I've also been told I have little tact, so if this offends you simply ride on.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jan Brewer - wreckage

If I were Jan Brewer, I would not be happy.  According many media sources she is poised to veto the hate bill in Arizona.  What kind of message is that sending to her loyal, socially conservative base?  She vetoed a similar measure last year which, I'm sure, did not please them.  These are people who spent their time and money to make sure she was re-elected.  They are expecting results from her, compensation of some sort, for their hard work.  Is she going to give it to them with this bill?  Well, you could say she is going to give it to them, but not they way they want.  The would love her to sign it just so the bill would end up in the court system.  Do you think they care how much such a thing would cost the state of Arizona?  Hell no.  They want to raise their tiny fists in the air and shriek " active courts are ruining this country!  They overturning the laws we love!"  You see, that gives them some justification for their bigotry.  And of course, Jan Brewer is in the middle of this shit storm.

Jan Brewer is a 69 year-old, white conservative.  While she may claim to be pro-business, there is no denying she is your stereotypical aging Republican.  And she is being forced into taking a moderate position.  This must almost be ripping out her heart.  The pressure to veto is coming from the business community (they don't like to see dollars and cents fly out their doors).  They've already lost a Superbowl because the state voted against Martin Luther King Day, and the prospect of losing another because of bigotry is burning their butts.  I suspect there is also a lot of pressure coming down from the GOP hierarchy.  Every time some branch of the far right manages to pull a stunt like this the entire party looks bad, and the party wants to win a presidential election.  "Yo, Jan, do you want to be one of reasons the 2016 presidency goes to the Democrats... again?"

What a wreck

It is a sad statement about her governorship when she allows such a piece of legislation to make it to her desk.  She was not oblivious to what her fellow Republicans were doing in the Arizona state House and Senate.  This was not done in secret, or behind her back.  The backers were putting this together in broad daylight.  They didn't tack it on to some overblown piece of legislation and try to sneak it through,  Nope, they new they were going to make headlines and she evidently approved, or she would have stopped them.  What a piece of wreckage she is, either that or she's a stupid, peroxide blonde.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fixing Windows 8 - Microsoft begins to see reality

Surprise, guess what Microsoft is doing?  Updating Windows 8.1 this spring.  And one of the things they are going to be doing is making the User Interface (UI) more efficient with a keyboard and mouse.  So, it looks as though they are going to be fixing another one of Window's 8's mistakes.  Believe me, it was a mistake.  Eleven months ago when I got my newest laptop I was only slightly enthused to see it came with Windows 8.  Now, don't get me wrong, I like Microsoft, but sometimes those pudding heads running the show just don't think.  It's like they put their heads together and come up with one uniformed thought which goes something like this:  We're so big and powerful we can do what want.  What are the Consumers going to do, dump all of their PC's and buy IMACS?"  So, eleven months ago when I powered up my new laptop and saw Windows I was the OS I groaned.  Feeling that I'd probably been stuck with something I wasn't going to like but was going to have to make do with, I watch the cute, little tutorial videos.  To my dismay they were all about touch screens.  Someone should have told those shit heads at Microsoft that my newly purchased, and fairly expense laptop, did not come with a touch screen.  I don't know which jelly brain in their corporate offices made the decision to crap on those of us who use and mouse and keyboard, but he made it.

The update announcement, which was confirmed yesterday by some voice at Microsoft, had been leaked earlier.  In that leak I was surprised to see Microsoft was claiming that 40% of all devices with Windows 8 installed were touch screen enabled.  When I saw that percentage all I could do was shake my head.  They were going to screw over the majority of PC and laptop owners (60%) to satisfy a minority.  So, their real target customer was those owners of tablets and smart phones, no doubt because a bunch of pudding heads put their noggins together and decided that PC's and laptops are going the way of the dinosaur.  Another bit of bullshit thinking.  We owners of PC's and laptops do not go out and buy a brand new one every two years the way phone owners and tablet owners do. We use ours for working, rather then playing, and as a result can hold on to them for 7 or 8 years.  And if you're really computer savvy you just upgrade your aging computer.  It's a lot less expense to add more memory or increase your RAM then it is to buy a new computer.  Only a fool would buy a new computer if you can snap in a new video or sound card for a fraction of the money.  But those pinheads don't think that way.  If you're not constantly buying the latest laptop or PC then those devices must be dying off.  What horseshit.

