Something Fun If You’re The “Tech Support” Of Your Family/Friends

If you are in IT you know how it is when your immediate and extended family are when they find out how savvy you are. As someone doing IT work for over a decade, I can relate to these. I did shamelessly steal these from BucksFeed, but let’s be honest, they steal all the content on their site anyways. Enjoy! Added a relevant video for your enjoyment.

1. Firstly, you only fell into the role because of your willingness to help.

HBO / Via giphy.com
HBO / Via giphy.com

2. And because of your kind and caring attitude, whenever you visit family there’s a list of tech-related chores waiting to be done.

Viacom International
Viacom International

3. But at least dealing with tasks in person is better than trying to give advice over the phone.

Columbia Pictures / Via imgur.com
Columbia Pictures / Via imgur.com

4. There is no worse fear than when an elderly relative asks you to set up a Facebook account for them.

imgur.com
imgur.com

5. People forgetting their passwords has become a prominent problem in your life.

Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com
Warner Bros. / Via giphy.com

6. Hell, and some people even manage to forget their goddamn email address.

imgur.com
imgur.com

7. You’re used to family coming to you with extremely vague, nonsensical descriptions of their tech problems.

Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

8. Except when it comes to spelling out URLs, which is always done in full.

Vicki Reid / Getty Images
Vicki Reid / Getty Images

9. But their lack of knowledge doesn’t stop them from having strong opinions.

Focus Features / Via giphy.com
Focus Features / Via giphy.com

10. Or trying to do things you told them were impossible.

reddit.com
reddit.com

11. Sometimes, you’re even asked to fix things you have zero control over (like changing the Google Logo back).

NBCUniversal
NBCUniversal

12. When the time comes, you’re always the person everyone goes to for advice when buying new technology.

MTV
MTV

13. Advice which they then go ahead and completely ignore.

20th Century Fox
20th Century Fox

14. Which often leads to them needing help with more things.

Optimum Releasing / Via imgur.com
Optimum Releasing / Via imgur.com

15. And whenever anything goes wrong, the blame always falls on you.

imgur.com
imgur.com

16. Your family loves to boast to all their friends about how you’re “so good with computers”.

imgur.com
imgur.com

17. And on more than one occasion have offered your services out to others.

imgur.com
imgur.com

18. More often than not for tasks that are way beyond your level of knowledge.

TV Tokyo / Via imgur.com
TV Tokyo / Via imgur.com

19. Because, honestly, your solution is mostly just to Google the problem.

Google.com
Google.com
unsure-if-the-fda-is-for-or-against-vaping-ecigs

FDA Final Deeming Regulations Are Out – Vaping News

If you are wondering what the problem is please read this post from Mount Baker Vapor: FDA Regulation Could Kill Vaping As We Know It

Online Petitions are Starting Up: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/overturn-fdas-ruling-ecigarette-classification-tobacco-product

Full Update (Source – warning: sketchy ads on page):

Today the FDA released its long-awaited electronic cigarette deeming regulations. Sadly, the “deeming regulations” would better be called “The Cigarette Smoking Promotion Regulations of 2016.” They regulate tobacco-free and smoke-free electronic cigarettes much more stringently than real tobacco cigarettes, which the agency knows kills more than 400,000 Americans each year. And by essentially decimating the vaping industry, stifling innovation, and forcing dishonest marketing, the regulations prevent these much safer products from competing with cigarettes – the deadliest consumer product on the market.

 

I will have much to say about the regulations in the coming days, but for now, I want to outline the three major provisions of the regulations and discuss their impact on public health.

 

1. Pre-Market Tobacco Applications

 

SUMMARY
As expected, the regulations require virtually every manufacturer of a vaping device and/or e-liquid to submit a burdensome and costly premarket tobacco application (PMTA) for each of its devices and products. The FDA established a grandfather date of February 15, 2007, meaning that unless your product was already on the market in 2007, you must submit a PMTA. Although the FDA allows a pathway for products that are “substantially equivalent” (SE) to predicate products that were on the market in 2007, virtually none (if any) existing products are substantially equivalent to products on the market in 2007.

