July 31, 2012
Your Flash Mob Update
I didn't shoot either of these videos.
July 30, 2012
On Saturday there was a flash mob that I heard about via my friend Andy. They had a schedule that was a pub crawl interspersed with more flash mobs. I saw them only at the first two performances.
Then, further up Market Street, the second performance, much better (both on my part and theirs). There's some very brief nudity in this one.
Shooting at Ironwood & El Cajon
CITY OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS
INCIDENT: PC 664/187 ATTEMPT HOMICIDE
DATE: 07/29/12 DAY: SUNDAY / TIME: 11:50 PM
LOCATION: IRONWOOD DR. / EL CAJON DR., DESERT HOT SPRINGS
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT:
On Sunday July 29, 2012, at approximately 11:50 PM, police officers from the Desert Hot Springs Police Department received calls regarding shots fired in the area Ironwood Drive / El Cajon Drive.
As officers began checking the area they contacted two male adults who had suffered gunshot wounds. The victims were transported to Desert Regional Medical Center for treatment. Both subjects were treated for their injuries and released.
The suspect vehicle was described as a dark colored Chevrolet Impala.
The Desert Hot Springs Police Department is asking anyone who possibly witnessed the above shooting to please call with the information.
The Desert Hot Springs Police Department would like to remind our citizens to report any suspicious activity immediately by calling "911" or calling our business line at (760) 329-2904 Ext. 330.
July 28, 2012
Some Photos Taken Today
The Raygun Gothic Rocketship. Today, some of the space crew, who I recognized from Burning Man, were there to initiate repairs to the landing pad which, being built of plywood and located close to salt water, was deteriorating badly.
July 27, 2012
Bartholo gets his ticket.
July 26, 2012
Google Fiber Getting Real In Kansas City
All about it here. 1,000 Mbps download and upload. As I write I'm getting 4.41 Mbps download from Time Warner (I'm supposed to be getting 10, and I used to get 20 at the same price). Upload via Time Warner is 0.81 Mbps. Google Fiber will have no caps, no overages. It includes a terabyte of cloud storage. They'll throw in TV too with a 2 TB DVR. The remote control is a Nexus 7, which they toss in at no extra charge.
$300 installation, $120/month for internet and TV, or $70/month for internet only. Or, if you are willing to settle for the same speed I'm paying $60 to Time Warner for, Google will give it to you free.
Right now they want people to pre-register ($10). Then they will prioritize neighborhoods, giving preference to those with the most pre-registrations.
Vanity Fair on Microsoft
An interesting article in Vanity Fair that analyzes Microsofts decline in innovation and profits over the last decade or so. It includes a fact that amazed me: one single Apple product, the iPhone, brings in more income than ALL Microsoft products combined. In the first quarter of 2012, the iPhone: $22.7 billion; Microsoft (Windows, Office, Xbox, everything): $17.4 billion.
The reasons go back to the bureaucratization of Microsoft, rigidity of thinking, and ruthless internal competition that undercut competition with what became the other tech giants.
At the center of the cultural problems was a management system called "stack ranking." Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft, something that drove out untold numbers of employees. The system—also referred to as "the performance model," "the bell curve," or just "the employee review"—has, with certain variations over the years, worked like this: every unit was forced to declare a certain percentage of employees as top performers, then good performers, then average, then below average, then poor.
"If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, two people were going to get a great review, seven were going to get mediocre reviews, and one was going to get a terrible review," said a former software developer. "It leads to employees focusing on competing with each other rather than competing with other companies."
Catholic Church Sets Itself Up For A Lawsuit - for a different reason this time
James Fairbanks and Alain Beret were negotiating to purchase of a 44-bedroom mansion in Northbridge, Massachusetts. The mansion is currently owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester. When their final offer was rejected by email, the real estate broker inadvertently included the entire chain of conversation which included this from Monsignor Thomas Sullivan who oversees the sale of diocesan property:
I just went down the hall and discussed it with the bishop. Because of the potentiality of gay marriages there, something you shared with us yesterday, we are not interested in going forward with these buyers. I think they're shaky anyway. So, just tell them that we will not accept their revised plan and the Diocese is making new plans for the property. You find the language.
