October 31, 2012

How to delete Google+ notifications

Warning: The following article is not good advice. It's sarcasm. If you were looking for reliable instructions about using G+, you've come to the wrong place. I was a little frustrated when I wrote it, for no particular reason, and I was expressing that in sarcasm. Besides that, it was written years ago.

They said it couldn't be done, but I did it. I deleted notifications that I had received from Google plus. (This is not about preventing future notifications. A lot of pages that talk about deleting notifications are actually instructions for turning off future email notifications, which Google+ has settings to do. I'm talking about deleting and permanently removing notifications that you have already received. My method deletes notifications from the Google+ notification button that displays how many unread notifications you have, and from the Google+ notifications page that "View all notifications" shows you.)

Step 1: Back up any of your Google+ content that you want to save.

Step 2: Delete any information Google has about you that may have resulted in receiving the unwanted notification, such as a Gmail contact to a person to whom the notification refers.

Step 3: In Google+ click the gear icon then click "Settings" or use any other way to get to the "Account Settings" page. On that page, find "Disable Google+" and click the "here" link.

Step 4: A page appears with a radio button labeled "Delete Google+ content" to select what you want to delete. Click it. (Trust me. I know what I'm doing, and this is the way to do it. Just don't click the radio button labeled "Delete your entire Google profile".)

Step 5: Click the check box labeled "Required: I understand that deleting this service can't be undone and the data I delete can't be restored." (You want to get this done don't you? It's currently Google policy that there's no way to delete notifications, so you're lucky that there's even this way to do it. Buck up and go ahead.)

Step 6: Click the blue bar labeled "Remove selected services".

Step 7: If desired, enter your reason for leaving as "notifications can't be deleted" or words to that effect, or a complaint about the notification that bothered you and that you couldn't delete it.

Step 8: Click any further confirmation buttons as necessary to complete the deletion.

Now your deletion of Google+ notifications is complete. If you still want to use Google plus, just sign back in, simple as that. (Of course, if you had some Google+ content that you want to use again, such as lists of contacts in circles, you'll have to enter it again. That's why you did the backup in step 1. You did back up your data, right? Well, that was your responsibility, and you were warned.)

[Disclaimer: I have no financial affiliation with Google nor with any other social network service. No warranty of suitability of the instructions provided herein for any purpose is expressed or implied.]

June 07, 2012

Switch to LibreOffice! Now!

I just switched over to LibreOffice.

Trying to read the documentation for Basic at OpenOffice.org, I ran across the page where there are warnings about a bunch of bugs in the Currency type variable, which is supposed to store and calculate amounts of currency accurately (to four decimal places without rounding errors and amounts up to 922 trillion.) Trying some little tests that others had written in Basic, I reproduced those errors on my computer. The errors weren't small; they were like 5 times 50000 equals 10.949 trillion for example. It couldn't deal with any amount over 214 thousand reliably. The errors were still there after years and versions of people complaining.

I thought "I'm not having any of this" and as soon as I had documented how the tests went and found out that the LibreOffice team had found a solution to that bug in 2010, I shut it all down and went out to get something to eat. The next time I started the computer, the first thing I did was uninstall OpenOffice, then find the LibreOffice download page, look at their latest version, restart the computer, download it, install it, load up the Basic tests I was working on, and surprise, surprise, enjoy the clean, neat feeling of having 5 times 50000 equal 250000.

Update June, 10:

Don't trust the Basic Currency type variable to get every hundredth of a cent right on amounts multiplied to over 92 billion. In LibreOffice 3.5.4 it definitely works better than OpenOffice 3.3 did (one of the versions with extreme, unacceptable errors.) However, a Currency type product goes off by a hundredth of a cent on some results just over 92 billion, with more frequent and proportionately larger inaccuracies for higher amounts. Inaccuracies are almost inevitable at high amounts, because variables get cast to float at many points if you don't watch out [see hint below] and double check everything, and because the Currency type is a 64-bit integer representation of a fixed-point decimal fraction number, by the integer representing 10000ths, and it probably doesn't get multiplied into a 128-bit number before it's converted back to a 64-bit result, or at least it doesn't get the extra bits over 64 perfectly accurately. So some information can be lost when the result of a multiplication is greater than (2 ^ 63 - 1) / 10000 / 10000. That's just over 92 billion.

A useful hint in this sort of Basic is that the statement

[a sheet object].getCellByPosition(column, row).setValue(cTotal)

where cTotal = a large product you've calculated in Currency type, will lose precision in the spreadsheet display with default settings. Instead of  setValue(cTotal), use:

[a sheet object].getCellByPosition(column, row).setString(str$(cTotal))

Then it will show all the digits of precision (as you widen the column to make room) so you'll be able to see whether you're getting any rounding errors.

I also wrote a base-10000 multiplier with 32 decimal digits of precision to double check everything I'm writing about. Overall this has been sort of fun for me, because it's about learning not to make mistakes in programming, which I made a lot, and learning to make the computer not make mistakes. I think JavaScript and Python would be more practical and up-to-date languages to use.

May 16, 2012

txt to html v7

Here's the latest version of the JavaScript bookmarklet I wrote that changes an unformatted, unwordwrapped page into an html page with word wrap. (For better ways to deal with word wrap, see my old post word wrap for Firefox bookmarklet, which I just updated because I noticed it was getting traffic for that.)

txt to html v7


It's hardly different from txt to html v6. It's still non-standard and not the right way to do it. But it's funny that a program that short that runs from a bookmark can seem to do the work of an HTML editor, turning a plain text file into a local webpage.

April 10, 2012

Atomic Weapons Unreal Hoax

It has come to my attention that many things are fake. Nuclear weapons are fake. I don't mean just some purported nuclear explosions were faked, I mean all of them. Some may have included radioactive materials, to increase the fear of harm from them, or for "realism," or for chemical or mechanical reasons as depleted uranium is said to be used in some weapons, but the explosive power was purely chemical. Films were staged or manipulated, to make bomb tests seem larger than they actually were. So the fear of nuclear war was a result of a false propaganda project.

There was a forum of skeptics on nuclear subjects called "nukelies" for a year that suspended operation this March. A snapshot of that site is available currently at http://www.raetowest.org/ If you look this subject up for yourself instead, please bear in mind that there are also individuals who say that nuclear weapons can only be detonated at certain places and times, for pseudoscientific or mystical reasons, which might be part of the propaganda campaign, to make believing in nuclear weapons look sane compared with that alternative.

This development means I have to re-evaluate all my political opinions, to take account of pervasive propaganda being the way war and politics are conducted. So guess I should be glad that very few have ever read my blog so far.

Update, May 15: After reading about nuclear technology more, I would now say that nuclear weapons are most likely exaggerated in explosive force and numbers in stockpiles and radioactive effects, maybe by factors on the order of 100. I'm not trying to pass a purity test for a forum about disbelieving all war and terror and space propaganda, such as September Clues. I'm just trying to be realistic about it.

There are so many people who've studied nuclear materials and calculated how they can have a chain reaction and melt down, that's probably true and probably produces some explosive force if over criticality is initiated rapidly. The idea that a small lump, a kilogram or so, of uranium or plutonium that has melted down, vaporized, and is expanding rapidly can continue reacting until it's practically all converted into energy and nuclear waste seems doubtful, let alone that physicists can make an impressive amount of hydrogen fusion happen in the middle of that explosion reliably. Plus there's every reason for governments that have nuclear weapons to exaggerate and keep secrets about them as much as they can.

Further update, May 16: Looking at the question again, I think it's likely nuclear weapons may be exaggerated by 100's or 1000's of times or even of insignificant force, though there is radioactive uranium that can melt down and explode, with less or maybe more force than a chemical explosive.

