Sunday, January 31, 2010

Swine Flu SWINEdle

Yea, I know I misspelled swindle, it was intentional, just like the profiteering off the " swine flu epidemic or pandemic or whatever". Whenever someone dies from this terrible disease it always makes the news but never in connection with a number that brings things into perspective, the population of the U.S. Here the Census bureau tells us that this number is approximitly 308 million.
"Estimates from April – October 17, 2009:
  • CDC estimated that between 14 million and 34 million cases of 2009 H1N1 occurred between April and October 17, 2009. The mid-level in this range was about 22 million people infected with 2009 H1N1.
  • CDC estimated that between about 63,000 and 153,000 2009 H1N1-related hospitalizations occurred between April and October 17, 2009. The mid-level in this range was about 98,000 H1N1-related hospitalizations.
  • CDC estimated that between about 2,500 and 6,000 2009 H1N1-related deaths occurred between April and October 17, 2009. The mid-level in this range was about 3,900 2009 H1N1-related deaths."
The information above is from the Center for Disease Control.

I read a book about the 1918 flu epidemic   The Great Influenza: The story of the deadliest pandemic in history. That book detailed the real horror that our country went through, and I'm not trying to diminish the fact that there has been loss of life, it's just that on the scale of things, this has been overblown. Another book, The Great Mortality: An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time (P.S.) that I also read, is a real eye opener and helps put things into perspective. Sad to say, this feels more about scaring the hell out of us and making money than about whats best for our country. Maybe by reading this article you'll begin to see the point. I quote:
"The one thing that was up last year was earnings for makers of H1N1 vaccines. CSL Limited saw its profits rise 63% above 2008 levels by June 2009, while GlaxoSmithKline enjoyed a 30% jump by the third quarter. Roche, maker of the preventive Tamiflu, enjoyed a twelve fold leap in profits from the second quarter of 2008 to the same period in 2009."
Let's be honest here folks. If you read this post or click on links, I stand to profit. This is how the Web works and most people know this. I am providing information to you and a slightly informed opinion as a service and I do not claim to be an expert or to know it all. However, I also know when something doesn't smell right and this stinks. It's about profiting off of basic fears and using a shell game to hide the truth.

In closing, how come you can find out the population of our great country with a click or two, but try as I might I can't find out how much money that's been made so far? Show us the numbers! Show us the money!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cable bill went up again!

Okay, I'm a little pissed right now. I just went to TV Fool and it showed that i should be able to receive digital T.V. broadcasts OTA(over the air) using a indoor antenna. Our cable bill just went up again($25.77 to $32.85 - basic) and one of the only reasons we have it for football games. We don't watch TV that much because your are a slave to their schedule. Besides, it's not right to pay for cable to subject us to infomercials we don't want to watch! So i'm going to find a good indoor TV antenna and probably a amplifier and cut the cable!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Wildcats of Wildwood: update

After helping Al today, I went down to Wildwood and even though it was so cold it was sunny and the cats were out. They really are cute and cuddly and they make really good subjects to photograph.
The rest are here.I see that all of the cats pictured have perfect ears, so that means that irresponsible people are still dumping cats.

Helping Al Porter AKA Sheriff Killroy

I took some pictures for Al today by the old Army tank today. I think they could have out better, but it was freezing out so, what the heck. Those pictures are here.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wubi - Ubuntu Installer

I'm going to install Ubuntu on Box3(my third computer, expendable) using Wubi! Be right back.
  1. Started Firefox at 6:40
  2. Clicked on Wubi 
  3. Clicked on download now
  4. Started download at 6:52
  5. Ended download at 7:32
  6. Double click on wubi.exe (where ever you downloaded it to)
  7. You get a box with options. Select a size on your hard drive for the install. I had 26 GB free space. Wubi suggested 14 GB. I gave it 8 GB.
  8. Then enter a password and click install.
  9. My firewall (Comodo) asked for permission to continue. I granted it, but Wubi aborted.
  10. double clicked on wubi.exe again. 
  11. And now wubi say's to uninstall click here. I uninstalled.
  12. Windows Security popped up. I chose unblock.
  13. Asked to reboot and I rebooted
  14. After rebooting, you have 2 choices. I chose Ubuntu
  15. At 7:38 I chose to let the computer sit. It's at a text screen that looks like DOS but isn't.
  16. It was locked up. I did a hardware reset(turned off the switch at the back of the computer) and restarted.
  17. Again I chose Ubuntu and it went further and I walked away. (sometimes the best thing)

  18. This a hoot! it's installing!

  19. The Ubuntu system restarted at the end of the installation.

  20. I was able to boot into the Ubuntu system no problem.

  21. After using Ubuntu, I rebooted and went right back to Windows XP

120 Hertz - It's the refresh rate, stupid!

I didn't know the answer to this today, hence the title to this post.

