fredag, januari 21, 2005

(blog) Blogging Ecosystem //(out of order)

blogging ecosystem: "Sorry - the ecosystem is not currently being updated. Not enough time to rework the internals to cope with the ever-increasing number of blogs in the world. If I get around to finishing the 'next generation' version, it'll show up here. Until then, try Technorati ... sorry."

Still, that last good list on the dead site is useful, and immense! A thousand and two links. I'd have to check back there sometime. For now this bloggiky tag will suffice.

(Hmm, this Blogger tap on the Googlebar is making itself mo' and mo' useful to me. And no doubt a thousand others. Plus two. *grinning* I am so easily amused s/t, esp. by m'f!

And the other bloggers who are also awAke? Doing the same. I imagine. So it is true, Phil: We are waking up and linking to each other. We are watching. But we are not waiting.

[creativity] A Footnote: Pray, Talk to the Dead, Pass it Here Babe

Unstuck: "Fact is that the creative process consists of accumulating all the facts you can, your training, your history, client info, everything, and then vacating so that it can percolate and something new can come forward. I don�t tend to look at other people�s work either, though I often suggest it to others - silly of me...

have a conversation with some creative geniuses of the past and say “hey give me a fresh idea of yours, please”. Source is from some teachings in the Baha’i Faith."

[creativity] My Muse Requires Due Diligence, But Something Else...

mezzoblue ��� Getting UnstuckThe Muse can be one tricky girlfriend. Smart ways of dealing w/ this are always welcome. Stephen King wrote a great tome on this, called simply, "On Writing." Don't judge a book by its title, at least not when it's Mr. King. And here's a very good article, published about four days ago, four tips. I clipped the best one:

"If it’s not working, throw it out.
This is probably the best tip I can give you. If you have an idea that has been stuck for a while, it’s a sign. The idea isn’t working, or at least it’s not working in its present form; ditch it. Save it first, then start a completely fresh idea.

Once you’re able to divorce yourself from your ideas to the point where you can get rid of something you were initially excited about, you’ll find that sometimes it takes 2, 5, or more revisions before you get the one idea that’s going to work for the job at hand.

This was a tricky one for me to learn, because there are some really great concepts that have fallen by the wayside simply because I couldn’t see my way through from start to finish. But once I started getting used to the idea of just trashing something that wasn’t working, I found that it became much easier to design myself out of a corner. And now that I’ve factored the potential for multiple revisions into my usual process, I’m finding my initial success rate of hitting the right solution the first or second try is going up nicely."

torsdag, januari 20, 2005

[webhost] Free Sitebuilding, But You Get What You Pay For, No?

100 Best Free Web Space - Free Web Hosting Services: "TOP FREE WEB HOSTING SERVICES
1.20m.com - Free Web Host Review
20 mb Free Web Hosting / Easy Website Builder / Great for Hosting Beginners
2.Free Web Space Inc. - Free Host Review
100mb Storage Space / FTP Upload / Low Cost Upgrades
3.Freeservers - Free Web Host Review
Quality Web Hosting / 12mb Space / Unlimited Email / Annoying Pop-Ups "

[email] Old Guide from DailyeDeals

Free Email Accounts Comparison - Webmail Addresses Guide Looks very basic and a couple years old, but I'll mark it anyway, just in case. I need a second address to feed the Real Network registration, otherwise it'll just sit implacable blocking my desktop (Note to Real Network: you sure know how to inspire distrust. I'm going with Microsoft Windows Media instead, because it looks less alien and corporate. Surprise: Microsoft less alien).

[TV] The "Inside" Fox Series that Hercules was Raving About {Ain't It Cool News}

Ain't It Cool News - View Article: "3) Get a gander at (Tim) Minear�s writing staff! Those inside �The Inside� now include:
* Jane Espenson! The best and funniest �Buffy the Vampire Slayer� writer not named Joss Whedon! She wrote the one about Xander getting the funny syphilis, the one about Buffy getting the funny telepathy, the one about Xander getting Xeroxed, the one with the Aprilbot, the one that introduced the Buffybot, the one in which Buffy fought the mummy hand, the one in which Giles terrified the Chinese potential with flashcards. Jane Espenson rules.

