Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, July 18, 2022

Surviving The Internet Outage

 The following takes on something that happened in Canada a few days back. Namely one of the major internet providers, Rogers, have their entire network go down, and millions of Canadians at a loss about what to do, seeking coffee shops with alternate internet providers. I wasn't one of those millions... because my home internet has a different provider. 

Rogers Continues To Deal With Fallout Of Outage, Millions Of Canadians Mildly Outraged

Toronto (CP) It was a Friday not soon to be forgotten in the Great White North. On the 8th of July, Rogers saw its entire internet network go down. Coast to coast, millions of Canadians whose internet service was Rogers based couldn't get online. If their phones were linked to Rogers, they couldn't call anyone. Interac services went down. Ticket agencies were unable to issue tickets to events. City services were affected. Rogers, a company that has turned bad customer service into a hallowed company tradition, found themselves under attack from multiple parties.

It went down before most people started their day. Rogers customers found their computers, tablets, phones, and other connected technology failing to connect. And in a day without landlines, they couldn't just call in and ask what was going on. Executives at the company quickly realized they had a public relations nightmare in the making as the morning began to unfold and the scope of the outage became clear. Meanwhile people with other service providers started their day none the wiser to anything being wrong.

Sooner or later word started getting around. Some of it came through those television networks not dependant on Rogers to broadcast. Canadians, ever a resourceful lot, sought out coffee shops with different providers, found out their workplaces were or were not affected, and otherwise found a wifi hotspot where they could catch up. There was much fretting, debate, and demands for answers as the day went along. Rogers and their pack of marketing chimps made empty promises and platitudes, while the executive board considered the worst case scenario of fleeing the country if their networks didn't come up fast.

Finally, after many hours, service began to return. Canadians on Rogers service began to catch up with their email, watch their programs, and make calls. Statements from the company blamed it on "maintenance." As is often the case with such events, memes were created to ridicule the whole matter. Politicians from various levels of government demanded answers and mused about public inquiries. Rogers swore that they'd do better in the future. Few believed them.

Other providers took advantage, suggesting that customers think of switching over to a better company. All while hoping the next inadvertent outage wasn't on their system. Psychologists commented on the effect of a daylong deprival of internet services on a large swath of a country. Canadians, their nerves calmed down with a nice cup of maple syrup and bacon, began moving on with their lives, content in the knowledge that next time it would happen to someone else.

But the question remains: what really happened? Blaming it on maintenance is one thing- given the shoddy work record of the Rogers maintenance division, which after all gives the customer service side of things a run for its money. Some on the internet were blaming other things, including conspiracy theorists. "It's like that movie, man, Independence Day!" professional recluse Neil Dunhow told this reporter on the day in question, calling from a landline. "The aliens are out there and they're using our satellites against us to get into position! We're all doomed!"

When asked yesterday to clarify his comment, Dunhow said, "no comment."

Inevitably, however, the real reason for the outage was exposed. It was something that simply couldn't be hidden, because it also registered on the Richter scale. On the 8th of July, early in the morning, something rose up out of the Pacific Ocean, a force of titanic size and malevolent purpose. Because it knocked out Rogers service on the coast, no footage of it was obtained at the time, but it made its way inland on a quest of domination and conquest.

It is a creature seen before, one of the Great Old Ones. A cosmic entity reported by H.P. Lovecraft, who tried to pass it off as fiction, it has slumbered off and on deep in the ocean. Its name is Cthulhu, a gigantic vaguely humanoid monster with elements of a dragon, octopus, and other beasts in the whole making. To gaze on it too long is to become mad. Or something like that. The beast rampaged inland after knocking out internet service, crossing the Rocky Mountains. Until it was stopped.

In the foothills of the Rockies west of Calgary, it met its match in the form of an immovable object. A force of nature in the form of a man. The grumpiest but greatest lawman on the planet. The legendary Mountie, Inspector Lars Ulrich. 

They had battled before. It had not gone well for the Great Old One. For the briefest of moments, the two stared each other down. And then the battle began.

Within ten seconds, Cthulhu was down on the ground for the first time, struck by a left hook punch that sent the creature reeling. After that, Ulrich really went to work on him. 

Cthulhu fled, battered and bloody, humiliated by the defeat, last seen retreating into the Pacific. Three days ago, reporters caught up to the Inspector at his detachment to seek out his comment. Once assured that all reporters present knew he was not that Lars Ulrich, the Inspector appeared to be less cranky. Ulrich confirmed that he had history with the monster, dismissing him as a 'crybaby'.

