I like Hillary. I’ve been her supporter for a few presidential cycles. On her mailing list I think you’ll find me in the “Old School” section. I got seniority. And, depending how things go, she probably has my vote in 2016. The “probably” is a subtle hint that my vote is not ironclad. Not this time around.
Some people give Hillary a lot of shit. Some I agree with (to some extent). Some is just stupid, crass, and mean-spirited and falls under the category of “My Side Good, Your Side Bad” politics.
Me? I prefer to call ’em like I see ’em. And this is one such case.
TriMet is the public agency that provides transportation services (commuter rail, light rail, bus and streetcar) for most of the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area.
That opening line just screams excitement, right? Stay with me, intrepid reader. We are embarking on a torrid journey of governmental lunacy and polishing turds. Remember, it’s important for us lowly idiots to know how things really work.
This organization really got on my radar recently during the naming process for a new bridge spanning the mighty piranha-filled Willamette River that’s currently under construction. Because, as we all know, the most important characteristic about a bridge is its name. This is followed closely by how many years of neglect it takes before it fails with lots of people on it. Let’s face it. Maintenance is not exactly humanity’s strong suit.
The TriMet decided to enlist the public’s help in naming the bridge. And that’s where things decidedly jumped the rails. And I’m here to tell you about it because, amazingly, their own official website has whitewashed the whole thing from history. It’s almost like it never happened…
Continue reading →
We all lie about our appearance on the internet, right? Today we take a fairly close look at one case study. But not too close.
Continue reading →
Tonight the Google Let Me Down
Sung to the tune of “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down”
Tonight the Google let me down
Displayed results without my search term not around
An image search for “Spock” with nothing found
Tonight the Google let me down
So yeah, there I was on the Google. I wanted a new wallpaper, so I did what I usually do: Google Image Search (GIS) with the exact dimensions of 1920 x 1200 (which just happens to be my display resolution).
I have found that I can get interesting wallpaper results by omitting “wallpaper” as a term and searching images that just so happen to match the dimensions of my desktop. I like to be different I guess. (For my personal safety I keep “safe search” at moderate. If I set it to “anything goes” I’d likely be buried in porn, and that’s no good. Google is, after all, one of the largest purveyors of porn in the Universe. Or so I’ve heard.)
Being in a logical mood, I decided to use “Spock” as a search term. I was hoping to find results of a type never before encountered.
As usual, some of the results were representative of the search term and some were not. Also, as not, there was a surprising number of frisky images of women in bikinis. Now what do they have to do with Spock? Highly illogical.
Want to try the exact search for yourself? Click here.
I kept scrolling down the image results looking for a suitable wallpaper that I could meld with, but none really moved me. Gradually, however, I began to become aware of something. Spock wasn’t in very many of the results.
I took a screenshot of the results. By only page 5 Spock was strangely no where in sight. Four of the results in this shot actually pertain to Star Trek but no Mr. Spock. There’s a couple video game shots, a Robert Downey Jr., a sexy girl in a hammock, a jumbo jet, and a refreshing glass of Coke. I guess I have to ask, “Hey, Google! Where is the Mr. Spock in this equation?”
One thing is certain. I won’t be trusting my past or future to Google computations for time warp (beta).
Google is imperfect. Abyss will sterilize. Along with all the carbon-based life forms infesting the third planet of this solar system.
It’s been a long time since we had an aerial reconnaissance challenge. All you have to do is identify the location shown above. Easy!
Continue reading →
Wha? Misleading headline? Oh, I’m so sorry about that. Yeah, sure I am.
So here’s the deal. Every morning at work before I start the day, I like to grab a new image from the internet and use it as my desktop wallpaper. Rather than going to wallpaper websites and browsing their wares, I prefer to search for images directly using a “Google Image Search.” (GIS.)
It’s easy and can be fun and bring lots of surprises. The way I do it is by going to the Google home page, like normal, and searching for a term, like “beaches” or “star trek enterprise.”
Then, on the left column, if click the “Images” link and it will automatically restrict the search to images that – somehow, someway – match your term.
And then, just for fun, again in the left column, I click the “Exactly” link under “Any Size” and enter the dimensions of my desktop. In this case, 1920 x 1200, and click the search button again.
The only other thing you need to know about GIS is the “SafeSearch” setting. By default, at least on my computer, is the “moderate” setting. This seems to equate to PG or PG-13. You can also set it “Strict” for (mostly) work safe images. And, of course, you can turn SafeSearch “Off” if you be loving everything the internet is capable of. (Personally I never use that setting.)
I think it goes without saying, though, that the SafeSearch system isn’t quite perfect.
So there I was at work using the above procedure (with the “moderate” setting) and I decided to try the term “bill gates.” I still don’t know what possessed me. Bill Gates??? I must have blacked out for a moment.
The results load up and I start scrolling down. There’s a promising wallpaper. It’s a classic Windows image that looks like a rock has been thrown through the screen. Very promising indeed. There’s also some Star Wars and the obligatory video game screenshots sprinkled in. This is about what I’d expect, except, perhaps, a little more Bill Gates?
Then, down around page 2, wait a minute. What’s this? Pictures of women. Pretty women. And lots of them. Hmm. I keep scrolling. The more I scroll, the less clothing they seem to be wearing. Bikinis seem to be trending. Holy shit! That one is practically naked!
I quickly scroll through all 10 pages of images. There sure are a lot of scantily clad women coming up for the term “bill gates.” Wow. I’m at work, though, and everyone and their momma can see my computer, so I quit the browser lest I get labeled as the office pervert.
Apparently Google and I disagree slightly about what is considered “moderate” in a SafeSearch.
I quickly reload my browser and type in “death star.” Ah. Much better. But what’s Uhura from Star Trek doing in there?
Curse you internets!