Dave The Web Guy

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Adulting The Snow


Snow scene in the parking lot

Just went out to "dig my car out" but with no place I had to be. I just have to face the fact that I actually went to play in the snow -- with adult rationalizing.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

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Audio: 407 Hampshire 3-Alarm Fire


Here's the bulk of Buffalo Fire radio traffic generated while the Buffalo Fire Department battled what turned out to be a 3-alarm fire. 

The call came in at 5:20 AM and there seemed to be a number of addresses given early in the incident, owing, possibly, to an apparent intersect of streets and fire swath to nearby structures.  But, the final worked was given as 407 Hampshire Street.

My audio assembly may include minor gaps or possibly duplicate tracks.  Sorry, but until I mop it up, it was early!  I didn't see anything on the feeds as of at least 45 minutes ago (Fire Buff New York actually got up the first mention of and video just as I was composing this entry), so I'm assuming everyone is resting off the Bills win last night!

(Mostly) Full Scanner Audio of Fire Ground Activity

Continued editing of this entry is in progress as more details emerge from actual recording playback.

Fire Buff New York made the trek and posted these video Tweets.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

audio buffscan fireground

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Is Restorative Justice About Being Broke?


I keep thinking that during the famously safe years in New York City which I loosely define as between the mid-90s to as recently as only a few years ago, a lot of money was being spent on policing, investigation, and incarceration. 

Maybe too much.

Recently elected NYC DA won't prosecute certain low-level crimes.

Confronting and arresting fare beaters turned out to be unbelievably effective at curbing the circulatory system of people so inclined to do so, who tended to be the same people inclined to do worse.  The Broken Windows thing and all that.  

But it must have been expensive to catch those people, to paint over all emergent graffiti, and to fix every broken window.  So much so, I suspect, that finding ways to justify giving up doing these things has become the imperative.

I am beginning to think that the concept of restorative justice is being allowed to win at the policy level because just maybe we can't afford the level of safety we enjoyed with "intercept, confront, arrest." 

Notice I phrase myself with "allowed to win" because certainly there is nothing wrong with the elements of restorative justice or fair and more compassionate policing.  We would agree any and all of those things are important.  But the fact that these concepts are being allowed to dominate both the process and the outcome as total solutions, is a bit telling.   

No DA can politically tell people the money to aggressively fight crime just isn't there, so adopting noble narratives to explain why that won't be done moving forward might just be the shrewd move.  

Now, I can't tell you that I've dug into the data -- I haven't.    You're only reading this on your screen because any moog with a keyboard can post shit to the interwebs.  But that being said, something has to explain the national trend for ducking confrontations with bad guys.  That we can't afford to seems to fit the bill. 

What I really hope is that I and most people completely misunderstand what the game of pursuing low level crimes is actually all about.  Maybe we as moogs only think that no longer pursuing low level crimes is any different than when we did -- somehow -- and all that's happening here is that some political-minded DA is attempting to solidify his voter base by minting the right words and actions in the media's face.



  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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Yes, Your Blog Can be Censored, But...


I happened upon:

Snippet from Reddit forum.

Reddit discussion.

Yes, a web hosting provider can "censor" you as much as Twitter, Facebook, or any other social media forum might.  A web hosting provider might decide to take you offline at any time.  So why do I offer up "running your own blog" and "hosting your own site", like yours truly, as some sort of panacea for avoiding it?

It's because it's more a question of resiliency and the culture of web hosting providers.  Twitter and Facebook have decided to become moderators.  Chances are your web hosting provider of choice, such as GoDaddy, has not.

Twitter and Facebook have hired teams of people looking for things to act against.  A wise move considering that the top energy of these places involves people pumping in ground-level content, at what must be millions of interactions per minute. 

On the other hand, a crank like me pushing out a blog post maybe once every few weeks, and then having that blog post generate enough interest to push people over the friction barrier to comment back, hardly merits a single intern doing the same.

But of course there are "high veolocity" personal blogs out there, so even if there is a temptation to monitor activity with an eye to zap any hint of non-conformity, the impulse goes against the early-established ethos of web hosting which is something along the lines of "we just give you the space to rant, the consequences are on you".

Those dynamics do not make for bullet-proof protection of course, which is the basis for my overall philosophy that no forum, analog or digital, is ever going to be completely free of the risk.  In fact the Wikipedia article for internet censorship currently breaks down 7 control points that can be exploited in a way that either knocks you offline completely or severely diminishes your reach and influence.

But look:  Having your own hosted blog or website drops you much farther away from the frontline debate and all of its component triggers.  You are protected much better in cases where you are making a strong statement with perhaps ambiguous clauses, than you are on social media where there is less tolerance for either, particularly in the accumulation dimension.

The snippet from a Reddit thread above about Marjorie Greene's Twitter account being suspended over Covid misinformation posts, which prompted me to make this entry, is ironically itself a reminder why you can't even rely on the conduits of discussion on these matters to take place.  If you visit the thread now, you'll find that it has been locked by the moderators.

So yeah, if you want greater resiliance against censorship, and certainly more direct control, you need to get back to blogging and web hosting.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

blogging socialmedia

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Working on RSS


Sorry for any RSS noise.  I am working on an enhanced RSS process that allows me to update any given entry and have it reflect as an update there.  No more sinking feelings fearing that important edits are not seen.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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Leaving 2021 Burning


This happened across the street from me yesterday (New Year's Eve).  I was at this very keyboard working on the blog launch when the call came through on the scanner.  

I'm always in "response" mode for local public safety incidents, so long as such incidents are relatively close.  Being across the street, this event qualified.  I made it to the scene before the full battalion even arrived.

These clips were broadcast or shared to the BuffaloScan Twitter feed, but I also did a live video via Twitter on said feed which provides an additional angle, and some incredible water works shots as fires make quick work of putting out the blaze. 

This WGRZ news report echos what I already knew from the Buffalo Fire Department's standard verbal summary over fire radio -- something they give to the dispatcher just after they've put out the fire and are about to leave the scene.  The fire was apparenlty arson.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan fireground video

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Blog Locked and Loaded for 2022


2022 Happy New Years postcard.

Well here it is 2022!  Or it will be by the time you make your way to these words.  You will notice the site is now hosted by "dwghoster.com", and that I've tweaked the blog's presentation a bit. 

Behind the scenes I also updated the SQL code which consumed a good many of my days off from work to do so. 

This is a big year for me because all the work I put into this blogging system last year will now allow me to focus more on the craft, content, and the encouragement of others to join me in rebuilding an ad-free blogging network (see my post on Reddit looking for local bloggers to help get the ball rolling).

Decentralization and direct control over data are going to be my key digital strategies in 2022.  I'm putting more operational mechanics and power back onto the PC where things are responsive, and most of all, private.

It turns out that this impulse is in complete alignment with something called Web 3.0, of which a key theme is decentralization

And here is the lame first-hit when Googling that, and what they say:

Web 3.0 is anticipated to help overcome this problem as it is expected to be a decentralized version of the Internet where people have control over their data. The third version of the internet will have more transparency and boast massive content that will be accessible to all.

What's Old is Artificially New Again

As far as the digital industry and pundits are concerned this goes hand in hand with blockchain stuff, which is fine.  But the fact is, the internet and world wide web are decentralized by their very nature.  When people talk about decentralizing, they're literally talking about going back to the way things once were in habit and process.

People need things to happen as a paradigm shift  in order to validate, I dunno, whatever riches their punditry and professional reputations get them.

It's too soon to say if the forces and institutions that are invested in centralization and all of the control and monetization that go along with it will successfully mount a counter-revolution  (e.g., perhaps making sure they are secretly the de-centralizers, if they can pull that off without anyone noticing).  But at least the mantra and spirit are spot on.

Either Way...I'm Decentralizing

No matter what ultimately comes to be, I myself am taking control of my digital property, data, and identity.  I've moved most of my accumulated data off the cloud, thanks to a NAS system, and I've gone back to the Microsoft ecosystem where files can still be generated using client-side applications. 

I can anticipate the collective gasps that I would consider Microsoft to be an instrument of decentralization, them being one of the evil tech empires and all.  But in the very specific context I just described, they are. 

Microsoft as a company sells software and solutions first, and (seems) to dabble in advertising and search second.  For me, that matters. 

