TechFriday: No FREE Windows 10 for Parallels on the Mac yet

Posted By on July 3, 2015

NoWindows10_Parallels4iMac

So much for “considering” Windows 10 on my iMac (Parallels). And here I was thinking that upgrading a couple of Windows machines wouldn’t be as expensive as in the past … with Microsofts FREE upgrad offer and all. (Parallels is working on a solution)

upgradewindow10free

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as free upgrade for qualified Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows Phone 8.1 devices. It will be available starting July 29, 2015; people can reserve their free upgrade today.

You only have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this offer. Once you upgrade, you have Windows 10 for free on that device.

More info

Video: The robins have been busy this year–brood two!

Posted By on July 2, 2015

robineggs150629

As with baby birds in previous years, the same tree is being used by the robins … with a new nest … again. This is the second brood for this pair of robins for 2015. They do have ugly chicks … and this guy is pretty weak (watch him flop below).

Crowdfunding with StartEngine.com and ElioMotors

Posted By on July 1, 2015

Investing in startups outside of a business where I have been hands-on management has never panned out successfully for me …  so I’m not sure why I think ElioMotors will be different? In other words, treat that last statement a warning and my skepticism beyond seeing a new car company as interesting and exciting IF you are interested as an investor. Raising the capital for such a large venture is not going to be easy, but I wish Paul Elio and his team well. If I had an automotive industry background, it would sure be exciting to be on the ground floor and working 24×7 to build another facility (two ground up faculties in my past).

startengineelioinvestment

Elio Motors has partnered with StartEngine.com, a platform for crowdfunding investments. A new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling, Regulation A+, has made it possible for start-up companies to “test the waters” and see if there is sufficient interest from potential investors. StartEngine.com is assisting us with this effort so that we can stay in compliance with the regulation.

(more…)

Leap Second: Are you ready to lose a second of your life?

Posted By on June 30, 2015

leapsecond150630

This might be a big deal for someone doing computerized “flash trading” but for most of us it would have gone unnoticed for the bulletin. So as a service to you, be warned … you’ll probably get “one-second” less sleep tonight.
Smile

Who says Greece is too small to impact world markets?

Posted By on June 30, 2015

Seems like about every article I read pointed to the fact that Greece’s economy is only “half the size of Ohio” and that we are insulated from the turmoil over this game of chicken they are playing with the IMF and pending $1.73B payment default. Still traders on Monday in about every market decided this just might be the time to sell stocks? Ouch … it was quite painful if you are holding equities.

WSJIndices150629

What’s the quick story on Greece?

Greece owes the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 1.5 billion euros on June 30th. Greece cannot pay that right now, so they are trying to borrow more money to pay the IMF. In order for the IMF to lend more money, they want Greece to agree to tough terms to rein in spending. That sounds good in theory, but these same terms make it hard for Greek economy to grow.

Greece unexpectedly announced a nationwide vote (or referendum) on July 5th to let the voters decide if they will agree to the loan terms. If the voters agree, the negotiations will end and Greece will accept the loan. If they do not agree, there would still be time to compromise, but the risks that Greece will leave the Eurozone will be more likely than not.

(more…)

Looking at Google Analytics for My Desultory Blog

Posted By on June 29, 2015

GoogleAnalytics150622I’m bummed to see that total views on MyDesultoryBlog are down about 10% this past year. The drop-off may have to do with  more users looking at things on their mobile devices?

Blogs, mine in particular, are difficult to read on a small screen phone and longer copy (like the previous two posts) are not even going to be attempted (I’m thinking about own mobile viewing habits). If content isn’t included specifically for tablets or more importantly “phones” it looks as if  MyDesultoryBlog will be a less than desirable mobile read?

Hmm … what should be done to better accommodate mobile devices?

