The Actrix Online Informer is published each month to help keep
Actrix customers up-to-date with what's happening on the Internet, and to
help ensure they have every opportunity to benefit from it.
Welcome to the November Actrix Online Informer
Welcome to the November Actrix Online Informer. And so another month, and almost another year, has slipped away like sand through the hour glass. Such are the days of the Actrix Online Informer.
I notice we've been having another run of rogue emails designed to dupe customers out of their user names and passwords. The one that arrived most recently purported to come from "ACTRIX WEB MAIL" (but in the body it said it was from "microsoft messaging center", whatever that is). Its instructions were pretty unclear, but I presume it was hoping customers would reply with their user name and password etc, and it threatened to delete their email accounts if they didn't reply within seven days.
By now, most customers should be aware that this sort of thing is a phishing scam. For a start we would never delete your email account on just seven days' notice. But most of all, Neither Actrix nor any other reputable company would ever ask you to send your password by email. That's about as insecure a process as you can get.
No doubt there will be more of these in future. It's very common and it happens across all ISPs. If you receive an email similar to this one, make sure you simply ignore and delete it.
Conspiracy theories on the net
You gotta love a good conspiracy theory, and the Internet is full of them. While I usually have both feet firmly planted in the sceptics camp, the mystery and how conspiracy theories grow can be quite fascinating. I thought I'd round up a few websites dedicated to some of the more interesting conspiracy theories out there, and these really are only a small beginning!
According to this conspiracy theory, which is almost as old as I am, Paul McCartney of the Beatles died in a car crash in November 1966, and was secretly replaced by a carefully groomed look-alike.
The most common tale is that on Wednesday, 9 November 1966 at 5 am, McCartney, while working on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, stormed out of a recording session after an argument with the other members of the group and drove off in his Austin-Healey, which he subsequently crashed.
He was replaced with the winner of a Paul McCartney look-alike contest. The name of this look-alike has been recorded as William Shears Campbell or 'Billy Shears' (the name of the fictitious leader of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band). Incidentally, the look-alike contest was really held, Campbell really did win it, and he hasn't been heard from since.
So-called clues to Paul being dead are believed to be littered throughout Beatles album covers and within the songs themselves. Abbey Road, for example, has the Fab Four resembling a funeral procession with John in priestly white, Ringo in undertaker's garb, George dressed as a grave digger, and Paul barefoot like a corpse. A nearby license plate reads 28IF. Paul would have been 28 had he lived. Paul, who was clearly left-handed, is also holding a cigarette in his right hand – another sign that the person on the cover is an imposter.
The cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is said to contain many more clues, including a hand over Paul's head symbolising death, and even the suggestion that he is being propped up and held by two other Beatles as if he were a corpse. On the cover of the Let it Be album, three Beatles are framed in white. Paul is framed in blood-red.
Even more intriguing are the clues said to be in the songs themselves. Of course "One and one and one is three" refers to the fact that there are now only three Beatles. "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and walk out on me?" is Billy Shears letting us know he's not quite up to Paul's standard of singing yet. And of course, if you play Revolution Number 9 from The White Album backwards you can hear all sorts of things, including recordings from the crash that killed Paul.
All this only scratches the surface of the clues and conspiracy. Whether you believe Paul really did die and was replaced, or whether you think this sort of intrigue is just a great way to have your fans on while selling more records, it makes for a fascinating read, and may have you digging out your old Beatles records for another look at the covers.
And here's another clue for you all; the walrus was Paul...
Elvis is alive
Elvis Presley is alive and working as an undercover agent for the FBI. For years, the man known only as Elvis to the public, has caused world wide confusion concerning his supposed death on 16 August 1977 after entertaining and dazzling the world for over 20 years. Elvis Aron Presley, did not die on that fateful day. He was only removed from the public eye to continue in his fight against drug use.
He was able to keep his activities with the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and his involvement with the Federal Bureau of Investigations secret from his fans and family. The only one in his family who knew of Elvis's activities was his father Vernon. The day he supposedly died was the day the FBI felt it had enough evidence to arrest and convict the world wide Mafia ring Elvis had been working on bringing down.
