Crow, Sutro Tower

Crow, Sutro Tower

Google Pixel 6 Pro 19mm f3.5 1/280s ISO33

Photo of a crow in front of Sutro Tower at Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Crow, Sutro Tower #photo #crow #sutrotower #twinpeaks #sanfrancisco A crow in front of Sutro Tower at Twin Peaks in San Francisco, California (Photo). )

Why did San Francisco Redistrict the Pacific?

Map of San Francisco Board of Supervisor Districts including the Farallon Islands

I am enjoying this interactive map of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors Districts way too much, because it raises more questions that it answers.

List most (many? some?) San Franciscans I'm used to seeing the Supervisorial Districts on a land map of the city, maybe with a shout out to Treasure Island. In 2022 these districts were redrawn with some local drama - a few blocks moved from District 4 to District 7 and vice versa. But I saw no coverage whatsoever of the maritime impact of this process.

When you load the map you probably immediately notice the imperial reach of District 6, sweeping up to the Richmond Bridge and nudging aggressively against Oakland and Alameda. District 2 is brazen in its denial of any part of the Golden Gate to Marin County. But to appreciate the full scope you need to zoom out enough to see that District 4 encompasses the Farallon Islands and surrounding waters, making it the largest district by a pretty good margin. Although it probably also means that it contains more mice than people.

Why are the Farallon Islands in District 4? It looks like these should be a territory of District 7 (this is my district and I'm feeling envious as the Islands are straight out to sea from my house). Things get weird when you go back to the map of 2011 districts. Back then, District 4 had a tiny slice of water off of Ocean Beach, but District 1 extended north and south plugging the Golden Gate and abutting District 7's territorial waters. The Farallon Islands were still part of the city but not demarcated by the map.

So with all the drama around moving a few houses between Supervisors, how was there time for such a maritime land grab by District 4? How did District 1 lose its stranglehold on traffic into the Bay? Why was any of this changed at all? Some half hearted Googling produced no answers. If you know, please leave a comment and if I find out I'll report back.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Why did San Francisco Redistrict the Pacific? #politics #sanfrancisco The 2022 San Francisco Board of Supervisors redistricting included some unexpected maritime changes including a massive transfer of territory from District 1 to District 4. )

Send event parameters with every event and multiple tags in Google Analytics 4

gtag

There are some event parameters that are useful to send with every event. Google has a helpful guide here which even covers the case where you have multiple tags (I'm running GA4 and UA during the migration and this isn't unusual). You're supposed to call gtag set before calling config on each tag. This isn't working for me though, I see nothing coming through in the debug view.

Calling set before config works fine for user properties (my journey of discovery yesterday) but unless I was doing something stupid that I haven't seen yet no dice for event parameters. The code above uses the config method of initialization with a shared object to prevent duplicating code. This seems to work fine.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Send event parameters with every event and multiple tags in Google Analytics 4 #code #ga4 How to send common event parameters with every event in Google Analytics 4 )

User scoped custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 using gtag

A user parameter in the GA4 debug view

Given that everything in Google Analytics 4 is an event I expected user scoped custom dimensions to be a regular event parameter as well. They're not. And most of the documentation both from Google and others talks about Google Tag Manager which doesn't help if you're just using gtag. It's not that hard to implement, but figuring out all the pieces was way harder than it should be. I hope this helps the next person...

To create a user scoped custom dimension you need a user property. This is different from an event property. In gtag you need to call set on user_properties with an object containing the user properties to set like this:

If you want the user property on the hit sent with page load do this right before the config call when loading your gtag (you can do it as part of the config call if you're just setting up one tag, or as above before the config call which is helpful if using more than one tag). If you don't know the value of the user property at page load time you can also set it and then send an event.

From the client you can inspect the beacon sent to GA4 for an event, for example:

Event parameters get a prefix of ep or epn. In this case I'm using a parameter rc_score set to 0.9 which appears in the beacon as epn.rc_score=0.9. GA auto-detects numeric values and uses epn for these. The user parameter gets a up prefix and in this case is up.user_quality=low. (In this specific case I'm sending a recapture score as both a custom metric and a user scoped dimension so I can segment out high and low quality users, at least from the perspective of recapture).

More visually you can use the debug view in the configure section of GA4 (why there are settings in the reporting interface as well as the settings interface I have no idea). To use this pass { 'debug_mode':true } to your gtag config call. To confirm that you're getting user properties look for an orange icon in the timeline (see screenshot at the top of this post). There is also a helpful user properties active now box at the bottom right of this screen.

Once you have this working you still need to wire it up in GA4. Wait 24 hours... then go to Configure -> Custom definitions. Add a new custom dimension, make sure you pick user scoped and you should then be able to select the user property to use to populate the dimension.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: User scoped custom dimensions in Google Analytics 4 using gtag #code #ga4 Step by step guide for sending user scoped custom dimensions to Google Analytics 4 via gtag. )

Maybe Elon really is playing three-dimensional chess

Maybe Elon really is playing three-dimensional chess

I have learned not to trust social media posts about Donald Trump. And I certainly don't trust the opinions of Scott Adams. But now with Twiter fucking around with trust symbols on a daily basis I can't really trust that it even is Scott Adams any more. This is brilliant. We should all trust social media a lot less and Elon is (probably unintentionally) helping us to make better information choices.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Maybe Elon really is playing three-dimensional chess #etc #twitter Is Elon making the Internet better by reducing trust in social media (even if unintentionally)? )

snipcalc

snipcalc

This is a typo, but also maybe my dream application given the amount of both screen snipping and embarrassingly basic calculations that I do every day. Could be the core feature for Windows 12.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: snipcalc #etc #lazyweb My dream of an application that manages both screen shots and basic calculations. )

The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system

The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system

The BBC thinks we're in better shape going into the midterms than I thought:

"The Democrats currently control all three branches of government - but that could change after the US midterms"

Pretty sure the judiciary flipped a while back. Screen capture above as hopefully they will fix it.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: The BBC helpfully fails to explain the US political system #politics #bbc The BBC fails to understand what the three branches of the US Government are. )

Change in Presidential Vote from 2000 to 2020 by US County

Change in Presidential Vote from 2000 to 2020 by US County

This animation shows how the presidential vote in each county changed from 2000 to 2020. Every step in the animation shows the lift from 2020 with counties that voted more Republican shaded red and Democrat blue.

The blue shift towards Obama and then the Red shift towards Trump make a lot of sense. I find it really interesting how little changes between Trump and Biden.

Note that the colors represent the change in share of the vote and not an absolute measure. A country that went from 70% Republican to 60% Republican would be shaded blue due to the shift towards the Democrat vote. The vote is interpolated linearly between elections and so when you're looking at 2016 to 2020 for instance the animation shifts each county towards the votes that they will cast in 2020. Like the electorate I ignore third parties.

Data is from Harvard Dataverse. The animation and any errors introduced in its fabrication are all me.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Change in Presidential Vote from 2000 to 2020 by US County #politics #video #animation #election Animation of changes in the Presidential Vote by US County, covering Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden (2000-2020). )

Book reviews for October 2022

Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30

Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30

I've just released Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30. The last update was in... 2013... it turns out the Android ecosystem has moved on a bit since then and it wasn't even in the Play Store any more as a result. This update has a nice modern theme but is otherwise just an Android version of the classic UNIX fortune command. The database of fortunes is ancient and just running this might get you canceled / fired / etc so use with due caution. If you have this installed it will update as soon as the release is approved.

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(Published to the Fediverse as: Fortune Cookies for Android 1.30 #code #fortune #software UNIX style fortune cookies on Android (updated for Android 12) )