Archive for June, 2013

The ‘Outlook’ Disaster

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Spain, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 30/06/2013 by floroy1942

Am I the only one having problems with the ‘new’ Outlook? Ever since Microsoft shut down Hotmail their e-mail replacement programme Outlook has driven me up the wall and to a great deal of stress with the time it takes to open, change menus and send e-mails. There have been times when I have been close to tearing my hair out in sheer frustration.

Hotmail to Outlook - A Disaster

Hotmail to Outlook – A Disaster

I have written to Microsoft on numerous occasions to complain, only to be met with the standard Microsoft ‘Wall of Silence’. Not that there is any easy way to contact Microsoft Support as you have to go through ‘twenty’ different screens and still end up with nothing. As you can imagine, this post is the result of sheer frustration! Today I lost a very important e-mail that was in my Drafts Box, and it will be no simple thing to write it again as it was complicated, and provided answers to someone with a problem in our community. It was all I could do to stop myself throwing the computer off the terrace! I am sure we have all had times like that and the computer was lucky to escape unscathed.

Please Bill, Come Back And Sort Out The Idiots You Left In Charge!

Please Bill, Come Back And Sort Out The Idiots You Left In Charge!

I wrote a post some time ago about the demise of Apple after Steve Jobs died, and it seems to me that Microsoft has gone the same way ever since Bill Gates left the company. We had a very stable e-mail programme with Hotmail, but for some unexplained reason Microsoft decided to retire it and replace it with the unmitigated disaster called Outlook. Why???? I think they must know that there are many bugs in the new programme so why are they sitting on their hands and doing nothing about it.

I am sure many other people are suffering with this e-mail programme because my wife has exactly the same problems on her computer. Therefore, I can well imagine there must be many other sufferers out there in the wild blue yonder. So I leave this message for Microsoft: GET A GRIP AND SORT OUT THIS TRAVESTY OF AN E-MAIL PROGRAMME, OR BETTER STILL, BRING BACK HOTMAIL!

End of rant!

Roy.

Nonsense Overdue – Call 999

Posted in America, Britain, England, Insanity, Modern World, Police, Police Complaints, UK, USA with tags , , on 29/06/2013 by floroy1942

West Yorkshire Police There have not been any funny stories in the news recently but thankfully, an article on the internet caught my eye. It’s all about the crazy reasons why some people dial 999, Britain’s emergency number. The report comes from the South Yorkshire Police, and gives some of the unbelievable reasons why people dial the emergency number. Here’s a list:

1. One strange person rang 999 to complain that his neighbour disliked him because he was jumping up and down on a trampoline wearing a dress!

2. The Police were called by one person who stated ‘her daughter was attacking her’. As the conversation progressed it turned out her child was being very naughty and would not go to bed.

3. One caller rang to complain they could not get Sky TV with her Sky TV card. She was politely informed she should contact Sky.

4. Someone complained that children who live around the corner keep coming to her house to play with her daughter, and one of them ‘pooed’ in her daughter’s playhouse. When asked why she was angry, the irate caller said the child was only three years old but should know better!

5. One man called the Police because he had two women at the door who may be from the housing department, but asked the police to attend because he did not want to talk to them as he was on ‘water tablets’.

6. One Christmas a caller complained about some youths going around singing Christmas carols. He complained because they could not sing, and he thought they were just out to get some money.

The Emergency Services

The Emergency Services

7. One caller was very distressed when he/she rang 999 because the neighbours were making love very loudly with the windows wide open.

8. A caller reported that her daughter of 12 years, had been to the woods with four friends. They had all crossed a stream on a log, but it had slipped from under her daughter and she fell into the stream. This had ruined her new trainers. She asked the boys for help to get out of the stream and they stood there and laughed. Caller states that her daughter then had to walk home with wet feet.

10. A man rang 999 to advise that he had found some driving documents that he thought he had previously lost, and wanted to let them know.

11. A man visiting Newcastle for the weekend woke up in his hotel and complained his trousers were missing.

12. One caller said, “There is a couple with a big brown dog that is running around. It has not been aggressive towards anyone but he is concerned about the size of the dog. He has spoken to the couple about the dog but they have not done anything”.

It may or may not surprise you that these are all genuine calls to the Emergency Services, and each and every caller thought the best thing to do was call the emergency number and tell the Police so they could come round and ‘fix the problem’.

America's Emergency Services

America’s Emergency Services

I have heard that the 911 service in the USA has the same problem although I do not have any information on that.  I guess I shall have to do some digging. In the meantime, I hope this has brightened your day somewhat and at least brought a smile to your face. Until the next time.

Roy.