The two rejected buyers are, indeed, a married couple of the same gender. "Their lawyer, Sergio Carvajal, said state law prohibits discriminating against buyers based on sexual orientation, and said the potential for gay marriages would exist regardless of the sexual orientation of the buyer."
Don't Be Left Out!
I only just now noticed that if you want to attend the change of command ceremony where Chief Pat Williams hands off to new Chief Kate Singer, you have to RSVP! From Rick Daniels:
Change in Command, August 9, 2012 - A ceremony & reception will be held at the DHS High School on August 9th, beginning at 4:00pm, to celebrate the change in command between outgoing Police Chief Patrick Williams & incoming Police Chief Kate Singer. Members of the public are welcome & encouraged to attend. RSVP is required, as seating is limited. To RSVP for and/or donate towards this special event, please contact Kristie Ramos at (760) 329-6411 Ext. 260, or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
The school district has to charge the city for the expense of providing the space, which is why donations are requested.
Only a few hundred seats! Can we bring in one of those FBI vehicles with the big TV on the side for the crowd that will gather outside the high school?
Excerpts From The City Manager's Memo
- Community Health & Wellness Center
- Site work north
- Steel posts for pool shade structures have been installed.
- Irrigation and landscape ongoing.
- Site work south
- Grading is ongoing.
- Installation of curbs and gutters ongoing.
- Site work east
- Splash pad structure line plumbing ongoing.
- Pool equipment setting ongoing.
- Phase I structure
- Plaster ongoing.
- Interior painting ongoing.
- Cabinetry and casework ongoing.
- Restroom Tile installation ongoing.
- Sheet metal installation to exterior fascia ongoing
- Installation of air conditioning units and exterior ducts ongoing.
- T-Bar ceilings currently being installed
- Phase II Structure (Expansion Area)
- Framing ongoing.
- Roofing ongoing.
- Rough plumbing installed.
- Rough electrical installed.
- Site work north
- In June six new business licenses were issued for businesses located in Desert Hot Springs; 14 for businesses outside DHS doing business in the city.
- On July 18, 2012, the City issued a Notice Inviting Sealed Bids for the Western Avenue and Scenic Drive North of Pierson Boulevard Improvement Project. Bids are due in the City Clerk’s Office by 2:30 P.M. on August 7, 2012.
- On July 19, 2012, Code Enforcement Officer Schooley investigated a report of illegal electrical work at a dwelling, which contained a marijuana cultivating operation. Many violations were noted.
- Obtained an Abatement Warrant for demolition of the structures at 66238 1st Street. [This is the house across from the Baptist Church where our earlier attempt to get an abatement warrant was delayed due to foul ups by the court.]
- Organizing the demolition and abatement of sub-standard structures at 66191 Desert View Ave.
Radar Image Of Burning Man
This is a small part of one of the five images presented here by DLR, the German Aerospace Center. The photos were taken by the TerraSAR-X. Naturally, one thinks this is a night image. It struck me as odd, though, that there seemed to be so much light coming from the perimeter fence. A few people are out there at night, but you don't find long rows of bikes with their lights on lined up along it. The description of the image says it's done with radar and false colors are assigned to the results. So the radar can see the fence posts and crap that's hanging on it, or blown into it. Much higher resolution versions of the photos are available.
The fourth image in the series shows what happens to the entrance road when the gates open.
DLR's knowledge of Burning Man itself seems to be based on tales told over a few beers. They say it happens in September and October, and that the Man itself includes straw in the structure.
July 25, 2012
New DHS Police Personnel
CITY OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT
Desert Hot Springs Police add three new sergeants and appoint Interim Police Commander
The Desert Hot Springs Police Department is pleased announce the addition of three new Police Sergeants to their ranks. Jose Guerrero served in the United States Marine Corps, and has over 15 years law enforcement experience. Guerrero has worked with the Calexico and El Centro Police Departments and joins DHSPD after 4 years as a Special Agent Supervisor with the California Department of Justice. Guerrero has a BS from the University of Phoenix and is currently working on a Master's degree in Criminal Justice.
