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Police Gestapo

Fri 31 October 2014

Last night I was watching John Stossel on the Fox Business News channel. He has a weekly program aired on Thursday night that covers the outrageous procedures and practices of the US government. Last night the topic was on the extreme overuse of police power. The first story was about a gentleman who lost a law suit to the city in which he lives with regard to taxes. Without any notification or request to pay the taxes ordered by the court the local police sent out a gestapo squad that included 30 men in a SWAT team and an armored vehicle just two weeks after the verdict ! The picture to the left was actually taken at the scene. This is government out of control at its worst. To send such force to a law-abiding citizens home in order to collect taxes he only knew were due two weeks earlier is insane!

There were several other stories in his hour-long program about similar events. One such story dealt with the border patrol stopping US citizens as they travel from their home to their work in towns more than 100 miles away from the border. They have unlawfully searched and seized citizens cars or trucks without probable cause and in the cases on the program absolutely nothing was found illegal. These law enforcement agencies think they are above the law and are all powerful. In another case a SWAT team invaded a US Marine man's home thinking there were drugs inside. They shot the Marine 30 times and no drugs were found. They had the wrong house! They shot him 30 times!!!

There are tons of stories like the three I mentioned above where police think they can do anything with their self-appointed unlimited powers. Some think they are God. This is happening all across the United States although you don't hear much about it because the police suppress the news. I do believe there are honest hard-working policemen and women trying to do their best but frankly I think they are in the minority. I do not trust any agency of the law or as far as that goes I do not trust any government agency at all. We are free Americans and should not be under constant abuse, scrutiny, searches and attacks from our own government. I've had some personal experience as you know and I'm really pissed off about this.

For the last week or so I've been waking up about 4:00am in the morning and not fall right back to sleep as usual. I attribute this to the fact there are a lot of things on my mind which immediately start running through my brain when I awake. I'm using the extremely hot bathtub treatment to aid falling asleep again.

Everybody knows what tomorrow is right? It's college football Saturday. Georgia Tech plays Virginia at 330 in the afternoon on ESPNU. Unfortunately Georgia Tech is favored by a field goal. Of course I hope that they when but history teaches me that when they are favored by a field goal they more often lose than not. It should be a close game and the team making the fewest mistakes will likely come out on top. Last night FSU threw two interceptions in the first quarter which were turned into touchdowns by Louisville. FSU has a great team and was able to come back to win the game at the very end.

I don't know how closely you folks follow the stock markets but I want to mention they seem to be on a winning run up at the moment. While I was watching Fox Business News this morning the Dow Jones Industrial average's hit an all-time high. Both the NASDAQ and the S&P 500 are up as well even in this anemic economy. The price of oil dropped below $80 a barrel this week which is equivalent to giving each American household a $700 per year tax break. Foreign investors are fleeing their countries and coming to America for better and safer returns. That applies to both the stock markets and the real estate markets. To top this off, November and December are usually the best two months out of the year so it may get even better than it already is.

Why are the markets doing so well? As I pointed out one of the reasons is the inflow of money from foreign investors. Another more subtle reason is investors think the Republicans will gain back control of the United States Senate which is viewed as good for the economy and good for business. The pipeline Obama has refused to allow thus far will likely be started and many of the abusive out-of-control regulations on people and industries might be repealed as well. As you know Obama has illegally issued executive orders all of which have hurt most individuals and businesses. Even his own party members are fleeing from him like rats off a sinking ship. The intelligentsia of his party now admit he doesn't have a clue on how to be president. I've known that for over six years now haven't you?

Polls suggest there is a good possibility that the Republicans will gain control of the Senate once again but it is not a given. Of course I hope this happens because I believe it will be in the best interest of US citizens if it does. I've already voted but next Tuesday is the normal voting date for most people.

Posted at 01:41 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Litter Jenie Oder Killer Idea

Thu 30 October 2014

For some reason, this past week has been very busy for me with more things to do every day that I expected. It's like I've said in the past, sometimes I wake up in the morning with nothing to do and at the end of the day it's only half done! I have felt that way all week and today looks like it's going to be the same. Some of time has been spent trying to help others and some time I simply get involved in a project and the hours go by.

For example, I have this container called Litter Jenie in which the scoopings out of a cat litter box are placed with the idea of eliminating any odors. I've not had this item very long but it works as advertised - I'm most happy with it. The problem is that the odors it retains inside are released to a certain extent when you deposit another scoop into the container. Well I don't like that of course and therefore I went to work on some ideas to eliminate that much smaller problem.

I thought of a couple ways of doing it but ended up putting some gel like substance with a pleasant aroma on top of the inside lid such that when I open the lid I smell citrus from the gel and not the cat litter odor. Thus far this is working just great. I also thought about putting a small strip of Velcro on the inside of the lid and then attaching some sort of product used in the home to kill odors. I could attach the oder killing substance to one part of the Velcro and then attach it to the inside of the box. I'm thinking about writing the company that manufactures this device and making such a suggestion to them.

In the last week I've been asked to write two letters of recommendation which required research on my part to make certain I include information wanted and needed by the committees to whom I'm sending the letters. These letters of recommendation are different than my normal letter of recommendation because they must cover certain areas of the person recommending. I'm pretty good at writing recommendation letters but in these cases I'm taking extra time to make sure I've done them improperly.

Several posts ago I talked about the new Apple Pay app available on the new iPhone. Before its release the talking heads on television and news reports all said this is going to be the cat's meow. I did say the app is a good idea, probably safer than credit cards and easy to use. The problem is you have to get vendors who are willing to accept and that's where the rub comes. In a business article entitled, "Why So Many American Retailers Are Fighting to Freeze Out Apple Pay" the first line of the article said, "The coalition of retailers at the heart of recent decisions to block Apple Pay says it could eventually embrace that technology that drives Apple's brand new payments service. But it seems that coalition will continue to freeze out Apple Pay." This coalition includes many of the popular retail stores you may use including Walmart, Rite Aid, and CVS just to name a few. Although the app may be good it could fail because vendors won't accept it. More to come.

Tonight Florida State University plays Louisville on ESPN. You can bet I'll be watching that game. At the moment Florida State is favored by one touchdown but who really knows? Last week when Georgia Tech played Pittsburgh the oddsmakers favored Pittsburgh by a touchdown. Well we all know how that turned out don't we? Georgia Tech had a big win with a score of 56 to 28. Many times I have said the team that makes the fewest mistakes as a better chance of winning the game. Pittsburgh turned over the football to Georgia Tech four times in the first quarter of play and that's what doomed them. Tonight I expect Florida State to win but if they make a lot of mistakes Louisville is good enough to beat them.

Recently I watched a movie called Jarhead2 which was about a group of Marines in Afghanistan. Surprisingly the movie was better than I expected in part because the video was so very clear and sharp and the theme of the movie was unexpected. Of course there were a lot of guns in the movie being used constantly. That reminded me of the fact that many of the bullet sounds you hear in various movies were all recorded by someone I knew in my high school using the original weapons to make the recording. He sells these sounds to various studios. His company also makes the best sniper rifle in the world and provides the US government all of the sniper rifles. It is probably prudent for me not to tell you his name.

