1/28/13

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

Patrick Kennedy emails

Thought you might be interested to know that San F rancisco Planning Commission unanimously approved our first high rise on a 6-0  voted yesterday.  

Project is car-free, with 120 micro-apartments, and 40 suites. Half the building will be leased by California College of the Arts.

"Possibilities to add convenience, intensity and cheer in cities . . . are limitless"

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities*

Here is what the new project 1321 Mission - at 9th and Mission, 1 block from Twitter HDQ - will look like

When you have time, I'd love to show you SMARTSPACE 2.0, which is now completed at 38 Harriet.

*The Death and Life of Great American Cities is a 1961 book by writer and activist Jane Jacobs. The book is a critique of 20th century urban planning policy, which it says was responsible for the decline of many city neighborhoods in the United States.[1] Going against the common wisdom of the age, deemed a combination of the Radiant City, Garden city, and City Beautiful movements, it proposes new ideas that it says would ensure organic vibrancy in urban America.

 

END MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a recent month, we received visits from all these countries--listed in order of volume from most visits to least.

United States, China, France, Ukraine, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, Russian Federation, Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Czech Republic, Spain, Sweden, India, Moldova, Brazil, Poland, Mexico, Australia, Israel, Belgium, Finland, Philippines, Colombia, Chile, Estonia, Cyprus, Viet Nam, Peru, United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka, Saudi Arabia, Mauritius, Bulgaria, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Iran, Albania, Belarus, Lithuania, Georgia. Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Guatemala, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bahrain, Macedonia, Dominican Republic, Morocco, Trinidad and Tobago, Mongolia, Ghana, North Korea, Kenya, Palestinian Territory, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Saint Lucia, Luxembourg, Malta, Costa Rica, Iceland, Syria, Brunei Darussalam, Botswana, Uruguay, Jamaica, Oman, Barbados, Honduras, Rwanda

Notice that after the United States, most visits came from China. Note also that we had visits from over half the counties of the world.

 

 

 

 

"FBI is increasing pressure on suspects in Stuxnet inquiry" Peter Finn, washingtonpost.com.

"Federal investigators looking into disclosures of classified information about a cyberoperation that targeted Iran's nuclear program have increased pressure on current and former senior government officials suspected of involvement, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The inquiry, which was started by Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. last June, is examining leaks about a computer virus developed jointly by the United States and Israel that damaged nuclear centrifuges at Iran's primary uranium enrichment plant. The U.S. code name for the operation was Olympic Games, but the wider world knew the mysterious computer worm as Stuxnet."

 

 

 

"US 'launched Flame cyber attack on Sarkozy's office" reports BBC News, 11/21/12.

"A French news magazine has accused the US government of hacking into the office of Nicolas Sarkozy in the final weeks of his presidency of France.

L'Express said a cyber war agency whose job it is to detect and prevent hacking had found a 'powerful worm' in the computers of the Elysee Palace.

The palace has since confirmed a big cyber attack did take place.

The US embassy in Paris 'categorically denied' the US had been involved in any cyber attack on the French government.
US Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, for her part, refused to confirm or deny the allegation, telling L'Express the US had no more important partner nor greater ally than France.

The malware the French authorities are said to have discovered is called Flame.

Hugely sophisticated, it can collect files on a machine, take screen shots, and even activate the microphone on a computer to record conversations.
According to L'Express, even the computer of Mr Sarkozy's chief of staff, Xavier Musca, was hacked.
The worm was probably introduced to the Elysee network through Facebook, L'Express says." 

 

 

 

 

"Asia has fastest internet, launches most cyber-attacks" by Neil McAllister, theregister.co.uk.

"Not only is Asia home to the world's fastest internet connections, but it's also the source of the most internet attack traffic, according to new data from content delivery provider Akamai.

The latest edition of the company's quarterly 'State of the Internet' report once again crowns Hong Kong as home of the fastest broadband available. During the third quarter of 2012, the Chinese special administrative region boasted an average peak connection rate of a head-spinning 54.1Mbps.

Onetime leader South Korea came in second with an average peak connection rate of 48.8Mbps. By way of comparison, you'd be hard pressed to find anything similar in the US or UK, where peak connection speeds averaged 29.6Mbps and 28.1Mbps during the quarter, respectively.

It's easy to get fast broadband in Asia, too. South Korean internet users enjoyed an overall average connection speed of 14.7Mbps during the third quarter of 2012, while Japan's national average was 10.5Mbps and Hong Kong's was 9Mbps.

