• 65 Guido Sarducci vs The Scammers

    And now, the moment you've been waiting for: It's another Torment a Scammer episode!

    First up, we have a Spectrum imposter. I give her the runaround by constantly changing my tune as to what cable company I subscribe to.

    Next, we have a very revealing call from a guy who admits I'm not "the no call list". I HIGHLY doubt he's referring to the American Do Not Call Registry. Far be it from them to respect that. Rather, I think it's an internal list where scammers keep track of guys like me who waste their time.

    Later on is a pain relief scammer. I keep her busy by telling her all the ailments in my body.

    Finally, a Medicare scammer who wants to know the name of my doctor. I spend about 16 minutes spelling the name GUIDO SARDUCCI while he struggles with it. (Some of you will remember that character from SNL!) I then read off all of the membership cards in my desk, including my grocery bonus card, my hotel rewards club, and my Purina Puppy Chow membership card.

    Thanks for telling your friends about the show, and buy my book for all of them!

    34m - May 20, 2024
  • 64 Microsoft Outages and Update Attacks

    In this episode, we'll discuss some recent Microsoft cloud service outages and explore why they still happen.

    We'll also discuss:

    Some recent update attacks and the resulting destruction to Windows PCs.

    What causes update attacks and how to prevent them.

    And finally, after eleven years of Marc hosting tech talk shows, finally, finally, someone in the government realized that Microsoft should be questioned and possibly held accountable for some major major cybersecurity breaches (and hopefully the panic, chaos, and fear that society has had to deal with since the company's inception).

    Get ready to learn and thanks for telling your friends about the show!

    Remember, if you know someone who wants to protect seniors from Big Tech and online scams for a living, send them over to becomeanexorcist.com for training!

    30m - May 14, 2024
  • 63 Is Microsoft Exchange Safe?

    Tonight we discuss cybersecurity breaches: In other words, people stealing each other's data instead of doing something constructive.

    Microsoft Exchange is a software product from 1996 that holds your emails in a server. In 2021, the world watched as bad guys broke into Exchange servers and sucked emails out like a vacuum.

    The bad guys then shared the exploit with other bad guys. In other words, the hack went viral.

    The cybersecurity community panicked, Microsoft churned out a patch (which the bad guys immediately started reverse-engineering), and they all went back to an uneasy silence. Until the next time, and the next one, and the one after.

    So goes the continuous break-fix-break-fix cycle of fear. In other words, Whac-A-Mole. (New holes are discovered in Exchange almost daily.)

    As usual, Non-Microsoft products were not affected.

    For some reason, people use Exchange to this day. The only reason I can imagine is because many IT jokers don't have updated training, and think it's the only choice.

    Thanks for telling your friends about the show!

    30m - May 7, 2024
  • 62 How Far We've Fallen

    It's another one-hour special! Today is a solo teaching episode, where Marc discusses:

    • Nick Francesco's exposure of Apple's "Designer Exodus"
    • A Plain English history of what brands of processors Apple has used, and the opportunity to repurpose old Apple computers and tablets
    • You've heard of JD Power & Associates. It's a company that surveys consumers on their satisfaction with their cars. But did you know that car companies initially resisted the feedback? It wasn't until later that they realized customer feedback could actually help them. Imagine that. (And stay tuned for Computer Exorcist consumer satisfaction seals of approval!)
    • The second article illustrates how far we've fallen. Here we are in the 21st century, unilaterally ruled by Silicon Valley. Modern cars not only ignore client feedback, but force you to agree to surveillance. The cars now film you, even when they're supposedly turned off in your garage.
    • Worse, yet, Tesla employees admit they watch these videos and share them with each other. When the company tried to award them with free loaner cars, their reaction was fantastic.
    • Furious yet? If you're sick of sitting in your cubicle, check out becomeanexorcist.com to learn how to protect people from Big Tech!
    50m - Apr 22, 2024
  • 61 HP's Inky Oil Spill

    When Marc saw this article, he knew he'd have to summon Dr. Mike to help him get through it with a bit of levity.

    Tonight's one-hour special is about the HP ink cartridge scandal. Not only does HP charge an arm and a leg for their cartridges, but they're now sending out update attacks that turn your printer into a paperweight if you dare try and use a third-party cartridge. Yes, remotely killing their own brand of printers, the printers you bought from them. It's called their "Dynamic Security System".

