ER

InvernessDruid Avatar

Dear Reader,

Our beloved commentator, The Druid, has picked his Avatar:

InvernessDruid

At the same time, according to his comment here, DiaBlog is being censored on his company network.

How often did I warn you Brits of censorship? For how many years now? But you just keep calm and carry on. Be an obedient subject to the Queen, your Prime Idiot, your boss, and who ever else feels like enforcing his or her views upon what you can read and what you cannot. Have a cup of tea, watch some soccer and TV.

While France had a little bit of terrorism, a little bit in comparison to what Europe had in the 70s and 80s, every idiotic politician on earth is demanding more censorship and surveillance. Never mind, that France already has given up civil rights under that ridiculous mini- and wannabe Napoleon, aka Sarkosy. They already have all the authority to spy on the whole country.

And, did it help? Surprise, surprise, it did not. It is all security theater. Fig leaves to keep you distracted from the incompetence. But I have been saying that for years too.

Naturally, the Prime Idiot cannot be out done, when it comes to wasting your money.

He now wants to increase the counter terrorism budget by a lofty 35%. And do what? Buy American F-35 jets. Because nothing says counter terrorism like a fighter jet. In particular one, that cannot really fly, or fire its main weapon due to software problems (to be fixed by 2019, maybe).

Brilliant move, Cameron, our military complex says thank you. I guess, payment is on the way? Or would you prefer a future career as Middle East convoy?

In exchange for the expenditures Cameron wants to cut social service and the police force.¬† Now I thought, bombing people creates terrorists, and the police force is in charge of catching them. But that’s just stupid me. I must be completely wrong there. I am sure, you English know better.

Update: In his next comment here, the Inverness Druid wishes for a pinball machine. That I cannot do, but this here I can:

Elton John – The Who – Pinball Wizard

Stay tuned,

Engine Room

 

ER

your email

Dear Reader,

Consider me in a rage. Yes, I am ready to throw a fit. The next person contacting me via an email account by:

  • hotmail.com
  • msn.com
  • outlook.com
  • live.com

can expect to be shot. All those are domains by bloody, fucking Microsoft. And they just stole hours of my life, again.

Microsoft has no clue what they are doing. Scared of competing Gmail (by Google) they turn email into FUBAR. How so?

Microsoft is forwarding emails through at least two of those domains, mostly three. Most of their domains are abused by spammers constantly. Thus, everybody handling email services hates Microsoft already. Them and their victims, aka customers. And as if that alone would not be bad enough, Microsoft uses outdated spam lists. What does that mean? Let me explain.

There are dozens of servers, which maintain blacklists of spammers. Without going into detail, they work to identify servers, through which a lot of spam is sent. Those servers and corresponding IP addresses are ‘blacklisted’. Servers then use those blacklists to block emails from the servers and IP addresses listed there. All of that to prevent you from receiving spam. So far so good.

Two of the dozens of blacklists are outdated. They went out of business. And they informed their customers accordingly, asking them to stop using the lists. As the lists are outdated, they produce what is called ‘false positives’. Meaning, email is labeled spam and blocked subsequently, although it is perfectly legitimate.

What does Microsoft do with all its own spamming webmail domains? They continue to use the outdated lists. And are blocking legitimate emails. Can you inform Microsoft about their FUBAR? It is a nightmare. Do they react, after you went through the hustle? Not at all. So, I just spent hours, trying to get a client off those outdated spam lists, just because Microsoft is incompetent.

Why am I writing all this?

Continue reading

ER

How bad is it?

Dear Reader,

After warning Glynsky – and you – for years about the danger of surveillance, last week the overlord of diablog gave in. Here he mentioned for the first time, that I might have a point.

Prior he had nothing to hide, it was in the best interest of society, freedom of speech had its limits, criminals must be found, bla bla bla. Like tens of millions of people Glynsky had swallowed the kool-aid fed to the masses by our politicians, government officials, and conservative media.

And, what a coincidence, last week those same politicians got caught with their pants down. It is hilarious. The hypocrisy is beyond fiction. Seriously, you could not make this stuff up.

On Wednesday a British court ruled, that the GCHQ is allowed to ‘monitor’ members of parliament. Please note the newspeak, they are calling it monitoring, not surveillance or spying.

