A heron scaring the ducks

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:20 pm
yourlibrarian: Penguin Baby (NAT-PenguinBaby-americangrl69)
[personal profile] yourlibrarian posting in [community profile] common_nature
We recently had a visit from a heron. It was strolling around our end of the lake.

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] google_blog_feed

It’s here! Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL hit shelves today in the U.S. Here’s a few things you can do with your Pixel 2, right out of the box.


1. Transfer your stuff from your old phone in less than 10 minutes—photos, videos, music, contacts, calendar events, apps, messages, and more. Just plug in the the cord and follow the simple instructions on the screen to make the switch. If you need help, there’s a team available 24/7 to talk you through it.


2. Say cheese! Pixel 2 has the highest-rated smartphone camera ever, with a DxOMark Mobile score of 98. Take brilliant photos in any light, and play around with new exposure controls and features like Smartburst, which takes a rapid-fire sequence of shots. Get motion photos with every shot. Pixel 2 also comes with incredible video stabilization, thanks to a combination of both optical and electronic image stabilization.

Pixel 2 Video Stabilization

3. Focus. New portrait mode in the Pixel 2 front and rear cameras gives you crisp, beautiful portraits and selfies with a gorgeous background blur (on both Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL). For more on portrait mode, including some tips for how to take the best portraits, see this post.

portrait mode

4. Get unlimited storage for all your memories. All Pixel 2 users get free unlimited storage in the highest resolution for all of the photos and videos taken on your Pixel with Google Photos.


5. Search what you see with Google Lens in Google Photos. With this preview, just for Pixel 2 users, you can learn about the world around you and get things done. Save phone numbers and email addresses right to your contacts; learn more about landmarks, artwork, books, movies, music albums, and video games; or copy and share URLs from posters.

google lens gif

6. Just squeeze the sides of your phone, say “Ok Google,” or long press the Home button to call on your Google Assistant for help finding answers and getting things done. The Google Assistant understands you, so you don’t have to edit the text messages you dictate. Ask to play a song on Google Play Music, YouTube Music, or Spotify. Or control your phone by saying “turn on night light, "do not disturb” or "change my ringtone" and your Google Assistant will make it happen—no need to dig into settings.


7. Get big entertainment wherever you go. Pixel 2 comes with a razor-sharp display and dual front-facing stereo speakers for crystal-clear sound. It also delivers high quality audio through the new USB-C headphone port and through the updated, hi-fi Bluetooth support. With Fast Pair, you can quickly and easily set up compatible wireless headphones with just a tap.


8. See the important stuff at a glance. With Always-On-Display, you can see the time and notifications without waking up your phone.


9. Name that tune. On your Always-On-Display, the Now Playing feature will show you song and artist info for music playing around you. This works entirely on the device, so no audio is sent to Google.


10. Play well with others. Pixel is made to work seamlessly with your other Google devices. Say “Ok Google, play recommended videos on the TV” and your Assistant helps you keep watching on Chromecast without missing a beat. Or ask your Assistant on Google Home to “find my phone” to hear it ring and find its last location. We’re adding new features all the time, and as the rest of our hardware family hits stores this fall, your Pixel will work with those too.

Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL hit shelves today in the U.S. Here are some things you can do with the newest phone made by Google.

Update

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:54 am
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 Worked 14 hours on the clock day before yesterday.  Didn't do much yesterday.  Today I'm caching up with chores, welcoming M back from Indiana and getting ready for tomorrow.  Tomorrow I have to be at work at 4am.....   Good money tho!!

Really Scary

Oct. 19th, 2017 10:00 am
ranunculus: (Default)
[personal profile] ranunculus
 75% less insects trapped in the last couple of years compared to 20 years ago.  
What a horrifying decline.  
http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/05/where-have-all-insects-gone

The problem with Uber

Oct. 19th, 2017 03:56 pm
[syndicated profile] scottaaronson_feed

Posted by Scott

I just spent a wonderful and exhausting five days in the Bay Area: meeting friends, holding the first-ever combined SlateStarCodex/Shtetl-Optimized meetup, touring quantum computing startups PsiCorp and Rigetti Computing, meeting with Silicon Valley folks about quantum computing, and giving a public lecture for the Simons Institute in Berkeley.  I’ll probably say more about some of these events in future posts, but for now: thanks so much to everyone who helped them happen!