* Richard Hatem! Screenwriter of �The Mothman Prophesies,� Hatem created ABC�s woefully short-lived supernatural drama �Miracles,� one of the best series of 2003. He also personally scripted its gripping and thought-provoking four-star pilot. Hatem�s brainchild caused legions to scrawl the words �God is nowhere� on paper napkins. Richard Hatem rules.

* Rob Pearlstein, Ahmed Lavalis, Mark Fish, and Karine Rosenthal! I�ve no idea who they are! But they must be super-extra-talented talented if they get to work with Minear, Espenson and Hatem, right?
4) Look at the cast!
* The only holdover from the old �Inside� is its lead actress, the alarmingly cute 25-year-old 5�10� former Guess? model Rachel Nichols. She was going to play faux high-school student Elizabeth Worth in the old �Inside�; now she�s FBI superprofiler Rebecca Locke. "

onsdag, januari 19, 2005

[awards] 2005 Golden Globes a Lighter, Healthier Fat-Free Oscars (No Guilty Pleasure Here)

Ugh, I completely missed the broadcast. Good thing there's this dude named Tom the Dog who blogged it. So I'ma gonna paste it heere and read it laaater, si. Woof. He seems v. bright and observant, useful. I think it's gonna be repeated on Bravo, but the stupid Google search couldn't get me the answer, and tvguide.com requires me to sign in. Dude, I just want a simple answer! A listing. Ugh.

I'll save this and read it later. Compare notes if I do get to watch it. I admit it, I'm an Oscar addict. Only a matter of time now before I sign up with all the Hollywood sites on this Gold Derby of Talent and Glamour!

And Tom --woof woof-- if you're reading this through Technorati, thanks, I'll get in touch and compare notes!

[Update Thurs.: the notes are even funnier than at last night. Delicious dessert after the nourishing but rather dull INauguration of President Bush. The difference between the two events, primarily, is that one sounds fun but trivial, the other oozes gravitas but isn't worth a second helping. (Read the Son of FirstAddress online instead. It goes down much easier that way, Bush or Clinton.) I'm deleting the notes now save for a few choice morsels; if you wish the full dessert just mosey over to Tom the Dog, link provided, but leash yourself.]

Golden Globes Pre- and Show: "7:00 -- Live! Everywhere but in the time zone in which it actually occurs! Because we can't have anything nice! It's the Golden Globes Arrival Special!

7:01 -- Host Al Roker makes a bit of a Freudian slip: 'This red carpet is like no other in Hollywood, or the world. It's failed with more of your favorite stars than any other awards show.' Yes, he said 'failed,' not 'filled.' Oopsie! He then says the word 'bling' [too many times] .

7:06 -- O'Dell talks to Clint Eastwood, whose daughter Kathryn is this year's 'Miss Golden Globe,' and who could not look more terrified to be there. I'm sure Clint hopes Kathryn has as illustrious a career as her older sister, Alison. [Playboy cover-girl: "The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful: Clint's Daughter Makes Our Day"{the usual cliches}]

8:54 -- Annette Bening accepts her award for Best Actress, Movie - Musical or Comedy, in a strangely aristocratic, entitled fashion. Totally calm and unsurprised, as if she knew all along she deserved it, and the reading of the winner was just a formality. It makes me want to smack her, a little bit.

8:57 -- They show Evangeline Lilly in the audience when the nomination for Lost is announced. Holy mother of pearl, she is as lovely as the day is long. Too bad she's so damn religious -- she was a missionary, even. That takes a little bit of the air out of my wicked fantasies.

