Dec 10 2018
09:49 am
By: Treehouse  shortURL

The News Sentinel, in its review of the downtown Christmas parade, noted, "A man portraying Santa..."

I can only hope the children didn't read that. It was Santa!!

Possibly the most common trigger of profane language in America

But there was a time when cities were signal-free and traffic was directed by police officers — or not at all. That changed 150 years ago on Monday when the world’s first traffic light was installed in London. Towering 20 feet above the street, the gas-powered signal was placed at the busy intersection outside the Houses of Parliament.

150 years of seeing red: The traffic light marks a milestone

Dec 10 2018
07:22 am

Do you care?

From a New York Times report, in about four months of data they found a woman's location was tracked 8,600 times, on average, once every 21 minutes. The apps tracked her to work, to the doctor's office (and how long she was there), to the gym, to Weight Watchers, while walking her dog, to her ex-boyfriend's home, to name a few locations.

"At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from apps whose users enable location services to get local news and weather or other information, The Times found. Several of those businesses claim to track up to 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half those in use last year. The database reviewed by The Times — a sample of information gathered in 2017 and held by one company — reveals people’s travels in startling detail, accurate to within a few yards and in some cases updated more than 14,000 times a day."

"These companies sell, use or analyze the data to cater to advertisers, retail outlets and even hedge funds seeking insights into consumer behavior. "

“We look to understand who a person is, based on where they’ve been and where they’re going, in order to influence what they’re going to do next,” Ms. Greenstein [an executive at the location company GroundTruth] said.

“The book ‘1984,’ we’re kind of living it in a lot of ways,” said Bill Kakis, a managing partner at Tell All [Digital, a Long Island advertising firm that is a client of a location company]."

"More than 1,000 popular apps contain location-sharing code from such companies, according to 2018 data from MightySignal, a mobile analysis firm. Google’s Android system was found to have about 1,200 apps with such code, compared with about 200 on Apple’s iOS."

Are we letting too much intrusion into our private lives? All those discount/loyalty cards, Amazon's facial recognition technology, and more.

I always say no when an app requests my location. However, if I use my Android phone GPS feature it pretty much has to know my location. Also, if I do a Google search for a particular store "near me", then obviously Google has to know my location. Many times I try to do searches by city and not "near me". That's a little hard when your in a bigger city.

The New York Times has another article on "How to Stop Apps From Tracking Your Location" for both Android and iOS.

"All of us should use every breath we have to make sure the lies stop on January 20, 2021," Comey told an audience at the 92nd Street Y on New York City's Upper East Side. He all but begged Democrats to set aside their ideological differences and nominate the person best suited to defeating Trump in an election.

"I understand the Democrats have important debates now over who their candidate should be," Comey told MSNBC's Nicolle Wallace, "but they have to win. They have to win."

Comey calls on Americans to 'use every breath we have' to oust Trump in 2020

Dec 9 2018
07:17 pm

The #9 Lady Vols persevered over #12 Texas to remain undefeated.

The #7 men's team knocked off #1 Gonzaga. Schofield played lights out. Williams was big too.

A good day for Tennessee sports.

Dec 8 2018
07:07 am


Widespread precipitation will move into the area today as a strong low pressure system approaches the area. Temperatures will be cold enough across northeast Tennessee, northern Plateau, southwest Virginia, and southwest North Carolina for precipitation to begin as a mixture of rain, snow, and sleet in lower elevations, with mainly snow in the mountains. The best lift and moisture will arrive late tonight and continue through Sunday morning, with significant snow accumulations possible, especially across the far east Tennessee Mountains. Snow will begin to taper off on Monday.

Total snow accumulations of up to 15 inches expected in higher elevations, with mainly 3 to 6 inches expected in the foothills.

* WHERE...Southeast Greene, Cocke Smoky Mountains, Sevier Smoky Mountains and Blount Smoky Mountains Counties.

* WHEN...From noon today to noon EST Monday.

Dec 7 2018
04:41 pm

Dec 7 2018
04:17 pm

From Trump's new Ambassador to the United Nations:

“When you talk about Germany, we have a very strong relationship with the government of Germany,” Heather Nauert, the State Department’s spokeswoman, said in June. She added: “Tomorrow is the anniversary of the D-Day invasion. We obviously have a very long history with the government of Germany, and we have a strong relationship with the government.”

Her qualifications include being a former Fox News anchor.

Dec 7 2018
03:10 pm
By: R. Neal  shortURL

"My favorite fiction of 2018 was anything from Tesla Inc."

From David Moon's otherwise (mostly) serious book recommendations.

Dec 7 2018
07:08 am

New laws for the State of Tennessee effective January 1, 2019.

Retail grocery stores will be able to sell wine on Sundays starting January 1, 2019, between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m.

Local boards of education will have to develop a policy and implement a program to reduce potential sources of lead contamination in drinking water at public schools.

