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Turning the Tables On "Phone Tech Support" Scammers

WoodburyMan Rude to the Max (210 comments)

They never seem to call me. I have a clean XP VM all setup ready to go to have them remote into. They do however call my parents (Asking for me by name somehow, my name must be linked with that number). Despite being non-technical, that doesn't prevent my father from screwing with them the old fashioned way. He usually keeps them on the line, saying things like "I already have a Window cleaner, he comes by on Tuesdays and does a good job! Even does the 2nd story windows!" He'll usually tag them along for a good 10 minutes or so. 50/50 change of them ending without incident, the other half they usually scream some swears or insult then hang up. The last time, when he had enough, the scammer asked "What is on your computer screen?" and my father replies "Oh! t's all pictures of naked woman!" The scammer then replied "Oh! That must be your mother! You mother f****er!" then hangs up. They are the ones calling and scamming, and the attitudes these people have are amazing. Some other fun tricks to try is talking in another language. My parents can speak basic French, and occasionally they confuse these scammers, who barley speak English, by talking French and it really throws them off.

about a week ago

Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'

WoodburyMan Re:Kazaa (174 comments)

I can attest to Skype doing this. A friend away moved away for graduate school and we would communicate using Skype, so I started just leaving the desktop application open. My computer is located in my bedroom, with a switch next to it. I woke up like 3am, see the lights FLASHING going all sorts of nuts on my switch, which was weird as I had nothing on my pc open at the time. I check net stat... i see a inbound and outbound connection, one to some SBC DSL user in Atlanta, another to a Comcast user somewhere else, forgot where, but some other state. I kill Skype. BAM, connections close, traffic resumes normal operation. Skype was using my computer as relay service, since I have active UNPN, and the other two client presumably had some sort of firewall blocking direct communication. To this day i tell *EVERYONE* who uses the Desktop app to close it as soon as they're done to prevent this as most home connections now have meters. (Charter's is 250gb/mo for 30mbit, which I hit 150gb+ some months when I was toying around with AOSP and downloading the entire repo a few times after screwing up a VM or something).

about three weeks ago

Seagate Ships First 8 Terabyte Hard Drive

WoodburyMan DPM Backup (316 comments)

Medium business with two locations. Each locations houses 3-4 servers, running about 15-20 Virtual Machines on each host. Every essential system is virtualized. Another server, lower specs, but loaded with plain 7200 rpm enterprise class drives (Not 10k RPM drives like the VMHosts) run Microsoft DPM 2012 R2. We have it constantly backing up. Our email and file servers are backed up on the hour or every other hour. All others that are more "set it and forget it" systems that dont change or store changing data are backed up once a day or so. The entire VM. Should a VMHost fail all child VM's can be restored immediately. Likewise I have recovery points going back 2-3 months for our main data drive and email using DPM with regular drives. I can get anything near instantly rather than having to search a tape. I can see tape would be useful if something was deleted years ago and needed to be recovered. However until then I'm drive only. Likewise all our VMHost servers are RAID5 or RAID6, and even our DPM server is RAID5 so if a drive fails we're okay. If two fail at once.. it's a backup. We also try to mix batches of drives in it as well or add them spaced apart so they have different operating hours and time to replicate if it has to rebuild from a single drive loss. (Why ive been switching our main servers to RAID6, as any weaklings would die sometimes during rebuild of a raid5 array or even raid1 array which leaves out SOL).

about three weeks ago

DEFCON's Latest Challenge: Hacking Altruism

WoodburyMan Pacemakers (47 comments)

Wouldn't want a Bluetooth vulnerability to crash the Ex-VP's heart.....

about a month ago

Snowden: NSA Working On Autonomous Cyberwarfare Bot

WoodburyMan Skynet Anyone? (194 comments)

Skynet? This looks awfully like the start of Terminator 3 movie...

about a month ago

How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

WoodburyMan A few Hundred? (391 comments)

