Archive for the ‘internet’ Tag

03-07-2016 Journal – SPAM!   Leave a comment

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SPAM . . . I’m not sure who coined that term for unwanted emails but it truly is an insult to such a delicious meat.  As we all know you can’t spend much time on the Net without finding yourself inundated with SPAM. I always thought I was careful about filling out forms or taking stupid surveys, a sure way to get your name out to the spammers. I’ve come to find out that I failed miserably.

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Six months ago in a moment of boredom I was sitting at my computer looking for something to do. Absentmindedly I inquired of a well known mortgage company about some of the new government programs. To say the least that was a huge mistake that I’ve been paying for ever since.  Over the last six months I’ve had to unsubscribe from an endless number of websites for every product currently known to man.

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I spend a few minutes of each day unsubscribing the current batch of SPAM with assurances that in a week I’ll have been eliminated from their call lists. The torrent of sites is finally down to less than two or three a day but overall it has totaled more than four hundred in the last six months.

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I’ve tried to backtrack many of them to a source I could contact and threaten to no avail. It’s been a frustrating effort with no one to take my frustration out on.  I’ve known a lot of people over the years but I’ve never met anyone who would admit to being a spammer. People will admit to being drug dealers before admitting to spamming. At least the drug dealer is selling a product and not simply harassing and endlessly annoying hundreds of thousands of people.

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‘Just so you know this is the good SPAM.’

I’ll keep trying to discover one person I can take out my anger on.  I could easily be persuaded to violence against anyone who has the balls to stand in front of me and admit to spamming.  It would be worth a few days in the local county jail for assaulting that someone and I suspect there isn’t a jury anywhere that would convict me. Everyone hates spammers and that might be the reason those bastards keep themselves so well hidden.

As they used to say on Hill Street Blues

"Be careful out there."

01-04-2016 – January Trivia Offering!   Leave a comment

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Here’s your first dose of totally useless information (Trivia) for 2016.  I can only assume many of you readers will be spending some time this year in your tavern of choice and many of you will attempt to participate in some sort of Trivia challenge or bar bet. Since it’s obvious to me from some of the emails and comments I receive that many of you drink regularly you will probably need these factoids to help you out a little. This information is my New Year’s gift to you so let’s get started with a few items about the Internet.

  • The time spent deleting spam emails costs U.S. Businesses approximately $10 billion annually.
  • The highest publicly reported amount paid for a domain name is $7.5 million in stock options, to buy business.com.
  • Thirty-five billion emails are sent each day throughout the world.
  • Thirty-two percent of all singles think they will meet their mate online.
  • The first domain name ever registered was Symbolics.com.

Now for a few more interesting facts concerning our new beat friends . . . our cell phones. 

  • More than fifty percent of the people on the earth have never made or received a telephone call.
  • Approximately 1,314 phone calls are misplaced by telecom services every minute.
  • There are 150,000,000 cell phones in use in the United States, more than one for every two human beings in the country.
  • As much as eighty percent of microwaves from cell phones are said to be absorbed by your head.
  • A Belgian couple were married by short message service (SMS) because text messaging played such a big part in their relationship.

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Now for what you’ve all been waiting for. A few tidbits of information on our ever so interesting and at times nasty bodily functions.

  • The average heart beats 2.5 billion times in a lifetime. The heart beats about 100,000 times each day.
  • The body gives off enough heat in thirty minutes to bring a gallon of water to a boil.
  • A woman’s heart beats faster than a man’s.
  • A pair of human feet contains 250,000 sweat glands. There are about one trillion bacteria on each foot.
  • During a kiss, as many as 278 bacteria colonies are exchanged.
  • The body loses  half a liter of water a day through breathing.

This was just the first of many trivia postings you can expect this year. I think it’s time for this blog to start living up to it’s name. You can’t have too much useless information in your life and I’m here to guarantee that you get yours.

10-14-2013. Journal Entry-More Nonsense and a Cat!   Leave a comment

I’ve had 24 hours for my blood pressure to return to normal levels after receiving that letter from Planned Parenthood.  It really got me going for a while there.  But on to better things to talk about today which will help me relax a little.

