Mac 10.7 slow? Uninstall TechToolPro!

Long story short, my Mac Book Pro was slowing down more and more. Disk repair wasn’t helping, removing everything from the startup items wasn’t doing it, and repairing the keychain(s) and trashing application preferences did exactly diddly/squat.

I was about to do the old nuke-and-pave when I found a blog titled tech-recipes with an article titled “TechTool Pro Brings OS X Lion to a Crawl”. I remembered I bought and installed TechTool on my mac as part of a drive recovery project I had about month ago.

I followed Tech-recipes’ directions on how to remove TechTool from my mac and restarted.

Did you hear an enormous yell of delight from somewhere in the southern United States today? Yeah. That would have been me.

My MacBook Pro is amazingly fast now. Windows fling open, startup finishes in seconds after I login, and most every application is back to snapping open. Did I mention there were some speed improvements? Speed like Ford Model-T with three flat tires to ion-rocket-low-orbit-around-Jupiter-for-lunch speed?

I’ve got to give an enormous thanks to Tech-Recipes and their TechTool Pro Brings OS X Lion to a Crawl post. If you have Tech Tool pro on your Mac, try following the directions in that post and see if removing it helps your Mac.

News stories the mainstream media missed : 10/29/11**

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* This just in! Eating too much junk food is effective birth control! And before you say “ah-deerrr!!” hear me out! It’s not just the look of eating too much junk food that makes for effective birth control! Scientific science-stuff has found out that eating too much junk food also monkeys with the sperm count of men! Dun dun dunnnn!!!! Details at [TIME]

* Oui! De fhrrrrranch see-tah-zens has dun eet now! Zhey hav bunned KETCHUP! Sacre blu! Zee nherve! Apparently the idiots in the French government want the French childrens to avoid these evil-bastard “western” diets and go back to having RAW GARLIC as a condiment instead of ketchup. Raw garlic as a condiment? No wonder the French are always so steenky! The dish at [DELISH]

* Allow me to summarize my feelings about black licorice with this brief haiku…ICK! YUCK! PTOOEY! / I WOULD RATHER EAT MY SHOE / THAN THIS FOUL HOOEY. Fortunately, I now have another justification for hating this foul funk from another dimension… eating too much licorice will actually kill you! Totally not kidding! “Eating 2 ounces of black licorice a day for at least two weeks may lead to arrhythmia, or irregular heart rhythm, which could land you in the emergency room.” Nice to see this was released right before Halloween, too! Details at [TIME]

* Here’s a question most people think they know the answer to, but then when we think about it, we really don’t. Why do we cry? Leaking water from our eyes? Emotional extremes can universally cause liquid discharge in humans? Seriously? What biological process had to evolve to make that the pinnacle of communicating pain, rage, hunger, and/or emotional distress? It’s kinda bonkers if you think about it too much. Discussion ensues at [NPR]

* OK, we’re leaving the war in Iraq! Wait, no we’re not! OK, now we’re only staying on days that end in Y! The bi-polar “is we or isn’t we” war details at [ESQUIRE]

* Do you like your seafood glowing or non-glowing? Get ready, because this is going to be the new and improved difference in all those delicious little finny friends from the Pacific or Atlantic! Zee French nuclear monitor said there was a LOT of caesium 137 that leaked into the Pacific from the Fukushima disaster. A lot, a lot. Apparently it “was the greatest single nuclear contamination of the sea ever seen.” So, yeah, that would be bad. But, hey! Maybe we can get five lobster claws from one animal where before this “disaster” we could only get two! Huh! How about that science?! Red Lobster just needs to change their name to Green Lobster and we’re good! Details at [PHYSORG]

* 60 days! Two months! 1,440 hours! That’s how long movie exes want to make rental stores wait *after* a movie hits the retail shelves! Apparently some geniuses in hollywood think if a movie is only on store shelves and *not* for rent at Redbox or Lackluster (typo, but I like it), or Netflix, there are nooooo other options for us consumers to watch a movie. So, naturally, since there are nooooo other options for us consumers, we will buy the movie at the full $50-and-up retail prices since they’re only available at retail stores! Everybody keep quiet! Nobody mention this newfangled “internet” thing to the ancient ones, OK? News of the latest belly-flop from hollywood at [BLOOMBERG]

