I’m Back …….Well Nearly

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks. Hope you are all keeping well. I’ve missed you. Hope you can say the same.

I’m back, sort of. I had a sudden enforced blogging break thrust upon me when I received an SOS from a good friend of mine. His company was in need of help.

desk full of files
I thought at the time that it would be a two week job at most, but when he said he was in trouble he wasn’t kidding. We’re still not done, but at least now things are looking a little bit better.

I’m in “Yurp” right now, watching the refugees take over. More of that in a future post perhaps. In the meantime take Trump’s advice a close your borders or you’ll end up like this place.

refugees europe
I could have done some blogging when I was travelling around, I certainly had plenty of time at airports, in between flights and wading through the dumbest security checks you could imagine, but I wanted to take a bit of time to prepare my next post. Hopefuly I’ll get to it next week.

Meantime, if you can believe WP stats, this blog has whizzed through the 200,000 views landmark without me and there are actually MORE daily hits now than when I was blogging almost every day.

Do you think the world is trying to tell me something?

Maybe I should stay away?

Actually I don’t know whether to be pleased that I have created something with a life of it’s own or dismayed that I’m not really needed.

puzzled
Now in an effort to get some of my dignity back I think I will indulge in a quick gloat.

This is not going to be pretty so feel free to skip over this bit if you haven’t got a strong stomach.

I’m having a laugh at the stupidty of the Fed again and the dumb financial journalists and fund managers who hang on their every word despite a mountain of evidence that should lead them to do otherwise.

Federal Reserve

The Fed has wimped out AGAIN. Lost their nerve. Promised and hinted and leaked stories to the financial press for months that an interest rate rise was imminent – and then they bottled out.

No surprise to me. At the beginning of May I wrote a post explaining why they wouldn’t put up interests despite all the pifle they were saying. (if you want to read it  click here.)

Then in mid-June I did another one ( click here for that one), saying there was no way the Fed could make good on their threats to raise the rate in September.

Of course nobody listened and the meeting on Thursday was one of the most anticipated Fed meetings of all time. And it all came to nothing. No interest rate hike.

And I don’t think they’ll do it next time either. There’s talk about December, but as far as I see the Fed’s hands are tied and rates are going to remain at zero or close to it for years.

Good news for borrowers. Not so good for savers with all the traditional yield opportunities such as bonds, Treasuries and bank CDs offering little or no returns. If you have cash to invest you should be looking at solid low risk undervalued stocks with a decent dividend. Otherwise your savings will be eroded by inflation for at least another year, proably longer.

Having said that, no rate hike is on balance good for the economy as a whole.

That will do for the gloating for now. Not sure when the next post will be exactly. Hopefully next week so if you’re interested keep a look out for that.

Meantime warmest regards to everyone who visits – even when I’m not around.

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Looking Through The Windows

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Looking Through The Windows

Have you noticed that Microsoft Windows operating systems follow a distinct pattern?

By that I mean that after a fairly decent stable version, it inflicts a bloated piece of trash on the poor consumer. Software that is invariably rushed out to the public before it is ready, or before someone in the company has had the decency to take it out behind the Microsoft barn and shoot it.

Invariably each new version of Windows is hailed by Microsoft as “the best Windows yet”. You can understand that advertising hype I suppose, but it just ain’t true, they only get it right about half of the time.

The other half, Microsoft takes a good idea and turns it into a bad one as it tries to be new and trendy and interesting. It invariably ends in disaster.

Windows XP

After a number of faltering tries, most of which I experienced during my long love affair with computers that I previously wrote about on this blog (click here if you want to read it), we eventually got a decent operating system that Microsoft called ‘Windows XP’. It was stable, did everything reasonably well, didn’t suffer from too many dreaded blue screens, if any, and everyone was happy, particularly business users which are Microsoft’s bread and butter.

I know some people who are still happily using ‘XP’ despite its lack of updates to fix security issues like new hacks or threats now that Microsoft has finally ditched it.

Sadly, Microsoft followed the ‘XP’ success with a thing they called ‘Windows Vista’. As usual it was intended to be breakthrough technology. They tell me it was the brainchild of Bill Gates himself.

Windows Vista bad

However, ‘Windows Vista’ had one big flaw.

To put it bluntly, it was a piece of crap!