9:39 -- (Teri ) Hatcher thanks "a network for giving me a second chance at a career when I couldn't have been a bigger has-been." It's funny, but it's also disarmingly frank and touching.

10:47 -- Hilary Swank is still with that little weasel Chad Lowe? Not that I am jealous. It's just that most Hollywood marriages, when one partner becomes so very, very much more successful than the other, the marriage doesn't survive. Good for them. (Weasel.) Oh yeah -- good job on winning Best Actress, Movie - Drama. Beating out her biggest competition here, Imelda Staunton for Vera Drake, really makes a second Oscar for Swank more and more believable. Guess she wasn't a one-trick pony after all. Not that I thought she was, even before seeing Million Dollar Baby, but that film sealed the deal. Seriously, that film is so ridiculously great, everyone should see it.

11:01 -- Only one minute late, Nicole Kidman calls the evening to a close with a simple "Good night." Here's just one area where the Oscars can learn something from the Golden Globes (in addition to creating separate categories for Dramas and Comedies). Want to bring the ceremony to a close in a timely fashion, yet still give every single award-winner an unlimited time for their acceptance speeches? Cut out all those s-----, s-----, s----- musical numbers and alleged "comedy" bits. Just crank out the awards, baby!

My final conclusion for this, the first ever Golden Globes ceremony I've watched from beginning to end? Eh. I admired the streamlined nature of the show, and the loose, fun-filled atmosphere, but I still couldn't muster up a great deal of giving-a-rat's-ass. The Oscars are longer, more humorless, and more full of hot air, but they have that certain something, that air of importance, that makes me care. It's like the fat-free Oscars -- lighter and healthier, but with none of the guilty pleasure that makes it so delicious."

[blog] I like: happy to be a part of the industry of human happiness

I like is a highly regarded weblog by a very nice English lady who has a fine appreciation for nice arty things. This is from the Jan. 5th entry.:

Went to see Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and am still finding connections:

[movies, TV] Notes from the Conversation: Jamie Foxx Not "Supporting" "Collateral," "Desperate Housewives" Eats "Sex," Best Songs From Team America

From the CONVERSATION: "5) Calling Jamie Foxx’s role in Collateral a "Supporting Actor" part seems so inexact as to be borderline offensive. What, because he was driving while black? Foxx’s cabbie is clearly the movie’s protagonist, and his screen time is, at the very least, equal to Tom Cruise’s, if not significantly greater (the whole opening with Jada Pinkett-Smith is Cruise-free, as is the long – too long – “Santa Claus” scene with Javier Bardem.) I guess because Foxx is already nominated for a Best Actor award for Ray, they had to spread the wealth around a little. But the fact remains that he was very good in two leading roles this year. Why not nominate him for both? Is that unprecedented?

6) The era of Sex and the City has been definitively supplanted by that of Desperate Housewives, like the mammals replacing the reptiles. Though the HBO series only went off the air nine months ago, it feels like ancient history. Any doubt about that can be cleared up by looking at the list of "Best Actress in a Television Series" nominations: The names of three women from the new ABC show -- Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman -- literally crush down upon the name of Sarah Jessica Parker, separated from her oppressors only by the meager cushion of Debra Messing. (I agree with Aaron: why is Will and Grace still being recognized as an important show? Is it straight person's guilt or something? I've always been depressed by this sitcom, but if it ever had a peak, it's past it now.)

7) If Charlie Kaufman doesn't win the award for Best Original Screenplay, I'll -- what will I do? Dye my hair blue, like Kate Winslet in the movie, and take the train out to Montauk and gaze moodily at the sea. In fact, I may do that anyway.

8) Does anyone actually know any of the songs nominated for Best Original Song? Aaron, you saw Phantom of the Opera last night -- have you spent all day humming "Learn to Be Lonely"? When I saw that category, I wondered why nothing from Team America: World Police had been nominated, and not only because Kim Jong-Il's moving ballad, "I'm So Ronery," evoked the title of the Phantom song. I think Trey Parker and Matt Stone's true gift is for songwriting; it took me weeks to get Team America 's "America, F*** Yeah!" theme song out of my head."


