My Site Has Been Hacked

When typing my site website directly you won’t see the hack.

It’s only when you click a link to my website through Google that you’ll be redirected to a porn site.

That’s my fault because I haven’t been updated my WordPress version or the plugins.

It’s still annoying, and I paid $215 to have SiteLock clean up my mess. Because I have multiple WordPress sites under the same shared hosting plan, one infection essentially spread to ALL directories.

What a cluster.

I’m in process of moving all my blog posts to Tumblr, so once that’s complete, I may continue the updates over there instead. I’m trying to figure out how to leave this site up as an archive since I have so many YouTube videos directed at specific landing pages.

Hope for The Future of Autonomous Cars & Private Road Systems

WARNING: MIND DUMP

Imagine Automated Cars become a reality and they are networked to one another providing optimal traffic management and eliminating car accidents.

Cars are now perceived more as a service than outright ownership. Imagine Uber, but with automated cars instead of human drivers. The costs could theoretically drop down to essentially be at cost. The wait for these cars could be within a couple minutes.

With how quick technology improves, it wouldn’t make much sense to buy a car. It would be quickly outdated every 3 – 4 years as we see with cell phones & computers today. There would be exceptions to those who need full ownership, such as those who have very large families, businesses, government, etc.

The biggest danger to these automated cars are manually controlled human drivers not plugged into the Network. You can’t exactly BAN these manually controlled cars since everyone has mixed reasons to have them. Perhaps there’s a phaseout period of 10-20 years.

What if the automated car companies united to create their own private roads?

Google, Uber, Tesla, Apple, Volvo, Bosch, nuTonomy, Ford, BMW, Baidu, and FiveAI could unite to create their own road networks restricted from Public use.

They could set their own speed limits, and charge users based on actual usage. This could easily be tracked since all the cars are networked, including with GPS. I’d imagine insurance rates for these cars would drop drastically as well. Perhaps even the typical safety features on cars could decrease due to the drastically lower accident rates.

Perhaps once the phaseout of manual cars on Public roads occurs, the argument for publicly financed roads will be eliminated. Or perhaps the billing model for these roads will change to be toward actual usage such as electricity & water.

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I think the cost to add extra, private roads would be prohibitive in dense City Centers. But it’d be different for suburbs further out. Areas like Houston already have toll based system highways.

Assuming you can remove the speed limit, and traffic congestion, you could theoretically travel by Automated Cars as a service at 3-4 times the speed as the congested Public road systems. It may very well be worth it to consumers to pay the premium.

Now “commute” time will be no excuse to living further out from the City Center. This could lower the cost of housing as well, increase sprawl, and increase the overall quality of life.

Today, it may take 2 hours to make a certain commute to your job. With automated cars on private road systems, that commute could lower to 30 minutes, while you sit back, and watch your favorite show or do some work.

Uber also has ride sharing. I can imagine a “cheaper” option where automated cars are used locally to pick up individuals, then ferry them to a central hub, perhaps right off an on ramp, where they board an automated bus equipped to travel high speeds. There would be another “hub” at the city center where they can get off the bus and hop onto an individual vehicle toward their final destination. Costs could be combined with scale to lower the cost even more.

Also, due to scale, these automated buses could be optimized to minimize wait time due to GPS coordination in a centralized system.

An even crazier idea could be that the individual automated cars would be tiny enough to simply drive onto a larger platform that is the actual vehicle to travel on these high speed highways. So the smaller automated cars (better to call them “pods” with the removal of all that added weight) have a top speed of perhaps 45 MPH , and the larger vehicles up to 200 MPH or more.

This way, you’ll never have to leave the vehicle at all!

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Another possibility is that, just as entire towns existed around railroads, you could have entire housing developments specialized and optimized to these automated transport networks. I know of some subdivisions that exist around a light rail stop into the City.

You could also have a subscription system of car usage, as we do today with cell phones and minute usage. Unlimited plans could exist, but they would most likely be very expensive, and perhaps their coverage isn’t that great, similar to T-Mobile.

The possibilities are as endless as the mind can imagine (and where the profits can exist).

I haven’t even considered cross-country travel. These automated-only super highways, privately owned, could revolutionize travel, logistics, and so much more.

That is, if Government gets out of the way to let these geniuses compete to offer the best services at the cheapest prices possible. It’s not one-size-fits-all. There will be niches and different tiers of service at different costs.

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I had a side thought of airplanes being replaced for shorter distances. I’m thinking of Los Angeles to Las Vegas & San Francisco. I then thought of these Pod-loaders that travel at very high speeds. I suppose there’s a possibility of a terrorist bringing a bomb onto one of these pod-loaders.

I hope it’s simply private security that screens these pods for explosive material and not the TSA. What a potential nightmare like we see today. Perhaps you can have the entire pod screened through an X-ray machine automatically as they loaded onto the Loader.

It’d still probably be faster than the airport.

My Latest 6 Monitor Battle Station / Workstation Iteration

Unlike my previous battle station post, I’m not going to spend the time formatting to look so nice. So here’s a run down of my setup.

MONITORS

3x 27″ (2560 x 1440) Monitors

I was able to get these from MonoPrice for $249.99 each. Just be aware that they are DVI only. I’m only able to run them at 30 Hz which is annoying until I can find an adapter that will convert Mini DisplayPort to DVI for 60 Hz at the 2560 resolution. Meh. I do have for my primary one an Acer 2560 x 1440 that I got on Slickdeals a while ago which has native DP in it.

3x 22″ (1920 x 1080) Monitors

I got these from MonoPrice as well for about $99 each. The sixth one isn’t plugged in since I need to get a hold of a cheap DVI cable. For now, my laptop takes its place. But the 6th monitor isn’t so useful for me since on one of my 27″ I have it broken down to four quadrants with Skype, Google Contacts, Google Voice, and Evernote. I’m sure once I get it up and running, I can figure something out.

Monitor Stands

Since I was able to customize it, I decided on mounting all my monitors. The vertical 22″ monitor is on one of MonoPrice’s $22 brackets.

The two 27″ monitors are on this Heavy Duty Desk Mount I got from Amazon.

The two monitors on the right, 22″ and 27″ are mounted on one stand:

TABLES

Ok, I know it’s nerdy to list it here, but I would be remiss not to mention these are from Ikea and for extremely low price. I they they ranged from $25 – $50 each. I don’t see why I would ever choose to purchase super expensive office furniture or desk when Ikea serves my purposes even better considering the brackets I’m using. Actually, with the office desks, I found them to be more cumbersome since the mounting options were a lot less.

For my keyboard tray, I opted for a much cheaper option than I had done before. And you’ll also notice I did a “hack” by raising up the mouse tray to be more on level with the keyboard.

 

CHAIR

This serves well enough, I suppose. I got it for $189.00. My main objective was finding one with a head rest so that I can go uber lazy and rest my head back as I type.

I don’t like it as much as my primary chair still in California. Perhaps I’ll eventually ship over the Humanscale chair. I really liked how it allowed me to flex my back so that I can move around in my chair. I suppose, I’ll have to be more cognizant about adjusting, which is the benefit of the blue exercise ball you see.

Keyboard, Mouse & Peripherals

I use a bunch of shortcuts that are programmed with AutoHotKey. They are essentially a must if you have so many monitors and frequently used folders, and programs. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll just list all my peripherals here:

Take Comfort, Libertarians & Future Technology

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2015/12/george-f-smith/take-comfort-libertarians/
Automated cars, VR revolution, neural implants, etc. As new techs emerge empowering individuals to self organize through voluntary means (AKA Private Governance), centralized planning through violent means (AKA Public Government) will become more oppressive, inefficient, and draconian as it attempts to maintain control. In the marketplace of ideas and leveraged with the multiplying power of technology, it is inevitable that Private Governance will reign supreme.

Even today, why expend resources getting a CS degree when you can self learn via the Internet? You can start developing apps right now without a formal education. Greater evidence is in your work portfolio than some degree. Heck, you could develop apps that can start making money now and possibly skip the rat race.

Even for Chloe, I’m fairly confident that in 10 years time, the formal, centrally controlled education system will become irrelevant as we’re already seeing today when it comes to finding jobs in the workforce today. The lie that somehow having a college degree means you are ENTITLED to a “livable wage” job has been proven false.

The “gig” economy will become the new normal.

In the real world of voluntary exchanges, individuals who relentlessly invest in their own human capital will gain success (whether through increasingly inefficient, “official” education channels or through self-help), while those who rest on the Established Order to provide an undeserved handout will remain beggars. There will be a constant battle to remain relevant as disruptive technologies become more commonplace. Degrees will become even more worthless.

Will Social Security, Medicare, and all the typical “social safety nets” (which are simply Ponzi schemes placed on the backs of the producers), exist with its same benefits 30 years from now when I come of age to “cash in” my benefits? Certainly, they won’t exist by the time my kids come of age. To go even more Futurist, should tech exist where our bodies become augmented to extend life indefinitely, this will bankrupt Governments even sooner.

50 years from now, it will become clear that the greatest fraud imposed on individual productivity and liberty is that Public Government is the superior option to Private Governance. Or if tech isn’t ultimately hampered by Government regulation, this fraud will become realized even sooner.

D-Link DIR-655 Wireless Router Dropping Connections Solution

I noticed my D-Link Wireless N+300 Mbps Extreme-N Gigabit Router (DIR-655) seemed to drop connections whenever someone was streaming a video.  Then I remembered a similar problem with the old router I replaced this with and went looking through the settings.

Under ADVANCED –> FIREWALL SETTINGS –> “Enable SPI:”, you’ll want it UNCHECKED.

This seemed to solve any sort of network slow down or dropped connections.  Also, you’ll want to disable QOS if you have it on.

How to Program Mouse Buttons to Maximize, Minimize, & Move Windows on Multiple Monitors

I demonstrate how I use a Logitech G700 Wireless Gaming mouse and AutoHotKey to easily maximize, minimize, and move windows around on my 5 monitor setup.

 

Here’s the code to easily maximize and minimize using CTRL + ALT + = (Sorry, I don’t remember exactly where I got the code from, but probably off of the forums on the main AutoHotKey.com page.)

;Window Maximize or Minimize
^!=::
WinGet, active_id, ID, A
WinGet, checkmax, MinMax, A
If(checkmax == 1) {
WinGet, active_id, ID, A
WinRestore, ahk_id %active_id%
} else {
WinGetClass, class, ahk_id %active_id%
If class not in ahk_class WorkerW,Shell_TrayWnd, Button, SysListView32,Progman,#32768 ;Creates

exclusion for Windows
WinMaximize, ahk_id %active_id%
}

return

This code will let you move a window by simply holding and releasing the CAPS LOCK key:

; Note: You can optionally release Capslock or the middle mouse button after
; pressing down the mouse button rather than holding it down the whole time.
; This script requires v1.0.25+.

~MButton & LButton::
CapsLock & LButton::
CoordMode, Mouse ; Switch to screen/absolute coordinates.
MouseGetPos, EWD_MouseStartX, EWD_MouseStartY, EWD_MouseWin
WinGetPos, EWD_OriginalPosX, EWD_OriginalPosY,,, ahk_id %EWD_MouseWin%
WinGet, EWD_WinState, MinMax, ahk_id %EWD_MouseWin%
if EWD_WinState = 0 ; Only if the window isn't maximized
SetTimer, EWD_WatchMouse, 10 ; Track the mouse as the user drags it.
return

EWD_WatchMouse:
GetKeyState, EWD_LButtonState, LButton, P
if EWD_LButtonState = U ; Button has been released, so drag is complete.
{
SetTimer, EWD_WatchMouse, off
return
}
GetKeyState, EWD_EscapeState, Escape, P
if EWD_EscapeState = D ; Escape has been pressed, so drag is cancelled.
{
SetTimer, EWD_WatchMouse, off
WinMove, ahk_id %EWD_MouseWin%,, %EWD_OriginalPosX%, %EWD_OriginalPosY%
return
}
; Otherwise, reposition the window to match the change in mouse coordinates
; caused by the user having dragged the mouse:
CoordMode, Mouse
MouseGetPos, EWD_MouseX, EWD_MouseY
WinGetPos, EWD_WinX, EWD_WinY,,, ahk_id %EWD_MouseWin%
SetWinDelay, -1 ; Makes the below move faster/smoother.
WinMove, ahk_id %EWD_MouseWin%,, EWD_WinX + EWD_MouseX - EWD_MouseStartX, EWD_WinY + EWD_MouseY - EWD_MouseStartY
EWD_MouseStartX := EWD_MouseX ; Update for the next timer-call to this subroutine.
EWD_MouseStartY := EWD_MouseY
return

How to Setup 6 Monitors or Multi-Monitors in Windows 7

STEP 1 – Install the Graphics Card and Drivers
The cheapest graphics card that I could find with 6 outputs in ONE card was the VisionTek 7750 Eye 6 2GB DDR5 PCI Express Graphics Card. Otherwise, you’ll most likely need to have two graphics cards that are of the same drivers so you have enough outputs. There currently aren’t any affordable DisplayPort MST hubs.
 
STEP 2 – Hook up Your Monitors to the Graphics Card
You’ll be connecting the monitors to your graphics card using VGA, HDMI, DVI, or DisplayPort. If you want to go above 2 displays on one graphics card, you MUST either connect directly to a monitor that has a DisplayPort input built in, or use an ACTIVE Mini DisplayPort adapter. The cheapest I found them were for $24.99 at Amazon.com.
 

STEP 3 – Configure the Monitors in Windows 7
Right click the desktop and left-click “Screen resolution.” You should be able to rearrange the monitors and change their resolutions as needed from this area. And you’re pretty much done!

Click here to see the more details on my 7 monitor work setup.

Watch QWERTY vs DVORAK Keyboard Typing Test Back-to-Back

You’ll be able to see back-to-back, a 2 minute typing test between QWERTY first and DVORAK second and see how much less my fingers move overall. You can especially see the difference in my left hand which is where all the vowels are located underneath the middle row.

I can type 90 WPM comfortably in DVORAK with minimal strain, whereas, if I were to try it in QWERTY, my fingers will ache a whole lot more.

I have yet to meet another person in real life that also knows how to type DVORAK. I learned DVORAK on my own when I had a lot of extra time on my hands while in the Air Force. Thanks US TAX PAYERS!!!

National Cash Systems Review, Irvine, CA

UPDATE (October 15, 2012)
After numerous back and forth emails and delays over a span of about a month, I discovered why I was originally charged such a large amount. They charged me $125/hour for each ATM and then tacked on an additional one hour long driving charge for each upgrade. So I got charged two hours of $125 each for driving time for my two ATMs that were 10 minutes apart, while the actual upgrades took about 20 minutes and 30 minutes.

In any case, they just contacted me to issue me a refund for one of the driving times.

ORIGINAL
I’m currently with National Cash Systems as my ATM Processor and up until about this past month, I would recommend them to other people.  After two years of not really needing to call them for anything, they start taking this hyper aggressive, “I will take your money and you will thank me for it” approach on things.

Unfortunately, the worst part about this company is how they’ll just withdraw funds from your bank account, and not tell you what it’s for until you discover it on your own and call in.  Then trying to get an invoice for those charges becomes a drawn out game of email-tag. They’re also very unapologetic about it, so I expect this kind of treatment in the future.

JUNE 2012

I discover some monthly charges on my accounts for $7.99/month.  Why was I charged?  Because I didn’t reply to their email or contact them to “Opt Out”, I was charged $7.99/month for each of my ATMs.  Obviously, I complained and the funds were eventually refunded back to my account.

BUT SERIOUSLY WHO DOES THIS?!

Here was the email I failed to take seriously and I won’t analyze it because this seems so blatantly unethical that if I need to communicate why this is wrong to you, we will probably never associate or do business with one another.

May 15 Email Subject: Sticker Insurance Opt In

 

SEPTEMBER 2012

I discover two charges on my account, $166.67 and $144.95, labelled, “Software and Braille Stickers.”  I’m annoyed again and call in.  I discovered that technicians from National Cash Systems came over to my machines, logged into the Master password, and upgraded my machines to the latest versions back in July 2012.

So that’s annoying after what occurred with their Sticker Opt-In and I send them this email (September 6, 2012).

I have discovered your company has charged my account in the amounts of $166.67 and $144.95 on August 15, 2012 without my authorization.

See attached work orders for service done to my ATMs without my prior consent.

Please refund the charges and do not charge my account in the future without my explicit consent.

 

We can also talk about a lower amount to be charged for the software upgrades rather than an outright refund. I’d be okay with $50 for each site being upgraded for a total of $100. $150 for about 20 minutes of work that includes uploading files from a USB thumb drive does not seem reasonable (the stickers were mailed to me prior and I had already placed them on the machines). In my particular case, I would’ve been able to do the work myself if your technicians emailed me the files and the directions received from Hyosung. For the sake of expediency, however, I’m willing to compromise and at least cover your expenses.

