strredwolf: (Growwwwlllll)
Saturday (March 7th) an Amtrak heading northbound to NYC broke down hard... and it's impacts are going to be felt until Wednesday.  And I'm going to feel it as well.

Call this an angry post, but also call this a precursor to the I Ride the Penn Line blog I'm slowly working on.  A deep dive.

So take MTA's message to everyone (hit the spoiler):

Late Friday evening, an Amtrak train traveling on the northbound track (Track #1) adjacent to the platform at Odenton experienced a mechanical failure of the rear wheels on the last car. This failure caused significant damage to a mile and a half of track, including two track swtiches. This has rendered Track #1 out of service between a point just south of Bowie State and a point just north of Odenton.

The southbound track (Track #3) has been out of service for several weeks for scheduled trackwork. As previously announced, this track is returning to service Monday morning. However, now MARC Penn Line service is faced with continued two-track operation for an eight mile stretch between Bowie and Odenton due to the damage to Track #1.

In addition to the damage to Track #1 itself, the low-level platform used to access the middle track (Track #2) was damaged as well, so the northbound platform is completely inaccessible to MARC trains. Therefore, all MARC trains will have to use the southbound platform, significantly reducing capacity.


So how much detail can we gleam out of it?  Quite a bit!  But we need some more facts first.

Here's a Wikimapia link to the two switches that were hit, both in Amtrak's GROVE Interlocking.  The interlocking (or group of switches between tracks) allows trains to switch between tracks 1 (which is northbound on the right hand side of the tracks), 2 (middle track), and 3 (left hand side, southbound) in both directions.  The arrangement is such that you can literally switch from track 1 to track 2 and back to track 1.  So there's two track switches connected to the northbound track at GROVE.

I use Odenton in a reverse-rush capability, so I'm usually on the northbound side to grab train 406 at 7:38am up to Baltimore.  I know (and you can verify by following the track down to Odenton itself) that there are only two low level platforms: one all the way north on the southbound side, and one all the way south on the northbound side.

The distance from the northern-most point of GROVE to the southernmost point of the low-level platform?  About 1.5 miles, give a few feet.

Amtrak, when the press got to them, essentially said that the train derailed from Odenton to GROVE, damaging the track between those two points, and tearing up the wooden low-level platform that bridged track 1 so folks could get on track 2.  There were no injuries, and a seperate train was dispatched to rescue the passengers and get them going back up.

So we can surmize that the Amtrak train's last car derailed just as it was approaching Odenton, damaged track 1 enough that Odenton's Northbound platform can't be used at all, and damaged the two northbound-connected switches at GROVE.  And since there's no platform anymore northbound, all the trains must use the southbound platform, which will be fully open for rush service since they finished work on track 3 this weekend.

What is Amtrak and MARC going to do, now that it's back to two-track service between Odenton and Bowie for three more days? (MTA says this is the stretch that w/o saying the names of the interlocks, is between GROVE and BOWIE, the latter being just south of the station).

Well, since they can't use the Northbound side of Odenton anymore:

  • Two track service between FULTON (north of West Baltimore station, by Fulton Street) and BOWIE until they get GROVE's switches and track repaired.  This is probably what's happening on the weekend, because there's no weekend service at Odenton or Bowie.

  • Once GROVE is repaired, cancel service to Bowie (looks like there's no low-levels there) and make Odenton rush-direction only on the Southbound platform.  This means reverse rush will always use track 2.

But wait!  There's more!  MARC will bypass Odenton on some rush trains, offer a shuttle bus to Savage from Odenton that takes 35 minutes each way, and encourage use of the crowded Camden Line.

Um... what about a shuttle bus from Odenton to BWI airport that takes 15 minutes and meets the train at BWI, leaving early at Odenton?

So the way things are going, I'm probably going to be grabbing the train at BWI, which means I won't get coffee until most likely I get in the office.  I'm going to miss the ladies at White Rabbit...
strredwolf: (CuteFace)

  1. Do not do a remake of an existing film. You're going to fail at making it "better than the origional" and the film is going to suck.  It's going to be compared to the original, and if that one is "one of the greats," then the remakes are automatically going to be crap. (see: Total Recall, most any superhero movies)

  2. Similarly, don't reboot the entire series repeatedly. They are hit-and-miss these days (see: Hulk, Spiderman, Batman, Superman, most any superhero series).

