Friday, March 26, 2010

Opera users beware

The new version, Opera 10.51, is called a security and stability upgrade. But it's more like an entirely different program. Menus are relocated, controls are missing; bookmarks are missing! It is not an incremental point upgrade, it's a radical departure. And it's odd that the Norwegians would go in the direction of removing controls and options. Opera, until this release, has always been the most tweakable browser around.

I have been using Opera since version 3 point something, back when you actually had to pay for it. I thought it was worth the price.

I do not like this new version.

The good news: if the automatic update thing automatically updates you, and you find the new version to be undesirable, you can revert to Opera 10.10 by reinstalling that version right over the new one. At least, it worked all right for me to do it that way. My bookmarks are back. I tried to get back to 10.10 using Windows XP's System Restore, but that was a miserable failure. The reinstall worked fine.

This 10.5 (10.51, whatever) upgrade seems to be an inadequately-tested beta release. The Opera forums are clogged with messages from users with problems.

Caveats: I'm on Windows XP, not Vista or Windows 7, and I like to be able to find menu items where I am used to finding them. Firefox point releases are good about this. This new Opera release, not so good.

Update: from the Opera forums, I glean that the way to stop the automatic updates is Tools > Preferences > Advanced tab > Security, where at the bottom of the window is a field called Auto-update, with a dropdown. Select "Do not check for updates" to avoid having to hit the "Cancel" button on the installer as soon as Opera starts up.

I think I'll stick with 10.10 for a while. One of the things missing in the new release is "Duplicate tab." Very useful, and not the same thing as copying the address and pasting it into a new tab. "Duplicate tab" preserves the tab's history. When a search gets to have many branches, some of which you might want to come back to, this is just the thing. Why lose it?

A funny thing happened ...

… at Making Light. Open thread 137 is 90% good humor, only about 5% politics. Good fun, for a while, over there.

I must correct one of the jokes: Skwid at comment #47 tells this one:

An Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walk into a bar. Each orders a Guinness, and as they're served, a fly lands in each pint.

The Englishman sniffs at the affrontery of the fly and pushes his beer away in disgust.

The Scotsman blinks for a moment, shrugs, and tosses the pint back.

The Irishman turns bright red, fishes the fly out of the beer, and holds it over his glass shouting at it: "SPIT IT OUT, YE WEE BUGGER! SPIT IT OUT!"
He or she has got the Irishman and the Scot mixed up, there. See, Scots are legendarily thrifty. (Says this third generation Scots-American. Dinna ca' us "mean" or "cheap." We prefer "canny.") So the Scot in the joke, who should have been the one delivering the punchline, would be objecting to the loss of the amount of beer that a fly could swallow, because of the ethnic stereotype. That's what makes it funny.

Speaking of thrift:

And speaking of jokes, I'm still working on this one, which came to me in a moment of perinspiration:
"How do you change a seal into a sea lion?"

"Remove one of its electrons!"
I think it's funny, but that's just me. Can this possibly work anywhere but in a chemistry classroom?

Update: In the Making Light thread that gave rise to this post, Erik Nelson links to a nifty collection of surrealist jokes.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Acorn is back

Back in the black. Here is proof that the Obama administration can do more than one thing at a time. In the midst of the Obamacare battle, they have re-funded Acorn.

In a March 16 memo Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Peter Orszag quietly ordered federal agencies to resume funding the group whose employees were caught on hidden camera videos last year condoning a variety of crimes including child prostitution and tax evasion.
Ya gotta have goons … lots and lots and lots of goons. (To the tune of "You've Gotta Have Heart," of course.)

Update: re-organizing and changing names. Much more about ACORN (or whatever its names are now) from Anita MonCrief. Both of those links come from a comment by freedom4me at this over-optimistic article: ACORN Folds! Will Cease All Operations Within Months.

