Tuesday, October 30, 2007

So long and thanks for all the fish

It's been a long time coming, but Pat Etteh has finally bitten the dust. She's been an absolute disgrace during her o-so-short stewardship and I think the only positive thing that has come out of it is the fact that she has resigned with her own hand. My opinion is that so many lives have been saved by her resignation as there were so many people in the wings (Adedibu anyone?) who were waiting to turn this whole shabazz into an ugly, tribal business.

To Madam Etteh, so long and thanks for all the fish.

Meantime I must ask why our president pointedly refused to at the very least comment on something which held up the business of government for so long...

Dokubo's letter

I received this interesting letter in an email just after I went on that temporary hiatus from blogging, but I posted in NaijaRyders. However, since the NR main forum is for registered members only, I have copied the letter to the a part of the site where you don't have to register to read it. It makes for interesting reading, so I recommend you take the time. The stuff is long though.

Like I said earlier, I am enjoying the militant show in the Delta...

'Governor' Amaechi

So the Supreme Court has decided (I can't be arsed to locate a link) that Omehia was wrongfully elected as the governor of Rivers State, and that it should have been Amaechi instead! On the surface it all sounds dandy, and we can celebrate yet another victory for democracy.

My first grouse with this decision is this: I know that I am not very bright (thanks Dr. Watson), but the last time I checked, in Naija we don't practice a parliamentary system of government as practised by the British, we are using a presidential system modelled after the system practised by the Americans. This means that people vote for the individual, not for the party.

With that in mind, I'd like to point out that Mr. Amaechi didn't even stand in the election in Rivers State. So if Mr. Omehia's election was deemed wrong, shouldn't it be Mr. Princewill (second position in the election) that should be sworn in? I've been chewing on this judgement for days, and I have simply been unable to move from this position. Any lawyers in the house?

But like I said earlier, and it remains my opinion, this ruling is late, way too late. Why couldn't all this have been settled before Omehia was sworn in, and then settled? Have the venerable Justices given thought to the kind of instability their removal of our 'elected' officials a tad too late may bring about? Kebbi, Kogi, then potentially Edo and Ondo? Does anyone remember the example of Anambra and how in the last few years that state has lurched from pillar to post almost like a headless chicken?

Before anyone gets me wrong (something a lot of people just love doing), I am not saying that we should allow fraudulently elected officials remain in office and 'enjoy' their ill gotten gains. What I am saying is this: justice delayed is justice denied, and as long as the legal system fails to get its act together, we will continue seeing people rig elections in the hope that they would survive the tribunals. Then again, quite a few of them (like a lot of other fraudulently elected officials in the current government) would survive for the sake of peace. These electoral disputes should have been settled before anyone was sworn in...

Interviews and Tests

I took today off work to go for what I was told by the recruiter was an interview. Only to get there and I was presented with a test, one which I was scarcely prepared for. On a good day (that is after lots of cramming :D), I am certain I would have aced the thing. Today, not at all. Let's wait for the results anyway...

But this should serve as a lesson to all: be prepared.

Juve watch

I'm still too angry about last Saturday's farce to write coherently about Italian football, but the show must go on, and thus it is that I have to inform you that we get to play those Inter pieces of shit on Sunday. Before then there is the little matter of playing Empoli tomorrow evening.

Now a few seasons ago I'd have said without demure that this was three points in the bag, but we have to remember that this same Empoli only a few days back brushed mighty Milan in the San Siro!

Or are Milan still mighty?

What is the problem with the European champions that sees them firmly rooted in the bottom half of the Serie A table at this point in time?

Well, you see, Milan has an aged (no longer aging) squad, and they didn't spend on fresh talent during the summer.

Why didn't they spend?

The answer in my not so humble opinion is Signora Veronica Berlusconi. You see, herself and her husband (the Milan owner) had a very, very public spat early this year, and as every self respecting male knows (myself included), when you and the wife have a quarrel, the last thing you want to be seen doing is spending money on football...

Milan are in for even tougher times ahead.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Quick lessons in management

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbour. Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel." After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob.

After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves. The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs. When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"

"It was Bob the next door neighbour," she replies. "Great!" the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

Moral of the story : If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure

Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg. The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again. The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?". The priest apologized "Sorry sister but the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129. It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory”

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out. The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."

"Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."

