Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Nixon Tapes

Reposted From: July 3, 2009

Talk about government transparency!

Long before Barack Obama's presidency Richard Nixon unintentionally ran the most transparent Whitehouse in all of history :-)

For you youngsters, Nixon bugged himself in the oval office, on the phone and just about every place but the bathroom (and we don't know that's for sure).

I do mean he taped everything!

Between February 16, 1971 and July 18, 1973 Richard Nixon secretly recorded roughly 3,700 hours of conversations and meetings in 5 different locations. Now most of them are available for your listening pleasure online at "The Nixon Presidential Library & Museum".

Presently there are 2,636 hours of fun filled audio clips that were used as evidence at the Watergate trial. Nixon's trip to China and others.

Here's the quick list:
WH Telephone (Tapes 1-46)
Executive Office Building (Tapes 245-449)
Oval Office (Tapes 450-)

"I'm glad I'm not Brezhnev. Being the Russian leader in the Kremlin.
You never know if someone's tape recording what you say"

~Richard M. Nixon~

HUMOR: Handy-Crapped Repairs

For the less then skilled this site ought NOT be a part of your internet referenced research. Well maybe... as the way NOT TO FIX-IT!

This blogger's site, "There I Fixed It", is dedicated to those who consider themselves to be savvy repair techs, but actually are "handy-crapped"

If that site doesn't do it for ya.. Pop on over to Red Green's Channel On YouTube

Us Old Kids Remember...

Reposted From: July 22, 2009

*Rotary dial 12 channel televisions with no remote control. Parents made the kids 'the remote control'. They adjusted the horizontal roll knob every 5 minutes too!

*Only shopping during the day, Monday to Saturday

*Texting our friends via mail, the handwritten kind

*Mechanical typewriters (w/ white correction ribbons). Don't punch the 'o' so hard, it makes holes in the paper.

*One phone per house with real bells in them with short cords (parents put them in living room so they could listen to you)

*Actually having to remember someone’s phone number

*65 cent 45 rpm singles (you had to actually had to plug in a player to listen to them- broken needles)

*PF Flyers (Posture Foundation- They were first produced by BF Goodrich in 1937- you can still buy them)

*Returnable bottles (what I refer to as actually recycling)

*Non power assisted drum brakes on all 4 wheels (try braking after going through a puddle)

*Vacuum Wipers (worked really good at the stop light when you weren't accelerating)

*Calculator (pencil & paper)

*Slide Rule? What's that? (an improvement over the pencil & paper calculator)

*A full 1/2 gallon of ice cream

*Fast Food (Chef Boyardee in a can)

* Feel free to add your own to the list..

HUMOR: Ramblings of a Retired Mind

Reposted From: June 23, 2009

I was thinking about how a status symbol of today is those cell phones that everyone has clipped onto their belt or purse. I can't afford one. So, I'm wearing my garage door opener. I also made a cover for my hearing aid and now I have what they call a blue teeth, I think.

You know, I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people didn't like me anyway.

I was thinking that women should put pictures of missing husbands on beer cans!

I thought about making a fitness movie for folks my age, and call it 'Pumping Rust'.

When people see a cat's litter box, they always say, 'Oh, have you got a cat?' Just once I want to say, 'No, it's for company!'

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be notified in case of an emergency. I think you should write, 'A Good Doctor'!

Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office?
Why don't they arrest them while they are taking their pictures!

HUMOR: The Traffic Cop. The Husband. The Wife.

A police officer pulls over a speeding car. The officer says, " I clocked you at 80 miles per hour, sir."

The driver says, "Gee, officer I had it on cruise control at 60, perhaps your radar gun needs calibrating."

Not looking up from her knitting the wife says: "Now don't be silly dear, you know that this car doesn't have cruise control."

As the officer writes out the ticket, the driver looks over at his wife and growls, "Can't you please keep your mouth shut for once?"

The wife smiles demurely and says, "You should be thankful your radar detector went off when it did."

