Archive for the ‘Things that don’t make sense’ Category

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow

Well, here in the sunny south, a week and a day before official Winter, it has been snowing all morning.

We also had a very cold spell last week and will have one again this week. How cold? It was in the teens overnight here in Virginia in early December. And will be again this week. And this week we have the added ‘benefit’ of wind chill factors that may tumble into the single digits at least one day this week.

OK, you guys up in Canada? Take back your arctic air! We have had enough already! LOL!

This is only the first half of December. What do we have to look forward to by the time the real cold gets here in January and February (besides higher orange juice prices due to even Florida having very cold (for them this time of year) weather?

Global Warming, my a….nevermind.

Hope you all enjoy the Christmas Theme and snow on my blog for the Christmas holidays 2010. 🙂

Facebook account deactivated today

Well, today is the day.

As much as I love Facebook, and enjoy the ability to keep in contact with family and friends easily, I have deactivated my account today in protest of their stance on privacy and the apparent lack of concern for their users by changing to the opposite stance on user privacy. It has been one step, after another over the last year or so. Desensitizing users to the changes they have made by doing it slowly.

Facebook sees dollar signs where we users are concerned. They have deluded themselves into thinking that with all the family and/friends connectios, and simplicity of keeping in contact with our Facebook friends, that we won’t be able to stop, that we are now hooked…”we have you now” in Darth Vader’s voice.

Is it true?

Not in my case at least. I let my friends and family know what I was doing. They support and understand. Will any of them do the same thing? I hope so…

We need to stand together to disallow Facebook a pass on the changes from supposed concern for users and user’s security and privacy to what it is today … where they are saying we don’t care about privacy by default. That we only see the connections we can make to other sites?!?! Facebook is saying proudly that they are the next MySpace … “now we control all these users and connections, and you as users have no privacy. Privacy is dead.”

Can we prove them wrong?

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Edit: added some links to help make your decision:

With Facebook’s security and privacy standards under fire from all sides, suffice it to say that this is not a good time for one of the company’s investors to fall for a Facebook phishing scam. (Facebook phishing scam snares company board member – CNET – May 10, 2010 8:42 AM PDT )

Comparing Facebook’s latest product modifications to deadly natural disasters is probably a little bit inappropriate, but the psychological reaction doesn’t seem all that different. The social network modified its policies for handling user data once again as part of its F8 conference and release of the Open Graph API, and ever since it became clear that more information is being set as public by default and more is being shared with third parties, concerned Facebook users have been on jittery alert, perhaps prone to overreaction, concerned that something even bigger may be about to change. (Understanding Facebook’s privacy aftershocks – CNET May 6, 2010 3:51 PM PDT)

Criticism of Facebook (Wikipedia.com)

Four senators are adding their voices to criticism that Facebook Inc. doesn’t do enough to give its 400 million users easier ways to protect their privacy online. (Senators turn up the heat on Facebook privacy issues – SFGATE.com – April 28, 2010)

More links on my blog post, Bye, Bye, Facebook, Bye, Bye… AND ALL OVER THE WEB! Just do a search on facebook privacy issues on any search engine and read it and weep.

Windows XP SP3 – time for an exorcism?

I am beginning to think that SP3 was Microsoft’s “killer” app for Windows XP so folks would get frustrated with XP and move to Vista … and at the same time, when they move to Vista, they wouldn’t have too high of expectations.

Looks to me like Microsoft has just proven that Apple definitely does it better! And Microsoft has no room to ever say a word about Linux, ever again!

Talk about a true dog of a Service Pack! Some folks may not be having problems, but some clients have been through h*ll this past week with their haunted XP SP3 systems after the September 2008 Windows Updates.

We had, obviously wrongly, thought we were out of the woods when we were able to get all the updates for the hardware and software in preparation for SP3 and then the SP3 update went very smoothly and worked well for about a month … until the September 2008 Windows Updates turned one client’s set of computers into possessed computers that would all of a sudden decide that their printers were no longer installed, or Outlook or Firefox or Quickbooks. Or just puke when Adobe Distiller tried to convert to PDF.

By last night they seemed to be working OK, but gawd knows what today will bring. I hope they are out of the woods, but there’s no way to be sure till they try to work with them today. I was beginning to think the computers needed an exorcist. And they still might. If so, I sure hope Microsoft made a safe reversal on SP3.

I can not believe they didn’t test these stupid updates better than this! We were so careful and waited at least a number of months before installing SP3 to make sure SP3 wasn’t creating problems after installation before we figured it was safe to install it.