Most people, with the exception of the idiots who have to have every shiny new thing that is announced whether it is any good or not, stayed well away from ‘Vista’, and wisely so. Just to see what all the complaints were about my curiosity made me load it on to an old machine. I persevered with it for a couple of days before taking it off my computer for ever, never the easiest thing to do with Microsoft operating systems but I did it. I had to. It was dreadful.

I continued happily with ‘XP’ until it was time to change my laptop. The new one came with a 64bit version of ‘Windows 7’ on board. I had read good things about ‘Windows 7’ and they were largely true. It was a good system.

Windows 7

In fact a lot of people agree, because ‘Windows 7’ runs on about fifty-five per cent of the World’s PCs. ‘Windows 7’ was a winner because it didn’t try to make a big splash by attempting to do everything everything else did, only worse. It was just a good stable operating system that worked.

‘Vista’ became a distant memory, people were happy once more.

But then Microsoft went and did it again.

Instead of allowing ‘Windows 7’ to stay on as a cash cow, their idiot designers thought it was time for a new breed in the herd.

They ignored everything that was good about ‘Windows 7’ and, in a nerd-like stupor of unreality, decided what the world needed was not something that they were familiar with and liked, but something they wouldn’t know how to use and that would frustrate the hell out of them.

So it was that the horrible ‘Windows 8’ was conceived and born. It ignored the desktop and most of the laptop markets completely and aimed itself squarely at the touch-tablet system, Microsoft thinking that was where everyone was going. They didn’t say so, but a big part of their plan was to try to get kick Google’s ass because its ‘Android’ operating system for mobile devices and tablets had become a dominant market force (80%+ of the market).

It could all have been so different if the arrogant know-alls at Microsoft had listened to what people were telling them when they did exhaustive testing for ‘Windows 8’ before releasing it. About 1.24 billion hours of testing was done pre-release and all the feedback ignored, presumably because it was overwhelmingly negative.

Windows 8

Needless to say, when ‘Windows 8’ did hit the market it failed.

In fact it failed on all levels.

It alienated the desktop and laptop users. Business users didn’t want it and ordinary consumers didn’t want it either. It was so bad it wasn’t even popular with the mobile device users it was aimed at.

Microsoft got themselves stuck with one of the least wanted versions of Windows in the history of the company and that’s saying something!

‘Windows 8’ is so bad it has even eclipsed the hated ‘Vista’ in the league of things you never want near your computer.

It’s not just my opinion. Microsoft’s share of the PC and tablet market on ‘Windows 8’ is only just a little over 10 per cent and quite a lot of that is made up of people who didn’t have a choice when they bought a new machine with this catastrophe pre-loaded on it.

So what have I got on my computer?

I’m glad you asked. I have ‘Windows 8’!

WTF?

No, wait, I’m not a hypocrite, not completely.

‘Windows 7’ is no longer available since Microsoft stopped retailers and PC makers from selling and installing it.  It has entered into what Microsoft calls an ‘extended support mode’, but this only means that from now on all you will get will be new bug fixes, if and when problems crop up.

So when I needed to upgrade my laptop the dreaded ‘Windows 8.1’ was all that was available. They call it version ‘8.1’ because it is 0.1 percent less horrible than version ‘8’, but that’s still nowhere near being even average, let alone good!

Of course, trying to regain my dignity and sanity, I immediately tweaked the whole horrible mess that ‘Windows 8.1’ is, for example, adding back the start button (like ‘Windows 7’), loading a proper desktop version of ‘Skype’ instead of the irritating piece of crap app that is bundled with ‘Windows 8’, and doing some more bits and bobs to make the thing actually work like a ‘Windows 7’ machine. The bloated and useless ‘Metro’ start screen is also gone and I boot right to my familiar desktop.

The only reason I didn’t dump the whole shebang and load on my old ‘Windows 7’ program was because the new ‘Windows 10’ version is so tantalizingly close.

‘Windows 10’ ? Wait a minute. What happened to ‘Windows 9’ ?

Windows 9

There are a lot of theories about what has happened to ‘Windows 9’. Personally I think Microsoft already had it in development as another souped up version of ‘Windows 8’ when they launched ‘Windows 8’. But when they saw what a disaster that was they just ditched the whole thing and put all their efforts into ‘Windows 10’.

The official line from Microsoft says they have called the new operating system ‘Windows 10’ because they wanted to emphasize that it is is not a simple step up from ‘Windows 8’ but is a huge change for the company from the way they build Windows to how it will be deployed.

