5am reflections

I find myself sitting awake at 5am reflecting on a few things.  Lets not mention that I had been asleep for several hour and woke up suddenly for no apparent reason. This weeks interview status;


  1. Thursday – Totally blew chunks, can anyone actually picture me as a financial adviser for Amex?

  2. Friday – Went well, even though its technically below what I want to do.

I‘ve always found some of the questions that they ask you at interviews terribly amusing. Some are actually thought provoking, while others are so terribly redundant or just plain irrelevant. Here are a couple of the ones I still find myself thinking about.

  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?

  • Describe your troubleshooting skills.

  • Give me an example of something that didn’t work out, and what you learned from it.

As I got to thinking more about these questions, and my own applicable answers I started to realize just how much this sounded like one of those stupid “copy and paste this into your journal and answer the questions” or “if you answer these questions, and forward this email off to X of you friends you will have good luck”.  I must admit that this thought bothered me.  The majority of them I felt were too stupid or too time consuming to even bother with.

So here we are with a new take on an old as the net idea. Choose one of the following questions and answer it. Don’t answer it for me, answer it for you. If you prefer make your post in your LJ personal, write the answer in your paper journal, or if you really want post your reply here as a comment. Explain your answer in such a fashion that you ;


  1. keep the original question evident

  2. answer in such a fashion that you can look back at it and understand where and why you answered the way that you did (justification)

  3. optionally explain why you chose that question in the first place


With the rules set down, here are the questions to choose from.


  • What accomplishment are you most proud of?

  • Give me an example of something that didn’t work out, and what you learned from it.

  • What do you most regret, and if you could would you change it, and why?

  • Think of a problem with how something works currently (ie. personal, work, world, society) how would you fix it?

  • What do you really want? (include why)

  • If you could start a company right now, what would your product be?



For those that don’t want to actually think and evaluate what they are thinking there is one alternative question:

  • What question do you think should be added to the above list, and why?
  • enjoy…

    Your Rights Online: Real-ID Passes U.S. Senate 100-0

    For those of you living under a rock…

    The senate has passed a bill today to spend an additional $82 billion on our military occupation of Iraq. While I honestly believe that our troops need supporting, the thing that I disapprove of is what was tacked onto this bill. Specifically Real ID.

    Here are some stories about this:
    story here
    news.com

    Here is the bill:
    H.R.1268

    Here is the NGA’s response:
    National Governors Association has indicated at the possibility of a lawsuit to challenge the constitutionality .

    And finally, here is some propaganda:
    http://www.unrealid.com/

    ps if you find more stories about this topic and would like to leave a comment here about it, I will be more than happy to add it to this post.

    Norton Internet Security Followup

    Two days since installation, etc. I scanned this morning, and found

  • no spy/adware with Norton
  • no spy/adware with MS Antispyware Beta
  • 23 new critical objects with AdAware (all of them were tracking cookies)
  • 3 items with SpybotSD (all tracking cookies)

    total item found history (Past 3 days)

  • Noron Internet Security : 1
  • MS Antispyware : 0
  • Adaware : 23
  • SpybotSD: 3

    More results coming…

  • Norton Internet Security 2005 Antispyware Edition…

    This just out, Norton (aka Symantec) has released a new Public Beta version of their new Internet Security software bundle. Since they got such terrible reviews I guess they decided it was time to jump on the band wagon and put an antispyware product of their own. One can but ask ones self “what took so long?” You can down load the beta of this at:

    https://www-secure.symantec.com/public_beta/

    Sweet… wait a minute… 33.8 megs! Those of you familiar with Norton products probably realize just how bloated their software has become over the years. Now what’s this disclaimer that i get to read right before downloading?

    This is a beta product and therefore is not supported by Symantec Technical Support. Please use the email address NISConsumerBeta.com for all communications regarding questions or issues you have with the beta product.


    Please note that installing this beta will upgrade prior Norton AntiVirus, Norton Internet Security, and Norton SystemWorks products. Please ensure that you have your prior product media to re-install from once the beta expires.


    The beta will expire on June 1, 2005. At this time you will need to uninstall the Beta and re-install your prior Symantec product or purchase the full version and install it.