_____________________________________

Now my evening review, a P.S. to the post: It should be noted that I, August Arrived, am near absolutely positive that this February Jamie Foxx will take Best Actor Oscar, so the slight over his merely *supporting* Collateral will soon be forgotten or just pushed aside, into the its corpse dumped off the bal-- oh wait no, he falls, the sucker does... *Baaam!* Such a waste, of such a nice suit... Tom Cruise will keep wearing his Very Nice Suits and Very Nice Designer Grins to the Academy Awards, whe re he will go on being Very Nicely, but near forever dutifully, ignored.

Hmm, so will those Gilmore Girls, just as ignored almost as nicely, conveniently, with the good cheer that really they do extremely well --maybe too well-- just because they're stuck on that other channel, 44 is it -- no, 36, cable-12 ...

Or 13? It's either the WB or UPN, one of those urban youth stations...

SoMayBe Charlie Kaufman could write a sweeps-week Desperate Sex-scene for Dear oold Lorelei and that'd make the middle-aged white males, who still compost --still compose-- most of the voting academy membership, to throw some ballots her way, eh! Down the cleavage of her ballot box! And a Very Nice ball-box it is! Yeah, that's the ticket! Your Ballot, sir! Can't vote without your... Oh all right so they're so Size-B, B-Minus-ish! So What?! At least they're but All-Natural! No Artificial Additives or Botoxed Preservatives! No, sir!

And while she's going all organic for the P.C. Oscar, she could yet gain street cred by hiring those South Parkie Team from America : NO, we don't take CaNAdians! No SpongeBob for us, SquarePantsFella! And Trey Parker and Matt Stone can compost --there's that word again!-- compose a new anthem song for our Miss Graham, Poker-Faced Champ! (See Bravo...) Go, Lauren Graham! If Sandra Bullock could survive the hideous mess that is Miss Congeniality 2, then so can you! Hideous Hooliganwood I mean! Yeah!

And as for Best Song, why didn't anyone pick up on Lenny Kravitz's "Lady"? Or Joss Stone, "You Had Me" from Mind, Body and Soul? And thar's Grechen Wilson, "Here for the Party"! Didn't any AR guys check out her "Red Neck Woman?!" Whoa does that song Rock! (It's like Dolly Parton's "9 to 5"! Only better! Arguably. Like "9 to 5" for the New Millenium!

And there's Ray Charles, way underutilized, and there's Green Day on their "Boulevard of Broken Dreams!" Every one is a huge winner. Whereas, can you hum a single phrase from a single one of the Best Song contenders?!

I rest my case.


[net] From Reagan to Google, Where Did I Go

And why did I end up at Googlelapse, er, labs? Oh right, I was lookin' at

View Topic - Fornits' Home for Wayward Web Fora... get my soul back from him and Straight and doing that was the best thing I ... View Profile of Reagan Youth Email Reagan Youth Goto the website of Reagan Youth Edit ... fornits.com/wwf/viewtopic. php?topic=7617&forum=7&Sort=D - 40k - Cached - Similar pages

Email Reagan, tee hee.

[net] Fake Google

Googlelabs.com:
Gifts Insurance Homes For Sale Cars Music Medicine Loans Tickets

I Don't Thaangk So

If it could make an actual difference, I'd put lil' hyperlinkies under those four words fer -- let's see, the BBB, the FTC, Google of course, one mo'...

Otherwise, the search site leads look real enuf, and so does the pop-under that follows this lil' mistake.

Dear Present.com, icars.com, borrow.com... Do you know who you're adveertising with? Do you mind? Well, enjoy your business.

