Critters Photo

iPhone 7 Plus First Photo

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My daughter’s cat Cali sleeps on the desk from where I type this post. I couldn’t resist giving iPhone 7 Plus a quick, point-and-click camera test. She is too cute. Except for the slightest straightening, the image is unaltered. Vitals: f/1.8, ISO 40, 1/15 sec, 3.99mm.

I preordered the smartphone on first available day, Sept. 9, 2016, from T-Mobile, using JUMP! On Demand, which gives me enough upgrade flexibility for the leasing price paid. When I preordered, T-Mobile quoted Sept. 19 ship date, or three days after availability from Apple—for the black, 256GB model. Instead, the device shipped a week later and arrived yesterday. This afternoon, I turned in my iPhone 6s Plus, leaving the store with a surreal sadness; I enjoyed using the smartphone, which condition was, or is, pristine.

I upgraded for Apple’s dual-camera, which could become my main shooter. I have already posted my beloved Fuji X-T1 to Craigslist, hoping to sell the entire kit, which includes three lenses and ONA bag, to one person. Offers are aplenty for the lenses, but this kit deserves a good home. If no takers, I’ll likely keep it all. But we’ll see.

Ssssh, Cali is stirring. She should sleep so I can eat some supper in peace. 😉

Critters Living Photo

Can You Say Cat Contact Lenses?

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On October 15th, we will be living in the same San Diego apartment for nine years—and not since the first with a lease. But as of the 1st, we must abandon month-to-month living or pay a $100 penalty every time rent is due (e.g., $1,200 every year). Last week, while Anne drove us to sign the lease we didn’t want to, I spotted the strange veterinary in the photo. Eh, yeah.

We love our cats. Dearly. But cataract or glaucoma surgery? I can’t imagine. But this is Southern California, where people priorities are askew and too many folks have too much money to spend unwisely. Forget that blind homeless dude, who might see with ocular implants. Give them to Frisky or Fido instead.

That said, I understand treating species-specific diseases, like Feline Herpesvirus. But being cynical from observing SoCal culture, I imagine frivolity unchecked. As for the photo, it is among my last shot with iPhone 6s Plus. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/3077 sec, 4.15mm.

Free Speech Responsibility Rights Society Stupidity Tech Web

I’m Mad! Some Dude is using My Gmail to open Dating and Deal Site Accounts!

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Mad Catter

Question: “When is stupidity fraud?” I ask because someone is using my gmail address to sign up for a humungous number of newsletters and websites. At first, I presumed someone trolled me. But that no longer appears to be the case. This guy, presumably living in North Carolina, either uses my address randomly to hide his identity, or he mistypes one that is similar. Given many of the services are for an unidentified widower looking for love, I assume the latter.

Behind my question are real concerns about identity and privacy that do not just apply to me. The email address gives me the ability to change the passwords and even cancel accounts—both of which I have done, treating his misuse of my email address as identity theft and violations of my privacy; after years of careful cultivation that reduced spam, crap is on the rise as this misuse spreads my gmail identity across dating and discount sites and sex webcams. Who knows on what mailing lists it will appear next. But over the past 24 hours, the amount of spam offers, like being paid to take surveys, exploded. The email address may be permanently ruined for personal and professional purposes.  Read More

Living Photo

My New Specs

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Joe Wilcox Aug 27 2016

Today, I shot a new profile pic, cropped from the selfie original that you see. Last month, the local LensCrafters unbelievably broke my Oliver Peoples Gregory Peck frames, which the shop doesn’t sell. Strange, since the framemaker and optical store are owned by the same parent company. Hehe, could the one brand tarnish the other by carrying it? Yeah, maybe.

Much as I love the Gregory Peck, availability and circumstances led to another choice: Oliver Peoples O’Malley, which I wear now. The change makes sense of updating my profile photo everywhere. Style is different, and I’m 18 months older.

My face is a bit asymmetrical, and I really want to Photoshop off some years. But this is the original pic, captured using iPhone 6s Plus front-facing camera. Vitals: f/2.2, ISO 64, 1/120 sec. My wife (Anne) made the necklace. I bought the eyewear from The UnOptical, in Hillcrest, Calif.

Aspiration Culture Free Speech Society

What Would You Add?

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Before I Die Left

Walking through San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood earlier this evening, I spotted something new—or at least to me. The “Before I Die…” wall has been there since June 2012. Clearly, I don’t get to that side of University Ave. often enough.

There’s something morbid about the giant chalkboard compared to aspirational “The Courage Wall”, which was my Flickr-a-Day-231 selection last year. Both fixtures provide space for passersby to express something longed to do; one is about overcoming something to achieve something more, while the other is wished for far less earnestly. Compare the aspirations to see the differences.  Read More

Events Living Pulp Media

Look Who I Met at Comic-Con

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Auggie Anderson

I spent today, with my daughter, at San Diego Comic-Con 2016. Finally. My praise to the organization for providing shockingly accessible accessibility services for the temporarily or permanently disabled. Because of corrective eye surgery two days ago, I fit the category for this Con, and hopefully none other. SDCC graciously gave Molly an onsite pass to be my attendant. In introduction, my impaired vision frames an unexpected encounter with Christopher Gorham.