Bitcoin price resilience finally crumbled this week after two weeks of strength following the so-called 'BearWhale' slaying. The price opened the week at $386, holding steady until mid-week, when it began a steep decline. It closed at $346, shedding $40 over the last seven days Today it opened at $334. A look at the swaps activity on Bitfinex reveals more bearish indicators. The sum of active BTC swaps began to rise sharply on 25th October suggesting that traders are betting that the bitcoin price will fall further. A BTC swap takes place when traders borrow bitcoin at one price to trade it for US dollars, hoping the price will fall by the time they purchase bitcoin again to return it to the lender. The speculators seemingly are the cause for the drop. More to follow.

Posted at 10:47 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Georgia Tech Wins Big

Sun 26 October 2014

This morning I'm a happy camper because yesterday Georgia Tech defeated Pittsburgh by a score of 56 to 28. This was truly an amazing game and indeed was one for the record books. In the first quarter of the football game, Pittsburgh fumbled the ball the first five times it had the ball. On four of those occasions, Georgia Tech was able to turn the Pittsburgh fumbled into a Georgia Tech touchdown. After just 10 min. of play the score was Georgia Tech - 24 Pittsburgh - 0. As I have said so many times in the past the team that makes the fewest mistakes in the form of turnovers and special team blunders is likely to beat their opponent if the teams are not way off balance in the first place.

This was one for the record books because only one time in the past history of college football has any team turned over the football 5 times by fumbling it in just one quarter. The game would've been much closer had Pittsburgh not made so many mistakes. By the way, Georgia Tech made its own mistakes but it's hard for a team to come back from a 24 point deficit in the first quarter. It was exciting because Georgia Tech had some long runs and/or passes which were fun to watch. The Yellow Jackets have now won six games and they play the University of Virginia this coming Saturday on Grantfield. A point of interest - Grantfield is the oldest college football field in the country among all of the top level football teams. It has been the first and only football field at Georgia Tech since 1879.

Yesterday I went on the Men's Health website to read some articles on men's products. The page I wanted to read was coded such that after being on the page for 2 or 3 seconds it would pop up an unwanted ad of some nature. I don't know what the ad was for because each time it was to pop up my screen went blank. The mechanism used by the web designer was JavaScript but because I'm so security conscious I have blocked JavaScript in my browsers. It is through unwanted pop-up ads like this using JavaScript that some people get infections on their computers. JavaScript is an active code that can do all kinds of things including much harm to your computer. Of course I wrote the webmaster and told him that I was probably not the only person wanting to view his website that could not because of the poor coding. There are other more safer ways to get an ad on a page than by using JavaScript.

You know what I've been noticing a lot on webpages that I visit? After being on the page for a while it will fade behind a dark screen and then in the middle of the page another small screen pops up asking things like if you want to subscribe to a publication, become a member of the website, and other such things. You can easily terminate the pop-up by simply closing but it's a pain all the same. The fact that something can happen on a website that you're viewing without you taking any action at all in itself could be dangerous.

I'm not sure I mentioned it earlier but on Friday I received my Bank of America SafePass card. Is the size of a regular credit card only thinner. In the upper right-hand corner there is a LCD screen which will produce a six digit code when you press a button on the card. The card is so darned thin I'm not sure how they get a battery in it to power this device but it works and works well. Now when I go to my online Bank of America account I put in my username and click next and then it asks me for a safe pass code before it will allow me to enter my password. These codes are for one-time use only and last for only 60 seconds.

I have the same two-step verification on my Fidelity Investments account, my PayPal account and my eBay account except with these I use a small token about the size of the flash drive instead of a card. I wish Amazon would implement such a system. Both of my Bitcoin accounts require two-step verification but in these cases I received a six digit code by using either Google Authenticator or receiving a SMS. I don't like this system because it requires that I have a portable device on which I can receive SMS texts or has Google Authenticator installed. It certainly would be convenient if I could use the one token for all these accounts and maybe one day I will.

I can't believe this. Appearing at a Boston rally for Democrat gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley on Friday, Hillary Clinton told the crowd gathered at the Park Plaza Hotel not to listen to anybody who says that "businesses create jobs." "Don't let anybody tell you it's corporations and businesses create jobs," Clinton said! What an idiotic statement and just how stupid does she think Americans are? If it's not corporations and businesses that create jobs then who does? Whoops - excuse me. I forgot that one third of all Americans with the job work for the Government. Maybe Clinton thinks we ought to get rid of corporations and businesses and just led government employee people! If it weren't for businesses that created jobs and who would pay the taxes needed to pay government employees? What a completely asinine thing to say.

With the midterm elections just 8 days away there's still a great deal of uncertainty about the outcomes of the contested Senate races around the country. Remember that a senator serves for six years here for only one third of the Senate is up for election or reelection each voting cycle. It will be close but I certainly hope that the Conservative/Republican party takes control of the U.S. Senate with 51 or more members. It's clear that the House of Representatives will remain in control of the Republicans. If the Republicans have the majority in the Senate then they can put a monkey wrench into Obama's outrageous spending and regulatory policies. Maybe then a real investigation into the IRS, DOJ, DEA, Veterans Administration, and other agencies that have been nothing less than dishonest, biased, and illegal in some of the actions they have taken. Will know in about nine days. Funny thing is that Democrats are running away from Obama like rats getting off a sinking ship. All these Democrats that supported his policies now apparently don't want anything to do with the narcissistic disengaged omnipotent Obama.

Posted at 01:36 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

First Amendment Rights

Sat 25 October 2014

Finally my Yellowjacket colonies on the North side of my house had been eliminated. My guy tells me there were two separate colonies each of which could have tens of thousands of yellow jackets in them. The image to the left is a view of the North side of my house and you can see that a path between the growing vegetation and my house has been cleared. In that area some sort of powder was put out to hopefully stop anything from growing in that area. My yard guy will be able to keep that area clean from now on which will prevent vines from going up the side of the house. This was an ordeal but it is done now.

This afternoon my Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets having another losing opportunity when they played Pittsburgh at 3:30. I looked at the odds and Pittsburgh is favored by a touchdown. Actually I like the fact that the other team is favored which I believe makes Georgia Tech play harder. I wish I could say I was optimistic the Georgia Tech was going to win but at this point I have no reason to be so. Nonetheless I'll watch at least part of the game while switching back and forth to other games I find exciting. For me it's depressing to watch Georgia Tech lose so often switch to other games.

The Democrats never ceased to amaze me in their relentless attempt to control everything we see, hear or do. This time the Dems on FEC move to regulate Internet campaigns,blogs, Drudge. What? They want to regulate the Internet site known as Drudge Report? That Internet site does not offer an opinion on either party but simply puts links on their site to newspaper articles found around the country and foreign countries as well. Clearly this is an attempt to block the rights we have under the United States Constitution's First Amendment - freedom of speech. It's the same as telling newspapers what they can and cannot print based on their political views. I am so angry and befuddled by any attempt for our government to regulate speech! Just Damn! The following is a report found in the newspaper called the Washington Examiner. This should make your blood boil!

In a surprise move late Friday a key Democrat on the Federal Election Commission called for burdensome new rules on Internet based campaigning prompting the Republican chairman to warn that Democrats want to regulate online political sites and even news media like the Drudge Report.