  3. If you're doing an adaptation, stick close to the original. If it's a book, don't change the script without good reason.  If it's a cartoon, FFS don't make it live action! If it's a comic book series, STOP REBOOTING IT LIKE THEY DO IN PRINT!

  4. CG effects should never scream "I'M COMPUTER GENERATED!" Instead it should be quietly whispering "uncanny valley."

  5. Infact, never CG a scene when conventional techniques are cheaper and get the better shot. This includes using live trained bats and well-fed wildlife. The green screen isn't your friend.

  6. However, don't go supercheap. You'll end up with The Blair Witch Project or even worse, Manos: Hands of Fate.  Yeah, iPhones and GoPros can do a decent job, but that's not Oscar level material!

  7. Never force a movie into one style when it can be done better in another. Scooby Doo sucked as a live-action/CGI film.  Mighty Morphing Power Rangers would of been better tolerated if it didn't pull a Godzilla every 20 minutes and instead have been animated.

  8. If you're doing a sequel to a movie that's fairly stand-alone, it's going to suck. Such sequels never work out well.

  9. If a movie has a tie-in to a sequel to be released later, it better be in a three-movie series. After three, you're done, wait five years and do a second three-movie series.  Otherwise you get audience burn-out and your movie will suck.

  10. "If it's horrible, it's bound to be a hit" only applies to cult classics.  Snakes on a Plane became an instant cult classic, but cult classics don't get any Oscar nominations. Manos: Hands of Fate is most likely banned from the Oscars for just being cookie-tossing bad.

strredwolf: (CuteFace)
With the news of Radio Shack filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Dad and I got a bit nolstalgic over the various stores that have gone from my days.  So I thought I'd compile it up.  Note that these are centered roughly around the Baltimore/DC area.

The big one that hit us was SuperFresh, also known as A&P. They're still around, but shrank drasticly away from Maryland (leaving only two stores on the Eastern Shore) and selling stores away.  One with a prime position in Baltimore City was sold to Fresh & Green, which after a year shut it down anyway (even though it looked like it was profitable).

Another constriction was Hects, when it was bought by Macy's.  Within a few years stores were closed and merchandise moved across malls where the two were in the same mall.  This started some malls on the road to failure.

A missed but not gone was Price Club, which was bought by Costco and eventually turned their stores into one brand.

Some stores that failed that I had visited in my youth were Ames(Park 97), Caldor(Ft. Meade), Zayre(Laurel -- I remember every time going in there and going straight to the back snack bar to get some soft pretzles), Montgomery Ward's(Laurel Mall, also failed), F.W.Woolworth(Woolies, Colombia Mall), Best(Pikesville and Marley Station), and Crown Books (Colombia).

One complicated failure is Waldenbooks, who actually got bought by Borders, the brand eventually discontinued... before going completely Chapter 7 bankrupt and liquidated.

And one on the long-term death watch is Sears/K-Mart, owned by the same company.  They're kinda acting a bit like Radio Shack in this regard.

What does make me wonder is what was at 6405 Dobbin Road, Columbia, Maryland.  Right now it's a Walmart.  Before that it was a K-Mart.  But before even that is what I wonder, in my early youth.  It was definitely a department store, but it also had a sizable grocery store in the back of the store (almost like it's own cubby-trench) and a small snack counter up front.  It was like a Walmart Superstore at it's time.  My question is, was this a Murphy's Mart or a McCroy's?  I'm leaning towards Murphy's Mart myself.
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
A few things stick out as we close out 2014, and I need to write about them.  This is one of them, and it seem to be a big one:

Any organization, private or government, that cannot or will not take criticism, is doomed to fail.