Puff! She's gone. "Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life." Puff! He's gone.

"OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager. The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

Moral of the story: Always let your boss have the first say.

Lesson 4:

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?" The eagle answered: "Sure, why not." So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story: To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.

Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey, "but I haven't got the energy." "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients."The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree. The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch. Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story: Bullshit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Even Gazzetta!!!

When even the most anti-Juve paper on the planet admits that something was wrong with the refereeing in yesterday's crap, then you know that it really was wrong. Enough said.


Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Nations Cup cometh

Is it just me or is any other person scared of the group that Naija has been drawn in for the African tourney?

See, as far as I am concerned, this coming Nations Cup is for the Ivory Coast to throw away. I mean, if they can't win it this period when all their players are in top form, playing in decent clubs, and getting regular first team action, then they'll probably never win it in my lifetime.

Please tell me who in Naija's defence is going to hold Drogba, Kalou, Didane..? And which person in our attack would consistently get the better of the Toures (Kolo and Yaya)? Bobs it gives me a headache even thinking about the beating that they would probably hand us on January 21. Damn!

To make matters worse, when we come second in our group, we will end up travelling to face the hosts, and that Calabar boy in Chelsea is becoming more and more of a monster. Chukwu nna biko...

Money talks, bullshit walks

So I was listening to Football Weekly yesternight. Now this latest episode was recorded before Martin Jol was shoved through the revolving door at Spurs, and I find it rather interesting that Sid Lowe actually stuck his neck out for Juande Ramos, who at the time was still the manager od Sevilla CF. His exact words, "Ramos is a man of honour and he would honour his contract until the summer."...

£20 million later, and we know better. I wish Sevilla CF all the best. Not easy to get shafted up the arse by a team of wannabes who's only claim to fame is that they are the local rivals of the team that currently plays the most exhilarating football in Great Britain.

As for the change that Senor Ramos is going to pocket (and the above figure excludes the severance fee he would get when he is fired), I think (once again) that I am in the wrong profession. I mean, in UNIBEN I actually coached my department to second in our local tourney, so maybe it is time for me to brush up my coaching books. Football prepare for the Chxta.


I must point out that I was one of those who was pissed off when the Moanin-ho was shoved through the door at Chelsea (unlike the doors at Spurs, this one isn't revolving). Again I must point out that on further reflection, I accepted that Chelsea is the plaything of a certain oligarch, and when you spend £500 million on that kind of toy, you want it to entertain you. That much has to be given.

Again I was quite pissed off at the kind of hounding that the new man in charge received at the hands of the press during the days after his appointment, especially at his press conference when he looked like a fish out of water, then during that defeat at Old Trafford when some pundits in the Sky studios rubbed their hands with glee while conveniently forgetting that the nit of a referee had spoilt the game by unnecessarily sending off a particular young Nigerian (speaking of refereeing nits, there was one in Naples this evening).

So I am happy for Rabbi Grant that his team achieved something that the Special One's teams have never achieved: a 6-0 drubbing of an in-form team with some sweet and free flowing footy to boot. Again I must point out that Grant got this 'slice of luck' because of the coming of a certain Dutchman...

Mikel Obi

I'm beginning to find it rather annoying that large sections of the Naija populace are antagonising the boy and saying that he is a waste of talent. I mean, comparing him to Okocha is way too unfair, and to be frank, what medals did Okocha win for us single-handedly as a footballer? The truth is that Jay-Jay (and yes I love him too) was never really a purposeful footballer, and his presence actually hurt the Eagles more times than it helped. Remember who lost the ball in the Italian half of the field from which they counter attacked to equalise and eventually dump us out of USA 94?

Mikel has never been a dribbler, and hopefully will never be. His strength lies in his ability to lay that 'killer pass', an ability which Mourinho kind of tampered down admittedly, but to which has been added (and is still growing) an ability to shield the defence. Take a look at the stats for today's game for example. In my opinion they speak for themselves as to his improvment in the defensive side of his game. He didn't commit as many fouls as we have become used to seeing from him, and of the Chelsea midfield he made the least number of bad passes as well as drawing the most fouls. Most importantly, he kept Elano quiet. And Elano has been one of the form players in the Premiership this season! The player ratings used one word to describe his performance today: Efficient.

Enough said.

