Thursday, May 31, 2012

Oh Ye Who Doubt

There are Republicans attempting to revive the birther conspiracy against President Obama. Spewing lies will certainly hurt their credibility on other issues.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

$1-Per-Pack Cigarette Tax

Illinois will add a tax to a pack of cigarettes that will drive the cost up one more dollar. The added tax will go to the state's Medicaid program. Here in California it is possible to find a $4.50 per pack price at some Smoke Shops. If we added the same kind of tax then a two-pack-per-day smoker would spend nine dollars daily. That comes to a tobacco habit costing $270 monthly. (An upcoming Prop 29 affirmative vote on June 5th in California will bring this increase to us.)

That would be maximum motivation to quit, for me. Luckily I stopped smoking back in 1980. I started smoking while in high school when cigarettes were 25¢ per pack.

Friday, May 25, 2012

View The Program — Skip Commercials

A new DVR from DISH Network allows the customer to view recorded programs and skip commercials.

"The TV networks are saying that DISH has, in effect, violated their copyrights by stripping away the traditional way they make money. (Reference)

"For their part, Dish argues that people have been skipping TV ads, in one way or another, since the invention of television. Viewers have muted ads for decades, and the DVR's fast-forward function only hastened the process." (Reference)

There is a 1-day delay before Ad Hop works for a recorded program. Viewing prior to that brings the ads with the the show. Still, fast-forwarding is available.

We fast-forward through advertising when we watch a recorded show. DirecTV has not provided the same ad-hopping technology because they obviously do not want the legal battles.

Will DISH customers be required to pay to have the new DVR? Will CBS, NBC, and FOX networks get an injunction against DISH to keep this new technology out of customers' hands, at least during litigation?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Stolen GPS Recovery

Some mistakenly believe that a stolen GPS device can be recovered through the system's ability to locate it. This is not true. The device interacts with triangulation from three satellite signals to show your location on its displayed map. The device cannot send its location back to the GPS system for purposes of locating it for recovery if it has been stolen or lost.

My Garmin Nuvi was stolen when my vehicle was inadvertently left unlocked. The thief also got the dashboard mount. The power cable, however, was not taken from the center console. It has an FM receiver that gives detour routing when the usual route is blocked by an accident. The recipient of my stolen Garmin will need to find a power cord to keep the battery charged and use the traffic feature.

I will call Garmin on Monday to report my Garmin stolen. By having the serial number they can refuse service on the unit if someone attempts to get it.

My Auto Club Insurance people can tell me if I am covered for stolen property. I shall file a police report in case they check the pawn shops. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Advanced TeleZapper

The original TeleZapper model emitted only one tone that signaled automated dialers to drop the called number from its list. It was highly effective until the marketers updated their dialers to require the triple-tone signal for disconnected numbers.

A seller at e-bay is offering a used TeleZapper II (that emits the triple-tone) where my $15 bid is currently the highest. It can be found for around $35 at various places online; however, if I can get it for twenty dollars or less with the "free shipping" offer I will be satisfied.

The original single-tone model is currently serving our phone line. The Digitone Call Blocker also serves our land line system. Still, when we answer a telemarketer that has not yet been blocked the TeleZapper might perform its magic at that moment.

Our phones are much quieter now since using the Digitone device. Any further degree of telephone silence is our goal. We do not mind the sound of a ringing phone when it is someone we are willing to speak with.