Hello to all those faithfully reading and hopefully enjoying this effort to make even the worst horror movie more watcha... aw, screw that - I'm not that good. If a movie makes you cringe because yet another batch of unlikable teens that are pushing 30 are inching toward their deaths, having a party no one does anywhere ever, a paranormal movie is boring you to tears with unending pans of empty rooms, or thanks to CGI technology when people finally bite it, their blood squirts everywhere except on the victim, the ground, the people next to them... you're in good company and this is the right place for you.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR A BETTER TOMORROW - TODAY! HAS BECOME A MASSIVE PAIN IN THE ASS





What Convenience? What Time Savers?

I'm flying solo today - Miss Mayhem is working on the blog update and I've decided that my thought processes are too weird today to try to dictate all at once (in other words, I think of something, then an hour later, something else)... Plus I'm weary of being tired of being sick and so may be doing this a few sentences at a time anyway.


I absolutely adore this movie but c'mon, how can
David be so nonchalant about everything and
why would he be friends with a guy (John) willing to
inject black shit into his arm when he didn't
even know what it was and why did they...
Let's start with this blog. We watch movies, take notes, write a review. Even if I do like the picture (sometimes a LOT) I still pick the movie apart. It's what this blog is for. But now the hubby is afraid that somebody, somewhere, is going to read a review and having been the PA for that particular movie for a total of two days, tell somebody important and BAM, I'm gonna be sued for everything I haven't got. How did that start?

Amazon.


It's a great place to go - a central location to find all manners of products, compare prices and actual customer reviews. Thanks in a large part to George Takei, people have now taken greater notice of some of the sillier aspects of Amazon wares (such as Passion Natural Water-Based Lubricant - 55 Gallon, available now for around $1,400.00) and he (and a lot of his followers) have a lot of fun writing out-of-this-world reviews on silly products, just because. I don't - not because I don't want to - but I just don't have that kind of time. Huh.



When I looked this product up to get the name right, below it says 'Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed' and among the products is a Disaster Bag/Body Bag. Yikes. What the hell is in that lubricant anyway? Just for fun I looked for reviews - one stated, in short, that he used his several times a day and now dumping them in his garbage can looks less suspicious...

Anyway that's waaay off topic. So. How does one threatened to get sued for reviewing a product in a media that will literally email you several times until you PROVIDE a review? I checked it out on a website for consumers. In short, and leaving out all names and such, a person with a lot of experience with a particular type of component was asked by a friend to find a good one. He looked and found one spendier than the others, but with nothing but the best, glowing reviews. He'd never heard of it. He investigated and found it contained the same, uh, stuff as one with, uh, stuff that cost a lot less from another company. So he checked out sites that review such things - their only info (company and all) circled right back to Amazon.

As a professional and wanting to have people be wary of something no other experts have apparently heard of, he submitted his review. He immediately got a cease-and-desist order from the company, demanding he remove the review or get sued. Umm, what? In other words, he got, what is getting popular in today's vernacular, SLAPPed, which means a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. 

These are very popular because they figure the average Joe doesn't have the money to fight back against such... stupidity. According to an attorney, because of this, a SLAPP frequently works, whether it is fair or not. Making a deliberately false statement can indeed leave a reviewer open to a libel suit, but there’s a difference between expressing a negative opinion and a statement of fact.

Requests of explanation to this particular company went unanswered and they no longer have a seller account with Amazon.

Aaaand that's not what I was going to rant about. See why I don't have my dictating stuff today?


Facebook. Just in case they start getting SLAPP happy (see what I did there?) I won't bitch, just tell you what they recently did for those people who refuse to finish their profiles in order to expose every single detail about their lives to millions of people. Now, considering you can pretty much type in ANY place in the world as both your home town and current residence (I've experimented - it works), this seems unnecessary. 

In the past when my current residence was blank on my personal account, I'd noticed that every once in a while I'd post a status and Facebook tells everyone that I'm posting from (enter city here) - usually one I'm not even close to. Sometimes it was one I'd never heard of. They're tired of our stubbornness, dammit. So they've devised an eeeeevil little plan.

Remember the poke button? When I first started on FB I was getting dozens of those freaking things every day. What purpose did/does it serve? I thought it was to make sure you were still there and alive, but now I think it was just a none-too-subtle way to piss us off. I cut that off pretty quick.

Welcome to your NEW poke button! Well, it doesn't send pokes, but what it does do is, if there is a part of your profile that you did not choose to share, anyone who can see your page will see a panel like the one shown and they can push the 'ask' button. Over and over. On every item you left blank. As many times as they want. Isn't that wonderful??? Some friends and I are currently protesting this... by wiping clean our profile. We come from nowhere, we live nowhere, we have no interests, and where we went to school and worked/currently work is nobody's business, a'ight?

