S-Town is live

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John despises his Alabama town and decides to do something about it. He asks a reporter to investigate the son of a wealthy family who’s allegedly been bragging that he got away with murder. But then someone else ends up dead, sparking a nasty feud, a hunt for hidden treasure, and an unearthing of the mysteries of one man’s life… More here.

First impressions are very positive.

Privacy

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Ever notice that many of these “things” we lose are bit by bit and for the best reasons? The government needs to know how much you make so that you can pay taxes. Fair enough. They also want to know how you make it. Etc. No issue with that? Me neither. How about protecting us all by making sure we don’t say anything about anything remotely dangerous in the security lineup at the airport. Like a terrorist is going to talk about the plans he has once he’s on board.

And then there’s privacy, or what we call privacy. It’s being eaten away bit by bit. Now the government wants the ability or right to tap our phones. Were they doing that 30 years ago before mobile? They had to get a warrant and show cause before being allowed to wiretap, at least legally. Now they want the right to access it all, all the time. And then there’s… Well, whatever the next thing is that is all about protecting us.

Am I being paranoid? Am I taking it too far? Each incremental loss is nothing, but taken together, and taken one by one, like a row of dominoes, and what do end up with? Too far fetched? Bob

I guess the answer is to not use a phone or the internet, or a smart TV or smart Fridge or… Yes, no easy answer.

The Frederique Constant E-Strap launched

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Frederique Constant has quietly launched its smart E-Strap, a leather watch strap with fitness tracking tech built into the buckle.

While smart straps have a history of being somewhat… horrible, the Frederique Constant may have totally changed the game. Made of top quality leather with the tech built into the svelte buckle, the E-Strap has a legitimate claim to being a smart choice for those looking for a fitness tracker… More at Wareable.

Love this idea. If it works well, it could satisfy those like me who really do love proper watches.

Working in the White House Photo Office

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My title was Assistant Director of the White House Photo Office, from February 2009 to January 2017.

On a typical day, I’d get in about 8:30 in the morning and check again the day’s schedule of events for the President and First Lady. I’d usually confer with my colleagues and assign the assignments for the day. How late I stayed each day just depended on the nature of events that were taking place.

I’d usually work a full day five or six days every week. Occasionally, it was more. On foreign trips, it could be eight or nine days straight.

My colleagues and I would rotate weeks to determine who would be on call during any given week at night/weekend. That gave us a some flexibility to predict, on a calendar, when things might get messy schedule-wise. Or who was working holidays. While random in some ways, certain patterns emerged. Like who always seemed to attend a funeral, or travel to particular states. For big events, like a State Arrival, we’d all be covering different aspects… More at PetaPixel.

Great interview.

IKEA’s more affordable smart home collection

The Trådfi smart home collection looks good. The Gateway kit (2 white LED bulbs, a gateway and a remote control) will cost £69 with a dimming bulb being £29 and a motion control bulb selling for £25. £15 will buy you the white dimming kit.

There is more as well and we can likely expect IKEA to work this into the furniture. This could be a huge boost for the smart home sector and a huge kick at the competition.