Friday, September 28, 2012

Google's New Blogger

Update.-- I've worked with the new user interface which seems and works more like an application than an interface, and while I use it and find to good features and tools, it's still the same issue of too much in too little space. Fancy as it is, you still have to remember what to do and where everything is to do what you want. Simple it's not. Geeky is an understatement. Still.

I've been noticing on the top of my blogger user interface, where users see and use the "Dashboard", the link to upgrade to the new interface. Well, doing some research, aka, Googling, I found blogs and forums discussing and showing the new interface. Well, from what I see of it, it's very similar to Google's new analytics interface, and that's where things change.

For one, I really hate the new Google Analytics interfaces, so much I bought an app which dumps the data from it and displays it on my monitor, simple and easy to use and see the data I want to know. Google's old Analytics did that, but the geeks and marketing folks got hold of the new one and swamped it with needless confusion and complexity.

And from what I see of the new Blogger interface, it's much the same, lots of information all jumbled on one screen, easy for any geek to marvel at their seemingly self-delusion of genius. I don't want it. I love simplicity, sheer basic, functional simplicity, stuff easy to see and use. That was lost with Google's Analytics and apparently lost with Google's Blogger.

What to do? Well, three things. First, live with it and use it, and in the process still hate it. Second, buy an app to replace it which interacts with it to post articles and manage draft posts, leaving only accessing it for the user preferences and settings. And third, replace it as my blog.

On the last, I can't host my own because my Website host won't allow the sheer volume. I don't have a quota as long as it's reasonable, and to move my blogs to the host would be unacceptable, maybe. I don't know, but something to investigate and think about if it's doable. It's a, "Hmmm...."

Ok, that said, I'll keep you posted here what happens and what I do, but for now, I'm still with the old interface because I like it and I like the essay edit window. But then when the switch is mandated I'll say, "Alas poor blogger I knew you well, but as they say, all good things come to evil when evil sees the profit. And we all know evil lurks in the hearts of men, er. Google, when it comes to power and money."

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Public Schools

The way to improve public schools is very simple and easy, fund them. This country should fund school systems for all the students and all the  necessary needs, from the poorest neighborhoods to the best, from the most special needs students to the most talented and intelligent.

The way is simple. Don't give funds to school voucher programs. Don't give funds to charter schools. Don't give tax deductions to families for non-public schools.

Give all the funds and tax deductions to public schools. And then increase the funds to public schools so school districts don't have beg through bond referendums, don't have to soliticit legislatures for adequate funds, and don't cut federal programs or grants to states for school programs.

I spent my life in public schools. Public schools were my education and it should be every child's education.

If parents want to send their children to private schools or home-school them, fine, but don't expect governement funds or tax deductions. It's your choice and it should be your money, not our money for your personal choice.

Imagine if we fully funded public schools. Think of all the future generations who know the value of a public education. Think of what all the future generations can achieve for this country.

Not a bad idea. It only takes us to dedicate ourselves to this goal for our children, for our future, for our country. What's more patriotic?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Neat Thing

The neat thing about a dictionary is that it's full of words, you know, words which are kind, nice, positive and better reflect friendship and love. Words which don't hurt, cause pain, inflict wounds, injure the heart, damage the soul, and otherwise kill the person's feelings and emotions.

Words. Yeah, just words. But that's what a dictionary is for, to find ones which express kindness, compassion and love. Keep one handy, it works for me. And you learn to spell too.


Why do some men give women a lot of latitude and flexibility to change their view, change their mind and change their decsion, except when it comes to sex, and then the only answer is yes, and forcibly if she isn't aware of what's happening or wants to say no?

Why do these same men decide sex isn't a choice for the woman? And why do they always give an excuse we know is lame, dumb and stupid, and we know they didn't really care what the woman thought, what she said, and most of all, what she wanted, which was for him to respect the word no?

What don't these men not know about the word no? What didn't they learn from their parents, their friends and classmates, from their bosses, and from society the word no means what it means? Or is it not about the word but about women? And what didn't they learn about them?

What don't these men know that it doesn't matter how they spin the situation, the events, the words, it's still rape, and the word no is what it means no matter who says it, especially women?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple iTunes Store

Since there are no real or good music stores in the area I live and many of the good ones in Seattle are fading faster than CD's themselves, I've moved to buying most of my music through Apple's iTunes store. When I get into it, I always move to the music section, but today they've changed something I really dislike now.

