When Sarah Palin booked a flight to Europe, the French immediately surrendered.

calendar   Thursday - March 28, 2013

Hecho En Mexico

Still waiting for my new PC to arrive. It shipped several days ago. I pulled up the tracking link from the email Dell sent me, but the Fed-Ex site doesn’t give me much data. My machine went through Fed’s Fort Worth processing center in about 8 hours, 3 days ago. That’s all it shows. Almost. At the top of the window is a source line. It says that my shipment originated in Juarez. What??? Dude, that’s, like, Mexico!

Yup. No sher, schmitlock. The iconic computer company from Austin Texas doesn’t make computers in Austin Texas any longer. Not for years actually. Turns out that they don’t even make computers in the United States anymore either, having closed assembly plants all over and laid off thousands. And this is old news. Well excuuuuuuse me, I haven’t been paying attention to the details of the computer world for at least half a decade. I know it’s a cut throat industry, one that is constantly evolving, changing, and inventing new ground shaking paradigms almost daily. So I shouldn’t be surprised. And I should have put 01 and 01 together and seen that they add up to 10 when I shopped for the PC online and saw that all their machines have been “packagized”; the old “build it your way” components option list a thing of the distant past. Who am I kidding? Almost all the parts come from Indonesia or China. Things might be designed here, but they’re built there. So why bother to even assemble them here? Silly Drew.

Guess I was fooling myself; I never gave it any thought, but if I had I would have thought ... Dell; American. The story of Dell Computers is a classic American Success tale, a story of how one man made millions - billions, dozens of them - and built a huge company by providing a better product to the marketplace. But the outsourcing seed was always there, even at the very beginning. The very first Dell computers were IBM PCs that were overstocks. They weren’t selling, so college student Michael Dell bought them up for a song and modified them on the cheap. Being IBM made products back in the days when IBM meant something, those early PCs were way overbuilt. Underclocked, so that they’d run cold and last forever. So he replaced the system clock, a 10¢ part, with a faster one. So his rebranded PCs ran 50% faster and cost 2/3 of IBM’s PCs. And he got rich. That’s the legend. Ah, but that was long ago and far away. Like all big business, Dell has long since gone multi-national. But even though they’re retrenching right now, Dell is still the greatest greatest tale ever told in the entire history of capitalism. 60 billion in annual sales. Crivens!

So I’ll have a Hecho PC. Just so long as it’s built with the English version of Windows, and the box not used to smuggle drugs in with. (shocked reaction!! Drew, that’s racist!! [no, it’s actually nationalist. Can we get past this stuck on stupid “racist” crap? Not all stereotypes are race based, and one blanket term does not cover them. Expand your mind, you simple monkey. {das raaaciss!!} Oh shut up.] )


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/28/2013 at 09:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceOutsourcing •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 20, 2013

Oh Swell, It’s a Dell

“PC news”

I looked and I looked, and all that DIY stuff is awesome, and I know what upgrade parts I’ll want someday, and I’m certain I can build one. BUT.

But for now I’m going with the OTB solution (Open The Box). I took everything everyone told me into consideration ... and even though I’ll probably never be able to use the full power of it, I went with the i7 3770/H77 machine. Not the 3770K chip or the Z77 chipset. The i5 builds were only $130 less, but that was with half the RAM and half the HD, and that HD was not even a SATA 6Gb/s interface either. And a crappier graphics card, or none. Not that mine came with any kind of wonder card, but it’s better than CPU mounted graphics, especially the ones on the lesser CPUS. I did find a decent i3 system for about half the price, but it was stripped and built with cheap parts. I had a big debate with myself about future-proofing, and I decided to err on the side of speedy this time.

This box has just about everything I could ever want built in or added on, right down to a 7 button laser mouse. 7? I’ve got 5 on this one, including the wheel. Don’t know what I’ll do with more.

So, someday ... a couple weeks ... and a new PC will arrive.

My network guy from bowling league wasn’t much help, but he did strongly advise me against Windows 8. That was my plan anyway; it’s got a very bad reputation. So I got 7 Pro, which gives me XP mode if I need it, and Dell threw in the W7P disks for $3. Windows 8 is a FAIL OS: all the vendors are discounting it $100 with new systems, PC industry blogs say that 8 has barely penetrated the market 2.5%, the same as Mac, and that one of Microsoft’s selling points for the Win 8 Pro version is that you can downgrade it. Downgrading is a selling point? Horry clap. Nobody wants this red-headed step child.

Now, to wait for SSD prices to drop. Mwahahahahaaa! (actually that gives me some time to pay this bugger off. Like, a whole year?)

A big shout out to all who gave good comment advice ... especially the link to, a place saturated in geek awesome.

Sure, I probably paid too much, although I got the machine for a bit less than the listed price. Enough less to cover most of the tax ... damn them, the internet should be free, not charging taxes for interstate commerce!! You bastards! But a kit machine doesn’t come with 24-7 in home tech support for a year either. Just in case, right?


