Jailbreaking iDevices Continues

Ok iPhoners and iPaders if you have a new device and/or the latest iOS installed (4.1.x) you can now ‘jailbreak’ them easily with the latest ‘GreenPois0n’ Jailbreak tool.

Greenpois0n  jailbreaks the iPhone 4/3GS, iPod touch 4G/3G, and the iPad. Their blog is here.

Here is a video of it in action.

Currently the crack is Windows only so (Mac and Linux users will have to borrow a Windows computer or run Windows in virtualization. They should be porting to all other OS’s soon.

I don’t have have an iDevice anymore but couldn’t imagine being locked into Apples restrictive use policies – and now the courts agree too. Article here and here.

You can Google the benefits yourself but here is a good quick article.

The destruction of the middle class is almost at hand

Folks. I have commented on this before and will again. I believe our current administration and politicians have been setting out to destroy our middle class and turn our country into a communist regime – one where there are only two classes; the elite party members and ultra powerful rich and the rest; the peons.

If you want to know where you stand ask yourself, “am I a member of congress?, am I a billionaire, am I one who runs a massive media outlet?” if the answer is NO then you are one of the soon to be ‘former’ middle class Americans. We have people who have been working their way to power positions of power in our great country with the sole goal of creating themselves a place of inscrutable power over every aspect of our lives.

I know I am often called an alarmist right-wing guy. Well I am. I believe in the founding Judeo-Christian concepts our country was founded on. Concepts that provided for an advancement of human kind the world has never known! As mentioned in the opening statement that founded this country;

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable rights; that among these, are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;…." Rights by our Creator NOT men!!

We have three waves of massive taxes coming soon. They will not affect the super wealthy – they will always be able to keep their money. They will be just lest incentivized to use it to create jobs and innovations through investments. The new taxes wont affect the super poor either, they will just get even more benefits of our system with out contributing.

The coming taxes and regulations are set to destroy our middle class. Here is the lowdown:

In  just six months, on January 1, 2011, the largest tax hikes in the  history of America will take effect.

They  will hit families and small businesses in three great  waves.

On January  1, 2011, here’s what happens… (read it to the end, so you see  all three waves)…

First Wave:

Expiration  of 2001 and 2003 Tax Relief

In  2001 and 2003, the GOP Congress enacted several tax cuts  for investors,  small business owners, and families.   These  will all expire on January 1, 2011.

Personal  income tax rates will rise.

The  top income  tax rate will rise from 35 to 39.6 percent (this is also the  rate at  which two-thirds of small business profits are taxed).  

The lowest  rate will rise from 10 to 15 percent.  

All  the rates in between  will also rise. 

Itemized  deductions and personal exemptions will  again phase out, which has the same mathematical effect as  higher marginal  tax rates. 

The  full list of marginal rate hikes is  below:

  • The  10% bracket rises to an expanded 15%
  • The  25% bracket rises to 28%
  • The  28% bracket rises to 31%
  • The  33% bracket rises to 36%
  • The  35% bracket rises to 39.6%

Higher  taxes on marriage and family.

The "marriage  penalty" (narrower tax brackets for married couples)  will return from the first dollar of income.   

The  child tax credit  will be cut in half from $1000 to $500 per child.   

The standard  deduction will no longer be doubled for married couples  relative to  the single level.  

The  dependent care and adoption tax credits will  be cut.

The return of the Death  Tax.

This  year only,  there is no death tax.  (Its a  quirk!) For  those dying on or after January 1,  2011, there is a 55 percent top death tax rate on  estates over $1 million.  A person leaving behind two homes,  a business, a  retirement account,  could easily pass along a death tax bill to their loved ones.   Think of the farmers who dont make much money, but their  land, which they purchased years ago with after-tax dollars, is  now worth a lot of money.  Their children will have to sell  the farm, which may be their livelihood, just to pay the estate  tax if they dont have the cash sitting around to pay the tax.   Think about your own familys assets.  Maybe your  family owns real estate, or a business that doesnt make much  money, but the building and equipment are worth $1 million.   Upon their death, you can inherit the $1 million business  tax free, but if they own a home, stock, cash worth $500K on top  of the $1 million business, then you will owe the government  $275,000 cash!  Thats 55% of the value of the assets over $1  million!  Do you have that kind of cash sitting around  waiting to pay the estate tax?

Higher  tax rates on savers and investors.

The  capital gains tax will rise from 15 percent this year to 20  percent in 2011.  