[blog] "The World Needs Literature," Yes! Wait, NO, It's Not About TT? Then What is it About? Life, or Love? It's Not About Us

It's about life. It's about love. It's about us.: "What if Lim Peh suddenly wasnt so Lim Pehish anymore.Like,if I start wearing pink frocks and collecting precious moments stuff and screaming when i see a chicken.It'll be so weird.I haven't worn a dress since god knows when and the only skirts i wear is the schl uniform and tt doesnt count.Even my mum has given up trying to turn me into a girly girl except for the occasional pink shirt she tries to force me into.What if I totally revamp my life and turn into a 180 degree opposite of myself?
I started thinking abt it while watching tt nicole show.I was looking at 'shawn' and thinking tt the actress really shld have been born a boy when i realised tt no matter how much she looked like a guy,she really was a girl.Complicated stuff.In layman's terms,even though she was acting like a guy,she really is a girl.I know you're rolling your eyes and duhhing at your moniters but for someone who has not had contact with their feminine side from the time they were able to think,it's quite a big discovery.It's basically the fact that even if you act like a boy,it doesnt make you a boy.Unless i go for sex change or smth.But for now,reality is im a girl.Sad but true.
I once read tt a baby boy was being circumsised when the doctor accidentaly cut IT off.So his parents decided to raise him as a girl.And when (s)he found out the truth,(s)he went for a sex change to become a he again.I thought tt might be highly probable in my case.But it's just wishful thinking.
I'm just so horribly confused."


***** ***** *****
OK, my first thought: This is really terribly sad. Do TS's tend to blog more than the general populace? I would imagine so -- *sigh*nificantly so. Strong sense of displacement, intense need for wishful thinking. Ask help from Dorothy... And yet, is that a good thing, really?
Distrust wishful thinking.Ohk, we pre-ops are so horribly displaceds.We need to think and find the real truth, not jusst the sexchange but everything else in life as well, because reality is im a girl even tho im really a guy inside, and I shld conform to tt.

Second thought: Those who feel happy may not blog. Why stop to track, when they can float on their happy streams,smelling like roses? Those who feel unhappy, however, may need to remedy their malady with whatever's there -- even if it may well be poison .. . And those who are just so horribly confused may need to blog, profusely.

Third thought: OHmeGosh, how much am I blogging lately? Just now, just today? I may need to go in fer a sex change soonk,kuz my inner member just got circumcised,k by a butcherdoctor. I may have been born the wrong sex, the third sex, the -- oh Ne
VaMind! I feel sad but true.

Other thoughts spring from the abyss while I am typing the abv on my lap, but I need to "soar abv the songbirds, and never hear them sing," because I still got homework to do, and folders to unfold, all that --tt-- all grown-up stuff.

OhOK, one stylistic note: when the webpage is in tt stpd inverse coloring, white on dark, and very long in the 'graph, highlight the dern passage to get the colores converted, black print on white. And then the text is actually readable, ergonomic, and this reader will now live happily ever after. Amen. Then Ignore the second slide-bar on the right, the cascading CSS scripts(?) that keep getting the webpages, dirty...
*8*
One last thing -- I mean Im livg my life in winter cold, I
need to remind myself, how did I get here? -- I got here because I was attracted to the website title: "The world needs literature." When I got here it's def.'ly sumthin else. But by now I'm intrigued by sumthin elllse, don't really feel annoyed. The drowsiness would have to take over first. A gentle breeze, a gentle voice... the way you make me feel... ohmegoose, iam so pre-op! What the World Needs Now may not be Literature so much as reassuring genialities (fine, sic) from our Great Leaders. How about a Collection of E-Mails from the late President Reagan?

Note to me-self: search for co-relations of email and Ronald Reagan. Second note: weird strategies may produce unexpected fruits.

(Yeah, Whatever.)

tisdag, januari 18, 2005

[design] Text Trick with class="tinytableopacity"

Nice design trick. Now what if I reset the from #FF3300?
Originally:






[design, bad design] new title tiny
POST post, 4:04a, Wed. morn.: fer heavenn's sake it didn't work at all; and I didn't realize until the morn of next! Vvot an idiotT! Apologies to anyone reading the above and um, feelin' confudsy --or is it confoosed?-- I'll try to do better tmw. It's $:)$ riIght now and I need to get some other stuff done first. Peace out.

