The place where I come from is a bit unusual. It’s a place in the Pacific Northwest where you can still go out and stake your claim. Literally, thanks to the General Mining Act of 1872. Yes, 1872. As in 141 years ago. Yes, just seven years after the Civil War. Outdated much?
Some miners will stay up in the hills year-round, utterly alone, and living in shacks with no electricity. Every few months they drive their pickup trucks into town and load up on supplies. Then it’s right back into them thar hills.
As you might imagine, that kind of lifestyle combined the total lack of human socialization can make them a bit eccentric. I hope to experience something similar on my one-way mission to Mars. (I’ll use the 1872 law to stake a claim in the cargo bay and shoot anyone who trespasses under interstellar law.)
Meanwhile, I have a person in my life who acts a lot like this. Allow me to introduce Emily, our former landlady. She’s elderly and lives alone in the hills outside of town with her cats. And, like her distant miner counterparts, she’s a bit eccentric.
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What the hell? There’s money to be made in Viagra? I mean, why else would so many internet miscreants spend so much damn time and effort trying to spew forth bullshit emails that most humans (with a brain) are just going to ignore, anyway?
I mean, what’s the point? Is there anyone still out there stupid enough to click on this email bullshit and exclaim, “Oh, look. Viagra. Cialis. That’s just what I was waiting for. Here, wait. I’m getting my wallet now. Let me give you my credit card information. Yeah, you look trustworthy.”
If you like both of those drugs perhaps something known as the “Cialis + Viagra Powerpack” is what you need. Mmm, that sounds good! It says it is available at a “special price” right now, too. How serendipitous for me!
Uh oh. I think I’m a little too excited by your offer. Do you have anything for frothing at the mouth? And I’m setting the four-hour timer just in case I have to see my doctor for overly-energetic Anthony Weiner syndrome.
Seriously. Is it possible they still make money by getting people to fall for this shit? I guess it’s possible. There just might be people with IQs lower than 20 out there surfin’ the net.
Because I’m an internet daredevil son of a bitch, I clicked on that powerpack link to see the special price. “Cialis + Viagra Powerpack 20mg/100mg pills” 30 count each is rated a “best buy” and a “special offer” for $162.50. Is that a good deal? How the hell would I know?
The year was 2011. Humankind stood upon a great precipice. Many achievements had been notched on its belt (that’s a puny pun) but still, the number one threat to this civilization was limp penises for men who were too damn old for sexual activity. Therefore all commerce, production and retail powers were brought to bear on the manufacture and distribution of drugs that would save humanity itself. If not save humanity at least give old dudes a few more joyrides. Viagra and Cialis were the gateway to humankind’s future, potential and greatness.
Just don’t take that shit without Lipitor because it will literally pop your heart right out of your friggin’ chest.
All of this is just my way of saying that there has been some email hacking going on lately. And when emails get hacked the erectile dysfunction emails will abound. Hint: It’s not “dysfunction” when the thing stops working. It’s all part of God’s plan. Taking ED drugs is like telling God to go to Hell.
I recently got hacked and my account was used to send spam. Today it happened to a friend of mine.
After I was hacked, I changed my passwords and did some research. I have two theories so far. One is that using public wi-fi may have exposed my usernames and passwords to anyone with Firefox and the proper hacking plug-in. Does that little beep on my iPod Touch letting me know I was just mentioned in a tweet mean that my account is now compromised? I’m not sure.
I developed my other theory after I noticed something quite startling. As far as I can tell, websites like WordPress, Twitter and Facebook allow you to login without encryption! (If I’m wrong about this, I apologize.)
I went to all three sites. The home page on all three sites included username/email and password boxes with login buttons. None of these home pages were encrypted. I checked for this by looking for https in the address bar. None of them had that. They were all simply http.
As far as I can tell, for two to three years now I have been using these sites to send my unencrypted username and passed across the internet. That’s exactly what you are never supposed to do.
Thanks for the help!
What I learned is that you have to bypass these home page login functions. Do not use them! Leave them blank and click the LOGIN button. You will then be sent to an encrypted page where it should be safer to enter your password.
If you’ve used an unencrypted login function, I recommend you change your password. Then you have to be vigilant. It’s easy to forget. You have to make it your new habit.
What I don’t know is the security impact of clicking the “remember me” box. My guess is that a cookie is used for subsequent visits so that should be safe.