In plain English what that means is that Microsoft themselves know what a crappy program ‘Windows 8’ was and are trying to put some distance even in their numbering system between it and their new baby.

Windows 10

That aside, from what I have read so far, ‘Windows 10’ is a step back towards ‘Windows 7’ rather than a move ahead to where ‘Windows 8’ was trying to go. In other words, ‘Windows 10’ is bringing back the parts of the Windows desktop stupidly dumped by the designers of ‘Windows 8’.

At last Microsoft has hit the reality wall with a big slap and realized that safe and familiar is what the vast majority of their consumers want. The detestable immersive UI experience that forced bewildered users into the flawed ‘Metro’ world is gone and the desktop environment is back. And so is the beloved start button – hurrah!

Sanity has returned!

No, wait a minute, this is Microsoft what are you thinking?

‘Metro’ is still there, although in a much toned down version, with ‘Metro-looking’ apps that can be run in the desktop environment.

Apparently Microsoft has also integrated its digital assistant ‘Cortana’, the rival to Apple’s ‘Siri’ and Google’s ‘Now’, which made its debut on the unwanted ‘Windows Phone’. On the phones, ‘Cortana’ is used for voice-activated calls and searches, mapping, location and to launch apps. I’m guessing it will be on ‘Windows 10’ for the same reasons, but how much use people will make of it remains to be seen and heard.

I have also read that with ‘Windows 10’ comes a new Windows browser, codenamed ‘Spartan’, which may or may not integrate with ‘Cortana’. If it is a better browser than IE that will be a good thing, but don’t hold your breath on that score, after all IE versions just kept getting worse and worse when compared to something like ‘Google Chrome’. Another point against it in my book is that it has been designed as an app rather than a proper program so the jury is still out on it. I think I’ll still be using ‘Google Chrome’!

It is a bit obvious that the idea of adding these, really unnecessary, features, to ‘Windows 10’ is an attempt by Microsoft glamorize the new operating system and, by no means least, a smoke and mirrors attempt by the company to divert attention away from the fact that it has stuffed ‘Windows 8’ in the bin where it always belonged.

So for now we just to wait and hope. On past performance, after such a turkey as ‘Windows 8’, the next Microsoft version of its operating system should be good. It has to be better. It wouldn’t be possible to do worse.

But you never know for sure with Microsoft.

One final thought.

If your name was ‘Gates’ why would you call your operating system ‘Windows’ instead? Did he suspect right from the start that there would be embarrassing catastrophes ahead and didn’t want his family name associated with them?

As I said, just a thought.

open-gate-meadow-field-peaceful-43309059

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Warning: Try Not To Hurt Yourself When Reading This Post.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Our look at labels for idiots by idiots continues with this selection.

I’m not sure which is the worst, those written for the idiots or the ones that the idiots have obviously written themselves.

Have a look and make up your own mind.

Enjoy.

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warning sign 3

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“Not suitable for children aged 36 months or less.”

On a birthday card for a 1 year old.

birthday card for a 1 year old

.

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“Do not recharge, put in backwards, or use.”

On a battery.

battery

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“Warning: Do not use on eyes.”

In the manual for a heated seat cushion.

heated seat cushion

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“Do not look into laser with remaining eye.”

On a laser pointer.

laser pointer

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“Do not use for drying pets.”

In the manual for a microwave oven.

manual for a microwave oven

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“For use on animals only.”

On an electric cattle prod.

Electric_cattle_prod

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“For use by trained personnel only.”

On a can of air freshener.

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“Keep out of reach of children and teenagers.”

Also on a can of air freshener.

can of air freshener

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“Remember,

objects in the mirror

are actually behind you.”

On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror.

motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror

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“Warning: Riders of personal watercraft

may suffer injury due to the forceful injection

of water into body cavities either by

falling into the water or while mounting the craft.”

In the manual for a jetski.

jetski

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“Warning:

Do not climb inside this bag and zip it up.

Doing so will cause injury and death.”

A label inside a protective bag (for fragile objects),

which measures 15cm by 15cm by 12cm.

protective bag (for fragile objects

.

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“Do not use as ear plugs.”

On a package of silly putty.

silly putty

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Silly Statistics!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Mark Twain is famous for having said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Well, just to prove you can have a bit of fun with statistics have a look at this set of nonsense that came to me in an email a while ago.

They are a complete reversal of the usual figures which continually highlight the increasing world population and the problems that will cause in the future.

These numbers look at the world if it was scaled down to just one hundred people.

