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Silicone Valley

Fri 29 August 2014

It is Friday afternoon the day after the first "regular" college football games. Last night I watched South Carolina being upset by Texas A&M something that no one expect. If you saw the game, it was clear from the very start that the Texas team was the superior team. This was not a fluke. The final score was something like 41 to 22.

I also watched a good bit of the Georgia State game where Georgia State won 43 to 42 over team I've never heard of before. It was a great game in my point of view because it was high-scoring, the lead changed hands several times during the game and there were several big plays. Tonight there's several other college football games starting around 7 PM. I'm very pleased with my Apple TV because I was able to watch ESPN 3 which carried some of these games on my big-screen TV.

Speaking of Apple TV I watched part of an eight episode series called Silicon Valley on HBO Go. It's about some young guys creating new software or programming techniques and the things they go through to create a business from the intellectual achievements. I've only seen the first three episodes but plan to watch the rest up before the weekend is over. The main character wrote an algorithm that compressed data several times smaller than other compression algorithms available with no loss in quality. Now I can see that that type of programming is worth a lot of money unlike the apps I talked about a couple of days ago.

Yesterday I had my driveway and sidewalk pressure cleaned. It really improves the look of my house from 23rd St. and is something I've done in the past. I'm pleased with the outcome so I'll likely do it again in a couple years as needed.

I had my car detailed a couple of days ago and as usual covered it with my car cover to minimize dirt and dust from 23rd St. getting all my car. The cover I have now is getting old and is torn in a few areas making it less effective. This morning I ordered a new cover of higher quality the claims to be "dust-proof". Allegedly it is also rain proof but still breaths. My current cover I've had for six years and is just worn out and was of lesser quality when I bought it in the first place. The only reason I want to cover is to keep the dust and dirt from 23rd St. from getting on my car such that when I wash it in the morning it will not look like it needs washing again by 5 PM.

My call blocking device sits next to my computer and flashes a red light when I get an incoming call. Most the time my phone rings shortly thereafter because it's a call I want to take. However I've noticed that the red light has been flashing a good bit recently and not getting through. It's been blocking a lot of calls I otherwise would get irritated if I answered. Don't forget it is political season with candidates, fundraisers and poll takers wanting to talk to me. I don't want to talk to them.

A friend of Kathryn's has a laptop computer that is full of junk and needs to be cleaned up and updated. Her name is Erica and she was willing to pay for an upgrade which in this case was purchasing a solid-state hard drive. Tomorrow she will deliver the computer and the new hard drive to me so I can install Windows 7 on the new SSD. She'll want me to install Microsoft office 2007 and Adobe Acrobat. I have both of these programs on a flash drive and can easily installed. I can't wait to see her face when she boots for the first time and see just how fast it is compared to when she dropped it off. I'm not anticipating any problems but one never knows.

Posted at 01:54 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Google Penguin and "App" Companies Valuation

Wed 27 August 2014

I have been negligent in posting recently and therefore I find myself wanting to talk about several topics today.

Yesterday I watched a movie called Draft Day and found it to be one of the very best movies I watched in a long long time. To me it is a high quality movie with a real plot, several subplots and excellent acting by all the characters including the lead, Kevin Costner. If you have not seen it I'm not going to tell you you will love it because I don't know what kind of movies you do like but in my mind this is one of the best I've seen this year. The movie I saw all this year I thought was especially good was called Battleship.

I've been having a yellow jacket problem on the North side of my house where there have been yellow jackets nesting. One nest I got rid of a few months ago but they have returned to another location on the North side of my house. I had my guy who puts out herbicides and pesticides come out to kill them but it didn't work completely. The next time I go to Walmart or Home Depot I'll by a couple cans of the spray I used last time to do it the myself. You Have To go out at night when it is dark soother in their nest sleep and then just flood the entrance with the spray. It took two or three nights the last time I get this.

Why am I worried about these yellow jacket you ask? My yard maintenance guy got stung last week when he was cleaning up on the North side of my house. He said he was hurting for a few days. These yellow jackets will basically leave you alone unless you should be close to their nest and aggravate them. They have a real painful sting.

Yesterday I had my car detailed as I normally do every three or four months. It helps keep my car looking new and makes me think I have a newer car therefore minimizing my urge to actually buy a new car. I plan on keeping my unless there is an event that will prevent like a major mechanical problem.

Bitcoin has settled in the $500 to $515 range in the last two weeks. In my view it is good for the digital currency to trade within a narrow range like this but I'm hoping the range will increase over time. The various blogs I read say that the reason it has not gone up is because there is an ample supply of Bitcoin available because merchants convert their Bitcoin to cash as soon as a sale is made and miners are awarded Bitcoin for their successful work. So for the moment I'm not buying or selling any more coins but just holding for the future as I had planned on doing all along.

At the top of this page you see a image of Google Penguin. It is a new tool used by Google in an attempt to make rankings using Google searching engine fairer. Many websites use what are called Black Hat techniques to draw attention to their website. An example of a Black Hat technique would be to put a lots of keywords on a page using a text color that would hide the words on the page to the viewer but not to the search engines. For example this page could be full of words you could not see if I use white as the text color.

There are other things called "link farms"which are websites use for the sole purpose of putting a link to another website to improve their visibility on the Internet. These link farms provide no useful information about anything and thus a link back to your website from one of these link farms is meaningless. Google is attempting to weed out such websites by the tool they call Google Penguin which checks websites every few months. This morning was the first time I ever heard of such a thing.

Fortunately for me I never use any black hat techniques nor have I ever used any link farms on any of my websites or those sites I might have built for others. There are tools on the web I can use to check my site but I'm still unclear as to what the results of these various checks mean to me. As many of you know I have spent years trying to improve my ranking on Google through organic means rather than using any trickery or an ethical means. I'm very pleased to say that over the time I've become rather good as relates to my Tanzanite site because if you searched a lot of the keywords I think are important to the kind of people I want driven to my site you'll find me listed on Google's first page organically.

When I say organic listing I mean I'm not paid anything to Google for placement although I won't hesitate to do so at some point in the future should I choose to become even more visible than I already am. This new Google tool has only been around for a couple years and has companies that do search engine optimization in a pickle. These companies that charge website owners several hundred dollars a month have used unethical practices and false link backs to improve the ranking of their clients.

This morning I spend a few hours reviewing what all this means and can tell you I'll need to spend several more hours to get a better understanding. Apparently there is a new version of Google Penguin being released soon and I should make sure I've done everything possible to minimize any reduction in my organic placement. I'm sure this will take me some good study to figure out how all this works and how it applies to me.

This morning I was watching one of my favorite financial programs called Varney on the Fox business network. They were talking about valuations of companies that make apps for portable devices. Apparently some people think the company that makes "snapchat" is worth over $10 billion. In my view this is total and complete nonsense because the company does not have any revenues at all and only employees 34 people. It has no physical buildings or inventory and is made up solely of the intellectual property of this app. This is also true about two other apps call "Whatsapp" and "Ubur". Both of the latter companies have valuations over $5 billion apiece and yet neither have any revenues to support such a valuation.

This is the time that I tell you I was alive and well in 1999 and 2000 when the ".com" bubble burst. It was the same scenario as were seeing now with these companies that make applications. Several ".com" companies had few employees and no revenue but yet had valuations in the billions of dollars. That's when the famous ".com bubble" burst. Hundreds of billions of dollars disappeared when this bubble burst. I see no difference between what is happening now in what happened back in 2000. Personally I think this is complete and total nonsense and will adversely affect us all in the coming crash.

Just think about it for a moment - how are these companies that have only an application available going to monetize the application to produce income worthy of $10 billion valuation? I don't see it myself so I certainly would not invest in these type of startups. Such high valuation on the future potential is very dangerous as I personally learned by losing a lot in 2000. When companies like Facebook went public they had been around for several years and had income from advertisements placed on their website. Facebook has further improved their income and thus deserves a reasonable valuation. In the good old days a company was worth about 15 times its net income. Some of these companies today are being sold at 200 times no income. I'm sure some will be successful and become valuable but unfortunately I have no way of picking the winners and losers.

