The Killer Tomato, Potato and Botnet

December 15, 2009

Here are the last few seconds of this fly’s life before the lighting quick jaws of the venus flytrap leaf snaps shut and the plant begins to digest this fly, pulling the life giving nutrients from the fly to the plant. The venus fly trap (Dionaea muscipula) is labeled a carnivorous plant but not all carnivorous plants capture prey the same way. The standard definition would be “any of several unrelated plants modified to capture and digest animals, especially insects, which supply nitrogen that may otherwise be unavailable in their habitat.”

According to the standard definition; if a plant, because of it’s design, characteristics or attributes, captures and or kills an animal for the purpose of extracting nutrients to be used by the plant, it is carnivorous.

Carnivorous plants don’t digest all their victim only the nutrients it needs. Then when it opens only the structure and shell of the victim is left.

Other carnivorous plants  use nectar mixed with a sap and digestive chemicals to lure and capture the animal like the sundew (Drosera) .

While others are more passive like the  pitcher plant (Nepenthaceae and Sarraceniaceae) who lure insects into an opening that forces them to drown in a pool of water in the center of the plant. Thus extracting the nourishment over time as the animal dissolves in the water.

The problem is there are a whole group of plants that still fit the definition of carnivorous plant but because they do it differently they have never been recognized as been carnivorious.

Ladies and gentleman I introduce the covert carnivorous plants, our well-known tomato and potato plants! All this time we never recognized their carnivorous behavior. For those who grow tomatoes they have always recognised the dead insects on the plant or on the ground around the plant but have generally ignored it.  We never thought about it. I guess we all thought the insects just came to the plant to die. 🙂 The truth, recently accepted without controversy, is the tomato and potato plant lure the insects then the insects are trapped by the sticky hairs on the tomato or potato plant THEN (and here is where we missed it) as the sappy lure dries it finally releases the dead victim to dissolve on the soil to feed the roots of the plant just below the surface.

What does this have to do with Computers?

If you look at a computer program as a kind of life form then you see it needs the nutrients that are available from other computers to grow. So if there is a kind of program that can grow outside its own computer it must lure other computers, capture them then extract or assimilate those computers processor and memory to grow and capture other computers.

Is there such a carnivorous program? If so how big is it?

There are carnivorous programs and they are called  botnets!

How many botnets are there? There are hundreds but there are 16 which are the real monsters and have eaten the lions share of the world’s computers.

Are they dangerous to people? Well that depends on how much of your life is dependent on computers. For illustration purposes let’s use automobiles instead of computers. What if someone could take control away from the driver of a car and completely control it remotely? Could they do any damage? What if they could take control of 100 cars at any moment could they do any damage? Look at the size of  top 5 of these carnivorous programs!

  1. Conficker           35 ,000,000 +   computers controlled
  2. Kraken                     495,000       computers controlled
  3. Srizbi                        450,000      computers controlled
  4. Bobax                       185,000      computers controlled
  5. Rustock                    150,000      computers controlled

HOW DID CONFICKER GROW SO BIG!

After it has infected a target computer (by downloading a Trojan), it tries to prevent it’s removal by disabling anti-virus software and blocking access to security-related web sites, as well as stealing personal information by masquerading as an anti-virus product called Spyware Protect 2009. How ?   The worm informs the user that his computer is infected and takes the user to a fake security Web site, asks them to pay $50 for a spyware program that actually is the Conficker worm, then keeps their credit card information, to boot.

How can you tell if your computer is infected with the conficker worm?

There is a test to see if your computer is infected click here 

Where is the infection mostly located?

 

What should everyone do? Keep their antivirus and antispyware up to date and scan regularly.

Hey I’d rather eat a potato or tomato than be eaten by one! 🙂

 

 by R. Frank Tulak

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Mouse Tricks

December 9, 2009

Ah! What  you  can  do  with  a  mouse!

What I am referring to is the computer mouse and the windows environment. I get so many requests to change the graphics enviroment to 640 X 480 so they can read their email or a webpage or see the what is written in a spreadsheet.

