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by frazgo

Press Days of the LA Auto Show

5:18 pm in Downtown, Driving, Entertainment, environment, Events, Fashion, Food & Drink, Media, Technology by frazgo

Beer truck dispensing Stone Brewing brews at the Nissan display

I can’t begin to tell you the fun I have at Press Days for the L.A. Auto Show.  Yes, its a lot of work but a lot of fun is interspersed during it too.  You get to meet some really interesting people from all over the world, both media and manufacturer types.  The reveals are 20 minutes long and 5 minutes apart.  You have two choices…hustle to each or pick and chose the ones you want to stake out and really see.  I always take the latter approach and have time to photo the exhibits with minimal people in the way.

Most of the manufacturers have some sort of refreshment set up.  Audi and Porsche each set up pop-up restaurants with free wifi.  Jaguar did a nice cafe this year too.  However, hands down my favorite was the food trucks AND beer truck at the Nissan stand.  Yes.   A beer truck dispensing ice cold beer, ipa and ale from Stone Brewing.  I had a nice cold glass of Arrogant Bastard thank you very much.

There are tons of other things going on during Press Days as well.  There are receptions and happy hours.  Notable ones were for the Design LA and Aftermarket Halls at the show. There is also the opportunity to get in and drive cars, mostly green cars on the last day (Thursday).   Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Is Comet Ison worth a road trip before the butt crack of dawn?

11:14 am in Entertainment, environment, Photography, Science, Technology, Which Side? by frazgo

I absolutely think so.  Who’s in with me?

The next three weeks are going to be prime, PRIME viewing of comet Ison.  Its crossed earth orbit and is racing to the sun for its closest approach on Thanksgiving Day.  With proper eye protection it may even be possible to see it as it circles around the sun that day.

Ison is billed as the comet of the century by some.  It may or may not depending on whom you talk to,  survive the trip around the sun on the 28th.

Griffith Park Observatory still says that most spectacular viewing will be Nov 30-December 14 in the pre-dawn hours.  I read earlier today that the best time to view will be about 1/2 hour before dawn. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Is it too early to Geek out over Comet Ison?

9:43 am in Entertainment, environment, News, Photography, Science, Technology by frazgo

Griffith Observatory doesn’t think so.  Its still some 6 weeks to peak viewing which is expected around dawn November 30- December 14, but Griffith Observatory already has their viewing guide up.

Thanksgiving Day about 11am Ison will make its closest approach to the sun and may be visible, with the aid of special filters when it is close to the sun.  It should be visible most of the day that day.  Wow.  Am like a kid in a candy store over this one.

Now that prime viewing charts have been established it looks like a sunset view isn’t gonna happen with this comet.  Dawn and pre-dawn look to be the best during that peak viewing period.  I had thought about going up the 15 to Stoddard Wells for viewing if it was going to be sunset. Scratch that and now looking at points east, say Joshua Tree pre-dawn excursion and set up to capture the comet in its glory as the sun slowly illuminates the horizon?    Might as well start planning now before everyone else gets the bright idea to leave the city for best views without the encumberance of light pollution.  Who’s in for leaving LA early enough to be in the desert for that with me?  I’m thinking the weekend of 12/7-8 as it won’t have the mad hordes of Thanksgiving Traffic and be right in the middle of the best viewing period?

 

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by frazgo

First ever Snapcious iPhone safari in DTLA 9/28/2013

11:41 am in Downtown, Entertainment, LA, News, People, Photography, Shopping, Technology by frazgo

snapcious logo

I wrote about Snapcious when it launched earlier this year.  Its a fun game you play on your cell phone taking pictures then posting it to Snapcious for the other players to rate and comment on.  Snapcious even lets you cross post to FB, twitter, flickr, pinterest and a host of other social media.  You can download the app here for your iphone.   Enough of the nuts and bolts…the meet up details.

Snapcious is hosting a meet up Saturday 9/28/2013.  Any Snapcious player is welcome to attend.  It will be fun to meet with other like minded folks and geek out with the app documenting downtown L.A.  After the event is over a bunch of us will likely end up lunching somewhere in the area.  To attend the event you just need to sign up for it at  Meetup.  Wear your comfy shoes.

NOTE we are meeting at the Hill Street entrance to the Grand Central Market.

DEETS:Saturday, September 28, 2013 10:30 AM to 1:30 PM Grand Central Market, 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA  MAP HERE

for the press release you need to make the jump. Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

Driverless cars programmed for rude too?

10:31 am in Driving, LA, Technology by frazgo

googlecar

Google Self Driving car, click to embiggen

Just about a year ago CA allowed driverless cars.  Google has a few out there, mostly in the Bay Area.  Or so I thought. Coming back from the desert yesterday I spotted this one on the 10 somewhere around the 15.  It was in the slower lanes and well, I wasn’t so I lost sight of it and continued my trek into the city.

