Not Fine

Companies that make mistakes merely pay fines.

Here you will find that an ejection seat failure in a UK Red Arrow Air Force plane merely resulted in a fine (plus a death.) This cost over a million pounds.

He said: “Martin-Baker were aware of the defect more than 20 years ago, and it took Sean’s death for the issue to come to light.

“We can only hope they have learned a lesson and that no-one else goes through this hell because of faulty equipment.”

Here you will find that (among many other drug companies) GlaxoSmithKline paid a fine for promoting drugs for unapproved uses.

No individuals have been charged in any of the cases. Even so, the Justice Department contends the prosecutions are well worth the effort — reaping more than $15 in recoveries for every $1 it spends, by one estimate.

But critics argue that even large fines are not enough to deter drug companies from unlawful behavior. Only when prosecutors single out individual executives for punishment, they say, will practices begin to change.

Not merely to urinate on British companies, here‘s your US giant Pfizer:

Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) on Tuesday said it has reached a $486 million settlement of litigation accusing it of causing big losses for shareholders by concealing safety risks associated with its Celebrex and Bextra pain-relieving drugs.

Remember the exploding airbags? Here you will find out what happened to Takata.

 Last year, Takata agreed to plead guilty and pay a $1bn criminal penalty in the US for fraud. Numerous carmakers have reached their own settlements over claims linked to the Takata recall.

Not to forget Volkswagen, here you will find out about the diesel emissions scandal.

As of December 21, 2016, Volkswagen reached a second settlement with the roughly 78,000 owners and lessees of 3.0-liter diesel models. In late January 2017, Volkswagen announced a $1.2 billion program that differs substantially from the $10 billion program for 2.0-liter diesel models. Judge Breyer approved the final settlement amount on May 11, 2017. Currently, only owners of 2009–2012 Audi Q7 and Volkswagen Touareg models with the Generation 1 engine are eligible for buybacks between $24,755 and $57,157. This is because Volkswagen cannot repair them to be emissions compliant. Generation 1 lessees of 2012 vehicles can receive between $5001 and $6615 for terminating their leases early. Generation 1 owners who do not sell their cars back to Volkswagen can receive $7755 to $13,880. For complete details, see the court’s handy executive summary.

Let me summarize.

There was public citizen damage in each case above:

  • a pilot died.
  • drugs were improperly marketed.
  • safety risks were concealed – and only stockholders seemed to care.
  • dangerous airbags were put in front of citizens as safety devices.
  • polluting cars were sold for years.

Nobody went to jail. This not fine. It is a disgrace.

Apartheid, and Israel

Israel has often been accused of apartheid in its dealings with the Palestinians. However, they usually play the Holocaust card and then enlist support from the United States of America.

Trump’s intent to move the US embassy to Palestine has been greeted by Netanyahu as a harbinger of peace. This from the creator of hundreds of settlements, in East Palestine.

Emboldened by America’s attacks on Iran, support for anti-Palestinian moves, and aggressive to take advantage, Israel has decided to

drive African migrants out of Israel. You can read details here.

Apartheid? No no. Not in Israel.

What’s in a Name: part II

Coleman’s mustard bears the label “Coleman’s of Norwich.”

Here you will find out that, that label will now be false, but will continue to be used.

I’ll bet my favourite Worcestershire Sauce isn’t made in Worcestershire. It isn’t, the company (Lea and Perrins) makes it in the USA in a thicker version. That’s the version I am familiar with. But they don’t lie about it, or do they?

Back to Coleman’s. Jobs in a loyal village will be lost. Profit will be chased elsewhere. But the ‘of Norwich’ will remain. I guess truth in advertising isn’t enforced in the UK either.

What’s in a Name?

I will give you the names of four organizations. Then I’ll make snarky comments about them.

  • Canada Standards Association
  • Britain First
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Special Investigations Unit

CSA is a required approval for appliances in Canada. It was started in a garage, but because of its name, became the standard.

Britain First is a radical group. Here is a quote from Wikipedia:

Britain First campaigns primarily against multiculturalism and what it sees as the Islamisation of the United Kingdom, and advocates the preservation of traditional British culture. It attracted attention by taking direct action such as its “Christian patrols” and “invasions” of British mosques. It has been noted for its online activism.

