greenman: (Default)
Please be careful opening any email that is sent to you with an attachment, even if it purports to be from a legitimate company.

Recently a couple of virus varients have been going around, using social networking as more effective ways of getting people to open them. There have been two iterations of them that I have seen so far.

The first purports to be from AirTran Airways, and the text thanks you for purchasing your ticket online through them, and indicates that a charge of $400+ has been made to your credit card. It also refers to the the attachment, which supposedly includes your receipt and the ticket. Of course, most people want to know what the hell is going on, since they didn't purchase any tickets online, and certainly not for $400+ dollars. Of course, they open the attachment, which isn't a receipt, but is in fact the virus. And the virus that has been going around does not seem to be stopped or detected by Symantec Antivirus, even using the most recent updates, so that machine in infected.

The latest varient arrives as a message from FedEx, warning either that the package that was sent to you, or that the package that you sent, was not able to be delivered because the wrong address was given. Again, an attachment with more information is included, and many people seem to want to open the attachment without thinking about it. The virus included in both of these messages seems to be a varient of the Virantex (or Braviax) trojan/virus, and is remarkably resistent to removal.

Please be careful. There is always lag between the newest virus varients showing up in the wild, and the latest updates released by Antivirus companies. There is always the chance that you can be infected, even if your virus definitions are up to date. Do NOT open any attachments that you aren't completely sure of. In fact, if you receive a message from someone that you DO know, with an attachment, contact them and confirm that they sent you the message, and that they included an attachment, before you open in, and go so far as to confirm the name of the attachment, as well.

Viruses have been out there for quite a while. Generally, they no longer carry destructive payloads, but they CAN slow your machine to a crawl, get you blacklisted when they try and spam other people with copies of themselves from your machine, or slam your network connection with extra traffic. And they can be VERY difficult to get rid of, once you're infected.
greenman: (consult)
I know most of my friends are reasonably tech literate (especially the ones who might be reading my LJ), but I wanted to remind everyone to make sure that they've got up to date antivirus software, and to run a virus scan. I've seen more machines infected with trojans in the last few weeks than I've seen in the last few months, and for some reason, Symantec's antivirus products seem to be hit-or-miss about catching them, or at least removing them.

I've been having good luck removing a number of them using AVG Free 8.0, which is a free (obviously, from the name) antivirus application available from (specifically, My only caviat about installing it is to make sure that you do an advanced installation, and tell it NOT to install the AVG Security Toolbar, which will significantly slow down your machine as it scans all the links on any website you happen to be visiting. Without that, the installation is fast and the footprint is small.

I generally also recommend Trend Micro's Housecall, an online virus scan tool available at It will require you to install a java application to run, but Trend Micro is an established hardware and software vendor, they've been around for years, and I've never had a problem with them.

This is probably unnecessary for most people, but if I can help even one person make sure their system is clean, I'll be happy.
greenman: (insanity)

(italicized portions of the text my emphasis)

The Medis 24/7 Power Pack is the world's first UL and CE listed Fuel Cell for consumers. The 24/7 Power Pack is a portable fuel cell charger for Cellphones, Smartphones, Pocket PCs, MP3 Players, Hand Held Gaming Systems and other similar portable/wireless devices.

When a device's battery is running low or is discharged, The 24/7 Power Pack allows continued use of the device for up to 30 additional hours without the need for a wall outlet. It's inexpensive, convenient and portable.

Just Squeeze it! Plug it! Power it!

A fuel cell is an electro-chemical device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel into electrical energy. This is a clean, non-pollutant source of energy. In our case the energy source is powered by a patented proprietary fuel. When the fuel is depleted, there is no generation of dangerous, chemical reactants.

The Department of Transportation issued Medis a Special Permit (SP -14504) for the product so now users can carry up to 3 Medis Fuel Cells onto the airplane and use them in the cabin!

These are the only fuel cell to have this right.*

NOTE: This includes the Fuel Cell only. It does not include the required Power Management Cord or tip. The cord/tip for the Treo device comes with the Power Pack Starter Kit


WARNING: Due to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 49 this item is shippable only via Ground Service due to being an ORM (Other Regulated Material). No Next Day or 2nd Day Air nor International shipments are processed at this moment.

greenman: (Default)

A really interesting article. Lots of stuff wrong (I still want my damn flying car!!!), but there's a lot of stuff that's pretty acurately predicted.


greenman: (Default)

May 2009



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