Thursday, April 28, 2005

Pity Me...

Pity me...Please!

No, don't worry, this isn't one of those blog sites. I'm not a supposedly suicidal 16 year old using the net to vent my angst.

In fact, I'm 24, got married last year, and moved from England to live in South Carolina (my wife is an American Citizen.)

So why pity me? I'm assuming as a websurfer, you're at least halfway into computers. Well, I'm writing this on a 7 year old system, using dialup, that due to some mystery with the phonelines in this area (bad ice storm a month or so ago), I can only connect at 26,400 bps. That's right, half the speed of dialup. I had to leave my top of the line system in ole blighty (That's England for you american folks), and now have a computer that has trouble running Pong.

Oh well, life aint so bad, despite the fact today I managed to break my living room window trying to climb through it after locking myself out. I also managed to accidentally siphon 3 gallons of water from my aquarium onto the carpet after cleaning any other aquarists out there, that little valve for your airhose might seem of little use, after all it's never going to actually happen is it? Trust me, a couple dollars is a much lower price to pay than explaining why the living room has become a swimming pool to the missus.

Anyway, what's today's topic?

Ah....The bane of every surfers life...Spam!

I never really realised just how annoying spam could be on my old connection. When you're computer is connected at 3mbps, pop-ups are just mildly annoying. When you're on dial up, even just two or three popups really suck up that bandwidth.

I've noticed however, that we as web surfers just accept it, we may install blockers, spyware removers, but we accept and expect them, just like the commercials on TV (note - God I miss British TV, one 3 minute ad break every 35 mins, one channel here actually has a 7 min ad break after 5 minutes of took me over 4 hours to watch 'The Matrix')

Anyway, why do we accept spam? Or the bane of my existence, the Browser Hijack!

To those who don't know (lucky you), a browser hijack is a program that downloads to your computer without your permission, and changes your start page to something you don't want, sex sites, search engines etc. Others even check what you search for in google or Yahoo, and redirect you to a site selling anything even remotely connected to your search. They also bring the dreaded popups every five minutes.

What REALLY p**ses me off about these is a lot of these popups are ads trying to sell you software to remove spyware and adware. Let me put this into perspective.

This is like me breaking into your house, and while you're trying to watch the game, I have a remote which lets me change your channel at will. Every minute, I change the channel, and you have to get up, turn your tv off, unplug it from the wall, wait 5 minutes, plug it back in to get back to the game. Then guess what? A minute later I do the same thing all over again.

Would that annoy you? You betcha! Now imagine this: Every time I change your TV, I bring up an infomercial:

Weird looking guy in a bad suit : "You see Marie. Your TV can get infected with butthole with a remote that changes the channel on you to this infomercial. The only way to combat this is to send us $50 and we can get rid of this for you!"

Marie, the airhead in fake jewellery: "That's amazing Kent, why don't we repeat everything we've just said over and over until the viewer throws their TV out of the window in a rage!"

It's like someone peeing in your pool, and the expanding yellow cloud saying "Someone peed in your pool? For just $50 you can remove it!"...It's like me shooting out your tires, and then offering to repair them for a price, and include a special ingredient that makes it immune to shooting...It's like me throwing your dog in front of a car to sell you a pet enclosure so they won't run into traffic.

To all writers of Browser Hijackers...I would rather wipe my harddrive and lose everything on there than pay you one red cent to remove it.

I'm certain these things have cost relationships too. Picture the scene, it's 5 days after my wedding. I tell my wife not to use the computer, because there's a virus on it, and I need to run the virus checker before it infects anything else. My wife forgets and goes online, what does she see in the favourites? Links to pretty much every sex site on the net, courtesy of the coolsearch browser hijack.

Luckily she knows I used to build computers for a living, and I pointed out if I wanted to store porn on the computer, I could fix it so she'd never know.

I did get my own back once though. I captured the source of the Browser Hijack, and email bombed the office it originated from. They wanna hijack my computer? Lets see them clear a half million 10 meg movie files from their computer...heh heh heh.

Seriously people, if your browser gets hijacked, don't be fooled into paying for a remover. There are plenty of free removers out there that are just as good, if not better than the retail ones. I won't mention any names, in case I get accused of spamming this blog (wouldn't that be ironic?) Check out the tech support forums, lots of free help there!

Anyway, it's nearly 6am now (not been to bed yet), so I'll be off!

Next time : An update on being British in SC. Also, another bane of my existence TELEVANGELISTS!

No comments: