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Posts from — July 2012

I Really Hate These ‘People’

Well, ‘people’ by a warped decision of the Supreme Court …

So, I had some time and decided to see how this new box plays DVDs. That was in my mind when I chose the hardware. I don’t go to movies or watch TV, but I do occasionally feel like watching a movie when it is raining and I can’t do what I had planned. Man does not exist by blog reading alone, after all.

So, I grabbed a Blu-Ray of the Wizard of Oz, which is something my Mother wouldn’t miss if it was destroyed in the testing and would test all of the capabilities of the system.

I stuck it in the drive and nothing happened. After all of the hype about Windows 7 being this multimedia miracle for the masses – bupkix, nada, zip.

I checked to see there actually was something on the DVD, and Windows Explorer assured me that there was, so I cranked up Windows Media Player which told me the disk was blank, but I should subscribe to an on-line media service that would be happy to rent me all kinds of things.

So then I went out and found VLC Media Player, a free open source package that everyone praises, and downloaded it. It at least told me what was going on with the disk – I didn’t have an encryption key that was required to play Blu-Ray disks. Apparently DVD players have to have these keys built-in to actually be used to play the newer DVDs which are all encrypted.

So, the media mogul six-pack not only get to over-charge you for the disks, and determine what disks you may have based on geography, but they get to determine what equipment you must use to see the content. They treat their customers like a pack of thieves and wonder why more people don’t buy their products.

July 22, 2012   17 Comments

Le Tour – Stage 19

Tour de FranceBonneval to Chartres

Distance: 53.5 kilometers.

The final individual time trial of the Tour, and not much of an opportunity to catch Bradley Wiggins, as he is very good at these and will probably increase his lead as a result.

Bradley Wiggins won the stage in convincing fashion, and Christopher Froome proved that he could have taken over if Wiggins had faltered. A very good Tour for Sky as it looks as if there will be a Briton atop the podium in Paris for the first time.

Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 ) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) [Green] 386 points
Polka Dot Jersey Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 134 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) 5 [White]

Team: RadioShack-Nissan ( 011-019 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 )
Combative: No award for time trials

Top Ten:

1 Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 )
2 Christopher Froome ( GB – SKY – 105 ) + 03′ 21”
3 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 06′ 19”
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 10′ 15”
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 11′ 04”
6 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 15′ 43”
7 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 15′ 51”
8 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 029 ) + 16′ 31”
9 Janez Brajkovic ( Slo – AST – 181 ) + 16′ 38”
10 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 146 ) + 17′ 17”

The Rest of the Top 50:
[Read more →]

July 21, 2012   4 Comments

Update Hell

In addition to updating the blog to the most current version of WordPress, I’ve been transitioning to the new computer.

In anticipation I have been synchronizing a number of files that are on both the laptop and the new computer. This is supposed to be ‘easy’ because both are Win 7 and have Gigabit Ethernet connections to my router. They are both in the same Home Group domain, so what could go wrong. Well, a lot of little annoying problems that revolve around the definition of “share”.

In the midst of all that ‘fun’ I had FireFox, Adobe, and LibreOffice all deciding to issue updates.

I got passed that, and then I had to check on Win XP Mode, that runs on both machines. Another series of upgrades from M$ and AVG. I use the free version of AVG in XP mode because M$ has a hissyfit if you don’t have antivirus software, even though the only time I access the ‘Net in XP mode is for Windows Updates. I’m not paying for two extra ESET licenses to work on legacy software a few times a year.

Of course, the Win 7 machines are being updated almost every day by M$, which is really annoying.

In non-update news, Internet Defense League is now live, and I am a member. If things work as planned, a banner will appear on this site whenever the media moguls attempt to have their Congresscritters steal the Internet.

July 20, 2012   2 Comments

Le Tour – Stage 18

Tour de FranceBlagnac to Brive-la-Gaillarde

Distance: 222.5 kilometers.

This is a stage with some hills, but no mountains. There is a Category 3 [Côte de Saint-Georges] and three Category 4s [Côte de Cahors, Côte de Souillac, and Côte de Lissac-sur-Couze] but no major climbs.

Supermanx, Mark Cavendish, took his 22nd Tour de France stage win which moves him into a tie with Lance Armstrong and André Darrigade for fourth place in career wins. Mark has been supporting the teams goal of the Yellow jersey, which has hurt his personal chances for the Green.

Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 ) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) [Green] 386 points
Polka Dot Jersey Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 134 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) 5 [White]

Team: RadioShack-Nissan ( 011-019 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Mark Cavendish ( G B – SKY – 103 )
Combative: Alexandre Vinokourov ( Kaz – AST – 189 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Bradley Wiggins ( G B – SKY – 101 )
2 Christopher Froome ( G B – SKY – 105 ) + 02′ 05”
3 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 02′ 41”
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 05′ 53”
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 08′ 30”
6 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 09′ 57”
7 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 10′ 11”
8 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 029 ) + 10′ 17”
9 Janez Brajkovic ( Slo – AST – 181 ) + 11′ 00”
10 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 146 ) + 11′ 46”

The Rest of the Top 50:
[Read more →]

July 20, 2012   Comments Off on Le Tour – Stage 18

Friday Cat Blogging

A Tough Life

Friday Cat Blogging

ZZZ…zzz…ZZZ…zzz…

[Editor: Lutu went back to the pump house to find a dry place to sleep. We have been having daily thunderstorms and the ground is soaked.]

