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  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.
Joseph Ayo

Viruses galore on myspace

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I let someone use my computer last night. They visited a myspace.com chat room and right before my eyes within minutes, all of a sudden someone broadcast an adobe PDF file to everyone in chat room. Next thing I know, adobe is activated and then up comes something about you have viruses and need to buy Spyguard 2008.

Well just that fast, just visiting a chat room, your computer can be loaded with viruses. The first thing it does is disable your virus killer and spybot, the next you cannot visit ANY web pages that offer virus killers, keeping you from fixing the problem.

Well I wrestled with the virus for a while and won. If you find yourself with this problem, go into device manager, make it show hidden devices and look in the list of "non plug and play" devices. You might find something with TDSSserv.sys, right click on it and delete or disable the device. Your virus killers will then work again and you can once again visit virus killer web pages.

This is a new one, viruses that can be attached to Adobe PDF files. This is dangerous and apparently most virus killers didnt expect a vulnerability in PDF files so they use the vulnerability to walk right through fully updated virus killers, spybot, etc.

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I saw that happen. Kaspersky killed it before it had a chance to do any harm. Do you run Norton or McAfee?

I am running AVG and Spybot. I am not happy with AVG it let this one walk right thru it. Spybot immediately reported that a bunch of registry changes were trying to happen, we "denied" all the changes but the virus still got in bad enough to disable my ability to run search and destroy, but it partially controlled the virus and tipped me off as to where the virus planted itself so I was able to determine how to control it within a few hours. Once I disabled the hidden device, AVG was able to get updated, find and delete all traces of the tdsserve.sys or something similar to that spelling.

Ironically I ran Kaspersky and 2 months ago a similar virus walked right thru Kaspersky, which is why I switched and tried AVG...

These virus writters are searching for ways that walk right thru virus killers and even kill the virus killers so be careful out there on the web!

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I'm embarrassed to admit this..

I'm 'in the industry'. I've been working (for real) in the computer industry since 1985, and have actually been involved with computers since 1979. I'm a VERY savvy computer person. It's my job and my life.

The other day I was surfing around, fully protected (AVG/Spybot/Zone Alarm/Site Adviser/ALL Windows updates) just like you Joe.

I got whacked with a drive-by download that did nearly the same thing. I spent a couple of hours trying to get rid of all of it. Finally, I just re-formatted the machine (this was faster since it was my new Laptop which had nothing on it).

I am now forced to believe the 'I didn't do anything' story from people who come to me with their virus infected computers. If it can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE.

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I'm embarrassed to admit this..

I'm 'in the industry'. I've been working (for real) in the computer industry since 1985, and have actually been involved with computers since 1979. I'm a VERY savvy computer person. It's my job and my life.

The other day I was surfing around, fully protected (AVG/Spybot/Zone Alarm/Site Adviser/ALL Windows updates) just like you Joe.

I got whacked with a drive-by download that did nearly the same thing. I spent a couple of hours trying to get rid of all of it. Finally, I just re-formatted the machine (this was faster since it was my new Laptop which had nothing on it).

I am now glad we dont have myspace pages....

I am now forced to believe the 'I didn't do anything' story from people who come to me with their virus infected computers. If it can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE.

I can relate.....

I clicked on a Poll on the "AO-he//" page next thing I notice was multiple IE windows opening kept multipling, and I couldn't stop it until I rebooted!! My wife said hers did that the same other day too.. So the AOL home page is no longer visted...we just used it to read quick hitter news stories...

Edited by mnkyboy

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Anti-virus is not enough anymore. I just worked on a friends laptop that had trojans galore probably from myspace. Anti-virus wasn't much help. Tools from trend micro like hijack this, cwshredder, and a anti-malware from malwarebytes really did the trick.

There was another tool called combofix that also helped. It really takes help from one of the sites that helps people with these parasites. This laptop had Mcafee and avg8 already on it. Avg8 alerted of a problem but couldn't do anything about.