Posted at 01:13 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Obama's Gettysburg Address by Maureen Dowd

Sun 24 August 2014

Maureen Dowd's New York Times article today:

FORE! Score? And seven trillion rounds ago, our forecaddies brought forth on this continent a new playground, conceived by Robert Trent Jones, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal when it comes to spending as much time on the links as possible even when it seems totally inappropriate, like moments after making a solemn statement condemning the grisly murder of a 40 year old American journalist beheaded by ISIL.

I know reporters didn't get a chance to ask questions, but I had to bounce. I had a 1 p.m. tee time at Vineyard Golf Club with Alonzo Mourning and a part owner of the Boston Celtics. Hillary and I agreed when we partied with Vernon Jordan up here, hanging out with celebrities and rich folks is fun.

Now we are engaged in a great civil divide in Ferguson, which does not even have a golf course, and that's why I had a "logistical" issue with going there. We are testing whether that community, or any community so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure when the nation's leader wants nothing more than to sink a birdie putt.

We are met on a great field of that battle, not Augusta, not Pebble Beach, not Bethpage Black, not Burning Tree, but Farm Neck Golf Club in Martha's Vineyard, which we can't get enough of me, Alonzo, Ray Allen and Marvin Nicholson, my trip director and favorite golfing partner who has played 134 rounds and counting with me.

We have to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for my presidency, if I keep swinging from behind.

Yet it is altogether fitting and proper that I should get to play as much golf as I want, despite all the lame jokes about how golf is turning into "a real handicap" for my presidency and how I have to "stay the course" with ISIL. I've heard all the carping that I should be in the Situation Room droning and plinking the bad folks. I know some people think I should go to Ferguson. Don't they understand that I've delegated the Martin Luther King Jr. thing to Eric Holder? Plus, Valerie Jarrett and Al Sharpton have it under control.

I know it doesn't look good to have pictures of me grinning in a golf cart juxtaposed with ones of James Foley's parents crying, and a distraught David Cameron rushing back from his vacation after only one day, and the Pentagon news conference with Chuck Hagel and General Dempsey on the failed mission to rescue the hostages in Syria.

We're stuck in the rough, going to war all over again in Iraq and maybe striking Syria, too. Every time Chuck says ISIL is "beyond anything we've ever seen," I sprout seven more gray hairs. But my cool golf caps cover them. If only I could just play through the rest of my presidency.

ISIL brutally killing hostages because we won't pay ransoms, rumbles of coups with our puppets in Iraq and Afghanistan, the racial caldron in Ferguson, the Ebola outbreak, the Putin freakout there's enough awful stuff going on to give anyone the yips.

So how can you blame me for wanting to unwind on the course or for five hours at dinner with my former assistant chef? He's a great organic cook, and he's got a gluten free backyard putting green.

But, in a larger sense, we can dedicate, we can consecrate, we can hallow this ground where I can get away from my wife, my mother in law, Uncle Joe, Congress and all the other hazards in my life.

The brave foursomes, living and dead, who struggled here in the sand, in the trees, in the water, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or subtract a few strokes to improve our score. Bill Clinton was Mr. Mulligan, and he is twice at popular as I am.

The world will little note, nor long remember, what we shot here, or why I haven't invited a bunch of tiresome congressmen to tee it up. I'm trying to relax, guys. So I'd much rather stay in the bunker with my usual bros.

Why don't you play 18 with Mitch McConnell? And John Boehner is a lot better than me, so I don't want to play with him.

It is for us, the duffers, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who played here have thus far so nobly advanced to get young folks to stop spurning a game they find slow and boring.

It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us of getting rid of our slice on the public's dime that from this honored green we take increased devotion to that cause for which Bobby Jones, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy gave their last full measure of devotion and divots.

We here highly resolve that these golfing greats shall not have competed in vain, especially poor Tiger, and that this nation, under par, shall have a new birth of freedom to play the game that I have become unnaturally obsessed with, and that golf of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.

So help me Golf.

I thought this was funny and well done but sadly it is true. Maureen Dowd used to be a BIG Obama fan. Obama is alienating his biggest fans with his "I don't give a sh*t - don't bother me" attitude.

