Friday, June 27, 2014

Air "Bombs": Gnarly Weather

Gnarly Sky Telegraphs Meteorological Air "Bombs."

Posted this on Tumblr. Hey, Google, Yahoo's easier.

Sharing here, too:

Gnarly Virga - Mammatus under T-Storm: Windy Downbursts

Gnarly sky under a T-storm.

Rain evaporating in dry air on the way down.

Dramatic, ragged cloud structures.

Potentially dangerous.

Violent wind "air bombs," gusty downbursts up to 60mph or more possible.

Another view:

"Inverted" view Virga - Mammatus Wind-Downburst Outbreak


Same pic using photoshop feature "inverted."

No rain.

But evaporating rain on the way down rocked my house, like an air bomb.

Airplane travel impacted into Denver International Airport, where a Severe Weather Warning was issued by the National Weather Service.

Air "bombs" - downbursts - are both gnarly and dangerous.

A sight to see.

And feel.

Blown away.

So, now: seeing is knowing.





Twitter: @schwartznow
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Monday, June 2, 2014

Apple WWDC14: Safari DuckDuckGo

Apple builds path to future with WWDC software refresh

Some Apple WWDC14 Keynote highlights included:
  • OS X Yosemite
  • Continuity
  • iOS 8
  • HealthKit
  • HomeKit
  • Swift
Executive Craig Federighi - (a.k.a. "Hairforce One") - also stressed privacy and security features several times.


Per Apple's website, Safari will include a DuckDuckGo option:

Safari: Source: Apple
"Safari now gives you more control over your privacy on the web. You can open one Safari window in Private Browsing mode — which doesn’t save your browsing history — while keeping others in regular browsing mode. So while you do your online banking privately in one window, your browsing history is still being saved while you surf in another. You can also now search the web using DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track you."






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Friday, May 30, 2014

Stanford's Crisis: Snapchat CEO

Stanford Condemns Snapchat CEO’s Sexist Emails

Mike Isaac writing for re/code:

"Stanford University Provost and Professor John Etchemendy sent a scathing email to the school’s student body on Friday, widely condemning a series of recently unearthed sexist, raucous emails sent years ago by Evan Spiegel, an alumnus of the school who is now the founder of disappearing mobile messaging startup Snapchat."

University backpedaling hard.

Trying to put distance between itself and Snapchat CEO Spiegel:

“'Members of our community should learn now, not many years from now, how abhorrent those attitudes are, whether real or feigned,' Etchemendy wrote.”

Spiegel created his own reputation crisis.

His crisis is now Stanford's, too.

And Snapchat's.

Would you work for CEO Spiegel?






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Snapchat Lied. Now This.

Snapchat CEO ‘Mortified’ by Leaked Stanford Frat E-Mails

Sarah Frier writing for Bloomberg:

"Snapchat Inc. Chief Executive Officer Evan Spiegel apologized for e-mails he sent during his fraternity days that celebrated getting drunk and convincing sorority women to perform sexual acts."

Earlier this month, Snapchat settled with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

Because "snaps" on its service do not disappear.

As advertised.

So, Snapchat lied and settled.

Now this.

Snapchat and its CEO are building quite a reputation.

More accurately, a reputation crisis.

To think Snapchat spurned a multibillion-dollar buyout offer from Facebook.

Perhaps Facebook got off lucky.






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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Apple's Intriguing Hints

Apple Intriguing Hints Ahead of WWDC

Seen Apple's WWDC 2014 App?

You should.

Apple's events are teasingly, secretly, playfully intriguing:

"This is Our Little Secret"

"Shhhh, Can't Tell You Yet":

"This One is Sealed." And: "It's Confidential."

"You'll Find Out in a Few Days":


"No Comment Yet." And: "Our Lips Are Sealed on This One."

Plus, Star Wars:


"Star Wars Past, Present and Future." And: "You'll Never Guess."

I don't know what's coming.

Can't recall Apple being so open about its secretiveness.

Like it.

Apple will stream WWDC's Keynote presentation "live" at 1 p.m. EST, June 2.

At that time, much more will be revealed.

Got a hunch.

This could be next-era good.

Update - Here's what I do know. Apple's stock is ripping:

$APPL above 8, 21, 50MAs. Very bullish.

Apple is up $21 this week. Some 3.46 percent.

Riding above key technical moving averages.

Ahead of WWDC, investors like what they see.







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Why Do People Hate Math?