When he was announced to be dead, the paramedics showed up two hours after they were supposedly called and "put on a terrific show trying to revive the King". The coroner's official report has never been released. Pictures of Elvis in his coffin have never been proven to be him. Handwriting experts have proven that the signature on his death certificate is in Elvis's own handwriting. Two hours after Elvis's death was announced publicly, a man who reportedly looked remarkably like Elvis purchased a ticket for Buenos Aeries, paid in cash, and used the name John Burrows: the same name Elvis had used as an alias several times before.
He still works as a special undercover agent, travelling around the globe a lot, which explains why there are many "Elvis sightings" around the world. In fact I swear I saw him in a burger bar in Waiouru.
Is AIDS a manmade disease?
There are two main theories about AIDS being a man made disease.
The Strecker AIDS theory is the work of Robert Strecker, an Los Angeles gastroenterologist who claims AIDS was requested, manufactured and deployed as a germ weapon. He says scientists cooked up AIDS around 1972 from something called "bovine visna virus." One item of evidence in support of Strecker's theory is a quote from a 1969 Congressional Record in which a physician mentions a government-sponsored research project that would create a "synthetic biological agent ... for which no natural immunity would have been acquired."
The main reason suggested for the development of the virus was so that it could wipe out minority groups such as black people and gays. People who believe this theory also tend to believe crack cocaine was also invented to kill blacks.
The Duesberg risk-group theory isn't quite as bizarre. Peter Duesberg, a respected virologist at UCal-Berkeley, says human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) doesn't cause AIDS, as is otherwise almost universally believed. Instead, AIDS is caused by a general weakening of the immune system due to drug abuse, disease, parasites, malnutrition (in Africa), etc. Duesberg isn't regarded as being in the same paranoid conspiracy theorist league as Strecker. A few scientists think he may be on to something; more than a hundred have joined the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.
The Secret Order of the Illuminati
The Illuminati have been the stuff of conspiracy theories for centuries. There are various versions and varieties of groups that go by the name, but basically they're a secret brotherhood made up of the world's richest families who seek eventually to enslave mankind for their own ends.
They are the real decision makers, who make up the rules for presidents and governments to follow, and they are often hidden from public scrutiny. They are connected by bloodlines going back thousands and thousands of years, and they are very careful at keeping those bloodlines as pure as possible from generation to generation, so one would assume they're inbred and doubly dangerous.
Their power lies in the occult, (magic rituals) and in economy. The Illuminati own all the international banks, the oil-businesses, the most powerful businesses of industry and trade, they infiltrate politics and education and they own most governments – or at the very least control them. They even own Hollywood and the music industry. Interestingly, their symbol appears on the American one dollar note!
Apparently, their current project is reducing the world population in order to more easily maintain their control, and ultimately the centralisation of power, which will include the whole world. This goal is called the "Work of the Ages". They see ordinary people as inferior to the extent that they don't care if we live or if we die. In a future global society, if they manage to accomplish this to its full extent, you and I will be no more than slaves, whom they can kill and treat as they want anytime they want.
The Antichrist is prophesied by the Bible and some other scriptures to come at the end of the world to oppose the forces of good and bring about the ultimate demise and destruction of humankind through deception.
At most points in history, people have believed they were living in the end times and that the Antichrist was already amongst them.
There have been a number of likely candidates as to who the Antichrist is. Whoever he (or she) turns out to be, they'll be a sheep in wolf's clothing, appearing to work for the good of mankind, and likely to turn up where we'd least expect them to be.
The most popular candidate seems to be the pope (www.who-is-the-antichrist.org/) but there are plenty more.
Princess Diana was murdered
Just after midnight on 31 August 1997 a limousine carrying Princess Diana and her lover Dodi Al Fayed collided with a pillar in the Alma Tunnel in central Paris. Only Al Fayed's bodyguard survived the accident.
