Wednesday, February 29, 2012


I read a story today about a gambling proposal in Georgia. Some tycoon proposes building massive gambling complexes in several cities. The following lures are used: job creation, tax revenue, and college scholarships.

I consider gambling to be a tax on fools, who pay the tax voluntarily due to their superstitious beliefs and their inability to comprehend mathematical probability. I have even known many computer programmers who played the lottery. They may have been well-versed in a computer language, but they knew nothing about mathematical probability. To them, one chance in a million was the same as one chance in ten. "One in a million" means that you could live many, many lifetimes without witnessing the desired event. Most state lotteries have odds that are worse than one in a million. That is all I need to know to have no interest in gambling.

I am not opposed to legalized gambling. The government should not be in the business of vice prevention. I am in favor of permitting a gambling complex to be built only if the government stays out and does not grant any special favors to the business owners in the form of tax breaks or anything else. All too often, government hands over the assets of the public treasury to private business owners, who give little or nothing back in return. I expect that if any gambling enterprise is approved, taxpayers will be forced to pay for the construction costs, and the business will run tax-free for years. That seems to be the typical arrangement, after the business owner has corrupted all the necessary officials. Only for that reason would I oppose legalized gambling. Many times in the past, cities have paid millions of dollars to build stadiums that have enriched private owners with little or no benefit for the people that live in the city.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


The shootings at schools, workplaces and elsewhere are disgusting. Worst are the random shootings, which imply contempt of the entire world. These I hate the most.

For my part, I'd rather be shot in cold blood and praised by those that survive than be the hated and condemned shooter. It is worse by far to live with the burden of a senseless crime than to die. I must say that in some cases, not all, I pity the condemned who must live with the knowledge and the dire consequences of their crimes.

I believe that the easy availability of guns is the clear and obvious reason that these shootings happen. Guns are too cheap, too easy to obtain and too simple to use. People have to take more training to drive a car than to shoot a gun, and the reverse should be true in all fairness. It would be an easy matter to install technology on firearms to render them inoperative without a password or other form of identification, such as a fingerprint. Only the United Nations has any hope of enforcing such a change on a global scale, and the change needs to be global. One day perhaps this may become a reality.

Weak-minded men are drawn to firearms because firearms are simple, and it is the only thing that they understand, the simple arithmetic of subtracting a human life. In a better world, a world with a god, these men would all be grouped together on a remote island where these walking and talking problems would find solutions for one another.

Of course, if it were not for guns, men would still find ways to butcher other men, but they wouldn't be as efficient at it.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, February 27, 2012


One word for this web site: hilarious.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Maureen Dowd on Santorum

I'm always surprised at just how good Maureen Dowd is. In the case of Santorum, she nailed it.

I don't think there's another political writer in America that I like as much as Dowd.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Windows XP for HTPC

Windows XP is the best choice for low-cost and simple HTPC. I spent a lot of time trying to breathe life into various flavors of Linux, but Linux wants people to commit a lot of time in order to iron out all the hardware and software problems that arise with Linux. These problems are not fun and not interesting, and I don't have that much time to burn, so Windows XP is the only viable choice for me.

Windows 7 is nicer, but completely unnecessary except for hardcore gamers. Windows XP works just fine for those on a budget. I like games produced between 2001 and 2005, so I may never need to upgrade to Windows 7.

I found a great web site the other day for optimizing Win XP for HTPC.

By using many of that gentleman's recommendations for disabling unnecessary Windows services and by making educated deductions based upon his excellent information, I was able to cut the boot time of my HTPC from 3 minutes to 30 seconds.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, February 26, 2012

That Old Dishtowel Santorum

Today I read an editorial in the Wall Street Journal dismissing Satanorum. If the WSJ is against Satanorum, he doesn't stand a chance. Satanorum is a disgusting old dishtowel. Apparently, many Republicans think so too.

Ron Paul called Satanorum "fake" in a debate, and I thought to myself that there is no better adjective to describe Satanorum, although "malicious" and "deceitful" are two other apt descriptions.

I may not agree with Ron Paul on some issues, but in many areas I think he is an enlightened man, ahead of his time. I will vote in the Republican primary, and I plan to vote for Ron Paul since he is the only candidate with any resemblance whatsoever to my own beliefs. If my vote can reduce the support for Satanorum by even 1/1,000,000, then it is worth my time and energy. I would crawl for five miles to the voting booth in the pouring rain if I had to in order to vote against that disgusting old dishtowel Satanorum.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


The only politician that really surprised me was Gorbachev. He was a lot better than he had to be. I remember reading articles about peristroika [SP?] and wondering just what had possessed the Soviet leader to come around to our general point of view about government. The longer Gorbachev served as leader, the more surprises he gave us. The net result is that now Russia is viewed as more of a neutral nation than any kind of enemy. The enemy is perceived to be Iran. That is definitely a worthwhile feat to accomplish--getting off the radar of the most powerful military on earth. Russia doesn't have to squander so much on military budgets anymore, if it doesn't want to do so. I think that when one considers the costs of war, then peace is preferable, and one might be willing to pay any price for peace. Besides, the old U.S.S.R. had a lousy economic model, and continuation in the old system would have been absurd.