Wait, what? Haven’t they always? I mean, if the GCHQ – in collaboration with the NSA – is spying on the whole country and all other countries, doesn’t that include the MPs?

Obviously not. See, those same MPs, who have been selling you bullshit about surveillance for more than a decade now, have been exempt from the spying. Or at least, they were made to believe that. While you have been under surveillance 24/7, the MPs thought they were not. It is quite easy to agree to something bad, if it does not impact you, isn’t it? If you ever needed an example of ‘not in my backyard’, there it is.

But it gets better. On Thursday, less than 24 hours (!) after the court decision, the MPs held an emergency meeting. Because, now that it is them being put under surveillance, now surveillance is bad. And those MPs aren’t even ashamed of themselves.

They knew all too well, what surveillance means. It means, among other nasty things, that you are open to blackmail. That little marijuana habit, the mistress, the little bit of cheating on your taxes, all that comes handy, when the GCHQ wants to convince an MP how to vote. Oh, you want to cut our budget? Wouldn’t it be a pity, if the voters learned about that undeclared income from the lobbyists? You might have to step down. Of course, there is no need for that, if our budget isn’t cut.

In conclusion, not only have the MPs been lying to you for many years about surveillance. Also they think only the sheep should be fleeced. They of course are above that. They deserve better. You are plebs. They rule.

If it wasn’t so damn serious, one could turn it into comedy.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

ER

Happy Birthday …. sing it

Dear Reader,

This is not about somebody’s birthday. This is about the song. We had mentioned it on diablog before, here.

Now the good news, you can sing and play this evergreen when ever you want. Because a judge with his head on his shoulders and feet on the ground ruled, that:

All the ‘Happy Birthday’ song copyright claims are invalid.

For well over 80 years one shmock or another, all respected members of the music industry of course, claimed the copyright and collected royalties for the song. The last to do so was Warner/Chappell.

Now the song is declared public works, it is in the public domain, you are free to sing and play it. How much damage did the music industry do? Estimates are, Warner collected two million dollars annually. They pay 30% of that to a foundation, and their records indicate they collected over 750,000 last year.

If you still believe, there is something respectable in the “music business”, here is a little reminder from the 1970s:

 

This was on record covers and advertised. Now, was it accurate? No. Is it accurate? Neither.

And since then we heard that video is killing music, and online is killing music, and pirating is killing music. Music has been declared near dead by the music industry through every decade. Yet, there is more music composed and performed and available today than ever. The music industry makes those claims only, to fill its coffers, to tax you more.

I think it is high time, the shmocks in the music industry follow the dinosaurs. But that is just me.

Humming happily,

Engine Room

ER

AVG turns spy- and ad-ware

Dear Reader,

Do you use Windows? And do you have an antivirus program installed? Is it AVG? Then go ahead and uninstall it.

Generally speaking I am not a fan of those programs. People with way more knowledge than me refer to those programs as snake oil.

Yet, I have used Avira, along with CCleaner and Spybot Search & Destroy, to clean up computers. All those are free programs, but not free and open source. They can help cleaning up. But they do not really prevent the mindlessly browsing internet user from catching malicious software. Point in case, recently I had to clean up a computer, and although AVG was installed and running, I found 66 problems, including at least five malicious programs. One of which was a trojan. So, AVG wasn’t really helpful there.

And now AVG is turning against its users. As someone on Slashdot publishes here (quote, emphasize mine):

We collect non-personal data to make money from our free offerings so we can keep them free, including: Advertising ID associated with your device; Browsing and search history, including meta data; Internet service provider or mobile network you use to connect to our products, and Information regarding other applications you may have on your device and how they are used.

So, AVG turns its protective program into spyware and adware. Advertising IDs, browsing history, metadata, you can be identified by that pretty accurately. All the stuff they collect together makes your data unique. This is personal data, no matter how AVG calls it. And of course, AVG has no way to check, what the buyers of your data do with it.

Unless you are like sheep, walking to the slaughter house voluntarily, uninstall the crap.

Stay sane,

Engine Room

ER

When humanity wins

Dear Reader,

This week ends on a good note.

