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John Wayne, Tonto, Grand Moff Tarkin, smart squirrels, Rhinestone Cowboy, and, of course, Covid-19
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Published Tuesday, May 26, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 26 2020

Today is Tuesday, May 26, the 147th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 219 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, National Cherry Dessert Day, National Paper Airplane Day, Sally Ride Day, World Dracula Day, World Lindy Hop Day, and World Redhead Day.

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Rmembering John Wayne (born Marion Robert Morrison; May 26, 1907 - June 11, 1979) (Video)

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Remembering Jay Silverheels (born Harold Jay Smith, May 26, 1912 - March 5, 1980) (Video)

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Remembering Peter Cushing (May 26, 1913 - August 11, 1994) (Video)

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The video you must watch today. A little over 21 minutes, but worth it. (Video)

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Stevie Nicks is 72 today; Pam Grier is 71 today; Bobcat Goldwaith is 58 today; Helena Bonham Carter is 54 today.

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Glen Campbell's recording of Rhinestone Cowboy was released on this day in 1975. (Video)

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China's 'Bat Woman' warns coronavirus is just tip of the iceberg. Shi Zhengli, a virologist renowned for her work on coronavirus in bats, said in an interview on Chinese state television that viruses being discovered now are "just the tip of the iceberg" and called for international cooperation in the fight against epidemics.

Related: Nobel laureates and science groups demand NIH review decision to kill coronavirus grant.

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First human trial of possible COVID-19 vaccine triggers rapid immune response, few side-effects. But... the ability to trigger these immune responses does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine will protect humans from COVID-19.

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Desperate rats are brazenly searching for food during the coronavirus pandemic, CDC warns. "They're mammals just like you and I, and so when you're really, really hungry, you're not going to act the same. You're going to act very bad, usually," Bobby Corrigan, an urban rodentologist, told NBC News.

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"The new normal." On weekend dedicated to war dead, Trump tweets insults, promotes baseless claims and plays golf.

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WHO pauses trial of hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment amid safety concerns.

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Scientists warn against high doses of vitamin D supplementation for preventing or treating COVID-19. Examining previous studies in this field scientists found no evidence of a link between high dose supplementation of vitamin D in helping to prevent or successfully treat Covid-19 and cautioned against over supplementation of the vitamin, without medical supervision, due to health risks.

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What happens when your health care system is based on making a profit: At a time when medical professionals are putting their lives at risk, tens of thousands of doctors in the United States are taking large pay cuts.

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Wealthiest hospitals got billions in bailout intended for struggling health providers. Seattle-based Providence Health System, one of the country's largest and richest hospital chains is sitting on nearly $12 billion in cash, which it invests, Wall Street-style, in a good year generating more than $1 billion in profits. And this spring, Providence received at least $509 million in government funds, one of many wealthy beneficiaries of a federal program that is supposed to prevent health care providers from capsizing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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Hot dogs sales skyrocket by more than 120% during the coronavirus pandemic, as Americans embrace the 'best quarantine food.' The question no one is asking: Which will kill you first?

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Borowitz:

Fauci urges Trump to remain on golf course until pandemic is over.

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Trump says Republican National Convention might move from Charlotte if the state doesn't relax is coronavirus rules... but no other city wanted to host it. An article published by New York Magazine's Intelligencer blog laid out the GOP's struggle with the headline: "GOP Awards Its 2020 Convention to the Only City That Sorta Kinda Wanted It."

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Trump sees a 'rigged election' ahead. Democrats see a constitutional crisis in the making. The president’s increasingly amped-up rhetoric surrounding the integrity of the November elections has many wondering how he might respond to a defeat.

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China warns U.S. taking world to brink of 'new Cold War' over coronavirus. The ratcheting up of tensions comes as Beijing is hounded by questions over alleged missteps in its initial response to contain the virus.

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SpaceX is about to launch two astronauts into space in a historic first. NASA's Commercial Crew program, aimed at developing private spacecraft to transport American astronauts in to space, began under Barack Obama.

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Want to buy a used car? Rental car companies are offering up some good deals. All of the major car rental companies- Hertz, Enterprise, Alamo Avis, Budget and others- list their used rental cars for sale on their web sites. Shoppers can search inventories and test drives are usually much more generous than you'll find at typical used car dealers.