I believe that Gorbachev was one of the few leaders who really thought like a chessplayer. He dropped ideas with dispassion when they were proven false. He adopted new ideas with rapidity when they were calculated to give benefits. In such a manner does a chessplayer consider his moves.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Santorum's Dirty Laundry

Santorum prefers that certain dirty laundry be swept under the carpet.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Good News out of Russia

About the only good news out of Russia these days concerns its continuing scientific research. At least Russia has not abandoned science altogether, unlike Iran, which only has an interest in weapons.

These scientists had better be careful, though, because they could revive a super-bug that might spread into the human population.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Santorum thinks Obama elevates the Earth above Man? I'm not quite as powerful. I can only elevate a pebble above Man. I tried two pebbles once, but juggling is not my forte.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

The New Gods in Dungeon Crawl

Of the new gods in Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, my favorite is Ashenzari, followed a distant second by Cheirobidos. I don't see much advantage in Fedhas. Ashenzari requires little of his followers, little more than a minor inconvenience involving cursed items, but the payoff to a devout follower can be huge.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

We're Lucky to be Human

I look at my cat sometimes and think that I read envy. We are so powerful, compared to them. The things that we do, such as having mastery over sound, images, smells, light and darkness, often seem like magic to their eyes. In some ways, we seem god-like.

I think every human is lucky to be human, because humans rule the Earth. We are even seeking to acquire the Moon and the other planets. Unsatisfied with our blessed estate, we even seek to conquer mortality itself and live forever. Humans have always been unsatisfied. That may be the one curse to intelligence. We always crave more. We always seek to modify our environment in order to enjoy a better standard of living. Cats don't strive. They may seek a more comfortable cushion, but they build nothing and they gather nothing except the occasional toy.

So the human being is fortunate, but does not know that he is fortunate. He is the luckiest form of life, enjoying a self-awareness greater than any other life form. He is the flower of creation. It should be our lot to create beautiful things with art and music. I think that is the ultimate direction. There are more beautiful things as the human race matures and grows more powerful. There are more possibilities.

Our existence is changing, our environment is changing far faster than our genes. We have left behind the conditions that made our physical traits expedient. Modern people spend hours in a seated position. Little musculature is required in today's world. The car takes us places, not the feet. Almost all but the easiest physical labor is performed by machines. Even talking is often unnecessary due to electronic communication. The body is really more of a hindrance than an aid. We would be better-suited to the modern world without a body. It is unnecessary; we could be happier and more permanent as a collection of bits and bytes within a computer.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Trouble in the World

Actually, I don't think there is much trouble in the world. The media amplifies relatively minor problems--"relative" to the number of people affected out of a global population. I believe most human beings alive today are generally happy and contented with their lot in life.

However bad things may be in a certain area, one must remind oneself of history. In the past, things were far worse than they are now. There was more war. More injustice. More poverty. More of everything, in fact, except those things that are good. If I were alive in ancient Rome, at my age, I'd probably lack teeth by now. I'd have a good chance of being a slave. I'd have to be on my guard at all times against criminals. Disease would likely have ravaged my body. I'd probably suffer from malnutrition. That is the truth.

The modern world also seems clear of crime for the most part, except in some bad neighborhoods. Many gun enthusiasts believe otherwise, and their rationale defends their interest in guns. They need guns to protect themselves, or so they think. But in the past, there was more crime, and more criminals that got away with their crimes. Today, the number of tools in the hands of law enforcement are dazzling to behold and quite beyond the resources of any common criminal acting alone.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Iran's Savages

The savages in Iran are about to execute a Canadian web programmer.

Iran is ruled by ignorant savages intent upon furthering the cause of evil in the world.

I look forward to the day when Iran receives severe punishments for its many crimes, past and present.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments


I have never purchased a Foxconn product knowingly, and after reading this article, never will.

I'm amused by those who purchase Apple I-junk (produced by Foxconn). There is no functionality offered on those overpriced gadgets that is worth their price.

Cellphone-addicted airheads have even spawned a new neurosis, nomophobia.

I think those morons should pick up a book once in a while.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Santorum and Oblivion

I think the words Santorum and oblivion are synonyms. He will be quickly forgotten once his fifteen minutes are over with. He was defeated in his last election, but although he is a natural loser, I really hope that he wins the Republican nomination, because nothing would go further towards ensuring a Republican defeat in 2012. Google is correct in regard to the definition of Santorum.

I do regret that there is not a decent challenger to Obama for the 2012 election. Obama could be challenged successfully--and defeated--but only by a candidate from the left, not the right, because Obama is a right-wing Republican conservative, no matter how Republicans pretend otherwise.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Enemies Can Be Useful

One trait I have that I think is rare is that I value criticism, even from enemies. Perhaps criticism is most valuable when it comes from an enemy, because there is no need to acknowledge or respond to an enemy; such criticism is completely free of charge.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Iran's Ignoramuses

I love the story about how an Iranian terrorist blew his own leg off. Good for him!

