Just Another Manic Monday

I wasn’t a big fan of The Bangles growing up. Still not one. But thanks to a group of six fraudsters, this coming Monday just may be a “Manic Monday” for a couple hundred thousand people. Why you may ask? Because they might not be able to connect to the internet to watch The Bangles on YouTube.

What? Isn’t that a normal Monday for a lot of people. It seems that way for me and my 250+ co-workers. We get to work ready to start the week and many people jump on the internet to see what they missed over the weekend when they disconnected from reality…I mean technology. We face the same problems. Sometimes we can connect to the internet, sometimes we can’t. Sometimes it is slow, and other times it is slower. (I’m still waiting for the day we have a really fast connection…maybe I need to have a dedicated T-1 line straight to my computer.)

Apparently this coming Monday is different. Those six fraudsters created the “DNS Changer”, a malware that redirected users to websites that generated millions in advertising fees. Fees that the six fraudsters were to pocket…or maybe they did pocket…before they got caught. But this is supposed to be such a big event that the FBI got involved.

If the FBI gets involved, it must be huge. I mean, originally there were somewhere between one and two billion people that could be affected by this. But no, in all actuality, there are less than 200,000 computers that could still be affected. That’s a whopping 2-100ths of a percent. Those are big numbers. Don’t believe me? Look at it this way. If you could have 2-100ths of a percent of Bill Gates annual income, you would be considered among the rich in Barack Obama’s eyes. You wouldn’t qualify for any of the government benefits that he assures to those that make less than $250k per year. You would be making more than 5 times my salary. I would gladly take that kind of an increase in salary.

So those .02 percent of computers that may be affected still by this malware may not have a very happy Monday on July 9th. That is probably why it has already been coined as “Malware Monday”. That is a goofy moniker, in my opinion, but the media has had no problem using it. So in the spirit of monikerizing (I don’t think that is a word because my automatic spell checker is flagging it but I will use it anyway and see if it sticks) the days of the week, here are some ideas of my own:

Television-free Tuesday: There isn’t anything really that great to watch during the summer. Besides, that .02 percent of people will still be trying to get their computer to connect to the internet. If the best entertainment that can be offered on TV is “America’s Got Talent”, I would rather watch my chickens molt. Everything else is a re-run, chicken molting is a first time experience for me. Oh wait; I just realized there is a new show called “Trust Us With Your Life” on ABC that day. If you liked “Whose Line Is It Anyway”, you are bound to like this…same actors, but this time making fun of real celebrities’ lives. Maybe for those that want to watch we can call it “Trust Us Tuesday”.

Wednesday…I can’t think of a moniker I like for Wednesday. I have always referred to Wednesday as hump-day; because we got over the hump of the week and were on the downward slide toward the weekend (get your mind out of the gutter). Maybe for next week though we can call it “Wild Web Wednesday” as I am sure at least half of that .02 percent of people will finally be re-connecting to the web. Watch for some exciting Facebook posts from those fools…I mean folks. (L, K, and O are so close to each other on the keyboard it is easy to mistakenly type one of them and change words.)

For Thursday I am going to start a trend and call it Thursday the 12th. Why? Because next Friday is Friday the 13th. Friday the 13th is a moniker that sticks and I can’t change it, not even for this blog, so why not start calling Thursday before Friday the 13th by the name “Thursday the 12th”? It doesn’t have to be associated with bad luck or anything like that. It can be associated with donuts. Or M&M’s. Or a day off of work while still getting paid. Sounds good to me.

Friday…well, I can’t change next week’s moniker for Friday without changing the whole calendar. Any other week Friday can be referred to as Early Friday…as in get off work early on Friday to start the weekend. I will have to talk to my boss about that. You can too.

Saturday is Saturday. It is the weekend. It doesn’t need a moniker to accompany it. Unless you want to call it “Sit Around Saturday” which doesn’t happen for me during the summer because of yard work. “Sit Around Saturday” for me doesn’t start until September when college football is on TV.

Who am I kidding? I don’t sit around watching football all day on Saturday. Sometimes I wish I could. That doesn’t mean that you can’t.

With all this monikerizing going on, we are bound to get confused about every day of the week. It won’t be just Monday’s that are manic. The whole idea is bound to give The Bangles a chance at a come-back tour. All because six guys wanted to make a few bucks.

Thanks guys. You confused me, and in turn, I have probably confused my readers. Or lost them all. At least I have my internet connection for a couple more days.

Just another view from a Palmtree.


Cell Phone Ban While Driving…Hands Off!!!

Person using cell phone while driving.

Image via Wikipedia

Were you paying attention to the news this week?  At least enough to hear or read the story about the proposed nationwide ban on all cell phone use while driving?  Did you think it was as ridiculous an idea as I did?  If not, let me present my arguments.  If so, keep reading anyway.  I feel some entertainment brewing in my mind.