Mystery has surrounded her death, but autopsy results soon revealed that Henri Paul, the driver, had a blood alcohol level at least three times the legal limit. At the end of a two-year police investigation blame was pretty much centred on Paul.
Not everyone was satisfied with the official version of events, however. Within hours of the announcement of her death, rumours of a plot to assassinate Princess Diana had begun to swirl with the main culprits being the royal family, assisted by the British intelligence service. They wanted her dead because she was poised to embarrass the crown by marrying Dodi Al Fayed, a Muslim, who would become stepfather to Princes William and Harry, the heirs to the British throne. It was even speculated that Diana was pregnant with Al Fayed's child.
It has been suggested that an MI6 agent was present at the scene, posing as a member of the press, and that a mysterious vehicle, a white Fiat Uno, was used by the conspirators to block the limousine's path, forcing it to collide with the pillar. It has been suggested that recordings from closed-circuit cameras in the Alma Tunnel which ought have documented the precise sequence of events were either tampered with or summarily disposed of. And so on.
The Bush Administration was behind the September 11 attacks
Even Charlie Sheen thinks the US the government was behind the attacks on
the World Trade Centre etc in 2001. He says the attacks served "as the
pretext for the systematic dismantling of the US Constitution and Bill of
Rights." He even asserts that Osama bin Laden was "working for and with the
CIA up until the day of 9/11."
Other questions include:
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With a range of SmartPhone and Line Services and a variety of Broadband options available why not make the move to a new Home Plan? You'll receive the following benefits:
How do I sign up?
Take a look at the range of plans available here and sign up online, or just give our helpdesk a call on 0800 ACTRIX (228-749). All you need is your phone line provider account name and number.
If you have any questions please feel free to email mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or give us a call on 0800 ACTRIX (228-749) between 8am and 11pm seven days.
If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).
Ken writes: I would like to download the free version of Adaware in order to keep a check on cookies, viruses etc. However, on three occasions now I have tried to download the program but it takes so long, (I'm on dial-up), that the line disconnects before it is completed. Is there any solution to this problem? Can it be downloaded to a disc from a computer on broadband and then loaded onto the dial-up computer?
Brett, from the Actrix Help Desk responds: Hi Ken, and thank you for your email. There are a few options you can try. The first is to use a download manager. What this does is keep the file when the connection gets cut. So if you were 50% into your download and the connection goes down, you can start the connection again from where you left off. Some that I recommend are Flashget (http://download.cnet.com/FlashGet/3000-2071_4-10566273.html) and Download Accelerator Plus free.
If you are using Firefox there is a great one called Downthemall. If you go to tools then add ons and type in Downthemall in the search box it should get it for you. Just click on install and after it is done restart Firefox.
The other options you have is downloading from a friend that has broadband and putting it on CD or on a USB key. You may even be able to do this at your local library.
The last option is to go to your local supermarket and buy one of the computer magazines they have there. They usually come with a CD or DVD of free software that usually includes Ad-aware. These magazines cost about $10 dollars.
Alison writes: Hi Rob, I really enjoy your Informer every month and have bookmarked a lot of truly time wasting websites as a result, so my boss sends no thanks. But I do, and a quick query that at the start of the October Informer, presumably the date of the first ever Informer should be 1999, not 2009.
Hi Alison. Thanks for your email and please send my apologies to your boss. Thanks for your warning, too, that we had the date wrong in the last Informer. You sent it through just as we were poised to send out the announcement to all customers!
Jack writes: Dear Rob, When watching Mr Key giving his talk on youtube, he speaks for a moment then the picture freezes and sound ceases for a few seconds and then resumes again and carries on like this all the time. Is this due to the speed or lack of it on Broadband? How can I remedy this? Jack
Hi Jack, Yes, the most likely causes of the freezes is that your connection isn’t fast enough, and there can be lots of reasons for that at any given time.. One thing you can do to make this work a bit better without broadband is to hit the pause button shortly after the video starts. Your browser should keep downloading the stream while the video is paused, and you should see the progress bar indicating that. Once you have downloaded all or most of the video, unclick pause and the video should play without stopping and starting.
