2013 — 28 April: Sunday

I've just been informed1 that:

There were — numerous — others, but those (and the one about not peeing on an electric fence) will do for now, thanks, Ute.

Meanwhile, that wily...

... Jeff Bezos very nearly caught me out again2 late last night. In these straitened times, I tend to confine my fishing to the banks of Amazon's bargain shelves. So having noted that today was the end of the "3 Blu-rays for £17" offer I waded once again through the 39 pages of titles to see what, if anything, caught my bargainaceous eye. I took care to open each candidate item in a new browser page, stopped when I'd accumulated six such pages, then added them one by one to my 'basket', and blithely "proceeded to checkout" knowing that I could comfortably afford3 the £34 thus spent.

I must have been tired.

It wasn't until I'd clicked "Buy" and was about to file away the confirmatory email that I suddenly realised I'd actually signed up to nearly £70 even with free shipping. A hasty cancellation (accompanied by some mild cursing, I admit) of all six titles, followed by an irritated and much closer inspection of the Ts and Cs of this "offer", revealed a well-hidden "C" to the effect that the promotional pricing did not apply to titles supplied by Amazon sellers other than Amazon themselves. Or some such nonsense.

Now I don't doubt Mr Bezos pays the exact amount of UK tax he's legally required to by our stupid guvmint. And I also don't doubt that had I inspected each of the six browser pages I would have seen exactly who was doing the supplying of each title. But I'd foolishly embarked on my fishing expotition without this vital bit of information and had thus inadvertently snagged at least two such "non-Amazon" titles in my over-eager net... (including Sling Blade which at £5-67 rather than £24-99 would have been a delightful bargain, of course).

So what the hell were such titles doing in that generated list of bargains in the first place, heh, Jeff? Sneaky. Very sneaky.

As usual...

... one of the comments attached to an article (on the pending Euro vote to ban pesticides that in all probability kill off the bees that pitiful earthlings rely on to pollinate the crops that make up about 75% of their food) is pithier than the article itself. Source:

We know young Davie Cameron, that perennial boy, is simply a spin doctor and, after all, what are spin doctors? Simply professional liars. But the environment secretary of the United Kingdom is telling an insecticide company that makes billions of dollars selling chemicals that kill bees he is extremely disappointed steps are being taken to protect bees from extinction?
We can hardly be surprised at the Tories' contortions to accommodate their corporate cronies, but Syngenta is a Swiss company whose core business is poisons and genetically modified organisms, such as corn and sugar beets, designed to be tolerant to its poisons.
This is beyond Orwellian. You couldn't make this stuff up and, if you did, nobody would believe it. Truth is not only stranger than fiction, it is much more frightening.

Stephen Stewart in Observer

Mr Stewart is a Canadian with an interesting blog.

Isn't it amazing...

... what you can find buried in the details of what I still think of as the almost completely uncharted territory of my 'BIOS' settings (probably more accurately 'UEFI' settings these days) by the time you get to page 135 of my remarkably ungripping 650-page "Windows 8 Administration Pocket Consultant" book?

Intel Multiple Monitor status as Enabled or Disabled. When this
setting is enabled, the computer's integrated graphic card and
add-in graphic card may be able to work together in the operating
system. When disabled, only one graphic card (either the integrated
card or a plug-in card) can be used in the operating system.

Gotta love that "may". If it turns out to be a "can" it would be yet another route to having the 60" Kuro plasma screen active at the same time as the two 24" Dell screens with, perhaps, less (shall we say?) inherent awkwardness. Who knows? I might even get a fullscreen display that properly extends right out to the four edges of my little telly. [Pause] I wonder where I tucked away my extra-long HDMI lead? I also wonder if it carries audio when connected to the integrated graphic card — it certainly doesn't when connected to the plug-in HD5670 card.

In case you wondered...

... I did manage, somewhat to my surprise, to wrestle the following six Blu-ray titles out of the Amazonian mud for that promised £34:

Which almost constitutes an existential essay in its own right.

Sudden, post-lunch thought...

... as I listen to that until-yesterday-unripped Jill Gomez cabaret music: it was very remiss of me, having mentioned what's probably the rarest book in my collection, not to have offered a link to its publisher. I was led there from Galactic Central.

Meanwhile, the sun seems to have turned shy. The tulips are certainly drawing in their petals somewhat. [Pause] Believe it or not, after you've stripped your PC apart, moved the desk, dusted and Dysoned, replaced everything, and plugged all the electric string back... the Win8 'start' screen is actually quite a welcome sight. And tomorrow's lunch will be eaten at the Flower Pots at the mid-way point of a fresh air ramble. Well, that's the current plan.

Somewhat later...

... I've just watched the first episode of Oliver Stone's "untold" history of the world. It made me laugh rather less than the SBS examination of Tim Minchin. And, because my broadband download cap is about to be reset for the next month, I also streamed last week's HIGNFY. Quite why my little media player has now seemingly forgotten how to access my NAS is a problem that will have to wait for more leisure.



1  By Christa's college friend Ute who lives in the Canaries.
2  Letting his German ruffians rather than my shiny new Nationwide credit card do a currency conversion for me added over 50p to the price of a recent Blu-ray. Another piece of small print to be aware of.
3  After all, it's only a week or so until my next pension payment. And IBM is now paying me an extra 1p per month on that age-related supplement, recall.