Take North Korea.  It doesn't like Sony's The Interview movie.  I won't go into details, but I wouldn't be suprised if North Korea hired a group to strip Sony bare... which pissed off numerous other groups as well. It doesn't take much to piss off a band of bored hacking mercenaries, which is why North Korea's Internet connection is very intermittent.

The thing is, while the movie is a flop here, it's going gangbusters over in China... and North Korea. So much so that North Korea's government is going ape-BALSA-WOOD trying to block it from coming in.  North Korea's government is effectively making the movie, which is classed as a comedy, look more like a dramatized documentary.  That's not how you handle a movie like that.

I'm not sure how North Korea is going to survive in my time now.  The Korean War (currently at a stalemate) may be decided by the Internet for South Korea, without any country lifting a finger.
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
I mentoned this on Twitter and FA, but not here, so I'll summarize.

On Oct 24th, eight years since joining MTA, I was forced to leave MTA (Maryland Transit Administration) due to policy at Maryland Dept Of Transportation (who "owns" MTA, basically).  In essence, I was eight years into a two year max temporary work contract and I should have ether been hired full-time or let go six years ago.  They were unable to do so back then, and unable to do so now (even though everyone was clammoring for me to stay).

That said, on Dec 15th, I started a new job one block away at a cloud services provider.  I'm still programming, yes.  I'm basically doing the same thing I was doing at MTA, which is fix/support old software... just not as old as MTA, but just as quirky.

So I'm doing fine.  First paycheck will be Jan 2nd, at a rate that will nearly double my existing pay.  I should get benefits applying soon, although I may be paying for one last month under the old insurance.  Credit cards will finally get paid off properly (although with how my plans are, I think I best get the Amex down first).

Serial

Nov. 30th, 2014 10:24 am
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
So I hit upon a podcast done as a spin-off of This American Life, an NPR show, called Serial. It's at http://serialpodcast.org. ; The podcast is about one reporter (the host) investigating a real-life case of a boy caught in a murder case and sentenced to life imprisonment... and how the case came to be.  The podcast is definitely a good long-term journalistic effort.  It's gotten a heavy following and even a Reddit discussion group at http://reddit.com/r/serialpodcast

The case that it highlights is interesting to me, though, because there are (IMHO) glaring faults:

  • The prosecution was faulty:

    • The case hinged on one person... who was inconsistent, and can be easily disproved with some legwork.

    • The forensics were never completed.

    • The investigation was short circuited, having been lead to the boy.


  • The first lawyer was ineffective:

    • Leads were never followed up on.

    • Discrediting the witnesses was a bad gamble.

    • Lawyer later was disbarred over several botched cases due to medical reasons, one year after sentencing; died in 2004.


  • The second lawyer was also ineffective due to being from the Public Defenders Office, thus unfamiliar with the case and having insufficient resources.

  • The appeal judge was not familiar with the area and was not told of the area, and thus has a fatal flaw in judgement (the library is right next to the high school).

This would be a nice comedy of errors where it not for the fact that this kid, who is now an adult, is in jail for the rest of his life.  The good thing, though, is the Univ of Virginia's Innocence Project is taking up the case.
strredwolf: (Coffee)
These are the facts as released by the prosecutor to the news media.  NPR and the New York Times are going through the information, and NPR has publicly posted all the evidence on their site.

  • After stealing several cigars from a local tobacco and alcohol shop, Brown was confronted by Officer Wilson.

  • Brown decided to charge at the officer through an open window, assulting the officer, punching him at times. The officer responded by pulling his gun (even though he had mace and a tazer)

  • Brown tried to push the gun away from him.  The officer pulled the trigger twice, nothing happened.

  • The officer pulled the trigger a third time, and it fired off a round, striking Brown.

  • A few more rounds fired, and Brown was dead.

  • Backup arrived 90 seconds after call.

These facts are supported by relable, consistent African American eyewitnesses, matching the numerous autopsies done by the local police, the FBI, and Brown's family lawyer.

In other words, if you were out rioting in Ferguson, then you are an idiot.  Rioting never solves anything.  Rioting makes things worse and causes more problems. New York, DC, Chicago, Oakland/San Francisco, even Seattle had peaceful protests with ZERO rioting. None!  Zip! Zero! Zilch!

