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Cyclist billed by ICBC vows to fight for vulnerable road users

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Vancouver bike lane commute

After getting injured in a crash with a car he says ran a stop sign, cyclist Ben Bolliger was charged $3,700 after ICBC categorized his bike as an uninsured vehicle.

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mxm23
44 days ago
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I guess my question is, does ICBC provide bicycle insurance? And if so, how much is it? You can’t have it both ways, ICBC. If the bicycle is a vehicle and you claim it’s uninsured, then you need to provide a method of insuring it.
West Coast
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Dynamic Census

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We filled out our census forms recently.

Taking a census every 10 years is better than never taking it, but in the future, say in 100 years, a census should be taken every day. We are perfectly capable of counting all people all the time. Everyone born should have an immovable ID from birth. One based on all the things we base our identity on: from our DNA, to our family ties, to what we look like, to our behavior. Some of those things change a little over time, but together all of them create the web of our identity. We can track this web in real time. We are technically capable of it. Some people will not want to be tracked every day, and that is fine. We don’t need a political census on a daily change. That is to say, we don’t need to count everyone every day. Even if we checked on whether someone was still alive every week, that is all we really need to know, and maybe even more information than we need for political purposes. The important point is we can count people any time we needed to, if we can easily identify them. We know how to do that now. So in 100 years, waiting till every decade to count people will seem very archaic.

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mxm23
50 days ago
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I learned from "The Data Detective" book recently that census-taking is, often, inherently non-inclusive. It tends to underrepresent many minority groups. I worry that Kevin is off the mark here.
West Coast
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Axios: ‘Vulnerable Democrats Eye G.O.P. Transit Mask Repeal’

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Axios:

The chair of the House Democrats’ campaign arm and some of the vulnerable members he’s charged with re-electing are voicing support for a Republican-led mask mandate repeal bill.

Why it matters: This would set up a potential showdown with the White House, which recently issued a one-month extension on the federal mask mandate for public transit and airplanes.

Mask mandates are political death at this point in state-wide races. An overwhelming majority of voters are opposed to continuing them. The new normal should be “Wear a mask to protect yourself if you want to.” Democrats need to repeal these mandates now so that they’re ancient history come November.

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mxm23
63 days ago
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I wish it weren't true, but I suspect it is. Mask mandates are now politics, not science. I continue to wear mine but why? To protect others still? Or to protect myself? I'm not convinced I've found the right N95 mask yet, that fits correctly, to protect myself adequately.
West Coast
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Kyle Chayka: ‘Have iPhone Cameras Become Too Smart?’

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Kyle Chayka, writing for The New Yorker:

In January, I traded my iPhone 7 for an iPhone 12 Pro, and I’ve been dismayed by the camera’s performance. On the 7, the slight roughness of the images I took seemed like a logical product of the camera’s limited capabilities. I didn’t mind imperfections like the “digital noise” that occurred when a subject was underlit or too far away, and I liked that any editing of photos was up to me. On the 12 Pro, by contrast, the digital manipulations are aggressive and unsolicited. One expects a person’s face in front of a sunlit window to appear darkened, for instance, since a traditional camera lens, like the human eye, can only let light in through a single aperture size in a given instant. But on my iPhone 12 Pro even a backlit face appears strangely illuminated. The editing might make for a theoretically improved photo — it’s nice to see faces — yet the effect is creepy. When I press the shutter button to take a picture, the image in the frame often appears for an instant as it did to my naked eye. Then it clarifies and brightens into something unrecognizable, and there’s no way of reversing the process. David Fitt, a professional photographer based in Paris, also went from an iPhone 7 to a 12 Pro, in 2020, and he still prefers the 7’s less powerful camera. On the 12 Pro, “I shoot it and it looks overprocessed,” he said. “They bring details back in the highlights and in the shadows that often are more than what you see in real life. It looks over-real.”

Chayka’s is an interesting take, for sure. He references Halide’s aforelinked deep analysis of the iPhone 13 Pro camera system (which is what reminded me to link to it) thus:

Yet, for some users, all of those optimizing features have had an unwanted effect. Halide, a developer of camera apps, recently published a careful examination of the 13 Pro that noted visual glitches caused by the device’s intelligent photography, including the erasure of bridge cables in a landscape shot. “Its complex, interwoven set of ‘smart’ software components don’t fit together quite right,” the report stated.

That shot of the bridge was not a good result, but it wasn’t emblematic of the typical iPhone 13 camera experience in any way. I don’t think Chayka is being overly disingenuous, but for 99 percent of the photos taken by 99 percent of people (ballpark numbers, obviously) the iPhone 12 or 13 is a way better camera than an iPhone 7. Yet Chayka might leave some readers thinking they’re going to get better photos from a six-year-old iPhone, which simply isn’t true.

