Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I was held captive by a virus for 2 days.

It's been dubbed the "Your system is infected with dangerous virus!" virus. You know you're infect when the following bogus pop-up screen keep popping up at you:


And it high-jacked my computer for over 24 hours.

Here's what I was able to find out about this spawn of Satan:

May 6, 2008

This is a false "Systen Error!" pop-up box for the Trojan Horse style of virus called the "Your system is infected with dangerous virus!" virus.

It's a pernicious pop-up box indicative of malignant rogue spyware, masquerading as anti-spyware. (This is a classic example of a Trojan Horse virus.)

The public name of this spyware --although awkward-- is derived from the exact wording of the opening sentence found in its bogus pop-up box. That opening sentence is unique in that it is a specimen of poor English syntax indicative of a possible Asian origin to the virus. The second sentence in the pop-up --"Note: Strongly recommend to install antispyware program to clean your system and avoid total crash of your computer!"-- also has another "Asian-ism" to its incorrect syntax. This Asian style of poor English has long been dubbed "Engrish" by the internet community.

The symptoms of having this virus are:

1) Constant pop-up of the bogus "System Error!" box.

2) Frequent highjacking of Explorer window --especially when trying to use Google.

3) Frequent redirection of Explorer window from any legitimate Google results to a tricked-out Google page full of bogus search results which are riddled with bad English. All such results point toward porno sights.

4) Acts as an "adult-content dialer" on your Google searches.

5) When attempting to use legitimate anti-spyware to combat this virus, system freezes up and may even (rarely reported) prompt what is sometimes called the "blue screen of death" which is an old 2.0 screen, solid royal blue in color, with the announcement that the memory is about to be dumped. (Unplug power from computer as soon as this happens!)

The main goal of the incessant pop-up box is to try and trick you into clicking the "OK" button on the pop-up, thus downloading bogus anti-spyware for free. Two of the bogus spywares known to be associated with this virus are the "Malware Bell Malware Detection Tool" or the "IE AntiVirus 3.2 Security Center" packages (and thus the Trojan Horse function). But then after these bugus anti-spywares are installed, they covertly hijack your entire system and then prompt you to pay money to take all of these problems away.

Has been associated with the two bogus anti-spywares called "Malware Bell" and "IE AntiVirus 3.2."

Seems to be Asian in origin.

Seems to have arisen on the internet no earlier than December of 2007.

Seems to have grown exponentially on the internet since April 15, 2008.

Anyway ... I think I'm past it now. But this is a particularly NASTY virus --worse than the WinSoft virus of three years ago-- so I thought I'd warn everyone about it. (All two of you who read my blog. )

Saturday, May 3, 2008

"This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind."

The title of this entry is a direct quote from multi-billionaire Richard Rainwater who says that for the first time in his life ... he's scared ... scared that life as we know it is about to end. Rainwater made his fortune capitalizing on the financial opportunities that always arise via crises. He pretty much wrote the book on how to sniff out a crisis months or even years ahead of time, discern which way the money will flow when the crisis finally hits, and position oneself accordingly. But THIS crisis --Peak Oil-- actually scares him.

His 2005 interview with Fortune Magazine (which serves as the basis for this blog entry) has infamously dubbed this man's fears as "The Rainwater Prophecy." In that interview he explains his apprehensions over the future of civilization itself in light of Peak Oil. His wife insists that this creeping fear took hold of her husband "right after he read that book."

What book?

A book by James Howard Kunstler called The Long Emergency.

Rainwater doesn't completely buy into Kunstler's doom and gloom. "It's the Z scenario," he says. But at the same time, he worries that Kunstler isn't wrong enough, and he's been buying extra copies of the book and passing them around to
the many titans of capitalism who are his protégés.
Well ... my discovery of this one news article today is good enough for me as far as my two week's worth of agonizing over whether I should follow Kunstler's theories. To paraphrase Billy Crystal's famous line from The Princess Bride: "Mostly wrong is slightly right." So even if Kunstler is only SLIGHTLY right, that's way too right for his theories to be completely dismissed. If a man like Rainwater buys into Kunstler --if even just partially-- I'd be a fool not to as well.

"I believe in Hubbert's Peak. I came out of Texas. I watched oil fields reach peak and go over, and I've watched how people would do all they could, put whatever amount of money into the field, and they couldn't do anything about it."
I likewise believe in Hubbert's Peak, "one of the great geological I-told-you-so's." I also believe we're going to hit that Peak quite soon (if not already). And I NOW additionally believe we're heading for one of those ItEotWaWKI situations as described by Mr. Kunstler. Yes, I'm a believer now.

But what can I do? For my family? For me? What can I possibly do?

Nothing.

Pray maybe.

As Matt Simmons, one of the leading gurus of Peak Oil, said to a US Congressman when asked what the solution was:
"I don't think there is one. The solution is to pray. Under the best of circumstances, if all prayers are answered, there will be no crisis for maybe 2 years. After that, it's a certainty."
That 2-year plan for prayer was suggested by Simmons back in May of 2005, when oil was selling at $52 a barrel. And then after those 2 years had elapsed, and May of 2007 rolled around, the price was up to $64 a barrel. Here it is, yet another year later, and it's at $104 a barrel.

Mr. Rainwater says that when Peak Oil hits the fan, and when the local neighborhood pumps sputter dry, and no one in your whole town can drive a car anymore, and riots and looting start breaking out, "people are going to be asking, 'Why did God do this to us?'"