Alas, my experiences getting around the Bay this week convinced me that there’s a real problem with Uber.  And no, I’m not talking about their corporate culture, or the personality of ousted CEO Travis Kalanick, or the hardball lobbying of municipalities to allow ride-sharing, or the taxi companies needing to adapt to survive, or even Uber having an unsustainable business model (they could charge more and I’d still use it…).

The problem is: when you order an Uber, like 2/3 of the time you and the driver can’t find each other without a lot of back and forth.

Firstly, because you can’t specify where you are with enough accuracy.  When you try, the app does this thing where it literally moves the “you are here” pointer to a place where you’re not. And then, even if the little dot correctly indicates your location, for some reason the driver will think you’re somewhere totally different.

Secondly, because Uber cars are typically unmarked.  Yes, the app tells you that it’s a white Ford or whatever—but there’s a lot of white cars, and it’s hard (at least for me) to distinguish models at a distance, so you can then face a stressful “Where’s Waldo?” problem involving hundreds of cars.

Thirdly, because the drivers understandably have their phones mounted on their dashboards—the result being that, when you call to try to figure out where they are, nothing they say can be distinguished from “mmph hrmph mmph.”  And of course they can’t text while driving.

To be clear, these gripes arise only because ride-sharing apps generally work so damn well, and are such an advance over what preceded them, that they’ve changed our expectations about the convenience of getting from place to place.  Because of Uber and Lyft and so on, it’s tempting to plan your life around the assumption that you can be anywhere in a greater metro area, and within 3 minutes a car will magically arrive to take you to wherever else in that area you need to be—while your brain remains uncluttered with transportation logistics, among the most excruciating of all topics.  This is a problem borne of success.

But—good news, everyone!—I have an idea to solve the problem, which I hereby offer free of charge to any ride-sharing service that wants to adopt it.  Namely, when you order a ride, why doesn’t the app—with your explicit permission, of course—use your phone’s camera to send a selfie of you, together with the location where you’re waiting, to the driver?  Is there some obvious reason I’m missing why this wouldn’t work?  Have any ride-sharing companies tried it?  (I only learned today that I can update my Uber profile to include my photo.  Hopefully that will help drivers find me—but a photo of the intersection, or the side of the building where I am, etc. could help even more.)

[syndicated profile] google_blog_feed

On August 6, 2012, the Curiosity rover landed on Mars. Ever since, it’s been searching for evidence that Mars has ever been suitable for life. It’s also been photographing the Martian terrain in great detail. Scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab use these photos to create a 3D model of Mars. It’s a one-of-a-kind scientific tool for planning future missions.


Today, we’re putting that same 3D model into an immersive experience for everyone to explore. We call it Access Mars, and it lets you see what the scientists see. Get a real look at Curiosity’s landing site and other mission sites like Pahrump Hills and Murray Buttes. Plus, JPL will continuously update the data so you can see where Curiosity has just been in the past few days or weeks. All along the way, JPL scientist Katie Stack Morgan will be your guide, explaining key points about the rover, the mission, and some of the early findings.


The experience is built using WebVR, a technology that lets you see virtual reality right in your browser, without installing any apps. You can try it on a virtual reality headset, phone, or laptop.


Check it out at g.co/accessmars.


And if you’re an educator, we’ve updated our Mars tour in Google Expeditions with highlights from this experience. To try it with your class or in self-guided mode, download the Expeditions app from Google Play or the App Store.

The real surface of Mars. Photographed by the Curiosity rover. Used by NASA JPL scientists. Now in your browser.
[syndicated profile] google_blog_feed

Editor’s note: Today’s post comes from Vijay Badal, Director of Application Services of DOTComm. Founded in 2003, DOTComm provides centralized IT support and consulting for 70 government agencies in the city of Omaha and Douglas County, NE. DOTComm uses Chrome browser and G Suite to improve employee productivity and mobility and cut IT costs.