One of the funniest things about reading the link above is that the horse's ass who released it makes a comment which goes something like this:  we don't want all of our touch screen users to think we're forgetting about them.  Hey, dumbshit, you crapped on a majority just to try and increase your market share among a minority.  Who the hell did you forget in the first place?  Maybe they still don't see the whole picture.

Friday, February 21, 2014

State of Hate - Arizona

I am always amazed by the things which happen in Arizona.  Back in 2010 the state passed legislation which permitted law enforcement to stop any individual on the street (read Latino) and see if they were a legal citizen of the the United States.  Two years later the Supreme Court said about 3/4's of that legislation was unconstitutional.  Now the legislation has put a bill on Governor Jan Brewer's desk which is supposed to be about protecting an individual, business, corporation, etc and their religious beliefs.  What it actually says is that these individuals and groups can refuse to do business with gay people because it's against their religion.  What's next?  Arabs?  I mean there are a lot of people out there who really don't want to come within five miles of an Arab, so at some future date is the state legislation going to at Arabs to the list?  What about the Chinese?  There's a growing anti-Chinese sentiment in this country and, if you listen to what the Chinese government says, they are all atheist.  How can those deeply religious Arizona citizens even consider doing business with atheists!  Or what about the Hindi's?  I'm sure, if you ask a devout Hindu, he will tell you Shiva, the destroyer of worlds, has posted a target on Jan Brewer's ass.

The truth is this bill is not about religious freedom, it's about discriminating against gays, a minority group which is making great strides in getting equal civil rights.  They have always been a problem for the GOP and Arizona is a Republican state.  Marriage Equality bills as passing, slowly but surely, in state after state, and law suits are being filed as though paper were going to disappear off the face of the earth.  The Republicans in Arizona are merely trying to give some sort of protection to their base.  In doing so, however, they are legitimizing hate.

Right now this piece of legislation is sitting on Jan Brewer's desk, waiting for her perusal.  If the GOP is smart they'll send a little birdy to whisper in her ear "don't sign it, don't sign it."  You see, the Republicans want to win a presidential election and in order to do that they need to come across as more moderate, more friendly to all races, creeds and orientations. Did the 2010 law in Arizona hurt them?  I'd say most assuredly with the Latino vote.  Why would you vote for a party that hates you?  Thanks to the science of genetics it's estimated that 10% of all humans are either gay or lesbian.  That's a big voting block.  If they had the other 90% the Republicans wouldn't have to worry about it, but they don't.  They barely have 40%.  Woah!  And every time a state sends a message of hate that percentage drops.  Someone should tell this to the Republicans of Arizona who are sitting so smugly in their state of hate.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Judy Cox - t-shirt protester

One of the first things I do every morning, after starting a pot of coffee, is scan down through the breaking news on different websites.  I like to be informed, you know, and entertained, and sometimes my mouth drops open in one of those WTF moments which leave me incredulously dumbfounded.  One of those moments happened this morning when I saw some "mom' out in Orem, UT purchased over $500 worth of T-shirts.  Evidently she found the display tasteless, since the shirts contained images of scantily clad females in provocative positions, and, since store management refused to take them out of the window, she bought them.  We have Spencer's Gift store in this area of the country and some of their merchandise tends towards the vulgar side, so I thought, well, maybe this is the type of T-shirt she is protesting.  Being curious, I went to the Pacsun website to see exactly what kind of T-shirts they sold.  After looking at over 346 T-shirts, I'd only found 5 or 6 decorated with bikini clad women.  I work in retail, dealing with building contractors, some of whom wear really vulgar T-shirts and I can tell you those at Pacsun were extremely mild in comparison. 