I think like many, we just thought that once you finally were able to get the daggone thing installed Microsoft would do better than this on the updates. Knowing full well that many people depend on their computers for work!

I think this posting at blogcritics pretty much continues to sum up my feelings on it:

I’d like to extend a nice big F-U to Microsoft for releasing yet another product that’s screwing up my computer (pardon my French). Windows XP SP3 has been out for a few months and I haven’t heard about the world coming crashing down as a result, so I figured it might be safe to install. HA! I should have known the clowns in Redmond wouldn’t be able to get this right.

Well, Microsoft, you’ve managed to once again make people skiddish about installing security updates … Thanks for nothing Microsoft.

Well, it turns out it is Mozilla and Apple!

Turns out that the problem I was having regarding speaking text was both Apple And Mozilla.

I went into the Speech section of the System Preferences, and looked at the setting for the keystrokes for speaking text and set it to Control V. Now even though it doesn’t it ‘show’ Speak under Services, Speech, it does now work in Mozilla Firefox, Thunderbird and SeaMonkey by highlighting and using the Control V key combo.

Very happy there was a work around for it. 😀 (At least for the Speak Text).

Still need to have Thunderbird be able to print individual Address Book cards; instead of only the complete Address Book. That only changed recently and I don’t like it one bit. Very annoying issue.

Did Mozilla forget something or is this a draconian Apple thing?

I remember when I first moved to the Mac, it was wonderful! It still is mostly a great experience, except for a few things that have changed….and not in a good way. The change is very unwelcome.

Mind you I don’t know who’s feet to lay this problem, but it must be either Mozilla or Apple or some combination problem.

When I first moved to the Mac (Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger), I could print Thunderbird’s Address Cards individually. I can still print the entire TB Address Book but I can’t print cards. How many times do you think printing the ‘entire’ address book is helpful? Not much really for me, but printing individual cards worked and worked well for me up till sometime in the last month or so. So I am guessing either the latest updates by Apple or Mozilla. And since I have been using Thunderbird and Firefox since I started using the Mac and it used to work in both, and now it doesn’t I just don’t know who’s feet to lay this complaint….Mozilla or Apple or both!

I still mainly use Tiger because I don’t have enough memory to make ‘living’ in Leopard an option, although I do still have Leopard and use it when needed (like when Vista Photo CDs are flaky and won’t be read by other OSes including Tiger and other versions of Windows).

I really can’t imagine why Apple would be so foolish as to turn off (or disallow Mozilla Thunderbird and Firefox to make use of) things like the ability to Speak Text or print individual Address Book entries (BTW: I have tried it with two different printers that both used to do this with no problems at all until recently). Neither one will print individual cards anymore. More on the Speak Text issue below.

Also Speaking highlighted text within webpages is now missing in Firefox and in emails in Thunderbird. Speak is there under Services, but in Firefox and Thunderbird “Start speaking Text” is now dimmed and CTRL V (not Command V) will no longer speak the highlighted text.

It would make no sense to have a ‘system’ feature like that turned off just for Mozilla’s latest version of Thunderbird (2.0.0.16) and Firefox (3.0.1). Can’t blame it entirely on version 3.x since Thunderbird used to do it to and it’s still at version 2.x.

Hmmm, let’s see if Speak Text is also turned off in Camino and Opera and Seamonkey?

Seamonkey – No Speak Text available…dimmed. (version 1.1.9)

Camino – Now that’s interesting, Camino still has Speak Text! (version 1.6.3) (NOTE: Camino tries to be very Mac like so no real surprise there)

Opera – No Speak Text available…dimmed. (version 9.51)

I updated Opera to version 9.52 and now it works! Might be using Opera a bit more now! Thanks Opera, much appreciated!

Opera – Speak Text works! (version 9.52)

And of course Speak Text works in Apple Native products on the Mac like Safari and Mail.

So, that leads me to believe that the problem is not Apple’s problem since three non-Apple browsers can make use of Speak Text.

And since Thunderbird is Mozilla’s as well, that makes me think it is a Mozilla issue with Firefox, Thunderbird and Seamonkey. And of course I used to be able to print individual cards in the Thunderbird Address Book and now I can’t. So that seems to be Mozilla’s issue as well.

I hope Mozilla’s Firefox and Thunderbird (as well as Seamonkey) teams will put this functionality back in the browser and email clients.