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/20/2013 at 06:44 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - March 19, 2013

PC Parts - Overwhelming!

Thanks for the great response to my PC post. I’m looking at motherboards, RAM, and other parts right now. It’s pretty overwhelming; there is simply so much to choose from.

And the evil little audiophile demon that lives in my head has been awakened and is starting to stamp his sharp little hooves and demand top-level stuff. Problem is, I don’t know what top-level stuff is. The ASUS boards are myraid; I’m assuming Form Factor ATX is a standard size motherboard that fits in a standard “mini tower” case. Fine by me; I don’t need a PC the size of a box of tissues. But gosh, the choices. I’m still thinking Ivy Bridge, so Intel i3 - i7, but I don’t know from Adam about z77 vs z77 Express etc. And here I was the other day, ready to plop down money for an i7/H77 system! And RAM? CRIVENS!! There is an infinite selection! Every “hot” system I saw for sale online from the PC companies came with 1600Mhz DDR3, but these boards run - or CAN run?? - 2400Mhz DDR3, 50% faster and just $50 more expensive. In the old, old days, faster RAM made a huge difference. Now? I have no idea.

I know I want a board with at least 1 SATA III port because that SSD route seems an awesome way to go, even if I don’t go there first thing. I think I want a built-in ethernet port, and a built-in WiFi thinger. Both, just in case. But sound boards are also built-in these days? Coolness, or crappola? And reasonable video cards? I’m beginning to feel ... well, not exactly OLD, but a bit on the Rip Van Winkle side: the last time I messed about with cards and slots was to put a Perstor card in my 286 machine ( a wonder-board that piggybacked the HD controller and tripled the capacity of my Seagate ST-4096 HD ), and in those days all this stuff was an ad-on, so you needed slots, more slots, and more slots. Now I’m seeing boards with just 2-4 slots, but with so much stuff built into the mobo itself, yeah, maybe that’s enough. But. More confusion! There are at least 3 kinds of PCI slot now! My current PC has 1, and it’s original PCI, no -E, Express, Zip, or whatever.

Ok. Calm down Drew. Walk away from the candy store; assume Christmas is over. The idea is to build a good machine and get out the door for $800, or close to it. For a running PC with OS. And that’s going to be a challenge, because so much of what is out there for the DIYer seems so much better than what Dell or Acer sells you; it’s not even in the same ballpark. Unless the human-observable performance difference between “bargain” and “white hot” are nearly indistinguishable for anything less than NASA-level number crunching. And, BIG DUH, I’d better grab my actual NEEDS by the sack and give them a squeeze, so that their screams drown out the drooling clamor of the WANTS. But I’m new to all this, so it’s hard. I’m in the candy store, and there are 128 different kinds of fancy organic licorice for sale, but yesterday the only stuff I was aware of was Twizzlers. Which is rubberized crap.  Ooh, look - Danish hilyatsprach, an extra strong licorice with 3% anise seed oil, 10% organic Italian licorice root, and no molasses! But with salt! Ooh, tasty!

The dangerous thing is that I have a natural eye for quality. I walk into ta jewelry store and look in the case, and automatically point to the best quality diamonds and emeralds, when I was actually shopping for garnets.

This is going to be very hard. Thanks. Really; I do enjoy a challenge.

ASUS P8Z77-V LE Intel 7 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z77 Express, 2400MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, CrossFireX Ready

Friday this was gibberish. Today I half understand it, although I have to Google up CrossFireX ... but I’m guessing it means a doubled GPU. Just guessing.

ASUS P8Z77-V PRO Intel 7 Series Motherboard - ATX, Socket H2 (LGA1155), Intel Z77, 2400MHz DDR3 (O.C.), SATA III (6Gb/s), RAID, 8-CH Audio, Gigabit LAN, USB 3.0, PCIe 3.0, WiFi-N, SLI/CrossFireX

$25 difference between the two. Both are expensive. The later has the latest and greatest version of Wifi built-in. Cool. But SLI/CrossFireX? Similar thing, but I’m doing the big Scooby Doo “ma-roouh??” here. So much stuff to learn!


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/19/2013 at 08:35 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Monday - March 18, 2013

PC #3 Advice Needed

The other day when I was having some computer problems, one commenter suggested that I just go buy a new machine; you can get a new computer for $200. That seemed like decent advice, so I went out looking. And opened a can of worms, and then dove in head first. Oops.

Yes, you can get a new PC for about that price. The bare bones, bottom end machine, no monitor, sometimes not even including a keyboard. And what you’d get is still far superior to the machine I’m using right now, a 733Mhz P3 that just celebrated it’s 14th anniversary. But I found out that it’s hardly worth it to spend that little unless you absolutely have to, when for just a bit more you can have ever so much more. $500 gets you a PC that was current 2 years ago, with the i3 or i5 CPU and 2Gb of RAM. $700 buys you a machine that’s just a couple hairs shy of the red hot cutting edge.