Many people even bought magnifying glasses (sold as computer glasses or reading glasses) to be able to read the screen of their computer. Some people have bought a magnifying screen to put in front of the computers screen to magnify the image.

You don’t have to change your graphics mode, buy special glasses or buy a magnifying screen to put in front of your monitor! That  is if you have a mouse with a wheel.

Here try this while you are reading this web page; hold down the Ctrl key on the left of your keyboard  and while you are holding it down rotate the wheel on the mouse. One of two things just happened either the web page got bigger (magnified) or it shrunk (got smaller 🙂 ) To do the opposite of what you just did keep the Ctrl key pressed and rotate the wheel the other way! 🙂

Try it on your email client (Outlook)  or your spreadsheets !

Text still not big enough? Well go to Start then Programs  then Accessories  then Accessibility then click on Magnifier. Notice the top part of your windows has been moved and where ever your mouse is shows up in this window magnified.

Is there a quicker way to access accessibility? Yes press the key with the picture of the widows logo next to the Ctrl key and while pressing it press the “u” key. Click on magnify or type it in and click start.

Now you can SEE how much fun you can have with your mouse in windows 🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak

Want more tricks? Go to EEEK! a Dead Mouse!

A Little Star Trek Magic


32 or 64? is Bigger Better?

December 1, 2009

It keeps on happening.  People buy a i7 Quad Core Processor Systemwith a terabyte drive  and max out the memory to the limit of 16 gigbyte for the motherboard. Then they have Windows Vista (32 bit)  or Windows 7  (32 bit) installed on the computer and have total shock that Windows only used 4 gig of the 16 gig of the memory installed! What is going on? What is wrong with the other 12 gig of memory?

Not a darn thing! There is nothing wrong with any of the hardware.

To make things simple let’s think about children. When you ask a three-year old child how old they are, what do they show you?

How about when they are 4 years old?

Ever ask how many months that is?

What do they do? They show you the same fingers. The number 12 does not exist! They only have 10 fingers!

How many fingers does a computer have? 4 or 8 or 16 or 32 or 64 or 128!

Let use the child’s 3 fingers like a computer would. Number 1 would be one finger. For the number 2 the one finger would be down and the finger next to it would be up.  The number 3 would be the finger that went down to come back up. So then the one finger would represent 2 and the other finger 1 equaling 3. The number 4 would be the two fingers would go down and the third would be up, representing two twos equaling 4.  This way one finger represents 1 the other finger represents 2 (two ones) and the third equals 4 (two twos).  Okay, now that we know how a computer counts using that method what is the highest you could count to using just one hand with five fingers? 31!  How does it work?  One finger represents 1 the second finger 2 the third finger 4 the fourth finger 8 the fifth finger 16!  Now the computer doesn’t have hands with fingers it has registries with bits.  But we will keep the same analogy just for fun 🙂

Pentium computers were designed for 32 bit operation (32 fingers on it’s hand) and installed with 4 gig of memory; therefore to use all the fingers what operating system should be chosen 16 bit or 32?  What is the highest that a 16 bit operating system can count to? 65,535!  How about a 32 bit? 4,294,967,295 (4 gig) So this is a no brainer right?

Okay, now lets examine our original problem. A Quad Core i7 processor with 16 gig of memory and one terra byte hard drive is a full-blown 64 bit computer!  Now what operating system should go on this system?  Should it be a 32 bit operating system or 64?  What happens if you use a 32 bit XP or Vista or Windows 7?  IT WILL NEVER SEE BEYOND 4 GIG OF MEMORY!  Why?  It can’t count higher!   It can only count to 4,294,967,295 (4 gig).

What happens if you use Vista or a Windows 7, 64 bit operating system on the 64 bit computer? It will see all the memory and use all it’s fingers for counting. 🙂

How high can it count to? 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 (18 Terabytes !)

So you see everyone should get their hands on a 64 bit computer with a 64 bit operating system, that’s a system you can count on ! 🙂

 

by R. Frank Tulak


Most Lethal # 1

November 24, 2009

What are the 10 most lethal animals to humans and what are the 10 most lethal actions humans do to computers?

