Archive for the ‘Recent News’ Category

Why Good Passwords Are Not Enough.

Of course weak password is bad. However, the major problem is not easy to fix.

More and more criminals are trying to attack data centers that have important user information and use that to unlawfully take your money.

Do a Google search and find a number of the big banks in the USA and overseas have had data loss. Data loss can be a polite way to say that data was stolen from the bank. So far, the banks and governments have helped resolve the trouble. But too often the criminals do not get apprehended and they go on to try again and again.

What can you do? Be careful about having large amounts of money in just one institution.  Avoid credit cards that can be used to drain all the money from your cheeking account.

Some people now prefer to buy a plastic card for a given amount and use it to pay on-line bills or to go shopping.  This is safer t than having your checkbook or cash in your purse.

The limited funds plastic cards are not linked to your bank and therefore a thief would  only get the value of the card and nothing more. The card does not even have your name on it.

Really Big Fires in Californai, North t and South.

We have had temperatures over 100 F hee. And we are  in the foothills!

You may have heard, California is having a bad time with wild fires. After a wet winter the dry grass is not fuel for some bad fires.
From where we live we see a huge cloud of smoke taht looks like a thunderstom, But it is a firestom. We ae several miles from the fire andf the air here is clear, but we smell the smoke. We know some who live out in the rural area taht has lost well over 2,500 acres  in a very short time.
The irony of this is that it is only a few miles from Lake Oroville, which had too much water and some heavey damage had been done to the spillway ealier this year. So the state of California is giing to have some really big bills to pay this year.
Some of the land on fie is actually feeral land, not statre land. But the state has to come in and put out the fire.
The majopr TV netwokrs ill have this on the news tomorrow. ABC, NBCc and FOX already have some stories. bBut the fire is not even 30% contained.You will notice there is more tahn just one big fire. There are two or three big fires at this time. In widely differnt places. Really bad fires. Look at this photo.

It is hot. And this is just July!

 

Wiki Leaks and Computer Hacking.

NBC says  the Wiki Leak things reveals a major hacking tool used by CIA.

But now the attention is about who told. The government reaction is al about who told and not about the harm that was done. Here is a quore from the NBC news website:

A MAJOR mole hunt is now underway as the Federal Bureau of Investigation tries to find out how anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks got its hands on alleged CIA hacking tools.

Here’s the link for the Full Story y from NBC.

What can you do? Protect your self with Anti-Virus and backups.

 

The Oroville Alter is Over.

You have already seen this image on TV. It is not a danger to Oroville. Te Alert is over.

Of course, there is a lot of work to do. Government agencies will not allow this condition to repeat itself. The sluice of the spillway will have to be repaired. Meanwhile, some more rain and run odd is coming.  Some say the cost of repairs to both spillways may be well over $100 million.

Another note about the impact on recreation. The Lake recreation areas may not be fully operation this summer.  Some areas will be closed until all repair work is done.

Many people wonder about t the photo above. It shows the main walkway work as it should. Except  But he lower part of the slice is badly damaged and has dumped mud into the Feather River. Federal regulations require the state of California to fix his as soon as possible.

Can the IRS Hrass Anybody

The answer might surprise you. The really do it all the time.

Personally I have had this. An agent will go beyond what it can legally do and ask questions that are not his business. This is a physiological trick to catch you.

This has been documented elsewhere. Here are just a few of the websites where individuals claim the government went to far in an attempt to get more money.

Account Forums

Kemberley Washington on CBNC

UncleFed’s Tax Board

Internal Revenue Manual

Please notice this post does not say yu should stop paying tax. Not at all. Rather do not let a few greedy people cheat you to promote their own self-interest. Pay you tax. Pay only what you owe.

Oroville Flood Alert Overdone.

This  post  is deleted.

The Oroville Crack in Credibility

This  post  is deleted.

How Methane, LNG, improved the lives of the poor.

Natural gas has drooped the price of energy everywhere. The poorest people have benefited in a big way.

Natural gas is methane. Before it is shipped to homes a chemical is added to give it a strong  smelly odour. Unlike kerosene or gasoline, it must it must be held in sealed pressure tank.

