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Seriously, Apple (Store)?

I just got off the phone with David, a genius – well, an Apple genius. Let me backtrack….

I hadn’t heard about my expected two to three-day repair by Friday so I called the Apple Store, twice. The tinker geniuses were too busy to call me back so I made do with a receptionist genius. He checked my file to see why my repair was taking so long.

He told me that the store was waiting for delivery of a replacement video card. Apparently, that had died. He assured me that my comatose iMac would need both a new logic board ($708 after tax, remember) and a new video card (cost unknown).

I’d been biding my time, taking advantage of my kids’ absences to use their computers to do work and stay in touch with the world. A replacement used iMac, according to my research, would have cost $700, give or take $100. (In my research, I discovered that you can find the best deals on Kijiji.) I would have much rather kept my repaired iMac than risk buying another. But if the cost was rising to $800 or more, I would bite the bullet and pull the plug on my old machine.

As I was looking for replacements on Kijiji Saturday morning, a near clone of my machine popped up. The only difference was that mine had a better video card. I quickly decided I could live with that downgrade for the $400 it would cost me.

I owned it by 1:00 p.m. The case is a little dinged but it’s otherwise perfectly good. It was good enough to let me surf to that Kijiji page and find one of these on sale for $700. Wow! Faster, bigger, better.

I could not pass that up. I bought it this morning. I can always sell the one I bought Saturday at a profit so my net would be a faster machine with a much bigger monitor at an outlay (after reselling the first one) somewhat less than $700.

Yeah, so I just got off the phone with the genius David. It turns out that the problem with my original iMac was the power supply. They discovered that the replacement power supply they tried was faulty. My Mac is up and running but they want to test the hard drive because they think it might fail. If the hard drive is fine, I can have my old machine back for the $160 cost to repair.

Right now, I am out $160+$400+$700=$1,260. But if I succeed in my self-appointed mission, I will earn back $800+$700=$1,500 by selling my old iMac and the first used one I bought at market prices. That $240 difference will either be profit or pay for a new hard drive and a new backup hard drive (my current one is only 1 TB which is not enough to archive a 1-TB drive through Time Machine).

And I’ll have upgraded to a monster.

Computery badness

It’s the logic board that’s shot, not the power supply. I’m not sure why Apple doesn’t call it a motherboard like the rest of the world – uh, scratch that. I do.

It’ll cost $708 after taxes to repair. That’s still less expensive than buying a comparable used iMac off eBay, but a lot more than a $160 power supply.

Child Three is in Ontario somewhere or possibly LaSalle. Regardless, I can use his Windows 7 computer and his superchunky gaming keyboard while he’s gone. It practically sounds like a typewriter.

Upon opening Chrome on the boy’s computer, I was besieged by ads and in-page dialogue pop-ups. He had adware/malware infecting his system and this was not an easy problem to solve.

Some of it was branded as from the YTubeAdsRemover extension but when I opened Chrome’s extensions page, I got a message that it was “Installed by enterprise policy” and there was no way to disable it there.

It also doesn’t show up in Windows’ “Uninstall or change a program” panel (snappy name, that). What does show up there are some suspicious programs. I deleted those but it didn’t solve the problem.

A Google search leads to a number of dubious choices, especially when this insidious adware is planting false links.

After a couple of false starts, I found one thing that did work – maybe two.

The first thing I did was download and run Junkware Removal Tool, which a few reputable sources recommended. It did this:

~~~ Services
Successfully stopped: [Service] backupstack
Successfully deleted: [Service] backupstack