When you use the pulldown menu in the upper right, I always go to World, mostly because Apple's catagories and definitions of music by bands or artists or the main catagories isn't very good or right, but at least World music is a big box of genres.

When I get to the World music section they have always listed J-Pop (Japanese pop) music in the individual list which is the most popular and sold in Asia, so I can click and see the latest releases imported from Japan. But today that listing is gone. It's a WTF moment to grasp what happened.

They list German and French pop music, but not Asian pop music? I know Apple has been in a fight with Sony in Japan over rights to artist and their music, but some Japanese artists have released albums through the iTunes store, but now I can't find the most recent releases.

I have to go to browse and try to find all the names of the bands or artist I like, but what about the new artists or one I don't know but would like to hear? Apparently people who like and want Asian pop music just don't count for Apple.

If they had the listing of recent J-Pop releases, why take it away. Why not add other countries, like K-Pop (Korean) music?

Apparently in the war over music between the big corporations, customers don't count. They decide for you and you get what they offer. Otherwise, go elsewhere, which is what I have done through Amazon Japan. Not cheap but at least I can get CD's in 3 days and not deal with Apple and its iTunes store.

But I'm still left with the feeling Apple doesn't really care about offering customers the full range of products, only those they think sell. But then you can always do the same to Apple by not buying what they sell.

Tully's Closes

My favorite Tully's closed today. I stop by this cafe two to three times a week, usually for one drink, a tall mocha shake without whipped cream. No other cafe makes coffee-based shakes. I stop by when I run errands around Tacoma and after days I do my 4.5 miles walk along the Ruston walk park on the waterfornt to Commencement Bay.

Today there was a sign on the door the cafe was closing at the end of business today (Friday 9/21/12). Talking with one of the people, she said the company called them yesterday to close the cafe today. Yeah, one day's notice and they're all fired. All now unemployed.

This cafe doesn't lose money. It's in a good neighborhood next to a local park when people overflow the cafe during events. There is a Starbucks and the Spar cafe two blocks away. The Spar cafe only opens to prepare for lunch, dinner and the bar later in evening, so they're not overly concerned if the cafe makes or loses money.

The Starbucks is doing fine, almost always nearly full or full. Tully's has a steady customer base, so there's no real reason for closing this cafe. The nearest one is a few miles away in the Stadium District and a little farther downtown. This cafe is ideally located for the neighborhood and the area.

I wrote Tully's I disagree and dislike their decision, but I doubt they'll open it again. I suspect there are some other underlying reasons, such as lease rate increases, competition from other business wanting the space, the building owner wanting them out, etc.

Who knows, but we do know a number of really good people are now unemployed. That's not fair or right.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

2 Years & Obsolete

Well, it's official. What I already knew but now it's real. With the release of IOS 6, Apple has decided it won't work on original iPads. Yeah, I've had mine for two years this month and it's obsolete, at least it won't be updated anymore and apps will eventually pass it by.

Fortunately that will be some time since most app developers are still on version of IOS 5, some even IOS 4. I have IOS 5.1.1 on it so it will be like that until I decide to replace, which will be awhile since it works for what I want, my photography folio, USGS maps and documents, lots of documents.

I love the fact I can create or download PDF versions of almost any document for the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide and history projects. The limitation was finding the PDF readers which could handle large map and document files and lots of files.

For that I found GoodReader to be the best followed by Adobe's Reader, PDF Mate and PDF Reader Pro. There is another one, Stanza, which I have but it's as good. I'm not enamored with file format specific readers but I've had load and use two, Barnes and Noble's Nook and Googles' Playbooks.

Good has pissed me by scanning old books and documents, which they got or bought rights to for public distribution and while initially offering them in PDF version, they have gone to their own reader requiring an account. After getting a few documents I stopped out of protest for this tactic.

Anyway, that's away from the point, which is now it's just time before some of the app only work with IOS 6 and then I'll be forced to replace the iPad with another one. Maybe. At least not until Adobe and the other major players force me because of apps.

With that I give my iPhone 4G about another year, it's only a year and a half old, before it's obsolete  when Apple release IOS 7 for the iPhone 5 and later models. Poor iPhone 4GS owners who'll have to join the club of planned obsolescence.


