Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter sent shockwaves through the Twitterverse and beyond.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey professes to be very happy, though. From the tweets below: ‘It (Twitter) wants to be a public good at a protocol level, not a company’. It’s a statement that sounds stunningly naive to me— given all the evil in the world that social media had been exploited for.
I forgot to post this picture on Sunday. It’s a peek at the inside of Seattle City Light’s Denny Substation (through a clear glass panel in the stainless steel perimeter wall that runs along Denny Way). It’s clean and tidy inside.
I am using Adobe Premiere Elements*, to cut up and make .mp4 files of the enormous .VOB files of digitized film & analog video footage that I have, of old family trips. The recordings were shot on film and analog camcorder in the ’70s to early ’90s. My dad had done the digitization many years ago.
I keep the clip lengths to 2-3 minutes.
*Video editing software; the bare-bones basic version of Adobe Premiere Pro.
ON THE PLUS SIDE:
I have three layers of still picture/video and five layers of audio available to work with. That’s a lot. I have a digital scalpel that I can use to look at, and slice in, between two video frames or a split-second of sound (down to 1/30 of a second). I can add in titles, and fix the worst quality defects of the video (such as enlarging the projected image slightly, to erase its black border; or adjusting overall lighting & color hue).
IN THE MINUS COLUMN:
The dreaded Adobe .PREL (for ‘preliminary’, I think) files take a long time to load and render, even with my brand-new PC with 16Gb of memory and unlimited hard disk space (6 Tb).
The automatic save every 10 mins stopped me dead in my tracks for 2 mins at a time. I changed it to 20 mins. (Cancel it, and you risk losing a lot of work). DO NOT mess around with moving files or renaming them. Adobe does not like that, and will give you a ‘Media Pending’ message or black screen, the next time you pull up your .PREL file.
Here are a few stills from a 3 minute clip of scenes at Victoria Falls, 1975 in then-Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).
The City of Rotterdam’s plans to dismantle the middle part of the historic railway bridge De Hef (‘The Lever’) later this year, to allow Jeff Bezos’s new superyacht* to pass under, is not sitting well with everyone (of course not).
The deck of the bridge can be lifted 130 ft, but that will not suffice for the tallest of the yacht’s three masts.
Bezos will reportedly pay for the dismantling and reassembly of the bridge deck. So what is the problem? 🙂
*A three-masted schooner made of aluminum and steel, the $ 500-million, 417-feet Oceanco Y721 yacht will be the largest sailing yacht in the world when completed.
I ordered groceries from Amazon Fresh tonight, and they definitely have their logistics sorted out: 1. You get what you have ordered. If an item is out of stock the system tells you that when you order— not so with the Kroger/ QFC system.
(So would you prefer a smaller selection, and know what is available, and what not, or a much wider selection that is a little bit more hit-and-miss, such as Kroger’s)? 2. They have a two-hour delivery window, same as Kroger. As that window approaches, though, the online order status page shows a map with the driver’s whereabouts, and an updated timeframe for your delivery. Nice. 3. Delivery is free when ordering $35 or more (before sales tax). Oh, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to order, though. That’s $119 per year before sales tax.
I have had my Apple watch for a week now.
It is essentially an iPhone extension, and as such has definitely helped me relax a little.
I have fewer thoughts of the form ‘Where’s my phone?’ or ‘Go get your phone!’ (upstairs) or ‘Go check your phone!’ (for messages).
The first few days after my operation, I took pain meds every 4 hours, and it was easy to lose track.
I put tasks on my Google calendar, and the reminders popped up on my wrist every four hours.
I’m still warming up to using all the other health-related trackers on the watch (sleep monitoring, heart rate, even blood oxygen levels).
I had to go to a doctor’s appointment this morning.
I told myself ‘You can do it, don’t be a scaredy-cat’ (driving on the snowy, icy roads).
My car does not have snow tires, but the electric motor on the rear axle, plus another on the front axle, makes it an all-wheel drive. The wheels also have traction control (electronics that limit how much the wheels can spin, making it easier to drive on slippery surfaces).
I put a ‘scheduled departure’ into my Tesla app, a good practice in icy weather. That way the car is nicely warmed up inside, with the battery pre-conditioned (warmed up) as you get behind the wheel to drive out.
I was good to go.
It’s the first winter in my not-so-new-anymore car, and I am definitely heeding the message on the dashboard for the cold weather: ‘Regenerative braking temporarily reduced’.
When starting out in cold weather, the car struggles to use regenerative braking as efficiently as in summer.
We also have people dressed in black, with black umbrellas, stepping into the pedestrian crosswalk, expecting drivers to see them. People. Wear something other than black if you’re going to walk the streets at night!
I took these pictures on 15th Avenue here on Capitol Hill tonight with my iPhone 13Pro. Perfectly lit and sharp night pictures are really hard to take with my big Canon EOS 7D Mk II DSLR camera— even when using its automatic program mode.
Here’s how Apple described what happens in ‘night mode’ when it debuted on iPhone11 (it’s a lot!): ‘Night mode comes on automatically when needed — say, in a candlelit restaurant. When you tap the shutter, the camera takes multiple images while optical image stabilization steadies the lens. Then the camera software goes to work. It aligns images to correct for movement. It discards the sections with too much blur and fuses sharper ones. It adjusts contrast so everything stays in balance. It fine‑tunes colors so they look natural. Then it intelligently de‑noises and enhances details to produce the final image. It all adds up to night shots that stand apart — with more detail, less noise, and an authentic sense of time and place’.
The easy data transfer method (to set up my new phone) shown in yesterday’s picture stumbled, and I had to give up on it.