As the officer makes out the second ticket for the illegal radar detector unit, the man glowers at his wife and says through clenched teeth, "Damit, woman, can't you keep your mouth shut?"

The officer frowns and says, "And I notice that you're not wearing your seat belt, sir. That's an automatic $75 fine." The driver says, "Yeah, well, you see officer, I had it on, but took it off when you pulled me over so that I could get my license out of my back pocket."

The wife says, "Now, dear, you know very well that you didn't have your seat belt on. You never wear your seat belt when you're driving."

And as the police officer is writing out the third ticket the driver turns to his wife and barks, "WHY DON'T YOU SHUT UP!"

The officer looks over at the woman and asks, "Does your husband always talk to you this way, Ma'am?"

Only when he's been drinking."

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Doggie Gestapo Is Coming

WFMZ-TV: "Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement plans to go door to door to make sure dogs have a current 2013 Lehigh County dog license... "

"Those who don't have a current license may face a citation or fine of $100-$500 or imprisonment of up to 90 days, or both."

The U.S. Was First In Technological Advancement: FALSE!

American pride leads us to believe we have become the most scientifically advanced nation solely in every way via our superior educational system and intellectual prowess. Really?

Here's a few things to ponder. While our space program is bar none the tops, it didn't come out of thin air. After the war many German rocket scientist fled/recruited/forced to join The United States space program. Giving us a leg up over the Russians.

Wernher von Braun although best known, was not the only one who became part of what became known as 'Operation Paperclip'. So without the boost by German scientists we would not be where we are today.

Many of us are aware of this. However, few are aware that our current "stealth fighters" came about as a direct result of 1944 German ingenuity. The picture you see above is actually a 1944 Horten Ho 2-29 designed by the Nazis some 30+ years before we Americans developed flying wing type of radar-invisible stealth technology!

Fortunately for us the carbon fiber composites, required by today's F-117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft, were not yet invented. However it was able to fly almost undetected by radar from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling. The Ho 2-29 was to be powered by BMW 003 jet engines invented by Hans Von Ohain of Germany.

Hey if it makes you feel better Sir Frank Whittle was an English aviation engineer who was credited with co-inventing the jet engine even though he wasn't aware of Hans's work. Course on the other hand neither of those were Americans either!

So it's quite apparent today's stealth evolved as a result of German engineering. Here's a brief video excerpt from National Geographic's Special- "Hitler's Stealth Fighter"

A few more technological items we may have perfected but did not invent..
The Steam Engine- Thomas Savery was an English military engineer and inventor who in 1698, patented the first crude steam engine. Thomas Newcomen was an English blacksmith who made an improvement over Thomas Slavery's.

In 1765 James Watt,
Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, improved the steam engine.(A unit of power called the Watt was named after James Watt. The Watt symbol is W, and it is equal to 1/746 of a horsepower, or one Volt times one Amp.)

Electricity- English scientist William Gilbert in 1600.

Nuclear Energy- Enrico Fermi is considered a major figure in the discovery of nuclear energy. Born in Rome, he was the first scientist to split the atom and his research later led to nuclear power generation. Leo Szilard & Fermi discovered the first nuclear reactor that caused nuclear chain reactions.

Then there was Einstein .. enough said!

You get the idea. We Americans have many wonders based on great minds from all over the globe, but we certainly don't have a monopoly on superior technology. The challenge going forward is, will we remain on top of the scientific technology game? He who has the most toys wins.

Kind of knocks ya down a couple of blocks doesn't it?

Pesticide Free Way To Get Rid Of Flies

Every so often I get an email that sounds so crazy that it's almost not worth checking out. Well after snooping around, there really might be something to this.

Claims are, for years Mexican homes have hung out sealed closed 'ziplock' bags with 4 pennies in a 1/4 to 1/2 way water filled bag to scare away flies.

Hey give it a try. It's better then pesticides and only going cost ya' a couple of pennies.