* I love me some Southpark, and now so so sooooo much moreso that SCIENTOLOGY is trying to dig up dirt on Matt and Trey! Apparently South Park did something to really piss them off some time ago, and ever since then, Scientology has been all bozo-nightmare loco about getting something on Matt and Trey. OK. Seriously. Has anybody in the Scientology character-assassination and public-humiliation department ever looked at Matt and Trey’s past? At all the stuff Matt and Trey have publicly admitted and done? For FUN? Embarrass and humiliate these two? Not. Gonna. Happen. News and details at [INDEPENDENT]

* Sound the alarms! Raise the drawbridge! Batten the hatches! Swap the poop deck! The “revised” Catholic Mass will start to take effect on November 27th! AHOOOOGAH! AHOOOOGAH! OK, seriously, the Catholic church has been listening to focus groups to determine when, exactly, to have parishioners strike their chests with their fists in confession. They’re also changing “The Lord be with you’s” response from “and also with you” to “and with your spirit”. The word “offering” is getting the heave-ho in exchange for the more archaic “oblation”. But the big enchilada is the swap of the phrase “one in being” with the seriously hardcore “consubstantial”. Con sub what? Seriously? “Consubstantial with the father” is actually going mainstream? Eesh. Expect upset Catholics to start showing up online at around 1 PM on November 27th! Breaking news at [USA TODAY]

* I remember the PBS show The Electric Company with a ton of goofball nostalgia. A megaphone blastin’ HEEEYYYYY YOOOOOOOOO GUYYSSSSSS!!! beat a mellow “get basic directions to a street I was just at last week” every time! Plus, THEY HAD SPIDER MAN!!! (“Where are you comin’ from Spiiiider Man? Nobody knows who you arrrrrrr!”) ANYHOW, some of the Electric Company crew moved on to much better things. Do you know who Easy Reader was? Big surprise at [THE ROOT]

* Speaking of nostalgia, when I first saw the headline that DARPA was having a “shredder challenge”, I thought, “Leonardo and Donatello can totally kick Shredder’s butt! Where do I sign up?” But nooooooo, it’s not Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shredder DARPA wants. DARPA actually wants a way to re-construct shredded documents, and is offering a sizeable reward for whoever can figure out a way to do this. Um… wait. Can I choose another team to go in with? Because this is actually kind of scary now that I’m thinking about it. The official DARPA darpage is at [SHREDDER CHALLENGE]

That’s all I got this week! Now I’m off to watch me some TIVO-ed Walking Dead.

** Actually posted on 10/30 because I completely blew off Saturday… again!

Target price increases – coincidence or bad shopping?

I was at the local Target last Friday afternoon with a list of things I needed to pick up for the weekend. While I was shopping, I noticed there were a lot of new price tags overlapping older price tags on the shelves.

Out of curiosity, for every item I purchased, I took a moment to peel off the newer price tag to see what the original price was underneath.

I was hoping for some good news. What I got was nothing but bad.

First up was a trip down the pet isle. I needed indoor pads for our semi-outdoor dog. The price for one set of pads went up from $6.99 to $7.99.



Next up was some cat food for my two feral yardkeepers. That went up from $4.49 to $5.19.



A trip down the kids section of the medical isle was next. (I was putting together a little kit for my Godchild and niece since they’re both officially at the ouchie-boo-boo stage of home exploration.)

Neosporin was the first item I wanted to get. That went from $7.04 to $7.99.



I bought a little Hello Kitty first aid kit for my niece even though it had gone up from $9.99 to $10.49.



Finally, for my Godchild, an official plastic doctor-bag. That had jumped from $12.99 to $13.69.



Finally, I made a quick run to the food isle for some creamer and cheese. (What can I say? It was an eclectic Friday kind of shopping list.)

Coffee creamer? Went from $2.69 to $2.89.



Cheese? $2.99 to $3.24.



What really bothered me about this was that everything I went in to buy had been marked up. A close second was that I spent $4.30 more than I would have if I got these same items the week before.

