Make intersections safer by removing stoplights

Make intersections safer by removing stoplights:

Cars were moving too fast through an intersection in the town of Poynton in England, so they took out the stoplights & walk signals and replaced the intersection with an unusual double roundel design. The result is a mixed-use space with slower moving car traffic and safer pedestrian traffic.

[Been talking about this for years. Once pointed out, this seemingly counter intuitive move works every time. I apply the same thinking to many situations. Rules that run counter to desire fail. In this case, they did a brilliant job.]

American Airlines earned an enemy

American Airlines earned an enemy:

So that’s the end of our two week nightmare battling American Airlines. A bag lost to gross negligence of American Airlines and that asshole of a passenger who took it in the first place (who takes a wrong bag, filled with baby clothing and toys, fails to report it for almost a week, then doesn’t return it at all?).

Never did someone express a true emotion of empathy at American Airlines. Never an offer to put someone with authority and competence on the case to get to the bottom of it. No offers of even token gestures for our sour experience. No nothing.

American Airlines, you are a terrible company. I hope that your disdain for helping customers in trouble catches up to you one day and you go out of business.

[Well… it doesn’t get worse than that for customer experience does it?]

Two Trillion Objects, 1.1 Million Requests / Second

Amazon Web Services Blog: Amazon S3 – Two Trillion Objects, 1.1 Million Requests / Second:

There are now more than 2 trillion (2 x 1012) objects stored in Amazon S3 and that the service is regularly peaking at over 1.1 million requests per second.
If you added one S3 object every 60 hours starting at the Big Bang, you’d have accumulated almost two trillion of them by now.

[Given that… would you please fix that leaky faucet? These things add up.]

TV 3.0

TV 3.0:

That abundance is each of ours. How we organize what we watch should be up to us, not to cable systems compiling their own guides that look like spreadsheets, with rows of channels and columns of times. We can, and should, do better than that. Also better than what YouTube gives us, based on what its machines think we might want.

Today Google is the box we need to think outside of. So let’s re-start there.

[You have to read the whole thing… Doc at his brilliant best.]

Source: Doc Searls Weblog

Just How Did Apple “Journalism” Get This Bad? | Macgasm

Just How Did Apple “Journalism” Get This Bad? | Macgasm:

I swore that I wouldn’t write stuff like this. “No, Ian”, I said, “skewering the stupid is pointless. You only end up bitter and twisted by maintaining the necessary level of vitriol required.” But sometimes… you’ve just got to do something.

When I learned to be a journalist, we had one rule: We did what was the right thing for the readers. That sometimes meant annoying companies like Apple, if “doing the right thing for the readers” meant giving them details of an unannounced Mac. Sometimes it meant giving large advertisers bad reviews. But whatever it meant, it always meant giving them the truth: facts we found out, put into context so the readers could understand what was going on better.

By those standards, David Gewirtz’s piece over at ZDNet entitled “iOS developers abandoning sinking Apple mothership: biggest drop ever” isn’t just bad journalism. It’s beyond that. It’s anti-journalism. Where journalism is about fact, Gewirtz brings us speculation. Where journalism adds context to make things clearer, Gewirtz removes it in order to make things more difficult to understand.

[It just keeps getting worse. I’m beginning to think the tech news is simply the very bottom of the barrel. At least some folks in the business see it.]

Unbiased Source, Right There

Unbiased Source, Right There:

Third paragraph from Jungah Lee’s report for Bloomberg, “LG Display Profit Misses Estimates on Stalling Apple Sales”:

“Apple is losing dominance and will likely delay launching a successor to the iPhone 5 until at least September,” Harrison Cho, an analyst for Seoul-based Samsung Securities Co., said before the earnings release. “LG Display might have to wait until the third quarter to see strong profits as Apple’s new devices are mostly expected to be out in the second half.”

Samsung Securities. That Samsung. Jiminy christ.

[People it really is that bad. And again. Think about how topics this kind of fact checking is *not* performed for… how often is the news biased without disclaimer or just plain old wrong? A lot more than people think.]

Source: Daring Fireball

What’s In a Tomato

What’s In a Tomato:

I purchased this tomato at a farmers’ market in San Francisco. It cost me 60 cents, which is about half the price of a supermarket tomato, and contains 25 calories. That’s 2.4 cents / calorie. By comparison, a double cheeseburger from McDonald’s costs 99 cents and contains 440 calories6, which is 0.225 cents / calorie, more than an order of magnitude more cost effective. It would cost me $130/day to live on supermarket tomatoes, $65/day to live on farmers’ market tomatoes, and $6/day to live on cheeseburgers. It’s no wonder the poor eat poorly.

[Nope. No wonder at all. However if we turned all those of acres grass we grow or open lots where they exist into produce gardens…]

Source: Mostly Harmless

So, I guess we should all be freelancing for free?

So, I guess we should all be freelancing for free?:

I just don’t understand anything anymore.

Wealthy musician Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to produce and release a record, recently used a TED talk to expand on the idea that artists should be willing to work for free. After relaying a story about how she used to be a street performer, Palmer, who is married to a very successful author named Neil Gaiman, told an audience of people who’d paid $7,500 apiece to be there that musicians shouldn’t “make” people pay for their work, but rather “let” people pay for their work. She also explained that she found it virtuous when a family of undocumented immigrants huddled together on their couch for a night so that she and her band could have their beds, because her music and presence was a fair exchange for the family’s comfort. After about 13 minutes of explaining why she is content with people giving her things, Palmer received a standing ovation.

[I know that visual artists are very vocal about this issue. My experience is that they have more concerns about this than others seem to. Maybe they get more requests for free work? I’m not sure. But I disagree with the analysis above. I don’t think Ms. Palmer was asking anyone to work for free. She was suggesting as many do, that you need to flip the model, and use that in your attempt to cut through the clutter and noise. Offer people the opportunity to purchase your art… a model that works for some people and not others, and some cases and not others. In short there’s a difference between “talent for hire” and “art”. And a lot of folks think of their work for hire as art. It’s not for me to say, but I think the distinction I’m trying to draw is important when it comes to “free”.]

Source: Luc Latulippe

Gionvanni Grancino violin has been lost and presumed stolen

A Gionvanni Grancino violin has been lost and presumed stolen in
Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on Friday, March 29th 2013.

European luthiers and the Interpol have already been informed and are on
the look out for it, but they would now would like to get the word out in
the US as well as a precaution, as the violin still has not been recovered.

The instrument belongs to the Jumpstart Jr. Foundation, based in the

Jumpstart Jr. was founded in The Netherlands in 2006 and is the custodian of a unique collection of historical string instruments crafted by old masters and selected by leading baroque players. Jumpstart Jr. aims to identify the best young players who have already completed a musical education and are recognized to become leading performers.

I can pass on the email addresses and phone numbers of those involved.

Galerie 50 11 m

Riding the Catskills

Spring Route Roundup: Come on Up, the Weather’s Fine! | Riding the Catskills:

I just wanted to round up all the routes I’ve published for your convenience, dear reader. After all the effort this blog entails, I better see all y’all riding past my house this summer.

Just one note before we begin: If you make it up here, try to be super polite to the locals (of whom I am now one). This isn’t 9W, and I want cyclists to be welcome up here!

[Isn’t 9W? Ouch. I’ll have to do some of this this summer.]