They are, apparently, not nice people. However the name makes them sound useful, even patriotic.

Black Lives Matter gained fame by halting the Gay Pride parade in Toronto, Canada. They succeeded in getting the parade to agree NOT to allow police officers to participate in the parade in uniform. It appears that black lives matter a lot more than gay ones. That the police had been invited to participate in this parade meant nothing to BLM.

Special Investigations Unit is the branch of the municipal police tha investigates incidents in which a police officer shoots somebody. Or is suspected of planting evidence. I’m sure you get the picture. They are supposed to be the watchdogs protecting the public from overzealous police actions. Unfortunately, they are mostly ex police officers. Their investigations often are ‘special.’

What’s my point, you ask? In each of the above cases you might be subtly or seriously misled as to the group’s real purpose because of its official (often self-selected) name.

We just witnessed a major piece of legislation in the USA which is touted as Tax Reform. One senator said it really is ‘government for sale.’ It includes these provisions (among others):

  • tax cuts for the rich
  • territorial view of corporation taxes, allowing outside earnings to stay outside of US tax
  • reduction in business taxes overall
  • reduction on the home mortgage interest tax break, with a ceiling on mortgage size
  • permission of oil extraction in previously protected wildlife areas
  • removing of fines for not having health insurance
  • increase in the estate tax loophole

and there is more. This is ‘tax reform.’ Trump can call it that, but it’s a big gift to the rich and rich corporations, and an omnibus bill with other pieces stuffed in.


North Korea: some truth, for once

You may be wondering what’s going on between North Korea and the rest of the world, particularly the USA.

Here you can read a CRS report on this. I won’t give any quotes. If you’re interested in this topic, you can read it for yourself. (CRS = Congressional Research Service.)

In this report is a comment that the USA may have (deliberately?) messed up one agreement by attacking a bank that North Korea used. Since almost all banks in Macau had DPRK accounts in them, clearly the USA went after a big one to stampede all the others. You can find this here.

There is no solution. North Korea will continue to develop nuclear warheads and ICBM delivery vehicles. In an earlier round of food sanctions it is estimated that 5-10% of the population died of malnutrition. (That’s a euphemism for starvation.) Do you think the USA has more leverage than starvation?

This is posted under ‘Observation’ because there is no ‘activist’ content here, eh?

Convergence: boon or bane?

Convergence is, in some cases, a good idea. You can be pretty sure that a standard light bulb from Canadian Tire or Wal-Mart will fit your socket and work correctly.

However, if you own a tumble drier, convergence may have put you in this list:

  • Whirlpool, who owns
  • HotPoint, and
  • Indesit, and
  • Creada, and
  • Swan, and
  • Proline.

You can check me on this at this website.All of these driers are failing. That’s because Whirlpool bought them all out and sold their own c..p under these other brands.

How about dishwasher fires? You might want to check out this list:

  • Whirlpool, who owns
  • Kitchen Aid, and
  • Whirlpool, and
  • Sears Kenmore, and
  • Maytag

Apparently these beauties are subject to dishwasher fires. And yes, they are all really made by one company and sold under these (and probably other) brands.

Well, you say, I could maybe die in a dryer fire and maybe even less likely in a dishwasher fire.

Well, consider automobile airbags. Takata airbags to be more precise.

Here you will find one of very many pages on this. I’ll content myself with a few limited quotes. Emphasis mine, as always.

In total, 15 automakers have recalled nearly 16.4 million vehicles in the United States since last week stemming from Takata’s decision in May to declare another 35 million to 40 million inflators defective by 2019.

And, that’s only in the USA and it’s only what we now know. Airbags are a commodity, like 120 volt 60 cycle light bulbs.
Convergence means, if one fails, they all are liable to failure.

Convergence means, interchangeability. This is good when you need a flashlight battery, home appliance, car tire valve.

Now for the activism question:

should not highly convergently-used technology be subject to much tighter testing and insurance than, say, a hot-dog bought on St. George street? I think that’s a bad example, eh?

Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer, and TripAdvisor

Last July we went on an 16-day combined tour provided by Vision 2000. It included airfare, transfers, a 7-day cruise (Holland America, Nieuw Amsterdam) to Alaska, Rocky Mountaineer (which included Whistler-Blackcomb, gondola rides, 2 days on an all-glass train, various bus stops (Jasper, Kamloops, Lake Louise, Banff, Calgary.)

Not cheap. And worth every penny.

On the Alaska Cruise we had pre-booked three side trips, including Tracy Arm and Glacier, White Pass and Yukon Railway, and I think Ketchican with a boat trip (explaining crab traps, and providing incredible shots of a bald eagle they throw fish to, followed by an all-you-can-eat crab lunch.) (Ketchican, Juneau, and Skagway from memory.)

Service on Holland America is impeccable. There were a few tiny glitches, yet overall it was extremely pleasant and we felt ‘covered’ at all times.

The Rocky Mountaineer is only two days, but it is spectacular and service on the train is unbelievable. It is preceded and followed by bus tours. All part of this package.

Whistler included gondola etc. It’s essentially a created tourist town, so it’s not cheap.

The bus tour between Rocky Mountaineer and Calgary was extremely well done.

This was one of our ‘lifetime trips’ comparable perhaps to Ecuador/Galapagos.

Overall rating: Excellent Plus.

I always create a trip report for our travel agent. I point out what went really well, and what was annoying or disturbing. I think that’s fair: the travel agency can laud good delivery and question problem instances.

I usually put the results (cleaned up a bit for public viewing) on TripAdvisor.

Shortly after our return, I tried to do this (TripAdvisor.) I got frustrated as the combined trip could not be ‘entered’ into TripAdvisor’s website.

So, today, I decided to try again. No dice.

I can’t find a way to get Alaska Cruise into their system.

I can’t find a way to get Rocky Mountaineer into their system.

I think they are focussed on selling hotels.

Two messages here, maybe three:

  • TripAdvisor doesn’t tell you about all trips. It won’t let me tell you about ours.
  • This trip is exceptional, but pricey.

I don’t know if Vision Travel, aka Vision 2000, will offer this again. If it does, budget for things like meals not included; not cheap. When they open the cruise side trips (I think 60 days ahead, refused earlier) go for it. I waited 3 days and one trip only had 1 seat left.

I hope this is of use or interest to at least some of you.

Your Win10 Computer wakes itself up?

There are many ways your computer can be waking itself up. Three versions of Win10 wake up at or after 10:00 am, for example.

I will give you some of the things you can do to prevent your computer from waking itself up.

Control Panel > Device Manager > Network Adapters > Realtek PCIe Family controller (or something similar) Right click Properties PowerManagement  Turn off Allow this device to wake the computer. Also walk down Advanced and disable Wake on Magic Packet and Wake on pattern match.

and while you’re looking at Network Adapters, if there are any weird other network adapter entries starting with WAN, research them. You’ll probably deactivate them (I did) and they’ll probably not even be there after your next restart.

Control Panel > power options > change plan settings > change advanced plan settings
sleep: allow hybrid sleep (I turned this off)
allow wake timers (disable).

Control Panel > administrative tools > task scheduler > library > microsoft > windows
xbl game save – if you’re not using an Xbox, you can delete this
rempl > two triggers. Right click each one in turn, properties, conditions, uncheck Allow this task to wake the computer.

back to task scheduler > library
sort on last run time, newest on top, and look through these. Again, any whose condition includes wake the computer to run this task, you should un-check that option.

When I went though this, I discovered that tasks related to GoToMeeting and GoToUpdate were being scheduled, so I used Control Panel > programs and uninstalled these items. I for sure don’t use them and don’t need extra c..p running on my machine.

Net Net:

That’s what I know right now. Useful input (give this website your eMail address, it won’t be published) will be posted here. Questions? I’ll answer what I can find out.

Since I often end with a dumb question, here’s a few:

  • why do these tasks need to wake my computer?
  • why are there so many of them?
  • why is rempl (running remsh.exe) only on three specific versions of Windows 10?
  • why are there so many versions of Windows 10?

We have one zenbook on Windows Professional and four other computers on Win10 Home. Two were upgraded from Win7 and handle removable devices differently. There are subtle differences between all 4 Win10 Home operating systems. Again,


Trump, Change!

