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technology

Interesting post on reddit

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technology

Delaware is written on ALL our hearts

In December 7, 1787 the state of Delaware was the first to ratify the U.S. Constitution. And since then, challenges have mounted. I’m reminded of this telling quote from a Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln in June 16, 1858.

“A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”

I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.

It will become all one thing or all the other.

Either the opponents of slavery will arrest the further spread of it, and place it where the public mind shall rest in the belief that it is in the course of ultimate extinction; or its advocates will push it forward, till it shall become lawful in all the States, old as well as new — North as well as South.[6]:9

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%27s_House_Divided_Speech

No half steps, not anymore. You either win the day, or your cede the field. And that’s what’s happening now. To paraphrase that racist idiot George Wallace,…
Union today, Union ‘to-morrah’, Union ‘for-evah’.

Here’s to Delaware’s native son, first in the Nation, and now President of the United States, Joseph R. Biden Jr.

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technology

Ivanka Trump wants to be POTUS

You can attend all the inaugurations from now until the end of time.

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technology

Does it seem like 15 years?

Well, that happened. I was a little late to the blogging phenomenon. I skipped, missed out on all the also-ran, predecessors. But when I finally registered a domain, and got it redirected to WordPress.com, it all clicked. I didn’t need to go to GoDaddy to host a WordPress for me, or find a server/VM provider to upload, install, configure it all myself. Instead I jumped both feet forward into a hosted account where I didn’t need to do anything more than register a domain, and redirect it, oh and write,… writing too.
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technology

Climate Deniers Shift Tactics to ‘Inactivism’ – Scientific American

By Richard Schiffman (an environmental journalis based in New York City)

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/climate-deniers-shift-tactics-to-inactivism/

If I’ve learned anything from the whole sad tale of Big Tobacco going after Jeffrey Wygand https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_Wigand, it’s that money knows no bounds. Nothing is in good faith ever, apples to apples comparisons, it is about winner take all. And that’s been the approach, the playbook for every opposition research effort since Big Tobacco decided to defend it’s turf back in the early 1960s. This is about gang lords of giant companies all huddling together and figuring out who to punish and take out. Whether it’s groups like ALEC [American Legislative Exchange Council], or British Petroleum, or CRC Advisors, or the American Energy Alliance, or Guy McPherson, they all wish to defend the turf of Big Energy. Just like turning the idea of recycling back onto the consumer, the Big Energy gang are trying to turn back the idea of a carbon footprint back onto the individual. They say, they point at you the individual, it’s you!! It is YOU that have destroyed the environment, caused the global warming. What are YOU doing about it? And that’s not a good faith, apples-to-apples interaction with us, the public. It’s an attempt to defend their turf. So As Professor Michael Mann points out, keep your eye on climate debate. Actions and meaningful laws, change in business practicies means the Climate can be saved. Once that inertial stiction has been broken, we can get this problem solved.

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technology

WhatsApp will share your data with Facebook whether you like it or not — 9to5Mac

WhatsApp will shortly start to share your data with Facebook as a condition of use of the app. This completes a U-turn which began when Facebook first acquired the app back in 2014. At the time, WhatsApp assured users that their data would remain private, and not be shared with Facebook … more… The post…

WhatsApp will share your data with Facebook whether you like it or not — 9to5Mac

I deleted my Facebook account utterly back in 2018, but continue to use WhatsApp to this day because it bypass SMS messaging charges with my cell phone provider. And with international travel (remember that?) it made it a little easier and more fun to share things with people in real time. But now, I’m questioning that decision. And may have to NOW dump WhatsApp as well. If there’s any intent, spirit of competition left in regulatory agencies that watch Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook’s actions, I’m hoping they DO decide to breakup Facebook. And if WhatsApp is cast-off as a standalone entity so much the better. But everytime Zuck buys something, I’m going to run away from it like a California wildfire, or a Gulf Coast hurricane, as nothing good can come from sheltering in place against the existential threat of Facebook.

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tokyo

Huge crowds go to Japanese temples on New Year to “pray for things to return to normal”

The only thing thicker than the crowds is the irony. The New Year is a major holiday in Japan. There’s plenty of traditional (and dangerous) food to eat, plus the annual hatsumode — visiting a shrine to wish for health, happiness, and good fortune in the next year. Of course this year, with the coronavirus steadily […]

Huge crowds go to Japanese temples on New Year to “pray for things to return to normal”
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technology

Technology nerd insider info on cameras

<RANT/>
I don’t know about you, I remember when I first started seeing people using SLRs for video. It was some time back when Ikegami, Sony, Panasonic, JVC were all settling on various kinds of Full HD and not interested in Digital Cinema per se. They were leaving that to the old line camera makers who were designing specialty cameras for the new generation Star Wars series (remember Jar Jar Binks?). Anyways, those top of the line digital cinema jobbies cost $125,000K and only George Lucas was willing to spend that much to get effing 2K resolution (big whoopity do-dah-dey).

Within a few years all the still camera makers were shooting well past 2K for still cams in an arms race to have the highest rez, largest frame size, etc. And Nikon vs. Canon, it seemed like Nikon got there first but within months Canon stole the show. But what nobody tells you is how much people had to effing “mod” their cams in order to make them digital cinema. Meaning, they had to wire up HDMI output jacks to the sensor so they could record with a “studio monitor” device like the Atomos Ninja https://www.atomos.com/ninja/, cuz’ internally Sony and Canon had proprietary video formats and you had “NO” control over any setting for digital cinema. Atomos changed that dynamic by saying, “Camera maker, give me your sensors, I will do the rest” and that’s the way it worked. Atomos could record and save out to ProRes or Avid formats all day long. Any framesize/frame rate you wanted. Digital cinema finally came down in price. However at the end of the day those cameras were STILL digital still cameras.


And that’s what brings me to this video right here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1u-9YqrIJc

‘Cuz the thing is,… I noticed all the digital still videographers (even the old mainline Sony/Ikegami/Panasonic/JVC guys) when the adopted SLRs, always used 2 cameras? That became a thing suddenly. Always two cameras when in the old days it was one Betcam SP shoulder mounted camera or tripod mounted. SLR videographers were buying those add-on rails for their tripods so they could mount two heads on one tripod and have 2 cameras. Again, why two? Why did that become a thing when still cams became video digital cinema cams?

It was because of the HEAT! OMG! the heat. Those kick-ass, high-rez CMOS sensors were not like our old CCD friends from years ago. And the SLR cam folks weren’t old-line video cam makers either (Although Canon “did” have some amount of Video cam knowledge it could have leveraged). So I say Canon of all the manufacturers should have known better once SLRs were being used for digital cinema. Except for Canon, all the old video cams makers know one thing from the “tube” era was that Saticon, and Vidicon tubes run hot, and they used to have water coolers built-in to those giant monster TV studio cams back in the 50s and 60s and 70s (before CCD took hold in the 80s with Betacam SP). So why did this happen? My guess is, that aside from Canon, the SLR still cameras are made by old photo still cam manufacturers. So the poor digital cinematographers all said, “Well, let’s workaround the thermal overload on these cams like a bucket brigade putting out a fire.” Use cam #1 until it overheats, the use cam #2 while cam #1 cools off. All of this just to record at 4K instead of George Lucas’s measly 2K for Jar Jar Binks.

Which brings us to ALL the mods the British guy in the YouTube video made (DIY Perks). That guy more or less in 20minutes shows WHY everyone bought 2 still cams to do the work of single, solitary older generation VIDEO camera. It proves Canon doesn’t care, Nikon doesn’t care. They charge you $4,000 for that Canon R5 with 8K full frame sensor with a gorgeous dynamic range LUT. But then they don’t cool it for shit. So now you have to buy 2 of these hunks of metal and run them for 20 minutes each. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

And that British guy in the video demonstrates how easy it would be for Canon to add adequate cooling to their $4K cam to get access to all it’s neato keen features (stabilization on teh sensor, dynamic range, full frame, 8K!)