Friday Ark

July 20, 2012   6 Comments

Happy Independence Day

Día de la Independencia
República de Colombia

Colombia

¡Viva Colombia!

July 20, 2012   Comments Off on Happy Independence Day

Le Tour – Stage 17

Tour de FranceBagnères-de-Luchon to Peyragudes

Distance: 143.5 kilometers.

This is a short and nasty end to the mountain stages: Category 1 – Col de Menté (1349m), Category 2 – Col des Ares (797 m), Category 3 – Côte de Burs, intermediate sprint, HC – Port de Bales (1755 m), and the Category 1 climb to the finish in Peyragudes. The stage is a series of hairpin turns and switchbacks. This was a route designed for pitons, not pelotons.

Alejandro Valverde won the stage with a charge worthy of the Red numbers, but the larger story was that Wiggins and Froome made it clear that they won’t give up anything to the competition and actually increased their leads over Nibali et al. Barring accidents, the podium in Paris appears to be settled, but no one should celebrate until it is official.

In a bit of oddness, Jan Ghyselinck ( Bel – COF – 086 ) was listed as a non-finisher yesterday, but today he is back on the road and is the current Lanterne Rouge. It may have been an ‘outside of time’ case that was protested.

Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 ) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) [Green] 356 points
Polka Dot Jersey Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 134 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) 5 [White]

Team: RadioShack-Nissan ( 011-019 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Alejandro Valverde ( Esp – MOV – 161 )
Combative: Alejandro Valverde ( Esp – MOV – 161 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Bradley Wiggins ( G B – SKY – 101 )
2 Christopher Froome ( G B – SKY – 105 ) + 02′ 05”
3 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 02′ 41”
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 05′ 53”
5 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 08′ 30”
6 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 09′ 57”
7 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 10′ 11”
8 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 029 ) + 10′ 17”
9 Janez Brajkovic ( Slo – AST – 181 ) + 11′ 00”
10 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 146 ) + 11′ 46”

The Rest of the Top 50:
[Read more →]

July 19, 2012   Comments Off on Le Tour – Stage 17

A Win?

So the Department of Homeland Security said fine, go ahead and use our data base for your voter purge, Florida.

Now the real fun begins because the primary key for the DHS data base is the alien registration number. You have to have that number to search the file and no one knows where Florida will get the numbers for the people they are trying to purge. Undocumented immigrants don’t have an ARN, and about the only people other than DHS and the IRS that would use them are individual employers, as it is treated like a Social Security number.

The DHS told the state that the data base wouldn’t help them, so now the state can waste time and tax dollars finding out for themselves.

July 18, 2012   2 Comments

The EU Giveth And …

the EU taketh away.

The European Parliament voted overwhelmingly against the ACTA “anti piracy treaty [39 in favor, 478 against, with 165 abstentions] and then the EU Commission cooks up a deal to rip off the people who are actually creative: Artists angered by copyright plan:

Members of Radiohead and Pink Floyd are among the musicians angered by plans for a new EU copyright law.

They say the draft law, intended to give performers, composers and producers more rights over their royalties, does not go far enough.

Artists including Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason have signed a letter accusing the European Commission of “breaking promises” to tackle missing pay.

The Commission insists the plans will modernise the way money is distributed.

Performers, producers and writers are supposed to earn royalties every time their music is played on radio, television or public spaces.

The money is collected by about 250 societies around Europe – but the Commission says many of them hold on to “substantial amounts” of that cash.

ACTA was a give-away to the big media companies that failed because people figured it out and began screaming, so now the EU Commission is attempting to burnish its corporate credibility by enabling the middle-man societies to keep performance royalties that belong to the creative people.

July 18, 2012   Comments Off on The EU Giveth And …

Le Tour – Stage 16

Tour de FrancePau to Bagnères-de-Luchon

Distance: 197 kilometers.

This is definitely a mountain stage following an intermediate sprint the riders face: HC – Col d’Aubisque (1709 m), HC – Col du Tourmalet (2115 m), Category 1 – Col d’Aspin (1489 m), and Category 1 – Col de Peyresourde (1569 m). The Tour is truly climbing the Pyrenees. This is no place for sprinters.

Thomas Voeckler has repeated his Stage 10 feat by taking the stage, the red numbers, and the Polka Dot jersey [by 2 points]. Cadel Evans has lost 5 minutes on Bradley Wiggins, leaving Vincenzo Nibali as his main competitor for the Yellow.

The BBC reports that Frank Schleck fails drugs test at Tour de France: “The 32-year-old, who finished third in last year’s race, tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide on 14 July.”