Imagine my surprize as I was merging onto the 57 North when it suddenly appeared to my left and behind me.  It was coming fast and passed me with signal on and the damn thing cut me off.  I had to brake to keep a decent following distance, then it braked and moved over one more lane.  WTF.  Can’t they program it to keep decent following distances and not cut others off too?

Gawd as my witness,it happened. I even have a witness, my daughter Kari was with me and she grabbed the picture.  All I gotta say is watch for them. They have giant spinning thing on top and look kinda dorky.

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by frazgo

Did you get the rude awakening too with the statewide Amber Alert during the night?

9:12 am in Law Enforcement, News, Social issues, Technology by frazgo

screengrab of the rude awakening this morning - click to embiggen

Imagine my horror this AM when my phone started buzzing and ringing and I wasn’t even awake yet.  Didn’t know what was making my phone buzz, ring and vibrate so violently.  I stumbled out the kitchen and saw the Amber Alert.  Didn’t even know there was a Boulevard, CA until now.

This isn’t the first Amber Alert I’ve been rudely awakened too, but my first here In CA. The first was not quite 4 weeks ago while I was in Vegas and Nevada Highway Patrol saw fit to alert everyone, even non-residents of the alert.

I know from my FB feed that at some point during the night all of my friends got such a message to their phone.  I’m not sure what I think about being pushed Amber Alerts, especially at all hours of the day.  What’s your thought on the idea of 24/7 push notices on Amber Alerts?  Is it good use or abuse of technology?

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Pondering The Transponder: Sell Your Soul, Pay The Toll

8:40 am in Driving, LA, News, Politics, Rants, Technology, Transportation by Will Campbell

Following Frazgo’s November 9 post announcing the somewhat chagrin-filled arrival of toll lanes that have now turned a stretch of the 110 Freeway (and soon part of the 10 Freeway) into a Costway, I whatthehell’d it and decided to drink the koolaid and go get myself outfitted with one of the required tracking devices so my vehicular movements and non-movements could be monitored by 24/7 by the MTA and Caltrans, AAA via a combination of roadway implant receivers and suborbital satellites. Oops! Sorry!! My inherent schizoid-based distrust of any transmitters forced upon us by the government is showing. Let me zip that up. What I really meant to call the technology was “The completely harmless and entirely loveable Metro Expresslane FasTrak Transponder.”

Anyway, it’s not like I really need one. I’m rarely on the 110 and even rarer in its HOV lanes so my initial reaction was basically “fuck that bullshit” followed by about eight exclamation points.

Then my resolve weakened when the doomsday scenario occurred to me that there might come that anxiety-ridden day when I’m stuck southbound on the gridlocked Harbor coming through Exposition Park, 149 hopeless minutes away from a flight at LAX that’s leaving in 91 minutes. At that moment somewhere in a bunker deeeeeeeep under the city an MTA operative monitoring my biometric activity being sent via the chip embedded in the TAP card in my wallet smiled and told a failsafe colleague “We’ve almost got another one!”

Read the rest of this entry →

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by frazgo

In case you missed it, the Culver City “Grass Station” art installation!

1:31 pm in culver city, Driving, Events, Technology, Transportation, West Side by frazgo

It happened at night when no one was looking.  A gas station was turned into a “grass station”, an urban oasis of sorts.  It was part of CODA Automotive’s campaign to bring about awareness of their all electric car that is on sale now.  So far CODA has set up an “Experience Center” in the Century City Mall, as well as an indy dealer, Martin Coda of Los Angeles on West Olympic in L.A.  I have to give these guys credit for bringing something fun to a L.A. neighborhood and getting me to notice.

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by frazgo

Hungry? I got a Food Truck App for that!

11:46 am in Food & Drink, Shopping, Technology by frazgo

pay dragon logo

pay dragon logo

It launched this morning.  PayDragon is a free app for your iphone or android.  It hooks you up with a participating food truck or restaurant, lets you order and prepay cutting down the hassle of lines and worry if you have cash on hand.  Actually it does quite a bit of nifty stuff for you…

  • QR reader: scan codes with participating PayDragon merchants to instantly begin a transaction
  • A discover tab: locate nearby participating merchants
  • A game layer: earn points toward incentives from merchants
  • Exclusive deals: take merchants up on sales and food deals
  • Facebook integration: tell your friends about the great meal you just enjoyed
  • Receipts for transactions: keep track of purchase activity
  • Notifications: receive alerts when an order or item is ready to pick up

Participating vendors include the sweets chain Beard Papa and a number of LA-based food trucks such as The Bun Truck, CambalaCHE’s,Auntie’s Fry Bread, Chunk n Chip, The Grill Sergeant, The Wien, and Rounds Premium Burgers.

