The Scariest Stuff Online

Computer Security (Photo credit: Don Hankins
By Carl Weiss

Want to see something really scary? Well you don't have to prowl the streets on Halloween in order to see the kind of things that give you goose bumps. All you have to do is trawl the Internet's back-channels for an hour. Once there you will discover creepy crawlies galore, including a search engine designed for and by hackers, a black hat (not cat) convention in Las Vegas, and ghost sites that will creep you out. Below is our list of the top ten scariest sites on line.

10. What Happens in Vegas

Around since 1997, the Black Hat Convention held yearly at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas is the place where hackers hang their hat. Interested in learning how to carry out cyber-spying on cellphones? No problem. Want to know what it takes to bypass traditional malware detection measures. Piece of cake. This convention is a veritable candy store where everyone from security experts to nerds looking to take down a small government come to hone their skills. After the now defunct Silk Road website the black hat convention is one of the scariest in-your-face threats to national security that is not only officially sanctioned but wildly popular. To quote the BlackHat.com site,

Courtesy of  blackhat.com
Black Hat USA is the show that sets the benchmark for all other security conferences. As Black Hat returns for its 16th year to Las Vegas, we bring together the brightest in the world for six days of learning, networking, and skill building. Join us for four intense days of Training and two jam-packed filled days of Briefings.”

9. Don’t Want to Wait for the Movie?

Then read the book, Hacking for Dummies, now in its 4th edition. Why travel to Vegas when everything you need to start hacking can be found online? This book is designed to show you the ins and outs of what it takes to get started as a hacker.
As an information security professional, your toolkit is the most critical item you can possess — other than hands-on experience and common sense. Your hacking tools should consist of the following (and make sure you're never on the job without them):
Courtesy of  amazon.com/Hacking-For-Dummies

  • Password cracking software, such as ophcrack and Proactive Password Auditor
  • Network scanning software, such as Nmap and NetScanTools Pro
  • Network vulnerability scanning software, such as GFI LanGuard and QualysGuard
  • Network analyzer software, such as Cain & Abel and OmniPeek
  • Wireless network analyzer and software, such as Aircrack-ng and CommView for WiFi
  • File search software, such as FileLocator Pro and Identity Finder
  • Web application vulnerability scanning software, such as Acunetix Web Vulnerability Scanner and WebInspect
  • Database security scanning software, such as SQLPing3 and AppDetectivePro
  • Exploit software, such as Metasploit
8. Want to Know How the World Will End?
Just in case the specter of cyber terrorism doesn’t put the fear of God into you there’s a website called Exit Mundi, that catalogs dozens of ways in which the world as we know it could meet its end.  Everything from asteroid strikes to gamma ray bursts, to nuclear terrorism, to a drug that would render the human population certifiably insane (too late) is described in detail on this site.  So if there isn’t enough stress in your daily grind, here’s the place to help you ring the bell the next time you get your blood pressure tested.

7. Like Alien Abduction Sites
Alien Abduction
Alien Abduction (Photo credit: Eric Leslie)
As if we don’t have enough problems on Earth, there are sites that show you how to deal with threats from beyond the solar system.  We’re talking alien abduction here and there are a number of websites devoted to this phenomenon.  Googling “Alien Abduction Sites,” returned 7,580,000 results.  So despite government denials, this is a hot topic.  Scanning the first few pages of the results I noted everything from a wiki where you could share your abduction recollections(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_abduction) to the 
International Center for Abduction Research, http://www.ufoabduction.com/ which offers information that offers "Straight Talk About UFO Abductions" 
If the threat of being abducted by aliens causes you to lose sleep at night, fear not, because there is a website called http://www.stopabductions.com/ that shows you how to make a “Thought Screen Helmet,” designed to foil those insidious intergalactic interlopers.
6. Ghost Sites
Wikipedia defines a ghost site as “A Web site that remains live but is no longer updated or maintained or only done so very infrequently.”  However, if you Google the term you will find tons of sites more inclined to Ghost Busters than webmasters.  Included is everything from http://topparanormalsites.com/ that lists everything from ghost hunter sites to occult and paranormal investigation sites.  There was also listed on the first page of the search a spooky website that hit close to home, literally.  JAXHistory.com listed a number of spooky things such as UFOs over Jacksonville to something called the Florida Skunk Ape, which is purportedly “The Southernmost Bigfoot in the USA.”

5. The 20 Scariest Street View Sightings
Mashable collected the 20 scariest sightings posted on Google’s Street View that includes everything from what looks to be the climactic scene from the Alfred Hitchcock blockbuster “The Birds,” to a bizarre group of Japanese citizens who were spotted as they walked down the street sporting pigeon heads. (Don’t ask.) https://www.google.com/#q=scary+sites+on+google+maps

4. Seeing is Believing
If you think that Google Street View has cornered the market on weird things that happen every day you’re wrong. There are literally millions of websites and videos that show everyone just how weird the world really is. One site called http://www.abovetopsecret.com is a collection point for bizarre-but-true stories that get little attention from the media. A recent headline includes, “Melting Starfish and Odd Orca Behavior in the Pacific Ocean,” that quotes a Seattle biologist that describes some of the bizarre changes in the sea life in the area that alludes to the fact that since the Fukushima Reactor meltdown in 2012 that the environmental impact to the Pacific Ocean has been nothing short of catastrophic. The blog also states that, “There are other reports of seals with what appears to be radiation burns on their skin and Polar Bears showing signs of large hair loss.”