At my previous place of employment (Computer repair workbench) we used to sell new systems. I was there 8 years. Most years I'd do around 100 new systems. Busy years prior to the "Great Recession" I did closer to 200-300 a year (Almost every day multiple new PCs). Anywhere from old budget Sempron builds to $3000 Core2Exreme and i7 Extreme processors with dual and triple SLI. Not counting Work I probably did a good 4-6 for friends/relatives/friends of friends. Counting my own doesn't count. I :"assembled" my computer once back in 2000-2001 when I build my first rig, Pentium 4 1.6ghz. Every since then it's been swapping in new video card here, memory there, hard drives / ssd there, motherboard nad CPU here.. new case there.. and has been a continual upgraded system. From a Pentium 4 1.6ghz Intel 845 478 board with 512mb of SD RAM and 80gb hard drive and Radeon 7000 to my current i7 4770K, Z87 Socket 1150, 32GB DDR3 2400, 2x512GB SSD in Raid0 + 4TB storage drive, Radeon R9 290. Once a year I'll throw $400-500 on it to keep it current.

about a month and a half ago

How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

WoodburyMan NAS (983 comments)

Easy. Get a 6 or 8 bay NAS and a bunch of 4TB drives to fill it. Set it up in JBOD. Only local onsite backup solution that's feasible. Keep it powered down and unplugged except when you make periodic backup. Offsite backup is more complicated, and unfortunately will have to shell out a lot for, and may not be feasible to backup via a throttled home connection upload speed. Around these parts in US most ISP's have 30mbit down, but only 3mbit or 4mbit upload. I'm being "Upgraded" to 60mbit down / 4mbit up next week. The upload to download proportion is ridiculous.

about 6 months ago

Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England

WoodburyMan True for Most of CT (105 comments)

This story isn't hardly surprising. After I got past the fact that the outline made it read like they found some long long civilization, and in fact it was just forgotten farm roads from 200 years ago, it's really not that impressive. I also live in Connecticut, less than 45 minutes from this location.. and this is true for most of Connecticut, at least the parts that still have woods left mainly in the Eastern part of the state as well as North West part of the state (where I am). The exact same trails can be found in my own back yard. My backyard consists of a area close to 250 acres or so of wooded area. The entire wooded area is no more than ~150 years old. You can tell by looking at the trees, they're all to young to have been there for more than 100 years. There's all sorts of areas littered with old barbed wire, to which trees have grown around, and old stone walls that have almost fallen apart and are more like a clumping of rocks all lined up than a stone wall. There are also area's where you can clearly tell there used to be trails, in fact we use one to walk between relatives on the other side of our hill and my own house, and a few of the more aged trails as ATV trails. In fact there was even a man made stream, that was diverted from its natural course (to which is has now gone back to) that once flowed a few dozen feet from my house, to which my driveway now follows. Such is not uncommon for all of Connecticut and New England. If you look, you'll find former farm trails and relics everywhere.

about 8 months ago

Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating

WoodburyMan Re:Not Surprising for HP (57 comments)

If it's HP, they could make a block of ice in the antarctic overheat... (Symbolicly of course.. as reality is.. touching it would melt it...and it would actually be very easy...)

about 10 months ago

Google Halts Sales of HP's USB-Charging Chromebook 11 Over Overheating

WoodburyMan Not Surprising for HP (57 comments)

I work at a local small computer workbench. Not surprised by this at all. It seems most of HP's designs recently all overheat, or are designed to very easily. We see so many HP/Compaq's with damaged motherboards from overheating. Sometimes you can see why, hairballs in the heatsinks. Other times the heat sinks and fans look brand new. Sometimes reflowing the motherboard works, other times a new motherboard is needed, and we've even had time were new motherboards fail from the same thing a year or so later. They're junk and don't design their heatsinks and fans to the correct thermal design power of the CPU and videochipsets they're designed for. Thank god Google won't put up with their lousy designs and pulled it.

about 10 months ago

Protect Your Android Phone By Killing All Its Crapware

WoodburyMan CyanogenMod and Custom Firmware (201 comments)