~~~ Registry Values
Successfully repaired: [Registry Value] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\\AppInit_DLLs

~~~ Registry Keys
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{18B9B16E-716F-43DF-A6AD-512C7D2EB983}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{19975B78-1907-4DD6-A437-4C48120F46A4}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\{562B9317-C08A-444A-9482-62080DD851AE}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\addonsframework.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\buttonsite.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AppID\scripthost.dll
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{3C471948-F874-49F5-B338-4F214A2EE0B1}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Interface\{31E3BC75-2A09-4CFF-9C92-8D0ED8D1DC0F}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{E2343056-CC08-46AC-B898-BFC7ACF4E755}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\conduit
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software \installedbrowserextensions
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\App Paths\mypc backup
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\ CurrentVersion\Uninstall\optimizer pro_is1
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Classes \Toolbar.CT3309762
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{1c3e43b0-c3b0-468d-a56b-13748674893a}
Successfully deleted: [Registry Key] HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchScopes\{52db1893-8a90-4192-aede-08e00b8f8473}

~~~ Folders
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\wincert"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "\searchprotect"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\conduit"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\magnipic"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\movies toolbar"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\mypc backup"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\Program Files (x86)\optimizer pro"
Successfully deleted: [Folder] "C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ Programs\optimizer pro v3.2"

I’m sure that rid the computer of all sorts of crap, but it didn’t solve the YTubeAdsRemover problem.

This Malware Tips page, however suspicious it seems, did. Thank you, Stelian Pilici.

I stopped at Step 4. Step 5 is downloading more software to make sure there’s nothing else left and that was a step I wasn’t willing to take. I figured if the problem had not been fixed, I’d know. So far, so good.

My superpower

I appear to manifest power failures. I told Child 1 that I feel like a mutant X-Man. She said I would be the crappiest X-Man of them all.

It started yesterday when I was at the dentist. Not at the dentist, though – the power failure happened at home. When I got home, I discovered the damage, and damage it was. My iMac, my beloved Bender, would not boot.

I couldn’t get the chime to even sound. I would unplug the thing and plug it in again to reset the SMC, but the best I could manage from that was a whir that died after a second. I’m not sure if it was the hard disc or a fan. Does the 27″ iMac even have a fan in it? Regardless, this was obviously a hardware issue and not something I could fix myself.

I learned you can’t call an Apple Store directly to make an appointment so I hung up the phone and went to Apple’s Web site to make an appointment with the store I jut hung up on. This was around 3:00 and I snagged an appointment for 4:30 – not too bad.

At the Apple Store, the genius (I can’t type or say that without sounding sarcastic even if I’m not) plugged in and tried to start the iMac. He got the startup chime, but nothing else. On his second try, the chime eluded him as it had me.

The genius (snicker) laid out the options for me. The best-case scenario is a blown power supply that would cost $130 to replace. The middling-case scenario is a blown logic board, which would cost me about $600. We all know what the worst case would be, but I do have everything backed up on a Time Machine archive as far as I know.

I’m oddly optimistic. It’s like I’m paying $130 for a forced staycation. All my clients are understanding and none need anything right now.

So, as part of my forced time off, I decided to catch a movie tonight with Child 1, the only family member who was both home and willing to go see “Snowpiercer”, an apocalyptic SF tale that’s a cross between “The Road Warrior” and “Murder on the Orient Express”.

The first two-thirds of the movie captivated me despite some wooden acting on the part of the lead, whom I didn’t recognize but whom Child 1 informs me is Captain America. Everything else worked.

I can’t say I’m disappointed with the final third of the film because the theatre and the mall it is in suffered a – yes – power failure. We sat in the dark for 15 minutes before the theatre staff decided that there wouldn’t be time to show the rest of the late show. They gave each of us a free admission and an offer to come see the rest of the movie at another time.

All I need now is a mutant name. I’m thinking of the Brown-Out Aura.

I’m a genius

I’ve been working as a webmaster for one of my non-technically inclined clients since the start of 2011.

It’s not a straightforward effort. I didn’t design the site but inherited it. What I got was a mess.

From what I could tell, the original design crew created the site in standard sophisticated HTML. At some point, they started to migrate the site into WordPress.

There are two problems there. Firstly, they did not complete the site’s migration. I took charge of a mess that is half in the WordPress CMS and half in the original HTML format. My clients have been loath to pay for a new site design so my job is to keep what’s there running smoothly.