By comparison, the UK average was just 6.3Mbps, and connections averaged 7.2Mbps across the entire US ­ although speeds there varied widely by region. Delaware offered the fastest connections in the US at 10.9Mbps, with the District of Columbia coming in second at 10.7Mbps, and New Hampshire and Vermont tied for third at 10.4Mbps.

Those rates are hardly the norm, however. In South Korea, 52 per cent of internet users have access to broadband speeds faster than 10Mbps. Only 18 per cent of Americans can make the same claim, and a mere 11 per cent of Britons can.

In general, Asian countries led the pack in all of the broadband performance metrics Akamai studied, with South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong all showing strong results.

But Asia came out tops in another, less laudable statistic, too. It was also the source of more traffic from DDoS attacks, botnets, and other cyber-nuisances than any other region, with China being the main culprit."

 

 

 

 

"Web War II: What a future cyberwar will look like" by Michael Gallagher, BBC World Service, 4/30/12.

"How might the blitzkrieg of the future arrive? By air strike? An invading army? In a terrorist's suitcase? In fact it could be coming down the line to a computer near you.

Operation Locked Shields, an international military exercise held last month, was not exactly your usual game of soldiers. It involves no loud bangs or bullets, no tanks, aircraft or camouflage face-paint. Its troops rarely even left their control room, deep within a high security military base in Estonia.

These people represent a new kind of combatant - the cyber warrior.

One team of IT specialists taking part in Locked Shields, were detailed to attack nine other teams, located all over Europe. At their terminals in the Nato Co-operative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence, they cooked up viruses, worms, Trojan Horses and other internet attacks, to hijack and extract data from the computers of their pretend enemies.

The idea was to learn valuable lessons in how to forestall such attacks on military and commercial networks. The cyber threat is one that the Western alliance is taking seriously.

It's no coincidence that Nato established its defence centre in Estonia. In 2007, the country's banking, media and government websites were bombarded with Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks over a three week period, in what's since become known as Web War I. The culprits are thought to have been pro-Russian hacktivists, angered by the removal of a Soviet-era statue from the centre of the capital, Tallinn."



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1/29/13

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

S.F Jazz Center

is now open

 

 

"Movies now playing in Berkeley" at movieclock.com.

 

 

 

"Students campaign for fossil fuel divestment" Andrea Guzman at dailycal.org.

"UC Berkeley students are calling for the university to divest from fossil fuel companies as part of a nationwide environmental campaign to stop climate change.
Environmental student groups have partnered with organizations such as 350.org in asking the campus administration to freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies and to divest within five years from direct ownership of funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds."

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aw jeez, "Nazi Goebbels' Step-Grandchildren Are Hidden Billionaires" David de Jong at bloomberg.com.

link courtesy Bob Kubik

"In the spring of 1945, Harald Quandt, a 23-year-old officer in the German Luftwaffe, was being held as a prisoner of war by Allied forces in the Libyan port city of Benghazi when he received a farewell letter from his mother, Magda Goebbels -- the wife of Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

The hand-written note confirmed the devastating news he had heard weeks earlier: His mother had committed suicide with her husband on May 1, after slipping their six children cyanide capsules in Adolf Hitler's underground bunker in Berlin.

'My dear son! By now we've been in the Fuehrerbunker for six days already, Daddy, your six little siblings and I, to give our national socialistic lives the only possible, honorable ending,' she wrote. 'Harald, dear son, I want to give you what I learned in life: Be loyal! Loyal to yourself, loyal to the people and loyal to your country!'

Quandt was released from captivity in 1947. Seven years later, he and his half-brother Herbert -- Harald was the only remaining child from Magda Goebbels' first marriage -- would inherit the industrial empire built by their father, Guenther Quandt, which had produced Mauser firearms and anti-aircraft missiles for the Third Reich's war machine. Among their most valuable assets at the time was a stake in car manufacturer Daimler AG. (DAI) They bought a part of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) a few years later.

While the half-brothers passed away decades ago, their legacy has endured. "

 

 

 

"Poor sleep in old age prevents the brain from storing memories" by Yasmin Anwar, Media Relations UC Berkeley.

"The connection between poor sleep, memory loss and brain deterioration as we grow older has been elusive.  But for the first time, scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a link between these hallmark maladies of old age. Their discovery opens the door to boosting the quality of sleep in elderly people to improve memory."