Posted at 03:44 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

College Football Begins

Sat 23 August 2014

College football season is finally upon us. On ESPN at 3:30 this afternoon Sam Houston State will play at Eastern Washington; I've not heard of either team but at this point it doesn't matter because it's the beginning of the season. The regular season will start on Wednesday when Abilene Christian plays Georgia State. Most the time when I was living in Atlanta Georgia State didn't have any athletic program at all so college football is relatively new to them. What makes this season particularly exciting for me is my Apple TV will allow me to watch many games in different areas that aren't available on regular TV. At this point I don't know how many extra games per week and I'll be able to see but I'm sure it will be a lot.

The next thing I want to say is that Bitcoin continues to fluctuate at great bit but is finally back over the $500 per Bitcoin exchange rate after having dropped to the low $400 rate. This week it has been as high as $530 but right now as I'm writing this it's $511. If you're in it for the long haul like me these weekly gyrations in exchange rate don't mean much because my intent is to hold for a much longer time. I'm still thinking that it will take a year or two to see any real gains in Bitcoin but I fully expect it to happen.

Each day when I read the website Coinbase.com there is positive news about Bitcoin. More and more commercial businesses are accepting Bitcoin now and more and more companies are getting involved in different areas of the Bitcoin community. One of the reasons the Bitcoin has been low recently is that the merchants accepting Bitcoin immediately exchange their payments for cash meaning that the availability of Bitcoin on the open market is greater now than it was before so many merchants started accepting Bitcoin as a payment. There's so much to talk about in the world of Bitcoin that I just want to leave you with my general positive outlook for the crypto currency in the future.

When talking about college football I mentioned my Apple TV. The reason I thought it was it would allow me to watch ESPN3 on I big-screen TV rather than a computer monitor or laptop. I was surprised that so many other football networks were a part of the ESPN family like the ACC network and the SEC network. I can already get some of those games now but I believe more will become available with this Apple TV device.

It also has several other channels available if you're Internet service provider has made a agreement with Apple TV. This includes Netflix, Public Television, ABC and CBS news, the Weather Channel, and my favor free channel other than ESPN will probably be YouTube. There have been many times when I've downloaded videos from YouTube to play them all my big-screen television. Now I have the ability to connect my television directly to You Tube to select what videos I wish to play. Of course some of them are of low quality because of the nature of You Tube but some of them are in high definition. I really haven't used it a whole lot but when I do I'll give you further reports.

I watched the movie Godzilla last night and thought it was okay but not spectacular. Except for the modernization of Godzilla it very much reminded me of the original movies made in Japan 40 years ago. In the past couple of weeks I also watched Need for Speed, Locke, The Quiet Ones. They were OK but not great.

Off to watch TV now.

Posted at 12:50 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

Bitcoin Dives

Tue 19 August 2014

Most of you probably do not look at the trends in big coin on a daily basis like I do. In the last week it has dropped rather precipitously from the $580 range to below $430 at one point. That of course got my attention because usually Bitcoin only decrease in value when there is bad news and there has been none.

In fact, more and more businesses are taking Bitcoin as a form of payment. Most of these businesses change their Bitcoin into dollars as soon as they receive them which means there are more and more Bitcoin's being sold on the market. The good news is more businesses accept Bitcoin as payment but the backside of that is they are exchanging almost immediately into currency causing a larger than usual selling of Bitcoin. The analogy would be if stockholders of a particular company wanted to sell their stock all the same time the value of that stock would go down rather rapidly. Here's what Coindesk.com has to say:

"The development is the latest blow to the price of bitcoin, which had slumped to its lowest level since May late last week. The decline has since been largely attributed to a worsening short term news outlook, as well as the industry's margin traders, though alternative theories have been proposed."

This morning Bitcoin is back up in the $485 range and appears to be slowly increasing at this point rather than decreasing. I've taken a long-term position so fluctuations of this nature are to be expected but I'm still betting on the value of Bitcoin going up. It's such a new technology and people are just not getting used to it that it's uncertain to me as exactly what might happen.