Any more rioting there will only make me say "Nuke Ferguson and pave it flat.  It's a lost cause."
strredwolf: (Kitty)
25 years ago, on this day, the Berlin Wall started to come down.

At that time, everyone was getting tired of the Cold War between Soviet Russia and Everyone Else. Changes happened... and when a then-split East Germany said it's citizens will be permitted to freely travel to West Germany and back... the high wall that was built seperating East Berlin and West Berlin was chipped away starting today, eventually to be broken down.  Famillies split by the clash of Soviet style communism with other political ideas reunited.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Berlin_Wall for more details.

I was 12 at the time, and I remember news reports of people hammering away at the wall.  At one time a full section fell, and people scrambled on top of it and through the other side.

Only in college, when I worked for a struggling start-up, did I see a section of the wall in Rosslyn, VA. The Newseum was near by at the time, in Freedom Park, and there was an outside exhibit of the wall.  Within a year The Newseum closed and moved across the river, with the wall, to near the Canadian Embassy in DC proper.  You can get to it via Metrorail to Archives station.

I wonder what some of the Eurofurs' memories are, especially Nightfox, Tani Da Real, Cheetah.DE, and Big Blue Fox.
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
There were reports that retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson was going to consider a run for the presidency of the United States.  He's a successful black Republican.

The problem is, he's in a specalized field, he has no political experience, and he has an image problem that he doesn't know about.  Let me break it down:

  • He's a neurosurgeon.  A medical professional.  Outside of base knowledge, it's mostly medical.  He's a good canidate for Surgeon General.  President?

  • He has never held a political office, ever.  That is becoming a bit of a liability.  You can get away with that at a local level, but for the highest office in the land?  No.  We done that before -- President Barak Obama only had at most 2 years as a Senator and nothing else.  We elected him because we were sick and tired of Dubba Bush and didn't want a continuance of any type in office.  So any Republicans had to go.  Guess what happened.

  • Up until now, he was a paid contributor for Fox News.  Fox News wisely released him out of the contract when the political aspirations came up.  But as you know, Fox News spins heavy conservative (sometimes radically) when it needs to go moderate.  This has made Fox News a bad name around political circles, which causes an image problem with the good doctor.  Dr. Carson needs to realize that and overcome that.

So who would of been a good black President?  Colin Powel.
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
So I've been let go from my job at MTA, due to a buerocratic screw-up by people long since left.  In the week, though, I've been relaxing a bit and now am properly bored enough that I can work on a few projects.

Namely, my website, redwolf.ws.  If you go there now, it's not what I would call professional.  When you have three boobs smack you right in the face with sci-fi... yeah.  I want to fix that.

What I really want to do is put a blog and wiki there.  Of course, there is a wiki, but it's MediaWiki and despite as much security that I bolt on there, people are still spamming it up.  Plus, I'm not happy with other wiki and blog software.  I can do much better!

So I am.

I've written up a wiki previously called Anything. I took inspiration from Everything 2 (a Slashdot project) and created in Perl my own pocket wiki (since it ran on a Zaurus SL5500).  I'm now porting it to PHP, with Markdown and a MySQL backend.

For the blog software, I've done the database design for what I'll call "Nothing". The name takes inspiration from Seinfeld.

The main thing about both is that I'm making security a native feature.  To post anything you need an account.  So I've written up a one-account-everywhere package called Somebody.  Anything and Nothing will check against Somebody if it has a token.  Somebody will handle all logins.

If I get Nothing written ASAP, the main page of RedWolf.ws gets replaced by a blog.  Anything will follow. 
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
If we take the rumor mill from the supposed director and the word of Bill Murray, the new Ghostbusters will have an all-woman team.  Bill's chosen ladies... are all beautiful, white...

I'm sorry, my mind went into a Playboy-esque photoshoot and then promptly belly-flopped into the gutter.  In other words, it will be hard to pull it off and not make it look sexist/femme-explotationist.