 

"What was i just. . . ?"

 

END MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

POST FROM THE PAST

2/1/12

Judi Quan emails

astronaut Douglas Wheelock photo

Greek islands on a clear night---Athens shines brightly along the Mediterranean Sea

 

END POST FROM THE PAST

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Pentagon to boost cybersecurity force" Ellen Nakashima, washingtonpost.com.

"The Pentagon has approved a major expansion of its cybersecurity force over the next several years, increasing its size more than fivefold to bolster the nation's ability to defend critical computer systems and conduct offensive computer operations against foreign adversaries, according to U.S. officials.

The move, requested by the head of the Defense Department's Cyber Command, is part of an effort to turn an organization that has focused largely on defensive measures into the equivalent of an Internet-era fighting force. The command, made up of about 900 personnel, will expand to include 4,900 troops and civilians."

 

 

 

"U.S. Rep. Peter Welch on Amgen's Sweet Senate Deal" is a video conversation with Bill Moyers.

"A recent article in The New York Times reported on a cost-control exception provided to Amgen, the world's largest biotechnology firm. According to the report, the sweetheart deal - hidden in the Senate's final "fiscal cliff" bill - will cost taxpayers half a billion dollars. Bill talks to U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) about the bi-partisan bill he recently sponsored to repeal that giveaway, and the political factors that allow such crony capitalism to occur.

'When there is this back room dealing that comes at enormous expense to taxpayers and enormous benefit to a private, well-connected, for-profit company, we've got to call it out,' Welch tells Bill. 'Those members of Congress who are concerned about the institution, about our lack of credibility, about the necessity of us doing things that are in the public good as opposed to private gain, we've got to call it out.' 

 

 

 

 

"Costa Concordia: Salvaging a shipwreck" with Lesley Stahl in a CBS 60 Minutes video report.

link courtesy Cliff Miller

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/30/13

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

Not about the Marin traffic circle but about our west Berkeley roundabouts*

In west-Berkeley, when traffic roundabouts first appeared, one of the more enterprising dealers observed that now he could sell from the middle of the street, traffic coming from all four directions. Never happened by the way. Something about a Berkeley PD reluctance.

*A roundabout is a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic is slowed and flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island to several exits onto the various intersecting roads.In a modern roundabout, entering traffic must always yield to traffic already in the circle, and roundabouts have additional restrictions on the junction layout to give high safety.

 

 

 

 

A regular reader sent me these stories about finding a "buried" vintage car in England and then "perfectly" restoring it .

"Rare 84-year-old 'race car' found buried under shed wins award after painstaking rebuild" at dailymail.co.uk and

"1929 MG 14/40 Mk IV wins award" at motorauthority.com.

 

Which brings to mind the vintage car "buried" right here in Potter Creek. A early 1954 Austin Healey BN1 roadster has been here for decades. Virtually complete and with enough spare-parts to maybe build a second car. Probably worth writing about.

 

 

 

 

 

The television media have given a good deal of coverage to the French invasion of Mali, most stories showing French regular troops disembarking from transport aircraft. But in one of these network news programs I saw for an instant a close up of a French soldier's shoulder-patch. All that could be seen below the partial Tricolour was "rangere." This, the last part of "legion etrangere" or Foreign Legion.

A old friend of mine, an ex French Army parachutist now a US citizen, said that French armed forces including the Legion have long trained in Djibouti ,* a country at the horn of Africa, and said also that US forces are now there.

*The French Territory of the Afars and the Issas became Djibouti in 1977. Hassan Gouled APTIDON installed an authoritarian one-party state and proceeded to serve as president until 1999. Unrest among the Afars minority during the 1990s led to a civil war that ended in 2001 following the conclusion of a peace accord between Afar rebels and the Issa-dominated government. Djibouti's first multi-party presidential elections in 1999 resulted in the election of Ismail Omar GUELLEH. Djibouti occupies a very strategic geographic location at the mouth of the Red Sea and serves as an important transshipment location for goods entering and leaving the east African highlands. The present leadership favors close ties to France, which maintains a significant military presence in the country, but has also developed increasingly stronger ties with the United States in recent years. Djibouti currently hosts the only United States military base in sub-Saharan Africa and is a front-line state in the global war on terrorism.

