avast! Online Security add-on for Firefox

Apparently avast! team has finally released a stand alone version of avast! Online Security plugin for Mozilla Firefox (for a while now, I just haven’t noticed it). I know I’m already using avast!, but didn’t like the add-on being tied to the antivirus instead of browser. It made add-ons syncing a bit of a pain. But not anymore. If you’re a Firefox user, clicky de click here:

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/avast-online-security

And you can grab the add-on there even if you’re not actually using avast! Antivirus. It hasn’t been approved fully by Mozilla yet, but it’s made by avast! Software, so you can be sure it’s safe.

What does it do?

It checks webpages for phishing, it checks URL addresses for common typos and auto-corrects them. It also has a community based webpage rating system comprised of over 170 million users and also indicates that status inside search engines.

Additionally it can suggest you better offers and deals on certain webpages and also prevent tracking elements (those stupid Facebook buttons and other crap) from tracking you as you browse around. All this can of course be tweaked and adjusted in add-on settings.

Ice Bucket Challenge nominations…

You might think you’ll see me doing the challenge here, pouring icy water on my head. Well, you’d be wrong. This post will be on a more negative note. In fact it takes on all these nominations lately and not just ALS one. To me, it all seems more like self promotion than actual improvement of awareness regarding this or any other disease or some other cause to the general public.

I mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s great that people step together for a good cause, but does it have to be just a single cause? What makes ALS patients more important than those who have cancer? Alzheimer’s maybe? Malaria? Or how about HIV? Or some other degenerative disease that is just as terrifying as ALS? I don’t want to go into statistics, but I just have to. 5600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year (ALS Association source). Malaria alone takes 2,7 million human lives a year. 2,7 million! That’s more than my entire country of people wiped out every year by this disease alone. Cancer. A disease where no one can be safe from and where it doesn’t matter what age you are, be it a 8 year child or a 60 year old adult. Over 8 million deaths a year. Sure, not all diagnosed are fatal unlike ALS, but it’s such a huge number it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Imagine entire London population gone every year. That’s how many people die because of cancer every year. No one tossing icy cold buckets of water on head for them? Bummer…

Call me Mr. Negative, but these challenges only focus on ALS and aside from that, 90% of the focus is on “actors”  of the challenge. Hey, look at me, I’m someone famous and I don’t mind some extra publicity, I’m pouring icy water on my head and I’m somehow helping patients that have some disease with this. For me it just screams “attention whore” in a flashing red color with sirens. I didn’t mind Bill Gates doing it, because I know he’s been donating millions and millions through his foundation for various humanitarian causes, but there are many who just do it for self promotion. And that’s the part I hate.

With social media on the massive rise, there are other ways to raise awareness than in such “entertaining” way. And should be done as something slightly more general and not as specific for something that doesn’t even have the highest fatality rates. Just thinking aloud. Maybe my way of thinking is flawed and wrong, but that’s what I think. Instead of focusing on ALS alone, people should be made more aware of a deeper problem, a problem on a much lower level. The proteins and their understanding. Pretty much every disease starts with proteins going haywire. Be it cancer, ALS, Alzheimer, HIV or countless others. If we can finally properly understand how proteins change, fold and have a mean to predict and treat that, we could potentially eliminate all diseases including ALS (or at least give a fighting chance). Try to bring that more to general public attention and support researchers who work day and night on such projects. I think it’s a more important thing to focus on, which could bring more benefits to far more people, including those affected by ALS. Just a “small” thing to think about…

Stupid Chrome browser extension blocking

Just when I thought about switching to Chrome (again), I’ve noticed Google blocked 3rd party extension installing. Ok, so I can’t install them anymore directly from webpages, I have to download them and drag them manually to Extensions page. Makes sense. Great, that worked! Except, it hasn’t. After browser restart, it has kindly notified me that it has (permanently and with no chance of exclusion!) disabled my 3rd party extension. Well piss off Google, I know you want to protect users, but stop fuckin dicking around with stuff THAT I install and approve myself. Every other god damn browser gives at least option to manually exclude stuff from being blocked, but no, they go full block whether you like it or not. Apparently this has been enforced since Chrome version 35.

So, I’ve found myself a good old EXE based alternative and fucked off the damn Chrome browser and returned to trusty Firefox. It might not be the fastest, but at least isn’t fuckin the most irritating one to use. What good is all the speed if you’re not allowed to do anything with it. Stupid Google.

Don’t ever say anything over Rolex on WUS

Oh wow what I’ve experienced today on WUS (What U Seek) forums. It’s a horology forum where you can talk about all sorts of time keeping devices. Just make sure you don’t comment anything negative over Rolex. A lesson I learned few hours ago and I was just absolutely shocked at how moronic some people are. Clearly the ignorant ostrich way of ignoring reality. Stick a head in the sand and pretend it’s all brilliant and flawless.

