August 29, 2012

Some things that caught my eye today

Getting Your Phone to Give You a Hand

This says nothing about cooking or cleaning. I am disappointed.  I'm holding out for Rosie the Robot. 


Are they telling us the planet has gas? Maybe arctic explorers should travel with large boxes of Tums.


Guess I'll go ahead and eat then.  Not that I was going to do anything different... 


Neptune doesn't like them crapping in his ocean. Either that or they are being recruited into a pigeon army and will emerge ready to take over the world.


And last of all, if you have an iPhone, ipod, or iPad, this is a pretty cool app


Now off to figure out what to have for dinner since my phone won't do it for me and starving doesn't buy me a longer life. 

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 03:08 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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August 28, 2012

Pondering what to write while half asleep

The kids were in town last week and we had a great time.  Eating, drinking, sailing, one day trip to New York City.  I was posting some pics on my Posterous site. Not many though since I was busy having fun.  Here's one of my daughter and me at a bar in NYC - not the best because of lighting but we were having a terrific time. (yes, it's the same pic that was posted on fb so if you saw it there, you don't need to check again - heh)


Attention - big java bug out there announced today.  For some reason they seem to be talking about it as if it's a Mac only concern... weird indeed since it effects every OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac) that might run the latest version of Java.  Check your browsers and make sure the Java add-on is disabled.  This is a "drive-by" bug and it will get you if you visit a site where malware has been installed.  This can even be a legit site so check your browsers - all of them!  Yes, I mean, IE, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, doesn't matter - turn off Java add-ons. Only turn them on if you need them specifically then turn them off again. 


We are getting new decking over the next couple of days on the back deck. The old deck was starting to rot so we finally bit the bullet and we're getting it redone.  Today the guys were here and tore off the old.  By the end of the day they had the floor part done.  Tomorrow is rails.  Then we will have a deck that will supposedly withstand hurricane Katrina (at least it should for as much as we had to pay to get it done!) and is impervious to such monsters as termites. It's a win-win on paper.  We shall see. 


Had to turn off my twitter feed.  It's convention night and I have no wish to hear  about any convention, election, or anything else political.  I keep half an eye on headlines... but right now - blech. 


Lately I have been catching up with what is about a year backlog of sleep it seems.  I had totally missed this story about calcium and heart attacks.  Sheesh!  So I stopped taking calcium since my bones seem to be okay anyway.  I do take some Magnesium to help with whatever dietary calcium I get.  Since I did this, I've been able to sleep much better.  Weird. All night better... Never expected that.  


Oh well, off to read.  I don't even want to look at anything online at the moment because I don't want to see anyone's political opinions.  *sigh* No I don't care at the moment at all.  

Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 09:30 PM | Comments (9) | Add Comment
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August 16, 2012

News you can use!

Today's WSJ headline...

Gives a whole new meaning to "I crammed for the test last night".

I read this headline

And misread the first word as "Still". I thought "cool, they are gonna turn water to wine (or something like that) to make it drinkable." Guess not. What a let down. Might have been worth moving there.

OMG!!! OMG!!! Once again EGGS are bad for you!!!

Or not... When I read the article I saw that all they seemed to look at was how many egg yolks people ate per week.  

From this they determined that eggs are the culprit in heart disease?  And they want me to take them seriously?  

This is why I HATE the news media.  This is not a story, it's a headline to get clicks.  Or to sell egg white products. 


That's it for now.  No time for more.  But stay tuned I shall be looking for more stuff you need to know!

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 01:55 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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August 13, 2012

Works, Doesn't, Works...

Today this particular headline has been making the rounds.

And everyone is full of joyous happiness. Because, really, there are few things better in life than getting a great therapeutic massage. This kind of story makes everybody feel justified in saying, "See science says it's good for me!" 

However, if you scan the column of "Related Stories" you will see one from 2009 that says:

Oh the agony!  They say they even have proof! (although what that proof is I don't know since it's not in the story itself)  However, it seems no one paid any attention to that particular study because I never heard a word about it.  

In a few years we'll see another headline where they once again tell us that massage doesn't really work... no, it's all in our heads... or something. 

