May 23, 2013
That's Why They Call It "Yahoo!"
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said there will no longer be a "Pro" option at Flickr because "there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore." Just like there are no professional CEOs anymore. Ms. Mayer has spent her time since then apologizing for her misstatement.
As I read the language on Pro accounts and the new pricing structure it seems there are four membership categories now, not three. The three they talk about are
- Free (with ads)
- Paid ($50/year - no ads)
- One extra terabyte ($500/year) - this one has to be a joke, unless they will actually install a dedicated terabyte drive with my name written on the outside - and if they do that, there had better be a 24-hour camera on it so I can look at it and watch the lights blink
But there is one more option:
- If you are a Pro with automatic renewal, your automatic renewal will continue ($25/year) and your level of service will be the same as the $50/year members.
Refunds are available now if you "downgrade" to free.
May 22, 2013
One More Step In The Perfection Of The Internet
April 30, 2013
It Was 20 Years Ago Today...
...that the first website in the newly public World Wide Web was published. And to mark that anniversary CERN has brought it back at its original address: http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html
April 18, 2013
Google Fiber Beyond Olathe
Google Fiber will expand to Austin, Texas, with hook ups starting in mid-2014.
And Google Fiber will acquire iProvo, an existing, municipally-owned fiber-optic network in Provo. Google will upgrade the network. Wouldn't it be nice if somebody brought old WordPerfect back as a cloud app for Provoans.
April 11, 2013
Can The Google Fiber Juggernaut Be Stopped?!
The news flash is that Google Fiber is going to expand from Kansas City, Kansas, out to Olathe, Kansas! This is gonna totally piss off those snobs in Overland Park.
Olathe is southwest from Kansas City, Kansas.
Can Paola be far behind?
March 30, 2013
In the category of it's-funny-because-it's-true:
And on that subject, you may have seen the news that free wi-fi is available via smart meters in Santa Clara. Here's the website for the service itself. There is one important fact to note: 1 Mbps. Yes, you can get this free wi-fi at any speed you like, as long it's slow.
But here's the upside: (1) people who are still suffering with dial-up can finally ditch that and get a somewhat faster connection; (2) visitors to town who have a wi-fi device that lacks cellular connectivity will be able to Google for that restaurant or hotel or whatever it is they need.
February 2, 2013
For The Spontaneous (or merely forgetful) Man
Fast discreet delivery of a Durex condom (the video seems to suggest you get only one, so no mistakes or repeats, okay?) anywhere you need it...so long as you're in Dubai. Yes, really. Dubai. Get the iOS app here. (Android men don't forget their condoms.) They are taking votes on which city to expand to next and Paris is the big leader.
January 20, 2013
Kansas City Entrepreneurs
An AP article about how Google Fiber is drawing internet startups to a few neighborhoods in Kansas City, Kansas, where the 1 Gbps service is installed. (The article misstates the speed as 1 Giga BYTE per second, which would be nice, too.) The challenge for the entrepreneurs, however, is venture capital. Most venture capitalists want their darlings to be close by in California. God forbid they should have to fly to Kansas City!
December 11, 2012
Netflix Releases ISP Speed Ranking
Because Netflix movies are streamed over all ISPs they are able to compile actual average speeds and now they're going to start publishing them on a monthly basis. They report megaBYTES per second, while the usual standard is megabits per second. To convert from bytes to bits multiply by 8.
The fastest ISP is no surprise: Google Fiber at 2.55 MBPS. Time Warner Cable comes in 7th place at 2.12 MBPS.
November 23, 2012
Filmed On Location In Kansas City, Missouri
It's the Google promo video of the installation process for Google fiber which is going on now in both Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas.
One of Google's main selling points is that they will show up at your house at the appointed time, not during a 4-hour window. More info here.
October 25, 2012
Google Makes Wearing A GoPro Hero Look A Lot Less Nerdy
It's the wearable version of their Streetview photography system and its first application will be to bring us streetviews of Bright Angel Trail and South Kaibab Trail in Grand Canyon National Park.
We can hardly wait for the inevitable cool bits to come as they explore our National Parks: the grizzly attack, the avalanche, the snake bite, the flash flood.
