It's been an interesting start to autumn so far, with the new season appearing to arrive hand-in-hand with winter.
This follows on from our remarkably summer-ish spring and a decidedly "a bit of everything" summer so who knows what we'll get by the time the calendar says winter is here; perhaps a tropical cyclone and a heatwave?
Even the weather man seems to be struggling to deal with Mother Nature's current mood swings, with the handy dandy wee MetService app on my iPad effectively throwing up its digital hands in dismay and shrugging its digital shoulders in an "I dunno" move, listing absolutely no forecast details for the start of the week when I checked on Sunday.
The only person in our house enjoying the weather at the moment is Norman the cat, who seems determined to show just how absorbent one small cat can be by sitting in puddles and gazing adoringly at the falling rain.
She usually follows up that little party trick by running inside, climbing on one of her trained staff (usually me) and sharing her sogginess.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the world lost oxygen for 5 seconds?
No, well I haven't either, but let's just pretend we had, shall we? Any-hoo, what would happen in those 5 short seconds? Quite a lot, it would seem.
While it certainly has its good points, there is no denying the fact that the internet is becoming more of a security minefield every day.
Many years ago, when I bought my first computer and discovered the joys of the web via my trusty 14.4 kbit/s dialup modem (yes kiddies, there was a time before wi-fi, broadband, Twitter, and even Facebook), there were still a good number of people who didn't use security software.
Back then, having your computer hacked was a more personal event, without the much more automated and efficient processes available to today's online vandals. And even though I knew a lot of people who were living on the edge and surfing without protection, few were actually targeted.
This isn't the case now: if you are online, you are a target. The Symantec Security Threat Report says web attacks rose 30 per cent in 2012.
Symantec's latest range of security software is comprehensive enough to have something to suit most households and are compatible with the new features of Windows 8.1.
It's bad enough that so many Xtra email addresses have been compromised but the fact that Yahoo, the company responsible for managing that email system, won't even give an answer on how many accounts is nothing short of arrogant.
If you have an email address of any description, it's likely you have been affected in some way by the Xtra email dramas: either your email has been hacked or your address spoofed. I have suffered the latter fate and I'm not happy. And there isn't a thing I can do about it.
This whole sorry saga began at least a year ago, when hackers managed to get their grubby paws on the login details for 87,000 of Xtra's 450,000 email accounts. Yahoo has been running the email service for seven years and while it has never officially explained what went wrong, those a tad more tech-savvy than me reckon is was a cross-site scripting attack that targeted a security flaw in a piece of blogging software used by some Yahoo geeks. Everyone thought the problem was fixed but the ongoing problems would seem to indicate that our email addresses are still in the firing line.
I've had phonecalls from friends and colleagues who thought my email had been hacked because they had received messages from me with odd links but while I've actually managed to avoid the whole being hacked part of the equation, I have still been affected. How? I'm being spoofed.
It looks like the hackers copied the address books or took the email addresses from messages Xtra users had sent and they are now spoofing those addresses in the emails: the from line might say it's from me but it isn't. It just looks that way.
This week's video is beatboxer Tom Thum doing his thing at TEDxSydney.
Armed with just a microphone, he pushes the limits of the human voice. This is awesome and just a little mind boggling!
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