When the surgical procedures are complete, I expect to have as good eyesight as my youth, but without the need for glasses. I wore a pair of dummy ones today, to protect the operated-on right eye (e.g. plastic with no prescription applied to them). Thus, the left eye is a complete blur without a corrective lens. On the right, my vision for things far away is exceptional. But my personal space, out to about a meter, is blurred out; my visual range will normalize sometime after the dilated pupil normalizes. So, yeah, Molly’s assistance is helpful.  Read More

Culture Pulp Media Society

Red Shirts Mark My Comic-Con Blues

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Star Trek Booth Babes

I won’t attend all, or even most, of San Diego Comic-Con as planned this week. SDCC is the only event I look forward to all year. But an opportunity came to undergo corrective surgery in one of my eyes (the other follows in a few weeks) sooner than expected. I will be at the Con Wednesday night but not Thursday (gonna be under the scalpel—or is it laser—that day) and probably not Friday (when is the post-op exam). Perhaps the surgeon will okay Sunday and hopefully even Saturday.

My eighth year of attendance is a bust, but I am super fortunate to get July 21st for the surgery. I had looked forward to Star Trek’s 50th year, which will get big celebration throughout the four days and Preview Night—starting with the “Star Trek Beyond” premiere. Given my truncated plans combined with my paying to attend (no press pass), I will go as a participant rather than a documentarian for the first time.  Read More

Google Law Mobility

Google, pull the Plug on Europe

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Pokemon GO

Yesterday, Europe’s Competition Commission expanded its legal assault against Alphabet and major subsidiary Google. Four monopolies are under fire: AdSense, Android, search, and shopping services. Trustbusters allege that Google uses anticompetitive tactics to protect its market dominance, which share ranges from 80 percent to 90 percent in each category. Behind the charges is a hoity-toity attitude typical of overly-protectionist EU regulators. What if the information giant gave them what they want?

Imagine this: Google shuts down operations across the entire Euro zone—in a Brexit-like departure, but suddenly with no preparations. Switch it off. Search and other services could remain available in Britain and to all other non-EU countries. The company surely has the means, starting with IP blocking and expanding to other measures. The risk: Confirming just how dominant is Google, because of the incredible negative consequences. But the chaos also would lead to an outcry to restore services, while illuminating how important Big G is to citizens and how greatly businesses benefit, or profit, from the monopolies.  Read More

Google Law

Google Runs Aground European Union Antitrust Objections

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SS Minnow

Alphabet Admirals Sergey Brin and Larry Page had better tell Captain Sundar Pichai to close the watertight doors—lest the search and advertising ship sink in the North Sea, where depths reach 700 meters (2,300). Brrrr. Are the lawyers handing out life preservers? Will paralegals man the water pumps?

Today’s expansion of the European Union Competition Commission’s investigation into Google business practices makes a really bad situation much, much, much worse. Problems are these: Adding advertising to anticompetitive charges; expanding investigation to four monopolies (AdSense, Android, search, shopping services); citing exclusive contracts as violation of the law; and narrowing the applicable market for search shopping competition, thus blowing apart one of Google’s major counter legal arguments. Kaboom!  Read More

Apple Gear Mobility

How Much Storage Does My Mac Need?

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MacBok Pro and TarDisk Pear

The question nags as I prepare to review TarDisk Pear flash memory expansion. The doohickey is available in 128 or 256 gig capacities for either MacBook Air or Pro. It fits neatly and snuggly into the SDXC card slot, which is required; color and finish match, too. Windows users must look elsewhere, though, and many may be glad to. The tech lists for $149 and $399, respectively. But, hey, the Apple fan club is accustomed to paying more for everything.

I will test TarDisk Pear on my 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display, 3.1GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. I recently, and unexpectedly, filled up the hard disk with photos and podcast raw recordings. (Hehe, using Chromebooks for so long spoiled me and my awareness of such things.) Doubling storage, particularly with San Diego Comic-Con coming in 14 days, could prove useful for editing audio, pics, and video on the laptop. But is it necessary or contrivance?  Read More

Apple Mobility Music Web

Tidal My Apple Music

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iPad Pro and Tidal

As a Tidal subscriber. I welcome Apple acquisition—asssuming lossless tracks are made available through the fruit-logo company’s music services. Not that anyone should seriously believe the rumors. But one can hope.

Merger talks are typically silent affairs. When they’re serious, you don’t hear about them until there is a deal. Reasons are many, with regulatory being among them when public companies are involved. Acquisition rumors often mean something else: Principal party leaks information about preliminary or ongoing discussions to gauge customer and shareholder reaction; one side or the other is dissatisfied with progress/terms and seeks to apply pressure.  Read More