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The Robot Invasion is NOW!

02 May

I think it goes without saying that having Arnold call you and trying to sell you a seven day vacation package for FREE would be entertaining but still difficult to understand exactly what he was saying.  Well the next call you receive may be from a different model terminator, a robocaller!  I’ve been doing something that I haven’t done in years, answering calls from numbers I don’t recognize.  I have been greeted by the most happy well spoken, dare I say well acted people.  One person even had a very pronounced Southern accent.

They don’t give you much of a chance to talk, when they do I always ask the same thing.  “May I talk to a LIVE person?”

The lady actually chuckled and said I am a real person, when I inquired further I was abruptly disconnected.  Just today I received a call on my cell phone from 800-654-8429.  Again during my first oportunity to speak I asked for live person.  They responded that they were a real person.  I then asked, “What is 4 times 4?”  Click!  Seriously?  Math is what computers are best at!

Sitting in your office you may think that you’re an extra in a World War II movie when you over hear a phone conversation.  You co-worker asking the person on the phone, “Who won the world series?”   Yes the first wave of robots don’t come  with guns or even a napkin draped over their mechanical arm, but as a human wanna be on the phone.

I worked for a couple of years at a call center, where a hundred, or so people found part time work calling people on the phone.  Trying to talk them into taking a survey.  Hell they even offered them money to do it.  They weren’t making anywhere close to $15 an hour.  Now robots are taking over those jobs.

So the next time you get a call from a weird number, answer it and play the game… Is it a human or a robot?  Seriously ask the person (or robot) a question a human would easily be able to answer and see what happens.  Report back here!

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Garage Door Torsion Spring Replacement

30 Apr

About ten years ago our NEW, no really new, not new to us, house garage door just stopped working.  To my shock, and dismay, I couldn’t open the door!  My parents house didn’t have a garage door, it was open front and back.  With no experience I was very surprised that the two modest looking springs at the center of the garage opening just above the garage door did a lot of work.

I didn’t know who to call, so I looked on the Internet.  I’m sure I put “Katy, TX” in the search.

I found someone, called them.  A very tall, great for garage door spring work, man showed up and for $120 he could fix my door.

I watch him carefully and was surprised at how quickly and easily it was to fix this issue.

Fast forward to present day and I found this about a week ago…

I was relieved to find that the garage door opener was still able to open and close the two car garage door, otherwise I wouldn’t have had the option to wait for a pair of replacement springs.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The very friendly gentleman that had fixed my broken spring(s) before had cleverly left his business card stapled to my wall just above the garaged door opener switch!

 I gave him a call!  I told him I had a broken torsion spring.  He asked a couple of questions, again very friendly, and told me that they were selling a replacement spring that had many more cycles (door opening and closing count) that the standard springs.  The {nn,nnnn) cycle spring replacement would be $250 and and even better spring set would be $350.  Holy hell!  I figured it would be more expensive, maybe $160 now, well that’s what I was hoping for.

I thanked this very nice man for the information and hung up the phone.  I headed over to youtube to see what information I could find about replacing these springs myself.  Wow!  There is a lot of information out there, and apparently quite a bit of YOU CAN DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH REPLACING YOUR OWN GARAGE DOOR SPRINGS!

I watched this video with excellent information and bad audio…

After seeing this I jumped over to Amazon.

Yep!  $55 plus $4.68 shipping.

I needed to figure out what size springs I needed so I watched this video…

Springs came in this past Thursday.  Garage door was still going up and down so I got around to replacing them tonight.  I’m sure it took me less than an hour and keep in mind it was my first time.

 

The only surprise was someone had tightened the bolts down on the torsion springs so tight that it dented the pipe and deformed it.  Making it impossible to remove the old springs.  A mini sledge and less than a couple of minutes whacking the pipe got it back in shape to slide the springs off.

I spend an extra $11 for quick shipping.  These springs were not available for Prime, so I spent a total of $71.  I used a step stool, a cresent wrench (the bolts they use have 4 sides and I couldn’t find a hex socket to fit them all).  So this job would even be quicker with the right socket.  Oh!  The springs came with the winding rods!

I can’t express how simple this is.  The only danger I can think of is the spring breaking while your tightening it or loosing it, and if that happened the spring would stay on the rod.  Still I think it’s a good idea to wear eye protection while doing this job.

$250 minus $71 = $179.  Keep in mind these are your standard five to seven year springs, not those uber fancy springs the door doctor was going to sell me, but for $179 I can replace the springs 3.25 times!  That would be a conservative 15 years, and perhaps 21 years!

I did not feel I was in danger at ANY time.  Just be sure and follow the steps from the video I have embedded here in their proper order.  Winding the springs got a little tough as I was getting to 31 quarter turns.  Oh and it was hot in the garage with the door closed. 😛





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Wireless Security System?

04 Apr

Wireless security systems have to be the dumbest idea I’ve ever seen.  Companies are playing off your ignorance to make maximum profit for the least amount of effort.  Why do I say this?  Well lets look at a few things.  If you have a “wired” system installed the devices are usually cheaper, motion detector, camera, glass breakage detectors, etc… however running the wires is highly labor intensive.  Even in new construction where they pre-wire your house if you ask the installer for something the pre-wired home isn’t set up for they’ll try to talk you into doing it another way, or just flat refuse.

Don’t even get me started on the monitoring services.  You’re better off having the alarm system call your cell phones.