[webdesign] Thirty Days to Conquer Your Webdesign Fears, or Something Like it to Dive Into

Dive Into Accessibility: "This book answers two questions. The first question is 'Why should I make my web site more accessible?' If you do not have a web site, this book is not for you. The second question is 'How can I make my web site more accessible?' If you are not convinced by the first answer, you will not be interested in the second.
Let's dive in."

[blog] Hajimemashite! Oh, Um Verso e Nada, This is, Rio de Janeiro Style, Ócio Literário...Japanese Perspective, Portuguese Lingua, Brazilian Romance!

�cio Liter�rio...: [whoopsie, key again:] Ócio Literário...: "...Textos escritos pela força do ócio...
Um blog com contos e poemas escritos por mim, Minoru Ito..."

Terça-feira, Janeiro 18, 2005; 11:36p Rio time

Nada e versos
E tudo termina em nada e versos
Assim diziam velhos poetas...
Longe estou de ver os sentimentos certos
Que me fizeram acreditar em palavras tão singelas.

Como uma gota de chuva que cai
E se perde na terra fofa
Sou um grito que se faz
Por aqueles que perderam a força.

Em meu crepúsculo, a agonia é um eco
As lágrimas teimam em aparecer
Mas sei que nada encontrarei nesse verso
Além de palavras. Um suspiro para morrer.

[blog] This is What I Found Upon Clicking on "NEXT BLOG>>" Hi, ((( a u m )))!

((( a u m ))) is all links, re .:ecoLogical:.
.:media:.
.:.edu:.
.:activism:.
.:antiwar:.
.:democrazy:.
.:health:.
.:foodism:.
.:sexuality:.
.:mystic:.
.:anomaly:.
.:arts:.
And that's a cool shot at the top of blog, from lava.nationalgeographic.com, 7/9/2004. Yeah, PhotoOfTheDay all right!

[spyware] It's Sooo Easy to Get Infected! But Expect Anti-spyware To Become Common Feature Within the Year

Forbes.com: Spy Vs. Spy: "Here's a typical scenario in tech world: Without warning, your computer flashes a dialogue box that says your machine has been infected with spyware. Click here, it instructs, for antidote software that will fix it. And, indeed, the helpful link does offer a program to get rid of the prying software--before installing its own spy package on your PC instead...

It's a problem that affects at least two-thirds of PCs, often without their owners' knowledge, and generates 12% of all support calls to Dell...

It's easy to get infected... File-sharing program Kazaa, for instance, comes bundled with ad software from Claria, formerly known as Gator, which many experts tag as spyware for its convoluted, restrictive 60-page user agreement and its practice of showing pop-up ads based on which sites a user visits, often obscuring the ads that come with the Web page itself...

One big problem for unsuspecting users is purported spyware-fighting software available for free online. Type "spyware removal" into a search engine, and many of the sites that pop up are likely to be giving away phony programs that install themselves on the user's hard drive, delete most of the spyware, and take up spying themselves...

Don't just type in a Web address you think points to the correct vendor; competing spyware makers like to take over domains with names close to those of their rivals and hawk their own phony programs.

Companies fight spyware the same way they guard against other IT security issues, with perimeter defenses like proxy servers, plus constant scans and restrictions on what employees can do online. For consumers, the best plan is to use a firewall, constantly update your security and anti-virus software, and run reputable spyware-detection software, says Edelman.

More help is on the way. Microsoft last month bought Giant Company Software and plans to offer a beta version of its anti-spyware software for free on its Web site, with a paid product to follow. Look for most security companies to follow suit. Paul Bryan, director of product management for Microsoft's security business and technology group, expects to see anti-spyware as a common feature in consumer security software within the year."