What I also don’t know is what happens when you save passwords in your handheld iOS devices. Are those always encrypted before being sent? I don’t know for sure. I haven’t been able to find much information about that.
Be careful out there. From now on I’m taking all Viagra emails as a hint and may just show up on your doorstep in response. “Say hello to my little friend!”
Am I prescient? I must be. This has happened so many times. I love it when something I’ve bitched about becomes a class action lawsuit. Because of my luck (or lack thereof) I have been in many!
This morning I got an email that informed me, essentially, I am already a winner!
There has been a settlement and Classmates.com has agreed to pay $2.5 million.
In 2008, San Diego man Anthony Michaels sued Classmates.com for using the names of his former classmates to mislead him into upgrading from a free membership to a paid one. Michaels claimed the site had sent him emails to alert him that his old peers were trying to contact him, and when he upgraded his membership and logged in, he learned that it was all a ruse.
As part of the settlement Classmates.com, of course, denies any wrongdoing. Duh. But we all know you’re a bunch of ass weasels.
At least I’ve got one thing in my favor. Unlike Anthony Michaels, I didn’t fall for their bullshit. You see, I already knew it was impossible anyone from high school would ever try to contact me, therefore the Classmates.com fishing expedition was exposed.
The only problem now is where do I go to cash my $2.5 million check? I’m thinking the 7-Eleven down the street.
Huh? My share of the settlement will be approx. $5 to $10? What the fuck?
I want to buy all of my reader a round! The drinks are on me! (As long as they cost two cents each.)
The other day I did something I don’t often do. I logged into my Gmail and checked the spam folder.
The fact is, I trust Google quite a bit to filter spam out of my email properly. There is occasionally a “false positive” that I have to manually retrieve (usually after someone whines a lot) but generally it does a very good job.
It’s nice not to worry about getting junk in my Inbox. I usually just leave it on autopilot and never think about it.
The other day, though, on a whim, I was curious. I clicked into the folder and got this bit of good news:
Hooray, no spam here!
That’s nice to hear.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a little plain bit of text above the toolbar on my screen:
Spam Veggie Pita Pockets – Serves 8!
–From the spam folder in Gmail
“Ahhhhh,” I said. “This must be the much vaunted context-sensitive advertising that Google brags about. Sure, that makes sense. This is a spam folder. So why not advertise Spam brandname ‘canned precooked meat product made by the Hormel Foods Corporation?”
I have to admit, that does sound good. The thought of Spam can sure make your mouth water. It must be Pavlovian.
I’m a practicing flexitarian, so I certainly could say, “Bring it on!” Unfortunately for Google, I can’t quite flex as far as Spam.
See, this is what concerns me about computers taking over the whole world. Even Google can’t tell the difference between unwanted email and unwanted precooked meat product. Sure, in your spam folder that’s no big deal. But what if it is your new “smart” car that automatically brakes your vehicle without you asking it to? The computer making the wrong could literally result in spam in a can – homo sapiens variety. That sounds good! Hell, why wouldn’t you want to trust your life to a computer? I can’t think of a single damn reason.
I refreshed my Google spam folder a few times and it was always the same thing. Spam. Spam. Spam. Spam.
In fact, I saved them up so I could share them with you:
- Spam Hashbrown Bake – Serves 8
- Spam Breakfast Burritos – Bake 5-10 minutes, serve with salsa
- Vineyard Spam Salad – Combine grapes, spam, peapods and onions in large bowl
- Spicy Spam Kabobs – Serve with hot cooked rice
- Spam Fajitas – Serves 8, add extra salsa if desired
- Spam Primavera – Toss with linguini, serve immediately
- Spam Confetti Pasta – Preparation time 30 minutes
- Spam Vegetable Strudel – Bake 20 minutes or until golden, serve with soy sauce
- Spam Imperial Tortilla Sandwiches – To serve, cut each roll in half
- French Fry Spam Casserole – Bake 30-40 minutes
- Creamy Spam Broccoli Casserole – Makes 8 servings
- Spam Veggie Pita Pockets – Serves 8
- Ginger Spam Salad – Serves 1, refrigerate overnight
- Spam Quiche – Makes 4 servings
- Spam Swiss Pie – Bake 45-55 minutes or until eggs are set
- Savory Spam Crescents – Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown
One thing’s for sure. When I’m checking my email for spam, Google sure knows exactly what I want. Spam and lots of it!