With the release of iOS 6, Apple has pulled the plug on Google by disabiling the pre-installed YouTube app and replacing Google Maps with their own set of maps. Was this their best decision? Definitely not – here’s why. Apple’s Maps are horribly inaccurate, they should never have released software with such rough edges. I’ve included a few screenshots of the new maps

The accuracy of them is absolutely terrible, you can plainly see that this user’s TCP is Telstra, an Australian provider but Apple Maps wants them to fly over to Illinois to the address “2 Cips Lane”. Smooth, Apple.

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I really don’t think this needs explaining…

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A not-so-helpful added feature to Apple’s iCloud.

New at your local Wal-Mart! iMountain!

Alright, enough of bashing Apple, but honestly… if something isn’t broken don’t try to fix it. I’m not saying Google Maps is perfect, it has its flaws as well but not to this extent. I personally think Apple has peaked, and people are finally starting to realise that there are cheaper and more sensible options for them. In related news, Apple’s stock reached 700.00 points not too long ago, as did Google’s. As of September 30th, Apple fell back down to 667.10 whilst Google climbed to 754.50.

As as Dutchman, it was very hard to find these. I heard about all sorts of flavors they sell in the United States, so I ended up buying a few on a Dutch website that sells all sorts of candy/soft drinks/energy drinks from the United States, United Kingdom and even Finland  (They even sell some naughty candy over there, but let’s not talk about that).

I’d like to share with you guys what I found amazing on the M&m’s Coconut. Even though they don’t put real coconut in there, it still smells AND tastes like coconut. I’m a huge fan of them Bounties (you know, the chocolate bar with coconut in them, I love those) so I had huge expectations of this product.

They taste like Bounties but a little different. I really, really liked these as I really love Bounties and it was worth the 1 euro 59 I paid for them to be shipped from the United States.

They come in this white plastic packaging and only have green, brown and white colored M&m’s in them. When you open it you can smell the coconut flavor already. I couldn’t wait and tried one and they were amazing. If you don’t know them, I suggest you buy a few packs when you are in the United States, or even order them on-line.

Capitalism is the most powerful, cruel, oppressive, and ideal dystopian economic framework ever invented by mankind, and millions of people all around the lonely Earth (mostly in the United States), chose to accept it. Capitalism will only crumble in the end. Even world-famous genius Albert Einstein believes capitalism, basically, sucks.

Now, let us refresh our memories on two of capitalism’s most basic principles. The laws of supply and demand, and industrial competition.

The four basic principles of supply and demand are, according to Wikipedia, are:

  1. If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and higher quantity.
  2. If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and lower quantity.
  3. If supply increases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to lower equilibrium price and higher quantity.
  4. If supply decreases and demand remains unchanged, then it leads to higher equilibrium price and lower quantity.

The human population is increasing at an alarmingly speedy rate. With more people demanding the same materials, we have the situation described in the first law. Remember, we only have one Earth-load of resources to use. The capitalists of our world will not be able to keep up with the rising demand infinitely. It is therefore inevitable that prices will rapidly inflate.

Simply put, in a capitalist system, there is a class of workers who work harder for less money, and another that works less for more. The latter is often “over-privileged” and “educated”. Because of the ever-increasing population, every one of the 7 billion and increasing wants a job that does not exist. So the obvious thing unemployed workers will do is to work for less compensation. By then, daily necessities cost more than what workers earn.

“I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate [the] grave evils [of capitalism], namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”
— Albert Einstein, Why Socialism?

 

Yesterday the deputy of the German Bundestag electoral district I live in died. Now, well, the guy was 49 years old, and nobody would have expected it (he died of a cardiac infarct while hiking on holidays in the Alps, which does not sound very nice), but I found it quite remarkable how I got to know of this:

 

Yep, that is the “Recently deceased” section of  today’s de.wikipedia’s Main Page. Normally I happen to come across the Main Page there once a day or so and browse quickly through it, when I remarked the familiar name. I was quite astonished to see that it was indeed the member of the Parliament of my district. It’s also fascinating who added the information about his death first: an IP, which was afterwards quickly blocked for being an open proxy, ha ha. The source given is the internet site of one of the two local newspapers, which is not published on Sundays, but of course able to add some lines online on Sundays nevertheless. I guess they might publish something more detailed about this event tomorrow in their print edition, but nevertheless Wikipedia did an interesting job of informing here!

A DNS Changer virus that many feared would cause major Internet access outages appears to have disappeared without causing any major problems.

The malware known as DNS Changer, engineered by cyber criminals, interferes with the process that maps URLs like “helpmebot.org.uk” to IP addresses. Users trying to reach a website on an infected computer would be redirected to the wrong servers and shown advertisements. The criminals who created the malware were arrested by the FBI and the Estonian police in November. However, the DNS settings on the infected computers still pointed to the criminals’ servers, and taking them down would have caused problems with accessing websites for these users, so the FBI kept them running. Until last Monday.

The cost for keeping the servers running was too high for the FBI, so they shut them down on Monday. It was feared that this would cause a blackout for the users affected, since there would be no servers converting the URLs they type into IP addresses. The day before the servers were taken offline, as many as 211,000 people were still using them.

Fortunately, the problem has not been on as large a scale as predicted. Internet service providers have been able to set up their own DNS servers so that people using infected computers could continue to access the web.

namebench runs tests against DNS servers to find the fastest ones.

