Romney sticks his foot in his mouth often

You have to wonder about US Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney.

If he kept his mouth shut, he probably would have a decent chance of becoming the next President of the US. But he keeps on opening his big mouth.

He said on the 17th: “There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. There are 47 percent who are with him [Obama], who are dependent on government, who believe that, that they are victims, who believe that government has the responsibility to care for them. Who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing.”

Actually, according to CNN statistics, it is about 46.4%. But many of these people aren’t paying taxes because of a lack or low income and they are not all Democrats. While those who are rich enough are using tax loopholes found in the sixteen [!!!] volumes of IRS regulations to try and avoid paying taxes. I’m sure Romney’s accountant used some loopholes for his taxes. Meanwhile with that 47% in his pocket – if the percentage was all for him – would be true, Obama would be guaranteed the presidency.

When the video footage emerged online, Romney held a brief news conference late Monday in which he said his comments were “off the cuff” and “not elegantly stated.” Uh huh.

He also got in hot water by saying that: “One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.”

Finally, a video clips also show Romney joking that he would be more successful in his White House bid if his father were actually Latino, rather than having been born in Mexico to missionary parents from the United States.   “But he [Romney’s dad] was born in Mexico … and, uh, had he been born of, uh, Mexican parents, I’d have a better shot at winning this,” Romney said. “But he was unfortunately born to Americans living in Mexico. … I mean I say that jokingly, but it would be helpful to be Latino.”

Let’s just say this won’t help him getting the Latino vote either.

Although the first one actually occurred a short while ago, the other two are within the past week. He started off recently tied with Obama but now Obama has a 6 point lead – and this is prior to these comments coming out.

Google drops Internet Explorer 8 support in November

In case you haven’t heard, if you are using any Google products [well other than the Google search engine and maybe some exceptions], and are still using Internet Explorer 8 with either Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, you may start to see problems with using Google products [such as Gmail or Google Docs] as of November 15th.

As of that day, Google will not support Internet Explorer 8.

For those using Windows Vista and Windows 7, that is not a major issue as those users can install Internet Explorer 9 [or IE10 soon for Windows 7 only].

For Windows XP, that is a problem – if you use Google products – as there is no Internet Explorer 9 for Windows XP and never will be.

Google, it seems, announced a bit over a year ago [quietly] that they only support the current and the previous browser versions for any browser with their products.

I’m wondering if their rule is valid for their own Chrome browser which is at version 21. If you go by their rule, they only support versions 21 and 20 [which came out earlier this summer!]. But I suspect the rule doesn’t apply to their own web browser.

I am wondering if either the Google developers are getting lazy or just a ploy by Google to get Windows XP users to switch over to the Chrome browser – easily the most vulnerable web browser of the top five web browsers.

[See http://www.gfi.com/blog/research-web-browser-war-security-battle-in-2011/ or http://damienbenazet.com/blog/?p=80 if you don’t believe me on how buggy Chrome is. I prefer a web browser that is secure than one that may set up a page a second faster.]

iPhone 5 thoughts

Well, the iPhone 5 finally was unveiled last week.

So far, according to the reviews [and if you exclude the fanbois and fangurls reviews], most aren’t too impressed with the new release.

Judging from reviews, it is iOS 6 that is getting the better reviews – but that will also be available to the iPhone 4S [and maybe the iPhone 4 – didn’t check].

As for the phone itself, it is thinner, a bit lighter and has a larger screen – not much of a bezel/edge on the left or right. But that could also be an issue as screens close to the edge of any device could have increased chances of problems such as cracks. But according to Apple, the screen used is scratch and crack resistant. Wonder what happens if either happens. Does Apple replace the phone if there is a scratch?

Apple once again boast increased battery timer before a charge. But once again, no one usually believes these statements as manufacturers tweak their devices. I still have my netbook that was rated for 9.5 hours but maybe I can get 7 hours on a charge in normal usage. 9.5 hour is probably doing very little or nothing.

Apple also changed the port on the iPhone 5 to connect to a computer or charge. So you may have to get adapters or completely change your older iPhone accessories. Apple is expected to sell adapters for $30+ but you may want to wait until the clone accessories come out. [I guess Apple decided not to join other smart phone manufacturers who seem to be standardizing with the micro USB port.

Finally, Apple has added 4G/LTE to the phone [would you believe at least a third of all iPhone 4 users thought their iPhone was using 4G capable?]. Problem is that the LTE technology has Samsung as a licenser and you know about the Apple versus Samsung battles. So Apple decided to release the iPhone 5 with some type of compatible LTE chip. Some say that depending on the carrier, there could be some LTE issues. Samsung has already started legal proceedings against Apple regarding LTE.

Apple vs Samsung thoughts

You probably heard now that a judge awarded Apple $1.05 billion in some patent [and other] infringements against Samsung last month.