In my mind a computer costs $2000. That’s about what I paid for my first PC, a 12.5Mhz 80286 Dell with a 16” VGA monitor that I bought in the early winter of 1988. Hey, that was a hot machine in those days, and it came with a huge 12Mb hard drive and DOS 3.2. I got quite a number of years out of that one until a short appeared on the motherboard. In 1994 a new 33Mhz 80386 motherboard went it, and that ran just fine until my old job gave me this machine as a perk. Yup, they paid for most of it, and this machine cost just about $2000, 11 years after I bought the first one for the same price. In all the years since I’ve only added a bit of RAM to this one, replaced the OEM graphics card with another identical one for $40, and replaced the monitor twice. Now it runs a decent but not fancy HP2311 flat screen, but the original CPU and 27Gb HD are still chugging away. The OS has changed from Win 98 to Win 200 to Win XP Pro, and I’ve never had the slightest problem with any of them. It’s optimized to hell and back, but you can only do so much with old tech. I can’t even run the current version of Firefox; forget any kind of hi-res gaming or heavy computation.

So I went online and did research. IOPs. Core architecture. Chipsets. Ivy Bridge. Haswell. SATA III. Tri-D 3 dimensional transistors, 22nm architecture, i5, i7, 3rd Generation, DDR3, $500 graphics cards, Turbo Boost, the whole shebang. Impressive. And overwhelming. And this ... this thing out there that really upsets people, called Windows 8.

And what I found out, is that $700 will get you a new PC that is just one or two slight shades below cutting edge, and that $1000 will get you cutting edge, but as usual the sky is the limit if you want something both niche and extreme. A “gamer” machine. I don’t think I have much use for one of them, considering that my PC game of choice is probably Free Cell. It’s just not my thing. Not yet. And since my hindbrain thinks that a new computer costs two grand, $700 seems like a tremendous bargain, considering that it buys you (via Dell)

* an Intel i7 3770 CPU that runs at 3.4Ghz with 4 cores and all that multi-threading goodness, and can hit 3.9Ghz in Turbo Mode. Whatever that is.
* 8 Gb of 1600Mhz RAM
* a Terrabyte 7200rpm hard drive with 6Gb burst transmission speed
* Ivy Bridge architecture and the H77 chipset (aka Panther Piss or whatever it’s called) that comes with myriad SATA II and SATA III ports right on the motherboard
* a plethora of USB 3.0 and USB 2.0 ports
* a reasonable but mundane 1Gb graphics card but no monitor
* a built-in 10/100/1000 ethernet card (10 times faster than the 10/100 card in this machine)
* the latest Wifi with Bluetooth
* a full-on surround sound music card but no speakers
* a 460 watt power supply
* a new keyboard and a new mouse
* a new medium size tower case that will handle one (or two!) of the double slot wide 11.5” long super killer graphics cards should I ever want one.

and 64 bit Windows 8. Interestingly, getting the exact same machine with the older 64 bit Windows 7 costs $100 more. $200 more if I get the W7 Pro with the virtual XP environment built into it. Hmmm. Yeah, I might lose a few applications if I transfer stuff from old PC to new PC, but they’re ancient ones anyway. No big. Going with another company (HP) and spending another $100 on top of that can get me the 3770K and the hair better X77 chipset, in case I want to play Tweaker and diddle with the system clocks until I break something. Um, that may not be too smart. But it would be about 8% faster even if I didn’t mess about with it.

Either way, it’s quite impressive, since a white hot super dooper cutting edge gaming PC is nearly the exact same thing, except it has the i7 3770K CPU that runs 0.1 Ghz faster, 12 or 16 Gb of the same kind of RAM, when RAM chips costs about $40, and a 600 W power supply which generally costs about $40 more. The real difference is the $200-500 graphics card(s) thrown in, which will fit in this size case should I ever want them. So $700 is tremendous bang for the buck, and I could save $150 off of that by going with an older i5 CPU from 2 years ago, which isn’t really any slower but is less “extreme” for any future demands I might put on it. Compared to what I’m typing away at right now, today’s “cheap” $700 machine is about 40 times faster than mine, with 40 times the storage and 800 times as much RAM. Beyond night and day difference. Dead vs Alive might be more apt.

Yes, you can overclock the 3770K CPU and make it run 15% faster. But you’d better be smart about it, and you’d better put in a real killer thermal management system first. Liquid cooling and the radiator from a ‘92 Buick. And the X77 or J77 chips are a bit more potent and flexible than the “cheapo” H77 chips, but we’re not talking any kind of speed difference that a human could notice. Benchmark software can notice, and the better chips shave a second or two off some task here or there. They cost another $100 too.

One option I would consider for somewhere down the road would be one of those solid state hard drives, an SSD. The ones for the SATA III interface cost $125-250, and give you an eighth to a quarter gigabyte of additional storage on chips. No moving parts! And they are lightning fast and consume hardly any electricity. SSDs for SATA II cost $1200 for some reason, and they can only flow data at half the speed of the SATA III interface.

