There’s an echo around here


Isle of Skye   (C) PJ Croft 2016

I had an echocardiogram last week at Joondalup and the sonographer’s name was Michelle.

I had another one yesterday at Hollywood Private Hospital in Nedlands and this sonographer’s name was Michelle too. Echo…echo…echo…

Yesterday’s was before and after an exercise stress test, the dreaded treadmill. Phew! The first couple of minutes at 10% slope and fast walk were OK, but the next few minutes at 20% slope, i.e. uphill, and very fast walk were hard going. No chest pains, but my muscles turned to jelly and I had to call a halt. Then it was quickly back onto the bed and another echocardiogram while I huffed and puffed and calmed down. No problems found as far as I know. But I felt very, very tired for the rest of the afternoon. Had to lie down when I got home.


This warning is from the US CERT web site, so it’s real:

Alert (TA16-187A)

Symantec and Norton Security Products Contain Critical Vulnerabilities

Original release date: July 05, 2016
Systems Affected

All Symantec and Norton branded antivirus products


Symantec and Norton branded antivirus products contain multiple vulnerabilities. Some of these products are in widespread use throughout government and industry. Exploitation of these vulnerabilities could allow a remote attacker to take control of an affected system.

Norton and Symantec used to be highly respected in antivirus and system repair software. Yet now this government department is warning that their antivirus products are full of holes! You have been warned. This software is pre-installed on a lot of new systems and you’re pressured to pay to keep it running. Don’t do it!



Kuala Lumpur    (C) PJ Croft 2016

This is from an ABC News web site article by Ian Verrender:

Our business leaders are focused almost entirely on the elimination of penalty rates for the lowest paid in society — ironically so they can boost their own personal bonus payments — while the Government tears itself apart battling an imaginary foe in the shape of rampant union power.

Industrial disputes are at historically low levels; at about 100,000 lost days during 2015, well below the average 172,000 during the [time of the] Australian Building and Construction Commission.

And the second is that despite scaremongering of a wages explosion just four years ago, wages growth is now the slowest on record, rising just 0.4 per cent in the first quarter of this year after decelerating through most of 2015.

This means that since inflation is about 1.1%, most ordinary people’s wages are going backwards. Except for the upper management types, the carpet walkers. Their wages are exploding at rates of 15 – 50% or more, with massive (~$million) bonuses for doing what most of us would call just their jobs. Why do managers need incentive payments to do their jobs?

Upper managers are ripping you all off! They are stealing from their companies in a giant con job. They moan and groan about penalty rates for ordinary employees, but pay themselves salaries that amount to robbery of the company treasuries. Why? Because they can get away with it. They are greedy thieves. Lying about having to attract the best talent. Continuing to take their massive salaries and bonuses even if the company profits are falling. Thieves.


An example, from overseas, admittedly:

“Former chairman of the Board of Commissioners of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Samson, pleaded guilty to on July 14 2016 to bribery by using his official authority to pressure the parent company of United Airlines into starting a non-stop flight from Newark NJ to South Carolina for his personal benefit.

“… United executives were pressured into adding a flight between Newark airport and Columbia, South Carolina, near where Samson had a vacation home, knowing it would lose money.”

“… United implemented a weekly schedule. Samson used the flight 27 times between October 2012 to January 2014.”

At least he was found out, but he just had to resign. The report says nothing about any penalties. Amazing. From Airliner World magazine, September issue. I read widely 🙂



Kyoto   (C) PJ Croft 2016

I got my Samsung laptop back today, after six weeks away being “fixed” from a Samsung BIOS update.

I took it to the lunch table at the shopping centre to test it, and it was completely dead. Wouldn’t power on. Terrific. I went back to the Samsung booth and we found that the battery was completely discharged, 0%.  Thanks very much! So I’ve had to bring it home and charge it (3hrs) to test it. Result? The fault is still there. You can’t put it to sleep using the power button. It’s either on, or powered off completely. I suppose I can use the Windows on-screen power switch, but this is a change from the pre-BIOS update. I wanted the BIOS update rolled back. They haven’t done it. I still have to check whether the intermittent boot up problem is still there. And I said the volume buttons are reversed from other tablets and I thought it should be possible to change this in firmware.

Not happy, Samsung!


UN Secretary general Ban Ki Moon is “incandescent with rage” over the Syrian and Russian barbaric bombing of Aleppo, deliberately targeting civilians, hospitals, medical staff and aid convoys. I agree.

It occurs to me that (a) the RAAF would never plan and carry out air strikes of this type; (b) Australian pilots would refuse to carry out such strikes even if they were ordered; and (c) if anyone did do such acts, they would immediately be charged with war crimes.

What kind of barbarians are Russian and Syrian pilots? They are sub-humans. They are uncivilised criminals. Russia likes us to think of them as an advanced country. No they’re not. Russians are war criminals, barbarians.


New neighbours have moved in. I wonder what they’re like. Not Russians, I hope.

At the place where I often buy lunch at Joondalup, I asked the woman where they are from, thinking I would hear Spain. But no, I was surprised to hear Iran. Very nice people.


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