uncategorized

A utility for disabling Windows 10

Sunday, June 19, 2016 

While there may be people who actually like Windows 10, there are also many people who aren’t interested in fully exposing every part of their digital life to for-profit mining as means of offsetting Microsoft’s declining profits in the desktop OS business, and if you’re one of those, fighting Microsoft’s truly viral (and malware) marketing techniques is quite a hassle.  It appears there may be an easier way.

Micrsoft has finally provided an “easy” way for people to turn off windows OS update (e.g. from 7.x or 8.x to 10) from happening automatically and without user intervention (and frequently in outright defiance of clear user intent because profits first!)

The short form for people who are comfortable with some of the internal workings of Windows is:

Search for "edit group policy" and open the editor then follow the selection cascade as:

Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates 
-> windows Components -> Windows Update 
->> Turn off the upgrade to the latest version... ->> [x] enabled

The longer instructions are at this link: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3080351

Easy, no?

I suggest doing this and then downloading and installing the following program.  It will pretty much do the same thing but it also checks to see if Microsoft has already kindly filled your hard disk with malware without your permission and offers to delete it:

https://www.grc.com/never10.htm

Note that my previous posts about removing specific “updates” are still relevant.  The above should prevent windows 10 from auto-updating but Microsoft has been pushing updates with “telemetry” to Win 7 and Win 8, which are also spyware and are tracking you and reporting your usage patterns back to Microsoft without telling you or asking you.

Welcome to the new economy: you’re the product.

Posted at 13:56:56 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Protein Ratios in Food Bars

Thursday, July 4, 2013 

I’ve always been annoyed by the way food nutritional content is reported. It isn’t hard to find a food item with 1,000 calories per serving that claims to be be “high” in iron because it has 5% of the US RDA. The ratio of the RDA of iron to calories would be 1:10. You couldn’t eat enough to get the full allowance of iron in a day and you’d become a human blimp trying.

In an age of obscene abundance, the trick is not so much getting the minimum nutritional value, but getting it at the minimum caloric cost. I looked through some reviews of “good” protein bars and popular ones on Amazon and tabulated the nutritional data in Excel and then computed the ratio of grams of protein to three bad things: kilo-calories, grams of saturated fat, and dollars of cost. Thus, higher values are better. It is interesting to see a huge range in all three values. Sadly, it is common to get closer to the maximum recommended value of saturated fat per day than calories, meaning that eating only enough calories of these “healthy” bars will result in increased risk of disease compared to normal, “unhealthy” food. That’s pretty inexcusable.

protein bars.PNG

I’d like to change the way nutritional labels are printed from hard to read tables presenting only favorable values to simple bar graphs of all basic, essential nutrients, all of which would always be included so that empty calories foods would have a big red block of bar graphs pointing to the left indicating a food that had better be a pleasure to eat to compensate for the lack of nutrition.

But back to food bars: the ratio of protein to calories is a good way to select a food bar for healthy people. Finding one with the best ratio of protein to saturated fat can be important for some people and avoiding the worst ratios is good for everyone. Finding the most protein for your dollar may have merit as well (though prices are just Amazon prices and may vary significantly by outlet).

The Excel table for your editing pleasure protein bars.xlsx

Posted at 11:55:41 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Fall weather is arriving…

Sunday, September 23, 2012 

It only got to 47.5C today according to our new roof-mounted weather station.  It seems to be about 3 degrees cooler away from ground level, but we’re still down about 4-5 degrees from peak temperatures.

Posted at 18:18:19 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Nom Nom Leg

Sunday, September 12, 2010 

I came home to find that Tortuga, one of the stray cats that’s adopted  us, had developed a nice open wound on her forelimb. When I left two  weeks ago it was a bit swollen, presumably abscessed, and then drained.  I’m sure it was really gross. Anyway, the cat just couldn’t get  enough licking that yummy puss and had turned the wound into a nice open  sore.

Kitty_Open_wound.jpg

The vet gave me some antibiotics and antiseptic cleaning solution and  this lovely and stylish Elizabethan collar that Tortuga clearly just  loves to wear. Her thought bubble probably reads something like “once  this collar comes off and I can get my teeth around your neck, you  better sleep lightly.”

Kitty_Open_wound_iz_not_amuzed.jpg
Posted at 20:14:26 UTC

Category: photouncategorized

Fuzzball

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 

Fuzzball

Posted at 00:28:00 UTC

Category: uncategorized

3 capitals

Monday, May 10, 2010 

Interesting bit of trivia, @phragments, how one can drive through the three capitals: but one only takes 90 seconds…

— Sent from my mobile device

Posted at 12:46:34 UTC

Category: uncategorized

made it to DC

Sunday, May 9, 2010 

It was a fun weekend with the Westtown gang.

Posted at 21:05:41 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Debate O Rama

Friday, October 3, 2008 

The debate was entertaining. Sarah was not the trainwreck we’d all hoped for after the Couric intervierws, but it had its moments.

I thought most remarkable was that she occasionally went off script and got lost.  The prep worked, but I guess they couldn’t cover every possible question.  There were moments where the Sarah we came to know and love from Couric came out.

Otherwise she filled the time trying to be cute and mugging for the camera, rolling her eyes and making cutsy expressions and spouting folksy aphorisms.

Read more…

Posted at 23:30:21 UTC

Category: uncategorized

Great Customer Service

Friday, August 8, 2008 

I got a pair of Seth Thomas WBL-714-FS-SETH clocks out of a factory salvage; no instructions of course. They seemed simple enough, but I couldn’t get them to sync. There are the typical (for a radio sync clock) time zone buttons which make the hands move to the appropriate relative position by time zone. There is a big button that makes the hands move and a small button that seems to do nothing. They were not synced. I let them sit for a few days and they still were not synced.

clock.jpg

I looked up the company’s web site and wrote a little note on their form, expecting nothing:
"I have two WBL-714-FS-SETH clocks. They do not seem to set themselves to the time signal. After a couple of days, they are not synchronized. Any hints?"


A day later I got this from Donna at the company:
"Dear David: It sounds like they are not receiving the signal. Have you tried moving them to a different location and see if they receive the signal? If not, try that. If you have tried different locations, then try taking the battery out for about 5 min, then put it back in, hit your time zone and if should advance to 4, 8 or 12. It will stay there till it receives the signal. You may just have to move them. Let me know how you make out."


It worked perfectly and now both clocks are synced. It was such a pleasant, prompt, and above all accurate response that it made me wonder if I’d ever received such good service before and as far as I can remember only McMaster Carr compares.

Posted at 13:36:06 UTC

Category: photoreviewsuncategorized

Ghost Highway

Friday, May 9, 2008 

This is a really cool post about some vestiges of a highway that was almost built through Boston and Cambridge. When I was in school I heard a rumor of this 695 project and that MIT, for obvious reasons opposed to having a freeway run through the middle of campus, did a few things along the way to deter construction:

  • Building 20 was declared a national historic landmark (where radar was invented during world war II) though it was originally intended as a temporary structure and in the time it took MIT to undo that declaration it became increasingly rickety. It is now the site of the new Stata center.
  • Parking structures (W45) were built along the path (it was said for the difficulty in demolishing them, thought that makes less sense now than it did as an undergrad)
  • The MIT nuclear reactor was built right in the path. My favorite lab experiment ever was testing neutron wave/particle duality in 8.13
  • A couple of fusion reactors were built along the same path, though these came later I think. I remember that test firings, especially of the tandem mirror confinement, caused some cool effects even in the control rooms.
Posted at 01:00:42 UTC

Category: odduncategorized