Apr. 14th, 2011

thewayne: (Default)
The drive home from the observatory tonight was interesting. First, it was late: I left it around 2:15am. Second, the critter count and distribution was unusual. The driveway from the observatory to the nearest road is about a mile, and there was an unusual amount of elk by it. I turned on to the next road and there was a good-sized owl sitting there, it must have been 12-18” tall, a good sized one. It had what appeared to be very pretty mottling, but that's had to say conclusively at night with only headlights, not to mention being somewhat brain-dead.

That's the second owl that I've seen up here that was just sitting in the road at night. Russet saw one once that looked like a rock in the middle of the road, then as she got closer it turned its head around and you could see the eyes reflecting in the headlights and it flew away.

The elk continued intermittently along the road back in to town, including a gaggle of them in a little grassy area where I turn off to go up the final stretch to our house. The final ascent begins with a Y, one fork goes back into Cloudcroft's main street, the other ascends sharply to a point where you do probably a good 150 degree turn. Last week I was coming home and as I began that ascent up the Y, an elk bounded across the road. I did the 150 as a car was coming down that road, startling the elk, which then ran back down the path it had just come up.

It's nice living in a national forest!

Sadly, we had a fairly dry winter, and the wind has been pretty strong for the last week or so, today the fire danger was upgraded from High to Very High. A few years ago it got to the point that we were on a five minute evacuation notice, that's about the worst it can get short of an actual forest fire. They're testing emergency sprinklers and such at the observatory in case it needs to be defended.
thewayne: (Default)
This latest one pops up a Microsoft-looking Windows 7 page on your computer and claims to have locked your Windows license key. Calls to the number to unlock it are routed internationally, you're put on hold, and you rack up a substantial phone bill. F-Secure found that 1351236 will unlock the system, but no guarantees. Your best bet is probably an OS reinstall.

Another thing mentioned in the article is an encryption ransomware scam if you happen to catch a vicious piece of nastiness called GPCode:

"GPcode creats a randomly generated 256-bit AES key on each infected system, which it uses to encrypt a number of files including all .doc, .rtf, Excel and PDF files.

It in turn encrypts the AES key using the fraudsters' public RSA key and saves only the encrypted version to the infected system. Consequently, the only way of restoring the system is to use the fraudsters' secret key. The encryption technique used is almost uncrackable and reverse engineering the malware is also fruitless. As Kaspersky's Nicolas Brulez notes in his analysis of GPcode, the only hope is a recent backup. Users who decide to play the blackmailers' game and pay up run the risk of losing their money and still not being able to access their data."

So, like voting in Chicago, back up early and often!

thewayne: (Default)
They play "classic" and "oldies" rock.

Right now they're playing Kiss!

I won't feel so bad anymore when I hear some of the music that I like on it.

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