Tag Archives: Tech Stuff

A conspiracy theory everyone can believe in

Awoke this morning to brilliant sunshine and mini avalanches sliding off the roof, thumping loudly onto the deck like bankers committing suicide. I think one of these slides may have taken four metres of guttering with it, so will report to the landlord. No biggie.

Now this is interesting. Over at ZeroHedge I read this, then went here to get the full skinny.

While these revelations are all very sinister and discomfitting, and as I’ve noted before, if the security services are out looking for trouble they’ll find it everywhere. Ultimately this gives you the uncomfortable feeling that we are all potential ‘targets’. Reminds me of working a particularly tough street where you knew the insults and abuse were going to start flying at some stage. Only to find the abuse throwers turn out to be the very people tasked with keeping the peace. Although they will claim not to be. Which raises the question; how is anyone to tell friend from foe any more? Because at the moment there is a distinct feeling going around that those supposedly tasked with public protection are actually the bad guys. Especially when one hears tales from our cousins in the south about getting put on by the tax man for being critical of the current administration.

What a chilling thought.

I’m also given to think now that this querulous moggy is well and truly out of the bag, every sad little troll who doesn’t like what someone says will start making sly asides, trying to give the impression that they’re working for the security services. Who have guns. The trolls aren’t and haven’t. There’s simply too much information out there, and security budgets are not unlimited. The tactics outlined will only be implemented by government agencies against hard targets with inimical intent. Or someone who annoys a politician. Or… oh dear. Imagination brake failure! O. M. G! Don’t panic. Don’t panic!

Seriously though. In the end it all boils down to trust. If you can’t trust the people tasked with public protection to mind their own gosh-darned business in their own country, who can you have faith in? No wonder other countries are laying cables, building their own Internets and people are developing ‘Blackphones‘.

This does not change my mind about the rest of the conspiracy theories, faked moon landings, flat Earth, 911 false flag, Area 51, aliens, man made global warming. They’re still all bunk.

To close;

Welcome back Anna

Anna Raccoon is back on the blogroll after being reported missing in inaction due to illness.

Absolutely delighted to see Anna back up and stumbling. Only sorry she trashed her blog layout which now needs rebuilding. I’m sure the magical Interweb wayback machine might be of some assistance here.

Big H/T to Leg Iron at Underdogs bite upwards

For those interested in Weather

A rational view is online at the doughty Mr Watts web site with explanations of current extreme and not so extreme weather phenomena. Anthony has organised this exposition of meteorological expertise in an online live TV event to counter the rather less scientific assertions of a certain failed presidential candidate.

Youtube clips will be available in the next few days.

Smart meter gossip

Wonder if anyone from Florida can assist on this one. One of my contacts within the local power utility was overheard saying something about ‘Smart meters’ being removed from various premises in that state. They weren’t specific on the reasons, and of course it’s purely tech gossip and therefore not to be trusted as gospel, but are there any locales where the not-so-smart meters are actually not going in due to local opposition / operational difficulties? Or even where they are being removed?

The local meter readers don’t seem to be being laid off Like they were when this whole business began, and indeed appear busier than ever.

There are all sorts of rumours flying around about the so-called ‘smart grids’ not having a snowballs chance in hell of going fully operational because important decisions have been made for political and aspirational reasons rather than technical feasibility. Unverified, but all the same…

That’s all I know for certain right now, but I am starting to hear metaphorical wheels squeaking from all the backpedaling going on in the background. Very interesting…. Pity it’s eaten up so much taxpayer subsidy in these straitened times.

More changes to the point of view.

Have made a few alterations to the look of the blog. Comments and such are on the front page now, but you`ll have to scroll way down to the bottom as with this theme there is no room for sidebars. I did toy with the idea of an animated header, but that would have been a little over the top, even for me.

Stepdaughters are on their travels shortly. One back to blighty to complete legal studies, the other to Africa, and thence to Australia to work. We`re subbing them out of course, and they are staying with friends and family, so no rent and food bills etc. We`ll get the payback in later years, seeing them comfortably ensconced in good careers. Not that this will be appreciated, but that`s my cynicism for you. There it is! I was wondering where it had gone!

No doubt they will have many travelers tales to recount about the long wait at immigration at Heathrow and how many times they were searched on the way to see certain events at the London Olympics. Not that I`d go myself, worked there for a few years and had a bellyful. Sure the money`s not bad, but quite frankly I`d rather bed down in a nest of rattlesnakes. However, we all have to learn for ourselves.