Democratic FEC Vice Chair Ann M. Ravel announced plans to begin the process to win regulations on Internet-based campaigns and videos, currently free from most of the FEC's rules. "A reexamination of the commission's approach to the internet and other emerging technologies is long over due" she said. -End of article.

Many of you know about my monthly meetings and the report I must complete for those meetings. Yesterday I was told I no longer need to actually appear but I am now able to fax my report into the office instead. This is yet another step away from this burdensome obligation I have for a year. In fact I'm going to take steps to terminate this obligation altogether. I have no idea what the results of my request might be except to say the person making the decision is a real bitch.

I've been working on a rather cool online system where you can go to a certain URL, type a message, encrypt the message, and then post that encryption on another page. Then another person with the knowledge can go to the page where the encrypted message is posted and then unencrypt it on the same page it was encrypted to begin with. These two URLs will be buried deep inside websites which will only be accessible by using the proper username and password for these webpages. I will use the .htaccess functions that most all other websites used for logging. This will be both secure and hidden and no one will know the URL except me and anyone I might choose to share it with. All the message and encryption will be deleted online. I've been having fun on the project which is continuing.

Posted at 01:51 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Unfair Government Control

Thu 23 October 2014

I was just watching Varney and Company on the FOX Business Channel. He reported that Texas has become the fifth state that bans the sale of a Tesla motorcar directly to a citizen of the state. The other four states are Arizona, Colorado, North Carolina and Virginia. This sort of government abuse really pisses me off. Why have the states ban direct cell of Tesla cars to their citizens? The answer is because the Automobile Dealership Association in each of these states have bought enough senators and/or congressman in the state such that the law would pass. The a Automobile Dealers Association simply does not want direct competition to their businesses.

This is an example of government control being bought by a few to benefit a few. What percentage of the population of each of the states do you believe are dealership owners? My guess would be something like .001% of the population actually own a dealership. So how could this will possibly be good for the citizens of each of these five states? The answer is it can't be good! Any laws passed that prohibited the sale to individual citizens of legal products is just plain wrong IMO.

To expand my core set of beliefs on this I think it's absurd that government makes rules to protect people from their own damn stupidity, lack of control and poor decision-making. Why ban a product or service because some people might abuse the product or service? How many people have died from the use of marijuana? I don't know the answer to that but my guess is close do none because I've not read or heard about such events have you?. On the other hand, how many people have died from the use of alcohol and cigarettes? Tens of thousands every year! More people die from legally prescribed medications in this country every year than die from abuse of illegal drugs. Get my point?

I'm a libertarian so I want government out of my life! Government should provide services like air traffic control, a military, certain financial regulations, and things of that nature. Why can't citizens in any state enter into a financial agreement with another adult for sex? Why only Nevada? What about gambling? Why do you have to be a native American to own a casino in most states? I can go on and on but the point is government has become this huge overbearing bureaucracy that sticks its nose into all parts of our lives unnecessarily and makes laws wanted by the very few with deep pockets.

How can the EPA call a man's property a wet space if a puddle forms when it rains thus subject to EPA rules? Or property with a dried up stream which has been dry for 20 years? And why does government continue to pay employees while on administrative leave for wrong doing? Or when an employee really f*cks up they are simply transfer to a higher paying job elsewhere in government instead of being fired? I'm too angry to go on.

Posted at 09:55 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Mirror and Voting

Wed 22 October 2014

On my E 320 Mercedes the driver side mirror on the door has turned a dark color and is no longer useful. It has been this way for some time but I decided to have it fixed so I could see given the fact that need every advantage possible for safe driving at my age. I called the Mercedes-Benz dealership in Fort Pierce where I have my car serviced to find out about the cost of replacement. They told me the unit would cost $520! Holy crap Batman! $520 really? It turns out that the mirror is self dimming and is heating both of which I can do without.

Using my buddy Google I search for the part and found it discounted at $374 but all I really want is the mirror not the entire assembly. It turns out the big issue with just the mirror is that it must have the proper backing in order to fit into the assembly which is motorized so we can be moved from the inside of the car. I could find mirrors but was having very little luck in finding one with the proper assembly and not extra parts I didn't need. My buddy Eric at Joe's Body Shop and I searched and found one which we think is perfect to be used as a replacement. It doesn't have auto dimming or heating but then again I don't need eating either of those especially heating.

I did find the part on several sites but Eric discovered a new mirror with the proper backing on eBay for under $35 including shipping. The trouble is he will take several weeks to get here because it's coming from the Eastern European country of

Lativa

The seller has over 8000 feedbacks of which 99.8% are positive. For $35 I thought I'd give it a go. I'm replacing old parts with new ones to keep my car in great shape so I can use it for years. It still has under 80,000 miles on it.

This afternoon I finished watching the first season of The Blacklist; what a great series this has been for me. Full of action and surprises at every turn and I particularly like the character Red. Have you ever notice how he always talks with his head cocked to one side or the other? I'm not sure what that's all about but it certainly makes him stand out as a character. With the bad guy Berlin still free I'm anxious to see what the next season has to offer. It's being played now but I'd rather for the season to end so I can have the whole second season in one file. I watched season one on Netflix but I'm unwilling to wait too long to watch season two if Netflix doesn't offer it soon after its conclusion. Now what should I watch next? The Americans? True Detectives? Season two of Boardwalk Empire? Season three of the Game of Thrones? Or is there something out there I haven't discovered yet that will really get my attention like some of the three or four episode mini seasons often found on the BBC? Stay tuned.

The latest exciting news on Bitcoin is that a formal application for XBT is nearing completion by the Financial Standards Working Group within the Bitcoin Foundation. Application for what you asked? Bitcoin would like to become a formal ISO currency code because then it immediately enters the database tables upon which Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, SWIFT, and other clearing networks rely. BTC would be unavailable due to the fact 'BT' already represents the country of Bhutan. So the 3 letter code would be XBT.

The ISO currently has 164 national members listed here. If a formal ISO currency code were approved it will spur global mainstream adoption of bitcoin more than any other single action. Stay tuned!

This morning I went to the library located only two blocks from my house where I voted early for November's elections. There was a constitutional amendment on the ballot that if passed will allow medical marijuana to be available in Florida. I voted for that amendment for two reasons. First, I believe there are many therapeutic attributes to using medical marijuana for certain conditions. I also believe strongly it's none of the governments business to control what I do with my body in my home. I think I own my body I don't think the bureaucrats in Washington on my body. While I'm not endorsing or suggesting the use of drugs of any type I all the same think that if you want to do so that should be your option. Of course if you violate somebody else's life, liberty or property under the influence of drugs I'm not against the penalties being more severe than if you were not under the influence of something.

I was pleased to read on the Drudge report today the following report, "Two weeks before Election Day, most of the nation's likely voters now expect the Republican Party to take control of the U.S. Senate, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. And by a growing margin, they say that's the outcome they'd like to see." Also for the first time in many many years the majority of women are in favor of the Republicans instead of the Democrats which is a seismic change. As you know I watch FOX Business news off and on during the day but especially in the mornings. The talking heads on the various programs I watch unanimously agreed that if the Republicans take control of the Senate and maintain control of the house the economic outlook for the next two-years will improve substantially. I too believe that to be the case. With control of the House and Senate the Republicans can reverse Obama's burdensome regulations that have stifled our economy and introduce legislation that will increase employment such as the approval of the pipeline that Obama has ignored for six years.

