Pulled out of some old emails at home:
This guy walks into a quiet bar. He is carrying three ducks. One in each hand and one under his left arm. He places them on the bar. He has a few drinks and chats with the bartender. The bartender is experienced and has learned not to ask people about the animals that they bring into the bar, so he doesn't mention the ducks. They chat for about 30 minutes before the bloke with the ducks has to go to the rest room. The ducks are left on the Bar. The bartender is alone with the ducks. There is an awkward silence.
The bartender decides to try to make some conversation.
"What's your name?" He says to the first duck. "Huey" said the duck.
"How's your day been?"
"Great. Lovely day. Had a ball. Been in and out of puddles all day." "Oh. That's nice," says the Bartender.
Then he says to the second duck, "Hi. And what's your name?"
"Dewey" came the answer.
"So how's your day been?"
"Great. Lovely day. Had a ball. Been in and out of puddles all day. If I had the chance another day I would do the same again."
So the Bartender turns to the third duck and says, "So, you must be Louie"
"No", growls the 3rd duck, "My name is Puddles. And don't ask about my fucking day!"
Do you play Wizard101, but wish you didn't have to play it in Windows? Well, some bright person figured out how to install/play it using Wine in Ubuntu.
Malware/spyware authors can bite me. Hard. I spent hours this past weekend cleaning off crap from my PC. The crapware has gotten smarer, too: it either renames and prevents from running some of my antimalware programs, prevents me from opening task manager to kill the process, or both. I'm relegated to booting from a write-protected CD to disinfect my hard drive. Actually, that is a fine and dandy thing to do and is how you should proceed with your malware removal.
What's that, you say? You're running up-to-date antivirus software (McAfee. Norton, AVG) and you never visit pr0n sites, so you MUST be okay, right? RIGHT? WRONG. Unless your computer isn't connected -EVER- to the Internet and you never install 3rd party software on your PC, you're at risk. In fact, I'd say that the odds of you having a current infection are probably 50-50, and I consider that an optimistic assessment. In any event, here are some things that you should be doing, and software that you should be running, on a regular basis.
Top of the line spyware, malware and general bad software identification and removal tool. It's a commercial product, but you can use it for free forever as long as you plan to run all of the scans manually. There are benefits to purchasing the software, but I haven't. However, be sure to perform the update each time you run the software. Perform the quick scan first and have Malwarebytes remove all problems it finds (exception: McAfee disables Windows security center, so you should uncheck that particular box in the results pane). Reboot and run the thorough scan, removing everything it finds.
Note The infection I just had renamed mbam.exe to dork.exe and, when I tried reinstalling it, did it again. Also, the dork.exe file is corrupted and cannot be run. Which leads me to the next product.
Spybot Search and Destroy
This is extremely robust antimalware/antispyware software, and it's always free. The creators do accept donations, and it's not a bad idea to do so, since they work hard to keep Spybot S&D up to date. Anyway, run the scan (let it remove all of the temp files when it asks) and go grab an enormous cup of coffee as it takes a while. When it's done, examine the results and choose which ones to fix. Again, it identifies when Windows security center has been disabled, so feel free to uncheck that box if you're running McAfee or Norton. When it's complete, it might suggest that you reboot and have it automatically load upon restart. Say yes, as S&D manages to load itself before most Windows programs (and malware). After fixing all of the problems it finds, make sure that you have Tea Timer (resident program that searches for registry changes and such) load automatically. Also, run the innoculation for IE and Firefox. This adds some passive protections to your browsers and every added layer is helpful. This process takes a little while, but it's well worth it.
IObit Security 360
IObit 360 is good piece of antimalware which has three things going for it: it is and probably will always remain free; it works pretty well; and it has a feature that allows you to create an entirely portable version of the software, which you can then load on a bootable CD (BartPE anyone?) or USB stick. The portable version is what cleaned my PC enough to allow me to successfully run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, so I give it a thumbs up.
Super Antispyware is still another weapon in your "screw you, assholes" arsenal of antimalware. Much like Malwarebytes, it's commercial, but you can use the free version forever, which means that you don't get any automatic updates or scans. But since I like being in control, having to run the updates and scans myself is simply a bonus. YMMV.
Other Tools for the Toolbox
These are quite helpful and I highly recommend using them on a regular basis. I won't go into any detail here, but rather simply link to them.
BartPE bootable CD/thumb drive with these tools on them and do your disinfecting from there.
IMPORTANT***: Be sure to back up your data before performing these tasks. Malware has a tendency to fubar your hard drive, especially when you try to clean it. Forewarned is forearmed.
Update: I forgot to mention BitDeffender Rescue CD. BitDefender is a commercial product, but they offer a Linux-based (Knoppix) bootable CD which does a bit by bit scan of your entire system. This takes a while, so start it right before bedtime and don't worry about it until morning. Full disclosure: one of my home computers will not boot, failing at the X-Windows load. I've tried adding the command "all_generic_ide irqpoll" at the end of the default options, but it still won't work. I've got a help request in to the support center, but I expect the reply to be slow in coming, as they focus their attention on their commercial products. For the record, I give the thumbs up to their pay option. It works great. But if you want to save the Benjamins, try the free option, which they will update to the latest version of Knoppix sometime this year. Download the latest ISO image here.
Update Mike Duncan from Superantispyware (really!) posted the following comment which provides even more useful information about ridding yourselves of the bane of my PC's existence:
I took note of your issue with a renamed exe file due to infection. We have a couple of tools that may help in those cases. Our online scanner is available at www.superantispyware.com/onlinescan.html and can be run if infection blocks exe files or hinders software installation. Our new, portable version is available at www.superantispyware.com/portable and can be run from a USB drive without software installation or internet access. Both tools are free for home/personal users.
