Get 20GB of Amazon Storage on the cheap

Right now Amazon is offering a killer promotion to up the adoption rate of their Cloud Player. If you buy a single MP3 album from Amazon between now and the end of the year you automatically get upgraded to the 20GB storage plan.

The has written a great article about how to get 20GB of storage for only $.89 for a year. You should read that article in detail here.

Basically if you purchase ANY album you can get this deal! Read the article above for how they did it. There are a number of ‘Albums’ for only 89 cents.

I, of course, chose to buy an album by my nephew’s band “World in Dreams”. Once purchased I simply chose to save it to the Amazon Cloud Player and was instantly upgraded to 20GB of storage!

Check out the article at the HowToGeek above for some more details. Below are some captures of my experience. Dead simple and quick! Simply logged into my regular Amazon account searched for music, used ‘one-click purchase’ and the album was added to ‘Cloud Player and storage jumped to 20GB.


So looking at my storage now, it is 20GB!!


When I come across these fantastic services I enjoy passing them on. I hope some will find it useful.

Updating to Firefox 4

I’ve written previously of my heavy reliance on Firefox and the many add-ons I use to make my time more productive and enjoyable while using the Internet.

Read here.

Now Mozilla has release the final version of Firefox 4.

Firefox 4 provides a MUCH faster and integrated browsing experience than version 3.x. The speed improvement will be noticed more on systems that allow for ‘hardware acceleration’ (more on that later) but it is still much faster on older systems.

Here is how I went about doing the upgrade.

1st download and install the latest version of Mozbackup here:

Download location here

Information page here

This application is wonderful. It completely backs up your profile; bookmarks, settings and extensions.

Run Mozbackup and back up your profile(s) completely.

Download/install Add-on Compatibility Reporter. This requires a few Firefox restarts to be properly loaded.

This add-on will let extensions that are not explicitly ‘approved’ for version 4 to run.

And it will provide a nice interface to report those that don’t work correctly to Mozilla and/or the developer.

[If you use LogMeIn (and you should, if you need remote access to machines – Mac or PC!) here is the process to get the older add-on working in version 4:

Download by right-clicking and choosing to ‘save link as’ to your desktop or wherever this file: and then open the file with a zip extractor:  (this is zip-file, you can use Winzip, 7-Zip or Winrar. I use 7zip,)

extract the file:


modify it the part ‘3.6 – to read 4.6 here: <em:maxVersion>4.6.*</em:maxVersion>

Then save the file and ‘put it back into the xpi (zip file) overwriting the original.

In the xpi file (opened via 7zip or whatever) delete zigbert.rsa in /META-INF folder

Save all back to single xpi file.

Open Firefox then go to the menu bar on top and choose ‘File>Open File’ and select the xpi file and install it.]

OK so let’s get to it!

Download Firefox 4 here and install/upgrade.

I had very few issues with the upgrade on all my machines. So I’ll address them here.

Once installed there are a few things that may need adjusting. I had to do this on some machines and not others.

If your ‘Menu’ bar disappears it can be brought back very simply. Just right-click on free space in one of the toolbars and the selection of ‘Menu Bar’ switches back to the old layout. I also check the ‘Navigation Toolbar’, the ‘Add-on Bar’, and the ‘Bookmarks Toolbar’.


By choosing ‘Customize’ you can select more items to add to the toolbar and place them where you like.

If you have ‘blurry fonts’ you may have an issue with ‘hardware acceleration’.

Simply go to the Options section from the ‘Tools’ context menu. Then in the Advance then General tab you can ‘uncheck’ the ‘Use hardware acceleration when available’.


Tabs on top? The new version puts them there. I don’t like that, you may. Firefox displays tabs on top by default which is a big change for Firefox 3 users. The customize menu has an option to move tabs back down. The entry Tabs on top needs to be unselected to move them below the address bar again.

On my OS X Machines there was one peculiar thing during the installation. Once the dmg was downloaded and mounted I could not copy the install to the applications directory until I trashed the existing Firefox application. Once installed, most of the above still apply.

On Linux (at least on my Ubuntu installs) Firefox 4 is real fast too!

