Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Another Evil Giant In the Electronics Industry

I know I really ought to change the name of the blog, but since I still love Portland Soccer I guess I will keep it as the spring season looms. Ah, but there's the rub as in Frye's Electronics rubs people the wrong way. You might recall, I was trying to recover from a computer crash days before and loss of all my cyber life from the last 10 years or so. I finally got over the Saturday Night Live, Stuart Smally I can fix this computer because "I am good enough" syndrom.

I finally realized that computer surgery and the purchase of OEM software from The Evil Empire Microsoft (TEEM). So now I am running XP Professional with no apps. That means no Office Suite; ie Word, Excel, Outlook or that program that makes the slideshow presentations.
I can get my email again which is good and bad (spam). After getting an operating system running again I almost embarked on a rabid get my apps back ASAP, but the feeling subsided as I looked at my blank desktop and marvelled how fast things worked clickty click. I might go open source Office which is for free which is a logical thing to do after spending all my money at the TEEM pusher Fryes.
Have you ever tried to return open software to Fryes. Let me walk you through it. First, you take bag packaging and receipt and queue up in the customer service line and tell the clerk I need to exchange this software (not asking for a refund BTW). She gave me one horrified look and said we don't take returns on open software. I calmly explained that the software was never installed or activated so just send it back to TEEM and get a new product. Obviously the harried clerk got the manager with a minimum of argument. Obviously she had been over this ground many times before and had decided she was not paid enough to go through this again.
Second, ever hopeful, I thought getting the manager was a good thing as they ususally have "a customer is always right kind of approach" and I was glad to see the swarthy little guy warble to the counter. Before I could open my mouth I could see he had much training on how and why Fryes won't take back open software. You see there are a number of scoundrels who would take the Product Key and make a copy of the disk and return it for the money. I again reminded him I was asking for an exchange and not my money back. But the TEEM training was thorough as low level CIA brainwashing and he was convinced the transaction I was proposing was a sinister plot to defraud Fryes and TEEM although he was assured I was not such an individual. That covered the potential lible lawsuit. He was was slick.
Even after I explained that I was not asking for any money back and only for TEEM to replace a defective product which costs them pennies to make. Sure R and D was steep for Vista but I am sure they have made this back by now plus a hefty profit. So there was simply no economic reason for denial of my request other than plain meaness. TEEM's emmissary at Fryes round head started to look like a soccer ball and I wanted to bend it like Beckham (see how I got a cheesy soccer reference in there). I knew I couldn't because the only person able to kick some sense into a ESL manager was law enforcement who probably could care less about the inate unfairness of the company policy than about whether I was parked properly in the parking lot. Law enforcement, ha! Remember, after the TSA Hitler youth experience at PDX , I am left with utter contempt for those over fed and over paid "first responders." Mind you I have a couple good friends who fight fires and takes chances with their personal well being for the public good. But, pardon me they are way overated with the herioic thing. A hero is a homeless guy who risks his life for no money and with no training to fish out an unfortunate dog out of the LA River. There is no commendation, or pay raise or gainful employment for that matter. Delayed props for you homeless person.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Long Day Part Two

I apologize to anyone for the typos on the last page. I simply didn't have time or the energy to copywrite. Second day, more of the same constant reloads, dumps, attempts at loads, promising to report problems to microsoft etc. I am feeling foolish at spending a whole weekend trying to fix a simple PC. Hey guys I am now a big big Mac Fan and not the Golden Arches kind. Somewhere I was going to try and make the comparison to my ordeal and the writings of Thomas Merton but truth be told he is a bit over my head. I kind of came away with the feeling that there are two subsets of faith. One faith in what other men tell you and faith that is revealed to you by God. Merton is amazed that so many people base lack of fath based upon the having faith in the words of some atheistic or agnostic yahoo. The second is God based faith eminating from the God-Christ-Holy Spirit. It seems to him that the latter might be a whole lot more reliable inasmuch as its source is absolute divine truth. I also remember him trouncing the philosopher Descartes for trying to flesh out the faith question in the realm of philosophy rather than theology where it belongs. Well so much for I think therefore I am quote. I guess I will go with I believe and that is enough. Well God that is, I stopped believing in Microsoft at about 3:00 yesterday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Longest Day

I choose today, Saturday in the month of February to do two things. First, I was going to fix my Windows Vista computer based machine and, second I was going to read the collected works of Thomas Merton to pass the time while all those files uploaded, downloaded, crashed, I had my files examined and my files themselves looked for updates. The only thing I was necessary for was to add the element of human emotion to all the successful, failed and incomplete processes. I swear I used every emotion available to me today and I am mentally exhausted. All this came about as these thing usually do in the form of a tiny but beautiful little program nicknamed LELA for Linksys Easylink Advisor. The Lela was a a dark blue pleasing pond that showed your internet connected devices like the feet of a spider. You could click on each on and give it a new name if you wanted.
When that little proggie stopped working I wasn't happy. A short chat with the Cisco (linksys parent co.) in the Phillipins and I was well on my way to corrupting and perfecting good version of windows Vista Business Edition. For any of you who have gone through this particular hell crazy things start happening; the blue screen of death pops up and promises to find the bad sectors and the errors on your hard drive. The last word I would see before the constant rebooting start were 100% dump. In my vocabulary dump is a troublesome word. Usually unsatisfying anywhere outside the lavoratory. Dump it not a good work in a computer environment. Like all good PC users I knew Bill Gates had me right where he wanted me. Looking for an upgrade which would automatically fix my troubles. God forbid Microsoft should ever make good programs to fix existing installations. No they are so paranoid that you might be using an update version which already cost hundreds of dollars to circumvent having to buy a full version which cost several more hundred dollars they make sure that the key codes only work with the the same physical disk you used for the original installaion back in the days when I had a job and things like installation disks were tossed about like frisbees once the computer ways humming again. And so it was today.
Ach! i just walked back to the computer. After coping files and gathering files for hours the computer was not able to start the application. Now back to the paranoid fix it boxed which reads no lie. STARTU REPAIR IS CHECKING YOUR SYSTEM FOR PROBLEMS.
If problems are found Startup Repair will fix them automatically. Your computer might restart several times." Yah right if it restarted at all I would not be in the middle of this install marathon. There is something weird and archaic about that big arrow you get when windows starts romping around in areas of its past circa 1983. Shouldn't that arrow be updated by now. And we have come full circle again to the "Windows could not start the installation process box again. Just so that I know its bad there is a big red circle with an white X inside just to let me know things are bad. Click. Oh hey there is that hour glass thing again remember in the early days of windows before they stole the endless circle from Apple? I have a quest to real teckies out there, are Microsoft people really smart I mean likes really smart or are we just saps because we like computers and will put up with anthing. I am going to bed know and will try to reconcile all this with the collective writings of Thomas Merton tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Google has Made a Cess Pool of the Internet