Categories
technology

IVY and algorithmic suggestion engines

I let the Spotify Discover Weekly suggest it’s ass off every week to see what gems it mines. I then proceed to like things and ignore the rest. I don’t dislike things, but press “like” only to see what Spotify can discover.
And as a result I’ve found some things are coming up over and over again (some obscure, one hit wonder types like Syd Barrett, Wesley Willis, Silver Apples, etc.) But occasionally there’s a mainstream/underrated/under-promoted band I never heard of that bears a resemblance to a more well know band I really like.


Computers! They have the monopoly on the back catalog of every record producer and publisher no matter who they might be. So I got exposed last week to a guy named Vini Reilly (a longtime presence on the music scene in Manchester UK) and his band The Durutti Column. I got very distracted and short-term obsessed finding interviews on YouTube. I learned for the first time that Vini Reilly produced Morissey’s first solo effort Viva Hate, but got “0 credit” on the album or in the music press or in the awards shows over the years. Vini Reilly is by his own retelling the guy that saved this record project for Morissey and put his heart and soul into producing and actually writing a large number of tracks on that album. Had I only known that back in ’87/’88 I would have bought every Durutti Column record/CD I could lay my hands on. But too late, know I can just dabble/sample all day long on Spotify.


Which leads me to this week’s big rabbit hole discovery, and band from NYC called simply: IVY. And I found a whole live performance at a dive bar in Philly called Pontiac Grille (probably not unlike bug jar in Rochester for all I know): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ5-uOkZTEY
The singer, Dominique Durand, came to the U.S. met up with other found members of the band and started IVY around 1994, or so (similar in some ways to Stereolab give or take a year). So that’s not where the similarity ends, they have a kind of Euro-pop, minor chord wistfulness that is in a lot of Stereolab tracks, along with some harmonies and keyboards. Had I only known about IVY when I was at Art School. I would have bought their whole back catalog on CD. Instead I was fixated on listening to really old R.E.M. and deciphering Michael Stipe’s non-sense word salads from pre-Document days. I could have been listening to Stereolab and IVY that whole time instead.


I mention algorithmic recommendation engines in the subject line because I read down through ALL the comments from that YouTube performance at the Pontiac Grille in Philly. People were reminiscing how THEY discovered IVY. And one guy was saying GrooveShark recommended them back in 2013 or something. Another guy mentioned he got a Pandora recommendation in 2015. So the algorithm engines work, people really do like these bands they never heard about when they were active. Which is sad ‘cuz they coulda had a bigger audience back inna day and wouldn’t have struggled as much getting noticed. Makes me sad they were overlooked, but you can’t help it, that’s the brutality of the commercial music engine.

Categories
technology

In Nagorno-Karabakh, drones gave Azerbaijan huge advantage and showed future of warfare – The Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/nagorno-karabkah-drones-azerbaijan-aremenia/2020/11/11/441bcbd2-193d-11eb-8bda-814ca56e138b_story.html

Here’s a metaphor for you. Drones are the new truck bombs. Hands down. In the realm of asymetric warfare, now all you need to defeat an enemy is take out their “spendy” weapons export licensed systems (sold to you courtesy of Vladimir Putin). Then what do you have? Sounds like nothing, you got nothing.

And that’s how asymetric warfar works. Whether it’s a protracted guerilla war of attrition or one of these drone strike extravaganza’s as described in WaPO, Azerbaijan gained the upperhand:

Their tally, which logs confirmed losses with photographs or videos, listed Armenian losses at 185 T-72 tanks; 90 armored fighting vehicles; 182 artillery pieces; 73 multiple rocket launchers; 26 surface-to-air missile systems, including a Tor system and five S-300s; 14 radars or jammers; one SU-25 war plane; four drones and 451 military vehicles.

Azerbaijan, the group concluded, had visually confirmed losses of 22 tanks, 41 armored forced vehicles, one helicopter, 25 drones and 24 vehicles

By Robyn Dixon
November 11, 2020 at 4:06 PM EST

So one does not need to have 1.)a space program, 2.)a missile program, 3.)an atomic bomb program, or 4.)a biological weapon program. You dictators, save your money. Just buy drones, lots of drones from Turkey, or Israel and suicide bomb every weapon system on your opponents battlefield. Then roll on in and start the real urban warfare, street by street, bullet by bullet, landmine by landmine.