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Most of that is because of ActiveX. You can set the browser to ask you on each install and thta will prevent a lot of those problems.

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I'm embarrassed to admit this..

I'm 'in the industry'. I've been working (for real) in the computer industry since 1985, and have actually been involved with computers since 1979. I'm a VERY savvy computer person. It's my job and my life.

I am now forced to believe the 'I didn't do anything' story from people who come to me with their virus infected computers. If it can happen to me, it can happen to ANYONE.

Same here. First computer was an Atari 800 in 1979 and I was doing assembler language programming for Z80's in the 1980's and later for 68030 chips in the 1990's...

I learned not to brag about my computer abilities over time because I find all I am doing when I visit people is get stuck fixing their computer and not visiting anymore.

Well nothing to be embarrassed about. At least we were both computer savvy enough to recognize what looks like a friendly virus killer is actually the fake alert virus that would make you even more infected if you attempted to purchase the fake virus killer. I bet thousands of people are suckered into these things.

Just so others out there are aware. Virus killer programs dont come to YOU and tell you you have a virus and you need to buy this to fix it. The only good virus killers/spyware are those you have to seek out and get. The fake virus killers can look quite good and professional looking too, like its the real thing, they look like they are finding a lot of stuff wrong with your computer but the darn thing is also the very thing thats downloading and installing all those viruses they tell you that you now have.

The worse thing is, this one I just got rid of guides you to the fake virus killers as the only options to buy. Even send you to fake sites to make you think when you search for the virus killer that you are actually purchasing or obtaining Mcafee or others and you end up with the fake virus killer and some pirate in Somalia now has your credit card number. These things are getting more cunning and dangerous then I've ever seen before!

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I work at MS here in Redmond and the word around here is that you should only visit the web while logged in as a power user vs an Administrator. Simply have one account that is an Admin to add/remove software or make real changes to the system and another account to surf the web and or do daily activites. That way its very hard for anything to take control or change your system. I have heard that you can avoid nearly 99 percent of all attacks this way.

I can personally say that it has worked pretty well for me for many years.

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I thought you could avoid 99% of the problems by switching to a MAC :D

I have an old 68060 mac in the closet... I used to have more frequent virus issues with IT then I do now with Windows. Until these last couple viruses, it had been 6 years since I got one. Sometimes when you go too long without a virus you get complacent... quit buying the latest and greatest updates to your virus killers and then there you go, get one again when you dont expect it.

The latest round we got is because the viruses are getting smarter and going after weak spots in otherwise great virus killers.

Part of my problem is I am reluctant to leave the "free" virus killers, but I understand I never would have seen a problem if I was using Mcafee. Mcafee actually appear to be the best anti-virus for the current generation of viruses. In the old days Mcafee was funded by federal grants as it was the preferred anti-virus by the government. The feds funded Mcafee to have full anti-virus suites for Macintosh and Windows both but in the last 10 years the govt as moved more towards lower financial involvement in anti-virus research and just buy off the shelf like the rest of us, thus Mcafee has to charge for every copy and no more free version on their web site.

I am suprised Microsoft hasnt just put a global virus killer built into windows thats auto updated. They came and stole Netscape's business with Internet Exploder and then gave it all away for free, too bad Microsoft didnt universalize the anti-virus business too.

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The best way to eliminate these problems is to stop using Internet Explorer...that thing

(like MS Outlook) is a virus waiting to happen...get Mozilla Firefox or one of the other

free browsers (personally i use either Firefox (or on the older computers Netscape)

(or if you must use Internet Explorer go into the options (tools -> options -> advanced)

and uncheck the boxes for both "install on demand" 's

Also ideally disable anything related to ActiveX (or at least set prompt)

(tools -> options -> security, click 'custom level)

--------------------------------------------------------

No matter what make sure your virus checker is update

--------------------------------------------------------

I've never had a problem using MySpace, but i also don't go in the chatrooms

(LOL even if i wanted to they don't work on my computers)

Edited by XmasLightGuy
added info

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Blame for this one lies solely with adobe, all the virus writers had to do was send you to a malicious PDF file.