In his latest assessment of the beast we know as the internet or world wide web
Google CEO Calls Internet "Cesspool"
Google CEO Eric Schmidt must love controversy. In a speech to magazine executives Wednesday he called the internet "a cesspool", AdAge reported.
I don't know if that makes Google a sewerage company, but I think Schmidt should realize that many look at Google as their filter to the web. Employees like Matt Cutts spend all their time working on 'purifying' the results, to expect publishers to be the answer may not be the right approach.
Criticizing opponents to the Yahoo-Google ad deal may not be a smart move given the recent drop in value of the once "golden child" of the web. Schmidt challenged "if you are going to criticize us, criticize us properly." Claiming ad prices would not increase under the Google Yahoo ad deal.
Schmidt displayed a certain amount of callous aloofness when he avoided questions about how publishers could improve their ranking with Google.
""We don't actually want you to be successful," he said. The company's algorithms are trying to find the most relevant search results, after all, not the sites that best game the system. "The fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance," he added" AdAge reported.
If you call the web a cesspool but do not offer insights to quality content providers who pay money to provide professional journalism I don't think you are serious about cleaning it up, so much as taunting an economically challenged industry.
I think what Schmidt is trying to say is we don't want YOU to be sucessful but we sure want Google to make as money as possible. The whole concept of the the Google Adsense program grew out of the same business model as pimping and prostitution. You the publishers send out your content to be prostituted and promoted and Google gets the all the money for providing such fine looking ho's provided in its searches. The publisher Hos get bitch slapped and handed a couple of cents on a click if lucky. Google talks about relevance in a time when economics for the small time joe is one of the most relevant topics I can think about. Its easy, to be snooty when you are a CEO sitting on a personal fortune of 6.9 billion dollars.
Lets clean up the cess pool by making Google irrelevant and passe as they seem to abhor the very folks to brought them fame and fortune.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Violence in Mexico

I recently put my timeshare vacation spot in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico on the market for two primary reasons. One, I dont use it anymore and I am not really that fond of Puerta Vallarta. It is on the Atlantic side and lacks the blue azure tranquility of the ocean on the gulf of mexico/caribean side. But what really put the kicker in the deal was all the seemingly random violence in Mexico. I have heard first hand accounts of heads on trash cans and other atrocities. At the center of the violence is the drug trade. At first blush it appears the Mexican army is battling the drug cartels. But digging deaper it appears that corrupt members of the army are battling the the regular army. It has gotten so bad that the public does not mourn slain police officers for the reason of not knowing whether they died in the line of duty or because they were corrupt.

It is my humble opinion that this state of affairs is more directly related to the security interests of the United States than the war in Iraq. In the old days you could venture into Baja with a few bucks for a surf safari with only the risk of being shaken down for those few bucks by the local police or federalis. These days you take your life into your own hands. I remember fondly the days of wandering around downtown TJ shopping and listening to the mariachis without a care in the world. Those days are long gone.


Many of you who saw the recent Mickey Rourke film "The Wrestler" saw his interview with Jimmy Kimmel about the role wherein he recounted a discussion with the director who had asked him if he was familiar with the term "gigging" as it applies to wrestling and, if he was would he be willing to do it in the film.Blading (professional wrestling). (2009, January 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 03:37, February 7, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Blading_(professional_wrestling)&oldid=264216381

Rourke who is no stranger to the body building/entertainment industries knew that "gigging" entailed tricking an audience into believing a wrestler had incurred a bloody injury from his opponent during the match. The gigging wrestler hides a broken bit of a piece of razor blade in his wrist tape and at the opportune time during the match cuts himself in a place which will produce much blood all to the delight and utter horror of the spectacle. The injury is attributed to the absolute negligence and disregard for ring safety displace by gigger's opponent.

The problem with gigging is that nobody in their right mind cuts themselves on purpose in front of an audience. There are many troubled souls who cut on themselves in private out of psychological pain but that is topic for another day. Rourke said the worst part of filming the movie was wondering when the director was going to give him the nod. How often in our lives are we given the nod to gig? Maybe not in the same sense as the wrestling world but in other ways. Be nice to the rude customer. The customer knows he/she is rude so your feigned act of contrition is gigging in the market place. Who is the audience? The guy in line; your coworkers, your boss.

The time for gigging is over. No one is fooled or entertained. Next time some one takes a shot at you don't gig. Let them in no uncertain terms that they have crossed the line. Don't oil the squeaky wheel. Add some salt and seawater and send it on its way. If you see someone showing off in his gas guzzling planet killing automobile don't ohh and ahh. Give him the finger or the universal O: sign. Seriously this is not enough love in this world but there is too much gigging going on.