For the two years I have been with your company, I’ve generally been satisfied and recommended you to my friends. I thought we had a great working relationship where I purchased the ATM, installed it myself, programmed it myself, maintained it, provided Internet connection, and restocked it with my own cash. I took care of the machine, and your company processed the transactions. The division of labour seemed very clear and there were minimal surprises. This was the relationship I was expecting from the very beginning and was communicated to me with your staff.

Then in June, your company started charging me an unsolicited $7.99 from my account for insurance I did not approve of (which was refunded, thank you). And now, we’re dealing with the software upgrade issue.

I would like to continue my business relationship with your company if at all possible. I have been generally very happy with your company’s service and I would like to continue and recommend your business to others. In order to do so, I need to be assured that our business relationship returns to the original intent as described at (http://www.nationalcash.com/affiliate-programs/), “Some independent deployers choose to manage its own fleet of ATMs but utilize National Cash for all its back-end processing, accounting, statement generation & reconciliation services.”

I look forward to an agreement that will enable us to have an ongoing and profitable relationship.

 

Look, I get it.  Sometimes we make mistakes and send out techs without letting people know in advance.  Then we withdraw some arbitrary amount we want from their account and still not tell them until they look at their bank statements.

No response to the email and I’m trying to get an answer from staff and I get an official one today, September 17, 2012.

Their official response is essentially, “touch luck.  We can get into your machines and that’s our right per the agreement you signed.”  Their position is that no prior notice is needed whatsoever and then they can charge me for it.  That’s what I signed up for, right?

Obviously, this company cares minimally for me as a business partner.

So now that I understand how they want to play this, I sent them cancellations for my contracts that aren’t due to expire until about a year out and another one 6 months later.  Luckily, I had enough foresight to not sign the 5 year agreement they originally wanted.

I’ve also submitted a request for them to change the contracts to make it VERY clear that I don’t want their techs touching my machines unless I give them consent first.  It’s just a pet peeve of mine to get funds withdrawn from my account by surprise.  In fact, I’m helping them to cooperate by changing the master passwords and telling them I did so that they don’t try to come out again without my consent.

I can easily imagine in a couple of months, that their techs will come out to my machine to do some additional programming without my consent despite my explicit email to them to NOT do that.  Then they will just withdraw the funds from my account and call it a travel charge.

SERIOUSLY?!  What’s wrong with these people?

Hopefully, I can get some kind of resolution from this with them creating a new contract that explicitly states they shouldn’t be touching my machines without my approval first.  Otherwise, I’ll be moving to a new ATM Processor.

Unfortunately, I don’t have experience with any other ATM Processor, so maybe this is just standard behavior in the industry.

Any recommendations?

“Evergreen” Contracts and Contract Negotiation with Tellecommunications

I prefer month-to-month contracts as much as possible, especially in areas of technology.  This is to give me the freedom to cancel with the vendor in case they aren’t working out financially.  It’ll allow you to cancel after the month without any repercussions.  Perhaps you find someone cheaper or you may discover their services aren’t really needed.

Make sure you’re reviewing ALL contracts in the fine print and renegotiate the fine print.  If you don’t like it, walk away and check with a new company if many companies offer similar services.

Often contracts will have provisions that automatically renew the original term of the contract unless you cancel at least 90 days prior to the end of the term.  These are “evergreen” clauses and I HATE them.  Some contracts will even state you can’t cancel earlier than 180 days before the end of the term.  That means you only have a 90 day window to cancel a contract that may automatically renew another 5 years!!!

I will often try to do a standard term on the contract, and then once the term ends, have the contract month-to-month.  Or if it’s an evergreen contract, I will send them a cancellation letter the first month or as early as possible so that it’ll force them to come back to the table to renegotiate the terms at the end of the term, rather than automatically renewing.  You still need to be on the ball upon renewal time.

The most notorious companies are the ones that deal with technology.  Month-to-month is the way to go or at most an annual contract because technology and pricing is constantly shifting downward.  You have to be on the ball and paying attention to these because often times you have a small window to cancel.

Companies to consider: telephone, Internet, and television.  Or basically any company that you started services with more than 3 years ago.

I’ve saved hundreds of dollars per month by trimming bloated telecommunications contracts from 2004.