The biggest issue with a wireless system is vulnerability.  Radio waves go everywhere, and radio receivers listen to anyone transmitting a signal not just the people that are supposed to be transmitting to it.

I recently heard about a vulnerability with the Nest drop cams.  They leave the bluetooth receive on all the time, even after setup.  This makes it possible to cause an overflow situation to occur and the drop cam to reboot.  The camera takes about a minute and a half to start sending video again.  Bluetooth range is about 40 feet, and longer if you use a directional antenna.  You can even change the configuration of the camera so that once it’s off line it will no longer connect to your wifi router basically eliminating the threat of being recorded while breaking into your home.

Now the fine folks and Nest will probably address this issue, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more issues that either we don’t know about yet, or will be found in the future.  This means my rule of thumb is WIRED not WIRELESS!  Keep in mind that when a company sells you a wireless system they really don’t need installation personnel, they just need to ship you a box and be available online, or by phone to help you self install.  If they do have someone install your system, it can be done quickly and with minimally trained people.

This sounds great until you consider how easy it is to defeat these systems.  One thing the companies say in their ads is you don’t have to worry about your phone line being cut.  This is true, but some systems can detect that and trigger an visual and audible alarm.  If someone blocks your wifi signal what is your security system going to do?  Frankly a thief could work with someone half way around the world to disable your home network, send them a text message that it was all clear and then they could enter your home or business.

Maybe you use “the cloud” to send all your video to.  Well when your network goes down that’s not going to work very well will it?

Wired systems, DVR for under $200 located inside your home/business means you have control over your data.  You could even get creative and send the video to a 2nd, hidden recorder in case the thief destroys or steals the DVR.

Of course ANY system can be defeated.  Anything can be stolen, what you are doing is just putting a barrier in the way and hopefully they will go somewhere else where the pickens are easier.  There is much information that you can obtain about a wireless system, where a wired system you have to physically have access to before you can come up with a plan to defeat it.

Two things that I hear, or see, that make me shutter are wireless security systems and anything with “the cloud” in it.

The cloud is your stuff on someone else’s computer, how secure does that sound?





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Liberals Bringing Electronic Voting Near You?

27 Feb

Even after calls for Russian involvement in the hacking and changing the results of the last presidential election I predict that we will see a push from liberal democrats to move to electronic voting.

If you’re a liberal prepare to be insulted. 😉

Generally speaking liberals believe they are smarter than you, well unless you’re a liberal.  You know you’re smart enough to be a liberal so obviously you have something going on in the grey matter, right?

Liberals are like an advance alien race that need to keep things going in the right direction so the indigent lower life forms can live, and not just live but in the proper way.

Liberals have had a great shock to their obvious superiority largely due to the dumb people of America not listening to them.  This has the be resolved!  The non liberals cannot be allowed to hurt themselves.  Liberals can’t remove the right to vote because of that pesky “living document” the constitution so the next best thing is to make every non-liberal a felon!  Felons can’t vote!  And liberals are very much like jailers deciding what non-liberals can do what they eat, etc…

No wait, that won’t work.  Ahhhhh liberals need the ability to tweak the votes that are cast, this is where electronic voting enters the picture.  Even though these superior beings are, well superior, they still can be prosecuted and put in prison!  With electronic voting there is always a possibility that some hacker, Russian, North Korean, pretty any country that isn’t majority Muslim, could have hacked the vote!

Plausible deniability!

Yes I am being sarcastic, but I can see a bit of possibility in this happening.  Be very worried when any group of people think they know better than you.  Oh well I guess if they think it, it’s fine, it is when they actively try to usurp your ability to live your life, legally, in the way you wish when it’s a red flag.

I find it interesting that some liberals hate Church people, hate intolerance and H8 bullying, yet they think you should live a certain way (Church lady like), will verbally and even physically attack you if you don’t agree with them, and well that applies to the bullying as well.

This anti-bullying sounds great, and seems logical and like common sense, except when people that would normally fear a punch in the nose now don’t yet lack to show the basic respect for another’s thoughts and opinions.  I don’t like the idea of physical violent, I’m just saying when you think you could get punched you tend to behave better.  You know they way your Mommy and Daddy taught you with punishment when you misbehaved?

Unlike liberals (lol no not all liberals) I do like hearing other opinions.  It’s a chance for me to learn something new!  If you have an opinion on this please type it in the comments!





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Liberals Waterboarding of America

19 Jan

For the past 8 years, and likely 9 to 10 years, liberals have been waterboarding America.  Waterboarding by way of calling names, shaming and even physically attacking people that didn’t think and speak like them.

As you may have heard torture is an unsuccessful way to obtain useful information.  I’ll extent that to it’s an unsuccessful way to win people over to your way of thinking.

So many people do not like confrontation.  They’d much rather not speak or if they must speak say as little as possible so they won’t be attacked.

Also some people will be upset enough to remember how they felt, and go against you at their first opportunity.

Voting for NON-liberals is one way to pay liberals back for their bullying.  Yes bullying!

I would recommend to the people of “inclusion” that you let people speak their minds and have a logically, respectful conversation as to why what you believe in is the right direction to go.

Donald Trump’s win is the fault of poorly behaving, disrespectful, hating liberals everywhere.  It’s even Hillary’s fault, with labeling people “deplorables”.

It’s never too late to grow up.  Apologize and try keeping that pie hold closed.  Try listening.  It doesn’t matter how RIGHT you are as everyone’s vote counts the same.  When people are in the voting booth they can be who they are and not who you have bullied them to be.





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