Yesterday when my yard person was year mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges as he does every week he found an area where yellow jackets and made a nest in the ground. He was stung about a half a dozen times because once they start sting it's hard to get away from them. Yellow jackets will chase you. This morning I had the people who put out herbicides, pesticides and fertilizer in my lawn and on my plants come by to look at the area. They will be here as many times as it takes before the sun comes up and the yellow jackets start being active. They will put a powder around their nesting area which should kill them. It will likely take a few applications to get rid of all of them.

This past weekend I helped Kathryn set up her new network which at this point is working well. She needed to extend the range of her router in order to get better reception in the office where her main desktop computer is now located. I put some high gain antennas (3) on the router and one high gain receiving antenna on the computer. She is happy with the results and everything seems to be working fine.

I haven't contacted Comcast yet about my service package but I still plan to do so soon. My rates are good until the middle of September according to my online account. There is an offer going on now which may not be available in a month so I want to take advantage of what's available while it's available. I need to have Comcast for my Internet and television but as everything else the rates continue to go up. The only thing I can do is negotiate my package and threatened to take my business to another service provider which of course I won't do.

The Little League World Series continues this week and I've been watching several but not all of the games. There will likely be three or four games on later today. By the time the Little League World Series is over college football will start which is a good thing. College football is my favorite of all sports and now that I have my Apple TV I'll be able to watch even more games than I could before.

Posted at 10:45 am in General | Comments (0)

Dr. Director Visit

Fri 15 August 2014

This morning I went to see Dr. director for my regular quarterly appointment. I go every three months because one of the prescriptions I receive can only be issued for a three-month period and is not eligible for refills. You actually have to take a new written prescription from the doctor to the pharmacist yourself; fax machines and call ends are not allowed. He confirmed once again that I'm hopelessly wacky with no possibility of recovery but only treatment for the symptoms.

In case you haven't been watching recently the value of Bitcoin dropped below $500 this morning. Just about four days ago it was at $575 but now is going down. It had been trading in a range as one would expect but without any particularly bad news it's lost over 12% of its value. Of course I researched on the Internet to find out what might be causing this rather precipitous drop and it seems fingers are being pointed at traders buying highly leveraged puts and calls as one would see in the stock market. I've taken this opportunity to buy one more coin and if it stays depressed I may do it again. I'm in for the long haul and this temporary volatility is to be expected. There hasn't been any particularly bad news but just the opposite; we have had good news.

I've been watching the Little League World Series on television and some of the games have been darn good. As one would expect some games are not even close and they lose my interest. The playoffs will go on for another 10 days at which time the world champions will be crowned and college football season will begin. I'm very much looking forward to seeing some good college games particularly now that I can get new networks on my TV which were not available to me last year.

Speaking of TV, it is about time for my Comcast plan to expire. I actually think it expires next month. They of course will want to increase my monthly fees but like I did before, today I researched the Internet to find alternatives which when presented to Comcast might temper my rate increase. After all they have to get money somewhere to buy Cox cable.

I've found a perfect plan that is much like my current plan called a triple play meaning it includes telephone service. I don't want telephone service but if the cost is the best I can get with the service then so be it. What they don't tell you is the triple play package includes the necessity of installing a Comcast modem with a rental fee of $12 a month. My modem will work perfectly well as long as I don't use the phone service included in the plans I've been researching. I think I'll call someone later in the evening in the next two days to see if I can get someone to switch me over and sign me up for the plan I want which by the way includes a two year rate guarantee.

I've done a bit of exploring with my Apple TV device and thus far I continue to be happy with my purchase. A friend of mine gave me a username and password which allows me access to Netflix and the Apple TV device itself has several free channels. And of course it provides all the ESPN channels which is the reason I got it in the first place. I'm sure there's more to learn in many other opportunities to screw things up.

This morning after my doctors visit I went to help Kathryn set up her new wireless network when she moved computers and other devices around the house. We got it all set up and working okay at least for now. By the way, Kathryn did most of the work with just a little aid from me. She still doesn't know how to log into a router to change the settings. She has the same Linksys 1900 AC router as I recently purchased.