Prof. Edward Frenkel, University of California, Berkeley:


"Imagine that you had to take an art class in which you were taught only how to paint a fence or a wall but were never shown the paintings of the great masters. Would that make you an art lover? Years later you will talk to your friends and say 'Oh my gosh! I hated art at school, I was so bad at it.' What you would really be saying is 'I was bad at painting the fence.' And likewise with mathematics people often say 'Oh, I was so bad at math, I hate math.' but what they are really saying is 'I was bad at painting the fence.'”
Picture math as an expression of beauty.

Tell your friends, your children, math is beautiful.

Then pause. Smile.

Let them take it from there.

Math is amazing.

Use it to paint the world.







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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Google Doodles Its Logo

Can you spot the change in Google’s logo?

Stephanie M. Lee writing for The Tech Chronicles:
"The Mountain View search giant recently moved the second “g” one pixel to the right and the “l” one pixel down and one to the right, apparently to improve the logo’s readability (because it was so difficult to read before)."

Look closely:

Google's logo change.


Google's logo change did not hurt its image with investors:

Google Class A stock on a tear. $GOOGL

A week ago, Google's Class A stock scored a triple top breakout.

That's a bullish technical pattern.

As in, more Wall Street upside.

A point-and-figure view gives the stock a preliminary $665 target.

Picture, I mean, "pixel" that.

It was up $11 today, alone.

Google doodling its logo.

The business of branding.





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Thursday, May 15, 2014

San Francisco's Cool

Bay Area Regains "Minor" Cool After Heatwave

A familiar sight returned to San Francisco. Fog:

Source: @NWSBayArea

Fog found its way over the Golden Gate Bridge.

Before bumping into warmer air.

Southern California, however, continued to bake and burn.

Multiple smoke plumes from San Diego Co. fires were visible on radar:

Smoke plumes visible on radar. Source: NWS/NOAA

Some 16,000 new evacuations orders were issued today.

Southern California is baking in early May heat.

And burning.

San Francisco enjoyed cool relief.

Its heat wave broken.

But cool remains elusive for thousands impacted by fires to the south.

SoCal's heat wave may not break until the weekend.





Twitter: @schwartznow
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The Microsoft User "Experience"

Do You Enjoy The Microsoft User Experience?

I don't.

Today, I turn on my computer to see this:



Fifteen "important" updates, 94.7MB's worth.

Really?

My reaction: something's terribly wrong.

But what? How bad is it? Was my computer already hurt?

It's just not a comforting "welcome-to-a-new-day" moment.

Part two of the experience is hardly warm and fuzzy, either.

You have to restart your computer.

Not knowing what, if any, impact, these "important" updates may have on other software.

Only after you restarting will you learn.

But, please, restart your computer. Trust us:


On this day, after restarting, I "experienced" trouble connecting to the internet.

Due to one of Microsoft's 15 important updates?

I don't know.

But it happened.

Nothing about the experience is enjoyable.

The text, process, multiple steps, time required, the operational uncertainty.

All uncomfortable, at best.

Why does Microsoft continue this experience?

Is this the best the U.S.-based business can do?

Does anyone enjoy it?

Do you?

It's almost as if we have to put up with Microsoft.

Because that's the way, "It's always been."






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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I Almost Choked to Death. Alone

What to do if you're by yourself and choking

RIGHT NOW
  • My throat still hurts.
  • I'm still scared.
  • And I don't know whether or not to tell my family.
  • But I came within seconds of choking to death last night.
  • Alone. That's the lede. I can't bury it.
  • I used the word "bury" on purpose.
  • Lede is journalism jargon for, "The bottom line."
If you want the first-aid, bottom line, choking tips from experts, scroll down.

WHAT HAPPENED
  • I made spaghetti. Thought: "Add cucumber. Make it more healthy."
  • Diced a cucumber.
  • Added diced cukes to the noodles.
  • Sat down to eat.
  • And type on my computer in between chomps.
  • Did that slurp-the-spaghetti-noodle thing.
  • You know, suck-slurp in a mouthful of noodles.
CHOKING
  • Suddenly I couldn't breathe.
  • Unknowingly, a slice of cucumber hiding in the noodles slurped into the back of my mouth like a cork on a bottle.
  • A shock wave of total fear overcame me.
PAST EXPERIENCE
  • When I was a teen, a dried apricot once flew into the back of my throat, as I walked down some stairs.
  • The apricot blocked my air path completely.
  • Somehow, in seconds of desperate clawing, I got my whole hand into my mouth and ripped the apricot out.
  • My parents were there, then, watching.
  • It's taken me many decades to eat a dried apricot, again.
  • Only this year in fact.
THIS TIME
  • So, last night, I knew instantly I was in serious trouble.
  • Something was lodged in my throat.
  • This time, I was alone.
  • No help around.
In the next six seconds, all this happened:
  • I tried to hold still, choking, though.
  • Walked three steps to the kitchen sink, choking.
  • Debated dialing 9-1-1, choking.
  • Started to blackout, choking.
  • I mean, I saw stars, and blackness.
  • Experienced more fear than I've ever known.
  • Felt regret at being unable to say goodbye to my Wingman, and tell him I love him.
  • Realized I was about 4 seconds from being found on the kitchen floor...days later? By whom?
  • Decided I had one chance to use my fingers to rip out whatever blocked my windpipe.
  • Or die.
  • Before I could dial 9-1-1.
  • I gave one, huge push-cough-attempt as I frantically used my fingers to rip away at the food in my throat.
  • My stomach pressed against the ledge of the kitchen counter.
I LIVED

A large piece of cucumber flew out:

Choked on this. About 2-inches across.

It's gross to look at, now.
This cucumber piece was hiding in the noodles I slurp-sucked in.
My hands are large.
They provide scale.
That's about 2-inches across of "healthy."

AFTERMATH
  • Spent the next hour shaken by a mixture of adrenaline, fear, relief, shame, guilt.
  • Should've been more careful. Done this instead of that, etc.
  • Sipped some warm soup.
  • Because my throat hurt.
  • And I wanted to see if I could still swallow.
  • I've not eaten since.
  • And, when I do, it will be only soup for a while.
  • I probably came within a few seconds of dying.
  • Like 3-to-4 seconds, not 10 or 20.
  • Alone.
  • In fear.
  • There was no white light.
  • There were stars you see like when you're light-headed.
  • And blackness.
  • My vision going out.
Here is what Dr. Oz says you should do if you're choking, and alone:


Dr. Oz tips for "you're choking, now what?"


Here is what the Mayo Clinic says:


Choking First Aid. Source: Mayo Clinic

HERE IS WHAT I'M THINKING RIGHT NOW
  • If choking, and you have enough air in your lungs, do an immediate, violent cough.
  • The hardest push-out cough you can do.
  • If that doesn't work, try the Heimlich maneuver selfie above. Fast!
  • Have a 9-1-1 one-button option on speed dial.
  • But you probably will not have time to press it.
  • You likely face a choice: try to save yourself or die trying.
BOTTOM LINE
  • Watch the tips above, now.
  • Practice them. As a family.
  • Because when it really happens, you only have seconds.
If you ever, ever see someone jump up, holding their throat, it's the real deal.

Call 9-1-1 and know how to dislodge whatever's stuck in their craw.

I saved someone's life at work once like this.

Last night, someone saved mine.

I'm not sure it was me.

Perhaps my past experience?

Fear (or shame) of dying like that?

Something guided me to the kitchen sink vs. taking time to dial 9-1-1.

It was either/or...not both.

I'm alive to blog about it.

I don't know why.


Update - Mayo Clinic tips say dial 9-1-1, first:
"To perform abdominal thrusts (Heimlich maneuver) on yourself:

First, if you're alone and choking and you have a landline phone, call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.

"Place a fist slightly above your navel.

"Grasp your fist with the other hand and bend over a hard surface — a countertop or chair will do.

Shove your fist inward and upward."

I have one more thought.

Unlock your door, if possible, before passing out.





Twitter: @schwartznow
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Chipotle Needs Beano

What's Wrong With Chipotle?

James Covert writing for The New York Post:
"Proxy advisory firm ISS ... blasted lavish pay packages for the Mexican-food chain’s two CEOs, who together earned $58 million last year, capping a a three-year run in which they’ve pocketed a combined $300 million."
Two CEOs.

$58 million in a year.

On top of that, Chipotle is raising your prices.

Per CNBC:
"Getting a steak burrito bowl? That'll be 8.3 percent more in New York City. While you're at it, be prepared to fork over 11.1 percent more for guacamole."
So, the bosses get more.

And get to charge you more.

What do investors think?

That "blue box"? Pain. Investors waiting to break even.

Unless you sold Chipotle in February, you're in pain.

Its stock is broken technically.

Bearish below its 50MA on a daily chart.

Any "long" investor in that "blue box" holds Chipotle stock at a loss.

CEO pay, aside.

Price hikes, aside.

I'm talking business.

And reputation management.

Chipotle's chart is broken.

$110 off its high.

Chipotle, a Colorado business, needs Beano.

Eat that.

But want to invest?

Consult your advisor.






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#AmazonCart - Ultimate Innovation

Twitter, Amazon team to boost 'now commerce'

Teaming up: Amazon and Twitter.