For this reason and this reason alone is why I will never use a stock-carrier and manufactorer bloated ROM on a Android phone. My Galaxy S4 from AT&T had SO MUCH junk bundled. Even the default Dialer/Contacts app was replaced with this AT&T junk that forced and bugged you to make a account to backup your contacts to AT&T that would cause a 15-20 second lag whenever I opened the contacts app. Add to it the number of bundled AT&T apps and Google Apps that are bundled that I could not remove (Only Disable, and even then they would magically reenable themselves). Even rooting and removing them in some cases were impossible. So that's when I got into Custom Roms. I absolutely love CyanogenMod. I have had it on my phone since a little over a week after owning it with CyanogenMod 10.1 (Android 4.2) and currently running a custom build of CM10.2 (Android 4.3.1) nightly builds. Phone is SO MUCH faster without bloatware running in the background. And I can pick and choose every app I want. The only downfall is the stock Camera app doesn't work as well as the stock Samsung camera. For which I dual boot my phone with a stock-Samsung based ROM that has all carrier and Samsung crap removed and use it just for taking photos. And I will be running Android 4.4 (CM11) nightly builds as soon as they are released. The current holdup is a updated camera binary blob thats compatible with Android 4.4 as well as 4.4 Compatible releases from Qualcom to make it work. (Which either will will be working fine once the Google Edition Galaxy S4 Android 4.4 firmware image is released, bits can be taken from that to finish it).

about 10 months ago

After Kickstarter Record, Pebble Smartwatch Lands $15M From VCs

WoodburyMan Pebble Owner Checking In (120 comments)

I have now owned my Pebble for a month and have been using it with my iPhone 4S the entire time. I absolutely love it. The ability to keep my phone on silent while still seeing text messages, and who's calling without pulling my phone out is great. I backed it back in May 2012 when it was first featured here. One thing I love about the Pebble is it's usable! The E-Paper display and 7 day battery life got me. I once owned a Fossil Abacus (Look it up) back in 2006. It ran PalmOS 4. Battery like was dismal, a day at best, and it didn't even display the time unless you pressed the button. There was no connectivity, as smart phones were just coming into existence. After a month of use I called it quits because of the dismal battery life, always needing charging. Why I got the pebble is because I already have to charge my iPhone daily, or every other day. I don't want another device I use all the time always needing a charge. I regularly get 6 days battery life on my Pebble, and that's when Low Battery comes on. If i let it go no doubt it would go a full 7 days. Why I think Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Google etc will fail in this market. I believe if any of them got into the SmartWatch market, they would use Full-Color LCD's. This means a dismal 2-3 days of battery. And the average Android and iOS user would want Video's, Songs,and all their favorite Android and iOS apps to work on it, like a tiny iPod Touch. This means battery draining graphics and higher end processors. The Pebble is great in this market because it accepts it's a Watch and a Companion device to a phone, where I dont think Apple and the other big players would try to market it as such.

about a year ago

What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

WoodburyMan Have your own server? Tiny Tiny RSS (287 comments)

So Google, you're shutting down Google Reader? Yeah, well... I'm gonna go build my own Web-Based RSS Reader with blackjack and hookers. In fact, forget the RSS Reader! I have been a avid Google Reader user for 3-4+ years. I check it every break at work and usually first thing in the morning on my Tablet and at night before I go to bed. Love it. After hearing this, EVERY other web based RSS / Reader site was slammed and down. Then I thought... what if any of those services just randomly *poof* overnight went offline, like Google Reader, but without notice? Having my own shared server, I looked into PHP / MySQL solutions. So far Tiny Tiny RSS Reader Wins out. Set up and running in 20 minutes. Being a shared server I couldn't run daemons so I had to use a cron job to have it update the feeds every 10 minutes but it works great so far for the last 12 hours.

about a year and a half ago

Driver Trapped In Speeding Car At 125 Mph

WoodburyMan Re:Power Steering (1176 comments)

Oh. Needless to say I will only own manuals from now on, so long as the vehicle is offered in manual...Which in the U.S. is becoming increasingly hard to find. My last vehicle was manual. However it was time to replace it and the only car in my price range with the features and such I wanted was automatic. Hate the thing. Hate knowing it's possible for the onboard Engine Control or Transmission Control module computers could freak out and I'd be stuck. There's been cases in some cars where the Transmission controls lock up even so you can't even shift to Neutral. In a manual its as easy at throwing it out of gear and BAM you're good.