This got me thinking, maybe this 'mom' (real name Judy Cox) is a little bit wacked, so I did an image search on her.  She doesn't look crazy in the pictures I found, however, she does look extremely judgmental.  I could easily see her as one of the driving figures in the temperance movement, that wrongfully failed attempt to dry the country out. She looks like one of those women who find it easy to sniff with disdain, who find it easier to dislike vocally then to ignore.  The pictures I saw were those of someone who wants to be a person of authority.  Her eighteen year old son was with her when she first complained to the Pacsun management and then purchased the shirts to protect the community from their vulgarity.  If I were him, I'd be embarrassed as hell.  What do you think his friends are saying?  "Hey, your Mom is so cool, she raided Pacsun and made the news!"  Or, are they laughing at him, or even worse, does he even have friends.

So, how much did sales increase?

I suspect a lot of people out there were just like me and hit the website.  For all I know, Judy Cox's moment of prudish behavior may have actually triggered an increase in sales, which, I'm sure was not her intention at all.  With over 6200 stores nationwide, I doubt if Pacsun is going to change their marketing strategy because of one whining woman.  Did she succeed in changing any thing?  Not one bit.  Though, I'm certain that in her mind she feels she's been extremely successful.  Now everybody know to watch out for Judy, she's a real bitch.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

India Censors disenting voices

I read this morning in the New York Times that Penguin Books of India had caved to censorship.  Evidently an 84 year old Hindu Conservative, Dina Nath Batra, had filed a lawsuit against Penguin charging a book they had published in 2011 attacked Hinduism with its vulgarity, among other things. I only know a little bit about Hinduism and have never read the book so I don't know if it's an attack on the religion or not.  I do suspect, however, that in his 84 year old brain Batra's little, grey cells are as pleased as little pigs in shit at their ability to control what the country can read.  If you take a look at those countries who do censor and those who do not you'll see there is quite a difference.  Those that do tend to be either communistic or run by dictators, those that don't tend to be democracies.  I suspect that if Batra had his way he would take India down the road towards dictatorship.  A comment of his in the Chicago Tribune went something like this "we believe in freedom of speech to a certain extent."  That's not a good sign.  I searched through Google images for a picture of Mr. Batra in which he didn't look like a prick.  Couldn't find one.  Nope.  In every single one his visage defined dourness.

A prick by any other name would still be a prick

Here is where it turns into old fool stupidity.  The legal decision was scanned and posted on the Internet so anybody who is even slightly curious now knows that Penguin has 6 months to stop selling the book in India.  So, if you have any interest in reading it's hateful, vulgarities in their fullness you have until July to buy it legally, at that point it needs to be off of the shelves.  Hey, Mr. Batra, have you any idea how long it takes to scan a book into a computer?  I hope he understands that banned books tend to become popular.  People want to read the nasty stuff.  And, once it is no longer available for purchase, copies will get passed around.  It's a good thing Mr. Batra doesn't have any real political clout, other wise we might see police squads bursting into homes searching for illegal volumes. Censorship always fails. The only way to truly enforce censorship is militarily and I don't think the Indian government would want to go that far.  Of course, I don't think it would bother Mr. Batra one bit as long as they were following his beliefs. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Evil Comcast raises its monstrous head

Comcast wants to buy Time-Warner and negotiations have a reached a point where it will be up to the SEC to decide if the deal goes through.  I'm hoping the vote it down.  Comcast is big enough.  .If a thousand people suddenly raised their hands in anger and shouted "enough price increases!" do you think Comcast would care.  Not a bit.  You see they are already so big that their average customer has become infinitesimally small.  They would not even notice a thousand people protesting Comcast's ever increasing prices because those people are so teeny, weeny, small and unimportant.  Would twenty thousand make a difference?  Nope, not at all.  Remember, Comcast is very big... and they want to get even bigger.  They want to rule the world.  Well, maybe not the entire world, but they do want to rule the cable and entertainment industry.  They want to call the shots.  They want to tell you how much you're going to have to pay for the channels you want to watch.  You can bet if the Comcast / Time Warner deal goes through those deals are not going to get all sugary sweet.  The exact opposite will happen.  They will sour your wallet.