At this point, someone else rushed up. A vacant eyed nitwit who had entertainment journalist written all over him. "Lars! Lars! Matt Stone, Entertainment Tonight! What everyone wants to know is, what does Metallica think about Armie Hammer working as a timeshare salesman?"

The real reporters backed up to give Ulrich room. Ulrich glared at Stone, speaking in a low voice. "I am not that Lars Ulrich."

Stone looked confused. "Of course you are."

At this point Ulrich picked up a stanchion and threw it at Stone, who started running. It ended with a chase into Dead Man's Canyon and an extended stay for Stone in a local trauma centre, stuck in a body cast for the next six months.

Monday, July 11, 2022

Spammers And Spam Hiccups

A couple of weeks ago I did a deep purge of one of my email accounts. One that I hadn't opened in... well, it was before Covid. My bad for ignoring an email account and letting it all pile up. In the process of that deep purge, an email caught my eye. The sort of email I like taking apart in detail for posts just like this one. Yes, I speak of course of an email from that rabid, unpleasant species otherwise known as homo sapiens spammeritis annoyingus. The unfortunately all too common internet scammer. So of course I was going to have to take this one on in full. Because I can't pass on the chance to ridicule them.

From:The affiliate office of the:*International Monetary Fund,*International Fund Regulatory Board,*Capital Flight Fund Regulation,Reliance Bank LimitedLondon EC3R 8EB,United Kingdom                                                          Sub: Paymentapproval of GBP£3,150,000.00/Good day, this is a comprehensive summary as to what have been agreedon your pending transfer. The hiccup which led to delay of thetransfer of your funds into your account has been rectified inagreement with the Financial Regulatory Body of the United Kingdom.You do not have anything to fear or worry at all as the entire paperwork have been concluded and the transfer approval documents have allbeen endorsed.The transfer is approved to be completed into your account in 4 daysso that there will be no further hitches, please, note that the finalpayment approval is endorsed in favor of the Reliance Bank as theaccredited bank, therefore, we have received all your payment relatedpapers to enable us transfer the funds to you. Kindly reply andconfirm if you are still using the same bank account or, furnish youralternative bank account for immediate processing of the transfer intoyour account.A waiting for your prompt reply and make sure to send your reply toMrs. Leanna McEwan on (,Mrs. Leanna McEwanHead of operation/services &Commercial Director.Reliance Bank LimitedBillingsgate, London EC3R 8EB,United KingdomFacsimile

And I'm back. Telltale signs of the internet scammer. An unsolicited email (that is mass spam-emailed to hundreds of thousands of other email addresses) claiming to be from a legitimate organization. They claim they're sending 3,150,000 pounds my way. British currency, not a standard of measurement. They use a curious term for a supposedly on the up and up email- a 'hiccup which led to delay'. How often would you hear the average high-end banker use the term hiccup? Come to think of it, how often do any of us use it? Aside from when we're actually hiccuping?  

And while we're at it, does a banker really write like this? No. This person is attempting to write in a formal way, but the tell-tales of the internet scammer shine through. Punctuation issues crop up throughout, like an excess of commas. Sentences run on when a born speaker of English would break them up. This person refers to the "Financial Regulatory Body" of the United Kingdom. An actual banker in the UK would know what it actually is. I'm not an actual banker, nor am I a Brit, so a quick look up indicates it's something called the Financial Conduct Authority. These are the gang who are supposed to keep an eye on financial providers. Such as the banks.

Whether or not they actually do their jobs is another story.

But I digress. This person, claiming to be one Leanna McEwan (who, apparently, actually does work for the real Reliance Bank) is trying to convince me (and the half a million other email addresses she, he, or it sent this same email to) that funds are about to be transferred to me. Needless to say that's not the real email address of the real Leanna McEwan, but just the start of a long daisy chain of email addresses that will end somewhere in a part of the world with no extradition treaties.

All while the person who started this in the first place does so in the hopes that a handful of the half million email addresses that received this might be in the name of someone who's gullible. Someone who might be dumb enough to pay the couple of grand of 'processing fees' meant to release the aforementioned fortune that's being transferred. A fortune that doesn't actually exist. 

Why do they do it? Do they honestly think I'll bite? I've seen too many of these emails and comments. I know better. And I've pretty much established at this point that I hate, hate, infinity hate internet spammers and scammers.

Give it up, you morons.

It's never going to work.

Because if you keep this up, we'll have to have this guy come and have a word with you.

It won't be pleasant.