Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Blonde jokes – sexism goes awry

A blonde man is in the bathroom and his wife shouts: "Did you find the shampoo?"

He answers, "Yes, but I'm not sure what to do… it's for dry hair, and I've just wet mine."
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A blonde man spies a letter lying on his doormat.

It says on the envelope "DO NOT BEND ."

He spends the next 2 hours trying to figure out how to pick it up.
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A blonde man shouts frantically into the phone, "My wife is pregnant and her contractions are only two minutes apart!"

"Is this her first child?" asks the Doctor.

"No!" he shouts, "this is her husband!"
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Image result for dumb blonde man cartoon

A blonde man is in jail, the guard looks in his cell and sees him hanging by his feet.

"Just WHAT are you doing?" he asks.

"Hanging myself," the blond replies.

"The rope should be around your neck" says the guard.

"I tried that," he replies, "but then I couldn't breathe."
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An Italian tourist asks a blonde man: "Why do scuba divers always fall backwards off their boats?"

To which the blond man replies: "If they fell forward, they'd still be in the boat."
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A friend told the blonde man: "Christmas is on a Friday this year."

The blond man then said, "Let's hope it's not the 13th."
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Two blonde men find three grenades, and they decide to take them to a police station.

One asked: "What if one explodes before we get there?"

The other says: "We'll lie and say we only found two."
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A woman phoned her blonde neighbor man and said: "Close your curtains the next time you nd your wife are having sex. The whole street was watching and laughing at you yesterday."

To which the blonde man replied: "Well the joke's on all of you because I wasn't even at home yesterday!
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Friday, June 08, 2018

Allavsoft’s excellent Video Downloader and Converter for Windows (and Mac)

I’ve gained some experience in downloading vide files over that last decade or so, and thought that I knew a fair bit about what’s tools are available.

But, much to my surprise, there was one very nice product called Allavsoft Video Downloader and Converter for Windows which somehow I didn’t come across until just a month or two ago.

Note that there’s also a Mac version too.

My first impressions were very positive, so I purchased a licence. After having used its video download functions quite a bit I really like its core capabilities, and already am very happy with the purchase.

I’ll outline some of Allavsoft;s download features below.below, together with a few enhancement suggestions that I reckon will make turn it from a very good product into an outstanding one *especially of you’re somebody who downloads lots of videos, from YouTube or an of the many video sites that it supports).

After downloading a video file Allavsoft optionally can convert from the original file format to another (such as  MP4, AVI, WMV, MOV, MPEG-1, MPEG-2, VOB, ASF, RMVB, DV, TS, Apple ProRes, WebM, FLV, OGV).

Please keep in mind that most of the videos I download are in MP3 format, and I don’t carry out many video conversions so I won’t be covering this at all. If this is important to you I strongly recommend that you take it for a test run to check out the conversion capabilities.

Allavsoft is very straightforward to install and operate, so I’ll only be giving a few main impressions and certainly not a full A to Z run-down on the product. I’ll only be discussing some things that I find to be important for a seasoned downloader, leaving out details in order to reduce the length of this blog post.

SNAGHTML30e1d31

Referring to screenshot (A): the default is to process a single video URL but (where the solid red arrow is) I wanted to process multiple videos from a miniseries, so have pasted their multiple URLs into a list box (dashed red arrow at top).

If your list contains more that three URLs, a vertical scroll bar appears, but if you like (see bottom dashed red arrows) you can drag down the bottom margin of the window to increase the depth of the list box.

To initiate downloads, you press the big blue button at bottom right (pointed to by the green arrow).

And here’s my first recommendation to the Allavsoft developer team -- that this big blue download button can be made smaller and it should shifted up adjacent to the “Convert” section. This will allow the entire window to be made smaller by removing all that wasted space in the bottom left quadrant of the window. It would be better if the list box was made deeper, so that you can paste more URLs and view them without scrolling up and down.

When downloads are occurring, you click on the “Activity” tab and see something like the following

image

Screenshot B shows a nice, easy to understand user interface, nothing to complain about here. Except, as my second request to the Allavsoft developer team, that I found (after doing a bunch of multiple downloads) that in practice each individual download takes up too much screen space.

So I would very much appreciate being able to switch to a terse display mode where each download was on a single line (without a thumbnail image, or maybe with a tiny one), enabling 3 or 4 times as many downloads to be viewed without vertical scrolling. I tend to do my video downloading in bursts, and a terse mode would be very efficient for me.

