Saturday, December 3, 2016

Unemployment report, job opportunities, the economy, and hiring slowing?


The Labor Department on Friday said the unemployment rate fell to 4.6% in November, reaching its lowest level since August 2007. The closely watched U-6 rate—a broad measure of underemployment that includes part-time workers looking for full employment and people who say they would enter the job market if better opportunities were available—dropped to a nearly nine-year low of 9.3%.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/little-slack-but-not-much-heat-in-labor-market-1480694166

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...a broadly upbeat performance that could mask underlying soft spots in the labor market.

...those gains have been uneven across the nation and across business sectors, pushing swaths of people to the sidelines and by many measures leaving the economy short of prerecession norms.

...declining participation in the labor force is one of the nation’s more worrisome economic trends, highlighting crosscurrents that have lifted the prospects of many Americans while creating new challenges for others.

...Among traditionally blue-collar professions, construction has been perhaps the strongest with 155,000 new jobs in the last 12 months.

...“companies that have good benefits...attract some better people...”

...labor market getting tighter for service workers...

“It’s a solid report that has a couple of weak spots...”

A slowdown in hiring, meanwhile, wouldn’t be unexpected for a labor market nearing full employment...

Mr. Trump is set to take office amid the longest uninterrupted stretch of hiring on record. It also appears he will inherit one of the lowest jobless rates of any incoming administration since World War II. By comparison, the headline rate was 3.9% when George W. Bush was elected in 2000 and 6.8% when Barack Obama won office in 2008.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-nonfarm-payrolls-rose-178-000-in-november-unemployment-rate-4-6-1480685541



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Friday, November 4, 2016

IF YOU HAVE NOT SUBMITTED YOUR BALLOT


“The suggested time to mail in your Vote-by-Mail ballot is Thursday, November 3rd”...according to the Pima County Recorder...

If you haven't submitted your ballot, you may need to consider needing to go to an "early voting site"...as I need to:

Locations For Emergency Voting
Downtown 240 N. Stone Ave.
Southside 6550 S. Country Club Rd.
Eastside 6920 E. Broadway Blvd.

Dates and Hours For Emergency Voting
Saturday, November 5, 2016 Hours: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Monday, November 7, 2016 Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m

"Voters who received a Vote-by-Mail ballot can drop off their voted ballot to any of our Pima County Emergency Voting sites or any Pima County Polling location before 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 8, 2016."

I was streaming Tucson News Now (on an app at 4 p.m.), and overheard mention it was "too late" to mail in my ballot...!!!???!!!???

THE ENVELOPE of my ballot does not state I have a deadline...

In the middle of the blue sheet included with my ballot is a statement, WHICH IS NOT OBVIOUS, suggesting the ballot be mailed "at least four (4) business days prior to election day".

Thanks to TNN, their statement helped me realize how much time I DON'T have to get some things done...



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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Music sucks. (Or...is it me?)


Sometimes Google Play gives music for free.  Recently, I've been pondering about what I was given...what I deleted, what I kept...and what, if anything, it says about:
music that has been considered commercially successful...
my personal tastes (versus that of the "masses")...
choices made by artists, and music companies...
the music I have been exposed to, and prefer, causing me to be jaded...

I consider myself to be VERY eclectic.  I like things for the reasons I do, whatever those reasons are.

After downloading and listening to as much as I could tolerate, I deleted albums from:  Sia, Jason Derulo, and Cole Swindell.

I kept:
Brad Paisley ("Moonshine in the Trunk" album)...
Michael Jackson ("Thriller"...I don't love every song, but I do respect the album)...
Foo Fighters ("Saint Cecilia" EP)...
"The Very Best of Grateful Dead" (I like some of their songs)...
"Janis Joplin's Greatest Hits" (I like some)...
and Elvis Presley ("30 #1 Hits"...some of them are fair).

The Electric Light Orchestra are one of the few musical acts I admit to being a favorite of mine.  When I learned of the plans to release the latest album, I expected to pay for it.  After hearing it (courtesy of National Public Radio) before it was available for sale, I intended to purchase the "Bonus Track Version" of the album.  After it became available for sale...I couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger.  Maybe it's because I don't have any disposable income.  It may be because there's only one song I (now) would consider purchasing...IF it were on sale at a discount.  After giving it much consideration, I know there are very few songs I would spend money for at all...

