Archive | April 7, 2014

Avast Internet Security — Invisible Browsing Option. Not For Me.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Avast 2014.9.0.2016 & GrimeFighter
>>Apr. 6, 2014.
>> Forced to Update — Dec. 3, 2013.

>> Renewed with trepidation — Dec. 1, 2013.
>> Careful updating to 9.0.1500 —
>> Oct. 22, 2013.
>> Not happy with Avast 8 — Mar. 16, 2013.


Avast Internet Security invisible, secure browsing

Click to access Avast description of this latest (annoying) feature.


For the last few days I have been getting these ADDITIONAL, very annoying notifications from (paid) Avast Internet Security (2014 …) telling me that Avast could make my Web browsing totally anonymous by making me invisible.

Of course I did NOT take up their intrusive offer.

Even a quick glance at the notification informs you that they provide this via a ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN). That means that you first have a VPN connection with an Avast server, somewhere East of the Iron Curtain, and then your browsing is done using that server as a proxy (or surrogate). Yes, it will work and it will work well. Yes, there will be a small performance hit. The VPN connection itself will be encrypted end-to-end, which has performance implications, and you have now added ANOTHER intermediate server into your Internet access path. I can live with all of that.

As I have always maintained antivirus programs like Avast are the epitome of legitimized Trojan Horses. They know and report back on EVERYTHING you do on your PC! You have no privacy. That I know and I accept as a fait accompli of contemporary PC culture. But to do all my browsing through an Avast server just seems tacky. Makes me cringe. It is really is letting ‘Little Brother’ watch EVERYTHING you do.

Also when it comes to my Internet habits I am like Pope John XXIII and his impromptu walks in the Vatican Gardens. I really don’t do anything scandalous and as such have nothing that I really want hidden. So my advice on using Avast’s invisible browsing. Unless you routinely do dastardly deeds on the Internet, that you don’t want folks to know, I would stay well clear of it. With the Avast option, Avast will know everything you do — and maybe even have a legal right to that information BECAUSE YOU explicitly or implicitly agreed to use THEIR server. 


 


Malaysian Airlines MH370 Paradox Redux: Kudos To Boeing For Making 777s Indestructible. No Debris.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by Anura Guruge


Just SOME of the Related posts:
>> MH370 FARCE — Apr. 2, 2014.
>> Maldives & Sri Lanka —
>>
Mar. 15, 2014.
>> ACARS flip-flop —
>>
Mar. 18, 2014.

>> MH370 flying at 5,000′ …
>>Mar. 13, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370:
>> My Thoughts

>>Mar. 10, 2014.
++++ Search on ‘MH370‘ for other related posts >>>>


boeing-777x-8x-9x-comparison


I have nothing but unalloyed respect and admiration for Boeing.

I have loved Boeing planes since I was a poor, bare-footed, 12-year old in Ceylon c. 1965. Yes, the De Havilland Comet-4, in BOAC livery, which in my ignorance I would always refer to as the ‘BOAC Comet-4’ (since I didn’t realize that the operator and the manufacturer were different entities), was my first love. The first jet I had ever seen. But around 1962 the Boeing 707 stole my heart and it still has a dear place in there. I was lucky enough, starting in 1967, to do a LOT of flying on 707s. Then in 1970 I saw my first 747. It was love at first sight. I got to fly in one soon afterwards. It was an Air India 747 from London to Frankfurt. There were just 16 passengers in it — with a cabin crew that was larger! I was NOT booked on it. I was 16 years old. I was on the way to New Delhi from London. A kind ticket agent put me on that flight so I could fly in a 747. but, I had to change planes in Frankfurt. That was the deal. Since then, over the years, I have spent days (maybe weeks) inside 747s — but whenever I still see one my heart skips a beat. I think they are absolutely gorgeous. So as far as I am concerned Boeing does little wrong.

