Coastal Stuff, Commentary

Commutes aided by sensors – redux

07.24.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Commutes aided by sensors – redux

Note: I was poised to post this Friday, July 21 in the morning. But the news that Devil’s Slide would reopen August 4th preempted the posting and relieved some of my frustration. However, I’d still like to understand the variability of sensor readings to actual timed experience.

Start original blog entry: While I applaud CalTrans for instrumenting the roads and giving helpful clues to commuters about travel times from point A to point B, the accuracy reflected in these clues leaves something to be desired.

Thursday afternoon the web site and the sign onsite for highway 92W indicated that it was 33 minutes travel time from I280 to Highway 1 on 92W. In reality, it took 18 minutes to move from the sign through the traffic light at 35N and 92W, 0.75 miles. The time for this travel segment, a 7 mile trip over the hill from I280 to Highway 1? 46 minutes.

CalTrans, clearly you’ve instrumented the road. Why the heck aren’t you reading what you collect from the sensors and reflecting it accurately? Bad information is worse than no information. 39% error in travel time is a bit high when actual data is available.

Technorati Tags: Sensors Commute


National Leadership Award – Innovative fund raising or scam? You decide.

07.21.06 | Permalink | 2 Comments

Recently I received a telephone message from Congressman Tom Reynolds indicating that I was a winner of the “National Leadership Award.” In the background of this message, there was the usual cacophony associated with those telemarketing boiler room setups, which definitely sent the antennae up. Not to mention, I live in California, not New York, where Tom Lantos is my local Congressional representative.

I decline to state my own political views and affliations in this blog. So draw no conclusions about this statement other than it’s a fact: This award is sponsored by the Republican Party.

Here are some more facts collected during the return call to Reynold’s office:

  • It was confirmed that I have indeed won a “National Leadership Award”
  • The helpful staffer I spoke with was unable to tell me who nominated me or why I was selected
  • A recorded message from Tom Reynolds was played congratulating me on winning this prestigious award
  • The award winners names will be in a full page advertisement supporting a Republican-backed tax cut proposal
  • Award winners are asked to contribute $300 to “defray the cost of the advertisement”
  • I asked “Do I still win if I don’t contribute?” Yes was the answer.

All of this reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons where Montgomery Burns gives Homer Simpson the award for “Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence.” Burns creates the award in a bid to get Homer to release the nuclear power plant from liability due to it’s sterilizing effect on Homer.

Scam or innovative fund raising? You be the judge. Whatever you decide, if you get the call indicating you’ve won, you can make an informed choice about how to respond.

Technorati Tags: Scam Fund Raising

Coastal Stuff, Commentary

Devil’s Slide to reopen August 4!

07.21.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Devil’s Slide to reopen August 4!

If you’ve followed the CalTrans updates, this isn’t a surprise. Nevertheless, it is great to have an end to the commute misery in sight. Can’t seem to find a link to a CalTrans page that reflects the update, but it’s reported by the San Mateo County Times (paper version) and the Coastsider at this point.

A hearty thank you to all the folks who helped repair the damage and help get us back to normal.

Technorati Tags: Sensors Commute

Media, Ohio State Football

121 days to OSU/Michigan

07.20.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on 121 days to OSU/Michigan

That’s right, and 44 days until the season opens. What season you ask? Why the college football season of course!

Aside from all this tech stuff I’m embroiled in daily, I also happen to be an avid college football fan generally, and specifically a fan of THE Ohio State University Buckeyes. Go Bucks! Can’t wait for the season to start, take a look for yourself courtesy of YouTube:

Ted “Ballgame” Ginn Jr. Highlights (click the image to play)

Not sold on college football, well take a look at this:

Cal/Stanford 1982 – “The Play” (click image to play)

No set of videos would be complete without a beating of “That School Up North.” So here’s a summary of the 2004 game:

OSU/Michigan 2004 (click image to play)

And, just in case you want to interact with a passionate community, I recommend Bucknuts as the place to go……Hope you all enjoy a great season!

Technorati Tags: Football Video

Coastal Stuff

Sensors @Work -> Commute times

07.14.06 | Permalink | Comments Off on Sensors @Work -> Commute times

The League for Coastside Protection has been graphing commute times (due to the CalTrans sensors in the road – see this blog entry.) Here are the archives for June and July to date. The interesting thing looking at this data is just how erratic the commute times are. Great to be able to view this all due to networked sensors. But still a pain in the neck for those of us living through the chaos.

CalTrans continues the repairs on the slide and seems to be ontrack for a late September finish. Check the updates section for the latest progress.

July 13 Morning Commute

July 13 Evening Commute

Technorati Tags: Sensors Commute

« Previous Entries
» Next Entries