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Microsoft confirms new Windows 10 update warning The problem, once again, is KB4556799, a recent Windows 10 update pushed to millions of PCs which has already caused numerous issues, including Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes, deleted user data, performance issues, broken audio and more. Microsoft is investigating these problems, but the company has now also confirmed on the official KB4556799 update page that it can break Internet connections as well.

 




Things are really rough out there.
Please consider donating to Feeding America
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Categories: Andy Borowitz, Bobcat Goldwaith, CDC, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Glen Campbell, Health, Helena Bonham Carter, Jay Silverheels, John Wayne, Microsoft, Pam Grier, Peter Cushing, Rhinestone Cowboy, SpaceX, Squirrels, Stevie Nicks, Twitter, Video, Windows, YouTube


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Mr. T, Star Wars, Newhart, CDC muzzled, NASA chief quits, Chuck E. Cheese cheats, Distraction!
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Published Thursday, May 21, 2020 @ 12:00 AM EDT
May 21 2020

Note: KGB Report will return on Tuesday, May 26. The Memorial Day weekend is when we traditionally clean up, reconfigure, and re-wire the office. And it's been a tough year...

Today is Tuesday, May 21st, the 142nd day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. 224 days remain until the end of the year.

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Among other things, today is American Red Cross Founder's Day, Ascension, Brown Bag It Thursday, Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Hummus Day, I Need a Patch for That Day, National Apéritif Day, National Memo Day, National Notebook Day, National Strawberries and Cream Day, National Waiters and Waitresses Day, Rapture Party Day, Sister Maria Hummel Day, and World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

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Mr. T is 68 today. (Video)

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On this day in 1980, The Empire Strikes Back was released. (Video)

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The last episode of Newhart aired on this day in 1990. (Video)

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'We've been muzzled': CDC sources say White House putting politics ahead of science.

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GOP fronts 'pro-Trump' doctors to prescribe rapid reopening.

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Two dam breaches in central Michigan force mass evacuations. (Video)

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Uh oh. Study shows 70% of consumers would rather watch new movies at home. 13% say they are more likely to watch at a local cinema (with 17% not sure).

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Trump threatens to withhold aid to two states over expanded voting by mail. President Trump on Wednesday threatened to halt federal funding to Michigan and Nevada over the distribution of absentee ballots in those states amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak that has left more than 90,000 Americans dead.

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NASA's head of human spaceflight abruptly resigns, citing 'mistake'. The source familiar with the reason for Loverro's departure said the issue centered on contracts that were awarded earlier this year for development of lunar landers, or vehicles that can carry astronauts to the moon's surface.

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Trump announces executive order 'suspending' regulations impeding US economy. The order is about "instructing federal agencies to use any and all authority to waive, suspend and eliminate unnecessary regulations that impede economic recovery," Mr Trump said before signing it with a large black felt pen.

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Windows 10 warning: anger at Microsoft rises with serious new failure. Microsoft’s new KB4556799 Windows 10 update is causing a myriad of problems for users, including Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) crashes, deleted data, performance issues, broken audio and more. And users are not happy.

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Will government mandate COVID-19 vaccinations? The Congressional Research Service says the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that "The states' general police power to promote public health and safety encompasses the authority to require mandatory vaccinations."" And states have all exercised that authority for children, usually allowing for some exceptions. CRS also says, "Congress, as a result of various enumerated powers in the Constitution, likewise has some authority over public health matters, including regulation of vaccination."

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Chuck E. Cheese tricks Grubhub customers with sneaky new name.

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Borowitz:

Trump Fears Painting of Obama at White House would spy on him.

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Thoughts of the day:

Any government which made the welfare of men depend on the character of their governors was an illusion.
-Daniel J. Boorstin

The difference between a democracy and a dictatorship is that in a democracy you vote first and take orders later; in a dictatorship you don't have to waste your time voting.
-Charles Bukowski

I try to avoid experience if I can. Most experience is bad.
-E.L. Doctorow

All scientifically possible technology and social change predicted in science fiction will come to pass, but none of it will work properly.
-Neil Gaiman

You have more to do than you can possibly do. You just need to feel good about your choices.
-David Allen

Distraction! (Video)




Things are really rough out there.
Please consider donating to Feeding America
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Categories: Andy Borowitz, Bob Newhart, CDC, Chuck E. Cheese, Covid-19, Donald Trump, Microsoft, Mr. T, NASA, Star Wars, Vaccines, Windows


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Insanity...
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Published Thursday, June 07, 2018 @ 11:35 AM EDT
Jun 07 2018

...is, the old saying goes, doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So when for the fourth time in as many months all the wise gurus told me to do a clean reinstall of Windows 10, I got to thinking that there may be a madness to their method.

Whatever conditions that cascade into the inevitable implosion of my PC are probably just going to happen again if I follow this inane advice. I would feel more confident if there was a single explanation for my machine's instability. I spent eight hours reviewing seven different, well-respected technical forums and collected no less than 13 plausible reasons Windows self-lobotomizes itself after running for two weeks or so. And of course, each explanation is provided in the condescending, self-assured expert tone that leads me to believe the user just accidentally stumbled across something that worked on his specific computer.

My laptop has a hybrid hard drive. Part of the storage is a traditional, spinning disk drive, part is solid state disk (SSD). Through some magic, the drive supposedly knows what data is most frequently used and caches that information in the faster SSD storage.

In the past, my backup technique was to clone my laptop's hard drive to an identical drive connected via a USB adapter using a reliable third party utility. If the laptop drive went belly up, it was a simple matter of turning the machine off, flipping it over, removing two screws, swapping in the image backup drive, screwing the cover back on, booting up, and ordering a new external clone drive from Amazon.

Alas, this "superior" hybrid drive can't be cloned because of its magical structure. Instead, you need to use Microsoft's system image backup utility. Windows 10 doesn't have a native program to do this, so Microsoft included the one from Windows 7/8. Restoring this image requires performing a number of time consuming steps before having to arduously copy the external system image back to the new internal drive. To make things even more interesting, there are several references that Microsoft "deprecated" the system image restore function for this utility on Windows 10. Sometimes it will work. Sometimes it won't. If it does, you're welcome. If it doesn't, well, you were warned.

So, here's the plan: Once I restore all the stuff missing between my last backup and system failure- fortunately, just a few hours' worth, thanks to Mozy Online Backup- I'm going to create yet another system image. Then I'm going to replace this hybrid drive with a plain ol' reggly spinning microscopic rust particle drive. I then have to use a USB stick to boot into recovery mode and restore the system image to the new drive. The machine should boot and my problem should be solved.

I'm then going to revert to my old method of cloning to an external drive every day. So, if the drive in the machine fails, it's just a matter of taking out a couple of screws and swapping drives.

Did I say a couple screws? Ah, this is a premium laptop. I have to remove 11 screws, the optical drive, the battery, and then pry the back off with a special tool, being careful not to damage the dozen or so plastic retaining clips.

Ah, progress.


Categories: Microsoft, The Daily KGB Report, Windows


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Fortunately, it still works in the opposite direction
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Published Thursday, May 24, 2018 @ 7:56 AM EDT
May 24 2018

Donald Trump cannot block critical Twitter users, court rules

WASHINGTON- A federal judge in New York ruled Wednesday that President Trump may not block users from following his Twitter account because the social media platform is a "public forum" protected by the First Amendment.

A group of Twitter users sued the president in July after the @realDonaldTrump account blocked them from replying to his messages. The seven users had each tweeted a message critical of the president before they were blocked.

"Blocking of the individual plaintiffs as a result of the political views they have expressed is impermissible under the First Amendment," Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald wrote in the decision.

"While we must recognize, and are sensitive to, the president's personal First Amendment rights, he cannot exercise those rights in a way that infringes the corresponding First Amendment rights of those who have criticized him," she wrote.

The White House did not respond to a request for a comment. The Justice Department said in a statement it disagreed with the decision and is considering its next move.

Trump has more than 52 million followers on his @realDonaldTrump account, which has become the platform he uses most often to communicate to voters.

"The president's practice of blocking critics on Twitter is pernicious and unconstitutional, and we hope this ruling will bring it to an end," said Jameel Jaffer, executive director of the Knight First Amendment Institute, which filed the suit.

(via USA Today)

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Windows 10 has crashed on me- again- causing another painful bout of trying to reconstruct everything. Backups are useful, but it doesn't help that Microsoft has designed an operating system and applications with file structures that resist or even conceal themselves from recovery utilities. I'm almost the at the point of considering getting a new system; I've rebuilt this one from the oxide up three times so far. Perhaps four years is the limit for the reliable operation of consumer PCs. Whatever... in the immortal words of Paul Simon, "You know, I don't find this stuff amusing anymore."

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Due to the Memorial Day holiday, KGB Report on the web will return on Tuesday. Follow KGB Report and my personal account on Facebook for frequent updates.