June 13, 2012
Neighborhood Social Network with Police Involvement
This is new to me:
Press Release: Rancho Mirage Police Department Introduces Nextdoor, a Private Social Network for Neighborhoods
Agency: Rancho Mirage Police
Station Area: Palm Desert
Incident Date: June 13, 2012 Time: 10:00 AM
Incident Location: Citywide
In an effort to help facilitate a virtual Neighborhood Watch program and better communication with residents as well as help foster neighbor-to-neighbor communications, the Rancho Mirage Police Department has partnered with Nextdoor (www.nextdoor.com), a free and private social network now available for Rancho Mirage neighborhoods.
Nextdoor is free for the residents and the city. Each Rancho Mirage neighborhood has its own private Nextdoor neighborhood website, accessible only to residents of that neighborhood. Residents can use their Nextdoor website to get to know their neighbors, ask questions, exchange local advice and recommendations, advertise local events and school activities and much more. The Rancho Mirage Police Department will be able to directly communicate with Nextdoor neighborhoods and residents to share information about neighborhood watch, safety issues and crime prevention.
Neighborhoods establish and self-manage their own Nextdoor website. Information shared on Nextdoor is only visible to members who live in the neighborhood and who have verified their address. Information shared on Nextdoor is password protected and cannot be accessed by those outside the neighborhood or found on Google or other search engines. The Rancho Mirage Police Department will be able to post useful and important information to Nextdoor sites within the city, but will not be able to access the resident's websites, contact information or content.
The Rancho Mirage Police Department is facilitating this program because we believe more engaged neighborhoods can create stronger communities and a stronger city. Nextdoor is one way to help create a stronger and safer community for those that live and work here. Nextdoor is also another tool for us to effectively share crime prevention and safety information, such as alerts of property crimes in their area or suspicious activity. The Nextdoor program can be expanded to incorporate other city departments as well.
The neighborhood areas in Rancho Mirage have already been mapped into the Nextdoor website and two of them, Magnesia Falls Cove and The Springs are already up and running on Nextdoor. We encourage residents in these and in other Rancho Mirage neighborhoods to go to www.nextdoor.com to learn more and to sign up. If you have questions about Nextdoor, please contact Lt. Pete Ortiz at (760) 836-1600, or Community Service Officer Codi Mix at (760) 770-3200, ext. 192.
So, it's like a Facebook thing, but just for your neighborhood. The only police involvement is that the police can broadcast a message to your neighborhood network, but the police can't access the contents of your neighborhood network to find out who the people are or what they're talking about. Also, the police are not involved in any kind of screening of those people who join the neighborhood network, so all the usual rules of being careful on the internet apply.
I took a brief look at NextDoor.com and it said that I could set up a neighborhood network for my neighborhood, but I didn't start anything. I imagine some close-knit neighborhoods in DHS could benefit from this. I don't know what it would take to permit our police to broadcast notices to these networks.
March 9, 2012
An Hour Away
Not bad, but clearly it needs some refinement. I added the green arrow to point out the obvious glitch on highway 74. There are no drivable roads that I'm aware of that go from the Indian Canyons directly up to highway 74, so the only way to get to that point is to come up from Palm Desert on 74, so that entire stretch of 74 should be included in the under-one-hour calculation.
February 7, 2012
I saw the story earlier today on an Atlanta TV station's website about two videos of a supposedly gay man being beaten on the street in Atlanta. Didn't link to it because the TV station had converted the original video so badly that (1) you couldn't hear anything, including the alleged gay slurs; (2) you couldn't see anything but some dark blobs jerking around like there might be a fight going on; and (3) there was no evidence the man they were saying is gay was actually gay. The one who was beaten has not come forward to the police, so there's little to go on.
But those good journalists at The Smoking Gun have done it right. Go there and you will see a clear video including these words: "Jack City - no faggots", "No faggots in Jack City" (4 times), and "No faggots, man."
None of that tells us if the victim is gay or not, nor even whether the perpetrators were beating him for being gay. But it does show you how to properly present a video on the web.
UPDATE: The beating victim has come forward. He's Brandon White and he is gay. So now we've got the facts lined up. Now they just need to get the perpetrators.
January 29, 2012
Old Stuff From 2003
I have been going back and clearing out some old dead wood from Ron's Log. This version you are reading extends back to August 2003. A lot of links have died since then, so I'm fixing the ones that can be, deleting the ones that can't. In the process I've come across some items that I guess I included because either the technology was pretty gee-whiz for the time, or the price was impressively low, or both. Here is some of what I found between August and December 2003:
- 4 Gb Microdrive $500 (Microdrives were little hard drives in Compact Flash format). I think they are no longer being manufactured, but you can buy a used 4Gb model for $10. A regular 4 Gb Compact Flash card can be had for as little as $13 now).
