Lottery Post Journal

Excellent alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader

A new, free PDF file reader has been released by Nuance, the company that makes PaperPort.  (PaperPort is the software you probably got if you ever purchased a scanner.)

In addition to PaperPort, Nuance makes a number of other good products mainly centered around document management and document conversion.

One of their products, PDF Converter, contains an excellent PDF reader.  It looks like they have taken that reader and packaged it into its own free dowload, minus all the advanced conversion capabilities of PDF Converter.

(The free reader still contains a number of very useful conversion options, such as the ability to convert a PDF file to a Word document or Excel spreadsheet.)

I uninstalled Adobe Reader on my computer and installed the free Nuance PDF Reader, and I am very pleased with the results.

For one thing, it loads in a fraction of the time that the Adobe Reader does.  It also takes up one-quarter of the disk space that Adobe Reader consumes.  (50 MB vs. 200 MB)

But the main attraction is that it is much more secure.  Adobe Reader is well-known as a virus attack target.  In fact, a study done last year showed that something like 70%-80% of all virus attack attempts last year were targeted at Adobe Reader.  Adobe software is frustratingly unsecure.

When you install the Nuance PDF Reader, one of the first questions it asks is if you want to disable JavaScript in the reader.  Saying "Yes, disable it" is a good thing, because it eliminates many of the attacks that could potentially affect your computer.  Very few users would miss JavaScript in their PDF reader software anyway.

Also, because the Nuance software is not the well-known Adobe software, virus makers do not target it.  That's one of the big attractions of going with a non-Adobe reader in general.

Anyone who's looked into PDF readers has no doubt come across Fox-It software, which is another non-Adobe reader.  I tried it, but didn't like it.  The worst thing for me was that it installed a whole bunch of spam-like programs on my computer.  For example, it adds several search add-ons and changed the defaults in my browser.  (It does that in order to get money every time you click something on  No thanks.

The Nuance reader does nothing like that.  The only thing it has is a tiny ad that appears in the upper-right that shows you other Nuance products that are available.  Totally non-intrusive and fine by me, especially for free software.

Finally, one of the nice benefits of un-installing Adobe Reader is that you are no longer continuously nagged to upgrade to the latest version.  They have to do all those updates because they are constantly finding security holes in it.  It's a relief to no longer have to deal with that.

Here's the link to the free Nuance PDF Reader!

My favorite Super Bowl ad

This ad is so great!

"You picked the wrong day to mess with the ecosystem, plastic boy."

What a Republican Health-Care Reform Bill Would Look Like

by Robert M. Levy
Sunday, January 31, 2010

My college sociology professor always gave his classes term papers that we knew would take half a semester of solitary confinement in the graduate library.

But, like most workers, the professor was not fond of uncompensated overtime just to grade the ridiculous ramblings of a sophomore suffering from a weekend hangover. So he limited the length of our papers and reminded us to get to work promptly.

"If I have more time, I can write a shorter paper," he reminded us.

It was the only good advice I ever heard from a socialist. And, I hope that the Congress will take that advice, too.

With the election of Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate, health-care reform has stalled. It was 2,000 pages of leftist legal regurgitation from 60 years of dreams originated by politicians who advocated the policies of Lenin and Trotsky as the solution for the problems of the Great Depression.

So it is now my dream that the current socialists who still maintain a commanding legislative majority will take the advice of their "fellow traveler" from Carolina and take more time. Write a shorter law.

It can be done. I spent 30 years practicing law in California, where Governor Pat Brown Jr. told us that "less is more." I have a few minutes, so I can give them a little less. I can write SB 2010 as follows:

  • Interstate Sale of Insurance: In order to aid in the expansion of interstate commerce in intangible goods, it shall be permissible for persons licensed to sell health insurance in any state to sell health insurance through a licensed insurance broker in the state in which the policy is purchased. The state from which the product originates must allow the policy to be sold to its citizens and must guarantee the solvency of the issuing company through an insurance guarantee fund utilized by all that state's admitted carriers.
  • Tort Reform: In order for any state to receive existing funding for schools of medicine, it must limit the liability of health-care providers to no more than $250,000 for noneconomic damages such as "pain and suffering." This amount shall be adjusted upward or downward each Jan. 2 based upon the rise or fall of the Consumer Price Index.
  • More Tort Reform: In order for states to receive existing federal funding for schools of medicine: (1) No attorney in the state may collect as his fee more than 25 percent of a medical malpractice settlement award; (2) No amount of damages may be collected from any negligent health-care provider except in the proportion to the actor's percentage of negligence; and (3) If a plaintiff commences an action for medical malpractice, the parties that prevail shall be entitled to their reasonable attorney fees from the non-prevailing party.
  • Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions/No Cancellation: Any medical insurance policy written by a company involved in commerce shall not exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions as long as the insured has been continually insured for the previous year. If not insured for the previous year, the insured shall have coverage for pre-existing illnesses not more than one year after insurance commences. And no insurance policy in force for one year or more may be canceled or contested for any reason except nonpayment of premium.

Now, I do not believe that Harry Reid will be receptive to this bill, chiefly because it will not cost the government any money. Put another way, there is no tax money in the bill to pay off the unions in his Nevada casinos.

Yet, I believe that if the public wants health reform at all, given the time we now have to exhale the smog-filled air of Pelosi's San Francisco, we can write a much shorter bill that breaks a new ground of fairness for patients whose appendix need an extraction as opposed to the cash in their wallets.

Both Congress and the president were reprimanded by the voters of Massachusetts. I hope they now know that part of the art of politics is the same as the art of a KISS: "Keep It -Simple, Stupid!"

Robert M. Levy is chairman of the Moore County Republican Party. Contact him at [email protected].