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“The New Phone(book’s) Here!”

Remember?  From Steve Martin’s “The Jerk”?

Well this isn’t about that.  Or how I used to collect telephone books (when I was a PI).  (I’ve already written about that!)

How to be a PI (Lesson 4) pre-1986

Thankfully, my life isn’t ALL Sturm und Drang…

Today, is IS about the new CELLULAR TELEPHONES.  😛

S8 vs S7

My roomie has me on her cellular account, and loves new technology.  Fortunately (for us), the company with whom she contracts allows us to change or upgrade our phones up to three times a year!  At no additional cost!

Conspicuous consumerism and largess?

YES!

(Frankly, if I were living alone, I’d still have a flip phone, and be paying through-the-nose for service!)

The other day she decided she wanted to upgrade, and asked if I wanted to, as well.  (It had been well over a year…)

Duh.

To be fair, I was perfectly happy with my Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (although, I rarely used the note part, many times I cannot read my own writing!)  But I’m certain it was clogged with unneeded and damaging apps, slowing performance, affecting memory and battery life.

At least that’s how I rationalized my decision!

So, off we went to the store…

About an hour and a half later, we left, each with a new Samsung Galaxy S8+ phone!  Of course, not unlike buying firearms, there was an additional charge for the ‘+’ part, as well as the new protective covers!  (J gets hers largely for style; mine so I won’t drop the slick S.O.B.!)  These new phones are never the same dimensions as the old – smart marketing on their part.

Thankfully, it wasn’t much.  We don’t have much.

How great is modern technology?  In a span of less than 20 minutes, the rep placed our old phones adjacent to the new, activated a procedure, and transferred all our telephone contacts, applications, photos, privacy settings etc. to the new phones!

Of course, there’s always tweaking.  Like changing the personalized ring and notification tones.  (J’s ringtone on my phone is the Looney Tunes theme.  Don’t tell her…  😛 )

Now if I can just learn all the new features before she wants another upgrade.

Sigh.

Truly, another First World problem!

(FTC – Samsung and the phone company give us nothing.  We pay (monthly) for everything!  Get your own phone!)

Time Bomb Computer (A First-World Problem Story)

I own an HP Pavilion Touchscreen, with an AMD Athlon™ II X2 235e Processor 2.70 GHz 400 GB of RAM (3.75 GB usable) 64 bit operating system, x-64 based processor.  She has a 20″ flat, touch screen, with a cordless keyboard and mouse.

I purchased her on-line, refurbished (2011?)  And she has served me very well.

Last week, I received a message one of the software protection programs I purchased after-the-fact was in need of annual renewal.

And, frankly, with all that’s going on here (roomie surgery, less income, etc.), I don’t have the funds.  (This is NOT a bleg.)

The next day my computer gave me an error message:  HARD DRIVE FAILURE IMMINENT!  PLEASE BACKUP YOUR FILES (yadda, yadda, yadda).  I went back to using the computer, as I do not regularly back it up, and have no discs with which to back it up, anyway.

Besides, what if it was just some malware file from the software company, or elsewhere?

The computer has continued to function, as usual.

Yesterday, there was a blip in my Wi-Fi service (Cox, who knew?).  I reset the router (which is inconveniently downstairs).  Upon my return, there was the same message I had received a week ago.

I again accessed my computer, and downloaded a free hard drive analysis program.

The program confirmed my hard drive’s demise was imminent indeed!

Now what?

I have no funds or credit, so buying a new (or well-used) computer is out of the question.  Of course, getting it repaired also falls under these criteria.

I CAN check my email and blog from my smartphone or my cheap, Chinese tablet, with some difficulty.

Obviously, not my first choices.

What to do, what to do?

I will continue to blog, daily, changing the quote, cartoon, beauty and YouTube posting as I can.  Who knows – maybe she won’t fail until I somehow find a way to get another PC?  🙂

(I know, I’m an optimist!)

(FTC – HP, Athlon, and Cox have given me nothing, save years of good service (Cox, less so.).  I paid for the computer, and pay for Wi-Fi.)

Radio! Radio!