 

To demonstrate substantial equivalence, the FDA will require the manufacturer to show that the product is not only similar to the predicate product but that any differences between the products raise no “questions of public health.” Since virtually every aspect of the design of e-cigarettes and e-liquids affects its public health implications, unless a product was actually on the market in 2007, it will not be able to demonstrate substantial equivalence. This means that, as expected, the PMTA pathway will be the only available pathway for virtually every vaping product whose manufacturer wishes to stay on the market.

 

The effective date of the regulations will be approximately August 10, 2016. Manufacturers will have two years from that date to submit PMTA’s for every product (meaning every vaping device and every e-liquid) they wish to stay on the market. If the manufacturer submits a PMTA within this two-year period, it will be allowed to stay on the market for one additional year unless the FDA makes a decision on its application prior to that additional 12 months. If the application is not approved, the product must be taken off the market.

 

In addition, no new vaping products or e-liquids will be allowed on the market from August 2016 forward unless the manufacturer submits and obtains approval of a PMTA.

 

What constitutes a vaping product or e-liquid? Every different vaping device is considered a separate product and a PMTA must be submitted for each. Similarly, every different e-liquid is considered a separate product and a PMTA must be submitted for each. E-liquids with different nicotine strengths are different products. So are e-liquids with different flavors or any differences in ingredients. Thus, if you are a manufacturer that makes 20 different e-liquid flavors and each comes in three nicotine strengths, you will have to submit 60 different PMTA applications, each one demonstrating that the particular e-liquid in question, when used in a variety of different vaping devices, will be beneficial for the public’s health.

 

To demonstrate that a product is beneficial for the public’s health, the manufacturer will have to consider not only the risks and benefits to smokers but the risks and benefits to non-smokers (including youth) and former smokers. Manufacturers will have to demonstrate not only that the product is safer than cigarettes, but that it is effective for smoking cessation and its cessation benefits will not be outweighed by uptake of the product by nonsmokers, including youth.

 

IMPLICATIONS

The FDA has conservatively estimated the cost of a PMTA to be $330,000. While I think this is a gross underestimate, even if we accept this as accurate, a manufacturer of 20 e-liquid flavors with three nicotine strengths each is looking at a capital cost of $19.8 million. Quite clearly, this is a cost that only a very small number of manufacturers (the tobacco companies and the very largest of the independent manufacturers) can afford. This is why the e-cigarette industry will be devastated and thousands of companies will be forced out of business.

 

Although vape shops will not themselves have to submit PMTA’s unless they mix their own liquids, the companies that produce the products sold in vape shops are almost uniformly small manufacturers that will be forced out of business. Thus, there is no way vape shops will be able to survive. The only products remaining on the market will be those produced by the largest companies, and those are typically sold in convenience stores and drug stores rather than vape shops. Thus, these regulations are going to specifically decimate the more than 16,000 vape shop businesses, creating a significant negative economic impact and putting tens of thousands of people to the unemployment line.

 

More importantly, the severe contraction of the market will limit the growth of the overall market. I don’t see the possibility for the continued growth of this market under these circumstances and believe that the level of e-cigarette use will plateau within five years. Thus, the prediction that vaping products could produce a public health miracle – decreasing tobacco cigarette consumption by 50% in the next decade – has been extinguished by the FDA.

 

Moreover, the regulations will stifle innovation. They not only take away any incentive for innovation because of the burdensome new product application process, but they also make it literally impossible for all but the largest manufacturers to commit the resources necessary to develop and test the new products extensively enough to submit a successful new product application. The public health impact of this requirement is that it will greatly impede the development of even safer and much more effective vaping products that can help a greater proportion of smokers to quit in a way that minimizes any long-term health risks.