Walmart and other stores are advertising T.V.'s with a 1080p 120 Hz. LCD
something like this below:
  • 55" Class LCD HDTV (54.64" diagonal viewing area)
  • 1080p
  • Full High Definition 1920 x 1080 Native Resolution
  • 120Hz Smooth Motion technology
for a "normal" T.V., 60 Hz. (Hertz) is the refresh rate. Here, the higher number is better, but not necessary. On a computer monitor(CRT), 75 Hz. is more desirable if you notice "flickering". This usually occurs during action such as game play. If you have a decent LCD you probably don't notice this effect. If you have the money, go ahead, blow it! Just remember, the source of what you're watching matters to, so results may vary and often do.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

  1. Installed Google voice on my blackberry .
  2. Fixed "playing with ice and food coloring", Dan told me the link for the rest of the pictures didn't work.
  3. To fix the above, I had to create the gallery on Pikshures in order to have a place to link to.
  4. Helped Sheriff Killroy (Al Porter) by creating a MySpace page (for musicians) for him. It's located here.
  5. Looked for and found Grumpy's Cafe. This place is right around the corner from La Bodega in Tremont. It's our next place targeted to check out food wise.

Google Voice Installation on a Blackberry 8130

I was granted a Google Voice number a while back but never installed it on my Blackberry. Lets fix that. I went to iGoogle with my phone and started the download at 4:53. The entire process was done at 5:09. Part of the delay was my fault for not remembering the right email and password. Doh!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Personal Antivirus, Personal Security Virus etc. etc. etc.

This family of crap goes by many names because when it gets found out they change it up to avoid detection. If you have this problem follow the procedures listed here to the letter and things should get better. Sky had this problem and was able to clear it up after a couple tries. The following are suggestions on how to protect yourself:
  • There have been issues lately with Internet Explorer. Use a different browser like Firefox or Chrome.
  • If you are prompted to "update flash player", DO NOT CLICK THE LINK! Instead, open up a new window or tab and type in Adobe or Flash and download from there. This is similar to calling your bank back if they call asking for your social security number. If you want the NFL go to the NFL!
  • The above also applies to updating Java. Java is made by Sun. Go to them.
  • Be suspicious. If my computer is infected, the virus can send emails from my address book with to you. Sometimes a "hey, did you send me an email?" call can save you some grief.
  • Keep your computer updated. This means all patches, updates, virus definitions for all programs.
  • Click Start>Control Panel>Add or Remove Programs and go through whats installed on your computer. If you see something you don't recognize, get suspicious.
  • You must have 1 antivirus program. Only 1.
  • You should have 2 anti spyware programs.
Out of three people I talked to today who reported problems, Facebook, email, youtube and trojans(viruses) were a reoccurring theme. Email is the number 1 way to get a virus. Remember that. There's an old saying that goes, "keep your hooks sharp and your powder dry". It means be prepared.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Playing with ice and food coloring

So I had this container that had some water in it and through the awesome power of Mother Nature(it was outside), it became frozen. Over the weekend things warmed up and I dumped it out and got idea. I brought it inside into controlled environment, put the camera on a tripod messed around with it. At first the frozen bubbles fascinated me

but then I grabbed the food coloring. This kept me busy for awhile. This is probably my favorite picture:

  This next one is "cool" too

The rest of this session is stored here if you are still interested.

Wildcats of Wildwood: Status

On January 15, I ran into Brian, one of the cat trappers. Seems he's been trying for weeks to catch one of the cats I took pictures of on January 14. This series of pictures shows the cat sizing up the situation and ultimately, deciding he wasn't that hungry.

Actually, none of the kitties were willing to bite on Friday. I suggested trying catnip and Brian said he'd have to try that to see if it works. The originals are here.

Wild Cats of Wildwood: Status

I haven't had much to say about the Wildcats of Wildwood simply because it's been cold and they're hiding. I would too. On January 14, I saw some of them and took some pictures. It was warmer, the sun was out and they were prowling for food. These guys were over by the bait shop.

These two were over by the creek.

There was evidence of people feeding the cats, the feeders seem to be a dedicated bunch.I want to point out that in these pictures you can clearly see that the cats have both ears fully intact. When these cats have been trapped, neutered and released one of the ears gets notched(I think it's the left one). The rest of these pictures are here.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Avatar sucks because it's so good!