Juve watch

Some mad ref gave two contentious penalties to Napoli this evening, and that enabled them to beat us 3-1. Even the Eurosport commentary accepted that the penalties were not deserved. I'd love to see what the partisan Gazetta has to say about this tomorrow.

I'm out.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Where do I begin..?

..to tell the plenty stories I have to tell?

Ahh, first I have to apologise to y'all especially Crab and Ijebuman for my unannounced, and rather rude holiday. I'd love to say categorically that it won't happen again, but since it was due to circumstances beyond my control, I wouldn't want to perjure myself. As the saying goes, man proposes...

In any event, a lot has happened during my enforced absence, both in my personal life and in the life of the world. I mean, it's been 21 days since I was last here, and in that time I have gone through some major emotional stress (thanks to Kulutempa for helping me pull through that one); I submitted my dissertation (had to end up doing some programming, and the rubbish worked only in bits).


Not in that manner, I am suffering from SAD. As the winter is setting in, I am getting increasingly irritable and depressed. I feel like going home. It is going to get worse this weekend when the clocks go back. What will happen then is that one will begin to wake up, and get home strictly in the dark. I will only know my little cottage under the cover of dark, and that is depressing. In Lagos there are millions of frustrated people simply because of that feeling. The weather is beginning to feel like a million knives poking my skin, and what is worse, some lady in the office has given almost everyone a cold. I haven't had a blocked nose since I came from Naija and now this...

Speaking of work, I am in the market for a new job. I need to do something in IT, not just backend support on the fringes of IT. Jesu Kristi! I can actually feel some of the small knowledge I had beginning to drain from me, you see, when something is acquired in age, you have to practice it often or else you risk losing it. And thus it was that a very good friend of mine spoke Hausa to me recently, and I was in a daze for a bit before I decoded (not understood) what he was saying. That is what a lack of practice does to you, and it would be incredibly tragic if I let my acquired knowledge slip away. No sir, that won't happen. I don't hate the job per se, and the guys especially those in the warehouse are real fun to be with), but at my age I need to be looking towards improving myself and preparing for a career. My mind is made up, and 2008 will not see me in this job, even if I haven't gotten another offer. Better to sit at home and read than go to work and loose what is in the head...

I was born daft

Now all that is my personal life. For the public line, I was rather amused to find out from no less a personality than the man who was responsible for much of what we know of DNA that I am less intelligent than a lot of the guys working in the warehouse of my firm.


Now that I know, I may as well go back to the institution which gleefully collected money from me to educate my unintelligent head and demand a refund. You see, the money was a waste basically as there's no way I can ever understand a lot of what they were talking about. I mean, the eminent persona said that people who have had to deal with {insert expletive here, for me it is "nigger", which is what I believe he actually wanted to say} employees finds that this is not true. No wonder all that programming has simply refused to enter the cotton wool that resides between my ears.

Don't get me wrong, I am not at all angry with the man. Personally I think he has reached that age in life where he really doesn't give a toss any more, and he can speak his mind as he pleases. And please, no one should believe his apology, methinks it was done just because it appeared the most expedient thing to do. He had spoken his mind a few days before...

In any event, this should serve as a wake up call to niggers the world over. Simple and short, the good Dr. Watson has spoken what so many white people would be too timid to tell you to your face. At the moment we are indeed inferior. I mean look at countries like Naija and think about this: if some aliens land from Planet Zebulon and take a look at the different peoples of the earth, they'd assume that there was something wrong with those of us running about in Africa. Let's face it, fifty years ago, the Caucasian race had this overwhelming sense of superiority with regards all other races, including the Chinese and the Japanese. For crying out loud, The Bridge on the River Kwai couldn't even accept that the Brits had been beaten fair and square by the Japs during the war. Nowadays however, there is no white bloke who would even contemplate their being superior to the Mongols. I mean look at the insult the Springboks subjected Soweto to after winning the Rugby show, but I can bet that they'd have gone to Durban (home of the SA coloreds) without any qualms...

In the last fifty years the peoples from the far East have cleaned up their act, and China will soon surpass Germany as the third largest economy on the planet! Until black people get our acts together, we will continue to face this kind of thinking.

Enough said.


So she has agreed to 'step aside' while the inquest is held into her dealings? And we are supposed to be grateful? Jeez!


