Useful Internet VCE English Resource and a Warning re Internet Use.

Hi to VCE students and readers,

An Example of Useful Internet VCE English Resource.

I recently accessed ATAR Notes, a VCE resource for students mostly by students.                              With some sifting, it has some excellent material (and forums of mixed value).

Below is one of the excellent links. Disclaimer: note the date!                                                      However, there is still so much valuable material.Current curriculum involves more awareness and use of metalanguage and multiple readings (awareness of how people can interpret text differently depending on personal and social perspective and ideological leanings). Please first read through to the end of this post.

English Guides, Sample Pieces, Tips and Resources « on: December 19, 2010, 12:15:28 AM »

As always, do not just take what you read at face value. Consider deeply and analyse critically. Do your research. How would you approach the material? Regularly practice paragraphs in the appropriate form and style in response to prompts and text.

WARNING RE LINKS TO DOWNLOADS ON USEFUL RESOURCE WEBSITES. 

One more very important thing! Do not click on links like iLivid to access media material. They often come bundled with very nasty Trojans.

This I discovered last night.                                                                                                               It took me a weekend to realise how deep the Trojans burrowed into my system.                                  It took me many hours to work out how to dig them out and destroy them safely.                           I’m not the most technically savvy person but I was determined!

So now I wish to share my story briefly as a warning and a guide to any who find themselves in this situation.

One of the web pages on ATAR Notes had a link to a bundle of 50 odd articles a student had accumulated in his research for the Context Area of Study. There was a suggested link for file decompression. It was iLivid in this case. I trustingly/foolishly clicked the link and downloaded it. This involved the typical permission I Agree. Unfortunately, somewhere in all that wordiness, or in some other technical way beyond my comprehension, there must be a loophole for Trojans to use and hijack and/or a point of entry through my firewall .

The first problem seemed fairly innocuous but irritating. My default browser was sidelined and instead a Bing-like browser page popped up with URL searchnu after redirection through dts.search-results.com; according to Anvisoft Forums, it is categorised as “a malicious browser hijacker virus” which pretends to be a legitimate website but comes with lots of bundled malware, malicious spyware, adware parasites etc. A very, very nasty piece of work! )  The use of a www1 appeared during this time which at other times may not have been so much of a worry but in the context certainly was, given that it enables redirection (I believe). Waiting ‘in the sidelines’ of my programs, I also found WiseConvert, URL http:Wiseconvert.com. There were even more I could not find or identify. See below.

REMEDIAL STEPS TAKEN.

  • No searches were done after infection!
  • Asked someone else to look up the suspicious URL name from another computer and,  when this was not an option, I used my un-synced smartphone search facility to keep a separation of information.
  • Was cautious about the sites used for information especially if the discussion seemed lightweight or if they suggested downloads or links.
  • Triple+ checked the suggestions across a range of sites. The more trustworthy sites offer suggestions for finding and dealing with embedded programs and links.
  • Cleared all my download and search histories in the hope of reducing data accessible to spyware before following sensible suggestions from selected sensible sites.
  • Went into Control Panel and uninstalled suspicious programs appearing over the last week and particularly around the date of iLivid download.
  • Accessed Settings on the affected browser and deleted any suspicious add-ons and reset the default browser page.
  • Ran my widely respected virus protection program.
  • Restored system to an earlier date before download of iLivid then ran updates and virus check again.
  • Rebooted.
  • The problem would go away for awhile — but then it would re-emerge!
  • Researched anti-malware and anti-spyware programs. I have generally found CNET  to be a reliable point of research  as a guideline on a number of computer technology issues and programs, but again I cross reference.
  • Downloaded Spybot Search and Destroy, read Tutorial and Help then ran it. I thought I had uninstalled several dodgy programs including iLivid and reset settings. Spybot did a deep search and found several problems, including an iLivid cookie deep in my system. On instruction it disposed of all except one problem. It advised a second run through on Administrator mode, This removed the last, most deeply embedded bug/virus/trojan/worm or whatever it was bearing iLivid tag. So far so good: fingers crossed.
  • Am now considering getting another such program which someone recommended would work alongside Spybot.
  • Am also considering resetting passwords after putting out this warning for others. Perhaps I should have done this last night @ 2am when I finally cleared the system – hopefully.

Why does it matter?

Various sites suggest some disturbing possibilities apart from simply watching your search habits.

