New tech a double-edged sword


Nothing new in this but perhaps a timeless reminder:

Digital cameras are almost everywhere, and they’re getting smaller and smarter. Whole new categories of cameras are being developed that don’t need lenses or don’t need large sensors. Instead, algorithms are being used to manipulate digitized light rays to create impressive images without traditional camera components. Here are just a few examples.

Data harvesting goes mainstream

This from haiku on personal data harvesting gone awry – when even restaurants get in on the act:

A restaurant with three Michelin stars is now trying to up its customer service game by Googling its customers before they arrive. According to a report from Grub Street, an Eleven Madison Park maitre d’ performs Internet recon on every guest in the interest of customizing their experiences.

The maitre d’ in question, Justin Roller, says he tries to ascertain things like whether a couple is coming to the restaurant for an anniversary, and if so, which anniversary that is. If it’s a birthday, for instance, he wants to wish them “Happy Birthday” when they arrive. He’ll scan for photos of the guests in chef’s whites or posed with wine glasses, which suggest they might be chefs or sommeliers themselves.

It goes deeper: if a particular guest appears to hail from Montana, Roller will try to pair up the table with a server who is from Montana.

François Fillon redefines the word “tosser”

France's President Sarkozy speaks with PM Fillon at the end of a ceremony to mark the end of World War Two in Paris

Sarkozy trying to talk some sense into Fillon

The word tosser was invented for such as François Fillon.    This report was from last year:

Former French Prime Minister François Fillon risked sparking off more infighting in France’s opposition UMP party this week by announcing that he will be a candidate in the 2017 presidential election “whatever happens”.

Just as the bitter feud that nearly split France’s troubled UMP party appeared to be healing over François Fillon has stoked the embers by declaring he will be a candidate for the 2017 presidential election, come what may.

Despite being four years away from the vote, Fillon, a former PM, has already made his intentions clear when he said in an interview this week that “whatever happens” he will be a candidate.

His words are unlikely to have gone down well with Jean-François Copé with whom Fillon fought a bitter leadership battle to become UMP chief last year, that descended into allegations of vote rigging.

The trickle shower using bucket technology

Did you see this solar-powered shower?


Not much use under 21 degrees.  I’m taking a different approach for the boat.

There’s a bucket with a finely perforated group of concentric circles in the middle of the base.   Another unperforated bucket slides over that and is clipped to the first at the rim.   This double bucket is half filled with cold water and topped up with boiling water from the kettle.

The double bucket is then hung from a strong hook up in the skylight roof support beam.

There’s a large tub of two and a bit foot wide by the same deep in which the person stands.  The outer bucket above is unclipped and the trickle shower starts.

After the shower, the tub is emptied by the handpump into the non-perforated bucket [2 minutes - I've practised] and the water then taken up* and tipped over the side of the boat.…

Blockbuster on Easter Monday


There’s a massive game coming up downunder on Easter Monday, one which football fans in general will tune into and enjoy.   For many reasons, it is being seen as the blockbuster of the season.

1.  In 2008, Hawthorn upset reigning premier Geelong’s applecart and took the flag.   Some of the team vowed they’d never lose to Hawthorn again and for the next 11 meetings, it was so.   Once it was via a single miraculous point after the siren.

2.  Last year, Hawthorn won in the preliminary final, denying Geelong a grand final spot, which Hawthorn went on to win.

3.  This year, a rampant Hawthorn at its peak as a team and as reigning premier from last year, takes on Geelong, a team in a rebuilding phase but with a big game mentality – it relishes the intense heat of battle with a top drawer foe and sometimes struggles against lesser opposition.…