But instead, don't reboot it.  There's a good series that can be had.  Yes, any good fan can write a half-decent movie.  So, here's my take:

First, the 2008 Ghostbusters: The Video Game done via Atari is cannon. It was described as "the third movie."  At the end credits, the option to expand the company into other areas is offered.

This is where we pick it up.  The Rookie gets a name, and there are franchises in DC, Chicago, Vegas, and San Francisco (areas which a sorid history and thus high rate of hauntings).  Each on old historic buildings (firehouses, etc).  Ray and Winston visits each and every one to recruit to take over the NYC "home office"... which also has a rookie there too.

And yet the timing is perfect.  Each has a major PKE event, which each team, plus Ray and the rookie for that team, battle and defeat.  Jenine gets a few walk-ons and mentions, saying that activity on NYC is still low, but the chosen replacements are getting good and that one guy even spruced up Ecto-1.  Hints are dropped to Peter and Egon's whereabouts*.  The GBVG Rookie also is found in one movie, and returns to NYC.

The trick is casting for three to five movies  (three if shortened, five if we do one per city).  You need a Peter, Ray, Egon, and Winston, and a rookie that can replace one.  Ether the rookie goes to NY, or the staff member, but it should be hinted that they are "out of place".  Once everyone's at NYC, Ray and Winston end up getting captured, and it's up to the new team to flush out the ghost and get Ray and Winston back.

The goal is to introduce the new team, be it a good gender and ethnic mix, and then have a good adventure.

* I would put Peter in the slammer for fraud in an unrelated-to-Ghostbusters scheme, and Egon... well... lets just say he's on a deeper mission and won't be back.
strredwolf: (Hmmmmmmm)
So Apple relased a new set of equipment on their Mac and iPad lines.  It's affected my replacement plans slightly.

Here's what I was thinking of:

iPhone 6 (not the 6+)
iPad Air
iMac 21.5" w/NVidia GPU.
Thunderbolt cables for external display, possibly external Firewire drives.

The change?  Well, looks like it'll be the iPad Air 2.
strredwolf: (CuteFace)
All these morons who are threatening bodily harm online, making it spill into the real world, are only going to harm themselves. Why?

Posting the threat only gives the law enforcement officers and/or lawyers reason to persue you.  Any competitent (or easily teachable) officer/lawyer can follow some easy steps.

  1. Get the IP address and timestamp of the threat.  LEO's can use a "pen register" to get that, but a reasonable judge can easy issue a search warrant.  (Come on, extreme injury or death? No judge is going to pass that and stay a judge!)

  2. Geolocate the IP address and locate the ISP.  There are public databases on those.  This will also let the lawyer file to move a case to the right state.  A LEO may move the case to the national level (in the USA, that's the FBI).

  3. Supeona the ISP in the geolocated state to cough up the name and address of the account holder who had that IP at this time.  (Yes, it's not the perp but it gets close).

  4. Now, with address and some LEO's in tow, the main LEO or lawyer pays a visit to the house, and asks "Do you have a kid who's constantly on the Internet?"

This catches most of them, the young, dumb, and ugly group.  They basically just need a clue, some time offline, and maybe a few conventions (I suggest Anthrocon, who has delt with /b/ before and "turned them to the dark side").

The smart ones, they use Tor or an anonymizing relay.  If #4 ends with "No,"

  • Ask "Are you running Tor or an anonymizing relay?  We have a death threat being traced here and it looks like your systems are being illegally abused."

If the node gets shut down, so be it.  If it's overseas, then it's a technical problem -- the abuser needs a bit more authentication and repeated TOS notifications.
strredwolf: (Coffee)
Being the geek that I am, I keep updating myself on the latest technologies, evaluating them and such.  That said, if things pan out for me...

  • The iPhone 6 will be a nice upgrade, but it will be worth the upgrade if the base model starts with 32 gigs of storage.

  • The new 14nm Intel Broadwell chips will make me look for a new laptop.

strredwolf: (Cerebus)
Companies that I will never do business with:

  • Facebook:  For numerous privacy invasions that even got the federal government involved.  No! Zuckerberg can kiss my ass!
  • Instagram: For trying to pull a Facebook.  NO! And being part of Facebook doesn't help ether. 
  • United/US Airways/Continental: For having a still-broken code share system. Gee, haven't fixed it in over six years now?


strredwolf: (Coffee)
I wanted to wait for as many facts to come in... and it looks like it's plateaued.  As you know, there's been a shooting in a Newton, CT elementary school.  27 dead, including the shooter.  The news went global -- so much that Cheetah.DE complained of the coverage being broadcast in a place where there's not going to be much help from; in other words, why show it in Germany?

But that's not my point.  Or three points, to be precise.

First, I must concentrate on the suspect, Adam Lanza.  There are some indications that he wasn't mentally stable, especially during high school.  I'm very tempted into looking through the interactions between the parents and Adam.  There are reasons to believe there is a person or persons that have caused Adam to pop and effect this tragedy.

Second, the access.  Nancy Lanza, Adam's mother, was a gun enthusiast.  It is unknown whether or not the guns were locked up or not, or how easy there were to access them... but access them he did.  If the guns were supposed to be locked up in a safe, but were not, or the safe was easily accessed, then there is reason to believe that Nancy's negligence provided the access.  Note, she did have the money to buy a safe -- a $240,000 annual alimony payment from Adam's father. 

Third, is the weapons and training.  This is the big one, and those of you who are "2nd Amendment is absolute" anti-gun-control nuts, it's time for you to go rabidly crazy.

The weapons used was two 9mm handguns (a Glock and a SIG Sauer), and a .223 Bushmaster rifle.  The rifle is the civilian version of the M16, part of Bushmaster's AR15 line as the M4 Type Carbine.

You already know about the access, but there's questions about general weapon availability of the .223 rifle.  The biggest question for me is: Why is a minimally modified M16 being sold to civilians?!? It's too powerful! Where's the damn regulations on this?  While I do not think the weapon should be totally banned (again), I really do think that it's sale must be restricted to military and licensed security firms.

Which gets into my last question:  Where is the paperwork? There is no word if Nancy was licensed to have the weapons, and if the license requires training in handling and storing the weapons.  Usually those licenses do not require it, and the NRA hasn't been pushing for such.  Mainly the NRA has been a political lobbyist group who makes themselves out to be a bit more.  Thus:  Require all gun owners to go through a NRA/Federal approved gun operation and safety course, and submit to a background and mental check, before getting the license.  After getting the license, allow the person to get his first weapon after a quick Internet-based record check.  Additional guns must be applied for with a suitable long waiting period.
In other words, PAPERS PLEASE?!?!?
strredwolf: (Default)
To me, the best furry con is one that can be accessed cheaply and easily once out of the airport (or train station, if you're using Amtrak).  So, being a transit fur, I thought I'd put together a bit of a ratings system.

Of course, this is all subjective, and some of it is based on my own experience.  Most folk will have no problem walking two-three blocks to a station or stop.  So this is essentially how easy it is to get to the con from the airport or train station (or hub). I rank rail over bus, and the less transfers between different systems the better.