Today it's been raining since early this morning through all the day and it's raining at the moment. It's just been a real nasty overcast dark Friday but with my Internet service, TV and some of Alice's great cakes it doesn't seem all that bad. I'm getting low on cakes so I'll have to nudge Alice back to baking.

Posted at 04:59 pm in General | Comments (0)


Thu 14 August 2014

This morning around 2:00 AM I heard a noise that sounded like a chirp. I didn't think anything of it until I heard it again in about 60 seconds later. At first I thought it was Sally the attack cat on patrol knocking something over but it kept on chirping every 60 seconds or so. I got up and in just a few short minutes identified the chirping sound coming from my smoke detector in the kitchen because the batteries were getting low. I ordered replacement batteries this morning from eBay.

Yesterday I installed my new Apple TV which was a bit more challenging than expected. The remote control that comes with the device only has six functions on it therefore it is not clear which functions to used to manipulate the controls. The first thing I needed to do was to connect the device to my wireless network which took several tries because I either misspelled my password or didn't know how to enter the password. This resulted in my having to break down and actually read the instructions as well as go online to search for certain functions. After was connected I have what appears to be a strong signal from my router to the device.

The main purpose I acquired this Apple TV device was to watch ESPN 3 which is only available on the Internet and is not provided by any TV service. Because the Apple TV device connects directly to my wireless Internet I'm able to watch ESPN 3 as well as all ESPN networks. In addition to ESPN the Apple device has about two dozen other "channels" I can watch most of which are available through subscription like Netflix and Hulu to name only two. The picture quality is great! Later today I intend on seeing if the password I have for Netflix works. If things go as I expect, I'll be able to watch lots of college football games that are not broadcast on network television but are of interest to me like some of the Georgia Tech games. I've not tried using it after I set up the network connection but I can say it has lots of available settings which will give me the opportunity to really screw things up.

The day before yesterday I received new high gain antennas for my new Linksys AC router. I put meter apps on both my smart phone and tablet to check the signals around the house before I change the antennas and then again once the antennas were changed to the new high gain ones. They were supposed to increase the signal strength by 16 dB but from my testing they didn't come close to that increase although I did see a small gain. Fortunately the Apple device gets a strong signal directly from my router on the orginal antennas.

On Tuesday I went to my dermatologist to have the stitches removed from my recent surgery. For the first time since I've been seeing a dermatologist he told me the cells which were biopsied showed A-typical growth which is a sign of future melanoma. I've had other cancer cells removed in the past but none of them were of the nature which would turn to melanoma. Fortunately the biopsy showed all of the growth was removed and therefore I have no further worries about this particular spot. I dermatologist asked me if I wanted to go further than he did on the first cut and at this point I'm more than happy that my choice was to go ahead. Henceforth and forever more I will always opt on having anything that has potential malignant growth removed as by the way I have been doing.

Unfortunately Starr is still very sick trying to recover from whatever she has had for over 10 days. I think she has some sort of flu because colds usually don't last this long nor are they a severe as her symptoms. Since I started getting flu shots 25 years ago up not had the flu but prior to then I had caught the flu and never wanted it again. I bet Starr will get a flu shot this fall for the first time.

Posted at 10:42 am in General | Comments (0)

College Football

Mon 11 August 2014

I've been waiting for nine months but it's that time of the year again. The first college football game is on Saturday, August 23 but most of the main season starts the following week. I love watching college football and there will be four months of it ahead and then some bowl games afterwards. This year there will be a new post season bowl game called the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl! The Atlanta-based company BitPay has a three-year contract with ESPN "to create an amazing bitcoin event for sports fans, families and television audiences." This should make thousands of people aware of something they've never heard of before and that is Bitcoin.

To me it really doesn't matter who's playing as long it is a good game. In my mind a good game is one that is high-scoring and the lead switches back and forth several times during the game. It doesn't matter what conference, what teams or the importance of the game. High-scoring close games or just fun for me and I'm very much looking forward to the season start. In the meantime I have Little League World Series playoff games to watch for the next week or two.