There’s a handy context menu (right mouse click) that makes it simple to select various options, as follows”

image

If you do multiple concurrent downloads, the (as shown in screenshot D) you can control how many are allowed to run simultaneously:

image 

The maximum is seven simultaneous downloads. I would like to see this limit raised to at least 10 simultaneous downloads, or even 20, because my system is quite powerful and could handle this. (It’s an AMD Ryzen 7 processor with 16 CPU threads) and I have a quite fast broadband connection (HFC cable running usually at 90-95 Mbps during off-peak times.)

Here I will mention that this Allavsoft downloader is something of a speed demon, handling concurrent downloads with aplomb. I was even very pleasantly surprised when downloads from one source were running flat chat, right up to the stated 95 Mbps HFC cable speed. Upon investigation, I discovered that each large video file was being downloaded as small segments rather than as a single thread, with the segments getting quickly assembled into a single MP4 file right at the end.

For example, with Allavsoft downloader a 1 GB movie might take 4 or 5 minutes to download, whereas in the past -- using another downloader that couldn’t do this -- the same movie might take 30 or 40 minutes to download. Kudos to the Allavsoft developer team for all this!

Screenshot E just below shows some of the other settings that enable you to fine tune your downloading:

image

Screenshot F shows that some browser extensions are available, though I haven’t gotten around to testing these:

image

When your downloads finish, there are the usual things you can do (shown in screenshot G), such as opening the video in Windows Explorer (F8) or playing it (Shift+F8);

image

ADDENDUM: In the first version of this blog post I forgot to mention that forgot to mention that there’s a very large number of supported video sites including sites that other downloaders don’t support. For example, Australian sites such as ABC iView and SBS On Demand to name just two. Take a look at this comprehensive list yourself.

SUMMARY: As I mentioned at the outset, this isn’t a comprehensive review of Allavsoft Video Downloader and Converter, but I hope that I’ve given you a taste for it and I certainly do recommend it for purchase. At the moment (8th June 2018) and for the next few days there’s a 50% discount on both Windows and Mac versions.

I’ve made a few enhancements requests, and invite the Allavsoft team to contact me directly to discuss these (and others) in depth.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Staying happy as you age

See How Happiness Changes With Age - Becoming okay with being boring


And here's a smart way of getting happy as you age (recently sent to me):

10cbf09b

Perhaps when you get old enough you can retire and no longer have to work pointlessly, see:
On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs   (with
this comment at Bloomberg)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The sort of people who read various Australian newspapers

I just received this in via e-mail, and think it’s worth sharing.

Some Australian papers are missing from the list, such as The Guardian (Australia edition), as are most smaller/regional papers. Here’s a fairly complete list of Australian papers.

It set me wondering what could be said, in a similar vein, about readers of newspapers published in other countries. Feel free to add your comments!

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1. The Australian Financial Review is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Canberra Times is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The Australian is read by people who think they should run the country, and who are very good at crossword puzzles.

4 The Sydney Morning Herald is read by people who think they ought to run the country but don't really understand The Australian.

5. The Courier Mail is read by people who wouldn't mind running the country, if they didn't have to leave Queensland to do it

6. The Age is read by people whose parents used to run the country.

7. The Melbourne Herald Sun is read by people who aren't too sure who's running the country and don't really care as long as they can get a seat on the train and read Hagar and Snake

8. The Sydney Daily Telegraph is read by people who don't care who is running the country as long as they do something really scandalous, preferably while intoxicated.

9. The West Australian is read by people who are in prison, who used to run the state, and would like to do so again, as would their constituents who are currently free on bail.

10. The Hobart Mercury is (slowly) read by people who are running another country, but need the Aussie Rules scores.

11. Crikey is read by people who aren't sure if there is a country or that anyone is running it; but if so, they oppose all that they stand for. There are occasional exceptions if the leaders are gay, handicapped, minority, feminist, atheists, and those who also happen to be illegal aliens from any other country or galaxy, provided of course, that they are not conservatives.

12. The Adelaide Advertiser is read by people trapped in a line at the supermarket waiting for the electricity to come back on.

13. The Northern Territory Times is read by people who have recently caught a fish and need something to wrap it in.

Monday, April 23, 2018

nOracle - a strange, questionable website

nOracle
QuestiOns nO answers

nOracle is nO Oracle

nOracle has nO answers

Only QuestiOns

nOracle thinks, it's rarely black Or white

� what dO yOu think ?

image

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Stumbled upon this website yesterday.
https://www.noracle.net/

Here are the questions:
https://www.noracle.net/questions/

Here are the answers:
https://www.noracle.net/answers

I have my own questions:
Why would anybody create such a site?
What was their thinking behind it?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Hiroshima - August 1946 New Yorker article by John Hersey

John Hersey's famous article in The New Yorker on  31 August 1946.

Download your preferred document format at http://asiapac.com.au/misc/nuclear/

What it was really like, and sadly the threat is still there for all of us.

During the 1960s, I remember waking up with a start one morning when a very bright light shone upon me, and I thought that a nuclear weapon had been exploded over Melbourne. It turned out only to be the morning sunlight streaming through a small gap in the curtains, but that experience has been with me ever since.

image

Monday, March 12, 2018

Best way to land on the Sun

Kim Jong-In announced at a news conference that North Korea would be sending a man to the sun within ten years!

A reporter said - "But the sun is too hot. How can your man land on the sun?”

There was a stunned silence. Nobody knew how to react.

Kim Jong-In quietly answered  "We will land at night”.

The gathering and everyone in North Korea watching on television broke into thunderous applause.

Back in Washington, Donald Trump and his entourage were watching the news conference

When Trump heard what Kim said, he sneered - "What an idiot. Everybody knows there’s no sun at night.”

His cabinet and everyone working in the White House broke into thunderous applause.


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I'm smarter than both of them!
My solution would be to land on the sun during a solar eclipse ...

Total solar eclipse
Solar Eclipse

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Jobs lost, jobs gained - Don’t’ worry, it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok


See the post on LinkedIn by John Sheridan (28 February 2018):

Jobs lost, jobs gained - Don’t’ worry, it’s ok. Well, it’s not ok

What does it all mean
(a) in the shorter term, for current workers; and
(b) in the longer term, for the younger ones still studying?

I’m an old (and now retired) geezer who spent decades in the technology arena, where jobs seen still to be relatively safe, and am glad now to be past being active in the workforce!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

Mother and father explain sex to young daughter

image

Father gives typical faux-evolutionist explanation.

Mother more accurate!

Click the above image to watch the 45-second video.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Australia plays double game, driving China containment in Washington and London

I’m a simple technologist with not much experience in matters political, nevertheless I do find articles like the following quite interesting, especially since they offer information that doesn’t have much sway in the mainstream media.

Remember, these comments and references are from an Australian perspective.
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Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Media Release Friday, 2 March 2018

Craig Isherwood‚ National Secretary
PO Box 376‚ COBURG‚ VIC 3058
Phone: 1800 636 432 ….  +61 3 9354 0544
Email:
cec@cecaust.com.au
Website: http://www.cecaust.com.au

Australia plays double game, driving China containment in Washington, London

If Australia wants a mutually beneficial relationship with China, it is time to stop the doublespeak. On one hand we praise the opportunities provided by China’s rise, upon which our economy has come to depend; on the other we cast China as a “threat” to the world. This is a two-faced approach to international relations that is not in Australia’s national interest, but in service of the Anglo-American world order mired in economic collapse and permanent war.

With the “special relationship” between the UK and USA under strain due to Britain’s blatant interference in the US election to stop Donald Trump from improving relations with Russia, Australia has taken on the role of Anglo-American go-between. While Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was in London gushing over the UK’s “Global Britain” strategy of deploying its navy worldwide to recapture its colonial glory as the enforcer of global free trade, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was in Washington, trying to convince Trump of the importance of the rule of (Anglo-American) law in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia twists itself in knots to play this game. After the US National Defence Strategy in December named China and Russia as greater threats than terrorism, Turnbull and Bishop expressed public disagreement. Their government’s 2016 Defence White Paper and 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper tell a different story, however. The former portrays China as the single greatest threat to the “rules-based global order”; the latter makes strengthening that order Australia’s top priority. One US analyst described Australia’s new foreign policy as merely “a more polite version” of America’s new National Security Strategy. The establishment media calls this two-facedness “balanced rhetoric”.

Turnbull went even further before he left for the USA, telling Sky News that “we do not describe China as a threat”, because a threat combines both capability and intent, and whilst China certainly has capability, “we do not see any hostile intent from China”. Yet at the June 2017 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Turnbull lectured China against unilateral actions, coercion and breaching the sovereignty of other nations, suggesting China uses its economic largesse to dominate the region. In January, Australia’s spy agency ASIO reportedly listed China as an “extreme” threat to Australia, and Turnbull is ramming draconian foreign influence laws through Parliament targeted primarily at counteracting fabricated claims of Chinese interference.

Furthermore, since the election of Trump, Turnbull has urged the USA to return to the Bush-Obama policy of containing China. His Foreign Policy White Paper demands America’s role in Asia be strengthened as “an essential underpinning of the rules-based order” and a counterweight to China. Turnbull is now the biggest promoter of the revived US-Japan-India-Australia Quadrilateral Security Dialogue as a military and economic alliance, and the anti-China Trans-Pacific Partnership, reborn as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership—all to undermine China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

In Washington, Turnbull met with Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who on 13 February issued a new US intelligence assessment which warned that China’s actions are undermining Asia—read Anglo-American power in Asia: “Countries in the region will struggle to preserve foreign policy autonomy in the face of Chinese economic and diplomatic coercion”, it stated. Australia has stoked this fear, most recently in relation to Pacific Island nations, which have told Australia in no uncertain terms to butt out.

Australia is playing this double game in tandem with the masters of two-faced diplomacy, the UK. On 13 February during his visit to Australia, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson told the ABC that “Australia [and] Britain see China as a country of great opportunities, but we shouldn’t be blind to the ambition that China has and we’ve got to defend our national security interests.” (Emphasis added.) Bizarrely, Williamson announced that in March Britain would conduct a freedom of navigation operation in the South China Sea to challenge China. Most shocking is nobody asked what on earth the South China Sea has to do with Britain’s national security. American neoconservatives and liberal interventionists have pushed for Australia to do the same, the new US ambassador to Australia, four-star Admiral Harry Harris, among them. This is where the game gets dangerous—military provocations can quickly spiral out of control.

The TPP—more than trade

The TPP has become a not-so-secret Trojan Horse for defending the “rules-based order”—better called the “our” rules-based order—against Chinese efforts to supersede it with a new “win-win” economic architecture based upon cooperation on mutually-beneficial economic development. In his 25 February speech to leaders of the National Governors Association (NGA) conference in Washington, DC, which promoted Australia’s failed privatisation model for infrastructure over China’s successful state-directed approach, Turnbull made clear that the TPP was far from just an economic and trade policy agreement; rather it is a political and strategic intervention. Bishop delivered the same line to the UK Chamber of Commerce on 19 February.

Turnbull linked the TPP to the proposal for the USA and Australia to lead an infrastructure initiative of the Quad countries in the “Indo-Pacific” region. In order for the initiative to work in Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands, Turnbull said, “we need to get on with the post-war project of shaping an environment in which the most competitive and rule abiding companies can succeed”—namely multinational corporations. Mapping out a vision for “a single inclusive free trade zone of the Indo-Pacific” (minus China!), Turnbull explained the role of the TPP: “And that’s why, as I said, we backed the Trans-Pacific Partnership so strongly not just because of the market access it delivers—which is very beneficial, creates jobs and investment, but because it creates the rules of the road we need to match the economic journey we’re embarking on.” (Emphasis added.)

While Turnbull said Australia looked forward to working with all countries, including China, he stipulated it would only be “on those infrastructure projects that meet the criteria of transparency, fairness, accountability and market need”—in other words, Australia’s definition of infrastructure, namely the Public-Private Partnership model which has proven to be a blatant public rip-off to profit investment banks. Turnbull did not say why Australia refuses to join China’s Belt and Road project, which we would do were we genuine about wanting collaboration.

For his part, Donald Trump didn’t seem persuaded by Turnbull. He indicated he had not changed his mind on the TPP, and praised the US-China relationship as “probably closer than we’ve ever had”.

“China is not interested in the so-called ‘competition of systems’,” Chinese congresswoman and senior diplomat Fu Ying wrote in the German Times following the 16- 18 February Munich Security Conference. Fu said China would not be repeating the mistakes of the Western world by attempting to impose its own values and model on other nations. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, asked for his reaction to the alternative infrastructure plans of the Quad countries, responded that China’s plans are “open and inclusive” and all are welcome. “All countries should strengthen such kind of international cooperation so as to promote regional and global economic development for the benefit of all.” (Emphasis added.)

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Authorised: Robert Barwick‚ 595 Sydney Rd‚ Coburg‚ Vic 3058