Well, with 12 games to go and losing the last 4 games in a row  the Seattle Mariners are 10 games under .500 with no realistic chance of ending the season at .500, but still their best record in a few years, like that means anything.

Well, the team owners, the manager and others will put a positive spin on it as "building to the future with great prospects for 2013." Like, "Yeah, right", the same words we've heard the last few years of losing seasons.

And will the team has played its hearts out, it simply wasn't up to the tasking of winning more games than they lose. It's that simple. The Oakland A's, the Tamap Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles have similar stats for hitting, pitching and defense, and all of those teams have good winning records, two headed for the playoffs.

That said, the fans can feel good as the team was supposed to have a worse record, but hey, there's 12 games left to prove the skeptics right they would finish 20 games under .500. But all said and done, there's a some obvious things the Mariners need to do.

First, stop keeping players who promise to hit but can't, and don't hit much over .200 when then get to the majors. It's the same with them from the beginning of the season and they haven't learned how to hit.

Second, keep the defense as much as possible. They're the best in baseball, don't mess with it unless you find a better player who can hit over .250 and preferably near .300 like Chones Figgins was supposed to do but never did.

Third, find a firstbaseman. Both Smoak and Carp are great defensively but both are some of the worst hitters on the team. They hit lots of homeruns, but I'd rather they hit for average and RBI's, and not into so many outs.

Fourth, find a catcher. The ones they have are good, but they're not Dan Wilson, the best the Mariners have ever had defensively and a decent hitter. Find someone close and they're worth the whole set you have now.

Fifth, find a young Ichiro, a lead off hitter and great defensive player. You score runs with the first two hitters in the lineup on base. Fill those spots and then find your number 3, 4 and 5 hitters who are equally decent. Not necessarily overpowering but consistent for average.

And lastly, fire the GM. He promised a team and hasn't delivered after these years of losing seasons. You can't blame the players when the GM didn't hire the best the team could have had to field a winning team.

Anyway, right now, I'm still and always will be a Mariners fan, but winning helps fill Safeco Field and gets viewers. Next year we want results than promises. We'll hope for now and wait for it, but we expect winning.

iPhone & IOS 6

Well, I started to play some more with IOS 6 after reading a column in today's New York Times that Apple replaced the map from Google with their own map application. Since the icon for it is nearly identical to Google's, I didn't pay much attention to it  until I read the column.

And so far, just getting started with it, I have to say it sucks. I put my iPad next to it with Google's map on it (they still use IOS 5.1) for comparison and immediately ran into problems with Apple's map app.

For one thing, both used the location enabled and GPS signal. The iPad almost always hones in quickly and to the exact location and building. The iPhone has my home somewhere in the middle of the Narrows Strait amidst the boat traffic about a half-mile east of where I live.

That's not cool. If it can't find your current location, what good is it? Isn't that what GPS is about, to be with 10' of your exact location?

What's worse, it kept blaming the compass in the iPhone, the interference error message you get to move your iPhone in a figure-8 a few times. Repeated tries with this produced the same error message and still kept me in the middle of the Narrows Strait.

I read that Apple, instead of developing their own in-house maps, bought 3 companies which make map apps. Well, what can I say, you get what you pay for and customers get to choose what they want to buy.

And while I like the iPhone, I'm not enamored, and even sometimes pissed, Apple seems to keep thinking it knows its customer more and better than the customers. Well, dear Apple, you don't, so stop trying and stop making decisions we don't like.

So, my suggestion?

Google, please develop an iPhone app for your map service.

Please. I'll even spend a few bucks to buy it and park Apple's map app in the junk box I keep in the last screen with all the other useless Apple apps, now up to six apps.

Update.-- Well, about 30 minutes later the iPhone finally got my whereabouts and my home properly located on the map. Gee, I'm warm and dry now. And while it changes my view of Apple's map app a little, it doesn't change my view of Google's map app, please make one for iPhones to give people choices.


Mr. Romney,

You seem to have forgotten your civics and history lessons from school, but that's ok, I'll remind you in very simple terms. Redistribution is "government of the people, by the people and for the people."

See, it is easy to remember, Abraham Lincoln said it in the Gettysburg Address. And that's what our taxes do for all of us. It doesn't matter who pays how much taxes, only that we pay a fair share appropriate for the circumstance of our live defined by the tax laws of this country.

