‘The effort to move the giant ship was assisted by forces more powerful than any machine rushed to the scene: the moon and the tides’
– the New York Times
Word came on Monday morning that the Ever Given has been freed. It was towed to the Great Bitter Lake for a final inspection. The last thing authorities would want to happen, is for the ship to break down on the way to Port Said at the northern end of the Canal.
“This is a very big ship. This is a very big problem.”
– Richard Meade, the editor in chief of Lloyd’s List, a maritime intelligence publication based in London.
So! that whale of a container ship is still stuck in the Canal.
The dozen or so tugboats and the dredgers have managed to move it by some 100ft, though.
The water level will raise by another 18 inches on Monday, and that might be all that is needed.
Welp! I’m checking in on the Ever Given every morning (the ultra-large containership that ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday). So far, it is not budging.
There is a full moon and a high tide on the way this weekend, though. That will lift the water level in the canal and may help to dislodge the Ever Given. (The Suez canal is not like the Panama canal, with its locks that elevate ships above sea level. The Suez has no locks — the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea’s Gulf of Suez have approximately the same water level).
I have had my new iPad Air 4 for a few weeks now, and I like it. (Of course I like it). It is not a replacement for my Lenovo notebook computer (Windows), and so I do not have a little keyboard for it. The iPad holds my iTunes music collection, my photo albums, my Scrabble games and my newspapers & magazines from Pressreader. I did get the 2nd-generation Apple Pencil — to see what cool things I can do with it, more than anything else.
I’m still getting used to the harder edges that Apple has reintroduced to their iPhones and iPads of late. There is definitely no air in the Air (it feels heavy), and the edges hurt my fingers a little bit, after I have held it too long while I lie on my back in bed, watching Netflix. (I know. I should watch Netflix on the big TV screen downstairs, and not in bed).
Congratulations to the hundreds of collaborators at NASA, for the successful landing of the Perseverance rover on Mars. The mission was eight years in the making.
[From CNN online] The path Perseverance will traverse on Mars is about 15 miles long, an ‘epic journey’ that will take years. What scientists could discover about Mars, though, is worth the journey. To accomplish its goals, Perseverance will drive a little less than 0.1 mile per hour, three times faster than previous rovers.
Two items in the ‘Better Late Than Never’ category, in the fight against the pandemic, were in the news today.
1. Dr. Scott Atlas, Trump’s coronavirus adviser resigned. (His ‘expert advice’ appalled public health experts).
2. Washingtonians can finally activate or download the Coronavirus Exposure Notification app. (In Western Washington, the number of new daily cases jumped six-fold just from September to November). The diagram below shows how this works.
‘A mesh network is a group of devices that act as a single Wi-Fi network; so there are multiple sources of Wi-Fi around your house, instead of just a single router. These additional Wi-Fi sources are called points or nodes’.
– definition from support.google.com
My Wi-Fi signal downstairs was too weak for my new smart TV, so I opted for a mesh network to get a better signal downstairs — instead of adding a Wi-Fi extender to my existing network. Per my limited understanding, Wi-Fi extenders repeat the signal and thereby slows down its speed. Many times extenders broadcast a new network name, which could be a hassle for a user moving around a lot in the space.
I went with Google Nest Wi-Fi. For a small apartment, one node will do, but for a bigger space two nodes or more can be used.
Once I had the issues with my old Wi-Fi-enabled modem-router resolved (aka throwing it out and replacing it altogether with just a simple cable modem!), the set-up of the Google Nest Wifi mesh network was straightforward.
My Samsung TV was 10 years old, and at long last it was time to upgrade to a smart 4K* TV. I picked a Samsung again, and was planning to replace my 55″ screen with a similar size .. and then at the last minute in the store, opted for one with a 65″ screen.
I paid $1,899 in 2010 dollars for the old TV (that’s $2,264 in 2020 dollars). The new one was all of $529, practically given away for free. (Alright, so not completely free).
