Friday, January 27, 2017

Windows Insiders Questionnaire

Today, I filled out a rather lengthy questionnaire about my membership in the Microsoft Windows Insiders, a group of volunteers who test unreleased versions of Windows. It was a bit on the long side, and some of it didn't apply to me very well. 

When asked if I mention it anywhere else, I mentioned this blog. I didn't think to add that to see most of that, one would have to go back to about 2014, and work forward from there. I've said a lot about Windows on here, but not so much lately as in the beginning of the Windows 10 testing, during those heady days when we were discovering the usual teething problems characteristic of any new operating system.

While Windows 10 is built on the same basic chassis (kernel) as Windows 7, it does have a lot of background items running busily behind the scenes, to make the stuff we see work more smoothly or more comprehensively, and those also use quite a lot of resources, so you should have a computer with some respectable 'horsepower' under the hood, so to speak. At the same time, and for those unfamiliar with it, Windows 10 does run older programs much more readily than some previous operating systems. That's very useful if you tend to cling to favorite older graphics editing programs, or perhaps something from the corporate environment you'd rather not replace just yet. You may get a notice that it isn't compatible, but if you select "run anyway", it likely will run OK.

And Windows 10 is improving. All of us Insiders sending in our Feedback and suggestions is helping to encourage useful changes. Two heads really are better than one. As I said in a rant to Microsoft in 2009, maybe us unwashed masses can't do code like you do, but we do know what we like, and what we'd like to have, and what's bugging us about what we've got now, and that information should be useful in designing a better Windows. And it was. I was right. And if little Sally is still there, and still reading this stuff, a warm hug to you!

Beginning the Year of The Rooster...

Monday, January 23, 2017

Something I put on Facebook today...

Old-Fashioned, that's me....
I just re-subscribed to my once-upon-a-time regular daily paper, The Globe and Mail, because I miss Margaret Wente's columns, and a daily paper. I'm old-fashioned. I like my milk in glass bottles and my newspaper at the door when I wake up in the morning. I like to start my day reading things like this.......
"Why are we so irrational about Donald Trump? Well, we’re tribal, and we’ve decided he is Moloch. (By “we,” I mean the usual left-liberal-academic-media-urban professional crowd who don’t own pickup trucks.) Also, we have no sense of perspective. Most of us who live in North America have no idea what bad leaders or bad times are truly like. We don’t know any history, either."
That's an excerpt from Margaret's latest column, and a small sample of why she's an award-winning columnist. As the former comedian Fred Allen once might have said, "The way she writes makes me want to put my quill back in my goose."

Friday, January 13, 2017

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Smoke and mirrors.....

Please Note:
The following is reprinted from a posting by Pam Spears-Bradford on her Facebook page today, with my thanks to Pam for her generous permission.

Meanwhile, while you were watching football and the Golden Globes ... this is not politics-as-usual:
It is critical that we become aware of exactly what is happening while the President-elect trash talks an actress on Twitter to distract coverage.
The federal week in review:
1. Trump fires all Ambassadors and Special Envoys, ordering them out by inauguration day.
2. House brings back the Holman rule allowing them to reduce an individual civil service, SES positions, or political appointee's salary to $1, effectively firing them by amendment to any piece of legislation. We now know why they wanted names and positions of people in Energy and State.
3. Senate schedules 6 simultaneous hearings on cabinet nominees and triple-books those hearings with Trump's first press conference in months and an ACA budget vote, effectively preventing any concentrated coverage or protest.
4. House GOP expressly forbids the Congressional Budget Office from reporting or tracking ANY costs related to the repeal of the ACA.
5. Trump continues to throw the intelligence community under the bus to protect Putin, despite the growing mountain of evidence that the Russians deliberately interfered in our election.
6. Trump breaks a central campaign promise to make Mexico pay for the wall by asking Congress (in other words, us, the taxpayers) to pay for it.
7. Trump threatens Toyota over a new plant that was never coming to the US nor will take jobs out of the US.
8. House passes the REINS act, giving them veto power over any rules enacted by any federal agency or department--for example, FDA or EPA bans a drug or pesticide, Congress can overrule based on lobbyists not science. Don't like that endangered species designation, Congress kills it.
We - progressive, liberal, libertarian and conservative - need to all wake up to what is actually happening to our beloved country.
COPY AND PASTE this entire post into your own status update instead of sharing. More of your friends will see it. - Mike McGee.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Today's Top Ten.....

Несколько недель назад там были тысячи из вас, читающих здесь. Нужно ли мне сказать больше шуток?

U.S. Politics: The uproar continues...