That means everyone gains by and for the common good. You remember common good? That's also what redistribution is, government for the common good, all of us, like roads, schools, teachers, firefighters, police, national guard, etc.

You should know as a former governor working for all the people of Massachusetts, not what you learned and exercised as the head of Bain Capital, carving up companies for profit and firing employees to ship jobs overseas.

You see Mr. Romney, it's easy if you think of we instead of me. But then I don't expect you to remember it, let alone believe in it. You haven't yet.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

iPhone & IOS 6

Well, I upgraded my iPhone 4G with IOS 6 today and there is one thing I'd really like Apple to do with their iPhones and IOS. Really,  just one? Well, just this one.

It's simple, give users control to remove the apps Apple installs as part of IOS. I use my iPhone for just a few things, mostly the obvious, a phone, and second, music. Most of the rest is hardly used and almost all of the Apple installed apps are pushed into one box of apps (Lifestyle) and shoved to the last screen with the empty newsstand and calculator.

I've had a cellphone from the 1990's when they were analog. I just like it first and foremost to be what it is, a cellphone. I don't use it as a smart phone and the few apps I bought are useful, the Oxford American Dictionary, The Encylopedia of Britannica, photography apps for sun/moon times, weather, compass, and clock, and of course being a geographer, maps.

I don't play games, don't watch videos, don't access Apple iTunes/App stores, check or watch stocks, read, listen or watch news/media, etc., which is the crap Apple loads into iPhones and iPads, so users should be able to take them off and reload them when they want.

I also don't use Apple's iCloud for my iPhone or iPad to synchronize with my Mac or as a backup. The only thing in iCloud is my Apple Mobile Me e-mail account because it's required from my Mobile Me to iCloud transfer.

I backup my iPhone and iPad on my Mac. I don't sync my iTunes library to my iPhone or iPad because iCloud won't accommodate my entire library and much of it isn't in iTunes, and I'll be damned if I'll give Apple my old albums for free.

My basic gripe is to let users remove Apple apps. They're a waste to some, like me, who never need or want them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Everyone Pays Taxes

Sorry Mr. Romney, everyone pays taxes. They pay federal and state sales taxes, property taxes, payroll taxes, Social Security taxes, state income taxes, vehicle license fees, gas taxes, and associated other federal, state and local taxes, and yes, even federal income taxes.

And yes, Mr. Romney, on a percentage basis, I would bet they pay as much, and probably more than you. Not in terms of dollars but in terms of proportion of their income on taxes.

And yes, Mr. Romney, many people are the 47% of the 99%'ers.

And no Mr. Romney, trying to confuse is by saying you pay 13% in taxes isn't the same as saying you pay 13% in income tax, which you haven't said you did.

Why is that Mr. Romney? Is it because there were years you paid little, if any, income taxes on your millions of dollars in capital gains income? Is it because you paid a far less percentage than the average person pays on your actual earned income?

Is it why you won't release your tax returns? Afraid of the truth and your lies?

And exactly why do you say people don't pay taxes when you know that's a lie by deception than reality?

The Real Romney

Will the real Romney stand up? Will the real Romney actually say what he thinks than flip-flop on every issue more times than a Slinky down a long staircase?

Wait, he did this week with release of a video at a fundraising speech before wealthy donors to his campaign. He did finally tell us what he really thinks of Americans, especially all of us lower and middle class working Americans.

He told us he doesn't care one iota about the half of Americans in this country. And of the other half, most of them he wants to con into believing he's the answer to the problems and will support the most extreme view on any issue.

In truth he only cares about one thing, himself and the Romney family. He doesn't even care about the wealthy if they help him, give him their money. Otherwise, he's worse than a quickie with a prostitue, "slam blam, thank you ma'am, money please."

The real Romney stood up and talked. Something we should all take note what he said because he can't flip-flop on the truth, his truth.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Fashion & Fact

Riccardo Tisci, an Italian fashion designer, is quoted as saying, "Black is always elegent. It is the most complete colour in the whole world, made of all the colours in the pallette." Well, maybe for fashion black is elegant, but for fact, black is not a color, it is the absence of color.