...and so it was that last Thursday Chxta (in the company of a very pretty fan) went for the Kalabash show that was advertised by Jeremy. The tall man himself wasn't there having hopped on a plane back to Naija, but the occasion was graced by the presence of a fallen blogger.

There was this rather interesting film on display called Suffering and Smiling that focused on the suffering in Nigeria (Aptly, Fela's scions Femi and Remi were interviewed extensively in the piece). I hope I'm not being arrogant when I say that I think that majority of the audience probably missed the most pertinent part of that movie. One of the guys who was being interviewed said something, "I am not interested in my children enjoying. I want to see the fruits by myself."

When that bit of the interview occurred, the entire hall erupted in laughter. They saw the funny side of it. As for Chxta, I was sad. The man's outburst typified the monumental task we face in forging our nation. Our attitude is all fucked up. Is this where I throw in the towel?

Football talk tomorrow.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Viruses and spyware

Edit: Rumours reaching my ears indicate that Tuface Idibia was shot not too long ago...

As everyone knows (or almost everyone), one of the biggest dangers of using the internet nowadays is the risk of obtaining a computer virus. By definition, a virus is a very nasty piece of software, something you don't want to have hanging around in your virtual neighbourhood, but something which is almost ubiquitous, especially if you spend a lot of time prancing around dodgy websites, an offence that most guys I've encountered (including yours truly) are guilty of even if not on a regular basis.

The original computer viruses were written by enthusiasts who in most cases did their thing just for the fun of it. Back in those days, viruses, worms and Trojans were written by people who were enthusiastic, or who did it for academic study, or who wanted to prove a point, or who in some cases were just plain bored. Times have changed, and recently, viruses and other malicious programs are being written by seriously big players with resources to keep researching for more vulnerabilities in your computer. They have an eye on one goal, and that goal is profit. This quest for profit has brought about the creation of 'new and improved' viruses, and in recent times a surge in the rates of infection by spyware, which to the mind of a security man like myself is infinitely more dangerous than the traditional virus. You see, a virus is nothing more than a regular annoyance which in some cases can crash your hard drive. But to someone who is careful, and who does his back ups regularly, a virus remains just that, a nuisance. However, spyware is a completely different ball game.

Imagine Yuri in Vladivostok installing shit on your '24-7 connected to the internet' computer, and with that shit is able to take over the system, and use it for even more shit such as being able to do something malicious to the SAC-NORAD network. If the NSA does a trace route, they'd find that the attack came from you, and you'll be in deep shit while Yuri walks away scot free.

But there is worse.

Imagine Kola in Lagos installing shit on your system, and his shit just sits there patiently watching your every key stroke, then reporting back to him. Let's say you do a lot of e-bay for example, I can assure you that before the day runs out, Kola would know all your passwords, bank details, card details, security questions, the name of your girl friend, whatever else there is to be known, and he can then go on a shopping spree with those details.

That is the potential of spyware.

Without a doubt then, you must protect your computer with a good anti virus program, and equally importantly, a good spyware program. It helps if the anti virus and anti spyware are bundled together in one package.

I must sound a note of warning here though: it is rather unfortunate, but since the virus thing and the spyware thing has become such big business, the major anti virus vendors (Symantec for Norton, McAfee, et al) are fighting a losing battle, and they know it. Nowadays there is no anti virus tool with which you can claim with dead certainty that you have absolutely no infection whatsoever. Multiple anti virus tools on your system may be a solution, but the effects of that on system resources are too well documented for that to be a practical solution. Truth is that there are malicious codes out there in the wild that no AV program can detect, and sometimes I wish I didn't know this to be a fact. I am subscribed to SANS, and each time I get something in the mail from them (which can be up to four a day - on a day that is not busy), it's like I want to just curl up in a foetal position and cry.

So is hope lost?

Well not exactly, but we are pretty damned close. During my Christmas holiday in Aberdeen last year I spent a lot of time cleaning up systems, and I encountered AntiVermins on the computer of a friend of Maestro. That spyware is a pretty nasty piece of work. I'd have put a link to the site, but chances are that if the link is there, you're in trouble. To be honest, the guy who wrote that stuff has my respect. Majority of the spyware tools in the known universe failed woefully to remove that thing from the PC, and for quite a while it looked like nothing short of a full system format would solve the problem. I eventually got rid of it by manually working his registry, something I hate doing as it is too risky, but hell, the guy was a paying customer...