Here are a few tidbits since the judgement:

  • A really dumb story came out that Samsung will pay Apple the $1.05 billion in nickels. You read right. Nickels. That amounts to 21 billion nickels. Problem is that the US doesn’t have 21 billion nickels. You also need quite as few dump trucks.
  • Apple originally listed 8 devices they want banned related to the infringements. They then increased that list to 17. They recently added 4 more including the very popular Galaxy S III. In fact the S III outsold the iPhone in August – first time another phone outsold an iPhone since the iPhone came out. No wonder why it was added.

What people forget are these facts:

  • The case isn’t settled. Samsung will most likely appeal the decision citing the fine is huge considering the issue.
  • Even when the case is settled, by that time, Apple can go for the ban for the smart phones. They will all be discontinued by then. Hard to enforce a ban if an appeal is in the works.

Not really surprised Apple would go after and try to ban the Galaxy S III, whether or not it was infringed on. It is eating into the iPhone sales and getting rave reviews – in some cases better than the iPhone 4S and possibly the “iPhone 5” when released today.

Miscellaneous Quebec political topics

Go and figure this one out.

Quebec – rich in electricity and probably the cheapest in North America – are buying dual mode locomotives [i.e. electrical and diesel] for the Montreal area local urban train service.

One line, in particular, is all electrical right now. Now they need to spend $40 million to upgrade the tunnel that it uses to make sure it can be safe for the dual mode locomotives.

Is this going backwards? On top of that, to carry diesel on a train is less secure – let alone extra weight that isn’t needed.

While, like most people, I thought it was really bad that someone was killed at Parti Quebecois Montreal headquarters a week ago, new Quebec premier Pauline Marois has decided that her government will pay for as civic funeral for the diseased.

I don’t know about you but the death occurred during her victory speech while she was premier-elect and not premier yet [technically, Jean Charest was premier until he officially collapses the government the day after].

So she is already spending probably more than a hundred thousand dollar when it should be her party who should have spent the money for the funeral.

What’s next? Rename rue Amherst [which is near the Theatre L’Olympia] after the guy? [Ya, another English street renamed. A two for one.]

Computer tip: Old Windows 7 Aero found in Windows 8

Either it is an Easter Egg or something leftover but a disabled Windows 7 theme was left behind. As Windows 8 doesn’t have [at this point] a low-end hardware edition, there is a visual style called Aero Lite which was likely be used but never completely removed. Microsoft stripped support for transparent glass design and decided to mix an old and new [or “Lite”] interface for all Windows users.   The odd part is that the Aero Lite is still part of the Windows binaries and can be found with in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes\aero folder.   To enable the theme:

  • Navigate to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder and create a replica of aero.theme file on your desktop [or somewhere] by copying it.
  • From where you copied it, open aero.theme file in a plain text editor and change the DisplayName to Aero Lite under [Theme] section and the Path to %ResourceDir%\Themes\Aero\Aerolite.msstyles under [VisualStyles] section.   Save the file with a different name, such as aerolite.theme and copy the theme to C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder.
  • Open Personalization by right clicking on then desktop and then clicking on Personalize. Aero Lite theme will be listed under in Installed Themes. Click on it to apply.

Crunch time in Quebec politics

So, it is under 48 hours from the Quebec elections.

Let’s see. You got Jean Charest’s Liberals who made the biggest goof of his political career by calling an election 15 months before he was supposed to do. Corruption? It existed for years – even in the PQ eras – and the PQ did nothing either.

Then you have Pauline Marios’ PQ. Pushing again for separation but recent polls has fewer than 20% wanting a referendum. The PQ continues to say that they can separate and yet be entitled to everything that they like from Canada – such as transfer payments. Pauline. You can’t take the best of things. You are either in or out. Marois started to do an about face now with the student protesters. She’s getting hit for her stance on planning to ban allophones and francophones to English CEGEPs. I’m sure many businesses are against her stance to extend Bill 101 to any businesses with at least 10 employees as well.

You also have former [unsure about that] Francois Legault’s CAQ who can’t figure out if he is a nationalist or a federalist – he says he’s both. That’s like someone from Puerto Rico saying he’s a nationalist when he is in front of fellow nationalists and claiming to be an American to travel in the US. He wants to hold off on any referendum question for ten years to concentrate on the economy. That’s nice. Until he categorically states that he is dropping the referendum question in ten years, he is still a separatist.

The PQ has some separatist competition with the Quebec Solidaire. They have co-leaders. You have one who seems to have done a decent job during the debates but the other one was kept away from the debates because the party knows he is a crackpot.

Latest polls have all three parties stuck between the high twenties and low thirties. “Rules” for polls say that if you can’t get 40%, you can’t get a majority government.

Only Question now will be who will be in a minority government. Liberals & PQ? Unlikely. Liberals and CAQ? Maybe? CAQ and PQ? Probably more likely.