That said, the truth is that all existing colors of black have some color in it but not from the range of colors, just a few colors. That's because they have yet to produce a "true" black, meaning the total absence of any color and folks want to create shades of black for their uses.

And even using the digital color for black (the hexidecimal "#000000"), the technology you're seeing it isn't true black,  just the a presentation of it for display purposes. Every form of color presentation combines colors to create black, but again, not the whole range, just the shade of it they want.

They are very close to creating true black, but for all practical applications, black is just what it is, black, with the obviousness of the lack of color. It's only fashion designers who think black, while I agree is an elegant fashion sense, is a color.

Ask any photographer.

Canon 40mm f2.8 Lens

I recently added the Canon 40mm f2.8 lens to my collection after selling the 85mm f1.2 UL II and 17-40mm f4 lenses. I used the 85mm lens a lot in the first two years but the size and weight is too much and I replaced it with the 85mm f1.8 lens.

The 17-40mm f4 lens was the choice over the 16-35mm f2.8 lens. In the end it goes back to the way I work which doesn't fit zoom lenses. I liked fixed focal length lenses and while it's harder moving to accommodate the scene for the lens than just standing there and adjusting the focal length for the scene, it's what works for me.

I've had the 40mm lens since July, and all the images of the lenses for sale on the photo gear blog were taken with the lens. I've always liked 40-45mm focal length lenses because they're what I call a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) lens. Really?

Yeah, the 40-45mm focal length is what replicates the view of the human eye depending on your peripheral vision. The 50-55mm focal length replicates the center vision of the human eye without the peripheral vision.

This is why photos taken with 40-45mm lenses seem normal, it's the view you would see standing there. It's also why the old 1930's photos seem to be normal since many were taken with the equivalent focal length lens for 4x5 photography, 150-180mm lenses.

This lens is also called a "pancake" lens because it's compact, protruding less than an inch from the body, far less than any other lens in Canon's EOS lens line. I have several other similar lenses for my Minolta cameras, the MD 45mm f2 and old Rokkor 21mm f4.5 which required mirror lockup.

Anyway, without getting technical, which you can find those reviews on the Web, this is a nice lens, perfect for street photography and many other scenes where you want the normal look. It makes a nice walk-around lens you can shoot without being obvious.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Update.--We now know the name of the person responsible for the video, a convict felon on parole living in the Los Angeles area. Many people involved in the movie have rejected the movie, but a few haven't.

We know they have an affliation with the Copt Christian Sect in the US and Middle East, namely Egypt. This is a extremist group which has experienced attacks in Egypt by Muslim groups for their extremism.

And now we know they're responsible for the deaths and destruction in the Middle East, and while not responsible for all of it, their hands are as bloody as anyone. They are the ones who should be standing in Tahrir Square explaining their work.

Original Post.--Even though the viral anti-Islam video posted to YouTube did not cause the attack on the two US diplomatic compound in Libya, which were, as we suspect now, planned for the anniversary of 9/11, the video has incited protests and riots which lead to attacks on other US diplomatic compounds and embassies across the Middle East.

What I find interesting is the timing of the release of the video which could have easily been delayed to after 9/11 or after the election, but it wasn't, and seems to me to be too coincidental with both 9/11 and the election campaign to incite protests in dominate Muslim nations and meant to make President Obama look bad.

As the department manager said in the movie "The Incredibles",

"Coincidence? I think not!"

Which leads me to clearly see there are people in this country who are willing to put Americans overseas, especially military and diplomatic personnel, at risk and in harms way, and are very willing to make this country and especially this President look bad.

They clearly are willing to sacrifice this country and its international reputation for their own political purposes and goals. Why haven't they stood up to claim the video, claim the message in the video, and claim responsibility for the consequences of this video?

Why? Because they don't want to stand in the public spotlight. Because they don't want to be held accountable by Muslim for their hatred of Islam. Because they don't have the courage to face the criticism of other Americans.

And for that they have no right to call themselves Patriots, and I question if they even have the right to call themselves Americans. They did what no American and especially no patriot would do to the President, the nation and the people.

They should be found and taken to Tahrir Square in Cairo and forced to explanation their actions to Muslims everywhere. Do they have the courage?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Federal Employees & Retirees

For the first time in my life after leaving home and joining the US Air Force during the Vietnam War era, and year into my college, I'm seeing both political parties using federal employees and retirees not just as political fodder but as the enemy of the economic and financial future of this country.