I am not planning on buying a new monitor any time soon. I just got this one 20 months ago and I expect it to last forever. It does 1080P and can support an HDMI or DVI cable, so it’s plenty good enough. But this whole Windows 8 “Metro” kerfluffle has sent me for a loop. I could use some advice: is it better to spend the extra $!00 and get Windows 7, which is admittedly a bit slower, or should I save the money, get Windows 8 (which is really designed to work with a touchscreen, turning your PC into an oversize tablet or iPad) and then use one of the work-around apps out there? Perhaps until I can save up to get a touch screen monitor, which are rather expensive for something of decent size?

Or, solution 3, which is to try and hang on until mid-summer, when the Haswell architecture comes out, as part of Intel’s never ending “tick tock” annual upgrade releases. And cross my fingers and wish upon a star that Microsoft codes in an Off switch for the dreaded Metro thingy. I don’t know if I can do that; this thing could go belly up at any time. And it has become terribly slow no matter what I do to it, so I’m doubting if I could find another 5 months worth of patience. If the $15 wireless adapter card had lasted, that was my original plan, but it up and died and now I have a big stupid data cable running across the whole house. Not a good thing. I can’t say if Haswell systems will cost more or less at that point, but they will cause the price of Ivy Bridge desktops to drop even further. And from what I read, the only real improvement is going to be to native graphics anyway, which don’t get used at all if you have a graphics card installed. I think.

And no, “buy a Mac” isn’t good advice, unless you can point me to a brand new one with the latest hot chips in it that goes for well under $800. Not refurbished. One that didn’t gently fall off the back of a truck in the middle of the night. Uh huh.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/18/2013 at 01:24 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Friday - March 15, 2013


I don’t know what the heck goes on here in the early mornings, but it seems like I shouldn’t even bother to try to get on the internet before 10am. In theory, I’ve got pretty much the fastest internet in the USA here. Xfinity Plus. In theory, my cable modem is connected to a top of the line dual channel high speed WiFi router from Linksys. In theory, the WiFi card in my PC is also dual channel and cable of seriously whiz-bang speeds and a super strong signal that should blast through several walls and allow me to be online with a portable device way down at the other end of the parking lot. In reality, nearly every morning the Tanda WiFi software on the PC shows me a connection link speed of 1.0Kbps and a throughput of 0Kbps. That’s a FAR cry from the 24Mbps that the low speed channel usually runs at. Since the WiFi is an order of magnitude or two faster than the ISP signal, I should get the full blast of whatever bandwidth is available to me. And that’s the problem: there isn’t any.

But around a quarter to ten in the morning, suddenly it’s alive. Of course, in the meantime I pulling out my few remaining hairs, running all sorts of system check utilities and virus scans to see what’s sucking the PC dry, and finding pretty much nothing.

Go figure.

Anyway, it’s running, so now maybe I can get some posts up. And download a couple more forms from the IRS. Oh goody.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/15/2013 at 09:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Monday - March 11, 2013

curious bit of old technology wedded to new?

Happen to see this and went to you tube for the video.
Pardon my slow working brain but, how does this actually work out to be easier?
Also, I noticed the video is a year old so, if it’s the future then why by this time hasn’t it been advertised more?
Not being a nerdy sort , these things always get away from me and I need someone to splain.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 03/11/2013 at 11:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceScience-Technology •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 27, 2013

pooter problems

Something has gone very wrong with my poor old machine and I’m trying to fix it. It just sits here thrashing the hard drive hour after hour, for no reason that I can find.

I’ve run all the system tune up programs. I’ve run all the malware killer programs. While that helped a tiny bit, and found some naughty cookies and a couple of latent trojans lurking in the background, the machine is still close to dead. And what’s worse, running the Super Anti-Spyware in Full Scan mode took 4 and a half hours ... for a 22Gb disk? No way. And as I sat an watched it, I saw the same directory being swept over and over, file after file. Thousands of them. Tens of thousands of them. So I wrote down that directory, and looked stuff up online.

It turns out that Windows has this issue wherein it tries to cache the entire internet, every last file, on your PC. This is the dreaded “Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5” directory problem. Which is almost the problem I’ve been having. So I read up on that, applied the solutions, cleaned out the files and the local index.dat files ... and still the problem persisted.

It turns out that ... at least for my machine ... I have the same ...\Content.IE5 directory structure hidden deep in WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\config\systemprofile\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\Content.IE5. And down in that hidden directory, once I rest Explorer to make the directory unhidden, I found dozens of subdirectories, some old some new, and each one had THOUSANDS of small files in it. Thousands! Every little arrow, button, background color .gif, URL, page header ... blah blah ... every last bit of every web page visited. Funny thing, not only do I not even have IE5 on this machine any longer, I rarely even use IE. I even uninstalled Chrome because we just didn’t get along.

And not one of the articles I saw mentioned the shadow copy of the files hiding down in SYSTEM32. Strange.