It might make you think or it might not.

But it is a new way of looking at population statistics, so I hope you enjoy them anyway.

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 If The World

Was Scaled Down

To Only 100 People

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SEVEN

would have a college degree

.

TWENTY-TWO

would own a computer

.

TWENTY-SIX

would be children

 

THIRTEEN

of those children would live in poverty

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SEVENTY-FOUR

would be adults

.

EIGHT

of those adults would be 65 years or older

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FIFTY FIFTY

There would be an equal

number of males and females

.

There would be

SIXTY

Asians,

FIFTEEN

Africans,

FOURTEEN

people from the Americas,

and

ELEVEN

Europeans

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SEVENTEEN

wouldn’t be able to read or write

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TWENTY-THREE

wouldn’t have any shelter

.

ONE

would be dying of starvation

.

FIFTEEN

would be undernourished

.

TWENTY-ONE

would be overweight

.

THIRTEEN

wouldn’t have access to clean water

.

FIFTY-ONE

would live in cities

 .

TWENTY-TWO

wouldn’t have electricity

.

Of those that do have electricity,

most would only use it for light at night

 .

SIXTEEN

wouldn’t have toilets

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SEVENTY-FIVE

would be cell phone users

.

THIRTY

would be active internet users

.

FORTY-EIGHT

would live on less than $2 per day

.

SEVEN

people would own an automobile

.

THIRTY

would be employed in Agriculture

.

FIVE

would own 32% of the wealth

.

The poorest

THIRTY-THREE

people would only receive 3% of the income

.

By the end of the year

ONE

person would die and

TWO

new people would be born.

 

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J.F.K.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Fifty-one years ago today the United States 35th President, John F Kennedy, was assassinated at Dealy Plaza, in Dallas, Texas. We all know the story and the various conspiracy theories that have been written about ad nauseam over the past half century so this post is not about that.

Rather it is about one of the legacies of the JFK name, the USS John F Kennedy, the only ship of her class (a variant of the Kitty Hawk class of aircraft carrier) and the last conventionally powered carrier built for the United States Navy.

Although it was retired in 2007 after nearly 40 years of service in the United States Navy, the Kennedy was a very impressive ship. For those who like the details it measures 1,052 feet long, has a beam of 130 feet, and draws 37 feet of water. The flight deck is 1,046 feet by 252 feet.

The JFK displaces 81,430 tons at full load and her compliment is 155 officers, 2,775 enlisted (ship’s company), and 2,160 enlisted and 320 officers (embarked air wing).

it’s top speed is 32 knots, and her cruising speed is 20 knots. The operational range at 30 knots is 4,000 miles while the maximum cruising range is 12,000 miles.

USS JFK is equipped with 4 aircraft elevators and features 4 steam-powered catapults and 4 arresting wires. The carrier was capable of launching and recovering aircraft simultaneously and could embark 80+ aircraft, depending on mission requirements.

Aircraft on board included 56 F/A-18 hornet strike fighters, 6 S-3B Viking ASW aircraft, 4 EA-6B Prowler offensive electronic warfare aircraft, 4 E-2C Hawkeye electronic early warning aircraft, 2 ES-3A Shadow electronic warfare (SIGINT) aircraft, 4 SH-60F Seahawk ASW helicopters, and 2 HH-60H Seahawk combat search and rescue aircraft.

Its armaments included two Mk 29 Sea Sparrow Guided Missile Launch Systems, two RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile) systems, and two Mk 15 Phalanx 20mm CIWS (Close In Weapon System.)

During it’s service it was stationed some of the time in the Mediterranean area.

If you have never seen one of these babies up close and personal and wanted to get an idea of just how big and impressive they are have a look at the aeriel photograph below, taken as the JFK berthed at the island of Malta.

Compared to the houses, cars and people you can see in the shot I’m not sure the word ‘big’ is big enough to describe it.

I mean I wouldn’t want to mess with it. Would you?

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uss jfk in malta

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Veni, Vidi, Velcro… I Came, I Saw, I Stuck Around.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I hope you stick around too, because it’s another Pun Day.

You know the drill….

Enjoy or endure!

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rofl

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My little cousin has been diagnosed with an unusual case of OCD

where all he does all day is organize dinner plates by the year they were made,

It’s an extremely rare dish-order

spinning-plates

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I’ve written my own book

called 50 Shades of Gravy.

It’s very saucy.

gravy

.