I'd like to be real optimistic that this is going to happen but I have to remember there are voters who don't have a clue about much of anything especially as relates to politics and business. But I can sure hope.

Posted at 11:05 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Early Voting

Tue 21 October 2014

Today is the first day we can do early voting in Vero Beach. I plan to vote in the next 24 to 48 hours rather than wait to stand in line on the official voting day in November. I have a sample ballot completed so I will just go in and transfer my votes. Tommy and I talked about candidates and the amendments and basically reached the same conclusion. He knew some of the candidates better than I so I'll vote as he will knowing that his beliefs are very similar to mine. I also think will vote the same way on the amendments but I'm not 100% sure of that. What really surprises me is there's one amendment he thinks he'll vote for but it would be a violation of confidence if I told you which one. I have voted each and every time I've had an opportunity to do so since I was 22 years old.

Unfortunately Georgia Tech lost their game to North Carolina by a score of 49 to 43. With less than 2 min. left in the game Georgia Tech was ahead 43 - 42 and stopped North Carolina from making a first down. However there is a pwnality against Georgia Tech which advance the ball giving North Carolina a first down and more time to try and score. North Carolina was held until the last 11 seconds of the game when the quarterback completed a 20 yard pass to receiver in the end zone and thus Georgia Tech lost. I will save the team played well except for the one thing I always say is a big problem for any team and that is turnovers and other mistakes. Mistakes like penalties when you're about to get the ball or fumbling the ball on the 5 yard line as you're about to score. Oh well!

I have received my Symantec token which has allow me to set up a two-step verification login on both my Fidelity account and my PayPal account. I'm going to set up my Bank of America account next. Unfortunately it requires a different token but that's not a big deal for me. This just adds an additional layer of security to my on line accounts where there are equities or cash. I'll let you know how it goes as time goes on.

Bitcoin has been fluctuating a great deal as usual but got surprisingly low about 10 days ago to under $300 per Bitcoin. Today it is closer to $400 per Bitcoin which is where it has been trading for weeks. Every day there is good news about Bitcoin but that has not pushed the exchange rate up as yet. I believe that ultimately will but hasn't done that so far.

While it Publix yesterday I looked into their home delivery service. I can go online to my Publix account to order groceries that will be delivered to me a few hours later. What I don't like is the 10% charge on every item and a delivery charge of $10. If for example I was to buy $80 worth of groceries it would cost me an additional $18 to have it delivered. I'll tried some time just to see how it works because there are occasions when I don't want to leave the house but I do need to pick up some items or perhaps I may be sick. Surprisingly I really haven't been sick since I moved back to Vero except for a couple occasions one of which I think was food poisoning. All those vaccines I take in my limited travel does make a difference.

The weather has been unusually nice for the last week with mild temperatures and low humidity blue skies and sunny almost every day. Today it is overcast but it doesn't look like it's going to rain. I can certainly see why people like to retire in Florida with great weather and no state income tax.

There are only two episodes of The Blacklist left for me to see in the first season. The last episode is a two-part episode so of course I'll sit down and watch them both at the same time. There are two TV episodes I've never watched but decided to download the first season to see if I might like them. Both are highly rated by a variety of sources. I'm talking about The Americans and True Detectives. I also have season two of the Boardwalk Empire I haven't started yet and season three of Games of Thrones. I found a couple of other series I'd like to download but there you are still in the first season and I'll wait to the season complete so I can download the whole first season.

Posted at 10:43 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Apple Pay

Tue 21 October 2014

As many of you may already know, Apple Pay came online yesterday. This is an Apple application which allows you to pay for products and services by holding your mobile device next to Ray receiver in stores that have receivers. There are many skeptics that say this is really not all that big of a deal; I think they can occupy a large space in the payment options already available to consumers. The biggest advantage that Apple Pay has is that it came preloaded on 39 million new iPhones. On the other hand if you do not have a portable Apple device and it is not available in any other market.

It does have an advantage over the traditional credit card in that I believe payments are more secure and cannot be stolen like my credit card information sitting on servers owned by big companies like Target or Home Depot. I don't see the great advantage over holding a phone next to a device compared to swiping a card. Really? That's a big deal? However the credit card industry is changing now by the introduction of EMV chips into credit cards.

Both of my credit cards have an EVM chip. The chip encrypts information to increase data security when making transactions at a chip-enabled terminal and is a one time use. What that means is credit cards with this chip creates a new code each time it is used and does not contain the credit card holders information like the old magnetic strips found on today's credit cards. In plain English that means if the hacker obtains your personal information, credit card number and passwords they cannot create a credit card with that information like has been the case in the past. So I'm prepared to say that the Apple Pay application is more secure than traditional credit cards it is not clear to me it is more secure than the new EMV credit cards. Besides credit cards are accepted almost everywhere whereas Apple Pay has only a few vendors signed up at this time. Walmart is not one of their accepted vendors.

One might ask what does EMV credit cards and Apple Pay Have to do with Bitcoin? We are talking about apples and oranges in that Bitcoin is an entirely different system not a revision of current payment systems like the other two mentioned above. Bitcoin offers anonymity, can be used in any country and is more secure than the other two but not nearly widely as accepted as the other two just yet. The payment system space is so large I believe there's room for all of these.

The people at Forbes magazine are not all that impressed with Apple Pay for these reasons. Cash and credit cards are not that hard to use. There are a limited number of stores that will take Apple Pay. You're going to have to carry around credit cards and cash anyway. This system really isn't much faster than swiping a card to mention a few.

It is my opinion many people will use is simply because they have an iPhone and think that all things Apple are cool. That is a great advantage. It is an improvement in security but now with the EMV cards maybe not all that much better. Time will tell.

Posted at 10:19 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Power Outage

Sat 18 October 2014

A couple of days ago around two o'clock in the morning I heard a loud noise which woke me from an exciting dream. Once awake I heard my backup power supply come on which of course means the power went out. I have 4 backup power supplies of different wattages for different electronic devices. I have one solely for my computer, one for my monitor, modem, and router, one for devices on my desk and one for my entertainment center which will power my TV, the cable box and my surround sound amplifier. I find it best to turn off my surround sound amplifier and just listen to the speakers in the TV because of all the power the amplifier takes.

In addition to the fact I can hear the power supplies running because of the fans they had in them I can also hear them beeb every 30 seconds or so while they are on. When the power didn't come back on in a short period I went through my house turning off all my electronic devices and then shutting down my power supplies so the beats would not keep me awake. Looking outside I could see no lights in any direction so this was a major outage in downtown Vero Beach. The power was restored to in about an hour later at which time I got up and reset everything and turn my backup power supplies on again. These devices save a lot of pain and heartache because my power goes out frequently but usually only for a couple of seconds. Nonetheless, a couple of seconds is long enough to screw up some electronic devices and interrupt whatever I'm doing on my computer or watching on TV.