I am suprised that this doesnt happen more, flash would be a better target since most people have those load automatically.

But UAC should stop this from happening since the software cant do much without you approving it. If you turn it off because it annoys you then you really only have yourself to blame for it getting in as deep as it did.

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Blame for this one lies solely with adobe, all the virus writers had to do was send you to a malicious PDF file.

I am suprised that this doesnt happen more, flash would be a better target since most people have those load automatically.

Thats the part that surprised me (and people i've mentioned it to) is that PDFs could

even contain a virus...guess you can never be too safe

Its just a matter of time til someone does a "flash virus" ... glad i'll have a 0% chance

of getting one of those.

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Thats the part that surprised me (and people i've mentioned it to) is that PDFs could

even contain a virus...guess you can never be too safe

Its just a matter of time til someone does a "flash virus" ... glad i'll have a 0% chance

of getting one of those.

Any file can potentially contain a virus if the application that handles it fails when handed corrupt data in a way that ends up running it. Thats what the DEP stuff was supposed to help prevent.

Even when it happens, things only get to run as the application, and the lack of sandboxing of apps to only what they need rather then the whole system is a major issue of all OS's still, except when you are running something in a VM.

I set my friends up with a second install of vista 32 bit in a vmware machine for browsing. Gets trashed, restore it from the backup copy of it. No big deal.

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I heard that Chuck Norris's tear can fix an infected computer. The problem is he never cries.

No, wait... that's cancer, his tears can cure cancer.

Never mind. Happy New Year!

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I agree on the "DO NOT USE INTERNET EXPLORER" comments. IE is trash, M$ knows this and won't fix it because then they won't need the next version created.

If you mush use IE, definitely set everything to Prompt under the ActiveX section, and turn off Install on demand.

Run a reputable AvitVirus software package - NOT McAfee or Norton. The Consumer version of McAfee is garbage, Norton...well, I'm not going there on the PC forums. I used to be a fan of AVG, but I'm loosing faith in them now. AVAST is good, as well as NOD32. Also run Spybot S&D or another Spyware program with an active resident shield (This monitors your system in realtime, not just when you tell it to scan).

Also, manually initiate a scan of your entire system with both your Anti-Virus and Spyware programs on atleast a weekly basis, preferrably daily basis.

Don't let others use your computer, and most importantly whatever account you use on your computer - DO NOT MAKE THAT ACCOUNT AN ADMINISTRATOR. Make it a standard USER or at most a POWER USER. Make sure to remember your Admin password, and when ever you need to install something either login with hte Admin account or Right-clisk the program and say "Run As..." and use the admin name\password to install it. Users having Admin rights on their machines is the biggest cause of garbage getting installed on machines and the users going "I don't know how that got on there?". Well, if they don't have rights to install, nothing can get installed without them manually entering the username and password. *Sorry, getting off soapbox now*

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I go one better. I run Linux and loaded Windoze in a VMWare virtual machine (VM). I can copy the VM with simple Linux commands in about 5-10 minutes. I can restore from my baseline in about the same amount of time. If I get an infection (very rare) I just toss the VM and restore from a baseline.

At this time VMWare has a free version and there are also a couple open source VM projects.

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#1 - That's why I won't make a MySpace.

#2 - I try to keep my Panda Internet Security up-to-date.

#3 - That's why I use Mozilla Firefox!

I do have a question though, particularly for Mac users -

Are they truly free from virus'? Are you concerned that one day people will switch and start to attack them? Does McAfee work on Macs?

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Firefox wont help you from the pdf exploit that is doing the rounds.

Had it popping up my virus scanner on loads of sites, I suspect its being sent via some advertising affiliate or similar since some of them were pretty legit sites.

And there is AV solutions for the mac. With the userbases lax approch to security and the slowness of apple to patch its a userbase ripe for attacking, just a matter of time before someone gives some hackers some money to learn about macs.

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