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Master of My Domain Sale
personal openness
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I'm settling in nicely, albeit slowly, into my studio apartment in downtown Buffalo. It's not quite New York City but the experience is a sort of New York scale that I can afford - maybe. I calculate that I can if I'm disciplined with my budgeting, but, that caveat of if is ever a question.

In any case, for the moment, I now live in a trendy neighborhood filled with art galleries, eateries, bars, and nightlife, which, as a late middle-age balding 53-year-old among all the young people, makes me somewhat of an instant lech just by the mere act of swaddling into any one of them in a sad unimaginative bid to sow wild oats. But I enjoy it nonetheless. My mother dragging me to bars for a time in her own bid for nightlife, back in the day, must have planted some taste for the atmosphere I can't explain. Whatever, the easy access to all these places is just heart warming. Plus I live just blocks away from a subway station, part of Buffalo's tiny light rail system, which adds all that much more to the NYC zeitgeist that I so embrace.

The studio is more like a full fledged one bedroom apartment only deemed a studio for some property-oriented legal technicality mentioned by the rental company I forget at the moment, which is a point of bonus since I had a dread of the dreary single-plane space that a studio traditionally amounts to. As it is, I have a two-part layout where I am able to separate a sleeping/living area from a kitchen and full-fledged working studio I figure I may need to one day be employed out of.

To be sure, I wouldn't normally be able to afford this but I received a fortunate bump in life, if you will, by being the owner of the web domain which a company that turned out to be Intel Corporation took interest in in order to brand one of their technologies (take a look at what they are doing with it). I purchased the domain in the mid-90s to support my pet cause of keeping police radio traffic open to public intercept, but that cause has long diluted and the domain was more or less languishing with some personal idea of mine to reactivate it for the cause, yet, never quite doing so. You can see I tried to associate it with one of the pages at this website but the effort was 'meh' at best.

I hate to say I had a price for giving up a domain I once so strongly defended from a soulless implementation by anyone else, but I did. And it was one that I kept fairly high in order to specifically discourage people from wanting to solicit it away from me; I didn't want the moral conundrum. I never counted on anyone actually offering to pay it, yet that is exactly what happened.

I'm not a 'domain profiteer' so I will never know if I might have negotiated more, I just knew I was being offered enough money to erase the past years of reckless spending while living in New York City plus some, even after taxes. As a first-time player in the domain selling game I didn't think the ceiling was much higher for a .org, which I hold is an accurate assessment. I can't stress enough how not mind-blowing the amount I ultimately sold it to them for was, just that it was a lot to me today and that it solved a lot of self-made problems in one fell swoop. I made the deal.

And that deal allowed me to tuck away some emergency fund monies in addition to paying the deposit, first month rent, and all the other capital costs associated with a simple move. I could have done it without this good fortune but it would have amounted to another financial reset in my life. The move itself had to happen - domain sale or not - given that the pressures and impact of living with an ex-romantic partner were becoming increasingly clear, unfair, and selfish.

Is the De-Monetization of Breaking News At Hand?
openness groundnews livestreaming
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I'm jaunting around New York this weekend which gives me the opportunity to try out the Citizen App. It's an app that facilitates the ability of everyday people to transmit news of accidents, fires, and, more to the talent of Citizen App, the more granular things such as 'guy passed out on sidewalk'.

People could already do this on Facebook or Twitter, as examples, but the Citizen App brings all the tools into a focused single stream of people who both care as individuals around such events, and who also have the impulse to act as informing broadcaster. It's like Next Door but much more fluid and designed to be 'ready at the hand'.

The app allows you to broadcast immediately from the scene of an event, as does Periscope or Facebook or Instagram Live generally, which seems to challenge the monetization process typically associated to the acquisition and distribution of exclusive breaking news type events.

If everyone is broadcasting what would otherwise have taken a for-profit news team or an independent, paid, stringer might have, then what is the value of a for-profit news team or the would-be 'night crawlers' who make a living selling footage to TV stations and the like?