 

2. Modified Risk Claims

 

SUMMARY
As of the effective date of the regulations (approximately August 10, 2016), manufacturers will not be allowed to make modified risk claims. This means two things: (1) they will not be able to truthfully inform consumers that vaping is much safer than smoking; and (2) they will not be able to truthfully inform consumers that vaping does not produce smoke, that e-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, or that the levels of constituents in the e-cigarette aerosol are much lower than in tobacco smoke, or absent altogether. The FDA has specifically stated that companies cannot even describe their products as a “smoke-free” alternative to smoking.

 

While a company could apply to be allowed to make a modified risk claim, the regulations make it extremely unlikely that a successful application could be developed. To make a claim that e-cigarettes are safer than real cigarettes, one would most likely have to conduct or cite relevant human studies demonstrating long-term benefits of the product. This would be a time-consuming and cost-prohibitive process that could only be conducted by the very largest of the manufacturers.

 

To make a reduced exposure claim, such as that e-cigarettes contain lower levels of a particular carcinogen or that they are smoke-free, one would have to show that consumers will not interpret this to mean that the product is safer than cigarettes. I believe this is an impossible showing.

 

IMPLICATIONS
There are two major implications of the modified risk provisions of the regulations. First, it means that manufacturers will not be able to market their product based on the three most important benefits of the product: (1) that they can help people quit smoking; (2) that they are safer than cigarettes; and (3) that they contain no tobacco and produce no smoke. This severely hampers the ability of the companies to market their products and of course, this will reduce the potential demand for vaping products. This will also result in the protection of cigarette sales because it eliminates the most effective competitive market claims that could possibly be made to convince people to switch from tobacco cigarettes to tobacco-free vaping products.

 

Second, it will prevent companies from telling consumers the truth and will effectively force them to lie to the public. Remember that deception can occur not only from what a company says, but from what the company fails to say. By forcing companies not to tell consumers that the products are intended to help smokers get off cigarettes and to reduce the risks from smoking, the FDA is essentially forcing companies to deceive the public. For this reason, I believe this aspect of the regulations is unconstitutional as it violates the free speech rights of vaping manufacturers.

 

3. Listing of Potentially Harmful Aerosol Constituents

 

SUMMARY
Within three years of the effective date of the regulations, every company will have to submit – for every one of its products – a list of all of the potentially hazardous constituents present in the aerosol. This is itself very costly, as it requires contracting with a testing laboratory, the testing is expensive, and every single flavor or variation must be tested separately.

 

IMPLICATIONS
This aspect of the regulations – although burdensome – will not actually increase the burden of the regulations because in order to submit a successful PMTA, a company would have to present the results of chemical testing of the aerosol produced by every one of its products anyway. So this requirement is superfluous because you can’t submit a PMTA without providing this information anyway.

 

The Rest of the Story

 

Without question, the FDA has done a huge favor for the continued strength of cigarette consumption in the United States. It has blocked what would otherwise been a wonderful opportunity to develop a strong competitor to tobacco cigarettes that could have eventually eroded the cigarette market by nearly 50%, resulting in what could have been literally a public health miracle in terms of the number of lives saves and diseases and suffering averted.

Instead, the FDA basically preserves the status quo, with more than 400,000 Americans dying each year from a cause that is very much preventable.

This is a huge disaster for public health.

 

What Can Be Done
The only way out of this disaster would be for Congress to enact legislation that prevents the FDA from requiring PMTA’s for vaping products and forces the FDA instead to develop actual safety standards for these products. While the Cole amendment is a step in the right direction, it is still problematic because PMTA’s would still be required for new products. We need to encourage innovation, not stifle it. That is the only to develop safer and more effective products that will maximize the benefits while minimizing the risks associated with this much safer alternative to cigarette smoking.


Updates from Gregory Conley:


The FDA Final Deeming regulations are out. Please be patient while we all figure out what exactly is going on. Based on SFATA’s first quick read through (disclaimer) this is what we know. Obviously ,things will become clearer with a little bit of time. I am going to be updating this post as more information surfaces.

  • The grandfather date has not been changed
  • Accessories are not considered tobacco products
  • Shops that make E-Liquid are now considered Tobacco manufacturers
  • A 3 year window has been put in place for a hazardous chemical test
  • Sampling has been banned
  • There will be help for small business
  • Non-Nicotine products will be exempt
  • Use of words like smokeless and smoke-free are banned
  • (new) sales to anyone that is under 18yo is prohibited. Picture ID verification is required. Retail or Internet

Many comments also sought clarification and examples as to which objects used with e-cigarettes would be considered components, parts, and accessories. The following is a nonexhaustive list of examples of components and parts of ENDS (including e-cigarettes):

  • atomizers
  • flavors used or intended to be used with ENDS (with or without nicotine)
  • e-liquid solvents
  • tanks and tank systems
  • batteries (with or without variable voltage)
  • coils
  • cartomizers
  • digital display/lights to adjust settings
  • cartomizers
  • programmable software

The following is a nonexhaustive list of examples of objects used with e-cigarettes or other ENDS that would likely be considered accessories

  • screwdrivers
  • lanyards.

Full PDF’s of the Regulations

Deeming Regulations Full PDF: 2016-10685

Early Draft of the Regulations: industry_guide_draft_tveca

SFATA Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

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Mustang Week 2016 – All the Memes I Could Find +Tribute Video

This is just a funny post as I am into cars and have been in the “car scene” in the past. While I do tend to stay technical with my postings I do like to post some “Just for Fun” posts from time to time.

If you have been on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other social media platform you likely have seen Mustang memes going around. It’s been the butt end of many jokes since some of the drivers of these cars like to try and show off only to end up losing control and hitting others cars and/or people.

Whether it’s the near-countless amount of crashes after leaving meets because burnouts are #life, or car chases that are so insanely executed that they play out like a Tommy Wiseau flick, Ford’s answer to the sports car sure seems like it’s getting all the flak it can handle.

Here are all the memes I have found online and a bonus tribute video to the Mustang.

Meme Gallery (Excuse the wrong/poor grammar some of these):

home-security-system

Beware of off brand cameras – Even from Amazon – Cameras found with embedded malware

I came across this when going through my feed today and wanted to share this with you all. I myself have purchased a few off brand cameras and have had good luck with them but now I am going to be MUCH more careful when getting them in the future, as well as taking a closer look at the ones I have in my network already. Read the below quote and links from TheHackerNews.com.
Be careful while buying any off-brand electronics from Amazon, as they could end up infecting you.
 
Recently, independent security researcher Mike Olsen discovered that the CCTV surveillance devices sold on Amazon came with pre-installed malware.
 
Olsen discovered this nasty secret after he bought a set of outdoor CCTV surveillance cameras from Amazon for one of his friends.
 
He picked Sony Chip HD 6 Camera 1080P PoE IP CCTV surveillance camera kit sold by the Urban Security Group (USG) on Amazon, as it had good reviews and was a relatively cheap set of 6 cameras with all necessary equipment included.
 
While helping his friend set up the cameras, Olsen logged into the administrator panel to configure the surveillance system and found that the page hosted “no normal controls or settings.”
 
Assuming that it might be bad programming, Olsen opened up the browser’s developer tools and was surprised to discover a hidden iFrame loaded at the bottom of the body tag, retrieving content from Brenz.pl.

Surveillance Camera Comes Pre-Installed with Malware

A quick Google search revealed that the Brenz.pl domain was used in malware distribution campaigns, according to a blog post by cyber-security vendor Sucuri in 2011.

 

In short, this means that the newly bought surveillance camera kit could be infected with malware anytime, when the Brenz.pl operator decides to push malicious code to the DVR’s backend through the hidden iFrame.

 

Once the CCTV camera’s operator accessed that page, the malware would be downloaded and installed, potentially leading to unlawful spying and data theft.

 

Since the Breza.pl domain was already on the firmware, there might be other nasty malware included in the firmware as well, that does not provide the camera’s owner to access the backend.