It often happens that evil-doers buy their own punishment. I saw a picture of the terrorist in the Bangkok Post, and he looks like he has been through a meat grinder. I don't think he is going to be looking forward to the rest of his days.

Iran seems to be run by a bunch of ignoramuses who do nothing but set their own interests back due to their ignorance and stupidity.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Monday, February 13, 2012

Ebay's Wonderful Technical Error

Ebay offered me a $10 rebate in exchange for selling $10 worth of goods in the fall of 2011. I did so. Since then, I haven't received the gift card, and I couldn't be happier. That's right, I'm pleased as punch. Why? Well, I called up the Ebay customer service number to complain (I do like complaining), and here's what the CSR told me. "There is a technical issue that is preventing Ebay from crediting your account and the account of other customers that received the $10 credit." When I asked when or if the problem would ever be resolved, he said he didn't know. Then he asked me if I was enjoying my free listings. In exchange for my patience and understanding, Ebay is letting me list up to 50 items for free every month. Now, that is an extremely useful capability to have. It puts power back into the hands of the seller. Instead of being held hostage to an auction, with guaranteed fees should the auction fail, I can list and relist multiple times until I get the price that I want--all at no additional charge. I love it, and I could care less about the lousy $10, because I've saved about $100 in fees. Best of all is the feeling of confidence I have. Ebay receives its usual substantial final value fees in return, so both Ebay and I come out ahead.

One thing is certain, though. Once my free listing days are over, so are my Ebay adventures. It's a buyer's market out there, and many auctions do fail or succumb to bid snipers who bid at the last second of the last minute with the minimum price.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Burning DVDs to Watch Movies

When someone tells me they need to burn a DVD to watch a movie, that is when I know I am talking with a technological moron. Anyone still using DVDs after 2007, let alone 2012, has not been paying attention. I imagine that they also rub two sticks together in order to make fire.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Saturday, February 11, 2012

I Knew It Before I Read It

When I saw the headline, "The Ten Most Dangerous Cities for Pedestrians in America," I knew already which region of the U.S. those cities would be in--the South.

Of course, any list of the ten worst cities in any category under the Sun would tend to cluster around the South. But I know from experience that in any given neighborhood in the South, there is likely to be no sidewalks, narrow and poorly maintained roads, erroneous or absent road signs, and little regard shown for pedestrians.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


I figured out the Linux developer's game. They don't want Linux to be popular--ever. There's nothing in it for them. The way they make money is consulting with big companies. Linux is used for servers. So companies pay mega-bucks to developers with lots of Linux ability. The only thing the developers do is craft fancier bells and whistles in the OS. They never have, and never will, iron out the thousands of hardware incompatibilities, even ones that are ten or twenty years old.

I tried a variety of Linux OSes on three different machines, and my mileage varied. Some systems were silent. Some had no video. Some didn't boot. Some had no mouse. Needless to say, I forgot all about Linux and went back to the only working OS that works all the time and supports all hardware: Windows. Linux is crap and will always be crap because the developers don't want it to be anything but crap. It may, however, be feasible in certain niche applications such as a back-end server, where only a limited amount of hardware needs to be supported.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Media Obsession with Violent Crime

The media's obsession with violent crime, suicide, and sexual crimes, does encourage the perpetuation of such crimes. Weak-minded young people have large amounts of energy, but not much internal direction, and these types will go whichever way the wind blows, and the media passes wind.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Case Against War with Iran

The Guardian makes a persuasive case against war with Iran.

Even so, I favor bombing Iran, because Iran is the embodiment of evil in the world. It is far better and far cheaper to reduce Iran now, before it gathers nuclear weapons. Any delay merely postpones the inevitable bill that will come due. Iran is completely focused and completely determined to have a war with the United States at some future point in time.

The strongest argument against bombing Iran is the poor state of the U.S. economy. We are not prepared for another war from an economic standpoint, and war with Iran might cause another Great Depression. For this reason, it may be better to stay cheap and simply rely upon M.A.D. (Mutual Assured Destruction) to deter nuclear aggression.

I think the decision confronting American and Israeli leaders is very difficult, and I don't envy them. I expect that they will not bomb, simply because of political considerations, and that is perfectly understandable. No one wants to go down in history as the aggressor or war-monger, no one that is except for Iran. Perhaps it is better from an ethical standpoint to permit Iran to make the first strike blunder, which will then morally justify comprehensive and terminal retaliation. Iran will also be held directly accountable, along with Pakistan and North Korea, for any and all nuclear attacks waged by independent terrorist groups.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments

Friday, February 3, 2012


Once Iran obtains an atom bomb, it is only a matter of time before it is used. Those who believe that Iran will show the same restraint as the U.S. and Russia are kidding themselves.
by igor 04:20 8 replies by igor 09:32 6 comments
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions