“Microsoft Technical Support” your computer has “internet viruses”

Here is something I posted on Facebook today while trying to work after getting a call from a phone number “900-142″ on the 26th of May I received a similar call from “900-150″.

On the phone with one of those calls with “Microsoft technical support” about the internet infection in my computer. Hilarious.. I’m letting them connect to a Microsoft Virtual Machine for IE9. SO, not a real computer.. they can’t even tell that it is a VM yet. Even though, the only user is ‘IEUser’. lol! (see below for some photos).. so no video or audio.. i was on the phone so couldn’t record video at the time.

These are the “Hacker’s footprints” from when they have hacked my system.. They didn’t notice the dates on these events in the event log. Besides.. these are normal logs from lack of internet connection.. or the fact that this is a Virtual Machine missing many core parts of Windows.

Photo May 30, 4 18 28 PM
“Hacker footprints”

First they have you go to www.us13.tk to download ‘TeamViewer’, this is to allow them to remotely control your computer. This is the odd-ball site they go to for downloading a zip file that contains a dos batch file and an installer for other crap.

uber software to stop hackers forever
uber software to stop hackers forever

Installing their uber software so they can diagnose and fix my poor poor infected computer..lol!

i'm impressed..
i’m impressed..

The result of their DOS batch file (using TREE) that displays the all files and directories and then spits out the ominous and misspelled warning that my computer is definitely infected! *I forgot that I asked why protection and windows were misspelled. The guy said it was the hackers…lol! (sorry for the blurry photo)

Photo May 30, 4 27 09 PM

Now, I was transferred to another person.. the manager “Russel” he definitely seemed like a Russel to me. So Russel fired up Notepad and started typing out what he was saying for clarification.

Photo May 30, 4 30 12 PM

So then I started this post. Because I had to document this awesome failure.

Photo May 30, 4 31 35 PM

Then they asked me to enter my name and email address and brought up the bargain price of $499 for the service they were going to render for me today. You know.. to rid my pristine virtual machine of all those nasty viruses. So, I typed out my name and email address and a little message. They didn’t find it amusing at all.

Photo May 30, 4 34 48 PM

So then.. I verbally laughed at them, they corrected their misspelling of ‘stupid’ and ended the TeamViewer connection and called me a dumb jerk. LOL! ** Check out the ever so convincing ‘microsoft.tech’ bit on the TeamViewer screen.** WOOHOO TGIF!

 

Photo May 30, 4 35 09 PM

Coming up later this week..

I’m going to do a bit of talking about Foundation vs. Twitter Bootstrap, because really.. why not!

I’m also going to talk/gripe about vertical images and resizing in responsive designs.

On top of all of that, I’ll talk a bit more about responsive designs.

All later this week, when I have more time than I just took to type this out.

 

typing

A few words on Coldfusion development

This post is geared towards those who develop or are thinking about developing in Coldfusion (as made obvious by the title). For those of you who say “People still use Coldfusion??”, the answer is YES!. Truth be told, it’s about the same age as PHP.. you know the language all the cool kids are using.

Coldfusion is an awesome language really, with all the built in support for PDF generation, Office integration, LDAP integration, etc. Combine that with how much you can get done with so few lines of code it really is a joy to use. Skip the built in ExtJS pieces and substitute some Jquery goodness and it gets even better, although I have done quite a bit with those much maligned ExtJS components.

Okay, enough of the love fest. On to the point of the post.

Running the code

Typically when I do development I have a few different ways to accomplish development and testing:

  1. Development Server local
  2. Development Server VM
  3. Local Server on my MacBook
  4. Paid Hosted CF development environment
  5. Free Hosted CF development environment

So, let me go over those ‘ways’ I listed above:

  1. This is an actual physical server running Coldfusion/Railo on either IIS or Apache. It could be a racked server or just a spare workstation. Even an older desktop or laptop can be used for this if you happen to have one.
  2. If you are in an environment with something like a VMware Vsphere, you are living the good life. Just create a VM with CF/Railo on IIS or Apache and the you can have multiple development or testing servers to use that are identical. Some of this can also be accomplished on your local development machine (Mac or PC) if you have VMwareFusion or Parallels installed. It’s just a bit more taxing on your dev box to run the VM and your IDE at the same time.
  3. Local on my Macbook Pro (or on a Windows PC if you are using one) by simply using Adobe Coldfusion in the Developer Edition. This used to be locked down to the local machine and one external IP address, but now it can be accessed by two remote IP addresses. Not a huge change, but it helps. Otherwise I would have to restart the CFApplication service to clear the server after a remote connection if I wanted to have someone else connect to a project I was developing.
  4. Paid CF/Railo Hosting, might sound daunting.. but it’s not really. There are actually a good number of quality Web Hosts who offer Coldfusion hosting for a good price. I personally use Hostek for $7.99/month. They offer great support and a good solid service.This allows you to develop with Coldfusion from basically anywhere, of course also is good for clients who want Coldfusion sites. Good for hosting Mura CMS sites too.
  5. Free CF/Railo Hosting, yes even that exists if you perhaps can’t run it locally and don’t have the money to pay for any of the above options. CFMLdeveloper.com is a free Coldfusion hosting site that is geared towards, yep.. Coldfusion developers. I have used this in the past when I wanted to demonstrate to an employer that we should use Coldfusion on a project instead of PHP or .NET. I could show the same functionality for a web app in CF and how short a time it took to accomplish and how few lines of code were required as opposed to the other languages. Since they were on a budget it really sealed the deal.

One more thing, occasionally you might want to test out a snippet of CF code that pops into your mind. However, you may not want to fire up your development IDE or even have access to it. For just that situation there is CFLive. It even will work on your iPhone, Android Phone or Tablet.

That’s it for now, just a helpful post about development environments big and small.

CNN, Why do you take so much money from oil companies

Whenever I’m looking at CNN.com and watching videos, I am bombarded with Ads about “clean energy” and “being #1 in producing natural gas” or “Build the Key Stone XL pipeline” (you know because everyone knows its a good idea.. okay sure) by these smiling actors trying to look so sincere.

oil industry online ads - commercials
Repetitive Ads from the Oil Industry on CNN.com

Who would believe this nice lady above, she wouldn’t lie to you about fracking, or oil sands or shipping oil overseas to China so they can burn the oil and further pollute the planets atmosphere while we here at home are trying to cut back and slow global climate change. Is the oil industry the only ad dollars in town for CNN?  I mean, I’m tired of having oil industry propaganda and lies played to me while trying to watch the FACTUAL news.

America's Energy?America's Choice?
America’s Energy? America’s Choice? Soon they will be telling us it was a Constitutional right to drill for oil on protected lands.

CNN I’m begging you, please find other advertisers.. or at least use all the data that you have on your online visitors to know, I will react negatively to having bold faced lies and half truths shoved in my face every time I’m trying to watch the news. Come on, seriously.. I like the planet I live on. I want to keep inhabitable for as long as possible, definitely long after I’m dead and gone. But for that to happen we need to move on from fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas. They had their time and place, but it has passed. We cannot sustain a planet of 7 billion plus people and burning fossil fuels. It is not a course of action that will result in anything but eventual catastrophe.

Compare for instance:

Solar Energy producing “facilities” and Tar Sands producing “facilities”, which looks like it’s better for the environment?

Solar Farm, Ontario
A “Solar Farm”
Canadian Oil Sands
Canadian Oil Sands

Have we ever had a horrific solar or wind energy catastrophe that killed, maimed or led to loss of life, property or did untold damage to the environment? Hmm how about in the case of oil or natural gas?  Oh wait.. let me see how about:

Texas Natural Gas Explosion
Texas Natural Gas Explosion
Exxon Mobil pipeline oil spill
About 5,000 barrels of oil leaked from an Exxon Mobil pipeline and ran through this Mayflower, Ark., development after a 22-foot split opened. EPA/Reuters
Oil Rig Explosion - Deep Water Horizon
Who can forget the Deep Water Horizon
Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.
Aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead.