A second issue lies in the WordPress design. They produced what I have to work with in WordPress 3.0.1 and created a custom theme based on the Twenty Ten theme.

I’m not sure how or why, but any attempt to upgrade WordPress beyond version 3.0.1 irretrievably breaks the site. The custom theme stops working. To restore it, I have to upload a copy of the WordPress installation that I keep on my hard drive for just such emergencies.

The current version of WordPress is 3.9.1.

As I recently wrote to my client, it is and isn’t a problem to keep the site on 3.0.1.

It is a problem because site security is not as strong as it could be – on the other hand, that does not really affect much. There’s no crucial info to lose. A bigger problem is that the versions of plugins that do things like slideshows and animations and archiving are also outdated and often are no longer supported. Any changes to the site moving forward will have to rely on technology that’s a few years old and there’s no guarantee that I will be able to find something that works.

It isn’t a problem because it’s working fine now, although I can’t apply updates that might automatically take care of issues that I have to figure out manually. And a redesign will consume time and money to essentially rebuild the Web site from scratch on modern technology.

So that’s the background. I don’t have to actively do much work. My clients only update the site every few months. Between updates, I don’t really do anything. My biggest project to date was to install an online store/shopping cart plugin but mostly I add posts, remove old info, etc.

That what I was doing last weekend. My job was to remove an old post and refine a more recent one with updated info and a slideshow. Easy enough. But the slideshow wasn’t working. (The site used the ILC Slider plugin, which is no longer available. It’s the precursor to AllSlider by the same author.)

Now, when I say the slideshows weren’t working, it’s not as straightforward as it sounds, and here I need to explain more background. When I use the Preview function on an edited post, the preview that shows up uses the unadulterated Twenty Ten theme. I never get to see what it will actually look like in production on the custom theme until I push the update into production. (Feel free to cringe, coders.)

So, the slideshows would work, sort of, on the preview page but not in production. Once pushed live, the slideshow would sit there, holding one image like a picture frame. The interactive controls would detect a hovering cursor and change colour but would not do anything when clicked.

There was another problem to deal with in the preview. The slideshow worked, but would not properly frame two of the 12 images. I decided to deal with this first. I resized the original JPEGs to slideshow size (500 pixels across) but that didn’t help. I tried changing the names of the files – no dice. And then I noticed something. The two images that were misbehaving used the .jpg suffix. The ten that worked used the .jpeg suffix. Once I changed the .jpg to .jpeg, the slideshow worked perfectly – on the preview page. It still shouldn’t play in production.

I checked the rest of the site’s slideshows. They weren’t working either. That meant there was some sort of systemic error. Something had changed since I had installed the previous slideshows. It wasn’t the site’s PHP code, but what was it? Had someone remotely deprecated ILC Slider? Were other people having this problem? This called for a Google search.

There was no support for ILC Slider, since it no longer exists. Offical support for AllSlider requires a paid licence to access. I was left skirting the edges, looking for clues.

And I found one, written by the plugin author: “It’s not caused by the plugin, but when a JavaScript fails in a page, all the remaining scripts are stopped….”

I checked the calls the site’s pages were making for JavaScript. I found two: and

That second one leads to nothing. I changed it to link to and all slideshows worked again.

I don’t know if a WordPress update would have fixed that. I don’t think so. I suspect that ILC Slider is at fault. Either way, I’m sure that some update would have prevented this from popping up.

Bonus tech frustration:

I also added an embedded Twitter feed to the site. No matter what I tried, I could never get the feed to show up as more than a simple text link in the two browsers I use, Safari and Chrome. No amount of research or plugins could fix my problem, but I did find many complaints about the same thing.

My client asked me to modify the size of the feed, though, which threw me. He was seeing it? I fired up Firefox, and there it was. But I only use Firefox for troubleshooting. I don’t surf with it or modify… – oh, crap.