The theory is, "given that flies have a lot of eyes, to them it’s like a zillion disco balls reflecting light, colors and movement in a dizzying manner.

When you figure that flies are basically prey for many other bugs, animals, birds, etc., they simply won’t take the risk of being around that much perceived action."


ID Theft Tips

1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED" in the signature space.

3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check-processing channels will not have access to it.

4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SS# printed on your checks, (DUH!). You can add it if it is necessary. However, if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with you and destroy them. Those little cards have on them all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.

- - - - -

Here is some critical information to limit the damage in case ID theft happens to you or someone you know:

1. You should cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all.

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security Number. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:
1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

No Need For College

Reposted From: August 5, 2010

James Altucher writes on Daily Finance:
"Seven Reasons Not To Send Your Kids To College"

A couple things he didn't mention:
Students will have 4 or 5 working years less in lifetime earnings while they are attending school.

'Return On Investment': Some courses that cost $100,000 upwards for degrees in certain professions will likely see less then $40,000 a year in earnings. Many trade schools offer a much higher R.O.I.
Times are tough to get the money together for many wanting to attend collge. Therefore I Submit For your consideration..

Here are a few of my non college career
suggestions that offer a good R.O.I.

Lehigh Career & Technical Institute
(Video Uploaded: November 2009)

MTI is the only school in the nation to offer a
two-year Associate degree Satellite Communications

West Side Technical Institute CNC Machine Tool Training (Chicago)

(Aug 4, 2010) Then there's this.. :-)

counter to blogger

What's In Your Water?

Reposted From: December 17, 2009
Therefore the data mentioned only goes up to 2009.
But it still still somewhat useful for 5 year comparisons up until that time

Each year your water supplier is required to send out information regarding the quality of your drinking water.

The information provided however does not compare the quality of your own drinking water with others' in the area.

But now thanks to The New York Times they made it simple to look up and compare.

Here's the information for:
Lehigh County
Northampton County

Alternatively you can use the simple search engine provided from the "Environmental Working Group's" own website.
They were the original source for the information provided above.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What's The Matter With People?

One of my pet peeves is with the lack of empathy, morals and ethics with many in today's world.

The video below shouldn't be about judging this homeless couple. Rather the focus should be on the pricks who tried to take advantage of them.

As you can see all this couple needed was a 'idler belt tensioner'. The video didn't indicate whether they just needed a pulley or the entire assembly. The thing that ticks me off is an entire assembly cost less then $50.

While it's great to learn that a small business owner was honest and caring, far too many in this nation are not. I remain adamant that no nation can survive if it's peoples are not honest, caring and operate ethically. No government can ever legislate morality. Thank goodness there are enough still remaining (for now). These are the ones holding this country together. I am a strong believer that the whole of a country is a sum of it's parts (individuals).

A Fracking Waste Of Gas

According to this news report at Daily drillers are 'flaring off' three times the amount of gas they did just five years ago. In another news story from, they report that this "produces as much carbon pollution as the entire nation of France produces in one year, burning $100 billion worth of gas."

North Dakota Flaring
Photo Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

There may be several reasons. Some do it to rid the pollutants in the gas. Others do it because you can't just turn a valve and shut off a oil or gas fracking well till you have a pipeline or storage units ready for it. (Yeah I know.. why didn't they think of that?)

Still there are others doing it for what I suspect is the main reason. The price for gas and oil has dropped to about a quarter of it's wholesale value over the last 4 or 5 years. Since they can't risk polluting their well by plugging it, they simply burn it off waiting for the prices to go up. In other words it's cheaper for them to waste it then sell it. It's also my opinion by 'flaring' it off and withholding these fuels from the market, these companies are trying to manipulate prices.

According to the "world Bank, about 140 billion cubic feet of natural gas were flared in 2011.

Natural Gas Flaring
(the video is from 2007)

So here we have on one hand politicians shouting drill, baby drill in the hopes of achieving energy independence. While on the other hand "one field in North Dakota, the state leading the energy revolution, is now burning off enough gas to power all the homes in Chicago and Washington D.C. combined."

Which brings me to another bullshit argument. The Keystone XL pipeline. Do you know where the proposed Keystone Pipeline ends up?

Well I tell you. In "tax-free Foreign Trade Zones. where they can export refined products without paying U.S. duty taxes." Did you know we already export about 25% of the oil those refineries produce?

I'm not going to rattle on and on. You can check out those links for yourself. What I will say is,If bullshit was music..
We'd have one hellva' brass band.

What A College Graduate Can Expect To Earn

I came a across a few interesting sites that might prove useful to anyone entering college and what career they should pursue.

They also should prove useful for students who will soon be graduating and want to know what they should expect to earn in their first year after graduation.

College should be an investment. Like any other investment it would be wise to factor in which degree would provide the largest returns. Considering how much college cost and the need to pay back education loans for years, some degrees can payoff them more quickly then others.

With those considerations in mind here's three free sites that one can begin their research.


VIDEO: Dead Peasants' Life Insurance

Reposted From: March 12, 2010

Could this be another reason why some employers resist providing healthcare benefits?

VIDEO: Allentown Fair History

(video courtesy ViaCastTV)

VIDEO: Everyone Knows Sarah- Think Before You Post

Monday, January 28, 2013

Not A Good Week For Consumers

As of Sunday, January 27, 2013 retailers can start charging up to a 4% fee on their charge customers' purchases. Major retailers stated they currently don't plan on doing so, but who's to say they won't in the future? It should also be noted that 10 states do not allow these extra fees to be charged.

Now imagine buying a $75 concert ticket online. Here's how that might go down. 5% for entertainment tax. 6% sales tax in Pennsylvania. A ticket seller's "order processing fee", "convenience charge" and "facility charge that can add another 20%-40% to the ticket price. Plus this new 4% charge card fee. Assuming you are not paying additional for delivery that $75 ticket price ends up costing between $101.25 to $116.25. This could end up costing customers 55% more then the advertised price!

Last Friday, January 18, 2012 a federal court struck down the IRS's new licensing rules. That now means anyone can now call themselves a tax expert. A butcher, a baker, a candlestick maker or whoever. The federal court ruled that Congress didn't authorize the IRS to impose licensing requirements.

On Friday, January 26, 2012 a new rule went in effect that makes it illegal for most locked cell phone owners to switch carriers. Any attempt by an owner to modify one's locked cell phone without their carrier's permission (enabling them to switch carriers) can now be fined. Even jailed in some cases. Fines for an individual could be as high as $2,500 and $500,000 for someone who commercially profits from making the modifications.

Last week not all, but more then enough users of Facebook's 'Instagram' service were required to provide them a government issued ID to unlock their accounts. Previously they only required that information if someone were filing a complaint of someone else impersonation their accounts.

It appears they may have been on some sort of random crackdown for under aged users. We don't know for certain whether this is the case because 'Instagram' users, who somehow ran afoul, weren't given an explanation despite repeated requests.
* * *

So there you have it fellow consumers. The government hardly hard at work to protect consumers. Like I said, it's been a bad week for consumers. However for those folks who insist on far fewer government regulations... congrats. It was a great week for you.

Bottle Versus Tap Water

Reposted From: July 30, 2010

In light of the recent discussions centering on the water quality coming into Allentown, especially the Little Lehigh Creek, here are some issues I've been strongly advocating for some time including how to get rid of using plastic bottled water.

At the bottom of this post I link to 'reverse osmosis" devices as my prime choice because it removes chlorine and the fluorides that municipal water suppliers put in the water. Chlorine does serve a purpose to keep the water sanitized till it reaches your home. However once it arrives to your tap there is a downside to drinking this chemical. It certainly has no health value, that's for sure. Something else few think about... reverse osmosis units nearly eliminate traces of radioactive elements that could be in drinking water.