So I’ve spent many hours cleaning ... nearly 5Gb worth of crap off of this machine. Finally I opened a DOS window and did things the old fashioned way, rmdir /s [directory name], because killing the files with Explorer and then emptying the Recycle Bin of gigs worth of files was taking forever.

It’s finally done. I’ll post this, then try to reboot the system. Assuming that I haven’t utterly killed the PC, I can then run the FileAssassin tool to delete further instances of Content.IE5s index.dat files on reboot - both of them, the visible one and the invisible one. Then I can pull up Control Panel and IE8 or whatever version that damn browser is and make sure all the caching settings are set to Off or to as small a size as allowed. And cross my fingers once again.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 02/27/2013 at 09:59 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Tuesday - January 08, 2013

Spying for no reason

Library of Congress Storing 170 Billion Tweets

Oh please. 99.999996% of everything on Twitter is just crap. But it’s data; it’s conversation between citizens. So the government is storing it, analyzing it, and will of course be handing over anything remotely “suspicious” to the NSA. The Thought Police are here, or at least the Tweet Patrol. What a total waste of taxpayer money, and what a perfect example of the government keeping tabs on everyone.

Fuck this, and fuck them.

An effort by the Library of Congress to archive Twitter posts has amassed more than 170 billion tweets, which the library is now seeking to make available to researchers and other interested parties.

Created in 1800, the Library of Congress serves as the unofficial library of the United States, as well as being Congress’ official research library.

In April 2010, the library signed an agreement with Twitter to gain access to all public tweets since the site’s founding in 2006.

“Twitter is a new kind of collection for the Library of Congress but an important one to its mission,” Gayle Osterberg, the library’s director of communications, wrote in a blog post. “As society turns to social media as a primary method of communication and creative expression, social media is supplementing, and in some cases supplanting, letters, journals, serial publications and other sources routinely collected by research libraries.”

Osterberg wrote that the library has completed digitally archiving all of the tweets it currently possesses and is now working on how to best make them available to the public. The library already has received about 400 requests from researchers all over the world looking into topics ranging from the rise of citizen journalism to tracking vaccination rates to predicting stock market activity.

The archive promises to keep growing fast. Currently, the library is processing roughly 500 million tweets per day, up from about 140 million daily messages in 2011, according to the blog post.

Blah blah blah, as if any of that nonsense has the slightest bit of importance. The people who request access to the data will be marketing groups trying to drill down into it to spotlight trends and to target market their products. The rest, aside from NSA using it as a spy tool, is garbage.

Not that Twitter was innocent here. Or any other of the social network sites. They are all about collecting, analyzing, and then selling a nearly infinite amount of personal data about everyone. No. The “we’re all connected” meme that you should share every detail of your life with the public is complete crap. Not only does it give you a false sense of self-importance which you don’t deserve, it trains you to forget about anything that was ever called privacy.

Big Brother also stores your telephone and cell phone conversations, and most likely any emails sent by or to the common email engines (gmail, yahoo, etc). And they’ll open your paper mail if they feel like it. So there is no communication privacy, and hasn’t been for a very long time.

“no search without a warrant” ... what a laugh. Who needs a warrant when you make your every thought, emotion, experience, and attitude public. Suckers.

So keep on Tweeting sheeple.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 01/08/2013 at 08:58 AM   
Filed Under: • Big BrotherComputers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Monday - November 19, 2012

And Around Again

Oh God I am so sore today. We had the truck yesterday, so we moved most of the big stuff. Most of it. There’s always more, right? Got the sofas moved, got the dressers moved—I have decided that there is a special circle in Hell for the cheap bastard that designed my dresser, using drawer slides that do not let the drawers be removed. Son of a gun. You suck.—got a whole bunch of heavy stuff moved. And there is still more. Crivens.

So, what’s new in the world? Let’s take a quick look ...


Oh yeah, the more things change the more they stay the same: 

Florida Officials Miss Deadline To Report Recount Results

Wassamatta, isn’t there enough caffeine in their Tang or something?

Election officials missed a deadline Sunday to report results of a two-day recount in GOP Rep. Allen West’s race to remain in Congress, apparently sealing unofficial results giving the win to Democrat Patrick Murphy.

Though St. Lucie County did not meet a noon cutoff to finish processing 37,379 ballots cast early in the District 18 congressional election, it eventually released the results, which showed Murphy actually gaining votes in the recount. Regardless, under Florida law, previously submitted results favoring Murphy will be certified unless an emergency exemption is granted by the state.

“It puts an end to it as far as we’re concerned,” said Eric Johnson, a Murphy adviser. “It puts an end to it as far as the state’s concerned.”

I’m so sick of this nonsense. With all the billions the governments can spend on stupid programs, payoff bailouts for their buddies, grossly overpriced equipment for the military, $16 bran muffins for their breakfast conferences, etc., WHY CAN’T THEY EVER BUY QUALITY VOTING MACHINES FOR THE PEOPLE WHO ARE ACTUALLY FOOTING THE BILL?

