Android / iOS interoperability still going great

Earlier today someone texted me a video from Android and it arrived as a 60x80 anim-GIF.

If you're wondering if the message actually came from a 1997 Nokia, no, I asked.

I'm used to the experience that if I ever try to send a photo or video to an Android user from DNA Lounge, they don't receive it until I'm back at home, and then they usually get 4+ copies, but this is next level.

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BART Punks

Everything about this is fantastic:

Imagine the most packed rush-hour train you've ever been on; then multiply the crowd by three, and add the deafening pulses and surges of two live punk bands, plus the swelling energy of a sold-out stadium show. People were standing on top of seats and hanging from the handrails to catch the action, some thrashing around mosh-pit style as best they could without knocking over band members. One person even briefly crowd-surfed.

"I was genuinely shocked to see how many people showed up and were interested in supporting what we're doing. I didn't expect that many people to be there to see this. And I was really inspired to see everyone smiling, singing along and just having a good time," Cody said. [...]

The train kept quaking, and the music raged on. By now, any fears I'd had of the event turning into a dangerous situation had dissipated. Despite the crowd's rowdiness, there seemed to be a shared understanding of care.

"Creating a safe space is one of the reasons I really like the hardcore scene that's happening right now in the bay. The people there are very careful about making sure everyone there feels good," said Bayden, the drummer for False Flag. "People really are there to enjoy the music and have a good time without hurting others."

"We really look out for each other," Pretty said. "We like to get in the pit and do stuff like that, but we still know what's right and what's wrong. We still know how to pick each other up."

What also stood out was the crowd's age; instead of a surly group of white dudes in their late 20s, as might be expected at a show like this, the train's passengers were mostly teenagers, of different races and genders. I later learned that this is also true of the bands themselves. The members of Surprise Privilege are all in their very early 20s, and two-thirds of False Flag are still in high school. Their shows, then, tend to act as safe spaces for young punks who might not have access to other events.

"The Bay Area is pretty small regarding venues, and there's especially not that many that are all-ages. Spaces like this provide an opportunity for everyone, no matter who you are, to come and watch. And it's just an opportunity to create a thriving arts community in the bay and show young people that, hey, this stuff exists and it's pretty cool," Cody said. [...]

The music and chaos went on for five more stops -- about six songs per band, to the surprise of the band members, who thought they'd be handcuffed before the first set started. BART police entered the train at Fruitvale Station and ordered everybody off but didn't detain or fine either band. According to the band members, the only reason the train stopped was because "someone's vape got stuck in a BART door." "If that hadn't happened, the show would've kept going," Bayden said.

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Seattle Public Schools sues TikTok, YouTube, Instagram

Lawsuit alleges that the social media giants have "successfully exploited the vulnerable brains of youth" for their own profit, using psychological tactics that have led to a mental health crisis in schools.

The district alleges that it has suffered widespread financial and operational harm from social media usage and addiction among students. The lawsuit cites factors including the resources required to provide counseling services to students in crisis, and to investigate and respond to threats made against schools and students over social media.

"This mental health crisis is no accident," the suit says. "It is the result of the Defendants' deliberate choices and affirmative actions to design and market their social media platforms to attract youth."

At more than 90 pages, the suit offers extensive citations in support of its claims, including surveys showing a 30% increase from 2009 to 2019 in the number of Seattle Public Schools students who said they felt "so sad or hopeless almost every day for two weeks or more in a row that [they] stopped doing some usual activities."

Seattle schools leader calls suit a 'first step' for students across the country:

The lawsuit has parallels to cases against Juul Labs over its marketing of e-cigarettes to youth, which led to a groundswell of litigation against the company. Seattle Public Schools filed its own suit against Juul with similarities to its case against the social media titans, likewise citing Washington state's public nuisance law.

Seattle Public Schools is seeking compensation not only for what it describes as significant resources already diverted to address the crisis, including counselors and mental health services, but also to increase its efforts in the future.

The district "needs a comprehensive, long-term plan and funding to drive a sustained reduction in the record rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and other tragic indices of the mental health crisis its youth are experiencing at Defendants' hands," the complaint says.