    Outraged yet? This PR "oil spill", or rather "ink spill" is very vindicating. Finally, the world is seeing what Marc's been preachin' in his tech gospel since 2012.

    When they were caught doing this, HP claimed it's to protect you from "viruses". They know most people still think viruses happen, and figure they'll be able to get away with that excuse. Security experts have noted that viruses have never been detected in existing ink cartridges, and if so, it would be highly difficult, unlikely, and not worthwhile for the bad guys.

    Most companies encourage you to use their usually-superior genuine factory parts, and discourage you from using third-party parts. That's totally fine, but it seems as though HP has removed that choice. Why? Their admitted goal is recurring revenue through vendor lock-in. (Remember when companies used to prioritize customer satisfaction?)

    We discuss how to protect yourself from expensive factory cartridges and update attacks, and encourage people to seek other brands that are more ethical.

    Finally, we discuss the phenomenon of a group of disgruntled workers walking out of a large corporation and starting their own underdog competitor - and how it usually ends up working well.

    Thanks for telling your friends about the show!

    51m - Apr 2, 2024
  • 60 Exploiting Loneliness in Older Adults

    Tonight's solo teaching episode focuses on one very poignant article, entitled "Can AI Curb Loneliness in Older Adults?"

    • Many seniors are lonely. In response, one new company is now selling/renting robots to the elderly.
    • It's one thing if you talk to it when you're lonely at home, but one lady reported shunning her family reunion because she felt as though the robot was now her family. WHAT?
    • Unlike the robots from The Jetsons and Star Trek, these aren't independent robots that are "part of the family".
    • These are simply glorified Amazon Echo devices that record everything you say and send it back to Home Office, and then produce results that they deem are most amenable to you. It's the centralization of companionship.
    • "The company prioritizes user security and privacy." Yes, that's what they all say.
    • Turns out MILLIONS of younger people have already been sucked in by AI boyfriends/girlfriends. It's an app where you pretend to text with a significant other.
    • Oh yeah, and if the old folks can't afford the milking fees, NY State will pay for them, because it's a great way to keep people isolated from each other and pacified. In other words, The Matrix.
    • Marc then shines a light on the whole situation by suggesting healthier alternatives. For example, there's this brand new thing that nobody's ever heard before called INTERACTING WITH OTHER LONELY HUMAN BEINGS. You can attend bridge clubs, churches, or even family Zoom calls.
    • You can mentor young people, because Lord knows they desperately need to be taught some social skills.
    • You can do pretty much anything else and end up better off.

    Thanks as always for telling your friends about the show!

    38m - Mar 22, 2024
  • 59 Selling Who You Are with Janet Gervers

    Tonight's guest is Janet Gervers!

    One day in the 1990s, she heard about the web, and decided she should be a web designer. So she moved to San Francisco and the next morning the web took off! We even get a history lesson on the origins of Flash multimedia.

    She's now an expert in online branding, emphasizing branding that authentically communicates who you are and why you're different. She mainly works with women entrepreneurs who are coach/author/speakers who don't want to deal with the tech aspect.

    Tonight we discuss the typical cycle of technology: Something novel comes out, and then the designers let their imaginations run wild, until it becomes more and more and more and more bloated and overgrown.

    Finally, we discuss an article about passwords! You know how websites are now forcing you to make COMPLICATED passwords with letters, numbers, punctuation, Cyrillic characters, and music notes? IT TURNS OUT IT'S TOTALLY UNNECESSARY.

    It is actually less secure than a passphrase, and bad guys don't even care, because they're just copying and pasting your passwords anyway. So it just ends up being an excellent way to terrify consumers. Unfortunately, most computer guys don't know this, because they worship complexity and/or don't keep up on their training.

    Thanks for telling your friends about the show!

    38m - Mar 16, 2024
  • 58 The Heroics of Weakness with Aaron Welty Pt. 2

    Here's the long-awaited sequel to the interview with our very own superhero, Aaron Welty.

    Tonight we discuss:

    • What sparked his journey to Capitol Hill
    • "Why aren't I at the next level yet?"
    • Saving the world versus being the world to someone
    • What happens when you realize life is finite
    • When a group of students lay their hands on him and prayed for him, a miracle happened, but not the one they were expecting.
    • External healing versus fundamental change and inner peace
    • Aaron's superhero alter ego
    • The joys of discovering a shared interest, and also discovering a shared pain
    • The Terrible Privilege: How all superheroes start out as victims
    • How victims can become heroes or villains based on how they handle their pain
    • "There's a point to the weakness because the obstacle is the way."