[net] Hey Cutie, Wanna... Furl? LookSmart....'s Fu... (Joke! Click!)

LookSmart's Furl - Learn More: "Furl is a free service that saves a personal copy of any page you find on the Web, and lets you find it again instantly by searching your archive of pages. It's your Personal Web.

Furl offers the best ways to share the content you find on the Web, and recommends new Web pages that may interest you. You can also search Furl to find the best sites that other people are saving.

Furl anything you want with a single click. Each member gets a 5-gigabyte personal archive, large enough to store tens of thousands of pages.

When you want to find something again, enter any word or phrase you remember from it. Find only what you need, instead of thousands of extraneous results. Even if a page has disappeared from the Web and other search engines, you'll still have a personal copy.

Saving Online Articles for Later: When you find an interesting article but don't have time to read it, Furl it and uncheck the "mark as read" box. This is a favorite Furl function for many members, particularly Furl's founder, Mike Giles."

måndag, januari 17, 2005

[wisdom] Art in Our Backyard... Shadowed, Foolish, Wise


Sometimes there is no solution. But that's okay. Because we still have art in our backyard. And that makes it all right again.
(This is shot #5, the others later.)

Remember Helen Keller: "Although the world is very full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it." And then Billy Graham: "Only those who want everything done for them are bored."


[net] Blogspot.com, not blogger.com. And Other Boo-Boos Past and Future

Stuff about Blogger I just found out: the URL is actually blogspot.com, not blogger.com.

Site feed URL adds to my existing URL this: /atom.xml

Weblogs.com is an update notification service. Cool. Check it out. Get your blog pinged.

Don't confuse "Template" with "Post Template" when you're adding code. Ugh. Why didn't the sitemeisters made a note of it, give a friendly advisory? I can't be the only one who made that boo-boo. "Sooner or later all science fiction comes true," says author J.G. Ballard as just quoted in the New York Times. Well, let me add the August Arrived Corollary to the Ballard punditry: Sooner or later all your PC boo-boos will come true, too.

[net]In a World of Anarchy & UnrecognizedEntries in the InstalledPrograms Subdir'y, the Magic Sweeper Buries the Misdirected Past (but discuss anyway)

So, Spy Sweeper 3.5 gets a resounding thumbs-up (4-1/2 stars out of five) from the folks at PC Magazine. This fascinates me because I think --oyee!-- I need security software, and pronto. There are some problems that have so no solutions; quagmires with no alternatives; stoopid Thinkpad problems that can only be lived through, and may never be worked out. Hopefully, this is not one of them... Meanwhile, I distract myself and signed up fer this Blogger thingie, and waste some thinktime and mo' worriedsicktime. Because, well, this is a needful lack in myself, because I cannot bring meself to the verdict 0f life as predicament, and not just another House of Flying Daggers that I may savor in THX leisure.

(Of course, this may be as true in our national outlook as it is in my rather foolhardy personal viewpoints.)

(And oh, details later. It's --whoa!-- still my very first Blogger-posting -- plenty of time to go into that, later.
Suffice to say for now that I find man's ingenuity could go so anarchically wrung, and is sooo misdirected, hmm-- it's sooo likie what Joel Schumacher did with his BBatman Phantom of the Opera! Viewed --ahem-- from my balcony. OK, back to the story.)

function OpenImageWindow(querystring, winWidth, winHeight)
{
here we go...


Spy Sweeper 3.5 REVIEW DATE: 01.12.05
By Konstantinos Karagiannis
"The best just keeps getting better. Webroot's Spy Sweeper, which shared the spotlight with Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Plus as our picks for the best antispyware products of 2004, is now the sole champ of the antispyware arena. The latest version, 3.5, with its slight but effective improvements, is easily the best choice for protecting PCs from spyware and for cleaning infected machines." Click here to read the full review

Bottom line: The best single antispyware package we've tested has gotten even more accurate and faster.
Pros: Unbeatable in our tests at both real-time blocking of malware and cleaning of even the most infected systems. Easy to use.
Cons: Occasional traces survive, requiring manual removal.