There are several games each week not broadcast on any of the television networks but can be seen on ESPN3 or Watch ESPN. These are both Internet channels which are available if you're Internet service provider has paid ESPN to make them available. In my case Comcast has opened my ability to watch these games on my computer.

Really I would like to watch ESPN3 on my main TV. I can do that by running a HDMI cable from my computer to my TV making my TV a computer monitor. It would be better if I could connect my big-screen TV to my computer wirelessly and I think I may have found a way of doing just that. I've ordered a device called Apple TV which connects to a regular TV via a HDMI cord and receive signals over the Internet wirelessly through my home Internet network. There is an app I can buy which should project whatever is on my monitor to my TV screen via Apple TV. This is something relatively new and has just become available. However, I also think that the Apple TV device itself will allow me to connect to ESPN3 without going through my computer and using just my wireless network. You need to have a subscription which I do so naturally I ordered an Apple TV device to check it out. One way or the other I believe I'll be able to watch Internet sports broadcasts on my big-screen TV this season for the first time. Stay tuned

Tomorrow I go to my dermatologist to have the stitches removed from last week's surgery. This is a nonevent it should only take a few moments. The surgery has healed well but probably will leave a small scar on my otherwise flawless face. Those are the penalties one has to pay for sitting in the sun for years not knowing the damage which really can be done to one's skin. I'll pay for the rest of my life because there always be spots on my skin that need to be removed to avoid cancer. Heck, when I was a teenager the only thing we put on was a mixture of baby oil and iodine! That was great wasn't it?

Starr is very much under the weather so we've postpone her birthday celebration which previously was scheduled for Wednesday at the Tides restaurant in Vero. I still plan on taking her out to dinner there but it will probably be a few weeks off before she is recovered from what is really a nasty sickness. This is more than the cold; I think she may have some sort of flu. She feels terrible and sounds terrible on the phone. Unfortunately one just has to wait for the illness to run its course.

Posted at 02:23 pm in General | Comments (0)

Computer Applications

Sat 09 August 2014

Yesterday I actually received a call from a engineer working in the Bank of Americas technical department with regard to my online banking deposits problems. It turns out this young man named Mike has the same Samsung tablet III as I have but does not have any issues with the B0A application. He led me through several steps including enabling the developer section of the settings and troubleshooting what might be causing the problem. We both agreed that it is my Kaspersky security application causing the problem. Is blocking access to the Internet for the app. The only solution is to uninstall Kaspersky. I have another brand X tablet that has the application installed and it works just fine even though Kaspersky is also installed on it. Go figure.

Earlier this week I upgraded my Firefox browser to version 25 from version 20. The installation went fine and all the extensions available for use by Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 worked. I did not upgrade to the latest release which is Firefox 30 although somehow without my knowledge or permission Firefox 30 got installed on my computer yesterday. I didn't okay the upgrade and have no idea how it happened. Furthermore my Win Patrol did not alert me to any changes in my registry which I thought was strange because one would've thought registry changes would be necessary. The good news is all the Kaspersky extensions were perfectly fine on Firefox 30 so I'm not unhappy with the upgrade I'm just unhappy that it happen without my knowledge or permission. How can this be? I have the settings for upgrades in Firefox set to announce an upgrade but don't install it without my permission. Reading on the Firefox forms I now found its best to check the boxes says don't look for upgrades.

I'm very pleased to announce that the new Kaspersky Internet Security 2015 is working very well after I took the plunge and made the upgrade this week. My major concern was whether the extensions would work on all my browsers and this time Kaspersky got it right because they do work. Thus far it is my opinion through observation and reading that version 2015 is faster, uses less resources, has better scan engines and works with all my browsers. However the safe money option just doesn't seem to work properly with my browsers but I don't use it anyway.

Have you tried the new Puffin browser for mobile devices yet? Is your opinion the same as mine and that this new cloud oriented browser is faster and has more options than any of the other mobile browser applications? If you've not tried Puffin you should install it on your mobile device and give it a go.

This time of the year I tend to watch the Little League World Series on ESPN. I've watched several games this week and there are more to come. What this also means is college football is just around the corner. We are only a few weeks away from the first college game kickoff and then I'll be in bliss for the next several months watching games.