Thankfully, in the intervening months the world has gotten wise to that monster, and if you check Spyware Guide, there are now tools designed specifically for it.

This brings us to the next question, what are the software that one can use to fight this menace?

Firstly, I'd recommend ditching Windows, and yes, that includes Vista. You see, most of the nasties in the wild are written for the Windows platform, and unfortunately it doesn't seem that Microsoft is doing anything too serious about changing that except to continue the cycle of releasing new patches all the time, patches which would be compromised in a few days at best, a few hours at worst. Frankly, I'm not confident in Vista at all, after all, I was able to compromise its activation within a few days of its release, and I'm no hacker...

In any event, this recommendation won't fly, I know that. Most people love to remain within the comfort zone, and Windows is the comfort zone.

In the absence of a complete OS switch, I'd recommend a change to the Firefox browser. Aside from the fact that it's lightweight, it is a lot more secure than Internet Explorer. You can change your default settings so that the browser doesn't retain any information when you close it. Most important, make sure it deletes all cookies after browsing. Cookies are files which send information back to their parent website, and God help you if those cookies are from malicious hosts. Have you ever wondered how over time the emails you receive from that advertiser you didn't apply to his lottery seems to become more and more personalised to your tastes? That is the work of cookies, so be careful. Another good habit is to remember your passwords in your own head. Saving them in the browser is a poor habit, and any nasty worth his salt would have them from the browser (even Firefox) in the time it took me to type T-Y-P-E.

Then there's the thrust of this article, what AV program should you use?

About a month ago, The Law wrote an article about his experience with an AV program that I recommended to him a while back. In the following paragraphs I would mention my top five, and why I think they are that good. My test machine was a VMware emulation code named Texazz running Windows XP at 1.7GHz with 1GB of RAM...

1) AntiVir.
For those of you with older systems, this may be gold. The advantage that AntiVir has over the competition is its incredibly low memory signature. I remember the first system I ever tried it on, a Compaq Presario laptop speced in at 350MHz processor, 128MB of RAM, so you can imagine that that system couldn't even run Windows XP properly. Installing AntiVir on it was a dream. System performance didn't deteriorate at all. Like any AV worth its salt, it has frequent updates. But I'd like to ask the makers a question: Just who the fuck is Luke Filewalker?
Pros: Low memory signature. Very intuitive interface, a novice user would find his way around very easily.Flexible scans allow you to chose when and what to scan. Uninstall is very clean, no traces left after reboot.
Cons: Annoying pop up upon updating telling you to buy the paid version. No anti spyware bundle in the free version. It slows down the system during a complete scan. It is difficult to get the serial number from the regular channels. Worst of all it doesn't detect the ROTXX virus, and for me that counts heavily against it.
Recommendation: Use if you have an older system and are not permanently online. Thankfully, ROTXX is not as virulent as quite a few other viruses that AntiVir caught.

2) McAfee
One of the two heavy weights in the field, this anti virus is almost guaranteed to be pre installed on at least one in every three computers you buy from an OEM. I was never a fan of McAfee at any point, and one attack too many on systems under my watch has solidified that line of thinking. But credit where it is due, the manufacturers put in a lot of money in updates.
Pros: Bundled anti spyware program, bundled firewall, bundled disk cleaner and defragmenter, bundled network security manager. They threw everything but the kitchen sink into this one. I guess it is an effort to win back a lot of the fans who have migrated in the last few years.
Cons: Incredibly high memory signature. If you have 1GB of RAM or less, forget this baby. It won't do it for you. The interface is not intuitive, a novice would get lost in the endless dialogues that are needed to set it up effectively, or change settings. Poor support, it didn't appear to update as frequently as I'd like. Uninstallation is a bitch, it leaves traces of itself all over the system.
Recommendation: Use if you have a monster of a system and are experienced enough to configure it well. Poor configuration can let in lots of nasties, something I'm sure we don't want.

3) Kapersky
To be honest I haven't tried this one as much as I would want to, but I can say that it did a reasonable job on my test machine. Most of the major threats were intercepted and quarantined.
Pros: Excellent for scans of documents and archived files. Reasonable memory signature, not too low, but on a decent machine it would pass. Very intuitive interface.
Cons: It's a bit expensive, and I couldn't find a working serial number in any of the regular channels, so I had to make do with a trial version. It failed to stop quite a few nasties, and once again, that counts against it in my opinion. Like McAfee, the uninstall was not at all clean.
Recommendation: Nothing much to say really...