Price: $29.95 from Webroot Software Inc. http://www.webroot.com/
* * *

Now, in the PC forum, a reader "epscott" challenges the mag's wisdom:
"First of all, this data is not current. Secondly, Spy Sweeper is NOT the best application according to testing which is proven here:
http://spywarewarrior.com/asw-test-results-5.htm It is third behind two other FREEWARE apps. I wouldn't pay for this program knowing that there are better free alternatives."
* * *

"Looks like we need O'Reilly to get rid of the spin!" rebuts "compasst," who sounds like a old pro with high cred. He goes on thus, just this morning:
"The test results to which you refer are several months old while PCmag's results are this month's work. Also, neither product which you espouse (guessing that you mean AdAware and Giant AS since their numbers are higher than the one for Spy Sweeper) is 'freeware' - AdAware offers a limited edition for 'free' that does NOT update its dictionary; Giant AS is no more, having been bought and repackaged by Microsoft well before you wrote your comments, "epscott". Since the spyware definitions are now growing at several thousand per month, one can hardly expect to keep pace with a non-renewal version (what you call 'freeware') of anti-spyware - just as one cannot receive antivirus protection from an expired version of antivirus software.

Spyware and its variants are a complex world in which I have spent several hundred hours in the past 18 months as I have cleaned/repaired dozens of computers for several of my clients - and billed several thousand dollars in the process. Although I like the money, I wish I were earning it in a more productive way - like helping my clients use their computers more productively.

In my experience, what PCmag writes is true - no one program does it all; some are better than others at certain tasks. For example, I used AdAware and Spy Sweeper for several months in a dual attack on worthless spy programs - and always to success except when coming across variants of CoolWeb and across programs that modified the network settings. In these two cases, the ONLY program I found to work - and the only way I was able to get these two nasties to stop - was by using Spy Subtract and its incorporated CWShredder. Spy Subtract is the ONLY program I have found that repairs network configuration - and saved me hours of repair time once I found it by searching the web for a way to remove CoolWeb stuff. I recently bought a new office computer and immediately installed Spy Subtract - it found (and continues to find) several spy products. When MS released its beta AS, I installed it in addition to Spy Subtract - and found MORE spy programs. Upon reading this review, I downloaded Spy Sweeper 3.5 (the last version I had used at a client's was 3.2) and it found several dozen more items on my new PC - which is less than a month old now. Guess I was under a false sense of security with only Spy Subtract and MSAS on my system!

I use the web several hours daily, but don't do games, porno, gambling, screen savers, or music downloads - all of which I have learned are pipelines for spy programs and their variants. In fact, of the several hundred computers under my company's watch, there are about six that I have to routinely 'fix' because their users insist on going back to sites that pollute their computers with spy junk. And - it is ALWAYS those six and NEVER the other users' computers that get reinfected despite installation of multiple spy killer apps. For my own computers, I have never been badly infected and I rarely get notification of new stuff on my computers - because I don't go to the breeding grounds websites for these products.

If any readers are spy programmers - get a life! I've got better things to do than clean up after this junk and you've got better things to do than waste your talents on making this junk.

If any readers are having problems getting control of spyware - get all four of the programs mentioned herein (you can get short-term free or demo versions), install them all and deep scan your PC in SAFE mode until you get no more stuff. You might still have to do some registry editing to get out hidden back-door references that reinstall stuff. One effective process I use is to look at the manufacturers (right-click the file name and select properties) of all the files in System32 subdirectory and .exe files in any Windows subdirectory - those that have no name are removed. I also scan for and remove ANY .exe programs in ANY folder under Documents and Settings. Finally, I remove any unrecognized entries in the Installed Programs subdirectory."