Aloha Friday

 

 

As the population continues to grow in east Hawai’i island the traffic congestion gets worse. As with most major roads on Hawai’i island, there is one way in and one way out. There are back-roads, but they don’t complete the entire journey. You still have to get on the main arteries to reach your destination. We’re still a very rural island and we like it that way.

In my case, living in the Puna district, there is only one main highway in and out of this district. Highway 130 is also known as the Keaau-Pahoa bypass road. It connects Hawai’i Belt Road (Rt. 11) and lower Puna Rt. 137 (Red Road) in Kalapana.

For years there has been a bottleneck at Kea’au where the two lane highway merged to a one lane highway. Roadwork has moved the bottleneck from Kea’au down south to the Hawaiian Paradise Park and Orchidland subdivisions. It hasn’t stopped the traffic congestion during rush hours. The best thing to do is to plan for the delays.

Too often I see cars pulled over to the side curb because they are over heating. It doesn’t help when you have cyclists riding alongside the road. It’s dangerous and there have been many fatalities due to traffic accidents. People need to drive with aloha.

Stay safe and enjoy the weekend. Weather: mostly cloudy. Trade breezes diminished. Temperatures in the 80’s 77% humidity. Some light showers. Overall a nice day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Phone Is A Spy

I’ve owned a variety of cellphones throughout the years. From the earlier suitcase phones shaped like a brick that you had to plug into the cigarette lighter in your car, to the latest cellphones that have multitasking capabilities. The evolution in the technology is amazing.

Lately I’ve noticed something odd about my cellphone. I have a Samsung Galaxy phone which I like very much. It has all the bells and whistles most cellphones have. GPS, Maps, Texting, Calculator, Reminders, Internet Access, and Social Media Apps. With so much customization built into the phone it’s like a regulator computer. So why does my cellphone suddenly wake up and start asking questions?

My phone uses Google in the Android operating system. Sometimes when I’m watching television and not interacting with my cellphone, it will suddenly wake up and say “I didn’t understand that”? Which leads me to believe that my cellphone is listening to me, my conversations, and everything else. Is this information being recorded? If so, where is it stored? Is anyone else listening? Who knows?

It’s a scary thought wondering if anyone is listening to my conversations. It seems people are more accepting of technology that does listen to them. Alexa and Echo Dot are called virtual assistants where you can use voice commands to do things like play music, turn on lights, search for things on the web. Which also means that these devices are always listening to what you are a saying. Sometimes, it’s creepy.

As more Artificial Intelligence (AI) is added to virtual assistant products including cellphones, the more I wonder about privacy issues. Especially when the government is using AI for facial recognition in public places like airports. How do you balance security with privacy? What’s to stop some unscrupulous person to use your personal information for blackmail, stalking, or worse.

It’s not unusual for people on Facebook to post when they are going on vacation. Giving criminals the green light to break into your house when you’re gone. What’s worse is that people will put up personal information such as birth dates leaving them vulnerable to identity theft.

I wonder if the answer is to completely disconnect from all technology. Or at least go back to when cellphones only made calls and had no assistant features. There is something called your social media footprint which can be used to track and spy on you.

On the other side, AI tracking can be useful to law enforcement to locate missing persons. Investigating criminal activity and fighting terrorist activity. I guess it all depends on what you’re willing to live with and how much privacy you’re willing to surrender for the convenience of technology. Imagine people’s withdrawal symptoms if suddenly all this technology was suddenly turned off? What did we do before all this technology? We could actually have a live conversation face to face at dinner instead of staring at your cellphone. Playing family board games instead of cellphone solitaire.

 

 

Day Of Rest

A day of rest, a day of prayer, a day of reflection. A day I get to sleep in for about an extra hour, before I have to get up because I cannot sleep no more. I usually get up in the early morning when the sky starts to brighten and the birds start singing. The mind starts working and I’m thinking of the things I have to accomplish today and how I’m planning my work week. So much for the extra hour of sleep. I think I do my best thinking laying in bed away from external distractions.

