Pulling the plug on Facebook and Twitter, Tweet Archive

A year ago I uninstalled Facebook and Twitter from my phone in an effort to slim down my social media fake news diet. The idea was I'd occasionally check in from my laptop. Which I didn't. So this week I've finally taken the plunge and deleted both accounts. Or rather, deactivated, you have to wait 30 days before they actually delete anything. I also nuked Quora, because of the hack rather than any particular tendency to undermine the foundations of democracy.

This leaves me with a potential problem. As a person with a rapidly decreasing social media footprint I might be asked to host the Oscars. It would be nice to be tapped, but I really don't want to and so I've published a complete archive of all my tweets. I'm pretty sure some of them would be disqualifying. Whew.

Draw the rest of the Hummingbird

Generation three thousand of a genetic algorithm learning to draw a hummingbird

A genetic algorithm learns to draw a hummingbird:

The video is an animation of three thousand generations of evolution. It starts with a random mix of line segments which are then mutated by adding or removing lines and by changing the start, end and color of existing lines. Each generation has 32 individuals. The best individual is mutated to create the next generation.

For this implementation the best or fittest individual is the one with the least error on a pixel by pixel comparison to a stock art drawing of a hummingbird. Because I care more about the shape than completely filling in the drawing an error outside the figure is penalized three times more than a gap inside the figure.

Color is mutated each generation but not selected for, so it's just changing randomly.

What can I do for Brown?

For the service of telling UPS that I'm not in today and so they can save a whole bunch of time and money by not failing to deliver a package they want to charge me $5? This is UPS My Choice.

etc, ups

How does the Nest Learning Thermostat work?

Nest learning thermostat, learning

Not only does it know when you're home but the Nest Learning Thermostat also knows when you're nearby. Here's how it works.

You crank up the heat to 70 and walk away. Nest then immediately returns to 62 degrees.

Thinking there must be something screwy with the algorithm you turn it back up to 70. Nest knows that it's in trouble so it displays a comforting message like 'Heat set until 10pm', waits for you to leave and then sets the temperature back to 62 degrees.

Giving up on the learning part you use the app to manually program it to keep the heat on. Nest now uses its WiFi connection to phone the gas company and disconnect your service.

Privacy Policy Update and Comment Notifications

The ITHCWY privacy policy has been updated to reflect changes in the blog comment system. Previously email addresses submitted with comments were only used to display a Gravatar. Starting today they will also be used for notifications and newsletter signup.

The first notification is when a comment is approved. You'll always be notified in this case if you enter an email address.

When you leave a comment you can opt in to receiving notifications when another comment is added to the same post.

Finally, you can also subscribe to the monthly newsletter when leaving a comment.

Painted Lady Butterflies Eclosing

Updated on Friday, January 5, 2018

Butterfly ecloses from chrysalis

Four Painted Lady butterflies eclose (emerge) from their chrysalises. The video has a timelapse and then realtime video of each butterfly in turn.

Subscribe via Messenger

Updated on Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Thanks to revoice.me you can now subscribe to I Thought He Came With You on Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack and/or Chrome Notifications. To sign up visit ITHCWY on revoice.me.

Die PDF Die

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC needs a reboot after updating

If I need to reboot to view a PDF then you must be doing something very badly wrong Adobe.

Backyard Visits

A spider glows in infrared

I have a Nest camera in my backyard. So far it has caught zero criminals. It's not completely useless though as it has captured many raccoons, several skunks, eerie spiders glowing in the infrared lights, a couple of rats and one cat. Parkside police say I can stop calling now.

San Francisco Street Tree Datalapse

San Francisco Street Tree Datalapse

A datalapse video of San Francisco street trees:

City elevation contours and street tree database  from DataSF. I included all trees with a latitude, longitude and known planting date. On the visualization trees grow over 25 years to a generally exaggerated 25 meters radius. Each species of tree is assigned a random color.