Recently in Rants Category

Maintain the 2nd Amendment!

| No Comments

Charlton Heston couldn't state my position better. Watch:









Oath Keepers in Albany NY, speaking out strongly about preserving the 2nd Amendment. Powerful!




Compensating?

| No Comments
While in Houston, Texas this week for the Microsoft Convergence conference, I decided to seek out a pair of "cowboy-style" boots. I fired up the GPS and started the search for a boot store.

While en route to Cavenders, I found myself directly behind a truck with the biggest lift and tires that I had ever seen. I could have driven directly underneath this truck with my Toyota Camry (Rental) with minimal contact.

Why? Why would somebody willingly turn a truck into a worthless eye-sore like this?

You decide:

IMG_20120317_121229.jpg

Enhanced by Zemanta
Note: While I hope this woman gets her due process and justice, I find it appalling that we're constantly facing abuses to our Constitutional rights.

Snagged via: http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/01/24/judge-reportedly-orders-colorado-woman-to-decrypt-laptop/?test=latestnews

A judge has reportedly ordered a Colorado woman to decrypt her laptop computer so prosecutors may use the files against her in a criminal case involving alleged bank fraud.

The defendant, Ramona Fricosu, had unsuccessfully argued that being forced to do so would violate the Fifth Amendment protection against compelled self-incrimination, Wired reports.

"I conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer," Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled Monday.

The case is being closely watched by civil rights groups, Wired reports, as the issue has never been fully considered by the Supreme Court. Authorities seized the laptop from Fricosu in 2010 with a court warrant while investigating financial fraud.

Blackburn ordered Fricosu to surrender an unencrypted hard drive by Feb. 21. The judge added that the government is precluded "from using Ms. Fricosu's act of production of the unencrypted hard drive against her in any prosecution," Wired reports.




Enhanced by Zemanta
A bit of narrative regarding my experience with this ATV rental operation out of Spanish Fork.
 
- Reserved 6x quads in early October. Provided a $300 non-refundable reservation deposit.  
- Was told over the phone by ToyitUp that if I cancelled, I'd lose my $300
- I had the reservation booked for 14 Oct
- On 10 October, I phoned in to cancel. Boss decided that timing wasn't good and we'd reschedule for next May. Got voicemail when I phoned in my cancellation.
- Phoned again evening of 13 October to confirm they received my cancellation. Was told all was good.
- Checked credit card statements today and noticed that ToyitUp charged me the $300 deposit and $823 reservation fee.
- Called them today and they informed me that the legalese said that if I cancelled within 15 days without written, I'd forfeit the entire fee.
 
** They charged me almost $1200 for machines I never rented and are now claiming that I can have in-store credit in lieu of a refund **
 
Needless to say, I'm not going to stand for this. Awaiting a phone call from their "manager".
 
BEWARE THIS OPERATION.

Netflix Apology?

| No Comments
I have been a customer for the past 10 years. In fact, I was one of the early customers when we were living in the Monterrey Bay, California area. Even though we were 45 minutes (by car) from the San Jose Netflix processing center, it still took 2 days to get a CD/DVD delivered.

Needless to say, we were irritated by the poor communication and 60+% price increase that was announced in July of this year. In the end, we decided to go the pure streaming route (Qwikster). We are still considering if RedBox and/or PPV via Dish might be better alternatives.

YouTube is still too expensive ($2.99 to rent a movie, then stream) and other options don't have the inventory YET.

The email I received this morning:

----

Dear James,

I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology. Let me explain what we are doing.

For the past five years, my greatest fear at Netflix has been that we wouldn't make the leap from success in DVDs to success in streaming. Most companies that are great at something - like AOL dialup or Borders bookstores - do not become great at new things people want (streaming for us). So we moved quickly into streaming, but I should have personally given you a full explanation of why we are splitting the services and thereby increasing prices. It wouldn't have changed the price increase, but it would have been the right thing to do.

So here is what we are doing and why.

Many members love our DVD service, as I do, because nearly every movie ever made is published on DVD. DVD is a great option for those who want the huge and comprehensive selection of movies.