My daughter Jen and I went to see Avatar a Wednesday or so back and while not sold out, it was packed. And Mary and Jen and I just saw it Saturday night and it was sold out. The movie started late(15 minutes, thank you Atlas Cinemas) so there was a lot of chatter. From what I overheard told me that most of the people there hadn't seen it yet. There were four things that surprised me on Saturday. They were:
  • The people in front of us didn't doze off! They were older (60's) and a 3 hour movie? C'mon!
  • The Four women to my right didn't babble right through the whole movie!
  • The audience had about 10 to 20 kids, from crumb grabbers up to ten year olds, and they hardly made a fuss.
  • I was there!
The fact that I was there was significant because I had already seen it. I have patience and just wait for movies to come out on DVD and then watch them when and how I choose. I don't like being a slave to someone else's schedule or agenda so I create my own. I can't remember the last time I paid to watch a movie twice in a theater because it never happened. One more thing, we want to see it again!

Okay, Just saw it again today. 4 times for Jen and I and 3 for Mary. Guess we have a problem, Houston.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

D-Link DIR -615, Sky

I know I recently recommended Linksys to Sky before for a router, but for around $40 you can buy the  D-Link DIR -615, and it's a 802.11n, as well as, 802.11g and 802.11b, device. This means that even if your wireless laptops or whatnots are g or "heavens to Betsy" b, this product will work for you when you decide to upgrade.

Helping Al P. #2

Als computer quit working right again. Here are the steps I went through to find and fix the problem
  1. The screen was displaying messages
  2. I determined the messages were O.S.D.(on screen display)coming from the monitor
  3. I popped in a Knoppix ver. 5.1 Live cd and rebooted
  4. The computer worked fine
  5. I took the hard drive out and tried to image it. It stopped at 77%.
  6. I took the hard drive out and tried to clone it. It stopped at 77%.
  7. I attempted to run error checking on it. It froze.
  8. The hard drive is bad.
  9. No operating system disk. I installed Kubuntu.
  10. I didn't like the way Kubuntu worked.
  11. I had to boot into Win 98 and get rid of the partitions(seemed the easiest) and start over.
  12. It wouldn't read the Ubuntu cd, the laser seemed weak.
  13. Let the computer sit for awhile. The laser warmed up, installed Ubuntu.

Skys Email Problem and the personal security virus

Sky, I've got some resources for you. I would do things in this order:
  1. Make sure you have antivirus software, update it and run
  2. Go to the link below from Beeping Computers for information about Personal Security Virus
  3. Do everything in the exact order on their guide
  4. Run Hijack This for good measure
  5. Run antivirus software again just to be sure
Here's some links that will help:
Good luck Sky!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Don't stop make it pop

For anyone trying to figure out that song thats been playing lately on the radio, it's "Tik Tok" by Ke$ha, the lyrics are here. I, like everybody else looked up "don't stop make it pop" and came up with Lady Gaga on you tube. Then youtube took it offbecause Sony claimed copyright infringement. I got this from Yahoo!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Blue Bubbles

On January 2, 2010 I set up various still shots using things from around the house to get different results. The picture below is one of the results.

I'm using it for a background on my main computer.The other pictures from this experiment are here. Keep in mind that these are unedited, not even cropped.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Helping Al K. - HP DV5 laptop

Al had a problem with his laptop that turned out to be related to a memory module. I guessed that the module may have worked itself loose. The link below explains how to insert memory modules.
Hey Al, this video from youtube may help.

Helping Rob - LG DVD Drive

Rob has a problem with his new DVD burner. He say's everything works fine until his computer goes to sleep. After he wakes it up, the DVD is gone! If he goes to My Computer The drive letter is gone also. One possible fix is drastic, but may work. This involves editing the registry so be careful and back it up. Then:

  1. Click on the start menu.
  2. Type in “regedit” without the quotation marks.
  3. Maximize the HKLM and then go ahead and browse until you reach the key listed above.
  4. In the right panel you’ll see something along the lines of “UpperFilter” and “LowerFilter”. You want to click on each “filter” key and hit delete. Click yes when it asks to confirm if you wish to delete the key.
  5. Restart Windows.
The above info was copied and edited from here. Please comment if this worked or not.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Google Voice

I've been busy and forgot to mention that a few weeks I was asked to join Google Voice. Among other cool things this enables me to have the widget on the right side of your screen that will connect you to me via my cell phone. The neat thing is, you won't see my number and you can choose to hide your number as well.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The 15 Most Toxic Places to Live

I really liked the story at MNN about the top 15 worst places to live but the last image disturbed me because it seemed fake. And it is! The image, seen below, is an artists rendering but nowhere in the otherwise excellent article is this fact noted. There's an article here that indicates it's not real. This took five to ten clicks of the mouse to figure out that it wasn't a real image. I'm naturally skeptical but really, now I'm left wondering what else I shouldn't believe from MNN.

Image above: CREDIT: European Space Agency.