Now I know there are people out there who are claiming this will never happen.  Those people are either dumb as bricks or Comcast lackeys on the payroll.  Of course they're going to raise their prices in what they consider a timely manner.  Every expense they experience will increase your rates, and they will go up.

Their rates are high already.  Here, let me give you an example.  My contract with Fios just expired and I decided to call around, since I think they, too, are fairly expensive.  The Comcast Customer Service Agent turned out to be a real asshole.  After explaining why I was checking out prices and what I was interested in (cable and Internet only) he quoted me a price of $180 (plus) and that cost included phone.  I reminded him I was not interested in phone service.  He could not understand why I would be turning down such a 'great deal.'  So, I reiterated again, just cable and Internet, and his tone began verging toward rude.  Now I don't know, maybe their agents get a little bit of bonus when they sign a customer up for the Triple Play and maybe that was his real incentive, but he was not listening to me at all.  When I finally did get him to understand what it was I wanted, he quoted me a price which was $2 more then what I am already paying for Fios, and his cost did not include any taxes or rental fees.

This is what many millions of Americans have to deal with right now.  If the deal with Time / Warner goes through, many more millions will be cursed with the monster called Comcast.  They will screw the American people over and tell them to shut up because they're getting a good deal.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bill Gates Returns (almost)

Bill Gates is returning to Microsoft - albeit in an advisory mode, or... something like that.  When I heard that all I could do was wonder what took him so long.  Face it, 2013 was not a banner year for the corporation, in fact it seemed as though every month or so someone with Executive Status was shooting themselves in the foot.  I'm sure Mr. Gates was not at all pleased.  Take Windows.  That's his baby.  He was responsible for an operating system which was unbelievably popular because it worked well.  Windows 8 was loathed by many, including me.  It had been pre-installed on a newly purchased laptop.  I wrote about it back then.  Why someone would create an OS designed more for touch screens then anything else was something I just could not comprehend.  You can use a tablet to view reports, verify information, and send email... oh, and putz around on, but you can't use it for data entry.  Try writing a report on one and you'll realize how time expensive it is.  Windows 8 was so unpopular they tried to do an update and they cursed us with 8.1, which turns out to be just as crappy.  I'd heard it was turning so many Lenovo tablets into expensive paperweights they stopped installing it. I don't know who the pudding brains were who thought Windows 8 and 8.1 were good ideas, but I do suspect they are now working in the mail room.

Almost back in the saddle again

Then there was the Xbox One, which was going down like the Titanic until Microsoft started caving in.  This was really a WTF moment in history.  They forgot that the Xbox was designed for video games.  What Microsoft did, in fact, was drop a shit bomb on gamers and try to turn the Xbox into a "Media Center."  They did this because they made too many assumptions about the Kinect.  You see, they sold a shit load, and as a result some jelly brain at Microsoft thought just about every family room in America had a Kinect attached to an Xbox.  What this jelly brain didn't realize was that he was, in actuality, having a brain fart.  You see, a lot of those Kinects they sold were in kid's bedrooms.  I'm not a kid and I bought one, not so I could do the Zumba, but rather to yell commands while playing Skyrim and Mass Effect 3.  The issues kept rolling out and Microsoft started backpedaling because they had no other choice and that made them look dumb as bricks.

I think Bill Gates is coming back, even in a limited capacity, because in 2013 Microsoft failed in a big way.  They failed to understand the needs of their customer base, and not just their needs, often their basic requirements.  To be a successful corporation in today's world you need to fulfill your customer's expectations.  You need to keep your base happy, because they will turn on you in the blink of an eye and the whole world will know how much they disapprove.