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Tech Friday: Tin Foil Hat Edition + GTA V


tin foil hat

Tech Friday, Tin Foil Hat Edition!

Ok Get out your tin foil hats, and fit them snuggly. Today’s post may not be all paranoia, but there is enough, and it can’t hurt! Please tell me you know what a tinfoil hat is?





Clowns, wait, what?

Low-tech, but high on the creep-o-meter. Have you been following the Northampton clown?
I know, it has nothing to do with Tech-anything. But I am strangely terrified, and intrigued by this odd….thing. So the nice guy I am, I figured I’d share the wealth.  Don’t say I never gave you anything, yes nightmares count!
He just stands there, yes, that’s the totally weird and creepy part. You can follow him on facebook to keep appraised of his locations.
Ok now on with the regularly scheduled, Tin Foil Friday.





EMP Beam devices…in the name is safety, of course


Nato is developing, and testing  an EMP beam device that can target, and take out pretty much anything electronic at will. All in the name of stopping suicide bombers, drone aircraft, and evil villains worldwide, bent on harming innocent women and children. This is great news …right? Well yes , and no.
What is an EMP? ElectroMagnetic Pulse. This puts out an electromagnetic signal of a certain frequency, and this disrupts surrounding electronics and radio waves in the area.
So why is this bad? It can effectively disable a suicide bomber from a safe distance, or a vehicle threatening to ram a barricade or building at high speeds.
Well first and foremost, I don’t trust our, or anyone else’s government, period.  These two quotes from Nato scientists make me raise an eyebrow. “The ignition will generate a very high electromagnetic pulse and it will interfere with the control system inside the car so the car engine will stop,”  Dr. Ernst Krogager
“It’s a fairly safe and simple way of doing it and its also non-lethal, it doesn’t actually kill anyone or harm anyone, and it doesn’t really harm the vehicle much either,”  Mr. Odd Harry Arnesen
Secondly, how often does a suicide bomber announce himself? Would the police ever have the prior notice to get such a device ready and active…probably not.
Ok so perhaps it could be useful at military installation gates, embassies, and maybe the White House. But they have methods to pew pew  bad guys at those places already.
The tin foil hat wearing side of me thinks this kind of stuff is more to control the general public, when and if they ever need to.  Like, people trying to flee a quarantined area after the zombie apocalypse perhaps? Or if they deem you a hostile threat, for any reason!
Think what you will, I’m not here to convert, just inform. My hat protects me!  On a serious note, here is one final quote to think about before you judge me as being paranoid. “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” –Benjamin Franklin
Cough* gun control*cough patriot act*cough  cough




Cryptolocker…should we worry?

We have all heard of malware, and adware. They are the nasty things that can infect our computers so we protect ourselves with anti virus software, and malware scanners. However you may not have heard about ransomware.
Ransomware isn’t really new, But it just got a lot worse. In the past it was mostly annoyances, or scare tactics to get unsuspecting people to pay up. A lot of the time it was “real” software. It’s not always the shady hacker, virus coder, wearing a hoody and sunglasses in mommies basement.
One of note, that I can remember, was an infection that would pop up a message. This would inform you that it detected a virus, and only their software service could clean your system. Once you pay up that message went away, but then it “scans” your system, and finds horrible viruses that only their “top tier” could clean. This cycle would go on and on.
Some would eventually stop after payment, some would not.  A client I helped with had this problem. He fortunately was able to contact the software developer and got a refund after threats of legal action. But not everyone was so lucky.
Enter, Cryptolocker!
This is the bad boy of the recent ransomwares.  It is a trojan ransomware that infects personal system files. This new version wants a ransom payment of $300 for the key to unlock the encryption! The original  version from last year only wanted $100…that was a bargain…
So I just keep antivirus up date and hope for the best, and if I get an infection, just clean it off and all better? NOPE not this time folks.
Sad to say there is no cure as of yet. This is a tricky one. If you get it it encrypts everything important. So sure you can remove the trojan but the encryption stays. To decrypt you need a private and public key, so until someone cracks the key the developers hold the only cure is to pay the ransom.
According to this particular developer has some scruples. this means so far anyone who has paid the ransom, has gotten their encryption removed safely, and no reports of reinfection have been reported.
Well that is nice of them! That’s like robbing someone at gun point, “but I said please officer”
So try and stay away from it people, or you have to pay up $300 to get your stuff back!  Don’t click on unknown links in emails and shady sites. Oh and DO NOT remove the trojan if you do get it…it removes the key on your PC that is required for part of the decryption. SO until it gets cracked you are screwed.
How to fix it? Pay them…I know, I would never do that either! Wait for a crack. Reformat the drive and restore your data from your regular backups.  If you don’t do regular backups, now might be a good time to start!





Voyager 1, Interstellar!


The voyager 1 space probe was launched in 1977 with a primary mission to explore the outer solar system. In particular the Jovian , and Saturianian systems. This mission was complete in 1980. Talk about over engineering, it has been on an extended mission now for 35 years!
NASA announced on September 12th 2013, that the space probe left our solar system  August 2012. This is the first man made object to reach this far in to outer space. It will keep on traveling into interstellar space at a rate of 38,000 mph until 2025.
Well to be more precise, it will travel forever until it blows up or crashed, but in 2025 its generators will no longer provide enough power to transmit or receive data.
I don’t know about you, but I love this stuff! It’s fascinating to me. If you don’t like it, oh well it’s my article, so there…anyway, where was I?
Ahh right, this is amazing that they were able to engineer and build this thing back in the 70’s and it still has power, and can transmit that far. But I have to ask, why the hell does my I phone die in a day, and loses 3g if I take 3 steps the wrong way?
Conclusion…NASA should build smart phones? My first thought was, they would only cost $40,000. a piece. But after some digging, check out what I discovered.
The US department of defense has an annual budget of 1trillion dollars. NASA 800 billion, over the last 50 years!  As a side note the US science budget is something around 80 billion.
So yeah, if we had our priorities straight maybe we would be more advanced as a society, and have Warp drive by now! Oh, when I say we, I mean the morons running the show, of course.







Yes, Grand Theft Auto 5 released on 9/17!
Love it or hate it? Its massively popular either way. I suspect even people that claim to hate the GTA franchise, have at least seen it , if not actually play it. Day one sales were estimated over 6.5 million units sold. That is a lot, in case you didn’t know.
Many stores around this country had midnight release openings. Were you one of the people standing in line for hours waiting for 12am? Did you preorder and digitally download it? Or are you like me, and will get around to buying it someday, when I have the time?
I’m not an extreme fanatic of the series, I don’t hate it, but I don’t love it either. I enjoy a good game as much as anybody. I will get it, when I get it. Right now I’m still enjoying Diablo! No I wouldn’t call myself a one trick pony, I find the older I get, the less time I have to  devote to multiple games at a time.
Ok enough with the depressing stuff!  If you have the game, do you like it? Was it worth the wait? Is it the best of the franchise so far? If it isn’t, what was your favorite GTA? Yes I remember waaay back when I was in school sneaking into our computer lab(the 2 PC total computer lab) to play the original GTA. It’s funny, we thought that game was so edgy and awesome!


Well this wraps up another Tech Friday.
A creepy clown, foil hats, space probes, and video games. Now that’s what I call a good Friday!
Until next time, stay safe, and protect those brain waves.