Sep. 7th, 2017

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

My area...*rolls eyes*

As you might know, my area might or might not be in the path of an oncoming storm. The crap that's going on, not just in my town or county, but in the entire bi-state area, is perfectly unreal: all the stores from here to Georgia were sold out on MONDAY. Generators are going for well over $1,000 for just ~1000-4000 watts (many of which do not/cannot power a fridge).

A few kind souls had listed used 4000-6000 watt generators for $150-500 but until later on today I didn't have the money for even the lower end. By this afternoon they were gone. I've been on eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, Facebook (scrounging every local swap-n-shop and garage sale) and can't find anything I'd actually buy. There are a few 3000-4000 watt models still available on Amazon in my price range ($100-300) but now Amazon's tacked on a message: "May take an extra 1-2 days to ship" in grass-green letters below the price, so even with Prime, that means 4-5 days goes to 6-7 days to await shipping, and I think we might need it (if we do, at all) by Monday, but my thought is if conditions turn bad enough delivery services won't be out risking their lives by then just to deliver people's goods.

I mean, I wouldn't go out in a hellacious storm if I didn't have to, but who's to say if UPS/FedEx/USPS would or not...

But that's not the end of the price gouging, oh not by any means. A few examples: a manual for some generator is listed at over $200 on Amazon that still costs just $12 on the manufacturer's website. Some UPS battery backups are going for over $300. I have the identical UPS to one I saw at that price on Amazon - just a different brand - sitting on the back corner of my kitchen counter running our kitchen laptop, a lamp, some of our phone and tablet chargers, and I know the damn thing's not worth more than $50 (got it for free off the curb, because as I've said under lock, my neighbors throw away stuff, *in a high-pitched voice*, "It's Tuesday, Harold - time to toss the UPS!". I don't know what's wrong with these people, but I'm not complaining).

But I'm desperate for a generator. I threw away at least $300 worth of food last fall with Hurricane Motherfucking Still Cannot Say Its Name, and spent another $150-200 just so we could buy more during the extended power outage - that's upward of $500 - and between that and the storm putting us out of work for over a week, that turned into such a spiral there was no getting out of it. So I want a generator at least powerful enough to run the fridge so I can keep the food, which will pretty much help it pay for itself, especially if it comes in at or under my $300ish-max budget. But because I can't guarantee we'll even need it, I don't want to spend more than that.

Then again, I could just do like so many people are one for $400, then flip it to someone desperate for $1,200 before the next big storm... *eyeroll*

I'm sort of regretful I didn't look sooner, but I didn't have money sooner, and couldn't know I needed it until it finally hit me in the middle of the night that we've got to get a generator. A lot of people had the same thought I did, to judge by Facebook where everything more affordable was marked sold by today.

I just...*gggrrrrrrrrr*

marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)

With a hat tip to [personal profile] andrewducker for including in a recent linklist

The results of my scan? Well, I've got seven email addresses (it's a not-putting-all-my-eggs-in-one-basket thing), and 6 out of 7 were good. Real good. The seventh - my most important - got pwned ("pwned", for anyone not familiar, is l33tsp3ak for "owned", pronounced "owned". It's an ancient term. I'm surprised the website owner uses it).

I haven't looked very hard into why I'm on the list but more or less, Russian hackers. I turned up on three exploits (with no pastes). If I were to guess, my mailing lists and at least one of the survey websites I use (I have a strong hunch it's Opinion Outpost and/or sister sites, but just a hunch) got hacked and because of that, my info got scraped into various database dumps that were published/sold/given away online/stolen.

I'm able to guess this because all four GMail accounts came up clear and only one Outlook account was compromised. That account was tripling as my Spam Me and survey-taking account.

And surveys...I don't know if you all know this, but sites like OpinionOutpost and Pinecone Research (in it's new incarnation) farm you out from dozens (Pinecone) to hundreds (OpinionOutpost) of survey sites per session, and those websites could've been compromised. The amount of cookie tossing and redirects that goes on in one survey-taking session (sometimes over less than secure pipes, to this day) is a bit hair-raising.

But like I said, that was my most important account, and I can't afford to share it with Russia nor with hackers in general, so I binned it. Goodbye four-year old (or maybe even older) email address.

That made a fun night of getting a new email address (the name-picking alone took me an hour), changing my address across all heavily used websites - and on my computer, which uses the same address to sign me in and out and sync my files to the cloud - and my phone, which again, is hooked into the same ecosystem using the same email address (and which refused to cooperate; it was actually using both email address at once, so eventually I had to hard-reset it, not the easiest or fastest thing to do on my Nokia), then exporting/importing my contact list, letting others know of my new address, and all those other not-so-fun related tasks.

There are still companies I have to call and write (that is, email(!)) because functionality to change your email address is literally MIA from their interfaces. In 2017. Go figure.

One of them is my bank (in case [personal profile] darkoshi asks, not BOA, the other one. But still!)