Yes, I was also lucky enough to have Boeing, in Seattle, as a customer when I first came to the U.S. in 1985 for CASE Communications. As such I have visited Boeing, at their HQ, many, many times. There was a time I was going to see them every month, at least. It was, thanks to their planes a red-eye ritual, typically a Tuesday-Wednesday, routine. I would get dropped in at BTW early on Tuesday. Would fly to Seattle, exploiting the 3 hour time difference, and get there by noon. Then have a 3-4 hour meeting in the afternoon with Boeing folks. Then dinner in Seattle. Meet with some of the sales folks. If there was time entertain another customer or prospect. Then get on, first class, on AA or UA red-eye. Sleep. Get picked up at BTW. Get dropped off at the CASE office, in Columbia, MD, with a clean white-shirt and a different tie. Go to the bathroom and change shirts and tie. Then do a full day’s work on Wednesday in the office.

Boeing, suffice to say, was a BIG SNA user. So I had dealing with them long after I left CASE.

So, I know Boeing. I like Boeing. I trust Boeing.



Now we have to face facts.

It has been over a MONTH since Malaysian Air MH370 supposedly crashed. Now they say that have detected the Black Box pinger.

But no aircraft DEBRIS other than what found in the Maldive Islands

Hurricanes, no hurricanes, winds, currents, tides …

If there was any debris SOME should have been spotted by now or got washed ashore somewhere.

But, no debris.

No satellite sightings of debris.

STRANGE.

Very STRANGE.

So, IF it crashed, there is only one explanation.

The Boeing 777 is so well made that not a single piece broke off — because this had to be a gentle, “Sully” Sullenberger, ‘Miracle in the Hudson‘, landing. Nothing broke off.

Amazing isn’t it.

But, give kudos to Boeing.

Buy Boeing stock. No, I don’t own any. Maybe I should (but I am broke (unlike the plane).


I Am Now (Not By Choice) At Avast Internet Security (Paid) 2014.9.0.2016 With GrimeFighter DISABLED.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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by
Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Forced to Update — Dec. 3, 2013.
>> Renewed with trepidation — Dec. 1, 2013.
>> Careful updating to 9.0.1500 —
>> Oct. 22, 2013.
>> Not happy with Avast 8 — Mar. 16, 2013.


Avast Paid Internet Security 2014.9.0.2016 -- Anura Guruge

Click to ENLARGE.

¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿ ¿

DISABLE Avast GrimeFighter by unchecking this box

Click to ENLARGE. DISABLE GrimeFighter by unchecking this box. This is NOT negotiable. Disable if you have any sense.


Avast did it AGAIN! They FORCED, no, COERCED, actually TRICKED, me into upgrading to a version of (paid) Avast Internet Security that I did NOT want to be at.

I knew that there was an Avast 2014.9.0.2013 for some months now — BUT had not updated this, my main PC, to it. Avast had not bugged me about it. I maybe got 1 notification quite a few weeks ago and that was it. I was cool. Things seemed OK plus I am not that worried about ‘protection’ on this PC since I am fairly careful and diligent as to where I surf from this machine.

I have the same Avast Internet Security, off the same 3 PC license, on my backup PC as well (which is on another network).

So here is the first funny thing.

I had received quite a few notifications on the backup machine asking me to upgrade! Not sure how or why? The same underlying Avast IS. So why more notifications on one rather than the other. Maybe there is a notification setting that is mismatched.

Well, I do like, especially when it comes to Avast, to try new versions for a couple of weeks on the backup. Make sense right? So I had updated that to 2014.9.0.2013 about a month ago. Seemed to work. But, I really don’t use the backup machine.

On Friday morning I got my second (as far as I can remember) update to 2014.9.0.2013 notification on this PC. I ignored it. Then that evening it started displaying the annoying ‘needs attention’ icon in my icon tray. That drives me nuts. It is like having the ‘check engine’ light on. I like this PC to be in good shape at all times.

On Saturday afternoon after my walk around Wolfeboro I did a few Googles to make sure that 2014.9.0.2013 was copacetic. It appeared to be. I powered on the backup and checked that it was indeed on ‘2014 — 2013’. IT WAS but there was a message saying that 2014.9.0.2016 was available. I was surprised. It had not been bugging me to upgrade. So I didn’t do anything on the backup.

I got back on this PC and told Avast to update the program ASSUMING it would update me first to ‘2013’ as it had told me on the notification.

NOT SO.

When they finished their hacking around, I was, to my distress, at 2014.9.0.2016. Damn Avast!