Damnation. Lemmee tell ya, the machine we use in our district is awesome. The whole thing folds up into a box on wheels. It’s got a battery backup, one of the ones from the office security light things, in case the power goes out. The voting panel is at least 30” across if it isn’t 3 feet, so all the party lines and the positions and candidate’s names are in big bold 1” high type even I can read without my glasses on. Select your candidate, push the button, and that square lights up. When you’re all done, press the big yellow button to cast your ballot. The machine goes beep, and you’re done.

Sure, we have to sign in, and sign a numbered card which we hand over to the gatekeeper. And I think it would be a snap to rig a paper printer to it, the same one that they use in the grocery store, to print out a barcode copy of your ballot. Concerned whether your vote was cast properly? Take your printout - which has your ballot number on it only, and a barcode nobody can read for your privacy - and run it over an outside scanner station. Bing! And that gizmo, exactly like the price check scanner gizmo at the grocery store, tells you who you voted for. It’s that easy. To add validity to the process, I’d send out postcards to a hundred or so registered voters around the county, inviting them to bring the postcard, their ballot slip, and proper ID down to County, where they can enter their vote number into the computer once the votes are tabulated. Bing! Up comes your vote. It really can be this easy.

And counting the votes? That takes about one or two seconds for the entire county. We already have the process in place: At the end of the day, each zones workers report how many people voted, and that number is equal or greater than the total number of votes recorded by all the voting machines in that zone (district). Because you also have the right to not cast your ballot. Security we’ve already got: you can’t vote unless they find your name in the voter roll books, and someone is watching you sign in and compares your signature to the previous ones. And we could always easily add a check for voter ID at that point. Every district’s totals are displayed, and the county totals them up, and that’s how many votes cast and not cast. The election workers all drive down together, people from both parties plus an observer (and maybe an armed security guard too?), with the disks or chips or tapes or whatever the machines put their numbers on, and that goes into the main computer. And none of it gets lost, stolen, or mislaid. Ever. Mail in ballots are handled the same way, so I’d make sure a solid third of those “prove it” postcards went out to people who mailed in their ballots. Just to make sure.

I’m telling you. I’ve told you before. It’s my personal bugbear. The absolute basis of re-establishing trust in government is re-establishing trust in the voting process. (destroyed by Al Gore in 2000) Clean it up, clear out the deadwood, and put some serious God fearing immediate penalties in place for people who screw with the system, with penalties escalating from voter to polling station worker to county official to state officials. And I’m talking prison time and fines in the tens of thousands for the top dogs if the counts are off by as much as a single vote. Because it’s inexcusable given the state of technology and the bottomless sea of money that the governments have to spend. And it really is that easy.

Voter ID with photo. No registration within 60 days of the election. The whole nation has to re-register every 7 years. Make it a federal offense for ANY news outlet to report any polling numbers while ANY voting is still going on in the nation (which would kill the hallowed Election Night fillibuster, too bad). All mail in ballots must be postmarked a minimum of 2 weeks before the election. Every county keeps its rolls up to date, and employs at least one full time person who does nothing else except keep the rolls pure and accurate. Easy to use, stupid-proof voting machines like ours (Diebold makes ours). PUBLIC tabulation of the electronic vote totals, with optional barcode printouts for those who want them. Random folks invited to come down to county to check that the system is working properly. And free and easy public access to a vote checking terminal, one at each polling place that is NOT connected to anything and just reads the paper slip, and another at county that IS connected and pulls your vote up out of the computer ... maybe even your vote from years ago once the system has been in place for a bit. It really is that easy. And we could do it nationwide for the price of a few Obama Green Scam Initiatives, or for the price of a new boat for the Navy or a couple dozen grossly overpriced toys for the Air Force.

And we’d never have to read a bullshit story like this one about the screwballs in Florida again. Or hear about ballots being found days later in the back of somebody’s car. Or have to wonder if there were “irregularities” in some city in some state where 287% of the registered voters turned in votes. Or how somehow Romney beat absolutely interstellar odds and didn’t get one single vote - NOT ONE - in 57 counties in Illinois or whatever that was. Because that’s impossible, and is in itself proof that the voting was rigged. Or that the process was total bullshit, which is essentially the same thing.

Ok, screed over. Time for a quick shower and it’s back to packing and hauling for us. Oh fun. Oh my back.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 11/19/2012 at 09:51 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceDaily LifeGovernment •  
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calendar   Monday - October 01, 2012

Failing The Sniff Test

Hey, I Was Holding It Properly!


rip rap filled gabions kept most of the flood waters at bay that day, and the town was saved

I could not believe my eyes at the pure BS I saw being fed to the rabid Mac fans who just shelled out big green to buy the new iPhone 5 and found that the camera is defective. “You’re holding it wrong”. What a crock. I took the above picture in July 2009, when my old digital camera was starting to wear out. It was a nice bright day, the sun high in the sky. And the CCD cell was going on the fritz. All my pictures came out with this purple haze; if the whole picture was brightly lit, the whole digital image had a purple cast. If the bright light was off to one side (like, oh, say the sun was at the top of the pic) then that side was purple.

