Internet Access as a Basic Human Right

Apparently the UN has decided that internet access is a basic human right. 

First off a little disclaimer.  I am firmly in the group that MUST have internet access.  If I can’t check my email at least a couple times a day I got into withdrawal (really, I get irritable, and snappy, and no one wants to deal with me), and never mind not being able to wander through the various sites I regularly visit.

But do I think that internet access is a basic right?? No!  You don’t need internet to survive, withdrawal symptoms or not. 

Having said that, do I think our government has the right to shut down the internet itself, or any website on it, without having proved that the site broke the law?  Nope!  Now from what I’m reading that may be what the UN was trying to get it when they made this decision, but a “basic human right” it is not!

Help a small business

I first ran across Crazy K Farm after Hsoi talked about taking some rescue ducks there.  As well as taking in rescue animals of all sorts they sell a very wide selection of products for your small/farm animal needs.  I just got my younger cat (Trouble) a kitty holster cat harness from them, it arrived today and I have to say that first impression is awesome.  And to top it off she doesn’t even seem to be fussed about wearing it!

So, how can you help them?  Well, the obvious is to buy something of theirs, but there’s something else you can do that right now would help them more.  Tobi (the owner) is attempting to get a wider circle of buyers for her products, specifically the Kitty Holster.  She has signed up to possibly win a $10,000 grant but to do it she needs to raise a certain dollar amount first, and she’s coming up short.  You’ll need either a Paypal account, or a credit card, and you can donate as little as $5 (or as much as you want).  Click on the button that says “Back this project” and you’ll be taken to a page where you can specify the dollar amount you wish to donate.  You can either choose a preset $ amount, with a thank you reward, or scroll to the bottom and enter the amount you choose for no reward other than her heartfelt thanks.

Links for this:

Crazy K Farm

Peerbackers link (where you can donate)

Crazy K Farm’s Facebook page

The Kitty Holster Page

Google plans to dictate browser usage

Helene posted about her frustation at trying to use AOL’s custom browser when using Blogger.   Turns out Google has decided they’re not going to support all browsers, and only specific versions of specific ones: see here.

Now I have mixed feelings about this, as someone who’s done some web-based programming I can totally understand the frustration of attempting to make sure that your website will be viewable and workable to every browser in the world.  Its seriously annoying as heck.  Most, if not all new functions, applications, and tools just don’t work right (or at all) on older browsers, can cause them to crash, or just make the website look bad, which means not using them, which is frustrating when you’re trying to create an up-to-date website.  Google wouldn’t be the first company to decide that “heck with it we’re just going to do it the way we want and if they don’t upgrade their browser then to bad”.

On the other hand you can’t just cut out all other browsers, or all old versions either.  Businesses often don’t upgrade browsers everytime an upgrade comes out, they can’t without major changes to other software.  Until their other software catches up (something that can take years) attempting to use the newest, greatest version of the browser in question just causes the whole thing to crash.  Folks with older computers, running older OS’s often don’t have a choice either, at least not one that doesn’t involve spending money on a new computer (money which a lot of folks just don’t have right now).  Heck, I still use XP, both at work AND home, yet it won’t be long before I won’t be ABLE to use the newest versions of Internet Explorer.  Now I do prefer Firefox anyway, but look at Mozilla’s planned release schedule for Firefox updates!  There are like 4 or 5 new versions expected out within the year!!

I’m really not sure that Google’s made the right move.  I have no problem with them deciding that they’re going to use the new technology and heck with it, but to make the older browsers not work at all?  Thats going to alienate a lot of customers…..

Speaking of computer virus’s…..

….after reading my previous post Husband informed me that he’d just recently run across a version of the “virus scan” virus that appears to boot up in Safe mode (he does tech support for a living).  Now this was an over the phone consult, so he can’t SWEAR that the customer didn’t screw up in the process of booting into Safe Mode and end up in normal mode isntead, but the customer swore up down and sideways that he’d followed my Husband’s directions exactly (and they attempted to repeat it twice just to be sure, with the same results), and sure enough the virus was active when the computer was in Safe mode.  So not cool.

So, following links…..

….as I frequently do when I get a bit bored.  I’ll start out on a blog I regularly read, and start working my way through their blogroll, and then following a link, from a link, to a link, I often find all sorts of tidbits and blogs of interesting sorts.  Unfortunetly I don’t always remember to bookmark the interesting ones till too late.  Sigh.

Anyway, the other day I was working my way around the ‘net and ended up on Weekend Pundit and discovered that he’d read my blog!  Too cool!  (If you’re reading this I tried to signup to comment and I must have done something wrong cause I’ve not gotten a confirmation email.  No biggy, mostly just wanted to say thanks for adding me to the blogroll all fixed thank you!).  So I wandered back through his previous posts and found mention of the frustration of attempting to remove a “lovely” little virus commonly known as “20XX Virus Scan” (where XX is a year number, there are ’09, ’10, & ’11 versions that I’m aware of, plus multiple variations on the name).

It caught my eye.  Only a year ago I had to clean that off my personal computer (I’ve still no idea how I picked it up which is annoying as hell), and just this week a (less than computer literate) co-worker brought his girlfriend’s laptop into work for me to clean an even nastier version called “MS Removal Tool” off of (yes this is a virus, though its very close in name to MS Malicious Software Removal Tool, which may be how she ended up with it).  I’d thought the 2010 Virus Scan virus was bad till I had to clean up this one.  It totally locked up the computer by running its false virus scan, and you couldn’t do a thing without a popup telling you “NO DONT ITS INFECTED”.  Sigh.  I’d attempted to walk him through the process of booting into safemode and downloading and running the particular software over the phone the night before only to realize that it really wasn’t going to work when he offered to bring it into work the next day.

So I spent my first several hours of the day Wednesday with the laptop running MalwareBytes sitting next to me on the desk while I worked.  Handed it back to him before lunch with instructions to tell her to get rid of the out of date Norton, install SOME kind of current virus scan (AVG is free, and it works, for all that I can’t stand the current interface), and PLEASE install all those Window’s updates that you’ve been ignoring!!!  Oh, and I cleaned up the trash and defragged it while I was at it, and don’t uninstall MalwareBytes you might need it again.

So, how do you avoid getting stuck with a computer infected with one of these virus’s?  First off do NOT click on a popup in the middle of your screen that screams at you that “you have a virus click here to clean it!!!!” unless you KNOW its from your actual virus scanner program.  And if you aren’t sure then don’t click on it and instead manually open your virus scanner and run it.  Yes I know, common sense right?  You’d be surprised.  If you DO get one of these virus’s on your computer (and I still have no idea how I got it a year ago, but I understand that they’ve expanded their infection options) go download the free version of MalwareBytes and run a FULL scan (if you have the money please pay for the full version, just don’t do so from your infected computer, but seeing how useful their software is they ought to get paid for it), TWICE (yes at least twice.  The first time to clean up the virus, the 2nd to clean up its remains in system restore files, and to make sure it wasn’t hiding anything else.  Infact, run it as many times as it takes to result in a completely clean scan with no virus alerts).  MalwareBytes is the only thing I’ve met that’ll really completely clean up these virus’s.  A lot of virus scanners can’t even SEE them, much less do anything about them, and the few that can see them can’t actually completely clean them off your computer.