Saturday, August 30, 2014

It is time

It's time we stopped calling the pro-russian speratists in Ukraine rebels or militias, and started calling them what they are, Russian soldiers. There is plenty of reports that they are former Russian para-military and military soldiers with many of the command structure former special forces from the Russian army.

They have battlefield heavy equipments, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, anti-aircraft artillery and missile (shooting down commercial flight MH-17) along with many on-the-ground combat weapons, but from captured Ukrainian inventories and Russian supplies. In conflicts they're often better equiped than the Ukrainian soldiers.

They are an army and supported and backed by Russia and manned with Russians. It's time we called what they are and not gloss it over for political purposes to avoid calling the Russian government out when they are that government who invaded and are occupying another soverign nation at the behest of the Russian government.

And it's time we acknowledge what Putin is after in Ukraine, which is the southest provinces of the country, for the industry and resouces of the region, for the coastal land and seaport, and for the land bridge to Crimea which is effective isolated with the one land bridge controlled by Ukraine, all the rest by ship or ferry.

As with Crimea, this isn't about ethnic or national pride, it's about economics and international politics. That region gives Russia more resources and access of the Black Sea region he wants, and by supporting the forces fighting Ukraine he gains and plans to keep that region in the name of Russia.

It's time we called it what it is and deal with it as any other nation would be treated if they invaded and occupied a neighboring nation. We don't owe the Russia anything and we owe the Ukrainians the right to defend their nation, including Crimea. On that NATO and the EU with the US should decide and act.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Mitch McConnell, speaking before a select group of billionaires, promised that if the Republicans gain control of the Senate in the November election that he, as would be Senate majority leader, would promise three things.

First, the Senate would do nothing to help the American people with jobs, healthcare, unemployment insurance, worker rights and safety, food assistance programs, and so on down the list of necessary functions of government for the people.

Second, he would do everything to stop President Obama from doing anything, like confirming nominations, assisting in world affairs, and so on down the list of necessary work of the President.
And third, he would do everything to help billionaires with taxes, regulations, oversight, and so on down the list of their wish list.

Yeah, it's in the audio recording of the speech he made to them. That's the Republican agenda, profit from and for billionaires and ignore the American people.

So that's your choice in Kentucky, vote for more of the same obstructionism from the Republicans and worse if the gain control of the Senate, or vote for change, push the Democrats to do what they haven't done so far because of Republican obstructionism.

You can vote to continue a do nothing Congress or vote for a do something Congress.

Friday, August 22, 2014


If all the analysts, pundits, politicians, etal. who extort for political advantage the fear of ISIS coming to the US to conduct terrorist attacks think we should do something, are they willing to commit to fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq? Are they ready and willing to back the President and ask Congress to authorize military operations against ISIS wherever they are in the Middle East?

Or are they just more of the same chickenhawks who just talk but don't have the backbone to back it up and commit to a fight? Are they just the same as they were to rail against the President for whatever political advantage they think it has and ISIS is just another issue to them?

Because if they want to fight terrorists then they have to stand up and support a President who is willing to do the job, and would they then decide to back the President, or just find something he does wrong about that too? Is their talk about the real issue or just talk? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

iTunes 11.3.1

All I can say about iTunes 11.3.1 is that it doesn't like Apple iPad Air tablets. I've had more problems with connections, charging and syncing than any previous version of iTunes. And I've had problems in the middle of syncing when it will lose the app sync and I have to try to fix removed or added apps. And when it does sync, it always seemingly take forever to determine which apps I have on the iPad Air.

You would think Apple would stop relying on users to test their software to find problems or bugs. But then I used to think better of Apple before they developed Lion and now Mavericks with their move to less user control and more of pseudo-Microsoft's "Trust us" approach to operating systems.

Sorry Apple, you haven't earned that trust anymore.


Why do I get the impression the recent and on-going enforcement of China's antitrust laws against European, Japanese and American automakers and parts manufacturers is a government form of blackmail?

They offered incentives for these companies to establish business in China, let them operate for years without oversight, and then suddenly enforce antitrust laws with fines, while small, are significant because while the money will go to the government, it's not intended for the government but Chinese-owned businesses.

We should remember China's goal here isn't for foreign companies to establish businesses in China in cooperation with mandated partnership with Chinese companies, their goal is the eventual ownership of those companies along with the technology of the products and the manufacturing plants.

China's goal is to have all their products sold in China to be produced by Chinese companies for the profit of government-owned companies whether owned directly or through proxies, often high-ranking government leaders. 

We shouldn't forget one day China will be exporting American cars to the US as they now export American company parts and products. Their goal is to establish a network of auto dealerships selling their cars, all designed and built with US automaker technology.

Will you buy a Chinese car? You buy their auto parts, why not the whole car?

