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Roadtrip 2012: Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, Part 1

Having skipped Further Confusion this year allows us to visit a different furry convention in the US. We are: Kayjay, Lynard and me spending a couple of days in Seattle, joined by Furvan, Tioh, Mendra and Zefiro at Rainfurrest.

Saturday, 2012-09-22: Missing Connection

I took the first tram of the day to get from my flat to the station hopped on ICE 822 to Frankfurt Airport. Lynard arrived shortly after me, followed by Kayjay. We got aboard LH402 to Newark and took off in time. The Boeing 747 was quite new, but the seat distance in cattle class got even smaller. I was able to live with the fact that my in-seat entertainment system offered only one Bollywood movie, as I refuse to watch movies on the tiny screen anyway. Everyone else hat a large collection of movies to choose from. The flight itself was calm, we landed almost on time in Newark, but it took the usual 15 minutes to get to the gate. Immigration was crowded, partly due to some technical problems with the fingerprint database. Even though we were offered to jump the line due to our short layover time, I arrived at the baggage claim three minutes after boarding of our connection started. Kayjay arrived shortly after me, but Lynard had to wait what seemed to be an eternity in Second Inspection. Not much of a problem as we missed our connection anyway. We got rebooked to the first flight to Seattle for the next day and checked in at the Best Western Newark West. At least the bar had Yuengling Lager, which made the evening acceptable.

Sunday, 2012-09-23: Seattle, At Last

After getting up at an ungodly hour we went to the airport, checked in and got aboard a United flight to Seattle. A six hour flight that required extra payment for the entertainment system (WTF?), and the cabin crew going through only twice with beverages... At least it was a mostly calm flight. We arrived in Seattle on time, got our luggage and picked up the rental car. Since we were way too early to check in we started with some shopping. Best Buy have reduced both their selection and stock even more, Fry's has a lot of empty shelves and none of what I wanted to purchase. We eventually made it to the hotel, after swearing at the GPS and the large amount of construction work in Seattle.

Root Cause Analysis

Cause: It crashed
Root Cause: The admin is an idiot

Hey <lj user=tilt_longtail>...

...have you seen this?

My flat isn't that large...

...but how do I always end up searching for hours and hours?

How to not implement GPS tracking

Google has a small tool for GPS tracking on Android phones. It shows you some stats of your hike and records a GPS track of it. Unfortunately, what it writes to the SD card (basically) is this:

New music on the shelf (7)

My latest purchases, each highly recommended:

Does my TV want to spy on me?

Yesterday, my TV asked me:

For quality and improvement purposes, your usage statistics about the TV system and remote will be sent to the Sony server. It will exclude personal and individually identifiable information. Would you like to enable this setting?

At least they are asking, but it does leave a couple of questions:
  • What exact information gets collected?
  • What does Sony consider being "personal information"?
  • How do they ensure that it is not "individually identifiable"?
  • What exactly are those "improvement purposes"?
  • Where exactly do they collect this information?
  • How well is it secured, especially with Sony's less than stellar track record in this regard?
  • How can I be sure that it's not collecting the data anyway regardless that I turned it off?
I guess the only way to answer the last question is to buy a managed network switch that lets me monitor traffic on specific ports...

Almost Like a Divorce

After being a loyal reader more than 20 years I finally canceled my subscription of the renowned weekly newspaper Die Zeit today. It's not that it has so much changed from the times Gerd Bucerius and Marion Dönhoff were in charge, or lacking distinguished authors nowadays. Granted, it is quite expensive just for the three or four articles per issue that I actually read, and only one that is really interesting to me. Sure, some authors are really annoying, but that's the whole point of this publication: start public debates. Yes, my generation is writing there now, but I know how we, as a generation, think. There is not much to learn for me. A lot of topics are repeating themselves over the years. But that's still not the reason.