In some cases, you may wish to change your DNS servers yourself. For example, you may find that switching your DNS server results in better speed. There is a tool called namebench hosted at Google Code which lets you find out which DNS server can provide the fastest speeds. When the program has finished running, it will recommend a configuration.

 

IPv4 properties dialogue.

If you decide to change your DNS server then follow these steps:

  1. Right click the network icon (it looks like a computer or a signal bar) in your system tray and Open Network and Sharing Center.
  2. Click Change adapter settings.
  3. Right click the network adapter you are using (it should be the one without a cross next to it) and choose Properties.
  4. Scroll down the list and highlight Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) (don’t remove the tick next to it).
  5. Click Properties and click the radio button that says Use the following DNS server addresses.
  6. Type in the address of the DNS servers you want to switch to (e.g. those recommended by namebench), confirm your selection, and you’re done!
  7. You can revert back to your original DNS servers by going back to this screen and selecting Obtain DNS server address automatically.

 

 

Note: This post is for educational purposes only, what you do with this information is entirely up to you, and we will not be held responsible for any damage to your machine.

During the past couple weeks I’ve been trying to contact Gateway Customer Support to fix my computer as it heats up to temperatures of around 50-60 Celsius. The thing is, the product’s out of warranty, but I complained about the issue to them during the warranty period, and they did nothing to fix it. Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

In around March 2010, I went to their website and contacted their support chat line. I told them of the overheating problem, and all they had instructed me to do was to update the system BIOS. Of course that didn’t change anything, as I had expected. I had returned to them and they still didn’t do anything, so I just put up with the heat for the next while. I contacted them again, sometime in 2011 when the warranty had expired. I was asked for my details and was told that someone would call me in the next couple of days, and they had provided me with a case ID to keep. I asked them to forward me the transcripts, which they’re supposed to do anyway.

They assured me that they’d so, but of course they did not, so when I did not get a phone call and returned to them they had no records of my report and were insisting that all records are kept under your serial number. After I had persisted a few days later, I was told that I was called twice, and wasn’t given the option to leave a message. I had two issues with that, one, I owned an answering machine, and two they had only called once when I specifically said not to call. I had arranged so they’d call the next day, in the afternoon, but somehow that translates to them calling me at 7:00 in the morning. Of course I ignored the call and then they called again in the afternoon, like I had asked. The person who answered was rather unhelpful, they talked like Eeyore (very unenthusiastically) and said that if my computer’s not deemed a safety issue they will charge me $199 to fix it. Well, wait a minute… if the fan’s faulty then I could just buy a new one for $40, right from this website.

However, I’ve done a bit of research on this problem and according to this thread the problem is probably the thermal paste that Gateway/Acer used when manufacturing the product. They used a very cheap paste and it apparently wears down around the time that the warranty expires, screwing people over. I had been quite unsatisfied with the person who called me, so I went to contact their phone support line, problem is, they only provide the number to those with warranties, and I wasn’t one of them. I had to do a bit of research, (Google is your friend) and I found a website which listed one of their support numbers. I had to call around three different numbers before I finally got to the right place. I talked with a guy, he sent me to his supervisor and the supervisor said he had placed me on a list to get a call from Corporate Customer Care, he was actually quite surprised that my computer had been reaching temperatures of 85C and said that in his position he really didn’t have any power to waive the charges, although he would’ve if he had the power.

I was told that they’d call within the next 24 hours, but I still have not received a call. I contacted their phone line and was directed to their corporate support after 30 minutes. The support person denied having any records of the support chat and that the first report came in on June 29th, 2012. However I do have records of a report on February 2011 in an e-mail which I will keep as evidence that their record-keeping is not up to scratch. Stay tuned for more!

 

Support Numbers

Gateway Corporate Support (Frances): 254-298-4483

Gateway Corporate Support : 949-471-7000

Gateway Customer Service/Tech Support: 800-846-2301

Gateway Canada Support: 604-639-0979

Berry Smoothie taken from Wikimedia CommonsMost people in North America find that they don’t have time to eat breakfast, and some skip it entirely. I have the solution to that problem : have breakfast on the go. What could possibly be better than a nutritious and energetic berry smoothie that takes five minutes to make? Not sure.

Ingredients:

The following measurements of ingredients are to make one smoothie. You’re going to need :

- 1/2 cup frozen blueberries

- 2-3 frozen strawberries

- 1-2 scoops protein powder

- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt

- 2/3 cup vanilla yogurt

- 1/2 banana

If the food processor were to jam, you can add a bit of milk to loosen things up and to make it creamier. The smoothie might turn out a little thick if you don’t add milk so you’ll have to eat it with a spoon, otherwise add milk to make it less thick.

I make my smoothies in the Magic Bullet, so I put my berries in first, then a bit of yogurt, then the protein powder, and then top it off with the rest of the yogurt. If you don’t do that it’ll probably get jammed, and if it does you should be sure to add some milk to finish the blending. This is a great alternative to a morning coffee, they both give you energy but the smoothie is a healthier alternative to caffeine. Greek yogurt is very high in protein, and protein powder so you’ll get a lot of protein in this good-tasting drink.

I hope you enjoy my recipe. It also makes for a great snack, as the frozen berries make it into a nice chilled drink which will cool you off this summer rather than drinking pop. If you liked this please share it with your friends on Google+, Facebook and/or Twitter. It helps us out a lot and I hope you have an enjoyable summer.