So, can we just agree that we need to get away from oil and natural gas as soon as possible and perhaps a way to start doing that.. would be to stop helping them spread misinformation and FUD about renewable energy.  The only sustainable path for our future energy needs are renewables such as solar and wind.  They cannot power the world today, but if we put as much effort into them as we did when oil was first discovered, we can do it.

2013-04-15-Solar-Germany
On Monday, the 15th of April, 2013, the approximate 1.3 million solar power systems in Germany set a new domestic/world record by reaching a peak power output of 22.68 GW at noon.
Read more at http://cleantechnica.com/2013/04/16/solar-power-record-in-germany-22-68-gw-infographic/#WzrsUgS0VgrjRTaL.99

Mura CMS now at version 6.1

blueRiver released Mura CMS version 6.1 just this past week and they sure aim to please. Mura CMS has really impressed me as a very versatile open source Coldfusion content management system. It can be used ‘right out of the box’ or really customized to meet your clients needs.

Mura CMS 6.1 released: Learn More Click Here

Here are my favorite enhancements / features.

  • Bootstrap 3 – The default theme included with Mura CMS is now based on the Bootstrap 3 framework (YEAH! more Bootstrap sites!!.. I kid, Bootstrap is a great base to build from.)
  • Multi-File (Quick) Upload Improvements – Allows for much faster title, description and metadata edits to mutiple-file additions to Mura CMS (Woohoo!)
  • Enhanced Related Content – Enables the creation of rich related content lists and relationships (Content is King! Rejoice!)
  • Audit Trail – View the complete lineage of any version of any content (IMHO, this is an awesome feature.)
  • CMD/CTRL S to Save – Keyboard shortcut to save a draft version in Mura CMS (Think of how this will enable the non-technical content manager to work in an intuitive manner. )
  • Better Form Validation – Improved form validation, both server and client-side (It never hurts)
  • Multi-Device Preview – When editing content, provides a look at how either responsive or mobile-specific layouts will look in multiple devices (full screen, tablet, mobile) (Your clients will give you a hug for this one.)

Open source is alive and well in the Coldfusion community and this a great example and it runs on practically everything.

“Mura CMS will run great in almost any IT infrastructure – using Railo, Adobe ColdFusion, or any modern Java server. Mura CMS works with Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL and PostgreSQL databases, and supports all major browsers. No matter your stack of choice, Mura CMS will fit right in.”

Why anyone would go with WordPress I just don’t know.

Creationists: there is no punch line.

Why no punchline? The word Creationist is the joke and the punchline all wrapped into one well integrated package of make believe and fairy dust. As an example, over at this creationist website they state “Biblical creation is actually consistent with operational science, not contradictory, and we want people to know that they can trust the Bible. The Bible is God’s Word, the true history book of the universe, and God is the Creator of the universe. As the Creator, He made the rules and laws of the universe. Christianity is not a blind faith but a defensible one.“.

Yeah, the Bible is God’s word, therefore it is true….. okay, so how do you know this? Where is your proof, your evidence that what is written in the Bible is in fact true and the word of God. I’m pretty sure the answer would be that the Bible is it’s own evidence.. because everything that is “known” of God is from the Bible. It’s a pretty circular sort of reasoning, one fact begets another. Pretty damn handy don’t you think?

What we DO KNOW about the Bible is this:

  1. It was written a long time ago.
  2. It was written by men.

That’s really it. When you boil it down to the bare facts those are the two we know for sure. Is it the word of God? Who knows, it is a book about ‘God’ written a long time ago by men and then subsequently revised by other men. The nature of man is that he is usually self-serving, and nothing really shows that better than the formation of religions. Men have been using the “word of god” and religion through out history to control and subjugate peoples usually to enrich themselves. Just look at Divine Right, some person claims the right to be king by right of godly mandate. Why? Because who back in the middle ages or earlier could argue that point. Remember, long ago if you said God wasn’t real you were subject to imprisonment, or possibly death by a multitude of different horrifying methods devised by God’s loving disciples.

