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Online Things.... - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...
captainsblog
captainsblog
Online Things....
Our computers have been busy the past few days- and not just with the constant Windows 8 updates that take each of us out of commission for hours at a time.  Among the good, bad and ugly:

* I still use Firefox on this computer, and it's done a major shutdown of Adobe Flash in the past week.  A hacking site itself got hacked, revealing, among many other nasties, that the hacked hackers had exploited no fewer than three major Flash vulnerabilities that could turn your PC into a zombie and your privacy into a dead duck. Everyone from Mozilla to Facebook is calling on them to just retire the damn thing in favor of open-source options for things like video playback, but there's a lot riding on that decision- if nothing else, the loss of revenue from their annoying "optional offers" that try to push McAfee malware on you every time you update an Adobe product.

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* I did a bunch of online bill-paying today, and The Phone Company- TPC to those of us who remember The President's Analyst- went out of its way to be annoying. We have two sets of landlines (both of which will likely be gone by fall), and their billpay website has been a nuisance for years because they insisted on two-screen password entry that defied password management storage.  Mostly, I got along by staying logged in on this computer for one bill and on my backup laptop for the other.  But no: they insisted on doubling the length and complexity of my password on the one I paid today, plus added the "extra security" of password image/passphrase which I chose the most offensive choices for I could think of.  All this, just to pay a bill- it's not like script kiddies can use my account to call 900 numbers or anything.  As one Facebook friend noted when I bitched about this earlier,

if someone shows up looking to pay my bill, *let them*

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*
On the brighter side, I did some Amazoning yesterday, including the upcoming Orphan Black DVD set, and I succumbed to the nag to try out Prime for the second time.  (I've also carefully marked the expiry date for the free trial and am not going to let them nail me for the ridiculous annual fee just because I forgot.)  But then I remembered that this gives us access to Prime Instant Video, which also includes the second season of Alpha House that's not available on DVD yet. We watched the first two of them tonight, and the Gaffe-ing Senators and the rest of the cast are as fun as ever.  No word I can find on whether there will be a third series, but I'm pretty sure we'll get through the remaining eight episodes already in the can before time runs out. Fun Fact I did not know while looking for the nonexistent Series 3 info: Matt Malloy, the actor who plays Senator Laffer (R(and closeted)-NV) is the nephew of Henry Gibson. I hate Nevada Republicans almost as much as I hate Illinois Nazis.

* And it's less than two weeks now before Windows 10 rolls out to its first users. Our two Windows 8 machines and the one older one on 7 are all eligible for free upgrades, but the rollout is expected to take weeks if not months. I did sign up for the Windows Insider program which will supposedly get it here sooner.

* Oh, and LJ has messed with their logged-in-versus-logged-out deal again, but this one I kinda like. It makes much clearer whether you're logged in or not when you're reading your own page, and they're still not forcing the Facey-likey Feed version of the Friendspage on you if you don't ask for it. Yet.
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Comments
tilia_tomentosa From: tilia_tomentosa Date: July 18th, 2015 03:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
So what does that McAfee thing really do?

And ouch, there is now a bug that doesn't allow me to filter my friends page, and I can't separate the Russian entries from the English entries. Oops, I almost starting bitching about getting a mix of two foreign languages - and then remembered the crazy multilingual chaos in my Facebook feed. :)
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: July 21st, 2015 02:11 am (UTC) (Link)
Supposedly it just "runs a check" without gorking any settings or taking over from your existing anti-virus, but I bet it always finds SOMETHING BAD that you should sign up with them to kill because your existing anti-virus missed it.

Considering that their founder has been a fugitive for the past few years, their credibility is a little strained with me.
warriorsavant From: warriorsavant Date: July 19th, 2015 04:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
The dumbest password thing I had to put up with was for an Army CME (Continuing Medical Education) site. It was run by a contractor, and meant as a some sort of benefit - you could get online CME credits for real medical things, not just "Army" medical things. At least I think you could. There was 10? 12? digit password needed to log onto the site. Then, if you wanted to actually take a course, you needed a 16-digit password. I felt very good knowing that Al Qaeda operatives were going to have a hard time getting free CME.

I agree about using offensive language for passwords when the site is ridiculous about what structure password it will accept. I mean really, how hard is it to accept equally caps, lower case, numbers, and special symbols, and accept them in any order.
yesididit From: yesididit Date: July 21st, 2015 01:29 am (UTC) (Link)
over the last few months i've gotten so pissed at adobe flash that i've disabled it on both my computers. if someone posts a video, i can choose to allow flash to work just that one time. and something went wonky on my 10 year old desktop with windows xp, where it wont even load the newest flash update. i'm going to have to completely uninstall it and reinstall it. i'm not much missing flash.
captainsblog From: captainsblog Date: July 21st, 2015 02:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I have not updated the current add-ons and haven't needed to "allow" the vulnerable version for anything in close to a week. It's revealing how many sites were using that add-on (or trying to) even when they weren't providing obviously Flash-requiring content. One reason is that a lot of trackers use "supercookies" that crumble into Flash-enabled settings, and routine cookie-cleanings don't get them.
yesididit From: yesididit Date: July 24th, 2015 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
i hope they do away with adobe flash and make it open source. it does nothing but piss me off with its CONSTANT fucking updates. and like i said, after disabling it, i'm really not missing it at all!
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