So I did a full iCloud backup of my old phone*, and an iCloud restore to the new phone, and that worked out fine.
*The backup took a while. Could it be that I have that many apps, and that much data? I wondered. It turned out most of the 22 Gb of backup data were photos, even though I had marked photos as excluded from the backup. I also deleted the 5,000+ pictures I had on the old phone, and deleted them from the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder as well, but they were still swept into the backup. They made it onto the new phone into the ‘Recently Deleted’ folder. Ah well, no harm done. They will disappear from there in 30 days.
There is still a little work after all the apps & data had been transferred to the new phone, to make sure everything is good to go. • Check if home screen, main apps, phone contacts look OK. • Log onto e-mail accounts, messaging apps, credit card & banking apps, and check that the Apple Wallet is set up correctly (vaccination card was missing). • Request a new QR code for my Washington State vaccination card to put into the Apple Wallet. • Connect my Tesla’s key card to the new phone. • Download my preferred Siri voice onto the phone. • Use iTunes on Windows (I have no Mac or MacBook) to sync my CD music collection into the Apple Music app & add my PC photo albums to my phone’s photo albums. It’s a known issue that the artwork for the CD albums sometimes get scrambled with the sync. All right, so I could not have that. Deleted all 4,105 synced songs and the Apple Music app (! – to get rid of invisible files & indexes). Downloaded the app back to the phone, and did the sync again. Issue solved.
Below are pictures shot with each of the phone’s three lenses: wide angle, standard and close-up.
(Note: These are 2560×1920 pixels. The blogging platform automatically scales them down from the original 4032×3024 pixels).
The major backlog of container ships at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is the worst its ever been, with 100 ships waiting to enter and unload as of Tuesday.
Guess what? Another 45 ships are expected to arrive at these ports by Thursday.
In better times, and before the pandemic, there would be one ship waiting, or none! (To be fair, imports are at record levels at some ports, and Americans are buying everything they can lay their hands on).
I was just fearing that the keyboard that the repair shop had ordered for my notebook computer, might still be sitting in on a ship in Los Angeles or Longbeach .. but they called me today saying that it came in, and that I can pick up the computer.
Here are the ten busiest ports in the US:
1. Port of Los Angeles, California (known as ‘America’s Port’)- more than 9.2 million TEUs* in 2020
2. Port of Long Beach, California – more than 8.1 million
3. Port of New York & New Jersey, New York – more than 7.5 million
4. Port of Savannah, Georgia – more than 4.6 million
5. The Northwest Seaport Alliance (Seattle & Tacoma), Washington – more than 3.3 million
6. Port Houston, Texas – more than 2.9 million
7. Port of Virginia, Virginia – more than 2.8 million
8. Port of Oakland, California – more than 2.4 million
9. South Carolina Ports, South Carolina – more than 2.3 million
10. Port Miami, Florida – more than 1 million
*Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit
A TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) is a measure of volume, expressed in units of twenty-foot long containers.
Today marked the opening of the 4.3-mile extension of the Seattle area’s Link light rail system towards the north, with three new stations: U District, Roosevelt and Northgate. These are the final stations in the system that was proposed to voters in 1996. So it took twenty-five years to get it all planned and built, a lot longer and much more expensive than planned, but it’s here at last. The price tag for this last phase was $1.9 billion.
Central Line is now called Line 1 with its 19 stations. Line 2 to Bellevue is under construction and will open in two years in 2023.
I realized on Sunday, driving around in the pouring rain, that’s it’s a new experience for me in my car (it’s been dry ever since I had gotten the car at the end of June).
The windshield wipers switch on automatically, but at times they seem to be a little too frantic (enthusiastic?) with the wiping. I intervene then, and adjust the wiper frequency down a notch.
I like the stalk on the right of the steering wheel to push on*, to get to the wiper controls (and not to have to go through the console screen selections).
*Tesla’s new steering wheel on the Model S and X has none of that, as the steering column is not equipped with any stalk.
‘One or more items in your order will be ready for pickup at Apple, University Village’
– Text message from Apple, complete with map and QR code
I took this message to believe my new phone and its leather case were ready for pickup.
The phone was indicated as ‘available’ on Friday when I placed the order. And did Tim Cook not say (at the Apple event, Sept. 14) that there would be enough phones out of the gate, this year?
Long story short: I left the store without my phone. (It’s not a big deal. It’s just an illustration of how the best-laid plans can go off the rails).
Inside the store after a long, long wait for the phone to show up: No— they did not have it— and would not have it for another four weeks.
I suppose I could have double-checked online if both my items were ready, before going out to the store.
In hindsight, the other red flag was that my credit card was charged only for the case as I placed the order on Friday, but not for the phone .. but I thought that was because they would check the condition of my trade-in phone, and then finalize the charge amount today.
So the message & QR code they had sent out, the time slot of 11.45- 12 noon for the pickup, the careful choreography in the Apple store, was all for just picking up a phone case.
Back at home came the e-mail from Apple with my receipt, and the standard invitation to provide feedback of ‘my experience at the Apple store’.
I basically wrote back:
‘I took your text message & QR code as confirmation that both phone and case were ready for pickup.
Why on earth would your ordering program assume I would want to come in to your store, fight the traffic piling up for the University of Washington football game nearby, to come in and pick up only the case for the phone?
Somewhere along the line there should have been a clear message saying that the phone would be unavailable/ not ready for pickup’.
P.S./ Two days later There was in fact in e-mail sent out by Apple on Friday, that stated that the phone was not available. So yes, I should have checked the status of my order inside the e-mail before I went out to the store.