More about why methane is important, but first I’m going to relate a personal observation I have. After living and travelling about for several years in Third World countries.several times I’ve flown over parts of the Amazon basin. I recall seeing large areas of dense forest they could go as far as the ice could see. But over the years I began to notice that what they said was true. More and more the land was being cut up into chunks for farming and the trees were not this many as they used to be. The poor people  cut down the forest to try and make a living. But the Amazon forest is too slow to recover.

Another thing I’ve surf while living in two different countries was the extreme poverty that existed among the lowest class. It was unlike anything I ever saw on growing up in the United States people had so little to eat and they had to live in shelters that could hardly be called houses. After a while we had to quit and go back home.

After many years of living back in the United States and having a satisfying life, we decided to go back again and try South America in one of the poorest countries around. It has a land area larger than that of taxes, but a population more like  Washington state.

Before I left that country the government began in put in more and more narwhal gas pipes in all the mayor cities. This was done at very low cost, or free in some places. The natural gas proven robe very effective and low cost.  As a direct result, the poor people could eat better and have more time to work in industry  instead of small-scale farming.

I got to meet a man who was  part of this. He helped the government make a contract wit foreign petroleum companies to develop and export oil reserves newly discovered that country.  I would say it was a success.  Exportation of methane is not cost-effective. But using it inside the country made good economic sense.

So, that is how methane has helped the poor people. Now there  is more news about methane. I will tell next post.kohn-bird

Avoid Microsoft Surface Pro Now.

Until they fix the battery battery trouble,  a new Surface Pro  may be a real headache.

The problem is not new at all. But they can not fix it. Users keep reporting thebateriesoverheat and do not hold the advertised 6 hours change. So far, Microsoft, the maker, has not fould a believable excuse.

There are a number of web sites that give the new table tablet  computer  less that perfect scores. It is all about the battery life. Unless you don’t mind sjhor battery life, you should look elsewhere for a new table tablet computer.

( It is a ‘table tablet’ because it allows a keyboard to be attached and stand up on a table top.)

Here is a link that criticizes the Surface Pro.

This Reddit makes me think I should avoid surface devices from Surface

 

 

Don’t buy a solar energy system now.

Don’t get caught up in the current solar energy mania. There are other ways to cut your energy costs without doing a major investment.

First of all, do you live in an area where solar energy would be very productive? Actually, only a portion of the United States is well-suited to solar energy. It is the area known as the Southwest United States which includes the lower half of California and the western half of Texas and all of Arizona and most of new Mexico.
Do not expect a solar panel salesmen to provide you with all the relevant facts. In some areas the cost of electric power is very low and will probably stay that way for a long time. Also, if some new development should occur, the power companies would be the first to take advantage of it for their own benefit.
What many homeowners do not realize is that many large companies have looked at the alternatives and have made other decisions. In some cases they are using fuel cells to convert natural gas and electricity. Of course, that doesn’t do a whole lot for the environment, but it is very cost effective. The reason is that natural gas is available almost everywhere. It can be piped across United States through pipelines or it can be liquefied and shipped.in freight trains. Natural gas is extremely available everywhere. In some parts of United States is not enough sunlight to justify solar energy installations. But those areas can benefit by the use of fuel cells that depend on natural gas.
So then, to answer the question here are the two major issues. The first is do you live in an area where solar energy really would be productive? The second question: What is the cost is relative to the cost of electrical energy in your area?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that we consume all the fossil fuels we can find. Rather my objection is to the flimflam shoddy misrepresentation being made by solar panel salesmen. It is not a good return on your investment. It takes years and years for become cost effective. There are other ways to save your energy costs.
Here are some other things that will help you cut your energy costs. Improve the insulation in your existing home. Think about heating or cooling your home with other types of equipment. In some places a water-cooler can be just as effective as an air-conditioning unit and cost a lot less to maintain and use.
At the present time there is a lot of research being done on alternate forms of energy. Most likely the big energy companies are going to get into this before the average person can benefit. It is just the way it is. It takes money to save money. The big companies will invest their money in the kind of research that will produce real results inside of a reasonable timeline.

Now in your case, do you really think that you can wait 40 years to see if you got the right return on your investment?  Probably not.