Conspiracy Theory Overlap Diagram (Photo credit: Vince_Lamb)
3. Conspiracy Theory Sites

Of course, conspiracy theory sites thrive online. This can make it tough to weed out the chaff from the wheat. For every site that purportedly sheds light on some facet of society that could turn around and bite us, such as the recent revelation that the NSA has been spying on the phone calls, internet searches  and financial transactions of millions of American citizens, there are also sites that purport that the top 3 conspiracy websites crashed at the same time that the government shutdown took place, thus proving that they are owned and operated by either the CIA or the NSA. Love them or laugh at them, there are conspiracy theory sites that claim to prove or disprove everything from government mind control to the New World Order. So if you want to go there, here are a few hot tips. But I’ll deny I sent you this if questioned by the authorities.

2.  Cooking Show Gone Bad
The Halloween episode of Man CaveMunchies purports to show viewers how to prepare “a dish that’s so easy it’s scary.”  However the intro to the show depicts the host as a meat cleaver wielding ghoul that could put you right off your diet. Check it out if you dare. 

You think that a meat cleaver wielding zombie chef is scary?  This is nothing when compared to a site that has put the fear of God into hundreds of millions of citizens of the USA.  This government owned and operated site starts off with the innocuous motto, “Find Health Care Coverage that Works for You.”  Then it stubbornly refuses to let the majority of people sign up, much less find coverage of any kind.  Worse yet, for those who either refuse to sign up or just plain can’t sing up, there is the threat of a stiff monetary penalty.  While the press refers to this system as Obamacare, I think a more appropriate term would be "ObamaScare."

In this article I discussed an eclectic variety of scary subject found on the internet. I have covered the gamut from cyber security to critical government website that just don't work (plus they cost us hundreds of millions of dollars). This article contains all manner of creepy, scary and treating topics take the reader on a very wild ride. If you liked this article, pass it along to your friends. If you have, a comment or other ideas leave them in the comment section. If you want to contact me, my contact information is listed below.
If you like this article, you can find more by typing “scary” in the search box at the top left of this blog. If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below. If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century", fill out the form below.

Birth of the Bionic Man


Lee Majors
Cover of Lee Majors

By Carl Weiss

“Astronaut Steve Austin, a man barely alive.  But we can rebuild him.  We have the technology.”

Or so the story goes in the TV series starring Lee Majors that ran from 1974-1978.  The stuff of fiction in the 20th century, during the past few years many of the innovations portrayed in the original series have gone from science fiction to science fact.  There are now such things as prosthetic arms and hands with tactile
sense, rudimentary bionic eyes that help the blind see, and cochlear implants that help the deaf hear.  While we don’t yet have the ability to equip amputees with fully functional legs that can go from zero to sixty in five seconds, we can offer robotic exoskeletons that can help paraplegics regain the ability to walk on their own.  Plus there are other man/machine concepts that are either in the prototype phase or on the drawing board that can amp up the capabilities of us mere mortals.  In this week’s blog, we will take a look at these technologies, as well as the ramifications of enhanced human beings who will soon make Colonel Austin seem as antiquated as much of the technology of the 1970s.

Medical Bionic Implants/Artificial Organ Market (Vision Bionics/Bionic Eye, Brain Bionics) Worth $17.82 Billion by 2017 - New Report by Markets and Markets

The medical bionic implant (artificial organs) industry has witnessed a myriad of technological advancements over the past two decades.  It includes vision bionics, ear bionics, orthopedic bionics, heart bionics, and neural/brain bionics. Medical bionics in pipeline include wearable artificial kidney, bio-lung, and artificial pancreas.  http://www.prweb.com/releases/medical-bionic-implant/market/prweb11241748.htm

Bionic Limbs Will One Day Sense Textures Under Human Feet

English: Photograph of the implanted portion o...
English: Photograph of the implanted portion of a cochlear implant. The specific device shown is manufactured by Advanced Bionics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It sounds like something straight out of science fiction: artificial limbs that not only move, flex, and feel like their flesh counterparts, but also respond directly to one's thoughts and even translate sensory feedback -- the feeling of grass beneath one's feet or the sensation of a limb floating in space -- straight back to the brain.
Thanks to an aggressive push in funding from the US military in an effort to the improve the lives of injured veterans, those advancements are no longer such farfetched dreams. While the idea of "Blade Runner"-level prosthetics is still a far-off fantasy, impressively capable, thought-controlled bionic limbs are now a modern-day reality thanks to pioneering research between the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), DARPA, and a growing sector of companies developing the next generation of artificial limbs.


Artificial heart: JARVIK-7 Heart, provided to ...
Artificial heart: JARVIK-7 Heart, provided to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) by the University of Utah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What Devices Will You be Using in Your Golden Years?

