Viruses have been with mankind before there was mankind. I don’t even know if we can determine when they were created. As with all things that persist for a very long time, they have grown and adapted in surprising ways in order to stay alive and flourish. Our newest, and certainly not the last, virus is CoVid-19, which has thrown the world into a pandemic. This virus, and other corona viruses, may not have a brain, but are extremely smart in knowing how to use our human behaviours in order to proliferate. We do need to give credit where credit is due: These viruses are remarkably efficient.
The CoVid-19 pandemic has walloped us in the head, in an obviously direct way. We, as a species, probably needed this kind of wake up call, as it seems no other method would get our attention. Starting from China, CoVid-19 has spread throughout the world. This, after 5 months of near lock down here in Toronto, is no longer news. Now we are faced with a new school year, the possibility that kids will return to their elementary school classes, become infected, and bring the virus back to their parents and grandparents. While we are still learning about this virus, what is clear is that it is highly infectious and no one is immune.
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Returning to School in the Pandemic, Toronto, Canada
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As a renter I get to try out a lot of new cars. This is somewhat disconcerting at times because if the UI is not intuitive, this causes me grief. I fumble around, trying to find a requirement, using my experience with other cars as my guide. This is common to not only cars but to any other object as well. One of the fancy features that almost all new cars have is the onboard entertainment system. Most have bluetooth connectivity. The car also have a myriad of independent computers, ranging from IR door unlocking to backup cameras. As a technologist I always wonder if these systems are secure. In the back of my mind I know they are not.
Looking for a way to stream HD news from China, I asked a Chinese friend for a recommendation. He said try Funshion.com. They have a downloadable program that I thought would facilitate streaming their movies. What I got was a program that was parasitic, spammy and hard to remove. If you are considering using Funshion, do not download this app.
The download went well, but at once I started getting a huge amount of popup boxes usually blocked by Adblock Plus. My bandwidth went up by a lot as well. Then I realized that the damn program installed not in my program files directory but in the main directory, all without asking. When I went to uninstall the program it said I had no access to do this.
Damn I was infected by the Pharma hack yet again. While my web site content was without error, page titles into Google were being hacked, appearing as if I was flogging pharmaceuticals. I assure you that I do not do this. Google stated that my site might be infected, yet in Google Webmaster Tools they saw no malware and there were no fetch errors. This time I found four offending files and two offending SQL table entries. Here’s what I found and how I found them.
Eating watermelon while in China might cause you diarrhea
Your relatives sit you down on their stools in the doorway of their rural Chinese farmhouse. The doorway is the only large shaded area, and there is the bonus cross draft that, in your mind, seems to lower the 30°C temperature. Watermelon slices comes out and you are thankful for their hospitality, but you know that despite your vigilance against waterborne bacteria, you will get the runs. Do not eat watermelon while traveling in China.