The problem is not that iPhone cameras have gotten too smart. It’s that they haven’t gotten smart enough. There most certainly are trade-offs between old-fashioned dumb photography and today’s state-of-the-art computational photography, but those trade-offs overwhelmingly favor computational photography. Chayka’s whole argument feels somewhat like arguments that shooting on film produced superior results compared to digital sensors circa 15 years ago.

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mxm23
63 days ago
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I was going to comment "film versus digital" while reading but Grubes did it in the post. I'm not going back to an iPhone 7 for photos. I shoot on an iPhone 12 Pro Max and love it. I also recognize I'm in the tiny minority of those that use non-Apple camera apps to get the look that I want from my photos.
West Coast
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‘MacPaw’s Operations Amidst the Russian Aggression Against Ukraine’

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Oleksandr Kosovan, founder of MacPaw:

Being humans of the 21st century, we all wish that the tragic days of war were a thing of the past. However, now once more, with the Russian aggression against Ukraine, we’ve been made to witness how easy freedom, independence, and the human right to life and choice are put on the line.

MacPaw was founded and operated primarily in Kyiv, Ukraine. For us, the security of our team members is paramount. We’ve prepared various assistance programs and launched an emergency plan to ensure the safety of our peers based in Ukraine.

MacPaw is a longtime Mac development shop, with well-known utilities like CleanMyMac and the app subscription service Setapp. I’ve met Kosovan and several other MacPaw employees at WWDCs past — and I hope to see them all again.

Kosovan’s post concludes with a slew of links to services to which you can donate to support Ukraine.

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mxm23
63 days ago
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I've been a Setapp subscriber for a few years now. Good service.
West Coast
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Mediocre White Men are So. Fucking. Fragile.

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So I’m in Facebook jail again. Because of fragile white men. Again.

Wednesday, I posted this:

And OF COURSE some mediocre white dude had to tell me why I’m wrong for enjoying these tacos. It was such a stupid thing, it was more amusing than anything else. We all had a good laugh, he was widely mocked and ridiculed as he deserved for his idiocy, and we all went on with our lives. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how … exhausting this shit is, how these children run into a room, make as much noise and as much of a mess as they can, and then run just as fast to mommy and daddy when someone who was already in the room is like, “Hey, could you not?”

Anyway, I wrote a post about mediocre white men and their uncontrollable urge to correct everyone all the time, and that post has landed me in Facebook jail. See if you can find the part where I broke a rule:

Remember when that dude was gatekeeping tacos and was really angry about it?

I’m working on a theory that no matter what it is, there is some mediocre white dude out there who will tell you that you’re wrong for liking it, not liking it the right way, and will be angry about it when he does. It literally does not matter what it is. If it’s a thing you like, and you talk about how you like it, some mediocre white dude will show up to be mad about it.

Like, I’m a white dude. I don’t think I’m mediocre, but as a white dude who feels good about himself, I have to at least entertain the notion, right? On account of all the empirical evidence, I mean. I’m a white dude, and I just don’t get mad about stuff like how you eat a taco. Or what you call some activity with a local idiomatic name. It just doesn’t matter to me, and it certainly isn’t worth my time to be mad about it. Sure, I joke about Scalzi’s burrito abominations, and I will stab you in the throat with a french fry if you try to put ketchup on my plate, but none of that is, like, serious.

What is it with mediocre white men? Why are they just CONVINCED that everyone they encounter needs to be corrected for some reason or another? Is there a class or a meeting or something that I just didn’t attend? I don’t have this impulse in my life and I cannot wrap my head around it.

And TACOS? Like, THAT is the thing you’re worked up about? Not creeping Fascism, not Putin’s war crimes, the rampant inequality that is fundamental to the existence of America, gun violence, racism, homophobia, bigotry. Nope. Fucking TACOS, man. I AM HERE TO HOLD THE LINE ON TACOS (also I am factually wrong, but that doesn’t matter because) I AM HERE TO BE THE KING OF TACOLAND. LOOK AT MY DIPLOMA FROM TACO UNIVERSITY WHERE I WAS CLASS PRESIDENT.

…okay, buddy. If it’s that important to you, take this taco outside, and go yell at it until you feel better. If you need to yell a little more, there’s a wall over there waiting for you. I’m just going to sit here and enjoy my taco.

Yeah, I don’t see it, either. I appealed. It will be overturned like it always is. Until then, I guess I can’t TACO ’bout fragile white men and their tissue paper egos on my own Facebook. Okay.

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mxm23
65 days ago
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Clearly it was “stab you in the throat” that put him in MetaJail(tm)
West Coast
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