Windows Service Centre: Viruses and scams and

Spent an hour of my life today wasting an hour of a scammers life.  Not sure if that was a good investment, but amused me for a while.

EDIT: I perhaps wasn’t clear enough.  If you’ve come here from Google, and you’re wondering what to do – this is a SCAM.  You can safely hang up the phone right now – nobody is calling you to tell you about viruses, nobody will call you out of the goodness of their hearts, nobody is monitoring your computer for free.  If you want, you can amuse yourself by chatting to them, but under no circumstances should you install any software, give them any access to your computer, give them any passwords or personal details (including your real name), or give them your credit card.  You can talk to them and have a laugh within those rules – so you can pretend that you’re trying to install the software they want, and you can be really bad at it, but don’t actually install it.  Hopefully that’s clear enough!!

The call was:

Hello, this is Windows Service Centre, we’re calling about your computer we’re seeing traffic on the internet

We chatted for a while, then I told him I needed a pen.  Took me 10 minutes to find a pen (I had to change clothes, go to the bathroom, and get a beer for the road ahead).  He waited, which was nice.

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Space habitats, reusable space craft

So, there’s a part of me that’s disappointed by the progress of space travel.  Sure, the Apollo program cost (at peak) nearly 1% of US GDP, but it still remains that we went to the moon. What have we done recently that’s even half as cool?

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Clearing Space Junk

So, I hear on the radio today how they’re planning to adjust the orbit of space junk using lasers.  Basically they identify space junk that might collide with a satellite we care about, then they push it with a laser so as to adjust the orbit enough to avoid collision.  They’re also talking about launching satellites that can intercept large space junk and de-orbit it.

My thought – why try to de-orbit space junk?  We spent a lot of money getting that stuff into space, it’s almost certainly made out of materials we could do something with.  People are talking about intercepting asteroids so as to mine them, and build space habitats or other cool stuff.  Why can’t we do the same with space junk?

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