspicious". The site has not been reported, at least not yet conclusively, as a phishing site, but IE7 has examined the site programmatically and determined that it has characteristics of a phishing site. I think that is pretty cool to the casual home user.

I've looked back in my years of blogs and see that I don't have any information on phishing scams. Wierd, I thought for sure I blogged about that. I will bore you with that in another post.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Health Check

Well here I am 8 days after the whole coughing fit, blow out all the muscles in my neck, ER trip. What type of recovery have I had? I know you are all dying to know..... Well, for the first 5 days it was absolutely brutal. Any movement was painful for my neck due to the strained muscles and pulled ligaments. The bronchitus has been exhausting and its only today that I feel a little like myself. That's 8 days after diagnosis and probably at least 10 days after I developed it. I'm on my 3rd dose of antibiotics, the first being the shot in the butt of Roxithromycin , the second being a Z pack (a whimpie one), the 3rd starting Tuesday of levaquin. I seem to be coughing up much less green globlets since I started the levaquin. That's a big bonus. I tire very, very easily. Just a trip to lunch is exhausting or taking the garbage out. It's incredibly frustrating.

Now I just have to be very careful not to overdue it. Bronchitus, especially in asthmatics, tends to have a high relapse rate and we all know how I am. The overachiever to be sure.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Trunk Monkey - Compilation

3 Beautiful Things

1) Sinking a 25' putt for par on the 4th at Roosevelt GC.
2) The satisfying feeling of actually getting the LA Times to pay for the screen door that their carrier thru our Friday paper thru - 2 Friday's in a row.
3) The smell of fresh paint as we paint our Living Room.

2 Things that piss me off

1) The idiots at Time Warner HighSpeed internet that came out here on Saturday and didn't do anything to fix the problem, totally wasting my time.
2) My neighbor who has 4 big labs that shit on my lawn and he doesn't seem to think he should clean it up.

The bizarre of the day

Well, pretty much anything in Los Angeles......

Friday, November 10, 2006

Our new Dining Room -

What do you think? Is it too pink?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Emergency trip 1 of 1 for 2006, hopefully

Well last night was spent in the emergency room. I was at a Technical Training class in Anaheim yesterday and had such a bad coughing fit that I was spitting up blood and pulled every single muscle in my neck. I could hardly move. I've never really felt that kind of pain in my chest. It was like each time I coughed a thousand tiny pins were poking my inner chest. That can't be good.

Somehow I got myself to the Bellflower Medical Center at 5:00p and finally left at 8:30p. Not bad considering it was an ER. I had a chest x-ray, blood drawn, 2 breathing treatments, a shot for pain in my ass and another shot of antibiotics on the other side of my ass. All in all, a good day for my ass. The Bellflower ER is small, tiny even. I wouldn't recommend going there after 5pm or on weekends as I'm sure its a miserable place. Of course, if you needed medical treatment during business hours, then you'd go to your doctor right? I suppose in hindsight that's what I should have done, a day or two earlier before it got so bad. Who knew?

I was sent home with a stack of prescriptions and this morning finds me extremely sore all over, can't turn my head at all. It's going to be a lovely day.

Monday, November 06, 2006


A very cool Google website

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My Dodge Magnum - in the shop

Transmission problems and Dodge/Chrysler seem synonymous. In 1980 I received possession of my parents 1972 Dodge Charger. I was thrilled. Little did I know the litany of electrical and transmission problems that would plague me for the next 6 years. I gladly let the vehicle be totaled when I did a couple 360's on the Winnipeg overpass due to ice (and bald tires....). I vowed never to buy a Dodge.

Flash ahead 20 years and I have a '06 Dodge Magnum (company car) and it now has 11,600 miles on it. Barely broken in right? Well, its in the shop because the transmission fluid is leaking like a sieve on my driveway. Did you know that most Chevy and Dodge/Chrysler new cars now have sealed transmissions with no dipstick? You cannot check the fluid level yourself, the color of it, the smell of it, nothing. If you want service, guess what, off to the dealer with you. Now of course, this issue is a warranty item and I will not pay anything for it, however, it is a royal pain in the ass & today is day 2 that they've had the car. Oh, and CarMax (the Dodge dealer I took it to in Inglewood) said that they had 4 cars yesterday with same problem. The 300's, Chargers and Magnum's all use the powertrain. Great. Gotta love American quality.