    This is one episode I'll never forget, and I hope it has the same great impact on you. Check me out at TheComputerExorcist.com and hire Aaron to speak to your group at AaronRWelty.com

    47m - Mar 10, 2024
  • 57 The Heroics of Weakness with Aaron Welty Pt. 1

    Tonight's guest is Aaron Welty. He has succeeded in life despite a number of obstacles, such as Cerebral Palsy, and worse yet, being born in Detroit.

    After doctors told his family he wouldn't survive past childhood, he defied them by going to work for the House of Representatives, climbing a mountain, and traveling the world as a motivational speaker.

    In Pt 1, we discuss:

    • "The duty of those in power is to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves."
    • How the kids in the book Maniac Magee saw each other as individuals instead of as identity groups
    • How some people strive to claim as many disability benefits as possible, or as Marc calls it, "qualify downward"
    • The contrast between people who overcome their weakness versus those who qualify downward
    • Deciding what kind of person you're going to be
    • How to be more BA than the IDF: Aaron's journey to Southern Israel to take a 3-mi hike in the wilderness then climb a mountain the day after
    • How one Rochester nonprofit goes against the narrative to remind inner-city kids of their innate self-worth
    • "When something is asked of you, that's when you show up and shine."

    Stay tuned for the second half next week, and in the meantime check him out at AaronRWelty.com and check out my site TheComputerExorcist.com

    46m - Mar 4, 2024
  • 56 Being Authentic with Taylor Abrahamse, Part 3

    This is the third and final segment of the Taylor Abrahamse interview!

    • How does Marc remain optimistic?
    • Is it your job to save the world?
    • Why 9 is better than 11
    • Being your own worst enemy
    • "I'm really uncomfortable with the idea of relaxing."
    • Entering a dojang, stripped of the trappings of life, with nothing left besides your core identity
    • Removing the "emotional charge" from your predicament, to help you solve it objectively
    • How the finiteness of life actually motivates us to achieve something
    • We eventually got around to reading a tech article about privacy - you're gonnawanna hear what Google and Samsung are doing to you now.
    • We discuss the implications of new tech, the responses to it, and the side effects of those responses.

    This and so much more, tonight on The Computer Exorcist Podcast!

    Check out Taylor Abrahamse at TaylorAbrahamse.ca and check me out at TheComputerExorcist.com

    43m - Feb 26, 2024
  • 55 Being Authentic with Taylor Abrahamse, Part 2

    Today we continue our discussion with thinker/songsmith/voice actor Taylor Abrahamse. I hope you're finding this as fascinating as I did!

    We discuss:

    • Artists (and us) leaving the whole scene behind and retiring (but then what?)
    • WHY people like certain songs - what components make up a good song?
    • The cynicism, pandering, and formulaic nature of this year's Big Game commercials - "a miscommunication between corporate culture and real life"
    • "How do these people have all the money if they're so bad at understanding human needs and human psychology?"
    • Were the 80s the peak of civilization?
    • Taylor's catchy kids song "Potbelly Pig"
    • Songs can have sugar and oatmeal components - you can only take the sugary stuff for so long before you start to crave something more substantive.
    • The Bee Gees having eight Number 1 Hits in a row
    • What if someone set out to create a song engineered to contain the components that researchers find attractive? Has it been done already?
    • What is a Cameo?
    • Feeling bad about charging your clients while your competitors blatantly rip them off
    • Company leaders feeling as though they're under pressure to cheat or make gimmicks, versus doing the right thing no matter what

    Stay tuned for the third and final segment of our interview.

    "Three episodes with me? That's preposterous!"

    Check out Taylor Abrahamse at TaylorAbrahamse.ca and check me out at TheComputerExorcist.com

    47m - Feb 20, 2024
  • 54 Being Authentic with Taylor Abrahamse, Part 1

    Tonight's special guest is Taylor Abrahamse. He's a thinker, a songsmith, and has been a voice actor for several famous TV shows and animes.