    First, that’s not any email address format that I’m convinced will work. Secondly, its going to hose my old version of Norton Antivirus. No big deal, I keep disks well after the point that they are worth keeping (You know just in case I want to reinstall that piece of ancient outdated software to find the Doom Cheat codes that are Easter egged in the software. Of course, I think my antivirus disks are in the carousel I left at Grey St.) Let’s install this puppy and see what she does.

    (about 5 minutes after starting the install process)

    Norton Internet Security cannot be installed because you have another variant of Norton Antivirus or Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition installed. Remove the existing version, restart you computer, and run this installer again.

    Are you fragging serious? Didn’t you just say that installing this would upgrade existing versions? Seriously, get your act together, thanks. At least they were nice enough to provide a happy spiffy link to “Add / Remove Programs”. Ok so much for chronicling this as I do it. Now I have to reboot.

    So here we are after rebooting, and restarting the installation process. Now while I haven’t played with a newer version of any Norton in a couple years, I am impressed that they finally added a stage to scan for memory resident viri during the install process. I’ve always felt that this was something sorely lacking in previous versions. (It does the scan actually right before installing the bulk of anything.)

    Ok all installed. It of course wants the computer to be rebooted (again). Computer comes back up and error…

    Norton AntiVirus was unable to scan your computer for infections because some Norton Antivirus components are missing.

    Needless to say don’t try to open another application, because you will get a pop up like above until you configure NIS*. Its smart enough to autolaunch the config utility apparently though.

    You will have to uninstall the software at the end of the trial period.

    Well that’s almost a relief. I mean if it uninstalled itself at the end of the trial period to save me some time I would be thrilled and amused. It then tells you some recommended steps that it would like you to take. One of which is to run the home network wizard. (This sounds bad.)

    The Home Network Wizard helps you customize your protection so that you can share files and printers with other computers in your home.

    The Home Network Wizard examines your network adapters (Ethernet cards, modems, and other connectivity devices) and determines if you are using non-routable or private IP Addresses. Non-routable addresses are special IP addresses used for local networking. Non-routable addresses fall inside on of three ranges.

    10.0.0.0 – 10.255.255.255
    172.16.0.0 – 172.31.255.255
    192.168.0.0 – 192.168.255.255

    If you have several computers sharing a single internet connection, your computers likely use non-routable IP Addresses.

    Click Next to begin.

    Almost instantly after clicking Next it pops up a nice little screen that says something like this:

    The list below shows network adapters that appear to be on a home network. Norton internet security will automatically configure the adapters listed below when you click Finish. If you uncertain about a specific network adapter, uncheck the box next to Autoconfigure Adapter before clicking Next.

    It then displays adapter name, the autoconfigure check box, the subnet address and subnet mask assigned to said adapter and the hardware (MAC) address. So now since it so lovingly give me all the information that it already has, can someone please tell me what EXACTLY its going to auto-configure? Let’s find out.

    After clicking next it gives you a list of check boxes for “Zones” (default, home, Office, Away).
    What exactly these check boxes actually do is also vague. I left them in their defaults (all checked).
    Look at that its done immediately after hitting next. I’m betting it didn’t do anything at all.

    Next pops up LiveUpdate. I’ve always been a fan of LiveUpdate. IT was definitely a much needed product back when it first came out, but I’ve always felt that it was a bit too secluded and not accepted or used for anything beyond Symantec/Norton products. Perhaps if the marketed it a little better it would have really taken off. /shrug/ I’m of course going on a tangent. Clicking next starts the looking for updates part. I’m surprised to see 24+ bloody items in the update list for the product I just installed. Is it really that necessary to separate all that stuff out? I don’t think so.
    I highly doubt the end use has a clue as to what Symantec Trusted Application List or Symantec Redirector have to do with NIS*. Of course after you finish running live update you get a pop up telling you to re-run live update, and then another pop up saying you need to reboot your computer (yet again).

