I Like Speedify for Other Reasons, Too

This may either be a side effect of using Speedify VPN or it could be for other, unknown reasons, but as soon as we started using Speedify VPN, FINALLY my ISP has stopped reporting fake usage and threatening to bill us for overages on our “data allowances.” In fact, since we began using Speedify, we’ve yet to approach 30% usage of our ridiculously low data allowance.

Co-inky-dink? Maybe. I seriously doubt the data compression Speeify does is enough to account for the HUGE drop in reported usage, but it could be. . .

More on Safe Internet Use

VPNs can be handy things. The better ones offer much safer (note: safER) Internet use, and even less good ones have some value. I’ve been appreciating the switch to Speedify on Windows computers here on our home network. Fairly decent security boost, and I very much appreciate the side benefit of compressed data use.

Unfortunately, every time I have attempted to install Speedify on my Android phone, it reports having been installed but shows up nowhere. Even browsing the files on the device turns up no evidence of its presence. So, I’ve resorted to using “Opera VPN” (SurfEasy–acquired by Opera recently) on that phone. It is at least a wee tad better than using the (SurfEasy) VPN built into the Opera Browser, since it appears to simply remain active on the device whether I am using Opera or not, but it’s still SurfEasy, an MOR VPN, IMO.

If one doesn’t have a VPN subscription anywhere else, defaulting to Opera and enabling the built-in VPN would certainly improve one’s security over no VPN.

Silver Lining to “Wanna Cry” Ransomware?

If there is a silver lining to the recent Wanna Cry ransomware outbreak, perhaps it is this: heightened security awareness among the sheeple. *sigh*

Here are some general things to do, gleaned from a few articles and my own experiences dealing with other folks’ malware infestations:

  • Don’t pay
  • don’t click on email attachments*
  • Keep your software up to date
  • INCLUDING your security softwares!
  • Back up your personal files, and make at least one system backup of a stable, clean system.

*See the asterisk above? Yeh, that. Being able to send and receive email attachments is one of the important features of email, so not opening ANY email attachments vitiates the usefulness of email. Not a problem. First, only accept attachments from someone you know. Verify that the email actually did come from that person. At least look at the headers, but if ANY possible question exists about the email’s authenticity, ASK THE PERSON WHO SEEMS TO HAVE SENT IT! And always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS scan email attachments with up-to-date security softwares.

Even if I have done all of these, I have sometimes saved the attachment offline, then opened it in a virtual machine to check. I have actually caught two “baddies” this way, though it’s been years since that time.

Nothing in the short list above is at all difficult to do, and not even really time-consuming either. It’s just common sense, something sorely lacking among many users (which is exactly how <300,000 computers were hit by “Wanna Cry”–users self-infecting).

Comfort Food

Although I’ve made the meal for years, last night, my Wonder Woman said, “I’m starting to view this as comfort food.” *huh* For me, it’s always been comfort food, an imitation of a meal my mom used to make on rare occasions back when I was just a lad.

Packaged chicken pot pies
A sort of mock Waldorf salad.

That’s it.

I miss the aluminum pans packaged chicken pot pies used to come in. They were so very useful for many things. Still, packaged chicken pot pies are pretty standardized, nothing to see there, really, but the salad?

OK, “mock Waldorf” because it includes apples and walnuts. The rest is shopped or shredded cabbage, chopped (almost minced) celery and/or celery seed, a can of fruit salad (drained), and mayonnaise. The amounts of cabbage, apple, walnut, etc., are variable, so the amount of mayo–added last–is too.

Last night, a couple of differences:

I just used a package of pre-shredded coleslaw mix that included julienned carrots.
Had no celery. Reached for the celery seed and started shaking some on (“measuring” b’guess-n-b’gosh) and realized I’d grabbed celery SALT. *meh* It ended up all right.

And finally, after decades of making this meal, it’s “comfort food” for my Wonder Woman. So, I have accomplished something in this life.