Please note: Actrix supplies links to these sites for your interest and possible use. We cannot endorse or take any responsibility for their contents.
Got a site you think would be neat to share with other readers?
Click here to e-mail and let me know!
http://artwiculate.com/ – Artwiculate is "the twitter-based Word of the Day competition that helps clever people look clever and helps the rest of us learn new words. To play, just use today’s word in context in one of your tweets. That’s it. Your tweet will appear here where people can tell you if they like it. You’ll get points if they like it or retweet it. Points mean kudos. Oh, and if you follow @artwiculate, we’ll tweet you with today’s word and store your profile here so you can see your vocabulary improve over time."
The only video of Anne Frank now online
http://mashable.com/2009/10/02/anne-frank-video/ – The only existing film footage of Anne Frank has been uploaded to YouTube by the Anne Frank House. The Amsterdam museum is hoping to bring attention to Anne’s story and diaries and reach a new generation who may be unfamiliar with her story. At the 9 second mark in the clip, you can see Anne Frank leaning out of a second-story window as she watches a bride and groom exit a neighbouring address.
Phishing and spam IQ quiz|
www.sonicwall.com/phishing/ – "Chances are that in the past week you've received an e-mail in your inbox that pretends to be from your bank, e-commerce vendor, or other online site. Hopefully you've realized that many times this email is a phishing or spam email. The sender (phisher) of these fake e-mails wants you to click on the link in the e-mail and go to a phishing website. Once on the phishers website they hope to obtain your account, financial, credit and even identity information. Of course not every e-mail you receive is a phish. In fact you should expect your bank or e-commerce vendor to send you legitimate email. But how can you tell the difference? Well that's what the Phishing IQ test is all about – give it a try. "
Dead fly art|
http://thechive.com/2009/10/dead-fly-art-surprisingly-hilarious-15-photos – Too much time on your hands? Too many dead flies hanging around on your window ledges and you can't think of a good use for them? Got that urge to be artistic that just can't find an outlet? The this site will really give you inspiration. What more can I say?
Ever dream this man?|
http://thisman.org/ – Apparently this man has appeared in the dreams of thousands of people around the world. So just who is he? Is he some sort of messiah, or possibly the antichrist? Does he have a message of hope or doom for humankind or have too many people around the world just had crazy dreams from eating too much Kentucky Fried Chicken? This website is dedicated to finding out who this man is, and deals with several theories and possibilities.
30 dumb inventions|
www.life.com/image/3270485/in-gallery/25371/30-dumb-inventions – "The 20th century saw many astounding technological innovations. The automobile revolutionised the way people live and work, the internet changed the way people think about information, and the USA put a man on the moon. But some technological advances that came in the earlier part of the 20th centry weren't exactly meant for the history books. Because they were stupid."
The 20 most bizarre Craigslist adverts of all time
http://b-l-o-g-b-l-o-g.blogspot.com/2009/09/20-most-bizarre-craigslist-adverts-of.html – "Craigslist, the anarchic classifieds website, has developed a reputation for hosting some of the oddest adverts on the internet. [Here] we present a selection of some of the most bizarre adverts, requests and personals listed on the site - from the elderly woman looking for a lodger to live in her bathroom, to the man selling 1,300 Pope hats. While some were undoubtedly posted as pranks, they still reflect the spirit of a website that proudly keeps itself open to all internet life.
Short term memory checker|
http://neutralx0.net/home/mini04.html – So you think you've got a pretty good short term memory? This test presents you with an increasing number of objects which you have to memorise and then select agian from the big group of objects on the next screen. It's fun and great exercise for the mind. There was something else good abut it, too, which will probably come back to me.
How to do magic tricks|
www.classicmagic.net – Magic tricks are often a lot easier to do than you might think. Classic Magic is a great site for learning how to impress your frinds or kids with paper clips, decks of cards, ping pong balls and a little sleight of hand. This site has written instructions, but kids wanting something a little more visual and easier to follow might enjoy Activity TV's Magic Tricks for Kids page which includes lots of simple demonstration videos.
