Browsing "Blue Dog"
Mar 17, 2009 - Blue Dog    4 Comments

WTF is this undeleteable file cclitesetupui.exe doing on my hard drive?

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Relax. It’s not hurting anything, but it doesn’t need to be there.

Here’s how to remove it.

I, like you, hate to find a big chunk of useless crap on my hard drive—especially one that withstands all reasonable attempts to remove it.

When VISTA was installed on your machine, like as not, Microsoft installed a big hunk o’ MSN Connection Center Dial-up Internet Access connector installation files. They are there just in case—you know—you want to use MSN as your dial-up ISP. It’s not tremendously huge—just about 3 meg or so—but, personally, I’m a little squeamish about helpful, just-in-case executables that happen to be marked as undeletable system files. CCLITESETUPUI is usually located in:

C:\Program Files\MSN\cclitesetupui.exe

Since this file is part of the windows VISTA installation, it’s protected by Windows Resource Protection (WRP), which prevents any modifications outside of Windows Setup. IOW: You can’t delete it without messing around with permissions and such like.

It’s entirely removable

STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Warning: It is not recommended that you delete this file, or any WRP-protected file. Doing so may result in unforeseen consequences.

Changing permissions on VISTA files through the control panel can be confusing. Here’s a simpler way to delete this WRP protected file in
Windows Vista Home edition.

  • Click start
  • Click All Programs
  • Click Accessories
  • Right-Click command prompt
  • Click run as administrator

Then type the following commands exactly as they appear, pressing enter after each line (The commands in the following list have been corrected thanks to Watcher13!) to :

cd /d %programfiles%

takeown /f msn /r /a /d y

icacls MSN /grant administrators:f /t

rd /s /q msn

That’s it. All gone. You’re welcome.

Mar 17, 2009 - Blue Dog    Comments Off

Google targeted ads opt-out = Do No Evil?

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All I have to do is TELL Google not to spy on me, and everything will be hunky-dory.

I loved Google for a long time, since back when Yahoo was still a superpower—but lately I’m having my doubts. Google’s tracking me online in order to target ads just for me. I feel like a cow standing at the base of a long wooden chute and looking at good old Farmer Brown—bringer of sweet hay and crunchy cow chow—in a whole new light.

“Interest-based advertising” has long been the Holy Grail of online advertising, cited as a Gee Whiz Futopian Dream for most online content providers. Google slipped it in so cleverly, most web surfers never saw it coming. Hy, we can combine your email with your calendar and the contents of your hard drive! We’ll even store it on our servers for you in case you need something when your on vacation! Don’t worry, though. Our motto is “Do No Evil”. We won’t use your information for our own benefit. Really. We won’t—because we’re, you know, not Evil.

(Cue the ubiquitous “Bwa-ha-ha” now)

New York Times, 3/11/09 Google to Offer Ads Based on Interests

Google has preemptively offered to let us lab rats ‘opt-out’ of this process—sort of. Ethically speaking, the default for any type of online spam recruitment should be “opt-in”, not “opt-out”, but Google is the Five Hundred Pound Canary who can sit wherever it darn well pleases.

Instead, Google offers a browser plug-in to block the one specific cookie (from the unabashedly evil DoubleClick) that they put on your machine. Well and good, but it’s only one teeny-tiny electron on the crazy spinning atom of online advertising cookies. If you’ve been keeping up on browser security, you would have done already blocked DoubleClick along with hundreds of other creepy cookies. If you REALLY want to see ads tailored to your need for baby formula or male-enhancement products, you can tinker with the Ads Preference Manager.

A better approach than letting Google slip you another cookie

Try AdBlock Plus, a free browser plugin that will make ALL online advertising magically go away. They will still track you, but you won’t see the results.

Great in-depth article “How to opt out of Google’s new targeted ads” at Consumerist.com

Mar 11, 2009 - 9/11, Blue Dog    Comments Off

How Nine-Eleven kicked my ass.

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Everything wasn’t peachy keen on 09/11/01, but we were getting along pretty well. My kids were in middle school. My husband had his own business on the American Stock Exchange, next door to the World Trade Center. We had a house in a small town in New Jersey that I was coo-coo over. Setting aside the drugs and alcohol, domestic abuse, overspending and emotional problems we were like Ozzie Osborne & Harriet.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001, my husband, Stu Alpert, stepped out for a smoke at the Trinity Place door of the Amex where he was a floor broker. An impossibly loud noise made him jump, “What was that? A sonic boom?” Who would think a 747 airliner piloted by Muslim terrorists had hit the World Trade Center taking out the Windows on the World restaurant where he was supposed to go to breakfast?