4) Trend Micro
To be honest even before I began my series of tests a month ago I already had something against this program. You see, this is what is used on the server in my office (I don't know why in 2007 they are using a Windows server), and wetin the thing don use my eye see...
In any event, this being an attempt at an impartial review, I have to say all, and in terms of catching nasties this is a damned good product. On that I have to doff my hat to them.
Pros: In built firewall, anti spyware and anti virus. Relatively low memory signature. Excellent updates. Includes parental controls (I love that one). Uninstalls very cleanly.
Cons: My major beef with this anti virus is that it behaves like a virus in one sordid respect, it grows. Install Trend Micro on a hard drive and finish the install process with 10GB of space for example, by the end of the week (in this case tomorrow), you'll have less than 2GB left, and that is sad. The only solution to that seems to be to reinstall the whole thing, and when you constantly do that, you leave yourself exposed. Another gripe I have with Trend Micro is that the support (vendor's website and forums) is not the best. There is a lot of work to be done in that respect.
Recommendation: Use if, and only if, you have a lot of hard drive space to waste. Even at that, the occasional reinstall would do you a world of good.

5) Norton
Probably the most popular AV program out there, and this is due to the practice of vendor lock-in, something they've learnt so well from Micro$oft. The one thing you have to give to these guys is the amount that they invest in research.
Pros: The new version has improved its virus detection. The memory signature has become moderate. Excellent update time. Good support, but that is to be expected.
Cons: The new interface is oppressive to say the least, and there should be more options than simply enable and disable. The uninstall process is the 'dirtiest' in the business, and unless you are willing to go into the registry to edit it, be prepared to keep seeing traces of Norton on your system long after you think you've removed it. I don't like the option of providing all your details to the manufacturer during installation. With the others, that option can be ignored, I'm adverse to any form of profiling...
Recommendation: To be honest, run. I used to be a major fan of Norton back in the day, but it has gone from bad to worse, and there's no silver lining to the cloud as far as my eyes can see.

6) AVG
This guy like AntiVir is a relatively new kid on the block, well compared to the others at least, but he is doing a relatively decent job of it. He isn't pretty to look at, and that ugly creature that shows up when a virus is found is an exceedingly lame attempt at humour...
Pros: Low memory signature, it doesn't task resources at all, probably the only program in this list that is less memory hungry is AntiVir. Intuitive, probably the best of the lot in that respect.
Updates are regular and effective. It is more effective than most as well in catching nasties. Support is excellent.
Cons: No inbuilt anti spyware.
Recommendation: Excellent choice, one I'd install any time, any where.

7) Zone Alarm
What can I say? This monster's head and shoulders above everyone else as far as I am concerned. Deploying Zone Alarm is almost like attempting to kill a fly with a sledgehammer, and gosh, this sledgehammer is effective. Starting from the triple layer firewall, to the anti spyware, to the process inhibitor, the guys at Zone Labs took care of almost everything. The only con was that like everyone else, it failed to kill AntiVermins. Unlike the rest of them though (except McAfee), it realised that something is wrong.
Pros: I found the interface very intuitive. Process inhibitor which can prevent a program from running unless you want it to. Triple layer firewall that enables you to select different levels of security for different networks including wireless and wired. Parental control. Excellent privacy options. Regular updates. Clean uninstall. Detected every single nasty I threw at it.
Cons: Nasty memory signature, only McAfee's was worse. The firewall's deny all first policy can get a bit tiresome to people who really don't care.
Recommendation: Need I say more? If you have 1GB or more of RAM, get this fast.

Juve watch

One of Serie A’s bitterest rivalries resumes this weekend when la vecchia Signora travels to Tuscany to take on Fiorentina. It all began in 1926 when the Viola were founded, but it wasn’t until the 1981-82 season until things got really heated. Fiorentia were denied a Scudetto on the final day due to some controversial decisions in both their game with Cagliari and Juve’s clash with Catanzaro. Suffice to say, la vecchia Signora emerged as champions. Things got even worse in 1990 though, when Roberto Baggio traded his purple shirt for the black and white stripes of la Bianconneri le Zebre. Till today he is still persona non grata in Florence.

