Thursday, May 31, 2018

I've finally got something new for you.

This is Fords concept for 360 degree cameras. Lidar rigs by the minors. Spinney ones.

Those holes are cameras.

From the side.

From the back.

This is the desperate followers concept. Every since I saw the Chinese call them  that - it's the only thing I can think of when I see them. I mean, I already had them on death watch. But companies can malinger on for decades. Just ask IBM.

One forward facing lidar which I assume is solid state. (doesn't spin) I also assume is from Moble Eye because they are hanging onto the company like a life raft. I mean - every other company in Silicon Valley already has a branded car. This is a lot of years into this now to finally show up with a branded car.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Who the hell is giving these people money?!

"Bird, the electric scooter company that first launched in Los Angeles, is reportedly raising $150 million in new financing led by Sequoia Capital, according to Bloomberg. The round would value the company at $1 billion. Bird declined to comment for this story." Source.

When I heard they had gotten round B funding I just couldn't believe it. How is it they don't know what is happening to their product in San Fransisco? I don't understand at all how anyone thinks this company can pull a profit. When you've lost San Fransisco....your company is messed up. SF is openly hostile about these things.

"For weeks, I'd been seeing trashed electric scooters on the streets of San Francisco. So I asked a group of friends if any of them had seen people vandalizing the dockless vehicles since they were scattered across the city a couple of months ago.

The answer was an emphatic "yes."

One friend saw a guy walking down the street kicking over every scooter he came across. Another saw a rider pull up to a curb as the handlebars and headset became fully detached. My friend figures someone had messed with the screws or cabling so the scooter would come apart on purpose.

A scroll through Reddit, Instagram and Twitter showed me photos of scooters -- owned by Bird, Lime and Spin -- smeared in feces, hanging from trees, hefted into trashcans and tossed into the San Francisco Bay." Source.

Also note - they have gig workers now running around rescuing stranded scooters.

My universal re-set.

By the third day I was falling in love with this town. It was so small we'd literally eaten at every restaurant they had. And the town had it's own sound-track. Every radio station seemed to be tuned to a 70's channel where they played songs like Can we still be Friends, I'm not in Love, and Angie. And it was at that point that I realized that whatever small town I moved to needed it's own soundtrack.

The place was really like stepping back in time. Take life and turn it down by 75%, and this was that town.

They got their boats into the ocean with a railroad track.

I thought their beaches were just okay. It was much sandier than I expected considering how far North I was. The ocean was kinda thick. Also it was the first beach I'd seen in a long time that didn't have any beach art to speak of. No stacked rocks. But just being at the beach is a good thing.

Fern Canyon.

We decided to take a day trip out to Fern Canyon where parts of Jurasic Park 2 were shot. I'm glad we went early in the year because that place was packed. It's almost comical. It's about a mile path with ferns on the steep canyon sides. You have to crawl over larger and larger trees fallen trees. As we were leaving a girl was walking in, in a dress. At the time I thought it was weird, but later I realized her genius. With a dress you can just walk the river, and not climb over all the trees.

Since the river trail was full of people and babies we decided to go up the mountain trail. I wanted to make it further, but once you started getting any elevation you could audibly hear the mosquitos and that is when I tapped out. I've watched Naked and Afraid. It's not the lions or tigers that take you out. It's the mosquitos. And I really have an oversized reaction to them. It was the only time I brought a tub of cortisone on vacation. Mr S. was fairly frustrated with me because I wouldn't use bug spray opting for a pound of cure over a pound of prevention.

These mushrooms were seeping water.

Before you get into the park there is a field that used to be a dairy farm where they planted delicious non native grass that the elk apparently love.

Just trying to fix my mind.

The Bay Area is a pretty stressful place to live. It feels like people are always pushing on you, or trying to herd you in one direction or another. Amazing things happen here, but half of it is just an illusion. Sometimes it all just gets really overwhelming. It's a super bi-polar place.

So, Mr S. and I decided to rent an Airbnb cabin in a small very Northern California town. Normally when I leave my area I'm going to place that is bigger than the place I live. The sort of place that by them time you leave - you feel like you can't wait to get back to Silicon Valley to decompress. Like Las Vegas. This time however I chose the smallest town I could find. The population was somewhere under 500 people.

I've pretty much always lived in a city. But even the one time I did live in a small town in Texas, the population was around 10,000. So I wasn't sure exactly what I would find and how my mind would cope with small town living, however temporary.

Day one, your brain is fighting to disconnect from the world. The airbnb didn't even have a TV or clock in the bedroom. When Mr S. and I roll into a town we squeeze everything we can out of it. So when we get back to the place we are staying, we just want to lay in bed and eat and drink and watch the local channels on TV. I thought I would hate being so disconnected to the world, but I didn't.

Day one, I felt like based on the Bernie stickers on the cars, I couldn't live there. We are all searching for the place that will cause us to pull the ripcord on the Bay Area, and the stickers that said Billionaires can't buy Bernie was definitely a knock against it. You figure if 10% of the cars have those stickers, the shadow Bernie people must be around 40%. And the people who think Bernie is not extreme enough are probably at least 10%.

And I went to a Bernie rally! I hated that I found them to be lovely people. Really naive people who can't do math or think about things very deeply. But lovely nevertheless. Still the stickers cause your eyes to get stuck in the upright position. Lots of people make it seem that if you just get out of the Bay Area - the rest of the State is more conservative. And I pretty much think from San Fransisco to Washington is completely torched. Most of the places we stopped were a poor mans Marin on steroids.

But by day two, the quietness started creeping in. I don't think I've ever been anywhere so quiet. The volume of the voices inside my head started to turn way down. Now I don't know if I have ADD, or Silicon Valley causes me to have ADD.

By day three I started not caring about all the Bernie dudes. We managed to get sunny weather all the days we were there except the day we drove in. That is apparently not normal. But it also contributed to me thinking I could live there. In normal weather, I'm sure that would work against the zen that the quietness gave. It's normally a very cloudy place. I thought it would rain the entire time.

It took three days for the volume inside of my head to become completely quiet. It took 4 hours for it to come back. Two of those hours were in traffic.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The things is.... Elon is kinda right.

Elon Musk bashes media in aggressive Twitter rant — and vows to set up a website to score journalists and editors.

Even though I shit on this company a bunch - those cars ARE safer than humans. I know there have been a lot of high profile accidents lately. One just this weekend in an area I am familiar with. I've sort of held back commenting on these accidents because I wanted to see if this was a small cluster, or something bigger. But those cars have logged millions and millions and million of miles now. They are absolutely safer than humans despite the accidents.

You see.. I think the rate of accidents might actually go up due to the superman syndrome. And I feel this way because I tried to order an Audi that had assisted breaking. (Well I did actually order it - it just came wrong and I wound up with my nihilist Audi. I'm a notorious speeder. YES NOTORIOUS. The first thing I said is how long before you start pushing it to find out where the boundaries are? So I think the rate of accidents could temporarily rise. That doesn't mean the cars are ay less safe. Humans are just geared to push and push the boundaries. The accident this weekend was in a notorious speeding zone.

The health of his company though? We will see what that overflow lot looks like when I get back. It was looking positively eye popping just yesterday. But.. Steve Jobs had a magical way of finding ways to raise money. For most of my career his companies were on the verge of bankruptcy. I dated a guy that worked for NeXT. So I think Telsa could last a very long time.
Honestly.....I'm not sure when I'm going to pop back up. My plan is to get very, very, lost. It's all up to the wifi gods now.

Ghost lot.

I don't know what these are, but I know they are parking Nissan Leafs there. So I guess they must be Nissans.

I'm not sure why, but when a parking lot has all the same type of car - that catches my eye. At least I have the number of the place so I can track it down on land. This is technically the approach to the bridge. It's a lot bigger than the pictures represent. It has a good wall of trees in a lot of areas.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

I think Silicon Valley is running on fumes.

There are literally no new products coming down the pike. Anything that CES had to offer would be hitting the shelves now. And unless there are people walking around with boxes around them or bitcoin mining which doesn't add anything to the economy there is basically nothing else. It's really depressing.

I saw an iPhone commercial last night in which it's best new feature was being able to take pictures of you from any angle paparazzi style. It's like people are monkeys in the zoo looking at their own reflection. I mean, remember when cell phones were a whole sector!?

It seems to me right now all funds have been diverted into completely useless shit.

I even saw someone from faraday future few days ago and they did not instill me with hope at all. I don't even know what their problem is. Just make a car and drive it around The Valley! Make it cool and people will buy it.

Today's traffic gems.

Still runs! I've been seeing the craziest cars driving around these days. There are a million accidents now because people are sick to death of the dive bombers. So they keep very little space between them and the car in front of them.

When a McLaren is your commuter car. And yes, I have a spot on my window that showed up in the frame in the second picture.

So close.

Monday, May 21, 2018

All that is left is the Facebookification of your car.

I've been going to these autonomous car conferences for a few years now. In the early years they were somewhat interesting. Now that the sector has matured.... not as much. But...that doesn't mean they are any less creepy. These people are like hyenas in regards to the future prospects of mining your car for data. They even have a term for it now. They think of your future car as a "information appliance". No foolies. That is an actual term.

They want to put all sorts of sensors inside because.... "they don't really know how you use the inside of your car". And if you think you are going to get away with not buying one of these things - good luck with that. Toyota said they have been shipping cars with DSRC's (Dedicated Short Range Commnucations)  for about two years now. They just aren't utilized. YET.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Maker Faire 2018. End.

Best use of an ROV Eva!

I've been watching how children react to robots for the better part of a decade and we might be at a tipping point.

Wants to be human.

I've seen this mech at CES and here, but I haven't seen it run yet.

Mr S. wants to turn our BBQ into THIS. I told him I'd cuta bitch.