The Internet Speed Farce

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Insanity, Mobile Phone, Modern World, Spain, UK with tags , , , , on 29/06/2013 by floroy1942

How fast is your internet? It came as no surprise to me that the speeds claimed by the internet companies bear no relation whatsoever to the actual. People like Vodafone, BT and all the others like to give us a rosy picture as to what speeds we can get, but thankfully, a European Commission has finally investigated these claims and are now telling us the truth: i.e. it’s a rip-off!

An Unmitigated Disaster

An Unmitigated Disaster

Here on the Costa in Spain my wife and I were assured by Vodafone that even though they advertise 30mb, where we live we would get at least 8mb with our ADSL broadband connection. So naturally you think, well, we can live we that and we signed up. More fool us! We have consistently got no more than 0.3 to 0.4mb! We have constantly complained about it but we might as well be talking to a brick wall for all the help we get. Here is a sample of recent speed test results:

TEST_DATE TIME_ZONE DOWNLOAD Mb UPLOAD Mb LATENCY MS
6/22/2013 1:11 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 39
6/22/2013 1:12 PM GMT 0.38 0.07 38
6/27/2013 7:03 PM GMT 0.26 0.07 49
6/27/2013 7:13 PM GMT 0.26 0.06 66

One of their ‘technician’s’, and I use the term loosely, told us the reason was that “our phone lines were dirty”! Those were his exact words believe it or not!

Vodafone Router - Rubbish!

Vodafone Router – Rubbish!

With the router supplied by Vodafone we are also supposed to get WiFi for the rest of the house, but do we? Do we hell! My wife sets her MacBook Air within two metres of the router and can’t get a darned signal! We complain, and once again the technician makes a house call but tells us there is nothing he can do and we need to buy a booster. So in effect we need yet another piece of equipment just to get a WiFi signal to travel six feet!

My wife found a write-up from Vodafone saying that they advertised 30mb because anyone living within 600 metres of the base station will get 30mb. Maybe, but anything over 600 metres and the speed drops like a stone.

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

Yes Dear, I know The Feeling!

This is just an indication of how modern companies are ducking the advertising regulations about truth in advertising. In a clothes shop, if one single item is sold with a discount of 50% they can legally put up large signs saying they give 50% discount.

The internet companies, as with all others, are also clever by using the ‘up to’ phrase that catches many people out. ‘Up to’ can mean anything from 1 byte per second ‘up to’ the figure they claim, and no-one will do anything to stop the lies.

The Commission found that across Europe, broadband speeds are on average 25% lower than those claimed by the Internet companies. That is a huge disparity in anyone’s language.

Broadband Speed Comparison

Broadband Speed Comparison

Those of us who are still relying on copper communication cables are fairing the worst, with just 63.3% of households getting anywhere near the advertised speed, and then probably only when you live across the street from the base station. Unfortunately, here on the Costa they have never heard of fibre optic cables and are still living in the stone age when it comes to modern technology. Most of the phone lines are owned by Telefonica who have a virtual monopoly in Spain, and to date they feel absolutely no compunction to update the systems. Hell’s bells, they have faster internet speeds in places like Ecuador, Bolivia  and Puerto Rico than they do here in Spain and that is mostly Telefonica there also.

It is interesting to note that the EU wants to get all households on speeds of at least 30Mbps by the end of 2013 and half on 100Mbps by 2020. Well all I can say is, so far as Spain is concerned – Good Luck with that! Dominic Baliszewski, from website broadbandchoices is quoted as saying, “Fast broadband is no longer a luxury and is now just as essential as a reliable electricity supply….”. I wish he would tell that to the internet companies, and in particular Vodafone Spain.

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain - Git yer finger out matey!

Francisco Román Riechmann, President of Vodafone Spain – Git yer finger out matey!

I am well aware that in the north of Europe, Vodafone is a valued company that provides a reasonable service to all its customers, but the hierarchy really need to get a grip of the useless, incompetent, and lazy individuals who work for their Spanish company, for they are an unmitigated disaster in every sense of the word.

They Can't Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They Can’t Even Maintain 3G or WiFi For The Damned Phone

They cannot even maintain a reasonable phone WiFi service, including 3G, which goes off at the drop of a hat. We regularly have no signal for the mobile phone when we are out which can cause extreme aggravation and stress. Yesterday my wife was at the post office in Marbella to pick up some money and had stored the necessary number, required to pick up the money, on her phone. There we stood at the counter with the form filled in and guess what? No WiFi or 3G signal on the bloody phone. We were forced to leave the post office and go across the road to a cafe and use their WiFi to get a signal – in the middle of Marbella! Then we could go back in and join the queue again! The sheer incompetence of Vodafone Spain just cannot be adequately described.

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Idyllic Really, Well It Would Be If They Provided Reasonable Internet Speeds!

