Ransomware Advice and Old Windows Version Protection Update

As of noon Monday, 5/15, NPR says over 150 countries have been hit by Ransomware malware attacks.  The consequences are severe.  Victims include scores of thousands of businesses and institutions, including the U.K. National Health Service (they had to turn away patients) and railway and other vital services around the world.  Some big companies have had to shut down entire factories.  One of the biggest oil companies in China had their “payment system” attacked.  I don’t know whether they meant payroll or accounts payable.  I heard all this on NPR today.

(By the way, do you have a stash of emergency cash buried somewhere?  Going to wait until the banking system is hacked or your Social Security or payroll check gets sent to Siberia?)

Old versions of Windows (and Windows 10 installations not kept up to latest updates) are susceptible.  There are many ways you can pick up this malware, by browser, email, etc. Continue reading “Ransomware Advice and Old Windows Version Protection Update”

How to Make an Impact Calling Congress on the Phone

Sometimes the best way to turn your anger into action is to pick up the phone. Follow these tips to minimize your anxiety and maximize your impact.

Let’s say you’ve got a problem that’s, well, big-league. As in an all-out assault on the very air you breathe, the water you drink, and the ground you stand on. Your representatives in Congress can help—especially after their phone lines get lit up by citizen activists. Need proof? Just look at the GOP’s reversal of its decision to eliminate the Office of Congressional Ethics and the withdrawal of a bill to sell off public lands—both of which were influenced by public outcry and lots and lots of phone calls. Here’s how to join the resistance and make your voice heard.

This is a summary list of the topics covered in the article by Jenny Shalant in Our Stories / Personal Action on the website of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC.org):           … Continue reading “How to Make an Impact Calling Congress on the Phone”

Nature’s Troubled Rights

Yay New Zealand, Ecuador (first country to grant constitutional rights to nature), Bolivia and India.  Continue reading below the video for another look at the matter.

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HOWEVER …

Thank you, Lisa Brunetti of Zeebra Designs and Destinations, whose “artist’s eyes never rest,” not only for art’s sake, but for goodness, truth and beauty in everything and everyone, amplified by her various art media, including her writing and photography.  Thank you for sharing these links, giving us a broader perspective on the environmental situation in Ecuador …

Continue reading “Nature’s Troubled Rights”

Further Webified

You’ve heard of dkhometree blog at dkhometree.wordpress.com.  So it doesn’t really matter whether you’ve heard of my new domain name, dkhometree.com, which is the same dkhometree blog, one and the same with dkhometree.wordpress.com just with a name all its own.  I know you don’t care.  Just think of it as somebody saying, “Hey, I painted my house!”

 

Not Kissing Movies Goodbye

I watch old movies again the way I see the same things in a museum again, or read a book again.  Movies are the definitive art of the era.  Before long, only collectors and museums will have them.  Holograms, virtual reality, and robotic interaction will flood the entertainment market.

small_dvd_stack-253x200These transitions away from two-dimensional media will be commonplace within a couple of human generations – maybe just one.  When our retiring Baby Boomers were born, the personal computer was unthinkable, and FM radio not yet on the market.  I could easily live another thirty years.  The first IBM PC hit the market thirty-five years ago.  In 1999 someone told me it looked like a ’57 Chevy, in its outmoded style, size and structure.  What will we have in our pockets in a couple of decades?

If they let me, I’ll continue enjoying the mostly passive entertainment in movies.  Whatever machine I play them on, I don’t want to kiss movies goodbye.

Rio-Grande-posterOld movies never die.  When I see an oldie, I might study a character closely, and its actor’s skill.  This is how I landed on the angel and the bartender as my favorites in It’s a Wonderful Life.  I pay attention to the music credits.  If a flick has a great composer behind it, it’s a great flick.  Some of my favorite CDs are movie scores and themes.  There’s also the scenery, the cinematography, the costumes.  I notice the buildings and vehicles, the picture on the wall in the stairway, the realism or lack thereof.  Usually best of all is the dialog.  It’s a wonderful life in the movies.

I love the dialog lines that make me laugh out loud when they are not meant for humor.  There’s kitschy philosophical baloney, perfectly put ponderous punditry, poignant or pretty prose in narrators’ silky voices, and sometimes profound wisdom memorably said.   There are classic romantic lines — or ones I think should be classics — that I wish I had thought of, because I think they’d actually work, whether tongue in cheek or out, such as this John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara catchy verbal foreplay:

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I never want to kiss you goodbye

Continue reading “Not Kissing Movies Goodbye”

Phone-rude Contagion; Epidemic Incurable

I reserve the right to grieve and mourn, but I just have to accept the inescapable fact of it.  Phone calling etiquette is dead.  Never again will I hear the sweet sound of a caller introducing themselves politely before they start asking me questions.

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I have this strange notion that a phone is a point of entry to my home, like a door.  I owe no caller the obligation to open the door, or answer the phone, or even to turn on the ringer/bell/beep/ringtone, especially since 95% of all my callers are people I don’t need to talk to, don’t want to talk to, and wish they’d take me off their calling list (which I tell them … politely, for fear they’ll just add me to another one).

Continue reading “Phone-rude Contagion; Epidemic Incurable”

Permadi Kaleidoscope Painter

For graphic art fun, visit the new and improved Permadi Kaleidoscope Painter.  Here are some images I created with it, just playing around.

(Imagine what you could do with real talent.)

Please note: these images are copyright protected and marked as such, as I definitely will use them for other purposes.  If you’d like to use one somewhere in a not-for-profit venue, contact me for a not-for-money arrangement to get the original 700×700 pixel version.

More fun for the child in you or with you:

  • 16 of My Favorite Art Websites for Kids, presented by Hayes Art Room / Elementary Art Happenings, the Fairmeadows Elementary art classroom blog.  Strap on your mouse and go nuts.  If there’s a kid at your computer (you don’t have to tell us your age), this is where to magically transform yourself into a super-artist.
  • No doubt most people think it’s just a matter of common sense, but I find common sense often uncannily uncommon.  Most people also think that they know how to raise their kids better than anybody else, when in fact many parents are kids raising kids, and I don’t mean just teenagers.  For these and other reasons I think it’s worth reading Tips for Responding to Your Child’s Artwork by Teresa Woodruff in the Art It Out Therapy Blog.

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Tim Carleton’s Opus No.1 should inspire mass protest by phone users

My thanks to Gary Conkling for Rock Star of Hold Music, where I learned about Opus No. 1, Cisco’s phone hold music by Tim Carleton and Darrick Deel.  Carleton and Deel created the piece in 1989 in their garage as teenagers.  Cisco’s blog says it is the default hold music for 65 million Cisco IP phones.

How can we launch a global protest against companies who inflict annoying noise on callers instead of something like Opus No. 1?  How about putting them on hold with a 10-second endless loop of something nauseating and dressed in static, annoying enough to drain their serotonin?  Then tell them why you did it, so they can tell their boss.

I’d like Opus No. 1 more if they softened the beat.  Otherwise it beats everything I’ve heard on hold for a long time, except the one where a human voice interrupts silence once per minute saying, “Thank you for holding.”  Silence is good.

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