It’s a day of nonsense for me.  I finished a good solid 40 minute workout on the treadmill which left me soaking wet and somewhat winded, it was great. I spent an additional ten minutes in my continuing efforts to get my cat Stormy to walk on it with me.  It’s taken me six months just to get him to sit on the damn treadmill but he’s gone like a shot as soon as I turn it on.  I’m nothing if not persistent and I hope he lives long enough for me to accomplish this feat. He knows exactly what I want him to do but he’s just dragging this out to mess with me. I sometimes think he’s actually the one training me.

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‘Here’s what I want.’

‘Here’s what I got.’

Have I mentioned recently that I’m a bit of a klutz.  I trip over things, fall into things, drop things and occasionally break things.  It’s a life long issue that appears unfixable.  As I was in my workshop putting the finishing touches to a small book shelf I’ve been building I found it necessary to stain a few small pieces of trim before finishing the project.  I pulled out a quart of stain and an old rag to stain just two small 8 inch pieces.  How much trouble could I get in? That evil klutz that lives inside me decided it was time for another visit to make my life a little more interesting.

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I opened the can of stain carefully after putting on my latex gloves.  I hate getting that stuff on me because it’s as hard as hell to remove.  I picked up the rag and placed  the pieces of trim the on the bench to begin staining. As I turned to pick up the rag my arm struck the nearby can of stain and sent it flying.  Needless to say I now have a stain on the floor of my workshop that’s approximately 6 feet long and four feet wide.  That doesn’t even include the splash-back onto my arms, chest, face and glasses. I ended up spending more time cleaning that up than I did building the damn bookshelf in the first place. The evil klutz got me again.

I then returned to my man-cave to post about Planned Parenthood and what do I find?  No internet connection. I’ve been having periodic problems with my connection for the last few weeks but this time my home network was dead. After running diagnostics, checking cables, cursing a blue streak, and making a quick visit to a nearby Time Warner office, it was once again operating.

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I’ve been considering a complete upgrade of my home network and after today I’m convinced it’s badly needed.  Along with the network upgrade I’ll be adding a home cloud system and hopefully it can all be done at the same time.  At least with my own cloud I’ll feel much more secure about the safety of my music and photographs.

I’m off to take a shower and clean the remainder of the stain from my magnificent body.  It’s like having graffiti on Michelangelo’s “David”.

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That was supposed to be funny in case you were wondering.  After that I foresee a large mug of Jack Daniels and Pepsi to smooth things out a little more.  Another wonderful day in the neighborhood comes to a close.

09-19-2013   2 comments

I spend a lot of time on the Net these days and have done so for many years.  It’s become an integral part of my life and indispensible in a number of other ways. It’s hard to believe than just over thirty years ago I was a subscriber to the Genie Electric Network and received text-only Internet on a 300 baud modem. The changes have been huge and relatively fast and I’m glad to have experienced the Net in all of it’s  changing incarnations. 

I decided to do a little surfing today and to collect a few facts about the all-seeing Internet in it’s current form.  I was more than a little shocked at what I found because some of the numbers were almost impossible to wrap my head around.  Here is a short list of some amazing stats.  Unbelievable is probably more accurate.

  • Google estimates the Internet at about 5 million terabytes of data, or 5 trillion megabytes.
  • The human brain can hold between 1 and 10 terabytes.
  • Using an average of 5 terabytes per human brain, it would take a million human brains to hold the entire Internet.
  • 212 DVD’s will hold one terabyte or 1,000,000,000 to hold the Internet.
  • 40 Blue-ray discs will hold a terabyte and it would take 200,000,000 to store the Internet.
  • American makes up 76.2% of the Internet population but only 5% of the worlds population.
  • There are 247 billion emails sent every day and 81% (200,000,000) are spam.
  • There are 90 trillion emails sent each year.
  • Teenagers spend an average of 31 hours per week on the Internet and only four hours doing homework.
  • There are 234,000,000 web sites and 126,000,000 blogs.
  • Every second 28,258 Internet users are watching pornography.
  • There are 600 tweets a second.
  • 924 videos are watched on Hulu each month in the US.
  • Twenty hours of videos are loaded onto YouTube every minute.
  • Facebook has 6,000,000 page viewers a minute.
  • 2,500,000 images are loaded onto Facebook each month.

