URLs "p1" 20200716 – 64 resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


URLs "p1" 20200714 – 68 resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


URLs "p1" 20200712 – 62 resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


URLs "p1" 20200708 – 65 resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


URLs "p1" 20200707 – 62 resources

I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


Solution to the "Google Arts and Culture" app "tap to refresh" issue

Google has done more for the world, than any other company I can think of. It is easy to blame “big tech” companies for all that is wrong – and as I write, there is a very visible protest against Facebook – but the truth is that “humans are only humans”. We will always find ways to misuse contents and technology in general, refuse to take the blame, and then ask others for solutions.

This constantly happens, at very different scales. Parents, religious groups, organizations of different shapes and forms, blame what they think is “wrong” with their kids, affiliates, members, etc., on the music they listen, the movies they watch, the books they read, the apps they use; the people they communicate with, the news they (do not) read, etc.
The opportunity to, alternatively, take a good introspective look at the mirror, is rarely taken. It is easier to find scapegoats.

These companies and ad agencies that, today, are taking the hypocritical path against Facebook, will do it to Google, to your company, or to yourself (!) tomorrow. They are oversimplifying extremely complex social questions and, with that, doing more harm than good. Our world is not trivial. Isolated hashtag reactions are some of what is wrong in human behavior. It is required to go beyond the hashtag.

This post is about one of the many wonderful products and services that Google offers. It is not about “search”, “Gmail”, “Classroom”, “Maps”, “Earth”, “Android”, etc., but about something less known, yet equally relevant and loveable: the “Google Arts and Culture” app.
Of course, with the current trends, it is only a matter of time before one of these wonderful offerings to become under negative scrutiny, either because someone will find horrible things when searching, have sensitive data compromised, or encounter “indecent art”.

So, enjoy the “Arts” app while you can, if you can. I could NOT, until understanding and fixing the “tap to refresh” issue. This issue consists in a blank screen telling you to “tap to refresh”, to no avail.

The “Google Arts and Culture” app, is a wonderful effort, to help people learn about, and connect with arts and culture. In many countries, it will be localized enough, to be based on the local arts/culture. Unfortunately, in my case, the app did not work at all: it would launch, display a “tap to refresh” message, and systematically fail on every attempt to continue.

I investigated enough of the app behavior, to understand that the failure was because of the unavailability of certain network resources:
(1)
I had my filtering proxy configured to ignore http(s) requests matching the pattern

*.ggpht.com

, which in the past served me well, to block certain image-based ads. If I want to use the app, as it is, I must unblock that pattern.
(2)
A second network resource that must be unblocked, for the app to work, is the domain

google-analytics.com

. In my case, I had configured my private DNS to translate requests matching

*.google-analytics.*

to 0.0.0.0, not to the real IP address. Again, that served me well, for many years, not only against ads, but mostly against a plethora of user-behavior tracking techniques. In this case, I am disappointed of having to unblock google-analytics. In the future, I will research for a different solution.

Doing (1) and (2) enables the app “Google Arts and Culture” to function.



google_arts_and_culture_00_permissions_768.jpg
https://arturmarques.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/google_arts_and_culture_00_permissions_768.jpg (image/jpeg)

google_arts_and_culture_00_permissions_768.jpg


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https://arturmarques.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/google_arts_and_culture_app_03_running_768.jpg (image/jpeg)

google_arts_and_culture_app_03_running_768.jpg


google_arts_and_culture_app_02_tap_to_refresh_768.jpg
https://arturmarques.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/google_arts_and_culture_app_02_tap_to_refresh_768.jpg (image/jpeg)

google_arts_and_culture_app_02_tap_to_refresh_768.jpg

Technical Details
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        F1 1968 @Portland, USA

        Modern F1 is probably facing its most serious existential crisis: the sport remains a formidable engineering laboratory, but the racing on track – or the perception of it – leaves much to be desired.

        Seasoned viewers should be able to appreciate the underlying technology, and enjoy the constant showoff of amazing numbers, namely 200 kph to 300 kph in ~2 seconds, unbelievable short braking distances, body challenging G forces, and so on. F1, for example, is now the reference in applied IoT (Internet of Things), with hundreds of addressable sensors per car.

        Yet, casual viewers, not knowing or not caring about the technology, and with no understanding of the history of the sport, will have no references, and see nothing but a small set of 20 cars going around boring wide tracks, designed for safety, difficult to capture on video, conveying a decent sense of speed.

        The fact is that the “relative speed” of F1 is eventually at its lowest ever: cars might be regularly exceeding the once magical 300 kph mark, but 300 kph at an “airfield” is like 12 kph on a treadmill. Moreover, the understanding that the cars are safer to crash than ever, creates the perverse collateral effect of undervaluing the drivers’ effort: in the past, one mistake would literally break or kill you, so overwhelming respect was due to those daring to ride their fallible temperamental machines. After Senna’s death, in 1994, F1 changed enormously in terms of safety. The early 1990s cars were the last
        machines to constantly challenge the drivers’ physical integrity, and even then, less than in the 1980s, the 1970s, and certainly the crazy 1960s.