It was a thread about some guy getting hands on a new Rolex Sea-Dweller watch. We do that all the time, you buy a watch, make few wrist shots and post it with your opinions and experience. Other people join in the thread and you form a conversation. Nothing we haven’t done like billion times before for other brands like Bulova, Seiko, Orient, Casio, Sea-Gull etc. But those threads weren’t about Rolex. I’ve stated about stuff I don’t like on other watches before and it was just that. An opinion like any other and users accepted it normally. No one complained, no outrages, nothing. Neither did I when someone commented something they disliked about my watches. But not here…

I just commented the insane amount of text that Rolex puts on a dial. See a photo and judge for yourself why I said that…

sea_dweller
This photo is property of Leicashot who is also the owner of this Rolex Sea-Dweller.

It has crown logo, “Rolex”, “Oyster Perpetual Date”, “Sea-Dweller”, “4000ft/1220m”, Superlative Chronometer” and “Officially Certified” on a dial. Oh and a SWISS MADE on the bottom. If I’d wanted a book, I’d buy one. So, apparently I’m not allowed to have an opinion that they use way too much text on the dial. Nope, not for Rolex.

Wouldn’t it look like billion times better if it only had crown logo and ROLEX on top and below just “SEA-DWELLER, 4000ft/1220m and Chronometer”. Just that and nothing else (i let them have the Swiss Made below as well because I’m nice). That was my opinion. And apparently 0% of population agreed. Yet I’ve seen countless times other users also complained over this very exact same thing. Apparently they were all banned from the WUS forum or something after that…

I just don’t see why they have to mention oysters and date on a watch dial where 90% of people don’t even know what oyster is supposed to mean on a watch and we can already see it has a date window there. So why double confirm what we already see with our healthy pair of eyes? And don’t get me started with the “Superlative” word there. That’s like designing a V12 turbo charged Ferrari and then write “Ferrari Superlative Fast F12″ on a back. It’s a fucking Ferrari, we already know it’s super fast either way. Why do you have to write that there and point out the obvious!? And what’s worse are people refusing to accept your comment about it and they flip out like I committed some sort of crime against humanity by commenting that. And among few it was also a moderator that did that. A person which is supposed to be neutral as Switzerland. I was like what the fuck dude, when he started basically threatening me to stop doing that through personal messages.

Apparently the forum is supposed to consist of only praises and positive things. Like there are only sunny days and grasslands filled with colorful butterflies and pretty colorful flowers. Did I mention the rainbow above it? Oh yes, it has to be there. Lets all live in a perfect world. There were already 6 pages of “Oh wow that’s a pretty Rolex this and that” and when I faced them with what it now seems like a really harsh reality (in a perfectly civilized manner mind you!), I was instantly flagged as Mr Negative bashing their beloved Rolex brand and then bunch of some lame ass accusations dropped in that I’m a Rolex hater and that they know it for sure (yet again I was like what the fuck). Seriously idiots, get a fucking life. I’ve never ever seen anyone flip out so badly about any other brand and I’ve commented things I don’t like about others in similar threads as well.

Do I happen to write Chinese or I sometimes just don’t understand some people who behave like they landed here from Jupiter… must be both.

Lexmark, you lazy fucks

Seriously Lexmark, you are one bunch of lazy fucks that don’t give a shit about what you sell. I have a Lexmark X3650 printer, sure it’s few years old but works just fine for what I need it. Or shall I correct myself, USED TO work till I updated Windows 8 to Windows 8.1 like ages ago but didn’t need the printer in the meanwhile. Now this fuckin thing won’t work at all because driver INF is detected as 3rd party and not signed. It was fuckin downloaded from Lexmark webpage and says it’s compatible with Windows 8 64bit (every other device that I’ve seen worked just fine even with vanilla WIn8 driver on Win8.1. Just not this one. So, why this bullshit!? Why give a fuck if it’s signed or not, it’s just a fuckin printer geez. Am I suppose to buy new printer all the time just because some fucks are too lazy to make a compatible driver for a device no one ever changes for as long as it works? Printers aren’t friggin graphic cards that you change every half a year because they give better features and performance. It’s a fuckin ink jet printer that prints shit and that’s it. How fuckin hard can it be? Now I’m sitting in front of a PC trying to print something I urgently need and can’t because system refuses to accept fuck ass drivers no matter what I do. Well fuck you Lexmark, this was my first and also last printer that I bought from you. You incompetent lazy imbeciles.