 

 

 

 

The OrderAhead Berkeley app is here. "OrderAhead is the most convenient and elegant way to order from great local restaurants. Simply order and pay from your iPhone so that your food is ready when you arrive."

 

our Cameron Woo emails

Hello Ron,

There's a new restaurant in the 'hood, sort of across from the Post Office and down a ways towards University Ave. It's only been open a few weeks, but shows promise. More of a fusion approach to Vietnamese staples like pho (noodle soup), chicken salad, spring rolls and grilled meats over rice. They have a daily "Pho 20" special ... from 4:20­5:00 pm each day, they offer a medium sized bowl of pho for just $4.20. Gimmicks aside, it's worth checking out.The people who run it are very nice. yelp café-v-berkeley here.

Cameron

Cameron Woo, Publisher, The Bark 

 

 

 

"Berkeley moves to save downtown Post Office" Peggy Reskin at examiner.com.

"City of Berkeley will host a meeting to save the Main Post Office in downtown Berkeley January 29th at 6:45 at 2133 Shattuck. The effort to save the historic landmark and services of the downtown post office has taken form not only to save the site, but to remind people that the mail is the last free communication service that goes to every house in the City."

 

 

 

 

"Berkeley Symphony unveils a world premiere and hosts renowned cellist Lynn Harrell" Cheryl North, correspondent, mercurynews.com."

You have to love the wit and relevance of the descriptive motto Berkeley Symphony used to begin its 2013 season: 'Defiantly Original!' I can't think of a more pithy phrase to fit this plucky, mind-expanding ensemble."

 

 

END MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"U.S. Weighs Base for Spy Drones in North Africa" Eric Schmitt, nytimes.com.

"The United States military is preparing to establish a drone base in northwest Africa so that it can increase surveillance missions on the local affiliate of Al Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups that American and other Western officials say pose a growing menace to the region.

For now, officials say they envision flying only unarmed surveillance drones from the base, though they have not ruled out conducting missile strikes at some point if the threat worsens. "       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/31/13

MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

Sam Jordan's

has long been a favored SF Bayview bar. Now it's a historic landmark.

abclocal Channel 7 reports

 "It's easy to pass Sam Jordan's on Third Street without noticing it, but the bar has been a vibrant spot in the Bayview community for decades. 'Sam Jordan originally wanted a place where African-American people come, feel welcome, and be at home,' customer Barbara Duty said.

Back in the day, it was called Sam Jordan's Personality Club because the owner was larger than life. He was a longshoreman, a Golden Gloves boxing champ, and an entrepreneur who opened his nightclub in 1959. 'Artists like Sammy Davis Jr. and artists of that era would come to San Francisco. They' d hang out downtown, but they wanted to come here and really lounge,' said Sam Jordan's granddaughter Shannon Lacy. "

 

 

 

Early last year, I broke the story of Potter Creek's new sour beer brewery. Here now is the sf.eater.com version "Meet The Rare Barrel, Berkeley's Newest Brewery."

And, . . . new gas lines are now being put in to the adjacent building, the 2600 8th Street warehouse.

 

 

 

"Berkeley Lab Featured in Cool Pavement Technologies Video" at berkeleylab.com.

"On sweltering days you can fry an egg on them. But, now, Berkeley Lab and UC Davis researchers are testing surfaces designed to make them cooler and safer. The video features Ben Mandel of the EETD's Heat Island Group."

 

 

 

 

Aw jeez, "Man stabs two people inside home, then sets house on fire" Doug Oakley and Kristin J. Bender, Oakand Tribune.

"A man was arrested Tuesday after police said he stabbed two people in a south Berkeley home, then set the house on fire after police arrived."

 

 

"UC Berkeley police create special unit to patrol area near campus" Steven E.F. Brown at bizjournals.com.

 

 

The first 2013 Berkeley PD Newsletter can be viewed and/or downloaded at the BPD site.

 

END MISCELLANEOUS RAMBLINGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autoweek has picked their twelve favorite videos of 2012.

Of those, my favoite is the story of the creation of the Bugatti 64. A fantasy car, really, of collector Peter Mullin. Also worth watching is Concours d'Lemons.

 

 

 

 

"How Harley-Davidson explains the U.S. economy" by Neil Irwin at washingtonpost.com.

"Harley-Davidson is more than just an iconic American brand. It is also a surprisingly good reflection of the forces shaping the U.S. economy as a whole. The motorcycle company reported its fourth quarter earnings Tuesday, and the details show a firm that is as typically American as the roaring sound of a hog on the highway.

