Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nice Car Photo Database photos

Interbay Pharmacy and Red Mill Burgers (1960 and 2010)
car photo database
Image by Rob Ketcherside
This ran in shorter, more readable form on Seattlest.

This is Red Mill Burgers, in Seattle's Interbay neighborhood at 1613 West Dravus.

This store opened in 1998. The first store was a bit north in the Phinney Ridge, and opened a few years earlier.

The old photo at the Seattle Municipal Archives shows the same building in 1960, with "Interbay Pharmacy" painted on the side. Needless to say there was no Starbucks in the background.

Whenever I look at photos taken by government employees, I think "why?" More than 9 times out of 10 there was a good reason to take the photo and then subsequently archive it -- it wasn't a random photo like you or I take. Sometimes you can tell by the file that it's in, or the assession number. Other times it's the story of the building or business that clear it up. It takes a bit of digging to find that.

A quick web search shows that Interbay Pharmacy is older than 1960. Google Books has several trade magazines like a 1907 edition of "The Pharmaceutical Era" which mention Interbay Pharmacy. This first mention is worth quoting:

"W. S. Pierce, proprietor of the Interbay Pharmacy, Seattle, Wash., was blown by a gas explosion from the rear end of his store almost to the front door the other day. When he opened his store, Pierce started a fire in the gas stove, but he had no sooner applied the match to the jet than he felt himself propelled toward the door. The explosion had driven out the glass, thus making a clear path into the street."

A 1916 issue of "The Era Druggist's Directory of the United States..." lists Interbay Pharmacy, but gives a different address: 1500 Grand Boulevard. I've looked at enough engouh old plat maps of Magnolia to know that Dravus used to be known as Grand Boulevard. So the pharmacy used to be over at 15th.

But we're still missing the story here. I'm going to switch to tutorial mode to show you how I found out the "why" and at the same time learned an important part of this neighborhood's history.

When I'm dealing with a property, after a quick web search the next thing I like to do is open King County's Property Viewer or iMap to check it out. I'll cheat for you. Here's 15th and Dravus. Down in the bottom right, expand "Imagery" and choose "1936 B/W Aerial Photos". After the map refreshes, it shows that 15th Avenue used to look quite a bit different. It was just a small local road like 14th or 16th. 1500 Dravus, which would be the northwest corner, is right in the middle of the blank space. (The square are property, and long lines are roads; blank space is public property, usually streets.)

The assessor's report for 1613 Dravus, meanwhile, tells us that the Red Mill building was constructed in 1959.

The scenario is beginning to play out... a city employee photographs the new home of Interbay Pharmacy in 1960. The old home at some point became a city street.

The next step is to hit the Seattle Times archives and see what it says. These archives are one of the greatest and most frustratingly hidden secrets in local history. 1900-1923 are currently only available through a database called World Newspaper Archive, available locally through the University of Washington. From 1923-1980 are also covered in a database called America's GenealogyBank, which you can get at from home with your library card, click the link here.

I narrowed the search to newspapers, in Washington, and just for the kewords "15th widening" in 1952-1960. Result #4, 1959-06-02 page 20, is perfect:

"The city began condemnation proceedings in Superior Court... yesterday for widening 15th Avenue West form West Garfield Street to the Ballard Bridge.
"Twenty-two feet will be taken on much of the west side of the avenue. The east side will not be affected.
"A six-lane depressed roadway will go beneath Dravus Street, whish will remain at its present grade.
"Wilcox said 98 pieces of real estate are involved. He said settlements are being arranged with all but five owners."

So there's our story. Interbay Pharmacy, as well as all of the other pioneer businesses at the intersection of 15th and "Grand Boulevard" -- and all of the well-established homes on the main street between Seattle and Ballard -- were destroyed in 1959 to widen 15th to add six lanes of traffic.

It's odd that such a big deal is made about Interstate 5 and the other freeways, but no one talks about major widening projects like this. The monorail project which was supposed to be built to Ballard would have run on 15th. I remember an editorial in the Times or PI which railed that 15th was inhospitable to people, it was a car street that wasn't built for mass transit. There were so many editorials arguing that we couldn't afford to transform our city, which was built for car travel. But when you really look back, you find that our city was, of course NOT built for cars, but built for streetcars and people. We spent truckloads of money to rebuild it for cars.

Strips like 15th are still recovering from the economic hammer that was dropped.

BTW, Red Mill has great burgers. Get some onion rings while you're at it! There's bus service on 15th if you can afford the time and money.

No, I'm not a terrorist
car photo database
Image by Loozrboy
The Bluewater Bridge between Sarnia ON and Port Huron MI. This isn't the greatest photo -- I was trying to make do without a tripod -- but it does come with a long, semi-mundane story.

So I was visiting Sarnia with my parents, and we went down to the Bluewater Bridge, which is a popular place to hang out and look at the water and eat french fries. And of course for taking pictures, which I proceeded to do. I'd taken maybe 5 photos when I heard some one say "Hello there", and turned to see a police officer walking toward me from his squad car. He explained that they'd gotten a call about a "suspicious individual taking photos of the bridge".

Now I should mention at this juncture that I'd been taking pictures for maybe one minute before the cop came up to me, which means one of 3 things:

1. Some concerned citizen called 911 the instant I whipped my camera out, and their call was immediately relayed by the dispatcher to the nearest squad car, which just happened to be driving past my location at that exact moment.
2. The guy the cops were looking for had finished taking pictures and left 20 minutes earlier.
3. The cops were totally lying about receiving a call, and were just checking me out of their own accord.

Figuring out which of those is the case is left as an exercise for the reader.

Anyway, the cop affected a resigned, almost apologetic attitude, conceding that the bridge was a local tourist attraction and people take pictures of it all the time and that was totally OK, but sometimes some busybody would take it upon themselves to call the police. So even though it was totally silly they had to check it out, and could I just show him some ID so we could all get out of here?

If I'd wanted to act like a Responsibly Disobedient Citizen and give myself a really good story to tell, I guess I should've refused, but I'm a wuss so I just handed over my driver's license. He jotted something down, wished me a good evening, and took off. As he was leaving I asked, "So can I keep taking pictures?" and he said "Sure, take all the pictures you want". So... yeah. I wonder if I'm now in some sort of global database of jerks who take pictures of sensitive landmarks?

Credit Cards ...item 2.. Big hack attack on Israel inevitable, say experts (01/09/2012 12:04) ...
car photo database
Image by marsmet543
Israel and Palestinian hackers have been engaged in a cyber cold war for more than a decade. Israeli teenagers blocked websites belonging to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, provoking Palestinians and other Arabs to declare an e-Jihad.

Those attacks consisted mainly of denial of service attacks and defacing websites, although embarrassingly for Israel these included over the years high-profile sites like those of the Knesset and Foreign Ministry.

During Operation Cast lead in 2009, Hamas was probably responsible for an attack on Israel’s Amos 3 spy satellite. More recently, Israeli hackers took over an official Hamas website and uploaded Israel’s national anthem onto it.

.......***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors ......
.....item 1).... CNET ... News ... Cutting Edge ... Snapkeys' quest to assassinate QWERTY

img code photo ... Israel's Snapkeys

Memorize this input method and your keyboard could disappear forever.
(Credit: Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)


by Eric Mack January 12, 2012 6:47 PM PST

LAS VEGAS--Israel's Snapkeys doesn't want to just be an alternative to the traditional QWERTY keyboard. It wants to kill it off for good.

The company's Ryan Ghassabian taps out sentences on his tablet with all the speed and precision of a phonetic hitman as he demos Snapkeys for me at a small booth in the far back side of the Las Vegas Convention Center here at CES.

Snapkeys is an invisible keyboard that uses 2i technology and predictive typing to eliminate the need to actually look where you're typing on touch-screen devices. For most of you, that sentence will be total nonsense, like it was to me when I first heard about Snapkeys, so here's how it actually works.