Women seeking an abortion in the state to get an ultrasound as part of their examination prior to the abortion. The person who performs the ultrasound will also need to offer the woman the "opportunity to learn the results of the ultrasound." Also, the report of abortion must indicate if a heartbeat was detected or not during the ultrasound.

Tennessee Department of Health must establish and maintain a public toll-free telephone line and web-based hotline for citizens to report potential opioid abuse or diversion.

Require public schools and public charter schools used as polling places for regular November election to be closed for instruction on election day.

Handgun permits - exempts from the firing range and classroom hours requirements to obtain a handgun carry permit anyone who in the five years preceding the date of application has successfully completed a department of correction firearms

Here is a summary of the laws enacted for January 1, 2019.

Dec 7 2018
06:56 am

California officially became the first state in the nation on Wednesday to require homes built in 2020 and later be solar powered.

The solar mandate "applies to all new residential buildings up to three stories high, including apartments. The code allows some exceptions, such as when the structures are in shady areas or when electricity rates already are lower than the cost of generating solar power."

Energy officials estimated the provisions will add $10,000 to the cost of building a single-family home, about $8,400 from adding solar and about $1,500 for making homes more energy-efficient. But those costs would be offset by lower utility bills over the 30-year lifespan of the solar panels.

It would be nice if there were some sort of tax break for installing solar panels, but alas no more. In the article there is a comment that solar panels will cost $25,000 to install, a lot more than the $8,400 estimate.

In what could signal a new era in aviation, the Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport is about to be the first airfield in the U.S. run on 100-percent solar power.

The First Solar-Powered U.S. Airport Is in City Once Called ‘Dirtiest’

Dec 6 2018
07:48 am

Nashville Scene: Maribel Wadsworth, president of USA Today Network and publisher of USA Today, told employees during a company-wide conference call Tuesday that digital revenue is not replacing declining print revenues, and some belt-tightening will be coming in the new year.

The article also said that employees who turned down a recent early retirement deal could be laid off.


Waymo is starting to let the public take rides in its self-driving vans. This is the first commercial self-driving ride service to launch publicly, according to Waymo.

For now, Waymo's definition of "the public" is a couple hundred pre-selected individuals in the Phoenix area. ..

Waymo starts giving public rides in self-driving vans

Ridingin WAYMO ONE, the Google spinoffs first self-driving taxi service

Dec 5 2018
09:13 am
By: bizgrrl  shortURL

It's been snowing lightly for 20 minutes. Small patches have accumulated. So pretty. The sun should be out shortly.

Dec 4 2018
07:07 am

The University of Tennessee Knoxville campus is having quite a few problems with residence halls.

In October, 2018, they "closed Laurel Residence Hall for the rest of the academic year because of elevated mold levels, forcing the relocation of nearly 600 students." Mold was also found in South Carrick, Reese Hall, Hess Hall, North Carrick Hall, Massey Hall, Clement Hall, Brown Hall, and Stokley Hall. According to the report, "students will not have to move out of those halls at this time."

A specialist in microbial and chemical issues reports, "Everything was perfectly safe" and ""I feel perfectly fine with students living in the halls."

Then on December 2, 2018, a pipe burst on the 7th floor of Clement Hall. They are saying the problem was caused by vandalism. Hmmmmmm. The building was without power. Seventh floor residents had to find another place to stay. "UT has released a statement saying all North Tower residents who do not live on the seventh floor may return to their rooms and stay there. However, there will not be power. Power may not be restored for a few days. Candles will not be permitted during this time."

UT has had problem maintaining buildings for quite a while. It seems in recent history they choose to tear down old building causing problems and re-build. Alas, managing a university is hard work.

Maybe they can at least start referring to him as "Individual 1."


White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Monday the Trump administration wants to end subsidies for electric cars and other items, including renewable energy sources.

White House seeks to end subsidies for electric cars, renewables

Dec 2 2018
12:03 pm

Is any part of downtown Knoxville "smoke free"?

Seems like some cities have implemented that sort of thing ...

The City of Eugene wants community members to get out and enjoy the fresh air in downtown. We’ve made a change to City code that makes the public spaces in the downtown core smoke-free. In addition, the code allows the expansion of smoke-free areas outside the downtown core.

Smoke-free Downtown - Eugene, Oregon

Manchester's Downtown Parks Will Now Be Smoke Free

Smoke-Free Ordinance - Golden, Colorado

Fort Collins readies for smoke-free downtown

Dec 2 2018
09:09 am

Most recently North Carolina, Georgia, Florida. And all the ones we have not heard of, or have not been exposed. And the Russian stuff. Voting administration in America in general seems to be a mess.

After a lengthy closed session, the bipartisan state board announced that it had instead decided, on a 7-to-2 vote, to hold an evidentiary hearing on or before Dec. 21 to explore “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities” related to absentee ballots in some rural swaths of the district, which wraps around the southern end of the state from Charlotte to east of Fayetteville.

North Carolina Election That Looked to Be Republican Victory Now in Limbo

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Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding. (Source)

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