Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket Live Wire: Why the Internet died

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

Phuket Live Wire: Why the Internet died | The Thaiger

PHUKET: It is my sad duty to report to you how and why the Internet died last Monday (July 9). The DNSChanger virus took down the internet, and I for one will lament its passing.

All of the major news sources warned you about it. Huffington Post said, “The end is nigh, according to the FBI. Internet Doomsday will strike us all on July 9.”

Fox News has been flashing scare stories, er, posting warning messages for months. Reuters. AP. MSNBC. ABC. McAfee. Starting in April, all of those reliable news outlets screamed about the “Internet Doomsday” on July 9.

I received a half-dozen emails from people on Phuket in the week leading up to July 9, with some people frantically asking how they could keep their systems going if the Internet broke.

Oh. Wait a second. The Internet didn’t break on July 9. Imagine that! Last Monday wasn’t Internet doomsday. In fact, it was kind of like any other Monday on the Internet.

Folks, if you really want to believe the scaremongering and click-baiting, you have every right to do so. It sells newspapers and draws advertisers. But at least get the story straight, and don’t panic other people with your disinformation, OK?

I wrote an article in the May 3, 2012 Windows Secrets Newsletter about DNSChanger (W: bit.ly/JrEMiA). My conclusion two months ago hasn’t changed a bit: the hype’s a crock. Always has been.

Estimates vary, but between 10,000 and 20,000 people had their access to the Internet temporarily disrupted on Monday because they had ignored all sorts of warnings (including direct warnings broadcast to infected machines by Google and Facebook), and just continued to use their infected machines without cleaning them up.

Cleaning the mess takes all of about a minute. If you’ve been updating your PC and/or using Microsoft Security Essentials – even if you have a pirate copy of Windows – Microsoft cleaned up your computer months ago.

I like to rail about mainstream news sources that “report” on technical topics, and botch them beyond recognition. This is just the latest in a long, long stream of offal disguised as journalism coming from writers who don’t have a clue. They’re egged on by the antivirus manufacturers who want to sell you more “safety” software, when all you need is the free, simple Microsoft Security Essentials.

If you can’t stand the idea of getting protection from the company that made the product being protected, you can always use AVG Free or ESET NOD32, but you have to be careful to avoid the paid versions.

There’s a reason why AV companies make so much money: they feed on fear and ignorance, two traits in wild abundance in the computer milieu.

Symantec Corp (the Norton people) now has a market capitalization of US$10 billion. Intel bought McAfee two years ago for US$8 billion. AVG is worth US$800 million. Moscow-based Kaspersky is worth more than US$1.5 billion, based on a valuation in January 2011.

My suggestion: don’t get your computer news from mainstream publications. If you see a tantalizing computer headline (e.g., “computer virus zaps San Diego fireworks show” which appeared yesterday) assume that the people who wrote it don’t know what they’re talking about.

And if the headline makes you reach for your pocketbook, take at least a minute or two to check with reputable sources before you part with your hard-earned baht.

By the way, to those of you who wrote telling me that DNSChanger is an FBI conspiracy designed to have normal citizens open up their computers so the FBI can snoop on them – oy!

The fact is that the FBI, in conjunction with police agencies worldwide, but especially in
Estonia, ran an admirable, complex take-down operation that left them in the unfortunate position of having to keep certain servers running, so infected PCs wouldn’t get knocked off the web abruptly.

I love a good conspiracy theory as much as the next guy, but some of the comments from the tin foil hat crowd on this one run way over the top. The FBI’s performance on this was simply outstanding.

If you want to talk about FBI meddling, let’s switch the subject to Kim Dotcom and the FBI’s unconscionable actions in New Zealand.

PCs4Kids update

Ross James, the director of the PCs4Kids project here in Phuket, has some very good news. “We’ve just learned that Microsoft has agreed to donate 50 licenses for Windows and 50 licenses for Office, to help local needy kids.”

With licenses for the latest versions of Windows and Office in hand, the PCs4Kids project is now ready to sign up local school kids and mentors who are willing and able to help.

The project has 26 PCs ready to go.

“We need organizations – schools, local charities, orphanages, civic groups – to come up with kids who are interested in learning about computers, and mentors who know Windows and Office. Any interested organization should email me directly, rosspjames@hotmail.com.”