Anyhow, let’s try to stay on point shall we.

4th Grade Science Quiz getting it all wrong. Click to read full article.
4th Grade Science Quiz getting it all wrong.
Click to read full article.

Creationist believe that all the dinosaurs died in a global flood (remember Noah’s ark?) That’s right, Noah’s ark (a big wooden boat) had two over every creature on earth… including dinosaurs apparently. Oh wait, it’s not every creature, sorry but you have to “know” what was meant by those men who wrote the bible and the other men who revised and amended it further. It really is that simple and makes complete sense, really. So how many animals were on the ark? Drum roll please……. 16,000 (maybe it was bigger on the inside..). But let us not forget:

With Noah being over 500 years in age, it would make sense that he had the knowledge to be able to incorporate automatic feeding and watering systems where they only had to be refilled occasionally.

Yep, Noah was a 500 year old engineering master, he knew how to rock a hammer and chisel like no one else.

So why am even bringing all of this up and linking to such utter nonsense?

Because Creationists want to teach this complete garbage in public schools as an “alternative theory” to EVOLUTION. Yes that’s right, it’s not enough to teach about God in church or in Sunday school, no they want to teach about God (their Christian God to be exact, because really.. those other God’s are just made up hooey) in public schools that we all fund with our taxes dollars. Tax dollars that we pay to our government that

..shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…

So, they want to use our tax dollars to pay for the teaching of a religious belief, specifically a Christian belief. Seems like it’s a pretty simple answer to this question. NO.

If you (Creationist types) want to teach your children to believe in some greater being that created everything and loves all but also smites all.. well that’s for you to do (as is your right) on your own time, IN CHURCH. Not in a public school funded with tax dollars, in public schools they teach science and that includes EVOLUTION. You do not have to agree with it, that is your right as an American to ignore reality and live in your own fairytale world. I’ll disagree with you about God, but fight for your right to practice your religion within the bounds of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. That means your cannot impose your religion or religious beliefs upon me or anyone else who does not believe as you do.

Science and Evolution are not a religion.

Science is based on observable or testable evidence and can be updated if newer evidence comes to light. That’s a pretty simple definition there, for a more thorough definition try here. Evolution is not a religious pursuit by any stretch of the imagination.

Evolution is the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations.

Doesn’t sound too religious to me, how about you? See any dogmatic drivel there? No, I didn’t think so. Creationists want to paint the teaching of evolution in schools as teaching a religious belief because it doesn’t mention God. Strange, they didn’t seem to have a problem with the teaching of Photosynthesis and it doesn’t mention God either. But then what really is going on is that if evolution is taught, it like all real science encourages critical thinking and reasoned thinking. Religion relies on blind faith in a being that you cannot prove exists, but that is solely in control of the universe and every little organism in it. The assault on evolution stems from the on going religious assault on science in general, science teaches you to think and to be a skeptic.

Religion cannot survive in the light of a skeptic mind, fairy tales never stand up to the light of day.

creationism is just that crazy

*this blog post is my opinion on the subject discussed and in no way indicative of my employer(s) past or present.

Webkit specific CSS – How to target Webkit browsers in CSS

I was working on a project last week when an issue came up that thoroughly surprised me. I was given a bug that was only happening in Safari and Chrome (Mac or Windows). Perhaps others aren’t as surprised as I was, but it doesn’t happen all that often that I would see a bug with how a Webkit browser renders a page compared to other browsers.

So, I did a little digging and found CSS-Tricks.com, a page of browser specific css hacks. Not that css browser hacks are all that uncommon, but from my own personal experience, I don’t see that many with Webkit browsers.

What I found at the above linked site that worked for me was the following:


@media screen and (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio:0)
{
some-div-id or class here
{
specific css for the webkit browser here
}
}

This has worked for me now on three different Webkit only bugs that came up including the original one that sent me searching for a solution. My hope is that if you are looking for a Webkit Css hack, you will either find the site I did.. or this site and then go to that site (and BOOKMARK IT).

Exclusive Nexus 7 unboxing

So today I was able to get my hands on one of the just announced Nexus 7’s from Google. It truly is amazing and that is why I want to share it with you. Below you can see the packaging and the phone before I removed it.

I know you at this point you are probably feeling emotional. You can thank me later.

You know you really want an iPhone.

Transitioning from MySQL/MSSQL to NoSQL (Hadoop)?

Okay, like most developers I’m endlessly curious but I don’t always have enough hours in the day to pursue every avenue that appears before me. That being said, I’m curious what are the positive and negative sides of going from using MySQL/MSSQL to NoSQL (perhaps Hadoop or some other NoSQL variant).

I have not preconceived notions on this topic so feel free to enlighten me. I am genuinely curious about this after a tweet exchange with a friend of mine.

That got me thinking about the subject I have outlined above. So please comment below and give me the reasons why or why not, and if possible a little bit about how.

jQuery/PHP/MySQL Username Lookup

Okay this is quick and dirty.

This is a basic jQuery,php,MySql powered username lookup. This is by all means not code you would be using in production. However, it’s a stepping off point.

Start off with your html for the form elements in your index.php.



Everyone has their own preferences, but I prefer Twitter Bootstrap for doing ‘proof of concept’ coding and I use it as a base for many of my projects. Which is why you will see the class ‘alert alert-info’.



Want to skip straight to the demo? Click here.


<div id="user_name">
<label for="username"> <input type="text" name="username" value="" id="username"/>
<div>
<div id="username_notice" name="username_notice" style="float:left; width:300px; padding-top:7px;">
<span id="username_inuse" class="alert alert-info" >Username Already In Use</span>
<span id="username_available" class="alert alert-info">Username Available</span>
</div>

Now you need username.js with some jQuery to pass the username to php.


$('#username_inuse').css('display','none');
$('#username_available').css('display','none');

$('#username').keyup(function check_user(){

//get the username
var aname = $('#username').val();
var input_length = $("#username").val().length;

if (input_length >= 3) {

//database checks
var link = "includes/username_check.php?usernames=" + aname;

// check
$.getJSON(link, function(result) {
//console.log(result);

if (!jQuery.isEmptyObject(result)){
//show that the username is not available

valid_user = '1';

}else if (jQuery.isEmptyObject(result)) {
//show that the username is available
valid_user = '0';
}
});
$(document).ajaxStop(function() {
// check to see what the variables are set to and display accordingly
if (valid_user == '1'){

//show and hide appropriate parts
$('#username_available').css('display','none');
$('#username_inuse').css('display','');
}
else if (valid_user == '0') {
$('#username_available').css('display','');
$('#username_inuse').css('display','none');

}
});
}
});
});

The last bit in this puzzle is username_check.php that grabs the takes the input from the 'username' text input field. According to the javascript above, after the 3rd character it will start to check the database table for usernames matching what is being typed.

If the name is a match then it shows the span indicated the username is unavailable, or available if there isn't a match.


//set IE read from page only not read from cache
header ("Expires: Mon, 26 Jul 1997 05:00:00 GMT");
header ("Last-Modified: " . gmdate("D, d M Y H:i:s") . " GMT");
header ("Cache-Control: no-cache, must-revalidate");
header ("Pragma: no-cache");

header("content-type: application/x-javascript; charset=tis-620");
if((isset($_GET['user'])) && (!empty($_GET['user']))){

$username=$_GET['user'];

// database variables
$db_host = 'localhost';
$db_user = 'mydbuser';
$db_pwd = 'mypassword';
$database = 'mydatabase';

$users = 'myusers';

$db_link = mysql_pconnect($db_host,$db_user,$db_pwd) or die ("Unable to connect to server");

$result=mysql_db_query($database,"select * from $users WHERE username = '$username'");
$rows = array();
while($r=mysql_fetch_assoc($result)){
$rows = $r;
}
print json_encode($rows);
@mysql_close($db_link);
}
else
{
print json_encode(array());
}

To see a functioning demo of this go here.