Fast forward 3 years and a couple months ...

Apple Acknowledges iPhone 5 Camera Problem, Says You’re Holding It Wrong

After initially denying it, Apple has acknowledged the iPhone 5’s purple flare camera problem in an email to a Gizmodo reader. Their solution: “Angle the camera away from the bright light source when taking pictures.”

Read the rest: it’s your fault, not apple’s.

Yeah right.


See More Below The Fold


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 10/01/2012 at 05:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Big BusinessComputers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Friday - September 21, 2012

One Woman Against Jihad

Who else? Pamela Geller of course!


NEW YORK – A provocative ad that equates Muslim radicals with savages is set to go up in the city’s subway system as violent protests over an anti-Islamic film ridiculing the Prophet Muhammad sweep over much of the Muslim world.

A conservative blogger who once headed a campaign against an Islamic center near the Sept. 11 terror attack site won a court order to post the ad in 10 subway stations next Monday. The ad reads, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad.”

The ad was plastered on San Francisco city buses in recent weeks, prompting some artists to deface the ads and remove some of the words, including “Jihad,” or holy war. The blogger, Pamela Geller, said she filed suit Thursday in the nation’s capital to post the ad in Washington’s transit system after officials declined to put up the ad in light of the uproar in the Middle East over the anti-Islam film.

Abdul Yasar, a New York subway rider who considers himself an observant Muslim, said Geller’s ad was insensitive in an unsettling climate for Muslims.

“If you don’t want to see what happened in Libya and Egypt after the video—maybe not so strong here in America—you shouldn’t put this up,” Yasar said.

“Maybe” Yasar? That’s a threat in my opinion. A promise of violence for voicing an opinion contrary to yours. We’re watching you now, camel fucker.

But “if this is a free country, they have the right to do this,” he said. “And then Muslims have the right to put up their own ad.”

Nice try with the soft-soap backpedal, but no sale. Too late. Your face, my mil dots.

Geller, executive director of the American Freedom Defense Initiative and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, called an order by a federal judge in New York allowing the ads “a victory for the First Amendment” and said she wasn’t concerned that her ad could spark protests like the ones against the depiction of Muslims in the video “Innocence of Muslims.” Violence linked to the movie has left at least 30 people in seven countries dead, including the American ambassador to Libya.

“If it’s not a film it’s a cartoon, if it’s not a cartoon it’s a teddy bear,” she said. “What are you going to do? Are you going to reward Islamic extremism? I will not sacrifice my freedom so as not to offend savages.”

New York police aren’t anticipating adding any security to subways when the ads go up and have received no threats or reports of violence relating to them, chief spokesman Paul Browne said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York initially refused to run Geller’s ad, saying it was “demeaning.” But U.S. District Court Judge Paul Engelmayer ruled last month that it is protected speech under the First Amendment.

“Our hands are tied,” MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan said. “Under our existing ad standards as modified by the injunction, the MTA is required to run the ad.”

Now known throughout the land as Aaron the Dhimmi, or just as Dhimmi Donovan, the pusillanimous coward who is MTA’s mouthpiece is afraid to be a stand-up American. He and his autocratic company ought to be proud to run such an ad, and even if he didn’t like it that much he should be fearless and fearsome in his attitude - “It’s a free country, free speech, so we’ll run whatever ads we want, fuck you.” That’s a proper American attitude.

Geller said the subway ads cost about $6,000. Donovan said they will be up for a month.

Opponents say the ads imply that Muslims are savages.

“We recognize the freedom of speech issues and her right to be a bigot and a racist,” said Muneer Awad, the executive director of the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

And I recognize that Minor Asswad is a lying snake trying to use political correctness to cow the nation. Mil dot for you too A-wad. Muslims are savages. Ask any woman who has had her genitals cut off by them “for her own good”. Or any woman stoned to death for walking outside by hersel - oh wait, we can’t ask them, can we? Because that’s how “civilized” Islam is: NOT ONE FUCKING BIT. Muslims ARE savages. And don’t even get me started on the animals in Africa. In 20 million years they’ve only been able to advance up to barbarous tribalism, nose bones, and eating bugs and cow blood. Give them jizzlam as a “religion” and even they take 3 steps down the evolutionary ladder.

Go pay Pamela a visit, and maybe drop a dime in her tip jar. I wish she had $6 billion to spend on ads like these. I wish we had 100,000 more women just like her ... because that would create 10 million men with the same opinion.

PS - the MSM is filtering and censoring her interviews OF COURSE and quoting her out of context. Because, OF COURSE, they are just as much the enemy of America as the racist Marxist closeted gayboy chicken-shit creep in the White House.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/21/2012 at 07:27 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceWar On Terror •  
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calendar   Friday - September 07, 2012

malware and the daily mail who apparently do not care


A WARNING to any of our readers going to the Daily Mail (UK) for stories.