Benny Evangelista writing for The Chronicle:
"The two tech giants said ... Amazon members can automatically save items to their online shopping carts by replying to any tweet containing an Amazon product link and writing the hashtag #AmazonCart."
And if you use that hashtag?

The ultimate word-of-mouth. Why?

Because the world can see:
"...on its website, Amazon also notes that 'most content is public on Twitter,' so any replies with #AmazonCart 'will be visible to whomever you replied, to those viewing the conversation, and on your own Timeline (unless your Twitter account is set to private).'"
So, using the #AmazonCart hashtag is public.

And, intended or not, becomes a public endorsement.

Not bad, if you're a celebrity.

Perhaps one paid to tweet your purchases?

Me? If buying something, I want to do so quickly.

Two clicks, maximum.

Privately.

Because an order of Omaha Steaks for clients is not viral.

Same with California wine or Oregon fruit for family.

Or Legal Sea Foods crab cakes for myself.

Investors? They reacted "meh" to the Amazon-Twitter partnership:

Amazon daily chart bearish technically below 50, 200MAs

Twitter?


Twitter stock remains below its IPO low

One thought.

Amazon, behind Jeff Bezos, has sweet CIA business.

In short, people in the know, trust Amazon to be in the know.

Secure, too.

What happens when one can buy stocks with a hashtag?

Who needs TD Ameritrade, Fidelity, E-Trade?

Ten shares of Apple, please, hashtag #AmazonCart.

Just musing aloud.

Wall Street. Listening?






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Thursday, May 1, 2014

How is Google Fiber Doing?

Cities Meet Google Fiber Deadline, but ‘Loose Ends’ Remain

Thirty-four cities meet a key Google Fiber deadline.

That according to Alistair Barr writing for The WSJ.D:

Credit: Google and The WSJ.D

Barr says Fiber is complicated:

"Among other things, Google needs to buy or lease land for its Fiber huts, which are larger than 1,000 square feet, and finalize those license agreements with several cities. It’s seeking to streamline permitting processes for thousands of permit applications. And it needs video-franchise agreements with the city or state, giving it permission to build a local network."

Investors watch closely:

"The complicated process has sparked concern on Wall Street that Google may spend too much on Fiber and generate small returns on the investment."

GOOGL Class A shares bounce after fall to $511

Google's stock has drifted lower since an unusual stock split in April.

Proof that Google Fiber is not a good investment?

The market will weigh in over time.

Google's got time ... and capital.








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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Google's Fountain of Youth?

Geneticist Cynthia Kenyon is heading to Google

Kenyon will join Calico - Google's mysterious health venture.

Stephanie M. Lee writing in The Chronicle:
"Google has revealed little about Calico since the search giant formed the independent company in September, except that it wants to slow aging and fight age-related diseases. As Google CEO Larry Page once put it, Calico is truly a 'moon shot.'"

Cynthia Kenyon, Ph.D. Credit: UCSF

Kenyon is a pioneer in the genetics of aging.

Her role at Google's Calico? Not detailed.

Her background may provide some clues, quoting:

"'Age is the single largest risk factor for an enormous number of diseases,' she explained to The Chronicle in 2005. 'So if you can essentially postpone aging, then you can have beneficial effects on a whole wide range of disease.'"

Calico is collecting scientific heavyweights.

Its CEO is Arthur Levinson - the board chair of Genentech and Apple.

Sounds like a health "Skunk Works."

Fountain of Youth-like stuff.

One more thing from reporter Lee about Kenyon:

"So deep is her dedication that she avoids bread and sugar - except dark chocolate - because studies show they speed up aging."






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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Heartbleed Suspect Nabbed

Heartbleed Bug Hacker Charged by RCMP

Suspected Heartbleed hacker, Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19, arrested.

Press release from The Royal Canadian Mounted Police:

“The RCMP treated this breach of security as a high priority case and mobilized the necessary resources to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Investigators from National Division, along with our counterparts in 'O' Division have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorizations and liaising with our partners,” said Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud."

According to The Washington Post:

"Earlier this week, the Canada Revenue Agency said an attacker using Heartbleed stole 900 Social Security numbers. It was the first known case of a hacker taking advantage of the security flaw for malicious purposes."

Okay, I've been changing passwords left and right.

But now a 19-year-old is in custody.

Jailed by The Royal Gendarmerie of Canada:

Credit: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Wikipedia

Mounted Police.

Helped by "O" Division.

Not a double-O, as in a "Bond" movie.

Single-O. Still cool enough.

And a teen.

In Canada.

Knew it all along.

This means the Heartbleed scare is over.

That my privacy is assured.

Right?




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