Wednesday, November 14, 2012
(Yes I see the irony of this being posted on a Google owned site.)
Google has been getting more political and I’m finding that the company I used to like has started supporting things that I disagree with like so called gay rights. So I've decided to punish Google by boycotting them in the one place where it will hurt. Let me explain.
Boycotts have a long history they go back to 1830 and probably even before. They have in the past destroyed or significantly diminished companies. Boycotts have always been about punishing someone by not purchasing anything from them or subscribing to their services. So how do you boycott Google which is provided for at no cost? You could just stop using their services like search, email, and YouTube. That might work. Or would it? The truth is that Google makes money by selling ad space. 97% of their revenue comes from ads. And those ads show up everywhere. Have you ever read a blog? Even one you found on Bing? Well then the chances are you supported Google. So how do you stop this giant from getting money for your everyday browsing? The answer is rather simple. Since Google is the biggest provider of ads online then you just block those ads from showing up. Well how do you do this? You install a simple piece of software called an ad blocker. These will actually prevent your computer from downloading any ads to be displayed on your computer. Side benefit is it speeds up browsing and de-clutters what you are viewing.
Ad blockers tend to be specific to the browser you are using. So if you have internet explorer you will need to download one for that. If you have Chrome there is one for that and so on.
Here is a nice article about the various Ad blockers out there for a laptop or desktop computer:
But what if you have a cellphone? Well if you have an android phone you can look at this article:
And if you have an IPhone you are going to have a much harder time getting an ad-blocker installed. There are guides out there but it requires you to jailbreak your phone, something Apple has been trying to prevent since it was first done. For this and various other reasons Apple is another company I never want to buy anything from. But that’s another story.
So there you have it if you get ad blockers installed you will be on your way to boycotting Google, even if you still use their search engine and other free services.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Dear Colorado Springs City Council and Mayor.
I've heard some disturbing news about plans to close the drake power plant. I would like to say that I think that is a horrible plan.
Here are several reasons for not closing:
1) Its paid for and a new plant would put the city in massive debt.
2) A new plant would have to be paid for by me and other citizens and we can't afford either new taxes or rate hikes.
3) Increasing rates will make you look incredibly foolish by first turning off street lights because they cost too much money, and then increasing the cost of the same electricity that powers them. Have you even thought of this?
4) It is a historical part of Colorado Springs a part of the landscape. Do you realize it’s nearly 90 years old? Colorado Springs has had a long history with electricity going back to Nikola Tesla and the Drake power plant is a reminder of our heritage.
5) As for aesthetics the steam cloud it creates is a familiar to me as the mountains. When lit by motor city it at night it actually looks very cool.
6) Also several business rely on the cheap power produced here so increasing rates might drive them out of business; or make new ones not come here in the first place.
7) I will vote against you if you tear it down. And convince my friends and family to do the same.
As for the reasons I've heard for closing it:
1) Cheap natural gas: Drake is able to produce electricity using coal or natural gas. So this point is moot.
2) Aesthetics: so you think it looks ugly. So does a good part of down town like the rail road tracks, and the warehouses. It would be far cheaper to build a privacy wall around the power plant or even paint something pretty on its walls then to build a new one.
3) It pollutes: So do cars but the emission test have been lifted on those in El Paso County. So I don't think we have an issue with clean air. And the plant has been extensively upgraded to burn a lot cleaner.
I honestly can't think of a rational reason why this is being considered.
Sincerely a concerned citizen
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This is a great product and is probably the best vacuum out there. But that hasn't stopped me from noticing a few defects. There are really 2 major ones that nearly made me return this product.
The first issue is that they got rid of the foot lever that typical vacuums have to engage the beater bar. Instead you just force it down and start vacuuming and when you are done you just put it back up and it latches and stays upright. This is pretty neat but when you are putting it upright there are 2 distinct things that happen, it engages the wand hose and then it engages the lock that holds it up. The switch for the hose is much louder and happens first so this leads you to believe the vacuum is upright and to let go when it is not latched properly causing it to fall over if you are not quick enough to catch it. This makes me respond by putting it upright much more forcefully then I want to do to something I’ve bought for nearly $600.
