Foton Pharming from FRO





GRIPES n STUFF

The information on this website has been brought together with the best of my ability and with no deception intended. Most of the comments below are my opinion... and as someone once said 'opinions are like assholes... everyone's got one'. A lot of these things are what erk me, so pardon my venting of frustrations. If you don't like or disagree with anything here, then simply stop reading and go somewhere else... it won't worry me! Otherwise, enjoy your browsing...

light pollution, windows 10, science, motor racing and TV, politics, the law,
misc thoughts, black roofs, driving, quotes and T-shirts


I've created a whole new page for light pollution here.


Here we go... windows bloody 10...

I recently bought a new desktop computer (July 2016).

Intel i7-6700 (6-core) 3.4GHz, 16 Gig RAM, 240 Gig SSD, Radeon R7 370 video, latest Kaspersky Internet Security and du-dur
windows 10 OS.

This thing absolutely flew, booted in under 10 seconds, all apps and programs started virtually immediately... for a couple of weeks anyway. 

Back track for a second, the 3G wifi-MBB dongle I had (which worked just fine on the XP machine) would not work with w10 despite the patches from telstra, so had to buy a new 4G model... first sign of things to come.

Then the updates started. A major one changed several things in the startup menu and added/removed certain switches in the settings apps, turned on all the apps I had turned off, Photoshop stopped working completely and worst of all the email app crashed the PC not once but 5 times in a row when trying to send an email. I tried a restore point to when the system last worked (2 days previous) but it kept crashing on start-up with various error messages on the BSOD. Approaching 20 BSODs and I'm thinking 'its back to the shop we go' but then it stabilized for no apparent reason. So I was not confident to run the stupid email app again and have used Thunderbird ever since with no problems. Then the apps and other programs started taking a long time to start up, 30-40 seconds for Thunderbird and Firefox, 90 seconds for a html editor, over a minute to open a 21kb spreadsheet from a USB 3 flash drive in a USB 3 port, 3 minutes for the jigsaw puzzle app!!

I can't get several of my old programs to run on w10, simply not compatible, I only got Photoshop to work again by re-installing it in XP compatibility mode from the original CD but when using it for several minutes the menus, toolbars and images keep disappearing and need another click on the work space to reappear... very frustrating. Last 2 win updates caused video card problems that resolved with Radeon updates, these only 2 weeks apart.

I am using a pre-paid mobile BB dongle, the updates have sapped 13.5 of my 16 Gigs in just 2 months 3 days, I don't do a lot of surfing online and have not downloaded any major files etc, I rarely even click utube files. 

So after 6 weeks, I put my trusty old XP system back together and now use it to do any actual work.

The new $2000 machine has a become a painfully slow email/browser and useless for anything else except wasting data. 

WTF microsoft.

Searching online for a solution to fix these ailments typically just reveals how much hatred there is building up out there for this terrible OS.

Why can't these people leave things well enough alone? If it ain't broke don't fix it... long live XP


If you don't know physics, you don't know anything!!!!

To all the nay sayer's out there that blame science and technology on all the problems of the world...

Set your preconceptions and prejudices aside and try to understand this...

Science is the pursuit and application of knowledge and understanding of the natural and social world following a systematic methodology based on evidence.

It discovers the rules and workings of the world around us.

When new discoveries are made, then the rules and accepted values are either confirmed or updated.
Unlike religious and political ideas, science can adapt. Any scientific theory is only good till a better comes along.

Our understanding changes as new theories are tested and better instruments test those theories in the real world. 

Technology is the manifest of those scientific discoveries.
This is where the story often goes bad by the misuse of technology by the rich and power hungry.

Luckily, there are still some people with forethought and a hope for the future that can steer some technologies in a positive direction.

Falsifiability, as defined by the philosopher, Karl Popper, defines the inherent testability of any scientific hypothesis.

Remember... "Authority can lie but nature does not" - R.P.Feynman



Thanks a bunch to the jerks at channel 10 who in 2015, after finally getting all the motor racing rights, decided not to telecast all the races of the Formula 1, MotoGP and worst of all, our own Ausy V8 Supercars.
I've been an avid follower of motor sport for over 33 years.
Now, just so some rich jerk can make even more money,  they have denied us poor bastards from watching all the races.
I live in a rural area and don't get decent internet, so I can't watch it online and don't have much money so I can't afford to pay for crap (pay)TV ...
Thanks for nothing you arseholes!!

Anyhoo, its been over 2 years now, I haven't watched any motor sport at all, and I got no withdrawals... I win !
In fact, I watch very little of anything on ch 10, most of their programming is absolute garbage, no wonder they are going under!

