I don’t like the U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Hobby Lobby. I don’t like the fact that Japan’s prime minister has not learned anything from history about the dangers of a heavily militarized Japan. And I don’t like the idea of a caliphate being created in Syria and Iraq.

Am I just getting old and crotchety, or are there some seriously bad things happening in the world right now? I mean, bad things are always happening, but these three things seem particularly ominous because they all point to a regression in our collective intelligence as humans.

Why are we going backwards?

I have a Windows 7 laptop and recently the fan has started to run loudly whenever I open Chrome. This made me think that Chrome was using up too much memory. I was able to narrow it down to Chrome because it happens even if there is nothing else open.

I noticed in the Task Manager (ctrl+alt+delete, then select “Task Manager”) that Chrome had launched several processes. I wondered why that was the case and whether that was what was causing the problem. This post on Reddit gave an idea of how to proceed.

  1. Use shift+esc while you are in Chrome to see what processes are currently running.
  2. Have a look (on the settings page) at which extensions you have enabled and delete any ones that you don’t use very often.

This seems to have fixed the problem, so far.

I call it a “fake argument” when there is a supposedly controversial issue that, when you really think about it, doesn’t even need to be discussed. Here are my top three fake arguments. If you find yourself embroiled in an argument (online or otherwise) that involves any of these topics, don’t get fired up. Just ignore it. Walk away. It is fake. It doesn’t exist. It is rubber and you are glue.

  1. No one is trying to take away Christmas by saying “Happy Holidays”.
  2. Democrats vs. Republicans. Liberals vs. conservatives. These words are meaningless. Never remain involved in an argument that has devolved to the point where any of these words are being used. If you can’t express your own point of view without referring to a political ideology (that is only used to shore up a cult of personality around politicians), then your argument is invalid (and fake).
  3. Parents vs. childless people. Any intelligent person can tell that it is hard to raise children. Any intelligent person knows that there are reasons why some people cannot have children or choose not to have children. EOD.

After I updated my computer to Windows 8.1 (from Windows 8.0), I got a garbled error message on my screen that said something about “Code D100″ and PPPoE. I couldn’t read the rest of it because it was in incorrectly encoded Japanese, despite the fact that my computer is Japanese. I figured out that the problem was with the Flet’s Connection Tool (フレッツ接続ツール). I was able to fix it by downloading a new version of the connection tool here.

I just updated my computer to Windows 8.1 and while I was working on a spreadsheet in Google Drive, I suddenly pressed a combination of keys that made my computer start reading out stuff on the screen. Here is how I got it to stop.

Press [Windows] and [Enter].

This will also make it start again. I got myself into this mess by trying to make a line break in a cell in my spreadsheet (which is done with [Alt] and [Enter]) and mistyping.

More info is available on the Windows site.