The second main issue is the path the air flows to the motor. There are 3 zones in the canister. The air goes from the outer to the inner getting cleaner as it progresses. The outer one is for big debris and dust, and then air flows through those tiny cyclones on the top and deposits its finer dust in the middle zone. Finally after leaving those cyclones the air goes through the filter (accessible though the top of the canister) and down the inner zone to the motor then finally out through the filter in the ball. The problem with this is that when you empty the canister the dust can and will cross contaminate from the other zones and into the post filter, inner zone. This means next time the vacuum is started it will suck in that dust into the motor and the ball filter.
So here is the story of how I found out about this defect: to test out the DC41 I took it to a house that was very dirty (some parts had not been vacuumed for a year) and vacuumed nearly the whole house. I had to empty the canister 3 times. After the 3rd time the vacuum got clogged (A peppermint in the narrow hose tool) and it activated the thermal cutoff. After learning about the thermal cutoff and what it meant, I took apart the vacuum and cleaned out all the access ports. Also looked at the post motor filter and saw that it was absolutely filthy but the filter in the canister was still white. So the dust was bypassing the canister filter somehow. So I figured it was when I dumped the canister the dust plume went everywhere including back up into the part of canister that is meant to be dust free. That amount of dust can’t be good for the motor.
Here are a few more nit picks:
It feels a little harder to navigate then the DC25
I wish it had a light and something to automatically rewind the cord.
Sometimes it feels like it’s about to break in my hands.
It does not have a spot for all the tools.
The hose wand sometimes doesn’t extend all the way out of the hose and sometimes causes the airway to be blocked when used. I think the DC25’s wand was better.
The reason I decided to keep this vacuum is the active base plate, I have a lot of wood flooring in my house and I want to get as much dust up before I use the Swiffer. Using this vacuum I now only have to use one pad each time I clean with the Swiffer instead of several.
And the DC41 will not be facing that dirty house again so it will never be that full of dust again.
Here are few good things about it:
It has great suction.
It survived that dirty house.
Its cord is long enough that I can plug it in anywhere and vacuum the entire floor.
Ultimately I think this is a great vacuum but for $600 I expect the best with no flaws and this has 2 too many flaws for that price. Unfortunately I can’t find a better vacuum so I’m stuck with this one.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Thursday, October 14, 2010
I just read the first three books of the circle series by Ted Dekker. I was quite disappointed. The first book had a good hook with the main character living in two worlds. When he falls asleep in one he awakes in the other. This was very interesting. One of the worlds was loosely based on the Bible where in one generation they go from the Garden of Eden to the equivalent of crucifixion of Christ. The other is modern day where some baddy is trying to take over the world with a virus. The mechanics of jumping between worlds and seeing his version of the bible was the only thing that kept me reading. Other then that the characters are just too simple, and the plot is rather weak. He kills off and brings back characters so often that you expect everyone who dies to come back. The events in the modern earth are so unlikely and insulting to my intelligence that in the last book I just scanned though them so I can skip ahead to the bible world, which itself was very predictable. So my conclusion is that I would not recommend these books to a friend.
But here are books I would recommend:
The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jorden and Brandon Sanderson,
The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson,
The Honor Harrington series by David Weber,
The Banned and the Banished series by James Clemens,
The Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett,
The Malazan Book of the Fallen series by Steven Erikson,
The Zombie Survival Guide and World War Z by Max Brooks,
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The simple solution is to randomly change the location of the buttons each time the screen is presented. This only works for numeric touchpad’s though and has the issue of people expecting numbers to be in order. So I recommend using colors instead.
Here are examples of what it would look like:
This would eliminate the issue of smudges giving away passwords making a much more secure way of protecting cell phones.
Friday, May 1, 2009
You will notice her answers are very odd, almost idiotic. Then reading them it made me realize that her answers seem to come from a version of ELIZA
So they must be building robots now and putting them in beauty contests!