Some of these facts are mind-blowing but a number of others are more than a little scary.  I’m not sure I could survive my raging paranoia if I had teenage children to raise now.  I can’t imagine the difficulties there must be when in most cases the kids are more knowledgeable about the Net than most of their parents.  What will this all become in another thirty years? 

04-26-2013   2 comments

It appears that I’m finally on the mend from this damn virus that’s been kicking my ass for the last week. I still sound like someone’s gravely voiced uncle but I can live with that for a few more days. Being sick is a triple curse for me.  First your sick as a dog, second your stuck in the house usually in bed, and thirdly you can’t stop coughing.  You can only read so much before you’re forced to watch television and there’s the rub. It’s like being shot and then hung.

These last few days have convinced me to consider canceling our TV service when the current contract expires.  I can’t take the endless commercials and the low caliber of programming that has slowly been turning my mind and everyone else’s to mush. I’ve had it with all of the “redneck” programs that make all of us look like effing hicks to the rest of the world.  It’s ironic that the program that supplied me with the information needed to cancel my subscription,  I saw on TV. 

I remember back in the day when cable TV was a new novelty.  The way it was initially sold was an ad campaign that was total and absolute BS.  It was called "Pay TV" then and we were all assured for a small monthly fee we would be commercial free forever.  Then slowly but surely the fees began to grow, the commercials returned in a big way, and all of a sudden it’s costing me upwards of one hundred and fifty dollars a month for viewing programming that is almost fifty percent commercials.

When I began approaching retirement I decided to simplify by life.  I got rid of my old land-line telephone, all of my premium channels, and returned to just a basic cable package.  The cable company then added surcharges and taxes which brought my monthly figure almost back where it started before I cancelled the premium channels.

Then I moved in with my better-half who was burdened with an almost $200.00 a month bill of her own.  We immediately took steps to reduce our combined bill but Time Warner is a devious enemy.  We reduced everything back to basic cable but with our Internet charges we were still paying over a hundred dollars a month.  The cable companies claim it’s impossible to offer a menu type system where you order the channels you really want and aren’t forced to pay for thirty or forty you never watch.  How convenient.

We cancelled a large portion of our package but since it changed our "bundling" (the newest word used to screw all of us) they couldn’t lower our costs all that much.  After it was all said and done we were still paying $110.00 a month after the surcharges and BS fees were added.  We were both unhappy with the results of our efforts so we cancelled all of our Time Warner’s services except for the broadband Internet.  We then subscribed to the Dish network for two years and were initially charged an introductory price of $38.00 a month for one year.  They told me that after the first year the monthly price would be increased somewhat.  The first year passed and the price increased with fees and surcharges to $68.00 per month.  I’d call that more than substantial.

Arguing with cable companies is useless.  They have their own agenda which is to get as much money from us as they possibly can and believe me, nothing else matters.  I think a reasonable price for Internet and basic cable should be no more than $85.00 a month with fees and surcharges.  Any more than that is just highway robbery.

We’ve reached the point where desperate times call for desperate measures.  At the end of our current contract with Dish we’ll be canceling the satellite cable package and retaining only the Internet service from Time Warner.  We’ve decided to then subscribe to Netflix ($9.99 a month) for an endless selection of movies and Hulu Plus ($7.99 a month) for almost any TV programming we’d like to see.  Our total cost at that point will be approximately $57.97 a month, well within what we consider a reasonable cost.  Another added plus is that almost all commercials programming will disappear from our life.

This is a trend that seems to be happening everywhere by many of us.  It gives the old saying “vote with your feet” new meaning.  If enough people walk away from these cable monopolies then changes will occur and prices will begin dropping.

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