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"You do you" but for cholera

Civic programs can't save SF's antiquated sewers from flooding:

It's easy to see the appeal of this kind of civic action, especially when it comes with the right to give "your" storm drain cutesy names, like Lana Del Drain or Drainmond Green. The feel-good PR campaign obfuscates a grimmer reality, though. San Francisco's antiquated stormwater system is prone to flooding, particularly in low-lying areas, and specifically flooding that contains raw sewage. The problem will only get worse in the face of storms enhanced by climate change. Which makes Adopt-a-Drain the paper straw of flood management, a gesture that's as lovely as it is inadequate. [...]

Despite the existential threat, the utilities commission continues to focus much of its public messaging on the importance of individual action, rather than fast-tracking major infrastructure projects. Sweiss told SFGATE that climate change "requires everyone to do their part," suggesting that residents sign up for Adopt-a-Drain and apply for grants to help pay for "improvements on their property that help protect against flooding during heavy rainstorms." [...]

The truth is, "rain guardians" and "Drain Daddies" are band-aids on a leaking dam. It's up to our local government to take far bolder action to protect its citizens now, before it's too late -- not push convenient distractions, like naming drains.

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Bay Lights

"Bay Lights" -- the giant illuminated art installation on the Bay Bridge -- will go dark in March unless deep-pocketed philanthropists step forward.

After 10 years, the installation is a bit like San Francisco itself: a great idea with a glowing past that's worn out, broken in parts and increasingly expensive to fix. Once you notice the display's bald patches where long stretches of lights have failed, you realize that the installation needs a refresh.


If he can raise $1 million apiece from 10 wealthy people -- one has committed so far -- plus another $1 million in small donations, he intends to spearhead a new installation. It would illuminate the bridge again by Labor Day weekend with twice as many lights, and they'd be far sturdier. [...]

"Bay Lights" opened in March 2013 as a temporary sculpture, but was made permanent in 2015 -- or as permanent as equipment on a busy bridge can be. Davis acknowledged he expected the lights to last longer than they did.

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Tuesday Noon Siren Down

markasaurus: "The storm was so bad it took out the Tuesday noon siren for good."

And it happened on a Tuesday. Before noon.

The day that a city-wide flash flood warning is issued for San Francisco might be a good day to have a functional public emergency alert system, huh?

Last year I did some digging into the history and future of the sirens but was not able to find any straight answers about the multiple security vulnerabilities that allegedly led to the shutdown, or what the actual plan is for bringing the new system online.

Scroll to the bottom for the questions that an actual journalist should be demanding answers to.

Seriously, I wish someone who does this for a living would press SFDEM for answers, because the real reason we don't have a siren system any more is almost certainly some Mohammed Nuru level of corruption and coverup.

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San Francisco continues homeless sweeps, during storm, defying a federal court order

New legal filing shows how cops continue to roust the unhoused even when the city can't offer any safe and secure shelter.

Although Ryu issued an injunction barring further sweeps Dec. 21, "the city is just back to business as usual," Hadley Rood, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told me. [...]

The SFFD incident commander [...] attempted to speak to them but, when one person responded to him in Spanish, he turned away, saying, "I don't speak Mexican!" It did not appear that HOT had a Spanish-speaking worker present, so they were not able to communicate with these individuals at any point during the sweep. [...]

He said that, if people did not leave the area immediately, SFPD would begin "running names," meaning conducting warrant checks on the individuals present at the site. He also said that DPW was going to come and throw people's property away if they did not pack up quickly enough. At this point, no concrete shelter offers had been made.

The city, according to the petition, has offered a range of justifications for the continued sweeps, including the bizarre argument that when the police order people to move, those orders are voluntary and temporary:

The suggestion that forcibly waking people up, standing over them, and yelling at them to move, is not an enforcement threat, flies in the face of common sense and should be precluded. Nor is there any indication that moving is voluntary or temporary.

The problem here is that the mayor wants unhoused people out of sight and mind, and is personally calling for the sweeps. Even in the middle of a massive series of dangerous storms. Even when a federal judge says it's illegal.

The shitheels at the UC Hastings Shitheel Lawyer Factory have muddied the waters here, no doubt to the delight of Breed and SFPD, by getting a judge to order the city to get all of those unsightly homeless people away from their Tenderloin campus. So there's a 2020 order from a judge saying "get the homeless out of the Tenderloin and into shelters or hotels" and there's a 2022 order from another judge saying "you can't sweep tents unless there's somewhere for them to go". Breed and Chiu say "it is impossible for San Francisco to comply with both injunctions", so we're gonna just trash their tents without giving them shelter. Close enough?

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