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The Final Con Part V

Working on Monday's strip RIGHT NOW!  Thanks for your patience, all. :D I'm going to do 4 drawing-drawings for January. Just got a new scanner since the last one went the way of my old desktop. Probably post those on Wednesday, God-willing.

86 thoughts on “The Final Con Part V

    1. Hell no, I torrent my movies from various places. I know that makes me a total bastard, but it has actually made the movie industry some money. I saw a 1080p version of Avatar before it was even out of theaters, and the sheer beauty and magnificence of the heavy-handed ‘take care of the planet you idiots’ movie prompted me to plunk down almost $40 for three tickets so that my parents and I could experience the movie in 3D on the big screen.

      There’s a flip side though.

      I am completely guilt-free knowing I DIDN’T pay to watch the abomination of the latest Transformers movie. If you want to laugh out loud, go to wikipedia and read the plot aloud using a slightly sarcastic tone of voice. I did that to my brother and he was incredulous at how stupid the plot was. It’s like a 6 year old scripted that piece of crap.

      1. I’ve got to be honest here. You’re surely not admitting to pirating, are you?

        Just so you know, I’m not going to do anything about it. But given that the liver basher was doxxed, wouldn’t such a type of statement that you made sort of imply piracy?

        Don’t get me wrong. I loved Napster at first. For about a week or two, it was mostly music I enjoyed from high school. But the morality of fiscal responsibility came to the front, in deference to the artists. I mean, the recording industry is just a money changer, from the individual consumer either via concert, tape, lps, cds and now mp3s to the artist while taking their share for support, handling and such.

        Where would Bananarama be today if they were entirely self sufficient for the entirety of their name, product, etc. KISS for that matter as well. Gene seems to have had a heavy hand in almost every aspect of that entity.

        Mostly paranoia and the 5th, dude.

    1. Srsly? I’ve been DLing movies for about 5 years and never got a single virus. What kind of movies are you watching?

        1. Don’t forget drive by downloads as an infection vector. Even if the content is fine, hunting through sites to find the content may not be.

          Though I recall there’ve been some graphics rendering exploits (one came out for Windows icon rendering doing arbitrary code execution the month after support ended for Win 2K, in fact). I know I’ve seen denail of service-type exploits come up for FFMPEG, but don’t recall if any were full code execution or not. Not sure if it’s common, but it is doable to have a virus that will infect people using a specific media player embedded in a movie. For a longer movie you could probably embed exploits for the 10 most common players if you wanted. I still remember the days when PDFs were considered 100% safe and absolutely couldn’t host an exploit.

        2. Ooo, that had slipped my mind. Didn’t everyone rush to PDFs during that rather long period of people writing malware into MS Word’s VBScript? That was the horrific security hole MS doubled down on by incorporating parts of Word into Outlook (including VBScript), making emails another vector for infection even without putting attachments in them.

      1. It would support my theory Ellie’s secretly the star of the site rather than this just being about Danny paying her to hang out with him.

        1. This is my best guess as well. I’m near certain that Danny’s making money off Ellie somehow, and the only thing I can think is posting videos of her in skimpy outfits and/or changing her clothes.

        2. My theory since that comment Rusche made (that I was vague about) is she’s the star/brand image of Danny and the Canadians’ redundant social media site. Most likely they made a profile on her behalf and are posting as her.

        3. Hit “Post” too soon.

          Where do you think he’s got the camera? My money’s on his hat… and possibly something mounted inside the van’s dash.

      1. It’s free and comes with torrenting software already built into the OS. So with one fell swoop he can be kicked out of the apartment and Ellie can get her swashbuckling on.

      2. Ubuntu is a Linux distribution based on Debian backed by a commercial company (Canonical). They did a massive amount to make desktop Linux more user-friendly for the casual user. After getting her used to Firefox, Thunderbird, & OpenOffice, I was planning to move my Grandma to Ubuntu (well, Mint by that time, but it’s a fork of Ubuntu).