The sun is taking a rest break behind clouds for the next four days, which will give my sunburn time to turn into tan. The pool is covered and there is work to do.

Changing the point of view

Just playing around with wordpress themes really. Nothing much to report apart from some minor issues with my Interweb browsers. Firefox has been problematic of late as far as videos are concerned, something to do with Realplayer and Shockwave Flash. Can’t be bothered to fix it any more, so Chrome has been getting more use. Firefox may find itself going the way of Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator. It’s not that I don’t like it, it’s just that I’m ticked off with having to mess around under the hood, so to speak.

As far as I’m concerned, Firefox is becoming like a vintage car. Looks great, even sounds wonderful; but getting a bit too slow, and getting too maintenance heavy.

Have been messing around with the blog template just to see what happens in a kind of Fisher-Price way.

An old satellite and a song

Today is the 50th Anniversary of Telstar, the first proper TV relay satellite. This song is also from that time. As is the one below. Slightly weird, but fun. In a geeky sort of way.

Elder sibling bought a copy, or had it bought for him, and I found it in his old record collection. Honest guv. I used to play it on his old record deck, a mahogany cased monster of a thing. Good grief, the memories flood back. 405 line TV sets (The ones you had to hit to get a half decent picture), hiding behind the sofa during Doctor Who (William Hartnell era), and when Ford Zodiac Mark II’s were thought to be the bees articular interfaces.

Awesome if used right

Am I the only one thinking that this could be a great tool for close-up news coverage of dangerous / secretive events? Add sound to the video and increase the battery life, and the possibilities for wildlife coverage or war zones are incredible. That and not having to struggle in a press of journo’s covering an outdoor event to see what someone really said.

First hand news, first hand, at an affordable price. Coming soon via drone technology. Awesome if used well. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Now the possibility exists that watchers can be watched right back.

It might even be fun.

Why ‘Smart Meters’ increase electricity bills

If you are one of those who are concerned about ‘Smart Meters’, here is a simple reason not to have one; It will significantly increase your electricity bill if you have any electrical appliances in your house or business like a washing machine, dishwasher, heat pump, storage heaters, air conditioning, hot water heater and / or pump, or full size electric cooker. See this article here for more detail.

Simply speaking, when any domestic electrical appliance is switched on, it momentarily draws heavily on the electricity supply. The key words to remember here are ‘surge voltages’. These surges at switch on can be several times the electrical rating of an appliance, and the bigger (and older) the appliance, the larger the surge. With the old meters this wasn’t an issue, as these surges are so short that the old electromechanical meters couldn’t record them. However, the ‘Smart meters’ being purely electronic, record every last milliamp, and report these directly to the suppliers via a mesh type network on a real time basis. Never mind being billed at varying rates for different times of the day.

Essentially what happens is that if you have a family that uses dishwashers two or three times daily, or cooks with electricity using an electric oven twice a day, and has gotten used to washing their clothes regularly, then your bills will soar, especially if you cannot afford to replace all your older appliances whose surge voltages are likely to be significantly higher than more electricity efficient modern equipment.

Using this technology has also raised concerns in the Security community, including the FBI, about ‘smart grids’ vulnerability to simple software tools which can in their simplest form, shut down parts of the electricity grid. Informed opinion is that these ‘attacks’ are likely to spread. The genie is out of the bottle, and the law of unintended consequences doing a happy little jig in the shadows.

The meters themselves are also laughably vulnerable to the notorious alleged ‘magnet hack’ (Look it up yourself), where two strongish electromagnets placed diametrically either side of the meter can slow it down. Simply covering the meters with a Faraday cage (or even common or garden baking foil) type structure can completely block a ‘smart’ meters RF frequency reporting. The trick for the householder of course, is not to get caught doing it, or blame someone else (Anti Smart meter campaigners, notorious ‘electrosensitives‘ – catch my drift?) when the RF blocking device (Faraday cage etc) is discovered (“Well I didn’t put it there.”).

To add insult to injury these smart meter roll outs are being subsidised by Government (actually ‘taxpayer’) as part of a ‘green’ initiative. Which rather makes a better case for smaller government, as all big government demonstrably does is create bigger screw ups on a grander scale.

For more in depth and balanced information on the full range of Smart meter issues, read this article thoroughly.