Anthrocon:  GREAT BUT IN DANGER The #28x bus runs from the airport to within 3 blocks of AC's main hotel, but if Pennsylvania doesn't get off it's pole and fix it's transit funding, it's more than likely going to get cut next year.
Further Confusion: GREAT There's a free shuttle bus to the light rail, but the light rail stops right in front of the convention center!
Eurofurance:  EXCELLENT Commuter rail to hotel.
Confuzzled: NONE Be glad they got a private shuttle to the local train.  No public transit to the con.
FA: United:  NONE FUGGETABOUTIT.  Seriously. There is literally ZERO transit to FA:U.
Furry Connection North: HARD Two buses to connect plus a 1.9 mile trek and multiple services that don't provide service. No wonders why Detroit is basically dead.
Furry Weekend Atlanta: GREAT three blocks from subway to con hotel.
Texas Furry Fiesta: OK TO MEH Depending on airport, it's DFW > bus > Commuter rail > Light Rail > bus or Love field > LR > bus
Califur: GREAT Take the iShuttle.  You could walk it, but it's safer this way.
*Condition (Canada): DIFFICULT Three-four buses from airport to hotel.
FurFright: DIFFICULT Also 3-4 buses... if I can figure out which transit company will get there reliably
*Furnal Equinox: GREAT #58 bus to the hotel from the airport.
IndyFurCon: OK  Two buses, one from airport to downtown, one from downtown to hotel, and a tricky transfer.
Megaplex: MEH Three buses with transfers at malls.  Can kill that damn blimp before I shoot it down?!?
MephitFurMeet: NONE Hell, this isn't even in Mephis!
*MiDFur (Melborne, Austraila): OK  A bus, a commuter train, and a light rail/tram. Now only if it was linked to the site properly!
Morphicon: NONE Service does not extend down US 23 from the county.
RainFurrest: INSANE!!! LR right there, but so's SeaTac!
Rocky Mountain Fur Con: OK Two buses, and a transit system that deserves a whack against the head for not having a full PDF of their system map.
*VancouFur (Vancouver Canada): OK Two transfers on a light rail system gets you two blocks to the hotel.
Midwest FurFest: GREAT TO OK Depending on the airport you go to, or if you take Amtrak, you ether take one train out or transfer to one.  Ether way, it's all rail.

Why isn't my con here? Well, one of two reasons.  Ether I can't pull up the con's website (hint Rocket City Fur Meet and Antheria) or you haven't suggested it yet!
strredwolf: (Default)
At times I wonder what will be in the iPhone 5.  Of course the obvious: LTE data (duh), more memory.  There's also some advantages to extending the screen to 4" on the diagonal.

However, something just occurred to me -- it's not the iPhone itself but how it ties in with everything else.  What if the iPhone, while recording video (in H246/AAC MP4 format of course) recorded not only 1080p video... but a bit more of the frame PLUS accelerometer information to help iMovie with the image stabilization?

Similar techniques of adding data to photos and video is nothing new, but if iMovie can understand the accelerometer information, it can make better choices on what to do with an image, and do it after the fact on the film.  Plus, since it's greater than 1080p (but not by much), you can still get 1080p video out of it w/o loss of fidelity.  The best of all is that it's not much more power to do it.
strredwolf: (DrakeBacon)
Okay, I gotta say it.  I just cannot hold these things back...

Whitney Houston's death:
Latest reports and rumors have the singer possibly being knocked out by a combination of prescription drugs, alcohol, stress, and the unfortunate location. Coroner report will be out in 8-10 weeks, per standard procedure.  [USA Today]

Outside of government offices and in other words, Elvis Death Syndrome.  Drugs (in the generic sense), alcohol, stress, and unfortunate location (Elvis on the toilet, Whitney in the bathtub). 

A side kicker on TMZ is that her daughter nearly succumbed to the same fate, in the same hotel (unknown if it was the same room or not).

Greece: Greece is burning tonight.  I already consider it failed, going to the downfall.  It's already over it's head in debt and it just needs to default... but I'm hearing if it defaults slowly, it'll recover much quickly.

Iran, Syria, Egypt:  These will fall bloodily. Egypt has a way out, but it must do it at the people's behest and not by the military.  I do not see that way for Iran and Syria, both with "leaders" who are too egotistical (and for Iran, that's both "leaders," spiritual and governmental).

Republican party presidential candidates: To be very generic, they got massive image problems.  Romney's basically the 1% -- his tax rate is the same as mine (15%), yet makes 20x as much as me, plus endorsed by Donald Trump himself. Just the endorsement says he's unelectable. Gingrich hasn't really shown true presidential material after being out of Congress for how many years now? Santorum has massive race/religion/ethics issues that will make him smack up against the Constitution every step he takes. The only candidate that is electable is Ron Paul, and nobody in the caucuses are voting for him! 

Of course, I look at the whole race, including the older runners who were knocked out (yes, even Bachmann), and immediately think: Gee, they look constipated.  They must not have good health care.

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