You can get your free download for your iphone HERE and your Android HERE.  I’ve been told by the good folks that other formats…Blackberry and Windows are being worked on.

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by frazgo

Pasadena to host Clean Vehicle Rebate Program fair Saturday March 31st.

10:13 am in Driving, environment, Events, LA, San Gabriel Valley, Technology, Transportation by frazgo

ford focus pair

Pair of Ford Focus at the Petersen Museum.

This promises to be an interesting event this coming Saturday on the steps of City Hall in Pasadena.  The folks at Clean Vehicle Rebate Project and the city of Pasadena are sponsoring the fair and it is free and open to everyone.

The EV Fair will feature a number of vehicles for test drives and on static display. As of now I have confirmed that a Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Toyota Prius Plug-In and CODA will be available for attendees to experience at the event. (Unfortunately Ford dealerships have not quite received the all-electric Focus so the dealers will not be participating. They are, however, working with Ford to provide a Focus EV for the event).   UPDATE 3/29 Ford will have a new Focus EV at the event.   They will also have a number of electric vehicle charging equipment providers at the event displaying products and providing information on home installation). Read the rest of this entry →

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National Plug-In Day Event in Santa Monica this Sunday

2:23 pm in Driving, Events, Technology, Transportation, West Side by Matt Mason

Chevy Volts

Pair of Chevy Volts at 2011 Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica

Santa Monica is a Ground Zero for hybrid, electric, and other alternative fuel vehicles in the U.S. It’s nearly impossible to open your eyes while there and not notice at least a Prius or two. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the flagship event for this Sunday‘s National Plug-In Day will be a gathering and parade of electric and plug-in vehicles in Santa Monica.

Read the rest of this entry →

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ICME: LA’s Got Smartphone Culture

10:38 am in ICME, LA, Technology by Chris Corning

Angry Bird Picture on a 170 Fwy Overpass

Pic by me. Embiggenates with a click.

 

Not long after I first moved out to LA, a friend who came to visit observed that smartphones are ubiquitous in LA. “As soon as the plane touched down, 90% of the people pulled out blackberries…”

That was, of course, before the first iPhone dropped, and LA’s phone culture has become even more entrenched since, and it’s also become far less rare for folks to have smartphones in small Midwest cities such as the one I hail from. The proliferation of the iPhone and Android, smartphones for the non-business user, eventually brought with it the popularity of new types of games (for non-gamers).

Some of those games – as is evident in the picture above – have been quite popular.

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Live Visual Music Sensation this Friday!

11:47 am in Art, Entertainment, Events, Music, Technology by Jodi Kurland

Experience a live visual music sensation on Friday, April 22nd courtesy of The USC School of Cinematic Arts and Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative for FREE! Rhythms+Visions-Expanded+Live! is an exciting outdoor event with performances spanning animation, experimental documentary, social commentary and abstract visual music. UK audiovisual collective D-Fuse and Los Angeles artist Scott Pagano will perform live. Additionally, giant 3-D stereoscopic animations will be projected onto the building facade, interacting with the audience and the architecture. 3-D glasses will be provided.

Rhythms+Visions-Expanded+Live! is this Friday, April 22nd from 7:30-11pm at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Complex. Admission is Free. A lively panel discussion will follow the performances. Facebook event page here.

 

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by tammara

How Many Rads is LA REALLY Getting?

12:14 am in environment, Science, Technology, Weather by tammara

Radiation Alert! Want to get a heads up on the radiation fall-out hitting LA right this minute? Check this out!  It’s a live streaming radiation monitor set up in West LA so you can see what’s going on at any time of the day or night.

There’s even a chat set up, so you can get answers to all your burning questions.

These guys also get bonus points cuz the device glows in the dark!

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BarCampLA is back!

2:05 pm in Technology by Jason DeFillippo

After a 2 year hiatus BarCamp, the premier ad-hoc technology conference returns to LA Sunday April 30th through Sunday May 1st. The event will be held this year at Mt Washington Elementary at 3981 San Rafael Avenue. Tickets are $35 right now for the whole weekend and there are student and group discounts available.

If you’ve never been to one I have to say that BarCamps are more like a weekend at tech camp than a conference. Anyone can give a presentation (but make sure you’re there early to get the prime spot) and the topics can vary wildly but they’re almost always fun and insightful. I’ll definitely be there!

Get tickets early because it’s definitely going to get sold out fast. Not to mention you can skip the Procrastinator edition tickets which are an extra $20 if you just get them now.

http://barcampla.org/ on the web
@BarCampLA on Twitter
Facebook

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