Maybe this trip was nothing but coincidence, but if every shopping run is going to have price increases, $4 (or more) a run is going to add up real quick.

News stories the mainstream media missed : 10/22/11**

Urgh. It was another one of those weeks. Just enough time to twitter, but no time for some decent blog posts. But at least this one is getting out!

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* THE! DELOREAN! IS! COMING! BACK!! OK, so technically it’s not a “factory new” DeLorean. And it’s only electric. And it can only go 70-100 miles before it runs out of power. And it’s going to cost $90,000…. hey, wait a minute. That’s a giant ball of suck!! Who has the nerve to pass this off as a “futuristic” car when an entry-level Toyota stomps all over it?! It’s more “Back to the Past” than anything else. Linkage at [NPR]

* There’s dumb, there’s really dumb, and then there’s the US Government. This week’s monument to extra large Grade-A+ stupidity is the bipartisan plan in the Senate to “import foreigners” to buy American homes. Apparently us broke-ass American’s ain’t buying mansion-sized homes no more, so the plan is to offer “foreigners a three-year, residential visa if they invest at least $500,000 into the housing market and live in a home they have bought for at least 180 days each year… [and] pay for the homes with cash.” Not written but heavily implied : “To hell with all you existing US citizens who can’t buy a $500,000 home and to hell with all you hardworking foreigners who have been waiting in line for years to be citizens. THBBBTTTTT!!! Nanna-nanna-boo-boo!!” Details at the [NEW YORK TIMES]

* There’s no question where some people are headed in the afterlife, but apparently certain people want to go that extra mile just to be absolutely sure where they’re going to wind up. Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, witnessed all the bloodshed and violence in Libya, and with a sincere heart, said “Let’s get in on the ground. There is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya. Lot of oil to be produced.” OK, was that a titanium pitchfork with carbon-fiber accents or the solid gold pitchfork with diamond tips you ordered Mr. Graham? Story and video with Graham’s comment at [THINK PROGRESS]

* Grocery store shenanigans? In this day and age? Apparently Kraft is strong-arming local grocery stores to put their packaged-food up front with the produce! This brilliant but low-key evil plan is based on the fact that comsumers see everything in the produce isle as healthy. Since fruits and veggies are universally accepted as healthy, anything in the produce isle is also seen as healthy (AKA the “halo effect”). So Kraft wants to put their cheez-wiz, processed funk, and all their other items in the produce section to “play up the fresh factor”! I figure strong-arming grocery stores has to be easier than making healthy products in the first place, right? The full story with some seriously subtle underhanded-deviousness-in-progress at the [WALL STREET JOURNAL]

* Speaking of deviousness, Verizon is going to start “collecting your Web browsing history, cell phone location and app usage” and sell your information to advertising agencies. Verizon super-duper promises with cherries on top there’s nothing personally identifiable sent! Just GPS where your cell phone is and where it goes, every website you visit, what time your phone was turned on, if you’re in range of certain businesses that are over-paying Verizon to advertise their crap… you know… Minority Report your ass! This applies to the Verizon 4G and LTE wireless cards too. Story and how to tell Verizon to take you off this list at [PC MAG]

* Who would have thought a Doctor would prescribe videogames to cure a illness? The headline says it all… “Action-packed video games help solve lazy eye”. Yes! We officially live in the future! I wonder if I can put all my Xbox 360 games down this year as medical expenses? Article at [NEW SCIENTIST]

* I secretly love SouthPark. They hide socially relevant and cutting-edge commentaries in simple animation, doo-doo jokes, and amazingly colorful vulgarities. An episode way back in 2009 titled “Goobacks” had a premise that “people from a poverty-stricken future travel back in time to find work, South Park residents accuse them of taking their jobs.” What’s really funny about this episode just happened in 2011. With most of the immigrants gone in Alabama due to recent legislation, the abundant jobs now available, formerly “taken” by immigrants, are NOT WANTED by the jobless local citizens! Delicious irony ensues at [GOOGLE NEWS]

* Want a genuine queasy feeling without having to get in the car, drive to an amusement park and hop on a roller coaster with a five story drop? Check out how the Euro crisis is connected to everything in this easy-to-barf graphic at the [NEW YORK TIMES]

* Do you use words like “because,” “since” or “so that” often? Do you use phrases and write about physical needs such as food, sex or money? You might be a candidate for attending psychopath-u! Or was it u-psychopath? Anyhow, a new computer analysis of word patterns of nutballs says psychopathic killers have distinctive word patterns and those patterns can be detected early. Story (and words for budding writers to avoid) at [SCIENCE DAILY]

* I haven’t run a multi-million dollar company yet, but I would think one of the top five things to do is NOT completely piss off the core customers when coming up with new ideas. Moleskine managed to do just that this week by announcing they are “crowdsourcing a new logo” from their pool of professional customers. Some customers asked if Moleskine was aware a professional design takes around 8 hours and this “contest” is pretty much asking for free spec work. One commentator put best : It’s like Moleskine is “go(ing) around the local bakeries for free bread and then go(ing) back to pay for the one bread they liked”. Moleskine responded to their paying customers questions with this … “If you had spent some time on the “Competitions” area of Designboom website, you certainly have seen that other Brands are running and previously decided to run similar contests, with the same regulation of our with great participation as well as amazing results. That said, being a contest, there’s a final price for the winner, but all the submissions are free, as well you are free not to taking part to it.” Needless to say, a firestorm of bad PR from Moleskine’s formerly devoted customer base has ensued. Expect Moleskine to suddenly realize their oopsie when their core demographic stops buying their overpriced drek. Moleskine’s original logo contest announcement [here] and Moleskine’s backhand response with customer comments [here].

That’s all I got this week!

** Actually posted on 10/23 because I completely blew off yesterday!

News stories the mainstream media missed : 10/15/11

OK, this is just embarassing. I realized this morning I haven’t made any “News stories the mainstream media missed” posts since MARCH. My only defense is that, yes, it has been that kind of year for me. SO without any further delay…

Here are some news stories from this week that I think the mainstream media completely missed out on. All links are from legitimate news sources and not the fringe / wacko sites.

* This week’s winner of the gold-plated oxymoron award goes to the US Governemnt! Specifically, for sending “Armed military advisers” to help regional forces combat the “Lord’s Resistance Army” in Africa! OK, when someone holds a gun to another person’s head, they’re not exactly “advising”. It’s more of a “WHAT DOES MARSELLUS WALLACE LOOK LIKE?!” kind of thing. And the “Lord’s Resistance Army”? Seriously? Are they resisting the Lord? Or are they helping the Lord resist? Might make a difference if they spelled that out a little better. Unfortunately, in all seriousness, this sounds like the beginning of another “occupied” war for the US. The full story is at [NY TIMES]

* Faster than light speed travel IS possible! OK, so we still can’t do it, and mostly it’s fancy-pants conjecture, but at least it’s no longer laughed out of the high-and-mighty physicist’s bar and grill anymore! The gist of this article is that light speed is just a perception! (Meanwhile, the drunk philosopher in the back of the bar is yelling NOOOO KIDDING! I KOOODA TOLD YOUS BUMS THAT!!) Bonus points for some cool ancestor of mine figuring out the speed of gravitational wave propagation and how it relates to all this… smart stuff. Time travel hijinks and perceptive physicist mirth in the link. [PHYSORG]

* Get Peanut butter NOW!! Jif is going up 30% starting in November, while Peter Pan will raise prices as much as 24% in a couple weeks. Unilever wouldn’t comment on its pricing plans, but a spokesman for Wegmans Food Markets, the closely held supermarket chain in the Northeast U.S., said wholesale prices for all brands it carries, including Skippy, are 30% to 35% higher than a year ago. Kraft Foods Inc., which launched Planters peanut butter in June, is raising prices 40% on Oct. 31. Dammit, a PBJ isn’t a PBJ without enough P in it. Wait, that didn’t sound right. Story is at the [WSJ]

* When was the last time you used a film camera? You ‘member – a camera that actually uses a roll of chemically coated transparency paper-like stuff to take photos and video with? Well, the last film camera makers just called it quits. There will be no more film cameras made from here on out. It’s the end of a major era that spanned decades, and I don’t think anybody heard the door slamming on it. Details at [TECH CRUNCH]