The Orphanage of
www.lileks.com/institute/orphanage/ – "[These pages] are filled with cast-off mascots - humanoid creatures who once served as advertising emmisaries in newspapers and magazines. Most of these products are dead, leaving their mascots orphaned; in many cases, the mascots were cast off to satiate the public's taste for something new. None of them were particularly sucessful, or even well-loved. It's hard to love the frightening face of Pepeco Pete, or want to be embraced by the razor-blade arms of Pal, the Shaving Boy. But they tried hard, day in, day out."
What's been happening in the online world?
Aisling's family close web page after 'silly' messages: Aisling Symes' family have had to shut down the wall on their Facebook page after "silly" messages were found. Click here for more.
Email rules in the quest for work: Michele Olney was horrified when she heard someone advocating good old-fashioned doorknocking as the way to get a job. Click here for more.
Knowing where you're @ - and making it truly personal: Domain name commissioner Debbie Monahan heads the Domain Name Commission (www.dnc.org.nz) which is responsible for managing the ".nz" portion of cyberspace's real estate. She has some simple advice for small New Zealand businesses wanting to better express themselves online. Click here for more.
Crown Law to review internet publishing laws: The Crown Law Office is conducting a review of internet publication, after recent cases raised questions over contempt of court and suppression order breaches. Click here for more.
Ghost-Twitterers abound: Often time-poor and rarely social media-savvy, New Zealand CEOs are following in the footsteps of celebrities and politicians and hiring experts to "ghost-Tweet" for them. Click here for more.
Spammers make $5600 a day: Tech-savvy Europeans are earning thousands of dollars a day for spam campaigns selling illegal penis pills, fake anti-virus software and counterfeit luxury products. Click here for more.
Stop wasting time online: Whether others are to blame by bombarding you with emails and instant messages, or you just get engrossed in your favourite forum, the result is the same, wasted hours. Click here for more.
Google stamps its authority with search improvements : Google is giving web surfers a few more ways to refine their search results, signalling its resolve to ward off rival Microsoft's aggressive campaign to lure traffic. Click here for more.
'Kill Obama' Facebook poll set up by child: An agency spokesman says the US Secret Service has determined that a child was behind the online survey that asked whether people thought President Barack Obama should be assassinated. Click here for more.
Wikipedia locks Polanski page after editing war: A Wikipedia page devoted to Roman Polanski was locked yesterday due to fighting over whether the entry should emphasise his accomplishments as a film-maker or his underage sex case. Click here for more.
Court order served over Twitter: The High Court in England has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter. Click here for more.
Online advertising 'overtakes TV': Online advertising spending in the UK has overtaken television expenditure for the first time, a report has said. Click here for more.
Software spots internet suicide clues: Teen bloggers at risk of suicide, self-harm or hurting other people could now be picked up earlier with software developed by Victoria University researchers. Click here for more.
Which web browser is right for you?: You use it all the time to navigate the web, but is your browser right for you? Here are some free options. Click here for more.
UK court order served over Twitter: Britain's High Court has ordered its first injunction via Twitter, saying the social website and micro-blogging service was the best way to reach an anonymous Tweeter who had been impersonating someone. Click here for more.
Cold turkey for a Facebook addict: It's become a daily ritual for millions, but what happens when you deactivate your Facebook account and go cold turkey? Caroline Hocking – a self-confessed obsessive – finds out. Click here for more.
Fast Internet access becomes a legal right in Finland: Starting in July, telecommunication companies in the northern European nation will be required to provide all 5.2 million citizens with Internet connection that runs at speeds of at least 1 megabit per second. Click here for more.
Why Small Business Digs Social Networks: Click here for more.
: Small businesses don't always have time to futz with the latest technology, but a new survey indicates a good many of them in the U.S. have jumped aggressively on the social network bandwagon. Click here for more.
Five years until super web - Google: A web where Chinese is the dominant language, and connections are so fast that distinctions between audio, video and text are blurred is perhaps just five years away, the head of Google said yesterday. Click here for more.