I could be a stingy person.  It could be me being very frugal.  It could be that the way things have been, and are...I don't feel the urgency and need to pay for the product.  I've been known to hover over a jukebox and review every offering before putting money into the machine...or, walking away.  It might be easier for me to put that money into an open instrument case of a street performer...

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Friday, January 8, 2016

Confiscation at CES


The Changzhou First International Trade Co. decide to go to CES so they can display their "Surfing Electric Scooter".

Onewheel filed "a civil suit for patent infringement"...

And...

"...two U.S. federal marshals showed up at the Consumer Electronics Show..."

I always seem to, at the wrong time, need to go to the restroom.



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Friday, October 2, 2015

PDFs in a Chromebook


When I use my Chromebook, it is not possible to view a PDF file.  Unless I use a app from the Chrome Web Store...or, as I learned "by accident", have the Evernote Web Clipper installed:

"If you've opened a PDF document in your browser, you can save the entire PDF document as an attachment to a new note in your Evernote account."

Though I had the document opened in the browser, I did not choose to enable the "Chrome PDF Viewer".  When offline, I might need to...but for now, when online, I'm satisfied with the features provided by Evernote:

"When you view a PDF in your browser, simply click the Web Clipper icon. You can assign a destination notebook, tags and some additional notes. That’s all. The PDF will be placed into your Evernote account and synched so that you can view it from any computer or device where Evernote is installed."

AND...via http://Evernote.com (in the web browser while online), I can read the PDF document!



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Saturday, September 12, 2015

"Dear Apple/iTunes/iPod..."


Apple should release a version of iTunes for Linux...

Because of the cost of most of their products, the iPod Touch is the only device I find affordable.  For me, it's great to have in my pocket and with me so I can make and carry notes...and access the internet.

Attempting to upgrade my computers to Windows 10 has caused me to stop using Windows on them, and install Linux.  Most computers currently for sale with Windows 10, I consider too expensive for what I want to use them for...and too under-powered for what I am willing to spend.  In some circumstances, I do find some Chromebooks as good investments...especially when comparing them to computers with Windows in the same price range.  (I have purchased two Chromebooks so far, and am planning to purchase more.)

I love being able to rent movies from iTunes.  I can watch them when offline...

"You have 30 days to start watching a movie after you rent it. After you start watching the movie, you have 24 hours (in the US) or 48 hours (elsewhere) to finish it. You can watch the movie as often as you like until it expires."

...and many are very inexpensive (some at ninety-nine cents).

Browsing iTunes for audio and video is more pleasurable when using a computer (rather than a mobile device).  Now, for that experience, I must configure a computer with some version of Windows on it...

Also, they should consider making iTunes services accessible via browsers (and Chromebooks).  If not, I'm seriously considering committing to Google Play and abandoning iTunes.  But...

Google Play has a policy which kept me more loyal to iTunes...

"...Since downloading free content is still considered a transaction (even when the price of the item is $0.00), you may be prompted to add a credit or debit card if you don't already have one in your account..."

That requirement is unacceptable to me.

So far, purchasing music from Apple and Google...and being able to use it on other devices in general...has allowed them both to keep me as a customer.  I have not purchased videos/movies from either one of them, and don't plan to...because, per their documentation of their services...I am not able to use the  files on "any" device I choose to.

And that's why I purchase DVDs...



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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Goodbye Windows (7 and 10)...Hello, Linux...


I replaced the hard drive in my Acer Aspire computer, installed Windows 7 using the product key that came with the computer, and have been using it for many years.

Now, it will not successfully upgrade to Windows 10:  "Windows 10 couldn't be installed...Error...C1900101-4000D".

After searching the Internet and noticing other people are having the same problem...so I don't waste my time trying to troubleshoot this issue...I decided I would install Windows 7 anew, and after (try to) upgrade (to Windows 10).  But first...I need a Windows 7 DVD...

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At http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery , the Microsoft Software Recovery webpage, it states:

"Thanks for being a Microsoft customer...

"After you verify your product key below, you will download a disc image (ISO file) and use it to create a bootable USB or DVD. This will require ISO burning software such as the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool."

I entered the product key on my computer...