At DOTComm, our employees provide technical support for more than 5,000 government workers throughout Omaha and Douglas County. Because these workers are spread across 120 different locations, our employees need access to the tools they need to do their jobs whether they’re in the office or on site with our customers. Several years ago, we realized the legacy systems we were using were getting in the way.

When employees had to travel to provide technical support for the government agencies we serve, they didn’t have mobile access to important documents, or the ability to share and send files back to the office, such as videos that outlined technical issues. In addition, hardware and licensing were costly, and inflexible productivity applications were making it difficult for employees to collaborate or work from the road. Plus, we needed half a dozen employees just to maintain our infrastructure!

To solve these challenges, we turned to Chrome and G Suite. Chrome is fast, secure and gives our staff access to thousands of useful extensions. It’s also allowed us to standardize across our desktop and mobile devices. G Suite has helped us cut hardware costs and improve collaboration and mobility. With Chrome and G Suite, we no longer pay thousands of dollars in annual licensing fees, and we’ve reduced the number of people managing infrastructure from six to one, freeing up the other five people to work on different tasks.

Chrome’s extensions have been big productivity boosters. One extension syncs the staffs’ Google calendars with their Salesforce calendars. Previously, employees had to check two separate apps and cross-reference two separate calendars. Now they only need to check one. Another extension gives staff mobile access to Google Docs and Google Sheets. This means they can work nearly anywhere. When they’re out of the office, or in the field, they can create and share files on any device they need.

As an IT department, we’re particularly pleased with the security and other IT benefits we get with Google. Chrome has built-in malware and phishing protection, and we use the G Suite admin console to ensure all user downloads are stored on the same network drive so they can be checked for malware. The G Suite admin console lets us control Chrome settings for employees, including adding extensions on whitelists so employees can use them, pushing recommended extensions to users, and rolling out Chrome updates on a scheduled timeframe. That’s made our IT administrators’ lives much easier and has been a huge timesaver. And because we centrally manage the rollout of extensions for new employees, individual city and departments no longer need to have a dedicated IT person working on new hire application orientation. So we save time and money with each new hire.

Meanwhile, the number of help tickets for IT support has plummeted, from 30 a day to one or two. For example, we no longer have to deal with local archive files, which means our staff spends less time troubleshooting and the government employees we serve don’t waste time wrestling with unfamiliar technology. Productivity has increased as well. For example, City Police, City Fire, and County Health departments all use shared Google Sheets within their individual precincts for shift change management. This allows them to roll over shift changes swiftly and efficiently, without missing any critical ongoing task assignments.

Chrome browser and G Suite have allowed us to offer more secure and productive IT services to all City of Omaha and Douglas County employees, who are then able to better serve citizens. DOTComm and the City of Omaha were recently honored as one of "Top 10 Cities" by the Center for Digital Government in its Digital Cities Survey 2016, which recognizes cities that use technology to improve citizen services, enhance transparency and encourage citizen engagement. This marked the first time the City of Omaha made the list—but I predict it won’t be the last now that we’re using Chrome browser and G Suite.

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

The headline says it all: The Dispatcher is an Amazon Deal of the Day, so you can get it for under a buck on the Kindle. What a deal! But it’s only for the day (October 19, 2017), and it’s for the US and Canada. I’m not sure if the price applies on other retailers today, so you’d have to check it out for yourself. Regardless, if you’ve not picked up this novella yet, today is a good day to do so. Enjoy!


[syndicated profile] google_blog_feed

A few weeks ago we unveiled Google Home Mini, the newest addition to the Google Home family. About the size of a donut, it has all the smarts of the Google Assistant and gives you hands-free help in any room of your house. Starting today, you can grab it online from the Google Store or online or on shelves of Best Buy, Walmart, Target and other stores.

21_BP PRODUCT_GRC_17118_17_07_17_GGL_21_22_23_0847_Main_QC_RGB_LOWRES.jpg

Just start with “Hey Google” to get answers from your Google Assistant, tackle your day, enjoy music or TV shows, and control your compatible smart home devices. And with Voice Match, the Assistant can tell your voice from others—up to six people can get personal assistance on each device.

