The Anonymous Widower

An Appropriate Day for the Royal Wedding?

It would appear that the date of the Royal Wedding is the same as Save The Frogs Day.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | News | , | 4 Comments

Would Plain Packaging Cut Cigarette Sales?

The government is thinking of making cigarette companies sell their death in plain packets. The response of the companies is predictable and says that it will make their products easily to counterfeit.  It probably will, but then there is every reason to cut cigarette smoking.

I said in a post a few weeks ago what I would do. If anything, I’ve got even more outrageous in my views.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | News | | 1 Comment

Elect Your Local Councillor by Lot

This was an the heading of an article in The Times yesterday, by Vernon Bogdanor.

He makes a convincing case, giving examples from fifth-century Athens and present day, British Columbia.

This is the last two paragraphs.

Oscar Wilde once said that the prime defect of socialism was that it took up too many evenings, but the experiment in British Columbia shows that it is perfectly feasible to extend participation in a modern democracy, and such participation need not be the exclusive province of the better-off and the better-educated.

Like most other democracies, we in Britain have hardly begun to harness the potential of the ordinary citizen. What better place to begin than with local government, the Cinderella of our political institutions?

I think his ideas are worth pusuing.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | World | , | Leave a comment

WordPress’s New Method of Entering Links.

This how WordPress  describes it.

With our sexy new internal linking feature, you can now enter any URL to create a link just like you used to, OR you can search your existing posts and pages right there in the link popup. A combination of pre-loading, autocomplete, and some ajaxy goodness make the new link creation tool a joy to use (and man, that popup is so much faster!). We hope this addition spurs you to make more connections between pieces of content on your site, which will make it easier for your visitors to find more related content from you. One more time, all together now: Yay! (Right?)

But I don’t like it, as to make it work, I seem to have to swap to HTML rather than Visual mode.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Computing | , | Leave a comment

Melanie Reid

I follow her articles as she recovers from breaking her neck in a horse riding accident every week in Saturday’s Times.

She is an inspiration to anybody fighting back from a serious medical problem. Myself obviously included.

I hadn’t realised it until today, but I had written a post based on one of her articles in August 2009.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Health | 1 Comment

Ann is Still There!

Isn’t it about time that Ann Widdecombe was voted off Strictly Come Dancing! I suppose the cost of the viewers’ votes help to support Children in Need, but surely we’ve had our and she should go!

At least my bet on Pamela Stephenson is still running and her odds are showing her as third fvourite after Matt Baker and Scott Maslen.

I live in hope, but is Ann going to beat them all? I hope not!

November 23, 2010 Posted by | News | , , , | Leave a comment

Something More Terminal

One of my computers suffered a terminal failure over the weekend, and I needed to take it to the menders yesterday. The symptoms were that it refused to even start, recycling round the login endlessly, but never getting near starting.

Before this a scan by Clamwin had shown that the computer was infected by the DroopTroop virus. There were several instances in a sub-directory where I had downloaded an old blog and Clamwin also flagged that winlogon.exe and Internet Explorer had been replaced by versions that had been modified by the trojan. The first explained why the computer wouldn’t start and the second, why Internet Explorer didn’t search properly and pointed me at a load of porn and shopping sites, I didn’t want.

The machine was completely unuseable.

So what caused it. Either the downloaded blog contained the data, so did someone find a way of commenting on the blog and adding the virus in that way?

But the machine had also been used by my late son to download all sorts of computer games from various sites. I would have thought that he would have been more sensible than to introduce a virus.

The computer has never been used for e-mail, so I doubt that route was possible.

On the other hand, the computer has been showing odd behaviour for months and I called the menders in to fix it. We thought that somehow McAffee was corrupted and this was causing the computer to stop. It looks like the virus was there then. I removed McAffee and replaced it with Clamwin. Another fault was that the computer wouldn’t run Windows Media Player. It just said it was an illegal win32 application.

This is a list of Drooptroop symptons from the PCThreat web site.

Modified browser homepage settings and search results
Hijacked Windows desktop wallpaper and strange desktop shortcuts and icons
Abnormal Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Drooptroop.cpt files in Windows task manager system processes, tower speaker error bleeping sound
Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Drooptroop.cpt reactivates itself after been deleted manually, extremely difficult to get rid of
Legal registry keys, dlls and system files missing, causing “Blue Screen Of Death” error
Abnormal bandwidth use, slow Internet browser and Windows system
Pop-up blocker unable to block annoying porn and gambling related bulk pop-ups

What Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Drooptroop.cpt will do when embedded within a computer is as follows:

Records browsing habits, monitors Windows system activity to generates equivalent pop-ups
Bypasses security tools and forwards credit card, usernames, passwords and other private information to outside hackers
Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Drooptroop.cpt downloads and installs diverse malicious programs via Windows and browser security loopholes

Trojan-Dropper.Win32.Drooptroop.cpt has also been seen to display the following behavior:

Adds a Registry Key (RUN) to auto start Programs on system start up
Registers a Dynamic Link Library File
Executes a Process
This Process Deletes Other Processes from Disk


So you can see it is an evil thing to get on your computer to say the least. Luckily, I only used this computer for developing Visual Basic programs and the odd bit of browsing of news and other respected web sites.

I suppose that I could have inadvertently installed something nasty in the last few months, becausev of my awful typing. But I hope not!

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Computing, World | | Leave a comment

A Setback Yesterday

\i spent most of yesterday in hospital at Addenbrooke’s after what they thought was a post stroke seizure. I was back home by eight with a prescription for Keppra, which is an anti-epilepsy medicine. They also gave me a CT Scan, which showed there was no new damage. So that is good news.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Health | , , | 4 Comments

The Ugly Face of Scottish Football

Scottish football seems to going to be hit by a referees strike this weekend according to many reports like this. There has been this comment from John Hughes, a former manager of Hibernian and Falkirk.

The game is in a little bit of chaos.  It needs bringing together and I sympathise with the referees because they do get a hard time.

But managers are also open to criticism, that is part and parcel of the job.Referees need to be accountable and there has to be more transparency in what goes on behind the doors at Hampden.

But one thing I will say, if referees are getting phone calls to their home or work place, or their kids are getting a hard time at school, then that is not on, that is way below the belt.

After all, it is just a sport.

I heard a bit last night on Radio 5, where it would appear completely outrangeous claims have been made to employers as well, with even claims of religious bigotry.

Obviously, these critics don’t agree with the last part of John Hughes comment.

November 23, 2010 Posted by | News, Sport | , , | Leave a comment