Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Problems with Netgear Router

The last few days I've noticed several different problems on several different computers. Some of the problems encountered include:
  1. Norton won't update (error when processing updates)
  2. Windows Update will no install some updates (it will install some and fail on others)
  3. When you download software (like Java, Malwarebytes, etc.) and try to install it, errors result (file corruption errors, extraction errors)
  4. Web pages look funny (sometimes, other times they're okay)
Trying to troubleshoot problems like this can be difficult because they're intermittent and inconsistent. System Restore even failed to correct the problems.

Further troubleshooting led to suspect a router problem when I noticed that 3 different computers exhibited the same problems and the only thing they had in common was the Netgear router. I also noticed that some of my friends reported the same problems on their computers, and they used different Internet Service Providers (ISP's). But again, a Netgear router was a common denominator.

My problems were fixed when I bypassed the router and rebooted the computer and modem. According to my ISP, they started getting calls from customers last Friday (17Aug09) - so whatever happened most likely happened that day.

I suspect that the firmware (software inside the router) became corrupted somehow. There's only two real ways this can really happen .... either a corrupted update was installed or it became corrupted while internet surfing. I know two of the routers haven't been updated, so I suspect a harmful website may have caused the problem. Facebook is a common target for viruses and malware and this may be another common denominator.

Sadly, my attempts to update the firmware manually and rest router back to factory settings have failed so far. I'm still working on the problem and will share any answers I find here.

But in the mean time, I wanted to let folks know that if you are experiencing weird internet problems and you have a Netgear router, try bypassing it (then reboot your computer and modem) and see if that fixes the problem. Keep in mind this is only a temporary workaround, but may help eliminate immediate frustrations in the short term.

Be sure to check back later for more info on this problem.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Avoid the "Cash for Clunkers" Website Like the Plague!!!

Now a days everybody is concerned about privacy (or at least they should be). We'd all like to believe our private information is private and will not be misused. It's not too much to ask.

We've all heard the government is building massive databases on each one of us for "good" purposes. Once such purpose is to centralize our medical records so that everybody who needs access to our personal medical records has it. The government even tries to assure us their intent is noble and will make health care more efficient.

Okay, so it's no secret we'd like to believe the government will take the necessary precautions to safeguard our private info. But let me ask you this ... if President Bush or Reagan were driving this, would you still be willing to cooperate????

Let's face it, the government (in BOTH parties) has gotten so big and powerful that it just can't be trusted anymore. It's now infringing upon our individual rights guaranteed under the Constitution (one of our country's founding documents.)! Anybody that denies this, really doesn't understand the Constitution.

The reason I am writing this post is to alert you to the most recent aggressiveness of our government to invade your privacy for their, "noble purposes" ... the "Cash for Clunkers" program.

The government claims it wants to help you do your part in cleaning up the environment by helping you trade in your old clunker for an environmentally safe green-car (which by the way, more and more scientists are standing up now to say is a hoax). Who wouldn't want to get rid of their clunker for a new car? I've been driving the same car for 8 years and would love a new car - especially since mine is approaching 100K miles.

But here's what you need to know! If you access the "Cash for Clunkers' website, you will be voluntarily giving access to Uncle Sam to ALL of your files and information stored on that computer. Sound harmless? Think about this .... once they get access to your computer, they'll have your IP address - which means they'll be able to hack in any time they want! DON'T DO IT!!! The U.S. Government can no longer be trusted! This is the kind of stuff that fascist dictators and 3rd world countries do. Don't be a willing victim!

This is serious stuff and it's time Americans woke up and pushed aside their nativity on what the government's doing. I understand folks who hate Bush, Reagan and other Republicans will be skeptical and laugh at this kind of paranoia. But I urge those folks to ask themselves how they'd feel if it were Bush or Reagen or any other Republican doing these things. I guarantee you I'd be just as outraged!

This is NOT a party issue. It's an assault on America by both parties and it's time we remind the government of their limited roles in our lives! Don't be blinded by party lines!