Luckily it appeared to work.

So yet again I had two different levels on my two PCs. Now the backup was down-level. That didn’t help me. So I updated that as well. So both machines are now at ‘2016’.


For weeks now, on both machines, I have been getting these annoying GrimeFighter notification.

As if I would EVER LET Avast do anything to my PC beyond what it already does.

Well with ‘2016’ you can disable GrimeFighter. See image above.

Per Avast’s own FORUM GrimeFighter is USELESS. Just another excuse for Avast to stick its stubby little fingers in other parts of your PC. Another thread on the Forum.

Disable.


Just Had A Notification From WordPress To Wish Me “Happy Anniversary” For 6 Years Of WordPress Blogging.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


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by Anura Guruge


6years


Wow.

Thank YOU, WordPress.

6 years. That would have been 2008 when I set up my first WordPress blog: papam.wordpress.com.

I had started with TypePad but had tired of them.

It has been quite a journey, never arduous, with WordPress. On the whole it has been a joy.

I have had as many as 35 separate WordPress blogs in those years. I have relinquished some. I still have quite a few.

I have also had well over 600,000 hits on my WordPress blogs. Maybe more. I haven’t counted.

I like WordPress. I recommend it freely. Definite ‘two glasses of red’ rating for WordPress.

Thank YOU, WordPress.


April 7, 2014, Golden Jubilee Of The S/360 (S/370) Mainframe: Happy 50th IBM Mainframes.

geneandIAnura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


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by Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Gene Amdahl & I
>>
Mar. 29, 2014.
>> IBM Hursley pictures
>>
Mar. 16, 2014.
>> Malaysia flight 370: And ‘Poor’ IBM
>>Mar. 11, 2014.

++++ Search on “MH370” for the near daily posts on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370>>>>
++++
Search on “Hursley”, “IBM” & “mainframes” for other IBM (Hursley) related posts >>>>


ibms36050th1


bbcmf50th

BBC tribute. Click to access. The BBC points out that the ICL 1900 will also mark its 50th this year. Those were the first computers I ever used and got to know real well. I was in the U.K. Enrolled in an ICL sponsored programming program in 1969 — aged 16 at Mill Hill School, London. We wrote programs on coding sheets and send them to ICL by mail. They punched our code onto paper tape, ran the program and returned by mail, prior to the next week’s class, our coding sheets, the paper tape and the output. That was computing 1969.


Nicholas Donofrio, SVP of IBM mainframes in the late 1990s.

Nicholas Donofrio, SVP of IBM mainframes in the late 1990s.

Well it is finally here. 50 years of IBM mainframes. IBM mainframes were my life for ~36 years. So I do need to celebrate and reflect.

I would not be here if NOT for IBM mainframes. I am very partial to them, have always been and will always be.

Was thinking the other morning, while having my pre-breakfast nuts and fruits, seated on my front steps, though it was 32°F, whether SNA will still be around for its 50th anniversary and whether I would be around. That would be 2024. Another 10 years.

I also got thinking that I, if nobody else, should remember Nick Donofrio on this day. I was a bug fan of Nick’s. I did not know him personally. I had seen him at a few IBM conferences — most notably in Orlando in 1995. Nick gave a speech where he talked about contrition! I was impressed. I think of Nick as the father of modern IBM mainframes — i.e., zSeries. Nick did great things for mainframes. I chronicled most of them. So thank YOU Nick.

Click to access.

Click to access.


So while I am in this mood for thanking IBMers for their service to mainframes — as it pertains to me — let me also thank: Les Brown (of Hursley, my very first boss (ever) and the man, by telling me to ‘forget about it’ gave me a wonderful 30-year career as ‘Mr. SNA‘), Richard Tobacco (Raleigh), Patricia Kinney (Raleigh), Mac Devine (Raleigh), Don Haile (Raleigh) and Lark Allen (Raleigh).

Kind of surprised that Google did NOT do a Doodle — at least as yet.

Don’t think we will see a 10oth but mainframes could definitely make the 75th year mark.

Rejoice. I will be lifting a glass of red to IBM and mainframes in about 12 hours time. (One thing you learn as an IBMer, especially one that specialized in SNA, is that YOU have to have standards in life.)


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