Xipamide is not a performance enhancer. It is a powerful diuretic used primarily to treat hypertension. It would dehydrate anyone taking it while exercising vigorously, leading to all kinds of medical problems. This sounds like a different form of “tacks in the road”.

Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 ) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) [Green] 356 points
Polka Dot Jersey Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 ) [Polka Dot] 107 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) 6 [White]

Team: RadioShack-Nissan ( 011-019 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 )
Combative: Thomas Voeckler ( Fra – EUC – 021 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Bradley Wiggins ( G B – SKY – 101 )
2 Christopher Froome ( G B – SKY – 105 ) + 02′ 05”
3 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 02′ 23”
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 05′ 46”
5 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 07′ 13”
6 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 07′ 55”
7 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 08′ 06”
8 Janez Brajkovic ( Slo – AST – 181 ) + 09′ 09”
9 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 029 ) + 10′ 10”
10 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 146 ) + 11′ 43”

The Rest of the Top 50:
[Read more →]

July 18, 2012   2 Comments

Well, It Must Have Worked

The site has been updated and most things seem to work despite a couple of serious mistakes on my part that could have resulted in a lot of extra work that I don’t really need at the moment.

Fortunately I have things backed up, but trying to find them is not always simple. I’ll know better the next time and be better prepared for the recovery, as it took about an hour before I was sure that I still had a site that I could access.

July 17, 2012   Comments Off on Well, It Must Have Worked

Tempting Fate

Since this is a rest day for Le Tour, and a nasty thunderstorm has eliminated any hope of getting the site preparation for Ringo’s outside enclosure, I’m in the middle of a major upgrade of the WordPress software that powers this site.

Currently I’m running version 3.14 and I’m upgrading to 3.41. I have been stalling this upgrade because I had to make changes to my host platform to accommodate the newer versions of WordPress. I don’t change things until I see things stabilize unless there are urgent security reasons for doing it.

If everything fails, I will be over at the Why Now annex – http://whynowannex.wordpress.com/ and will throw up a redirection link at this location.

I would note that another reason for stalling is getting the new machine up and running so I can do this over a wired connection, instead of wireless. I’ve never had a problem with my wireless, but why take a chance?

July 17, 2012   Comments Off on Tempting Fate

Le Tour – Stage 15

Tour de FranceSamatan to Pau

Distance: 158.5 kilometers.

This is a short and fast stage that is followed by a rest day. The main action will be after lunch with an intermediate sprint, Category 4 – Côte de Lahitte-Toupière, Category 3 – Côte de Simacourbe, and Category 4 – Côte de Monassut-Audiracq. Contenders can be expected to attack during the entire stage.

Pierrick Fedrigo won the sprint into Pau for the second time in three years. He may be going for a trademark, like Mark Cavendish and Paris.

The leaders only responded when real contenders looked like they were going to do something. Most of the stage was a leisurely ride for the peloton.

A half dozen riders dropped out during the stage, but most will be appearing in the London Olympics and wanted time to get ready.

Yellow Jersey Bradley Wiggins ( GB – SKY – 101 ) [Yellow]
Green Jersey Peter Sagan ( Svk – LIQ – 057 ) [Green] 356 points
Polka Dot Jersey Fredrik Kessiakoff ( Swe – AST – 187 ) [Polka Dot] 69 points
White Jersey Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) 7 [White]

Team: RadioShack-Nissan ( 011-019 ) [Yellow numbers]
Stage winner: Pierrick Fedrigo ( Fra – FDJ – 142 )
Combative: Nicki Sorensen ( Den – STB – 179 ) [Red numbers]

Top Ten:

1 Bradley Wiggins ( G B – SKY – 101 )
2 Christopher Froome ( G B – SKY – 105 ) + 02′ 05”
3 Vincenzo Nibali ( Ita – LIQ – 051 ) + 02′ 23”
4 Cadel Evans ( Aus – BMC – 001 ) + 03′ 19”
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck ( Bel – LTB – 111 ) + 04′ 48”
6 Haimar Zubeldia ( Esp – RNT – 019 ) + 06′ 15”
7 Tejay Van Garderen ( USA – BMC – 009 ) + 06′ 57”
8 Janez Brajkovic ( Slo – AST – 181 ) + 07′ 30”
9 Pierre Rolland ( Fra – EUC – 029 ) + 08′ 31”
10 Thibaut Pinot ( Fra – FDJ – 146 ) + 08′ 51”

The Rest of the Top 50:
[Read more →]

July 16, 2012   2 Comments

One Small Step

Apollo 11

Apollo 11

Commander:

Neil A. Armstrong

Pilot: Columbia Command Module

Michael Collins, Lieutenant Colonel, USAF

Pilot: Eagle Lunar Module

Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin, Jr., Colonel, USAF

Launched: 16 July 1969 UT 13:32:00 (08:32:00 CDT)

Landed on Moon: 20 July 1969 UT 20:17:40 (15:17:40 CDT)

Landing Site: Mare Tranquillitatis – Sea of Tranquility (0.67 N, 23.47 E)

Returned to Earth: 24 July 1969 UT 16:50:35 (11:50:35 CDT)

July 16, 2012   2 Comments