Yesterday I received my Symantec VIP device (Validation & ID) which I will use for two-step login verification on PayPal, Fidelity investments, and Bank of America. Now to log into my accounts I need not only my username and password but a six digit code generated at the very time I'm trying to login. These codes change every 30 seconds. From what has happened in the past with regard to individuals information like e-mail addresses, usernames and passwords have been hacked from companies like Target and Home Depot to mention just two, I thought this device prudent. Last week the largest bank in the United States, J.P. Morgan, was hacked and thousands and thousands of individuals' information was compromised although there have not been any reports of thefts.

It is intuitively obvious to me hackers will be able to get into just about any companies database and steel records. But now if they want to use the records they may have stolen with regard to my accounts they will fail without the proper six digit code needed at login that only I can get. Of course this won't stop everything but it sure is a major step forward when a new six digit code must be used every time you log into an account covered by Symantec VIP. I recommend you do the same.

Well it happened again; my Comcast bill went up about $12 a month starting now. I called Comcast retention and told them exactly what I wanted which was the TV package and Internet speed I already had but I wanted to drop the phone I have not nor will I ever use. Unfortunately the Internet speed I have is only available in one of their "triple play"promotions. The agent I talk with wasn't able to make the changes I wanted but did add a $15 per month discount to my account for being a loyal Comcast customer for over 25 years. Next May the battle will begin again but Intel then there's not much I can do.

Why are there so many damn vampire and/or zombie movies being produced? Every time I look for new movies I might want to watch half of the selection is of the vampire/zombie/horror variety. I assume studios make these movies because they make money on these movies. Generally they're cheap to produce and young people flocked to the theaters to watch them. Movies I like usually cost 10 to 20 times more to produce and that's why there are fewer of them. But then again if they cost 10 times more but produce huge revenues why not produce them? Star Wars is a perfect example.

I am still watching The Blacklist with only four episodes left I think. It's unlikely I'll watch one today because I have college football starting at noon lasting all day and into the night. My team plays at 7 PM against North Carolina University. The game is at their Stadium and their record is decent enough I'm confident Georgia Tech can lose to them. Once again it depends on who makes the most mistakes and which of the two Georgia Tech teams appears to play. Is it the team that executes offense almost flawlessly or the team that can't seem to get their rhythm right? We won't know the answer to that until about midnight.

Just after our I woke this morning there was a HBO documentary called "Sam" which was about a teenage boy with the disease known as Progeria. The disease is an extremely rare genetic disorder wherein symptoms resembling aspects of aging are manifested at a very early age. This 13-year-old boy looked like he was 80. This documentary was especially well done over Sam's whole life up until now. I was taken by the fact this kid has done everything he can to be normal. He has also excelled in just about anything he's tried including having the highest grade point average of his class in the past four years. He has inspired others in so many ways it was rather remarkable to watch. He looks funny and is really ill but is very normal in every other way. He is exceptionally articulate and communicates better than any 13-year-old I've ever met. These type movies can be emotionally draining if you're not careful.

At the end of the documentary Sam was 14 years old. This morning when I did research on Sam I discovered he died at age 17 on January 11 of this year. The only thing I know of this kid is what I learned in the documentary but all the same reading about his death saddens me.

Posted at 10:31 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Mid-Week Activities

Wed 15 October 2014

In the last 10 days the stock market has had several days where it dropped more than 200 points. Over the past two months or so the market is down about 9%. This is the time that many people will panic which leads to further reduction in stock prices because more people or selling and fewer people are buying. Thus the supply exceeds the demand driving the prices even lower. However, you don't lose until you actually sell a stock which unfortunately many people are now doing.

Historically October has always been a bad month for stocks and this October is no different. However the following months of November and December are usually better bringing the stocks back up. I certainly hope the next couple months follow the historic trends. I must admit it is rather disconcerting that what few stocks and mutual funds I own have gone down 10% in the last six weeks. In the long run stock specialist will tell you this is healthy for the market to have a drop like this which is usually followed with even higher upticks. Let's hope that is true this time.

I spent about half of the day trying to fix my Thunderbird e-mail program that was broken by a recent update. Of course I searched the Internet and found I was not alone in the problems I was having. That is often true about program updates doing more harm than good. I was not able to find a solution but I did find a satisfactory workaround which I will employ until the people at Mozilla get their act together. By the Way, Microsoft is equally as destructive with their updates as many other companies. If it were not for the security issues I wouldn't update at all. Updates usually come with unwanted and unneeded bloat ware which takes more CPU usage for basically nothing.

I'm still using μTorrent 2.2.1 when the current version is up over 3.5. Newer versions have features that I don't want and are not needed.

As I mentioned in a previous post I am pursuing the two-step login procedure for Bank of America, Fidelity and PayPal to mention three. There may be other websites I might choose to implement the two-step login if available on those sites. The tokens I have ordered should be here by the end of the month. My belief is that hackers might be able to get my username and passwords but they'll never be able to get the two-step verification number.

My housekeeper Tracy came today and freshened everything as she does on her biweekly visits. The house always feels cleaner and certainly smells cleaner after she is done. The way I keep my house it is certainly not necessary to have it professionally cleaned every two weeks but it just makes me feel better. Besides, Sally is capable of depositing balls of fur in just a few hours so you can imagine what might accumulate in two weeks. That's why I have to vacuum about every other day.

For the first time in a while I went to Walmart to pick up prescriptions and to do some shopping for bug sprays and a termite foam spray. I believe there are termites in my Dolphin room that are not the worst type you can have but are a nuisance all the same. I'll see of this new spray does any good.

By the way, I've noticed that the prices in the grocery section of Walmart have gone up to almost the level of the prices at Publix. Nowadays you can't rely on competitive prices at places like Walmart when you might find better deals at places known for higher pricing. Walmart never has specials but on the other hand Publix has specials every week like 2-for-1 or buy one get one free.

My intentions are not to be cruel but at a certain level I understand why Robin Williams committed suicide. Last night I watched part of one of his last movies called "The Final Cut" and it was terrible. Very poor acting and a plot that really sucked. If the movie doesn't keep my attention for more than 20 min. then I move on as I did last night.

On the other hand I am really enjoying watching The Blacklist on Netflix. I've seen the first 12 episodes of season one. I actually don't know how many episodes there are in season one but after I watched them I'll start into season two.

I do not have a project waiting for me at the moment. But I'm sure that state will change soon. Most of the time I wake up in the morning with nothing to do and by the end of the day it's only half done. Oh well!

Posted at 05:52 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Internet Financial Security

Tue 14 October 2014

Have you folks been noticing all the reports on TV concerning hacking into financial institutions, government agencies and retail sites? Just last week J.P. Morgan reported that hackers successfully got names and addresses of millions of their clients. I don't know if the hackers also got passwords and Social Security numbers but the mere fact they got into J.P. Morgan which is the biggest bank in the United States worries me.

At the same time they attempted to hack into 11 other institutions including banks and brokerage firms like Fidelity investments which is the brokerage firm where I have an account. They were unsuccessful at Fidelity this time but what about next time? And what about other banks like Bank of America? This gave me pause to think about how I can better secure my online accounts with financial institutions. Clearly two-step verification is the solution for me. In order to log into one of my accounts with two step verification you need not only my username and password but also a six digit code unique to my account which is generated every 30 seconds. To me that means if hackers were successful in getting my username and password they wouldn't be able to get into my account because they don't have the six digit number for verification.