I use Ghostery in Safari and Chrome to cut down on cookies and ads. Embedded Twitter feeds will not work without cookies or tracking or something. Once I set Ghostery to allow the Twitter Button tracker, I saw the tweet feed. Oy.

The Chrome bell

I hate clutter, especially in my menu bars.

I use Safari and Chrome browsers on my Mac. Why two? It’s easy to hide the windows of one while I’m working on a project on the other. There are plugins/extensions on each that I like to use for some sites, like WME Toolbox (Chrome only) on the Waze map editor.

Chrome bellA few days ago, I noticed a greyed-out bell icon in my menu bar (see image at left). Clicking on it revealed that it was a drop-down menu for Chrome notifications, installed without my permission and taking up about a centimetre of valuable menu-bar space.

The standard OS X way to remove unwanted menu-bar items is to hold down the Option and Command keys while dragging the offender of the bar. That wasn’t working.

So I did a little research and here is how you get rid of it:

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://flags in the address field and then scroll down to Enable Rich Notifications. Alternately, you can type chrome://flags/#enable-rich-notifications in the address field to go right to it. Or just copy that string from this post and paste it!
  3. Change the setting for Enable Rich Notifications to “Disabled”.
  4. Quit Chrome.

The next time Chrome boots, your bell will no longer appear.

But here’s the weird part: I tried reversing the above steps to get a screenshot of the bell for this post, but the bell never reappeared. I’m not losing sleep over that, but that is weird.

Another unusual point is that the bell just showed up for me a few days ago, while many people have been complaining about it since last October. It may have something to do with the fact that I’m still using OS 10.8 instead of 10.9 (Mavericks), or maybe it has to do with my use of Google Notifier.

Google Notifier is a small application that sits in your menu bar and tells you when you have new mail in your Gmail account – at least, it used to. It also lets you set all browser mailto links (i.e. e-mail links) to open in your browser’s Gmail account instead of an e-mail client. I really dislike Apple’s Mail application and I haven’t found anything I like better than Gmail’s Web interface, so I strictly use that (in Safari) for dealing with all e-mail.

Google Notifier is no longer supported and it no longer tells me when I have mail but it still works to redirect e-mail links so I still use it. You can get it at MacUpdate.

LogMeIn Free replacement

This news is a week stale, but LogMeIn has decided to can its free service. Cute how the announcement is titled “Changes to LogMeIn Free”.

Users are particularly miffed that the Jan. 21 notice informed users that the service would abruptly end on, yes, Jan. 21. That linked TechCrunch article discusses as an alternative, but that is another LogMeIn product and is free only during 14-day trial.

I’ve moved to TeamViewer, which is free for private use. Note the unnecessary, snide dig at LogMeIn in their standard installation instructions.

Chrome Remote Desktop was another option, but that would force the people to whose computers I log in remotely to help to have Chrome running.

Streaming US media

Having been prompted by the wife to investigate how to access the American version of Netflix and by Child 2′s usage of the same, I did a little digging.

There are many options out there. Unblockus is popular and convenient and it costs $5 a month. The advantage of Unblockus for me is the ability to install its DNS addresses right on the router, thus allowing every device on our network – including the PS3 – to access geo-blocked American media. When you access one of the chosen services, your browser would ask you which geographic location you would like to use. I’m not sure we would get that choice with Netflix on the PS3.

Child 2 was using Hola, which comes in ad-supported free and pay versions. Hola is actually peer-to-peer software and I suspect it of driving up our bandwidth using Child 2′s laptop. Regardless, it is browser-based software and as such may not always work with browser updates or even your browser of choice, like my preference to use Safari.

I settled on a free alternative, Media Hint. There’s another hobby-project called Tunlr that works with DNS redirection, the same approach that Unblockus uses.