😉

Over-Regulated?

Just re-read our town ordinances on one short topic (long story; just suffice it to say I was right, and citing the ordinance did the trick 😉 ). In the very short topic covered by the ordinance, I noted six grammar/usage errors that might affect some other folks and invalidate those portions as the subsection applies to them.

Will I tell the town council what those errors are and what the implications might well be? Heck no! The section involved is stupid and invasive and needs to be challenged by someone who’s being oppressed by “The Man.” *heh* If I hear of someone who’s been cited under that subsection, I will point out to them the errors that make the language nonsensical.

Faulty Pleasure

I’ve needed intermittent breaks from the flood cleanup, and so I selected an Indie-published space opera series to read for that purpose, forsaking all other reading–light, inconsequential, fun.

But fun marred by faulty execution. Oh, the plots are typical light space opera and the characters stalwart heroes and evil villains, etc. All Flash Gordon/Doc Smith Lensman (without the superman/superwoman aspect) type plots, etc. IOW, just good light fun.

Except. The writer bragged on his editor. That’s an almost sure sign that both the writer and his editor are not formally literate, and have a disconnect between their verbal fluency and subliteracy, evidenced in writer errors of grammar, punctuation, word misusage, and more that survive the “editing” process to publication.

And that’s a shame, because the books are otherwise quite enjoyable, light fare, something the writer stated he was aiming for.

Oh, well. It’s still better than discarding soaked boxes of books, ripping up and discarding carpeting, bleaching walls and floors, and more. And. . . all the errors actually provide a distraction of their own. *heh*


OK, one example of so very FREAKING many:

“A bright blaze of color shown from a split in the corpse’s suit.”

Shone (although “shined” would be preferable) or showed? Which did the writer intend with his misuse of “shown”? One can guess, but unless the writer (or at least his editor) improves his written vocabulary, one can only guess.

#gagamaggot

Which Is It?

Stuck on stupid, or “Dunning-Krugerite can’t get off a dime.”

“At the age of 12, Adam’s 40 year old mother left the family for her 20 year old ski instructor”

OK, was Adam’s mother 40 or 12 when she left the family?

File this under “Other reasons I am completely uninterested any the book from this writer,” along with “Stupid/Boring/Uninteresting Premise,” cretinous statements in the text (page 1–I got no further) like, “I held my gaze on the sun in amazement,” (and no, dram sequences don’t excuse such idiocies), and other such jejune, moronic, or even illiterate text.

Gee. One might think a _writer_ would at least try to put his best foot forward on the first page. Oh, wait. he probably did.

#gagamaggot

I Should No Longer Be Surprised

Reading a book, or a newspaper or magazine article that’s not chock full of usage, grammar, and punctuation errors is commonplace, nowadays, so I know I should not be surprised, nevertheless (and I cannot count the number of times I have seen that rendered “never the less” in recent years) I am still amazed daily by the subliteracy of published writers, especially those who are published by established media outlets and traditional publishing houses. Of course, that sublterate screeds are actually published warts and all also says any editors who had responsibility for the text are also subliterate.

As are, quite often, their readers.

How to Lie to Stupid People

How can one lie to stupid people, specifically people made stupid by their own choice of laziness resulting in ignorance and an inability to reason?

Here’s an example of one way, of many. Watched a video which I refuse to link) about erradicating humanity with nuclear war. It began with an estimation of deaths in a major metropolitan area of the US from a posited nuclear strike, as:

Note: “267,000 Casualties” (A “casualty” is injury or death, as properly used in this context.)

This morphed rather quickly (a couple of frames later) into

The dialog stated, along with this strong graphic, “Almost 300,000 deaths.”

*sigh*

Suckers most of the public) will buy that second graphic and never see the differences between “267,000 casualties” and “300,000 deaths.”

And, of course, all the slanted scaremongering that follows will also be convincing to the self-enstupiated.