I also love our streaming service because it is integrated into my TV, and I can watch anytime I want. The benefits of our streaming service are really quite different from the benefits of DVD by mail. We need to focus on rapid improvement as streaming technology and the market evolves, without maintaining compatibility with our DVD by mail service.

So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are really becoming two different businesses, with very different cost structures, that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently.

It's hard to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to "Qwikster". We chose the name Qwikster because it refers to quick delivery. We will keep the name "Netflix" for streaming.

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, but now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done. Other improvements will follow. A negative of the renaming and separation is that the Qwikster.com and Netflix.com websites will not be integrated.

There are no pricing changes (we're done with that!). If you subscribe to both services you will have two entries on your credit card statement, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as your current charges. We will let you know in a few weeks when the Qwikster.com website is up and ready.

For me the Netflix red envelope has always been a source of joy. The new envelope is still that lovely red, but now it will have a Qwikster logo. I know that logo will grow on me over time, but still, it is hard. I imagine it will be similar for many of you.

I want to acknowledge and thank you for sticking with us, and to apologize again to those members, both current and former, who felt we treated them thoughtlessly.

Both the Qwikster and Netflix teams will work hard to regain your trust. We know it will not be overnight. Actions speak louder than words. But words help people to understand actions.

Respectfully yours,

-Reed Hastings, Co-Founder and CEO, Netflix

p.s. I have a slightly longer explanation along with a video posted on our blog, where you can also post comments.


Enhanced by Zemanta

| No Comments

It's unbelievable that our Congressional representation should be so ignorant and unconcerned about the state of our country. Listen to how he demeans his constituents!






Note: WTF? What is with people?

Original Story

---------------

January 11, 2010 8:06 a.m. EST
"Avatar" is on track to be the highest grossing film of all time, but some viewers say it leaves them depressed.

(CNN) -- James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.

On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.

"I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ," Baghdassarian said. "But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don't have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed."

A post by a user called Elequin expresses an almost obsessive relationship with the film.

"That's all I have been doing as of late, searching the Internet for more info about 'Avatar.' I guess that helps. It's so hard I can't force myself to think that it's just a movie, and to get over it, that living like the Na'vi will never happen. I think I need a rebound movie," Elequin posted.

A user named Mike wrote on the fan Web site "Naviblue" that he contemplated suicide after seeing the movie.

"Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it," Mike posted. "I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.' "

Other fans have expressed feelings of disgust with the human race and disengagement with reality.

Cameron's movie, which has pulled in more than $1.4 billion in worldwide box office sales and could be on track to be the highest grossing film of all time, is set in the future when the Earth's resources have been pillaged by the human race. A greedy corporation is trying to mine the rare mineral unobtainium from the planet Pandora, which is inhabited by a peace-loving race of 7-foot tall, blue-skinned natives called the Na'vi.

In their race to mine for Pandora's resources, the humans clash with the Na'vi, leading to casualties on both sides. The world of Pandora is reminiscent of a prehistoric fantasyland, filled with dinosaur-like creatures mixed with the kinds of fauna you may find in the deep reaches of the ocean. Compared with life on Earth, Pandora is a beautiful, glowing utopia.

Ivar Hill posts to the "Avatar" forum page under the name Eltu. He wrote about his post-"Avatar" depression after he first saw the film earlier this month.

"When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed ... gray. It was like my whole life, everything I've done and worked for, lost its meaning," Hill wrote on the forum. "It just seems so ... meaningless. I still don't really see any reason to keep ... doing things at all. I live in a dying world."

Reached via e-mail in Sweden where he is studying game design, Hill, 17, explained that his feelings of despair made him desperately want to escape reality.

"One can say my depression was twofold: I was depressed because I really wanted to live in Pandora, which seemed like such a perfect place, but I was also depressed and disgusted with the sight of our world, what we have done to Earth. I so much wanted to escape reality," Hill said.

Cameron's special effects masterpiece is very lifelike, and the 3-D performance capture and CGI effects essentially allow the viewer to enter the alien world of Pandora for the movie's 2½-hour running time, which only lends to the separation anxiety some individuals experience when they depart the movie theater.