Either through ignorance or carelessness millions of humans die by these 10 animals and as well millions of computers are destroyed through ignorance or carelessness by these 10 actions by humans.

1st              

position of the cause of most humans death is:

Anopheles ;The mosquito (Sp. mosca- fly  ..ito – small; small fly )  of the genus anopheles there are approximately 460 recognised species: while over 100 can transmit human diseases. How do they transmit the disease? Generally the genus eats nectar, piercing the base of the flower and withdrawing the nectar with its hollow tongue (proboscis) but when the female is readying to produce eggs, nectar is insufficient to provide the iron and protein but mammalian and avian blood does! The antenna are the olfactory senses (smell) which  are tuned primarily to detect carbon dioxide (which is what mammalian and avian species exhale in large quantities) and secondly octenol, which is the scent given off when living tissue sweats. Why doesn’t our blood clot when they are feeding on us, or our white blood cells attack the mosquito? The saliva of the mosquito kills the clotting function and disables the white blood cells, keeping them from attacking.  The mosquito isn’t selfish, it shares some of the material from its previous meals, which may be animals or other humans that are infected with disease. The most common of these are malaria causing 2 million deaths annually; the filariasis worm  that causes disfigurement known  as elephantiasis characterized by a great swelling of several parts of the body; worldwide, around 40 million people are living with a filariasis disability; there are also the viral diseases , yellow fever ,dengue fever , epidemic polyarthritis, Rift Valley fever, Ross River Fever, St. Louis encephalitis, West Nile virus (WNV), Japanese encephalitis, La Crosse encephalitis and  Eastern equine encephalitis  and Western equine encephalitis. 

Mosquitos are estimated to transfer diseases to more than 70 million people per year.

Precautions:  When any of these diseases are present the host body goes into fever and sweating, attracting the mosquito, at this point the victim must be protected from furthur bites so that the infection does not spread. Most mosquito species are crepuscular (dawn or dusk) feeders. During the heat of the day most mosquitoes rest in a cool place and wait for the evenings, although they may still bite if disturbed. So don’t do your exersizes, running or weight lifting (anything that makes you sweat) at sunset!  If you do do them, do them indoors and not outside. Unless you want to share your blood with a mosquito. 🙂

1st

position of the cause of most computer destruction is:

Impact!

This  problem started with the portable notebook computer. They are constantly dropped or thrown from off a bed after the user falls asleep. Or the notebook is pluged into a power recepticle and someone kicks the electrical plug sending the note book flying! But it is not the fall that damages the computer it’s the sudden stop when it hits the floor! 🙂  The notebook computer is not designed to bounce and when it impacts something or something impacts it; it’s ususally “game over”.

But the slow impact is the worst!

Imagine sitting down in a chair with a notebook computer on your lap. Suddenly you have a nature call; what do you do? Well you close the screen of the computer, stand up and put the computer where you were seated and make the nature call.

Have you ever noticed that the new computers look just like chair cushions?

They even have designer colors just like cushions do.

What do you think these people sat on?

Could this happen to you?

Precautions: Never connect your notebook to a electric outlet across the path where other people walk. Never place you notebook computer where it might be mistaken as a cushion, because it will! Always carry it in its case by the handle, this makes it difficult to drop, but not impossible!

Remember: IF you or some else sits on your computer, relax catch your breath, don’t sweat it , or you could attract a mosquito that wants to share. 🙂

Go to

Most Lethal #10 or Most Lethal #2 


Most Lethal #2

November 17, 2009

growling-male-lion

What are the 10 most lethal animals to humans and what are the 10 most lethal actions humans do to computers?

Either through ignorance or carelessness millions of humans die by these 10 animals and as well millions of computers are destroyed through ignorance or carelessness by these 10 actions by humans.

2nd              

position of the cause of most humans death is:

cobra1The COBRA !(Naja naja)

Are you ready for this?