UPDATE: has some great tips on ‘fixing’ some of the quirks with Firefox 4

Well I hope this help some.

Brainwashing Alive and Well today

Brainwashing is still very alive in well today. Please folks take the time and read this!

This post will deal with the latest thing to be put back on my WTF people, wake up? list. I would even move this in front of scientology in it’s insidiousness!

Do not mistake being open minded with being gullible and putting aside reason, logic and facts!
I keep getting approached by those involved in this, and it’s scary that there are so many people who would blindly walk into this with out any research or caution. I hope this helps get the message out.

And for those that are already ‘converts’ to this shtuff you can just ignore or deride and dismiss the truth of this information. But it does not change the actual facts.
You can also hate me or try and disparage me personally; and I’m sure some will. But again you cannot argue the facts.
I am always amazed how when people are confronted with facts that are in contradiction to their rationalizations or beliefs that they immediately get emotionally sensitive and attack the persons or institutions that call into question their beliefs, instead of actually logically looking at their position. It is surprising how adults act like children in this regard.
Oh well, hope some of you enjoy the read and pass it on to anyone you know whom this may help

I grew up in the 70’s in la la land and remember this horseshit first hand. It is sad that even with the stunning amount of historical FACTUAL information available via the internet that so many people are ‘duped’ by NOT learning history. It seams we have not taught our offspring the ability to think critically and do research scientifically – history, context, facts, check facts, etc.

Check out this from the

Old EST bigger than ever in ‘Landmark Forum & Education’.

Whatever happened to that old feel good extended weekend seminar known as "est," which developed a "cult following" that included celebrities like Valerie Harper and John Denver?

Well it got bigger and better, at least from a business perspective.

Est is now called "Landmark Education," and according to a press release on Yahoo, the private for-profit company now has "60 major offices in 21 countries," affecting "100 cities" with " 750 professionally trained course leaders worldwide."

The PR spin gushes about Landmark’s recent deal with Sprint "to improve its communications infrastructure."

The company’s "flagship" program is called the Forum, which can be seen as mass marathon training.

Landmark has a rocky history that includes serious complaints about abuses, subsequent lawsuits and more than a little bad press.

Its founder Werner Erhard (a.k.a. Jack Rosenberg) also went through some rough times. His bad patch included allegations of incest, spousal abuse and income tax problems.

Erhard eventually sold the company and licensed its "technology." The specific details of that sale were never disclosed

But never mind all is well now.

Landmark is clearly pulling in more money than ever.

And Erhard? He resolved his personal problems and ended up a rich man relaxing on the beaches of the Cayman Islands. He lives in Georgetown with his girlfriend Hanukkah.

Landmark still generates lawsuits, complaints and bad press, but they seem to settle such matters quietly and weather whatever controversy arises comfortably.

And here is even more from 60 Minutes via BoingBoing

And more on the 60 Minutes investigation and the U.S. Labor department investigations are here.

I just had to publish this after being approached twice in the past month by people gushing about how I should get involved and just ‘come to a seminar’ and check it out. I hope some will take a look at this before they throw their money and mind into the trash.

As a side note; if you every want to check out the ‘other side’ of any issue when doing searches on the internet – and you should to avoid the massive amount of lies and misinformation out there.

Simply put in your search terms into to Google or Bing and add the word(s) ‘scam’, ‘cult’, ‘ripoff’, ‘hoax’, ‘lies’, or the like and you will be presented with loads of information you can and SHOULD wade through before believing anything you read. In the ‘old days’ this would require many trips to the library, bookstores, and news stands!! Things I used to love to do. Now it can be done in minutes with even greater effectiveness. Yeay technology!!

Please take some time and check out these videos on Landmark forum by people with firsthand experiences.

A comparison of Landmark Forum and an experience in EST.

Landmark Education and the C word

Comedian’s take:

So take this for what its worth. Try and tear me down but you can’t dispute the truth.

Peace out.

SMS from GMail

I’ve written many times about how awesome a tool Google Apps Gmail is. Check out these links.




Four and I’m sure there are more just look.

And I’ve also written about how to send and SMS text to a phone via email.
But that does require you know the service provider of your recipient.