    I don't even know where to begin. We talked about so many fascinating things, we had to do three episodes. Here are some of the many topics we covered in Pt 1:

    • Trying to be unique in a world of Taylor Swift fans who drive silver Camrys
    • "Uniqueness, by its very nature, means not everyone can be it."
    • Being lost vs. finding your path
    • How each piece of music or art, regardless of financial return, contributes to humanity's collective success
    • How social media really is the ADD of television multiplied by 200 or even 1000
    • How social media is like a stadium where some people do things, the people in the bleachers react to it, then the people behind the bleachers react to the reactions of the people in the bleachers
    • Making money by helping people, or making money by forcing things onto people
    • Being massively famous vs. being the world to someone
    • How do we get good ideas out there effectively?

    Hope you love the episode, keep tellin' your friends about the show, and check out Taylor at taylorabrahamse.ca and check out my site TheComputerExorcist.com

    39m - Feb 14, 2024
  • 53 DVDs and Old Cars Forever

    Today is a solo teaching episode where Marc discusses positive articles!

    If you have some data you really care about, like family photos, you can now burn it to a Thousand-Year DVD. It has a surface made of minerals, and is projected to last 1,000 years. How do we know this? Well we put them through torture tests like extreme heat and moisture. They remained intact, unlike normal writable DVDs (not to mention floppies and Zip Disks, which die very easily).

    What's the second issue people don't talk about? If your media survives, you also need a machine to read it! DVD players are fairly ubiquitous, unlike tape backup readers, which CHANGE every year, so with those, you're very unlikely to find a machine to read your data.

    The other good news is about replica cars. Rather than just kit cars, it's now legal for companies to create and sell fully assembled "new" vintage cars - brand new metal that's SIMPLE and reliable and isn't crawling with cloud control. It's a very beautiful thing.

    Tell your friends about the show!

    33m - Feb 1, 2024
  • 52 My Chicken Fries Were Delicious

    It's another Torment a Scammer medley! Here's some of the mayhem you'll hear today:

    • The first Spectrum impostor didn't understand percentages, so I explained to him that 120 was 50% of 240 until he snapped.
    • In the next clip, I was talking to a Spectrum impostor and my other phone rang! It was a Medicare impostor so I put the phones together to let them duke it out.
    • Next guy claims he's from "satellite company". No company in particular, just "satellite company."
    • The next dude claims my discount is based on my Social Security Number and tries to get it out of me. I drive him wild and ramble on and on until he pops.
    • The next lady is so overworked she just breathes heavily into the phone, so I ask if she's got lung problems.
    • The next guy apparently asks for my "zip cord". Hilarity ensues.
    • We then get a guy claiming to be Medicare. I mis-hear him as "Madagascar Part A + B?"
    • The final lady asks for my Spectrum bill and phone bill, so I look over all the bills I have, and assume she meant my "food bill" from Burger King. I then proceed to tell her how my lunch was...

    We had over 2,600 downloads in our first year of 2023! Thanks to the fans and keep telling your friends about the show!

    40m - Jan 19, 2024
  • 51 AI Bots at Olive Garden with Hank Eder

    Today's special guest is Hank Eder - he helps small businesses by focusing their messaging and branding, finding their target market, and making them a logical website.

    Marc met him through the Polarizing Networking group (look them up), which is full of raw, unfiltered people instead of the buttoned down or fake meetings you might've attended.

    Hank achieved what Marc has been trying to do for a few years now - Moving his business from the "me doing stuff" world to "me referring people to team members who can help you better than I could".

    He gives us some insight into just WHY the Big Box stores are so destructive when they "service" your PC, and what critical service they don't even bother offering.

    Next he talks about how to use AI correctly, instead of using it with the reckless abandon that most people on the bandwagon currently have.

    He describes how he went from "old white guy", to alter-ego YouTube rapper "MC Bizz Booma", delivering a bite-sized message of encouragement every morning to his fans.

    Instead of the usual article, Marc closes up with two hilarious writeups that were generated by AI, pointing out why you just might want to proofread what comes out.

    Thanks to Dennis Jones and Wilkes Booth for permission to use their song Steal Your Thunder!

    41m - Jan 9, 2024
  • 50 The Prodigal Sergeant

    It's the 50th episode celebration!!! Sgt. Tim returns tonight to discuss:

    -Formalized control versus philosophical anarchy (social pressures and mob rule)

    -Containment of a deception versus the peace and freedom that truth brings

    -How to get free chicken salad croissant sandwiches

    -JRR Tolkien's concept of taking a terrible aberration and weaving it back into the story, and how we can do the same with the tragedies in our lives

    -What Princess Leia said about squeezing too hard, and what happens to the jar of salsa when we try and carry too many grocery bags

    We then find an article from 1978 written by Bishop Hogan that talks about the opposite of all that: Simplicity and love. He said:

    -We live in a world that's far from simple, and highly technological (ha! if he only knew where we are now)

    -We have lost touch with the earth, with not taking ourselves too seriously, with accepting all kinds of people for who they are.