Let's see - how about misleading headlines just to grab your attention (and piss you off at the same time)? 'McDonalds Closes Major Corporation Office In Chicago'. Yikes. Not only was that title misleading, but the content was confusing. First they say that they closed the office which has 2,000 employeesTHEN they add that it was because of a planned protest. THEN they say the employees went home for the day - but they continue to work from home. Suckers. THEN they say there are 2,000 protesters trying to get the minimum wage raised. Wow, how coincidental. THEN they change and say that there were probably 500 people from different regions gathered for the protest. Okay, I'm confused. No I'm not - I just lost interest. Why don't y'all try to get real writers and editors and attempt to present news accurately, 'kay?

Oh here's one that really pissed me off. Being Poor Makes You Sick (From The Atlantic). Oh really? Because we can't afford health insurance, proper medication and personalized chefs to make tasty low fat meals? No. The poor are lazy. WHAT? Oh wait, not really lazy, just sedentary. Umm, that's not much better. I won't name the city, but apparently one of their 'solutions' to the fat, lazy poor people is to prescribe bicycles. 

Because they can't afford one or theirs gets stolen - a lot - for five bucks a year they can participate in a program to use a bicycle as their main source of transportation. 'Cause they're poor. And sick. And fat. Thanks a lot for nothing... But at least now they can pedal to their job at McDonalds, who doesn't want to pay them a livable wage so they couldn't afford bus fare anyway...

Security. Pick your article, they're screaming at us stupid stuff everybody should know like, 'Don't Tell People On Facebook When You Leave On Vacation', 'Don't Post Pictures That Will Turn Around And Bite You In The Ass Later', and my personal favorite, 'If You're Going To Commit A Crime, DON'T KEEP UPDATING YOUR STATUS ABOUT HOW THE POPO WILL NEVER CATCH YOU.'

Yup, internet security is just about as reliable as a condom with a hole poked in it these days. And, as we've learned this year, there's been leaks for YEARS and NOW we're supposed to find ways to protect ourselves? Really? I personally use no less than six data protection/blocker programs running at once. The problem is (thanks a lot Windows 8.1) that now some prevent certain programs from running - not because they're not safe, but because the code for Windows changed and the code for the protection programs did not. Dammit.

I don't worry much. I don't Twitter, I tried Pinterest, Tumblr, <yawwwwwn>. I have no idea what the hell WHATSAPP is, and I don't own an internet camera so no Skyping either. I only use certified protected sites, I've never shopped at Target or let my credit card out of sight at restaurants... wait, what's this? May 21, 2014, I blearily look at the news at 4:30 a.m. and the headlines on local news sites blare EBAY DATABASES HAVE BEEN COMPROMISED - ALL PEOPLE WHO USE EBAY ARE ASKED TO CHANGE THEIR PASSWORDS...

After saying words that made the cats all run away, I checked it out. The breach wasn't huge (it said), yet like the Heartbleed Virus it has been there for a couple of YEARS, but eBay only found out about it TWO WEEKS AGO (again, it said). They waited two weeks to tell us? That reminded Miss Murder about when she lived in a small town in Washington that used to print reports on their general water supply, saying things like "Those two dead beavers we fetched out of the water tank a month ago hasn't seemed to affect any of the equipment." <pauses to gag>  

Yeah, Portland, Oregon has ONE teenager pee in a reservoir and is prepared to dump millions of gallons of water - again (it happened a year or so ago too - different teenager) but this time decided to hold their water (see what I did there?). But in <mumble>, Washington, dead animals in the water supply don't even deserve a mention until the quarterly newsletter...

Anyway, no panic, eBay said, but for 'safety reasons' they cautioned users to change their log-in information. Dammit, I've had my account (buying and selling) for at least eight years without a hitch... I've got a rep, and a good one. But I changed my shit. Except for the password. Apparently, eBay couldn't handle umpteen million people panicking and trying to change their passwords at once so they... didn't crash, but it didn't work either. Sigh. 


Yeah, you WISH I looked this good - hell, so do I actually...
Call the number, get informed it's at least a 13 minute wait... OR you can get queued and they'll call you. Grumbling, I picked that. To their credit, I don't even think it was five minutes - and they were very nice. The first thing they said was whatever got 'breached' has been protected and no one should have any problems... now how does THAT work exactly? I didn't care, I already had to change my info, I wasn't in a good mood.

Of course with her on the phone going through the steps everything worked as easy as it should have in the first place. Great. Except now my account has this little... thing next to my user name telling everybody I recently changed it. Whenever I saw that when I was regularly buying/selling, I was instantly wary about that person - now it's on mine. Not. A. Good. Day.

Note: To add insult to injury and a huge kick in the nether regions, on 5/22/14 ANOTHER news source (Reuters) started my 3:30 a.m. day with the statement that this breach happened THREE MONTHS AGO and that eBay had immediately informed everybody to change their passwords. Days, months, years - these are apparently concepts that the news and these companies think are interchangeable. Oh and about 'telling' everybody to change their passwords...