"Unsupported Product...The product key you entered appears to be for software that was pre-installed on a device.  Please contact the device manufacturer for software recovery options."

No.  I'm done.  I have a valid product key, and all I need is a copy of the installation software.

More and more I find reasons NOT to desire and need Microsoft Windows (and other products).

I have a Toshiba Satellite A105 (with 4 GB RAM) that is in great shape...and one of very few distributions of the Linux operating system I have been able to find light enough for it to be useful, is LXLE.

Years ago, because it was all I could afford at the time, I purchased a Chromebook.  I liked it, but that particular model was not powerful enough for me:  I keep MANY tabs open, and applications running.

After I purchased a HP 2000 notebook that had Windows 8...I increased the RAM to 8 GB.  Quickly it began to perform sluggishly.  I uninstalled unnecessary software, and use mostly "portable" applications and programs.  Using the computer on the Internet is aggravating and annoying.  I've tried faster hard drives, and various versions of Linux...I am convinced the processor ("AMD E-300 APU with Radeon HD Graphics / 1300 Mhz / 2 Cores / 2 Logical Processors") is the cheapest they could find for this low-end computer.  I believe I paid somewhere near $300 for it at the time.

My latest purchase is an Acer Chromebook 13 with a quad-core processor, 4 GB RAM, and a 32 GB drive.  (I've read that sometimes the 16 GB drive isn't large enough to be able to download and watch some videos from the Google Play store.)  I love it!  Mostly, I have no complaints.  Though I do love 15-inch screens.  (I've been planning to review the Chromebook, but haven't had time to do so...)

Soon I will install (LXLE) Linux on the HP.  Based on my experience with the Toshiba computer, I expect it will satisfy my needs.  And I intend to NEVER purchase anything less than a quad-core processor.

I have one other computer with Windows 7 on it...that will not upgrade to Windows 10.  It has its original hard drive...so I will restore its operating system, and again attempt to upgrade to Windows 10.  But also will plan to need to install Linux...

Which now means I also need to plan to use other products and services that are not produced by Microsoft (like Office).



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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Use any name you want to on Facebook...in Germany...


In Germany, on Facebook, they/Facebook CANNOT dictate how you identify yourself.

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My problems continue with Facebook.  They had suspended my account because they do not like I use my nickname/airname/stagename as my primary identifier.

After, I noticed:

Mark Zuckerberg: "...there is some confusion about what our policy actually is. Real name does not mean your legal name. Your real name is whatever you go by and what your friends call you. If your friends all call you by a nickname and you want to use that name on Facebook, you should be able to do that..."

https://www.facebook.com/zuck/posts/10102213601037571?comment_id=10102213698751751&reply_comment_id=10102213934943421&total_comments=45&comment_tracking=%7B%22tn%22%3A%22R9%22%7D

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I received a message:

It looks like your account was suspended by mistake. I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. You should now be able to log in. If you have any issues getting back into your account, please let me know.

Myrtle
Community Operations
Facebook

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And...I cannot change the name they have assigned to me.

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Here is a rough translation of the decision in Germany:

The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information for infringement of the German Telemedia Act and the Personal ID Act an injunction against the Facebook...The company is committed to allow the use of pseudonyms...Facebook has to refrain from the unilateral modification of the account to the real name of the user. In addition, the requirement of the presentation of official photo identification documents (identity card or passport) for proof of identity by sending digital copies is not allowed.

Background administrative arrangement is the complaint of a Licensees, which led her Facebook account under a pseudonym. This they wanted to achieve, that their private account is not used on Facebook for business contact through third parties. Facebook had then locked the account and asked the person concerned to provide their real names in the profile. It should also prove their identity by an official photo ID; one submitted by her other identity document handed Facebook is not enough. Against her will, Facebook changed also the profile name from the pseudonym to the real name of the person concerned. This gave Facebook the real name of its user their "friends" known. However, the activation of the account for a major user should take place only when a major user of this change agrees. However, it has preferred to turn to the competent data protection supervisory.

https://www.datenschutz-hamburg.de/news/detail/article/der-hamburgische-datenschutzbeauftragte-profilnamen-bei-facebook-frei-waehlbar.html

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I may (need to) move (back) to Germany...



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Monday, April 20, 2015