Here are the five ways the company's financial results explain the forces shaping the U.S. economy.

Coming back-but not all the way. Harley-Davidson shipped 247,625 motorcycles in 2012, up 6.2 percent from 2011 (that's an extra 14,508 motorcycles shipped out the door). The company forecasts a similar gain in 2013. That is up handily from the recent past; the company shipped only 223,023 motorcycles in 2009, as the steep global downturn meant consumers were in no shape to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a motorcycle. But while the gains since then have been decent, it's worth remembering that Harley-and the U.S. economy as a whole, isn't anywhere near back to its potential. In 2006, the company shipped a whopping 349,196 motorcycles. In other words, it would take much stronger growth for Harley-Davidson's production to return to the track it was on before the recession. The same is true of the U.S. economy as a whole; economic output in 2012 was something close to $1 trillion below the level that the Congressional Budget Office estimates is the U.S. economy's potential. The missing motorcycles are part of that 'output gap.' "

 

 

 


"It's time to revive a British financial innovation from the 18th century: perpetual bonds" Matthew Yglesias at slate.com.

link courtesy bob Kubik

"Britain and France were the superpowers of the 18th century, clashing repeatedly over the succession to the Spanish and Austrian thrones, overseas colonies, and eventually American independence. Britain's most famous advantage in these struggles was its naval strength, but another important edge was its more sophisticated financial system. Advanced finance allowed the country to maximize the quantity of resources it was able to bring to bear during the acute crisis of war without crushing the underlying sources of economic growth through excessive taxation. Modern-day finance, of course, is generally much more sophisticated than even the cutting edge of the 18th century. But our former colonial masters did have one good idea that's since been abandoned and deserves revival: perpetual bonds."

 

 

 

February 2013 here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/24/13--4:32 PM---irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache, overirdes 3 HEPA filters.

1/25/13--2:12 PM---irritant in front room and in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache.

1/26/13--8:38 AM--irritant in front room, dry burning air, mucus membrane irritation, Marsha has headache. Similatr off=and=on all day , with irritant over riding 3 HEPA filters and with respitrator use. 7:41 PM--irritant in front room with acrid odor of "hot metal," wear respirator. 7:49 PM--similar IMMEDIATELY in front of warehouse.

1/27/13--9:21 AM---irritant in front room and in warehouse front and immediately in front of warehouse, dry acrid air, mucus membrane irritation, nausea, Marsha similar with headache. 11:45 PM--irritant in front room with acrid odor of "hot metal." Similar, off-and-on all PM.

1/30/13--10:28 AM--irritant and burning gas odor in front room, mucus membrane irritation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

eternally useful links

 

You can find more information about our current weather conditions than is good for you at www.wunderground.com

Want to see weather coming in, going out, beautiful sunsets, and much, much more? Check out http://sv.berkeley.edu/view/ This very hip site was in an email from reader and contributor, Tony Almeida. Read Tony's Jimi Hendrix story on the only page that routinely gets more hits than Scrambled Eggs.

 

 

Richmond Ramblers' motorcycle club member, Cliff Miller emails a very

useful link

If you ever need to get a human being on the phone at a credit card company or bank, etc., this site tells you how to defeat their automated system and get you to a human being within a few seconds.

http://gethuman.com/

 

 

Best gas prices in 94710, as well as all of US and Canada, are here at gasbuddy.com

Kimar finds Costco routinely has the lowest price.

 

 

Bay Area home prices from sfgate.com

Bay Area foreclosures from sfgate.com


 

Our City Council update is here.

Our Planning Commision update is here

 

 

 

Our City of Berkeley Boards and Commissions page is here--redone and friendly.

 

 

All reports of crime-in-progress should first go to Berkeley PD dispatch--911 or non-emergency, 981-5900. THEN make sure you notify EACH of these City people.

The contacts are below:

Our Area Coordinator, Berkeley PD - 981-5774.

Ryan Lau, aid to Darryl Moore - 981-7120 rlau@ci.berkeley.ca.us

Darryl Moore, City Councilman dmoore@ci.berkeley.ca.us

AND check out BPD feature "Who are these Suspects."

 

 

 

 

ronpenndorf@earthlink.net

The original owner of all posted material retains copyright. The material is used only to illustrate.