 

The malware distributed by the surveillance cameras can have the ability to hijack video feeds or make the customer’s cameras part of a DDoS Botnet, something that happened last year.

 

So be careful what you buy. Check reviews of every product before buying, even if the product brand and the eCommerce platform is trusted.

 

Vuvmnr9AXjD6fFk3DlnHwgy4QKCR2VcaDP7BUwhjbZc

Why I’m Disappointed With My Generation – Millennials Need to Grow Up and Be Actual Adults

Introduction

What prompted this post was constantly seeing across my social media feeds (Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, etc) the countless posts from people in the “Millennial” generation posting articles and statuses about how Bernie Sanders is equivalent to the second coming of Christ. I want to address some things that I see from these kind of people and why I am so disappointed to be associated, by age, with this group of people.

 

College Education

I  do not have a college degree so I was fortunate to not have a large sum of college debt once I entered the full-time workforce. The college training that I did take (over 100 credit hours) I paid for by working full time while I was in college. I have a large amount of technical training and experience now. I also marketed myself well and constantly focused on keeping current with the changes in my field in addition to making sure that my knowledge has kept growing on relevant technical topics. The point is that I worked full time while attending college, used my contacts through school to make professional connections, and marketed myself to employers well. I also worked while getting a college education so that when I would have been done with my degree I would also have work experience. I have met and heard too many Millennials talking about how hard it is, that it is such a terrible idea, to work while you are in school because it “takes away from your studies”. While there may be some truth to that, having to move into your parents house after college because you can’t afford to live on your own and/or find a job is embarrassing and you should be ashamed of yourselves.

No it's not. Pay your own way.

The people I am talking about are the ones that are constantly complaining about a “lack of jobs” or how hard it is to get a job in their field. The thing is that these people have degrees in majors (political science, literature, history, art) that have a narrow list of job opportunities. What they fail to understand is that it is no one else’s fault other than theirs that they decided to waste their money (typically not even theirs, but higher interest student loans) in a major that has no practical application in the real world. In addition to choosing a major that leads to minimal, if any, job opportunities in their major they fail to apply themselves or market themselves to employers properly leveraging their degree. They feel that they are entitled to a job in their major and will not look elsewhere for other opportunities in a similar or related field.

The Man/Woman-Child

The Man/Woman-Child is probably one of the things that frustrate me the most. It seems like most Millennials just don’t want to grow up. My parents always told me to get a good education, be a good person, get a good job, and always make sure my bills are paid on time. I have been working a full-time job in my field since I was 20 years old (18 if you count retail IT sales/repairs). Would I like to be able to go out and have a good time multiple nights a week with my friends? Of course! However being an adult means going to sleep at a reasonable time every night during the week so you are well rested for the work day the following day.

grow_up_bro2

The problem that I see is that people in this generation don’t want to settle down, they just want to drink/smoke weed/party as much as they can. Adult life isn’t fun all the time but that is life. If you want to be able to have nice things and be able to go out for a fun time you have to work. Eventually, you are going to run out of cash (or money from your student loans) and are going to have to get a job. One issue is that while they do typically get a job it is usually something along the lines of fast food or retail. They then end up working there for 3+ years and because of their partying/spending habits they are in a continual cycle of being stuck where they are. The bottom line is that if you want to be successful you need to leave the childish partying behavior behind and get a full-time career job. Yes, this means marketing yourself and getting actually useful skills.

Entitlement

While this does overlap with the Man/Woman-Child topic I feel that it should be a separate topic as I am going to elaborate more.

There is an overwhelming sense of entitlement with a majority of Millennials. They demand that you not offend them, give them free healthcare, free college, pay their rent, support their children, pay for their food, pay for their stupid mistakes (abortions), and a multitude of other things. This is what happens when you give every kid a trophy and tell them that they are all special. I hate to break it to you but some of you have made poor choices and have no marketable skills; but there’s always McDonalds and a crappy apartment with your 6 other equally stupid roommates.