"Tapped" (the trailer)

Video Courtesy tappedfilm

"Katie Couric discusses whether bottled water is healthier than tap water and also the bottled water regulations with "Tapped" producer and director Stephanie Soechtig and Joe Doss of the International Bottled Water Association." At issue is bottled water even regulated by the FDA?

Video Courtesy CBSNewsOnline

Are Plastic Bottles Dangerous?

Video Courtesy CBS

Even Your Tap Water May Not Be 100% Safe Either!

Video Courtesy tappedfilm

Buy a water filter and refill a stainless thermos repeatedly over and over again. It sure keeps it a lot cooler then a plastic bottle and over time a lot cheaper too!

Here are a bunch of great sources for clean "reverse osmosis" devices that could even make urine into drinkable water.

Video Courtesy Gregory Adams

People bitch what can they do? It's a shame when the answer is so simple and everyone can do it, yet many make the choice not to. I enjoy drinking cool water out of a stainless thermos rather then a warm chemical leached plastic bottle, but hey people want to insist otherwise, what can I say?

Besides why waste energy to recycle plastic in the 1st place when there are really cheap and simple alternatives?

VIDEO: James Randi On Fraud

Reposted From: July 23, 2010
Video Courtesy TED Talks

VIDEO: Meet Miss Garmin

Many of us spend a lot of time with Karen Jacobsen an don't even realize who she is.

She's the Aussie voice you hear when you fire up your GPS... the GPS lady.

Here's Karen's Blog

Progressive's Guide To Raising Hell

Are you mad as hell you say, but don't want to join some activist group?

While this book is promoted for "progressives'", I think this can prove very useful for both liberals, conservatives, 'Tea Party' members or anyone else for that matter who wants to voice a concern.

Jamie Court

Check Out Chapter 1
"Raising Hell" on Facebook

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Computer Advice- Back It Up!

You may blow off this advice, but anyone who's been a victim of a computer failure should heed my advice..


If you bought a computer with a preinstalled OEM (original equipment manufacturer) software, they urge you to create a reinstall backup disk. That is not what I recommend. That will only take you back to the day you bought your computer. It will no re-create everything you worked on since. That includes both your files and settings.

As someone who's been there (several times) I can tell you how miserable restoration can be. I've spent up to 40 hours getting my stuff all back.

Here's What I recommend instead.
I've bought a second 931GB internal hard drive for around eighty buck$. I also bought a Maxtor external hard drive and yet one more Seagate 465GB external hard drive,

I also bought a Win7 installation disk. Unlike a manufacturer's OEM the complete Win7 installation disk allows for things not possible by the OEM's.

Once a month I use the second internal hard drive to make an "image" of my entire C drive. This feature is available in Windows 7. It allows you to make an exact replication of everything you have. In the event your computer crashes, it's just a matter of a few steps and your back in business.

In between I have a 3x's weekly backups to that Maxtor USB connected external drive. I use FREE software to back up to the Maxtor.

Once a month I use that same software to back up many more files to the external Seagate 465 GB drive.

In addition I use a FREE version of Winzip to compress my most important files with password protection. I attach them in eMail to myself. And save them in my Hotmail account. This would be just in case someone would swipe all my equipment, I still have a means online to recover my stuff.

Fortunately for me I saved copies of the older versions when they were still available for free. NOW THEY CHARGE for them and don't do FREE anymore.

Now you don't have to do everything I do, but here's a basic recommendation.
(1) Upgrade your operating system via a actual installation disk to WIN7
(2) Purchase a internal HDD
(3) Use Win7 to make an ISO "image" copy of your C: drive
Do Step 1
Get a large external hard drive to record a Win7 image.

It's quite simple!

PS: I also used Symantec's Norton Virus software which encrypts and stores all my passwords so I never have to remember my logins. Just click on the site and Norton fills it all in. It too is also password protected.

Any Questions?


Eliminate Spam 100%

I've done a lot of research and have seen no one who has found a way to eliminate SPAM 100% from their computer.


