Got A New Laptop?

So, I got a new Windows 8 laptop and was trolling through YouTube for tips and tricks when I found this video.

The guy from Tek Syndicate  is friggin hysterical!! – and I mean that in a friendly way.– He holds your attention as he demonstrates how to clean all the bloatware from your computer.. Even if you’re not a techie you’ll find this humorous as well as educational.

 New Laptop: What to Do When You Get a New Notebook/Laptop/PC

BTW- He’s right about Norton anti-virus. Garbage.

  • Here’s something that EVERY computer user should be doing, create and use a separate local user account! Create a local user account that has limited permissions. Use that user account for your everyday activity. You can always log onto your administrator account to install software, tweak you’re settings, etc., otherwise leave it alone.  That way, nothing will be installed on your computer  should you ‘accidentally’ click a link with malicious software, spyware, etc. If you’re using a secondary user account with limited permissions, your computer will ask for an administrator password before installing anything.
  • To find out how to set up separate local user accounts, click here.

FYI- This post is for education and entertainment purposes only. If you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of your computer, you should leave it to a knowledgeable professional. Neither I nor Tek Syndicate can be held accountable for your computer.  In other words, you’re on your own.

 

Summer Detour

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This gallery contains 22 photos.

So, over the week of July 4th we took a drive through New Jersey in what seems to be a new tradition. — Though, putting it in writing will probably put an end to it.   We chose the hottest … Continue reading

Why Does This Smell Like A Hoax To Me?

Did you hear the one about the guy who recorded his telephone conversation with a distraught cable provider representative who pleaded with him to keep his business?

I saw it on the internet, so it must be true!

I’ve been on the phone with cable, phone, internet, credit card, and myriad other companies and I can assure you that no telephone operator has ever held me on the line for twenty minutes. Ever! It’s a waste of their time. …and yes, you do have to return their equipment in person. It’s stupid, but thems the rules.

PLUS…  Those conversations are “recorded for quality assurances”.

 

Other things about this call bother me…

  • Block strings this guy along rather than finding ways to end the call. After three minutes, any normal person would have asked for a supervisor.
  • The representative is emotional and stumbles through the conversation. No representative I’ve ever talked with was that emotionally invested in our conversation.
  • Why is he recording this in the first place? - Sorry, I don’t buy the “I started recording after ten minutes” story.

UPDATE: Since writing this story, Comcast announced an apology to Ryan Block, who claims to be an AOL VP,  for the representative’s aggressiveness. There’s no further information available about the fate of the operator. Apparently, Comcast isn’t contesting the validity of the call. I imagine it would be a public relations nightmare to do so.

The bottom line is that I still don’t have enough information to remove doubt. Even if the call is real, the fact remains that Block used the representative for his own private game which, to me, puts as much of the responsibility on him. I’m not defending Comcast. They and Verizon have all but created a monopoly in the market. Sure, there’s TWC and a few other small companies. But the biggest share is Comcast and Verizon.

In the big scheme of things, this is just light entertainment for me.

What do you guys think? Is that call real? Fake?

Do you even care?

“Just One Book” Bette Davis – Storm Center

“Sure she talks sweet as honey. All the time you can bet she was working away back there. She has twenty five years to fill those shelves with poison. She and those books of hers. All they want is one thing: smash and destroy. Smash everything we’ve ever built up in this country.” -  George Slater (Joe Mantell) via IMDB

I thought I had seen every Bette Davis film ever made until last week, when I happened to catch ‘Storm Center’ on GetTVone of several new movie channels popping up on broadcast television.

Storm Center (1956) stars Bette Davis as a small town librarian branded as a communist because she refuses to remove a controversial book from the library’s shelves.

 

The film was released two years after the *McCarthy hearings, at the height of the cold war. It plays up the McCarthyism theme. Complaints are made to the city council about a library book called ‘The Communist Dream’. Mrs Hull (Davis) is asked by the council to remove the book from circulation because they feel it promotes communism and could corrupt young minds. Hull agrees at first, then changes her mind. The council fires her and here is where things spin out of control.

A young lawyer (Brian Keith) takes the opportunity to use “The Red Scare” as a platform for his political future. Rumors spread. Lies are told. Mrs Hull is branded a communist. Even her favorite little book worm, Freddie Slater (Kevin Coughlin) makes up far-fetched tales about his mentor. Everyone is willing to believe the outlandish stories in spite of their personal experiences with the librarian. The extremism reminded me of today’s political climate. In particular, our Tea Party movement.

*For those of you too young to remember, Joe McCarthy was a Republican senator from Wisconsin who led the witch hunt against American citizens, including famous actors, writers, and fellow politicians, whom he thought might be associated with the communist party. It was the height of the cold war. America was hyper paranoid about Russia. Many people lost their jobs, homes, and families in disgrace because McCarthy branded them “Un-American”.

Sound familiar?