"Virtual life is not real life and it never will be, but this is the pinnacle of what we can build in a virtual presentation so far," said Dr. Stephan Quentzel, psychiatrist and Medical Director for the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. "It has taken the best of our technology to create this virtual world and real life will never be as utopian as it seems onscreen. It makes real life seem more imperfect."

Fans of the movie may find actor Stephen Lang, who plays the villainous Col. Miles Quaritch in the film, an enemy of the Na'vi people and their sacred ground, an unlikely sympathizer. But Lang says he can understand the connection people are feeling with the movie.

"Pandora is a pristine world and there is the synergy between all of the creatures of the planet and I think that strikes a deep chord within people that has a wishfulness and a wistfulness to it," Lang said. "James Cameron had the technical resources to go along with this incredibly fertile imagination of his and his dream is built out of the same things that other peoples' dreams are made of."

The bright side is that for Hill and others like him -- who became dissatisfied with their own lives and with our imperfect world after enjoying the fictional creation of James Cameron -- becoming a part of a community of like-minded people on an online forum has helped them emerge from the darkness.

"After discussing on the forums for a while now, my depression is beginning to fade away. Having taken a part in many discussions concerning all this has really, really helped me," Hill said. "Before, I had lost the reason to keep on living -- but now it feels like these feelings are gradually being replaced with others."

Quentzel said creating relationships with others is one of the keys to human happiness, and that even if those connections are occurring online they are better than nothing.

"Obviously there is community building in these forums," Quentzel said. "It may be technologically different from other community building, but it serves the same purpose."

Within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing "Avatar" video games or downloading the movie soundtrack, in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities.

Note: 61 years old and filming himself to a 14 year old? What's wrong with these people? Did he really think a 14 year old was going to want to get busy with him?
--------------------

Original Story

Sometimes a man can be betrayed by his wife in a good way.

A 61-year-old woman from Bridgend, Wales, had been married to her husband, for almost 20 years when, according to a court report from the Telegraph, she noticed a curious message on their computer at home.

She focused and realized that the message had been sent by an underage girl to whom her husband had been sending messages in a chat room. The message was of a sexual nature and included her husband's original message to the girl.

Perhaps some spouses would have been so stunned as to not know how to react.

This woman was different. She decided to use another computer in a different part of their house. She then entered the same chat room her husband had been using, posed as a young girl and made contact with him.

 

The prosecuting lawyer told the court: "Her husband had no idea but soon he was chatting with his own wife, believing it was a 14-year-old girl."

The woman didn't merely get written replies from her husband. He also used a Webcam to film himself for their supposed mutual pleasure.

Still, the court heard, she didn't confront him. Instead, she went straight to the police and the British National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

The man, who has grown-up daughters, only discovered that it was his wife who had betrayed him when interviewed by the police. He was given a three-year community order. He was also banned from having any contact with children under the age of 18, a ban that holds for both the real and the online worlds.

After the case, the woman, who is now divorcing her husband, told the Telegraph: "I did the right thing and I don't regret it. Now I just need some time to think and put all this behind me."

However, she was indignant that her husband did not receive a more stringent penalty. She said: "I thought the judge would be a lot harder and that he might go to prison."

Sometimes, we never even know those closest to us. Or sometimes we do, and then one day, they just change.

Fort Hood's 9/11

| No Comments
Note: I couldn't agree more. What a cowardly, politically correct nation we've become. Clearly, this person was radicalized and now needs to die by firing squad - facilitated by the US Army's finest!
---

Original Story: Here

On Thursday afternoon, a radicalized Muslim US Army officer shouting "Allahu Akbar!" committed the worst act of terror on American soil since 9/11. And no one wants to call it an act of terror or associate it with Islam.

What cowards we are. Political correctness killed those patriotic Americans at Ft. Hood as surely as the Islamist gunman did. And the media treat it like a case of non-denominational shoplifting.

This was a terrorist act. When an extremist plans and executes a murderous plot against our unarmed soldiers to protest our efforts to counter Islamist fanatics, it's an act of terror. Period.

