are you ready for the rabid virus?

Conficker? aka W32.Downadup.x

Well the media hype has been going for the last few days. I was going through my Google Reader feeds as I usually do and I saw continual stuff about the Conficker.C virus.

The NY Times, Vancouver Sun, CNET, BBC, oh and my favourite one: CBS’s 60 Minutes which was recovered by CNET, have been commenting on this virus and as usual, media attention is probably blowing this out of proportion. We really won’t know until Wednesday, April 1st, 2009. Maybe it’ll be one giagantic April fools joke. This is all very unlikely as the botnet and hacking networks are capable of making lots of revenue.

Are you protected?

For most virus scanners, as long as they are updated, they should be able to offer more safety from those who have no anti-virus tools.
The big key is to make sure you have the latest Windows OS Updates, and more specificall,y Microsoft Security Bulletin MS08-067 – Critical.
That patch was released in Oct last year so there shouldn’t be any excuses!

This virus is likely to affect corporate users who’s IT admins use group policies to disable auto-updates.

For the nerds…

Have some fun reading these science-report like documents: <— this one is ridiculous…and no, I did not read it. I just linked it! There are also 3 addendum.

For everyone else…
Sit back, relax and watch the news!

I should mention that I am working during the afternoon shift at the CCS HelpDesk on Wednesday. I’m expecting a regular shift of university students who lose their essay due to stupidity and the usual, “where is the washroom/how do i scan/how do i print” questions.

PS: The 60 minutes interview was very amusing!

More links:

exam traffic

Exams are approaching for university students in Canada. This period typically starts from the second week of April untill the end of the month. I’m done on the 17th, but if you’re unlucky, like at UBC, you could be stuck until the bitter end! I’m pretty sure that I’ll return home to Vancouver before most of the friends there are done.

But Exam Traffic

As most of you know, my friends and I launched last Monday. So far with Google Analytics, we have seen a gradual increase in traffic over the week. We’ve gotten approx 372 visits according to GA. Will this traffic increase over the exam period as people find more and more reasons to procrastinate?
I wish we could see the stats to FML or collegehumour, maybe even digg and reddit. I wonder if their sites see an increase in Canadian traffic.

I’ll post again through the exam period to comment on this. Perhaps I’ll have more blog posts then to rant about random things.

I take no responsibility if you clicked the links above and are now about to spend countless hours on the interweb

Update: my friend Doug informed me that digg and collegehumour use quantcast for stats tracking, you can view their stats here

SMILE to the CAR

For those of you who don’t keep up with the news. Google Street View will begin capturing our major metropolitan areas by car, archiving everything they see to the internet forever.

Personally, I’m happy that they are finally giving us Street View in Canada. Sure their vehicles will time and energy to drive around, wasting gas at stop lights, but I think it will benefit in the long run. It gives people a better visual sense of their destination.

Try finding a little store or restaurant that you’ve never been to before. Simply take a look on Gmaps before embarking and take a peek at what your destination may look like. Hopefully, when you’re close, you wont be holding up traffic behind you as you stroll down the street at 20km/h, trying to read the street numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that.

In terms of having personal property indexed and viewable on the internet. It doesn’t bother me at all however I’m sure there we be a lot people who dislike the idea. Much like the idea of having CCTVs scattered throughout the city. Articles have been posted on CBC/CTV and have already seen a fair amount of resistance from the paranoid.

Tip to the public: just live your daily lives and pray that the google street cars trucks don’t capture you doing something stupid on the street! (like tanning naked)

For the paranoid
Now Google does have license and facial blurring technologies in place to protect people on the streets and car owners, but for those who are concerned about their properties appearing on the internet. There is not much you can do, other than filing for an online removal request, contact your local MP/MLA and protesting like we Canadians love doing…..or try and sue.

For the political-legal-types
According to CBC, the Privacy Commissioner has been contact by Google and they will work as a team to make sure that no laws are violated. On a side note, I did some research and found out that British Columbia does NOT follow Canada’s Privacy Commissioner’s laws and has its own minister to regulate this. This is why there is a version of streetview that exists in BC. See below

For the keener (the person who can’t wait to virtually drive!)
If you live in Vancouver, Whistler or Squamish, you’re in luck. You can get a sample of what Google Street View’s cameras may capture in the next few months. Simply visit and type in a name of a business in one of those cities. The coverage in Vancouver seems to be all of Downtown Vancouver, a portion of the Mt. Pleasant section, and a variety of major streets recorded. Most of Whistler and a portion of Downtown Squamish are also included in their website.

If you don’t live in Vancouver/Whistler/Squamish and have always wondered what its like there, or, live in Ontario, or don’t have the money to travel accross the country, here’s your chance to get a virtual view of the west coast!  (yes, this was directed to those who keep dreaming about coming here and never do)


CBC – Google Alerts Canadians about Street View Filming
CTV – Street View coming to Canada amid privacy concerns
Google Maps / Street View