Gotta love pop-sci.  (especially Science Daily that reports all these lovely findings without any links to the actual studies themselves)  Just watch the headlines until you find a study where you like the results.  Then it's all good! 

Posted by: Teresa in Ummmmm at 10:11 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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August 08, 2012

If you haven't seen it yet...

Of course I'm assuming all of you have been over to LeeAnn's every day, but just in case you've been on vacation, or living under a rock, go read this!

She is (as I mentioned in her comments) a Goddess.  Yes she is.  I bow to her.  

Posted by: Teresa in FUN at 03:28 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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August 06, 2012

Security Tip of the Week: BACK UP YOUR DATA

With all the news of hackers, crackers, viruses, worms, among all the monsters that hide under the bed... the one security tip that can not be stated too often or too loudly:

Back up your data!

I know there are people reading this who do back up, there are those reading who think, "yeah I should do that". And there are those who think... "well I'd like to, but who's going to pay for it?" And there are those who think we're all just paranoid losers.  Whatever.  I can only tell you, it's up to you to actually do it. 

First of all - go read this story.

Okay did you read it?  Do you see what I mean? The first line of defense against hacking is to back up your data.  In several places if possible.  

Apple and Amazon should have 2 factor authentication.  If google can implement such a thing, so can these guys.  But they don't have it and it doesn't look like it's coming soon.  Which means, if a hacker takes a liking to something you have or a company you do business with, you will be caught in the fall out to prove a point.  

So what to do.  

Let's start at the higher end.  If you can afford an online backup service, that's one backup type accounted for.  I use crashplan. I like them because you can get your first major upload of data to them via a hard drive.  Then you don't have to spend days, weeks, or months letting your stuff upload in the background.  You can also get your data returned in the same way.  They seem to be reliable and this is good. There are other plans out there, google to find them and certainly to read reviews! 

While that's a good option for some, it doesn't work for everyone for various reasons, so on to the next option.  Buy a couple of hard drives.  Yes, two of them.  Either clone your entire OS onto them, or get some backup software going (like time machine for mac or sync toy for windows) and backup the files you really want to keep.  

You wonder why I say 2 drives? Because you should have at least 2 backups and one should be out of your house (in a safe deposit box, with a family member or friend you trust) in case the house itself has a disaster, you can get most of your stuff back.  

Then we have the Cloud Storage type of places. This wouldn't be for full backups, it would be more in line with keeping copies of files you don't want to lose and/or want to access no matter where you are in the world.  Ars Technica gives you the details in this article.  You could open accounts at several of these places and have stuff stashed all around the web. Just make sure you remember where you put it.  Also, I would NOT recommend putting anything in any of them that is personal, private information.  No tax stuff, no banking stuff, don't do it!   These would be for stuff you don't want to lose, but is not private.  (Dropbox recently was hacked through an employee account - no matter how good you are about passwords, etc, it won't save you from hackers getting in the back end and getting at your data!)

Most of us though are concerned about our photos.  We have many many photos and we don't want to lose them.  This is where photo services come into play.  If you want to pay a provider, there are a number out there.  I prefer Smugmug because I like their management of photos stored on their site.  Flickr is about $25 a year for a pro account and is a yahoo company.  Free would be Picasa from google.  You have to keep an eye on where you store your photos (and maybe have them in a couple of places) in case the site disappears.  But your chances are better if you have your stuff in more than one spot (your computer or backup disk AND online too).  

I hope this gets you thinking of a backup strategy.  Being a blog post I didn't want to get too much into details of stuff, just point out what's there.   It's really sad to lose all your data, so try to fix things before it happens to you. 

*** yes I know I have "back up" and "backup" in this post but I'm too tired to go through and change it. heh.  If only spell check would decide it didn't like one of the spellings, life would be much easier.

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 10:35 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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I'm done watching the Olympics on television

I love watching sports competitions.  I know there are people who don't like sports and that's fine (in which case I know this post won't interest you).  I, however, do like sports and enjoy watching a good competition. So the Olympics should be one of the most fun times ever on television.  

Should is the operative word here. 

NBC has managed, once again, to make watching the Olympics a completely miserable experience.  I can't say I'm surprised, but for some odd reason I always try to watch.  I'm a slow learner.  

