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Posts by VAarea

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  • Don’t Keep Your Personal Or Financial Data On A Windows 10 Machine!

    02/15/2016 11:38:22 AM PST · 20 of 73
    VAarea to naturalborn

    Here’s my approach:
    Haven’t purchased a new laptop/desktop computer for a couple of decades. Instead I buy refurbished units (just recently a 2009 Dell Optiplex with Win 7).

    I then bring Windows up to make sure all works then remove the drive and keep it in a safe place. This allows me to run Windows for the 1% or so of time that I need it, and also have a way to verify hardware independently should I encounter any problems.

    Install a fresh drive, which typically brings a lot more capacity, and zero run time on the drive. Then install a downloaded Linux system, Mint 17.3 Rosa in this case. Had it up and running, surfing the web in 15 min. or so. My combo printer/scanner needed a driver downloaded from HP’s site (hplip), executed the driver program which after several prompts and had functionality within several more minutes. It can’t get much easier!

  • Nat Shilkret & Orchestra "The Woman In The Shoe" 1930 (Arthur Freed & Nacio Brown)

    12/28/2015 6:04:05 AM PST · 4 of 4
    VAarea to Praxeologue

    His autobiography ‘Sixty Years in the Music Business’ provides some good insights into that era.

  • Hillary's Server Wipe Has Done Incalculable Damage to U.S. Counter-Intelligence

    09/05/2015 9:43:28 AM PDT · 35 of 59
    VAarea to Eddie01

    Yes - remember Buddy...

  • The FRiday Night Movie - Beat The Devil (1953)

    03/06/2015 9:02:52 PM PST · 6 of 13
    VAarea to DemforBush

    One of my favorites! Must have seen it at least a dozen times. I hear that Bogart wasn’t fond of it.

    Also just recently saw Kanal, on Netflix DVD. I suggest watching before before it another Polish film “A Generation” also relating to underground activities during the German occupation and sort of sets the stage for Kanal.

  • Protect Your Electronics From an EMP

    05/07/2014 9:48:43 AM PDT · 33 of 138
    VAarea to Freeping Since 2001

    Exactly. Just make sure that the lid seals reasonably well (which it should). For good measure every couple of years or so swab the mating surfaces with a contact enhancer such as CRC-226 spray (available at Home Depot).

  • Timely Film Rome, Open City is Re-released

    04/02/2014 6:37:20 AM PDT · 3 of 4
    VAarea to NYer

    It’s a great film; I watched it not long ago on DVD, and highly recommend it.

  • The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World.

    02/03/2014 9:40:36 AM PST · 29 of 47
    VAarea to redgolum

    It has been said that the last century was the bloodiest in history, and this one will be bloodier still. Of that I have little doubt.

  • Question: Best way to get music from my home server to my stereo system?

    01/04/2014 5:28:17 AM PST · 60 of 60
    VAarea to mmichaels1970

    The Whole House FM transmitter work great. Is stable, good audio quality and range, and has a USB connector for power (no external supply/batteries needed). A switch hidden behind a label in the battery compartment increases output power/ range; it is set to low power as received. Cost is about $150 but worth it for any serious installation.

  • Stanislav Petrov: The man who may have saved the world

    09/27/2013 6:15:57 AM PDT · 11 of 15
    VAarea to the scotsman

    Around that time the Soviets instituted a priority intelligence operation called RYAN in which both KGB and military GRU offices around the world were instructed to report any signs of impending attack by the West.

    I wonder how RYAN reports may have worked into that command decision (if at all), or whether that incident was a factor in setting up the RYAN operation.

  • SR-71 Blackbird: The Cold War's ultimate spy plane

    07/04/2013 4:20:21 PM PDT · 24 of 62
    VAarea to sukhoi-30mki

    I’ve seen SR-71s in various states of disassembly during major maintenance operations. Very impressive aircraft.

    One maintenance procedure was the “hot gig” test where hydraulic fluid at elevated temperatures (several hundred degrees, to emulate in-flight conditions) is pumped through the system to check for leaks and check for proper hydraulics operation. The mechanics would don metalized suits for protection against the hot fluid. While this was going on one day I recall looking through Lockheed’s Palmdale hangar and seeing a blue haze or smoke rising from the hot gig cart’s heater.

    Beale AFB has a great open air display of a couple of vehicles near the flight line. A pylon-mounted Blackbird about 10-15 feet above ground, gear-up flight configuration in a slight bank/nose up attitude, gives real appreciation for its size and form. In its shadow is a D-21 drone (which was originally intended to be launched by the SR-71 predecessor M21 mothership).

  • In the age of unlimited bytes, Uncle Sam shapes up as Big Brother

    06/13/2013 8:41:19 AM PDT · 2 of 5
    VAarea to James C. Bennett

    Just came across this, finding it relevant given current events.