It’s striking how little has changed in fifty-eight years. Oh sure, we like to convince ourselves that we are more evolved than our elders but when it comes right down to it, we are just as susceptible as they were to fear and propaganda. It’s how George W Bush got away with invading Iraq. Everyone of us who argued against it was branded “UnAmerican”. My own father questioned my allegiance. I think he even called me a commie. :)

We humans do love to rally around a common enemy. — even if the enemy is made up.

Storm Center is a little melodramatic. The ending is kinda corny, but overall, the film is enjoyable. Kevin Coughlin’s Freddie reminds me of me as a little bookworm. Like Freddie, my neighborhood librarian was my best friend. She helped me navigate through the library’s stacks and even allowed me extra books when she thought I could handle it.

You’ll have to hunt for Storm Center. It’s not available through Netflix. If you see it scheduled on a local TV station, set your DVR. It’s worth your attention.

BONUS: Trivia

  • Storm Center was the first movie to criticize the McCarthy era directly.
  • The Legion of Decency did not like the movie because of what it considered the film’s “pro-Communist” leanings. Instead of condemning the picture, though, it used a “separate classification” for it. That had previously been used on Blockade (1938) (a Spanish Civil War film that the League also thought was anti-Catholic and pro-Communist) and Martin Luther (1953) (because the film portrayed the life of the man who split Christianity, and also because the League thought it was full of inaccurate presentations of Church teachings).

Trivia via IMDB

 

Happy American Independence Day everyone!

Jimi Hendrix ~ Star Spangled Banner and solo guitar work at Woodstock (1969)

What better way to celebrate the American ideal of “freedom of expression” than Jimi’s interpretation of America’s National Anthem.

Glinda: The Passive Aggressive Witch

See Glinda’s vacant smile in this picture?

GoodWitchIndeedShe’s smiling because she’s evil! Eeeevil I tell you!

Think I’m kidding?

If you recall, Glinda started the conflict by giving Dorothy the shoes that were Ms West’s only remembrance of her sister, who was so tragically killed by a falling house.

Imagine how you’d feel if the cops gave your dead sibling’s shoes to the person responsible for his or her death.

Glinda is a trouble maker. She interrupts a distraught Wicked Witch, who is trying to find out what the hell has happened to her sister, with the antagonistic, “Aren’t you forgetting the Ruby Slippers?”

Huh?

The Ruby Slippers magically appear on Dorothy’s feet.

The Wicked Witch pleads for the tokens of her sister’s memory.

The very defiant Glinda says, “There they are. And there they’ll stay!”Movies names "The Wizard of Oz"

Meanwhile, you can see Dorothy’s terror. Clearly she does not want to get involved. …and she sure as hell doesn’t want those shoes! – well, maybe.

Glinda further stirs the pot when she commands the Wicked Witch, “Be gone! Before somebody drops a house on you.”

Somewhat unsettled by this, the Wicked Witch takes her leave, – but not before threatening Dorothy and her dog Toto with bodily harm.

Formulating a plan, Glinda says to Dorothy, “I’m afraid you’ve made a rather bad enemy of the Wicked Witch Of The West.”

 You just know Dorothy is thinking,  “Wait.  What?  NO! I do not want to be part of this!”

This is where I think Glinda, upon sending Dorothy off on a wild goose chase, sets her plan in motion.

It's a shortcut to Emerald City.

It’s a shortcut to Emerald City.

In my warped mind, Glinda sets off in her bubble to the Emerald City in order to convince the Wizard to use Dorothy as a means to finally rid themselves of Wicked Witches. Why not? She already killed one witch. what’s another? That’s why she sent Dorothy to the Emerald City by way of the more scenic Yellow Brick Rd, instead of the more direct Red Brick Rd. Everyone in Oz knows Yellow Brick Road runs right past Ms West’s Castle! It’s one of the premier tourist attractions of Oz!

My conspiracy theory comes from one single moment at the end of the film when you realize that Dorothy has been played.

Glinda, with a big smile on her face, says to Dorothy, “You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”

Are you kidding me?!

I just wanted Dorothy to look Glinda straight in the eye and say, “I. Killed. The. Wrong. Witch!”  I wanted Dorothy to beat the living daylight’s out of Glinda. …or maybe look around for another bucket of water. If it worked for one witch, maybe it would work on another.

Glinda, the “good” witch. Ha! I wanna smack that vacant smile right off that bitch’s face!

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It’s Time to Write LGBT History into the Textbooks

adignorantium:

Can I get an AMEN??

Originally posted on TIME:

On the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall riots—an event that transformed a minuscule pre-Stonewall gay rights movement into a mass movement—LGBT history is still being left out of the public school curriculum. California is the sole exception to this rule, having passed the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful Education Act in 2011. It mandated the inclusion of the political, economic and social contributions of LGBT persons in textbooks and the social studies curricula in California public schools. While the control of curriculum and the choice of textbooks rests with local school boards, it’s time for state legislatures to take up the issue so that such curricula are adopted nationwide.

The 1960s homophile movement, which preceded the gay and LGBT rights movements, determined that the oppression of homosexuals rested on three things: that psychiatry declared gay men and lesbians to be mentally ill, that the law criminalized homosexual sex acts and…

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