Seattle area law enforcement ask people to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies

Just got this notice from WSP- asking folks to exercise a little self control when things go wrong.

Joint Media Release
Seattle-Area Law Enforcement Agencies

**For Immediate Release**
July 29, 2014
Contacts: See Below

Local police ask you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies

(Seattle)—Social media has become the tool of choice for sharing life events, from mundane things like family dinners to major, life-changing, emergencies

Seattle-area law enforcement agencies are asking you to “Tweet Smart” during emergencies, to help public safety responders keep you safe.

“Please don’t tweet about the movements of responding police officers, or post pictures,” said Washington State Patrol Chief John R. Batiste. “Sooner or later we’ll have an emergency where the suspect is watching social media. That could allow an offender to escape, or possibly even cost an officer their life.”

The agencies’ concern began to grow after watching events in Moncton, New Brunswick and Portland, OR.

“We watched these incidents as they unfolded on social media. In both cases, there was real-time information posted by individuals that could have compromised officer safety,” said Chief Bret Farrar of the Lakewood Police Department.

Along with not posting information about police movements, posting pictures can also put officers at risk.

“If it’s safe to do so, go ahead and take pictures of our deputies in action,” said Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer. “We’re very proud of the work they do. We’d simply ask that you wait to post those pictures until the emergency is over.”

In fact, pictures posted after the emergency can help investigators determine what happened as the event unfolded.

Here are some suggested dos and don’ts for the use of social media in emergencies.
· Do get to a safe place and call 911 if possible. Live telephone calls to dispatchers are law enforcement’s best source of real-time information in an emergency.
· Do feel free to let family and friends know you’ve reached safety.
· Do feel free to warn friends if you have first-hand knowledge of a developing emergency.
· Don’t tweet or post about the movements of police, or post pictures of officers. Even what seems like vague information could be used by a criminal familiar with the area.
· Don’t endanger yourself to get a picture, no matter how compelling.
· Don’t spread rumors. If you’re not sure, don’t post, tweet or re-tweet.
· Do feel free to tweet about the response and post pictures after the emergency is over.

Although the term is “Tweet Smart,” the advice applies to whatever is your preferred social media platform.

Participating Agencies:
Bellevue Police Department
Des Moines Police Department
Federal Way Police Department
King County Sheriff’s Office
Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office
Lakewood Police Department
Seattle Police Department
Washington State Patrol

Sample footage from Vievu2

Here’s some sample footage from Vievu’s new wearable video camera, at this point this is as much of a review I can do- they have not finished the iOS app to allow streaming and control of the camera yet.

This short clip shows the quality of video this small camera can produce. Not as good as an iPhone, but considering it’s size it’s decent.

Vievu finally ships the Vievu2 wearable camera

vievu2 finally shipsAlmost a year ago I backed a project on indiegogo for a wearable camera from a Seattle company, Vievu. The camera was to ship about 9 months ago, but was delayed for various reasons. Anyhow the camera was delivered today via UPS and I’m planning on giving it a good rundown over the next couple days and doing a full review on here. Stay tuned.

Video of Marine One landing at Arlington, WA

Couple clips I shot yesterday of Marine One arriving at Arlington, WA, and the presidential motorcade leaving:

President Obama visits Arlington, Washington

marine one at arlington wa airport

President Obama paid a visit to Arlington and Oso, Washington Tuesday on his way to Asia. Anytime the president is on the move it’s a big deal, but rolling his hardware into a small town like Arlington is pretty unusual. I grabbed a few photos and video of his visit. There were a ton of resources out in Arlington and up highway 530 to support this trip.

Here’s a few shots from his visit:

Autotrader.com vs Craigslist for selling a car, my experience

I decided to sell my 2007 Avalanche a few weeks ago, it’s been a good rig but I no longer drive it enough to justify keeping it. I decided I’d try autotrader.com, since they claim to reach millions of serious buyers, and will run the ad until the car sells. I chose the “deluxe ad” and picked the “premium listing” option bringing the total to $79.00.

I uploaded the pics and wrote up a decent description:

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I figured it would take a couple days to get some type of activity on it, but after two weeks I had not received one phone call or email from prospective buyers. Autotrader’s “ad manager” lets you see the activity on your listing. Here’s how my ad looked after 14 days of “premium/deluxe” listing:

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Needless to say I was less than impressed with the Autotrader experience. My truck came up in searches over 800 times, but only 14 people clicked on my ad. And not one of those folks chose to contact me via email or phone.

So I decided to list the same photos and description on Craigslist, which has a more reasonable pricing structure- free.

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Within one day I had emails requesting details on the truck. Being Craigslist I had some ridiculous offers, both cash and part trades for crap I had no interest in. But within 4 days I met with a buyer, who made a reasonable offer and the Avalanche was sold.

If I were to do it over again I would have started with the Craigslist ad for 2-3 weeks, then attempted Autotrader if I wasn’t getting any bites. I was pretty disappointed that I optioned up for their best ad listing, and received zero response for the 80 bucks it cost.

Tulip traffic sucks.

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I had to run up to Bellingham saturday to meet my accountant, it was a nice day and figured it would be a good drive.

Sadly I forgot about the tulip festival and ended up spending an hour sitting in stop and go traffic on I-5.