With an aging population and billions of dollars at stake it is obvious that artificial limbs and organs are a growing trend that is the next logical evolutionary step.  While some people have ethical dilemmas with creating replacement parts for the human body, the technology is anything but new.  During the past few decades everything from hip and knee replacements to laser eye surgery has become routine.  Transplant
surgery isn't even considered all that radical a procedure in the twenty first century, although organ
Ekso Bionics Präsentation in Köln (42)
Ekso Bionics Präsentation in Köln (42) (Photo credit: WeissenbachPR)
rejection hasn't quite been licked.  So why not construct replacement parts using all our available technology? If it wasn't for the fact that we couldn't figure out how to connect artificial limbs to our nervous system, Steve Austin's would already be here.  However, according to a recent article in the Wall street Journal, this conundrum could soon be a thing of the past.

“In an advance that could eventually improve the mobility of thousands of people living with amputations, researchers said a 32-year-old man successfully controlled movements of a motorized artificial leg using only his own thoughts.  Aided by sensors receiving impulses from nerves and muscles that once carried signals to his missing knee and ankle, the patient was able to climb and descend stairs and walk up and down inclines much as he could with a natural leg, based on directions that came from his brain. Importantly, he was able to flex the device's ankle, enabling a near-normal gait, something not possible with current prosthetics.” http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304795804579097570008603700

Meet Frank N. Stein

'Bionic Man'
'Bionic Man' (Photo credit: Rain Rabbit)
Of course with nearly two thirds of the human body capable of being simulated by prosthetics it was only a matter of time before someone decided to hardwire them together to create the first artificial human.  The first to attempt the feat was a pair of English researchers.  Amazingly enough, their creation, named Frank, came in not at $6 million mark but only $1 million.  Of course as they say, you only get what you pay for.  No matinee idol, Frank is nonetheless a TV star, since his creation was chronicled on, "The Incredible Bionic Man," premiering Sunday (Oct. 20) on the Smithsonian Channel at 9 p.m. 

The brainchild of robotic pioneers, Rich Walker and Matthew Godden, their bionic man was assembled from a cornucopia of artificial organs and prosthetic body parts that had been donated by labs from around the world.  According to the documentary, Frank was modeled after Bertolt Meyer, a Swiss psychologist who wears a bionic hand.  Of course Frank doesn't stop there.  He also sports everything from a wrist, ankles and feet to an artificial lung, trachea, pancreas, spleen, kidney and heart that pumps artificial blood through an artificial circulatory system.  He also has a brain that purportedly can mimic a number of human functions, including speech recognition and production all of which are assisted by a cochlear implant.  Frank sees courtesy of a retinal prosthesis.

Neural interfaces for prosthetics
Neural interfaces for prosthetics (Photo credit: SandiaLabs)
To support his prosthetic legs, the bionic man wears a robotic exoskeleton dubbed "Rex," made by REX Bionics in New Zealand. His awkward, jerky walk makes him more like Frankenstein than ever. 


While Frank’s abilities are more akin to the Tin Man than Paul Newman, he can carry on a conversation since he comes equipped with a sophisticated chatbot program.  Another thing that makes people want to engage Frank in conversation is the fact that while his body is more stickman than human, his prosthetic face is all too human-like.  In fact, it is an exact replica of Bertolt Meyer.

In previous article, I wrote about bionic technology (like the kind in Star Trek episodes) aka cybernetics’ and augmented reality like wearable tech that can enhance our abilities. These technologies will alter how humans work, live and behave as we adapt to live with enhanced capabilities.
US Navy 110629-N-IE087-206 Rear Adm. Elaine Wa...
US Navy 110629-N-IE087-206 Rear Adm. Elaine Wagner, director of Medical Resources Plans and Policy Division and chief of the Navy Dental Corps, is (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The possibility of having a walking, talking synthetic human does bring up a number of other questions, such as how much body enhancement is socially acceptable?  And what rights will an artificial human being be granted?  While I'm unable to answer these questions, I do have one suggestion.  Why not go right to the horse’s mouth and ask Frank, since he will be on display at the Smithsonian Air and space Museum in Washington, DC through the remainder of the fall season.  Heck, I can think of a number of politicians who could handily be replaced by Frank.  But then that would present our bionic man with a conundrum of his own.

This article discusses how science fiction has ushered in science fact. How many of the artificial bionic devices we dreamnt of in the '50s- '70s are now in use every day. It discusses how the human are embracing the use of cybernetic eyes, ears, limbs and organs. It talks about the creation of the first fully bionic artificial man and its implications on our future. If you liked this article, pass it along to your friends. If you have, a comment or other ideas leave them in the comment section. 

Until next time, enjoy your bionic life. 

If you found this article useful, share it with your friends, families and co-works. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the comment sections below.  If you would like a free copy of our book, "Internet Marketing Tips for the 21st Century," fill out the form below. 




Since 1995, Carl Weiss has been helping clients succeed online.  He owns and operates several online marketing businesses, including Working the Web to Win and Jacksonville Video Production. He also co-hosts the weekly radio show, "Working the Web to Win," every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern on BlogTalkRadio.com.


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