    -We are so bent on having everything our way, we tighten up like a knotted ball of yarn, and we become isolated from each other (ha, 2020)

    -Overcomplicating everything out of fear versus realizing everything works together for our benefit.

    No shortage of deep topics and "whoaa" realizations tonight on the CEP. Hope you love it and share it with your friends!

    39m - Dec 25, 2023
  • 49 Being Genuine with Jim Shulman

    Today we welcome The Amazing Jim Shulman!

    We discuss why entrepreneurs make the crazy decision to run their own business: Is it vulnerability? Does it mean I'm a failure at other things? Control? Time management? Independence? Fulfillment? Insanity? Yes.

    Who is The Amazing Randy and what can he teach us about IT?

    Did you know you can define your business not only by who you work with, but who you don't work with?

    Isn't it funny how the companies with the worst products usually have the greatest marketing budgets? (Ahem, HP, Samsung)

    How many people have you networked with who were highly refined but had a lackluster message or dime-a-dozen business? How many people have you met who weren't refined, but were genuine, relatable comfortable in their own skin, and had a unique message? (I'm that latter category.)

    Finally, we do an article on how much control is baked in to modern cars... or are they really just data collection devices with wheels?

    38m - Dec 18, 2023
  • 48 More vs Better with Daniel Andrews

    Ever been to one of those networking meetings were people just pepper their resume around the room? They think it's a numbers game, and fail to get to know people, so they're forgotten easily.

    Today we learn how to do the opposite, with special guest David Andrews. He reminds us we don't need MORE connections, but BETTER connections.

    Marc recounts how he meets the best clients in relaxed non-business clubs, and how he makes sure they know why he's different.

    David then brings up a great point - The people you want to network with might not be people who need your services! A divorce attorney and a moving company might not need each other, but they can help each other's clients out.

    He also teaches us that the best clients are the ones who are too busy to attend the networking meetings! Those folks can only come to you by referral.

    Finally, he mentions something interesting: Your friends and your work contacts don't have to be one and the same. Sure, you should care about your work contacts, but you aren't going to invite them all to your home. Likewise, you might love your friends but wouldn't trust them with a job.

    We finish up with an article on BIPA - it's similar to HIPAA except covers biometrics like fingerprints. Marc explains how the REASON why tech companies are so insanely uptight about this stuff is because they don't want people to realize there's so much at stake.

    Come learn how to stop scrambling and start doing networking RIGHT!

    35m - Dec 11, 2023
  • 47 Foghorn Moves to Idaho

    Today we do another medley of scam call snippets!

    One guy calls me (as Foghorn Leghorn) and asks for my zip code. I pull a number out of the air and he looks it up and concludes that I'm from somewhere called "iDAho". I roll with it.

    Next guy calls and says he's Spectrum, then I convince him he's from AT&T, then he claims he's from Consumer Cellular. He doesn't care who he's impersonating.

    The next guy is a real gem. He claims he's sending me a software update that'll fix the cable wires in the ground to make them more resilient to rainy weather. (Rainy weather affects satellite dishes, not cable wires!)

    Next caller asks me for all my credit cards, so I read off all the club membership cards I have in my desk, to his chagrin.

    The final guy sounds like he's asking for my "date of bath", so I gladly inform him of the times I've taken a bath recently. He then tempts me with a fake refund, so i bargain with him and try to get a better one.

    Thanks for sharing the show with your friends!

    35m - Dec 5, 2023
  • 46 Humility and Souffles with Sarah Fletcher

    Tonight we talk with Sarah Fletcher, calling all the way from London.

    She helps nonfiction authors promote themselves and their brand. It turns out she can write a description of her clients better than they can describe themselves!

    We discuss an article about humility - what it is, and what it isn't. Turns out humility isn't about trumpeting yourself, nor is it about belittling yourself excessively. It's actually more about accuracy.

    Find out the right way to be humble on this smashing episode, and thanks for telling your friends about the show!

    31m - Nov 28, 2023
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