Juve fans have been told not to go anywhere near Florence by the police. So we will wear our black and whites until Sunday evening. FORZA JUVE!!!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Three more points!

Stole this from Juve the offside

matatoro.jpg As another week in Serie A rolls on, and the ever-present pessimistic, cynical, pathetic, feeble, and outright idiotic comments are being made following yet another* Juventus victory, I just can’t seem to wipe off this incredibly emphatic grin on my fucking fat face. Sure Trez was offside, sure Trez has a horse shoe up his ass, sure Nedved drinks the blood of young boys as the source for his magnificently-glowing radiant locks of hair. Believe what you will, the fact remains that Juventus is now only one point off the lead after a hotly contested derby in Turin last Sunday.

Go ahead, suck in air everyone… Do you know what that smells like? It’s the unmistakable sent of flares and tear gas…. Ahhhh it truly does bring tears to your eyes even if you’re not a bianconeri faithful. Even before the start of the Derby della Mole, rival ultra firms from Torino and Juventus got the party going early outside the Stadio Olimpico. Can we really blame em?… I mean it’s really not an official derby unless at least a few ultras are sent to jail right?… That being said, there certainly was no love lost between firms last Sunday despite the derby’s four year absence. Now although I would have like to see my Drughi kick some Granata ass, the clash looked like a stalemate between firms, much like the way things mostly went inside the stadium.

No doubt as a result, that energy spilled onto the pitch as more than a few yellows were handed out. When Juventus and Torino weren’t busy commiting fouls or losing possession, both teams enjoyed painstaking opportunities to score on each others final third. Ranieri, employing another 4-3-3 formation, was left with unenviable task putting together a strong defensive unit. With Grygera, Legrottagllie, Chiellini and Molinaro’s efforts being called into question again, one cannot reasonably assume Buffon can continuously bail them out against better clubs. As our defense remains our top transfer priority.In any case, unlike other mid-table deserving teams* (Asterisk self-explanatory) that can’t seal victories, La Juventus solidified three points from Torino as this championship team continues to stay stride-for-stride with Inter.

Fratelli Bianconeri, I must confess though I did not watch the match… I was force-feeding my bull-dog Gattuso. You see, I’d like to have him take a tremendously nasty shit all over my neighbour’s lawn, who is in fact a Viola fan ahead of next week’s clash. Henceforth, my poorly detailed recap. However for a more conclusive effort on the match against Torino, the lovely Martha here at The Offside provides an equally as lovely recap. Instead, being the mindless drone to television and all-things-lazy, I bring to you the video highlights. Enjoy Ragazzi Juventini.





Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy birthday Naija

I have to pay a tribute to my country on this the one day of the year when I must.

Our country is 47 today. It is true that we are lagging behind a lot of others in a lot of things. We have no shortage of bad roads, corrupt officials, a poor healthcare system, a terrible legal system, no light, and worst of all, an educational system that is falling apart. But lamenting is the easy way out. Why can't we focus on the little positives?

I saw this somewhere a year ago today:

What I see on the streets of Lagos is an improvement of what i saw in 1993!
What I see in the cities of Delta State is an evolution unprecedented.
What I see in Onitsha of today is order unimaginable in the 1990s.
What I see in Kaduna is religious tolerance none ever imagined could be achieved.
What I see in Cross River is a jewel born on the Atlantic in the 2000s.
What I see in Abuja is a city hewn from desolate rocks.
What I see in Nigeria is a nation emerging from economic obscurity to international prominence, with so much weight cast down from debt relief/payments and new purposeful policies and institutions.

We need to find a way forward, I believe that 140 millions are people who have great ideas that can move our country forward.

We should pray for Nigeria.

We should all stop bad mouthing about Nigeria and giving the country a bad name.

How many of us remember the national pledge? It is a source of motivation.

We should stop complaining about our problems and start seeing Nigeria from a positive angle.

Let us act! Let us all do something positive each in our own little way that will contribute to the progress of our country. We can all make a change irrespective of where we are, who we are,what we do .

We should stop the blame game. Blaming our leaders is a short cut. We put them there, and by our actions leave them there. The people deserve the government that they have! It is time to accept our responsibilities.

My wish for all Nigerians is written in Numbers 6:24...

"The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace."

Naijeriya yi ti gbogbo wa ni!