Sunday, November 18, 2012


I noticed a commercial tonight for the multivitamin Centrum Silver. Pfizer claims that Centrum Silver is the most recommended and most preferred multivitamin.
Pfizer went on to say that their multivitamin was used in a "landmark" study which evaluated men 50 and over for the long term health benefits of taking multivitamins.
Uh huh. So I went looking for this study...
The first thing I found was that the study was financed by the maker of Centrum, Pfizer (Well actually Wyeth, which was purchased by Pfizer). So, I guess it's not surprising that Centrum Silver was used in this particular study.
Next, I noticed that the study's title claims to specifically study benefits, and not dangers, side effects, or, as a proper study should; simply "effects".
This study only focused on certain types of cancer, and only new incidences of cancer. It did not include high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease which other studies have shown can be increased by multivitamin use. Most telling is that prostate cancer, which is far and away the most common type of cancer in men over 50 was also omitted from this study.
The fact is, this study is clearly designed to give the appearance of benefit, by focusing on narrow set of specific cancers, and omitting or frankly hiding, data. Even after crafting the study to try to force the results Pfizer wanted, it still shows no difference in mortality between the people taking multivitamins for years, and those who didn't.
Once you realize what vitamins are, you realize that taking them makes no sense. Vitamins are simply the compounds found in food. Vitamins were first discovered when the cause for certain diseases was found to be caused by deficiencies of specific foods.
Almost no one needs vitamins unless you are severely malnourished, and just as too much food is bad for you, so are too much vitamins. Healthy food today has all the vitamins you need, and in the United States, unhealthy foods are generally fortified with vitamins to compensate. So adding multivitamins to normal food intake results in over consumption of vitamins.
The man in the Centrum commercial even says that taking a multivitamin "sure can't hurt, right?"
"OK, fine" you say, "but you're not a doctor, and my doctor recommended that I take a multivitamin."
Well you're right I'm not a doctor. And I am NOT providing you with medical advice here. By all means follow your doctor's advice. Just bear in mind that much of what doctors do, is to make you feel that you are doing something positive for your own health. Furthermore doctors are constantly lobbied by pharmaceutical companies to recommend products. Unfortunately, like politicians, doctors are not impartial.
When you look at the whole picture what you find is that at best, multivitamins do nothing, and at worst they increase your risk of death or disease. So, how is it that Pfizer is able to bilk consumers out of millions on multivitamins every year?
I guess fake studies help.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Kill Donald Trump*

Donald Trump is a terrorist. Like Osama Bin Laden, Donald Trump uses the money and fame he inherited, to violently promote his beliefs, and to make them the law to oppress those who offend him. Trump has gone off the chart crazy over the last decade. He hasn't just gone crazy conservative, he also like to pull mean slanderous publicity stunts just to get in the news. He's always been dickish, but frankly, I think he may have had a stroke or something, because he seems to have lost  the "ish" entirely. Just a decade ago he supported a woman's right to choose, and advocated universal healthcare, but now, he's rabidly against both.but none of this is illegal. Until now.

You've probably heard about his latest anti-American rant on twitter, calling for a revolution to overthrow the United States right? This is treason. He doesn't like American democracy, so now he want to dictate his agenda, and call that democracy. He will lie and cheat if it suits his cause, but this shouldn't be a surprise.

He has broken the law, and should be thrown in federal prison. That might happen if he was poor, but since he's rich and well connected, I don't expect it will.

Therefore, we must take matters into our own hands. What should we do? I suggest we should kill him. Any chance we get, we should hunt him down, take careful aim, and kill this man.

Hold on, I don't mean like a fatwa or anything. I'm not calling for his murder. Heck, I'm against the death penalty. I mean that we should do everything that we can to kill him financially. To bankrupt him. Like O.J. Simpson, if we cant't jail Trump for his actions, we can dog him, and take as much as possible from him.

If we all vote with our dollars and deeds against his kind of bullying and hate, perhaps we can send a message, or at least take revenge for the damage he is doing to America.

Kill Donald Trump financially by discrediting him (although he's doing a fine job of that himself). Squeal on him. If you have any business dealing with him, and you have any reason whatsoever to believe he has done something illegal or immoral, tell the authorities. He has skeletons. He breaks the law. Watch him, and expose him.

Steal from Donald Trump. He's bilking us, so steal as much as you can from him. Don't misunderstand, I'm not suggesting you should put yourself in harm's way or do anything that would get you thrown in jail, but if you're renting, or if you own in his complexes and are paying HOA fees, move out. Don't do business with him. Don't watch his television shows, and put pressure on NBC to sever ties with him. Don't eat in his restaurants. Boycott the miss Universe Pageant. Use supplies as much as possible in his properties. If he's supplying something (toilet paper, electricity, wifi, water), use it liberally, and be careful not to give him any money while doing it. Don't patronize the businesses that rent from him. They should find another place to rent.

Reduce his profits wherever possible, and help his competition.. Legally of course. Don't vandalize, but make it as costly for him as possible within the law, and by all means, don't buy his ripoff water; TrumpIce.

Here is a partial list of Trump Properties and businesses. Feel free to use the facilities....then leave.