Both of the Bitcoin exchanges I use require two-step verification. I used Coinbase.com and Circle.com. Both of these online companies use the Google authenticator available for smartphones and specifically link my Google authenticator app to my account. If you tried to use Google authenticator on another device, like my tablet for example, it will not work. The authentication is unique to the device on which it is installed. You could also choose to have the company send you a text with the six digit verification code instead of using Google authenticator. I know that Coinbase.com will actually call my home phone and give me a six digit number should I like that option.

I was having an online chat with a representative of Fidelity Investments about two-step verification. It turns out they do not use Google authenticator but instead use Symantec ID and Authenticator token. The token is a device about the size of a thumb drive that when pressed will give me a new code every 60 seconds. What I like about this device is that it separate from anything else and will work with several companies including PayPal, eBay, Fidelity investments, Merrill Lynch, T-Mobile, Bank of America, and the list goes on. If I have a correct understanding then bad people could not access my accounts even if they had my password and username which could be stolen from a company server. Of course nothing is really secure but this is another step in the effort to be safe.

This past weekend Georgia Tech disappointed me by losing to Duke University in Atlanta. The game was rain delayed at halftime for over an hour and when he did start again I was so disgusted with the score I couldn't take the punishment. Georgia Tech did come back to within a touchdown but nonetheless lost the game. This coming weekend they go to play NC State or maybe it's North Carolina. What did I say about losing once they became ranked?

This weekend I watched an especially good movie which falls into the same category as Draft Day. This one was called the Million Dollar Arm. The movie was well produced and had a great story to tell which is one thing making the movie particularly special is that the story it told what's true.

Over the weekend I had several headache attacks starting on Friday and lasting through Sunday. Yesterday I didn't have a headache nor do I have one today. I hate having to take pain medication but I also don't want to agonizing in pain when I have a solution. Hopefully an alternative solution might be made available in the near future.

Bitcoin has been all over the charts in the last couple of weeks. About 10 days ago we went down below $283 per coin but today it as back up over $407 per coin. That's a heck of a swing for just 10 days. The source for the latest news is CoinDesk.com. I read it most every day. The most recent article that particularly got my attention is the comparison between Bitcoin and the Apple Wallet. Apple has a hand up because it came preinstalled on all of their new iphones exposing millions of iPhone users. Articles I've read have suggested it is secure and I'm sure it probably is better than a credit card. However to use the Apple wallet it must be connected to your bank account or credit card in order to function. If you have Bitcoin, they need not be connected to anything and provide much greater anonymity than the Apple wallet. When using the Apple wallet the program itself is going to connect to your bank or credit card in order to validate the transaction. That's not needed with Bitcoin.

The Apple wallet works with US dollars but what about other currencies? Bitcoin is universal. I can see that Apple has an upper hand because they are a huge well-known company with many connections. But knowing the transaction difference between Bitcoin and Apple wallet I'd much prefer Bitcoin when it's excepted. I can go into detail why but maybe I'll save that for another post.

Remember I had to get an AmEx card replacement earlier this month? Well the new card has a chip in it that somehow another is supposed to greatly improve security. I used it today for the first time at Walmart and discovered that vendors have to have a special machine to accept this particular card or lease it appears that way. These chips which store your data and replace the card's traditional magnetic stripe make it harder for hackers to make a counterfeit copy of your credit card if they steal your account information. The chips generate a unique code for every transaction so if fraudsters steal data from a retailer, they won't be able to use that information to make future purchases

I continue to watch The Blacklist and I really like this series. I've watched the first full season of Boardwalk Empire but it's not nearly as good in my opinion. The question is what other series are floating around out there that I would like and how do I find them?

Posted at 05:09 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Fidelity's Security

Fri 10 October 2014

Recently I downloaded and installed the latest Tor browser onto a flash drive. I've had a Tor account for years but you but it was clear I should update to the latest version which is 3.6 .6 fot Windows operating systems. In case you don't know, the Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked. It is one of the very best ways to maintain anonymity while surfing the web or visiting websites. On some sites known as "black" sites you must have a Tor browser in order to access the sites.

I've never done anything with the sites that I have accessed because I do this purely out of intellectual curiosity. Some of you may know of the famous Silk Road website where you could buy just about anything. It was shut down but there are other sites up and running that are very similar in nature. On the sites you can buy drugs, guns, a hitman, and probably human beings. Needless to say you'll not find any of these on the regular Internet. I keep this browser on a flash drive but occasionally looked to see what is new and different. Should you decide to try this browser I would caution you because you never know who's on the other end!

Tomorrow Georgia Tech plays Duke University in Atlanta, Georgia. There is good news and there is bad. The good news is that Georgia Tech is one of 11 teams still undefeated this season and has now nationally ranked #22 in the country. The bad news is the team historically loses the first game they play once they become ranked. It seems that the rankings go to the teams head and they don't play as well as they are capable of playing. We shall see what will happen this time.

For the last week or two I've been having headaches more regularly than usual. Some of them have been rather disabling and required medication I wish I did not have to take. On the other hand I don't want to lie in bed with my head pounding so medication is the only answer for now. I'm hoping there may be some new types of medication available in Florida in the future. I actually do believe that certain things could be very beneficial to me but unfortunately are not available to me presently. I'll do my research so that when I might be able to try alternatives I'll know what to try.

Yesterday Kathryn asked me to repair the laptop for a nursing classmates who said she had a horrible virus. Kathryn brought the Toshiba satellite laptop to me which I booted to see what sort of processor and memory it had. It was certainly a decent laptop and sufficient for most uses the student might have.

Lately I have been changing my method of reparing dysfunctional operating systems. In the past I would take a CD and install a fresh new copy of Windows 7. This was the second time I chose to use the factory built-in utility which will restore the computer to the configuration it had when boxed at the factory. The last time I did this it worked great! This time the operating system was restored perfectly but then something unexpected happened. It turns out that Toshiba will install 47 separate Toshiba programs and reboot the computer after each installation. OMG this process took a few hours and I'm willing to wage the farm that none of the programs installed by Toshiba are necessary for this laptop to function at its top level. It was nothing more than bloatware manufacturers tend to install on their computers. 47 programs. Really? What a total waste and frustration to wait for this process to complete but I did it. I also installed the complete office suite for this young nurse and Kathryn says she will be thrilled.

In the last couple of days I've heard on FOX Business news that J.P. Morgan has had their website hacked and that 10 other financial institutions were also attacked including Fidelity. So naturally I started doing some research on Fidelity and found two conflicting statements that greatly concerned me. The following is copied and pasted from the Fidelity website:

In "Terms of Use" I found this : "FIDELITY WILL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE FOR ANY LOSS RESULTING FROM A CAUSE OVER WHICH SUCH FIDELITY DOES NOT HAVE DIRECT CONTROL. THIS INCLUDES FAILURE OF ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL EQUIPMENT OR COMMUNICATIONS LINES (INCLUDING TELEPHONE, CABLE AND INTERNET), UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS, VIRUSES, THEFT, OPERATOR ERRORS, SEVERE OR EXTRAORDINARY WEATHER (INCLUDING FLOOD, EARTHQUAKE, OR OTHER ACT OF GOD), FIRE, WAR, INSURRECTION, TERRORIST ACT, RIOT, LABOR DISPUTE AND OTHER LABOR PROBLEMS, ACCIDENT, EMERGENCY OR ACTION OF GOVERNMENT".