Here are six fun things you can do with your Mini:

  1. Find my phone: When you lose your phone in the couch cushions, your Assistant can find it for you. “Hey Google, find my phone” will ring your Android phone (even if it’s on silent) or your iPhone.
  2. Set a sleep timer: Fall asleep to the sweet sounds of your favorite music or podcast by saying, “Hey Google, set a sleep timer for 30 minutes.”
  3. Play news by voice on your TV: Stay on top of current events with YouTube news playlists from sources like ABC, Fox and NBC. With a Chromecast-connected TV, you can ask say: “Hey Google, play the news on my TV” or “Ok Google, play sports news on my TV.”
  4. Turn the TV on and off: With Google Home, Chromecast, and a compatible TV you can just say “Hey Google, turn off the TV.”
  5. Enable night mode: In night mode, Mini’s lights dim and the volume lowers so that you you don’t disturb others in your household when it’s late (or early).
  6. Set a default TV or speaker: Choose a Chromecast-connected TV to be your default screen, so you don’t need to mention the device's name in your voice command. When you say “Play yoga videos,” they’ll play on the TV you’ve set as the default. It works the same way for speakers connected to Chromecast Audio—you can designate a group of speakers that cover several rooms (“first floor,” for example) as the default. Then say “Hey Google, play workout playlist” and it will automatically start playing on that group of speakers.

You can start using these features today with any Google Home or Google Home Mini—and stay tuned for lots more to come!

Starting today, you can purchase Google Home Mini online at the Google Store, or find it at other retailers including Best Buy, Walmart and Target.

Fweeeeee

Oct. 20th, 2017 12:49 am
tyger: CLI login for a Raspberry Pi / nerdery (CLI Geekery)
[personal profile] tyger
So an AMAZING THING HAPPENED after I made my post last night but before I went to bed.

STUPID ASSIGNMENT'S DUE DATE GOT EXTENDED!! :D I have three more days!

Rambly rant )

So, teal deer is I have a gigantor chunk of shit still to do BUT it's actually starting to take some sort of shape. I have two pages that work 100% As Intended! They're ugly as shit - there is literally no styling - but I'm only going to worry about that if I have TIME. Which I probably won't, given the whole, breathing on it wrong breaks ajax thing even when you didn't. even. edit. the thing it fucking breaks. (Or you did but it didn't actually BREAK until like twenty minutes later and by that time you've forgotten all the tiny changes you've made and - *twitchy fingers* I want to strangle the entire ajax protocol. Just. All of it. *hisses*)

I really miss having git with this assignment. Since it's running on the uni's server, I have no idea how to set a git repo up, and I'm pretty sure it'll not... really... be worth the time it takes to set up at this point of semester.

But holy crap version control and diff functions would be SO HANDY when messing with ajax bullshit. SO HANDY.
[syndicated profile] google_blog_feed

A chubby French Bulldog keeps watch in front of a vintage-looking tailor shop in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. Meet Bruno, the face of Village Tailor and Cleaners. Vince, the shop’s owner, immigrated to the U.S. from Italy when he was just 18 years old, establishing Village Tailor in 1977. Today, his family-run business has grown into three locations and is best known for its skilled leather and suede alterations. Inside the shop, a wall covered in autographed photos of celebrity customers—Celine Dion, Marc Anthony, Elton John, and others—is a testament to the iconic quality of Vince's work.

photo 1.jpg
Vince and Bruno outside the shop.

While Bruno had been doing a wonderful job bringing in passersby, Vince knew he needed a way to stand out from the many tailoring shops in SoHo and reach more customers.


Vince noticed that most of his customers were walking in with a bag of clothes in one hand, and researching local businesses on their cell phone with the other. So, he decided to get his business online. He saw it as similar to Bruno sitting out front: their online presence could spark curiosity, help them stand out, and invite in new customers.

photo 2.jpg

Bruno is on the lookout for new customers ... and treats.