So there are currently a few states (9 to be exact along with D.C. and the Virgin Islands) that have bans on cell phone use while driving.  Not complete bans though.  They still allow you to use your phone while driving if you have hands-free devices.  35 states, along with D.C. and Guam, ban texting while driving.  This brings about the first set of ridiculous yet need-to-be-answered questions.

First off, why haven’t all of the states created rules that prohibit cell phone use unless done with hands-free devices?  And second of all, why are there states that still allow texting while driving?  Third of all, does anyone that make the laws, whether on the state level or federal level, have any common sense when it comes to cell phone usage while driving?

Draw you own conclusions and make up the answers that you think are best.  Then lets put them all in a hat and make a random drawing to decide what the correct answers should be.  Because that is how much sense this whole debate makes.

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that texting while driving is not a good idea.  It is a bad idea.  Haven’t you seen the video going around YouTube that shows the really horrific crash with teenagers in the car in which the driver was texting?  It was a dramatized creation of some true-to-life accidents.  They (the crashes and resulting deaths and injuries) did not need to happen.  The texts probably didn’t either.

But now we have legislators that are suggesting a nationwide ban on all cell phone use…even when a hands-free device is being used.  Why?  Because cell phone use is distracting to the driver.  Well, let’s break it down and see for sure.

If I have a hands-free headset for my cell phone, that means that I will still be able to have both hands on the wheel while driving.  Oh, but mister politician says that having that conversation is distracting to the driver.  Distracting?  Tell you what, if we are going to ban all cell phone usage while driving because a conversation on the phone can be distracting, let’s ban all carpooling.  Only one person per car.  After all, those conversations between the other passengers can be distracting.  And heaven forbid they try to include the driver.

Sorry mom and dad, you can’t rider together either because you are inevitably going to talk to each other while one of you are driving…which is a distraction.  And forget taking me anywhere.  If I talk to you, I will be a distraction.  But hey, the benefit could be to the parent.  “Sorry honey, I can’t take the child with me to the store.  She might talk to me and be a distraction.”

But hey, we want distraction free driving.  And since we would have to take one of our hands off the steering wheel to push a button on the phone to answer it, I guess the same applies to using the car stereo.  So let’s ban use of car stereos too.  First of all, we have to use a finger to turn it on and tune in to our favorite station…or play a CD…or press play on the MP3 player.  That is just as much of a distraction.  And let’s not forget what a distraction the music may be.  Especially if I start singing along.

Actually, this is serious.  You would be very distracted while driving if you happened to pull up next to me and saw (or maybe even heard) me singing “What a Feeling” while listening to the Flashdance soundtrack.  You wouldn’t be able to concentrate.  My dance moves while driving are mesmerizing…especially when I simulate the bucket of water being dropped on me.  Not quite the same, but if I don’t get in a wreck doing it, you probably will while watching it.  So let’s ban the listening of music.

While we are at it, let’s ban the billboards.  Those are complete distractions.  Especially the one that the Highway Patrol put up warning people that reading billboards can cause accidents.  (I know, you are already slapping your face and saying “doh” with the rest of us.)  Capitalism – the true American way – will be impeded because it is distracting our drivers.  But if we are going to keep the billboards, at least we will have those billboards that will that let us know how long our wait will be in the ER once we get in an accident caused from reading all the other billboards.

Maybe we should ban scenery.  Whether it is a cool looking skyscraper, a flashy Las Vegas casino, or even natural landscapes like the redwood forests of northern California and red rock vistas of southern Utah national parks, you are bound to be distracted from driving.  After all, if you had passengers, they would get to look at all of it an not have to worry about being distracted because they aren’t driving.  And it isn’t fair for you to miss it all because you are driving.  So you will probably want to look around at the sights that surround you.  Oops, crash.  You were distracted. No more beautiful landscapes.

Well we can’t take all those landscapes away, and I am sure that people will still want to have carpooling rides with conversations.  And many of us will still want to listen to music…or maybe even NPR.  So maybe what we should do is create a ban on driving.  Sorry automakers, your products are too distracting.  We can’t enjoy the things we want to enjoy while traveling.  And we need to be able to talk on our phones…and maybe even text once in a while.

If we put a ban on driving, we would be forced into public transportation, but we as passengers might be a distraction to the bus driver or train conductor.  So that isn’t a solution.  I think there are really only two solutions: either technological advances that puts autopilot capability in cars (as seen in “Minority Report” with Tom Cruise) or we go back before the technological advances that the modern car brought and return to using the horse and buggy.  It works for the Amish.

Or we could all get the iPhone 4S and use Siri to send texts and make phone calls with voice commands and put the responsibility on the driver to not get distracted.

Texting while driving is dangerous and should be outlawed and punishable to different degrees based on the situation resulting from doing it.  But hands-free cell phone use isn’t going to be any more distracting than any of the other distractions listed above.  Maybe the ban should be on politicians using cell phones while trying to govern.  One is too distracting to the other.

Just another view from a Palmtree.