    Once your computer comes back up don’t bother looking for a LiveUpdate icon off the start button. Its in the control panel, and Liveupdate is already running in the background updating… stuff. So I hit ctrl-alt-del to see what was going on. My poor little computer has pretty much been at 100% CPU Usage since I could open the Performance window. Looking around in everything I see

  • Norton Antivirus has a purchase by date of 5/6/2005. And Norton Internet Security has a Trial Period 6/1/2005. So I can use their trial period beta software, and not have virus protection for a month since they made me uninstall the older version of their software that I had been using? Wow, what brain surgeon thought that one up.
  • Outbreak security looks pretty neat. It appears to be a way they can push new viri defs to you to prevent specific high threat worm/viri from getting you. IT even tells you what rapidly spreading threats are currently active, and which ones your protected against.
  • Personal Firewall. – This is a software firewall software that “protects” your computer against attacks and malicious programs. This monitors local programs trying to access the internet, and vice versa appears to monitor external (internet) apps accessing your machine.
  • Intrusion Detection – This is a port watcher I think that can automaticly detect and block internet attacks. (I’m not quite sure why this is separated from Firewall.) It appears to have quite a few defined applications (ports) it blocks automagicly
  • Spyware and Adware – Now this is the section that I’m most interested in seeing what they have done with! While the fact that this is integrated it almost removes a certain level of control from the end user. You cannot just run a scan for Spy/Adware. However, there are several check boxes in here that help you feel like you can modify your configuration. Those check boxes are:
    Spyware and Adware risks: X spyware X adware
    Additional security risks: X Dialers X Joke programs
    X Remote Access X Hack Tools X Other

    So realistically why offer the ability to disable spyware and adware scans, and not for viri scans? And what the hell is Other… More info: Other: Known programs that may or may not be a risk to your computer. For example, an email greeting that acts like a mass mailer, but isn’t strictly a worm because you can choose to use it before it activates.

  • Privacy Control – This section appears to control pop up ads, sending of private information, etc. Although, I am not personally comfortable placing some of the information they ask for into a computer program
  • Parental Control – Default is Off. “Helps block inappropriate content.” They of course have some things already populating the various different areas of this. I’m not sure how totally comprehensive it is, but it does allow quite a bit of customization.

    Having run a scan (much time passed as this computer is the oldest in the scope that it wasn’t rebuilt as recently as the others) It is especially nice to see that not only does it scan for viri, but it also scans for Adware. Etc at the same time. Having a single scan for both makes this far less confusing for general user john doe. I am surprised that NIS* has actually found some malware/adware that both AdAware and SpybotS&D missed. This is a pretty good sign. (Since I have only ever found one thing using MS Antispyware in all the times I have run it. And it runs nightly.) I should note that once the scan completed the CPU Usage dropped to about 2%. I will of course go surfing with the intent of infecting the computer with some more stuff, and then rescan it. After the rescan, I will of course run AdAware and SpybotS&D immediately afterwards to see if they catch more things in an attempt to discern the effectiveness of NIS*.

    More later when I get some nasty spyware on my machine…

    *Ps Tangent 1: Calling this product NIS really makes my skin crawl. I guess that IT Culture has reached the point of acronym saturation.

  • st2 + more

    Starship Troopers 2 really blew chunks… oh and

    To : mortgages@gmail.com,
    root@nations-mortgages.net,
    abuse@nations-mortgages.net,
    mail@nations-mortgages.net,
    root@nations-mortgages.net,
    a.jones@kraszovk.ru.org,
    a.jones@nations-mortgages.net
    Cc :
    Attchmnt:
    Subject : Order Confirmation – #20050403
    —– Message Text —–

    Dear a.jones and nations-mortgages,

    Thank you for your advertising on tmib.net. The following information
    has been submitted and will be available to our patrons viewing:

    Name: Mortgages
    Website: Near PC
    From: Behind a PC
    E-mail: mortgages@gmail.com
    How did
    you find
    me:

    Comments: You have done a terrific job with your
    website! I’m
    sure future visitors will enjoy it as much as I have.
    Refinance,Mortgages

    Name: krankenversicherung
    Website:

    Please remit payment for $250 payable via Paypal or Check immediately.

    Thank you for your business.

    Neil Tozier
    webmaster
    http:tmib.net