Cobra’s are NOT Poisonous! No one has ever died eating a cobra unless they eat the venom gland! But whoa are they venomous! A single bite can deliver 150-350 mg of the worlds most powerful neurotoxin, enough to kill an elephant. The lethal amount for a human is 18-45 mg with death occurring within 10 minutes to 36 hours (depending on the amount of venom and where the victim was bitten) . The question is, how is it that people have survived a cobra bite? Because the cobra can control the amount of venom it releases! There are many cases of people being bitten  with no venom in the bite at all (dry-bite). Many testify that the cobra can sense the intent of the person and the cobra withholds from biting them or bites them with the appropriate venom accordingly. Cobras often feeds on eggs and chicks, rats, mice, toads, lizards, birds and other snakes. The are very reclusive in the presence of  humans and will try to escape but will fight if it feels threatened. The majority of fatalities were bites on bare hands or bare feet while gathering firewood after dark while the other fatalities got bit trying to kill the cobra. 

 
Precautions: Unless you are bigger than an elephant do not try killing a cobra! Barefooting it in any rural location in Asia or Africa is not a good idea, especially after dark. Sleeping on the ground or floor is never a good idea either, you may go to sleep alone but you may not wakeup that way. By the way, on  cold nights you can catch a cobra by taking off your shoe and he will crawl into it. So if this is a way to catch cobras what do you think you should do before you put your shoes on in the morning? 🙂

2nd

position of the cause of most computer destruction is:

COLD !

No the problem is not with desktop computers but with notebook/laptop computers. They have limits on temperature for operation. You see you just can’t take your notebook/laptop out of the car in the snow of winter time and bring it inside the house and start using it!

Going from cold to warm creates condensation and condensation (water) and electronics don’t mix without consequences. Always wait 30 minutes before using it when you bring it from a freezing environment. Can you tell it is too cold to use? Well yeah, if condensation is forming anywhere on it is too cold to turn on.  Also if it is too cold the hinge on the notebook/laptop will not work well and may break if forced before warm up.  The notebook/laptop keyboard will be literally curled on the edges and the touch pad will not work!  THE COMPUTER MUST BE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE AND THE CONDENSATION EVAPORATED BEFORE USAGE!  Otherwise  there will definitely be damage to your hard drive and generally your motherboard and memory too!   For some reason we have never had this problem in San Diego, CA. 🙂

Precautions: The limit by the majority of manufacturers is Ambient temperature of 35 F/1.7 C  below this and you try to turn it on it’s bye bye computer!  When in doubt wait 30 minutes before turning it on.

Remember: condensation (water) and electronics don’t mix and cobras make strange bed fellows.  🙂

Go to

Most Lethal #1 or Most Lethal #3


Most Lethal #3

November 12, 2009

growling-male-lion

What are the 10 most lethal animals to humans and what are the 10 most lethal actions humans do to computers?

Either through ignorance or carelessness millions of humans die by these 10 animals and as well millions of computers are destroyed through ignorance or carelessness by these 10 actions by humans.

3rd              

position of the cause of most humans death is:

boxjellyfishlargeThe  Box Jellyfish / Sea Wasp ( Chironex fleckeri )

This 4.5 pound (2 k.g.)gelatinous creature with 60 tentacles of which can each reach a length of 10 ft (3 m) constructed of 5000 stinging cells,  called nematocysts, whos’ fastest working toxin kills more people each year than any other marine animal; is the reason the Australian life guards wear nylon panty hose!  No I’m not being incongruent nor sarcastic!  Besides having 4 eyes and no brain to process the information which work exceedingly well as any other creatures with eyes who have  brains; these remarkable creatures’ stinging cells do not sting arbitrarily, but each nematocyst fires it’s toxin in the presence of chemicals that reside in living tissue. The nylon material in the panty hose disrupts the wearer’s body chemical signature. What does the sting feel like? Well the toxin chemically duplicates what a stun gun does electrically and produces the same pain! Now multiply that pain times 5000 if one tentacle wraps around your body! The result would be unconsciousness, which is not a good thing if your swimming, or cardiac arrest, which could ruin your whole day! What if a strand of the tentacle attaches to your body? Don’t try and rub or brush it off you will force more nematocyst to fire their toxin which will make matters worse! Don’t pour alcohol on it either! Drench the tentacle in VINEGAR! I know this does not make sense but it disables the sting cells (nematocysts) from detecting anything and therefore can not release their toxin.