Let’s get one thing clear – No one owes you anything. Write it on your hand, put it on post-it notes everywhere you go. Just let that sink in and take hold in your mind.

When I was 12 I asked my parents to buy me my own computer. They  proceeded to tell me that if I wanted it I would need to figure out a way to get my own. From that point forward I did odd jobs and scrounged on garbage day for parts to build my own computer. From there I learned to build and fix them with the help of other tech-savvy relatives and books that I borrowed from the library. What’s the point of this story? The point is that I wanted something and instead of my parents just handing it to me I WORKED for it. I appreciated the computer I had far more and I also learned valuable skills that will last my entire life. Had they just bought me one I would have taken it for granted and not have learned how to fix/build a PC of my own. When people are simply given everything they want it makes them lazy and unappreciative of what they have, this goes for everything in life (looking at you people on welfare and food stamps for extended periods/life).

When I started going to college (I went to college at the age of 14 taking 2-3 classes a semester until I was 17) my parents told me that they would pay for my classes up until I was 18 as long as I passed them with a B or higher. If I didn’t pass the classes I would need to pay them back for the credit hours that I wasted. Knowing that I had to pay them back and that if I wanted to not take out loans for school I worked harder in class and started working a minimum wage part-time job when I was 15. By the time I was 18, I was working as a bench technician at TigerDirect averaging 45-50 hours a week on top of a full-time school schedule. I have literally heard of people getting public assistance for their school that “it doesn’t matter if I pass my classes, they were free”.

Like I said above I did not complete my college degree and the main reason was that the classes I needed never had enough people to run and a substitute class was not available. I entered the workforce full-time when I turned 20. I did make a lot of beneficial professional connections at college. The retail job that I worked while I was in college was worth the cost of the education that I received.

The bottom line is that no one wants to grow up and take responsibility for their own actions and/or future.

Political Correctness

When it comes to being “politically correct” and how it pains me, I could write almost endlessly as to what is wrong with this. But for the sake of making a point, I will keep it short.

The bottom line is that while there are actual issues and problems happening in the world we have Millennials getting offended/triggered when they see Trump 2016 written on a wall, calling a man who “identifies as a woman” by the wrong pronoun, or proposing to enforce immigration laws. Everyone is too concerned with offending people instead of actually doing something worthwhile with their time. You have entire groups dedicated to trying to make people know that “black lives matter” when they continually ignore underlying issues in the black community that are the roots of these problems. All lives matter for the record. We have colleges pushing this political correctness agenda on to students and making them think that this is normal and “ok”. Words are just that, words. They don’t hurt you physically and if you can’t handle a little criticism or opposing views then you need to grow a backbone.

Fear the Future: College students’ views on free speech are … rather worrisome

Go back to your “safe space” and do some reflection on what should be important to you, spoiler alert – it’s not being petty about words that “offend” you.

Closing

I know I am not the only person in my generation who feels this way. We need to stand together and resist these sorry excuses for adults. We need to speak up like I am doing now and get the word out. I live my life the way that makes me most happy, not what others want me to do because it fits their agenda.

I will say that typically the kind of people that I see supporting Bernie Sanders are those that have no direction in life and are working dead end jobs. I mean I am not surprised because they only can gain from the programs that he will put in place since they barely have anything to pay taxes on anyway. Socialism is for people who think life is unfair and therefore everyone else, who does work, must take care of you.

Big Surprise /s

I do not keep people around me that like the topics that I discussed and if this offends you please send me an email so I can send you some material on being an adult. Just remember that liberals and democrats are “tolerant of other people’s views”, as long as they are the same views they support.

Recommended Reading

Dear Millennials: Your Love of Socialism Could be America’s Downfall…

Millennials like socialism — until they get jobs

Dear Single Millennials: Be an Adult and Stop Complaining About What You’re Owed…

Our socialist youth: Why millennials are embracing a bad, old term

Millennial Support for Redistribution and Government Social Spending Declines with Income

Fear the Future: College students’ views on free speech are … rather worrisome