Unfortunately for us here on the Costa, where we are there is no alternative company because they are the only one that serves our area, with the exception of the many WiFi companies that abound here for the holiday makers and who’s speeds are even worse. I guess we must hope that somehow the European Commission can find a way to shake the cobwebs out of this country and get it moving forward into  modern times. Mind you, I’m not holding my breath!

Roy.

Obama, Africa and Homosexuality

Posted in America, Britain, Children, Christianity, England, Homosexuals, Human Rights, Obama, UK, USA with tags , , , on 28/06/2013 by floroy1942
Obama In Senegal

Obama In Senegal

I was somewhat perturbed to read today that President Obama has told the African continent they “should accept homosexuality” during a meeting with Senegal President Macky Sall. I have to say that were I an African leader, particularly of a Muslim country like Senegal, that I would tell Obama to ‘sling his hook‘. Just because the American people have voted to allow homosexuals to get married, have the same benefits as heterosexuals and adopt children, does not mean that they, or their President, can then go to a foreign nation and tell them to do the same. It is presumptuous  beyond words and was probably a statement made to impress the ‘home’ market more than anything else.

As you can well imagine, I am dead against the idea of ‘same sex marriage’, because I believe it is a big step towards the total destruction of what is left of morality in the modern western world. This necessary human value has been fast disappearing with ever bigger strides as people become used to the idea that today, ‘anything goes’. I am of the old school, and am sorry to see it disappear along with basic honesty and integrity.

Gay Pride???

Gay Pride???

As a people, the western nations have become obsessed with this new great god – Human Rights, which is being twisted by dishonest individuals to trample all the old values of human respect, kindness, morality, integrity and the law into the dust. Don’t think for one moment I am against the need for Human Rights, for as I have said many times in the past, they are an essential requirement in today’s world. There is much injustice today where people are treated worse than animals, like the current version of the slave trade, enforced prostitution, the torturing of prisoners, and not forgetting genocide.

But sad to say, the rules laid down to protect innocents from this kind of horror are being used by terrorists and criminals to escape justice, and ‘gay’ groups to get what they want, among others.

Although I find it most distasteful, for me it is an American affair if they wish to allow homo’s to marry, have the same rights as normal people and adopt children. However, having said that, I do not think this gives Obama the right to dictate to the leaders of foreign countries what they should do in this respect.

What Do These Children Have To Do With Homosexuality?

What Do These Children Have To Do With Homosexuality?

In 2011, both the UK and the USA hinted they may “withdraw aid” from countries that do not ‘toe the line’ on homosexuality. This leads me to ask: What does homosexuality have to do with the starving millions on the continent of Africa? Would these two great countries really allow these poor people to starve to death, just so that a bunch of people can shove their deviance in everyone’s faces? Something of that nature would make me ashamed to be a member of the human race! So my message to Obama is: Keep your nose out of foreign politics, religious beliefs and traditions on the subject of homosexuality, and put your own house in order before you start dictating to foreign powers what they should do.

Roy.

So Starbucks Finally Paid Up!

Posted in America, Britain, Demonstration, England, Government, Justice, Theft, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 24/06/2013 by floroy1942
"We Keep Our Bucks"

“We Keep Our Bucks”

I read with interest this last week that the coffee chain Starbucks have finally paid the UK tax man the Corporation Tax they owe, or at least part of it. So that’s one down and more to come, hopefully, with Google and Amazon the remaining main defaulters. We, the less well off, seldom get a chance at the opportunities these big multi-national companies have to duck taxes, but there again, we do not have all the high-powered lawyers they have. Starbucks admitted they had not paid any Corporation Tax on sales worth £400 million in the years between 2009 and 2012, which should have netted the Treasury £92 million at 23%. That amount of money would have bought a lot of apples!

Whichever way you look at it, these companies hire the best lawyers and economists with one thought in mind: How can we get around the tax laws? Mind you the filthy rich are at it too, and if just 50% of these people paid what they owe, we, the rest, would be paying much less and the financial crisis would be over. It was interesting to read that Starbucks said they ‘made a loss last year’, why, because they were siphoning off the profits by “paying fees to other areas of its business — such as ‘royalty payments’ for the use of the brand”. How convenient!

Demonstration

Demonstration

Now they have suddenly decided to cough up what they owe for the tax year 2012, and in a statement they said: “We listened to our customers in December and so decided to forgo certain deductions which would make us liable to pay £10 million in corporation tax this year and a further £10 million in 2014”.  Yea, Right! I suppose the fall-off in custom and the demonstrations outside various branches had nothing to do with that decision. Face it Starbucks, you finally got found out!

My only remaining question is, when are they going to cough up the back taxes of £92 million?