BUT you can also send SMS messages directly to any telephone number from Gmail/Google Chat. A super useful tool if you are in front of a computer and the party you need to contact is not.
To do so from Gmail:

  1. Enter your contact’s name in the ‘Search or invite friends’ box in Chat, and select Send SMS from the box of options that appears to the right of your contact’s name. Or, if you already have a Chat window open for this contact, just click Options, and select Send SMS.
  2. In the dialog box, enter a phone number in the ‘Send SMS messages to this number’ field. For now, this feature works only on United States phone numbers. If you’re outside the US, you can still use it, but you won’t see the SMS option in Chat until you enable it manually in the Chat settings page. 
  3. Click Save.
  4. A Chat window appears. Just type your message as you would normally. When you hit Enter, the message will be sent to the phone number you entered.

If your contact replies, the text message response will appear as a reply in Chat. These conversations are stored in your Chat history just like regular chats (but keep in mind that you can’t go off the record while communicating via SMS).

Note regarding mobile phone subscribers in North America: depending on which mobile plans your contacts in North America have, they may be charged by their mobile providers for receiving text messages.
Read about more about it here:

Note that as you ‘use’ SMS quota you can increase the number you are allowed to send very easily.
A quota is an allocation of SMS (text messages) that you’re able to send to a mobile phone:

  • Initially, you’re granted a quota of fifty messages.
  • Every time you send a message, your quota decreases by one.
  • Every time you receive an SMS message in Chat (for example when a phone user replies to one of your messages) your quota increases by five, up to a maximum of 50.

If your quota goes down to zero at any point, it will increase back up to one 24 hours later. So, you won’t ever be locked out of the system

SMS in Chat Commands:
Here are some commands that might come in handy for you down the road when using SMS with Chat:

  • HELP: Text this command to any Gmail SMS number and you’ll get a response reminding you of some of the basics of SMS and a refresher of some of the other useful commands
  • STOP: This command will block all SMS messages from Gmail
  • START: Re-enables you to receive SMS messages from Gmail if you’re currently blocking them
  • BLOCK: Send to the code number for a particular contact to block messages from that specific person
  • UNBLOCK: Allows a blocked contact to send you SMS messages in the future

The folly of poorly drawn conclusions.

It’s conclusive: owning a passport will prevent you from becoming diabetic.


(Top: Andrew Sullivan’s Map of the Day. Bottom: Diabetes Belt stretches across Deep South and Appalachia)


This is a sample of how are daily headlines are created. Off the wall conclusions that are completely incorrect and false.

It is also amazing to me that most people believe shit like this because it keeps getting repeated over and over by the idiot talking heads in the mainstream press!

Mac OS X Trojan catches Sophos’ eye

Two very recent article point out what most security people know and the rest should knowNO technology, especially computers connected to any network, are completely secure!

An article here points this out:

"It appears there is a new backdoor Trojan in town and it targets users of Mac OS X. As even the malware itself admits, it is not yet finished, but it could be indicative of more underground programmers taking note of Apple’s increasing market share."

And from another one here:

"More than half of Americans believe that PCs are "very" or "extremely" vulnerable to cybercrime attacks, while only 20 percent say the same about Macs, according to this ESET survey.
(Credit: ESET)"

ESET released the results of a survey in November related to awareness of cybercrime in the U.S. The survey of more than 1,000 people found that while both PC and Mac users perceive the Mac as being safer, Mac users are victims of cybercrime just as frequently as PC users.

Meanwhile, Mac users are just as vulnerable to Web-based attacks like phishing as PC users are, and Mac users who fall prey to phishing tend to lose more money on average than PC users do, the survey found. "Viruses are a diminishing percentage of what we’re seeing," said Randy Adams, director of technical education at ESET. "A lot of attacks have to do with social engineering and that kind of attack is platform agnostic."

Please folks, practice safe computing practices. I’ve written extensively on that so I won’t go into that here, just search my blog(s) for security items.

For those of you that are interested in an antivirus product for Mac Eset makes a fantastic one. You can check it out here.

By the way Eset’s products are top notch! If I were to buy a security solution it would be theirs.

Keep safe folks.