The project already has two recipients who were nominated by local groups. Aniwa “Oh” Plomtong from Rachaprachnukroh School in Kamala and “Arwoo,” an engineering undergraduate student sponsored by the Rotary Club of Patong Beach, have received fully refurbished computers running licensed copies of Windows and Office.

“Our next goal is to find an internet service provider who will give these kids internet access,” says Ross.

“We’re going to help these underprivileged kids develop skills that will support a future professional career in a variety of fields, including IT.”

The PCs4Kids project, initially sponsored by the Rotary Club of Patong Beach, received an additional 30,000 baht in funding from Rotary District 3330, which covers southern Thailand. It’s been endorsed also by the Rotary Foundation for all of Thailand.

If you have a PC, monitor, keyboard, laptop, power supply, or other PC equipment – including memory – you can help by donating whatever you have, working or not. Simply bring it by one of the Sandwich Shoppes, in Chalong or Patong.

Woody’s Sandwich Shoppes hold computer sessions under the tutelage of Seth Bareiss every other Wednesday afternoon, from 1 to 3pm. If you have a Windows problem that needs to be solved, drop by one of Seth’s free afternoon sessions. Details in the Phuket Gazette Events Calendar.

Live Wire is Woody Leonhard’s weekly snapshot of all things internet in Phuket.

Follow him on Twitter: @PhuketLiveWire, and “like” the pages at facebook.com/SandwichShoppe and facebook.com/phuketgazette.net

— Woody Leonhard

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Phuket

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

Police investigate reports of women’s underwear stolen from Phuket homes | The Thaiger
Screenshot

Police in Phuket are looking for a suspect who residents say has been stealing women’s underwear. Surveillance camera footage from a resident’s home shows a teenager driving through a neighbourhood, then stopping and stealing ladies panties that were hanging up to dry.

One resident told Phuket News that numerous residents in Thalang’s Baan Lipon area have reported missing underwear.

“Recently neighbors have been reporting that many items of their underwear have been stolen. Many residents are worried about the man hovering around here trying to steal underwear.”

A man told the Phuket News that his wife’s underwear was stolen and he’s now worried about his family’s safety. Another resident says he’s also concerned.

“As a resident in this area, I am worried about the safety of the local residents. Underwear has been stolen, something else could happen as well.”

In a similar case back in October, a 46 year old man was arrested for allegedly breaking into homes in Ratchaburi and stealing women’s underwear. Police says they seized 70 pairs of panties.

SOURCE: Phuket News

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading

Tourism

Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October

Avatar

Published

on

Phuket pushes to open doors to vaccinated international tourists by October | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to open its doors to vaccinated, international tourists by October, pending the government’s approval. The local government’s initiative, named Phuket First October, proposes vaccinating a majority of its population over 18 years of age in time for the high season. The move would allow thousands of vaccinated Europeans to enter Thailand, while locals would be protected from the virus symptoms.

Protecting the locals would include achieving herd immunity in time for reopening the province, which would need 70% of the population to be vaccinated. The local government’s goal would not wait for the government to roll out vaccines, and instead, use its own resources to vaccinate the public. Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, president of the Phuket Tourist Association told the Thai Enquirer over the phone, that they won’t stop pushing for ways to help the tourist destination survive.

“I think there must be a solution that balances controlling the outbreak and stimulating the economy.”

The island is also looking to waive the 14 day quarantine, with PM Prayut recently changing his stance by announcing that a quarantine waiver is being considered for those vaccinated tourists.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Initial research shows that around 250,000 citizens per month must be vaccinated to achieve herd immunity.

Initially, the province’s request was denied by the federal government, but business leaders are not giving up hope. Recently, they submitted a petition to PM Prayut to appeal the denial citing lack of income, mounting debts and increasing financial disputes due to over eight months without international or domestic flights.

The second wave has also plummeted tourism even lower than before, as the industry has seen a 93% drop in visitors since the same time last year.

Phuket has already kicked off its vaccine rollout as of yesterday, after receiving a delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac jab. Priority is being given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials that have been exposed to Covid-19 patients.

SOURCE: Thai Enquirer

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.

Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.

Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger
Phuket3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism1 week ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO | The Thaiger
Tourism1 week ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 month ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 305 infections, No happy ending for massages, Phuket quarantine mooted | Jan 7

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | 10,000 schools closed, 900 new migrant infections, Gambling crackdown | January 6

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending