Odd Google URLs

This morning I noticed an odd addition to the Google URL whenever I’d click my Home button.
https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ssl&ei=OP8BVPzmC4rm9Aaf6YGIDA
https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ssl&ei=Ov8BVPXbNtHe8gbbpoDQCg
https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ssl&ei=Xv8BVK_qNIrm9Aaf6YGIDA
https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ssl&ei=j_8BVISkFNGf8QbPkIGYCg
https://www.google.com/?gfe_rd=ssl&ei=4_8BVNPsFISd8Aat4oCIBw

The part I hadn’t seen before was: gfe_rd=ssl&ei= with the code following.
(Others report seeing gws_rd=cr&ei=)

A bit of searching showed me this site:
https://deedpolloffice.com/blog/articles/decoding-ei-parameter

Basically it boils down to a timestamp of when the search was done. There may be more to it, but that was the best explanation.

After doing some searching for other search engines I might switch to, the home button now yields
https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl

Back to normal… Hmm.

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Copy protection madness

Flame on! I have a Blu Ray player that I inherited from my dad that is about 8 years old. It has the latest firmware, but still won’t play Disney movies or the two “Ip Man” movies I just purchased. It sticks at the main menu screen and freezes. I’m told this indicates that these disks have a copy protection scheme that isn’t part of the player…

A plague on these companies. Seriously. I have to go out and buy a new player every couple of years so I can play the movies I BOUGHT?! This is the very thing that drives piracy. I am not trying to copy and distribute anything, just watch the movies I bought. It’s absurd to have to jump through these hoops. This is the reason that I went to Linux instead of Windows, because MS was sure that I was stealing the copy of Windows XP that I bought and for which I had a legitimate key.

Grrr.

I ended up watching the movies on Netflix. The whole spinning disk thing really is getting old, and with the problems I describe above I doubt I’ll be buying DVDs or Blu Ray anymore. I hit the same sort of problem when I rented Disney DVDs about a year ago, so I’m done with this format.