Then I found the statement on a main page that said " Customer Protection Guarantee: We will reimburse your Fidelity account for any losses due to unauthorized activity." These two statements gave me pause for concern so I contacted an agent online this morning. Here is a copy of the text when I use the chat utility:

Joseph Tallarigo: They are both true. The first statement applies to investments you may pick without Fidelity's assistance.

Joseph Tallarigo: The second statement applies to someone stealing money from your account and Fidelity doing a fraud Investigation and reimbursing you for the fraud.

I was satisfied with that answer but I had another complaint. My password includes both capital letters, small letters and numbers. I was shocked to find out I could log into my account using my password with all small letters! Just how brain dead was the security supervisor at Fidelity to make such a boneheaded decision? Well I was told by Joseph that my account was old and operating under their old system. He's right because it is an old account. After being on chat for nearly an hour and talking with the technicians they advised that I just choose a new password in this problem would be resolved. I did that and the problem was resolved.

Now my question is what about the poor slobs like me who don't know their account needs to be updated for better security? Oh well!

I've been going through the episodes in The Blacklist which I really like. Although there is a common theme each episode has something new and different. The AMC's Living Dead series has a common theme as well but the episodes vary so so little that I've gotten bored. So I'll post this and then watch an episode or two of The Blacklist and then perhaps one the movies I recently downloaded.

Posted at 01:43 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

The Blacklist

Mon 06 October 2014

Over this past weekend I decided to watch a new TV series which I found on Netflix. The name of the series is "The Blacklist "which is been on TV for over a year now. I had never seen an episode before yesterday but it sounded as if it could be interesting and something I would enjoy. Not only did I enjoy it I thought it was one of the best series I watched on TV since 24. Unlike the 24 series it seems to me you can watch any one episode of Blacklist and not be totally lost. Series like Breaking Bad and 24 almost required that you watch from week to week to know what's really happening. Ultimately this may be true of The Blacklist but thus far it doesn't seem that way. I watched the pilot and first 2 episodes of the series and thoroughly enjoyed them. I'll likely watch another episode or maybe two later today.

As I reported Georgia Tech was victorious over Miami in their college football matchup on Saturday. The next team that Georgia Tech plays is Duke University. While looking at the time the game starts next weekend I discovered that all of a sudden Georgia Tech has now become a nationally ranked team. They are ranked 22nd in the country which I like but unfortunately history tells me that when the become ranked they get beaten more often! I certainly hope it's not true this time and at the moment Georgia Tech is a slight favorite over Duke this coming weekend. They are one of the few teams that are still unbeaten with a 5 to 0 record.

Did I mention I'm having my pharmacy, Perkins drugs, deliver my prescriptions to my house? All I need to do is hand in the first written prescription and then call in for refills. The problem is I only have one prescription they can have refills because all the others require a new prescription each time I run out. A couple of my medications are now in class II according to the FDA which in my opinion is pure nonsense. For some naive reason the FDA thinks they can reduce abuse of certain prescription medications by making them harder to get. My observation is that people who use prescription medication for recreational purposes can always get the drugs no matter what class the FDA may put them in. All this does is make it inconvenient for doctors and patients who legitimately need these medications. This is like so many government programs that may have good intentions but always have bad unintentional consequences.

A few years ago the government decided they would add a 10% luxury tax on certain items like large yachts. Instead of increasing revenues to the government the actual taxes went down because people who wanted luxury items bought them outside of the United States. As a result several.manufacturing companies went broke and the thousands of employees were then out of a job and no longer paying taxes but rather receiving unemployment benefits. The government should simply stop meddling in affairs like this and do the thing they are authorized to do by the Constitution that is protect and defend not collect and distribute. All these rules and regulations are nothing more than a jobs program for otherwise unemployable people.

I have a small Fidelity account online. It holds a couple mutual funds and 3 or 4 stocks. Fidelity has advised me I can now use their "Active Trader Platform" which has pages after pages of charts and other info you might see in a TV commercial. First, I am not an "active trader" by any stretch of the imagination. But if I wanted to use it for whatever reason I must install Microsoft's Silverlight software. I'm one of the nerds that actually reads the privacy and user agreement statements. To use this software, I must agree to allow, "Internet-enabled features in software will send information about your computer ("standard computer information") to the Web sites you visit and Web services you use. Microsoft may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications under certain conditions. Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed." This does not sound like something I really want to do. The problem is that many programs already installed on my computer and yours have similar "rights". There is no privacy anymore!

It's time for me to go watch my favorite FOX Business news program called Varney and company. Stay tuned for more pearls of wisdom from me.

Posted at 11:00 am in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Georgia Tech Wins

Sun 05 October 2014

Georgia Tech beat Miami 28 to 17 in ACC play yesterday. The game was tied at halftime but GT came back in the second quarter to score two more touchdowns to Miami's one field goal.

I found this video of the GT kicker being body slammed. That's not nice. Video This video will open in a new window.

As usual the game was intense to me so I had to switch between the GT game and others. This Saturday was not as good as last Saturday. The #1 team Alabama lost to Old Miss 23 to 17. The finish was very exciting.

Today I've been working on a project to send publications out to a friend and now I'll watch a movie some some nature. Probably some mindless zombie movie although I now have Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire I could start. I though the ending of Season 1 was rather poor.

I'm pleased I do not have any other doctors to see this month. Next month starts with my usual monthly meeting. What a waste. I also see Dr. Director at the end of the first week. I'm going to ask him his thoughts on what be a new prescription. That should be real interesting!

Yesterday my News Blog software was not working properly on the server. I spent about 90 minutes trying to figure it out. I have so many files and folders on the BillsView.com server it took time to figure out which combination yields these posts. It is not intuitive at all because the whole site is written in .PHP. I finally resolved it as you can see but the way I solved it is not written in any books. I just used my Georgia Tech logic and some testing. Heck, it took me 30 minutes to find the folder the blog files are kept. Today all is well but who knows what is next?

For reasons unknown to me, the code for my site has changed ever so slightly to require I write my posts with different code. The site was originally designed to post in BB code but I prefer HTML which is much more flexible. Maybe I'll see if I can remedy that before my next post.

It was 60° this morning in Vero.
Posted at 01:25 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

New Things

Sat 04 October 2014

Yesterday I went to an ophthalmologist for the first time since I moved back to Vero. The only reason I went is because my urologist suggested I should have my eyes checked not necessarily for vision problems but rather diseases that what adversely affect my vision in the future. Many of these diseases do not manifest themselves and tell they have already done a lot of damage. So I went to a great ophthalmologist that is a friend of mine from my morning meetings.

I have only good news to report. There is nothing unusual happening inside my eyes nor does there seem to be anything to worry about at least for now. My doctor did suggest I start taking a Bausch Lomb vitamin/mineral pill twice a day called Areds2. I went online and ordered a six month supply of this supplement which has great reviews and should help my eyes as I age.