Of course, the distinction doesn't change the fact that they have an inferior cloud product when compared to Google, a situation that in my opinion arises from failing to create their own "device-in-hand" hardware; smart device home line; or any real auto solution.  Not to mention that to offer any cloud ecosystem at all, they have to retrofit their legacy product line to work with one.  To me the latter still seems to walk with all the elegance of Frankenstein, though I do believe they will get it together one day.  

Google by contrast was able to design from the ground up with only the cloud in mind, and now their universe is just so much more effectively all-encompassing.

Ducking the big tech cloud as the point, however, means I am uncaring of the quality of their cloud success.  It's how I can still use their programs in my space that is the issue.

Should Microsoft ever abandon its PC-line of software and force everyone to use their products as a web service for good, I'd probably move on to any number of freeware software to continue.  But, let's hope Microsoft sees the ironic wisdom in giving consumers the option of de-clouding, and continues to provide the professional service-approach ecosystem to pull that off.

I'm Bringing You Along

I'm going to decentralize you too this year by being more vocal about blogging (getting off social media, or, perhaps more like me, at least maintaining a blog), and, believe it or not, I have my eye on getting people back to Usenet with contemporary arguments for doing so.  More on that coming up.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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Website Turbulence Ahead


Update:  The bulk of the transition is complete.  At this point it's me fixing bugs and such that crop up during use only.  All the known proactive stuff is complete!  (Though I am working on enriching RSS more, sorry for any RSS noise).

It's a good thing I don't have steady visitors to this website to pick up on the instability wrought by my numerous web hosting manuevers of late. 

But, should you notice, be aware that for the remainder of this week, 12/28 through 1/2, the website will be up, down, and all around, as I work to resituate it with a new hosting service.

Short story is, I tried to serve the site on the cheap through shared hosting.  I try this every couple of years thinking for sure that shared hosting as a methodology must surely have evolved new management processes to ensure speed and stability.  The dream of saving money for what stands as little more than a personal hobby is too alluring, and I take the bait.  

Then, after a few weeks or months, the brick walls I hit while the shared resources of the not-actually-anymore-evolved-than-the-last-time-I-tried, choke and sputter, chases me back to a VPS.  Overhead of the actual monies and the time involved in setting everything back up -- again --, included.

The only upshot of this reckless nonsense I put myself through is that, it's just plain old fun.  Plus, the reset is a chance to weed out and tighten up things in the process.

Ah well, so, if you land here and the page doesn't load or something, try again later.  The URLs are going to change a little too.  Good thing I don't monetize anything. 

  By Dave for Personal Blog.


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The Openness, Calling All Citizens Nostalgia Tour


This is a video of me touring my old "Calling All Citizens" (and later and as depicted in the video -- "Openness") online campaign, hoping to encourage public safety agencies to keep their radio systems open and scannable by the general public.  I was active with this between the mid-90s and mid-2000s.  

I'm not much with producing online video, so my advice is that if you actually watch this thing that you a) full-screen it (the expander is in the video's control tray), and b) consider skipping past my long narrative opener before I actually begin touring the site, if you're in some kind of hurry or something.

I suggest full-screen.

My campaign is still "technically" alive in the sense that I remain an advocate for everything I championed, but, I am no longer a standout producer or leader in the cause.   This very posting is probably the most interesting thing I've done related to the campaign outside an occasional forum rant or tweet in maybe 10 years.

But I am simply no longer needed.  I am living long enough to see the real world taking lead over the issue right before my very eyes.  The demand for police transparency has actually become a thing.  So much so, that police officers literally wear body cams.  I have encountered an influx of news stories about police "going undercover" with their radio systems, including in my birth town community of Luzerne County. 

There's been more attention by the mainstream press as the deployment of digital and digitally encrypted systems have picked up steam and people wonder why they can't listen in anymore.

And, speaking of the press, people are rejecting "authorized" media outlets in favor of ground journalism techniques, social media, and I expect, soon, Web 3.0 -- the decentralized accent of it (still being an ambiguous concept, there are several ideas of what 3.0 is, but decentralization is considered a major component). 

People insisting on raw authentic information has turned into a revolution.  My website tour is an oddity of focus on what I have to imagine was among the first flickering embers.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan openpscomms www

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Planets Without Houses


This would completely screw up astrology.

