Month: May 2017

Google’s Nik Collection: RIP

If you go to the landing page for Google’s Nik Collection, it now has a banner announcing that development of the tools has ceased. They’re still available and still work, but if and when they break on some future update to Lightroom or the operating system, that’s it. That they did this should surprise nobody. The writing’s been on the wall almost since Google bought the company that published Nik back in 2012, their primary interest being an IOS app that had capabilities now built into Google Photos. I used to be a huge fan and user of the...

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NHL Playoffs 2017: Stanley Cup Final prediction

Two teams left. Seven games maximum. Everything since October has led to this. Nashville is in the finals for the first time. Pittsburgh is attempting to repeat as winner, which hasn’t happened in 20 years. Both are great teams. Both are full of great stories. This playoffs season has been full of both, with lots of great hockey. Many years when we hit this point I’m ready for the winner to be crowned and give the sport a break. Not this year. it’s been so much fun getting to this point I’m not quite ready for it to end. I can get behind both teams as the one I want to back, one because they’ve been working to get to this point and finally made it, the other because they fought against the odds to repeat and a lot of injury problems along the way and made it happen anyway. So I declare both teams winners in their way, because they are. But I need to make a choice, and I’ve been thinking about it and this is a tough one. Pittsburgh has the experience and Nashville has never played games of this intensity, this finality. The new kid at any level in the playoffs is a lot more likely to falter from the pressure, but… I think we’ve all been expecting Nashville to not be up to the...

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The challenge of pervasive health monitoring

My piece on Apple’s glucose monitoring project spawned a number of interesting discussions, and that’s led me to think there’s another chapter in this story to discuss. That’s the downsides of our move into constant biometric monitoring, whether it’s the Apple Watch pulse monitor or the ability for someone to do 24×7 monitoring of our blood glucose. These things are boons for people that need access to this info, but they can become crutches and, beyond that, create problems for people who get too involved with the data. I’ve had a chance to talk about this with various medical people over the last few months. As I’ve mentioned previously, last fall we tried a change in my medications that I had a bad reaction to and ended up in the emergency room. What I haven’t talked about as much is that since that time, there’s been a gremlin in the system that we’ve been chasing, one that’s landed me in the emergency room a number of times since for reasons it’s taken some time to sort out. It’s been an interesting time. The good news is that I think we have it identified and fixed; it seems to have been tied to high blood sugar problems that started with the drug reaction. that’s why I switched to insulin a while back, because the other drugs simply weren’t controlling it...

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Apple’s rumored Glucose Monitoring Product

There have been some recent discussion about the revelation that Apple is working on a device that would monitor a person’s blood glucose. This device would be non-invasive; i.e. it wouldn’t require lancing a finger to draw blood. Jean-Louis Gassee has a nice overview of the discussion and what’s known about the project. As someone who’s been diabetic for a while, projects like this catch my attention. The first thing to realize about it is this: it’s not the first time someone’s tried to do this, not by a long shot. I can think or three or four in...

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Nesting Bald Eagles in the Bay Area

Much to pretty much everyone’s surprise, a pair of bald eagles decided to nest in a tree in the front of an elementary school in Milpitas. This is unusual for a few reasons, because this species usually nests near water and they are generally not terribly happy at close interactions with humanity. The bald eagles that nested near Calaveras reservoir would start freaking if someone came within 80 yards of the nest, and here we have a pair that’s joined suburbia. In most places eagles are primarily fish eaters, which is why they like nesting near water. Here in...

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