Much as I dislike recommending videos when reading is faster and smarter, considering this is a subject that's largely about television/film/video, as the main way the story was sold to make the public believers in nuclear weapons, video is very helpful for evaluating whether the story is incredible propaganda. Here's the original nuke skeptic YouTube video: BIG LIES - Annotated NUKE LIES - very first nuke skeptic video of 2008 Here's a thoughtful video that suggests interesting explanations about being trapped in a lie for why so many countries would spend so much money and make such exaggerated claims: Nuclear Weapons do not Exist The voice over is quiet so turn it up.

April 07, 2012

Why does America love Israel?

The entity is technically called "the State of Israel." How can an abstract organizational entity be evil? It could if a person believes in spirits, I guess.

So there are a lot of Jews in the United States who support Israel, sending money there or voting as single-issue voters on whether politicians will support Israel or writing on politics with the interests of Israel being their number one concern. That support is influential even though Jews are about 3% of the population, because they're an educated, affluent group. They mostly arrived later from Europe than other European Americans, more urbanized already, and maintained their multilingualism for religious reasons more than other 19th century immigrant groups. Studying Hebrew or Yiddish written in Hebrew letters seems to have more effect on intellect than studying languages written in the Latin alphabet. I have a feeling about that because I studied Hebrew for a few lessons when I was about 9, though I'm not Jewish. Because Hebrew letters are written right to left and have special marks for vowels added between the consonants, it maybe wakes up some analytical or linguistic talents that people might not otherwise know they could have if they haven't studied it. That's a similar effect to studying music notation, which has been found scientifically to increase intelligence.

So anyway, it's not just Jews in the United States supporting Israel, it's a lot of Christians too. Out of the half of Americans who are churchgoers or strongly Christian, about half of them seem to think that when the Bible says "Israel" in prophecy, it means the State of Israel right now. Christians in the Middle Ages would NOT have thought that if the Jews launched a crusade to take the Holy Land, Christians should support that and God would bless it. In the actual crusades, Christians were trying to take back the Holy Land from Muslims who had recently (as time was measured back then) conquered it, oppressing the local Christians. Christians before the 19th century all believed that Jews were in error, not accepting Christ, and that God's promises went to the descendants of Israel who were Christian. Otherwise they would have converted to Judaism, of course, and some did. How else would there be so many Jews so far north speaking Yiddish, which is a dialect from medieval German? (The idea they were pure Khazars is a suspect mythology just like the idea they were purely from ancient Hebrew tribes.)

Why is there this idea of the Holy Land, and why do I capitalize it? To emphasize that it's being used as a proper noun, to name a ridiculous idea people have, not using words accurately. Europe was ruled from Rome and tied together culturally by Latin and Latin-derived languages and the Roman alphabet. Rome had been overtaken by Christianity since Constantine. So Rome became a cultural sort of capital, and Byzantium in the east, spreading Christianity to the "barbarians" further north. (Though Vikings like the Icelanders had democratic, equal societies before they were Christianized, and everywhere else in the world was barbaric in that sense.) So the class of people who could spend their time reading and teaching and writing history even in the dark ages, collecting taxes, were religious people who had the Bible as their foundational text, collecting taxes as "tithes" and justifying their privilege in that religious scheme. Modern European culture was built on top of that.

In the Renaissance (c. 1300-1500) Western Europeans attempted to recover scholarship in Greek, but they were Christians and often pursuing that for Christian reasons such as reading the Bible in Greek, so they didn't go far enough. Although some Greek texts were reinforced as more foundational for Western European culture, which led to the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, the idea of the Bible "in the original Greek" was also reinforced. That led to Protestantism, the idea each man has to read and believe it for himself from the text, which worked at cross purposes to the advancement of science and reason.

The United States was founded on Enlightenment ideals, the founding fathers being rationalists, deists, scientific minded, distrusting and warning against literalist Christians. However, America, the country and people that the United States government was imposed on, had a Protestant tendency that spread out on the frontier, with revival movements, and a mythos of furthering Protestantism being the destiny that moving from Europe and populating this land was all about.

