Categories
Random

Wyze camera

This thing is awesome. Think cheap machine vision experiments, doorbells, baby monitors, time-lapse, home security. 1080p, wireless, with sound and more.

The hardware is a small cube, here on the shelf:

The iOS app is good, here’s a screenshot:

And it saves to device with a click:

Pros

Night vision works pretty well with four 0.5W IR LEDs. And you can even use it as a webcam/intercom or baby cam. And an SD card to record.

It can trigger based on motion and send push notifications but I’ve yet to try that.

Drawbacks

Limited to about 10 fps.

Needs WiFi and power.

No Ethernet.

Frequently out of stock on Amazon.

But damn, at $30 who cares? Head on over to Amazon and buy one to try.

Categories
Coffee Food

Yum

After a few years of practice, I’m pretty happy with my skills at breakfasts. Ten minute oats, fruit, nuts and some strong coffee.

Categories
Aphorisms

‘Vectors’, by James Richardson

146.

Seizing on a piece of business, I become tiny, eager, efficient: roiled water I cannot see into. But to really live is to expand like a pupil in the dark, like a pool gradually seen into. If I do not waste time, I am wasting my time.

James Richardson

I am a huge fan of James Richardson, so I’ll be posting some of his aphorisms and poetry now and then. Link below goes to Amazon (non-affiliate, just a plain link). He’s an astounding author and I highly recommend Vectors for aphorisms and Reservations as an intro to his poetry.

 

Categories
Watches

Coming soon to a WIS near you

So there was a thread on the Seiko forum on WatchUSeek, and these two images turned up, four as-yet-unreleased Grand Seiko quartz watches, 9F calibre, sporting a new GMT complication in a case seemingly identical to the SBGM series. SBGN001G in yellow, B8T007 LE minus the bezel, and SBGN007 for black. Blue is clipped.

A stint of diligent googling and watching the Basel 2018 feeds and there’s no more news yet. Soon, I expect, as part of the anniversary releases this year. Need it? No, but I am super interested anyway, enough to sell one or two to get one… Soon, my pretty, soon…

Update: 007/001 typo, oops.

Update: Timeless has placeholder pages for the SBGN001 and SBGN007, listing the color of the SBGN007 as green. Interesting! List prices are given as $3,500 and $3,200 respectively.

Update 7/30/18: Timeless has pulled their pages, but here’s a German retailer listing the SBGN003, SBGN005 and SBGN007. Soon….

Update 8/31/18: Grand Seiko 9F GMTs are out!

Update 10/30/18More pictures and details

sbgn-leaked-yellowsbgn-leaked

Categories
Politics

An insightful post from Charles Pierce

It is easy to dismiss children who march. It is easy to drown out their voices in adult condescension. It’s even easy to portray them as damaged puppets in the hands of shadowy political masters. That’s what the other side said in Birmingham. That’s what the other side said in Soweto. But the children who spoke on Saturday know more about gun violence than any of the smug voices telling them to shut up and heal. So dismiss them, if you must. History will laugh at you one day.

via Parkland Kids Are Part of a Tradition of Child Activism

Categories
Random

Today’s NSFW fun

First link is so-so, but videos aren’t safe. Totally worth your time for both videos and the MF discussion. In case you’re curious, it’s the video and the making-of video for Turn Down for What (by DJ Snake & Lil Jon). Much more interesting and funny than you’d expect.

http://www.metafilter.com/173160/Our-moms-werent-happy

Categories
Wrist shots

Start with a Seiko

Wrist shots and watches will feature large here. Yasss.

Categories
Site news

Back to blogging

So for years, I had a self-hosted blog, running WordPress on my Debian server at home. I still have a family-only blog running that way, but my fnord.phfactor.net was, frankly, a pain to keep running. Comment spam, exploits, maintenance, etc. I tried static sites and discovered that desktop-only authoring was a blocker.

So I’ve been quiet for a few years, with notable exceptions that I’m now also tired of maintaining. I do, however, quite like to write and share, so today I bit the bullet and paid for a personal plan here on WordPress, plus a paid theme. Let’s see how this goes; the total out of pocket for the first year was $48 for the WP and $45 for the theme; enough that it should remind me to post but not enough to annoy my spouse.

So let’s see how this goes!

 

Categories
Politics Random

Urban surveillance in San Diego

I am beta-testing an iOS app that shows ADS-B flight data, and yesterday this showed up:

That is not normal. I did a search for ‘N812FS’ and found this:

The story explains that this plane, a turboprop Pilatus PC12, is owned and flown by FLIR Systems and

…air mission profiles fall into 4 different areas: demonstration, transportation, cargo and engineering. Greg says that approximately 60% of their flights fall into the demonstration category. With a maximum cruise speed of 280 kts, a range of over 1500 nm, and short-field takeoff and landing capabilities of 2650 ft and 1850 ft, respectively, they can take a sensor almost anywhere in the world for show-and-tell to potential customers.

From the product page for the FLIR Ultra 8500 we learn that it is

The world’s number one selling law enforcement thermal imager, the Ultra8500 is a compact, stabilized multi-sensor system designed for Pursuit/Patrol and Surveillance missions. This model is based on the 9″ gimbal design, configured for specific law enforcement missions.

So basically FLIR (the company, that is) is circling for hours over a few neighborhoods, capturing video and showing what it can do for potential clients, presumably the local police department. Here’s a snip from the product sheet:

I have the $320 version that attaches to your phone, and even it is surprisingly capable.

E.g. here I used it to look for leaks in a drain, which is easy if you run hot water to provide contrast:

Or insulation:

And my server closet – that Airport does run hot.

I’d guess that the airborne version could easily spot grow houses, which matters less now that California has legalized pot. More worrying to me is that fact that, due to a mild climate, many local houses were built with no wall insulation at all, thus meaning that the airborne FLIR can literally see through walls. If you add a dirt box to the plane too, it’s scary as hell.

Here’s the thing: In Kyllo v United States, the Supreme Court ruled that FLIR imaging was a search and required a warrant. What’s a company doing? Is it legal? Are they selling imagery or derived data to law enforcement for the disgrace that is ‘parallel construction’?