The  dividends tax will rise from 15 percent this year to  39.6 percent  in 2011. 

These  rates will rise another 3.8 percent in  2013.

Second Wave:


There  are over twenty new or higher taxes in Obamacare. Several will  first go into effect on January  1, 2011.  They include:

The  "Medicine Cabinet Tax"

Thanks  to Obamacare, Americans will no longer be able to use  health savings  account (HSA), flexible spending account (FSA), or  health reimbursement  (HRA) pre-tax dollars to purchase  non-prescription, over-the-counter  medicines (except insulin).

The  "Special Needs Kids Tax"

This  provision of Obamacare imposes a cap on flexible spending accounts  (FSAs) of  $2500 (currently, there is no federal government limit).  There is  one group of FSA owners for whom this new cap will be  particularly cruel  and onerous: parents of special needs children.  
There  a
re thousands  of families with special needs children in the United States  , and  many of them use FSAs to pay for special needs  education.

Tuition  rates at one leading school that teaches special needs  children in  Washington , D.C. ( National Child Research Center) can easily  exceed $14,000 per year.

Under  tax rules, FSA dollars can not be used to pay for this type of  special  needs  education.

The  HSA (Health Savings Account) Withdrawal Tax  Hike.

This  provision of Obamacare increases the additional tax on non-medical  early withdrawals from  an HSA from 10 to 20 percent, disadvantaging them relative to  IRAs and  other tax-advantaged accounts, which remain at 10  percent.

Third Wave:

The  Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)  and Employer Tax Hikes

When  Americans prepare to file their tax returns in January of  2011, they’ll  be in for a nasty surprise-the AMT won’t be held  harmless, and many tax relief provisions will have  expired.

The  major items include:

The  AMT will ensnare over 28 million families, up from 4 million last  year.

According  to the left-leaning Tax Policy Center, Congress’ failure to index  the AMT will lead to an  explosion of AMT taxpaying families-rising from 4 million  last year  to 28.5 million.  These families will have to calculate  their tax  burdens twice, and pay taxes at the higher level.  The AMT  was created  in 1969 to ensnare a handful of taxpayers.

Small  business expensing will be slashed and 50% expensing will  disappear.

Small  businesses can normally expense (rather than slowly-deduct,  or "depreciate")  equipment purchases up to $250,000. 
will  be cut all the way down to $25,000.  Larger businesses  can currently expense  half of their purchases of equipment.  
In January of  2011,
all  of it will have to be "depreciated."

Taxes  will be raised on all types of businesses.

There  are literally scores of tax hikes on business that will  take place.   The biggest is the loss of the "research  and experimentation  tax credit," but there are  many, many others. Combining high marginal tax rates  with the  loss of this tax relief will cost jobs.

Tax  Benefits for Education and Teaching  Reduced.

The  deduction for tuition and fees will not be available. 
Tax  credits
for  education will be limited. 
Teachers will no longer  be able to
deduct  classroom expenses.
Coverdell Education  Savings Accounts
will  be cut.
Employer-provided  educational assistance is
The student loan  interest deduction will be  disallowed
for  hundreds of thousands of families.

Charitable  Contributions from IRAs no longer allowed.

Under  current law, a retired person with an IRA can contribute up  to $100,000  per year directly to a charity from their IRA.  
contribution  also counts toward an annual "required  minimum distribution."   This ability will no longer be  there.

PDF   Version  Read more:  <http://www.atr.org/six-months-untilbr-largest-tax-hikes-a5171>;  http://www.atr.org/six-months-untilbr-largest-tax-hikes-a5171#%23ixzz0sY8waPq1

And worse  yet?

Now,  your insurance  will be INCOME on your W2’s!

One  of the surprises we’ll  find come next year, is what follows – – a  little "surprise"  that 99% of us had no idea was included in  the "new  and improved" healthcare legislation . . .  the dupes,  er, dopes, who backed this administration will  be astonished!

Starting  in 2011, (next year folks), your W-2 tax form sent  by your  employer will be increased to show the value of  whatever health  insurance you are given by the company. It does  not matter  if that’s a private concern or governmental body  of some  sort. 
If you’re retired?   So what… your gross
will  go up by the amount of insurance you get.

You  will be required to pay taxes on a large sum of money that  you have  never seen.  Take your tax form you just  finished and  see what $15,000 or $20,000 additional gross does to  your tax  debt.  That’s what you’ll pay next year.  
many,  it also puts you into a new higher bracket so it’s  even worse.