        Lately some of their choices have been irritating to some people (subscribing to the belief all computers are tablets, search of local computer also sends things on the Internet, going their own way on SysVInit replacement and X server), but there are plenty of other distros that have taken their enhancements in so they’re still a net win. As of a few years ago, of the three distros that offered commercial support from the creator of the distro, they were the only one you could install the free version of the OS and then get a year of support later down the line (RedHat & SUSE are the other two).

        1. All software is potentially vulnerable to being hacked, so I don’t know but it’s certainly possible.

          The point of moving Grandma to those is that they’re available on Linux as well as Windows, so once I had her using those (and AdBlock was all it took for her to prefer Firefox to IE), then the move from Win XP to Linux wouldn’t be a big deal.

  1. I’m thinking that the pirating movies is going to byte her on the butt.

    As well as catch up with the Canadians. But the boy seems to be smart enough to keep a specific platform for a specific activity.

    But then, he has multiple laptops. He lives out of his truck. How much money does he have to his name, or is he really ecclectic. Or is he just finding it more profitable to live out of the truck while traveling to promote the website.

    1. On that subject…

      Comic: Aww. Seventh time’s the charm!

      General:I’m really glad to see the Patreon numbers going up. I’ve seen so many bad comics making money it’s reassuring to see a good comic rake some in.

  2. Okay, I borke the comment bubble. So what. Jessica can slap me on the nose with a rolled up newspaper, or Chris can hold back the boot to the head. Or they can let TOG disseminate all of my posts.

    But, upon seeing the latest Pumpkin title. I’m left to wonder that if the first set of sisters are successful, the second set of three unsuccessful. Would that make Pumpkin the wild card (I’m only using that because I’ve got the Sea-hawks pre game show on TV right now.

    But what I mean, is that Pumpkin could be evil lawful on the morality scale while being successful on the family fiscal scale.

    Damn, Terry Bradshaw has facial hair.

    1. Physical abuse? Don’t be absurd. That would hardly correct your behavior since it wouldn’t hurt enough.

      As punishment for your crimes against comment bubbles, you have been psychicallly-fined 3 obscure references. One movie quote, one book quote, and one skit comedy TV show quote – all obscure – have been temporarily erased from your memory for the remainder of this month. No, you will not be told which ones. You’ll just have to sit around wondering if you missed one or never knew it.

        1. Yes, yes. Don’t worry. That’s a normal side-effect. Though… your memory erasal was done in the same facility that produces gypsy curses. I do hope you’re not highly allergic to those.

    2. I came to the conclusion some time back that what Rosemary wants is not so much success, as one of her daughters to follow “the plan”. From her standpoint, they have all failed at that, no matter how successful they have been otherwise. What “the plan” is, I don’t know, besides college.

    1. That’s how he does it. He pays for the movies that are “pirated” in order to get a backwards access to the laptop, while applying a block to the websites that the girls are about.

        1. In fairness, a lot of Machiavelli’s historical research was done on dudes in togas. They’re an even lazier outfit choice… and I’m pretty sure an ancient Roman would share Danny’s poor experience with things like shirts and controlling body odor. Except he knows 80’s and 90’s references.
          Hm.
          There were an awful lot of time travel movies in the 1980’s…

      1. He’s not smooth, he’s an idiot. You don’t get multiple laptops, you get multiple hard drives/external drives for all your pirated audio/video. I recently had to buy a 4 terabyte external HD to compile all the movies I’d downloaded. Get your minds out the gutter, the last three movies I DLed were the ‘My Name is Trinity’ series.

        This is simply further evidence that he’s a wasteful fool.

        1. Then how do you stream video from different girls rooms with just hard drives man?

          Set up a different Web site for each girl, hmm? I don’t think that Seagate can handle that yet. Nor U.S. Robotics either.