  • Mar-A-Lago Club
  • 40 Wall Street
  • 610 Park Avenue
  • Empire State Building
  • The Plaza Hotel
  • GM Building
  • The Grand Hyatt Hotel
  • Hotel St. Moritz
  • Doral Golf Resort & Spa
  • Waikiki Beach Walk
  • Daniel - New York
  • Jean Georges - New York
  • Megu - New York
  • Sixteen - Chicago
  • Pageant Place
  • Signature Collection
  • and of course, anything with "Trump" on it.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Apple Model

In a recent memo to Microsoft, Acer executives scolded that developing hardware was it difficult task. Acer is clearly upset, and it got me thinking why.
Unlike Microsoft, Apple has always made tightly integrated software and hardware for its entire history. If you want to run the OSX, you have to buy it on a Mac. You can't buy a third party machine. For a brief time, under CEO John Scully, Apple did open up MacOS to run on other manufacturers hardware, but this proved catastrophic for Apple and almost put them out of business. Steve Jobs came back, killed these so called clones and restored Apple's higher value proposition in making fully integrated systems.
For the most part, Microsoft's software runs on machines made by other manufacturers. Xbox is one exception, and is a very good seller for Microsoft. The Xbox is more in line with the Apple model.
So what would happen if Microsoft stopped releasing windows to third parties? What if new versions of Windows would only run on Microsoft machines? This would be a game changer for Microsoft and would threaten the entire industry of computer hardware manufacturers like mine. Does Acer see Microsoft moving in this direction?
Well, if Microsoft could pull it off, it would be a huge boon for Android, as hardware manufacturers scramble for a new operating system, but at the same time it might carry Microsoft to new heights.
Acer is right to be scared.

Google Election Genome 2012

Today's Google Doodle is made of ballots. Some are blue, and some are red. Google was careful to have exactly the same number of red and blue ballots. Is this a prophesy of a close race?

I counted exactly 23 red ballots, and 23 blue ballots for a total of 46.
There are 23 pairs of chromosomes in every human cell for a total of 46.
Google did not explain if there is an intentional connection.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Moving from Google Drive to SkyDrive

I’ve been a Google fan-boy for years now. I was on Gmail from the start, Google Docs, Google Apps, Page creator and JotSpot which would become Google Sites. I’ve managed to always get my employer to forward my internal mail (which invariably comes from an Exchange server) to Gmail, so haven’t had to use Outlook on a daily basis for many years. I have been slowly transitioning from Microsoft to Google, putting more and more of my files in Google Docs.
I welcomed the eagerly awaited Google Drive, so I could finally integrate all my files into a single hierarchy, and have a usable interface (Windows Explorer), to organize all my Google Docs files.
At the same time, the “Plusification” of everything Google to be more like Facebook, my having had more than a couple experiences where I shared information that I did not intend to, and the paradoxically “search-challenged” Google Drive web interface making it impossible to search for files that are shared with others to manage sharing, I have recently become somewhat disenchanted with “The Google”

Re-enter Microsoft into my consciousness-

Microsoft countered the Google Drive launch by offering 25GB of free storage to current Skydrive users. After some frustrating experiences with Google Drive not synchronizing properly, I took a closer look at Microsoft’s SkyDrive, and found it to be quite cool. Microsoft has given us hosted Office for free to compete with Google Docs, and, unlike Google docs, you can edit your documents even if you are not connected to the internet with Microsoft office, which, let’s face it, still a much more capable product than Google Docs. So I decided, for now, I’m moving all my files from Google drive to SkyDrive. This isn’t too difficult, but there are some gotchas that you need to be aware of, so you don’t lose files.
First, if your “Google Docs” and you “Other” files are mixed together, you can’t simply move them from one folder to the other. Doing so will effectively delete ALL you files from Google Docs, including all your Google Docs! The problem with that, is that your Google Docs are not editable in Windows. They live in your “Drive” directory simply as links to the file in the cloud. But if you remove them from the Drive folder, they will be deleted from the cloud! (actually they will be moved to the Google Drive trash folder, but still probably not what you intend) So, you need to separate your “files” from your “Google Docs links” Then you can convert all you Google Docs to Microsoft Office files if you want to move them as well. The way I did this was as follows. Be careful. Always double check what you are doing before you delete.

  1. Disconnect account” from Google Drive. This will allow you to change the files in your Drive folder, without those changes being reflected back to the cloud.
  2. Move all the files from your Drive folder to your Skydrive folder. This will move the links to Google Docs too, but because you disconnected your account in Step 1, they will not be deleted from the cloud, so they will still work as links to your Google Docs. The only problem is this is that the link will not be updated if you delete or move the file in Google Drive. I will convert these files later, so next, I need to remove them from the SkyDrive folder.
  3. Remove Google Docs links from SkyDrive folder. This can be done in Windows by searching for the Google filetypes, and deleting them. Search for .gsheet, .gdoc, .gslides, and .gdraw. (There may be other types. I don’t use forms, so check for the filetype for that one) Now you should have no more Google Docs links in your SkyDrive.
  4. Remove foreign files from Google Drive. Now that you have all your files on Skydrive, you can delete them from Google Drive, but retain Google native Google Docs files. The Google Drive web app is very limited search capability (for instance, you can’t search for -.gdoc or -.gsheeet, with a “-“ prefix to search for everything except, because these filetypes are not used in the cloud), so you have to search for filetypes you want to delete like .doc, .exe, .mp3, and .jpg. This could be done easily by reconnecting the Google Drive application and removing the files with Windows search, but if you don’t want to waste the time and bandwidth to redownload many Gigabytes of data, just to delete it, try to delete as much as possible from Google Drive on the web.
  5. Reconnect your Google account to Drive. Now that you have deleted most foreign files from Google Drive, reconnect and allow Google Drive to resynchronize. When you have Sync Complete, do a windows search for any remaining foreign files. This time, search for [NOT .gsheet NOT .gdoc NOT .gslides NOT .gdraw. ] this will find all the foreign files to delete.
  6. Delete all the empty folders in Google Drive. The easiest way I have found to delete empty folders is with a free utility called Remove Empty Directories.

That’s it. You can download and convert the rest of your Google Docs, delete them from Drive, and move them to SkyDrive if you want. I did that for some. I will continue to have shared files in Google Drive, but now all the rest of my files are editable on or offline with Office. Skydrive is working well for me.