This  is how the government is going to buy insurance for the15% that  don’t have  insurance and it’s only part of the tax  increases.

Not  believing this???  Here is a research of  the summaries…..

On  page 25 of 29: TITLE IX REVENUE PROVISIONS-  SUBTITLE A: REVENUE OFFSET PROVISIONS-(sec. 9001,  as modified by sec.  10901) Sec.9002  "requires  employers to  include in the W-2 form of each employee the aggregate cost  of applicable  employer sponsored group health coverage that  is excludable  from the employees gross income."

Read more:
– Joan  Pryde is the senior tax editor for the Kiplinger  letters. Here is a good article she has written on even more coming taxes and fees.

People  have the right to know the truth because an election  is coming  in  November!

Simple Performance Tips

I am asked a few times a week at minimum “how can I speed up my system?” by friends, family and colleagues alike. Here are some very simple performance tips I perform on nearly all Windows systems I work with.

Before starting any system modifications please make sure you have a recent backup. Follow my previous posts here and here on backups and images. Run Windows update and update your Antivirus/Antispyware apps and other applications like Adobe Reader [launch the app, go to Help on the menu bar and go down to ‘Check For Updates’ and run and install.] Also update Adobe flash by opening your browser and going to Adobe’s site and getting the latest version. PDF and Flash are the most common vector for malicious code.

BE CAREFUL WHEN INSTALLING ADOBE PRODUCTS!!! They like to include ‘SHITWARE’, third party applications YOU DON’T NEED OR WANT’, like McAfee scanner or other ‘toolbars. Make sure to ‘uncheck’ any options to download AND install these when updating Adobe (or any others for that matter) applications. Be careful they are tricky and put other toolbar installers in the application updates – so before ‘just clicking’ ok/next make sure NOT to install any toolbars or other applications.

The run an Anti-virus and Anti-spyware scans to make sure your system is clean.

OK now for the meat:

First go to Mike Lin’s home page and get his great little ‘startup’ application.


Download the standalone application here.
It’s in a zip file.

Extract and save somewhere like ‘My Documents’ or your desktop.
Then just double click to launch it. If you are on Windows Vista or Windows 7 right-click and run as administrator.


You will then be shown all the different start up parameters for your system and the applications which are scheduled to start at various events – login, machine startup, user login etc. Simply click on an item to highlight it, right click and choose and option.



The dialog contains six to seven tabs, depending on your system configuration. Each tab represents one place where a program can be registered to run at system startup. These include:

    * Startup (user) – the current user’s Startup folder in the Start Menu.
    * Startup (common) – the common (all users) Startup folder in the Start Menu.
    * HKLM / Run – the Run registry key located in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. These apply for all users.
    * HKCU / Run – the Run registry key located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER. These apply for the current user only.
    * Services – system services that are started before the user logs in. This appears only in Win9x; on NT/2000/XP, use the Services control panel, or the Services item in Computer Management.
    * Run Once – started once and once only at the next system startup.
    * Deleted – programs go to the Deleted tab when you remove them from another location. They will not run at system startup, but will merely be stored should you ever want to use them again. If you delete an item from the Deleted tab, it is removed permanently.

Each page contains a list of the programs registered at that location. Use the checkbox to enable or disable individual items. Additional operations are available by right-clicking an item. You can select multiple items using the Shift and Control keys. Options include:

    * New… – create a new entry. You can also drag & drop files from My Computer or Explorer.
    * Edit… – edit an existing entry.
    * Delete – delete the currently selected entry.
    * Disable / Enable – disable or enable the selected entry. A disabled program will appear in the list with a special icon, and will not run at system startup. You can also use the checkbox next to an item to enable or disable it.
    * Run Now – executes the program now.
    * Send To – moves the entry from the current location to another.

Press F5 to refresh the list at any time.

Be careful to NOT remove items critical to Windows and your Antivirus/Antispyware applications. Things that should stay are things like ‘ctfmon.exe (an office application), and your sound and /or track pad drivers.
Please note:
Before you disable or delete any listed startup items ‘Google’ the exact ‘exe’ file located in the path and FIND OUT WHAT IT IS AND DOES FIRST!

Here is and example of what I mean.

I usually find dozens of items that do NOT need to be starting at startup and/or login. Things like Adobe Acrobat ‘speed loader’, Adobe Updater, Google Updated, QuickTime, Messenger, Yahoo Toolbar, HP Image Center apps etc.