I was never a big radiophile growing up.  Probably because the focus was AM radio, and I preferred classical and jazz to rock-and-roll. (My older sister worshipped Elvis, however.)

I did remember my Dad telling me about his youth, having a crystal radio with which he could listen to AM channels in the evening, especially ‘on the skip’.  He would then write the radio station and they would confirm what he heard by mailing him a QSL card!  (Much as Amateur radio operators do today).qsl
I even have a collector’s book (somewhere) of my Dad’s QSL cards, like from Pittsburgh and Chicago. (He lived in Providence, Rhode Island!)

So, in high school, instead of listening to the Monkees, the Beatles and Herman’s Hermits, I ‘borrowed’ my Dad’s AM tube radio.  I connected the foot-long antenna to my window screen, shoved a robe under the bottom of the door (to prevent radio light leakage) and listened to late-night AM radio ‘on-the-skip’, like KSL (Salt Lake City) and WFAA (Dallas)!  I remember even hearing some Chicago stations! (I was in the Phoenix area.)

This worked well for a long time – at least until an errant robe sleeve found it’s way into the hallway, and my radio privileges were taken away!  😦

I never wrote away for a QSL card, though.

Now, of course, one may turn one’s cellular telephone into a virtual AM/FM radio, with huge range.

It was a more primitive time.

As with dial telephone land lines, and pre-Internet, the youth will never understand.

 

Manchurian Candidate Time

Mr. B (In the Middle of the Right)

queen of diamondsposted the following…

Have you noticed

That the Gun Massacres were few and far between until the Gun Control folks began their push?

(Even CNN has noted this ) (via Tam)

And there are so many things that make the Conspiracy folks go crazy in every story. Sometimes I wonder if they are right.

Ferinstance, this guy’s story has a lot of holes in it (starting about 2:40) (“The bullet was as big as my finger and it was sticking out of his leg (shows 6 inches)”)…. Makes one wonder. (Plus admitting that you might have trapped others to die?)

It would seem that the incident of gun massacres are increasing. I am beginning to wonder if they are all real whackjobs (as opposed to staged things) especially when I see “witnesses” like the above…It is odd that we had so few until a few years ago….Almost as if the farther behind the gun grabbers get, the harder they try the murderous gun whackos grow bolder….

Odd that.

I used to know a psychologist (NOT as a patient) with whom I was discussing the PROGRAMMING OF HUMAN BEINGS.  The discussion came about not because of the excellent film The Manchurian Candidate (the original, not the poor remake), but because of accusations Sirhan Sirhan (the poor bastard who was convicted of shooting Robert Kennedy from behind, even though he was never behind him!) had been programmed by folks wanting Kennedy dead for his pro-Israeli stance.  (Of course, Sirhan DID shoot many around Kennedy).
I had been reading a sketchy book regarding the assassination, and had questions, thinking I would be laughed at for bringing programming up.
The shrink told me we had been involved in programming since the 50’s, and had picked up much of it from the Soviets (this conversation was in the 80’s), who had begun research in the 40’s!!
YES.  There are lone nut-jobs out there.  And YES, conspiracy theories abound.
But it IS interesting that while any kind of mass shooting now gets increased media attention, that more seem to happen when there is an election looming.  And, of course, The Left is there at-the-ready with numerous, poorly-written screeds in an effort to pass more anti-rights legislation (also pre-prepared, well in advance).
Directed against the law-abiding citizen.
 
Odd that.
tin_foil_hat_area“You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”  –  Rahm Emanuel (now Chicago Mayor)

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #21 of 22)

The YANKEE And COWBOY War

Back in the 70’s there was a book about political conspiracies released call The Yankee and Cowboy War.

Authored by a leftist, anti-war guy, he postulated that (then) modern politics in the U.S. was derived from the ‘battles’ between Eastern (U.S.) influences and Western influences.  Kennedy versus Reagan, if you will.

Of course, his thesis was destroyed by Bushes from Kennebunkport being the same as those from Texas!

But much of the country still thinks in these generic terms.  Yankee (Wall Street) bad versus Texas (big oil) bad.

And Southerners/Westerners being more freedom-loving than New Yorkers remains a meme.

In my sense of bigotry.