When the terrorist posts anti-American hate-speech on the Web; apparently praises suicide bombers and uses his own name; loudly criticizes US policies; argues (as a psychiatrist, no less) with his military patients over the worth of their sacrifices; refuses, in the name of Islam, to be photographed with female colleagues; lists his nationality as "Palestinian" in a Muslim spouse-matching program, and parades around central Texas in a fundamentalist playsuit -- well, it only seems fair to call this terrorist an "Islamist terrorist."

But the president won't. Despite his promise to get to all the facts. Because there's no such thing as "Islamist terrorism" in ObamaWorld.

And the Army won't. Because its senior leaders are so sick with political correctness that pandering to America-haters is safer than calling terrorism "terrorism."

And the media won't. Because they have more interest in the shooter than in our troops -- despite their crocodile tears.

Maj. Nadal Malik Hasan planned this terrorist attack and executed it in cold blood. The resulting massacre was the first tragedy. The second was that he wasn't killed on the spot.

Hasan survived. Now the rest of us will have to foot his massive medical bills. Activist lawyers will get involved, claiming "harassment" drove him temporarily insane. There'll be no end of trial delays. At best, taxpayer dollars will fund his prison lifestyle for decades to come, since our politically correct Army leadership wouldn't dare pursue or carry out the death penalty.

Maj. Hasan will be a hero to Islamist terrorists abroad and their sympathizers here. While US Muslim organizations decry his acts publicly, Hasan will be praised privately. And he'll have the last laugh.

But Hasan isn't the sole guilty party. The US Army's unforgivable political correctness is also to blame for the casualties at Ft. Hood.

Given the myriad warning signs, it's appalling that no action was taken against a man apparently known to praise suicide bombers and openly damn US policy. But no officer in his chain of command, either at Walter Reed Army Medical Center or at Ft. Hood, had the guts to take meaningful action against a dysfunctional soldier and an incompetent doctor.

Had Hasan been a Lutheran or a Methodist, he would've been gone with the simoon. But officers fear charges of discrimination when faced with misconduct among protected minorities.

Now 12 soldiers and a security guard lie dead. 31 soldiers were wounded, 28 of them seriously. If heads don't roll in this maggot's chain of command, the Army will have shamed itself beyond moral redemption.

There's another important issue, too. How could the Army allow an obviously incompetent and dysfunctional psychiatrist to treat our troubled soldiers returning from war? An Islamist whacko is counseled for arguing with veterans who've been assigned to his care? And he's not removed from duty? What planet does the Army live on?

For the first time since I joined the Army in 1976, I'm ashamed of its dereliction of duty. The chain of command protected a budding terrorist who was waving one red flag after another. Because it was safer for careers than doing something about him.

Get ready for the apologias. We've already heard from the terrorist's family that "he's a good American." In their world, maybe he is.

But when do we, the American public, knock off the PC nonsense?

A disgruntled Muslim soldier murdered his officers way back in 2003, in Kuwait, on the eve of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recently? An American mullah shoots it out with the feds in Detroit. A Muslim fanatic attacks an Arkansas recruiting station. A Muslim media owner, after playing the peace card, beheads his wife. A Muslim father runs over his daughter because she's becoming too Westernized.

Muslim terrorist wannabes are busted again and again. And we're assured that "Islam's a religion of peace."

I guarantee you that the Obama administration's non-response to the Ft. Hood attack will mock the memory of our dead.



 Where is James King?


 

Language Translation




 

Other Links:


 Main
 Public Trail Maps
 Archives
 CMS
 About/Contact
 Twitter @BruteForce
 Facebook
 LinkedIn
 Geocaching
 View DGP stats

 

My Audio & Video:


 Flickr
 YouTube
 Pandora

 

Elsewhere:


 ATV Utah
 Our ATV Obsession
 Bogley Outdoor Community
 ATV Escape
 Trish's Cake Shop
 Dennis Udink's Site
 Army Ranger
 Alex's World
 Grizzly Guy
 Adventure World TV
 WeatherCam: UofU
 Delta Bravo Sierra Comics  
 PowerPoint Ranger Comics
 Reversaroller ATV Winch

July 2017

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
30 31          

Recent Photos

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the Rants category.

National News is the previous category.

Technology is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.