Million$ are spent on looking for solutions, now I will share my secret for absolutely FREE!

Just follow these simple instructions in the video below.

VIDEO: Cell Phone Stalking

Reposted From: March 12, 2010

VIDEOS Dorney Park's History

Reposted From: January 30, 2010

For you local history buffs I present a brief part of Dorney Park's history.

While the following videos are entirely edited and narrated by me, I want everyone to know the following videos in their entirety come from the paperback "Images Of America: Dorney Park" published by Arcadia Publishing written by Wally Ely & the late Bob Ott.

It is not my intention in anyway what-so-ever to leave my viewers with the impression that I in anyway profit nor have in any way had a part of the penmanship of the book.

Nor it is my intention to violate the publishers nor authors of this work. I simply enjoyed the book so much that I was inspired to create a video documentary verbatim from the pages of this book.

Think of the following videos as a teaser. I'm only partially presenting three of the chapters of an eight chapter book.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in the history of Dorney Park to go out and buy this totally unique historical book.

You can either click on the picture or HERE

The late Bob Ott himself left lots more information at..
"Laff In The Dark"

PBS 39 also did a fantastic job on a one hour program about ALL the area's old amusement parks called:
Carousel of Memories

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Future Of Computing

Reposted From: October 1, 2011

The following is purely based on my own conjecture and speculation. At no time have developers stated that the following things I'm suggesting here may come about.

Secure Boot
The present
Whether people realize it or not, the operating system that makes your system work is licensed to you. Even though you buy a copy and install it, you are only authorized/permitted to use it. You never actually own it.

One of the ways authors assure your abide by their terms is that shortly after you install the operating system, the OS software requires that you go online and obtain a key. This key then permits you to use it beyond 30 days after it's initial installation. In my own case, Windows is my OS.

As I stated above, nobody at Microsoft ever said they intended to do business differently. This is my own conjecture as to the possibilities of what they could be capable of requiring in the future.

Suppose after 365 days your software required that your renew, with a paid subscription, for it's continued use?Not like they couldn't do that already if they so desired.The next generation, Windows 8
The Future
Windows 8 is adding another feature called secure boot. The reason stated for incorporating it in the next edition is because of hackers.

Currently when you update or download software you will note that it requires a restart. This is so software apps or updates can install properly.

What can also happen after you visit a hacked site or viewed/downloaded an infected email file, it can embed itself so the next time you boot up, unbeknownst to you, it installs some really nasty malware before your virus protection or the windows operating system loads. This is one way hackers can avoid detection.

Malware can do just about anything behind your back. Things like recording your passwords and user ID to corrupting or even transmitting your personal files. Some can even wipeout your entire computer and create a situation you can't recover from w/o a full clean re-install.

This is where the secure boot comes in. 'Secure boot' would require encrypted keys to be loaded before all else.

Where would these keys be stored?
Boot Order: (1) They could potentially require that keys be embedded in the firmware of all your hardware devices from the manufacturer. (2) The next up would come the keys for the OS (operating system) itself (Windows) and I'm assuming your virus protection software. (3) Anything after that would come under the scrutiny of Windows itself, then your viral protection software. If these two items determined maleware was trying to install itself, they would block it.

This offers almost complete protection against viral software sneaking an installation before all your protections are in place and not having a chance to review them first.

Here's the downside to all of that. Let us suppose (my own conjecture) that Microsoft decided to make their Windows operating system a subscription service? One which you paid fees to use.

What if you had to pay extra monthly to use it. Maybe even extra for each person who creates a user ID before the OS would even load?

If they ever went to pay-go system, do you see how easily your computer could become a 'brick' if you fail to subscribe?There is talk that users could be allowed to opt-out. However it is not required that manufacturers make that opt-out provision available if they choose not to.Currently computers use firmware instructions before they boot called BIOS (Basic Input/Output System). It's usually stored some where on the motherboard by the manufacturer.