Precautions: Don’t plan to go swimming in the ocean off the Australian beaches from October to April or if you do wear panty hose and have a good amount of vinegar with you! Oh, and take plenty of pictures 🙂

3rd

position of the cause of most computer destruction is:

laptop_bedHEAT !

This was never an issue until the advertisers started showing people in bed with their computers. NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS WERE DESIGNED TO WORK SITTING ON HARD FLAT SURFACES NOT ON BLANKETS!  The heat generated in a notebook computer can be twice that of a desktop and requires tremendous cooling. Air flow must not be blocked. Where does the air flow come from to keep the computer cool?   From the bottom!

Precautions: The computer should be operated on a table top.  Bed sheets and blankets block air flow causing over heating and damage to it’s hard drive.

REMEMBER:

If  your computer tries to entice you to go to bed with it or a muscular bronzed life guard in panty hose invites you for a swim; JUST SAY NO!  🙂

Go to

Most lethal #2 or Most lethal #4


Vampire Moth, Vegetarian Spider and Intel’s i7 and i5 processors

November 7, 2009

vampire-moth
bagheera-spider I know this sounds like something out of a Monty Python movie i.e. ” The Killer man-eating bunnies” but its true! These remarkable creatures change everything about what we thought we knew about their species!
Imagine you are in Siberia, Russia and it’s spring time. The flowers are in bloom, birds are singing and moths and butterflies are fluttering all around you.  Happiness is everywhere ! Then without any fear a few dainty moths alight upon your hands.
Then suddenly you feel a needle like sting as these dainty moths stab you with their sharp barbed and hollow tongues to dine on your blood!

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Now let’s go to a tropical habitat in Southeastern Mexico and Northwestern Costa Rica where the acacia plants live and the amazing Bagheera Kiplingi jumping spider lives. The acacia plant has a special arrangement with an aggressive ant species that lives within it and protects it. These ants patrol over the whole plant protecting it from other insects and animals. What is specifically guarded is the nutrient rich buds of the acacia. Now comes into the picture the amazing Bagherra Kiplingi jumping spider. Who will jump from thorn to thorn of the acacia just barely escaping the jaws of the patrolling ants untill it finally arrives at an acacia bud to which it buries it’s fangs into it and using it’s full physical strength it extracts the bud and makes it’s get away with it’s vegetarian meal in it’s fangs!

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Click either icon to watch the videosci7_78

 ci5_78x59

Just like the vampire moth and the vegetarian spider have changed everything about what we thought we knew about their species. So too, the i5 and i7 Intel Processors have changed everything we thought we knew about computers!

Image you are at your computer you have now. Play a DVD video. Now minimize it. Now go to your Internet browser and access a movie on the internet and play it at the same time. What is happening? Your processor has two things to do. So it hops from one to the other dividing its power between the two. Will there be glitches? a little. Now go to your Antivirus program and do a FULL virus scan. Now what is going on? Your processor has three things to do. It must keep hopping from one to the other to keep them going. This brings to my mind a juggler trying to juggle three different things, trying frantically to keep them in the air! You will probably hear your computer’s fans kick in about this time as the processor gets hotter trying to keep the all processes going. Will there be any glitches? The movie will probably freeze for a few seconds then continue as the processor catches up hopping from one to another. Ready for the big one? Now while all this is going on; let’s check your email! You know what will happen don’t you? The processor is going to lose it!  Do the words “freeze up” or “lock up” sound familiar?  You know, where the keyboard or mouse will not respond and the same image is on the screen and nothing changes?   What happens when you have an i5 processor in your computer and duplicate the same actions?  NOTHING!  Everything works and continues to work as if each program was the only program running in the computer!  What is going on?  The processor is not just one with 4 heads, the new design has each core processor act as a separate processor for each application running. It is truly like having 4 computers in 1 ! What is the difference between the i5 Processor and the i7?  Well the design of all the previous computers is  like a juggler with one arm. So with the i5 processors you have 4 jugglers with one arm; but with the i7 Processor you have 4 processors with 2 arms; allowing the computer to be 8 computers in 1! 

 AMAZING!