Thursday, December 30, 2010

Postcards from the Dark Side

     The alarmists have struck again! The message: another cautionary note, fraught with elements of  both reality and creative writing, warning us of the danger from Internet postcards sent to our email boxes. Per the message, the digital postcards deliver a destructive  and catastrophic payload to the computer hard drive when opened. Lending credibility to this threat from the anonymous author, is the advice from the anonymous, very advanced, programmer from Microsoft, who does computer work for a living combined with a high status with the software giant. This unknown source is notorious for not sending email notifying recipients of a threat if they it is not for real, so lock down the hard drive and man the virtual battle stations, 'cuz this got to be real!


Our friend is a very advanced programmer who does computer work for a living and has a high up status with Microsoft . He doesn't send these if they aren't real.  If he says this is for real, it for sure is.  Be aware..
Hi All,
I checked with Norton Anti-Virus, and they are gearing up for this virus!
I checked Snopes, and it is for real. Get this E-mail message sent around to your contacts ASAP.
You should be alert during the next few days. Do not open any message with an attachment entitled 'POSTCARD FROM HALLMARK,' regardless of who sent it to you. It is a virus which opens A POSTCARD IMAGE, which 'burns' the whole hard disc C of your computer.
This virus will be received from someone who has your e-mail address in his/her contact list. This is the reason why you need to send this e-mail to all your contacts. It is better to receive this message 25 times than to receive the virus and open it.
If you receive a mail called' POSTCARD,' even though sent to you by a friend, do not open it! Shut down your computer immediately. This is the worst virus announced by CNN .
It has been classified by Microsoft as the most destructive virus ever. This virus was discovered by McAfee yesterday, and there is no repair yet for this kind of virus. This virus simply destroys the Zero Sector of the Hard Disc, where the vital information is kept.


     I know I rely heavily on Snopes for their investigation into the reliability of the messages written about in the RC Blog, so I decided to follow the footsteps of the author of this message for the slaying process. One would think that if CNN called this the "worst virus" ever, a simple keyword search on the CNN site would render some sort of result, but no such luck. A keyword search at Norton (which is, in reality Symantec) revealed some of the partial truth because there was a worm virus, called W32.Mixor.Q, that was sent through email in 2001. The final check, Snopes, where the author also verified the status, (which, if the anonymous, high up status computer dude doesn't forward hoaxes, then why did the author need to check Snopes?) revealed the truth that a virus did exist but it is old news now. I don't know, maybe the virus makers are slacking, so we need to replay old threats. The bottom line is that we are probably safe from this virus because it is likely saved on a floppy disc and who has disc drives anymore?

~Slayer computer virus&primaryType=mixed&sortBy=date&intl=false

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Morning Before Christmas

     It has been some time since I have submitted anything to the RC Blog, so I apologize to my four faithful followers (yes, this comment is a hint for you to push the "follow" button at the top of the right column). Slayerland has been unusually busy with preparation for Christmas, dissertation proposal writing, and other things in life that clamor for attention. Now, on Christmas Eve, I finally got a chance to take a break and thought I would post The Soldiers Night Before Christmas as a tribute to the men and women of our Armed Forces who stand watch while we celebrate, lest they not be forgotten.

Twas the night before Christmas, he lived all alone,
In a one bedroom house made of plaster & stone.
I had come down the chimney with presents to give
And to see just who in this home did live.
I looked all about a strange sight I did see,
No tinsel, no presents, not even a tree.
No stocking by the fire, just boots filled with sand,
On the wall hung pictures of far distant lands.
With medals and badges, awards of all kind
A sober thought came through my mind.
For this house was different, so dark and dreary,
I knew I had found the home of a soldier, once I could see clearly.
I heard stories about them, I had to see more
So I walked down the hall and pushed open the door.
And there he lay sleeping silent alone,
Curled up on the floor in his one bedroom home.
His face so gentle, his room in such disorder,
Not how I pictured a United States soldier.
Was this the hero of whom I'd just read?
Curled up in his poncho, a floor for his bed?
His head was clean shaven, his weathered face tan,
I soon understood this was more than a man.
For I realized the families that I saw that night
Owed their lives to these men who were willing to fight.
Soon `round the world, the children would play,
And grownups would celebrate on a bright Christmas day.
They all enjoyed freedom each month of the year,
Because of soldiers like this one lying here.
I couldn´t help wonder how many lay alone
On a cold Christmas Eve in a land far from home.
Just the very thought brought a tear to my eye,
I dropped to my knees and started to cry.
The soldier awakened and I heard a rough voice,
"Santa don´t cry, this life is my choice;
I fight for freedom, I don´t ask for more,
my life is my God, my country, my Corps."
With that he rolled over and drifted off into sleep,
I couldn´t control it, I continued to weep.
I watched him for hours, so silent and still,
I noticed he shivered from the cold night´s chill.
So I took off my jacket, the one made of red,
And I covered this Soldier from his toes to his head.
And I put on his T-shirt of gray and black,
With an eagle and an Army patch embroidered on back.
And although it barely fit me, I began to swell with pride,
And for a shining moment, I was United States Army deep inside.
I didn´t want to leave him on that cold dark night,
This guardian of honor so willing to fight.
Then the soldier rolled over, whispered with a voice so clean and pure,
"Carry on Santa, it's Christmas Day, all is secure."
One look at my watch, and I knew he was right,
Merry Christmas my friend, and to all a good night!

     This poem was originally titled Merry Christmas, My Friend and written by LCpl James M. Schmidt in 1986. The poem was changed to the version posted here by LTC Bruce Lovley in 1993. LTC Lovely mainly changed Marine-specific references to more of generic feel toward all service members. The bottom line: I am thankful for ALL of our U.S. Military members and want them to know they are heroes every single day.

Thank you and Merry Christmas