I have been watching the coverage online for various events and that is generally very very good.  But on television... Dreadful, simply dreadful. 

Let's  take a portion of the Saturday night coverage of Track and Field.  

Track and Field should be packed with good stuff.  So many things are going on once the competitions begin.  NBC has the advantage of a tape delay. Whether or not people like tape delay (they don't), NBC is sticking with it.  Yes, you'd think they would take advantage of it to bring us more coverage of many events.   You'd be wrong.

To show how much was available in this one portion of competition, here was the schedule for Saturday:

Heptathlon - Long jump
Men's 100m heats
Women's Pole Vault Qualifications
Heptathlon - Javelin
Men's 20km Walk Race
Women's 100m final
Women's Discus Throw final
Men's Long Jump final. 

This does not include the 22 other events, that weren't Track and Field, taking place the same day. 

Okay, I think you get my point.  There is a metric ton of competition that could possibly be covered on NBC prime time Olympic coverage.  

I watched for 45 minutes on Saturday night starting at 8pm. In that time they showed 3  yes THREE race heats.  Each of those took less than 30 seconds. For that matter 2 of them took less than 10 seconds since it was 100m dash heats. Let me repeat that:  Only 3 races in 45 minutes.  

What else did we see in that time period?  

- Commercials - many many commercials.  
- "Moving" interviews with the top competitor in each heat.  
- Replays of previous races run by the top competitor in each heat  some going back to the Beijing Olympics.  
- Replays of each heat at least 10 times to show us in slow motion the beginning, middle and end of the race.  
- Cut to Bob Costas looking suitably grave at the import of all these things while he tells us "so much is going on"... 


In the meantime, only one person was the focus of the race.  The rest of the competitors were not even mentioned.  One race had a guy pull up with what looked like a hamstring injury but they didn't even notice it.  No idea who it was or what happened, but he wasn't Usain Bolt so apparently who the hell cares... right?  

It was at this point that I finally gave it up, turned off the television and went to read.  I want to watch competitions.  I don't want to watch past competitions while watching this one. I don't want to watch moving stories about the competitors.  I don't want to see talking heads sitting in front of a camera telling me there is so much more to come when there will obviously be almost no coverage at all.  

I'm done with the commercial television bait and switch.  I'll check out the online feeds, but I won't  bother to turn on my television to watch the NBC sob story of the day.  If I wanted to see that I would tune into the afternoon soaps. 


Posted by: Teresa in Ho-Hum at 10:59 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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August 02, 2012

Outlook is the new Hotmail

So it looks like Microsoft has decided to ditch the Hotmail brand. 

I guess I'm rather surprised they stuck with it this long.  Hotmail does not have a good name among email clients going way back.  I think I had an account for a while about 10 years ago, but shut it down because I didn't like it.  

For anyone who was not aware the change was coming, it would be a shock to log in and have the page redirected.  (can we say - OMG I got a virus!!! anyone?).  No, not a virus.  Whew.  

It looks like new users won't be able to get a account, they'll be assigned an account.  Not sure why anyone opening a new account would care about this. If they wanted a hotmail account specifically, I would think they'd have one already.  Current hotmail users can change to the new if they want, sounds like it's optional. 

Although old users will be able to keep their current hotmail addresses, (so you won't have to tell everyone on your mail list that you have a new email and then worry half of them won't figure it out.  heh.)  I can see them making a force change in a few years to get rid of the old completely.  We'll see. 

As for the new domain, I foresee some problems with  I can see people who are not exactly tech savvy just adding to everyone's name and mailing stuff out because the office they work in uses outlook... oh yes, I can so see this.  (Tech people prepare for the complaints!).  

It sounds like they are trying to give people the outlook experience on the web in hopes people will want to buy Outlook for their own machines. Or maybe it's all altruism... I don't know.  But if the tools work and you like them, it's all good. 

For anyone afraid they've lost their stuff - it should all still be there as the article explains.  I hope the less techy oriented hotmail users have enough tech savvy people around them to help them find it all.  

Only time will tell if this a change is useful, but as with all change, it will be painful for many.  In the meantime, Microsoft may end up improving the overall image of their email service.  We shall see. 

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 02:24 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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