History repeats-Part 2: This is how we know we are getting old

Posted By on June 28, 2015

Read ONLY if you don’t’ mind getting lost in the weeds. I felt bit lost in my own country after the Supreme Court decisions this week and am concerned for the future. As a Christian, I’m trying to looking past my own traditional value and faith-based Biblical beliefs which have long been part of our country and hoping that there will be positives that I currently don’t see. Perhaps reflecting on previous generations will help?

Part Two (yesterday was part one)

My parents relaxed a bit when the draft ended in the mid-1970s, the movements grew old and burnt out (as did the participants) … but they still questioned the changes facing the country. Teens were playing that “loud obnoxious rock and roll music,” even as the psychedelic drug use faded. The attention seeking “dirty hippies” went more anti-establishment most chose a more “laid back” life … often in their California communes. They were no longer on the  front lines of change. The uniting force of rebelling against a horrible war, the downfall of the President (Nixon) Iran-hostages-b_thumb[4]had rewarded  solid victories in the area of social change (equal rights, pollution, etc) gave this maturing youth movement  a feeling that they made a difference … even if they began questioning “to what end?” Happiness was still evasive for many.

As always seems to happen, the pendulum swung too far in the 1970s and foreign organizations took advantage of America’s weakness. OPEC financially strangled the U.S. economy by controlling oil and we were ill prepared as a government or a country for this energy crisissound familiar? Islamic extremist (déjà vu) in Iran overthrew the Shah and took over the American Embassy and held Americans hostage. Under President Carter, the U.S. was perceived –correctly— as “passive and weak” … these bold Muslim Student Followers of the Imam’s Line fear no retaliation or at least acted without fear. The U.S. planned a couple rescue attempts with special forces … one failed leaving the U.S. with a public black eye and the other was never attempted. It was an embarrassment to our President Carter, our nation’s people and to its demoralized military.

As mentioned, the pendulum can swing  too far and just as it did in World War II when Isoroku Yamamoto feared he had woken a sleeping giant, and yes … it happened again. The American people were not happy with the conditions they found themselves in and  searched for leadership — found it in Ronald Reagan. The climb back to greatness for our nation wasn’t as easy ronaldreaganheadshot_thumb[17]as it may look when reading a page or two in a history book, but there is no doubt that Reagan’s optimistic vision and confidence rekindled the greatness of our Democracy and the American people. It was a time to be proud of our country, its heritage, its benevolence around the world and yes in American Exceptionalism.

It is amazing when looking back on the Reagan decade and to remember certain things. It started the moment Reagan completed his inauguration speech as the 52 American hostages who held for 444 days were immediately released. Small and large business … and entrepreneurship expanded in the 80s and many new industries grew despite the difficult economy, inflation and high interest rates. Pride and confident soared as government moved out of the way of business, encouraging them to innovate and create new ways to do things. Computers became useful in everyday business … and even in the home. Pride in appearance gave retailers a boost as people wanted to drive a new cars, wear jackets, ties and dresses again. As interest rates fell and incomes rose, people bought homes and upgraded. Investing, saving and accountability for ones future seemed possible. Work was no longer something to “try and get out of” … but something to take pride in. And the military … it gained note of respect. It modernized, it upsized. The sky was no longer the limit … Reagan was talking about defending from  “space” with his controversial SDI – “StarWars program.” Even our arch enemy the Soviet Union recognized the rebound of the U.S. as a world power and knew it was foolish to challenge it or even attempt to keep up. The power of Democratic free market capitalism even convinced the USSR’s leader Mikhail Gorbachev to ponder some form of capitalism. He would be the last leader of the Soviet Union before the Communist Party of the Soviet Union until it dissolved in 1991. (more…)

History repeats–Part 1: This is how we know we are getting old

Posted By on June 27, 2015

Read ONLY if you don’t’ mind getting lost in the weeds. I felt bit lost in my own country after the Supreme Court decisions this week and am concerned for the future. As a Christian, I’m trying to looking past my own traditional value and faith-based Biblical beliefs which have long been part of our country and hoping that there will be positives that I currently don’t see. Perhaps reflecting on previous generations will help?