But, now comes THIS…

You may have heard of civil asset forfeiture.

That’s where police can seize your property and cash without first proving you committed a crime; without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.
Now, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.
It’s called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.
Here’s how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.
“We’re gonna look for different factors in the way that you’re acting,” Oklahoma Highway Patrol Lt. John Vincent said. “We’re gonna look for if there’s a difference in your story. If there’s someway that we can prove that you’re falsifying information to us about your business.”
Troopers insist this isn’t just about seizing cash.
MORE
-Jeffery in Alabama

OKLAHOMA!  The West!  Where people are alleged to be more free(?)

Soon (I’m certain) to be coming to a State near you!  “…without a warrant and without arresting you, as long as they suspect that your property is somehow tied to a crime.”

SOMEHOW.  Yeah, there’s your probable cause and due process.

RI-IGHT!

“We may have all come on different ships, but we’re in the same boat now.”  –  Martin Luther King, Jr.

h/t Wirecutter

_______________________________________________________

(And, now for something completely different – as promised)
I would ask all of you bloggers out there to at least make the effort to post a link to www.projectwelcomehometroops.org/#22kill

22 VETERANS COMMIT SUICIDE DAILY

Even ONE of these heroes making this choice is unacceptable! (Day #12 of 22)

Do It Yourself!

(Within your State and federal guidelines, and laws, of course! – Guffaw)

Shuty 3D Printed Semi-auto is Ready

Via WRSA

WT3EnHil

View post on imgur.com

PLA plastic printed semi Inspired by the Luty designs, is now here.
Too many pics to post here so here are the imgur gallery links.
Final files done yesterday.
Download the files today.
 
 
Of course, the folks who wish to restrict your rights and ban everything are VERY upset by the ever-increasing easiness of this emerging technology.  Those criminals who simply steal other’s firearms will undoubtedly find this method simpler…
MAROONS!

Is ‘Instant’ Media Good, Or Not?

hbBack-in-the-day (the 60’s), if news happened during the day, we had to wait until the 5:30 Huntley/Brinkley Report to hear about it.

Unless it was of a catastrophic nature, like the JFK assassination.  Then, someone who had been listening to a transistor radio passed the news along word-of mouth.  (The school janitor?)  And people with TVs ran to them for the latest reports.  Because, not everyone had a TV!

Otherwise, if the evening news had been missed, it was the next morning’s Arizona Republic that brought the news.  Usually bad – because news of a good nature is rarely news.

Fast-forward (another antiquated term from VHS tape days) to this post-Internet era.  I’ve a smartphone which I am rarely without.  She lives in my right, front pocket (having a fused hip means my back pocket isn’t a good idea for access) with my keys, .38 speed strip and my Blur lockblade knife.  (The .38 S&W snub is in my LEFT front pocket, in a pocket holster, me being sinestral, and all!)

I keep my smartphone on, because, why not?  She bleeps and chirps with receipt of texts, emails and the latest headlines.  (I do put her on vibrate or mute as appropriate!)  And sometimes she even rings announcing a telephone call! 🙂  Or a specific ringtone advising me of particular callers, like my roomie or close friends.  Roomie’s ringtone is Moonlight Sonata, and Biff’s is the Peanuts theme!

Which brings me to my point (finally!)

Biff has a smartphone, but he doesn’t keep it on.  Doesn’t use it for spur-of-the-moment research, or shopping or to-do lists.  He doesn’t use it for email or texts, either.  Or receipt of the latest news!

He uses it as a telephone, when he chooses to have it turned-on.

And, I razz him mercilessly about this.  The term Luddite has been bandied about.

Why have a smartphone, if one isn’t going to use it as such?

He says he doesn’t want to be that connected.  And usually leaves it in his car, anyway!

We met for coffee the Saturday evening last, and were having our usual conversations, and I brought up the death earlier in the day of Justice Scalia.

And, he didn’t know about it – he hadn’t heard!  And he’s a radio news guy!

(I’d received a notification minutes after it had been reported, from three news sources!)

To be fair, he hadn’t worked that day.

So, which is better? – to be voluntarily ignorant of the day’s events, to choose to call only when one makes that choice, or to be tethered to the electronic instantaneous (or nearly so) news cycle?  And at the mercy of people who choose to call, whenever?

