Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kodak Gallery - enforcing minimum annual purchases

So I received this from Kodak gallery:

The Gallery's Terms of Service* have been modified.
Because you currently do not meet the minimum purchase requirement established by our new storage policy, your stored photos will be deleted from your Gallery account if you do not act soon.

Here is your current status:
Current photo storage: 2.77 GB
Purchase requirement: $19.99
Amount you have spent: $0.00
Amount you need to spend: $19.99
Deletion date: 05/16/2009

In order to continue to store photos at the Gallery, members with photo storage of more than 2 gigabytes (GB) or less must make annual minimum purchases totaling at least $19.99.

Once you've met the $19.99 purchase requirement, prior to 05/16/2009, your photos will be safely stored for one year from the date of that qualifying purchase. Thereafter, just make annual Gallery purchases totaling at least $19.99 to preserve your stored photos.**

We look forward to continuing our relationship with you.

The KODAK Gallery

I say this to kodak gallery, Soyanora! Good bye, kwaheri. It's been real!

Picasa, here I come! And were that to fail, I'd prefer to store the pics in an external hard drive. Ala, kodak?!


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

conflicker C - Especially if you have Windows XP...

I ran into several issues with my home PC several a couple of weeks ago and was completely alarmed. The error I was receiving mostly indicated that the system could not locate any Operating system. And I was like "what???" I tried to recover the last known functioning setup during reboot and there was none known. I continued struggling with the machine until finally, it started windows. That was all it did. It moved at snail pace and any attempt to start ie (Internet explorer) was a bust!

After several attempts and an ulcer, I finally decided to run disk scan just in case my files had gone everywhere and were just hampering the system. Of course that wouldn't run either. Well, I went in. Into system32 files and started working the hard core way. I run chkdsk and of course that crashed the machine, again. You'd think it would get better with time.

The good news is that when I finally booted the machine after I got out of the freeze, the system on its own accord decided to run a chkdsk. And everything was corrupt. 2 hours into the system deleting and fixing and whatever else it did, windows XP started. And yes, I could open my documents. And internet explorer worked. But at snail pace. My huge relief was that I would at least have the chance to save my documents in an external drive (yes, even years later, it still takes this to get me saving my information in easily movable objects). the because I have an alternative machine to use, I abandoned his particular machine.

Bt I missed my machine. This is my home IBM that I kill with excesses that would crash most other laptops as I experiment with geekery. So today, I went a searching. And lo and behold! the conflicker C virus. I haven't tried to go into but I will. I'll also check to make sure that I received my windows update. Somehow I know all this will not be true. I have the damn virus!

So I hoped that some geek had bothered to fix it. And posted the hows. And here is the link (thanks Rhaomi and all those who provided insightful information. Microsoft has set this up if you think you've been affected. You might need to get to it through because this trojan knows Microsoft and does not allow you to get to their websites. It is also controlling your google search results when you inquire about it from an infected machine. And it routes all your update requests back to your machine so you never get any. It also blocks your access to regedit and hides your files. Crazy, crazy, crazy! No wonder Microsoft is offering some 250K for anyone who will lead them to its originator. Good luck folks, good luck.

if you think you may be infected, act quickly before April Fool's day (Russian time, it's likely the trojan originates in Russia). That's their debut day. Don't know what they intend to do but they can pretty much do anything. They can write code and pass it through all infected machines, most likely through P2P networks.

I usually resist geek like posts and conversations but this one was necessary for anyone running Windows XP. If I can save my baby without having to reinstall windows XP, I'll post an update here some other time.

Hoping you're not infected yet. And wishing you a least stressful fix if you are.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Of Attitudes, scapegoats and Bonuses

AIG. What a story!! And is $165M, a mere 1% of the $170B that has been handed over to AIG worth all this noise? Is it the bonuses or just the exhaustive frustration that has taken over and is now leaking out in bits and pieces. Is this uproar healthy? Does it affect everything else? IS AIG actually real? And does anyone understand the reality of an AIG collapse? I'm discussing markets worldwide, to include Hng Kong and all of Europe. Does anyone know or recall the case study that was banks lending inappropriately. It comes with a very familar face. Donald Trump. Yes. Him. When economic classes teach about lending gone wrong, his billions of loans that forced the banks to service him to keep him afloat because his collapse would have meant their collapse is the subject matter. Irony to no end that this is the man at the head of the table in apprentice! only in America!

Anyway, for anyone who knows the Donald Trump story, that is the same situation happening with AIG. just that AIG is Trump multiplied by 1 and then many many zeroes. (Try putting in 170B in your calculator). So AIG has to stay afloat. For a while anyway. Until China figures out how to take the reins and shift the world economy to Asia as the fulcrum point. They are the only ones left with the power at this moment.

So the bonuses; part arrogance. Part habit. You get away with so much, you get used to it. And then you don't notice the wrong things as wrong anymore. Part, vaguely, necessity, at least implied. When wall street rocked, these people got used to bonuses as part of their income. So everyone who works deserves fair compensation. But inflated egos here, think that that compensation is still fair despite the mess we find ourselves in, thanks to their hard work. It would truly have been cheaper to pay them to stay at home over the past decade. The dictionary expresses clearly that a bonus is an additional compensation based on performance or earnings. At that juncture, AIG cannot explain their bonuses. Simple solution, new compensation contracts. Wages commiserate with the rest of the sectors. No bonuses. (and it would be nice if you hung your heads in shame).

Scapegoats? Edward Libby, AIG chair and CEO! What a day he had on Wednesday. And this for a man who took over a rotted to death AIG! And we wonder why worthwhile folks wont take up these challenges and help the situation. geithner? He should thank God that Barack has deflected that apathy onto himself. Cos this is a crowd of angry people who are looking for anything to kill, regardless of its guilt.

Irony in Kenya is this. To hear Raila completely disagree with the crazy demands for new elections. And his reasoning is so sound! I rarely find myself agreeing with this man, but I did here. And I was one person completely sure this coalition government would do nothing. But despite the madness of the masses ( Kenyans are their own worst enemies), this coalition is still one of the most functional governments I've ever seen. A government capable of averting a crisis when schools have no funds, deal with agriculture issues, specify and estimate the masses of people who are likely to face hunger in the next few months based on rainfall, still look into future developments such as the fibre optics cable and the highway to Ethiopia... I for one stand corrected. Don't get me wrong, this coalition government is too massive and the issues they have are many. However, I will give the devil his due. I wouldn;t have dared expect 20% of that from them.

The bickering cabinet ministers? Fire them immediately. Any good manager does not need an explanation from me for this assertion. However, I'll give it. A cabinet that is provided a forum to discuss issues, but chooses not to use it, instead beds our semi-illiterate and next to worthless media that cannot wait to sensationalize everything; but offers no pertinent education to issues; that cabinet minister has to go. the individual is too dumb to understand his role. His job is not understood, and the consequences of his actions are not clear to him. he must go. A cabinet position for a country is a 24 hour job as long as the member is in public. And there are respectful, meaningful and constructive ways to disagree while maintaining respectability for the outfit for which you work!

And the visa ban from the US! This might surprise you. I'm of the opinion that no one should be fired, EVER, based on this stupid act. It s tantamount to colonialism. There is nothing even remotely worth looking into here. It would be colossally stupid to hand over the power to determine which people serve our cabinets to another country based on visa bans. So anyone who antagonized them be it for the sake of good, could easily be eliminated. I say this often. The only opinion that has to matter in Kenya, is that of Kenyans alone. period. I hope one day everyone can understand that. So that they can develop intelligent opinions and self worth and better fellowship.

I can always go on. But I'll stop here, for now.