I’ve seen the tulips once, and that was enough for me.

What’s up with the 04.23.2014 billboards?

20140412-204132.jpg Over the last couple months several of these billboards have popped up around Skagit and Whatcom county. Just a plain billboard with some green lines and the text “04.23.2014″ in the center.

I can’t find any information via google searches for any big announcements or events scheduled for Wednesday, April 23, 2014. I’ve tried twitter and reddit but have not had anyone explain what the backstory is on these billboards.

Anyone have any info who/what is behind these billboards?

Parashoot team responds to blog post- “Get lost asshole”

The Creators of ParashootApparently the folks at Parashoot didn’t appreciate my blog post regarding their bizarre post fundraising behavior.

They have been awfully busy deleting posts from their comment board on indiegogo (over 30 posts removed at last count), but don’t have the time to post any evidence that they have done anything since raising $150,113 back in October.

Anyhow they were nice enough to send me this note Saturday:

email from team parashoot

Apparently the boys don’t like people questioning their little camera project. They’re only two months behind schedule on delivery and have provided no evidence that they have done anything to produce their camera. I’m sure it will work out just fine.

The odd crowdsourcing story that is ParaShoot 2.1

Iparashoot 2.1 crowdsourcing‘ve backed a few projects on Kickstarter in the past with mixed results. Often the goal is not met, or in some cases the people raising money fail to produce their product, only to keep the money.

A few months ago I backed a project on Kickstarter, the “Parashoot” portable HD camera. Sadly their campaign was cancelled by Kickstarter shortly before it was scheduled to end. Messages in the project comments questioned why their camera appeared to be an exact copy of a camera that was already available under various names such Unieye for less than a hundred bucks in some cases. I ended up buying one on ebay and it turned out to be a decent little camera. Some video from my unieye here.

Well the same guys started another campaign for the “Parashoot 2.1 camera” on the crowdsourcing site Indiegogo. This time they raised over 150k and promised delivery of the camera in November for early backers. The camera looked the same as the ones already for sale, with the exception of a smooth cover that was shown on some of their photos (but others showed the same face as the camera already for sale) No explanation as to how the smooth face version would deal with the microphone and speaker, which are now missing.

Anyhow, raised their cash, then missed their November delivery. Some folks questioned why they were not updating the development status on their Facebook page and in the Indiegogo comments for their project.

On December 11th they finally emailed an update to backers. (I backed their project so I received it)

Here is the content of their 12-11-13 update:

News and Update

We’re excited to share with everyone our latest progress.  Given the great support and much feedback we’ve received to improve the performance of the ParaShoot to the maximum, we’ve pushed ahead to accomplish significant stretch goals for advanced hardware and software capabilities.  Even though we did not reach the amount of funding we had laid out for these major upgrades from the outset, we realized it would be valuable to backers that we accomplish them now, rather than shipping the ParaShoot with the specifications/features as is.  The following are the results of our ongoing labor:

Upgrades

We have been working feverishly to upgrade the hardware and software capabilities of the PS.  Going down the list, here is what we are improving as we speak:

CPU – upgrade

DRAM – upgrade

Internal memory – upgrade

Camera sensor – upgrade (our prototype was a 1Mp sensor)

Video resolution – upgrade (this is exciting, we’ll post an update on specific progress in the video resolution area again soon)

Photo resolution – upgrade

App functions – upgrade (adding functions that will allow to enjoy not just time lapse photography, but additional awesome photo and video features – more on this to come)

App capabilities – upgrade (Adding ability to share/upload your footage to youtube/social networks)

New sensors – g-sensor, gyro, external gps (each serving a unique purpose)

Design – we are working to improve the enclosure (more on this to come)

Accessories – we are improving the accessories

Let’s not forget the skins – now is the time to share your input/ideas with us

In light of all these great upgrades, we realize now that our initial estimated delivery schedule was aggressive.  The technical effort to advance the specs and upgrade the PS has pushed back the delivery timetable.  We are now estimating that November early adopters will receive the first prototypes in January, and December First Backers will receive the PS in late January/February.  We hope you look forward to getting and appreciating this awesome piece of tech as much as we can’t wait to get the ParaShoot your hands for your utmost fun and deployment.

I thought it was weird that they emailed this update rather than put it on their project page, like every other project. I also thought it was weird that they are adding a “G Sensor, Gyro and External GPS” to the camera when they never mentioned this during the previous months of promotion, and no user requested any of these pointless features.  I questioned this in the comment section of their project page and all my comments were deleted within minutes.

To date they have not shown a photograph showing any progress of this project, no photos from their trips to China, no shots of the production, no proof that they done anything with the $150,113 they raised.

Even worse for these guys, the Looxcie 3 is now available, which looks to be exactly the same camera they were developing, with better software and cases, for $99. (Some people paid $500 for the privilege of getting 2 Parashoot cameras, roughly $300 more than what you would pay to get the two Looxcie 3 cams today) I mentioned on the Parashoot Facebook page and it was promptly deleted.

I hope these guys can deliver what they promised their backers. Their odd behavior with deleting comments, hiding updates from the public and getting their Kickstarter project suspended does seem a little odd. And the fact that you can buy a camera that looks just like the one on their campaign video today, for hundred bucks is pretty disappointing.  Time will tell.