Monday, August 25, 2008

Eliminate the waste of Yellow Pages and White Pages

I don't know about you but I can count on one hand minus a few fingers how many times I've used the Yellow Pages and White Pages in the last year. So when I saw this post on Lifehacker about eliminating the delivery of Yellow Pages I thought I would pass it on in case you don't happen to read Lifehacker. Also to save you a click here is the link to site that Lifehacker brought to light. Then once on Yellowpagesgoesgreen click on Sign Up which lets you opt out of both the Yellow Pages and White Pages. My question is will this get rid of all the various versions of the Yellow and White Pages I receive these days. For instance I happen to live in SBC now AT&T territory but for some reason I just recently received a Verizon combo half Yellow half White pages directory and in the past various other phone companies have sent me their version of the Yellow Pages or White pages. Hopefully this opt out service will eliminate all of the paper directories the phone companies deliver, but only time will tell. Also please note Yellowpagesgoesgreen is currently only setup for US households and business even though numerous other countries have Yellow Pages and I'm sure various White Pages.

So now your looking for online directories here is a link to Yellow Pages and White Pages but even better in my opinion is Google's free directory assistance(411) service. Give it a try by calling 1-800-GOOG-411 (1-800-466-4411). Also at your option Google's 411 service will place the call to the business it finds for free.

So join the movement at home to eliminate the waste of paper the Yellow Pages and White Pages represent for many households these days. Also Yellowpagesgoesgreen is suppose to work at the office and then if you feel so inclined save your employer money by having your Telecom group redirect your companies 411 calls to Google's service. Believe me having seen first hand what the phone companies charge for 411 service this could win you some big points at the office.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Malware on Facebook

Public Safety/Computer Safety message to Facebook users.

This shouldn't be a surprise to anyone but malware (i.e. virus, worm) is on Facebook, if you already know this and/or have had to deal with it what I call "runtime error 21" skip the rest of this post. If not here is how the scenario went at my house -

daughter - "Dad my computer is acting weird"

dad - "what is it doing?"

daughter - "it keeps giving me this message - Runtime error 21 followed by some numbers"

dad - "ok ... does it go away when you reboot"

daughter - "no"

dad - "ok, I'll look at your PC when I get home"

later that evening

dad - "so did you install anything new on your computer"

daughter - "no ... but I did click on this link on my Facebook wall from this girl I haven't talked to in about 2 years, it looked like some sort link to a funny joke or ecard"

dad - "oh wonderful"

initial investigation - well the Runtime error 21 is there and constantly repeats and System Restore doesn't get rid of it. None of the System Restore points work they all come up with nothing has changed even though System Restore clearly shows one new item installed earlier in the week. In addition as of 08/08/08 Norton 360 and PC Tools Spyware Doctor do not detect or remove it. So looking like time to restore from that last backup, glad I did that a few weeks ago.

dad - "do you remember a couple years ago when your sister clicked on that link in the IM message from some friend she rarely talked to"

daughter - "yeah I kind of remember that"

dad - "well it looks like someone is doing the same thing with messages on your wall, so please don't do that again."

resolution - well I just could not take the easy way and do a full restore, so instead I finally did find a link on Tech Support Guy Forum with info on what I needed to do to remove this malware. The problem with this information is my particular strain of malware required booting from a standalone BartPE disk otherwise it just kept reinstalling inself. So for many users creating a BartPE boot disk or some other standalone boot is not going to be something they want to tackle. So if I find a removal tool I will let you know, likewise if you find a removal tool please comment so everyone can clean this up quickly and easily. I have also sent a message to Max Kelly who according to this post on is head of Security at Facebook asking for information on removing this malware but so far no answer.

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