Now that the retrospective weeping & wailing & gnashing of teeth is in full swing, today's Question Everything is:-
Why didn't those Righteous Republicans and their God-fearing or God-damned pals do a better job of checking the background of Herr Drumpf and his unsavory dealings with mobsters both foreign and domestic, before embracing him as a candidate for President? Wasn't that a dereliction of duty on their part? Or did they not give a damn if the Russians owned the President and the White House, just as long as Hillary didn't? Are they all traitors, or just some of them? How many are Russian 'moles' planted here for just such a purpose by an enemy who believes in planning ahead? Years ago, Nikita Khrushchev said that they wouldn't have to fight you, because you would be destroyed from within. Looks like he was right.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Today's viewers are from.....

Trump and his Russian connections....

Shared from a post about Trump and Russia .Here are some facts : Decide for yourselves 1) Trump owes Blackstone/ Bayrock group $560 million dollars (one of his largest debtors and the primary reason he won't reveal his tax returns)
2) Blackstone is owned wholly by Russian billionaires, who owe their position to Putin and have made billions from their work with the Russian government.
3) Other companies that have borrowed from Blackstone have claimed that owing money to them is like owing to the Russian mob and while you owe them, they own you for many favors.
4) The Russian economy is badly faltering under the weight of its over-dependence on raw materials which as you know have plummeted in the last 2 years leaving the Russian economy scrambling to pay its debts.
5) Russia has an impetus to influence our election to ensure the per barrel oil prices are above $65 ( they are currently hovering around $50)
6) Russia can't affordably get at 80% of its oil reserves and reduce its per barrel cost to compete with America at $45 or Saudi Arabia at $39. With Iranian sanctions being lifted Russia will find another inexpensive competitor increasing production and pushing Russia further down the list of suppliers.
As for Iranian sanctions, the 6 countries lifting them allowing Iran to collect on the billions it is owed for pumping oil but not being paid for it. These billions Iran can only get if the Iranian nuclear deal is signed. Trump spoke of ending the deals which would cause oil sales sanctions to be reimposed, which would make Russian oil more competitive.
7) Rex Tillerson (Trump's pick for Secretary of State) is the head of ExxonMobil, which is in possession of patented technology that could help Putin extract 45% more oil at a significant cost savings to Russia, helping Putin put money in the Russian coffers to help reconstitute its military and finally afford to mass produce the new and improved systems that it had invented before the Russian economy had slowed so much.
8) Putin cannot get access to these new cost saving technologies OR outside oil field development money, due to US sanctions on Russia, because of its involvement in Ukrainian civil war.
9) Look for Trump to end sanctions on Russia and to back out of the Iranian nuclear deal, to help Russia rebuild its economy, strengthen Putin and make Tillerson and Trump even richer, thus allowing Trump to satisfy his creditors at Blackstone.
10) With Trump's fabricated hatred of NATO and the U.N., the Russian military reconstituted, the threat to the Baltic states is real. Russia retaking their access to the Baltic Sea from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia and threatening the shipping of millions of cubic feet of natural gas to lower Europe from Scandinavia, allowing Russia to make a good case for its oil and gas being piped into eastern Europe.

Sources: Time Magazine, NY Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian UK.

Friday, January 6, 2017

And here we are, in 2017.....

I've once again received my Christmas present, the 2nd of January, and the hullaballoo of Winter Solstice, Christmas, and New Year's is almost over. I say 'almost' because in parts of the world like Russia, this evening is Christmas Eve, and tomorrow, Saturday, January 7th, is Orthodox Christmas Day.

And so, to my readers in Russia,  возможно, я желаю вам счастливого Рождества!

That American election is now history, but the 'fallout' is still coming down.  And it probably serves them right. Only a little more than one-third of them even cared enough to actually vote, but the howls of anguish since would make you think everyone plus their relatives in foreign countries had voted at least once, and possibly more! They couldn't get off the sofa to go to vote, but they can raise a deafening uproar now that their favorite didn't make it.

And those who voted for Trump are soon going to be howling in anguish themselves, when they discover that he's not the sweet lovable guy they thought he was, from his TV work and other businesses. Most people would be smart enough to realize that a billionaire isn't the kind of guy who usually gives a damn about the 'Joe Lunchbuckets' of the world. But they were charmed out of their senses by that constant bellowing bullshit and before they knew it, he had them where he wanted them. 

I found all that a little too reminiscent of the bombastic bullshit of Adolf Hitler, and I hope for everyone's sake that Trump isn't copying Der Fuhrer. The world had enough of that the first time around. But there are enough similarities in the two personalities to make most people very nervous. And learning that Trump has been reading some of Hitler's old writings does not help. I think a lot of people will wish they never heard of that son of a bitch before he's gone.