        I remember the day Jacques Laffite (JL) broke both his legs in what seemed like a slow accident: his car steered to the right, at the first corner of a chaotic first lap, to avoid other cars in trouble. His Ligier left the asphalt, and then just skidded “slowly” over the zero grip grass, until its “nose” hit the barriers. The absolute speed of the car upon the impact must have been “low” (~50 kph), but the car’s construction offered nearly no protection to the feet and legs. JL’s F1 career ended that afternoon.

        Imagine higher speeds and even less modern cars, namely the machines from the 1960s and from the 1970s! Every event was a bit of a “circus”, such were the life threatening risks looming. Yet the “rewards”, for example measured in exhilaration and/or adrenaline, shared by both racers and spectators (which were crazy daring, placing themselves in unacceptable spots), is something unparalleled.

        Today, somewhat bored with the F1 2020 cars, I decided to exercise my arms and legs, by virtually racing the “Matra” from the 1968 F1 season. I did some laps around the “new” Portland circuit, USA, a track for rFactor2, released this July. It was formidable! What a challenge! The Matra is a noisy, nervous, powerful car, capable of ~275 kph in such a short circuit! My best lap was a 01:14:8xx, half a second slower than the best adversary.
        In real life, with this car, I imagine, if you put a wheel wrong, you will hurt yourself – instantaneously and seriously. The Matra is agile, nervous, very fast, but unstable. It accelerates much better than it can decelerate or turn, so be careful with what you request it to do!
        The video that follows has two segments: first it captures my best 01:14:8xx lap, from the in-car camera (footage taken while I was driving the lap), then it features two other laps, from the “TV” camera perspective.

        Enjoy and try it yourself. The “Portland” track and the 1968 F1 cars are both free.

        URLs "p1" 20200705 – 65 resources

        I am an avid WWW surfer, with hundreds of websites visited each month, sometimes daily. I bookmark them all, at least for logging purposes. These posts having the "urls" category, capture what was on my browser on a specific date. I hope you enjoy some of these shared resources.


        F1 2020 at the Estoril circuit

        This is a 01:14:xxx lap around the current (2020) layout of the “Estoril” circuit, @Portugal, Europe. The car is Esteban Ocon’s 2020 Renault F1, using “RFactor2” – the simulator selected for the first ever official “24 hours of Le Mans Virtual” (check https://www.studio-397.com/2020/06/celebrating-24h-lmv/).

        Relatively to the layout that hosted real Formula1 / F1 races in the 1980s, and in the 1990s, the key changes are at turn #1 – now a ~90 degrees corner, instead of a pedal-to-the-metal right – and, by the end of the lap, at what was called “curva do tanque”, which also became slower, but not as slow as in the horrible version, used for some races, following Senna’s death, when there was a literal stop-and-go “S” segment.

        This is an unprepared lap, done just to test the 2020 F1 cars and the circuit. For now, the cars sound bad and have much to improve in terms of credibility – I full-throttled the Renault at the exit of several slow corners and indeed got some wheel spin, but it was too easy to control. Nevertheless, a promising first version of these cars.

        The video has four segments: from in-car, then two different from-halo angles, finally one lateral perspective.

        F1’s shameful return – by FP2 F1TV was already down

        F1’s shameful return – by FP2 F1TV was already down

        Formula 1 / F1, is finally back, for its first race of the much delayed 2020 season, without spectators on the circuits and several other strong preventive measures in place, to minimize health risks.

        One would expect that after the many technical issues that plagued the associated “F1TV” service, during its first season, this second round – the coverage of the 2020 season – would run more smoothly. Moreover, I suspect F1TV has become many fans’ primary channel to keep live contact with the sport.

        Unfortunately, by the time of the “FP2” (Free Practice #2) event, the service was already down, with frustrating technical messages on display, no matter the device used, from mobile to desktop. It was a brutal failure, especially hurtful to an audience who has been getting persistently decreasing entertainment quality, over the recent years, with races that systematically reward the same racer(s), with rare natural overtakes, and boring tracks with no design features to highlight some sense of speed.

        As I write (2020-07-03 1400), the URL
        https://f1tv.formula1.com/en/current-season/austrian-grand-prix/2020-austrian-grand-prix-formula-1-practice-2
        should be giving access to the FP2 live stream, to paying subscribers.

        The pictures show what one was getting, instead.

        In a tweet’s length (@my_dot_com – https://twitter.com/my_dot_com/): “Incredible! By FP2, @F1TV #F1TV #F1 already NOT working. That was fast. This should not be happening after such a long preparation and one full experimental season already factored in.”

        https://twitter.com/my_dot_com/status/1279045286200070150



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        f1tv_down_as_usual_on_tablet_2020_07_03_02_10_09_768.jpg

        Technical Details
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