Part One

I remember watching my grandparent’s utter disgust as they watched the boomer generation coming of age in the 1960s and early 70s. DetroitFreePressRiots670724They were not unlike today’s “me” concerned with the changes they were seeing. In 1967 and ‘68 they feared the spread of racially charged firebombings in their neighborhood … during and after the Detriot riots. The rioters were discontented with the slow pace of peaceful change and charismatic leaders/groups convinced blacks to take a violent path; protests turn to burning homes and businesses … eerily similar to 2015 in Ferguson and Baltimore?

For me and many, the Martin Luther King Jr. nonviolent civil disobedience made a lasting impression that peaceful protesting will win over hearts and minds in a way that  force and violence can never accomplish (did the Black community lose than lesson?)

The anti-police movement in urban cities, the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore do more to further the divide and anger. The same for calling for the “forced” elimination of the Confederate flag; it only inflamed those from the south who see it as a symbol (both good and bad) of their history and pride. Most have put slavery, segregation and discrimination in the past and receiving yet another jab has them reviving their defenses. It may be counter productive?

This look back at history also has me wondering about my past and my grandparents … and parents; would they be seen at racist? From my recollection they didn’t seem to be racist “before” the riots and burning. They were for the most part accepting the peaceful change and integration (of course we were in the north, it could have been a more challenging situation below the Mason-Dixon Line).  After the riots, they were definitely less comfortable around the young black bereted “colored people” (their term of that day). As far as I know (around me) their race thoughts were kept private, but “having prejudice thoughts” wouldn’t really have surprised me since many immigrants of their generation already segregated themselves by nationality anyway. (more…)

The Supreme Court upholds Obamacare subsidies

Posted By on June 25, 2015

Most Americans, not covered under government healthcare programs, have been feeling the higher cost of healthcare since Obamacare as traditional policies give way to high deductible plans which cost them more than their previously “more” inclusive lower deductible plans – so much for “keeping your healthcare plan.” Commonsense dictates that restructuring so those who actually pay are now required to pay the subsidies for those who previously couldn’t afford healthcare will have to pay more. Free or subsidized “mandated” lunches aren’t really free.

Today the Supreme Court ruling came down on the language used to “pass the law” in 2010 which offered subsidies to states which established exchanges to be more inclusive than the initial “carrot on a stick” or “punitive” wording (intended to force states into compliance if the Obamacare architect Jonathan Grubber is to be believed).

rangeofexchanges_obamacare_

The court ruled in a 6-3 decision to uphold subsidies to all who purchase from Obamacare exchanges … including those run by the Federal government.

Chief Justice Roberts said the challengers raised strong arguments that snippets of the law’s wording supported their position, but he agreed with the Obama administration that the structure and context of the law supported its interpretation that insurance subsidies should be available nationwide.

The insurance subsidies “are necessary for the federal exchanges to function like their state exchange counterparts, and to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid,” he wrote.

The subsidies are a central element of the law, which aims to make it possible for low- and middle-income Americans to buy coverage if they don’t have access to health benefits through a job or government program such as Medicare. They are directly linked to other provisions in the law, including the requirements that most individuals buy coverage or pay a penalty, and that large employers offer health benefits or pay a penalty. The subsidies also are key to the workability of the law’s requirements for insurers to sell coverage to everyone regardless of their medical history.

The Internal Revenue Service issued regulations in 2012 implementing the subsidy provisions, saying the law meant for subsidies to be available in all states, not just in those that established their own exchanges. The Supreme Court’s ruling upheld the IRS rules.

WSJ LINK

Video: More teasing from Elio Motors

Posted By on June 24, 2015

Almost a year since our deposit (ALL IN was in November 2014) and our Elio delivery is still a year or so away … even if everything stays on track! Ugh.

Also they are looking to raise a few dollars as a start-up company … although it goes without saying, this should be money you can afford to risk.

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.