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When Coffee Overrides Common Sense
nuts lol photos
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I see this from time to time on the way to work: Drivers so desperate for their java from a very specific shop that they end up idling in an active traffic lane to wait in a long drive-through line.

I don't know what the difference is between people who do this and myself. If it were me choosing to risk life and limb, or the well-being of others, or just the fluid flow of traffic if nothing else, I'd happily drive off to find another coffee shop, or maybe just park the damn car and go inside.

Two Underrated Home Security Camera Features
Security Cams
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So many home security camera ads and reviews focus on the core attributes and behaviors, it's easy for everyone to overlook or under-discuss two things that I think are critical.

PC Web View

By far one of the most overlooked features is the ability to view camera footage on a desktop or laptop PC using a common web browser. Entire ad pitches and product descriptions for the various systems available can fail to mention that viewing camera footage is only available using a mobile app.

Blink camera viewed on desktop PC using Bluestacks because
Blink lacks a web interface.

Lack of a website bothers users who demand a desktop-oriented organizational approach to camera review and manipulation. It's sort of a techno-insult to high end users to be pitched a system that has no 'real web' component because it assumes they are pedestrian about their internet use. Suburban moms and people who skipped the WWW era of the 90s and 2000s may be content doing everything important on their smartphones because that's the 'web' to them. But to seasoned techies it feels naked and suffocating to interact with something as important as a home security camera system exclusively through a (cough) 'phone app'.

Arlo cameras include both a web interface and a mobile app.

The forums will tell people that if they really want a system like Blink XT which doesn't include a web interface, for example, that they should run an emulator like Bluestacks on their computer. And honestly, it's not a bad workaround. But it's extra overhead for something that should be considered a fundamental component to any web based security camera in the first place. Plus, an emulator like Bluestacks is not something that cubicle workers are likely allowed to install. If you're an office worker who thought you might dedicate a browser tab to pop in on your driveway camera between preparing slide decks and spreadsheet reports, forget it. You'll need to reach for your phone.

Ability to Work Through Glass Windows

Camera systems use two primary methods for detecting motion. The first is through infrared (or PIR) which relies on the subtle detection of heat. The second relies on a comparison of overall image differences between a frame sample, which is sometimes referred to as 'pixel-based motion detection'. Chances are that the ad copy for a particular camera only tells people that it has motion detection capabilities, but doesn't say which of these underlying technologies it uses.

That matters big for some people's idea of how they'll deploy a web camera.

If you plan to aim your camera through a window you need the latter. Infrared cameras cannot detect heat or throw radar through a glass partition of any sort.

Aiming a security camera through a window makes a lot of sense for a lot of people. First, because it means that a camera designed for indoor use can afford outdoor (doorway, driveway) protection. By being stationed indoors it avoids all weather impact for example. And, there is a degree of security for some users knowing that a property trespasser or general vagabond can't just reach out and take or damage the camera in one swipe.

The 'camera looking out the window' scheme is not ideal for just as many reasons perhaps (snow accumulating on the outside windowsill can block a camera lens, as one example while the visual distortion introduced by a screen, might be another), but it's the 'workable idea' for a lot of people considering setting up a camera. It's crucial to sort the question out before you buy.

Facebook Blurb
regurgitation
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De-Platforming is the New Whack
WWW openweb regurgitation passingthought
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Personally I've yet to see a 'de-platformed' entity where the impulse to do it was not completely understandable. The usual actors deserve the hassle. But keep in mind that there could be a day when the justification for doing it recedes all the way down to targeting publishers who don't exclusively focus on mowing their lawns and watching weekend football. Offending, perceptive, accidental thought leaders or merely provokers, passionate about their movement, could be fair game. Publishing directly to the web is no panacea for avoiding the bullet of status quo control, but, it's a far more resilient approach. Advice given with the hope that the brave and good thrive with it.

Link of Provocation

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 openness.org 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.

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