While politicians like Prime Idiot Cameron and wannabe President Trump are talking out of their asses about immigration, and while some cynic BBC reporter writes irrelevant crap, real people have taken matters into their own hands.

Here is a nice list from The Guardian just as an example. Another one, the people of Berlin are turning the former airport Tempelhof,

once among the 20 largest buildings in the world, into housing for refugees. The building has been sitting empty for years. It can house thousands. It seems, the people of Berlin have not forgotten, that they too need help to survive. In 1948 the air lift saved them, and since then they have been subsidized.

People all over Europe are holding welcome parties for refugees. And that is, how it should be.

Now, let’s get some facts straight.

Some countries have taken in hundreds of thousands of refugees. Jordan is housing over 1,100,000, Turkey almost 800,000, and tiny Lebanon over 600,000. And before any Brit gets his knickers in a twist, you are not taking many refugees. Per one million citizens, the UK had 490 asylum seekers in the 1st quarter of 2015. That puts Brits in 18th place within Europe. Sweden had +8,000 per one million citizens, Hungary +7,000, Austria +4,000, Malta and Germany +3,000.

And some more general comments regarding migration.

Hardly anyone gives up home, family, friends and culture just for the heck of it. Almost everyone does so out of need. You have to be quite desperate to trade the devil you know against the uncertainty of a future in some foreign country and culture. And it does not matter, whether the motivation is the lack of income or a war. Both is life threatening.

Next, all our countries benefit from migration. As the famous line goes:

Your Jesus was a Jew. Your alphabet is Latin, your numbers Arabic. Your democracy is Greek. Your noodles are Chinese. Your pizza is Italian, your hamburger is German. Your car is Japanese. Your vodka is Russian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your coffee is Brazilian. And you complain that your neighbor is an immigrant?

To the Americans, Trump fans in particular, if you think English should be spoken, move to England. This country belonged to the natives, and your ancestors were nothing but migrants.

Finally a reminder,

Continue reading

ER

A bridge for sale

Dear Reader,

In a recent conversation with our beloved commentator Phillipa

 

phillipa-real

we got back to the issue of Windows 10 and why you should say No to it.

During that conversation I compared your computer to a piece of land, and the operating system to a house.

Imagine you buy a piece of land and a builder has put a house on it already.

After you paid and moved in, you discover that the builder kept keys to the house. He can come into your house anytime. And he does so daily!

He put in a surveillance system and checks and records what you, your family and anyone visiting are doing. He claims it will make your house safer and will help him improve the house. What is an improvement and what is not, is entirely up to him. He calls that updates. They are mandatory and you have no say in it.

He also claims, that he can fix problems in the house that way. Never mind that he is liable for any problem in the house anyway. He built the bloody thing, didn’t he? His checking leads to him removing anything from the house, that he thinks you don’t need. Or should not have. He also puts in things, he believes you have to have. Sorry, he took your entertainment system. You don’t need that, according to him. A radio will have to do. Your movie selection? He claims it is illegal and took it away.

The builder also reads all your mail, incoming and outgoing. He records all telephone conversations you have. He also bugged your car and keeps track of where you are driving. Oh, and he put a tracking bracelet around your ankle, and everyone in your family. He checks your fridge, freezer, cupboards, and closets¬† for what you buy and consume. He then sends you mail with what he calls “better offers”.

Since the builder reads all your communication, he knows your bank details, your accounts, the balance, whom you pay, who pays you, everything. He is also familiar with anything health related, your conversation with your doctor, the pharmacist, everyone.

All this “information” gathered about you, the builder is selling to other people. Anyone paying him, learns everything about you. And fills your mailbox with even more “better offers”.

And the best part, he preserved himself the right, to use and rent out any of your rooms, if he wants to. So whenever the builder feels like it, you have a lodger. The lodger uses your whole house. Tough luck, if you want to use it. The lodger, of course, isn’t paying you.

 

And one last thing, just because Microsoft calls Windows 10 a free upgrade, it is neither free nor free of charge. You bought your computer and Windows with it. You paid for it. And never have you been less free, than with Windows 10.

If you still think this is OK, and one should install Windows 10, then I have a bridge to sell.

Stay sane,

Engine Room