Some quotes:

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.

Albert Einstein.

Lest anyone gain the impression that President Donald Trump is feeling any regret over his recent provocations of North Korea — calling its leader “Rocket Man” and threatening to “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury” — recent days have only seen an intensification of the president’s rhetoric.

FP quote.  (

The NRA should wake up here. If warfare ‘degenerates’ to sticks and stones, there won’t be anyone making new bullets (or assault rifles, either.) (me.)

Here’s more:

For the next six months, [Democratic presidential candidate and then-Vice President of the United States, Al Gore] is going to smear you as the enemy. He will slander you as gun-toting, knuckle-dragging, bloodthirsty maniacs who stand in the way of a safer America. Will you remain silent? I will not remain silent. If we are going to stop this, then it is vital to every law-abiding gun owner in America to register to vote and show up at the polls on Election Day.
So, as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those fighting words for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: ‘From my cold, dead hands!’

Charlton Heston.

No, Mr. Heston. From your fried dead hands. They may glow in the dark. You won’t be able to buy bullets.

So here’s today’s dumb question:

Who do you trust and believe?

  • A self-identified NRA puppet and ex-actor?
  • A psychopathic POTUS?
  • Albert Einstein?

Have a nice life, what’s left of it.

Rogers Cable and POP eMail – where do you think you are? Canadian, eh? Not!

IMAP versus POP. Two ways of getting eMail. Warning: long post. Sorry.

Several months ago, Rogers warned me that I’d need to set up a weird separate password if I continued to use ThunderBird for POP eMail. I did that.

They reminded me at least twice afterword. I think I did it correctly, as I can still get eMail from my Rogers eMail account via Thunderbird and POP (Post Office Protocol.)


lately I notice that the POP  login to Rogers from ThunderBird is a Lot slower than all my other eMail probes.

So I did a bit of digging. I’m not a ‘real techie’ anymore but am not totally ignorant either.

Rogers POP email is now processed in a server in California. That might surprise you if you thought Rogers was a Canadian company and that Toronto was in Canada.

Here’s some of my proof: (warning: technical copy&pastes from Internet interactions)


Pinging []

which Arin Whois tells us is: (abbreviated for readability, do this yourself if you don’t trust me.)

% ARIN resource:

# The following results may also be obtained via:

NetRange: –
NetHandle: NET-74-6-0-0-1
Parent: NET74 (NET-74-0-0-0-0)
NetType: Direct Allocation
Organization: Inktomi Corporation (INKT)
RegDate: 2006-02-13
Updated: 2012-02-24

OrgName: Inktomi Corporation
Address: 701 First Ave
City: Sunnyvale
StateProv: CA

Now for Lacnic Whois:

You searched for:

Net Range –
Handle NET-74-6-0-0-1
Parent NET74 (NET-74-0-0-0-0)
Net Type Direct Allocation
Origin AS
Organization Inktomi Corporation (INKT)
Registration Date 2006-02-13
Last Updated 2012-02-24
RESTful Link
Function Point of Contact
See Also Related organization’s POC records.
See Also Related delegations.

Name Inktomi Corporation
Handle INKT
Street 701 First Ave
City Sunnyvale
State/Province CA

If you got this far, congratulations. Now you know that is now hosted in California on computers in that state.

This might not bother you. It bothers me a lot.

  • American ‘legal access’ to data is a lot more loose than in Canada. Now all your eMail is in the USA. (I might mention that Brazil went to a Lot of trouble to route Internet traffic around the USA, including laws that information not be kept outside Brazil, because Brazil understands the security and privacy issues.)
  • California is not as close as Mississauga. I have a website. It is hosted in I think Mississauga (west of TO for sure.) WiFi access from, say, Jasper was equal (actually better) than from my dwelling in Etobicoke. Rogers obviously has a Very Large Data Pipe from wi-fi enabled hotels in BC and Alberta. It was as fast from Kamloops as it is from my desktop. It is now slower than a snail for eMail from my desktop.
  • I think Rogers is getting ready to sell out. Sell the eMail traffic, and who knows what else.

Does that bother you? That’s today’s dumb question.