Phillip Han has more than 22 years law enforcement experience including service with the US Department of Justice, the Escondido Police Department, and the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. Sergeant Han has spent the last four years with the Indio Police Department. Han has an MS in Emergency Services Management from Long Beach State University.
Sergeant Bradley Ramos brings almost thirty years of police experience to DHSPD including service with the Brea Police Department, Calexico Police Department, and the Indio Police Department. Ramos has a BA from the Union Institute and University. All three sergeants are currently in training and will be sworn in at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 4th at the Carl May Center.
Based on the promotion of Chief-Designate Kate Singer, Sergeant Kenneth Peary will serve as the Interim Support Services Commander pending the appointment of a permanent Commander in the next 6 months. Peary has been with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department over three years, coming to DHSPD after 17 years of service with the San Bernardino Police Department. Sergeant Peary's most current assignment has been as the Detective Sergeant. Interim Commander Peary will continue to oversee the Investigations Division, Code Enforcement, and Personnel and Training. We congratulate and welcome all of these highly qualified police veterans.
I was a little surprised at how many people had never seen or heard of EL wire...and yet they look at all of our Burning Man photos every year.
July 24, 2012
Summer Street Improvements
But the landmark project is Cactus Drive between Hacienda and Two Bunch Palms. Not only will this mean the complete length of Cactus has been upgraded, but it's a joint project between Mission Springs Water District, who is putting in sewers, and the city.
MSWD President Nancy Wright said the sign alone is probably historic. There's one at each end of the project, so the city can keep one and the water district can keep the other - or if one of the agencies doesn't want theirs, the DHS Historic Society could keep it.
Photos I need to get: Sonora Drive and Western & Scenic - has work started there? Has the city put that out to bid, even?
Unboxing The GoPro
I was very pleased that in this video of the unboxing of a GoPro Hero the young narrator who calls himself "LandOfTech" ran into the very same challenges I did, although he figures them out faster than I did. Clearly, this packaging was not designed by Apple. There are no "Quick Start" instructions that tell you how to actually get to the camera. The first instruction in the book is to remove the battery cover from the camera, which you can't do until you've solved the unboxing puzzle.
July 23, 2012
Here's the web page of a company offering 4-day photo tours of Joshua Tree N.P., the Indian Canyons, the Salton Sea, the tram, and Palm Springs. I point this out for the appreciation of my visiting friends who I will gladly take on the same intense tour for no more recompense than a free lunch. This company will charge $769.
Homicide By Upper Body Trauma
CITY OF DESERT HOT SPRINGS POLICE DEPARTMENT
INCIDENT: PC 187 / Homicide
DATE: 07/22/12 DAY: Sunday / Time: 10:18 PM
LOCATION: 11700 Block of Upland Way, Desert Hot Springs
VICTIM: Male, White, Adult
DESCRIPTION OF INCIDENT:
On the above date and time officers from the Desert Hot Springs Police Department responded to the 11700 block of Upland Way on report of an injured male. Upon arrival, officers discovered a 49 year old male suffering from upper body trauma.
He was pronounced deceased at the scene. Detectives are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the male. Anyone with information regarding the above incident is encouraged to call the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
July 22, 2012
Whadda Ya Think?
At Burning Man?
If I promise to burn it all there and not bring any home?
Canon Announces Its First Mirrorless Camera
There's a little roughness in the press release. The SRP for the camera with a 22mm lens is given as $799.99 (and that is exactly the price for it at B&H), while the prices for other lens-camera combinations are given in Euros. Maybe this means that the kit with the 22mm lens will be sold only in the U.S.
Also, one of its key features is listed as "Scene Intelligent Auto." That's probably "Auto Intelligent Scene," but somebody translated it from French word by word.
It features a new mount: EF-M. If you don't want to buy all new lenses, the adapter is $200 at B&H.
The camera has no built-in flash but it has a hot-shoe, and they are pushing this new Speedlite 90EX which is $150 at B&H.
18 MP with an APS-C sensor, it's got all the expected latest technology: touchscreen, HD video, you name it.
Prices at Amazon seem to be identical to those at B&H. And, in any case, the camera is available for pre-order only right now.