- 4 megapixel camera with 10x zoom, $500
- The 40 Gb iPod cost $500. Today it's 160 Gb and costs $250.
- 6 Gb Compact Flash card for $5,000. They don't seem to be selling 6 Gb CF cards these days. You can get 4 Gb or 8 Gb. An 8 Gb card can be had for $15.
- 2 Gb SD cards predicted to be available "soon." Today you can buy 128 Gb SD cards.
- Recommendations for your first digital camera from SiliconValley.com:
- 3 megapixels is enough
- Don't go less than $200
- Upgrade the memory card to at least 256 Mb. Yes, megabytes. You can still buy a 256 Mb SD card for less than $5.
- A 5 megapixel camera was introduced for $400.
- A 20 Gb USB hard drive for $250. Today there are lots of choices in USB hard drives. I found a terabyte drive (1,024 Gb) for $145. It's hard to find one as small as 20 Gb, but I did, and it's $38.
- Google labs unveiled a new experiment they called "Search by Location" which has since become their standard feature "Search Nearby."
- A 20 Gb USB device with a built-in compact flash card reader. The killer feature was that it could output video and jpegs directly to a television. In addition it could simultaneously play MP3s while showing jpegs! Also, you could rotate the jpegs! It came with a remote control so you could use it in presentations. $400. Or you could go up to the 60 Gb model for $600. At the time I thought $400 was incredibly cheap for all this power.
- Kodak announced that it would stop making slide projectors by June 2004, but they had no plans yet to discontinue any slide films.
- A USB-powered "personal vibrator" could be had for £30 in 2003. The link is dead, so I can't say for sure exactly what features this might have included - remote control? Synch to music? A quick Google search turned up one available today with remote control for $11.80.
- Stories of Google's impending IPO in 2004 were circulating. There were estimates the initial value would exceed $15 billion. It turned out to be $27 billion. Today its market capitalization is $205 billion.
- A Pioneer DVR with an 80 Gb hard drive and the ability to burn DVD-R for $1,200.
- A waterproof, 2 megapixel camera for $200.
January 9, 2012
Redesigned Web Site For Cabot's
December 21, 2011
The Best Viral Videos Of 2011
If you are the sort of person who never goes to look at popular videos on the internet, you are probably very pleased with yourself for all the time you've saved. It should be no problem for you, then, to squeeze out just four minutes and twelve seconds to watch this compilation of the best of the viral, 2011. Don't worry, Kim Jong-Il died too late, so no North Korean funeral videos, and I spotted only one Presidential candidate - unless that's Herman Cain on the couch (?).
September 28, 2011
Kindle Fire (it's a tablet) - Only $199
Color, backlighted display, touchscreen, video, web access, no camera. Smaller than an iPad (iPad: 9.5 x 7.31 x 0.34 inches, 601 grams; Kindle Fire: 7.5 x 4.7 x 0.45 inches, 413 grams). Promotional video here. Connects via Wi-Fi, and it's got a USB connection. Battery life is said to be 7.5 to 8 hours if Wi-Fi is off. 8 GB internal.
The display: "7-inch multi-touch display with IPS (in-plane switching) technology and anti-reflective treatment, 1024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, 16 million colors." It's the "anti-reflective" treatment that's critical in my opinion. The iPad is way too shiny. The plain Kindle screen is very readable. But how does the Fire look with color and backlighting and video? Somebody buy one and show me.
They created a new browser for it called Amazon Silk. Info and promotional video here. The video is reminiscent of Apple's videos when they release something new, only maybe a bit less breathless. You'll see black shirts and men speaking a language somewhere between plain English and tech jargon overload, all of which is designed to make you want to buy. Their point is that the major advantage to Amazon Silk is that most of the heavy lifting is done up on the Amazon servers (one of the "clouds" that are referred to by those who want to be cool). Then your 'umble Kindle Fire sends a web request to the cloud, which quickly responds with what it has already anticipated you will be wanting.
Here's what it looks like next to a human hand. Only $199 and Amazon has a good return policy. Pre-ordering now, shipping November 15.
CNet passes along rumors that there is a 10-inch model in the works that will have 3G connectivity and an option to switch between backlight and e-ink.
August 3, 2011
Origin Of The Internet
May 9, 2011
Something To Play With
Google Earth driving simulator. Put in starting and ending points and then fly along above your little car as it automatically drives itself along the route.