Democrats have traditionally supported federal employees and retirees, if not overtly in the partly platform and campaign speeches, then subtly in their campaigns by responding to criticism by the Republican candidates and party.

But President Obama has repeatedly used federal employees and retirees as political bargaining chips with Congress. He arbitrary froze our salaries and annuities two of the last three years before even fighting for some increase for the cost of living and inflation.

He threw us overboard for other gains. Now after a one year increase which didn't match the cost of living or inflation he's offering a minute increase of less than one percent, even a half percent or less, in advance of budget negotiations with Congress.

Congress is proposing another three year freeze on salaries and annuities while increasing the cost of health insurance and payment for benefits for employees. Retirees will get the health insurance increase.  And President Obama is not standing up for us in this fight beyond the small increase in salaries and annuities.

And he still wants my vote. For what? After 32 years in government service all I get is blame from both parties along and the Republican candidate, and now the President. All I get are promises of another 2-3 years, and maybe longer, of annuity freezes.

I, like many federal retirees, are slowly financially sinking while others get better. And I'm one of the lucky retirees who worked hard to get a decent annuity where I don't have to work, or didn't have to or plan outside of developing my own business.

That may change if the annuity freeze continues another 2-3 years as I can't afford to fall behind much more than I am already. And we're expected to vote for this guy? Why? Right now it's only because he's the lesser of evils, still evil, but less than Romney.

And while he is the President, he's shown his loyalty isn't with federal employees and retirees. He may talk about supporting us, but not when there's a fight, when we become one of the early victims left on the political battlefield by this President.

Sorry Mr. President. I like you but not for many things you've done and especially this one thing, which is nothing in support of us, the folks that made and make your government work. We deserve a living wage and annuity, not one from 3 years ago and definitely not one kept there for another 2-3 years.

We built this government and we make it work. Something apparently you don't feel the need to honor beyond words. Your actions speak louder.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


To the political candidates about news stories, there are a few simple rules. Really, very basic, simple, easy-to-remember rules. And they are?

If you don't know, ask first. Learn. Understand.

It's the old adage, "Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt"

To that end here's what you do not do.

Don't say anything until you know enough to issue a statement, give a response or answer a question.

Don't criticize and especially condemn until you have all the best, truthful information available, and then only say it relative to that information.

Do not say more than you know for sure.

Do not attack anyone until you can prove your criticism.

Do not attack the President until you know more than the President.

Do not make off-hand comments you won't stand behind when read in print or seen in replay.

In other words, don't say anything until you know it's true. It's not rocket science. It's called common sense.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Really Mr. Romney

Mr. Romney,

Either you are so stupid you don't think thoroughly before you talk on critical issues, especially before the media, or you think you're so smart that anything to attack the president is fair game in an election campaign even when your words are lies.

Which is it Mr. Romney?

Your attack on the President and the people at embassies in Egypt and Libyia was totally wrong and your words totally out of context to what was said when. And you stand there and act important to condemn the President but not the source of the protests in those countries?

Do you really stand against nations where the majority of the people are Muslim? Are you that blindly hateful of these people? Are you so sworn to protect people who purposely produce a video which is clearly meant to enrage and create hate against Muslims?

Is that where your ethics lie, or do you, as it has appeared so far in this election, have no ethics? Is that where your sense of humanity and fairness lies that you have none? Is that where your sense of values lie where you have none?

You clearly have no experience or even a hint of understanding of international diplomacy. Maybe you should listen to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, here, then maybe you'll be smarter where a woman is clearly smarter and better than you.

Thank you Madam Secretary.

Voter's Guide to Politicians

Do not believe anything a politician, especially a political candidate, says on any issue, and do not believe anything you hear, read or see in a political ad by anybody, until you see it signed into law, for then, and only then, can you judge the truthfulness of their words and the honesty of their promises.

A Scam via App Store

Update (9/12/12).--Mr.Walzer sent an e-mail this morning about the app and other issues about the move from the Apple App store to the company's Website. He explained his side of the issue and I responded with mine. For now, my opinion, expressed here, stands.

Update.--The guy with the application sent me a generic license key for the version of the application available only on his Website, but I'm not sure it will work because when I tried to register the license for the application it stalled. I'll know in 30 days if/when the "Demo" version quits working. I kept the App store paid version under a different name so I can restore it.