While I'm on the subject of TV.
My family live about 20 kilometres out of the NSW country town of Mudgee, for years we had mediocre TV reception, not from that town but from 135 kilometres away (Coonabarabran). That was all we could get. We spent a lot of money on setting up large antennas, boosters and getting them metered in properly. As the time approached for the switch-over to digital transmissions, the signal on 2 of the 5 channels got so bad that they were un-watchable most of the time. But, we were told that when the old analogue was switched off it would improve. Well, if by improve they meant it would disappear completely, then that's what happened. We now have absolutely no terrestrial signal at all. So we have been forced to use the VAST system (satellite TV). So our 'free to view' TV has cost our family over $3,200 to set up. Satellite dishes, decoders and USB HDDs that use so much power they act as heaters. In summer we have to put fans on them because they get too hot to even touch! We had no choice with these as the system needed very specific hardware. All the features of our TV sets are now redundant... they just act as monitors now, all the old video and HDD recorders are useless with the VAST system. For the first 6 months we still could not get commercial stations because the government had not allowed them to be viewed from our area???, then all of a sudden they were switched on. Had me buggered and bloody infuriated!

So now we have all the free to air stations but we soon found that we were forced to endure a limited number of advertisements that are played over and over again in virtually every add break, they are all based on business in central Australia and therefore have no relevance to us in central NSW. It has become psychological torture seeing and hearing the same thing repeatedly, day after day, month after month. So we have taken to recording nearly everything we want to watch and rarely watch TV live. Every time it rains the signal drops out. Multiple times a day the decoder boxes reset for no obvious reason and take over 2 minutes to cycle through the start up routine. For no apparent reason they will lock on record for hours and need the power plug physically disconnected to stop it... while actually recording nothing. The decoder can only see one channel at a time, so you cannot record a show and watch another channel, this is extremely frustrating when the TV stations put competing 'good' shows on together, although there is less 'good' stuff on these days. I know they are making 2 or 3 channel decoders now but we can not afford to simple discard the units we have spent a lot of money on already. I'm glad to get that off my chest but it still doesn't solve anything.

The latest torment was in 2017, when all three of our systems started deleting every saved recording each time the decoder boxes went through their daily reset. You have no idea how bloody annoying that was. I finally got onto the technicians who tried to resolve the issue. After following their instructions, several attempts to install updated firmware failed because it turned out I was using the "wrong type" of USB flash drive. Using another brand of flash drive, I finally got the update in and that particular issue was resolved. All the boxes still reset every day, still driving us mad. 

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

Why is it that commercial TV stations can't start a program within 5 minutes of the advertised times but
they all synchronise their add breaks to the millisecond !?!?!

There's an old saying "the first casualty of war is the truth" but I think the new version should be "the real casualty of news media is the truth!"... they seem to make up any sort of crap for a rating. Thanks to D. Trump, we now know this as "fake news". Mostly bullshit with small bits of truth thrown in to confuse everyone.

With the media, always remember... Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.

I used to call the news the "death and destruction hour" but I've changed it to
"the stupid people doing stupid things hour".


Corrupt, Incompetent, greedy, self obsessed...    sorry, I meant politicians:

I want to know why we keep using the word 'honourable' with politicians. 
These are the most dishonourable people you'd ever be forced to meet. Their primary reason for getting into politics is to make money by manipulating the system, don't be fooled into thinking otherwise. And what can we, as lowly individuals, do about it... absolutely nothing. Why? Well, because most of us live in the real world and are powerless. To become a politician, you have to have been born and raised in La-La Land, which is just north of Utopia on the peninsula of Oz.

If we weren't forced to vote in this country, no one would bother. Most of us are sick of being bombarded with bullshit.

Vote 1 the 'Honest' party... phhfffff, like that'll ever happen.

Important public service announcement - a little trick for telling when a politician is lying...
if you look really closely, their lips will be moving!

To find the truth... follow the money.


The Law:

What the hell is with the legal system?????

Lately in the media, it seems to be the flavour of the month where several trials have been retried or overturned or called into question.

Why can't they get it right the first time? After all, they are supposed to be expert.

Are the legal 'professionals' simply incompetent or does each one have their own idea of what level of right and wrong is acceptable (ie I think that, therefore I'm right) or is 'the law' so complicated and full of loop-holes that those with money and influence can manipulate it to achieve whatever outcome they want or is it all of the above. In which case, it is an ass!

If you kill someone, that is a murder. There are no degrees of death so why are there degrees of murder?


Some Miscellaneous Thoughts:

* Abnormal is the new norm *

'do gooders' do no good.

What brings nations together is science...  what tears nations apart is religion.

It doesn't matter what is right or wrong, true of false, people will believe what ever they want to believe... and that explains most things in life... religion, politics, terrorism, morals, aliens!

You don't have to be religious to be a good person...
it is painfully obvious that the reverse of this is all too common.

The modern ethos... Yep, just do whatever YOU want to do and
don't give anyone else the slightest consideration.