Categories: Donald Trump, Microsoft, The Daily KGB Report, Twitter, Windows


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Windows 10, Me 1
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Published Saturday, December 12, 2015 @ 12:26 AM EST
Dec 12 2015

I had finished all the backups and was preparing to wipe out my existing hard drive by installing a clean copy of Windows 10 when I noticed something odd.

The last reboot of the machine took under 50 seconds, from the time I clicked on "restart" until the time the Windows 10 lock screen appeared.

Ok, Sherlock... first rule of troubleshooting: what changed? Zeroeth rule of troubleshooting: check the cables first.

Aha. The cable between the machine's USB 3.0 port and the external hard drive was disconnected. I had removed it after my last backup and shifted the drive itself to the other side of the desk.

Ok... click on restart. Shutdown, reboot, lock screen, 46 seconds.

Plug in the USB cable and turn on the external drive. Wait until the notebook sees the drive. Click "Reset."

About 30 seconds to shut down. The boot screen appears, and... stays there. Two minutes... six minutes... 20 minutes.

Hit the power button until the machine stops.

Unplug the offending USB port. Hit the power button. 35 seconds later, lock screen.

That's it for the day. Lots of things to check: bad cable, driver software, misconfigured port. Unplugging the external drive between boots is a minor inconvenience, but I can live with it.

Family commitments today. We'll see what Sunday brings. I'm just relieved I don't have to reinstall all my application software.


Categories: Microsoft, Windows


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Windows 10, Me 0
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Published Friday, December 11, 2015 @ 6:28 AM EST
Dec 11 2015

It's clear to me now that the proper route from Windows 7 to Windows 10 is to buy a machine with it pre-installed, or to do a "clean" install, starting with reformatting the hard drive .

Alas, I took the route Microsoft pushes most- a reminder from the Windows Update app that W10 was merely a button-click away.

I succumbed to the temptation, since it meant I wouldn't have to reinstall all my applications and backup and restore all my data.

Thirty years of computer experience should have told me that slapping a new operating system over an old one was a disaster waiting to happen. But I figured if Microsoft was touting the Windows Update approach, it was the way to go.

Nope.

Once it's up and running, Windows 10 performs OK and has a couple new features that will boost productivity. But I still can't get the machine to shut down and reboot consistently, and the Windows error logs suggest driver and application incompatibilites are widespread and possibly contributing to my ongoing troubles.

Were it not for the fact that my profession requires me to have the latest Microsoft OS running somewhere so I can answer questions and confirm software compatibility, I would have stuck with Windows 7.

So, I have to bite the bullet, organize my files and applications so they can be quickly backed up and restored, and do a full-blown install.

The executive summary: Windows 10 appears to be stable and nowhere near as user hostile as Windows 8. But don't try to migrate to it using Windows Update. Either buy a new machine with it pre-installed, or download Microsoft's Media Creation Tool, which builds a full Windows 10 idistribution on a DVD or USB stick.

Sigh. Imagine sitting down at the keyboard and discovering all the letters had been rearranged, and you have to restore them to their proper positions before you can do anything.

It's like that.

See you tomorrow, I hope.


Categories: Microsoft, Windows


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Onward and sideways
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Published Wednesday, December 02, 2015 @ 8:45 PM EST
Dec 02 2015

For the third time I installed Windows 10 on my main system. This time it appears to work, or at least I haven't encountered any of the previous difficulties that required me to revert to Windows 7.

The process was not without incident. The "This is taking longer than expected... just a few more moments" message displayed not for moments, but for over an hour. Then it wouldn't shut down. Then when it rebooted, it came up to a black screen.

If you're going to do a Windows 10 upgrade, it's essential you have another machine nearby so you can search Google and YouTube for solutions to these problems. As usual, the worst place to look is on the official Windows support site.

Once you're up and running (and, it seems, running slower than Windows 7), you'll discover Microsoft is like Giant Eagle... rearranging the layout of things for no obvious reason. For example, the Backup and Restore functions on Windows 7 were located on the control panel and named "Backup and Restore." On Windows 10, those functions are located under something called "File History." Why? In my 30+ years in computing, I've never asked or been asked for a current "file history." The term has been, and will continue to be, "backup."

I'm certain more delights await, but I'm committed now, at least on this machine.

To paraphrase myself, calling Windows 10 Microsoft's most advanced operating system is like saying Moe was the smart Stooge.


Categories: Microsoft, Windows


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