2012
06.13

Allright.

Summer is here, and with it may come the urge to stay indoors, out of the Houston heat and humidity. Given the disproportionate number of hot days we have here in Texas, we also have the opportunity to get more done. Whereas someone in our California listening area may only write some prose or a poem while ducking the dog days of summer, a Texan could knock out an entire novel before the heat index dips back beneath the red.

Hey – does anyone actually *know* what the difference is between poetry and prose? We’ll get to that in a minute, but for now know that once you’ve done the easy bit of authoring a book, John Glaver can get you through the rough stuff – getting it published electronically.

John Gaver is giving a talk on exactly that this Saturday at the Houston Area Apple Users Group monthly meeting. General meetings start at nine in the morning with the main presentation taking place at eleven, allowing you to leave the land of the red street signs slowly and cautiously by 1:00 PM. The meeting takes place at the Bellaire Civic Center at 7008 South Rice Avenue, in Bellaire, Texas. This is a destination you may want to return to, as the summer swap meet is coming up in July, and our own Dwight Silverman plans to talk rumors and reality when it comes to the new iPad in August. Hit www.haaug.org for details, directions, and the summer line-up of meetings and presentations.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to lose your ability to surf the net while stuck indoors, which is an actual concern if you happen to be harboring the DNSChanger Malware that has found its way onto millions of workstations around the world. DNS or the Domain Name System is a distributed naming system for computers on the internet. DNS servers take requests from clients in the form of domain names and then hands out the appropriate IP address for that domain. This saves you from having to remember that 173.193.136.178 is the address for the Geek Radio site. It also makes it possible to stack multiple domain names on a single IP address, making things such as virtual name based hosting possible on web servers. Now, all of this would be hunky dory if some shady cracker slash criminal types hadn’t created a piece of malware that redirects your computers DNS requests away from legitimate DNS servers and instead to DNS servers that they control. So what were they after? Bank account info? Your grandmother’s recipe for chocolate chip cookies? Nope. Apparently, advertising is where the money’s at. And to a lesser extent, iTunes tracks. In Operation Ghost Click, the FBI eventually caught the ring of six Estonians responsible and then determined that simply taking down the servers would rob millions of people of access to any website whose IP address they didn’t have memorized. So on March 12 of this year, they replaced the compromised servers with clean servers that are scheduled to go offline Monday, July 9th. What does this mean to you? If you’ve been infected with the DNSChanger malware – and it’s been in the wild since 2007 – you probably don’t know it, especially now that the FBI is controlling your browsing experience.

I’ll have a link up to the FBI page as well as a link that will tell you whether or not you’re connecting to the DNS servers in question by the end of the show.

But for now, let’s revisit that prose and poetry problem. Brendan Behan, an Irish drinker with a writing problem, reportedly summed it up with the following rhyme:

There was a young fellah named Rollocks
Who worked for Ferrier Pollocks
As he walked down the strand
with his girl by the hand
the tide came up to his knees.

Now that’s prose. If the tide had been in, it would have been poetry.

That’s it for your Irish Education and that’s that for BarretTime.

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