        2. I’m speaking only academically, and I suspect That One Guy will have somethign to add, but live streaming isn’t ideal for that kind of thing. Assuming Danny (or the technical brains behind him) isn’t an idiot at invading privacy like this, he’d probably just have the thing taking videos on a schedule, then sending them during times she’s not on the computer or not using much bandwidth. Upload speed is typically lower than download speed. You wouldn’t want just one big video file because it’d be too likely to bog down the internet speed; multiple smaller files would be easier to transmit, quicker to review, and data corruption would be less of a problem.
          I suspect Ellie is one of those people who leave their computer on all the time, so overnight uploads would probably be the best time. Then Danny and the Canadians would have time to pick out which videos weren’t crap, edit together a highlights reel, and pretend to be her when posting them (albeit with an unspoken 24 hour delay).
          I could go into an ideal scenario, but there’s a line between being informative and willfully irresponsible. Just keep in mind you should be paranoid of technology. Paranoia is total awareness. On a totally unrelated note, I keep my webcam entirely covered when I’m not using it, in case I forget to unplug it.

        3. You can get some pretty good compression with mp4, especially at a web-friendly resolution, so the video files wouldn’t have to be too big. It could also be pictures with 1 second intervals. Depending on if he’s faking her on a social network or selling voyeur porn, he could go with motion detection to turn the camera on and save to a partition not visible to the OS and then remote in later and just go through a folder of pics from every 10 seconds or so in each video to curate. This assumes he’s not pulling the same scam with a whole bunch of other girls at the same time (or if he is that the Canadians are doing the heavy lifting there).

          In the real world, you’re absolutely right on the no streaming due to crappier upload speeds not being able to keep up and making for an obvious bogging down of the system, but I could see “the US kept pace following their initial edge for Internet speed compared to the rest of the world” as a feasible alteration for the Shotgun Shuffle universe. So we can’t rule that out.

        4. Well, certain types of web activity is more likely to run into drive by download malware than other type, and porn tends to be the top of that list every time. So keeping porn surfing on a separate system makes decent sense. Now, I’d agree a separate laptop is unnecessary, most of the malware you’d likely find on porn sites isn’t sophisticated enough to break out of a VM environment and infect your host system.

      2. He could direct her to a site that’s set up to push a remote access trojan so that he can keep re-infecting her if she wipes and re-installs, but I’m betting it’s rooted as he hands it to her. I doubt he (or the Canadians) would’ve gone so far as to install hardware malware, though firmware malware, while still a bit fancier than likely, is still possible. I’ve seen some proof-of-concept network card firmware malware that’ll re-download and execute the master copy of the virus any time it’s connected to the Internet. With this being “present-future” that might be a slightly advanced area, though.

  3. No longer can I stand by with such vile indignation,
    For in sooth my anger just burst from intense inflammation.
    Never have I stood by from such wicked defamation,
    For a herald of destruction shall witness my proclamation!

    I am so furious that my mind has resorted to rhyming,
    With madness towards his sordid actions that are loudly chiming.
    To lows that my ethical meter is not found of climbing.
    For if his sordid behavior became the sun it would be blinding!

    For, I should say, until now I have been a lurker,
    Yet such displays has made me into a verbal berserker!
    Seeing a man who makes an occupation as a shirker,
    Makes one furious to stifle the name of an honest worker.

    Hedonism seems to be his undeniable diagnosis
    Defining his personality diluted with neurosis!
    I see his actions and it strikes men’s honor with necrosis,
    In the hearts of women he should cause coronary thrombosis!

    Forgive me if my literary technique is quite absurd,
    But his distaste in me grew quite quickly to written word.
    Hopefully during this time a discovery has occurred,
    That within wholesome hearts rightful action has been stirred.

      1. Haha, forgive my bizarre first post if it is an unsightly intrusion. I have been reading
        this comic for a long time and appreciated it in silence. For the internet is a
        mystifying force that procreates ever so diligently throughout modern society.
        It is an object of curiosity that has aided my education in many subjects.
        Yet, its culturally vibes are occasionally bizarre and deviant members seem to
        revel in trivial matters of destructive nature. Thus, I attempt to stay my hand from
        indulging in conversational activities so I do not fan the flames of undesirables.
        I by no means or intention extend offense to any personage on this web page.
        I have been pleased with the levels of civility and sophistication shown thus far
        in my readings. By the way, verily I say unto the author that you have done quite
        well! Your graphical representation of a story line through the eyes of so many
        characters within the parameters of a central plot is very impressive. Keep on
        good sir or lady!

