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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Folding Tablets Are New Cell Phones

Later this year two design concepts will converge to create a new category of devices.

Always Connected
Windows 10 devices will be entering the market which run on ARM chips. ARM chips are the same ones that power smart phones. This is not Windows RT or Mobile but the same Windows 10 that runs on your desktop and laptop. These always connected devices will hold a charge measured in days not hours and can run most programs that you use at work or home.

Foldable Tablets
In addition to laptops and tablets, a new set of foldable devices will also be marketed beginning later this year. This new technology category is the folding tablet that just happens to be a smart phone. Several Android and PC manufacturers are entering this market space.

Combining Both: Andromeda
I’m particularly interested in Microsoft’s Andromeda devices. These foldable tablets are always connected, run Windows 10, and support touch and pen. Andromeda is believed to be the mythical “Surface Phone”. Now that the top brands of cell phones routinely cost more than one thousand dollars, Microsoft can market this tablet without the sticker shock that would have occurred a few years ago. Also the technology has become both powerful enough and efficient enough to be practical.

Here is are sketches of the Microsoft Andromeda concept.

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Sketch from Patent application


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Render of Andromeda from Engaget

Microsoft ‘Andromeda:’ Everything we know about the rumored foldable device

I’m looking forward to seeing these gizmos at my local electronics retailer later in the year. (and hopefully under the Christmas tree too)

Posted by william on 01/31 at 07:51 AM
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Saturday, January 27, 2018

When Hyper-V Attacks

A coworker has an old program that he couldn’t get to run on his computer, so he asked me to help. From the description of the program it sounded like it was probably written with 16-bit code, so I told him about DOSBox. He had never heard of the program; nevertheless, I convinced him to try it. (I like D-Fend Reloaded mod)  Once he got it installed he tried to run his program. It gave him an error because he didn’t have Windows installed.  After several text messages, we agreed that he would bring the program CD to work, give it to me, and I could try it at home the next day.

In the meantime, I pulled out my old Windows for Workgroups 3.11 CD and tried to figure out how to install it on DOSBox. Yes, I know there is no such thing as a Windows 3.11 install CD, I made it myself almost 20 years ago. The CD is also bootable, I tweaked an image of a Windows 98 (or ME) rescue floppy and added some improvements. It can install WFW and Norton Desktop—a product that looks suspiciously like Windows 95 but is much older. It makes 3.11 have a different desktop experience and features portions of Norton Utilities as part of a graphical interface. It’s really cool software. After fiddling with DOSBox for a while I was able to get Windows installed. Oh, nice thing about having it on CD is no prompts for inserting the next floppy disk.

I then had to configure the sound card and video. Sound was easy, just select SoundBlaster and set Interrupt and IRQ—typical old school stuff. Video was a big problem. I picked Living Books “Arthur’s Teacher Trouble”. Believe me it was trouble too. The video in DOSBox just wouldn’t go. I changed the settings within Windows to every size and shape monitor but they all failed. Finally, I found a complete answer which I’m happy to link to HERE.
Having conquered Broderbund, I decided to revisit Microsoft virtualization in Hypervisor. I clicked on Hyper-V Manager in my Windows 10 machine and found a treasure—or so I thought; a relic of Windows 7, I found Windows XP. I tried running it and it errored out. One error was that the network settings were invalid. I was forced by Windows into a reboot after each failure. Unable to get it running, I decided to use the same virtual hard drive but use it in a newly created session of Hyper-V. I accepted the defaults and tried to create a new virtual PC. After letting Hyper-V run for about ten minutes I aborted to program. I knew something was wrong, it should only have taken a few seconds.

While messing with the virtualization software, I noticed that the virtual network card was running but my regular network card was dead. It said no network cable was attached to my computer. I tried many things, but none worked:
• At elevated Command Prompt: netcfg -d
• Help in Hyper-V had no content when I tried to use it
• Restore Point from a week before
• Delete all network cards in Device Manager
• Delete Hyper-V
• Reinstall NIC drivers
• USB network card (which said no ethernet cable attached to PC)

All these ideas and a few more failed. But things got worse.

In the midst of this, the Wi-Fi for our whole house went down and despite several reboots, nothing happened. I checked with a friend in the area and his connectivity was normal. On my phone, the ISP website assured me that there were no outages in my area. I ended up having to do a factory reset of the cable modem to get anything running. More than three hours after I tried to run my virtual hard drive, I finally admitted defeat and went to bed.