* Governor Jerry Brown said it was OK for police to search cell phones at any time of an arrest. “Call records, text messages, photos, banking activity, cloud-storage services, and even where the phone has traveled” count for bonus points! Bear in mind that a traffic ticket, by strict definition, is also an arrest. So I guess I better keep a 44oz drink in my cup holder at all times so I can… OOPS!!! How did my cell phone wind up in there?!? Darn it! Now it’s all fried and useless! Sorry ossifer! [WIRED]

* I love how the foreign press loves to backhand Texas. A recent article in Spiegel says Fort Worth Texas as “…one of those hard-to-read provincial cities in the vastness of Middle America, a downtown-less cluster of commercial areas connected to too many expressways”. Hey, buddy, nobody makes fun of Fort Worth except Dallas. Got that? NOBODY! Except for that little pimp slap, the article covers an amazing little thing that happened recently. A man who had his face pulverized by an electrical accident received a full facial replacement – a face transplant – from a dead man. I’m torn between the “WOW” for the science part of it and a serious “OH $#!^” for what will happen to society when this procedure gets “mainstreamed” down to the plastic-surgery level of complication. [SPIEGEL]

* I’ve decided to go as 18hz for halloween… because that’s the frequency of fear!! Mu ha ha haaaa!! OK, that was a really cheesy line. Sorry. But seriously, scientists have figured out that 18hz is the sound frequency that makes people want to GTFO of a situation with no logical explanation. Examples and article at [GUARDIAN]

* Some things I just can’t make the funny with. This story for example – “We fabricated drug charges against innocent people to meet arrest quotas, former detective testifies.” Wow. Some of the NYPD was planting drugs on innocent people for a monthly quota. That’s beyond vile. The only reason these scumbags were busted was that they missed some hidden security cameras in the home they were planting evidence in. Article at [NY DAILY NEWS]

* The headline from TIME magazine says “The Greek Meltdown: Putting the Hell in Hellas” Ah hah. I see what you did there TIME. Saying Greece is having a hella-time in their hella-predicament! How hella-cool of you hella-reporters! Too bad things are about to get rabid-zombie-infected-monkey kinds of FUBAR over there. Normal everyday people are living in the streets kind of broke, all the politicians and bankers are still as rich as a wet-cement chocolate cheesecake, and nobody in power has the brass nards necessary to make serious changes so Greece won’t go completely bankrupt. Unfortunately the Greece situation is a little too familiar sounding for comfort. What happens in Greece has a better than average chance of happening in other countries around the world. A European country at war with itself is never ever good for US (pun intended). But if it spreads worldwide? Hell won’t even begin to describe what will ensue. Sorry, got a little too serious there for a moment. Story at [TIME]

* And finally, I’ve been loving me some Twitter for awhile. The more time I spend on Twitter, the more I see the massive disconnect between Twitter and the mainstream media. News on Twitter arrives in a swarm-like manner – quick, lots of information, then it dissipates. Meanwhile, CNN, MSNBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, NBC and all the others are featuring some vapid dingbat of the month and completely ignoring reality outside their curtain-covered windows. Case in point – look up #OWS and #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupWallSt on Twitter. There are massive protests that are going on all over the world right now. Photos of Times Square with more people and riot-geared police than on New Year’s Eve. More photos of protesters and riot-geared police are coming from Seattle, Spain, Washington, Austin… all these places where everyday people are flooding the streets and gathering by the thousands, and not one damn moment of live coverage by the networks with multi-state broadcast capability. Where are the reporters in trench coats on the scene? Where are the writers who stay with the protesters in each city to write a fifteen page micro-spaced article in Rolling Stone? Where are the news helicopters to fly over the protests for a birds-eye-live view? Regardless of whether you agree with the protesters or not, knowing what is going on in the first place is absolutely critical. Not knowing what is going on is nowhere near as bad as the notion that the broadcast networks are unwilling to inform on what’s going on in the first place. No links on this one – just hit up Twitter and search for the #OWS and #OccupyWallStreet and #OccupWallSt .


iStumbler crashing in OSX Lion fix

Fast post – if your iStumbler app is crashing in OS X Lion, go under the APPLE menu and go to SYSTEM PREFERENCES…

From there, look in the “Internet and Wireless” section and click on BLUETOOTH.