This would be replaced with the system I described above. Not only the motherboard but each component also could be required to embed a key that unlocks each of them. They currently do not do that.

So it is possible that even hardware manufactures could create subscriptions to use even their own products. Graphic cards, Sound cards, router, etc.

One may ask, how can they do that if it's firmware?
Well manufacturers already create updates for their firmware. Just suppose they lease the key for a year instead. Then when it expired, unless you pay for a firmware update for it's continued usage, it would 'brick' out.

'Cloud' Computing.
Cloud computing is a definite. It's coming.


Future releases of word editors, spreadsheet and tons of others will no longer reside on your computer. The selling point is you would never again have to worry about updating or worry about viruses infecting that software. It would already be taken care of for you at the server where you go to make use of them.

My conjecture.
What if developers would then also decide to charge a subscription fee for it's use?
What too if they gain access to the files you were working on?They already are offering 'cloud' services to backup and store your files. Sorry, I don't trust anyone with my files.
The Wrap Up
It would be a sorry day if I had to pay fees for all the software, hardware and the operating system itself. Rather then pay a half dozen fees to avoid 'bricking' my computer, I like buying my own software and installing it. It's not that they can't create 'crippleware' already.

The big deal here is this 'secure boot'. This potentially could not only affect the operating system itself, but possibly all your computer components as well. That takes it to a whole new level.

EXAMPLES Of CRIPPLEWARE:'TiVo"- Requires a subscription. Unsubscribing results in nag screens and limited features.

Satellite Dish Receivers- Requires a subscription. Unsubscribe and it's 'bricked'

Cell Phones- Unsubscribe it's bricked. Even some 'apps' for the iPhone get bricked w/o subscriptions.

Xbox, PlayStation, Kindle, etc.
Personally I would hate to see the day come when our computers become an extension of these. But you can see (via the examples above) where all this is headed.

Everything is taken one step at a time. Folks have bought into those items I've mentioned. This sends a strong signal to developers that folks already have expressed a willingness to pay for their usage. Why not computers they bought and paid for as well?And you heard it here first

Secure Boot
A discussion here.
More Info here.

Extra Read:
Several years back one of our mechanics went down to the shop with a broken part which shut down production. For every minute the department was down it cost the company $300 for the loss in manufactured product alone (not including labor).

The company I worked for rented a lathe that used specially designed software to make that critical part. He loaded up the software, just as he had always done before.. NOTHING!

So the company called in the service tech from the manufacturer. He couldn't fly in for two days. At $300 a minute it was costing the company well over $800,000 in lost production. That does not include the OT it would require to make up for the lost manufacturing time. Nor the orders for our product that were cancelled because we couldn't deliver on time.

The service rep gets there and in less then 10 minutes has the problem nailed down. "I see you didn't renew the subscription for the design software on this lathe." The company I worked for assumed that by renting the lathe monthly everything was included. The tech explained the machine is theirs. The software is not.

Kind of feels like blackmail doesn't it?

Within minutes the lathe was back up and running, but not until the company renewed their very expensive subscription (online). A million dollar bricking for the company in this case.

Names That Became Nouns

Some of these people, who's names have become nouns, were remembered in a good way. Others were not so fortunate. Either way, NPR came up with this clever report about them.

Many of these names nouns we use almost on a daily basis.

The NPR report, quite cleverly, discusses Henry Shrapnel, Jules Leotard, Robert Bunsen, Samuel Maverick, Charles Boycott and several other individuals. Names who have become indelible expressions that lasted far beyond their life spans.

Source: NPR
Credit: Adam Cole, Robert Krulwich

There's also a long list of inventions named after the people who discovered them.