The idea is to take all the characters on a normal keyboard and reduce them to only four "buttons"--those that stand on one point (F, I, T, etc.); those that stand on two (M, N, X...); those that stand on a wide base (Z, U, L...); and characters with a closed circle (@, P, O...). Snapkeys introduces four new icons for each of these new typing areas, effectively reducing the full QWERTY board down to only this:

img code photo .... cute, emoticon-esque figures

These cute, emoticon-esque figures are hoping to kill QWERTY.
(Credit: Screenshot by Eric Mack/CNET)


Notice that there are two extra narrow spaces on the sides--the one on the right is primarily the new spacebar, and the left is backspace. Type the area that matches the shape of the letter you want and Snapkeys uses predictive typing to figure out exactly which character you're after. The company swears it gets it right 99 percent of the time.

Once you've got a handle on this much reduced interface, you can make the entire keyboard invisible.
According to the Ghassabian, this is what Snapkeys is all about--reclaiming the screen space currently given over to a keyboard. Imagine typing a comment about a show you're watching on your iPad to a friend without have to squish or cover the video with a typepad.

"We believe that in three years' time we will be the standard for text input for all touch-screen devices," Ghassabian says.

But Snapkeys isn't interested in stopping at the touch screen. Ghassabian says they're looking at ways of embedding Snapkeys in a car's steering wheel, for example--too soon to say if that would worsen or improve our distracted driving epidemic, but a cool notion nonetheless.

Snapkeys isn't out just yet, and Ghassabian says it won't be available as an app. The company is currently negotiating with wireless carriers around the world to include it as an input method on some upcoming phones and devices.
Originally posted at CES 2012: Software and Apps

About Eric Mack

Crave freelancer Eric Mack is a writer and radio producer based high in the Rocky Mountains in a "one bar" service area (for both drinks and 3G). He's published e-books on Android and Alaska, and is a contributing editor for and A New Domain. He also contributes to NPR, Gizmag, and Edmunds Inside Line. Eric is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Eric.
.....item 2).... THE JERUSALEM POST ... ... Big hack attack on Israel inevitable, say experts

01/09/2012 12:04 ... Cyber warriors are gaining the knowledge to do more than virtual vandalism; the worst is yet to come say experts.

img code photo ....

By Thinkstock / Imagebank


The hacker attack that exposed the credit card numbers and other personal information of thousands of Israelis last week shows every sign of being an unsophisticated break-in that exploited the weaknesses of a poorly secured website. But experts warn that for Israel, like other highly networked economies, the worst is yet to come.

Lone-wolf hackers have gradually gained the knowledge and experience once the preserve of intelligence agencies and armies. Instead of defacing websites or shutting them down by flooding them with e-mails, growing numbers of hackers have the ability to disrupt electricity, water, medical and other critical services, they say.

Ayalon: Cyberspace attacks should be treated as terrorism
Tiberias man arrested for using hacked cards

“To shut down a major network, even for a government, is considered to be difficult, and demands excellent experience and knowledge, but there are a few tens of thousands of people around the world who could do it,” Ron Porat, who co-founded Hacktics, an Israeli maker of anti-hacking technology, told The Media Line. “Some of them have the motivation also.”

A group of Saudi hackers dubbed Group-XP led by someone who goes by the web name OxOmar claimed last week to have obtained the personal information some 400,000 Israelis through credit card data. The Bank of Israel said the numbers were in fact much smaller, probably about 15,000 names, and that the credit card issuers had blocked the exposed accounts.

Nevertheless, the attack drew a sharp response from Israel as well as its arch-nemesis, the Palestinian militant movement Hamas. Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon termed the cyber-attack “a breach of sovereignty comparable to a terrorist operation” and hinted at unspecified “retaliatory action.”

Hamas, which is not believed to have had anything to do with this attack, termed it “a new form of resistance.” Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri was quoted by Reuters urging others to ignore Ayalon’s threat and “use all means available in the virtual space to confront Israeli crimes.”

Much attention has been focused on governments engaging in cyber-warfare, such as the Stuxnet worm that allegedly wreaked havoc on Iran’s nuclear program or when a Chinese state-controlled telecommunications company hijacked a big chunk of the world’s Internet traffic, including data from the US military, for 18 minutes in April 2010.

But hackers like OxOmar are a growing threat as well.