Our weather is in that pattern where the days are partly cloudy and sunny. At late night the rains come and by morning are gone. It’s just enough rain to refresh the water tank and keep everything green. Temperatures are back to normal, 80 degree Fahrenheit, 26 degrees Celsius. Humidity 72%, but feels like 55%. Tradewinds keep a breezy cool comfortable feel. It’s expected to be like this all week.

Even though it’s hurricane season, there hasn’t been any reports of any storms forming off the Pacific mainland. We’re grateful for that.

 

 

Admissions Day

HAWAI’I 50

We Celebrate the day that Hawai’i became the 50th State in the great United States of America. We’re the only state with two official languages. Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono definition is – the life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness – the motto of Hawaii.

It is the greatest feeling in the world to be a part of the American dream. There will be parades all across the islands. Here in Hilo the city is preparing for grand celebration. There will be Hula, food, music, flags, and patriotism on display. This is the 60th year of Statehood.

Leis and cookouts will be on display. Fireworks and Oli chants will be heard. A yearly celebration which everyone is welcome.

Have a great Aloha Friday and a great Aloha Weekend

 

 

Lychee Hoo

It’s Aloha Friday and what better way than to start the weekend with a Lychee cocktail and a great meal. Supporting local businesses and the workers.

It was back to our typical tradewind weather. Sunny, then rain, sunny, then rain. Temperatures have moderated back to our comfortable normal. Nothing could be better. The ISS is scheduled to fly over this evening at 8PM, but I think the cloud cover will make it difficult to see.

 

Ripped Apart

Tropical Storm Erick is being torn apart by wind shear. As of this writing, the storm has been mostly been a rain event. Winds have been very calm. The humidity is at 88% and temperature is 79 degrees. We still don’t know if the storm will strengthen as it passes south of the island.

There has not been any power interruptions, but we have the generators ready if needed. I’m watching TV and the latest President Trump rally in Cincinnati Ohio and it is massive. I counted 15 protesters on the streets.

 

 

Communications

During President James Buchanan’s administration the first trans-Atlantic cable was laid between Europe and North America to allow telegraph communications. The first message took over 17 hours to be sent at 2 minutes and 5 seconds per letter by Morse code. That was the beginning of what would become a global network.

In 2018, a underwater cable was connected between Virginia and Spain at speeds of 160 terabits per second. That’s 16 million times faster than the average home internet connection. The technology uses fiber optics over the old copper wire connections. It’s amazing how the technology has evolved. Today, these underwater cables are world wide and provide instant communications. This includes voice and data connections.

 

Submarine cables that connect to the Hawaiian Islands

There’s an interactive map of the cables around the world here <–

Of course, satellite communications are increasing being employed. As a redundancy to submarine cable networks, satellite provides an excellent alternative when a trunk-line gets disabled either by storms, accidents by fishing trawlers, or terrorism. Although satellite has it’s problems also with solar storms, collisions with space junk, and the militarism of space. Which is why we need a Spare Force to protect our interests in space. He who controls the skies, controls the world. We cannot have rogue nations targeting our satellites.

Of course, satellites do more than just pass telecommunication date, they also track the weather. Tropical storm Erick is approximately 1,600 miles from Hilo and is expected to strengthen to hurricane status. However, the storm will be entering cooler waters and will encounter wind shear which will down grade the storm to a rain event.

On the heels of Erick is tropical depression Seven-E still forming off the coast of Mexico on its way into the central Pacific. It is expected to reach hurricane status. Tis the season.

Protesters are still blocking the observatory road to Mauna Kea. The group ‘Ku Kia’i Mauna’ (protectors of the mountain) are promising not to allow the Thirty Meter Telescope from being constructed. The stalemate continues.

Weather has been sunny and hot. A good day for yard work. We’re expected to get rain during the week as the storms approach.

 

 

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