Interesting. You never know who will stop by. I guess it's a good thing that I kept the salty language to a minimum in this post. Anyway, thanks to Mike Duncan for providing the update. It's greatly appreciated.
Update: You know what's interesting? The things on your PC that will work properly once you disinfected them. There is some risk removing spyware. Some of them dig their roots so deeply into your system that your PC can be rendered not bootable upon removal of the crap. However, using the IObit 360 tool above actually fixed my wife's computer. Her computer had been damaged by some malware months ago and once a day, she would be unable to browse the Internet. You could ping sites in a DOS prompt, but the browser would simply fail to load websites. Best I could tell, the socket was corrupted. The problem could be temporarily fixed by rebooting, but that solution wasn't making the spousal unit happy. Anyway, after using the toolkit above, I finally noticed that my wife's computer hadn't had to be rebooted in a week. She's happy, and so am I.
Oh sure, I could have wiped the disk and started over, but it's kind of a last ditch approach. The data was backed up (I'm anal about that), but I hate having to rebuild a system to get it to where I like it. It's a sucky task, albeit a sometimes necessary one. I'm glad that I didn't have to do that in this case.
Update to the update: I just checked out Superantispyware Portable and it has a killer feature:
You might wonder why a portable version is so importantÖ the problem is that the worst malware infections block you from installing malware removal software, and even if you manage to get it installed, most of the time when you try and launch it, youíll get an error like this one:
Note: thatís a real screenshot from a real virus that we cleaned with SUPERAntiSpyware Portable.
SUPERAntiSpyware Portable solves this problem by not only giving you a completely portable version of the application, which consists of a single file you can copy to your USB drive without requiring installation, but it also automatically gives you a random filename so the malware canít detect it as easily.
That's so awesome that I want to grab some butterscotch pudding a la Ace last night to, well, you know.
Received via email:
Scott Brown isn't running for Ted Kennedy's seat. THIS was- or should have been- Ted Kennedy's seat.
Assuming that the main page here is correct, we could be treated to the re-emergence of Asparagirl back onto the blogging scene.
asparagirl is getting a makeover Check back in the spring to see the tenth anniversary redesign!
I hope that it's true. She was one of the first blogs that I read every day and I found Bill Whittle (and from thence to Rachel Lucas) and Stephen Green via links at the top of her former location. You might say that Brooke was patient zero in the creation of my addiction to blogs.
So Glenn Reynolds' daughter is a big fan of Callisto, huh? Me too. Check out these images:
Oh, wait a minute. Maybe that's not what she meant after all...
Some time ago, CalTech Girl posted this animated gif of a different LOTR. While
I'm far too lazy to look it up again I can't seem to find the link anymore, I thought that it was worth reposting. Apparently Boromir is more savvy that we originally thought.
An oldie, but it still makes me laugh.
Q: My fiance still has feelings for his old girlfriends. I'm afraid he will not be faithful.
A: A man's capacity to love is boundless. It has been proven to increase with the number of sexual partners. Thus, by having a few other women, your partner is really increasing his love for you. Best thing to do is to buy him a nice, expensive present, cook him a nice meal and don't mention this aspect of his behavior.
Q: My husband has too many nights out with the boys.
A: This is perfectly natural behavior-And it should be encouraged. The man is a hunter and he needs to prove his prowess with other men. Far from being pleasurable, a night out with the boys is a stressful affair, and to get back to you is a relief for your partner. Just look back at how emotional and happy the man is when he returns to his stable home. Best thing to do is to buy him a nice, expensive present, cook him a nice meal and don't mention this aspect of his behavior.
Q: My husband wants to experience three-in-a-bed-sex with me and my sister.
A: Your husband is clearly devoted to you. He cannot get enough of you, so he goes for the next best thing - your sister. Far from being an issue, this will bring all of the family together. Why not get some cousins involved? If you are still apprehensive, then let him go with your relatives, buy him a nice, expensive present, cook him a nice meal and don't mention this aspect of his behavior.
Q: My husband continually asks me to perform oral sex with him.
A: Do it. Sperm is not only great tasting, but has only 10 calories a spoonful. It is nutritious and helps you to keep your figure and gives a great glow to the skin. Interestingly, a man knows this. His offer to you to perform oral sex with him is totally selfless. Oral sex is extremely painful for a man. This shows he loves you. Best thing to do is to thank him, buy him a nice, expensive present, and cook him a nice meal.
Q: My husband goes straight to sleep after making love - we have no time to talk.
A: Sex is an extremely difficult task for a man. Afterwards he needs rest. In fact, the more he loves you, the more hard work his lovemaking is, and the more rest he needs. Stop putting pressure on him. Best thing to do is to buy him a nice, expensive present, cook him a nice meal and don't mention this aspect of his behavior.
Q: My husband's efforts at lovemaking only last 30 seconds.
A: Your husband loves you very much. He is so turned on by you that he cannot control himself. In fact, the shorter the 'effort' the more he loves you. Return this love by buying a nice, expensive present, cooking him a nice meal and not mentioning his behavior.
Q: My husband is uninterested in foreplay.
A: Foreplay to a man is very hurtful. What it means is that you do not love your man as much as you should-he has to work a lot to get you in the mood. Abandon all wishes in this area, and make it up to him by buying a nice expensive present, cooking a nice meal and not mentioning this behavior.
Q: My husband has never given me an orgasm.
A: The female orgasm is a myth. It is fostered by militant, man-hating feminists and is a danger to the family unit. Don't mention it again to him and show your love to him by buying a nice expensive present ..and don't forget to cook him a delicious meal.