Today is football Saturday and the first game starts in less than 50 minutes. Like usual I'll probably watch games until my eyes bleed which is especially true today because Georgia Tech doesn't start its game until 7:30 this evening. The University of Miami is Georgia Tech's opponent for today; the oddsmakers call it an even game. Both teams have had good games and they have had bad games. The outcome of tonight's game will likely be based on which team makes fewer mistakes. If Georgia Tech can hold onto the ball and not fumble it as well as complete more passes to our team than Miami's team then I believe GT could prevail. On the other hand special team mistakes, fumbles, and interceptions will certainly give the advantage to Miami.

There are a lot of great games this afternoon before the Georgia Tech game tonight. I'll switch around to find the ones that are high scoring and close to watch the most. There are rank teams that will fall in the rankings after their games today. I can't tell you which ones but I always like surprises.

The visit to my dentist on Thursday last longer than usual because not only did I have my teeth cleaned but a cap replaced that had fallen off. I didn't notice anything unless I looked in the mirror and conceded it was missing. While there I also had images made of my teeth as I do on an annual basis. The new equipment many dentists have to take x rays of your teeth is way cool. They put this small device which is about half the size of a flash drive in my mouth and asked me to bite down. Then they shoot x-rays and in less than a couple of seconds those x-rays appear on a computer screen. How cool is that?

For the last week I've been having more headaches than usual with no explanation as to why it is happening. When I say headaches I actually mean that my head hurts rather than events causing me problems. I have medication that will assist in killing the pain but I don't want to take it any more than absolutely necessary. These medications are addictive and I know from my history I have an addictive personality. I've been taking them for several years without a problem but it's the times when I have to take more than usual that bother me. Maybe a new medicine that will assist me in my headaches will be approved for use in Florida next year. If you don't know what I mean then I need not tell you.

I find myself using my voice recognition software much more frequently than I did in the past. All of my posts on billsview are dictated by using Dragon Naturally Speaking. I've even got to using it for e-mails as well. As time goes by it makes fewer and fewer mistakes once it learns how poorly I pronounce some words.

John was in town yesterday and told me about his new 65" Samsung LED TV with all the latest bells and whistles. He was able to purchase it for a total price of less than $1500 which completely blows me away. It is the latest model and has all the new features including a quad core processor. What? A quad core processor in a TV? Jeez! I remember the day when I first bought a Samsung 42" HDTV back in Atlanta. The highest resolution it had was 720p not 1080p. The darn thing cost me over $3000. Nowadays you can buy a 42" LED TV for about $500. One thing about getting older is that prices go down for most things except medications and food.

While waiting at the dentist office I was reading the latest issue of the Georgia Tech magazine which comes out four times a year. Georgia Tech is creating a process whereby printed circuit boards used in most all electronic devices can actually be printed. By that I mean printed like you would copy a letter! This means a circuit board could be copied as quickly as a a standard copy machine. This certainly should reduce the cost of printed circuit boards don't you think? It also may come much thinner and smaller.

In the same magazine there was an article about a Georgia Tech professor who is making something called "nanoparticles" which are as small as things can get including viruses. These nanoparticles are made primarily of water and design such that when put in the blood system will attach themselves to any cancer cells. Then a chemical to kill cancer can be injected into the same persons system which will be absorbed by the nanoparticles attached only to cancer cells and slowly killed them. Chemotherapy does not discriminate; it kills all cells cancer or not. I'm going to have to spend more time reading this magazine every quarter.

Posted at 01:17 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
Disabled

Corvettes and Diamods

Thu 02 October 2014

CoinDesk.com is the web site I check daily about news in the Bitcoin world. On October 1 the said this, "The Georgia Institute of Technology has become the first university to integrate bitcoin into its students dining and shopping experience." Now the campus payment cards, known as BuzzCards, can now be topped up with the digital currency at the university's BuzzCard Centre, located inside its bookstore on campus. I'm rather proud of my school.

One of my practices when it comes to upgrading software on my computer is that I don't immediately upgrade. Sometimes I may not upgraded all if my program is functioning perfectly well for me. A program call CCleaner I've been using for years to clean my cookies, temporary files, and other unneeded files on my computer. This last upgrade they added a "Active Monitoring" function that runs when your computer is booted. Well I thought this was ludicrous so I wrote the company asking why they added this unwanted feature that you couldn't turn off. Here is their BS response;

1. You always have the latest version of CCleaner

2. Your system is always clean.

WHAT?! The program automatically checks for updates every time it's run so why have an additional function to do basically the same thing? The thing about making sure your system is always clean probably alert you when it thinks you need to run the program. None of this makes any sense to me and I hate to have a program started boot that doesn't need to start unless and until I decide to use. With regard to this program I immediately uninstalled it and then reinstalled an earlier version without the active monitoring. For all I know it might be actively monitoring my passwords, usernames, websites I visit, etc. I believe there are many programs that do exactly that; monitor your behavior. I particularly don't want Google Updater to run at boot or at any time as far as that's concerned. I don't trust Google at all but I do admit they have a fabulous search engine and other programs some people find valuable.

In case you haven't noticed the stock market has dropped rather significantly over the last week or two. Same thing can be said about Bitcoin; it has dropped to under an exchange rate of $400 per coin. Actually market adjustments are historically good things but certainly can create anxiety. I believe both will come back but I don't know when. My view is you don't lose money in the stock market until you sell. That applies to Bitcoin as well. So while the evaluation has gone down I've not actually lost money because I haven't sold anything.

Have you heard about the new Corvette Z06? It will go from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds, has an engine with over 650 hp and is the fastest car ever built by General Motors?

It looks much more like a European racing car than the traditional Chevrolet Corvette. It is priced under $100,000 but frankly I like some of the older styles better in particular the 1965, 1966 and 1967 models.

Yesterday I went to my inconvenient and unnecessary monthly meeting; what a pain in the butt. This morning I went to my dentist to have a cap replaced that had fallen out. Tomorrow I go to an ophthalmologist for the first time since I moved back to Vero. I don't sense that there's anything wrong with my eyes except I can't see or read things up close without what is commonly called "cheaters". These are basically magnifying glasses you can buy at any drugstore or supermarket. The reason I'm going to see an ophthalmologist is because one of my physicians said I could have problems which I'm not aware that I have. I'm talking about things like cataracts or other damaging diseases. I always thought that if I had an I problem it would manifest its self such that I know there was a problem. I come to find out that simply not true and some diseases could damage my vision unless treated early.

I read in one of the online news sites I go to called the Drudge Report that George Clooney recently got married and that his wedding cost over $13 million! What kind of wedding cost that much? Unbelievable!

Daily I watch the FOX Business Channel but not all day long. There is a program that comes on between 11 AM and 1 PM called Varrny and Company. This program covers financial matters but also interesting things like new digital equipment, new apps and the other day they showed 4 diamonds each of which weighed between 12 and 14 carats. The amazing thing is that each cost at least $120,000 per carat. These were white diamonds not colored diamonds and while they were big there are many many more a lot bigger. Apparently they cost so much because they are part of a DeBeers special collection. These are rare diamonds for sure but no way do I see them being $120,000 per carat rare. Geez!

Posted at 04:28 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)
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