The rich will always win but never by doing the right thing.  A sad fact.

On a similar topic... Philanthropy

When the mega-rich have bought everything they could possibly want, they get bored and look for something else to buy... popularity. So really they are not generous with their donations of large amounts of money, it is just something else to make them happy.
A truly generous person gives when they have little to give... and does not seek adulation for it.

Black Roofs:

In this time of energy conservation and governments telling us to be energy aware, why are councils allowing homes to have black roofs? As a 'colour' black absorbs all wavelengths of light, white reflects all wavelengths, this is basic physics. In the summer we need to keep the heat out of our homes when the Sun is at its most prominent. In the winter we need to stop the heat escaping our homes when there is little external heating. That is called insulation. So in the Australian summer, any home with a black roof will have temperatures several degrees hotter in the roof space than a light coloured roof. This in turn requires more electricity to run the air conditioning to maintain a desired comfort level within that home.
That is the physics of it but fashion appears to be a stronger force than common sense.

Bloody hell, I hate daylight saving time!
It is just another totally unnecessary complication in an already overly complicated existence...
just like this sentence.

I am absolutely convinced there is a new type of human evolving,
instead of neurons in their brains, they have morons !!!


Cars:

This one is serious... I've discovered what causes motor vehicle accidents... 
people are simply getting too lazy and/or too selfish to drive properly... prove me wrong!
On that very note, in 2013 a local person was run down and killed by someone using a mobile device while driving.
Driving is not that hard...
you only have to make the smallest amount of effort and
pay attention to what you are doing.

Having a driving license is a privilege, not a right. Mind you, I think a lot were obtained from Corn Flakes packets.

Latest observation on 15 August 2014...

I live about 20 kilometres out of Mudgee on a very high use secondary road that leads to the coal mines at Ulan. 
I very often see people bending and breaking the road rules but what I observed today, I just had to write down.

It started with a vehicle (late model White Toyota dual cab 4WD) closing up behind me in an 80K zone and tailgating me for a couple of hundred metres, I was sitting on the speed limit. They then overtook me, not indicating, and sped forward in that zone. I accelerated up to 100K in the next speed zone but they were by now way ahead and clearly exceeding that speed limit too. Catching up to other vehicles, they tailgated twice more and on three right hand bends, two of them blind, they cut the corner crossing double unbroken lines to the incorrect side of the road. I once again caught up with this person who was now tailgating a truck until they overtook that vehicle over unbroken double lines again with no indicator. 
I then turned off to my place. 
I, on the other hand, had just cruised along not exceeded any speed limits, had stayed on the correct side of the road and backed off well away from anyone I caught up to on the road. So in that 17 kilometres I counted this person breaking 12 road rules and they had not gotten any further ahead of me in that small journey.

WHAT THE FRAK !

Continuing on with the ever popular pastime of driving around right hand bends, either on or over the centre line. What... half the road is not enough for them? I see this every day and it worries me because I see it as I am going the other way on that same bit of road and these idiots are right in front of me. I suppose it harks back to my first statement, they are too lazy, too selfish and don't give a rats about anyone else.

Here's another one to remember... its 'blinker, brake, turn' not 'brake, turn, blinker.'


Okay, settle down, calm blue ocean, calm blue ocean... flowers, puppy dogs...naa,
chips and a nice cold beer... that worked.

My favourite song for a long time is 'Shark Fin Blues' by the Drones (Gareth Liddiard).

Extract from article in 'the Guardian'...

Shark Fin Blues delves into the darkest corners of the human psyche, where depression, loss and anger lie. It’s a bitter song that typifies Liddiard’s unique approach to music and song writing and has become an anthem of sorts for the disenfranchised and melancholic.

A couple of other people have recorded versions, Ben Salter does a nice acoustic one and Missy Higgins has recently done a very soulful take on it that I quite like too.


Quotable quotes:

"You only need to floss the teeth you want to keep" - Dr Karl

"Sarcasm is only one of the many services I offer."  -  One of my friends had this on a T-shirt

"Authority can lie but nature does not" -  R.P.Feynman

Truth is stranger than fiction. 
It is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities whereas truth is not. -
  Mark Twain
(Chuck Lorre, *401)

"You can observe a lot just by watching" -  Yogi Berra

"It is very difficult to make predictions, especially about the future" -  Niels Bohr

Next time you see a big fat person, ask them if they are...
"committing suicide with a knife and fork"
- My mate Bob G.

Not so much a quotable quote ... "Without books the development of civilisation would have been impossible. They are the engines of change, windows of the world, lighthouses erect in the sea of time. They are companions, teachers, magicians, bankers of the treasures of the mind. Books are humanity in print." - Barbara Tuchman


Some funny T-shirts I find amusing...


Pardon the old fellows 'french' but he is right on the money...

Eventually,  all this information will be lost in time, like tears in rain...