Media Hint works in the browser, but also at the system level in OS X, which is how I have set mine up. Here’s how:

  1. Open System Preferences. Open the Network settings pane.
  2. Click on the connection you are using, which will almost certainly be either Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
  3. Click on the Location drop-down menu and choose Edit Locations…
  4. Select your default location (Automatic, unless you’ve renamed it). Click on the gear icon and choose “Duplicate Location”.
  5. Rename the location you just created to something more obvious, like “US TV”. Choose it to activate it and click the Done button.
  6. Click the Advanced button. Click on Proxies in the header.
  7. Activate the checkbox for Automatic Proxy Configuration. In the URL field for Automatic Proxy Configuration and paste this URL:
  8. Click the OK button. Exit System Preferences, saving changes if it asks you to.

Now, to switch between being local and appearing to be in the US, click on the Apple menu and then click on the Location menu. Switch between them whenever you want this way.

I haven;t checked, but there should be a way to use Media Hint this way in Windows, too. Or you could opt for Tunlr.

Bonus whine:

Who at WordPress decided that Goth was a good look for version 3.8? Blecch.

Magical pants

When once upon a time I was a DM for the game we then called AD&D, I invented in my campaign a magic item called the pants of sloth (and I italicize according to Wizards of the Coast style). These magical pants were a tartan pair of what are now commonly called pyjama pants and they increased the natural healing rate of a character as long as this person did nothing but veg out.

Because I was (am?) an anal-retentive DM, I kept track of things like long-term healing and these pants came in handy in my campaign, even though when I submitted them for inclusion in Dungeon magazine, the editor I was working with (Dave Gross) replied with “Oh, I don’t think so….” It may have been the name.

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, and I would have loved to see Dave’s comment were I to submit for consideration a real pair of magical pants I just learned about.

The Icelandic nábrók, or necropants, will grant you everlasting wealth as long as you don’t mind digging around in a(nother) man’s scrotum for coins. Here’s the transliteration of the audio track available at the Strandagaldur Museum of Icelandic Sorcery and Witchcraft.

One of the most difficult feats mentioned in Icelandic grimoires and folk tales is undoubtedly the nábrók, literally “necropants”. This is another tool to gather wealth by supernatural means.

To begin with, the sorcerer has to make a pact with a living man and get his permission to dig up his dead body and skin it from the waist down. The skin must be completely intact with no holes or scratches. The sorcerer then steps into the skin, which will immediately become one with his own.

A coin must be stolen from a poor widow either at Christmas, Easter, or Whitsun and kept in the scrotum. It will then draw money from living persons and the scrotum will never be empty when the sorcerer checks.

However, his spiritual well-being is at risk unless he gets rid of the necropants before he dies. If he dies with the pants on, his body will become infested with lice as soon as he passes away. The sorcerer must therefore find somebody that is willing to take the pants, and put his leg into the right leg before the sorcerer steps out of the left one.

The pants will keep on drawing money for generations of owners.

The audio does not mention that in addition to the coin, the sorcerer must place the nábrókarstafur sigil in the scrotum.

The museum has a pair of the pants on display and the Web site has the sigil.


Stream wireless video at home

We don’t own a dedicated TV streaming device. We do have both a Wii and a PlayStation 3, and we get Netflix through those. We subscribe to Videotron’s Illico digital cable TV and also have a grey-market DirecTV dish and PVR, with the Showtime package and no broadcast networks.

We’re well-served in content, even if we still haven’t made the leap to a flat-screen television – yeah, we still have a massive CRT set.

The kids monopolize the TV but I don’t mind. I’ve become accustomed to time shifting. The kids have filled up the PVR with Adventure Time and other Cartoon Network staples, though, so most of my time-shifting involves downloading TV-show torrents.

Boy, this is long-winded.

I usually watch video on my computer but sometimes a subset of the family will also want to watch what I download, either together or at separate times. Until this past summer, I’d transfer shows to a USB memory stick and plug that into the PS3.

I knew there had to be a better way to move video from my hard drive to our TV, but I figured we needed a streaming device like a Roku, AppleTV, or the new Google Chromecast. I had it completely backward.

I searched for ways to get this done, and the consensus choice is Plex, a media server you load on your computer. It’s absolutely free. Plex is fairly easy to install; once I had the courage to ignore some error warnings, it went seamlessly.

