Posted on February 16th, 2010 No comments
Recently, Adobe has pulled a hall-of-shame move and began trying to sneak in the installation of a craptacular background program called the “Adobe Download Manager” when updating Flash. That’s just great, you know, since there are security updates for Flash almost every month. So how do you get your required security update without Adobe’s bullshit download manager?
It’s a fairly simple process, and actually takes advantage of the generally-hated-by-most-people User Account Control (UAC) in Vista and 7 to block an unwanted action by a program. And people say it’s nothing but annoying.
(Note: These instructions are for Firefox on Windows 7 or Vista; anything else and you’re on your own.)
- Download the Flash updater directly from here.
- Close all browser windows (including any opened by Prism).
- Run the updater.
- Start your browser back up. Adobe will now sneakily try to install their awful download manager on your system. This will generate a UAC prompt asking for administrative permissions to install.
- Click “No” on the UAC prompt to stop the installation in its tracks.
Screw you, Adobe. You’re in the Hall of Shame for trying to install backdoor software with critical security updates to a ubiquitous web technology. And win one for UAC!
Posted on February 12th, 2010 1 comment
It’s a given that you can’t trust the Internet. I mean, you’re connecting to random strangers’ computers, downloading code and data, running some of that code (usually in a sandbox of some sort), and then hoping nothing bad happens. For that reason, I use the NoScript add-on to Firefox, which aggressively blocks scripts (especially third-party scripts) from running – unless I whitelist them.
Despite my general distrust, though, I still harbor a hope that most of the sites I regularly visit aren’t bad actors. When it turns out they are, it’s a bit of a shock. When it turns out to be one of the oldest names in net publishing, it’s really disheartening.
Wired News has a really cool article on lasers blasting mosquitoes out of the sky. When you copy-and-paste from that article, it hijacks your clipboard and changes what you copied. Try it yourself! (Of course, if you’re running NoScript, you’ll need to temporarily allow all scripts on the page.)
From the article, copy:
The laser lights quickly located the mosquitoes in flight.
And then paste:
The laser lights quickly located the mosquitoes in flight.
Yup, they hijacked your clipboard, and added a tracking link. Who the hell does that?
Wired, you’re officially in the Hall of Shame.
Posted on July 23rd, 2008 No comments
Do you know about the Astronomy Picture of the Day? It’s a site, courtesy of NASA, that showcases a cool, interesting, or sometimes funny picture that comes out of the world of space exploration, astronomy, and cosmology.
For those of us too lazy to go to the site every day, there’s even a nice RSS feed to stick into your favorite reader.
Anyway, yesterday’s APOD was, I think, the best one ever. Courtesy of that dancing guy, the July 22nd picture is actually a movie; and rather than being about astronomy, it’s about things closer to home.
Take five minutes, and check it out. Totally worth it.
Posted on March 13th, 2008 No comments
I used to really enjoy reading Garfield as a kid, at least partially because we had a big cat that looked quite similar to the lasagna-loving feline. As I got older, I realized that, though funny to an eight-year-old kid with an orange tabby cat, like most of the comics on the funny pages, it was long past its prime.
Amusingly, the tubes have breathed new life into Garfield – by removing Garfield from them. Now, I know that this old meme is old, but my mom hasn’t heard about it yet, and the only way she’s going to is by reading it on my lame-ass blog.
Posted on March 7th, 2008 No comments
The geek in me would be remiss if I didn’t post this video of the Candle Cannon, the biggest air vortex cannon ever created. Marvel and enjoy.
The Candle Cannon: Behind the Scenes movie is also excellent. And for a small dose of air-vortex humor, there’s a short rendition of the Three Little Pigs, which, it turns out, is about 1/3 the length of the real story.
Posted on February 19th, 2007 No comments
Flickr is down this evening. Similar to last time, hitting Flickr URLs yields a downtime massage – errr, message. No contests this time, but perhaps we can hope for a good old-fashioned happy ending instead.
Posted on October 6th, 2006 No comments
Now you know me a teeney bit better.
Posted on October 1st, 2006 No comments
Although I am a FireFox user, I have never heard anything bad about the Opera web browser. It is supposed to be fast, powerful, secure, and all-around one of the best browsers out there. I never tried it, though, because it cost money.
Recently, I learned that Opera no longer charges for their PC browser. I’m not sure how long this has been the case, but it definitely has prompted me to give it a try. I have downloaded the installer, and I’ll poke around with it a bit and maybe report what I find here, if anything.
While I was browsing their site, however, I clicked on the link to the page highlighting Opera’s security features, and I was struck by the silliness of the pictures in the banner.
It seems the average Opera user is a pensive, impeccably-dressed, high-finance banker with a major case of five o’clock shadow; and the average Internet cracker is a gay S&M biker who, judging by the shameless leer on his face, is looking to anally rape our poor banker avatar. Fortunately for us, Opera’s myriad security features will save our collective bums from the impending travesty.
Seriously, Opera should consider just giving away free condoms like DC Snacks.
Posted on September 21st, 2006 No comments
So apparantly the Lt. Governor of Illinois is publicly encouraging people to mail teabags to the utility company to protest a rate increase.
Do you think he’s realized yet precisely what he’s asking? I have no doubt this is going to become the next big Internet meme, with friends from around the world mailing one another teas of various flavors.
For their part, the post office notes that it is legal to send a tea bag through the postal system, but discourage the practice for fear of gumming up the sorting machines or being mistaken for some agent of biological terror. It seems a bit ridiculous to think a postal employee might mistake a bag of tea for anthrax. However, in the case of the peach detox tea I just sent one unsuspecting friend, I might be forced to agree if it were classified as a bioterror weapon.
Posted on July 19th, 2006 No comments
However, their downtime message is absolutely hilarious. Flickr is definitely an awesome company.
(If you don’t get it, read up on how Ted Stevens thinks the Internet works.)