Sunday, August 10, 2014


Apparently the Republicans don't understand what the President is doing in Iraq now, but it's really very simple. It's for the humanitarian support of the Kurdish and Yazidi people and the protection of the Americans in Erbil.

We're not there to fight ISIS or to do what the Iraqi military and air force is supposed to be doing, fighting ISIS to drive them out of Iraq for the people of Iraq. We're not there to prop up the corrupt and failed Iraqi government and the inept Iraqi military.

We've already failed at both of those things to remind us we can't do what they won't do for themselves. It's not rocket science, it's common sense, something the Republicans always seem to lack, even when it comes to politics.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


I have a Mac Pro running OS-X 10.9.4 and an iPhone 5s and iPad Air, both running IOS 7.1.2. I use Datacolor's Spyder Gallery apps on the Mac and iDevices to color calibrate them. The process works that you connect the Spyder 3 or 4 tool to the Mac via the USB connection and the color tool on the iDevice.

The app on the Mac then uses bluetooth to communicate with the iPhone or iPad to send and receive information between the device and Mac. This means you have to start Bluetooth on the device and connect to Bluetooth on the Mac.

I do this monthly along with the color calibration of the Mac's monitor, and up through last month the process was flawless. Then updated the Mac to 10.9.4 and the devices to IOS 7.1.2, after which the bluetooth doesn't work anymore between either device and the Mac.

The iPhone or iPad will connect with the code for a second and then returns the message, "Mac not supported" on this device. And as often happens folks on the Apple forum either blame me, aka. the user, for doing something wrong, or ask stupid questions like what I'm trying to do and offer other ways to do it.

Except the Spyder apps use Bluetooth, so there is no work around or other way of doing it. And blaming the user is just computer geeks way of refusing to confess they don't have a clue what to do and don't want to admit that.

And not long after that, others voiced the same problem, so it's not me, it's one of the OS-X or IOS updates which causes Bluetooth not to work with each other. And as usual, sending the bug report to Apple is like sending down the rabbit hole, gone and lost forever.

I suspect it's IOS 7.1.2 since the Mac discovers the iPhone or iPad, sends the code to pair and connects, but the the device drops the connection as "Mac not supported" message which often strikes me that this is typical of Apple's testing process where they don't test or see problems.

So here I sit. Can't go back and there's nothing forward. Both devices have been color calibrated (June) so it's not critical but it is important later when it's clear there is a problem with IOS 7.1.2 or OS-X 10.9.4 for Bluetooth.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Defending oneself

The leaders of Israel say they have a right to defend themselves against the agressive attacks by the Hamas rockets. Yet, Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense system is so successful, only a few percent of the unguided rockets actually land, and fewer do any damage, let alone injure or kill anyone.

All the while Israel subjects the people of Gaza to missile and bombs from warplanes and missiles from helicopters because Hamas has no air defense system, from Artillery and rockets because Hamas has no counter force against them, and from the incursion of forces into Gaza itself.

Where does is say taking such an agreesive offense, supposedly targeted at Hamas but often destroying propery and killing and injuring innoncent Palestinians, is defending yourself?

If Israel's air defense system, partailly funded and supported by the US, works, what more do they need to do to defend themselves? Why not show restraint and make Hamas look the enemy it is and not the Palestinian people? 

OS-X and Bluetooth

This is a critical thing if you are running OS-X 10.9.4. If you are using bluetooth devices, such as the mouse, keyboard and trackpad, and have a wired device plugged into the Mac as well, you can accidently turn bluetooth off without the system giving you the warning message and the second chance.

The bluetooth setup in OS-X is supposed to warn you that turning off bluetooth will disable the input devices in the list with the setup, and then give you a second chance to turn bluetooth off or not. But if you have a wired input devices, like a tablet, it won't show you either and just turn bluetooth off losing the connections to those devices.

In addition if you have the preferences to detect missing keyboard and/or mouse to open the bluetooth window if you reboot, the system will not do that if you have the wired device plugged into the Mac. I learned this recently by accident.

This is really stupid on Apple's part since it knows which devices are bluetooth and which are wired, and should know to detect a mouse or keyboard which is not connected when you reboot. The wired device, which the system know what it is, eg. tablet, should not interfer with the bluetooth devices, preferences or operation.

But it does! 
Do not turn Bluetooth off
if you have a wired device to your Mac!

If you do, you may be screwed until you connect a wired mouse into the Mac to reboot and restart bluetooth or hope the wired device can serve like a mouse, as some tablets can in an emergency, which I learned too.

When I reported this on the Apple forum, the responses were less than positive and the typical IT geek response it's not the system and to blame the user, until one tested it and discovered it really is a bug in OS-X 10.9.4.

It's why I rarely post to the Apple forum, it only gets you ridiculed for being stupid. We're all human but IT geeks forget they're humans first, and geeks second. Their view is that their mistakes are professional, user mistakes are stupid. And they wonder why we hate them.