I find it somewhat ironic hearing all these Capitol Hill lawyers screaming about the NSA's domestic spying, when they've looked the other way for years as Obnoxico pours spyware and malware into our computers. North Americans are the most spied upon people in the world I'll wager.
Like some 11 year old is going to read all the fine print before downloading a "free" copy of Yeti Bubbles -- gimme a break. Five minutes later, the computer is compromised, reporting back to HQ about pages visited, triggering popups and who knows what all.
How many happy campers, receiving a new PC this Christmas, are going to get bogged down in viral hell within days? Millions of trojan horses are chomping at the bit even now, eager to charge down the throats of those poorly protected, clueless "what's a firewall?" consumers. Merry Christmas, suckers!
We need more serious-minded protection against unscrupulous predators of all kinds in this country. While the politicians scare us with their "terrorist threat" jabber, they're in the meantime letting the sharks have their way with us (hey, whatever it takes to pay the bills, right? -- campaigning is very expensive).
On the other hand, it's a little sad to see the FBI thrust aside so unceremoniously, by some supposedly sexier eagle shield agency. Most of these domestic threats don't require heavy-duty code breaking, unless you count all those license agreements and other tiny print crapola the lawyers legally bury us with, and then offer to help shovel us out from under -- for only $300/hr (cheap).
OK, so I'm writing from a biased state. Against my better judgment, I downloaded Yeti Bubbles last night, wanting to play some games with my daughter (I should have just stuck with addictinggames.com). Now I'm in the throes of reinstalling Winsock on my main machine -- and blaming Congress for not protecting me from my own stupidity.
OK, sorry guys -- you can go back to enriching yourselves now, as this was just another pointless citizen outburst (maybe I should write a letter to the editor (snicker)). Ya'll can go back to whining about the NSA, which apparently cares more about the sorry state of our public education system than you do.
Later that same day:
So I reinstalled XP (twice = two activations), yet still had to hand enter a static IP (DHCP not working, why?) along with Qwest DNS servers.
I phoned Don to vent a bit (thanks guy, Meliptus rocks), posted an education-related comment to a Forum @ BFI, read Joe Clinton's Christmas letter about his intelligent grand kids, and the recent SNEC event in NYC.
We've sent out probably about fifty Xmas letters so far (not really counting) -- my parents used to do hundreds, likewise to a multinational cast.
Dawn and Tara went shopping, bought a lot of owl-related stuff (Dawn's leading a workshop in January, her group to focus on Owl Medicine).
I advocated seeing King Kong this afternoon, but Tara vetoed -- I shouldn't have warned her about the giant bugs.
Anyway, I need to download and install a bunch of patches from Microsoft, now that connectivity has been re-established, plus reinstall the driver for my Santa Cruz sound card, which I've been quite happy with. Done!