Israel and Palestinian hackers have been engaged in a cyber cold war for more than a decade. Israeli teenagers blocked websites belonging to the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, provoking Palestinians and other Arabs to declare an e-Jihad. Those attacks consisted mainly of denial of service attacks and defacing websites, although embarrassingly for Israel these included over the years high-profile sites like those of the Knesset and Foreign Ministry. During Operation Cast lead in 2009, Hamas was probably responsible for an attack on Israel’s Amos 3 spy satellite. More recently, Israeli hackers took over an official Hamas website and uploaded Israel’s national anthem onto it.

Other cyber wars have erupted across the Middle East. Anonymous, a loose collection of so-called “hacktivists,” launched denial of service attacks against government websites in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere during the Arab Spring uprisings. In November, Anonymous turned its sites on the Muslim Brotherhood. “The Muslim Brotherhood has become a threat to the revolution Egyptians had fought for, some with their lives,” it declared in a video.

While Israeli credit card companies were handling the Saudi break-in, Turkish hackers were threatening to unleash a wave of attacks against French websites after lawmakers in Paris approved legislation that would ban the denial of the Armenian genocide.

They have already assaulted French websites, including that of Valerie Boyer, the French politician who introduced the law that could punish genocide deniers with jail time.

But that is small change compared to what hacker are potential capable of doing, say experts. Indeed, hackers now take the trouble to exploit human weaknesses to enter networks, for instance, applying for a job and using the interview to gain access to a company’s headquarters and physical access to a computer.

“These kind of things were once done by the CIA, but now they are being done by hackers. It’s becoming very, very hard to defend any organization including the army and intelligence units,” said Porat. “In the past most hackers used a single vector or two to hack into system. They use multi-vector attacks now.”

Danny Dolev, a leading computer scientist and engineer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said that Israel was as well protected as any heavily networked economy even if it remains vulnerable. Policy makers and defense officials have over the past year come to recognize the extent of the threat.

In August, he noted, the government created a National Cyber Directorate to coordinate activities of the agencies that deal with the issue and to secure infrastructure against cyber attacks. The exposure of credit card details will awaken the public’s attention, which is as critical as technology defenses.

“I’m glad in a certain way it happened because it will awaken awareness,” Dolev told The Media Line. “Awareness means being careful when you plug in a disk on key, being careful when you change a password and being careful when you put your information on a social network.”

Dolev expressed doubt that a lone hacker is capable of bringing down an entire economy, but he said they are capable of doing serious damage. “Let’s assume a single hacker enters the blood database and changes few of the blood types of the database,” he said. “This would be horrendous. It would not bring down a country but it could do a lot of harm. There is damage that would be significant.”

Project 366 #290: 161012 The Horror!
car photo database
Image by comedy_nose
Busy day in work today, and I feel like I've been running through treacle all day. Post viral fatigue I think.

Amongst today's disasters is this photo!

I came out of work to go over to the satellite building to set some equipment up. As I did, this rather beautiful vehicle had presented itself in one of the side streets.

I whipped out the only camera I had with me - my work mobile phone - and got this shot off. I can't blame the phone, it's not a great camera but it's capable of far better results than this. I could see the camera was struggling a bit though, so resolved to return with some more appropriate hardware on the next run.

I did, and wouldn't you know the bloody car had disappeared.

So this photo is achingly, painfully bad, but it makes it into the set just because it's a beautiful object.

Anyone know what it is? It looks a lot like an MG Y type, but it's way earlier than my internal database can deal with.

291-365 Sally is In Recovery Mode
car photo database
Image by johngarghan
Take a photo every day in 2009
If we go back to yesterdays photo at Wake Green Amateurs snmeets commented that Sally also joined in the fun. She is very crafty as she makes her way up to people at the game and gets close enough so that they feel obliged to stroke and fuss her, she is so skilled at this maneuver that I’m convinced everyone strokes her with out realising. She has all the necessary information locked up in her little database, who is sucker for her eyes and pitiful face? And she never forgets.

Her particular expertise is rolling on her back, generally playing with a piece of wood or bottle top

She also spends ages covering every hedge, and the backs of the sheds and changing rooms sniffing for what I don’t know, all I do know is that at the end of it all she is exhausted, of course she is about 12 or 13 now. So all day Sunday she sleeps generally wrapping herself round the fridge (possibly because she likes the gentle vibrations) she doesn’t even want to go for a walk or even sit in the back of the car when I go out.


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