Two Happy Birthdays and Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Dear Reader,

Today we can celebrate two birthdays, both movie people.

Let’s start with Jason Robards, who at least for me will always be Cheyenne from Once upon a time in the west:

But you might also know him from playing real-life people, Benjamin C. Bradlee in All the President’s Men, Dashiell Hammett in Julia, and Howard Hughes in Melvin and Howard. For all those he was Oscar nominated. In 1988 he won the Triple Crown of acting: Oscar, Tony, Emmy. He was a great and wonderful actor.

It would have been his 90th birthday today.

The 2nd birthday celebration is very special to diablog:

Continue reading “Two Happy Birthdays and Breakfast at Tiffany’s”

Say Goodbye to Skype

Dear Reader,

At diablog we have been following the story about spying on Skype for over a year. You can read it here, and here, and here. It all started with Microsoft applying for and being granted a patent to intercept Skype communication. My requests for an answer from Skype remained just that, unanswered requests.

For a long time, Skype has been the encrypted, peer-to-peer communication software of choice.

But now the government spying on Skype is “official“, the Washington Post has an article.

Skype now store your chats – even if you don’t ! – for 30 days. This is sad, because the US does not have a data retention law. There is no need for this. Except for sucking up to the police, spies and censorship happy politicians.

And Skype goes even further, they also enable “governments” to intercept peer-to-peer voice communication.
As the article mentions and I wrote here, with a court order and hacking your computer, listening in on Skype has been possible for governments before already.

The change now is a backdoor, or API, or special super nodes, or however they do it, for governments to listen in on your conversations. And if you believe, that those won’t be used automatically, without court order, I guess you are believing in the tooth fairy too.

Skype, like AT&T and countless other American communication companies has handed over the keys. And sold out it’s customers.
Because you did not hear about this from Skype, did you? Our inquiries were ignored. What do you do with a supplier, that cheats on you? You kick him out.

That’s what I will do. Goodbye Skype.

In the near future you can expect some reports about Skype alternatives.


It seems, “the internet” got somebody’s attention.
After months without any reaction from Skype, here is a public statement.

My reaction after the first few paragraphs, I want to puke.
Seriously, Skype? A ton of PR bla bla and marketing bullshit bingo?
If you read the statement carefully and between the lines, you will see, it is a smoke screen. If Skype cared for it’s customers, they would at least adopt the twitter policy of informing customers about governmental spying requests.
For an alternative to Skype go here.

Stay sane,
Engine Room

putting the q in kew, a glynsky night out part 2…

Dear diablog,

A short while ago I told you of our night out at Kew Gardens with the Straits.
They however did not ‘head’ the bill.
So, as usual it was sort of raining and the Glynskys staked a good place to see the action


and consume the ever wonderful Mme Glynskette’s travelling Michelin restaurant! Night slowly fell and the stage was enhanced by illuminations in the greenhouses

and the big screen helped when the view got blocked by the exhuberant throng

In all the years I have been watching live bands I have never been able to see live…


Please donate for starving millionaire musicians

Dear Reader,

Not long ago friends and I had dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood spots, a Tuscan place.
We enjoyed delicious food, like thin crust Focaccia with Gorgonzola and Tyrolean ham, along with a wonderful Chianti Classico.

Additional entertainment and some proof, that life is fair, was provided by the people at the table next to ours, a party of three. Daddy, a famous “singer/song writer” is a copyright maximalist. He is well known for condemning those “internet pirates” while making millions from his old elevator music.

Why is life fair?

He was being pestered by his obese, drunk wife, who was dressed in and equipped with luxury brand apparel and accessories from head to toe. After finishing her aperitif the lady was too drunk to see properly, much less talk without “entertaining” the whole place.
But it wasn’t her job alone, to make daddy’s life miserable.
She was joined by their spoiled, brat daughter. A fat hipster with more metal in her face than on my key chain, her body tattooed all over, including the back of her fat thighs. When did that become a place for tattoos? Especially when already full of cellulites at the age of maybe 22? Since when does that need highlighting?

Instead of having a civilized conversation, the ladies alternated between reading their – guess the brand – smartphones and making daddy’s evening a living hell.

Why am I sharing this experience with you?

Continue reading “Please donate for starving millionaire musicians”

the never ending story, alfreda’s return, la passione 20

Ladies, Gentlemen and Diablog readers,

After what seems an eternity since Pete last helped me (in April no less) with a tow to the garage for ‘final tweaks’ to my winter’s work – well ‘final’ is a figurative! – I just recently collected the Giulietta Sprint and brought it home. Wow am I happy!!!

Sorry the sex is wrong Alfreda – but you get what I mean!!!
Alfreda, seen in her ‘new look’ exterior with number plate in the correct place, renewed (as discussed in  earlier posts) repeaters on the wings and super new driving lights, went in for the fitting and legal testing of all the ‘mechanical’ parts found and fitted over the winter.


These include the new radiator and heater matrix (how nice to see shiny parts appearing)


and what became vain attempt to modify the carbs to look like…

Continue reading “the never ending story, alfreda’s return, la passione 20”

Californication –

Dear Reader,

Which song would be a fit to Smiles being in San Francisco, CA; Anonymous complaining about it here; and Pete diving into the game/virtual reality world of Second Life?

This one fits pretty well. And yes, Glynsky, this time it’s the lyrics, that matter, and the graphics.

A few years ago, Second Life was the big hype.
Everyone “had to be there”, companies rushed to open a presence, expecting “virtual brand building” and making money there. And then?

Continue reading “Californication –”