Cashing in on music piracy : If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. It may sound like an unlikely solution to the debate over illegal file sharing but Tom Majerczak insists it's the way forward for his fledgling independent rock label Hobbledehoy Click here for more.
Atheist websites hit by cyber attack: Australian atheists are under attack, with the websites of both the Atheist Foundation of Australia and the Global Atheist Convention knocked offline in a major cyber attack. Click here for more.
Money hungry – the changing face of malware: Worried about Conficker? That's just the tip of the iceberg. Click here for more.
Spot a cold-call scam: The reason I mention cold-calling is that I recently heard about bad guys brazenly telephoning people in Christchurch, trying to convince them to visit a booby-trapped website. Click here for more.
Facebook warning: beware shady cash-strapped 'friends': Facebook wants its members to be on guard for an old scam taking on new life in the world's largest online social-networking community. Click here for more.
Banking Trojans double as scareware runs wild: The prevalence of scareware packages has reached epidemic proportions, with 485,000 different samples detected in the first half of 2009 alone. Click here for more.
Millions Infected by Fake Security Software: Tens of millions of U.S. computers are loaded with scam security software that their owners may have paid for but which only makes the machines more vulnerable, according to a new Symantec report on cybercrime. Click here for more.
Microsoft patches 34 security holes: Microsoft has issued a record number of security patches for its software as part of its regular monthly update. Click here for more.
: Click here for more.
Girl stopped from selling granny online: Internet auction site eBay stopped a 10-year-old girl's attempt to auction off her 'moaning' granny online. Click here for more.
Fugitive busted after Facebook folly: Maxi Sopo was living the dream of a fugitive abroad, kicking back on the beaches of Cancun by day, partying in the clubs by night. Then he did two things that are never a good idea when you're on the run from authorities: He started posting Facebook updates about how much fun he was having – and added a former Justice Department official to his list of friends. Click here for more.
Berners-Lee 'sorry' for slashes: The forward slashes at the beginning of internet addresses have long annoyed net users and now the man behind them has apologised for using them. Click here for more.
Most Common Hotmail Password Revealed!: A researcher who examined 10,000 Hotmail, MSN and Live.com passwords that were recently exposed online has published an analysis of the list and found that “123456″ was the most commonly used password, appearing 64 times. Click here for more.
Boy fakes online suicide using tomato sauce: A 17-year-old boy in the US has been charged with a misdemeanour after police said he put tomato sauce on his arms and faked his suicide on a live video website. Click here for more.
Each month we dredge through our archives to pull out stories from the Actrix Newsletter of exactly five years ago. Sometimes these stories will show just how much the net has changed in such a short time, and sometimes they'll be included just because they're interesting.
People still thick despite internet: The lamentable truth about the mind-expanding claims for the internet has finally been revealed – people do not use the bottomless well of knowledge to advance themselves, preferring instead to indulge in casual surfing related to hobbies and music. Click here for more.
The Internet's next big step: The Internet is about to take its next big leap. Imagine being instantly connected anytime you opened the lid of your laptop, anywhere. Click here for more.
Gates: PC will replace TV, TV will become a giant Google: What he sees at that moment, we imagine, is a Tellytubby landscape that looks a lot like the Windows XP default wallpaper - perhaps with Chairman Bill himself as the sun. But bouncing across this happy vista are the red, green and blue colored balls that have rolled out of the Google playpen. Click here for more.
Americans 'misjudge online risks': US computers users know more about Janet Jackson's breasts than about security software on their own PC. A survey found that 90% of those asked could remember when Ms Jackson suffered her "wardrobe malfunction". But only 60% recalled when they last updated anti-virus, firewall and operating system software on their PC. Click here for more.
Thanks again for reading the Actrix Online Informer. Feedback can be sent to me via the e-mail address listed below. Please limit this to comments/suggestions regarding the newsletter. Non-forum requests for support should go to the Actrix Help Desk (email@example.com) or to the Accounts Department (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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