That all adds up to America becoming a country that paradoxically considered itself destined, blessed above other countries, and yet not the Holy Land. Zionist editorialists easily shaped public opinion through the 20th century into equating Holy Land with their State of Israel for Jews project. Thus the seeds were sown for the Third World War, intended by each of several sides to disprove the other's religion and pretensions of world domination decisively, by an exchange of nuclear weapons.

March 10, 2012

Scientific worldview mostly wrong, but don't panic

Not everything is important. There can't be a large number of very important issues that deserve getting worked up about. There can't even be any for the average person who can't do anything about them, only personal issues about what's immediately in front of them, food, clothing, shelter, whom they're going to be around that day, etc.

Part of how this works is that the mainstream scientific conventional worldview is wrong about a lot of things, especially things involving prehistory, so that a lot of the excitement about scientific debates and a lot of conventional science-based fears such as about medical issues are completely wasted effort. It's not that Genesis is right. That's even more wrong taken literally. It's that scientific conventional views, no matter how reasonable, don't include enough imagination that they can be wrong and missing major parts of the picture about things they say happened thousands, millions, or billions of years ago, including the time scale.

The conventional scientific worldview is all built from extrapolation from things like a chipped rock to tell the story of people before history or better examples of human art or artifacts. Some redshift of galaxies and a background temperature of deep space is spun into the story of the Big Bang. The furthest reaching extrapolations or speculations that stand up to reason as possibilities given the limited evidence win in the marketplace of ideas. The alternative that
prehistory is unknown and there's too little evidence to judge or say for sure what happened within orders of magnitude on the time scale is ignored as not really seeming like a competitor. Ideas about geological and biological history build up into a grand story over billions of years to which individual scientists just add pieces.

So worries about viruses and the supposed need for vaccination with toxins (an originally superstitious not scientific practice, to inject a batch of toxins) are mostly wrong in a way that's been debunked, while worry about harm from vaccinations is also often overblown, but some of that harm is real. There is an underlying reality after all where physical causes trigger physical effects, such as that sticking a concoction of biological junk and toxic preservatives called a vaccine directly into someone's bloodstream triggers strong reactions in some individuals.

The story of AIDS has been debunked. How much simpler to say that having some sorts of sexual activity and drugs often, or some dirty injected heroin, or malnutrition with diarrhea in Africa, causes some individuals to have a condition that includes higher reactivity of their blood components to some supposed HIV test, a condition that then looks like full-blown AIDS if they're treated with the same extremely toxic drugs as other AIDS patients were out of desperation and fear that they had an incurable fatal disease. The actual story of who was said to have AIDS or HIV and how they were treated is much more complicated than that. Even debunking the scientific conventional view, it's easy to sound like one is proposing an alternative grand story, instead of saying it's all a muddle where the supposed disease entities or categories involved are shifting social constructions, and yet some people actually are sick, for various real reasons.

The importance of this kind of thing to the individual is not to be a political activist about such issues, it's to learn not to worry about things that have been fed as fears by the mainstream media and schools, while also taking reasonable care of one's health by looking out for one's body.

So what about political issues? Are there issues that are important for people to know about and express opinions on, as voters or good citizens? Some would say a person should be informed about anthropogenic global warming, pollution, extinctions of species and biodiversity, war in general and specific areas of conflict such as Israel and neighboring countries, the energy crisis and which sources of energy to support or use, nuclear energy and the balance of nuclear weapons and nuclear proliferation, economics at the international scale enough to take seriously news of debt crises and countries in rapid growth and foreign aid, and understanding various
other issues on a scientific basis, including the need for more and better science education in schools to make everyone else more informed too.

It's all useless. It just isn't possible in human affairs for there to be issues that private individuals should be informed and active on, other than knowing which way the wind is blowing to take care of themselves, because this is a planet with billions of semi-intelligent people all trying every day to solve the problems that are in front of them and, when they have the opportunity, to solve as many other people's problems as possible for profit or fame or honor, or for the intellectual thrill of it, which is the motive that gets the hardest technical and mathematical problems solved.