Stupak did what he said he would do

That is, make a show of resistance, talk about principles, then abandon resistance and principles. Or as LauraW puts it at Ace of Spades HQ, "Stupak Did Not Cave, Because In Order To Cave You Have To Have Principles In The First Place." There's video from a town hall. He told the people that he would do it, and he did it. Too bad this video did not surface sooner.

Friday, March 19, 2010

"Locations of Ancient Woolworths Stores follow Precise Geometrical Pattern"

Ley lines, ancient geometry, etc.

I should have a "bad science" tag. But I would have to go back and add it to all the warming posts. So, not right now.

"The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation."

Neo-Neocon quotes Lenin. Read these, and see if you don't think they match the Obama agenda.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rich people, big houses, no smiles

Unhappy hipsters.

And their somewhat happier pets.

Related: Look at this hipster.

Irish whiskey resources

A few:

Sláinte: The Irish Whiskey Blog

Irish Whiskey Notes

The Irish Whiskey Society. Not much on that home page, but some discussion in the forums. Those of us who do not get to Ireland regularly can only dream of tasting the essences discussed there.

What Does John Know?
I hope he does not know anything about me. He knows plenty about whiskey.

St Patrick's Day approaches, and my thoughts turn to booze and stepdancing.

Porpoise bubbles, hippo, zebra

Althouse has had the critter posts, lately.

How to create and play with a bubble ring under water. Porpoises, what can't they do? Build a fire, for one thing. But this is amazing.

And another of those Althouse posts in which she tests the possibilities of concision, I'll quote the whole thing:

How does a hippopotamus get its teeth cleaned? Zebra.
That last sounds like a "No soap, radio" joke.

Stepdancing into the future

This reminds me of Star Trek. We've crashed the Enterprise on some planet or other, and the saucer is broken open to the sky; what shall we do? Dance!

The band is Tuk Tuk Skip. (Google's English version.)

Here's one that's more on the mellow side:

If this is the future, let's go.

Newspeak lexicon

At The Peoples' Cube: Neologisms (For inclusion into 2100 Biden-Webster Dictionary).

A taste:

  • Condecession: set-asides or subsidies to groups one feels sorry for.
  • Defaulty setting: Something incorrect that's widely believed because it was the first explanation proposed rather than because there was any actual evidence or proof.
  • Dimprovement: A bad, dimwitted improvement that isn't better, often worse. (Can you say New Coke, Vista operating system or nationalized health care?)
  • Feelosophy: positions and policies adopted because they make you feel good or virtuous rather than on any reasoned basis or because they could possibly work.
  • Iconoklatch: group of nonconformists who uniformly conform to an "alternative" set of standards.
  • Infopinion: The intermingling of news and opinion so that it's hard to tell which is what. Often called analysis.
  • Literateur: Someone who talks about and refers to books they've never actually read. Think Wealth of Nations or Das Kapital.
  • Malapropitization: Needlessly adding prefixes and suffixes to words to make yourself sound erudite, more scholarlisticalful.
  • Nincomproof: A line of thinking both logical yet so unreasonable only an idiot or an intellectual would buy it.
  • Oprahtunity: The chance to cash in on fame in one area in another area you really have no qualification for. (Al Gore for instance.)
  • Psychophant: A lunatic follower of a lunatic leader. (See Marxist-Leninist)
There are more.

This is not the Faceb00k l0g1n page

Or, More fun with Facebook.

It seems that some Facebookers use search engines to get to Facebook, instead of typing the address in the address bar of their browsers, or using a bookmark. Well, that led to this (1989 comments at last count), which is more fully explained and commented on by Dan Grover, as part of his effort to develop a grand unified theory of n00bs. (The Dan Grover links come and go. If the one above does not work, you might try this one. Or Google's cached version.)

Via The Message Digest.


And then we have Failbook and Failbooking. This stuff is public, and will be preserved. And laughed at.

Related: My Hope.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Crocus are not up yet, but here are the snowdrops, in B's backyard in central Connecticut. I planted these two years ago. Last year there was no sign of them at all. This year, today, here they are.