Being already a volunteer for the tethering, my opinion in the matter is skewed one direction.  Much like having a P.C. at home with a router, I don’t think I could revert to dial-up.

Or no Internet access at all…

So, which is better?

no sp

(Not mentioning potential for brain cancer and/or government surveillance/tracking, because so doing would further muddy the issue!)

“Peel Out!”

“I love it when guys peel out.”  (American Graffiti)

I LOVE IT WHEN GUYS SPEAK THE TRUTH!

Borepatch does.

You must be at least 52″ to hack the head of the CIA

Stephen emails to point out this bit of hilarity:

A British teenager is suspected of being a mystery hacker who infiltrated the personal email account of the director of the CIA and posting personal details online.

It is alleged that Cracka called US Internet provider Verizon posing as a technician and persuaded them to hand over personal details of Mr Brennan’s AOL email address.
He then allegedly called AOL and convinced a representative to reset the password, using the personal details he obtained from Verizon to get through security.

Yeah, OK, this is an old trick.  But the kid was 15 years old at the time.

Note: this was not his government email, it was his personal account on AOL.  Why the Director of the CIA is on AOL is perhaps the biggest cause for concern …

Amen, brother!

He probably uses Netscape for a browser, and drives a 1928 Porter.  And has a cell phone, like this one:

brick

And why is it these intel guys just don’t ‘get’ the concept of information security?   Petraeus, this guy, and some former Secretary of State?

What’s up with THAT?

DHS Has A Secret Plan To Disable Cell Phones During “Emergencies”

(Yeah, I pretty much assumed so.  Because I SO trust government.  –  Guffaw)

The Supreme Court was asked in a petition to force the government to disclose the US clandestine plan to disable cell service during emergencies.

The case concerns Standard Operating Procedure 303. A federal appeals court in May said the government did not have to release its full contents because the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) allows the authorities to withhold records if they would “endanger” public safety.

The Electronic Privacy Information Center told the high court’s justices Tuesday that the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision created a new “catchall provision that can be used in any case involving records related to domestic and national security programs.” (PDF)

The privacy group had demanded the documents from the Department of Homeland Security in 2011 following the shuttering of cell service in the San Francisco Bay Area subway system to quell a protest. The Department of Homeland Security refused to divulge the documents associated with SOP 303, which the appeals court described as a “unified voluntary process for the orderly shut-down and restoration of wireless services during critical emergencies such as the threat of radio-activated improvised explosive devices.”

Under the direction of the so-called National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, SOP 303 allows for the shuttering of wireless networks “within a localized area, such as a tunnel or bridge, and within an entire metropolitan area.”

The telecoms have agreed to shutter service when SOP 303 is invoked, but there are no publicly disclosed instances of the measure ever being invoked.

I’m guessing the Internet is included, as well.  Guess it’s back to smoke signals for us!

(Is it only me, but did ‘Rule 303’ pop into your head when you read this?)

h/t Ars Technica

Droning On Further

(…further on?)

I’d two encounters regarding drones the other night.

One was an episode of Madame Secretary, wherein the female Secretary of State co-opts her own brother to obtain information to locate and assassinate an American-born Isis member.

Via a drone strike in a foreign land.

(I’ve an ongoing discussion regarding this TV show – a friend thinks it’s a stalking horse to put Hillary Clinton in the White House.  I disagree.  The protagonist is a former CIA officer, married to a religious ethics professor at The War College, who is a part-time NSA guy.  Hardly The Clintons!)

ANYWAY…

The second encounter was a TV commercial showing a drone package delivery (Amazon? – I don’t remember, we have The Hopper and fast-forward through most of the commercials! 🙂 )

Now, I don’t know if this was a planned placement of drones on commercial television to get us used to the idea of them flitting about, or serendipity, or what?

I do remember this administration’s last attorney general not ruling out the idea of drone strikes against American citizens on our own soil(!)

Two drones and The Hopper in one evening?  Perhaps it’s just coincidental?  Showing us how far technology has advanced?

Perhaps.

Drone Biggest

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…