Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tricky getting both in the shot

Today's flowers

Today, I became an ex-biker...

I donated my nice old bike to the Kidney Foundation's KidneyCar Program, which collects unwanted cars and motorcycles and either sells or recycles them for the benefit of the Kidney Foundation. My bike's still in good running condition, but I'm getting a bit old to be out there playing in the traffic on a high performance bike, so I said goodbye to it this morning.

Monday, July 30, 2012

In the news ..... Bull racing in India

From USA Today
And when something goes wrong with your computer, and you reach one of those helpful call centers, you get some of what the bulls left behind....

Friday, July 27, 2012

Speaking of Internet speeds - here's a test site.

If you'd like to test your own speeds, here's where to find Speakeasy.

You can choose from several cities as a testing location, and you will get the best results by choosing the one closest to your own location. That's because the further away your test site is, the more hops the signal makes while transferring from one section of the web to another along the way, and each of those hops causes a certain amount of delay or latency in the results.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Google's new network in Kansas City

From USA Today 
This would be great, except that for most of us using our computers for surfing and searching and browsing and email, which happens mostly on parts of the Internet not under Google's control, we're still limited to the same old speeds ranging from about 3 Mb/sec to about 20 Mb/sec so a few miles of fiber-optic cables capable of a Gigabyte per second won't help.
In addition to that, there's the problem of how quickly your hardware can process its incoming and outgoing data packets through its Receive Window,
or RWIN. Even the latest dynamic and automatic setups such as used by Windows 7 and Windows 8 have their limits. So this extra fast Internet may not be the big deal it seems until other parts of the system catch up to it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Today's pictures

Are bad hair days contagious ?

Today's Question Everything is:-

"Are bad hair days contagious?"

The fellow on the left is a columnist for one of our national newspapers, and the one on the right is that nut who shot up the theater the other night. They both seem to be having a problem with hair and how to manage it. One has written a column about the other, and neither seems to own a comb or brush.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Bosons and dark matter and energy...

Being the high school dropout that I am, I have a couple of questions about all that excitement over the Higgs Boson and what it tells us.

Firstly, the experts tell us that the visible matter in the universe isn't nearly enough to account for the massiveness of it all. They estimate that 96% of the universe is composed of dark matter and dark energy, unseen by our sensors.
This means that everything we've learned about our physical universe so far has been learned from the 4% of it that we can observe and calculate. That would prompt me to ask just how smart we really are, if we're trying to learn about something based on only four percent of it. I'd have to say that's hardly a good representative sample.

Secondly, and in somewhat typical human fashion, we're testing it by destroying bits of it to see what the wreckage looks like. It works for other tests, like the safety tests on cars, or for how long something runs before it breaks down, but should this apply to our universe itself? What if we started something we couldn't stop? Then what? 

And all that talk about The Big Bang - as if nothing at all preceded it. This Big Bang is described in terms that suggest an unimaginably large thermonuclear explosion, such as might occur during a supernova or the detonation of a hydrogen bomb perhaps. That begs the question of what caused it, and where did that come from or go to afterward. There seems to be a large part of the story untold and perhaps even unanticipated.

Maybe that 96% of the universe composed of the dark matter and dark energy is that part of the continuum which our senses and devices are unable to detect.
Or, as Albert Einstein is reported to have said, "The commonest element in the universe is not hydrogen, but rather stupidity." Old 'Uncle Albert' was a smart guy, even if he didn't find the unified theory of everything.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Radioactive Blueberries

Apparently these came from an area affected by the Chernobyl disaster.

Art in China

Oldest Galaxy?

Here's a thought - maybe there was something here before the Big Bang.
Perhaps something that caused the Big Bang and partly mixed with it. After all, it takes something to make something.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not good news

USA Today offers this bit of news about Mighty Microsoft, which is preparing for the public release of its Windows 8 multi-touch and multi-device version of its famous operating system. I like to think of that as Windows 7 redesigned for the thumb-typing crowd who make up about 8.5% of the market, while the other 91.5% of us Windows users are happily using our desktops, and hoping that Microsoft isn't forgetting how they got so rich and famous.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The latest on Windows 8

And now, for some Roses

To Bee or not to Bee

The flower pot

Two more pics from yesterday

There's a low overcast today, so it's not a great day for pictures. These are a couple from yesterday taken with the others in the previous posting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Today's pictures

News about Office suites.....

There's news today on the web about Microsoft's launch of Office 2013, and one reviewer says there's been no price announced yet, but recent versions have been going for around $350.00 or so. 

I can save you $350.00 and you'll have a fully-featured complete office suite with professional capabilities, and it gets regularly updated too.

Here's where to find it. Check this out before you spend a lot of money. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

News from Microsoft about the Sidebar and Gadgets

Reading the news from MajorGeeks just now, I found this link to Microsoft's warning issued this past week about the possible dangers of using our Sidebar and its Gadgets in Windows 7. These by the way also work in Windows 8, at least in its preview version. You can read this whole article (above) here. I can't help noting that when Windows Vista and Windows 7 were being promoted, this Sidebar feature and its cute little Gadgets were being promoted as a handy and visually attractive addition to the program. 

I also can't help noting that we didn't hear anything about these vulnerabilities until after the release of Windows 8 and the complaints it received about those fancy Apps tiles all over the Start page, which, for desktop users, adds a step or two to the procedure for getting to the information we seek. So I have to wonder if this is a legitimate concern, and if so, why it has taken years to become sufficiently troublesome to warrant a security advisory and ban on use.
Or is this Microsoft's way of forcing us into using a new feature of Windows 8 that we aren't finding as convenient as we'd like it to be? Do we have a legitimate vulnerability here, or are we being slyly manipulated by Microsoft, who are obviously running into resistance to their newest operating system and its obvious tilt towards mobile and tablet users and away from the 91.5% of us who use our Windows on desktops around the world?

I've been using and enjoying these sidebar gadgets in Windows 7 and more recently Windows 8 ever since the first beta of Windows 7 hit the web back in January of 2009, and I have never had a security problem with any of them.

A video about money and bankers.....

This is a 47-minute video explaining about money and how it is created and by whom, and it's something we all should see, especially now that the bankers seem to be turning the world upside down. I'm posting this because of a comment Tom made under a previous blog on here about bankers, because I think we can all do with a reminder of what these guys really do.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Another dance remembered....

If this doesn't make you smile, there's just no hope for you. It's got cute dancing girls, snappy music and everything.....

Please also see Tom's blog for a world record number doing the Hokey Pokey.

Are bankers slow learners?

Didn't we just give these guys a massive bail-out a few short years ago? Didn't they learn the right lessons from any of that? Here's the whole sad story. 

First clouds in several days...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Speaking of dance bands of yesteryear....

Jan Garber's Orchestra was very big during the 1920s and 1930s, and one of his records titled 'All I do is dream of you' was one of my favorites to play on the old wind-up Victrola in our garage when i was kid barely able to reach to top of the workbench to crank it up. That takes me back....

And here it is, in living monophonic, and unlike my old RCA Victrola it isn't being played using a small nail instead of a needle in the pickup....  so enjoy!

And in case you think Jan Garber was a 1930s fad, here's a more recent example proving he outlasted other big bands, into the sixties....


Today's flowers