This morning, I was contemplating running a cable from another part of the house to my computer until I could get a wireless dual band NIC. Just for fun, before I left for work, I unplugged my computer from the hub in my wiring closet and plugged the cable into an unused port and immediately the green light came on and my computer was connected. I was glad to have my computer connectivity back but…

Folks think about it, a malformed piece of software on my desktop computer had the power to kill a port on my gigabit hub and my cable modem/router at the same time. Port 8 on my hub is dead and buried and a factory reset was needed to recover connectivity to the Internet. It sounds like I may have stumbled onto a bug or potential exploit. Whatever happened, I hope the boys in Redmond get this fixed. A simple message that this is not a supported operating system would have saved me a few hours of inconvenience.

Posted by william on 01/27 at 12:30 AM
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Thursday, January 25, 2018

State of the CRA

The CRA has graciously invited me to their annual convention in March; an honor that I must respectfully decline.

They will be gathering in once Republican Orange County to considering such weighty topics as:
Battle for Congress—Which seats are at risk
State of our State
Why be activists?
How to engage Non-Republicans?

Also they will vote to endorse candidates for Governor and U.S. Senate.


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However, I must respectfully rip this confab as a relic of a long dead age. The CRA, and Republicans in general, living in California are much like zombies. They move around, make noise, occasionally mumble about brains, and can occasionally be herded about totally unaware that they died long ago.

Conservatives blame Pete Wilson and Charles Munger Jr. while Liberals blame pro-lifers and religious Conservatives for the Party’s demise; however, both are wrong. Two factors deserve the lion’s share of the blame for the decline of the Republican Party in the once Golden State, George Herbert Walker Bush and demographics.

• In 1973, Los Angeles County alone had 270,000 aerospace jobs, mostly due to the military. The aerospace industry was one of the biggest employers in California. While the number of jobs in this industry was declining due to the decrease in spending for the space program and end of Vietnam as well as improvements in materials and manufacturing, it was still an important industrial sector in the state. 
• In the late 1980’s, then San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein refused to allow the USS Missouri to be stationed at Hunter’s Point as a permanent museum.
• A year after Ronald Reagan left office the Berlin Wall fell.

George H.W. Bush created the military base closure commission to celebrate the mythical “Peace Dividend.” This “Blue Ribbon” commission decided which bases would be closed and Congress agreed that no amendments would be allowed, it would be a straight up or down vote, that way if a base in someone’s district closed it was the commission’s fault not theirs. Furthermore, Bush agreed to sign the commission recommendations into law before it ever saw the light of day. This commission stripped most military installations from California. Ironically, the money from the base closures ultimately went to bailing out the Saving and Loan Crisis that was solely created by the same Congress.

Demographics in California changed for a number of reasons but the mass exodus of conservative and Republican voters from the state due to the base closings sealed the fate of the state. This change in the electorate coupled with the influx of people arriving from other countries changed the face of California forever.

It was during this era that CRA saw two things, a precipitous decline in membership and the rise of Barbara Alby and the Christian Right. CRA went from north of 100,000 members to about 20,000. Today CRA numbers less than 2,000 members in a state of 38 million.

For CRA to hold a convention about Republican victories is like the survivors of Pearl Harbor or Civil War reenactors gathering to honor the good old days of a bygone era. They can pound their chests and drink a beer in honor of their fallen comrades but other than being armchair quarterbacks to current events they are as irrelevant as Pete Wilson to contemporary politics.

Posted by william on 01/25 at 08:34 AM
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Oprah Not Interested

Well this didn’t take long.

Media mogul Oprah Winfrey has no interest in running for U.S. president in 2020, she said in an interview with InStyle magazine published on Thursday after weeks of speculation and calls to run fueled by a speech she made at the Golden Globes.
Oprah says ‘not interested’ in 2020 U.S. presidential run

 

Posted by william on 01/25 at 07:04 AM
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Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Oprah Winfrey: Savior of the Left?

Oprah Winfrey’s name is being floated as the Democrat candidate that can rid the political world of Donald Trump and reestablish the Democrat brand in Washington. Under her leadership, we will get a person much like Hillary but with a reputation of making us feel better about being a second rate people.

In the wake of her Golden Globes speech Sunday night, Oprah’s people were talking up the prospect. Her longtime partner Stedman Graham told the L.A. Times, “It’s up to the people. She would absolutely do it.”

And NBC seemed to be on board. “Nothing but respect for OUR future president,” the network tweeted…
The pundits swoon over Oprah for 2020 – but running for president is brutal

My wife came home from work yesterday and I asked her about this and the Liberals at work were joyful that Oprah would be their candidate. They were ready to go vote now. The lunch room was ecstatic at the prospect of Winfrey in 2020 and retaking the White House.

However, would Oprah subject herself to the scrutiny of a campaign?