Be very careful.

Last night I hit upon a couple of very interesting and bizarre articles at the Daily Mail. Nothing new really except the extent of the insanity, which had been carried to new heights.  For example, how’s this for really bizarre writ bold in huge letters.

A judge told a burglar that he thought it took great courage to burgle someone’s home, and gave him another chance to go straight.  Judge told said burglar that he wouldn’t have the nerve the burglar did.  The defendant btw, started his career at the age of 10.
Is that bizarre enough?

Well naturally I want to share that kind of story in all its insanity.
BUT ….

One or two strange things started happening when I started doing a copy/paste thing.
I was reminded of an old Red Buttons song of the late 50’s.  I think it was the 50s.
“Strange Things Are Happening.” But ole Red was a comic and the strange things I was seeing weren’t funny.

False links to nonexistent articles, ads that were not originated by the DM.
And so I deleted everything I had copied and ran some anti malware and AV and the usual stuff you do when you find creepy things on your pc.

So I wrote to the tech dept. at the Daily Mail, sent them a screen shot earlier today and never heard a word back.

Here’s just a portion of the screen shot. I especially was nervous about those registry entries.


So being the nervous type when it comes to this stuff, I contacted my AV people at ESET UK.
And got this reply.
Interesting. Don’t ya think?

Good Morning,

Yes we noticed a few weeks ago that the Daily Mail and Guardian websites (we did notify them but they seem to not have done much about it) had been hit with Malware within their Advertising Networks. Having looked at the MalwareBytes screenshot you have attached most of the entries are to do with Tool Bars that you have inadvertently installed (either by yourself or someone else) and they have written references into your registry. I assume you got Malwarebytes to remove those entries so you should be ok. If you would like I am happy to check your machine over for you if necessary (to give you peace of mind) so if you would like to take me up on that offer then please supply me with a telephone contact number for yourself. I will then attempt to contact you and will arrange to remotely connect to your machine where I will be happy to check things over for you. I will await your response.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 09/07/2012 at 11:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Computers and Cyberspace •  
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calendar   Wednesday - August 15, 2012

a question of computers

As long as I’m asking questions for which I have no immediate answers, I may as well embarrass myself by admitting I don’t know.

It all started earlier today when my wife asked me what advantage there was to having a desktop computer as opposed to a laptop.

Well, I thought about it for a second and told her that a desktop could more easily be upgraded.

But when she asked me, “what else?”

I was stumped.  Ah, ah, well for one thing .... ah. 

Desktop faster?  Ah ....

Bottom line is, I really don’t know.  I never thought a lot about it.  The only thing connected to our pc is a printer/scanner.  Desktop puter is cheaper by a lot I believe. Depending how much ‘stuff’ you’ve had added to it at purchase.
OK so cost is another advantage although there are some cheaper laptops.  But cheap does not have a nice ring to it.

So, I’d really appreciate a few items based on your knowledge and experience cos I just do not have a very good answer for her.

And again, Thanks in advance.

Cheers and good evening.

Peiper Out. 


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 08/15/2012 at 12:46 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspacePersonal •  
Comments (9) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  

calendar   Tuesday - May 01, 2012

Even Science Follows The Rules

Well, one of them anyway:
Internet Rule 34: If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions.

Scientific American: Most Eagerly Awaited Rhino Porn Of All Time

(because there must have been less eagerly awaited rhino porn at some point in the past. Or rhino porn that was unawaited. WTF, I didn’t even know there WAS rhino porn. Hey, Rule 34 !!)

In 2009 four of the world’s last seven northern white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) were moved from a zoo in the Czech Republic to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. At the time conservationists expressed hope that returning the rhinos to semi-wild lives under their native African skies would help inspire the animals to mate and, if they were extremely lucky, save the species from extinction.

No such luck. There were a few half-hearted couplings in early 2011, neither of which resulted in pregnancies, but for the most part, the rhinos showed little to no interest in breeding. Maybe they had spent too much time in captivity. Maybe they were getting old. Maybe they just sensed that they were the last of their kind and wanted to go quietly into the night.

But now something incredible has happened. Not only have two rhinos suddenly started expressing interest in each other, they have actually gone ahead and mated.  Ol Pejeta Conservancy posted this bow-chicka-wow-wow video on April 30

Oh no. I’m not posting that video. If you want hot rhino jungle action you’ll have to follow the link. But it turns out that what got Mr. Big Horn’s interest up was straight out of a Vivid Video: the rhino fluffers brought in several other lady rhinos to get those herd boss juices flowing. And when he realized he could have a three-way, or even a four-way ... well ... bow-chicka-wow-wow, boom boom. Bow-chicka-wow-wow, boom boom.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/01/2012 at 08:06 AM   
Filed Under: • AnimalsComputers and CyberspaceFun-Stuff •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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