He set up Village Tailor's Google listing, so that he could edit how his business appears when people find it on Google Search and Maps. He added photos to his listing, posted updates about his skilled alterations, and used Google website builder to create a free high-quality website from his phone in less than 10 minutes. Now, when he asks new customers how they found his shop, they often mention Google.

Village Tailor & Cleaner v2.png

Having an online presence not only helped Vince reach new customers, but it allowed him to build relationships with his existing customers by responding to reviews. Knowing that people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, reviews are an opportunity to adapt his business to customers’ needs. The results have been great for Village Tailor: within weeks of getting online, Vince noticed they were bringing in on average five more customers per week. After three months, that number increased to 15 per week, representing a 30% revenue increase per year for Vince. 

The store’s early success with Google My Business inspired Vince to try AdWords, advertising to potential customers searching on Google for keywords related to tailoring. Since customers raved about the leather and suede work in Village Tailor’s Google reviews, Vince focused on those services in his online ads which brought in even more revenue. That meant he could hire more tailors and invest in new equipment to keep up with the long lines of customers. Now, while Bruno will always have a place in front of Village Tailor, Google brings in most of their customers. Sorry Bruno!

photo 3.jpg

Father and son: two generations of excellence in alterations.

Today, Vince’s son Vincent Jr. manages Village Cobbler, the shoe repair shop next door. Continuing the family business’s tradition of excellent craftsmanship in shoes and leather goods, his newest mission is to get Village Cobbler 100% online, with an eCommerce website that offers shipping all over the U.S. He also plans to find new customers with Google My Business and Google AdWords, just like his father has, to keep the family business growing.

How the owner of a vintage tailor shop used Google products to attract new customers.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
The water pipes in my apartment have abruptly started acting weird: very noisy and comes out sputtering. There seems to be air in the pipes. This started yesterday – first noticed when the toilet tank was refilling with cold water, checked the kitchen taps, and the cold water was doing it there, too. Then the hot water started doing that too, which has me more alarmed: that comes right out of my apartment's water heater tank, so there shouldn't be any opportunity for air to get in it, right?

I called the landlord yesterday, left a message about it. There's construction going on on the floor below me, but I asked one of the guys if they're working on the plumbing and he said no.

It's still doing it.

How worried should I be? What scenarios could be causing this?

Interesting Links for 19-10-2017

Oct. 19th, 2017 12:00 pm
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

How much PC is too much?

Oct. 19th, 2017 09:08 am
dreamville_bg: (Default)
[personal profile] dreamville_bg posting in [community profile] talkpolitics

Do you think the above advert is racist? It caused a great outcry. That's the Dove shower gel advert, and it caused yet another debate about the limits of free expression in the era of hurt feelings and eternally insulted "special snowflakes".

The images of a black woman removing her shirt and a white one coming out has instantly triggered the regular experts in professional indignation. They've jumped in to demonize Dove, and of course capitalism and the whole Western world as toxic platforms for institutionalized systematic racism against people of color. The usual algorithm followed: a corporate self-flagellation and an apology from the company, then a removal of the "offensive" material.

Read more... )

I'm tilting at windmills today!

Oct. 19th, 2017 01:26 am
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
Emailed three different news sites asking when the hell they intend to start moderating their comments. Seriously, a free-for-all where everybody shouts as loud as they can is not conducive to free speech.
conuly: (Default)
[personal profile] conuly
But it's pricey! The total cost was going to be near $2000, with a six-day-a-week commitment.

Then I realized I can just pay for the labs, which is the only part I really want anyway, and that's a third the price and a one-day-a-week commitment.

She said she'll consider it.

It's not necessary for her to take a Regents in August (fully nine months earlier than any of her peers...), I'd just like her to.

Also, finally figured out what cake I'll bake tomorrow for her birthday. How does rosewater and ginger sound? If I ever find my rosewater, I mean. It's because I read this article, but anyway, it's a good idea. I've been rocking the rosewater lassi lately that I get at the supermarket.

**************


The Microbes That Supercharge Termite Guts

For ornery shelter cats, 2nd chance is a job chasing mice

What Star Wars taught scientists about sperm

Inside The Weird Texas Tradition of Enormous Homecoming Corsages

Book's challenge: Can you do squats like Justice Ginsburg?