        1. I return the gesture good sir, or lady, and I appreciate it. Oh dear, it seems as though I botched my posting format.

        2. That happens once in a while. I apologize if I borked your format with my expansive parameter breaking word earlier.

          Things seemingly borke around here for one reason or another.

          Oh, and welcome to the commenting club. Tea and biscuits are in the chat room. Pizza and beer in the forum. Champaign and caviar over at the patreon page. We’ll have cake near the end of the story, so don’t full up. Take your shoes off and set a spell.

          Ya’ll come back now, Granny’s got a possum stew for next time company’s come over.

        3. Papa Moses shot a skunk.
          Mama Moses fried a chunk.
          Baby Moses ate a hunk.
          Holy Moses how it stunk!

          Boom, boom, ain’t it great to be crazy?
          Boom, boom, ain’t it great to be crazy?
          Giggly and foolish the whole day long.
          Boom, boom, ain’t it great to be crazy?

      2. Yeah, I thought you were the one more likely to do this sort of thing. Though granted the ones I’m remembering in the past were all prose in a specific fictional style.

  4. I’m half expecting Danny to do something stupid and then Quinn wakes up… for there to be a big reveal that Quinn somehow knows Danny as like an acquaintance of her ex or something. Idk. I like goofy plot twists. Maybe I’m related to M. Night Shamalamadingdong.

  5. I continue to chuckle at the idea that everything Dannie-boy does helps other people at his expense, and the crowd grows ever more convinced he’s a fiend.

    How dare he give her a laptop?! What a monster.

    1. Well, Rusche did mention that he intended “The Final Con” to have two meanings for con. We’re all trying to guess the specifics of how he’s conning her.

      1. hmm…

        I can think of multiple possible definitions for “con”
        – Convention
        – Confidence Scheme
        – Convicted Criminal
        – Contrary/Opposing
        – Control/Console
        – Consumption (tuberculosis)
        – Short for Connor

  6. Is it just me…

    Or does it look like Ellie is never going to NOT answer her ‘lazy sense’ every time it tingles?

    1. I accumulate desktops more than laptops, personally. Just start upgrading something and notice I have 75+% of another system in parts so get the rest and new laptop. I suspect that if I were married I wouldn’t get away with having five towers in the living room, though. I do lend them (without malware) to people when appropriate, as that makes me feel like at least there’s some use for them as opposed to me just accumulating crap (not that I’m kidding myself, just making excuses).

  7. Someone needs to call sister with Ninja hair and sic her on this guy. He is seriously setting off all the Daddy alarms.

  8. It seems as though everyone is theorizing that he’s pulling a creeper move and is going to use the webcam to creep on her, but all she has to do is stick a sticker over the webcam and done! No creepers!

  9. I dunno.
    I still get a Snape vibe from Danny. Maybe I’m just anti-paranoid and want to believe people can have an obvious sexual drive but still be earnest in their good intentions.

  10. Yeah, I’m betting the webcam is rigged. Hope to see her do something smart, like put a strip of duct tape over the cam ;)

      1. Well, I seem to remember you’re in high school (avatar change I see), and if they’re school issued laptops there have been several school districts with controversies where their “only on school grounds monitoring program” works everywhere. Story I remember was an assistant principle trying to get some kid in trouble for doing drugs when he was eating Mike & Ike’s and she produced pictures of him eating said Mike & Ike’s in his own bedroom. There’ve been a couple of others caught out on it too.

        U.S. government choosing to spy on your friend. Seems extremely unlikely. Someone she knows personally who might have access to her computer or convince her to open a malicious attachment, very possible.

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