This is John Donahoe, president and CEO of eBay, in charge of everything except keeping little piss-ant hackers from getting into his system - fully earning the $13.8 million he made in 2013, down 53% from the $29.7 million he made in 2012 - BUT that's because Donahoe was paid $993,269 in salary, a cash incentive payout of $1.62 million, and restricted stock and option awards of $11.1 million. He also received other compensation of $165,508. That equals to roughly $27.7 million BUT he now owns MORE of the company and its future which means he is "paid" less, but has the potential to receive a lot more...
Umm, no. That did not happen. I didn't hear anything about it, it wasn't on the news, I didn't get an email, blah blah blah... 145 MILLION users were victim to the data breach. Wouldn't somebody have said something just a little sooner, or did they plan to let those dead beavers float for a while and see if they'd come back to life and swim out themselves?

Another Update: May 27, 2014, after telling EVERYONE that they had IMMEDIATELY requested our passwords to be changed, I receive this email THIS MORNING: 


IMPORTANT: PASSWORD UPDATE


Dear eBay Member,


To help ensure customers' trust and security on eBay, I am asking all eBay users to change their passwords.


Here's why: Recently, our company discovered a cyberattack on our corporate information network. This attack compromised a database containing eBay user passwords.


What's important for you to know: We have no evidence that your financial information was accessed or compromised. And your password was encrypted.


What I ask of you:
Go to eBay and change your password. If you changed your password on May 21 or later, we do not need you to take any additional action at this time.


Changing your password may be inconvenient. I realize that. We are doing everything we can to protect your data and changing your password is an extra precautionary step, in addition to the other security measures we have in place.


If you have only visited eBay as a guest user, we do not have a password on file.


If you used the same eBay password on any other site, I encourage you to change your password on those sites too. And if you are a PayPal user, we have no evidence that this attack affected your PayPal account or any PayPal financial information, which is encrypted and stored on a separate secure network.


Here are other steps we are taking:
  • As always, we have strong protections in place for both buyers and sellers in the event of any unauthorized activity on your account.
  • We are applying additional security to protect our customers.
  • We are working with law enforcement and leading security experts to aggressively investigate the matter.


Here's what we know: This attack occurred between late February and early March and resulted in unauthorized access to a database of eBay users that includes customers' name, encrypted password, email address, physical address, phone number and date of birth.


However, the file did not contain financial information. And, after conducting extensive testing and analysis of our systems, we have no evidence that any customer financial or credit card information was involved. We also have no indication of a significant spike in fraudulent activity on our site.


We apologize for any inconvenience or concern that this situation may cause you. As a global marketplace, nothing is more important to eBay than the security and trust of our customers. We know our customers have high expectations of us, and we are committed to ensuring a safe and secure online experience for you on any connected device.


Devin Wenig Signature
Devin Wenig
President, eBay Marketplaces 


And now we have to make sure that our accounts are safe - but people, don't do it from an email link, go to the site - lots of people are just waiting for this chance to phish your info from false messages from eBay...  Hmm, anything else to gripe about? Well, the Facebook horror page, Miss Murder's Dungeon Of Horror, is dying - besides the entries about new blog postings (which, to be honest, was what it was originally for), I can't get people to pay attention for shit. Quizzes, pictures of weird stuff, cute stuff, horror stuff - nada. 


You know how some pages get in trouble if they show something, umm, objectionable (nudity, profanity, kittens, you know - the regular stuff)? I spent one afternoon posting Boris Vallejo paintings - excellent painter, great attention to bare bodies (and very nice looking ones at that) - and breasts. Lots and lots of big nipple-y breasts. I didn't get a single comment. No complaints. No 'likes'.

I don't want to become a 'like' whore. I don't want to pay for people to look at my stuff either. When Facebook came out with their 'bug you friends' feature for blank profiles I posted that on my horror page. I expected to at least get my hands slapped, or banned for a day or a week from Facebook... what I got was - huh, it's not on my page now. It basically had said: "This post is more engaging than your other posts - would you like to boost it?" When Facebook says 'boost' they mean 'get out your checkbook'. 


How about people with holes in their face? No?
To boost an entry you target your friends or 'certain people' (I'm not sure what they mean about that) and the MINIMUM is five bucks a day - depending on how many "approximate" people you want to reach. Their top amount is $100, but of course you can 'choose your own'. For your hundred bucks, you could reach (maybe) as many as 7,300 people! I already know how to do that - just name a famous celebrity in my post, put a naughty hashtag in there and boom, an easy thousand. I've done it before just to see if people actually hover over dumb celebrity posts (they do).

So. My personal page has been 'wiped'. It has ONE entry, the latest blog update and that's it. Nobody's said a word. So much for 'friends'. My horror page is also getting 'wiped' of nothing but blog posts. Nobody's said a word. Of course, since my 'likes' have gone down, that's not surprising. I noticed something weird though - when you have a 'page' (not a profile), it used to tell you how many people viewed it. Now it says, 'This post was served to ?? people'. What. The. Hell.

Okay, rant is over, back to movies - I decided to do a (short) review on two movies I actually enjoyed even though they were very strange - Kill Bill volumes 1 & 2. I just saw an old post on my page (probably a Cracked.com entry) stating that more than 450 gallons of SFX blood were used in these two movies. Good one Tarantino! Keep those blood makers in business! I'm halfway through the second one and I'm sure Miss Mayhem won't want to touch this one so out comes the dictating software, stay tuned...