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I’m an easy target for muggers.

Take it from me.

mugger

.

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I knew I had failed my Braille exam at the time.

It just felt wrong.

Braille exam

.

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“How’s your new stairlift nan?”

“It’s driving me up the wall.”

stairlift

.

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Just finished an experiment to find

the best cure for hiccups.

The result was a big surprise.

Hiccups-Scare

.

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I stabbed someone with a blunt pencil today.

It was an act of pointless violence.

blunt pencil

.

.

I just took some pills and now my pupils look massive!

I really shouldn’t take hallucinogenic drugs while teaching.

The Simpsons Homer Dilated Pupil

.

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The wife would like us to feel a gentle and relaxing breeze

all over our bodies when we have sex.

I’m not a fan.

fan

.

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I thought I’d dug up an unknown

species of dinosaur in my back garden.

Excitedly I phoned the Natural History Museum,

but it turned out to be a fossil arm.

fossil arm

.

.

Do you think eating horse meat

would give you the trots?

the trots

.

.

I got my girlfriend the Connery and Dalton

James Bond movies for her birthday,

but she wasn’t happy.

I think she was expecting Moore.

roger_moore___007

.

.

Hungry astronomers don’t like galaxies,

they prefer something that’s a little meteor.

meteor

.

.

I have an Eskimo fetish,

but most people just aren’t that Inuit.

Selawik-Eskimo-Woman

.

.

I’ve booked a table at one of those new

Elvis Presley-themed steakhouses.

They’re for people who love meat tender.

.

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Golf Balls, Planets and Satellites, Just Some Of Today’s Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Welcome to another fasab fact day.

Random as always, but hopefully interesting as well, here is the latest batch of facts.

Enjoy.

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fact 01

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The maximum weight

for a golf ball is 1.62 oz.

golf ball

.

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On August 6, 1920 in a game between

the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees,

Carl Mays (Yankees) pitched a ball towards Ray Chapman (Indians)

that hit him on the head, fatally wounding him.

Chapman is the only major league baseball player

to be fatally injured during a game.

Ray Chapman

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If you could compress the Earth down to the size of a marble

it would collapse on itself and become a black hole.

marble

.

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The most valuable chocolate bar in the world is a

Cadbury’s chocolate bar that’s over a 100-years old

and went on Captain Robert Scott’s first

Discovery expedition to the Antarctic.

The bar, which was 4 inches long,

wrapped and uneaten, was bought for $687 by

an anonymous buyer at Christie’s, London in 2001.

Cadbury's chocolate bar Captain Robert Scott's first Discovery expedition to the Antarctic

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Your brain is actually more active

while you are sleeping.

brain is actually more active while you are sleeping

.

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In her first solo skydiving jump, Shayna Richardson’s

main and reserve parachutes failed to deploy

and she fell 10,000 feet at 50 mph towards the ground.

She slammed into the asphalt face-first,

shattering her skull and pelvis.

Miraculously, she survived.

Even more miraculously,

the baby she carried

(which she found out about at the hospital)

survived as well.

Shayna Richardson skydiver in death defying plunge

.

If you hear “code V” over  a radio

in DIsney it means Vomit.

code V at Disney

.

October 4, 1957 is an historic date to be remembered,

it is the day the Russian satellite Sputnik 1 was launched.

On the same day America launched

the TV sitcom ‘Leave it to Beaver’.

Sputnik 1 Launch Novosti

.

From the 19th to 20th century the French Empire

was the second largest in the world,

next to the British Empire,

extending to over 12 million square kilometers

and including territory in Africa and Southeast Asia.

French Empire

.

Cryptophasia is the name given to

secret languages spoken by twins.

Cryptophasia

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Austrian Hans Steininger was famous

for having the world’s longest beard.

One day there was a fire in town and being in a hurry

he forgot to role up his beard.

He accidentally stepped on it,

fell down, and broke his neck.

Hans Steininger longest beard

.

One spoonful of matter from a neutron star

would weigh about a billion tons.

neutron star

.

.

According to new scientific studies,

eating chocolate can prevent pregnancy problems.

The chemical theobromine found in chocolate

may reduce preeclampsia, a major pregnancy complication.

theobromine chocolate

.

Tragedy comes from the Greek word “tragodia”

which means “song of the male goat”.

song of the male goat

.

Michael Di Lorenzo,

who plays Eddie Torres on New York Undercover

is one of the lead dancers in

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” video.

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