Radeon resetting refresh to 85Hz on 144Hz monitor

Seriously AMD, can’t you do something right one fuckin time? Not long ago I had a problem of monitor not waking up when I pressed any key in standby. I had to re-connect DVI cable on my Radeon 7950 in order for screen to wake up. Now I’ve bought a proper gaming monitor from ASUS, the VG248QE monster with 144Hz and 1ms screen. Bought DisplayPort cable for it in order to use newest possible stuff for most problem free experience. Guess what, I have problems again. This one is even worse than occasionally monitor not waking up. Here, it wakes up just fine. Except it then gets stuck in a fuckin fixed 85Hz. If i check refresh rate settings, 85Hz is the highest option I can even select. I have to unplug DisplayPort cable and reconnect it. And then voila, I have a 144Hz monitor again. I usually notice this because either desktop or games just feels weird when it’s in 85Hz.

My main question is, why the fuck is this even happening? It’s not like 144Hz monitors are some mad exotic these days or am I really the only one noticing this issue and the rest of people just play at 85Hz without ever noticing it thinking they run at 144Hz all the time?

And what’s even worse is that I can’t fill in bug report because they are doing maintenance on it. Argh…

Bulova Accutron II 96B213

Here is one of the most amazing quartz watches I’ve seen in my life. In general I’m all for mechanical watches, because they are just the good old school machines, but here and there there are companies that surprise me with modern tech that blends perfectly to their heritage. Bulova has released watches with such movements in their Precisionist models range few years ago, but they were really big and dials were just too busy for my taste with so much stuff going on, it was just too much. But few weeks ago, Bulova introduced the new Accutron II range of watches, a true tribute to their original Accutron from the 1960’s that had a metal tuning fork instead of quartz crystal that we use these days.

What is so special about it? First thing you will notice on the above video is the fact that second hand doesn’t tick like it does on 99,99% of quartz watches. It’s gliding across the dial and that alone gives it such special feel. It will attract the looks with this alone for sure. And while most other watches would drain battery in no time, Bulova quartz watches with Precisionist movement will last for roughly 2-3 years on a single battery. Second thing about it is the fact that it’s incredibly accurate. Some a lot more expensive HAQ (High Accuracy Quartz) watches achieve this with built-in thermal compensation system that adjusts the quartz oscillation relative to the environment temperature, making them incredibly accurate. They are often accurate from +-5 to 10 seconds a year. Most casual consumer quartz watches are accurate within +-15 to 30 seconds a month. Bulova Accutron II models are accurate to +-15 to 20 seconds a year. And they achieve this not by thermal compensation, but with three prong quartz crystal oscillator (regular watches have only two prong quartz crystal) and much higher oscillation frequency. End result? Very accurate watch with a less than one fourth of the HAQ price. HAQ watches are usually around 1500 € where Accutron II models like the 96B213 that I own cost below 350 €.

Bulova 96B213 comes in a really nicely carved and polished stainless steel case. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such shapes on any other watch and I must say it looks really nice. On top of it is the domed mineral crystal. While I’d prefer a sapphire, especially on a watch that costs more than 300 €, but still, I forgive them a bit because it looks so nice.

Dial has a mild sunburst effect that changes slightly when you move the watch under the light. It’s nto as strong as the Bulova’s marketing photo suggests, but it still looks really nice. It comes in off white color dial paired with markers without any lume, but they are very legible in anything but absolute darkness. Watch hands are also very nicely made, super legible and they do have lume applied. The downside is that lume isn’t particularly bright which was a bit of a disappointment. Blue second hand doesn’t have the lume, but has a tiny tuning fork on the opposite end which I think it’s a nice touch. Date window and the date numbers are very big, so anyone can see them nicely and they also change rather quickly at the end of the day.

It comes with genuine black leather strap which looks a bit cheap and plasticky on Bulova’s marketing photos (which is strange), but is actually very high quality strap that comes pre-curved in a box so it fits the wrist perfectly straight away. Buckle is a traditional one, made of really chunky piece of stainless steel and again has the Bulova’s tuning fork logo. Nice touch, though it’s not carved into the stainless steel, but rather welded to the buckle. It’s nothing wrong with that, though I’ve noticed threads and my dog’s hair is getting stuck underneath it. Which is a bit annoying.

It’s a beautiful watch with really special quartz movement. It is a bit expensive to most people who aren’t into watches, but considering there are watches that cost 1500 € with nearly the same functionality, I’d say it’s a great value. And we haven’t even plowed into the Rolex territory with prices beyond 10.000 € or the likes of Patek Philippe that can cost even over 6 digit price figures. In Euros :) So yeah, like I said, great value.

Some more info and specifications:

Brand: Bulova
Model: 96B213
Movement: Accutron Precisionist
Accuracy: +- 15-20 seconds/year (estimated)
Dial color: off white with sunburst effect
Crystal type: Edge domed mineral crystal
Case material: stainless steel
Strap: non textured genuine black leather
Water resistance: 3 bar (30m or nearly 100 ft)
Power source: battery