That said, if you want a better application than NameFind, check out EasyFind in the App Store. It has more functions and features, runs as fast, and best of all, it's free.

Original Post.--If you're like me and paid good money to Apple in the App store, $25 in this case for an application by Kevin Walzer called NameFind, and then learned the company no longer provides updates or upgrades through the App store but sells it on his Website, this time for $10, we were scammed.

His Website says he'll give you a free upgrade if you have a serial number, but the Apple App Store doesn't give serial numbers with applications purchased through the App store. And e-mails about this discrepency to Mr. Walzer have gone unanswered to explain how buyers at the $25 level can get the upgrade with a receipt he's offering for free with a serial number.

This is what Mr. Walzer said on his blog:

"Note to customers who have bought NameFind in the Mac App Store: If you have bought NameFind from the Mac App Store, you will not be able to update to the latest version through the App Store. Please contact me privately to discuss the situation."

The blog goes to some length to register his anger with Apple about their rules, namely the new sandbox rule to contain applications in their alloted work space on your Mac, and eventually the gatekeeper rule with OS-X 10.8, Mountain Lion, which will require an Apple application id to install on your computer.

He say he's complying with the second well ahead of time but not the first, except Apple has pushed the sandbox rule back several times and now until the end of June. Like that's a reason to drop the App store upgrade for users who paid $25 for the app he now offers for $10. Is that reason not to upgrade App store buyers at least through the next version or until June?

To which I say Mr. Walzer your anger is with Apple and their App store policy for applications, ie. sandboxing applications, and not with your customers who paid the $25 for your application. We don't deserve your anger. We deserve fair treatment for your decision to remove the application from the App store leaving us no option for updates or upgrades provided through the App store.

And I did contact him for that private discussion and have not received a response let along an explanation. So, my suggestion right now, is to boycott Mr. Walzer's application. He got $25 on the Apple App store and now wants another $10 for the upgrade. That's a scam no matter how you spin it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Have They Won

Reading a column in Sunday's New York Times, the writers says, "The best weapon against terror is refusing to be terrorized." Well, consider all the counter-terrorism, intelligence gathering, surveillence being conducted against not just known or suspect terrorists, but American citizen, have the terrorists won?

Have they won because every time they spend a little money in an attack, we spend hundreds of millions and even billions of dollars to counter the attack in the future, the proverbial pre-emptive attack against the attack they sell us may happen.

And fear it will succeed. Each time the terrorists get smarter, ie. shoes, underwear, containers, etc. Sound familar. With all the counterterrorism measures at airports, let's remember no one has yet been convicted of terrorism on a US flight. All the attempts originated overseas.

The writer of the column noted Oklahoma City, which experienced the second worse terrorist attack in hour history and by the way was planned and executed by a white, devout Catholic, commerated the attack with a civic rebuilding of the downtown area.

They set aside the federal building with a park but rather impose measures out of fear, they built a city out of pride, telling any terrorist, we don't fear you. We won't be terrorized by you. We take pride in our city, one which honors and respects people.

And look what's happened in New York City over the World Trade Center site. We commerate and honor those who died in the attack and the first responders who died trying to save people. But then New York City has grown paranoid and fearful.

Paranoid they've expanded their counterterrorism efforts with the federal agencies into the lives and groups of innocent people without cause except fear. They expanded their efforts to extort citizens to be on alert for signs of terrorists, turning citizens against other citizens.

Kinda' smacks of the former Soviet Union when they asked citizens to spy on other citizens, and of course report any suspicious activity?

Well, that fear has spread with the help of the Homeland Security Administration where they're using drones in US cities and conducting counterterrorism excercises with local law enforcement and with the FBI creating faux terrorists groups to arrest them in the name of fighting terrorism.

The government at all levels is selling fear. Fear of each other. Fear of anything left unattended. Fear itself. Just be fearful of your life because someone may steal it.

The truth is the odds of be a victim of a terrorist attack in the US is beyond measure, like the number of inches from here to the Moon. For each of us. The odds are far greater of being a victim of a hate crime, like the one in the Aurora, Colorado theater, than a terrorist attack.

