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Thursday, August 6, 2020


Several months ago for no discernible reason, I suddenly became afflicted with a series of extremely irritating pop-up ads that would appear with a loud musical chord announcing their arrival on the right hand of my computer screen. I could make them go away with a click but sometimes there were as many as six or seven backed up behind the first one. I had no idea why they appeared nor any idea how to make them stop appearing so I simply laboriously dismissed them as they arose.

Yesterday, as I was idly viewing my computer screen ("idly viewing" is my default condition in the seemingly endless months of virus isolation) I happened to notice a tiny little symbol at the very lower right of my screen over which was printed the number 21. Having nothing better to do, I clicked on it. Instantly, a very large panel appeared covering the entire right hand edge of the screen from top to bottom. The information on it seemed to have something to do with these irritating ads and as I looked more closely I discovered a place where I could click to dismiss them. I did so and the ads have not reappeared. I feel liberated!

Now, I am well aware that every sentient 12-year-old on the planet would have discovered this within minutes after the first ad appeared but I take my victories where I find them. As my son, Tobias, advised me many years ago when I was remarking on the fact that the other people in the exercise room seemed to be walking much faster on the treadmill than I was, "Dad, you must only concentrate on your own personal best." I took that advice to heart and so I am here today to brag unashamedly that after only two months I have made the ads go away.

Sufficient unto the day...


David Palmeter said...

My problem with the personal best standard is that my personal best keeps getting worse.

Robert Paul Wolff said...

Sigh, I know, I know

Marinus said...

You've been targeted by a very commonplace kind of computer scam, where people install all kinds of 'helper applications' which don't have the capacity to do real damage to you or your computer, but does continuously bombard you with advertisements and goes harvest all kinds of information about you to make advertising to you be more lucrative to them. You should remove as many of these as you can, because they are insiduous and do noticably slow down your computer.

I presume you're using a Windows computer. You should go to the 'Add and Remove Programs' (in the current version of Windows, you can press the Windows key, start typing the name and it will appear; otherwise, look in the Control Panel). Then, remove every single program on the list that you don't recognise. In the age we live in now, if you accidentally remove something you actually need, you'll be able to quickly and easily get it back through the internet. There are some technical packages you don't need to remove (with names like 'Microsoft Visual C++ Studio [etc.]), and in general everything that is tagged with 'Microsoft Corporation' is fine (though you can remove a bunch of those as well!), and again, if you do manage to remove something you shouldn't have, it is trivial to fix. Clean house, don't be shy! Just imitate Jesus and the moneylenders and wrathfully cast them out.

There are further steps you can take to both get rid of and safeguard against these annoyances, especially in your web browser, but this is the lowest hanging fruit.

There are other steps you can take

Jerry Fresia said...

I know the feeling. You're lucky or have solved the problem the way you did. I always have to google everything for solutions, which is another rabbit hole.'re absolutely right about the goal posts moving...I don't even like the notion of my "personal best"......the one thing I pay attention to, and this has nothing to do with computers....(no one, accept the career nerds, can keep up) aerobics....making sure that my heart is beating fast for about 30 to 40 minutes every day. I'm trusting that the "health gods" will keep the serious stuff at bay after that. BTW, Professor, my guess is that you use Windows/PC which is more prone to these invaders than is a Mac - I am told.

Michael Llenos said...

[I consider that ever since personal computers, VCRs, and remote controls started selling, the younger generations have always been seen as more technological savvy than their older counterparts.]

Changing the subject, I think the main reason many Americans haven't waken up to just how desperate the Covid-19 pandemic is is in the very nature of the illness itself. There are no endless rows of human faces to put on television and to speak up because those poor souls dying are all on respirators--and with no official public funerals later on for health reasons. As I am writing this (I think) around 200k Americans have died so far because of the coronavirus. By December, officials predict 300k Americans (I hope not) could be deceased because of this post modern plague.

There is a lot of blame to go around. Some may say leadership is the problem. But I like to blame the problem on the nature of the illness especially. Take two wars: Vietnam and WW2. Around 60k Americans died in Vietnam while around 260k Americans died in WW2. Whoever knew a loved one who suffered from either war felt the evil firsthand. However, what did the evening news show during the mid to late sixties to people who were not directly impacted by the war in Vietnam? Helo lands. Infantry go into the woods. Infantry come out bloody, or dead, or wounded. Every weeknight this was repeated. So no matter how mysterious or confusing Vietnam was, no American wanted to deal with it anymore, and all thanks to a form of video communication not seen in WW2, Korea, or in any war previous to Vietnam.

There is an old folk saying, 'What you don't know can't hurt you.' And yet many more Americans will continue to die because 'What you don't know CAN hurt you.' And this illness has not made it easier in getting the public informed like it should. Propaganda (1928) by Bernays may give political leadership some pointers on informing the American public how dangerous this real-threat-illness really is. But what we really need right now (besides a good vaccine) for the world are those same fearless Vietnam news reporters to tell the world the countless true stories of how horrible this evil pandemic truly is. And maybe more Americans will not brush off this plague as unimportant. However, like I said, the illness makes it hard for news reporters to bring home the faces and voices of those poor souls who are suffering from this current illness and plague.

AP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AP said...

I suggest downloading a browser extension to block all pop-up ads. I recommend ublock origni, it exists for both for chrome and firefox. you can do a "google" search for it "ublock origin"

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