You find your video files through Plex’s Web-browser-based interface. Plex handles TV series and movies differently so you’ll want to separate those into different folders if you don’t already. Once it’s set up on your computer, Plex will search the Internet for covers and background info for all of your titles so that the end result looks darned professional. The only issue I had was that Plex misrecognized an old TV documentary and so downloaded the wrong information. I had to manually override that.

But once my set up is done, all I had to do was choose my new media server on the PS3, and boom – all my files are available in a pretty menu. I’ve had rare network hiccups that make me reload a file I’m watching, but that’s barely worth mentioning. I haven’t looked for the server on our Wii but I assume it would be easy to access there.

I was so pleased with my success that I tried to set up Plex for someone with an AppleTV. Oh, Apple…. True to form, Apple maintains a closed ecosystem on its AppleTVs. You can only get what they want you to get and that doesn’t include media files on your computer – unless they are in iTunes. Previously, I had advised the AppleTV user to convert all her downloaded video to MP4 format and then to drag it into iTunes. It works, but not for all video files and it’s kludgy. Plex is more elegant and easier since it will play anything your computer can, from .aac to .wmv.

Apple left a loophole in the AppleTV software, however. The device’s data streams are encrypted – with the exception of its Trailers channel. Some clever coders exploited this to force AppleTVs to access Plex through that Trailers channel. It seemed to work great…until Apple closed the hole with its most recent AppleTV software update.

Now, there are still workarounds and I found the appropriate code and files and followed the instructions to what I could best discern was a T, but I spent four hours trying to get this AppleTV to see Plex without success.

So I can’t recommend an AppleTV. Roku comes with Plex access by default but you still have to install your own media server for it to work. I’ve read that Roku boxes are not the most stable, although perhaps the company’s new line-up will fix that. If you have a newer TV with Google Play, a LG Smart TV, or a Samsung TV that can use that app store, you can also get the Plex client directly.

The Google Chromecast dongle is HDMI only and has a Plex client in development. It’s a $35 device, only available in the US for now.

If I had to design an home media-server installation from scratch today, I’d start with a used Wii. It’s less expensive and more reliable than a dedicated streaming device. And it plays games. By the end of the year, I might opt for a Chromecast if the TV has a spare HDMI input.

Weird Mail issue

I recently dealt with an quirk of Apple’s Mail application for a client. I found a workaround, but I have no idea exactly why it’s happening, or how to prevent it from happening. That bugs me.

My client receives an e-mail newsletter from an industry group. What he gets shows up like this:


It’s a standard formatted e-mail. The raw e-mail comes in two parts. The first is simple text, and the second is HTML. It’s ugly, inelegant HTML, with layout driven by nested tables, but it works.

A problem arises when my client forwards this e-mail to others. It shows up like this:


The text is there. It’s just the same colour as the background. Notice that the justification of some of the paragraphs has also changed.

When asked to forward this e-mail, Mail does so, but it adds this before the HTML of the newsletter proper:


Mail adds that little text through some, yes, HTML. And that HTML is what (I assume) screws up the styles of the newsletter.

As far as I can tell, there’s no way to get around this while using the “Forward” function. My workaround takes advantage of Mail’s “Send Again” command. That doesn’t add anything to the message and conveniently can be applied to messages that you yourself didn’t send the first time.

Bonus funny:

I’ve been freelancing for a company that adds subtitles to movies, which is more complicated than you think it is because of competing standards. There’s also a procedure to verify foreign dialogue.

The other day, I was working on Darren Aronofsky’s “Pi” along with two goyim. Each of us covered a third of the movie, which contains a bit of Hebrew and Yiddish, but I was responsible for knitting all three reports together. One of the foreign-dialogue notes one of the other titlers left for me concerned a Hebrew word. His remark cracked me up, and it will amuse anyone who is familiar with Chabad and its tactics:

Teffillin. A type of Jewish phylactery? Appears to be used in the context of a drug.

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