A massive hurricane is swirling toward the eastern seaboard of the U.S. leaving 29 million people under a Hurricane warning on Friday night. Currently a category 2 storm, Hurricane Irene is forecast to straddle the coast before making landfall near New York City. Here in Southern California we don’t have many hurricane threats but then again it had been a while since the East Coast experienced a strong earthquake before this week. But in 1939 the only tropical storm to make landfall in California killed dozens at sea before coming ashore in Long Beach. 45 deaths were reported as a result of the flooding. And in 1858 a hurricane is said to have nearly made landfall off the San Diego coast, causing the 2011 equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars before turning back out to sea.
But in the 19th and even the 20th centuries we did not have the advanced warning and communications systems that we have today. Without even grazing land, Hurricane Irene is making history — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that today was the first time in the city’s history that mandatory evacuations had been ordered. About a quarter-million residents, primarily on the low-lying edges of Manhattan were urged to abandon their homes. New York’s subway system will be shut down Saturday at noon due to the threat of flooding.
Spent a long weekend in the Rockies with many of my best friends, most of whom I lived with in a big house in Iowa City during college. Our second 106 reunion (106 N Governor was the address of the house) was incredibly fun: great hiking, awesome weather, and good times catching up with old friends as if a day hadn’t passed since the last time we were all together — 3 years prior in Oregon.
[nggallery id=7]Click on photos to embiggen or to view as slideshow. Or view on Flickr.
I was a VIP guest of LG at a red carpet Hollywood bash celebrating the Revolution this week. In spite of promo posters featuring raised fists on the walls, this revolution is not a movement — it’s an Android smartphone and a speedy one at that.
The state of the economy may be a big question mark but one thing’s for sure: L.A. tech is hot. Westwood-based Elevator Labs received $20 million in funding this week in another example of investors putting money into innovative Los Angeles-based startups (just last week Santa Monica-based BetterWorks received an $8 million investment).
It seems every social network overextends its privileges with users once a year if not more. In the past the culprit has most often been Facebook, changing its Terms of Service and upgrading its platform to create just a bit more vulnerability for its users. It’s become an almost humorous pattern of overreaching only to retreat slightly in reaction to inevitable user outrage.
LinkedIn launched its own social ad network, which utilized users images and profile information in advertisements that would be served on the site, presumably to their contacts. LinkedIn really should have seen this coming — a few years back when Facebook did the same thing it experienced a user backlash.
What’s the fuss? Social network users expect the opportunity to select whether their likeness is used for profit. In both Facebook and LinkedIn’s case, users were initially opted in to the ad programs by default.