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Michael Smith
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Send in the Clones

"Copywatch?" Rolex, Gucci, and Chanel have been copied for years. Huawei once made Cisco clones that even had the same CIOS bugs. Now, we have the Internet of Fakes, all types of electronics that may be knock-offs. Not a surprise, but I was surprised by the use of DNA to thwart it.


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Home, Sweet Home

Those of who who are thinking about that 9,011 sqft mansion on over half an acre in Omaha for $1,799,000, here is a 950 sqft 'tear down' home on 7,500 sqft lot, which just sold for $2.550,000 in Palo Alto. Correct, the Omaha house is 1,500 sqft larger than this home's lot.

BTW, the Omaha house is on a golf course at 2125 South 189th Circle, Omaha. Check Zillow.

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When Your Neighbors Are Robots

This little fella works just down the street and around the corner. Some allegedly drunken luddite decided to try 'outhouse tipping' on this defenseless machine. Of course, everything was captured on camera because that is what they do.

Will there be Robot Rights protests in Silicon Valley? There will be if someone programs them.

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Worm Your Way Out of Plastics

Polyethylene, (C2H4)n, is a great, one of the most widely used plastics from grocery bags to bulletproof vests. The problem is that polyethylene is hard to recycle and does not break down naturally, until now.

The good news is that these little insects can eat it. The bad news is that it will take an enormous number of them to do the job.

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Some Things Are More Important Than Profit

Stock price

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Faces of the Republican Party

Maybe men's hats will come back in fashion, reversing a Democratic trend started by President Kennedy. Not sure what kind of headgear the President is wearing.

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Over the Hill

30 years and counting, the longevity of this show says a lot about America's preferences.

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Progress

Photography is not what is used to be. Long ago, film was only about 8"x10", cameras had to be on tripods, and subjects had to hold still. Developing pictures was a chemistry lesson. And the go to tool was 'airbrushing' before 'photoshopping' was ever a term. 150 years later, film reached its limit as digital sensors matched the quality of 35mm and lenses became the gating factor.

Today, you can by an incredibly good digital camera for the price of an iPhone that provides images of incredible color depth and detail. If you are rich, you can invest in professional gear that rivals many film cameras, even some 8"x10" view cameras that are constrained by their optics rather than their film. However, it all may be a waste of money.

Offset printing yields about 1200 lines per inch of resolution and 24-bit color quality. For an 8"x10" magazine cover, that is about the equivalent of a Sony Alpha 7R II with a prime lens' raw image converted to the printing profile (offset loses resolution in printing). However, most magazine covers are not about the greatest image resolution; they are all about content.

As this article points out, it was easier to capture the moment with an unobtrusive phone than a professional studio setup. This is not an infection point; rather it is a buoy bobbing in a sea change. Stand alone digital cameras are going the way of the 8"x10" view camera. BTW, people still use the 8"x10" view camera, which cannot be beat for certain portrait and landscape work. However, those tiny numbers are dwindling, as are digital camera sales.

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Product Placements

It has always been a hallmark of marketing to get a good product placement. Such an association lends credibility from the afterglow of those favorable places, people, and events. Once, not long ago, it was mandatory to avoid bad associations. One famous one was Ayds Diet Candy, which was destroyed by the AIDS homonym association. Some, who thought that touting candy as a diet aid was like having a host bar at an AA meeting, found some justice in Ayds' demise. Oh no, once again I digress.

Today, that 'favorable placement' marketing axiom is not requisite. Part of this change may be due to our President, whose 'pussy grabbing' and "stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody" campaigning drew large support and an election victory. Or, it may be just an expansion of "any publicity that spells your name right is good publicity."

We had the Facebook/McDonald's killer (below) and, more recently, the Motel 6 killer. In 1984, McDonald's tore down a restaurant in San Diego after a terrible shooting. They may install a plaque at the one in Harborcreek. Expect Motel 6 room rates to rise in Fresno, too.


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Just the Facts

According to Mark Twain, there are three kinds of lies - lies, damn lies, and statistics. Steve Blamer, uh, Balmer was famous for telling us the great truth, "These evaluations are ridiculous!" just before the bubble burst in 2001. He also said that Vista would be great. Steve has a new website of government truth, which is another oxymoron. It goes with his NBA basketball team, the Clippers.
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