Friday, June 7, 2013

BlueStack's New GamePop Console Versus Intel's Arrogance

Diagram of BlueStack GamePop Console virtual app
BlueStacks New Game Pop Console is Free!
Recently, I was reading an investing article from an ex-Intel employee who has been drinking their Kool-Aid for about 30 years. Same old story for a tired old stock: Intel's next generation will blow the doors off the competition and grab acres of market share from the current manufacturers' of CPUs for Android tablets, iPads, etc., etc. "You just wait!" he said. The part that really made me gag was his arrogance to call the newest generation of mobile tablets, etc., "toys."

You see, Intel couldn't innovate their way out of a paper bag, except in regard to their one, not to be underestimated, prowess: Manufacturing. Yeah, they can work that wafer yield until chips are literally bulging the warehouse doors. That doesn't mean they can sell them, however, to the extent that they actually improve their stock price, which has been languising in the 20s (and below) for years on end. To their credit, the stock broke through the 150-day SMA a month or so ago, but I think that's more hope-based than anything.

Anyway, what got me started on that rant?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sorry Michelle, Cesar is not Hugo nor Vice Versa

Cesar Chavez Day
Cesar Chavez Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While Christianity may indeed be the largest worldwide religion in terms of absolute numbers (2.1 billion), its adherents still only make up about 20% or less of of the world's population who claim a religion.

If you're Christian, that fact is probably not going to mellow you out for what I have to say, but to each his own.

Google is taking a lot of heat, mainly from politically conservative Christians, for yesterday honoring Cesar Chávez, the labor leader, in their home page logo. Sunday was Cesar Chávez Day in the U.S., but it just happened to fall on Easter this year, which, to those conservative Christians, should be the focus of any honoring by public and private institutions alike, ... worldwide.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013 Google Redirect Virus May Not Be On Your PC

skull and cross bones on laptop screenI solved a recent 2013 Google redirect virus threat to our PCs, a problem on which there is sparse information and which came from an unexpected source. If the virus is not on your PC, then your antivirus software is not going to be effective, obviously. I'm posting this solution in the hope that it can save someone else the hours of searching, trying things, etc. that I wasted on it.

Recently, on one of my desktop PCs, Avast Antivirus started popping up warnings about blocking a malware threat. Specifically, it was blocking a javascript virus redirect that it said had something to do with Google Analytics. Sometimes the URL was just an IP address (in this case, 91.236.116.158), other times it was google-analytics.com. There were two scripts being hijacked, ga.js, and urchin.js, which are well-known Google scripts that are used for tailoring Adsense ads to your perceived preferences.

Avast malware popup warning
Sorry for the blurry shot, it says www.google-analytics/ga.js (gzip)

After a short time, this malware blocked popup was happening on nearly any page I surfed, but especially anything related to Google, Analytics or not. Full scans, including boot-time scans, via Avast and later using the free Kapersky Virus Removal Tool (among other tools) turned up some viruses on my PC, they were removed, and once in a while the behavior stopped for a short time, but soon "Malware Blocked" was again my web surfing buddy.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Someone You Know Going to the Hospital Soon? Avoid Them Getting an IV Blood Infection!

Red blood cells on an agar plate are used to d...
Red blood cells on an agar plate are used to diagnose infection. The plate on the left shows a positive staphylococcus infection. The plate on the right shows a positive streptococcus infection and with the halo effect shows specifically a beta-hemolytic group A. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Folks, this is important. If you or a family member is anticipating a hospital visit soon that will involve I.V. treatment (most visits do), then you need to be aware of some new technology that can prevent a lot of expense and heartache. All the details of the newer twist-on disinfection caps for luer ports are in my article on Hubpages.

What you need to know is that many hospitals still use what's called the "scrub-the-hub" method of disinfecting IV ports, which has several deficiencies, and can lead to blood-borne infections called CRBSIs. Hospitals are rife with highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which makes these infections all the worse. Such an infection increases the patient's risk of dying and, on average, means the patient stays in the hospital another month longer. To treat such an infection typically adds to the bill over 40,000 bucks!

Also, Medicaid and Medicare won't pay for such an infection, since they know that they are 100% preventable if the newer twist-on technology is used. So, play it smart and make sure the hospital you or your loved one is being admitted to uses this new life-saving technology.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Four and a Half BILLION Goldilocks Planets in our Galaxy!

NASA's Kepler Observatory has been up in space since 2009 searching for extrasolar planets. Specifically, it's targeting red dwarf star systems, because they are so numerous and because their low luminosity and size makes direct observation of any planets practical. Read more details here about why red dwarfs were chosen.

red sky and sea with earth floating
Geralt via Pixabay, Public Domain
The mission continues until at least 2015, but already Kepler has identified 18,000 candidate systems, of which 90% will likely be confirmed by other means. That number alone is amazing, but the analysis of what's been discovered so far leads scientists to extrapolate that there are 4.5 billion(!) such systems in the Milky Way that have planets orbiting in a habitable zone where water can exist.

The question is no longer "if" we have life-bearing planets in our galaxy, but "when" we will confirm their existence. Newer, more sensitive instruments in space and on Earth will be able to probe the atmospheres of these exoplanets and determine if they contain signature elements, such as oxygen.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Got An Old Worthless PC? Turn It Into A Food Dehydrator!

solar food dryer components
The test bed for all the components
This kind of project is of a genre that I refer to as "hillbilly geek". Grab whatever is around, the more absolute junk the better, and go for it. First rule is that you absolutely must employ the Handyman's Secret Weapon, duct tape. Even if you don't really need it.

You can find the blow-by-blow description of this project on my Hubpages site if you really want to tackle this one. It is both solar passive and active.

You don't need such a big solar panel as pictured here. Anything that can put out a couple of watts will turn the PC fan that circulates the warm air. One of those solar chargers for topping off your car battery would be just fine.

Duct Tape Girl
Duct Tape Girl (Photo credit: Newki)
Neither does the SLA battery have to be so big.  Of course, you wouldn't even have to use PC cases, but since they were around and I'm lousy at working with sheet metal, they sure came in handy.

In about the same time as our electric food dryer that sucks up 400W, I was able to dry enough tomatoes in this baby to make a homemade pizza sauce.


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