Why a New Zealand Library’s Books Kept Vanishing, Then Reappearing (Happy ending!)

How Domestication Ruined Dogs' Pack Instincts

Star Wars themes, but with the major and minor reversed. (This is like the Mirror version of the music, I guess? I can just picture evil Tom Paris on classic movie night in the Holodeck, rubbing his beard as he watches this version of the trilogy, the one in which the mighty emperor defeats the puny rebellion.)

Hero dog: 'Animal guardian' saves 8 pet goats, orphaned deer from wine country fires

Filling the early universe with knots can explain why the world is three-dimensional

Baba Yaga on the Ganges

Why Parents Make Flawed Choices About Their Kids' Schooling (My experience tells me it's close to impossible to explain to people that a school that starts with high-performing kids and ends with high-performing kids is not doing as much as a school that starts with low-performing kids and ends with kids that are in or approaching the middle. They just don't understand, or want to understand. Also, Stuy is overrated.)

Judge orders government to allow detained teen immigrant's abortion (Only read this second link if you want to be stunned and horrified by the world's most ridiculous anti-abortion argument ever.)

Understanding the coevolving web of life as a network

Fish Depression Is Not a Joke (Sad ending. Journalist should've rescued Fish Bruce Lee.)

After victory in Raqqa over IS, Kurds face tricky peace

Despite potential trade sanctions, Kurds continue with exports

China Is Quietly Reshaping the World

Lawsuit: Bighorn sheep threatened by domestic sheep grazing

As anti-drug push's toll grows in the Philippines, so does church's pushback

The true cost of a plate of food: $1 in New York, $320 in South Sudan (Sorta - the prices are adjusted in a weird way to account for different spending power)

Leaked ICE Guide Offers Unprecedented View of Agency’s Asset Forfeiture Tactics

Why Are Prosecutors Putting Innocent Witnesses in Jail?

The Crazy Flood of Tech Revelations in the Russia Investigation

The Russian Troll Farm That Weaponized Facebook Had American Boots on the Ground

No, US Didn’t ‘Stand By’ Indonesian Genocide—It Actively Participated

The Trump Administration Is Letting Americans Die in Puerto Rico, Nurses Say

Trump’s Dangerous Spin on Puerto Rico’s Suffering

Hurricanes Make the Need to Dismantle Colonial Economics in the Caribbean Increasingly Urgent

The Danger of President Pence

A Gun to His Head as a Child. In Prison as an Adult.

Chilling Photos of the Hundreds of Thousands of Rohingya Fleeing Burma
umadoshi: (purple hair)
[personal profile] umadoshi
Silks class #4 is the day after tomorrow, so I guess if I'm gonna muster up any semblance of a post about weeks 2 and 3 I'd better do that.

Week 2 )


Week 3 )

Three classes done, five to go. My feeling at this point is that this was probably unrealistically ambitious for someone who hasn't taken any physical classes in a long, long time or really done any focused exercise since I stopped climbing several years ago, but despite almost none of it coming naturally, I'm mostly enjoying it. I'm kinda hoping it'll give me a push to taking some kind of class after this (like barre!) that's more suited to where I currently am physically.

It's also probably just as well, in one sense, that (so far) I'm not in love with silks, much as I think they're incredibly cool. The sad reality is that evening classes are rarely feasible around Casual Job, so finding a level 2 (or beyond) timeslot for something as specific as silks that'd actually work for me logistically seems...unlikely. But we'll see. And meanwhile, "enjoying it well enough" is not a bad place to be.
momijizukamori: (tits against the rte)
[personal profile] momijizukamori
As mentioned previously, code for the Slack-Python edition of Random Word Hell. I already have requests to add more trigger syntax, and I want to integrate data serialization of some variety (probably Pickle) so that data is preserved even if you have to restart it.

Also got a good chunk of basic DW API stuff written over the weekend but bluh bluh testing, etc.

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ecosophia: JMG in lecture mode (Default)John Michael Greer

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