A couple more not mentioned in the article--'MICKEY FINN'- Michael Finnish, An American saloon keeper

'PLATONIC'- Plato, the Greek philosopher

'RITZY'- The Swiss hotelier, C├ęsar Ritz

'DRACONIAN'- Draco a legislator in Athens (around 650 BC). Even minor offenses resulted in death penalties

'CASANOVA'- Giovanni Jacopo Casanova de Seingalt (Italy). Lover of adventure and women

'HOOLIGAN'- Patrick Hooligan, an Irish bouncer and thief who lived in the London

'GERRYMANDER'- Elbridge Gerry, 9th Governor of Massachusetts who died in 1814. The first guy to redraw electoral districts. (5th vice-President under James Madison). He said, "The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy." Maybe this explains why he did what he did.

Would You Pay $1,500 For Jeans?

Reposted From: November 27, 2011

I'm All For 'Buy American', but I'm not sure I'm ready to spend up to $1,500 for jeans

Video + More Info @ "The New York Post"

But if you are and want to select from 150 fabrics.
Spend up to $1,500 for a pair..
Here is the webpage for "3x1" located 15 Mercer St. New York, NY (in SoHo).

DISCLAIMER: I am not compensated nor endorsing "3x1".
I'm posting this as something I came across for informational purposes only.

Concert Lasers Dangers

Reposted From: December 19, 2011

The era was the 70's.
The location was the Spectrum in Philadelphia.
The Concert was "Blue Oyster Cult".

They used their own homemade industrial strength lasers before any one ever dreamt of regulations. It was one of the most fantastic innovative concerts ever!

They used quad speakers in the back and 3 lasers on 5 mirror balls. When they twirled the lasers on the mirror balls. it looked like 1,000's of swords coming at you. When they held the lasers on the mirror balls, 1,000's of beams spiked across the upper levels where we sat in the weed clouded second level.In those days you needn't buy weed. Just buy tickets to the second level at the Spectrum and you were guaranteed to end up getting high. :-)The drummer wore a reflective skull cap that when the laser beams focused on him made him look like he was emanating the light of the Gods.

However I had the unfortunate experience of having those beams criss-crossed into my retina. When they did that, they appeared orangish in color. I, at that point kind of suspected just how damaging these powerful lasers might be and avoided them.

In fact the FAA shut down "Blue Oyster Cult's" use of their laser in outdoor shows after they blinded pilots coming in for a landing nearby. Moving forward. It turns out back in September (2011) Blink-182's Mark Hoppus incurred retina damage by his own show's lasers.

So my advice to someone going to a concert where they are in use is to be very careful. I would have thought the pros would have had this thing under control now that it's regulated by the FDA. (A Class B Mobile Laser Operator's License is required)

Read More about the Blick-182 situation HERE

Here's an example of how I feel they are being misused..
(not Blink 182)

These beams were shot out too low. Each time you see one of the beams broken by someone's head in the audience, they are at risk to having their retinas burned.

Unless you trust some ill trained "roadie" to perform lasik eye surgery.. best beware. It's permanent damage that cannot be undone!


The Gift Card Scam

No I'm not talking about hackers who've exploited them at the checkouts. It's the stores that sell them.

"$41 Billion In Gift Cards Haven't Been Redeemed Since 2005"

I'd never ever buy them based on my own experience with them.

The wife's mother bought us a $100 gift card years ago. Before I could use it "Today's Man" stopped accepting them after filing for bankruptcy protection. Two years later after filling out lots of forms and after the first in line were paid by the bankruptcy courts, there was no money left for the gift card holders. We were stiffed. $100 wasted!

Here's something that may surprise most folks.. CASH STILL WORKS.

Rather then giving a store's gift card, put cash in your own greeting card. (a) Cash is accepted everywhere. (b) Your not stuck buying something in the store where it came from. (c) Cash doesn't expire. (d) It doesn't come with draw down fees either. (e) Scammers can't copy serial numbers before you even receive it like they can with gift cards. (f) Stores will give you change for cash. With gift cards many will not pay you the difference between the card value and your purchase price below the card's value. (g) Cash doesn't cost 15% more then it's face value (which many gift cards do).

Even more aggravating, the article says some states, like New York, stole confiscated the unredeemed money and only gave a tiny fraction back to the owners who bought them.