Truthfully, I think it will never happen no matter how good a friend and supporter of the Obama or Clinton clans that she has been. She has much baggage that will haunt her. Below are a few reasons that she will never run.

After Oprah Winfrey’s highly publicized speech at the Golden Globes sparked speculation of a presidential run, actor James Woods tweeted three pictures of her with disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
After Golden Globes Speech, James Woods Shares 3 Photos From Oprah’s Past


Here is one photo that actor James Woods shared on Twitter



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Oprah loves Harvey Weinstein

Another factor that would kill her candidacy is her residence. Lest you forget, Oprah lives in Chicago. Yes, the murder capital of America.  This place is owned, lock, stock, and barrel by Liberals. The guys running this place into the ground are her friends and supporters. Most of the violence is blacks murdering other blacks. Where is Oprah while this carnage is occurring? What has she done to help in her own backyard? She has armed security, drivers, and doormen to care for her. She can never claim to be “one of us” even if she came from an impoverished background.

Oprah is just the latest generic candidate.  Remember Colin Powell? Everybody liked him until he started taking positions on issues and then his political stock fell like a rock. He lost my interest when he came out for abortion on demand and defended Roe v Wade. Powell was just another RINO in a shiny uniform. Likewise, Winfrey is just another Liberal in a different package. If she is really as smart as people claim that she is, she won’t run but will bask in the praise of the moment.

Liberals can’t beat Trump this easily. Besides we just got rid of one President named “O” from Chicago, I don’t think we need another.

 

Posted by william on 01/09 at 10:26 AM
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Monday, January 08, 2018

Elk Grove Teacher’s Union Busted

Congratulations to the Sith Lord on being vindicated about his claim of illegal electioneering by the Elk Grove teacher’s union back in 2016. Unfortunately, at the time he would not put in writing his claim that the union’s Pac was making illegal campaign contributions. However, the local paper reported that the FPPC has given the union their day of reckoning with a fine of $11.5K.

A local political action committee was fined $11,500 after a state watchdog group last month determined they broke a state campaign law several times .

The Elk Grove Education Association (EGEA) has a political action committee that reportedly failed to file campaign documents by deadline during the 2016 election year.

This committee supported three Elk Grove school board candidates and the Measure M school bond campaign in 2016.


The EGEA represents more than 3,000 teachers and other school employees in the Elk Grove Unified School District. Their political action committee received more than $65,000 in contributions and spent more than $110,600 during the 2016 election year, according to a California Fair Political Practices Commission report.

EG teachers union fined for campaign law violations

Folks this is a slap on the wrist considering what these guys could have received. They willfully broke the law and then pleaded ignorance. This is the FPPC version of a “fix-it” ticket. Sadly, this isn’t the only part of this union that’s broken.

Posted by william on 01/08 at 07:15 PM
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Thursday, January 04, 2018

New Year with Teenager

The wife and I have decided to do a course correction in the life of our teenager. We have come to the opinion that both his older siblings have holes in their upbringing that we don’t wish to replicate in his life. Our son is not allowed to use electronic devices including computers, phones, and television during school nights—defined as Sunday evening thru Thursday night; however, this rule has not been enforced in any meaningful way because if we watch television, he is right there with us. This is not just to insure that he does homework but electronic stuff can end up being too much of a good thing.

We are trying three new changes this year to move in what we hope will be a better direction.

First, once a week, our son is responsible to fix dinner. We have set this as a Friday night event with three caveats; first, he can pick a night earlier in the week to complete this task but not later; second, if we eat out on Friday he is off the hook for the week; lastly, he must make a balanced meal. Chocolate cake and milkshakes is not a balanced meal.

Second, Wednesday night is reading night. We can either read by ourselves or aloud but reading is good and we need to do more. I’m thinking about doing a read aloud of a chapter a week from Paul Harvey’s Rest of the Story because my son has no idea who that is and I can’t get him to read the darn book.

Third, Sunday night is daddy school. For one hour a week, we will spend time with various aspects of the Christian faith such as doctrine and apologetics. Our son has spent his life in Christian schools but much of their theology is shallow (the Apostle Paul rightly called it, “the milk of the Word”). A few books we will be dealing with include Walter Martin’s Kingdom of the Cults and James Sire’s The Universe Next Door. I want him to have an answer for the hope that is in him and be able to discern truth from error. I also want to make an effort to get him to make the faith of his parents his own. Nothing I’ve seen other parents do seems to insure that result and arguably it is in God’s hands but I want to know I did my best in my primary duty as a father.

This week will be our first attempt at these goals. We have some good ideas, I’m hoping that the implementation will bear some positive results even if it needs some modifications along the way.

Posted by william on 01/04 at 09:39 AM
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