  • Tee Support claims Wiseconvert toolbar (Wise Convert BHO) may be a part of an online fraud, sneaking into the target computer and changing DNS settings, forcing pop ups and redirections to Wise Convert or other tricky links like searchnu or dts (any unfamiliar browser names or changes in look should be treated with utmost suspicion and caution). Ultimately one of them resets your browser to URLs like http:Wiseconvert.com without consent. Initially it may appear just a nuisance but it can cause browser crashes (which happened to me), slow the system, slow internet speed, The nuisance value increases over time.
  • However, it is the breach of privacy and the harvesting of personal information (browser passwords, cookies, online banking details etc) which are particularly disturbing to the individual.in this era of identity theft and internet fraud.
  • Other sites suggest your computer can be used as a redirection/transfer or remote station for dodgy, even illegal & salacious, internet activities.

I hope this helps some of you.

Cheers,

J

Kalliope Amorphous_Imitation Vs. Inspiration: On Creativity And Visual Plagiarism

Here is a reasoned call to artistic (and, I would argue, intellectual) authenticity from the blog of Kalliope Amorphous: Imitation Vs. Inspiration: On Creativity And Visual Plagiarism. The copying of a visual artwork, complete with a largely cut and pasted artist’s statement, described in this post would be called plagiarism in the academic world and viewed with disappointment, distrust and disgust. It is a breach of trust at an individual and community level.

Referencing and developing fresh ideas around other people’s ideas is how the world of ideas maintains momentum and it should be encouraged. However, referencing is the key word. We need to be honest and courageous enough to acknowledge credit where it is due.

With this in mind, go forth and create.

J

Ideas about Identity on TEDx

2012 Photos from Julie's iPhone 684      Hi there,

TEDxConstitutionDrive 2012 had a very interesting series of 15 minute talks on Identity in today’s world and into the future. These are important ideas to consider in the early decades of the digital revolution.

For VCE students here in Victoria, Australia, listening carefully to these talks and pondering the ideas presented will offer material relevant to any of the Contexts as well as preparing for citizenship in our rapidly changing world.

John Murray presents some of SRI’s interesting research projects which shine light on identity generally and  in the digital world in “The Future of Identity: New Research Ideas at SRI”:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qteteaPieB0

Duleesha Koolasooriya offers his thoughts about “Identity as a Barrier” in a shifting world. Check out the cheeky message on his T-shirt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ba6qtH7YWDk                                                                                                                                             

“The Need for Limited Liability Personas” is an informative and challenging talk by Canadian Kaliya Hamlin alias Kaliya Identity Woman. Anyone who has used personas or handles or pseudonyms online should listen to this. Probably be anyone reading this blog 😉    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lazg31TN8FE

In “Tribal & Scientific Identities”, Chuck Striplen & Laura Peticolas present the development of projects to amalgamate the knowledge of land management from two different paradigms and how the process challenges the identity of those involved and the efficiency model of scientific communities and corporations.  The final message is worth noting. It would be a great process to implement here in Australia with our First Nation peoples. Our Western management model imposed on a tough yet fragile landscape has created some inspiring engineering projects with profound social enrichment through the migrant workers involved but also some enormous environmental problems and terrible alienation of the original custodians of the land.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuUGgVxL2Mo

I clicked on a talk on “Identity Crisis” with a picture of a young muslim woman. It is from TEDxYouth@Cairo and, as I discovered, is in Arabic. Taken in by Menna El Kiey’s passion and energy, rather than just click away, I continued watching and listening for 5 minutes.  I enjoyed hearing the music of a language the semantics of which eluded me.  I also discovered in that time that she seamlessly wove in quite a few English words and phrases. I thought it interesting to note which ones: as long as; radio; comic; biology; trust – mistrust; communication; rules; forbid (?); guys (as an appealing address); emotion; opposite gender; dream (in the visual); achievement; TEDx; research; notes; time. This stirred many thoughts about language, culture, history and identity. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foNZoo7OgUY

I’d love to hear what you make of any or all of these explorations of identity.

Cheers,

J

 

Mindfulness in May

Hi there,

I’m mindful that it’s been quite awhile since my last post.
A new granddaughter has entered my world which is very exciting. It has also distracted me from my thought processes about and plans for posts. That’s ok. That’s life.

I came across this today and thought it may be useful for others in dealing with life’s daily and exceptional events.

http://hubaustralia.com/2013/04/10-ways-to-be-mindful-in-everyday-life/

Then I came across this talk on 4 May 2013 from TEDx Sydney (an annual TED style event). It’s title is ‘Finding Your Inner Voice’ and it covers ideas about intuition and mind-body connection or mindfulness about our emotions seated in our bodies. This is really worth a listen:   http://tedxsydney.com/#&panel1-2

The day long event had foods produced locally delivered to the caterers in the days beforehand. They did not know what was going to be delivered. It’s been called Crowd Farming. What an amazing concept!  Be inspired!  http://tedxsydney.com/#&panel1-1

Hoping to post again soon.
Take care and cheers.
J