Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Firefox Updated

Are you sick and tired of the bugs in your old web browser?  Well, do we have a treat for you!

Here at the Mozilla Foundation we've heard your complaints and taken action - the only action possible.  With Mozilla Firefox, every time you open a new browser session, you'll get a Fresh new version of Firefox.  That's right - if you found issues with the old version, just close it and re-open it and a new version will be automatically downloaded and installed.  We've re-worked our development teams so that they generate new versions every 1.76 seconds, so you'll never again have to be stuck using an old browser.

Firefox Fresh - the new way to browse every single time you open it!


The Outspoken Wookie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christopher Hitchens

I was saddened to hear of the death of Christopher Hitchens even though it was not unexpected.  He was a man true to his convictions, who didn't tolerate nonsense nor woo woo, who loved life for what it actually was, not tainted by some belief in a mythical sky fairy, who was both intelligent and an intellectual, who was an excellent author, debater and personality and who was and will continue to be an inspiration to myself and many others.

Hitchens died on Thursday 15 December, 2011 of pneumonia, a complication of his oesophageal cancer that was no doubt caused by his love of cigarettes.  It still amazes me that intelligent people can be suckered into smoking and find the addiction too hard to overcome, despite knowing the damage smoking can do to oneself.

I fondly recall the Intelligence Squared debate where Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry opposed the motion that "The Catholic Church Is A Force For Good In The World" sitting opposite Archbishop Onaiyekan and Ann Widdecombe.  The audience vote before the debate was roughly 32% For, 52% Against and 16% Undecided, yet following thoughtful, fact based and persuasive arguments by both Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens, the end result was 12% For, 86% Against and 2% Undecided.  If you have not seen this debate, then I'd strongly suggest that investing a mere 2 hours to watch all parts of this debate will be well worth it.

I have read some of Christopher Hitchens' works and feel that I know some of his thoughts and beliefs.  I don't necessarily agree with everything he believed in, but I sure do feel that he had a pretty decent grasp on reality - the reality that we all live in, without it being tainted by belief in any of the great number of myths that a great many people still believe in.  I will definitely be reading more of his work.

We have all lost a great man and a great leader in the fight against nonsense.  My condolences to his family and friends - you have lost a great man that you loved.


The Outspoken Wookie

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sharing A Little FSMas Cheer

I have just reinvested this month's Kiva repayments into loans to more people.  So far, this is how my portfolio looks:

Total Amount Lent$4200.00
Total Amount Repaid$3309.89
Total Amount Lost$    16.06
Total Refund/Expired$    29.01
Outstanding Portfolio$  845.04

Out of a total of 168 loans and $4200 loaned, I have had 4 loans end with a loss and that total loss was just $16.06 - That's a total of 2.4% of my loans have not been paid back fully, with a total of 0.4% default rate (in cash terms).  I'm pretty happy with that and would consider this to be quite a bit better than your average bank would see in their books!  :)

I'm also pleased to say that I'm a member of the AASFSHNR lending team which currently has a total lent amount of US$5,678,275 and climbing and also the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster lending team which is sitting at $875,175 and looking at reaching their first US$1m in loans in the near future - it will be good to help the FSM team reach this significant milestone.

In this holiday season, aside from giving praise to His Sauciness, our Pasta Master, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, would you also consider spreading a little cheer to those in needs of a loan to help them build their businesses or improve their education or housing?  If you'd like to accept a Kiva Invitation from me, just click this link.

Thanks to Kiva, we can make a change for good in many people's lives.


The Outspoken Wookie