about a year and a half ago

Driver Trapped In Speeding Car At 125 Mph

WoodburyMan Power Steering (1176 comments)

It seems everyone here has forgotten about power steering. I see numerous references to "Steering Lock", however that's a totally different system. In most cars, when the car is off, the steering column itself will lock to prevent any turning of the wheel at all. This is a theft deterrent feature. Sometimes when the car is off you might be able to turn it left/right once or twice before it locks. THEN you have Power Steering, which is either hydraulic or electric. Either way, the car needs to be on for it to function. Hydraulic required a pump to be active, and electric is pure electrical motor assist. Hydraulic systems will still operate for a few turns once the car is turned off until pressure is lost due to lack of the pump running, electric power steering will cut out as soon as power is lost. The reason why you wouldn't want to just *TURN OFF* the car at 125mph would be you would lose power steering and lose total control of the vehicle. Let alone you would also most likely lose power brakes, and make it *MUCH* harder to stop. Essentially turning your car into a speeding bullet in which you have little to no ability to turn or brake. This is why it's Neutral only or bust, so you won't end up flipping your car. This same thing happened to me about 8-9 years ago .I was actually bringing my elderly grandmother back from visiting a relative, coming down a hill with a 7% grade that's a slow left hand turn for over half mile to 3/4 mile. It was my parents car, automatic. To save on the brakes I normally would downshift from "Drive" to "3" (It was a 4 speed auto and had gear selection of 3, 2, 1, or D). This is normal practice for cars. However in the shift, the onboard computer had a brain fart and the car shut off. I had no power brakes, no power steering, going down a 7% grade left hand turn. The only way to restart the car would be to pop it into Neutral and restart. The shifter was on the column, and at the time I had to use both hands with excessive force to keep the wheel turned to prevent smashing into the side of the road, not a option. I kept as calm as possible and managed to get to the bottom of the hill and managed to slam the brakes hard enough (pressing down as hard as i could for 30-40 seconds) to slow down enough to pull over and stop the car. Come to find out the car had shut off on my parents like that once before, and once after this incident. A little after the 3rd time we got notice of a recall to reflash the onboard computer because of the very specifc problem where certain conditions it would cause the car to shut off. After the reflash, it did it one more time, and a few months later there was another recall stating the first recall didn't completely solve the problem. Fortunately we had already ditched the car. (2001 Mazda Tribute, same as Ford Escape if anyone is wondering). So the man flying into the ditch my bet is the car running out of gas. As it sputtered, full power remained so he had access to power steering and brakes, and was able to slow down *SOME* from 125mph. When the cars engine finally shut off somewhere between 0mph-125mph he lost power brakes and steering, and was unable to control the car and ended up going off the road into a ditch, fortunately at a slow enough speed where he didn't sustain as much damage as he would have had it been 125mph.

about a year and a half ago

New NASA Spacesuit Looks Like Buzz Lightyear's

WoodburyMan GI Joe (81 comments)

PPpppst! Are you Buzz Lightyear? I LOVE your movies! Mmmpphmpphmpphmpmhmhmh!!!

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Can I Protect My Android Devices From Hackers?

WoodburyMan Para-droid? (295 comments)

Okay so you are paranoid about someone attacking your device via Bluetooth, yet you're connection is a unsecured unencrypted WiFi network. Also if you believe someone is coming in via Bluetooth, then it's limited range, and someone in your home is doing it. Time to file criminal charges or move. This might be legit. However this strongly reminds me of a client we had to deal with that we had to finally tell to stop calling us, as he believed "hackers" were out to get him, and installed a virus in his phone line. As in the wire. Despite hours and hours of patiently explaining how it was impossible, and local phone company replacing and checking for wire taps according to him. He believed it because a person would always join the AOL Chat room he was in and tell him his phone conversations he just had. This was in dial up days. Within the last year, the same guy stopped in. (Only I recognized him as others who were working for our business at the time have all left). He claimed hackers kept installing viruses on his smart phone and he wiped it and they kept coming back.

about 2 years ago


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