Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Michelin's new see through tyres.

It seems so obvious, doesn't it? The pneumatic tyre was invented to give a cushioned ride, a huge and necessary improvement over iron-hooped wheels, or solid rubber. And yet you wonder why Michelin's 'new' idea wasn't the first that occurred, the spoked technology reminiscent of the cartwheel itself.


These aireless tyres are apparently scheduled to be out on the market some time in April.
The bad news for law enforcement is that spike strips will not work on them. But think of the impact on existing technology:
* no more air valves...
* no more air compressors at gas stations...
* no more repair kits...
* no more flats...

The visual effect is really quite strange.

The pictures were taken Michelin's South Carolina plant.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Things Once Common, Now Extinct, No. 9: Whistling.

Men don't whistle any more. I'm not sure why, but I expect I'll find something to say on the subject. In the meantime, and for tonight, here's a clip of an old guy whistling. Paul McCartney. Not bad at all.

So. Whistling. It seems to have almost died out. At one time men whistled as they walked to work, whistled while they worked, and then whistled themselves all the way home again. But now they don’t. Has it become uncool, I wonder, to whistle in public, or has the art simply vanished?

It’s not easy to whistle well. As with any form of music-making it takes a lot of skill and practice. Not everyone has the ear, or the tone, or the range required. You have to be able to hear the note in your head and simultaneously reproduce it, hitting it in the middle at the very instant of its creation. The more you think about it the more impossible it seems.

My dad was a pretty good whistler, and would usually treat his family to selected works of Schubert and Chopin before breakfast. Bit of Bach and Grieg, maybe, as he fried the tomatoes. He was conscious of his performance, the need to give it proper attention, and never indulged in aimless half-tunes and phrases, or under the breath ‘vistling’. If he started on Finlandia, then you got Finlandia. Including the middle eight.

And it was always classical. He hated pop music with a passion, and would stand in the middle of the room yelling at Ready Steady Go in the same way as I now yell at The X Factor. He did mellow a little in later years. I remember once catching him at the sink singing ‘Hey-hey we’re the Monkees’, and was never more astonished in my life.

But there’s whistling and there’s whistling. Possibly the best of all time was Ronnie Ronalde. I say ‘was’, when in fact I believe he might still be alive and performing. Here’s the king with ‘In A Monastery Garden’. It’s insane.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Wake 'n' Bacon

Nicked this from my daughter's Facebook page. Fun, but it could be the last you'll see of your vegetarian girlfriend.

Friday, February 11, 2011

How to get rid of 'Smart Internet Protection 2011'.

Here’s another very nasty piece of software. If the above image appears on your screen, you’re in trouble. ‘Smart Internet Protection 2011’ purports to be an anti-spyware tool, warning you that your computer is infected, and urging you to run a scan. But, like Security Tool, SIP is the very virus that you need protecting from. If you touch it, even by trying to delete it, your computer will be clogged within minutes.

Once again, the programme looks entirely convincing – high quality graphics that make clever use of a ‘shield’ logo similar to that of Norton and Windows Security Centre.

Automatic removal of SIP is possible - with the right software. AVG and Norton seem ineffective, but if you have the excellent  Malwarebytes Anti-Malware tool already installed on your computer then you’re in with a chance. The free version works fine. However you do need to have the very latest updates – so get them now. The old one won’t hack it.

I found that a full scan with the updated Malwarebytes got rid of Smart Internet Protection 2011. My computer, however, was damaged. I couldn’t sign in to my Google account, so no email, and everything had slowed down to about a quarter speed. In the end, having got rid of the spyware, I used System Restore to take me back to an earlier date, and now it all seems OK.

If for some reason you can't install Malwarebytes, and there's no choice but to remove SIP manually then go HERE for the currently prescribed method. I gather that you can also call Microsoft support @ 866-727-2338, and they can help you over the phone. Either way, this will take you some time.

I would happily chop off the fingers of the designers of Smart Internet Protection 2011. Then I would deep-fry them in batter and sell them as tapas. Maybe in Glasgow.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Wine Bank, Marsden, Thurs. 3rd Feb.

The quotation marks give the impression that there's a Steve Augarde tribute act playing at the Wine Bank this Thursday. Think I might go along and take a look at him. And as for whether he's easy to listen to...well, I'll be the judge of that.