Roy.

Latest Men’s Fashion – Don’t Make Me Laugh!

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, Teens, UK with tags , , , , on 17/06/2013 by floroy1942

There can be little doubt the fashion world is currently populated by brainless idiots without the slightest idea what fashion really is, and what people will buy to wear. This post surely has to come under my heading of nonsense, for this designer can’t possibly be serious. The London Collection Show was billed as a bizarre make-over of menswear, and the only thing they didn’t lie about was that it was bizarre in the extreme! See for yourself:

How The Hell Does He Get Through A Door?

Even My Grandmother Wouldn't Be Caught Dead In This!

Complete With Blindfold!!! Lucky He Can’t See Himself In The Mirror – I wish I Couldn’t See Him Either!

Can You Imagine Carrying That Around With You?

Can You Imagine Carrying That Around With You?

Who's A Pretty Boy Then?

Who’s A Pretty Boy Then?

Aaaargh! The Aliens Have Landed!

I'm Not Surprised The Model Is Not Smiling!

I’m Not Surprised The Model Is Not Smiling!

Is This Guy For Real?

Is This Guy For Real?

I Wouldn't Even Wear This To Bed!

I Wouldn’t Even Wear This To Bed!

Doesn't He Look Cute?

Doesn’t He Look Cute?

Homo's Will Love This!

Homo’s Will Love This!

We have seen weird creations before from the world’s designers, but this Kay Kwok is totally ‘off the wall’. How much further can we go down this road before designers start to show us stuff people can actually wear and not look totally stupid. It is true that many of today’s young men are becoming more effeminate with their skin creams, make-up and, perfumes instead of men’s aftershave, but it begs the question: Is There A Limit To All This Nonsense?

Roy.

‘Pay by Results’ Will Cut Re-offending? Don’t Make Me Laugh!

Posted in Britain, England, Government, Justice, Police, Prison, Teen Violence, Theft, UK with tags , , on 16/06/2013 by floroy1942

I swear, sometimes I hang my head in shame at some of the stupid ideas politicians come up with. According to a report out last week, they want to release prisoners early and support them by giving them housing, employment and financial assistance in a scheme called ‘Pay by Results’. According to the ‘experts’ this would decrease re-offending by a ‘massive’ (their words) 2.6%.

Chris Grayling

Chris Grayling

Wow! 2.6%, now that is a real eye opener! So what they are telling us is that for every 100 prisoners released from jail early, two would not re-offend because they have been given somewhere to live, a job, and cash. I am sure there will be a friendly social worker there to tuck them up in bed too!

The news was given out at a lecture by the ‘think-tank’ Civitas, and at the meeting Justice Secretary Chris Grayling is quoted as saying, “Britain’s problem is less about offending and more about re-offending”. Well that is one thing he got right. A pity he does not realize why criminals re-offend so easily.  The statistics for the past thirty years clearly show that  most short prison term criminals re-offend, sometimes within days of release. The following graphic shows the figures for Scotland which are also representative of the whole UK.

3% Re-Offending Rate For 2 To 4 Years Or More – 11% For Those Serving Between 6 To 24 Months – 50% Rate For Those Serving Less Than 3 Months. There Has To Be A Lesson Here!

Because our prisons are at capacity, according to the do-gooders, the justice system has for many years been loath to add to the prison population, and more often than not law breakers get either a ‘slap on the wrist’ or lily-livered community service, which all criminals consider a joke. Mr. Grayling said at the lecture: “If you are serving time in prison, on average you will have committed an astonishing 41 previous offences.” The mind boggles! 41 prior offences before they are locked up – it’s ridiculous! And that is only the offences they are actually arrested for.

The oft quoted argument that Britain’s prisons are overcrowded makes me wonder why the Justice Ministry announced last January that they are to close seven prisons (within months) and reduce capacity at two more with a loss of 2,600 places! There are plans to build new ones and add to existing prisons but surely it would be better to have the new places ready first rather than the other way around. I can understand the necessity of such a move as our old Victorian prisons cost a fortune in upkeep, but it is wise to remember that with current trends the prison population is set to continue growing.

Re-Offending Rates Versus Sentence

Re-Offending Rates Versus Sentence

The statistics have long proven that the only way to stop prisoners from re-offending is a hefty prison sentence. Very few prisoners who have been locked up for more than two years actually re-offend, but the number who do after only a few weeks or months in prison is staggering. Now they think that ‘nanny’ tactics will sort out the vicious Neanderthal youth we have on the streets today. Think again Mr. Grayling! build more prisons, get rid of the TV’s and games, let them do hard labour, and make a prison sentence something to be feared once again. Then you will see a drop in re-offending!

Roy.

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