Balloon spider migration


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The annual migration of balloon spiders started a week or so ago. Always look for their webs tangled in our East-facing fenceline. A usual sign that summer is here.

Took this iPhoto about 5 minutes after sunrise on my first walk of the morning, today.

Smartphones have more eyes watching police brutality

This was in 2014

The ability of smartphones to capture and broadcast shocking images in real-time has increasingly focused attention on a longstanding problem of police brutality in America. Here’s a look at why smartphones were needed to bring attention to the problem, along with Apple’s complex role in both supporting police and in drawing attention to underlying problems in conduct among police officers.

Decent quick history of policing. And, then, the development of “camera-phones” as a function of cell-phones…and what that now brings to the public eye.

Apple Titanium Credit Card

So far it works like a champ. Notified, a couple days ago, I would be part of the first rollout group of users. Sort of a shakedown cruise for Apple, I guess.

Responded to the first set of instructions. Setup the card in my iPhone wallet – [Saturday morning: – Apple just sent me notification that the snazzy Titanium card will be here Monday]. Popped over to Target who is into Apple Pay. Grabbed a couple 32oz containers of Greek-style yogurt brands I hadn’t yet tried and some frozen spinach we forgot to get on our last shopping excursion to town. Trundled into the self-checkout lane and [for me, actually] ApplePayed for something for the first time.

Normally, my wife does the Apple Pay wherever we’re shopping. I pay back with Apple Pay cash direct to her – iPhone to iPhone – when we unpack at home and we sort out the goods.

Everything smooth as silk. Automagic chuckle when the iPhone pops up my first cash back from a purchase = $0.21…

Today, I setup the payment process which is identical to that on my other favorite credit card – and expanded the reminder in my calendar to pay off the week’s balance for the other card I use + Amazon + Apple [now] the same day every week. Bingo.

Om says the iPhone is killing the standalone camera

❝ The latest data released by Camera & Imaging Products Association only reinforces my thesis from a few years ago. Just look at this chart:

❝ I am not alone. Most of us take photos and share them digitally, and we expect them to be experienced on digital devices — typically smartphones — via Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat. Sometimes, we might share them on dedicated digital displays (I love my Aura frame), but even those don’t need the spectacular quality provided by standalone cameras.

❝ Apple, Google, Huawei, and Samsung are competing aggressively on the strength of their camera — apart from the Internet, it is the most used feature on a smartphone. They are spending thousands of millions of dollars on software and hardware to improve the photography on their devices. Meanwhile, Nikon and Canon are racking up losses upon losses as camera sales stall. The camera industry is doing its best to paper over its looming doomsday scenario by releasing high-end interchangeable lens cameras that cost as much as a second-hand car. But you can see where this is going.

❝ If you think the situation for standalone cameras is bleak now, just wait until we get to the future! It is pretty obvious the smartphone cameras will improve at a much faster rate than standalone cameras, which are still locked into an older model of product development. Soon, it won’t be surprising to have everyday (not just high-end) phones with three to five lens modules that do everything from wide-angle photography to longer aperture telephotos from a single device. With software improvements coming in thick and fast, I expect this will be the new reality within 24 months.

This is excerpted from one of six articles in the latest of Om’s email newsletters on Tech and More. You can subscribe to it over here.

I’ve been heading down this road for several years. One of my oldest film cameras – 45+ years old – the favorite is becoming a collectible. A pocket-size Rollei 35B that’s been with me hiking and hill-walking from the Adirondacks to Ben Nevis. Haven’t used it in years. I have a lovely pocket-size digital Panasonic DMC-ZS8 that was in my pants pocket everywhere I walked since I retired – until my wife gave me my first iPhone. Now, it lives in my rolltop desk next to the two film cameras. Any photo of mine you see on my website or Instagram page was taken by an iPhone.

Stone Selfie?


Geek tombstone for Rita ShameevaClick for reverse side

An unusual headstone has been discovered in a Russian cemetery that takes the form of a giant iPhone, a 5-foot tall recreation of the popular smartphone bearing an image of the deceased on the display…the stone iPhone commemorates the passing of 25-year-old Rita Shameeva, who died in January 2016 from unknown causes.

The iPhone measures 5 foot in height, is made from basalt, and features an image of the deceased on the screen area. The stone itself is quite detailed, with representations of the Home button, earphone speaker, volume and standby buttons, rear camera, and even an Apple logo on the rear, all in a black stone structure with white highlights.

Someone cares a lot. That counts most for me. Still, pretty cool.

iOS 11 drops tomorrow, the 19th


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Statement at Apple website: iOS 11 sets a new standard for what is already the world’s most advanced mobile operating system. It makes iPhone better than before. It makes iPad more capable than ever. And now it opens up both to amazing possibilities for augmented reality in games and apps. With iOS 11, iPhone and iPad are the most powerful, personal, and intelligent devices they’ve ever been.

Here in MDT, typically will drop at 11AM. The tvOS update should be rolling out, as well…though I’m still waiting for my fave reseller to get the 4K Gen 5 Apple TV.

NYPD handcuffed by investment in Microsoft’s Windows Phone

The New York Police Department must replace some 36,000 smartphones running Microsoft’s defunct Windows Phone platform…plans to provide its officers with replacement iPhones by the end of the year.

The NYPD’s ill-advised investment in Windows Phone…lasted just two years. The switch to Apple’s iPhone was prompted by the announcement from Microsoft in July that it has terminated support for Windows Phone 8.1.

The 36,000 phones were purchased as part of a $160 million program intended to help modernize New York City’s police force with new technology. Officers were equipped with Nokia Lumia 830 and Lumia 640XL smartphones.

Smartphones have become a crucial tool in law enforcement, with the NYPD using them on the street to receive alerts, search databases, file reports, and even get real-time updates on 911 calls.

Wonder who got what in the NYPD or NYC purchasing department to make the original decision. There were plenty of naysayers for sound technical and economic reasons. No one listened.