In the video I am posting here you can hear that the Citizen App broadcaster is approached by someone who mildly castigates him for broadcasting without the intent to make money. The male voice apparently gives the broadcaster his contact card and reminds the broadcaster that he isn't making any money using Citizen App. No Longer Points Here
Openness project
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In general for the past 5 months you may have noticed my entire expression platform has been under turbulent reconfiguration to prepare for something 'more' than just a sparsely populated blog. Just stay tuned!

Parkside Underground Transformer Fire
buffaloscan periscope video groundnews openness
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I figured the snowstorm scheduled to hit Buffalo today would be the most interesting event. Instead, an underground transformer fire just outside my house by one block put me in ground footage mode for Buffalo Scan. Here are the raw videos from the Periscope footage.

The fire apparently caused a power outage for some 800 residents on the Parkside half of the event (I live on the opposite side), and, at the beginning, even resulted in some evacuations of the immediate homes. I tuned in just as the fire crews were requesting National Grid and Buffalo Police for street closure control.

Ground footage of emergency response handling to
underground transformer fire on Amherst Street.

Fire on Richlawn

No sooner had I clamped the snow off my shoes after shooting the ground footage above, a fire broke out at a home on Richlawn Avenue. The street was close enough for me to jaunt to without much hassle, so I did. It took almost 15 minutes to get the car warmed and cleaned up enough to safely drive over, so the fire was knocked out by the time arrived.

Fire knocked out on Richlawn Avenue. No sound.

This video doesn't include sound due to a Periscope malfunction of some kind. But it's just as well. A woman skirted by to get closer to the fire but hurled an epithet at me in apparent disgust of someone filming the fire, in the process. I think this is the first time I've been admonished by a random member of the public (a police officer once guilted me for filming a patient being loaded into an ambulance), but, my stance on this remains. Some people are going to gawk at a non-media professional engaging in media collection events as they are unfamiliar with the emerging culture of ground footage 'buffs' or enthusiasts, and assume the act is as frivolous as it must look.

Blogs Consolidated
sitenews wbrail tamparail openness techcity
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I have gone ahead with an idea that I have been flirting with for a couple of months now (and, may have previously -- hard to tell with my admittedly erratic web strategy of years past), which is to consolidate my various other theme blogs with this one.

Specifically, these titles are now hosted in the same framework as that of my personal blog which is the one you are looking at right now:

  • Tampa Rail
  • Wilkes-Barre Rail
  • Openness
  • Tech for the City

Those titles will continue to have the very rare entries represented here at Dave the Web Guy and will be indexed by the category labels tamparail, wbrail, openness, and techcity.

I did this because the overhead of maintaining all those separate blogging presentations was diffusing a cohesive effort to keep my messaging active. Most these blog titles were languishing without fresh content and in turn the respective messages they attempted to deliver was taking a hit. If the flagship blogs aren't active it is too easy, in my summation, for visitors to assume the same about the causes themselves.

The messages are still important to me as is the ability to chronical their respective evolutions in a place that exists outside Twitter or Facebook. Turning these topics into category entries at my personal blog not only allows me to do so, it also restores the energy to my personal blog in the form of a single view overlooking the wide range of interests and causes that I have come to evangelize over the years.

In short, the topics are no longer interesting standing on their own, driven by a single personality, as much as my personality is maybe a little more interesting with direct visibility to the variety of topics that I behold. I look at it as maybe two publishing problems being solved.

There are custom domains that were pointed to the blogs I list above. They will now land here at equivalent custom "pages" that will continue to serve as their headquarters and where a timeline presentation of their individual evolutions will be displayed. Basically I will be taking the existing custom index pages that drove their previous blogs and migrating them one by one to this site. Here is how the one for OpennessOrg looks for example.

My only concern with this new approach is that it may render my personal blog here somewhat discombobulated or "disjointed" of its own message, which is to effectively bitch about the dying World Wide Web alongside issues in my personal life. One day I might be talking about how annoying hangnail is, to be followed in an entry the next day about some contract dispute preventing train tracks being laid in the Poconos (a Wilkes-Barre Rail topic) or another police agency that has gone to a digitally encrypted radio network (an Openness topic). Unless I synthesize the presentation overall very carefully, readers might be confused.

Fortunately though, in this universe at least, I don't post that often and I certainly don't have many regular readers. Nonetheless, here's to hoping this new format changes things for the better.

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