    Defected former head of Romanian intelligence in his book Red Horizons describes Comrade Supreme Commander Nicolae Ceausescu’s comments, after receiving a briefing and demonstration of surveillance capabilities by the head of technical operations of its security apparatus, speaking of his five year plan as follows:

    “For the past decade, each year has marked something new in our Communist history. Let us make 1984 [ironically] another cornerstone. Let us again be unique in the Warsaw pact. Let us be the first in the entire world, comrades. In a very short time we will be the only country on earth able to know what every single one of its citizens is thinking. Five years is all that separates us from a new, much more scientific form of government.

    Why is American imperialism so unpopular? Because it does not know what its people think, because it is not scientific. What you are doing here comrades, is the real science of government. It is a true public opinion survey. The Communist system we are creating together is he most scientific ever, I repeat, comrades, ever to be put at the service of mankind.” ...

    “We do not have a police state, and we will never have a police state [!]. We are a proletarian dictatorship preserving our ideological purity. Communism is the only real democracy, and history will attest to that for generations to come.”

    My comments in brackets. This was to be done via deployment of tens of millions of microphones in standardized telephones and television sets among other other articles, capable of simultaneous monitoring. Every family periodically, with continuous coverage of suspect ones.

  • The NSA—America’s new Secret Police

    06/08/2013 8:39:42 AM PDT · 12 of 33
    VAarea to Starboard

    Former STASI must be salivating at the thought of what they could have done using current technology!

  • The Crash of Socialism 2.0 ics, religion

    06/04/2013 5:52:39 AM PDT · 3 of 7
    VAarea to Louis Foxwell

    If sucide statistics is their main concern, I believe that East Germany established the most effective approach: just abolish the category of death by suicide (although the actual rate was rather high).

    Voila, no more suicides in the Worker’s Paradise!

  • $1 million bus stop opens in Arlington

    03/25/2013 10:16:17 AM PDT · 22 of 36
    VAarea to PowderMonkey

    Even worse, they might operate in the morning, but shut down early, thus stranding passangers without bus service home.

    A number of years ago I took the Metro/bus combination after a heavy overnight snowfall instead of driving. Made it out to work in the morning without much difficulty. I left work early (by 5:00 or so) to catch return bus. Waited well over an hour without seeing any bus activity in either direction (this on a major route). Metro had apparently terminated service mid afternoon, despite the weather clearing in the morning. There was little traffic; the only problem was snow plowed to the side of the road requiring passengers to wade through it to get to reach the open lane. After experiencing the onset of hypothermia, I broke down and called a taxi to the nearest Metro station. Sure could have used a heated shelter!

  • The Decline of America [VDH]

    02/14/2013 7:58:38 AM PST · 16 of 24
    VAarea to allendale
    It seems more than a coincidence the acceleration of decline in the 1960s, with the Soviet Union's establishment (in the late '50s/early '60s) of the doctrine of the use of subversion vs. more active measures against the West. I suspect whatever seeds they may have planted then are now paying off (too late for them).
  • Assembly Democrat wants grocery store ban on plastic bags [California]

    01/23/2013 6:10:51 AM PST · 38 of 49
    VAarea to Minutemen

    You can actually re-use existing plastic bags!


    They’re highly efficient. For storage, many bags can be stuffed into a small, stiff cardboard box (oatmeal container works well) and easily retrieved for use.

    My grandmother actually braided the things into strips, which she then formed into small throw rugs!

  • A Bright Idea: Bring Back Incandescents

    01/16/2011 1:05:21 PM PST · 40 of 75
    VAarea to 2harddrive

    “I think halogens are a FIRE HAZARD, because of the HEAT they generate.”

    Halogens necessarily run hot. Because they run hot, quartz instead of ordinary glass is used for for the inner bulb, which tolerates the heat without softening.

    It so happens that quartz is transparent to ultraviolet wavelengths. Because of the high operating temperature halogens generate significant amounts of UV that can present a skin cancer hazard. Therefore they should never be used with a broken outer envelope, or in the absence of the protective glass shield on some lamp types (such as desk lamps), for both fire and UV safety reasons.

  • Crystal radio question

    11/02/2010 2:42:32 PM PDT · 64 of 76
    VAarea to UCANSEE2
    ’m using the ground off of my home electric wiring.

    In addition to safety issues, a grounding connection to electrical wiring is likely to carry significant AM-band noise from loads on the various circuits (including the new CFL lamps).

  • Steele to Palin Critics: Shut-up!/Would support Palin, if nominee.

    11/01/2010 8:48:22 AM PDT · 20 of 44
    VAarea to anton

    I think perhaps they’re more afraid she’ll get the nomination, and WIN”

  • Harry Reid's closing message: You'd have to be crazy to replace me with Sharron Angle

    10/23/2010 8:07:19 AM PDT · 31 of 33
    VAarea to freespirited

    Harry,
    They were crazy to vote for YOU in the first place!