Except of course, they call everything now a terrorist attack to keep the fear level high. The terrorist threat level has never been reduced in many years now from yellow, and it never will because that's what you do when you sell fear.

And we are spending enormous amount of taxpayers' money for the illusion and appearance of keeping us safe and protecting us from terrorists while hunting terrorists around the world, all of whom want to kill us and this country. Like how many?

Well, estimates range within a few thousand in Al Qaeda worldwide and several times more in splinter groups in dozens of countries. And for what? Consider several times more people die every year from terrorists attacks in in the world every year than died on 9/11.

And what do those people do. They grieve, want answers and then get on with their life. They dwell on those who died, especially family, but in the end, they don't cower from terrorists, they cleanup and carry on.

They do exactly the opposite of what we do, and they don't demand their government spend billions to fight terrorists. They value life and standing up to terrorists by living. They refuse to be terrorized.

So, in the end, have the terrorists won here because we now doubt ourselves and are always fearful, but of whom and what? And how much will we spend because of our fear, but what and whom? The terrorists or maybe our own government?

God & 9/11

Sorry folks, God had nothing to do with the attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City and the attack on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001 (9/11). It was an attack by Al Qaeda, an extremist group based in Afghanistan, lead and supported by Osama Bin Laden.

Let's remember three thousand plus people from about 100 countries died on 9/11 from a diversity of ethnicity and religion, all of whom believed in God in their own faith.

Let's remember they died for a political statement by Al Qaeda for the US geopolitics and international policies in the middle east, supporting non-democratic government.

Let's remember we supported the Shah of Iran. We supported Saddham Hussein in Iraq.  We supported his war with Iran after the 1979 hostage taking in Tehran. We supported his decision to attack Kuwait in 1990 leading to the first Gulf War.

We continue to support the Saud family controlling Saudi Arabia. We continue to support Israel with military weapons and funds in their attacks against Palestinians and their control and oppression of Palestinians of Gaza, the West Bank and the Golan Height.

I know Hamas and Hezbolah have extremist factions in their organizations and they conduct strikes against people in Israel. But let's remember both are fighting this war and neither Hamas and Hezbolah is a match for the Israeli military backed by the US military.

But that's another argument.

We should only invoke God when he commerate and honor those who died, from the people in the WTC towers and the Pentagon and the first responders who died trying to save people.

We don't invoke God when it comes to violence, whether it's the original act by Al Qaeda or the response by the US government in Afghanistan, and then Iraq which was not part of 9/11, where more Americans have died than on 9/11.

We don't invoke God just for invoking God for no reason other than asking for forgiveness or guidence. Asking for God's grace for a nation is not reason to invoke his name today. God will do what God wants and thinks best, not what we want.

Don't invoke God in the name of patriotism. God doesn't play favorites by our patriotism, but by our humanity.

Friday, September 7, 2012

It is simple

To anyone wondering about rape and abortion, it's really very simple, so simple even a man like me can understand and explain it. Really.

Rape is rape and is illegal no matter the circumstances of the woman.

Abortion is abortion and is legal no matter the circumstances for the woman.

See, it's really very easy to remember, comprehend, understand and accept. Really. Just ask any woman and they'll tell you the same thing.

Rape is a crime. It doesn't matter what the man thinks when he commits it, it's still rape. It has everything to do with the woman when she was raped.

Abortion is a legal. It is a medical decision made by the woman and the medical professionals she wants involved in the decision and proceedure.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Dear Blogger

Dear Blogger,

 I just switched to the "new" format, and to put it in a phrase of what I think of it, "It sucks." I would add royal, but I'll spend some time learning it to avoid being overly critical. That said, overall I don't like it and won't like it. It's overly complicated for simple tasks and needs I want with this blog.

That's it for now. Maybe I'll find a third-party app to just upload posts when I want than use the new format. There's always an app to skin a host.

Update.--Ok, I walked around and played with the new interface awhile last night, and while I still don't and won't like it, I'll live with it. It's clearly the new geeky Google thing with all sorts of bells and whistles but it's clearly devoid of the one thing many users want, simplicity.

And that's my beef with this and with Google new analytics interface, which I ended up buying a third party app so I can view the data on my desktop without having to go to Google overhyped analytics Web server. And there are apps for the Blogger interface too if all I want to do is manage and write posts.

Again, that's it for now.