Archaeology Underfoot (by kma2138)
Very cool combination of geo-location and augmented reality for a contextual history lesson while walking around an urban area.
As I previously mentioned, I have a Beacon Audio Phoenix and love it…loved it, until the USB plug became dislodged and it stopped charging. They did offer to replace it, but I haven’t made it to UPS Store yet.
So I went back to depending on my one remaining Bluetooth stereo speakers, Jambox. That’s when I found out they have released a web app that will flash the eprom and update the firmware. The new firmware is leagues ahead of the shipping Jambox in terms of rich, surround-like sound and better IMHO than Beacon. So, I ordered a second so I can keep one permanently attached in the office.
They are also on sale now for $129.99, $50 off.
As you may know, when my cable box smoked in Dec. 2011, I never replaced it. Between my Kindle, Netflix, and in the last 3 months Amazon Instant Video, I didn’t miss it. I don’t like to be glued to the TV to watch. I want true TV over the Internet that I can watch anywhere.
So I signed up to receive info about Nimble TV when they launched. They just did in Chicago. So they stream HD and SD TV to your computer, phone or tablet. Local channels are NYC for now, but cable is via an agreement with Dish Network, which allows Nimble to stream Dish channels live over the Internet. So far it’s great. I can watch in the office, kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, outside anywhere. We’ll see if it survives legal challenges, but if Dish has contracted them as a reseller, then I think it’ll last.
Meanwhile, what is my ISP, Comcast, doing? Trying their best to hang on to the 20th century. Comcast will sell you a service which has an adapter plug into the back of your set top box that then connects to your WiFi and allows streaming only on your home network, ONLY if you subscribe to cable, Internet and phone all three from them. Yeah, I want to go through that much hassle and complexity when we all know all you have to do is stream the channels over the Internet directly. Luddite profiteers.
Game of Thrones - 1995 Style
More like 1985 style, especially with the Queen-style theme song.
Recently, a small group of ex-Uber drivers protested the Company in San Francisco. According to Uber, they had been removed from the system for low ratings and complaints.
Recall that Uber is an online marketplace that brings together existing certified drivers (cab, limo) and customers that they otherwise may not have been aware of, in realtime. The system uses a pair of mobile apps, one for driver and one for customer. When a driver has free time form contracts or just isn’t finding fares on the street, they make themselves available via their Uber app. The a customer checks their Uber app to see which drivers are near. They can see what type of vehicle and request pick up. Then they get to see real-time location of the vehicle as it approaches them, license plate number, driver name and driver picture. Customers know in advance what/who to look for. After reaching the destination, the fare is charged to the customer’s on-file credit card, including tip, and then a rich receipt is emailed, including distance and the route taken on a map.
Uber charges a transaction fee reflected in higher fares for the customer in exchange for the conveniences. Customers are flocking to the service, so the value proposition is resonating. The driver then gets payouts from Uber after the fare is completed. The beauty is the driver likely would have been idle instead. Uber does not hire drivers, it contracts to them when drivers indicate they have slack time between scheduled fares.
So what about the protest? After receiving a receipt, the customer is strongly urged to rate and comment on the driver and the vehicle. These ratings and comments are exposed to Uber customer and drivers. Apparently, we now see that Uber DOES take action when ratings and comments are consistently negative. That’s a good thing for customers. Customers have direct impact on performance assessments of a first order service provider. There’s no union committee or municipal bureaucrat involved, because the drivers still have to theoretically satisfy the terms of their municipal certifications, with which Uber is not involved.
Can you imagine a transportation union or the City of San Francisco acting so swiftly for the benefit of citizens? No way.
So that’s how it’s supposed to work. Uber is a service that supplies demand to drivers who have free time, as long as they commit to a certain level of service. And customers now know Uber is committed to providing them with a consistent level of service by purging bad drivers.
Bravo! If only more of the service industry worked like this.
Just re-watched Star Trek DS9 episode “Homefront” from 1996, pre-911. The parallel’s to the homeland security extremism of today is frightening. It’s like the writers knew what was coming to the US. A small number of aliens succeed in getting the Federation to abandon it’s own principles and civil liberties and self-generate paranoia that the aliens are hiding everywhere, waiting to attack. The plot culminates with an internal plot by Federation officials to simulate a terrorist attack on the power grid so that the people will back marshall law and the deployment of Star Fleet Security officers to the streets.
Today, we have a domestic army called the TSA that has grown form an airport security training group to a 300k domestic army conducting exercises in the streets and conducting warrantless traffic search blockades. They are adding paramilitary armed vehicles to their arsenal and just put in an order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, which would have lasted 20 years at the rate of fighting in the Iraq War. And they are NOT the military but under the exclusive control of the Executive Branch.
We have a Congress which gleefully renews warrantless search provisions, this time WITHOUT a sunset clause forcing the law to expire, all at the request of President Obama, who campaigned against that law and then advocated for it. And the President and his Justice Department have declared he has the authority to override the Constitution in peace time and indefinitely detain American citizens and act as judge, jury and executioner to kill said Americans if he personally believes they are terrorists.
And if you think the Supreme Court will protect you, remember that this President has openly defied Marbury v. Madison and twice declared the SCOTUS has no authority to rule on the constitutionality of laws passed by Congress and signed by the President. He even told the nation during a State of The Union Address that the Court was wrong in its rulings, an unprecedented act of disregard for the separation of powers. He is preparing the way to remove the SCOTUS if needed by out right arrest and detainment of Justices if he feels it is needed. The only other time this has happened is when we were TRULY in states of war, as declared by Congress according to the Constitution.
If entertainment is all the Amercian people care about anymore and can only learn through Hollywood metaphors, then fine, watch both parts of this 17 year old Star Trek episode and compare it to what you’ve seen going on around you since 2001.
There’s nothing like kitty porn. Say hello to Miss March. She likes fresh litter, cold water, anything tuna and biting the toes off of little meeces.
When I reviewed my calendar for the upcoming week Sunday I discovered Monday is a holiday in Canada, so our Company is closed. What a gift. Trying to recover form walking pneumonia and now I get an extra day of recuperation. So if the cats and I stay in bed Monday, I guess that’s a “family” thing. Maybe I’ll get out their favorite book too, “Games You Can Play With Your Pussy” and we’ll spin some tunes.
Minutes? What the hell are those? Are those analog bytes?
“There are eight ways of contacting me through my phone that don’t involve me having to talk to you. Use one of those.”
I have to say my cousins Sandy & Steve had me pegged right away. My college graduation gift from them in 1985 was a doormat that said “Go Away”.
I remember in the 1990s when it became evident that all media photographers would switch to digital cameras. The fear was a lack of record for our generations to come. With analog film, photogs took far more pictures than they could use. That way, they were assured of that one perfect shot used in the story. Our entire photo record of the era from the beginning of media photography to the beginning of digital photography was based on those “extra” photos that still exit in film negative archives today. Can you imagine Ken Burns not having access to those? We were doomed as photographers would now only keep the perfect shots and delete all the others form their camera in the field.
But as it is so often when technology improvements lower entry barriers, we now have billions of amateur photogs with high quality equipment that only professionals could have afforded in the past and each of them has the ability to instantly publish their photos to the world. We have become the richest generation in terms of a photographic record than any previous generation, not the poorest.