Make sure Bluetooth is ON and DISCOVERABLE.

Close out of the SYSTEM PREFERENCES and re-launch iStumbler. No more crashes!

Ever wonder why your dog is so happy to see you when you get home?

Have you ever wondered why your dog is always so very happy to see you when you come home? Assuming you work 8 am to 5 pm, it may be because you have been gone for 56 hours in their timeframe!

Assuming the idea that one human year is seven dog years, every hour to us works out to 7 hours for a dog.

Here’s my math…

There’s 8,765.81277 hours in a year
168 hours in a week
And 1 year = 52.177457 weeks

So a dog year would be 7 * 8,765.81277 hours a year = 61,360.68939 hours to a dog
61,360.68939 dog hours / 24 hours = 2,556.69539125 dog days a year
2,556.69539125 dog days a year / 365 = 7.004644907534247

1 day for us, 24 hours of human time, is 7 days in dog time.

Breaking that down a little more, 24 hours human time = 168 hours dog time (7 * 24)

So 168 / 24 = 7 dog hours for every human hour.

Going backwards…

7 hours * 24 = 168 dog hours a day

168 dog hours a day * 365 days in a year = 61,320 dog hours a year

61,320 dog hours a year / 8,765.81277 hours in a human year as comparison = 6.99 dog years for every human year (rounded)


The whole seven years to every human year is really a guideline more than a rule, and the lifespan of dogs vary greatly from breed to breed, but regardless I think I’ll take my dogs out to run and play catch a little more this week.

Plug in a USB cable right the first time

Have you ever tried to quickly plug in a USB cable?  You would think it only takes two tries, but for some reason I find myself having to flip the cable over and over and over and over until I get the right orientation.

There’s actually a very easy way to tell which side is “up” on any USB cable.

Look at the top of your next cable. On one side is the manufacturer’s logo, and on the other is the USB symbol (sometimes with another manufacturer logo underneath the symbol).

USB Cable 1

USB Cable 1


The USB cable always plugs in with the USB symbol facing UP on your laptop.


USB Cable 2

USB Cable 2

If you have a vertical monitor with USB ports, the USB cable always plugs in with the USB symbol facing you.


UPDATE 10/06/11 : Drew made a comment I wanted to re-post in the main article: “Well, not always. As an IT guy, I have worked with a lot of PCs and I would say it is true for 80% of the hardware we have. For some reason, for a few models of the netbooks and odd ball laptops we have, the ports are upside down. I hate exceptions to the rule.”

UPDATE 10/06/11 part 2: Made it on Lifehacker! Booya!

A comment on the New York City protests…

There was a major protest event in New York city earlier today. Thousands of protesters who want to “Occupy Wall Street” took over a large swath of the financial district, and then marched on the Brooklyn bridge, completely shutting it down. While the protesters were on the bridge, some were cordoned off by the NYPD and over 700 protesters (as of this post) were arrested.

There was NO mainstream media coverage of this event. There was absolutely no interruption of the pre-programmed Saturday night drivel on CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS, or NBC for a live news feed.

Twitter was also not trending the thousands of #occupywallstreet and #ows tags.

Yes, there were tweets from individuals on what was happening, but unless you followed certain feeds, or knew of the hashtags to search for, you would never know this event happened.

The protest isn’t what really concerns me. It’s the defining silence around it that has me wondering if something very important has been broken in our society.

Day-old news doesn’t carry the same impact as “live” news. Blogs and individual tweets still don’t reach the same number of people that a TV broadcast does. So is there such a thing as reliable mass media anymore? Is there a way to show what is happening in the world that can’t be censored or prejudiced with an individual’s point of view? And did Twitter censor the thousands and thousands of #occupywallstreet and #ows hashtags?

A good friend of mine tweeted me that nobody will care unless “someone important like Brad Pitt, Snookie or a Kardashian to be named later appears”. Maybe that’s the biggest problem.