Monday, July 29, 2019

5000 data points

There is no privacy as our data is being monetized/weaponized 24/7 depending on the kind of entity who crunches our histories as said data harvesting & tailoring is a trillion-dollar business practiced by tech giants Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon, along with some significant others, as information has become the most valuable commodity in the world thanks to the rise of the web.

To whit ...

But it’s hard to control a weapon you can’t see, and that's where The Great Hack offers even those very familiar with data tracking, and with the whole story of Cambridge Analytica, something powerful and new. It makes visible the normally invisible data of our everyday lives, and how it is harvested and weaponized against us. Through thoughtful narration and emoji-inspired animations, Amer and Noujaim reveal the digital detritus we leave in our wake whenever we send an email, look something up on a search engine, linger over an ad, make a purchase, or hit "like" on social media. And then, as alarming music swells in the background, the film uses that CGI to show how this data trail is being leveraged against us, every day: to sell us things, get us to vote or to stay home from the polls, to divide or unite us according to the whims of whoever has paid enough to take our digital threads and weave them into a web of their own desires.

75% ...

Habitat destruction combined with pesticide use, what could possibly go wrong?

Note: This data was garnered in 2017, which means the loss of insect populations could be even higher.

Friday, July 26, 2019

tears in rain ...

No words needed.

Ruger Hauer died, Friday, July 19, 2019.

108 ... Paris 7/25/2019

Earth does NOT NEED US, we need the earth. We have to change how we do business on this planet or Gaia will finish the job of getting rid of us without question. Stop thinking countries, think world, it might change how man faces this existential situation.

Thursday's high in Paris hit 108° F. — the highest ever recorded. And Europe's climate-crisis heat wave isn't over.

Any questions?

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Deep Diver

In Transit :)

The ISS transiting a spotless sun, how cool is that? :)

Explanation: That's no sunspot. It's the International Space Station (ISS) caught passing in front of the Sun. Sunspots, individually, have a dark central umbra, a lighter surrounding penumbra, and no solar panels. By contrast, the ISS is a complex and multi-spired mechanism, one of the largest and most sophisticated machines ever created by humanity. Also, sunspots occur on the Sun, whereas the ISS orbits the Earth. Transiting the Sun is not very unusual for the ISS, which orbits the Earth about every 90 minutes, but getting one's timing and equipment just right for a great image is rare. Strangely, besides that fake spot, in this recent two-image composite, the Sun lacked any real sunspots. The featured picture combines two images -- one capturing the space station transiting the Sun -- and another taken consecutively capturing details of the Sun's surface. Sunspots have been rare on the Sun since the dawn of the current Solar Minimum, a period of low solar activity. For reasons not yet fully understood, the number of sunspots occurring during both the previous and current solar minima have been unusually low.

Stellar without question.

Monday, July 15, 2019

LIghts for Liberty/Redding, CT 07/12/2019

Redding, CT does its share to support Lights for Liberty, a coalition of people, dedicated to human rights and the fundamental principle behind democracy that all human beings have a right to life, liberty and dignity.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The implosion begins ...

Hate to say it but yours truly guessed this would happen a few years ago, thanks to the net and to Amazon, as people, including myself, are lazy and ... if you can get said product cheaper and delivered to you without issue, the need to drive and get said product becomes moot. Additionally, the slow-motion impact of tariffs is beginning to show as per Zerohedge, a site that knows a bit about issues such as this.

Bankrupted Payless ShoeSource closed its remaining stores last week, accounts for 37% of the closing this year.

Coresight estimates closures could hit at least 12,000 stores by the end of 4Q19. The firm already tracked 5,864 closings in 2018, which included all Toys R Us, Kmart and Sears.

The retail apocalypse reared its ugly head in 2017 when a record 8,139 store closures were reported.

In a separate reported, noted by USA Today, UBS said 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese products could jeopardize $40 billion of retail sales and puts 12,000 stores at risk of closing.

"The market does not realize how much brick & mortar retail is incrementally struggling and how new 25% tariffs could force widespread store closures," UBS analyst Jay Sole wrote in the May report. "We think the potential 25% tariffs on Chinese imports could accelerate pressure on these company's profit margins to the point where major store closures become a real possibility."

It'll take several months for the new round of tariffs to filter through the economy, raise retail prices, force consumers to shop online or not at all, and then lead to a new wave of closings in 1H20. As for the economy, growth rates are indeed declining as an industrial slowdown is spread to other sectors.

The implosion begins.

Entanglement ...

Engtanglement has never been photographed until now. Bell was right all along. :)

Click here for more blurbs on entanglement & quantum theory if you dare. :)

Addendum: One more pix and info from Physorg.

How cool is this? :)

Friday, July 12, 2019

The first salvo ...

Hurricane Barry, the slow-motion GW generated engine of destruction targeting Lousiana, reminds one of Ray Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes in terms of the kind of dread people feel when faced with entities possessing this kind of dark power.

The first salvo ...

5 + 1 :)

Amazing pix of 5 frogs hitching a ride on a croc. Awesome without question. 

A side view of these intrepid travelers. : ) Thx Jill for turning me onto this gem. :)
The sequence of pictures is truly stellar.

Thursday, July 11, 2019


A new, tiny full frame still and video camera from Signa comes complete with a very cool promo piece titled, you guessed it, fp. Stellar without question. :)

Sunday, July 07, 2019

Credential Dumping explained ...

Yours truly learned a new term. credential dumping, a precise term describing how hackers grab our data by getting access to our logins and passwords via nefarious means. A truly excellent Wired piece tells one how this game works.

Learning new stuff is awesome without question.

The Caretaker factor ...

Apple was, at times, a trillion dollar company but not now. Outside of the iPad Pros, the iMacs and the new Mac Pro, it seems, to this individual, that Apple has lost some of its mojo as Cook is not a visionary, like Jobs was, in any way shape or fashion.

Design issues ...

Cook/Ive fallout ...

Apple's a  player without issue but cracks are beginning to show on this truly great company being run by a very capable caretaker as Apple moves further into the 21st century. The question to ask here is, is that enough to keep Apple ahead in a world where hardware is becoming a commodity driven by code. Something to consider don't you think?

Friday, July 05, 2019



Supermodels, a word describing highly paid people to show off designer threads, is a term yours truly thinks patently ridiculous given how the fashion industry is totally dedicated to image and profit based on providing fantasy to us rubes 24/7. With that being said, the advancement of digital representations of said clothe horses parallels what is happening in film and graphics where one cannot tell whether the image is synthetic or the real deal.

It gets "better".

Fable Studio, which bills itself as “the virtual beings company,” created Lucy, a cartoonish character able to read and respond to viewers’ reactions in real time. The company says it makes digital creations “with whom you can build a two-way emotional relationship.”

Xinhua, the Chinese government’s media outlet, introduced a virtual news anchor last year, saying it “can work 24 hours a day.” Coca-Cola and Louis Vuitton have used video game characters in their ads. Soul Machines, a company founded by the Oscar-winning digital animator Mark Sagar, produced computer-generated teachers that respond to human students. Last month, YouPorn got in on the trend with Jedy Vales, an avatar who promotes the site and interacts with its users.

Edward Saatchi, who started Fable, predicted that virtual beings would someday supplant digital home assistants and computer operating systems from companies like Amazon and Google.

“Eventually, it will be clear that the line between a Miquela and an Alexa is actually very slim,” he said.

Virtual influencers come with an advantage for the companies that use them: They are less regulated than their human counterparts. And the people controlling them aren’t required to disclose their presence.

& it's cheaper ...

Any questions & ... It's just a matter of time for Hollywood just as well.