The rain of burning debris sent people back into the building where Exchange Officials encouraged them to stay. Well, where would they go, with oily smoke and the raining debris and all.

Stu, as a floor official, was conducting a floor-by-floor sweep of the Amex when the first tower collapsed. The windows blew out and smoke, ash and burning crap flooded inside. Amex officials told everyone to evacuate, so they took off running with wet paper towels over their faces.

My daughter and I watched this on TV, and I remember thinking, “That’s it. He’s dead. No one can live through that. I’m a widow.”

At the Battery, tug boats volunteering to take people off Manhattan. As he climbed on the tugboat, the second tower went down, and a wall of smoke moved south towards them.

In Hoboken, New Jersey, he was in shock, and all he could think was, “I have to get to my car in Journal Square (in Jersey City) so I can get home.” Nevermind that his briefcase with cellphone, money and car keys were back at the Amex.

“How do I get to Jersey City?” he asked the Red Cross guy.

“Hold on, buddy. Sit down and relax” the guy said, handing him a blanket and wet towel.

“No, give these to someone who really needs them–just tell me how to get to Jersey City” he insisted.

An overcrowded bus in Hoboken took him to Journal Square in Jersey City. Journal Square was, understandably, closed. When cops told him he couldn’t get to his car he freaked out. “Don’t tell me I can’t get to my car! I’ve just been in a bombing!”

“Calm down, pal. We’ll get you in there,” cops told him. And they did. They took him right to his car when the uncomfortable reality hit that he had no car keys.

Highways were blockaded, so I couldn’t come get him. He got a bus to Newark Penn Station and a NJ Transit commuter train to Cranford, where we took him home, covered in white ash and a little wobbly. He cried later when we were alone. “It was Armageddon.”

Aftermath

Five of his buddies had managed to go to breakfast at Windows on the World. He attended their memorial services. A hundred other brokers, traders, customers and 50 restaurant staffers are gone. Only one of his friend’s bodies was identified. Six men from our small town are dead, including the father of one of my daughter’s friends. The next town over lost eight. Another, lost 11.

The Amex was closed for a month, which meant no business for Stu–which meant no income for him, his partner or their employees. Also none for the hot dog guy, the shoeshine guy, the sandwich shop or the newspaper guy. The Amex reopened eventually, but inevitably his business, like many others, died a slow lingering death.

Stu was never really the same after that.

“Bodies of 16 Bravest Found”

New York Daily News, 10/02/01, Michele McPhee and Corky Siemaszko

“A few blocks away from the wreckage, the American Stock Exchange’s 2,400 traders and clerks returned to their trading floor at 86 Trinity Place for the first time since the attacks.

Mixed Feelings Among Workers
Workers had to present identification at the police checkpoint at Trinity Place and Rector St. and pass through metal detectors at the building. Some had their bags inspected. Others were patted down by security guards.

“I’m scared to be here,” said 19-year-old Daniel Chipaio, a trader’s assistant from Bensonhurst. “If it was easy for [the terrorists] to do it the first time, why couldn’t they do it again?”

Elizabeth Fogerty of Manhattan, an Amex public relations worker, covered her face with her rabbit-fur shawl to avoid the pungent stench of burned metal and ash lingering in the air. “It can’t be good for you,” she said.

But as Gov. Pataki presided over the ringing of the opening bell, many employees said they were just happy to be back at work.

“A bell ringing is a good symbol that everything is beginning again,” said John Riccardi, 37, of Manalapan, N.J., who works in research. “I’m sure some people are nervous, but it’s nice to be back.”

Where they have to take you in — unless you have a dog.

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“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” — Robert Frost (American poet, 1874-1963)

Perhaps Robert Frost didn’t have a dog. In that case, his 78 year old dad never said, “You’re welcome to come here, but not with a dog!”

penske truck in the rainMy mom and dad don’t want to be burdened with a dog. I get that. But I have a dog, and I’m emotionally attached to her. My dad, who mostly is content if you stay out of line of his remote, decided, passive-aggressive-style, to “make a stand” about my dog. I’m already racked with guilt about showing up on their doorstep, Prodigal daughter-style, with a 17-foot truckload of all my possessions. Now I have to be guilty about showing up with a big giant smelly dog, too? WTF?

What I did, was mostly nothing. I groveled appropriately, expressed my gratitude, and showed up with the dog anyway. I did this knowing the most likely outcome, based on my 50-some plus years as Walter Aisbet’s daughter.

Five minutes in the door, my dad said, “Heyna, that’s a pretty good dog you got dere.” Pansy did her normal polite thing, I had her do her three tricks, and that was that. They love her, and she’s part of the family.

Whew.