You folks may not know this but Windows 7 has a voice recognition software program built into it. I've tried it several times and I've done training with the program so it can better recognize my speech and words that I use. Thus far it cannot hold a candle to Dragon NaturallySpeaking which I'm using now and probably will continue to use.

Posted at 11:41 am in Computer | Comments (0)

Puffin Browser is Wicked Fast!

Wed 06 August 2014

Recently Kathryn introduced me to a new mobile browser called Puffin. She claimed it was really fast and just the best of any browsers she has used. So of course I decided to give it a go and installed it on my tablets. Kathryn was right on! This browser is faster and easier to use than any other mobile browser I've used in the past and believe me I've tried several. It has more options than other browsers and lightning fast compared to other browsers.

The company's website is located at PuffinBrowser.com. I've had an opportunity to talk with the company's founder and CEO who developed the browser in the first place. His name is Shioupyn Shen and he has been so personally helpful to me I'd like to express my appreciation and the best way I know how to do that is to suggest that any of you out there with mobile devices download Puffin browser and give it a go. One of the things I particularly like about the browser is that all data that leaves your computer when you go to website is encrypted and the returning data is encrypted as well. This to me is a great security advantage over other browsers that openly send your data over the Internet which can easily be captured by a variety of programs available on the web.

What makes his browser so much faster than others is that it works in the Cloud. From my communications with the developer it is my belief this browser may lead the industry in a short period time. Once you try it and like it like I do pass the word along to your friends and colleagues so they too can experience the benefits of this browser over any other browser they may be using.

Yesterday I went back to my dermatologist to have that small spot surgically removed even though it was not malignant in nature. The point is the cells contained with in the spot were of the type that could turn to melanoma which of course is the last thing I'd like. I have some stitches and will need to return to my dermatologist's office in a week to have the stitches removed.

I finally got a call back from the executive assistant to the President of Bank of America. She and I talked on the phone for 30 min. or more about the issues I brought to their attention. She said they would "escalate" my case to a higher level which should give it a quick attention and resolution. Frankly I'm more than sure they are already working on the problem because if the BoA app will not work on any Samsung device and technically speaking about 65% of all mobile devices in the United States today are Samsung I'm sure I'm not the first to report an issue.

In my e-mail I also asked the president why the Bank discriminated against those customers of the bank that did not have mobile devices but did have a computer. Of course I can log into my account online and do a lot of things like write checks, make payments, transfer money,etc. but I can't make a deposit. I came up with the idea of rather than creating an app for Microsoft or Apple desktop/laptop devices all they would need to do is add a utility to a customer's online account that will permit the customer to browse his or her computer for images of the check they wish to deposit. There's no need for a new and different app. A picture of a check can be taken with a WebCam, a scanner, or with a regular digital camera and then have the picture transfer to the computer. Anyone with a computer likely has one of those three devices already. She said she would get back in touch with me so it will be interesting to see what comments she has to make with regard to this idea.

I'm working on another consumer product which is not available on the marketplace today but is something that everyone I talk to about said they would love to have. Once I finalize the ideal I'll get in touch with a company that makes similar consumer products and suggested they add this to their product line. It would take way too much time and money to get a patent in trying to do anything by myself. After all the consumer company already has space on shelves in grocery stores, hardware stores, Home Depot and the like. Once I tell you what it is I'm sure you will agree that's a great idea.

Lances in town for a few days visiting but plans to leave on Friday. It was good to see him the other day and if you know Lance he is same person you've always known. I wish he would hang around this area but I know in my heart that California is better for him.

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

BoA Response

Sat 02 August 2014

After receiving the telephone call from the Bank of America employee informing me that Samsung devices are not compatible with Bank of America's app I decided to e-mail the President of the bank. I send him an e-mail on Wednesday and on Thursday I received an e-mail back from his executive assistant saying they would like to talk with me further. We've been playing telephone tag but I must say I'm impressed with the very timely response and apparent concern about the two issues I brought to his attention. Maybe I will actually get to talk to the President's assistant early next week.

Posted at 03:07 pm in Uncategorized | Comments (0)