"What house is your Widget in?"

"I dunno man, it's just way out there!"

Actually, since "houses" are really just imaginary dissections from the perspective of Earth, I guess they'd be someplace on the wheel, but I just find this a fascinating read.

  By Dave for for Earl Pin Astrology.


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Keeping Social Media Bad and Dumb


I love this Tech Dirt article, Which Went More Viral Challenge: Local News Stories Or TikTok School Violence 'Challenge'? .  The question puts mayonnaise news media on the spot about so much coverage over something that wasn't actually happening.

Worse, it makes the mainstream media look complicit.

I'm surprised by none of it of course.  I'll just fall back on my mantra that this happens because the more social media is discredited, the more value old school media retains. Important because the value and authority of mainstream media are deflating at an unbelievable rate.

The collective strategy of giving so much coverage to every threat circulated on TikTok or whatever, in my view, is to highlight the dangers of low barrier publishing and to accent its unreliability. That it also provides cheap content for them is just a side benefit.

You may have noticed you pay attention less to overworked local media folks pumped into uniform productions by their corporate overlords.  The mainstream media knows that you are and that's why it's important for "bad" social media examples, and the WWW by native extension, to find their way to the daily news cycle.

It's okay you can admit it, mainstream news houses are no longer an authority.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

deauthorizethemedia socialmedia www

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Voice of Real Reason


This guy's (Antonio Williams, the guy interviewed in the video) patient reasoning about police shootings is exactly how I feel in most cases.  Notice how he doesn't presume individual police officers to be bad murderous-intending people, but rightly blames the training and conversely the lack of imagination and will to pursue non-lethal methods and time for de-escalation (worded that way because police have always understood de-escalation, what they don't do is budget for it in real-time crisis handling).  

This man will enrage those who hate police and genuinely believe all officers roam the streets with a mindset to kill.  But you have to leave those people behind as much as you have to leave behind people who believe law enforcement can do no better than violence in crisis handling.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

blm humanity humanity

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NYC Nostalgia, Interview With Livestreaming Guy


Nostalgic NYC stuff.  I operated a blog title called "Tech for the City" very briefly while there.  I tried to dig up unique technology for exhibit at the blog, and at some point finally decided to walk up and interview this guy -- an early live streamer before Periscope and live feature components of Twitter and the like.  He was a regular at Union Square Park.

He had some beef with Turkey politics and I believe he was in some kind of voluntary exile.  Livestreaming was his chosen opposition voice, and he was certainly committed to it.  

Not exactly sure what happened to him, but I do know from his blog at the time he was staged to head back.  He was pissing people off, I hope he is okay today wherever he is.

  By Dave for Personal Blog.

interesting socialmedia video

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Best Buffalo Webcams for Wind Storm


There's a major wind storm whipping through Buffalo this moment, and it's expected to continue until 10 PM or so.

Here's a collection of the best live (or, almost live) online web cams you can use to scout the city proper and beyond for damage and conditions.

Traffic 511 Webcams

Once you land on the site, scroll in to Buffalo.  You'll see a dozen and more camera links mounted across the interstate highway system.  Pick one by clicking the camera and assuming the camera is working (some are not) you'll first be presented with a static image, but if it's available, you can click the "video" link for live video.

The "Mr. Pizza" Webcam

Offered up by BuffaloWebcam.com, Mr. Pizza is a smooth look at this entire sordid affair from the pedestrian level as the neighborhood goes on as close to normal as it can.

The same website offers a view North on Elmwood.

Screenshot of Mr. Pizza webcam.

The Peace Bridge Authority Webcams

The Peace Bridge Authority apparently hosts a series of live webcams via YouTube Live.  Awesome.  They have 4 operating webcams, all crystal clear.

Screenshot of Peace Bridge Authority's YouTube channel.

BuffCam - Delaware Avenue and Allen St.

This isn't a live camera but if you click the remote viewing box you'll get a self-refreshing updated image every minute (remember to allow pop-ups for this site in your web browser).  The camera overlooks the intersection of Delaware Avenue and Allen Street.

Screenshot from Buffcam website.

We might as well keep this list growing for tonight, and beyond!  If you know of another operating webcam, be sure to contact me.

  By Dave for for BuffScan.

buffscan webcammadness

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