*Smart= the TV can connect to the internet and offer all kinds of online content from providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, YouTube and others.
4K= the screen resolution is 3840 x 2160; a fourfold increase over Full HD (1920×1080 pixels).
Here’s a black Tesla Model Y that I found here on 17th Ave. It has a range of 315 miles, and sports a very sleek look.
‘While the introduction of the Model Y wasn’t as groundbreaking as the hoopla around Models 3, S, and X, it’s clear it is going to be big. SUV and crossover sales continue to dwarf sedan sales in the United States, and the Model X is probably a bit too radical and expensive for most potential EV* buyers, so the Model Y appears to hit the sweet spot buyers are looking for: an EV with plenty of cargo space and a high sitting position’.
– From a review on caranddriver.com
‘Tis now the very witching time of night, When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out Contagion to this world: now could I drink hot blood, And do such bitter business as the day Would quake to look on.
-From William Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ (written 1599-1601), Act 3, Scene 2.
At 2 a.m. Sunday morning local time here in the United States, it was that silly moment of the year again. Clocks were made to ‘spring forward’ by one hour (adjusted to Daylight Saving Time).
Of course, only some clocks spring forward by themselves.
The others all have to be adjusted manually.
I ran into Tally the inventory robot in the grocery store last night. I think it’s a good thing — letting a robot do the labor-intensive and repetitive process of physical inventory checking.
‘Yes, but does the store not have a count of the SKUs* on the shelf in its database, anyway? one might ask. The store does, but human shoppers take items off the shelf and misplace it when putting it back, or – rarely, I hope – steal it. Or employees could unpack items in the wrong location, or forget to remove sale prices, and so on. So there are always discrepancies between the SKU count in the database and the physical count on the shelf.
It was 50 years ago, to the day, that the first remote login from one terminal to another was done, on what was then called Arpanet. And so the internet was born, say the pundits.
Research papers into the late 70’s referred to these linked terminals as the ‘catenet model’ (concatenated terminals). It was only in the early 80’s with the arrival of the Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) protocol that the term ‘internet’ was settled on.
And it would be until the mid-90’s, before the public-at-large would get drawn into the internet — by the likes of America Online and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. Amazon (1997*), Netflix (2002), Google (2004), Facebook (2012) and Twitter (2013) would follow.
Young people are now flocking to the social media app called Tik Tok. (It is used to create video clips set to snappy music: clowning for the camera, falling down on your skateboard, shooting hoops, driving golf carts, stuff like that).
Trouble is, the servers are based in China, and regulators fear that the app could pose a national security risk (used to spy on American citizens, used in political influence campaigns, or even used by ISIS terrorists for propaganda).
Anyway – let’s see what the fuss is about, I thought. My initial take: yes, as easy as YouTube to waste a lot of time on it. I stumbled onto a few cute animal videos (stills below), and I like those the best.
I spotted the Apple Maps car on Sunday here on Capitol Hill, presumably upgrading its survey of my neighborhood.
I see (online) that Apple Maps has improved vastly in recent years, and is ready to challenge Google Maps. Hmm. I have them both on my phone, so maybe if one leads me into a dead end somewhere in a new country or city, I can switch to the other app, and give it another try.
Just for fun, I asked for directions to the Space Needle on Apple Maps, and it really, really sounds as if the voice says Starting Route to Space Neevle. Proceed to .. ‘. That’s OK, though. Space Neevle/ Space Needle – close enough.
My iPhone (not even a year old, Xs) died all of a sudden today, even though it was about 75% charged.
I finally revived it by trying the Device Firmware Update button sequence several times:
Press & release Volume Up button;
Press & release Volume Down button;
Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button ..
.. and then the Apple logo came on and it came back to life.
Who knows what constellation of firmware, software and hardware settings was to blame for the system ‘s black-out .. but from now on, I’m going to close all open screens and turn the phone completely off & on again, at least once a week.