Another source of system hogging apps at startup are printers. HP (and nearly all software nowadays) is notorious for loading as many as a dozen ‘helper’ applications that you don’t need to run at start up. Things for updates, scanner updates, help desks, online help files and the like. All these items put a strain on system resources.

I find I can often dramatically increase the performance of most peoples machines by stopping all this ‘crapware’ from loading in the first place.

Once you have unchecked or deleted all the crapware from loading at startup restart your machine to make sure all works. If something is amok you can start in SafeMode (hold F8 before Windows starts) and run the app again and recheck or undelete any items as needed. If all is working time for next step.

Next item is clearing out temporary files. I use CCleaner. In fact I run this application EVERYTIME I close any browser, before I log off or shut down!

Here is the line for the application. Download, install, run and choose  ‘Run Cleaner’.

The first time this is run many people are stunned by the size and amount of files it cleans out.

Then it’s time to do a ‘super defrag’ on your system.

I like Defraggler a lot.

Get it here. Since this is an intense defragmenter – it makes files ‘contiguous’ on the disk, it can take a long while the first time it is run. Sometimes all night! But definitely run this.

Please read my other posts on resolving Windows problems too.

I you have a Mac check out this article here.

Well that is all for now have a save fun computing experience.

Resolving Windows Systems Problems

Here is fine article on fixing common PC (Windows) problems. I highly recommend anyone with a Windows PC read this article.

As mentioned in the above article F1 is invaluable!
I have learned more from reading help files (and Internet searches) than through ANY instructor related training I have been through in the over the last 20 years!

You can press F1 within just about any application (not just MS applications) and bring up the Help window.

Also not mentioned, in the article but one that I MUST put in is use Google, Bing or other search engines. Because all the time you may not find the working solution in the help file or Microsoft FixIt Center.

I use Google and Bing to find sites, forums and blogs which give out step by step guides to solve tech problems. “Great” you say, but how do you know what advice to actually follow. A trick is to scan through the comments below the post or the conversations going on in the forums to see what others been saying. When you see the same solution presented over and over it is usually the right one (though not always).

If you go through blogs or forums related to your problem then you will notice how many people have gone through the same problem.

Another important fact when it comes to Google’ing, Bing’ing etc. is to use the appropriate search terms.

1. Use the exact error message or code.

In this way you will be able to find the most appropriate solutions from the search engines. I will always try to copy and paste the exact error message in Google or Bing or in the documentations such as F1 help files or downloaded manuals and walkthroughs.

2. Use the exact error message or code with the software/OS/website/ name and version.

If the error message is generic you have to use the name of the software, application, OS or website with its version details with the error message to see the related discussion and solutions.

3. Description of your problem with software/OS/website/ name and version

If there is no error message or code then you have to use a little description of the problem and all the other details related to the issue. That can be the operating system, software name or version details.

Always it is better to mix up the keywords or add and remove keywords to optimize the search result for your problem.

I have found that patience and persistence are invaluable!!
I often find my solution a page or two after the first page that is brought up on a search or a few links down from the first link and or within the comments of posted solutions.
The reasons for this are many, but mainly because people PAY to be listed first when it comes to certain search terms, especially those for technical solutions. And many of those PAYING to be listed high on search results are not always legitimate – meaning they are probably trying to sell or dupe you into some product or service(s) that will make them money and usually not really help you.

For those that are not experienced with technical solutions please take EXTRA care to NOT to just click on the ‘first or biggest’ link on a solution page, as this is usually just some type of advertisement or way to get you to install more crap on your system that is usually not reputable.

IF you do find a solution that suggests downloading or installing software please make sure that you have UP TO DATE Antivirus AND Anti-Spyware software installed. And for goodness sakes DO NOT install any type of ‘Scan Your PC’ software!!!

Please see my other posts about creating backups too. Before you embark on any system modifications you should have a recent validated backup of your entire system and files! [hence my love of imaging software – read about it in my other posts please]

Please not with computer problems my steps are always to first and foremost RESTART THE MACHINE.

Also you should know that when presented with a problem by friends, clients or family I usually follow all the steps as stated above. When someone emails or calls me with a question that can be easily solved by the above steps I usually shoot them back and email like this one:

“I cannot print files to the network printer….” someone will say so I send them back a link like this:)


Well I hope this helps some of you and you get the idea.