Plus I hope the Thunderbird team will work on getting the print function for individual Address Book cards back in Thunderbird. The Address Book is very nice in Thunderbird, but the Address Book becomes burdensome without that much needed functionality. And since it used to do that, it seems that there is no reason why it doesn’t now. I think maybe it was some sort of oversight during updates, just like i think it was with Firefox to forget about Speak Text functionality.

Both of these current issues were not issues in previous versions of Firefox and Thunderbird.

I wouldn’t bother to say anything about these items, except I love both Firefox and Thunderbird but I need these two things to work again.

BTW: I love Firefox 3.0.1 very much otherwise and Firefox’s new Print Page As PDF feature in Apple’s version of the Firefox 3 browser is awesome! (I have to say I wish that functionality was here in the Windows version of Firefox 3 too). Before that, I would have to choose Print, Save As PDF and it didn’t always do as good a job as I would have liked. Sometimes pieces of the page were missing. So I really like this new feature a lot. The pages are always there. And thanks for all the other wonderful things in Firefox 3.0.1! I truely love it!

I don’t know about others, but my eyes get very tired and water horribly when they get so tired. I need to rest them occasionally and having the articles read to me makes it much easier to still keep up with things and rest my eyes. I am sure others use it for the same reasons in today’s world. At least those of us in the Baby Boomer age. Oh, wait, did I say that, I forgot, I am only 29 (for a few times 😉 ).

Internet Speed Test | Speed Matters

Sigh…
And we have to pay as much or more than Cox and Charter Cable’s biggest pipe, and WAY more than Verizon ADSL (no matter what speed you get — except FiOS which will not be here till h*ll freezes over) to get that speed on Cellular Wireless and be limited monthly to a 5GB per month Cap. 😦

But at least it’s better than Dialup at 3.6kbps-4.4kbps, eh?

Which, until recently, was all there was until the Cell tower was upgraded/added around here.

Speed Test

How fast are you? Take the speed test to see how your connection measures up.

Our 2007 Speed Matters report was a great success. We received front page coverage in USA Today and in publications across the country. We helped launch statewide broadband projects in Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. And the test results helped convice the Federal Communications Commission to change its definition of broadband so that they can collect data that is more meaningful – one of the major goals of our campaign.

Take the test today so that you are included in our 2008 report.

Learn more about the speed test.

Ed Bott breaths life back into a $2500 Sony Vaio “brick”

It takes a big hearted computer technician/journalist, Ed Bott to take this ‘$2500 brick’ (as Jeremy Toeman called it – check out the youtube video) back from the dead. (and how many people will have an “Ed Bott as Jeremy also said in the video on the page).

Ed Bott couldn’t even use the restore disks because of all the crapware that Sony put on it! So, basically he had to use a clean install from a Vista Retail version and then call Microsoft to validate it. And he also had to go looking for drivers for most of the hardware. He couldn’t just use the ones that had come with the Vaio because they were flakey!

And it’s not just this one from 11 months ago. Ed got another one direct from Sony. Thankfully it was more stable with Vista SP1 with all the crapware so he could at least get rid of the crapware and then update the drivers but even that experience wasn’t without incident.

Normal average users would not know how to do this! They will need a technician to do this stuff for them! It’s no wonder Jeremy Toeman and others like him were/are so upset with their new OEM computers running Vista!

From Jeremy’s blog posting: “Until a PC company follows any of this advice, Apple will continue to gain market share, and here’s why: Virtually all MacBook users today are happily recommending others to try MacBooks, with a predictable, reliable recommendation. PC users cannot as easily do the same. I had a great Vaio, then a terrible one. I’ve used Toshibas before (great – in the 90s), a Gateway (wasn’t bad), and 3 Dells now (one good, one bad, one ugly). But they are all vastly different.”

But OEM manufacturers weren’t the only problem from day one with Vista. It’s just the latest to surface. Vista had trouble with upgrades as well and that was uglier than the OEMs. And alot of that had to do with drivers — oh, and non-functional software! And don’t forget many gamers programs!

Even Ballmer recently stated that Vista was not done yet, errr, “A work in progress.”
This was much worse than the XP situation when it came out (which was pretty bad in itself). WinXP SP1, actually it was more SP2 that finally corrected things for WinXP. But the problems continue to plague many who try to upgrade to SP1 of Vista. Of course to prevent many of the problems resulting from upgrading to SP1. They are saying it’s best to upgrade FROM a clean install to have the best results.

I sure hope they do a better job with the next one (Windows 7) — but I am not holding my breath.

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